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Todd McShay Projects 2011 NFL Draft Day Surprise In Final Mock Draft

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Well, I was wrong. There is one last mock draft to report. Mel Kiper and Mike Mayock have released their mock draft projections and we looked at those, but ESPN draft expert Todd McShay had his draft day mock published and his projections are a bit of a surprise, as he predicts that the Cardinals will make an unexpected selection at number five overall.

McShay's NFL mock draft (you will need ESPN Insider access to view the full first round) has the first four picks going as expected. The Carolina Panthers will select Cam Newton. The Denver Broncos will take Von Miller. Marcell Dareus will go to the Buffalo Bills and A.J. Green will land with the Cincinnati Bengals.

The first eyebrow-raising pick of the draft belongs to the Arizona Cardinals, who select a player out of Missouri, but not who you would expect. Instead of taking quarterback Blaine Gabbert, the Cardinals take DE/OLB Aldon Smith. McShay explains:

Smith played end in college but has the tools to move to outside linebacker in Arizona's 3-4 scheme and provide pass-rush help off the edge.

The crazy thing about these projections is that Patrick Peterson, who is perhaps the best prospect in the entire draft, falls all the way to number 11 and gets taken by the Houston Texans. Peterson has been almost a consensus choice for the Cardinals among writers, bloggers, reporters and other draft mockers.

Will Aldon Smith be the guy? We will find out tonight.