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.
6) Seattle Seahawks – Russell Okung OT (Oklahoma State)OCB: The easiest decision of Pete Carroll’s life. Seattle needs to rebuild the line to protect Hasselbeck (and/or Whitehurst) and Okung should be ready to be a competent starter from Week One on. Here’s Jay Leno on Pete Carroll (and other NFL topics).
BTC: Nothing more needs to be said. Okung is the pick here if he is still on the board. He’s generally regarded as the #1 OT in the draft, to get him with the 6th pick is a steal for Seattle.
7) Cleveland Browns – Dez Bryant – WR (Oklahoma State)BTC: Arguable Cleveland should take Jimmy Clausen here if he is as good as advertised. However, it seems to be the common belief that because of the west-coast offense Cleveland will be running, they don’t need a thrower with a strong arm. It seems like they’ll make a splash, maybe reaching a bit for Bryant here because they can’t trade down with Berry off the board. Bryant works for them as a top-notch receiver and if they believe they can still get Colt McCoy later in the 2nd round, then they will have been able to fill 2 positions of need well.
OCB: I like this pick, it is a very aggressive move. Cleveland has a ton of need but they also have 10 picks and the ability to move around to make sure that they get McCoy (if that’s who they want). Having a player who can stretch the field will make life easier for the running backs, offensive line, and quarterback. Some questions about Bryant’s past, but that’s for Holmgren to deal with – not us.
8 ) Oakland Raiders – Bruce Campbell OT (Maryland)OCB: Al Davis loves workout numbers and Campbell is the epitome of that. The Raiders are really setup to fail here: they gave up their 2011 first rounder for an aging defensive lineman and they’re nowhere close to contention. They could go quarterback here, but they’re still paying JaMarcus Russell. They have enough needs that it makes sense to draft the best player available regardless of position but I think they’ll go with Campbell here.
BTC: This pick does seem to make all the sense in the world. Al Davis is an absolute glutton for workout stats. Campbell gives him the stats at the position Oakland needs to fill most. Will they pick up Jimmy Clausen? They could, but it seems like protecting whoever the QB will be is the better option in the long run.
9) Buffalo Bills – Bryan Bulaga – OT (Iowa)BTC: Oh how the Bills should take Jimmy Clausen…or should they? If the Bills front-office is as high on Clausen as many other draft experts, then that would be the pick here. However, word has it they don’t see Jimmy as a top-10 QB talent. Also, they have a huge need in providing protection to whoever their QB of choice is, so it makes sense to go with Bulaga here, who is likely the best OT left on the board at this point.
OCB: Bulaga may be overrated because of his having played in Kirk Ferentz offense (similar to how Robert Gallery wasn’t actually good enough to play Left Tackle in the NFL and how secondary players in Nick Saban systems are often overvalued). Still, if they aren’t going to pick Clausen, then Bulaga will likely be the guy – great physical ability and consistency. Whether he has the quickness in pass blocking will be critical to his success.
TRADE: KC Chiefs send #10 overall pick to Tennessee for the #16 overall pick and the #77 overall pick.
10) Tennessee Titans – Dan Williams – DT (Tennessee)OCB: Williams was a four-year starter at Tennessee and will be called upon to wreak the sort of havoc that a man called Haynesworth once imposed upon opposing offenses.Meanwhile, Scott Pioli continues to collect picks and might be able to use some of these extras to move into the second and late first round or to pick up picks for next year.
BTC: It appears that Scott Pioli is planning to have a treasure-trove of lower round picks. Interesting. That gives him three 3rd rounders now I believe. Somehow I think KC will be in the trade market again thursday night or friday. As for the pick. I agree Williams is a good player to fit a need for the Titans. He had consistent production in four years and should fit right into the Titans scheme.
11) Denver Broncos – Maurkice Pouncey – C/G (Florida)BTC: McDaniels has been blowing a lot of smoke about Rolando McClain and Dez Bryant recently. He has openly suggested he would love to have either of them. However, with Bryant already off the board, sitting at 11, the Broncos will likely make a move for a player that will solidify their team, even if it is unpopular with the fans. They would love to have Bryant, but Pouncey gives them a significant player at a position of need. A bit outside-the-box, but then again, Josh McDaniels is a just a bit outside-the-box.
