2010 NFL Mock Draft, Version 2.0: Jimmy Clausen to St. Louis?
Here is my second version of the 2010 NFL Draft. A lot has changed over the past few weeks, so it has taken me a while to organize a new mock.
1. St. Louis—Jimmy Clausen, QB
If I'm St. Louis, I know I'm not going to succeed for a few years. They have young receivers and have yet to break in last year's second overall pick, Jason Smith. Clausen had to deal with controversy during his three years at Notre Dame, so he's used to it. He's as mentally tough as any QB in this draft, and that is what separated him from Bradford. He has experience in a pro-style offense and is a competitive athlete who will play through pain. He has a great arm and is very comparable to Mark Sanchez, last year's No. 5 pick and the quarterback of the Jets, who went all the way to the AFC Championship.
2. Detroit—Ndamukong Suh, DT
There are reports that Russell Okung could be the pick here. I think that would be a good pick—if Suh were taken No. 1 overall—if not, the Lions have to take Suh here. They did a great job last draft landing Stafford, Pettigrew, Delmas, and Levy. They also added Kyle Vanden Bosch and Corey Williams. Adding Suh would significantly improve this defensive line and give Detroit something to boast about in the NFC North. There are plenty of good offensive tackles available later on, but you cannot find another Suh.
3. Tampa Bay—Gerald McCoy, DT
This is a great fit for both parties: Raheem Morris' Tampa Two defense requires a defensive tackle that can penetrate and get up the field, and McCoy thrives at the three technique. Had Suh not been so dominant, McCoy would be known by just about everyone. He is still a phenomenal talent. It's not a matter of one being better than the other, but McCoy's game is about exploding upfield, while Suh's is about his brute strength and hand quickness.
4. Washington—Sam Bradford, QB
Backflips. That's what they are doing in our nation's capital—backflips. Bradford falling to 4? It's amazing. However, the even more intriguing fact is that the top OT is also available. This would be a huge organizational decision that will affect this team for the next five to six years. Is Mike Shanahan convinced that Jason Campbell or Rex Grossman are going to make this team better? If he believes that, Okung is the pick. However, it's too hard to really speculate because Washington has a lot of flexibility at this pick all of a sudden.
5. Kansas City—Eric Berry, DB
The Chiefs had a good young safety in Bernard Pollard. He was released last season and became an impact player in Houston. The Chiefs could not fill the void—until now. Berry has playmaker written all over him. He blew up the Combine after a somewhat disappointing junior year where he had to learn a new system and was moved around. Again, Okung would be a great pick here, but I think they still believe Branden Albert can be a successful LT in this league.
6. Seattle—Russell Okung, OT
This is as well of a value pick as you can find right now. The Seahawks have a big problem on their offensive line: longtime LT Walter Jones hasn't been the same player the last few years, and he's only getting older. I know that Pete Carroll would love to make a lot of noise with this pick by picking a pass rusher or Taylor Mays, but he has to start in the trenches and get the best player available. Okung has long arms and is athletic, even though he had an up and down campaign in 2009.
7. Cleveland—Derrick Morgan, DE
This could be a really beneficial pick for the Browns. Odds are that the Browns are moving away from Mangini's 3-4 and into a more traditional 4-3 defense because of Mike Holmgren. Morgan isn't generating a lot of media buzz because he's a junior and didn't blow up the Combine like some of the other ends, but he is the most intelligent and balanced of the group. He also has underrated upside to develop into a great player.
8. Oakland—Trent Williams, OT
Bruce Campbell just can't go here. I mean, honestly, Al Davis might have screwed up on JaMarcus Russell, Darren McFadden, AND Darius Heyward-Bey, but this should be the pick where he redeems himself. Williams is rising steadily in the process after testing out surprising well in Indianapolis. He has versatility and experience at both tackle spots, which have been a huge problem for the Raiders. I thought about Brian Bulaga, but will the fans really be thrilled about another Iowa offensive lineman?
9. Buffalo—Brian Bulaga, OT
Speaking of Iowa offensive linemen, here's a pretty good one. The Bills haven't gotten over the loss of Jason Peters; they never went out and got a young talent to take over. Also, to make matters worse, young Brad Butler retired from football this past offseason, leaving the Bills awfully thin at tackle. A quarterback would be the sexy pick right here, but selecting a tough, hard-nosed offensive linemen and building around last year's top picks Eric Wood and Andy LeVitre is a better choice.
