2011 NFL Mock Draft 8-19



Team needs were taken into account with this NFL mock draft. We all know those needs will change numerous times between now and next April, but I looked at where each team is at their weakest, and filled those needs in accordingly.

Order was determined by the overall ratings of every NFL team by Athlon’s NFL annual preview magazine.

By Paul M. Banks

1. Buffalo Jake Locker, QB, Washington

In theory, he’s the #1 pick- no doubt. After him, then the debate can begin. The day after the 2010 NFL Draft I received a Jake Locker promotional postcard from the Univ. of Washington in the mail. Here are some of the more interesting quotes included in it. “”If he’s not the number one pick in 2011, it’s an upset,” Mel Kiper Jr. “If I didn’t have to coach against him, I’d be a bigger fan,” Jim Harbaugh.

Buf weaknesses: QB, OL, 3-4 LB, 3-4 DL


2. Detroit Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska

You’ve heard of the “no-name defense,” or other nicknames for NFL position groups? I’m calling Detroit’s DBs the “Jim Belushi Secondary” because they are completely devoid of any talent or discernible purpose. Like Ndamukong Suh last season, the Huskers have produced a top NFL defensive prospect with a very difficult name to spell and pronounce. And like Suh last year, look for Amukara to shoot up NFL Draft big boards later in the seasonal cycle. The Prince had 54 tackles and 5 interceptions last season, and returned this fall without seeking a round projection from the NFL Draft advisory committee. And yes, I know it’s VERY RARE for a CB to go in the top five, but believe me this pick could actually happen.

Det weaknesses: RB, DB, OL, 4-3 LB


3. Tampa Bay Robert Quinn, DE/OLB, North Carolina

Quinn is shaping up to be this draft’s wildcard. He could go as high as the top 5, or fall out of the first round entirely. It depends on a multitude of factors, such as 3-4 teams looking for rush linebacker, or 4-3 units like Tampa that project him as a 4-3 outside linebacker prospect. and how he does at the combine. Quinn is like Miami’s Allen Bailey, Pitt’s Greg Romeus and Texas’ Sam Acho, collegiate defensive ends who could likely find themselves playing a linebacker position in the NFL; all dependent on scheme. I’m predicting Quinn will take care of business on the field.

T.B. weaknesses: 4-3 DL, 4-3 LB, RB, WR

4. Seattle Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford

It’s hard to decide what’s bigger and better about Luck as a NFL prospect- his strong arm, poise and intelligence on the field or his standing as exceptional student, leader in the community and icon of the program at an elite institution. Given how Draconian NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is in applying his character policy, being a stand-up guy matters more than ever on NFL Draft day.

To read about my tour of Seattle’s Qwest Field go here

Sea team needs: QB, OL, 4-3 DL, DB

jesus notre dame

5. Denver Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame

He may have been over-shadowed by Golden Tate this season, but he’s probably a better NFL prospect. Who said Jimmy Clausen didn’t have weapons around him at ND? Well, he had no running game and bad blocking, but he did have weapons. It’s no secret what position is the weakest link in Denver’s chain.

Den weaknesses: WR, 3-4 DL, 3-4 LB, RB

6. Cleveland Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas

Yes, the Browns took Colt McCoy in this year’s draft, but he is not the answer. Unless the question is “hey, where I can find a stop-gap QB, who biggest pro upside is a poor man’s Kyle Orton?” Look for Cleveland to draft a mobile passer with a strong arm and mindset perfect for the pro game. Luck is indeed a fine NFL QB prospect.

Mallett has that cannon for an arm that all NFL personnel look for when building their offense. He just needs seasoning and to build more consistency. He also looks like a QB prospect that has all the requisite intangibles. He good give Locker and Luck a run for their money.

Cle weaknesses: QB, WR, RB, DB


7. St. Louis Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa

NFL teams are more careful than ever in this era of Roger Goodell’s attempts at legislating morality. Because there are no doubts about Clayborn’s ability on the field. The All-American Honorable Mention had 11.5 sacks last year, and took home the Orange Bowl MVP and National Defensive Performer of the Year Awards.

