Tonight begins the all-important 2010 NFL Draft. Fellow blogger Below the Crossbar and I have teamed up to produce a mock of the 1st round for your interest and amusement. Below the Crossbar (BTC) took the odd-numbered picks and I (OCB) took the even-numbered picks. Without further ado:
1) St. Louis Rams – Sam Bradford – QB (Oklahoma)BTC: Sam Bradford is arguably the best QB in the draft. Considering the Rams previous season and their need for a franchise player at QB, this pick seems to be screaming out to them. Even if Ndamakong Suh is the best player available overall, the Rams will stick with the position they feel they need to fill, shoulder injuries be damned.
OCB: There’s no way that the Rams are going to get fair value for this pick in trade (much as they’d love to given the incredible amount of need they have) and Bradford will sell tickets and jerseys. Maybe not the best pick in terms of a pure football decision, but probably the best in terms of business.
2) Detroit Lions – Ndamukong Suh – DT (Nebraska)OCB: If Matt Millen still roamed the Lions’ front office we all know that Dez Bryant would be the pick here. The Lions aren’t likely to get good value in a trade down so it makes good sense to take Suh. The Lions look to be trying to build their defensive line this offseason (signing of Vanden Bosch and trade for Corey Williams). They continue that process with this pick. This team is really hurting on defense, their only building blocks are Louis Delmas and Cliff Avril now that Sims has packed his bags for Philly. There’s a good argument to be made that Gerald McCoy is a better player or that the Lions should draft Russell Okung (covered here by walterfootball.com), but I don’t see how the Lions can not draft Suh given his physical prowess, even given his inconsistency and health issues.
BTC: Obviously with how much franchise QB Matt Stafford got knocked around last year the Lions would be smart to take Russell Okung to protect that left-side. However, this pick simply comes down to value, and there is no way that the Lions draft Okung ahead of Suh or McCoy, barring an unforeseen trade down. McCoy is a better pass-rusher, but Suh is a dominant player that has been so good in all aspects. His knee is the only concern, but he has the game, and certainly the intangibles. He has already pledged $2.6 Million to Nebraska, including money for a scholarship at the school of Engineering. This guy is the real deal on and off the field. The Lions have to take Suh, they will lose even more fans if they fail to take the popular pick.
3) Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Gerald McCoy – DT (Oklahoma)
BTC: The Bucs would love to be able to take Suh with this pick, but it is unlikely he’ll be still on the board. They will take the next best player available in McCoy. What a consolation prize that is. McCoy is considered by many sources the 1st or 2nd best player available in the draft and he is a can’t miss for Tampa at this pick.
OCB: Suh probably has more upside than McCoy, McCoy is probably more consistent – but that is splitting some pretty fine hairs. Both are excellent athletes and have shown the capacity to dominate at the next level.
4) Washington Redskins – Trent Williams – OT (Oklahoma)OCB: You think Oklahoma would’ve won the national championship if Bradford had stayed healthy? There’s a decent chance that 3 of the top 4 picks in the draft will be from that team. The Redskins would love to trade this pick to recoup a 2nd round pick after losing theirs in the McNabb deal. I don’t see anyone being willing to part with a 2nd rounder to move up to here, leaving them to choose between Okung and Williams. I think Williams is a better fit for this team and, given the McNabb trade, Washington needs to do what it can to win immediately – they don’t have time to wait for Okung to learn the offense.
BTC: Certainly Williams would be an acceptable pick here. I think Washington will be shopping this pick around a lot, unfortunately, as usual with top 5 picks, it will be virtually unmovable for value. They would love to trade down a few spots and still be able to get Williams around picks 7-9. Perhaps they can find someone looking to jump all the way up and grab Okung or Berry here. However, if they have to pick it will be either Williams or Okung. Okung is the highest rated OT, but Williams fits better as OCB mentioned. I could see either being the pick here.
TRADE: KC Chiefs send #5 overall pick and the #144 overall to Jacksonville Jaguars for #10 overall pick, the #74 overall pick, and the Jaguars 2011 third round pick.
5) Jacksonville Jaguars – Eric Berry – S (Tennessee)BTC: Berry is too good of an athlete for the Jaguars to pass up, and KC is looking to move down and fill more needs later in the draft. Berry is a can’t miss prospect at safety and he has rightfully been compared to Ed Reed. It is up to him to prove the comparisons right, but Jacksonville has a serious need at safety and they can afford to fill their other needs later on in the draft.
OCB: As BTC noted, many prognosticators believe that Eric Berry is the second coming of Ed Reed – he’s definitely a top quality athlete with great potential. This would be a very gutsy move by Jacksonville because they only come into this draft with 6 picks and moving up here means they’re finished until the 4th round (barring another trade). All that being said, this is a pretty solid team in a tough division and if Berry is as good as advertised he could be key cog on defense to put them over the top, especially if Britton and Monroe (their OT draft choices last year) continue to develop.