2011 NFL Mock Draft: Top Ten Picks

Jan 21, 2011


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Here’s my first look at the top ten picks for the upcoming 2011 NFL Draft (assuming there is one). Click here for the most recent mock that includes the whole first round.
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1.  Carolina Panthers:  Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn:  This is a copycat league. The two most successful rookies last year were QB Sam Bradford and DT Ndamukong Suh. Since Luck isn’t in the mix, the Panthers will take the best DT in the draft.
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2.  Denver Broncos:   Da’Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson:  Elvis Dumervil’s return will improve the pass rush, but the John Fox will want to add some insurance. Assuming Bowers kills it at the combine, he’ll likely be a top two selection.
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3.  Buffalo Bills:  Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama:  As bad as the Bills were at stopping the run last year, adding reinforcements is a necessity.
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4.  Cincinnati Bengals:  A.J. Green, WR, Georgia:  The Bengals need an infusion of talent at the wide receiver position. Jerome Simpson was solid at the end of the year, but nobody is game planning for him. Green is practically a can’t miss prospect at WR. Cincy would be nuts to pass on him.
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5.  Arizona Cardinals:  Robert Quinn:  There isn’t a quarterback in the draft that would put the memory of the Matt Leinart experiment behind the Cardinals. They need help pressuring the quarterback and Quinn is one of the premier options.
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6.  Cleveland Browns:  Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU:  The Browns would be on the fast track to shutting down Big Ben, Joe Flacco, and company with two young, elite talents at cornerback if they could unite Patrick Peterson with last year’s number one pick Joe Haden.
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7.  San Francisco 49ers:  Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska:  The best talent in this draft is on the defensive side of the ball. Amukamara is a shade behind Peterson, but is easily considered one of the best corners available.
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8.  Tennessee Titans:  Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri:  Vince Young had his moments for Tennessee, but ultimately it didn’t work out. The Titans need to a franchise signal calller and Gabbert, at least pre-combine, is the top rated QB available.
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9.  Dallas Cowboys:  Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa:  Despite Dallas’ struggles, it’s hard to predict what they will do in the draft. If both corners are off the board, they’ll likely move down. Clayborn would give them another solid pass rusher.
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10.  Washington Redskins:  Cam Newton, QB, Auburn:  McNabb didn’t work out. Shanahan will almost certainly address the quarterback need early in the draft. Newton has great size and athletic ability, and as long as he does well leading up to the draft, he’s likely a top ten pick.

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