2011 NFL Draft: An Entertaining And Surprise-Filled First Round Comes To An End

While we pen some articles about the Pittsburgh Steelers first round draft pick, Cameron Heyward — from what you should know about the Ohio State defensive end’s background, to how he’ll fit into the Steelers’ defensive scheme — let’s take a quick look at the first 32 picks of the 2011 NFL Draft. There were several picks early on that went as expected; there were some major surprises that followed; there was a major trade that saw a divisional opponent stock up on picks; and once the dust settled, there was one of the more well-rounded and genuinely nice young prospects in many years selected by the six-time Super Bowl champion Steelers.

Here’s the list of names called during Thursday night’s first round:

1. Carolina PanthersCam Newton, QB, Auburn
2. Denver Broncos — Von Miller, LB, Texas A&M
3. Buffalo Bills — Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama
4. Cincinnati Bengals — AJ Green, WR, Georgia
5. Arizona Cardinals — Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU
6. Atlanta Falcons (via Cleveland) — Julio Jones, WR, Alabama
7. San Francisco 49ers — Aldon Smith, LB, Missouri
8. Tennessee Titans — Jake Locker, QB, Washington
9. Dallas Cowboys — Tyron Smith, OT, USC
10. Jacksonville Jaguars (via Washington) — Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri
11. Houston Texans – J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin
12. Minnesota Vikings – Christian Ponder, QB, Florida State
13. Detroit Lions – Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn
14. St. Louis Rams – Robert Quinn, DE, North Carolina
15. Miami Dolphins – Mike Pouncey, C, Florida
16. Washington Redskins (via Jacksonville) – Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue
17. New England Patriots – Nate Solder, OT, Colorado
18. San Diego Chargers – Corey Liuget, DT, Illinois
19. New York Giants – Prince Amukamara, DB, Nebraska
20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa
21. Cleveland Browns (via Kansas City via Atlanta) — Phil Taylor, DT, Baylor
22. Indianapolis Colts — Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College
23. Philadelphia Eagles — Danny Watkings, OG, Baylor
24. New Orleans Saints — Cameron Jordan, DE, California
25. Seattle Seahawks — James Carpenter, OT, Alabama
26. Kansas City Chiefs** — Jonathan Baldwin, WR, Pittsburgh
27. Baltimore Ravens** — Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado
28. New Orleans Saints (via New England) — Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama
29. Chicago Bears — Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin
30. New York Jets — Muhammad Wilkerson, DT, Temple
31. Pittsburgh Steelers — Cameron Heyward, DE, Ohio State
32. Green Bay Packers — Derek Sherrod, OT, Mississippi State

  • Kansas City swapped places with Baltimore as a result of the Ravens failing to get their pick in a time.

Stay tuned here and at Behind the Steel Curtain for more 2011 NFL Draft updates and analysis throughout tonight, tomorrow, and the remainder of the weekend.

Go Steelers!

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