Cream Of The Crop: Top 10 Picks Of The 2010 NFL Draft
Every year in the NFL, a new class of rookies enters the league, many of whom will make a difference for their respective team a few years down the road. Then there is a select group of players who will make an impact on their team right from the start.
These are usually the earliest players to be selected, although there always a few hidden jems that are taken a bit later on in the draft. The following list will cover these players: the ones who are most likely to positively affect their team and put them in a better position to win.
Number 10: Jahvid Best
I know this first guy may come as a surprise to many, but I expect great things out him. This of course being Detroit Lions running back Jahvid Best who played his college ball at Cal, who was chosen 30th overall.
Last year, if it were not for a pair of concussions, the second of which was season ending, Best would have had one of the best years of any running back in the nation. He had all ready rushed for 12 touchdowns and had caught four more, solidifying his place among the best in college football.
While Best is a risky selection due to his susceptibility to injury, his incredible speed and explosiveness puts him ahead of most other running backs. He also is a dynamic runner, a threat as a receiver out of the backfield, and is even able to provide value as a kick returner.
Although health is a major question for Best, I feel that if he was able to avoid the sidelines for the majority of his career, then he will go on to great things.
Number 9: Dez Bryant
Then we have Dez Bryant, the spectacular wide receiver out of Oklahoma State. Bryant was only able to play in three games during his final season at OSU before being suspended for the remainder of the season due to his lying to the NCAA about a situation involving his lying about a meeting between himself and Deion Sanders.
This situation greatly impacted his draft stock, causing him to fall out of the top 10, bringing him all the way down to the 24th overall pick where he was selected by the Dallas Cowboys.
While Bryant was not a top 10 pick, he is definitely top 10 material. He possesses exceptional hands and athleticism, which will allow him to compete with the best.
Although Bryant does present a risk as far as future violations go, he is a rare talent that will exceed the expectations of a 24th overall pick with ease. Expect the former OSU Cowboy to make a smooth transition from college to the pros. His team name doesn't change and neither should the production.
Number 8: Rolando McClain
Next up is Rolando McClain, the dominant inside linebacker off the defending national champion Alabama Crimson Tide. McClain is an intimidating force, with unparalleled tackling ability, and a high football IQ.
He is big, strong, fast, making him a prototypical linebacker. He has the football instincts of an elite player. McClain is a top-flight performer, capable of changing a game with his exceptional play-making ability.
McClain, drafted eighth overall by the Oakland Raiders, will step and make an immediate impact on his team. He has tremendous upside, making him an ideal selection for the ailing Raiders.
Number 7: Trent Williams
Up next is Trent Williams, who was chosen by the Washington Redskins sixth overall. Williams was a key player to Oklahoma's success over the past couple years, from the offensive tackle position.
Williams has an impressive stature, standing at 6'5" 318 lbs. Despite his tremendous size, Williams is quite agile. He is quick and has excellent footwork, something that is a necessity in the NFL.
He is also very strong and is an instinctive player, as well as being versatile. This makes him a fantastic choice for the Skins, who can really use all the help that they can get as far as blocking goes.
Number 6: Russell Okung
Former Oklahoma State offensive tackle Russell Okung is the next player on our list. Okung is a monster at 6'5" 307 lbs. He is a natural and skilled lineman wjo is well-rounded as both a pass and run blocker.
Okung is highly anticipated, seen by many as the top offensive tackle in the entirety of its draft class. He has an excellent reach, which gives him great range to help keep a defender in front of him.
Okung is an all-around talent at the offensive tackle position, and will be able to effectively fill the void at his position for the Seattle Seahawks. The 'Hawks made excellent use of the sixth overall pick, choosing a player who is likely to be a core member of their team for years to come.
Number 5: CJ Spiller
CJ Spiller, the electrifying running back and return specialist from Clemson, was chosen ninth overall by the Buffalo Bills. Spiller gives the Bills adds a new dimension to their offense and special teams that they have not had in a long time.
CJ is an explosive, dynamic, and incredibly fast runner, capable of outrunning some the NFL's fastest players. He mades great cuts, helping him in both the rushing and return game.
During the 2009 season, a year in which Spiller was selected the ACC Player of the Year, he set the all-time FBS record for career kickoff returns for touchdowns with seven.
