NFL Draft guru and soon to be color man for NFL Networks “Thursday Night Football” in 2011 Mike Mayock is out with his final Mock Draft. It’s kind of surprising considering what many felt about the draft, and as you can see, it bucks the trend of most mock drafts out there right now.
1 CAR Cam Newton QB Auburn – This is a tough one for me. I’ve been trying to talk myself out of a quarterback for the last three months. The Panthers took Jimmy Clausen a year ago in the second round, so by taking one here they’re admitting a mistake. But if you don’t have a franchise guy, you can’t compete. Newton can run, he can pass. They’re going to have to protect him early by running the ball and playing good defense. They want to build the offense around his talents.
2 DEN Von Miller LB Texas A&M – Everyone thinks this pick will be Marcell Dareus, but look at the big picture for the Broncos. Defensive tackle is a strength of this draft, so the Broncos take Miller, the best edge rusher, and then come back and get a defensive tackle with their next pick.
3 BUF Marcell Dareus DT Alabama – With everyone thinking Miller would go to Buffalo, what are the Bills going to do? They go Dareus, a scheme-diverse guy who can play all three spots in the 3-4 front. My favorite player in the draft.
4 CIN A.J. Green WR Georgia – I struggled with this pick. Could easily be a quarterback, but Green has a rare skill set. I almost picked Blaine Gabbert here, but I really believe with the uncertainty over T.O. they go Green here.
5 ARI Patrick Peterson DB LSU – The Cardinals pass on the quarterback here and take the top corner in the draft. He can take pressure off other guys in the secondary and can also help in the return game. With this pick, the Cardinals feel they can compete right now in a watered-down NFC West. This pick shows the Cardinals believe they’ll get a veteran QB this offseason.
6 CLE Julio Jones WR Alabama – This is a tough position for the Browns, who would like to get an edge rusher with this pick. But new coach Pat Shurmur is an offensive guy. I love Jones, who will help protect the development of young quarterback Colt McCoy.
Click HERE to see the Rest of Mayock’s Mock Draft