2010 NFL Mock Draft: Sam Bradford No. 1; Gerald McCoy Could Slip

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2010 NFL Mock Draft: Sam Bradford No. 1; Gerald McCoy Could Slip
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Now that the 2010 NFL Draft is nearly a month away, it is time to write my annual Mock Draft. 

I prefer to write only one, and at most three, because there are far too many variables involved in how the draft will shake out.

For one, it is difficult to foresee trades, because trades often rely on intangibles all going right during the draft.

The Rams are on the clock with the first pick and soon the pressure will be on St. Louis to sign the pick before the draft day, which is a privilege given to the club with the first pick.

Currently, defensive-tackles Ndamukong Suh and Gerald McCoy are the best available picks, but the Rams could go the same route as Atlanta did in 2008 and merely take the best quarterback to build around.

The Rams would be able to sit Bradford for a year and thus ensure that he is fully healthy and able to learn.

The Rams, however, should not be tempted for the quick fix.  The rebuilding process could take 2-3 years and should build around the learning curve of a potential franchise quarterback, as the Lions opted to do in 2009 when Detroit selected QB Matthew Stafford at first overall.

 

1) St. Louis Rams: Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma

The Rams should be in rebuilding mode, rather than search for quick fixes.  Bradford would have the luxury to sit behind Marc Bulger, which is a luxury not afforded to previous quarterbacks taken first overall: Alex Smith (2005), JaMarcus Russell (2007), and Matthew Stafford (2009).

Alternate pick: Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska; Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma

 

2) Detroit Lions: Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma State

The Lions acquired DT Corey Williams by trade, which seems to suggest that the Lions are using free agency to scotch tape the defense and using the draft to build a functional offense.  Okung would give Detroit the left tackle that fans wanted a year ago.

Detroit is far from having a functional defense right now.  And offense sells tickets.  Considering that we are talking about Detroit here, the Lions need to sell tickets in 2010 by attracting fans with something exciting to watch.

Because a defensive tackle will not put Detroit over the top.  The Lions are still behind Green Bay, Chicago, and Minnesota.  Nevertheless, a "high octane" offense would surely sell tickets and give the fans something worth watching.

Alternate Pick: Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska; Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahmoa

 

3) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska

A match made in heaven for the Bucs.  Suh could be the next Warren Sapp.

Alternate Pick: Eric Berry, S, Tennessee; Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma

 

4) Washington Redskins: Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame

Washington has not seemed very enamored by quarterback Jason Campbell and may have tendered his free-agency merely to resign him for another year and select a quarterback to groom. 

Clausen would fit well in the Shanahan system, while Washington could trade Campbell to a team such as Buffalo.

Alternate Pick: Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma State

 

5) Kansas City Chiefs: Jason Pierre-Paul, DE-LB, South Florida

Hard to say what Kansas City will do here.  The Chiefs could potentially take Gerald McCoy and trade the disappointing Glenn Dorsey.

A year ago, the Chiefs reached by taking DE Tyson Jackson at third overall, and he turned in an unproductive rookie campaign. 

Executive Scott Pioli seems to be taking a slow, but steady, approach to rebuilding the Chiefs and could be thinking that Jackson will turnaround once the Chiefs have filled in other holes, such as nose tackle and linebacker.

I considered Eric Berry, but the Patriots never put a high premium on safeties.  I can't see Pioli investing in a position that can often be filled in later rounds.

Fifth overall would be high for Pierre-Paul, but again, the Chiefs took Jackson in 2009 much higher than projected because he filled a positional need.  Nevertheless, Pierre-Paul would allow LB Andy Studebaker to spend more time on the inside of the 3-4.

Pierre-Paul is a bit raw, but could be an outstanding rusher at linebacker, opposite to Tamba Hali.

I should add that few in the media mocked the Jackson pick as much as Al Davis was mocked for the Darrius Heyward-Bey pick.

