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2010 NFL Mock Draft: How Free Agency Has Shaken Things Up

Chris MaierCorrespondent IMarch 12, 2010

ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 05:  Quarterback Sam Bradford #14 of the Oklahoma Sooners warms up before a game against the Brigham Young Cougars at Cowboys Stadium on September 5, 2009 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

With the opening of free agency, the NFL offseason is in high gear and draft boards have been shifted as a result of this week's player movement (not to mention the completion of the Scouting Combine).

For example, does the Lions signing of DE Kyle Vanden Bosch and trade for DT Corey Williams mean they are thinking offensive tackle with the number two pick?

Does the Bengals signing of Antonio Bryant mean they select a tight end in round one?

The answers to these questions and more in our latest mock draft.

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

The current buzz is the Rams are leaning towards a franchise quarterback with the number one pick, with Bradford being the target.

The combination of playing in a spread offense and coming off of a shoulder injury makes him a risky selection, but he has the size, accuracy, and intangibles you look for in a signal caller.

2. Detroit Lions, DT Ndamukong Suh, Nebraska

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The trade for under tackle Corey Williams increased the chance of the Lions taking offensive tackle Russell Okung to protect the team's investment in QB Matthew Stafford, but Suh's ability to dominate the line of scrimmage will too much to pass up for a defensive minded coach.

The additions of Williams and Kyle Vanden Bosch increase Suh's chances of early success.

3. Tampa Bay Buccaneeers, DT Gerald McCoy, Oklahoma

Tampa's draft plans will get a major boost if the Rams take Bradford, as it allows one of the top defensive tackles to fall into their laps and fill their number one need.  McCoy's ability to penetrate and rush the passer are an ideal scheme fit.

4. Washington Redskins, QB Jimmy Clausen, Notre Dame

The Redskins need to draft an offensive tackle but entering his first season with the 'Skins, Mike Shanahan will look to get his franchise quarterback.  Coming out of a pro-style offense Clausen should have an easier transition to the pro game than Bradford.

That is if Clausen can stay upright.

5. Kansas City Chiefs, S Eric Berry, Tennessee

Much like Detroit and Washington, offensive tackle Russell Okung will be tempting but Berry is a playmaking safety who has drawn comparisons to Ed Reed and would be a major upgrade on the backside of the Chiefs defense.  There have been some rumors that Berry is Pioli's top target in the draft.

Lastly, don't rule out WR Dez Bryant, who is an elite talent at wide receiver and the type of player Todd Haley and Charlie Weis would like to building their passing game around.

6. Seattle Seahawks, OT Russell Okung, Oklahoma State

After the retirement of Walter Jones, the Seahawks have a black hole on the left side of the offensive line for the first time in 14 years.  Okung is the top offensive tackle in the draft and the Seahawks will be thrilled if he makes it past the left tackle needy teams in front of them.

7. Cleveland Browns, WR Dez Bryant, Oklahoma State

The Browns offensive is a mess and while the problems start at quarterback, the team needs to surround (enter quarterbacks name) with better talent if they expect the offense to take off.

Despite some off the field baggage, Bryant is clearly the No. 1 receiver in the draft and gives them a playmaker to build the passing game around.

8. Oakland Raiders, OT Bruce Campbell, Maryland

Best athlete at a position of need.  After watching Campbell light up the combine, his selection by the Raiders seems inevitable.

9. Buffalo Bills, OT Bryan Bulaga, Iowa

With the top quarterbacks off the board, the Bills can avoid the urge to take a franchise quarterback and shift their focus to giving their quarterback a fighting chance by adding a blindside protector.

10. Jacksonville Jaguars, S Earl Thomas, Texas

After signing Aaron Kampman to improve the pass rush, the Jaguars can focus its attention by improving its coverage with Thomas.  His range and coverage awareness will prove valuable in a division featuring the high powered passing attacks of Houston and Indianapolis twice a year.

11. Denver Broncos, ILB Rolando McClain, Alabama

If wide receiver Dez Bryant is off the board, the Broncos will likely shift gears to the defensive side of the ball and grab McClain.  He has the leadership skills to be the quarterback of the defense and his excellent blitzing ability and instincts make him an ideal scheme fit to play inside in the 3-4.

The team’s decision to cut ILB Andra Davis increased the likelihood of this selection.

12. Miami Dolphins, DT Dan Williams, Tennessee

Conventional wisdom has the Dolphins picking a rush linebacker, but with Jason Ferguson getting up in years and facing an eight-game suspension, finding a nose tackle is just as high of a priority and the lack of depth at the position makes it the smarter pick.

A deep rush linebacker class makes it easy to fill that need in round two or later.

13. San Francisco 49ers, CB Joe Haden, Florida

Despite running a slower than expected 40 at the combine, Haden remains the top cornerback in the draft and his aggressive style makes him a good scheme fit.

