With the Redskins’ acquisition of Donovan McNabb, it’s a perfect time to update my mock draft. In my first mock, I had the Redskins taking Jimmy Clausen at No. 4, but with their need at quarterback being filled with the trade for McNabb, the dynamics in the top 10 have changed.
Here’s my second crack at predicting the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft.
(Side note: If I have the team selecting the same player as I did in my first mock, then my explanation of the pick will be the same in most occasions.)
1. St. Louis Rams: Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma
I have Nebraska’s Ndamukong Suh rated as the unquestioned best player in this year’s draft. (Well, I don’t have an official ranking per se, but in my head he’s No. 1.) But that doesn’t mean I think the Rams will take him. Teams usually get quirky about the No. 1 overall pick. They feel as though they have to match the contract with the position in order to justify the player they’re taking, which is completely backwards when you think about it. A team should mostly be concerned with taking the right player that matches their scheme. But I digress. Bradford is the top rated quarterback and the Rams have a major need at the position now that the ultra-brutal Marc Bulger has been released. The Rams feel as though they need to breathe some excitement into their dull franchise and taking Bradford should do the trick. Is he the right player? That’s debatable.
2. Detroit Lions: Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska
Their trade for DT Corey Williams kind of throws me off a little, but I still think that if Suh is available the Lions won’t pass on him. Jim Schwartz built one hell of a defense in Tennessee centered around Albert Haynesworth and he could view Suh the same way. He’s a difference-maker up front and regardless of whether or not he and Williams play the same position, if Suh is as good as I think he is then Schwartz will find a way to utilize him. Offensive tackle Russell Okung has been mentioned at this pick but again, if Suh is available I can’t see the Lions leaving him on the board.
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma
If the Rams wind up taking Bradford with the top pick, you might be able to hear the sounds of screams and jubilation coming from Tampa. That’s because the Bucs would love to land one of the two stud defensive tackles in this draft and if Bradford goes No. 1, then either Suh or McCoy would slip to Tampa here. Some people are down on McCoy after he only benched 225 pounds 23 times at the combine, but that’s not a justifiable reason for his stock to slip. A lot of defensive tackles are forced to shed weight for the combine and when they do, they lose strength in the process. Besides, not taking a player because of how he performed on the bench at the combine is ridiculous notion anyway. McCoy would be a great fit for the Bucs.
4. Washington Redskins: Trent Williams, OT, Oklahoma
Mock Draft 1.0 Pick: Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame
Our first change. After acquiring McNabb from Philadelphia, the Redskins’ biggest need now becomes protecting their new toy. While Oklahoma State’s Russell Okung is the top rated tackle on most draft boards, he isn’t a better fit than Williams in Mike Shanahan’s zone-blocking scheme. Williams is light on his feet, agile, and quick while moving laterally, which are all vital characteristics for an offensive lineman to possess when playing in the zone-blocking scheme. Okung is a terrific athlete as well, but can play tall at times and is more of a mauler than a technician.
5. Kansas City Chiefs: Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma State
The Chiefs sunk a ton of money into quarterback Matt Cassel last year, so it would be wise if they took the necessary steps to keep him upright. Okung is regarded by most to be the top offensive linemen in the draft, although he’s not necessary an elite prospect. Still, he’s a good all-around player that could play at either tackle position and would surely upgrade Kansas City’s under performing (that’s a kind way of saying “brutal”) offensive line.
6. Seattle Seahawks: Bryan Bulaga, OT, Iowa
Mock Draft 1.0 Pick: Eric Berry, S, Tennessee
The Seahawks could go in several directions here – including Berry, whom I had them taking in my first mock. But after acquiring Charlie Whitehurst from San Diego, Pete Carroll needs to rebuild the Seahawks’ offense from the inside out. That means drafting a mauler like Bulaga in the first round to help anchor the team’s struggling offensive line. Bulaga might not get past Kansas City at No. 5 seeing as how Chiefs’ GM Scott Pioli has a close relationship with Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz. But if he does, the Seahawks would be wise to pounce on him and fill the big void at their offensive tackle spot. If Bulaga goes one spot ahead of the Seahawks, Okung might be there for the taking.