OCB: This makes a lot of sense for Denver. Without Brandon Marshall drawing double-coverage, Denver will need to improve their offensive line to make up for defenses added ability to blitz. Pouncey has great athleticism for a player at this position and has the size to become a top-quality lineman.
12) Miami Dolphins – Derrick Morgan – DE (Georgia Tech)OCB: Miami has done a great deal to upgrade their offense recently. Following the additions of Jake Long and Chad Henne, they now have a legitimate top wide receiver in Brandon Marshall. Now they need to improve their defense. Adding Morgan will alleviate some of the pressure on their secondary in addition to helping the run defense. This team needs to focus on developing a defensive line that can be competitive with the Jet and Patriot offensive lines and adding Morgan is a step in that direction.
BTC: Interesting pick here taking Morgan. One has to think Jason Pierre-Paul will be off the board here soon, however it is not much of a reach to see Morgan go here to the Dolphins. I agree defense is what they need to address most. Either Pierre-Paul or Morgan will likely be the pick as they will be in a spot to take a top-flight DE no matter who they choose.
13) San Francisco 49’ers – Joe Haden – CB (Florida)BTC: With the first of their two first round picks SF looks to address one of their two biggest needs. Likely they will want to get a CB and an OT with their top two picks. With so many tackles going in the top 10, Haden is the best position/value pick for SF here. He is an athletic specimen. He will need some more coaching to develop better habits off the snap, but he could easily be a top-tier shutdown corner in the league. Haden did not have a great combine, but he has shown consistency and playmaking ability throughout his career. SF cannot be scared to make this pick here knowing they pick again at 17.
OCB: San Francisco’s biggest hole is in their offensive line, but Haden makes a lot of sense here. San Francisco has a great linebacker in Patrick Willis and Haden will add to what is developing into one of the top defenses in the NFL. Haden may have had a hamstring injury at the combine which now costs him in his rookie contract. With their next pick, San Francisco should look to either take an offensive lineman or drop into the second round and pick up a 2011 1st rounder.
14) Seattle Seahawks – C. J. Spiller – RB (Clemson)
OCB: There’s an argument to be made about whether Spiller or Best is the superior player, my hunch is that Carroll will favor Spiller because of his athleticism. Justin Forsett and Spiller will provide a good 1-2 punch, assuming that the Seahawks are not going to use Julius Jones in a significant role going forward.
BTC: I can see this pick. I agree that Spiller will be off the board before Best. Perhaps they would consider Pierre-Paul as well since they have a hole at DE, but it appears that Jason Pierre-Paul will be slipping down into the later parts of round 1. Decent pick here for Seattle.
15) New York Giants – Rolando McClain – LB (Alabama)BTC: The Giants will go with the “safe” pick here. They need to slot someone into their open MLB spot. McClain does not fit great into a 4-3 system that the Giants are running, but I think that the Giants will believe he can be adapted and work well in the end. Perhaps they could take OT Anthony Davis, but that might be a bit of a reach at #15 here.
OCB: This pick makes a lot of sense, there aren’t a whole lot of great options to improve the Giants offense as much as McClain improves their defense. This pick could draw some boos at Radio City Music Hall, but it makes sense.
16) Kansas City Chiefs – Mike Iupati – G (Idaho)
OCB: Armed with this pick in addition to two 2nd rounders and three 3rd rounders (two from trades made in this mock) Pioli now has the arsenal of picks to effect significant change in his offensive line, receiving corps, and secondary. Iupati has the size and athleticism to be successful and many scouts see him as having the technique as well. With so many picks, the Chiefs have a higher margin of error, particularly now that they don’t have to pay top dollar to the guys that they’ll be taking.
BTC: This pick makes decent sense for KC. It’s about time for them to call a name in this draft! It’s true though that Iupati will fit into their plans for O-line quite well and Pioli has to be happy that he can make more picks for better positional value the way he has set himself up with the quantity of picks in the 2nd and 3rd rounds.
