The Draft is close!!! As old as I am, I always start jumping around like a youngster when April hits the midway point. It’s the 12th, and I’m already getting a little giddy. This draft seems as crazy as any I’ve ever seen, as the first round could go any number of ways. Once again, the Raiders are the wild-card. Much will flow based on who they “reach for” at #8 – and I have a real surprise in the works! This is how I see it going…
1. St. Louis Rams: Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma: This is an easy pick. I’m not as sold on him as Lucky is, but he’s going to be a solid quarterback in the league – he just has that leadership presence. The Rams need that on the field.
2. Detroit Lions: Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska: There’s some whispers out there saying the Lions might like McCoy more than Suh. Gerald is probably a better interior pass rusher, but I still like Suh more. If they pick 2nd, they grab Suh. It’s possible they could sucker the Bucs into moving up a spot, get the guy they really want and a bonus pick later in the draft. Seems silly, but all the years I’ve been around I’ve seen it a couple times.
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma: While the Lions definitely do well with Bradford getting picked #1, the Bucs don’t miss by much either. While it was originally thought they’d be choosing the best players on the board after the can’t-miss defensive tackles, the way it’s shaking out, they’ll walk away with McCoy. Lucky.
4. Washington Redskins: Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma State: I think Lucky is on to something when he says Okung is not an ideal Shanahan lineman – but he’s still the best on the board, and for a team that is in full-blown win-now mode, a big talented cat to guard their new quarterback’s blindside is the right thing to do, the right guy to pick – that’s Okung.
5. Kansas City Chiefs: Eric Berry, S, Tennessee: It would stun everyone else, but not me, if the Chiefs went Dez Bryant here. The kid is going to be a stud, but with all the bad press he’s getting, he’d be a stunner this high. The smart move would be to grab a difference maker on defense, so I’m going to go on and pretend they do that and grab Berry. The guy is a perfect safety for this team.
6. Seattle Seahawks: Trent Williams, OT, Oklahoma: The Hawks don’t win big in terms of value if Berry is gone and Okung is off the board. This is where they’ll have to choose the best player that just makes them a better team. They need offensive line help something fierce, and this guy is a good safe player. He can play a few different spots and will improve the Hawks worst area right off the bat.
7. Cleveland Browns: Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech: The Browns traded a little to get Sheldon Brown, making sure that they weren’t going to reach for a corner back too early. So what does that leave for the Browns? They could go defensive end, but this might be a little early. Unlike most teams picking this high, they are pretty dang good up front, so offensive lineman is out. It may be a reach, but I think Derrick Morgan would be a solid pick for Cleveland. He’s very good against the pass and run – he has good upside, and they traded away a pass rusher to Oakland.
8. Oakland Raiders: Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma: Throw reason out the window when the Raiders pick. I don’t know what great value would be here for Oakland, and obviously they can’t right all the wrongs of draft’s past, but picking another WR in the Top 10 doesn’t make much sense. So it’s the perfect pick. When you add to the equation that Dez Bryant truly is a game changing talent, and he’s still around at 8, seems like a perfect Raider pick to me.
9. Buffalo Bills: Anthony Davis, OT, Rutgers: The Bills could really use some help up front and most of us here at LL.com think Anthony Davis is the most talented of a very deep OT class. Getting him here at 9, even with some questions, would be a great deal for the Bills.
10. Jacksonville Jaguars: Joe Haden, CB, Florida: Who knows what Jack Del Rio and his cast of tangerines are going to do, but they simply suck defensively and Haden is the best corner in the draft. In a division with Manning and Schaub, they desperately need help, and Haden is going to be a heck of a player.
11. Denver Broncos: Earl Thomas, S, Texas: I think the Broncos get lucky and pick up one of the Top 5 players in the draft with Thomas at #10. This defense could use lots of things, and maybe safety isn’t a dire need for this team, but this kid is too good to pass up for a smart draft staff.
12. Miami Dolphins: Dan Williams, DT, Tennessee: The Dolphins should jump for joy if Williams makes it to them. They need to get better defensively, and while there are a handful of outside/inside linebackers that would be solid here, there’s only one perfect defensive tackle left on the board, and they should grab Dan here.
