2010 NFL Mock Draft

The NFL Draft is one of my favorite sporting events of the year. It's like watching a soap opera. There are always unexpected surprises and twists. In addition, I love trying to mock the draft and that's exactly what I'm going to attempt to do in this article. With the draft less than a week away, I think it's a good time to reveal how I think the draft is going to shake down.

Admittingly, I will probably be wrong on about 75% of my selections. But who isn't?

I'm only going to mock the 1st round since I consider anything past the 1st round to be a crapshoot as far as predicting team selections goes.

I hope you enjoy this mock draft and I will be welcoming any comments or derogatory remarks you may have.

Round 1

Sam Bradford 1. St. Louis Rams: Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma
It's pretty much a given at this point in time that Bradford is going to be the #1 overall pick in this year's draft. He firmly cemented his place by having an outstanding Pro Day in which he completed 62 of 63 passes with the lone incompletion being a drop. This performance answered the lingering questions and concerns about his shoulder injury/surgery. Bradford is refusing to sign a contract before the draft, which makes sense from his standpoint because he will probably end up getting more money approaching the situation in this manner. I personally think that Clausen is the best QB in this draft and if I were the Rams I would trade down and grab Clausen later in the 1st round. This has two benefits: first, you grab an extra draft pick or two, second, you don't have to pay your franchise quarterback as much money since he was selected later in the draft.

Ndamukong Suh 2. Detroit Lions: Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska
The Lions have tipped their hand in who they are going to draft with this 2nd overall pick by trading for OG Rob Sims. With the addition of Sims, it's unlikely the Lions would spend this draft pick on an offensive tackle (e.g. Russell Okung). They will likely keep Jeff Backus at LT and install Sims at LG. I know a lot of people think the Lions should draft an OT with this pick to protect their franchise quarterback, but it's hard to pass up on a player of Suh's talent. The Lions defense has been atrocious (especially against the run) the last few seasons and Suh, along with the newly added KVB, could really shore up the defensive line. This improved defensive line will allow the Lions solid linebacking crew to do their job more effectively. I can't argue with them taking Suh with this pick.

Gerald McCoy 3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma
Tampa Bay is loving that McCoy will probably fall to them at #3. In pretty much anything other draft, McCoy would be the #1 defensive player off the board. He's actually a better fit than Suh for their 1-gap defensive system and he doesn't have the injury concerns that Suh has. If somehow Suh falls to #3, I think the Bucs will take him over McCoy just because of his name and high ceiling, even though he doesn't fit with their style of defense as well as McCoy does.

Russell Okung 4. Washington Redskins: Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma State
Being a Cowboys fan, I hate that the Redskins are likely going to have the chance to grab Okung with this pick. After trading for McNabb, they obviously filled their need for a QB and now their most dire need as at offensive tackle. Okung will be a franchise tackle for the Redskins and will help protect McNabb. OT Trent Williams is actually a better fit for the Redskins zone-blocking scheme and some have speculated that the Redskins may choose him over Okung. I think Mike Shanahan and the Redskins, however, go with the best available player here in Okung.

Bryan Bulaga 5. Kansas City Chiefs: Bryan Bulaga, OT, Iowa
Being an Iowa native, I'm glad to see that Bulaga will more than likely be a top 10 selection. I've seen Eric Berry mocked here quite a bit, but GM Scott Pioli tends to draft with a positional-value philosophy. With that being said, safety isn't a very "valuable" position (relatively speaking). Therefore, I see the Chiefs going out and drafting an offensive tackle to protect their horrible investment in Matt Cassel. There have been some concerns recently about Bulaga's ability to play at an elite level in the NFL and some scouts are giving him a 3rd round grade. However, I think Bulaga is worth a pick here and I think the Chiefs believe that as well.

