1. St. Louis Rams- Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma
In Version 1.0 of our 32-team mock draft, we had Clausen going first overall. That changes as St. Louis is rumored to have more interest in Bradford as the ticket to future success.
2. Detroit Lions- Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska
The Lions are rumored to have heavy interest in OT Russell Okung, but look for them to take the highest-rated non-QB on their board. We doubt Okung will be rated higher than Suh on any board.
3. Tampa Bay Bucs- Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma
McCoy’s 23 bench press reps are a concern, but he has displayed good overall intelligence and character, making any worries about his work ethic a bit less concerning.
4. Washington Redskins- Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma State
Will Jimmy Clausen be the pick? The Redskins placed a first round tender on Campbell, so he isn’t going anywhere. Washington needs to fix their line or no quarterback will be able to succeed.
5. Kansas City Chiefs- Bryan Bulaga, OT, Iowa
The Chiefs are in dire need of a left tackle, and Bryan Bulaga has steadily been moving up boards. Safety Eric Berry could also be the selection here.
6. Seattle Seahawks- Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame
Although we do not believe Clausen represents great value (we had him as the #37 rated overall player on our initial Big Board), it is tough to pass up what you consider to be a potential franchise quarterback. Pete Carroll is very familiar with Clausen’s skill set.
7. Cleveland Browns- Eric Berry, S, Tennessee
The Browns would be doing cartwheels to grab Berry here. They have been rumored to be seeking either him or Florida CB Joe Haden. It will be interesting to see if they select Haden if Berry is off the board despite Haden’s poor 40-yard dash time.
8. Oakland Raiders- Trent Williams, OT, Oklahoma
Could it be? The Raiders don’t select the biggest, fastest player on the board? Look out for Maryland tackle Bruce Campbell here, but Williams ran just three-hundredths of a second slower (4.88) than Campbell, so his game tape could be the deciding factor (if Al Davis even looks at game tape).
9. Buffalo Bills- Rolando McClain, LB, Alabama
The Bills have a lot of holes to fill. It will be interesting to see what they decide to do if Clausen or Bradford is still on the board at this point.
10. Jacksonville Jaguars- Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, USF
Despite signing DE Aaron Kampman, the Jags will still be searching for talented pass-rushers early and often come April. Pierre-Paul is an athletic freak (260 pounds, 4.64) and a good fit in Jacksonville’s scheme.
11. Denver Broncos- Dan Williams, DT, Tennessee
This may seem a bit high for the DT from Tennessee, but we have talked to multiple scouts who say Dan Williams may be the most under-the-radar player in this year’s draft. Denver desperately needs to improve their run defense, and at 330 pounds, Williams may be just the man for the job.
12. Miami Dolphins-Brandon Graham, DE/OLB, Michigan
Graham has been soaring up the rankings since the Senior Bowl. After losing Jason Taylor, the ‘Phins will be on the lookout for a player such as Graham who is versatile enough to stuff the run as efficiently as he gets to the quarterback.
13. San Francisco 49ers- Earl Thomas, FS, Texas
An overwhelming amount of Dallas fans want Thomas to be the team’s selection, but there is just no way he drops to the back of the round. A cornerback could also be the pick if San Fran releases Nate Clements.
14. Seattle Seahawks- Anthony Davis, OT, Rutgers
Davis’ stock could be slipping after he did not even weigh in or participate in drills at Rutgers’ Pro Day. Still, Seattle needs a replacement for LT Walter Jones.
15. New York Giants- Kyle Wilson, CB, Boise State
In a bit of a shocker, we have Kyle Wilson as the first CB off the board. Successful corners generally have either great size or speed, and Joe Haden has neither. That is not to say he won’t be a good corner, but Wilson is a more fluid athlete with greater versatility. He could help New York in the return game.
16. Tennessee Titans- Joe Haden, CB, Florida
Picks #15 and #16 could be flip-flopped on draft day, but we are going to stick with what we have heard from scouts. Ex-Ravens and Browns scout Daniel Jeremiah told us there is a chance that Haden drops into the 20’s.
