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2011 NFL Mock Draft - Greg Cox

Last update: Thursday, April 28, 2011. - Final update.
Follow Greg on Twitter @ActuallyGregCox for updates.

2011 NFL MOCK DRAFT - WALT'S | GREG'S PICKS 17-32 | GREG'S ROUND: 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7
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  1. Carolina Panthers: Cam Newton, QB, Auburn
    I never fault a team for trying to secure a franchise quarterback, but the Panthers are stuck with a high-risk player. It would be hard for me to take that chance on a player who struggles going through progressions which is very important at the NFL level.

    At least he gets to compete in the NFC South as opposed to earlier projections which put him in Buffalo where the Jets and Patriots would have taken him apart four times per season.

  2. Denver Broncos: Von Miller, DE/OLB, Texas A&M
    There are always sudden changes at the last minute, and in an effort to get it right, I have to swap my second and third picks. The Broncos will hope everything Von Miller showed at the Senior Bowl in a 4-3 continues in his professional career.

  3. Buffalo Bills: Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama
    The Bills have to improve their defense, especially against the run. Now, with the third pick they get a terrific player worthy of being the top selection. Smart move if they pull the trigger.

  4. Cincinnati Bengals: A.J. Green, WR, Georgia
    For reasons that should be fairly obvious at this point in the process, A.J. Green is an easy fit here. The Bengals have parted ways with Terrell Owens. Chad Ochocinco has one foot out the door - or both feet on the soccer field come to think of it.

    There are complementary options on the roster, but Green is an elite player to build around. Passing on Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert is a financial decision. They do not want to get caught paying an early pick plus the salary of disgruntled "retiring" incumbent starter Carson Palmer.

  5. Arizona Cardinals: Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU
    Players like Patrick Peterson do not come around too often. Also keep in mind that while I do not see them adding more youth at the quarterback position, the Titans at No. 8 have to be called if they are interested enough in Missouri's Blaine Gabbert. If the Cardinals think Gabbert is elite, they obviously take him, but if they are unsure at least they can keep him out of the hands of their division rival the 49ers.

  6. Cleveland Browns: Julio Jones, WR, Alabama
    We are going to find out if Mike Holmgren feels strongly enough about North Carolina's Robert Quinn, or will brush aside his tendency to pick up wide receivers later in the draft. I am crossing my fingers on this one and preparing to yell at my television screen if they pass on Julio Jones.

    The pick obviously makes sense because Jones immediately becomes the top target for young Colt McCoy, but do they want another star receiver prone to dropping passes?

  7. San Francisco 49ers: Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri
    I am going against Matt Maiocco here. He says they will take Prince Amukamara and I don't buy it. Whether it is a smokescreen hoping teams do not trade ahead of them or flat out inaccurate, I would be surprised to see new head coach Jim Harbaugh bypass his shot at quarterback here given the expected frenzy to follow.

    If anything the 49ers are going to work the phones and trade down a half dozen spots for a different quarterback, but them walking out of the first round without one if Gabbert is on the board at No. 7 would be shocking.

  8. Tennessee Titans: Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn
    I have danced around changing this pick to Washington quarterback Jake Locker. They could pick him, but another possibility is trading up for Arkansas lightning rod Ryan Mallett. His big arm to throw deep balls would come in handy and the threat of Chris Johnson in the backfield could minimize his lack of mobility.

    As for Nick Fairley, this pick has been explained for a while now. He is an elite talent if he is motivated. Tracy Rocker is there to keep him going. If he sells the team on him, this is an easy choice. If he doesn't, then Fairley would be in for a tumble to Detroit or St. Louis.

  9. Dallas Cowboys: Tyron Smith, OT, USC
    There are really three possibilities for the Cowboys. Tyron Smith, Nebraska cornerback Prince Amukamara, and Wisconsin defensive end J.J. Watt. Ultimately they have to keep Tony Romo protected and it's not often you can get your choice of offensive tackles with the ninth choice overall.

  10. Washington Redskins: Robert Quinn, DE/OLB, North Carolina
    The medical status of Robert Quinn has been questioned, but the Redskins have to take a chance. They have an opportunity to put another player in their front seven with Brian Orakpo and make every opposing quarterback dread playing them.

  11. Houston Texans: Aldon Smith, DE/OLB, Missouri
    Wade Philips is now in control of a defense that was taken apart through the air to the tune of 4,280 passing yards and 33 touchdowns against just 13 interceptions. His new 3-4 will need some pieces up front to work.

    The prevailing sentiment on Nebraska cornerback Prince Amukamara falling to them is that another early pick will not cure what ails them in the secondary. Those reinforcements will come later on.

    Here they need to find someone capable of getting after Indianapolis quarterback Peyton Manning. The Texans are already having to depend on mostly untested Connor Barwin manning one outside linebacker spot. They can't afford to go bargain hunting for a candidate to play opposite of him.