7. Cleveland Browns: Eric Berry, S, Tennessee
Mock Draft 1.0 Pick: Joe Haden, CB, Florida
After trading for Sheldon Brown a couple of weeks ago, cornerback is no longer the Browns’ most pressing need. That would be safety, which they could address by selecting Berry with this pick. If he slips past the Seahawks at No. 6, I have a hard time believing that Mike Holmgren would pass on Berry, who could upgrade an already underrated Cleveland secondary immediately. Berry is the type of thumper that the Browns need to help in run support and over in the middle in coverage, a la Bob Sanders of the Colts.
8. Oakland Raiders: Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame
Mock Draft 1.0 Pick: Anthony Davis, OT, Rutgers
Ever since the Redskins traded for McNabb, I’ve been sounding off the Clausen-to-Oakland horns. But everything depends on whether or not Al Davis is ready to dump JaMarcus Russell, who may wind up being the biggest bust in NFL history. Clausen is NFL-ready after playing in Charlie Weis’ system at Notre Dame and has the swagger that Davis covets in his players. He’s also a student of the game, which is something Russell doesn’t have a clue about. If Davis mans up and cuts his losses with Russell, Clausen should be there for the taking at No. 8.
9. Buffalo Bills: Anthony Davis, OT, Rutgers
Mock Draft 1.0 Pick: Bryan Bulaga, OT, Iowa
With Bulaga coming off the board at No. 6, Davis becomes the best offensive tackle on the board. With the selections of Eric Wood and Andy Levitre in last year’s draft, the Bills showed that they are committed to rebuilding their offensive line. The Bills have needs in other areas (WR, QB, etc.), they could pair Davis up with Wood and Levitre for the foreseeable future and then address other positions later in the draft. If they’re feeling frisky, Dez Bryant is a possibility here, as is Jimmy Clausen if he gets past Oakland at No. 8.
10. Jacksonville Jaguars: Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech
Mock Draft 1.0 Pick: Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State
I’ve decided that Bryant was a little risky for the Jaguars at No. 10 and a more sensible choice for them would be either a linebacker or a defensive end at this pick. After signing free agent Aaron Kampman and re-signing Reggie Hayward in the offseason, I was leaning towards Jacksonville taking linebacker Rolando McClain with this pick. However, Kampman and Hayward are both in their 30s now, so the Jags really didn’t do much to upgrade their defensive end position long-term. Plus, Hayward was only re-signed for one year and is coming off an injury-riddled 2009 season. Outside of Dez Bryant, Morgan is arguably the best player left on the board and is more of a long-term solution at defensive end for Jacksonville. The Jags racked up a league-worst 14 sacks in ’09, so it doesn’t hurt for them to add as many pass rushers as they can.
11. Denver Broncos (from Chicago): Rolando McClain, LB, Alabama
It’s hard to predict what the Broncos will do on draft day without knowing whether or not Brandon Marshall will be traded. If he is, then Denver might select Dez Bryant here, seeing as how they would be completely devoid of offensive playmakers without Marshall. But with Marshall still on the roster, McClain is the pick and I think he’s a perfect fit at inside linebacker in new offensive coordinator Mike Nolan’s scheme. McClain is versatile enough to play either inside or outside in a 3-4 or 4-3 scheme given his size (6’4”, 258 pounds) and speed (he runs a 4.6 40-yard dash), and should be the first linebacker taken in April.
