2010 NFL Mock Draft: Back To Basics

Wes ODonnell@wesodonnellFeatured ColumnistApril 7, 2010

SAN DIEGO - DECEMBER 30:  Ndamukong Suh #93 of the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers rushes to the line of scrimmage during the Pacific Life Holiday Bowl against University of Arizona Wildcats on December 30, 2009 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California. The Cornhuskers defeated the Wildcats 33-0. (Photo By Donald Miralle/Getty Images)
Donald Miralle/Getty Images

The 2010 NFL Draft is only two weeks away and the offseason has done more than enough to shake up the draft's landscape.

As with most years, a lot of projections seem to come full circle, forcing mock drafts to actually take a step back from all the hype.

There are players—Devin McCourty of Rutgers, Kyle Wilson of Boise State, Sean Weatherspoon of Missouri, and Ryan Mathews of Fresno State—that all worked the draft season to really help themselves.

Other players—Ndamukong Suh of Nebraska, Gerald McCoy of Oklahoma, Eric Berry of Tennessee, Rolando McClain of Alabama, Joe Haden of Florida, and yes, Taylor Mays of USC—had no place to really go but down at their respective positions.

Defending your draft position is much harder to do than riding the wave of hype into the first round these days.

Yes, judgement on Mays varies greatly, but lets face it, he should and will be a first round pick despite his weaknesses.

The Russell Okung versus Suh debate for Detroit is a great topic, and Okung is a solid player, but who are we kidding here, Suh is hands down the best player in this draft.

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All that said, two weeks from now nothing will matter and majority of these players will hear their names on night one of a new prime time NFL Draft—so here is my latest look.


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

Just as a year ago, the No. 1 pick belongs to a team that needs a franchise quarterback and Bradford is that guy.  He'll have some learning to do, he will not be perfect, and the Rams do get another receiving threat for him, but he will bring hope to this franchise moving forward.

2.  Detroit Lions—Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska

The best player in the draft will be a great addition up front for the Lions' defense.  They can get away with Jeff Backus for another season at tackle or address the need at the top of the second round with a player like Charles Brown of USC or Rodger Saffold of Indiana.

3.  Tampa Buccaneers—Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma

We've all said it before, and we'll say it again: Nobody sits in a better position than the Bucs if Bradford goes No. 1.  Eric Berry could have been a consideration here, but they added another safety, Sean Jones, this offseason and he will compete for that starting job.  McCoy makes the biggest impact and the most sense.

4.  Washington Redskins—Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma State

The McNabb trade actually simplified the early part of the draft now.  I believe, no matter what chatter we heard, the decision on Jimmy Clausen at No. 4 would have remained a mystery until the commissioner read the card.  Now, we know it has to be a new tackle and Okung is the best of the group.

5.  Kansas City Chiefs—Eric Berry, SS, Tennessee

I have now changed this pick a million times in my head.  Despite all the Pioli love for Bulaga, I think it is too much of a reach (I like Williams better anyway) and too hard to pass on a player like Berry.  Last year they went with Tyson Jackson at No. 3 and passed on other very talented guys, and they shouldn't make that mistake with Berry—especially with the impact of a dominant safety being so hard to find.

6.  Seattle Seahawks—Trent Williams, OT, Oklahoma

The Seahawks took themselves out of the Clausen race with the addition of Whitehurst and can now focus on building around a possible franchise QB (not sold on it, though). Williams is the No. 2 tackle on my board, gives them a new franchise tackle, and if they were to wait until No. 14 to help this spot, they would miss out.

7.  Cleveland Browns—Joe Haden, CB, Florida

Even with the acquisition of Sheldon Brown, and the trend of corners falling out of the top 10, I think Haden is the pick.  He's the second best player left on my board—Rolando McClain is one and would be a great fit inside here—but why not turn a complete weakness into a strength at this spot?  It's a bit too high for another pass rusher in my opinion and it is doubtful Cleveland gets their hands on another talented corner like this at the top of the second with an expected run of corners at the bottom of the first.

