Full Round One Mock Draft

I had my first crack at one of these a couple years ago, and ready for another go. I put a bit more effort into this one, but at the end of the day, the Draft is one of the hardest things to predict in the world, and even if I only get 3 of these picks right come draft day, I would be happy with that. Without further ado, Carolina, you are on the clock.....

With the 1st Overall pick of the 2011 NFL Draft, the Carolina Panthers select....

Marcel Dareus, DT, Alabama

Ron Rivera is a defensive minded coach and will bring a defensive intensity back to the Carolina Panthers that they have not seen since 2003. For a man who is 319 pounds he plays at about 290. Very quick feet, very explosive and traits that big men rarely possess. I could understand why many would pick the Panthers taking a Quarterback here in need of giving a new face to the franchise, but in a bold move, the Panthers go Houston Texans like (2006) and pick Dareus, a guy who could quickly develop into one of the better interior lineman in the NFL in a short period of time with the correct coaching.


With the 2nd pick of the 2011 NFL Draft, the Denver Broncos select....

Da'Quan Bowers, DE/DT, Clemson

John Fox, just like in Carolina, was a defensive minded coach. The reason the Broncos were terrible last year? Without Elvis Dumervil, their pass rush was non-existant and their Run Defense was not much better. With the #2 pick, the Broncos take Bowers, a versatile menace of a player who has shown great ability in rushing the passer and stopping the run, as well as playing both the DE and DT positions across the 4-3 set. A 3 down player who has boom or bust potential, but Fox is no stranger to that having taken Julius Peppers in the same situation years ago. Potentially was a one year wonder, but under Fox's guidance, I'm sure that he will prosper.


With the 3rd pick of the 2011 NFL Draft, the Buffalo Bills select....

Von Miller, LB, Texas A&M

This was one of the hardest picks to make in the first round. This pick could very easily be Nick Fairley and I wouldn't be surprised at all with the recent cutting of Marcus Stroud. Pairing Kyle Williams and Fairley could be a serious temptation for the Buffalo Front Office. However, where the Bills were seriously lacking in 2010 was pass defense and pass rush pressure. So, what better to do than take arguably the best pass rusher that the 2011 Draft Class has to offer. Miller is tough, has great size for an OLB in a 3-4 and has a variety of effective pass rush maneuvers. Between him, Merriman and Moats, the Bills have a building block for putting together a decent pass rush presence next season.


With the 4th pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Cincinnati Bengals select....


Robert Quinn, DE, North Carolina

Now I know what you are thinking, this pick seems a lot risky, and not that smart. But take into account who is drafting here. The Cincinnati Bengals have never been shy about taking players who have a high risk factor (see Smith, Maualuga) when the potential is high enough. Robert Quinn could possibly be the premier pass rusher in this draft. He didn't play a down in 2010, but look at his film from previous seasons and this guy is an absolute motor for every second he is on the field. He is mean and nasty and fits right into the type of culture that Marvin Lewis desperately tries to establish. Quinn gives the Bengals two young defensive ends to build their defense around [Carlos Dunlap the other] and continue to believe that Palmer is bluffing on retirement.


With the 5th pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Arizona Cardinals select....

Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU

In my opinion, the best player in the draft falls to #5 where coach Whisenhunt promptly picks him up. Make no doubts that if Von Miller drops to #5 and Peterson is off the board then Miller is likely the pick here. In the rare scenario that they could both be on the board, I think that Peterson will still be the pick. Peterson has everything. Peterson will likely take a bit of maturing, as he is a bonafide big playmaker, he may find himself jumping routes and biting on play action early in his career in the hope of making plays, but the kids athleticism is ridiculous. He is an extremely confident player with great size, speed and is an underrated tackler in the open field. He will team up very nicely with DRC and Adrian Wilson in the Arizona secondary.


With the 6th pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Cleveland Browns select...

A.J Green, WR, Georgia

Pat Shurmur and Mike Holmgren don't even budge when the best WR in the draft falls into their laps at #6. Installing the West Coast offense has the Browns searching for playmakers in order to make Colt McCoys development even easier. The West Coast offense is about getting the ball out quickly on short passing routes and timing routes in order to let your receivers go to work. A.J Green is great at catching in traffic, shows excellent concentration in route running and can also go deep effectively when asked as well. Should become an effective yards after the catch receiver for McCoy and the two could well flourish together.


