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NFL Draft 101 Staff Seven Round 2011 Mock Draft - Updated Staff Mock Draft


The staff of NFLDraft101.com met to update the seven round mock draft. Fran Duffy, Doug Lancy, Chris Maier, and Dan Wernery use their expertise to provide insight into the 2011 NFL Draft in two weeks.

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| Round 1 | Round 2 | Round 3 | Round 4 | Round 5 | Round 6 | Round 7 |

Round 1

1Carolina PanthersQBCam Newton #Auburn
 While the draft community has mixed reaction to Cam Newton's NFL prospects, buzz continues to build in Carolina regarding Newton being the target with the first overall pick. Newton has the physical tools to develop into an elite signal caller and energize the fan base but his work ethic will and character will ultimately determine his fate. There is still an outside chance the Panthers select Blaine Gabbert instead but the quarterback die appears to have been tossed as there is little support for Jimmy Clausen coming out of Carolina.
2Denver BroncosDTMarcell Dareus #Alabama
 With the Bills rumored to be targeting a quarterback at number three the Broncos may have the leverage to trade down and accumulate picks but if they stay at number two Dareus appears to be the selection. His ability to both penetrate in the backfield and anchor at the point of attack make him the top defensive tackle in this year's draft and fills the Broncos need to fortify the defensive front four as they transition to the 4-3.
3Buffalo BillsQBBlaine Gabbert #Missouri
 Ryan Fitzpatrick played capably last season but is not viewed as the long term solution for a franchise which has struggled at the position since Jim Kelly retired. Gabbert has excellent tools and his transition from the spread will be eased by Gailey's shotgun heavy offense. The ability to learn under Fitzpatrick for up to a year makes Buffalo and excellent situation for a rookie QB. If the Bills pass on the quarterback expect the pick to be OLB Von Miller.
4Cincinnati BengalsWRA.J. Green #Georgia
 With Gabbert and Newton off the board, the Bengals decision focused on WR AJ Green and CB Patrick Peterson. Considering the likely absence of Carson Palmer and Ocho Cinco, the Bengals opt for a playmaker at wide receiver in an effort to make things easier on whomever the team opts for at quarterback. Green is the best receiver to come out since Calvin Johnson and would combine with Jermaine Gresham, Jerome Simpson and Jordan Shipley to give the Bengals an excellent young core of receivers to build around.
5Arizona Cardinals34LB/OLBVon MillerTexas A&M
 Miller is the young pass rusher the Cardinals defense has lacked in recent seasons. He is the consensus top rush linebacker in the draft and one of the safest options at the position in recent seasons thanks to his experience in the scheme. There was brief discussion of Patrick Peterson here but was quickly shot down as pass rush was identified as the biggest issue for the team's pass defense.
6Cleveland BrownsDE/34LBRobert Quinn #North Carolina
 Julio Jones was tempting but a quick look at the Browns depth chart at defensive end and defensive tackle served a reminder of the project ahead in transitioning back to the 4-3. Quinn was forced to sit out last season due to NCAA violations but is arguably the best pure 4-3 pass rusher in the draft. He is a little bit of a gamble on potential but the quickest way to rebuild a defensive line is to find a difference maker and Quinn has the skillset to be the top defensive end in this year's vaunted class.
7San Francisco 49ersCBPatrick Peterson #LSU
 It is hard to believe the player considered the most talented in the draft by many will fall all the way to seventh but the 49ers will not complain if he does. Aside from quarterback, corner is considered the team's biggest need.
8Tennessee TitansDTNick Fairley #Auburn
 Back in January, Fairley was the hot pick to go number one overall to the Panthers but scrutiny during the draft process has caused him to slide on character concerns. The Titans have struggled to win the battles in the trenches since Albert Haynesworth left and Fairley would give them a disruptor on the interior. Like several team's behind them a quarterback reach or trade back is also a possibility.
9Dallas CowboysCBPrince AmukamaraNebraska
 In a mild surprise, the Cowboys opt to fill a need in the secondary over issues on the offensive and defensive lines. In Amukamara they would have a potential number one corner to replace the fading Terrence Newman. Amukamara's physical style would be a refreshing change in the Dallas secondary as well.
10Washington RedskinsWRJulio Jones #Alabama
 Following conventional wisdom, the Redskins select Jones to fill the team's need for a wide receiver. He has an excellent combination of size and speed not to mention excellent intangibles. If Jones is not the pick, don't be surprised if they reach for a quarterback or trade back as sitting at number 9 in round 2 may severely limit their options to fill that need in round 2.
11Houston TexansDE/34LBAldon Smith #Missouri
