(Only includes players who have declared for the draft by Jan. 11).
1.1 St. Louis Rams—Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame
The Rams need a new face of the franchise. Marc Bulger has developed David Carr syndrome and will never be the QB he was projected to be. Cutting him this offseason would make sense, especially since it would actually save the team money. Clausen is my No. 1 QB, and he's the best QB prospect I've ever seen in my draft coverage. Granted, this is only my third year, so I don't know how much that means...
1.2 Detroit Lions—Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska
The Lions showed last year that they value talent over need. While LT is a much bigger need, Suh is the best prospect in the class, so I don't know how the Lions will be able to pass on him.
1.3 Tampa Bay Buccaneers—Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma
Sucks for the Bucs. Meaningless wins over Seattle and New Orleans have caused the Bucs to miss out on Suh. So they "settle" for Gerald McCoy, who is a slightly lesser prospect. Eric Berry and Russell Okung are also options here.
1.4 Washington Redskins—Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma
If I've learned anything from studying the draft, it's that new regimes mean new quarterbacks. Mike Shanahan would qualify as a "new regime." Bradford is only a mid-first-round prospect, but the lack of a competitor outside of Jimmy Clausen will cause him to be overdrafted. The decision to come back and enter this draft rather than compete with Stafford, Sanchez, and Freeman is looking smart right now.
1.5 Kansas City Chiefs—Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma St.
There are three strategies for taking players in the draft. There's drafting for talent, need, or positional value. Pioli plays the third. So, while Eric Berry is a better prospect, LT is more important than safety, so that makes the pick Okung. Not Anthony Davis.
1.6 Seattle Seahawks—Eric Berry, S, Tennessee
How excited would Seahawks fans be if they got Eric Berry? Not only is he the best player available (BPA), but he fills a need. Don't rule out Seattle trading up from this spot with a team like Tampa if they fall in love with Sam Bradford (or Clausen if the Rams take Bradford). New regimes mean new quarterbacks, and there's no other first-round talent besides Clausen and Bradford. Having two first-round picks allows you the flexibility to do that. And to think, all it took to get two first-round picks was a nickel corner. The USC Bandit better send Josh Mishandles a gift basket.
1.7. Cleveland Browns—Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma St.
Cleveland needs a QB, a FS, a SS, a TE, a RLB, and an ILB. Unfortunately, unless Rolando McClain declares, there are no players at those positions left worthy of this pick. So, the Browns go with a lesser need with the best player left on the board. This pick, as I said, would be Rolando McClain if he declares. I also considered Joe Haden for this pick.
1.8 Oakland Raiders—Bruce Campbell, OT, Maryland
No QB worth taking here, so the Raiders reach for a borderline first-round OT with extreme athleticism and injury concerns. Sounds like a Raider to me. Carlos Dunlap and Taylor Mays were also considered. If Donovan Warren declared, expect him to get a look here as well.