As the 2010 NFL Draft approaches, one thing is for certain…nothing is certain.
Well, that shouldn’t be said. We do know that Texas, Oklahoma, and Florida will most likely dominate the first round by supplying the NFL with future talent, but where these players end up is anyone’s guess.
For the first time in quite a while, the NFL draft appears to be a bigger crapshoot than trying to decipher Al Davis’ thoughts…and that is never a certainty—ever.
Barring any trade scenarios—St. Louis is currently the only team in the top seven with a glaring need for a QB, so if they decide to go in another direction, there’s a chance that Sam Bradford could land in Cleveland. It does sound implausible, but with Seattle's recent trade for Charlie Whitehurst, things are changing ever so slightly in the draft—especially in the top ten.
That’s enough of an introduction. Here we go:
1. St. Louis Rams—DT Ndamukong Suh, Nebraska
The Rams take a page from the Houston Texans’ 2006 draft guide and decide to select the best defensive lineman in the draft. Although the QB position will still be up in the air, St. Louis has other plans up their sleeve in the second round. Does anyone else feel the urge for some Colt 45 malt liquor?
2. Detroit Lions—OT Russell Okung, Oklahoma State
The Lions really need to keep Matthew Stafford upright. With Suh off the board, the trade for Corey Williams, and the signing of Kyle Vanden Bosch, this makes Detroit’s selection extremely easy. It’s a good thing Matt Millen isn’t still around, otherwise Dez Bryant would be the pick.
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers—DT Gerald McCoy, Texas
He’s a close second to Suh, and fits what Tampa Bay is looking for in a defensive tackle. The player the Bucs really want is the one that’s going to fall right into their laps. Score one for Raheem Morris.
4. Washington Redskins—OT Trent Williams, Oklahoma
Mike Shanahan has decided to see whether or not Jason Campbell is his guy with his own two eyes, in his own system. The Redskins desperately need help along the offensive line and Trent Williams fits the bill with his athleticism and collegiate experience. He’s a perfect left tackle for Shanahan’s zone-blocking schemes, as they will look to add a running back later in the draft.
5. Kansas City Chiefs—FS Eric Berry, Tennessee
Even though Scott Pioli has been known to prefer positional value, two of the best offensive and defensive linemen are already off the board. So he decides to make a move to get a versatile playmaker in the secondary for Romeo Crennel and Kansas City‘s underwhelming defense.
6. Seattle Seahawks—OT Brian Bulaga, Iowa
With the recent acquisition of Charlie Whitehurst, Seattle appears poised to move forward with him as their future quarterback, so Sam Bradford and Jimmy Clausen are no longer options for them.
Pete Carroll decides to go the safe route with his first pick and improves both his passing and running games with one player. If Hasselbeck can get some pass protection, he might be able to put up another good season or two.
7. Cleveland Browns—QB Sam Bradford, Oklahoma
Mike Holmgren has long been rumored to want a QB in the mid-to-late rounds of the draft, but Sam Bradford is far too good of a prospect to pass up at the No. 7 pick. Very few thought he would fall this far, but with the Rams drafting Suh and also being the only team with a dire need for a QB in the top six, Bradford makes his way to Cleveland and becomes their future signal-caller.
8. Oakland Raiders—OT Bruce Campbell, Maryland
Who knows what Al Davis will do, and who knows what will become of JaMarcus Russell? One thing is for sure—Bruce Campbell fits the bill. Al Davis is willing to give Russell some pass protection and one more year to prove himself.
9. Buffalo Bills—QB Jimmy Clausen, Notre Dame
It’s time the Bills get their QB of the future. Clausen is a good fit on a young, yet improving team, as Buffalo does have a few weapons on offense to work with. It looks like a good fit all around for Clausen and the Bills.
10. Jacksonville Jaguars—CB Joe Haden, Florida
The Jaguars need help in their secondary to keep up with Indianapolis and Houston in the AFC South, so they get great value with Joe Haden still sitting on the board at pick No. 10. I know it’s not Tebow, but he did play for the Gators. I know…I’m kidding. I’m sure that has nothing to do with it. Or does it?
11. Denver Broncos—ILB Rolando McClain, Alabama
Josh McDaniels gets his 3-4 defensive leader for the future, as McClain projects to be similar to another ILB once coached by Mike Nolan in Baltimore. Here’s a hint…his last name ends with “ewis”.
12. Miami Dolphins—WR Dez Bryant, Oklahoma State
Allowing Ted Ginn Jr. to play against opposing defense’s second cornerbacks will open up the entire offense for Miami and give Chad Henne more to work with as he matures at quarterback.
13. San Francisco 49ers—OLB Jason Pierre-Paul, South Florida
He might not start from day one, but the best OLB prospect in the draft is too much for Mike Singletary to pass on. Putting him on the opposite side of Manny Lawson will give San Francisco one of the youngest and best overall 3-4 LB units in the entire league.
14. Seattle Seahawks—RB C.J. Spiller, Clemson
Seahawk nation is ecstatic (or at least should be) as the best offensive playmaker in the draft is had at the 14th pick. Pete Carroll has improved Seattle’s offense considerably with his first two draft picks, as Spiller also doubles as a receiving threat and as a special teams playmaker.
