The McNabb trade to Washington will have a serious effect on the course of the 2010 NFL Draft. The ripple effect will be seen throughout the first half of round one and probably beyond.
On top of that, Pro Days around the country have given us a better idea about which teams value certain prospects and which guys are on the rise up draft boards.
No one has seen their stock increase as much as C.J. Spiller. He's gone from being projected as a late first round pick to a top 15, top 10 selection. He'll be an interesting story to follow over the next few weeks leading up to the Draft.
This is a deep and talented draft, full of prospects at almost every position. There will be a lot of quality players selected in the later rounds, but for now the focus will be on how round one is shaping up.
1. St. Louis Rams : QB Sam Bradford, Oklahoma
The Rams have passed on a quarterback the past two seasons. They took Chris Long at No. 2 in 2008 and let Matt Ryan slip to the Falcons , then in 2009 selected Jason Smith over Mark Sanchez . Neither pick has really worked out for them, while Ryan and Sanchez are blossoming into potential studs.
St. Louis has holes all over its roster, but they've been desperate for a quarterback for awhile now and won't keep making the same mistake.
2. Detroit Lions : OT Russell Okung, Oklahoma State
The Lions did some work to improve their defensive line in the trade for Corey Williams, so the need at DT isn't as great as it was earlier in the year.
Detroit’s offensive line was terrible in 2009, allowing 43 sacks. Matthew Stafford needs better protection than that if he’s going to have any success developing into a quality quarterback.
Okung is the top offensive tackle in the draft. Detroit will lock him down and scratch left tackle from their list of needs for years to come.
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers : DT Ndamukong Suh, Nebraska
The Buccaneers will jump at the chance to sign either of the draft’s top defensive tackles, so regardless of what the Lions do they’ll get what they want.
Luckily for them, they’ll have their pick of either prospect. In a close call, they’ll go with Suh over McCoy, but both of these guys will be working out for the Bucs before the draft so this could flip-flop by the time they’re on the clock.
4. Washington Redskins : OT Bryan Bulaga, Iowa
Now that the Redskins will have Donovan McNabb under center, they’ll chose to address the glaring need along their offensive line rather than go after QB Jimmy Clausen.
Washington needs to find replacements for Chris Samuels and Randy Thomas; selecting Bulaga is a good place to start. He has the talent to develop in a quality left tackle.
Eric Berry is another possibility, but Bulaga is a comparable talent and the needs on the offensive line heavily outweigh those of the secondary.
5. Kansas City Chiefs : DT Gerald McCoy, Oklahoma
The Chiefs have bigger needs than defensive tackle and might opt to go the route of offensive tackle, but McCoy is too good to not select here.
He’s ready to step in immediately, and from what he’s shown in his time at Oklahoma and his strong showing at the Combine, McCoy is the real deal. He’s a future star and a steal at No. 5.
6. Seattle Seahawks : OT Trent Williams, Oklahoma
Walter Jones is a question mark for next season, and at 36 years old there might not be much left in the tank for this future Hall of Fame left tackle. The Seahawks need to find his replacement or suffer another year of collapsed pass protection.
Trent Williams may yet turn out to be the better talent that Bulaga, so the Redskins pick won’t alter Seattle’s plans to select an offensive lineman with this pick.
It’s possible they try to hold off on selecting a tackle until they’re back on the clock at 14, but that’s a risky move.
Tackles go quickly in round one, so they’ll have to make the pick here rather than risk it.
7. Cleveland Browns : QB Jimmy Clausen, Notre Dame
Jake Delhomme is a one-year fix, if even that. Cleveland may be hesitant to select a quarterback, especially one from Notre Dame after what happened with Brady Quinn, but Clausen is a very talented passer who has the tools to develop into a quality option.
If it’s not Clausen, it’ll be Eric Berry. But this yet another chance to get their franchise quarterback and they won’t be able to pass it up. Clausen is the real deal.
8. Oakland Raiders : S Eric Berry, Tennessee
Oakland is the most unpredictable team when it comes to the Drafts; look no further than the Darrius Heyward-Bay selection from a year ago. With Al Davis at the helm, you never know what you’ll get out of the Raiders.
Bruce Campbell has been mentioned as a possibility here, as has Jason Pierre-Paul, but even the Raiders won’t pass on Berry if he slips all the way to the eighth pick.
