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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!

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