The NFL draft is fastly approaching, and draft experts are mocking the draft more and more now. It's crunch time for NFL general managers, and coaches, as they prepare for the draft, too. My friend and Bleacher Report writer Andrew Kneeland put together this mock draft to see what teams may be looking at when the NFL draft comes next week. I did the first pick, followed by my colleague, Andrew Kneeland. Here is a look at what may happen in the 2010 NFL Draft:
1. St. Louis Rams-Sam Bradford-QB-Oklahoma
The Rams need just about anything. Bradford has been compared to Matt Ryan, and has the build to be a good quarterback in the NFL. It just may take a few years. If the Rams want an immediate starter, they’d select Ndamukong Suh, but instead get the best quarterback in the draft, and build around Bradford.
2. Detroit Lions - Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma State
This pick will come down to either Okung or defensive tackle Suh. The Lions have plenty of talented players at the defensive tackle position already, and wouldn't want to waste this No. 2 overall pick on something that is already a strong point. Even though Suh may be more talented than Okung, the Oklahoma State offensive tackle will fill a huge hole for the Lions. Sophomore quarterback Matthew Stafford hit the turf far too often in 2009, and the Lions will need to protect their franchise quarterback if they hope to re-enter the contention battle in the NFC North. With the second overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, the Lions will select Russell Okung.
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Ndamukong Suh-DT-Nebraska
If Suh falls to the Bucs, he certainly won't be passed up. He could be similar to Warren Sapp, and possibly better. I am sure Bucs fans would love that. Suh has all the tools to be a great NFL player. He's a monster, athletic, agile, fast, powerful, and can terrorize quarterbacks. He has the potential to be a future Pro-Bowler. He would improve a Bucs defense that gave up quite a few points in games last season.
4. Washington Redskins - Bryan Bulaga, OT, Iowa
Jason Campbell may not be the best quarterback in the league, but he is certainly better than his 2009 performance indicated. Washington has brought on Rex Grossman now, though, and he will struggle as well if the Redskins don't find a premier offensive tackle. Bulaga isn't the best value for this pick, but he fills an incredible need.
5. Kansas City Chiefs-Eric Berry-S-Tennessee
Berry is one of the best prospects in draft. I have him second to Suh, but he would help out a Chiefs defense that struggled against the pass last season. He is quick, excellent at coverage, and a very good tackler. Expect the Chiefs to take him, and for Berry to be a very good player for a long time in the NFL.
6. Seattle Seahawks- Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma
Some scouts rank McCoy as the best overall talent in this draft. Seattle could go with a quarterback here, as Hasselbeck isn't getting any younger, and a replacement will need to be found soon. Instead, the Seahawks will pick the best player available, who also happens to fill a need. McCoy will solidify a defense line that needs all the help it can get.
7. Cleveland Browns-Joe Haden-CB-Florida
The Browns need just about anything. The pick is Joe Haden, and boost their defense as Haden is an excellent at coverage. Haden is also a pretty quick safety, and is at the top of the cornerback class this season.
8. Oakland Raiders - Anthony Davis, OT, Rutgers
This will probably never happen, but if Al Davis were sane he would address his horrific pass defense. This is one of the main reasons Jamarcus Russell has struggled, and even if a new QB is brought in an offensive line would be required. Davis has not impressed during his workouts this year, but is still an outstanding pass protector.
9. Buffalo Bills-Jimmy Clausen-Quarterback-Notre Dame
The Bills will probably draft either a quarterback or offensive line. I see them taking Clausen and developing him into their future starting quarterback.
10. Jacksonville Jaguars - Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, South Florida
Even with two respectable cornerbacks, opposing teams crushed Jacksonville through the air. With no pass rush to speak of, opposing quarterbacks had all day to find the open receiver. Jason Pierre-Paul is one of the best pass-rushers in this draft, and uses his long arms to his advantage when tearing around offensive lineman. With Pierre-Paul on their defensive line in 2010, the Jaguars stand a much better chance of knocking off the pass-happy Colts.
11. Denver Broncos-Rolando McClain-ILB-Alabama
The Broncos could also pick Dan Williams, or Dez Bryant, since Marshall was traded. McClain is the best bet for the Broncos, and the safer pick. He has the size, and the athletic ability to play well in on an NFL defense. He is also a great leader, and a very good interior player as a linebacker on defense.
