Version 1.0 - 2/8/10.
Version 2.0 - 3/18/10.
33. St. Louis Rams - Daryl Washington, LB,
After committing to a franchise QB with the first overall pick,
lots of other holes to think about here. Giving Bradford a new target
to grow with would be an understandable move, but I think they have
some untapped potential to explore at WR and need to address the
defensive side of the ball. The versatile Washington can play all
three spots, adding depth at a position of need and can challenge
for a starting role outside. A DT like Brian Price or a defensive
back would also be logical here.
34. Detroit Lions – Jahvid Best, RB
Starting RB Kevin Smith tore his ACL late last year and has significant
shoulder problems for which he may have also had surgery this offseason,
so there are major concerns about when he’ll be fit to return
to football. Best, who brings a very different skill set than Smith,
is a great fit even once Smith returns and a no-brainer here.
35. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Golden Tate,
WR, Notre Dame
With reliable hands and elusiveness in space, Tate is the perfect
fit for what the roster currently lacks and a much-needed new weapon
for their young QB.
36. Kansas City Chiefs – Terrence Cody,
Cody saw his draft stock fall as he showed up tipping the scales
at 370lbs at the Senior Bowl. He was down to 354 at the Combine
and 348 at their Pro Day a week later. It looks like cutting weight
hurt his strength, as he only put up 22 reps on the bench. Cody
remains a borderline first-round pick and GM Scott Pioli should
be happy to find a true nose tackle for their 3-4 here.
37. Philadelphia Eagles (from Washington
Redskins) – Kareem Jackson, CB, Alabama
The Eagles parlay QB Donovan McNabb in to Jackson, who had an impressive
Combine, demonstrating better speed and athleticism than expected,
while interviewing very well. After dealing Sheldon Brown, the Eagles
need to reload at corner. The team added Marlin Jackson, but his
health is a questions and he may be slated for FS at this point
in his career. Depending on those plans, this pick could easily
be a safety like Nate Allen, especially if they have him rated hire
than the corners available here.
38. Cleveland Browns – Nate Allen,
S, South Florida
If the Browns don’t select a QB in the first, Colt McCoy or
Tim Tebow would be a likely selection here. As the Browns addressed
QB in the first round, they likely turn their attention to defense
with this pick. They started addressing the secondary with the acquisition
of CB Sheldon Brown from Philadelphia, so that makes it unlikely
they add another corner here. Instead, they bring in Allen, a classic
centerfield-type who is solid across the board and can be a leader
of the secondary. A blitzing OLB is a likely pick too, but I don’t
see the value here to address it here.
39. Oakland Raiders - Brian Price, DT, UCLA
The PAC-10 Defensive Player of the Year is a disruptive force who
showed great pass rush ability for an interior player in racking
up seven sacks last year. After cutting Gerard Warren, the Raiders
have a need here and Price has the potential to be a solid five-technique
end in a 3-4, which the addition of Kamerion Wimbley leaves a possibility
for the Raiders converting to this year. I can’t believe I’m
passing Carlos Dunlap here for Al Davis, but I think they have more
than enough going on at DE.
40. San Diego Chargers (from Seattle Seahawks)
– Carlos Dunlap, DE, Florida
I liked the value of DT Cam Thomas when this was the 60th pick,
but I think it would be a panic move to draft him here now that
they’ve moved up. If they miss out on Terrance Cody, I see
them going a different direction here. CB will be a consideration,
and probably the best value pick, but they still have a decent starting
duo, while adding veterans Nathan Vasher and Donald Strickland for
depth, so they have some flexibility here. Instead, I think they
use this bonus 20 pick jump for the Charlie Whitehurst trade to
swing for the fences. A DUI arrest late last year and questionable
work ethic have dropped Dunlap’s stock, but the early second
round should be the floor for him. There are no questions about
Dunlap’s physical attributes and skill set. If he puts in
the effort and keeps his nose clean, this could be a steal.
41. Buffalo Bills – Tim Tebow, QB,
HC Chan Gailey and his track record with athletic quarterbacks and/or
projects at the position are a good fit for Tebow, I just don’t
see it happening in the first round. As I explained with that pick
above, I don’t think Gailey and GM Buddy Nix have the window
with owner Ralph Wilson and the fans for a complete rebuild. However,
at this pick, it makes more sense. Defense will also be a strong
consideration here, as they try to fit the personnel in to convert
to a 3-4 defense.
42. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (from Chicago Bears)
– Patrick Robinson, CB, Florida State
Depth at corner a problem and Ronde Barber will be calling it a
career soon. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them go back-to-back
wide receivers; they need that much help at the position. 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 make
him a borderline first-round pick again.
43. Denver Broncos (from Miami Dolphins)
– Demaryius Thomas, WR, Georgia Tech
Passing on Dez Bryant pays off when Thomas is available here. A
raw prospect who didn’t see much work in Tech’s run-heavy
offense, he is a big target with good hops and nice YAC –
all the potential to be a WR1.
44. New England Patriots (from Jacksonville
Jaguars) – Arrelious Benn, WR, Illinois
Benn was limited in an incompetent Illinois offense who failed to
utilize him and there were also some questions about his work ethic.
If not Benn, the fellow wide receiver prospect Demaryius Thomas
could be the choice.
45. Denver Broncos – Reshad Jones,
A tough player with great measurables who can player either safety
spot. He brings some great run support to a position they desperately
need an infusion of talented youth.
46. New York Giants – Tyson Alualu,
High motor guy who brings the versatility to play inside or outside,
which the Giants value.
47. New England Patriots (from Tennessee
Titans) – Corey Wootton, DE, Northwestern
The loss of Richard Seymour last year and Jarvis Green this year
makes defensive end a big need to address in the draft. Wootton
looked like a potential first round pick in 2008, but tore up his
knee in their bowl game and then battled ankle problems on road
back last season. Definitely passes the eyeball test with the ideal
size and build for a 3-4 end. They typically like to address the
line in the first round, so I wouldn’t be surprised if they
already made a defensive end selection there, expecting more quality
left at wide receiver and tight end at this pick.
48. Carolina Panthers – Damian Williams,
WR, Southern California
Once considered a possible first-round talent, his pedestrian speed
is a problem for a receiver without exceptional size. This is probably
a little low for him and with his solid hands, Williams provides
a nice compliment to the speedy Steve Smith in Carolina.
49. San Francisco 49ers – Rodger Saffold,
Shrine Game star continues to gain momentum through the evaluation
process. Although looking like more of a right tackle, that would
be good enough opposite Joe Staley.
50. Kansas City Chiefs (from Atlanta Falcons)
– Chad Jones, S, Louisiana State
After passing on Eric Berry in the first round, GM Scott Pioli adds
the versatile big safety from LSU who adds value as a returner,
as well. His 9 reps on the bench were a bit disappointing.
51. Houston Texans – Montario Hardesty,
During a injury-plagued sophomore slump by Steve Slaton, HC Gary
Kubiak struggled to find any consistency from a variety of runners
he paraded in and out of the lineup. While I think Slaton will bounce
back, the episode proved the team needs a reliable second option,
preferably a Thunder to Slaton’s Lightning. Montario Hardesty
had a break through at the Combine and that his running style and
ability is reminiscent of Clinton Portis won’t be missed by
Kubiak, who was the OC in Denver that made Portis a star.
52. Pittsburgh Steelers – Taylor Price,
The departure of Santonio Holmes moves the need at WR up the draft
board. After an impressive Combine, Price’s stock has been
climbing. Despite investing a couple of picks in the position last
year, the Steelers could also look to improve their starter opposite
CB Ike Taylor.
