I decided I would take a shot at one of these things. I did pretty good with a mock I had going with a couple buddies last year, so let's see how I do this year.
Note: I'm not doing any draft day trades and I'm only doing round 1 picks
1. St. Louis Rams select......QB Sam Bradford Oklahoma
I personally don't like this for St. Louis, but there's already rumors that they're working on signing him so this is pretty much a given. I'd pick Suh if I was in their shoes because Bradford is not really star quality, nor will he succeed early on.
I'd take Suh and wait for next year's better QB draft. St. Louis might even have a more developed O-Line and WR corps at the point. But for now, they will have a QB scrambling for his life without an option to throw to.
Now if he doesn't suffer any major injuries (who am I kidding), Bradford could become a decent QB in this league. But by that time Jackson will probably be on his last legs. Bradford just isn't a good move for the Rams by any stretch of the imagination.
Pick Grade: D, if only for the fact that Ryan saved the Falcons when I said similar things of him
2. Detroit Lions pick......LT Russell Okung Oklahoma State
Top two picks coming out of Oklahoma schools, Detroit is clearly looking towards building their offense. Okung is getting more looks than Suh is by Detroit, and I think this is a very smart move for Detroit.
Okung has all the physical tools to be a top OT in the NFL almost immediately, and who knows what Stafford can manage with a good O-Line and some fancy new toys. He had some impressive moments without either last year. Okung is also a good run blocker for the very underrated Kevin Smith.
There is still a good chance that Detroit trades the pick or drafts Suh instead, but I can't see them passing up on the best OT in the draft. You get the best talent for your biggest need, what's there not to like?
Pick Grade: A+, there's no better pick for this team
3. Tampa Bay Buccanners pick.......DT Ndamukong Suh Nebraska
Many say that Tampa is looking to relive the glory days by drafting Warren Sapp.....I mean Gerald McCoy. But pass up on Suh for a pure pass rusher? I don't buy it. Tampa realizes by now that you can't succeed with just good pass defense in this league. They have tried in previous years and failed.
Thus we see Suh come in. A great pass rusher, and an animal in the run game. He makes the whole D-Line a better more physical unit. This in turn makes things easier on the LB, allowing them to drop back and do what they do best. Play Tampa zone.
A lot of people are predicting Suh as the next overhyped future bust, but I don't buy it. At the very least, he'll be a solid DT for over a decade. At best, a dominant Pro Bowl cailber DT.
Pick Grade: A, great pick, but Berry seems the safer bet.
4. Washington Redskins pick.....OT Bryan Bulaga Iowa
A bit of a reach? I think not. Yes they could get a more sure thing in Trent Williams, but he's not anywhere near as good a run blocker as Bulaga. Shanahan may be a pass game guru, but even he has to see that the Redskins revolve around physical smashmouth football.
So Bulaga is not a reach as he fits their mindset and philosophy better than even Russell Okung could. Bulaga can come in and be a great run blocker, and possibly develop his work in the pass game to become a great all-around OT. Shanahan does wonders with OT's, and i think he'd love a raw hard-worker like Bulaga.
Pick Grade: B+, even if Bulaga doesn't become a good pass blocker, he should still be a top run blocker
5. Kansas City Chiefs pick......LB Rolando McClain Alabama
KC went 3-4 to better their run D. Unfortunately, this has not been the case. So they drafted two top D-Line prospects. Neither had the immediate success KC hoped for. KC always drafts for potential and McClain's is sky-high. Some claim him as the next Ray Lewis, other say he's another Napoleon Harris.
Either way, it's an improvement over the yearly washed-up vet signings at LB. McClain brings a more physical presence in the middle and is a better coverage guy than any of the Chiefs current LB's.
Does McClain solve their defensive woes? No. There's just too much mediocrity for McClain to fix, maybe too much for him to even succeed.
Pick Grade: C+, I believe in McClain to be a star LB, but for a team other than KC
6. Seattle Seahawks pick.......DT Gerald McCoy Oklahoma
Remember last year when Seattle was scrambling through free agency to find DT's to improve their run D? Probably not. Why is that? Because it didn't work.
