1. Carolina – Cam Newton, QB, Auburn
If I were in charge of the Panthers (which they are probably glad I’m not) Cam Newton would be nowhere on my radar with this pick. If I were going to go quarterback, Gabbert would be the pick. Most likely I would go with one of the truly elite talents of this class like Patrick Peterson or A.J. Green. None of that changes the fact, however, that all signs are pointing towards the Panthers taking the ultimate gamble with Newton.
2. Denver – Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama
Denver is weak up and down the middle of their defense. I discard all of Elway’s quarterback talk and give the Broncos some strength on the defensive line in Dareus. Dareus is big and fast, and should help the Broncos from becoming the worst team at notching sacks in the NFL for the second year in a row.
3. Buffalo – Von Miller, OLB, Texas A&M
I would hate to be Buffalo right now. There they are having to choose between Von Miller, A.J. Green, Patrick Peterson, and Blaine Gabbert. That is certainly not an easy choice. Miller is a splashy pick, however, and should be versatile enough to excel in whatever type of defense Buffalo chooses moving forward.
4. Cincinnati – A.J. Green, WR, Georgia
Guys like Cam Newton and Blaine Gabbert might be worth reaching on for truly desperate quarterback-needy teams. I’m not convinced that the Bengals qualify as truly desperate yet. Although, they are experiencing a huge amount of change on offense, so taking care of the #1 receiver spot is going to go a long ways towards stabilizing things on that side of the ball.
5. Arizona – Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU
Arizona has to face the choice of bringing in yet another unproven quarterback or risking the wait and trying to find a veteran in free agency. I wouldn’t be overly surprised if Gabbert is the pick here, but I have to think they are going to take the best player on their board in Peterson and wait on finding a solution at quarterback.
6. Cleveland – Julio Jones, WR, Alabama
The Browns seem like one of the biggest wild cards in the top 10. There are really no positions, other than center, that should make that front office completely comfy. However, Colt McCoy appears to be their guy moving forward, and he desperately needs some playmakers. If the Vikings, Dolphins, or Redskins liked Gabbert enough, they might all be on the phone talking to Cleveland.
7. San Francisco – Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri
I have little doubt that Jim Harbaugh will be on the hunt for a new quarterback at some point in this Draft, and he reportedly tried to recruit Gabbert out of high school. Gabbert, like all quarterbacks in this Draft, has analysts completely undecided as to where he should end up. One thing everyone can agree on, however, is that the Niners need a quarterback of the future.
8. Tennessee – Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn
There has been a lot of talk recently of Fairley sliding out of the top 10 (please, please fall to the Vikings) but I’m not buying it. Once thought of as the consensus top prospect of this class, Fairley lands here with the hopes of making Titans fans forget all about the good old days of a dominant Haynesworth creating havoc on the defensive line. Fairley is my favorite player in this Draft and last season he was a man amongst boys.
9. Dallas – Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska
Immediately following the 2010 season, Jerry Jones expressed that his defense disappointed him more than anything and I think, at that point in time, he was being honest. That is why I think we can politely cast Tyron Smith talk to the side a bit and place our focus on guys like Amukamara and J.J. Watt. The way this Draft shakes out, the Cowboys could still get a decent pass rusher in the second round, while the cornerback talent sees a greater drop off after the top three guys.
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