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Pre-combine Mock Draft

With the First Pick in the 2010 NFL Draft...
By Lance Epstein
This is a pre-combine mock draft, after ht combine I will update my mock after the combine. My analysis of the players is based of my own scouting, Scouts.com, ESPN.com and cbssportsline.com.
During the course of the 2009-10 college football season, I attended multiple Arizona Wildcat football games and watched countless hours of the Big 12, Big 10, SEC, Big East football and even some smaller conference. This draft is one of the deepest drafts of the last few years for offensive lineman, particularly tackle, safety and defensive ends. Meanwhile, I do not see a premiere quarterback of the group.
*Mock draft does not contain draft day trades.
#1 St. Louis Rams- Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska, 6’4 295lbs—The Rams finished the season under first year head coach Steve Spagnuolo with one win and numerous holes except at running back and left tackle in part to Steven Jackson and last year’s first round pick Jason Smith. The Rams are desperately searching for a new franchise quarterback because current starter Marc Bulger is on the way out of the STL. However, I am not enamored with the quarterback crop in this year’s draft and I do not believe they are either. Sam Bradford is coming off major shoulder surgery; Jimmy Clausen is coming off toe surgery (won’t participate at the combine) and has major mechanical problems and the other quarterbacks are not worthy of being selected this high in the first round. Also, I would not be surprised if the Rams try to trade for Michael Vick. Head coach Steve Spagnuolo has ties to Philadelphia. Suh is an absolute monster, if you do not believe me, just go back and look at how he manhandled Arizona in the Holiday Bowl. Suh will make an immediate impact by improving the Rams defense to “respectable”. So far in his young career Chris Long has been a bust at defensive end, Suh’s presence might be able to resurrect his career.
Rumor alert: The Rams have been in talks to trade the first overall pick to Tampa Bay for the 3rd overall pick, a 2nd/3rd round pick and quarterback Josh Johnson.
#2 Detroit Lions- Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma, 6’3 296 lbs—While most analyst have Suh marked as the best player in the NFL draft, the best defensive tackle might actually be McCoy. He is more disruptivethan Suh due to his pass rushing abilities. However, McCoy is not a space eater like Suh is against the run, but he will provide the Lions 4-3 defense with a pass rushing threat from the defensive tackle position. McCoy has a quick burst off the line and great strength, which allows him to get penetration in the backfield. Although, with the Lions organization you never know what they are thinking, I would not be shocked if Eric Berry was selected here. He and last year’s second round draft pick Louis Delmas would be a heck of a safety tandem.
#3 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Eric Berry, S, Tennessee, 6’0 205 lbs—Last year, the Bucs drafted their quarterback of the future in Josh Freeman, but the Bucs still have glaring holes at defensive end, safety, offensive line. At three, the Bucs have their between the premiere safety and offensive tackle in the draft. Even with offensive tackles Anthony Davis, Russell Okrung and Jason Pierre-Paul still on the board, I cannot imagine them passing up Berry. Berry is a safety in the molds of Ed Reed and Troy Polomalu. Those types of safeties with freakish natural talent do not come along very often. He can make the big hit and shines in coverage. He is actually good enough in coverage to be a cornerback in a nickel or dime package. If Berry is not the pick, the Bucs might look to take Paul, but he is a big time gamble.
#4 Washington Redskins, Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma, 6’4 223 lbs—As new Head Coach Mike Shannhan takes over the Redskins, he might find his first obstacle in improve his team is to keep Daniel Snyder out of the draft room. Shannhan is likes having his own guy at quarterback, so Bradford becomes obvious for three reasons. First, Bradford will not have to play right away. Jason Campbell is more than likely going to be a restricted free agent (due to the NFL likely having a uncapped year), so Bradford can develop at his own pace this season and completely recover from his shoulder surgery. Second, in 2008 he threw for over 4,700 yards, 50 touchdowns and only eight interceptions. Lastly, the Skins are always looking for the next great quarterback even if they already failed at this twice before. Remember, they were in the Mark Sanchez sweepstakes last year.