  12. Minnesota Vikings: Jake Locker, QB, Washington
    I have been saying for a while there will be a run on quarterbacks and this is the first big reach. The Rams at No. 14 could provide them a little relief in the form of a trade down if Alabama wide receiver Julio Jones is on the board, and because I do not think the Dolphins are interested in Jake Locker, they can work the phones a little bit lower than that as well.

    Reaching for a quarterback is going to be a necessity for several teams in this draft. The Vikings did not prepare for Brett Favre retiring. Maybe if they had retained Sage Rosenfels they would be slightly less desperate, but going a full season with Joe Webb is not something they are looking forward to.

    Locker struggles with accuracy which makes this a hard pick defend, but it looks like they are going to do it.

  13. Detroit Lions: Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska
    I will have a pit in my stomach when the Lions pick and Prince Amukamara is still on the board because I truly believe a defensive lineman is going to be the pick. However, this is a huge need and Amukamara is worth the pick. We will see if it makes enough sense to actually happen. California's Cam Jordan would be my preference.

  14. St. Louis Rams: Corey Liuget, DT, Illinois
    No one really has a handle on what the Rams are going to do with this pick unless they move up for Alabama's Julio Jones. Since I have him off the board at No. 6 that is not a possibility. They really like Corey Liuget and while I would rate my confidence in this pick low this is what I'm going with.

  15. Miami Dolphins: Mike Pouncey, G, Florida
    It does not look like the Dolphins will be going after a quarterback so I am back to Mike Pouncey who addresses a gaping need on their interior offensive line. The running game gets an immediate boost and he is one of the safer picks.

  16. Jacksonville Jaguars: Ryan Kerrigan, DE/OLB, Purdue
    Hopefully this is this year's Malcolm Jenkins to the Saints in the middle of round one that almost everyone has in their final mocks. That one happened and this might too.

    The surprising choice to take Cal's Tyson Alualu No. 10 paid off by setting them up on the inside of their defensive line and if Aaron Kampman can stay healthy this addition sets up their line to create problems for the man in charge of the AFC South. That's Peyton Manning if you're living under a rock next to the guy from the Geico commercial.

    Go to Greg Cox's 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.

    Greg Cox's 2011 NFL Mock Draft - Round 2

    Greg Cox's 2011 NFL Mock Draft - Round 3

    Greg Cox's 2011 NFL Mock Draft - Round 4

    Greg Cox's 2011 NFL Mock Draft - Round 5

    Greg Cox's 2011 NFL Mock Draft - Round 6

    Greg Cox's 2011 NFL Mock Draft - Round 7

    2011 NFL Mock Draft - Walt's

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Brett 02-04-2011 11:01 am (total posts: 1)
20     17

How many teams leave their healthy leading receiver (albeit with a paltry 608 yards) inactive for a playoff game as they did with Chris Chambers?

Chambers was not the Chiefs leading receiver. He barely had 200 yards, not 608. Tony Moeaki had more than twice the yards Chambers had this year. McCluster had 7 fewer yards receiving than Chambers, Jamaal Charles 250 more yards receiving. So I wouldn't even call Chambers the 4th best option. Terrence Copper and Verran Tucker combined at the #2 WR spot for more production than Chambers. It's fort knox in KC, but rumors were that Chambers had a broken finger or ligament damage in one of his hands.
Obie 02-04-2011 10:40 am (total posts: 2)
20     19

Try again Pal
Nick 02-04-2011 09:34 am (total posts: 4)
24     19

I can only pray that Peterson falls to #7.
Greg 02-04-2011 09:25 am (total posts: 51)
24     20

Well, suffice it to say I am new here. Hence posting my other two comments with a "subject" instead of my "name".

I'm sure everyone is smart enough to have figured it out...

Vikings - I also just realized I actually did throw a Webb comparison in there for the Kaepernick selection.

Adam - On paper that looks like an imposing duo. It's also a lot of money to commit in the secondary where they just paid Haden a bunch. Nothing is a guarantee in the draft.
re-post 02-04-2011 09:17 am (total posts: 3)
21     21

The Hoodie 02-04-2011 09:15 am (total posts: 3)
21     20

Adam 02-04-2011 08:18 am (total posts: 2)
19     23

No way the Browns let Patrick Peterson get pass them.. he is the BPA and will probably be gone before the 5 spot anyway...
Let me try to keep up with some of these 02-04-2011 08:00 am (total posts: 51)
23     20

Best I can I want to address the comments. Without people reading I wouldn't be writing and hopefully I can respect that relationship by responding to the feedback (without writing a novel) so here goes.

Ivan - Thank you

Alexito - Pre-combine nothing is loco. Corners typically will not go top 5 if you look at draft history. There are some teams who really like Prince and others are quietly very high on Jimmy Smith. It's not like PP is the #1 QB. Very possible to me he is there when SF picks.

