The 2010 NFL Draft is just a month away, while many things can change in the course of a month, many teams know who their options are at this point in the draft process. Here is how I believe the draft will play out.
WITH THE FIRST PICK, IN THE 2010 NFL DRAFT, THE ST. LOUIS RAMS SELECT:
Sam Bradford (QB, Oklahoma)
With 2007 first round selection DT Adam Carriker, 2008 first round selection DE Chris Long and the addition of DT Fred Robbins this offseason, it would not make sense for the Rams to select another defensive lineman. They NEED a quarterback, a face of the franchise. Sam Bradford is the answer. After passing on Mark Sanchez and Matt Ryan the last two years, it is time for the Rams to select THEIR quarterback.
2. THE DETROIT LIONS SELECT:
Russell Okung (OT, Oklahoma State)
One would assume that if the Rams pass on Ndamukong Suh that the Lions would take him. However, the Lions have other needs. They already helped their defense this offseason with the additions of DE from Tennessee Kyle Vanden Bosch, DT Corey Williams from Cleveland, and CB Chris Houston from Atlanta. Its time to find that Left tackle that can protect their $72 million quarterback. Okung is the guy. This move would probably move LT Jeff Backus to LG and give them a solid left side of the line.
3. THE TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS SELECT:
Ndamukong Suh (DT, Nebraska)
No way Suh gets past the Bucs. They need help all over, but especially along the defensive line. They would love for the draft to play out this way, because they would get arguably the best player in the draft. This selection would be obvious for the Buccaneers if Suh is still available.
4. THE WASHINGTON REDSKINS SELECT:
Jimmy Clausen (QB, Notre Dame)
With Bradford and Okung off the board the Redskins only have two realistic options. Draft their quarterback of the future (Clasen) or trade down in the draft. At this point in the draft teams could be willing to trade up for talents such as Gerald McCoy, Eric Berry or even Jimmy Clausen. If the Redskins are not in love with Clausen, they should not reach for an offensive lineman here, they should look to trade down.
5. THE KANSAS CITY CHIEFS SELECT:
Brian Bulaga (OT, Iowa)
This could be a bit of a stretch for Bulaga, but with many needs, and two very offensive minded coaches (Todd Haley and Charlie Weis) the Chiefs look like a fit for Bulaga (or at least an offensive tackle). Bulaga does not have the highest upside of any offensive tackle in the draft, but he will be consistent and solid for years to come. Expect the Chiefs to draft Bulaga to protect their franchise quarterback (Matt Cassel) and open running lanes for Jamaal Charles.
6. THE SEATTLE SEAHAWKS SELECT:
Gerald McCoy (DT, Oklahoma)
After trading for his quarterback of the future this past week (Charlie Whitehurst) it is time for Pete Carroll to turn his focus to the trenches. The Seahawks actually have more talent than most teams that are picking in the top 10, but they need to bolster their offensive and defensive lines. McCoy fell a couple picks because of other teams needing offensive tackles and quarterbacks. He is very much a fit for Seattle; and after this pick, the Seahawks will just have to hope that an elite offensive tackle falls to their second pick at fourteen overall.
7. THE CLEVELAND BROWNS SELECT:
Eric Berry (S, Tennessee)
After playing against Ed Reed for the last nine years, the Cleveland Browns are going to draft the next great safety. According to some scouts, Eric Berry is the best talent in the draft; and at the seventh selection, he is a great fit for the Browns. Expect defensive coordinator Rob Ryan to be begging team president Mike Holmgren and head coach Eric Mangini to draft Berry.
8. THE OAKLAND RAIDERS SELECT:
Bruce Campbell (OT, Maryland)
Another perfect Al Davis selection. While Campbell would fill a need along the offensive line, he is the biggest question mark out of all the first round offensive lineman. He only started 17 games in his career at Maryland and at times gets taken advantage of in game film. However, his freakish athleticism, his 4.85 forty time, 34 repetitions of 225 lbs at the Combine, and 32 inch vertical makes him a perfect pick for Al Davis.
9. THE BUFFALO BILLS SELECT:
Anthony Davis (OT, Rutgers)
With three offensive lineman off the board, the Bills will be deciding between Anthony Davis and Trent Williams at pick number nine. They will choose Davis due to his size and athleticism. He is bigger than Williams and at one point was being considered on the same level as Okung. He quickly fell off Okung's level, but probably has a higher upside than Williams, which makes him a perfect fit for the offensive line needy Bills.
10. THE JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS SELECT:
Dez Bryant (WR, Oklahoma State)
Many scouts look at Bryant as the best offensive talent in the draft. That is exactly what Jacksonville needs, talent on offense. With the exception of Maurice Jones-Drew, the Jaguars do not have an elite offensive weapon. They have been looking for a number one receiver ever since Jimmy Smith retired in May of 2006, Bryant is their answer.
11. THE DENVER BRONCOS SELECT:
Rolando McClain (ILB, Alabama)
With the addition of former Charger Jamal Williams the Broncos no longer need a nose tackle. But they do need an inside linebacker since they unexpectedly released Andra Davis. McClain would be a great fit in Denver, he could develop into the front seven defensive leader that they are currently lacking and still learn leadership skills from Broncos safety Brian Dawkins. McClain lining up with D.J. Williams, Robert Ayers and Elvis Dumervil would make for a scary linebacking core.
