By Cris Benson The Fantasy Football Informer
I’ve never been a big NFL mock draft guy because when draft day comes I am always surprised how badly the “experts” blow it. And if they’re the experts how bad is my mock draft going to be as a fan.
Well when the guys at http://huddlerebuttal.tumblr.com asked me to put together a top 10 draft selection I asked myself, “how bad can screw this up?” To say the least I am sure people will hate my choices. Not because I don’t know what I am talking about. But because I drafted like any other NFL fan, talent before positional needs.
When you do a mock draft you have think about two things. First the talent that a player brings to a team, not the position but the talent. Can he jump in and contribute day one and is this player’s talent worth passing on a positional need.
Unfortunately most GM’s never think that way, they all stress over the positional need. This is the number two thing you need to think of when completing a mock draft. But I prefer going with what the player brings to the team rather then what the team must have now.
But that doesn’t mean I drafted with my heart in all these pick some of these teams need a positional player like Dallas for example.
But just once as a Bears fan I wish Jerry Angelo would cut loose and draft a talented player that we will find a place for rather than drafting for a positional player.
But that’s why I’m a fan. Here we GO!
1st Overall is CAR who will take DT Marcell Dareus, Alabama, 6-3, 319
Dareus first arrived on the national scene with a jarring hit that knocked Texas QB Colt McCoy out of the 2009 national championship game.
The Panthers new coach Ron Rivera is a defensive minded coach and he know this draft is not deep on QB talent. But Newton, Gabbert, and Locker are all risky 1st overall picks. While building a solid defense with a future all pro talent with Draeus is just a natural fit for Rivera.
2nd is DEN who will take OLB Von Miller, Texas A&M, 6-3, 246
Von Miller had 17.5 tackles for loss, 10.5 sacks and three forced fumble in 2010 while playing through an ankle injury early in the season.
Miller is a natural for the Denver Broncos who have wasted picks in the past with
players like Tim Tebow. Elway and company will not make the same as Josh (I look like a kid at that podium) McDaniels.
3rd is BUF who will not pass on QB Cam Newton Auburn 6-5 248
His upside, however, is tantalizing, especially in a draft lacking a sure No. 1 quarterback. If Newton can convince teams of his ability to mentally handle the conversion to the NFL as well as answer their questions about his off-field decisions.
Buffalo needs a talented young developmental QB and Cam Newton needs to sit his first year and learn how to read NFL defenses. This kid has a lot of upside and if in the right system could be a great talent.
4th is CIN who will go defense and take CB Patrick Peterson, LSU, 6-0, 219
Peterson entered the 2010 season hoping to establish himself as the top cornerback in the country. In winning the Bednarik Award as the nation’s best defender, the Thorpe Award as the nation’s best defensive back and being named the SEC’s Defensive and Special Teams MVPs, he may have proven himself to be the nation’s best player at any position.
I do not believe for one second Carson Palmer is leaving Cincinnati they paid him to play and they expect him to play. But the Bengals need Peterson’s defensive presence and his talent for putting defensive TD’s on the board.
5th is ARI who needs QB Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri, 6-5, 235
Gabbert’s decision to enter the draft early was a bit surprising, especially when considering his inexperience taking snaps from under center (though that would not have changed in Missouri’s 2011 offense) and inconsistency in the face of pressure. His size, quick release, arm strength and athleticism make him an intriguing prospect.
Can Gabbert play in the NFL right now? Yes he is talented enough to play right now but will he? That is up to Ken Whisenhunt who most likely will develop this young QB to eventually be his starter but not until mid-season.
6th is CLE who will not pass on the super talented WR A.J. Green, Georgia, 6-4 207
Green was dynamic in 2010, averaging a career-high 96.4 yards and over a TD per game, but missed the first four contests of the year following an NCAA suspension and caught 49 passes for 771 yards and nine scores in the regular season.
Cleveland needs this kid now! Draft a QB next year when the talent is going to be deeper. Green will provide an honest receiver who will be able to stretch the field when needed and is tough enough to battle for the possession of the ball.
7th is SF who will take the DT Nick Fairley Auburn 6-5, 314
Recorded 60 tackles, including a school-record 24.0 tackles for loss, with 11.5 quarterback sacks. Consensus All-American in 2010 and was named the Southeastern Conference Defensive Player of the Year by the Associated Press. In Auburn’s BCS National Championship Game victory over Oregon, Fairley had five tackles including three for loss and a sack while garnering defensive MVP honors.
San Fran would be nuts to pass on this kid who a great talent and has big game proven success.
8th is TEN who needs to take a gamble on QB Jake Locker, Washington 6-3, 231
Locker struggled to live up to the lofty expectations that came with his breakout junior season. He completed only 56.6 percent of his passes for 2,209 yards and 18 touchdowns (against nine interceptions) during the 2010 regular season and had some ghastly performances (including a 4-of-20 showing at home against Nebraska).
Jake Locker is the sleeper of all the QB’s but seems to be at his best when things are hard. He will struggle but the Titans need a starting QB now and Locker needs to prove his critics wrong.
9th is DAL who need to fill a positional need so enter OT Tyron Smith USC 6-5,307
Among the country’s highest-ranked prep offensive linemen, Smith wasted little time making an impact for the Trojans as the primary backup behind left tackle Charles Brown as a true freshman. He started the next two seasons at right tackle before declaring early for the 2011 NFL.
Smith has obvious talent. Blessed with the prototype combination of size, balance and agility, he has the potential to develop into a top-flight left tackle in the NFL.
Dallas needs a line to protect Romo and this is the man who can help them. Smith is a work in progress but a rare talent of size and speed for a big man, who can dominate match ups inside the tackles,
10th is WAS who will take WR Julio Jones Alabama
Jones had been expected to time in the 4.5-second range, but blazed across the Field Turf at Lucas Oil Stadium with a time of 4.34, bested by only three players in this draft class — Miami (Fla.) cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke (4.25), Abilene Christian wide receiver Edmond Gates (4.31) and LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson (4.31).
The workout cemented a top-10 overall ranking by NFLDraftScout.com, and scouts were even more complimentary after learning Jones completed his workout with a fractured foot. He also played with a broken hand at Alabama.
Jones is a tough player and the Washington Redskins love players like Jones. Guys willing to risk it all to make a play and Jones would be a much needed addition to the Redskins.