Spiller and former Clemson teammate Jacoby Ford are the all-time leading duo for all-purpose yards in college football mystery. Spiller's career stats include 3,480 rushing yards and 31 touchdowns, and an additional 1,362 yards and 11 touchdowns receiving. Last year, he was the only player to score at least one touchdown in every single game.
It is clear that Spiller is a magnificent talent with a superb skill-set, making him an invaluable addition to any team. Whether it be as a running back, receiver, or return man, Spiller will have a tremendous impact for a previously unproductive Buffalo squad.
Number 4: Sam Bradford
Sam Bradford, the renowned quarterback that brought the Oklahoma Sooners to the 2009 BCS National Championship Game, was selected first overall by the St. Louis Rams.
Bradford is most well-known for winning thee 2008 Heisman Trophy, in addition to leading one of the most prolific offenses in college football history that same year.
He has excellent pocket presence, a big arm, and the ability to strike a receiver in stride. His athleticism is ideal, his football intelligence is high, and he has outstanding character and class.
Bradford is the ideal quarterback and leader for the Rams. Further validating his position is the 55 touchdowns he scored in 2008, 50 of which came through the air. If it were not for an injury that included a torn labrum and a rotator cuff in his throwing shoulder which kept him sidelined for most of the year, then he may have even duplicated this success.
Sam Bradford is a top-notch quarterback and a superb leader, which make him an easy pick for a Rams team that desperately needs somebody to alleviate the pressure from running back Steven Jackson. For St. Louis, Bradford is just the right guy for the job.
Number 3: Eric Berry
Eric Berry, chosen fifth overall by the Kansas City Chiefs, is a the sensational safety out Tennessee. Berry was blessed with astounding athleticism and ability.
The term "a defensive back is just a wide receiver without hands" does not aply to Berry whatsoever. He has amazing hands and an a knack for picking off opposing QBs, as well as translating them into fantastic returns.
Berry will give the Kansas City crowd something to cheer for, something that they really need right about now, with his elite combination of strength, speed, and intelligence. Not to mention, he is also a big-time hitter.
Berry is such a talented athlete and football player that he will be making an impact right away for Kansas City, a team that needs help anywhere it can get it. Look for Berry to join the ranks of the elite as far as safeties go in just a few years.
Number 2: Gerald McCoy
The third overall draft pick and number two guy on this list is Gerald McCoy, another Oklahoma Sooner. McCoy is one of the top defenders in the entire draft, playing the defensive tackle position.
McCoy is one of the strongest guys in this entire draft class. He uses his immense strength and size to blow through the line and get to the ball. He also has unbelievable speed and quickness for a guy his size.
McCoy is the great speed and strength of an elite pass rusher. He dominated offensive lines throughout college, and is likely to do so in the pros as well. McCoy also has technique that rivals that of some of the best in the big league.
Furthermore, McCoy has great work ethic and stamina, making him in all-around fantastic choice for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who grabbed him with the third pick overall.
Number 1: Ndamukong Suh
Finally, we have Ndamukong Suh, who in my opinion is the guy with the hardest name to spell in the entire draft, in addition to being the best player. The 6'4" 300 lb defensive tackle from Nebraska was chosen second overall by the Detroit Lions.
Suh is a physcial specimen, with unprecedented strength and ability to stop both the run and the pass. His power and size will allow for him to go head to head with some of the top lineman in the NFL right out of the gate.
Other things that stand out about Suh are his superb penetration, backfield and pursuit tackling ability, his adeptness for clogging holes, his work ethic, demeanor, and leadership.
Last year, Suh was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy, and winner of the 2009 Associated Press College Player of the Year Award, Rotary Lombardi Award, Bronko Nagurski Trophy, Chuck Bednarik Award, and the Bill Willis Award, as well as being named a unanimous All-American and the 2009 Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year.
His 82 tackles and 12 sacks were some of the best numbers in the country. Suh will prove this year that he is one of the best players from this draft class and justify the Lions decision to build their defense around him. He is a marvelous to a team that desperately needed a guy like Suh.
So, as the journey begins for these 10 players, our list concludes. These are some of the finest players from the 2010 draft class, and it will be exciting to watch each and every one of them flourish in the years to come.