2011 NFL Mock Draft 1.0

Mel Kiper released his first 2011 NFL Mock Draft today. ESPN Insiders can see it here:

For those of you who aren’t Insiders let me know and I’ll answer any questions about prospects or your team’s projection. Obviously Mock Drafts at this early stage are tenuous at best, but I still think they are good fun to discuss. If you were wondering, Kiper gave the Steelers the 32nd pick, the Bears the 31st, the Jets the 30th and the Packers the 29th. I’m sure that’s based solely on season records as opposed to any predictions but it’s amusing anyways.

Here’s the Top 6 Picks and his breakdowns. (I went to six just for SenorBeef’s sake)

And because I’m a self-centered bastard here’s the Bears projection.

The Bears are deep at CB so I’m not sure what Mel is smoking here. Tillman is getting up in years and Jennings kinda came out of nowhere, but they’ve got solid back-ups behind them and unless they get gutted in free agency depth really shouldn’t be an issue. Lovie and Jerry have shown a belief, and surprisingly enough a talent for, finding quality DBs in the middle rounds. Lovie as a DB specialist himself always believes he can sculpt a starting DB out of a lower pick and the Tampa 2 he runs is specifically tailored to de-emphasize the pressure to land an elite lock down corner. Spending a first rounder there would be a complete departure for this team and would neglect the OL and WR positions that are far weaker and harder to find in later rounds.

He’s got my ideal picks, Mike Pouncey or Julio Jones, both slotted in at the 19th and 14th picks respectively and at this point it seems like a pipe dream that either will fall to the Bears. I’m not really seeing a C/OG or a WR who’d be a good value at the 32nd (!!!) pick so I think I’d want to see the Bears go for a pass rusher at this spot instead of a CB. I sneaky pick would be to draft a luxury pick in a speedy RB or maybe hometown favorite Mikel Leshoure.

Could you post Mel’s 49ers analysis?


I didn’t realize that Todd McShay did his first Mock Draft too. Find it here:

Here’s his first 7 picks:

Here’s McShay’s thoughts on the Bears:

His thoughts are much more in line with mine. I think a DE to spell Idonije and Peppers and to provide a speedier option for passing downs is more in line with what they need, I think they see Melton and Toeaina (and Harris and Adams if they survive the offseason) as capable interior guys while the jury is still out on Wootton and Turner.

Can you give me the Steeler picks?

I ask only because I caught this on a screen roll today, and Kiper had the Steelers picking an OL (no problem there), but the guy he selected for the Steelers is chosen very high in McShay’s mock. Or, this might be visa-versa. The OT I remember one of them picking for the Steelers is from USC. The other person picked this guy to go (I think, top 10).

Sorry if this doesn’t make sense. I can’t remember the lineman’s name.

Seems like one of the guys is way off on Smith. As you note McShay has him way higher, going at 12 to the Vikings as the first OT off the board. Kiper concedes that his stock is rising and presumably he’ll have Smith coming off the board higher in his next mock, but I doubt he’ll be his top ranked OT. At this point in the process I think the positions they discuss are more interesting than the players for the teams outside the top 10 picks or so.

Thanks! It is indeed Smith, and it was the Vikings at 12 by McShay and 32 by the Steelers and Kiper. That’s an amazing difference of opinion for a first round pick.

I assume that the Pouncey from Florida is Markice Pouncey’s (Steelers center, no idea how to spell his name) brother? As a Steeler fan, I’d like to have him. His brother has been nothing short of amazing this year as a rookie.

I don’t know much about the prospects yet. I feel like Cinci is going to end up screwing us out of whoever I want most. I want either one of the elite pass rushers or AJ Green from what I understand so far. Most likely switching back to 4-3 with no prototypical ends on the team.

But WR is a greater need - no one on the roster is any good. I thought Massaquoi would be a pretty good one because he had a solid rookie year, but he hasn’t really developed any - still makes the same mistakes. He’d make a solid #2, especially for someone with a better arm than Colt McCoy - but with McCoy throwing up those floaters where every 25+ yard pass seems like it’s an up-for-grabs fade, he needs a WR that will fight for the ball and that’s not Massaquoi. If AJ Green is as good as advertised I’d be very happy to have him fall, but I could see Cinci snatching him up.

In the second round I hope a very good right tackle prospect is there, because that’s all we need to make an elite line. Right now we’ve got John Fucking St. Clair, who I blame on you personally Omni, completely killing the fucking offense with his awfulness. He ends up dragging the entire line down from what would be a solid 9/10 to maybe 7. I would rather he be cut and a fucking UFA signed off the street. But RT is one of those positions where an early second round pick can land you a great one, so I’m hoping that’s the way it shakes out.

I think the Steelers have a 2nd round pick they’d be happy to trade you a draft pick for. Limas Sweed, the Texas flash (I made that up). I have no idea what happened to him, maybe IR?

Anyway, he’ll never play for the Steelers again if this current crop stays healthy, so make an offer!

Don’t blame me! The Bears knew he was awful and they walked away from his sorry ass even though they had jack shit to replace him with. See what we trotted out there this year and last? Not a single Bears fan missed that turd, why the Browns signed him I can’t imagine.

I’d be a little surprised if Cincy drafted AJ Green. He might be so good that they can’t pass on him and Mike Brown may be so accustomed to having a star WR that he’ll draft him in the face or other needs, but with Jerome Simpson and Jordan Shipley they have some young talent at the position already. If I were the Bengals I’d try and get Houshmandzadeh back as a veteran possession guy in the slot and spend that high pick on another need.

I remember back when The Greatest Show On Turf was lighting things up in St. Louis. St. Clair had to fill in at a tackle spot because of injury, and I just had a feeling that he represented the beginning of the end.

Has he been around for that long? How the hell does a guy like that have a full career?

Cam Newton for the Skins at #10? Noooo!!

The team needs at least one of just about everything but TE, so I’m actually kind of hoping they trade down for more picks.

Mel has the Lions taking the outside linebacker from UCLA and McShay has us taking an offensive tackle. They’re both right. I want two picks.
Really, I want a friggin’ cornerback., but that’s the “good” thing about having a shit team: you need help everywhere.

As a Browns fan I’d be ecstatic if AJ Green is there.

Both of them like Gabbert more than Mallett? That surprises me. I don’t know as much about Gabbert, but Mallett looked pretty great the few times I saw him.

Gabbert going #5? Once again, the draftniks are in love with tall, strong, big armed men. Gabbert could very well be a great NFL quarterback, but his performance against good teams, the fact he’s a spread guy who makes maybe one read a play, and his immaturity makes him nothing more than a very nice project QB. He’s no Sam Bradford, he will take 2 or 3 years to be ready for the NFL. Spending the #5 pick of the draft on a project QB strikes me as desperation more than anything else. And if a team is desperate enough to draft him that early, they’ll be desperate enough to start him too soon, which could destroy him.

That’s about all I got now. The Packers are still in the playoffs, so outside of a few bowl games, I’m woefully underprepared.


The Panthers’ GM, Marty Hurney, could easily screw up the #1 pick. But I’d be happy with Fairley. DT is definitely one of their top needs and I don’t really see any possibility of trading out of the 1 slot in this draft.

I’m not a Bills fan but I live here.

I can’t disagree more with McShay’s pick of a QB for Buffalo. Ryan Fitzpatrick is not an elite quarterback, to be sure, but he’s a dependable one. And the Bills have pretty much no defense or O-Line to speak of. Just about anything other than QB would be a good pick for Buffalo, actually.

Where do they have Mark Ingram going? Is he the top RB?