I created this Mock draft, as if it were to happen tomorrow, with no influence from possible trade scenarios or free agent pick-ups. Enjoy.
1. St. Louis Rams
Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma
* The leading notion around the league is that the boys from the "Show Me" state are looking for a QB with the first pick. With the recent craze, as unsubstantiated as it may be, of sub-par teams receiving a boost in morale and fan attendance from drafting a young, franchise QB (Atlanta, Baltimore, Detroit), who could blame them?
Questions about arm strength should be quelled after his Pro Day, and don't substantiate passing him up. Even with skipping over Suh and McCoy, I still don't think they take as big of a risk as some experts believe, due to the fact that there are some good DT values in the lower rounds.
I can't envision another scenario, barring a trade for Kolb, or a trade down the board for more picks.
Previous Pick** Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame
2. Detroit Lions
Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska
* Lacking any type of pass rush from their front four in 2009, the Lions need someone who can fill the role of both dominant pass rusher, and gap filling run stopper. The dominating Nebraska DT, whom Mel Kiper considers the best DT that he has seen in a college uniform in the last 32 years, will wow people at the combine, and on tape.
Some Lions fans (yes, there are some left) are screaming for a flashy impact player like Eric Berry, after watching that atrocious secondary give up big play after big play in '09. Even with my schoolgirl-like infatuation with someone who is already dubbed as the next "Ed Reed", having a defensive front creating pressure and forcing the pass, will make a mediocre secondary look that much better.
Quality CB and Safety values can come in the later rounds.
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma
* The Bucs need someone to stop the rush, and to create pressure on opposing QB’s. With an anemic rush, this defense allowed even mediocre offense’s to torch a secondary that has more talent than they may have shown.
McCoy will wow at the combine, and word around the water cooler is that a few pro scouts have McCoy listed above Suh, saying his ability to penetrate and get into the backfield gives him the higher ceiling talent wise.
4. Washington Redskins
Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame
* It almost seems unfair for Jason Campbell. Never having been in a system that remained constant for two years in a row, it can be tough to even get the faintest sense of establishing any sort of consistency.
With that said I really don’t see him panning out as their QB of the future, and a stellar QB like Clausen would be way too much to pass up at this point. These guys need hope for the future, and Clausen can be that guy.
Previous pick ** Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma
5. Kansas City Chiefs
Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma State
*I wouldn’t have thought that OT would be a pressing draft need for the Chiefs after their impressive 2009 draft, including stud OT Branden Albert. Looking at some Chiefs blogs however, it seems as though they still need help keeping their highly paid signal caller upright.
After a stellar Combine showing, they could draft Okung, whom is widely regarded to have the highest physical attribute set of all available OT’s, and mold him into a future LT, moving Albert to the RT slot. They need to upgrade a depleted front line to have any chance at keeping Matt Cassel healthy.
6. Seattle Seahawks
Bruce Campbell, OT, Maryland
*The 'Hawks have more than a few weak points. At this point, selecting an almost sure thing OT fills the biggest hole. This guys measurable are off the charts, and may have a higher ceiling than Okung in some scouts eyes.
QB and RB are a big need here, but without a front line, you can’t create protection for either of them.
Previous Pick** Anthony Davis, OT, Rutgers
7. Cleveland Browns
Eric Berry, Safety, Tennessee
*Without currently living in Ohio, or firing up your Google machine, name a Cleveland defensive back. No, it’s OK, I’m waiting… absolute no-brainer pick here.
They need a center-fielding “QB of the secondary” to instill some heart into a completely lackluster defense. The already touted "Future Ed Reed" will most definitely excel at the next level. Write it down.
8. Oakland Raiders
Bryan Bulaga, OT, Iowa
*Am I wrong in thinking that the only pick Al Davis can make here, is the wrong one? Year after year he has his pale wrinkly hand in selecting overrated players, salivating over arm strength and 40 times.
This year may be the year it changes. With huge investments made at QB, RB, and WR, in the last three years respectively, it just seems like the natural progression to want to protect all that “talent”.
9. Buffalo Bills
Trent Williams, OT, Oklahoma
*As much as these guys would benefit from a guy like Clausen, I really see them taking a QB in the later rounds, or through trade. Trent Williams' excellent '09 campaign will springboard him into the blue uni this season. They need to protect whoever ends up behind center this year.
