2010 NFL Mock Draft: Sam Bradford Fits St. Louis Rams System
About a year ago, the Detroit Lions selected Matthew Stafford first overall in the NFL Draft. Stafford, a quarterback from Georgia, looked to help the winless Lions compete in the 2009-10 season.
Unfortunately, the Lions had too many holes. Stafford helped the Lions win two games last season, making them the second-worst team in the NFL.
Scouts, coaches, and the front office do so much preparation for the NFL Draft every year. They analyze, attend the combine, watch workouts and tape, and talk to the players.
In the end, they can only hope that all that preparation gets them the next Peyton Manning or Troy Polamalu.
Sometimes, the team's best player is not even drafted, as in the case of Kurt Warner - you all remember him right? He won a Super Bowl with the St. Louis Rams and took both the Rams and the Arizona Cardinals to the Super Bowl.
Either way, the draft is an exciting time. Who will come out on top this year? Where will all your favorites get drafted? Here is the 2010 NFL Mock Draft.
St. Louis Rams: Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma
It is no secret that Oklahoma's season went out with Sam Bradford. When he was lost the Sooners could only hope to make a bowl game.
It is also no secret that the St. Louis Rams were horrible in the passing game. They ranked 28th in the pass, averaging less than 168 yards per game.
With only 12 touchdowns against 21 interceptions, the Rams had a passer rating of a lowly 64 on the season. They also scored less than 11 points per game.
The Rams can only improve after those numbers, so taking a chance on Sam Bradford seems like a good option. He will fit their system well and may get the Rams more than one win next season, provided his shoulder heals completely.
Detroit Lions: Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska
The Detroit Lions are famous for picking draft duds and passing up good players. Even the Lions won't be able to pass up Ndamukong Suh.
In his senior season at Nebraska, Suh had 12 sacks, one interception, one forced fumble, three blocked kicks, and ten passes defensed. He also had a total of 85 tackles for the season.
Basically, Suh was a one-man wrecking crew and a big part of the reason Nebraska went 10-4 and shut out Arizona in the Holiday Bowl.
Detroit needs a defensive presence like Suh. They gave up over 126 rushing yards per game and 18 touchdowns on the season. They also had only 26 sacks and only forced 18 fumbles.
If the Lions add Suh, they may go 4-12 next year, but let's not get too excited.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma
The Big 12 produced more than one solid Defensive Lineman this season. Enter Gerald McCoy from Oklahoma.
McCoy had six sacks, over 15 tackles for loss, one forced fumble, and two pass break-ups last season at Oklahoma.
More impressively, McCoy has the potential to start and be a dominant force for the Buccaneers. At six feet, four inches and almost 300 pounds, McCoy already has the strength, size, and speed of an NFL lineman.
The Buccaneers sure could use it too. They had 28 sacks on the season and only forced ten fumbles. McCoy could easily step in and increase these numbers.
With New Orleans and Atlanta in the same division, the Buccaneers need the defensive help.
Washington Redskins: Trent Williams, OT, Oklahoma
Possibly one of the biggest trades of the off-season was Donovan McNabb heading to Washington. The Redskins have had offensive woes the past couple of seasons and McNabb could improve this.
The other piece of the puzzle is having a solid offensive line. The Redskins averaged only 3.9 yards per carry and only scored eight rushing touchdowns all season.
They also did not protect the quarterback, giving up 46 sacks and 97 quarterback hits. McNabb moves a lot and can relieve some pressure, but he needs help from some guys up front.
Trent Williams helped protect Landry Jones after Bradford went down. The offensive line only gave up 15 sacks all season. They also helped the Sooners rush for 1,750 yards on the season.
The Redskins are only missing a few pieces of the puzzle and Williams should help fill one hole.
Kansas City Chiefs: Bryan Bulaga, OT, Iowa
The Kansas City Chiefs have a solid quarterback, decent defense, and pretty good special teams. What are they missing? Offensive line.
