Walter - I feel your pain re SD; they have had a huge injury list! I thing I note - doing analysis for AFL Australian football - is that teams with a huge injury list often underperform when they begin to get players back from injury; this is often because the injured players return a week too early and fail to fire (or get re-injured); also the players who have been carrying the extra load for them tend to relax that week; the trend in the AFL is that these teams generally miss the spread (often by a lot) as the year goes on - but they sometimes have 1 (maybe 2) unexpected wins against unwary middle to lower ranked teams. They may fire against JAX this week, but I would like a SD expert to tell us if the recently returned players are likely to improve.
Speaking of injuries - these are good reasons for being confident on TB and DEN this week. Harry Young, Melbourne
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Posted April 23, 2010
2010 NFL Draft Grades: First Round
1. STL: Sam Bradford - B
I'm not criticizing the Rams for taking a quarterback here. It gets the franchise started in a direction as opposed to going with a mediocre quarterback. I still believe Clausen is the best quarterback in the 2010 NFL Draft, but time tells all. If this pick were Clausen, it would have been an "A." Bradford was the next-best pick.
2. DET: Ndamukong Suh - B+
I love Suh, but I love the idea of protecting my franchise quarterback even more. Luckily for the Lions, Charles Brown is atop the second round and prime for their pickings. Wait, they traded up for Jahvid Best despite no offensive line? Ugh.
3. TB: Gerald McCoy - A
McCoy is an elite player and fills Tampa's No. 1 need. General managers dream of this type of a scenario.
4. WAS: Trent Williams - C-
Williams really struggled at left tackle showing great inconsistency and lack of instincts. He is the fourth pick because he ran a great 40 time, let's keep it real, but he isn't the best offensive linemen in the 2010 NFL Draft.
5. KC: Eric Berry - A
I LOVE Eric Berry. He is the No. 1 player on my board, but I love the idea of protecting my franchise quarterback even more. With Russell Okung here you have to take him. I also hate Kansas City for completely altering their draft strategy. What is a studious draft analyst to do?
6. SEA: Russell Okung - A
Seattle gets the best left tackle in the draft for an offensive line in shambles. Great pick.
7. CLE: Joe Haden - B
Haden is a very good value here (No. 7 on my board), but Clausen would have been a better pick.
8. OAK: Rolando McClain - B
Where did this come from? McClain didn't run a great 40. He isn't an exceptional athlete. A draft pick that makes sense? Hallelujah!
9. BUF: C.J. Spiller - C
You don't draft a No. 2 back this high. Spiller can't handle the load and he is a finesse runner. This is way too high and Buffalo passed on some really good football players on the board.
10. JAX: Tyson Alualu - MILLEN
I can't explain this any other way. This was absolutely dreadful. Alualu is a solid player, but he has marginal athleticism and simply isn't Warren Sapp. Gene Smith's reputation is on the line with this brain buster.
11. SF: Anthony Davis - F
You draft a player at 11 with no work ethic and who doesn't care about the game of football? Davis has bust written all over him - no intangibles.
12. SD: Ryan Mathews - D
I have a third-round grade on Mathews and I simply don't see an elite back at this point. I know it's a weak running back class, but I'd rather take my chances with Jahvid Best and not give up all of those picks to move up here.
13. PHI: Brandon Graham - C-
Midget arms with marginal athleticism - not a good combination. Graham will be a solid player, but don't confuse him for LaMarr Woodley.
14. SEA: Earl Thomas - B
I'm an Earl Thomas fan, but this would have been a much better pick had Seattle secured a franchise quarterback with Jimmy Clausen. Very good first two picks for the Seahawks, regardless of what I think.
15. NYG: Jason Pierre-Paul - B
When in doubt in a mock draft, give the Giants a pass-rusher. Pierre-Paul could be a double-digit sack artist in the league, and Jerry Reese rolls the dice.
16. TEN: Derrick Morgan - A
Tennessee makes another really good pick. They address their biggest need and grab the No. 1 end in the 2010 NFL Draft. This is a SMART team.
17. SF: Mike Iupati - D
Alex Smith isn't going to be a great quarterback in the NFL. You take a guard over Jimmy Clausen? Are you kidding me? Iupati is overrated and isn't NFL-ready. He needs a lot of work on his technique.
18. PIT: Maurkice Pouncey - B
Nailed this pick in my mock. The Steelers finally get some help up front.
19. ATL: Sean Weatherspoon - B
If I didn't have "Spoon" to the Giants in my mock at 15, he would have been the pick here. Great fit for Atlanta.
20. HOU: Kareem Jackson - B
Kareem Jackson is a good player, and it wouldn't shock me if he became a better pro than Kyle Wilson. Solid pick, but the Texans need to start making the playoffs.
21. CIN: Jermaine Gresham - A
I love Gresham, but this goes against what the Bengals do on Draft Day every year. Gresham is an extremely good prospect and will make this offense really go in the seams.
22. DEN: Demaryius Thomas - C-
Thomas drops a lot of catchable balls, he can't run routes, and he has tunnel vision after the catch. Josh McDaniels has no idea how to scout talent.
23. GB: Bryan Bulaga - A-
This is a match made in football heaven. Bulaga was born to play on Lambeau Field. Packers get a left tackle to block for Aaron Rodgers at 23? Wow.
24. DAL: Dez Bryant - B
I'm scared for the rest of the NFC East. Jason Witten, Austin Miles, Felix Jones, and now Dez Bryant? Good luck.
25. DEN: Tim Tebow - MCDANIELS
Tebow is an undraftable prospect on my board in terms of a quarterback. He will be a major bust in the NFL, however, he is lucky he ended up on a team that doesn't require their quarterback to do much other than throw hitches and slants.
26. ARZ: Dan Williams - D
You pass up on Jimmy Clausen for a nose tackle? Are you kidding me? Do you honestly think Matt Leinart and Derek Anderson are good enough to be one of the top 15 quarterbacks in the NFL? If you don't think they are, then Clausen has got to be the pick here.
27. NE: Devin McCourty - B
Good value with added production on special teams, but I would have preferred Jerry Hughes.
28. MIA: Jared Odrick - B
Good value, but again, I'd go with Hughes over a defensive linemen here. Who is rushing the passer in Miami?
29. NYJ: Kyle Wilson - A-
Kyle Wilson and Darrelle Revis could potentially become one of the best shutdown corner duos in NFL history.
30. DET: Jahvid Best - B
Solid value, but who is blocking for Best and Matt Stafford?
31. IND: Jerry Hughes - A-
The rich get richer. Hughes is a double-digit sack guy in the NFL and he ended up on the perfect team and field surface. The turf in Indy will make him look like a blur.
32. NO: Patrick Robinson - C-
I'm just not a Robinson fan, but I like the idea of moving Malcolm Jenkins to free safety.