(April 28, 2011)
Updated a few hours prior to the 2011 NFL Draft.
Listed below are team-by-team picks with analysis for each.
Ht: 6-5 Wt: 248 lbs. | Class: Junior
Analysis: With the first pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Carolina Panthers select... Cameron Newton, QB, Auburn. For weeks we have heard that the Panthers are leaning towards Cam Newton. It is time to rebuild, and General Manager Marty Hurney has had nothing but praise for the Auburn quarterback. The talent and upside are there, but Newton will have to sit out at least one year before he can make an impact.
Ht: 6-3 Wt: 246 lbs. | Class: Senior
Analysis: Hopefully, the Broncos come to their senses and take Marcell Dareus, but consensus is that Miller is their guy.
Ht: 6-3 Wt: 319 lbs. | Class: Junior
Analysis: Buffalo will take either Dareus or Miller, no problem.
Ht: 6-4 Wt: 211 lbs. | Class: Junior
Analysis: The Bengals will not take Blaine Gabbert here. Instead, they will draft A.J. Green, an elite wide receiver prospect that would replace Chad Ochocinco. Then they will target Andy Dalton in the second, or trade back into the first round to get him.
Ht: 6-0 Wt: 219 lbs. | Class: Junior
Ht: 6-3 Wt: 220 lbs. | Class: Junior
Analysis: Robert Quinn is falling in terms of his draft stock right now, but Julio Jones may make more sense anyway. He has drawn comparisons to Terrell Owens, and Colt McCoy needs a number one go to guy.
Ht: 6-4 Wt: 234 lbs. | Class: Junior
Analysis: I'm sure the 49ers would like to take one of the second tier quarterbacks in round two, but they are sure to be off the board by the time they pick. In this case, they have to pull the trigger on Blaine Gabbert.
Ht: 6-4 Wt: 297 lbs. | Class: Junior
Analysis: Nick Fairley is the most dominant defensive lineman in the draft, and would fill a need for the Titans. If they don't (or can't) trade back and draft a quarterback, they can upgrade the interior of their defensive line.
Ht: 6-4 Wt: 263 lbs. | Class: Junior
Ht: 6-4 Wt: 286 lbs. | Class: Senior
Analysis: New England is trying to trade up for Cameron Jordan, a scheme versatile defenser who would finally replace Richard Seymour.
Ht: 6-4 Wt: 263 lbs. | Class: Sophomore
Analysis: Aldon Smith will be the guy if he is available. He should easily make the transition to 3-4 outside linebacker, and he is the most talented pass rusher in this draft.
Ht: 6-0 Wt: 206 lbs. | Class: Senior
Analysis: The Vikings should take the best player on the board, Prince Amukamara.
Ht: 6-5 Wt: 310 lbs. | Class: Junior
Analysis: Tyron Smith is the most talented tackle prospect in the draft. The Lions must protect Matthew Stafford if they want to compete. Anthony Castonzo is a more complete tackle as of now, but Smith's upside is just too much to pass on.
Ht: 6-2 Wt: 298 lbs. | Class: Junior
Analysis: The Rams like Corey Liuget a lot, and defensive tackle is their biggest need. Put the two together.
Ht: 6-5 Wt: 303 lbs. | Class: Senior
Analysis: The Steelers are trying hard to get Mike Pouncey to team with his brother.
Ht: 6-4 Wt: 267 lbs. | Class: Senior
Analysis: Aaron Kampman is the only true pass rusher on the roster, but he is coming off of a torn ACL. Ryan Kerrigan is the ideal prospect for Jacksonville, and would fill their need for a pass rushing end. He reminds me of the Rams' Chris Long.
Ht: 6-3 Wt: 227 lbs. | Class: Senior
Analysis: Trading down for Jake Locker is the ideal situation for Washington.
Ht: 6-5 Wt: 290 lbs. | Class: Junior
Analysis: No-brainer pick. Watt is arguably the best five technique in the draft.
Ht: 6-7 Wt: 311 lbs. | Class: Senior
Analysis: Mike Pouncey will be considered if he is available. Since he's not, they can take Anthony Castonzo as the franchise left tackle. Castonzo is the most experienced and the most consistent tackles on the board, and with Tom Coughlin's ties wit Boston College, Castonzo could be a popular pick.
Ht: 6-3 Wt: 276 lbs. | Class: Junior
Analysis: Da'Quan Bowers was once considered the number one overall pick. Now, he could fall out of the first round. Tampa Bay probably won't pass on him if his knee checks out well. He has the talent, and would help bolster up a defensive line with an interior wall consisting of Gerald McCoy and Brian Price.
Ht: 6-8 Wt: 307 lbs. | Class: Senior
Analysis: Tamba Hali is the only true pass rusher the Chiefs have coming off the edge. Therefore, adding a pass rusher opposite of him would be logical. Akeem Ayers is back in the mid first round mix, and is the top linebacker available. An offensive tackle should strongly be considered, but they may not be able to get a pass rushing linebacker later in the draft.
Ht: 6-7 Wt: 314 lbs. | Class: Senior
Analysis: Protect Peyton Manning, that is the Colts' number one priority. Forget all of the buzz about them taking a quarterback in round one, it won't happen. Gabe Carimi is being labeled as a right tackle only, but I believe he is capable of protecting Manning's blindside if necessary.
Ht: 6-2 Wt: 211 lbs. | Class: Senior
Analysis: The Eagles will consider trading up for Patrick Peterson of Prince Amukamara. If they stay at pick 23, Jimmy Smith will be their guy. Andy Reid has taken a chance on players with "character concerns" and "red flags" before. Plus Smith is not far behind the top two corners in terms of talent. He and Asante Samuel could form a solid corner tandem.
Ht: 6-4 Wt: 315 lbs. | Class: Junior
Analysis: Wilkerson is a tackle in a 4-3 scheme, a position of need for the Saints.
Ht: 6-2 Wt: 309 lbs. | Class: Senior
Analysis: At some point, the Seahawks will have to find a quarterback to compete against Charlie Whitehurst for the starting job. For now, they can look to replace Brandon Membane and draft Marvin Austin. Austin has seen his stock rise as of late, and he could come of the board here.
Ht: 6-5 Wt: 294 lbs. | Class: Senior
Analysis: Heyward is the ideal five technique, and the Ravens may not pass on him.
Ht: 6-3 Wt: 263 lbs. | Class: Senior
Analysis: There is a lot of buzz surrounding the Falcons in terms of trading up. Assuming they stay put, this pick will be spent on defense again.
Ht: 6-2 Wt: 213 lbs. | Class: Senior
Analysis: The Bengals may have to trade back into round one to get Mr. Dalton.
Ht: 6-6 Wt: 312 lbs. | Class: Senior
Analysis: Protecting Jay Cutler is the top priority, and Derek Sherrod is a player the Bears really like.
Ht: 6-3 Wt: 254 lbs. | Class: Junior
Analysis: In need of a pass rushing linebacker, the Jets could target Akeem Ayers.
Ht: 5-9 Wt: 215 lbs. | Class: Junior
Analysis: I doubt Ingram falls this far, but Miami should not complain.
Ht: 6-2 Wt: 229 lbs. | Class: Senior
Analysis: Look for the Bills to ensure that they get their guy by trading back into the first round.