2010 NFL Mock Draft 1st Round: Suh or Clausen? Version 2.0
Here's the latest update of my 2010 NFL mock draft. The draft order is based on my season record and playoff projections. Tune in next week for another update of my mock draft, and feel free to comment and tell me what you think of my picks and whether you like your favorite team's pick.
1. St. Louis Rams—Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska
For the past couple of months, I was certain that the Rams will take a QB, but recently I've been torn between a QB and Suh. He has had a phenomenal senior season for Nebraska.
Suh had a spectacular Big 12 Championship Game performance. He exposed Colt McCoy, notching four-and-a-half sacks that day. He even got invited as a Heisman Trophy finalist and placed fourth in the voting.
He was terrific in the Holiday Bowl, and Arizona was humiliated with a 33-0 score. There was no way around Suh. He had 12 sacks on the season, and he can play in a 4-3 or 3-4 scheme, which will benefit him in the NFL. He has been compared to Kevin Williams.
He's an excellent teammate too. He's a rare gem that comes around once every 5-10 years, and the Rams can take Jake Locker next year.
GM Billy Devaney has said that he's interested in Suh, so I have no choice but to mock Suh to the Rams.
2. Detroit Lions—Eric Berry, S, Tennessee
Berry may be the most talented 2010 NFL Draft prospect. The Lions should take Russell Okung, but their management is incompetent, and offensive line coach George Yarno has somehow praised tackle Jeff Backus.
The Lions should have taken Michael Oher last year. They need help on defense too. They're last in the NFL in pass defense, allowing 265.4 passing yards per game. Berry and Louis Delmas would form a powerful safety tandem.
3. Kansas City Chiefs—Russell Okung, T, Oklahoma State
The Chiefs have no offensive line, and Matt Cassel will continue to get beaten up if the they don't take a tackle now and move Branden Albert back to guard.
Okung is a rare gem of a tackle prospect. He has amazing leadership skills and is a four-year starter. He can be expected to start on day one.
4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers-—Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma
The Buccaneers ruined their chances at landing Ndamukong Suh by beating the Seahawks and Saints, and they need to upgrade their terrible rush defense badly. Suh is the best fit for the Buccaneers' defensive scheme, so winning wasn't a good idea.
Luckily, McCoy is still available and arguably just as talented as Suh. He recently announced he will enter the draft. McCoy is an elite defensive tackle. He has great intangibles, explosive with high stamina and helped Oklahoma's defensive line hold Toby Gerhart to 4.2 ypc during the Sun Bowl, his lowest ypc of the season.
However, he may need to bulk up a little, weighing in at 295 pounds.
5. Washington Redskins—Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame
The Redskins will likely hire Mike Shanahan as their new head coach. Assuming he replaces Jim Zorn, he won't want to re-sign QB Jason Campbell, so he will likely leave as a free agent.
With a new GM, Bruce Allen, and coach in D.C., the franchise will want to make a fresh start. That means drafting a QB first to be the franchise face.
Clausen finished his junior season at Notre Dame with 28 touchdowns, four interceptions, and a 68 percent completion rate. Charlie Weis' firing led to Clausen's decision to enter the NFL Draft and forgo his senior year at Notre Dame.
If Notre Dame had a decent defense and a better coach, they would have been a BCS team.
Despite his critics saying that he can't lead his team to wins, Clausen led his team to great near-comebacks, specifically against USC, and he played behind a bad offensive line.
6. Cleveland Browns—Joe Haden, CB, Florida
The Browns' pass defense is 29th in the NFL, allowing 247.9 ypg. Their current CBs aren't reliable, and Haden is the best CB in college football. He leads Florida's dominant defense.
Matt McGuire even compared him to Bengals CB Leon Hall in his scouting report on walterfootball.com.
7. Buffalo Bills—Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma
With Gerald McCoy off the board, the Bills can address their rush defense issues later and take a QB here.
Neither Ryan Fitzpatrick nor Trent Edwards is the answer under center. Brian Brohm is starting Sunday. He was signed by the Bills after the Packers released him, so he is obviously a bust in the making.
Bradford comes with some red flags, such as playing in a spread shotgun offense and an injury-plagued history. The Bills will be hoping Bradford can convert his old form to the NFL, but he will need to convince them that he can stay healthy.
8. Oakland Raiders—Bruce Campbell, T, Maryland
Al Davis loves players that can run a fast 40 time, and Campbell can run a 4.9, which is very fast for a tackle.
The Raiders need offensive line help badl. Davis will probably not draft a QB, since he still believes that JaMarcus Russell has potential, although he is one of the biggest busts ever.
