The 2010 NFL is only two weeks away.
Labeled as “the deepest draft in years” this is a critical junction for every NFL franchise as their draft boards are beginning to clarify, even though nobody can really get a handle on the order of players that will be selected.
Recently we’ve seen a phenomenal Pro Day performance from Sam Bradford, which probably makes him as sure of a thing to go to the Rams as we have. Also the Redskins traded for Donovan McNabb, which solidifies their QB issues and removes them from making a move for Bradford or drafting Jimmy Clausen. Their focus is 100% on drafting an offensive lineman. That’s basically all we know at this point.
I’ll take another shot at projecting the 1st round in the 2010 NFL Draft in my 5th mock of the off season.
And away we go….
- St. Louis Rams: Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma- The Rams just released Marc Bulger and I don’t think it signaled that they are handing the starting job over to Kyle Boller. Scouts left Bradford’s pro day amazed with what they saw, which was probably the nail in the coffin for the Rams to take the former Heisman Trophy winner in the draft.
- Detroit Lions: Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska- Once tabbed the “best player in the draft” Suh now could find himself slipping a little further even this in the draft. Some teams have Gerald McCoy ranked above Suh, but I believe that when the clock is winding down for the Lions, Suh will be their man.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneer’s: Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma- I’m sure that no team has pulled harder for Sam Bradford than the Bucs. All they needed was for someone (Bradford in this case) to get picked ahead of Suh and McCoy to enable one of these nasty DT’s to slip to them at #3. The Bucs end up with McCoy and get ready to fill some other wholes with multiple picks in the 2nd round.
- Washington Redskins: Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma State- No longer are the Redskins looking at QB’s in the 1st round after the recent trade for Donovan McNabb. Now the ‘skins must find some protection for McNabb and that’s Okung, the best tackle in this year’s draft. Don’t be surprised if the Redskins move back in the draft to acquire extra picks, they only have one pick in the first three rounds.
- Kansas City Chiefs: Bryan Bulaga, OT, Iowa- It’s a tough decision here for the Chiefs. Play it safe and take address the OL with Bulaga or take budding superstar safety Eric Berry. I think they play it safe and look to protect their investment at QB.
- Seattle Seahawks: Trent Williams, OT, Oklahoma- This would make three straight OT’s taken in the draft. It’s not that this year’s crop of tackles is that spectacular, it’s just that this is the second most important position on the football next to the QB. With Pete Carroll back in the NFL, I think he plays it safe with his first of two 1st round picks.
- Cleveland Browns: Eric Berry, S, Tennessee- The Ravens have Ed Reed, the Steelers have Troy Polamalu, and now the Browns get Berry. Jimmy Clausen makes sense for a team that has Jake Delhomme penciled in as their starter for 2010, but Berry is a phenomenal talent. The only reason why he slips is because of his position. Berry is probably the surest thing in the draft.
- Oakland Raiders: Bruce Campbell, OT, Maryland- I don’t think there’s any question that the Raiders take Campbell. Year after year they take the draft’s best athlete, not best football player. If you use the Raiders draft philosophy and draft the best player from the Combine, then Campbell is their man.
- Buffalo Bills: Anthony Davis, OT, Rutgers- The O-lineman continue to go early and the Bills must take a tackle no matter what. The Bills need a QB at some point in the draft, but taking Clausen and placing him behind their swiss cheese OL would be a nightmare and something Clausen may never be able to rebound from. You got to have that line in place before you put a young QB back there.
- Jacksonville Jaguars: Joe Haden, CB, Florida- I think Haden rises back up a little after his stock to a hit after the Combine. The Jags need a “shutdown” corner and in a division with Peyton Manning and Matt Schaub, the Jags would be smart to take Haden.
- Denver Broncos: Rolando McClain, LB, Alabama- The Broncos need a MLB and McClain is the best on available this year. If it wasn’t for the “baggage” that comes with Dez Bryant, than I’m positive that he’d be the pick here, but there’s no way Josh McDaniels is going down that road again. McClain isn’t going to be a superstar, but he’s not going to hurt your team either.
- Miami Dolphins: Derrick Morgan, DE/OLB, Georgia Tech- The Dolphins must find a way to get more pressure on the QB and that’s what Morgan does. It appears that Jason Taylor is once again leaving the ‘phins, so finding that edge rusher makes sense, especially since they filled their gaping whole at MLB by signing Karlos Dansby earlier.
- San Francisco 49ers: Mike Iupati,OL, Idaho- Lineman continue to fly early and with the 49ers having two 1st round picks this year,I think they’ll play it safe with this pick. Iupati will help them from day 1 at guard, but he maybe able to switch to tackle. It’s not a sexy pick by any means, but it should be a productive one by San Fran.
- Seattle Seahawks: C.J. Spiller, RB, Clemson- The ‘hawks need to address their RB’s. Julius Jones and Justin Forset are not the answers and they’re certainly not going to make life any easier for Charlie Whitehurst or Matt Haselbeck. Spiller is an explosive playmaker and can make a difference as both a rusher and a returner. Pete Carroll finds himself a Reggie Bush-type player in the NFL.
- New York Giants: Sean Weatherspoon, LB, Missouri- I’m sure the Giants hope that McClain falls to them at #15, but Weatherspoon fits the bill as a versatile LB too. I see Weatherspoon as a future star and a great leader on the defense. He can play outside, he can play inside (he’ll need to add some weight to play ILB).
- Tennessee Titans: Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, South Florida- JPP is an athletic beast. He’s physically off the charts, but limited on the field. I think the Titans can find a way to make it all work in their favor as they have a history of drafting great defensive lineman. JPP’s ceiling is as high as they come this year.
