One of the deepest drafts of the decade due to the pending rookie salary cap, a lot of first round talents have fallen into the second round. Players that were formerly first rounders like Jahvid Best, Jimmy Clausen, Colt McCoy, and Brandon Spikes, now drop out of the top 32 picks.
Every year there's some surprises that fall, last year it was Bengals' linebacker Rey Maualuga. Who will it be this year?
1 - Rams - Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma
As much as I'd like to give the Rams a dominate defensive lineman this year in Ndamukong Suh, and as much as I think they should take Colt McCoy in the second, the obvious pick here will be Sam Bradford.
Bradford could very well be a top 5 quarterback within two seasons, he has great intangibles to be an NFL passer, and solid arm strength.
The big question is will he survive behind a below average St. Louis line, or will be face a beating in the form of David Carr Syndrome?
2 - Lions - Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma State
You'll be hard pressed to find any team who will pass on a player like Ndamukong Suh, but with the additions of Kyle Vanden Bosch and Corey Williams, it's simply not their biggest need.
On the other hand, franchise quarterback Matthew Stafford found himself eating dirt 2.4 times per game last season and being pressured countless times, resulting in 20 interceptions.
If Stafford is to find a rhythm and develop, he's going to need protection, and Okung is the best in the class.
3 - Bucs - Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska
Christmas time in Tampa, Suh falls to the Bucs by default and you'll never see a draft card get handed in more quickly.
The Bucs have so many needs that getting the overall number one ranked player at number three is a no-brainer of a selection. Suh will be a dominate force on Tampa Bay's defensive line for the next decade.
4 - Redskins - Trent Williams, OT, Oklahoma
Although many projected Okung to the Redskins, Williams is certainly no consolation prize.
In the Redskins zone-blocking scheme they'll be employing in 2010, Trent Williams has been ranked on Washington's draft board often higher than Russell Okung.
While McNabb is tough, he does have an injury history, and tightening up the offensive line is a must this draft. Dan Snyder pulls the trigger on the smart pick here.
5 - Chiefs - Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma
It's been rumored that the Chiefs are interested in Bryan Bulaga and Eric Berry, but passing up Gerald McCoy is something Scott Pioli simply would not do.
Last year, Pioli reached on Tyson Jackson at the No. 3 spot, this year there'll be no reach as he addresses the defensive line again. Yesterday, Pioli spoke of Glenn Dorsey potentially being played at Nose Tackle this season, is that a sign of a defensive tackle being added?
Sure sounds like it.
6 - Seahawks - Bryan Bulaga, OT, Iowa
Rest easy Seahawk fans, CJ Spiller will NOT be the pick here.
Seattle, at the time of this article, are currently in talks with Buffalo for troubled running back Marshawn Lynch, compensation is expected to be a second round pick.
Pete Carroll coached against Lynch in college while at California, and Justin Forsett is a former teammate of his as well. Something tells me this deal gets done by draft day. Bulaga is the best lineman at this spot, and with the recent loss of Seattle's lineman Walter Jones, it's a huge need.
7 - Browns - Eric Berry, FS, Tennessee
With the departure of Brodney Pool, the Browns' safety core is incredibly weak with the current starter tentatively being backup Mike Adams.
The current front office expressed that they like current SS Abe Elam, believe in drafting the best player available, but free safety is still a huge need.
Luckily this satisfies all of those specifications since Berry has drawn comparisons to Raven's safety Ed Reed and at one point was rated the No. 1 prospect in the draft. With Eric Wright, Sheldon Brown, Abe Elam, and Eric Berry; Cleveland quickly develops one of the best secondaries in the AFC.
8 - Raiders - Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, South Florida
While many mock drafters have simply projected Al Davis to take the biggest freak athlete in the draft, this one actually could make sense.
It's no secret Davis is enamored by physically gifted football players, Greg Ellis is 34 years old and will need an upgrade very soon. While it's been rumored Kamerion Wimbley would start on the line, Coach Cable already declared him a starter with Trevor Scott at outside linebacker on Thursday.
Jason Pierre-Paul alongside Richard Seymour will be a formidable attack on their defensive line next season.
9 - Bills - CJ Spiller, RB, Clemson
Bryan Bulaga was the original selection here, but being off the board and the inevitable trading of Marshawn Lynch, Buffalo has a huge need at running back.
In this spot, they get the lightning quick running back they haven't had since Thurman Thomas in the early 1990's. Spiller was an early visit to Buffalo, who have had their eye on him for weeks.
