2010 NFL Mock Draft: A First Round Full Of Surprises

Bryan FlynnAnalyst IApril 21, 2010

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 28: Quarterback Sam Bradford of Oklahoma watches drills after deciding not to participate  during the NFL Scouting Combine presented by Under Armour at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 28, 2010 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images)
Scott Boehm/Getty Images

It seems nearly everyone has a mock draft done this year. In a year with a class that is extremely talented with ton of solid players, who could not help but join in the fun of predicting the draft.  

So I decided to do my own mock draft and throw some unique ideas out there for some of the draft picks. I am not saying this is how the picks will happen, but I can see teams making these picks.

I am just going to throw this against the wall and see what sticks. If I am wrong I am sure I am going to hear all about it.

Here is my 2010 NFL Mock Draft.



1. St. Louis Rams: Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma Sooners   


The Rams seem to have decided they need a franchise quarterback, and Bradford is their man. Fans in St. Louis better hope Bradford’s durability issues are over and the shoulder is completely healed.

Everyone in St. Louis will hold their breath the first time Bradford takes a big-time NFL hit. Bradford played with loaded Oklahoma teams, and it will be interesting to see how he does on a bad football team.



2. Detroit Lions: Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska Cornhuskers   


Suh is the best player in this draft hands down and could be a superstar in the NFL for the next 10 years. Detroit spent most of their draft early last year selecting offensive players and can spend some early picks this year on their defense.

Anyone who doubts Suh did not see the way he dominated the Texas offensive line in the Big 12 Championship Game. The Lions will also be happy to know Suh showed up each and every week and not just in the big games when the spotlight is the brightest.



3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma Sooners  


The Buccaneers have been known for their defense since the late 1990s and can start rebuilding a dominate defense once more by drafting McCoy. If Suh is the best player in this draft, McCoy is a very close second.

Tampa Bay have a chance to get a Warren Sapp-type defensive lineman with this pick. Except most people believe McCoy will be better than Sapp. The Buccaneers will have a franchise defensive player to build their defense around.



4. Washington Redskins: Bryan Bulaga, OT, Iowa Hawkeyes   


The Redskins have their quarterback after trading for Donovan McNabb and now need players to protect him. With the loss of Chris Samuels to chronic injuries an offensive tackle is a must.

Iowa has been known for the solid offensive linemen it has sent to the NFL, and Bulaga is no different. There was a question about a thyroid issue, but Bulaga and his doctors say there is no need to worry about it. This pick could give the Redskins a solid starter at tackle for the next decade.



5. Kansas City Chiefs: Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma State Cowboys  


Kansas City has all kinds of holes it needs to fill but fixing the offensive line could go a long way to help this offense. After giving a ton of money to Matt Cassel last offseason, it would be nice to find him some protection so he can stop running for his life or picking himself off the turf.

Okung could give the Chiefs a left tackle to protect Cassel and give him time to throw the ball. Just like all the other talented tackles in this draft, Okung could give Kansas City a solid starter or possible Pro Bowler for years to come.



6. Seattle Seahawks: Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame Fighting Irish 


New Seahawks coach Pete Carroll knows all about Clausen and what he can do in the passing game, having faced him several times at USC. Carroll also knows that if Notre Dame had any kind of defense, the Irish could have beaten his Trojans this year.

Clausen is the kind of quarterback who wants the ball in his hands late in games and plays well when the pocket collapses. The former Notre Dame quarterback has great arm strength and has played in a pro-style offense his whole time in college.



7. Cleveland Browns: Eric Berry S, Tennessee Volunteers   


Entering the 2009-2010 college football season most thought Berry was the best player in college. After playing in Monty Kiffin’s Tampa Two for a whole year the Volunteers safety could be NFL ready.

Cleveland has made a lot of moves this offseason and while I have not agreed with all of them, taking Berry with the seventh pick is a no brainer. Berry can cover and deliver hits, two key things everyone looks for in an NFL safety.



8. Oakland Raiders: Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State Cowboys


Oakland is the wild card in every draft, and this year is no exception. The Raiders took Darrius Heywood-Bey last year, and the wide receiver did not produce.

Al Davis still wants a big-time wide receiver and will not be worried about Bryant’s off-field issues. The troubled Oklahoma State wide receiver could be the second in two years that Oakland stretches for in the first round.



9. Buffalo Bills: Trent Williams, OT, Oklahoma Sooners 


With Bradford and Clausen off the board, the Bills will look to shore up their offensive line. They will be more than happy to get Williams with the ninth overall pick of the draft.

The athletic tackle will be a major help right way for Buffalo for the quarterbacks they have now or one they draft later on. Williams is rated highly along with Okung and Bulaga but with a higher upside. This is a great pick for the Bills and will help fill a glaring hole on the offensive line.



10. Jacksonville Jaguars: Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, South Florida Bulls


Even though most people think Derrick Morgan of Georgia Tech is the better pick, Morgan seemed to wear down as games went on. Pierre-Paul motor is constantly going all game long.

Jacksonville signed Aaron Kampman in the offseason, but adding a pass-rushing defensive end like Pierre-Paul is hard to pass up. The Jaguars can use all the pass rushers they can get in the same division with Peyton Manning.



