The first round of the 2010 NFL Draft has come to an end, and I doubt you could find anyone who could say it came out exactly as they suspected it would. The first few picks were spot on to start, but after the Redskins took Trent Williams things started to unravel for many prognosticators including myself.
We can’t change the past, but we can certainly try to find what might have gone wrong with it. There are many different ways the first round could have come out, but here is my take on how I felt things should have turned out in the first round. This is part one of two and takes no trades into account, while the next part works with the trades that were made on draft day.
1. St. Louis Rams, Sam Bradford (QB, Oklahoma) Right Choice: Bradford. This is the best and most sensible pick that could have been made. Good choice by the Rams.
2. Detroit Lions, Ndamukong Suh (DT, Nebraska) Right Choice: Suh.This was clearly the best choice for the Lions, and now they have one of the better defensive lines in the NFL.
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Gerald McCoy (DT, Oklahoma) Right Choice: McCoy. This was the best choice for the Bucs, who have been lacking a true game changer on the line since Warren Sapp left.
4. Washington Redskins, Trent Williams (OT, Oklahoma) Right Choice: Russell Okung (OT, Oklahoma State). I think the Redskins will find out they would have liked Okung much better. I don’t think Williams is quite as developed as Okung at this point.
5. Kansas City Chiefs, Eric Berry (S, Tennessee) Right Choice: Berry. Berry was a good pick by the Chiefs and will instantly improve their defense. They may have thought about getting Okung here, but they went for their top need and got a solid player.
6. Seattle Seahawks, Russell Okung (OT, Oklahoma State) Right Choice: Trent Williams (OT, Oklahoma). Assuming things had gone down the way previously described, the Seahawks could have picked up Williams and allowed him to learn a little bit.
7. Cleveland Browns, Joe Haden (CB, Florida) Right Choice: Haden. This was a great move by the Browns, who might have thought about taking quarterback Jimmy Clausen here, but as it turns out they ended up getting him in the second round for less money.
8. Oakland Raiders, Rolando McClain (LB, Alabama) Right Choice: Anthony Davis. The Raiders would have been better suited to take an offensive linemen here and wait until the second or third round to take a linebacker. This pick is kind of a mystery but not as mysterious as their pick last year.
9. Buffalo Bills, C.J. Spiller (RB, Clemson) Right Choice: Spiller. The Bills couldn’t go wrong with taking Spiller in the draft because he was there but could have used a quarterback...Perhaps they could get Clausen in the second round.
10. Jacksonville Jaguars, Tyson Alualu (DT-California) Right Choice: Dan Williams (DT, Tennessee). Alualu was a bit of a stretch in the first round, and many people didn’t feel he was a first-round talent. With a bevy of other players sitting there, the Jaguars could have done better.
11. Denver Broncos (Traded to San Francisco) Right Choice for the Broncos: Rolando McClain (LB, Alabama). Had things done the way we are looking at here, McClain would have been available and would have been a perfect fit for Denver.
12. Miami Dolphins (Traded to the San Diego Chargers ) Right Choice for the Dolphins: Jason Pierre Paul (DE, South Florida). The Dolphins may get more mileage out of what they got from the Chargers, but had they picked here they could have got a decent rush end.
13. San Francisco 49ers (Traded to the Philadelphia Eagles from the Denver Broncos) Right Choice for the 49ers: Bryan Bulaga (OT, Iowa). The 49ers traded away this pick and could have picked up Bulaga later on, but had they stayed here they might have thought about taking Bulaga.
14. Seattle Seahawks (originally from Denver) Earl Thomas (S, Texas) Right Choice for the Seahawks: Thomas. With no stellar offensive tackles here at No. 14, the Seahawks went for a big need in their secondary. Thomas should be a solid player for them for several seasons.
15. New York Giants, Jason Pierre Paul (DE, South Florida) Best Pick: Paul. The Giants did very well in the first round and as long as Paul lives up to his billing, he could end up being the next great pass rusher in New York.
16. Tennessee Titans, Derrick Morgan (DE, Georgia Tech) Best Pick: Brandon Graham (DE, Michigan). The Titans may have liked Graham better for the value he could have brought at this pick, but he would have been gone at this point anyway.
17. San Francisco 49ers (from Carolina in 2009) Mike Iupati (OG, Idaho) Best Pick: Iupati. The 49ers got a player who could easily play either tackle or guard and should be a fixture on the team for many seasons to come.