10. Jacksonville Jaguars
Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech
*The Cats have a golden opportunity to take one of the premiere DE’s in the draft. Still a little raw, this former SFU DE, has a physical talent that is off the charts. Taking comparisons from the Texans' Mario Williams, this guy is going to be a force, even after a mediocre combine showing. Speed over strength seems to be his style of play.
11. Denver Broncos
(8-8) (From Chicago)
Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State
*With the eventual loss of Brandon Marshall, it makes far too much sense to take a near Marshall clone in Bryant. His once in a lifetime skill set keeps him in the top 10 even after missing his senior season due to suspension.
12. Miami Dolphins
Sean Witherspoon, OLB, Missouri
*Grabbing Karlos Dansby in Free Agency keeps Giants fan's hopes alive. From a skill set level, Sean looks to be projected as the top OLB prospect in the 2010 draft, especially after a very impressive performance at the Combine. The 'Fins defense has some major issue’s to address, and he can come in and really be an immediate difference maker.
With 211 tackles, 12 sacks, and four picks in his last three years, he is a good choice for Miami.
Previous Pick** Rolando McClain, ILB, Alabama
13. San Francisco 49ers
Joe Haden, CB, Florida
*Talk about having a pick fall into your lap. This guy is the ultimate package, great skill set, great hands, fast football speed, and a solid tackler. A mediocre 40 time at the combine slips him down a little bit. Opposite Nate Clements, Mike Singletary’s defense gets that much better.
14. Seattle Seahawks
(5-11) (From Denver)
Taylor Mays, Safety, USC
*Some might say this is a little bit of a reach after an up and down senior campaign for Mays at USC. He was easily a top five pick had he come out his junior year, but flaws in his decision making and coverage dropped his status considerably.
That all changed with the 2010 NFL Combine. After posting an unofficial 4.24 40 time, he became the talk of day. Mays and new head coach Pete Carroll will be reunited after so much success at USC, whom Carroll had a big hand in originally recruiting.
A player of his size, (6’3”, 235 lbs.) combined with his speed, will create all sorts of issues for opposing receivers. Hits like a LB and runs like a corner just took on a whole new meaning.
15. New York Giants
Rolando McClain, ILB, Alabama
* As a Giants fan, this is a dream scenario. Having a player heralded with "Ray Lewis" like leadership and ability drop to us at 15 would be the optimal scenario.
His status slips a bit by not competing in the Combine, but a quality showing at his Pro Day keeps him in the Top 15. Brian Price and Earl Thomas remain options if McClain is off the board at 15 come April, but I, among others feel that Defensive Tackle and Safety picks can be had in the later rounds.
Jerry Reese could prove once again that he is in his own league when it comes to April's draft.
Previous Pick** C.J Spiller, RB, Clemson
16. Tennessee Titans
Brandon Graham, DE/OLB, Michigan
The Titans' defense has some major issues to address, and Graham can come in and really be an immediate difference maker. With a great body of work at Michigan, and impressive combine numbers despite bulking up to 268 lbs., he will make a great choice for the suffering Titans D.
Previous Pick** Sean Witherspoon, OLB, Missouri
17. San Francisco 49ers
(8-8) (From Carolina)
Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, South Florida
*Mike Singletary is a defensive-minded guy, and these two first round picks are going to create problems for a lot of offenses. No one questions this guys talent.
Perhaps his one draw back can be considered that he really put up mediocre numbers, even with George Selvie anchoring the other End position at SFU.
Previous Pick** Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech
18. Pittsburgh Steelers
Anthony Davis, OT, Rutgers
*Many people have him flying up the boards. A natural pass blocker, and strong enough to be a force in run blocking, he could really transition into a starting role at left tackle.
The Steelers need to give Ben the same protection he had a few years ago to ever have a chance at returning to previous form. Mike Iupati is a another possibility here, but questions about pass protection make it a little risky.
Previous Pick** Mike Iupati, OG, Idaho
19. Atlanta Falcons
Kyle Wilson, CB, Boise State
*The “Dirty Birds” were terrible in one-on-one coverage, and corner is their most pressing need. His senior bowl performance alone established his presence as a top tier corner prospect.
He has fluid hips, excellent speed, cover skills and hands. He will make an impact early.
20. Houston Texans
C.J Spiller, RB, Clemson
*There are a bunch of quality DT and Safety prospects that are going to be available in the later rounds, and at 20 overall, the Texans are extremely lucky to land a guy like Spiller. An amazing 2009 season, added to stellar combine numbers, this guy is as safe a pick as there is.
