NFL Mock Draft: Think Bradford Is Going No. 1. . . Think Again.
I normally do not like doing Mock Drafts. Everyone does them and no one gets them right. You get excited and then have to wait weeks to see if you are even close to even one prediction.
However, it does create some interesting conversations and good comments for everyone to look at and critique. Since my blog here encourages discussion and open conversation this seems to be the time to start hashing out a draft. So here goes nothing.
With free agency, the combine (which is ridiculous), and all the Pro Days finally over we can look at a few things. Trades are going to be executed fast the closer we get to the draft. Teams will be setting themselves up for the player they are hoping to draft.
Please remember that I am making some predictions here based on a few trades that I believe are going to take place.
The state of Oklahoma will be proud as there could be three to four players total taken from the Universities of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State in the first five picks. Just thought that was an interesting piece of information.
Sam Bradford continues to be the lead candidate for the No. 1 pick overall by senior analysts all over. I have a different take on that though. I know the potential upside is there but for the money the Rams will have to shell out I would certainly want allot of re-assurance. I have not seen it with a few uncontested throws indoors.
There will probably be very few trades involving the draft picks themselves between the first sixteen spots. If there are any trades to move into the top sixteen teams like the Eagles, Cardinals, Jets, and Chargers could be the ones that make those moves.
Look for the Cowboys and Vikings to possibly move out of the first round all together.
So this Mock Draft might be a little different than the ones you have probably seen so far. Just a little different.
1. St. Louis Rams: Ndamkong Suh, DT, Nebraska
Here we go. While many feel it is a lock for the Rams to select Sam Bradford here I feel a little different. Colt McCoy had a good private workout for the Rams so one would beg the question about possibly drafting the best player in the draft over a need. Suhisthe best player and can help St. Louis on defense. With the first pick in the second round the Rams could easily select McCoy and get two amazing talents.
2. Detroit Lions: Russel Okung, OT, Oklahoma State
Detroit is gonna have their phones blowing up once St. Louis passes on Bradford. I feel a trade here is almost imminent because of what the team will be offered to move down. If the team stays put though I think Okungis the right pick. He will keep Stafford off his back. With his quick feet and strength he is by far the best at his position in this draft. The Lions need the best at his position in this draft.
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma
This pick should not change one way or the other. McCoy has been the pick here for a while now. The Bucs have been in need of a defensive tackle now for the last three years. Many would say that Suh again is the pick here, but McCoy fits the Bucs scheme much better and offers the ability to play in a one or two gap system.
4. Washington Redskins: Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma
WOW! Will the Redskins or Eagles be kicking themselves if by some miracle Sam Bradford falls to the Redskins. Would they take Trent Williams to protect newly acquired Donovan McNabb. Would they take the QB of the future and not give McNabb his extension allowing Bradford to take over next year. Oh my decisions. Maybe the Redskins trade down and get a second or third round pick to add to their depleted pool. No. This pick will be Bradford if no one has traded up earlier to get him. The Redskins will pick up a tackle like Flozelle Adams in free agency and draft for the position next year. Welcome to Drama in D.C.
5. Kansas City Chiefs: Bryan Bulaga, OT, Iowa
The Chiefs have an offense that is slowly starting to take form. Thomas Jones at running back and Matt Cassel at quarterback are two great pieces. Now a dominant tackle that can open up lanes and protect the QB is really what is needed to be the next piece of the puzzle. Bulaga has the personality that the Chiefs like and has the presence as a main stay offensive tackle that will allow the offensive line to improve.
6. Seattle Seahawks: Trent Williams, OT, Tennessee
With Williams falling out of the top five Seattle gets a steal here and fills a major need at the left tackle position. Williams has become, in some camps, just as high as Okung on the draft boards.
7. Cleveland Browns: Eric Berry, S, Tennessee
Mike Holmgren has made some interesting moves for the Cleveland Browns in his first year as GM, but the one that will be one of the best will be the drafting of S/CB Eric Berry. Berry is a natural leader and will help to bring some stability to a very shaky secondary. Along with Eric Wright and newly acquired Sheldon Brown. Berry is capable of playing both corner and safety which may allow them to move Brown back to safety at some point.
