My 2010 1st Round NFL Mock Draft Version 1

We’re officially one week away from the draft, can you feel the excitement?  I haven’t updated this thing since January and I figured what better time than now.

1. St. Louis Rams: Sam Bradford:  QB, Oklahoma
After an exceptionally strong pro day I’m with the majority of draftniks in the belief that the Rams will select the Sooner signal caller.  Billy Devaney has purged the team of the dreadful QB tandem of Boller and Bulger and appears to be ushering in a new era in St. Louis.  While Suh is widely regarded as the best prospect in the draft, the Rams offense was horrendous last year and they desperately need to add a signal caller.  Bradford added bulk to his frame and seemed to answer questions about both his shoulder durability and arm strength.  The Rams have the making of a good offensive line and in a draft class deep at both DT and CB they can address their needs on defensive in rounds 2 and 3.

2. Detroit Lions: Ndamukong Suh: DT, Nebraska If the Rams do take a QB, the Lions will be ecstatic as it will enable them to select the beastly Cornhusker defensive tackle. The Lions defense was horrendous last year and a lot of that can be attributed to the absence of any sort of capable pass rushers in the front 4. Suh demonstrated his ability to get to the passer with his 4 sack performance against Colt Mccoy and he can what Albert Hayensworth was for Jim Schwartz when he was the defensive coordinator for the Titans. The Lions also need a lot of help on the offensive line, as Jeff Backus is aging and mediocre at best. Oklahoma State OT Russel Okung would be the logical selection if they decided to go that route, but he would be a reach at that position. Smart money has them taking a defensive tackle at this spot.

3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Gerrald Mccoy: DT, Oklahoma
The Buccaneers regressed this season and a lot of that had to do with a defense that lacked talent at all levels. The defensive line is completely devoid of talent which prevents the Bucs from being able to get pressure which is essential in the cover 2 scheme. Mccoy was a beast at Oklahoma and would immediately help to improve the Buc’s D. They saw firsthand what a stud DT can do for a defense as future Hall of Famer Warren Sapp was the heart and soil of their D that won the Superbowl against the Raiders. Eric Berry is a possibility here, as he would pair up with Tanard Jackson to make one of the best duos of safeties in the league.

4. Washington Redskins: Russel Okung: OT, Oklahoma State
It could be argued that the Redskins had the worst offensive line in the league last year. It looks as though all pro tackle Chris Samuels may have reached the end of the road in his NFL career, and Stephon Heyer was nothing short of a train wreck as a replacement. While I’ve had my serious doubts about Snyder’s ability to resist drafting a QB here, the recent rumblings of the uncertainty of the structural stability of Sam Bradford’s shoulder reaffirm my conviction in the OL pick.  Hopefully, for the sake of their franchise, the new Bruce Allen/Mike Shanahan brain trust are allowed to do their jobs without Synders interference and address the offensive line.

5. Kansas City Chiefs: Bryan Bulaga,
There’s no denying that the Chiefs need to upgrade their offensive line.  Matt Cassell was given $70 million and got absolutely killed last year.  Bulaga, opposite Brandon Albert, would be a bookend tackle that would help keep Cassell upright and hopefully help the Chief’s anemic offense.  Releasing Bernard Pollard proved to be a terrible decision last year so Eric Berry is definitely another option here, though Pioli supposedly dislikes taking safeties this early.

6. Seattle Seahawks: Dez Bryant: WR, Oklahoma State
While Bryant has been slipping down draft boards due to supposed character concerns I believe that Pete Carrol realizes the need to add playmakers to the ‘Hawks’ offense.  John Carlson is an up and coming tight end but outside of him they don’t have much ammo in the passing game.  Houshmanzada is a possession receiver on the downside of his career and Deon Branch is constantly injured and a non-factor when he’s on the field.  QB and offensive line are other glaring needs but the acquisition of Charlie Whitehurst may be the answer the former and the latter concern can be addressed at pick 14.  I also wouldn’t be shocked to see CJ Spiller come off the board here as he could be what Reggie Bush was for Pete Carrol at USC.

7. Cleveland Browns:Eric Berry:  FS, Tennessee I’m of the strong believe that this will be the direction Holmgren and co. will go if he’s not off the board by now.  Brodney Pool signed with the Jets and the Browns are completely devoid of playmakers in the secondary outside of Eric Wright.  Abraham Elam is a carry over from the Magini regime in New York but he is above average at best and Berry would be a significant upgrade.   Magini is defense first and Berry is an Ed-Reed type safety who could lead that unit for the next decade.  QB is an obvious issue but Holmgren seems to have addressed that with the head-scratching signings of Senecca Wallace and Jake Delhomme.  There are holes at virtually every other position on defense so Rolando Mcclain, Derreck Morgan and Joe Haden are also possibilities.

