Chris Torres, Copy Editor:
1.Carolina Panthers- Cam Newton, QB, Auburn:
Newton is the best quarterback in this draft and possibly the best player. His talent is unquestionable; the question: is Carolina willing
to take a chance on a guy who brings along some off the field baggage?
2.Denver Broncos- Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama: The Broncos had the worst defense in the league last season and ranked 31st against the run and as a team, combined for only 23 sacks. What better way to upgrade an awful D-line than to get the best defensive lineman in the draft.
3.Buffalo Bills- Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri: Gabbert, who threw 40 touchdowns and 18 interceptions in two seasons at Missouri, is a leader and a winner, something the Bills need.
A.J. Green, WR, Georgia: Green caught 57 passes and nine touchdowns in nine games last season and at 6-4 with blazing speed, can take the top off of a defense.
Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU: The 2010 Thorpe Award winner will be a steal for Arizona if he falls this far and future Pro Bowler at the next level for sure.
Julio Jones, WR, Alabama: The Browns found themselves a quarterback last year in Colt McCoy. They will now get a premiere target for him to throw to in Jones a good route runner and the kind of vertical threat the Browns need in their passing game.
7. San Francisco 49ers- Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska
The 49ers could use a quarterback here, but I think they’ll wait. Cornerback is another need and while Amukamara may not have electrifying stats, he has the ability to scare opposing offenses.
Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn: At one point, some had Fairley slated as the No. 1 overall player. He falls right into the Tennessee
Titans lap at pick No. 8 and will bring physical presence to a young Titans defense.
Da’Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson: Season ending knee injury scares some, but the Cowboys won’t be scared if he falls to them.
10.Washington Redskins- Von Miller, OLB, Texas A&M: If Miller falls this far, the Redskins will select him. He will team up with Bryan Arakpo on what would be one of the most feared pass rush tandems in the league.
11.Houston Texans- J.J Watt, DE, Wisconsin: Watt and Mario Williams would do damage to opposing quarterbacks. In a division with Peyton Manning, the Texans could be thinking edge rusher.
12.Minnesota Vikings- Jake Locker, QB, Washington: Brett Favre is finally gone and Tarvaris Jackson is not the answer for the Vikings. Minnesota will address the quarterback position with the former Washington Husky.
13.Detroit Lions- Tyron Smith, T, USC: Quarterback Matthew Stafford is coming off yet another shoulder injury. A guy like Smith needs to be brought in to help keep Stafford upright. Jeff Backus is also getting older and 2008 first round pick Gosder Cherilus is also coming off knee surgery.
14.St. Louis Rams- Corey Liuget, DT, Illinois: The Rams would love for Julio Jones to still be available, but unfortunately for them he’s not, at least in this mock draft. They may trade up to get Jones, but option two would be to add a guy like Liuget to a very average defensive line.
15.Miami Dolphins- Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama: Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams will most likely not be re-signed which is why it looks like the 2009 Heisman Trophy winner will be taking his talents to South Beach.
16.Jacksonville Jaguars- Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue: Kerrigan impressed scouts at the NFL Combine, running a 4.67 in the 40-yard dash. The Jags need someone to rush the passer and push 2008 draft choice Derek Harvey, who has been somewhat of a disappointment thus far.
17.New England Patriots (From Oakland)- Cameron Jordan, DE, California: The Patriots are in desperate need of a pass rusher. Jordan had six sacks and 26 solo tackles last season at Cal and is a perfect fit in the Pats 3-4 defense.
18.San Diego Chargers- Muhammad Wilkerson, DT/DE, Temple: The Chargers could use a defensive end to compliment Luis Castillo and at this point, Wilkerson is the best option.
19.New York Giants- Gabe Carimi, T, Wisconsin: The Giants are getting a little long in the tooth across the O-Line. Kareem McKenzie will be going into his 11th season, while David Diehl and Shaun O’Hara will enter their ninth. Time for an upgrade, and Carimi, at 6’7,315 lbs, can be an up-and-coming franchise tackle for the G-men.
20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Robert Quinn, OLB, North Carolina:
The Bucs have been historically known for their defense and Quinn gives them a presence they haven’t had since Derrick Brooks.
21.Kansas City Chiefs- Akeem Ayers, OLB/DE, UCLA: Ayers can play outside linebacker or defensive end, something that Mike Vrabel, who’s coming of age can do.
Nate Solder, T, Colorado: Some think this pick will be used on finding Peyton Manning’s successor,
but it all starts up front and the Colts need to protect the present and the future. Solder, at 6’8, 319 lbs will be a franchise offensive tackle.
23.Philadelphia Eagles- Justin Houston, DE/OLB, Georgia: The Eagles selected a defensive end last year in Brandon Graham, but they still need an outside linebacker. Houston, like Graham can play both linebacker and D-end, which the Eagles value.
24.New Orleans Saints- Aldon Smith, DE, Missouri: The Saints could use some depth behind Alex Brown and Will Smith. At Missouri in 2010, Aldon Smith registered six sacks and 34 solo tackles.
25.Seattle Seahawks- Brandon Harris, CB, Miami: The Seahawks could use some of Harris’ talent to help a secondary which ranked 27th against the pass in 2010.
26.Baltimore Ravens- Cameron Heyward, DE, Ohio State: Heyward will bring more toughness and youth to an already tenacious Ravens D.
27. Atlanta Falcons- Kyle Rudolph, TE, Notre Dame: This will most likely be Tony Gonzalez’s
last NFL season. Although Rudolph missed the last six games at Notre Dame with a hamstring injury, he is the only tight end worthy of being taken off the board in the first round. At 6’6, 259 lbs, Rudolph, a 2010 Mackey Award finalist fits in in Atlanta.
28.New England Patriots- Mike Pouncey, C/G, Florida: With the retirement of Stephen Neal and the uncertainty of Logan Mankins future with the team, the Pats will address to O-line. Pouncey can play either center or guard, which could draw interest from Belichick since he loves versatile players.
Derek Sherrod, T, Mississippi State: In 2010, Jay Cutler was like a piñata in the Bears backfield. The Bears gave up the most sacks in the NFL last season with 56. At 6-5, 321, Sherrod can come in right away and contribute to help solve this problem.
30.New York Jets-
Phil Taylor, DT, Baylor: The Jets are said to be enamored with Taylor. With Kris Jenkins coming off two knee surgeries in the last two seasons, the defensive tackle position is an area the Jets need to address.
31.Pittsburgh Steelers- Aaron Williams, CB, Texas: Williams is versatile and can play corner or safety, a valuable trait the Steelers love.
32.Green Bay Packers-
Brooks Reed, DE/OLB, Arizona:
Expect he Super Bowl champs to continue to bolster their defense with a guy in Reed, who had seven sacks and 26 tackles
last season at Arizona.
2011 SNews Sports NFL mock draft
Chris Torres, Copy Editor: