Although the NFL labor situation is a complete mess, football experts and fans alike can take comfort in knowing that the 2011 NFL Draft will go on as planned. Bruno Boys Fantasy Football will bring you the latest news and developments leading up to the main event that kicks off on Thursday, April 28. We’ll also provide our perspective on how the 2011 Draft will play out. We’re keeping up with the latest post-Combine buzz and Pro Day results, analyzing team needs and priorities and tracking hot news about this year’s prospects ranging from individual team workouts and interviews to positional rankings and ever-changing stock reports.
Our 2011 NFL Draft coverage continues in this multipart series of mock drafts prepared by Bruno Boys staff writers Brad Berreman, Cory Steger and James Ronstadt. Brad, Cory and James will provide individual predictions and analysis on each team’s critical first draft pick in Round 1 of the 2011 NFL Mock Draft. Don’t forget to check back regularly for updated mocks as you can be sure that what happens between now and Draft Day will impact the fates of this year’s prospects.
Here is Bruno Boys Cory Steger’s initial take on Round 1 of the 2011 NFL Draft:
1. Carolina Panthers – Cam Newton, QB, Auburn
After finishing a disappointing 2-14 last season, the Carolina Panthers need to make changes on both sides of the ball. The Panthers offense scored a league-worst 191 points last season (12.2 points per game average) and they’re likely to work on the offense with their first-round pick. One way to fix to jumpstart the offense and energize the fan base at the same time would be for the Panthers to select Auburn quarterback Cam Newton at No. 1 overall. New Panthers head coach Ron Rivera has been vocal in his praise and admiration of Newton. Following his mediocre showing in position drills at the Combine, Newton wowed scouts and coaches with his Pro Day workout. Newton still has some questions to answer and no doubt comes with baggage, however his athleticism and immense raw talent will be too hard for the Panthers to pass up.
Other Possibilities: Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama; Da’Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson
2. Denver Broncos – Patrick Peterson, CB, Louisiana State
Louisiana State corner back Patrick Peterson is without question the most NFL-ready player in the 2011 Draft. Although making improvements to the defensive line is probably a greater and more immediate need for the Denver Broncos given the switch from the 3-4 to the 4-3, it’s impossible for the team to pass on Peterson, who draws comparisons to Deion Sanders. He ran a 4.34 in the 40-yard dash at the Combine, posted top marks in other workouts and impressed in his drills. He also weighed in at 219 pounds, giving him the size of a safety without sacrificing an ounce of agility or playmaking ability.
Other Possibilities: Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama; Da’Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson
3. Buffalo Bills – Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama
Should Auburn quarterback Cam Newton fall to the Buffalo Bills at the third pick, then he’ll find himself packing his bags and shuffling off to Buffalo. However it looks more likely that Newton is headed to Carolina, leaving the Bills to choose from a plethora of talented defensive linemen. In this case, Buffalo will select Alabama defensive tackle Marcell Dareus with the No. 3 pick overall. Dareus has a lot of experience in the 3-4 scheme that the Bills run. He also showed off some great athleticism at the Combine despite his size (6’3”, 319 pounds). Da’Quan Bowers of Clemson is another terrific defensive end prospect that the Bills will consider, however Dareus is better suited for the defensive scheme and he wouldn’t have to make the large transition that Bowers would.
Other Possibilities: Cam Newton, QB, Auburn; Da’Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson
4. Cincinnati Bengals – Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer demanded a trade this offseason and even threatened to retire if he doesn’t get his wish. If by some miracle Palmer returns to the Bengals in 2011 to fulfill the final year of his contract, then that’ll definiitely be his last season in Cincinnati. Though the Bengals have pressing needs at both defensive end and safety, they typically spend high picks on offense rather than defense. They continue that trend in 2011 and select Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert at No. 4 overall. Not only does Gabbert have a great arm, he showed at the Scouting Combine that he also has terrific athleticism. That’s entirely too much talent and promise for an offensive-minded franchise to pass up.
