By Paul M. Banks and Peter Christian
To be quite frank, this draft has a lot of steak, but little sizzle. All three offensive skill positions (QB, WR, RB) are somewhat weak this class; the running backs especially so. It’s a very loaded draft at two less glamorous positions defensive end and offensive tackle
Team Player Position School
Suh, who seems to spend most of the time his playing time in opponents’ backfields, is impossible to pass up. After the Big 12 title game Texas Coach Mack Brown, said about Suh: “He was all over the place. We just couldn’t handle him. I tried to find him to wish him good luck in the NFL, because I don’t want to see him again.”
For an interview/profile of Suh, click here.
2. Detroit Lions Gerald McCoy DT Oklahoma
The Lions need a lot, and they can start by augmenting the pass rush, which would improve their ailing secondary. And McCoy would be perfect, he’s a pillar of strength that can dominate from the center of the field, and is very agile for a guy just shy of 300 pounds. Also, the helmet-haired and Count Chocula resembling Mel Kiper Jr. of ESPN seems to think this pick is going to happen.
For more Lions coverage click here
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Eric Berry S Tennessee
The Bucs rushing defense (or should I say lack thereof) is exceedingly apparent, so they’ll need help stuffing the run. (Don’t let the upset of the year over the Saints foll you) And Eric Berry is the heir apparent to Ed Reed as the elite defensive play-maker in the NFL. Scouts think he’s pretty solid against the run; not so bad against the pass either. BTW, I wonder if Berry will be recruited by NFL teams in the same manner that he was possibly wooed in high school?
(For more on the hotties hired by the Univ. of Tennessee to assist recruiting efforts, click here)
4. Washington Redskins Sam Bradford QB Oklahoma
The Skins spent all of last season under-mining Jason Campbell’s confidence, and they spent much of this season giving him a vote of no confidence. Zorn is gone, time for change at QB too. And injuries aside, Bradford still seems like the safest signal-caller choice to make in a very weak QB class.
5. Kansas City Chiefs Russell Okung OT Oklahoma State
Well now that they have Charlie Weiss as coordinator, the offense will just fix itself right? Ok, I couldn’t keep a straight face either as I typed that. The Chiefs number one need is OT, and they’ll get the best one available this draft in Okung, who combines all his physical gifts with a high football IQ; making him the perfect pick that this spot. You know who else has a lot of physical gifts? But probably has a low football IQ? Rebecca Grant: that annoying, but hot Verizon spokeswoman who keeps showing up during playoff commercial breaks.
For more on Rebecca Grant go here
6. Seattle Seahawks Trent Williams OT Oklahoma
The Okung or Williams debate over who is the better choice at offensive tackle is one where there really isn’t a loser. By the way, if you’re planning on seeing the new film about a Left Tackle “The Blind Side,” I’m warning you know it’s “Jerry Maguire” all over again- a thinly disguised chick flick mass-marketed as a football movie. Trent Williams, like Okung, has good feet, strong hands and the talent to become elite in the NFL.
For more on all the talented OTs in this draft click here
7. Cleveland Browns Joe Haden CB Florida
Right now Haden’s draft stock is hotter than Brittany Brees (Drew’s wife and recent media darling- see picture at top) He’s at the top of the board amongst corners regarding solid coverage and ball skills. He makes good reads and adjusts well to the ball when it’s in the air. I would also say that Haden plays well “in space”. But I can’t stand that expression. It sounds like it should be describing Issac Asimov or Buck Rodgers’ draft profile….IN SPAAAACCEEEE”
Bruce Gradkowski is not a long term answer and JaMarcus Russell is a bigger bust than Jenn “FSU Cowgirl” Sterger. (well, Sterger before she had her implants removed). Therefore, Oakland needs a QB, and Clausen is the pick. Clausen is an annoying, immature entitled brat with off-the-field issues. But he could be the most NFL ready QB in this draft too. And besides Oakland is known for harboring, not shunning away, players with character issues.
(UPDATE: For new pics of Ms. Sterger, post implants, go here)
9. Buffalo Bills Bruce Campbell OT Maryland
Campbell could go higher, because he easily has as much talent and ability as Okung and Williams, but he doesn’t have their track record of durability. Therefore, he slips down the board a little. Still this is essentially shaping up to be “the offensive tackle draft” (yeah, so sexy I know) like 1983 was “the quarterback draft”.
