Now that Clemson defensive end Da'Quan Bowers has worked out, the scenarios that could unfold during the 2011 NFL Draft are becoming slightly more clear. Of course, no one really knows what will happen April 28-30. But it's the time of year to have fun guessing, and I have decided to finally join the party. Here are my predictions for the top-10 picks:
1. Carolina Panthers -- Auburn QB Cam Newton
2. Denver Broncos -- Alabama DT Marcell Dareus
3. Buffalo Bills -- Texas A&M LB Von Miller
4. Cincinnati Bengals -- Georgia WR A.J. Green
5. Arizona Cardinals -- Missouri QB Blaine Gabbert
6. Browns -- LSU CB Patrick Peterson
Explanation: The Browns' most pressing needs are at defensive line and wide receiver, and almost every national analyst has them plugging one of those holes in the first round. But Browns General Manager Tom Heckert wants to pick the best player available, and some think Peterson is the top prospect in this year's draft. Sure, the Browns chose cornerback Joe Haden with the seventh overall pick last year, but Heckert and Browns President Mike Holmgren have said the team could use more corners. If there weren't so many concerns about Bowers' knee -- Pro Football Weekly draft analyst Nolan Nawrocki said some teams worry that Bowers will need microfracture surgery -- I would have placed him in this slot. Alabama wide receiver Julio Jones is another candidate here, but he recently had surgery to repair a stress fracture in his foot. After their second-round pick on running back Montario Hardesty, who had a history of medical problems coming out of the University of Tennessee, backfired last season, the Browns will probably shy away from players with injury concerns early in the draft. They also could let North Carolina defensive end Robert Quinn, who would be an ideal pass rusher in the Browns' new 4-3 defense, slide because he missed all of last season due to an NCAA suspension. For the record, in their most recent mock drafts, Nawrocki has the Browns taking Dareus, and Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay of ESPN have them taking Jones and Quinn, respectively.
7. San Francisco 49ers -- Nebraska CB Prince Amukamara
8. Tennessee Titans -- Auburn DT Nick Fairley
9. Dallas Cowboys -- Wisconsin DE J.J. Watt
10. Washington Redskins -- North Carolina DE Robert Quinn
Now it's your turn. E-mail your name, city and state, along with your predictions for the top-10 picks to email@example.com, and explain why you think the Browns will take a specific route. I'll post the best submissions on this blog.