Trent Williams 6. Seattle Seahawks: Trent Williams, OT, Oklahoma
With the Seahawks trading for Charlie Whithurst, they are obviously out of the running for Clausen. The Seahawks believe that Whitehurst can develop into a "top quarterback" and will give him every chance to win the starting job from decrepit QB Matt Hasselback. They have also gone out and said that they view upgrading their offensive line as being their next priority. Additionally, Whitehurst is exceptionally slow and possesses no scrambling ability. So, drafting a lineman here to protect him (or Hasselback) makes complete sense. Williams is the best offensive tackle left at this point in the draft and that's why I have him mocked here.

Eric Berry 7. Cleveland Browns: Eric Berry, S, Tennessee
The Browns have holes at every position. So, for me, this pick is quite a crapshoot. However, in a division in which you have two All-Pro safeties in Ed Reed and Troy Polamalu, drafting an elite safety like Berry makes some sense here. He has been drawing a lot of comparisions to Ed Reed and could be the game-changer that the Browns need on defense. Add in the fact that they have a defensive-minded coach in Eric "Mangina" and you have a good argument for the Browns taking Berry here. CB Joe Haden is a possibility here as well. However, Berry is a better talent and there need at CB is equal to their need at S, so I wouldn't see why they would take Haden over Berry. If I were the Browns, I would take Clausen with this pick. They currently have Senaca Wallace and Jake Delhomme competing for the starting QB job. They both suck and Clausen could be a very solid QB for them, especially under the tutelage of Mike Holmgren. However, Holmgren has come out and said that the likes Colt McCoy and that he really isn't that high on Clausen. This could be a smokescreen, but I'm going to take Holmgren at face value here and say they won't draft Clausen.

Bruce Campbell 8. Oakland Raiders: Bruce Campbell, T, Maryland
Campbell is exactly the type of player that undead Al Davis loves to draft. He's an athletic freak who fills a position that the Raiders have a hole at. Campbell ran a 4.86/40 at the Combine which is blazingly fast for a 6'6", 314 pound offensive lineman. He also posted 34 reps at 225 pounds. Joking aside, this pick isn't that bad. It may be a bit of a reach, but the Raiders need an offensive tackle and Campbell is one of the best left at this point in the draft. He may be a bit raw but he has shown that he can be a real asset in pass protection and he is a gym rat who is willing to work to get better.

Jimmy Clausen 9. Buffalo Bills: Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame
The Redskins and Seahawks trading for QB's in the off-season and Holmgren's supposed dislike of Clausen allows him to fall to the Bills at #9. And they should be ecstatic that he did. The Bills are in desperate need of a franchise QB (Brian Brohm, Trent Edwards, or Ryan Fitzpatrick are not the answers) and that's exactly what they get with this pick in the Clausen. There other glaring need is at offensive tackle. However, four of the top offensive tackles are already off the board at this point in the draft, so it doesn't make much sense to reach for one here when Clausen is still available. This is a no-brainer pick for GM Buddy Nix and the Bills. The Bills will probably screw it up though.

Derrick Morgan 10. Jacksonville Jaguars: Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech
This pick may seem to some as a nonsensical one. The Jaguars just went out and signed DE Aaron Kampman and have former top 10 pick Derrick Harvey on the other side. However, Kampman isn't a spring chicken and he's coming off ACL surgery. Also, the Jaguars have shown that they are all about taking the best player available and Morgan will likely be the best player available. The Jaguars could opt to upgrade their wide receiving corps by selecting Dez Bryant. However, that is a bit of a reach at this position in the draft. I think the likely alternative to Morgan here is CB Joe Haden. But Haden hurt his stock a bit when he ran a very poor 40 time at the Combine (4.57). In his defense, he bounced back and ran a 4.43 on a wet surface on his Pro Day which should gain most of his value back. Morgan is still my favorite to go at this spot however.