With the 7th pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the San Francisco 49ers select....

Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska

Another hard pick to make. Will the 49ers be intrigued by Nick Fairley's availability even though they run a 3-4 and have a solid defensive line? Fairley is predominantly thought of as a 4-3 DT, but he has a lot of potential and who knows, with the right coaching, perhaps he could become a solid 3-4 DE. However, in my mock the 49ers take the second best CB of the 2011 draft class, who in any other year could easily be the #1 corner prospect. Amukamara was a guy I initially wasn't very impressed with until I went looking for more evident footage. What I found was a guy who was quick, has good size and is not afraid to get involved in run stopping. A big plus for a physical 49ers defense. He can be the eventual replacement to Nate Clements.


With the 8th pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Tennessee Titans select....

Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn

The Tennessee Titans get a surprise when Nick Fairley tumbles down the 1st round and are quick to snatch him up. Fairley could well be the second coming of Albert Haynesworth in terms of his ability at the Defensive Tackle position. This could pose either a positive or negative response from Titans fans depending on how they saw Haynesworth. Did they see Haynesworth the dirty and somewhat dumb player, or do they see the All Pro Haynesworth who was a dominant force in the Titans jersey. Fairley has far too much talent to let slip past #8 and the Titans will take a chance on a guy with character issues in hope that they can be dominant on the interior line once more. If this guy matures and works hard, he could be one of the best in the game in a few years time. 


With the 9th overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys select....

Tyron Smith, OT, USC

Talk to Cowboys fans, and as much as they will not like to admit it, they missed Flozell Adams on the Offensive Line, and they are not exactly ecstatic about Marc Colombo. So what does Jerry Jones do? With both the top cornerbacks off the boards at #9, they take USC Tackle Tyron Smith. Although Smith is primarily a Right Tackle option in my opinion, what you see is a guy with great size, long arms and quick feet and with correct coaching could be a Left Tackle down the line. Some say his top two inches are not the best, but again, playing with a veteran offensive line should help him make the jump from college to NFL with less a degree of difficulty. He lacks in the run game, but they way the Cowboys have been playing in recent years, it seems he will be pass blocking more than road grading. Boom or bust, but the Cowboys need help at Tackle. 


With the 10th pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Washington Redskins select....

Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri

Mike Shanahan is an architect of offense, and the big armed Blaine Gabbert fits the style of play that Mike Shanahan covets so dearly. Big armed Quarterbacks who are also mobile with ball in hand and can run when required. John Elway, Jake Plummer and Jay Cutler all fit this description, and Blaine Gabbert will be the next in line when he "falls" to #10. Donovan McNabb will likely start the first half of the season and when the Redskins fail to compete, in comes the rookie. He will have the time to learn to play under center and go through progressions, something he rarely did in College, but mentally he is capable. He is a project of sorts, but has all the tools possible to be a successful NFL Quarterback.


With the 11th pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Houston Texans select....


Julio Jones, WR, Alabama

What? Ok I couldn't resist when googling "Julio Jones" and this picture came up. Huh? Oh you mean the draft pick. Well here goes. The Houston Texans drop a bombshell at #11 by drafting Julio Jones who slips past Washington and into the Texans arms. Coach Kubiak cannot resist the idea of pairing Jones on the opposite side from Andre Johnson and takes the Alabama standout. The Texans are all about catching the Colts, and do to this, they need to start putting more points on the board and have someone take a little attention away from Andre Johnson. Defensive players such as Alton Smith and JJ Watt will receive some serious consideration here, but Julio Jones has almost everything you look for in a star WR, hands, speed and plays with a physicality rarely seen by WRs. 


With the 12th pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Minnesota Vikings select....

Anthony Castanzo, LT, Boston College

I had a long think about this one, there were a number of guys running through my mind (including his highness Cam Newton) but in the end, the Vikings will draft to shore up their Offensive Line and draft LT McKinnie's future replacement (potentially instant replacement). Castanzo is a four year starter for a very good Boston Offensive Line, and is a very smart player who uses his quick feet and lateral speed to compensate for what is considered to be a lack of strength. Luckily for him, the NFC North is more about speed rushers than bull rushers, and thus would be a good fit along the Vikings Offensive Line.


