NFL Mock Draft 2010: Sam Bradford Still the Pick For St. Louis Rams
The 2010 NFL Draft isn't even here yet, and we're all being tossed at every turn via trades and rumors.
Sam Bradford is still expected by many to be the top pick in the draft, but with the top quarterback prospect not in concrete negotiations with the St. Louis Rams, and the Cleveland Browns rumored to be interested in trading up, we can't be certain how the first round, much less the first pick, will play out.
All trade talk and rumors aside, read on for a breakdown of what could happen in the first-round of the NFL Draft this Thursday.
1. St. Louis Rams: Sam Bradford , QB, Oklahoma
I know the Rams are being quiet about the top pick, Cleveland is rumored to be involved in trade talks, and Bradford isn't signed (obviously).
But that doesn't change things. Bradford is still the top quarterback in this draft (Mel Kiper Jr., sit back down), and that's exactly what the Rams need.
Honorable Mentions: Ndamukong Suh, Jimmy Clausen
2. Detroit Lions: Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska
If it's not Suh, it's Gerald McCoy or Russell Okung, and if the Lions are really looking for a reach, they can go after Eric Berry.
But Suh is still the best overall defensive tackle in this draft, and unless Jim Schwartz swings a deal for his old hole-lugging buddy, Albert Haynesworth, Suh is the pick here.
Honorable Mentions: Gerald McCoy, Eric Berry, Russell Okung
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma
McCoy is right up there with Suh, and the Buccaneers need some major improvement on the inside. They'll take the next best available defensive tackle; no question about it.
There will be some murmurs about snagging Eric Berry, but taking a safety that high could raise some eyebrows.
McCoy will give them an inside presence that can rival the likes of Suh, and will help dominate their defensive line for years to come.
Outside of Suh, McCoy, or Berry, Dez Bryant is the fourth option the Bucs will truly consider. With Antonio Bryant now a Bengal, Tampa Bay desperately needs some playmakers on offense for second-year quarterback, Josh Freeman.
Honorable Mentions: Eric Berry, Dez Bryant
4. Washington Redskins: Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma State
Washington may still desire a franchise passer, but with a huge need for youth and an overall talent upgrade on their offensive line, Mike Shanahan and Co. will be forced to bite the bullet and pick an "un-sexy" tackle.
Okung is actually far from un-sexy, as he is the top tackle in this draft. He will shore up Donovan McNabb's blindside in 2010, and will develop into a stud down the road for whoever ends up being the franchise passer.
Jimmy Clausen or Sam Bradford are definite possibilities here, but with the addition of McNabb, quarterback isn't a major need right now. Shanahan could go the route he did a few years ago, when he ran with Jake Plummer for three years, and drafted Jay Cutler as his successor in Plummer's third season with the Denver Broncos.
Regardless, there should be some solid quarterback talent available in the second round, while a meaty tackle like Okung will not be around for the choosing.
Honorable Mentions: Jimmy Clausen, Eric Berry
5. Kansas City Chiefs: Eric Berry, S, Tennessee
The Chiefs paid a hefty price to land Matt Cassel from New England last year, so there's not a great chance they ditch him so soon, regardless of any lobbying from Charlie Weiss to draft Jimmy Clausen.
It'd be interesting, but far from the best move.
Outside of that potential dramatic splash—which would destroy most mock drafts—the Chiefs will take a good, hard look at safety, receiver, and their offensive line.
In the end, Kansas City won't be able to pass on such a stud safety like Eric Berry, no matter how tempted Todd Haley is to throw caution to the wind and draft Dez Bryant.
Honorable Mentions: Bryan Bulaga, Dez Bryant, Jimmy Clausen
6. Seattle Seahawks: Bryan Bulaga, OT, Iowa
There's no doubt that new head coach Pete Carroll will consider a splashy offensive addition like C.J. Spiller or Dez Bryant here, but the truth is, the Seahawks need offensive line help, and they need it bad.
Just ask Matt Hasselbeck.