Safety isn’t the biggest need for Oakland, but Mike Huff and Hiram Eugene aren’t getting it done. Berry would add a level of play-making ability few could match.
They may go defense here and select a pass-rusher like Jason Pierre-Paul or Derrick Morgan, but C.J. Spiller is the type of talent who doesn’t come around often. He can break a game wide open as a running back, in the slot, and in the return game.
He’s flying up draft boards and is one of the hottest names out there right now. Marshawn Lynch may not have much of a future left in Buffalo and Fred Jackson is 29-years-old. The Bills need new blood in the backfield.
10. Jacksonville Jaguars : CB Joe Haden, Florida
If it isn’t Haden, it’ll be Dez Bryant, but with the emergence of Mike Sims-Walker, receiver isn’t nearly as big a need as cornerback.
Jacksonville had one of the worst pass defenses in the NFL in 2009 and got lit up for big plays way too many times.
Haden is the top cornerback in the draft, and while he didn’t live up to expectations in the Combine, that won’t dissuade the Jags from selecting him to round out the top ten.
11. Denver Broncos : WR Dez Bryant, Oklahoma State
The Broncos get the man they’ve had their eye on for months. Dez Bryant would be a top five pick if not for his season-long suspension in 2009 for violating NCAA rules.
Despite the off-field issues, though, Bryant is an exceptional talent who’s drawn comparisons to Andre Johnson. He’s not at Johnson’s level right now, but in a couple years he might be.
There might not be an offensive player capable of making a greater impact in his rookie year than Bryant. Look for them to move Brandon Marshall as a result of this pick as well.
With Jason Ferguson suspended for half of next season, though, Miami will have to find an answer in the middle of their defensive line sooner rather than later.
They really liked him from what they saw at the Senior Bowl. Williams is ideally-sized to play the nose and has all the intangibles you look for at the position. He has excellent lower body strength, and gets a great push at the point of attack.
It will probably come down to Williams and Earl Thomas, with Big Dan taking the edge. For Thomas, getting passed over by Miami will begin a free fall.
13. San Francisco 49ers : DE/OLB Jason Pierre-Paul
The 49ers hold the 13th and 17th picks in round one, so they'll have a lot of options when they get on the clock their first time around. They'll be targeting linemen and pass-rushers, but Pierre-Paul is the most talented prospect available.
Derrick Morgan has been gaining steam on Pierre as the best pass rusher in the draft, so he may end up being the pick instead.
Pierre-Paul is bigger, stronger and more versatile. He can play defensive end or outside linebacker in a 3-4, that gives him the edge.
14. Seattle Seahawks: DE/OLB Derrick Morgan, Georgia Tech
Seattle misses out on their first choice in C.J. Spiller, but they get the pass-rusher they desperately need in Derrick Morgan.
They need a lot of help, and Morgan is a player capable of stepping in and making an immediate impact.
He can play defensive end with a hand in the dirt in a 4-3 or slide over and line up on the outside at linebacker in a 3-4.
Morgan is consistent and reliable, and Seattle won’t find a better pass rusher on the board. He's a great value with the 14th pick.
15. New York Giants : ILB Rolando McClain, Alabama
New York gets one of the steals of the draft when they get on the clock with the 15th pick and see Rolando McClain available at the top of their draft board.
Arguably a top-tier talent and by far the best inside linebacker in the draft, McClain will be a front runner for Defensive Rookie of the Year.
The Giants could really use the help at linebacker and while McClain is probably better suited for the 3-4, as he’s made public in recent comments, he's versatile enough to make the transition.
The only knock on the Bama Backer is his speed, but game film tells a different story. He makes great pursuit angles and has great closing speed. He could be the next Patrick Willis.
16. Tennessee Titans : OLB Sergio Kindle, Texas
The Titans are in need of someone to help bolster their pass rush now that Kyle Vanden Bosch is gone. Sergio Kindle is a somewhat undersized to fill that role, but with more bulk he could become a real force on the outside.
It may be a bit of a reach to take him this early, but it's close enough where the need meets demand.
Everson Griffen or Brandon Graham are also options here, but most experts have them rated as inferior prospects. Once the Titans start bringing these guys in, we'll have a better idea what they think about that.