But a racially-charged incident with an Iowa City cab driver has put his character, and therefore his NFL Draft Stock, into question. After reading this interview/article, any concerns of this sort will be alleviated.

“I would not rather put it all out there. But there were words exchanged that somebody shouldn’t say,” he responded.

Clayborn (who in this incident, was basically the anti-Patrick Kane) has put that situation behind him, as well as his decision to put the NFL off another year.

“I think I made the right decision. Can’t go back on it now, so why think about it?” He said.

The former Missouri state high school player of the year, who finds himself everybody’s preseason All-American, as well as on the watch lists for the Lott, Lombardi, and Hendricks awards, didn’t even put in the paperwork for the NFL draft last spring. But he did take out the NCAA insurance policy protecting his potential future earnings from the catastrophe of a career ending injury.

For an exclusive interview/profile of Clayborn go here and here

Stl. weaknesses: QB, WR, 4-3 DL, DB

iowa cheerleaders


8. Tennessee Cameron Heyward, DL, Ohio State

Here’s a guy that easily could have come out and received a nice paycheck, but for the sake of his game, and his development I think it’s a good idea he stayed in school. Heyward loves college life, and college football too much to not come back for his senior season. At Big Ten Media Day, he talked about his decision to return.

“The NFL’s not guaranteed,” Heyward said. “This year’s going to be a good year, but I wanted to get my degree and prepare myself for after football. And have a backup plan, a lot of these guys who leave early don’t have a backup plan, and aren’t ready,” he continued.

How high he gets drafted will depend on his ability to flourish in both the 3-4 and the 4-3 schematics. The new hot trend these days is for collegiate defensive ends to transition into 3-4 outside linebackers. I asked Heyward about playing in both base defenses.

“I think the 4-3 is a better fit sometimes for running and physical teams, but in the 3-4 you can mix it up too, you can bring a couple linebackers up on the edge and bring your d linemen down in the middle,” he responded.

Any preference? “I’m pretty confident in both of ‘em.”

To read an exclusive interview profile of Heyward go here and here

For more on Heyward go here,

Ten weaknesses: 4-3 DL, 4-3 LB, WR, QB

ohio state jesus

9. Pittsburgh Terrelle Pryor, QB, Ohio State

It’s safe to say the Steelers will be looking for a replacement for Ben Roethlisberger sooner rather than later. Remember when Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor was being recruited? As far as high school players go, his hype was bigger than Jesus, Jimmy Clausen, and Tim Couch combined. (This analogy is contingent on Jesus’ having played college football, and I’m assuming that’s true because he’s a part of Notre Dame’s wall of fame.)

Entering his junior season, Pryor hasn’t quite lived up to expectations. I’m predicting this is the year he puts it all together, then bolts early for the NFL. So yeah, I’m making a huge leap of faith here in Pryor.

For more on Pryor go here and here

Pit weaknesses: OL, WR, QB, DB


10. New England (From Oakland) Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama

It was a shame that ’06 first round pick, Laurence Maroney, out of Minnesota, didn’t pan out. Early in his career, he truly showed flashes of being their legit replacement for Corey Dillon. But Maroney’s clearly run out of chances in New England now, and they haven’t been able to really get a genuine workhorse back out of their amalgam of blah since Dillon left football (For more on what he’s been up to since retiring go here). Since the Pats didn’t consider tailback in this past draft, look for them to do so in the next one.

For an feature profile/exclusive interview of Ingram go here

NE weaknesses: RB, 3-4 DB, 3-4 LB, WR

patriots female fans

11. Jacksonville Ryan Williams, RB, Virginia Tech

Jacksonville didn’t do anything right in their 2010 NFL Draft, so whoever they take in ’11 will be a big upgrade. Some of their draft decisions seemed almost “Millenesque.” How can you be an NFL franchise and lose money? I don’t know, ask Jax. They’ll have needs a plenty in 2011, starting with somebody to help ease the burden on MoJo.

Jax weaknesses: 4-3 DB, 4-3 DL, RB, QB

12. Kansas City AJ Green, WR, Georgia

In 2010, it was all about Suh vs. McCoy when it came to NFL Draft debates, this year the position battle is Green vs. Jones. It’s a LOADED class at WR, and these two studs lead the way. Green is a guy who can both be dangerous underneath, and stretch the field. He’ll be every collegiate safety’s nightmare this fall.


