By Coden Mruk
MORGANTOWN, WV - This is a three part series in which I break down the first round of the draft. This first part will analyze the drafts 1-10 picks. The predictions and analysis are my own personal opinion. I credit ESPN.com, draftdaddy.com, profootballweekly.com, footballdraftanalysis.com, Men’s Fitness, Scout.com, and draftboardinsider.com for the majority of my research.
I have seen many versions of the 1st round of this years upcoming NFL Draft. I’ve seen Suh, Mccoy (Gerald), and Bradford all projected as #1 picks. I’ve seen mocks that have as many as two running backs off the board, and as many as four wide receivers being taken round 1. I’ve seen the conservative mocks with DL and OL dominating the top 15 selections. From everything I’ve seen, it is obvious that this years first round is going to be exciting. This mock draft is due to change throughout the draft process especially after the NFL combine. This mock draft does not take in to consideration draft day trades.
#1 St. Louis Rams – Sam Bradford QB Oklahoma- Like most people, I originally had the Rams selecting Ndamukong Suh with the #1 overall pick because of his “can’t miss” draft status. After looking at the situation more closely, Sam Bradford would Make the Rams better at the most important position of the field immediately. The NFC West is up for grabs with the departure of Kurt Warner from the Cardinals. With no premiere quarterbacks in this division everyone is scrambling to address their situations. The winner could be the team who finds their quarterback first. Bradford stands tall at 6’4 weighing 225. When he was healthy he had 86 touchown passes over a two year span and probably would have been a top 5 pick had he come out last year. Don’t forget how they missed in the first round in ’08 on defensive lineman Chris Long.
#2 Detroit Lions – Ndamukong Suh DT Nebraska – With the Rams passing on Suh and the Lions looking to bolster their defensive line, Suh slips no further than #2. The Lions have shown interest in DT Gerald Mccoy from Oklahoma but Suh is the more dominant of the two on a consistent basis. Standing 6’4 and weighing in at 300 lbs. Suh has recorded 158 tackles over his last two seasons at Nebraska. That is a ridiculous number for a DT. Everyone is in agreement that this guy is a freak. He would be the right pick for a Detroit team that did make small strides on the offensive side of the ball last season with rookie QB Mathew Stafford.
#3 Tamba Bay Bucs – Gerald Mccoy DT Oklahoma – Lets face it, the Bucs were awful. I mean they were almost unwatchable. They do however have a ray of hope in their young quarterback from last year’s draft, Josh Freeman. With a couple pieces on the offense already in place look for Tampa Bay to be spending the majority of day one drafting defense. We all know a good defense can win games even if paired with a pedestrian offense, and it all starts down in the trenches. I know safety Eric Berry is a play maker and game changer but bolstering the run defense and getting a push up front should be a priority.
#4 Washington Redskins – Eric Berry S Tennessee - It’s true that Shanahan may want to bring in his own guy to play quarterback but with Bradford gone to the Rams I don’t see the skins taking Clausen with this high of a pick. Unless they feel he can really make an impact right away and would be better right now than Jason Campbell. Look for the Redskins to go best available and take Berry. Berry is a play maker with a nose for the ball and has been his whole college career. In three years he accumulated over 240 tackles, 14 interceptions, and returned those 14 picks a total just under 500 yards. The Redskins defense was a really solid unit last year despite their 4-12 record, gave up 336 points which was second in their division behind only the Dallas Cowboys. The Addition of Berry makes the Redskin’s defense a top notch squad.
#5 Kansas City Chiefs – Russell Okung OT Oklahoma St. – Kansas City seems to be stuck in a state of perpetual building as a franchise. They Made two big front office moves hiring Charlie Weiss and Romeo Cronnell to the staff. The on-field situation may be more difficult to address. Matt Cassel was brought in to be the quarterback of the future for Kansas city but has yet to see any real success. Drafting Russell Okung to play the left tackle position makes perfect sense given that current left tackle Branden Albert is actually a guard by trade. on top of that, current LG Brian Waters is turning 33 years old this week. Okung at LT, move Albert down to guard and all the sudden you have a powerful left side of the line. Okung was a two time All-American at Ok. St. and was the recipient of the 2009 Jim Parker award, given to the top offensive lineman in the country. A perfect fit to cover Cassel’s blind side and lead the way for up and coming running back Jamal Charles.
