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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Tyron Smith Still Projected To Be A Top Ten Pick

For so long it felt like it might never come, but on Thursday, the 2011 NFL Draft will finally be upon us. As it gets closer, the amount of information and speculation we receive about it has increased exponentially. SB Nation just released the newest edition of the 2011 NFL Mock Draft, and they still have Tyron Smith going with the No. 9 overall pick, but to a different team than they have had him going to in the past.

This edition of the Mock Draft has some trades built in, and one is the Cowboys trading up to the No. 5 pick and the Cardinals getting No. 9 (among other compensation) in return. They have the Cardinals spending that first round pick on Smith. Here is their rationale.

After moving down from No. 5, the Cardinals missed out on quality at the rush linebacker position, but can address that area with one of their two second-round picks. Smith is a potentially elite left tackle prospect, and OT is a really underrated need for the Cardinals.

I think the Cardinals would be kind of disappointed to walk away from this draft with Smith if they had a chance to take LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson or Missouri QB Blaine Gabbert if they just stay put. I think that if Gabbert is on the board, this trade would not be made. Having said that, I think Smith is still a good fit to go somewhere in this area, no matter who is drafting.

The first round of the 2011 NFL Draft starts at 8 p.m. (ET) on Thursday, April 28, and SB Nation has everything you need to prepare: NFL mock drafts, draft projections, scouting reports, the full NFL draft schedule and more. Check it out at SB Nation's NFL Draft page and our NFL Draft blog, Mocking the Draft.