I usually get out the first NFL mock draft of the year by mid-January. So this has been a long time coming, but I feel more educated about this mock than most. After all, the NFL’s annual prospect analysis event (the combine) is over and free agency already has tipped the hands of a few teams.
No more words, just mock draft time. Feel free to scrutinize in the comments:
1. The St. Louis Rams select … Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma.
Hard to pass on the face-of-the-franchise when opportunity and need present themselves. Bradford is a smart, strong kid who might be perfect for high-scoring, indoor football. The Greatest Show on Turf still could be quite a few seasons away.
2. The Detroit Lions select … Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska.
A significant amount of focus has been placed on the defensive side of the ball already this offseason by the Lions, especially to the defensive line (Kyle Vanden Bosch, Corey Williams). It stands to reason that effort will be continued in the draft by taking arguably the best player of any available in 2010.
3. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers select … Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma.
Lots of holes to fill on this team and the middle of the defensive line is not a bad place to start. McCoy should be able to supplant last year’s starter Ryan Sims by the time he signs his rookie contract.
4. The Washington Redskins select … Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma State.
It’s a run on prospects who played college ball in Oklahoma! Now that the Redskins have Donovan McNabb, they probably do not need to take a quarterback here. McNabb could use some protection from the O-line and Okung could help bolster that unit.
5. The Kansas City Chiefs select … Eric Berry, S, Tennessee.
Best player available and fills a need as well. Berry should help improve a pass defense that ranked near the bottom of the NFL last season and clearly is the best at his position in this draft class.
6. The Seattle Seahawks select … C.J. Spiller, RB, Clemson.
Seattle has two picks in the first round of this year’s draft, and it would not surprise me to see both picks to go toward improving the offensive side of the ball. Not that the defense was great last year, but in the NFC West you can get away with a lackluster defense right now. But you cannot win that division with an anemic offense.
7. The Cleveland Browns select … Joe Haden, CB, Florida.
If you really never can have enough cornerbacks, Haden could be the pick. Despite acquiring Sheldon Brown via trade this week, the Browns have been linked with Haden all spring.
8. The Oakland Raiders select … Bryan Bulaga, OT, Iowa.
And the Oakland Raiders shock everyone by (A) doing something normal and (B) not taking the fastest player at his position. A boring but safe pick may be what the doctor ordered in Oakland after years and years of anything-but-boring-or-safe picks.
9. The Buffalo Bills select … Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame.
Gone are Terrell Owens and Josh Reed. The Bills need offense in a bad way at several positions: Quarterback, wide receiver, offensive tackle. More than anything else, however, the Bills need a new start and a new face-of-the-franchise.
10. The Jacksonville Jaguars select … Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State.
No, the Jags are not going to take Florida quarterback Tim Tebow with the No. 10 overall selection. While he would sell tickets and they make take him later in the draft, Bryant is the highest profile offensive player left on the board and should account for some ticket sales, as well.