2011 NFL Draft, Round 1 Breakdown

2011-NFL-Draft-logoThe  first round of the 2011 NFL Draft had quite a few surprises, the lack of being able to trade roster players caused some teams to make some big reaches that I’m not sure will pan out. On the other hand a few teams played it smart and ended up stealing the first round. Check out your teams first round picks and what we thought about them.

Overall PickTeamPlayerPosSchoolAnalysis
1Carolina PanthersCam NewtonQBAuburnI like Newton here I think he has a lot of potential and while he definitely has a lot to learn one thing nobody questions is his work ethic.
2Denver BroncosVon MillerOLBTexas A&MThe Broncos had some flexibility here and I think they made a solid choice. When you pair Miller with Elvis Dumervil off the edges it will be a nightmare for opposing QB's.
3Buffalo BillsMarcell DareusDTAlabamaThe Bills had a lot of needs and could have went QB but decided to take the top rated DT at 3. Dareus looks like he will be a solid clogger in the middle for years to come.
4Cincinnati BengalsA.J. GreenWRGeorgiaWith this Carson Palmer situation people thought the Bengals might go QB here but instead they take the top rated WR in the draft. Team him up with Ocho Cinco and the Bengals passing game might just be relevant again.
5Arizona CardinalsPatrick PetersonCBLSUThe Cardinals had to be jumping for joy when Peterson fell to them at number 5. Peterson is the top rated CB in this year's draft and is a rare combination of size (215 lbs), speed, and quickness that should solidify the Cardinals secondary.
(from Cleveland) 6Atlanta FalconsJulio JonesWRAlabamaWow. I'm think that Jones opposite Roddy White is going to give the NFC South nightmares. Jones is an exceptional WR but I just think that they paid too much for him giving up a plethora of picks this year and next.
7San Francisco 49ersAldon SmithDEMissouriHonestly I think this is a little high for Smith but he's a big guy with an even bigger motor. I probably would have wanted to see them go QB or OL here but Smith should improve an already on the rise defense.
8Tennessee TitansJake LockerQBWashingtonThis was the first surprise of the night. With Kerry Collins aging and Vince Young out the Titans felt like he was their guy. I'm not going to jump to judgment here because while Locker had slipped down people's board's this year after a less than stellar senior season we forget that if he would have came out last year he might have been the #1 pick.
9Dallas CowboysTyron SmithTUSCThe Cowboys took this one down to the wire and we thought we had a trade. Looks like they couldn't get the deal done and the Cowboys made the pick they wanted to make in Tyron Smith. The Cowboys desperately need OL help and Smith should get them back on the right track there.
(from Washington) 10Jacksonville JaguarsBlaine GabbertQBMissouriSo the Jags jumped up a bit to grab Gabbert. I think they could have waited at least one more pick and gave up less since we know the Texans weren't looking QB. With Garrard still solid in Jacksonville they might just give Gabbert a year on the bench to develop. That is unless the team doesn't start off well in which case Gabbert will probably be thrown into the frying pan.
11Houston TexansJ.J. WattDEWisconsinThe Texans make another completely underwhelming but solid pick. With Prince Amukamara still on the board I thought he was a no-brainer here but they fooled a lot of people. Watt is a beast of a DE and should create a formidable outside tandem across from Mario Williams.
12Minnesota VikingsChristian PonderQBFlorida StateThis was the next big surprise but apparently the Vikings have liked what they saw out of Ponder in the Senior Bowl, Combine and private workouts. Ponder might not be a superstar but he could be a solid QB for a long time in the vain of Chad Pennington (without the injuries) and Kerry Collins.
13Detroit LionsNick FairleyDTAuburnDetroit is a team on the rise and they pretty much couldn't have made a bad pick here. Fairley is a bit of one-year wonder and brings to mind Vernon Gholston. Hopefully, I am wrong on this one and if so then him and Suh should be this decades Pat and Kevin Williams.
14St. Louis RamsRobert QuinnDENorth CarolinaQuinn got into a bit of trouble last year and has some health issues that the Rams need to stay on top of but he's a good pick here. Quinn is a big kid with solid speed off the edge and should be a nice counter balance to Chris Long on the other side.
15Miami DolphinsMichael PounceyGFloridaThe younger Pouncey doesn't even have to leave Florida. I might have liked to see the Dolphins go QB here or maybe even Amukamara. With Pouncey though you can probably pencil him into that starting O-Line for the next 15 years with a few Pro Bowls to boot.