8. Oakland Raiders: Jimmy Clausen, QB: Notre Dame I need to preface this pick by saying that I essentially took this idea from Mel Kiper.  Listening to him discuss his most recent rankings he brought up an interesting point in that Clausen embodies the Raider mentality; unjustified swagger and cockiness.  It’s clear that Jamarcus is a bust of epic proportions and Bruce Gradkowski should be starting in the UFL.  The Clausen  pick would surely win over the idiots in Raider nation and he would provide a spark for a fan base that has been justifiably angry over its team’s recent draft efforts.  The far more glaring need is offensive tackle, but as we know Al Davis rarely relies on need/common sense.

9. Buffalo Bills: Trent Williams: OT, Oklahoma After trading away Jason Peters last season the Bills made a grave mistake in passing up on Michael Oher in favor of Aaron Maybin. The results were not good; the offensive line was a disaster and it is clear that this is the team’s most pressing need. Williams would be an immediate upgrade over the scrubs that they trotted out at the position last season. Paired with Eric Wood and Andy Levitre, Williams be an addition that would be extremely beneficial to the Bills’ offense. The Trent Edwards experiment needs to end ASAP, so Chan Gailey could possibly select at QB at this spot, though I believe Bradford and Claussen will be gone at this point.

10. Denver Broncos: Rolando Mcclain, MLB: Alabama The Broncos’ defense improved greatly under Mike Nolan last year but it is a unit that is still in need of impact players at several positions, including the linebacking corps.  Dumervil and Ayers appear to be the answers at the OLB position, and the addition of Mcclain would form a very good LB unit, which is vital in a 3-4 defense.  The Brandon Marshall trade makes WR an obvious need, but with Bryant off the board the only way they could consider another WR would be if they were to trade down.  They also really need help along the defense line so Dan Williams could be an answer at defense end in that scheme.

11. Jacksonville Jaguars: Joe Haden, CB: Florida
The Jags defense generated little to no pressure last year and that is certainly an issue in a division that includes Peyton Manning and Matt Schaub. Del Rio hopes that the Aaron Kampman signing will help the Jags’ defense cause havoc in opposing backfields but I have my doubts.  Kampman is coming off ACL surgery and it’s well known that it generally takes a full year for players to come back to their previous strength.   With that being said, I would not be surprised to see the Jags go with Pierre-Paul or Derreck Morgan here, but I’m sticking with my Joe Haden pick.  Haden went from being a consensus top ten pick to a teens pick due to a 4.45 40 time that he ran at the Gator pro day.  I still think he’s going to be a hell of a player and paired with Rasheen Mathis the Jags would be set at the cornerback position.

12. Miami Dolphins: Dan Williams: DT, Tennessee
Jason Ferguson will enter his 13th season in the league this upcoming season and its clear that the Dolphins need to find a replacement nose tackle. Williams could step in and play the nose tackle position in Mike Nolan’s defense. He’s got good size-weighing in just under 330 pounds and he was productive in the Vols’ defense. The ‘Phins could also use an edge rushing linebacker such as Sergio Kindle or an inside linebacker the likes of Alabama’s Ronaldo Mcclain.

13. San Francisco 49’ers: Anthony Davis: OT, Rutgers
The 49’ers offensive line was terrible last year and Davis would step in at right tackle and immediately improve that unit.  As we’ve seen in previous drafts offensive tackles are highly coveted and a run can start at the position at any given time.  While the 49er’s do have serious needs at outside linebacker and cornerback I believe there will be quality players at both position available when they pick at #17.

14. Seattle Seahawks (from Denver): CJ Spiller: RB, Clemson
While this scenario would result in the Seahawks ignoring a gaping hole at OT, I believe that Spiller would be too hard to pass up on.  He would be a versatile back in the mold of Reggie Bush that Pete Carrol would love to have.  The Julius Jones/Justin Forsett tandem is pedestrian at best and Spiller would make this offense much more explosive.  He’s also a home run threat return man and that sort of versatility would do wonders for  their offense.