Rolando McClain 11. Denver Broncos: Rolando McClain, ILB, Alabama
I've seen a lot of mocks having the Broncos drafting Dez Bryant with this pick since they just traded the #1 WR in Brandon Marshall. However, thinking logically, that doesn't make much sense to me. Why would you trade a proven WR who's a diva in order to draft an unproven WR who's a diva? I believe the Broncos released solid veteran ILB Andra Davis in anticipation for the arrival of McClain. McClain is a perfect fit for Denver's 3-4 defensive scheme and combining him with RILB D.J. Williams will give the Broncos one of the best inside linebacking crews in the NFL. Another possibility with this pick is C/G Maurkice Poncey out of Florida. However, I think that is a bit of reach at this point in the draft and that the Broncos will go with the safe pick in McClain.

Dan Williams 12. Miami Dolphins: Dan Williams, NT, Tennessee
The Dolphins just went out and spent a buttload of money on Karlos Dansby. They are going to want to surround their investment with players that allow him to do his job to the best of his ability. Williams does this. Miami has a huge void at NT and Williams would be an immediate starter and would consume offensive lineman in the trenches allowing Dansby to roam more freely. If Williams is gone at this point, the Dolphins will most likely select Jason Pierre-Paul. He is the type of player that Bill Parcells loves. I think Williams will still be here at this pick though.

Joe Haden 13. San Francisco 49ers: Joe Haden, DB, Florida
This pick would probably be different if the 49ers didn't have another pick at #17 of this round. Haden is a top 10 talent and will likely be a shutdown corner in the NFL. The 49ers have a significant hole at cornerback opposite Shawntae Spencer and Haden fills that quite nicely. Yes, Haden did have a horrible 40 time at the Combine, but he corrected that by running a solid time on his Pro Day. The 49ers drafting philosophy has been to take the best player available and that's why they go with Haden here at #13. Although C.J. Spiller is a definite possibility here as well. I just don't see them taking Spiller when they have Frank Gore.

C.J. Spiller 14. Seattle Seahawks: C.J. Spiller, RB, Clemson
Spiller is quite the dynamic running back and would fit in well with Seattle's West Coast style offense. He doesn't figure to be an every down back in the NFL, but he doesn't need to be with Seattle since they have RB Justin Forsett who played very well down the stretch last season and can adequately share the load with Spiller. The Seahawks could also address their defensive line issues here by taking Jason Pierre-Paul or even wide receiver by taking Dez Bryant. However, I think Pete Carroll goes out and grabs the most dynamic offensive player in the draft in Spiller.

Sean Weatherspoon 15. New York Giants: Sean Weatherspoon, LB, Missouri
The Giants have a serious need at MLB after releasing veteran Antonio Pierce. Weatherspoon has had a great off-season and played very well at the Senior Bowl. He's likely a better fit to play WLB, but if drafted by the Giants, he will make the adjustment to MLB quite well. DT Brian Price is also an option for the Giants here but I think he's a bit of a reach since he's more likely a late 1st round prospect.

Jason Pierre-Paul 16. Tennessee Titans: Jason Pierre-Paul, DE/LB, South Florida
J.P.P. is a great fit for the Titans. They have shown that they like to draft players with great performances at the Combine and that are freakishly athletic. Pierre-Paul definitely fits this bill. With the departure of KVB, the Titans have a need at defensive end. Pierre-Paul has the measurables and potential to be a great defensive end. However, he's still very raw. If coached right, he will be a great player. He has a high ceiling as well which will work in his favor.

Anthony Davis 17. San Francisco 49ers: Anthony Davis, OT, Rutgers
The 49ers have a gaping hole at RT. Adam Synder was perhaps the worst lineman in the league last season (he allowed 9.5 sacks). Davis' value has fallen in the off-season due to his poor interviewing skills and questionable work ethic. If anyone can motivate him, it will be Mike Singeltary. I think Mike will be up to the challenge and the 49ers will consequently take Davis with this pick at #17.