9. Seattle Seahawks—Bryan Bulaga, T, Iowa
The Seahawks need a left tackle badly because someone always gets close to Matt Hasselbeck, and the protection needs to improve.
Walter Jones (ablove) is on IR and is too injury-prone to continue playing football. Looks like the Seahawks should have drafted Eugene Monroe when they had the chance.
10. Denver Broncos (from Chicago)—Rolando McClain, LB, Alabama
The Broncos have a hole at inside linebacker with Andra Davis struggling in recent games.
McClain is the top inside linebacker in this year's draft, and he's coming off a great performance in the SEC Championship Game against Florida.
This is a perfect scenario for the Broncos.
11. San Francisco 49ers (from Carolina)—Anthony Davis, T, Rutgers
The 49ers' offensive line is struggling, and Adam Snyder has been terrible. Tony Pashos had a career-ending injury, and the depth on the already bad line is thin, so the 49ers will want to fix that.
Davis declared for the NFL Draft, and his draft stock has been rising recently.
12. Miami Dolphins—Terrence Cody, DT, Alabama
The Dolphins' NT Jason Ferguson is 34, and Cody has been a big part of Alabama's top-ranked defense in college football. The Dolphins will have a strong rush defense with Cody on the line.
13. Houston Texans—C.J. Spiller, RB, Clemson
The Texans are hurting at RB. Steve Slaton experienced a sophomore slump and is now on IR. Ryan Moats' big game was a fluke, and Chris Brown is not the future. Plus, Arian Foster fumbled a lot just like Slaton did before his injury.
Spiller is an explosive RB. He had a huge ACC Championship Game, and he is often compared to Chris Johnson. He can run a 4.2 just like Johnson.
14. Tennessee Titans—Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech
Kyle Vanden Bosch is a free agent at the end of the season, as are several other Titans defensive ends.
Morgan leads Georgia Tech with 12 sacks and would be a great fit for the Titans' rush defense.
15. New York Jets—Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State
The Jets need a wide receiver because Braylon Edwards has been a disappointment. He is extremely talented, but he drops way too many passes, so the Jets will not pay to resign him.
Mark Sanchez has no receiving weapons, and that doesn't help his rookie campaign at all.
Bryant got suspended for an NCAA violation, but that shouldn't affect his draft stock. He is still the most talented receiver in college football.
16. Jacksonville Jaguars—Tim Tebow, QB, Florida
This is the only pick that's a given. The Jaguars are 7-7 but still can't sell out any of their home games.
Owner Wayne Weaver wants to draft Tebow in order to bring in more fans just like the Vikings when they signed Brett Favre.
Since Tebow is from Florida just like the Jaguars, picking Tebow would be convenient for him and the team.
Even if Tebow is a bust, the Jaguars will be selling a lot more seats with a big name like Tebow.
17. San Francisco 49ers—Jerry Hughes, DE/LB, TCU
Hughes has got to be one of the most underrated players in college football. He is a two-time First-Team All-American, and the 49ers need help on their rush defense. Their sack leader, Ahmad Brooks, only has 5.5 on the season.
Hughes can play both DE and OLB and plays in a 3-4 defense at TCU just like the 49ers have, so he would be a perfect fit.
Plus, he had 15 sacks his junior year at TCU, and he has 11.5 this year.
Manny Lawson is a bust and needs to be replaced. The 49ers are one of the very few teams that are likely to be willing to draft a hybrid in the first round.
18. Atlanta Falcons—Sean Weatherspoon, LB, Missouri
The Falcons need an upgrade at outside linebacker as an upgrade over aging Mike Peterson.
Weatherspoon has top-15 talent and could start for the Falcons right away. The Falcons need to improve their struggling defense.
19. New York Giants—Earl Thomas, S, Texas
Thomas has had a phenomenal year. He has eight interceptions for 149 yards and two returned for touchdowns.
The Giants have been struggling on defense with the injury bug hitting. Kenny Phillips has a career-threatening injury, and Aaron Rouse and CC Brown are starting at safety. Now I know why the Packers released Rouse.
20. Seattle Seahawks (from Denver)—Ras-I Dowling, CB/S, Virginia
The Seahawks have a terrible pass defense. They're ranked 30th in the NFL with 250.4 yards allowed per game.
If I were the GM, I would trade up to get Eric Berry, but trades are pretty much impossible to predict. Dowling is a versatile defensive back who can play both cornerback and free safety, which the Seahawks need both.
21. Pittsburgh Steelers—Taylor Mays, S, USC
The Steelers need a free safety to replace Ryan Clark, who will be a free agent. Their pass defense has been a weak spot, which along with injuries, explains them underperforming.
