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Experts 2011 NFL Mock Draft

Last update: Friday, April 8, 2011.

This is an Experts 2011 NFL Mock Draft. There were eight of us, so we took turns mock drafting. Thanks to Ryan West of RunningTheZone.com for setting this up. click here to view my real 2011 NFL Mock Draft or 2012 NFL Mock Draft.


  1. Carolina Panthers: Cam Newton, QB, Auburn
    (By Walter Cherepinsky, WalterFootball.com)

    I think my readers are tired of seeing me write "new regimes mean new quarterbacks," but it's the truth. Carolina has nothing at the position, and Ron Rivera will be looking for his guy.

    Rivera recently told Newton's mentor, Warren Moon, that he's convinced Newton is worthy of being the top choice. Moon came away from the conversation confident that Newton would be the top selection.

    It just makes too much sense. This Panthers team is in disarray, and is in search of a leader. Newton's pro-readiness and intelligence can be questioned, but no one can doubt his leadership qualities.


  2. Denver Broncos: Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama
    (By Aaron Aloysius, DraftBreakdown.com)

    Over the last few weeks, Marcell Dareus has become the consensus pick for Denver at #2 overall; he also happens to be the right one.

    With the Broncos switching to a 4-3 defense, they need a dominant force in the middle who can complement Doom and a still developing Robert Ayers. Dareus would do just that, using his tremendous ability to bring down ball-carriers and crush quarterbacks.

    Due to nagging injuries, Dareus didn't always pop off the screen in 2010, but his play against the Gators and other squads displayed his exceptional skill set, which will translate very well to the next level.

  3. Buffalo Bills: Von Miller, DE/OLB, Texas A&M
    (By Michael Schottey, BleacherReport.com)

    With Dareus off-the-board, the Bills have a tough choice to make between a top rated QB prospect in Blaine Gabbert and finally acquiring the edge rusher they thought they were drafting when they selected Aaron Maybin.

    In my mind, it's a no-brainer. Gabbert is enticing, but young QBs from niche offenses don't have the best track record in the draft and Gabbert doesn't have the long-ball accuracy needed for the blustery weather in upstate New York. Frankly if his long outs flutter in Missouri, they'll end up in the front row of the seats at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

    Miller is, unquestionably, one of the top prospects of the draft and the Bills know they need to apply pressure to quarterbacks like Brady and Sanchez in the AFC East.

  4. Cincinnati Bengals: Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU
    (By Hunter Ansley, DraftZoo.com)

    Tough to pass on Gabbert considering the absence of Carson Palmer would leave the Bengals without anything close to a viable option under center, but I'm not overly sold on him, and I'd rather take my chances on a QB in the second round than spend the fourth pick on a guy who isn't anywhere close the fourth best player in the class.

    Peterson's an easy value pick here, and he'd fill the potential hole left by Johnathan Joseph if he becomes an unrestricted free agent.



  5. Arizona Cardinals: Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri
    (By Ryan West, RunningTheZone.com)

    With their two top choices gone in Miller and Peterson, the Cardinals draft something they probably need the most in a franchise quarterback. Gabbert has all the tools to be successful in the NFL and will have Fitzgerald to throw to. They'll have to address the defense in other rounds to address the major needs on that side of the ball.

  6. Cleveland Browns: A.J. Green, WR, Georgia
    (By Matt Miller, New Era Scouting)

    The Browns would love to see Marcell Dareus or Patrick Peterson still on the board, and while Robert Quinn and Nick Fairley are tempting the Browns must focus on building an offense around franchise quarterback Colt McCoy.

    A.J. Green may not be the ideal fit for many West Coast offenses but his run-after-catch ability, size, speed and hands under pressure make him our No. 1 wide receiver and the best player available on the Browns' draft board.

  7. San Francisco 49ers: Robert Quinn, DE/OLB, North Carolina
    (By Wes Bunting, NationalFootballPost.com)

    Tough call between Quinn and Auburn DL Nick Fairley, but I like the upside of Quinn as a rush guy more than Fairley as a five-technique.

    Quinn has the first step to get the edge, possesses violent hands, long arms and can counter off his speed rush. A welcomed addition for that San Fran defense.

  8. Tennessee Titans: Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn
    (By Evan Silva, RotoWorld.com)

    Tony Brown's knee problems have officially become chronic, missing five games last season because of them and having undergone yet another surgery in January. Jason Jones is an elite penetrating tackle, but Sen'Derrick Marks has yet to show he's capable of playing every down, let alone doing so effectively. Marks was washed out against the run last season.