8. Oakland Raiders: Bruce Campbell, OT, Maryland
The ripple effect continues for the offensive tackles of the draft. Campbell has always been my pick for the OT who ends up with the Raiders. He had an amazing combine and does have tremendous upside. Oakland is in desperate need of a tackle to protect whoever may start for this dysfunctional franchise. Hope Heyward-Bey gives Campbell the heads up before he gets on the plane.
9. Buffalo Bills: Anthony Davis, OT, Rutgers
One of the top offensive tackles falls right into the lap of the Bills who never recovered from losing Jason Peters to the Eagles last year. Davis has the speed ad youth, 20 years old, to be a solid tackle for many years. Pairing him with Eric Wood helps to continue the strong rebuilding of the offensive line.
10. Jacksonville Jaguars: Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech
Aaron Kampman will be happy to move back to the D-Line this year, but some insurance is needed to make sure the position is covered should Kampman not be fully recovered from an injury last year. The best defensive player in his division, Morgan can be a great pass rusher for a struggling defense such as Jacksonville.
11. Denver Broncos: Sergio Kindle, OLB, Texas
Josh McDaniels was on his way to showing everyone that the moves he made last offseason were the right ones. Then the defense could not stop anyone after six games. Many pieces are still in place and now all it needs is a spark to get the wheels turning again and get the team to go further than 6-0. Kindle is the right man for the job. He will be the compliment to Dumerviland bring some heat with what was a good defense. Solid and durable.
12. Miami Dolphins: Dan Williams, DT, Tennessee
I truly feel that a safety such as Earl Campbell could be taken here but Williams does seem like the overwhelming favorite here for a team in need of a tackle to anchor the defense. If Kindle is still here though look for the Dolphins to pick him instead to replace the loss of Joey Porter's sack production.
13. San Francisco 49ers: Joe Haden, CB, Florida
This will be the steal of the draft. Many have written off Haden because of a bad 40 time at the combine. I can't stand when teams and analysts write off players because of a bad run. Haden is going to be one of the best and he knows it. Haden is a player and we have all seen it before. 40 times don't make or break a player just a teams bank.
14. Seattle Seahawks: C.J. Spiller, RB, Clemson
The Seahawks have tried a number of combinations at the running back position since the loss of Shaun Alexander. Ironically this will be the best running back the team has had since the future hall of famer. Spiller is quick and offensively aggressive when it comes to running the ball. He is also capable as a return man and receiver out of the backfield. Plays at a whole other level and speed.
15. New York Giants: Rolando McClain, ILB, Alabama
Easy pick here. With Antonio Pierce gone there is a gaping hole in the middle of the G-men's defense. McClain is the leader that can get this defense back on track from a year that was less than stellar. McClain is a durable and instinctive leader and had more tackles for a loss than any other player in college last year. This is practically a gift if he is still here.
16. Tennessee Titans: Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, South Florida
Hard to ignore the fact that he only played in seven games. Also hard to ignore the fact that he has the most athletic ability since Mario Williams. He is going to have his growing pains but he could be the next "Freak" in Tennessee notching double digit sacks very, very soon.
17. San Francisco 49ers: Mike Iupati, OG, Idaho
By far the most dominating guard to come out of college since Ben Grubbs. Iupati can play along the interior of the offensive line and the 49ers are in desperate need of an upgrade. This draft pick alone could help get Frank Gore back to his dominate rushing game.
18. Pittsburgh Steelers: Kyle Wilson, CB, Boise State
The Steelers missed the playoffs last year and, no matter what anyone says, the absence of Troy Polamalu played a key role in that for the defense. Drafting Wilson, who may be the best overall cornerback in the draft, will help make the defense better overall and will help if the defense needs to go without another key player in the secondary in the future.
19. Atlanta Falcons: Brandon Graham, OLB/DE, Michigan
A player with a high motor and a non-stop dominating presence on the field may help to push this underachieving defense over-the-top and get the Falcons deep into the playoffs. Graham is the hybrid solution the team needs to confuse opposing offenses.