Maurkice Pouncey 18. Pittsburgh Steelers: Maurkice Pouncey, C/G, Florida
Pouncey will give the Steelers added versatility along their offensive line. He can play either guard position as well as center. Big Ben got pounded way too often last season and the Steelers are probably looking to correct that issue. Centers are traditionally not drafted this high, however, Pouncey is a superb talent at his position and has the added versatility to play guard. Another strong possibility here is guard Mike Iupati out of Idaho, who has had a great off-season and would be a nice fit with the Steelers. I think the Steelers take Pouncey though because of his ability to play multiple positions along the offensive line.

Brandon Graham 19. Atlanta Falcons: Brandon Graham, DE, Michigan
The Falcons will be heading into this draft looking to improve their pass rush. John Abraham is nearing the end of his career and Lawrence Sidbury has yet to do much of anything. This leaves Kroy Biermann as the main pass-rushing threat for the future. Granted, I love his name, but he's nothing to write home about. Graham will give the Falcons a good pass-rushing threat and he is also very solid against the run. There are some concerns about his lack of size being 6'1". However, there are many defensive lineman who have had great careers at that height (e.g. Dwight Freeney). As an aside, if Sean Weatherspoon is available at this pick, I think the Falcons go with him over Graham. However, I think Weatherspoon won't be available.

Kyle Wilson 20. Houston Texans: Kyle Wilson, CB, Boise State
The departure of CB Dunta Robinson leaves the Texans with a huge void at cornerback. Admittingly, this may be a slight reach at #20, especially when Earl Thomas is still on the board. However, the Texans already have a great safety in Bernard Pollard and have more pressing issues at cornerback (no pun intended). Wilson is the #2 CB prospect behind Joe Haden and although he's slightly undersized, he's a very physical corner which fits nicely with what Houston likes to do on defense. I think that the Texans could just as easily select S Earl Thomas with this pick. I wouldn't be shocked at all if they did.

Earl Thomas 21. Cincinnati Bengals: Earl Thomas, S, Texas
The Bengals would love to see Thomas fall to them at #21. They have serious issues at safety, especially free safety. Thomas projects as a FS at the next level and has great range for that position. He would be a great fit for the Bengals and I have little doubt that he would be a great performer for them. Thomas has been compared to Troy Polamalu of the Steelers due to his versatility and aggressiveness on the playing field.

Jermaine Gresham 22. New England Patriots: Jermaine Gresham, TE, Oklahoma
I think the Patriots will be looking to add another offensive weapon for Tom Brady since Wes Welker is looking like he will miss a decent part of next season. Belicheck has taken two TE's in the 1st round over the last 10 years (Daniel Graham, Ben Watson), so Gresham is a definite possibility at this pick. The Patriots main TE right now is Alge Crumpler who has turned into a blocking TE over the last few seasons. So this pick makes perfect sense. The Pats could opt to draft a pass-rushing linebacker. However, Bill has never drafted one of those in the 1st round before. I like Gresham here quite a bit.

Charles Brown 23. Green Bay Packers: Charles Brown, OT, USC
It's pretty clear that the Packers need to do a better job of protecting A-Rod. That line was absolutely atrocious for the 1st half of last season and was appropriately nicknamed "Baby Swiss." Some may think the Packers will forego drafting an offensive lineman here since they re-signed Chad Clifton and Mark Tauscher, however, I think that was just adding insurance on part of the Packers. Charles Brown gives the Packers a solid tackle who will protect their franchise quarterback.

Mike Iupati 24. Philadelphia Eagles: Mike Iupati, OG, Idaho
Andy Reid loves to draft big offensive lineman and Iupati certainly fits the bill. He's had a great off-season and is a solid pick for the Eagles at #24. The Eagles also have a desperate need at CB and could take Devin McCourty or Patrick Roberston. However, those guys may be a bit of reach at this point and are not as talented, relatively speaking, as Iupati.

Jared Odrick 25. Baltimore Ravens: Jared Odrick , DE, Penn State
Both Dwan Edwards and Justin Banaan are gone which leaves Baltimore's defensive line a little thinner. Defensive line, especially in a 3-4 requires quite a bit of depth. Odrick is a great talent and would fit well with the Ravens defensive scheme. He would play defensive end in Baltimore's 3-4 system.

