2010 NFL Mock Draft
Last Updated: April 22, 2010
The NFL Draft is tonight. I am locking in with the picks I made as of 4/12. There have been some changes that have happened with various teams making trades and cutting/signing players, but nothing big enough to impact my projections.
Lou Pickney, DraftKing.com
Things have sorted out since the seismic shift which began when ESPN reporter Adam Schefter said on WXOS radio in St. Louis that Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford would go #1 overall in the draft. Schefter's reputation is strong, and quickly most mock draft boards shuttled Bradford to the top, bumping Nebraska DT Ndamukong Suh down a peg.
Coin flips broke three ties for the upcoming draft: Jacksonville (#10) ahead of Denver's pick acquired from Chicago (#11); Tennessee (#16) ahead of San Francisco's pick acquired from Carolina (#17); Atlanta (#19) ahead of Houston (#20).
2010 NFL Mock Draft
1. St. Louis Rams - Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma ~
At this point it appears likely that the Rams will end up drafting Bradford. It's not a lock, but it looks more and more likely as the clock ticks down to draft day.
St. Louis has drafted several defensive players with high picks in recent years, and the team could very much use a young quality prospect like Bradford. The shoulder injury that ended Bradford's season in October remains a concern, but as he continues to recover, his stock continues to rise. His great showing at OU's pro day helped his cause considerably.
2. Detroit Lions - Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska
The Lions seem very likely to draft a defensive tackle in this spot, and if Suh is on the board when they pick, he would likely be a no-brainer selection for the Lions. Suh has rare athleticism for his size and position, something that would be a huge boost for Detroit. If Suh isn't on the board here, then the Lions could instead select Oklahoma DT Gerald McCoy.
It's true that the Lions traded for DT Corey Williams in early March. But the reality is that Williams turns 30 before the season starts and the Lions, which for years largely ignored defense with its high draft picks, will need more than him to stuff the middle. Moreover, Suh can line up next to Williams, creating matchup challenges for opposing defenses.
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma ~
The days of Tampa Bay dominating in the middle of its defensive line with Warren Sapp and Anthony McFarland are long gone, and the Bucs very desperately need a top-flight defensive tackle. The odds of Suh falling to this point are slim, but if the Rams go with a QB at #1, it would ensure that Tampa Bay could land either Suh or McCoy at this point. McCoy is almost identical in height and weight to Suh, but he doesn't have Suh's unusual athleticism. But McCoy, like Suh, can both stuff the run and also pressure the quarterback, a rare trait at the DT spot.
4. Washington Redskins - Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma St.
With Donovan McNabb now on board, it seems extremely likely that the Redskins will draft an offensive tackle at this position. Offensive line is a huge issue in Washington with the retirement of Chris Samuels and overall spotty play in 2009. Okung would be a great addition to the team, a strong prospect who has managed to stay at the top of most offensive tackle ranking lists throughout the off-season.
5. Kansas City Chiefs - Eric Berry, SS, Tennessee ~
Berry has impressed scouts during the off-season just as he did on-the-field for the Vols during his time in Knoxville. Upgrading at safety would be beneficial for the Chiefs, who were 25th against the pass in 2009. Berry is an amazing playmaker who has the potential to be an elite NFL safety. There is always the chance that Kansas City will go with an offensive tackle at this spot, but doing so to take someone other than Okung with Berry still on the board would be questionable at this spot.
6. Seattle Seahawks - C.J. Spiller, RB, Clemson
The running game in Seattle hasn't been the same since the team parted ways with Shaun Alexander. Spiller is an exciting playmaker with world-class speed. With the NFL being a copycat league, and seeing how much success the Titans have had with ultra-fast RB Chris Johnson, it wouldn't surprise me at all to see the Seahawks select Spiller with the first of their two first-round picks. If the Seahawks try to wait until #14 to get him, it might be too late.
