Now that we are roughly 12 days into free agency, it seemed like the perfect time to run an updated mock draft.
(Plus, as you likely know, we LOVE doing mock drafts.)
Most of the “big fish” free agents have signed their respective deals and, as a result, some teams’ draft plans have changed. Our new mock has certainly taken those moves into account as there are some major changes from our first mock.
What are those changes? Well, let’s find out, shall we?
1. St. Louis Rams - Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma. The biggest jump in this current mock belongs to Bradford (whom I previously had going to Buffalo at No. 9). Why the sudden rise? Well, from everything I’ve read, it just sounds like the St. Louis brass rather likes Bradford. Plus, it’s a lot easier to sell the selection of a quarterback No. 1 overall than it is a defensive tackle. I have my doubts about Bradford, but from a business standpoint, I can see where St. Louis is coming from.
2. Detroit Lions – Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska. By signing Kyle Vanden Bosch and trading for Corey Williams, Detroit is definitely putting an emphasis on getting to the quarterback more. Those were both decent moves, but neither of those guys is a game-changer. Suh, on the other hand, surely could be. He’ll be NFL-ready from day one and could be head coach Jim Schwartz’s Haynesworth 2.0.
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Eric Berry, S, Tennessee. While there is change with the top two picks, this song remains the same. In five years, Berry could very well end up the best defensive player to come out of this draft. Athletic, fast and rangy, he’s the type of do-it-all player who could make an impact on Tampa Bay’s defense right away. His playmaking numbers dipped a bit last season (just two picks as opposed to 12 combined in the two years previous), but don’t let that fool you. This kid’s for real.
4. Washington Redskins – Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma State. Many analysts seem to think the ‘Skins will jump at Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen if he’s here. I disagree. New head coach Mike Shanahan has already said he wants Jason Campbell back. He’ll use 2010 to evaluate Campbell and see if he is, in fact, the future at quarterback. He’ll also give Campbell some added protection. Enter Okung, the most complete – and best – lineman in the draft.
5. Kansas City Chiefs – Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma. My previous mock had the Chiefs going with Alabama linebacker Rolando McClain as Okung, McCoy and Suh were all already gone. This time around, McCoy is available and I can’t see how Kansas City passes on him. He’s not overly big (just 295 pounds), but has explosive pass rushing abilities. Sure, the Chiefs whiffed on Glenn Dorsey and Tyson Jackson didn’t do much as a rookie, but if they just keep taking d-tackles, one of them will hit, right? Maybe?
6. Seattle Seahawks – Bryan Bulaga, OT, Iowa. A replacement must be found for 35-year old Walter Jones. Originally, I had Rutgers’ Anthony Davis as that guy. But Davis’ weight issues and shaky combine (his character has come into question) make Bulaga the pick now. Some questions exist as to how high Bulaga’s ceiling really is. But the 6-feet, 6-inch, 312 pound Bulaga was also voted Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year last season. A couple of recent winners of that award, Jake Long and Joe Thomas, have done pretty well in the pros and Bulaga should follow suit.
7. Cleveland Browns – Joe Haden, CB, Florida. Another pick that has not changed since our first mock. The Brownies still need secondary help in a major way as they finished 29th in passing yards allowed per game (a whopping 244.7). Haden is, hands down, the best corner in the draft. He’s physical, aggressive and extremely fast and the Browns will jump at him here. Mike Holmgren will find his future quarterback later in the draft.
8. Oakland Raiders – Jason Pierre-Paul, OLB, South Florida. Yet another pick that has not changed, although this one is for different reasons, the biggest being I just do not want to climb into Al Davis’ head and try to figure out what he’s going to do. I’m just not man enough for that mission. I know he loves measureables and Pierre-Paul has those in abundance (6-feet, 6-inches, 265 pounds and lightening fast). Pierre-Paul could team with Kameron Wimbley, recently acquired from Cleveland, at OLB for the Raiders.
9. Buffalo Bills – Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame. As they can no longer get Bradford here, the Bills will jump at Clausen. Why? Brian Brohm, Trent Edwards and Ryan Fitzpatrick, that’s why. That’s the quarterback group for the Bills as of now. None of those three bring any hope for the future, if you’re a Bills fan. And, as I said previously, that’s what Buffalo needs to give its fans here – some hope. Quite frankly, I have major doubts about Clausen as a pro, but I don’t doubt he’ll be the pick.
10. Jacksonville Jaguars – Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State. Everyone had the Jags going defensive end here before they signed Aaron Kampman. I always thought they’d go with Bryant and, well, I still do. Simply put, Jacksonville hasn’t had a gamebreaking receiving threat since the days of Jimmy Smith. Well, those days are long gone. Bryant is an athletic, tough wideout with very good hands who could loosen the strain on Maurice Jones-Drew.
11. Denver Broncos – Rolando McClain, ILB, Alabama. Previously, I had Clausen going here. But, by acquiring Brady Quinn from Cleveland last weekend, Denver is no longer in the market for a quarterback (which is good because if things play out like I think, it couldn’t get one here anyways). The Jamal Williams signing beefs up the Broncos’ d-line, but they still have holes in the second level. McClain can remedy that as he is an absolute beast, particularly in stuffing the run.
