2011 NFL Draft – Round 1 Recap
Did you miss the first round of the NFL Draft? Maybe you did. Maybe you don’t care because of the whole lock out thing. Maybe you didn’t like that it was on a Thursday night instead of its usual Saturday event. Maybe you did see it. Whether you saw it or not, here is all you really need to know about it…
First off, it was only the first round. The rest of the rounds will follow tonight and over the weekend. Second, you couldn’t trade any players during the first round, which sucks. All that teams could do is swap picks for other picks. Swapping players for picks is half of the fun of the draft. Knowing this, some of the players that were drafted could potentially be traded later on this year once the labor dispute is settled. So, without further adieu, here is a run down of each pick:
1. Carolina Panthers – Cam Newton – QB – Auburn
First off, Carolina stinks. They took a QB, Jimmy Clausen, with their number one pick last year and he flopped. So now they are trying it again. Hopefully this time it turns out much better. Cam is a big, fast quarterback. He stands at 6’5″ and 248 lbs with speed. Not as fast as Michael Vick, but much larger and may be harder to bring down. He has a strong-arm but has been known to be inaccurate at times. He was is a run-heavy offense in college, so it may take him a while to learn the pro style offense and how to read defenses better. He is a proven winner though. He first played football in Junior College and won a National Championship there, then played only one year at Auburn and won a National Championship and the Heisman Trophy there.
2. Denver Broncos – Von Miller – LB – Texas A&M
The Broncos were last in the league last year with only 23 sacks. This year they will get injured pass rusher Elvis Dumervil back to team up with Miller. Miller is the best edge rusher in this year’s draft and should definitely help them get to the quarterback.
3. Buffalo Bills – Marcell Dareus – DT – Alabama
Buffalo had the worst run defense in the NFL last year. Naturally their next move was add a run-stopping tackle in the draft. That is exactly what Dareus is. He is a player and will make an immediate impact.
4. Cincinnati Bengals – A.J. Green – WR – Georgia
Probably the best receiver in the draft. Amazing hands and get to any ball thrown in his area. Think Larry Fitzgerald. The Bengals need help all over the field, but Green might be the best overall playmaker in the entire draft, so he’s a good fit. Hey, maybe he’ll even help persuade Carson Palmer to want to stay. T.O. is out and A.J. is in!
5. Arizona Cardinals – Patrick Peterson – CB – LSU
Peterson is that cornerback who can cover a receiver, but is also a playmaker. He can take the ball away and knows how to move once he gets the ball in his hands. Some say the Cardinals needed to take a QB here, but they went with more value. He is more of a sure bet than the rest of the QB’s left.
6. Atlanta Falcons – Julio Jones – WR – Alabama
He doesn’t have the hands of A.J. Green, but he’s fast, can stretch the field, and is physical. The Falcons traded 5 draft picks away to move up and get this guy, so that means they must really like what he brings to the table. They have a lot of holes on defense, but many guess they did this to keep up with the high-scoring Packers.
7. San Francisco 49ers – Aldon Smith – DE – Missouri
Smith can be a good pass-rushing D-End or Outside Linebacker. San Fran can definitely use the help on their D.
8. Tennessee Titans – Jake Locker – QB – Washington
This one is a bit of a surprise. They needed a QB, but Locker is very inaccurate. He is a tough guy though and can command his huddle and run a team. These are all things the Titans will like from Jake.
9. Dallas Cowboys – Tyron Smith – OT – USC
The Boys needed a big tackle and they got one here. He should help keep Romo upright, which is their biggest need right now.
10. Jacksonville Jaguars – Blaine Gabbert – QB – Missouri
Very good pick for the Jags here. Blaine is a strong-armed, intelligent QB who can sit and learn under David Garrard for a year. This is a smart play for the Jags who traded up with the Redskins for this pick.
11. Houston Texans – J.J. Watt – DE – Wisconsin
Houston had a very weak defense last year, so they had to go with a defensive player here. Watt will be a solid D-End along with Mario Williams. If they can pressure the QB more often it will take some pressure off of their piss poor secondary unit.
12. Minnesota Vikings – Christian Ponder – QB – Florida St.
A very odd pick here for the Vikes. There were a couple other QB’s still on the board who projected higher than Ponder. There were rumors that McNabb really wanted to come here too. This means they will be going to Peterson a lot more this season. They will most likely do some rollouts, bootlegs, and play-actions, which are the few things that Ponder can do well. While he doesn’t have a very strong-arm, he is good at delivering the ball in stride to the underneath receivers.
13. Detroit Lions – Nick Fairley – DT – Auburn
Nice big D-Tackle for the Lions. Terrific interior pass rusher. The Lions will have a tremendous D-Line with him and Ndamukong Suh for the next decade.
14. St. Louis Rams – Robert Quinn – DE – North Carolina
Quick pass rusher. The Rams already had a good D-Line, but this move makes them even better.
15. Miami Dolphins – Mike Pouncey – C – Florida
His twin brother is also a very good offensive linemen in the NFL. He should step right in and start for the ‘Fins.
