The final mock draft

The 2011 draft is fast approaching, so it’s time for my final mock draft. I’ve entered the projection into ‘The Huddle Report’s’ mock draft contest this year, so it’ll be interesting to see how it measures up. I’ve always tried to make the mock’s a little different and look more at possibilities rather than towing the line, so there are a few surprises in this final mock. More on that in a moment.

First of all I’d like to thank everyone who has visited the blog, whether you’ve been here from day one in 2008 or maybe just discovered us over the last few days. I cannot stress enough how much I appreciate your time, feedback and involvement. 

Tomorrow I will open a live chat on the blog from 4:30pm PST and this will take place throughout the first round. I hope you will visit and take part, it’s a way to get everyone discussing the picks and I’ll offer a thought on each selection as it comes in. Leading up to the live chat I’ll have a new podcast on the blog and will also have all the last minute coverage before Carolina is officially on the clock.

Today is your last opportunity to win a copy of Paul Allen’s new book ‘Idea Man’. All you need to do is email me a mock draft to and the five most accurate projections will win a book. For more information, click here.

So, what about that mock draft?

For the final two-round projection click here or select ‘MOCK DRAFT’ from the menu bar.

After the fold there’s an extended thought on each pick.

#1 Carolina – Cam Newton: Newton’s the man and it’s not even in doubt.

#2 Denver – Marcell Dareus: There’s talk about Von Miller and Patrick Peterson, but I think it’s a lot of smoke screening in a desperate attempt to move down. I expect the Broncos to make a fairly safe, solid pick and that will ultimately be Marcell Dareus.

#3 Buffalo – Cameron Jordan: They would love Dareus, but if Denver takes him at #2 they’re forced to look elsewhere. Cameron Jordan is my way of swinging for the fences, and why not? If they settled on Dareus a few weeks ago thinking Denver may take Da’Quan Bowers, then Jordan becomes a logical backup. They play the same position and Jordan is extremely talented. Nobody projected C.J. Spiller last year, so why not make the bold projection here?

#4 Cincinnati – Blaine Gabbert: Another interesting one because they need the quarterback (Gabbert) but may consider AJ Green or even Nick Fairley. Either way, the Carson Palmer era is over in Cincinnati and it may soon be starting in Seattle.

#5 Arizona – Von Miller: If I’m picking between Patrick Peterson and Von Miller, I’d take Peterson. You could toss a coin on this one.

#6 Cleveland – AJ Green: An obvious choice if Green is on the board, but they may also look at the 4-3 defensive lineman remaining.

#7 San Francisco – Patrick Peterson: A possible landing spot for Cameron Jordan if he doesn’t go at #3. This is the lowest point Patrick Peterson can fall.

#8 Tennessee – Nick Fairley: Another wildcard that could go in many different directions. Quarterback and cornerback are their biggest needs, but the coaching staff are familiar with Nick Fairley. They were the only team to place a waiver tender on Randy Moss, so you can’t rule out Julio Jones, particularly after Kenny Britt’s off-field problems.

#9 Dallas – Tyron Smith: It’ll be an offensive tackle or a defensive lineman, unless they move up for a shot at Peterson.

#10 Washington – Jake Locker: Simple put, if they’re still at #10 and Locker’s on the board – there’s your next Redskins quarterback.

#11 Houston – Aldon Smith: A lot gets said about the Texans’ secondary, but not enough about a one-dimensional pass rush. Mario Williams needs some help.

#12 Minnesota – Robert Quinn: Offensive line, cornerback, defensive line, quarterback, wide receiver – all needs that could be filled here. There are so many options – Castonzo, Amukamara, Smith, Mallett, Quinn, Liuget, Jones…

#13 Detroit – Prince Amukamara: The smart money says cornerback, but finding a left tackle or a linebacker is close behind in the need category.

#14 St. Louis – Julio Jones: People assume receiver if Julio Jones is here, but don’t sleep on Corey Liuget or even a move down to target Mike Pouncey.

#15 Miami – Ryan Malett: For me, it’s an obvious decision to draft a quarterback.