Devin McCourty 26. Arizona Cardinals: Devin McCourty, CB, Rutgers
The Cardinals got absolutely lit up during their playoff game against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. This exposed their need for a solid cornerback. DRC has had knee issues and the Cardinals have struggled to find someone talented enough to play opposite of him. McCourty has really been climbing up the draft boards after posting a 4.34/40 at the Combine (the fastest 40 time of any CB). Some may argue that Patrick Robertson is the pick here. However, I like McCourty's speed which will give him the ability to keep up with some of the big time NFL wide receivers and I think Robertson has some issues when it comes to stopping the run.

Dez Bryant 27. Dallas Cowboys: Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State
Dez Bryant is the perfect fit for the Cowboys and Jerry Jones would poop his pants if he fell to the Cowboys at #27. But, I don't think it's that unlikely. The Dolphins and Ravens both filled their need for a wide receiver via trade in the off-season and if he gets past Denver and Seattle early, he could land here. He surely hasn't helped his stock with his character issues. The Cowboys seem to love picking up players like Bryant and they do have a need at WR with Roy E. Williams playing like a dried-up turd. This situation could end up being similar to the 1998 draft in which Randy Moss fell to the later half of the 1st round.

Ryan Mathews 28. San Diego Chargers: Ryan Mathews, RB, Fresno State
The Chargers #1 need this off-season is running back. Darren Sproles is a very talented player, but he's not capable of being an every-down back. He's better suited as a change of pace 3rd-down back. Mathews had a great combine (6-0, 218, 4.41 40, 36-inch vertical). And not only can Mathews run the ball well, he can catch the ball and block. These are two things that the Chargers look for in a running back. Seems to be a match made in Heaven.

Jerry Hughes 29. New York Jets : Jerry Hughes, DE/OLB, TCU
Now that the Jets have added another weapon for Mark Sanchez by obtaining Santonio Holmes from the Steelers, they can now turn their attention to defensive needs. 2008 1st round draft choice, Vernon Gholston, has been a severe letdown and I look for the Jets to bring someone in to challenge him. This pick will probably either be Hughes or Sergio Kindle. I think Kindle is slightly overrated due to his inexperience and that Hughes is the better prospect. Rex Ryan, being the defensive genius that he is, will hopefully agree with me and take Hughes.

April 21 Update: I don't believe that the signing of Jason Taylor alters the Jets draft selection here. They essentially signed Taylor to a 1 year contract and he will only be a situational pass-rusher who will get about 25 snaps per game. He's 35 years old and is probably in his last season. They may have even brought Taylor in to mentor a Hughes/Kindle-type draft pick if they do select someone like that early. Therefore, I'm keeping this selection unchanged.

Kareem Jackson 30. Minnesota Vikings: Kareem Jackson, CB, Alabama
There may be other cornerbacks available at this point in draft that are "better" than Jackson. However, teams don't always select the best player available. They select the player that will be the best fit for their defensive/offensive system. Jackson is the best fit for their Cover-2 style defense and should see a good amount of playing time with Cedric Griffin more than likely starting the season on the bench due to injury. I've also seen Tebow mocked here as well. But, I just don't see it happening.

Brian Price 31. Indianapolis Colts: Brian Price, DT, UCLA
The Colts don't have much talent currently at the defensive tackle position and Price gives them a player that is fully capable of penetrating into the backfield and causing disruption among opposing team's offensive lines. He is a good selection at this point in the 1st round.

Everson Griffen 32. New Orleans Saints: Everson Griffen, DE, USC
Even with the addition of Alex Brown at defensive end, the Saints still are thin at this position. Griffin is a solid defensive end. He has limited upside however. But, at this point in the draft, he's probably the best defensive end option left. Carlos Dunlap could be an option here as well.

Last Updated: April 21, 2010

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