Apr 2, 2011

Mock Draft 1.5: Top 10 Picks

I'll finish the entire mock in the next few days, but here is my top 10:

1. Carolina Panthers: Blane Gabbert, QB, Mizzou

I wanted to mock Cam Newton here so bad, cause Adam Schefter predicted it. However, owner Jerry Richardson has been pretty hesitant on playeDrs with character issues, and Newton definitely has a few red flags after a tumultuous season at Auburn. Gabbert is the call here because Jimmy Clausen did all he could to look like the second coming of Bubby Brister this year. I just dont see any other options, rumor has it Da'Quan Bowers has failed two physicals and Marcell Dareus is dropping as well. QB is the only option I see Carolina going. Unlike other teams, they dont have reason to bluff.

Keep an eye on: Cam Newton, QB, Auburn

 2. Denver Broncos: Marcell Dareus, DL, Alabama

Defense, defense, defense. John Fox is bringing a new scheme and Denver's defense is terrible. Dareus, like many other top prospects in this class brings rave reviews and an opportunity for the Broncos to remold that front four. With Robert Ayers and Elvis Dumervil on the outsides, Denver has a decent base for its new base defense.

Keep an eye on: Da'Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson

3. Buffalo Bills: Cam Newton, QB, Auburn

Chan Gailey and co. love playmakers, even when they don't need them (see Spiller, CJ). Newton provides a high risk/high reward prospect that could provide a spark to the Buffalo offense. Personally, I would stick with Ryan Fitzpatrick for the short-term instead of getting a QB who's going to either sit or not play as well as Fitz in 2011, but this is Chan Gailey we're talking about.

Keep an eye on: Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU

4. Cincinnati Bengals: AJ Green, WR, UGA

With the two top QB's off the board, dont look for the Bengals to reach that far for a Ryan Mallet or any other QB. Green is the best player availible at this point, and it just so happens that the Bengals may be trying to lure Carson Palmer into staying. Ochocino is on the hot seat, as usual, and Green could be a great replacement for either him or T.O.

Keep an eye on: Gabbert/Newton

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

With no top tier qb's left on the board, look for the Cardinals to address their dire linebacker unit. Von Miller can give the Cards a great rusher from the outside, though he is a bit undersized for a 3-4 defense. However, Whisenhunt and co. come from Pittsburgh, a team and system that does very well on accenting players strengths.   

Keep an eye on: Patrick Peterson

6. Cleveland Browns: Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU

Ideally, Heckert would love to land a defensive lineman here I would think. However, with Bowers having failed, according to SI's Peter King, two physicals with two separate teams and Nick Fairley slipping down draft boards, Patrick Peterson is by far the best player available. Heckert comes from that school of thought, and don't look for him to abandon it come draft day.

Keep an eye on: Da'Qwan Bowers, DE, Clemson

7. San Francisco 49ers: Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska

Once again, with the two top QB's gone, San Fran has to look at its other needs. Amukamara is a player who can immediately step in and contribute in the secondary, taking the pressure off overpaid veteran Nate Clements. The Niners are a team that you shouldn't be surprised by if they try to trade up for one of the quarterbacks.

Keep an eye on: Alden Smith, OLB/DE, Mizzou

8. Tennessee Titans: Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn

Once the top candidate for the first overall pick, it looks as though Fairley has slipped. He's still an elite prospect, but his one-year-wonder persona isn't helping him. Tennessee would jump at the chance to scoop him up at #8 and pair him with 2010 first round pick Derrick Morgan, bringing a breath of fresh air to a once powerful front four.

Keep an eye on: Da'Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson

9. Dallas Cowboys: JJ Watt, DE, Wisconsin

Watt is the ideal 5 technique, (3-4 tackle). He has the size and strength to hold his own on the defensive line and occupy blockers. Jay Ratliff is a force at the nose, and Igor Olshansky is the only serviceable defensive end on the roster. Rob Ryan will be pressing for some players that can help pass rushers DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer get even more pressure.

Keep an eye on: Tyron Smith, OT, USC

10. Washington Redskins: Julio Jones, WR, Alabama  

We all know Dan Snyder loves big names, and with the performance that Jones put on at the combine, his name has been shooting up draft boards. Some have argued that his workout has put him a hair ahead of AJ Green, but I don't see that being the case. Donovan McNabb had trouble last year and seems to be on thin ice, if he even makes it to the season. However, I'm assuming he will and Shanahan and co. will need to provide him with some weapons.

Keep an eye on: Robert Quinn, DE/OLB, UNC

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