With the 13th pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Detroit Lions select....

Aldon Smith, DE, Missouri

Aldon Smith may tempt 3-4 Defensive teams above with his potential to play OLB, but ultimately I think he goes to Detroit at number 13. I tell you what, this was a seriously hard pick to make, being it that Detroit could go with OT, CB or DE and still be happy. However, Jim Schwartz is a defensive minded coach who buys into the rule that success starts from the inside, last season he took Suh, and now he is going to draft someone who can take advantage of the attention Suh receives by drafting a speedy DE with great size, and very good lateral mobility. Smith is raw however, and will need coaching to be better at run stuffing and overcoming his so called lack of strength, but what Detroit will receive is a high energy player who has a need of sacking the quarterback.


With the 14th pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the St Louis Rams select....

Corey Liugert, DT, Illinois

Steve Spagnuolo would take a long look at Julio Jones if were to fall to #14, but in my mock he doesn't, and instead, he brings a big bodied, run stuffer (and underrated pass rusher) to his Rams defense, in a bid to recreate the depth and rotative abilities of his Superbowl winning defense he boasted on the Giants. Liugert is relentless and has a great motor for such a big man, and he has the footwork and know-how to use his size and feet to his advantage. He will be a disruptive force in the middle. 


With the 15th pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Miami Dolphins select....

Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin

Carimi is a big bad man who is a blue collar type of player that Tony Sparano will likely covet in the middle of this years draft. He will take a long look at Mark Ingram but will then realize that a running back is nullified if he doesn't have road graders in front of him. Carimi stands 6'7'' and has a nasty streak in that he plays this game to hit and be hit. He has a huge ceiling and could be a steal even though I have him here at #15. He is a road grader at Tackle and will likely slot in at Right Tackle, could potentially be a solid LT with a bit more footwork development. Put this way, I would love him on the Steelers. 


With the 16th pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Jacksonville Jaguars select....

Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado

To compete in the AFC South, you need to be able to defend the pass. Both the Colts and the Texans use 3 WR sets a lot, and to defend that, you need solid cornerbacks. Jimmy Smith doesn't possess the flash of a Pat Peterson or a Prince Amukamara, but he is capable of becoming a shutdown cornerback down the line. With the Champ Bailey deal, it is going to be near impossible to sign an average cornerback to an average contract, so you draft one instead. Smith has all the measureables of a prototypical corner, and he excels more in man to man coverage. The need for cornerbacks improves his stock, and Jacksonville has a need for a solid corner.


With the 17th pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the New England Patriots select....

Mike Pouncey, G/C, Florida

I am sorry to disappoint my fellow Steeler fans, but we will not see a pairing of the Pouncey brothers in the interior of the black and golds Offensive line. Instead, the Patriots give Steeler fans another reason to not like them by taking the player Steeler nation covets so much. The Patriots have a need at DE and OL, but the OL wins out in this one, with another pick in the first round, they have time to make up for the DL. Stephen Neal retired, and Mankins is likely on the move in the near future. Mike Pouncey is a hard worker, and the best interior lineman in this years draft by a longshot. Solid in pass protection and versatile enough to play both guard positions and the center position, he also is a high character type. Belichecks kind of player.


With the 18th pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the San Diego Chargers select....

Cameron Jordan, DE, California

This is kind of a toss up between Cam Jordan and JJ Watt to me, as the Chargers with no glaring holes to fill decide to fill the "void" that Igor Olshansky left a couple years back, and draft a guy who can be a perfect fit in the 5 technique position. He is a disciplined player who understands fundamentals such as controlling gaps, stance at point of attack and has great agility. Could really be a standout defensive end in the 3-4 with a bit more strength coaching so that he can command more attention from run blockers. 


With the 19th pick in the 2011 NFL draft, the New York Giants select....

Nate Solder, OT, Colorado

Tom Coughlin continually shows off the importance of the trenches, offensive and defensive lineman depth on his Giants teams. Remember in 2006 they lost their starting center before the playoffs? No worries, they inserted the #2 and the team didn't look any worse off. Nate Solder is a blue collar type player who has the potential to be a very good LT down the line in his career. He is a big man, who plays with a much lower center of gravity than you would think from a guy 6'8''. A very good pass blocker, he will be a 10 year starter in the NFL.


