1. St. Louis Rams – Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma
The 2008 Heisman Trophy winner has great accuracy and an enormous amount of potential, but durability questions still linger. He suffered a season-ending shoulder injury which required surgery. But his poise, calmness in the pocket and leadership ability have him primed to become a great NFL quarterback. The Rams need one since Marc Bulger is getting old and gets injured constantly. Time for a change. And I think Bradford is the guy.
2. Detroit Lions – Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska
Mr. Suh is an outstanding football player with the ability to take over an ENTIRE football game as a defensive tackle. (See Big XII Championship highlights vs. Texas) The 2009 AP Player of the Year in college football nearly became the first defensive player to win the Heisman Trophy since Charles Woodson won it in 1997. Perhaps the surest draft prospect to eventually wind up in Canton, Ohio since…well, ever!
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma
Gerald McCoy, like Suh, is a physical, imposing specimen on the defensive line and is a nuisance in opposing backfields. An outstanding leader in the huddle and a devote Christian, McCoy has the ability to become a perennial Pro Bowler right away. Tampa Bay’s pass rush was absolutely abysmal in ’09 and they are in desperate need of a quick-strike pass rusher. And McCoy is the guy.
4. Washington Redskins – Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma State
Washington most likely would prefer a quarterback in this scenario since Jason Campbell is a bust, but the second-best QB in this draft outside of Bradford is Jimmy Clausen, who is probably better suited for the mid-to-late first round area. Clearly, there is a big dropoff between Bradford and Clausen in terms of potential, so it looks like the Redskins will shore up their needs along the offensive line here. And Russell Okung is the guy. He has played a big role in Oklahoma State’s balanced offensive attack in recent years with his pass and run blocking abilities. He is the number one offensive line prospect in this year’s class.
5. Kansas City Chiefs – Trent Williams, OT, Oklahoma
Wow! Another Sooner drafted in the top five! (So what if I’m an OU homer! LOL!) But in all seriousness, Trent Williams has graded out as the Sooners’ top offensive linemen in each of his four years at OU. Williams ran a blistering 4.88 at the combine and although this may be a bit of a reach, Kansas City sure could use some help on the left side of the O-line after moving Branden Albert over to guard.
6. Seattle Seahawks – Taylor Mays, S, USC
Surprised? You’re probably wondering “why in the hell would the Seahawks select Taylor Mays over Eric Berry, who is clearly the better safety prospect?” Well, let me clear things up for you. Mays is from Seattle and he played under current Seahawks coach Pete Carroll at USC. To be honest, I think this way too much of a reach, but crazy things do happen in each and every draft, such as the Raiders selecting Darrius Heyward-Bey over Michael Crabtree last year. I do think Mays is vastly overrated, but he did have an impressive combine and I think he’ll be okay at the next level, just not a Pro Bowl-caliber player.
7. Cleveland Browns – Eric Berry, S, Tennessee
Yes, even great prospects like Eric Berry can fall out of the top five. (See Adrian Peterson in 2007.) Berry is an outstanding playmaker with loads of potential and some have even gone as far as too compare him to the Baltimore Ravens great Ed Reed. I wouldn’t really draft a safety this high, but players like Berry don’t come around very often. And Cleveland could use some help in the secondary.
8. Oakland Raiders – Bruce Campbell, OT, Maryland
Surprise! Once again, the Raiders reach for an overrated prospect because of his “outstanding measureables” rather than his performance on the field. Campbell is a tremendous athlete who ran a blistering 4.76 in the 40 yard dash at the combine, but he doesn’t belong anywhere NEAR the top 10 or much less the top 15. But then again, this is the Raiders we’re talking about and who can forget last year’s debacle? They took Heyward-Bey (who I thought was an insurance company) rather than Michael Crabtree who was light-years better as a wide receiver. Typical Al Davis. When is he ever gonna retire? Or better yet, when will he lose that “Members Only” jacket? LOL! It’s not 1983 anymore Mr. Davis; it’s 2010 and the Ray-dahs are still a mess!
9. Buffalo Bills – Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame
Things could get interesting here. It appears as though Trent Edwards isn’t the guy in Buffalo so look for the Bills to select a quarterback here. Notre Dame’s Jimmy Clausen played through three years of adversity playing the most high-profile position for the most high-profile (should be low-profile without NBC) program. Although he played for a mediocre team under a heavily-scrutinized head coach who got owned by USC and lost to Navy (oh dear!) not once…but TWICE…he did manage to put up gaudy numbers and on paper, Clausen looks like a great quarterback. Time will tell though after he gets drafted. But in his defense, it wasn’t entirely Clausen’s fault that Notre Dame sucked during his time there. Perhaps he should have played somewhere else…or I don’t know. I just hate Notre Dame! LOL!