10. Jacksonville Jaguars CJ Spiller RB Clemson
The Jax offense works much better when they have two main backs in their stable. Spiller’s a fast runner built on a solid frame. His outside running game and ability to catch the ball out of the backfield is where he’ll make his mark, but he’s not afraid to go right at a defender. He’s a balanced runner, who mixes good North-South inertia with high elusiveness.
11. Denver Broncos (From the Chicago Bears) Dan Williams NT Tennessee
The Broncos could use an excellent 3-4 DT with the Bears pick. And Williams had about as good a Senior Bowl week as anybody. Williams was already projected very high, but he made himself even more money this week. Like Busta Rhymes said: “even though we making money, you can gimme some more!”
12. Miami Dolphins Rolando McClain LB Alabama
Miami has front seven needs, at multiple positions. So it would behoove them to add a fast-rising prospect like McClain, an amazing tackler that can cover a lot of ground from the middle linebacker spot. He’s got great fundamentals and has a knack of shedding blockers to make big tackles. When you hear his name, you might first think of the protagonist from the “Die Hard” film series. He certainly has the same toughness and will to fight.
For an interview/profile of McClain, click here
13. San Francisco 49ers Anthony Davis OT Rutgers
Frisco needs a true right tackle and Davis is a gargantuan. At 3 bills and a quarter he’s much bigger than your industry standard OT prospect. He’s also got a huge wingspan, and his ability to run block makes him special. His conditioning is a concern though, and if he looks bad at the combine he could fall back into the 2nd round or lower.
14. Seattle Seahawks (From Denver) Jonathan Dwyer RB Georgia Tech
Dwyer, an old school workhorse running back can run inside and outside and can handle as many carries as the coach gives him. Dwyer’s a big back, but he has good speed as well and can be the muscle of a two back system or handle the bulk of the carries as well. With all the hype going to Spiller and Best, his talent and ability will sneak up on you. Just like the hotness of Pam Beesly from The Office (actress Jenna Fischer) also sneaks up on ya.
15. New York Giants Derrick Morgan DE Georgia Tech
This is a very deep DE draft, and Morgan is the most athletic of the bunch. He was probably the most dominant defensive player in the ACC this year. He also played in the shadows of 2009 NFL draftees Michael Johnson, Darryl Richard and Vance Walker the past two seasons, so he should be seasoned like Lawry’s once the draft process begins. Which will no doubt help his stock. If this pick doesn’t make sense at first, consider 1.) New York GM Jerry Reese is (with possible exception to Packers’ boss Ted Thompson) the biggest “value GM” in the NFL when it it comes to the draft. 2.) Osi Umenyiora wants out of Gotham.
For more on all the talented DEs in this draft class go here
16. Tennessee Titans Earl Thomas S Texas
Thomas, joins Sapp and Haden as the hottest prospects that scouts are talking about a LOT these days. You’ll find all three names moving up draft big boards everywhere. Thomas, the man who wore Colt McCoy’s number on defense at Texas, is a phenomenal playmaker with hitting ability and closing speed.
To read a profile/interview of Thomas click here
17. San Francisco 49ers (From Carolina) Jason Pierre-Paul DE South Florida
JPP has shot up the charts because of his ability to play in either a 3-4 or 4-3 scheme. The Evil Empire’s Todd McShay has him as the 5th overall pick- but that’s a bit aggressive. The 6-6 260 lb junior has an explosive burst, and he registered 6.5 sacks and 16.5 TFLs last season. This is an EXTREMELY deep draft at the Defensive End position, so you really can’t go wrong by picking any of the 6-7 top prospects that will likely land in the first round.
18. Pittsburgh Steelers Jermaine Cunningham DE Florida
Cunningham isn’t as explosive as his teammate Carlos Dunlap but he is more reliable on a play by play basis. He gets to the quarterback with regularity and makes a lot of tackles in the run game as well.
For an in-depth profile of Warren click here
Since October, when the injury bug bit the Falcons’ secondary, the Falcons’ pass defense started resembling the no-show secondary of the mid to late 90s (You know, right after Deion $anders and Tim McKyer left). Now opposing receivers are burning Atlanta worse than General Sherman in the Civil War. So they desperately need help at CB.
20. Houston Texans Patrick Robinson CB Florida State
The Texans have a solid offense, so they’ll no doubt draft for defense, and Robinson is a super fast coverage man that is above average in nearly every aspect of the game. He anticipates routes but isn’t a huge risk taker and tackles well in the open field. He is also a very good return man.