7. Cleveland Browns - Joe Haden, CB, Florida ~
Was Browns GM Mike Holmgren bluffing when he said "I wish I liked him more" concerning Notre Dame QB Jimmy Clausen? Perhaps it is intentional misdirection, though that is a pretty harsh way to practice the art of deception.
The Browns could go in a number of directions at this spot, and drafting Haden here makes as much sense as any other possibility. Haden made up for a poor 40 time at the combine (4.57) by running a much better time on his pro day at the University of Florida (4.45). With Brandon McDonald's struggles at the corner position in 2009 in mind, the Browns could look to boost their secondary by taking Haden at this spot.
8. Oakland Raiders - Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, USF ~
As evidenced last year, Raiders owner Al Davis is not afraid of using big picks on freakishly talented (but very raw) players. Pierre-Paul only played one year of FBS football, but he made the most of it with a tremendous season last fall at South Florida. The Raiders could use a young player like Pierre-Paul on its defensive line, and over time he has the potential to develop into something very special in the NFL. He fits the Al Davis mold of a player with "freakish" measurable stats.
9. Buffalo Bills - Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame ~
Keep in mind that the Bills are in the midst of changing to a 3-4 defense, and they may be looking to draft a player to reflect the team's new front seven configuration. At the same time, there's a new regime in Buffalo and a need for a long-term prospect at quarterback. Trent Edwards is the incumbent at the starting spot, but with more career interceptions than TD passes, he'll need to show considerable improvement to be seen as a viable long-term starter. In the meantime, drafting Clausen would put the Bills in a spot to develop a potential long-term answer at QB, though opinions on Clausen vary considerably.
10. Jacksonville Jaguars - Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech
In 2009 the Jaguars had a tough time generating much pressure from the defensive end position. Morgan, who had 12 1/2 sacks in 2009, would help in that regard. His 6'3" 265 pound frame should be sufficient to allow him to bring the heat from the outside on the pro level.
11. Denver Broncos (from Chicago) - Rolando McClain, ILB, Alabama ~
Denver has an excellent inside linebacker with D.J. Williams, who made 122 tackles and recorded 3.5 sacks in 2009. But the Broncos lost Andra Davis to Buffalo in free agency, and adding a player of McClain's ability to the lineup would be more that a suitable replacement.
12. Miami Dolphins - Sergio Kindle, DE/OLB, Texas
OLBs Akin Ayodele and Joey Porter are gone from Miami, and longtime defensive standout Jason Taylor appears set to depart via free agency. The Dolphins need help on their defensive front, and adding a playmaking outside linebacker should be a top priority for the team in this draft. Kindle played remarkably well during his time at Texas, and in a 3-4 defense he presents all kinds of options for Miami as a blitzer from the outside linebacker spot.
13. San Francisco 49ers - Trent Williams, OT, Oklahoma
It's unusual in some respects that the 49ers would target an offensive tackle in the first round, as the team already has talented Joe Staley under contract literally through 2018. But when Staley went down with a knee injury midway through this season, it exposed the lack of depth of the team's offensive line, particularly at the right tackle position.
As for Williams, there are a variety of thoughts out there about him. Many consider him to be capable of playing only right tackle, though that is not a consensus opinion. Williams would fit the needs of the 49ers well, while for San Francisco the chance that Williams could develop into an elite player could end up making him too tempting to pass up at this spot.
14. Seattle Seahawks (from Denver) - Bryan Bulaga, OT, Iowa ~
Seattle needs help on both its offensive and defensive lines. Davis would help ease the pain of the retirement of longtime left offensive tackle Walter Jones, a nine-time Pro Bowler who played his entire career with the Seahawks. To point, when Jones was drafted by the team in 1997, they were still in the AFC.
Seattle could go with an offensive lineman at the #6 spot, but picking an offensive tackle at this spot could prove to be a wiser move, particularly if the team wants to land C.J. Spiller and not risk him being taken before this spot.