10. Jacksonville Jaguars – Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, South Florida
Earth to Jacksonville, if you’re gonna draft Tim Tebow, the first round is not the time to do it! Clearly Jacksonville is in trouble since it’s not a great television market anyway, so the idea of drafting Tebow to attract more season ticket-holders is the best chance they have at keeping the most irrelevant professional sports franchise in America. But the move to Los Angeles is almost inevitable so drafting the former Florida star and Heisman Trophy winner won’t do any good, especially at 11th overall. They need help along the defensive line and USF’s Jason Pierre-Paul is the way to go. George Selvie garnered more attention at USF, but Pierre-Paul ended up becoming the better pro prospect after only one year playing for the Bulls.
11. Denver Broncos (f/Chicago) – Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State
It appears Brandon Marshall’s days in Denver are numbered, so look for the Broncos to draft the former Oklahoma State star wideout to replace the high maintenance “diva”. Bryant had his ’09 season robbed by the NCAA (those corrupt bastards who are taking forever to solve the Reggie Bush scandal) but that will not stop him from becoming the number one wide receiver prospect in this year’s draft. I think he has a little more work to do with his consistency, but the sky’s the limit for this flashy stud and if Marshall gets traded, this guy will easily make Denver fans forget him.
12. Miami Dolphins – Brandon Graham, DE, Michigan
Bill Parcells loves to draft those hybrid 3-4 outside linebackers, and I think Brandon Graham is the best one in this class. Michigan has looked atrocious in Rich Rodriguez’s first two years there, but it certainly wasn’t Graham’s fault. The Big Ten’s sackmaster in ’09 compares favorably to another Michigan Wolverine star and current Pittsburgh Steeler LaMarr Woodley. And Parcells will certainly not overlook this big guy.
13. San Francisco 49ers – Bryan Bulaga, OT, Iowa
The Niners’ O-line has been pretty shaky in recent years and they could use someone to help shore it up. Bulaga is a very well-rounded and physical blocker who can block well in the run-game and in pass protection. The former Iowa Hawkeye stud held Georgia Tech’s Derrick Morgan (also a first round prospect) without a sack in the Orange Bowl. So yeah, I’d say this guy will end up being pretty good.
14. Seattle Seahawks (f/Denver) – C.J. Spiller, RB, Clemson
The Seahawks haven’t had a decent running attack since the days of Shaun Alexander. So look for them to draft Clemson’s all-purpose star C.J. Spiller. The kid can do it all: he can run, catch, return kicks, and heck, I bet he could pass too! LOL! He’s quick, agile, and deadly in the open field. I think he could end up being a better player than Tennessee’s Chris Johnson, but time will tell.
15. New York Giants – Rolando McClain, LB, Alabama
It looks like we may no longer see Antonio Pierce in a Giants uniform again. So look for them to draft the former Crimson Tide stud. McClain is a headhunter in the defensive back seven and he can do it all from the Mike linebacker position. He has excellent intangibles and he will without a doubt make the most sense at 15th overall if the G-Men will indeed have to replace Pierce.
16. Tennessee Titans – Carlos Dunlap, DE, Florida
Although he had somewhat of a disappointing junior season with the Gators, Dunlap is a physical specimen and will instantly help upgrade the Titan’s D-line right away. In my opinion, he has the most upside among the defensive ends in this year’s draft. One concern, however, may be his character. He had some off-the-field issues at Florida and might not be mature enough to handle the next level. But nevertheless, he is a great player who could end up being the next Mario Williams.
17. San Francisco 49ers (f/Carolina) – Joe Haden, CB, Florida
It’s somewhat of a surprise to see Haden fall this far, but it could definitely happen after running a disappointing 40 time of 4.58 at the combine. Still, Haden is the best cornerback prospect in this class and for sure he should fall no later than the top 20 in round one. If his measureables don’t tell the story, his performance on the field certainly will. Haden had eight interceptions during his career at Florida and not only is he a ballhawk, but he can also deliver the big hit and he is a sure tackler in the open field.
18. Pittsburgh Steelers- Mike Iupati, OG, Idaho
A mountain of a man at 6-6 330 lbs., Mike Iupati will help instantly upgrade Pittsburgh’s once-feared running attack after a disappointing post-Super Bowl season in 2009. Plus, Iupati will help shore up the interior pass-protection after Big Ben got sacked FIFTY times last year. Ouch! Looks like the Steelers miss having All-Pro guard Alan Faneca who bolted for the Jets back in ’08.
19. Atlanta Falcons – Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech
The Falcons need a cornerback more, but Derrick Morgan is just too good to pass up here. The local Georgia Tech star will certainly not be overlooked by Falcons’ GM Thomas Dimitroff who had a knack for finding high-caliber 3-4 hybrid outside linebackers when he was with New England. Morgan is a fast, physical pass rusher who had 12 sacks in ’09 that earned him ACC defensive player of the year honors.
20. Houston Texans – Brian Price, DT, UCLA
The Texans need help in the interior of the defensive line after Travis Johnson and Amobi Okoye have disappointed thus far. The former UCLA Bruin star totaled 44 and a half tackles for loss in his three-year college career. And we all know the Texans love drafting defensive linemen in the first round.
21. Cincinnati Bengals – Earl Thomas, S, Texas
Earl Thomas is a ballhawk at safety and he would certainly be an upgrade over Roy Williams and Chinedum Ndukwe in the Bengals’ secondary. As an Oklahoma fan, I am very relieved to see this little Longhorn imp leave for the NFL. He just makes plays after plays after plays. Cincinnati could also select a bigtime receiver here, but safety seems like the more reasonable choice especially with Thomas still on the board.
