2011 NFL Mock Draft: SEC Dominates Top Ten

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Marcell Dareus (Source: profootballzone.com)
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Cam Newton – QB – Auburn

The Panthers’ failed experiment with Jimmy Clausen will officially come to an end when the illusive 2011 season finally begins.  While some fear that Newton is not yet NFL ready and drafting him #1 will put too much pressure on any organization to play him too soon, it should not dissuade the Panthers from drafting the best athlete this draft has to offer.  The Panthers are not looking to be in the playoffs this season, so a slow introduction of Cam Newton into the high-speed NFL should be their strategy, while commencing to build valuable parts around him.

Marcell Dareus – DT – Alabama

Dareus is the most NFL ready Defensive Lineman in this year’s draft and the Broncos are in desperate need of an improved front four.  Strong in both pass rush and run defense, Dareus should make an immediate impact on the Broncos’ defense.

Von Miller – OLB – Texas A&M

Von Miller’s ability to get after opposing quarterbacks whenever he blitzes, which was often with A&M, will make him too valuable to pass up for the Bills.  Miller has no glaring weaknesses in the linebacker position and he is a perfect example of talent that will improve all-around on the next level.

AJ Green- WR- Georgia

It seems the Bengals are planning on replacing the old with the new.  AJ Green is the best wide receiver in the draft, but it seems to be a risky move for an organization that saw little to no production with two veteran, all-star wide receivers to draft a rookie to take over that same role.  They may want to look somewhere else for replacements, say quarterback?

Patrick Peterson – CB – LSU

Given the Cardinals’ recent track record with drafting rookie quarterbacks in the first round, I see them seeking veteran talent for that position.  In the meantime, it couldn’t hurt to add another shutdown cornerback to their roster who, opposite Rodgers-Cromartie, would eventually comprise one of the best cornerback duos in the game.

Nick Fairley – DT – Auburn

While the Saints have snagged Cleveland’s aging DT Shaun Rogers, their defensive line could use some quick, young talent, especially with rumors of shifting to a 4-3 scheme.  Fairley is quick with blazing footwork and terrific inside moves, and his pass rushing abilities can make any defensive end’s life exceedingly easy.

Prince Amukamara-CB- Nebraska

Amukamara’s ability is being overshadowed by Patrick Peterson’s unique abilities, but there is no doubt that Amukamara will be an elite cornerback in the NFL.  The 49ers were torn apart in the secondary last year and are in desperate need of talent at cornerback.

Blaine Gabbert – QB – Missouri

With Vince Young out of the picture, if Blaine Gabbert falls to the 8th pick the Titans will take him.  With widespread criticism of this year’s quarterback class, GMs will be weary of drafting a franchise quarterback, but the Titans have some catching up to do.  Gabbert’s accuracy will prove essential to his production as a top quarterback in the NFL.

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