2010 NFL Mock Draft: Pre NFL Combine Edition
With every NFL Draft junky's Christmas right around the corner, the 2010 NFL Combine, it's time to unleash my Pre Combine 2010 NFL Mock Draft.
This mock both takes into consideration where the players currently stand on the big board and some of their combine expectations. Here’s my post Super Bowl mock draft to compare picks.
Let’s look at the picks before 40-yards makes or breaks players and follow me on Twitter @JohnLorge:
1. St. Louis Rams—Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska
It's rare when the top prospect in the draft agrees to participate in everything at the combine, but Suh feels he has nothing to hide. This also gives teams some insight into his competitiveness.
I anticipate a very strong showing from Suh. He can break the 5.0 second mark in the 40. Coming out as a redshirt senior, he has two years of bench press strength and conditioning over some of the prospects.
The Rams will take him because, unlike a QB, they won't need to add several pieces for him to dominate. In addition, Michael Vick is looking more and more like a Ram every day.
2. Detroit Lions—Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma
Detroit would like to have Suh, but McCoy will do, and he may have a more impressive combine.
I would still like to see the Lions upgrade their OTs, but the team feels they did an acceptable job last year. You can't complain when adding an elite defensive prospect though.
3. Tampa Bay Bucs—Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State
Almost every mock draft currently has Tennessee safety Eric Berry going to the Bucs. Mine used to until I revisited tape of Bryant.
The difference between Bryant and 2009's top prospect, Michael Crabtree, is physical toughness. Bryant is thicker and more willing to take on contact than Crabtree. His physicality will help his transition to the NFL.
If Bryant fails to run in the 4.45 range at the combine, his stock will drop back to the 10-12 range. But right now, he is rare commodity in a defense-heavy draft. Don't forget, Tampa desperately needs a No. 1 WR to pair with Josh Freeman.
4. Washington Redskins—Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma State
Jason Campbell will be the Skins QB in 2010, according to coach and player right now, which means Washington can focus on their biggest need: offensive line.
Entering the combine, Okung remains the top tackle on my board. He has the feet to play left tackle and the quickness to dominate in the zone blocking scheme in spite of his massive frame.
5. Kansas City Chiefs—Eric Berry, S, Tennessee
The biggest knock on Berry has been that he doesn't have elite size. He does have the film to back his top-10 value though. The only thing that will hurt him is an implosion at the combine.
Many suspect Berry can break the 4.4 mark, and if that's the case, Kansas City should be his draft floor. I suspect the Chiefs are eyeballing Rolando McClain to fill the middle for them, but Berry’s ability to play all over the defensive backfield is too rare to pass on.
6. Seattle Seahawks—Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech
Many scouts are ranking the physical specimen Jason Pierre-Paul over Morgan, but the tape doesn't lie. Morgan is an every down defensive end, and he has double-digit sack potential.
The combine may not be the highlight of Morgan's draft process, although that he has low expectations in comparison to some of the other elite ends makes it easier to impress.
I previously had Seattle selecting Sam Bradford here, but it's still a month before we see him throw. Although Pete Carroll isn't on a short leash, a risky pick may not be the best one at six.
7. Cleveland Browns—Joe Haden, CB, Florida
Everywhere you look around the Internet, you see the marriage between Haden and Cleveland. Mike Holgren likes to draft DBs early. The Browns desperately need help there, and Haden ranks at the top of the big board.
At the Combine, scouts want to see a low 4.4 40 time from Haden and a vertical leap in the high 30s. His shuttle and ball drills will also be important as teams try to decipher if he can be a good or great corner in the NFL.
8. Oakland Raiders—Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, South Florida
Although it's Winter Olympic season, Pierre-Paul's back flip video has us looking forward to gymnastics at the London 2012 games.
On top of his tumbling ability, the South Florida transfer intends to run really fast and jump really high at the NFL Combine. If there’s one person who will be really impressed by this, it's Al Davis.
I'm not sure if a tackle will be impressive enough to wow Davis. Oakland needs one, but an explosive end to pair with the stable Richard Seymour also looks good.
9. Buffalo Bills—Anthony Davis, OT, Rutgers
After the abrupt retirement of tackle Brad Butler, the Bills offensive line woes continue to grow.
Anthony Davis is still in the running to be the top tackle picked in the draft, but his weight is a growing concern. Ultimately, if he fails at LT, there is no reason he shouldn't be a quality starter on the right side.
With Buffalo moving to the 3-4 defense, they will need a nose tackle. Dan Williams would be a great fit, but they need several offensive linemen for 2010.
10. Denver Broncos (from Chicago)—Rolando McClain, LB, Alabama
The Broncos are rumored to be eyeing players like Bryant and Morgan, but if both are off the board, it looks like McClain is their best need/value match. I have also had mocks where McClain is gone by now and both Bryant and Morgan are on the board—as we know anything's possible.
McClain should stand out amongst his linebacker peers at the combine. He is the tallest of the bunch and should display the best size and speed combination.
A slower than expected 40 could drop McClain to the Giants, but I have him as a top-10 draft prospect.
