Pre-Combine Mock Draft

by Tommy Lawlor

I posted this on ScoutsNotebook on Thursday.

01 – St. Louis — DT Ndamakung Suh, Nebraska

Not much to say about this selection. The Rams need help and Suh is the best prospect. QB is a thought, but there just isn’t one worthy of this pick. Coach Steve Spagnuolo used a great D-line to help the Giants win the Super Bowl in 2007. He’s got some pieces with Chris Long, Adam Carriker, and Cliff Ryan. Suh could be the kind of great presence that would help the other guys to become better players.

02 – Detroit — DT Gerald McCoy, Oklahoma

I’m not sure that McCoy is an ideal fit for Jim Schwartz’s system, but he might be too good to pass on. The Lions defense has struggled for a long time. Adding a disruptive presence to the middle of the line could be a big help.

03 – Tampa Bay — S Eric Berry, Tennessee

Is this too high for a Safety? Maybe. Eric is an unusual prospect. He’s the best S prospect that I’ve ever seen. Tampa could use him. Sabby Piscitelli hasn’t developed into anything more than an adequate starter. Berry could take over for him and give the Bucs a pretty good secondary (also Aqib Talib and Tanard Jackson).

04 – Washington — QB Sam Bradford, Oklahoma

In the last mock I had the QBs slide. This time I decided to have them go early to see how that would change things. Bradford is the top QB and has excellent potential. He’s athletic enough to fit Mike Shanahan’s system. Washington has been looking for a franchise QB for a long time. Maybe Sam is the answer.

05 – Kansas City — ILB Rolando McClain, Alabama

I know many people think the Chiefs will go for an OT. I think they’ll look for an impact player on defense. McClain has the potential to be a great ILB. He can be the heart of that defense for the next decade. I may be higher on McClain than most, but I think guys with his size, athleticism, and skill set are really hard to find.

06 – Seattle — OT Bryan Bulaga, Iowa

Walter Jones is back and forth on whether to retire, but I think he’s done. Seattle could leave Sean Locklear at LT, but he’s not ideal for that spot. Adding a pass blocker like Bulaga allows Locklear to play at another spot and strengthens the overall line. Seattle doesn’t have great skill players, but better blocking would really help that offense.

07 – Cleveland — CB Joe Haden, Florida

Joe is the top CB in the draft. The Browns could use a top flight corner. I’m sure they’ll consider some offensive players at this spot, but there isn’t great value for them. Take the CB and work on the offense later.

08 – Oakland — OT Russell Okung, Oklahoma State

The Raiders have shuffled various guys in and out at LT since Barry Sims left. They need a good young player to plug in at that spot. Okung is a good fit for them. His strength is run blocking, which should fit well with Oakland’s stable of runners. I considered putting Jason Pierre-Paul at this spot. We know that Al Davis loves his athletic projects.

09 – Buffalo — OT Trent Williams, Oklahoma

I’m sure the Bills would love a QB, but I don’t see a slam dunk choice. The smart move then is to get a LT to help whoever does end up under Center. Williams is an outstanding OL and veteran player who can help the Bills immediately. Give him a shot at LT. If he doesn’t work, Trent should be able to slide to the right side and be a good starter over there. Buffalo has a good interior, but could use help on the outside.

10 – Denver — QB Jimmy Clausen, Notre Dame

I’m not sure what Josh McDaniels really wants to do at QB. Kyle Orton is okay, but hardly seems like the long term answer. Clausen isn’t an elite prospect, but he played in a similar offensive system in his time at Notre Dame and should be a pretty good fit for McDaniels.

11 – Jacksonville — DE Derrick Morgan, Georgia Tech

All the talk out of Jacksonville is that they want another pass rusher. Morgan is the top DE available in the draft. He is big enough for the left side or athletic enough for the right side. He has a very good motor and those type of players have done well for the Jags.

12 – Miami — LB Jason Pierre-Paul, USF

I’m still convinced that Tuna will be in love with JPP. Jason played DE for the Bulls and would be huge for LB, but he’s got the athletic ability to make the transition. He’s got a tremendous wingspan. JPP played standing up at times this year and looked okay. He is raw, but that’s why god invented assistant coaches.

13 – San Francisco — OT Anthony Davis, Rutgers

The Niners have the makings of a solid OL, but they still need a good OT to mix in. Davis is a good run blocker and would be an ideal fit for the SF offense. The Niners have a playoff-caliber defense. The offense has to catch up to that level. Improved blocking would help.

14 – Seattle (from DEN) — WR Dez Bryant, Oklahoma State

Bryant is the kind of impact receiver that Seattle desperately needs. Houshmandzadeh moves the chains, but just isn’t a big play guy. Bryant is deadly in the Red Zone and has the athletic ability to turn short throws into big gains. He also offers help on PRs. Seattle’s long PR last year was only 29 yards.

15 – N.Y. Giants — DB Earl Thomas, Texas

Earl jumps way up. I have concerns about his tackling, but he is such a force in coverage that a desperate team like the Giants should love him this high. Think how often receivers ran free through the NY secondary last year. Earl has the speed and range to stop some of those plays or at least chase down guys who do get loose.

16 – San Francisco (from CAR) — RB/RS CJ Spiller, Clemson

Why take a RB with Frank Gore already in place? Because Spiller is a lot more than just a RB. He has WR skills when it comes to catching the ball. He’s the best RS in the whole draft. He also is a dynamic playmaker. The Niners offense struggled to score points. Spiller can help put the offense in good position with a long return. He can move the chains with a big play. He can also score TDs himself. Spiller had at least one TD in each game this year for Clemson.

