Defensive End - Adrian Clayborn
Tampa Bay Buccaneers first overall pick.
The 2011 NFL Draft was the 76th installment of the annual NFL Draft. Like the 2010 draft, the 2011 draft was held at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, New York, over three days: this year, the first round took place on Thursday, April 28, 2011; the second and third rounds took place on Friday, April 29; with the final four rounds on Saturday, April 30, 2011.
The Carolina Panthers, who had the worst record for the 2010 NFL season at 2–14, had the right to the first selection in each round of the draft. With the first pick the Panthers selected Auburn University quarterback Cam Newton, who was the 2010 Heisman Trophy winner.
A second Heisman Trophy winner, running back Mark Ingram Jr. from Alabama was selected by New Orleans late in the first round. This was the eleventh draft which included multiple Heisman winners, and the first time ever that it has occurred in consecutive drafts (Sam Bradford and Tim Tebow in 2010). Five of the first six picks played college football in the Southeastern Conference (SEC).
For the second consecutive year—and the third time in NFL history—the top two selections of the draft won Offensive and Defensive Rookie of the Year awards, respectively.
The top two picks in the draft, Cam Newton and Denver linebacker Von Miller, played against each other in Super Bowl 50 on the teams that drafted them. This marked the first time that the top two picks in a single draft faced each other in the Super Bowl. The Broncos won, 24-10, with Miller winning Super Bowl MVP.
Teams were allowed ten minutes to make each selection in the first round, seven minutes per selection in the second round and five minutes in each of the subsequent rounds. The time allotment ran out for the Baltimore Ravens on their first round pick, allowing the Kansas City Chiefs to move up to the 26th pick and dropping the Ravens to the 27th pick.
It is considered one of the best drafts in recent years, with many players with Hall of Fame level talent including 3-time Defensive Player of the Year J. J. Watt, 2015 NFL MVP Cam Newton, Super Bowl 50 MVP Von Miller, 2015 receiving yards leader Julio Jones, and perennial All-Pro players such as A. J. Green, Richard Sherman, Tyron Smith, and Patrick Peterson.
Despite an ongoing labor dispute between league owners and players over a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA), a provision in the expired CBA ensured that this draft would still take place, despite the fact that the owners had imposed a lockout to prevent the start of the league year. Fans in attendance at the draft expressed their displeasure with the lockout by booing NFL commissioner Roger Goodell during the event and chanting "We want football."
Due to the labor situation and the lockout, franchises were not able to trade players for draft selections (trades involving only selections were permitted), and were unable to sign or even contact drafted or undrafted players until the lockout was lifted. Because of the lockout, the Panthers could not sign or even negotiate with their first draft pick before the draft began, as other teams have done in years past.
The restriction on trading players extended to players selected in this draft—teams were unable to swap any player once selected, e.g. as happened in 2004 when the San Diego Chargers and New York Giants completed a draft day trade involving Eli Manning and Philip Rivers who had been selected first and fourth respectively. In addition, with no agreement in place between owners and players mandating future drafts, teams were advised by the league that any trades involving future draft picks would be made at the teams' "own risk". This warning did not dissuade several teams from making trades involving future selections.
The National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) considered plans to dissuade potential prospects from attending the draft, but a record 25 potential draftees attended the event, including Von Miller, who was one of the named plaintiffs in the players' antitrust lawsuit against the league.
A record 56 underclassmen announced their intention to forgo their remaining NCAA eligibility and declare themselves eligible to be selected in the draft. Of the 56 eligible underclassmen, 43 (or 76.8%) were drafted.
The selection of Newton, a junior, marked the third straight draft where the first overall selection was an underclassman. Since non-seniors were first eligible to be drafted in 1990, fourteen first overall picks ( including six of the last seven) have been players who have entered the draft early. Eight of the first ten players chosen in this draft were non-seniors, which broke the record of six set in 1997 and matched in 2006. Jake Locker and Von Miller were the only two seniors among the first ten draftees.
The Buccaneers picked alternately 20th and 19th through the draft. They traded a 2012 4th round pick to Philadelphia Eagles to trade picks in the 4th round. They traded a 6th round selection to Philadelphia Eagles in 2010 for Wide reveiver Reggie Brown. Buccaneers traded a 5th round pick in 2010 to Kansas City Chiefs for Defensive end Alex Magee and gained an additional 6th round selection in return. The second 7th round selection was a compensatory pick.
Click Any Year Here To Review The Entire NFL Draft & Notable Undrafted Players
|C||Center||CB||Cornerback||DB||Defensive back||DE||Defensive end|
|DL||Defensive lineman||DT||Defensive tackle||FB||Fullback||FS||Free safety|
|LB||Linebacker||LS||Long snapper||OT||Offensive Tackle||OL||Offensive lineman|
|NT||Nose tackle||P||Punter||PR||Punt returner||QB||Quarterback|
|RB||Running back||S||Safety||SS||Strong safety||TB||Tailback|
|TE||Tight end||WR||Wide receiver|
Notable Undrafted Players
|Original NFL team||Player||Pos.||College||Conf.||Notes|
|Carolina Panthers||Byron Bell||OT||New Mexico||MWC||Starter at left tackle of Panthers & Titans|
|Chicago Bears||Mario Addison||DE||Troy||Sun Belt||Sack leader|
|Dallas Cowboys||Dan Bailey||K||Oklahoma State||Big 12||Starter for Cowboys|
|Dallas Cowboys||Kai Forbath||K||UCLA||Pac-10||Starter for Redskins, Saints & Vikings|
|Dallas Cowboys||Chris Jones||P||Carson–Newman||SAC||Starting punter Cowboys|
|Denver Broncos||Chris Harris Jr.||CB||Kansas||Big 12||3× Pro Bowl, 3× All Pro, Super Bowl|
|New Orleans Saints||Isa Abdul-Quddus||FS||Fordham||Patriot||Safety for Saints, Lions & Dolphins|
|New York Giants||Larry Donnell||TE||Grambling State||SWAC|
|Oakland Raiders||Sterling Moore||CB||SMU||C-USA|
|Philadelphia Eagles||Cedric Thornton||DE||Southern Arkansas||Gulf South|
|San Diego Chargers||Patrick DiMarco||FB||South Carolina||SEC||2x Pro Bowl|
|San Francisco 49ers||Chris Hogan||WR||Monmouth University||NEC||Receiver for Patriots Super Bowl 51|
|Seattle Seahawks||Doug Baldwin||WR||Stanford||Pac-10|
|St. Louis Rams||Jacob McQuaide||LS||Ohio State||Big Ten||Pro Bowl|
Hall of Famers
- No player selected in this draft has yet been inducted into the Professional Football Hall of Fame. (If we've missed someone please advise)