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Chris Maier Three Round 2011 Mock Draft - Final Mock Draft


Final Mock of the season. My best guess regarding what team's will do in the 2011 NFL Draft. Excludes trades. Be sure to join NFLDraft101.com for a Live Chat Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

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| Round 1 | Round 2 | Round 3 |

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 Bills34LB/OLBVon MillerTexas A&M
 The Bills consider Blaine Gabbert but much like the rest of the league there are questions regarding whether he is a true franchise QB. Instead, the Bills opt to fill their need for a pass rusher off the edge to make their 3-4 defense work. Miller's experience in the 3-4 at Texas A&M makes him less of a risk than most rush linebackers.
4Cincinnati BengalsWRA.J. Green #Georgia
 Like Buffalo, Cincinnati will take a long hard look at Blaine Gabbert but are likely to opt for the player considered by many to be the top playmaker in the draft in AJ Green. Wide receivers are known to have a high bust rate but Green appears to have the "IT" factor of an elite wide receiver. His presence should help alleviate the pressure on whomever the quarterback ends up being. Given Johnathan Joseph's possible free agency and Leon Hall entering the last year of his contract, a Patrick Peterson selection is not out of the question.
5Arizona CardinalsCBPatrick Peterson #LSU
 If Von Miller is off the board, the Cardinals attention turns to Gabbert and Peterson. With the coaches in a win now mode, expect the Cardinals to go the veteran QB route and opt for Peterson to upgrade a shaky secondary. Peterson has elite cover skills and excels in the type of physical coverage the Cardinals prefer. As the number one rated player on many draft boards it is hard to believe Peterson won't go in the top 5.
6Cleveland BrownsDE/34LBRobert Quinn #North Carolina
 Julio Jones will be tempting but a quick look at the Browns depth chart at defensive end and defensive tackle serves as 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. If Gabbert is still on the board do not be surprised if the Browns opt to trade out of the spot to add picks to help fill their multiple front seven needs on defense.
7San Francisco 49ersQBBlaine Gabbert #Missouri
 As much as the 49ers would like to draft Patrick Peterson or Prince Amukamara, the presence of Gabbert on the board will be hard to pass up for a team whose only quarterback under contract is David Carr. Gabbert may not be elite but he is the top rated quarterback in the draft and his tools and work ethic will make him an excellent fit for Jim Harbaugh's QB friendly scheme.
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 is a possibility with Andy Dalton and Jake Locker the top candidates. If Gabbert makes it past the Bills and Bengals the Titans may be poised to trade up to get him.
9Dallas CowboysOTTyron Smith #USC
 Under Jerry Jones the Cowboys have a tendency to telegraph their interest in players leading up to the draft (see Felix Jones and Dez Bryant). This year high upside tackle Tyron Smith has been the apple in the team's eye and when combined with the team's need at the position means odds are he is the pick. If the Cowboys go elsewhere JJ Watt or Prince Amukamara are the backup options. Don't rule out a trade up for Patrick Peterson either.
10Washington RedskinsQBJake LockerWashington
 Let me concede that this will be the most controversial pick in this mock especially with Julio Jones on the board but here is the rationale behind the selection. For starters, the quarterback market in this year's draft is scary with 10 of the teams in the top 16 having some degree of quarterback need. This likely means the team's options in round two will be limited. The Redskins lack of a 3rd and 4th round pick limits their ability to trade back into round two. The failure of Donovan McNabb likely means they will need to go the rookie route. Lastly, it will be easier to find a wide receiver in round two than it will be find a quarterback. Yes, Locker has flaws but he has the physical tools and work ethic to excel in Mike Shanahan's scheme. This wouldn't be the first time Shanahan made a surprise QB move.
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. Other possibilities include Prince Amukamara, Cameron Jordan and JJ Watt. Amukamara in particular is hard to pass but the team's shift to the 3-4 may make the front seven a higher priority.
12Minnesota VikingsDECameron JordanCalifornia
 Like many teams in the top half of the draft the Vikings will be tempted to reach for a quarterback here rather than go without but the feeling is they will 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 Anthony Castonzo will receive consideration for this pick.
13Detroit LionsCBPrince AmukamaraNebraska
 Amukamara's presence on the board would be a pleasant surprise for the Lions, allowing them to fill their top defensive need with an elite talent. Would be an excellent pick, but finding a blindside protector outside of round one will be a difficult proposition this year. If Amukamara is not available don't be surprised if the Lions go talent rather than need with a best player available pick such as Da'Quan Bowers.
14Los Angeles RamsWRJulio Jones #Alabama
 While on the surface this pick looks too good to be true, the reality is of the team's in front of the Rams, only the Bengals, Browns, Redskins and Vikings have been linked to Green/Jones and each has other pressing needs. There is no doubt Jones would be a great fit in the team's scheme as Bradford's go-to guy. As good as Jones is physically, his inconsistent hands do make him riskier than his press clippings would lead you to believe. On the flipside, playing in Alabama's conservative offense may have only allowed him to scratch the surface of his potential.
15Miami DolphinsGMike PounceyFlorida
