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The first value board


This is the first value board leading to the NFL Draft 2011.

Know a couple of things about the board:

It&39;s not perfect, and may not be close. Putting together mock drafts and value boards are far from my favorite things of the NFL year, and the reality is they're more about discussion and arguments than anything else.

Still, the fans seem to like them and there was a buzz about getting one done, so here it is.

What it is is an early look at the top 32 players, and while it&39;s a list that will change as the draft approaches, it&39;s also one that&39;s reflective of a few things.

One is that this is a phenomenally deep draft at the defensive end position, and another is something we&39;ve discussed on in recent weeks – that it&39;s a fuzzy year at the quarterback position. Blaine Gabbert makes the list at No. 9, Cam Newton makes it at No. 14 and Jake Locker makes it at No. 27, and there&39;s a high-percentage chance none of those guys goes close to any of those positions.

Another noticeable attribute about this year&39;s draft is it&39;s one of the hardest in memory to predict who will go No. 1 overall, mainly because there are very real reasons to not select many of the players projected as capable of going at the spot.

Cornerback Patrick Peterson, wide receiver A.J. Green and outside linebacker Von Miller all are considered elite-level talents, but those positions rarely go at the No. 1 spot. Defensive end Da&39;Quan Bowers, defensive tackle Marcell Dareus and defensive tackle Nick Fairley play premium positions, but also have questions that could drop them from the top spot.

The gist is this is going to be a fascinating six weeks.

Stay tuned. 

  1. Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU | May be most talented player in draft
  1. Da&39;Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson | Teams will be looking seriously into collegiate knee issues
  1. Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama | Started just one year in college
  1. A.J. Green, WR, Georgia | Surreal talent and big-time collegiate production
  1. Von Miller, OLB, Texas A&M | Phenomenal athlete, but linebackers rarely go in Top 5 anymore
  1. Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn | Reports about poor combine interviews could hurt status
  1. Robert Quinn, DE, North Carolina | Suspended by NCAA for 2010 season
  1. Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska | Production, physical skills make him a Top 10 prospect
  1. Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri | Could vault higher with solid Pro Day
  1. Julio Jones, WR, Alabama | Even with recent foot surgery, could push Green for top WR spot
  1. Cameron Jordan, DE, California | Like college teammate Alualu, he&39;s moving up draft boards
  1. Tyron Smith, OT, USC | Two-year starter at RT will make transition to LT in NFL
  1. Aldon Smith, DE, Missouri | Played two college seasons, but played through injury in &39;10
  1. Cam Newton, QB, Auburn | Some have him No. 1 overall; others don&39;t know where to put him
  1. Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama | Could be lone RB taken in first round
  1. J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin | Transferred from Central Michigan after freshman season
  1. Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue | Productive college pass rusher with elite speed
  1. Nate Solder, OT, Colorado | Outland Trophy finalist and Big 12 Offensive Lineman of Year
  1. Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College | Former TE could be first OT taken
  1. Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa | Elite-level pass rusher from NFL-friendly college program
  1. Brandon Harris, CB, Miami (Fla.) | Has been projected as high as Top 10 by some
  1. Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin | Outland Trophy winner started four seasons for Badgers
  1. Corey Liuget, DT, Illinois | Stock improved after solid outing in Texas Bowl
  1. Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado | Productive player from big conference, safe pick late in first round
  1. Cameron Heyward, DE, Ohio State | Four-year collegiate starter and team captain
  1. Muhammed Wilkerson, DT, Temple | Stock rising in recent weeks
  1. Jake Locker, QB, Washington | Unquestioned talent also is known for inconsistency
  1. Mike Pouncey, G, Florida | Twin brother Maurkice made Pro Bowl for Steelers as a rookie
  1. Akeem Ayers, OLB, UCLA | Stock slipping in recent weeks
  1. Justin Houston, DE, Georgia | Pass rusher played outside linebacker in 3-4 scheme in &39;10
  1. Derek Sherrod, OT, Mississippi St. | Started four seasons in college, could start immediately in NFL
  1. Phil Taylor, NT, Baylor | Transferred from Penn State after two collegiate seasons
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