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1. St. Louis: Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma
The Rams are in desperate need of a quarterback, and a franchise turn around. They love Bradford’s accuracy, and appear unafraid by his transition to playing under center as opposed to the shotgun, and past arm injuries.
2. Detroit: Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska
The Lions have struggled on defense for some time, but have been worse in the past few years without Shaun Rogers. They’re on the path to improvement, and Suh is an excellent fit to anchor the center of their defensive line.
3. Tampa Bay: Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma
McCoy is a perfect fit in Tampa and will be hard to pass up. He’s got terrible positional value (as did Suh at No. 2 overall), but he’s an elite level talent. They’ll look at Russell Okung for a long time though.
4. Washington: Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma State
Three of the top four picks played in the state of Oklahoma. Okung has scheme-versatility, and is an elite-level prospect. The ‘skins will take a look at Trent Williams, but Mike Shanahan’s zone-blocking scheme is less demanding than Alex Gibbs’.
5. Kansas City: Dan Williams, NT, Tennessee
Scott Pioli, the Chiefs GM, has a “build-from-the-trenches” mentality, but really only applies that to defense until the last part of the first round and later rounds. An offensive lineman would be ideal, but nose tackle fits Pioli’s draft history.
6. Seattle: Eric Berry, S, Tennessee
If it weren’t for the complete overhaul necessary in Seattle, safety would be the longest, most pressing need. Berry fits the new prototype for safeties, being able to step up and cover wide receivers in three and four receiver sets.
7. Cleveland: Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State
Eric Mangini is a lame duck coach, and while the Browns need a ton of help on defense, Mike Holmgren is far from shy about drafting players with attitude problems (Koren Robinson) and trying to mold them. Bryant steps in where Braylon Edwards left off, with better hands.
8. Oakland: Mike Iupati, OL, Idaho
Word is that Al Davis likes the Idaho product. He’ll have to play tackle in Oakland, and can probably be successful, but he’ll have incentive to do so playing to his right in Robert Gallery. He’ll be Darren McFadden’s best friend and Jamarcus Russell’s worst enemy.
9. Buffalo: Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame
The Bills seem unsatisfied with Trent Edwards and appear scared to draft an offensive tackle, still reeling from the Mike Williams bust in 2002. Clausen is more pro-ready than Sam Bradford, though he may not fit Chan Gailey’s ideals to perfection.
10. Jacksonville: Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech
Apart from the Jags need to find a way to get Tim Tebow to sell tickets, their next most glaring need is at defensive end, even with Aaron Kampmann in town. Morgan has a limited ceiling with only good, not great athletic ability, but he’ll be able to play on all downs.
11. Denver – from Chicago: Joe Haden, CB, Florida
The Broncos need help across from Champ Bailey, and someone to step in when Bailey eventually retires. If Dez Bryant was on the board, he’d get a look, but he’s not in this mock draft.
12. Miami: C.J. Spiller, RB, Clemson
Ronnie Brown is a step away from suspension, after getting a DUI in the offseason, and Ricky Williams continues to age. Spiller offers a dynamic weapon for Chad Henne, who just got Brandon Marshall as part of his arsenal.
13. San Francisco: Brian Bulaga, OL, Iowa
Bulaga has the grit that Mike Singletary covets, and probably steps in a right tackle immediately. If he doesn’t stick there he can play either guard position. Either way, Bulaga probably blows holes open for a formidable two-headed monster in Frank Gore and Glen Coffee.
14. Seattle – from Denver: Trent Williams, OT, Oklahoma
Williams has a strange draft range. He could go fourth, as he fits a zone-blocking scheme to perfection, but may struggle at left tackle in the running game in other schemes. The Seahawks, and everybody else would consider this a steal.
15. New York Giants: Carlos Dunlap, DL, Florida
Antonio Pierce is gone, and a lot of draftniks have a linebacker here, apart from his character concerns, Dunlap is a perfect fit in New York. The Giants like lineman who can play multiple positions on the line for different downs, and Dunlap can move inside on pass downs.
16. Tennessee: Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, South Florida
A lot of the JPP hype has calmed down as the offseason has gone on, but he remains a viable defensive end prospect. Maturity issues and a limited track record will hurt him, but the Titans love great athletes, especially one akin to a young Jevon Kearse.
