2011 NFL Draft Analysis - Round 1 (No. 11-15)
Houston DE J.J. Watt
Houston DE J.J. Watt
Posted Apr 28, 2011

Who went where and how good are each of the draft picks in the 1st round picks 11 through 15?

2011 NFL Draft - 1st Round

No. 11-15 Picks & Analysis

2011 NFL Draft Analysis
1st Round (1-5) | 1st Round (6-10) | 1st Round (11-15) | 1st Round (16-20)
1st Round (21-25) | 1st Round (26-32) | 2nd Round | 3rd Round
4th Round | 5th Round | 6th Round | 7th Round | Top Free Agents

2011 NFL Draft Team Analysis - AFC
EAST Buffalo | Miami | New England | NY Jets
WEST Denver | Kansas CityOakland | San Diego
NORTH Baltimore | Cincinnati  Cleveland | Pittsburgh
SOUTH Houston | Indy | Jacksonville | Tennessee

2011 NFL Draft Team Analysis - NFC
EAST Dallas | NY Giants | Philadelphia | Washington
WEST Arizona | San Francisco | Seattle | St. Louis
NORTH Chicago | Detroit | Green Bay | Minnesota
SOUTH Atlanta | Carolina | New Orleans | Tampa Bay

2011 NFL Prospect Rankings & Breakdowns
- QBs | RBs | FBs | WRs | TEs | OTs | OGs | Cs 
- OLBs | ILBs | DTs | DEs | CBs

11 (11) Houston Texans
DE J.J. Watt, Wisconsin
6-5, 290 (Jr.)
Overall Pick No. 11 CFN Overall Ranking: 16

Put him on the other side of Mario Williams and turn him loose. He's in a great position considering he doesn't have to be the main man on the Texans' line, and now he gets a chance to use his great motor and his pass rushing skills to become a terror in the backfield. Yeah, he went from being a walk-on to the 11th pick, but career path worked out for Clay Matthews.

CFN Analysis: The ultimate story of rags to riches, Watt started out his career as a skinny tight end at Central Michigan, decided he wanted to try making it at Wisconsin, walked-on, got a LOT bigger, and became one of college football's most productive all-around defensive linemen. He plays with a passion and doesn't take a play off, and with his combination of motor, size, and quickness, he's the prototype 3-technique defender. He's not going to dominate athletically at the next level and doesn't have flash speed, but his raw strength is phenomenal and his work ethic will never be a question. At the very least, he'll bust his tail to try to be good, but there could be a hard ceiling on what he can become once he can't just get by on want-to.
CFN Projection: First Round
12 (12) Minnesota Vikings
QB Christian Ponder, Florida State 6-2, 229
Overall Pick No. 12 CFN Overall Ranking: 72

(Heavy sigh.) I know he's a mellonhead, but with defensive tackle a need and Nick Fairley right there, why reach for Ponder? Des-pa-ra-tion (clap, clap … clap clap clap). The Vikings wanted Jake Locker, tried to trade down, and then panicked that everyone was overpaying for marginal quarterbacks. Enter Locker, who can't throw a fastball half as well as Brett Favre did on his worst day. This is a big, BIG reach for such an average player, and this is Minnesota blowing off real, live talents to help out right away for a third-to-fourth round talent.

CFN Analysis: The athleticism is there, the tools are there, and the toughness is there. Ponder shows nice touch, is a playmaker, and is a fiery, old-school leader who acts the part. There's nothing phony about him; he's a baller who just seems to like being the main man for an offense. As tough as he is and as hard-nosed as he is, that's also his problem as he takes too many shots and gets hurt way too often. While he has a nice arm, it's nothing special and he'll likely need to work in a timing attack. The problem is that he thinks he has Brett Favre's gun at times and he can't seem to make the throw he's able to see. While he's not a fastball pitcher, he does a decent job of putting a nice touch on his deeper throws. It would be nice if he was a little bit taller, and it'll be tough to count on him for a full season, but he should be more than just a nice No. 2 option.
CFN Projection: Fourth Round
13 (13) Detroit Lions
DT Nick Fairley, Auburn 6-4, 291 (Jr.)
Overall Pick No. 13 CFN Overall Ranking: 7