Alternate Pick: Bryan Bulaga, OL, Iowa; Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma

 

6). Seattle Seahawks: Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma

Assuming that Gerald McCoy falls this far, this pick would be a no-brainer.  In fact, I would not be surprised if Seattle trades up to acquire McCoy.

Seattle needs to upgrade a sketchy defensive line and hopes that McCoy would have a positive impact on former top pick, DE Lawrence Jackson.

Alternate Pick: Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame; Eric Berry, S, Tennessee

 

7) Cleveland Browns: Eric Berry, S, Tennessee

The Browns would be wise to consider trading down with one possibility being Jacksonville.

Nevertheless, the Browns could go with WR Dez Bryant or S Eric Berry.  Berry is the better value, while Bryant could help Cleveland at receiver. But Cleveland seems to have a glut of receiver prospects.

The problem with the idea of taking Berry is that Mike Holmgren has never put much premium on the position of safety, yet it would fill the hole created by the departure of safety Brodney Pool and shore up the secondary.

Alternate Pick: CJ Spiller, HB, Clemson; Dez Dryant, WR, Oklahoma State

 

8) Oakland Raiders: Bruce Campbell, OT, Maryland

This is a virtual lock in most mocks.  Some have wagered that S Taylor Mays could go here, but both Campbell and Mays are rare athletes (which is coveted by Al Davis), yet the Raiders have a glut of prospects at safety and not much help at offensive tackle.

Mocking this pick would be unfair.  I realize that the Raiders currently have a trio of high-profile duds in JaMarcus Russell, Darren McFadden, and Darrius Heyward-Bey, but that assessment is based largely on hatred towards Davis. 

The fact has been that many of the "busts" have turned around their career, such as Robert Gallery, Michael Huff, and even Nnamdi Asomugha.  Thus, I think it is far too premature to make any ruling on McFadden, Heyward-Bey, or even JaMarcus Russell.

Moreover, Campbell has impressed more than just the Raiders.  More teams are more excited by Campbell's raw potential than other prospects like Bryan Bulaga, Anthony Davis, and Trent Williams.

I should add that Bulaga, like current Raider Robert Gallery, is from an Iowa program known for being finesse.  Gallery has turned into an above average guard, but was expected to play tackle.  Campbell fits the prototype for an All-Pro left tackle, so long as he can stay healthy and gain experience.

Alternate Pick: Trent Williams, OT, Oklahoma; Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, South Florida

 

9) Buffalo Bills: Trent Williams, OT, Oklahoma

The Bills revamped the offensive line in the 2009 Draft by taking G Andy Levitre and C Eric Wood.  All the Bills need now is a left tackle. 

It should be noted that QB Trent Edwards succeeded when the Bills had LT Jason Peters.  Perhaps then, a new left tackle can benefit Edwards.

Alternate Pick: CJ Spiller, HB, Clemson; Jason Pierre-Paul, DE-LB, South Florida

 

10) Jacksonville Jaguars: Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State

Jacksonville needs a receiver, and Bryant is the best available. 

Unless Jacksonville trades up with a team such as Cleveland, then I don't see the Jaguars taking a defensive player.

Alternate Pick: Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, South Florida

 

11) Denver Broncos: Rolando McLain, ILB, Alabama

The Broncos need a tackling machine in the middle of the 3-4 opposite DJ Williams.

Alternate Pick: Dan Williams, NT, Tennessee

 

12) Miami Dolphins: Bryan Bulaga, OL, Iowa

Bill Parcells takes the best available to shore up the offensive line.  Some would think receiver, halfback, or linebacker here.

Bulaga could push LG Justin Smiley over to the right side.

Assuming that Jean Pierre-Paul goes to Kansas City, then a linebacker would be high at 12th overall, as would any pass catcher not named Dez Bryant.

Parcells has also preferred to take halfbacks in the 3rd and 4th rounds or to sign a veteran.  With Brian Westbrook and Justin Fargas on the market, I would bet that Parcells goes that route before using a high pick on a runningback.

Thus, taking the best available player makes the most sense, especially one that plays the offensive line, because he can enhance the lanes for a runningback.