Seattle could still go after Jimmy Clausen if they're not hung up on Charlie Whitehurst, but something tells me Carroll will play it safe with his first pick and grab a tackle that can protect whoever does end up being the Seahawks' quarterback of the future.
Honorable Mentions: Jimmy Clausen, Taylor Mays
7. Cleveland Browns: Joe Haden , CB, Florida
The real question here is whether or not the Browns trade up to take the top overall pick. If they do, Clausen could go here to the Rams, and the Browns would take Sam Bradford.
However, I don't see that happening. Regardless of all the rumors about Dez Bryant, C.J. Spiller, or a quarterback here, the Browns will grab the guy they've been in love with for the past three to four months.
Joe Haden is the best corner in this draft, and recently acquired corner Sheldon Brown is 31 years old. This is a move for the immediate future.
Honorable Mentions: Jimmy Clausen, Dez Bryant, C.J. Spiller
8. Oakland Raiders: Taylor Mays, S, USC
I've seen Bruce Campbell and Anthony Davis in this slot in a slew of mock drafts, but this is still Al Davis we're dealing with.
The guy who took Darrius Heyward-Bey last year and JaMarcus Russell three years ago doesn't exit the first round of the NFL Draft quietly.
It'd be the logical and the smart thing to beef up the offensive line, but logic and intelligence have little to do with Davis or his M.O.
Mays actually fills a need, though, and also lives up to Davis's ridiculous athletic and "measureables" standards. Despite this being an arguable reach, Mays could still end up being a rather nice pick, and potentially one heck of a football player at the next level.
Honorable Mentions: Anthony Davis, Bruce Campbell, Dez Bryant
9. Buffalo Bills: Jimmy Clausen , QB, Notre Dame
The fall ends here.
Todd McShay will have you believe otherwise, but the Bills desperately need a new franchise passer, and Clausen has all the confidence and tools to finally give them their heir apparent to Jim Kelly.
Offensive line or receiver could be addressed here, but giving them someone their fans can call the face of the franchise trumps in importance.
Honorable Mentions: Anthony Davis, Trent Williams
10. Jacksonville Jaguars: Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech
Jacksonville is in major trouble on defense, where their pass rush generated just 14 sacks in 2009, leading to an equally woeful pass defense.
That needs to get better before anything else really can, which leads Jack Del Rio and Co. to choose either Morgan or Jason Pierre-Paul.
Morgan is by far the more polished and NFL-ready player. Unless Del Rio is up for taking a major risk with what is likely only a one-year lease left on his Jaguars' coaching career, he won't pass on Morgan.
While winning and turning the problem areas around has to be a top priority, so too is winning back the hearts of the fans.
Adding Florida's own Tim Tebow, to the mix could surely appease fans, and at the very least help increase ticket sales.
Honorable Mentions: Tim Tebow, Jason Pierre-Paul
11. Denver Broncos: Rolando McClain, ILB, Alabama
Dez Bryant is the hot name at this spot, as many think the Broncos will make-up for trading Brandon Marshall by drafting another star receiver in Bryant.
That's not really Josh McDaniels' M.O., and it doesn't make much sense to get rid of one troublemaker, just to bring in another receiver with character issues in to replace him.
Denver should start solidifying it's progressing defense with an elite tackle-machine in the middle, and wait for the next few rounds for a receiver.
Honorable Mentions: Dez Bryant
12. Miami Dolphins: Dan Williams, DT, Tennessee
They just traded for Brandon Marshall, so Dez Bryant will continue to wait to hear his name called. Besides, Bill Parcells hates drafting receivers in the first round.
Williams gives Miami a guy who can play on the inside or outside of their 3-4. They also are in desperate need of an impact rusher on the outside of their 3-4 at linebacker, but they can only address one need at a time.
Honorable Mentions: Sergio Kindle, Dez Bryant
The 49ers have been wildly rumored to be praying and hoping either Eric Berry or Joe Haden can fall to them.
No matter how many lucky stars they wish upon, neither is happening.
