With workouts scheduled to begin this Saturday, here is my final mock draft before all the combine testing begins.
Enjoy and feel free to comment!
1. St. Louis Rams- Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma
Don’t believe all the hype about St. Louis drafting defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. The NFL is a quarterback league, and the Detroit Lions proved this last season. Everyone was high on Wake Forest linebacker Aaron Curry last year and Detroit bypassed him for Matthew Stafford. Bradford’s precise accuracy and intelligence at the quarterback position will separate him from Jimmy Clausen.
2. Detroit Lions- Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma
Call me crazy for this pick, but let me explain myself first. The NFL is a pass-first league and the NFC North has some of the best young QBs in the league. Gerald McCoy is a relentless pass rusher and the most disruptive player in this year’s draft. In my opinion, McCoy is a better fit for Detroit’s defense than Suh. I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of Detroit being able to trade down from this pick either, with St. Louis taking Bradford.
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska
Christmas has come early to Tampa Bay this year. The Buccaneers haven’t had a threat on their defensive line since defensive end Simeon Rice. Suh is an athletic defensive tackle and should be a good fit down in the Sunshine State.
4. Washington Redskins- Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame
Mike Shanahan recently stated that he couldn’t wait to work with Jason Campbell this offseason. In the NFL, when a new coach says that, it usually means that quarterback is on their way out. With Clausen still on the board, Shanahan will jump all over the opportunity of making him the next John Elway.
5. Kansas City Chiefs- Russell Okung, LT, Oklahoma State
Jamaal Charles showed a lot of promise in the second half of this season even with a terrible offensive line, but the same couldn’t be said for Matt Cassel. With $63 million invested in Cassel, the Chiefs better find a way to protect him. Okung is the best pass blocker in the draft and should fit well in Kansas City’s offense.
6. Seattle Seahawks- Joe Haden, CB, Florida
Pete Carroll is a defensive coach, and if you’ve ever watched USC play, you know Pete loves to blitz his cornerbacks. In seven of the last 10 games this season, Seattle allowed opposing QBs to average 250 yards a game, which isn’t impressive at all. Haden is an athletic corner and would be a great fit with Pete Carroll.
7. Cleveland Browns- Eric Berry, S, Tennessee
The Cleveland Browns gave up an NFL-record 422 passing yards to Detroit Lions’ rookie quarterback Matthew Stafford. The Browns need a lot help on defense, and Eric Berry should be an impact player to build around.
8. Oakland Raiders- Anthony Davis, LT, Rutgers
When Oakland’s on the clock, you better be ready for anything. Al Davis made a major mistake by drafting Darrius Heyward–Bey last year over Michael Crabtree. With JaMarcus Russell and Darren McFadden playing like busts, Al Davis will finally make a good move by drafting Anthony Davis.
9. Buffalo Bills- Bruce Campbell, LT, Maryland
The Buffalo Bills' offensive line is a mess. With Okung and Davis already off the board, the Bills will select Bruce Campbell with the ninth overall pick.
10. Jacksonville Jaguars- Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech
I really hope the Jaguars organization was joking when they said they’d consider Tebow in the first round. The Jags totaled 12.5 sacks last year, and that’s just not going to cut it. Morgan isn’t going to impress at the combine with a blazing 40 time, but he knows how to rush the passer.
11. Denver Broncos- Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State
If Denver trades Brandon Marshall, then I believe the Broncos will go with Bryant. Bryant reminds me a lot of Houston Texan Andre Johnson. Bryant has a rare combination of size, strength, and speed, which should help him excel in the future.
12. Miami Dolphins- Rolando McClain, LB, Alabama
Miami has made it clear that they’re looking to upgrade at the linebacker position this offseason. One possibility would be to pick up free agent Karlos Dansby, but if they miss out on him, they'll take McClain.
13. San Francisco 49ers- Earl Thomas, S, Texas
The 49ers need help on the offensive line, but so does their secondary. This former Longhorn is a absolute ball hawk in the secondary who won't hesitate to dish out punishment and support the run.
14. Seattle Seahawks- Bryan Bulaga, LT, Iowa
Bryan Bulaga completely dominated Derrick Morgan in the Orange Bowl this year. The Seahawks missed out on a LT in last year’s draft, so this year they’ll address that need with their second first-round pick.
15. New York Giants- Brian Price, DT, UCLA
The Giants dominating defense didn’t look so dominant this year. Brian Price is a great talent at the DT position and would look good on New York’s D-line.
