Arse’s NFL Mock Draft 2010 1st Round Projections
February 12, 2010 by Josh Arsenault
Just like Lester, I think it’s foolish to be throwing up mock draft predictions three months prior to the draft. Unlike Lester, I’m a bit of a fool, so I jumped at the chance to weigh in with my thoughts on what direction teams would be leaning come late April. My first round mock takes into account moves that I think teams will make through free agency or via a trade leading up to the NFL draft. My mock draft, like many others I’ve seen thus far, is defense-heavy with only a handful of offensive “skill position” players coming off the board in round 1. Fantasy owners may have to dig a bit deeper this season in looking to fill their own needs and uncover potential impact players.
1. St. Louis Rams – Ndamukung Suh, DT, Nebraska
No reason to think the Rams will screw this up … yet. Suh is the most dominant player at his (or any) position in college football. I expect the Rams to address their quarterback woes via trade leaving them one of the easiest top pick choices in recent memory. Suh will give them a rock-solid foundation to build around on D.
2. Detroit Lions – Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma
Unlike some of his peers that were considering entering the draft in 2009 but returned only to hurt their draft stock (Sam Bradford, Taylor Mays), McCoy’s value remained rock-steady. Amazing quick for an interior lineman, McCoy will fill a major need for the Lions and Matt Millen isn’t around to mess things up anymore.
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State
The Bucs have interest in Brandon Marshall, but I expect the Broncos to tender him and the asking price will be too high for Tampa Bay. I think they take their shot here to nab an elite play-maker to team with developing quarterback Josh Freeman. Bryant is a special player with the size, speed and play-making ability to have an immediate impact.
4. Washington Redskins – Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma State
Jason Campbell isn’t going anywhere, regardless of what the so-called experts think. This team has holes that start up front and Shanahan is smart enough to know that without improving the o-line it won’t matter who is taking snaps. Okung is nasty in the run game and has been very durable and consistent throughout his college career.
5. Kansas City Chiefs – Eric Berry, S, Tennessee
With an offense that is just starting to take shape following the breakout performance of Jamaal Charles down the stretch, the Chiefs should turn their attention to the defensive side of the ball with the early part of this draft. Berry is a true difference-maker in the secondary who flies to the ball and exhibits tremendous leadership skills.
6. Seattle Seahawks – Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma
Bradford falling to the Hawks here represents too good of a value to pass up. There are bigger needs on this team but with two first round picks the chance to grab a franchise quarterback and give him time to study under Matt Hasselbeck makes a lot of sense. Bradford’s accuracy and decision-making translate very well to the next level.
7. Cleveland Browns – Joe Haden, CB, Florida
One need look no further than the New York Jets to see the impact a true cover corner can have on an entire defense. While I’m not about to compare Haden to Darrelle Revis, the point is Haden is by far the best at his position in this draft and the Browns have a need in the secondary. Haden is a solid tackler as well, important in a rugged division.
8. Oakland Raiders – Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech
One thing we’ve learned about the Raiders front office over the years is that they are awful at evaluating talent and addressing team needs. That said, Morgan is a much safer pick here than a certain speedy wide receiver that struggles to hold on to the ball. Richard Seymour and Greg Ellis were solid, but neither is a sure thing next season.
9. Buffalo Bills – Trent Williams, OT, Oklahoma
The Bills are another team that I expect to address their QB needs prior to the draft. Chan Gailey will likely try to install his familiar spread offense but without help on the front lines this team is going nowhere. In a brutal AFC East, the Bills need to rebuild the foundation from the inside out and Williams will be a step in the right direction.
10. Jacksonville Jaguars – Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, South Florida
The Jags successfully rebuilt a faltering o-line early in last year’s draft and this season will turn their attention to the defense. Their most glaring need is for a defensive end that can get pressure on opposing QBs and ease the pressure on a pedestrian secondary. This team ranked last in the league in sacks last season (with just 14) and it wasn’t close.