10. Jacksonville—Brandon Graham, DE/OLB
Graham has been one of the hottest names since the Senior Bowl, where he tore up the field with his ability to disrupt the backfield consistently. I think Jacksonville did a nice job getting Aaron Kampman, but I think they would like to add another proven pass rusher. Jason Pierre-Paul has great physical tools and upside, but his lack of starting experience at the highest level is a huge concern. Graham is a guy that can contribute from day one and will give his best effort all the time. He can also stand up and play outside linebacker.
11. Denver—Dez Bryant, WR
The Broncos have a quarterback battle that will take place this offseason between Kyle Orton and Brady Quinn. Also, Brandon Marshall will generate plenty of attention and will probably be traded so they can get compensation. After that, the Broncos don't have many targets. Bryant has "character" concerns to deal with, but he is a great deep threat and some are even calling him better than Michael Crabtree, who went 10th overall last season to San Francisco.
12. Miami—Dan Williams, NT
The Dolphins were aggressive in pursuing Karlos Dansby to shore up the middle of their defense, but getting a giant space-eater is the next task. Jason Ferguson is 35 years old, so getting a young talent to groom is the best solution. Williams has been progressing up the boards in the whole process, mainly because of his athleticism and the fact that he is a rare, attractive commodity as a 3-4 NT. Miami needs to be tougher in the middle and not get pushed around.
13. San Francisco—Joe Haden, CB
A poor running at the Combine may have cost Haden a few draft spots, but he is going to a better situation in San Fran, where he could not only be a potential starter, but also for a playoff-contending team. Haden is a great athlete and can support in the run game—something many corners shy away from. His 40 time at the Combine is getting blown completely out of proportion; this guy is training to become a cornerback, not a 100m dash champion.
14. Seattle—Jason Pierre-Paul, DE
Pierre-Paul has the most upside out of any player in the draft. He has great physical tools but only a year of starting experience at the Division I level. It raises a lot of concerns about how he will be able to handle an NFL playbook and the daily grind, but the talent level is too much to be dissuaded by those concerns. I also wouldn't be surprised if Everson Griffen went here. He is a young man who is starting to play to his potential. However, I don't see CJ Spiller or Taylor Mays here.
15. N.Y. Giants—Rolando McClain, ILB
McClain didn't work out at the Combine because of a tweaked hammy, but it didn't scare off many team. They figured if McClain ran in the low 4.7s that he would be a top 15 pick. That is exactly what he did, and the Giants are going to be thrilled with the addition. McClain is instinctive; a winner, leader, and a beast of a man. Sounds like he could be a really good fit in the middle of that defense.
16. Tennessee—Everson Griffen, DE
Griffen is really starting to show his true potential, which could get him drafted even higher when the draft rolls around. He showed great athleticism at the Combine and proved that he can get off the ball quickly. He would be a good fit in Seattle with coach Pete Carroll, but the Titans really lack pass rushers. If Griffen scratches the surface of the last first round Titans DE, that would be fantastic.
17. San Francisco—C.J. Spiller, RB
The Niners are a team on the rise with a good offense and solid defense. They made a great selection with Haden at 13 and take the best offensive player available with Spiller at 17. Iupati would make some sense, but the Niners should focus on value as opposed to need. Spiller is an explosive athlete with versatility in every phase of the game. He's not going to be an every-down back, but he is an excellent complement to the injury-prone Frank Gore. They can shore up the offensive line later.
18. Pittsburgh—Mike Iupati, OG
The only difficult part about this pick is pronouncing his name. I've heard four variations—why not just ask the kid how to REALLY pronounce it so we stop looking like fools? He is a big, strong, nasty guard and fits the bill for the Steelers, who want to get more physical up front. His technique still needs fine tuning, but if he plays anywhere near the level of Steve Hutchinson, it's a great pick.
19. Atlanta—Sergio Kindle, OLB
Kindle is an extremely versatile player and a good value at the 19th pick. He is much better against the run than attacking the pass rusher, but that doesn't mean he doesn't know how to get to the QB. Acquiring Dunta Robinson in free agency is a good move, and to keep shoring up a defense with more answers than questions is what Atlanta needs to do.
20. Houston—Earl Thomas, DB
There is no doubt about Thomas' potential in the NFL—it's just a matter of what position he'll play. I think Kyle Wilson would be a good fit here, but Thomas' playmaking ability and upside are too good to pass up. The Texans have a really good front seven, so if they can continue to improve their secondary, they can make some noise in a competitive AFC South.
