Updated Mock Draft (full first round): 02/11

For the first time this year I’ve published a full first round mock projection. I’ve taken the time to try and see as many prospects as possible to try and project, even at this early stage, where certain individuals may fall. The draft order is a mix of current NFL standings and projections. Atlanta and New England pick 31st and 32nd overall purely on NFC and AFC rankings.

To view the updated 2011 NFL mock draft, click here or select ‘Mock Draft’ in the title bar.

Cam Newton (QB, Auburn) features for the first time. As you can see, he’s also amongst the top ten picks. For starters, it’s an absolute lock that Newton will declare. His stock will never be higher than it is now and the issues he’ll have in the pro’s are unlikely to be solved with another year at Auburn. If they reach/win the BCS title game, you also have to wonder what else he can achieve in the college game.

The big advantage would be extra experience starting, which is always a major bonus. However, having transferred from Florida via the JUCO ranks, he’d have to return as a fifth year senior. He will declare for the 2011 draft.

So why do I put him in the top ten, especially when I’ve voiced concerns about drafting him early?

Last night I sat down and studied every snap Newton took against LSU. Some of my concerns remain – specifically with the way he drops all weight on to his back foot when throwing, losing almost all velocity. This is a footwork issue and although he does take snaps under centre, he clearly needs to work on every aspect of drop backs, reads, getting the ball out quickly and developing almost completely as an all round passer.

The good news and an area where I have perhaps under estimated is the fact his release point is actually very good. He has an over the top release without the looping delay that Tim Tebow had or the side arm motion we see with Jimmy Clausen or Vince Young. He’ll learn to get his throws out crisply and drive through the ball. If he gets his footwork right, there’s no reason why he can’t be an orthodox passer.

It’s hard to judge accuracy when he doesn’t throw that much and with most defenses petrified of conceding the run. However, I’m yet to see anything off-putting. He isn’t wildly inconsistent and most of his passes hit the target. He’s got a range, he has a big arm. There’s something to work with.

And most of all he’s an elite athlete who will hurt teams with some specific run plays. He won’t be using the QB draw every other down ala Auburn, but you can use him in roll outs and bootlegs with success.

The point I’m trying to make with this diagnosis is that there’s enough on the tape for a team to buy in to Newton as a starting NFL quarterback. Right now he isn’t a natural pocket passer and it will take major work to get there. Is it impossible? No. Are the other benefits – the world class athlete… the dynamic playmaker… things that teams love to gamble on?


If Tim Tebow is a first round pick at all, then Cam Newton is a high first round pick. Essentially, he’s Tebow but with much greater athleticism and mechanics. He doesn’t have the ‘moxy’ (again, hate the word – especially when describing QB’s) that Tebow brought to the table, but both have a lot of developing to do as passers, yet Newton’s ceiling is outrageously higher than Tebow’s.

Would I take the risk myself? It’s a big project and I’m still not certain. Can he be that orthodox QB that is capable of beating a team by throwing? Is he just a rare athlete who can outclass college players, but will be smothered in the pro’s? Is his destiny merely as a trick play gimmick or H-Back? Or will he be the next big thing?

Somebody will have convinced themselves of the latter by next April and he will go early.

Seahawks in round two?

Some suggestions for the direction Seattle could go in round two:

– Michael Floyd (WR, Notre Dame) – hands, routes and effort will keep him out of R1. He has the size and speed Seattle is looking for in it’s wide outs.

– Pernell McPhee (DE/DT, Miss. St) – a five technique candidate who can move inside as well.

– Rodney Hudson (OG, Florida State) – big talent if not big size. Should Seahawks stick by ZBS, Hudson is the perfect fit at guard or center.

– Cameron Hewyard (DE, Ohio State) – over rated for me and not a first round pick, but another 5-tech candidate later on.

– Von Miller (OLB, Texas A&M) – under sized but could have value as an edge specialist.

– J.J. Watt (DE, Wisconsin) – another 5-tech candidate with a growing reputation.

