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2010 NFL Mock Draft: Version 2.0
Round 1

Round: One | Two | Three
Version 1.0 - 2/8/10.
Version 3.0 - 4/20/10.

1. St. Louis Rams – Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma
If Bradford’s shoulder checks out medically and there are no significant problems at his March 25th individual workout (he did not throw at the Combine or Oklahoma’s March 9th Pro Day), he will be the selection. In my initial mock draft, I discussed that the top quarterbacks would gain momentum coming out of the Combine and GM Billy Devaney might not be able to withstand the pressure of passing on one, hence why 9 of the last 12 first overall picks have been quarterbacks. In his first two years as GM of the Rams, Devaney has passed on Matt Ryan and Mark Sanchez early in the first round, only to see those two quarterbacks lead their team to the playoffs as rookies, while the Rams have remained the worst team in the league. That is why they will select Bradford instead of Ndamukong Suh. The lack of moves so far to address the position otherwise supports the case for the pick. The only change has been the addition of journeyman A.J. Feeley, clearly not aimed as a long-term solution. However, Feeley’s previous success as a role player and past relationship with OC Pat Shurmur when both were on the Eagles, make him an ideal bridge QB to start out the year until Bradford is ready. QB Jimmy Clausen could also be the pick, but I don’t believe they rate him as highly. If Bradford doesn’t check out medically or in the workout, then Ndamukong Suh or Gerald McCoy will be the first DT taken as the top overall pick since 1994. Both impressed at the Combine and remain consensus elite prospects. Defensive-minded HC Steve Spagnuolo could still be executing a sales pitch for Suh or McCoy on up to April 22nd in their war room.

Ndamukong Suh

The next Albert Haynesworth?

2. Detroit Lions – Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska
HC Jim Swartz has to drool at the thought of having a player similar to Albert Haynesworth, who Swartz built his defense at Tennessee as defensive coordinator around, but with none of the baggage. The acquisition of DT Corey Williams from the Browns shouldn’t impact this decision if Suh is available, but OT Russell Okung is a serious consideration here. GM Martin Mayhew is reportedly still very interested in Okung and the team has been doing significant due diligence on him. If Suh is off the board, I’d say Okung is the pick, but in this mock with Suh there, I believe they take him.

3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma
With Bradford going to the Rams, the options open significantly for the Bucs. Each pick gets more and more difficult for me not to select OT Russell Okung. He has separated himself from the pack as the top offensive tackle prospect and a lock to go in the first five picks as such. However, while underrated LT Donald Penn and his agent may be disgruntled at getting slapped with the highest tender for the second consecutive year, it gives the team flexibility to pass on Okung. McCoy’s pass rush ability and athleticism give him the opportunity to be the same type of rare interior playmaker that Warren Sapp was. His 23 reps on the bench at the Combine was the first remotely alarming issue yet with McCoy, but it would be surprising to see him fall out of the top 10. DE could be a consideration here if Suh and McCoy are gone, but Derrick Morgan or Jason Pierre-Paul might be a bit of a reach here. In that case, many project S Eric Berry, arguably one of the top three overall prospects, going in this spot. While Monte Kiffen, who was Berry’s defensive coordinator at Tennessee last year, will highly recommend the safety to his old team, this is a bit high for defensive back when you have as much of a need for a big on either side of the line and almost as much quality. I don’t see Berry as a possibility. If GM Mark Dominik wants to take a bigger gamble here, I think it could be on WR Dez Bryant before Berry. This pick could be pivotal if any teams fall in love with Jimmy Clausen (or Sam Bradford if Clausen goes first) and worry about beating the Redskins to him.

4. Washington Redskins – Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma State
While there are some reports that new HC Mike Shanahan is a fan of Sam Bradford, he and GM Bruce Allen should be ecstatic to have Okung fall to them, especially after the retirement of LT Chris Samuels. Although a groin injury prevented Okung from completing his workouts at the Combine, what he did do there was solid enough to confirm him as the top offensive tackle in the draft and lock him in as a top 5 pick. His 38 reps on the bench press, despite his long arms, were the best among tackles and demonstrated his excellent upper body strength and work ethic. I don’t think QB Jimmy Clausen is in the discussion unless both Bradford and Okung are gone here.