22. New England Patriots – Sergio Kindle, LB, Texas
Sergio Kindle is a headhunter as a 3-4 outside linebacker and his performance in the national championship game against Alabama ensures him a spot in the first round. And who better to draft him than the New England Patriots? Kindle does have character issues however after slamming his SUV into an apartment at 2 am last summer. He also got busted for DUI two years ago…typical Horn! LOL! But other than that, and if he can straighten his act together, he can become an NFL superstar because he certainly has the talent.
23. Green Bay Packers – Patrick Robinson, CB, Florida State
Al Harris and Charles Woodson aren’t getting any younger, so look for them to draft a top-flight corner here and Patrick Robinson is just that. He may have been a little inconsistent after his All-ACC season in 2007, but he is still a great athlete who, if he can be coached properly, should become a legit starter eventually.
24. Philadelphia Eagles – Sean Weatherspoon, LB, Missouri
On paper, the Eagles normally do a great job defensively. But in the linebacking corps however, there is some work that needs to be done. And who better to fix that problem than Missouri’s Sean Weatherspoon? Weatherspoon is the total package as an outside linebacker and he can certainly play in the middle when needed to. Philly could also go with a corner here since Ellis Hobbs is coming up on free agency.
25. Baltimore Ravens – Jermaine Gresham, TE, Oklahoma
Jermaine Gresham would have been the first tight end selected in the 2009 NFL Draft, but he chose to stick around for his senior season at OU. Unfortunately, he had no senior season after a torn knee cartilage ended it before it even had a chance to begin. Still, Gresham is a phenomenal talent and the Ravens would not be foolish enough to pass up on this year’s top tight end prospect if he fell to their hands. He was also my favorite Sooner these past few years, so it no doubt disappointed me that I didn’t get to see him play in ’09.
26. Arizona Cardinals – Everson Griffen, DE, USC
It looks like Karlos Dansby is primed for free agency, and after Bertrand Berry’s retirement, look for Arizona to select a 3-4 outside linebacker here. And Everson Griffen, although he might be better suited as a 4-3 defensive end, would help bring stability to the Cards’ dynamic pass rush. Plus, Griffen is an Arizona native, and what better place for him to play than his homestate Cardinals.
27. Dallas Cowboys – Jared Odrick, DT, Penn State
With Marcus Spears likely to bolt in free agency, look for Jerruh to go with a five-technique 3-4 defensive end. And Jared Odrick is just that. The former Nittany Lion star wrecked havoc in opposing Big Ten backfields this past fall. And as a Cowboy fan, I want this guy on my team! Although my gut tells me Jerruh is leaning towards a wideout such as Golden Tate from Notre Dame here. But I think he’ll make the smart move and go with Odrick.
28. San Diego Chargers – Ryan Mathews, RB, Fresno State
Well, so long LT! And if that didn’t sting the bolts enough, his backup Darren Sproles might also leave. So that leaves San Diego with one option: a new running back. Mathews is a physical, in-between-the-tackles runner although durability is a concern. But then again, Adrian Peterson also had durability concerns coming out of college. The Chargers also had the second-worst rushing attack in 2009. So something needs to be done to help complement Philip Rivers and their high-octane passing attack.
29. New York Jets – Devin McCourty, CB, Rutgers
The Jets could certainly use another cornerback opposite Darrelle Revis in the defensive secondary. Although this may be a bit of a reach and with wide receiver being a bigger need, having a suffocating pass defense certainly will upgrade the NFL’s number one defense from outstanding to just absolutely sick in 2010. I don’t think McCourty is the type of player who will make an impact right away, but his instincts and on-the-field intangibles suggest otherwise.
30. Minnesota Vikings – Dan Williams, DT, Tennessee
Another Williams on the defensive line? Well, with Pat Williams turning 38 this year, look for the Vikes to upgrade their defensive tackle depth. And we all don’t know what’s gonna happen with Brett Favre, so don’t rule out a quarterback here like Colt McCoy for instance. But Williams is the best player left on board and Minnesota should not miss that.
31. Indianapolis Colts – Anthony Davis, OT, Rutgers
Oh that Bill Polian and the Colts’ front office strikes gold again! How is it that the Colts draft so well? Although they are better known for that in the later rounds, they do a decent job in the first round as well. Indy needs help at left tackle, and Davis is the best one left on this board if he somehow falls to the Colts. But don’t rule out a 3-4 nose tackle here either.
32. New Orleans Saints – Arthur Jones, DT, Syracuse
As if the Super Bowl champs really need any help! LOL! But they could definitely use some help on the interior D-line since there isn’t really much to be excited about beyond Sedrick Ellis. Arthur Jones has been one of only a few bright spots in recent years for the crumbling Orange. But he is one of many high-caliber prospects in this loaded defensive tackle class. But don’t rule out the possibility of Naw’lins going with a linebacker or another offensive lineman here.