Alternate Pick: NT Dan Williams, Tennessee; LB Sean Witherspoon, Missouri

 

13) San Francisco 49ers: Joe Haden, CB, South Florida

The Niners are down to Nate Clements at corner-back and not much after that.  San Francisco takes the best available and gets younger at cornerback.

If anything, the 49ers are just taking luxury picks this year.  I really cannot identify a significant hole in the team that could be upgraded immediately through the draft.

That is why it seems to make the most sense for the 49ers to solidify the strength of the defense by adding depth.

Alternate Pick: Dan Williams, NT, Tennessee

 

14) Seattle Seahawks: Anthony Davis, OT, Rutgers

Another no-brainer for Seattle.  Assuming that Seattle gets Gerald McCoy and Anthony Davis, the Seahawks will be the toast of the draft.

Some might think CJ Spiller would be a good pick here, but a runningback will have trouble behind a weak line.  Thus, the offensive line should be the priority for Seattle.

Someone like HB Jahvid Best should be around in the 2nd round.

Alternate Pick: Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech; CJ Spiller, HB, Clemson

 

15) New York Giants: Sean Weatherspoon, LB, Missouri

Some think that NY should take a defensive-end, when clearly the hole is at outside linebacker. 

Some think that Jerry Reese could consider DE Derrick Morgan, but even if Osi Umenyiora retires, the Giants would still have Justin Tuck and Mathias Kiwanuka. 

The bigger hole is outside linebacker.

Alternate Pick: Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech

 

16) Tenessee Titans: Dan Williams, NT, Tennessee

The Titans need a run stopper in the middle of the line to free-up the rushers ever since DT Albert Haynesworth left.

Tennessee may need to trade-up in order to select Williams.

Alternate Pick: Sean Witherspoon, LB, Missouri

 

17) San Francisco 49ers: Taylor Mays, S, USC

Mays is a hard-hitting safety that would fit well in Mike Singletary's aggressive defense.  Singletary is reportedly very high on Mays.

Some would put Earl Thomas here, but I think Mays is a better fit for Mike Singletary's defensive system.  Mays could help in run support and the pass-rush.

Furthermore, it would not surprise me if the Niners outright convert Mays to linebacker, as the Panthers did with Thomas Davis a few years back.

Alternate Pick: Jared Odrick, DE, Penn State; Dan Williams, NT, Tennessee

 

18) Pittsburgh Steelers: Mike Iupati, G, Idaho

A cornerback is possible here, but cornerbacks should be available in the second and third rounds, while Iupati is the best available and would shore up the right side of a sketchy line.

Alternate Pick: Jared Odrick, DE, Penn State

 

19) Atlanta Falcons: Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech

Jamaal Anderson is likely done in Atlanta.  The Falcons take the best available end to fill a need.

Alternate Pick: Kyle Wilson, CB, Boise State

 

20) Houston Texans: Brian Price, DT, UCLA

The Texans need more support in the pass rush.  Shaun Cody is a weak link on the line.  This might seem high for Price, but Price would excel next to Mario Williams.

Alternate Pick: Kyle Wilson, CB, Boise State

 

21) Cincinnati Bengals: Brandon Graham, DE, Michigan

The Bengals need another rusher in the worst way.  Taking Graham would solidify a defense that made big strides in 2009.

Alternate Pick: Brian Price, DT, UCLA

 

22) New England Patriots: Jermaine Gresham, TE, Oklahoma

Many have been thinking that the Pats will take a defensive player, which the Pats very well could. I also would not rule out trading-down to add picks, which has been New England's draft MO under coach Belichik.

With Wes Welker likely out for most of the 2010 season, the Patriots need another underneath pass-catcher.  Moreover, tight-ends Ben Watson and Chris Baker are now gone.  Gresham would fill that role nicely.

Alternate Pick: Sergio Kindle, DE-LB, Texas; Jared Odrick, DE, Penn State

 

23) Green Bay Packers: DE-LB Sergio Kindle, Texas

With Aaron Kampman gone, the Pack needs another pass-rusher opposite Clay Matthews in the 3-4. 

