Without taking any possible trades into consideration, this is my first look at what might happen in this years NFL Draft.
1. St. Louis Rams: Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame
Marc Bulger is not and never has been the answer at QB. After seeing the success of rookie QBs in recent years the Rams will have to take one with the first pick. Clausen makes the most sense here because of his experience in a pro-style offense at Notre Dame. Historically QBs who played in a pro-style offense in college have had better success than those who did not.
2. Detroit Lions: Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma State
Last year the Lions took QB Matt Stafford with the first pick of the draft. Their offensive line is not bad with the exception of the left tackle spot which is in dire need of an upgrade. Okung will guard their investment in Stafford by protecting his blindside.
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska
Suh falls to the third spot and provides a great value pick at a position of need for Tampa. Suh can be a force in the middle of the Bucs' defense for years to come with his ability to make plays in the backfield.
4. Washington Redskins: Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma
I keep hearing that for whatever reason, Dan Snyder doesn't like Jason Campbell. Also Mike Shannahan is now the face of the franchise and he might want to bring in his own QB. It's looking like Jason Campbell is out and Sam Bradford might just be the guy to replace him. Bradford is smart, has a good arm, and above all else he is a winner.
Eric Berry is arguably the best player in the draft and he has fallen to the Chiefs at number five. It just so happens that they are also in need of a play-making safety. Berry's amazing coverage skills are bound for Kansas City.
6. Seattle Seahawks: Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma
McCoy is a great value pick here and Seattle is also in need of DT. Like Suh, McCoy can get into the backfield and make plays consistently and he will be too much to pass up here.
7. Cleveland Browns: Joe Haden, CB, Florida
Joe Haden provides an immediate upgrade at the corner position for the Browns that they desperately need. This seems like a no-brainer.
8. Oakland Raiders: Taylor Mays, S, USC
As a Raider fan, I am well aware that they are stacked at safety. So why take another in round one? Well quite simply, Taylor Mays is Al Davis' dream prospect. He plays defensive back (Al's favorite position), has unheard of size for a safety (6'3", 230lbs), and runs anywhere between a 4.24 and a 4.43 (depending on which time you believe). Bruce Campbell was also a workout warrior that Al will consider, but ultimately Mays will be too much to pass up for him.
9. Buffalo Bills: Anthony Davis, OT, Rutgers
The Bills felt the loss of Jason Peters last year as their offensive line play was terrible. The very lage and athletic Davis can step in and start from day one.
10. Jacksonville Jaguars: Tim Tebow, QB, Florida
Whatever your opinion on Tebow may be, throw it away for a minute and consider this. Jacksonville sells tickets like a high school team. Seriously, watch one of their games (unless you live near Jacksonville and its blacked out). Its pathetic how many empty seats there are. Tim Tebow is Florida's golden boy and Floridians will pay to see him at the next level. If the Jags see anything they like about him they will strongly consider taking him at this spot.
11. Denver Broncos: Terrance Cody, NT, Alabama
With Denver converting to a 3-4 defense last year, having a dominant nose tackle is a must. They just signed Jamal Williams who is 33 years old. Cody is the prototype 3-4 nose tackle and a player like him is hard to find. He will be too hard to pass up here.
12. Miami Dolphins: Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State
The Ted Ginn experiment appears to be failing. Other than that, Miami doesn't really have any decent receiving threats. Dez Bryant will instantly be their best target from the moment he steps on the field.
13. San Francisco 49ers: Earl Thomas, S, Texas
The 49ers had the sixth ranked rush defense last year...and the 21st ranked pass defense. Their secondary is just too bad to ignore anymore. Earl Thomas brings instinctual playmaking ability to this pass defense.
14. Seattle Seahawks: Bruce Campbell, OT, Mayland
Walter Jones has anchored Seattle's offensive line for many years. Now its time to find his replacement. Bruce Campbell has all the physical tools to become the next Walter Jones.
15. New York Giants: Rolando McClain, LB, Alabama
What a steal! McClain is the best LB in this draft. With Antonio Pierce gone, the Giants will be looking for a new middle linebacker and McClain is as good as they come.
16. Tennessee Titans: Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech
The Titans lost Kyle Vanden Bosch and Javon Kearse. It appears a youth movement is in order at their defensive end position. The ultra talented Derrick Morgan fits the position and provides great value here.
