2011 NFL Mock Draft: Picks 1-10

Personally I’m sick and tired of all the labor talk surrounding the NFL these days.  This is supposed to be time for NFL Free Agency and NFL Draft talk.  Free Agency is on hold thanks to the courtroom drama, but the Draft is scheduled to take place April 28th-30th.

The actual NFL Draft is always preceded by hundreds if not thousands of Mock Drafts, and since I’ve been writing consistently about football on other sites for over five years now, I’m just as qualified as any other knucklehead to give my Mock NFL picks.  Enjoy…

1)  Carolina Panthers – Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri
This could very well be Cam Newton, but Gabbert is a safer pick, and with a new coaching regime in place in Carolina, going safe is the best bet.  He has a high football I.Q., he’s athletic, strong armed, and accurate.  He’ll need some time to adjust after playing in the spread offense, but he has the tools to succeed.

2)  Denver Broncos – Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama
Dareus seems to be the consensus pick for the Broncos by every NFL expert out there.   He could play DE in a 3-4, but as a 4-3 DT he can be a disruptive force.  New head coach John Fox will line him up at DT.

3)  Buffalo Bills – Cam Newton, QB, Auburn
I’m not completely sold on this selection.  If Newton goes #1, then the Bills quickly pick up Gabbert, but Newton has some red flags he’ll need to overcome.  If the Bills meet with Newton and are convinced he’s mature enough to be “the man” then he’ll be the pick.  Buffalo needs a franchise QB.

4)  Cincinnati Bengals – A.J. Green, WR, Georgia
The Bengals offense needs playmakers.  T.O. is probably gone and Chad Ochocinco is getting up there.  If they draft Green it may also help appease QB Carson Palmer who has been demanding a trade.

5)  Arizona Cardinals – Von Miller, OLB, Texas A&M
With no QB to take (this is too early for Jake Locker), the Cards take the Butkus Award winning Miller.  He’s an freakishly athletic and will provide a huge boost rushing the passer.

6)  Cleveland Browns – Robert Quinn, DE, North Carolina
Another athletic freak, Quinn (6’4″ / 264 pounds) has a 33-inch vertical, a 4.59 40-yard dash, a 4.26 seconds in the short shuttle, and did 24 reps of 225 pounds in the bench press.  CB Patrick Peterson is a strong possibility here.

7)  San Francisco 49ers – Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU
New head coach Jim Harbaugh has to be happy to get the player that many consider to be the most “can’t miss”.  Many scouts think he’s the best player in the draft class, and going #1 overall is a possibility.

8)  Tennessee Titans – Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn
Fairley is a nasty defensive lineman, some even say dirty, but do you want some choir boy lining up in the trenches?  I don’t.  He has to mature a bit and get a better work ethic, but his upside is huge.

9)  Dallas Cowboys – Tyron Smith, OT, USC
This pick makes so much sense, I think Jerry Jones may go in a different direction.  The Cowboys offensive line needs help, and Smith could play RT now, and eventually move to the left side.

10)  Washington Redskins – Julio Jones, WR, Alabama
The Redskins offense needs a lot of help.  Taking QB Jake Locker here is a possibility, but addressing QB later makes sense with Jones available.   He’s a big, physical (6’3″ / 220) target that can flat out fly (4.39 40), who ever is playing QB in Washington next year will have their #1 WR.

Click for picks 11-21 and here for picks 22-32.

About the author


Lester A. Wiltfong Jr.

Lester has been a writer and now an editor of Windy City Gridiron since 2009 covering all things Chicago Bears. He's been writing about sports, and occasionally crossing into the entertainment genre, on We Got This Covered since March of 2011.