15. New York Giants - Brian Price, DT, UCLA
The Giants signed free agent safety Antrell Rolle earlier today, making him the highest-paid safety in the league. Another major need for the Giants exists on its interior defensive line, and a prospect like Price, who was the 2009 Pac-10 defensive player of the year and a dominant force on the line for the Bruins. He'd be a good fit here for the Giants.
16. Tennessee Titans - Everson Griffen, DE, USC ~
With Kyle Vanden Bosch gone to Detroit via free agency and Javon Kearse not coming back for 2010 (in all likelihood), the Titans would be well-advised to target the DE position with its first round pick. Griffen is 6'3" 265, and he had a streak last year of six consecutive games with at least one QB sack.
17. San Francisco 49ers (from Carolina) - Earl Thomas, S, Texas ~
Very few players leave the University of Texas early to enter the NFL (with Vince Young and Jamaal Charles being exceptions), but Thomas is one of the select few who managed to be tempted away from Mack Brown and the city of Austin for an opportunity in pro football. He had a great combine showing and should be the second safety taken behind Eric Berry.
18. Pittsburgh Steelers - Mike Iupati, OG, Idaho
Protecting Ben Roethlisberger from defensive pressure should be a priority for the Steelers in 2010, and drafting Iupati would help in that regard. He's not nearly as high-profile as other prospects out there, but Iupati played some impressive ball for Idaho and has the physical skills to be a success in the NFL for years.
19. Atlanta Falcons - Carlos Dunlap, DE, Florida ~
With the Falcons signing free agent Dunta Robinson, the team filled a rather large need at cornerback. This should allow the team to concentrate on its front seven, particularly the defensive end position. The Falcons used the #8 overall pick in 2007 on DE Jamaal Anderson, and while he has been steady he's also been unspectacular. There is talk that Anderson might be moved to defensive tackle, which would open the door for Atlanta to take a shot at Dunlap. There's no questioning Dunlap's ability, but there are some observers who see Dunlap as a boom-or-bust type player.
20. Houston Texans - Kyle Wilson, CB, Boise State
There is a glut of talent below Joe Haden, and it will be up to a team like Houston (or one in this similar range) to decide who will be the second cornerback taken in the draft Wilson has been coming on strong this off-season, impressing scouts at the Senior Bowl and overall looking like a strong prospect, to the point where some believe it's a no contest that Wilson will be the second corner taken.
Houston lost Dunta Robinson to Atlanta, and now they have to do something to fill the void at corner. If Wilson is on the board at this point, he seems like a strong pairing with the Texans.
21. Cincinnati Bengals - Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma St. ~
Question marks surround Bryant at the moment, with him missing most of the 2009 season and then not working out at the combine. But Bryant remains the near-consensus top WR prospect out there, and at this point he appears to be in line to be the top receiver taken in this draft.
22. New England Patriots - Brandon Graham, OLB/DE, Michigan
Graham impressed onlookers at the Senior Bowl, and he would fill a need spot for the Patriots as an OLB in their 3-4 defense. Graham has the potential to become a great NFL player, and he could fit quite well in New England.
23. Green Bay Packers - Anthony Davis, OT, Rutgers ~
This represents a drop by Davis compared with previous recent mock drafts on here, but it's a correction that I believe more accurately reflects the range where Davis is likely to go in the draft. Davis could provide a boost to an offensive line unit in Green Bay that had trouble at times protecting QB Aaron Rodgers in 2009.
24. Philadelphia Eagles - Patrick Robinson, CB, Florida State
Robinson might not have ideal size for a corner, but he looked impressive against a variety of skilled wide receivers. The Eagles have a number of options at this spot, and there are variables still to be worked out for them (such as what will happen with their QB situation), but adding Robinson would help to make the team's secondary stronger.
25. Baltimore Ravens - Jermaine Gresham, TE, Oklahoma
Todd Heap has suffered from multiple injuries in recent years, and a very talented tight end like Gresham could fill that role quite nicely. Gresham, himself an injury victim in 2009, would likely have been a top ten selection if he had played a full season. As it is, he would represent the biggest first-round tight end steal since Heath Miller if he was to slide to this spot.