While offensive tackle is the team’s top need, cornerback is a close second and with Trent Williams and Anthony Davis still on the board, there is a good chance one of the top tackles will still be on the board when they pick again in four picks.

14. Seattle Seahawks, RB CJ Spiller, Clemson

After taking a much needed left tackle at number six, the Seahawks consider taking a defensive end (Pierre-Paul or Morgan) or an offensive playmaker.

Either direction provides good value but adding a playmaker such as Spiller who can make an immediate impact as a rusher, receiver and returner taking pressure off of the quarterback position.

15. New York Giants, DT Brian Price, New York Giants

The Giants defense is built on bringing pressure on the defensive front and defensive tackle is currently the weakest line on that unit.  Price is solid against the run, but his ability to penetrate and disrupt plays in the backfield from the defensive tackle position is what makes him a good fit for the Giants.

16. Tennessee Titans, DE Jason Pierre-Paul, South Florida

Has “freak”-ish ability and would fill the team’s need for a pass rusher.  He is extremely raw but he has tremendous upside and landing with a coach such as Jeff Fisher known for developing young players would be a good fit.

17. San Francisco 49ers, OT Trent Williams, Oklahoma

The jury is out as to whether Williams has the talent to play left tackle but it does not matter to the 49ers, whose need is on the right side.  While he not a proto-typical road grader, Williams excelled as both a run blocker and pass blocker when playing on the right side.

He is not the top tackle in the draft but his ability to play the right side should make him the top tackle on the 49ers board.   

18. Pittsburgh Steelers, OT Anthony Davis, Rutgers

After watching Ben Roethlisberger get beat up the past three years, it is only a matter of time before he suffers a major injury due to the team’s poor protection.  Davis’ stock is sliding after a poor combine workout and failing to workout at his pro day, but he is only 20-years old and has as much upside as any tackle in the draft, and should be able to come in and provide an immediate upgrade on the blind-side.

The biggest question for the Steelers is what will they do if one of the top five tackles in not on the board.

19. Atlanta Falcons, DE Derrick Morgan, Georgia Tech

After signing CB Dunta Robinson, the Falcons key focuses would be finding a pass rusher or outside linebacker.  If Morgan is on the board, the decision will be an easy one, as he is not only a good pass rusher but his high motor makes him a force against the run as well.

The only reason he slides is he is considered more of a good than great pass rusher, but he is also likely the safest defensive end in the draft thanks to his two way ability.

20. Houston Texans, CB Kyle Wilson, Boise State

The Texans hope S Earl Thomas is on the board but if he is not, the team will face the decision of reaching for a corner, drafting the coverage challenged Taylor Mays, or adding power back Ryan Matthews.

Matthews is likely eliminated as they should be able to fill that need later.

The team’s need for a cover safety allows them to ignore the siren song of Mays.

Cornerback is deep this year, but few of the corners possess Wilson’s natural coverage skills and playmaking ability.  He is the type of corner whom they should feel comfortable leaving on an island with elite receivers.

21. Cincinnati Bengals, G Mike Iupati, Idaho

After signing Antonio Bryant the conventional wisdom is the team will take a tight end with this selection, but the biggest reason for the team’s passing struggles last season was their lack of confidence in their offensive line.

Iupati is an elite guard prospect who should immediately upgrade Carson Palmer’s protection while adding another mauler to open holes for Cedric Benson in the ground game.

22. New England Patriots, DE/OLB Sergio Kindle, Texas

The Patriots have more needs than you would expect but none is greater than their need to find a pass rusher.  Kindle is an explosive pass rusher and his experience at the linebacker position should allow him to make an earlier impact than some of the other members of a deep rush linebacker class.

23. Green Bay Packers, OT Charles Brown, USC

Brown has flown under the radar this draft season but he has good tools, is the last of the top blindside protectors on the board, and would fill the Packers No. 1 need.

The re-signing of Chad Clifton was a good move, but he is on borrowed time at this point in his career and the Packers can not afford to wait to upgrade at this position any longer.

24. Philadelphia Eagles, OLB Sean Weatherspoon, Missouri

Conventional wisdom has the Eagles taking defensive end Carlos Dunlap if he is available but when you look at the linebackers on the roster (or lack there of), you see it is just as pressing of a need, and the linebackers class this year is not nearly as deep as it is at defensive end.

Weatherspoon is an athletic linebacker comfortable blitzing or in coverage.  He also has the versatility to play all three linebacker spots and has the personality to develop into a defensive leader.

25. Baltimore Ravens, TE Jermaine Gresham, Oklahoma

Despite adding wide receivers Anquan Boldin and Donte' Stallworth in free agency,  the Ravens may determine to add some youth to the mix as well by bringing pass catching tight end Jermaine Gresham to complete the overhaul of the Ravens passing attack. 

Five technique Jared Odrick, safety Taylor Mays, or a cornerback would also receive consideration.

