I thought this might be a fun exercise. Since not a single NFL regular season game has been played and the college season only just started, this is pretty obviously an exercise in absurdity. But, I think it'll be neat to go back in March and compare this to what is shaping up to be the actual state of affairs. In both the NFL and NCAA, some stars will rise and others will fall this season. Should be fun. Since this is so totally off the wall, I didn't even bother looking up to see if the juniors I have as coming out early are likely to or not. This is truly a mock draft! :-) On to the show!
1. Cleveland Browns—Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma
As a team, the Browns are bowling-shoe ugly as the saying goes and if they’re drafting #1 overall, they’re going to be rebuilding from the ground up. That means that neither Derek Anderson nor Brady Quinn was able to lead them to the promised land and that in turn means taking the best overall quarterback to start the process.
2. Detroit Lions—Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma State
The Lions have some pieces, but nothing resembling a completed puzzle yet. They’ve got their quarterback of the future in Stafford and he has some weapons, but he also has to be kept standing in order to use them. Okung will go a long way toward making sure that happens.
3. St. Louis Rams—Carlos Dunlap, DE, Florida
A quarterback will be a big temptation here, but I have to believe Stevie Spags will be thinking defense first. He’ll remember the success a guy like Michael Strahan brought to the Giants and in Dunlap he’ll try to find his new big time pass rusher.
4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers—Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma
The once impenetrable wall of the Bucs defense is showing a lot of holes. If they’re drafting this high, chances are it collapsed altogether in 2009. Might as well rebuild from the interior outward and McCoy is the best player available who also happens to play just the position the Bucs need.
5. Jacksonville Jaguars—Tim Tebow, QB, Florida
Hang with me on this one. If the Jags are drafting in the top 10, let alone the top 5, Jack Del Rio will have been fired and it’s my guess that the new coach will be jettisoning David Garrard. So there’s a need for a QB. Now, think about how much of a hero Tebow is in Florida. Then, think about the fact that the Jaguars’ owner is one of the more cash-strapped ones in the league. He needs to sell tickets in an area hit hard by the economic collapse. People will pay their money to see Tebow. If he pans out, then they’ve hit on their franchise QB. If he busts, he’ll at least have made some cash for the Jags for a few years.
This pick might surprise some people too. I thought about Eric Berry, Arrelious Benn, Ndamukong Suh and even Jevan Snead. But something tells me that Mora and Knapp will fall in love with McCoy at some point this year and see him as the perfect fit for their offensive scheme. Besides, Matt Hasselbeck isn’t getting any younger. Drafting this high is an outright gift, courtesy of the ineptitude of Josh McDaniels.
7. Cincinnati Bengals—Eric Berry, S, Tennessee
The Bengals have so many holes on defense, this could be any number of people. Berry is a once-in-ten-years talent who could be a legitimate top 5 pick. The Bengals need help at safety anyway, so I think they’ll have a hard time passing him up. If this isn’t Berry, it’ll be Ndamukong Suh.
8. Kansas City Chiefs—Brandon Spikes, LB, Florida
The Chiefs do in 2010 what they should have done in 2009: draft a dynamic play maker at linebacker. They blew it with Aaron Curry, but they won’t miss the same chance with Brandon Spikes.
9. San Francisco 49ers—Jevan Snead, QB, Mississippi
Shaun Hill is not a quarterback that will take your franchise anywhere good. Nor is Alex Smith. The 49ers will try again with Snead, who should work out much better.
10. New York Jets—Arrelious Benn, WR, Illinois
I think Mark Sanchez will work out fine eventually, but will struggle his first year. He also doesn’t really have too much to work with. Getting Benn will fix that.
11. Oakland Raiders— Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska
Full disclosure: I’m a Raider fan so I just can’t bear to put them drafting in the top 10 before I absolutely have to. I have to have some hope. Taylor Mays will be a big temptation, but if Suh falls this far, there’s no way that even Al Davis passes him by, especially given the sore need for a monster DT. Suh will only fall this far because of other teams filling positions of greater need, though. If Suh is taken before this, look for Mays, Berry or Terrence Cody to be the pick.
12. Washington Redskins—Taylor Mays, S, USC
If the Redskins are drafting in the top half again, it’s safe to say that the Great Jason Campbell Experiment will have been called off. Unfortunately for the ‘Skins, all the 1st round worthy quarterbacks are gone. Dan Snyder won’t be able to resist the amazingly gifted Mays sitting here, ripe for the taking. Pairing him with LaRon Landry or turning him into a linebacker would make the ‘Skins defense even more fearsome. Another possibility: Snyder decides to take Terrence Cody and thus create the FATTEST INTERIOR D-LINE IN HISTORY!
