NFL 2010 Mock Draft First Round: How Far Will Clausen Fall? Version 3.0
Here's the latest update of my 2010 NFL mock draft. The order is based on each team's regular season record and the NFL playoff results. I made a lot of pick changes in this mock draft, so it should be an exciting read.
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 quarterback, but now I'm certain that they will take Suh. Jimmy Clausen has a prima donna attitude. He put up good numbers, but Notre Dame had an easy schedule. Suh had a phenomenal senior season for Nebraska.
Suh had a spectacular Big 12 Championship Game performance. He exposed Texas' Colt McCoy, notching four-and-a-half sacks that day. He even was 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.
2. Detroit Lions—Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma
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 believes Backus should have gone to the Pro Bowl. Another genius in Detroit.
Yet quarterback Matthew 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. McCoy may be the most talented DT in 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 yards per carry during the Sun Bowl, his lowest average of the season.
However, he may need to bulk up a little, weighing in at 295 pounds.
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers—Eric Berry, S, Tennessee
Berry may be the most talented player in the whole 2010 NFL Draft Class. He is often compared to Ed Reed. He is just the kind of playmaker every general manager dreams of.
The Buccaneers have a screwy situation here because they need a DT, but Suh and McCoy are both off the board. The Buccaneers have a pretty good pass defense, but no other needs that the Buccaneers have are worthy of being addressed with a No. 3 pick, so Berry is a value pick here.
4. Washington Redskins—Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma
Bradford may be taking back the position of top QB prospect because 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 because 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 Chiefs 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—Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame
With Pete Carroll as the new head coach and quarterback Matt Hasselbeck aging, Carroll will want to draft a new QB to take over for Hasselbeck when he retires. Carroll recruited Clausen when he was head coach for USC.
The reason I have Clausen going after Bradford and falling this far is due to his attitude and abrasive personality, which will likely turn many GMs off, and Bradford has a great attitude.
7. Cleveland Browns—Joe Haden, CB, Florida
The Browns' pass defense finished 29th in the NFL, allowing 247.9 yards per game. Their current cornerbacks 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—Bruce Campbell, T, Maryland
Al Davis loves players that can run a fast 40 time, and Campbell can run a 4.9, which is very fast for a tackle.
The Raiders need offensive line help badly because their line is pretty much the worst in the NFL. Davis will not draft a QB here since Bradford and Clausen are taken, and Florida's Tim Tebow would be too big of a reach here.
9. Buffalo Bills—Anthony Davis, T, Rutgers
The Bills need a tackle badly, and the team seems to notice that. They still have faith in Trent Edwards as they should, and if they take Davis here, he would join Andy Levitre and Eric Wood to form a young, solid offensive line. Levitre and Wood had respectable rookie seasons.
10. Jacksonville Jaguars—Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech
The Jaguars have terrible rush defense. Derrick Harvey has been a colossal bust, and Quentin Groves has disappointed a lot, too.
Morgan is an excellent 4-3 defensive end. He led Georgia Tech's defense with 12 sacks, and he would be a great fit for the Jaguars' defense.
11. 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.
12. Miami Dolphins—Rolando McClain, LB, Alabama
Here, the Dolphins can fill a hole at inside linebacker, and McClain is perfect here. He was the heart of Alabama's defense and makes many tackles. He played in a 3-4 defense too, just like the Dolphins do.
13. San Francisco 49ers—Trent Williams, T, Oklahoma
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.
Williams anchored Oklahoma's offensive line after Phil Loadholt, Duke Robinson, and Jon Cooper left for the NFL, and he was named a Third-Team All-American.
14. Seattle Seahawks—Taylor Mays, S, USC
This pick may come as a shock, but Pete Carroll is now the head coach and GM of the Seahawks, and he already knows what Mays is capable of. The Seahawks have been itching for a safety—and they should be, because they were 30th in pass defense in the NFL. Mays can't be counted out right away despite his poor senior season because he has a lot of upside and is an extremely fast, hard hitter, and I can see Carroll seizing this opportunity to draft him. He is a three-time All-American too.
