The 2010 NFL Draft could be one of the best drafts in the history of the NFL. With the looming rookie salary scale, many eligible underclassmen have decided to throw their name into the hat, in what could be the last, and largest money year for rookies.
The other thing that makes this year such an important one, the cap-less year, there are considerably more restricted free agents, due to players needing six years of service to become unrestricted free agents instead of four. Many teams have tendered their RFAs so that they can be used as trade bait.
Expect lots of action, especially during the first round of the Draft, which will be in prime time, Thursday night.
The Rams have traded the first overall selection to the Cleveland Browns.
The Cleveland Browns have traded their first round, second, and fifth round picks and select,
Sam Bradford, QB—Oklahoma.
There is a rule of thumb in the NFL that states if you do not have a franchise QB, and you can get one, you do.
If you look at the recent Super Bowl winners, the most common denominator is that they have a "franchise" quarterback.
Mike Holmgren has sent a smoke screen out that he is not interested in one, but the reality is, the AFC North features Ben Roethlisberger, Carson Palmer, and Joe Flacco. If the Browns ever want to gain any ground, they need to start under center.
The Detroit Lions select, Russell Okung, OT—Oklahoma State.
Though for months, many thought that the first two picks in the Draft were going to be on defensive linemen, that theory has been thrown out.
The Lions have the chance to either take a defensive linemen, or someone that can protect the blind side of Matthew Stafford.
They chose the latter.
Okung is rumored to be possibly the best option in the draft, with the smallest risk.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers select, Ndamukong Suh, DT—Nebraska.
Suh is a big, strong anchor for the Tampa Bay defense that has declined over the last few years.
Since Warren Sapp was sent to purgatory (a.k.a. Oakland), the Tampa defense has been on the decline.
Suh will be an instant upgrade, and could fill the shoes that have been empty for years.
The Washington Redskins select, Trent Williams, OT—Oklahoma.
The Redskins were hoping to land Okung, because they need to protect the aging Donovan McNabb.
The only way a QB would be selected would be if they could have drafted Bradford, and the reality is, they spent too much (as little as it was) on trading for McNabb, they did not have the ammo to move up.
The Kansas City Chiefs select, Eric Berry, S—Tennessee.
In the 2003 NFL Draft, the Kansas City Chiefs held the 16th pick. The Pittsburgh Steelers has the 27th.
The Steelers traded the Chiefs the 27th selection—Larry Johnson, and two other draft choices that were used to draft Julian Battle and Brooks Bollinger.
I think it is safe to say that the Steelers got the better end of that deal.
Kansas City is in desperate need for someone of the caliber of Berry, and will not let him slide past their pick this time.
They say that in the NFL, you win in the trenches. Seattle desperately needs an upgrade if they want to start winning.
Pete Carroll knows this, and his first selection is an immediate upgrade over what was there.
McCoy possibly could have been taken in the top 2 picks of the draft, and it is Seattle luck that he fell to them at six.
The St. Louis Rams select, Jimmy Clausen, QB—Notre Dame.
The facts are, the Rams are desperate for a true signal caller. They don't have one on their roster that is even worthy of starting, and unless they plan on trading for Ben Roethlisberger, they HAVE to address that need immediately.
So, you ask, why would they trade down?
Simple, extra picks, and Bradford, in reality, is not that much better than Clausen.
Add to the fact, the prior injury to Bradford's throwing shoulder, (don't think that does not concern teams), the less money in the contract, and new ownership coming in, this is a no-brainer.
The Oakland Raiders select, Jason Pierre-Paul, DE—South Florida.
Nothing should come as a shock when the Raiders are drafting, especially taking someone that is not worthy of the pick.
Pierre-Paul had a good final year at USF, and that is really all Al Davis needs.
This will turn into another bad pick for the Raiders, and until Davis relinquishes control of the team, it is just another year for the Raiders.
The Buffalo Bills trade the pick to the Seattle Seahawks for the 14th selection in the first round, and their third and fifth selections as well.
The Seattle Seahawks select Bryan Bulaga, OT—Iowa.
After landing McCoy earlier in the draft, the Seahawks decide to trade up to bolster the other half of the trenches.
