Taking an Early Look at The Top 2011 NFL Draft Prospects.

Dustin Maul@Maul_Goin_HAMContributor IAugust 19, 2010

CHAPEL HILL, NC - SEPTEMBER 19:  Robert Quinn #42 of the North Carolina Tar Heels celebrates after a sack with teammate Marvin Austin #9 against the East Carolina Pirates at Kenan Stadium on September 19, 2009 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The 2010 draft is over. And it is never too early to look ahead, I am going to take a closer look at some of the 2011 Draft class top prospects. Melt with me....

The 2011 NFL Draft class, like it's predecessor, is loaded with talent.

Robert Quinn- DE- North Carolina.

Robert Quinn,(6-foot-5, 270 pounds) is a sensational defender who constantly makes plays behind the line of scrimmage. Quinn has overcome much already, he has battled back from brain surgery as a high school senior to become one of the top defensive players in the country.


2008- 35 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, 2 forced fumbles

2009- 52 tackles, 19 tackles for loss, 11 sacks, 6 forced fumble

The Good.

Quinn is expected to become the greatest pass rusher from North Carolina since Julius Peppers. Quinn is a deceivingly quick, and very athletic Defensive end. He possesses all the necessary tools to take  over a game.

Quinn has a quick initial burst that is rare among DEs, allowing him to get into the opponents backfield.

Because of this ability, Quinn has already received many double teams. To combat this, he has developed a nice set of pass rush moves to help get around those double teams.

Robert Quinn is a playmaker. His 6 forced fumbles is a testament to that fact. Quinn practically lives in the opponents backfield.

The Bad

At 270 ppounds, there is some concern that Quinn is undersized.However, he is just entering his Junior season and will have time to fill out weight wise. 

Along with a few extra pounds teams would like to see Quinn get stronger.  He has the speed rush down pat but needs to develop a power rush move.  He also could stand to be stronger and improve his run stopping ability.

 Some scouts also feel that Quinn could move to OLB in a 3-4 defensive scheme but he would need to improve his coverage skills to do so.

Projected Round

Some Mock Drafts have Quinn going number 1 or 2 overall, depending on teams needs.


Ryan Mallett-QB-Arkansas.

The Arkansas quarterback certainly has the physical tools to be a force at the next level. He stands at 6-foot-7, 238 pounds and, has a rocket arm.

Mallet began his collegiate career at Michigan, but transferred to Arkansas in 2008.

After sitting out in 2008 due to transferring, he threw 30 touchdowns and 7 interceptions in his first campaign for the Razorbacks. Making those numbers all the more impressive is that Mallett played behind a horrible offensive line and Arkansas was not a contender in the SEC at all.


2007 (w/Michigan) – 61-141, 43.3%, 892 yards, 7 TDs/5 INTs, -38 rushing yards, 1 rushing TD

2009 (w/Arkansas) – 225-403, 55.8%, 3624 yards, 30 TDs/7 INTs, -29 rushing yards, 2 TDs.

The Good.

Arm strength, and nice compact delivery, which allows him to release the ball quickly. He is a very big kid. At 6-Foot-7, Mallett should be able to keep balls from being bat down at the line of scrimmage.

A pure pocket passer. Mallett seems very comfortable in the pocket. He moves well inside the pocket to find room to step into throws.

Has a nice play action fake with his back completely to the defense and quickly turns his body around to make the read and get the pass off.  Has a ton of upside as a passer whose best games are still ahead of him.

The bad.

He is not very accurate, and he is even worse on the run. Needs to improve his decision making, will try and sneak a ball in double coverage, relying on his arm strength too much.

Needs to work on footwork as he takes most snaps out of the shotgun. He had some of his worst games against programs that are most NFL ready. Such as Alabama, Florida, and LSU.

Projected Round.

If Mallett continues to improve, and has a productive season, then I can see him declaring his draft eligibility. He could be a top ten pick.


Prince Amukamara-CB-Nebraska.

Amukamara, 6-Foot-1, 205 pounds; could very well be the first corner drafted in 2011. He has a very nice talent level, and makes the most of it by being very competitive and not backing away from contact in run support.

When I look at Prince, I immediately think of Antoine Winfield. Amukamara has a lot more size than Winfield, but these corners are both excellent in run support and are quite simply playmakers.


2007- 4 tackles

2008- 34 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 1 sack

2009- 64 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, 5 INTs, 11 pass breakups

The Good.

His size. Because WRs are getting bigger, Amukamara's size will be greatly appreciated and coveted in the NFL.

He is a converted RB, so he brings his good hands and ball skills to the table. He couples his good size with a quick burst that allows him to play physical and tight coverage. 

Amukamara is best suited for a bump and run man to man coverage scheme but can exceed in zone coverage.

The Bad.

Last season was a breakout year for Amukamara, it ws also his first as a starter. Some scouts are worried that he is not have enough experienced, and he may need some more time to truly get a "feel" for the game.

He is quick and has good short bursts but may not have the straight line speed to stay with NFL receivers on deep routes. 

You also cannot ignore the impact Ndamukong Suh had on that Nebraska defense.  The pressure he and the rest of the defensive line created made life a little easier for the defensive backs.

Projected Round.

Since the NFL is becoming more of a passing league, Corners are in high demand. Amukamara has great potential, and his physical play and size should make him very valuable. I cannot see him going out of the 1st round.


Julio Jones-WR-Alabama.

Jones is another big WR. (6-Foot-4, 220 pounds.) Jones is not only big, but he is very athletic, able to go up and snag the football. It is because of this ability that many scouts compare Jones to Arizona Cardinals WR, Larry Fitzgerald.


2008- 58 receptions, 924 yards, 4 touchdowns

2009- 43receptions, 596 yards, 4 touchdowns.

The Good.

Jones has led the 'Bama WR corp since his Freshman season. Has great size and body control....and he knows how to use it. Enabling him to make plays on the jump ball.

Jones utilizes his speed and elusiveness to find cracks in the opponent’s defense.  Jones excels with the ball in his hand and often breaks many tackles on his way to gaining extra yardage.  Jones isn’t afraid to take big hits and makes a lot of his catches in the middle of the field where massive linebackers wait.

Alabama runs a pro-style offense, which should make Jones' transition the the NFL that much smoother.

The Bad.

The only concern that I have with Julio Jones is his concentration. He dropped too many balls last season, which has scouts worried. He needs to work on seeing the ball in.

Jones' route running has been a question mark. No doubt he has been working on it this off season. Another year in Nick Saban's system should help.

Projected Round.

Jones is one of the best WRs in this coming draft. I cannot see Jones going past the 5th overall selection.


Von Miller-DE-OLB-Texas A&M.

Von Miller (6-Foot-3, 240 pounds.) was not a full-time starter until his junior season in 2009, but he showed plenty of potential as a pass rushing outside linebacke. He played in a 3-4 defense at Texas A&M and NFL teams that play a 3-4 will like the fact that he has experience in that system (especially since few teams in college football run a 3-4)


2007- 22 tackles, 4 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, 1 forced fumble

2008- 44tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles

2009- 48 tackles, 21.5 tackles for loss, 16.5 sacks, 4 forced fumbles

The Good.

Miller's speciality is pressure. He uses his great speed to get around offensive tacles and make life miserable for the Quarterback.

Miller lives in the offensive backfield piling up both sacks and tackles for loss.  He not only tallies sacks he also forces quarterbacks out of the pocket making for uncomfortable passes.

Recently coaches have tried converting college DEs into OLB. No conversio will be needed with Miller. Texas A&M runs a 3-4 defense. The fact that he already knows how to drop back into coverage definitely gives him a leg up on the rest of the draft class.

The Bad.

When watching some film on Miller the first thing I noticed is that he relies too much on his speed rush.  He is going to need to find different pass rushing techniques if he wants to be successful in the NFL. Offensive coordinators in the NFL are becoming more and more familiar with the 3-4 defense and are developing good game plays for the rush linebackers.

Miller is already known as an elite pass rusher, but he needs to work on stopping the run.

He often over pursues on plays and tries to get around offensive linemen rather than taking them head on.  He needs to be more aggressive and meet linemen in the whole and get off the blocks quicker. 

There are also questions about Miller not playing up to better competition.  Some feel that he disappeared in big games against top competition.  He needs to show he can put up these big numbers against the best talent.

Projected Round.

While he needs some work, ultimately his experience inn the 3-4 will prove to be too valuable to pass on for some teams. I predict late 1st round, to early 2nd round for Miller.


A.J. Green-WR-Georgia.

Green (6-Foot-4, 205 pounds.) displayed NFL skills the minute he stepped on the field as a freshman at Georgia. He's a complete wideout with very reliable hands.


2008- 56 receptions, 963 yards, 8 touchdowns

2009- 53 receptions, 808 yards, 6 touchdowns

The Good.

Honestly, there is not much to not like about Green. He is predicted by many Scouts to be the first WR taken in the 2011 draft.

He has great height, and he knows how to use it. He uses his height and excellent body control to come down with the ball in most jump ball situations.  This skill comes in handy with deep balls and in the Red Zone. 

Green possesses superior speed which only enhances his big play ability.  Although he is only entering his Junior season he has a lot of game experience.  He has performed well under pressure at a very young age and that speaks well for his character.  Green also benefits from playing in Georgia’s pro style offense.

The Bad.

While Green has a ton of ability there are areas he needs to improve on.  He needs to dedicate himself and spend more time in the weight room.  Adding strength and bulk to his thin frame would only improve his draft stock. 

Green has good body control but bigger stronger cornerbacks will be able to out muscle him for balls. 

Like most college receivers Green needs continued work on his route running.  The added experience of another season should help in this area.

Projected Round.

If he has another great season, he should be a top 5 pick.



  1. http://www.nationalfootballpost.com
  2. http://www.walterfootball.com
  3. http://www.draftmonster.com
  4. http://www.sportsillustrated.cnn.football.com
  5. http://www.nflmocks.com


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