Losing Troy Polamalu was a big hit. The Steelers need a free safety that so Polamalu getting injured doesn't make it the end of the world.
22. Baltimore Ravens—Golden Tate, WR, Notre Dame
Tate is a First-Team All-American, and he played in a pro-style offense at Notre Dame. He followed Clausen to the NFL after Weis was fired.
The Ravens need a receiver badly since Derrick Mason will probably retire, and Mark Clayton is not reliable. He constantly drops passes. These factors are definitely contributing to Flacco's passing struggles.
23. Dallas Cowboys—Trent Williams, T, Oklahoma
Williams is the anchor of Oklahoma's offensive line and was named to the AP All-American Third Team.
Flozell Adams is old, allows lots of sacks and commits lots of false start penalties. He's obviously not the Pro Bowl tackle he used to be. He should be replaced.
24. Arizona Cardinals—Jermaine Gresham, TE, Oklahoma
The Cardinals need a tight end, and wide receiver Steve Breaston will be a free agent. So they will need to give their receiving corps a threat across the middle.
Gresham is a talent the Cardinals won't be able to pass on. He is the best TE in college football.
25. Cincinnati Bengals—Damian Williams, WR, USC
The Bengals need a No. 2 receiver across from Chad Ochocinco, who is constantly being double-teamed. Cincinnati needs a decoy to prevent that. Plus, the Bengals are now down a receiver.
Williams played in a pro-style offense at USC, and should do very well in the NFL with his great work ethic.
R.I.P. Chris Henry(1983-2009)
26. New England Patriots—Von Miller, DE/LB, Texas A&M
Miller leads the nation in sacks with 17, and the Patriots need to improve their rush defense. With Adalius Thomas declining due to age, they will need a new OLB that plays in a 3-4 defense.
Miller would be a perfect fit for the Patriots. He got past Russell Okung a few times, and that's very impressive.
27. Minnesota Vikings—Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas
Favre will resign with the Vikings for one more year, but the Vikings need to draft a successor. Sage Rosenfels is, at best, a stopgap measure.
Mallett has been doing great at Arkansas since transferring from Michigan. He threw for 3,425 yards, 29 touchdowns, and only seven interceptions this season.
He hasn't answered any questions about whether he will go to the NFL early, so he's on my radar until he announces he's staying at Arkansas.
He isn't the kind of QB that will likely produce right away, but given some time, he has shown the potential for amazing results.
He can also benefit just like Aaron Rodgers did by sitting on the bench for a little while and watching Favre play.
28. New Orleans Saints—Travis Lewis, LB, Oklahoma
The Saints could use an upgrade at linebacker. They never had the chance to take one in 2009 because they did not have any picks in the second and third rounds. They have been struggling with their rush defense and won't get to the Super Bowl with what they have.
Yes, I'm no longer predicting the Saints as the Super Bowl champion.
29. Philadelphia Eagles—Greg Hardy, DE, Ole Miss
The Eagles' rush defense has been kind of shaky because Victor Abiamiri has been struggling. He should be replaced. Andy Reid likes drafting O-line and D-line players.
30. Indianapolis Colts—Charles Brown, T, USC
Brown had a great year at USC, and Charlie Johnson hasn't been doing very well for the Colts as Tony Ugoh's replacement.
They will need to draft a tackle and Brown will be a good fit for the Colts' offensive line.
31. San Diego Chargers—Toby Gerhart, RB, Stanford
LaDainian Tomlinson is 30, past his prime and gets injured easily. Darren Sproles is not a No. 1 RB, so the Chargers should add some depth.
The rushing game will cost the Chargers the Super Bowl as they would be going against the No. 1 rush defense in the NFL.
They won't be able to pass up on a talent like Gerhart, who rushed for 1,871 yards and 28 TDs. He had eight 100-yard and three 200-yard rushing games. He has massive muscle frame and could be the next Jerome Bettis.
32. Green Bay Packers—Joseph Barksdale, T, LSU
Barksdale had a great year at LSU, and he is a first-round talent.
The Packers need a tackle to replace Chad Clifton, who will be a free agent.
The offensive line struggled badly the first half of the season. While they are now improving, it would still be foolish not to draft a tackle if there is one valuable enough in the first round.
My pick right now to win the Super Bowl is the Packers. Maybe I'm being a homer, but the Packers have the No. 2 defense in the NFL, and their offense is powerful with QB Aaron Rodgers, RB Ryan Grant, WRs Greg Jennings and Donald Driver and TE Jermichael Finley, who has had a breakout year.
If there is a downfall for the Packers, it will most likely be the offensive line.