12. Miami Dolphins: Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State
Mock Draft 1.0 Pick: Jason Pierre-Paul, DE/OLB, South Florida
There’s a lot of speculation that Bryant will slip into the 20s on draft day, but I think that’s a ridiculous notion. First of all, his “troubled past” seems to be overblown and secondly, not too many teams are going to pass on a player of his talent. If Randy Moss (who was much more of a risk) didn’t make it past pick No. 21, neither will Bryant. The Dolphins have a major need for pass rushers, but Bill Parcells can shop for those later in the draft. What Miami needs most is more playmaking talent on the offensive side of the ball. Ted Ginn Jr. might be a dangerous kick returner, but it doesn’t appear that he’ll live up to expectations and become a true No. 1 wideout. Bryant has all the tools to become Chad Henne’s go-to guy and with Parcells overseeing things, the Oklahoma State product will be kept in line.
13. San Francisco 49ers: Joe Haden, CB, Florida
Mock Draft 1.0 Pick: Trent Williams, OT, Oklahoma
With Williams off the board, I don’t think the 49ers will reach on an offensive tackle such as Maryland’s Bruce Campbell, who carries a second round grade. Instead, with Haden falling out of the top 10 in this mock, he could potentially upgrade a secondary that offers marginal talent after Nate Clements, who has lost a step in the past two years. Haden is an outstanding playmaker and I would be surprised if he fell out of the top 15. Top flight cornerbacks don’t fall too far in the first round and considering Haden is the best of the bunch this year, he makes sense at this spot.
14. Seattle Seahawks (from Denver): Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, South Florida
Mock Draft 1.0 Pick: Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech
With Morgan off the board, the Seahawks take the next best defensive end in Pierre-Paul. Many people expect the Seahawks to address their offense with each of their first round picks, but they need to add a pass-rusher to help a depleted defense. Patrick Kerney isn’t getting any younger and his play has dramatically fallen off in each of the last two years. Pierre-Paul is an explosive athlete with a fantastic motor and might even be less of a risk than Morgan.
15. New York Giants: Brandon Spikes, LB, Florida
I know, I know – this would probably be a reach. But with McClain coming off the board at No. 11, Spikes makes sense for a couple of reasons. GM Jerry Reese has a history of drafting for need (see Aaron Ross and Kenny Phillips) and the Giants’ most pressing need right now is middle linebacker. Reese also likes players that were productive in college (again, see Ross and Phillips) and there’s no question Spikes (307 career tackles, 31.5 tackles for loss) was productive while at Florida. Yes, Spikes would be a bit of a reach here but with the team’s signing of safety Antrel Rolle, I believe Reese will target and fill the Giants’ most pressing need.
16. Tennessee Titans: Carlos Dunlap, DE, Florida
The Titans have a huge void at defensive end now that Kyle Vanden Bosch has signed with the Lions and Dunlap is the best defensive end on the board (although some would argue for Michigan’s Brandon Graham). The Titans’ pass defense struggled mightily in 2010, but part of that was because the team couldn’t generate an effective pass rush. After receiving a DUI before the Sugar Bowl this year, Dunlap’s character has been questioned. But there’s no denying his talent and if the Titans can look past his one big mistake, they could wind up with a great prospect with a high ceiling.
17. San Francisco 49ers: C.J. Spiller, RB, Clemson
There’s a possibility that Spiller won’t fall this far and there’s also a chance that the Niners could grab him at No. 13. But in this mock, everything works out perfectly for San Fran as Spiller falls. The Clemson product is a dynamic playmaker and could be a great complement to Frank Gore. The Niners could use him in a variety of ways, including lining him up in the slot and taking advantage of his excellent pass-catching abilities. He has durability issues and therefore shouldn’t be counted on to be a primary back, but that wouldn’t be a problem for the Niners with Gore already on the roster. Plus, Spiller would finally give San Fran the threat in the return game that it has sorely needed for years. The 49ers might also tab one of the best remaining offensive tackles at this spot too, especially if Spiller is off the board.
