2011 NFL Mock Draft 4.0: Patrick Peterson to the Bills?

University of Alabama quarterback TC McCarney (8) runs for a first down past Louisiana State University cornerback Patrick Peterson (7) during their NCAA football game in Baton Rouge, Louisiana November 6, 2010. LSU won the game 24-21. REUTERS/Sean Gardner (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

It’s amazing that it’s been over a month since I last compiled a mock draft. I mean, with all of the free agency rumors flying around the web these days, I find my decision not to release an updated mock rather irresponsible.

Oh wait, that’s right: There is no free agency. Thank YOU, NFL players and owners…you unbelievable bums.

With a week left to go, here’s my latest crack at predicting the first round of 2011 NFL Draft. I’ll send out one final mock next week before we do the damn thing at Radio City Music Hall on April 28.

View NFL Mock Draft 3.0

1. Carolina Panthers: Cam Newton, QB, Auburn
The Panthers have been tight-lipped about who they’re taking, and they should be. Hey, it’s not like they can fire up contract talks with Newton’s agent seeing as how there’s no CBA currently in place. It’s time for the Panthers to settle on a franchise quarterback and even though there are plenty of warning signs surrounding Newton, I believe he’ll be their pick.

2. Denver Broncos: Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama
The Broncos have several needs, including safety, tight end and running back. But John Fox is a defensive-minded coach and defensive tackle is arguably the team’s biggest need, making Dareus the pick here.

3. Buffalo Bills: Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU
Is cornerback a pressing need for the Bills? No. Was running back a pressing need for the Bills last year when they took C.J. Spiller? For the second year in a row, I think GM Buddy Nix will take the best player available, regardless of position. And seeing as how Peterson is viewed as the most complete player in the draft, I like his chances of winding up in Buffalo.

4. Cincinnati Bengals: Julio Jones, WR, Alabama
The Bengals seem dead set on bringing back Carson Palmer, even though he seems dead set on retiring if the team doesn’t trade him this offseason. T.O. won’t be back next year and Chad Ochocinco’s days in Cincinnati are running out as well. Jones has really impressed teams this offseason with his blend of size, speed and route-running ability. Some believe he’s a better prospect than Georgia’s A.J. Green.

5. Arizona Cardinals: Von Miller, LB, Texas A&M
Miller might be gone by this pick but if everything breaks right, I like Arizona selecting him at this spot. The Cardinals desperately lack a pass-rushing presence at the linebacker position and Miller can really get after the quarterback. So you do the math, buck-o.

6. Cleveland Browns: A.J. Green, WR, Georgia
Mike Holmgren is slowly adding pieces to his West Coast Offense and it’s time for him to find his Jerry Rice. Jones would arguably be a better fit for the Browns because of his blocking ability, but Holmgren wouldn’t complain if Green fell to him here. The former Georgia product can help aid in the development of Colt McCoy.

7. San Francisco 49ers: Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska
This team is hard to figure out. They would seemingly like to bring back Alex Smith for one year and take a QB in one of the first two rounds to groom this season. But they could always wait and draft their signal caller of the future next year. San Fran also has needs along the defensive line and at linebacker, making Nick Fairley and Robert Quinn possibilities at this pick as well. They would do back-flips if Peterson fell to them here, but with him off the board they’ll go with the next best thing in Amukamara.

Read the rest of this entry »

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

2011 NFL Mock Draft 3.0: The Rise of Cam Newton

Auburn Tigers Heisman Trophy wining quarterback Cam Newton warms up for the Tigers game against the Oregon Ducks at the BCS Championship game at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, AZ, January 10,2011. UPI/Art Foxall

I’ll tell you what sports fans, I don’t know how anyone can compile a mock draft these days without wanting to slam his or her head on their desk about 25 times. I’ve made roughly 6,000 changes to this latest mock since the scouting combine wrapped up and I still hate it.

I hate it!

One thing I don’t hate is the addition John Paulsen has brought to Mock 3.0. He’s a statistical madman and recently thought of the idea to use players’ combine numbers to draw comparisons to prospects from previous years. He explains in more detail below.

More Draft Content: NFL Mock Draft 1.0 | NFL Mock Draft 2.0 | Ten Combine Winners | Ingram’s 40 Time an Issue? | Thoughts on QBs

John: I compared each prospect’s combine scores with players from the last six combines to determine the best athletic comparison. There are eight categories: height, weight, 40-yard dash, shuttle, 3-cone, vertical leap, broad jump and bench press. Not all prospects compete in all six tests, so certain comparisons are more confident than others.

Realize that we’re not suggesting that these players will turn into their comparisons – we’re simply saying that athletically, this is whom each prospect compares to based on their combine numbers.

All right, let’s rock out with our mocks out…what?

No. 1 Carolina Panthers: Cam Newton, QB, Auburn
I’m not going to run from the fact that this is now the sexy mock pick, but it does make sense. Ron Rivera attended Newton’s Pro Day recently and the Auburn QB looked sharp. Blaine Gabbert is still a possibility here and so is Patrick Peterson but at the end of the day, the Panthers might as well go big or go home. There isn’t a more polarizing player in this entire draft than Newton, who is the very definition of “boom or bust.”
Combine Comparisons: Vince Young; Tim Tebow.

Read the rest of this entry »

2011 Pre-Combine NFL Mock Draft: Will Nick Fairley go No. 1?

It has only been a week since I released my first mock draft and I’ve already found myself waking up in a cold sweat thinking about whom I mocked too high, too low or not at all. So with the NFL scouting combine ready to kick off, I’ve gone mocking again this week…

Check out 2011 NFL Mock Draft 1.0.