12. Miami Dolphins - Dan Williams, NT, Tennessee
Williams may be a bit of a reach for the Dolphins, but nose tackle is an incredible need. Jason Ferguson is 35 years old, coming off of injury, and is slated to miss the first eight games of the season due to a suspension. With an effective nose tackle, the rest of Miami's 3-4 defense will fall into place: the pass rush, run defense, and line-backing corps will all receive tremendous improvements if the Dolphins draft Williams.
13. San Francisco 49ers-Trent Williams-OT-Oklahoma
Williams fills a huge hole and a big need for the 49ers. Williams has also been flying up with a great Combine performance. He's a monster offensive tackle, and is an impact player. He's the third best draft prospect right now, and he deserves to be taken high in the draft. Wouldn't be surprised if CJ Spiller is taken here, but I think he drops a few more slots. I would have maybe seen the 49ers taking Dez Bryant here, but with the trade that just went down for Ted Ginn, I don't see that happening anymore. The pick is still Williams in my opinion.
14. Seattle Seahawks - Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State
The Seahawks need a #1 receiver badly. Houshmandzadeh struggled in Seattle because he was forced to be the #1 guy, but he thrives when taking on a possession role. With Bryant available at this point, there is little reason to believe that the Seahawks will pass. They didn't select Crabtree in last year's draft, but this year they will realize and address the desperate need at wide receiver.
15. New York Giants-Derrick Morgan-DE-Georgia Tech
The Giants need defense, and they need defensive lineman. Morgan could go higher, but other teams have different needs, which fit perfectly for the New York Giants. Morgan is an excellent pass rusher, and is good in the 3-4 defense.
16. Jacksonville Jaguars - Earl Thomas, S, Texas
The Jaguars need to address their pass rush, but they can't pass up Thomas, who can play both corner and safety. Jacksonville has a need in the secondary, and they will need to focus on their defensive end situation in the later rounds. Thomas is a value pick, and one the Jaguars the make without thinking twice.
17. San Francisco 49ers-CJ Spiller-RB-Clemson
Spiller is the number one running back in this draft, and the 49ers draft a player who can run Frank Gore, and share the duties. With this the 49ers become have a dual threat at running back, and Spiller can be used in return game. Plus, he can catch the ball. The Niners also like to take the best player available; Spiller would qualify as that in this point in the draft.
18. Pittsburgh Steelers - Kareem Jackson, CB, Alabama
One of the reasons the Steelers faltered last year (besides injuries) was a struggling secondary. Jackson provides good value for this pick, and fills a need. There some other options that the Steelers could pursue, such as Graham or Wilson, but they will eventually settle on Jackson. The 21-year-old will step right in to Pittsburgh's defense and made a large impact.
19. Atlanta Falcons-Brandon Graham-OLB/DE-Michigan
The Falcons will love to get this guy. He's a hard worker, a hard hitter, and can get to the quarterback. They may go after Everson Griffen, but I think they would like Graham better, and take him. Graham can step right in and start, and make a difference for this team. He had an excellent Senior Bowl and Combine that really boosted his draft stock.
20. Houston Texans - Taylor Mays, S, USC
The Texan's passing defense last year was abysmal, which is why they failed to beat the Colts. (Which, let's be honest, is probably Houston's main priority at this point.) Mays was a top prospect in last year's draft, but chose to return to school for another year. This cost him a ton of money, because scouts now know that he isn't the best in coverage. Mays can run a 4.24 40', though, so he certainly has value. By simply being where former Texas safeties failed to reach, Mays will prevent dozens of throws. Whether or not he would be able to intercept or defend any is another matter entirely.
22. New England Patriots - Sergio Kindle, OLB, Texas
With Gresham off the board, the Patriots are in a tough position. Welker will most likely miss the start of the season, and Brady needs another offensive target. The next-best tight end available is Arizona's Rob Gronkowski, but issues with his back will likely force him to the second or third round. The Patriots could reach for Gronkowski with this first-round pick, or they could address another need and go for a 3-4 OLB/DE. Brandon Graham is probably the best available, but he doesn't fit in New England's 3-4 defense. Instead, the Patriots will probably select Sergio Kindle with this first-round pick. Even though Kindle is a reach, Gronkowski may still be available at their next pick.
