While the NFL is in a lockout for who knows how long, the NFL Draft goes on, and so does SB Nation's latest 2011 NFL Mock Draft. In last week's mock, Brian Galliford had the Denver Broncos selecting LSU cornerback Patrick Paterson after the Panthers selected Cam Newton No. 1 overall. The top pick remains the same this week, but the Broncos go in a different direction this week.
Instead of opting to form possibly the top cornerback tandem in the league, the Broncos decide on Alabama defensive tackle Marcell Dareus. Defensive tackle is definitely a need position after the team released Jamal Williams and Justin Bannan, both better suited for the 34 defense. Dareus is in a battle with Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley to be the top DT taken in the draft, and in this mock Fairley falls all the way to No. 11 for the Houston Texans. Weeks ago it appeared that Fairley would be the No. 1 pick, but after the NFL Combine other players have risen up on draft boards around the league.
But given this scenario, one could surmise that the Broncos could trade out of the No. 2 pick if a team is interested in a quarterback. With Newton off the board, the Bills, the Bengals and the Redskins could all look for a new quarterback. The Bills select Missouri's Blaine Gabbert at No. 3 and the Redskins take Jake Locker at No. 10. With Carson Palmer wanting out of Cincinnati, the Bengals could talk with the Broncos about a trade. That would allow the Broncos to pick up an extra draft pick and draft, say, Von Miller, whom the team had a private workout with last week. Miller goes fifth overall to the Cardinals in this mock, and he may be the elite pass rusher of this draft.