#5 Kansas City Chiefs, Anthony Davis, OT, Rutgers, 6’5 330 lbs—The Chiefs enter year two under coach Todd Hailey by needing to keep franchise (I use that term loosely) quarterback Matt Cassell upright. Davis has the most athletic ability of the three top offensive tackles in the draft and might be the best suited to play the left tackle position. This pick will permit former first round pick Brendan Alberts (who draws comparisons to a health Shawn Andrews) to transition into his natural position of guard, where he could dominate. Also this choice could move Alberts over to the right side of the line, giving the Chiefs a young set of bookend tackles for years to come. The Chiefs might go in the direction of Oklahoma State’s Russell Okung due to his nastiness and swagger that brings to the field.
#6 Seattle Seahawks, Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma State, 6’8 300 lbs—With Walter Jones at the end of his career, the Seahawks will attempt to strike gold again in selecting offensive tackle Okung. At Oklahoma State, Okung won the 2009 Jim Parker award for best offensive linemen in the country and was twice selected as an All-American. Besides those honors, Okung only allowed one sack and more impressively only gave up two quarterback pressures all year. This is happy news to Matt Hasselbeck who is coming off an injury-riddled season. Also, great news for new head coach Pete Carroll and Hasselbeck is Okung’s Oklahoma State Cowboys led the Big 12 in rushing the last four season, three of which he started.
#7 Cleveland Browns, Joe Haden, CB, Florida, 5’11 190 lbs— The Browns hired Mike Holmgrem to oversee football operations and new GM Tom Heckert to begin this off-season. In a surprise move, they retained head coach Eric Magini, so anything could go with this pick. There have been rumors swirling that they may trade the 7th overall pick for Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Kevin Kolb, who Heckert covets. Thus solving their quarterback problem. However, I do believe Holmgren and Heckert will get their quarterback of the future; it just will not be in the first round or for the their first round pick. Holmgren has a history of drafting and developing quarterbacks or getting them cheap from other teams (see Matt Hasselbeck in Seattle, Mark Brunnell…). Haden has the athletic ability and potential to have been a top five player in this draft. Since the NFL has turned to a pass happy league, Haden would be a wise pick up. He has the potential with his 4.3 speed and coverage abilities he can develop into a legit cover corner. This is an excellent pick here for the Browns, he can play right away and is not afraid to lay the wood.
#8 Oakland Raiders, Bryan Bulaga, OT, Iowa, 6’6 312—Let me first start off by saying this, I nor any other experts have any clue on what the Raiders are thinking at this exact moment. So now, let me tell you why this should be the pick. While Jamarcus Russell has been awful as a pro, the Raiders offensive line has been just as bad. Both tackles positions are inconsistent and do not allow any quarterback to have the slightly success. Bulaga provides the stability at left tackle that the Raiders believed they were getting when they drafted Robert Gallery fourth overall a couple years ago. In this year’s Orange Bowl, Bulaga dominated projected first round prospect Derrick Morgan. Although he needs to improve his pass protection to be a great NFL left tackle but his feet work and run blocking skills is what has scouts raving about the big man. Like I said, I would not be surprised if the Raiders pulled another Heyward-Bey pick here. Carlos Dunlap is an intriguing prospect. Has great size and speed at the defensive end, but is a buyer-beware type of pick.
#9 Buffalo Bills, Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame, 6’2 225 lbs—The way the board has shaken out and the needs that the Bills have, they are a perfect candidate to make a trade here. One team that comes to mind as a trade partner is the New York Giants. With the Jaguars, Niners and Dolphins drafting ahead of the Giants and they badly need a linebacker like Rolando McClain, since they recently released starting middle linebacker Antonio Pierce. The Giants are a team that might maneuver their way up the draft. If the Bills do stay and draft, they have two glaring needs. They could use a quarterback because the Trent Edwards experiment seems to be over. Additionally, they coukd use a left tackle to replace Jason Peters, whom they traded last off-season. Clausen gives the Bills a fresh start and some hope for the future. He is unable to work out at the combine due to toe surgery but scouts compare his style to Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Clausen is a fiery leader, who can make every throw and has learned from one of the best offensive coordinators in the NFL in Charlie Weis. I would not be surprised if Clausen did fall into the 20s like Aaron Rodgers.
