All this Mock Draft talk has gotten me excited, I get into the draft almost as much as i do the regular season. Anyway, i really havent done much research to look into this. Its really just a compilation of what other Mocks i've seen and my own thoughts on what team needs are. Lets get right to it:
(draft order based on League Standings from NFL.com)
1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Ndamukong Suh DT, Nebraska
No brainer here. The Bucs are pretty terrible on defense and Suh is the best player in the draft.
2. St. Louis Rams: Jimmy Clausen QB, Notre Dame
St. Louis cant go another season relying on Marc Bulger or Kyle Boller or whoever else they have throwing the rock. They need a Franchise QB to turn the corner for this team. Steve Spagnuolo is gunna want "his guy".They've spent the past few years trying to put pieces around a QB for him to be successful, but its high time they bring in a new face to lead this team. Clausen is widely considered the best QB in this draft (although Sam Bradford might retake that spot as the combine goes on). Clausen plays in a pro-style offense and has learned from Charlie Weiss, the man who some credit for getting Tom Brady off in the right direction.
3. Detroit Lions: Gerald McCoy DT, Oklahoma
Detroit has already put together a lot of skill players on offense. Stafford has Megatron and Pettigrew to throw to and Kevin Smith is an underrated RB. Still, this is a very green offense that i think they'll let those players develop on their own. Meanwhile, they're going to start putting pieces in place on the defensive side of the ball. And as we all know, it all starts in the trenches. Detroit takes the best D-lineman available here.
4. Cleveland Browns: Eric Berry S, Tennessee
Brady Quinn and Eric Mangini may have very well saved their jobs in Cleveland with the win over Pittsburgh last week. I think the Browns stick with Quinn and take maybe the best Safety since Sean Taylor in Berry. Berry is just a plain beast.
5. Kansas City Chiefs: Russell Okung OT, Oklahoma State
The Chiefs need to protect Matt Cassell. Scott Pioli came in from New England and brough Matt Cassell with him, and he knows how important it is to protect the franchise QB. Okung is a mauler and an instant start at LT. With a couple skill players already in place on offense, Cassell just needs time to throw. Okung gives him that.
6. Washington Redskins: Sam Bradford QB, Oklahoma
If the Redskins were smart, they'd take Bruce Campbell OT from Maryland. Despite Jason Campbell's shortcomings, he has shown some potential and the Skins' offensive line is just terrible. However, being from the Washington area myself, I've seen first hand just how unintelligent Dan Snyder is. He'll undoubtedly bring in a new coach and that coach will want his own QB, not Campbell. Bradford would have probably been the number 1 QB this year if he hadn't gotten injured; but he should be fine once the combine comes around.
7. Oakland Raiders: Ryan Mallet QB, Arkansas
With an uncapped year coming up, the Raiders will be able to release Jamarcus Russell and put that debacle behind them. Al Davis should go defense here and pick someone like James Hardy or Taylor Mays; but lets face it: this is Al Davis we're talking about. Unfortunately, Ryan Mallet, a rough but potentially great QB, gets doomed to Oakland.
8. Seattle Seahawks: Bruce Campbell OT, Maryland
The Seahawks would love to land Mallet here, but with the Raiders taking him just before the Seahawks are forced to bring in an elite tackle and rely on Matt Hasselbeck for another year. Unfortunately, the Seahawks just aren't terrible enough to get a top tier QB. Don't be surprised if they trade up to nab Mallet or even Sam Bradford though. Campbell is a great tackle and has a great build. He'll make a very shaky Oline into a halfway decent one.
9. Denver Broncos (from Chicago): Taylor Mays S,USC
My first instinct was for the Broncos to take Joe Hayden CB from Florida, thinking that they want an heir for Champ Bailey. But, the Broncos used two 2nd round picks on CBs last year, and will likely want to give those players time to develop. Meanwhile, they get to take the unbridled and rough Taylor Mays and make him the heir to Brian Dawkins. Learning from the level-headed Dawkins will greatly benefit Mays, who's playing style is at times overly-aggressive. For the time being, a secondary with Dawkins, Bailey, and now Mays will be extremely dangerous.
10. San Fransisco 49ers (from Carolina): Joe Hayden CB, Florida
San Fransisco's secondary is pretty atrocious, and taking the best CB prospect in this draft will instantly give it a bit of credibility. Hayden is a bit undersized, but he's a straight football player. He's a ballhawk and really seems to understand the game.
11. Buffalo Bills: Brian Bulaga OT, Iowa
The Bills traded Jason Peters to the Eagles last year, God knows why... Their line is terrible and it shows. Their running game is terrible and they cant protect either of their 2 QBs. Bulaga is a beast and can bring some credibility to the run game while learning how to protect the QB. I expect the Bills to give Trent Edwards another year to work with, then take a QB in the 2011 draft.