17. San Francisco 49ers- C.J. Spiller, RB, Clemson
We debated listing Spiller as the 49ers’ first pick in the round, which is a definite possibility with Seattle selecting right behind them at #14. If Spiller lasts this long, expect the Niners, who will have already addressed one position of need, to bring in the home-run hitter to complement Frank Gore.
18. Pittsburgh Steelers- Mike Iupati, G, Idaho
The Steelers’ linemen are getting old quickly, and the organization always places an emphasis on do-it-all players. Iupati, who will likely play guard in the NFL, has the potential to kick out to tackle, a characteristic which will surely boost his draft stock.
19. Atlanta Falcons- Maurkice Pouncey, G/C, Florida
We had Pouncey as the Cowboys’ selection in our last mock draft, but in this particular version he won’t be available for Dallas. A lot of people may be surprised to see Pouncey this high, but some teams reportedly have him as a top 10 overall player.
20. Houston Texans- Ryan Mathews, RB, Fresno State
Local Houston newspapers have reported the Texans are going to select either Earl Thomas or Ryan Mathews. We think Thomas will be long gone, so Mathews will come into Houston with an immediate opportunity to start over Steve Slaton.
21. Cincinnati Bengals- Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech
With the signing of WR Antonio Bryant, the Bengals’ focus will likely shift to the defensive side of the ball. Jonathan Joseph and Leon Hall are excellent cornerbacks who could benefit from the pass rush abilities of a player such as Derrick Morgan.
22. New England Patriots- Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State
Stories of Bryant missing meetings and even showing up late to games could be erroneous, but they still may hurt a player who already had character concerns. If Bryant drops into the 20’s he is dangerously close to Jerry Jones’ trade range. If the Cowboys stand pat, the Patriots would love a play-maker like Bryant to possibly replace Randy Moss in 2011.
23. Green Bay Packers- Charles Brown, OT, USC
Charles Brown is an undersized, athletic tackle who fits best in a West Coast offense because of his superb ability in pass protection. Green Bay re-signed tackle Chad Clifton but will lose OT Mark Tauscher, so Brown fills a need.
24. Philadelphia Eagles- Sean Weatherspoon, LB, Missouri
Weatherspoon impressed at both the Combine and Missouri’s Pro Day, displaying the sort of consistency NFL coaches love. Philly may also go with Kyle Wilson or Joe Haden here if they happen to fall, but linebacker is a prime need.
25. Baltimore Ravens- Sergio Kindle, LB, Texas
We had Kindle rated as the #8 overall prospect on our Big Board, so Baltimore would be acquiring tremendous value here. Their wide receiver position is no longer weak with signings of Donte Stallworth and Derrick Mason and the trade for Anquan Boldin.
26. Arizona Cardinals- Taylor Mays, S, USC
Honestly, we think Mays is going to be an average player at best in the NFL, but a lot of people obviously disagree. Some team will fall in love with his workout numbers, and Arizona would probably love to see Mays drop to them after losing Antrel Rolle.
27. Dallas Cowboys- Jared Odrick, DT/DE, Penn State
At this point, Cowboys fans will likely be screaming for the team to select Maryland LT Bruce Campbell. Despite the need for an upgrade at tackle, we still see Odrick as the most likely pick. There is a good chance either Marcus Spears, Jason Hatcher, or Stephen Bowen will not be back in 2011, and in addition to playing defensive end, Odrick can also become the primary backup to DT Jay Ratliff. If Odrick is gone at this point, which is a decent possibility, we see Bruce Campbell, Golden Tate, Brian Price, and Devin McCourty all as legitimate options for Dallas.
28. San Diego Chargers- Jahvid Best, RB, California
We love Jahvid Best’s skill set, and despite concerns about his size, he is actually the same size as C.J. Spiller. RB Darren Sproles may or may not return to San Diego, but either way the team must address the position early in the draft.
29. New York Jets- Golden Tate, WR, Notre Dame
Questions about Tate’s speed disappeared after his 4.42 official 40 time in Indianapolis. WR Braylon Edwards may not be in New York next season, so the Jets have to stock up on weapons for Mark Sanchez.