18. Pittsburgh Steelers, Maurkice Pouncey (C, Florida) Best Pick: Pouncey. The Steelers needed the help on the offensive line, and Pouncey can play either guard or center. Both are positions of need on this team.
19. Atlanta Falcons, Sean Weatherspoon (LB, Missouri) Best Pick: Derrick Morgan (DE, Georgia Tech). The Falcons could have used a player who could rush the passer on a regular basis much more than they needed a linebacker. Had Morgan been here then they should have taken him.
20. Houston Texans, Kareem Jackson (CB, Alabama) Best Pick: Jackson. The Texans could have taken a good running back if there would have been one here to take (with value at this pick), but picking Jackson takes care of a major need on defense for Houston.
21. Cincinnati Bengals, Jermaine Gresham (TE, Oklahoma) Best Pick: Gresham. The Bengals could have gone a few different ways with this pick, but it was a good idea to take Gresham. Gresham will help them out on offense and could help get their passing offense back on track.
22. New England Patriots (Traded to the Denver Broncos ) Best Pick for the Patriots: Sean Weatherspoon (LB, Missouri). Had the Patriots kept their pick they could have filled a need at linebacker by taking Weatherspoon. He would have been a good fit on their defense.
23. Green Bay Packers, Bryan Bulaga (OT, Iowa) Best Pick: Bulaga. The Packers couldn’t go wrong by taking Bulaga. They really needed some help on the offensive line, and Bulaga will help them fix some of the issues there and help protect quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
24. Philadelphia Eagles (Traded to the Dallas Cowboys) Best Pick for the Eagles: Kyle Wilson (CB, Boise State). The Eagles need some help at the cornerback position and should have kept the pick and taken Wilson here. Even Devin McCourty could have fit well here.
25. Baltimore Ravens (Traded to the Denver Broncos) Best Pick for the Ravens: Dez Bryant (WR, Oklahoma State). Imagine if they had both Bryant and Anquan Boldin on the team? Quarterback Joe Flacco would have the kind of offense he needs to help push the Ravens closer to the Super Bowl.
26. Arizona Cardinals, Dan Williams (DT, Tennessee) Best Pick: Williams. The Cardinals needed some help on the defensive line and grabbed Williams with this pick. Let’s just hope he lives up to the billing he got going into this draft.
27. Dallas Cowboys (Traded to the New England Patriots) Best Pick for the Cowboys: Demaryius Thomas (WR, Georgia Tech). I still don’t think Thomas should have gone in the first round, but with the Cowboys aiming at getting a wide receiver, this would have been the best choice for them.
28. San Diego Chargers (Traded to the Miami Dolphins) Best Pick for the Chargers: Jahvid Best (RB, California). The Chargers may have gotten the better of the two, but had they stayed here and Matthews had gone, Best would have been their next best choice However, there are many concerns about his ability to stay healthy and perhaps he shouldn’t have gone in the first round (to the Lions).
29. New York Jets, Kyle Wilson (CB, Boise State) Best Pick: Devin McCourty (CB, Rutgers). The Jets went into this draft really wanting a cornerback to play opposite Pro Bowler Darrelle Revis so with McCourty here he would have been the best choice.
30. Minnesota Vikings (Traded to the Detroit Lions) Best Pick: Patrick Robinson (CB, Florida State). The Vikings, like the Jets, went into this draft knowing they needed a cornerback who could start right away. Robinson would have been there and could start in 2010.
31. Indianapolis Colts, Jerry Hughes (DE, TCU) Best Pick: Hughes. The Colts needed to tune up their defense and add a good linebacker to help them contain on the run and rush the passer. Hughes is just their kind of guy and should do well in Indy.
32. New Orleans Saints, Patrick Robinson (CB, Florida State) Best Pick: Rob Gronkowski (TE, Arizona). The Saints could have gone a few different ways with this pick, but with Jeremy Shockey aging and injured on a consistent basis, they could have really used the help at tight end. It would have helped make their offense even better.
While this is all just speculation, there are some who feel each team could have done things a little bit different in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft. But it’s all hindsight now. This was a tough round to predict thanks to all of the trades that took place, but it was a lot of fun, and there are many guys who got picked and will have excellent careers in the NFL.