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The SB Nation writers mock draft is complete. Two rounds, 64 picks, 64 explanations and a lot of excitement for the NFL's second season -- the NFL draft.
Here's who I feel was the biggest reach and the best value in the first two rounds.
Biggest reach: USC S Taylor Mays (Seahawks 6th pick) -- I don't think there's much of a question that this is the biggest reach. SB Nation's Seahawks community, Field Gulls, has noticed Pete Carroll's tendency to hire folks that he knows and he's the one that recruited and coached Mays at USC so that makes sense. But there's virtually no top ten buzz surrounding Mays. Most of the talk around him has centered around the end of the first round and early second round. Runner-up: Florida C Maurkice Pouncey (Broncos 11th pick)
Best value: Illinois WR Arrelious Benn (Cowboys 59th pick) -- Put it this way. If the Cowboys drafted Benn with their 27th pick I'd still argue that it was a good selection. He's a tough, physical receiver and would do well in the NFC East. Runner-up: Sergio Kindle (Packers 23rd pick)
Below are all the picks made in the mock draft. Thanks to all the SB Nation blogs for participating, especially Mocking The Draft for coordinating it all.
1. St. Louis Rams: Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma
2. Detroit Lions: Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma
4. Washington Redskins: Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma State
5. Kansas City Chiefs: Rolando McClain, ILB, Alabama
6. Seattle Seahawks: Taylor Mays, S, USC
7. Cleveland Browns: Eric Berry, S, Tennessee
8. Oakland Raiders: Bryan Bulaga, OT, Iowa
9. Buffalo Bills: Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame
10. Jacksonville Jaguars: Joe Haden, CB, Florida
11. Denver Broncos: Maurkice Pouncey, C, Florida
12. Miami Dolphins: Earl Thomas, S, Texas
13. San Francisco 49ers: Trent Williams, OT, Oklahoma
14. Seattle Seahawks: C.J. Spiller, RB, Clemson
15. New York Giants: Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech
16. Tennessee Titans: Kyle Wilson, CB, Boise State
17. San Francisco 49ers: Brandon Graham, OLB, Michigan
18. Pittsburgh Steelers: Mike Iupati, OG, Idaho
19. Atlanta Falcons: Sean Weatherspoon, OLB, Missouri
20. Houston Texans: Dan Williams, DT, Tennessee
21. Cincinnati Bengals: Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State
22. New England Patriots: Jared Odrick, DE, Penn State
23. Green Bay Packers: Sergio Kindle, OLB, Texas
24. Philadelphia Eagles: Anthony Davis, OT, Rutgers
25. Baltimore Ravens: Jermaine Gresham, TE, Oklahoma
26. Arizona Cardinals: Terrence Cody, NT, Alabama
27. Dallas Cowboys: Jason Pierre-Paul, OLB, South Florida
28. San Diego Chargers: Ryan Mathews, RB, Fresno State
29. New York Jets: Jerry Hughes, OLB, TCU
30. Minnesota Vikings: Devin McCourty, CB, Rutgers
31. Indianapolis Colts: Charles Brown, OT, USC
32. New Orleans Saints: Carlos Dunlap, DE, Florida
33. St. Louis: Everson Griffen, DE, USC
34. Detroit: Jahvid Best, RB, California
35. Tampa Bay: Golden Tate, WR, Notre Dame
36. Kansas City: Nate Allen, S, South Florida
37. Philadelphia: Daryl Washington, LB, TCU
38. Cleveland: Colt McCoy, QB, Texas
39. Oakland: Bruce Campbell, OT, Maryland
40. San Diego: Cam Thomas, NT, North Carolina
41. Buffalo: Eric Norwood, OLB, South Carolina
42. Tampa Bay - Patrick Robinson, CB, Florida State
43. Miami - Demaryius Thomas, WR, Georgia Tech
44. New England - Ricky Sapp, OLB, Clemson
45. Denver - Jonathan Dwyer, RB, Georgia Tech
46. New York Giants - Brian Price, DT, UCLA
47. New England - Damian Williams, WR, USC
48. Carolina - Mardy Gilyard, WR, Cincinnati
49. San Francisco - Vladimir Ducasse, OG, Massachusetts
50. Kansas City - Jared Veldheer, OT, Hillsdale
51. Houston - Kareem Jackson, CB, Alabama
52. Pittsburgh - Chad Jones, S, LSU
53. New England - Rodger Saffold, OT, Indiana
54. Cincinnati - Jon Asamoah, G, Illinois
55. Philadelphia - Morgan Burnett, S Georgia Tech
56. Green Bay - Dominique Franks, CB Oklahoma
57. Baltimore - Tyson Alualu, DE/DT, California
58. Arizona - Sean Lee, ILB, Penn State
59. Dallas - Arrelious Benn, WR, Illinois
60. Seattle - Taylor Price, WR, Ohio
61. New York Jets - Dexter McCluster, RB/WR, Mississippi
62. Minnesota - Tim Tebow, QB, Florida
63. Indianapolis - Arthur Jones, DT, Syracuse
64. New Orleans - Toby Gerhart, RB, Stanford
The 64th pick is in and SB Nation's Saints community, Canal Street Chronicles, has selected...
Stanford RB Toby Gerhart
Having a solid back like Gerhart to carry the heavy load on the ground would give Payton just another weapon in his imaginative offense, leaving Reggie Bush and Pierre Thomas free to be special and Drew Brees so much more dangerous.
This may be a little early for a team to draft a third running back, but I love it. Everyone knows a power runner is the last piece the Saints offense needs to retain its status as a juggernaut. The draft is deep on defensive players so more additions could be added later. Gerhart is the premier big back in the draft and would give the Saints a good inside running presence.
The Saints have been showing interest in some veteran running backs so I think this is a good choice. The power back is one of the final pieces to the puzzle and will help ensure Reggie Bush and Pierre Thomas have some support back there.
The 63rd pick is in and SB Nation's Colts community, Stampede Blue, has selected...
Syracuse DT Arthur Jones
Jones' strengths are his burst off the line and his quickness. He doesn't have a solid set of pass rushing moves, but that is where defensive line coach John Teerlinck comes in. If anyone can develop Jones as an interior rusher, it's him. Jones is also a very good and violent tackler. He sheds blockers well, and his competitiveness really sets him apart from other players. He can also play "anchor" tackle, utilizing his size and strength. The only red flag with Jones is a history of injury, but one thing I liked reading in his scouting report was he played through injuries at Syracuse and still produced. He's a tough guy. One needs that to win in the trenches in this league.
This early for a defensive tackle is a potential risk. You'd basically be giving up on Moala after a season, even though he might fit best as a 3-4 end. I also really like the potential of Muir, even though he wasn't given a longer-term contract. But BBS is right in that Jones would fit the scheme pretty well and has some versatility.
Haven't the Colts been searching for a defensive tackle for a long time? Maybe a bit early, as MTD suggests, but I like the idea of adding talent to the defensive line.
The 62nd pick is in and SB Nation's Vikings community, Daily Norseman, has selected...
Florida QB Tim Tebow
All of those things are coachable. The work ethic and dedication to his craft that Tebow brings to the table are not. Neither is the way he oozes confidence and leadership ability. 6'4", 230 pounds with very good mobility really isn't coachable, either. And even if Tebow isn't ready to step in at the quarterback position for the Vikings at this point in time, he could have an impact in other places while he learns the NFL game, much like he did as a freshman on one of the University of Florida's recent National Championship teams.
Whoa. Those are some massive cajones, so bravo. In this scenario, jaded Jaguars fans thank you. In fact, every other team probably thanks you. Make no mistake about it, everyone want to see how Tebow is going to develop. They just don't want their team to be the one taking him. There have been rumblings the last couple days that Tebow may be the Vikings' option in the first round. With that in mind, I guess this could be a steal?
Wants to win at all costs. One of college football's most fierce and driven players ever. Has a strong arm and has played in an offense with multiple looks. Can run well and has learned to protect himself, but it took a concussion to do it.
Bad throwing motion and gimmicky offense or not, Tim Tebow started a ton of games and completed a high percentage of his passes. Considering the Vikings don't have a need right now, I like this pick.
The 61st pick is in and SB Nation's Jets community, Gang Green Nation, has selected...
Mississippi WR/RB Dexter McCluster
Brian Schottenheimer's biggest fans call him creative. His biggest detractors call him gimmicky. Everybody would agree he would love a versatile player like McCluster who has experience lining up all over the field, including playing Wildcat quarterback. Based on Schottenheimer's past, the passing game will be much more prevalent in New York's offense this year. Schottenheimer's hands were tied with a rookie quarterback in 2009. After an excellent postseason, the Jets will expect much more out of Mark Sanchez. McCluster has wide receiver skills and can split wide in Schottenheimer's spread formations.
The idea behind this pick is good, but I don't like it. The Jets need to get a defensive end, and there is one potentially really good one out there. That would be Alex Carrington from Arkansas State. He's big and athletic with a solid pass rush. That makes him a perfect candidate for Rex Ryan who loves pass rushers.
