2011 NFL Draft Grades - Round 1 - Page 3
11. Houston Texans - J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin
The Texans could've filled a big hole at CB with Prince Amukamara but elected to go with Watt. He's projected to be an immediate starter and should cause some damage opposite Mario Williams. His reputation to never take a down off goes far with the front-office.
12. Minnesota Vikings - Christian Ponder, QB, Florida State
This draft will be remembered as the year of the DL and stunning QB picks. Any remaining QB at this point in the draft is a reach but if you do go QB how do you select Ponder over Dalton? I think the Vikings will be asking themselves this same question in the future.
13. Detroit Lions - Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn
I classify this pick under the most interesting/intriguing of the night. Just like the Texans, the Lions could've taken Amukamara to close a giant gap at CB but they went with a big man (a really big man) up front with Fairley. Hey Aaron Rodgers and Jay Cutler, have fun going up against Nick Fairley, Kyle Vanden Bosch, and Ndamukong Suh two times a year. Ouch! I love the new direction of the Lions.
14. St. Louis Rams - Robert Quinn, DE, North Carolina
Quinn is one of the UNC players that was suspended for the whole season. Had he played this year, he could've been a top 5 pick. Quinn also had a scare in high school with a brain tumor. With that said, Quinn and Chris Long should prove to be good line mates and cause nightmares for opposing QBs.
15. Miami Dolphins - Mike Pouncey, C/G, Florida
Mike needs to send his twin brother Maurkice a huge thank you card. Mike's draft was certainly inflated thanks to the monster rookie season Maurkice had last year for the Steelers. He was so inflated, he go picked earlier than his brother did, yet I'm willing to bet no one would take Mike over Maurkice. The Dolphins do have a nice, young O-line core now though.
16. Washington Redskins (from the Jacksonville Jaguars) - Ryan Kerrigan, OLB/DE, Purdue
Kerrigan is another DE getting converted to OLB in a 3-4 system. He's a relentless player who also doesn't take any downs off. He will be playing opposite Brian Orakpo who was also converted from DE to OLB. They will be a nice tandem.Continued on the next page