5. Kansas City Chiefs – Trent Williams, OT, Oklahoma
GM Scott Pioli will have to think long and hard about passing on a potential superstar like S Eric Berry, but ultimately the most pressing need is protecting the investment he banked his career in KC on, Matt Cassel. 2008 first-round pick Branden Albert didn’t succeed as a LT and they need to keep Cassel vertical, so they bring in the athletic Williams to protect the blind side and move Albert to RT or return to his natural guard position to hopefully be more productive. It’s a close call between Williams and Iowa OT Bryan Bulaga, both providing solid combine performances that compliment what you see on film. NFL Network’s Mike Mayock pointed out the relationship between Pioli and Iowa HC Kirk Ferentz and the type of lineman Ferentz develops as possibly swaying the decision to Bulaga. However, going back to his Patriot days, Pioli has never been involved in a front office that drafted an Iowa lineman. I don’t think that’s much of a factor. If anyone is clamoring for QB Jimmy Clausen at this point, Pioli would be all too happy to trade down a few spots and still get a premier OT while picking up an extra second rounder and such.

6. Seattle Seahawks – Eric Berry, S, Tennessee
As we go to press, RFA QB Charlie Whitehurst appears to be headed to Seattle over Arizona, who have also just signed free agent QB Derek Anderson. While Seattle lacks the third round pick that Whitehurst is tendered at, it appears they will negotiate a trade with San Diego for Whitehurst. Add to that the flirtations with Denver RFA WR Brandon Marshall, and they do not seem like moves to set the table for drafting a potential franchise QB here. Does Whitehurst agree to come here if he doesn’t think he has an opportunity to be the future QB? Do you add a temperamental player like Marshall to be the focal point of the offense and then have a rookie throwing to him? It seems new HC Pete Carroll, a guy who is extremely familiar with Clausen, doesn’t see him as a franchise QB in the NFL. Instead, Carroll will be looking for linemen and playmakers. The top value between both here is Berry. The secondary has a few serviceable parts, but lacking in upside and, after the release of S Deon Grant, just one certain starter in CB Marcus Trufant. I could go a few different ways with this pick. I think RB C.J. Spiller is right there with Berry in terms of the type of playmaker Carroll could add here and value. Also, I typically don’t see going this high for a safety, especially when you need to address both sides of the line. I can easily see Berry falling as low as the 10th pick.

7. Cleveland Browns – Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame
When new team president Mike Holmgren brought in former protégée Seneca Wallace from Seattle, the ideal bridge QB to run his WCO while a new franchise QB is groomed, and purged the QB corps he inherited, Cleveland selecting a QB made a lot of sense. After Holmgren gave free agent Jake Delhomme a two-year contract paying him an inexplicable $7MM per, selecting a QB appeared to make less sense and I started thinking Holmgren must not like either Bradford or Clausen (doesn’t matter what Holmgren publically says, this time of year is a misinformation jubilee) because he laid the groundwork to put off finding a new QB for a year. However, the trade of OLB Kamerion Wimbley for a third-round pick has clarified my thoughts on the subject. Now the Browns have some juice to trade up a couple spots, if necessary, to at least get ahead of Seattle’s 6th pick (of all teams, Holmgren wouldn’t want his last team snagging the guy he thought was a franchise QB) and maybe up to Tampa Bay’s 3rd pick. He’ll have to spend more to get the first overall pick if Bradford really is his target. So that brings us back to Delhomme. I assume that move was a high-premium insurance plan. If we find out Bradford’s shoulder still isn’t right after his workout and the whole top of the draft is disheveled, or Holmgren can’t pull off the trade, Delhomme becomes a reclamation project. I’m sure Holmgren likes Delhomme’s intangibles and since his problems are reportedly more mental than physical, holds out hope they can be corrected for some short-term gains along the lines of what Kurt Warner did for Arizona. Bottom line, I think the Browns trade up to secure Clausen, although I think he falls to them here regardless. With the secondary a mess, it will be hard to pass on S Eric Berry or CB Joe Haden here and WR Dez Bryant could be a wildcard, but Cleveland invested a lot in that position last year and those players need an opportunity.

