January 26, 2010

GBN: I hope you don't mind, but I had some time and the ambition for some comments on your latest mock. For the record, I enjoy your site quite a bit and the work you put into it. Thanks for the effort.

#    Team    Player            POS    School

1 St. Louis Ndamukong Suh DT Nebraska
Could not blame the Rams for this pick, as he's been talked about being the best DL seen in college in a long time. I tend to think you should never pass up a franchise QB if you don't already have one (and the Rams don't). But maybe they think they can get one more season from Bulger, and might get Locker next year. Or Mallett. Obviously though, either Suh or Clausen would instantly make the Rams a better team, so can't knock them either way.

2 Detroit *Gerald McCoy DT Oklahoma
They got their franchise QB last year, so McCoy is an instant upgrade over pretty much anyone on their DL this past season. If they get Suh, then they get excited. If they have to "settle" for McCoy, that's fine too.

3 Tampa Bay *Derrick Morgan DE Georgia Tech
I've been going back and forth on this pick in this exact scenario (Suh and McCoy gone). Do they go with Eric Berry and get a DB playmaker? Do they grab a LT with Okung? Or do they continue rebuilding along the DL? Derrick Morgan was a guy I had not put this high in the draft, but the more I read about him, the more I do not feel this would be a reach by the Bucs. He fits a 4-3 defense very well at DE. And they need that. I think they wouldn't go wrong with either Morgan or Berry. But I think grabbing Okung or another OT might be a mistake here, as they can get a capable OT in the 2nd if they really want one.

4 Washington *Jimmy Clausen QB Notre Dame

Again, not sure how I feel about this path by the Redskins either. A lot of people are saying that Shanny will want his "own" QB. But the blocking for them sucked last year, so Okung makes sense too. I also feel that they sunk enough money into the defense last year (Haynesworth and Orakpo) and will stay on offense for this pick. Again, this pick probably goes back to the wisdom that getting a franchise QB only comes along so often, so you should do it.

5 Kansas City *Eric Berry SS Tennessee
This pick might serve the Chefs better if they went OT, but the honest truth is that they seriously need playmakers on both sides. And Eric Berry fits that description more than almost any other player in this draft. Whether on returns or at safety, this guy is by (I think) BPA at this pick. Plus he fills a requirement for them in getting impact players. Especially if they still don't think LB Derrick Johnson fits that category.

6 Seattle *Sam Bradford QB Oklahoma
I've been curious what kind of offense Carroll might run in Seattle. This pick would help him in 2011, for sure, as I doubt Bradford would step in immediately. Or rather, he wouldn't have to. He can get healthy, learn a little about a pro style offense, instead of strictly the spread formation. And I think he can easily make that transition too. I would think this would make a great start to Seattle's draft this year.

7 Cleveland *Carlos Dunlap DE Florida
Ugh. No clue how to handicap this guy. All the measurables, so little of the top flight effort. If he comes to play every game, he would be a steal here for a team that needs DL help outside Shaun Rogers. But I simply can't get behind Carlos Dunlap being a long term impact player in the NFL. Not yet anyway.

8 Oakland *Joe Haden CB Florida
If Haden fell to this pick, the Raiders would HAVE TO pick him. Right? Or would this be too obvious for Old Al? With the ongoing transition of the NFL from a running league to a passing league, having Haden and Asomugha would be a killer advantage for the Raiders defense.

9 Buffalo Russell Okung OT Oklahoma State
This is another one of those "Does it make too much sense?" picks. They have sucked on OL since Peters was traded. And they know it. They also know that no matter who the QB is, they can't play with the current OL. If Buffalo passed on Okung, they would (and should) be doomed to pick this high again next year.