15. New York Giants—CB Kyle Wilson, Boise State
The Giants could use some secondary help, and Kyle Wilson is rumored to be as good of a prospect as Joe Haden. They might look at Earl Thomas here as well, but ultimately decide to take the legit cornerback who played that position exclusively in college.
16. Tennessee Titans—DE Derrick Morgan, Georgia Tech
Jeff Fisher is going to need a pass rusher and Morgan is the best in the draft for a 4-3 defense. Once touted as a top-ten pick, the Titans are thrilled to get him this late at pick No. 16.
17. San Francisco 49ers—OG Mike Iupati, Idaho
Iupati is a physically gifted and versatile offensive lineman that can dominate the trenches in the NFC West for years to come. Mike Singletary and company come away with two great players in the first round, as Iupati is also projected to be a good offensive tackle as well.
18. Pittsburgh Steelers—NT/DT Dan Williams, Tennessee
This is the safest pick and most logical choice for Pittsburgh at this point. Casey Hampton is not the future at NT, and Williams is a player that can be a cornerstone for the Steelers’ 3-4 defense for a very long time.
19. Atlanta Falcons—FS/CB Earl Thomas, Texas
Atlanta had one of the worst pass defenses in the NFL and Earl Thomas is an absolute bargain at this pick. If he’s still there, it almost makes too much sense. With the ability to play free safety or cornerback, Earl Thomas is very comparable to Eric Berry, but much cheaper.
20. Houston Texans—RB Ryan Mathews, Fresno State
Houston was hoping for Earl Thomas or Dan Williams, so they decide to draft for need rather than the best player available. Ryan Mathews is more of a traditional back to pair with Steve Slaton, as their passing game can only take them so far. It will be considered a bit of a reach, but they’ll reap the rewards offensively when he’s scoring goal-line touchdowns and picking up crucial third-and-shorts.
21. Cincinnati Bengals—DT/DE Jared Odrick, Penn State
Marvin Lewis needs some help along the defensive line so his stable of linebackers can make some plays in the open field. Odrick is a good fit for Cincinnati and has been rising up the draft boards. Penn State’s history of supplying the NFL with solid defensive talent renders this a smart pick by Cincinnati—and they haven’t had many of those over the years.
22. New England Patriots—OLB Brandon Graham, Michigan
The Patriots' pass rush has declined for three straight seasons and has reached a level of mediocrity not seen for quite some time. Brandon Graham is also potentially the best player available, and Belichick is happy to draft him at this spot.
23. Green Bay Packers—OT Charles Brown, Southern Cal
Mike McCarthy can’t afford to allow Aaron Rodgers to get sacked 50 times again. With the pass protection breakdown against Arizona in the playoffs, it’s an area that needs to be addressed as Charles Brown is yet another smart first-round pick by the Packers.
24. Philadelphia Eagles—LB Sean Weatherspoon, Missouri
The Eagles can use some help in the pass rushing department, so a versatile player like Weatherspoon is a smart pick to play in Philadelphia’s ever-changing defense. They could also take a look at Daryl Washington.
25. Baltimore Ravens—OLB/DE Everson Griffin, Southern Cal
This is another value pick for Ozzie Newsome and company. The Ravens pass rush was actually sub-par last season, and with the offense starting to click, it appears that the defense is in need of an upgrade for the first time in a long time.
26. Arizona Cardinals—TE Jermaine Gresham, Oklahoma
Ken Whisenhunt begins to transform the offense into a more traditional style as Gresham would be a top 15 pick in any other draft.
27. Dallas Cowboys—OT Anthony Davis, Rutgers
Despite his supposed work ethic problems, Davis is the best player on the board. He represents the best value as an offensive tackle, and currently fills a need for the Cowboys.
28. San Diego Chargers—DE Carlos Dunlap, Florida
The Chargers need help along their defensive line pretty badly. Carlos Dunlap is a player that can be a defensive cornerstone for years to come, although they’re secretly hoping that Dan Williams finds his way to pick No. 28 instead.
29. New York Jets—WR Golden Tate, Notre Dame
Adding a good slot receiver to a team that already has an established running game is a smart move for New York to make. He’s also an added offensive weapon to help Mark Sanchez mature as a quarterback and open things up for Braylon Edwards and Dustin Keller.
30. Minnesota Vikings—C Maurkice Pouncey, Florida
After losing Matt Birk, John Sullivan hasn’t been getting it done at center for Minnesota, so they ‘pounce’ on the chance to draft the future leader of their offensive line for a long, long time. Minnesota is getting great value here at the 30th pick, as Pouncey can also double as an offensive guard with his size.
31. Indianapolis Colts—DT Brian Price, UCLA
Indianapolis has two of the best defensive ends in the NFL, yet had one of the worst run defenses in the league last year. Brian Price will add some youth and girth to the middle of their defensive line, which is one of the team’s only needs.
32. New Orleans Saints—OLB Sergio Kindle, Texas
Finishing off the first round, the Saints replace Scott Fujita with a linebacker that projects to play from day one, making it an end to a fun first day of the NFL draft.