I like this pick and let me explain why. First, McCluster is a good player that will benefit a young quarterback in Mark Sanchez. Second, the Patriots are reportedly very high on him. The Jets and Patriots have a bitter rivalry so this would not only be a good player, it would be taking one away from the Patriots. I like this pick.
As for MTD's comments, the Jets could find that pass-rusher in the form of Jason Taylor who is reportedly deciding soon if he'll accept an offer from the Jets.
The 60th pick is in and SB Nation's Seahawks community, Field Gulls, has selected...
Ohio WR Taylor Price
I think Price is possibly the best wide receiver prospect in the 2010 class. He has excellent tools. He is a good if sometimes methodical route runner. Price's performance has been hidden by an inept Ohio passing attack.
This is somewhat unexpected. But given that John went with Taylor Mays with the sixth pick, my surprise was tempered. I'm not quite as high on Price as John is, but his reasoning is sound. If another direction is taken, there are some solid guards out there - Mitch Petrus is a perfect scheme fit - and Lamarr Houston could be another good, young piece for the defensive line.
Bold statements from Field Gulls, especially in a class with Dez Bryant. I like the idea of adding a receiver when you've got Charlie Whitehurst taking over the team within the next year. He'll need some weapons and, if Price lives up to Field Gulls billing, he'll be a good one.
The 59th pick is in and SB Nation's Cowboys community, Blogging The Boys, has selected...
Illinois WR Arrelious Benn
Arrelious Benn fits the Cowboys' WR profile to a T. He's 6'2", 220 lbs. and has run sub-4.5 40s lately. He's a ferocious blocker, and he's very tough to tackle when he has the ball in his hands. He has an all around game. Benn doesn't display overwhelming deep speed, but his route running and elusiveness make him an economical version of Roy Williams, and in time, perhaps a superior version. He's a steal this deep in the 2nd round.
This is a very good choice, for several reasons. 1) It would end Dallas' long-suffering relationship with Roy Williams. 2) It would give the team a playmaker opposite Miles Austin and open the middle of the field even more for Jason Witten. 3) He wouldn't be as expensive as Boldin.
Outstanding selection. The Cowboys are still fully committed to Tony Romo so it's important he has weapons around him moving forward. In addition to that, as MTD points out, it would allow the Cowboys to move on from Roy Williams. No, I'm not suggesting he's cut. But it's becoming apparent that he may not be part of the long-term future so this gives the Cowboys option. Good job BTB.
The 58th pick is in and SB Nation's Cardinals community, Revenge of the Birds, has selected..
Penn State LB Sean Lee
Lee is a proven leader and has the football intelligence to transfer his skills to the NFL. He's built up his frame and won't shy away from contact. He's a very good run defender, and has the speed to cover most tight ends or backs. He has the power to avoid most blocks and will harass opposing quarterbacks. He still needs to prove to scouts that he has the speed and strength to make it in the NFL.
This would be a tossup between Lee and Brandon Spikes of Florida. For me, it's the right position fill, but the wrong player. Everyone is concerned that Spikes ran slow at the combine. To those people, I say go watch some Florida games. Spikes made a lot of plays. He should be a little more natural as a 3-4 inside linebacker than Lee, but to each his own.
Spikes' speed is overrated in my humble opinion. He was a solid defender at Florida -- speed or not. It's game tape that matters. That said, I can't argue too much with this pick. I feel Sean Lee or Spikes would both be good picks.
The 57th pick is in and SB Nation's Ravens community, Baltimore Beatdown, has selected...
California DT Tyson Alualu
Alualu is everything that the Baltimore Ravens organization covet in a defender. Not only is he a relentless D-Lineman, but Alualu is an extremely mature, family man. When it comes to a high character player, few teams live by that trait like the Ravens do.
It may not be a good thing for Baltimore to get out of the first two rounds without a cornerback. But that's what has happened in this scenario. Alualu and Gresham were good need fills, so it's hard to fault the picks that much. But cornerback is such a dire need for the Ravens.
I agree with cornerback is a major need but it's hard to pass on big bodies like this. The Ravens have made their name in the trenches and I suspect Alualu will help continue that.
The 56th pick is in and SB Nation's Packers community, Acme Packing Company, has selected...
Oklahoma CB Dominique Franks
There's a lot to like about Franks who's coming out early and foregoing his senior season. He's been an excellent starter over the past two seasons with the Sooners, and is a terrific athlete. He doesn't possess exceptional size (5'11", 194 lbs.) but he ran a 4.46 40-yard dash at the NFL combine. He might be a bit of a project since he didn't play much (any?) zone in college, and he may need to work on his fundamentals (i.e. tackling). But the Packers won't need him to step into the cornerback rotation immediately.
This is a tough draft for Green Bay. It's hard to imagine the team would get out of the first two rounds without an offensive tackle, but there was lacking value every time the Packers picked. Fortunately a player like Franks has a lot of upside and value.
I agree with MTD. This is a tough spot. How is the offensive line not addressed yet? The Packers have had some hard luck but somehow, someway that line has to be addressed -- even if it's a reach.
The 55th pick is in and SB Nation's Eagles community, Bleeding Green Nation, has selected...
Georgia Tech S Morgan Burnett
Morgan Burnett was actually a guy I was considering taking with the 37th overall pick so I was pretty excited to see him still on the board here at #55. He's got protypical size, he's a ballhawk who makes plays in coverage, and is willing to step up to stop the run. So often it seems like you have to choose between CB like cover safety or a LB like hitter safety and rarely do you find those guys who can do both. Even rarer do you find them near the bottom of the second round.
After just missing out on some cornerback help, Burnett is a heck of a consolation prize. Jason is right about Burnett being that player who can replace Dawkins. Great selection.
I like this pick and, as BGN said, could've been a legitimate candidate with the 37th pick. Solid selection.
The 54th pick is in and SB Nation's Bengals community, Cincy Jungle, has selected...
Illinois G Jon Asamoah
By drafting Illinois guard Jon Asamoah, the Bengals can improve the overall talent at left guard. Livings and Mathis, two players that manned left guard, blocked well for running back Cedric Benson. However, the team could clearly bolster Palmer's protection. Even though the sacks against Palmer were down, the pressure was still up and Palmer was forced to deal with a few minor injuries throughout the preseason and regular season. If a guard is drafted high in the NFL Draft, the reality is that he could start as soon as kickoff weekend and the team's passing fortunes, combined with the infusion of talent among their wide receivers, would dramatically increase.
As for the selection of Asamoah, it's just a personal opinion. I have a couple guards rated higher than Asamoah, but the general consensus is that the Illinois mauler is the second best guard in the draft. If you're a believer of that thought then this is a solid choice.
I'll like this pick if he's an immediate starter, which is what you'd expect from a guard selected in the second round. If Asamoah pans out, he could be around for quite a few years making most folks forget he was drafted so high.
The 53rd pick is in and SB Nation's Patriots community, Pats Pulpit, has selected...
Indiana OT Rodger Saffold
Matt Light and Nick Kaczur are slowing down and with them only good for half a season, we need a player who can learn from our offensive line coach Dante Scarneccia and step into the role as, hopefully, a starter next year. Matt Light enters the last year of his contract and he's far from untouchable- I wouldn't be surprised if we didn't resign him. This is the year to grab an OT and groom him for a full season and, hopefully, he'll be ready to step into the vacant O-Line spot. Saffold has oodles of starting experience, which is something Belichick looks for. Vollmer can take either tackle position so even if Saffold doesn't make it as a LT, he still has the strength and potential to be the right tackle of the future.
A lot of people have been touting Saffold as an early second-round pick, but this is a more appropriate draft position. For New England's pick, I'll still contest that Gronkowski is a better choice, even with his injury history. In 2008, he was considered a first-round talent. A player who can contribute immediately instead of a player who will sit at least a year is the kind of player the Pats need.
I'd disagree with MTD that this isn't the right pick for the Pats. Grabbing an offensive lineman with so many starts is right up Bill Belichick's alley. He likes to see players prove it on the field. And Pats Pulpit makes a great point with Logan Mankins. He's coming up for a new contract and, just like the Patriot Way, has his replacement right behind him.
The 52nd pick is in and SB Nation's Steelers community, Behind the Steel Curtain, has selected...
LSU S Chad Jones
This pick should be a toss-up between Jones and Morgan Burnett of Georgia Tech. Brandon Spikes may be a great 3-4 inside linebacker, but a safety could step in and contribute much sooner than a linebacker.
I'd think about the offensive line as well here. I'm not complaining about Jones, who is a good value here, but the line should be the first priority in Pittsburgh.
The 51st pick is in and SB Nation's Texans community, Battle Red Blog, has selected...
Alabama CB Kareem Jackson
It was a tough call in the war room, with a significant faction of BRB's "braintrust" wanting to go with Dexter McCluster and add another playmaker to an already scary offense, but the safer pick won out here and Kareem Jackson should go above and beyond what the Texans got out of Dunta Robinson last year. We also considered Navarro Bowman, Morgan Burnett, JD Walton, and Amari Spievey.
Houston had a lot of great choices left on the board and went with one of the best. Jackson is being talked about by some as a possible first-round pick so to get him here is a coup. He's a rookie starter who should do very well and make the fans forget about Dunta Robinson's average Houston career.