#10 Denver Broncos (from Chicago Bears via Cutler trade…subject to coin toss with Jaguars), Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State, 6’2 220lbs -- Everyone expects the Broncos to be forgetting Brandon Marshall soon, and Dez Bryant is the perfect replacement. Bryant had off the field issues, which suspended him for most of the 2009 college football season. So why replace a headache with a potential headache, because of the need for playmakers. Kyle Orton is never going to win games by himself and rookie Knowshon Moreno did not have the impact they expected last year. Also, Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels comes from the Bill Belichick philosophy of drafting and coaching philosophy. Bilichick has had numerous players come into his franchise as bad apples and then transform into good soldiers. While Bryant does not possess world-class speed at the wide receiver position, he did manage to consistently beat Big 12 corners deep. Bryant is very comparable to Chad Ochocinco but with a tad bit more speed.
#11 Jacksonville Jaguars (subject to coin toss with Broncos, Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, South Florida, 6’6 265—The Jags finished the 2009 season, with a league low 14 sacks. Along with getting no pressure on opposing teams quarterbacks, the former first round pick safety Reggie Nelson got burnt or missed tackles with regularity. Nelson’s drop off was disturbing, but the rest of the safeties on the teams were continuously beat as well and probably should not even be on the roster. With all that said, the Jaguars need either a defensive tackle or end. This pick comes down to either Derrick Morgan or Paul. Morgan and Paul have their faults but Paul’s upside is too much for the Jaguars to pass up. His frame and athleticism is similar to free agent Julius Peppers. So why are so many scouts calling him overrated. Simple, he has been in three different schools in three years due to academics. And he is not great against the run. Jaguar’s fans better hope and pray that Paul is not the second coming of Derrick Harvey.
#12 Miami Dolphins, Rolando McClain, ILB, Alabama, 6’4 255 lbs—This might be the easiest pick of the entire draft, if the board falls this way. The Dolphins are desperate for a middle linebacker that can be a game-changer. McClain skills are eerily comparable to 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis. In 2009, McClain was selected as a consensus All-American and won the Butkus Award. Furthermore, McClain can make an impact from day one. His work ethic is impeccable and coaches at ‘Bama describe him as a film room junkie. When we look back at the 2010 draft, McClain to the Dolphins might be the steal of the first round.
#13 San Francisco 49ers, Trent Williams, OT, Oklahoma, 6’5 320 lbs—With the first of their two first round picks the Niners could go in several directions. The biggest need for the Niners however is offensive tackle. While Joe Staley solidifies the left tackle spot, the right tackle position is an area of concern. Current right tackle Adam Snyder is a nice back up but as a starter he was consistently overmatched in every aspect. The All-Big 12 performer Williams has played both left and right tackle at Oklahoma, so he can play the right side of the line. This gives the Niners a young set of bookend tackles. While Williams needs to develop his pass blocking skills, he fires off the line and dominates as a drive blocker in the running game. Williams has a great work ethic, there is no reason to think he cannot play at right tackle immediately, improve with coaching and play at a high level for many years.
#14 Seattle Seahawks (via Denver Broncos), CJ Spiller, RB, Clemson, 5’11 195 lbs—The Seahawks with their first pick eliminated one area of need by drafting Okung. Another dilemma faces Pete Carroll, that being whether he should draft the most talented running back in the draft in Spiller or draft stud defensive end Derrick Morgan. Even though the Seahawks lacked a consistent pass rush, a healthy return of Patrick Kerney makes defensive end much less of a need than it appeared last season. While Justin Forsett is a nice running back in the passing game and on third down, he does not possess the capability carrying the rock 20 times a game and playing a full 16 game slate at his size. Spiller has the explosiveness to take the ball to the house everytime he touches the ball. Plus he will contribute to the Seahawks as a punt returner, where he excelled in college. To boot, he is a deadly receiving threat out of the backfield as well.
