Final Mock: Picks 1-12

Posted by Mike Wobschall on April 28, 2011 – 2:15 pm

It’s time to start the 2011 NFL Draft. Ryan and I conducted a final mock draft over the past 4 hours, adding 3 picks per hour up until the Vikings selection at #12. Don’t be afraid to leave comments in the comments section below this entry to let us know what you think will happen.

What do you think?

1. Carolina – QB Cam Newton
I’ve been predicting Newton would be the top pick for about 6 weeks now, but in the last 72 hours or so I’ve been cooling off on the opinion. But then a few guys whose opinions I respect chimed in with Newton as their projected #1 pick, so my confidence was restored. This isn’t the pick I’d make if the Vikings held the #1 selection, but I think the Panthers feel comfortable handing the “face of the franchise” role to this draft’s most dynamic offensive player.

2. Denver – LB Von Miller
To be honest I’m not sure if Miller fits with Denver’s defensive scheme. To my eye, Miller is a great outside LB in a 3-4 scheme, similar to a Terrell Suggs in Baltimore. I’m not sure that Broncos Head Coach John Fox is going to run a 3-4, but I am sure a defensive-minded guy like Fox covets the skill set of Miller. He’s explosive coming off the line and rushing the passer and he has the aggressive style to play the run well.

3. Buffalo – DT Marcell Dareus
In some combination, I’m sure that Dareus and Miller will go 2nd and 3rd. For the purposes of this mock draft, Dareus slips to #3 and Buffalo is happy. Dareus can play anywhere along the Bills defensive line and is “scheme diverse.” He’ll instantly become one of the best defensive players on the roster. I was tempted to put WR A.J. Green here, thinking head coach Chan Gailey (an offensive-minded head coach) would love to have an elite WR to aid QB Ryan Fitzpatrick’s development. But, in the end, I think defense wins out and the Bills wind up with Dareus (or Miller if Denver chooses Dareus).

4. Cincinnati – WR A.J. Green
Most mock drafts have the Bengals taking a wideout here, and I guess it comes down to either A.J. Green (Georgia) or Julio Jones (Alabama) if they go that route. The wild card for them would be the quarterback position. Assuming Cam Newton is off the board, the only quarterback most would consider taking here would be Missouri’s Blaine Gabbert. Carson Palmer has said he’s unhappy as a Bengal and wants out, so they would appear to be in the market for a signal-caller, but I think they go the safe route and take Green here.

5. Arizona – CB Patrick Peterson
The Cardinals, like most teams picking in the top ten, are another team with an unsettled quarterback situation. But there are reports out there that they will bring in Marc Bulger once the NFL’s labor situation is settled, and they have youngster John Skelton, who was a rookie last year and played okay in limited time. So while Gabbert is an option for them here, I think they’ll look to address their defense, which was 29th in the NFL a season ago. LSU’s Patrick Peterson is the best defensive player left on the board here, so he’s the pick.

6. Cleveland Browns – DE Robert Quinn
The Browns could go many ways here, but I think it comes down to North Carolina DE Robert Quinn or one of the two top wide receivers, assuming at least one of them is left on the board, which they certainly should be. The Browns leading wide receiver in 2010 was Chansi Stuckey with 40 catches, so there’s no where to go but up there. But Quinn has a chance to be the Draft’s top pass-rusher, and elite defensive ends are more valuable than top wide receivers, so I think Cleveland surprises and goes with Quinn and wait to address the wide receiver spot until later in the Draft.

7. San Francisco 49ers – QB Blaine Gabbert
A dream scenario unfold for new head coach Jim Harbaugh, as he will enjoy the pleasure of hand-picking his franchise QB and having him in the fold for his first season on the job. Harbaugh has publically praised current 49ers QB Alex Smith, but I believe it’s smokescreen in an attempt to keep Gabbert on the board. It worked, because Gabbert slides to #7 and the 49ers slap high-fives in their draft room.

8. Tennessee Titans – QB Jake Locker
If this happens, I’ll be disappointed. I’m hoping he’s available when the Vikings are on the clock at #12, but my hunch is Tennessee will surprise us and take a QB. They’ve publically acknowledged that Vince Young is on the way out, and I’m sure the new Titans coaching staff would like to have Locker on the roster to compete with Kerry Collins for the starting job.