Other Possibilities: Da’Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson; A.J. Green, WR, Georgia
5. Arizona Cardinals – Von Miller, LB, Texas A&M
Von Miller is a freak. The Texas A&M linebacker wowed at the Combine when he measured in at 6’2”and 246 pounds, put up 21 reps of 225 pounds in the bench press, jumped 10 feet, 6inches in the broad jump and posted a 37-inch vertical leap. Oh yeah, he also ran a 4.53-second 40-yard dash and then followed up with a 4.49 at Arizona’s Pro Day. Miller is more than a freak. He racked up an impressive 178 tackles in his senior season along with 11 sacks. Miller would make a great fit at outside linebacker for the Arizona Cardinals, who desperately need a playmaker of his caliber on the defensive side of the ball.
Other Possibilities: Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri; Robert Quinn, DE, North Carolina
6. Cleveland Browns – Da’Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson
The Cleveland Browns are making significant changes in light of the coaching change from Eric Mangini to Pat Shurmur. There are some gaping holes to fill as a result of the defensive scheme switch from the 3-4 to the 4-3. The biggest are along the defensive line where the Browns lack players that fit a 4-3 very well. Fortunately, Clemson defensive end Da’Quan Bowers is a perfect fit for Cleveland. With 15.5 sacks as a junior last season, Bowers provides the edge-rushing end that the Browns desparately need. Moreover, Bowers is a guy who would be ready to step in and play immediately, a factor that makes him hard to pass up. Some of the other options that the Browns might consider with this pick either come with baggage or wouldn’t be immediate contributors.
Other Possibilities: A.J. Green, WR, Georgia; Robert Quinn, DE, North Carolina
7. San Francisco 49ers – Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska
New San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh would love to get his hands on a franchise quarterback like Missouri’s Blaine Gabbert. However given his soaring draft stock, Gabbert won’t be there at pick No. 7. Consequently, the 49ers choose to focus on the defensive side of the ball. While Nebraska cornerback Prince Amukamara sometimes gets a little lost in Peterson’s shadow, this guy is a legit cover corner with All-Pro potential. He’s the type of player who you can leave on an island and not panic. Current corners Nate Clements and Shawntae Spencer are showing signs of age and both have large contracts, meaning that one or possibly both could be gone in the near future. Amukamara is someone that a team can build a defense around.
Other Possibilities: Robert Quinn, DE, North Carolina; Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn
8. Tennessee Titans – Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn
With ex-offensive line coach Mike Munchak now at the helm of the Tennessee Titans, the organization will fill holes along the lines. Former line coaches love to fortify the trenches because they believe that it makes the rest of the team stronger. This makes Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley a very attractive option for the Titans. While Fairley comes with concerns about his work ethic, maturity and decision making, Munchak will relish the opportunity to light a fire under him and hope that the former Tiger can replicate his impressive 2010 season for many years to come.
Other Possibilities: Robert Quinn, DE, North Carolina; Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas
9. Dallas Cowboys – Tyron Smith, OT, Southern California
The Dallas Cowboys have seemingly ignored their offensive line for years. After getting off to a poor start last season and seeing franchise quarterback Tony Romo go down with a season-ending injury, Dallas can no longer afford to close a blind eye to their needs on the offensive line. Both their running and passing games would benefit from an O-line upgrade. Given the lack of depth at the offensive tackle in the 2011 Draft class, the Cowboys are likely to pull the trigger on Southern California tackle Tyron Smith, a prospect whose momentum is building following his outstanding junior season at USC. While Smith is a naturally gifted athlete with tremendous potential, he is a raw talent who has only played right tackle at the collegiate level. Drafting Smith this high means that the Cowboys intend to make him a left tackle. Hopefully he gets the coaching he’ll need to become a top-notch blind side protector.
Other Possibilities: Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn; Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska
10. Washington Redskins – A.J. Green, WR, Georgia
The Washington Redskins will happily pull the trigger on Georgia receiver A.J. Green who slips to them at No. 10. While the Redskins will have to address their quarterback situation, they have a much bigger need at wide receiver. Veteran wideout Santana Moss is good, yet getting older and Anthony Armstrong is an interesting, yet inconsistent up-and-comer. Green brings instant playmaking ability to the position and he’d be able to step right in and produce regardless of who the quarterback is.