#6 Seattle Seahawks – Anthony Davis OT Rutgers – Pete Carroll’s number one concern coming in to this season is figuring out how to get the stagnant offense of the Seahawks moving. Everything was a disappointment for Seattle last season. No running back ran for more than 680 yards. T.J. Houshmandzadeh did manage to catch 79 balls but only 3 of those were touchdowns. By drafting Anthony Davis You can solidify the left side of the line immediately leading to better pass protection on the blind side and more push for the run game. Davis is a beast at 6’6 325 lbs he has the potential to play the left tackle position in the NFL for a long time, as do many of this years OL prospects. The Seahawks pick again at 14 and could take a chance on a guy like Dez Bryant or Jimmy Clausen if either of those two are still around.
#7 Cleveland Browns - Dez Bryant WR Oklahoma State – The Cleveland Browns are a really fun scenario because Mike Holmgren is in charge of all things football. Who knows what he could have up his sleeve. Dump a QB and start fresh? Maybe. Holmgren has been around football a long time and knows you need big physical play makers on the offensive side of the ball. Remember when he drafted Koren Robinson. Robinson’s draft analysis read as “Explosive breakaway threat with impressive leaping ability… Explodes coming off the line and uses his hands well to escape press coverage…Has an array of moves to elude defenders”. Sound like Dez, yeah. Plus, if you are being realistic you can not truly believe that Josh Cribbs and Muhomed Massaquoi are a good enough one two punch to ever allow the Browns to make a run at the rest of the division. You have to replace Braylon Edwards.
#8 Oakland Raiders – Rolando Mcclain LB Alabama – The Oakland Raiders beat a couple pretty good teams last season and that was in a large part because their defense really isn’t all that bad. The problem is the quarterback situation is awful and the stable of running backs has been anything but impressive. It also doesn’t help that Zack Miller continues to be the number 1 target through the air. However, this is not the pick to address the offense. You aren’t going to take a QB in the first round unless you have completely given up on Jamarcus Russell. The Raiders just used a top ten pick last year on Heyward Bey and Darren Mcfadden the year before that and you do have to let those two continue to develop on by being on the field. What Rolando Mcclain brings to the Raiders is instant production and leadership. He had 105 tackles last season for Alabama and was the captain for the #1 defensive unit in the country. It doesn’t hurt that he’s a beast and Al Davis loves “freaks”. Standing at 6’4 Mcclain is a solid 260 lbs. He has the ability to move left to right and stuff the middle.
#9 Buffalo Bills – Jimmy Clausen QB Notre Dame – The New York Jets found their QB of the future in last years first round and I expect the Bills to follow suit. They are the last team in the division looking for a quarterback and need one now if they want to seriously compete in the next 3-5 years. Clausen is considered somewhat of an athletic freak just like Quinn before him and his showing at this years combine could be exactly what the Bill’s front office needs to pull the trigger. He may be able to step in immediately coming from a pro style offense under Charlie Weiss. Clausen is built to play in the NFL at 6’3 225. Last year at Notre Dame he completed his passes at a 68% clip and threw 28 touchdowns to only 4 INTs.
#10 Denver Broncos – Mike Iupati OG Idaho – The Denver Broncos are short on play makers without Brandon Marshall in the lineup but with Dez Bryant off the board there is not a receiver available worth the #10 pick. Like always they do have a young stable of running backs and will use this pick to get Knowshon and company out and running. Iupati is a people mover at 6’6 330 lbs. He plays gaurd and would be an awesome fit next to Ryan Clady on the left side of the line. Iupati was a 2009 All-American.
Thank you for reading and I appreciate any and all comments. For an in-deptch look in to the rest of the first round check out parts 2 and 3 of this series by clicking on the links below.