2011 NFL mock draft

DAN BILICKI, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:50 PM ET

If there’s one universal theme to this year’s NFL off-season, without a doubt it is uncertainty. And I’m not talking just about the on-going labour negotiations either; the top of this year’s draft is more murky than usual. Not only are we unsure about which player will go first, we’re unsure about which players are ranked atop their respective positions.

The quarterback pool is especially volatile. The minute that sure-fire No.1 pick Andrew Luck opted to stay in school, the debate between Cam Newton and Blaine Gabbert reached new heights.

While the picks here are certain to change, here’s a snapshot of where we see the draft going right now.

1. Carolina — Marcell Dareus, DT-DE, Alabama

When defensive coaches take over teams, they draft defensive players to build around first.

2. Denver — Von Miller, LB, Texas A&M

Pairing Miller with the returning Elvis Dumervil gives the Broncos a feared pass rush.

3. Buffalo — Cam Newton, QB, Auburn

Bills fans get their wish by grabbing a franchise QB, too bad the defence will still stink.

4. Cincinnati — A.J. Green, WR, Georgia

Doubt that Chad Ochocinco will be back and Green is a great replacement.

5. Arizona — Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri

The Cardinals may be more interested in a veteran QB, but you can’t pass on this much potential.

6. Cleveland — Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn

One of the draft’s elite players. Comes with value, but some motivation issues.

7. San Francisco — Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU

Niners get one of the top-rated players in the draft and fill a big need.

8. Tennessee — Robert Quinn, DE, North Carolina

Some questions Quinn’s resume, but he has all the right vitals.

9. Dallas — Tyron Smith, OT, USC

Address the offensive line over pass defence, where the real problem is at safety.

10. Washington — Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska

Second-worst pass defence in the league gets a huge shot in the arm.

11. Houston — Cameron Jordan, DE, California

Miss out on the two top CBs, will try to improve terrible pass defence with a pass rush.

12. Minnesota — Da’Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson

Some question Bowers’ health, but he’ll have plenty of time to recover this off-season.

13. Detroit — Julio Jones, WR, Alabama

Can you imagine the fits that a tandem like Jones and Calvin Johnson will cause?

14. St. Louis — Corey Luiget, DT, Illinois

He has been rocketing up draft boards and the Rams just missed out on Jones in this mock.

15. Miami — Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama

Dolplhins lack a running back and this is a match made in heaven, no?

16. Jacksonville — Aldon Smith, DE-LB, Missouri

Jags once again try to answer question: How many DEs can you draft and still not get to the passer?

17. New England — Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College

There are a few directions can go, but the Pats should fill this hole if they don’t trade down.

18. San Diego — J.J. Watt, DE-OLB, Wisconsin

Not a lot of holes, but he’s moving up a lot of boards and provides a versatile pass-rush option.

19. New York Giants — Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin

Their once mighty offensive line is getting older and less stable these days.

20. Tampa Bay — Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue

Worked out as a OLB and DE for many teams and he has the type of motor coaches love.

21. Kansas City — Muhammed Wilkerson, DT, Temple

Look for Wilkinson’s stock to rise; you can’t teach the type of size he has.

22. Indianapolis — Nate Solder, OT, Colorado

Colts seriously need some offensive line help and he fits the bill nicely.

23. Philadelphia — Mike Pouncey, OG-C

He shouldn’t be confused for his brother, but still a solid O-line prospect.

24. New Orleans — Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa

Moving up a lot of charts and could easily go up to ten spots higher.

25. Seattle — Jake Locker, QB, Washington

Let’s be realistic here: There will never be a Charlie Whitehurst era in Seattle.

26. Baltimore — Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado

Cornerback has been a sore spot for the Ravens for a long time now.

27. Atlanta — Cameron Heyward, DE, Ohio State

Lack of pass rush seriously exposed in the playoffs by the Packers.

28. New England — Akeem Ayers, OLB, UCLA

Another pick, another building block to plug a hole and continue rolling on.

29. Chicago — Derek Sherrod, OT Mississippi State

The Bears pass-blocking trouble was well documented last season.

30. New York Jets — Phil Taylor, DT, Baylor

Let go of the oft-injured Kris Jenkins and will need a run-stuffing replacement.

31. Pittsburgh — Aaron Williams, CB, Texas

It’s no secret that their corner backs were the weak spot on an otherwise stellar defence.

32. Green Bay — Justin Houston, OLB, Georgia

Getting another pass-rushing ’backer to book-end Clay Matthews could be deadly.


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