Last update: Thursday, April 28, 2011, 3:30 PM.
Next update: Thurs evening. Follow me @walterfootball
This 2011 NFL Mock Draft order is based on the official 2011 NFL Draft Order
New England Patriots: Akeem Ayers, DE/OLB, UCLA
Once again, the Patriots could easily trade out of this selection, making this pick hard to predict. If they stay put, Akeem Ayers is a strong option. They really need some help at rush linebacker, and Ayers would be a good fit in Bill Belichick's defense.
Buffalo Bills: Christian Ponder, QB, Florida State
If the Bills don't take Blaine Gabbert at No. 3, they'll almost certainly draft a quarterback in Round 2. Ryan Fitzpatrick is a decent player, but he's just not talented enough to consistently lead Buffalo to the playoffs.
The three signal-callers the Bills will consider atop the second round are Andy Dalton, Colin Kaepernick and Christian Ponder. But I guess we all know Ponder is the favorite after Andre Reed told us so on Twitter.
Cincinnati Bengals: Andy Dalton, QB, TCU
Some mocks have the Bengals taking Ryan Mallett, assuming that Mike Brown will ignore Mallett's character concerns. However, Mallett's not a good fit for Jay Gruden's offense. Gruden will be looking for an accurate, West Coast passer.
If that's the case, Cincinnati will consider Christian Ponder or Andy Dalton instead. Dalton's stock is on the rise, and many people think he has a good chance to go in the first round.
Denver Broncos: Stephen Paea, NT, Oregon State
The idea behind drafting Von Miller No. 2 is that the Broncos can obtain a defensive tackle atop the second round. Their idea; not mine.
In this case, Stephen Paea fills a huge need for them.
Cleveland Browns: Brandon Harris, CB, Miami
If the Browns don't obtain Patrick Peterson in the first round, they'll have to find a cornerback in Rounds 2-4. Joe Haden had a great rookie year, but Cleveland possesses nothing across from him.
Brandon Harris is one of the top players available. The Browns have shown interest in him.
Arizona Cardinals: Jabaal Sheard, DE/OLB, Pittsburgh
If the Cardinals can't get Von Miller at No. 5, they'll target Jabaal Sheard at this spot. They absolutely have to find help at the rush linebacker position; Joey Porter and Clark Haggans really embarrassed themselves this past year, combining for just 10 sacks and struggling in run support.
Jabaal Sheard is a late first-round talent, but will probably fall into the middle of Round 2 because of a previous arrest. However, the Cardinals have been known to take chances on questionable characters.
Tennessee Titans: Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa
There's some speculation that Adrian Clayborn could fall to Round 2. He's coming off a down year; he has Erb's Palsy, which could scare some teams away; and there are some minor character concerns.
If Clayborn drops this far, the Titans won't hesitate. Jason Babin is a 31-year-old free agent who will command a ton of money this offseason. Seeing as how the Titans will be starting from scratch, Babin will probably leave for a contender. If so, Tennessee will need help across from Derrick Morgan.
Dallas Cowboys: Rahim Moore, FS, UCLA
New free safety Alan Ball was a pretty big liability this season. The Cowboys need to upgrade this position unless they want DeSean Jackson torching them twice every year.
Rahim Moore is one of the top players available, and Dallas has shown interest in him.
Washington Redskins: Colin Kaepernick, QB, Nevada
Mike Shanahan will draft a quarterback this April. There are rumors that he likes Jake Locker, but Shanahan is usually tight-lipped throughout the draft process. When he selected Jay Cutler, he had never even worked him out.
Colin Kaepernick has unlimited upside. He also possesses the mobility that Shanahan likes out of his quarterbacks.
Houston Texans: Allen Bailey, DE/DT, Miami
As mentioned in Round 1, the Texans are looking for numerous 3-4 personnel upgrades, including five-technique. I have reason to believe that they're looking at Allen Bailey as a possible solution.
Minnesota Vikings: James Carpenter, OT, Alabama
Teams that draft quarterbacks early usually spend their next selection on an offensive lineman or play-making weapon for that signal-caller. Think Sam Bradford-Rodger Saffold, Matthew Stafford-Brandon Pettigrew and Matt Ryan-Sam Baker.