13. Chicago Julio Jones, WR, Alabama

Everyone raves about JJ’s potential and measurables. Not so much about all his drops, but I think he’ll come correct on that this season.  The Bears need receivers DESPERATELY, I’m predicting that will not change by next April. And this class is LOADED. Cutler must be salivating over this pick, because finally he’ll get a wideout who isn’t mentally challenged. Seriously, the three main guys contributing to the Bears WR position have a combined IQ of about 70, and I doubt I’m exaggerating much. In keeping with my joke from the Lions pick, I’m naming the Bears receiving corps the “Forrest Gump WRs.”

Chi weaknesses: WR, DB, OL, RB


14. Miami Jared Crick, DT, Nebraska

Crick learned from one of the best (Suh) last season, and like Ndamukong, he’s a big, fast, athletic player whose knows how to get off blocks and find the opponents’ backfield.

Mia weaknesses: 3-4 LB, 3-4 DL, QB, OL

15. Arizona Allen Bailey, DT, Miami

Bailey has all the natural gifts and skill sets, but he’s been quite inconsistent over his collegiate career. If gets it together this autumn, he’ll be a top 15 pick.

cardinals cheerleaders

16. Cincinnati Greg Jones, LB, Michigan State

Jones’ position coach described him as “an instinctive player with a great motor” and “a relentless competitor who never gives up on a play” The 6-1, 223 pound junior has tremendous NFL potential. At Big Ten Media Day, I asked him what his greatest strengths are “stopping the run” he responded. I also asked him what parts of his game needs help. “I want to work on the pass because I feel like I wasn’t effective enough in coverage I didn’t get a whole lot of turnovers, I just want to be a factor in the passing game, I feel I want to be more of a factor in the passing game,” Jones responded.

For an exclusive interview/feature profile of Jones go here

Cin weaknesses: 4-3 LB, 4-3 DL, DB, OL

texans cheerleader

17. Houston Marcel Dareus, DE, Alabama

Dareus is just over 3 bills, and he’s excellent at moving all that wait around quickly and gracefully. He’s shown a lot of versatility in Nick Saban’s hybrid schematics and perhaps that acumen will carry over to the more sophisticated schemes in the NFL.

Hou weaknesses DB, RB, 4-3 DL, OL

18. Washington Gabe Carimi, OT/G, Wisconsin

The Sconnies certainly know how to produce giant big men built to block in the NFL. Carimi has shown both power and agility in pushing off defenders and opening holes. He’s arguably the top tackle in this draft. Carimi’s physical attributes set him apart from the rest: long arms, quick feet, and solid footwork.

Carimi has a lot of experience and size, but he lacks athleticism and technique. Also, scouts have no idea if he’ll play on the right or left side in the NFL which could hurt his draft stock.

Was weaknesses: OL, DB, WR, RB

traci lynn johnson

19. NY Giants Curtis Brown, CB, Texas

Brown appears to have all the tools and skill sets to be in ’11 what Haden was in ’10. Of course, you might think that LSU’s Peterson is that guy. However, Brown isn’t too far behind, and the NYG’s Jerry Reese is truly a value GM, who’ll take best guy available on the board.

NYG weaknesses DB, 4-3 LB, OL, RB

20. Green Bay Joseph Barksdale, OT, LSU

The spotlight will be on Barksdale as he protects the blind spot of Tigers signal caller this year. The large athletic man projects to a solid LT in the NFL, and could make for a good young pair of bookend tackles with this year’s #1 Bryan Bulaga.

21. Carolina Mark Barron, S, Alabama

Carolina’s roster might gel really well together this fall, or they could just as easily find themselves in a messy situation, and looking to rebuild again, all over the defense.

Car weaknesses: 4-3 DL, QB, OL, DB

22. Atlanta Rahim Moore, S, UCLA

The Falcons pass defense is sorry at best. Enter Moore who picked off ten passes last fall, and has all the skills to play “centerfield” in the NFL. I know what you’re saying- it’s a reach to pick a safety this high, so few of them go in the first round. And to that I say what did we learn with this past draft? Did much of it make sense?

