The NFL season is 1/3 over and I thought it would be a good idea to take a look at the 1st round of the 2011 draft. With the help of Draft Debacled I was able to create this mock draft. I'll do another at the start of the playoffs and again after the season before we get into SERIOUS draft mode in the lead-up to April. The current draft order is a compilation of the current standings and my projections. Please feel free to throw in your $0.02 in the comments.
|A.J. Green |
WR from Georgia
Despite the running prowess of the Panthers' Williams and Stewart, their total lack of passing game means that these two great backs face 9-10 defenders on every snap and get nothing done. AJ Green's ability to stretch the field and catch just about anything close to him will compliment Steve Smith's hard-nosed attitude tremendously. Clausen will probably be the starter by the start of next year and will love having both of those guys to target.
|Andrew Luck |
na / QB from Stanford
My ojoes ain't too good, is that little Johnny Elway? Sorry Mr. Wilson, it's not John Elway coming from Stanford it's Andrew Luck who has looked every bit the part for the past two seasons as he has lead the Tree into contention again. Hopefully you can find someone to block for him in the 2nd - 7th rounds so he doesn't die during the first week.
|Prince Amukamara |
CB from Nebraska
The 49ers are in a position to take the best player available and at this spot it's the Prince.
|Cameron Heyward |
DE from Ohio State
Dareus and Quinn might have better upside but the Lions seem to be very high on character these days and the combination of talent and character is highest in Cameron Heyward.
|Ryan Mallett |
QB from Arkansas
This coming week will be Colt McCoy's 2nd start in the NFL and although the Browns are very far from being a serious contender they are hoping to find out if he has what it takes to be an NFL QB. He looked solid last week but if he slips at all in the next few this pick could change.
|Derek Sherrod |
OT from Mississippi State
Despite the Cowboys atrocious start, they have talent pretty much across the board. This pick will help them straighten out one of their biggest areas of weakness and Sherrod should be able to challenge for a starting position immediately.
|Marcell Dareus |
DE from Alabama
Dareus is probably the most physically gifted 3-4 DE in this year's draft. The Chargers would love to get their hands on an elite pass rusher.
|Patrick Peterson |
CB from LSU
Only the Patriots could have a trade from two years ago turn into Patrick Peterson, one of the most physically talented CBs to come out in years.
|Robert Quinn |
DE from North Carolina
Rushing ends Quinn and Dumervil sounds pretty good. The Broncos might be alittle shy of drafting another DE so high but they need to put pressure on the QB. If they don't want to go DE I'd expect them to look for help in the secondary.
|Anthony Castonzo |
OT from Boston College
The Bengals have built a solid defense and I expect them to look to the offensive side of the ball in the first round. I doubt they look to replace Carson Palmer already but if one of the top QBs slips to them here they could just take a shot and let him learn for a year. But I don't think that will happen, I bet they try to bolster their O-line and right now Castonzo looks to be their best bet.
|Jake Locker |
QB from Washington
It's like a really good Tim Tebow but without all the gator chomping and jesus eye-black! Actually I don't know if that would still appeal to the Jaguar's no fans but who does? Locker has a ton of potential and if they Jags can figure out a way to set up an offense around his skills they could be really dangerous in a hurry.
|Adrian Clayborn |
DE from Iowa
Clayborn was one of the top prospects entering the year but has been somewhat quiet so far. Although the team and the defense as a whole have looked great, he hasn't really managed to stand out. I bet that changes after the season and he tears up the workouts and pro-days.
|DeMarco Murray |
RB from Oklahoma
Three years ago DeMarco Murray was Adrian Peterson 2.0. Unfortunately there have been numerous injuries and setbacks along the way. This year he has finally been able to show his stuff as a true number 1 back.
|Stefen Wisniewski |
C from Penn State
The Cards are a few pieces short and one of the biggest pieces is obviously QB. However at this point in the draft they are looking at Christian Ponder and I doubt they want to use the 14th overall pick on him. So they go to interior offensive line and pick up a stud in Wisniewski.
|Ras-I Dowling |
CB from Virginia
The Rams have gone with a Cavalier with their 1st overall before and although that has turned out only okay they pull the trigger on another Cav with Ras-I. Dowling has the potential to be a true lockdown corner. Although the Rams are putting together an unexpectedly good season they still have a lot of work to do but Spagnuolo understand the freedom a lockdown corner will give his defensive blitz schemes.
|Mark Ingram |
RB from Alabama
The Redskins need some offensive firepower and I could see them going in a number of directions. A lot of if has to do with whether or not they can keep Dunavin. However, as mentioned before there isn't much left to work with as far as good QBs in the 1st. If they have faith in the combo of Portis and Torrain, they can take a shot at another highly touted WR with someone like Baldwin, Floyd, or Jones. However, I can see Shannahan going for the former Heisman and terrific one cut runner Ingram.
