By Paul M. Banks and Peter Christian
A good mock draft is like a football geek’s crossword puzzle. You have to find and fill all the spaces and make them fit together. Sort of like Tetris. First you need power rankings for draft order, then team needs, prospect lists to see who goes where, then remember that it almost never goes down the way it should on paper.
GMs, scouts, coaches, other people pulling the strings- they all come together and sometimes the final decision is made by impulse, intangibles and/or whim. Or in the case of Bears GM Jerry Angelo, completely opposite of whatever common sense tells you. But this week, a lot of the crossword puzzle spaces were filled in. Because January 15th brought us the deadline for underclassmen to declare early.
As always, when you’re done reading Round one, be sure to click here for the second round. Or read round 2 before you read the first round, whatever floats your boat.
Team Player Position School
1. St. Louis Rams Ndamukong Suh DT Nebraska
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 Jimmy Clausen QB Notre Dame
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. Clausen is an annoying, immature entitled brat with off-the-field issues. He’s also the most NFL ready QB in this draft BY FAR though.
For more on Clausen click here, For more Notre Dame, go here.
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.
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.
7. Cleveland Browns Rolando McClain LB Alabama
McClain is an amazing tackler in space and 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
8. Oakland Raiders Sam Bradford QB Oklahoma
Bruce Gradkowski is injured 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 Bradford is the pick. Unless his 40 yard dash at the combine fails to impress Al Davis. Because we all know, the Raiders owner is overly impressed by speed the way babies are impressed by shiny objects. Maybe Davis’ judgment won’t be clouded this time.
For more on Jenn Sterger’s implant removal, 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 Jahvid Best RB Cal
This may be an against the grain opinion of mine, but I believe Tim Tebow is not actually Jesus, and I don’t believe the Jags will take him here just to sell tickets. The Jax offense works much better when they have two main backs in their stable. Best is exactly what is name proclaims at his position. He has very good vision and an even better instinct on when to turn on the jets. He is very good at making defenders miss at every level. He isn’t a bruiser back but if coupled with a versatile offense he has the makings of the next young play-making running back.
For more my social theory proving Tebow is not Jesus click here
11. Denver Broncos (From the Chicago Bears) Dan Williams NT Tennessee
A pick this high on a guy who would essentially be just a 2-down player? Yes, Williams is just that good a prospect. And the Broncos could use an excellent 3-4 DT.
For more Bears coverage, click here
12. Miami Dolphins Terrence Cody DT Alabama
To read an in-depth profile and interview of Terrence Cody, click here
Cody is a big time anchor guy who could go higher if he stays in good shape throughout the combine and workout process. He is a perfect 3-4 true nose tackle and can really control the flow and direction of a play. By the way, the Dolphins could REALLY use a nose tackle. A slam dunk pick here. Now where’s my webby award for figuring this out?
13. San Francisco 49ers 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 highly publicized 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
To see where Charissa Thompson ranks among the decade’s top SIDELINE PRINCESSES click here
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 Kristofer O’Dowd C USC
In the Meadowlands the center often does not hold. But in 2010, if NYG grabs this 6’6″ 300 pound big man, the center may just be where the creamy filling (by that I mean the best part) of the offensive line is. Speaking metaphorically of course.
16. Tennessee Titans Joe Haden CB Florida
The Titans could use a DB and Haden is the top of the board amongst corners when it comes to 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”
To read 11 more phrases we never need to hear again click here
17. San Francisco 49ers (From Carolina) Navorro Bowman LB Penn State
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. By the way, Bowman officially declared Monday January 4th
For an interview/profile of Bowman, click here
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.
19. Atlanta Falcons Donovan Warren CB Michigan
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 CJ Spiller RB Clemson
The Bengals might have scared Cedric Benson straight, as he’s putting up a Pro Bowl year; perhaps because he realized this would be his last chance? But what the depth behind him? Is Cedric the entertainer a long term solution? 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.
22. New England Patriots Jared Odrick DT Penn State
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. Regarding the talents and abilities of Odrick himself, I asked him about the best part of his game, “I hate this question. I let people decide that for me. I just try to be a smart player. If you’re a smart player than you can play faster, more efficient and that’s really what I want to try and do,” Odrick said.
To read the complete profile and exclusive of Odrick click here
23. Green Bay Packers Bryan Bulaga OT Iowa
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.
To read the ten most painful Packer moments of the 2000s, click here
For more Packers coverage click here
24. Philadelphia Eagles 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. Yet I’m sure Philadelphia Eagles fans who read this mock draft will probably hate this pick and also voice that criticism. It seems like Eagles fans dislike our mock draft more than the fans of any other team.
25. Baltimore Ravens Golden Tate WR Notre Dame
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.” Tate is a burner with enough ups to compensate for his lack of height.
For more Notre Dame coverage, go here.
26. Arizona Cardinals Taylor Mays S USC
The Arizona Cardinals badly need to upgrade their 29th ranked pass defense. And if you asked a scout to write down their ideal size and speed numbers for an NFL free safety they’d list: 6-3, 235, 4.4. Oddly enough that is Taylor’s height, weight and 40 time on record. Enough said.
27. Dallas Cowboys Arthur Jones DT Syracuse
Jones’ is a gap filler and stronger than Arnold Schwarznegger during the height of his steroid using days. He is in a Pat Williams type run stopper that will be look like a man amongst boys at times. He plays hard on every play and is of the rare breed of football players that will never quit on any play.
28. San Diego Chargers Brandon Spikes LB Florida
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.
29. New York Jets Brandon LaFell WR LSU
Mark Sanchez has been on season long to prove that the Jets win because of him, not in spite of him. Maybe more weapons is all he needs. And LaFell has not only speed and an uncanny ability to find separation, he also possesses an amazing ability to stretch out for less-than-perfectly-thrown balls that will add another dimension to the Jets offense.
30. Minnesota Vikings Sean Witherspoon LB Missouri
The Vikings obviously don’t have many needs, but augmenting their linebacking depth with a versatile, athletic, and high football IQ guy like Witherspoon is a best case scenario for then when their pick comes around.
To see the Minnesota Vikings All-Decade team, click here
31. New Orleans Saints Dez Bryant WR Oklahoma State
Bryant’s off-the-field issues won’t hurt his draft stock too much. And Dez is #1 the receiver on many boards; partially due to his sure-handedness and fearlessness about going down the middle. His speed ain’t too shabby either. WR isn’t the Saints biggest need (obviously) but all the top talent at their main three positions of need (LB, DT, OT) should all be well picked over by this point and Bryant could drop this far; Saints should go value pick here.
32. Indianapolis Colts Charles Brown OT USC
The OT position should be the Colts’ biggest position of need. It’s also the deepest position in this draft. Brown, who often draws comparisons to Maurice Williams, was listed at No. 8 on Rivals.com?s preseason offensive tackle power ranking.Brown was named first team All American by Sporting News, won the Morris Trophy, and was All Pac-10 as a senior.
TO READ THE SECOND ROUND OF THE NFL MOCK DRAFT CLICK HERE
Our NFL Mock Draft is listed at: Walter Football, DC Pro Sports Report, NLSFF, Fantasy Football Toolbox, Sunday Kickoff, Draft Ace, The Football Expert , Hail Redskins, NFL Mocks and NE Patriots Mock Draft Database. Please check out those websites, the best collections of mock drafts in the world wide web!
And on another topic, we are currently looking for online ad salespeople and writers/bloggers for specific teams. To learn more and apply click here
Leave a Reply