Mel Kiper Jr. is the biggest NFL Draft authority in America, and on Wednesday he released his first 2010 NFL Mock Draft.
(For Mel Kiper's 2011 NFL Mock Draft Click Here)
Along with Todd McShay and Mike Mayock, people love to dissect every statement pros like Kiper make, but at the end of the day, they know their football.
Here I take my shot at Mel’s Mock. I have included my corresponding picks or you can read my most recent 2010 NFL Mock Draft released on Tuesday.
1. St. Louis Rams: Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska
Can't go wrong with this pick, and until the Rams say they are going to draft a QB or trade the pick, there is no reason anyone should have a QB here.
My Pick: Suh
2. Detroit Lions: Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma
Another safe but smart pick by Kiper. Detroit has made a strong stance that they don't want to swap their OTs, and a safety second overall would be groundbreaking.
My Pick: G. McCoy
3. Tampa Bay Bucs: Eric Berry, S, Tennessee
Kiper points out that difference-making safeties are in higher demand than ever in the NFL. With the fact that last year was a poor safety draft and that Tampa has a tie to Berry, this seems like a lock despite what history suggests.
My Pick: Berry
4. Washington Redskins: Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma
Bradford was Kiper's top player entering the season, and he insists he hasn't seen anything on the field to suggest Bradford isn't a top five talent. I saw Bradford holding his shoulder twice and throwing off his back foot quite a bit dating back to the National Championship Game. How will he throw behind a very suspect line?
My Pick: Russell Okung
5. Kansas City Chiefs: Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma State
At five, it's hard to pass on a talent like Okung when you have needs on the offensive line, but KC has bigger needs on defense in my opinion. Jamaal Charles ran wild late in the year, and Matt Cassel is the type of QB who will always attract sacks. The talented Okung is hard to pass though.
My Pick: Rolando McClain
6. Seattle Seahawks: Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech
Could the Hawks use Morgan? Without a doubt, but their pass rush wasn't as bad as their pass coverage or pass protection, and there are highly ranked players at six to address both of those needs. Morgan's ability to play the run will upgrade the defense tremendously, however.
My Pick: Joe Haden
7. Cleveland Browns: Joe Haden, CB, Florida
If Haden falls to seven, he looks like a lock for the Browns. Mike Holmgren is big on drafting DBs early, and Haden may be the NFL's next elite corner. As Mel says, the Browns "can't go wrong" by picking Haden considering their coverage woes.
My Pick: Morgan
8. Oakland Raiders: Anthony Davis, OT, Rutgers
The Raiders had some surprise victories last season, and with a talented stable of backs, they could have a few more if their line improves. Davis would be a nice fit in Oakland, although he was inconsistent. At times he plays up to his competition, and if he plays at an NFL level every Sunday, we may see the Raiders fighting for a playoff spot—well, maybe.
My Pick: Bruce Campbell
9. Buffalo Bills: Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame
With years of experience in a pro-style offense, Clausen is much more NFL-ready than some want to give him credit for. New coach Chan Gailey is looking for a QB of his own, which usually means drafting one who hasn't been ruined already. Clausen's experience in bad weather is a plus for the Bills.
My Pick: Clausen
10. Denver Broncos (from Chicago): Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State
Until Denver comes out and says Brandon Marshall is staying, this pick looks like a lock. Some scouts feel Bryant will grade out higher than Michael Crabtree, which may be debatable on the field, but at least we will see what he can do in the competitive pre-draft environment.
My Pick: Bryant
11. Jacksonville Jaguars: Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, South Florida
There are two schools of thought in the 2010 NFL Draft: One thinks JAX will draft Tim Tebow, and the other thinks they will draft for need. Mel does not believe the Jags will draft Tebow "just to sell tickets." Pierre-Paul is a rare talent, but his rawness makes him a potential bust. Would Carlos Dunlap be the better option at end?
My Pick: Tim Tebow
12. Miami Dolphins - Rolando McClain, LB, Alabama
There is one backer in this draft who is a lock to be a stud in any system, and that's McClain. At 12 he is a great value pick for Miami, and he fills a need too.
My Pick: C.J. Spiller
13. San Francisco 49ers: Trent Williams, OT, Oklahoma
This might be a small reach for a right tackle considering SF has another pick later in the draft. I would like to see the Niners grab a safety or Spiller here and a lineman with their second pick, but drafting a starter is never a bad thing.
My Pick: Taylor Mays
14. Seattle Seahawks (From Denver): C.J. Spiller, RB, Clemson
Pete Carroll has a road map for the talent he wants to bring in, and as we know from his units at USC, he loves dynamic backfield players. Spiller can be more of a running back than Reggie Bush and equally impressive in the return game.
My Pick: A. Davis
15. New York Giants: Carlos Dunlap, DE, Florida
Kiper feels the defensive line depth of the Giants has been overstated, but looking at their roster, I see many edge rushers. Dunlap has great potential, but his commitment is a question, and if the Giants are switching to a cover 2, they may need other positions more.
My Pick: Navorro Bowman
16. San Francisco 49ers (from Carolina): Earl Thomas, S, Texas
If the Niners can grab Thomas at 16 after taking Williams at 13, it will be a very successful first round. The ball-hawk safety isn't the biggest prospect, but he is productive and confident.