21. Cincinnati—Jermaine Gresham, TE
The Bengals made a solid pick up in Antonio Bryant, but they still need a young, pass-catching TE to make defenses worry about him. Gresham has some medical issues, but he proved that he is almost 100 percent at the Combine by running extremely well. He's a natural receiver and if he can improve his run blocking, he will help out Carson Palmer and get the Bengals back to the playoffs.
22. New England—Jerry Hughes, OLB
Hughes has been making his way up many draft boards since the end of the season. He's a productive, versatile, high-character player; so he would be a natural fit in New England. Brandon Graham would have been the ideal selection, but I have him going to Jacksonville at 10. Hughes would instantly upgrade the pass rush and give the Patriots a young, fresh set of legs.
23. Green Bay—Anthony Davis, OT
I really had a difficult time putting this pick here. Do I go with a falling Davis, who has a ton of talent but isn't doing well in the process, or a rising Campbell, who blew up the Combine? Campbell, in my opinion, shouldn't crack the first round, but is a great pick up in the second for a team like Detroit. Davis is an exceptional talent and can keep Aaron Rodgers upright.
24. Philadelphia—Sean Witherspoon, OLB
The Eagles have a great nucleus on offense, but need to address a key area on defense—outside linebacker. Stewart Bradley went down last year and Will Witherspoon did a nice job filling in, but he was not retained. Witherspoon is powerful, explosive and a great leader. He will bring an attitude to Philly's defense and hopefully some durability.
25. Baltimore—Jared Odrick, DE
Baltimore could use some depth on the defensive line, and Odrick is a great fit at the five technique and a good value this late in the first round. He has long arms and can push the pocket. He may need some time adjusting to the outside end spot, but he's athletic and talented enough to do it.
26. Arizona—Ricky Sapp, DE/OLB
This could be a slight reach, but the Cardinals need someone who can get after the quarterback. Sapp has early second-round talent, so this isn't a terrible placement for him, but I didn't see anyone the Cardinals could really value at this spot besides a pass rusher. Sapp needs to show that he can be a dual-threat player, not just a one-trick pony.
27. Dallas—Charles Brown, OT
I thought Brown was a player who could sneak into the first with a good workout at Indy, and that's exactly what he did. He was a solid performer at USC with good athleticism and lateral mobility. The Cowboys' pass protection was exposed against Minnesota and was a huge reason why they didn't advance to the NFC Championship.
28. San Diego—Terrence Cody, NT
Terrence Cody without a shirt on is awfully disturbing, but since when is the NFL a beauty show? Cody is the best player in this draft at stopping the run. He is a perfect fit in San Diego's 3-4 defense and can hopefully be a Jamal Williams type player. If he can keep his weight down, this is a huge steal for the Chargers, who really need to reload the talent on their roster.
29. N.Y. Jets—Golden Tate, WR
I know that Demaryius Thomas is a hot name right now, but he hasn't proven a lot at the college level. The Jets need to get a WR with experience and productivity in a pro-style offense. Tate, last season's Biletnikoff winner, isn't the biggest or the fastest, but he has great hands, can separate from DBs, and is great when the ball is up for grabs. The Jets are definitely a run-first team, but surrounding Mark Sanchez with weapons will be great when the running game falters.
30. Minnesota—Brian Price, DT
Value trumps need at this spot. Price, a top 20 player, is an exceptional value at the 30th pick. The Williams Wall isn't getting any younger, so adding a great young talent to the DT rotation is great. There is no doubt that a young CB would be great here, but Price is too good to pass on in my eyes.
31. Indianapolis—Maurkice Pouncey, OC
The Colts need to be more physical up front. They proved that by releasing Ryan Lilja a couple weeks ago. Pouncey played center at Florida but has the talent and versatility to take one of the guard spots. He is a really solid player who can be a good addition to an offensive line looking to get tougher.
32. New Orleans—Tyson Alualu, DT
There is no OLB that is a good value here, but Alualu is a quietly rising DT in the draft. He plays the run very well, has been extremely durable, and is a high-character guy, which Sean Payton will love. The Saints would take a long look at Ryan Matthews, but I think they have to improve their defense.
33. St. Louis—Kyle Wilson, CB
Cornerback is a big need for the Rams, so having Wilson fall here in the second is a great value/need pick.
34. Detroit—Bruce Campbell, OT
There are major questions about Campbell's experience and technique, but he is a physical freak of nature and won't be rushed into the starting lineup.
35. Tampa Bay—Carlos Dunlap, DE
Dunlap has character and effort concerns that have popped up recently, but he is a great athlete who could be dangerous off the edge.
36. Kansas City—Roger Saffold, OT
Saffold is a fast rising player. He didn't get outstanding exposure at Indiana, but he has a really good skill set and is a strong pick in the second round.
