San Francisco 49ers: Mike Iupati, G, Idaho
When you narrow down the draft range here, a trade down makes the most sense for San Francisco. However, I don't do trades in my mocks
that aren't "final." I could see the 49ers draft a pass rusher here such as Sergio Kindle, Jerry Hughes or Everson Griffen. Taylor
Mays would make sense if they don't take a defensive back at No. 13 overall. Mike Iupati would be considered a decent value here by most
and he amps up this teams' offense even more giving an elite push in the run game.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Maurkice Pouncey, G/C, Florida
I think the Steelers will draft either Iupati or Pouncey here. Pouncey gives the Steelers some much needed versatility and talent up front.
He can play center and either guard position. Pouncey mauled his opponents in college, but he needs to perfect his technique at the next level as he has a
tendency to get too high.
Atlanta Falcons: Everson Griffen, DE, USC
The Falcons could go many ways with this pick. Defensive end is certainly a need, and maybe I'll be wrong, but Brandon Graham is just too cliche here.
Over the years, I've learned that cliche and "outside the top 15 picks" don't go well with one another often. Griffen presents the upside
that Graham just doesn't. He has an elite first step and nice closing speed. Kyle Wilson might make some sense here to improve the corner position.
This team might even trade up for Sean Weatherspoon or select him here if he's on the board.
Houston Texans: Ryan Mathews, RB, Fresno State
The Texans were disgusted with their running game last season and I think they will look to Mathews as the solution. They want a bigger back so the two backs
in the 2010 NFL Draft who make the most sense would be Ryan Mathews at No. 20 or Ben Tate in the second round. Mathews has the bulk and speed they really want. Personally, I think he is a very overrated prospect and he reminds me a lot of Donald Brown out of Connecticut from the 2009 NFL Draft in Indianapolis. Mathews had
a very good offensive line in front of him and he just doesn't look very fast in pads.
Cincinnati Bengals: Taylor Mays, S, USC
Taylor Mays fits the Bengals perfectly from a philosophical standpoint. The Bengals believe in the run game. They want to run the ball and stop the run. Stopping the run
is Mays' speciality (even though he takes poor pursuit angles and has poor tackling technique). I could really see Mays in a Bengal uniform because he is a big hitter and fills
a need on this defense. They have been wanting to solidify this position for a while and they might convince themselves they can coach up Mays - after all, they do have one of the
best defensive coaching staffs in the NFL.
New England Patriots: Jared Odrick, DT, Penn State
This is one of those picks that a lot of fans probably hate seeing in my mock draft in terms of a prospect, but one that often happens on Draft Day. Teams reach
and this is a logical reach for the Pats. They are desperate to find a defensive end for their line after trading away Richard Seymour to the Raiders.
has prototypical tools to play the 5-technique position with great size, strength, quickness, active hands and a great motor. He has a bit of upside and might crack
the top 20-25 of big boards for 3-4 defensive teams. Odrick makes a lot of sense here for the Pats especially since I am not so high on the outside linebackers
worthy of this selection.
Green Bay Packers: Charles Brown, T, USC
I went back with Charles Brown and Kyle Wilson here after the Chad Clifton re-signing, but ultimately I don't think the Packers want to be in a hole with Aaron Rodgers
where Clifton gets injured again and they have nobody to replace him. In the zone blocking scheme, I think Brown can play all four positions especially if he stays
at 300-plus pounds. He makes a lot of sense for Green Bay here after he had a good weigh-in at the Combine.
Philadelphia Eagles: Earl Thomas, FS, Texas
I want Eagles fans to flat hear me out here: Thomas will NOT be the pick at No. 24. He will be long gone. With this said, I really don't want
to screw my mock draft because there is no way I could know where the Eagles will be trading up to. I think the Eagles will move up for Thomas somewhere in the
top 16-18 picks. The Eagles are armed with picks with few needs on their team, and they want playmakers. Thomas has great range and ball skills - he should
fit nicely on this defense.
Pick Change; previously Kyle Wilson, CB
Baltimore Ravens: Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State
Bryant drops like a rock in my mock draft because nobody really needs a wide receiver, much less a wide receiver who comes with some serious baggage.
That said, Bryant makes Joe Flacco a far better quarterback. With Anquan Boldin and Dez Bryant catching the football, all of Flacco's stats will
increase in a very big way. Wide receivers who go up and get the football, and know how to make plays simply move the chains - and surrounding Flacco
with weapons at this point in his career is a vital thing that Ozzie Newsome knows he has to do. I'll take Bryant and his baggage at No. 25 any day of the week.