17) San Francisco 49’ers – Anthony Davis – OT (Rutgers)BTC: They addressed their need at CB with Haden at #13, so now they absolutely must address O-line concerns. Anthony Davis makes the most sense here because of his prior performance for Rutgers and ability to fill into the gaping hole at RT the 49’ers have. He had combine issues, but Singletary likes to be an active coach. We’ll see if he is up to the challenge of working with Davis to make him a key cog in their O-line puzzle.
OCB: This is the biggest need for the Gold-mine crew, I wouldn’t be surprised if they picked up another offensive lineman between rounds 2 and 4. They also need a backup running back and could use a safety, but with Haden and Davis they’ve addressed their two biggest needs in a pretty significant way. In case there’s any question that San Francisco needs to fix their offensive line this video should put those questions to rest.
18) Pittsburgh Steelers – Arrelious Benn – WR (Illinois)OCB: Pittsburgh needs a wide receiver. Hines Ward isn’t getting any younger, Santonio Holmes is out, and Ben Roethlisberger will be starting the season with a brief vacation care of Roger Goodell. Benn is a guy who can stretch the field and is the sort of player that the Steelers have targeted in previous wideouts. There’s a decent chance that the Patriots could move up here to take Brandon Graham, but I don’t see them doing that.
BTC: Interesting pick here for the Steelers. I agree that we are getting into Brandon Graham territory and it would be interesting to see if anyone tries to jump Atlanta at 19 to take Graham here. However, if the Steelers have to make a pick, I think that Benn is as good a choice as any since they need to address the aging receiving group.
19) Atlanta Falcons – Brandon Graham – DE (Michigan)BTC: Brandon Graham makes sense here since Atlanta clearly has a need for a defensive end who can consistently disrupt the backfield. All signs point to the Falcons not being concerned with Graham’s seeming lack of size (6’1″) He was a playmaker for multiple years at Michigan, even in the midst of some of the worst defenses the Wolverines have fielded in half a century. He will make an impact at the next level.
OCB: Graham could end up being the best player in this draft. His athleticism is incredible. Barring injury, he’ll be starting for Atlanta for the next 10 years.
20) Houston Texans – Earl Thomas – S (Texas)OCB: Houston has spent the past several drafts upgrading their defense and has drafted several top players (Williams, Okoye, Ryans, Cushing) but they need to continue to find players who can stop the Colt offense. Additionally, none of the offensive players available at this point make a ton of sense for Houston, so, unless they trade down, the pick will be Thomas.
BTC: This pick does make sense. Few of the players of value on the offensive side of the ball make sense for the Texans as 20. Thomas seems like a reasonable choice to continue to try and contain Peyton Manning.
21) Cincinnati Bengals – Jermaine Gresham – TE (Oklahoma)BTC: Yes the Bengals have a lot of options for Carson Palmer already. Yes the Bengals should probably look at drafting for defense. However, with the removal of Thomas and Graham at the last two spots, picking up a potentially dynamic TE in Gresham would be big for the Bengals. Gresham would help give the team a better depth on offense and could open up a lot more options in the passing game and even help in the run game depending on how Cinncy uses their blocking schemes.
OCB: Last year the Bengals offense struggled to generate big plays because teams were able to double-cover Chad Ochocinco too easily. Adding Gresham will help stretch defenses and there aren’t any wideouts who make sense at this point in the draft for the Bengals. Their defense was very good last year, this pick will clearly be a running back, wide receiver, or tight end and getting a big guy who can catch the ball makes sense for the Bengals going forward (if they can’t get Dez Bryant or a player of that skill-set).
TRADE: Cleveland trades #38 overall pick, #160 overall pick, and 2011 1st round pick to New England for #22 overall pick and the #190 overall pick.
22) Cleveland Browns – Jimmy Clausen – QB (Notre Dame)
OCB: Clausen may not have the upside of Bradford, but there’s reason to believe that he’s the most pro-ready quarterback given his experience in the Charlie Weis offense. Colt McCoy has potential and more college experience but doesn’t yet have the skills of Clausen. Holmgren grabs a franchise quarterback who can spend a year behind Delhomme learning the offense.
