2011 NFL Draft Big Board

These are my personal rankings for the 2011 NFL Draft. The list has been expanded to include the Top 32 players. I likely won’t be changing this board from now until the draft.

1. A.J. Green – WR – Georgia

Elite athlete with the potential to develop into one of the leagues best.  Best hands in this years draft and best receiver prospect since Calvin Johnson.

2. Marcell Dareus – DT – Alabama

Big, strong DT that can play in the 4-3 and the 3-4. Great against the run and offers a good pass-rush as well. Can be a dominant defensive lineman at the next level.

3. Patrick Peterson – CB – LSU

Rare athlete with tremendous combo of height, strength and speed. Can turn and run with any receiver he’s matched up against. True cover corner, still weak in run support.

4. Von Miller – LB – Texas A&M

Terrific athlete with one of the quickest first steps I have ever seen. Ideal fit for the 3-4 at OLB but would also be a fine player in the 4-3. Has sideline-to-sideline range and can make plays all over the field.

5. Aldon Smith – DE – Missouri

Only a 2 year starter but already polished and flashes the ability to be dominant. Possess great edge speed and a nice arsenal of moves to terrorize opposing quarterbacks.

6. Mark Ingram – RB – Alabama

Complete back that is more than capable of handling the load of a #1 back. Lacks game-breaking speed but makes up for it with his great burst, power and vision.

7. Julio Jones – WR – Alabama

Blew up the combine because his athleticism is off the charts. Has very strong hands and great body control. Struggles with drops and concentration is a big issue.

8. J.J. Watt – DE – Wisconsin

Has great size but is also a terrific athlete. Doesn’t have a lot of experience but still flashes a wide variety of pass-rush moves. Can be a dominant 3-4 end.

9. Nick Fairley – DT – Auburn

Arguably the most dominant player this past season in college football. Very athletic and can beat lineman with speed. Technique needs work and he has to get stronger.

10. Tyron Smith – OT – USC

Athletic tackle who played on the right side for USC. Has the potential to be a franchise LT but has to touch up his technique.

11. Blaine Gabbert – QB – Missouri

Has all the tools to be a franchise Quarterback. Big arm, accurate and a good overall athlete. Has to work on a lot of things to make it though. Needs to adjust to a pro-style offense, work on being more comfortable in the pocket and just being more consistent overall.

12. Brandon Harris – CB – Miami

Fluid corner with impressive speed. Can match up with the best receivers and stay step for step with them. Not afraid to get physical but needs to do a better job against the run.

13. Prince Amukamara – CB – Nebraska

Aggressive corner who isn’t afraid to mix it up with receivers. Great instincts and superb against the run but footwork is ugly at times.

14. Cameron Jordan – DE – California

Strong player who is already accustomed to a 3-4 defense. Can develop into a very good 3-4 end but lacks upside in the 4-3. Won’t ever be a dominant pass-rusher.

15. Robert Quinn – DE – North Carolina

Fluid athlete but overrated overall. Doesn’t have the ideal quickness and speed to be an elite defensive end. Has a nice variety of moves and uses his hand well. Needs to get stronger and play the run better.

16. Muhammad Wilkerson – DT/DE – Temple

Very strong player that has played every position on the defensive line. Can make an impact in a 4-3 and a 3-4. Has to work on getting off blocks better but shows the ability to do so on occasion.

17. Kyle Rudolph – TE – Notre Dame

Big tight end with impressive hands. Lacks good straight line speed but makes up for it with his physicality. Has to improve as a blocker but has a lot of potential in that area.

18. Ryan Williams – RB – Virginia Tech

Game-breaking running back with great speed and elite agility. Coming off an injury plagued season that has taken a hit on his stock. There’s some concern about his ability to carry the load but would be great as part of a one-two punch.

19. Derek Sherrod – OT – Mississippi State

Has all the tools you look for in a left tackle. Big, athletic with long arms. Not the strongest tackle and is a bit of a finesse blocker. Needs to be more consistent but has the ability to be a quarterbacks blindside protector.

20. Cameron Heyward – DE – Ohio State

Strong defensive lineman with the skills to succeed in the 3-4 defense. Great at the point of attack and holds up well to double teams. Has to improve the use of his hands and be more consistent game-to-game.

21. Anthony Castonzo – OT – Boston College

Potential left tackle prospect from a school known for producing good offensive lineman. Has a nice bend and solid footwork and projects as a good pass-blocker in the NFL. Needs to get stronger and won’t dominate as a run blocker.

22. Rahim Moore – S – UCLA

Outstanding coverage safety with great instincts and ball skills. Play maker that will make quarterbacks think twice about challenging him down field. Needs a lot of work in run support however.

23. Da’Quan Bowers – DE – Clemson

Lived up to the hype this year and was extremely productive. Has drawn comparisons to Julius Peppers but still needs a lot of work. A one-trick pony who needs to expand his game in the NFL. Has some serious question marks about his knee and how long he can play in the NFL.

24. Ben Ijalana – OT/OG – Villanova

Best small school player in this years draft. Ijalana is a good athlete who has potential to play left tackle. Size is a bit of concern as is his overall technique but has the potential to be a very good tackle or guard in the NFL.

25. Davon House – CB – New Mexico State

Tall corner with impressive speed. Excels in press coverage and isn’t afraid to get physical. Has smooth hips but has to touch up his movement coming out of breaks and when flipping his hips. Won’t give you much in terms of run support.

26. Justin Houston – DE – Georgia

Athletic end who played some OLB in college. Possesses a lethal first step and has a lot of potential. Needs to expand his game as he currently only gets by with his athleticism. Is a bit of a project but has a lot of room to grow.

27. Ryan Kerrigan – DE – Purdue

Hustle player with one of the best motors in the game. Relentless in his pursuit to get to the quarterback. Not an exceptional athlete and likely won’t ever be a top tier pass-rusher in the NFL.

28. Gabe Carimi – OT – Wisconsin

Big, physical tackle who is a mauler in the run game. Best suited for the right side as he’ll struggle with speed rushers in the NFL. Capable of playing multiple positions on the offensive line.

29. DeMarco Murray – RB – Oklahoma

Play maker at the college level who possesses elite breakaway speed. Lethal out of the back field and is the best pass catching running back in this years draft. Lacks power and has some injury concerns which limits him from being a true #1 back.

30. Jerrel Jernigan – WR – Troy

Small, shifty receiver who is dangerous with the ball in his hands. Best when working in the slot and close to the line of scrimmage. Has the speed to go the distance. Has to work on his route running and isn’t the most dependable receiver in traffic.

31. Adrian Clayborn – DE – Iowa

Talented defensive end who has a poor senior season compared to his junior year. Strong and relentless he has the ability to play in the 4-3 and the 3-4. Desire has been questioned and the significant drop off as a Senior raises some concerns.

32. Jake Locker – QB – Washington

Has all the physical tools to be a dominant passer in the NFL. Strong arm with great athleticism. Has a lot of question marks concerning his footwork and decision making. He’s a project but the potential is there.

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