2011 NFL mock draft 3.0

Wouldn’t it be interesting if the Carolina Panthers wound up passing on Cam Newton? It probably won’t happen, but if it does, lots of mock drafts will be ruined.

I’ve never been one for including trades in mock drafts simply because doing so throws everything out of whack. But in next week’s version, I’ll list some trade possibilities.

In this version, I’ve updated team needs and added some other possible selections for teams when it’s their time to select.

1.) Carolina Panthers: Cam Newton/QB/Auburn

Second mock selection: Cam Newton/QB/Auburn

First mock selection: Cam Newton/QB/Auburn

Analysis: I find it interesting that they have been visiting with a few of the top cornerbacks for this draft. Still, they’ll look toward Newton’s upside for the future.

Needs: DT, QB, DE, CB, WR

Other possibilities: Marcell Dareus/DT/Alabama, Patrick Peterson/CB/LSU

2.) Denver Broncos: Marcell Dareus/DT/Alabama

Second mock selection: Marcell Dareus/DT/Alabama

First mock selection: Marcell Dareus/DT/Alabama

Analysis: He could be an instant starter for them. Don’t be surprised if they select a quarterback or tight end on the second day.

Needs: DT, DE, TE, RT, MLB, CB

Other possibilities: Patrick Peterson/CB/LSU

3.) Buffalo Bills: Von Miller/OLB/Texas A&M

Second mock selection: Von Miller/OLB/Texas A&M

First mock selection: Von Miller/OLB/Texas A&M

Analysis: It’s hard to see them going in any other direction here. However, if Newton dropped, it could get interesting for the Bills. They do need a developmental quarterback.

Needs: OLB, RT, DE, LT, QB, ILB

Other possibilities: Patrick Peterson/CB/LSU

4.) Cincinnati Bengals: A.J. Green/WR/Georgia

Second mock selection: A.J. Green/WR/Georgia

First mock selection: Patrick Peterson/CB/LSU

Analysis: Green is easily one of the top-five players in this draft, and he could be an instant NFL starter if the Bengals don’t bring back veteran Chad Ochocinco, who is on the final year of his contract.

Needs: WR, G, C, SS, CB, QB, DE

Other possibilities: Da’Quan Bowers/DE/Clemson, Patrick Peterson/CB/LSU

5.) Arizona Cardinals: Patrick Peterson/CB/LSU

Second mock selection: Patrick Peterson/CB/LSU

First mock selection: Prince Amukamara/CB/Nebraska

Analysis: The bottom line is the Cardinals must improve on defensive to have a legitimate of challenging for the NFC West crown. Peterson would really help the back end of their defense. They could get a developmental quarterback later on should they feel John Skelton isn’t the long-term answer.

Needs: OLB, QB, C, G, RT, CB, DE, ILB

Other possibilities: Blaine Gabbert/QB/Missouri

6.) Cleveland Browns: Robert Quinn/DE-OLB/North Carolina

Second mock selection: Da’Quan Bowers/DE/Clemson

First mock selection: A.J. Green/WR/Georgia

Analysis: An NFL scouting source tells me that Quinn, not Bowers, is the top edge rusher available for this draft. And that’s taking into account Quinn hasn’t played since the 2009 season. Good pass rushers are hard to find, so he could make an impact right away.

Needs: WR, DE, DT, RT, CB, G, OLB, S

Other possibilities: Julio Jones/WR/Alabama

7.) San Francisco 49ers: Prince Amukamara/CB/Nebraska

Second mock selection: Prince Amukamara/CB/Nebraska

First mock selection: Robert Quinn/DE-OLB/North Carolina

Analysis: You could make a case for the biggest needs for the 49ers being quarterback, outside linebacker and cornerback. They’ll go with the best available player here with Amukamara. With veteran cornerback Nate Clements turning 32 later this year and scheduled to earn $9 million in 2012, this could be his last season with the team.