If C.J. Spiller is still available here, there's a good chance he lasts until San Francisco picks again at the 17th spot, as the teams picking at the three slots in between the 49ers' picks don't need a running back.
This gives the 49ers flexibility, and makes landing Thomas a real possibility.
Offensive tackle is another big area they could think about, but Singletary needs to put the finishing touches on his progressing defense.
Honorable Mentions: C.J. Spiller, Trent Williams
14. Seattle Seahawks: Dez Bryant , WR, Oklahoma State
Carroll flirted with drafting a big offensive player with his first pick in this round, and he'll be dripping saliva everywhere he paces when he sees Bryant here at the 14th spot.
The Seahawks need a big playmaker at receiver, so grabbing Bryant helps wrap up a very solid first round. You didn't think the Seahawks were prepared to enter the season with a bunch of scrubs and former first-round busts at receiver, did you?
Honorable Mentions: C.J. Spiller, Jason Pierre-Paul
15. New York Giants: Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, South Florida
The Giants surprisingly ran into problems with their defense last year, and really struggled to stay healthy, consistent, and fresh up front.
For their defense to work and to keep pressure off their average secondary, they need fresh, able bodies to rotate on their defensive line and get after the quarterback.
They definitely need to address inside linebacker and their secondary at some point in this draft, but adding another talented, young body on the line will go a long way in getting them back to where they were in 2007 and 2008.
Honorable Mentions: Sean Weatherspoon, Patrick Robinson
16. Tennessee Titans: Carlos Dunlap, DE, Florida
I think this is a tremendous reach for what his stock is, but for his actual potential and overall ability, this makes more sense than most people care to admit.
The Titans need a ton of help at linebacker and could use an upgrade at corner, but they also need to fill a huge hole at defensive end, where both Kyle Vandenbosch and Jevon Kearse no longer reside.
They could opt for Brandon Graham to help their pass rush at linebacker, or reach for Kyle Wilson to help Cortland Finnegan in the secondary. Dunlap actually gives them the best package of size, athleticism, and potential.
Honorable Mentions: Brandon Graham, Kyle Wilson
17. San Francisco 49ers: C.J. Spiller , RB, Clemson
The 49ers could really use some help in one shape or another on their offensive line, so if they opt against hitting that position with their first pick, there's a slight chance they go for it here.
But with the ability to land solid offensive linemen just about anywhere in a draft, it just doesn't seem likely for San Francisco to pass up both Earl Thomas and C.J. Spiller.
These moves allow them to add immediate impact players on both sides of the ball, while Spiller can actually be effective in three facets of the game.
Honorable Mentions: Trent Williams, Anthony Davis
18. Pittsburgh Steelers: Trent Williams, OT, Oklahoma
With everything that has unfolded with both Ben Roethlisberger and Santonio Holmes in the past few weeks, it would not be at all surprising to see the Steelers make another trade, and/or draft a receiver at this spot.
Drafting a quarterback is fairly unlikely, but if they give up on Big Ben and make a trade, it could completely shake up this draft.
However, if nothing like that happens, I actually see them waiting at receiver and grabbing an elite tackle to help protect Big Ben.
Honorable Mentions: Mike Iupati, Toby Gerhart, Golden Tate
19. Atlanta Falcons: Brian Price, DT, UCLA
Atlanta no longer has huge concerns at corner after landing Dunta Robinson. With a very solid core on offense, it really just needs to upgrade on defense across the board.
This could range from adding depth behind 34-year-old Mike Peterson, finally replacing the departed Keith Brooking, or adding some pass rush help on the line.
While all of this could fit and make sense, the biggest need by far has to be bringing aid to their paltry run defense.
Injuries dealt the Falcons a huge blow on both sides of the ball in 2009, but there is no excuse for how they handled the run. Adding a big plug in the middle, like Price, gives them solid depth at the position, and allows them to shape up the rest of their defense with a solid building block.
