1. Carolina Panthers: Cam Newton, QB, Auburn
New regime, new quarterback. Newton has the greatest upside of any QB in this draft.
2. Denver Broncos: Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama
Build throught the trenches. Dareus is the safest pick and brings versatility and toughness to a porous Denver defense.
3. Buffalo Bills: Von Miller, LB, Texas A&M
Might have struck out on Aaron Maybin in ’09, but Miller is the real deal. Best pass rusher in the draft and a perfect fit as a 3-4 OLB.
4. Cincinnati Bengals: A.J. Green, WR, Georgia
Perhaps the top talent in the draft, Green has the size, hands and body control to be a No. 1 receiver from day one. Would round out a very nice young group of pass catchers.
5. Arizona Cardinals: Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU
Dominant cornerback with great return skills. Don’t see the Cardinals reaching for Gabbert, so Peterson is the highest guy left on the board.
6. Cleveland Browns: Julio Jones, WR, Alabama
Colt McCoy has no weapons at his disposal. Jones is a physical receiver who has shot up boards with an impressive combine performance. Would be an instant starter from day one.
7. San Francisco 49ers: Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri
New coach Jim Harbaugh tried recruiting Gabbert while he was at Stanford. Could be a good player down the line, but has lots of questions in terms of adjusting to NFL offense.
8. Tennessee Titans: Nick Fairely, DT, Auburn
After the 2010 college season ended, there was no doubt Fairely was the most dominant player in the country outside of Newton. Character concerns have caused his stock to drop, but he’d be a nice piece on a young Titans defensive line.
9. Dallas Cowboys: Tyron Smith, OT, USC
Dallas has a huge need at right tackle and Smith was very good at that position in college. Has upside and athleticism to play on the left side.
10. Washington Redskins: Robert Quinn, DE/OLB, North Carolina
Quinn could have been the first pick in the draft if he played last season. He’d be a great fit opposite Brian Orakpo, solidifying the outside linebacker spots in the Redskins’ 3-4 defense.