Apr 21, 2010
I’ve never even attempted an NFL Mock draft, since that’s really not what we do, but our own Tom Simons (who’s contributed to our site since 1996), has been posting mock drafts on our MBs for weeks now, so I figured I’d highlight his final mock, which is below.
Let’s see how many picks he gets right!
The key to this draft will be how teams evaluate individual talent. Teams play head games leading up to the draft in order to produce smoke screens to hide their true intentions. Thus, there are plenty of surprises abound during the draft.
MOCK DRAFT – FIRST ROUND
1. St. Louis: SAM BRADFORD, QB – He did extremely well during his Pro Day and private workout for the Rams. He displayed extreme accuracy, especially with deeper intermediate throws. This remains a no-brainer for the Rams, but no pick is ever 100% a lock. If they have any last-second thoughts, Ndamukong Suh is their next choice.
2. Detroit: NDAMUKONG SUH, DT – If Detroit trades for Albert Haynesworth, who played under head coach Jim Schwartz and beside recently signed DE Kyle Vanden Bosch, then the Lions likely take Russell Okung. If they don’t make a trade, expect them to tap Suh. The team is enamored with his athletic ability and his hand techniques. Gerald McCoy is another option, but is a three-technique DT and the Lions already have one as their starter.
3. Tampa Bay: GERALD MCCOY, DT – The Buccaneers have plenty of holes to fill and could trade down, especially if Suh is taken before their pick. If they don’t trade down and Suh is unavailable, Gerald McCoy makes sense. McCoy is an excellent three-technique DT and will be an immediate impact player. His presence inside will surely help the fantasy value of Barrett Ruud.
4. Washington: RUSSELL OKUNG, OT – Trading for Donovan McNabb means the Redskins will almost certainly not take Jimmy Clausen. What it does indicate is the team likely uses this pick to secure McNabb’s blindside for years to come. The Redskins could trade this pick for more draft picks and secure a tackle later in the round or go after a LB. If Washington keeps this pick, Okung is the likely option for Shanahan and the Redskins even if Suh or McCoy should slide down.
5. Kansas City: ERIC BERRY, S – LT Branden Albert is the key to this pick. If the Chiefs are confident Albert can be their mainstay LT, then they will likely target Eric Berry. Choosing a safety this high normally ends up as a mistake. Yet, Berry is a dynamic athlete and could prove to be a beast in the NFL. If the Chiefs feel Albert is not the answer at LT, Russell Okung or Trent Williams will likely go here. This pick could very well be a high sought after pick in trade as well. A sleeper pick would be Rolando McClain.
6. Seattle: TRENT WILLIAMS, OT – Seattle could very well seek to trade down from here, more so than many folks realize. They could use extra picks to fill the numerous roster holes they have. If Detroit takes an OT, DT Gerald McCoy could slide to here. S Eric Berry could also be available. Expect defensive-minded head coach Pete Carroll to push for either of these two should they be available. If they aren’t available, Seattle likely grabs OT Trent Williams. The Seahawks could wait until #14 to tap an OT, thus a skill position player like RB C.J. Spiller or WR Dez Bryant could go here.
7. Cleveland: EARL THOMAS, S – If Eric Berry slides down, Cleveland will take him without hesitation. The Browns might even trade up to #5 and grab Berry there. GM Mike Holmgren traded for Sheldon Brown, so drafting a CB might not happen now. Thomas is an aggressive player with an excellent burst of speed. He could be used in many blitz packages as the Brown CBs can go one-on-one and be left on an island. The Browns could add WR Dez Bryant to a position or ILB Rolando McClain, who would bring a physical presence inside as well as quickness to the ball. NT Dan Williams could help offset the recent offseason woes of Shaun Rogers.
8. Oakland: BRUCE CAMPBELL, OT – Dez Bryant is on Al Davis’ radar, but they certainly need to address the offensive line. Whether they do or not is to be seen. Campbell is probably not the best OT option, but the Raiders have a history of choosing players too high. Davis loves speed and Campbell ran the overrated 40 very well. Brian Bulaga or Trent Williams is probably a better choice, but it’s likely going to be a tackle here.