The word you're looking for is Yoink! If Minnesota isn't going to take the best interior pass rushing lineman in the draft, Detroit will bring him to the NFC North, put him next to Ndamukong Suh, and it should be uh-oh time for Jay Cutler, Aaron Rodgers, and now Christian Ponder. He might have turned everyone off in interviews and he might be a one-year wonder, but he doesn't have to be the No. 1 guy next to Suh and can be turned loose. Yeah, Prince Amukamara would've been nice, but Fairley is a top three talent who slid.

CFN Analysis: If he wants it – REALLY wants it – he'll be a dominant NFL pass rusher. There's a concern that he went from being a promising part of the Auburn defensive interior rotation to an all-timer of a star way too quickly, but his 2010 was too breathtaking to ignore. If you can destroy the SEC, you can destroy anyone, and he was unblockable at times proving to be almost as important to the national title defense as Cam Newton was to the offense. He beats up runners, flies into the backfield, and explodes out of his stance. An ideal 3-technique tackle, and with the quickness to be moved to a true defensive end if needed, the expectations are going to be sky high from Day One. Fine, so he might be a cheap shot artist, he's not exactly known for his impeccable character, and his rise was so meteoric that the temptation will be there to think he might flame out in a hurry, but tackles with his ability to get into the backfield are rare. There's bust potential, but he might just be worth the risk.
CFN Projection: First Round

14 (14) St. Louis Rams
DE Robert Quinn, North Carolina (OLB) 6-4, 265 (Jr.)
Overall Pick No. 13 CFN Overall Ranking: 15

Tremendous value. The Rams might have needed Nick Fairley to slide one more spot, but it could also use a pass rusher in Quinn to be everything that Chris Long isn't. This is a pure best player available selection for a playmaker who isn't going to do much against the run, but was considered a top five talent, if not No. 1 overall, before all the suspension issues. Compared to where Von Miller and Aldon Smith went, this is a terrific move.

CFN Analysis: With a dream combination of size and skills, he's a phenomenal athlete who comes in out of central casting. While he wasn't all that impressive at the Combine considering the hype, he plays fast, gets off the ball in a hiccup, and he's a rock. No, he didn't quite blow up in Indianapolis, but he still impressed with the way he came in cut after missing all of last year suspended. Will he be more of a playmaker against the run and not just into the glory plays in the backfield? Is he really a star, or did he look great because he was surrounded by NFL talent? There are question marks about his all-around game and he's hardly a finished product, but the skills and upside are all in place to become a special defender with a little bit of time.
CFN Projection: First Round

15 (15) Miami Dolphins
C Mike Pouncey, Florida (OG) 6-5, 303
Overall Pick No. 15 CFN Overall Ranking: 23

Nice. Mark Ingram might have been the splashier pick, and he might seem like a need pick, but with the versatile Pouncey on the same line as Jake Long and the rest of the talent up front, the building blocks are there. While others are reaching for talents, Miami got a sure-thing if he's at guard, or a sensational center with a wee bit of time. He'll be a center. Wait until the second round for a running back, or maybe even a quarterback, but the line is quickly becoming special with this selection.

CFN Analysis: While he's not his brother, Maurkice, he's a very big, very good blocker with an NFL-ready body and the talent and toughness to play anywhere in the interior of a line. However, he doesn't have the NFL-ready game with some technique work to do and with a consistency problem. Fortunately, he wants to be great and will always fight and always work to be better - just like his brother. While he has way too many problems with the most basic of acts, snapping the ball, and he might be a more natural fit at guard. No matter where he plays, his size and skills are good enough to make him an anchor no matter where he plays.
CFN Projection: First Round