13. Buffalo Bills—Trent Williams, OT, Oklahoma
Trent Edwards is a good quarterback. Unfortunately for Bills fans, they traded away his best offensive lineman and then didn’t get a replacement. They will now. Trent protecting Trent!
14. Denver Broncos (From Chicago Bears)— Sean Weatherspoon, LB, Missouri
Like Washington, Denver could also use a quarterback, but there are none worth taking at this point. The Bronocs need to shore up what looks to be an abominable defense and they do so by taking the hard-nosed tackling monster from Mizzou.
15. Seattle Seahawks—C.J. Spiller, RB, Clemson
Having secured their quarterback of the future, the Seahawks need to shore up their running game. They’ll do so with C.J. Spiller, the best in a currently thin class of running backs.
16. Miami Dolphins—Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State
Miami’s receiver corps could use a serious boost and Dez Bryant would provide it in a big way.
17. Baltimore Ravens— Sergio Kindle, DE/LB, Texas
Kindle is such a perfect fit for the Ravens defense it’s scary: fast, versatile, high-motor.
18. New Orleans Saints— Reshad Jones, S, Georgia
The never ending quest to upgrade the Saints’ secondary continues. Darren Sharper will be 34 before the season is over.
19. San Francisco 49ers (From Carolina Panthers)—Terrence Cody, DT, Alabama
If Cody falls, it’ll be because of concerns over his conditioning and motivation. If he does fall, it’s no farther than here. San Francisco needs and doesn’t have a giant presence clogging the middle. Cody can do that in a big way. You have to figure Mike Singletary will be able to handle him.
Flozell Adams will be 35 before next season starts. Anthony Davis is the biggest, fattest 1st round OT still on the board…just like the Cowboys like ‘em.
21. Houston Texans—Jermaine Gresham, TE, Oklahoma
22. Arizona Cardinals— Joe Haden, CB, Florida
The Cardinals could stand to have someone better than Bryant McFadden across from Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Haden is the most talented CB in the draft.
23. Philadelphia Eagles—Dennis Pitta, TE, BYU
The Eagles could really use an upgrade at tight end and Pitta has the size Andy Reid likes.
24. Tennessee Titans—Rolando McClain, LB, Alabama
The hard driving, aggressive McClain would give a big boost in the middle of an already formidable Tennessee defense.
25. Minnesota Vikings—Vince Oghobaase, DT, Duke
Pat Williams is getting older by the day. With the truly elite defensive tackles already plucked, Minnesota will have to “settle” for Oghobaase who is a monster but also manages to be a good athlete.
26. San Diego Chargers—Damian Williams, WR, USC
A team can never have too many talented receivers for its franchise quarterback. Moreover, in San Diego’s case, their receiving corps depth is a little thin once you move past Vincent Jackson and Chris Chambers.
27. Indianapolis Colts—Bryan Bulaga, OT, Iowa
The left tackle position has got be concerning the Colts. Tony Ugoh doesn’t seem to be panning out. Is Charlie Johnson really who you want protecting Peyton Manning’s left side? Enter Bulaga who is an excellent match for the Indianapolis offense.
28. Green Bay Packers—Trevard Lindley, CB, Kentucky
29. Atlanta Falcons—Crezdon Butler, CB, Clemson
I don’t think this is a team with many holes and if they’re drafting this late in the first round, my suspicions have been confirmed. I’m not wild about their secondary, however, so Crezdon Butler seems to fit at this point as the best pick for Atlanta.
30. New England Patriots— Myron Lewis, S, Vanderbilt
Still trying to fill the hole Rodney Harrison left at the safety position, the Patriots will turn to Myron Lewis, an extremely productive, hard-working player.
31. New York Giants—George Selvie, DE/LB, South Florida
I had the Giants projected to take Connor Barwin last year. They didn’t, so I’m going to try again by projecting them to take another fast, high-motor DE/LB hybrid.
32. Pittsburgh Steelers—Mike Johnson, G, Alabama
Until they’re knocked out of the playoffs, the champs are still the champs and so I have the Steelers drafting last. Johnson is a big, tough lineman who can play either guard or right tackle. I could see the Steelers having a use for him at either position