2010 NFL Mock Draft 1st Round: How Far Will Jimmy Clausen Fall?
Here's the latest update of my 2010 NFL mock draft. The draft order is based on each team's regular season record and my NFL playoff projections.
Tune in next week for another update, and feel free to comment on 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 would take a QB, but now I'm certain that they will take Suh with Clausen's stock falling. 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 also 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.
Their offensive line coach, George Yarno, has somehow praised tackle Jeff Backus, and head coach Jim Schwartz thinks Backus should have gone to the Pro Bowl.
Yet Stafford suffered injuries in his rookie year with no protection. Another genius in Detroit. 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. 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, is 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.
4. Washington Redskins—Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma
Bradford may be taking back the position of top QB prospect since Jimmy Clausen will have to skip the Combine to get surgery for torn ligaments. This is a big opportunity for Bradford.
With Mike Shanahan as the new Redskins' coach, he will want to make a fresh start by drafting a franchise QB, and owner Daniel Snyder likes going for big-name players.
Bradford has injury concerns, but when he was healthy, he was the most dominant college QB. However, scouts will be concerned about whether he can play under center since he played in a spread shotgun offense at Oklahoma.
5. 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 from day one.
6. Seattle Seahawks—Bruce Campbell, T, Maryland
The Seahawks need a left tackle badly because someone always gets close to Matt Hasselbeck, and the protection needs to improve. Hasselbeck gets injured way too often.
Walter Jones is on IR and is too injury-prone to continue playing football. Looks like the Seahawks should have drafted Eugene Monroe or Michael Oher when they had the chance.
7. Cleveland Browns—Joe Haden, CB, Florida
The Browns' pass defense is 29th in the NFL, allowing 247.9 ypg. Their current CB's aren't reliable, and Haden is the best CB in college football. He led Florida's dominant defense.
Matt McGuire even compared him to Bengals CB Leon Hall in his scouting report on walterfootball.com.
8. Oakland Raiders—Rolando McClain, LB, Alabama
The Raiders need a QB, but they won't likely take one in the first round since they have to pay JaMarcus Russell millions of dollars that he doesn't deserve. They also need an offensive lineman. Anthony Davis and Bryan Bulaga are both great options here.
Al Davis goes for 40 times, and since Campbell is taken, the Raiders won't take a tackle first here either, so they will go with the best player available with a good 40 time for their position. McClain can run a 4.6, and he weighs 255.
Kirk Morrison is a free agent, and he will likely leave Oakland, and who can blame him? Morrison was one of the very few bright spots on the Raiders' defense, and McClain just won a national championship ring. Davis will like him enough to draft him if Campbell is off the board.
9. Buffalo Bills—Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame
The Bills have been having problems at QB, and if Clausen falls this far, they won't be able to pass up on him.
They could go for a tackle since Edwards can be a decent QB when he's well protected, but Clausen isn't someone the Bills will be able to resist.
10. Denver Broncos(from Chicago)—Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State
Brandon Marshall is a free agent, and he will more than likely leave Denver. He was disgruntled when he was there. The Broncos will want to replace him, if he leaves, and Bryant is the top receiver in the draft.
11. Jacksonville Jaguars—Tim Tebow, QB, Florida
This is the only pick that's a given. The Jaguars 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 did 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. Tebow can sit behind Garrard for a couple of years and then take over for the Jaguars.
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. San Francisco 49ers—Anthony Davis, T, Rutgers
The 49ers' offensive line struggled, and Adam Snyder was 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.
14. Seattle Seahawks(from Denver)—Taylor Mays, S, USC
The Seahawks are very lucky that the Broncos had an awful finish, so they can draft even higher with their extra first-round pick.
The Seahawks have expressed interest in Mays, and they need a safety to improve their pass defense, since it finished 31st in the NFL. Mays underperformed in his senior year at USC, but he's a really hard hitter and has a lot of potential.
15. New York Giants—Brian Price, DT, UCLA
Barry Cofield and Fred Robbins are free agents, and the Giants' rush defense was shaky at times since Chris Canty and Rocky Bernard were injured most of the season.
The defensive line coach was fired, and with a new one, the Giants will want to maintain their depth. The Giants have hope that safety Kenny Phillips will return in 2011 after his surgery, so they won't likely spend their first pick on a safety.
Price had a great year at UCLA with 23.5 tackles for loss and seven sacks.
16. 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.
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 had 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.
The 49ers are one of the very few teams that are likely to be willing to draft a hybrid in the first round.
18. Pittsburgh Steelers—Earl Thomas, S, Texas
Ryan Clark is a free agent, so the Steelers will need a free safety.
Thomas had a phenomenal year. He has eight interceptions for 149 yards and two of them have been returned for touchdowns.
He and Troy Polamalu would form an invincible safety duo.
19. Atlanta Falcons—Sean Weatherspoon, LB, Missouri
The Falcons need an upgrade at outside linebacker 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.
20. 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.
21. New York Jets—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 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 re-sign him. Mark Sanchez has no receiving weapons, which doesn't help his rookie campaign at all.
22. Arizona Cardinals—Bryan Bulaga, T, Iowa
The Cardinals need to get a tackle since Mike Gandy will be a free agent and will not likely be re-signed. Levi Brown has done very poorly, committing a lot of false start penalties.
Bulaga is a steal here since he is a top-15 talent.
23. New England Patriots—Sergio Kindle, DE/LB, Texas
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.
Kindle performed very well in the BCS Title Game, which will impress Bill Belichick if he follows up with a great Combine. He had eight tackles and two sacks against Alabama. He had six sacks this year and 10 last year.
24. 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 a lot of sacks and commits many false start penalties. He's obviously not the Pro Bowl tackle he used to be. He should be replaced.
25. Cincinnati Bengals—Jermaine Gresham, TE, Oklahoma
Gresham is the best TE in college football, and the Bengals need a receiving threat. They could either go with a WR or Gresham. Gresham is the best option here. He sat out this season injured, but when he played, he was dominant, and he has the skills to succeed in the NFL.
26. Minnesota Vikings—Colt McCoy, QB, Texas
The Vikings need a QB since Favre will retire after next season, and Ryan Mallett announced that he will return to Arkansas for his senior season, so he's no longer an option.
The Vikings don't have any real needs, so they might as well have a young QB sit behind Favre for a year, and this would be McCoy's best possible scenario to succeed in the NFL. He has concerns similar to Sam Bradford because he played in a shotgun offense at Texas.
27. New Orleans Saints—Dan Williams, DT, Tennessee
The Saints should build depth on their defensive line. Charles Grant and Sedrick Ellis have both been injured, and their rush defense is struggling, and with what they have, they won't win the Super Bowl even if they do have Drew Brees.
Williams is the next best 3-4 nose tackle in the draft, and the Saints could use a backup for Ellis, who is injury-prone.
28. Indianapolis Colts—Charles Brown, T, USC
Brown had a great year at USC, and Charlie Johnson hasn't been doing very well as Tony Ugoh's replacement.
They will need to draft a tackle and Brown will be a good fit for the Colts' offensive line.
29. Baltimore Ravens—Damian Williams, WR, USC
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.
Williams played in a pro-style offense at USC, and should do very well in the NFL with his great work ethic. He will more than likely leave now that Pete Carroll is leaving for the Seahawks.
30. 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.
31. San Diego Chargers—Toby Gerhart, RB, Stanford
LaDainian Tomlinson is 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 a massively muscled 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, WR's 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.