Alright, here's my first mock draft for the 2010 NFL Draft. I've only ever done one mock draft before and it was the day before the 2009 NFL Draft so try to go easy on me! Seriously though, all constructive criticism is welcome. I'm using EPSN's Week 6 Power Rankings. It would probably be smarter to wait until the Week 7 Rankings come out but I've got some free time now so these will have to do.
Please don't complain about where your team is ranked, it's really all guesswork at this point anyway. Also, any statements made in the mock are only my opinion. When is say Ndamukong Suh is the best player in the country that's just my opinion, obviously you don't have to agree. I'm just trying to save time instead of littering the whole thing with "I think" and "In my opinion" and stuff like that. The only other thing is that I'm going to try to be a bit creative with some picks, there's still a lot of football left and some preseason warriors (see Fili Moala) always end up falling and vice versa. Here it goes:
1. Rams - Jimmy Clausen QB: At this point he looks like the best pro prospect of all the QB's. He's got good arm strength, good intermediate accuracy, some scrambling ability, and plays in a pro-style offense. He's a great fit for the Rams because Marc Bulger is done. Clausen would become the face of the Rams franchise and would be a big help in leading them out of their prolonged offensive futility over the last several years.
2. Buccaneers - Ndamukong Suh DT: He's the best player in the country and the Bucs need a defensive tackle badly. This is a perfect fit.
3. Chiefs - Brian Bulaga OT: KC is desperate for some O-line help to protect Cassel so they pick the best offensive lineman in this year's draft. Bulaga will allow Brandon Albert to slide to guard or right tackle where he is a better fit. If Bulaga doesn't declare for the draft then KC could turn to Russell Okung or Eric Berry.
4. Raiders - Carlos Dunlap: Crazy Al would probably go with Mays but the Raiders are pretty solid at safety. Instead he goes for another great physical speciman with questions about his potential. Dunlap is a reach here but since when has Al Davis cared about what anyone else thinks?
5. Browns - Jake Locker: Mangini clearly doesn't like Brady Quinn so he elects to draft a QB early to get his own guy to groom. The Browns could go a bunch of different directions here but you don't pass up a franchise QB if you don't already have one.
6. Titans - Joe Haden CB: Maybe a bit of a reach here but Haden is one heck of a player and corners are always a valuable a commodity. Gerald McCoy seems like a great fit to replace Haynesworth but the run defense has been fine, it's the pass defense that has been just dreadful (Nick Harper's corpse should not be a starting cornerback, who knew?).
7. Lions - Gerald McCoy DT: The Lions are tempted to select Russell Okung to protect Stafford's blindside but ultimately cannot pass up the best player left on their board in McCoy. Jim Schwartz gets to salivate at the thought of having a Haynesworth-type player with him in Detroit.
8. Bills - Russell Okung OT: The Bills are glad Okung lasted this long because their offensive line is a disaster. Trent Edwards is probably not the answer at quarterback but the Bills will give him one more shot, this time hopefully with a competent line.
9. Redskins - Sam Bradford QB: Sam Bradford does not deserve to go this high anymore, but Dan Snyder hates Jason Campbell and wants a fresh face of the franchise. Bradford is a big name and Snyder likes to be in the headlines. This also ensures Bradford gets at least a portion of the money he would have received had he come out in 2009, so everyone is happy. That is, until Bradford sees the protection he'll be getting from the 'Skins offensive line. Ouch.
10. 49ers (From Carolina) - Eric Berry S: Berry is a great player but plays safety and therefore will have trouble getting into the top 5. That said, the Niners are glad to have him here as they don't have a ton of talent at the safety position and Berry will be a huge boon to the pass defense. The Niners would like to go with an offensive lineman here but there's just no one worth taking.
11. Texans - Patrick Robinson CB: The Texans defense as a whole is abysmal and the secondary is as much to blame as anyone. Robinson has all the skills neccessary to be a very good cover corner and is a good fit for the Texans.