With Dunta Robinson gone, this makes total sense. Like MTD has said, Jackson should come in and make Texans fans forget about Dunta Robinson. Plus, he's played in some major games at Alabama against the best competition in the country.
The 50th pick is in and SB Nation's Chiefs community, Arrowhead Pride, has selected...
Hillsdale OT Jared Veldheer
Neither one of the Chiefs' current right tackles is very good so the Chiefs will upgrade an average to below average offensive line with Hillsdale. Those two players mentioned before can fill in as stop gaps until Veldheer comes around, which he almost inevitably will.
Scott Pioli and Todd Haley don't care about name recognition or where a player went to school. They only care about the "right 53" and Veldheer fits that mold.
Teams picking late in the second round face a real quandary. A lot of them need an offensive tackle, but the dropoff at this point is huge. If the Chiefs did go tackle with this pick, Rodger Saffold might be a little better choice as he can start sooner. But Veldheer is a huge upside selection, so it's hard to dislike it too much. Veldheer has the potential to be to Kansas City what Sebastian Vollmer was to New England last year.
I like this pick because of Veldheer's upside as well. While the line needs an upgrade in Kansas City, there's no doubt they can enter the season with Ryan O'Callaghan as the starting right tackle if Veldheer needs some time. The Chiefs offensive line coach, Bill Muir, is one of the best in the business so I would feel good about leaving Veldheer's future in his hands.
The 49th pick is in and SB Nation's 49ers community, Niners Nation, has selected...
UMass OT/G Vladimir Ducasse
Ducasse would be a great piece to add after the addition of Trent Williams in the first round. By taking two offensive linemen early, the 49ers would be able to close the book for some time on starting offensive linemen. For a team on the come-up, that's pretty huge.
I think this is a great pick for the 49ers. The 49ers are entering a make or break year for Alex Smith and if he makes it, it will be because the 49ers gave him the protection necessary. If he doesn't, then the line will be in a much better shape for the next guy. Ducasse can fill several positions on the line. This is a good pick.
The 48th pick is in and SB Nation's Panthers community, Cat Scratch Reader, has selected...
Cincinnati WR Mardy Gilyard
With Damian Williams getting selected immediately before this pick it narrowed my choices to Arrelious Benn, Brandon LaFell, and Gilyard. Though Benn has more straight line speed than Gilyard and LaFell may be a bigger, more polished receiver Gilyard brings the added dimension of big play ability that is sorely needed by the Panther passing game from someone other than Steve Smith. Both Benn and LaFell fall into the 'Moose' category.
I agree that this pick should be a wide receiver. Personally, I would have gone with Benn, who has more potential to be a No. 1 receiver. He was stuck playing with arguably the worst starting quarterback for a BCS school, which is why his production dropped. Steve Smith said he wanted the Panthers to go after a No. 1 receiver, which is what Benn could have, uh, been.
Panthers WR Steve Smith said a few weeks back that he didn't want to be a number one anymore. That wasn't supposed to mean anything other than he's getting up there in age and knows the Panthers need to add another young receiver. Enter Mardy Gilyard. While I don't think he'll be a bona-fide number one receiver, he should be a good building block. Plus, the Panthers will have Matt Moore taking snaps so it's important to get him the weapons necessary to succeed.
The 47th pick is in and SB Nation's Patriots community, Pats Pulpit, has selected...
USC WR Damian Williams
Wes Welker is out with an injury and Brandon Tate is coming back from one. Randy Moss was playing at half tank last year due to his injuries from the beginning of the season and Julian Edelman is still an unknown- although he has shown great promise. Williams has the skill, intelligence, hands and attributes to step in immediately and start, or at least provide tremendous depth. Our team was at its finest when our offense was run by the "throw to the open player" motto. Since Welker was usually the open player, his injury puts a slow on our offensive scheme. Williams should be able to get open and catch Brady's passes. He's a leader and a learner and would be the perfect fit for our scheme. He may not ever be a #1 receiver, but he'll provide great talent for our offense.
Williams might be the most NFL-ready wide receiver in the draft, which makes him a good fit for New England. His upside may not be high, but in New England's offense, it doesn't have to be.
I know MTD is high on Williams so I'll defer to him on this one. As Tom Brady gets up there in age, it's important to keep weapons around him. Williams will never replace Randy Moss completely but he should be a good complement to Wes Welker over the next several years.
The 46th pick is in and SB Nation's Giants community, Big Blue View, has selected...
UCLA DT Brian Price
Price is a first round talent, and I've seen him rated as high as the third best defensive tackle in the draft (not bad in a draft where two DT's will be going in the top three picks). Price will really help solidify the Giants run defense, giving Tuck, Umenyiora, Kiwanuka, and Morgan more leeway to go get the quarterback.
Great value and a great selection. There are some questions about Price's effort and consistency, but a head coach like Tom Coughlin should theoretically be able to fix those things.
I like this pick a lot. The Giants' hallmark in recent years has been dominant defensive line play and that should continue by plugging Price into there. The Giants just got better.
The 44th pick is in and SB Nation's Patriots community, Pats Pulpit, has selected...
Clemson OLB Ricky Sapp
Oh, and did I mention that he's 6-4, 252 and runs a 4.61? Yeah, Sapp represents the perfect Patriots player and a player that Coach Belichick will actually pursue. Sapp, in my opinion, has as high of a ceiling as Kindle and is more athletic than his Texan counterpart
Love this pick. Sapp is on a completely different level than Misi. The Utah player is solid, but how much did anyone really hear about him until the offseason? Sapp, although inconsistent earlier in his career, was sort of a man playing out of position at Clemson. He looks natural as a 3-4 outside linebacker. He could be an instant starter for the Patriots.
The Pats have been looking for pass rusher help and Sapp should be able to help. As more and more teams run a 3-4, these players will become more valuable. Good pick.
The 43rd pick is in and SB Nation's Dolphins community, The Phinsider, has selected...
Georgia Tech WR Demaryius Thomas
Here's what you can't teach a kid: how to be 6'3, 220 pounds and possess enough speed to run away from every defensive back in the ACC. No receiver has as much upside as Thomas in this draft. And because he came out of a run-heavy offense, he's a willing blocker who is actually effective - which this front office will love. In my opinion, there is no reason why Thomas can't become a true #1 receiver and the best receiver to come out of this draft. At pick #43, this is really a no-brainer for a team like this that desperately needs a play-maker at receiver.
Although I have Damian Williams rated much higher, Thomas is a better fit for Miami. The Dolphins desperately need a wide receiver, but current wide receiver Brian Hartline is very similar in playing style to Williams. Thomas may be a huge risk, but he could be a star with the right coaching.
However, one of his greatest strengths is his ability to be a blocking receiver. Georgia Tech'srunners amassed over 4,000 yards on the ground and many of these gains can be attributed to Bay Bay. He also has a powerful stiff-arm which makes him very effective off screen passes. He is not afraid to get in the opponent's face.
I like this pick a lot. The Dolphins passed on Dez Bryant in the first round so they get a good value here with Thomas. This should help young quarterback Chad Henne develop. Also, as the SB Nation player profile points out, he's a solid run blocker and the Dolphins still have two good running backs they can utilize. I like this pick.
The 42nd pick is in and SB Nation's Bucs community, Buc 'Em, has selected...
Florida State CB Patrick Robinson
Although he's got ok size (5-11, 195ish), he's got top-flight recovery speed (which was recently confirmed with a 4.38 40-yd time), which could help the Bucs mix up their schemes with more man coverage. Robinson could also do what Ronde in his prime did well...come off the corner at choice times and level the QB.
I don't like this pick, only because Damian Williams is still out there. Who is Josh Freeman going to throw the ball to? Maurice Stovall and Michael Clayton are underachievers and Sammie Stroughter isn't a No. 1 or No. 2 option. While Robinson is a good value pick, there are a few bigger needs and a few better players.
I've gotta agree with MTD on this one. Freeman is the most important building block in the Bucs franchise and he lost his beast weapon in Antonio Bryant. Replacing that production should have been the number one goal following the third overall pick.
The 41st pick is in and SB Nation's Bills community, Buffalo Rumblings, has selected...
South Carolina OLB Eric Norwood
Norwood was a team captain and a leader, is a tremendous competitor, and fits perfectly into the 3-4 scheme. His workout numbers won't blow you away, but Norwood is the type of guy that gets it done on the field in clutch situations time and again, and that's really all that matters to Nix. This pick is the best blend of need, value, talent, production and intangibles, and knowing that, passing on Price is a bit easier.
Have fun with the Bills/Norwood jokes, by the way. Get creative!
I stand by him being a solid pick, though. This is a little early for Norwood, but he's experienced as a linebacker and defensive end. Clearly he's too small for even a 4-3 end, but his pass rush skills are good. He's only slightly a level below Jerry Hughes, who was taken 12 picks ago.
I like Buffalo Rumblings reasoning for selecting Norwood. The Bills do need pass rush help especially when the Bills nose tackles aren't exactly ideal. Given everything available, I think this was a solid choice. Brian Price may not fit the scheme and the Bills are hoping not to force a square peg into a round hole.
The 40th pick is in and SB Nation's Chargers community, Bolts From The Blue, has selected...