30. Minnesota Vikings- Devin McCourty, CB, Rutgers
A bit of a sleeper to sneak into the first round, McCourty displayed superb fluidity and change of direction at the Combine. In addition, he also possesses above average size and speed. Minnesota is desperate for an upgrade over Cedric Griffin.
31. Indianapolis Colts- Brian Price, DT, UCLA
We see Price as a legitimate option to convert to defensive end in a 3-4, but a lot of teams see him as a three-technique defensive tackle. He is an underrated player that will fit in well with Indy’s undersized defense.
32. New Orleans Saints- Jermaine Gresham, TE, Oklahoma
The Saints are pretty free to select the best player available at this point. Linebacker is a bit of a question mark right now, so Brandon Spikes may be an option. Also do not rule out the Golden Child, Tim Tebow. Sean Payton is creative enough to concoct ways to utilize Tebow’s talent without disrupting the productivity of Drew Brees.
In versions 1.0 and 2.0 of our Cowboys Mock Drafts, we had the team selecting Penn State DT/DE Jared Odrick and USC OT Charles Brown, respectively. While we would still guess Odrick will be the pick if forced to select today, drafts can take wild twists as the result of just one event.
In this version our our Cowboys Mock Draft, we will describe a path the Cowboys may take if they happen to sign an offensive tackle before April 22 (Marcus McNeil or Jared Gaither, for example).
Round 1- Maurkice Pouncey, C/G, Florida
A lot of mocks have Idaho guard Mike Iupati as the Cowboys’ selection at #27, but we believe they will value the versatility of Pouncey. If Iupati is still on the board, it will be interesting to see who Dallas has rated higher. Some scouts believe Pouncey is a top 15 talent. He would likely come in and be the immediate backup to both starting guards and center Andre Gurode.
Round 2- Brandon Spikes, LB, Florida
Spikes’ size makes him a candidate to play inside in a 3-4. Keith Brooking and Bradie James played well last year, but the Cowboys must soon look for their replacements (particularly for Brooking). We still think a play-making return man is an option here, but because players such as Mardy Gilyard, Dexter McCluster, and Jordan Shipley had such poor 40-yard dash times, the Cowboys may be able to wait a round to grab someone.
FYI: Despite these first two selections, no, we are not Gators fans.
Round 3- Eric Norwood, LB, South Carolina
To play devil’s advocate, we have assumed the Cowboys do not see any return man at this point as providing great value. So which direction does the team go? Jerry Jones said the Cowboys will take the best player available at each position, and we really like South Carolina LB Eric Norwood.
A lot of fans will be disappointed in yet another linebacker, but we all know what a key position the edge rusher is in Wade Phillips’ 3-4 scheme . As we detailed in our profile of Eric Norwood, he is a an excellent pass-rusher who should transition nicely to OLB. Further, we are not sure Dallas is convinced they have proper depth behind starters Ware and Spencer (Curtis Johnson, Victor Butler and Brandon Williams).
Round 4- Jordan Shipley, WR, Texas
The Cowboys’ patience in this particular mock draft pays off, as Texas WR Jordan Shipley is still on the board. Shipley would come in and become the starting punt and kickoff returner, and also compete with Patrick Crayton in the slot. We see Shipley as an early second round talent, but his 4.57 at the Combine will surely drop his stock. Still, Shipley plays much faster than his time and displays excellent quickness and body control.
Round 6- Kurt Coleman, FS, Ohio State
Dallas may or may not upgrade the safety position before this spot, but we still maintain that the Cowboys’ brass is more comfortable with what they have at the position than fans. Despite interest from other clubs in Gerald Sensabaugh, the Cowboys remain likely to lock him up long-term. Ken Hamlin struggled last season, but members of the organization like what they have in second-year man Michael Hamlin.
Coleman is a small, ball-hawk type safety which the Cowboys lack right now. He would be a project, but worth the risk at this point.
Round 7- Arthur Jones, DT/DE, Syracuse
The importance the Cowboys place on the defensive end position is reliant on the futures of Spears, Bowen, and Hatcher. The second round tenders placed on all three players means the latter two are not going anywhere in 2010. Spears, however, could garner some interest from other 3-4 teams. We detailed what Dallas might do with him here.