Previous Pick** Brian Price, DT, UCLA
21. Cincinnati Bengals
Aurrelious Benn, WR, Illinois
*With the unfortunate passing of Bengals WR Chris Henry, Carson Palmer is going to need an elite target to take some pressure off of Chad (*sighs) “Ochocinco”.
This guy's size, ceiling, and combine results put him in an elite group of quick, "Boldin-esque" possession receivers.
Previous Pick** Demaryius Thomas, WR, Georgia Tech
22. New England Patriots
Sergio Kindle, OLB, Texas
*Kindle is the prototypical 3-4 Belichick linebacker. He does have a high motor, intelligence, and plays with a tenacious attitude. Even without a productive '09 campaign, he is definitely worth a pick at 22.
23. Green Bay Packers
Charles Brown, OT, USC
*Regardless of any holes this team needs to fill, protecting their investment in Aaron Rodgers by bolstering the O-line is an issue that needs to be addressed immediately.
A little undersized as far as tackles are considered, he is an extremely valuable pick for the Pack.
Previous Pick** Bruce Campbell, OT, Maryland
24. Philadelphia Eagles
Earl Thomas, Safety, Texas
*A lot of people have the Iggles taking a DE here and a safety in the second round, but with Pierre-Paul, Morgan, and Kindle off the board, Earl Thomas’ track record, physical ability and skill set is far too good to pass up.
While undersized, he will excel at the next level as Dawkins replacement, with corner-like speed, and the tackling ability of a top flight linebacker, he can be a difference maker.
25. Baltimore Ravens
Golden Tate, WR, Notre Dame
*Joe Flacco needs a top tier target for next season, to take some of the pressure of an ever aging defense. Ray Rice and McGahee are doing a great job in the running game, but the threat of a pass needs to be present to make these guys that much more effective. Perfect hands and speed, this guy is going to command attention at the next level.
Previous Pick** Aurrelious Benn, WR, Illinois
26. Arizona Cardinals
Everson Griffen, DE, USC
*The Cards have a lot of issues to address after a spotty defense forced them into a weekly shootout. The Cardinals should really think about replacing Dansby here, but Florida's Brandon Spikes may be a bit of a reach here, after a poor combine performance (In the events he competed in anyways.)
Griffen has tons of talent which the Cards hope will translate at the next level.
Previous Pick** Sergio Kindle, OLB, Texas
27. Dallas Cowboys
Nate Allen, Safety, South Florida
*Some could say Allen may be a bit of a stretch here at 27th overall, but I believe Nate should be able to come in and prove to be a stout replacement for the epically overrated Roy Williams.
At 6’2’’, 205 lbs., he has decent size, and, while having never run at the combine, has been clocked at a 4.5 40.
Combining that with the fact that there are no questions about his technical skills, that makes Allen a really solid pick.
28. San Diego Chargers
Dan Williams, DT, Tennessee
*After being bitten by the injury bug, the Super Chargers need a gap filler to occupy to NT position. Williams talent and ability to absolutely halt the opposing run will influence the Bolts choice at 28, however RB Jahvid Best’s combine could influence whether he becomes the heir apparent to Ladainian Tomlinson.
29. New York Jets
Jerry Hughes, LB, TCU
After getting burned on the Vernon Gholston pick in 2008, the J-E-T-S need someone who can get to the QB consistently. His skill set and size should fit well in the Jets 3-4 scheme, and is a better choice than reaching for a WR in my humble opinion.
Previous Pick** Everson Griffen, DE, USC
30. Minnesota Vikings
Mike Iupati, OT/G, Idaho
Another no-brainer pick. One of the few times where drafting for need, and best available on the board, come in one convenient package.
He has the ability to step up and perform at the next level, and is an immediate upgrade over Anthony Herrara, especially against 3-4 defenses.
Previous Pick** Maurkice Pouncey, OG/C, Florida
31. Indianapolis Colts
Brian Price, DT, Penn State
*The Super Bowl runner-ups have a stout defensive secondary and linebacking corps, but fall short on interior line pressure and presence. Price gets lost in an extremely deep and talented class of interior defensive lineman, but he should not be overlooked. Will definitely be an upgrade once he gets some playing time.
Previous Pick** Jared Oldrick, DT, Penn State
32. New Orleans Saints
Navarro Bowman, LB, Penn State
*Looks like “Linebacker U” contributes another product to the first round, late as it may be. Bowman’s talent and physical attributes can’t be argued, but his off the field demeanor could be another story.
With a good combine showing and interview process, the Saints front office will overlook his past transgressions and land a quality pick at the tail end of the first round.