9. Buffalo: DAN WILLIAMS, NT – QB Jason Campbell is now available for trade after Washington landed Donovan McNabb. If Buffalo opts to go after him in a trade, then QB Jimmy Clausen’s stock drops dramatically due to teams not needing his services. The Bills are looking for a QB with more athleticism than Clausen has. Buffalo is also team with some serious need for help in many areas, including their O-Line. Brian Bulaga could easily go here, but Buffalo might wait until the second round and later to grab OLs. The team is switching to a 3-4 base defense and don’t have a viable NT option. The top two or three NTs in this year’s draft will likely be gone by the Bills’ next pick, so Williams makes the most sense.
10. Jacksonville: DEZ BRYANT, WR – I fully expect the Jaguars to shop this pick around for more picks. They don’t have a second rounder and could easily ship this pick out for a later first and a second rounder. They could opt to keep the choice if S Eric Berry were to fall to them, but that is extremely unlikely he will drop this far. One team that could come knocking on their door if Berry is available would be the Dallas Cowboys. Earl Thomas is closing in on Berry in value and Dallas would love to fill a huge need with a desirable talent like Thomas. New England is a good trading partner with the numerous picks they have in the first two rounds, but expect the Patriots to sit tight and use them. If the Jaguars retain this pick, then they will go with a WR or LB here.
11. Denver: ROLANDO MCCLAIN, ILB – This choice could be made for them by Jacksonville one pick earlier. The logical pick for the Broncos would be Dez Bryant with the trade of Brandon Marshall. McClain is coveted as he’s a natural 3-4 ILB. The Broncos released Andra Davis and are in need of an ILB.
12. Miami: BRANDON GRAHAM, DE/OLB – The Dolphins need a big man in the middle to protect their ILBs. Last year’s starting NT Jason Ferguson re-signed, but is suspended for the eight games this year. They could also target ILB Rolando McClain to play next to recently signed Karlos Dansby. If NT Dan Williams or McClain slides to them, one of them could go here. If Buffalo snatches Williams up and McClain goes to Jacksonville or Denver, Miami could look to fill the void left by the departures of Joey Porter and Jason Taylor.
13. San Francisco: JOE HADEN, CB – San Francisco filled its need of a return specialist by trading for Ted Ginn, Jr. The 49ers still have needs at CB and OT. They could wait a couple of picks to take an OT, especially if Brian Bulaga and Trent Williams are both still available. If CB Joe Haden remains on the board, the 49ers will tap arguably the best CB talent on the board here. Haden covers well and supports the run defense while reacting well to the ball. QB Jimmy Clausen, Spiller, and OT Brian Bulaga are serious options here as well.
14. Seattle: DERRICK MORGAN, DE – If Seattle doesn’t grab an OT at #6, expect them to do so here. If there is a run on OTs early on, then the Seahawks could draft a skill position at this point. Even though the team traded for QB Charlie Whitehurst, the team could tap QB Jimmy Clausen if he’s still on the board. RB C.J. Spiller is another option, but there is plenty of talent on the board and Spiller is more of a 3rd down type back. The Seahawks could tap a RB at #60 in the second round. Grabbing another OL like Mike Iupati is a possibility, but unlikely. It wouldn’t surprise me to see the Seahawks trade this pick. Yet, it seems the Seahawks are in dire need of a pass-rushing DE and Morgan fits the bill.
15. New York Giants: C.J. SPILLER, RB – The Giants need help at LB, especially at MLB. Many feel Rolando McClain is the choice here, but he’ll likely be off the board by this spot. Sergio Kindle, Jerry Hughes, and Sean Weatherspoon are viable OLB options, all of who could fit into the Giants type of system. New York could also address the DT position with someone like Jared Odrick or Brian Price. Still, Spiller is highly touted as an explosive back and the Giants would be pleasantly surprised to see him here.
16. Tennessee: JASON PIERRE-PAUL, DE – The loss of Kyle Vanden Bosch to free agency leaves a void at DE for the Titans. Pierre-Paul and Carlos Dunlap are two options, as is Derrick Morgan who has the size that fits the Titans needs. Morgan will likely go off the board before this spot.