9. Dallas Cowboys – OT Tyron Smith
There’s been late steam that Smith isn’t the best-rated OT among teams’ draft boards, but I think that’s wrong and Smith will be the pick for Jerry Jones and Co. The Cowboys saw QB Tony Romo go down early last year after a sack, which ruined their season. That’s the impetus for taking a pass-rushing stopper such as Smith here.

10. Washington Redskins – DT Corey Liuget
Two reasons for this pick. First, I think there’s a strong likelihood for a trade here. A run of defensive linemen is due and I think a team that covets Liuget will move up a few slots to grab him before someone else beats them to the punch. The second reason for this pick is because Washington could stay put and grab Liuget to replace Albert Haynesworth, who is certainly on his way out the door.

11. Houston Texas – DE Aldon Smith
New defensive coordinator Wade Phillips will tab Smith as an outside pass rusher who can stand up in his 3-4 defense. Smith could even slide in and put his hand on the ground as a DE in the 3-4 scheme. Phillips will love that versatility and that’s ultimately what will cause him to prefer Smith over CB Prince Amukamara.

12. Minnesota Vikings – CB Prince Amukamara
My instinct says the Vikings could very well trade back into the later stages of the 1st round to grab either a QB on their wish list or an offensive or defensive lineman. But with the way we have this draft working out, both Amukamara and WR Julio Jones are available and if the Vikings stay at #12 I think they’ll choose the CB.

Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 22 Comments »

22 Responses to “Final Mock: Picks 1-12”

  1. By Parody on Apr 28, 2011 | Reply

    I think Dareus belongs in Denver.

    For the next 3, I can’t see the Bengals passing on Gabbert, since Carson Palmer has made it clear that he’s tired of being a kitty. Then the Cardinals sound like they want to trade down, but whoever sets in at #5 almost has to take Patrick Peterson with the skills that he brings. At 6, I’m thinking the Browns jump on AJ Green.

  2. By Parody on Apr 28, 2011 | Reply

    49ers – I’d say San Fran goes after the first DE here, which ought to be Quinn but could end up being Smith.

    Titans – After Vince Young I think the Titans are a little scared of taking chances. With the question marks at the top 2 DEs, if San Fran takes Smith, I think the Titans move to DT with Fairley

    Cowboys – If the Boys aren’t trading back, they’d be best suited to take an OT, either Smith or Castonzo.

  3. By Parody on Apr 28, 2011 | Reply

    Redskins – Here I’m being a bit biased, projecting a pick based on what I WANT to happen so that we don’t get stuck picking him at 12. That is the hometown boy, Jake Locker. There’s been some buzz recently that the skins are likely to take Jake, so it’s not completely unrational.

    Texans – Houston has needs all across the board, and two good players have slipped through: WR Julio Jones and CB Prince Amukamara. Corner is one of their bigger needs, so I’d guess that they take Amukamara.

    Vikings – Now things get interesting. There’s talk that Atlanta will trade the farm for any selection that still has Jones available, but at the same time a WR like him could really help the team. Regardless, I’m thinking that the picks that the Falcons will offer are too tempting, and I’ll take the trade, knowing that there will still be plenty of opportunity to fill our current needs by pick #27.

    If somehow Prince gets to us though, I’m taking him in a heartbeat. He’ll be a great asset for our team for years to come, improving our pass defense to one of the top-5 this year, and we’ll be blocking Detroit from torturing us with his skills as well.

  4. By Alan Helimsky on Apr 28, 2011 | Reply

    Vikings: if prince, quinn, or any top two qb isnt available at 12, i say locker. then lock down on the rest of the needs we have with our other 8 picks. Lockered and Loaded the vikings will be:D

  5. By Frederick Jones on Apr 28, 2011 | Reply

    I’m a little surprised Mike W. said that our secondary is okay if healthy.

    We have yet to see them all play at the same time, and they are not likely to ALL get healthy.

    If we can’t get the best Offensive Lineman in the draft at #12, we should pick the best DB available.