 The Texans are in major need of defensive help and with the change to a 3-4 defense this season, finding players to fit the scheme will be a priority on draft day. By selecting the raw but athletic Smith, the Texans are hoping he can develop into their version of DeMarcus Ware in Wade Phillips defense. The other primary considerations were Cameron Jordan and JJ Watt.
12Minnesota VikingsDECameron JordanCalifornia
 Like the Titans and Redskins before them the Vikings are tempted to reach for a quarterback here rather than go without but ultimately opt to fill their need at defensive end with Cameron Jordan (son of former Viking TE Steve Jordan). Jordan is often pigeon holed as a five technique after playing the position at Cal but demonstrated his ability to play the 4-3 in a dominant performance at the Senior Bowl. Jordan may not be a dominant pass rusher but is one of the best all-around defensive ends in this year's class. His workman-like game would make an excellent complement to Jared Allen. Besides quarterback and defensive end, offensive linemen Mike Pouncey and Tyron Smith were in the discussion for this pick.
13Detroit LionsOTTyron Smith #USC
 While the Lions may prefer CB Prince Amukamara be available, being forced to audible to offensive tackle may be in the best interests of the franchise and its quarterback Matthew Stafford. Tyron Smith is a bit of a projection after playing the right side at USC but is considered by many to be the top left tackle prospect in the draft based on his athleticism and skill as a pass protector. DE Da'Quan Bowers was discussed as a potential option based on Martin Mayhew's preference for best player available.
14Los Angeles RamsDTMuhammad Wilkerson #Temple
 With Julio Jones and Prince Amukamara off the board, the Rams found themselves in a virtual no man's land as the best players on the board did not meet their needs at wide receiver, defensive tackle, outside linebacker, cornerback or safety. After debating Jimmy Smith and Akeem Ayers (among a cast of thousands), the selectors opted for Wilkerson and his Justin Tuck-like pass rush ability. While sounding like a reach on the surface, Wilkerson's game fits Spagnuolo's scheme quite well.
15Miami DolphinsQBRyan Mallett #Arkansas
 The uncertainty of the lockout combined with the team's lack of confidence in Chad Henne puts the Dolphins in a quarterback quandary on draft day. Knowing the coaching staff is on the hot seat, a rookie quarterback is a gamble and thus select Ryan Mallet the quarterback many consider to have the most NFL ready game. Mallett has major character concerns but if the Dolphins do not take a QB here there will not likely be one to take in round 3. Mark Ingram was discussed but a deep running back class would allow them to fill that need when they pick again in round 3.
16Jacksonville JaguarsDERyan KerriganPurdue
 Kerrigan is a throwback player in the Jack Del Rio mold who would fill the team's need at defensive end. He is not the most athletic or physically imposing end but he is tenacious player who is always around the football (44.5 TFL, 25.5 Sacks and 12 FF the past two years). Da'Quan Bowers was discussed but the Jaguars' tendency to take their kind of guy, is why Kerrigan and his lunch pail style won out.
17New England PatriotsDEJ.J. Watt #Wisconsin
 The Patriots are looking to return their defense to an elite level in this draft and adding arguably the best five technique in the draft at number 17 is a good start. Watt has a freakish combination of size and athleticism but it is his motor that will make him a tremendous pro. Dominated this past season despite playing just two seasons as a defensive end. The other player discussed was Mark Ingram who was tempting but Watt was too good of a fit to pass on.
18San Diego ChargersOTGabe CarimiWisconsin
 With JJ Watt going right in front of them, the Chargers switch to the other side of the ball and select Carimi. After watching the offense struggle to run the football the past two seasons, the addition of the best run blocking tackle in the draft would be a step in returning balance to the Chargers already potent offense.
19New York GiantsOTAnthony CastonzoBoston College
 If the Giants want to return to the playoffs they know that upgrading the offensive line is a must. The addition of a smart, fundamentally sound left tackle such as Castonzo would allow them to move LT David Diehl inside creating an upgrade at two spots in the process. There was some debate as to which tackle to take but Coughlin's BC ties won out. Da'Quan Bowers name was mentioned but even the Giants can take a BPA defensive end so many times.
20Tampa Bay BuccaneersDEDa'Quan Bowers #Clemson
 This was one of the easiest picks in the mock. The Buccaneers are known to take some chances on draft day and have a major need at defensive end making them an ideal landing spot for Bowers. Knee concerns were the primary reason for his slide.
21Kansas City ChiefsGMike PounceyFlorida
 A mild surprise but Scott Pioli values the offensive line and knows Brian Waters and Casey Wiegmann won't last forever. Few teams have been as good at plugging draftees into their starting lineup than Kansas City and Pouncey would be a safe bet to continue the streak. The other primary player discussed was Phil Taylor but he seems a little riskier (work ethic concerns) than Pioli likes to be in round 1.