North Carolina DT Cam Thomas
Cam Thomas is the guy that I hoped would be there when the Chargers picked again. With Dan Williams and Terrence Cody both taken in the first round, pretty much the only player left that could plug the Chargers' hole in the middle of the defensive line is Thomas. The Tar Heel probably doesn't have the upside that Williams or Cody have, and his pass rushing ability isn't great, but the Chargers need a guy who can hold the line against double teams to help stop the opposing team's running game, and Thomas can do that.
After running back, nose tackle is San Diego's biggest need. It's not a glamor pick, but to fill a need this important to a 3-4 defense is a must. It can be argued if Thomas is better than Terrell Troup or Linval Joseph, but there's nothing wrong with a playoff team reaching to fill one of its bigger holes.
I like this pick a lot. This is really a pretty good value for a player who could become a nose tackle. Like MTD said, the Chargers filled their biggest need (RB) in the first round and now they fill the second biggest need after the departure of Jamal Williams over the offseason.
The 39th pick is in and SB Nation's Raiders community, Silver and Black Pride, has selected...
Maryland OT Bruce Campbell
After selecting Bryan Bulaga with the eighth pick, I was really surprised by this choice. Both come with a lot of risk - particularly Campbell. Although he fits the Oakland mold perfectly, the Raiders have way too many needs to go with offensive tackles with their first two picks.
He's a Raider that's for sure. Campbell has the physical build to be a great left tackle but, according to various reports, it just doesn't translate to the NFL game. It's one thing to have a NFL body, it's quite another to be a productive NFL player. While I think this will be the pick if he's available, I don't think it's a great pick.
The 38th pick is in and SB Nation's Browns community, Dawgs by Nature, has selected...
Texas QB Colt McCoy
It's clear the Browns need a young quarterback While I like McCoy - and Mike Holmgren may as well - there are too many quality players still available to take a developmental talent. There are some good wide receivers still available, and Dwyer would be a good fit. There are also some great pieces that could be added to the defensive line. It's hard to disagree with the pick of McCoy, but what really sets him apart from a quarterback that could be had in the third?
I like this pick a lot. The Browns can head into 2010 with Jake Delhomme calling the shots and this will give McCoy time to get used to the pro game. He's incredibly accurate and has a ridiculous amount of starts in college. Those are the two stats that translate best from college to pro. With Mike Holmgren on the staff, I like McCoy's chances.
The 37th pick is in and SB Nation's Eagles community, Bleeding Green Nation, has selected...
TCU LB Daryl Washington
Considering the Eagles could use help at either OLB spot, Washington could easily be a start from day one. He'll be an immediate upgrade in coverage and he'll be faster to the sidelines than anyone they've started in recent years. With middle linebacker Stewart Bradley returning from injury, he and Washington could make for a young and athletic duo at LB for years to come. It's been a long time since the Eagles had a real playmaker at the WILL position and Washington could absolutely be that guy.
While I don't have Washington quite as highly rated as him, this is a great value pick. Jason is dead on thinking there will be secondary help available later in this mock. The team could go safety or cornerback with pick 55 and get a good player. A linebacker as good as Washington probably won't be around that late.
As the writer for SB Nation's Chiefs site, I can tell you the Eagles have expressed some interest in Derrick Johnson in the past so this pick doesn't surprise me. And, like MTD, I agree with BGN that there will be some safety help in the later rounds. This is a deep class for that. This is a solid pick.
The 36th pick is in and SB Nation's Chiefs community, Arrowhead Pride, has selected... USF S Nate Allen He was a respected team leader at USF and responsible for calling the plays on defense. This means he's not just an athlete, but an athlete with a head on his shoulders. Like McClain, Allen appears to understand the game - something on which the Chiefs place a high priority. If a free safety is the choice for Kansas City, I much prefer Morgan Burnett of Georgia Tech. He's more of a playmaker than Allen. Still, either player would be better what the team has on its roster. It might also be hard to pass up on Damian Williams, who looks like a Derrick Mason clone in the making. The choice here really comes down to receiver or safety -- both major areas of need for the Chiefs. At least for the 2010 season, the Chiefs may be able to get by with Dwayne Bowe and Chris Chambers at receiver so safety it is for the Chiefs.
The 36th pick is in and SB Nation's Chiefs community, Arrowhead Pride, has selected...
USF S Nate Allen
He was a respected team leader at USF and responsible for calling the plays on defense. This means he's not just an athlete, but an athlete with a head on his shoulders. Like McClain, Allen appears to understand the game - something on which the Chiefs place a high priority.
If a free safety is the choice for Kansas City, I much prefer Morgan Burnett of Georgia Tech. He's more of a playmaker than Allen. Still, either player would be better what the team has on its roster. It might also be hard to pass up on Damian Williams, who looks like a Derrick Mason clone in the making.
The choice here really comes down to receiver or safety -- both major areas of need for the Chiefs. At least for the 2010 season, the Chiefs may be able to get by with Dwayne Bowe and Chris Chambers at receiver so safety it is for the Chiefs.
The 35th pick is in and SB Nation's Bucs community, Buc 'Em, has selected...
Notre Dame WR Golden Tate
Although his size is a concern and he could struggle getting off some jams, he's incredibly quick and can create separation through his fast cuts. He's also deceptively fast and should have no problem fitting into Olson's offensive system. Tate is the pick.
The Buccaneers have arguably the worst wide receiving corps in the NFL. A playmaker like Tate starts to change that. He has very good hands and is incredibly dangerous with the ball in his hands. Good pick.
The point is, save for a couple drops against Michigan, Golden caught nearly every ball slung his way. He ran the wildcat (GOLDENEYE) for scores. He returned a punt for a score. The number of times he was actually tackled in the field of play, as opposed to being corralled out of bounds or scoring a touchdown, barely reaches single digits, and it always involved about three or four defenders. In a rare case of college football awards going to someone that deserves them, Golden was your 2009 Biletnikoff Award winner and a consensus All-American. He's really, really good.
No complaints here. The Bucs are dealing with a new quarterback and need to provide the weapons to make him successful. Tate played in a pro-style offense at Notre Dame so he should be able to make a smooth transition to the NFL.
The 34th pick is in and SB Nation's Lions community, Pride of Detroit, has selected...
California RB Jahvid Best
Running back: Kevin Smith is healing from shoulder injuries and a torn ACL, meaning his status for next season is up in the air. What's more, running back by committee seems to be a very effective strategy in the NFL nowadays, so even if Smith is healthy I think there is a need at running back for the Lions. Considering he isn't healthy, that need is much larger, which is why I ultimately decided on Cal running back Jahvid Best.
I don't have Best rated higher than Jonathan Dwyer, but if running back is the pick, he's a better choice. Dwyer is too similar to Kevin Smith and wouldn't give Detroit the same dynamic.
I'm not a fan of this pick but I see POD's logic. My argument would be that running backs are a dime-a-dozen with a decent offensive line. I would have looked at the next available offensive lineman and invested some money in protecting the Lions biggest investment.
The 33rd pick is in and SB Nation's Rams community, Turf Show Times, has selected...
USC DE Everson Griffen
Griffen possesses elite talent. The knock on him by draftniks has been whether or not he has the motivation to play his best from game-to-game and play-to-play. However, Rams' head coach Steve Spagnuolo and his defensive coordinator Ken Flajole were able to push Chris Long to the next level and squeeze out every last drop of motivation and talent from their players, most of whom came off the street as fill-ins for injured starters and an organizational history of failed drafts.
At first, I was pretty surprised by the pick considering the wide receivers on the board. But then it made sense. There will be plenty of wide receivers still around in the later rounds the team could go after. However, there won't be a pass rusher of Griffen's caliber. Also, it's hard to see head coach Steve Spagnuolo not selecting a pass rusher in this draft and Griffen is a good one.
Arguably, the two most important positions on a football field are quarterback and pass rusher. The Rams addressed the quarterback with their first pick and now they set their sights on a pass rusher in Everson Griffen.
Receiver is a major consideration here as well. You've spent all this money on a new quarterback and he needs toys. However, Steve Spagnuolo comes from a defensive background so it's hard to see him passing up a good pass rusher like Griffen.
The 32nd pick is in and SB Nation's Saints community, Canal Street Chronicles, has selected...
Florida DE Carlos Dunlap
The Gators are known for producing talented pass rushers over the years, including the Saints own Bobby McCray, and the incredibly athletic Dunlap is no different. Dunlap's 18.5 sacks over his last two seasons with the Gators are exactly what the Saints hope to add to their pass rush next year. He's extremely athletic with huge potential but also comes with a few character and work ethic concerns. The classic high risk/high reward prospect.
Dunlap is a boom or bust player. On paper, he certainly looks the part but had a career of inconsistency. On the field, he has the frame of a basketball player, and that doesn't always translate well to the pros.
After finally ending the whispers of his immaturity, Dunlap was hauled in for a DUI the week of the SEC Championship Game. Urban Meyer called it out of character for Dunlap and Dunlap has expressed remorse. But, it fits into a pattern of a player who didn't take practice and workouts seriously until his sophomore season.
