Friday, April 16, 2010

SportsTalkSoups NFL Mock Draft

1.) St. Louis Rams - Sam Bradford , QB, Oklahoma; picked by Hunter Ansley of
By this point, there isn’t much to say. In my mind, this is Stafford to the Lions, a done deal. The Rams could certainly use a guy like Ndamukong Suh (who couldn’t?), but it looks like they’ll be smart enough to grab a franchise quarterback. After adding some weight, and showing no signs of those two shoulder injuries at his pro day, he should start buying dinner for the St. Louis O line now. Or maybe for the opposing D lines.
2.) Detroit Lions - Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska; picked by Sean Yuille, lead blogger at SB Nation's Detroit Lions blog, Pride of Detroit
For the Detroit Lions - a team filled with holes on the roster even after a successful free agency period that included both signings and trades - it’s tough to go wrong with the second overall pick. There are various scenarios out there that fans would be pleased with, and one of them is Sam Bradford being picked first overall by the Rams. That allows Nebraska’s Ndamukong Suh to be picked by the Lions, adding a dominant defensive tackle to a defensive line that suddenly isn’t too shabby at all.

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.

3.) Tampa Bay Bucs - Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma; picked by Joe Everett of The Fantasy Exchange on and of
The Bucs have some great options here but they could certainly use some help on their interior front and McCoy would make a addition in the Bucs’ revamped defense. Their tandem of Chris Hovan and Ryan Sims is shaky at best, so it would make a lot of sense for the Bucs to tandem McCoy up with last year’s 3rd rounder Roy Miller in that defensive line rotation.

McCoy might not be as good a fit as Suh would have been here but either way, the Bucs will be getting an elite defensive lineman to help improve a definite weakness.

4.) Washington Redskins - Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma State; picked by Ben Standig of FFToolbox

The Redskins went for it when they acquired Donovan McNabb and now they must start adding lineman to help protect their new quarterback. With the current state of the o-line, the former Eagles signal caller will be a permanent fixture at physical therapy if 1-2 additions are not made. Getting Okung is a great start. In his four seasons as a starter, the Cowboys led the Big 12 in rushing every season. With the depth at tackle and their lack of overall picks, a trade down makes a world of sense.

5.) KC Chiefs - Bryan Bulaga, OT, Iowa; picked by Hunter Ansley of

6.) Seattle Seahawks - Trent Williams, OT, Oklahoma; picked by Hunter Ansley of

7.) Cleveland Browns - Eric Berry, S, Tennessee; picked by Steve DiMatteo of Dawg Pound Daily
At this point, the Browns would be thanking their lucky stars if safety Eric Berry fell to them with the seventh overall pick. This is a no-brainer for the Browns, as the secondary is arguably the area that needs the most work. Berry is an aggressive, physical player who would make an immediate impact on the Browns.

8.) Oakland Raiders - Rolando McClain, LB, Alabama; picked by Patrick Patterson of Thoughts From The Dark Side
Run support has been the bane of the Raiders existence for quite a while. And while some blame falls on the defensive tackles, equal blame goes to the linebackers. There hasn't been an answer at strong side linebacker for a long time and Kirk Morrison may not be best suited for the middle linebacker spot. McClain can play either spot which means that he could play strong side until he is ready to step into the middle linebacker role. Not to mention he was a huge factor for the National Champion Alabama Crimson Tide. That always sits well with Al Davis.
9.) Buffalo Bills - Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame; picked by Brian Galliford, lead blogger at SB Nation's Buffalo Bills blog, Buffalo Rumblings
GM Buddy Nix is preparing to run his first draft as the lead man in Buffalo, and his first pick is incredibly important - hit on it, and he's an instant celebrity; miss, and he's the latest in a long line of less-than-stellar decision-makers in Orchard Park. That's not fair, but that's exactly how it'll go down.
Jimmy Clausen's availability here makes Nix's decision easy. Or, rather, it makes my job easy in pretending to be Nix. Only
Detroit has been on the outside looking in at playoff football as long as the Bills (ten years), and the chief reason behind that is the lack of a franchise quarterback. Reviews are mixed on Clausen, and he's not as popular amongst NFL talent evaluators as he could be, but Buffalo's need at QB is so huge that they almost have to roll the dice here. (Unless they want to toss twice and target a certain Mr. Tebow in round two.)

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.

One thing is certain: whenever Nix gets his QB, I'll feel pretty good about it. This is a man who was with a
Chargers organization that drafted Drew Brees and Eli Manning - who was then flipped for Philip Rivers - during his tenure as Assistant GM. He was there for the selection of Charlie Whitehurst, who is apparently the greatest quarterback ever according to Pete Carroll. The man knows talent, and he seems to have good luck with quarterbacks. For the sake of Buffalo's sanity, I hope that lucky streak continues. I think it's got a good chance of continuing if Clausen is his man.
10.) Jacksonville Jaguars - Joe Haden, CB, Florida; picked by Alfie Crow of Big Cat Country
The Jaguars are stuck between a rock and a hard place at the No. 10 spot. They can hope a player takes a draft day slide, like Eugene Monroe did last year. However, the chances of Eric Berry or Jimmy Clausen being there at No. 10 are fairly slim.

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?

Derrick Morgan's unimpressive pro day and Jason Pierre-Paul's extreme boom-bust potential, coupled with Aaron Kampman's signing, make taking a DE less of an attractive option.

