I've added a third round and made major changes throughout. I'm also working on a 1 round mock with trades that I'll post in the next week or so. Questions, comments and criticisms are always welcomed. Enjoy!
1. Carolina Panthers: Cam Newton QB, Auburn
It really makes me sick to put Newton at #1, but all the signs point to the Panthers buying in to his high potential. Newton has a long way to go in terms of mastering the QB position, and he seems too cocky and self-entitled. Being taken #1 overall will only make things worse. The Jimmy Clausen experiment was a failure though, and Newton will revitalize a fanbase that has little hope left.
2. Denver Broncos: Marcel Dareus DT, Alabama
Denver lucks out because Dareus is probably the best and safest pick in this draft. Switching back to the 4-3 defense, they need a lot of help plugging up the middle. Elvis Dumervil will be back after missing the whole 2010 season, and with Dareus dominating the interior blockers, Dumervil can bring pressure off the edge.
3. Buffalo Bills: Von Miller OLB, Texas A&M
The Bills will probably take Newton if he's available, but Miller is the safer pick and is a perfect fit for a 3-4 OLB. He could be the next James Harrison, as he'll bring pressure off the edge and has shown great ability playing in space and against the run.
4. Cincinnati Bengals: AJ Green WR, Georgia
With T.O. leaving and Ochocinco possibly being traded, the Bengals wont have much left at WR. Green is an incredible talent and is one of the most polished receivers to come out in years. It might also help to show Carson Palmer that he won't have to deal with whiny diva receivers anymore.
5. Arizona Cardinals: Blaine Gabbert QB, Missouri
Arizona might have the worst QB situation in the league, but other than that their offense is young and talented at the skill positions. They would love to get Von Miller, but Gabbert can be their franchise QB and already has the best safety net in the league with Larry Fitzgerald.
6. Cleveland Browns: Julio Jones WR, Alabama
The Browns are even more desperate at WR than the Bengals, and they need to give Colt McCoy some weapons. With Mike Holmgren and Pat Shurmer having offensive pedigrees and the Browns looking to exploit the weak secondaries of Baltimore and Pittsburgh, Jones makes sense. And after his great combine, he is hardly a reach at #6 as long as he stays healthy.
7. San Francisco 49ers: Patrick Peterson CB, LSU
This is a no-brainer pick as 49ers are getting the steal of the draft with Peterson. He's an athletic freak and is right behind Dareus in terms of overall talent in my opinion. He also addresses San Fran's biggest need at CB and is electrifying in the return game.
8. Tennessee Titans: Nick Fairley DT, Auburn
The Titans will need to grab a QB in round 2 (or trade back into the first) since it is way too high to take Locker. Fairley addresses their second biggest need, which is for a penetrating DT. Fairley's stock has dropped after concerns about his character and whether he is a one-year-wonder, but his tape is phenomenal and could be a great value at #8.
9. Dallas Cowboys: Tyron Smith OT, USC
Jerry Jones has to protect Tony Romo, who has been getting manhandled since the Vikings playoff game in 2009. Smith can start at RT while Dallas continues experimenting with Doug Free at LT, and if it doesn't work out Smith and Free can switch places. Either way, Dallas wins.
10. Washington Redskins: Cameron Jordan DE, California
With Washington missing out on both top QBs and both top WRs, they look to help shore up their defense. Jordan already has experience playing 3-4 DE and would allow them to trade or drop Fat Albert Haynesworth. He can also provide a decent pass rush while he opens things up for Brian Orakpo.
11. Houston Texans: Robert Quinn OLB, UNC
If Quinn had played in 2010, he would probably be a top 5 pick. He has all the talent in the world and should be able to transition to 3-4 OLB well in Wade Phillips's new scheme. With Demeco Ryans and Brian Cushing, Quinn gives them a dangerous linebacking core while Mario Williams moves to 3-4 DE.
12. Minnesota Vikings: DaQuan Bowers DE, Clemson
Like Quinn, Bowers could have been a top 5 pick, but knee injury concerns have dropped him out of the top 10. With Ray Edwards probably leaving in Free Agency, Minnesota needs a good DE to play opposite Jared Allen, who's production slipped in 2010.
