With draft boards and prospect rankings changing drastically lately, I courageously pulled out a mock draft from the rubble. Here is your source for what players teams will draft, who they are looking at, and in a few situations, who they are not looking at. This is a first round mock with predicted trades included. Have fun swallowing this hunk of draft insight, and I would greatly appreciate any appropriate comments.
Round 1 Pick 1: St. Louis Rams/Jimmy Clausen (QB, Notre Dame)
People like to think Suh here, but the Rams won't get better as an overall unit unless they draft a franchise quarterback. Clausen is their guy.
If not him, then: Ndamukong Suh
Round 1 Pick 2: Detroit Lions/Ndamukong Suh (DT, Nebraska)
Detroit should just go with the best player available, considering that they need help at almost every position. If the hype is right, Ndamukong Suh will be a star for Detroit.
If not him, then: Russell Okung
Round 1 Pick 3: Tampa Bay Buccaneers/Gerald McCoy (DT, Oklahoma)
It's either McCoy or Eric Berry here, but considering Berry will play the same position in the NFL as the Buccaneers' rising star Tanard Jackson, McCoy gets the call.
If not him, then: Eric Berry
Round 1 Pick 4: Washington Redskins/Russell Okung (OT, Oklahoma State)
This is just a smart decision here. Okung is a safer and more logical pick than Sam Bradford, and the Redskins desperately need a new left tackle in place of Chris Samuels.
If not him, then: Sam Bradford
Round 1 Pick 5: Kansas City Chiefs/Bruce Campbell (OT, Maryland)
The Chiefs would really love to add someone to their secondary, but they need to realize that their top priority is protecting Matt Cassel. Campbell is the strongest tackle in the draft.
If not him, then: Eric Berry
Round 1 Pick 6: Seattle Seahawks/Eric Berry (FS, Tennessee)
The Seahawks get the most athletic person in the draft: Berry, a world class athlete. There is no denying his football skills either. He is a ballhawk with great awareness and agility.
If not him, then: Derrick Morgan
Round 1 Pick 7: Cleveland Browns/Derrick Morgan (DE, Georgia Tech)
I think this is a little high for Joe Haden to go. Derrick Morgan is the 3-4 end the Browns need who can immediately adapt to the system in Cleveland.
If not him, then: Joe Haden
Round 1 Pick 8: Oakland Raiders/Jason Pierre-Paul (DE, South Florida)
Too athletic for Al Davis to pass on. This is not too early for Pierre-Paul to go by any means. It would be no surprise in my mind if he is a top ten pick.
If not him, then: Taylor Mays
Round 1 Pick 9: Buffalo Bills/Sam Bradford (QB, Oklahoma)
Bradford is a quarterback who has few weaknesses, and can do everything. He is the best all-around quarterback prospect I have seen since Aaron Rodgers.
If not him, then: Rolando McClain
Round 1 Pick 10: Denver Broncos (f/CHI)/Rolando McClain (MLB, Alabama)
The Broncos and Rolando McClain are a perfect fit. If Brandon Marshall can't be resigned, however, look for receiver to be addressed here.
If not him, then: Dez Bryant
Round 1 Pick 11: New York Giants [PREDICTED TRADE F/JAX]/Joe Haden (CB, Florida)
Too many big plays were given up from the Giants' secondary this year. This is would be a great pick that would make Giants' fans go crazy.
Round 1 Pick 12: Miami Dolphins/Dez Bryant (WR, Oklahoma State)
Even though Bill Parcells is not known for drafting wide receivers in the first round, Bryant is too good to pass on if he is available.
If not him, then: Brian Price
Round 1 Pick 13: San Francisco 49ers/C.J. Spiller (RB, Clemson)
The 49ers have a stud already in Frank Gore, but Spiller is a dynamic back who is unlike Gore in the sense that he is a threat to put six on the board with every touch of the ball.
If not him, then: Carlos Dunlap
Round 1 Pick 14: Seattle Seahawks (f/DEN)/Anthony Davis (OT, Rutgers)
With Spiller gone and no franchise quarterbacks left, the Seahawks get big-bodied Davis, who is the source of protection needed in Seattle.
If not him, then: Donavan Warren
Round 1 Pick 15: Jacksonville Jaguars [PREDICTED TRADE F/NYG]/Tim Tebow (QB, Florida)
The Jaguars don't need a quarterback, but they do need to sell tickets, which is exactly what Tebow would do. If those seats stay unfilled, the Jaguars would most likely relocate in the next few years which would mean disappointment for those still loyal fans in Jacksonville.
Round 1 Pick 16: Tennessee Titans/Carlos Dunlap (DE, Florida)
It will be hard to keep both of their starting ends (Kyle Vanden Bosch and Jevon Kearse) in town since they are both free agents this off-season. Dunlap is a strong, athletic lineman who can contain the quarterback with apparent ease.