8. Oakland Raiders – Bruce Campbell, OT, Maryland
With a bevy of young talent at skill positions on offense, adding a top prospect to an offensive line that has been a lingering problem seems obvious. Of course, Al Davis rarely follows conventional wisdom in the draft, spurning solid necessities for shiny luxuries known as workout warriors. Well this spot offers the perfect combination of need coinciding with the type of athletic specimen Mr. Davis loves. Campbell blew everyone away at the Combine with his terrific measurables and freakish performances in workouts. While that might not jibe with his limited and unexceptional work on film, this would be a textbook Al Davis pick. I previously had OT Anthony Davis to Oakland in this spot, but his Combine performance was the antithesis of what Davis looks for. OT Trent Williams, who also had a nice Combine and is a better prospect, could also be the pick here. As for alternatives, although he lacks the big arm Davis desires, under different circumstances, QB Jimmy Clausen has the swagger and name recognition Davis values if he fell here. The hit for cutting Jamarcus Russell is actually manageable at his point, but Davis has looked like he’ll continue to stand behind him and has a history of doing so with his draft picks that become personal projects. Defensive ends Carlos Dunlap and Jason Pierre-Paul also have the athleticism Davis covets, but the acquisition of OLB/DE Kamerion Wimbley from Cleveland makes them unlikely to address the position here.

9. Buffalo Bills – Bryan Bulaga, OT, Iowa
The team has yet to recover from trading Pro Bowl LT Jason Peter prior to last year’s draft and compounding the problem by ignoring the position with their two first-round picks. With both top QB prospects off the board, taking Bulaga here is a no-brainer. If either top QB fell, the Bills would have a tough decision. Not sure either Sam Bradford or Jimmy Clausen has the arm to thrive in Buffalo’s weather. Also making a QB selection questionable is the new tandem of GM Buddy Nix and HC Chan Gailey. A distinguished talent evaluator, Nix has been around for a while, but never had responsibility for the final decisions. After seemingly failing in landing one of the many big name coaches available, Nix settled on Gailey. Not exactly the type of choice that seems the answer to a team that has gone through five coaches in the last decade. Bottom line is both Nix and Gailey need to turn things around fast to hold their jobs. That being the case, improving the offensive line to support the running game, one of Gailey’s strengths as a coordinator, and trying to salvage something from Trent Edwards seems the quicker fix than rebuilding around a rookie QB. Gailey has been able to achieve reasonable success with quarterbacks far less talented than Edwards in the past.

10. Jacksonville Jaguars – Taylor Mays, S, Southern California
After filling their biggest gap, a pass rushing DE, with the signing of free agent Aaron Kampman, GM Gene Smith would likely prefer to trade down to select draft the best player available there on defense and add the second round pick the team currently lacks to draft QB Tim Tebow. New England, with three second round picks, would be the perfect trade partner, but they are typically in the pick acquisition side of the deal and I expect they are also interested in Tebow. If they stay here, I think Smith will be looking for a playmaker on defense. Mays gambled and lost coming back for his senior year. USC had a tough season and his game was overanalyzed to the point his draft value fell. He reminded people of his immense physical potential with a great showing at the Combine and his stock is back on the rise. The best case scenario for Smith would be for Berry to fall, but if he doesn’t, I like the fit for Mays. CB Joe Haden and versatile S Earl Thomas are two other logical picks here, but I don’t see either as any more of a reach then Mays. The addition of Kampman doesn’t preclude them from still going after another DE, especially if they stay with the 10th pick since they will have their pick of the litter. The pass rush bottomed out last year as the worst in the league, totaling just 14 sacks, while Kampman brings injury concerns coming back from knee surgery. The team will go back to a base 4-3 this year and 2008 first-round pick Derrick Harvey will start at left end, so a rookie like Derrick Morgan or Jason Pierre-Paul could be eased in as a pass rush specialist with Kampman and Harvey. The team reportedly had a strong presence at Georgia Tech’s Pro Day, where there are potential fits of both Morgan as a first-round pick and S Morgan Burnett as a third-round possibility.

Dez Bryant

Marshall or no Marshall, Bryant would be a good fit in Denver.

