|Friday, April 16, 2010
By Perry Biggerstaff
SteelersFever.com Guest Columnist
1. St. Louis Rams – QB Sam Bradford, Oklahoma
TEAM NEEDS: QB, DE, DT, OG, CB, WR
It looks like everyone is jumping on the Sam Bradford bandwagon. I predicted very early that the Rams would pass on Suh and build their team around a Franchise QB. I think that Clausen might be more NFL ready, but Bradford has the higher ceiling and there is no doubt that the Rams seem enamored with the Oklahoma product. Bradford completed an impressive 67.6 percent of his passes in college with 88 TDs and only 16 interceptions.
2. Detroit Lions – DT Ndamukong Suh, Nebraska
TEAM NEEDS: DT, CB, DE, LT, OG, WR, OL DEPTH
Some experts are predicting that the Lions might pass on Suh due to their signing defensive tackle Corey Williams. I think that there are several reasons why the Lions will stick with the Defensive Tackle from Nebraska. Suh is the best player in this draft and would bring a level of excitement to a franchise that desperately needs it. He is also a better DT than Williams but more importantly is versatile enough to either play beside Williams in a revamped defensive line or fill in at DE if needed.
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – DT Gerald McCoy, Oklahoma
TEAM NEEDS: DT, DE, WR, CB, S, OL DEPTH
No change here. McCoy is a 6-3 and 300 pound, prototypical 3 technique who will bring a tremendous presence to the Bucs defensive front. He is a three year starter with 33 career TFL and 14.5 sacks. If there is anything that differentiates McCoy from Suh, it’s McCoy’s lunch pail attitude and his willingness to be a leader on the field.
4. Washington Redskins – OT Russell Okung, Oklahoma State
TEAM NEEDS: OT, QB, SLB, RB, OG, C
There are a couple of teams that will control the direction of this draft and Washington is one of them. They could very well go QB at this slot and throw a wrench into the rest of the team’s draft boards but I still believe that they will find a replacement for retired OT Chris Samuels. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Redskins draft a QB in the first 3 rounds, but whoever is going to be steering this teams will need someone protecting their blind side.
5. Kansas City Chiefs – OT Bryan Bulaga, Iowa
TEAM NEEDS: OT, OG, 3-4 OLB, WR, 3-4 NT, C, S
Kansas City needs to move Brandon Albert to his more natural Guard position by drafting a true LT. By doing so will upgrade their O-line at two positions. Bulaga is outstanding as a run blocker and as a pass blocker. Some teams might be leery of his diagnosed thyroid condition, but every there is every indication that it is completely controlled.
6. Seattle Seahawks – OT Trent Williams, Oklahoma
TEAM NEEDS: LT, OG, QB, RB, S, DL
I think that the Seahawks will realize that they can’t afford to wait until pick #14 to grab a premier OT. As usual, there will be a run on offensive tackles early in the draft and Seattle will have to take Williams here to ensure that they can upgrade the position. If Clausen is still available they may draft him and take the unlikely gamble that an OT somehow falls to them with their second 1st round pick.
7. Cleveland Browns – CB Joe Haden, Florida
TEAM NEEDS: RT, 3-4 DE, ILB, CB, WR, S, TE
Haden answered all the skeptics with a very good forty time at his pro day and by doing so has placed himself back in the top 10. Some mock drafts have Eric Berry at this slot, but conventional wisdom says that you always draft a blue chip CB over a blue chip Safety.
8. Oakland Raiders – OT Bruce Campbell, Maryland
TEAM NEEDS: 4-3 NT, DE, OT, RG, CB, LB, QB
I want desperately to put Anthony Davis in this slot, but I can’t get past Al Davis’s propensity to draft players on physical attributes alone. That being said, I think the Raiders will pick up combine hero Bruce Campbell. The good news for Raiders fans is that the Maryland OT will end up being a very serviceable player.
9. Buffalo Bills – QB Jimmy Clausen, Notre Dame
TEAM NEEDS: QB, LT, DT, OLB, WR, OL DEPTH
I think that the Bills may be one of the front runners in the Donovan McNabb sweepstakes and this pick would change if they pick up the Eagles aging but effective QB. If not, they will go with the Notre Dame QB who will not only start, but upgrade the position on day one.
10. Jacksonville Jaguars – SS/FS Eric Berry, Tennessee
TEAM NEEDS: DE, OG, S, DT, C, WR
With the signing of DE Aaron Kampman, the Jags have addressed their need to upgrade an anemic pass rush. Now they can focus on drafting Safety Eric Berry, who is a steal at no. 10. Jacksonville gets nothing less than a pro-bowl caliber safety that will man the position for the next several years.