- San Francisco 49ers: Sergio Kindle, LB, Texas- Back on the clock the 49ers take an explosive pass rusher in Sergio Kindle. Kindle is fluid in everything he does and has a nose for making the big play. Adding a playmaker like Kindle with a defense that already has Patrick Willis is big step in the right direction for Mike Singletary.
- Pittsburgh Steelers: Dan Williams, DT, Tennessee- The Steelers need to get younger behind Casey Hampton on the line and Williams is a force. We all know that you must have a beast at NT in the 3-4, and Hampton isn’t solely going to cut it. Williams is a value pick here for the Steelers.
- Atlanta Falcons: Everson Griffin, DE/OLB, USC- The Falcons need to address their defense and Griffin could fit the bill. Atlanta and John Abraham could use some extra pressure getting after the QB from the edge. Griffin can do a little of everything and that’s why the Falcons take him.
- Houston Texans: Kyle Wilson, CB, Boise State- Dunta Robinson is gone and the Texans must find his replacement. Kyle Wilson is tough as nails and could be an improvement over the recently departed and injury prone Robinson. The Texans need a RB too, but CB is their biggest whole.
- Cincinnati Bengals: Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State- I once had Bryant going as high as 3rd in the draft, but how can a team take a player that forgot his cleats to his own pro day? C’mon Dez, your cleats? Who else would take Bryant than the Bengals as they keep to their philosophy of “endless chances”. Bryant would be a great fit for the Bengals besides the baggage, because they need another WR next to Ochocinco and I think Chad could help mentor Bryant, as scary as that sounds.
- New England Patriots: Jared Odrick, DT, Penn State- The Pats could use some youth on their D-line and need someone that can pressure the QB. Odrick fits the Richard Seymour mold and could be a monster on the end next to Vince Wilfork.
- Green Bay Packers: Charles Brown, OT, USC- No other QB was hit more than Aaron Rodgers and even being on his back for most of the season, Rodgers had a great season. The Pack just resigned Chad Clifton,but I don’t think he’s their long term solution. Protecting Rodgers is priority #1 for the Packers this draft.
- Philadelphia Eagles: Brandon Graham, DE, Michigan- Get used to hearing “the Eagles are now on the clock” over the three day draft, because the Eagles are stock piled with picks as they usually are this time of year. Graham would be a great late round steal for the Eagles and give them a player that I think is being over looked. Graham in Philly would be dangerous for the rest of the league.
- Baltimore Ravens: Earl Thomas, S, Texas- First of all let me say that I think the Ravens should move back in this draft, UNLESS they are able to land a player like Thomas, Kyle Wilson, or possibly Weatherspoon. Even with Jermaine Gresham and Demaryius Thomas still on the board, the Ravens need to focus on the defensive side of the ball. Thomas is a ball hawk and would be the perfect heir to Ed Reed. I’ve seen Thomas play multiple times in college and have always walked away impressed and if he slipped to #25 the Ravens would have to take him. But remember, I’d trade this pick and move back a few spots to get as many picks as I could in this VERY deep draft. Moving back and gaining an extra pick or two would allow the Ravens as chance to add a CB (Devin McCourty, Kareem Jackson, Patrick Robinson, or Donovan Warren) and TE (Aaron Hernandez, Jimmy Graham, or Ed Dickson), two of their biggest needs, but also possibly a WR (Golden Tate, Arrelious Benn, or Demaryius Thomas) and/or DL (Terrance Cody, Carlos Dunlap, Alex Carrington, or Corey Wooton).
- Arizona Cardinals: Jermain Gresham, TE, Oklahoma- Matt Leinart could use a sure handed TE and Gresham is the cream of the crop. The Cards have tons of weapons and never really relied on TE’s in the past, but I could see their offense being a little less risky with Leinart under center.
- Dallas Cowboys: Taylor Mays, S, USC- Mays would bring the “Big” back to “Big D” for sure. Mays isn’t great in coverage, but he is a big hitter and having a missle like him in the secondary could be to exciting for Jerry Jones to pass up.
- San Diego Chargers: Ryan Matthews, RB, Fresno State- It’s the changing of the guard in the back field for the Chargers as LT is now a Jet. Matthews is the only true every down back in the draft and the Chargers know that diminutive Darren Sproles can’t solely handle the load.
- New York Jets: Carlos Dunlap, DE, Florida- In Rex Ryan’s hands Dunlap is scary. Dunlap has immense physical tools, but has hit some off the field road blocks. If Dunlap falls it will remind me of when Calais Campbell slipped late to the Cardinals a few years back and now he’s become a big player for them.
- Minnesota Vikings: Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame- Remember the last time a Notre Dame QB slipped in the draft? I expect a similar Brady Quinn like situation to happen to Clausen, however I do think that somebody will trade up to get him before he falls this far. If there are no takers, the Vikings would be delighted to snatch Clausen and let him sit for a year.
- Indianapolis Colts: Maurkice Pouncey, G/C, Florida- Pouncey could be the best interior lineman in the draft, but because of his position he slips the end of the 1st round. The Colts need to upgrade their aging line and Pouncey would be a perfect fit.
- New Orleans Saints: Brian Price, UCLA, DT- It’s got to be defense for the Saints, but you never know with Sean Payton. Price would help that D-line create more pressure on the QB and we know that Gregg Williams loves to get after it. Ideally I think the Saints would like an edge rusher, but Price in the middle will help Will Smith be better on the outside.