The Chiefs averaged 4.4 yards per carry last season, but only scored eight rushing touchdowns. This may also be due to the fact that they never really had a solid running back.
The other part though is the sacks and hits given up and the Chiefs need help in that category. They gave up 45 sacks and 85 quarterback hits. In a division they have a chance to compete in, they need to do better.
Bryan Bulaga helped the Iowa Hawkeyes to an Orange Bowl victory last season. His offensive line gave up 29 sacks, which does sound like a lot, but they also helped block for Ricky Stanzi and his running backs.
The Hawkeyes rushed for over 1,400 yards last season and 13 touchdowns. Despite giving up 29 sacks, Stanzi threw for over 2,400 yards and 17 touchdowns.
Bulaga is used to playing smash-mouth football in the Big Ten and has played against the likes of Brandon Graham and Jared Odrick. He also won the 2009 Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year.
For Kansas City to have a chance in the AFC West, they need to make some changes. The biggest one can be picking up Bryan Bulaga.
Seattle Seahawks: Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma State
Three Offensive Linemen in a row may be a stretch for the NFL Draft, but this is Seattle's biggest need.
The Seahawks have trouble in a lot of offensive areas, including quarterback and running back, but they should start with their offensive line.
The Seahawks averaged four yards per carry last season and scored a whopping seven rushing touchdowns. Their offensive line gave up 41 sacks and 91 quarterback hits.
How did Russell Okung and Oklahoma State do last season? Well, he helped his team give up only 11 sacks all season. They also totaled almost 2,500 rushing yards for the season.
Okung won the 2009 Big 12 Offensive Lineman of the Year. He has played tough defenses in Oklahoma and Texas and will look to step in at Seattle from day one.
Cleveland Browns: Eric Berry, FS, Tennessee
It was sort of an off-year for Tennessee in the 2009-10 season. Luckily, Eric Berry stepped up and remained a bright spot all season.
Berry had two interceptions, seven pass break-ups, one forced fumble, and seven tackles for loss. This was all from the free safety position.
Cleveland needs a guy like Berry to step in this season if they want to have any sort of chance. They were 29th against the pass last season.
The Browns gave up almost 4,000 passing yards on the season, including 22 touchdowns and only had ten interceptions. They gave up over 244 passing yards per game.
The Browns will likely have better offensive numbers next season, so they need some better defensive numbers. Berry can immediately step in and help the secondary.
Oakland Raiders: Bruce Campbell, OT, Maryland
The Oakland Raiders are a team similar to Detroit in that you never know what you will get on draft day. While I am not sure if they will actually draft Bruce Campbell, this is who I believe they should.
The Raiders struggled on their offensive line, averaging 4.1 yards per carry with a measly seven rushing touchdowns. They gave up 49 sacks on the season and had 97 quarterback hits.
One of the toughest positions to play is left tackle and Campbell has a knack for it. He was an All-ACC team selection as a junior, despite battling injuries.
If the Raiders decide to keep their pick and draft someone predictable, Campbell is the right fit for the team.
Buffalo Bills: Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame
What has happened to Notre Dame football? The Fighting Irish had two bright spots this season, Jimmy Clausen and Golden Tate.
What has happened to the Buffalo Bills? Well, they are just not a good team. Despite adding wide receiver Terrell Owens to the team, they still struggled as an offense.
The Bills ranked 30th in passing offense. They had just over 2,500 yards on the season, with 17 touchdowns and 19 interceptions.
Jimmy Clausen had over 3,700 yards in just 12 games last season. He also had 28 touchdowns versus just four interceptions.
Rookie quarterbacks tend to not do too well in their first season, but the Bills could easily improve with Clausen starting the 2010 season.
Clausen and Owens could be a great tandem, just like Clausen and Tate were at Notre Dame. Going .500 in the NFL though means winning eight games, which is better than the Bills did last season.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Earl Thomas, FS, Texas
The Jacksonville Jaguars gave up over 3,700 passing yards on the season. They were basically decimated as a secondary. They ranked 27th against the pass.