18. Pittsburgh Steelers: Mike Iupati, OG, Idaho
I realize this isn’t a very sexy pick, but the Steelers need a major upgrade on the interior of their offensive line. Right guard Trai Essex is as close to a disaster as you can get in both the run blocking and pass protection. In fact, there’s a good chance that as long as Iupati proves that he can chance his socks in the morning that the Steelers will trust him enough to start over Essex. While still a very raw prospect, Iupati has excellent size and has a huge frame with long arms. He’s an outstanding athlete with great mobility and explosion, and would immediately upgrade the Steelers’ run blocking.
19. Atlanta Falcons: Sean Weatherspoon, LB, Missouri
A lot of people expect the Falcons to take a pass-rusher with this pick after they signed free agent Dunta Robinson to upgrade their secondary. But even though former first round pick Jamaal Anderson has been a massive bust, the Falcons really like youngsters Kroy Biermann and Lawrence Sidbury and believe they will develop. If that indeed is the case, then outside linebacker would move to the top of Atlanta’s needs. Mike Peterson won’t play forever and while he’s a steady player, Stephen Nicholas isn’t the game-changer the Falcons want alongside middle linebacker Curtis Lofton. Weatherspoon, who is a fantastic athlete with great speed and burst, is the type of sideline-to-sideline playmaker that the Falcons covet. Other options at this spot are Sergio Kindle, Carlos Dunlap, Kyle Williams or even an offensive lineman.
20. Houston Texans: Kyle Wilson, CB, Boise State
The Texans could go in a variety of directions here, including offensive line and running back. But for the last two years I’ve predicted that Houston would take a running back in round one, only to see the Texans make a mockery (no pun intended) of my picks for them. This year I’m not taking the bait on the possibility of them drafting a running back to split carries with Steve Slaton. That said, Ryan Matthews is probably a freaking lock at this spot, but I digress. After losing Dunta Robinson to the Falcons via free agency, the Texans have a huge hole at cornerback and Williams’ stock rose dramatically during Senior Bowl week. He’s a flat out playmaker and while his size is a little concerning, he has the speed and athleticism to hopefully make the fans in Houston forget about Robinson.
21. Cincinnati Bengals: Jermaine Gresham, TE, Oklahoma
The Bengals entered the 2010 offseason with one mission: dramatically improve their dismal passing game. The signing of receiver Antonio Bryant confirms that Cincy is committed to upgrading its offense and the addition of Gresham in the first round would be another positive step in giving quarterback Carson Palmer more receiving weapons. After having surgery on his right knee, Gresham missed the entire 2009 season, which obviously sends up red flags to teams. But so far, he has been impressive in pre-draft workouts and all scouts have to do is pop on tape of his 2008 season to realize how much potential he has. He’s an excellent athlete with soft hands and uses his body well in space. He also has prototypical size (6’5”, 260 pounds), is a decent blocker and has a great work ethic.
22. New England Patriots: Jared Odrick, DE, Penn State
With Michigan’s Brandon Graham still on the board, the Patriots might take a chance on him becoming the next LaMarr Woodley. But Ordrick is a great fit for the 3-4 and while he’s an unspectacular player, he’s steady and shows a lot of potential. After losing Richard Seymour and Jarvis Green over the past year, New England is desperate to upgrade its pass-rush. Odrick does a great job getting off the ball quickly, although he struggles getting off blocks sometimes. He uses his hands well and can get up field quickly to crash the pocket but he’ll have to learn how to play with proper leverage at the next level. He’s not an elite prospect, but Belichick knows how to get the most out of his players and could certainly teach a hard worker such as Odrick.
