1. St. Louis Rams Ndumakong Suh DT, Nebraska
All of the talk so far has been that the Rams will take Suh. But I have to wonder if Clausen is a better option. He’s been in a pro style offense and the Rams desperately need a franchise QB. But is Clausen a franchise QB? He had a great junior year, but for now the pick is Suh. I would think that we’ll hear Clausen’s name come up more and more as time progresses. Suh is the top prospect in this year’s class as of now…but it’s still early.
2. Detroit Lions Russell Okung OT, Oklahoma State
The Lions have a good start to their rebuilding, but they need to keep Stafford on his feet. He got injured three times and he’s too important to their franchise to become injury prone. Okung is the best tackle in this year’s draft and he’ll be able to start from day one. He wasn’t dominant in the Sugar Bowl, but he did a very good job. There’s a very good chance they’ll take Gerald McCoy instead. They still need help in so many different areas.
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Gerald McCoy DT, Oklahoma
The Bucs should be able to choose between safety Eric Berry and McCoy here. Either pick would help their struggling defense. McCoy isn’t too far behind Suh in terms of value. McCoy can play tackle in a 4-3 or move out to an end position for a team sporting the 3-4. He has a nonstop motor and plays just about every play.
4. Washington Redskins Jimmy Clausen QB, Notre Dame
Clausen had a great junior campaign (28 TDs, only 4 picks). He’s from a pro style offense, has a strong arm, is accurate, and played out the rest of the season with that injured foot. I’m high on Clausen and I’m trippin balls right now. The Redskins GM Bruce Allen is smart and with new coach Mike Shanahan. New GM, new coach, and a new quarterback. Jason Campbell could still be on the team because he’s a restricted free agent, but who knows? He could be traded or just outright released.
5. Kansas City Chiefs Eric Berry S, Tennessee
I think Berry is the third best prospect this year, behind Suh and McCoy. Bernard Pollard was a huge mistake to let go. So they make up for that mistake somewhat here. Berry could go higher, but safeties don’t have high positional value. I’ve read multiple sources stating that Berry is in the mold of Ed Reed, so that’ll obviously make him highly regarded in addition to all of his other accolades.
6. Seattle Seahawks Dez Bryant WR, Oklahoma State
Boy, the Seahawks have a lot of options here: Bradford, Spiller, Haden, Anthony Davis…on and on. Before, I had Sam Bradford here, but I’m still unsure what teams think of him and his leadership skills in addition to the established questions about his shoulders. The Seahawks need a lot of help. Ole Petey’s gonna need some time on this one.
7. Cleveland Browns Joe Haden CB, Florida
New general manager Tom Heckert has quite a task ahead of him as he tries to work with what very little Cleveland has. Their passing game and defense are atrocious, but it would seem that their most pressing need is defense. The Browns were 29th in pass defense and 28th against the run. The best defensive player available here is Haden. He would be a great compliment for Eric Wright.
8. Oakland Raiders Taylor Mays S, USC
I’ve had Taylor Mays going to the Raiders for awhile now and I don’t like it, but it’s the most logical pick in Al Davis’ mind. Let’s wait til we get 40 times from the combine so we can see who else is at the top of his draft board.
9. Buffalo Bills Anthony Davis OT, Rutgers
The Bills need a lot. They’ll be searching for offensive and defensive linemen and a quarterback probably this coming offseason. After trading Jason Peters, the Bills were left pretty thin on their O-line. They were hit hard with injuries this year. The cure for that is to always have “jars on the shelf.” That means back-ups and practice squad linemen. Always keep enough. If you don’t, you end up with Richie Incognito.
10. Denver Broncos (from Bears) Rolando McClain LB, Alabama
After seeing Rey Maualuga and James Laurinitis drop to the second round last year and Clay Matthews dropping, you have to wonder where the top middle linebacker for 2010 will go. I don’t think McClain will fall out of the first round like Laurinitis and Maualuga did, though. A great combine will solidify McClain’s draft status.