12. Tennessee Titans: Carlos Dunlap DE, Florida
The Titans really need help in the secondary, but there aren't any corners worth this pick. With Chris Johnson and Vince Young reviving the offense, the Titans can focus on their defensive line which hasn't been the same since Albert Haynesworth left. Plus, Kyle Vanden Bosch will be in the last year of his contract and the Titans may not be able to keep him. Its also no secret that Jeff Fischer believes in winning the line of scrimmage battle, and he loves rotating defensive linemen. Look for them to take the somewhat rough Dunlap and coach him into a star.
13. San Fransisco 49ers: Earl Thomas S, Texas
Yes, the 49ers secondary is that bad. While they could definitely use an offensive tackle to create running lanes for Frank Gore, the Elite tackles are gone at this point. While the 9ers did manage to sweep the Cardinals this season, they cant expect to contain Fitzgerald and Boldin every game. They'll team Thomas with Hayden and instantly go from one of the worst secondaries to at least an above average one, if not a downright good one.
14. Pittsburgh Steelers: Dan Williams NT, Tennessee
I have expressed interest in Taylor Mays with this pick on other posts, I unfortunately have him going too early for the Steelers to take him. I'd love to see Mays learn from Troy and bring some credibility back to our secondary. Mays is known for hitting like a ton of bricks and could make our secondary scary again. He has some issues in coverage but I believe Tomlin and Lebeau could coach him into a great FS. I wouldn't be surprised if we trade up to grab Mays or one of the other top Safety prospects. But really, this pick depends solely on what we do with our free agents this offseason. Ryan Clark and Casey Hampton are both in the last years of their contract, and I dont see a way we could keep both. I think Hampton will be a bit too expensive and be drawn by a fat contract from another team. While Ryan Clark has been pretty terrible lately, he was pretty good with Troy backing him up. So i think the Steelers will hope to revive that tandem by resigning him. Meanwhile we have a gaping hole at NT. Although I haven't fully looked at Williams or Cody to see which I think is the better option: most reports I've read say that Williams is flying up draft boards and seeing that this early in the draft process usually means good things. I considered Ras-I Dowling with this pick, but as I've said on other posts I dont see the Steelers taking a CB with such a high pick since we have a 3rd and a 5th round picks from last year in Lewis and Burnett on the roster. I would also love to see us take a guard to replace Trai Essex on the right side, but a guard this high is unlikely, and we could probably wait till the 2nd or 3rd round.
15. Houston Texans: Ras-I Dowling CB, Virginia
The Texans need to upgrade their secondary if they ever hope to stop Peyton Manning. Outside of Dunta Robinson they dont have anyone in the secondary. Dowling could line up opposite Robinson or convert to FS if need be. The Texans have already proven they can put up points with Manning, now the only thing left to do is try to slow him down enough to actually win the game.
16. Atlanta Falcons: Derrick Morgan DE, Georgia Tech
The Falcons need to upgrade their front seven. A good pass rusher to line up on the other side of Jonathan Abraham with Peria Jerry back from injury at DT next year could turn this defensive line into a dominant one.
17. New York Jets: Rolando McClain ILB, Alabama
To borrow a phrase from another blogger, landing McClain here would be "a wet dream come true" for Rex Ryan. Look for Ryan to try and turn McClain into the next Ray Lewis and team him up with Bart Scott to try and recreate the magic he had in Baltimore. McClain is a great run-stopper already and would greatly improve this front seven.
18. New York Giants: CJ Spiller RB, Clemson
By all accounts Spiller could be the next Chris Johnson with his electric play. He's a threat to score every time he gets the ball and is insanely fast. The Giants cant rely on Brandon Jacobs as a full time RB and could use Spiller to bring the Derrick Ward factor back to their offense. Oh, and Ahmad Bradshaw is in the last year of his contract next season, so he's likely going to be gone.
19. Miami Dolphins: Dez Bryant WR, Oklahoma State
Bryant was suspended for the year by the NCAA because he reportedly had contact with an agent and lied about it. But that shouldn't affect his draft status too much. Everyone knows he was the top receiver prospect going into this season and with a strong combine he should solidify that status. If there's one thing we learned from the Dolphins this year, its that Ted Ginn cannot play receiver. Sure he can return 2 kickoffs for touchdowns in one game to single-handedly beat the Jets; but can he catch a ball or run a route? No. The Dolphins will want a receiver to go with their new QB of the future Chad Henne, and Bryant will also keep defenses honest when trying to defend the Wildcat.
