2011 NFL Draft: 10 Years Later

Feb 7, 2016; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) has his pass knocked down by Denver Broncos outside linebacker Von Miller (58) during the fourth quarter in Super Bowl 50 at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

A look back at the 2011 NFL Draft.

Pro Bowlers

31 total Pro Bowlers were drafted. Another 6 Pro Bowlers went undrafted.

Pro Bowlers breakdown

  • All of picks 1-7
  • 16 first rounders (half)
  • 4 second rounders
  • 3 third rounders
  • 3 fourth rounders
  • 2 fifth rounders
  • 3 sixth rounders

Undrafted Pro Bowlers – Dan Bailey, Chris Harris Jr, Nick Bellore, Patrick DiMarco, Doug Baldwin, Jacob McQuaide

Super Bowl Impact

Panthers drafted Cam Newton #1. Newton was awesome for the Panthers for a long time. He won league MVP in 2015 and led the Panthers to the Super Bowl that year. They lost to the Broncos, and 2011’s #2 pick Von Miller.

Until 2020, Von Miller had been the only Broncos’ first round pick to make a Pro Bowl. Bradley Chubb achieved the honor last season. Miller is likely entering his final season in Denver in 2021.

LB Malcolm Smith is the most notable 7th round pick (#242 overall). Smith was named MVP of Super Bowl XLVIII, when the Seahawks beat the Broncos. That Seahawks team included 2011 draftees Richard Sherman, Byron Maxwell, KJ Wright and Doug Baldwin was undrafted.

Richard Sherman was drafted with the 154th overall pick, in the 5th round. He is a 3x First-team All Pro, who had made 5 Pro Bowls and been to 3 Super Bowls, winning one with the Seahawks. He was part of the 49ers when they lost to Chiefs in Super Bowl 54.

At #10, Jaguars drafted QB Blaine Gabbert, who helped Tampa Bay win a Super Bowl in 2020. “Help” may be a strong word, but as a former top 10 pick, I’m sure he was a great mentor to the former 6th round pick that started for the Bucs. 10 years later, Jaguars plan to draft another QB, this time at #1 (and this time he won’t be a total bust).

Legends Moving on in 2021

After 10 years in Cincinnati, Bengals and AJ Green finally moved on from each other. Green is second all-time in franchise history in catches, yards, and touchdowns (trailing Chad Johnson in all 3 categories).

Green signed with the Arizona Cardinals, who moved on from Patrick Peterson after 10 years. Peterson signed with the Vikings.

Cardinals also signed JJ Watt, a 3x Defensive Player of the Year, who was drafted by the Texans 11th overall.

Dolphins drafted center Mike Pouncey #15. He announced his retirement shortly after the 2020 season.

Legends Staying Put

Falcons moved up to #6 to draft Julio Jones, largely considered the best WR in football 10 years later.

Cowboys will draft #10 in 2021. It’s their third time picking top 10 since 2010, with Tyron Smith being the first one at #9 in 2011.

Jason Kelce was drafted with the 191st pick in the 6th round. The former Cincinnati Bearcats center has been a constant for the Eagles offensive line and long been the best center in the NFL. He was a big part of the team’s Super Bowl 52 winning season.

The Rest

Gabbert and Newton, represent 2 of the 4 QBs drafted in the first round. The other two are long gone from the NFL – Jake Locker and Christian Ponder.

Bengals drafted Andy Dalton 35th overall. Dalton enters 2021 as QB1 with the Chicago Bears.

Other notable QBs include Colin Kaepernick (#36) and Tyrod Taylor (#180).

Ravens picked 27th and Saints picked 28th. That’s the order in which both teams pick in 2021. Ravens took CB Jimmy Smith and Saints selected RB Mark Ingram.

Ingram is one of two college football Heisman Trophy winners to be in this draft, with Cam Newton the other.

Packers drafted OT Derek Sherod #32. Following 2011, Packers drafted a defensive guy 8 straight years, a streak that was snapped in 2020 with the pick of QB Jordan Love.

Add Kyle Rudolph to the list of guys who, after 10 years, left the team that drafted them in 2011. Rudolph left the Vikings to sign with Giants.

Cowboys drafted RB DeMarco Murray in the 3rd round (#71 overall). He was the NFL’s Offensive Player of the Year in 2014, and is now the Oklahoma Sooners RB Coach.

Mike is an alum of the University of Cincinnati and the ultimate sports nerd.

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