13. Detroit Lions: Prince Amukamara CB, Nebraska
Amukamara is 1b to Peterson's 1a at the CB position. Peterson is more of a freak athlete, but Amukamara can be just as good in coverage. Detroit gets some much needed help in the secondary and adheres to their philosophy of taking the best player available.
14. St. Louis Rams: Corey Liuget DT, Illinois
Missing out on Green and Jones, there aren't any more receiving threats for Sam Bradford worth taking this high. Spagnuolo looks to add pieces to his defense and is a believer that a strong D-Line is where a strong defense starts. Liuget is an underrated DT who is great against the run and pass.
15. Miami Dolphins: Mark Ingram RB, Alabama
A lot of experts are starting to think the Dolphins will pass on Ingram, but his talent is too good to pass up and Miami has a huge need at RB. Sparano loves to run the ball, almost to a fault, and will want to keep protecting Chad Henne with a strong run game. They might still want to pursue Deangelo Williams too when free agency starts.
16. Jacksonville Jaguars: Aldon Smith DE, Missouri
Smith is being talked about as a 3-4 OLB, but is probably better suited as a 4-3 DE. He'll help the anemic pass rush in Jacksonville as they try to close the gap on Peyton Manning and the Colts.
17. New England Patriots (via Raiders): Mike Pouncey G, Florida
With Stephen Neal retiring and Logan Mankins wanting out, New England needs some security at Guard. Mike has benefited a lot from his brother Maurkice's reputation, and this is a bit high for him. But he is by far the best interior lineman in this class and Bill Belichick has close ties to the Florida program.
18. San Diego Chargers: JJ Watt DE, Wisconsin
San Diego had a great defense last year but got away with a lack of much talent in their front seven. They could use an OLB to play opposite Shaun Phillips, but Watt is a perfect fit as a 3-4 DE and presents great value here. For all the talk of their "awful" pass rush, they finished tied for second in sacks in 2010. A DE would make more sense.
19. New York Giants: Anthony Castonzo OT, Boston College
The Giants have a lot of uncertainty along the O-Line, and Castonzo is a great value here. He can provide some stability at either Tackle position and hopefully keep Eli Manning from turning the ball over so much.
20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Ryan Kerrigan DE, Purdue
Tampa Bay's biggest need is by far a pass rushing DE. Kerrigan is a guy who does nothing but produce, as he put up 26 tackles for loss, 13 sacks, and 5 forced fumbles. After getting DTs Gerald McCoy and Brian Price last year, Kerrigan will bring the heat off the edge.
21. Kansas City Chiefs: Phil Taylor NT, Baylor
The Chiefs need someone opposite Dwayne Bowe at WR and a pass rusher opposite Tamba Hali at OLB, but they also have no one at NT to plug up the middle of their 3-4 defense. Taylor has put to rest questions about his weight and character, and has solidified his first round draft status.
22. Indianapolis Colts: Jake Locker QB, Washington
This is my big surprise pick of the first round. The Colts have been rumored to be looking at QBs to replace Peyton Manning and Locker is a great fit. Locker needs to work on his accuracy and decision making, and there's no one better to learn from than Manning. With at least 3 years behind Manning, Locker could eventually have similar success to Aaron Rodgers.
23. Philadelphia Eagles: Jimmy Smith CB, Colorado
Philadelphia has to consider Gabe Carimi to help protect Mike Vick, but once you look past Smith's character concerns his talent is undeniable. He could be a top 15 pick, but the Eagles get great value for a guy who's concerns are probably blown out of proportion anyway. Pairing Smith with Asante Samuel would give them a great CB tandem.
24. New Orleans Saints: Adrian Clayborn DE, Iowa
Defensive Coordinator Gregg Williams loves to blitz, but he needs some pure pass rushers so he doesn't need to rely on it so heavily. Alex Brown will be a 32 year old free agent after 2011, and Will Smith is facing a suspension and legal trouble. Clayborn has some medical questions to answer, but could turn into a great pick late in the first.
25. Seattle Seahawks: Muhammad Wilkerson DT, Temple
The Seahawks' playoff win masked major deficiencies on this 7-9 team. They would love to get Locker here to have him learn behind Matt Hasselbeck, but with him gone Wilkerson is easily the best player available. Coming from a small school, his stock isn't as high as some of the other D-Linemen in this class. But make no mistake, this guy is a beast.