As Brett Favre discovered last year, the Vikings really need to upgrade their offensive line. James Carpenter is gaining a ton of momentum. There's even been talk that he could be chosen late in the first round, which I'm not buying quite yet.
Detroit Lions: Ras-I Dowling, CB, Virginia
Detroit's issues at the cornerback position are well-documented. If they can't get Prince Amukamara, they'll have to get creative in Rounds 2 or 3.
Ras-I Dowling is one of the top players available, and the Lions have shown interest in him.
San Francisco 49ers: Randall Cobb, WR/KR, Kentucky
The only quarterback remaining is Ryan Mallett, but I don't see him fitting Jim Harbaugh's West Coast offense.
Randall Cobb is one of the best players available and will provide some much-needed speed that San Francisco's offense currently lacks.
Denver Broncos: Benjamin Ijalana, OT/G, Villanova
The Broncos need a new right tackle. Ryan Harris is a free agent, but he's a poor fit for John Fox's power blocking scheme.
Ben Ijalana recently had a great Pro Day, and there's some speculation that he could sneak into the first round. If not, the Broncos will be glad to take him at this spot. Denver has shown interest in Ijalana.
St. Louis Rams: Torrey Smith, WR/KR, Maryland
St. Louis' No. 1 goal this offseason is to find a play-maker for Sam Bradford. The Rams could not get anything downfield in the ugly season finale at Seattle because of their abysmal receiving corps. Drafting someone like Torrey Smith would fix that.
Smith has shaky hands, but is otherwise a very talented, blue-collar player who would be a great fit in St. Louis.
Oakland Raiders: Stefen Wisniewski, C/G, Penn State
As Greg Cox wrote in his 2011 NFL Mock Draft, Stefen Wisniewski makes a ton of sense for the Raiders. His uncle Steve played 13 seasons for Al Davis, qualifying for the Pro Bowl eight times. Steve was recently hired as an assistant coach.
Other 2011 NFL Draft Possibilities:
1. Colin Kaepernick, QB or Jimmy Smith, CB - The Raiders are looking to trade up into the first round. Perhaps another deal with the Patriots? It seems like they're targeting Colin Kaepernick and Jimmy Smith.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Davon House, CB, New Mexico State
The Jaguars need an upgrade across from Rashean Mathis. Derek Cox played well at times this year, but was way too inconsistent. In a division with Peyton Manning and Matt Schaub, you can never have too many talented corners.
Davon House is a 4-year starter and a Gene Smith type of player.
Pick change; previously Ras-I Dowling, CB
San Diego Chargers: Jon Baldwin, WR, Pittsburgh
Jonathan Baldwin did not have a good Pro Day, which is why I've dropped him to the middle of Round 2. He also has work ethic issues, but general manager A.J. Smith has been known to take risks in the NFL Draft.
Keeping both Vincent Jackson and Malcom Floyd around will be difficult. The Chargers will probably have to find a new No. 2 receiver, and Baldwin is the type of wideout they look for.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Lance Kendricks, TE, Wisconsin
The Buccaneers are absolutely in love with Lance Kendricks. They won't think twice about taking him in the third round, and they may even consider him in Round 2. They're concerned with Kellen Winslow Jr.'s blocking and durability.
New York Giants: Mikel Leshoure, RB, Illinois
The Giants love taking the best player on their board, and that could be Mikel Leshoure in this scenario.
Brandon Jacobs' days in New York are numbered, and the coaching staff is not confident in Ahmad Bradshaw's ability to stay healthy for a whole season.
Indianapolis Colts: Danny Watkins, G, Baylor
Another offensive line upgrade for the Colts, whose No. 1 priority this offseason is to improve Peyton Manning's pass protection.
I really like Danny Watkins. He's a talented guard who can start right away for the team that drafts him. The problem is that he's 27 years old (in November), but that won't matter much to the Colts, who are built to win now rather than later.
