NFL First Round Mock Draft, Picks 1-10
1. St. Louis Rams: Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame
After a completely dismal season under first year coach Steve Spagnuolo ended, the Rams were “awarded” with the first overall pick. The question of whether the Rams should take Ndamukong Suh or Clausen will linger all year until the Rams actually make their pick, but with Marc Bulger’s contract off the books next season the Rams can not pass on a potential franchise quarterback. Clausen has played in an NFL offense his entire career at Notre Dame and is as accurate as they come.
2. Detroit Lions: Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska
I was able to watch Suh play in the Big XII Championship against Texas and came away thoroughly impressed. As it is most years with the Lions, they have multiple issues they can address with this pick. Suh is the best player in the draft this year and will instantly make the Lions’ defense better, which ranked dead last in defense last season. Suh gives Detroit as close to a non-bust pick as there is in this draft.
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma
The Buccaneers have multiple issues on their aging defense, and defensive line is at the top of the list. Their defense ranks 30th in rush defense and while McCoy is no Suh, he upgrades the defense and makes them younger on the line. McCoy’s best attribute is his athleticism and ability to play against the run. He has the potential to put up Warren Sapp-type numbers for the Bucs.
4. Washington Redskins: Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma
Back-to-back Sooners are taken in the first round as the Redskins try to do this whole franchise quarterback thing again. With Mike Shanahan taking over for Jim Zorn next season, it makes sense for Washington to fully start the rebuilding process. Bradford’s shoulder surgery should not scare off the Redskins because he has had ample time to recover and could go as high as first overall.
5. Kansas City Chiefs: Russell Okung, LT, Oklahoma State
The Chiefs drafted Branden Albert in the first round in 2007 to play left tackle, but that has not panned out as of now. Okung is the premier left tackle in the draft this year and would start right away while moving Albert to the right side. As the anchor of the Cowboys’ offensive line, Okung’s size (6’5″, 302 lbs.) makes him a great prospect.
6. Seattle Seahawks: Anthony Davis, LT, Rutgers
The Seahawks would likely take a look at either Clausen or Bradford and might move up in the draft if they feel either players are worthy of the picks, but for now they go with the best remaining left tackle. Davis moved to left tackle in 2008 and saw his draft stock rise based on his excellent pass blocking skills. Walter Jones is no longer what he once was, and Davis will be a huge upgrade.
7. Cleveland Browns: Eric Berry, S, Tennessee
Some may consider Berry the best defensive player in the draft based on pro potential, and it would not be a shocker to see Berry taken as high as the second overall pick. Dubbed as the next Ed Reed and my favorite prospect in the draft, Berry does a little bit of everything and does it all very well. Don’t be surprised to see Berry go third overall to the Bucs, who ran the “Tampa 2” in Tennessee.
8. Oakland Raiders: Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech
The Raiders have needs on offense that extend to just about every position, but Morgan is way too good of value to pass up here. Outside of Richard Seymour, the Raiders have no pass rush on the outside, and that is exactly what Morgan specializes in. While he might be a better fit for the 3-4, he is good enough to play in a three-point stance and be a versatile player for the Raiders.
9. Buffalo Bills: Trent Williams, LT, Oklahoma
When Jason Peters was traded to the Eagles, the Bills failed to replace him and the results showed. Williams is currently the best left tackle left on the board and the Bills need to go with him. A new coaching staff could sure use a franchise left tackle and, while a quarterback would be a good fit here, there are none worthy of a top ten pick outside of Clausen and Bradford.
10. Denver Broncos: Rolondo McClain, LB, Alabama
One of the main reasons Alabama will be playing in the National Championship in two days is because of McClain’s stellar defensive prowess. He will excel inside in the Broncos’ 3-4 scheme with excellent tackling and even better instincts. Elvis Dumervil has the stats to do it, but McClain will be the team leader on defense.
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