Well, the combine is over and most of the premier free-agents have found new homes. Here comes the worst part of the offseason, waiting until the draft. I wish I had more time to go into some later rounds, but for now its just round 1. Hopefully I can do that a bit later. Anyway this will hopefully pass a couple minutes of your time however, and you can see another perspective on how the draft will pan out. Here you go.
1. St. Louis Rams: Sam Bradford QB, Oklahoma
You can argue with me over this as much as you want. I'm not going to change my mind: the Rams will draft a QB. Everyone knows its a pass-first league and you cant win without a franchise QB. We saw the same argument with the Lions last year, and sure enough they went with the QB. People still argue that games are won in the trenches and Ndamukong is too good to pass on, but that was the Rams' theory the past two years and look where its gotten them. They passed on Matt Ryan and Mark Sanchez and for OL and DL and they're still the worst team in the league. New head coach Steve Spagnuolo will have to bring his own guy in and turn the franchise around. This is almost a toss-up between Bradford and Clausen, but with neither throwing at the combine they'll have to make the decision based off tape and the tape on Bradford is damn good.
2. Detroit Lions: Ndamukong Suh DT, Nebraska
No brainer, would you want to try and block a guy named Ndamukong?
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Gerald McCoy DT, Oklahoma
They luck out that the Rams didn't take one of these DTs. Eric Berry is another option, but McCoy and Suh are by far the best prospects. If the Rams play their cards right, the Bucs might want to trade up to #1 to take Suh, which would really help the Rams.
4. Washington Redskins: Russell Okung OT, Oklahoma St.
The Skins tendered Jason Campbell so they'll keep him for cheap. At the same time LT Chris Samuels retired. I seem to remember a certain highly-touted QB coming in to start for the Texans a few years back even though their line was terrible. How'd that go? Oh yeah, he's gun-shy in the pocket now and is backing up Eli Manning. Learn from the mistakes of others Washington! Improve your line, THEN go get your QB. They should even still be able to nab Colt McCoy or Dan LeFevour in the second round if they still want a QB. Anyway, Okung is pretty much always considered the best LT prospect, so this is pretty easy for the Skins.
5. Chiefs: Brian Bulaga OT, Iowa
While Okung is the best Olineman in this class, its a bit muddled who's the second best. Williams, Bulaga, and Davis are all pretty strong. I like Bulaga a bit better than the rest and should be able to fortify Cassel's blindside for years to come. His arms are a bit short, but he's very good mechanically and should be great. The Chiefs need to give Cassell time in the pocket to get the ball downfield, so a LT is a must here. They can't really go wrong between Williams Bulaga and Davis though.
6. Seattle Seahawks: Eric Berry S, Tennessee
Seattle needs help pretty much everywhere, and could easily pick an OT like Williams or Davis to help solidify their line, but that can wait until their second pick. They could look at Jimmy Clausen as an heir to Matt Hasselbeck, but they have other needs and could benefit from taking a Dan Lefevour or Colt McCoy in a later round. Berry is just too good to pass up here. He's considered a top 3 talent and the Hawks are lucky to get him even at 6. New coach Pete Carroll will love this guy.
7. Cleveland Browns: Joe Haden CB, Florida
The Browns need secondary help especially with the AFC North starting to go vertical. Holmes, Ochocinco and now Anquan Boldin are top tier WRs and the Browns need someone to keep up with them. Despite Haden's disappointing 40 time at the combine, teams will see that he still plays well against fast receivers. Haden wont slip far.
8. Oakland Raiders: Bruce Campbell OT, Maryland
Al Davis loves combine studs, and that is exactly what Campbell is. He isn't as technically sound as Anthony Davis or Trent Williams, but he blew up the combine and that will make Davis salivate. With a 4.85 40 yard dash time Campbell is a physical monster and with Head Coach Tom Cable being an OL guy, they'll hope to harness that physicality into a great LT. Here's to hoping...
9. Buffalo Bills: Jimmy Clausen QB, Notre Dame
Trent Edwards was a bust, and the Bills are in serious trouble pretty much everywhere. But finding a franchise QB is a must. Even though their OL is probably worse than the Redskins', they need a QB since they dont have anyone like Jason Campbell who can at least keep the team competitive for cheap money. Plus, on the money note, a QB at #9 is tons cheaper than a QB at #4 (not that Dan Snyder cares).
10. Jacksonville Jaguars: Jason Pierre-Paul DE, South Florida
The Jags are the favorites to nab Tim Tebow, but this is way too high for him. Hopefully no one is stupid enough to take him before the mid-second round (even though he should be a 3rd rounder). Having said that, the Jags dont have a second round pick and could try to trade down to get one for Tebow. Still, the Jags need pass rushers and Pierre-Paul is the best in this class. He might be able to make the transition to 3-4 OLB, but he's much better suited for a 4-3 like the Jags run. The Jags might also look at Rolando McClain because they spent two 1st round picks on DEs recently, but those picks didn't pan out and they still need someone to pressure Peyton Manning and Matt Schaub.