11. Jacksonville Jaguars—Brian Price, DT, UCLA
This isn't a sexy pick for Jags fans, but it's one that will make the team much better defensively than they were in 2009.
The combine will present some problems for Price, who is shorter than the other elite tackle prospects, but he will be able to display his quickness. Coming in under 6'2" didn't hurt B.J. Raji much last year. Price isn't as wide as Raji, but he is very sturdily built and more active on the line of scrimmage.
The Jags could try to grab a future QB or an edge rusher, but a player like Price demands attention, making things easier for the Jags ends entering their pivotal third year.
12. Miami Dolphins—C.J. Spiller, RB, Clemson
Miami wants to add youth to their front seven, and they could use some receiving help for Chad Henne. However, no player on the board has more potential for impact in Miami than Spiller.
The Fins backfield contains players who are aging, nearing the end of their contracts and injury prone. The addition of Spiller marks what I am calling Wildcat 2.0.
Clemson's do-it-all back should have a Reggie Bush type combine. If he displays that ability, with the way NFL backs are evolving, teams may be trading up to grab him.
13. San Francisco 49ers—Bryan Bulaga, OT, Iowa
Bulaga did a great job at left tackle for Iowa. He projects to be an LT in the NFL, but if he joins the Niners, he will start off on the right side.
Orlads Scouting Services makes a strong point that SF's new line coach, Mike Solari, loves Kirk Ferentz's linemen. His vote may be enough to edge out Trent Williams.
There are still questions about Bulaga's thyroid. Depending on what the doctors render as well as his measurements and testing, he may be a top-10 selection.
14. Seattle Seahawks (from Denver)—Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma
Before the combine, Bradford seems like a risk at six for Seattle, but at 14 the investment makes sense.
With a year or two to learn behind Matt Hasselbeck, Bradford can let his shoulder fully heal and become fully acclimated to an NFL offense before entering a starting role.
I still have multiple questions about Bradford, many that will remain unanswered, but I can't disagree with taking him in the middle of the first round.
15. New York Giants—Dan Williams, DT, Tennessee
Once regarded as the top defensive line in football, the G-Men's D-linemen struggled to make an impact in 2009, including being gashed in the running game several times.
It's doubtful Dan Williams will do much at the combine to improve his stock, mainly because he hit the ceiling with a great Senior Bowl performance.
16. San Francisco 49ers (from Carolina)—Brandon Graham, DE/OLB, Michigan
The combine may be where Graham's perceived stock drops because of his measurements. But the combination of his game film and the Senior Bowl week make his combine nearly irrelevant.
Graham can be a Pro Bowler in the 3-4 or the 4-3. The former high school linebacker should have no problem adjusting to the Niners scheme.
17. Tennessee Titans—Carlos Dunlap, DE, Florida
With the increasing odds that Pro Bowl end Kyle Vanden Bosch leaves town, the Titans need to quickly add talent to their defensive line.
Unfortunately, the Titans still don't have a tackle to make things easier on their ends, but Dunlap has the talent to make plays even when game planned against.
The combine will be an interesting process for Dunlap. His interviews will be more important than any of the other prospects because of his in-season DUI, and struggling in physical tests could drop him to the second round.
18. Pittsburgh Steelers—Bruce Campbell, OT, Maryland
If the 2010 NFL Draft plays out this way, the Steelers will have a nice group of tackles to pick from in the middle of the first round.
Trent Williams has more hype than Campbell, who some have labeled a project. But the Maryland prospect shows more indications that he can be a starter on the left side.
Pittsburgh could also go for a safety like Earl Thomas or Taylor Mays, but I expect Campbell's stock to start rising in Indianapolis.
19. Atlanta Falcons—Sergio Kindle, DE/OLB, Texas
Many of the Falcons' prospects will either be gone or viewed as reaches at 19, but Kindle is an end prospect who is at the top of the big board if still available here.
Some question if Kindle is a three-down player in the 4-3, but late in games, Atlanta struggled to pressure the QB. That is one thing Kindle thrives at.
Many compare Kindle to his former teammate Brian Orakpo, and if it's true, his combine will be especially impressive.
20. Houston Texans—Taylor Mays, S, Southern California
All of the bad press about Mays has some Texans fans down on the prospect of him joining Bernard Pollard in their defensive backfield, but they need to cheer up. We're talking about a four-year starter on some of the best USC teams of all-time.
Mays is ready to become a professional. His father played in the NFL and has been mentored by former and current pros too.
Drafting a physical freak paid off last year in the form of Pro Bowler Brian Cushing. Mays can have the same immediate impact.
His combine performance should shine a positive light on his pro potential.
21. Cincinnati Bengals—Mike Iupati, OG, Idaho
Everything starts with the run for the defending AFC North Champs. The most understated part of a good rushing attack is guard play.
Cinci was top five in rushing attempts, but a 4.1 ypc indicates that a road grader like Iupati is needed to move the pile.
The Bengals were able to bring in Matt Jones, and OchoUno may be on the way. Many think Jermaine Gresham would be a good pick, but the Carson Palmer has never been one to lean on his tight ends, and Gresham isn't a blocker.