17. San Francisco 49ers: Sergio Kindle, LB, Texas
With their second pick in the first round, the 49ers select another Longhorn. Kindle will help their pass rush from the outside linebacker spot. Kindle is a perfect fit because the Longhorns used him as a linebacker as well as defensive end, so standing up will not be a change for him.
18. Pittsburgh Steelers: Kyle Wilson, CB, Boise State
Wilson provides a much needed upgrade at corner for the Steelers. Wilson can contribute immediately as a nickle corner and returner.
19. Atlanta Falcons: Jermaine Gresham, TE, Oklahoma
Tony Gonzales is 34 and may not have much left in the tank. Gresham is a very talented pass catcher that can contribute as a rookie and take over when Gonzales retires. Since Atlanta filled their only glaring need with Dunta Robinson at corner, they are free to take a value pick with Gresham.
20. Houston Texans: C.J. Spiller, RB, Clemson
After an impressive rookie performance, Steve Slaton averaged an unimpressive 3.3 yards per carry while fumbling five times last year. At this point Spiller is a steal and provides an immediate upgrade at a position of need.
21. Cincinnati Bengals: Brian Price, DT, UCLA
This defense continues to get better every year. Brian Price will team up with former rivals, Rey Maualuga and Keith Rivers, to make a force to be reckoned with in the front seven.
22. New England Patriots: Charles Brown, OT, USC
Starting tackles Matt Light and Nick Kaczur are 31 and 30 respectively. The Patriots typically draft by value over position and Charles Brown fits the value of the pick and happens to fill a need.
23. Green Bay Packers: Bryan Bulaga, OT, Iowa
The Packers had one of the worst offensive lines in the league last year. Bulaga gives them youth and an upgrade at offensive tackle.
24. Philadelphia Eagles: Sean Weatherspoon, LB, Missouri
The Eagles need linebacker help in the worst way. Sean Weatherspoon is smart, instinctive, and has a nose for the football. He is a weakside linebacker that can do anything that is asked of him. He will be too hard to pass up if he is still available.
25. Baltimore Ravens: Carlos Dunlap, DE, Florida
Dunlap has played as a 4-3 end at Florida and has the size and strength to play 3-4 end. The Ravens run a hybrid so a player with his skill and potential versatility is someone they could really use. Also the loss of Justin Bannan and Dwan Edwards plus the age of Kelly Gregg and Trevor Pryce puts the Ravens in need of depth on the defensive line.
26. Arizona Cardinals: Mike Iupati, G, Idaho
Arizona's unimpressive run game has hidden behind their explosive passing game for years. With the loss of Kurt Warner and Anquan Boldin, that won't be possible anymore. Iupati is the type of guy they need to clear holes for Chris Wells to run through. His contributions will be felt immediately.
27. Dallas Cowboys: Trent Williams, OT, Oklahoma
Flozell Adams is 34 and Dallas needs youth and talent on the offensive line. Trent Williams is the best offensive lineman available. Even though he is the sixth offensive tackle taken in the first round, he is a good value pick at this spot.
28. San Diego Chargers: Dan Williams, NT, Tennessee
As badly as they need a runningback, the Chargers must find a nose tackle if they plan to continue running a 3-4 defense. Dan Williams is the only player who fits that bill here so they pretty much have to take him.
29. New York Jets: Damian Williams, WR, USC
The Jets need to give Mark Sanchez a target to throw to. Damian Williams is an explosive playmaker and polished route runner. Also he already has chemistry with Sanchez from when they both played at USC.
30. Minnesota Vikings: Brandon Graham, DE, Michigan
Assuming Favre returns, the Vikes' don't really have any glaring needs. However, adding Graham to play opposite of Jared Allen would help improve an already good defense. This is a good value pick considering he torched Byran Bulaga who went seven picks higher.
31. Indianapolis Colts: Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, USF
The Colts add the talented Pierre-Paul to add youth and depth the defensive end position. He can rotate in and contribute as a rookie too.
32. New Orleans Saints: Jerry Hughes, DE, TCU
The Super Bowl champs have no glaring needs but it wouldn't hurt to add a pass rusher like Jerry Hughes. The loss of Charles Grant could see Hughes in an early starting spot.