12. Miami Dolphins – Brian Price, DT, UCLA. Nose tackle was a position of need for the Dolphins before 35-year old Jason Ferguson was suspended for the first eight games of the season (performance-enhancing drugs). Now, of course, it’s even more so, and I still think Price is the guy here. Price is similar in size – Ferguson’s 310 pounds and Price is 300 – and the Pac 10 Defensive Player of the Year also has the explosion to get into the backfield on passing downs. He’ll open things up for newly acquired ILB Karlos Dansby.
13. San Francisco 49ers – Anthony Davis, OT, Rutgers. Yes, the issues surrounding Davis aren’t necessarily good. But he’s also a 6-feet, 6-inch, 325 pound monster who is looked at by many as the best pass protecting lineman in the draft. In other words, his equally large upside will prevent him from falling as far as some analysts think. Plus, something tells me Mike Singletary can keep this guy in line. Just a hunch.
14. Seattle Seahawks (from Broncos) – C.J. Spiller, RB, Clemson. With the combine Spiller had, Pete Carroll and Co. will be doing backflips if he’s still available here. A dual threat back, Spiller could be Pete’s new Reggie Bush (hopefully, minus the whole Kardashian thing). By nabbing Bulaga and Spiller, the Seahawks will have cleared up two of their biggest issues (offensive line and a lack of gamebreakers).
15. New York Giants – Dan Williams, DT, Tennessee. After chatting with my good friend (and huge Giants fan) Matt Anderson, I’m convinced New York will attempt to move up if it feels it’s in danger of losing McClain. But, since I’m not going to predict any trades here, I’ll stick with Big Blue selecting Williams. New York’s d-line wasn’t as good as many (myself included) thought it would be before last season. At 325 pounds and strong as a bull, Williams could go a long way towards fixing that.
16. Tennessee Titans – Derrick Morgan, DE/OLB, Georgia Tech. Originally, I had the Titans addressing some of their needs along the o-line with Idaho’s Mike Iupati. But after losing Vanden Bosch, I now think Tennessee turns to the defensive front, where it struggled last season without Fat Albert. At 275 pounds, Morgan is right on the fence as far as where he can play in the pros (depending on whether or not he adds weight). With 12 sacks and two forced fumbles last season, Morgan could replace Vanden Bosch in a major way.
17. San Francisco 49ers (from Panthers) – Earl Thomas, S, Texas. Having already upgraded at o-line with Davis, the Niners now turn their focus to finding a big-time playmaking safety in the secondary. Thomas’ size (5-feet, 10-inches, just under 200 pounds) isn’t exactly what you’d like at that position. But his numbers (63 tackles, eight interceptions last season) and speed definitely are. By taking Davis and Thomas, the Niners would walk away with a very nice first round haul.
18. Pittsburgh Steelers – Mike Iupati, OG, Idaho. Previously, Maryland’s Bruce Campbell was the pick here. But there are some fairly significant question marks on Campbell – like, if he’s so good, why did he receive no votes for All ACC-First Team last season? - and I think he’ll drop a good deal as a result. Still, the Steelers need o-line help badly. The 6-feet, 5-inch, 330 pound Iupati has the strength to be able to play, and flourish, right away. He could end up being very. very good. A typical Steeler pick.
19. Atlanta Falcons – Sergio Kindle, DE/OLB, Texas. With Morgan – the player I previously had them taking – off the board, the Falcons will turn to Kindle. At 255 pounds, he’ll play outside linebacker in Atlanta’s 4-3 scheme and he should be very good at that spot. He’s got great athleticism, knows how to get to the quarterback and could be for the Falcons what Brian Orakpo was for the ‘Skins last season.
20. Houston Texans – Jared Odrick, DT, Penn State. I’m not sensing much change at this spot for Houston. As usual, the Texans are set, offensively. Again, as usual, their defense still needs more work if they are to finally get over the top and into the playoffs. Last year’s first rounder, linebacker Brian Cushing, was the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, but the team still needs one or two more pieces. Odrick (306 pounds with seven sacks last year) could very well be the nose tackle to open things up for Mario Williams and Amobi Okoye.
21. Cincinnati Bengals – Maurkice Pouncey, C, Florida. Believe it or not, I actually left the Bengals off my first mock draft. I’m not sure how that happened, but if you’re a Bengals fan reading this, I am very sorry. Anyways, Cincinnati has major needs on the offensive line, particularly at center and guard. Lucky for them, Pouncey can play either of those spots in the pros. He’s also intelligent and plays with a mean streak that the Bengals’ offense sorely lacks.
22. New England Patriots – Brandon Graham, DE/OLB, Michigan. The Pats did not, as some expected, end up with Julius Peppers. They also cut Adalius Thomas, making outside linebacker a huge priority. Truth be told, I think Kindle will be a better pro, but Graham is not a bad consolation prize at all. Over his last three seasons at Michigan, Graham averaged over nine sacks a season, with ever-improving tackle numbers. He’s got short arms, yes, but he’s also a hard-worker who comes at you on every play. The Hoodie will love this guy.