Agree or disagree? Let me know your thoughts on the latest 2011 Mock Draft or anything else you want to discuss. Get in touch in the comments section or email rob@seahawksdraftblog.com


  1. Alex

    I would be a little disappointed if my Texans selected Adrian Clayborn. I know they’ve selected the defensive side of the ball for the 1st round during the last like 7 drafts or something, but I just haven’t been really impressed with the DL and OL prospects this year especially when you compare it to last year. I feel the strength of the class is in the WR and CB position and though the Texans did select Kareem Jackson, I wouldn’t be too surprised if they went back to CB or S (the true weakness is the safety besides Pollard) this year just simply because their secondary is still the glaring hole (LB>DL>Secondary) of the defense. If not, I can see the Texans trying to upgrade their OL, but as I said, the OL prospects this year hasn’t been as impressive.

    • Rob

      Alex – thanks for the insight into the Texans and also thanks for visiting the blog. I rely a lot on feedback from fans of other teams to compile the mocks… because it’s impossible to have extensive knowledge on every team. I’ll take what you said on board for the next projection.

  2. Carl

    If Von Miller is still available to us in the second round, that’s an absolute steal. Is an edge rusher as big of an immediate need as LG is? No, but this guy screams “Pro-Bowler” to me, and will fill the second most important position to this defense’s success for the next decade. We’d have our own Freeney/Dumervil type player. If he’s not available, Rodney Hudson is the other $100 bill on the pile of 20s.

  3. Patrick

    Great first full mock Rob. I have to say, if more mock drafts start showing Bowers to Buffalo as the #1, I’ll know I saw it here first. I do believe that Buffalo not going QB is a distinct possibility. However, I could also just as easily see them taking Luck. I heard on one mock draft the idea of Fitzpatrick being a stopgate while Luck prepared and that actually makes quite a bit of sense to me. Look at what Chan Gailey was able to get from Ryan Fitzpatrick. Just imagine in the hands of Luck. For Buffalo’s sake, I really do hope they take Luck.

    Now, from a Seahawk’s perspective, I would love to see the draft to play out this way. I would literaly jump for joy if we were able to grab Jake Locker. And I don’t say that as a Seattle native. I say that as a Florida resident who has only had a few opportunities to watch him play. I want Jake Locker because he fills our biggest need. He is a QB we could build around and focus all of our attention to watching him succeed. He would be Pete Carroll’s QB, and more importantly Jeremy Bates’ QB. Matt Hasselbeck will always be Homlgren’s guy and we all know this. Now it’s time for Bates to have his weapon and for our offense to really function. I’ve seen mock drafts will us taking WR, DE, or DT and although all do seem to be needs, nothing comes close to QB. I would fully support Seattle breaking the bank to moving up as well. How far and ahead of what teams is just something that will have to be determined when the time gets closer.

    Now, I just saw 2 mock drafts that had us selecting Cameron Jordan (Jake Locker was long gone in both mocks). Any information on him? I see you have him dropping to Atlanta. If Locker is gone and we’re forced to address a different position, could you see Jordan being on our radar?

    • Rob

      Hi Patrick, hope you’re well?

      Buffalo are just a tough team to project. Clearly their #1 need is a QB. However, one of their lesser needs last year was running back and they still drafted CJ Spiller – ahead of lineman and a whole host of defensive prospects. They’ve switched back to a 4-3 defense and it appears Aaron Maybin’s days are numbered. They may feel like they’re able to get a QB later on (similar to Miami in 2008) and look elsewhere in R1. It wouldn’t surprise me to see Ryan Mallett drafted in R2 in the scenario I listed. Bowers is really growing this year and starting to look the part. He’ll go early – and it’s better to look at different scenarios in my opinion.

      Regarding Cameron Jordan – he’s someone the franchise will have to do a lot of checks on. A bit of a dressing room joker – he might rub some people up the wrong way. He’s had an arrest for suspicion for DUI. That’s why I have him in the low first/R2 range. He’s a talented guy who would fit in the position of 5-techique (aka the Red Bryant role). He’d be more of a pass rush threat than Red, but he’s equally strong and would be a great fit for that role. He’s also got a good engine and appears to be a smart player on the field. If he drops into round two or three – someone definitely worth keeping an eye on for Seattle.