17. San Francisco: JIMMY CLAUSEN, QB – If the 49ers don’t take Joe Haden or a CB at #13, then they possibly will here, or someone like Kyle Wilson. If they take Haden at #13, then they may address their OL here or opt for a skill position player like QB Jimmy Clausen or RB C.J. Spiller. San Francisco could go OT at #13 or here, but they could also wait until the second round and tap an OT like Vladimir Ducasse. It seems that the 49ers could either go Clausen or Spiller here if they pick a CB at #13. If Clausen falls and the 49ers do not pounce on him, we may be looking at a Brady Quinn situation (dropping in the draft).
18. Pittsburgh: MAURKICE POUNCEY, C – The Steelers’ top need heading into the draft is CB, DE, and O-Line. The Steelers could be very surprised to find OT Brian Bulaga hanging around here as well as C Maurkice Pouncey and OL Mike Iupati. Bulaga has been getting a rap for having short arms, thus his stock is dropping slightly. Pouncey could be the heir apparent to starting C Justin Hartwig.
19. Atlanta: SEAN WEATHERSPOON, OLB – The Falcons addressed their need at CB via free agency, though adding another wouldn’t be the worst idea. They could use depth along the O-Line and need an heir-apparent to Tony Gonzalez at TE. Still, their biggest weakness is age at DE and OLB. John Abraham and Mike Peterson are not getting any younger and their bodies tend to break down late in the season. Brandon Graham can play DE and OLB, but could go earlier in the draft. Weatherspoon has been impressive in off-season workouts and had a private workout with the Falcons. DEs Derrick Morgan and Jason Pierre-Paul, plus LBs Rolando McClain and Sergio Kindle are other options as well.
20. Houston: RYAN MATHEWS, RB – One of Matthews better attributes is his ability to engage and maintain blocks in the backfield. Matthews also has excellent speed and home run ability. His 39 touchdowns the past three years at Fresno State peak the Texans’ interest as well. The Houston backfield was a big disappointment last year and they might address the spot here. RB C.J. Spiller could be sitting here as well, if Seattle and the 49ers pass on him. The issue Houston might have, if they covet Mathews, is the fact that the Chargers need a back like Mathews in the worst way and may be open to trading up for him. If the Texans don’t go RB, then they’ll possibly take CB Kyle Wilson or another CB.
21. Cincinnati: BRIAN BULAGA, OT – Cincinnati addressed needs at WR and S by signing Antonio Bryant and Roy Williams this off-season. Still, they might address WR early in the draft and Arrelious Benn, Golden Tate, or Demaryius Thomas could go here. S Taylor Mays is a solid value at this spot as well. Bulaga is a great value here. If he’s not around this late, then OL Mike Iupati could also be taken at this spot.
22. New England: SERGIO KINDLE, DE/OLB – Kindle is best suited for a 3-4 base defense. He’s big and fast, thus will give them explosiveness on the edge. Unless RB Ryan Matthews happens to be available, the Patriots will target best available athlete with an eye towards DE/LB, NT, and shutdown CB. If the Patriots opt for a DE, then Brandon Graham, Everson Griffen, Jason Pierre-Paul, or Jared Odrick may go here. In the end, they help themselves at LB with Kindle. Other LB options are Jerry Hughes and Ricky Sapp.
23. Green Bay: ANTHONY DAVIS, OT – Davis is probably the best pass blocker in this draft and he’s very familiar with zone-blocking schemes. He comes with motivational question marks, but can be taught at this level. The Packers could very well address CB here as Al Harris might not be ready for the start of the season.
24. Philadelphia: KYLE WILSON, CB – The Eagles addressed their needs for depth at DE and FS, though both remain strong possibilities, especially if the Eagles trade up. Having two of the top 37 picks in the draft give the Eagles versatility and flexibility here at #24, so expect them to take the best available talent, or move up. C Maurkice Pouncey, DB Earl Thomas, and S Taylor Mays are possible targets. They would love to add insurance on C Jamaal Jackson (torn ACL in December), but Pouncey will likely be gone. Wilson’s offseason workouts have him rising up the board. He’s a solid cover guy who fits more of a shutdown CB role. On the downside, Wilson is not a big run support tackler and he comes with an attitude concern that could lead to penalties on the field.