26. Arizona Cardinals - Taylor Mays, FS, USC
Antrel Rolle has signed with the Giants and OLB Karlos Dansby has signed with the Dolphins. That's a tough one-two combo for Cardinals fans, particularly on the same day that the team traded Anquan Bolden, but that's life in the NFL. Drafting Mays would fill a hole created in the secondary by Rolle's departure, and while there are some questions about Mays as a top-tier prospect, he's an athletic, talented playmaker who can break up a pass as easily as he can separate the receiver from the ball with a perfectly-timed, bone-crushing hit.
27. Dallas Cowboys - Donovan Warren, CB, Michigan ~
A bright spot on a team that struggled in 2009, Warren is a talented corner who would give useful depth to the Cowboys. Yes, Dallas already has Terence Newman and Mike Jenkins, but Newman turns 32 this year and has a very high base salary not only for 2010 ($9 million) but also for 2011-2014. Adding Warren would allow Dallas to work him into the mix slowly, learn from two solid pros in Newman and Jenkins, and potentially end up replacing Newman if he becomes a salary casualty.
28. San Diego Chargers - Terrence Cody, NT, Alabama
The Chargers parted ways with NT Jamal Williams earlier this month, and they could replace him with an ideal prototypical 3-4 nose tackle in the form of Cody. He only played two years at Alabama, but Cody's mammoth size helped him to plug the middle and force teams playing the Crimson Tide to gameplan around him. He slimmed up a bit for the combine and might end up going higher than this spot. He represents a bargain for the Chargers (in my estimation) at this position.
29. New York Jets - Jared Odrick, DE, Penn State
The Jets recently acquired Santonio Holmes from Pittsburgh, and while Holmes will miss the first four games of 2010 due to suspension, his presence in New York gives the Jets the freedom to target other positions with this pick -- or to entertain trade offers.
Also, with the Jets pursuing free agent DE Jason Taylor, it appears that they are looking for a veteran force to help the front seven of its 3-4 defense. But, with Taylor on the tail emd of his career, him signing shouldn't dramatically alter the draft plan of the Jets.
If anything, having Taylor on board should make the Jets feel even better about taking Odrick at this position. He's likely not going to be ready to play full-time out of the gate, and having Taylor there to both rotate in-and-out with him and also to serve in a mentoring role would be quite helpful.
30. Minnesota Vikings - Dan Williams, DT, Tennessee
Pat Williams and Kevin Williams have been outstanding at defensive tackle for Minnesota, but time is taking its toll on both players. Adding another Williams at defensive tackle might sound comical, but there's no doubt that a player with Dan Williams' size and strength would be a strong addition to the team. Moreover, Pat Williams turns 38 this year and is in the final year of his contract. There is also the issue of the StarCaps case, which if the NFL wins would allow a pending four-game suspension for Pat and Kevin to go into effect -- and leave the Vikings quite vulnerable on its interior defensive line.
31. Indianapolis Colts - Maurkice Pouncey, C/OG, Florida ~
Protecting Peyton Manning has been a top priority in Indianapolis for some time now, and adding Pouncey to the mix should work to help with that. Pouncey proved himself against talent in the SEC during his college career, and he's built on that with an overall positive showing thus far in the weeks leading up to the NFL Draft.
32. New Orleans Saints - Sean Witherspoon, OLB, Missouri
It looks like that OLB Scott Fujita will be leaving as a free agent. In a move that ultimately worked out well, Saints head coach Sean Payton signed both Fujita and Scott Shanle as free agents the off-season following all three being in Dallas (with Payton working as an assistant coach there). Putting Witherspoon in this slot makes sense, and he could help the team out right away.
* indicates player with NCAA eligibility for 2010 who may opt to enter the 2010 NFL Draft
~ indicates player with NCAA eligibility for 2010 who has either declared for the 2010 NFL Draft or who has signed with an agent