11. Denver Broncos – Jermaine Gresham, TE, Oklahoma
There are a lot of directions that I can see the Broncos going with this pick (QB, DE, S), but I think they grab the uber-talented tight end from Oklahoma. Gresham is uncommonly gifted for his position, combining above average skills as a run blocker with exceptional receiving skills. This pick would ease the loss of Brandon Marshall in the mile high city.
12. Miami Dolphins – Rolando McClain, MLB, Alabama
The rare combination of team need and best player available status. McClain is a manimal and his skill were on display for all to see in the BCS title game against Texas. The Phins could use his leadership, especially with the potential departure of Jason Taylor this offseason. The rookie’s presence would instantly upgrade an already solid front-7.
13. San Francisco 49ers – CJ Spiller, RB, Clemson
Perhaps the most dynamic offensive weapon in college football this past season, Spiller will add an instant homerun threat to an offense that was already on the upturn. Glen Coffee failed miserably in a complimentary role to pounder Frank Gore, and Spiller’s slashing style and big play potential in the return game are both needs for the Niners.
14. Seattle Seahawks – Anthony Davis, OT, Rutgers
Davis is a bit of a mauler that uses his size and strength to win battles at the point of attack. With a bit of work I think he could be a great fit for the zone blocking scheme favored by the new coaching regime in Seattle. Paired with Bradford and an exciting young play-maker in Justin Forsett, the Hawks could have a nice trio to build around.
15. New York Giants – Navorro Bowman, OLB, Penn State
Bowman closes like a freight train and is a sure tackler, both areas the the G-Men lacked down the stretch at the second level. Hard-rushing defensive ends Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora wreak havoc in opposing backfields, but without athletic backers in the flats the Giants allowed too many short passes to turn into big plays.
16. San Francisco 49ers – Earl Thomas, S, Texas
A pass-rushing end is another possibility here, but I think the more pressing need for the Niners is in the secondary. A veteran group of cornerbacks featuring Nate Clements and Dre Bly could use an athletic safety over the top to allow them to play the aggressive style that coach Singletary prefers. Thomas isn’t in Berry’s class but is a great value here.
17. Tennessee Titans – Brandon Graham, DE, Michigan
Originally pegged as a late-first or early-second round pick, Graham used a strong Senior Bowl showing to springboard his value heading into the combine. This guy has a relentless motor and would be a nice upgrade to a Titans front four that was inconsistent at times getting to opposing quarterbacks and ranked in the bottom third of the league in sacks.
18. Pittsburgh Steelers – Bruce Campbell, OT, Maryland
The Steelers ranked in the bottom half of the league this past season in rushing attempts, rushing yards, yards per carry and rushing TDs. Think that will happen again in 2010? The o-line has been a bit shaky for a couple of seasons now and without a committment to the running game Big Ben is taking some punishment. Campbell fits a big need.
19. Houston Texans – Jonathan Dwyer, RB, Georgia Tech
I think Gary Kubiak is bad at managing his talent. That’s why I’m helping him out here with a selection of Dwyer. Pounding the rock 15-20 times a game with this kid and getting Steve Slaton 8-10 touches in space is a recipe for a playoff run when you consider the All-Pro connection of Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson and a young, talented D.
20. Atlanta Falcons – Taylor Mays, S, USC
The David is great and all, but if Michaelangelo were still sculpting today we’d be admiring his representation of “The Mays”. This kid is an absolute specimen and if he had come out early last season in all likelihood he would have been a top-10 pick. The talent hasn’t gone anywhere, and the Falcons could be getting a real steal nabbing Mays at 20.
21. Cincinnati Bengals – Aaron Hernandez, TE, Florida
I’ve always thought TJ Houshmandzadeh (championship!) was a bit overrated … tough to make that argument with the way the Bengals passing game struggled this season without him. Hernandez is a nice consoloation prize for Cincy fans who were hoping Gresham would fall to them. Extremely athletic, he will give Carson Palmer an underneath target.