Iupati will continue to stand out amongst the guards at the combine, potentially posting top numbers in all of the tests.
22. New England Patriots—Brandon Spikes, LB, Florida
It's been a while since I've mocked Spikes in the first round. I've always had him in my top 32, but the consensus was that his speed will keep him out.
Assuming Spikes runs better than a 4.65 and interviews strong, it should be enough to get him back in the first round.
The Patriots would like to add a 3-4 edge rusher, but the top prospects are off the board, and Ricky Sapp is not a first rounder to me.
23. Green Bay Packers—Ryan Matthews, RB, Fresno State
If the Packers want to change their tackles, they can pick between Trent Williams and Charles Brown, but none are guaranteed to improve their pass pro.
If the Packers could run the ball more effectively, teams wouldn't be able to tee-off on Aaron Rodgers the way they do.
Matthews has all of the talent of a first round back. While he didn't have a ton of catches, he can use the combine to prove he is a natural receiver.
Super scout Daniel Jeremiah had an intuition about this pick, and the fit is a good one.
24. Philadelphia Eagles—Earl Thomas, S, Texas
Some would consider this a major slide for Earl Thomas, but the truth is the Longhorn defender is limited as a first round pick. He doesn't have the size of Taylor Mays or the versatility of Eric Berry, making him the third best prospect at the safety position.
Don't get me wrong, Thomas does have elite ball skills, and he can be a very good free safety in the NFL. He even has man coverage skills in the slot.
If Thomas can use the combine to show he is fast and quick enough to play corner, it could raise his stock out of the Eagles' reach.
25. Baltimore Ravens—Arrelious Benn, WR, Illinois
The addition of Donte Stallworth is a nice one for Baltimore, but he isn't the final piece of the puzzle, especially with Derrick Mason's retirement looming.
Benn has been the least talked about receiver in the draft process, and he needs to have a successful combine more than anyone. He needs to catch everything that comes his way and perform above-average in tests.
The Ravens have struggled at picking receivers in the draft. Benn is another boom-bust guy, but eventually they have to go your way.
26. Arizona Cardinals—Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame
Considering he has been spotted everywhere from No. 1 to out of the first round, there is no player who is more debated than Jimmy Clausen.
Choosing not to throw at the combine may ultimately hurt him. Teams loved how Mark Sanchez competed last year and seeing Clausen in a competitive atmosphere could help win over some doubters.
In Arizona, Clausen wouldn't be a starter on day one, but he may be the starter at the end of year one.
27. Dallas Cowboys—Jared Odrick, DT, Penn State
The Boys had a close eye on Odrick at the Senior Bowl, and a strong showing there has locked him in as a first round prospect.
Nobody is expecting Odrick to be a star at the combine. He will have to answer some character questions, but a little trouble has never put Jerry Jones off.
28. San Diego Chargers—Terrence Cody, DT, Alabama
The recent rumors are that SD is trying to trade Antonio Cromartie as a running back, reducing their need for one in the draft—opening the door for Cody.
There are few players I love more in this draft than Cody. He is a difference maker and a winner. He may only play two downs, but he will be there when it counts.
At the combine, Cody will have his impressive moments and others that make you scared, but 3-4 teams will be after him more than they lead on.
29. New York Jets—Kyle Wilson, CB, Boise State
The Jets were unsatisfied with Lito Sheppard in blitz coverage, and they need a player who is ready to be continually challenged opposite of Darrelle Revis.
Some suspect Wilson will post the fastest cornerback 40 time at the combine. If that's the case, he could be selected in the middle of the first or earlier.
Some players faced tougher competition on a more regular basis, but in big time situations, Wilson always looked like a star, which was the case at the Senior Bowl.
30. Minnesota Vikings—Kareem Jackson, CB, Alabama
All of the focus on Brett Favre has kept the focus off Minnesota's need for a corner. Luckily, there are at least five corners who are fighting to get into the first round, including Jackson.
Due to the fact that so many corners are so closely grouped, it will be the most competitive position group at the combine.
Jackson has prototypical size and big game experience playing for the SEC and National Champs. He will help the Vikings repeat in the NFC North.
31. Indianapolis Colts—Maurkice Pouncey, C, Florida
Jeff Saturday will be 35 entering next season. You can never have enough offensive linemen, especially ones that can play multiple positions.
Pouncey is the top center prospect in the draft. While it would be a shame for him not to enter the NFL as a starter, it shouldn't be tough to transition from a winning college program to a winning professional franchise.
The Colts could go after defensive help or a tackle, but they seem to always go after the best player on the board.
32. New Orleans Saints—Sean Weatherspoon, LB, Missouri
A strong combine could move Weatherspoon above New Orleans after the Senior Bowl earned him a first round grade.
Weatherspoon was unhappy with his playing weight in 2009. I anticipate him to enter the combine in phenomenal shape.
The Super Bowl champs have needs all over their defense, but Weatherspoon projects to give them the most downs in 2010.
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