15. New York Giants: Derrek Morgan: DE, Georgia Tech
If the draft is to fall as I’ve projected it up to this point I believe that Jerry Reese will be trying very hard to trade down.  With Mcclain and Dan Williams gone the two most viable options at the two biggest areas of need will be gone and the Giants may be forced to reach to an extent.  Similar to the Kiwanuka pick in 06 I believe Morgan will be a classic case of BPA.  People at Georgia Tech rave about his character and work ethic which are clearly of big concern to the Mara family.  He was a productive player and with Kiwi in his contract year and Umenyora declining and unhappy Morgan could be the long term answer alongside Justin Tuck.

16. Tennessee Titans: Jason Pierre-Paul:  DE, South Florida
After Albert Hayensworth left for Washington last offseason the Titans’ defensive front four took a serious hit. Kyle Vanden Bosch is very talented but he’s been injured and is set to be a free agent. Pierre-Paul is incredibly raw and had only one season of serious production but there’s no doubt that his ceiling is as high as any DE’s in this draft.   Similar to the Jags dilemma the Titans play in a division with top-notch QB’s and prolific passing offenses.  That being said, they certainly need to add some talent to that defensive front.  Other options here would be an outside linebacker to take over for Keith Bulluck or possibly another WR.

17. San Francisco 49’ers (from Car): Sergio Kindle, OLB: Texas
With the need at offensive line addressed the 49’ers can add a prolific edge rusher that they so desperately need. Manny Lawson has been a mild disappointment and they really need to add someone that can get to the passer.  Some believe that Kindle is a better talent than Brian Orakpo and that is high praise given the kind of rookie season that ‘Rak had in Washington.  The next logical position to address with this pick would be CB so Kyle Wilson and Kareem Jackson are also possibilities.

18. Pittsburgh Steelers: Mike Iupati: OG, Idaho
The Steelers desperately need help along the offensive line as Big Ben is routinely running for his life when he’s not assaulting intoxicated women at college bars.  Iupati seems to embody the hard-nosed, blue collar attitude that the Rooney family likes and he’d also help them in the short yardage situations in which they faltered last year.  They could also use help in the secondary so Kyle Wilson very well could be a possibility here as is WR.

19. Atlanta Falcons: Sean Weatherspoon: OLB, Missouri
The Falcons need help at virtually ever position on defense, but the linebacking corps most definitely needs an infusion of youth and talent. Mike Peterson is decent but he’s getting old and there’s little to nothing outside of Curtis Lofton. Weatherspoon would be an instant upgrade and can hold up in coverage and also help against the run. The Falcons could also use a defensive end as Jamaal Anderson has been a huge bust. Carlos Dunlap would also be a logical pick here.

20. Houston Texans: Kyle Wilson: CB, Boise State
I think that the Texans could be absolutely ecstatic if Wilson were to fall to them.  The departure of Dunta “Pay Me Rick” Robinson to Atlanta turned a pedestrian secondary into an abysmal one.   Houston lacks playmakers in every facet of their secondary and Wilson would be an infusion of talent that they absolutely need.  As I stated, their safety play is suspect as well so Earl Thomas of Texas would also be a very good pick at this spot.

21. Cincinnati Bengals: Jermaine Gresham: TE, Oklahoma Anyone that watched “Hard Knocks” last year knows that the Bengals are extremely weak at the tight end position.  Reggie Kelly is nearing the end of his career and Chase Coffman was a virtual non-factor in his rookie season.  Carson Palmer really needs some weapons for that passing attack to return to its heyday and at 6′ 5” Gresham would certainly help in that department.  In spite of the Antonio Bryant signing (which I think they’ll end up regretting,) the Bengals could certainly use some help at WR.

22. New England Patriots: Brandon Graham: DE, Michigan
The Pats defense really regressed last year and their pass rush was non-existent.  In the 3-4 scheme it’s essential to have guys on the edge that can get to the passer and Graham can certainly do that.  He shined at the Senior Bowl and seems like a guy that would fit well into Belichick’s system.  The Pats could also use help at WR as Randy Moss is 34 and showing signs of regressing to the malcontent that he was during his tenure in Oakland.   Demaryius Thomas out of Georgia Tech is a guy that I would think they’d take if that’s the route they decide to go.