13. San Francisco 49ers: Bryan Bulaga, OT, Iowa: If Bulaga actually falls this far, Singletary and the Niners will be even happier than the Dolphins. This team needs more talent up front, some push, a little running game identity, and BB can help do that.
14. Seattle Seahawks: C.J. Spiller, RB, Clemson: Being a Hawks fan, I would HATE to see Claussen get picked here. Trading a 2nd round pick for a 3rd string quarterback was dumb, but at least that makes me think they won’t go get Claussen. I wouldn’t love it if they grabbed Spiller, because as good of a football player as he is, the Hawks need so much defensively. I think Early Thomas would be great if he was here, but he’s not. Haden would be good value here, but he’s gone. If one of the Top 4 offensive linemen fell this far, that would be great value – but one of them didn’t, and they took an OT with their 1st pick anyway. At least if they pick Spiller they get one of the most dynamic offensive players in the draft.
15. New York Giants: Rolando McClain, ILB, Alabama: I certainly don’t care about his numbers or any combine pre-draft camp stuff here. I watched this kid play, and he’s a machine at the ILB position, a spot where the Giants need some serious help.
16. Tennessee Titans: Jason Pierre Paul, DE, South Florida: The Titans were going to be hurting on the defensive line anyway, but even more-so now that Vanden-Bosch is gone. Paul is a physical specimen that could do very good things under Tennessee’s coaching staff.
17. San Francisco 49ers: Sergio Kindle, DE, Texas: The Niners filled their need with their 1st pick, and while I’m sure they have some more, they wouldn’t be filled by a player of Kindle’s upside. Sergio had some amazing games, and I think he’d be a perfect fit for an already talented defense in San Francisco.
18. Pittsburgh Steelers: Mike Iupati, G, Idaho: The best guard in the draft, the Steelers will go big with help up front if he’s here. Pittsburgh lost the ability to run last year, checking to pass plays too often, and never having that confidence up front. With a very good young running back, a new physical presence up front would get them back to basics.
19. Atlanta Falcons: Brandon Graham, DE, Michigan: This kid has really moved up since original draft rankings, and I’m not one bit stunned. He’s a great football player, and while elite size will never be something he has, the ability to change the game is there. This would be a great pick for a Falcons D that really needs it.
20. Houston Texans: Maurkice Pouncey, C/G, Florida: I think Taylor Mays would be a good pick here. I think Kyle Wilson, or other help at CB (Kareem Jackson?) would be a solid pick for need here. But I also think this team needs more toughness up front, and Pouncey is one of if not the best interior lineman in the draft. I’m sold.
21. Cincinnati Bengals: Jermaine Gresham, TE, Oklahoma: The Bengals could really use help in making their offense more explosive. They are strong up front, they have a good quarterback that should be even closer to his old self this coming season, and they have some talent at receiver. Gresham is the 2nd best receiving option in the draft – a good pick here.
22. New England Patriots: Jared Odrick, DE, Penn State: The Patriots missed Richard Seymour desperately last season. They get a 1st round pick from the Raiders next season because of it, and that might be great then, but right now they need some help up front to replace that guy. I’m not saying Odrick is Seymour, because he’s not, but he can be a tough-nosed all-out presence against the run and pass. A little higher than people expect Odrick to go, but so what.
23. Green Bay Packers: Charles Brown, OT, USC: Brown isn’t the highest rated tackle in the draft, but he’s a very good player that may have dropped down a bit because of USC’s offensive struggles in 2009. That’s silly, because Brown was still very stout, and he projects to be a talented OT in the league. The Packers need to keep Rodgers off his back, Brown can assist from the get go.
24. Philadelphia Eagles: Taylor Mays, S, USC: They have bigger needs at corner back and on the defensive line, but the Eagles have to see a lot of value in Taylor Mays, the total package at safety. He might have played a little out of position as a deep center fielder last year at USC – but he’s going to be a very good pro and is probably a Top 10 talent.
25. Baltimore Ravens: Kyle Wilson, CB, Boise State: The Ravens have traded for just about everything they need. They got lots of help offensively with Anquan Boldin, and they are already very stout up front, so much so that they are looking to trade one of their best offensive linemen. That being said, they can definitely get better in coverage, and Wilson is one skilled corner. Big plays are the name of the game, and Wilson makes plenty of them.