11. Denver Broncos: Golden Tate, WR, Notre Dame Fighting Irish 


After trading Brandon Marshall to the Miami Dolphins, the Broncos now need a wide receiver. Golden Tate would be a great pick here, because he is a Marshall-like receiver but without all the drama.

Tate is a good jump-ball receiver and played in a pro-style offense at Notre Dame. Denver would be wise to pick up a receiver early in a weak draft for that position.



12. Miami Dolphins: Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets


After Jason Taylor signed with division rival New York Jets, the Dolphins need a pass rusher. Morgan could be that pass rusher for a team up against division rivals Tom Brady and Mark Sanchez.

Morgan looked to wear down late in games after starting off strong, but in the NFL he will not be an every down player. Bill Parcells has always won with defense and a dominate pass rusher, so look for Miami to do the same with this pick.



13. San Francisco 49ers: Earl Thomas, CB, Texas Longhorns


Like the Seahawks, the 49ers have two first-round draft picks, and if, like Seattle, they do not trade one of these picks, they could fill some holes. The first hole San Francisco will fill is at cornerback, taking take Earl Thomas.

Thomas gets the nod here after the slow 40-yard dash time Florida CB Joe Haden posted at the NFL Combine. It is not as if Thomas is a bad choice, as most draft pundits have him listed as the first or second prospect at this position.



14. Seattle Seahawks: C. J. Spiller, RB, Clemson Tigers  


The Seahawks got their quarterback with the sixth pick, Jimmy Clausen, and now they get a play-maker to help him out. Spiller is the best running back in this draft and can help in the passing game and on special teams.

Spiller was a threat to score every time he touched the ball at Clemson and could be the dramatic playmaker that Seattle needs. It would also give Carroll a player in the Reggie Bush-mode, like he had at USC.



15. New York Giants: Rolando McClain, LB, Alabama Crimson Tide


The Giants need linebackers and a chance to get McClain, the heart and soul of a dominate Alabama defense, might just be too hard to pass up. New York needs help at all three linebacker positions, and McClain can step in and play right away.

Nick Saban called McClain his “on the field coach” and helped lead the Tide to a national championship. A playmaker all over the defensive side of the field, this would be a great pick for New York.



16. Tennessee Titans: Terrance Cody, DT, Alabama Crimson Tide  


Follow me on this pick for the Titans. If Tennessee uses this pick on Mount Cody it will have replaced Albert Haynesworth.

The Titans could use Big Cody at the nose of their 3-4 defense, and Cody, when he wants, can dominate in the middle. It might be a stretch to take Cody his high, but in the long run it could become a great pick, which no one saw.



17. San Francisco 49ers: Mike Iupati, OG/OT Idaho Vandals


After using their first pick in this round on defense, the 49ers will use their second pick to improve the offensive line. San Francisco will get the No. 1 guard in this draft.

Also the 49ers will get a two-for-one player with this pick because they believe Iupati can play both guard and tackle. This pick can fill a need at tackle if Iupati can play the position, but if he cannot he can fill a need at guard.



18. Pittsburgh Steelers: Maurkice Pouncey, C/G, Florida Gators 


Pittsburgh’s offensive line is getting older, and the lack of a running game and the increase in sacks shows this. Just like the pick above, Pouncey fills two spots in one pick.

Pouncey can play guard or center and has been rated the best guard or second-best behind Iupati. With quarterback Ben Roethlisberger going to be suspended, the Steelers will need all the offensive line help it can get, no matter who plays quarterback.



19. Atlanta Falcons: Brandon Graham, LB, Michigan Wolverines 


This pick can be used again to fill two spots depending on how well Graham plays either the outside linebacker or defensive end. Atlanta knows DE John Abraham is getting older, and there is a need at linebacker as well.

Graham could play either position or be a bust. This is where the draft becomes more art than science. The Falcons will be taking a little of gamble here, but Graham could fill the role easily.



20. Houston Texans: Ryan Mathews, RB, Fresno State Bulldogs 


The Texans want to draft a running back, and there is no way that C.J. Spiller falls this far. Unless Houston moves up to take Spiller, the team will more than likely be happy to get Mathews with this pick.

Mathews rushed for nearly 100 yards in every game this season and played one of his best games against Boise State. A tough runner with speed, Mathews could be a star in a couple of years.



21. Cincinnati Bengals: Jermaine Gresham, TE, Oklahoma Sooners  


Cincinnati needs a tight end, and Gresham is the best tight end in this year’s draft. The only problem is that the former Sooner has had injuries to both knees.

The Bengals might want to look at a wide receiver after the tragic death of Chris Henry, but with Bryant and Tate gone, the team will fill a need at tight end. Just like Bradford, Gresham will have questions about durability.



22. New England Patriots: Anthony Dixon, RB, Mississippi State Bulldogs 


Everyone, especially Bill Belichick, remembers the infamous 4th-and-2 last season against the Colts.

This pick will fix a dreadful running game and give “The Hoodie” a back to turn to on short-yardage situations. Dixon was the leading rusher in the SEC last season—with more yards than Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram for the Tide.

