This is a 2011 NFL Draft Re-Mock, just in case you missed the big blue letters up top. I'm going back to 2011 and re-distributing all of the 2011 NFL Draft prospects to all of the teams in the 2011 NFL Draft order. This 2011 NFL Draft Re-Mock is based on how these players have performed in their careers, as well as the needs each team had back in 2011.
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Posted Feb. XX, 2015. Follow me @walterfootball
Carolina Panthers: Cam Newton, QB, Auburn
Actual 2011 NFL Draft Pick: Cam Newton, QB
My 2011 NFL Mock Draft Pick: Cam Newton, QB
I'm excited to do this 2011 NFL Mock Re-Draft. The 2011 class will go down as one of the best in the history of the league. In the 2011 NFL Draft alone, we had the reigning MVP, the most-recent Super Bowl MVP, the best player in the NFL, the top cornerback in the league, a player who nearly broke the single-season sack record, and I haven't even touched on Robert Quinn, Muhammad Wilkerson, Julio Jones and A.J. Green yet.
Cam Newton, the first player on that list, would go No. 1 overall five years later. There's no doubt about that, especially after he carried his team on his back to a 15-1 record and Super Bowl appearance.
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Denver Broncos: J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin
Actual 2011 NFL Draft Pick: Von Miller, DE/OLB
My 2011 NFL Mock Draft Pick: Von Miller, DE/OLB
This is the first indication of how crazy/good the 2011 NFL Draft was. Von Miller just claimed Super Bowl MVP honors with one of the greatest defensive performances we've ever seen in the "Big Game," and yet, the Broncos wouldn't take him No. 2 overall in this re-draft.
As great as Miller is, the Broncos couldn't pass up on J.J. Watt, who is the best player in the NFL. I have a feeling Watt would've played just as well - if not better - compared to Miller against the Panthers.
Buffalo Bills: Von Miller, DE/OLB, Texas A&M
Actual 2011 NFL Draft Pick: Marcell Dareus, DE/DT
My 2011 NFL Mock Draft Pick: Marcell Dareus, DE/DT
I wrote that the Bills would take Von Miller if the Broncos opted to choose Marcell Dareus, which was a real decision five years ago. Of course, J.J. Watt wasn't in the equation back then. In this scenario, Denver would select Watt, allowing Buffalo to scoop up the MVP of Super Bowl 50. Imagine how much more potent Rex Ryan's defense would've been in 2015 had Miller been rushing on the edge instead of the lethargic Mario Williams.
Cincinnati Bengals: Julio Jones, WR, Alabama
Actual 2011 NFL Draft Pick: A.J. Green, WR
My 2011 NFL Mock Draft Pick: A.J. Green, WR
The Bengals had Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco on their roster in 2010, so they were absolutely going to make sure that they bolstered their receiving corps. They ended up going with A.J. Green, who has been exceptional for them. However, Julio Jones has been the better pro overall. It's close for sure, and there's no telling what Green would be able to do with a better quarterback, but Jones is a dominant weapon who can't be contained.
Arizona Cardinals: Richard Sherman, CB, Stanford
Actual 2011 NFL Draft Pick: Patrick Peterson, CB
My 2011 NFL Mock Draft Pick: Patrick Peterson, CB
Man, I was on fire in this mock draft. Five for five! Arizona ended up selecting Patrick Peterson, who has obviously panned out for the team. However, much like the Bengals, the Cardinals would pick a better prospect at the same position in this re-draft. Peterson is a great cornerback, but any Arizona fan would be lying if he/she said that Peterson would be the preferred choice over Richard Sherman, who is the top corner in the NFL right now.
Cleveland Browns: Justin Houston, DE/OLB, Georgia
Actual 2011 NFL Draft Pick: Julio Jones, WR (Falcons trade up)
My 2011 NFL Mock Draft Pick: Julio Jones, WR
The Browns' starting receivers going into 2011 were Mohamed Massaquoi and Brian Robiskie, and they had Julio Jones fall into their laps. So, what did they do? They traded down twice and picked up Phil Taylor and Greg Little, neither of whom played a single game in 2015. Ladies and gentlemen, your Cleveland Browns!
So, why not A.J. Green in this re-draft? Because Justin Houston is better, and Cleveland's starting defensive ends at this moment in time were Marcus Benard and Jayme Mitchell. Neither played a single game in 2015 either.
San Francisco 49ers: Robert Quinn, DE/OLB, North Carolina
Actual 2011 NFL Draft Pick: Aldon Smith, DE/OLB
My 2011 NFL Mock Draft Pick: Prince Amukamara, CB
The 49ers ended up taking Aldon Smith No. 7 overall in the 2011 NFL Draft. That seemed like a great pick for a while - until Smith ended up getting into too much trouble, prompting his eventual release from the team. This is exactly why I like to wait a few years to do these re-drafts. At any rate, Robert Quinn obviously would've been a better choice for the 49ers, as he has been an absolute terror, all while staying clean off the field.