The Jaguars gave up almost 236 passing yards per game. They also let in 28 touchdowns while intercepting the ball 15 times. When you have Peyton Manning in your division, you need to do better.
This is where Earl Thomas can help. Last season at Texas, he had eight interceptions, 16 pass break-ups, one forced fumble, and five tackles for loss. This is all as a sophomore.
Thomas was named first team All-Big 12. He has some learning to do and it will be a bit of a process, but he can step in his rookie season and continue to improve.
Picks 11 - 15
11. Denver Broncos: Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State
With the Broncos getting rid of Brandon Marshall, they need a big-game guy that can step in right away. In only three games last season, Bryant had 323 yards and four touchdowns. If he keeps his head in the game, he will be a great fit in Denver.
12. Miami Dolphins: Sergio Kindle, OLB, Texas
With Joey Porter going to Arizona, the Dolphins are in need of another linebacker. They run a 3-4 defense, so the linebackers are very important. Kindle will fit the system nicely, having a chance to start, but also to learn from one of the best in Jason Taylor.
13. San Francisco: Joe Haden, CB, Florida
The 49ers have a defensive need this season. They were 21st against the pass last season, giving up over 3,600 yards. Haden could bring this total down and help the 49ers win the division with Arizona having to rebuild this year.
14. Seattle Seahawks: Brandon Graham, DT, Michigan
With their biggest need out of the way, the Seahawks need to look at their defense as well. They were 15th against the rush last season, but only had 28 sacks and 13 forced fumbles. Graham had 10.5 sacks, two pass break-ups, 26 tackles for loss, and two forced fumble on a Michigan team that was less than stellar.
15. NY Giants: C.J. Spiller, RB, Clemson
The Giants have a solid quarterback in Eli Manning. Now, they need to get that solid running back. While Ahmad Bradshaw is decent, they need someone to push him and take him to the limits. Spiller can do this. Last season at Clemson, he had over 1,200 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Picks 16 - 20
16. Tennessee Titans: Jason-Pierre Paul, DE, South Florida
Ranked 10th against the rush last season, Tennessee will look to add depth to their defensive line. They gave up 107 rushing yards per game and want to improve. Jason-Pierre Paul can help do this. Paul had 6.5 sacks, one interception, three pass break-ups, and one forced fumble last season. He has the size, speed, and agility to step in right away.
17. San Francisco: Anthony Davis, OT, Rutgers
Now that San Francisco has upped their defense with their first pick, they can up their offense with their next pick. The offensive line gave up 40 sacks and 84 quarterback hits last season. With a quarterback that already struggles, they need less pressure to have a chance this season. Enter Anthony Davis.
18. Pittsburgh Steelers: Maurkice Pouncey, C, Florida
Possibly the Steelers only weakness is their offensive line. They were 31st in offensive line rankings. The Steelers rushed for almost 1,800 yards with ten rushing touchdowns last season. They also gave up 50 sacks and had 78 quarterback hits. The Steelers need to protect Big Ben Roethlisberger in order to get back to the Super Bowl.
19. Atlanta Falcons: Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech
The Atlanta Falcons have a solid offense but need to improve their defense to top New Orleans. The Falcons gave up over 1,700 rushing yards, with an average of four yards per carry and 107 yards per game. They did force 20 fumbles, but only had 28 sacks all season. A First Team All-ACC member, Morgan will look to fill the void and add to the sack total.
20. Houston Texans: Kyle Wilson, CB, Boise State
The Texans have made huge strides these past couple seasons, but they aren't quite in the playoffs yet. They look to fix their secondary troubles with Kyle Wilson. Last season, they gave up almost 3,500 yards against the pass with 19 touchdowns versus 14 interceptions. Teams averaged almost 218 passing yards per game.
Picks 21 - 26
21. Cincinnati Bengals: Jermaine Gresham, TE, Oklahoma
The Bengals averaged just over 180 passing yards per game. They need that extra dimension. This is where a tight end can help their game. They need an extra receiver, but also a guy that can convert to a lineman when needed. The Bengals averaged 2,000 yards on the ground, but only had nine touchdowns to show for it.
