Mar 4, 2011

Post-Combine Top 10 NFL Mock Draft

Combine wrapped up earlier this week, so here's my tentative top ten for next months draft.

1. Carolina Panthers: Da'Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson

Bowers gives Ron Rivera desperately needed defensive line help. Look for Bowers to solidify himself after a solid pro day since he didn't workout in the Combine.

Keep an eye on: One of the quarterbacks (Newton, Gabbert)

2. Denver Broncos: Marcell Dareus, DL, Roll Tide

Transforming to the 4-3, John Fox is going to need some new personnel on the defensive line. Elvis Dumervil and Robert Ayers will make the transition from OLB to DE, but the interior needs to be reworked. Dareus had a great combine and leapfrogged Nick Fairley on many teams boards according to the experts.

Keep an eye on: Da'Quan Bowers

3. Buffalo Bills: Patrick Peterson, CB, Bayou Bengals

I'll be honest and admit I am not comfortable projecting anything the Buffalo Bills do. This is the same front office who invested a top 10 pick on CJ Spiller, a running back, which happened to be the strongest position group on the team. Peterson is too much of a talent, however. He was incredible at the Combine and should go in the top 5 or 6 picks.

Keep an eye on: Newton/Gabbert

4. Cincinnati Bengals: Cam Newton, QB, Auburn

I'm torn on this pick as well. It's going to come down to the status of Carson Palmer. If he's serious about retiring and refuses to play by the time the draft rolls around, the Bengals would be stupid not to pick a quaterback. I don't like Newton as much as some as a pro prospect, but Mike Brown will fall in love with the size and speed of a physical specimen like Newton if it comes down to a QB. If not, keep an eye on AJ Green.

Keep an eye on: AJ Green, WR, UGA

5. Arizona Cardinals: Von Miller, OLB, Texas A&M

Von Miller has emerged as an unbelievable prospect. The way people speak of him, he reminds me a little of Aaron Curry coming out of college, except I think Von Miller's going to be good. The Cards need help at OLB, arguably the most important position in the 3-4 defense that they employ. Joey Porter just isn't the same player he was 8 years ago and Miller has the potential to be a dynamic pass-rusher off the edge for Ken Whisenhunt.

Keep an eye on: Newton/Gabbert

6.  Cleveland Browns: Robert Quinn, DE, UNC

I think Fairley is a real option at this point, but the Browns have Rubin at DT and literally no one at defensive end. Matt Roth may be able to slide down but he's never played line in the pros and hasn't been all that happy during his stay in Cleveland. If Quinn can put on a show during his pro day look for him to make some noise. Without a pass rush it's hard to do anything on defense, and in the 4-3 it starts with the ends.

Keep an eye on: Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn

7. San Francisco 49ers: Blaine Gabbert, QB, Mizzou

I think 2 things about this pick: 1. SF is desperate for a QB and 2. Jim Harbaugh knows QBs. Because of this I think he'll be excited that Gabbert is the one to fall to 7 instead of Newton (in this mock at least). No, he's not the prospect Andrew Luck is but Harbaugh helped develop Luck into what he is today. He can do the same with Gabbert.

Keep an eye on: Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska

8. Tennessee Titans: Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn

Tennessee had it good when they had Albert Haynesworth (at least when he actually felt like playing). Fairley gives the Titans a good player with a high ceiling to try to fill the void. QB is a massive question mark, however, but if both QBs are good look for Tennessee to take the best player available.

Keep an eye on: Newton/Gabbert

9. Dallas Cowboys: Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska

The Cowboys secondary is nothing to rave about. Michael Jenkins has talent, but chooses not to use it much of the time. Terrance Newman isn't getting any younger, and Prince Amukamara is shooting up draft boards after an outstanding Combine performance. A team that has this much talent really needs to focus on not only getting good players, but getting players that can build chemistry and Amukamara can do that. The 'Boys are a great example of a team with a bunch of "me's" and a lot of talent but no chemistry.

Keep an eye on: Tyron Smith, T, USC   

10. Washington Redskins: AJ Green, WR, UGA

This is a classic Daniel Snyder pick. Huge name. Green is an awesome talent and come draft time, I really don't think he'll last this long. However, in this scenario, the  Redskins find Green falling all the way into their lap. Snyder tends to be attracted to big names and media attention so this is an easy call to make.

Keep an eye on: Cameron Jordan, DE, Cal

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