With the 20th pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers select....

Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue

Kerrigan is one of my favorite players in the draft. Tampa Bay has a solid interior of their defensive line, and now they can add some speed edge rushers to compliment. Kerrigan may as well be the definition of relentless, and he is a very smart player who plays with great leverage for a guy 6'4''. Not only is he great at getting to the Quarterback, he also is excellent at the strip sack, something that Raheem Morris will covet. 


With the 21st pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Kansas City Chiefs select....

Phil Taylor, NT, Baylor

Personally, this was the guy I wanted the Steelers to draft but I cannot see him getting past the Kansas City Chiefs at #21. Kansas City needs help along the 3-4 DL badly in order for Romeo Crennel's scheme to succeed. Taylor has been rocketing up draft boards as he has shown off his better than advertised feet for a big man, as well as his dedication to quell the rumors that he "plays too high" to be a good NT. The Chiefs could well have a long look at JJ Watt at this point in the draft as well, but ultimately, the 3-4 requires a big bodied NT to anchor it, and the Chiefs won't even hesitate here.


With the 22nd pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts select....

Derrick Sherrod, OT, Mississippi State

If this is the way the 1st round pans out, look for the Colts to trade down if they truly want Sherrod. The Colts really need to get an Offensive Tackle early in this draft and with the more celebrated prospects off the board, the pick here is Sherrod. The Colts offensive line took a backwards step last season in terms of pass protection and drafting Sherrod is a good first step in the right direction and doesn't need to step in straight away. He can take his time and improve his strength a bit, as well as his footwork and hand work. A project, but in a draft where OT isn't as deep as previous years, the Colts may take a bit of a risk here.


With the 23rd pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Philadelphia Eagles select....

Brandon Harris, CB, Miami

Miami University stars usually end up making great careers out of themselves at the next level and I don't think Brandon Harris will be any different. People call Brandon Harris undersized, but he plays bigger than a guy listed as borderline 5'10''. He will likely need to learn zone coverage schemes in the NFL but he is generally very effective in one on one man coverage. He has good ball skills and instincts and should be an instant starter at #3 CB for the Iggles until he is confident and polished enough to line up on the other side from Asante Samuel. Could do with a little more technique training in terms of tackling. 


With the 24th pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the New Orlean Saints select...

Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama

Mark Ingram's fall in this draft finally ends at New Orleans, who with each of the top CB prospects now off the board, choose to upgrade their running attack with one of the more polished running back prospects in recent memory. They would be tempted to take someone on the defensive side of the ball, however Ingram gives them a 3 down potential runner who has excellent vision and patience as a runner, is a punishing back who does not shy away from contact, and who is also more than capable of getting involved in the passing game. If not for the recent "dime a dozen" attitude towards developing running backs means that Ingram goes far lower in the 1st round than he would of a couple years back. Other teams loss is New Orleans gain.


With the 25th pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Seattle Seahawks select....

Cam Newton, QB, Auburn

Cam Newton finally gets taken in my mock draft, far below where anyone would have though he would have gone. The Seahawks may have initially targeted a guy like Ryan Mallett here at #25, instead they choose to take the bait and select Newton. If there is anyone out there who would be crazy enough to build a team around Newton's talents, it would be Pete Carroll. In Seattle, Newton can sit behind Matt Hasselbeck and watch as well as learn the NFL game, going through progressions, and improving his mechanics. It is going to take patience, but Newton could be one hell of a player.


With the 26th pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Baltimore Ravens select....

J.J Watt, DE, Wisconsin

The Ravens will once again metaphorically stab me in the heart and select a player that I truly would love to have on the Steelers squad. JJ Watt is everything you want in a football player, and with others earlier on picking the more flashier prospects, the Ravens being the Ravens will identify a true, smart and hard working Defensive End that will likely be better than all of them. He is a rock against the run and could be the final piece to what could be a dominating front three for the Ravens, plus he never ever takes a play off. I compare him to Aaron Smith, which should show exactly how highly I rate this guy.


With the 27th pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Atlanta Falcons select....

