2010 NFL Mock Draft (Part 2)
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With the Brandon Marshall trade and Patrick Kerney's retirement, things have changed a bit and, they could change even more if Miami trades Ronnie Brown. Who says there is an offseason!?!?! ;)
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11. Denver Broncos - Dez Bryant, WR (Oklahoma State)
With Marshall's trade to Miami, this pick becomes a proverbial 'no brainer.' Even with Bryant's character issues, he is too great a talent to pass up.
There is some speculation that Denver will package its two second round picks to trade into the back end of the first round and take a receiver like Demaryius Thomas or Arrelious Benn. But with Eddie Royal and Jabar Gaffney as the top receivers currently on the roster, this becomes a position of concern for a team with a quarterback controversy going into training camp.
This pick may be too predictable for McDaniels, who dealt a first-round pick to select a nickel corner and took a blocking tight end in the second round of his first draft last year.
I even had Florida's Maurkice Pouncey penciled in at this pick, but Bryant visited Denver this week, leading me to believe the Broncos might finally wise up and draft smart for a change. And giving quarterbacks Brady Quinn and Kyle Orton a big, new target is as smart a decision as they come.
Draft Needs: WR, ILB, OG/C, SS, TE, RB/KR
12. Miami Dolphins - Dan Williams, NT (Tennessee)
Jason Pierre-Paul is a better pro prospect, but Miami has a bigger need at nose tackle, where starter Jason Ferguson faces an eight-game suspension for using performance-enhancing substances.
Williams started all four years for the Volunteers, which Bill Parcells loves. Coach Tony Sparano also coached Williams in the Senior Bowl, where the Memphis native shined.
Pierre-Paul is a definite possibility here as the Dolphins could use some pass rush help, but the draft is deep there and Williams in Mike Nolan's defense is too good to pass up.
Draft Needs: TE, OL, DL, OLB, S
13. San Francisco 49ers - Joe Haden, CB (Florida)
The Niners snapped their streak of seven consecutive losing seasons with an 8-8 campaign in 2009. Head coach Mike Singletary has the Niners headed in the right direction with a fast, aggressive defense, but in need of playmakers in the secondary.
Shawntae Spencer thrived in his first healthy NFL season, but another quality corner on the other side might elevate San Francisco to the next level.
Haden has proven himself the best corner in the draft, following up an abysmal combine with a 4.38 40 at Florida's pro day. Haden was an active member of the Gators, collecting 197 tackles and eight interceptions.
Texas' Earl Thomas is also a possibility here, but Nate Clements is not getting any younger and Haden has the skill to start right away.
Draft Needs: RB, WR, OL, DE, DB
14. Seattle Seahawks - Derrick Morgan, DE (Georgia Tech)
With the retirement of Patrick Kerney, Seattle will be in dire need of a rush end to fill that void and get pressure on the quarterback.
South Florida's Jason Pierre-Paul may be a better athlete, but he is more suited for a 3-4 scheme as a DE/OLB. Morgan should fit in with the Hawks 4-3 base defense.
Morgan, the 2009 ACC Defensive Player of the Year, should benefit playing alongside Aaron Curry and LeRoy Hill, and will give Pete Carroll a disruptive force up front.
Draft Needs: QB, RB, OL, ILB, S
15. New York Giants - Rolando McClain, MLB (Alabama)
The New York Giants looked to be one of the NFL's best through the first five games last year, but the wheels quickly fell off Tom Coughlin's squad, as they 3-8 and narrowly missing the playoffs.
General Manager Jerry Reese overhauled the defense in the offseason, letting go of veterans Antonio Pierce, Aaron Rouse and Fred Robbins and adding safeties Deon Grant, Antrel Rolle and Courtney Brown.
The overhaul continues into draft weekend as the "G-Men" tab Crimson Tide standout Rolando McClain as Pierce's successor.
While McClain had a poor showing at the combine, his success at Alabama is staggering. McClain lead the Tide's defense to a National Championship, earning All-American honors, as well as the Lambert and Butkus awards for best collegiate linebacker.
McClain should thrive in Perry Fewell's Tampa-2 scheme and help to shore up a defense that was prone to giving up the big play and keep the Giants competitive in football's toughest division.
