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2011 NFL Draft: Team Big Boards

Last update: Thursday, April 21, 2011.

This is my attempt to construct a realistic 2011 NFL Draft big board for every team. I've factored in where these teams are drafting; for instance, I'm sure Patrick Peterson is No. 1 on many teams' lists, but I didn't include him from Tennessee onward because he definitely won't be available past No. 7. I also took team needs into account.

Go here for my 2011 NFL MOCK DRAFT.

  1. Carolina Panthers: Cam Newton, QB, Auburn

    1. Cam Newton, QB, Auburn
    2. Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri
    3. A.J. Green, WR, Georgia
    4. Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU
    5. Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama

    Adam Schefter reports that the No. 1 pick is down to Newton, Gabbert, Green and Peterson. It's almost certain that the selection will be used on a quarterback.

    APRIL 21 UPDATE: Schefter said Monday that he's 80-percent certain that the Panthers will select Newton. It's pretty much a given right now.


  2. Denver Broncos: Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama

    1. Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama
    2. Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU
    3. Von Miller, OLB, Texas A&M

    These are the only three options at No. 2. I'm 99-percent confident the Broncos will draft Marcell Dareus.

    APRIL 21 UPDATE: John Elway admitted Wednesday that he wouldn't know what to do with Von Miller on first and second downs in his 4-3 defense. Miller never made sense for the Broncos. He just doesn't fit the scheme.

  3. Buffalo Bills: Von Miller, DE/OLB, Texas A&M

    1. Cam Newton, QB, Auburn
    2. Von Miller, DE/OLB, Texas A&M
    3. Marcell Dareus, DE/DT, Alabama
    4. Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU
    5. Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri

    Cam Newton will be the pick if he's available. If not, it doesn't appear as though Buddy Nix would consider Blaine Gabbert over Von Miller, Marcell Dareus and Patrick Peterson. With Newton presumably off the board, Miller is the favorite to go No. 3.

    APRIL 21 UPDATE: Adam Schefter was told that Newton is not making it past the Bills. If it's not Newton, it'll be Miller.

  4. Cincinnati Bengals: A.J. Green, WR, Georgia
    1. A.J. Green, WR, Georgia
    2. Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU
    3. Julio Jones, WR, Alabama
    4. Von Miller, OLB, Texas A&M
    5. Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama
    6. Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri

    Will the Bengals draft Blaine Gabbert and risk losing Carson Palmer? Maybe - if Mike Brown isn't stubborn enough to believe that he can retain Palmer. If not, A.J. Green will be the pick.

    APRIL 21 UPDATE: The fourth pick is where the intrigue begins. Will the Bengals pick Gabbert? I say no because Brown wants Palmer back, and selecting a quarterback here would offend him.



  5. Arizona Cardinals: Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU

    1. Von Miller, DE/OLB, Texas A&M
    2. Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU
    3. Robert Quinn, DE/OLB, North Carolina
    4. Tyron Smith, OT, USC
    5. A.J. Green, WR, Georgia
    6. Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska
    7. Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri

    I think all of Arizona's supposed Blaine Gabbert interest is a smokescreen to get another team to trade up to Nos. 3 or 4, perhaps allowing Von Miller to fall to No. 5. If Miller's off the board, this pick will probably be used on Patrick Peterson. Gabbert just doesn't make much sense here.

    APRIL 21 UPDATE: I'm standing by my belief that the Cardinals aren't going to pick Gabbert. Larry Fitzgerald even said that he "doubts" that Gabbert will be the pick. Why would Arizona's front office want to offend its best player? Losing Fitzgerald would be devastating.

  6. Cleveland Browns: Julio Jones, WR, Alabama
    1. A.J. Green, WR, Georgia
    2. Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU
    3a. Julio Jones, WR, Alabama
    3b. Robert Quinn, DE, North Carolina
    5. Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska
    6. Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn

    I discussed this in my 2011 NFL Mock Draft. Nick Fairley is low on this list because Tom Heckert likes multi-year starters. Fairley has just about a season of starting experience.

