After what was one of the most exciting (and unpredictable) NFL seasons in recent memory, I thought it would be appropriate to take a look back at the 2010 NFL draft, and see how all of the first round picks played out.
I will look at all 32 first round selections, and give them a typical letter grade.
While you may not agree with all of my grades, feel free to comment on them.
St Louis Rams select Sam Bradford, quarterback from the University of Oklahoma.
Analysis: While Bradford put up some decent numbers as a rookie, his season may be judged by his lack of production in the season finale against the Seahawks. However, for most of the year he was excellent for the Rams, and helped them compile seven wins.
He showed solid accuracy, and produced without a legitimate receiving threat for much of the year. I expect many good things from him in the future, and he will likely be named the NFL's Offensive Rookie of the Year.
Detroit Lions select Ndamukong Suh, defensive tackle from the University of Nebraska.
Analysis: The Lions hit a home run with this pick. Suh immediately helped the defence, and became a force to be reckoned with for the entire season.
He compiled 10 sacks, and was selected to start in the Pro Bowl. Suh is pretty much a lock for the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers select Gerald McCoy, defensive tackle from the University of Oklahoma.
Analysis: McCoy's development was halted due to a biceps injury, but when he was on the field, he played up to his number three overall selection. While he only had three sacks, he definitely showed flashes of the skills that made him a beast at OU. The Buccaneers defence now has a solid piece to build around.
Washington Redskins select Trent Williams, offensive tackle from the University of Oklahoma.
Analysis: Williams didn't live up to the hype in his rookie season. He got beat off the edge by speed rushers, and took a few too many penalties.
However, he did manage to start 12 games, and he may be more successful if they move him to the right side of the line next season.
Kansas City Chiefs select Eric Berry, safety from the University of Tennessee.
Analysis: Berry showed flashes of greatness all season long. He showed the range and closing speed of an experience veteran, and easily was the best player on the field for the Chiefs in the playoff loss to the Baltimore Ravens.
He is a sure-fire candidate for Defensive Rookie of the Year, and will give Suh a run for his money. Expect Berry to be ranked among the NFL's elite safeties in the very near future.
Seattle Seahawks select Russell Okung, offensive tackle from Oklahoma State University.
Analysis: Expected to be the best tackle in the draft, Okung was plagued by injuries during his rookie season. Because of this, there is no reason to doubt that he could turn into one of the NFL's elite tackles in the future.
When he was active, he showed the necessary skills to be a dominant force on the blind side of the Seahawks line. He will prove a lot with a good showing against Julius Peppers on the weekend.
Cleveland Browns select Joe Haden, cornerback from the University of Florida.
Analysis: While Haden didn't start right off the bat, he proved to be a solid shut-down corner when he was inserted into the starting lineup. Haden finished second among rookies with six interceptions, including a stretch of having at least one pick in four straight games.
Expect the Browns to be a stingy pass defence in the future if they can get another solid corner opposite this budding star.
Oakland Raiders select Rolando McClain, linebacker from the University of Alabama.
Analysis: The safest first round pick in recent years from the Silver and Black, McClain immediately cracked the starting lineup, and was a solid addition to the defence. While he may not have been as productive as former Raiders starter Kirk Morrison, he certainly proved he was worth the eighth overall selection in last April's draft.
Buffalo Bills select C.J. Spiller, running back from the University of Clemson.
Analysis: What looked like a dynamic trio of running backs in Buffalo ended up turning into the Fred Jackson show, and it left Spiller with a disappointing rookie season.
However, Spiller helped the Bills return game, accumulating over 1000 kick return yards, including a 95-yard touchdown against the New England Patriots.
Spiller showed great hands as a receiver out of the backfield, but will have to become a better runner to avoid turning into a simple change-of-pace back.
Jacksonville Jaguars select Tyson Alualu, defensive tackle from the University of California.
Analysis: Possibly the most obscure pick of the first round, the Jags continued their trend of drafting a defensive lineman in the first round. Alualu went on to post 3.5 sacks, a respectable number for a DT, while providing decent support against the run.
The Jags boast a decent front seven, but I expect they will draft a defensive end in the first round in April to pair with this young stud.
San Francisco 49ers select Anthony Davis, offensive tackle from Rutgers University.
Analysis: Davis started twelve games as a rookie, and helped pave the way for a solid 49ers rushing attack. However, there is still room for some improvement. With another full offseason to mature and hone his skills, Davis should turn into a solid starter for years to come.