17. San Francisco 49ers: OT Bruce Campbell, Maryland
San Francisco goes back on the clock, and while Derrick Morgan would probably have been their first choice here, he's gone so they'll have to settle for much-needed help on the offensive line.
The 49ers are desperate for a right tackle, its been an issue for over a year. Bruce Campbell is one of the strongest and most athletic tackles in the draft. He's a workout warrior with a ton of potential, but he is still raw.
With some work, he can be molded into a quality tackle capable of playing on either side of the ball. He's projected to go as early as No. 8 to the Raiders and as late as the second round, but it's hard to believe he'd fall past the 49ers here.
A big reason for that was a poor push up front, especially along the interior of the line.
Iupati is listed as an OT/G, but he's undersized for a tackle. As a guard, however, he's drawn comparisons to All-Pro left guard Steve Hutchinson.
Guards aren't usually selected this high, but Iupati is a superb talent capable of playing at a high level from day one. He'll do the dirty work in the trenches and help get Pittsburgh’s run game back on track.
19. Atlanta Falcons : DE Everson Griffen, USC
The Falcons may go cornerback here, but pass rushers are always a hot commodity in round one and the need is definitely there. Atlanta was 26th in the league in sacks a year ago and could really use help up front.
They weren’t able to get a consistent pass rush all year, and as a result, the defense crumbled down the stretch.
Griffen is extremely athletic for his size with a nice array of speed moves. He’s strong enough to bull-rush with power moves and has the potential to get even better if he continued to bulk up.
Don’t be surprised if Brandon Graham is the pick instead, since he’d be able to pick up an NFL system faster. But Griffen’s stock continues to rise and there is a ton of potential there.
20. Houston Texans : CB Kyle Wilson, Boise State
With Dunta Robinson lost in free agency, the Texans will need to find a replacement at cornerback. Wilson is a great talent with all the intangibles to succeed in the NFL.
He’ll make an impact right away as a play-maker; something Houston desperately needs. Even with Robinson, they were ranked 18th against the pass in 2009. That cost them several games.
Wilson is the real deal; he’ll help turn the secondary around.
21. Cincinnati Bengals : S Earl Thomas, Texas
The Bengals have several more pressing needs, but this is a pick they won’t be able to avoid. Talent should be selected over need, at least that’s the philosophy the great teams follow.
In the case of Thomas, talent trumps all. Cincinnati could really use a wide receiver and there are several options available, but that need can be addressed later in the draft. Safeties as good as Thomas just don’t come around often.
He has great cover skills and is one of the better ball-hawks in the draft. Thomas isn’t far behind Eric Berry in terms of talent, but he falls all the way to 21 because of concerns over his size and speed.
Thomas has top 10-15 talent; down here he’s the steal of the draft.
22. New England Patriots : DE/OLB Brandon Graham, Michigan
Brandon Graham is the best pure outside linebacker in the draft and unlike other prospects that will need to make the transition to the 3-4, he’s ready to step onto the field right away.
Adalious Thomas has seen a sharp drop off in his production the last two seasons, and besides Tully Banta-Cain, the pass rush has been pretty weak in New England.
The value and need meet perfectly for Graham at this point in round one.
23. Green Bay Packers : OT Anthony Davis, Rutgers
Davis was expected to be one of the top tackles in the draft earlier in the year, but he’s shown off-field issues that are troubling.
He’s gone through a couple suspensions, missed practices, shown up to camp overweight, and raises concerns over whether he’s capable of handling the pressures of NFL life.
But his talent can’t be denied; Davis is a powerful blocker with good instincts. The Packers need help at tackle, and while there might be safer picks here, none provide the same level of talent.
It’s late enough in the round where the Packers won’t have to invest too much money; that makes the risk worthwhile.
24. Philadelphia Eagles : C Maurkice Pouncey, Florida
Pouncey can play left guard, right guard, and center. He’s not the most powerful blocker, which means he might struggle against the league’s big nose tackles, but he’s smart and is great at directing the offensive line.
The Eagles offensive line needs a lot of help and Pouncey fills a great need at a nice value. The pick makes a lot of sense anyway you look at it.
25. Baltimore Ravens : TE Jermaine Gresham, Oklahoma
They got their receiver in Anquan Boldin, now they get their tight end; Gresham is the only first-round talent tight end in the draft. He’s an excellent pass-catcher and provides Joe Flacco with yet another talent to toss the rock to.