11. Denver Broncos (from Chicago): Rolando McClain ILB, Alabama
The Broncos will take the BPA on the defensive side of the ball, unless of course Brandon Marshall gets picked up. In which case they might look at Dez Bryant. McClain is a phenomenal ILB and is well suited for the 3-4. He's being compared to Patrick Willis and could fortify what was already a good (albeit inconsistent) defense last year.
12. Miami Dolphins: Dez Bryant WR, Oklahoma St.
Bill Parcels rarely goes for a 1st round WR; but with Ted Ginn under preforming and a big need to give Chad Henne some help, Bryant makes the most sense. I previously had them taking Sergio Kindle at OLB, but signing Karlos Dansby makes that less of a priority. Bryant is drawing comparisons to Andre Johnson, and despite some off-field issues is a great talent who could really open up their pass-game.
13. San Francisco 49ers: Anthony Davis OT, Rutgers
The 49ers need a good RT to solidify thier line and Davis is well suited for that. He'll develop into a nice LT but for now can play on the right side and really help their offense. Paving lanes for Frank Gore and giving time for Alex Smith to throw to Vernon Davis and Michael Crabtree, this offense could really take off.
14. Seattle Seahawks (from Denver): Charles Brown OT, USC
This is a bit of a sleeper pick, since Brown isn't considered to be one of the top tier OTs, especially not ahead of Trent Williams. But Brown is from USC, and Pete Carroll knows him well. Carroll will likely bring him in and develop him into a great LT and solidify their OL to protect Matt Hasselbeck.
15. New York Giants: Derrick Morgan DE, Georgia Tech
After releasing Antonio Pierce, the Giants could be candidates to trade up and get Rolando McClain. And with a bad secondary I would've previously had them taking Earl Thomas, but since they signed Antrel Rolle thats out. With some rumors that Osi Umenyiora might be gone and a lot of trouble with the front 7, the Giants will take Morgan. Morgan is barely a step behind Pierre-Paul and should be a great pass rusher. Like PP, he might be able to make the transition to a 3-4 OLB, but again, he is more suited for the 4-3. He'll add good depth in the DL rotation that the Giants like to have.
16. Tennessee Titans: Dan Williams DT, Tennessee
The Titans defense was never the same without Albert Haynesworth, and losing Kyle Vanden Bosch to the Lions means even more trouble. They could be looking at Everson Griffen because of that, but Williams reminds me too much of Haynesworth for me not to put him here. He's massive enough to play 3-4 NT, as is Haynesworth, and agile enough to play 4-3 DT, as is Haynesworth. Williams could really re-fortify their DL.
17. San Francisco 49ers (from Carolina): CJ Spiller RB, Clemson
Again the 49ers go offense in the 1st round. I considered them taking Spiller with their first pick but decided OT was a bigger need, and I'm still not sure how I let Spiller fall to them again, but sure enough the 49ers get another big-play guy who is a great complement to Frank Gore. Like I said before, with these pieces in place, this offense could really take off.
18. Pittsburgh Steelers: Mike Iupati OL, Idaho
A ton of debate will go into this pick, especially on this site, and even I find myself second guessing this pick especially with Earl Thomas still on the board. Still though, this draft is so deep defensively I think the best strategy is to take a premier guy on offense and bank on still having some quality Defenders in the later rounds. Iupati is the best interior lineman in this draft and is drawing comparisons to Alen Faneca. He has a mean streak and is versatile enough to play anywhere on the OL (except LT). Our biggest problem on the OL is depth, and with Iupati's versatility we could kill two birds with one stone. He'd start right away at RG and would fill up the only weak spot on the line and really help in those short-yard situations. Even still I think we could trade back to collect an extra 3rd round pick, and I'm liking that idea of trading back to get Maurkice Pouncey more and more. Pouncey could play RG for a year also, and could eventually replace Justing Hartwig at C. Either way, locking up Willie Colon long term and drafting a 1st round OL would give us a great OL for years. Earl Thomas is another likely possibility, but again, with how deep this draft is defensively I think we could still get a guy in round 2 that is almost as good. The Steelers are apparently somewhat interested in Sean Weatherspoon, but I'd rather see them take a guy like Jamar Chaney or Sean Lee in the later rounds.
19. Atlanta Falcons: Sean Weatherspoon OLB, Missouri
The Falcons got a great pickup with Dunta Robinson from the Texans, but still need help in their front 7. Weatherspoon is an intelligent LB who could play ILB in a 3-4 but will probably be an OLB in the Falcons' 4-3. He could use some coaching since he is sometimes inconsistent in coverage and on the blitz, but will still be a good LB even as a rookie.
20. Houston Texans: Earl Thomas S, Texas
After losing Dunta Robinson, they really need help in their secondary. Thomas is a ball hawking safety who many love for his skills in coverage. He's a bit undersized for a safety, and because of that has some trouble tackling bigger receivers like tight ends, but I wouldn't say he's a liability because of that. He's got great speed, and I could see him making a transition to CB. But either way, he'll really help that secondary especially playing Peyton Manning twice a year.