    Regardless, the Titans will take the best talent on the board, using a top-8 pick on a "boom or bust" player they can feel more comfortable with due to the presence of college line coach Tracy Rocker. They now boast easily the top defensive front in the AFC South.



  9. Dallas Cowboys: Tyron Smith, OT, USC
    (By Walter Cherepinsky, WalterFootball.com)

    I'm buying into the Tyron Smith rumors. The Cowboys desperately need offensive line help, particularly at right tackle, and Jerry Jones has to make sure that Tony Romo doesn't suffer another season-ending injury.

    Smith offers a ton of upside as a highly athletic 310-pound tackle. He's currently the favorite to be the ninth pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, especially in the wake of the news that the Cowboys have reportedly decided against hosting Prince Amukamara.

  10. Washington Redskins: Julio Jones, WR, Alabama
    (By Aaron Aloysius, DraftBreakdown.com)

    Could the Redskins take Locker here? Word is that Mike Shanahan wanted to take Jake at #4 overall last year, but inconsistent tape may have weakened Shanny's affection for the U-Dub signal caller.

    Instead, the Redskins pick a player who showed marked improvement last fall in Julio Jones. The Bama receiver managed to minimize his concentration lapses and -- perhaps more importantly -- showed much more aggressiveness fighting for the ball. Also, the nasty run blocker exhibited plenty of toughness posting incredible Combine numbers while working out on a broken foot.

    Santana Moss has said that he'd like to stay in Washington, but it's possible that the unrestricted free agent could head elsewhere. Even if Moss sticks around, the team would be wise to add a receiver who can boost the play of whoever's behind center.

  11. Houston Texans: Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska
    (By Michael Schottey, BleacherReport.com)

    Seems like no one is real interested in rocking the boat with this draft so far and I don't see any reason to now.

    Amukamara is the clear cut number two cornerback and, depending on your preferences, its a long drop in value to Jimmy Smith, Brandon Harris, et al. For the Texans, it's not a question of if they need a cornerback (the do, badly) or if Amukamara is worth the pick (he is). Rather, the Texans may question if other players on the board--Cam Jordan, JJ Watt among others--are a better value, especially after drafting Kareem Jackson in the first last year.

    Still, hard to pass on a guy you know will step in and start right away.

  12. Minnesota Vikings: Da'Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson
    (By Hunter Ansley, DraftZoo.com)

    Sure, there are concerns about his lower-body strength and health after a poor pro day, but getting him at 12 still makes sense for Minnesota. If he can get back to 100%, he'll be a steal here as a strong-side end for the Vikings, who watched their pass rush disappear in 2010.



  13. Detroit Lions: Aldon Smith, DE, Missouri
    (By Ryan West, RunningTheZone.com)

    The Lions have some decisions to make on which way they want to pursue this draft. With all 3 of their top choices gone in Bowers, Smith, and Amukamara, this is probably worst case scenario for them. Aldon Smith is a nice consolation prize for that as he can pair up with Suh and make that Lions defensive line be scary. Combine that with the questionable offensive lines in the NFC North and the Lions could be a playoff team as long as Stafford stays healthy.

  14. St. Louis Rams: Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue
    (By Matt Miller, New Era Scouting)

    The Rams are surprised to see Da'Quan Bowers and Aldon Smith fly off the board in picks No. 12 and 13.

    Knowing their own need at defensive end Steve Spagnuolo and co. use the 14th pick overall to draft a player whose stock is soaring as the draft nears: Purdue defensive end Ryan Kerrigan.

    Kerrigan's raw pass rushing ability will be an excellent compliment opposite the all-around game of Chris Long.

  15. Miami Dolphins: Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama
    (By Wes Bunting, NationalFootballPost.com)

    Going chalk here guys. Dolphins need a back in the worst way, Ingram is the best on the board. Might look to deal out and grab him later, but can't see them going QB over Ingram at this stage.

  16. Jacksonville Jaguars: Jake Locker, QB, Washington
    (By Evan Silva, RotoWorld.com)

    NFL coaches will see that Locker threw the football accurately outside the pocket in the Pac 10, and believe they can train him to throw it accurately inside the pocket as well.

    Other positives for Locker: Pro-style background, impressive build, off-the-charts athleticism, and plenty of arm. Ideal intangibles.

    The Jaguars need a franchise quarterback.


    Go to Experts 2011 NFL Mock Draft: Picks 17-32

    Sorry for cutting this into two halves; I've received complaints about load times and putting the mock draft on two pages saves bandwith.

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