15. New York Giants—C.J. Spiller, RB, Clemson
The Giants need depth at running back because Ahmad Bradshaw is a free agent and Brandon Jacobs will need a new complement if he leaves.
Spiller is an explosive, speedy RB who can run a 4.2 and compares to Chris Johnson, this year's rushing champion.
16. Tennessee Titans—Brandon Spikes, LB, Florida
I have Spikes back in the first round. I thought for a while that he would drop to the second round because he has character concerns regarding the eye-gouging incident.
I have him going to the Titans because they need an inside linebacker, and McClain is taken, so Spikes is the pick here. He has a lot of upside, and he was valuable to Florida's dominant defense for the three years he started. He had 135 tackles his sophomore year, 87 his junior year, and 52 this year.
The Titans' biggest need is at CB, but there's no one worth a No. 16 pick worth taking, so Spikes is a value pick.
17. San Francisco 49ers (from Carolina)—Earl Thomas, S, Texas
Thomas had a phenomenal year. He had eight interceptions for 149 yards and two returned for touchdowns.
The 49ers' pass defense is a weak spot. CBs Nate Clements and Dre Bly aren't reliable anymore and are way past their primes. Clements always gets injured, and Bly is old. Safety Mark Roman requested a trade, and he was subpar for the 49ers, so they really need a free safety, and Thomas would be perfect for the 49ers' defense.
17. San Francisco 49ers(from Carolina)- Earl Thomas, S, Texas
Thomas had a phenomenal year. He had eight interceptions for 149 yards and two returned for touchdowns.
The 49ers' pass defense is a weak spot. CBs Nate Clements and Dre Bly aren't reliable anymore and are way past their primes. Clements always gets injured, and Bly is old. S Mark Roman requested a trade, and he was subpar for the 49ers, so they really need a free safety, and Thomas would be perfect for the 49ers' defense.
18. Pittsburgh Steelers—Terrence Cody, DT, Alabama
The Steelers need a free safety to replace Ryan Clark, who is a free agent, but because Mays and Thomas are taken, they can go for a value pick here.
Cody was a major part of Alabama's national championship defense, and he played as a 3-4 nose tackle, which the Steelers will need to replace Casey Hampton, who is an unrestricted free agent and may not be re-signed because he's 32. But even if he is, Cody would provide great depth.
19. Atlanta Falcons—Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, South Florida
The Falcons need a DE. Their defense has been a mess, and Jamaal Anderson has been a bust so far.
Pierre-Paul has been getting lots of hype lately, and he has great flashes of potential, so he will likely be taken in the first round. The Falcons need a DE, so they won't likely be able to resist him.
20. Houston Texans—Brian Price, DT, UCLA
The Texans need a RB badly because they finished 30th in rush offense in the NFL. Spiller is taken, so it may be a good idea to trade up for Spiller, but I'm not predicting any trades, so Price goes to the Texans here.
The Texans need a defensive tackle because Amobi Okoye is a bust. Their rush defense is solid, but the interior has struggled. Price had an outstanding junior year at UCLA with 23.5 tackles for loss and seven sacks, and the Texans have a 4-3 defense, so Houston would be a great destination for him.
21. Cincinnati Bengals—Jermaine Gresham, TE, Oklahoma
Gresham is the best tight end 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.
22. New England Patriots—Jerry Hughes, DE/LB, TCU
The Patriots need to improve their rush defense. With Adalius Thomas declining because of age, they will need a new pass rusher that plays in a 3-4 defense.
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 Patriots need help on their rush defense.
23. Green Bay Packers—Bryan Bulaga, T, Iowa
The offensive line struggled badly the first half of the season. While they improved, it would still be foolish to not draft a tackle if there is one valuable enough in the first round.
