Mike Mayock, one of the league's premier draft analysts, has released his only mock draft for the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft, which takes place on Thursday night at 8 p.m. EDT (ESPN).
In his mock, Mayock has the New England Patriots drafting California defensive end Cameron Jordan with the No. 17 overall pick. Jordan finished his career at Cal with 161 tackles, 17 sacks and one interception in four seasons.
A five-technique for the Pats here from the pick they got from the Raiders when they dealt the prototypical 5-technique in Richard Seymour. Jordan might be the best 5-technique in this draft. He gives them scheme versatility because you can play him inside, and he can stand up. (via NFL.com)
With the No. 28 overall pick, Mayock has Bill Belichick drafting Washington quarterback Jake Locker. Well, sort of.
No, the Patriots aren't drafting Jake Locker. Any of the teams at the bottom of the first round could be looking to trade out, including New England here. A QB such as Locker will be a prime target for a team looking to jump up. It's not about the teams at this point, it's about the players.
Mayock also predicts that Boston College offensive lineman Anthony Castonzo will be drafted by the Detroit Lions with the No. 13 overall pick, saying that the decision won't be a hard one for Detroit.
This is a no-brainer pick for the Lions. Veteran Jeff Backus is in the last year of his deal. Castonzo gets a one-year apprenticeship at right tackle, and a year from now he replaces Backus over on the left side and stays there for the next 10 years to protect Matthew Stafford.
In the first five picks, Mayock has Cam Newton (QB - Auburn Tigers) going No. 1 overall to the Carolina Panthers, Von Miller (LB - Texas A&M Aggies) going No. 2 to the Denver Broncos, Marcell Dareus (DT - Alabama Crimson Tide) going third to the Buffalo Bills, A.J. Green (WR - Georgia Bulldogs) going No. 4 to the Cincinnati Bengals and Patrick Peterson (CB - LSU Tigers) going No. 5 to the Arizona Cardinals.