2011 NFL Mock Draft
By: Robert Davis | Updated: 11/5
1. Buffalo - Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
The Bills and their fans may not want another Stanford QB after the Trent Edwards situation, but not only is Luck a far superior prospect, but there really is no choice but to go this route here.
2. Dallas - Marcel Dareus, DL, Alabama
The Cowboys are a mess this season, and it could ‘pay off’ with an extremely high draft pick. Dareus is a lineman that could play in any front, but would be asked to play end in a 3-4 alignment in Dallas. Upgrading the offensive line or safety may be first priority, but neither position has a player that warrants such a high selection.
3. Carolina - Robert Quinn, DE, North Carolina
Quinn isn’t going to get the chance to prove this high of a selection during the season, but once workouts come around he should be able to push himself back into the top five. The Panthers had a lot of success with the last Tar Heel they had line up at end for them, so they may go back to the well for another.
4. San Francisco - Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU
The 9ers spent two first round picks getting tougher on the offensive line, and now they add a physical, playmaker in the secondary to add to last year’s second rounder, Taylor Mays.
5. Denver - Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska
It’s a shame the Broncos reached for Tim Tebow last year, because they could have a far superior QB prospect in Jake Locker at this spot. After using a first rounder on Tebow though, they will not go QB here. So they grab the Husker corner, and hope he can provide the presence Champ Bailey has over the years.
6. Minnesota - Jake Locker, QB, Washington
Locker is still a bit inconsistent, and that has pushed Andrew Luck ahead of him on many boards. Brett Favre is done. Finding a long term replacement will be a big priority, and Locker has some of the same ability Favre had during his younger years.
7. Detroit - Da’Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson
Bowers has finally put it together this year, and is one of the elite playmakers available on the defensive side of the ball. Adding an edge rusher to Ndamukong Suh is going to give the Lions a great young line to build the defense around.
8. Cincinnati - Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa
Upgrading the pressure on the perimeter is a big need for the Bengals. Clayborn may not be a physical specimen but he is a playmaker off the edge, and can help out in the running game as well.
9. Cleveland - AJ Green, WR, Georgia
If Colt McCoy is going to be the answer for the Browns at QB, he’s going to need legitimate weapons. There is some talent at the receiver position but no game breaker. Green will fill that void immediately.
10. San Diego - Allen Bailey, DL, Miami
The Chargers may be in the position of drafting the best available talent in April, with a number of players going up for free agency. Bailey could emerge as that guy, with his combination of size and ability allowing him to provide many roles along the defensive line.
11. Arizona - Akeem Ayers, LB, UCLA
Ayers could provide a variety of roles for the Cards. His size and athleticism could allow him to take over the role Karlos Dansby held down before his departure, or his pass rush potential could allow him to line up on the edge and get after the QB. Either way, his overall ability will be a major addition to the Cardinal defense.
12. St. Louis - Julio Jones, WR, Alabama
Next year the Rams will have two receivers coming off knee injuries, and another smallish receiver in Mardy Gilyard entering his second season. There is some talent there, but none of them can provide what Jones can. Jones’ size and playmaking ability would be a welcomed addition to the offense, and give Bradford a go to weapon to allow those receivers to all into roles better suited for them.
13. New England(Oak) - Cameron Heyward, DL, Ohio St.
New England and Bill Belichick are known for their defense, specifically the defensive line. At this point, only Vince Wilfork is a standout. Ty Warren will return from an injury next season, but a starter on the other side will be needed. Heyward could give the team a presence they have lacked since they traded Richard Seymour to the Raiders for this pick two years ago.
14. Washington - Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas
The Donovan McNabb experiment does not appear to be going so well, with him just being yanked in the final two minutes of the game. Mallett is a kid that was projected as the top overall pick, as little as a month ago. Some poorly timed interceptions and durability concerns may cause him to slide, but Mike Shanahan could be the guy to get him to live up to his potential.
15. Jacksonville - Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue
It’s back to the drawing board for the Jags. They needed an upgrade of their pass rush off the edge, so they used their top two picks last year on interior lineman. Derrick Harvey still hasn’t figured it out, so it’s time to get another body in there. Kerrigan is a bit more athletic than he appears, and is an all around threat off the edge.
16. Chicago - Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College
The team invested a lot into Jay Cutler, and they need to provide him some help. That could be in the form of a top tier receiver or some protection. At this spot, keeping him upright is the best way to go, and the Bears nab the top tackle available this year.
