NFL Draft2011 NFL Mock Draft

By John Corcoran

Final: Updated: April 15, 2011

The only thing you can count on this year in the draft is what William Goldman once said about making movies: “Nobody knows anything.”

I put myself at the top of that list, because it’s been real hard to keep my pro football interest at its usual high offseason level. You could cut the ennui with a knife. Hey I’m a Redskin fan; this is usually the best time of year. The Washington crew is dang near undefeated in the offseason. It’s that pesky regular season that keeps ruining things.

Thanks to the ongoing war between millionaires and billionaires, far less info is in the wind. Secretive organizations have been playing their cards even closer to their vest. The coaches have nothing to say, because not only are they a deceptive lot when it comes to draft strategy, but now they can only say “hi” to prospects at workouts.

Trades? Can’t make ‘em. Draft picks? Gotta keep ‘em until draft day.

So my beloved Redskins have been all but prevented from dominating the offseason as they have in the past. Just as well. Anyone want to buy a used McNabb? Need an Albert Haynesworth--only driven by a little old lady from Pasadena on Sundays? I can’t write the words “Adam Archuletta” without an involuntary shudder.

How to know what a player is truly worth? These kids are tested inspected and prepped more the ever before. More and more so-called experts take college players under their wing and prep them for combines and team tryouts, And so the regular collegiate careers mean less in the evaluation process. How silly is that? Too often little things like heart, football intelligence or instinct get lost in the shuffle.

Okay, enough whining. Here’s my Mockity Mock Mock.

1 Carolina: Cam Newton: QB Auburn. They need a QB, Newton either will be the best to ever play the game or the next JaMarcus Leaf. I have to think the Panthers are burning up the phone lines trying to peddle the pick, but I doubt there are takers.

2 Denver: Marcell Dareus: DT Auburn. He’s pretty good, very quick, big and strong. What more do you want in a DT?

3 Buffalo: Von Miller LB Texas A&M: I pity the fool who passes on this guy. He’s ultra quick, a game changer, and elite rush linebacker.

4 Cincinnati: A.J. Green, WR Georgia. This is where it starts to get even fuzzier. Carson Palmer wants out of Cincy. Or does he? Will he leave? Do the Bengals need a QB, or can they entice him back with a receiver like Green? I guess we’ll find out together.

5 Arizona: Blaine Gabbert QB Missouri. The Bengals may be kicking themselves if Gabbert is a quick learner and snags rookie of the year honors. Or not.

6 Cleveland: Nick Fairley DT Auburn. Cleveland is pleasantly surprised to see Fairley still on the board, and races their pick up to the Commish. Since it’s the Browns, there’s a chance the guy might trip and drop the card.

7 San Francisco: Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU You may have heard the expression “it’s a passer’s league” these days. There’s a corollary: If you can stop the opponent’s passing attack, chances are better you’ll win. Good corners help. The 49ers believe they’ve got a good one.

8 Tennessee: Robert Quinn DE North Carolina. The other bad thing about the lockout is new coaches can’t get a thorough gander at their new prospects. Tennessee figures just because a DE missed a year of football doesn’t make it a bad thing. Lots of risk, lots of upside.

9 Dallas: Tyron Smith, OT USC. Tryon played much of last year at about 280 and the ‘pokes like their OL big. So what gives? The kid discovered good nutrition habits and has porked up to 315. The Cowboys have their starting OLT for the next decade or so.

10 Redskins: Julio Jones WR, Alabama. In case you didn’t notice, I’m the Redskins writer here. I wish I had some solid insider information, but Mike Shanahan has pretty much kept his piehole shut about his intentions. The Redskins under Vinnie Cerrato were notoriously bad at selecting WRs, but he’s gone. They desperately need an OLB and a NG, and I suppose Shanahan may go for Locker here. But with the lockout, no QB, even Locker will be ready to go when the live bullets fire. And with Santana Moss most likely leaving—it seems a smart choice.

11 Houston: Prince Amukarara. Back to the Redskins. If starting CB FA Carlos Rodgers is gone—I think he is—the ‘skins desperately need a CB. But I think they opt for offense. This makes Houston very happy with a potential shutdown corner.

12 Minnesota Vikings: Cameron Jordan DE Cal. Vikings need a QB, may I suggest one Donovan McNabb?

13 Detroit Lions: Da’Quan Bowers, DE Clemson. The Lions are no longer an easy out and their defense gets better with this pick.

14 St. Louis Rams: Corey Liuget, DT, Illinois. Come on Rams, lob a call to Shanahan. You really really want Julio Jones, and you’ll switch with the Redskins and toss in, oh, say a 3rd and 4th rounder.

15 Miami Dolphins: Anthony Castonzo OT, Boston College: Until USC’s Smith’s ascension up the ladder, considered the best tackle out there by many.

16 Jacksonville Jaguars: Aldon Smith DE Wisconsin, Lotsa good outside LBs and DEs in the draft this year.

17 New England: Ryan Kerrigan DE Purdue: Well of course the Patriots have the most high draft picks this year. And barring a trade back for more picks next year, hard to say what they’ll do. But, as the man said, lots of good DEs and OLBs out there.

18 San Diego Chargers: J.J. Watt DE Wisconsin. I said there are a lot of outside linebackers and DEs available this year, and once a run on them starts, who knows where it will stop?

19 New York Giants: Mark Ingram RB Alabama. The run stops here. The New Yorkers are always on the lookout for good linemen, but at this point in the draft, I think it’s time for the first RB to come off the board. Put him down for 1200 yards next season.

20 Tampa Bay Bucs: Adrian Clayborn DE Iowa After that brief interruption, the run on DE and OLBs continues, a need position for Tampa.

21 Kansas City Chiefs: Phil Taylor DT Baylor. Lots of teams playing the 3-4, not enough nose guards. You do the math. This guy’s a risk, but he goes 340 and is essentially immoveable.

22 Indianapolis Colts: Nate Solder, OT Colorado Here’s an easy question. Who’s their MVP? And what do you do for an aging MVP? Keep him healthy. Only downside, at 6’8” he may block more passes than the defense.

23 Philadelphia Eagles: Gabe Carimi OT Wisconsin. Next to Philly cheese steaks, there is nothing more valued in the city of brotherly love than oversized O-linemen.

24 New Orleans Saints: Kyle Rudolph TE Notre Dame. Best player available, New Orleans plucks the next great tight end.

25 Seattle Seahawks: Jake Locker QB Washington. A “hometown” hero deflects criticism, and remember he played hurt most of last season.

26 Baltimore Colts: Brandon Harris, CB, Miami Colts secondary has been a sieve. This couldn’t hurt.

27 Atlanta Falcons: Akeem Ayers LB UCLA. Weatherspoon was hurt much of last year, this provides depth or replacement.

28 New England Patriots: Muhammad Wilkerson DE Temple. Hey, guess what? If this guy doesn’t work out, NE’s got a bunch more picks to address their defensive needs.

29 Chicago Bears: Marvin Austin DT, North Carolina. Why him? Why now? Because my Magic Eight Ball tells me so.

30 New York Jets: Aaron Williams, CB Texas. Revis Island is solid, put anything resembling a shut down corner opposite him and watch out.

31 Pittsburgh Steelers: Mike Pouncey, OG Florida. Bloodlines, dude. Biggest knock on Mike is he can’t snap the ball as a center. Guess what, the Steelers have his bro, Maurkice to do that.

32 Green Bay Packers: Ryan Williams, RB, Virginia Tech. Finally, my long national nightmare is over. My Mock is complete. And no, I’m not doing a second round.

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