This is my first ever attempt at a mock (Post Combine/Pre Free Agency) so please be gentle!! But I would like your comments
I enjoy reading Mocks on here and the web in general so I thought I would give it a go myself. I’ve made a couple of bold selections which I think could happen in light of the Combine performances.
Sam Bradford QB Oklahoma
General consensus of opinion over the past week or so, (See Schefter et al) is that if expectations of good health are realised Bradford will become the first pick of the draft, giving the Rams a player with the potential to become a much needed franchise QB. The Rams have many areas of need but with this pick in mind I think they would need to focus their attention in the 2nd and 3rd rounds on upgrading their OL and WR core.
Ndamukong Suh DT Nebraska
The Lions improved slightly last year from their horrendous 2008 campaign but still lack talent across the board. Seemingly with a franchise QB on board and an excellent WR I think that this pick should be OT (Okung). Stafford was battered last year and spent a few games on the sidelines with related injuries and another season with poor protection could have long term physical and developmental impacts on the young QB. However, the Lions opt for the best player on theirs, and most other evaluators boards, and pick Suh giving their defense a dominant force on the DL.
Gerald McCoy DT Oklahoma
Another team with holes all over the roster and they take the highest rated player on their board in McCoy. Another option could be a WR (Dez Bryant), especially considering that former 49er Antonio Bryant is expected to leave, giving young QB Freeman a reliable target in the passing game.
Russell Okung OT Oklahoma State
Redskins do not take the franchise QB as widely expected, instead select the best OT in this class to take place of the retiring Chris Samuels. QB is remains an area of need and I think Washington may look to address this in Round 2 with Colt McCoy. Given his experience in the WCO I think he is someone that would appeal to Shanahan, minus the attitude/cockiness that Clausen apparently brings.
Bruce Campbell OT Maryland
With Okung off the board the Chiefs opt to select ‘workout warrior’ Bruce Campbell. The Chiefs have a lot of money invested in Matt Cassell and need to protect him better to improve his performance from last year, picking an OT would go someone to achieving this and also to help the impressive Jamaal Charles in the running game. If they decide not to go OT here, primarily because Okung is off the board WR (Bryant) and LB (McClain) would be options or also a potential trading spot if a team really likes Berry, Clausen or Bryant.
Eric Berry S Tennessee
Up until this pick most mock drafts I’ve found share similar opinions in regard to what players the first 5 teams will select (Not including mine see Clausen Out and Campbell In). However, I believe that the Seahawks first pick is pivotal as their choice can affect a vast number of picks from this point forward. Seahawks, with new Head Coach Pete Carroll, have numerous needs and realistically could go with either a QB, OT, RB, S or WR. Ultimately I think they select arguably the best player in this years draft Eric Berry providing their secondary with an immediate upgrade.
Dez Bryant WR Oklahoma State
The Browns learn from not taking Crabtree last year and take the best WR in this years class in the Parker/Sanders advised/mentored Bryant. Reports thus far seem to suggest that Holmgren is going to give Brady Quinn one last shot in Cleveland, having a legitimate threat at WR, especially since the loss of Braylon Edwards, gives the QB a bit more of a chance at succeeding.
Taylor Mays S USC
With Campbell off the board Al Davis can’t resist Taylor Mays freakish physical attributes and take the USC safety. Raider fans will hope that Mays is more effective than his Southern California counterpart whom he has drawn comparisons to in Darnell Bing, drafted in 3rd Round in 2006, who after struggling to make the transition to LB is now at his 5th NFL team the Houston Texans (including a brief spell with the 49ers).
Jimmy Clausen QB Notre Dame
In my first mock I have the Jimmy Clausen falling to the Bills at No. 9. The Bills primary aim this off season is to pick up a franchise QB and they might just find one in Clausen if the concerns about his persona are unfounded and his undoubted physical tools can shine through.