#15 New York Giants, Earl Thomas, S Texas, 5’10 190lbs—Once Kenny Phillips went down for the season, the Giants defense pretty much collapsed. Phillips coming return will help but his counter part at safety, Michael Johnson is coming off an appalling season. Thomas brings the consistency that Johnson cannot. Even though Thomas is just 5’10, which is considered to be undersized, he still has a propensity to be around the ball, is a physical player and playmaker. In 2009 with the Longhorns, he had eight interceptions and numerous jaw-dropping hits. The Giants can also utilize his cover skills right away by playing him at corner because scouts believe he might be better suited as a corner. His game is comparable to form Longhorn Michael Griffin on the Titans. Don’t be stunned if the Giants have Derrick Morgan ranked higher on their board and select him. With Osi Umenyora having a down year and his knee being questionable, the tandem of Morgan and Justin Tuck would be very tempting.
#16 San Francisco 49ers (subject to coin toss with Titans), Dan Williams, DT, Tennessee, 6’3 325 lbs —At 13, the Niners took Oklahoma’s Trent Williams to solidify their line, another missing element is a young nose tackle who can anchor their 3-4 defense. At 6’3 325 pounds, Williams can develop into that nose tackle. He possesses the exceptional ability to rush the passer from the defensive tackle position. Also, he is a space eater in the running game. Williams is extremely strong (gets most of his power from his legs) and his large body will attract double teams. Ultimately those double teams will let Patrick Willis and Ahmad Brooks to avoid blockers and make plays in the backfield.
#17 Tenneesee Titans, Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech, 6’4 272 lbs—There is always one player that nobody expects to drop in every draft that happens to drop. From Aaron Rodgers to Brady Quinn to Jeremy Maclin. It is inevitable and I believe the best candidate this year will be Morgan. With the NFL reaching for offensive tackles, quarterbacks and defensive tackles, Morgan will get overlooked. However, he might turn out to be the best defensive player taken in this draft. In 2009, Morgan won the ACC defensive player of the year registering 12.5 sacks. Scouts love his football IQ in being able to read the play before he gets into his 3-point stance. On the other hand, in his last game at Georgia Tech against Iowa’s Bryan Bulaga, he was manhandled. With a great combine Morgan probably will vault back to the top 10, but that last college performance will linger in many scouts minds.
#18 Pittsburgh Steelers, Mike Iupati, OG, Idaho, 6’5 325 lbs—It is amazing to think the Steelers were able to win a Super Bowl two years ago with the offensive line that they had. Personally, the Steelers should have upgraded their line last year after winning the Super Bowl. Big Ben has been hit far too many times and has had too many concussions at this early stage of his career. Iupati was sensational at the Senior Bowl, demonstrating that he could play at a high-level at any position on the offensive line. NFL Network’s draft analyst Mike Mayock (I think the best analyst in the business) raved about him and since then his stock has skyrocketed. Iupati can step in right away and dominate in the running game, which will only allow Rashard Mendenhall to take the next step in his career.
#19 Atlanta Falcons, Carlos Dunlap, DE, Florida, 6’6 290lbs— At this point in the draft the ultra athletic Carlos Dunlap is too talented of a prospect to continue to slide. If Dunlap did not get suspended for DUI just days before the Gators biggest game of the year, he might have been a top 10 selection. The fact that defensive end John Abraham is not getting any younger (31 going into next year) and no one playing opposite of him, the Falcons have a pressing need for a defensive end. Also, the Falcons could use Dunlap like former Gator and Titans great Jevon Kearse. With the Titans and Eagles, Kearse played the joker position where could rush the passer as a DE but had the athletic talent to slide back into coverage and play linebacker. Even with all the athletic ability he has, Dunlap is a big time risk due to character issues. This is a boom or bust pick, Falcons fans hope he does not turn into the next Jamaal Anderson.