23. Green Bay Packers: Brandon Graham, OLB, Michigan
The Packers could go in a variety of directions with this pick, including left tackle and cornerback. But none of the available offensive tackles (Vladimir Ducasse, Bruce Campbell, Charles Brown) are first round prospects and thus, Ted Thompson would be reaching by selecting one of them here. Florida State CB Patrick Robinson has a first round grade and would provide depth behind Charles Woodson and Tramon Williams, but some teams are worried about his inconsistency and Thompson could find corners later in the draft. If they don’t trade down, Graham makes a ton of sense at this spot assuming he’s available. Despite my suggesting that he’s a weight lifter posing as football player, Clay Matthews turned out to be a great pick last year for the Pack. He gave Dom Capers an excellent pass rusher in his 3-4 scheme and Graham could be a solid complement to Matthews on the opposite side. Green Bay needs to find a replacement for Aaron Kampman (who wasn’t a great fit for the 3-4 anyway), and the hard-working Graham could help fill that void. He was arguably the most impressive player at this year’s Senior Bowl and while he doesn’t have the prototypical size that scouts look for, there’s no denying that he’s an all-around solid football player with good bulk and a non-stop motor.
24. Philadelphia Eagles: Sergio Kindle, LB, Texas
For a team that made the playoffs last year, the Eagles have plenty of holes to fill before Week 1. They could stand to add depth or even a starter at several spots on their offensive line and they probably need to add another back at some point to complement “Shady” McCoy. Defensively, they needed a defensive end opposite Trent Cole, but they filled that void by acquiring Darryl Tapp from the Seahawks. Safety is another area of need, but I think if Kindle is on the board than he would be more of a risk than a guy like Taylor Mays. There’s a good chance that Kindle (who is the best OLB prospect in the draft) won’t last this long, but if things break right for the Eagles, he would finally give Philly a playmaker that they desperately need from their linebacker position. Even with Cole and Tapp already on board, Kindle could give the Eagles another pass-rusher in their 4-3 scheme.
25. Baltimore Ravens: Devin McCourty, CB, Rutgers
Mock Draft 1.0 Pick: Patrick Robinson, CB, Florida State
I’m convinced that the Ravens will take a cornerback, I’m just not completely sold on which one. After filling their biggest need of the offseason by acquiring receiver Anquan Boldin, the Ravens can turn their attention to addressing voids on their defense. Adding another pass rusher would certainly be beneficial and if Jared Odrick is available, I don’t see them passing on him. However, while Dominique Foxworth and his big contract are entrenched at one corner spot, Fabian Washington and Lardarius Webb are coming off serious knee injuries and there’s not much depth behind them. Rumor has it that an important presence was on hand for the Ravens at McCourty’s Pro Day in March, which may signal that they’re leaning towards him. Of course, Florida State’s Patrick Robinson is still a possibility here as well.
26. Arizona Cardinals: Vladimir Ducasse, OT, Massachusetts
The Cardinals are in the midst of a major changing of the guard. Kurt Warner retired, Anquan Boldin was traded to Baltimore and Karlos Dansby moved on to greener pastures. Even though Ken Whisenhunt will keep the same offense intact, there’s no doubt that his philosophy will have to change. Matt Leinart isn’t a gunslinger and if he winds up beating out Derek Anderson for the starting quarterback job, then the Cards will become a run-first team with Beanie Wells being the focus. That said, look for them to upgrade their offensive tackle position with a prospect such as Ducasse or Maryland’s Bruce Campbell. They could also address their need for a pass rusher with this pick, but my money’s on them upgrading the offensive line seeing as how Wells is now their meal ticket.
27. Dallas Cowboys: Taylor Mays, S, USC
I’ve been conflicted on where Mays will wind up, but I think this is an appropriate spot for him. Some teams view him as a safety, others as an undersized linebacker. Some pundits still believe he could still be the elite prospect that he was before returning to USC his senior year, while others think he’s overrated. But after a great showing at the Senior Bowl and scouting combine, I think Jerry Jones will jump at the chance to add a high risk, high reward prospect such as Mays to upgrade his secondary.