23. Green Bay Packers-Charles Brown-OT-USC
The Packers needs to protect Aaron Rodgers, and Chad Clifton, and Mark Tauscher aren't getting any younger. Brown comes from a pro-style team, and can step right in and help this team that is on the rise. Brandon Graham is also on the board, and is the best player available which Ted Thompson usually looks to. I think they go for need, and select Brown, who could be a good offensive tackle down the road. The Packers could even go after Mike Iupati, since he is still available, and Iupati is a big force who is an excellent blocker. With Graham and Mays off the board, they go offensive tackle, but don't be surprised if they take Kyle Wilson or Jerry Hughes, both of whom would be good players in the Packers defensive scheme.
24. Philadelphia Eagles - Sean Weatherspoon, OLB, Missouri
Weatherspoon has great versatility, and can play either OLB or DE in different schemes. The Eagles need help with their pass-rush, as Jaqua Parker and Trent Cole could use some help. Philadelphia has dealt with the losses of linebackers Stewart Bradley and Omar Gaither so far this offseason, and although Weatherspoon isn't huge, he is a great pass-rusher and is at least adequate in coverage.
25. Baltimore Ravens-Jared Odrick-DT-Penn State
The Ravens got a huge acquisition in acquiring Anquan Boldin, and can now focus on defense. Their current defense isn't getting any younger, and they need someone like Odrick who can bring tenacity to every game, and can play extremely well. Brian Price could also be the pick, but I Odrick is a better athlete, and will fit better into the Ravens scheme.
26. Arizona Cardinals - Mike Iupati, G, Idaho
This is probably a bit of a reach, but the offensive line is something the Cardinals will need to address sooner rather than later. Both Wells and Lutui are scheduled to come off the books in the next two years, and while Iupati won't be able to start from Day 1, he will be more than ready when he is needed. Iupati has several flaws in his very raw game, most notably a lack of awareness, but he should be vastly improved after a few months of on-the-job training.
27. Dallas Cowboys-Maurkice Poucey-C/G-Florida
The Cowboys would love to have Taylor Mays fall to this position, but unfortunately Mays is taken higher. Instead of Mays, they take Poucey, whose stock has been going up, and had a good career at Florida blocking for Tim Tebow. Pouncey is a good blocker, and played for a very good team in college, and knows how to create holes for runners, and enough throwing time for its team's quarterback. The Cowboys wouldn't mind Iupati or Charles Brown to fall to them, but instead get Pouncey, who can contribute for them.
28. San Diego Chargers - Ryan Matthews, RB, Fresno State
With LaDainian Tomlinson gone, and the Chargers need a running back. San Diego has an above-average passing offense and an above-average quarterback, so an effective running back is essential in order to keep the opposing defense from guessing. With Matthews still on the board, this pick is no-brainer.
29. New York Jets-Everson Griffen-DE-USC
The Jets have been busy this offseason with new acquisitions of Antonio Cromartie, Ladainian Tomlinson, and Santanio Holmes. With their first draft pick, however, they select Everson Griffen. Griffen comes from a pro-style team, and is ready for the NFL. He's a good 4-3 defensive end, and has the size and athleticism to compete in this league. He fits the Jets personality, and immediately makes the Jets better.
30. Minnesota Vikings - Kyle Wilson, CB, Boise State
With Cedric Griffin tearing an ACL late last season and unlikely to be ready for the season opener this year, the Vikings need a cornerback. The secondary was already a weakness of the team, and without Griffin, that aspect could be exploited even further. While it remains to be seen if Brett Favre will return for another season -- if he doesn't, the Vikings need a quarterback -- Kyle Wilson holds good value at #30 and fills a gaping hole on the Vikings' defense.
31. Indianapolis Colts-Roger Saffold-OT-Indiana
The Colts number one need is offensive line, and here they get. Saffold’s stock has been rising a bit, and would make an excellent pass blocker for Peyton Manning. He is quite athletic, bulky, tall, has good footwork, and good balance and agility. He would be the best pick here as many of the other top offensive tackles are off the board.
32. New Orleans Saints- Brian Price-DT-UCLA
Even though Price is 6'2'' and 300 pounds, he can certainly move. Quick off the snap, Price made great use of his huge frame during his collegiate career. He could is certainly a value pick in the late first round, and he fills a need on the defending-champions New Orleans Saints. New Orleans gave up plenty of rushing yards last season, and will take Price to supplement a defense that is already very good.
There you have it, Sam and Andrew's first mock draft. Study it, and comment on it, and give us your feedback! See how we compare with Mel Kiper, Jr, and all the other draft experts, and remember to tune into the NFL Draft next week on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday!
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