20. Jacksonville Jaguars: Tim Tebow QB, Florida
No brainer here. Everyone and their brother wants to see Tebow in a Jaguar uniform. Which is exactly why the Jags will take him. Everyone and their brother will now buy tickets to Jaguar games if only to see Tim Tebow. He's an icon down in Florida and people will pay to see him, thus saving the franchise. Oh and it doesn't hurt that David Garrard is an average QB at best too...
21. Baltimore Ravens: Damien Williams WR, USC
This will finally be the year the Ravens take a receiver. Flacco has no one to throw to besides Derrick Mason and he might retire after this season. The Ravens need another threat on the outside so defenses don't stack the box to try to stop Ray Rice. Teaming Williams with Flacco could make this offense good.
22. New England Patriots: Patrick Robinson CB, Florida State
New England has a horrible secondary, and need to upgrade their cornerback position. However, I make this pick with every assurance they will try to trade down or up. Robinson isn't worth a pick this high and they may try to trade down and grab him in the early second round, much like they did with Patrick Chung last year. Or, they could try to trade up and get someone like Ras-I Dowling at CB.
23. Seattle Seahawks (from Denver): Jahvid Best RB, California
The Seattle running game hasn't been the same since they got rid of Shaun Alexander, and they'll look to revive it with Best. Getting Campbell earlier in the first round and Best here makes Seattle a good running team from day 1. Again, they could look at one of the second tier QBs with this pick, but I think they wait another year and try to grab a top tier QB in the 2011 draft.
The Cowboys need to bring some youth to their line. Its gotten really banged up this year and it wont survive another 16 games with the same group (look at what happened to the Redskins if you dont believe me). Flozell Adams is extremely old and playing like it, so the Cowboys will want to bring in someone to replace him. Although, they could try to trade up and grab a CB to help their secondary out.
25. Arizona Cardinals: Charles Brown OT, USC
The Cardinals need Oline help almost as much as the Cowboys at this point, and need to upgrade their LT position. Brown is the best Olineman available and he can protect Kurt Warner and create some lanes for Beanie Wells.
26. Philadelphia Eagles: Sean Witherspoon LB, Missouri
The Eagles might consider Trent Williams with this pick, but I think they try to upgrade their linebackers after so many of them went down with injuries this season. Witherspoon will make a good defense great.
27. Green Bay Packers: Trent Williams OT, Oklahoma
Rodgers cant get sacked every other play, so the Packers will look to bring in some protection with Williams. He's the best OT available and can rotate with Lofton and Tauscher until he's ready to take on the full time job.
28. Cincinatti Bengals: Brandon LaFell WR, LSU
Cincinatti's biggest problem is that it can't throw deep. Laveranues Coles isn't enough of a threat to take the double team off Ochocinco, and the Bengals' biggest deep threat was just killed in a tragic accident (RIP Chris Henry). LaFell will hopefully develop into a good enough receiver to keep defenses off of Ochocinco and out of the box for Cedric Benson. Until then, he can sit behind an already deep group of Cinci receivers.
29. San Diego Chargers: Terrance Cody NT, Alabama
Jamal Williams will be coming off a season-ending injury and entering the last year of his contract. He's also going to be 35 come next September. The Chargers will consider taking a RB like Toby Gerhart to replace LT, but Williams will force their hand. They need to take the best NT prospect available. Cody is the pick.
30 Minnesota Vikings: Ricky Sapp DT, Clemson
The Williams Wall is getting old. The Vikings have very few holes on their team, and can afford to take Sapp and sit him behind the Williamses until he is ready to play (or until Pat Williams retires). Sapp is the best DT available and would benefit greatly from learning from both superstars. However, if the Patriots do in fact trade up or down and Robinson is available, they might consider taking him to play opposite and eventually replace the aging Antoine Winfield.
The Colts cant afford to ignore their defense for much longer. The secondary is injury prone and the front seven has let RBs run all over them for as long as I can remember. I thought they would address this in last year's draft, but again Manning pulled some strings and got another weapon for his offense. Anyway, Lewis is a good OLB who might be able to start in Indi's mediocre defense. The Colts could go for the best DB available, but I don't know of any worth this pick.
32. New Orleans Saints: Sergio Kindle OLB, Texas
Wow, the Saints are good. If they can keep that offense in tact next year and improve their defense they could go 16-0 and in the Superbowl again next year (yes that was a subtle prediction that they're about to go 19-0 this year). The Saints get a very versatile player in Kindle and can line him up wherever Greg Williams sees fit. He'll ad a bit of explosiveness to an already electric team.
There you have it, guys! Let me know what you think!