11. Jacksonville Jaguars Derrick Morgan DE, Georgia Tech
Derrick Harvey and Quentin Groves haven’t gotten the sacks that they were drafted to get. Interpret that first sentence any way you want. Bottom line is that the Jaguars finished last in the league with 14 sacks. That’s awful. Their defense is in dire need of help. Reggie Hayward was put on IR yet again, so Morgan would be a welcome sight in Jax. Perhaps with two pass rushing threats, pressure will be taken off Harvey and he can live up to his draft spot.
12. Miami Dolphins Dan Williams DT, Tennessee
Remember Robert Ayers from Tennessee last year? Dan Williams also majorly boosted his stock during his senior year. He’s not as good as Suh or McCoy, but with great workouts, he could see himself here in the first round. We’ll see if he can separate himself from Terrence Cody, Jared Odrick, and Brian Price. Jason Ferguson is 35, so the Dolphins need to get young at nose tackle. Dez Bryant might be taken here as well, but Bill Parcells has only taken Terry Glenn as a first round pick at WR.
13. San Francisco 49ers Trent Williams OT, Oklahoma
The Niners need pass defense, but they also need another tackle to complement Joe Staley. Williams is a great run blocker, so this pick makes a lot of sense. He made the switch from right tackle to left this past season, but he improved as the season went along. If San Fran can solve their passing ineffectiveness and if Alex Smith steps up, the 49ers will be a force next season.
14. Seattle Seahawks (from Broncos) CJ Spiller RB, Clemson
I think this is the perfect spot for Spiller to go in the draft. Teams are less willing to take running backs so high because of their durability. Switching to two running back backfields has also helped. Spiller is just a playmaker and the Seahawks need them on offense. With him and Bradford, the Seahawks could have quite a future ahead of them. They still have plenty of other needs though.
15. New York Giants Earl Thomas S, Texas
Kenny Phillips’ knee injury isn’t career threatening, but they need another safety anyways. The Giants allowed a lot of points this season and that is probably mostly due to safety play. Earl Thomas paired with perhaps a healthy Phillips might become one of the better safety pairings in the league.
16. Tennessee Titans Everson Griffin DE, USC
The Titans need some pieces for their defense. I think they can leave their offense to later rounds when they have The World’s Fastest Man in Chris Johnson. Defensive back, linebacker and defensive line can all be addressed here. I think the Titans could go with Griffen to aid the aging defensive line. Losing Haynesworth proved more costly than Jeff Fisher led everyone to believe. It’ll take some youth and talent to get the defense back to where he wants it.
17. San Francisco 49ers (from Panthers) Sam Bradford QB, Oklahoma
I think Bradford falls a little bit because of questions about his shoulder(s) and his leadership qualities. He’s more of a Marc Bulger rather than a real leader. We’ll all have to wait until private workouts and the combine in order to hear anything about how scouts feel about Bradford’s shoulder(s) being ready.
18. Pittsburgh Steelers Bruce Campbell OT, Maryland
Big Ben gets hit too often and we say it every year. There are plenty of good offensive linemen in this year’s first round and the Steelers would be getting a good one here. There are some injury concerns with Campbell, however. The Steelers also need a safety next to Polamalu, but there isn’t a safety good enough to go here.
19. Atlanta Falcons Sean Weatherspoon LB, Missouri
The Falcons spent 6 of their 7 draft picks last year on defense. It hasn’t helped this season, but I’m sure down the road they’ll improve. There’s still work to be done on their defense however. Sean Weatherspoon isn’t spectacular, but he is very consistent and will be a solid pick. Mike Peterson is getting older, but is still serviceable. Weatherspoon will provide a steady defender for Mike Smith and his defense.
20. Houston Texans Terrence Cody DT, Alabama
The Texans really need a running back, but this year’s class is pretty thin. Jahvid Best isn’t a good value here and I don’t think Ryan Mathews is either. I have Jared Odrick rated higher than Cody, but the Texans could be looking to get a bigger guy in there to clog up the run.
21. New York Jets Damian Williams WR, USC
Braylon Edwards can not be depended upon as a number one receiver and I think that GM Tannenbaum will go after at least one WR in the draft. He has drafted pretty well over the past few years and now has a QB to work with for a few years and build around. I think the Jets have a bright future ahead of them, especially after Mark Sanchez has played very well.