53. New England Patriots – Jonathan
Dwyer, RB, Georgia Tech
His numbers were down, as Tech’s option offense afforded plenty
of carries to A-Back Anthony Allen and mobile QB Josh Nesbitt, and
the Combine was a minor disaster for him, but Dwyer has plenty of
upside. His experience and willingness as a role player is a great
fit for HC Bill Belichick’s RBBC. In my initial mock draft,
I had Tebow slotted for one of the Patriots’ second round
picks, and I begrudgingly moved away from that, but still think
it makes a lot of sense. Few coaches have the job security to spend
an early pick and figure out what to do with Tebow later. There
is plenty to like about Tebow – he is an impressive physical
specimen and his leadership and intangibles are off the chart. Belichick
has the luxury of taking time to see if he can develop Tebow into
a pro QB, while finding ways to work him in certain packages for
short-term return. You know Tebow will be dedicated and put the
work in, so it won’t be for lack of effort if it doesn’t
work out. This pairing is actually a no-brainer; the question is
does Belichick see enough upside to make the move. If he doesn’t,
and doesn’t go RB here, the other two options here seem pretty
obvious, as obvious as any prediction can be when it comes to Belichick
and the draft. As this mock already addresses defensive end and
outside linebacker for the Patriots, tight end and corner are the
other options. The departure of Ben Watson and Chris Baker leave
the cupboard bare at the position and plenty of options with one
of their three second round picks. I also guarantee CB Amari Spivey
is high on Belichick’s draft board. He lacks elite speed,
but is one of the most physical corners and a great fit.
54. Cincinnati Bengals – Geno Atkins,
Undersized interior lineman with disruptive burst a good fit in
their defensive line rotation that needs some improvement.
55. Philadelphia Eagles – Vladimir
Ducasse, OG, Massachusetts
A project from the Football Championship Subdivision (aka FCS, aka
Division I-AA) who has the size and physical attributes, but needs
to develop. He was getting a lot of hype until the Combine, where
he has a solid performance, but showed he is probably limited to
guard at the next level. A raw product with athleticism and promising
upside, he is exactly the type of player HC Andy Reid likes to identify
in the mid-rounds. The release of Shawn Andrews makes it certain
Reid will hit the offensive line at least once in this draft.
56. Green Bay Packers – Ricky Sapp,
Undersized for DE at the next level, Sapp can use his quickness
and athleticism to develop in to a solid pass rusher. Excellent
fit opposite Clay Matthews on the edges of their 3-4 with Aaron
57. Baltimore Ravens – Dominique Franks,
Fabian Washington and Ladarius Webb are both coming off torn ACLs,
and with Samari Rolle released as expected, it’s a position
the Ravens are already lacking the talent they are used to there.
Newsome is a big fan of Alabama HC Nick Saban and former Tide CB
Kareem Jackson could be the selection. The team reportedly has also
shown a strong interest in rising CB Devin McCourty, so he could
also be the pick. However, the team would need to trade up to get
either of those two.
58. Arizona Cardinals – Rob Gronkowski,
Injury-prone star is the total package if he can stay healthy. Health
concerns, particularly his back, drop him here, where he provides
a nice security blanket for their new franchise QB.
59. Dallas Cowboys – Morgan Burnett,
S, Georgia Tech
Burnett slipped briefly after sitting out the Combine with a hamstring,
but blew scouts away at Georgia Tech’s Pro Day. He was named
to several All-American teams after an outstanding sophomore campaign
in 2008. His numbers were down a bit in 2009, but he still flashed
his playmaking skills with four picks, a forced fumble and a blocked
60. Seattle Seahawks (from San Diego Chargers)
– Ben Tate, RB, Auburn
After passing on C.J. Spiller in the first round, the Seahawks address
adding another option with upside to the RB rotation.
61. New York Jets – Koa Misi, OLB,
He has played pretty much every position in the front seven during
his career on the Utes, before settling in a DE. HC Rex Ryan will
appreciate the versatility and look at him primarily at an OLB in
their 3-4, where he offers good pass rush potential but is a weakness
62. Minnesota Vikings – Colt McCoy,
McCoy’s nightmare free fall ends. There is a world of difference
between being talented enough to be a great college QB and just
a starting NFL QB. Short and lacking arm strength, I won’t
be surprised to see McCoy fall further.
63. Indianapolis Colts – Arthur Jones,
Viewed as a possible first-round pick coming in to the season, his
stock dropped after a late knee injury with cost him appearing in
the Senior Bowl or at the Combine. He is a pure run-stuffer and
nice future replacement for Pat Williams.
64. New Orleans Saints – Navorro Bowman,
LB, Penn State
Some baggage and an unspectacular Combine have Bowman, once looked
at as a possible first-round pick, falling down draft boards and
makes for a nice match of need and talent.