#16 Jacksonville – Another team who’s tough to read after Tyson Alualu went 10th overall last year. Do they play it safe (Ryan Kerrigan), take a risk on talent (Jimmy Smith) or even invest in a quarterback?

#17 New England – Da’Quan Bowrs:  Bowers falls here and that knee isn’t a complete lost cause, rest assured that Bill Belichick is going take his chance on the guy playing to his elite potential.

#18 San Diego – JJ Watt: They’d like to take a defensive lineman here and it’s a good place to target one here.

#19 New York Giants – Jimmy Smith: Offensive line is an option, so is Mark Ingram. They can feel confident taking the BPA and there’s some great options here.

#20 Tampa Bay – Mike Pouncey: Unless they are totally sold on a defensive end, I can see offensive line as a priority particularly if Pouncey’s available.

#21 Kansas City – Anthony Castonzo: Scott Pioli only takes leaders who will buy in and work hard.

#22 Indianapolis – Corey Liuget: They have a quirkiness in the draft and you can spot ‘Colts’ players all over the board. Defensive or offensive line here you’d think.

#23 Philadelphia – James Carpenter: I’m a huge fan of this guy, he stood out during the season blocking for Ingram, McElroy and co. Why not?

#24 New Orleans – Jabaal Sheard: Pass rushers, linebackers, offensive lineman – this appears to be the direction for New Orleans. Like Carpenter before, I’m a big time Jabaal Sheard fan.

#25 Seattle – Colin Kaepernick: They will review any offers to trade down and judge what’s left on the board. I know they like Colin Kaepernick and he could easily be the pick, even if they stay put. It completely depends on who’s around, but if the Pouncey’s and Smith’s aren’t there – Kaepernick becomes a very real possibility. Don’t sleep on Mark Ingram, because one high profile coaching member has been fighting his corner.

#26 Baltimore – Gabe Carimi: I think they’d love a shot at Jimmy Smith and could even move up for him. If he’s not here, then offensive line looks a safe suggestion.

#27 Atlanta – Adrian Clayborn: Pass rusher required for that defense, but who?

#28 New England – Muhammed Wilkerson: I wonder if they’d take Mark Ingram? That defensive line needs some more beef, even after adding Bowers earlier.

#29 New York Jets – Brookes Reed: Rex Ryan loves pass rushers and cornerbacks. I’d guess he also likes pass rushers with long hair.

#30 Chicago – Nate Solder: Offensive lineman or defensive tackle.

#31 Pittsburgh – Mark Ingram: Time and time again they take the best player on their board. They won’t be put off Ingram if he’s graded well clear of the rest, even if they have Mendenhall.

#32 Green Bay – Derek Sherrod: Offensive line seems like a good best, but a defensive lineman or pass rusher is also possible.


  1. tompage

    Last Mock, it is exciting for me because it means the draft is here. Great job on the build up this year Rob. I have been reading your stuff since the beginning and I think this year it was better than ever. I personally think the Seahawks will draft the best O-Line or D-Line prospect on the board, but who knows.

  2. karlfields

    Rob- As always, great work…Your blog seems to be blowing up so good for you. I can’t wait for the draft althought I do feel aprhensive and maybe that is a good thing. Love the live chat during the draft also.

  3. McDavis

    Rob this site has really taken it to another level over the last month or so and I really appreciate all the work. Definitely the best Seahawks website for this time of year. That said, what’s with this mock??? Usually draftniks put out their safest most conservative projections on their final mock draft predicting what they think WILL happen versus what they think OUGHT TO happen. After all won’t everyone be comparing your final mock to what actually goes down?

    Seems like here you kinda went nuts in the other direction. Cameron Jordan at 3? Ryan Mallet at 15? Carpenter at 23? Kaepernick at 25? Not saying any of these would be terrible picks but just surprised that you actually moved further away from the vast majority of mock drafts out there on your final attempt. Kudos to you I guess for sticking to your evaluations and taking the risk of being way off.