McCoy comes in and can immediately improve their run defense, and add a whole lot to the pass rush. Maybe enough to where Kerney can get back to playing elite football. If McCoy doesn't get good stats, he'll help a whole lot in drawing attention away from Seattle's once great pass rushing LB's.
Though McCoy won't do much to wow in the run game, he'll do wonders in the pass game and make the rest of the Seahawks defense better. And that D really needs help now.
Pick Grade: B, I really like this pick, especially since it seems Hasselbeck seems to be getting one more year
7. Cleveland Browns select.......S Eric Berry Tennessee
Next Ed Reed? Not really as crazy as it first sounds. Berry has all the skills to bring immediate success to whomever drafts him. With Cleveland looking to get a good secondary to go with that great looking front-seven, Berry is their best option.
In a division full of teams that like to chuck the ball around, Berry fits their needs much better than any other player in the draft. Do i think Berry will be Ed Reed-like? Yes, yes I do. And i think Cleveland does too.
Pick Grade: A-, I am of the firm belief that Cleveland goes QB in the second
8. Oakland Raiders pick......OT Trent Williams Oklahoma
Were you expecting maybe Bruce Campbell? I'm not. Williams had a near even Combine, a far better college career, and is just as flashy as Campbell.
Williams isn't much of a run blocker, but he's just what Oakland needs to get a boost with pass blocking. It seems to be getting pretty obvious that Oakland is trying to be a passing team and there may not be a better pass blocker than Williams.
I think Williams will at the very least be a solid pass blocker for many years, but could become a great all-around OT. He's the kind of hard-worker to make it happen. Hard-workers is starting to become a common trend in Davis draft picks. Maybe he actually learned a lesson from JaLardo
Pick Grade: B+, he's either going to be mediocre or great, but at least it's not Campbell
9. Buffalo Bills pick......G Mike Iupati Idaho
You read it right. Iupati. Rather than reach for Davis, the Bills will go the safe route and pick Iupati at G. The whole O-Line needs a lot of work as does the QB spot. But none makes a bigger impact than Iupati.
Iupati brings a physical run blocking presence to help Lynch and Jackson set up the offense. He also is a great pass blocker who can help versus Wilfork and Jenkins, though I don't expect a rookie to win that matchup.
Iupati can bring that tough gritty attitude to a very soft O-Line. The Bills need to get meaner on the O-Line, and Iupati spreads that mentality like it's Swine Flu. I see big things for Iupati, and i think he can make a very big impact for the Buffalo Bills. He's truly a great piece to build the O-Line around.
Pick Grade: A, he's just the kind of solid foundation to build an O-Line around.
10. Jacksonville Jaguars pick......DT Dan Williams Tennessee
Not Jason Pierre-Paul, but Dan Williams. The Jaguars had a very stagnant pass rush, but it's hard to pass rush when you're getting run all over. Pairing up Williams with John Henderson could bring back memories of the Stroud-Henderson glory days.
Williams is also no slouch in the pass game, so he still improves the pass rush. Plus two huge DT's really opens up holes for LB's and takes away blockers from the ends. Williams can really help Jacksonville get their mean run D back in a hurry.
Pick Grade: A+, a pick that improves the whole D immediately.
11. Denver Broncos pick......CB Joe Haden Florida
With Bailey getting up there in years and the rest of the corners average, denver looks for immediate success and a future star in Haden.
Haden plays great man coverage and is physical in the run, sounds like Champ Bailey doesn't it? Denver would be foolish not to pair up those two, unfortunately Denver rarely seems foolish. While there is the definite possibility of Dez Bryant, I can't see Denver passing up on a corner of the future.
For a few years, Denver may find themselves with a great CB tandem and end up with another top-10 corner when Bailey moves on. Haden brings immediate success, especially versus the pass happy Chargers and deep throwing Raiders and Chiefs.
Pick Grade: B, Haden will either be great or very average.
12. Miami Dolphins pick.......WR Dez Bryant Oklahoma State
Miami calls Denver idiots and picks up Dez Bryant. Two big-play receivers in Miami in Ted Ginn Jr. and Dez Bryant to go with a great run game. Need I say anymore than that?
Bryant does bring a steep learning curve which may shatter Miami's dreams of being a top-10 offense. But if he can get past it, Bryant may have a very bright future in Miami......assuming Henne or Pennington can get him the ball.
