2010 NFL Mock Draft, Post NFL Combine: Will Taylor Mays Be a Cowboy?
During the 2010 NFL Scouting Combine, many of the prospects saw their draft stock shift.
While the combine is not the only factor that determines where a player is selected, it does help answer certain questions.
Golden Tate of Notre Dame answered doubters who thought his top-end speed was lacking; this may push him into the first round as his other tools are excellent.
Anthony Davis of Rutgers, on the other hand, had a terrible showing and will likely slip out of the top-half of the first round.
There were a number of draft stock shifts that did not affect the first round, but there are definitely changes taking place.
For comparison, see my Pre-Combine Mock Draft .
Here are the top 32 picks after the combine:
1. St. Louis Rams—Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska
Suh is still the best player on the board, so he should be the first player selected. He will make an immediate impact in the interior of a St. Louis defense that gave up the sixth-most rushing yards in the NFL.
Suh grades out as better against the run than McCoy—and he will likely be picked first for that reason. He was also very impressive at the combine and showed great quickness and upper-body strength.
Some have Sam Bradford going first overall after the combine, but that seems unlikely at this point. After his Pro Day, that may certainly change, but the combine did not change the first overall pick in the draft.
2. Detroit Lions—Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma State
The first surprise of the draft is here, with the Lions.
Many scouts see the Lions taking one of the two top DTs on the board—McCoy or Suh. However, Matthew Stafford could use better protection in the pocket and Okung can provide it.
He will rise up to the number two pick, because the Lions would rather invest $40-plus million into a franchise LT than a DT. They need to protect the other $40 million they already have invested in Stafford.
Okung is a great pass blocker and had a solid showing at the combine. He is the best pure left tackle in this draft.
Regardless of whether the Lions go with Okung or McCoy, they can find another DT or OT later in the draft as well, because it is very deep at those positions. With this pick of Okung, look for Jared Odrick at the top of round two.
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers—Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma
The Buccaneers had the NFL's worst run defense in 2009 and could use some help in the interior of their defensive line. McCoy is versatile and will provide immediate help to a struggling defense.
Suh may be better against the run, but McCoy is no slouch. He is a great backfield penetrator who can wreak havoc on opposing offensive lines.
Eric Berry is not a bad pick here either, but McCoy makes much more sense after the Lions pass on him.
4. Washington Redskins—Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma
This pick has less to do with the combine and more to do with Mike Shanahan's recent press conference.
Shanahan didn't exactly endorse Jason Campbell as his 2011 starting quarterback; it appeared the Redskins don't see Campbell as a long-term option.
Expect Bradford's stock to soar after his Pro Day when he shows off a healthy throwing shoulder.
5. Kansas City Chiefs—Trent Williams, OT, Oklahoma
Anthony Davis had a terrible showing at the combine and Trent Williams looked solid. Williams was already a top-15 consideration, but the workouts have pushed Williams ahead of Davis.
The Chiefs were awful at protecting the quarterback in 2009, giving up 45 sacks. Adding Williams will make an immediate impact on a poor offensive line.
6. Seattle Seahawks—Bryan Bulaga, OT, Iowa
Many will call for Clausen with this pick. However, it is often better to build a great offensive line before finding a great quarterback. Young quarterbacks adapt much better to the NFL when they don't get sacked five times a game.
Matt Hasselbeck will return for another season in 2010 and the Hawks can go after Washington's Jake Locker in 2011.
Bulaga is an excellent OT prospect who plays with great tenacity. His combine showing was solid and did nothing to harm his top-10 grade.
7. Cleveland Browns—Eric Berry, S, Tennessee
There was just one question mark on Berry going into the combine—his size. Berry passed that test with flying colors by weighing-in at a cut 211 pounds.
Berry is the best player available here at pick seven and he also fits their needs. Berry showed excellent explosiveness and ball skills at the combine, and solidified himself as the best defensive back in the draft.
The Browns have huge holes in the defensive secondary, one of which Berry can fill.
Berry is all but guaranteed to be an All-Pro at some point in his career. He has excellent instincts and is a ball-hawk who will rack up a lot of turnovers.
8. Oakland Raiders—Bruce Campbell, OT, Maryland
Campbell is more realistically a late first-round pick, but he is a workout warrior. Campbell showed up at the combine in incredible shape and had great workouts.
The Raiders need offensive line help and Al Davis loves workout warriors. This is a match made in Al Davis' heaven.
While some may criticize this pick, it may actually turn out well. Campbell needs work on his technique, but he has the tools and work ethic to become a great tackle in the NFL.
9. Buffalo Bills—Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame
Clausen may be seen as arrogant and a bit of a young punk, but he knows how to play quarterback. Besides, confidence in his own game certainly won’t hurt him at the NFL level.