Honestly, at this point, the Jaguars will be looking to trade down and get more picks. With only six picks in a draft this loaded, it's a necessity. With two 3-4 teams picking after them, perhaps a team with its eye on Tennessee DT Dan Williams will want to jump the Broncos or Dolphins. Another possibility is Clemson RB C.J. Spiller.

11.) Denver Broncos - Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State; picked by Joe Everett of The Fantasy Exchange on and
12.) Miami Dolphins - Sergio Kindle, OLB, Texas; picked by Hunter Ansley of
This is another one of those picks. I really want to give Miami Dan Williams, but you just can’t ignore Bill Parcell’s track record. He likes linebackers in the first; he likes defensive linemen in the second or third. The Dolphins couldn’t rush the passer last year, and they just lost one of the guys who couldn’t do it. Trust me, it’s like dividing by zero. It may not make much sense, but somehow losing a guy who couldn’t get to the QB makes them even weaker when it comes to pressuring the opponent. Anyway, Sergio Kindle is an athletic guy who has really impressed in the workouts despite lacking refinement and production (last season). Maybe he develops into DeMarcus Ware. Maybe he’s Vernon Gholston. Either way, Miami needs some help on the outside of the 3-4, and Kindle seems like more of a fit here than Brandon Graham.

13.) San Francisco 49ers - Anthony Davis, OT, Rutgers; picked by Todd Kleinheinz of NFL Draft Pros
14.) Seattle Seahawks - CJ Spiller, RB, Clemson; picked by Hunter Ansley of
The Seahawks are hurting for a defensive end, but that might fly out the window in the first round if CJ Spiller is available here. I think that Pete Carrol will look to draft some players whose style is familiar to him. Spiller is as close to Reggie Bush as anyone in this draft, and Seattle needs a running back almost as badly as an OT. Something has to be done about that whole “starting Julius Jones” thing. This is an electric player who is a threat to go the distance every play whether it’s on a run, a catch, or a return. He can be the shot in the arm this offense needs, and he’ll take some pressure off of whoever ends up at QB. Again, I know defensive end is a need, and there are some great options on the board, but defensive coaches usually feel like they can work with anything on their own side of the ball, and focus on adding talent to the offense.
15.) NY Giants - Sean Witherspoon, LB, Missouri
Antrell Rolle was signed to fill the Giants void at safety and can take care of their middle linebacker need as well. With McClain long gone, the Giants go to plan 1A in Weatherspoon, who put on a show for the Tigers this year and followed it up with a strong Senior Bowl performance. Whether he ultimately stays inside or his moved to OLB, the Giants have added a major force for their second level of defense. Idaho guard Mike Iupati is another way Big Blue could go the drop from McClain to Weatherspoon is too much in their eyes.
16.) Tennessee Titans - Jason Pierre - Paul; picked by Hunter Ansley of
The Titans don’t really have any defensive ends. Or at least, they don’t have any that can generate a solid pass rush. It’s a risky strategy, but if I’m Tennessee, I’m changing my thinking. A guy like Jason Pierre-Paul is an athletic freak, with unlimited upside. The Titans have had a lot of success with those types of players, on both sides of the ball, and Nashville should be a perfect fit for a guy like this. He’ll be well-coached, and if he’s maximized he’ll help beat Peyton Manning and Matt Schaub. Literally.
17.) San Francisco - Earl Thomas, S, Texas; picked by Todd Kleinheinz of NFL Draft Pros
18.) Pittsburgh Steelers - Mike Iupati, OG, Idaho; picked by Michael Bean, lead blogger at SB Nation's Pittsburgh Steelers blog, Behind the Steel Curtain
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.

The ideal pick would probably be Maurkice Pouncey. But with him gone in this scenario, Iupati would be a good pickup. He should start from day one for Pittsburgh. He's stellar in run and pass blocking.

19.) Atlanta Falcons - Brandon Graham, OLB, Michigan; picked by Hunter Ansley of

20.) Houston Texans - Dan Williams, DT, Tennessee; picked by Tim of SB Nation's Houston Texans blog, Battle Red Blog

Since the beginning of time, man has yearned to have a defensive tackle who wasn't an embarrassment. No, wait... I mean the Texans have yearned for that. Over the past couple of years, we've trotted out the likes of Travis Johnson, Anthony Maddox, Shaun Cody, and Jeff "Cankles" Zgonina. In fact, when fans voted on an all-decade Texans team, the eminently mediocre Seth Payne and underachieving Amobi Okoye were our big winners at DT. Hold on, I need to chug some whiskey.

Okay, I'm back.

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. Ryan Mathews might be a good pick here, but not even the love child of Adrian Peterson and Barry Sanders would've done much behind the play of our offensive line last year. Plus, Steve Slaton should be back and healthy, and he's just one year removed from a 1,282-yard rushing season.

So, why NT? Simply, we need to free up
Antonio Smith, Okoye, and Mario Williams, and getting to the QB quicker means our secondary needs less time to hold coverage. In addition, Dan Williams strengthens our run defense even more, and his presence could (and should) allow us to blitz Brian Cushing and DeMeco Ryans more freely. With only 30 sacks last year, we just aren't getting to the QB on a consistent basis. Super Mario is a deity, and Smith isn't going anywhere. Okoye could blossom with his ability to shoot gaps, and we believe a true NT will help him explode in 2010.

The Texans are going to put up points by the bushel, but we need to do a better job keeping points off the board. The Battle Red Blog brain-trust (
sic) believes Dan Williams will bring better interior line play and help push us over the brink and into the playoffs.

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