My 2011 First Round NFL Mock Draft

I finally did a full 1st round Mock Draft and I was very surprised at who I selected for the Bears. Remember this mock draft isn't exactly who I would select, it's who I think the teams would take. And we all know that Jerry Angelo doesn't exactly make the obvious choice.

After initially doing my mock, I started having second thoughts about my #1 overall. Some of the stuff I've read recently from Carolina leads me to think they'll end up with Cam Newton.

1) Carolina Panthers - Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri

This could very well be Cam Newton, but Gabbert is a safer pick, and with a new coaching regime in place in Carolina, going safe is the best bet. He has a high football I.Q., he's athletic, strong armed, and accurate. He'll need some time to adjust after playing in the spread offense, but he has the tools to succeed.

2) Denver Broncos - Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama
Dareus seems to be the consensus pick for the Broncos by every NFL expert out there. He could play DE in a 3-4, but as a 4-3 DT he can be a disruptive force. New head coach John Fox will line him up at DT.

3) Buffalo Bills - Cam Newton, QB, Auburn
I'm not completely sold on this selection. If Newton goes #1, then the Bills quickly pick up Gabbert, but Newton has some red flags he'll need to overcome. If the Bills meet with Newton and are convinced he's mature enough to be "the man" then he'll be the pick. Buffalo needs a franchise QB.

4) Cincinnati Bengals - A.J. Green, WR, Georgia
The Bengals offense needs playmakers. T.O. is probably gone and Chad Ochocinco is getting up there. If they draft Green it may also help appease QB Carson Palmer who has been demanding a trade.

5) Arizona Cardinals - Von Miller, OLB, Texas A&M
With no QB to take (this is too early for Jake Locker), the Cards take the Butkus Award winning Miller. He's an freakishly athletic and will provide a huge boost rushing the passer.

6) Cleveland Browns - Robert Quinn, DE, North Carolina
Another athletic freak, Quinn (6'4″ / 264 pounds) has a 33-inch vertical, a 4.59 40-yard dash, a 4.26 seconds in the short shuttle, and did 24 reps of 225 pounds in the bench press. CB Patrick Peterson is a strong possibility here.

7) San Francisco 49ers - Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU
New head coach Jim Harbaugh has to be happy to get the player that many consider to be the most "can't miss". Many scouts think he's the best player in the draft class, and going #1 overall is a possibility.

8) Tennessee Titans - Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn
Fairley is a nasty defensive lineman, some even say dirty, but do you want some choir boy lining up in the trenches? I don't. He has to mature a bit and get a better work ethic, but his upside is huge.

9) Dallas Cowboys - Tyron Smith, OT, USC
This pick makes so much sense, I think Jerry Jones may go in a different direction. The Cowboys offensive line needs help, and Smith could play RT now, and eventually move to the left side.

10) Washington Redskins - Julio Jones, WR, Alabama
The Redskins offense needs a lot of help. Taking QB Jake Locker here is a possibility, but addressing QB later makes sense with Jones available. He's a big, physical (6'3″ / 220) target that can flat out fly (4.39 40), who ever is playing QB in Washington next year will have their #1 WR.

11) Houston Texans - J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin
The Texans and new defensive coordinator Wade Phillips have to be pleased so many top d-lineman are still available. With the switch to a 3-4, they get a prototypical 5-technique to play DE.

12) Minnesota Vikings - Cameron Jordan, DE, California
At 6'4″ 287 he would fit perfectly opposite Jared Allen. His father Steve was a long time Viking tight end.

13) Detroit Lions - Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska
The Lions have a lot of different ways they could go, but I think they'll try and upgrade their lines in the 2nd and 3rd round. Amukamara is a solid CB prospect for a team with secondary concerns.

14) St. Louis Rams - Aldon Smith, DE, Missouri
They need D-Line help, and the question ins DE or DT... I think they go DE now and try and fill DT in round 2. Scouts call him a natural pass rusher and he'll help the Rams from day 1.

15) Miami Dolphins - Anthony Costanzo, OL, Boston College
The Dolphins want to run the ball, and with no running back worthy of a pick this high, they'll take the best offensive tackle on the board. Center/guard Mike Pouncy is a possibility, and is trading down, as the ‘Fins don't have a 2nd round pick.