16. Tennessee Titans- Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, South Florida
The Tennessee Titans once-dominant defensive line is no more. Last year, Albert Haynesworth packed his bags and headed for Washington, and now defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch looks to be following in his footsteps. I’m not sold on Pierre-Paul, but it seems like a lot of other people are.
17. San Francisco 49ers- Trent Williams, RT, Oklahoma
As I previously stated, the 49ers need help on their offensive line. Trent Williams projects as a right tackle in the NFL and should help pave the way for more touchdowns from running back Frank Gore.
18. Pittsburgh Steelers- Dan Williams, NT, Tennessee
Although Hampton just signed a three-year deal, I still believe the Steelers could select nose tackle Dan Williams. Williams can start off slow and learn under Hampton for his rookie season much like linebacker Lawrence Timmons did.
19. Atlanta Falcons- Carlos Dunlap, DE, Florida
The Falcons only generated 28 sacks last season and could benefit by adding Dunlap to their defensive line. Dunlap has a world of potential, but there are a lot of question marks around his desire for the game and character issues. The Falcons will either get a multi-Pro Bowler or bust with Dunlap.
20. Houston Texans- Kyle Wilson, CB, Boise State
If the Texans want to take the next step and become a legitimate playoff contender, they’re going to find someone to stop Peyton Manning. Wilson is a versatile defender who has outstanding ball skills and plays with a physical nature.
21. Cincinnati Bengals- Arrelious Benn, WR, Illinois
The Bengals once had the most feared passing attack in the NFL, but those days are long gone. Arrelious Benn is a great wide out who’s coming from an offense that underused him throughout his career. Benn will come in to the league with a hungry attitude to succeed.
22. New England Patriots- CJ Spiller, RB, Clemson
The Patriots hit the jackpot with Spiller falling to them at No. 22. Not many teams need a running back, which could lead to him falling into the Patriots' lap. Spiller has outstanding versatility and should help fill the void with Wes Welker recovering from a terrible knee injury.
23. Green Bay Packers- Sergio Kindle, OLB, Texas
Green Bay hit a home run last year by drafting Clay Matthews. The Packers need help on the O-line, but with most of the elite tackles off the board, the Packers will go with Kindle. Matthews and Kindle could wreak havoc for years in the NFC North.
24. Philadelphia Eagles- Everson Griffen, DE, USC
The Eagles have a ton of weapons on offense, but their defense lacks a true playmaker. Everson Griffen is a relentless pass rusher and can singlehandedly take over a game. Tony Romo and Eli Manning should be afraid, very afraid.
25. Baltimore Ravens- Brandon Graham- OLB, Michigan
The Ravens’ defense is getting up there in age and adding a playmaker like Graham would make Ray Lewis jump with joy. Graham had a monster week at the Senior Bowl, but could slip after the combine. I personally think Graham may be one of the best prospects in this year’s draft.
26. Arizona Cardinals- Brandon Spikes, LB, Florida
With all signs pointing to Karlos Dansby leaving Arizona, the Cardinals will be looking for his replacement. Spikes was a surefire Top 10 pick last year, but slipped this year due to a drop in production and other concerns.
27. Dallas Cowboys- Mike Iupati, G, Idaho
The Cowboys love big offensive linemen and the Cowboys love Mike Iupati. Enough said.
28. San Diego Chargers- Ryan Matthews, RB, Fresno State
LT has played his last game in a Charger uniform and finding an every-down running back is a big need for the Chargers to become a legitimate Super Bowl contender. Matthews is a physical back with underrated speed and quickness.
29. New York Jets- Jerry Hughes, OLB, TCU
Jerry Hughes has great blitzing ability and will become the player the Jets thought they were getting when they drafted Vernon Gholston. Hughes has played like a monster during his college career, and finished his senior season with 58 tackles, 11 sacks, and 1 forced fumble.
30. Minnesota Vikings- Donovan Warren, CB, Michigan
The Vikings lost a heartbreaker in New Orleans and they also lost Cedric Griffin for the 2010 season. This creates a big hole for the Vikings’ secondary, which means Warren to the Vikings. Warren could have benefitted from another season at Michigan, but he’s still a solid cornerback with a ton of potential.
31. Indianapolis Colts- Sean Weatherspoon, LB, Missouri
Weatherspoon is a great fit for the Colts' cover 2 defense. Weatherspoon has the size and speed to be an effective Weakside Linebacker in the NFL. Weatherspoon’s leadership and personality should give the Colts’ defense a much needed spark.
32. New Orleans Saints- Taylor Mays, S, USC
New Orleans won the Super Bowl, but look to be losing Darren Sharper. Taylor Mays is a physical freak, but he needs to play up to his potential.