2011 NFL Draft - 1st Round
No. 6-10 Picks & Analysis
2011 NFL Draft Analysis
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Round (6-10) |
Round (11-15) |
Round (21-25) |
Round (26-32) |
2nd Round |
| 5th Round
| Top Free Agents
2011 NFL Draft Team Analysis - AFC
EAST Buffalo |
| New England |
WEST Denver |
Kansas City | Oakland |
| Indy |
2011 NFL Draft Team Analysis - NFC
EAST Dallas |
| Philadelphia |
WEST Arizona |
San Francisco |
| Green Bay |
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2011 NFL Prospect Rankings & Breakdowns
| RBs | FBs
| WRs |
TEs | OTs |
6 (6) Atlanta Falcons (trade with Cleveland Browns)
WR Julio Jones, Alabama 6-3, 220 (Jr.)
Overall Pick No. 6 CFN Overall Ranking: 4
Every once in a while there’s a shiver moment in an NFL Draft. This is one of them. This is the I Want To Win A Super Bowl pick by taking Jones and giving Matt Ryan a devastating playmaker to work with on the other side of Roddy White. As good as A.J. Green might be, Jones is the better athlete and has an even bigger upside. However, he has suspect hands compared to Green and he’s never healthy. Even so, if he stays injury-free and he gets to be a No. 2 receiver … yeeeeeeesh.
CFN Analysis: Everyone knew he was a next-level prospect coming out of high school as the rare player who physically could’ve made the jump right away, and then came the NFL Combine. He put on an all-timer of a show with a sub-4.4 while jumping out of the stadium and cutting like a much smaller player. With a phenomenal attitude, a great competitive fire, and a good personality, he’s the type of prospect you want to be your No. 1 guy. There are two problems. 1) He was okay as a collegian but he was hardly special on a consistent basis. It was partly due to the offense, but a player of his talent should’ve done more. 2) He was ALWAYS hurt. While he’s tough and plays through pain, he always had a big ding of some sort he had to overcome. With his tools and his physical style, he’s a star in the making who’ll blow up if he can stay on the field. If it was a guarantee that he could play a full 16 games on a regular basis, he’d be the No. 1 receiver on the board.
CFN Projection: First Round
San Francisco 49ers
OLB Aldon Smith, Missouri (DE) 6-4, 263 (Soph.)
Overall Pick No. 7 CFN Overall Ranking: 13
Uhhhhh, okay. He’s a very good pass rushing prospect and San Francisco is looking for someone who can get to the quarterback on a regular basis, but the seven is a bit high. He’s a tweener who’ll need time to grow into the role, but he’s hardly a sure thing considering there are so many other great defensive players on the board. The upside is limitless, though, and he’s going to have to be a 3-4 outside linebacker.
CFN Analysis: Is he an outside linebacker or is he an end? He’s a tweener, but in a good way with the outstanding athleticism needed to work as a 3-4 outside defender and the strength to hold up in a 4-3. Fluid, he moves like a much smaller player with the ability to get around the edge like a breeze. Not just a pass rushing specialist, he’s strong, doesn’t mind contact, and will battle hard with a great fire and competitiveness. In a good way, he’s not there yet. Still very young, he’s still tapping his potential and could go from being a great prospect to a top-shelf all-star with just a little bit of work. Arguably the best pure pass rusher in the draft, he can be turned loose right away with the knowledge that there’s a lot more to come from his game down the road.
CFN Projection: First Round
QB Jake Locker, Washington 6-2, 231
Overall Pick No. 8 CFN Overall Ranking: 35
Tennessee is trying to outdo itself after the Vince Young pick. HE … CAN’T … THROW
... ACCURATELY. If it's not going to happen in college, it's not going
to happen in the NFL. He’s a great guy and he’s the type of player you’d love to see succeed, and after the Young fiasco, the Titans obviously wanted a
completely different type of guy with a completely different type of
attitude to revolve the franchise around, but the No. 7 pick in the draft should’ve made the players around him at Washington better, and no, his supporting cast really wasn’t that bad. Tennessee has now politely excused itself from the Super Bowl discussion for the next decade.