    • Rob

      I guess we’ll see what happens tomorrow. Last year I graded Clausen in round two, put him in R1 and regretted it when he fell out of round one. I’ve gone with my gut on a few of these guys.

    • plyka

      I applaud him moving away from normal mocks. If we wanted a generic version it wouldn’t be difficult to find one. Following the herd will not make any noise, but going the contrarian route and hitting on your picks, now that’s where you can make money (in this case publicity for being right).

      • LantermanC

        I have to agree with plyka on this one. I hate seeing mock after mock looking the exact same. The reason for this is most people just do a variation off of Kiper of McShay. Rob does his research and does it well, and I like the fact that his mock reflects his thoughts from scouting as well as inside information he may have gleaned in the past few weeks.

  4. section221

    I am going to so p****d off if we end up picking this WAC QB who dominated the likes of LA Tech, SJS, Utes and etc..

    I would rather ship 4th and an 7th to Cincy for the rights of Palmer than waste a pick on this kid…omg…heaven help us..please..

  5. mj

    Nice work. Hope we haven’t been too dificult to deal with at times.

    I just have a feeling that if it plays out like you plan, these guys are going with value which to me means Ingram. Not a huge need but arguably BPA. Hoping for a faller but you just never know with the draft until after the fact.

    • Rob

      In a scenario such as this mock, I think Ingram suddenly is much more likely if they cant move down. He has his favorites among the Seattle coaching staff. He would need to grade considerably higher than the rest, which is possible.

      And no difficulty at all MJ, it’s a pleasure.

    • plyka

      With all due respect, you NEVER get value for selecting an RB in round 1 unless it is a generational talent. RB is the position which you can most find premier talent lying around. Just last year, we saw this at work:

      Best RB in the league statistically was Arian Foster (thank you Arian for helping me win my fantasy league by the way). This guy was on the practice squad the prior year and wasn’t even predicted to be the 1st string RB. The Hawks could have signed him for free, and now he looks like a premier RB in the NFL.

      Peyton hillis was traded for peanuts to the Browns. He ended up not only being one of the best RBs in the league, but he was the focal point of that offense. Everything went through Hillis. A cast off from the Broncos.

      There were 3 RBs selected in round 1 last year, Jahvid Best, Mathews and Spiller. Spiller and Mathews were beat out as the starting RBs on their team by scrubs and Best had a good 2-3 games and sucked the rest of the year, being outplayed by the likes of Maurice Morris, lol, yes the ex seahawk. An RB which was not selected last year in ANY ROUND was Leggarate Blount. Despite not playing the first 6-7 weeks (some time sparingly) and getting cut from the Titans squad and signed for free by the Bucs as an Undrafted Free Agent, Blount was the best rooking RB in the league last year. On a per game basis, he was even better since he didn’t really play for the first 6-7 weeks.

      Drafting Ingram would be a huge and massive and unquantifiable error in my view. Especially for the Hawks who have so many different needs.

  6. Hawkfin

    🙂 – I like that it’s different, but I agree with McDavis that you went WAY out there. 😉

    I think Jordan has a shot to be there for the Seahawks and you have him at #3. Wow

    I think safe will be the more correct answer this year.

    The surprise of the draft will probably be all the QB’s dropping even though so many teams need QB. I’m betting both Mallett and Locker might be there for Hawks.
    Then a huge run in the late first-early 2nd.

  7. kevin mullen

    Watched the ESPN Sports Science with Colin Kaepernick, pretty impressive showcasing his accuracy and velocity. If the rumors are true regarding Carson coming to Seattle, the more and more I like this pick at #25.

    Rob, any chance that we don’t pick a QB and maybe go towards another position of need: say CB or DL with #25? (Assuming we Carson does come to SEA)

    • Rob

      Very possible, they aren’t tied to QB. They will stick to a BPA at a position of need theory, but they do like Kaepernick.

      • Turp


        Awesome job with the blog this year Rob. I’ve been an avid reader and occasional commenter. I especially appreciate your ability to present points that are contrary to the media. Keep up the good work!