If the likely scenario of all three defensive ends remaining on the team comes to fruition, the Cowboys may look at a late-round prospect like Syracuse’s Arthur Jones. Jones is a talented athlete who may drop this far due to knee surgery he underwent in November of last season.
In our first Cowboys-only Mock Draft, we projected Dallas to select Penn State defensive tackle Jared Odrick and Ole Miss RB/WR Dexter McCluster with their first two picks. In Version 2.0 of our Cowboys Mock Draft, we will give you an alternate path the Cowboys may take come April 22nd.
Round 1- Charles Brown, OT, USC
We profiled Charles Brown in our “Potential Draft Picks” Series, detailing why he is not the typical Cowboys’ lineman. Brown is just 300 pounds and could be a great choice for a West Coast offense, as he excels in pass protection. After the playoff loss in Minnesota, though, Dallas likely wants to upgrade their pass protection. If Brown is still on the board at pick #27, his selection could mean Dallas is changing their offensive philosophy a bit.
Round 2- Morgan Burnett, S, Georgia Tech
Burnett is the sort of safety Dallas covets in that he is versatile enough to play either strong or free safety. Many people are speculating that the Cowboys could sign soon-to-be free agent Antrel Rolle. If that happens (which we still see as unlikely), Burnett would not be an option here. Also, if Texas safety Earl Thomas drops to the Cowboys’ first-round pick, expect him to be the pick and for the team to obviously go a different direction here.
Round 3- Micah Johnson, ILB, Kentucky
Micah Johnson certainly possesses all of the physical tools to excel in the NFL, but his health is a question mark. We listed his physical as one of ten things to watch at the Combine. If that ends up checking out, Johnson could rise up boards. He is a sideline-to-sideline player who, in our opinion, can play all three downs. Dallas will likely have to grab him in round three if they are interested.
**UPDATE: Micah Johnson just ran an unofficial 4.99 at the Combine. He did manage 34 reps on the bench press, but with this time and his injury history, Johnson will probably last until the fourth round. His pro day will be enormous for him.
Round 4- Jacoby Ford, WR, Clemson
After notching the fastest forty-yard dash (4.28 official time) at the Combine on Sunday, Ford may rise up some boards. The problem is that he is a poor route runner and doesn’t play nearly as fast as he tested. He is a track star that knows how to run fast in a straight line, but has yet to translate that speed to the football field. We saw him as a fifth or sixth round pick earlier, so expecting him to drop to the back of the fourth round is realistic. Dallas may view him as an upgrade at both return positions.
Round 6- Corey Peters, DT/DE, Kentucky
Kentucky isn’t exactly a football powerhouse, but we have two of their defenders becoming Cowboys in this particular Mock Draft. Peters, a guy who would have to transition to the “five-technique” in Dallas’ 3-4, would be a project. He had a big-time senior season with 11 tackles for loss and four sacks. He would likely have to compete with practice squad DE Marcus Dixon for a roster spot.
Round 7- Walter McFadden, CB, Auburn
You can never have enough talented cornerbacks. McFadden would be a long-shot to have an impact in the near future, but he has good height and adequate speed. He would need to put on a bit of bulk, but perhaps he could push Scandrick to perform better in the slot.
Feel free to share your thoughts on this mock draft or suggest alternative options for upcoming mock drafts.
Round 1- Jared Odrick, DT/DE, Penn State
We displayed this pick in our original 32-team mock draft, and it just seems to make sense. Odrick is a perfect 5-technique defensive end in a 3-4 scheme. He has a tremendous motor– one which the Cowboys will need in the near future with so many restricted free agents at the position. Idaho G Mike Iupati or a top-tier tackle could also be the pick if they are available.
Round 2- Dexter McCluster, RB/WR/Returner, Ole Miss
McCluster would be a good fit in Dallas if for no other reason than his game-breaking return skills, an attribute we defined as our #1 Cowboys’ draft need. His position should really be listed as Athlete, because in our opinion, he (along with perhaps Boise State CB Kyle Wilson and Cincinnati WR Mardy Gilyard) is one of the top athletes in the entire draft. Gilyard could also be the selection here if he drops, but we believe McCluster’s size (5’8”, 165 pounds) makes him more likely to still be around.