28. San Diego Chargers: Jahvid Best, RB, Cal
Normally when things look too good to be true when it comes to matching players up with certain teams, it usually is. But in the case of Best and the Chargers, I can’t resist pairing these two together. The Bolts are desperate for running back help and they need a complement to Darren Sproles now that LaDainian Tomlinson is off to New York. Best is a phenomenal athlete and up until he suffered a freak injury at the tale end of the 2009 season, he was on pace to challenge for the Heisman. Considering he went to Cal, this seems like the perfect fit but then again, I wouldn’t be surprised if San Diego took a long look at Fresno State’s Ryan Matthews either.
29. New York Jets: Jerry Hughes, DE, TCU
Mock Draft 1.0 Pick: Golden Tate, WR, Notre Dame
After recently trading for Santonio Holmes, wide receiver is no longer a pressing need for the Jets so Tate no longer makes sense. The Jets don’t have any pressing needs on defense, but giving Rex Ryan another pass rusher to play with is never a bad idea. Hughes just seems like a Ryan-type player based on his athleticism and speed. He’s not a fit at end in a 3-4, but he could certainly stand up and play as an edge rusher a la Terrell Suggs (only, Hughes doesn’t have Suggs’ size). As soon as the Jets give up on mega-bust Vernon Gholston, Hughes could fit right in.
30. Minnesota Vikings: Chris Cook, CB, Virginia
Mock Draft 1.0 Pick: Dan Williams, DT, Tennessee
Cook carries a second or even a third round grade, but if history is any indication, that means nothing this late in the first round. A team like the Vikings that doesn’t have many holes to fill can select the player they want without worrying about getting value. Cook might not be there when Minnesota drafts in the second round and rumor has it they’re in love with the Virginia product, who gives the Vikes’ insurance in case Cedric Griffin suffers a setback with his ACL injury.
31. Indianapolis Colts: Bruce Campbell, OT, Maryland
GM Bill Polian was publicly critical of the Colts’ offensive line play after the Super Bowl and now that Tony Ugoh has turned out to be a massive disappointment, there’s a good chance Indy will address its tackle need here. Campbell is a raw prospect, but he has outstanding size (6’6”, 314) and could benefit from being coached by an outstanding staff.
32. New Orleans Saints: Daryl Washington, LB, TCU
Mock Draft 1.0 Pick: Everson Griffin, DE, USC
After cutting Charles Grant in the offseason, I envisioned the Saints selecting Griffin to help fill the void left at defensive end. But after they recently inked Alex Brown to a two-year contract, that need has been filled. Outside linebacker continues to be a need, however, and Washington would be a solid fit. He’s extremely athletic and his up-tempo style of play would work well on the Superdome’s carpet. He’s a little undersized and lacks bulk, but he’s aggressive and he works well in coverage.
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Tags: 2010 NFL Draft, 2010 NFL Draft rumors, Anthony Davis, Anthony Stalter, Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens, Brandon Graham, Brandon Spikes, Bruce Campbell, Bryan Bulaga, Buffalo Bills, C.J. Spiller, Carlos Dunlap, Chris Cook, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns Joe Haden, Daryl Washington, Denver Broncos, Derrick Morgan, Detroit Lions, Dez Bryant, eric berry, Gerald McCoy, Gerald McCoy Bucs, Golden Tate, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Jared Odrick, Jason Pierre-Paul, Jermaine Gresham, Jerry Hughes, Jimmy Clausen, Jimmy Clausen Redskins, Kansas City Chiefs., Kyle Williams, Miami Dolphins, Mike Iupati, Ndamukong Suh, Ndamukong Suh Rams, New England Patriots, New York Giants, New York Jets, NFL Mock Draft, NFL Mock Drafts, Oakland Raiders, Patrick Robinson, Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers, Rolando McClain, Russell Okung, Russell Okung Chiefs, Sam Bradford, Sam Bradford Rams, San Francisco 49ers, Sean Weatherspoon, Seattle Seahawks, Sergio Kindle, St. Louis Rams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Taylor Mays, Tennessee Titans, Trent Williams, Vladimir Ducasse, Washington Redskins