Atl weaknesses: 4-3 LB, 4-3 DL, DB, OL


23. San Diego Von Miller, DE/OLB, Texas A&M

It looks like another season where all the experts are predicting San Diego to win the whole thing, but once again they’ll fall short. I’m not as sold on them as others. Miller is the top player at the rush linebacker position in this class, and his versatility will get him noticed. A LOT. If he adds more functional strength, he’ll be the ideal 3-4 pass-rushing prospect. Chargers need to rebuild pieces of their aging front seven and this would be a good place to start.

S.D. weaknesses: 3-4 LB, 3-4 DL, DB, RB


24. New England Jurrell Casey, DT, USC

I still can’t believe the Patriots passed on Jared Odrick when they had the opportunity to take him. They badly need to rebuild their front seven, but you know what will happen. They’ll probably trade this pick down two or three times, and stockpile 3rd round picks.

NE weaknesses: RB, 3-4 DB, 3-4 LB, WR

25. San Francisco Greg Romeus, DE/OLB, Pitt

Right now collegiate defensive ends shifting over to linebacker at the professional level are hotter than Hayden Panetierre’s legs in short shorts. Romeus should be a top 10 pick if he builds off what he did last year at Pitt. He showed how strong he was against the run, and if he could get into double digit sacks this season, I think the 275 lb. prospect will become more highly sought after than the mid 20s. The co-Big East defensive player of the year lacks bulk, but has plenty of length. And he’s projected at a myriad of positions.

S.F. weaknesses DB, QB, 3-4 DL/LB

Roc Pitt Panther

26. NY Jets Jack Crawford, DE/OLB, Penn State

Another solid prospect from “Linebacker U,” Crawford could be a great rush 3-4 LB for some lucky team.

NYJ team needs: fans and a head coach that aren’t 100% arrogant DOUCHEBAGS, then RB, QB, ST

jenn sterger new york jets

27. Minnesota Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU

Most NFL Draft boards have Peterson among the top 2-3 CBs.

Min weaknesses: DB, 4-3 LB

28. Philadelphia Kyle Rudolph, TE, Notre Dame

It’s always tough to predict where tight ends will go in a given draft, but Rudolph should be the first one off the boards.

Phi weaknesses: QB, OL, DB, RB

29. Dallas Jonathan Baldwin, WR, Pittsburgh

Last season Baldwin, who goes 6-5, 225, caught 57 for 1,111 yards and 8 TDs.

Dal weaknesses: 3-4 DL, DB, OL, WR

nate north carolina

30. Indianapolis Ras-I-Dowling, CB, Virginia

Dowling went back to school this year, presumably to work on his speed; which isn’t quite up to NFL standards yet. His size, presence and tendency to be a ball-hawk at opportune times will interest NFL teams, provided he makes the necessary strides this year.


31. New Orleans Bruce Carter, OLB, North Carolina

Carter is another guy who could have possibly been picked this year, but went back to school to sharpen up his skills. He’s speedy, and could make a great fit at the SAM position

N.O. weaknesses: 4-3 LB, 4-3 DL, RB, DB

32. Baltimore Case Keenum, QB, Houston

For an exclusive feature profile/interview of Keenum go here

Bal weaknesses: QB, WR, OL, confidence in the fact that you won’t get shot and killed within the city limits

Just missed:

Jeremy Beal, DE/OLB, Oklahoma

Noel Devine, RB, West Virginia

Clint Boling, OT, Georgia

Travis Lewis, OLB, Oklahoma

Terrence Toliver, WR, LSU

John Clay, RB, Wisconsin

This mock draft is listed at Walter Football, Football Fan Spot and DC Pro Sports Report

Written by Paul M. Banks, President and CEO of The Sports Bank.net , a Midwest focused webzine. He is also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, the Chicago Tribune’s blog network, Walter Football.com, the Washington Times Communities, Yardbarker Network, and Fox Sports.com

You can follow him on Twitter @thesportsbank and @bigtenguru

Powered by

Speak Your Mind