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2011 NFL Free Agency Draft

Last update: Monday, May 9, 2011.

This is something new that I thought would be pretty fun. It's what it sounds like - if free agency occurred in a draft format, who would be the top picks? I've excluded all the free agents that have been franchised or tendered at fewer than four years.

Go here for my 2012 NFL Mock Draft or follow me @walterfootball for updates.

  1. Carolina Panthers: Nnamdi Asomugha, CB, Raiders. Age: 30.
    This is a pretty easy first pick. Nnamdi Asomugha is the only available 5-star free agent in my 2011 NFL Free Agency Rankings. Corner is not Carolina's biggest need, but no team would pass up the chance of landing arguably the top cornerback in the NFL.

  2. Denver Broncos: Barry Cofield, DT, Giants. Age: 27.
    The Broncos have to skip all of the 4.5-star free agents because they've backed themselves into a corner. They have absolutely nothing at defensive tackle. Barry Cofield happens to be the best player available at the position.

  3. Buffalo Bills: Paul Posluszny, ILB, Bills. Age: 26.
    A major reason why the Bills never make the playoffs is because they misevaluate their own talent. They inexplicably fall in love with their own mediocre players when it's very obvious that an upgrade is needed. However, Paul Posluszny is one of the few talented players on the team, so Buffalo would re-sign him above anything else.

  4. Cincinnati Bengals: Johnathan Joseph, CB, Bengals. Age: 27.
    Sorry, this is another boring pick. But the Bengals have made it clear that re-signing Johnathan Joseph is their top priority. That's why they passed on Patrick Peterson in the 2011 NFL Draft.

  5. Arizona Cardinals: Willie Colon, OT, Steelers. Age: 30.
    I'm pretty surprised that the Cardinals didn't upgrade their offensive line in the 2011 NFL Draft. Kevin Kolb will need some protection next year, and I'm sure Ken Whisenhunt and Russ Grimm would love to work with Willie Colon again.

  6. Cleveland Browns: Santonio Holmes, WR, Jets. Age: 27.
    Trading with the Falcons was a no-brainer for Cleveland. Getting all of those picks was huge. However, I'm sure the Browns would love to obtain a No. 1 wide receiver, and Santonio Holmes is definitely more sure-handed than Julio Jones.

  7. San Francisco 49ers: Eric Weddle, S, Chargers. Age: 26.
    The 49ers don't have a huge need at safety, but there is definitely room for improvement. Besides, Eric Weddle is just one of two remaining 4.5-star free agents, and Stephen Tulloch would have to make a scheme change into a 3-4.

  8. Tennessee Titans: Stephen Tulloch, ILB, Titans. Age: 26.
    And there's the last 4.5-star free agent. I'm sure the Titans would love to retain Stephen Tulloch, but I doubt that's going to happen in real life. Tennessee is in complete re-building mode, so I'll be surprised if Tulloch wants to stick around.

  9. Dallas Cowboys: Doug Free, OT, Cowboys. Age: 27.
    I swear, this is one of the last boring picks - I just find it hard to believe that Jerry Jones would let the promising Doug Free get away.

  10. Washington Redskins: Sidney Rice, WR, Vikings. Age: 25.
    The Redskins have Anthony Armstrong, Leonard Hankerson, Niles Paul and Aldrick Robinson at receiver. Not exactly the most talented wideout corps in the league. Sidney Rice would come in and automatically become a reliable No. 1 receiver for John Beck.

  11. Houston Texans: Dawan Landry, SS, Ravens. Age: 28.
    The Texans upgraded the front seven of their defense in the 2011 NFL Draft, so they go for the best defensive back available. Pretty much any free agent ranked three stars or better would instantly help an anemic Houston secondary.

  12. Minnesota Vikings: Ray Edwards, DE, Vikings. Age: 26.
    OK, I lied. Here's another boring pick. But the Vikings would love to retain Ray Edwards in an attempt to keep their once-vaunted defensive line intact.

  13. Detroit Lions: Mathias Kiwanuka, DE, Giants. Age: 28.
    I've learned my lesson. I'm not going to force a left tackle or a cornerback here. The Lions always go for the best player available, and in this case, it's Mathia Kiwanuka, who would look great next to Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley.

