The 2011 NFL Draft is only one month away, which means teams need to get their homework done on players and start to make the tough decisions--though they should already be doing that. And SB Nation has its latest 2011 NFL mock draft available.
Last week, the Broncos selected Alabama defensive tackle Marcell Dareus because he was a safer pick than Auburn's Nick Fairley. Well, this week Fairley is the pick because he is "the type of disruptive three-technique that would thrive playing for John Fox." The Broncos, it is assumed, will draft a defensive player, a tackle on the d-line most likely. But is the team's interest in quarterbacks a ploy or a legitimate maneuver? Another first-round quarterback would further inflame the current situation between Kyle Orton and Tim Tebow.
And if by some magic a new Collective Bargaining Agreement is in place by the time of the draft, the Broncos could find it easier to trade down a few spots, pick up an extra draft choice or two and select cornerback Patrick Peterson or pass-rusher Von Miller. Peterson would give the Broncos a great tandem at cornerback with Champ Bailey on the other side. Miller would help upgrade a pass rush that was at the bottom of the league in 2010.
In other draft selections, Colorado offensive tackle Nate Solder goes No. 17 to the New England Patriots and Colorado cornerback Jimmy Smith goes No. 23 to the Philadelphia Eagles. Both have been projected to those teams in previous mock drafts and make sense. Solder could go higher, possibly No. 13 to Lions. Smith does have character issues stemming from incidents as a freshman, but they shouldn't stop him from going in the first round.