I included that last quote from SB Nation's Alligator Army because I think it's important to keep in mind. Saints coach Sean Payton is a Bill Parcells disciple. Parcells has on occasion talked about not wanting "thugs and hoodlums" on his team. Now, I'm not that's Dunlap but his actions aren't something that's viewed upon fondly in the Parcells coaching tree.
I think the physical talent is there -- and maybe he's a good value at this point -- but I'm not so sure he would be the Saints best bet.
Read the full write-up at Mocking the Draft.
The 31st pick is in and SB Nation's Colts community, Stampede Blue, has selected...
USC OT Charles Brown
The Colts made the Super Bowl last year with a converted guard (Charlie Johnson) protecting Peyton Manning's blindside. And while CJ did an excellent job considering his draft pedigree, the reality is the Colts absolutely must upgrade at the left tackle spot in order to be a contender in years to come. 2007 first day draft pick Tony Ugoh has been a bust, losing his starting job to CJ early last season.
His next two years were disappointing. He could not keep the starting job as a sophomore and only had 4.5 sacks. Things did not improve in his final year at USC. He ended up getting 7 sacks but obviously did not live up to expectations. While he did not have the best college career, his potential is unbelievable. At 6'3", 278 pounds, he ran a 4.66 forty (2nd best for defensive linemen) and a 32 bench presses. Whether he is a workout warrior or a future star remains to be seen, but there is no denying that those numbers are impressive.
Should Brown last this long in the "real" draft, I imagine this would be the pick. It fills a huge need and would give the team an immediate starter. Good picking.
Remember the Super Bowl? Bill Polian seemed to indicate the offensive line was an issue at the time so this pick isn't a surprise. I know Peyton Manning has never missed a NFL game but as he gets up there in age it will become even more important to minimize the hits he takes. Brown, at 31, is a very good pick.
The 30th pick is in and SB Nation's Vikings community, Daily Norseman, has selected...
Rutgers CB Devin McCourty
McCourty is rising up the draft boards, and according to some is the second-best corner in this year's draft behind Joe Haden. McCourty is a bit in the mold of current Viking Antoine Winfield, as he's more than willing to throw his body around in the running game despite being a bit undersized. While he has his struggles in man coverage, he's shown himself to have a very good concept of where to line himself up in zones, which makes him a good fit for Minnesota's Cover 2 scheme.
My feeling is that certain playoff teams should fill needs, which McCourty would do. McCourty wouldn't have to wait behind Allen or Sapp. He's already better than both and getting better.
I like this pick. The Vikings play in the NFC North facing Jay Cutler and Aaron Rodgers each twice a year so good corner play is important. I'll defer to Daily Norseman on how he fits into the Vikings scheme but it sounds like this is a good match for both sides.
The 29th pick is in and SB Nation's Jets community, Gang Green Nation, has selected...
TCU DE/OLB Jerry Hughes
How is it possible to improve the league's best defense? The Jets may have had the top unit in statistical terms, but they struggled to generate a consistent pass rush without blitzing. Rex Ryan loves to blitz, but the Jets had to do it more than he would prefer last year.
Everyone knows that Rex Ryan loves two things in football: Cornerbacks and pass rushers. He got his cornerback with Cromartie and Hughes would represent the pass rusher. Personally, I think this is a little early for Hughes, but it fills a really good need.
Needs to learn more moves to become a better pass rusher at the NFL level. He played against lesser competition while in the Mountain West. Only played defense full time since arriving at TCU in 2005, he previously played running back in high school.
I agree that it might be slightly early for Hughes but if anyone is going to make this pick worth it, it's Rex Ryan. The criticisms in his SB Nation player profile may be valid but Ryan is the best in the business to develop him. Like defensive tackles, you can never have enough pass rushers.
The 28th pick is in and SB Nation's Chargers community, Bolts from the Blue, has selected...
Fresno State RB Ryan Mathews
The Chargers do look for the RBs to help out in their passing, and while Mathews didn't do much of that in college, the scouts say that his receiving skills are good. The Chargers may have to work with him on his upright running style, but he's not expected to be a workhorse, and the ball probably will be in Philip Rivers' hand in key situations, so hopefully fumbles won't be a big issue. He does come with injury concerns, and the Chargers will either need to draft a backup in later rounds or hold onto Darren Sproles for one more year.
After getting rid of LaDanian Tomlinson, the need for a running back is immense. Sproles is a real talent, but can't handle a full load. Mathews could start his career playing alongside Sproles before eventually becoming the team's lead runner. Great pick.
This is another one of those no-brainer picks. There would be an argument against a running back if one of the nose tackles were available but that's not the case. With Tomlinson out and the future of Sproles anything but secure, the Chargers can take Mathews and quickly plug him in.
The 27th pick is in and SB Nation's Cowboys community, Blogging The Boys, has selected...
South Florida DE Jason Pierre-Paul
There are players who are better fits for Dallas, but they don't have Pierre-Paul's rating and potential. Pass rushers are always in demand, and 3-4 OLB's are of particular interest to certain teams, the Cowboys included. It's not a position of "need" for the Cowboys, but Pierre-Paul's "value" at this pick is too great to pass up.
In theory, this should be a great pick. JPP is an athletic marvel. However, he's no 3-4 outside linebacker. He showed as much during South Florida's recent pro day. He really struggles moving backward and doesn't have the kind of lateral agility required.
MTD suggests Devin McCourty out of Rutgers instead. From what I understand, Pierre-Paul really has the potential to be a great pick late in the first round. However, it's always a big concern when you take a guy like Pierre-Paul -- who has played defensive end all his life -- and move him to outside linebacker in a 3-4, which the Cowboys run.
The Cowboys immediate future at outside linebacker seems okay with DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer so you've gotta think MTD has a good point suggesting someone like McCourty who would "possibly be able to start immediately."
The 26th pick is in and SB Nation's Cardinals community, Revenge of the Birds, has selected...
Alabama DT Terrence Cody
With that being said, defensive tackle is a enormous need on the defense, and the Cardinals only have Gabe Watson signed, who has yet to prove he can be a valid starter. Adding Cody's massive size and strength would immediately improve the Cardinals' run defense, forcing opponents to bounce runs to the outside. He's a force to be reckoned with and will consistently draw double teams from opposing teams' offensive linemen.
But anyone who takes Cody is taking a risk. The issues with his weight and desire are well known. More than that, though, he's almost exclusively a two-down player. Still, Cody is a good pick.
I like this pick because it serves two purposes. First, you can't ever have enough defensive tackles and Cody is a rare type of tackle. Second, all of a sudden the Cardinals gain some leverage in negotiations with Darnell Dockett regarding a contract extension.
I like this pick.
The 25th pick is in and SB Nation's Ravens community, Baltimore Beatdown, has selected...
Oklahoma TE Jermaine Gresham
Baltimore passing on DE Jason Pierre-Paul is tough to do here because of how gifted of an athlete Pierre-Paul is, but the Ravens ignore the athletic freak and go with Gresham, who has had great production in a short time at Oklahoma.
This is one of those surefire picks, like Atlanta taking Sean Weatherspoon. Dissenters may say it's not a good idea to take a backup player in the first round. But Gresham is that good. Had he played in 2009, he'd almost certainly go earlier. Had he been in the 2009 draft, he would have been the first tight end taken.
The Ravens are fairly stacked so they can afford to take a luxury pick like this. Flacco is young and while Anquan Boldin will help, Todd Heap and Derrick Mason aren't getting any younger. This is a risk worth taking for the Ravens.
The 24th pick is in and SB Nation's Eagles community, Bleeding Green Nation, has selected.
Rutgers OT Anthony Davis
After spending a first round pick last year to acquire LT Jason Peters and extending RT Winston Justice during the season, you may think the Eagles don't have a need at OT, but that's not necessarily the case. For one, the Eagles generally select college OTs to play everywhere along the line. So it's certainly possible that Davis could be asked to slide inside to play RG, where he first played at Rutgers and is a position that's absolutely a question mark for the team. Plus, despite that fact that Winston Justice played well I'm not married to him as my RT for the next five years.
Davis might have as much talent as any tackle in this year's class. He's rugged and physical at the point of attack and has quick feet. But he's also kind of aloof and doesn't give great effort all the time. That's why it should be no surprise if he falls this far in the "real" draft. Davis would kind of be a luxury pick for the Eagles, but he'd be a good luxury pick.
If you've been following SB Nation's mock draft, then you know I'm a fan of drafting offensive and defensive linemen. As MTD says, this is a luxury pick with Jason Peters and Winston Justice already in the fold. But it's a good luxury pick because if you're going to stack up at area on your team (besides quarterback), it's offensive line.
The 23rd pick is in and SB Nation's Packers community, Acme Packing Company, has selected...
Texas LB Sergio Kindle
There is some lobbying at Acme Packing Company for TCU's Jerry Hughes, who has nearly identical combine and/or pro day results, but his transition to playing in space as a linebacker apparently hasn't looked too smooth according to some reports. For that reason, I'm going with Kindle, who also could become a pass rushing terror but played linebacker in college.
But if pass rusher is the pick, Kindle is a good one. He's much more physical than Hughes and more of a sure thing. He can also put his hand down, which would give Green Bay another look for its defense.
