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. 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 last season 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. There’s a very good chance they’ll take Gerald McCoy instead. We’ll be watching Okung’s and McCoy’s stocks to determine who the Lions could be taking.
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. 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 Sam Bradford QB, Oklahoma
Seattle will be looking for a future QB in this draft since Hasselbeck is steeply declining and keeps getting injured. Bradford is deadly accurate, but questions about his arm strength, especially after shoulder surgery, have been raised. Could Matt Hasselbeck be traded in the offseason (maybe Cleveland)? They could also use a franchise left tackle or running back with their top picks.
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. Mays is a physical freak, but his football skills leave something to be desired. The Raiders also could take a speedy offensive tackle, a speedy defensive linemen, or a speedy linebacker here.
9. Buffalo Bills Anthony Davis OT, Rutgers
The Bills need a lot. They’ll be searching for offensive, defensive linemen, and a quarterback 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. This team will be desperate for a QB if they don’t trade for or sign one.
10. Denver Broncos (from Bears) Dez Bryant WR, Oklahoma State
It’s fairly obvious that Brandon Marshall will be released or traded out of Denver. That leaves the Broncos with a need on offense that far outcries any defensive need they have. Dez Bryant has great hands and size, so he’ll catch anything Kyle Orton throws.
11. Jacksonville Jaguars Derrick Morgan DE, Georgia Tech
Some mock drafters out there seemed to think it was a lock that the Jags were going to pick Tebow…wonder why they went back on their initial, dumb opinion? Yes, the league is money driven, but the Jags don’t need Tebow…they need better defense. It’s not a good arguement when you say that the Jags will be able to sell out for the first two years, even if Tebow busts. But then they said Tebow would need to ride the bench to start out his career for a few years. Yea…Do you really think fans would buy tickets knowing that Tebow wouldn’t get to play? That’s just dumb.
12. Miami Dolphins Rolando McClain LB, Alabama
Jason Taylor and Joey Porter are getting up there in age, so it’s time to draft a linebacker. The Dolphins couldn’t pick a better one in this draft than McClain. He’s going to lead a defense in the NFL and he’s going to do it well. He was a tackling machine last year at Alabama with 105 tackles, 14.5 for loss, and 4 sacks. Joey Porter wants out of Miami, so that makes an even stronger point to make this pick.
13. San Francisco 49ers Jason Pierre-Paul DE, USF
The Niners need pass defense, so they should target Pierre-Paul here. He’s raw and has limited experience, but he has loads of potential. He looked lost at times last season, but still had a big impact in games. He’s also a very good pass rusher. If San Fran can solve their passing ineffectiveness and if Alex Smith steps up, the 49ers will be a force next season. This is a strong defensive and offensive line draft. Reaching for an offensive tackle here, much less a right one (Joe Staley is already entrenched at LT) would be a mistake.
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 Griffen 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) Donovan Warren CB, Michigan
The Niner’s pass defense could really use an upgrade. Their whole defensive backfield struggled this past season, so Warren would bring in some much needed talent and improvement. With two first round picks, the 49ers could make their team a force to be reckoned with in the NFC next season. They have a good, young core of players. If they can get an at least steady quarterback, they’ll be good.
18. Pittsburgh Steelers Dan Williams DT, Tennessee
I think Pittsburgh needs offensive line help, but their aging defense needs more help. Without Polamalu for much of last season, the defense struggled thus, their offense struggled. Remember Robert Ayers from Tennessee last year? Dan Williams also majorly boosted his stock during his senior year. He can start learning from the aging Casey Hampton at nose tackle. One of the top performers from Senior Bowl week.
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 Jonathan Dwyer RB, Georgia Tech
The Texans really need a running back, and this year’s class is pretty thin. Chris Brown cost the Texans a playoff spot this year because he had key turnovers very late in close games against the Jaguars. Jahvid Best could be a better prospect, but I think the Texans would want to get a back that has the size they will be looking for.
