11 First Round Predictions for the 2011 draft
1. Cam Newton
It appears that Carolina will draft Newton first overall, which if it does not work out, may set the franchise back five years or more. There is possibly an elite QB draft class coming out next year with the likes of Andrew Luck, Nick Foles and Matt Barkley. In my opinon Carolina is being extremely short sighted not taking a potential blue chip franchise player (Marcel Dareus, AJ Green, Von Miller, etc) instead at another position.
2. Overdrafting of QB’s
There are several quarterback needy teams, however there is not a single franchise QB in the entire draft. As a result quarterback needy teams (Carolina, Cincinnati, Tennessee, Washington, Minnesota, Miami, Seattle) all may overdraft the QB position if they take any QB in the first 20 picks.
3. Kyle Rudolph 1st round
Kyle Rudolph will get drafted in the first round but after the 20th pick. Rudolph appears to be one of the best tight end prospects in years and should be an every down player who is equally adept at catching the ball as he is at blocking.
4. Players falling due to medical
Three players (Da’Quan Bowers, Mark Ingram and Adrian Clayborn) will fall in the first round due to medical concerns. While I am not saying they all fall out of the first round (I doubt Bowers or Ingram will), Clayborn is a definite possibility to fall out of the first round.
5. Nick Fairley
I do not think Fairley is going to drop as far as people think and he will still go in the top 10 as he showed too much dominance last year in the SEC. Other than his inconsistent motor I think the rest of his character concerns have been overblown. Granted, looking at him he does not have a prototypical body but neither did Warren Sapp who I think he compares favorably to.
6. Premium on guys that can play now
Partly because of the current lockout/labor situation and because of the limited signing time on free agents, I think players who are believed to be able to step in right away rather than the potentially more talented longer term developmental players will get drafted earlier this year than in other years.
7. Mark Ingram
Will be the first back taken in the draft and the only back drafted in the first round. However Mikeal Leshoure will have a longer and more productive career as I think Ingram’s knee issues (has been thought to be arthritic) will limit the length of his career.
Only 3 corners, Patrick Peterson, Prince Amukamara and Jimmy Smith will be drafted in the first round. Jimmy Smith is just too physically gifted for a team not to bite on him at sometime in the first round.
9. Justin Houston
While a borderline first rounder before the marijuana allegations (I had him going late first round), he now will be a guaranteed 2nd rounder. Not because he used marijuana but because he was stupid enough to get caught using it before the NFL draft when he knew he was going to get tested.
10. Wide Receivers and Linebackers
Only 2 linebackers, (Von Miller and Akeem Ayers) and 2 wide receivers (Green and Jones) will be drafted in the first round. Jonathon Baldwin is the only player that could upset this prediction however his character concerns and lack of consistency will push him back to early in the second round.
11. Jake Locker
Locker goes first round after the 15th pick and is acquired by a team trading up or trading down to get him. Locker in my opinion never puts it all together and at best becomes a part time starter in the league.