My Pick: T. Williams
17. Tennessee Titans: Everson Griffen, DE, Southern California
Any mock that doesn't have the Titans taking a defensive lineman is questionable in my eyes, and it looks like Mel agrees. With the top three ends off the board, the Titans are left with Griffen, or they could draft a DT. I'm not sure Griffen has the elite pass rush skills the Titans need to pressure the QB more in 2010.
My Pick: Pierre-Paul
18. Pittsburgh Steelers: Bryan Bulaga, OT, Iowa
Watching Big Ben pump fake three times and get sacked got tiresome this season, and after back-to-back years of terrible line play, it's time to update the unit. Bulaga may start on the right side initially, but he projects to be a very good left tackle one day, and as Mel points out, Bulaga won't need to change his wardrobe.
My Pick: E. Thomas
19. Atlanta Falcons: Sergio Kindle, DE/OLB, Texas
The Falcons are looking for linebackers and ends, and they might have found both in Kindle. When tested against Oklahoma and Alabama, Kindle performed from the DE position. He may be uncomfortable at times in the Falcons' system, but his former teammate Brian Orakpo had no trouble being productive in the 4-3 this year.
My Pick: Brian Price
20. Houston Texans: Brian Price, DT, UCLA
In their short existence we have seen the Texans actively upgrade their defensive line in the draft, and there is nothing to indicate they won't continue to do so—it's just a matter of which player. Price is a very active tackle, and while I think a clogger might have more of an impact in stopping the run, the Texans may fall in love with Price's upside.
My Pick: Dan Williams
21. Cincinnati Bengals: Aaron Hernandez, TE, Florida
This pick is a reach in my eyes. Hernandez is an athletic TE/H-Back who can be used all over the field, but because he lacks prototypical size, I'm not sure he's first round talent. An impressive forty will go a long way.
My Pick: Mike Iupati
22. New England Patriots: Ricky Sapp, DE/OLB, Clemson
Like Hernandez, Sapp is a fringe first rounder who just needs one 3-4 team to fall in love with him. The Pats defense was the worst it's been in a decade, and personnel changes this offseason will create a need at the nine-tech.
My Pick: Dunlap
23. Green Bay Packers: Taylor Mays, S, Southern California
With dynamic safeties in high demand, I have a hard time seeing Mays slide past teams like Pittsburgh and Houston. If the Packers do get him, it could result in the steal of the draft.
My Pick: Bulaga
24. Philadelphia Eagles: Navorro Bowman, LB, Penn State
The Eagles have a handful of backers looking for contracts, and none of those players are as good as Bowman. We've seen enough "undersized" backers do well enough in the NFL that an inch or two shouldn't matter when you have on-field production like his.
My Pick: Griffen
25. Baltimore Ravens: Jermaine Gresham, TE, Oklahoma
After taking a year off from the game due to injury, similar to his teammate Bradford, it's hard to call Gresham a lock in the first round. Ozzie Newsome of the Ravens knows his tight ends, so if Gresham is that good he could be their pick, but an eventual starter doesn't seem like the best pick considering their need at receiver.
My Pick: Arrelious Benn
26. Arizona Cardinals: Dan Williams, DT, Tennessee
Kiper feels a nose tackle is the second biggest need for the Cards, and I agree with him that if Williams is on the board it will be a tough pass. The Cards do have two old outside backers and some questionable things going on at tackle, and I see either being addressed if Williams is off the board.
My Pick: Brandon Graham
27. Dallas Cowboys: Bruce Campbell, OT, Maryland
I love this pick for the Cowboys, but I have Campbell going off the board almost 20 picks earlier. Flozell Adams is nearing the end of his career, and the Cowboys need depth now and possibly a player who can start in 2010. If Campbell is gone, will they reach for another tackle though?
My Pick: Brandon Spikes
28. San Diego Chargers: Jonathan Dwyer, RB, Georgia Tech
Rumors are that the Chargers and LT will be parting ways, and while Darren Sproles has done well as a starter, it's not foreseeable he can handle the load for 16 games. Dwyer would be a nice thunder to Sproles' lightning, and he is deceptive similar to the Jets' Shonn Greene. A new nose might have more impact though.
My Pick: Terrence Cody
29. New York Jets: Golden Tate, WR, Notre Dame
Many see the Jets going with a WR in the first round, and I like the big-play threat of Tate to blend with the Jets' offensive style. Tate would be the third WR as a rookie and maybe even longer depending on NY's feelings towards Braylon Edwards, making this pick a bit of a luxury, but the talent is there.
My Pick: Kindle
30. Minnesota Vikings: Patrick Robinson, CB, Florida State
Looking at the players left on the board after Kiper's first 29 picks, the Vikings will have a very tough time drafting. Robinson has just as many proponents as he does doubters, but he could be a very good starting corner for the next decade. With this board I would rather see the Vikings grab guard Mike Iupati to help them run right more.
My Pick: Bradford
31. New Orleans Saints: Jared Odrick, DT, Penn State
Odrick is a talented defensive tackle, and he and Terrence Cody will be pushing the saturation rate of DTs in the first round. The Saints like bigger D-linemen, which is exactly what Odrick is, and he is a standout against the run.
My Pick: Sean Weatherspoon
32. Indianapolis Colts: Brandon Graham, DE/OLB, Michigan
Drafting Graham would be an example of the rich getting richer, and if Indy is going with the BPA strategy, as they commonly do, it's a great pick. I don't see Graham transitioning into a 4-3 backer because he is so effective on the LOS, where he plays the run just as well as the pass.
My Pick: Charles Brown