Sports Illustrated's Peter King has released his 2011 NFL Mock Draft, and there's no surprises at the top of his projections. He goes with to the Carolina Panthers at No. 1 and follows it with Marcell Dareus to the Denver Broncos. The Alabama defensive tackle has become the consensus pick for the Broncos in mock drafts. He's a safe building block for a defensive line that needs an infusion of talent and youth. As King points out, don't expect him to be Ndamukong Suh, who went No. 2 overall to the Lions in 2010 and then became a Pro Bowler and the defensive rookie of the year.
King projects Colorado's Nate Solder to go to the Colts at No. 22. This makes sense since the Colts need to build a strong line to protect Peyton Manning as he continues to age. A young, talented tackle like Solder should be able to do that. Solder's teammate, Jimmy Smith, joins the Ravens' secondary after being selected No. 26 overall. It's another pick that makes all the sense in the world.
King does project three trades in the first round. The most interesting one is the Titans trading back into the first round after selecting Nick Fairley with the eighth overall pick. With the Titans looking for a quarterback of the future, Florida State's Christian Ponder is the choice. However, King thinks that Colin Kaepernick should actually be the quarterback selected.
The NFL Draft starts on April 28 and concludes on April 30.