 After inserting Mark Ingram in this slot for the last three months, the only thing I am certain about at fifteen is Mark Ingram won't be the pick. This is the hardest pick to peg thus far with Pouncey and QB Ryan Mallett being the top two candidates. Pouncey is considered by most to be the best interior lineman in the draft and wins out as the Dolphins look to improve the offense from the inside out. If they go quarterback Ryan Mallet makes the most sense as his NFL ready game may allow a coaching staff on the hot seat to overlook his character concerns.
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 is a possibility as well but the Jaguars' tendency is to take their kind of guy, is why Kerrigan and his lunch pail style is likely to win 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. Rush linebacker Brooks Reed and running back Mark Ingram are also possibilities for this pick.
18Los Angeles ChargersDTMuhammad Wilkerson #Temple
 Wilkerson would be a bit of a surprise but the Chargers have a need at the five technique and prefer guys who possess a little pass rush ability at the five technique. AJ Smith often thinks outside the box and Wilkerson is that type of pick. A pass rusher such as Brooks Reed or even a right tackle such as Gabe Carimi are other directions the Chargers may go.
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. Da'Quan Bowers name is also a possibility but even the Giants can take a BPA defensive end so many times. Given Brandon Jacobs declining stature do not rule out a Mark Ingram selection.
20Tampa Bay BuccaneersDEDa'Quan Bowers #Clemson
 This is one of the easiest picks in the mock as long as Bowers is on the board. 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. He is not a pure speed rusher but plays with tremendous power and displayed a strong two-way game this past season. If he slides due to knee concerns Tampa appears to be as far as he slides.
21Kansas City ChiefsOTGabe CarimiWisconsin
 Anyone who saw the Chiefs play last season knows the team needs to upgrade at the right tackle position. Enter Carimi, a mauler who fits the mold of a Scott Pioli pick: Team captain, All-American, Academic All-Big Ten, etc. NT Phil Taylor is another option as finding an anchor on the interior defensive line is one of the team's other top priorities.
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 EaglesCBJimmy SmithColorado
 Finding a cornerback to play opposite Asante Samuel is considered to be the Eagles top need this off-season and in Jimmy Smith they would be adding a corner who coverage abilities are on par with Patrick Peterson and Prince Amukamara. His combination of size, speed and physical play would be an ideal fit for the Eagle secondary. Equally important, the team's discipline and locker room may be strong enough to manage Smith's character concerns.
24New Orleans SaintsOLB/34LBAkeem Ayers #UCLA
 The Saints are looking to upgrade in the defensive front seven. Ayers would provide a capable running mate for fellow linebacker Jonathan Vilma. Scheme wise his pass rushing ability makes him an excellent fit for Gregg Williams' aggressive attack.
25Seattle SeahawksGDanny WatkinsBaylor
 Seattle will take a long look at the remaining quarterbacks with this pick but coming off a playoff season, upgrading the offensive line may be a higher priority. In Watkins, they would be getting an immediate starter who would powerful presence on the interior along with the ability to swing outside if need be.
26Baltimore RavensDECameron HeywardOhio State
 The Ravens defense is beginning to show its age with the most immediate holes are at defensive end (where Trevor Pryce is unlikely to return) and cornerback. Heyward is not a sexy pass rusher but rather is a lunchpail type who anchors at the point of attack and is capable of disrupting plays in both the run and passing game. Other first round possibilities include an offensive tackle such as Nate Solder or a speedy wide receiver such as Torrey Smith.
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. Two other names to watch out for on draft day are TE Kyle Rudolph and WR Torrey Smith.
28New England PatriotsRBMark Ingram #Alabama
 There are three givens in life: death, taxes and the Patriots trading down to accumulate picks. Given the number of quarterback needy teams, this and the Pats 33rd overall selection are seen as prime trade chips. However, if they keep the pick do not be surprised if the Patriots draft the former Heisman Trophy winner to serve as the bellcow back the team has lacked since their last Super Bowl victory. Ingram does not wow with measureables but it is his tremendous vision that separates him from a crowded running back class. His underrated receiving ability and Belichick's Saban ties are other factors in Ingram's favor here.
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. His ability to collapse the pocket and command double team's would aid the team's attacking scheme. The biggest concern with filling the nose tackle position here is whether they to find a much needed pass rusher when they select again at the end of round three.
31Pittsburgh SteelersGBenjamin IjalanaVillanova
 The Steelers have played smoke and mirrors with their offensive line the past few years and it is only a matter of time before it takes its toll on quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. The selection of Maurkice Pouncey last season was a step in the right direction but adding another top talent along the front line is a must. Ijalana would be drafted to fill the team's need at left tackle but may need to be groomed for a season at guard. If the Steelers prefer to go defensive with this pick, cornerback or defensive line are possibilities.
32Green Bay PackersDE/34LBBrooks ReedArizona
 Ideally the Packers would prefer to select one of the top five techniques but with those players off the board, the Packers switch gears to finding a pass rusher to play opposite Clay Matthews. Reed's stock has soared during the draft process as his underrated athleticism and comfort playing standing up has drawn comparisons to Matthews when he was coming out.

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