Needs: QB, OLB, CB, WR, C, OT, DE

Other Possibilities: Blaine Gabbert/QB/Missouri

8.) Tennessee Titans: Blaine Gabbert/QB/Missouri

Second mock selection: Blaine Gabbert/QB/Missouri

First mock selection: Blaine Gabbert/QB/Missouri

Analysis: One high-ranking personnel source said the reason why the Titans are going to consider selecting defensive tackle Nick Fairley here is because they don’t have anyone on their roster close to his talent despite their obvious solid depth on the interior of their defensive line. So, they would basically be looking at going with the best player available here regardless of position if they selected Fairley. However, they also need a developmental quarterback, so I’ll go with Gabbert here.

Needs: QB, DE, MLB

Other possibilities: Da’Quan Bowers/DE/Clemson, Nick Fairley/DT/Auburn

9.) Dallas Cowboys: Tyron Smith/OT/USC

Second mock selection: Tyron Smith/OT/USC

First mock selection: Cameron Jordan/DE/California

Analysis: The Cowboys could use upgrades at both offensive tackle spots. Smith could compete for either job right away. It doesn’t matter than he only played right tackle at USC. He has the athleticism to play left tackle.

Needs: G, FS, SS, DE, OT, CB

Other possibilities: Cameron Jordan/DE/California, J.J. Watt/DE/Wisconsin

10.) Washington Redskins: Julio Jones/WR/Alabama

Second mock selection: Julio Jones/WR/Alabama

First mock selection: Julio Jones/WR/Alabama

Analysis: This is simply a major need pick. What they would really like to do is trade way down in order to select a quarterback.

Needs: WR, QB, RT, G, OLB, CB, DE

Other possibilities: Cameron Jordan/DE/California, J.J. Watt/DE/Wisconsin

11.) Houston Texans: Aldon Smith/DE-OLB/Missouri

Second mock selection: Robert Quinn/DE-OLB/North Carolina

First mock selection: Aldon Smith/DE-OLB/Missouri

Analysis: Smith is more of a developmental player, so he’ll need to be brought along slowly. However, he has a big upside.

Needs: OLB, NT, CB, SS, FS, DE, WR

Other possibilities: Aldon Smith/DE-OLB/Missouri, Cameron Jordan/DE/California

12.) Minnesota Vikings: Da’Quan Bowers/DE/Clemson

Second mock selection: Aldon Smith/DE-OLB/Missouri

First mock selection: Da’Quan Bowers/DE/Clemson, Nick Fairley/DT/Auburn

Analysis: They could get their developmental quarterback a little later. Bowers would be an excellent value at this point in the draft. Plus, defensive end is also a need position.

Needs: QB, DT, DE, WR, OLB, C, G, FS, SS

Other possibilities: Cameron Jordan/DE/California

13.) Detroit Lions: J.J. Watt/DE/Wisconsin

Second mock selection: Ryan Kerrigan/DE/Purdue

First mock selection: Tyron Smith/OT/USC

Analysis: The Lions really need a developmental defensive end to be added to the mix going forward. And Watt could be moved inside during nickel situations.

Needs: CB, DE, OLB, LT

Other possibilities: Cameron Jordan/DE/California

14.) St. Louis Rams: Nick Fairley/DT/Auburn

Second mock selection: Cameron Jordan/DE/California

First mock selection: Nick Fairley/DT/Auburn

Analysis: The Rams are really thin at defensive tackle, so Fairley could come right in and challenge for serious playing time. They could fill their wide receiver need later in the draft and also in free agency.

Needs: WR, DE, DT, RB, S, CB, OLB

Other possibilities: Cameron Jordan/DE/California

15.) Miami Dolphins: Mike Pouncey/G-C/Florida

Second mock selection: Mike Pouncey/G-C/Florida

First mock selection: Mark Ingram/RB/Alabama

Analysis: The Dolphins must improve the interior of their offensive line. Pouncey could compete for starting jobs at guard or center in his first season. They could add a running back later on as the draft progresses.

