2011 Stock Lemon NFL Mock Draft: Picks 1-8

After weeks of teasing it, our 2011 Mock Draft has finally arrived... sort of. We'll roll this thing out into four easy parts of eight picks apiece, which, if our math is correct, should cover all 32 picks of the first round. So let's get to it!

1. Carolina Panthers: Cam Newton, QB, Auburn

2. Denver Broncos: Marcell Dareus, DE, Alabama

3. Buffalo Bills: Von Miller, LB, Texas A&M

4. Cincinnati Bengals: A.J. Green, WR, Georgia

5. Arizona Cardinals: Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri

6. Cleveland Browns: Da'Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson

7. San Francisco 49ers: Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU

8. Tennessee Titans: Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn

Looking at the top eight picks, there are a lot of pretty common sense moves in the bunch. Plenty of teams have a combination of need meeting best overall player, which could make the first eight relatively predictable. The biggest exception to that statement is the first overall pick. Cam Newton will not make a great quarterback in the NFL, but the Panthers need a quarterback and a ticket seller, and for a little while, Newton will be both in the NFL.

The Bengals could really swing things at the four-spot. We went with best player available for them, A.J. Green, which complements their need for a wideout. But let's face it, they have a need for everything. Patrick Peterson could be an option there, as he is one of the top three players in the draft but could slide all the way down to San Fran at seven, which we have him doing.

Despite concerns over Bowers' knees, we like the Browns to take the lineman at six, addressing a huge need for them. He is still the clear-cut No. 2 lineman behind Dareus, injuries and all.

That does it for the first of four installments for Mock Lemon, as we continue to refer to ourselves in hopes of it catching on.

Picks 9-16 will be up later this week, so be on the lookout for our next installment of our 2011 NFL Mock Draft!