21. Cincinnati Bengals Jermaine Gresham TE, Oklahoma
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. They drafted Chase Coffman last year, but he got injured, so there’s no certainty there.
22. New England Patriots Jerry Hughes LB, TCU
The Patriots couldn’t get much pressure on many of their opponents’ quarterbacks this season, so they’ll be looking at taking one of college’s best rushers Jerry Hughes. Hughes isn’t a physical freak like Vernon Gholston was, but he gets to the quarterback, something that Gholston has proved that he can’t do.
23. Green Bay Packers Bruce Campbell OT, Maryland
Aaron Rodgers gets hit too often and we said it alot this year. There are plenty of good offensive linemen in this year’s first round and the Packers would be getting a good one here. There are some injury concerns with Campbell, however. Depth on the offensive line for the Pack is an issue, so they’ll be looking for some in other parts of the draft and in free agency.
24. Philadelphia Eagles Carlos Dunlap DE, Florida
Philadelphia Eagles fans are so loyal and dedicated. I continue to be blown away by how their fans are so compassionate towards a person like Mike Vick. Remember all of those mean fans they used to have? Well, they’re gone and have been replaced by the nicest people you’ll ever meet. I received a few emails from them last week. In my last mock draft, I had forgotten all the Eagles’ fans had changed…silly me. Seriously though, not all Eagles fans are bad.
25. Baltimore Ravens Damian Williams WR, USC
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. If they fall behind in games, they don’t have a passing attack to even give them a chance to come back.
26. Arizona Cardinals Navarro Bowman LB, Penn State
After Bert Berry retired, the Cardinals will have to look for a few linebackers to add in the offseason. Their offensive tackle position needs an upgrade as well. They need players who can tackle and make plays on defense, especially after seeing their defense give up a ton of points in the playoffs.
27. Dallas Cowboys Bryan Bulaga OT, Iowa
I think the Cowboys draft their left tackle of the future with this pick. Flozell Adams didn’t play well last season and he committed quite a few penalties in the process. Drafting a good tackle in the first round would be a great addition to an already great offense. Bulaga is a really solid pick here.
28. 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. Iupati didn’t have the best Senior Bowl game he could’ve had, but the Senior Bowl is said to not be about the game, it’s about the practices. And Iupati dominated in practices.
29. New York Jets Brandon LaFell WR, LSU
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.
30. Minnesota Vikings Brian Price DT, UCLA
Pat Williams might be retiring, so the Vikes could take a defensive tackle here. Price declared early for the draft and it was a good move. He’s a little short and doesn’t have more room to gain size, but his stock is high after a great junior season. He has trouble with double teams, but pairing him next to Kevin Williams will help him along. If they want a shot at Bradford or Clausen, they’ll have to trade up. I don’t think Tebow is a first round prospect, I see him as a second rounder, around where Pat White was taken by Miami last year.
31. New Orleans Saints Jared Odrick DT, Penn State
The Saints need defense, both against the run and pass, as evidenced by their rankings in the 20s. They’re lucky they have an All-World offense so they can stay ahead of their opponents. I don’t see how the Saints beat the Colts, but get this: Gregg Williams was the defensive coordinator for Jacksonville in 2008, and they beat them once on a game winning field goal and then only lost to the Colts on the last drive where the offense couldn’t score. This isn’t the same Colts team, but Williams and the Saints have a good idea how to defend against Seyton (pronounced Satan) Manning.
32. Indianapolis Colts Kyle Wilson CB, Boise State
Wilson had a great showing in the bowl game against TCU. The Colts could use an upgrade in their secondary because they could barely stop “Pro Bowler” David Garrard in their Thursday night game a few months back. Kyle Wilson has been one of the top performers at the Senior Bowl practices and I think he’ll continue to raise his stock before April. Add on a great performance during Senior Bowl week and he looks destined for a first round pick.
Tags: Mock Draft, NFL Draft