Some think that Green Bay could target an offensive tackle, but the defense also needs work and this draft is loaded with offensive lineman.

Alternate Pick: Charles Brown, OT, USC

 

24) Philadelphia Eagles: CJ Spiller, HB, Clemson

Biggest need for Philly is linebacker, but unless the Eagles trade-up, I doubt that the Eagles would reach for a linebacker. 

I think CJ Spiller will tumble because of a recent NFL trend to deemphasize the role of the runningback, or because teams ahead of Philly have a more pressing need at a different position and a better available player to take.

Keep in mind that this draft is considered deep, so there should be good value all throughout the first round.

Philadelphia under coach Andy Reid has generally incorporated multiple runningbacks into the offense, which is also a current trend in the NFL.  With Brian Westbrook gone, the Iggles could use another runningback for a one-two punch with LeSean McCoy.

Alternate Pick: Kyle Wilson, CB, Boise State

 

25) Baltimore Ravens: Kyle Wilson, CB, Boise State

Baltimore has already invested heavily into the offense this offseason by acquiring Anquan Boldin.  I don't see the Ravens targeting an offensive player. 

Kyle Wilson would be a huge upgrade at cornerback for the Ravens.

Alternate Pick: Maurkice Pouncey, C-G, Florida

 

26) Arizona Cardinals: Jerry Hughes, LB, TCU

The Cardinals have converted to the 3-4 base defense since last season and badly need an outside rusher to attack the quarterback.

Surely this pick would surprise draft-niks, but it makes the most sense for the Cardinals.  Arizona could take a big defensive-tackle, but the Cards have a nearly non-existent pass rush.

Alternate Pick: Terrence Cody, NT, Alabama

 

27) Dallas Cowboys: Charles Brown, OT, USC

The biggest believer in Tony Romo is still Jerry Jones, and the heart of any Dallas team has always been the offensive line. 

Thus, it would make sense for Jones to protect his investment in Romo by ensuring that the Cowboys have a solid line.

The Cowboys could use a young tackle to groom behind Flozell Adams and Marc Colombo.

Alternate Pick: Maurkice Pouncey, C-G, Florida

 

28) San Diego Chargers: Ryan Matthews, HB, Fresno State

With LaDainian Tomlinson and Darren Sproles gone, the Chargers need another halfback.  Matthews can run and catch, which would fit San Diego's offense nicely.

Alternate Pick: Jared Odrick, DE, Penn State; Terrence Cody, NT, Alabama

 

29) New York Jets: Golden Tate, WR, Notre Dame

Unless the Jets trade this pick to Denver for Brandon Marshall, I expect that the Jets will take the best available receiver.

Alternate Pick: Jared Odrick, DE, Penn State

 

30) Minnesota Vikings: Terrence Cody, NT, Alabama

Pat Williams could be on the verge of retirement.  The Vikings will need a big defensive-tackle to fill that spot.

Alternate Pick: Colt McCoy, QB, Texas; Earl Thomas, DB, Texas

 

31) Indianapolis Colts: Maurkice Pouncey, G-C, Florida

The Colts have some holes on the offensive line and could use the versatile Pouncey to shore it up.

Alternate Pick: Earl Thomas, DB, Texas

 

32) New Orleans Saints: Everson Griffin, DE, USC

The Saints badly need a young rusher. 

Some would think safety Earl Thomas could go here because Darren Sharper could leave.  However, if there is one thing that New Orleans has in spades, it's prospects at defensive back.

The Saints need a rusher if they expect to return to the postseason in 2010 because the Panthers and Falcons will be hot on their heels to dethrown the champs. 

I expect there to be a run on pass rushers and offensive linemen in the 1st round, while the 2nd round tends to havee good value at defensive back.

Alternate Pick: Jared Oldrick, DT, Penn State; Jerry Hughes, LB, TCU

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