Let me get this out of the way right now; I LOVE the NFL draft. Love it, love it, love it. As a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan, the draft is the start of renewed hope for the upcoming season.
When I sat down to do this, I had originally planned on plotting the entire first round. Right now, thought, I just don’t have the time. So…I’m sticking with the first 10 picks. I will, however, add my list of the top ten players in this draft regardless of position. Enjoy!
1. Carolina Panthers: Cam Newton, QB, Auburn
I’m not saying I agree with this, but I fully expect Carolina to take Newton. When Jimmy Clausen is your best option at QB, you know you have problems. Having said that, I don’t like Newton. Call it the the “JaMarcus Russell Effect,” if you’d like. I hope I’m wrong! Newton seems like a decent kid, but I just don’t have a good feeling about him working out.
2. Denver Broncos: Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama
Denver’s D-line is awful, so this pick is a match made in heaven. Dareus is an absolute stud; a man among boys. I PRAY he falls to the Bills at #3, but I doubt it. Denver’s getting a future Pro Bowler with this guy.
3. Buffalo Bills: Von Miller, DE/OLB, Texas A&M
Another stud! I freakin’ love this guy! How can you not love someone who runs a 4.4 40 AND is fluid enough to drop into pass coverage?! Although Miller makes a ton of sense, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Bills pull off a shocker and draft Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri. Buffalo has been known to go their own way (i.e. Willis McGahee and CJ Spiller).
4. Cincinnati Bengals: AJ Green, WR, Georgia
It kills me to make this pick (i’m hoping he falls to Cleveland); however, the Bungles have no one ad WR, and AJ Green is THE most dynamic WR in the draft. I have a man crush on Green.
5. Arizona Cardinals: Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri
Derek Anderson, John Skelton, Max Hall. Those were Arizona’s quarterbacks in 2010. ‘Nuff said.
6. Cleveland Browns: Julio Jones, WR, Alabama
I agonized over this pick. The Browns need a receiver, but with AJ Green off the board, what do you do? Do you take the next best receiver in Julio Jones, or do you take the top player in the draft in Patrick Peterson? In the end I think it’s Jones, and I’d be perfectly happy with that.
7. San Francisco 49ers: Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU
Although this may not be what the Niners were initially planning for, they’re blown over with excitement when the best player in the draft falls to them.
8. Tennessee Titans: Robert Quinn, DE, UNC
I’d also look for Jake Locker here. Although Quinn ran into eligibility “issues” last year, he’s one of the best pass rushers in the draft, and that’s something the Titans sorely need.
9. Dallas Cowboys: Tyron Smith, OT, USC
One of the top players in this year’s draft and a quality guy. Smith is big and athletic and would instantly upgrade the Cowboys offensive line.
10. Washington Redskins: Jake Locker, QB, Washington
This is a bit of a bonehead pick, but Daniel Synder is a bonehead owner. Don’t get me wrong, I love Jake Locker. In fact I hope he falls to the Seahawks (i’d love to see them pick him up)! However, #10 is way too early for Locker. Having said that, Snyder is a fantasy football owner and does what he wants, so…
Top 5 Players
- Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU
- AJ Green, WR, Georgia
- Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama
- Tyron Smith, OT, USC
- Von Miller, DE/OLB, Texas A&M