Round 3- Jared Veldheer, OT, Hillsdale
Most people, including us, will want Dallas to select a tackle earlier than the third round, but the value just is not very good in the second. There is a tremendous drop-off after the top-tier of tackles. If one of those top players drops to pick #27 in Round 1, the Cowboys, we believe, must select him. The most likely top-tier tackle to drop is USC’s Charles Brown, but tackles never last long on draft day, so it is really up in the air.
If they do not select a tackle with their first pick, Dallas might as well wait until the third round to nab one. They would probably be thrilled to get Veldheer, who at an eye-popping 6’9”, 321 pounds has just the size the Cowboys covet.
Round 4- Major Wright, FS, Florida
There are a lot of mixed opinions on Major Wright. He is certainly a skilled player, but there are questions concerning if his success was a result of playing in a system with so many other playmakers (Joe Haden, Carlos Dunlap, Brandon Spikes). For the freedom he was given, he probably should have made more plays. Many people think the Cowboys will draft a free safety earlier than this, perhaps even in the first round (such as Texas FS Earl Thomas), but Major Wright is a possibility if they wait until the middle rounds.
Round 5- No selection (traded to Denver for G Montrae Holland)
Round 6- Boris Lee, ILB, Troy
The Cowboys do not have a selection in the fifth round, and by Round 6 they figure to draft the top player left on their board, regardless of position. If that player happens to play ILB, a position we see as a need, then all the better. Lee has good size for the 3-4, but, like most picks this late, he would be a project.
Round 7- Jay Ross, DT, East Carolina
In all honesty, we have no clue who the Cowboys will select this late, and anyone who tells you they do is lying (perhaps even members of the organization). Ross has good size (314 pounds), though, and Dallas is very weak behind Jay Ratliff.
So there you have it. If this scenario or one like it plays out, the Cowboys would be ecstatic, as they would fill a lot of needs while also garnering great value with every selection.
21. Cincinnati Bengals- Brandon LaFell, WR, LSU
We were hesitant to keep a wide receiver in this slot as Cincy just signed Matt Jones, but they love stocking up on skill position players, and Ochocinco probably won’t be around too much longer.
22. New England Patriots- Jermaine Gresham, TE, Oklahoma
The Pats really need to improve their defense, but TE Ben Watson won’t be back in New England next season. Belichick has spent two first-rounders on tight ends before (Watson and Daniel Graham), so this pick makes sense.
23. Green Bay Packers- Anthony Davis, OT, Rutgers
The Packers are in desperate need of tackles, as both starters, Chad Clifton and Mark Tauscher, are unrestricted free agents. Anthony Davis would be incredible value here and, in all honesty, is very unlikely to drop this far. He fell in this particular mock draft though, and Green Bay would be ecstatic to nab him.
24. Philadelphia Eagles- Kyle Wilson, CB, Boise State
The Eagles have some holes on defense. Cornerback does not seem to be the most glaring as of now, but with Ellis Hobbs soon to be a free agent and Sheldon Brown unhappy, the Eagles could go this direction. Kyle Wilson is an excellent corner with supreme athleticism, and he is rising up draft boards quickly.
25. Baltimore Ravens- Arrelious Benn, WR, Illinois
The Ravens probably have the worst WR corps in the league, even if Derrick Mason doesn’t retire. Either way, wide receiver has got to be on the team’s mind, and Arrelious Benn is a rare combination of speed and size that allows him to get deep, yet still be a possession receiver when needed.
26. Arizona Cardinals- Charles Brown, OT, USC
If Anthony Davis actually does fall into the 20’s, many teams, such as the Cards, will look to move up. If they stay put, however, USC’s Charles Brown could very well be available, and would be an immediate upgrade over Mike Gandy.