12. THE MIAMI DOLPHINS SELECT:
Jason Pierre-Paul (OLB, USF)
The Dolphins cut Joey Porter, and Jason Taylor is a free agent. They need help at outside linebacker. Jason Pierre-Paul's 6'6" 265 lb frame is the linebacker they are looking for. He would be staying in his home state of Florida and could make an immediate impact for a Dolphins defense lacking a pass rush.
13. THE SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS SELECT:
Joe Haden (CB, Florida)
Even with a bad forty yard dash at the Combine, Haden is still the best cornerback in the draft. Since teams are going to focus too much on that bad forty time, Haden falls. But, the 49ers get a top talent at 13. Haden becomes a steal for the 49ers and could be a top five cornerback in the NFL for the next decade. Haden can do it all, and with Mike Singletary's defensive background don't expect Haden to fall past San Francisco's first first round choice.
14. THE SEATTLE SEAHAWKS SELECT:
Trent Williams (OT, Oklahoma)
The addition of Williams would be a great way for Seattle to fill out their first round. Seattle will have addressed two needs and filled those needs with two top talents. This selection would give Seattle the offensive tackle that they are now lacking due to the retirement of Walter Jones.
15. THE NEW YORK GIANTS SELECT:
Dan Williams (DT, Tennessee)
This is an interesting selection for the G-men. They need an inside linebacker since they released Antonio Pierce, but Rolando McClain is off the board. Justin Tuck, Mathias Kiwanuka and Osi Umenyiora are the three man rotation at defensive end and they don't need a safety with the addition of Antrel Rolle. There is no offensive lineman or cornerback worth taking at fifteen overall, and they don't need a receiver, runningback or quarterback. Jerry Reese has to make the decision to either trade down and acquire more picks or bolster his defensive line. If he decides to keep the fifteen selection, he will pick Dan Williams to play along side Chris Canty, Rocky Bernard and Barry Coefield on the interior line. Williams would replace Fred Robbins.
16. THE TENNESSEE TITANS SELECT:
Derrick Morgan (DE, Georgia Tech)
This is an easy selection for the Titans. They need a pass rusher since Jevon Kearse and Kyle Vanden Bosch are gone, and Derrick Morgan has dropped further than he should have. Probably the most talented 4-3 defensive end in the draft, Morgan is a perfect fit for the Titans. After a twelve sack junior season in 2009-2010, he'll start week one and look to put up double digit sacks as a rookie in the NFL.
17. THE SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS SELECT:
C.J. Spiller (RB, Clemson)
With no offensive tackles left on the board, the 49ers go with an offensive weapon that will help take some pressure off of Alex Smith. C.J. Spiller and Frank Gore could be the best runningback tandem for years to come if the 49ers make this selection. The 49ers will not have addressed their biggest need (offensive line) but with their two picks they at thirteen and seventeen they get two top ten talents.
18. THE PITTSBURGH STEELERS SELECT:
Mike Iupati (OG, Idaho)
It's time for the Steelers to finally find someone to replace Alan Faneca. The offensive line has been Pittsburgh's biggest weakness in the last couple seasons. Besides the offensive line, they do not have any holes on offense; and with Troy Polamalu coming back healthy their defense should be better than last season. Iupati just makes sense for the Steelers.
19. THE ATLANTA FALCONS SELECT:
Brandon Graham (DE, Michigan)
The Falcons signed Dunta Robinson, and were looking into signing Kyle Vanden Bosch. They got their cornerback, now they need a pass rusher opposite of John Abraham. Brandon Graham put up double digit sacks in both his junior and senior seasons. His 4.72 forty time coming off the end should fit the Falcons perfectly.
20. THE HOUSTON TEXANS SELECT:
Ryan Matthews (RB, Fresno State)
While most people have Matthews lasting until San Diego at the twenty eighth overall selection, the Texans will pick him at twenty. Houston is looking for a back to pair with the fumbling Steve Slaton and Matthews combination of speed and power will be extremely appealing. He appears to be the missing piece of the puzzle on a very good Texans offense.
21. THE CINCINNATI BENGALS SELECT:
Jermaine Gresham (TE, Oklahoma)
The Bengals could go many different directions with this selection, but they'll look for another offensive weapon for Carson Palmer. After signing Antonio Bryant, and resigning safety Roy Williams, they won't draft a receiver, and they don't have a starting position for Taylor Mays. Jermaine Gresham will be a perfect gift for Carson Palmer. Palmer has never had an elite tight end in his eight years in the league, and if Gresham stays healthy, he could be a perennial pro bowler.
22. THE NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS SELECT:
Sergio Kindle (OLB, Texas)
After losing Jarvis Green and Richard Seymour, the Patriots do need help along the defensive line; but they also need rushing linebackers. Adalius Thomas has failed to be successful and trade rumors have surrounded him all offseason. He will eventually be cut or traded and the Patriots will draft Kindle here as his replacement. Kindle will fit in with the Patriots and also help the aging Patriots defense get younger.