It is a surprise pick, and one the Patriots could make if the defensive players they want are off the board. Dixon did have off-field issues while at Mississippi State, but that will not shy away New England.



23. Green Bay Packers: Sean Weatherspoon, LB, Missouri Tigers 


After the loss of Kampman the Packers are in the market for a linebacker, like half the teams in the draft. Green Bay could use their first-round pick to take Weatherspoon.

The Missouri linebacker might be the best linebacker left after Graham and McClain are taken off the board. Weatherspoon had a poor senior year, but the Packers will hope he plays like he did his junior year.



24. Philadelphia Eagles: Taylor Mayes, S, USC Trojans  


After losing Brian Dawkins last season the Eagles are looking for safety help, and with the 24th pick Mayes could end up being a steal. Philadelphia has made major changes this offseason, and adding Mayes this late in the draft is a good move.

Even if Mayes cannot play safety in the NFL, he has the size to move to linebacker. The question facing the former Trojan is whether can he cover receivers in the NFL.



25. Baltimore Ravens: Brian Price, DT, UCLA Bruins 


Baltimore needs cornerback and defensive line help in this draft. Price was the best defensive lineman in the Pac-10 last year and would fit in well with the Ravens.

The defensive-minded Ravens would love to get a great player like Price this late in the first round. Anyone questioning this pick should watch the way the former Bruin dominated the Tennessee Volunteers offensive line in Knoxville.



26. Arizona Cardinals: Joe Haden, CB, Florida Gators


The slow 40-yard dash time at the Combine drops Haden all the way down to the lower part of the first round. And at this spot the Cardinals will be more than happy to take the talented cornerback.

There is a chance the Ravens could take Haden a spot ahead of them so Arizona could switch spots with them to get him. This pick could be the biggest steal of the first round if Haden proves his 40 time was just a bad day.



27. Dallas Cowboys: Bruce Campbell, OT, Maryland Terrapins   


Flozell Adams is gone, and the Cowboys need to find a new offensive tackle. Jerry Jones has been known to make some stretches in the draft and Campbell will be one as well.

Campbell has tremendous upside and great athletic talent. The downside is that he did not play very much at Maryland, and he could be a star or just as easily be a bust. Taking a chance this late in the first round on Campbell is well worth the gamble if he turns out to be a great player.



28. San Diego Chargers: Toby Gerhart, RB, Stanford Cardinal


The Chargers were one of the worst rushing teams in the NFL last season and could use a big and tough running back. Gerhart would be a great complement to Darren Sproles, the speedy, flashy back San Diego has now.

Gerhart can be a great running back in the NFL, and the Chargers need more toughness on offense. Passing on a big and bruising running back like Gerhart should be just too hard for San Diego.



29. New York Jets: Carlos Dunlap, DE, Florida Gators 


If not for his DUI arrest, Carlos Dunlap could have gone much higher in this draft. The Gators were a different defense when he was out of the lineup. Watch the SEC championship game if you do not think so.

The New York Jets could use a defensive end and getting Dunlap with the 29th pick is not a bad move. As seen so far this offseason the Jets are not afraid to take on troubled players or players with off-field issues, so that should not keep them from making this pick.



30. Minnesota Vikings: Kareem Jackson, CB, Alabama Crimson Tide


The biggest need for the Vikings besides quarterback, if Brett Favre had made up his mind to not return, is cornerback. Antoine Winfield is getting older and Cedric Griffin is coming off an injury so a CB is the most glaring need.

Minnesota could go in several different directions with this pick, but Jackson should be a safe pick. The Vikings could also use this pike to select Kyle Wilson, Devin McCourty, or Chris Cook.



31. Indianapolis Colts: Jahvid Best, RB, California Golden Bears


Indianapolis was a terrible rushing team last season and could use a game-breaking back. Jahvid Best is a game-breaking running back, but there are major concerns about his health.

Best has suffered several injuries while in college, and the most recent was a concussion that ended his season. The Colts can afford to take Best late in the first round and ease him into the playing time.

When healthy, Best can be a game changer in the kicking game and in the rushing game for the Colts. Indianapolis can use Best and Best could use a team like the Colts, who would not have to rely on him.



32. New Orleans Saints: Sergio Kindle, LB, Texas Longhorns 


Who would have thought they would live long enough to see the Saints in the final draft spot of the first round? New Orleans has only a few holes to fill on their Super Bowl-winning team.

The loss of Scott Fajita at linebacker is one of those holes that need to be filled, along with a hole at defensive line. Kindle can play linebacker and defensive end for the Saints and can help fill both needs.

There are also off-field issues with Kindle. He has been arrested for DUI and also suffered a concussion after crashing his car into an apartment building texting while driving. New Orleans can take a guy with past issues because this team does not have to worry about Kindle starting right way if he is not ready.




There it is my 2010 NFL Mock Draft first round as I see it. Again I just threw some ideas against the wall and tried to see what would stick. At least there are plenty of surprises in my first round. Enjoy the draft and hopefully all of your teams picks are winners. 


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