CFN Analysis: He doesn’t have prototype height and he doesn’t have big hands, but that’s about it as far as the physical knocks. An elite athlete for an NFL quarterback, he runs extremely well, has a live arm, and he’s tough as nails. A peerless leader and a pure baller, he’s a fantastic guy with the type of attitude and intangibles that makes him easy to root for. There’s one problem … he can’t throw. Everything looks right, even though he seems like he’s about to run too much when he should be setting his feet to fire, but the mechanics aren’t all that bad. You can’t teach accuracy, and in a world where two of the most accurate quarterbacks in NFL history, Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees, are the standard-bearers for Super Bowl winners, Locker has a hard ceiling on how far he can likely take a team. If he’s asked to go out there and just play, he should be fine. If he’s asked to be Tom Brady and a pro style passer, it’s not going to happen.
CFN Projection: Second Round
OT Tyron Smith, USC 6-5, 307
Overall Pick No. 9 CFN Overall Ranking: 17
The Cowboys were in a great spot with several good players available to fill the available needs, but if you need a corner, a defensive tackle, and an offensive tackle, you take the guy you can stick on the
outside of your offensive line for the next decade and hope can keep the quarterback clean. A tremendous athlete, Smith should be terrific and should be the mainstay for a reemerging line.
However, he has to rock right away for a line that needs a left
tackle, and Smith hasn't been on the left side for a while.
CFN Analysis: Out of all the decent tackle prospects at the top of the chain, Smith has the biggest upside. Very athletic, he moves well and has the look of a ten-year fixture at left tackle. There will be criticisms and concerns that he only played right tackle throughout his career, but that’s really not that big a deal; he’ll be more than fine moving over to the other side. With a little bit of time and a little bit of work, he should be able to handle the best of the speed rushers, and he could be the ideal lineman for a zone-blocking scheme. However, he can play in any system and be fine. The one problem is that he’ll never be a mauler. He had to work his tail off – or on – to get to over 300 pounds over the last few months, but he’s not likely to ever be more than 310 pounds on a regular basis.
CFN Projection: First Round
Jacksonville Jaguars (from Washington)
QB Blaine Gabbert, Missouri 6-4, 234 (Jr.)
Overall Pick No. 10 CFN Overall Ranking: 6
David Garrard, thanks for playing. The Jaguars needed a quarterback to build around for the future, and while Garrard is decent and can be a stopgap for a year, and then it’ll be Gabbert’s time to take over and become the franchise-maker to become a star to build around. This is what’s called a building pick. Gabbart can groom a bit, and then he should be ready to rock when Garrard starts to falter. Remember, Aaron Rodgers got a few years to prepare, too.
CFN Analysis: There’s no wow factor. There’s no bust potential, but there’s nothing in Gabbert’s game to suggest that he’ll be a special, “I’m going to Disney World” type of superstar. He has all the tools, the athleticism, and the personality and make-up to be a very, VERY good pro for the next 15 years, but it’s not like he was a special college player – he was the only quarterback who couldn’t seem to throw against the miserable 2010 Texas Tech pass defense - and he had major problems against anyone with a strong pass rush. On the plus side, most of his negatives can be quickly fixed. His throwing motion doesn’t need that much tweaking, and for those who don’t think he can connect on the deep ball on a consistent basis, go back to the pills he was slinging to Danario Alexander two years ago. The bigger issue is that he’s not Cam Newton. Gabbert is the safe, secure pick who should be a rock-steady starter in two years, but if you’re passing on Newton for him, you’re not slinging for the stars … and that might not be a bad thing. Gabbert has the rare issue of still scratching the surface on what he can be, while also having a hard ceiling on where he can take a team. If he ends up winning a Super Bowl, it’ll be because he’s a good player on a special team.
CFN Projection: Top Ten Overall