12. Jaguars - Taylor Mays S: Yes, picking Tim Tebow would get the Jaguars more media attention. But if they're trying desperately to sell more tickets, picking a guy who will sit on the sidelines for two years won't help. Mays can make an instant impact in the Jags defense and is a flashy player to boot, meaning he'll create some excitement on his own.
13. Seahawks - Derrick Morgan DE: The Hawks biggest needs are offensive tackle and finding an heir to Matt Hasselback but there's no such players available here. Therefore they go with the 6'4" 270 lb. Morgan to help their pass rush. They have quite a few capable defensive ends on the roster but Patrick Kerney is aging and Darryl Tapp and Cory Redding are pending free agents, leaving only '08 first rounder Lawrence Jackson as a dependable pass rusher. With Morgan, Jackson, Brandon Mebane, Aaron Curry, Lofa Tatupu, and Leroy Hill the Hawks would have one of the best (and youngest) front sevens in the game.
14. Cardinals - Sergio Kindle OLB: The Cardinals have a pretty good run defense but the pass defense leaves something to be desired. Primary pass rushers Clark Haggans, Chike Okeafer, and Bertrand Berry are all at least 32 years old. The Cards did draft OLB Cody Brown in the 2nd round last year but Kindle is flat out better than Brown and both of them will soon be needed anyway.
15. Miami - Terrance Cody NT: Current starting nose tackle Jason Ferguson is old and his skills are declining so the 'Fins draft Cody to be his long term replacement. Bill Parcells loves to draft front-seven players and Cody will help make Miami's 3-4 a strong unit while Chad Henne develops.
16. Cowboys - Dez Bryant WR: The Cowboys have some talented wide receivers but Jerry Jones just can't stand to pass up a playmaker as talented as Dez Bryant. Jones obviously values receivers highly after giving Terrell Owens a big extension and trading 1st and 3rd rounders for Roy Williams. He will want to give Tony Romo another playmaker to replace the lost Terrell Owens once the Cowboys fall short of the playoffs. Offensive line and inside linebacker are probably more pressing needs.
17. Chargers - Sean Witherspoon ILB: The Chargers cannot stop the run... at all. They wanted to go with Terrance Cody to replace Jamal Williams but he isn't available so they look elsewhere to fix their atrocious run defense. There aren't any nose tackles worthy of this spot but Sean Witherspoon is a steal here. Witherspoon plays OLB at Missouri but would move inside in a 3-4 and could wind up being a speedy playmaker ala Patrick Willis. Stephen Cooper turned 30 this year and he is the only Chargers ILB of note so Witherspoon can potentially be an immediate upgrade to the defense, which is important because the Chargers window to contend is still wide open for the next couple years.
18. 49ers - Trent Williams OT: Trent Williams is a bit of a reach here, he's got a big name but hasn't lived up to the hype. That said, he is a very impressive run blocker and can use his strength to be an adequate right tackle in pass protection. It would be a mistake to put him at left tackle but the Niners don't need to do that because they already have Joe Staley locked up to a long term deal. Williams' style fits Mike Singletary's run-first philosophy and should combine with Staley to form a nice pair of bookends for the forseeable future.
19. Packers - Charles Brown OT: The Packers have very good skill position players on offense but they can't protect Aaron Rodgers. Brown is a possible long term replacement for Chad Clifton at left tackle and should help keep Rodgers upright. Tackle is easily the Packers biggest need but they could also look to help strengthen their new 3-4 defense, particularly at defensive end and in the secondary.
20. Steelers - C.J. Spiller RB: Running back isn't the Steelers most pressing need but they like to have a nice stable of running backs and Spiller is a nice complement to Rashard Mendenhall. Spiller is an electric playmaker and would play a Felix Jones type role in Pittsburgh.
21 Broncos (From Chicago) - Arthur Jones DT: The Broncos surprised nearly everyone this year, particularly with their amazing defensive turnaround. That said their defensive line still needs some work and Arthur Jones could be a big piece of the puzzle. The 6'4" 293 lb. Jones could play as a five-technique defensive end in the Broncos 3-4 defense and wreak havoc on opposing backfields.