22. New England Patriots: Jared Odrick, DL, Penn State
The Patriots have a knack for finding that one guy that can make a difference. This year, it will be Odrick for them. The Patriots need a pass rusher after giving up almost 27 points per game and only having 31 sacks as a team. The 2009 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and 2009 Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year, Odrick will fit in nicely to the Patriots' system.
23. Green Bay Packers: Rodger Saffold, OT, Indiana
It's no secret the Packers improved when they brought Mark Tauscher out of retirement. The Packers gave up 51 sacks on the season, but gave up 35 of those sacks when Tauscher didn't play. Tauscher cannot play forever so they need a big guy to fill his shoes. This year is the year the Packers get the offensive lineman they are looking for.
24. Philadelphia Eagles: Mike Iupati, G, Idaho
The Eagles got rid of Donovan McNabb and have some shoes to fill. In order to help out the offense, they need to have a solid offensive line. They were solid last season, with over 1,600 rushing yards and 14 rushing touchdowns. They also gave up only 38 sacks with 67 quarterback hits. Iupati will add depth to the offensive line.
25. Baltimore Ravens: Carlos Dunlap, DE, Florida
Baltimore needs defense? Yes, this is a bit of a stretch, but Dunlap will learn from the best and can help right away this season. The Ravens had a solid season but lacked a pass rusher. They only had 32 sacks and gave up over 24 points per game.
26. Arizona Cardinals: Rolando McClain, MLB, Alabama
With Bertrand Berry retiring, the Cardinals need another linebacker. They had 43 sacks on the season, but only six fumble recoveries. The Cardinals also gave up over 1,800 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns. McClain can help these numbers go down because he can fill Berry's shoes, though maybe not right away.
Picks 27 - 32
27. Dallas Cowboys: Devin McCourtey, CB, Rutgers
The Cowboys gave up over 3,600 passing yards last season, letting opponents average over 225 yards per game. They let in 19 touchdowns and only had 11 interceptions. McCourtey had one interception, ten pass break-ups, and 7.5 tackles for loss last season at Rutgers. He could be the spark the Cowboys need.
28. San Diego Chargers: Ryan Matthews, RB, Fresno State
After getting rid of LaDainian Tomlinson, the Chargers need another running back. Darren Sproles is back, but the Chargers ranked 31st in rushing last season. They gained over 1,400 yards, averaging only 3.3 yards per carry. They did score 17 touchdowns, but need to be more productive on the whole.
29. NY Jets: Demaryius Thomas, WR, Georgia Tech
The Jets had a rookie quarterback in Mark Sanchez, who will only improve as the experience comes. When Braylon Edwards wasn't dropping passes, he helped the offense. The Jets need someone who can step in and be consistent. Sanchez had less than 2,400 passing yards, with 12 touchdowns and 21 interceptions. He needs Thomas to step in right away.
30. Minnesota Vikings: Patrick Robinson, CB, Florida State
The Vikings would like to have McCourtey fall into their lap and if he is still available, that is who they will pick up. This is the next best option. The Vikings were 19th against the pass last season, giving up almost 3,500 yards and 26 touchdowns with 11 interceptions. They can out-score almost anyone, but need to let in less points as a secondary next season.
31. Indianapolis Colts: Charles Brown, OT, USC
While the Colts have the best offensive line in the business, they just got rid of one of their starters in Ryan Lilja. They are also aging and could use some youth to add depth and teach them the way. The Colts only rushed for under 1,300 yards on the season, averaging a minuscule 3.5 yards per carry. If this improves, they could win the Super Bowl next season.
32. New Orleans Saints: Everson Griffen, DE, USC
The Saints struggled on defense. They were 21st against the rush last season, giving up almost 2,000 yards and 19 touchdowns. Teams averaged 4.5 yards per carry. The Saints also had only 35 sacks all season. The secondary stepped up in the playoffs last year, so the Saints will look to step up their defensive line before the secondary.