26. Arizona Cardinals: Everson Griffen, DE, USC: Griffen has lots of tools, and while he might not be a linebacker to take over for Dansby, they can go get that in Round 2. Right now, at 26, to get a player like Griffen at defensive end is too good to pass up.
27. Dallas Cowboys: Bruce Campbell, OT, Maryland: The Cowboys don’t need anything, so look for them to either go for the most upside here or take the best player on the board, or even (and they’ve done it before) trade this pick away to someone looking for the next best quarterback, and get value later. No trades is our rule at LL.com, so I think the Cowboys go with Bruce Campbell from Maryland. He may not be the most fluid or the best worker, but he’s a big body with some upside and the Cowboys could get younger on the offensive line – at least with depth. I think that one of the best football players left is Golden Tate, but would the Cowboys sign a 1st round receiver?
28. San Diego Chargers: Ryan Matthews, RB, Fresno State: He’s not as flashy as Spiller or Best, but he might damn well be the best every down running back in the draft. The Chargers no longer have one of those, and they might just grab the top guy late in Round 1.
29. New York Jets: Jerry Hughes, DE, TCU: Well, the Jets have officially traded for everything they could have wanted. They now have one of the best receiving corps in the league with Cotchery, Braylon, and newly acquired Santonio Holmes. Needless to say I don’t think WR is on their 1st round wish list. They have a great offensive line and a very talented defense that is getting better in the off-season, grabbing Antonio Cromartie from the Chargers, and possibly signing Jason Taylor. So I think they grab a game changer as a pass-rusher, because they’ve been looking for one to boost their pass-rush for sometime. Jerry Hughes may not have ideal size, but his motor and pass-rush prowess could be exactly what the Jets defense needs.
30. Minnesota Vikings: Jimmy Claussen, QB, Notre Dame: The Vikings might be without Favre, or the old man might play another year. Either way, there’s not a ton of value to be had for them here, aside from Claussen, who could be prepared to be the Vikings quarterback of the future.
31. Indianapolis Colts: Brian Price, DT, UCLA: Price has lost a lot of his luster, falling out of most 1st round mocks. But I think this kid is going to be a good one, and he can do a lot from the DT spot. Indy is always looking for help on the D-line, and Price should bring them an immediate reward.
32. New Orleans Saints: Sean Weatherspoon, OLB, Missouri: This kid is a great pick for the Saints. He’s a very smart and talented football player that would fill in right away for the loss of Scott Fujita. He might not have that veteran seasoning, but he’s a better talent at a spot of need.
January 28, 2010 by Ryan Kauffman · Comments Off
Red Red Ryan’s 2010 NFL Mock Draft
This is my first mock draft in my short history as a sports writer. I’ve read all that I can read about where some of the key free agents might be going, who is leaving, who might be traded, and who is unhappy with the players they have. I have studied up on the players and their expected combine numbers, their potential as NFL stars as well as their college situations. I think I have a pretty solid grasp on the first round of the NFL Draft – so here it goes.
- St. Louis Rams: Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska: I don’t know how the Lions pass up on the biggest sure thing of the draft. Rarely can you get a difference maker at a key position on the line that is the popular choice – don’t waste this St. Louis!
- Detroit Lions: Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma: I know this is the same start to my mock as Lucky Lester’s mock, and everyone else’s mock too, but it just makes too much sense. I’ve liked McCoy since I thought he should come out last season, and his domination this year makes me like him even more. The Lions need help up front.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Joe Haden, CB, Florida: I know Berry is supposed to be the pick, but I don’t see value in a safety here, and I think, after much deliberation, the Bucs will feel the same way. The best corner in the draft is Joe Haden, and it’s not close. With Revis dominating all season long, I think a true shut down corner has some added value, and that value will sway the Bucs.
- Washington Redskins: Anthony Davis, OT, Rutgers: Many would like to see the Redskins go quarterback here, but I don’t think there’s a talented arm in the Shanny mold in this draft, and I think that leaves him grabbing the best offensive tackle with upside to fit his blocking scheme. Anthony Davis is that guy. He may not be the biggest or baddest lineman out there, but his combination of agility and upside has to be something Shanny likes. I think they’ll try to trade down with a team enamored by a QB, and I think they’ll be able to and still get Davis.
