As proof to football fans that I have way too much time on my hands, here is a mock draft for the ages: three full rounds of foolishness—because March has indeed driven me to madness.
1—St. Louis Rams—Sam Bradford—QB—Oklahoma. Several weeks ago, it seemed that Ndamukong Suh was destined for the top pick, but an almost perfect pro day for Bradford has the NFL buzzing. Though the Rams could use help at every position, quarterback is key and to begin rebuilding around Bradford's great decision making, strong arm, and fast delivery may prove the right move.
2—Detriot Lions—Russell Okung—OT—Oklahoma State. Although the talent at DT runs high this year, the Lions make the smart move and address the need to protect QB Matt Stafford with the best right tackle in the draft.
3—Tampa Bay Buccaneers—Ndamukong Suh—DT—Nebraska. Suh and Gerald McCoy both performed great at the combine, but Suh simply has too big a highlight reel to slip further than third.
4—Washington Redskins—Jimmy Clausen—QB—Notre Dame. Despite of the fact that Washington needs help on the O-line and the fact that superior DT Gerald McCoy is still on the list, the Redskins take their quarterback of the future here with Jimmy Clausen.
5—Kansas City Chiefs—Gerald McCoy—DT—Oklahoma. Originally seeking O-line help, the Chiefs are amazed to find McCoy available at the fifth pick, and take him with only minor hesitation.
6—Seattle Seahawks—Bryan Bulaga—OT—Iowa. Seattle quickly shores up an O-line in need with the versatile Bulaga.
7—Cleveland Browns—Eric Berry—S—Tennessee. Falling in line with the talent available, Mike Holmgren and company take the first of several talented DBs in this year's draft.
8—Oakland Raiders—C.J. Spiller—RB—Clemson. Never one to let go of speed and deep threats, Al Davis can't help himself. Picking up, and in all likelihood ruining the career of this year's top running back, Davis ignores the fact that the Raiders already have a running game and return man.
9—Buffalo Bills—Anthony Davis—OT—Rutgers. With no top quarterbacks left on the first—round radar, Buffalo steers strait for big man Davis.
10—Jacksonville Jaguars—Dez Bryant—WR—Oklahoma State. Instead of attacking the pass rusher market as expected, the Jags take the draft's top receiver Dez Bryant in effort to bring balance to their run—based offense.
11—Denver Broncos (from Chicago Bears)—Jason Pierre-Paul—DE—South Florida. With the Elvis Dumervil situation uncertain, Denver takes out a pass-rushing insurance policy with Pierre-Paul.
12—Miami Dolphins—Dan Williams—DT—Tennesee. Seeking help in the middle of their defense, Miami takes the next top defensive tackle available.
13—San Francisco 49ers—Joe Hayden—CB—Florida. Once again astonished to see a top—five skill player available at their pick, the 49ers take Joe Haden after an impressive pro-day, in which Haden improved his 40 time and moved well on wet grass.
14—Seattle Seahawks (from Denver Broncos)—Derrick Morgan—DE—Georgia Tech. in search of a formidable pass-rush, defensive-minded HC Pete Carroll takes prototypical Derrick Morgan and converts him to OLB.
15—New York Giants—Rolondo McClain—LB —Alabama. Mildly surprised to find the bruising linebacker who fits the one true need of the Giants, they happily pick up the most complete LB in the draft.
16—Tennessee Titans—Trent Williams—OT—Oklahoma. Never a team to shy away from drafting O-line help in the first, the Titans look toward the future and pickup yet another blocker for their fantastic running game.
17—New England Patriots (from San Francisco) Brandon Graham—DE—Michigan. The Patriots see their guy and get fixated. I know this doesn't sound like the New England team we've come to hate and respect, but I'm trying to keep it interesting and unpredictable here, and with Tennessee stealing Williams out from under SF's nose, the 49ers trade down for the Patriots first (22nd) and second (48th) round picks.
18—Pittsburgh Steelers—Earl Thomas—FS—Texas. Pittsburgh lived and died with Troy Polamalu's health last year, and to insure depth at the safety position, they draft his apprentice in Thomas.
19—Atlanta Falcons—Kyle Wilson—CB—Boise State. Atlanta snags the second best corner in the draft.
20—Houston Texans—Taylor Mays—SS—USC. The Texans jump for joy, taking the biggest, and potentially the baddest safety in the draft late in the first.
21—Cincinnati Bengals—Jermaine Gresham—TE—Oklahoma. As a Nebraska fan, it kills me to see so many Sooners in the first round. Nevertheless, the Bengals complete their dynamic offense with the most dynamic TE in the draft.
22—San Francisco (from New England)—Bruce Campbell—OT—Maryland. San Francisco addresses much needed help at tackle with the pick of Campbell late in the first, instantly adding depth, youth, and strength to the outside line.
23—Green Bay Packers—Sergio Kindle—DE/OLB—Texas. With a pick wreaking of genius, Green Bay takes the no-quit pass rusher out of BCS contender Texas.