In fact, I don't think Bill Polian sticks around once Peyton Manning retires, which is why I'm not a believer in Indianapolis drafting a quarterback early this year.
Philadelphia Eagles: Jaiquawn Jarrett, S, Temple
It doesn't appear as though free agent Quintin Mikell will be back with the Eagles next year. If Mikell signs elsewhere, the Eagles will need a new strong safety because Kurt Coleman should not be a starter.
I know I mocked Jaiquawn Jarrett to the Eagles in the third round of a previous update, but I'm getting the sense that he could be the second safety off the board on Friday. The Eagles have shown a ton of interest in him.
Kansas City Chiefs: Leonard Hankerson, WR, Miami
I just learned that the Chiefs want to trade up for Julio Jones. I don't know if that'll be possible. If they can't get the Alabama wideout, they may target Leonard Hankerson in Round 2.
A list of players who have lined up across from Dwayne Bowe this season: Chris Chambers, Terrance Copper and Verran Tucker. Bleh. The Chiefs have shown interest in Hankerson.
New Orleans Saints: Ryan Williams, RB, Virginia Tech
Running back is not a need for the Saints, but I don't think they can pass up on a stud player like Ryan Williams if he falls this far. With so many picks and so few needs, New Orleans can make a value selection like this.
Seattle Seahawks: Rodney Hudson, G/C, Florida State
Maybe Marshawn Lynch would have more Super Mario Bros. star-styled runs if the Seahawks had better blocking up front. The Seahawks will need a new interior lineman to replace injury-prone free agent Chris Spencer.
Rodney Hudson is perfect for Tom Cable's blocking scheme.
Baltimore Ravens: Titus Young, WR, Boise State
The Ravens need an upgrade at receiver, particularly a downfield threat to stretch the defense. Titus Young, one of the top players available, could become Baltimore's version of Mike Wallace.
Atlanta Falcons: Jerrel Jernigan, WR, Troy
It's no secret that the Falcons need help at receiver. With Tony Gonzalez regressing at an alarming rate, Matt Ryan's only viable option last season was Roddy White. Atlanta has to get its franchise quarterback some help.
Jerrel Jernigan had a fantastic Pro Day and could ultimately be a second-round pick. The Falcons have met with him several times.
New England Patriots: Will Rackley, OT/G, Lehigh
An offensive lineman with versatility, Will Rackley makes a ton of sense for the Patriots at the bottom of Round 2.
Protecting Tom Brady is Belichick's first priority. Stephen Neal announced his retirement, so New England will be looking for a guard in free agency or early in the 2011 NFL Draft.
San Diego Chargers: Martez Wilson, LB, Illinois
San Diego has a bunch of free agent inside linebackers. A.J. Smith will likely target a replacement or two in the 2011 NFL Draft. Martez Wilson is one of the top players available.
Chicago Bears: James Brewer, OT, Indiana
You know, if the Bears had a good offensive line, Jay Cutler probably wouldn't have suffered an MCL sprain against the Packers, and we never would have had this huge debate about whether Cutler should have played or not. This should make one of Chicago's early-round picks pretty obvious.
The Bears led the NFL in sacks allowed (60) in 2010. Jerry Angelo should be exiled if he doesn't improve the offensive line.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Marcus Gilbert, OT, Florida
The Steelers will need multiple offensive linemen if they can't re-sign Willie Colon. Marcus Gilbert has drawn some interest from the team and fits perfectly into their blocking scheme.
Marcus Gilbert's draft stock is gaining some momentum. Mike Mayock recently said that he could be chosen in the second round.
Green Bay Packers: Jarvis Jenkins, DE/DT, Clemson
Mike McCarthy recently spoke in the past tense when referring to Cullen Jenkins. Johnny Jolly, meanwhile, was just arrested for drug possession. The Packers really have to look into acquiring a new defensive end.
2011 NFL Mock Draft - Round 3
2011 NFL Mock Draft - Round 4
2011 NFL Mock Draft - Round 5
2011 NFL Mock Draft - Round 6
2011 NFL Mock Draft - Round 7
Back to 2011 NFL Mock Draft - Round 1
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