11. Denver Broncos (from Chicago Bears) – Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State
Some sniffing around Brandon Marshall and his first round tender, but no deal is imminent. This could carry on right up to draft day and while it wouldn’t be a complete surprise to see Marshall back in a Denver uniform, it seems best for both parties to part ways. The pick assumes something is done by the draft, but the talent makes this a sound pick regardless. Bryant didn’t work out at the Combine or Oklahoma State’s Pro Day due to a lingering hamstring injury, so we haven’t seen anything from him since September, before he was suspended for the rest of the season after the third game due to a minor NCAA violation. While he lacks elite timed speed, he is the top WR prospect in this class with ideal size, outstanding body control, and soft hands. Another likely selection here would be LB Rolando McClain, particularly after the surprising release of Andra Davis. The overhaul of the defensive line through free agency, with the additions of NT Jamal Williams and DE Jarvis Green, seem to indicate they won’t address the defensive line with this pick.

12. Miami Dolphins – Dan Williams, DT, Tennessee
The eight-game suspension for aging NT Jason Ferguson makes addressing this position now even more pressing. Williams has been a fast-rising prospect since and a good fit to be the key disruptive force in the middle of a 3-4. It had been popular to mock LB Rolando McClain at this pick, until they added veteran Karlos Dansby. That doesn’t preclude McClain from being the pick here, while he lacks elite athleticism, McClain brings the two key attributes Bill Parcells wants in his linebackers – big and smart. Outside linebacker is a need, as well, and the Dolphins should have their choice of all the tweeners available, but I don’t know think any are a good value here. If Dez Bryant falls, he could be a consideration here too.

13. San Francisco 49ers – Joe Haden, CB, Florida
With help in the secondary already a need, the team is pleasantly surprised to find the top CB in the draft fall out of the top ten. Forget the 40 time, he’ll correct it at Florida’s Pro Day. Haden is a shutdown corner who creates turnovers in the air and on the ground. He could go as high as 7th overall. If Haden doesn’t make it this far, S Taylor Mays or S Earl Thomas could be the pick. They are also likely to consider an offensive tackle here and maybe even a linebacker. There is also a lot of discussion of their potential interest in RB C.J. Spiller, both for his running and to improve their return game. It is an appealing strategy, but the opportunity to really improve a couple other areas makes more sense when the depth chart is already solid at running back.

14. Seattle Seahawks (from Denver Broncos) – C.J. Spiller, RB, Clemson
After using their six pick on Berry, the Seahawks should use this pick to deal with needs the core positions of left tackle or defensive end. Instead, HC Pete Carroll adds another luxury to provide instant excitement to the offense. Spiller is getting far too little love in mocks and from draft pundits. While he may lack ideal size, the kid is special. There are home run hitters, and then there is Spiller. He had 21 touchdowns over 50 yards and 9 of those were over 80 yards. I considered plugging in OT Anthony Davis here, but his stock is dropping a bit after a disappointing Combine and Pro Day he called in sick to (more on that under Davis at the 27th pick to Dallas). He has potential to be an elite OT and top ten pick, but we’ll see how perception of him rebounds after (if?) he works out again. Another logical selection here would one of the top the defensive ends. In this scenario, they are all still available, so Derrick Morgan or Jason Pierre-Paul would make sense.

15. New York Giants – Rolando McClain, LB, Alabama
A disappointing Combine performance, which McClain attributed to a hamstring problem, and the revelation that he suffers from Crohn’s disease have raised some concerns about him, but he remains a solid first-round prospect. Without Antonio Pierce, the defense needs not only a player to fill the position at MLB, but the role of a leader, and McClain is a great fit for both. LB Sean Weatherspoon could be a surprise selection here instead of McClain for the same reason. Another strong consideration here would be the defensive line. The addition of S Antrel Rolle as the highest paid safety in the history of the NFL means they definitely are no longer looking a safety here.

16. Tennessee Titans – Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech
The pass rush needs a jump start and with the departure of Kyle Vanden Bosch through free agency, I’d be shocked if the Titans don’t take a defensive end here. Morgan is as solid a first-round pick as you’ll find. Equally good as a pass rusher and against the run, his Combine performance reinforced every positive view of him. Intelligence and character complete a great package. However, he just doesn’t seem like a special player. Other top ends will be a consideration, particularly the athletic Jason Pierre-Paul possibly reminding HC Jeff Fisher of a young Jevon Kearse. Carlos Dunlap’s baggage and reportedly unimpressive interviews are dragging him down, despite first-round talent, but he is also a conceivable pick here. Everson Griffen’s stock is going the opposite way, so he’s in the mix too. With the quality options that should be available here, I’d be shocked if the Titans drafted anything other than a DE here.