The Bills have no answer currently at QB and Clausen is a solid pick at number nine.
With Okung, Williams, and Campbell off the board, going OT would likely be a reach for the Bills, despite that position being a significant need as well.
10. Jacksonville Jaguars—Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech
Morgan is a gift for the Jaguars at the 10th overall pick. He solidified himself as the top defensive end in the draft with a great showing at the combine.
Morgan can come in and contribute immediately and is easily worthy of a top-10 selection.
The Jaguars put together one of the worst seasons ever in the pass rush, with just 14 sacks. Morgan will definitely bring that total up, as he could post double-digit sacks as a rookie.
11. Denver Broncos—Joe Haden, CB, Florida
Haden slipping out of the top-10 means a gift for the Broncos at pick 11. Haden is the best cover corner in the draft and will help an aging cornerback crew that includes three players over the age of 31.
Don’t read too much into the 4.57 40-yard dash time. Haden is easily the best cover corner in the draft and game tape proves it. Some guys just play faster with their pads on, Haden is one of them.
Teams will likely go back and review game film and come up with that same conclusion.
12. Miami Dolphins—Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State
The Dolphins need a big, physical receiver to complement the undersized Tedd Ginn.
Bryant is exactly what the Dolphins need and is a great pick here. He is the best receiver in the draft, with excellent size, hands, and ability to stretch the field.
He will start from day one and make a big impact in the passing game.
13. San Francisco 49ers—Earl Thomas, S, Texas
Thomas had a solid showing at the combine and solidified his place as the second-best safety in this draft.
The 49ers have an aging secondary and need help at both safety and corner. Thomas is a ball-hawk and can potentially contribute at either position at the NFL level.
Like Berry, Thomas answered his biggest question at the combine—his size—by weighing-in at 208 pounds.
14. Seattle Seahawks—C.J. Spiller, RB, Clemson
The Seahawks lack an every-down back and Spiller doesn’t necessarily fit that need. However, at USC, Pete Carroll loved having four or five running backs in the mix for carries.
It never hurts to add a weapon that can score on any given play, as Carroll had in Joe McKnight.
Spiller is the best runner in the draft and would be a weapon in the run, pass, and return game.
15. New York Giants—Rolando McClain, MLB, Alabama
McClain didn’t run at the combine due to injury, but that shouldn’t affect his stock. On tape, he is easily the best middle linebacker in this draft class.
The Giants have a need at MLB and McClain is a great pick here at 15.
16. Tennessee Titans—Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, South Florida
Pierre-Paul is overrated on a lot of draft boards, going as high as the top-5 in some cases. Too many scouts talk about his potential and great workouts while ignoring his lack of production and his lean upper-body.
Pierre-Paul played just one season at South Florida and had 6.5 sacks. He also put up just 19 bench reps at the combine. With that kind of upper-body strength, he will struggle against NFL offensive tackles.
However, on pure potential, he is certainly worth the 17th pick in the draft. Carlos Dunlap slides down from here because of poor interviews at the combine, showing laziness, and a lack of maturity.
17. San Francisco 49ers—Mike Iupati, OG/T, Idaho
Iupati did nothing to hurt his stock at the combine. He is the best interior lineman in the draft and could potentially play right tackle.
Frank Gore was stuffed at the line too many times in 2009 and the 49ers pass blocking left something to be desired. Iupati will contribute immediately.
18. Pittsburgh Steelers—Kyle Wilson, CB, Boise State
Wilson didn’t run at the combine, but he did put up an impressive 26 bench reps. He is the second-best corner in the draft and the Steelers need him.
The Pittsburgh secondary was exposed in 2009 with Troy Polamalu out. Wilson is the best option here for a team without many other glaring needs.
19. Atlanta Falcons—Brandon Graham, DE, Michigan
This is purely a value pick for the Falcons in the middle of the first round. Graham impressed at the combine to add to his great college career.
While projected by many as a 3-4 OLB, Graham is a versatile player that could just as well play the 4-3 DE in the NFL, his position in college.
The Falcons need a good edge pass rusher and Graham fits that need.
20. Houston Texans—Brian Price, DT, UCLA
The Texans could use a DT that can penetrate and help free up Mario Williams to get after the quarterback. Price is one of the best pass-rushing tackles in the draft and could contribute early for the Texans.
Price had a solid combine showing and may have even improved his stock by showing off his quickness.
21. Cincinnati Bengals—Jermaine Gresham, TE, Oklahoma
Gresham answered questions about his recovery from a leg injury to put up a solid 40 time at the combine. He is the most talented tight end in the draft and should be drafted as such.