23. Green Bay Packers – Charles Brown, OT, USC. Since this is a Packers’ blog, I’ll go a little more in-depth here. The re-signings of Chad Clifton/Mark Tauscher, at first, had me thinking Ted Thompson might go in a different direction with this pick (i.e., defense). But when I thought about it more, I still think the team has to nab a left tackle of the future. Clifton could break down at any minute and, while we all love T.J. Lang, I’m beginning to think he’s strictly a right tackle. The Packers need someone who can step in if Clifton goes down (which you know he will, if only for a game or two at a time). At just 290 pounds, Brown must bulk up a bit before he’s game ready. But his athleticism and NFL-ready pass protection skills would cover him if forced to play right away. He’s got a ton of upside and could protect Aaron Rodgers’ blindside for the next decade. At some point, this move has to be made. Why not here?
24. Philadelphia Eagles – Everson Griffen, DE, USC. Having whiffed on Kampman and Julius Peppers, the Eagles look to the draft to find their pass rushing end of the future. Previously, I had them going to Graham, but since he’s no longer available, they’ll go with Griffen. Not always the most motivated player, Griffen is still blessed with great athleticism and pass rushing skills. If the Eagles can keep a fire under his butt, he should be a productive player.
25. Baltimore Ravens – Carlos Dunlap, DT, Florida. Baltimore’s trade for wide receiver Anquan Boldin took care of its need for a big-time playmaker not named Ray Rice. That being the case, the Ravens will focus on d-line with this pick. Kelly Gregg is still very good, but will turn 34 during the season and the team needs to find a player to team up with Haloti Ngata for the future. There are some questions surrounding Dunlap (lack of motivation and a DUI arrest in particular). But he’s also had nine sacks in each of the past two seasons.
26. Arizona Cardinals – Jerry Hughes, DE/OLB, TCU. Having lost Dansby, you could argue that the Cards should go inside linebacker here. But since there are no real ILBs worth taking at this spot, they’ll stick with Hughes (whom I had them taking in our original mock). Clark Haggans and Chike Okeafor are both aging and merely decent and, with 26 sacks over his final two years at TCU, Hughes has shown a knack for getting to the quarterback.
27. Dallas Cowboys – Trent Williams, OT, Oklahoma. Again, I’m sticking with what worked the first time here. Flozell Adams, for all the hype and money, just isn’t very consistent in pass protection. Plus, he’s getting older, so the team needs to upgrade there for the future. Williams would have gone much higher if not for his subpar 2009 season, but he still has a lot of tools and could be a good pro, if he regains his 2008 form.
28. San Diego Chargers – Terrence Cody, DT, Alabama. In our first mock, I said this pick “could be surprising” considering the Bolts, at that point, still had Jamal Williams. Seeing as though Williams got cut (and signed with Denver), this pick is no longer a shock. In fact, it makes a lot of sense. San Diego needs its next Williams and “Mount Cody” could be just that, provided he stays motivated and keeps his weight down. Remember, Cody dominated for long stretches in the toughest conference in the country.
29. New York Jets – Sean Weatherspoon, OLB, Missouri. The names change (previously I had Clemson’s Ricky Sapp here), but the position remains the same. Like I said before, it’s time for New York to just suck it up and admit that Vernon Gholston is a bust and find someone else to go opposite Calvin Pace at OLB. Weatherspoon is not the biggest linebacker, at just 245 pounds, but like his good buddy Clay Matthews, he’s an intense, non-stop player who is good in mulitple facets. He was a leader for Mizzou’s defense and you can never have too many of those.
30. Minnesota Vikings – Kyle Wilson, CB, Boise State. With the Williams sisters still on trial (and possible facing four-game suspensions), Minnesota could very well look d-tackle here. But with all of the first-round tackles already gone, the Vikings turn their attention to cornerback. Good idea as Antoine Winfield is getting older and Cedric Griffin could miss the first six weeks due to his torn ACL. Wilson is a bit small at 5-feet, 9-inches, but is an aggressive, playmaking corner.
31. Indianapolis Colts – Bruce Campbell, OT, Maryland. Charlie Johnson was serviceable at left tackle last season, but is far from the long-term solution there. As I previously mentioned, there are some big questions surrounding Campbell. But he is also a freak, physically (6-feet, 7-inches, 310 pounds, with a sub-4.8 40 time). In fact, some think he’s got the most upside of any lineman in the draft. After a year of learning, he could protect Peyton Manning’s blindside for the rest of Manning’s career.
32. New Orleans Saints – Taylor Mays, S, USC. Darren Sharper’s knee injury/contract demands place his future in New Orleans in doubt. The team needs someone who can play right away in the event Sharper walks and that player could be Mays. Before last season, it would have been unthinkable to have him this low. But a bad 2009 season (just one interception) and doubts about his ceiling land him here. Still, Mays brings great value at this spot.