      • Patrick

        I’m doing well Rob. Thanks for asking! Been busy with classes and an internship but still finding time for my daily Seahawks’ news! Hope you’re doing well also and enjoying married life.

        I’m not going to lie, based on that description Cameron Jordan really seems like a winner. I appreciate what Red Bryant brings, and if Jordan is a better pass rush threat, I really think he should be on our radar (Again though, that should come with a disclaimer because I stand by the WE NEED A QB Mantra.) Other than Jordan, I also like Jonathan Baldwin, Julio Jones, Akeem Ayers, and Jimmy Smith if we’re picking in the 20s and Locker is gone. Jones will probably be gone but last year we saw some talented individual’s slip (Tate, Thomas)

        I think that A.J Green could also be a big possibility for Buffalo. Crazy to think about, but in a way he’s a dynamic threat and undeniable talent (I’m a huge fan of his). Last year at #9 I really figured it would be either Anthony Davis, Jimmy Clausen, or Bryan Bulaga. Instead, it’s a RB? If they grabbed Spiller, I’m sure they’d consider Green. Other than Luck, Green, or Bowers though I don’t see very many other options with #1. I don’t think Peterson would be taken at #1, even if he is one of the best corners to come out in a while.

        • Rob

          The thing with Jordan is you are giving up considerable size compared to Red Bryant. You’re talking a good 50lbs. I do feel like they want a lot of size at 5-tech rather than perhaps the more orthodox prospect you’ll see touted for 3-4 teams to play DE. KC drafted Tyson Jackson for that role third overall and he weighs about 290lbs.. so there is a difference. Jordan might be considered a bit small for that role, but too big for the LEO rush position. He is a strong guy though, that might help. He’s very good vs the run. The Seahawks did draft E.J. Wilson who’s about 290lbs so he has to be considered.

          Buffalo will be a wild card right through until about a month before the draft. As you say – Spiller was a bit of a surprise just because of the other needs. Clearly they will draft the top guy on their board, not care what others think they should do. Bowers isn’t even a consideration if they are using a 3-4 scheme. They’ve brought in Merriman, does that signal a return to the 3-4? They switched to a 4-3 for the Baltimore defeat and did well, that carried on vs KC. Green looks like a once every blue moon type prospect. Right now you’re looking at Bowers… Green and one of the QB’s. If they have to have a QB and don’t want Luck, you bring back Newton and Locker into that discussion. We won’t see a CB go first overall and it’s not a position that generally even goes in the top 5.

          Miami are the team to consider here. In 2008 they ignored Matt Ryan and took Jake Long first overall. They drafted a DE (Merling) in R2… and then with another pick in R2 took Henne. They didn’t have a QB, but were happy to wait until later. With no OT worthy of a top pick this time, the only other consideration is a top pass rusher. I would not be surprised to see a DE like Bowers drafted in R1… then in R2 they look at the QB and OT prospects. If Gabbert declares, he could easily be there guy in R2 or R3. Same goes for Mallett. They will have options outside of Luck at #1 and they’ve had a bad experience with their last QB drafted from Stanford.

  4. Matt

    In my opinion, unless some obvious defensive talent falls to us in the draft, the first 2 picks need to be spent on offense. QB, OL, WR have to be addressed early. Our offense right now is just killing our defense. Way too much time on the field.

    I also think that PC has such a unique system, that he can find the right mix of players without spending a ton of money. See Chris Clemons, Red Bryant, Lawyer Milloy, Roy Lewis as guys who are cheap but provide specific things PC likes at certain positions.

    I think we can all agree that offense is the weak point of this team. Not only does the QB spot need to be addressed, but we do need a vertical threat that’s taller than your average 10th grader (Butler, Tate). Perhaps a guy like Justin Blackmon (6’1″ 210ish) declares and is gettable in the 2nd round. He’s not Andre Johnson, but he’s a bigger athletic body that can go up and get the ball. We also need more quality at the OL positions as well. So many holes, not enough draft picks!

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