Though, some may not see this as a smart pick, the Hawks need to improve so they can protect Charlie Whitehurst or Matt Hasselbeck.
The Jacksonville Jaguars trade the selection to the Miami Dolphins for the 12th pick, and their third round pick in the 2011 Draft.
The Miami Dolphins select, Derrick Morgan, DE—Georgia Tech.
The Dolphins know that even if Jason Taylor comes back, how much does he really have left in the tank?
Miami upgraded their secondary last year, but unless they can get some pressure up front, the secondary will get eaten alive.
The Denver Broncos select, Rolando McClain, LB—Arkansas.
The Broncos need to make an improvement on their defensive side of the ball. Well, they need to make one on the offensive side as well, but McClain is just too good to pass up at this point of the draft.
The Jacksonville Jaguars select, Anthony Davis, OT - Rutgers.
Davis has all the tools to be a success at the NFL level, provided he can be coached up.
Jacksonville needs to improve their line play, and Davis is a big step in the right direction.
The San Francisco 49ers select, C.J. Spiller, RB—Clemson.
Over the last few years, it has been found that teams don't really need to invest high draft picks in running backs. But when you have two in the first round, why not take the best one at 13?
Yes, the 49ers have Gore, but in todays NFL, teams need to split the work load, or they will be in trouble if there is an injury.
Spiller is the top rated running back, and will be a great addition to the 49ers offense.
The Buffalo Bills (from Seattle) select, Earl Thomas, CB—Texas.
The AFC East is becoming a passing division, with Santonio Holmes in New York and Brandon Marshall in Maimi.
If the Bills do not improve their secondary, it is going to be a long year in Buffalo.
In addition, the rumor of Joe Haden in a draft day free fall, has happened.
The New York Giants select, Joe Haden, CB—Florida.
Shocked the Haden fell this far in the draft, the Giants were quick to jump on him.
Haden did not have a great combine, and improved his stock some what at his pro day, he still fell in the draft due to concerns of lack of speed, and covering ability.
The Tennessee Titans trade their pick to the Philadelphia Eagles for the 24th selection, and a second round pick.
The Eagles select Taylor Mays, S—USC.
If Mays would have come out last year, he would have been drafted higher than this.
Many people say that Mays fell because of lack of production, what they fail to mention that the Trojans lost three line backers to the NFL last year, all in the first 35 picks of the draft.
The Eagles have lacked Safety help since Brian Dawkins was allowed to leave for Denver, and they are helping Mays can become the players Dawkins used to be.
The San Francisco use their second pick in the first round to select, Dez Bryant, WR—Oklahoma State
Bryant was suspended for most of his senior season, due to improper contact with an agent.
Yes, the 49ers used their pick last year on a receiver, Michael Crabtree, but Bryant could bring a different dimension to the 49ers, and give who ever they decide to have starting at QB some serious weapons.
The Pittsburgh Steelers select, Kyle Wilson, CB—Boise State
It is widely believed that the Steelers are either going to draft offensive line, or defensive back.
The Steelers get one of the best corner prospects, that many have climbing draft boards.
Wilson will be able to take over for Will Gay, and start from the beginning, under the Steelers new philosophy of getting the young players on the field.
The Atlanta Falcons select, Mike Iupati, G—Idaho.
Iupati is being considered one of the best offensive line prospects, and if he played more tackle at Idaho, he would have probably been a top 10 pick.
He is big and strong and will help protect Matt Ryan into the future.
The Houston Texans select, Dan Williams, NT—Tennessee.
The Texans are building a defense that could become great. Williams is a great player, but his stock is falling. Some mocks even have him taken in the top 12, but he falls in mine.
The Cincinnati Bengals trade their pick to the Jacksonville Jaguars for their second round pick in this draft, and their second round pick in 2011.
The Jacksonville Jaguars select, Tim Tebow, QB—Florida.
There was never any question that Jacksonville wanted Tim Tebow. He will put bodies in the seats in Jacksonville, and that is more than the rest of the team is doing already.
The reason the Jacksonville had to trade up is, New England has a boat load of second round picks. They could have easily taken a flier of Tebow, and let him sit behind Tom Brady for a few years.