16. Washington Redskins – Ryan Kerrigan – DE – Purdue
He doesn’t have elite size or athleticism, but he is a hard worker. He will line up opposite side of Brian Orakpo to create a formidable pass rush off the edge.
17. New England Patriots – Nate Solder – OT – Colorado
Patriots are trying to rejuvenate their aging O-Line and this is a good start. Could start right away for the Pats.
18. San Diego Chargers – Corey Liuget – DT – Illinois
Liuget can play DE or DT. He is said to have a ‘non-stop’ motor who can wear down an O-Line. Nice pick for the Bolts.
19. New York Giants – Prince Amukamara – CB – Nebraska
Smart corner who plays with great instincts. Not as naturally gifted or athletic as Patrick Peterson or Jimmy Smith in this year’s draft, but Peterson is gone and Smith has a lot of character issues.
20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Adrian Clayborn – DE – Iowa
Powerful D-End with strong hands that can move. He will start and be productive in his rookie year.
21. Cleveland Browns – Phil Taylor – DT – Baylor
Bottom line, the had a horrible D-Line last year. Taylor will step right in and make a difference for them. It’s a good start towards building up their defense.
22. Indianapolis Colts – Anthony Castonzo – OT – Boston College
Probably a great pick for the Colts. O-Tackle might have been their biggest need and they got a smart one here.
23. Philadelphia Eagles – Danny Watkins – OG – Baylor
A very good, physical, nasty O-Lineman. There are questions about his age, already 26 years old, but not about his talent. The former Canadian Firefighter will most likely start at RG. The right side is the blind side, and more important side of the line, for the left-handed Michael Vick. Even though he is 26, he didn’t start playing football until he was 23, so his body should not be very worn down at all.
24. New Orleans Saints – Cameron Jordan – DE – California
Great size for a D-End (6’4″, 290 lbs). He has good strength and will fit in very nicely on the Saints D-Line.
25. Seattle Seahawks – James Carpenter – OG – Alabama
The Seahawks used 10 different offensive line combo’s last year so this was an area of need. A nice pick for them. A little side note on this pick; The Seahawks finished 7-9 last year and won their weak division to make the playoffs. They also ended up winning their first game in the playoffs, which dropped them to the 25th pick this year. If they had lost their last game of the year, they would have missed the playoffs completely and received the 7th overall pick in this draft. Amazing.
26. Kansas City Chiefs – Jonathan Baldwin – WR – Pittsburgh
They needed defense here but went with a Wide out. Doesn’t make much sense to us, but he can take some of the pressure and double teams off of Dwayne Bowe which could make him even better.
27. Baltimore Ravens – Jimmy Smith – CB – Colorado
Some people think he is the best Corner in this draft. He is a definite shut-down corner, which is some scary help for their already stingy defense. He only slipped because of off-the-field issues. He is immature and has gotten into trouble with underage drinking and drug use. If the veteran players on Baltimore’s team can keep him under control he may be the steal of the draft.
28. New Orleans Saints – Mark Ingram – RB – Alabama
Ingram is a fantastic runner. The best RB in the draft. He will fit in very nicely next to Reggie Bush in their high-powered offense. New Orleans traded up to get this pick from the Patriots. This strikes us as very odd considering the Pats could have really used a runner like Ingram on their own team.
29. Chicago Bears – Gabe Carimi – OT – Wisconsin
Very strong run blocker. Will need to learn how to pass block better. He will probably play RT, which was the Bears biggest need on their line.
30. New York Jets – Muhammad Wilkerson – DE – Temple
Big, powerful defensive end. Good pass rusher who can also make tackles outside the box. Great run-stopper.
31. Pittsburgh Steelers – Cameron Heyward – DE – Ohio State
All of the Steelers D-Line are over the age of 32 except for Ziggy Hood, so this was a great need pick. He is a physical player who fits Pittsburgh’s scheme very well.
32. Green Bay Packers – Derek Sherrod – OT – Miss. State
They had a huge hole at LT and Sherrod should fill that hole. Aaron Rodgers had a couple concussions last year and they need to protect him better. This guy can help.
There are still a few high-profile players left after Round 1. Here are some big name players to look for in the rest of the draft:
Da’Quan Bowers – DE – Clemson
Tremendous pass rusher who slipped because of potential knee problems. Was once considered the potential number one overall pick. Teams are afraid of injuries that could shorten his career.
Andy Dalton – QB – TCU
Great QB prospect. Some have him listed as the number 2 or 3 QB in the draft. He will be a steal in the early second round for whoever gets him.
Akeem Ayers – LB – UCLA
He is a first round talent who slipped. There was a run on D-Linemen in the first round and 4 QB’s taken, so that may be the reason for his fall.
Ryan Mallett – QB – Arkansas
Huge arm. When he enters the NFL he will immediately have one of the top 5 strongest arms in the league.
Leonard Hankerson – WR – Miami
Might not go until the 3rd round, but we had to give some love to The U! He’s a speedy home-run threat that can score at any time.