27. Dallas Cowboys- Jared Odrick, DE/DT, Penn State
This pick may come as a bit of a shocker, but we really think it is a strong possibility for the Cowboys. So many mocks have Dallas selecting Idaho G Mike Iupati, a player for which team execs “perked up” during the Senior Bowl. With him still on the board, he could be the selection. In our opinion, though, Odrick could have a more immediate impact. Kosier and Davis figure to be the starting guards next season, so Iupati would really just take the place of backup guard Cory Procter. Odrick, however, would have the ability to join the defensive end rotation immediately. Also, with Marcus Spears, Jason Hatcher, and Stephen Bowen all restricted free agents this year, the Cowboys will most likely have a hole at the position by next season. Odrick would be the perfect 5-technique 3-4 defensive end to fill the spot.
28. San Diego Chargers- Taylor Mays, S, USC
Mays will absolutely light up the Combine. He is 235 pounds and could easily run in the 4.3’s. Unfortunately, his on-field play, particularly this past season, does not match his workout numbers. Mays reminds us of Jets’ OLB Vernon Gholston, who is a workout warrior, but doesn’t translate his athleticism to the field.
29. New York Jets- Brandon Graham, DE/OLB, Michigan
Speaking of Vernon Gholston, his replacement is on the way. Graham absolutely tore up the Senior Bowl, consistently torturing opposing linemen all week in practice and again in the game. He would fit well at OLB in Rex Ryan’s scheme.
If Iupati does indeed fall to pick 30, the Vikings will be thrilled to grab him. Iupati is the consensus best guard available, and he would be an upgrade over current starter Anthony Herrera. If Jared Odrick gets selected before the Cowboys’ pick, though, look for them to select Iupati and Minnesota to go cornerback.
31. Indianapolis Colts- Patrick Robinson, CB, Florida State
The Colts are in need of a cornerback of the future with Marlin Jackson and Antoine Bethea soon to be free agents. Many teams have Michigan CB Donovan Warren rated ahead of Robinson, but Patrick has been rising up draft boards in a hurry.
32. New Orleans Saints- Sean Weatherspoon, OLB, Missouri
The Saints are still celebrating their Super Bowl victory, but that will end soon with the Combine just over a week away. The Saints are weak at LB, particularly on the outside with former Cowboys’ practice squad player Scott Fujita. Weatherspoon is an every-down linebacker who represents great value at the back of the first round.
Next: Interview with Cowboys’ DE Marcus Dixon
*Note: Our next installment of “Potential Draft Picks” will feature our current Cowboys’ selection, Jared Odrick.
11. Denver Broncos- Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech
Most mock drafts have Oklahoma State’s Dez Bryant in this spot, but we think they seem to be forgetting how little Josh McDaniels values receivers. He believes he can just plug anyone into his system and it will roll along. If Rolando McClain is still available, he could be the pick here, but with him off the board in our mock draft, Derrick Morgan is the selection and fills a need at DE for Denver.
12. Miami Dolphins- Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State
The Dolphins will be thrilled if Dez Bryant falls to them. We love Bryant’s size, speed, and ability to track the ball. He will have to pass Cleveland, Buffalo, and Jacksonville on the way to this spot, but those teams have so many other pressing needs that there is a good possibility that it happens.
13. San Francisco 49ers- Bruce Campbell, OT, Maryland
In our mock, OT’s Bruce Campbell and Oklahoma’s Trent Williams are still on the board, so either could be the pick here. The Niners could also look for safety help, but the value is better with Campbell.
14. Seattle Seahawks- Trent Williams, OT, Oklahoma
Having already selected Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford, the Seahawks would be thrilled to get his college teammate in the 14th slot to protect their investment. Williams is a tremendous athlete for his size, reminiscent of Ravens’ tackle Michael Oher.
15. New York Giants- Brian Price, DT, UCLA
The Giants just cut LB Antonio Pierce, but they may argue that the best way to protect an inexperienced linebacker is with a dominant defensive tackle. Brian Price declared early after an excellent junior campaign and could be the third defensive tackle selected.
16. Tennessee Titans- Carlos Dunlap, DE, Florida
The Titans could use a cornerback, but with no great value on the board at that position, they select Florida’s Carlos Dunlap. Dunlap has some character concerns, but Jeff Fisher has never hesitated to bring in high-risk players, i.e. Pacman Jones.