Each week when I get to the Defensive MVP section of the Post-Game React, I pause and consider whether I can omit Sergio Kindle, if only for diversity's sake. Each week I include him anyway, and it's never a hard decision. The physical gifts are no secret, but I find myself repeatedly writing about the energy and effort, which are otherworldly, as well. In terms of his future, his elite length, ability to change directions, and straightline speed make him a Top 10 NFL pick, and he's got the frame to add a needed 10 pounds of muscle to his upper body. Needs to work on using his hands to keep blocks off his knees, but that's about it; he's special.
I agree with MTD that passing up on Rutgers OT Anthony Davis is a tough decision but it's hard to disagree with addressing the pass rushing concerns. Pass rusher might be the second or third most important position on the field behind quarterback and offensive tackle and Kindle is expected to be one of the best in this class so this is a solid pick.
The 22nd pick is in and SB Nation's Patriots community, Pats Pulpit, has selected...
Penn State DE Jared Odrick
The Patriots have two definite needs in this draft - a solid 3-4 DE and a solid 3-4 OLB. This draft is extremely deep with 3-4 pass rushers, but no so much with space-eating, double-team-commanding, run-stuffing 3-4 defensive ends. Due to the position demographic of this draft, the New England Patriots must draft a 3-4 DE, and Penn State's Jared Odrick is a versatile player who fits this need.
Odrick has tremendous power and strength and a good motor to go with it. When he is on his game, he is unblockable. Several teams tried to contain him with double teams all year long with little or no effect. He loves to initiate contact and uses his hands well to fight off the blocker and gain leverage. There's a reason why Jared Odrick is listed as most experts as a first round draft pick. I won't say he's as good as Ndamukong Suh, but he's in that category.
That's some high praise from Black Shoe Diaries. This is one of the most common picks for the Patriots here. With the loss of Seymour, the Pats need to find another 3-4 defensive end for the future and Odrick can provide that. There's some concerns about his leadership but his physical skills may outweigh that.
The 21st pick is in and SB Nation's Bengals community, Cincy Jungle, has selected...
Oklahoma State WR Dez Bryant
Laveranues Coles, a disappointing receiver that dropped a lot of passes and failed to give secondaries much concern, was released after one season. The Bengals debated between Terrell Owens and Antonio Bryant, settling on Bryant with a four-year contract. Gladly, this gave the Bengals a respectable one-two punch in the passing offense, but nothing worth mentioning beyond that. That's why, with the 21st pick in the 2010 NFL draft, the Cincinnati Bengals select Dez Bryant, wide receiver out of Oklahoma State.
Pairing Bryant with Cincinnati's other receivers is a scary prospect. He would allow Ochocinco to transition into a No. 2 role, which is about as good as he is now. More importantly, a player like Bryant could help rejuvenate the career of Carson Palmer. He wouldn't have to worry as much about cow towing to Ochocinco.
I agree with MTD's use of the word "scary" here. Chad Johnson is a top five receiver in the NFL right now and it's not like Antonio Bryant is a nobody. He's under 30 and still a very solid player.
Dez Bryant has the chance to be spectacular....he also has the chance to be a total dud. The Bengals have no problems bringing in guys with perceived character issues and Bryant definitely fits that bill. However this turns out, I think Bryant's the type of talent that is worth taking a risk on this late in the draft.
The 20th pick is and SB Nation's Texans community, Battle Red Blog, has selected...
Tennessee DT Dan Williams
Some of you might be saying, "Hey, the Texans' run game last year was a joke! You guys need a running back." This is half right, but the basic assumptions are incorrect. Our run game was horrible because we trotted out two of the worst starting guards in football last year, and our run game play-calling was dark humor. We believe we can address the run game in later rounds, and with Iupati and Pouncey already off the board, the talent gap at NT is simply greater.
A player like Williams is what the Texans' defensive line has needed. Dez Bryant would have been a neat pick, but Williams is a necessity pick. The play of Okoye has been unimpressive because he's been miscast as a run stuffer. Williams could be that presence and Okoye could more easily split gaps.
Dan Williams is a huge, strong guy with a low center of gravity who can really clog up the middle of the line of scrimmage. He's fairly versatile as well, though, as he's often seen far away from his starting point when the play ends, whether that's along one of the sidelines chasing a scrambling quarterback or a screening receiver or 15 yards down field recovering a fumble.
I love this pick. Defensive tackles the size of Williams don't come along very often so you take one when you can. RTT and MTD are spot on in their evaluation. Williams can clog the middle of the line freeing Amobi Okoye.
The popular pick is one of the top running backs remaining but that position is a dime a dozen so snagging Williams is a steal.
The 19th pick is in and SB Nation's Falcons community, The Falcoholic, has selected...
Missouri LB Sean Weatherspoon
He's athletic, a punishing tackler, an excellent overall football player and a guy who comes pre-packaged with swagger. Weatherspoon is already beloved by The Falcoholic faithful-who definitely would've burned my house to the ground if I hadn't selected him here-and he'd be an instant upgrade against both the pass and the run for the Falcons.
Weatherspoon is the kind of energetic spark plug that would make Atlanta's other linebackers better. He'd fit great in the team's scheme.
I'm a little baffled about the concerns regarding Spoon's utility in pass coverage. Yes, the majority of his value is in his ability to stop the run, but I think he's less of a liability in coverage than scouts are making him out to be. He's fantastic at reading quarterbacks' eyes (which, again, may get him in a little bit of trouble at the next level), and he's fairly fluid for a guy of his build and his hands proved rather solid during his tenure as a Tiger.
This is one of the few picks where it seems it would be an upset if he didn't go there. As Rock M Nation says, he's certainly got some flaws in his game but his football IQ should allow him to overcome any of those. He's not going to dominate your linebacker corps but he's definitely going to be part of the solution.
This is a solid pick.
The 18th pick is in and SB Nation's Steelers community, Behind the Steel Curtain, has selected...
Idaho G Mike Iupati
'The idea is that Pittsburgh needs interior line help. Ben Roethlisberger is probably never going to get rid of the ball quicker, so it's imperative the Steelers' offensive line can hold onto blocks.
Interior linemen in the first round are pretty safe picks so I like this one. Maybe a bit high for Iupati but the Steelers don't have a ton of holes outside of the offensive line.
Iupati should be one of the first pieces in rebuilding that Steelers line.
The 17th pick is in and SB Nation's 49ers community, Niners Nation, has selected....
Michigan DE Brandon Graham
If the 49ers grabbed Graham, he would get a shot to compete for playing time right from the start. However, given the success of the 3-headed monster that was Lawson-Brooks-Haralson, it would likely take Graham some time to crack the lineup. Of course, the 49ers go with 4 down linemen on third down passing situations, and given the 49ers struggles finding someone opposite Justin Smith, he could crack the lineup in that way.
If a team thinks Graham can play linebacker, this is a great pickup. San Francisco has to keep adding pass rushers if it wants its 3-4 defense to succeed. Graham may not have a lot of upside, but he's productive and will be a great locker room presence.
From Rivalry, Esq.'s Graham player profile:
Despite being considered undersized (how somebody can be 263 and undersized is beyond me), BG is an all around terror. His strength and speed in the pass rush are exceptional, and his patience that he's developed in the run game consistently had teams running away from him this year. He's got a great bull rush, and he never stops going until the whistle. Whomever gets this guy is getting a gem of a player.
It's always a risky business moving a defensive end to outside linebacker in the 3-4 defense but the experts say Graham can do that. This is a solid pick that should help supplement a pass rush that actually wasn't too bad in 2009. As MTD says, passing up Dez Bryant is a tough choice but understandable.
The 16th pick is in and SB Nation's Titans community, Music City Miracles, has selected....
Boise State CB Kyle Wilson
Jeff Fisher said at the end of 2009 that this off-season would be all about upgrading the defense. The two biggest holes remaining are defensive end and cornerback. Kyle Wilson is the best available corner at this point and may be the best available defensive player.
But Wilson would give the Titans a man-cover cornerback to team with Cortland Finnegan. That would allow the team's safeties to move around the field more and open up bigger gaps for the defensive line. The Titans defense showed that when the line plays well, the entire defense does. But the secret to that is sound cornerback play, which the team would have with Wilson on board. It would also have one of the best special teams players in this year's draft.
From One Bronco Nation Under God's Wilson player profile:
Scouts across the NFL love Kyle Wilson's hips. They are fluid and smooth and (can someone just get these guys a room already?). Wilson's hips are a big reason why he excels in coverage. He can move with a receiver and change directions at a moment's notice, and he has the closing speed to break on a ball. His aggressiveness can get him in trouble, but it can also pay off big time with INTs, PBUs, and the occasional pick-six. Wilson can read routes exceptionally well, and he has the ball skills to make a QB think twice before throwing his direction. He can take away a receiver fairly easily.
I agree with MTD that this might be a bit early but at the same time, Wilson fits a Jeff Fisher team. He should be able to help in run support and even return some kicks. Since the Pacman Jones experiment failed a few years back, Wilson should help the Titans. Maybe a bit early, but still a good player.
The 15th pick is in and SB Nation's Giants community, Big Blue View, has selected...