If not him, then: Everson Griffen
Round 1 Pick 17: San Francisco 49 (f/CAR)/Bryan Bulaga (OT, Oklahoma)
This would round out a great first round of the draft for San Francisco. The 49ers lack at the right tackle position, and Bulaga would be an impact starter from day one onward.
If not him, then: Earl Thomas
Round 1 Pick 18: Pittsburgh Steelers/Mike Iupati (G, Idaho)
Mel Kiper thinks it will be an offensive tackle, but Iupati has been my pick for the Steelers for some time now. He is just too strong and too durable for Pittsburgh to overlook, especially at such a nagging position.
If not him, then: Charles Brown
Round 1 Pick 19: Atlanta Falcons/Everson Griffen (DE, USC)
The Falcons appear to be eying Griffen more and more every day. Good thing for the Falcons, he fills a glaring position need.
If not him, then: Patrick Robinson
Round 1 Pick 20: Houston Texans/Earl Thomas (SS, Texas)
The Texans really haven't had a stud safety since the start of the franchise. Thomas is a very athletic kid who has great potential.
If not him, then: Jonathan Dwyer
Round 1 Pick 21: New England Patriots [PREDICTED TRADE F/CIN]/Brandon Spikes (MLB, Florida)
The Patriots trade up here to avoid Spikes being taken by Philadelphia. He will look great next to Jerod Mayo in the Patriots' 3-4 defense.
Round 1 Pick 22: Indianapolis Colts [PREDICTED TRADE F/PHI]/Brian Price (DT, UCLA)
The Colts get that defensive tackle they need to boost their run defense. Price is great with his hands and is also a great tackler.
Round 1 Pick 23: Cincinnati Bengals [PREDICTED TRADE F/NE]/Taylor Mays (SS, USC)
Roy Williams won't last forever in Cincinnati. Mays falls this far due to his slight lack of football skills. He is a physical freak, however, and that is what lands him with the Bengals.
Round 1 Pick 24: Green Bay Packers/Charles Brown (OT, USC)
The Packers could go a lot of different ways here: running back, wide receiver, offensive lineman, or defensive back. If Ted Thompson is as smart in the draft this year as he was last year, he adds a guy like Brown who will be a starter on the line for years to come.
Round 1 Pick 25: Arizona Cardinals [PREDICTED TRADE F/BAL]/Trent Williams (OT, Oklahoma)
This pick comes from the suspected dealing of Anquan Boldin. The Cardinals add a right tackle to play opposite of Levi Brown, a former top 10 pick.
Round 1 Pick 26: Dallas Cowboys/Terrence Cody (NT, Alabama)
Jerry Jones is not interested in drafting a wide receiver, and an offensive lineman hasn't been taken in the first round for Dallas in a very, very long time. Cody is not an every down lineman, but he will be a powerful force against the run when he does get in there.
Round 1 Pick 27: Arizona Cardinals/Jermaine Gresham (TE, Oklahoma)
Gresham would be a top target for Matt Leinart if Kurt Warner retires. This agile tight end would help Leinart slowly progress into improving his deep ball skills and becoming a better quarterback. Larry Fitzgerald would still easily be Leinart's top target, but a young quarterback can always be dangerous with a good tight end to work with.
Round 1 Pick 28: San Diego Chargers/Dan Williams (NT, Tennessee)
Some think that he is better than Terrence Cody. That is still to be decided, but there are few that would be better in the Chargers' defensive scheme than the big-bodied, powerful nose tackle Dan Williams.
Round 1 Pick 29: Seattle Seahawks [PREDICTED TRADE F/NYJ]/Jonathan Dwyer (RB, Georgia Tech)
This would be classified as one of the 21st century's best draft classes by a team if the Seahawks move up to get Dwyer. This would fill another glaring position need, since the running back situation in Seattle didn't really pan out as they would've hoped.
Round 1 Pick 30: Cleveland Browns [PREDICTED TRADE F/MIN]/Donovan Warren (CB, Michigan)
With no interior offensive lineman that are really good enough to draft at this spot, Minnesota trades out of the pick. The Browns add cornerback Donovan Warren, who would be a starter across field from Eric Wright, and would probably step in as the Browns best defensive back.
Round 1 Pick 31: New Orleans Saints/Sean Weatherspoon (OLB, Missouri)
Weatherspoon has been all over the board in the last month: from first round pick to mid- second rounder, and now back into the first. The Saints can't afford to spend another first round pick on a cornerback, so Weatherspoon gets his name called here.
Round 1 Pick 32: Philadelphia Eagles [PREDICTED TRADE F/IND]/Navarro Bowman (OLB, Penn State)
Bowman is the best outside linebacker in this year's class. Bowman, Stewart Bradley, and Will Witherspoon would be a great overall improvement of the linebacker core from the start of the 2009 season.