(from Jacksonville) 16Washington RedskinsRyan KerriganDEPurdueI can think of a lot more pressing needs that the Redskins need to fill but once again Daniel Snyder and company surprise us. This isn't a knock on Kerrigan who should compliment Orakpo well its just that the Skins don't have QB or a RB and you can't win if you can't score points.
(from Oakland) 17New England PatriotsNate SolderTColoradoFolks thought they were going to trade out here but instead they used the pick the acquired from the Raiders to pick up Solder who should only improve an already solid offensive line.
18San Diego ChargersCorey LiugetDEIllinoisI actually like this pick for the Chargers because over the last few years their pass rush hasn't been the same. Liuget is under a lot of people's radar but he should do well in the Chargers aggressive defense. If Larry English, a previous Chargers first rounder, ever plays up to expectations the Chargers could have one of the top defenses in the AFC.
19New York GiantsPrince AmukamaraCBNebraskaAt this point the Giants had to be just giddy. The second best CB in this year's draft falls right into their lap. With the additions of Antrel Rolle, Deon Grant and now Amukamara the Giants secondary is looking really good.
20Tampa Bay BuccaneersAdrian ClaybornDEIowaAnother solid pick for the Bucs. Clayborn is a big guy with some great moves and more quickness than you would think. Put him on the line with last year's first round Gerald McCoy and I like where the Bucs are going.
(from Kansas City) 21Cleveland BrownsPhil TaylorDTBaylorThis isn't a bad pick for the Browns, Taylor is a monster and should clog up the middle nicely while demanding double teams. I wouldn't have been mad if they would have scooped up WR Jonathan Baldwin or CB Jimmy Smith here but I don't hate the pick by any means.
22Indianapolis ColtsAnthony CastonzoTBoston CollegePeyton Manning is happy somewhere, he gets probably the second best offensive lineman in the draft to protect him. Smart move by the Colts to protect their most valuable asset.
23Philadelphia EaglesDanny WatkinsGBaylorI would have rather seen the Eagles pick up maybe Mark Ingram as a insurance policy and change-up to McCoy. Their secondary could have used a guy like Jimmy Smith as well but Watkins should help keep Vick upright more of the time and you can't be mad at that.
24New Orleans SaintsCameron JordanDECaliforniaGreat pick for the Saints, while their defense has been solid they didn't get to the QB as much as I would have liked last year. Jordan is a guy with great burst off the edge and should really shine opposite Will Smith.
25Seattle SeahawksJames CarpenterTAlabamaCarpenter is a solid pick here but the Seahawks needed so much more. Carpenter wasn't really considered a 1st round pick and is a bit of a reach at 25.
(from Atlanta via Cleveland) 26Kansas City ChiefsJonathan BaldwinWRPittsburghLoved this pick. The Chiefs are really on the rise and lining Baldwin up opposite Dwayne Bowe should be a good combination.
(from Atlanta via Cleveland) 27Baltimore RavensJimmy SmithCBColoradoAfter that whole debacle with the blown trade the Ravens still got their guy in Smith. Some people think Jimmy Smith is the most talented cover corner in this draft, over even Patrick Peterson and they may be right. The concern on Smith is his off the field stuff but in a solid locker room with Ray Lewis and Ed Reed he should stay on the right track. Hopefully, the Ravens get first round pick Sergio Kindle back and the Ravens defense will be a nice blend of the new kids and the old guard.
(from New England) 28New Orleans SaintsMark IngramRBAlabamaThe Saints come right back jumping back into the first round to snag Mark Ingram. He's a great pick for them, the kind of north-south runner they need. It gives them a bit of a glut in the backfield though and the thinking is that Reggie Bush will be the odd man out.
29Chicago BearsGabe CarimiTWisconsinThis is about where Carimi should have gone and should become a solid OL for the Bears for years to come.
30New York JetsMuhammad WilkersonDTTempleWilkerson is a big man with some attitude and definitely fits the Jets style. The Jets needed to improve an aging defensive line and Wilkerson should get them on the way to doing that.
31Pittsburgh SteelersCameron HeywardDEOhio StateHeyward doesn't have the burst that some of these other guys have but he has a relentless motor and should fit right perfectly in the Steel city. It seems like the Steelers always manage to draft well on defensive and this is another great pick.
32Green Bay PackersDerek SherrodTMississippi StateClosing out the 1st round the Packers picked up Sherrod to beef up their offensive line. Sherrod has to improve his technique and be a bit more consistent but again I think he should be a good fit up there in Green Bay.

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