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March 31, 2011

Mock draft v. 4.0: Mockin' in the free world

We could do another straight mock draft, and tell you again how it's looking more and more like Cam Newton for the Carolina Panthers.

But where's the fun in that?

The one option we haven't touched yet is the possibility of trades. The Panthers would likely be up for it, to add draft pick currency to a wallet thinned out by previous trades. The only problem is, the only people who seem inclined toward moving up might be farther down the order than the Panthers want to drop (QB-needy teams such as Washington and Minnesota).

That doesn't mean they won't listen.

So here, for hypothetical discussion-generating purposes (i.e. not based on reporting or rumors or any whispers we may have heard), is Mock Draft v. 4.0:


1. Washington

QB Cam Newton, Auburn

The Redskins have to give up their first and second (10th and 41st) and next year's first to move up, but they're desperate.

It's clear they want to add a passer to the rotation now that flavor-of-the-month Donovan McNabb has lost his luster.

There is no more lustrous player in this draft than Newton.

2. Denver

DT Marcell Dareus, Alabama

Could go a number of ways here, but I just can't help thinking John Fox digs this guy the most.

3. Buffalo

LB Von Miller, Texas A&M

Popular QB destination? Perhaps, but Miller helps them more in 2011 than any passer would.


4. Cincinnati

QB Blaine Gabbert, Missouri

They have to have someone to replace Carson Palmer, and Gabbert's the next guy in line.

5. Arizona

DE Robert Quinn, North Carolina

Cards need pass rush and would love to get Miller here, but he's probably not going to get past three.


6. Cleveland

WR A.J. Green, Georgia

Nice target for Colt McCoy if he progresses or Jake Delhomme if he doesn't.


7. San Francisco

CB Patrick Peterson, LSU

At some point, BPA overcomes need, and a guy some think is the best player in the draft goes.


8. Tennessee

QB Ryan Mallett, Arkansas

Convince yourself he's the kind of guy you can count on, and the talent is there.


9. Dallas

OT Tyron Smith, Southern Cal

Could use a corner here, but the need for blockers dictates a bit of a reach.


10. Carolina

WR Julio Jones, Alabama

If you're not going to take a quarterback, you make the next best move to fix the passing game.

Then they can come back at 41 and dip into a deep pool of defensive tackles (maybe a Marvin Austin) and know you've got a little something for next year in your pocket.

-- Darin Gantt

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