Other Possibilities: Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas; Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn
11. Houston Texans – Robert Quinn, DE/OLB, North Carolina
The Houston Texans committed to the 3-4 when they hired Wade Phillips as their new defensive coordinator. The shift from a 4-3 means that the Texans really need an infusion of playmaking outside linebackers to facilitate the shift. Transforming their current crop of defensive ends into linebackers won’t cut it in the long run, so expect Houston to fill the void with North Carolina’s Robert Quinn. The supremely talented Quinn was suspended for the entire 2010 season after he was found to have accepted improper benefits (travel accommodations and jewelry) from an agent and then lied about it NCAA investigators. Houston owner Bob McNair tends to steer clear of guys with character issues, however his coaches at North Carolina have endorsed him as a good guy who made a bad decision and learned from it. With his great physical ability, power, speed and football IQ, Quinn appears to be NFL ready from Day 1.
Other Possibilities: Cameron Jordan, DE, California; Aldon Smith, DE/OLB, Missouri
12. Minnesota Vikings – Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas
The Minnesota Vikings never felt comfortable with Tarvaris Jackson as the team’s No.1 quarterback and although Joe Webb filled in admirably last season, he was drafted to be a wide receiver. With Favre’s latest retirement, the Vikings are in the hunt for a quarterback. Ryan Mallett of Arkansas is the best option for them. Why? At 6’7” and 253 pounds, Mallett has a powerful arm that evokes memories of former Minnesota quarterback Daunte Culpepper. Mallett has the ability to find the end zone with ease and about the only concern about his playing potential in the short term is deep-ball accuracy. Time and experience should help him develop in that area.
Other Possibilities: Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College; Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado
13. Detroit Lions – Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College
Regardless of how the first 12 picks shake out, the Detroit Lions will still have some terrific options at No. 13. That said, it’ll be impossible for them to pass up Boston College tackle Anthony Castonzo. In 2007, Castonzo was the first true freshman to start for BC on offensive line in 10 years. He played right tackle and helped block for Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan during his record setting final season. Castonzo is a terrific pass blocker–an invaluable skill to the Lions in their efforts to better protect Matthew Stafford. While there are other players who would also make sense for the Lions at this spot, Castonzo is the perfect fit.
Other Possibilities: Nate Solder, OT, Colorado; Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado
14. St. Louis Rams – Julio Jones, WR, Alabama
Should Alabama wide receiver Julio Jones fall to the St. Louis Rams at No. 14, the Rams will quickly snatch him up. Last season quarterback Sam Bradford showed that he was not only ready to play, he was worth every penny the Rams paid him as the No. 1 overall pick. Bradford will be even more effective if he had a receiver who consistently makes plays, something that the team’s current group of receivers lacks. At 6’3” and 220 pounds, Jones ran the 40-yard dash in a blistering 4.34 seconds. Blessed with freakish athletic talents and amazing hands, Jones is one player that the Rams won’t let slip by.
Other Possibilities: Akeem Ayers, LB, UCLA; Corey Liuget, DT, Illinois
15. Miami Dolphins– Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama
With Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams on the roster, one could argue that the Miami Dolphins have bigger holes to fill than at running back–quarterback and center to name just two. However Brown either underachieves or gets hurt and sometimes both, while Williams is a free agent whom the Dolphins aren’t likely to re-sign. Last season Miami’s running game ranked No. 21 and the team’s paltry 3.7 yards per carry average put them at No. 30 in the league. If the Dolphins are forced to roll with Chad Henne under center for another season, then an improved running game would make that more palatable. Alabama running back Mark Ingram is a fine solution for Miami. Ingram is a workhorse of a back and by all accounts a great teammate. In what could be a touchy situation with Brown, Ingram would make the most of his opportunities without stirring the pot. He’s a punishing runner who would add a new dynamic to the offense.
Other Possibilities: Christian Ponder, QB, Florida State; Mike Pouncey, G/C, Florida
16. Jacksonville Jaguars – Cameron Jordan, DE, California
The Jacksonville Jaguars would prefer to take a linebacker with their pick at No.16, however Texas A&M’s Von Miller will be long gone and Missouri’s Aldon Smith isn’t the best fit for their system. Though the Jaguars spent their first-round pick on a defensive lineman in the 2010 NFL Draft, they’ll do the same this year particularly if Cal’s Cameron Jordan falls to them. Jordan has everything that you look for in a defensive end. He’s big and strong, yet fast and agile. Picking Jordan would also reunite him with former Cal teammate Tyson Alualu, whom Jacksonville selected in the first round last year. Some of the most dominant defenses in the history of the franchise came when the team paired Pro Bowlers Marcus Stroud and John Henderson at defensive tackle. Putting Jordan and Alualu together could yield similar results.
