By Rob Staton
For the first time I have included a full second round projection. The scouting combine is a week away so it'll be interesting to see how projections shift following events in Indianapolis. Perhaps equally important though is the beginning of free agency and the trade window re-opening on March 5th. Free agency itself will be stagnated and largely uneventful, but we could see some trades with teams trying to make moves to compensate for a lack of options outside of the draft. The one issue that could affect things more than anything else is what St. Louis do at the quarterback position. Are they serious about Michael Vick? Some reports suggest they are. However, if they enter draft week without a legitimate option at quarterback - they almost certainly have to explore that position with the #1 pick.
When compiling a mock draft - the question is whether you assume they'll find a quaterback before April 22nd and give them Ndamukong Suh or Gerald McCoy? Until the Rams can find a legitimate option at quarterback, they'll continue to struggle. They've gone down the 'safer' lineman option in the last three drafts and struggled. It's time to find a quarterback. Sam Bradford or Jimmy Clausen aren't the top two prospects in this draft, but then Matt Stafford wasn't necessarily the best player available last year either. The question perhaps shouldn't be whether Suh or McCoy go first overall - but Bradford or Clausen.
I have the Seahawks taking an offensive prospect at #6, #14 and #40 in this draft. Could it happen? There's no doubt a lot of strength on defense in the 2010 class, but each of the selections made on offense offer value here. Despite the needs on the defensive line and secondary, most of the repair work for Pete Carroll and co rests on offense. In this latest projection I wanted to represent the possibility of the Seahawks investing in the future of their offense. Don't forget to leave your thoughts in the comments section at the bottom of the article.
#1 St. Louis: Sam Bradford (QB, Oklahoma)
The Rams could trade for Michael Vick. They might trade for someone else. Either way - they don't enter 2010 without a new quarterback. Suh and McCoy might be BPA - but this is a quarterback's league.
#2 Detroit: Gerald McCoy (DT, Oklahoma)
The Lions would salivate over the prospect of having to choose between Suh and McCoy. McCoy gets the nod here simply because he's quicker and more disruptive up the middle.
#3 Tampa Bay: Ndamukong Suh (DT, Nebraska)
If the top two defensive tackles leave the board before this pick, projecting which direction the Buccs go will be a complete lottery. If the Rams take a quarterback, it appears likely the top two defensive tackles will go #2 and #3.
#4 Washington: Anthony Davis (OT, Rutgers)
Consensus opinion appears to be that this pick will be a quarterback or an offensive tackle. Jason Campbell might get a year to prove himself on a high tender. There are some character and attitude question marks surrounding Davis - he needs to interview well in Indianapolis.
#5 Kansas City: Rolando McClain (LB, Alabama)
The Chiefs are committed to creating a strong 3-4 defense but lack that presence at inside linebacker. McClain can be an impact player for Kansas City.
#6 Seattle: Jimmy Clausen (QB, Notre Dame)
I've voiced concerns about Clausen and they still remain. However, it'd be ignorant to only look at the negative possibilities such as a dramatic fall down the board. The Seahawks need a long term answer at the position with Matt Hasselbeck in a contract year.
#7 Cleveland: C.J. Spiller (RB, Clemson)
In a draft with only a handful of pure offensive playmakers, Spiller's name could get called early. The Browns needs someone like this.
#8 Oakland: Jason Pierre-Paul (DE, USF)
We know how Al Davis' drafts. The three prospects to keep an eye on - JPP, Bruce Campbell and Taylor Mays. All expected to run fast time at the combine and flash the physical qualities Davis looks for.
#9 Buffalo: Bryan Bulaga (OT, Iowa)
The Bills need to improve their offensive line. Bulaga will interest teams as a left tackle, but like Jake Long he could be an all-pro on the right hand side.
#10 Jacksonville: Joe Haden (CB, Florida)
The Jaguars are rebuilding their secondary and keeping Haden in Florida would be a popular move.
#11 Denver: Carlos Dunlap (DE, Florida)
Dunalp's size makes him a perfect option at five technique end in the Broncos 3-4.
#12 Miami: Dan Williams (DT, Tennessee)
Williams' ability to play the coveted 3-4 nose tackle position will make him a desirable pick for teams using the scheme.