26. Baltimore Ravens: Akeem Ayers OLB, UCLA
Most draft experts mistakenly believe that Baltimore's secondary is their biggest need. They forget that their #1 CB Dominique Foxworth will be back after missing all of 2010, which will push everyone else down a notch on the depth chart. Ayers fills a big need at OLB opposite Terrell Suggs, and improving the pass rush will in turn help their secondary anyway.
27. Atlanta Falcons: Kyle Rudolph TE, Notre Dame
Rudolph proved that he has fully recovered from a hamstring injury that cut his 2010 season short, and is far and away the best tight end in this class. He's climbing up draft boards, and with this likely being Tony Gonzalez's last season, Rudolph will take over without a hitch. Atlanta needs to surround Matt Ryan with weapons, and with Rudolph they kill two birds with one stone.
28. New England Patriots: Cameron Heyward DE, Ohio State
After addressing the OL earlier, New England needs to add pieces to its young defense. After trading away Richard Seymour and Ty Warren coming off a season ending hip injury, the Patriots need help at DE. Heyward is a good fit for 3-4 DE and is climbing up boards now that he is getting healthier.
29. Chicago Bears: Gabe Carimi OT, Wisconsin
After the beating Jay Cutler took last year, the Bears priority needs to be improving their O-Line. Carimi has potential to go a lot higher than this but is downgraded because people question his ability to play LT. He is more effective as a run blocker, which is great because when Matt Forte is actually given running lanes he can be extremely dangerous.
30. New York Jets: Justin Houston OLB, Georgia
Much like the Saints, Rex Ryan and the Jets love to blitz but probably rely on it too much. They need a pass rusher who can bring the heat using his talent, not banking on the confusion that Ryan's defenses create. With 18.5 tackles for loss and 10 sacks in 2010, Houston knows how to get into the backfield quickly.
31. Pittsburgh Steelers: Nate Solder OT, Colorado
Big Ben's ability to extend the play masks the problems Pittsburgh has on the O-Line, and even still they gave up 43 sacks last year. Both starting OTs will be coming off season ending injuries, and Flozell Adams will be 36 at the start of 2011. Solder has been ranked highly because of his immense potential, but he failed to showcase it at the combine which has scouts wondering if he's the real deal. But at the end of round 1 he is well worth the risk.
32. Green Bay Packers: Derek Sherrod OT, Mississippi
Green Bay's biggest needs are in the defensive front 7, as they need a DE to replace Cullen Jenkins and a pass rusher to play opposite Clay Matthews. Brooks Reed will have to be considered as an OLB, however they continue the late run on OTs with Sherrod. He has some work to do but should be a good replacement for LT Chad Clifton, who might be playing his last year.
33. New England Patriots (via Panthers): Brooks Reed OLB, Arizona
Belichick continues the defensive overhaul and the Patriots need another pass rusher.
34. Buffalo Bills: Christian Ponder QB, Florida State
Chan Gailey likes mobile QBs and Ponder will have plenty of time to learn behind Ryan Fitzpatrick.
35. Cincinnati Bengals: Ryan Mallett QB, Arkansas
Cincinnati needs an insurance policy in case Carson Palmer makes good on his promise to retire. They'll be too enticed by Mallett's monster arm to notice that he's too immature to play in the NFL right now.
36. Denver Broncos: Aaron Williams CB/S, Texas
37. Cleveland Browns: Stephen Paea DT, Oregon State
Cleveland needs D-Linemen who fit the 4-3, and Paea would be great plugging up the middle.
38. Arizona Cardinals: Danny Watkins G, Baylor
Alen Faneca could be retiring and the Cards need his replacement. Watkins would be a first rounder if he weren't already 26 years old.
39. Tennessee Titans: Andy Dalton QB, TCU
Tennessee grabs a very underrated QB in Dalton which allows them to ship Vince Young out without missing him.
40. Dallas Cowboys: Brandon Harris CB, Miami
After addressing their O-Line earlier, the Cowboys need to get a replacement for Terrance Newman, who had an awful year in 2010.
41. Washington Redskins: Jonathan Baldwin WR, Pittsburgh
Washington is in awful positions in both 1st and 2nd round to get a QB. Expect them to trade up somewhere or explore other options at the position. With Baldwin, they address their second biggest need and get a huge WR with first round potential.
42. Houston Texans: Rahim Moore FS, UCLA
Houston's secondary is just awful, and in a division with Peyton Manning you need playmakers. Moore is by far the best Safety this year.
43. Minnesota Vikings: Jurrel Casey DT, USC
Like Washington, expect Minnesota to either trade up or make a move for Kevin Kolb. However Casey presents good value here and would replace Pat Williams at DT.
44. Detroit Lions: Ben Ijalana OT, Villanova
In a division with Jared Allen, Julius Peppers, and Clay Matthews, Detroit needs to make protecting Matt Stafford a priority. They're paying him way to much to spend his time in the training room.
45. San Francisco 49ers: Mikel Leshoure RB, Illinois
More value than pure need, San Francisco adds Leshoure as insurance in case Frank Gore can no longer handle the full load.
46. Denver Broncos (via Dolphins): Marvin Austin DT, UNC
Double dipping at DT is a good idea for a team that finished 31st against the run in 2010.
47. St. Louis Rams: Torrey Smith WR, Maryland
Sam Bradford did amazing things with next to nothing at WR last year. This offense could get good in a hurry with Smith blazing downfield.
48. Oakland Raiders: Curtis Brown CB, Texas
Oakland has to take the best available CB since they're going to lose Nnamdi Asomugha to free agency.
49. Jacksonville Jaguars: Colin Kaepernick QB, Nevada
Kaepernick isn't getting any love with all the QBs going ahead of him. But with time to learn behind David Garrard, he could be a steal.
50. San Diego Chargers: Randall Cobb WR/RB, Kentucky
Darren Sproles is looking for a fat check in free agency, and Cobb presents great value and would be a great replacement.
51. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Bruce Carter OLB, UNC
Tampa Bay cashes in on Carter who falls from sure first round status because of a torn ACL.
52. New York Giants: Martez Wilson LB, Illinois
Wilson might be the most versatile LB in this class, and would give the Giants flexibility to play him anywhere in their 4-3.
53. Indianapolis Colts: Quinton Carter FS, Oklahoma
54. Philadelphia Eagles: Marcus Cannon G/OT, TCU
Cannon is the type of mammoth O-Lineman that Andy Reid loves. Phili has to upgrade their O-Line to make sure Vick stays healthy.
55. Kansas City Chiefs: Leonard Hankerson WR, Miami
The Chiefs finished 30th in passing offense last year and need a playmaker opposite Dwayne Bowe. Matt Cassel is running out of excuses as to why this offense hasn't taken off.
56. New Orleans Saints: Ryan Williams RB, Virginia Tech
57. Seattle Seahawks: Brandon Burton CB, Utah
Trading Josh Wilson to Baltimore left a huge hole at CB in Seattle.
58. Baltimore Ravens: Titus Young WR, Boise State
Baltimore's top 3 receivers are over 30 and they have no one who can run after the catch except for Ray Rice. Young is an explosive vertical threat and knows how to make people miss in the open field.
59. Atlanta Falcons: Jabaal Sheard DE, Pittsburgh
Atlanta needs someone to take pressure off John Abraham, who will be 33 this year. Sheard will play opposite him for a few years before eventually taking over.
60. New England Patriots: James Carpenter OT, Alabama
After addressing their biggest needs on defense, New England turns back to the O-Line, where LT Matt Light's play has declined as he has gotten older.
61. San Diego Chargers (via Jets): Sam Acho OLB, Texas
Acho could be a good complement to Shaun Phillips at OLB. Shawne Merriman is gone and Larry English has been a bust.
62. Chicago Bears: Clint Boling G, Georgia
Chicago needs to double dip at O-Line early. Boling is a great value at the end of the second round.
63. Pittsburgh Steelers: Ras-I Dowling CB, Virginia
Dowling has a ton of talent but major injury concerns drop him nearly into round 3. His skills fit what the Steelers ask of the CBs almost perfectly though.
64. Green Bay Packers: Allen Bailey DE, Miami
Bailey should transition to 3-4 DE well and can take over for Cullen Jenkins if and when he leaves in free agency. John Jolly cant seem to stay out of trouble, which makes DE even more pressing of a need.
