Thursday, January 21, 2010

NFL Draft Bible Mock Draft 1.0

NFL Draft Bible scouting guru Justin Van Fulpen and talent evaluator Mike Bozarth set the table with the initial first round mock of the 2010 draft season.

1. St. Louis Rams (1-15) - QB Jimmy Clausen*, Notre Dame – The latest rumblings have the Rams potentially trading for Mike Vick and then selecting Ndamukong Suh. Until they obtain a quarterback, the Rams need to start from square one, which means identifying a signal-caller.

2. Detroit Lions (2-14) - DT Ndamukong Suh, Nebraska – The “skinny” 300-pounder wreaks havoc in the middle with his athleticism/burst and is a once-in-a-decade type of player.

3. Tampa Bay Bucs (3-13) – DT Gerald McCoy*, Oklahoma – One of the toughest positions to find a quality, impact starter is defensive tackle and McCoy will likely benefit from this. However, that is not to say he doesn’t possess great upside and top-five talent.

4. Washington Redskins (4-12) - QB Sam Bradford*, Oklahoma – Scouts and NFL-types alike are waiting until Bradford’s private workout (tentatively scheduled for April) to make their judgments. If everything checks out medically, new head coach Mike Shanahan will put his stamp on the team with a new quarterback.

5. Kansas City Chiefs (4-12) – DB Eric Berry*, Tennessee – Some consider Berry to be the best player in this year’s draft, one capable of playing cornerback and both safety positions.

6. Seattle Seahawks (5-11) – DE Derrick Morgan*, Georgia Tech – With Patrick Kerney set to turn 35 this season, the Seahawks will be in a position to nab the most talented defensive end in the draft to start opposite Lawrence Jackson.

7. Cleveland Browns (5-11) - ILB Rolando McClain*, Alabama – An all-around talent who played in a 3-4 defensive scheme in college, McClain would be an ideal fit with the Browns, especially with D’Qwell Jackson coming off a season-ending shoulder injury.

8. Oakland Raiders (5-11) - OT Russell Okung, Oklahoma State – The Raiders need a tremendous amount of help along the offensive line and Okung would be an ideal building block…unlike Robert Gallery, the number two overall pick of the 2004 draft, who has been relegated to backup guard duties.

9. Buffalo Bills (6-10) – OT Anthony Davis*, Rutgers –
While the Bills may hope one of the quarterbacks slip to them at number nine, it won’t matter who’s under center if they can’t keep that signal caller upright. They should pounce on Davis, a dominant run blocker who has the potential to be the best left tackle coming out of this draft.

10. Denver Broncos (7-9) – WR Dez Bryant*, Oklahoma State – It could be Christmas in April for the Broncos if the former Okie State Cowboy Bryant slips. With Brandon Marshall on his way out, they would have a ready-made replacement in Bryant, who has a similar skill set and can’t be as big of a drama queen as Marshall.

11. Jacksonville Jaguars (7-9) – DT Brian Price*, UCLA –
The Jags would be extremely interested in Derrick Morgan, if he is still around. Derrick Harvey has been less than impressive in his first two seasons, but deserves another year. Both of the Jags’ young defensive ends would benefit from the addition of another talented tackle to go alongside the veteran John Henderson. Price is an extremely talented player that creates disruption in the offensive backfield.

12. Miami Dolphins (7-9) – DT Dan Williams, Tennessee – Williams is a force in the middle, but many question if he is just a one-year wonder. The former Volunteer isn’t the most talented player on the board, but would fill a need for Miami’s 3-4 defense. However, don’t be surprised if the Dolphins look to trade down to accumulate additional picks. If they don’t find anyone willing, they will be satisfied to fill the need.

13. San Francisco 49ers (8-8) – DE Carlos Dunlap*, Florida – Dunlap is one of the most intriguing prospects in the 2010 draft. At 6’6”, 290 pounds he is big enough to play a 3-4 end or be a dominating 4-3 rush end. His DUI during the 2009 season will hurt his draft stock. He will still be a top-15 pick, but if kept his nose clean the former Gator could have been a top-five pick overall.

14. Seattle Seahawks (8-8) – RB C.J. Spiller, Clemson – Even though it looks like the Seahawks found a solid running back in former Cal Golden Bear Justin Forsett, they are not done rebuilding the ground attack. Spiller is an electrifying player; a great receiver and return man whose touches should be spread out. The Seahawks would have a great tandem at running back with the addition of Spiller.

15. New York Giants (8-8) – CB Joe Haden*, Florida – The New York football Giants should do back flips if this former Gator and Thorpe Award finalist drops to them at 15. Big Blue has needs help at all three levels of the defense and Haden is the type of lockdown corner than can make everyone look better.

16. San Francisco 49ers (8-8) – OT Trent Williams, Oklahoma – Once pegged as a sure-fire top-ten pick, Williams is indeed talented…but is probably a little overrated. The biggest question mark is whether he will be a left tackle or right tackle in the NFL, which will determine his value come draft day. The Niners wouldn’t need him to protect the quarterback’s blind side, so this Boomer Sooner would be a true San Francisco treat.

17. Tennessee Titans (9-7) – DE Jason Pierre-Paul*, South Florida – Pierre-Paul is a player that has been flying up boards of late. He could be long gone by the time the Titans pick if he impresses at the NFL Scouting Combine. He is a little raw, but has elite ability which is why he is a lock first rounder despite playing only one season at the Division I level. The Titans could use a shot of youth on their aging defensive line.