#20 Houston Texans, Brian Price, DT, UCLA, 6’2 300 lbs—Gary Kubiak and the Texans have bigger needs than defensive tackle (like running back), but Price’s addition makes their defensive line dominating. To be honest, the Texans might be able to surpass the Colts if they could just manage to get more pressure on Peyton Manning. Matt Schaub, if he can stay healthy, puts up more than enough points to win games. At UCLA, Price finished his junior season with 23.5 tackles for a loss. The greatest asset in Price’s arsenal is his explosiveness, which allows him to get penetration in the backfield. Besides his explosiveness, he also has the strength to just go pummel the blocker in front of him. Already stacked with a very young and talented line in Mario Williams and Amobi Okoye, the addition of Price just makes it more potent.
#21 Cincinnati Bengals, Jermaine Gresham, TE, Oklahoma State, 6’6 258 lbs—In the AFC Wild-Card playoff game against the Jets, Darrelle Revis shut down the Bengals only receiving threat and made them one dimensional. In order for the Bengals to get out of the first round, they need to find another playmaker. Since Marvin Lewis became head coach of the Bengals, he has not had a tight end with the play making abilities of Gresham. He would give Carson Palmer a safety check down and open the middle of the field. If Gresham did not tear his ACL in the 2009, he probably is a top 15 pick. During his 2008 campaign, Gresham finished with 950 yards and 14 touchdowns. Even though he has injury concerns, his size and speed to stretch the field is too great for a team desperate for a playmaking tight end. Gresham is not the greatest blocker but he should be able help Chad OchoCinco and Palmer.
#22 New England Patriots, Brandon Graham, DE/OLB, Michigan, 6-1 263lbs—The player that benefitted the most from the Senior Bowl is Brandon Graham. His stellar play in the practice drills was one thing, but Graham was even better in the Senior Bowl game. He won the MVP of the game by registering two sacks, five tackles and a forced fumble. His college career was not too shabby either, as he led FBS in tackles for loss this past season. When I watch Graham on tape he reminds me of defensive end Dwight Freeney. He is a smaller defensive (by prototypical NFL standards) that has a relentless motor. Not only that he is always uses great technique, his leverage and coaches’ rave about his football IQ. Going to the Patriots is a perfect fit. Head Coach Bill Belichick can utilize his skill and transition him to an outside linebacker that can disrupt teams in both pass coverage and in the run game.
#23 Green Bay Packers, Kyle Wilson, CB, Boise State, 5’10 190 lbs—The last time we saw the Green Bay Packers, Kurt Warner was torching their secondary. If I am Green Bay’s coach there is only two positions that I need look at this off-season. My number one priority would be cornerback. While the offensive line (particularly offensive tackle) could use improvements, the line began to gel and play their best football down the stretch. Also, as great as Charles Woodson is, he is getting older and there is no telling if Al Harris at 35 will still be productive coming off of major knee surgery. Wilson like Graham had a phenomenal Senior Bowl. He was so impressive that Lions Wide Receivers coach said that he was a pain in the butt due to blanketing the wide receivers. His hips are very fluid making him able to change directions on a dime. Also, he has the catch-up speed if a wide receiver beats him. More importantly, Wilson can step in from day one and play incase Al Harris is not fully recovered.
#24 Philadelphia Eagles, Taylor Mays, FS, USC, 6’3 231—Anyone who tries to predict what the Eagles are going to do are kidding themselves. Just look at the last 3 years. In 2007, the Eagles traded back with the Cowboys to select a quarterback in the second round named Kevin Kolb. The next year, they traded back again and hit the jackpot as DeSean Jackson fell to them with their second pick in the second round. Then last off-season they allowed Brian Dawkins, the heart, soul of the defensive and an icon in the city walk to the Broncos. Furthermore, they finally used a first round pick (traded up in fact) to take, nonetheless, a wide receiver in Jeremy Maclin. For being a contender the Eagles have a good three to four holes to fill this offseason. The most prevalent positions of need being free safety and a left defensive end to go with Trent Cole. While the Eagles would prefer to take a free safety in round two since safety is one of the deepest position in the draft. However, Mays is too tempting. Mays can instill the fear in wide receivers going over the middle; the big hit that the Eagles defense sorely missed with Dawkins leaving. Mays struggled in coverage at the Senior Bowl, had a down senior season and don’t have fluid hips. Remember this though, the Eagles just hired Dick Juaron to be the secondary coach, and he has excelled in this roll.