17. San Francisco 49ers (from Carolina Panthers) – Sergio Kindle, OLB, Texas
A versatile player, able to handle the run and pass in coverage or blitzing, but the Combine confirmed Kindle is definitely a tweener. He isn’t an elite pass rusher and needs to bulk up, particularly better lower body strength, to play the run at the next level. The 49ers need a playmaker on the edges of their 3-4 and Kindle has great potential here, but I think he is a bit overvalued. Fellow tweener Brandon Graham will also be a consideration here. HC Mike Singletary is definitely a guy who goes by what he sees on the field over measurables and won’t hesitate to push for Graham if he likes him better. Another tweener, Jerry Hughes, is a bit of reach here, but I think he’s undervalued right now. Offensive line could be a consideration here and so will defensive back, particularly if they didn’t address it with the 13th pick.

18. Pittsburgh Steelers – Mike Iupati, G, Idaho
President Art Rooney II has publically stated the team needs to get better at running the ball, so addressing that will be a priority in the draft. Iupati erased any doubts about his ability against superior competition at the Senior Bowl. The Steelers value versatility in their linemen and Iupaiti can play tackle, but is probably best suited to guard. Bringing back Ryan Clark likely means they won’t address safety with a high pick. An interesting scenario would be C.J. Spiller falling to this pick. Spiller is the perfect compliment to a north-south runner like Mendenhall. This is the absolute floor for Spiller and I have no doubt the Steelers select him over anyone else I expect could realistically fall this far.

19. Atlanta Falcons – Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, South Florida
An aging John Abraham and the failure of former first-round pick Jamaal Anderson to develop in to a threat from edge leave defensive end a significant need. While recent mid-round picks Lawrence Sidbury Jr. and Kroy Biermann have some promise, GM Thomas Dimitroff is unlikely to pass on the opportunity to acquire a potentially elite pass rusher. With a resume thin on starting experience, Pierre-Paul needed to impress at the Combine and didn’t disappoint. Pierre-Paul has more bust potential than DE Derrick Morgan, but also the higher ceiling. I could see either one being the selection here if both are available.

20. Houston Texans –Earl Thomas, S, Texas
It’s all about beating Peyton Manning in the AFC South and the Texans need better defensive backs to do it. Thomas has gone through the evaluation process in the shadow of safeties Eric Berry and Taylor Mays, but packs plenty of talent, strength and instinct in a slightly undersized frame. A natural ball hawk, he can also play corner and the Texans need help at both spots, so he brings them plenty of options as they continue to address the secondary in free agency. The loss of Dunta Robinson makes it likely they could also select one of the top true corners with this pick. Running back is a bit of a wild card. Which Steve Slaton they believe is the real one – the inspiring 2008 rookie or the injury-plagued sophomore slumper of 2009 – dictates how early they add another runner. Defensive tackle is another position they may want to address here, with plenty of good choices on the board, but they probably have too much money invested in the front four already to do that here. With the quality of secondary options that should be available here, I’d be shocked if they selected something other than a CB or S.

21. Cincinnati Bengals - Jermaine Gresham, TE, Oklahoma
Between injuries and the bust that was Chase Coffman, TE was an unmitigated disaster in Cincinnati. Despite missing all of last year with a knee injury, Gresham is the top TE prospect who adds value as a blocker as well as a receiver. The anemic passing game gets a boost with the addition of free agent WR Antonio Bryant, but adding Gresham to the mix brings even more potential and flexibility to the offense. Defensive tackle and safety will also be prime considerations here. I can easily see this spot stopping S Taylor Mays from dropping further.

22. New England Patriots – Brandon Graham, OLB, Michigan
The undersized tweener turned heads at the Senior Bowl and while draftniks and pundits raced to move Graham up draft boards. While he came in under 6’2” at the Combine, he continued to impress with his workouts, particularly his movement in drills and 31 reps on the bench. His versatility and pass rush potential could make him the next Elvis Dumervil. Fellow tweener Jerry Hughes is a possibility, as well. However, HC Bill Belichick typically eschews drafting a tweener high. Running through other options here is an exercise in futility because with Belichick, no player or position would be a surprising selection any more.