Other Possibilities: Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue; Aldon Smith, DE/OLB, Missouri
17. New England Patriots – Nate Solder, OT, Colorado (Pick in trade with Oakland Raiders)
While some draft experts predict that the New England Patriots will draft Wisconsin defensive end J.J. Watt at No.17, the team has real issues to address on the offensive line. Tackle Matt Light is a free agent and guard Logan Mankins was just given the franchise tag one year after sitting out part of the season to protest the lack of a new contract. The Patriots will use the first of their two Round 1 picks on a much needed offensive lineman. Moreover, they’ll go with the best available player that fits the bill, in this case Colorado’s Nate Solder. A former tight end, Solder has the athleticism and size (6’8”, 318 pounds) to be the left tackle that the Patriots need to protect quarterback Tom Brady.
Other Possibilities: J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin; Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue
18. San Diego Chargers – J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin
The San Diego Chargers will be more than willing use their pick at No. 18 on defensive end J.J. Watt out of Wisconsin. The Chargers are in serious need of an end and they’ll have some excellent choices at this stage of the draft. However Watt fits San Diego the best. At 6’5” and 290 pounds, he already has the size to play end in a 3-4 defense, though coming from Wisconsin’s 4-3 scheme, he’ll have to learn on the job. Watt makes a lot of tackles for loss, earns sacks and deflects passes. He’s also got that thing that a lot of coaches love–an unstoppable motor.
Other Possibilities: Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa; Aldon Smith, DE/OLB, Missouri
19. New York Giants– Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin
On the off chance that running back Mark Ingram fall would fall to them, the New York Giants would likely take him. However it’s highly unlikely that the Alabama running back will last until No.19. What’s more realistic is that the Giants will spend two early round picks on an offensive lineman and a linebacker. New York’s offensive line is getting older and an injection of youth could energize things. 2010 draft pick Will Beatty doesn’t appear to be the answer, therefore the Giants turn to Wisconsin tackle Gabe Carimi. Along with being well suited to New York’s style of play, Carimi is a big and physical and plays with a mean streak. He’s also an excellent run blocker. This move would also allow the Giants to move Dave Diehl back inside where he belongs. While linebacker is another option with their first pick, New York will look at board and decide those available would be a reach here.
Other Possibilities: Akeem Ayers, LB, UCLA; Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama
20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue
As a team on the rise, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have young talent at many positions, however they could still use help in certain areas. A defensive end who can rush the quarterback is one of their biggest needs, because no Buccaneer defender had more than 4.5 sacks last season. The Buccaneers will be thrilled to land Purdue’s Ryan Kerrigan, a guy who is both nonstop and effective. Though he stands 6’4” and weighs 267 pounds, Kerrigan ran an impressive 4.64-second 40-yard dash at the Combine. The versatile Kerrigan’s experience in the Big 10 helped him develop into an effective run blocker too. In fact, Kerrigan was able to do so many things at Purdue that his teammates nicknamed him “Superman.”
Other Possibilities: Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa; Muhammad Wilkerson, DT, Temple
21. Kansas City Chiefs – Derek Sherrod, OT, Mississippi State
The Kansas Chiefs would probably like to spend this pick on defense–specifically on a nose tackle or inside linebacker–except that the available options are either poor fits or reaches. The Chiefs led the league in rushing last season and if they want to continue to do so, then they’ll want a better right tackle than Barry Richardson. Fortunately Mississippi State tackle Derek Sherrod should be available at No. 21. He’s flying under the radar compared to the other tackles in 2011 Draft, however he’s experienced (47 starts in college), smart (considered to have incredible defensive scheme recognition) and comes from a college program than heavily favored the run. He also fits in another very important way. Kansas City general manager Scott Pioli loves drafting high-character guys who are also leaders. Sherrod matches the profile—he was MSU’s team captain in 2010.