San Diego Chargers select Ryan Mathews, running back from Fresno State University.
Analysis: It looked like a good pick on paper, but with the exception of his week 17 outburst, Mathews' rookie season was a huge disappointment. He spent most of the year on the sidelines, but did manage to compile seven rushing touchdowns.
He is a big guy, and a strong runner, so I expect him to be a force down the road, but he will need to stay healthy. I'm sure many fantasy owners (myself included) will approach Mathews with caution in next year's fantasy drafts.
Philadelphia Eagles select Brandon Graham, defensive end from the University of Michigan.
Analysis: The first defensive end selected, Graham was expected to post some huge numbers. However, he spent most of the year in a reserve role, and ended up with only three sacks.
Despite all this, Graham should evolve into a great pass rusher. Philly has a solid group of lineman, led by the ferocious Trent Cole, so if Graham can crack the starting lineup in 2011, he should put up some better numbers.
Seattle Seahawks select Earl Thomas, safety from the University of Texas.
Analysis: The Seahawks made a great selection with their second first round pick, grabbing a ball-hawk safety in Thomas. He had five interceptions as a rookie, and was one of the team's leading tacklers. He will be expected to make even more of an impact as a sophomore.
Expect him to play in many Pro Bowls down the line.
New York Giants select Jason Pierre-Paul, defensive end from the University of South Florida.
Analysis: Pierre-Paul was a raw talent coming out of school, and it was felt he needed a bit of seasoning before he became a star. Well, when he was pressed into action late in the season, it looked like the wait had paid off. It will be interesting to see if this one-year college starter can take the next step in 2011, and break out as a pass rusher.
Tennessee Titans select Derrick Morgan, from Georgia Tech University.
Analysis: Morgan was projected be the best defensive end in the draft, but ended up on the injured reserve after only four games. He did record a sack and a half in those four games, but he will have to make an impact in 2011 to make the Titans believe he was worth the first round selection.
San Francisco 49ers select Mike Iupati, offensive guard from the University of Idaho.
Analysis: The 49ers took another step to solidifying their offensive line with the selection of Iupati. He started all 16 games for the Niners, and looked solid while doing it. He showed all the tools necessary to be a dominant guard in the league for many years.
Pittsburgh Steelers select Maurkice Pouncey, center from the University of Florida.
Analysis: Pouncey started all 16 games for the Steelers, and was selected to the Pro Bowl for his efforts. He instantly gave the Steelers line a boost, and became one of the better centers in the league. He did a good job containing several dominant nose tackles over the course of the season, including the Ravens' Kelly Gregg and the Patriots' Vince Wilfork.
He aslo helped running back Rashard Mendenhall crack the 1000 yard mark for the second straight year.
Atlanta Falcons select Sean Weatherspoon, linebacker from the University of Missouri.
Analysis: Weatherspoon appeared in eleven games for the Dirty Birds, but he didn't make the impact a first round pick should. He only tallied one sack, but he was effective against the run. If he continues to improve as a run stuffer, he should develop into a solid starter for many years.
Houston Texans select Kareem Jackson, cornerback from the University of Alabama.
Analysis: Jackson was decent as a rookie, but the Texans pass defence on the hole was horrible. He will be expected to nab more than two interceptions next season, and develop his skills as a cover corner. It would greatly help his cause if the Texans draft another corner to play opposite Jackson, but only time will tell. it would be a shame to see a talented player like Jackson go to waste in a brutal defence.
Cincinnati Bengals select Jermaine Gresham, tight end from the University of Oklahoma.
Analysis: Gresham nabbed 52 catches as a rookie, and was a decent receiving option for the Bengals. However, due to the struggles of Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer, Gresham didn't have as good a season as he could have.
With the Bengals expected to make some moves at wide receiver this offseason, expect Palmer and Gresham to hook up a bit more next year.
Denver Broncos select Demaryius Thomas, wide receiver from Georgia Tech University.
Analysis: After exploding in his debut in week one for eight catches and 97 yards, Thomas virtually disappeared after that. He only appeared in nine more games, and caught only 14 more passes. While this may have a lot to do with the emergence of Brandon Lloyd, a lot more will be expected from this gifted athlete next season.