16) Jacksonville Jaguars - Da'Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson
Bowers is a top 10 talent with some injury issues. His upside is way to tantalizing to pass up at 16. His pro day wasn't the best, but on film he looks like a beast.

17) New England Patriots - Ryan Kerrigan, DE/OLB, Purdue
Strength (31 bench reps) and speed (4.71 40) in a 6'4 267 pound frame. Many scouts think Kerrigan can play OLB in a 3-4 scheme. The Pats need a pass rushing OLB.

18) San Diego Chargers - Phil Taylor, DT, Baylor
The Chargers need a run stuffing NT and Taylor is the best one in the draft. The 334 pound prospect is a bit raw, but he has a high ceiling.

19) New York Giants - Mike Pouncey, C, Florida
The Giants need an upgrade at tackle and center. One of the remaining tackles could be the pick here, but with Pouncey's ability to play center or guard he's the pick.

20) Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Derek Sherrod, OT, Mississippi State
A DE or OLB is a strong posibility, but their emerging star QB Josh Freeman could use some help up front. Sherrod has a chance to play on the left side, but his skill set would allow him to play on the right side immediately.

21) Kansas City Chiefs - Adrian Clayborn, DL, Iowa
Clayborn plays the run well enough to be a 5 technique DE in the Chiefs 3-4 defense. He's an effort pass rusher that could use some more moves, but he's a hustler.

22) Indianapolis Colts - Corey Liuget, DT, Illinois
I think they'll be very tempted to go offensive line with this pick, but with Liuget on the board, they take the 3-technique DT and gamble they can snag an o-linemen in the 2nd.

23) Philadelphia Eagles - Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin
The Eagles need help on the line, and Carimi is the safest lineman left on the board. Corner Jimmy Smith is a possibility.

24) New Orleans Saints - Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama
Running back isn't a pressing need for the Saints, but if Ingram slips this far I think they pull the trigger. Reggie Bush could be a free agent, and has durability concerns as does all the other Saints runners.

25) Seattle Seahawks - Muhammad Wilkerson, DT, Temple
The Seahawks could go in few different ways, as they need help at DT, CB, and QB. Wilkerson at 6'4″ 315 is very good against the run.

26) Baltimore Ravens - Cameron Heyward, DE, Ohio State
The Ravens are looking for 5-technique DE to bolster their defense, and Heyward is the best one left on the board.

27) Atlanta Falcons - Justin Houston, DE/OLB, Georgia
Houston played both 4-3 DE and 3-4 OLB at Georgia, but the Falcons want the fast and powerful Houston to rush the passer with his hand on the ground. The Falcons do drop their DE's into coverage on occasion, so his experience as a OLB will help.

28) New England Patriots - Nate Solder, OT, Colorado
After going defense earlier, I think the Pats take a chance on a player that might have the most potential of all the left tackles in this draft class.

29) Chicago Bears - Brooks Reed, DE, Arizona
The Bears need help on the o-line, but with all the top prospects gone I think they go defense. And even though Reed is considered smallish at 263, the Bears don't mind because he's fast with a 4.68 40 (3rd best of the DL prospects) and a 4.28 short shuttle (also 3rd best), but also strong with 30 reps on the bench.

30) New York Jets - Akeem Ayers, OLB, UCLA
The Jets have to be thrilled that Ayers made it to them at 30. Adding another pass rushing OLB is fine for head coach Rex Ryan.

31) Pittsburgh Steelers - Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado
Smith has some character issues, but the Steelers have a veteran defense that will reel him in. He has size (6'2″ 212) and speed (4.46 40) that Pittsburgh would love at his position.

32) Green Bay Packers - Danny Watkins, OL, Baylor
The Packers will not reach for need, but will go with the best player available on their board. Aaron Williams, the DB from Texas is a possibility, as is going receiver.

In all honesty if I'm making the pick for the Bears I'm trying to trade down. But if I had to make a pick at 29, I'd address either DT with Marvin Austin or Stephen Paea, or offensive line with Danny Watkins, Orlando Franklin, or Ben Ijalana.

This Fanpost was written by a Windy City Gridiron member and does not necessarily reflect the ideas or opinions of its staff or community.