Tennessee Titans: Muhammad Wilkerson, DE/DT, Temple
Actual 2011 NFL Draft Pick: Jake Locker, QB
My 2011 NFL Mock Draft Pick: Blaine Gabbert, QB
Jake Locker? Blaine Gabbert? Yuck! As you can see, there was a dark side to the 2011 NFL Draft. The Titans were on the wrong end of it, which would explain why they've been terrible for a long time.
The Titans clearly thought that defensive tackle was a priority because they spent a third-round selection Jurrell Casey. He wouldn't be a bad option via a trade down, but Tennessee almost has to select Muhammad Wilkerson at this juncture.
Dallas Cowboys: Tyron Smith, OT, USC
Actual 2011 NFL Draft Pick: Tyron Smith, OT
My 2011 NFL Mock Draft Pick: Tyron Smith, OT
I think this pick probably stays the same. There are a couple of other great options like A.J. Green and Patrick Peterson, but Tyron Smith has worked out great for the Cowboys. Thus, I'd expect the stubborn Jerry Jones to stick with what worked.
Washington Redskins: A.J. Green, WR, Georgia
Actual 2011 NFL Draft Pick: Ryan Kerrigan, DE/OLB
My 2011 NFL Mock Draft Pick: Robert Quinn, DE/OLB
Remember the crappy Cleveland receivers I wrote about earlier? Well, Washington's wideouts were somehow worse at this point in time. The top three receivers on the roster were some guys named Anthony Armstrong, Brandon Banks and Roydell Williams. What kind of a name is Roydell, exactly? A.J. Green would've been a welcome addition, and unlike the real draft, he actually makes it to Washington in this updated version.
Houston Texans: Marcell Dareus, DE/DT, Alabama
Actual 2011 NFL Draft Pick: J.J. Watt, DE/DT
My 2011 NFL Mock Draft Pick: Aldon Smith, DE/OLB
The poor Texans don't get J.J. Watt anymore, but don't worry Houston fans - this is not real. Or at least I don't think it is.
The Texans would've snapped up Patrick Peterson had they not already possessed Johnathan Joseph (just signed a big deal) and Kareem Jackson (taken in the first round in 2010). Thus, they'd go for another five-technique, who also happens to be very talented. Marcell Dareus is definitely a great consolation prize.
Minnesota Vikings: Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU
Actual 2011 NFL Draft Pick: Christian Ponder, QB
My 2011 NFL Mock Draft Pick: Jake Locker, QB
Here's Patrick Peterson's spot. Heading into the 2011 NFL Draft, the Vikings' corners were a 34-year-old Antoine Winfield and Cedric Griffin, who was coming off a torn ACL. Peterson would've been a massive upgrade, and I think he would've been a slightly better choice than Christian Ponder.
Detroit Lions: K.J. Wright, OLB, Mississippi State
Actual 2011 NFL Draft Pick: Nick Fairley, DT
My 2011 NFL Mock Draft Pick: Cameron Jordan, DE
When your starting linebackers are some guys named Bobby Carpenter and Zack Follett, upgrades at the position are desperately needed. With that in mind, why not select one of the better outside linebackers in the NFL right now?
St. Louis Rams: Cameron Jordan, DE, California
Actual 2011 NFL Draft Pick: Robert Quinn, DE
My 2011 NFL Mock Draft Pick: Nick Fairley, DT
Much like the Texans, the Rams are screwed out of an All-Pro talent because some of the more-incompetent teams get a shot at redemption in this re-draft. Fortunately, no one in St. Louis likely cares anymore, so there's that.
The Rams end up taking a lesser player at Robert Quinn's position in this re-draft. Cameron Jordan isn't as great of a fit, but St. Louis often opted for the top player on the board. The case could be made for Jordan to hold that distinction.
Miami Dolphins: Rodney Hudson, G/C, Florida State
Actual 2011 NFL Draft Pick: Mike Pouncey, G/C
My 2011 NFL Mock Draft Pick: Mike Pouncey, G/C
The Dolphins chose Mike Pouncey in the real 2011 NFL Draft. With that in mind, Rodney Hudson makes a bit more sense. He can play the same positions, yet happens to be a better prospect.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue
Actual 2011 NFL Draft Pick: Blaine Gabbert, QB
My 2011 NFL Mock Draft Pick: Ryan Kerrigan, DE
The Jaguars can save their 12 fans several years of torture by avoiding Blaine Gabbert all together. Instead, they can take the player I mocked to them, as Ryan Kerrigan would bolster their pass rush considerably. Kerrigan has logged at least eight sacks in each of his five seasons thus far.
Go to 2011 NFL Draft Re-Mock: 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 bandwidth.
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