So I had a reader request that I take a stab at doing a 2010 mock draft. This is a fun exercise but, after reading it for little more than entertainment value, you can pretty much discard it as pure B.S.
There are a few reasons for this.
First, the 2009 season is only half over meaning the draft order will change greatly between now and the draft.
Second, team needs are not fully clear at the moment. Teams doing great could see a mid-season collapse while miserable teams may go on a second-half run. Also, major injuries will surely happen in the next 2 months. Re-signing free agents and also the free agency period will solidify a team’s needs.
Third, an individual prospects draft stock is likely to fall and rise a great deal between now and the draft. The end of the season, championship games, the Senior Bowl, arrests, and pro days will all be watched closely between now and April.
Fourth, this offseason is gearing up to be one with some major coaching changes. New coaches often mean an overhaul of the roster, which could completely change everything. The NFL execs that are safe to be in their seats next season have barely begun to think about the offseason, so it is a silly fact that we have.
Fifth, the status of the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the players and the league could play a major factor in a team’s needs. Most notably, many players slated to become unrestricted free agents may actually become restricted free agents, making it easier for teams to retain them.
So, setting all that aside, let’s take a look at what I came up with. The order is based off of the current NFL standings, with ties being decided by nothing more than alphabetic order.
Also, I made one change to the order… because we all know the Vikes will win the Super Bowl. It’s practically a done deal (kidding).
1.) Browns – Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame: Mangini, or the Browns new coach, decides to choose his own quarterback to rebuild around.
2.) Lions – Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma State: The Lions are capable of having a solid offense if they could only protect their billion dollar quarterback and clear a path for their shining young running back.
3.) Chiefs – Eric Berry, S, Tennessee: The Chiefs desperately need help on pass defense, and Eric Berry happens to be the best player in this draft class. No brainer if they can get their hands on him.
4.) Rams – Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma: The Rams are a mess and have a ton of needs. Starting at quarterback would give them hopes of a Falcons-like turn around.
5.) Buccaneers – Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska: Great value in a position of need. The Bucs have talent at most of the highly valued positions, so rebuilding from the trenches would be a great start.
6.) Raiders – Tim Tebow, QB, Florida: Al Davis likes the big names, despite the wisdom (or lack thereof) of drafting some of these guys. JaMarcus Russell is absolutely terrible.
7.) Titans – Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma: Time to replace Hayneworth with a long term solution. McCoy will help solidify a struggling defense.
8.) Redskins – Jake Locker, QB, Washington: Jason Campbell will probably be allowed to walk after this season. Locker will provide the Skins with a young quarterback to help them get back on track.
9.) Bills – Bruce Campbell, OT, Maryland: Trading Jason Peters did not work out well in the short term, as the Bills line is a mess. Campbell would be a steal at this point.
10.) 49ers – Joe Haden, CB, Florida: The Niners have been demoting Nate Clements of late, which is not a good sign for a guy who chews up a ton of cap space. The Niners may try to replace him ASAP.
11.) Dolphins – Greg Hardy, DE, Ole Miss: The pass rush has been a surprising disappointment for the Fins, and Jason Taylor may only be around for a very limited time. He’d be a great tutor for a young, promising rookie talent.
12.) 49ers – Bryan Bulaga, OT, Iowa: The Niners don’t get the quarterback they covet in this mock draft, so they focus on protecting the ones they are stuck with. Snyder and Pashos have proven they are not the answer at the tackle position.
13.) Seahawks – Trent Williams, OT, Oklahoma: It is hard to tell where the Hawks need help, as they have been in injury hell for two seasons now. I think they start by replacing the ageing, injury prone offensive line.
14.) Ravens – Damian Williams, WR, USC: Another speedy target for Joe Flacco to utilize on game day. The Ravens have a few needs on defense, but surely want to make sure they set up their young quarterback for success.
15.) Broncos – Taylor Mays, S, USC: The Broncos don’t have a ton of needs, so they pick up a prospect with a ton of upside that needs to be tutored by an experienced, talented, hall-of-fame veteran. Oh, hey, they have Brian Dawkins on their roster!