- Kansas City Chiefs: Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma State: This guy is the biggest and baddest available, and the Chiefs could use him. It’s hard to get the most out of Matt Cassel and his average arm when he’s never getting time to throw. Okung is also a mauler than can help that new and improved Chiefs run-game.
- Seattle Seahawks: Eric Berry, S, Tennessee: Taylor Mays is a USC, Pete Carol guy, but what Pete and the Seahawks get here is probably the 2nd or 3rd best player in the draft. Berry would definitely help sure up that leaky Hawks secondary, and the Pee-Hawks will be really lucky to get this game breaker.
- Cleveland Browns: Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma: Best quarterback in the draft, just like he would have been last season. His shoulder injuries are a little scary, but I think he’s worth the chance. Brady Quinn isn’t the answer. Holmgren has been solid with QBs, and I think Bradford is special.
- Oakland Raiders: Rolando McLain, OLB, Alabama: Al Davis is a nut job, but he has to see special when it dominates on the biggest stage. McLain is a beast, he brings the ruckus and he’ll be a good piece of an improving Raider defense.
- Buffalo Bills: Derek Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech: The Buffalo Bills need lots of things, but an every down end that can rush the passer and stop the run is a huge plus for that team, a team that will rely on their young and talented defense. Morgan has all the tools to be great, and he’s a good value here.
- *Jacksonville Jaguars: Earl Thomas, S, Texas: There’s Dunlap, there’s Tebow (if they’re really that in need of revenue), and there’s a bunch of other good players than can help – but Thomas is an every down difference maker on defense, and that’s as safe a bet as the draft has. I think they take him.
- *Denver Broncos: Carolos Dunlap, DE, Florida: Dunlap is a freak of nature, and if Josh McDaniels thinks he can get the most out of the very talented and ginormous defensive end, he’ll get picked up here. Jason Pierre-Paul could also go here. If McDaniels is really going to get a game changer, he’ll get Dez Bryant, but I think he waits on receiver help.
- Miami Dolphins: Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State: Dez Bryant is a freak. I think he reacts to the ball as well as anyone, and he made a very mediocre college quarterback look very good the last two seasons. His run in with the NCAA will scare nobody. The Dolphins need WR help something fierce.
- San Francisco 49ers: Bruce Campbell, OT, Maryland: I don’t see much else in terms of value for the Niners here. They could use a couple upgrades in the secondary I guess, so a guy like Taylor Mays could help, but they need more power up front, and Campbell has the athleticism to be a great one up front.
- Seattle Seahawks: Bryan Bulaga, OT, Iowa: If the Hawks don’t get Eric Berry with their 6th pick, I think Mays could go here. Carol knows how great Mays can be, and he knows that a lot of those problems this season were do to over extending himself and trying to make every play for a struggling team. But since they have Berry, Mays is not an option here. Offensive tackle is, and the Hawks need help there. People who think the Hawks need Spiller here are flat crazy, as Carol will soon see that Justin Forsett will do just fine in that role, and a 1st round draft pick need not be wasted on a small running back. The Hawks could use some help on the defensive line too, but there’s lots of help there. I think Bryan Bulaga has enough OT upside for Seattle to grab him here.
- New York Giants: Jermaine Gresham, TE, Oklahoma: Kevin Boss is solid, but he’s not Gresham. The Oklahoma pass catching end is special, and thus might be worthy of a middle of the pack 1st round pick. He was unstoppable during his last healthy season, and Eli could use a game breaker in the passing game.
- *San Francisco 49ers: Taylor Mays, S, USC: All the talent in the world, plenty of speed, brings it all every game – a game breaker – Mike Singletary’s type of player.
- *Tennessee Titans: Dan Williams, DT, Tennessee: The Vols were very good defensively, and a lot of that credit has to be given to Williams and the way he dominated the line up front. He’s so strong and really uses good leverage. The Titans need defensive line help.
- Pittsburgh Steelers: Trent Williams, OT, Oklahoma: The Steelers really need help on the offensive line, and while Williams isn’t a guarantee to be great, he certainly proved he can play at a high level on the right side. Big Ben needs to stop holding the ball or get help up front, or both. Williams helps right now.
- *Houston Texans: Brian Price, DT, UCLA: The Texans keep building on defense, and it makes sense, because offensively they are good enough to win football games. I think Price will be a very good defensive tackle, and any other year he’s likely a Top 10 guy, but there’s so many D-linemen this year, he slips. Lucky Texans.