#25 Baltimore Ravens, Demaryius Thomas, WR, Georgia Tech, 6’3 225lbs—Joe Flacco started the season on fire throwing for 300 yard in two of their first three games. As the season continued to unfold, Ray Rice became the focal point of the Ravens offensive. He is a power full yet explosive back that can take it to the house or run you over at anytime. While in the passing game, he is a mismatch for linebackers with his speed. If the Ravens expect him to be as productive next season, then they need to get some playmakers on offense. Mark Clayton, Derrick Mason and Todd Heap are not putting fear into opposing defenses. The big question facing the Ravens is which Wide Receiver to take. Thomas recently broke his foot and Arrelious Benn had nagging injuries that contributed to a down year. Despite Thomas breaking his foot, scouts have videotape of him running a forty in 4.38 seconds. Having that speed with his 6’3 frame he is an imposing wide out in the mold of Randy Moss. He might not possess the ceiling like Moss but his 1,154 yards and eight touchdowns on 120 receptions makes him ideal with this pick.
#26 Arizona Cardinals, Sergio Kindle, OLB, Texas, 6’4 255 lbs-- Lost In the midst of the excitement of Karlos Dansby’s fumble return for a touchdown to eliminate the Packers from the playoffs, was the fact both Darnell Dockett and Dansby were unrestricted free agents. With only one franchise tag, the Cardinals are going to tag the up and coming Dockett. This leaves Dansby on the open market with a free agent class that will have a slim big name market. Some team is going to throw too much money for the Cardinals to match, and thus leaving the Cardinals with a giant hole to fill. Even worse is Kurt Warner retiring, and thus leaving the unproven and immature Matt Leinart with the keys to the organization. There are no quarterbacks except maybe Colt McCoy that are worthy of the 26th pick. Kindle is a great replacement if Dansby indeed leaves the desert. Though Kindle needs to add bulk to his 6’4 body to be a better player against the run, he can provide a pass rushing threat from the outside linebacker position like Dansby. He might be a little bit of a project but the investment in two or three years could payoff.
#27 Dallas Cowboys, Bruce Campbell, OT, Maryland, 6’7 310— In 2009, the Cowboys finally won their first playoff game but the Vikings provided a dose of reality. Exposed in the embarrassing loss to Minnesota was that there offensive line appear old and slow at the edges. Both Flozell Adams and Marc Colombo are nearing the end of their careers and cannot keep up with the quick pass rushers in the NFC East. Campbell is one of the more athletic tackles in this year’s draft, his stock might actually take off at the combine this upcoming weak. The physical tools he possesses are comparable to the best tackles in this year’s crop. The knock on Campbell is his intelligence (trouble translating to the NFL game), poor technique and his durability. For Cowboys fans, they will hope he can replace Adams, otherwise Romo might be on the sidelines in street clothes.
#28 San Diego Chargers, Everson Griffin DE/OLB, USC, 6’3 278-- Life without L.T. has begun in San Diego (released after nine seasons) but that does not necessarily mean running back is the position to go in the first round. With the average shelf life of a NFL running back being five years and the value of running backs being found in the later rounds of the draft, Everson Griffin is the logical choice. The more concerning fact that Shawn Phillips is going to be another year older and the Chargers are bolting Shawne Merriman elsewhere, a hybrid DE/OLB is in high value. Griffin recorded 8 sacks and 9.5 tackles for a loss in his first full season as a starter. The one question the teams have with Griffin is that he lost his starter spot the last two seasons before this year. Nevertheless, Griffin is a work out warrior and his work ethic will impress teams. Hopefully for Griffin it will make them forget about his struggles as a sophomore and junior. Of course the Chargers are seeking a nose tackle since Jamaal Williams is coming off an injury. If they do decide to go in that direction, Terrance Cody out of Alabama fits that bill.