23. Green Bay Packers: Charles Brown: OT, USC
There cheese heads need to protect their MVP-caliber QB and draft him a capable left tackle.   Rookie TJ Lang showed some promise but they need to draft a guy who can hold down the position and protect Rodgers for the next 8-10 years.  Brown, a converted tight end, is athletic and was productive at USC.  He could step in on day one and take over the duty of blocking AR’s blind side.  With Woodson and Al Harris nearing the end of the line I could also see Ted Thompson taking Kareem Jackson with this pick.

24. Philadelphia Eagles: Kareem Jackson: CB, Alabama
The Eagles had another very solid offseason, making some shrewd trades and accruing a good amount of draft picks.  One of the players who was sent packing was CB Sheldon Brown, which turned arguably the team’s greatest strength into an area of need.  I think Jackson would be a great value for Philly here as he could step in opposite of Asante Samuel and fill in for the departed Brown.  The Eagles could also use help along the defensive line so Everson Griffin is another viable option.

25. Baltimore Ravens: Golden Tate: WR, Notre Dame The Anquan Boldin acquisition made it apparent that Ozzie Newsome realized what the rest of the football watching population has known for two years:  the Ravens’ receivers blow.   By drafting Tate the Ravens will have restocked Flacco’s cabinet and as a result we could see a good offense turn into a great one.  They also have need in the secondary so Taylor Mays and Earl Thomas are also possibilities.

26. Arizona Cardinals: Jerry Hughes: OLB, TCU
The retirement of Betrand Berry and Karlos Dansby’s departure make the linebacking corps the team’s greatest of need.   Hughes is viewed as a pass rush-centric Olb in a 3-4 defense and the Cardinals have lacked that kind of player for quite sometime.  They could conceivably look at Colt Mccoy here, but that would likely be considered quite a reach.

27. Dallas Cowboys: Roger Saffold: OT, Indiana
The playoff debacle in Minnesota made it quite clear that Dallas needs to address their offensive line.  Once Flozell’s patented trip maneuver started to fail him Jerry Jones realized that it was time to cut bait with the former pro-bowler.  Saffold is rising on a lot of draft boards and is seen as a guy who could potentially play left tackle in the NFL.  He’s a hard worker, and although he lacks the lanky arms that are often coveted he was very productive for the sooners.  the Cowboys also need help at the safety position so don’t be surprised if they opt to go with Taylor Mays.

28. San Diego Chargers: Jahvid Best: RB, Cal
Hindsight is 20/20 but the Chargers really should have held onto Michael Turner. Tomlinson has got nothing left and it’s clear that the Chargers do not view Darren Sproles as an every down back. Best would be a great fit here as he’s electrifyingly fast and would also be a threat catching passes from Rivers out of the backfield. The Chargers could also use help on both sides of the lines, particularly at nose tackle, as Jamaal Williams is getting long in the tooth.

29. New York Jets: Jared Odrick: DT, Penn State
My initial mock had the Jets taking Brandon Lafell but the Santonio Holmes acquisition seems to rule that possibility out.  While the Jets defense was very impressive under Rex Ryan in his first season the Indy game made it clear that they needed to upgrade their talent on that side of the ball.  Odrick could come in and be a force as an defensive end in the 3-4 scheme.  They need a disruptive force next to Kris Jenkins to open up the pass rushing lanes for the linebacking corps.  An edge rushing OLB is another possibility as is a cornerback such as Devin Mccourty.

30. Minnesota Vikings: Brian Price: DT, UCLA
the Williams wall is a large reason for the success of the Vikings D as of late. It provides ends Jared Allen and Ray Edwards will one on one matchups against tackles in passing situations. Pat Williams will be 38 next year and at his size its amazing he’s still playing at this level today. Price could be the successor to Pat Williams when he retires and he would fit well in the 4-3 defense. Depending on Favre’s status after this year Longhorn Colt Mccoy could be an option.

31. Indianapolis Colts: Maurkice Pouncey: OG, Florida
The Colts succeeded last year in spite of their offensive line, which was horrible.  Pouncey is viewed as an incredibly safe pick here and a guy that could eventually replace Jeff Saturday when he decides to hang ’em up.  The Colts could also use help along the defensive line so Everson Griffin could be an option here.

32. New Orleans Saints: Earl Thomas: FS, Texas
The Saints have one of the more talent-rich rosters in the league so they have the benefit of going with the best player available approach. While I believe that OLB is their greatest need all of the first round talents are gone at this point.  Thomas could step right in and fill the shoes of the departed Darren Sharper, who was the heart and soul of the Saints championship defense under Greg Williams.   The Saints could also go defensive end here and select USC’s Everson Griffin.

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