1. St. Louis Rams —Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma
This pick is becoming a given since Marc Bulger was released, and the Rams were impressed by Bradford's workout. They've drafted linemen the past three years (Adam Carriker, Chris Long, and Jason Smith), so now it's time to draft a franchise QB.
Other Possible Picks: Jimmy Clausen, QB; Ndamukong Suh, DT
2. Detroit Lions —Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska
The Lions traded a fifth—round pick to Seattle for Rob Sims, so that erases the possibility of Jeff Backus moving to left guard and slims down the chances of Russell Okung going to Detroit. Suh is the best available, but look at how that strategy has worked out for the Lions, and poor Matt Stafford will continue to get beaten up with almost no time to throw the ball. Plus, they already traded for Corey Williams, and Sammie Lee Hill had a good rookie season.
Other Possible Picks: Russell Okung, T; Gerald McCoy, DT
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers —Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma
The Rams drafting a QB enables the Bucs to draft a DT, despite winning two games last season and losing their chance at the number one pick. McCoy is considered by some to be better than Suh. As long as the Bucs get Suh or McCoy, they will address their need at DT and improve their terrible rush defense.
Other Possible Picks: Ndamukong Suh, DT; Eric Berry, S
4. Washington Redskins —Russell Okung, T, Oklahoma State
Here's where the shakeup begins from McNabb being traded to the Redskins. This pick would have been Jimmy Clausen, but now it will likely be an offensive tackle since Shanahan is an offense-minded coach, and the Redskins have pretty good defense. The Lions being stupid again is all it takes for Okung to fall to the Redskins.
Other Possible Picks: Trent Williams, T; Bryan Bulaga, T
5. Kansas City Chiefs —Trent Williams, T, Oklahoma State
The Chiefs just miss out on Okung here, but even if he is drafted in the top four, the Chiefs will still take a tackle. Scott Pioli drafts for positional value even if it means reaching. He proved that last year by drafting Tyson Jackson with the third pick, and safeties generally don't get drafted that high. Drafting a tackle would improve their offensive line greatly, since they signed C Casey Wiegmann and G Ryan Lilja, and Brian Waters still has some juice left in him. Branden Albert would do much better at right tackle.
Other Possible Picks: Eric Berry, S; Bryan Bulaga, T
6. Seattle Seahawks —Eric Berry, S, Tennessee
This is an easy pick for the Seahawks. Safety is a major need, and Berry is considered to be the next Ed Reed. The Seahawks may go for a left tackle here, since Walter Jones retired and Sean Locklear isn't fit to fill his shoes.
Other Possible Picks: Trent Williams, T; Bryan Bulaga, T
7. Cleveland Browns —Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State
Mike Holmgren has said that he doesn't like Clausen, and if you look at his 17 years of coaching the Packers and Seahawks, you'll see that he never drafted a QB higher than the third round, so don't expect that to change.
Another popular option for the Browns was Joe Haden, but they just traded for Sheldon Brown, so that erases the possibility of a cornerback going in the first round, and since Berry is off the board, I'm going with Bryant by process of elimination. The Browns need a gamebreaker at receiver. Massaquoi appears promising, but Robiskie didn't produce in his rookie year.
Other Possible Picks: Jimmy Clausen, QB; Eric Berry, S
8. Oakland Raiders —Bruce Campbell, T, Maryland
Campbell excited Al Davis by running a 4.88 and benching 34 reps at the Combine. Davis drafts based on 40-yard dashes and workout numbers and not based on a prospect's tape, and Campbell's tape is questionable. He will be a boom-or-bust tackle. The Raiders will draft a tackle, since their offensive line proved to be one of the worst in the NFL.
Other Possible Picks: Trent Williams, T; Jason Pierre—Paul, DE
9. Buffalo Bills —Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame
The Bills are hoping that this scenario will play out. Clausen exhibits the strong-armed QB that Buddy Nix desires. Trent Edwards doesn't appear to be the answer, and Ryan Fitzpatrick is nothing more than a backup.
10. Jacksonville Jaguars —Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech
Yes, the Jaguars did just sign Aaron Kampman, but it doesn't take a genius to figure out that Kampman isn't 100 percent after tearing his ACL, and Gene Smith drafted Eugene Monroe and Eben Britton in the first two rounds last year even though they signed Tra Thomas before the draft. Derrick Harvey and Quentin Groves have proven to be busts.