Other Possibilities: Martez Wilson, ILB, Illinois; Phil Taylor, NT/DT, Baylor
22. Indianapolis Colts– Mike Pouncey, G/C, Florida
The Indianapolis Colts will undoubtedly spend their pick at No. 22 overall on an offensive lineman. While they’d prefer to draft a tackle, it’s likely that the best options at the position–Wisconsin’s Gabe Carimi, Mississippi State’s Derek Sherrod or even Colorado’s Nate Solder–will be gone. Consequently, Florida guard/center Mike Pouncey makes the most sense here. Pouncey had some problems with the snap when he played center last season, therefore the Colts could use him with ease at guard. Like his brother Maurkice, who was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first round last year, he has the flexibility to play both positions.
Other Possibilities: Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin; Derek Sherrod, OT, Mississippi State
23. Philadelphia Eagles – Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado
The Philadelphia Eagles will target one of two positions with this pick: cornerback or linebacker. While both are big needs for the Eagles, they ultimately go with Colorado corner Jimmy Smith to play opposite Asante Samuel. Cornerbacks Dimitri Patterson and Joselio Hanson might have had five interceptions between them last season, however both are liabilities in coverage that Smith is not. He’s big for a corner at 6’2” and he has speed too, as evidenced by his 40-yard dash time of 4.42 seconds. It would be an understatement to say that Smith is pretty good in coverage. He gave up just one pass for a first down while in man-to-man coverage during his junior and senior seasons combined.
Other Possibilities: Mike Pouncey, G/C, Florida; Martez Wilson, ILB, Illinois
24. New Orleans Saints – Corey Liuget, DT, Illinois
As exciting as the New Orleans Saints defense was in their Super Bowl winning 2009 season, the 2010 version lacked a certain something. The Saints believe that to get back to form, they’ll need to add a top defensive lineman. Not only will this help put pressure on the opposing offense, it will result in more forced turnovers. Illinois defensive tackle Corey Liuget fits what the Saints are looking for, and they could pair him with defensive tackle Sedrick Ellis for a truly nasty combination in the middle of the line. Liuget commands attention and blockers, though he is not so slow that he can’t rush the quarterback. Exactly the kind of player that the Saints need and want at the position.
Other Possibilities: Muhammad Wilkerson, DT, Temple; Cameron Heyward, DE/DT, Ohio State
25. Seattle Seahawks – Muhammad Wilkerson, DT, Temple
Though they might be tempted to take hometown quarterback Jake Locker out of Washington with this pick, the Seattle Seahawks have more pressing needs. Chief among those needs is a defensive lineman. To be fair, the Seahawks got some good production from their ends last season, however they need a better defensive tackle to eat up blockers. At 6’4” and 315 pounds, Temple University defensive tackle Muhammad Wilkerson is the massive presence that Seattle needs in the middle. Scouts also like Wilkerson’s athleticism, which is good for his size and something the Seahawks would love to have to help draw attention away from end Chris Clemons.
Other Possibilities: Jake Locker, QB, Washington; Corey Liuget, DT, Illinois
26. Baltimore Ravens – Torrey Smith, WR, Maryland
Sometimes there are picks that just make perfect sense for a team and this is one of them. Maryland receiver Torrey Smith wouldn’t have to travel too far if the Baltimore Ravens select him at No. 26 overall. Moreover, he would be a great addition to the team’s wide receiver corps. Anquan Boldin, Derrick Mason and T.J. Houshmandzadeh are aging and no longer fleet footed. Smith would provide the shot of youth at the position the Ravens need, and he’d bring his speedy 40-time of 4.41 seconds with him.
Other Possibilities: Brandon Harris, CB, Miami; Leonard Hankerson, WR, Miami
27. Atlanta Falcons– Justin Houston, DE, Georgia
The Atlanta Falcons are a pretty solid across the board, however upgrading a mediocre pass rush is at the top of the list. Enter Georgia linebacker/defensive end Justin Houston. Although he started his career as a defensive end, Houston transitioned to linebacker after Georgia went to the 3-4 defense. Some teams see him as an outside linebacker in the 3-4, however Houston has the size (6’3”, 270 pounds) to be an end in a 4-3, though he might need to bulk just a little bit.