26. Arizona Cardinals, DE/OLB Brandon Graham, Michigan

Graham is a hard nose rush linebacker prospect in the mold of Pittsburgh’s Lamaar Woodley, who would provide the Cardinals defense a much needed pass rusher to disrupt opposing pass games.  Graham will face an adjustment shifting to rush linebacker, but his ability to get upfield quickly and his tremendous motor should allow him to make an immediate impact.

27. Dallas Cowboys, S Taylor Mays, USC

Mays is one of the most difficult players to slot in mock drafts because he possesses top ten athleticism and mid-round coverage ability.  Jerry Jones loves athleticism and upside and is willing to roll the dice that Mays develops into an elite safety.

28. San Diego Chargers, RB Ryan Matthews, Fresno State

With the departure of Jamal Williams, nose tackle Terrence Cody will be extremely tempting but his poor condition will give the Chargers pause and allow them to select Matthews, the best all-around running back in the draft.  He runs powerfully inside and has just enough speed to get the corner and be a factor in the passing game.

29. New York Jets, WR Golden Tate, Notre Dame

The Jets will consider nose tackle Terrence Cody, five technique Jared Odrick, or any of a host of rush linebackers, but the opportunity to add a versatile playmaker like Tate in the passing game would likely trump their defensive desires.

Tate could play the slot as a rookie and potentially replace Braylon Edwards on the outside down the road.

30. Minnesota Vikings, DT Jared Odrick, Penn State

The Vikings are in a position to go in a variety of directions but Pat Williams is not getting any younger and finding a young defensive tackle to replace him needs to be a priority sooner than later.  Odrick plays a different style but his high motor and quickness will allow him to take advantage of the attention drawn by Jared Allen and Kevin Williams. 

Cornerback or possibly even quarterback (if they like Dan LeFevour) are also considerations.

31. Indianapolis Colts, G/C Maurkice Pouncey, Florida

The Colts need to upgrade the talent on their offensive line and with the top tackles off the board, they shift their focus inside where Pouncey could play left guard as a rookie while being groomed to eventually replace Jeff Saturday at center.

There are rumors the Colts may consider trading up to get a left tackle if the opportunity presents itself.  Rodger Saffold was the other top consideration for this pick because of the team’s left tackle need.

32. New Orleans Saints, DE Carlos Dunlap, Florida

The Saints needs are on the defensive side of the ball and are positioned to take the best front seven defensive player on the board.  Dunlap has a rare combination of size and athleticism for a defensive end, making him a top ten prospect from a talent perspective, but an inconsistent motor and character concerns has caused his stock to slide.

He would provide the Saints with a replacement for the Charles Grant and a tremendous value at the end of round one.

Round Two

33. St. Louis Rams, OLB Navorro Bowman, Penn State

34. Detroit Lions, OT Rodger Saffold, Indiana

35. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, DE Everson Griffen, USC

36. Kansas City Chiefs, DE/OLB Jerry Hughes, TCU

37. Washington Redskins, G Jon Asamoah, Illinois

38. Cleveland Browns, DE/OLB Ricky Sapp, Clemson

39. Oakland Raiders, ILB Brandon Spikes, Florida

40. Seattle Seahawks, QB Dan LeFevour, Central Michigan

41. Buffalo Bills, DT Terrence Cody, Alabama

42. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, WR Arrelious Benn, Illinois

43. Miami Dolphins, DE/OLB Eric Norwood, South Carolina

44. New England Patriots, DE Corey Wooten, Northwestern

45. Denver Broncos, WR Brandon LaFell, LSU

46. New York Giants, ILB Sean Lee, Penn State

47. New England Patriots, WR Demaryius Thomas, Georgia Tech

48. Carolina Panthers, WR Damian Williams, USC

49. San Francisco 49ers, S Morgan Burnett, Georgia Tech

50. Kansas City Chiefs, WR Mardy Gilyard, Cincinnati

51. Houston Texans, S Chad Jones, LSU

52. Pittsburgh Steelers, CB Kareem Jackson, Alabama

53. New England Patriots, TE Rob Gronkowski, Arizona

54. Cincinnati Bengals, TE Dennis Pitta, BYU

55. Philadelphia Eagles, G John Jerry, Mississippi

56. Green Bay Packers, CB Perrish Cox, Oklahoma State

57. Baltimore Ravens, CB Devin McCourty, Rutgers

58. Arizona Cardinals, OT Ciron Black, LSU

59. Dallas Cowboys, OT Jason Fox, Miami

60. San Diego Chargers, DT Linval Joseph, East Carolina

61. New York Jets, DE/OLB Koa Misi, Utah

62. Minnesota Vikings, CB Patrick Robinson, Florida State

63. Indianapolis Colts, DT Lamaar Houston, Texas

64. New Orleans Saints, OLB Daryl Washington, TCU

Chris Maier is Senior Editor for nfldraft101.com.  He can be reached at cmaier@nfldraft101.com.  Follow me on twitter: nfldraft101.

Also check out NFLDraft101's three round post combine/early free agency staff mock draft.

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