23. Green Bay Packers - Kyle Wilson, CB, Boise State
Al Harris will be 36 before the season ends and is coming off a devastating knee injury in November. While Charles Woodson is coming off a season that saw him voted Defensive Player of the Year and hasn’t missed a game in two years, he turns 34 this season and is a constant presence on the injury report. Wilson confirmed he was a shutdown corner at the Senior Bowl and adds value as a returner. He didn’t run at the Combine, so the pressure is on for him at Boise State’s Pro Day, seeing as at 5’10” flat and under 200 pounds, he better confirm he has top end speed. The Packers allowed the most sacks in the league last year and many expect the Packers to address offensive line here. However, they resigned both LT Chad Clifton and RT Mark Tauscher. Considering the sack total, resigning their tackles might not seem like a good decision, but Tauscher didn’t sign with the team until mid-season due to an injury and the protection improved after he joined. While it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them select an offensive tackle here, the OT signings give them options at addressing other needs with their first pick and taking a developmental prospect for the line later.

24. Philadelphia Eagles –Everson Griffen, DE, USC
HC Andy Reid loves drafting defensive linemen early and this year should be no different. There is plenty of first-round talent available on the defensive line this year and some should be left for Reid to choose from here. Other than Trent Cole, their collection of ends features a shaky coalition of role players who may have overachieved a bit in recent years and have, or should be expected to, return to the mean in their performance. Griffen didn’t live up to his potential in college, but his performance at the Combine confirmed he definitely still can at the next level. If Derrick Morgan or Jason Pierre-Paul falls, clearly they would considerations, and I also think Carlos Dunlap will start to be a serious consideration around this pick. His combination of size and athleticism makes him a great fit for an Eagles’ defense that likes to come at you from all angles and could move Dunlap around the front seven.

25. Baltimore Ravens - Patrick Robinson, CB, Florida State
The acquisition of Anquan Boldin frees them up from possibly reaching for a WR here to being able to address the biggest area of need on the defense at a position well stocked in this draft class. Corners Fabian Washington and Ladarius Webb are both coming off torn ACLs at position the Ravens are already lacking the talent they are used to there. Robinson’s stock was falling after the season due to inconsistency and not being an impact player, but part of that was opposing teams avoiding throwing at him. A solid Senior Bowl and fantastic Combine should end the two-year absence of Seminoles from the first round. The team reportedly has also shown a strong interest in rising CB Devin McCourty, so he could also be the pick. TE Jermaine Gresham would also make sense, as I expect them to address that position at some point in the draft.

26. Arizona Cardinals - Jerry Hughes, OLB, Texas Christian
No team was hit harder by the departure of several key players this offseason. With Sam Bradford and Jimmy Clausen off the board, the team isn’t likely to address QB with this pick. They seem to prefer to bring in some cheap competition for Matt Leinart. They picked up a third round pick in their trade of Anquan Boldin to the Ravens and that fits nicely with the third-round tender needed for San Diego back-up QB Charlie Whitehurst, for which they are reportedly negotiating. Their depth at WR made accommodating a Boldin trade possible, so they aren’t likely to address that position here with so many other needs. They signed Kerry Rhodes to replace the departed Antrel Rolle, a move I like a lot. That leaves linebacker as their biggest need. Karlos Dansby was clearly their biggest loss on defense, but there won’t be a player of his versatility and playmaking to plug in at ILB available here. On the outside, Bertrand Berry has retired and they are not expected to resign free agent Chike Okeafor. While they spent two picks last year on edge rushers, Cody Brown and Will Davis, I think the value of Hughes is too good to pass here. Perception of Hughes fell a bit as his production decreased in 2009 after leading the nation in sacks with 15 in 2008. Still, he had 11.5 sacks last year and is one of the best pure pass rushers in this draft class. While undersized to remain a defensive end, he looks like the perfect fit for a successful conversion to 3-4 rush linebacker a la Terrell Suggs. A similar player like Sergio Kindle would be a consideration here if he falls. Offensive tackle could also be a consideration, as well as a security blanket TE for new starting QB Matt Leinart.