BTC: Perhaps the surprise of the draft. At some point the Jimmy Clausen saga had to end. It only seems appropriate that the Browns would trade up and grab him in such a similar spot as to where they drafted his predecessor at Notre Dame, Brady Quinn. This pick is a surprise for the Browns as most think they could go with Colt McCoy, but it makes sense and Clausen seems to be the more polished passer. Will this ND product be the answer that Brady Quinn wasn’t? It’s a gamble, but he at least has the tools to do it.
23) Green Bay Packers – Charles Brown – OT (USC)BTC: This is a great pick for Green Bay. They need to protect Aaron Rodgers better, and rumor has it they are higher on Charles Brown than many other teams are. Rodgers is an excellent option to help bolster the O-line and Green Bay is relatively safe waiting for him to still be there at #23.
OCB: Some scouts see Brown as one of the top 2 or 3 offensive linemen in the draft. He has great athleticism and Green Bay is desperate to improve their protection.
24) Philadelphia Eagles – Jahvid Best – RB (California)
OCB: With LeSean McCoy from last year’s draft and now Best, Philly puts themselves in great position to give Kolb the playmakers to succeed. The receiving corps is excellent and the addition of Best gives them the ability to limit the injury potential for either running back while still being top quality players in favorable contracts.
BTC: Great value pick for the Eagles. Best is projected as the 2nd best RB by most and some would even rank him ahead of C.J. Spiller. Philly adds nicely to their running attack with this addition which will be key to helping set up the passing game that is being entrusted to Kevin Kolb now that McNabb has been moved on to Washington. The Eagles hit a home-run with this pick.
25) Baltimore Ravens – Kyle Wilson – CB (Boise State)BTC:Baltimore could help in the secondary, and with the rest of the team being well established, it makes sense to add Wilson who was a very productive corner during his days playing on that blue turf for Boise. Wilson brings the tools and skills with him that can be developed into a solid corner at an NFL level.
OCB: Baltimore would probably like to move down and pick up some draft picks after sending their 3rd and 4th round picks to Arizona for Boldin, but Wilson makes a lot of sense here if they can’t make a move.
26) Arizona Cardinals – Jerry Hughes – OLB (Texas Christian)
OCB: They need to upgrade a defense that allowed 45 points in each of their playoff games this past year. The team’s biggest loss is obviously QB Kurt Warner, but they’ve spent the last few years building the offense and have Fitzgerald, Breaston, and Doucet at WR and Hightower and Wells at RB, so they don’t really need to add anyone here unless they think that these guys aren’t good enough. Hughes will be an impact player and will see significant snaps from Day One.
BTC: Hughes is the a good pick for AZ here. They need to add someone to their outside linebacking group. Hughes is a good fit for this defense and can be counted on to see a good amount of action immediately.
27) Dallas Cowboys – Taylor Mays – S (USC)BTC: Possibly the hardest hitter in this draft class, Mays is an enigma. He can downright fly and level people, but his instincts and angles have been continually questioned. With proper coaching, if he learns to take appropriate angles and use his force to level opposing players at the right time, Mays could be a force in the league. He could also wash out and be gone within 3 years. Huge risk but possibly huge reward with this pick.
OCB: Projections for Mays are all over the place – some see him as a top 10 pick, some don’t see him as worthy of a 1st round pick. Dallas is hoping that they get a guy who will remind people of the Roy Williams who played defense for them a few years ago and not a guy who reminds people of the Roy Williams who plays offense for them right now.
28) San Diego Chargers – Jason Pierre-Paul – DE (South Florida)OCB: San Diego needs to improve their defensive line and, even given the questions surrounding him, Pierre-Paul is an obvious pick. He’ll have a chance to see significant playing time immediately.
BTC: Boy the Chargers luck out here. The ultimate slip in this draft. Pierre-Paul is a sure pick to anyone who can get him in the 20’s. San Diego likely cannot believe what they were gift-wrapped. One of the easiest decisions of the draft.