Draft Needs: RB, LB, WR
16. Tennesse Titans - Jason Pierre-Paul, DE/OLB (South Florida)
After a horrendous 0-6 start in 2009, the Titans rebounded behind Vince Young to win seven of their next eight, catching a glimpse of the playoffs before bowing out with a respectful 8-8 finish.
2010 brings new hope for the Titan faithful as the team boasts a fantastic offense with stellar running back Chris Johnson leading the charge. Concerns lie on the defense, where sack leader Kyle Vanden Bosch has moved on and defensive coordinator Chuck Cecil seeks a return to the days of a dominating Titans defense.
That return should be aided by Jason Pierre-Paul. Jeff Fisher loves workout warriors, which is the definition of Pierre-Paul's character. He ran a 4.64 40 at the combine and earned All-American honors in his first season out of community college.
Pierre-Paul's athleticism and playmaking ability are just what the Titans need going forward as they were exposed a few too many times on that side of the ball last season.
Draft Needs: QB, RB, TE, C, DL, ILB
17. San Francisco 49ers - Anthony Davis, OT (Rutgers)
While I personally feel the Niners have bigger needs at safety and on the interior of their line, Davis has too big of an upside to pass on with San Francisco's second pick of the first round.
While he struggled at the combine and in his interviews, Davis is still high on most teams' boards for his mammoth size and athleticism. A three-year starter for the Scarlet Knights, Davis made first-team All-Big East twice and earned All-American honors in 2009.
Mike Singletary loves projects and has a track record for motivating players and getting the most out of them, which seems to be what is holding Davis back.
If Singletary works his magic and gets the most out of Davis, San Francisco could have the best tackle tandem in the league with Davis and Joe Staley. But this one is still a wait-and-see...
Draft Needs: RB, WR, OL, DE, DB
18. Pittsburgh Steelers - Golden Tate, WR (Notre Dame)
With Santonio Holmes run out of town, the Steelers, for the most part, have no playmakers on the outside for Roethlisberger to go to. Tate provides a big target for an offense that has thrived in recent years through the air.
While Pittsburgh has needs on the offensive line and on their front seven, having an explosive offensive weapon would aid the Steelers in returning to the postseason, which they missed last year for the first time since 2006.
Tate, the 2009 Biletnikoff award winner, caught 157 balls and 26 touchdowns in three years for the Irish. He would fit in well with a receiving corps including steady veteran Hines Ward, rising talent Mike Wallace and the returning Antwaan Randle El.
Many have Demaryius Thomas and even Arrelious Benn ranked higher than Tate, but both were too inconsistent at the combine. Tate is also in the Holmes mold; a speedy, elusive, solid route runner with hands to match.
Pittsburgh has always drafted notoriously well. It will be interesting to see if that trend stays the same.
Draft Needs: RB, WR, TE, OL, NT, OLB
19. Atlanta Falcons - Sergio Kindle, OLB (Texas)
Many mock drafts have the Falcons reaching on a "true" defensive end like Michigan's Brandon Graham or USC's Everson Griffen here, but few players in the draft possess the versatility of Sergio Kindle.
Kindle started at both outside linebacker and defensive end for the Longhorns, collecting over 100 tackles and 15.5 sacks in four years in Austin.
Atlanta could use a defensive presence like Kindle's, collecting just 28 sacks as a team in 2009, tied for fifth-worst in the NFL.
Despite a lack of pressure on opposing quarterbacks, Mike Smith's club still finished 9-7. A player of Kindle's caliber, along with the free agents they have added in the secondary, could put them back in the postseason.
Draft Needs: WR, OL, DL, FS
20. Houston Texans - Earl Thomas, FS (Texas)
Fresno State running back Ryan Matthews makes a lot of sense here, but with Thomas still on the board, Houston would be foolish to pass.
Houston has one of the best front sevens in the league, but that was not enough to stop Peyton Manning, who threw for 562 yards in two games against the Texans.
Thomas is a true ball-hawk, picking off 10 passes in just two seasons at Texas, while posting 143 tackles. The Orange, Texas native was named an All-American twice for his efforts.
Defensive coordinator Frank Bush has coached up a fast, attacking defense. Adding Thomas to the mix could finally put the Texans over the hump.
Draft Needs: RB, TE, OL, LB, DB