22. Baltimore Ravens Brandon LaFell WR, LSU
Normally, I wouldn’t expect Ozzie Newsome to take a WR in the first round as we all have seen how Mark Clayton worked out, but it makes a whole bunch of sense now that the Ravens have a good QB again. The Ravens continually draft well and that’s why they’ve been in the playoff race just about every year.
23. Arizona Cardinals Charles Brown OT, USC
Arizona’s offensive line has been horrendous this year. If they want to be an annual playoff contender, they’ll need a better O-line. Their defensive front could also use some youth. Being in the NFC West certainly helps them win the division a lot. The former tight end has good quickness for an offensive tackle, and it only makes sense that he be on the fast paced offense of the Cards.
24. Green Bay Packers Bryan Bulaga OT, Iowa
Ted Thompson will take the best available player and it will fill a need here. It’s amazing what the Pack’s defense has done this year, considering this is their first year in the 3-4. Their real problem is on the line. Their tackles are getting older and it’s time to inject some youth. Bulaga did a very good job against Derrick Morgan in the Orange Bowl, although a few times he got pushed around.
25. Cincinnati Bengals Jermaine Gresham TE, Oklahoma
Injuries decimated the Bengals this past season. Their linebackers seem to be cursed (Rey Maualuga, David Pollack, and Keith Rivers all got season ending injuries early in their careers). But what a tremendous job Mike Zimmer has done with that defense. The Bengals can count on their defense now, they just need to get their passing game going again. Not a WR, but a tight end will help out Carson Palmer hugely.
26. New England Patriots Jared Odrick DT, Penn State
Richard Seymour is gone and a hole is left, which is where Odrick could fill in. The Pats drafted Ron Brace and they could add another very good defensive lineman here. Strength on the defensive front seven is what Belichick wants and he gets it from Odrick. The Pats could go in a lot of different directions here, RB, WR, DL, LB, DB. The Pats haven’t had a great draft in awhile and they need to get back to where they used to be. They haven’t won a Super Bowl in 5 years! It’s getting pathetic!
27. Philadelphia Eagles Carlos Dunlap DE, Florida
Judging where Dunlap will go is going to be difficult. Hopefully he’ll make things more clear after his combine and private workouts. Of course, he does have his baggage (DUI, questionable work ethic). The guy is a talent though. I see him falling just like Calais Campbell and Michael Johnson in past drafts. If this team signs Mike Vick, they could draft Dunlap.
28. Dallas Cowboys Golden Tate WR, Notre Dame
Tate is a very gifted athlete. He could remind some people of Percy Harvin and he runs a sub 4.4 40 yard dash. One negative to his game however is that he needs to work on his route running. Roy Williams isn’t what they gave up for him and Miles Austin is going to need somebody to take some attention off of him.
29. Minnesota Vikings Donovan Warren CB, Michigan
The Vikings could use an upgrade in their secondary. Antoine Winfield came back from injury, but isn’t what he used to be. Warren got out of Michigan before things really get out of control (losing).
30. Indianapolis Colts Patrick Robinson CB, Florida State
Robinson has some serious speed. He ran down West Virginia’s Noel Devine from behind to save a touchdown in the Gator Bowl. The Colts had trouble against the Jaguars passing game…need I say more? They need a lot on their defense. They still need a defensive tackle, even if they took Fili Moala last year in the second round. Brian Price could be a solution to their problem.
31. New Orleans Saints Sergio Kindle LB, Texas
The Saints would get a speedy linebacker here in Kindle. Defense would seem to be the only need of the Saints looking forward to this offseason. A linebacker or two, secondary perhaps since Darren Sharper is getting older. There are a number of linebackers that could be taken at this pick, Jerry Hughes, great pass rusher from TCU, among others.
32. San Diego Chargers Mike Iupati OG, Idaho
Iupati is clearly the best guard in this year’s class and could prove that he deserves to be a first round pick. He would be a huge upgrade for the struggling rushing “attack” of the Chargers. The Diego ended the season at 31st in the league in rushing, which is pathetic. LT may be on the downslide, but that can’t be the only reason SD’s running game struggled so much this past season.
Tags: Mock Draft, NFL Draft