Mock Draft – February 12th

Written by Shane Hallam on February 12, 2010


The Senior Bowl evaluations are complete and the Combine is coming up soon. Our newest contributor, Shane Hallam, takes you through his latest first round mock as draft season is now in full swing!

1. St. Louis Rams

Ndamukong Suh – DT – Nebraska

Ndamukong Suh had to build a new trophy shelf after winning the Outland Trophy, Lombardi, Bednarik, and Nagurski Award.  As he mauled interior linemen and wrestled QBs to the ground, Ndamukong Suh has vaulted his way to being a possible #1 pick in the NFL draft.  The St. Louis Rams could look one of two ways at this pick.  They can take Suh, the most dominant defensive player in this draft, or if they fall in love with a QB like Sam Bradford or Jimmy Clausen, that position is a possibility.  Some out there think they will avoid Suh with a lot of money tied up in defensive linemen Chris Long and Adam Carriker, but it is looking like the Rams address the QB position via FA or trade, which leaves them with Suh or Oklahoma DT Gerald McCoy.

Scouting Report

2. Detroit Lions

Gerald McCoy – DT – Oklahoma

With all of the focus on Ndamukong Suh, many are overlooking a Defensive Tackle who is rated just as highly in Gerald McCoy.  An extremely stout player against the run who can also provide some pass rush up the middle, McCoy would provide an instant upgrade for the Detroit Lions defense.  Though Detroit has many needs ranging from an elite LT to a RB to a Corner, a big body in the middle of the defense could really change this team for the better. One of the two top DTs is a near slam dunk for the Lions, though they could opt for one of the top LTs in Anthony Davis or Russell Okung if their prime goal is to protect QB Matthew Stafford.


3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Eric Berry – S – Tennessee

There is no secret of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers love for Gerald McCoy, and if he doesn’t fall to three, there is sure to be disappointment.  If a DT is not available, the Bucs are still likely to bolster their defense.  One impact player would be Safety Eric Berry from Tennessee who is being compared to the late Sean Taylor as an NFL prospect.  Berry adjusts his game to whatever his team needs.  Whether it be getting in the box to lay the lumber on runners or playing center field and reading quarterbacks.  Though Safety isn’t the largest need for the Bucs, getting a gamechanger to pair with emerging star Aqib Talib could give Tampa a nasty secondary for years to come.  The Bucs could look for a major offensive weapon here in WR Dez Bryant if they wanted to as well.

4. Washington Redskins

Sam Bradford – QB – Oklahoma

With rumors coming out from Washington that Shannahan is excited and ready to draft a QB and develop him, it is looking more likely that the Skins will take a chance on either Sam Bradford or Jimmy Clausen at #4 overall.  If both are available, there is a definite question of which fits Shannahan’s coaching philosophy more.  He likes players who can roll out of the pocket and make sharp accurate throws.  Neither of these two quite fit that bill, but it looks likely that Sam Bradford is the higher rated QB in NFL circles.  Bradford’s shoulder is almost done with recovery, and he will throw at his pro day to show off his arm.  If Bruce Allen and Shannahan like what they see, they could lean toward Bradford.  The other big area that needs addressing is offensive line after Chris Samuels injuries have caught up with him, so the Skins may opt for Offensive Tackles Anthony Davis from Rutgers or Russell Okung from Oklahoma State.

5. Kansas City Chiefs

Rolando McClain – LB – Alabama

If the top four shakes out the way it has, I expect the Chiefs may try to move down and pick up some extra picks instead of reaching for the player they want.  Last year, the Chiefs attempted to move down before picking up DE Tyson Jackson.  This year, they may reach if they have to for Linebacker Rolando McClain if no move is available.  Inside Linebackers just don’t go this high.  Even some of the best in the NFL (Jerod Mayo, Patrick Willis, etc,) were nowhere close to Top 5 picks, but Scott Pioli has reached a bit when he loves a prospect.  This doesn’t mean that Rolando McClain isn’t talented however.  He has very little flaws, great lateral movement, and has excellent technique when tackling.  He would be a perfect fit for a 3-4 defense inside and provide a Patrick Willis type of impact for a team.  If Eric Berry falls here, the Chiefs may want to upgrade one of their weakest positions with him, or build their offensive line more with an Offensive Tackle.