Honorable Mentions: Sean Weatherspoon, Brandon Spikes
20. Houston Texans: Ryan Mathews , RB, Fresno State
While Houston has plenty of needs to address, finally going after an elite running back who can carry the majority of the load is the top priority.
With the pass offense rated No. 1 in 2009, and the defense slowly coming together, it's time for the Texans to get some help in their ground game and become a well-rounded offense.
Ryan Mathews adds the ability to punch inside for the tough yards, while also having the speed, agility, and quickness to make dazzling plays and break long runs.
He'll allow Steve Slaton to play within himself, while providing a reliable source for blitz pick-up's and pass protection out of the backfield.
Honorable Mentions: Toby Gerhart, Devin McCourty
21. Cincinnati Bengals: Jermaine Gresham, TE, Oklahoma
They didn't land Tony Scheffler, despite rumors, so Cincinnati grabbing Gresham is almost a done deal in my mind.
Chase Coffman is a good receiving tight end, but his health and blocking issues will tempt the Bengals too much to pass on a truly elite tight end prospect.
Honorable Mentions: Sergio Kindle, Anthony Davis
22. New England Patriots: Tim Tebow , QB, Florida
Tom Brady is 32, and didn't look his sharpest for the stretch run in 2009.
That doesn't mean he's on his way out, and it definitely doesn't equate to the Patriots reaching mightily for Tim Tebow.
However, all they have behind "Tom Terrific" is Bryan Hoyer and a converted receiver, Julian Edelman.
Tebow could serve as a project, their top backup, and a situational player in his first season, as he learns the ropes behind one of the game's greats.
If Tebow is going to succeed in this league, who better to bring him along slowly than Tom Brady and Bill Belichick?
New England has a load of picks in the first two rounds, so reaching here won't hurt them as it might other teams.
Honorable Mentions: Anthony Davis, Maurkice Pouncey
23. Green Bay Packers: Brandon Graham, OLB, Michigan
Green Bay truly has four choices with their first pick: complete their linebacking corps, upgrade their secondary, add depth to their offensive line, or trade down.
Knowing Ted Thompson, trading down makes the most sense. However, they actually traded up last year, and 2010 could mean the completion of their potentially lethal outside rushers for their 3-4.
They could easily opt for the best available corner or offensive tackle to help replace aging veterans at both positions, but if Graham is still here, he'll be too good to pass up.
Honorable Mentions: Kyle Wilson, Bruce Campbell
24. Philadelphia Eagles: Anthony Davis, OT, Rutgers
There's an extremely good chance that Davis—and Bruce Campbell—are long gone by this point. If they're still around, the Eagles will nab one of them, almost guaranteed.
They definitely need help at safety and linebacker, but making sure Kevin Kolb is set on both sides when he drops back has to be the top priority with their first pick.
Replacing Brian Dawkins would be great, but if the draft shapes out like this, Nate Allen or Chad Jones would be their best options here.
Hence, drafting Davis.
Honorable Mentions: Bruce Campbell, Nate Allen
25. Baltimore Ravens: Bruce Campbell, OT, Maryland
Before the trade for Anquan Boldin went down, Arrelious Benn was being targeted here. Now it's being narrowed down to tight end, defensive end, and overall depth for this spot.
Baltimore could really use an elite tight end to help complete their new-look offense, but if Jermaine Gresham is gone (which he should be), they may be reaching for Rob Gronkowski or Aaron Hernandez.
Even if they can't get those guys in Round Two, they could easily land Dennis Pitta or Garrett Graham in the middle rounds.
If the Ravens patch up their offensive line and add some depth at guard, they're doing themselves a great favor. However, considering how nicked up Joe Flacco got last year, there's a decent chance they take extra precautions and make sure they have him safe and sound going forward.
Honorable Mentions: Mike Iupati, Maurkice Pouncey, Jared Odrick
26. Arizona Cardinals: Sergio Kindle, OLB, Texas
Arizona could bring on a young signal caller to compete with Matt Leinart and Derek Anderson, but even if they do, it's unlikely they reach here, unless Jimmy Clausen were to take a crazy fall and be here at the 26th spot.