8.  Oakland Raiders—Anthony Davis, OT, Rutgers

I do think Jason Pierre-Paul is a definite possibility here—he's that freak athlete with great raw skills that the Raiders love—but the trade for Kamerion Wimbley drops that need a bit.  Had Williams been here, I think that is an easy pick.  Davis and Bulaga though, are vastly different.  Davis fits more in the Raiders style of play, has a higher ceiling, and unfortunately, has some character concerns already too.  That's settled then, he should be a Raider.

9.  Buffalo Bills—Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame

I wouldn't put it past Buffalo to make an even bigger splash here by adding Tim Tebow, but if the pick is going to be a quarterback, it should be Clausen.  Development in a pro style system, a good arm, and care of the ball make Clausen NFL-ready right now. Bulaga is definitely a possibility here, especially if the Bills think they can get to Tebow or Colt McCoy in the second, but they cannot be sure of that happening.

10.  Jacksonville Jaguars—Earl Thomas, SS, Texas

Extremely versatile and a ball hawk of a safety with a ton of good football ahead of him. Only a redshirt sophomore, Thomas was a bit under the radar for a while and was considered to be just that other good safety in the first round.  Well, he's a lot better than just that guy and would be a great addition for the Jaguars who can look to add another pass rusher later on.  Also, the Tebow thing is still totally in play.

11.  Denver Broncos (via Chicago)—Rolando McClain, ILB, Alabama

Quite simply, he is just too good a talent to pass up at this spot.  The Broncos and Brandon Marshall have their issues, but adding Dez Bryant could be adding the next Marshall with the same concerns.  McClain is a well-rounded leader with amazing instincts.

12.  Miami Dolphins—Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State

Bryant can come in from day one and be the Dolphins No. 1 receiver.  Parcells will have to talk to him personally and set things straight, but he has dealt with these types of receivers before.  He would be too valuable to this offense to pass by in my opinion, and somebody (Dallas) could try and trade up for him anyway.

13.  San Francisco 49ers—Bryan Bulaga, OT, Iowa

Bulaga would be perfect for the 49ers here.  They actually do not need a left tackle, but a right tackle, where Bulaga could be a much better fit.  I think they would have loved to see Haden fall down to them, and I wouldn't rule it out if the Chiefs/Browns do something wild in the top 10.

14.  Seattle Seahawks (via Denver)—Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech

The best player left on the board, Morgan is just an all-around solid football player who can rush the passer and play the run.  Not a super flashy pick—and I believe C.J. Spiller will definitely be in question here—but Carroll can find an offensive weapon, possibly former USC RB Joe McKnight or one of the many receivers in the draft, at the bottom of the second round (No. 60 via San Diego).

15.  New York Giants—Mike Iupati, OG/OT, Idaho

The Giants could look at C.J. Spiller, JPP, or even OLB Sean Weatherspoon of Missouri here, but Iupati would be extremely valuable to this franchise.  With McClain gone, I wouldn't expect the Giants to reach for anyone and just take the best player on their board.  Both Iupati and Maurkice Pouncey of Florida would be perfect fits for a once great line that may now need to prepare for the future.

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

Tennessee could go with another cornerback here, but JPP would be a great addition. They need another pass rusher and he has all the physical tools you look for in a 4-3 rush end.  He's still raw, but the Titans are no strangers to developing freaks along their defensive line.

17.  San Francisco 49ers (via Carolina)—C.J. Spiller, RB, Clemson

Frank Gore may not like it, but the fans should.  Spiller has blazing speed, would be a great compliment to Gore and even Glen Coffee, and could help out in the return game immediately.  Not to mention he could quickly become Alex Smith's best friend out of the backfield.

18.  Pittsburgh Steelers—Maurkice Pouncey, OC/OG, Florida

The Steelers continue to neglect that offensive line and would love to get back to a more power oriented game. Pouncey could help do just that.  He can play all over the line, has great skills, and just fits perfectly for what the Steelers need right now.  Versatile linemen are hard to come by, and the really, really good ones should not be overlooked.