6. Seattle Seahawks

Anthony Davis – OT – Rutgers

With Walter Jones announcing his likely retirement, the Left Tackle position is in a state of emergency for the Seahawks.  Even if Pete Carroll wanted to grab a young signal caller, it likely would not help without protection up front for him.  There is a debate looming about who the best offensive tackle in this draft is, Anthony Davis or Oklahoma State’s Russell Okung.  Okung is a bit worse in run protection and sometimes lacks the punch a LT needs, but Davis is a bit more raw with more upside.  Teams will ultimately take Davis for his upside, and he would be an excellent fit in a place like Seattle that is in a rebuilding mode.  The Seahawks could opt for Jimmy Clausen, a player Pete Carroll had plenty of looks at when facing off against Notre Dame.

7. Cleveland Browns

Joe Haden – CB – Florida

The Browns haven’t been secretive about their love for top cornerback Joe Haden.  Where there is this much smoke, there almost usually is some fire.  Haden picked the perfect season to opt for the NFL draft since there is no other corner in this draft even close to his skill level.  Haden has the potential to be a Darrelle Revis type of corner with his speed, athleticism, and discipline at the position.  The Browns have a solid corner in Eric Wright, but need a true #1 guy at the position.  This can allow an increased pass rush and more focus on playing WRs in man for Cleveland, which can lead to a better defense overall.  Cleveland could also look at a pass rusher like Georgia Tech’s Derrick Morgan or Texas’ Sergio Kindle (though don’t be surprised if they are the team to land Julius Peppers).  They may even pull the trigger on Oklahoma State WR Dez Bryant to get an actual #1 WR.

8. Oakland Raiders

Jason Pierre-Paul – DE – South Florida

Raiders fans always get angry when Mock Drafts cite Al Davis’ love for athleticism and speed.  The fact of the matter is, we are trying to predict the NFL draft and have to look at a team’s history to do so.  Despite this love by Mr. Davis, the Raiders rarely pick a position that isn’t a need.  One big need this season is defensive end.  Jason Pierre-Paul is a player sure to wow at the combine and convince teams he has Top Ten potential.  JPP has only played one year of Division 1 football after he moved from Community College to USF this past season.  With a gigantic wingspan, tons of speed pass rush moves, and a lot more potential, he could be the first pass rusher off the board.  Seems like an ideal fit for the Raiders.  I also wouldn’t be surprised if they take other elite athletic specimens like USC Safety Taylor Mays or Defensive End Everson Griffen.

9. Buffalo Bills

Jimmy Clausen- QB – Notre Dame

Chan Gailey is taking over a Bills Offense where Trent Edwards or Ryan Fitzpatrick won’t cut it as NFL Quarterbacks.  If one of the two top QBs fall to 9, it would be difficult for the Bills to pass on one.  Unless they trade for a player like Michael Vick, this is a great fit at 9.  Jimmy Clausen has been groomed for draft day since he was in middle school.  He can make most NFL throws, has played in a pro system, and is very confident in his abilities.  Clausen is the type that does nothing amazingly well, but he seems to do everything good.  Despite not winning the big games at Notre Dame, teams still like his leadership as well.  If neither QB is available, the Bills could also take another offensive weapon in Oklahoma State WR Dez Bryant.

10. Denver Broncos (from Chicago)

Dez Bryant – WR – Oklahoma State

This pick is contingent on one thing, Brandon Marshall being ushered out of town.  If he is gone, the Broncos desperately need a playmaker at WR.  Eddie Royal took a huge step back in his second year, and there is very little depth behind him.  Dez Bryant is a surefire Top 10 pick, and a better a prospect than last year’s Michael Crabtree.  He has great speed, runs excellent routes, and uses his body very well.  The worries about him being suspended and not playing most of his senior season are few and far between.  A true #1 talent at WR, Dez Bryant is heads and tails above the rest of this WR class.  Other options for the Broncos could be a LB like Rolando McClain or Georgia Tech’s Derrick Morgan. 

11. Jacksonville Jaguars

Derrick Morgan – DE – Georgia Tech

The Jaguars aren’t going to take Tim Tebow at #11 overall.  Even if they really want him, Jacksonville will trade back into the first or second round to nab him.  The position that lacked the most production for Jacksonville was their pass rushers.  2008 draft picks of Derrick Harvey and Quentin Groves haven’t made any impact, so it is time to move on.  Derrick Morgan has been one of the most productive pass rushers in this draft who has shown a knack for getting to the QB.  He uses a variety of power and speed rushing moves and has been cited by scouts as having Top 5 talent.  It would be an excellent fit for the Jaguars and perhaps can help bolster their pass defense.  The Jaguars could also look for an interior lineman like UCLA DT Brian Price or LB like Rolando McClain.