#29 New York Jets, Golden Tate, WR, Notre Dame, 5’11 195—My early 2010 prediction is that the Jets will make the Super Bowl. Yes they have holes, like the other starting corner not named Darelle Reevis. However getting Kris Jenkins back from injury will help the secondary out immensely. Also, adding another defensive end is essential too. Whether or not Thomas Jones is back, Shonn Greene exhibited during the playoffs the potential to be a star in this league. The mid-season acquisition of Braylon Edwards brought a new dimension to the Jets, but it is unknown if he will be there after 2010. Golden Tate has the promise to be a great wide receiver in this league. In 2009 Tate brought home the Fred Bilentnikoff Award as the nation’s top receiver and earned All-America honors. He has the speed to burn you deep and is an excellent route runner. Tate can be productive in his first season; a Percy Harvin type of contributor as a wide receiver and special teams returner.
#30 Minnesota Vikings, Terrance Cody, DT, Alabama, 6’4 370lbs—The age old question strikes again for another off-season…Will Brett Favre comeback or retire? Brad Childress wishes and hopes for that decision from the future hall of famer before the draft because if he retires, the rumor mill has it that Donovan McNabb is the replacement. If McNabb is indeed the heir to the thrown, then this pick most likely will be traded to Philly. If Favre comes back, then the Vikings ought to find a replacement for the aging Pat Williams. Williams claims he desires to play another four or five years, but it is unlikely he will be as productive at that age. It would be fitting that a guy nicknamed Mount Cody would replace Williams. Cody 375 pound frame is astonishingly very agile. He is massive space eater that takes on double teams and frees the linebackers to stop plays in the backfield. Drafting Cody allows the Vikings to stay at the top of the league in run defense even if Williams goes.
#31 Indianapolis Colts, Charles Brown, OT, USC, 6’5 295 lbs—After the Super Bowl, Colts President Bill Polian laid into his offensive line essentially stating that was a key reason the Colts loss in the Super Bowl. The offensive line was average, but the explanation for why they lost the Super Bowl was due to the horrendous play of their secondary. Brees marched the Saints up and down the field against them. When the Saints did get into 3rd down and long, Brees would hit a wide receiver in stride for 17 yards. But this is just my opinion. The Colts believe free agent Charlie Johnson is more of a guard than a tackle. And other starting tackle, Tony Ugoh is constantly injured. In order for the Colts to be successful they need Manning staying healthy, so improving the line is necessary. Brown has nastiness and an attitude that he carries onto the field. Mix that with his good technique and athleticism, he will maul anyone that gets in his way. The intriguing thing about Brown is that he is only playing in his second season at left tackle. He came to USC as a tight end and converted to the position. Many scouts and his coaches at USC believe he has just scratched the surface of his potential.
#32 New Orleans Saints, Sean Weatherspoon, OLB, Missouri, 6’1 241—Winning a Super Bowl usually means your team does not need a lot of improvement, so the Saints have the luxury of taking the best available player on their board. Weatherspoon fits into exactly what the Saints defense needs to improve. His speed and athleticism permits defensive coordinator Gregg Williams to bring even more heat from his linebackers. His athleticism creates more turnovers from a position that was considered to just be solid. With Scott Fujita being a free agent, Weatherspoon can come in from day one and start. Actually, Weatherspoon is an upgrade with his speed and natural ability to get to the quarterback and close in on a running back. This makes a ton of sense for the Saints and is excellent value this late in the first round.

1 comment:

  1. It is crazy to think how many high DT and DE will be picked this year. If I am pretty set on the defensive line I would try and trade out of the first round and into the early second round to try and start picking up multiple players at other positions, I think we are going to see some great second round picks this year. By the way I think the first 5 picks are pretty easy but it seems like you did a pretty good job on the back end of the first round, nice to see you keep focus through the end.