24—Philadelphia Eagles—Everson Griffith—DE—USC. The Eagles find the DE they believe can play opposite Trent Cole
25—Baltimore Ravens—Jared Odrick—DT/DE—Penn State. With a team consistently on the verge of proving that defense wins championships, Baltimore takes yet another young, versatile defensive lineman.
26—Arizona Cardinals—Golden Tate—WR—Notre Dame. Looking to revitalize the passing game in the wake of Anquan Boldin's departure, the Cardinals take the speedy receiver who can make a difference at the next level.
27—Dallas Cowboys—Mike Iupati—OG—Idaho. Dallas takes the beast in the middle to complement their three-headed beast of a running game.
28—San Diego Chargers—Ryan Mathews—RB—Fresno State. Going for youth in the backfield, the Chargers take Mathews to nobodies surprise.
29—New York Jets—Charles Brown—OT—USC. Reaching the AFC title game leaves little room for improvement on a team with plenty of youth to go around. The Jets therefore take Mark Sanchez old body guard from USC.
30—Minnesota Vikings—Brian Price—DT—UCLA. Planning for the future means help in the middle of the defense, and the Vikings look to the big fella from UCLA.
31—Indianapolis Colts—Markuis Pouncey—C/OG—Florida. Knowing as well as anybody what "The Future" means to a franchise, the Colts take an apprentice for Jeff Saturday.
32—New Orleans Saints—Carlos Dunlap—DE—Florida. The first team to disregard the off—field issue of Carlos Dunlap scores big, and this time it's the Super Bowl champs.
Round Two: Where GM's Earn Their Money
33—St Louis Rams—Sean Weatherspoon—OLB—Missouri. In spite of the fact that they've seen defensive players flying off the board in the first, coupled with the other fact that they took Laurenitis last year, the Rams can not bring themselves to pass on Weatherspoon.
34—Detroit Lions—Terrence Cody—NT—Alabama. After knighting Okung as Stafford's body guard in the first, Detroit goes back to defense and takes the big risk on the biggest man at nose guard.
35—Tampa Bay Buccaneers—Arrelious Benn—WR—Illinois. Tampa Gets a big target for their young QB.
36—Washington Redskins—Rodger Saffold—OT—Indiana. Immediately grooming a body guard for Clausen, Washington takes the four-year starter.
37—Kansas City Chiefs—Aaron Hernandez—TE—Florida. Searching for the next Tony Gonzales, KC gives Matt Cassel a new toy.
38—Seattle Seahawks—Anthony McCoy—TE—USC. Pete Carroll quickly addresses blocking ad recieving with an old student.
39—Cleveland Browns—Jahvid Best—RB—Cal. Mike Holmgren can't allow his new franchise to twice pass on possibly the "Best" running back/return man in the draft, even if Josh Cribbs is the man.
40—Oakland Raiders—Jacoby Ford—WR—Clemson. Al Davis, you so cRaZy! Dracula strikes again, and takes the teammate of first-round selection spiller in a crazy twist of draft drama.
41—Buffalo Bills—Tony Pike—QB—Cincinnati. The Bills take a tall stab at a potential quarterback of the future.
42—New England (from Jacksonville)—Brandon Spikes—ILB—Florida. It's becoming apparent Bill Bela—jerk is putting together another hit squad at LB.
43—Tampa Bay (from Chicago)—Jerry Hughes—DE/OLB—TCU. Tampa takes another defensive tool to accompany new kid Suh on defense.
44—Miami Dolphins—Jon Asamoah—OG—Illinois. Tuna again building from the inside—out.
45—San Francisco 49ers—John Jerry—OT/OG—Ole' Miss. SF sticks to its guns, taking another big offensive lineman.
46—Denver Broncos—Kareem Jackson—CB—Alabama. The Broncos steal a Championship caliber corner.
47—New York Giants—Toby Gerhart—RB—Stanford. And just like that, the big Cardinal is headed for... the Meadowlands?
48—San Francisco 49ers (from New England, from Tennessee)—Jordan Shipley—WR—Texas. In Shipley, SF get's a hard nosed receiver, a 3rd down play maker, and a return man. You did see this one coming, right?
49—Carolina Panthers—Colt McCoy—QB—Texas. And just like that, McCoy and Shipley must finally say goodbye to on and another. Too bad—as if Steve Smith is a sack of potatoes?
50—Pittsburgh Steelers—Mike Johnson—G—Alabama. And the Steelers get an outstanding run blocker. That's very Pittsburgh of them.
51—Kansas City Chiefs (from Atlanta) Demaryius Thomas—WR—Georgia Tech. And it becomes evident that KC still believes in Matt Cassel, he just needs more toys.
52—Houston Texans—Vladimir Ducasse—OT—Massachusetts. Going to work means taking tackles for Houston.
53—Cincinnati Bengals—Ricky Sapp—OLB—Clemson. The Bengals add to a defense in need.
54—New England Patriots—Kao Misi—DE/OLB—Utah. Keo, who had a good combine and pro day, is added to the New England hit squad collection of Linebackers.
55—Green bay Packers—Chris Cook—CB—Virginia. Another DB to be opposite Woodson is delivered.