17 – Tennessee — DT Dan Williams, Tennessee

Dan would give the Titans a real presence in the middle of their defense. They have some solid guys, but no one that really has to be accounted for. Big Al left a big void when he got elected and headed to D.C. Dan is 330 pounds and can push the pocket as well as play the run. He looked great in the Senior Bowl.

18 – Pittsburgh — OG Mike Iupati, Idaho

Iupati is a great run blocker and the Steelers need to get back to being more physical on offense. He can play either G spot or RT. I don’t know about LT. Mike would give them a dominant type of blocker. They had that with Alan Faneca and he was great for the Steelers.

19 – Atlanta — DE Brandon Graham, Michigan

The Falcons need to get better at rushing the passer and covering receivers. Graham is the best value on the board. He might be smaller than Mike Smith would ideally like, but you can’t argue with his motor or his production. Graham is the kind of relentless worker that should fit in well on the Falcons roster.

20 – Houston — WR Arrelious Benn, Illinois

The Texans could still probably use some help on defense, but Benn is just too good to pass on. He is a big WR with great RAC skills. That is ideal for Houston’s offense. He also provides them good insurance in case anything happens to Andre Johnson. Guys like Kevin Walter and Jacoby Jones are good complementary players, but have their limits.

21 – Cincinnati — WR Golden Tate, Notre Dame

Was the Cincy offense painful in the playoffs or what? Chad Johnson is still a gifted receiver, but the passing game needs a boost. They need a playmaker. I considered giving them Jermaine Gresham, but went with Tate because he offers versatility. Tate can play Wildcat QB. He can run the ball. He is a gifted receiver. He’s also a gifted RS. The Bengals need an offensive weapon, either in free agency or the draft.

22 – New England — LB Sergio Kindle, Texas

The Patriots need a boost to their pass rush. Kindle is the kind of versatile guy that Bill Belichick should love. Sergio can play DE or LB. He’s physical against the run, but also athletic enough to get after the QB. Sergio has Top 20 talent, but there are a couple of character concerns that may drop him a few spots.

23 – Green Bay — OT Charles Brown, USC

Aaron Rodgers got sacked 8 to the 4th power times in the first half of the season. Get out your abacus and do the precise figuring. The Packers need help at OT. Brown is an experienced blocker who played in a pro style offense. Adjusting to the NFL should be easier for him. He is better at run blocking than pass pro, but has the potential to be a quality LT. He seems like a good fit for the Packers system.

24 – Philadelphia — CB Kyle Wilson, Boise State

The Eagles are expected to make a strong push for a DE in free agency. That means that CB is the biggest need on the team. Luckily for them there are some good choices in this part of the first round. Wilson is a terrific fit. He can cover, tackle, blitz, hit and play on STs. I think Kyle is talented enough and experienced enough to contribute as a rookie.

25 – Baltimore — CB Patrick Robinson, Florida State

The Ravens need a cover corner. Robinson has terrific potential, but had a down Senior year. I think the Ravens overlook the struggles because of the way he played at the Senior Bowl. Playing on a bad defense in a dysfunctional situation brought out the worst in Robinson. Playing with guys like Haloti Ngata, Ed Reed, and Ray Lewis could bring out the best in him. Robinson has the man-to-man skills to be a perfect fit if he can play at a consistent level.

26 – Arizona — OT Bruce Campbell, Maryland

Bruce has good size, long arms, and excellent athletic ability. That’s pretty much what you want in a LT. The only downside to him is lack of experience. He’s only got about 20 starts in college. Honestly, that lack of experience is one of the reasons that he is still available at pick 26.

27 – Dallas — OT Vlad Ducasse, UMass

We know that the Cowboys want someone to groom behind Flozell Adams. Ducasse would be good value at this point. He can spend a year learning the system and adjusting to the NFL. Ducasse has good size at 6’5, 330. He’s athletic enough to be a good LT. He could also slide into G if needed.

28 – San Diego — RB Ryan Mathews, Fresno State

L.T. is gone. Norv Turner’s offense is predicated on a gifted RB (Emmitt Smith, Stephen Davis, Ricky Williams, LaDainian Tomlinson). Darren Sproles isn’t meant to be “the guy”. The Chargers need a talented workhorse RB. Mathews has the size and speed to thrive in their system. Reminds me a bit of Donald Brown.

29 – N.Y. Jets — DE/LB Jerry Hughes, TCU

Tough, productive, and versatile. Knows how to get to the QB. That sounds like a Rex Ryan kind of player. Hughes can play DE or OLB. The Jets can move him around and do a variety of things. As good as the Jets defense was, they didn’t have that many sacks. Hughes could help them be even better in 2010.

30 – Minnesota — DT Jared Odrick, Penn State

Pat Williams isn’t getting any younger. Jimmy Kennedy has developed into a good backup, but the time is right for adding a high quality prospect at DT. Odrick would give the Vikings a young player to pair with Kevin Williams once Pat does decide to retire.

31 – Indianapolis — TE Jermaine Gresham, Oklahoma

The Colts love skill players. Dallas Clark will be 31 this summer. They could use a talented TE to develop as his replacement. They’ve added various guys the last few years, but no one has stood out. Gresham is much bigger than Clark, but Jermaine is a gifted receiver and Red Zone target. He’d give Manning another weapon to use.

32 – New Orleans — DE Carlos Dunlap, Florida

Too good to pass up at this point. Gregg Williams has done well with bigger D-linemen in his career. Adding a guy with Dunlap’s potential would have to be exciting. The Saints won the Super Bowl, but their defense needs a lot of work. Dunlap has the potential to be a major force off the edge. He’s also versatile. He can line up anywhere on the line and be effective.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: