Updated 2011 Big Board
It's not expected, but A.J. Green has the talent and makeup of a No. 1 overall pick
You really can't find a steadier player on the Big Board this past year than wide receiver A.J. Green. Pegged as a top-five pick in the 2011 draft since the minute last year's draft ended, Green had to miss four games early in the season, but that certainly didn't take anything away from his stock. He makes a notable move this week, all the way up to No. 3 on the Big Board, and I also think he should be in the conversation as the No. 1 overall pick.
Think of it this way: There isn't a quarterback in the draft who will come in and do more in Week 1 than any QB the Carolina Panthers have on their roster. So if they really want to build with one of their current quarterbacks, it's hard to find a better go-to target than Green. It's hard to develop quarterbacks without any serious threats in the passing game. Do I expect the Panthers to draft Green at No. 1? No. But if the they aren't sold on a quarterback with the No. 1 pick, or they can't trade down, there's no player available who will help a current quarterback sooner.
As always, juniors and draft-eligible sophomores are noted with an asterisk.
Analysis: An extraordinary athlete, Peterson has 4.3 speed, safety size, good cover skills and a willingness to hit. He's also a big threat in the return game. Last week: No. 1LB6-3246
Analysis: Miller can impact NFL games early in his career as a pass-rushing 3-4 outside linebacker, but he also has coverage skills. Heady, big-time athlete. Last week: No. 2WR6-4211
Analysis: Premier wideout in the draft. Good route-runner, great size and hands, good speed (4.48 in Indy). Immediate help. Last week: No. 5DT6-4297
Analysis: After facing some questions about his size, has had great workouts, and the pile of tape is still immense. Versatility and skills imply star potential. Last week: No. 3DE6-3319
Analysis: Dareus is a gifted penetrator with pass-rush skills to burn and a good motor. Well-liked, scheme-versatile, I like him most as a penetrating 3-4 DE. Last week: No. 4
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The 2011 NFL Draft