Jason Pierre-Paul DE South Florida
The Jags pass rush last year was absolutely appalling, culminating in a league low 14 sacks, they even made the 49ers OL look special at Candlestick! With this in mind they look just down the road to select the talented, albeit relatively inexperienced Jason Pierre-Paul.
Rolando McClain LB Alabama
Ideally the Broncos would be able to take a WR here to replace Brandon Marshall who is likely to depart from the club this off-season. With Dez Bryant off the board and no other WR providing value at this point in the draft the Broncos take LB Rolando McClain adding another cog to their improving defense.
Sean Weatherspoon LB Missouri
This pick will seem a reach to most of you but following the buzz generated from the Senior Bowl and Combine, Bill Parcell’s history with drafting LB and the fact it is also a position of considerable need for the Dolphins, they select Sean Weatherspoon who is expected to be capable of playing at both ILB and OLB. Weatherspoon physical ability and excellent intangibles have him racing up draft boards and I expect this to continue.
Trent Williams OT Oklahoma
I have always been of the opinion that the 49ers will select a combination of either the best defensive player left on the board and an OT in the first round, or alternatively CJ Spiller and an OT.
With their first pick I think the 49ers select OT Trent Williams at 13, as its unlikely he would be there at 17 with the Seahawks, picking next, also coveting an OT. This move is a slight gamble by the 49ers as they are hoping that their other two first round targets Haden/Spiller is available at 17, and given the Giants and Titans needs this is a good gamble. An alternative for this scenario would be targeting an OLB/DE at 17 in preference to the other aforementioned players.
Charles Brown OT USC
With Walter Jones likely to retire, OT is a massive need for the Seahawks especially if they decide not pick up a QB this off-season, and are relying on getting another season or two out of Matt Hasselbeck. For this plan to have any chance of success Hasselbeck needs to stay healthy throughout the season and having a good, young OT should go some way to achieving this, unless Hasselbeck wants to take another suicidal run at #52! With this in mind Carroll goes back to USC to take Charles Brown, who had an excellent combine and is the Seahawks choice ahead of the remaining 1st Round OT Bulaga and Davis.
Dan Williams DT Tennessee
DT was pretty much a disaster area for the previously dominant, defensively anyway, Giants. Dan Williams has been steadily rising draft boards and would immediately help this defense. LB could also be an option here and if McClain or Weatherspoon is available either could be the pick.
Jared Odrick DE Penn State
In a Division such as the AFC South, which contains players such as Peyton Manning and Matt Schaub, it is essential to be able to put pressure on the Quarterback, last season this was something that the Titans failed to do. At this point in the draft they should have considerable options available to them including Everson Griffin and Derrick Morgan. I think they go with Penn State product Jared Odrick, another who has impressed and making a steep incline up draft boards.
Joe Haden CB Florida
With the 49ers second 1st round selection the 49ers select CB Joe Haden ahead of CJ Spiller. I think Haden is available at this point following his lacklustre 40” Time and struggles in the Positional Drills at the Combine, the latter depending on where you read reports from. However, Haden demonstrates all the characteristics that Scott McCloughlan, and for that matter Mike Singletary look for and remains the best cornerback option in this years draft.
Mike Iupati OG Idaho
This pick has been touted by Draftniks around the Web for months and unless another team falls in love with the “Samoan Juggernaut” ahead of this pick I can see it happening. Iupati is a prototypical Steelers pick, fulfils an area of need and will help the 2008 Superbowl winners regain some of their trademark power running game and keep Ben Roethlisberger healthy.
Derrick Morgan DE Georgia Tech
With a majority of key pieces already in place on the Offensive side of the ball I think the Falcons place emphasis on improving their Defense in this years draft. DE and CB are arguably the biggest areas of need and there is a strong possibility that local product Derrick Morgan is the Falcons 1st Round pick with an view to increasing the teams ability to rush the passer and generate more sacks.
CJ Spiller RB Clemson
They arguably have bigger needs in other areas but if CJ Spiller falls to the Texans at No. 20 I think they gladly add another weapon to their explosive Offense, and in Spiller find a perfect compliment to Steve Slaton.