1. Carolina Panthers: Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn
Mock 1.0 Pick: Blaine Gabbert
I had Gabbert going to the Panthers in my first mock because that seems to be the default thinking. But I’m starting to buy into the notion that new head coach Ron Rivera will try to build his defense first and while Jimmy Clausen haters will disagree, defensive tackle is actually Carolina’s most pressing need heading into the draft. Fairley was one of the most dominant defensive players in the country last season and can play several positions along the D-line.

2. Denver Broncos: D’aQuan Bowers, DE, Clemson
Mock 1.0 Pick: Nick Fairley
Defensive tackle is a bigger need for the Broncos, which is why I had them selecting Nick Fairley in my first mock. But there are a couple of factors that now lead me to believe they’ll select Bowers here. The first is that they’re switching back to a 4-3 and Justin Hunter is the only potential 4-3 end they have on the roster. Elvis Dumervil will be healthy again, but can he be as effective in his old end spot as he was as a 3-4 OLB? In his first draft with the Panthers, John Fox selected a defensive end with the second overall pick and I think that turned out pretty well. (Uh, until that defensive end signed with Chicago last season.)

3. Buffalo Bills: Cam Newton, QB, Auburn
Mock 1.0 Pick: Newton
The opinions on Newton vary. Some believe he’s sure to go in the top-10 while others think he’ll fall into the second round. I’m somewhere in between. He certainly has the size and athletic ability to be a top-5 pick but there are questions about whether or not he can run a pro-style offense . That’s why Buffalo is an intriguing landing spot for him. Chan Gailey likes quarterbacks who can run and are versatile, which obviously fits Newton. Will the Bills think highly enough of him to take him at No. 3 though? There are obvious questions about his character, too.

4. Cincinnati Bengals: A.J. Green, WR, Georgia
Mock 1.0 Pick: Bowers
I had Bowers going to the Bengals at this spot in my first mock, but with him off the board they fill a major need with Green (who is the most NFL-ready prospect in the entire draft). T.O. is a free agent and won’t be back and I don’t see the Bengals paying Chad Ochocinco the $6 million he’s owed in the final year of his contract. Green will become the new face of the team’s receiving corps.

5. Arizona Cardinals: Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri
Mock 1.0 Pick: Tryon Smith
The Cardinals may have faith in John Skelton, but if Gabbert falls into their laps I find it hard to believe that Ken Whisenhunt wouldn’t pull the trigger. The concerns about Gabbert are just: he ran the spread in college and there are some scouts who think he’ll have trouble being a leader at the next level. But he certainly has the size, arm strength and accuracy to succeed and there’s no doubt Arizona needs to establish consistency at the quarterback position.

Read the rest of this entry »

2011 NFL Mock Draft 1.0

Missouri Tigers quarterback Blaine Gabbert runs onto the field for a game against the Oklahoma Sooners at Faurot Field in Columbia, Missouri on October 23, 2010. UPI/Bill Greenblatt

2011 NFL Draft Needs: AFC East | AFC North | NFC East | NFC North

I usually don’t release my first mock draft until after the scouting combine, but if devote one more post to Albert Pujols’ contract situation I think my head will explode.

This is an extremely rough draft, one in which I’m basically just trying to match needs. With it only being February 14, it’s hard to do much else at this point.

1. Carolina Panthers: Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri
Carolina’s biggest need may actually be defensive tackle, which is why Auburn’s Nick Fairley is being talked about at this spot. But if you have the chance to draft a franchise quarterback with your first pick, you don’t pass on that opportunity. There have been reports that Gabbert’s stock is falling, but I don’t buy that. He’s got great size, a strong arm and is an accurate passer. What more do you want out of a quarterback prospect?

2. Denver Broncos: Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn
The Broncos’ top two needs are cornerback and defensive tackle, so with the Panthers passing on Fairley at No. 1, he’s a great fit for Denver at No. 2. The Broncos are expected to switch to a 4-3 under new head coach John Fox and what better way to usher in a new scheme than to add the best defender in the draft? Jamal Williams probably won’t be back because he’s not a great fit for the 4-3, while Marcus Thomas and Justin Bannan are fits for the scheme but not disruptive players. That’s where Fairley comes in.

3. Buffalo Bills: Cam Newton, QB, Auburn Tigers
The opinions on Newton vary. Some believe he’s sure to go in the top-10 while others think he’ll fall into the second round. I’m somewhere in between. He certainly has the size and athletic ability to be a top-5 pick but there are questions about whether or not he can run a pro-style offense. That’s why Buffalo is an intriguing landing spot for him. Chan Gailey likes quarterbacks who can run and are versatile, which obviously fits Newton. Will the Bills think highly enough of him to take him at No. 3 though?

4. Cincinnati Bengals: D’aQuan Bowers, DE, Clemson
The Bengals’ biggest needs are wide receiver and safety, so Georgia wideout A.J. Green is an option here. But if Bowers falls, I can’t see the Bengals passing on one of the best defenders in the draft. Carlos Dunlap is a fixture at one end spot and Robert Geathers is nice in a rotation, but Antwan Odom has been a major injury concern the last two years and Michael Johnson is still a project, so the team would find room for Bowers.

5. Arizona Cardinals: Tyron Smith, OT, USC
The Cardinals’ biggest need is at quarterback but many pundits believe they’ll look to add a signal caller through free agency. The Cardinals have drafted only one offensive lineman in the first four rounds since Ken Whisenhunt became head coach in 2007. They’re due to address the position and while Smith may be a reach at this spot, he’s an athletic marvel that could give the Cards options at tackle down the road.

Read the rest of this entry »

Related Posts