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2011 NFL Draft Projections: Andrew Luck Drops Out

Here's the first NFL mock draft I've seen since Andrew Luck announced he was staying at Stanford. Essentially, the Carolina Panthers had more or less said they would take Luck with the first overall pick if he were available. Now he's not, and this mock has them taking Georgia wideout A.J. Green instead. (Mocking The Draft thinks the top three are Green, Clemson's Da'Quan Bowers and Auburn's Nick Fairley.)

This looks like a bummer for Carolina in several ways - Green is one of the top talents in the draft, but most mocks before this had him at No. 3, No. 4 or even lower. With Luck gone, there isn't a consensus top talent anymore. Also, the Panthers already expressed their intention to pick Luck, and now they could take a player who doesn't even play the same position, which means they'll be stuck with their current quarterback, Jimmy Clausen. I wonder how Clausen must feel about how the Panthers feel about him.

Anyway, this draft unsurprisingly has the Steelers taking Mike Pouncey with their first-rounder, with Nate Solder and Gabe Carimi the only offensive linemen going before him. It also has Pitt's Jon Baldwin going to the Chicago Bears with the 29th overall pick. The top offensive line prospects (Solder, Carimi, Pouncey, Tyron Smith, Stefen Wisniewski, Derek Sherrod, Anthony Castonzo, DeMarcus Love, not necessarily in that order) are placed so differently from draft to draft, and it's going to take a long while, maybe until draft day, before we ever get much of a handle on what the Steelers will do. I think Pouncey is a pretty good default choice until then, though.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.