22. Ravens - Jermaine Gresham TE: Todd Heap will be 30 soon after the 2009 season and his production has fallen in recent years. The Ravens are one of the smartest teams when it comes to drafting and they will pounce on a top-10 talent like Gresham who happens to fall because of his injury (similar to how they traded up for Michael Oher when he fell).
23. Patriots - Brandon Lafell WR: The Patriots could go a few different directions here, perhaps adding a running back or a pass rusher, but instead they decide to go with Brandon Lafell, a big, athletic wide receiver. Randy Moss isn't the player he used to be and while Wes Welker is a terrific player he is not a #1 wideout. Lafell can be that guy in time and will have a chance to develop slowly with the Pats.
24. Jets - Vince Oghobaase DE: The Jets' defense is excellent but they still have problems defending the run. The blame likely lies mostly on defensive ends Shaun Ellis and Marques Douglas, who are not ideal starters at this point in their careers. If the Jets don't take a defensive end they may look for a pass rusher because Vernon Gholston continues to disappoint.
25. Falcons - Greg Hardy DE: The Falcons have a potentially great offense led by Matt Ryan but they still need lots of help on the defensive side of the ball. John Abraham is a phenomenal pass rusher but the Falcons don't have anyone across from him to scare opposing offenses. Hardy could change that as he has as much potential as any edge rusher in the draft.
26. Eagles - Rolando McClain LB: McClain is a great fit with the Eagles, who are desperate enough at the linebacker position that they brought Jeremiah Trotter out of retirement after he had been out of football for a year and a half. They lost Stewart Bradley for the year, but even with him their linebacking core needs an influx of talent. McClain is a versitale playmaker and is a steal at this point in the draft.
27. Bengals - Trevard Lindley CB: The Bengals have good corners in Jonathan Joseph and Leon Hall but both are nearing free agency and it never hurts to have corner depth anyway. Lindley is one of the best players available at this point in the draft and had a chance to develop into a very good starting corner.
28. Seahawks (From Broncos) - Selvish Capers OT: The Seahawks need a replacement for Walter Jones who has been a franchise cornerstone for the last decade. The athletic Capers will never be as good as Jones was but he is a great fit for Seattle's zone blocking scheme and could contribute immediately. There are murmers for Tim Tebow here but his elongated release would prevent him from having success in the Hawks' West Coast Offense.
29. Saints - Demarcus Granger DT: The Saints defense has been shockingly good this year under defensive coordinator Gregg Williams. They already have one young stud defensive tackle in Sedrick Ellis but paired with DeMarcus Granger the two would form a terrific duo. Granger is a penetrator who can help defend both the run and the pass.
30. Vikings - Tim Tebow QB: Brett Farve trots his old bones out there for another year after leading the Vikings to the NFC Championship Game, letting the Vikings draft Tebow and let him sit on the bench and develop for at least a year. Tebow has too many flaws to be worth a first round pick but Brad Childress thought Tavaris Jackson was worth a second round pick, so why expect him to judge a QB's worth accurately now?
31. Giants - Brandon Spikes MLB: The Giants have a stacked roster and don't really have any pressing needs so they are free to go with the best player available, which is Spikes. Antonio Pierce is declining though so Spikes could end up starting at MLB for the Giants in the near future.
32. Colts - Nate Solder OT: The Colts only real need right now is at the tackle position, and Solder is a converted tight end with quick feet and good footwork, a great fit for the Colts scheme. They could go with a pass rusher here like Corey Wooton for depth behind Freeney and Mathis, but instead use their pick to try to upgrade the line.
Players picked just outside the first round (in no particular order): Jonathan Dwyer, Jahvid Best, Arrelious Benn, Adam Utalowski, Damian Williams, Eric Norwood, Corey Wooton, Marvin Austin, Ras-I Dowling, Everson Griffen, Jerry Hughes, Mike Iupati, Ricky Sapp.