Pick Grade: B, I'd risk the learning curve too if it can land me an offense like I mentioned above
13. San Francisco 49ers pick.......QB Jimmy Clausen Notre Dame
I don't care if everyone says that the Niners are trying Hill/Smith one more time. Clausen is better than both and fits the scheme like a dream. Clausen's accuracy and quick thinking will bring back memories of Garcia for 49er fans.
Clausen can make all the tough throws and get the ball out very quick with that Niner O-Line. After all, he played behind worse in ND for a year (before they finally got their O-Line together) Crabtree and Clausen, has a nice ring to it. Could be a great QB-WR connection in the NFL. Though I'm very hesitant to call this a sure-thing.
Pick Grade: B-, if only for my uneasiness towards Clausen being an NFL QB
14. Seattle Seahawks pick.......OT Anthony Davis Rutgers
Seattle Screams at San Francisco, Selects Scarlet Knight.......sorry just imaging the headlines after draft day in Seattle. Anthony Davis will probably have a bit of a slow start, but should get better as he learns from future HOF'er Walter Jones. And for a while, the Jones-Davis tackle tandem just might keep Hasselbeck's jersey clean....well cleaner.
Seattle isn't much of a running team, but Davis can definitely help whenever they do decide to run. And a run game is always good during a QB transition period if/when Hasselbeck is gone from Seattle. Building up the lines in Seattle, not a bad way to go. Sure wish Oakland would have thought that way a couple years back.
Pick Grade: B, not a bad move but I don't see it being a great one either. Davis should be solid in Seattle.
15. New York Giants pick.......DT Ben Price UCLA
I think NY will love the depth at LB in this draft and take advantage of that later on. For now, they need some better play from the D-Line which took a huge step backwards last year.
Ben Price can revitalize the pass rush, bring youth to the DT spot, and improve the run game despite his smaller size. Though they'd rather have gotten McClain or Dan Williams, I don't think they'd complain about a big play DT like Price.
Pick Grade: B-, it's not bad, but they would be better served reaching for Daryl Washington
16. Tennessee Titans pick.......DE Jason Pierre-Paul South Florida
Vanden Bosh is gone, Kearse is ancient, and Ford is average. Tennessee needs a lot of help at DE and Pierre-Paul is just what they need. A great pass rusher, definitely the best in the draft, Pierre-Paul might end up becoming Kearse back when he was young.
Pierre-Paul won't do much for the run game, but Tennessee needs a lot of work done with their pass rush. They still have a good secondary, they just need a pass rush to help them out.
Pick Grade: A, I don't give it a + because Jason just strikes me as risky
17. San Francisco 49ers pick........RB CJ Spiller Clemson
While the passing game grows under Clausen, San Fran beefs up the already beefy run game with Spiller. Frank Gore gets an explosive running mate, and Clausen gets another passing game weapon.
The 49ers feel so......meh. Spiller can finally add some flair and fill some seats. Even if they continue to be mediocre, people will come to see the living highlight reel. Spiller is like Reggie Bush, except I actually think he's a tougher runner.
I'm actually getting envious of the draft I've predicted for the Niners. If they get Clausen and Spiller, they just might become dangerous.
Pick Grade: A+, even if Spiller becomes McFadden, he still makes the Niners a much better team
18. Pittsburgh Steelers pick........OT Bruce Campbell
Pittsburgh needs to fix up their defense, but it looks like Pittsburgh is more concerned about their offense; hoping a healthy Polamalu is all that's missing.
Unfortunately Pittsburgh picks the king of all project picks, and a very bust-like player. Only a junior, injury problems, inconsistency in pass blocking, more of the same is bound to ensue in the Steel City. If Campbell actually pans out, I will be greatly surprised.
Pick Grade: D, Campbell is bound to be below average for a couple years. Whether he stays below average or becomes great is very much up in the air
19. Atlanta Falcons pick......S Earl Thomas
John Abraham is getting pretty old, and there isn't anyone all that effective on the opposite side, but i think with the plethora of pass rushers later on, Atlanta will look to get their secondary put together. With the talent at corner in the draft deeper than ever, Atlanta will pick one of the few quality safeties.