Other Possible Picks: Jason Pierre-Paul, DE; Dez Bryant, WR
11. Denver Broncos —Rolando McClain, LB, Alabama
Andra Davis was cut, so now an inside linebacker is a need, and passing on a 3—4 inside linebacker that has great NFL potential sounds far-fetched.
Other Possible Picks: Dan Williams, DT; Dez Bryant, WR
12. Miami Dolphins —Dan Williams, DT, Tennessee
Jason Ferguson has been suspended for eight games for a substance policy violation, and even with him there's virtually no depth at nose tackle. So Williams is the only way to go, and he fits perfectly for a 3—4 scheme.
13. San Francisco 49ers —Joe Haden, CB, Florida
Haden would fill a need at cornerback, and here he would be a steal. People have been turned off because of his bogus Combine 40 time. His real time was a 4.43 at his Pro Day, and it was on a wet surface. Singletary wants winners, and Haden fits the bill.
Other Possible Picks: Taylor Mays, S; Bryan Bulaga, T
14. Seattle Seahawks —Bryan Bulaga, T, Iowa
As I mentioned earlier, the Seahawks need a left tackle, and getting Bulaga here is a steal. Bulaga is a zone blocking tackle, so he would fit the Seahawks' system perfectly.
Other Possible Picks: Charles Brown, T; C.J. Spiller, RB
15. New York Giants —C.J. Spiller, RB, Clemson
The Giants care a lot about having depth at running back, and Ahmad Bradshaw is a free agent, so he may not be back. And Derrick Ward didn't return. Spiller would provide depth and an explosive presence, and Jerry Reese often takes the best player remaining as long as it fills a need.
16. Tennessee Titans —Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, South Florida
Pierre—Paul impressed many scouts by doing 23 backflips, and he ran a 4.6 at the Combine. He has a lot of upside but also a lot of bust potential. The Titans lost Kyle Vanden Bosch and Jevon Kearse to free agency, so defensive end is a major need.
Other Possible Picks: Everson Griffen, DE; Carlos Dunlap, DE
17. San Francisco 49ers —Anthony Davis, T, Rutgers
Davis allegedly interviewed poorly at the Combine, and he was out of shape. He ran a slow 5.4, and he has work ethic issues, but that's nothing new for Singletary, and Davis has a lot of talent. Singletary coached Vernon Davis well, and the 49ers drafted Crabtree last season despite his prima donna attitude.
Other Possible Picks: C.J. Spiller, RB; Bryan Bulaga, T
18. Pittsburgh Steelers —Mike Iupati, G, Idaho
The Steelers need an upgrade at guard, and Iupati is living up to his hype of being a rare first-round talent at the position. The Steelers love drafting massive linemen, too.
Other Possible Picks: Maurkice Pouncey, C/G; Rolando McClain, LB
19. Atlanta Falcons —Brandon Graham, DE, Michigan
Jamaal Anderson is a bust, and the rush defense was awful last season. Thomas Dimitroff drafts based on positional value, and Graham fits that bill. He had a great Senior Bowl, and he can play both 3—4 OLB and 4—3 DE. Graham and a healthy Peria Jerry could dramatically improve the defensive line.
Other Possible Picks: Sean Weatherspoon, LB; Carlos Dunlap, DE
20. Houston Texans —Earl Thomas, S, Texas
The Texans need a free safety. Eugene Wilson is often injured, and they have had a hard time stopping Peyton Manning. Bernard Pollard re-signed after having a solid year. Cornerback or safety should be the first priority, and the Texans have drafted smartly.
Other Possible Picks: Kyle Wilson, CB; Ryan Mathews, RB
21. Cincinnati Bengals —Taylor Mays, S, USC
The Bengals need a safety, and they probably won't be drafting a wide receiver in the first round after signing Antonio Bryant. Mays ran an unofficial 4.24 at the Combine, so he cemented his first—round status. He has a lot of upside too. USC players have been drafted often by the Bengals.
