1. Carolina Panthers - QB Cam Newton, Auburn
The fact that Auburn ran such a simple offense is worrisome, but if Newton is willing to put in the time to learn the tendencies of the NFL, he should be special. Hard to pass up so much potential with the top pick in the draft.
2. Denver Broncos - DT Marcell Dareus, Alabama
Supposed can't miss prospect. Should be stud from day one. We'll see if he can live up to the hype; he could be a huge part of a Broncos turn-around season.
3. Buffalo Bills - QB Blaine Gabbert, Missouri
Buddy Nix has been oddly very positive about Gabbert every time someone mentions him. The more I hear Nix talk, the more it seems like the Bills really want to draft Gabbert. Most teams throw out smokescreens at this time of year, but Nix strikes me as someone who doesn't care about a smokescreen. We'll see.
4. Cincinnati Bengals - WR AJ Green, Georgia
I think the Bengals are hoping to draft Gabbert themselves, but are looking extremely hard at Andy Dalton because they fear the Bills will take Gabbert ahead of them. AJ Green is the best playmaker in the draft on the offensive side of the ball, so he's still a great pick for Cincy.
5. Arizona Cardinals - DE/OLB Von Miller, Texas A&M
Probably the dream scenario for the Cardinals brass, as I doubt the entire front office would be in agreement on either of the possible quarterbacks. Tough to pass on Patrick Petersen, but Miller fills a more glaring need and ranks at least in the same tier of prospects.
**TRADE: Cleveland trades #6 overall and #102 overall to Houston for #11 overall and #43 overall
6. Houston Texans - CB Patrick Petersen, LSU
The Texans get their man, an instant starter from day one with potential to one day be the best corner in football. Cleveland was targeting AJ Green, but when he went off the board to Cincinnati, the Browns decided to move back and hopefully get Julio Jones at 11.
7. San Francisco 49ers - DT Nick Fairley, Auburn
Fairley has character and motor concerns, but the talent is far too high to pass up here as a player that fills a need and is probably the best player still on the board. Fairley was dominant this past season for Auburn and could be an impact player from day one.
8. Tennessee Titans - DE Robert Quinn, North Carolina
Great pro day workouts solidified Quinn as one of the draft's best athletes, and Tennessee likely will be elated to land Quinn at this point. They'll also look hard at Da'Quan Bowers, but ultimately I think his injury concerns will be too great.
9. Dallas Cowboys - OT Tyron Smith, USC
I've heard "the Cowboys don't draft offensive tackles in the first round, so they're not taking Smith at 9" from a lot of people. Fortunately, though, Smith is such a perfect fit for a team in dire need of an offensive tackle that there's really no way they'll pass on him unless something crazy like Cam Newton falling to 9 happens.
10. Washington Redskins - QB Jake Locker, Washington
Way too early for Locker, who I think will be the bust of busts from this draft, but Mike Shanahan is reportedly enamored with him. Of course all reports at this time need to be taken with a grain of salt, but remember by the time the 2006 draft rolled around several people correctly predicted that Jay Cutler was Shanahan's target. They took him at #11 overall. If Shanahan likes Locker, there's little doubt he'll be the pick at 10.
11. Cleveland Browns - WR Julio Jones, Alabama
After missing out on AJ Green Cleveland gets a lot of value to move down five spots to #11 and still end up with the player they would have drafted at #6. Jones is a huge playmaker with great speed and he should give the Browns a dynamic offensive weapon to pair with Peyton Hillis immediately.
**TRADE: Minnesota trades #12 overall and #139 overall to Tampa Bay for #20 overall and #51 overall.
12. Tampa Bay - DE De'Quan Bowers, Clemson
Bowers had the potential to go in the top 3 of this draft before his knee injury, but if a team thinks his knee will ultimately be fine there's little doubt that he has a lot of value as the #12 pick. Tampa Bay is happy to move up and take a chance on someone they probably have in the top 5 on their board.
13. Detroit Lions - CB Prince Akumara, Nebraska
14. St. Louis Rams - DT Corey Liuget, Illinois
15. Miami Dolphins - OG/C Mike Pouncey, Florida
16. Jacksonville Jaguars - DE JJ Watt, Wisconsin
17. New England Patriots (Via Oakland) - DE Aldon Smith, Missouri
18. San Diego Chargers - DT/DE Muhammed Wilkerson, Temple
19. New York Giants - OT Anthony Castanzo, Boston College
20. Minnesota Vikings - QB Ryan Mallett, Arkansas
21. Kansas City Chiefs - DT Phil Taylor, Baylor
22. Indianapolis Colts - OT Gabe Carimi, Wisconsin
23. Philadelphia Eagles - OT Nate Solder, Colorado
24. New Orleans Saints - DE Ryan Kerrigan, Purdue
25. Seattle Seahawks - DE Cameron Jordan, Cal
26. Baltimore Ravens - CB Jimmy Smith, Colorado
27. Atlanta Falcons - OT Derrek Sherrod, Mississippi State
28. New England Patriots - HB Mark Ingram, Alabama
29. Chicago Bears - DT Marvin Austin, North Carolina
30. New York Jets - DE Cameron Heyward, Ohio State
31. Pittsburgh Steelers - CB/S Aaron Williams, Texas
32. Green Bay Packers - OLB Akeem Ayers, UCLA