23. THE GREEN BAY PACKERS SELECT:
Charles Brown (OT, USC)
After resigning Chad Clifton, the Packers have a left tackle for three more seasons, but who will replace Clifton in 2013? The answer: Charles Brown. After being recruited to USC as a tight end, Brown made a smooth transition to offensive tackle and should be able to start at right tackle opposite of Clifton as a rookie. After a few years of experience he should definitely be able to take over at left tackle and protect Aaron Rodgers' blindside in a few years.
24. THE PHILADELPHIA EAGLES SELECT:
Carlos Dunlap (DE, Florida)
Dunlap posted nine sacks in each of his sophomore and junior seasons. He declared after his junior year, and probably made the right decision. A physical freak at 6'6" 290 lbs. He will fill a need that the Eagles failed to address in free agency. They missed out on both Julius Peppers and Aaron Kampman and now still need a pass rushing presence opposite of Trent Cole.
25. THE BALTIMORE RAVENS SELECT:
Kyle Wilson (CB, Boise State)
Anquan Boldin, Derrick Mason, Donte Stallworth, Mark Clayton, wide receiver is not a need for the Ravens anymore. It wouldn't hurt to grab a tight end in the draft, but with Gresham already gone, they need a cornerback. Kyle Wilson is the second best cornerback in the draft and would probably start for the Ravens in his rookie season.
26. THE ARIZONA CARDINALS SELECT:
Jerry Hughes (OLB, TCU)
Even with the addition of Joey Porter, teams can never have enough pass rushers. Despite the big three year deal that Porter received from the Cardinals they can not rely on him and Chike Okeafor to put pressure on the quarterback over the course of a sixteen game season. Hughes' fresh twenty-one year old legs will give the Cardinals some speed and depth at outside linebacker. After a fifteen sack season as a junior, he had eleven sacks as a senior, and should have a solid rookie season if the Cardinals play Hughes on passing downs.
27. THE DALLAS COWBOYS SELECT:
Earl Thomas (S, Texas)
With the majority of top offensive line talent gone, look for the Cowboys to look for a defensive lineman or Earl Thomas. If Thomas falls to Dallas they will without a question pick the young free safety. The Cowboys have been looking for a coverage safety for years and they will find their man in Thomas.
28. THE SAN DIEGO CHARGERS SELECT:
Terence Cody (NT, Alabama)
With Ryan Matthews and C.J. Spiller off the board, the Chargers only have a few options with the twenty eighth selection. They can reach for a runningback such as Jahvid Best, they can trade down (or up) or they can draft a nose tackle to replace Jamal Williams. Terence Cody slipped on some teams draft boards because of weight issues, but he is a big run stopper that is perfect for the nose tackle position. Expect the Chargers to take a chance on him if Matthews is gone.
29. THE NEW YORK JETS SELECT:
Golden Tate (WR, Notre Dame)
Tate is the playmaker that the Jets offense is lacking. Young quarterbacks need their go to receiver to become successful. They need a receiver that they can throw the ball to no matter what the situation. Joe Flacco's go to receiver-Derrick Mason. Matt Stafford's-Calvin Johnson. Matt Ryan-Roddy White/Tony Gonzalez. Mark Sanchez does not have that reliable guy. Sure, he has Braylon Edwards, but he is far from reliable. Golden Tate was Jimmy Clausen's security blanket last season and with his great route running, and amazing ability to run after the catch, he could be the receiver that Sanchez needs.
30. THE MINNESOTA VIKINGS SELECT:
Maurkice Pouncey (C/G, Florida)
Look for the Vikings to address their quarterback of the future in a later round (Colt McCoy, Tony Pike). In the first round they should bolster their offensive line. Phil Loadholt and Bryant McKinnie will start at the tackle positions for years to come. However, Steve Hutchinson is getting older, and John Sullivan and Anthony Herrera might not be long term answers. A team can never have too many offensive lineman and Pouncey is a perfect fit for Minnesota since he is able to play multiple positions.
31. THE INDIANAPOLIS COLTS SELECT:
Jared Odrick (DT, Penn State)
Peyton Manning can make anyone on the offensive side of the ball look good, just ask Pierre Garcon and Austin Collie. That's why the Colts need to address their defense. With Robert Mathis and Dwight Freeney filling the defensive end slots, the Colts need a run clogger up the middle. Jared Odrick is a perfect fit. He was a premiere run stopper at Penn State and it looks like he'll be available at the thirty-first selection.
32. THE NEW ORLEANS SAINTS SELECT:
Brian Price (DT, UCLA)
Sedrick Ellis hasn't lived up to being the seventh overall selection in 2008, and has faced injuries issues in each of his first two seasons. There are not many holes on their Superbowl winning roster, but it can never hurt to have depth along the offensive and defensive line. Ellis is still only twenty-four and the twenty year old Price would be a perfect fit to play along side of Ellis for the next ten seasons. They could have the chance to develop into a Kevin and Pat Williams (Minnesota Vikings) type of interior line.