17. San Francisco 49ers- Earl Thomas, FS, Texas
The Niners would love if the draft goes as we have predicted, as they would get two solid players at positions of need. Clemson’s C.J. Spiller is a popular pick here, but the Niners would be better served selecting a playmaker on the defensive side of the ball.
18. Pittsburgh Steelers- Dan Williams, DT, Tennessee
Williams is competing with UCLA’s Brian Price to be the third defensive tackle selected. He would come in and immediately compete with Casey Hampton, joining forces with last year’s first round selection Ziggy Hood.
19. Atlanta Falcons- Everson Griffen, DE, USC
Griffen could be a bit of a reach at pick #19, but Atlanta desperately needs a pass-rusher opposite John Abraham. Texas’ DE Sergio Kindle is also an option here.
20. Houston Texans- C.J. Spiller, RB, Clemson
The Texans would be ecstatic to see Spiller fall to them, as it would potentially be the best value of the draft thus far. Spiller isn’t a perfect fit with RB Steve Slaton, but the Texans seem fed up with Slaton’s injuries and ball security concerns.
In Part I of our mock, we analyze the first ten selections of the NFL Draft. Check back tomorrow for Part II. View our “Potential Draft Picks” Series to see scouting reports on some of the top prospects and how they might fit on the Cowboys’ roster.
1. St. Louis Rams- Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame
The Rams absolutely must find a franchise quarterback. There are rumors they may be interested in Michael Vick, but that would just be a short-term solution. Jimmy Clausen’s physical tools are all there, but we question his attitude and work ethic. He probably fits the Rams’ system better than Sam Bradford, though, so he goes here.
2. Detroit Lions- Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska
If St. Louis chooses a quarterback, the Lions will take their top-rated defensive tackle– either Suh or Oklahoma’s Gerald McCoy. Suh is the more well-known of the two, but either could be the choice.
3. Tampa Bay Bucs- Eric Berry, S, Tennessee
Tennessee safety Eric Berry fills a need for Tampa and will immediately compete for a starting spot. Passing on Gerald McCoy would be difficult, but Berry is about as close to a can’t-miss prospect as you get, and there is a bigger bust rate on defensive tackles.
4. Washington Redskins- Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma State
Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford is Washington’s consensus pick in mock drafts right now, but we feel new coach Mike Shanahan will give Jason Campbell a shot. Campbell struggled in ’09, but until he obtains proper protection, we will never know how good he really is. Russell Okung, who almost certainly will be the first OT taken, can provide that protection.
5. Kansas City Chiefs- Joe Haden, CB, Florida
Joe Haden is the consensus #1 cornerback in the draft, and the Chiefs are extremely weak at the position opposite Brandon Flowers. Gerald McCoy is still on the board, but probably would not fit Kansas City’s scheme.
6. Seattle Seahawks- Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma
We think that Bradford is just as overrated as Jimmy Clausen. This quarterback class is extremely weak, so this is definitely a reach, but quarterbacks never last long. Pete Carroll will want to secure his franchise quarterback immediately, so Bradford makes sense as a guy who can come in and sit for a year behind Matt Hasselbeck before taking over the reigns in 2011.
7. Cleveland Browns- Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma
Cleveland has been frequently linked to CB Joe Haden, but with him gone and DT Gerald McCoy still on the board, this is a no-brainer. McCoy would represent tremendous value this late in the draft.
8. Oakland Raiders- Rolando McClain, ILB, Alabama
Rolando McClain, who we profiled earlier this year, has tremendous size and speed. For Raiders’ owner Al Davis, that is really all that matters.
9. Buffalo Bills- Bryan Bulaga, OT, Iowa
The Bills have a ton of needs, including quarterback. With no top signal-callers left on the board, they could go with either an offensive or defensive tackle. The top two defensive tackles will be long gone by this point, though, so the value just is not there. Don’t rule out this team trading up for a quarterback.
10. Jacksonville Jaguars- Jason Pierre-Paul, DE/OLB, South Florida
This pick is subject to a coin flip, so it could be Denver’s. If Jacksonville remains in the slot, they must address their pass rush, and Pierre-Paul is a crazy athletic pass-rushing force.
Part II of our Mock Draft will include picks 11-20.