10 Denver (from Chicago) *Dez Bryant WR Oklahoma State
I am a lifelong Broncos fan, so when I say this, consider that fact. This picks makes little sense when you consider who is making the picks. Xanders and McDaniels both come from backgrounds (McD especially) where WRs are not first round picks for the team. If and when they lose Marshall, I still say this makes no sense. Everyone else has them taking McClain here. So going a different direction is fine. They have a HUGE need at interior OL, but Iupati doesn't grade out this high. Pouncey doesn't either. With that in mind, it makes far more sense to pick on defense. So either McClain (the "vanilla" pick but a good one) or even Terrance Cody at NT make sense. If they follow the BPA path, as I suspect they will, then they will likely take McClain if he's there, as he does grade out as probably the best at this pick.

11 Jacksonville *Jason Pierre-Paul DE South Florida
I like the fact that Tebow is NOT this pick. I personally have Spiller at this pick for the Jags. But only because I think they realize they need another playmaker on offense. However, their pass rush has been utterly ordinary and this pick would absolutely help that.

12 Miami *Rolando McClain LB Alabama
Have to imagine that if McClain is here, then Parcells will sprint to the podium. Not that I'd want to see that personally. Parcells has a long history of taking LBs in the first round (except a flop of Terry Glenn way back when), so this pick would be perfect for him.

13 San Francisco Sergio Kindle LB Texas
I've agreed with this exact pick here for a while. But I've seen quite a few mocks that have Kindle out of the 1st round. Can't understand why. The guy got his act together this past season. He fills a blatant SFO need for a rush linebacker. And has all the skills needed to work well for Singletary. The only knock on this pick would be the bad recent track record of OLB/Rush LB in a 3-4 (see NYJ, Vernon Gholston). I think this would be a great pick by them though.

14 Seattle (from Denver) *Brian Bulaga OT Iowa
Finally a replacement for Walter Jones. Kinda surprised that Bulaga is the second OT off the board. But would not argue against it either. Another possible is DE, as they got little production from that spot and are getting older. If there were a CB who graded out here, they could go that route too. But there aren't.

15 New York Giants *Earl Thomas SS Texas
This is exactly who I've got going to the Jints also. Maybe they go OL, if they think they will have a couple guys leaving, which I doubt given the possible uncapped year and the fluid FA rules. They could also use a MLB like Brandon Spikes. But I think Thomas grades out higher than Spikes overall.

16 Tennessee *Brian Price DT UCLA
Like this pick also, as they simply were not the same defense without Haynesworth, and they are getting very old at DE. Plus they might lose one or two DEs as free agents if the CBA gets fixed.

17 San Francisco (from Carolina) Trent Williams OT Oklahoma
This makes sense, given that they need a RT on the other side of Staley. I've seen a few people project Spiller here, which at first glance is questionable. But it's the kind of screwball pick that almost starts to look conceivable. But with Glen Coffee playing so well, I kinda doubt they go RB this early. Possible pick on defense again, if they feel they need to upgrade at safety (Mays, maybe?).

18 Pittsburgh Mike Iupati OG Idaho
While I really like this pick, and think this might be their best choice, I wonder if the Stillers would go for an OG this early. I personally think he would be worth it, given how he's working out at the Senior Bowl. But they also have a huge need at DL (2/3 are over 30yo) and safety (they looked vulnerable without Polamalu). Also, CB could be an area of need if they lose one or two players, plus they are getting older there.

19 Atlanta Taylor Mays FS Southern California
Atlanta simply needs playmakers on defense. This is a good pick for them, as Mays hits hard, but tackling could be an issue for him. Some people are saying he was exposed without the other stars from the 2008 defense. I still think he can be an effective safety in the NFL, especially at his size and with his speed.

20 Houston C.J. Spiller RB Clemson
Wow. I really had never considered Spiller here. Mostly because I had him at either Jax or SFO earlier. Is Spiller enough of a difference from Slaton to warrant this pick? That might be my only question. Plus their need on DL and CB might dictate a pick there. Could not argue if they did pick Spiller though.