11. Denver Broncos – ILB Rolando McClain, Alabama
TEAM NEEDS: DT, S, OT, MLB, CB DEPTH
Dan Williams would have been the pick here if not for the Broncos signing ex-Charger NT Jamal Williams. Now the Broncos can take inside thumper Rolando McClain. McClain is a huge inside linebacker (6-4 260 pounds) who is said to have outstanding football intelligence. Given a year or two and McClain will be making the defensive calls on the field.
12. Miami Dolphins – OLB Brandon Graham, Michigan
TEAM NEEDS: 3-4 NT, 3-4 OLB, 3-4 ILB, WR, S, OL DEPTH
Brandon Graham has an astonishing 56 career TFL with 29.5 sacks and 8 forced fumbles. Parcells LOVES to draft linebackers in the first round. NT might also be a need, but all things being equal the Dolphins will have trouble passing on Graham’s obvious talent and his ability to fill a need in the Dolphins defense.
13. San Francisco 49ers – OT Anthony Davis, Rutgers
TEAM NEEDS: OT, CB, OG, DE/OLB, S, 3-4 NT
The 49ers tried to fill the right tackle spot with Marvel Smith who couldn’t get on the field due to back problems. Tony Pashos tried to fill in but was injured in week 7 and now has signed with the Browns. The 49ers draft the young OT out of Rutgers to man the right side of the line and play bookend to LT Joe Staley.
14. Seattle Seahawks – RB C.J. Spiller, Clemson
TEAM NEEDS: LT, OG, QB, RB, S, DL
This is a no brainer. The Seahawks upgraded their line with their first pick and now need to do something about their #29 ranked running game. Spiller will actually upgrade the Seahawks passing game by keeping defenders honest and closer to the line. The Clemson product is a threat to break out for a long run on any given carry.
15. New York Giants – LB Sean Weatherspoon, Missouri
TEAM NEEDS: 3-4 DE, C, 3-4 NT, OG, 3-4 ILB, WR, CB
Weatherspoon can play at any of the linebacker spots. There are mixed reviews as to whether the Missouri Linebacker is brash or self-centered, but any way you look at it, by drafting Weatherspoon you are getting a defensive player with 406 career tackles and an incredible 43.5 career TFL.
16. Tennessee Titans – WR Dez Bryant, Oklahoma State
TEAM NEEDS: DE, CB, OG, OLB, WR, OL DEPTH
Just as in past years, the WR prospects in this draft will slide a bit on draft day. Character issues are some concern but a team like the Titans will be willing to work with Bryant due to his high ceiling. Keep in mind that this is a player that recorded 1,480 yards and 19 TD’s in his last full season of play.
17. San Francisco 49ers – CB Devin McCourty, Rutgers
TEAM NEEDS: OT, CB, OG, DE/OLB, S, 3-4 NT
I think that the 49ers will take a good long look at DE/OLB Sergio Kindle, but in the end they will draft CB Devin McCourty. Though Kyle Wilson and Patrick Robinson are rated higher on most draft boards, the 49ers will see McCourty as an upgrade over Walt Harris and Dre Bly, and they will also take into consideration that McCourty comes with the additional bonus of being a superb kickoff returner…another major need for San Francisco.
18. Pittsburgh Steelers – CB Earl Thomas, Texas
TEAM NEEDS: CB, OT, FS, OG, 3-4 NT, 3-4 ILB, 3-4 OLB DEPTH
With the understanding that Pittsburgh has picked up a Safety in free agency, I still think that Thomas is the most likely player to be drafted by the Steelers. He is versatile enough to be listed as a CB on many draft sites and can fill in at either Safety position. If Dan Williams is still on the board there is a chance that he will be drafted as a future replacement for Casey Hampton, but for now I think that Pittsburgh will strengthen their most obvious weakness.
19. Atlanta Falcons – DE Derrick Morgan, Georgia Tech – DE Everson Griffen, USC
TEAM NEEDS: CB, DE, OLB, WR/TE, OL DEPTH, DT DEPTH
Kyle Wilson would have been a possibility here but the Falcons have strengthened the CB position in the off season. Look for the Falcons to upgrade a pass rush that missed when it drafted Jamaal Anderson a few years ago. They rectify that draft by taking the high energy DE out of Georgia Tech who finished last season with 18.5 TFL and 12.5 sacks.
20. Houston Texans – OG Mike Iupati, Idaho
TEAM NEEDS: OG, CB, 4-3 NT, FS, DE DEPTH, RB
The Texans struggled to run the ball last year and Chester Pitts,one of their better linemen, is shopping his skills to other teams. Mike Iupati is the best Guard in this draft and actually might be an upgrade over Pitts who will be on the wrong side of 30 when the season starts.
21. Cincinnati Bengals – DE Everson Griffen, USC
TEAM NEEDS: OG, S, TE, WR, DT, SLB
Cincinnati dealt with their lack of WR depth (sort of) with the signing of Antonio Bryant and Matt Jones. Geathers has been having trouble getting to the QB and Odom ended his season with an Achilles injury, so look for the Bengals to add a DE like Griffen who has the quick initial step and strength to put pressure on opposing QB’s.