20. Houston Texans: Ryan Matthews, RB, Fresno State
I know that the senior analysts will disagree with this pick because of the pressing need to replace Robinson in the secondary and the fact the Steve Slaton could still be the guy for the running game in Houston. Yeah. I don't believe that. Matthews can help to make the offense so much better and the Texans can snag a corner in the second round with the same kind of talent they could nab at this pick.
21. Cincinnati Bengals: Jermaine Gresham, TE, Oklahoma
Good blocker who also has the ability to catch anything and stretch the middle of the field. He can line up in the slot and really give match-up problems to opposing defenses. Palmer will be very excited to get a player on offense that can help get the ball down the field a little easier and give him a second more to make a few throws to the receivers.
22. New England Patriots: Sean Weatherspoon, OLB, Missouri
Sure the Patriots could take a player like Odrick to help rebuild the defensive line but Belichick sees an opportunity to add another dominate defensive player to the roster. This also would allow the team not to have to bring Seau out of retirement for the 100th time.
23. Green Bay Packers: Devin McCourty, CB, Rutgers
The Packers know that they have great corners in Harris and Woodson. They also know that they are not getting an younger at the position. McCourty brings the physical presence that the Packers love at cornerback. He is able to cover well enough and plays bigger than his size.
24. Philadelphia Eagles: Earl Thomas, S/CB, Texas
Ideally I feel the Eagles will not sit at this position. The chances they move up are pretty good. If they stay put they go with the second best safety in the draft who can also play cornerback as well. The Eagles will now have two players who can move all over with the addition of Thomas and Marlin Jackson. Which one will take over for the departed Sheldon Brown remains to be seen.
25. Baltimore Ravens: Taylor Mays, S, USC
Ed Reed has not decided whether or not he is going to return next season after a serious neck injury. No matter, Mays brings the physical presence and dominating skills to make up for the loss if that is what happens. Mays with Ray Lewis. Ouch! Not a defense that anyone wants to face.
26. Arizona Cardinals: Carlos Dunlap, DE, Florida
The Cardinals showed in the playoffs last year against the Packers that if you can not get to the quarterback to slow down the offense you had better get ready for a shootout. With Warner the Cardinals are OK with that. With Leinart, no way. The desert needs someone to help keep the pressure on. Enter Dunlap.
27. Dallas Cowboys: Charles Brown, OT, USC
With the release of Flozelle Adams it is a pretty safe bet that the Cowboys will be looking to upgrade the offensive line. Brown is more than adequate to do just that. He showed his enormous talents at the combine. He can step in immediately and start.
28. San Diego Chargers: Terrance Cody, NT, Alabama
Kind of a trendy pick here. But, if you lose someone like Jamal Williams in the middle and that has been a mainstay of your defense for years than a replacement is needed in some form. In this case it is almost the same exact form. Just not sure about the same exact ability.
29. New York Jets: Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State
So here is where the top-five talent lands. Many think it is a risk to take this young man but let me assure you of this small fact. If Rex Ryan takes him this far down than he will not only get a great receiver for Sanchez to have opposite of Edwards, but also get a young man with a hell of a lot to prove. Dangerous combination.
30. Minnesota Vikings: Patrick Robinson, CB, Florida State
The Vikings are still my pick as the best team in the NFL . . . with Brett Favre at the helm that is. So I could see a quarterback going here, but we all know that after Favreretiresand un-retires again all the Vikings will really need is another good secondary player to help slow down some talented receivers.
31. Indianapolis Colts: Maurice Pouncey, C, Florida
The Colts really do not have allot of needs. The team can take just about anyone and turn them into a productive player. So this may be a good time to start looking for Jeff Saturday's replacement. Pouncey is an NFL ready center and amazing leader who can take control of the offensive line. Great centers are not the easiest to find in the draft either.
32. New Orleans Saints: Everson Griffen, DE, USC
Someone had Tim Tebow going here and I just found myself laughing uncontrollably. Sean Payton has one of the best and a quarterback here. Right. No I think that Charles Grant's replacement is a better choice. Griffen has good agility but often plays a little too soft. He only started one year at USC, but Peyton is a genius and will find a way to get the best out of this young man.
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