21 Cincinnati *Golden Tate WR Notre Dame
WR and DL seem to be the spots they SHOULD focus on here. Who knows if they agree. They weren't the same defense after a couple DL injuries this year. And they certainly need another WR, so they can get back to a more balanced offense and away from running so much.

22 New England Ricky Sapp DE Clemson
This was probably the one mock pick I actually really disagreed with. For two reasons. First, Belichick himself has actually said it's hard to pick a rookie for the rush LB spot in the 3-4 defense. Granted, they have transitioned to a hybrid defense now, so things have changed a little. But a rush LB this early would seem to contradict Bill's stated thesis. And they still have three 2nd rounders too. Second, while the Pats really need LBs, I would think they would go with Spikes first or even Jerry Hughes (whom you have falling out of the 1st round).

23 Green Bay *Anthony Davis OT Rutgers
Can not argue at all about this pick. Somebody else might mention the ages of their CBs, but the OL was really exposed against Arizona. Makes perfect sense.

24 Philadelphia Brandon Spikes LB Florida
Like this pick too, as I think it allows them to keep Witherspoon on the outside, and replaces Trotter (who ended the season as their MLB). However, they seemed to have a greater need at DE. Plus, Stewart Bradley seemed to be fine at MLB until he got hurt. Having said that, upgrading to Spikes would probably be worth it for them.

25 Baltimore *Damian Williams WR Southern California
Like this pick, although CB might be an even greater need for them. Depends on whether they think any CB grades out high enough for this pick, which seems iffy. Mark Sanchez said something about Damian Williams like he was the most NFL ready WR in terms of route running, hands, etc. From what I saw I agreed. And let's be honest, their best WR was well over 30yo and actually retired before last season. Enough said.

26 Arizona Brandon Graham DE Michigan
Unless the Cards are shifting back to a 4-3 defense, I am unsure how Graham can fit in here. He's 270 pounds, and I think has played with his hand on the ground his whole college career. Maybe I'm wrong on that though. Maybe Graham can shift to OLB in a 3-4 defense. I'm just not so sure about that.

27 Dallas *Bruce Campbell OT Maryland
This is the first time I've seen the Cowboys going OT with this pick. While I suspect they have some greater needs on DL, I do like this pick. If only because their push on the OL last season seemed to be far less than we've seen from them in years past.

28 San Diego *Jonathan Dwyer RB Georgia Tech
We all know LT is gone next season. Or so it seems. I like this as his obvious replacement as early as next season.

29 New York Jets *Arrelious Benn WR Illinois
Braylon Edwards certainly drops too many passes. But so has Benn in college. It's either WR or DL for the Yets, IMO. The DL is getting older for them. Plus they might need an OLB or two sooner than later, especially since they whiffed on Gholston.

30 Minnesota Colt McCoy QB Texas
Not sure what to say here. I think they need to replace the right side of their OL. But you can't argue with them if they pick QB here either. DT to replace the aging Williamses would make sense too. I think the Saints exposed how to beat the Vikes defense in the start of the game this weekend --- play hurry up a lot in the first half and get the DTs tired. And when Jimmy Kennedy is your best depth at DT, then you had better start working on that spot. But they would like McCoy in Minny if they did pick him here.

31 Indianapolis Jared Odrick DT Penn State
This pick certainly fits with the idea that they need to replace a couple guys on DL. And this would continue their work in the middle of the 2009 draft. A few people are saying they need to work on rebuilding OL at this point. But I like the DL pick here for them, since they face a bigger problem there sooner than later.

32 New Orleans *Everson Griffin DE Southern California
(Disclaimer: I'm a Saints fane for the next two weeks, so I took the liberty of switching picks 31 & 32)
I've seen more than a few people say that Griffin has huge bust potential because he takes too many plays off. And while that certainly seemed to be the case when I watched him (only a couple times, mind you), the Saints need to improve their pass rush opposite Will Smith. And Charles Grant seems like to be gone soon. The only other spot I could really see for them here would be OLB.

James K.

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