22. New England Patriots – Carlos Dunlap, DE, Florida
The Pats will be thrilled if this scenario plays out the way I have it because Dunlap would fill a big need for them. Although there are some minor character concerns here, this kid is a freak flying off the end and would spark a Patriot pass rush that was non-existent at times following the strange dismissal of Richard Seymour prior to the season.
23. Green Bay Packers – Sergio Kindle, OLB, Texas
Kindle is a very physical player whose versatility would fit nicely into the Packers hybrid 3-4 system. As a rare edge rusher that also plays the run very well, Kindle has the ability to be a nice fit regardless of personnel grouping. If Kindle is gone by this point (a strong possibility), I can see the Pack adding a homerun hitter like Jahvid Best.
24. Philadelphia Eagles – Bryan Bulaga, OT, Iowa
I think the Eagles would love to draft an impact safety along the lines of Earl Thomas or Taylor Mays, but I think both will be gone by this point. That said, improvement along the offensive line is a must if the Iggles are planning to re-establish (establish for the first time?) their running game and bring some balance to their offensive attack.
25. Baltimore Ravens – Golden Tate, WR, Notre Dame
The Ravens need to get up-and-coming QB Joe Flacco some weapons. Derrick Mason is a reliable chain-mover (if he returns) but the play-making ability Tate showed in his junior season for the Irish would be very difficult to pass up here. This kid is a gritty player that will fight for the ball in traffic and look to gain extra yards after the catch.
26. Arizona Cardinals – Dan Williams, DT, Tennessee
No doubt a position of need for the Cards, Williams is a tremendous value at the DT position. That said, the retirement of Kurt Warner recently has me thinking Arizona may be looking to snag a signal-caller sometime in this draft … whether they consider Jimmy Clausen here I don’t know but I certainly think it’s possible.
27. Dallas Cowboys – Mike Iupati, OG, Idaho
This may be the first top-round pick in the history of the University of Idaho. Iupati made a name for himself throughout the season by dominating opponents in the WAC before a tremendous showing against Bowling Green in the postseason. At 6’6″ and 330 lbs, it’s possible the Cowboys will try Iupati out at the tackle spot as well.
28. San Diego Chargers – Brandon Spikes, OLB, Florida
Running back is a huge need for the Chargers with an offseason full of uncertainty. If Dwyer falls to them I think there is no question they pull the trigger but I don’t expect that to happen. I think Merriman is on the way out and Spikes would be a nice replacement for the fiery edge-rusher. The Bolts will address RB in later rounds I believe.
29. New York Jets – Patrick Robinson, CB, Florida State
Robinson is certainly not in the class of a Joe Haden but he is a very talented player and the Jets lack of depth at CB was exposed several times throughout the season, particularly against the Colts in the AFC Championship. I expect Braylon Edwards to be donning the green and white again next year so WR is a less pressing need at this stage.
30. Minnesota Vikings – Brian Price, DT, UCLA
A great value here for the Vikes who need to start thinking about fortifying a position that has been a strength for years now. Pat and Kevin Williams (no relation) have been as good as any DT tandem in the league, but they are getting older and could use a young pup to spell them from time to time. Price is a steal late in the first round.
31. Indianapolis Colts – Terrance Cody, DT, Alabama
Cody’s stock has been slipping due to concerns over his conditioning and motivation. I think the Colts could find themselves a bargain here if they believe Cody is committed to playing at the next level. Although not an every-down player, Cody is a massive run-stuffer that would make it difficult for teams to double Freeney and Mathis consistently.
32. New Orleans Saints – Jahvid Best, RB, California
This is a bit of a wildcard and I actually think the Saints should look to shore up their D-Line with one of the remaining glut of DTs but what the hell? … I think Reggie Bush has played his last game for the Super Bowl Champs and who better to fill his role than the shifty speedster out of Cal. Similar skill set at a discounted rate? … I’ll take it.