29) New York Jets – Everson Griffen – DE (USC)
BTC: Griffen provides a solid DE for the Jets who need to solidify that position. Their D-line will be bolstered by adding a player with productivity throughout his college career that they expect to begin to contribute virtually from day 1.
OCB: Rex Ryan loves hard hitters and he’s hoping that he has another one here in Griffen. He needs to improve the offense – most notably at wide receiver and running back – and I wouldn’t be surprised if they moved down. Still, Griffen should be a decent player and could mature into a top quality edge rusher.
TRADE: Philadelphia trade the #37 overall pick and the #105 overall pick to Minnesota for the #30 overall pick.
30) Philadelphia Eagles – Kareem Jackson – CB (Alabama)OCB: After going offense with the first pick, Philadelphia now uses some of their extra picks to engineer a trade to fix their defense. They need to improve their pass rush but the secondary is probably a higher priority given their aging stars who are forced to keep up with likes of Miles Austin, Steve Smith, and Santana Moss.
BTC: The Eagles jump up to #30 to make sure they get their hands on one of the few elite cornerbacks left at this point in the draft. With Haden and Wilson already taken, the Eagles need to fill this position with a player who can step in and be ready to contribute in the secondary from day 1. They could find their man in Jackson. He obviously has the championship pedigree and knows what it is like to play in big games. Always an added bonus.
31) Indianapolis Colts – Rodger Saffold – OT (Indiana)BTC: This pick seems like a lock for Indy. With all the other tackles off the board it seems that they can still get a positional player to fill a need without sacrificing anything in value of the pick. Saffold would be good for the Colts, and he could have a long and productive career helping to protect Peyton Manning as he beings to start on the downslope of his career.
OCB: I wouldn’t be stunned if the Colts pick someone that no one has ever heard of but they’ll almost certainly be picking an offensive lineman with this pick. Last year’s team struggled in pass protection and, as the saying goes, no one is getting any younger. Polian and co have whiffed on some of their recent offensive line picks in recent years and they need this to work for the team to maintain their efficiency going forward.
32) New Orleans Saints – Devin McCourty – CB (Rutgers)
OCB: At long last, the defending champs get their turn at the crop of new recruits. Only Carolina (first pick – 48) and Chicago (first pick – 75) have to wait longer. New Orleans will almost certainly go defense and almost certainly take a defensive back or linebacker. McCourty has the skills to succeed in a Gregg Williams offense and, given their current weakness, could see the majority of the Saints’ defensive snaps next season.
BTC: Decent pick for the defending champs. As OCB states, this makes sense for their need and McCourty could easily see snaps in the fall. This would be a decent pickup for the Saints to get someone of value at the end of the 1st round.
Final thoughts from OchoCincoBlog: obviously the real draft is going to look a lot different than this – no one can come close to approximating the twists and turns that the draft will take. There are a few things to keep in mind for tonight that could significantly shift things:
– Ben Roethlisberger: there’s a decent chance that Arizona trades their first round pick (among others) to Pittsburgh in exchange for Big Ben. I don’t think that Leinhart is anything more than an NFL backup or an extreme low-end starter and Arizona isn’t in position to develop a quarterback given their current investments. Arizona needs a player who can throw the ball downfield to Larry Fitzgerald and hit Breaston in the slot and Roethlisberger would fit in very well (at least in terms of on-field skill-set) with the Cardinals. Even given his suspension (which will probably be reduced to two games), they would likely win the division with him. Without him, they could easily miss the playoffs.
– Albert Haynesworth: Washington could recoup something by trading Haynesworth and he’s certainly a huge asset (both literally and figuratively).
– Jason Campbell: Washington is very likely to trade him. His value is estimated as being roughly 3rd round, I’d be willing to give up a bit more than that. A number of people feel that he has the tools to succeed in this league and that the problem thus far has not been him but a lack of blockers and top wide receivers. I’m certain that he wants out and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him go to Buffalo, San Francisco, or another team in a similar situation.
Enjoy the drama!