With a 4.37 official 40 time at the combine, Spiller definitely hasn't swayed their opinion. If the Bills are serious about drafting Tim Tebow in the second round, CJ Spiller will take a lot of pressure of his development.
10. Jaguars - Joe Haden, CB, Florida
An impact player of Haden's caliber any other year wouldn't fall down to the #10 spot, but with the needs of the teams ahead of Jacksonville, it's very possible he will.
The Jaguars have brought him in for a private workout, attended his Pro Day, and interviewed him at the combine - they aren't keeping their interest secret by any means. When you're playing Peyton Manning twice a year, the Jaguars are going to need a big upgrade over underachieving cornerback Rashean Mathis.
11. Broncos - Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State
The odds of this pick being a wide receiver have greatly increased with the trading of Brandon Marshall. Bryant has come under fire recently for 'character issues' and 'off the field issues', but head coach McDaniels has spent the last week defending Bryant's character, perhaps an early indication of the direction Denver is headed.
“I think you have to be careful with confusing character issues with some people that made some mistakes,” McDaniels said. ”This guy has never been arrested, he’s never had a drinking issue, he’s never done anything that’s put him in that position. He’s made a few mistakes that he wishes he hadn’t made. But I think there’s a difference. We enjoyed our visit with him. He did everything we asked him to do and had a smile on his face. We enjoyed the entire visit, and he did well.”
12. Dolphins - Dan Williams, DT, Tennessee
Starting nose tackle Jason Ferguson is the borderline age of 35 years old, let's face it, he isn't getting any younger.
To add to the problem, he'll be suspended the first eight games of the season due to a substance abuse issue.
While Bill Parcells is pretty lenient with his players, the need for a new dominating nose tackle to break through the offensive line is pretty important this offseason. Dan Williams could be, and should be, the pick for the Dolphins at No. 12.
13. 49ers - Kyle Wilson, CB, Boise State
Popular opinion is that the 49ers are looking to take the best lineman and best secondary upgrades with their first rounders this year.
With the first pick, they go Wilson since Haden is off the board, but with the second pick they take the best lineman available. Some scouts say Wilson is a better pick than Haden in the first place, so this should not be looked at as a downgrade.
14. Seahawks - Sergio Kindle, DE, Texas
Many people may disagree with this pick, but they have hosted Kindle in Seattle, so the interest is there.
With the recent retiring of Patrick Kerney, a defensive end who led the team in sacks on the line last year, defensive end becomes a huge need. Pete Carroll is very familiar with Sergio Kindle, and would jump at the chance to add an athlete of his caliber here.
15. Giants - Rolando McClain, ILB, Alabama
With the departure of veteran Antonio Pierce, there is a need at middle linebacker. The best true inside linebacker in the draft, and a big part of the Crimson Tide's 2009 championship, Rolando McClain seems to be the obvious pick here.
The Giants have built a reputation of a hard nosed defense, McClain would help restore the defense to glory and knows what it takes to lead a team to a championship.
16. Titans - Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech
Anybody who follows the Titans offseason know that this pick will be one of three defensive linemen, Brandon Graham, Everson Griffen, Sergio Kindle, or Jason Pierre-Paul.
In this case, Kindle and Pierre-Paul are off the board, but Derrick Morgan falls to No. 16 and could potentially be the steal of the draft for Tennessee.
Originally a top 10 pick, Morgan would quickly become a dominate part of their defensive line and make fans forget all about Albert Haynesworth.
17. 49ers - Charles Brown, OT, USC
Getting Kyle Wilson with the first pick, leaves the 49ers open to take the best lineman they can, and in this case it's USC's Charles Brown.
It may be a coin-flip with Anthony Davis, but with Charles Brown proving he can keep his weight over 300, he's the most athletic pulverizer at No. 17. Brown gives Alex Smith the protection he will inevitably be needing this season.
18. Steelers - Mike Iupati, OG, Idaho
Whoever is under center for Pittsburgh this year, whether it's Ben Roethlisberger or Dennis Dixon, they will be taking a beating without an offensive line upgrade.
Mike Iupati is a versatile lineman, best suited for offensive guard, and a definitive upgrade over anyone in their trenches currently.
19. Falcons - Brandon Graham, DE, Michigan
The Falcons are looking to get after the passer more often this season, which means they'll be targeting defensive end or outside linebacker.
Graham happens to be able to do both, he could be immediately plugged in on the line or wait a season and take over for Mike Peterson at outside linebacker. Graham is considered a safe pick, but he's also the smart pick.