17. San Francisco – from Carolina: Taylor Mays, S, USC
Last year Mays was considered a possibility for the top five. A year later, his coverage skills have been exposed, and he’s fallen to the mid-late first round on most draftnik boards. Singletary will love his leadership skills and winning background.
18. Pittsburgh: Golden Tate, WR, Notre Dame
The Steelers reach on Tate here, but he gives them something they’ve been lacking since Antawn Randle El left, a gadget that keeps defenses honest, or makes them pay otherwise. He’ll also fill in well for Santonio Holmes who is a New York Jet now.
19. Atlanta: Sean Weatherspoon, LB, Missouri
The Falcons have made a commitment to rebuilding their defense in recent years. “Spoon” can step in on day one and cover sideline to sideline. In a deep first round, the Falcons are in an enviable position, where they can pay a top prospect less money than other teams.
20. Houston: Kyle Wilson, CB, Boise State
A ton of hype has surrounded Wilson, who has had an excellent offseason leading up to the draft. The Texans were disappointed by Dunta Robinson, who now resides with the Atlanta Falcons.
21. Cincinnati: Earl Thomas, S, Texas
If a team before this views Thomas as a corner, he’s going to be drafted earlier than this. Otherwise, he is an easy pick for the Bengals, who have needed secondary help for what seems like a decade. Jermaine Gresham gets consideration here.
22. New England: Jerry Hughes, OLB, TCU
The Patriots don’t draft offensive linemen or cornerbacks in the first round. Bruce Campbell is still on the board, and his potential could persuade them to do otherwise, but that didn’t stop them from passing on elite receiver prospects in the past.
23. Green Bay: Bruce Campbell, OT, Maryland
Campbell is a steal here. He’s an elite-level athlete with serious need to be coached, but in Green Bay he won’t have to step in right away. Look for Campbell, if he falls here, to be protecting Aaron Rodgers in 2011.
24. Philadelphia: Maurkice Pouncey, OL, Florida
Pouncey has garnered a lot of buzz in recent weeks. However, last year Alex Mack was considered the best center prospect in a long time, and lasted a long time. Pouncey can play guard and center, and the Eagles love to draft big bodies on either line.
25. Baltimore: Jermaine Gresham, TE, Oklahoma
The Ravens have needed to replace Todd Heap for a few years now, and are only in position to draft Gresham after he missed all of 2009 after knee surgery to repair torn cartilage. Gresham isn’t a great blocker, but he’ll give Joe Flacco another target along with Anquan Boldin.
26. Arizona: Anthony Davis, OT, Rutgers
If Ben Roethlisberger gets traded, I think this is the most likely destination. Either way, neither team is scared to risk an early pick on a suspect personality (Santonio Holmes, Calais Campbell), and Davis fits a need for both teams.
27. Dallas: Everson Griffen, DE/OLB, USC
The Cowboys have no need that can be drafted at a good value. Last year, after signing DeMarcus Ware to a contract extension worth nearly $80 million, they watched him lay limp on the field a few weeks later. They need a contingency plan.
28. San Diego: Jared Odrick, DE, Penn State
Ryan Mathews would seem to make sense here, but I think that A.J. Smith is aware of the present state of running backs, and that he’ll probably never have another Ladainian Tomlinson. Odrick fills a need, and is a pretty good value to boot.
29. New York Jets: Brian Price, DE/DT, UCLA
Price can only play end in the Jets 3-4, but he’s the type of lunch-pail guy that Rex Ryan likes. He’s a good value here, and many draftniks have him a lot higher. His pass-rush production will be limited, but he’ll take up blockers.
30. Minnesota: Devin McCourtny, CB, Rutgers
Corner isn’t Minnesota’s top need, and even if Brett Favre comes back, and with Tarvaris Jackson back, Colt McCoy will get a look here. McCourtny can step in for Antoine Winfield if age is unkind to his durability, as McCourtny can play the run well.
31. Indianapolis: Geno Atkins, DT, Georgia
Atkins has gotten a lot less ink than he deserves considering the great offseason he’s had. He fits the Indy paradigm for defensive tackles, and came to the combine bigger, faster, and more physical than expected.