#13 San Francisco: Eric Berry (S, Tennessee)
The 49ers will explore the possibility of adding a playmaker to their secondary. If Berry is available here, he's the obvious choice.
#14 Seattle: Dez Bryant (WR, Oklahoma State)
Brian Price and Derrick Morgan make sense, but so does Dez Bryant. There's no guarantee Nate Burleson and Deion Branch return in 2010 and the Seahawks need a playmaker. I have Russell Okung falling.
#15 New York Giants: Derrick Morgan (DE, Georgia Tech)
Morgan has great potential, but amongst the cluster of 3-4 teams and alternative picks - he might suffer a slight fall on draft day. This would be a perfect fit for both prospect and team.
#16 San Francisco: Trent Williams (OT, Oklahoma)
Williams' unconvincing displays at left tackle in 2009 will stop him going much earlier than this. The 49ers - looking for a book end for Joe Staley - could see value in the Sooners lineman here.
#17 Tennessee: Brian Price (DT, UCLA)
The Titans are another team who will likely look to upgrade their defensive line. Price is a penetrative interior force.
#18 Pittsburgh: Taylor Mays (S, USC)
This is one of the few places Mays could go and have a real impact. Playing behind a good pass rushing defense, Mays and fellow Trojan Troy Polamalu could create the most intimidating secondary combo in the NFL.
#19 Atlanta: Kareem Jackson (CB, Alabama)
What price a trade with Jacksonville to take Joe Haden? Jackson's stock will rise after the combine and he could go higher than this.
#20 Houston: Earl Thomas (S, Texas)
The Texans' would like one of the top ranked right tackles to fall here, but they also need a playmaker in the secondary. Thomas could convert to cornerback and would be a popular choice in Houston.
#21 Cincinnati: Arrelious Benn (WR, Illinois)
Bad quarterback play and inconsistent hands has hurt Benn's stock, but this is still a guy touted as a top 15 pick at the start of the year. A tight end like Jermaine Gresham is also a possibility.
#22 New England: Jared Odrick (DT, Penn State)
The Patriots are in the process of major changes on their defensive line. Drafting the versatile Odrick gives New England some options long term.
#23 Green Bay: Russell Okung (OT, Oklahoma State)
Kyle Rota's scouting report on Okung is an absolute must read and highlights some of the reasons why Okung might not be a top ten lock. He would've been a late first round pick as an underclassmen, nothing this year has proved otherwise in my opinion.
#24 Philadelphia: Everson Griffen (DE, USC)
The Eagles need a better pass rush, that was evident in their playoff defeat at Dallas. Griffen's stock is difficult to project, he could rise up the boards with an impressive combine.
#25 Baltimore: Jermaine Gresham (TE, Oklahoma)
The Ravens always find value in the draft. Gresham, as a quality pass-catching tight end, offers greater value than the receivers on offer this late in round one.
#26 Arizona: Ricky Sapp (LB, Clemson)
Arizona are still piecing together their 3-4 scheme and Sapp could be a stand out OLB.
#27 Dallas: Kyle Wilson (CB, Boise State)
The Cowboys would like to add a playmaker to their secondary. Wilson would also double up as a return specialist.
#28 San Diego: Brandon Graham (DE, Michigan)
Graham is flexible enough to play in either the 4-3 or the 3-4. San Diego could use another pass rusher off the edge and Graham is par value here.
#29 New York Jets: Devin McCourty (CB, Rutgers)
Rex Ryan loves to draft for his secondary. The Jets own one lockdown corner, shutting down the other side and combining it with the team's pass rush will make the Jets very difficult to beat.
#30 Minnesota: Dominique Franks (CB, Oklahoma)
We could see a run on cornerbacks in the late first round. The Vikings could use an upgrade in the secondary. Lamarr Houston (DT, Texas) is an alternative option.
#31 Indianapolis: Sean Weatherspoon (LB, Missouri)
Watching tape of Missouri, I was never blown away by Weatherspoon. He put in an eye catching display at the Senior Bowl, however, and some teams will appreciate his athleticism and ability to start as a rookie.
#32 New Orleans: Sergio Kindle (LB, Texas)
The Saints could use Kindle creatively, as a linebacker most of the time but an edge rush on passing third downs.
#33 St. Louis - Brandon LaFell (WR, LSU)
Having found their franchise quarterback in round one, the Rams find a potential #1 receiver.