18. Pittsburgh Steelers – OG Mike Iupati, Idaho – Iupati is still raw, but his ceiling is high—he’s a potentially dominant interior lineman. He is an extremely physical player that plays the type of football the Steelers are known for. Given time, Iupati could be an elite guard or tackle in the NFL.

19. Atlanta Falcons (9-7) – S Taylor Mays, USC – There are far better all-around safeties still on the board, but Taylor Mays’ combination of elite size and speed will make him the second safety selected. He is a physically-gifted player, but must sharpen up his game to ever have a chance of being an elite NFL player. There is no question that his instincts and awareness are below average.

20. Houston Texans (9-7) – S Earl Thomas**, Texas – Bernard Pollard was a pleasant surprise for the Texans defense last season. Now Houston is searching for a playmaking free safety to pair with Pollard and the former Longhorn Earl Thomas is exactly that. He is a natural ball-hawk with great instincts who excels in coverage.

21. Cincinnati Bengals (10-6) – TE Jermaine Gresham*, Oklahoma – This is a perfect example of team need meeting the best available player. Gresham is one of the best pass-catching tight ends to enter the draft in a long time. He needs to show he is healthy and have a strong showing at the Combine to be selected in the first round.

22. New England Patriots (10-6) – OLB Sergio Kindle, Texas – It will come as no surprise that the Patriots will get great value with this pick. Kindle is a solid all-around player that has the ability to get to the quarterback. He is also capable of playing in a two-point stance or with his hand on the ground, versatility Bill Belichick will put to good use. New England has lost a lot on defense over the last few years, and it looks like they might lose more this off-season. Expect the Pats to select defensive players early and often in the 2010 draft.

23. Green Bay Packers (11-5) – OT Bryan Bulaga*, Iowa – The Packers desperately need to upgrade their offensive line—Aaron Rodgers was hurried and hit way too much in 2009. The team has explosive playmakers that can stretch the field, but Rodgers simply didn’t have the time to throw downfield. Bulaga would provide help on either the left or right side.

24. Philadelphia Eagles (11-5) – MLB Brandon Spikes, Florida – The Eagles are one of the most talented teams in the NFL and there are not many positions they need to address, but they could really use a playmaker at linebacker. Former Gator Brandon Spikes would be a perfect fit for the Eagles—he’s ready to step in and play from day one and would provide leadership as well.

25. Baltimore Ravens (9-7) – WR Golden Tate*, Notre Dame – The Ravens passing game was terrible during the playoffs. Number one wide out Derrick Mason could be headed towards retirement and understudy Mark Clayton is simply not a number one receiver. Tate could step in and make an immediate impact. He is capable of lining up allover the field. With a great offensive line, a Pro Bowl running back, and a young strong-armed passer, it’s a no brainier: the Ravens need a big time playmaker on the outside.

26. Arizona Cardinals (10-6) – OT Bruce Campbell*, Maryland – The Cards could go linebacker with their first pick, but the left tackle position is a more important spot for them to fill. Former top-ten pick Levi Brown is a decent right tackle and should remain on that side. Campbell has a lot of talent and has a good chance of being selected before this, but if he is available here, the Birds shouldn’t hesitate to write his name on their card.

27. Dallas Cowboys (11-5) – S Chad Jones*, LSU – Chad Jones is a playmaker, capable of delivering huge hits. At 6’3”, 230 pounds with speed, Jones could play either the free or strong safety position. He would be a very nice addition to a talented Cowboy defense that at times is still vulnerable to deep plays through the air. He could end up being the second best safety in the 2010 draft.

28. San Diego Chargers (13-3) – RB Jahvid Best*, Cal –
With future Hall of Famer LaDainian Tomlinson probably on his way out, or at the very least headed towards a much smaller role, Best would be a great replacement. He is an explosive player with big play ability. The Golden Bear was running very well before suffering a season-ending concussion and back injury. If he gets the green light from the doctors Best should be a first-round pick.

29. New York Jets (9-7) – WR Damian Williams*, USC – The Jets need a more reliable receiver than Braylon Edwards. Williams has good hands, offers big time playmaking ability and would provide former USC teammate Mark Sanchez with a dependable target. Illinois product Arrelious Benn may have more upside but Williams is the safer pick for Gang Green.

30. Minnesota Vikings (12-4) – QB Tim Tebow, Florida – If Brett Favre decides to come back for another year, don’t be surprised if the Vikings look to secure their quarterback of the future. Tebow probably needs to stand on the sideline for a year or two but the Vikings roster is pretty stacked, so it wouldn’t be a huge risk to select one of the greatest college players of all-time.

31. New Orleans Saints (13-3) – OLB Sean Weatherspoon, Missouri – The Saints would have to be thrilled with the addition of a well-polished linebacker like Weatherspoon. With Jonathan Vilma lined up next to him, Weatherspoon could be the Defensive Rookie of the Year. He needs to play a little more under control, but that is something that can be fixed. He is a playmaker with a nose for the ball and will provide great value for a team in need of a defensive shot in the arm.

32. Indianapolis Colts (14-2) – DT Arthur Jones, Syracuse – The Colts will go either defensive tackle or outside linebacker with their first pick. They may have their sights set on Weatherspoon, but will settle for a solid defensive tackle. Jones would help free up pass rushers Jerome Mathis and Dwight Freeney and allow them to wreak even more havoc on opposing quarterbacks.

* Keep a lookout for more Mock Drafts from both Justin Van Fulpen and Mike Bozarth.

* Denotes Junior
** Denotes Red-Shirt Sophomore

Photos Courtesy of Notre Dame Sports Information, College Press Box, Dennis Hubbard, UT Photography, University of California, Syracuse University Athletics