32. New Orleans: Cam Thomas, NT, North Carolina
The Saints are Super Bowl champs, and played very good defense this year compared to previous years. They still allowed a lot of production on the ground, and if they feel they can bring Darren Sharper back still, they’ll have the luxury of drafting a run-stuffer.
1. St. Louis: Charles Brown, OT, USC
Alex Barron is a bust, and they’ll need someone to protect Sam Bradford.
2. Detroit: Ryan Mathews, RB, Fresno State
The Lions are a beneficiary of a deep draft. Mathews is a steal here.
3. Tampa Bay: Patrick Robinson, CB, Florida State
The Bucs need a corner and take a local product, again, at a bargain pick.
4. Kansas City: Brandon Graham, DE/OLB, Michigan
Graham is a great athlete and a steal in the top of the second round.
5. Philadelphia – from Washington: Sergio Kindle, DE/OLB, Texas
Kindle may be able to play LB in Philly, but will be a good DE.
6. Cleveland: Jahvid Best, RB, California
Jamal Lewis is done, Holmgren may not be sold on Jerome Harrison.
7. Oakland: Tim Tebow, QB, Florida
Good athlete, who with NFL coaching can be a poor man’s Rich Gannon.
8. San Diego: Terrence Cody, NT, Alabama
Replaces Jamal Williams, who is in Denver now.
9. Buffalo: Brandon LaFell, WR, LSU
Newly drafted Jimmy Clausen will need someone to throw to besides Lee Evans.
10. Tampa Bay – from Chicago: Arrellious Benn, WR, Illinois
Josh Freeman needs someone to throw to after Antonio Bryant left town.
11. Denver – from Miami: Colt McCoy, QB, Texas
Well coached, and will fit Josh McDaniels’ spread offense well.
12. New England – from Jacksonville: Roger Saffold, OT, Indiana
Best player available, and in the Patriots O-line draft range.
13. Denver: Demaryius Thomas, WR, Georgia Tech
Broncos need a replacement for Brandon Marshall.
14. New York Giants: Navarro Bowman, LB, Penn State
Steps in for Antonio Pierce, though he’d be better outside.
15. New England – from Tennessee: Dorin Dickerson, TE/H-Back, Pittsburgh
Can play in slot on all downs, could be temporary replacement for Wes Welker
16. Carolina: Vladimir Ducasse, OG, UMass
Can step in and play guard right away.
17. San Francisco: Tony Pike, QB, Cincinnati
High character, accurate arm, winning pedigree.
18. Kansas City – from Atlanta: Nate Allen, S, South Florida
Great value after passing on Eric Berry in the first round.
19. Houston: Joe McKnight, RB, USC
Experienced in ZBS, has a lot of skills.
20. Pittsburgh: Brandon Ghee, CB, Wake Forest
Fills a need, good value in middle of second round.
21. New England: Jonathan Dwyer, RB, Georgia Tech
Dwyer has effort issues, but Brandon Meriweather proved that Pats can look past character.
22. Cincinnati: Rob Gronkowski, TE, Arizona
Most complete TE in draft, fills a need.
23. Philadelphia: Donovan Warren, CB, Michigan
Formerly a first round prospect, fills in for Sheldon Brown.
24. Green Bay: Reshad Jones, S, Georgia
Packers need depth behind oft-injured Atari Bigby.
25. Baltimore: Chris Cook, CB/S, Virginia
Triangle numbers aren’t unlike Chris McAllister.
26. Arizona: Dennis Pitta, TE, BYU
Pitta is a good blocker, and can catch passes, good for whatever quarterback plays.
27. Dallas: Linval Joseph, NT, East Carolina
Very athletic for 325+ lbs, Raiders get the ink, but Jerry Jones loves athletes too.
28. Seattle – from San Diego: Ben Tate, RB, Auburn
Explosive running back with size, good complement to Justin Forsett.
29. New York Jets: Kareem Jackson, CB, Alabama
Great value, and great complement to Darrelle Revis.
30. Minnesota: Lamarr Houston, DT, Texas
Both Pat and Kevin Williams could be suspended to start the season.
31. Indianapolis: Damian Williams, WR, USC
Missed out on USC’s Steve Smith a few years ago, won’t make same mistake.
32. New Orleans: Morgan Burnett, S, Georgia Tech
Best player available, can be groomed to replace Darren Sharper.