2010 NFL Draft: Players That Could Slip and Others That Could Rise

Bleacher ReportSenior Analyst IMarch 31, 2010

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 27: Offensive lineman Russell Okung of Oklahoma State runs the 40 yard dash during the NFL Scouting Combine presented by Under Armour at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 27, 2010 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images)
Scott Boehm/Getty Images

I recently wrote my 2010 NFL Mock Draft, in which I argued some non-conventional ideas about the upcoming Draft.

Such as, Detroit taking Russell Okung; Cleveland taking Eric Berry; CJ Spiller falling to Philadelphia; and Kansas City taking Jason Pierre-Paul.

I think people need to remember that the Draft usually does not follow "Best available player." You also need to consider that club's current prospects; holes; and system.  Sometimes, the best available player does not fit the system.

And that's not necessarily a bad thing.

Look at New England for instance. The Patriots often trade down and collect picks that fit the system, rather than the most talented player. Obviously, that philosophy has worked well for the Pats.


Russell Okung

Detroit should model itself after the Saints and continue to build the offense. Okung could play for 15 years, while the career span of the average d-tackle is much less than that. 

The other thing is that coach Jim Schwartz is a defensive-minded coach that can "coach up" defensive players better than he can "coach up" offensive players. Thus, it makes the most sense to take the best offensive player available.


Jason Pierre-Paul

Jason Pierre-Paul would be the best fit for the Kansas City defense, which needs more help than the offense does. 

The fact is that Jamaal Charles ran over a 1,000 yards and 40 receptions.

The draft is loaded with offensive lineman and surely there will be value in the second round. Most of the pass-rushers will be gone by then, however. Thus, it would make sense for KC to take the best rusher at 5th overall.


Bryan Bulaga

Some think that OL Bryan Bulaga is a top ten pick, yet I'm not convinced. Bulaga reminds me of Raiders guard Robert Galley. 

Both come from the Iowa program of Kirk Ferentz that is known for being finesse. The Raiders took Gallery in 2004 at 2nd overall because the Raiders wanted a left tackle, but after several years, the Raiders accepted that Gallery was best suited to play guard.

Bulaga's speed is questionable and not likely to suffice in protecting the blindside.  Bulaga though would make an excellent left guard.


Eric Berry

Safety Eric Berry is highly talented, but safeties are generally not in high demand.  Berry should go in the top ten, but I doubt that a top five team will invest in a premiere safety. 

Many people wonder why a team would not want a great player, and really it is just economics. Some positions have larger talent pools. Defensive backs can be found in spades, so why pay millions when the market is flowing with d-backs?


C.J. Spiller

Spiller is quickly rising on many boards, but that neglects the issue of need in the top 15.

Cleveland, Buffalo, Miami, San Francisco, and even New England do not truly need a halfback, as much as those teams need to fill another position.

As much as people love to predict the next "crazy" move by Al Davis, they never bother to study other teams. 

Bill Parcells for instance has never put a high premium on halfbacks. 

Assuming that an offensive lineman is available, I would expect the Dolphins to reinforce the line. Sometimes, predictability is a good thing, because those who succeed usually stick with what has worked.  I see no reason why Parcells would change that.

Seattle is possible, but if an offensive lineman is available, I think Seattle will opt for that instead. After all, Spiller is a speed runner and not very physical. A lousy line would present a difficult time for Spiller.

The Patriots offense is not run-oriented. I realize that coach Belichick knows how to adapt to his roster, but Spiller is in many ways similar to current Pat Laurence Maroney. My money would be on the Pats taking a receiver or tight end, especially since WR Wes Welker is expected to miss much of 2010 with injury.

The Niners are possible, but SF has Frank Gore and Glen Coffee. The Niners best bet would be to beef up the defense.