Varela - Maybe the Lions won't draft an OT because they are stupid, but in early mocks I lean towards should rather than will.

Jake - Um, thanks. I think.

SilentJaguar - You're not alone being down on Greg Jones. I'm having trouble finding a good spot for him because linebackers of his skill set (ie guys that don't terrorize the QB) have a tendency to plummet.

Franchize - Thank you. I actually had another diehard Rams (a scout) fan who loved my Pouncey pick so while it seems like a reach I like the fit for the reasons you point out. As for Kerrigan, that's another good point. A few good apples in that locker room would go a long way. And yes, sticking Bowers at #1 is about draft history and what teams have done. Maybe you can work on Valera for me regarding the Solder pick.

mrcarter - Every mock is going to have a stretch or two, especially in February. I like Colin's intangibles and in this class haven't locked on to a QB the Vikes would grab at #12. Plus, Julio Jones energizes their offense in a way Moss was supposed to. They need weapons and people tend to forget that before an injury/Favre plagued season these guys were a Harvin choke fumble from probably winning the Super Bowl. They struggled to get the ball down the field and Jones would help. There are always guys to take later at every position, but obviously Jones is better. Regarding Murray, Bush can take a hike and Payton would turn him into everything Bush was at his best.

FoRM - Thank you, and I like Murray in their offense better. I should have found a place for Kendall Hunter somewhere else, but for the Saints Murray would take on a bigger role and have more value.

Aruca - Here is my problem with Mallett. If you put yourself in a fan's shoes do you want this guy leading your franchise? Basically, do you want Mallett to be responsible for your team's success or failure? I don't think fans of many teams would. He seems like a very risky pick. Some might expect him to be an Al Davis choice, which is not a good thing and if he did slide down the draft board the Raiders (even though they are fully behind Campbell with Hue at HC) could grab him. Ultimately I am waiting out the skeletons in the closet before committing him to the first two rounds. The values of the quarterbacks in this class could fluctuate wildly. In fact, more than any QB class I can remember. Also bear in mind that last year two pretty accomplished signal callers dropped a full round behind their consensus projection (Clausen & McCoy) so you never know.

Thanks for all the comments everyone.


missed one 02-04-2011 07:56 am (total posts: 51)
25     20

Vikings - Somehow when I was trying to tighten up my comments I left out the comparison to Joe Webb as a reason Minny might not take Colin, but I acknowledge that. I also agree Solder would be a good move, as well as chasing that pick with a guard. When the left side of the line dominates it is pretty easy to run the ball. We saw this with Shaun Alexander behind Walter Jones and Steve Hutchinson a few years back. I can't really buy ignoring the QB though. If they make a play for someone at a reasonable price, let's say Hasselbeck just for argument's sake, then yes they can take a chance by passing on this crop of quarterbacks. The problem is that they probably won't be bad enough next year to draft Luck or Barkley so their only play would be a "Sanchez" type trade up and that's iffy at best.
Vikings 02-04-2011 07:28 am (total posts: 1)
20     21

Julio Jones is not a bad pick and neither is Colin Kaepernick although he is just like Joe Webb.

I see the Vikings going offensive line. Solder is the pick. McKinnie will be 32 and needs to lose 25 pounds. Not many players get better once they are in their 30s. If the Vikings do not want a QB then they would be wiser to get the next most important position on the field locked up for the next 10 years like they did when they got McKinnie.

They have no viable backup behind McKinnie either. It would be wise for them to try and trade McKinnie if there are trades allowed.

As much as they need a safety, I think they should go for John Moffitt in round 2 if he is going to go this high.

Now they have a guard/center prospect that can take over for Hutchinson who will be 34 next November. This is the Vikings biggest weakness besides safety. They need to rebuild their line ASAP.

Then all they need to do is HAND the ball to Adrian Peterson more often (and Toby Gerhart).

They do not have to get a QB this year especially with there being so many questions surrounding the top guys.
Ivan 02-04-2011 06:56 am (total posts: 2)
20     20

the best mock to date
Alexito 02-04-2011 06:39 am (total posts: 1)
20     21

You guys are talking too much el crazy loco.

If Peterson fell to the Niners at #7, I would go quadruple loco! But stranger things have happened. I would go absolutely ape-crap and I would go streaking to the gymnasium.
Varela 02-04-2011 05:41 am (total posts: 1)
23     22

The Lions wont draft OT in the 1st...
Jake 02-04-2011 05:21 am (total posts: 5)
21     20

This new guy can Tounge Punch a mock draft right in the Fart Box.
SilentJaguar 02-04-2011 04:17 am (total posts: 1)
21     22

I'd rather grab any one of the next 5 picks after the Jags' in the second round(except Williams) than Greg Jones. Didn't really like what I saw out of him in the last half of the season and the bowl game.

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