  6. By NotGreatFootballMind on Apr 28, 2011 | Reply

    If Locker is already off the board before #12 and we (Vikings) still hold #12 ~ Ouch!!! better say “sorry” & take Mallet with #12.

  7. By Alan Helimsky on Apr 28, 2011 | Reply

    if locker isnt available, or the vikings dont want him, the only way id be okay with that is getting mike pouncey or cameron jordan. i just saw camerons first draft video, and he is a happygolucky kid. what someone said on about him made me laugh. “his father was a viking, he looks like a viking, and he will be a viking. no other cameron can top him. not cameron newton, not kirk cameron, not even cameron diaz!” he obviously looks like he wants to play for his fathers team.

  8. By Frederick Jones on Apr 28, 2011 | Reply

    There are so many possiblities at QB. Vince Young, Don McNabb, Carson Palmer, Brady Quinn, etc., etc.

    Check pro football reference, and see for yourself how many great QBs played for more than one team. Many young qbs have had to move to excell.

    Super Bowl Winning QBs Len Dawson, John Unitas, Jim Plunkett, Steve Young, etc., all started some place else first.

  9. By guest on Apr 28, 2011 | Reply

    I don’t want that red head dalton guy.

  10. By Alan Helimsky on Apr 28, 2011 | Reply

    @notgreatfootballmind mallett is a pothead, immature, and just not ready to be a franchise qb: the one thing the vikings have been looking for for 50 years in the nfl.

  11. By Alan Helimsky on Apr 28, 2011 | Reply

    @guest Dalton is good! he might even slip into the first round.

  12. By Frederick Jones on Apr 28, 2011 | Reply

    There are probably a lot less QBs playing for one team, and winning the whole ball of wax ! ! !



    :) :) :) :) :)

  13. By Vikings FAN 15 on Apr 28, 2011 | Reply

    MALLETT MALLETT. Best QB IN DRAFT FALLS TO US!! His background checked ok with VIkings and We have our new Franchise QB!!!!! RYAN MALLETT

  14. By Vikings FAN 15 on Apr 28, 2011 | Reply

    If we draft Ryan Mallett, i will freak out(in a good way) jumping up and down with excitement. my will think i’m crazy. sadly, don’t know if it will happen

  15. By Vikings FAN 15 on Apr 28, 2011 | Reply

    @Alan Helimsky there is no proof of that at all. all interviews he looks like a good guy. only when he had a bad interview at combine the media went into a frenzy and have trying to tear him down ever since. lucky for us.

  16. By Shawn on Apr 28, 2011 | Reply


    Coach Frazier if you like him please take him !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    I had him ranked 1073 …. but Im with Mayock now hes top 3-4 qbs

  17. By Parody on Apr 28, 2011 | Reply

    @Viking FAN 15 – Mallett might still work out for us, but it’s worth waiting to see if he’s still there in the second round. His character issues will make that very possible, so we can use the #12 for a top notch player somewhere else and (if you’re claims about him are true) we’ll end up with 2 players of top-15 talent. How awesome would that be?

  18. By Alan Helimsky on Apr 28, 2011 | Reply

    ryan mallett wont be taken at 12. cam jordan will. or locker. IDC who gets taken childress ruined the vikings. we could have have sage rosenfels who was actually pretty good but he was traded to the giants….. all i know is that we will be in a QB carousel sadly for a while. maybe we dont take a qb, play rhett bomar, be 0-16 or so, get the first rd pick and draft andrew luck.

  19. By Purple on Apr 28, 2011 | Reply

    draft #1 best safety DeAndre McDaniel in 2nd round plsss

  20. By Shawn on Apr 28, 2011 | Reply

    round 1 … cam jordan

    round 2 … andy dalton

    round 3 … resign Randy Moss !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  21. By QBorBUST on Apr 28, 2011 | Reply

    I hope they get mallett or ponder, other than that I don’t see any other position we draft to make any big impact. I don’t get excited when I hear the word defensive end in the first round it is probably a habit of failure or a curse stay away from the defensive end in the first round.

  22. By James on Apr 28, 2011 | Reply

    Even if they took prince the vikings will end up shelving him, I hope this staff gives the rookie hands on training that’s the only way they learn is to let them make mistakes and learn and grow from them.

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