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.
Pulse of the Nation (Mile High Report): MHR deals with the possible Dareus selection. And MHR's draft cameos series has been great work. Their piece on Dareus is a great read.
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.
Pulse of the Nation (Buffalo Rumblings): Speaking of great series, BR's Baker's Dozen series has also been commendable. Just check out the piece on how Peterson would fit in Buffalo.
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.
Pulse of the Nation (Cincy Jungle): Gabbert makes even more sense here, since the Bengals might not have a shot at a quality QB in round 2. They reportedly won't reach for one either.
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.
Pulse of the Nation (Revenge of the Birds): ROTB is behind the Von Miller pick.
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.
Pulse of the Nation (Niners Nation): If it's Prince or Quinn, Niners Nation is backing Prince.
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.
Pulse of the Nation (Blogging the Boys): Yes, I even went against The Master, Rick Gosselin.
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.
Pulse of the Nation (Hogs Haven): Mocks are often wrong. Very wrong.
11.) Houston Texans - Aldon Smith: DE/OLB, Missouri (report, 10, 3-DE)
Pulse of the Nation (Battle Red Blog): Smith's in the running, according to BRB, but this pick (should the Texans not trade out) is definitely up in the air.
12.) Minnesota Vikings - Jake Locker: QB, Washington (report, 55, 5)
Pulse of the Nation (Daily Norseman): Locker's got the vote from the Norseman, but they could go after a lineman on either side of the ball here too.
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.
Pulse of the Nation (Pats Pulpit): The Pulpit examines Julio Jones with a Patriotic eye. Bad jokes=free money.
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.
Pulse of the Nation (Bolts from the Blue): D-line is definitely in play, though BFTB is going after Ryan Kerrigan (DE, Purdue).
16.) Jacksonville Jaguars - Christian Ponder: QB, Florida St. (report, 21, 3)
Pulse of the Nation (Big Cat Country): BCC investigates the likely candidates.
17.) Detroit Lions (via trade with New England) - Anthony Castonzo: OT, Boston College (report, 32, 4)
Pulse of the Nation (Pride of Detroit): Trading down is a popular option, but the Pride would rather grab some defensive help than Jeff Backus' eventual replacement.
18.) Miami Dolphins (via trade with San Diego) - Mike Pouncey: G/C, Florida (report, 22, 1-G)
Pulse of the Nation (The Phinsider): Dreaming of Blaine. I think there was a play named that back in the 80s.
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.
Pulse of the Nation (Big Blue View): Ed Valentine offers his rules for draft success. And yes, I chose this because of #4.
20.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Brooks Reed: DE/OLB, Arizona (report, 61, 12-OLB)
Pulse of the Nation (Bucs Nation): Bucs Nation looks at the popular options at #20.
21.) Kansas City Chiefs - Nate Solder: OT, Colorado (report, 36, 5)
Pulse of the Nation (Arrowhead Pride): Joel Thorman calls offensive line the "safe" pick. That means it''s in Pioli's wheelhouse.
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)
Pulse of the Nation (Bleeding Green Nation): Cornerback, offensive line, outside linebacker - they're all in the mix.
24.) New Orleans Saints - Robert Quinn: DE, UNC (report, 7, 2)
Pulse of the Nation (Canal Street Chronicles): This is a bit a dream scenario for the Saints. Should they end up with Da'Quan Bowers, however, CSC won't be complaining.
25.) Seattle Seahawks - Andy Dalton: QB, TCU (report, 85, 7)
Pulse of the Nation (Field Gulls): The offense certainly isn't packed with talent. Paired with Charlie Whitehurst, would that make Dalton Ginger Jesus? Gingus?!
26.) New York Jets (draft day trade with Baltimore) - Adrian Clayborn: DE, Iowa (report, 31, 7)
Pulse of the Nation (Gang Green Nation): Trading up? More like trading down, according to GGN.
27.) Atlanta Falcons - Torrey Smith: WR, Maryland (report, 41, 5)
Pulse of the Nation (The Falcoholic): Could this really happen?
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)
Pulse of the Nation (Windy City Gridiron): The Bears chances of trading up? Not good, says WCG.
30.) Baltimore Ravens (via trade with New York Jets) - Cameron Jordan: DE, Cal (report, 12, 4)
Pulse of the Nation (Baltimore Beatdown): Needs are one thing. Results are another.
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)
Pulse of the Nation (Acme Packing Company): In APC's community mock draft, Cameron Heyward was the favorite option.
Alright. Enough mockery. We've got a draft coming on in just four hours.