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Cardinals take Patrick Peterson

04.28.11 at 8:33 pm ET
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The Cardinals selected LSU cornerback and Bednarik Award winner Patrick Peterson fifth overall, making him the third defensive player selected in the first five picks.

The Cardinals may have a potential need at quarterback, but they made the wise choice in selecting the best player in the draft (not the best player available, but the best player). Peterson is a physical specimen, and at 219 pounds, can handle anything that comes his way.

Read More: 2011 NFL Draft,

A.J. Green goes fourth overall to Bengals

04.28.11 at 8:29 pm ET
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The Bengals may have had a couple of big-name receivers on their roster a year ago, but they added some more youth to their group of receivers by selecting Georgia receiver A.J. Green with the fourth overall pick.

There’s always some risk associated with drafting a wide receiver this high, but Green is the best offensive player in a draft that has already seen an offensive player go first overall. Terrell Owens led the Bengals with 983 receiving yards last season, with Chad Ochocinco finishing with 831. Green and Jordan Shipley, as well as tight end Jermaine Gresham, should give whoever is throwing them the ball some nice options in the future.

Marcell Dareus headed to Buffalo

04.28.11 at 8:24 pm ET
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Alabama defensive lineman Marcell Dareus is headed to Buffalo, as the Bills have chosen him third overall.

The Bills may have missed on a top 10 pick last year when they chose C.J. Spiller eighth overall, so getting the best defensive lineman in the entire draft is certainly a safer route that should pay bigger dividends. Dareus has tremendous versatility, as he can play at any spot in a three-man front. It should be noted that the Bills paln to incorporate both a 3-4 and 4-3.

Von Miller selected second overall

04.28.11 at 8:21 pm ET
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John Fox has what he hopes will be a star defensive player, as the Broncos selected Texas A&M outside linebacker Von Miller with the second overall pick i the draft.

This is a solid pick for the Broncos. Miller isn’t the biggest guy in the world, but he can get after the quarterback like only few can. He ran in the low 4.4 range in the 40-yard dash, and the Butkus Award winner will hope the talent that gave him 28 sacks the last two years translates to the next level.

Panthers select Cam Newton with first overall pick in NFL Draft

04.28.11 at 8:10 pm ET
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The Panthers kicked off the 2011 NFL draft by selecting Auburn quarterback Cam Newton first overall. Newton, who won the Heisman Trophy as a junior this past season, has good size and tremendous athletic ability. His upside may be greater than that of any other player in the entire draft.

If you’re seeking one man’s opinion, this is a terribly risky pick for the Panthers. Newton is very raw and is a ways away from being an NFL quarterback. If he can reach his potential, he could be one of the more dynamic players in the league. If he can’t, the Panthers, who already have a young quarterback in Jimmy Clausen, could pay for it. First overall picks should be franchise players, and given the risk factor with Newton, it’s hard to tell whether he will definitely be that franchise player.

Read More: 2011 NFL Draft, Cam Newton,

NFL set to resume football operations

04.28.11 at 2:38 pm ET
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Football has returned, at least for now. The NFL issued a memo on Thursday that said teams can open their doors to their players for voluntary workouts, meetings with coaches and the distribution of playbooks as early as Friday morning. For now, all player moves are on hold, but the league promised that it would issue detailed procedures for free agency, trades and other roster moves soon.

James Quinn, the class counsel for the players in their antitrust suit against the NFL, argued that waiting for an appeal is not grounds for keeping league operations shut down.

“Unless and until such a (stay) request is granted, however, we believe the 2011 league Year now has to begin,” Quinn said in a memo to players and agents. “The clubs must open their facilities to allow players to work out, meet with coaches and otherwise perform their jobs; and the NFL and the clubs cannot collectively continue to refuse to deal with players.”

The memo brings some clarity to an uncertain situation ‘€” despite the fact that the lockout was lifted earlier in the week, the clubs were unsure whether or not they could allow players into the facilities for workouts, as owners were in the process of appealing the decision. The league still plans to appeal the decision ‘€” the request for a temporary stay is still pending ‘€” but for now, there appears to be a sense that a return to normalcy will come sooner rather than later.

Read More: James Quinn, lockout,

A look into what mock drafts are saying: Part four

04.28.11 at 1:35 pm ET
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Since the draft is later on tonight, I want to focus on some interesting Patriots picks a few mock drafts have in the first several rounds ‘€“ at least ones that haven’€™t yet been mentioned. By now we’€™re pretty sure (at least, we think we’€™re sure) which way the Pats will go at pick 17, and we have an idea about pick 28, trades pending.

But what about some mock drafts that go against the grain? It looks like nfl.com’€™s Mike Mayock bought into New England hosting Washington quarterback Jake Locker for a personal workout. He has Locker breaking the Thursday cut and going to the Pats at the 28th pick. It’€™s an interesting choice, but one that can’€™t be completely ruled out altogether.

Although Patriots fans cringe at the thought, we know Tom Brady won’€™t be around forever. So what better way to bring up the next franchise quarterback than having him learn from the best while still in his prime years? Brady is 33 years old, and will be 34 before the season actually starts. Just a season ago, Brady won the NFL’€™s MVP by a unanimous vote. Doesn’€™t that sounds like the perfect role model for a developing quarterback to you?

I personally am not big on the prospect of Jake Locker being a successful NFL quarterback, but if Brady and Bill Belichick are in any way involved in Locker’€™s growth as a player, then I can’€™t be that skeptical. The one thing Locker could add if he were a Patriot is the ability to scamper outside of the pocket and use his legs more than Brady does. Having a multidimensional passer only adds more levels to a team’€™s offense. Think about the Patriots trying that on for size.

Locker’€™s value ranges all over the boards, so a spending a first-rounder on him could be controversial. It might make more sense to wait on him, potentially trade out the 28th pick for later round picks or future drafts (or keep it and draft a need position), and grab him at 33 if he’€™s available. Even if he isn’€™t, and the Patriots are serious about taking one of the quarterbacks this high up, there will likely still be players like TCU’€™s Andy Dalton and Arkansas’ Ryan Mallett available. Mallett was another player the Patriots worked out privately.

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Read More: 2011 NFL Draft, DeMarco Murray, Jake Locker, New England Patriots
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