Thus Earl Thomas comes in. Thomas has good instincts and seems to always be near the ball, if not catching it himself. And if a receiver does come away with a catch, Thomas can usually pop the ball out of there for an incompletion. Thomas is a sure tackler both in the pass and run game, second only to Berry.
Kind of a dull pick, Atlanta picks a nothing-special safety. Is there anything more boring?
Pick Grade: B-, Thomas isn't going to be anything fantastic, but he'll be solid for many years
20. Houston Texans pick......CB Kyle Wilson Boise State
Now we get an exciting pick. With the front seven finally looking shored up, it's time for Houston to fix the franchise-history long problem of a weak secondary. Though I wouldn't be surprised to see Dwyer or Matthews picked here.
But with all the pressure they put on the opposing QB, Houston will love getting a corner who can make the most of all those bad throws. Fast, dynamic, instinctual, and a great set of hands; Wilson will get a lot of picks and make a lot out of them. Wilson is a threat to take one back to the house on any given play.
Other than in terms of big play, Wilson is aggressive versus the run and is very tight in coverage. Though if he gets beat, he can usually just outrun the opposing receiver and catch up to him.
Pick Grade: A+, Wilson can come in and immediately give Houston a dangerous corner
21. Cincinnati Bengals pick......WR Golden Tate Notre Dame
With an unsuccessful Coles gone, the Bengals will look to get a shiny new weapon to play beside Chad Johnson (as I refuse to refer to him as Ochocinco)
Tate is one hell of a big play threat at receiver, whether you throw it underneath or on a deep pass. Tate is fast, has a great set of hands, and is tough to bring down for a WR. Honestly, I don't know why he is rated lower than Bryant.
Also, the Bengals can play around with Tate in the Wildcat. He was amazing at it at Notre Dame, the speed of a receiver but the vision of a running back. I bet Cincy would love to use him like rival Cleveland uses Cribbs. Worth noting, Tate is great run blocker for a WR.
Pick Grade: A+, what's not to like?
22. New England Patriots pick.....OLB/DE Sergio Kindle Texas
Resembling former teammate Brian Orakpo, Kindle is another versatile 3-4 OLB/DE pass rush specialist, and we all know how New England loves versatile guys like Kindle to play around with.
Not much else to say really. Kindle is a good pass rusher, decent against the run, and has the speed to be okay in coverage. I think the pick should go towards the secondary, but i can't see New England passing on a raw talent like Kindle.
Pick Grade: B-, the pick is better served towards the secondary, but New England needs a better pass rush
23. Green Bay Packers pick......OLB/DE Everson Griffen USC
The Packers went to a 3-4 last year and were forced to convert a pro Bowl caliber DE in Aaron Kampman to a fairly average OLB. Kampman is now gone and there's a major hole at OLB yet again in Green Bay.
Reuniting USC linebackers in Clay Matthews and Everson Griffen seems a pretty smart route. Griffen is the better pass rusher of the two, and should fit in nicely in Green Bay. Griffen is also a force in the run game, but I think he may struggle early on in that area in the NFL. Griffen won't do well in coverage, but he's more athletic than Kampman was, so this is still an improvement.
Pick Grade: B-, I just don't see Griffen being anything spectacular
24. Philadelphia Eagles pick......DE Derrick Morgan Georgia Tech
The Eagles fought long and hard for Kampman and Peppers in free agency, but missed out on both. However, I don't think they'll dwell on that too long when Morgan falls snugly into their laps.
A monstrous pass rusher, the Eagles finally find someone to play beside Trent Cole and draw pressure off him. Morgan is so fast and strong that he'll probably find success against even elite tackles in Dallas. Morgan should be able to come in and play good football immediately, and develop into the next Trent Cole, learning under Trent Cole.
Pick Grade: B+, maybe they should go O-Line, but the Eagles really love a great pass rush
25. Baltimore Ravens pick.......CB Devin McCourty Rutgers
Baltimore can't go on with their current group of corners. Dominique-Foxworth needs someone competent beside him, and McCourty brings that.
Resembling Kyle Wilson, McCourty is fast and is very aggressive against the run. I watched plenty of McCourty in college and can tell you he won't be a shutdown guy, but he has playmaking skills comparable to Baltimore's own Ed Reed. The Ravens should fall in love with their new speedster from Rutgers, and no I'm not talking about Ray Rice.