Georgia Tech DE Derrick Morgan
The Giants have a bunch of needs on defense, and with the way this draft has gone, Derrick Morgan is simply the best defensive player left on the board. Morgan is a top 10 talent who has dropped because of needs by the teams picking ahead of the Giants, not because of doubts about his abilities. As the Giants proved when they won the Super Bowl 2 years ago, you can never have too many pass rushers. And with the uncertainty regarding Osi Umenyiora's future with the team hanging in the air, adding a talented young pass rusher who also can defend the run like Morgan makes a lot of sense.
Ideally, the Giants probably really want McClain or Thomas to fall to them. But since they're gone, and Morgan seems to be the best defensive player available, this is a good pick. Morgan can contribute immediately and is a three-down defensive end.
From From The Rumble Seats' Morgan player profile:
Versatility and Power. Morgan is explosive off the end of the line and the opposing lineman will have his hands full. Once in the backfield, he has the ability to hustle, chase and throw down the quarterback. Derrick's game film will show that he plays hard and eats up 2-3 blockers on every play. Even on plays when he is double teamed, he still applies pressure, gets a TFL or a sack.
Considering what's available, this is a good selection. The Giants have proven over the past few years that you can never have enough defensive linemen. Morgan should perform well on the Giants line.
The 14th pick is in and SB Nation's Seahawks community, Field Gulls, has selected...
Clemson RB C.J. Spiller
They want to win now, and need to win now with one of those two quarterbacks. Hasselbeck has a below average arm that can become a liability when he is injured. He isn't broken, but his margin of injury is very thin. When he is banged up, the underneath pass becomes his primary weapon. As Whitehurst attempts to overcome his crippling pocket presence, an underneath threat could help him learn to outlet out of pressure.
And Spiller's ability as a return man shouldn't be brushed aside. He is the kind of player that can always give his team good field position and be a threat to score a touchdown. Offensive tackle may be as pressing of a need as running back for Seattle. But don't be shocked when new offensive line coach Alex Gibbs waits until later in the draft to address it.
Pete Carroll had a lot of success with Reggie Bush at USC so I can easily see him taking another explosive runner.
However, I'm not sure I would make this move in the first round. Spiller's a heck of a talent but running backs are a dime a dozen in the NFL. The value just isn't there because they're easily replaceable. I would suggest focusing on that offensive line so any running back can be successful behind them.
As MTD Field Gulls wrote, taking Spiller is a "win-now" type of move and Matt Hasselbeck might be in his last year in Seattle so I can see the logic behind this pick but, personally, don't agree with it.
The 13th pick is in and SB Nation's 49ers community, Niners Nation, has selected...
Oklahoma OT Trent Williams
OT Trent Williams is a guy who brings up some fairly divergent opinions among 49ers fans. Some love him, some hate him, and some are mildly indifferent. Nonetheless, he is a big bodied offensive tackle that would get a shot to compete for the starting right tackle position from day 1. Among mock drafts, the most common selection for the 49ers has been Trent Williams at #13. Whether it's an inspiring pick is one thing, but it certainly has the potential to fill a need.
I love this pick. If you need reason to love it as well, watch any Oklahoma games from 2008. When Williams played right tackle, there was arguably no better offensive lineman in the country. Right tackle might not be a sexy pick, but for a team on the verge, it's a great one.
Once again I agree with MTD on this one. Hard to knock building an offensive line.
The 49ers aren't sure of their quarterback future so there's no better way to find out if Alex Smith is the guy than by giving him maximum protection and letting it fly. Offensive linemen in the first round are usually some of the safest picks and Williams should go well with Joe Staley.
The 49ers now have bookend tackles, which is one of the most important parts of a team.
The 12th pick is in and SB Nation's Dolphins community, The Phinsider, has selected...
Texas S Earl Thomas
So why Earl Thomas? Three reasons. One - with the way the draft is going, I think there's a chance one of the top conversion linebackers fall to Miami's next pick at number 43. And the drop off from Thomas to the next best safety is far greater, in my opinion, than the drop-off between conversion linebackers. Two - the NFL is changing. With the number of three- and four-receiver sets that are run these days, you can never have enough quality defensive backs. It's a passing league now and the Dolphins need to keep up defensively - especially in a division with the Patriots. And three - Thomas is exactly what the Dolphins need back in their secondary.
It should also be noted that even though Dez Bryant is still out there, Bill Parcells doesn't take receivers in the first round. With the array of 3-4 outside linebackers out there, Thomas would be a smart luxury pick.
The Dolphins have a number of needs and safety is one of them. This is a solid pick. Other possibilities include nose tackle and wide receiver, which could have been filled with Tennessee's Dan Williams or Oklahoma State's Dez Bryant, respectively.
But, safety is a major need and Thomas is rated by one major draftnik (NFL Network's Mike Mayock) as the top safety in the draft.
The 11th pick is in and SB Nation's Broncos community, Mile High Report, has selected...
Florida C Maurkice Pouncey
The Broncos fixed the defensive line through free agency. The offensive line was not so fotunate. The Broncos were dominated on the interior throughout the season. It seemed every key moment in a game came down to a 3rd or 4th and short situation, and each time the Broncos were stuffed, mainly because of a lack of presence inside. After releasing Casey Weigmann after the season ended, the Broncos really don;t have a center on the roster - save for Dustin Fry. That means the Broncos need an upgrade, why not go after the best prospet in the draft?
This was a surprising but not inconceivable choice. Pouncey is arguably the best interior blocker in this year's draft. Denver really needs a good center. The current projected starter, Dustin Fry, hasn't started a game and seen little playing time. And every area where Fry is good - toughness, power, phone booth blocking - Pouncey is his equal. Where Pouncey is a clear upgrade is his athletic ability. Like Tom Nalen, he can get out on the move and take on defenders in the open field.
I couldn't disagree with this more. Even if the Broncos felt they wanted Pouncey, then they should've traded back 10 spots and still picked him. If Pouncey's your guy, then the compensation in a trade shouldn't matter -- they should literally take anything to move to the late teens or early 20s and still select Pouncey at a cheaper price.
Part of the draft is understanding what other teams are going to do and I think most folks agree that Pouncey is highly unlikely to go before the late teens (at the absolute earliest). McDaniels comes from New England where Bill Belichick was a master of understanding what every other team in the draft was going to do so that he could find the best value for his team.
This isn't a good value for the Broncos in my humble opinion.
The tenth pick is in and SB Nation's Jaguars community, Big Cat Country, has selected....
Florida CB Joe Haden
Although Joe Haden is the best available player at this point, it is always better to match value and need.Rashean Mathis still has enough left in the tank, and Derek Cox played well enough last year. Earl Thomas would make more sense from a need standpoint, but what is he worth the No. 10 pick overall?
Even with Kampman, the pass rush needs more talent. That's how inept Jacksonville's current group of pass rushers have been. Jacksonville is a team with several pressing needs. Cornerback is certainly not one of them. I understand why a team like Jacksonville would be gun shy about Thomas after Reggie Nelson has regressed. But Thomas has the skills to be as good as Eric Berry.
From Alligator Army's Haden player profile:
Can read the receiver or quarterback and breaks quickly on the ball while it is in the air. Very fast, especially when closing. Cuts well, too. Haden's long arms can pop receiver at the line or reach back for a deflection. Very smooth when rolling into coverage or coming in on a blitz or run plays.
I've gotta go with MTD on this one. Haden is a good value at this point but Jacksonville has so many pressing needs -- namely getting to the quarterback. While it's important to take the best player available early in the draft, it's also important to match that up with a need.
With that said, it's hard to knock the pick too much. This would be considered a slide for Haden and cornerback is one of the few positions at which you can't have enough talent.
The ninth pick is in and SB Nation's Bills community, Buffalo Rumblings, has selected...
Notre Dame QB Jimmy Clausen
I have no idea if the Bills like Clausen, and that's probably a good thing. I, personally, like Clausen - for a junior entrant, I think his game has a solid amount of polish, and I think his oft-criticized intangibles are slightly underrated. This is not a prospect I want to simply hand the starting job to, but if he beats out Trent Edwards, Ryan Fitzpatrick and Brian Brohm in an even-playing-field competition, he'll have at least earned his keep.
Even though this would be a reach for Dan Williams, the nose tackle is the anchor of the defense and shouldn't be underscored. An offensive tackle is also a big need, and the second-round quality is nowhere near as good as the first-round quality. Still, those quarterbacks on Buffalo have been mostly below average. Clausen would be the centerpiece of the offense and give the franchise its much-needed face.
From Rakes Of Mallow's Clausen player profile:
Again, ignoring King Ill-Informed Contrarian Todd McShay, most drafts have had Clausen going somewhere between four and ten, which seems perfectly fair. Drafting a quaterback in the NFL is extremely difficult and a bit of a crapshoot (Malcolm Gladwell wrote an entire New Yorker story about it being an inexact science), but Clausen has shown that he's a mature, capable signal caller who can get the ball to his receivers quickly. I will make no guarantees about his ability to excel at the next level, but there aren't a lot of clear red flags. Perhaps his greatest strength is his ability to put the ball right on the hands of his intended targets. In college, that let his receivers pick up huge yardage after the catch. In the pros, that will be the difference between a completion and an interception, and that sort of accuracy could make all the difference with his career.
