Championship Sunday Mock Draft – Jan. 23rd

Written by Gil Alcaraz IV on January 23, 2011


It’s Championship Sunday in the NFL and we won’t make you wait any longer for another mock draft. Look for them to be coming more frequently now, so check back often.

 

1. Carolina Panthers Carolina Panthers

Da'Quan BowersDa’Quan Bowers – DE – Clemson

Andrew Luck decided to stick around at Stanford for one more year and that threw one huge wrench in the works in Carolina. With the loss of Julius Peppers still lingering in the back of their minds, the Panthers will look to find the next great defensive end of the NFL in Bowers.

2. Denver Broncos Denver Broncos

Patrick PetersonPatrick Peterson – CB – LSU

Peterson is a supreme athlete who brings plenty to the table for any NFL team. The Broncos struggled to contain the pass all season long and Champ Bailey isn’t getting any younger. Peterson will help lift a wilting defensive secondary as well as provide a spark in the special teams department.

3. Buffalo Bills Buffalo Bills

Cam NewtonCam Newton – QB – Auburn

Head coach Chan Gailey used his first, first-round pick as Buffalo’s head honcho to pick up an electrifying player in running back C.J. Spiller. He will do the same thing in 2011 and take the most electrifying player in hopes that Newton and Spiller can tag-team to create a nightmare for opposing defenses.

4. Cincinnati Bengals Cincinnati Bengals

Nick FairleyNick Fairley – DT – Auburn

The Bengals have struggled as of late to get pressure on the quarterback, as evidenced by having only one player notch more than three sacks in 2010. Fairley brings a lot to the table and will be an instant force on offense if they can control his temper and keep him out of trouble.

5. Arizona Cardinals Arizona Cardinals

Blaine GabbertBlaine Gabbert – QB – Missouri

After a year in which the Cardinals couldn’t find an ounce of stability at the quarterback position to save their lives, Gabbert is looking like a dream come true. He fits perfectly into head coach Ken Whisenhunt’s offense and will give them the best chance to win in 2011.

6. Cleveland Browns Cleveland Browns

AJ GreenAJ Green – WR – Georgia

The Browns haven’t had a clear number one receiver on the roster in a long time and what better way to fill that void than with a player of Green’s caliber. Green is a proven play-maker who possesses eye-popping catching ability and athleticism. Quarterback Colt McCoy will be drooling at this pick.

7. San Francisco 49ers San Francisco 49ers

Prince AmukamaraPrince Amukamara – CB – Nebraska

If it wasn’t for Peterson entering early, Amukamara would be a worthy top cornerback prospect. The 49ers need some help in the defensive secondary and he will make an instant impact on a defense that has plenty of potential that’s just waiting to be unlocked.

8. Tennessee Titans Tennessee Titans

Jake LockerJake Locker – QB – Washington

With the Vince Young era thankfully over in Tennessee, it’s time for head coach Jeff Fisher to find a successful replacement if he plans on keeping his job for much longer. If Locker can stay healthy while unlocking his potential, the Titans may just have found themselves a franchise quarterback.

9. Dallas Cowboys Dallas Cowboys

Marcell DareusMarcell Dareus – DL – Alabama

Whether due to injuries or underachievers, the Cowboys’ defensive line has had its share of struggles in the last year. There is plenty of talent, but not enough production. With adding a proven player like Dareus to the mix, things could finally come full-circle for a loaded Cowboys’ defense.

10. Washington Redskins Washington Redskins

Julio JonesJulio Jones – WR – Alabama

Things didn’t go the way they were expected to in D.C. this year, and still aren’t looking too promising for 2011. Santana Moss may be headed out of town, leaving the Skins extremely thin at wideout. Insert Jones, and it’s a whole new ballgame. Jones could be the difference between 6-10 and 10-6 in 2011.

11. Houston Texans Houston Texans

Robert QuinnRobert Quinn – DE – North Carolina

With the defense now switching to a 3-4 under Wade Phillips, the Texans could use a new linebacker/defensive end to fill the void of outside linebacker. If they can look past Quinn’s previous off-field issues, they may just be getting one of the most talented players in the draft.

12. Minnesota Vikings Minnesota Vikings

Akeem AyersAkeem Ayers – OLB – Vikings

Just think… Jared Allen, Ray Edwards, Kevin Williams, and Akeem Ayers all pressuring the passer at the same time. Sounds like a quarterback’s worst nightmare to me. Ayers will be a significant upgrade from Ben Leber and should provide an instant spark to an inconsistent Minnesota defense.

13. Detroit Lions Detroit Lions

Brandon HarrisBrandon Harris – CB – Miami

This is a bit of a reach for a player like Harris, but the Lions are in desperate need of a cornerback and Peterson and Amukamara are already off the board. Harris is a promising cornerback who should be able to bring an immediate improvement to the Lions’ secondary.

14. St. Louis Rams St. Louis Rams

Von MillerVon Miller – OLB – Texas A&M

Besides James Laurinaitis, the Rams’ linebacking corp was average at its peak in 2010. Whether it was weak pass rush or a plethora of missed tackles, things were ugly at linebacker. By bringing in Miller, they will add an experienced and talented player who can be a big difference-maker from the start.

15. Miami Dolphins Miami Dolphins

Mark IngramMark Ingram – RB – Alabama

With the contracts of Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown both up this season, the Dolphins will be looking for a new player to hand off to next year. With a more-than-impressive resume and list of accomplishments under his belt, Ingram should be able to help the Dolphins’ offense from day one.

16. Jacksonville Jaguars Jacksonville Jaguars

Cameron HeywardCameron Heyward – DL – Ohio State

The complete overhaul of the defensive line continues from the 2010 NFL Draft in Jacksonville as they take a big defensive anchor in Heyward. After a somewhat disappointing regular season in 2010, he showed fans and scouts alike that he was the real deal in the Sugar Bowl against Arkansas.

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Gil Alcaraz IV

Gil is the owner of the Minnesota Vikings blog, The Viking Den, and an editorial writer for Lakers Nation. Having followed the NFL Draft for years, Gil has had a knack for naming some of the big surprise players to make it in the NFL. Gil is also a member of the Football Writers Association of America. See all posts by Gil Alcaraz IV.