#34 Detroit - Jahvid Best (RB, California)
The Lions need more explosion at running back. Concerns about his durability push Best into round two.
#35 Tampa Bay - Damian Williams (WR, USC)
The Buccs need to get some weapons for Josh Freeman. Williams is already a very smooth receiver, but he needs to make less catches with his body.
#36 Kansas City - Cam Thomas (DT, North Carolina)
The Chiefs continue their commitment towards building a strong 3-4 defense by finding a nose tackle.
#37 Washington - Mike Iupati (OG, Idaho)
The Redskins complete the new left side of their offensive line with the talented Iupati.
#38 Cleveland - Eric Decker (WR, Minnesota)
Browns GM Tom Heckert watched Decker personally on a few occasions in 2009. Coming from Philly, he understands the true value of having playmakers on offense.
#39 Oakland - Bruce Campbell (OT, Maryland)
Campbell's injury concerns push him into round two here. Oakland could trade up to secure him earlier.
#40 Seattle - Charles Brown (OT, USC)
The perfect fit for Alex Gibbs' scheme and someone Pete Carroll is very familiar with.
#41 Buffalo - Rob Gronkowski (TE, Arizona)
Chan Gailey needs a good blocking tight end for his offense.
#42 Tampa Bay - Demaryius Thomas (WR, Georgia Tech)
The Buccs spend back-to-back picks on weapons for Josh Freeman.
#43 Miami - Brandon Spikes (LB, Florida)
The Dolphins need an inside presence.
#44 New England - Alex Carrington (DE, Arkansas State)
Having accumulated second round picks, the Pats continue to add to their defensive line.
#45 Denver - Maurkice Pouncey (C, Florida)
The Broncos need a center and Pouncey is par value.
#46 New York Giants - Chad Jones (S, LSU)
Regardless of concerns for Kenny Phillips' return, the Giants could use Jones' size in their secondary.
#47 New England - Aaron Hernandez (TE, Florida)
Tom Brady would love throwing to Hernandez.
#48 Carolina - Lamarr Houston (DT, Texas)
Houston could go in round one if there's an early rush on defensive tackles.
#49 San Francisco - Jerry Hughes (DE, TCU)
Hughes did a great job for TCU in 2009, but opinion is mixed on his pro-prospects.
#50 Kansas City - Vladimir Ducasse (OT, UMass)
The UMass lineman might end up as a guard.
#51 Houston - Anthony Dixon (RB, Miss State)
I rank Jonathan Dwyer and Ryan Matthews in the 3-4 round range. Dixon is a pure power back, Dwyer is not.
#52 Pittsburgh - Perrish Cox (CB, Oklahoma State)
The Steelers might look to add a cornerback and Cox is worth the 52nd overall pick.
#53 New England - Sean Lee (LB, Penn State)
The Pats will look to bring in a linebacker to play alongside Mayo.
#54 Cincinnati - Corey Wooten (DE, Northwestern)
Wooten is flexible enough to play the five technique due to his size, so could go earlier.
#55 Philadelphia - Nate Allen (S, Georgia Tech)
The Eagles need a safety, although this might be half a round too early for Allen.
#56 Green Bay - Donovan Warren (CB, Michigan)
Warren's stock is mixed. Some rank him as a first round pick.
#57 Baltimore - Brandon Ghee (CB, Wake Forest)
Ghee would fit in very nicely to Baltimore's defense.
#58 Arizona - Jared Veldheer (OT, Hillsdale)
Veldheer's stock is rising after performing well in the Texas vs the nation game.
#59 Dallas - Jordan Shipley (WR, Texas)
Pure Jerry Jones style pick.
#60 San Diego - Joe McKnight (RB, USC)
McKnight is my third favorite running back in this class. Again, I have a team passing on Dwyer and Matthews.
#61 New York - Jason Worilds (DE, Virginia Tech)
Another excellent pass rusher for the Jets defense.
#62 Minnesota - Tsyon Alualu (DE, California)
The Vikings will consider adding a defensive lineman.
#63 Indianapolis - Mike Neal (DT, Purdue)
Not the biggest guy, but that's how Indy like them.
#64 New Orleans - Golden Tate (WR, Notre Dame)
I don't buy talk of Tate going in round one or even the early second round.