65. Carolina Panthers: Christian Ballard DT, Iowa
Since they didn't take Dareus at #1, they need to take a DT to keep blockers from getting to Jon Beason, one of the most underrated LBs in the league.
66. Cincinnati Bengals: Tyler Sash S, Iowa
Roy Williams is awful in coverage.
67. Denver Broncos: Kendall Hunter RB, Oklahoma State
Knowshon Moreno cant stay healthy so they need an insurance plan.
68. Buffalo Bills: Joseph Barksdale OT, LSU
The Bills have huge needs on the O-Line but haven't been able to address them until now.
69. Arizona Cardinals: Chris Carter OLB, Fresno State
70. Cleveland Browns: Johnny Patrick CB, Louisville
Patrick can develop alongside Joe Haden to form a good CB tandem.
71. Dallas Cowboys: Jarvis Jenkins DE, Clemson
Dallas needs a 3-4 DE to help shore up their run defense which took a step back in 2010.
72. New Orleans Saints (via Redskins): Mason Foster OLB, Washington
Foster is good value and the Saints missed Scott Fujita at OLB last season.
73. Houston Texans: Kendrick Ellis NT, Hampton
Houston needs to get someone who can plug up the middle of their new 3-4 defense.
74. New England Patriots (via Vikings): Greg Little WR, UNC
Belichick has no problem taking guys with character concerns and Brady needs a big receiver to throw downfield to.
75. Detroit Lions: Quan Sturdivant ILB, UNC
Detroit could take the best defensive player available for the rest of the draft at this point.
76. San Francisco 49ers: Dontay Moch OLB, Nevada
San Fran needs to improve their pass rush and doesn't have much at OLB.
77. Tennessee Titans: Kelvin Sheppard ILB, LSU
Tennessee knows it has to get back to the dominating type of defense it had in 2008.
78. St. Louis Rams: Lance Kendricks TE, Wisconsin
Another weapon for Sam Bradford.
79. Miami Dolphins: Luke Stocker TE, Tennessee
Chad Henne needs all the help he can get.
80. Jacksonville Jaguars: Tandon Doss WR, Indiana
If Mike Sims-Walker leaves, the Jags will have nothing at WR.
81. Oakland Raiders: Rodney Hudson G/C, Florida State
Tremendous value in the middle of the third, Hudson helps a struggling O-Line.
82. San Diego Chargers: Austin Pettis WR, Boise State
Pettis is the type of big WR the Chargers love to collect.
83. New York Giants: Demarcus Van Dyke CB, Miami
The Giants' secondary was awful last year.
84. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Colin McCarthey ILB, Miami
Barrett Ruud is a free agent that they'd like to keep, but McCarthey can switch to OLB if they can bring him back.
85. Philadelphia Eagles: Ross Homan LB, Ohio State
Philadelphia has gotten extremely unlucky with injuries to their LBs the past few years.
86. Kansas City Chiefs: Marcus Gilbert OT, Florida
The Chiefs need to upgrade their O-Line.
87. Indianapolis Colts: Stefen Wisneiwski G/C, Penn State
Jeff Saturday is at the end of his career.
88. New Orleans Saints: Drake Nevis DT, LSU
Shaun Rogers is nothing more than a stopgap solution at DT.
89. San Diego Chargers (via Seahawks): Casey Matthews ILB, Oregon
Chargers continue their front 7 overhaul.
90. Baltimore Ravens: Jaiquawn Jarrett S, Temple
Ed Reed is closer to retiring than you might think.
91. Atlanta Falcons: Will Rackley G, Lehigh
Atlanta has a lot of free agents along the O-Line. They cant resign all of them.
92. New England Patriots: Johnny White RB, UNC
White is an underrated RB prospect that I'm pretty sure Todd McShay wants to marry.
93. Chicago Bears: Terrell McClain DT, South Florida
Tommie Harris's play declined so much that they had to cut him.
94. New York Jets: Jerrell Powe NT, Mississippi
Kris Jenkins is coming off two consecutive ACL tears.
95. Pittsburgh Steelers: John Moffitt G, Wisconsin
RG is perhaps the biggest hole on the entire team.
96. Green Bay Packers: Greg Salas WR, Hawaii
97. (compensatory pick) Carolina Panthers: Lawrence Guy DT, Arizona State
Like the Broncos, Carolina could double dip at DT.