- *Atlanta Falcons: Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, South Florida: I must have missed something letting this guy slip this far – but that always happens a couple times, and the Falcons, while not in a great need for a DE, have to take the very talented Paul at 20.
- Cincinnati Bengals: Aaron Hernandez, TE, Florida: Some think Aaron is the best of the TEs in a strong draft for pass catching big men. The Bengals definitely need some help in the passing game, another reliable threat for Palmer, and what better than a sure thing TE with great hands and mis-match type speed?
- New England Patriots: C.J. Spiller, RB, Clemson: I like what Lucky is thinking with this pick. Bill Belichick has to know a weapon when he sees one, and the Pats offense needs more weapons. Spiller scores a touchdown every game, that needs to be recognized. I think Sergio Kindle could go here as well.
- Green Bay Packers: Charles Brown, OT, USC: I’m doing this for lack of a better plan. I think Kindle could go here too, but offensive line is a big need and Brown is the next best OT. The Pack won’t want to leave the draft without some help up front, and it will be slim pickings later. Maybe the Pack would take a chance on the very talented Jahvid Best? I just don’t think a back-up RB has that much value here.
- Philadelphia Eagles: Navorro Bowman, OLB, Penn State: This is a great fit for the Eagles, a sure tackler that can get sideline to sideline. They were hurting at LB so much that they brought Trotter back in the fold. Seriously – as much as I did that guy, come on. I also think Everson Griffen has a chance to go here.
- Baltimore Ravens: Golden Tate, WR, Notre Dame: The Ravens could go for the ideal WR body, speed and height, or they could go for the guy that is going to get it done, a guy that dominated all season long at ND. I think they go with option two after watching Derrick Mason be so consistent over the years.
- Arizona Cardinals: Sergio Kindle, OLB, Texas: The Cardinals would be oh-so-lucky to get Kindle here, especially after the retirement of Bertrand Berry. Kindle is not a physicall imposing player, but what a difference maker and unbelievably physical for his size. A steal at 26.
- Dallas Cowboys: Brandon Spikes, ILB, Florida: Keith Brooking is 34 and Spikes is one of the best defensive players in college football. I’m not saying he can easily replace what Brooking did for the Cowboys this season, but he can learn from him, and he can help right away everywhere else.
- San Diego Chargers: Mike Iupati, OG, Idaho: Could the Chargers reach for the mammoth nose tackle Cody, knowing they need to clog up the middle on defense? Maybe. Could they go RB, to replace LT’s production as a more powerful back to team with Sproles? Maybe, but I think this is too high to go RB for them. Mike Iupati is a beast of a guard, and this run-game needs help. I think he starts right away for an O-line that needs some upgrades.
- New York Jets: Jerry Hughes, DE/OLB, TCU: The Jets aren’t in dire need of offensive play-makers like everyone insists – come on. They have a stellar offensive line. They have a great defense – so I think they get to pick the best player available. If they think Hughes can fit somewhere in that 3-4, I think he works. He might not be the biggest or strongest, but the guy has gotten it done with great consistency, and I think Rex can appreciate a great football player.
- Minnesota Vikings: Patrick Robinson, CB, Florida State: The kid is a good player and the Vikings could always use help in the secondary, he’ll help right now. For a team that was so good all season on both sides of the ball, I think the Vikings could get youth at any position and feel good about it. That being said, I still think it’s Robinson.
- Indianapolis Colts: Vladimir Ducasse: The Colts won’t go receiver, they don’t need RB help, and they are pretty much solid everywhere. They could always use warm bodies on defense where the team seems to sift through injuries, and a guy like Brandon Spikes or even Brandon Graham could go here. But I like this kid’s upside, and from what I read he has some great intangibles. The Colts are always looking to grab great upside.
- New Orleans Saints: Jared Odrick, DT, Penn State: This guy and Sedrick Ellis will clog up the middle, and bring a consistent inside pass rush for a long, long time. The Saints get a great player if Odrick falls to them.
That’s right, just one quarterback. My honest opinion is that Bradford is the only guy worth dipping a number one pick one, and none of the teams late in the draft should be loosing a 1st rounder to get a quarterback. If a trade down happens, sure, I can see that – but predicting a trade right now is straight ludicrous.