27. Dallas Cowboys – Anthony Davis, OT, Rutgers
Penalty-prone LT Flozell Adams turns 35 before the season and RT Marc Colombo has a significant injury history. I was looking for an offensive tackle to mock here, but didn’t see value, until Anthony Davis called in sick for his Pro Day. After a disappointing Combine, with the lowlight being just 21 reps on the bench for a player whose work ethic is questionable, Davis continued to hurt his stock by leaving his Pro Day early. Apparently Davis showed up to meet with teams in the morning at Rutgers’ Pro Day, but then refused to weigh in and left unexpectedly before the drills started. In a vacuum, this would be a bad decision, but probably not hurt his draft value. However, this type of lack of accountability has plagued Davis’ throughout college and is now a major red flag. Ultimately I’ll probably end up moving Davis back up, because you need to look no further than the amazingly similar actions of Andre Smith last year and he still ended up in Cincinnati with the 6th overall pick. So this scenario is probably the absolute floor for tumble by Davis. Similarly, I could see the same for workout warrior OT Bruce Campbell. Without Davis or Campbell falling, there probably won’t be value in picking an offensive tackle here. While they could still reach here, this draft class is deep at that position, so they can wait and address it later. Another free fall they could stop here would be S Taylor Mays, another great opportunity this late for big upside.

28. San Diego Chargers – Ryan Matthews, RB, Fresno State
Last year’s leading Division I FBS rusher came to the Combine and proved his athletic ability is more than sufficient to provide similar production at the next level. He likely erased any doubts of being work a first-round pick for this particular team, who need to do something at RB after parting ways with LaDainian Tomlinson and apparently ready to do the same with Darren Sproles. Whereas they previously had to be debating spending their first-round pick to get Matthews, their biggest concern now is whether or not he makes it to them. If they let back-up QB Charlie Whitehurst go, as expected, they should acquire an additional third round pick, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see them package it to try move to the low teens (ahead of Houston) to lock Matthews down. They also let an aging and dinged-up Jamal Williams go, so NT becomes a significant need. Reaching for a Terrence Cody here wouldn’t be a shock, but I like the value better of going NT in the next round or two more than that of waiting on RB.

29. New York Jets - Carlos Dunlap, DE, Florida
Having shored up CB with the trade for Antonio Cromartie, the Jets should look for the best value in their front three or at pass-rush linebacker. A DUI arrest late last year and questionable work ethic have dropped Dunlap’s stock, but HC Rex Ryan is a top player’s coach and a good fit for players with baggage. There are no questions about Dunlap’s physical attributes and skill set. If he puts in the effort and keeps his nose clean, Dunlap has fantastic potential. The safer Jared Odrick and Brian Price, who would each convert from DT to DE, are also options here.

30. Minnesota Vikings – Devin McCourty, CB, Rutgers
After tearing his ACL late last season, there is concern that CB Cedric Griffin won’t be ready for the start of the season. On the other side, an aging Antoine Winfield struggled through an injury-plagued season and even if he can return to being an elite player, the lack of quality behind him was exposed when he was dinged up. McCourty was a solid collegiate performer who turned heads with his athleticism in the evaluation period and is a borderline first-round pick. Although Pat Williams plans to return in 2010 at 37 year old, addressing defensive tackle here and improving the depth makes sense. Especially in this mock, where potential first-round talents like Jared Odrick and Brian Price have slipped. The wildcard, once again, is Brett Favre. The assumption is he returns next year, but if he decides to really, really retire this time, that impacts the draft plan.

31. Indianapolis Colts - Maurkice Pouncey, C, Florida
A long offseason for the Colts after their Super Bowl loss has to include considering the future at center after Jeff Saturday, who turns 35 this year. Pouncey comes from a complex offensive system, so he should be able to handle the challenging mental aspects of the role on this team. He could step in as a guard while Saturday plays out his career and then slide over to center. The defensive line could likely be addressed with this pick, while linebacker and the secondary could also use some improvement in depth. I could see an undersized rusher they will keep with his hand down, like Brandon Graham or Jerry Hughes, being a nice fit if either falls.

32. New Orleans Saints - Sean Weatherspoon, LB, Missouri
A productive OLB with the Tigers, Weatherspoon can play either side and also handle the middle. Great intangibles and leadership, he is a good fit for the Saints where he could challenge for a starting job outside or at least add much-needed depth. I really think this guy has first-round talent and wouldn’t be surprised if he is already off the board by this pick.

Round Two