At 6'3, he creates matchup problems for opposing corners. If he gets in some work with quarterback Tim Tebow in the offseason, they could become a solid tandem.
Green Bay Packers select Bryan Bulaga, offensive tackle from Iowa.
Analysis: Bulaga didn't crack the starting lineup until late in the year, starting seven games in total. He took quite a few penalties in a game against the Chicago Bears, and looked very raw. Expect him to be a staple in the starting lineup next season, and he should improve greatly with experience.
Dallas Cowboys select Dez Bryant, wide receiver from Oklahoma State University.
Analysis: Being a Cowboys fan, I was a bit frustrated the Cowboys went after Bryant instead of addressing other needs, but he turned out to be a steal at #24. Bryant showed flashes of greatness before getting hurt, and he hauled in six touchdown passes.
If he can stay healthy next year, he and Miles Austin could provide two very good weapons for Tony Romo.
Denver Broncos select Tim Tebow, quarterback from the University of Florida.
Analysis: In one of the most unexpected moves of the draft, the Broncos traded up to grab Tebow. I have to admit, I was skeptical about this move (who wasn't), but he proved many of his doubters wrong. He accounted for eleven touchdowns in limited action, and showed great improvement as a passer.
However, he still has a lot of work to do to become an elite NFL quarterback. Tebow has the drive and determination necessary to become a star, and it will be interesting to see if he becomes a full-time starter for the Broncos next season.
Arizona Cardinals select Dan Williams, defensive tackle from the University of Tennessee.
Analysis: Williams appeared in 15 games for the Cardinals, but didn't crack the starting lineup in 2010. He was much less heralded than fellow rookie DTs Ndamukong Suh and Gerald McCoy, but played solid nonetheless.
He is another player that will have to spend the summer working on his craft, and hope to crack the starting lineup in 2011.
New England Patriots select Devin McCourty, cornerback from Rutgers University.
Analysis: McCourty proved to be yet another slam-dunk pick for the Pats, earning a Pro Bowl bid while proving to be a great all-around corner. He notched 82 tackles, and grabbed a rookie-leading seven interceptions. He outplayed fellow rookie Joe Haden all year, despite being picked 20 picks later.
McCourty was one of many Patriots defenders who improved over the second half of the season, and should become one of the league's better corners in the coming years.
Miami Dolphins select Jared Odrick, defensive tackle from Penn State University.
Analysis: Odrick only appeared in one game before going down with an injury, so the jury is still out on him. He is expected to play the nose tackle role in the Dolphins' 3-4 defence, and has all of the necessary skills to do so.
New York Jets select Kyle Wilson, cornerback from Boise State University.
Analysis: Wilson appeared in all 16 games for the Jets, and started six in place of the injured Darrelle Revis. While he failed to tally an interception this season, Wilson looked solid as the third corner for the Jets. He was highly touted coming out of Boise, so expect him to continue to improve.
He also provided a solid boost in the return game when Brad Smith went down with various injuries.
Detroit Lions select Jahvid Best, running back from the University of California.
Analysis: The Lions traded up to get the explosive Best. While he spent a good chunk of the year out with injuries, he accounted for just under 1000 total yards (rushing and receiving) and he showed flashes of the explosive big-play ability he had at Cal.
With the Lions being a team on the rise, expect big numbers from Best in the future if he can stay healthy.
Indianapolis Colts select Jerry Hughes, defensive end from Texas Christian University.
Analysis: Looking to add some depth to their talented defensive line, the Colts selected Hughes late in the first round. He appeared in twelve games, notching only six tackles. With Robert Mathis and Dwight Freeney not expected to go anywhere any time soon, it may take a few seasons for Hughes to make an impact for the Colts.
New Orleans Saints select Patrick Robinson, cornerback from Florida State University.
Analysis: The Super Bowl Champs were looking for depth in their secondary, and they found it in Robinson. He appeared in eleven games, starting four, and looked solid. He didn't have any interceptions, but made 28 tackles on the year.
With Tracy Porter and Jabari Greer both having good years, Robinson may be stuck as the third corner again next season.
So, as you can see, it was a very solid crop of first rounders. There were a total of three players selected to the Pro Bowl, and there could have been several others.
While there were a large number of players that didn't make an immediate impact, in a few years we should be able to evaluate them a bit more.
Well, I hope you enjoyed taking a look back at the 2010 NFL Draft as much as I did, and I look forward to reading your comments.