21. Cincinnati Bengals: Jermaine Gresham TE, Oklahoma
I think the Bengals are the only place left for TO to go, and because of that I think its only a matter of time before they sign him. That will allow the Bengals to focus on their true need, a pass-catching TE. They really have no one worth speaking of on their roster at the position, and need someone to control the middle of the field. Ochocinco, TO, and Gresham could really open up this pass game.
22. New England Patriots: Sergio Kindle OLB, Texas
The Pats resign Tully Banta-Cain and Vince Wilfork, but still need help on everywhere on defense. They need a good OLB to provide some pass rush and also need help in their secondary, but that can wait. Kindle is extremely versatile and because of that Belichick will love him.
23. Green Bay Packers: Trent Williams OT, Oklahoma
The Packers really lucked out with Williams dropping to them here. Some mocks have him going as high as the top 10, and he even fills their biggest need. Everyone heard about the problems they had protecting Aaron Rodgers, and Williams could really fortify their OL.
24. Philadelphia Eagles: Everson Griffen DE, USC
The Eagles were candidates to pick up Julius Peppers but couldn't outbid the Bears. Because of that they'll target Griffen to help take some pressure off of Trent Cole. Griffen is good enough to be a top 20 or even top 15 pick, but lucky for the Eagles he falls here.
25. Baltimore Ravens: Arrelious Benn WR, Illinois
Even though the Ravens just traded for Anquan Boldin, their problems at receiver aren't fixed. Behind Boldin and Mason, they've got nothing. Benn could learn the ropes for a year while playing at the #3 position, then take over for Mason once he retires. The Ravens could also target a CB like Kyle Wilson, but they've already committed to giving Flacco weapons, and they shouldn't stop with Boldin.
26. Arizona Cardinals: Brandon Graham OLB, Michigan
The Cardinals lost Karlos Dansby, and all their OLBs are over 30. Graham is being called Lamarr Woodley's clone, and could really develop into a playmaker for the Cards. Some might think the Cards will target a receiver or TE to replace Boldin, but their defensive needs are more important.
27. Dallas Cowboys: Maurkice Pouncey C/G, Florida
The Cowboys OL is extremely old and really need to inject some youth. Pouncey is versatile enough to play anywhere on the inside and could really help if someone goes down to injury. They might look at Taylor Mays, but their defense was playing lights-out at the end of the season. Their biggest problem was protecting Romo, as we saw in the playoff game against the Vikings.
28. San Diego Chargers: Jahvid Best RB, California
As well as the Chargers were playing at the end of the season, they have quite a few holes. They need someone to replace LT, and just released NT Jamaal Williams. RB is the bigger need though, and with Jahvid Best having a great combine (miraculously running a better official 40 time than CJ Spiller), they'll take him here. He has some injury concerns, which might make the Chargers shy away, but Best has great potential.
29. New York Jets: Terrence Cody NT, Alabama
The Jets just got Anotonio Cromartie for cheap, so their need for a #2 corner is solved. They could also use a receiver for Mark Sanchez, especially seeing that Damian Williams is still on the board (he played with Sanchez at USC), but with Kris Jenkins aging and coming off season-ending injury, they'll need a NT to replace him. Cody is massive, probably too massive, which is why he's fallen so far. But his athleticism is astounding for how big he is. And I mean common, you think Rex Ryan will really give him too much grief for being overweight?
30. Minnesota Vikings: Brian Price DT, UCLA
The Vikings could use some help in the secondary and on the OL, as was evidenced by their loss to the Saints in the NFC Championship game. But their "Williams Wall" is probably on its last year. They need a replacement for Pat Williams as soon as possible and Price could come into a rotation with them in his rookie year.
31. Indianapolis Colts: Jared Odrick DT, Penn St.
The Colts cant afford to ignore their defense forever. If Manning proved anything last year, its that he can make any offense look good. With a couple rag-tag receivers in Austin Collie and Pierre Garcon behind Reggie Wayne, he still won the MVP. The defense on the other hand, really needs help. Odrick could really plug up the inside running lanes and can hopefully take some pressure off of Robert Mathis and Dwight Freeney.
32. New Orleans Saints: Taylor Mays S, USC
This pick might come as a bit of a surprise to some, but it makes some sense. Even if Darren Sharper comes back to New Orleans, they need a replacement for him eventually. Learning from Sharper would really help Mays in coverage. We all saw how much Gregg Williams likes to blitz (watch how he manhandled Brett Favre in the Championship game), and if anything Mays is an astounding prospect at safety who should be able to blitz extremely well. He's a physical beast and could bring a new dimension to the Saints D.
Let me know what you think. I had a lot of trouble with our pick, since I was impressed by a lot of guys at the combine. So here's a poll to see what BTSC thinks we should do.
What do you think would be the best option for the Steelers at 18?
trade up for Rolando McClain (21 votes)
Mike Iupati (27 votes)
Earl Thomas (25 votes)
trade down hoping to still get Iupati, if not, take Maurkice Pouncey (34 votes)
107 total votes