2011 NFL Draft class: Greatest ever or wasted potential?
The 2011 NFL Draft Class had a ton of stars in it. It was led by future NFL MVP Cam Newton and also included Super Bowl 50 MVP Von Miller right after him.
There were potential Hall of Famers and Pro Bowlers littered throughout this class. It's widely considered one of the best of all time.
Is this the case, though? Just 12 years after this draft concluded, there are a lot of stars, but there were also some duds. Was this class full of wasted potential?
Breaking down the 2011 NFL Draft Class
It's hard to find a better one-two duo in an NFL Draft Class than the one in 2011 which had Cam Newton go first overall to the Carolina Panthers and Von Miller to the Denver Broncos second overall.
Those two would meet in Super Bowl 50, when Miller got his revenge for not being the first pick.
They were followed by Marcel Dareus, who's not a future Hall of Famer but was absolutely a serviceable defensive lineman.
The next three picks were A.J. Green, Patrick Peterson and Julio Jones, a couple of All-Pros and a potential Hall of Famer.
Also in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft Class were these players:
- Tyron Smith (ninth overall to Dallas Cowboys)
- J.J. Watt (11th overall to Houston Texans)
- Cameron Jordan (24th overall to New Orleans Saints)
- Mark Ingram (28th overall to New Orleans Saints)
- Cameron Heyward (31st overall to the Pittsburgh Steelers)
Outside of the first round, there were a lot of quality players taken. Andy Dalton landed with the Cincinnati Bengals. Colin Kaepernick was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers.
Justin Houston was a third-round pick for the Kansas City Chiefs. Marcus Cannon was snapped up by the New England Patriots in the fifth round. Jason Kelce, who's poised to play in the Super Bowl this weekend, was a sixth-round pick for the Philadelphia Eagles.
This is absolutely one of the best draft classes of all time, but it's probably not the best. Longevity matters, and there are very few active players left from this class.
However, it's hard to beat the 2011 NFL Draft Class, which had an MVP, a Super Bowl MVP, a Defensive Player of the Year and so many other award-winners.
There are a couple of surefire Hall of Famers like J.J. Watt and there are other possible Hall of Famers like Cam Newton. It might get a little better than that with some draft classes, but not by much.