12. Miami Dolphins

Sergio Kindle – OLB – Texas

Joey Porter has been running his mouth and is likely to be cut.  There is not much pass rush coming from the other side of the LB corp, so it is a definite need for the Miami Dolphins.  A perfect fit for the Dolphins defense is pass rusher Sergio Kindle from the Texas Longhorns.  Kindle had a super productive junior year then returned as a senior where he didn’t quite live up to the hype statistically.  That being said, Kindle was still a monster pass rusher, getting into the backfield and hurrying opposing quarterbacks.  He is the type of player Bill Parcells loves and should find a starting spot on the Fins D.  Another possibility is an upgrade in NT as Coach Tony Sparano coached two great Nose Tackles in the Senior Bowl in Alabama’s Terrence Cody and Tennessee’s Dan Williams.

13. San Francisco 49ers

Russell Okung – OT – Oklahoma State

One major area of concern for the 49ers is the offensive line and their ability to protect their QB.  LT Joe Staley has been solid, but they need to upgrade the RT position and interior linemen.  One way to do this is to draft a big time OT and move either Staley or the newly acquired to the right tackle position.  Russell Okung is a potential Top 5 pick who would be a clear steal at #13 for the 49ers.  Okung could fit at left or right tackle and shows some excellent footwork as a pass protector.  He could have been a Top 15 pick last year, but opted to come back for his senior season.  If he performs well at the combine, the 49ers may never have a shot at him.  San Francisco could also take a playmaker like Clemson RB CJ Spiller.   

14. Seattle Seahawks (from Denver)

C.J. Spiller – RB – Clemson

The Seahawks offense felt so bland last year with little to no playmakers and often disappearing for games at a time.  One position Pete Carroll always seemed to have at USC was an electric playmaker at the RB position who had speed, hands, and could run away from defenses.  This is the description of the top RB prospect in this draft, CJ Spiller.  The team that drafts Spiller upgrades their team in two ways.  First, they get an instant Top 5 NFL return man who could turn a team like Seattle (who has not had a Kick Return or Punt Return for a TD in two years,) and make them a top return team.  Along with that, he can be an explosive runner who hits the edge, catches the ball, and can even run up the gut.  Many scouts are citing CJ Spiller as a Top 5 prospect, but he may fall due to a lack of need at RB.  Pete Carroll may also opt to take “his guy” in Safety Taylor Mays out of USC.

Scouting Report

15. New York Giants

Brian Price – DT – UCLA

By their standards, the New York Giants had an extremely disappointing year.  They were middle of the pack on defense against both the run and pass and should be looking for a defensive upgrade, especially since they have a young offense that just needs time more than another rookie.  One player the Giants have shown interest in is Defensive Tackle Brian Price.  The Giants even sent a scout to the Bruins Bowl Game solely to watch Price in action.  With uncertainty at a number of their defensive linemen (Osi Umenyiora, Barry Coefield, Fred Robbins, etc,) a defensive tackle could be a good addition.  Price has a ton of pass rushing ability and often required a double team at the college level.  With a mean streak a mile wide, Price would be a great fit in New York.  The Giants could also look for an outside linebacker like Missouri’s Sean Weatherspoon or a Safety like USC’s Taylor Mays.

16. San Francisco 49ers (from Carolina) *

Everson Griffen – DE – USC

With a second first round pick, the 49ers can address both offense and defense and instantly upgrade their team.  After making a move on the offensive line, the next area of the team that needs help is the pass rush.  Manny Lawson has been hot and cold, while Parys Haralson hasn’t exactly lived up to expectations either.  One player who could help the 49ers is athletic freak, USC DE Everson Griffen.  Though Griffen is likely a bit lower on team’s draft boards right now, there is little doubt that he will soar up boards after showing his athleticism at the combine.  Griffen is small enough to move to OLB, or could even bulk up a little bit and contribute for the 49ers as a 3-4 DE.  Either way, a starting niche should be found for Griffen in a 49er uniform.  The 49ers could also opt for USC Safety Taylor Mays to improve their secondary.


Shane Hallam

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