        Go Hawks! Can’t wait to see the draft.

  8. wes

    Love the blog, love that mock!

    I hope this is pretty much exactly how it goes (with a trade down). Keep up the good work, see you tomorrow

  9. elroy

    This year kinda reminds me of the year I wanted Vince Wilfork and we got Tubbs. If we were at 21 we def could get Pouncey. But at 25 we will get somebody good but not as good as Pouncey. I would be happy if we gave away a future pick to move up and get Pouncey in the 1st at 21. I want Jurrel Casey in the 2nd.

    All that matters in football is the QB, O line and D line, the rest is just hood ornaments
    Bill Parcells

    • Rugby Lock

      If they can’t trade down, which is a real possibility, then Kaep at 25 is fine by me as he defintely still wont be there at 57…

      A rugby analogy for the great BP Quote

      Your forwards determine whether or not you win or lose the game. The backs determine by how much.

  10. FWBrodie

    Rob, would you be irritated if people posted their own simple mock drafts under this post just so we could all compare afterward? If so maybe in another thread?

    • Rob

      Feel free to post a mock in here.

  11. akki

    I like that this mock differs from a lot of others out there, especially with the 4 QBs going earlier than most others have it. It’s not anywhere near where I’d like it to fall (top QBs, Pouncey, Liuget, Watt, and Smith all gone) but I don’t see how it’s any less plausible than some of the groupthink ones around the internet from journalists who didn’t watch any film.

    I think if Palmer to the Seahawks has truth to it, he’s only 32 so going to be around for 4-5 years. If so there’s no reason to draft a QB in the 1st or 2nd round that you’ll be looking to play in his 3rd year. There are too many needs to double up at one position even if it’s qb. If Palmer’s in the bag, I’d hope we get a DT like Wilkerson or Austin in the 1st. A late QB like Froman would still be nice as I want to be the team developing a Whitehurst and trading him for picks, rather than the buyer.

    Gotta say though – if your insider sources are correct and we get Palmer and draft guys on the interest list, someone in the front office needs to get sacked on account of loose lips. Actually both the Seahawks and Bengals front offices!

  12. Derek

    Do you think the Hawks are interested in Aaron Williams? He fits the size they look for but he just isn’t that fast. I think around the 4.5 range. But isn’t that what Joe Haden ran? I usually see him mocked in the late 20’s, mostly to the Steelers, so it would be that big of a reach. Looks like a solid CB, just not elite.

  13. Joe

    Rob, great job on the mock draft! Just saw Mayock’s mock draft and he’s one guy that has a very good understanding of the draft. He has the hawks drafting Marvin Austin which has a high ceiling and potential at 25. He also has Locker going 28th to the Pats. Now I know reports has JS wanting to trade down. But Lockers vaule at 28th is to good not to move-up. A future 1st rd and 4th rd. pick to the Pats makes a lot of sense. What do you guys think?

    • Rob

      I’m a big Mayock fan but I thought his mock was pretty awful. There’s no way Locker falls to #28.

  14. Hawkfin

    My Mock:
    1. Carolina – C. Newton
    2. Denver – M. Dareus
    3. Buffalo – V. Miller
    4. Cinn – B. Gabbert
    5. Arizona – P. Peterson
    6. Cleveland – A.J. Green
    7. S.F. – R. Quinn
    8. Tenn – Fairley
    9. Dallas – T. Smith
    10. Wash – Julio Jones
    11. Houston – Prince Amukamara
    12. Minn – J. Locker
    13. Detroit – A. Castonzo
    14. St. Louis – D. Bowers
    15. Miami – M. Ingram
    16. Jags – C. Jordan
    17. N.E. – R. Kerrigan
    18. S.D. – J.J. Watt
    19. Giants – M. Pouncey
    20. T.B. – J. Smith
    21. K.C. – C. Liuget
    22. Colts – Gabe Carimi
    23. Phily – Nate Solder
    24. N.O. – M. Wilkerson
    25. Seattle – (SHOULD BE R. Mallett) – But, I’ll plug in Colin Kaep. – Probably trade out
    26. Balt – Brandon Harris
    27. Atlanta – (I see somebody moving up for QB from here on out) – Aldon Smith
    28. N.E. – Akeem Ayers
    29. Chicago – D. Sherrod
    30. Jets – C. Heyward
    31. Pitts – K. Rudolph
    32. GB – Baldwin