37. Washington—Devin McCourty, CB
Rather than reach for an offensive tackle, the 'Skins take a falling corner with a ton of talent. Matthews could be an option, but with Larry Johnson signing a three-year deal, it doesn't appear to be happening.
38. Cleveland—Taylor Mays, S
He is really talented and may be one of the most physically gifted players in this draft. However, his game film doesn't match up, so that is why he falls so far. This is a good pick for the Browns, who are shoring up a pitiful defense.
39. Oakland—Sean Lee, LB
The Raiders are switching over to a 3-4 defense, supposedly, so getting another middle linebacker would be a good pick up.
40. San Diego—Ryan Matthews, RB
Having the second best running back fall into your lap is a great pick up for the Chargers. He is a good complement to Darren Sproles, and it's only a matter of time until he's the starter.
41. Buffalo—Corey Wooton, DE
Wooton had some injuries last season, but he is a really good player and fits in the Bills' 3-4 defense. The Bills would have two starters with Dwan Edwards and Wooton.
42. Tampa Bay—Kareem Jackson, CB
Jackson is a really solid player with good size and athleticism. He would be a good value and another tremendous pick so far for Tampa, who has already come away with Gerald McCoy and Carlos Dunlap.
43. Miami—Jahvid Best, RB
Ricky Williams is older, but he isn't showing any signs of slowing down. Ronnie Brown's future in Miami is going to be uncertain, so grabbing Best here is a good value.
44. New England—Demaryius Thomas, WR
Thomas is still nursing a foot injury and didn't play in a pass-oriented offense, but he's big, strong and has shown the ability to be an explosive pass catching threat.
45. Denver—Daryl Washington, LB
Washington has the ability to slide inside in a 3-4 scheme. He is excellent against the run, something that Denver would love to be better against.
46. N.Y. Giants—Vladimir Ducasse, OG
With no good pass rushers available, the Giants take a developmental project at guard. Ducasse has the potential to be a great guard in the NFL but needs a few years.
47. Carolina—Rob Gronkowski, TE
The Panthers are committing themselves to Matt Moore, so getting him a weapon is essential. Gronkowski has medical concerns about his back, but his talent is undeniable.
48. New England—Tim Tebow, QB
Yes, someone pulls the trigger on him. He's nowhere near ready, but learning under Bill Belichick and Tom Brady is a great situation for Tebow.
49. San Francisco—Nate Allen, S
The Niners still haven't addressed their right tackle situation, but they take a player of good need and value. Allen is extremely athletic and can contribute on special teams immediately.
50. Houston—Lamarr Houston, DT
He's a hometown kid and could fit in very well in the defensive tackle rotation.
51. Kansas City—Dennis Pitta, TE
The Chiefs need a replacement for Tony Gonzalez. Pitta is an instinctive route runner with underrated athleticism.
52. Pittsburgh—Cam Thomas, NT
Casey Hampton isn't going to be around forever, so getting an eventual replacement is a good idea.
53. New England—Eric Norwood, OLB
He can get after the quarterback on a consistent basis. He's a tough kid and a hard worker.
54. Cincinnati—Damian Williams, WR
They get a player who can fill the slot immediately and knows how to create separation.
55. Philadelphia—Jon Asamoah, OG
The release of Shawn Andrews leaves a gaping hole at guard. He's durable and smart.
56. Green Bay—Patrick Robinson, CB
He takes a lot of chances and can be caught out of position, but he is a great athlete and a great value here.
57. Baltimore—Chris Cook, CB
He's a big corner with good versatility. The Ravens need a good, young corner.
58. Arizona—Brandon Spikes, ILB
He's not the fastest guy by any stretch of the mind, but he's intelligent and knows where he needs to be.
59. Dallas—Eric Decker, WR
Adding another playmaker to the offense is a good idea. He's more quick than he is fast, but he would fit in the slot nicely.
60. Seattle—Dexter McCluster, RB
Didn't run well at the Combine, but he's quick and ultra-productive.
61. N.Y. Jets—Arthur Jones, DT
Jones brings versatility and a good work ethic to the Jets' defensive line.
62. Minnesota—Perrish Cox, CB
His character concerns are definite, but he's a ball hawk and has great size.
63. Indianapolis—Al Woods, DT
Every year you think the Colts will take a defensive tackle...
64. New Orleans—Navorro Bowman, OLB
He has character concerns and didn't look overly athletic at Indy, but he's productive and physical.
Please feel free to comment—keep it clean! I appreciate any feedback.
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