The 2011 NFL Draft is going to be very interesting from top to bottom. From not knowing whether or not the players will be in attendance to the No. 1 pick. There is no consensus No. 1 pick or player this year and that is making everything about the draft change every day. Teams are going to be drafting on need more than ever and it should make for some interesting draft day choices and trades. Here is how it looks:
1. Carolina – Nick Fairley – DT – Auburn
While many people expect the Panthers to take a top QB, I just don’t see it happening. They signed Matt Moore in 2007 and drafted Jimmy Clausen last year. Apparently some people high in the organization still believe in Clausen (I don’t), but that will deter them from drafting another quarterback high in the draft. Nick Fairley makes perfect sense. With his size, speed and versatility Fairley will fill the gaping hole Carolina has had at DT since Kris Jenkins fell apart.
2. Denver Broncos – Von Miller – OLB – Texas A&M
The Broncos are changing to a 4-3 defense this year. What we see every year with teams that change defensive schemes is they go after players in the draft that fit their schemes. John Fox is said to be looking for a pass rusher to put opposite Elvis Dumervil to ignite a defense that had the least sacks in the league last year (23).
3. Buffalo Bills – Blaine Gabbert – QB – Missouri
I fully believe that the Bills trust Ryan Fitzpatrick, but he has a very low ceiling, likely very close to what we saw last year. Drafting Gabbert to sit behind Fitz for a year or two would be the perfect solution to this problem, also even with all the buzz around Cam Newton, Gabbert is the much safer pick as a quarterback of the future.
4. Cincinnati Bengals – Julio Jones – WR – Alabama
The Bengals seem to prefer Jones because of his work ethic and practice effort. This is new direction for the Bengals, but I like it. He is not as talented as A.J. Green, but he is a better blocker and would fit well into their likely decidedly run-heavy offensive scheme.
5. Arizona Cardinals – Patrick Peterson – CB – LSU
I fully expect the Cardinals to pull off a trade for the Eagle’s Kevin Kobb, so why not take the best player available. Widely considered the most talented player in the draft, the only knock on Peterson is his position. Corners simply do not get taken early. However, by filling their need at Quarterback through a trade or free agency I feel like they can finally get the shut down corner they were hoping for when they drafted Antrel Rolle a few years back. (Continue…)