  15. Billy Showbiz

    I’d like to see Liuget or Wilkerson in the first if we don’t trade down. If one of those guys is there I think we take them and move up in the 2nd to take Kaepernick. If not we get a corner, maybe Burton out of Utah if Kaepernick is gone. After that we need to focus on the O line, at least one guard and one tackle who can run block. I’m so excited! Hopefully free agency opens up soon so we can get an idea as to what the team is going to look like. Here’s my dream scenario…

    Sign Asomugha (Why not? He’d be expensive but we can afford it and we need corner help. Someone will pay him, why not the richest owner in the league? if we cut Trufant and Andrews that would just about make up the difference)
    Sign Gallery: (Guard is another huge position of need and he’d be nice next to Okung)
    Trade for Palmer. If the 5th and a conditional 3rd is available that would be a steal, otherwise we need to resign Matt as much as I don’t want to see him under center again next year.
    Draft Locker or Kaepernick at QB, Liuget, Wilkerson or Phil Taylor on DL, a stud Guard who can run over people, and some high risk/high reward players later in the draft.

  16. KING

    Great job all year on this site Rob! Very much appreciated.

    I have to say though, that if Gabe Carimi or Nate Solder is there and we pass on them, I think we are making a mistake.

  17. Frank

    Thanks again Rob. Awesome job this year again..

    • Rob

      Thank you Frank.

  18. FWBrodie

    1. Carolina (2-14) Marcel Dareus DT Alabama
    2. Denver (4-12) Patrick Peterson CB LSU
    3. Buffalo (4-12) Cam Newton QB AUB
    4. Cincinnati (4-12) AJ Green WR Georgia
    5. Arizona (5-11) Von Miller OLB TA&M
    6. Cleveland (5-11) Julio Jones WR Alabama
    7. San Francisco (6-10) Blaine Gabbert QB Mizzou
    8. Tennessee (6-10) Robert Quinn DE UNC
    9. Dallas (6-10) Tyron Smith OT USC
    10. Washington (6-10) Jake Locker QB UW
    11. Houston (6-10) Prince Amukamara CB NEB
    12. Minnesota (6-10) Cameron Jordan DE CAL
    13. Detroit (6-10) Derrek Sherrod OT Missipi St.
    14. St. Louis (7-9) Corey Luiget DT Illinois
    15. Miami (7-9) Mike Pouncey OG Florida
    16. Jacksonville (8-8) Aldon Smith DE Mizzou
    17. New England (Trade) Nick Fairly DT/DE AUB
    18. San Diego (9-7) JJ Watt DE Wisconsin
    19. New York Giants (10-6) Anthony Costanzo OT BCU
    20. Tampa Bay (10-6) Da’Quan Bowers DE Clemson
    21. Kansas City* (10-6) Gabe Carimi OT Wisconsin
    22. Indianapolis* (10-6) Nate Solder OT Colorado
    23. Philadelphia* (10-6) Jimmy Smith CB Colorado
    24. New Orleans* (11-5) Mark Ingram RB Alabama
    25. Denver (trades picks 2.4, 3.3) Marvin Austin DT UNC
    26. Baltimore* (12-4) Cameron Heyward DE OSU
    27. Atlanta* (13-3) Ryan Kerrigan DE Purdue
    28. New England* (14-2) Akeem Ayers OLB UCLA
    29. Chicago* (11-5) Danny Watkins OG Baylor
    30. New York Jets* (11-5) Phil Taylor DT Baylor
    31. Pittsburgh* (12-4) Aaron Williams CB Texas
    32. Green Bay* (10-6) Muhammad Wilkerson DE Temple

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