19.  Atlanta Falcons—Sergio Kindle, DE/OLB, Texas

The Falcons helped themselves defensively with the addition of Dunta Robinson this offseason and can now look for another pass rusher opposite John Abraham after missing big time a few years ago.  Kindle just started playing up to his potential this season, has his best football ahead of him, and reminds of a lot people of former teammate Brian Orakpo.

20.  Houston Texans—Kyle Wilson, CB, Boise State

The absence of Robinson needs to be filled immediately and nobody worked the draft process better than Kyle Wilson.  The most physical corner in the draft, he is very versatile, a willing tackler, and fits the needs of the Texans' secondary.

21.  Cincinnati Bengals—Taylor Mays, FS, USC

I like the Bengals to go after Jermaine Gresham more here, but there are other very good tight ends available a bit later in this draft.  Mays, on the other hand, is one of a kind. Say what you will about his instincts and coverage, the kid can fly, the kid will hit, and the kid can take over for Roy Williams.

22.  New England Patriots—Brandon Graham, DE/OLB, Michigan

The Patriots will probably make a splash somewhere else here—they could shock us and draft Tebow—or do what they always do and trade down to let somebody else come in to pick Tebow.  If they sit, Graham was a machine at Michigan and just simply fits.

23.  Green Bay Packers—Jerry Hughes, DE/OLB, TCU

Hughes was a fantastic player at TCU, worked the draft season extremely well, and deserves to be a first round pick.  The Packers could look at an OT for the future as well as a corner, but Hughes could be the other pass rusher opposite Clay Matthews for years to come.

24.  Philadelphia Eagles—Devin McCourty, CB, Rutgers

I had Weatherspoon here for a while—and he would fit very nicely—but the Eagles cannot miss the run on cornerbacks here and McCourty is a great fit for them.  A solid cover corner, a willing tackler, a spectacular special teamer, and a guy with return ability, he fits the Eagles perfectly.

25.  Baltimore Ravens—Jermaine Gresham, TE, Oklahoma

From one big to another big guy, Gresham would be a fantastic weapon for Joe Flacco for years to come.  Todd Heap has seen better days and now is as good a time as ever to develop a young, big tight end to work with your franchise QB.  Had Gresham been healthy all year he would have gone higher.

26.  Arizona Cardinals—Sean Weatherspoon, OLB, Missouri

Not the ideal fit for the Cardinals, but 'Spoon is extremely versatile and can lineup almost anywhere in the linebacking corps.  If a Hughes, Kindle, or Graham were to fall, I would expect one of them to be the pick.

27.  Dallas Cowboys—Bruce Campbell, OT, Maryland

I believe Charles Brown of USC or Rodger Saffold of Indiana may be better off right away for Dallas here, but I also do not think Jerry Jones is scared of taking a chance on a kid with so much potential.  Flozell Adams is gone and they will need a new left tackle for years to come.  Campbell has the tools, but can he be coached?

28.  San Diego Chargers—Ryan Mathews, RB, Fresno State

A perfect fit the Chargers to replace Tomlinson; Mathews can simply do it all.  He runs in the 4.4 range, has exceptional balance, and seems to do everything right.

29.  New York Jets—Jared Odrick, DT/DE, Penn State

Not a flashy pick, but Odrick would be a great 3-4 end for the Jets. He's a high character kid with great ability at a position of need.  Also wouldn't put it past the Jets to try and move up for someone.

30.  Minnesota Vikings—Dan Williams, DT, Tennessee

A bit late for Williams, but I am not as high on him as others and if the Dolphins pass on him I do not see it unreasonable for him to slide down here.  The eventual heir as the next dominant Williams on the Vikes D-line, he would be a very nice addition this late. Also cannot rule out the potential pick of a future QB.

31.  Indianapolis Colts—Charles Brown, OT, USC

A kid that could develop into a nice fixture on the Colts O-line, Brown brings a nice value at this pick and the Colts want to add some talent up front.

32.  New Orleans Saints—Carlos Dunlap, DE, Florida

Dunlap has definitely fallen, but has all the physical tools and more that you look for in an end.  The Saints are looking for some pass rush help and Dunlap brings just that.

*No Tim Tebow in the first round, although I do think he will be picked, just do not know what team will trade in yet.

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