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Saturday, April 9, 2011
Wright's mock draft 1.0

By Michael C. Wright

Corey Liuget
Illinois defensive tackle Corey Liuget could be selected in the first half of the first round.

With less than three weeks remaining before the NFL draft, here's a look at my projections.

1. Carolina Panthers, Cam Newton, QB: Auburn, Potential trumps character concerns.

2. Denver Broncos, Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama: Broncos ranked 31st in run defense in 2010.

3. Buffalo Bills, Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri: Sorry, Ryan Fitzpatrick isn’t the guy.

4. Cincinnati Bengals, A.J. Green, WR, Georgia: His addition might entice Carson Palmer to stay.

5. Arizona Cardinals, Von Miller, OLB, Texas A&M: Could be explosive fit in Cardinals scheme.

6. Cleveland Browns, Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn: One-hit wonder? Browns gamble anyway.

7. San Francisco 49ers, Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU: Might be draft’s only most can’t-miss prospect.

8. Tennessee Titans, Robert Quinn, DE, North Carolina: Da’Quan Bowers makes sense, but knee issues unsettling.

9. Dallas Cowboys, Tyron Smith, OT, USC: Jerry Jones typically goes for sexier picks this early.

10. Washington Redskins, Julio Jones, WR, Alabama: Team will address QB situation in later rounds.

11. Houston Texans, J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin: Smart, aggressive, low-risk pick.

12. Minnesota Vikings, Da'Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson: Vikes find potential Ray Edwards replacement.

13. Detroit Lions, Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska: Team grabs another former Cornhusker in first round.

14. St. Louis Rams, Corey Liuget, DT, Illinois: Hopefully makes up for past busts at the position.

15. Miami Dolphins, Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas: And you thought Ted Ginn was a reach for Fins in 2007.

16. Jacksonville Jaguars, Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue: GM Gene Smith continues base-hit approach to draft.

17. New England Patriots, Aldon Smith, DE/OLB, Missouri: Can he make the transition from 4-3 to 3-4?

18. San Diego Chargers, Cameron Jordan, DE, Cal: Father, Steve, a six-time Pro Bowl selection.

19. New York Giants, Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College: Infusion of youth along an aging OL.

20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa: Bucs notched just 26 sacks last season.

21. Kansas City Chiefs, Phil Taylor, DT, Baylor: GM Scott Pioli likes to build from the inside out.

22. Indianapolis Colts, Nate Solder, OT, Colorado: Missed just two snaps over the last three seasons.

23. Philadelphia Eagles, Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin: Team’s need at RT elevates his stock.

24. New Orleans Saints, Cameron Heyward, DE, Ohio State: Versatile DL heads to father’s old stomping grounds.

25. Seattle Seahawks, Mike Pouncey, C/G, Florida: Pete Carroll says upgrading OL a priority.

26. Baltimore Ravens, Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado: Team’s strong locker room alleviates character concerns.

27. Atlanta Falcons, Torrey Smith, WR, Maryland: His blazing speed takes top off coverages.

28. New England Patriots, Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama: Has history with Belichick’s friend Nick Saban.

29. Chicago Bears, Derek Sherrod, OT, Mississippi State: Major value pick that can help immediately.

30. New York Jets, Muhammad Wilkerson, DE/DT, Temple: Too talented to still be available here.

31. Pittsburgh Steelers, Brandon Harris, CB, Miami: Fills need exploited by Packers QB Aaron Rodgers in the Super Bowl.

32. Green Bay Packers, Justin Houston, DE/OLB, Georgia: Explosive complement to Clay Matthews?