Torrey Smith, WR, Maryland

The Baltimore Ravens wouldve taken a long look at the local Maryland product, but JJ Watt was too good to pass up at 26. The Ravens loss is the Falcons gain as they draft Smith to be their number 2 WR from day one. Matt Ryan didn't quite make that complete jump to an elite Quarterback in his 3rd year, and adding the speedy Smith will go a long way to giving Ryan the playmakers he requires as well as taking some heat off of Roddy White. Mike Smith covets physical players who do more than expected, and Smith is a solid run blocker, and of course as a receiver he brings speed, as well as a hard work ethic. Needs to improve route running and his hands, but he will have plenty of guidance in Atlanta. 


With the 28th pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the New England Patriots select....

Cam Heyward, DE/DT, Ohio State

The first Buckeye off the boards is Cam Heyward. The Patriots passing off on Defensive End earlier in the draft pays off as they still have two solid prospects on the board at #28 (Wilkerson being the other). Heyward is capable of playing DE in the 3-4 as he possesses great power coupled with excellent hand work at the point of attack. He is a big body that can eat up blockers and pave the way for the Patriots young linebacking corps. He needs to be refined and Bill Belicheck will find a way to get all that he can out of Heyward. 


With the 29th pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Chicago Bears select....

Stephen Paea, DT, Oregon State

Although the Bears are in dire need of Offensive Line help, no one at #29 is worth the pick so they turn to the other line and draft a guy rocketing up draft boards. Paea as was well advertised, absolutely monstered the Bench Press at the combine with an astonishing 49 reps. The difference that separates Paea from past Bench press champions is that Paea can actually play at a 1st round level. He is dominant against the run and loves to crush (not hit - crush) opposing running backs. He is not much of a pass rusher, but he will occupy blockers to release the likes of Peppers on the outside. He is the physical presence that the Bears need now that Tommie Harris has departed.


With the 30th pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the New York Jets select....

Akeem Ayers, DE/OLB, UCLA

It will be a hard toss up here for the Jets between Ayers and Wilkerson, however Rex will look at his lack of an outside pass rush and take the versatile Ayers and develop him into a pass rushing OLB in his 3-4 opposite Calvin Pace. Rex Ryan is a great defensive mind and in his time with Baltimore he always seems to get the best out of his players. He will be a project and has high boom or bust potential, as he needs to work on fundamentals in balance and strength, but he could definitely develop into a very solid pass rusher in the Jets 3-4 system. His numbers at the combine hurt his stock, which is why I can see him falling to #30.


With the 31st pick of the 2011 NFL Draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers select....

Muhammad Wilkerson, DE, Temple

Wilkerson takes a tumble in my mock draft (a little of it may be my own personal bias to get him here) and the Steelers ignore the pressing need to take a corner and instead draft for the future picking up another 3-4 DE prospect who is too good to pass up at #31. Wilkerson is a great fit for a 3-4 defense, who has ideal size and strength for the position to take on double teams and negate running attacks. Loves to hit and never takes a play off, if he somehow falls to #31 I would be extremely happy with the pick. Our Defensive line is aging and he would be an excellent prospect who does not have to start straight away.


With the 32nd pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Green Bay Packers select....

Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa

Probably the hardest pick to make at this point, just because of how uncertain pick #32 always seems to be. With no more OL prospects worth a first round pick, the Packers could really go in multiple directions. I like them to pick Adrian Clayborn here at #32, a big bodied DE who has the ability to grow into a solid 3-4 DE in Dom Capers scheme and is not required to step in and start straight away. Is great against the run, and is relentless, he never ever accepts being blocked and will continue to fight off opposing linemen. Capers loves linebackers however and could have a long look at someone such as Martez Wilson or Justin Houston. 



Well that's it from me. Obviously Seahawks fans are going to be seriously disappointed with me, and I understand that. I just sincerely believe that Cam Newton is not worth a top 10-15 pick, although I would not be surprised if he was taken by Buffalo, Cincy or even Washington. 

I also have a few players fall in hope of the Steelers moving up and nabbing them (guys like JJ Watt for example).

I hope it at the very least broadens some peoples expectations and maybe consider prospects that they didn't before.

Alright then, bring on the abuse :)

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