17. Philadelphia - Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn
Fairley is rapidly rising up draft boards, and he could end up even higher than this when all is said and done. He has been a dominant force inside for the Tigers so far. The Eagles may have more pressing needs elsewhere, but with a penchant for taking lineman high, and one this talented still being available, it’s hard to see them passing on him here.
18. Miami - Janoris Jenkins, CB, Florida
Miami has two young, talented corners in Vontae Davis and Sean Smith, but both are bigger corners. Jenkins would give them the playmaking cover man, and give the Phins a fantastic group of young corners to build the defense around.
19. Houston - Rahim Moore, S, UCLA
There was a lot of talk about the Texans liking Earl Thomas last year, and Moore has a lot of the same traits. He is an athletic ball hawk in the secondary, and his presence would greatly improve the deep coverage for the Texans.
20. Tennessee - Aaron Williams, CB, Texas
The Titans have taken a liking to Longhorns over the years, and they currently have one starting in their secondary in Michael Griffin. Williams is another talented defensive back that would shore up a big weakness.
21. Seattle - Stephen Paea, DT, Oregon St.
Free agency should dictate a lot of what the Seahawks do, but at this point in the draft, landing an interior lineman of Paea’s quality is just what Pete Carroll ordered.
22. Green Bay - Ras-I Dowling, CB, Virginia
A knee injury has hindered Dowling on the field this year by causing him to miss quite a bit of time, but as long as he’s healthy, come the combine it won’t be a concern. Age may be catching up to the Packers in the secondary very quickly, and Dowling could learn a lot from Al Harris and Charles Woodson.
23. New Orleans - Bruce Carter, LB, North Carolina
Linebacker appears to be a need every year for the Saints, and it could be again this year. The team is built on making the big play, and Carter has the speed and athleticism to thrive in such a role.
24. Kansas City - Derek Sherrod, OT, Mississippi St.
Grabbing a consistent weapon for Matt Cassel is going to be tempting, but upgrading the offensive line is just as important.
25. Pittsburgh - Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin
There always seems to be talk of upgrading the line for the Steelers, and despite the selection of Maurkice Pouncey last year, it has popped up again. Carimi has the type of physical attitude to fit right in along the Steeler line.
26. NY Jets - Von Miller, LB, Texas AM
Miller has had a disappointing season to this point, in large part because of injuries. If healthy he should be able to re-establish himself as a borderline first round talent. The Jets could use an infusion of youth in their front seven, and adding a potential force off the edge is always an attractive option.
27. Tampa Bay - Nate Solder, OT, Colorado
While defense may be where most needs lie, with a lot of young pieces on the offense, keeping the key piece healthy will always be the biggest priority. Josh Freeman has been very impressive and keeping him upright and giving him time will only make the offense better. Solder may be the most impressive athlete among offensive lineman, but he’ll need to add more weight to his frame at the next level.
28. Baltimore - Jonathan Baldwin, WR, Pitt
While a lot of attention will be paid to the secondary, Ozzie Newsome will not reach for a need. Baldwin has as much potential as anyone available at this point, and would provide some youth to a veteran WR corp, that has a couple free agents at seasons end.
29. Atlanta - Kyle Rudolph, TE, Notre Dame
Two tight ends last year were selected in the top 42 selections despite not playing a snap all year, so there is a precedent here for Rudolph being out with an injury. His recovery will dictate if he takes the leap to the NFL or not, but if he declares, he’ll hear his name called fairly high.
30. Indianapolis - Jurrell Casey, DT, USC
The defensive tackle position is something the Colts have had issues with over the past few years. Despite the need for an upgrade, they tend to push the need down their board a bit. Here need meets value and the team nabs the fireplug from USC.
31. NY Giants - Demarcus Love, OT, Arkansas
William Beatty is the long term answer at left tackle, so finding the other bookend could be the direction the Giants head in. Love would fit very well on the right side, replacing Kareem McKenzie when the time comes.
32. New England - Rodney Hudson, OL, Florida St.
Hudson might be a tad undersized, but thats the only reason he’s still on the board. He moves well, is tough, intelligent, and a hard worker. He would fit in on the New England line at guard or center. Mark Ingram is an option here, but BenJarvus Green-Ellis has played well enough that the Pats may wait a bit longer to nab him. They have Carolina’s top pick, which at this point is only three picks away.