The Bengals need another weapon for Carson Palmer, especially at the tight end position. Gresham would likely start from day one.
22. New England Patriots—Sergio Kindle, DE/OLB, Texas
Kindle had excellent workouts at the combine and likely solidified his grade by showing his speed and quickness rushing from the edge.
The Patriots have poor pass rushers at the 3-4 OLB position, so Kindle would come in and contribute immediately.
23. Green Bay Packers—Anthony Davis, OT, Rutgers
Davis was originally my first tackle off the board because of his superior pass-blocking skills. He has long arms and great upper-body strength that he uses to keep even the quickest defensive ends at bay.
However, Davis was sluggish at the combine and did not look athletic enough to be a top-10 pick.
Still, as a pure pass-blocker, Davis is one of the best in the draft and the Packers need help in that area. He is a decent value pick here for the Packers who want to hold Jared Allen under seven sacks in 2010.
24. Philadelphia Eagles—Carlos Dunlap, DE, Florida
Dunlap will slide down draft boards, despite showing good athleticism at the combine.
Dunlap’s interviews were less than impressive as teams noted his laziness and lack of maturity.
Still, he is a difficult prospect for the Eagles to pass up on with a need for another pass rusher. If he is available, the Eagles will take a chance on him. If not, Taylor Mays would be the likely pick.
25. Baltimore Ravens—Arrelious Benn, WR, Illinois
Benn had a solid combine, showing good hands and solid top-end speed. He is a giant at over 220 pounds who can be very physical.
The Ravens need a solid possession receiver who can also stretch the field and Benn is that guy. He beats out Golden Tate here, because of his size.
26. Arizona Cardinals—Dan Williams, NT, Tennessee
The Cardinals need help in the interior of their 3-4 defense and Dan Williams is the best player in the draft for that job.
As the draft’s best pure nose tackle, Williams eats up blockers and frees up the linebackers to make plays.
Williams had a solid combine that will keep him in the first round in April.
27. Dallas Cowboys Cowboys—Taylor Mays, S, USC
A trigger-happy scout clocked Mays at 4.24 seconds in his first 40-yard dash at the combine.
We all found out later that his official time was actually 4.43—a solid time, but nothing to jump through the roof over. Mays is still an excellent athlete with good potential, but has little game tape that shows him as a great football player.
Regardless, the Cowboys desperately need help at free safety and if Mays falls here, they will draft him. The tandem of Gerald Sensabaugh and Ken Hamlin had just one interception in all of 2009.
28. San Diego Chargers—Ryan Matthews, RB, Fresno State
Matthews had a great combine and ran a solid 40-yard dash, answering questions about his top-end speed. He solidified himself as the best inside runner in the draft.
The Chargers have made it obvious that they will rebuild their running game in 2010 after letting go of both Ladainian Tomlinson and Darren Sproles.
Matthews is a great runner who will likely start at running back for the Chargers unless they find an option via free agency.
29. New York Jets—Golden Tate, WR, Notre Dame
Tate had a very impressive combine, clocking one of the better 40 times amongst the wide receivers. However, Arrelious Benn looked good as well, so Tate likely didn’t pass him on many draft boards.
Tate is the third-best receiver in the draft, mainly because of his smaller size relative to Benn and Bryant. Still, he is a great pick for a Jets team that needs playmakers that can actually catch a football (in other words, not Braylon Edwards).
30. Minnesota Vikings—Maurkice Pouncey, OC/G, Florida
Many still have the Vikings going cornerback with this pick, but none of the CBs left are impressive enough to be picked here. Unless someone separates from the pack of 2nd-round corners, the Vikings draft for value here.
Pouncey is the second-best interior lineman in the draft behind Iupati and an excellent value at the bottom of the first round.
The Vikings had huge interior line problems with John Sullivan and Anthony Herrera opening very few holes for Adrian Peterson . Pouncey would win either the starting center or right guard job while either Sullivan or Herrera gets the boot.
31. Indianapolis Colts—Everson Griffen, DE, USC
Griffen had a solid combine showing and may have solidified himself with a first-round grade. There are still questions about his consistency, but he is a safe pick at the bottom of round one.
Griffen is a force off the edge and could be the heir-apparent to the 30-year-old Dwight Freeney.
32. New Orleans Saints—Sean Weatherspoon, OLB, Missouri
Weatherspoon could certainly go higher than this after his great combine performance. He may go as high as 19 to the Falcons.
However, after the Falcons take Brandon Graham, who is also very talented, Weatherspoon slides as the teams ahead look to fill other needs.
This would be an absolutely phenomenal pick for the Saints. There is a great chance Weatherspoon could win a starting job from one of the Saints’ lackluster outside linebackers.
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