The Journey to the draft is about to begin.
Well, actually, it already has begun for 20 NFL teams. The playoffs begin Saturday, Jan. 9, and will go all the way to Sunday, Feb. 7 when a new champion is crowned.
That being said, we already know the top 20 draft order, except for some coin flips that will determine certain draft positions.
I will also unveil my formula of what I would do if I were the GM, and what I think the team will do.
Let's not waste any more time and dive right into the (Too) Early 2010 NFL Mock Draft.
1. St. Louis Rams
What I would do—Jimmy Clausen, QB Notre Dame
I am not backing down on this pick yet. Does Ndamukong Suh make sense? Of course he does, but the Rams need a face of the franchise, and they need to get Steven Jackson some help.
What they will do—Suh, DT Nebraska
Can you blame them? No, and if they make this pick I will not chastise them one bit. I just think the need for a quarterback trumps them taking another defensive lineman early.
2. Detroit Lions
What I would do— Russell Okung, OT Oklahoma State
The Lions have 120 million reasons to make this pick. It may not be popular or sexy, but Matt Stafford is already struggling with injuries, and getting a potential franchise LT would be a nice start.
What they will do—Gerald McCoy, DT Oklahoma
No Suh, no problem for Detroit. I don't know why they like Jeff Backus and his eight sacks given up this year, but they do. So apparently, they will go with defense, and wait until Stafford's arm falls off before they decide to protect him.
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
What I would do—Suh
What a fit that would be. Suh is one of the top two or three prospects in the draft, so why do I have him falling to three? Because the other two teams have glaring needs that can be filled with excellent prospects.
What they will do—Eric Berry, S Tennessee
Again, there is nothing wrong with this pick. If he is there, they take him and then needn't worry about the safety position for the next five to six years. I can't really see any problems with this working out for them.
4. Washington Redskins
What I would do—Berry
Was talking with a buddy of mine the other day, and he was more than disenchanted with the idea of a QB being taken at four. I couldn't agree more, but hey, I am a writer and not an NFL exec. Berry would be a great QB for the defense that, really, is not that far away from being top five in the league. Does he get them there? Maybe, but if he fell to them there is no way they should pass him up.
What they will do—Sam Bradford, QB Oklahoma
New coach, new QB? Seems to have worked for other teams around the league, and Bradford is the accurate, ball control passer that Mike Shanahan likes.
5. Kansas City Chiefs
What I would do—Anthony Davis, OT Rutgers
Davis is already climbing most boards, and while I am not a fan of the so-called board climbers, I do see the ability; especially with all the athleticism he possesses.
What they will do—Okung
I guess it will depend on the week with who is going here. Okung is still the best OT prospect in my eyes, but he was off the board in my draft scenario; so Davis is the pick.
6. Seattle Seahawks
What I would do—Bruce Campbell, OT Maryland
Campbell is a bruiser, but more than that, he is a good-looking prospect at a need position for the oft-injured Seattle Seahawks offensive line. On top of that, if they are not intrigued with any of the QB prospects, then they need to find someone to keep Matt Hasselbeck upright.
What they will do—Anthony Davis
Just a better prospect in my eyes than Campbell. Will fill the same need though.
7. Cleveland Browns
What I would do—Bradford
Mike Holmgren will surely shake things up, and that means getting a franchise player. The rest of the AFC North have their franchise passers, and are usually fighting for playoff position as the Browns sit watching. A defensive player crossed my mind, but I think Bradford has the ability to be special.
What they will do—Joe Haden, CB Florida
Nothing wrong with this pick here, just not one I would make. They need help on the defensive side of the ball and Haden should be a shutdown corner; but I just think that a franchise QB is too much to pass up.
8. Oakland Raiders
What I would do—Haden
Haden would be a great addition to the Raiders secondary and give them two great CBs.
What they will do—Bruce Campbell
Well, I don't think the Raiders are interested in any of the QB's on the board, and with Ryan Mallet not having declared yet, I think they go OT, which is not a bad thing. Campbell would bring toughness and add a nasty streak back to the Silver and Black.
9. Buffalo Bills
What I would do-McCoy
Chances of him falling this far are low, but in my eyes, this could happen. Of course that is why I am behind a computer and not in a luxury box watching the game every Sunday. McCoy is the second best DT prospect and he would be a welcome addition to the Bills defensive line.
What they will do—Derrick Morgan, DE Georgia Tech
Morgan is a fringe top 10 prospect. I guess that makes sense why he would be at No. 9 then. Morgan is an intriguing prospect because he has the size and speed that teams love, but with the switch to a 3-4 defense he may fall a little. The Bills, though, would love his ability to hold up against the run and rush the passer, so this may be where he ends up.
10. Jacksonville Jaguars
What I would do—Rolando McClain, LB Alabama
McClain is just a guy that gets the job done. He possesses so much talent to go along with his tremendous leadership ability that I don't see how the Jags pass him up.
What they will do-Tim Tebow, QB Florida
I have fallen into the trap of believing Tebow is going to Jacksonville. I spent a couple of months trying to figure out how this makes sense, at all, and why the Jags would "waste" a pick on a project at QB. Then the last two home games happened and I realized they need to do whatever they can to keep that franchise there, even if it means making a reach at the 10th selection.
Tebow has a following like few others, and in Florida sports history, he is one of the most revered players ever. So even though I don't agree with it and don't like it, I will begrudgingly put him there...for now.
My early thoughts of WHAT I WOULD DO with the 11-20 picks:
11. Denver Broncos : Terrence Cody, NT Alabama
12. Miami Dolphins: Dan Williams, NT Tennessee
13. San Francisco 49ers: C.J. Spiller, RB Clemson (I will note this one before I get killed by the Niners fans. If they are moving to a more spread formation to suit Alex Smith, then I say get him a back who fits that mold better.)
14. Seattle Seahawks: Derrick Morgan
15. New York Giants: Mike Iupati, OG Idaho
16. Tennessee Titans: Taylor Mays, S USC
17. San Francisco: Trent Williams, OT Oklahoma
18. Pittsburgh Steelers: Jerry Hughes, DE/OLB TCU
19. Atlanta Falcons: Donovan Warren, CB Michigan
20. Houston Texans: Earl Thomas, S Texas
A little more in-depth look at 11-20 will come next week.
Thanks for the read.