20. Texans - Earl Thomas, FS, Texas
The Texans current free safety is John Busing, so Earl Thomas sliding this far down the draft, should be taken as a miracle by Houston.
The Texans grab their home state safety from the Longhorns, and eases the blow of losing Dunta Robinson in their secondary this offseason.
21. Bengals - Carlos Dunlap, DE, Florida
Dunlap has drawn comparisons to players such as Julius Peppers and Mario Williams, but has had some off-field issues.
As proven with drafting ILB Rey Maualuga last season, the Bengals aren't too concerned over character concerns. Dunlap adds another element to the Bengals pass rush and quickly puts Robert Geathers on the bench.
22. Patriots - Jermaine Gresham, TE, Oklahoma
Ben Watson left the Patriots this offseason, leaving them with a 30 year old backup tight end in Chris Baker. With this pick they get the best pass catching tight end in the draft, Jermaine Gresham.
Gresham was Sam Bradford's go-to option at Oklahoma, and will quickly endear himself to starting quarterback Tom Brady in New England.
23. Packers - Anthony Davis, OT, Rutgers
The Packers stole the show in 2009 with the draftings of BJ Raji and Clay Matthews.
This year however, the Packers will play it smart and address their offensive line with Anthony Davis. Aaron Rodgers had a great season, but needs some protection on the line to continue to be successful.
24. Eagles - Devin McCourty, CB, Rutgers
The Eagles would have been tempted to go Kyle Wilson here, but Dick Jauron's has heavily scouted Devin McCourty and has been very impressed with his hard-hitting ability.
Sheldon Brown to Cleveland makes the secondary a priority. McCourty will probably start opposite of Asante Samuel, and learn from the Pro Bowler throughout the season.
25. Ravens - Jared Odrick, DE, Penn State
A perfect fit for the Ravens' defensive line or any team that runs a 3-4 defense for that matter, Odrick is a big physical lineman.
As Ravens director of player personnel Eric DeCosta put it, simply, “Jared Odrick plays like a Raven.” This pick is as simple as that, if Odrick is available, there's zero chance that Baltimore passes on him.
26. Cardinals - Sean Weatherspoon, LB, Missouri
Jimmy Clausen could be the pick here, but with former Heisman winner Matt Leinart, and former Pro Bowler Derek Anderson on the roster, expect them to battle it out for the starting job this season.
With wide receivers Larry Fitzgerald and Steve Breaston, the job of quarterback in Arizona becomes much easier, so expect both men to get a fair chance. Weatherspoon will help replace the departure of Karlos Dansby to Miami, a much bigger need.
27. Cowboys - Bruce Campbell, OT, Maryland
Bruce Campbell has been mocked as high as No. 8 or out of the first round entirely. His ceiling is outstanding, unfortunately his basement is outstanding as well.
After releasing veteran Flozell Adams, the need an offensive tackle is a must-fill during the 2010 draft, whether Campbell's athleticism is enough for Jerry Jones though is another story.
28. Chargers - Ryan Mathews, RB, Fresno State
The era of LaDainian Tomlinson with the Chargers is over, and an heir to the throne is needed in San Diego. Darren Sproles is a great change of pace back, but a complete back like Ryan Mathews would put the Chargers over the top in the backfield.
29. Jets - Everson Griffen, DE, USC
Now that the Jets have added Santonio Holmes, it takes the pressure off finding a number one receiver for Mark Sanchez.
Earlier picks were Notre Dame's Golden Tate, but now addressing their front seven, becomes the better and safer option.
If Jared Odrick was available, he could also be the pick, but since he went to Baltimore, Griffen is the next best option here. Comparisons to Griffen so far have included players like Terrell Suggs.
30. Vikings - Brian Price, DT, UCLA
Other concerns would be corner back, but with Haden, Wilson, and McCourty off the board, finding an aire to 38 year old Pat Williams becomes a priority. Brian Price is a huge physical specimen out of UCLA, and could sit a year behind Williams learning the system.
31. Colts - Maurkice Pouncey, C/G, Florida
Peyton Manning isn't getting any younger, and can't be taking as many shots. With younger receivers and running backs, the offensive line should be a big concern here. Maurkice Pouncey is a versatile lineman who can play the center or guard positions, a trait the Colts have always coveted.
32. Saints - Jerry Hughes, OLB, TCU
The departure of Scott Fujita to the Cleveland Browns means they should be looking for replacements. Jerry Hughes is a great pass rushing option at No. 32
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