The best draft analyst in the business has revealed his first big board, and it has a surprising name at the top.
Mike Mayock of NFL Network ranks Alabama defensive tackle Marcell Dareus as the best player in the 2011 Draft. Mayock stresses that his top-32 rankings, revealed on NFL.com, are not a Mock Draft.
14 defensive linemen are in the top-32, and 20 defensive players overall. Four other interesting notes from his rankings:
1. Linebacker Von Miller ranks second on Mayock’s list. Clearly, Mayock isn’t buying the Vernon Gholston comparisons.
2. Both wide receivers A.J. Green and Julio Jones crack Mayock’s top seven. Green is at No. 4.
3. Mayock continues to rank Jake Locker ahead of Cam Newton. Blaine Gabbert is Mayock’s No. 5 overall players, while Locker is No. 20 and Newton is No. 21. Again, this isn’t a Mock Draft.
4. Clemson defensive end Da’Quan Bowers is only ranked tenth on Mayock’s board. He’s worried that Bowers could be a bit of a one-year wonder.