Here’s Why the 2011 Batch is the Best NFL Draft Class in the Last Decade

Published 04/26/2021, 7:37 PM EDT


We are approaching the 2021 NFL Draft. This year’s landmark event will be held in Ohio, Cleveland, and will begin on April 29, 2021. Despite the COVID-19 crisis, players will be allowed to attend the draft which will be televised across 3 days.

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Recent reports confirmed commissioner Roger Goodell was vaccinated this month. He will now be able to hug the players who are selected, as is customary, during the process.

Jan 1, 2021; New Orleans, LA, USA; Clemson Tigers quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) attempts a pass against the Ohio State Buckeyes during the second half at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

A number of top young prospects including (but not limited to) Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields, De’Vonta Smith, Ja’Marr Chase, Penei Sewell, Patrick Surtain II, and others, will be up for grabs this summer.

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But in the build-up to D-Day let’s take a walk down memory lane and revisit arguably the best draft class from the last decade. The batch of 2011.

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Throwback to one of the most talented NFL Draft classes in league history

Auburn superstar Cam Newton was the obvious 1st overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. He remains arguably one of the greatest college football quarterbacks of all time. The Carolina Panthers bagged an absolute gem in the form of Newton who led them to the Super Bowl.

He also won the NFL MVP award in 2015. Having dealt with injuries in recent years, Newton is currently trying to prove his naysayers wrong while playing for the New England Patriots.

Texas A&M linebacker Von Miller was the 2nd pick in 2011. He went to Denver Broncos. After missing out on the 2020 season due to injury, Miller is eager to bounce back this season under coach Vic Fangio. Experienced WR AJ Green was drafted at #4 by Cincinnati Bengals. He joined Arizona Cardinals in the summer and will team up with veteran wideout DeAndre Hopkins in 2021.

The legendary Julio Jones (Atlanta Falcons) and Aldon Smith (San Francisco 49ers) were the next two picks that year. After acquiring Washington’s 1oth overall pick, the Jacksonville Jaguars drafted highly-rated QB, Blaine Gabbert. Next in line to get drafted was defensive end, JJ Watt.

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The 2-time NFL Defensive POTY left Houston Texans this summer. He moved to the Cardinals in one of the blockbuster moves of the offseason. Other star players drafted in 2011, include CB Patrick Peterson (Arizona Cardinals), OT Tyron Smith (Dallas Cowboys), DE Cameron Jordan (New Orleans Saints), and Cameron Hayward (Pittsburgh Steelers).

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Daniel Arambur

1594 articles

Daniel Arambur is an NFL writer and content strategist for EssentiallySports.With more than 1,000 articles, he is one of the senior writers in the NFL cohort at ES. A mass media graduate from the University of Mumbai, Daniel has found the perfect blend of vocation and passion in the sports content niche.

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