Final 2011 big board


1. Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn: Strong, fast, and dominant against both the run and the pass. A scheme versatile, three down player whose immaturity concerns are being blown way out of proportion.

2. A.J. Green, WR, Georgia: A tall, explosive receiver who can take games over. He has the skill, potential, and attitude to be a superstar at the next level.

3. Von Miller, OLB, Texas AM: The best pure pass rusher to come out of college football since Mario Williams can be a terror of the edge with his speed and moves.

4. Julio Jones, WR, Alabama: The total package at receiver who is extremely big, strong, and tough. A no-nonsense prospect very much in the mold of Andre Johnson who I consider to be a safer pick than A.J. Green.

5. Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU: A rare talent who plays the game the way it’s supposed to be played and contributes on special teams.

6. Marcell Dareus, DE/DT, Alabama: A very solid football player who has no weaknesses in his game, but he’s not the twelve-sack player that Fairley can be.

7. Tyron Smith, OT, USC: Supremely athletic and surprisingly powerful for his weight, Tyron Smith certainly looks like he can blossom into a top left tackle. Had he stayed in school, he would be vying for the top overall pick in 2012.

8. Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue: Not the best athlete in the world, but is certainly good enough and is the most polished pass rush prospect to come out in some time. He will immediately be a very, very tough player to block.

9. Corey Liuget, DT, Illinois: A powerful interior presence who plays with great leverage and dominates his gap in the run game. He will never be a liability, but won’t wow anybody with his rush skills, although they are adequate.

10. Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado: Nobody’s thrilled with his off-the-field antics or attitude, but Smith is as good of a man-to-man cover corner as you will find in the NFL. Think Antonio Cromartie.

11. Robert Quinn, DE/OLB, North Carolina: A very gifted and productive pass rusher, but he needs to develop better moves to complement his amazing natural abilities.

12. Da’Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson: The knee injury is a serious concern, but Bowers will still have his whole career ahead of him and remains one of the most talented and complete defensive ends to come out since Mario Williams.

13. J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin: Not as explosive off the edge as Quinn or Bowers, but Watt finds a way to make plays, whether it be by penetrating, rushing off the edge, or batting down a pass. Impressive motor.

14. Rahim Moore, S, UCLA: Not only a ballhawk anymore, Rahim Moore is a sure tackler and somebody quarterbacks will not want to test in coverage. It’s hard to understand why he may not go in the first round, as he reminds me a lot of Earl Thomas, who was drafted fourteenth overall.

15. Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin: Experience, pedigree, toughness…Carimi has it all. While he may not be an elite athlete, he’s certainly a plug-and-play at right tackle and has the potential to be a solid left tackle.

16. Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska: Prince certainly knows how to play the game, but his tendency to disappear in big games is a huge concern.

17. Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama: Ingram’s stock fell at the combine because he’s the type of runner that thrives when he gets the pads cracking. He should be a very effective back who can shoulder the load of a franchise runner if necessary.

18. Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas: He’s surrounded by allegations, but the facts say that he’s the only passer in the draft that could move his team up and down the field against the top defenses in the country in a pro-style offense.

19. Jonathan Baldwin, WR, Pittsburgh: A little raw, but Baldwin is a huge target that will wind up being a deep threat and red zone weapon. He reminds me a lot of Plaxico Burress.

20. Mike Pouncey, G, Florida: A complete interior offensive lineman who has elite mobility and is worthy of a first round pick despite his position.

21. Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College: A sound tackle who will probably be a starter on the right side, but does not impress me as a run blocker or pass protector. Your pedestrian starting tackle.

22. Marvin Austin, DT, North Carolina: A very powerful player who is very tough to move but extremely athletic. If he had played this season, he would be right up there with Marcell Dareus and Nick Fairley.

23. Phil Taylor, NT, Baylor: A great 34 nose prospect as he can engulf smaller offensive linemen, but has his weight completely under control.

24. Jabaal Sheard, DE, Pittsburgh: Slightly undersized, but is very powerful at the point of attack, and is a crafty and productive pass rusher.

25. Aldon Smith, DE/OLB, Missouri: Extremely talented, but would have liked to have seen one more year of college for this raw youngster who has quite a burst but plays far too tall.

26. Johnny Patrick, CB, Louisville: A fiery competitor who is fast enough to start in the NFL and loves to be physical. A bit of Antoine Winfield in his game.

27. Aaron Williams, CB, Texas: A tall, long cover corner who can also kick inside and play in the slot or at safety. A complete player who just needs to clean up some footwork and fluidity issues.

28. Cameron Heyward, DE, Ohio State: A 3-4 end only in my opinion, Heyward is a tough, strong player who can be a day 1 starter in the right situation. His game compares very favorably to Cullen Jenkins.

29. Cameron Jordan, DE, California: A fundamentally sound player who plays with passion. I just question whether he’s big enough to be an effective 3-4 end or quick enough to be an effective 4-3 end. He will be a solid but unspectacular player.

30. Akeem Ayers, OLB, UCLA: A do-it-all linebacker who really allows you to be flexible in your scheme. However, I’d like to see him jump out at me more on tape.

31. Brooks Reed, DE/OLB, Arizona: An explosive, relentless pass rusher who definitely reminds me of Clay Matthews a bit, although I doubt he will become that type of player.

32. Cam Newton, QB, Auburn: A supremely talented player who is unshakable under pressure. He needs a ton of work, but is a big time prospect.

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