56—Philadelphia Eagles—Jonathan Dwyer—RB—Georgia Tech. A power back is brought in.
57—Baltimore Ravins—Javier Arenas—CB—Alabama. The defense inherits a top-notch corner.
58—Arizona Cardinals—Tyson Alualu—DT—Cal. Arizona gets an extreme value pick at DT here in the second round.
59—Dallas Cowboys—Damian Williams—WR—USC. Dallas picks up another weapon for Romo.
60—San Diego Chargers—Greg Hardy—DE—Ole' Miss. The Chargers strike on defense.
61—New York Jets—Brandon Lang—DE/OLB—Troy. Rex's pets get a little scarier with this pick.
62—Minnesota Vikings—Reshad Jones—SS—Georgia. An impressive combine boosts Jones' stock, and the Vikings tak him here.
63—Indianapolis Colts—Dekoda Watson—OLB—FSU. The Colts stretch here, and are rewarded with an amazing athlete at OLB, whom they may end up moving to SS.
64—New Orleans Saints—Selvish Capers—OT—WVU. Protecting Brees is a no brainer and priority number one.
Round Three: The Round Dreams Are Made Of
65—Jacksonville Jaguars (from St. Louis Rams)—Tim Tebow—QB—Florida. We all knew it would happen. Most just thought it would happen before the third. Here, I predict the Rams trade for a couple picks down the board and maybe one next year or something. Either way, the Jags get their QB of the future and the Rams get a couple more picks which they desperately need.
66—Detroit Lions—Mardy Gilyard—WR—Cincinnati. QB Stafford needs protection and toys.
67—Tampa Bay Buccaneers—Myron Rolle—SS—FSU. The Buc's take a risk on possibly the smartest DB ever—ever.
68—Kansas City Chiefs—Jared Veldheer—OT—Hillsdale—Big fish from a small school. Cassel needs protection.
69—Oakland Raiders—Cam Thomas—DT—UNC. Davis does an about-face here and goes big on the D-line.
70—Philadelphia Eagles (from Seattle)—Rob Gronkowski—TE—Arizona. The Eagles take a big target for whomever they end up having quarterback their offense.
71—Cleveland Browns—Dan LeFevour—QB—Central Mich. Brady who?
72—Buffalo Bills—Monterio Hardesty—RB—Tennessee. Buffalo gets another runner.
73—Miami Dolphins—Brandon LaFelle—WR—LSU. Big, tall receiver, the way Tuna likes it.
74—St. Louis (from Jacksonville)—Dennis Pitta—TE—BYU. A tight end here brings blocking and a future jump-ball guy for Bradford.
75—Chicago—Ed Wang—OT—Virginia Tech. Chicago finally wakes up and takes Wang, who's hoping to become the first NFL player out of China.
76—New York Giants—Jimmy Grahm—TE—Miami. Suddenly, the jump-ball threat is back in NY, and Eli smiles: Plaxico who?
77—Tennessee Titans—Sean Lee—ILB—PSU. Titans get help against the run.
78—Carolina Panthers—Alex Carrington—DE—Arkansas State. The search to replace Peppers begins, but does not end here.
79—San Francisco 49ers—Corey Wooten—DE—Northwestern. A project at pass rusher is introduced.
80—Denver Broncos—Patrick Robinson—CB—FSU. Denver scores a DB.
81—Houston Texans—Myron Lewis—SS—Vanderbilt. Call it "Mays insurance."
82—Pittsburgh Steelers—Brandon Ghee—CB—Wake Forrest. Six-burgh scores another sleeper, giving Tomlin more help in the defensive backfield.
83—Atlanta Falcons—Donald Butler—ILB—Washington. Atlanta gets more help against the run.
84—Cincinnati Bengals—Lamar Houston—DT—Texas. Size up front for the Bengals, just what they need.
85—Oakland Raiders (from New England)—Jermain Cunningham—DE—Florida.
86—Green Bay Packers—Joe McKnight—RB—USC
87—Philadelphia Eagles—Ciron Black—OG—LSU
88—Arizona Cardinals (from Baltimore)—Zane Beadles—OG—Utah.
89—Arizona Cardinals—Jason Fox—OT—Miami
90—Dallas Cowboys—Kyle Calloway—OT—Iowa. Sleeper Lineman are going fast!
91—San Francisco 49ers (from San Diego) Brandon Carter—OG/OT—Texas Tech. SF jumps the gun here, but lands a leviathan.
92—Cleveland Browns (from New York Jets)—Jason Worilds—DE/OLB—Virginia Tech
93—Minnesota Vikings—Jonathan Crompton—QB—Tennessee. The Vikes waste a pick here, or they don't. Time would tell.
94—Indianapolis Colts—Trindon Holiday—Specialist—LSU. The Colts take a speed demon, almost too small to tackle. Peyton might not even be able to out throw him.
95—New Orleans Saints—Clay Harbor—FB—Missouri State. One more blocker in the backfield.
There's even more talent out there worth taking note of, but enough time has been wasted and I'm getting burnt out. Starting to see why McCloughin left it all. Have a good one!