The quarterback is the most important position in all of professional sports so when you're drafting in the top ten -- and you don't have a long-term answer at quarterback -- you need to get one. Clausen comes from a NFL system run by Charlie Weis and seemingly has the physical tools capable to be a successful quarterback.
The only issue, the way I see it, is the possibility of a David Carr type situation in regards to the protection. The Bills offensive line might be the worst in football right now and that's never a good thing for a quarterback and especially not for a rookie quarterback.
It might be a little while before Clausen can fully develop but his pedigree suggests he'll be a successful quarterback.
The eighth pick is in and SB Nation's Raiders community, Silver and Black Pride, has selected....
Iowa OT Bryan Bulaga
But in reality, this would be a stunning pick. You have to think Al Davis would be hesitant about taking another Iowa offensive tackle with arms of a less-than-ideal length. After all, Robert Gallery struggled so badly as a tackle for Oakland that he had to move inside to guard.
From Black Heart Gold Pants' Bulaga player profile:
The general consensus about Bulaga's ceiling is absolutely correct. In 2008, Bulaga was the most dominant underclassman lineman in the conference, and he was properly rewarded for that performance 12 months later with an offensive lineman of the year award. That's just how they do things.Of course, in those 12 months, Bulaga's production fell off dramatically in the wake of a thyroid issue that kept him off the field, but Bulaga has gotten a clean bill of health from the Mayo Clinic since the end of the season. That out of the way, there's nothing to stop him from mashing at the second level once again, right?
Surprisingly, I like this pick, which is a bit unusual with an Al Davis-run team. Bulaga is technically sound and comes from a college coach, Kirk Ferentz, that's respected around the league. Bulaga should be able to immediately step in and start. The Raiders have quite a bit invested in Darren McFadden so it's in their best interest to get him as much help on the offensive line as possible.
The seventh pick is in and SB Nation's Browns community, Dawgs By Nature, has selected...
Tennessee S Eric Berry
As the best-rated safety on the board, Eric Berry has been a clear favorite amongst Browns fans, and would be considered a welcome addition to fill the void left by former starter Brodney Pool, who wasn't re-signed by the team given his history of concussions.
This would be a dream scenario for the Browns. Berry is arguably the best defensive player in the draft after Ndamukong Suh. Some needs for the Browns may be as great as safety, but none of them could be filled with a player as good as Berry.
From Rocky Top Talk's Berry player profile:
Eric Berry is the total package, excelling at everything expected of star defensive backs. He's an incredibly fierce hitter, anticipating plays to get to just the right spot at just the right time so that he can launch himself at the ball carrier with a bone-crunching, perfect form tackle. He also uses his high intelligence, game savvy, and closing speed to read passing plays and bait quarterbacks into throwing interceptions. After interceptions and fumble recoveries, he uses field vision, sneaky quick moves and angles, and pure speed to rack up yards.
This would be an excellent scenario for the Browns. They've been looking for secondary help and most folks have Joe Haden going in this spot. If Berry falls, the Browns should feel lucky. There's no chance he gets past them.
The sixth pick is in and SB Nation's Seahawks community, Field Gulls, has selected...
USC S Taylor Mays
Seattle is seemingly out of the quarterback sweepstakes after investing in Charlie Whitehurst. The three line talents worthy of this pick are gone. That leaves Eric Berry. Or one might assume. I would select Eric Berry, but I think Pete Carroll would select Taylor Mays.
This pick is crazy. It would illustrate a clear case of over-drafting a player. But it totally makes sense. Of all the defensive stars Carroll had at USC, he always seemed to speak the highest of Mays.
From Conquest Chronicles' Mays player profile:
Punishing tackler. Six-foot, three-inches, 220 pounds. Wide receiver speed. Tremendous physique.
That is what scouts said about Taylor Mays before coming to USC and that is what Taylor Mays brought to USC.
Whatever team will draft the 6-3 safety, Mays will not disappoint. He was special in high school and in college. The "freak" will deliver at the pro-level.
I gotta agree with MTD on this one. It's not only that this is a major reach but that Mays will almost certainly be available with the Seahawks second first round pick. So why not grab someone else and wait?
The fifth pick is in and SB Nation's Chiefs community, Arrowhead Pride, has selected...
Alabama LB Rolando McClain
McClain has a couple of things going for him that make Kansas City a reasonable destination. First, McClain comes from a familiar defense. Pioli and Nick Saban have worked together, and Pioli usually doesn't stray far from what he knows. Second, McClain is the quarterback of the defense, so to speak, and the Chiefs place a premium on cerebral players who understand not just their position, but the entire defense. Third, McClain has experience in a similar type of defense the Chiefs are trying to run.
McClain would not only make an immediate impact, but he'll give the defense a tougher mentality. Rey Maualuga didn't have the best statistical season for the Bengals, but he gave their defense a nastier demeanor. McClain can do the same - and he's a far better player.
The Chiefs can go a lot of different ways here. Their weakest positions on defense were inside linebacker, safety and nose tackle. Filling any of those needs would work here.
The fourth pick is in and SB Nation's Redskins community, Hogs Haven, has selected...
Oklahoma State OT Russell Okung
Drafting a Quarterback with this pick would only put him on the bench or in the hospital, so if the Redskins want to compete THIS year, which Shanahan said they will, then they must go O-Line. It starts with Okung.
The way this draft is beginning, the pick here should either be Okung or Clausen. Taking Clausen would end Jason Campbell's time in Washington. Fair or not, that would be the situation. But by adding Okung, Campbell would probably get another year to prove he can make it.
If the Redskins aren't comfortable with Jimmy Clausen, then this is about the only option. Okung should provide immediate stability for when the Redskins do get their franchise quarterback, whether that ends up being Campbell or someone else down the road.
The third pick is in and SB Nation's Bucs community, Buc 'Em, has selected...
Oklahoma DT Gerald McCoy
The Choice of Gerald McCoy is a simple one. The Bucs were worst in the league against the run last year, and have not consistently rushed the QB since the departure of Warren Sapp in 2003.
The same explanation given for Detroit could be given for Tampa Bay. The team needs defensive line help, and McCoy should quickly become a starter.
When picking at the top of the NFL draft, teams generally try to address quarterback and left tackle, if necessary.
In the Bucs case, they have both of those positions wrapped up. That makes Gerald McCoy the most logical choice. Like Ndamukong Suh, great defensive tackles don't come along very often so you have to take one when you can.
The second pick is in and SB Nation's Lions community, Pride of Detroit, has selected...
The Lions have already added defensive tackle Corey Williams via a trade with the Browns and defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch via free agency. Adding Suh would not only give Lions fans great faith in the defensive line, but it would be another step in overhauling the entire defense and continuing to add talent to the team.
The addition of Suh would complete Detroit's revitalization of its defensive tackle rotation. He projects as an immediate star and will be a difference maker for Detroit. This is the obvious choice, and a good one.
From Corn Nation's Suh player profile:
Suh would be effective in the 3-4 as as end, but a waste as a nose tackle. He doesn't have the bulk, and it would be a waste of his speed. He'd be better off as a defensive tackle in a 4-3. He regularly dominated games as a senior, despite being double-teamed in every game. His hits were vicious, as was his ability to quickly recognize plays.
This is probably the right pick but there's another side of me that thinks they could have gone another direction.
The Lions overhauled their defensive line, as POD notes, so their need for a dominant defensive tackle wasn't as dire as it was prior to free agency. In addition to that, the Lions just invested $41 million guaranteed into QB Matt Stafford and they're going to protect his blind side with....Jeff Backus?
With that said, Suh is a "can't-miss" prospect and defensive tackles don't come along very often so it's hard to argue with it.
The first pick is in and SB Nation's Rams community, Turf Show Times, selects...
The defensive line needs work as well, but there is no more essential cornerstone in professional football than at quarterback. Sam Bradford is the best quarterback available, with medical questions almost certainly cleared.
Mocking The Draft agrees with the selection and says while Bradford may not be the best player available, he's the best fit with the Rams.
The consensus has become that Ndamukong Suh is the most talented player in this year's draft. But how many wins does a defensive tackle get you compared to a quarterback?
MTD is right. Quarterback is the most important position in sports and Bradford is the best pick in this year's draft class. The durability issues are definitely a concern but the Rams have begun to improve their offensive line with the additions of OT Jason Smith and C Jason Brown in the last year.
As long as the Rams continue to provide a solid foundation on the offensive line, Bradford should be a solid pick.
SB Nation and its 32 NFL bloggers are gearing up for the annual blogger's mock draft on Wednesday.
Mocking The Draft breaks down the schedule for the mock draft:
Beginning Wednesday, three picks will run a day – one at 10 a.m. (ET), one at 4 p.m. and the last of the day at 9 p.m.
This mock is being conducted by the head writers of each NFL blog along the SB Nation platform. There are always some interesting picks in this thing, so you'll want to follow along.
There are no trades and the draft will last two rounds.
The action will be taking place at Mocking The Draft but we'll providing analysis of each picks here as well.
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