    APRIL 21 UPDATE: It's really close between Robert Quinn and Julio Jones. It appears as though the Browns want to go receiver here. There's no wrong choice, but Jones is less risky; Quinn took a year off football and has a tumor in his brain.

  7. San Francisco 49ers: Robert Quinn, DE/OLB, North Carolina

    1. Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU
    2. Robert Quinn, DE/OLB, North Carolina
    3. Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri
    4. Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska
    5. Nick Fairley, DE/DT, Auburn
    6. Aldon Smith, DE/OLB, Missouri

    The 49ers are praying that Patrick Peterson drops to them. If he's not available, Robert Quinn would bolster the pass rush, but Jim Harbaugh may want to grab a franchise quarterback instead.

    APRIL 21 UPDATE: This is the toughest pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, in my opinion. It's unclear how much John Harbaugh likes Gabbert, though he did attempt to recruit him at one time. Quinn is the best player available, but it'll be difficult for Harbaugh to pass on a quarterback he likes.

  8. Tennessee Titans: Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn

    1. Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn
    2. Robert Quinn, DE, North Carolina
    3. Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri
    4. Julio Jones, WR, Alabama
    5. Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska
    6. Aldon Smith, DE, Missouri
    7. Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas
    8. Jake Locker, QB, Washington

    The Titans have a big need at defensive tackle, and Nick Fairley's former defensive line coach at Auburn now works for Tennessee. He's the favorite, but the Titans will definitely consider reaching for a quarterback.

    APRIL 21 UPDATE: I had Da'Quan Bowers ranked No. 2 here in my previous update. Things have obviously changed.





  9. Dallas Cowboys: Tyron Smith, OT, USC

    1. Tyron Smith, OT, USC
    2. Robert Quinn, DE/OLB, North Carolina
    3. Cameron Jordan, DE/DT, California
    4. Aldon Smith, DE/OLB, Missouri
    5. J.J. Watt, DE/DT, Wisconsin
    6. Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska

    There have been a plethora of reports recently that are linking Tyron Smith to the Cowboys. Conversely, there is also speculation that Dallas won't draft Prince Amukamara if he's available.

    APRIL 21 UPDATE: Reports are still coming in that link Smith to Dallas. There's also some speculation that Cameron Jordan is an option. Don't be shocked if Jordan is a surprise pick.

  10. Washington Redskins: Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri

    1. Julio Jones, WR, Alabama
    2. Robert Quinn, DE/OLB, North Carolina
    3. Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri
    4. Aldon Smith, DE/OLB, Missouri
    5. Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska
    6. Tyron Smith, OT, USC
    7. Jake Locker, QB, Washington
    8. Cameron Jordan, DE/DT, California
    9. J.J. Watt, DE/DT, Wisconsin

    I have to believe this is the furthest Blaine Gabbert will fall (famous last words heard by Brady Quinn and Jimmy Clausen). But Washington can't roll with Rex Grossman, right? If Gabbert's off the board, Julio Jones will be the favorite, but don't discount a rush linebacker. As for Jake Locker, there have been reports linking the Washington quarterback to Mike Shanahan. However, Shanahan is usually tight-lipped - he never even worked out Jay Cutler when he drafted him - so I don't think Locker will be the pick at No. 10.

    APRIL 21 UPDATE: It doesn't look like Jones will make it to No. 10. Robert Quinn is the easy choice if Gabbert isn't available.

  11. Houston Texans: Aldon Smith, DE/OLB, Missouri
    1. Robert Quinn, DE/OLB, North Carolina
    2. Aldon Smith, DE/OLB, Missouri
    3. Cameron Jordan, DE/DT, California
    4. J.J. Watt, DE/DT, Wisconsin
    5. Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska
    6. Ryan Kerrigan, DE/OLB, Purdue
    7. Muhammad Wilkerson, DE/DT, Temple

    As I've been noting in my 2011 NFL Mock Draft, I know for a fact that the Texans have "some concerns" on using back-to-back first-round selection on cornerbacks. A rush linebacker or five-technique is the more likely pick.

    APRIL 21 UPDATE: I still believe that the Texans will pick a pass-rusher over Amukamara. I'll try to find out more about this in the next few days.

