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2011 NFL Draft Round 1 is in the Books

  1. Carolina – Cam Newton QB Auburn
  2. Denver – Von Miller OLB Texas A&M
  3. Buffalo – Marcell Dareus DT Alabama
  4. Cincinnati – A.J. Green WR Georgia
  5. Arizona – Patrick Peterson CB LSU
  6. Atlanta (from Cleveland) – Julio Jones WR Alabama
  7. San Francisco – Aldon Smith DE Missouri
  8. Tennessee – Jake Locker QB Washington
  9. Dallas – Tyron Smith OT USC
  10. Jacksonville (from Washington) – Blaine Gabbert QB Missouri
  11. Houston – J.J. Watt DE Wisconsin
  12. Minnesota – Christian Ponder QB Florida State
  13. Detroit – Nick Fairley DT Auburn
  14. St. Louis – Robert Quinn DE North Carolina
  15. Miami – Mike Pouncey OC Florida
  16. Washington (from Jacksonville) Ryan Kerrigan DE Purdue
  17. New England (from Oakland) – Nate Solder OT Colorado
  18. San Diego – Cory Liuget DT Illinois
  19. NY Giants – Prince Amukamara CB Nebraska
  20. Tampa Bay – Adrian Clayborn DE Iowa
  21. Cleveland (from Kanas City) – Phil Taylor DT Baylor
  22. Indianapolis – Anthony Castonzo OT Boston College
  23. Philadelphia – Danny Watkins OG Baylor
  24. New Orleans – Cameron Jordan DE California
  25. Seattle – James Carpenter OG Alabama
  26. Kansas City (from ATL through CLE) – Jonathan Baldwin WR Pittsburgh
  27. Baltimore – Jimmy Smith CB Colorado
  28. New Orleans (from New England) – Mark Ingram RB Alabama
  29. Chicago – Gabe Carimi OT Wisconsin
  30. NY Jets – Muhammad Wilkerson DE Temple
  31. Pittsburgh – Cameron Heyward DE Ohio State
  32. Green Bay – Derek Sherrod OT Mississippi State
Well the Panthers went and did what almost everyone thought they would do and drafted Cam Newton, and I still may be in the minority on this but I think Carolina will be highly disappointed. I understand the old adage “New Regimes = New Quarterbacks” but Carolina already has three young quarterbacks on the roster in Matt Moore, Jimmy Clausen and Tony Pike, granted all have struggled when given the opportunity to start. I felt Carolina would have been better served drafting Alabama’s Marcell Dareus who would have immediately upgraded a defense that only produced 30 sacks (t-17th in the NFL) as a unit all of last season, while allowing an average of 125.5 rushing yards per game (23rd in the NFL). Carolina could have then addressed QB in the second round if they didn’t have faith in any of their quarterbacks with TCU’s Andy Dalton or Arkansas Ryan Mallett, I could go on till blue in the face, but the fact remains he is a Panther now. Hope he makes ya happy Steve Smith.
The Atlanta Falcons made possibly the most surprising move of the afternoon by jumping from 26 all the way up to 6 to draft Alabama WR Julio Jones. I’m a huge fan of the fact that Matt Ryan will now have Pro-bowl wide-out Roddy White, future Hall of Fame tight-end Tony Gonzalez, Jones, and Michael Turner in the back field as weapons. On paper the Falcons offense is scary good, and barring any major injuries they’ll be putting points on the board in bundles. However, I think the cost of moving up that high out-weighs the benefits. The Falcons swapped first rounders with Cleveland while sending this years second and fourth rounders as well as first and fourth rounders in the 2012 draft just to get Jones, when they could have stayed pat and drafted Pitts Jonathan Baldwin who at just over 6’4 would provided Ryan with another red zone target as well as a solid #2 receiver behind White.
The Dallas Cowboys did what they haven’t done in years and drafted an offensive lineman in the first round. Jones knows they Cowboys play-off hopes live and die with QB Tony Romo and thus want’s to keep him upright with collarbone intact and Tyron Smith will help to do just that.
The Houston Texans gave new defensive coordinator Wade Phillips a weapon to work with in Wisconsin’s J.J. Watt. With two rookie QB’s headed to the AFC South in Tennessee’s Jake Locker and Jacksonville’s Blaine Gabbert the more d-lineman and linebackers the better. Having Watt, Mario Williams, and Antonio Smith all on the line in rushing downs will have Wade Phillips salivating at the mouth, well that or all the great Bar-B-Que Houston has to offer.
One pick that truly intrigued me was the Lions selection of DT Nick Fairley at 13. My initial thought was with all these offensive-line man still on the board how do you NOT take one of them to keep Matthew Stafford healthy. The more I’ve thought about it though the more I kinda like it. If Fairley lives up to expectations having him line up next to Ndamaka Suh will give Detroit a lethal combo of DT’s for the next ten years.
The New Orleans Saints made one of my more favorite moves of the draft by jumping back into the first round to draft Alabama running back Mark Ingram. He’ll give the Saints the every down back they’ve been lacking and will instantly upgrade a rushing attack that dropped down to 28th in the NFL last season. The Saints truly need a work horse back to help their offense flourish, and Pierre Thomas is coming off a foot injury, Reggie Bush isn’t a between the tackles back, and although Chris Ivory showed flashes last season he’s still an unproven commodity.
*The Big 12 checked in with the second most first rounders (8) behind the SEC (10)

Big 12 Conference players in the NFL Draft

Selection Player, school, position NFL team
No. 2 Von Miller, Texas A&M DE Denver
No. 7 Aldon Smith, Missouri DE San Francisco
No. 10 Blaine Gabbert, Missouri QB Jacksonville
No. 17 Nate Solder, Colorado DE New England
No. 19 Prince Amukamara, Nebraska CB New York Giants
No. 21 Phil Taylor, Baylor DT Cleveland
No. 23 Danny Watkins, Baylor OT Philadelphia
No. 27 Jimmy Smith, Colorado CB Baltimore

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