22. New England Patriots – DT Jared Odrick, Penn State
TEAM NEEDS: 3-4 OLB, 3-4 DE, OG, ILB DEPTH, TE, WR DEPTH
Odrick is a versatile D-lineman who I anticipate to be a DE for the Patriots. If the Pats pass on him look for them to address their need at , but with the loss of Seymour and Jarvis Green, DE remains New England’s weakest position.
23. Green Bay Packers – CB Kyle Wilson, Boise State
TEAM NEEDS: LT, CB, S, DL, 3-4 OLB DEPTH, RB
I have seen Kyle Wilson drafted much higher on some mock site and in some publications. I personally think that his skill set places him near the bottom of the first round but only due to a his lack of resume in run support. The tape that I have seen leads me to believe that he…eventually…will be very adequate in that regards and will become a well rounded CB.
24. Philadelphia Eagles – DE Jason Pierre-Paul, South Florida
TEAM NEEDS: DE, FS, OG, CB depth, OLB, RB DEPTH
I usually apply to the mindset that one year wonders shouldn’t be drafted in the first round. Two years ago Pierre-Paul was playing for Fort Scott Community College. With only one year of production at a legit college, he has all the ear markings of a potential bust, but there are always teams that fall in love with these players and are willing to take the gamble. I look for the Eagles to take a chance and attempt to bolster a defensive unit that has very little DE depth outside of Trent Cole.
25. Baltimore Ravens – OLB Sergio Kindle, Texas
TEAM NEEDS: WR, CB, DE/OLB, TE, DL DEPTH
The Ravens have picked up WR’s Anquan Boldin and Dante Stallworth in free agency in an attempt to give Flacco a few targets other then Mason. There will be ample opportunity for Kindle to be drafted before this slot but the OLB slides due to character issues in regards to drunken driving charges…suspensions…and leaving the scene of an accident.
26. Arizona Cardinals – OT Charles Brown, Southern California
TEAM NEEDS: LT, ILB, OLB, OL DEPTH, CB, TE
Brown is now a fixture on most first round draft boards. Brown will man the LT position eventually, which will allow the Cardinals to leave Levi Brown on the right side. Charles Brown is a converted TE who is maybe a couple of seasons away from being an exceptional starter.
27. Dallas Cowboys – S Taylor Mays, USC
TEAM NEEDS: OT, FS, ILB, DE, CB DEPTH, OG DEPTH
The Cowboys would love for one of the top free safeties to fall to them. From all accounts, Mays much heralded deficiencies in coverage are very correctable, and his over the top athleticism and speed will make him very attractive this late in the first round.
28. San Diego Chargers – RB Ryan Mathews, Fresno State
TEAM NEEDS: RB, RT, 3-4 NT, CB, 3-4 DE, LB DEPTH
Mathews is the consensus 2nd best running back in this draft. Matthews is a versatile back with very good hands and a willingness to block if needed. He has a career 6.1 YPC average and burst on the scene last year with 1,807 yards and 19 TD’s.
29. New York Jets – NT Dan Williams, Tennessee
TEAM NEEDS: 3-4 DE, 3-4 OLB, OG, CB, WR, 3-4 NT
When NT Kris Jenkins went down last year with an injury, the Jets were exposed by their lack of depth at the position. The 31 year old Jenkins is on the third year of a five year contract which gives Dan Williams the opportunity to rotate with the veteran until he is ready to take over.
30. Minnesota Vikings – CB Patrick Robinson, Florida State
TEAM NEEDS: OG, S, CB DEPTH, QB, LB DEPTH, DL DEPTH
This pick is going to be predicated on the assumption that Favre will be the starting QB in Minnesota. If not, look for the Vikes to grab a QB here and not wait until the second round when any potential starters may be gone. With that assumption in mind, the Vikings should go with CB depth in this draft. Robinson just ran a 4.40 at his pro-day and has long been considered a solid first round pick.
31. Indianapolis Colts – DT Brian Price, UCLA
TEAM NEEDS: DT, OT, CB, OG, DE DEPTH, LB DEPTH
OT and DT are the two biggest needs for a team with very few legitimate holes. . Price had 23.5 tackles for loss and 7 sacks last year and would be an upgrade for a defensive front that has been looking for a better pass rush. If Price isn’t available , don’t be surprised if the Colts draft OC Maurkice Pouncey with this pick.
32. New Orleans Saints – DE Carlos Dunlap, Florida
TEAM NEEDS: OLB, NT, DE, C, OT DEPTH, TE DEPTH
The Saints will be looking for a DE to replace the recently released Charles Grant. Dunlap is another player with some baggage, and will need to be brought along under a watchful eye. He has great size and very good lower and upper body strength. A disciplinarian like Sean Payton might be just what Dunlap needs to maximize his potential.