With the 2011 NFL Draft a little less than a week away, I figured that The Bleacher Briefings might as well join every other sports website on the planet and do a mock draft.
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Here we go:
1. Blaine Gabbert: Quarterback, Missouri
The consensus pick here is Cam Newton, but I honestly don't think Carolina wants him. So, I'm going with Gabbert, who to me would be the safer bet. If Carolina is actually dumb enough to pick Newton, they deserve all the future lopsided losses they'll be getting. They'd be better off just picking up Vince Young once the Titans drop him. At least he's already an established NFL bum.
2. Marcell Dareus: Defensive Tackle, Alabama
John Fox needs an anchor in the middle of the defensive line, and Dareus is probably the most proven prospect at his position in this years draft. Or, I suppose the Broncos could waste a first-round pick on an overrated college quarterback. Ohhh, wait...
3. Patrick Peterson: Cornerback, LSU
Overall, this guy might be the most talented player in this years draft. He would immediately help the Bills on the defensive side of the ball.
4. A.J. Green: Wide Receiver, Georgia
They might need to think quarterback here, but I don't believe they're taking Carson Palmer's "trade me or I'm retiring" threats too seriously. They may end up dumping both Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco, or Chad Johnson, or whatever the hell he's calling himself this week, so they should look receiver with this pick.
5. Cam Newton: Quarterback, Auburn
SOMEONE has to end up with this future bust, so it might as well be the Cardinals. The two guys they already have a quarterback are basically useless, so why not add a third to the mix?
6. Nick Fairley: Defensive Tackle, Auburn
The Browns have so many needs at so many spots that it's hard to even know where to start. Most teams try to rebuild their defense first, so I'll go with Fairley here. Should be a pretty safe pick if nothing else.
7. Von Miller: Linebacker, Texas A&M
Miller would definitely help at outside linebacker considering the 49ers that played that position last season combined for a total of just six and a half sacks.
8. DaQuan Bowers: Defensive End, Clemson
They need a quarterback, but I think they should wait and get someone like Christian Ponder in the second or third round. In Bowers, they would be getting the guy that led the nation in sacks last season. His work ethic has been questioned by some people, but he still might be worth the risk. I'm totally getting a Jevon Kearse vibe from this guy, which would actually be a good thing. For all of about maybe two seasons anyway...
9. Anthony Castonzo: Tackle, Boston College
The Cowboys need to rebuild their offensive line, and Castonzo would be a good guy to start doing that with. He has a reputation for being technically sound and very teachable.
10. Julio Jones: Wide Receiver, Alabama
If Santana Moss gets dumped as expected, the Redskins will need a possession receiver to put opposite Anthony Armstrong. I'm not sure Jones will excel at the NFL level, but the Redskins aren't exactly known for making the smartest moves now are they?
11. Prince Amukamara: Cornerback, Nebraska
The Texans secondary has been a mess for the last several seasons. Amukamara could start immediately and help tighten things up.
12. Jake Locker: Quarterback, Washington
Cam Newton is #1 on my list of overrated bum quarterbacks in this draft, but Jake Locker is a close 2nd. Really, the Vikings deserve getting someone like Locker just for the way they let Brett Favre lead them around by the nose hairs the last two seasons.
13. Tyron Smith: Tackle, USC
The Lions really need to get younger on the offensive line, and Smith has a ton of upside as a starting tackle.
14. Corey Liuget: Defensive Tackle, Illinois
Liuget should be the best available defensive tackle left by the time the Rams pick, and they need help at that position, so I'll go with him here.
15. Torrey Smith: Wide Receiver, Maryland
It's possible the Dolphins might be thinking quarterback, but I don't see them making a reach for someone like Ryan Mallett with this pick, when they could probably get him in the second or third round. So, they should take a receiver who can play opposite Brandon Marshall.
16. J.J. Watts: Defensive End, Wisconsin
Jaguars need a solid pass rusher to put opposite Aaron Kampman, and Watts could very well be just what they're looking for.
17. Cameron Jordan: Defensive End, California
Jordan's stock has been rising since the Senior Bowl, and his NFL pedigree hints he could be an immediate impact. If it were ME picking, I'd look for a receiver, but the Patriots don't usually go that route in the first few rounds. I wouldn't be surprised if they trade this pick either, since they're notorious for doing that kind of thing.
18. Robert Quinn: Defensive End, North Carolina
This guy's just an all-around raw athlete, and one of the fastest rising players in this draft class. He missed all of 2010 due to a suspension though, so that's a negative for teams to consider.
19. Mike Pouncey: Guard, Florida
Pouncey could help immediately considering how injury decimated the Giants offensive line was late last season. His twin brother Maurkice was picked by the Steelers in the first-round last year, and that pick worked out pretty well for them.
20. Mark Ingram: Halfback, Alabama
Ingram could compete with LeGarrette Blount for the starting job, and also give Josh Freeman another weapon to use out of the backfield.
21. Gabe Carimi: Tackle, Wisconsin
Carimi could immediately push for a starting spot on the right side of Kansas City's offensive line, which was really exposed in the playoffs against Baltimore.
22. Nate Solder: Tackle, Colorado
Solder is said by some to have the best foot work of any tackle in this draft class, and the Colts need help at that position, so he would be a good fit.
23. Aaron Williams: Cornerback, Texas
The Eagles gave up a ton of touchdown passes last season, so they need defensive back help. Williams plays a very physical style, so he would be a good choice here.
24. Adrian Clayborn: Defensive End, Iowa
Clayborn had nineteen career sacks in college, and is considered by many to be the safest bet of all the 2011 defensive linemen. The Saints could use help at that position, so he would fit in nicely.
25. Phil Taylor: Defensive Tackle, Baylor
Taylor is this drafts best nose tackle prospect, and the Seahawks just so happen to be in the market for one, so this would be a perfect match.
26. Ryan Kerrigan: Defensive End, Purdue
Kerrigan accounted for over thirty sacks in his four seasons at Purdue. That's the kind of consistent productivity the Ravens love to have on defense.
27. Aldon Smith: Defensive End, Missouri
The Falcons are looking for someone to eventually replace the aging John Abraham, so Smith could be a solid pick for them.
28. Danny Watkins: Guard, Baylor
Again, they could look to trade out here. I don't see them keeping/using BOTH of the first-round picks they have, but if they use this one, they should try to add some depth to the offensive line. Besides, they can't go wrong picking someone to keep my boy Tom Brady upright.
29. Derek Sherrod: Tackle, Mississippi State
The Bears really could use help at almost every spot on the offensive line. They did a better job protecting Jay Cutler late in the season last year, but they have to be more consistent. Sherrod would be a good fit.
30. Allen Bailey: Defensive End, Miami
Bailey already has a reputation for being an ass, so he would fit right in with the rest of them in New York. To be honest, I can't stand the Jets, so no matter who they take here I hope they end up being a total bust. Wishful thinking on my part.
31. Brandon Harris: Cornerback, Miami
The Steelers need help at cornerback, so Harris would be a pretty solid choice here.
32. Mikel Leshoure: Halfback, Illinois
Even though the running game didn't totally fall apart last season without Ryan Grant, you would think the Packers would want to add some depth at that position. Leshoure could give them that.