Chad Clifton and Mark Tauscher are both unrestricted free agents, so they may retire, and the Packers have key free agents that are bigger priorities than Clifton, but Tauscher may be worth re-signing for one more year.
Bulaga was the Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year and named to the First-Team All-Big Ten, so he would be a great addition to the Packers' line.
24. Philadelphia Eagles—Carlos Dunlap, DE, Florida
Victor Abiamiri has been struggling, and the Eagles' rush defense has been kind of shaky as a result, so Abiamiri should be replaced. Andy Reid likes drafting O-line and D-line players.
Dunlap has character issues with a DUI arrest before the SEC championship, and he is lazy and doesn't seem to care much about football, but he has a lot of upside. Reid may see that in Dunlap and believe he can instill discipline in him.
25. Baltimore Ravens—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 Head Coach Charlie Weis was fired.
The Ravens need a receiver badly because Derrick Mason will probably retire, and Mark Clayton is not reliable. He constantly drops passes. These factors are definitely contributing to QB Joe Flacco's passing struggles.
26. Arizona Cardinals—Sergio Kindle, DE/LB, Texas
Kindle performed very well in the BCS Title Game, and that should help his draft stock if he follows it up with a great Combine. He had eight tackles and two sacks against Alabama. He had six sacks this year and 10 last year.
The Cardinals need a pass rusher because Bertrand Berry retired, and Chike Okeafor is a free agent and not likely to be re-signed because he is 34.
27. Dallas Cowboys—Charles Brown, T, USC
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.
Brown anchored USC's offensive line, and he was named to the Sporting News First-Team All-American team. He only weighs 296, so he may need to gain a few pounds.
28. San Diego Chargers—Dan Williams, DT, Tennessee
The Chargers need a 3-4 nose tackle to replace Jamal Williams because he's 34, and he was placed on IR this season. The Chargers' rush defense looked horrible against the Jets. Shonn Greene just ran them over.
Williams is the second best nose tackle in the draft, so the Chargers don't really have a choice here.
29. New York Jets—Brandon Ghee, CB, Wake Forest
CB Lito Sheppard looked awful in the AFC Championship against the Colts, and he has been terrible all season. He constantly gets flagged for pass interference, and receivers often beat him. Austin Collie made lots of catches yesterday.
The Jets need a CB across from Darrelle Revis. Ghee is a draft sleeper, and with a good Combine, he could sneak his way into the first round, and he has a lot of upside. He did really well against Georgia Tech WR Demaryius Thomas, and he can run a 4.3.
30. Minnesota Vikings- Tim Tebow, QB, Florida
The Vikings may have a big need at QB, depending on Brett Favre's retirement status. If he retires, Tarvaris Jackson would be starter, and he's terrible.
Many Eagles fans want Donovan McNabb to be traded, and there are rumors going around that the Vikings may trade for him if Favre retires. That would be a good move so that Tebow can sit on the bench and learn from a veteran since he's a project. Many draft experts say he won't be good in the NFL, but he has a lot of upside and a great work ethic, so I don't believe it.
DT Pat Williams is thinking of retiring too since he's 37, so DT may be where the Vikings go. It pretty much depends on who will retire at this point.
31. Indianapolis Colts—Sean Weatherspoon, LB, Missouri
The Colts need depth at LB, so Weatherspoon is pretty much the only choice here.
Weatherspoon is a tackling machine and would be great for the Colts' defense. He had 388 career tackles at Missouri, including 149 his junior year.
32. New Orleans Saints- Navorro Bowman, LB, Penn State
The Saints may win the Super Bowl, but their defense has room for improvement, particularly at OLB. Bowman is a strong LB who had 106 tackles his sophomore year and 93 his junior year and an interception returned for a 73-yard touchdown.
He has character concerns that may cause him to go in the second or third round because of disorderly conduct for fighting and for smoking weed, but he has a lot of upside, and Sean Payton is a great disciplinarian, so I can't imagine Payton being afraid to draft Bowman.