Pick Grade: A+, Baltimore needs help in the secondary, and McCourty may be just as good as Kyle Wilson
26. Arizona Cardinals pick........TE Aaron Hernandez Florida
While many consider Gresham the best TE in the draft, I must disagree. Gresham is the best receiving TE, but Hernandez has nearly the same abilities in the passing game and is a better blocker than Gresham. Plus he wasn't out for a whole year.
I think Arizona will go with the better blocking Hernandez. Hernandez gives Matt Leinart/Derek Anderson a new receiving target to help their new role as starter. Hernandez is an immediate impact player and could be a future Vernon Davis with all the speed he has. I thought he was a WR when I watched Florida last year, he's just that fast.
Very sure-handed, blazing speed for a TE, and okay blocking gives Arizona a brand new TE.
Pick Grade: A+, if only for the fact that I think Hernandez is better than Gresham
27. Dallas Cowboys pick......CB Patrick Robinson Florida State
It seems like it's been forever as Dallas searches for a corner to play opposite Terrance Newman. Patrick Robinson can come in and play decent football early on, and grow under the veteran mentoring of the rest of the Cowboys D.
An immediate starter, Robinson is fast and has great awareness to know how to keep on his receiver. I think Robinson could learn a lot from playing with Newman and possibly evolve into the next Terrance Newman. Even if he doesn't, it's better than the Pacman Jones experiment.
Pick Grade: B, not a bad pick, but it's not very wow-inspiring
28. San Diego Chargers pick.......RB Ryan Matthews Fresno State
Remember when I declared Matthews THE star of the draft? Well I still stand by that. Fast, tough-running, a good blocker and pass catcher, Matthews's only flaw is he does struggle at finding the hole at times. Though I don't expect that problem to linger too long for a hard-worker like Matthews.
LT is gone, but the next LT could very well be on his way in Ryan Matthews.
Pick Grade: A-, even if he doesn't become the next Tomlinson, he'll still be a major upgrade over Sproles
29. New York Jets pick.......DT Terrance Cody Alabama
Call it crazy, but with Jenkins turning 30 and getting kinda injury prone, the Jets pick Terrance Cody.
If Cody pans out, he could easily become a top run stuffer in the league for New York. If not, he's a solid space eater who can fill in for Jenkins. He won't do anything in the passing game other than eat up blockers for other players, and maybe that isn't so bad for New York.
Pick Grade: B-, Cody should not be their plan for the future, but he shouldn't be too bad
30. Minnesota Vikings pick.......S Taylor Mays USC
A big, fast, straight-line safety, Minnesota will try to flashback to the days of Darren Sharper. Mays is a very physical safety and can pop the ball out of a receivers hands, but rarely will he stop the receiver from catching it.
Minnesota needs a lot of secondary help, and with a plethora of corners later on, Minnesota needs to get safety now. Mays is far from a guarantee, but he should be better than what Minnesota currently has. Emphasis on SHOULD. Mays just lacks the lateral quickness to be a true ball-hawking safety.
Pick Grade: C, Mays will most likely be a very average safety.
31. Indianapolis Colts pick.......OLB Sean Weatherspoon
Fast, instinctual, an animal in the run game and a dangerous pass rusher; Weatherspoon should very nicely round off Indy's linebacker corps. I simply love Weatherspoon and think he should shine in this league. He just seems to sniff out the ball carrier and lay a nice hit. Weatherspoon is easily the most sure tackler in the draft.
Pick Grade: A, Indy is starting to get a defense to match that offense
32. New Orleans Saints pick......DE Corey Wootton Northwestern
DE Will Smith is gone (and no not the Fresh Prince) and Wootton can come in and be a great pas rusher. But I think his real impact will be as a run stopper.
A great pass rusher for his size (6-6 275), Wootton bring a physical run stopping presence at end that New Orleans has lacked for a long time. New Orleans really had a good D built last year, and Wootton should help give them an even better one.
Also, Wootton is a very smart player praised as a quick reaction kind of player.
Pick Grade: A-, New Orleans gets a younger more physical Will Smith. Good move.