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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Picks 1-16

1. Carolina Panthers – Blaine Gabbert (QB, Missouri)

I just don’t see the Panthers having the balls to take a risk on Cam Newton. With his character issues and continued questions on how his play will translate to the next level, the Panthers will grab Gabbert. Gabbert’s poise and having the preferred quarterback size and arm make him a nice safe number one. Although I wouldn’t be surprised if Carolina goes in another direction and picks AJ Green, giving Jimmy Clausen or Matt Moore one last year to develop.

2. Denver Broncos – Marcell Dareus (DE-DT Alabama)

This to me is the no brainer pick of the draft. I don’t buy the pub that John Elway will grab a quarterback, especially with how bad Denver’s D was last season. Denver will settle on Dareus, who should be a soild D-line contributor for the next decade or so.

3. Buffalo Bills – Cam Newton (QB, Auburn)

Every report I have seen has Buffalo absolutely in love with Newton. Does this pick make sense with Ryan Fitzpatrick’s solid play last season under the helm? Absolutely not, which is why it makes even more sense for Buffalo to make this pick.

4. Cincinnati Bengals – (AJ Green WR, Georgia)

The Bengals make a last batch attempt at adding a piece to try and change Carson Palmer’s mind. It will probably fail, but they still add a guy who should be a number one receiver for the next ten years. Unless Gabbert somehow falls here, I don’t see them taking a QB until the 2nd round.

5. Arizona Cardinals – Von Miller (LB, Texas A&M)

Probably the best defensive player in the draft, the Cardinals will gladly pounce on him. Did you see how bad their defense was last year?

6. Cleavland Browns – Patrick Peterson (CB, LSU)

With how bad their pass defense got torn apart last season they need to add a cornerback and defensive end. Peterson in my eyes has way too much athletic ability to see him drop this far. The guy is the most athletic player in this draft, those guys don’t usually last this long.

7. San Francisco 49ers – Prince Amukamara (CB, Nebraska)

The 49ers are desperately in need of a quarterback, but grabbing an arm now would be quite a reach, especially with how heavy the position is. Amukamara has been gaining a lot of steam lately rising on some scouts board as the number one corner in the draft. The 49ers might actually luck out on missing Peterson, to get the best player at that postion.

8. Tennesee Titans – Nick Fairely (DT, Auburn)

The Titan’s defense is in desperate need of a big defensive tackle to clog the middle. Fairley, who many had pegged as the number one prospect during the season should do his best to fill this void. No player caused more havoc last year on the d-line then Fairely, the Titans will be jumping with joy to see him fall in their lap.

9. Dallas Cowboys – Tyron Smith (OT, USC)

With the two top cornerbacks jumping off the board right before them, the Cowboys look to protect their franchise quarterback’s blind side. The Cowboys seem to have a school yard crush on him and at least one offensive tackle has to be taken in the top 10 picks. It’s one of those things guaranteed in every draft.

10. Washington Redskins – Da’Quan Bowers (DE, Clemson)

Trying to figure out what Dan Snyder’s Redskins will pick is always dicey. They are just as likely to try to jump to the number one pick to grab Newton as they are to grab a guy that is falling hard in the draft. Bowers potential that had him in talks of being the number one pick at one point, couple with the fact that the Redskins are in desperate need of of end, should make for a likely landing spot for the Clemson man.

11. Houston Texans – Robert Quinn (DE, North Carolina)

With Quinn still surprisingly on the board, the Texans will take no time in snatching him up. Quinn’s talent is unquestionable, but with the long layoff that could continue with the player strike you have to wonder what game shape he will be in whenever he finally gets a chance to be on the field.

12. Minnesota Vikings – Ryan Kerrigan (DE, Purdue)

The Vikings are in desperate need of a quarterback, but they also need help and a replacement for Jared Allen. With the end position getting thinner, the Vikings grab Kerrigan to keep the run of ends going. Kerrigan may lack the luster of some other defenders, but his work ethic should guarantee he will give a team solid production from day one.

13. Detriot Lions – Julio Jones (WR, Alabama)

If there is one thing the Lions can’t resist it is top flight wide receiving talent. The Lions are in need of a speedy wide receiver to help create one on one opportunities for Johnson. Jones’ ability and speed would give the Lions one of the best wide receiver tandems in football.

14. St.Louis Rams – Corey Liuget (DT, Illinois)

In a pick that is to legit to quit…I’m sorry I just couldn’t help myself. But Liuget has been the draft darling slowly climbing up the draft boards to the number two defensive tackle. The Lions need a presence in the middle of their d-line, a spot Liuget should fill.

15. Miami Dolphins – Mark Ingam (RB, Alabama)

The Dolphins have been talking about getting a premier running back since about week 14 in the regular season. Much like Adrian Peterson who had injury concerns push him down the draft board, Ingram could give the team who picks him solid value. The Dolphins and Ingram would be a perfect fit for both involved. Ingram could put up some ridiculous numbers in his first season, if he lands in Miami.

16. Jacksonville Jaguars – Jake Locker (QB, Washington)

Locker still has the talent that is making scouts drool. With David Garrard and Trent Edwards being the probable starters for next season, the Jaguars really need to take a look at the future. Jacksonville needs to start a youth movement, the first step is finding a franchise quarterback.

We’ll have the rest later this week.


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