Golden Tate WR Notre Dame
Having failed to replace TJ Housmanzadeh and the tragic loss of Chris Henry I think that the Bengals will select WR Golden Tate at this juncture. Tate demonstrated his blazing speed at the Combine and will provide another viable option for Carson Palmer in addition to Chad Ochocinco and Andre Caldwell, as well as contributing in the return game.
Sergio Kindle LB Texas
Last season the Patriots struggled generating much pressure on opposing QB’s. Kindle at this point provides good value and the Patriots will be hoping that he is as successful as ’09 Redskins pick OLB also from Texas Brian Orakpo.
Bryan Bulaga OT Iowa
The Packers are fortunate enough for Bryan Bulaga to fall this far and have no hesitation in selecting him, in doing so are able to provide considerable help to their porous defensive line and protect Aaron Rodgers.
Everson Griffen DE USC
I think this pick will be a DE and ultimately it will depend on who is available. In my mock this comes down to a choice between Griffen, Carlos Dunlap and Brandon Graham. Griffen gets the nod as he has demonstrated outstanding speed, a trait which the Eagles historically go for.
Germaine Gresham TE Oklahoma
Given their lack of a No. 1 WR and Todd Heap’s considerable fall in production in recent years the Ozzie Newsome and the Ravens select TE Germaine Gresham. Gresham had a serious injury in 2009 but coming into the season was touted as a top 15 Pick and if fully healthy will continue the Ravens impressive recent draft history.
Anthony Davis OT Rutgers
The Cardinals are likely to be affected by FA this season more than most teams which is likely to create a few holes across the roster, especially at OLB and S adding to existing areas of need at QB and TE. However, with Gresham, who I believe would be the Cards pick at this point if he falls this far, off the board the Cards get good value by selecting OT Anthony Davis to help protect Matt Leinart and bolster an OL that struggled considerably at times last year. See MNF Vs. 49ers and Playoff loss to the Saints. An alternative pick I like here is Jerry Hughes, OLB from TCU who I think will rise up draft boards ala Larry English last year.
Earl Thomas FS Texas
The biggest areas of need for the Cowboys are in the Secondary and the Interior OL. Earl Thomas might not reach this far but if he does I’m pretty certain the Cowboys would select him. An alternative here could be Florida’s C/G Maurkice Pouncey who could make it into the 1st Round, as did former Cal C Alex Mack in 2009.
Jahvid Best RB Cal
With the loss of both Sproles and Tomlinson RB is a massive, massive area of need for the Chargers and I believe they will definitely select one when they pick at this spot, and add another via FA. Following an impressive combine I have gone for Cal’s Jahvid Best ahead of Jonathan Dwyer and Ryan Matthews.
Arrelious Benn WR Illinois
The Jets give Mark Sanchez another weapon by selecting WR Arrelious Benn. CB or OLB are also strong possibilities here that might ultimately override the need for a WR.
Kyle Wilson CB Boise State
The Vikings secondary is ageing and key players spent large amounts of time injured or playing injured last year. With this in mind the Vikings select the Kyle Wilson as the second CB taken in this draft who has jumped ahead of the opposition on the back of impressive showings at the Senior Bowl and Combine.
Brian Price DT UCLA
With dominant DE in Freeney and Mathis the Colts upgrade the center of their DL by picking up Brian Price from UCLA who will provide an immediate upgrade from their current crop of DTs Eric Foster (UFA), Fili Moala (2nd) and John Gill (UFA).
Brandon Graham DE Michigan
The World Champion Saints were pretty much solely reliant on Will Smith last for season for their pass rush/sack count. For the last pick of the 1st Round they select Michigan’s Brandon Graham who continued his impressive performance at the Senior Bowl by posting solid numbers at the Combine.
[ Edited by Stuuk on Mar 4, 2010 at 01:08:32 ]