  14. St. Louis Rams: Brandon Mebane, DT, Seahawks. Age: 26.
    The Rams were projected to go after Corey Liuget or even Nick Fairley with the 14th pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, but Robert Quinn fell into their lap. They still need help next to Fred Robbins.

  15. Miami Dolphins: DeAngelo Williams, RB, Panthers. Age: 27.
    I know the Dolphins obtained Daniel Thomas at the end of the second round, but they can't be completely confident in his ability to carry the load. I'm sure Miami would still love it if Williams decided to take his talents to South Beach.

  16. Jacksonville Jaguars: Charles Johnson, DE, Panthers. Age: 25.
    I can't believe the Jaguars didn't address the defensive end position in the 2011 NFL Draft. They almost have to make this free agency pick.

    Go to 2011 NFL Free Agency 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.

Real 2012 NFL Mock Draft

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La Voz 05-09-2011 06:27 pm (total posts: 1)
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Rather than having the draft order based on the actual NFL Draft order, I think it would be better if it were based on cap space availability (i.e., team with most cap space drafts first, team with least drafts last). Still, neat idea, thanks for doing it.

Oh, and the Texans don't need an in-the-box SS. Wade basically wants a FS playing SS (Huff would be a good pick since he played better in coverage than in run support).
Fitz 05-09-2011 06:05 pm (total posts: 1)
12     12

Cullen Jenkins is at 24 to the Saints. Seriously, how do so many ppl miss this stuff??? I feel like every time i look at these comments their is someone complaining about a player not being in a mock draft when they actually are.
@badjuju 05-09-2011 05:34 pm (total posts: 1)
12     12

Brandon Carr isn't for sure leaving the Chiefs. He was either tendered or resigned, I forgot.
Hrmph 05-09-2011 05:27 pm (total posts: 2)
13     12

Nevermind, missed Jenkins going to the Saints.
Hrmph 05-09-2011 05:26 pm (total posts: 2)
12     14

No Cullen Jenkins?
cort 05-09-2011 04:02 pm (total posts: 1)
17     14

Michael Bush won't be a free agent because he missed his rookie season, so he only has 3 years accrued.
dan 05-09-2011 02:31 pm (total posts: 1)
13     14

hahaha, manny lawson not a good pass-rusher. good one walt.
Brandon Carr 05-09-2011 01:07 pm (total posts: 2)
13     18

He called me chris on accident...
jubadbad 05-09-2011 12:55 pm (total posts: 4)
13     13

Harvey Dahl would also make that Lions o-line click a little more.
badjuju 05-09-2011 12:53 pm (total posts: 4)
16     14

No Brandon Carr?
badjuju 05-09-2011 12:48 pm (total posts: 4)
15     14

Lions couldn't possibly afford to put more into the D-line. I know it looks like the draft but it is not the draft and I don't think BPA works as effectively here. They would have to "reach" if this is the scenario. I commend you fully for the creativity of this piece though.
ironduke 05-09-2011 10:36 am (total posts: 1)
16     15

It would be more interesting if you just mocked the top 50 free agency signings. This is kind of pointless.
mprofetta 05-09-2011 09:44 am (total posts: 1)
17     16

You're doing a very good job of keeping your site interesting despite the complete lack of any real football news to work with. Your creativity is what sets this site apart from other "blah" football sites. I love the "Free Agency Draft". One disagreement: I would have to think that a team in search of new blood at DE would prefer Charles Johnson to Kiwanuka. Johnson is younger, bigger and offers more upside. Kiwanuka's injury woes make him a risky F.A. prospect. If there were a F.A. draft, the Lions would opt for Johnson, IMO.
scuba 05-09-2011 07:40 am (total posts: 1)
14     16

Hey Walt, you've been very Bills like in your evaluation of the Bills, that is, YOU'VE SUCKED! Your past evaluations of this years draft are an embarassment to you(I've LOVED your site in the past) and equally embarassing is your evaluation of Poz, as much as everyone in Buffalo wants to love him, he's NEVER been an impact player, he has made a living catchinig opposing players 5-7 yards past the line of scrimmage. Get a clue Walt.
Garrett 05-09-2011 05:49 am (total posts: 1)
15     14

The Bears fans chanting Bowers were idiots, try keeping our QB upright by given us Justin Blalock, I

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