16.) Packers – Charles Brown, OT, USC: If the Packers don’t upgrade their line then people will be fired on the spot. Point Blank. Period. Plus Aaron Rodgers would probably meet an untimely demise.
17.) Jaguars – Brandon Spikes, ILB, Florida: The Jaguars desperately need to put butts in seats, and plan on doing so by bringing in an in-state hero. Unfortunately, Tim Tebow isn’t available so they reach for Spikes.
18.) Jets – Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State: The Braylon Edwards trade worked out big time… for a week. The Jets need to surround their new Sanchize quarterback with as much talent as possible.
19.) Texans – Jahvid Best, RB, California: The Texans desperately need help in the secondary, but they have a chance to finally solidify their running back woes once and for all by drafting the best available player.
20.) Giants – Rolando Mcclain, ILB, Alabama: Antonio Peirce is having an off year, and strangely the Giants defense seems to be fading quickly. McClain can provide a spark, and also a young guy to build around.
21.) Cardinals – Jermaine Gresham, TE, Oklahoma: This provides the Cards with even more firepower in the passing game and some improved blocking on the line.
22.) Falcons – Terrence Cody, NT, Alabama: The Falcons have some true promise on offense, so now it is time to complete the transformation by infusing the defense with young talent. Cody is not an every down player, but should effectively help shut down an opponent’s attempt to run the ball.
23.) Eagles – Travis Lewis, OLB, Oklahoma: The Eagles linebackers have been terrible for the most part this season. An upgrade would be very well received by the fans.
24.) Chargers – C.J. Spiller, Running Back, Clemson: The Chargers fans are used to a solid running game and have expectations set pretty high. With Tomlinson even admitting he’s declining and with Sproles not being an every down back (if they can afford to keep him) the Chargers need to address the running back spot as early as possible.
25.) Bengals – Earl Thomas, FS, Texas: The Bengals are surprisingly solid at most positions. They’d love to find a complimentary back to Benson, but with the top two running backs off the board they try to keep a good thing going by continuing to improve on defense.
26.) Cowboys – Anthony Davis, OT, Rutgers: Flozell has been not so great this year, and the ‘Boys are stuck on Romo for another year. Improving the line will be the best way to make him successful as the rest of the offense is pretty darn solid.
27.) Seahawks – Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas: Matt and Seneca have provided the Seattle fans with a solid duo of quarterbacks for a long time, but that time is coming to an end. Time to bring in a guy that can give some hope to the future.
28.) Patriots – Arthur Jones, DE/DT, Syracuse: The Patriots love hardnosed players with versatility. Arthur Jones provides the Pats with a solid contributor on a defense that could use some help.
29.) Steelers – Morgan Burnett, FS, Georgia Tech: Ryan Clark and Tyrone Carter are both potentially leaving in free agency. Putting a young stud across from Troy would help ensure stability on what is currently a great defense.
30.) Saints – Ras-I Dowling, CB, Virginia: The Saints defense appears like a one year mirage to me, and they need to start getting some quality youth in order to continue their dominating ways.
31.) Colts – Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech: Bill Polian always seems to be a step ahead of everyone else. He knows that he is one year away from losing some of his best defensive ends, so addressing the need a year early is just one more example of why the Colts are consistently one of the best teams in the NFL.
32.) Vikings – Trevard Lindley, CB, Kentucky: No quarterbacks or safeties worth reaching for here, I have the Vikings taking a top corner to try and solidify a secondary that can use help. But this is exactly why I think they may consider trading up for a top quarterback. Lindley may be able to allow Winfield to move into the nickel position sooner rather than later. Some other considerations here are Carlos Dunlap (DE), Sean Weatherspoon (OLB), Donovan Warren (CB), Jason Fox (OT), Jevan Snead (QB), and Marvin Austin (DT).
So there you have it folks. I will make sure to update this from time to time, so check back for more draft talk.