It’s time for a little fun with the mock drafts. I am a little tired of the same old thing and I think people don’t realize the impact of no free agency. Aside from just looking at the Broncos I think this year’s draft is going to bring some very unique moves due to the lack of free agents. This could be very good for a team like Denver who has a top pick in the first two rounds, and doesn't need to draft a QB. More players at other positions will be pushed down. That is a good thing for Denver fans.
Teams don’t have the luxury of filling holes in their roster with free agents. Also teams can’t trade for players. A lot has been said about big free agents going to other teams, but the fact is it isn’t happening before the draft and teams are not going to take a chance on whether or not the NFL CBA will be in place before the 2011 season begins. That means that the only place to ensure that the upgrades and holes on these teams are in the draft.
The position that will be at a premium as always will be the quarterback. I see a lot of articles about Jake Locker and Ryan Mallett falling out of the first round because they are too "risky". I’ll tell you what’s risky. Having John Skelton, Alex Smith, or Joe Webb as your starting quarterback is risky. Teams that need a quarterback will do everything to ensure that they get one. And as you’ll see there are not enough to go around in the top half of this year’s draft. Currently of the top 12 picks no less than 7 teams are desperate for a QB.
Pick 1. Carolina
Pick 3. Buffalo
Pick 5. Arizona
Pick 7. San Francisco
Pick 8. Tennessee
Pick 10. Washington
Pick 12. Minnesota
You could also add Cincinnati at #4 as an interest party with the Carson Palmer delema.
#1 Carolina – Blaine Gabbert
Current QB: Jimmy Clausen
Carolina is going QB because A. they have the first pick in the draft and B. Clausen is a tool. Which QB is anyone’s guess, but it likely is going to be either Blaine Gabbert or Cam Newton. I think the clean pick is Blaine Gabbert. He is not spectacular, but he is safe. A New Head coach isn’t going to risk everything to go with an athletic QB with questions in Newton. The other outside possibility is Ryan Mallett. Even though the media keeps trashing the guy for his off the field issues he is simply the best arm in the draft, and had the NFL arm and stature to warrant a number 1 pick.
#2 Denver – DT Marcell Dareus
Yeah Denver get’s the best D-Linemen in the draft. Guess what? They’re going to get the best D-linemen available in the second round too. Hello Stephen Pea.
#3 Buffalo – Cam Newton
Current QB: Ryan Fitzpatrick
Buffalo is going to have to take either Cam Newton or go defense. Buffalo is in desperate need of a superstar at the QB position. I think if Cam is there they will not be willing to wait until the second round to see what pops up. They know the top four QBs will be gone and maybe more by the time they pick in round two. Of course Buffalo is a wild card in any draft and they don’t generally fill needs in the draft. One thing they do though is pick "exciting" players in the first round. Patrick Peterson is tempting here, but Buffalo is infatuated here.
#4 Cincinnati – CB Patrick Peterson
Cincy isn’t going to pass on the best prospect in the draft. They believe Carson will come back. Mwahahhaahhaaa. Anyway, they still need a corner and Peterson is awesome.
#5 Arizona – QB Ryan Mallet
Current QB: John Skelton
The head coach has stated that this is their primary need and that he wasn’t happy with the play at the QB position last year. I don’t care if Patrick Peterson is there, or if Von Miller is there. I think there are four QBs on Arizona’s draft boardf or this spot and they have to secure that position. Mallet is the pick here. Dreams of bombs to Larry Fitzgerald will be in the heads of Zona coaches when they make this pick. Ken Weisenhunt isn’t going to risk going into 2011 without an upgrade that brings him closer to having a QB that can win him games like Warner did for him.
# 6 Minnesota – QB Jake Locker
Current QB: Joe Webb
Cleveland – Trades their pick to Minnesota for 2011 1st, 2nd round picks, and 2012 3rd round pick
The first trade of the draft results in Minnesota pulling off a huge trade to move up from 12 to 6 a get a QB under center. I had thought that perhaps Washington would trade up here or one of the other two teams once they had seen that only one QB was left, but Minnesota is simply the most desperate team left for a QB due to the retirement of Favre and a team that wants to win now. I am basing the trade off of the Sanchez trade a two years ago for the Jets.
# 7 San Francicso – OLB Von Miller
San Fran needs a pass rusher and Von Miller fits the 3-4 OLB criteria. With no QB on the board best player available and best fit apply here. The LB core is going to be sick for the Niners.
#8 Tennessee – DT Nick Fairley
Tennessee hasn’t had any use for the QB position since McNair retired. They do have a huge hole that Haynesworth left in 2009. Nick Fairley fits the mold.
#9 Dallas – OT Tyron Smith
I wanted to go skill position here because Jerry Jones is an idiot and has an ego bigger than his overcompensating stadium. However, I remember watching Tony Romo get killed on opening weekend on Monday Night Football against the Redskins when Tony Romo escaped a pass rusher and then threw the winning touchdown pass. Then I remember a holding call and the next play Romo was sacked and the Cowboys started out 0-1 lost. Then five weeks later Romo was knocked out of the game with a broken clavicle against the Giants. Romo had no protection. He never returned and the Comboys went 6-10 on the season. I think those thoughts are ringing through Jerry’s think drunk redneck head.
#10 Washington – WR Julio Jones
Shanny takes the best offensive player on the board to begin the rebuilding process. Maybe next year they really stink and they get to draft Andrew Luck. I would not be surprised to see Shanahan trade this pick to for a 1st next year hoping for a better QB prospect.
Who knows what really is going to happen after the top ten. I have a few players dropping out of the top ten like Robert Quinn and Prince Amukamara.
#2 DT Marcell Dareus
I think it’s silly to mock any other player here. Need and Talent just makes sense. Patrick Peterson is an option as well as Von Miller, but Dareus is the better pick for the Broncos
#36 DT Stephen Paea
I think Paea will still be available, but Denver has resigned themselves to plugging up their DTs in the draft with their releasing of their starting DT’s. Pea would be a great pick here. Marvin Austin is a possibility here as well as a pass Rusher Like Allen Bailey.
#46 S Rahim Moore
Safeties always fall. Remember Taylor Mays. Dude dropped form a projected top 10 to # 49 in the second. I think Moore falls to Denver and he is a steal here.
#67 ILB Quan Sturdivant or Greg Jones
I can’t decide, but both should be there and this is the best round to pick up an ILB. Great value and Denver’s defensive needs are nearly filled.
Denver Doesn’t draft again until the 6th round