Gresham really saw his stock rise at the Combine. The Ravens won’t be able to pass up this opportunity to improve a passing game that already has seen a major improvement this offseason.
It’s time for Todd Heap to move over.
26. Arizona Cardinals : OLB Sean Weatherspoon, Missouri
Kerry Rhodes was brought on board in a trade with the New York Jets, but it still wouldn’t be surprising to see the Cardinals go the route of Taylor Mays in an attempt to shore up the secondary. Rhodes is a Band-Aid, not the long-term answer.
They need pass-rushers, and with the loss of Karlos Dansby the linebacking core needs fresh legs.
Weatherspoon is very athletic and ran well at the combine. He’s a natural pass-rusher who would pick up the Jets defense in a hurry. He’s also a solid tackler that could play on the strong-side defending the run.
It might be a bit of a reach to select him this high, as he’s a fringe first-round talent.
27. Dallas Cowboys : WR Demaryius Thomas, Georgia Tech
Flozell Adams is on his way out in Dallas, and might not have more than a year or two left in the tank. The Cowboys are in need of a replacement, but there just isn’t a talent available worth reaching for at this point.
The need for a receiver isn’t high, but Miles Austin deserves a reliable option to play alongside. Roy Williams hasn’t worked out, and Patrick Crayton is too inconsistent to count on. Thomas is a very gifted athlete with great hands and a massive frame.
A trio of Austin, Jason Witten, and Thomas heading up the passing game would be very difficult to contain.
28. San Diego Chargers : RB Ryan Mathews, Fresno State
The Chargers might have a bigger need at running back than any team in the league. They cut L.T. loose and everyone knows Darren Sproles isn’t big enough to be an every-down back.
Someone needs to take the bulk of the carries and right now that person isn’t on San Diego’s roster.
Ryan Mathews is a big, powerful bruiser who likes to punish defenders. He can carry the ball 20-25 times a game and provide an excellent yin to Sproles' yang. The fit is perfect.
29. New York Jets : S Taylor Mays, USC
Weatherspoon could be an option here, but if he’s gone when the Jets are on the clock, it will come down to Taylor Mays and Jared Odrick. They need help along their defensive line and Odrick could slide in nicely as a defensive end in the Jets 3-4.
But Taylor Mays is the more talented prospect and fills an equally glaring need.
New York has one of the best pass defenses in the NFL; with the trade for Antonio Cromartie it will only get better.
There’s no proven options at safety, however, and with Kerry Rhodes being traded to Arizona, the Jets need a big-time name in centerfield.
30. Minnesota Vikings : DT Brian Price, UCLA
Pat Williams may very well retire before the start of the 2010 season and put an end to the Vikings' impenetrable Williams Wall.
Price may not be a Williams, but he can beat down offensive linemen with a great power game and excels against both the run and pass. He's about as durable as they come, so injury concerns shouldn't come up either.
He needs to work on his footing and lower body strength, but at No. 30 he's a great value pick.
31. Indianapolis Colts : DT/DE Jared Odrick, Penn State
Price would have been Indy’s first choice, but the Vikings snagged him up just before they could.
Defensive tackle is the biggest need on this Colts team and with Minnesota seeking the same thing a pick before them, don’t be surprised to see Indy trade up to make sure they get their man.
If they can’t make a move, they’ll settle for Odrick, who by many accounts is the superior talent anyways.
He presents a well-rounded set of skills and appears to fit the bill. There are concerns about his durability as well as some off-field issues that question his character, but his natural talent is evident.
There’s may be some red flags, but he's the best defensive tackle available and this late in round one, the risk isn't very high.
32. New Orleans Saints : CB Devin McCourty, Rutgers
The Saints' secondary ranked 26th last season, and that was with All-Pro Safety Darren Sharper cleaning up a lot of the mess in centerfield. Sharper may not return, though, which would put a lot more pressure on New Orleans’ cornerbacks to start producing.
The reality is they need help though, and that’s where Devin McCourty comes in. He’s one of the players whose name started getting hot at the Combine. He’s fast and changes direction better than any other cornerback in the draft.
He needs to work on his ball skills, but the potential is there for him to be a solid cornerback.