Other Possibilities: Brandon Harris, CB, Miami; Torrey Smith, WR, Maryland
28. New England Patriots – Aldon Smith, DE/OLB, Missouri
The New England Patriots have more pressing needs than a linebacker who fits a 3-4 scheme, however with their second Round 1 pick it would be hard for them to pass on Missouri’s Aldon Smith. He broke his leg in 2010 and his production suffered as a result, though he still played well–a fact that won’t be lost on the New England coaching staff. Smith opted to declare after his sophomore season at Missouri, so while he’s a better athlete than pass rusher at this point, he has the ideal combination of size, speed and talent that the Patriots could develop into an All Pro.
Other Possibilities: Akeem Ayers, LB, UCLA; Mikel Leshoure, RB, Illinois
29. Chicago Bears – Akeem Ayers, LB, UCLA
Many draft experts think the Chicago Bears will select a defensive tackle here, especially following the release of veteran Tommie Harris. However after seeing Illinois’ Corey Liuget and Temple’s Muhammad Wilkerson go off the board earlier, the Bears will address another defensive position instead–linebacker. Chicago recently cut ties with linebacker Hunter Hillenmeyer, and linebackers Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs getting older and probably don’t have much left in the tank. Using their pick at No. 29 on UCLA linebacker Akeem Ayers, a player who possesses tremendous versatility and not to mention a complete skill set as an outside linebacker or a defensive end. Ayers has what it takes to be an early and productive starter in the NFL and fortunately for him, the Bears won’t be intimidated by his less-than-stellar showing at the Combine.
Other Possibilities: Muhammad Wilkerson, DT, Temple; Cameron Heyward, DE/DT, Ohio State
30. New York Jets – Phil Taylor, DT/NT, Baylor
The New York Jets have some flexibility with their first pick at No. 30 because they don’t have too many glaring holes on the roster. Given the recent release of veteran defensive players Kris Jenkins, Vernon Gholston and Jason Taylor, the Jets opt for a player who immediately fills a hole–and a big one at that–resulting from former nosetackle Jenkins’ departure. Baylor defensive tackle Phil Taylor is perfect for the job. At 6’3” and 334 pounds, Taylor is the kind of space consuming nose tackle that the Jets need to properly run their defense.
Other Possibilities: Jonathan Baldwin, WR, Pittsburgh; Stephen Paea, DT, Oregon State
31. Pittsburgh Steelers – Brandon Harris, CB, Miami
The Pittsburgh Steelers are a good year after year because they successfully handle transitions at certain positions without few if any problems. If the Steelers hope to defend their AFC title in 2011, they’ll need to address their issues in the secondary. One of the biggest needs is at cornerback. Ike Taylor is the team’s best corner and after him, there is a huge drop off in skill at the position. Miami’s Brandon Harris would be an instant upgrade for the Steelers and it’s conceivable that he claims the No. 2 slot opposite Taylor early on. Harris is an exceptionally talented cornerback who started as a freshman for the Hurricanes and learned his lessons, sometimes harshly, on the job. The Steelers will like that he’s already battle tested.
Other Possibilities: Aaron Williams, CB, Texas; Martez Wilson, ILB, Illinois
32. Green Bay Packers– Cameron Heyward, DE/DT, Ohio State
Winning the Super Bowl has its share of perks and while owning the last pick of the first round is not one of them, you can be sure that the Green Bay Packers don’t mind the tradeoff. Expect the Packers to address the defensive line at No. 32 by selecting a player who was a good rush tackle or a powerful defensive end in college and turning him into a 3-4 defensive end. The player left on the board who best fits that description is Ohio State’s Cameron Heyward. While Heyward made people take notice during his breakout junior season, his draft stock fell in 2010 when his production dipped. His stats might not have wowed scouts, but watching him on tape tells another story, as Heyward often commanded double teams from the opposing offense. His work ethic and good character also make him a great fit for Green Bay.
Other Possibilities: Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa; Leonard Hankerson, WR, Miami
If you are looking for more 2011 Mock Drafts check out Hail Redskins where you can find over 150 different mock drafts for the upcoming NFL Draft.