The prospects for the 2011 NFL Draft have to be thrilled it’s draft week.
Not just to hear their names, but because they’re sick of all the ripping they’ve been taking the past two months.
I don’t care if it’s the top guy on the board, the top guy at a position, or the top guy from a school, they’ve all taken a beating in the past two months.
With the NFL in a lockout, and no player movement and no contact with players, it has made the players in this class a bunch of pinatas, taking a pounding like no other draft class.
The two months leading into the draft have always been a time for chopping down the talent pool, but this group has had it even worse.
“I sometimes wonder if we see anything good in these players,” one AFC personnel director said. “All we do is tear them apart. And then we draft them anyway.”
This draft will be like none we’ve seen in years. It is being held with no free-agency period before it, which means it might be more of a need draft than in recent years.
That makes it tough to figure out. But we all do mock drafts with the hopes that we get as many as we can right.
So here goes.
FYI: I might tweak it one more time before Thursday’s first round. So keep an eye out for that.
|NFL Mock Draft – 04/26/2011|
|1. Carolina Panthers|
|Cam Newton, QB, Auburn: I don’t buy all this talk that they will pass on Newton. I think GM Marty Hurney’s desire for a franchise quarterback wins out.|
|2. Denver Broncos|
|Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama: This is a huge position of need as the Broncos move to a 4-3 defense. Dareus would be an immediate starter.|
|3. Buffalo Bills|
|Von Miller, OLB, Texas A&M: They need help with their pass rush in the worst way. But can they really pass on a quarterback?|
|4. Cincinnati Bengals|
|A.J. Green, WR, Georgia: They have a big hole outside in their offense. Green fills it.|
|5. Arizona Cardinals|
|Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU: They can pair him with Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie to have a top pair of cover corners.|
|6. Cleveland Browns|
|Julio Jones, WR, Alabama: They need to get some help in their outside passing game. And Mike Holmgren has a past of drafting receivers in the first round.|
|7. San Francisco 49ers|
|Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri: How can a team without a quarterback pass on one?|
|8. Tennessee Titans|
|Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn: They get the player I think is the best in this draft. He will be a star.|
|9. Dallas Cowboys|
|Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College: They will also consider J.J. Watt here, but I think they have a bigger need on the offensive line.|
|10. Washington Redskins|
|J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin: They want to trade down to pick a quarterback, but if they pick here they go for defensive help.|
|11. Houston Texans|
|Aldon Smith, DE, Missouri: He can help liven up the outside pass rush in their move to a 3-4.|
|12. Minnesota Vikings|
|Jake Locker, QB, Washington: This might seem high, but this kid was considered a possible first overall pick at one point.|
|13. Detroit Lions|
|Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska: This pick would fill a huge need. They have problems in their secondary and Amukamara might be the cleanest player in the draft.|