22Indianapolis ColtsOTDerek SherrodMississippi State
 The Colts know they need to do a better job of opening holes in the ground game and keeping Peyton Manning healthy as he gets older making offensive line a 2011 priority. In Sherrod, the Colts would not be getting the biggest name but might be getting the best all-around tackle as he is equally adept as a run and pass blocker and has the versatility to play the right or left side. Also, has a high football IQ and has the look of a Colts lineman.
23Philadelphia EaglesGDanny WatkinsBaylor
 In an effort to keep Michael Vick healthy the Eagles look to make the offensive line a focus in the 2011 NFL Draft. In Watkins, the Eagles would be adding a a physical lineman with tremendous anchor and versatility. Played tackle at Baylor but lack of length project him to move inside in the NFL. The former firefighter and hockey player fits the mold of a rugged, interior mauler who should be able to contribute right away.
24New Orleans SaintsRBMark Ingram #Alabama
 After re-signing Pierre Thomas in the off-season, the Saints surprise with the selection of Ingram but his exceptional vision and ability to move the pile as a runner is an element missing in the Saints offense. While the Saints were targeting a defender in this spot, the draft room felt this was a best player available situation for a team whose backfield was decimated by injuries last season.
25Seattle SeahawksQBJake LockerWashington
 Matt Hasselbeck may or may not be back in Seattle next season but irregardless, Charlie Whitehurst is no longer viewed as the heir apparent after struggling in limited action last season. In Locker, the Seahawks would be getting a quarterback with tremendous physical tools who would benefit best from sitting for a year to recover from the beating he took as a 4 year starter at Washington. While many are down on Locker for his lack of accuracy, he has the skillset to develop into an NFL starter. Locker is a feisty leader who played a major role in bringing the Huskies back to respectability and few question his desire, work ethic and leadership ability.
26Baltimore RavensCBJimmy SmithColorado
 The Ravens have a major need at the cornerback position and Smith and his physical style are an excellent fit for the team's aggressive scheme. More importantly, the Ravens have the type of locker room to motivate and keep Smith in line providing him the best opportunity to reach his potential.
27Atlanta FalconsDEAdrian ClaybornIowa
 Clayborn is a hard working, powerful defensive end with the skillset to develop into the dynamic pass rusher the Falcons need. He was considered a possible top 10 pick after a 11.5 sack/20.0 TFL season in 2009 but slides due to a down senior season and concerns about Erb's palsy in his right shoulder.
28New England Patriots34LB/OLBJustin Houston #Georgia
 Houston is not the most explosive rush linebacker in the draft but has a good nose for the quarterback. His experience playing in the 3-4 at Georgia will ease his transition to the pro game and allow him to provide an immediate impact for a Patriots defense in need of a pass rusher.
29Chicago BearsOTNate Solder #Colorado
 After watching Jay Cutler harassed behind poor protection last season, the Bears enter the draft focused on upgrading along the front line. While they will likely take the best offensive lineman available, the hope is that one of the top five left tackle prospects slide to them here. Solder's rare size and athleticism have scouts raving about his upside but the converted tight end is still raw from a development standpoint and needs to anchor better.
30New York JetsDTPhil TaylorBaylor
 Taylor has been flying up draft boards after a strong performance at the combine and Senior Bowl. He is the consensus number one nose tackle in the draft and a player whom the Jets could plug into Kris Jenkins' old position. He is not the pass rusher the Jets need but his ability to collapse the pocket and command double team's would aid the team's attacking scheme.
31Pittsburgh SteelersDECameron HeywardOhio State
 With the tackle position picked clean, the Steelers attention shifts to the defensive side of the ball where age is beginning to creep in especially along the front line. While a 5 technique is a bit of a surprise, Brett Keisel and Aaron Smith can not man the front forever and Heyward has the motor and intensity to be an ideal fit at the position. Offensive guards were considered but the Steelers long-term focus and best player available mentality resulted in Heyward's selection.
32Green Bay PackersGBenjamin IjalanaVillanova
 With Cameron Heyward going off the board right in front of them, the Packers shift gears to the other side of the line and select highly regarded Ijalana. He has the athleticism to play left tackle but may lack the size may force a shift inside. The Packers will use him as depth as a rookie while determining which position suits him best. He could combine with Bryan Bulaga to give the Packers their bookend tackles for the next 5-10 years.

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