Needs: RB, WR (speed), G, C, QB, OLB

Other possibilities: Mark Ingram/RB/Alabama

16.) Jacksonville Jaguars: Ryan Kerrigan/DE/Purdue

Second mock selection: J.J. Watt/DE/Wisconsin

First mock selection: Ryan Kerrigan/DE/Purdue

Analysis: The Jaguars posted an anemic 26 sacks last season, so Kerrigan would fill a major need.

Needs: DE, WR, FS, SS, OLB, CB

Other possibilities: Cameron Jordan/DE/California

17.) New England Patriots (from Oakland Raiders): Anthony Costanzo/OT/Boston College

Second mock selection: Anthony Costanzo/OT/Boston College

First mock selection: Anthony Costanzo/OT/Boston College

Analysis: The Patriots would have the option of keeping Sebastian Voller on the right side after selecting Costanzo here. Jordan is also a consideration here because he would also fill a need.

Needs: OLB, OT, G, DE, WR, RB

Other possibilities: Cameron Jordan/DE/California

18.) San Diego Chargers: Cameron Jordan/DE/California

Second mock selection: Cameron Heyward/DE/Ohio St.

First mock selection: J.J. Watt/DE/Wisconsin

Analysis: Jordan would fill a big need, but he also would be a great value.

Needs: DE, WR, ILB, RT, CB

Other possibilities: Muhammad Wilkerson/DT/Temple, Akeem Ayers/DE-OLB/UCLA

19.) New York Giants: Derek Sherrod/OT/Mississippi State

Second mock selection: Nick Fairley/DT/Auburn

First mock selection: Derek Sherrod/OT/Mississippi St.

Analysis: The Giants are clearly looking for a developmental left tackle. Sherrod would fill that area of need. And with that move, they can move David Diehl inside to guard.

Needs: LT, WR, MLB, G, DT, WR

Other possibilities: Gabe Carimi/OT/Wisconsin

20.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Adrian Clayborn/DE/Iowa

Second mock selection: Adrian Clayborn/DE/Iowa

First mock selection: Adrian Clayborn/DE/Iowa

Analysis: I really don’t see any other choices here other than possibly Ayers that make sense based on Tampa Bay’s need for a pass rusher.

Needs: DE, WR, S, LB, CB, G

Other possibilities: Akeem Ayers/DE-OLB/UCLA

21.) Kansas City Chiefs: Gabe Carimi/OT/Wisconsin

Second mock selection: Gabe Carimi/OT/Wisconsin

First mock selection: Gabe Carimi/OT/Wisconsin

Analysis: Here’s your starting right tackle for the next several years. Ayers is an intriguing possibility here because of their need for a young pass rusher.

Needs: RT, WR, OLB, NT, DE, CB

Other possibilities: Nate Solder/OT/Colorado, Derek Sherrod/OT/Mississippi St., Akeem Ayers/DE-OLB/UCLA

22.) Indianapolis Colts: Nate Solder/OT/Colorado

Second mock selection: Nate Solder/OT/Colorado

First mock selection: Nate Solder/OT/Colorado

Analysis: The selection of Solder simply fills a need. If Charlie Johnson is re-signed, he could move inside to guard.

Needs: LT, S, DT, DE, CB

Other possibilities: Muhammad Wilkerson/DT/Temple, Derek Sherrod/OT/Mississippi State

23.) Philadelphia Eagles: Brooks Reed/DE-OLB/Arizona

First mock selection: Jimmy Smith/CB/Colorado

Second mock selection: Jimmy Smith/CB/Colorado

Analysis: The selection of Reed here probably will be a surprise to some because the team has shown no interest in him. The Eagles, if you recall correctly, kept their interest in defensive end Brandon Graham a secret before last year’s draft. Reed is well respected by the scouting community, which is a big reason why he could go higher than most fans think. Reed could fill the “joker” role.

Needs: CB, RG, OLB, SS, DE

Other possibilities: Akeem Ayers/DE-OLB/UCLA, Jimmy Smith/CB/Colorado

24.) New Orleans Saints: Corey Liuget/DT/Illinois

Second mock selection: Muhammad Wilkerson/DT/Temple

First mock selection: Muhammad Wilkerson/DT/Temple

Analysis: The Saints are really in need of interior defensive linemen. Liuget could get into the rotation at defensive tackle right away. Ayers is also a strong consideration here because of their need for a developmental pass rusher.

Needs: DT, DE, OLB, C, SS, TE

Other possibilities: Akeem Ayers/DE-OLB/UCLA, Muhammad Wilkerson/DT/Temple

25.) Seattle Seahawks: Jimmy Smith/CB/Colorado

Second mock selection: Derek Sherrod/OT/Mississippi St.

First mock selection: Mike Pouncey/G-C/Florida

Analysis: Here’s a great value with a player who could come in and challenge for a starting job right away. Smith would be the steal of the draft if he actually falls this far.

Needs: G, RT, C, QB, WR, CB, DE, DT, OLB

Other Possibilities: Akeem Ayers/DE-OLB/UCLA

26.) Baltimore Ravens: Akeem Ayers/DE-OLB/UCLA

Second mock selection: Akeem Ayers/DE-OLB/UCLA

First mock selection: Cameron Heyward/DE/Ohio St.

Analysis: With no good values left to select here at cornerback, the Ravens will fill the need for a developmental pass rusher here with Ayers.

Needs: CB, WR, OT, G, OLB, DE, SS

Other possibilities: Phil Taylor/DT/Baylor

27.) Atlanta Falcons: Jabaal Sheard/DE/Pittsburgh

Second mock selection: Jabaal Sheard/DE/Pittsburgh

First mock selection: Akeem Ayers/DE-OLB/UCLA

Analysis: Few teams have a greater need for a pass rusher than the Falcons. Sheard could get snaps right away.

Needs: DE, OLB, WR, CB, TE

Other possibilities: Kyle Rudolph/TE/Notre Dame

28.) New England Patriots: Mark Ingram/RB/Alabama

Second mock selection: Mark Ingram/RB/Alabama

First mock selection: Phil Taylor/DT/Baylor

Analysis: Head coach Bill Belichick has only selected a running back in the first round once since he took over in 2000, but Ingram is too good of value to pass up at this point in the draft. They could also pass and get their badly needed rusher later in the draft.

Needs: OLB, OT, G, DE, WR, RB

Other possibilities: Cameron Heyward/DE/Ohio State

29.) Chicago Bears: Phil Taylor/DT/Baylor

Second mock selection: Corey Liuget/DT/Illinois

First mock selection: Corey Liuget/DT/Illinois

Analysis: With Liuget off the board already, the Bears would turn to Taylor, who has a big upside.

Needs: G, OT, DT, DE, SLB, C

Other possibilities: Danny Watkins/G/Baylor, Marvin Austin/DT/North Carolina

30.) New York Jets: Muhammad Wilkerson/DT/Temple

Second mock selection: Phil Taylor/DT/Baylor

First mock selection: Brooks Reed/DE-OLB/Arizona

Analysis: The Jets have so many needs that it’s not very easy to pinpoint just one player. However, they could really use some athleticism on their defensive line, so Wilkerson was the choice.

Needs: DE, NT, WR, OLB, CB, FS, OT

Other possibilities: Brandon Harris/CB/Miami.

31.) Pittsburgh Steelers: Aaron Williams/CB/Texas

Second mock selection: Aaron Williams/CB/Texas

First mock selection: Aaron Williams/CB/Texas

Analysis: By selecting Williams here, the Steelers would fill a huge need. They could get a developmental offensive lineman as the draft progresses.

Needs: RT, CB, RG, DE, OLB

Other possibilities: Marvin Austin/DT/North Carolina

32.) Green Bay Packers: Cameron Heyward/DE/Ohio State

Second mock selection: Brooks Reed/DE-OLB/Arizona

First mock selection: Justin Houston/OLB/Georgia

Analysis: The Packers really need depth at defensive end, so the decision to select Heyward here isn’t a hard one.

Needs: OLB, DE, G

Other possibilities: Marvin Austin/DT/North Carolina, Justin Houston/OLB/Georgia