Other Possible Picks: Jermaine Gresham, TE; Brian Price, DT
22. New England Patriots —Jermaine Gresham, TE, Oklahoma
Ben Watson left for the Browns, and Chris Baker left for the Seahawks, so this pick is an easy one if Gresham falls here. Welker injured his knee and won't likely be healthy for the start of the season, so another weapon for Brady would be useful.
Other Possible Picks: Ryan Mathews, RB; Jared Odrick, DE/DT
23. Green Bay Packers —Charles Brown, T, USC
The Packers re—signed Chad Clifton and Mark Tauscher, but they will still need some depth. Drafting Brown would allow him to learn from Clifton and Tauscher for a year or two on the bench. This pick could be the one that leads the Packers to a Super Bowl, if used wisely.
Other Possible Picks: Kyle Wilson, CB; Taylor Mays, S
24. Philadelphia Eagles —Kyle Wilson, CB, Boise State
Sheldon Brown was traded to the Browns, so cornerback is now a need, and the Eagles often draft cornerbacks early.
Other Possible Picks: Earl Thomas, S; Mike Iupati, G
25. Baltimore Ravens —Jared Odrick, DE/DT, Penn State
Dwan Edwards signed with the Bills, so now the defensive line will need some depth, and Odrick can play both 4—3 DT and 3—4 DE. The Ravens like to mix up their scheme, so he'd be a perfect fit for their defense. He will be the pick if Gresham and Wilson are taken.
Other Possible Picks: Kyle Wilson, CB; Jermaine Gresham, TE
26. Arizona Cardinals —Sean Weatherspoon, LB, Missouri
The Cardinals suffered big losses with Kurt Warner and Bertrand Berry retiring, Karlos Dansby signing with the Dolphins, and Anquan Boldin being traded to the Ravens. Weatherspoon had a strong Senior Bowl and Combine, with his great leadership skills and great ability to tackle. He would fill a need at inside linebacker for the Cardinals.
Other Possible Picks: Anthony Davis, T; Brandon Spikes, LB
27. Dallas Cowboys —Maurkice Pouncey, C, Florida
The Cowboys released Flozell Adams, and their offensive line is aging. Pouncey can play both center and guard, and he's a great run blocker that the Cowboys could use.
Other Possible Picks: Anthony Davis, T; Nate Allen, S
28. San Diego Chargers —Terrence Cody, DT, Alabama
The Chargers lost Jamal Williams to the Broncos, so they need a new nose tackle. Cody has had concerns about his ability to keep his weight under control ever since weighing 370 pounds at the Senior Bowl, but he trimmed down for the Combine and Pro Day. Nose tackles are scarce in this draft, but there will be plenty of running backs to choose from in the second round, so I'm going with Cody here.
Other Possible Picks: Ryan Mathews, RB; Toby Gerhart, RB
29. New York Jets —Golden Tate, WR, Notre Dame
The Jets need more receiving weapons for Mark Sanchez, and Tate is an explosive receiver who has great hands. Drafting Tate could be what leads the Jets to the Super Bowl this season, since they have just about every other position set.
Other Possible Picks: Damian Williams, WR; Sergio Kindle, DE/LB
30. Minnesota Vikings —Brian Price, DT, UCLA
The Williams Wall won't be together much longer, since Pat Williams is 37 and debating retirement. The Vikings will need depth at defensive tackle once Pat retires. Price would be a perfect fit for their 4—3 scheme, and he had seven sacks last season for UCLA.
Other Possible Picks: Maurkice Pouncey, C; Jared Odrick, DT
31. Indianapolis Colts —Rodger Saffold, T, Indiana
Bill Polian cited the offensive line as the reason for the Colts' Super Bowl loss, and that may be true, since Charlie Johnson hasn't performed like a franchise left tackle and Tony Ugoh has struggled. Saffold had an eye-opening Combine workout, and Polian usually drafts offense in the first round.
Other Possible Picks: Maurkice Pouncey, C; Charles Brown, T
32. New Orleans Saints —Sergio Kindle, DE/LB, Texas
The Saints lost Charles Grant and Scott Fujita to free agency, so defensive end and outside linebacker are needs now. Kindle would be perfect for the Saints' defense since they like to play with the 4—3 and 3—4, and Kindle can play DE and OLB. He's been compared to Brian Orakpo.
Other Possible Picks: Brian Price, DT; Carlos Dunlap, DE
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