Arizona Cardinals: Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame
Jimmy Clausen's draft stock could hinge on Buffalo at No. 9. If they pass, I don't see another team in the top 25 willing to take Clausen. Arizona or Minnesota could trade up for him, but
I don't project trades in my 2010 NFL Mock Draft. I just don't see Arizona passing on Clausen here. If they believe in Derek Anderson and Matt Leinart, then they really are complete idiots. Passing
up on Clausen is simply a huge mistake. Quarterbacks this good generally don't fall this far in the draft, but we've seen it before with prospects like Dan Marino and Aaron Rodgers. Clausen
could start immediately because he's as pro-ready as they come and I believe he makes this football team infinitely better.
Buffalo Bills: Tim Tebow, QB, Florida
TRADE! This is a big one, and it will be forever remembered in NFL Draft lore. Tebow is an icon, and if the Bills ship their second- and third-round picks,
it can get them somewhere in the bottom portion of Round 1 to select Tebow. This is an old regime, and Tebow is an old-school quarterback. I think Tebow
will be a complete bust at the position in the NFL. I think after his first season his team will try to convert him from a quarterback to an H-Back or fullback.
However, there are teams out there that like Tebow, and I'm dead sold that Buffalo is one of those teams. Dallas doesn't need a star player, but they move
back to solidify their depth chart.
San Diego Chargers: Anthony Davis, T, Rutgers
Davis might be too talented for the Chargers to pass up here, and he can play either left or right tackle on their line. They have a gaping hole
at right tackle and drafting Davis plugs this need for years to come. This could be Ryan Mathews, Terrence Cody, or even a cornerback, but some team
is likely to take Davis in the first round and San Diego makes sense at this point.
Pick Change; previously Terrence Cody, NT
New York Jets: Jerry Hughes, DE, TCU
With the trade for Santonio Holmes, I had to eliminate wide receiver as a possibility here. The Jets could draft a rush linebacker with this pick
or a corner, but it is a little less likely they go corner since they now have Antonio Cromartie as a No. 2 opposite Darrell Revis. Also, if you
have a very good pass rush then it makes your defensive backfield more effective. I think it all depends on what the Jets board looks like, and
they could go in a direction we just don't expect.
Minnesota Vikings: Kyle Wilson, CB, Boise State
I don't think Wilson will be the pick here, and it would make sense for the Vikings to move up for a highly talented corner. The problem was, I just didn't
see a spot earlier in the mock that made much sense at the expense of dropping a prospect whom I really liked towards a particulate team (i.e. Charles Brown
and Green Bay). The Vikings could move up for Wilson a few spots and get him. This is a great pick for a team looking to really upgrade their pass defense.
Pick Change; previously Kareem Jackson, CB
Indianapolis Colts: Brandon Graham, DE, Michigan
Some team is likely to take Graham in the first round, and the Colts could add another body onto their defensive line. They don't have many needs, and Graham
would be a pure value pick. I have major concerns with his midget-length arms and lack of athleticism, but there is no doubting his motor or collegiate
Pick Change; previously Sergio Kindle, OLB
New England Patriots: Demaryius Thomas, WR, Georgia Tech
I think there will be SEVERAL trades take place in the bottom third of the first round. Everyone is expecting a lot of trades toward the top of the second round, but
this would be nothing new. I think more trades will take place toward the bottom of the first because teams want to ensure they get the players they desire and don't
have to compete against other teams looking to trade for the guy they want at the top of the second round overnight. The Patriots
have plenty of picks, but it would only take their first second-round pick, and a player or middle-round picks to move up to No. 32 with the Saints. Thomas
gives the Patriots a big body at receiver along with some youth they just don't have at the position.
I have no problems with your mock draft for the Raiders. I'm sure you're aware of the need at MLB, but doubling up on defensive tackles would make as much sense given the lack of pass rush outside of Mack.
@jsemmens I've been to the Big Board in the past, but it's still an inefficient way of going about a mock. Not to mention, reports and the people writing them change, no? I come to Walt's site because I used to like his insight on every player. Now, it's simply team needs and a very limited amount of actual analysis. You definitely need SOME amount of explanation behind a pick with regards to team need, but you need much more of the player evaluation angle. Any dummy can write why a particular team "needs" a specific position; it takes a pretty good eye to understand what player needs to fill it. Again, just my 2 cents.
Here's my mock based on team need, prospect value and prevailing opinion as well as some ideas of my own. Please let me know about the team(s) that you follow more closely, and any picks that you agree or disagree with. Please comment, and feel free to rate.