Amazingly, this is only my second 2011 NFL Mock Draft. My first one was roughly 11 months ago. With just a couple hours until the Carolina Panthers select, uh, somebody, here's my final roll of the dice for the first round.
For reference, the Mocking the Draft big board, and links to positional big boards, can be found here. Player selections are followed by MTD reports, when available, their big board ranking and lastly their positional ranking.
1.) Carolina Panthers - Cam Newton: QB, Auburn (report, 15, 2)
Yes, the reports suggest this is where the Panthers are headed with the first overall pick. At this point, anything else would be a surprise. I'll bite.
Pulse of the Nation (Cat Scratch Reader): Had I pushed a mock out between the end of the NFL season and about a week ago, though, I probably would've gone with Patrick Peterson (CB, LSU). CSR's James Dator makes the case.
The rest of the first round, which is not nearly as predictable as this pick, after the jump.
2.) Denver Broncos - Marcell Dareus: DT/DE, Alabama (report, 3, 1-DT)
There's plenty of momentum building behind Von Miller (OLB, Texas A&M). Still, the combination of value and need makes sense for this pick. Peterson is also in the running, but I see this one playing out.
3.) Buffalo Bills - Patrick Peterson: CB, LSU (report, 2, 1)
This is a tough one. So many needs, so many options. Out of the first three, this is the least comfortable pick.
4.) Cincinnati Bengals - Blaine Gabbert: QB, Missouri (report, 9, 1)
I can see this happening pretty easily. If there's a prospect that can fill Carson Palmer's role by week 1, Gabbert's the man for the job.
5.) Arizona Cardinals - Von Miller: OLB, Texas A&M (report, 14, 3)
At this point, the draft opens up. I'll go with Miller over Robert Quinn (DE, UNC) here.
6.) Cleveland Browns - Nick Fairley: DT, Auburn (report, 8, 2)
Here's my first semi-shocker - no WR to Cleveland. Pat Shurmur worked out a low-risk offense in Sam Bradford's first year, and I expect him to run a similar offense in Cleveland. In round 2, though, the Browns would have solid options to draft a WR at #37.
Pulse of the Nation (Dawgs by Nature): Fairley certainly isn't a unanimous selection among the Browns faithful.
7.) San Francisco 49ers - Prince Amukamara: CB, Nebraska (report, 5, 2)
Amukamara beats out pass rushers here.
8.) Tennessee Titans - A.J. Green: WR, Georgia (report, 1, 1)
Pulse of the Nation (Music City Miracles): What does Tennessee do if Nick Fairley has already been selected?
9.) Dallas Cowboys - Tyron Smith: OT, USC (report, 11, 1)
I know J.J. Watt (DE/DT, Wisconsin) is getting traction here, but I'd be shocked if the Cowboys don't go after an OT here. They gave us something for Alex Barron. That sentence is as unbelievable to write now as it was a year ago.
10.) Washington Redskins - J.J. Watt: DE/DT, Wisconsin (report, 13, 5-DE)
J.J. Watt and Adam Carriker on the same defensive line. Three horsemen of the apocalypse remain.
11.) Houston Texans - Aldon Smith: DE/OLB, Missouri (report, 10, 3-DE)
12.) Minnesota Vikings - Jake Locker: QB, Washington (report, 55, 5)
13.) New England Patriots (draft day trade with Detroit) - Julio Jones: WR, Alabama (report, 4, 2)
With Julio Jones a pick away from the Rams, the Patriots yet again stomp on the dreams of St. Louis by trading with Detroit to jump up to 13.
14.) St. Louis Rams - Corey Liuget: DT, Illinois (report, 28, 4)
Pulse of the Nation (Turf Show Times): Even if Julio Jones is there, it's not a certainty that the Rams would call his name.
15.) San Diego Chargers (draft day trade with Miami) - Da'Quan Bowers: DE, Clemson (report, 6, 1)
The second trade in three picks, San Diego moves up to jump in front of Jacksonville who also has an immediate need on the defensive line.
16.) Jacksonville Jaguars - Christian Ponder: QB, Florida St. (report, 21, 3)
17.) Detroit Lions (via trade with New England) - Anthony Castonzo: OT, Boston College (report, 32, 4)
18.) Miami Dolphins (via trade with San Diego) - Mike Pouncey: G/C, Florida (report, 22, 1-G)
19.) New York Giants - Gabe Carimi: OT, Wisconsin (report, 29, 3)
I could see this pick working like Bryan Bulaga did for Green Bay this previous year, which is to say well. If, however, the Giants don't feel comfortable with the remaining tackles, I wouldn't be surprised if they moved back to a team like Kansas City or Indianapolis who are in line for a tackle upgrade.
20.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Brooks Reed: DE/OLB, Arizona (report, 61, 12-OLB)
21.) Kansas City Chiefs - Nate Solder: OT, Colorado (report, 36, 5)
22.) Indianapolis Colts - Derek Sherrod: OT, Mississippi St. (report, 18, 2)
Pulse of the Nation (Stampede Blue): The consensus pick is somewhere on either side of the line. But I wouldn't be surprised if the Colts shock Radio City Music Hall and take a WR.
23.) Philadelphia Eagles - Akeem Ayers: OLB, UCLA (report, 23, 2)
24.) New Orleans Saints - Robert Quinn: DE, UNC (report, 7, 2)
25.) Seattle Seahawks - Andy Dalton: QB, TCU (report, 85, 7)
26.) New York Jets (draft day trade with Baltimore) - Adrian Clayborn: DE, Iowa (report, 31, 7)
27.) Atlanta Falcons - Torrey Smith: WR, Maryland (report, 41, 5)
28.) New England Patriots - Mark Ingram: RB, Alabama (report, 17, 1)
Julio Jones and Mark Ingram add unnecessary firepower to the Pats' O. Can we all agree we don't want this to happen?
29.) Chicago Bears - Jon Baldwin: WR, Pittsburgh (report, 25, 3)
30.) Baltimore Ravens (via trade with New York Jets) - Cameron Jordan: DE, Cal (report, 12, 4)
31.) Pittsburgh Steelers - Kyle Rudolph: TE, Notre Dame (report, 24, 1)
Pulse of the Nation (Behind the Steel Curtain): BSC says forget tight end; the WR position is where the offense has the most room to improve.
32.) Green Bay Packers - Cameron Heyward: DE, Ohio St. (report, 26, 6)
Alright. Enough mockery. We've got a draft coming on in just four hours.