NFL Draft: Atlanta Falcons Pick No. 27 On April 28

The 2011 NFL Draft begins April 28. For more NFL Draft talk, visit Mocking The Draft.

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2011 NFL Draft Order: Patriots Loss Gives Falcons Pick No. 27

The New England Patriots’ surprising loss to the New York Jets is good news for Atlanta Falcons fans, and not just because it means losing in the divisional round was the cool thing for No. 1 seeds to do this year. Because of the way the NFL Draft order works, this actually gives the Falcons a slightly better spot.

Since the Patriots have the best record of any team that lost in the divisional round, they’ll pick No. 28. The Falcons would’ve had that spot if the Pats had won, but now they’ll get to pick No. 27. That’s set in stone unless Thomas Dimitroff elects to trade that pick away.

It doesn’t make a whole lot of difference, but it’s at least something more to work with. The most disappointing playoff run possible at least ends with the best possible result for April.

Here’s a draft order that could use an update to account for playoff losses. We’ll have a completely redone draft order tomorrow, I believe.

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2011 NFL Draft: Andrew Luck Staying At Stanford, According To Report

Stanford Cardinal QB Andrew Luck will return to school for the 2011 football season instead of declaring for the 2011 NFL Draft, according to a Tim Kawakami tweet. Kawakami is reputable, and he’s citing Mercury News colleague Jon Wilner, but still it’s just a tweet, so take it for what it’s worth.

Luck staying in school would change things significantly for the Carolina Panthers, who’ve already set their hearts on Luck according to some. This would improve the odds of Georgia Bulldogs WR A.J. Green, Clemson Tigers DE Da’Quan Bowers, LSU Tigers CB Patrick Peterson, and uhh pretty much the entire rest of the SEC at going No. 1 overall.

Other quarterback options for the Panthers, including Arkansas Razorbacks QB Ryan Mallett and Auburn Tigers QB Cam Newton, aren’t expected to be top-10 picks as of yet, though who knows how Newton will be looking after the BCS National Championship Game and a round of workouts.

Update: CSN Bay Area is confirming the news.

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2011 NFL Draft Order: Panthers, Broncos, Bills Lead The Way, Falcons Could Pick Last

The order for the 2011 NFL Draft is now mostly set, other than the 12 playoff teams whose positioning will be determined over the next month. All four NFC South teams feature noteworthy placements: the Panthers get to pick first, while the Bucs will be the last non-playoff team to pick. Among non-division winners, the Saints would pick second-to-last ahead of the Ravens if the draft were held today, while the Falcons would have the second-to-last overall pick.

Either the Saints or Falcons could wind up picking as low as No. 32.

It’s hilarious that Pete Carroll’s terrible Seahawks team, which has a ton of areas at which it needs improvement, has to pick after the Bucs, who are only going to get better as their young nucleus matures. Win forever! Not so hilarious: the NFL’s best team gets to pick twice thanks to the Raiders, but at least Oakland didn’t give up a top-five pick as is custom.

1. Carolina Panthers (2-14)
2. Denver Broncos (4-12)
3. Buffalo Bills (4-12)
4. Cincinnati Bengals (4-12)
5. Arizona Cardinals (5-11)
6. Cleveland Browns (5-11)
7. San Francisco 49ers (6-10)
8. Tennessee Titans (6-10)
9. Dallas Cowboys (6-10)
10. Washington Redskins (6-10)
11. Houston Texans (6-10)
12. Minnesota Vikings (6-10)
13. Detroit Lions (6-10)
14. Miami Dolphins (7-9)
15. St. Louis Rams (7-9)
16. Jacksonville Jaguars (8-8)
17. New England Patriots (via Oakland Raiders) (8-8)
18. San Diego Chargers (9-7)
19. New York Giants (10-6)
20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (10-6)
21. Seattle Seahawks (7-9)*
22. Indianapolis Colts (10-6)*
23. Green Bay Packers (10-6)*
24. Kansas City Chiefs (10-6)*
25. Philadelphia Eagles (10-6)*
26. New York Jets (11-5)*
27. New Orleans Saints (11-5)*
28. Chicago Bears (11-5)*
29. Baltimore Ravens (12-4)*
30. Pittsburgh Steelers (12-4)*
31. Atlanta Falcons (13-3)*
32. New England Patriots (14-2)*

  • - Playoff team.
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