That leaves adding an elite offensive lineman, or giving their defense another juicy pass rusher to unleash on the opposition.
They lost some stud defensive players this offseason, and while they brought in Joey Porter, they could definitely use some extra speed on the outside to keep their defense lively and unpredictable.
Honorable Mentions: Patrick Robinson, Rob Gronkowski
27. Dallas Cowboys: Golden Tate, WR, Notre Dame
Dallas could address safety, their offensive line, or add depth to their defense as a whole, but adding an elite receiver to pair with Miles Austin may prove to be too tempting in the first round.
Golden Tate would make the failed trade for Roy Williams forgettable—and forgivable. Getting Tate would still allow Williams to line up on the outside where he belongs, but could have Tate as the official "starter," while operating out of the slot as a rookie.
Regardless of how it works out, Tate would be a very welcome addition to the Cowboys offense, giving Tony Romo yet another explosive weapon to choose from.
Honorable Mentions: Mike Iupati, Nate Allen
28. San Diego Chargers: Toby Gerhart , RB, Stanford
Norv Turner is one of the few coaches in the NFL that I believe views Gerhart as a legit NFL running back, and with the former Stanford product's stock rising each day, this could be a worthy reach.
The Chargers are said to be in love with Gerhart's power and underrated athleticism, and they'll simply be too afraid of him being snagged by someone else if they wait for him in the second round.
Honorable Mentions: Jonathan Dwyer, Brandon LaFell
29. New York Jets: Jared Odrick, DT, Penn State
After landing Santonio Holmes in a trade recently, it's unlikely the Jets stick with their former notion of drafting a receiver at this spot. It should still be tempting with Braylon Edwards only signed on for one year, but in the end, they need to address bigger needs.
Kris Jenkins is a stout run-stopper, but they need a more reliable guy in the middle. Jenkins is aging and is often injured, while Odrick provides great versatility and athleticism, and could be a cornerstone of their already elite defense for years to come.
Honorable Mentions: Arrelious Benn, Sean Weatherspoon
30. Minnesota Vikings: Patrick Robinson, CB, Florida State
If Kyle Wilson is still available, this will be a very tough decision for the Vikings. After seeing what can happen to their defense when/if starter Antoine Winfield goes down—and sometimes even when he's playing—it's clear Minnesota needs secondary help.
They are getting long in the tooth in the middle of their defensive line, too, while they should also look long and hard in the first three rounds for an eventual franchise passer.
It's too early at this point to reach for a passer, and they do have the "Williams Wall" back intact for 2010, so Robinson remains the call.
Honorable Mentions: Kyle Wilson, Colt McCoy, Jared Odrick
31. Indianapolis Colts: Charles Brown, OT, USC
The Colts need to continue adding bodies to compete to block for Peyton Manning, as he once again carried the entire team on his back in 2009.
It ended with a pick and a Super Bowl loss, but bringing in Brown could mean an even more formidable offensive line, which can only lead to Manning feeling even more comfortable.
However, the Colts could still opt for safety, corner, or linebacker. Their pass defense has been strong, but with so many injuries riddling their pass defense last year, adding some youth and depth couldn't hurt.
Honorable Mentions: Kyle Wilson, Jerry Hughes
32. New Orleans Saints: Sean Weatherspoon, OLB, Missouri
The Saints lost Scott Fujita and still aren't sure if they're getting—or want—Darren Sharper back, so safety and outside linebacker are two target spots they'll think about.
Their offense doesn't need to be touched, so how do you follow up a Super Bowl victory and a 13-3 regular season?
Address any and all needs, no matter how minor they may be.
This pick could also go to beefing up the run-blocking, where both Mike Iupati or Maurkice Pouncey could come into play, but there's a good chance they go after a pass-rushing linebacker.
If it's not Jerry Hughes, it's Sean Weatherspoon. Weatherspoon is the more traditional outside linebacker, so he gets the nod.
Honorable Mentions: Jerry Hughes, Maurkice Pouncey
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