When Brady started to decline, Tebow could have taken over.
The New England Patriots select, Brandon Graham, OLB—Michigan.
The Patriots need a defensive improvement. They have spent the last two years improving their defensive line, and secondary.
Yes, Jerod Mayo is a great player, but he needs help. Graham is that person.
The Green Bay Packers select, Jared Odrick, DE—Penn State.
Converting to the 3-4 allignment, Odrick is the perfect 3-4 DE. He is big and strong, and can occupy the blockers, and allow the line backers to make the plays.
Odrick is a young version of the Steelers' Aaron Smith, and could be that anchor in the Packers defensive line for years to come.
The Tennessee Titans select, Everson Griffen, DE—USC.
With the departure of Kyle Vanden Bosch, the Titans defense has taken another off season hit. Albert Haynesworth last year.
Griffen can step in and start to re-build the end position for the Titans. Though he will probably not have the same impact as Jevon Kearse did years ago, he is still a quality player, that will excel under Jeff Fischer.
The Baltimore Ravens have traded the 25th pick to the Indianapolis Colts for the 30th pick, and their third round selection.
The Indianapolis Colts select, Maurkice Pouncy, C/G—Florida.
There is little to no question that Jeff Saturday is on the outs in Indianapolis. He took offense to the owner of the team calling out the offensive line after the Super Bowl, and even questioned Peyton Mannign when Manning did the same.
Pouncy has flew up the draft boards, and will be able to be the long time replacement for Saturday.
The Arizona Cardinals select, Sergio Kindle, OLB—Texas.
There is little question that the Cardinals need to address their LB issues. Joey Porter is NOT the long term answer to their OLB needs. Kindle has fallen a little, and the Cardinals will be quick to jump on him.
The Dallas Cowboys select, Jermaine Gresham, TE—Oklahoma.
Yes, Jason Witten is an amazing player, but he is getting older, and his production will soon be dropping.
Gresham has great talent, and his only issues are injury ones. Dallas will look past those, for a player that could eventually replace a legend.
The San Diego Chargers select, Ryan Mathews, RB—Fresno State.
There is no question that the biggest area of concern in San Diego is at the running back position.
LT was allowed to walk out the door, and Darren Sproles is playing under a tender offer.
Mathews is a great compliment to the much smaller and faster Sproles, but will be able to move the chains on short yardage and goal line.
The New York Jets select, Devin McCourty, CB—Rutgers.
Revis Island is a scary place to be for offenses, but as long as the other side of the field is open, you can avoid it.
Enter Devin McCourty. Yes, the Jets traded for Antonio Cromartie, but as Jets fans will soon see, if you are going to pley corner for Rex Ryan, you are going to have to be able to tackle, and that is where Cromartie struggles.
McCourty will be able to learn the system as a nickle back, and grow to take over for Cromartie when his contract is up next year.
The Minnesota Vikings trade the selection to the New Orleans Saints for the 32nd pick in the draft, and their third round selection.
The New Orleans Saints select, Sean Weatherspoon, OLB—Missouri.
The Saints defense was no where near as dominant as their offense was during the Super Bowl, so they improve with Weatherspoon.
Weatherspoon has some character concerns, or he would have probably been taken between 10-20.
He comes to the defending champions with a chip on his shoulder, which is exactly what the Saints need.
The Baltimore Ravens select, Kareem Jackson, CB—Alabama.
The Ravens' secondary was exposed against the Colts in the playoffs, and honestly, they are not capable of playing that the Ravens standards.
If the Ravens corners can hold the oppositions receivers, Ray Lewis and company can make the plays, and that is where the Ravens defensive problems start.
Jackson should be able to earn not only playing time, but could become a starter, and be one for the next decade.
The Minnesota Vikings select, Colt McCoy, QB—Texas.
Regardless of Brett Favre and his plans for this year, the Vikings are going to have to find their QB of the future. It is NOT T. Jackson and it is NOT Sage Roesenfeld.
With McCoy, he could learn under Favre for a year or two or three, or until Brett decides he can't do it anymore.
McCoy could benefit from this like Aaron Rogers did, and could become the best QB of the 2010 Draft class.