21. Cincinnati Bengals Mike Iupati OG/OT Idaho
Iupati (not to be confused with IUPUI) could fit well into the Bengals system. he had a lackluster Senior Bowl week, but his skills still figure to translate well on the next level. Cedric Benson would love this pick- if he pays attention to NFL mock drafts.
The Pats’ struggles and injuries to the front seven this season have been a constant reminder that this draft will no doubt focus on the defensive side of the ball. Bowman’s versatility and football acumen made him an absolute force down the stretch for PSU, (earning a few Big Ten defensive player of the week awards) and it’s becoming impossible not to compare him to Lavar Arrington- same school, position, and jersey number. Arrington went on to six Pro Bowls, so that’s quite a complement.
For an interview/profile of Bowman, click here
As you might have heard, the Pack’s OL was terrible, and has slightly improved. Now they’re only pretty bad. GB will get a huge boost in their ability to run and pass protect on the left side when they take Bulaga, one of the best OL in college football.
24. Philadelphia Eagles Brandon Graham DE Michigan
Graham has a lot of what you look for in an End, but this class is loaded at that position. The 2010 draft will be to defensive ends what white women are to wearing giant, over-sized sunglasses. However, Graham’s Senior Bowl- two sacks, forced fumble, MVP performance, looking pretty much unblockable, makes him potentially a 1st round lock.
25. Baltimore Ravens Dez Bryant WR Oklahoma State
Baltimore’s group of wide receivers make big plays about as often as someone watching a rerun of the HBO’s “The Wire” says to his or herself, “hey, I really want to go visit Baltimore.” Bryant’s off-the-field issues don’t seem to have affected his draft stock. And that stock will certainly rise when the combine hits and scouts see his measurables manifest; which will no doubt complement and verify his impressive physical attributes.
26. Arizona Cardinals Everson Griffen DE USC
The Arizona Cardinals badly need to upgrade their 29th ranked pass defense. Getting more pressure consistently would help. Griffen’s stock has been rising due to his fantastic size and great bullrush speed. He might even find himself fitting in as a 3-4 OLB in the NFL. Griffen has the ability to effectively speedrush, use quick inside moves, spin moves or just rush standing up at times.
27. Dallas Cowboys Brian Price DT UCLA
Jerry Jones’ team could use some more size at this position. One thing that is already big enough is Jones’ ego. Price is one of the best D tackles available in the class of 2010. He had 48 tackles last season and a whopping 23.5 tackles for loss. He also added 7 sacks and forced 2 fumbles. Scouts also love his measurables.
28. San Diego Chargers Sean Witherspoon LB Missouri
Witherspoon had a FANTASTIC Senior Bowl week and he will make a good fit, as the Chargers attempt to strengthen their run defense and rejuvenate their front seven with a versatile, athletic, and high football IQ guy like Witherspoon is a best case scenario for then when their pick comes around.
29. New York Jets Golden Tate WR Notre Dame
All season long, people (in my opinion rightfully) believed the Jets won consistently in spite of Mark Sanchez, not because of him. Maybe more weapons is all he needs to prove naysayers like me wrong. There’s a drop-off from Bryant to Tate, when it comes to WR prospects, because there are many more questions about Golden than there are about Dez. Some wonder if Tate is too small.
30. Minnesota Vikings Brandon Spikes LB Florida
The Vikings obviously don’t have many needs, but it would be good for their defense if they improve LB depth. They’ll be questions a plenty about Spikes’ character, but no one doubts his ability. And he’ll probably end up wowing scouts at the combine with his measurables too.
To see the Minnesota Vikings All-Decade team, click here
31. Indianapolis Colts Ricky Sapp DE/OLB Clemson
This doesn’t exactly fill the Colts’ biggest position of need, but a fast-rising prospect like Sapp who can play at different spots, would be too good to pass up. He has many abilities including what he brings to the Dolphins’ pass rushing table. He could even make a good understudy for the all-world Dwight Freeney.
32. New Orleans Saints Greg Hardy DE Ole Miss
Greg Hardy may be the purest sack artist in the draft. He has a lethal combination of speed and power that he mixes up to get to the quarterback. Hardy also has a sort of “Overdrive” that he shifts into once he smells a possible sack. Because of Carlos Dunlap’s off-the-field issues, Hardy now overtakes him on the DE draft board. Hardy has shown just a portion of his tremendous potential; the best is yet to come, like Big Ten Network sideline reporter Charissa Thompson
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