By: Derek Havens
Every year I do a NFL Mock Draft and attempt to predict each of the league’s 32 selections in the first round. With less than a month to go before this year’s draft in April, I thought it would be fun to look back at my selections last season.
Below is my final 2011 NFL Mock Draft that was posted the morning of the event. My correct selections will be highlighted in red.
1) Carolina Panthers: Cam Newton, QB, Auburn
2) Denver Broncos: Von Miller, DE/OLB, Texas A & M
3) Buffalo Bills: Marcel Dareus, DT, Alabama
4) Cincinnati Bengals: AJ Green, WR, Georgia
5) Arizona Cardinals: Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU
– Ok, I’m on a roll! Five picks in a row, all correct. Still, the top of the draft is more often than not very easy to predict. Let’s see how I do moving forward.
6) Cleveland Browns: Julio Jones, WR, Alabama
7) San Francisco 49ers: Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri
8 ) Tennessee Titans: Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn
9) Dallas Cowboys: Tyron Smith, OT, USC
10) Washington Redskins: Robert Quinn, DE/OLB, UNC
– Rough stretch to round out the top 10 picks. I had Julio Jones at six overall, but the Atlanta Falcons traded up with Cleveland to select the Alabama receiver.
11) Houston Texans: Aldon Smith, DE/OLB, Missouri
12) Minnesota Vikings: Da’Quan Bowers, DE/OLB, Clemson
13) Detroit Lions: Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska
14) St. Louis Rams: J.J. Watt., Wisconsin
15) Miami Dolphins: Mike Pouncey, OL, Florida
– My biggest mistake last season was not making the correct predictions of prospects to teams targeting the defensive end/outside linebacker players. Redskins, Texans, Rams were all in play for those players, but the Vikings and Titans made surprise quarterback picks which threw off the top half of the round.
16) Jacksonville Jaguars: Ryan Kerrigan, DE/OLB, Purdue
17) New England Patriots: Cameron Jordan, DE, California
18) San Diego Chargers: Corey Liuget, DL, Illinois
19) New York Giants: Gabe Carimi, G, Wisconsin
20) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa
– Two for five in the middle of the round, not bad, but certainly could be better. Of course at 17 overall, the Patriots selected tackle Nate Solder, but Cameron Jordan was definitely the buzz guy last April. Still, not bad hitting two guys in the middle if the round.
21) Kansas City Chiefs: Akeem Ayers, OLB, UCLA
22) Indianapolis Colts: Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College
23) Philadelphia Eagles: Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado
24) New Orleans Saints: Muhammed Wilkerson, DE, Temple
25) Seattle Seahawks: Jake Locker, QB, Washington
– Ok, not a great way to back up the previous five selections, only one correct pick. Anthony Castonzo to the Colts was a popular pick at the time, but Jake Lockers early selection to Tennessee really threw off my draft. Ten picks correct so far though, not bad.
26) Baltimore Ravens: Brandon Harris, CB, Miami
27) Atlanta Falcons: Kyle Rudolph, TE, Notre Dame
28) New England Patriots: Danny Watkins, G, Baylor
29) Chicago Bears: Derek Sherrod, OT, Mississippi State
30) New York Jets: Phil Taylor, DT, Baylor
31) Pittsburgh Steelers: Aaron Williams, CB, Texas
32) Green Bay Packers: Brooks Reed, DE/OLB, Arizona
33) New England Patriots: Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama
– Ouch… swung and missed to close out the draft. So all in all, I finished with 10 correct selections in my 2011 NFL Mock Draft. Solid, but not as god as my 13.5 correct in 2010 (the .5 going to the San Diego Chargers selecting Ryan Mathews, but at the wrong draft slot).
The draft is the ultimate crap shoot for NFL fans, analysts and teams, but I thought it would be fun to go back and look at last year’s draft. Hopefully, I do better this season. For that, however, only time will tell.