25. Baltimore: JARED ODRICK, DE/DT – Odrick is an intelligent, athletic, big-bodied DL who fits well into a three-technique four-man front, but can play DE. The Ravens are thin along the defensive line with the loss of Dwan Edwards and Justin Bannan, but they did add Cory Redding recently. OLB Sergio Kindle could be an option should New England opt for RB C.J. Spiller or a CB.
26. Arizona: JERRY HUGHES, DE/OLB – The Cardinals need help at LB. Sergio Kindle is certainly a possible choice if he’s available. Hughes and fellow TCU teammate Daryl Washington are two guys the Cardinals could look at. Hughes played DE in college, but is being projected as a LB in the pros. He may not defend the run well, but he is a solid edge rusher. Washington is supposedly too small and needs beefing up. He could end up an early second rounder because of this.
27. Dallas: MIKE IUPATI, G – If Dallas doesn’t trade up for a shot at someone like Eric Berry, look for the Cowboys to address either the S or OL position here. Earl Thomas, Taylor Mays, or Nate Allen would fit the bill at safety. Iuapti or Maurkice Pouncey could very well slide to Dallas here and the value would be too irresistible.
28. San Diego: TERRENCE CODY, NT – The Chargers would love to see RB Ryan Mathews fall to them here, and don’t discount the chance they trade up for him. If he’s not around, then they just might go after Cody. Yet, a trade with the Seahawks landed them the sixth pick in the second round and Cody might be there at #40 or Cam Thomas can be targeted a little later. Thus, they could go with RB C.J. Spiller, Toby Gerhart, or Jahvid Best. Spiller is very similar in style to Darren Sproles. Gerhart is an upright runner and most likely a second-round pick. Best is explosive, agile, and accelerates out of his cuts well. Both Gerhart and Best could be available for the Chargers at #40.
29. New York Jets: TAYLOR MAYS, S – The Jets addressed their need at CB by trading for Antonio Cromartie and OLB by signing Jason Taylor. The team needs help at DE, S, and could use more depth along the offensive line. The Jets signed Brodney Pool, but Mays is hard to overlook here. He’s not a solid cover guy, though and that could be a detriment to the Jets. Thus, they could be very tempted to grab WR Golden Tate here.
30. Minnesota: DEVIN MCCOURTY, CB – The Vikings have needs at CB, S, and QB even if Brett Favre comes back for one more. CB Earl Thomas or Kyle Wilson might be targets here should they be available. The Vikings do need a CB and seek a solid value that can play in their cover-2 system. McCourty might not fit into a cover-2 scheme well, but he had an awesome showing at the combine. Kareem Jackson and Javier Arenas could be ready better options for the Vikings cover-2 scheme.
31. Indianapolis: CHARLES BROWN, OT – Surprisingly, the Colts have needs along the offensive line. The Colts’ 2007 second round choice at OT Tony Ugoh lost his starting job to a guy who is not considered a true LT. Even though Charles Johnson did well, the team could look for someone here. If Mike Iupati or Maurkice Pouncey fall to the Colts here, expect one of them to be taken. Brown and Selvish Capers are also considerations. The team needs help along the defensive line and could be looking for someone who can rotate with Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis as well as slide inside. DT Brian Price could also go here as he is versatile enough to play the three-technique and NT in a 4-3 system.
32. New Orleans: BRIAN PRICE, DT – The Saints have a need at OLB with the departure of Scott Fujita. If Darren Sharper isn’t signed, there will also be a need at FS. Still, they have to fill Charles Grant’s DE spot and avoid last year’s injury bug at DT. Price is agile and quick off the ball. He can play the 4-3 NT spot as well as a three technique over the guard. DEs Carlos Dunlap and Everson Griffen are possibilities here, but both underachieved in college and that could scare off suitors.