  12. Minnesota Vikings: Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska

    1. Julio Jones, WR, Alabama
    2. Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska
    3. Tyron Smith, OT, USC
    4. Aldon Smith, DE, Missouri
    5. Cameron Jordan, DE, California
    6. Jake Locker, QB, Washington
    7. J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin
    8. Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue
    9. Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College
    10. Da'Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson

    Go here to discuss the possibility of Jake Locker going to the Vikings. I don't get it, but it sounds like it's going to happen.

    APRIL 21 UPDATE: If the Vikings don't trade down and opt to select the best player available, it'll be a tough call between Jake Locker, Prince Amukamara and Cameron Jordan. Amukamara's the better player, but Jordan fills the bigger need and more important position. Plus, his father played for Minnesota. Ultimately though, the huge need for a quarterback may prevail.



  13. Detroit Lions: Cameron Jordan, DE, California

    1. Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska
    2. Tyron Smith, OT, USC
    3. Aldon Smith, DE, Missouri
    4. Cameron Jordan, DE, California
    5. J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin
    6. Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado
    7. Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue
    8. Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College
    9. Da'Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson

    Prince Amukamara is Detroit's dream draft pick. There's a chance either he or Tyron Smith drops to No. 13, but this pick will probably have to be used on a defensive end.

    APRIL 21 UPDATE: The Lions may trade up for Amukamara or hope he falls to No. 13. If he doesn't, Cameron Jordan would be a fine choice. He and Ndamukong Suh would wreak havoc upon opposing quarterbacks.

  14. St. Louis Rams: Corey Liuget, DT, Illinois

    1. Julio Jones, WR, Alabama
    2. Aldon Smith, DE, Missouri
    3. Corey Liuget, DT, Illinois
    4. Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue
    5. Mike Pouncey, G, Florida
    6. Da'Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson
    7. J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin
    8. Cameron Jordan, DE, California
    9. Muhammad Wilkerson, DT, Temple

    Like the Lions, St. Louis has a dream prospect (Julio Jones) that doesn't have a good chance of dropping to its spot in the 2011 NFL Draft. The Rams will probably settle for a defensive lineman if they don't trade out of No. 14.

    APRIL 21 UPDATE: The Rams may trade down if the 2011 NFL Draft unfolds like this. They can get Corey Liuget in the late teens or early 20s because of the low demand for 4-3-only personnel.

  15. Miami Dolphins: Mike Pouncey, G, Florida

    1. Aldon Smith, DE/OLB, Missouri
    2. Mike Pouncey, G, Florida
    3. Ryan Kerrigan, DE/OLB, Purdue
    4. Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama
    5. Jake Locker, QB, Washington
    6. Christian Ponder, QB, Florida State
    7. Colin Kaepernick, QB, Nevada
    8. Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas
    9. Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin
    10. Derek Sherrod, OT, Mississippi State

    The Dolphins are in a bad spot. Aldon Smith will probably be off the board, leaving them with reaches, injured players and Round 2-type quarterbacks. I'll be shocked if they don't trade down.

    APRIL 21 UPDATE: I don't see the Dolphins drafting a quarterback here. Adam Schefter said it best - this Miami front office has too much pressure to win now to take a quarterback this early.

  16. Jacksonville Jaguars: Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue

    1. Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue
    2. J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin
    3. Justin Houston, DE, Georgia
    4. Mike Pouncey, G, Florida
    5. Jake Locker, QB, Washington
    6. Brooks Reed, DE, Arizona
    7. Cameron Heyward, DE, Ohio State
    8. Christian Ponder, QB, Florida State
    9. Aaron Williams, CB/FS, Texas
    10. Rahim Moore, FS, UCLA

    These are all high-character, productive, multi-year starters - exactly what Gene Smith wants.

    By the way, this is exactly how my current 2011 NFL Mock Draft looks. Don't worry - I'll be making at least one change in the top 16 in my next update (Thursday or Friday).

    APRIL 21 UPDATE: If Ryan Kerrigan is available and the Jaguars don't pick him, I will off my chair.


    Go to 2011 NFL Draft: Team Big Boards - Picks 17-33

    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 2011 NFL Mock Draft







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