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2011 mock draft, take five

Cam Newton

Auburn quarterback Cam Newton watches the Los Angeles Lakers-Phoenix Suns NBA basketball game in Phoenix, Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2011. Auburn is scheduled to face Oregon in the BCS championship college football game Monday in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ralph Freso)


1. Panthers: Cam Newton, quarterback, Auburn.

Marty Hurney will swing for the fences at No. 1 overall.

2. Broncos: Marcell Dareus, defensive tackle, Alabama.

Denver adds an elite defensive tackle for the new 4-3.

3. Bills: Von Miller, linebacker, Texas A&M.

Miller fixes Buffalo’s disastrous 2009 whiff on Aaron Maybin.

4. Bengals: Blaine Gabbert, quarterback, Missouri.

Cincinnati can now trade Carson Palmer to the Seahawks after the draft.

5. Cardinals: Robert Quinn, linebacker, North Carolina.

Quinn will replace Joey Porter, a surefire post-draft salary casualty.

6. Browns: A.J. Green, wide receiver, Georgia.

Colt McCoy has no chance to succeed with his current supporting cast.

7. 49ers: Patrick Peterson, cornerback/safety, LSU.

Picks five and seven are interchangeable; the Niners would take either.

8. Titans: Nick Fairley, defensive tackle, Auburn.

The offensive staff wants a QB, but Fairley will be higher on their board.

9. Cowboys: Tyron Smith, tackle, USC.

Left tackle Doug Free is a free agent, making Smith a no-brainer pick.

10. Redskins: Jake Locker, quarterback, Washington.

The Shanahans are intent on finding a franchise quarterback this year.

11. Texans: Aldon Smith, linebacker, Missouri.

With Miller and Quinn gone, Houston takes the best pass rusher left.

12. Vikings: Julio Jones, wide receiver, Alabama.

The Vikes want Locker, but settle on a weapon for a free agent QB.

13. Lions: Anthony Castonzo, tackle, Boston College.

Detroit’s top draft priority must be to keep Matthew Stafford upright.

14. Rams: Prince Amukamara, cornerback, Nebraska.

St. Louis can’t pass on a falling Amukamara; he’ll be atop their board.

15. Dolphins: Mike Pouncey, guard/center, Florida.

The Fins covet a guard who can both pull and play with in-line power.

16. Jaguars: Christian Ponder, quarterback, Florida State.

David Garrard has held Jacksonville’s offense hostage long enough.

17. Patriots: Cameron Jordan, defensive end, Cal.

Jordan draws some comparisons to Richard Seymour as a 3-4 end.

18. Chargers: J.J. Watt, defensive end, Wisconsin.

The Bolts want more pass rush at their right defensive end position.

19. Giants: Corey Liuget, defensive tackle, Illinois.

Liuget could form a dangerous duo with Chris Canty on the inside.

20. Bucs: Da’Quan Bowers, defensive end, Clemson.

A risky pick, but the Bucs try to hit a homerun at a major sore spot.

21. Chiefs: Gabe Carimi, tackle, Wisconsin.

The ideal bookend right tackle to play across from Branden Albert.

22. Colts: Derek Sherrod, tackle, Mississippi State.

Indianapolis upgrades Peyton Manning’s blind side with a safe pick.

23. Eagles: Jimmy Smith, cornerback, Colorado.

Smith may be the missing piece Philly needs for a Super Bowl berth.

24. Saints: Jabaal Sheard, defensive end, Pittsburgh.

Big East Defensive Player of the Year can spark the Saints’ front seven.

25. Seahawks: Andy Dalton, quarterback, TCU.

A reach, but it may not necessarily be the Seahawks making this pick.

26. Ravens: Ryan Kerrigan, defensive end, Purdue.

Kerrigan is everything Paul Kruger was supposed to be two years ago.

27. Falcons: Danny Watkins, guard, Baylor.

Watkins is pro-ready, and Atlanta risks losing three of its starting five.

28. Patriots: Brooks Reed, linebacker, Arizona.

Reed’s best projection is 3-4 outside ‘backer, a weak position in Foxboro.

29. Bears: Marvin Austin, defensive tackle, North Carolina.

It’s no secret that Chicago is high on Austin to replace Tommie Harris.

30. Jets: Muhammad Wilkerson, defensive end, Temple.

Wilkerson can collapse the pocket at New York’s biggest area of need.

31. Steelers: Phil Taylor, defensive tackle, Baylor.

Pittsburgh solidifies its aging front line with a run-stuffing behemoth.

32. Packers: James Carpenter, tackle/guard, Alabama.

Carpenter starts at guard in year one, and can eventually kick to tackle.