|DeAndre McDaniel |
SS from Clemson
Again we come back to the QB thing. Britfah is done after this year. They can make a move to acquire a veteran QB. McNabb? Either way they seem to have a solid Offense put together at least in terms of skill players. I could see them picking a lineman but think they'll try to improve their secondary and the best way for them to do that at this point is by selecting the top rated Safety DeAndre McDaniel.
|DeMarcus Love |
OT from Arkansas
As I'm writing this, Tony Kornheiser on ESPN's PTI just informed me that Jay Cutler is getting sacked at a rate of 2.5 times per quarter!! Yowza! They need some serious O-line help and Mr. Love is their best option at this point.
|Mike Pouncey |
OG from Florida
The Pats will use their 2nd pick in the 1st round to shore up their offensive line. It's clear that Belichick likes taking player from the Swamp and they take another here. Pouncey will help keep the pressure off of Tom Brady. I guess they hope that Randy Moss will slip to the 4th round.
|Gabe Carimi |
OT from Wisconsin
How happy would Giant's fans be with this pick? One of the top O-lineman entering the season hasn't played as well as he did last year but the talent is there. Maybe Eli will get a little bit more time now and we don't have to see that stupid Elishaface all bloodied up again. Gross!
|Mikel LeShoure |
RB from Illinois
The Dolphins have a bunch of pieces in place and could probably go D here with one of the talented LBs in this year's class but I bet they go RB to LeShoure up their aging and oft injured duo of Brown and Williams. This will give them 3 1st round running backs. I wonder how often that has happened?
|Rodney Hudson |
OG from Florida State
How about the Chiefs in the playoffs?! Despite that they could use some help along the line and Hudson's 4 years of starting experience means that he will be able to come in and push for a spot immediately.
|Bruce Carter |
OLB from North Carolina
The Saints have needed help at LB for years and with the depth of this year's class they should find a good answer. Bruce Carter has been a stud LB at UNC and should continue his stellar play in NO.
|Janoris Jenkins |
CB from Florida
Jenkins was able to step right in and start as a Freshman at UF and has playedextremely well since then. The long and speedy CB will find himself right at home playing against so many former SEC stars in the NFL.
|Nate Solder |
OT from Colorado
Green Bay likes to find large white lineman and they could really use one again. Rodgers is still getting knocked around even after picking Bulaga last year. Well the Pack won't find many lineman bigger than Solder who stands 6'9."
|Da'Quan Bowers |
DE from Clemson
John Abraham who? I was there in person last week when Abraham was dominated by none other than King Dunlap!! Long live the King! Their best pass rusher is Kroy Beirmann. Who is actually pretty good but they could use some help and Bowers has been tearing it up this year. If he continues his play he'll be a 1st round pick come April.
|Von Miller |
OLB from Texas A & M
The Colts still need to pick up the play of their linebackers. Brackett has been good for a long time but perhaps it's been just a bit too long. Angerer looks like he could turn into a solid player but Von Miller is a tackling machine. Yes, a human looking machine made to tackle ball carriers.
|Julio Jones |
WR from Alabama
When will Hines Ward stop playing dirty dirty football? Hopefully soon, right? So to prepare for that day, they will take the physically dominant Jones and pair him with Wallace to form a great tandem of young WRs that Ben should be able to find open and often.
|Nick Fairly |
/ DT from Auburn
The Texans need some help stuffing the run and Nick Fairly should be the mammoth defensive tackle to help them do that. He has gotten a lot of attention lately for his ability to get after the QB and apply pressure up the middle.
|Ryan Kerrigan |
DE from Purdue
The Ravens have a history of going after the best player available and Kerrigan is just that. Kerrigan seems to be an Aaron Kampmann in the making. Yeah he is a strong, fast, athletic, white, defensive end so it was an easy comparison. Could be a steal if he falls this far.
|Akeem Ayers |
OLB from UCLA
The Eagles are looking to surprise a few people this year and make it to the Super Bowl. After doing so they will realize that there are indeed a few spots they'll need immediate help and that is typically what you look for in a 1st round pick. They'll go after Ayers from UCLA to pair with Bradley and Sims. He should be able to come in right away and challenge Fokuo and Jordan for a starting spot. He has been flying up draft boards and at this point the Eagles would be lucky if they could grab him this late.
|Jerrell Powe |
DT from Mississippi
The Jets will get their Championship this year despite boasting it aloud to every team during the preseason. However, they lost Kris Jenkins a key cog in their star-studded defense early on this year and who knows whether or not he'll be able to come back from 2 successive knee. They'll make a move to replace him with the LARGE Jerrell Powe.