Blue Duck Mock Draft 2010

April 22, 2010

The draft represents hope for every team in the NFL. Time has shown that only a few actually capitalize.

BlueDuckSport’s annual mock draft is here.  In a draft billed as “one of the deepest in years,” every team in the NFL has hope that this year could be theirs.  Of course we know that’s not true, but let’s look how at how the BlueDuck thinks it’ll play out (in a no-trade environment of course):

  1. Sam Bradford – QB – StL
    St. Louis has more problems than every team in the NFL, including Oakland.  No offensive line, questionable receivers, a sieve for a defense, and ownership in flux.  This team needs a “face of the franchise” type player, and Bradford is the safe pick.  He’s accurate and has no character issues.  If he’s lucky, he sits Year 1 and learns while the team develops an O-Line.
  2. Ndamukong Suh – DT – Det
    There’s debate over whether they should trade down or even allow this once-in-a-generation DT go and choose an offensive tackle to protect Mathew Stafford.  Barring a pre-draft trade for Albert Haynesworth, Jim Schwartz should take Suh to clog the middle and press the QB.
  3. Gerald McCoy – DT – TB
    Since Warren Sapp left before the ’04 season, DT has been a problem.  The Bucs were able to patch the hole for a few years before the bottom fell out on this unit in 2009.  The Tampa-2 depends on creating pressure up the middle, forcing the QB to rush and allowing the defensive backfield to make a play on the ball.  That’s why McCoy is the pick at three.
  4. Trent Williams – OT – Washington
    Russell Okung may be the better player, but this is a system pick.  Everyone knows Shanahan will implement his legendary zone-blocking scheme, so getting a cornerstone left tackle that fits the system is especially important for the coach whose bread and butter is plugging in average players at RB and letting his scheme create stars.  Williams is a start in getting the ball rolling.
  5. Russell Okung – OT – KC
    Belichick deciple Scott Pioli hasn’t tipped his hand at all this off-season, but you’d have to think that if Okung is available, there’s no other choice.  Sure, Eric Berry looks like a phenom, but you can’t expect to win many games if you can’t keep the QB upright.  Choosing Okung here allows you to have bookend tackles locked up for the next decade (Branden Albert goes to RT).  Then, Kansas City can finally see what they have in Matt Cassell in Charlie Weis’ offense.
  6. Bryan Bulaga – OT – Sea
    The team needs to fill the massive shoes of HOF tackle Walter Jones, who looks doubtful to resume his career.  There are certainly mixed reviews of Bulaga, some scouts rate him in the third round because he has “short arms”.  Nevertheless, I say Seattle gambles on Bulaga who, in a worst case scenario, would the most dominant Seahawks guard since Steve Hutchinson left.
  7. Eric Berry – S – Cle
    With newly added Sheldon Brown added to Eric Wright, the top corners are above average for this rebuilding team.  In a conference with game-changing safeties like Ed Reed and Troy Polamalu, Cleveland will run to the podium to submit this pick.  Berry is unquestioned best secondary player in this draft and would go a long ways to helping remake the defense.
  8. Anthony Davis – OT – Oak
    Roll a dice with the name of players with questionable work ethics on it, because they are the Raiders cup of tea.  The only question is which future bust will Al Davis saddle his team with this year?  Every team wants their left tackle to be looking out for the quarterback, and with a history of weight fluctuations, Anthony Davis is the perfect BFF for JaMarcus Russell.  That’s not necessarily a good thing.
  9. Jimmy Clausen – QB – Buf
    Buffalo can go in a number of directions here since they have so many problems.  Many in the NFL feel that the current regime in place is just a Band-Aid until Ralph Wilson can lure a big name coach to take over, which is why I’m skeptical about whether they’d really choose a potential franchise QB this year.  Yet, I think the lure of grabbing the Golden Domer to sell some jerseys is the motivation here.
  10. Rolondo McClain – MLB – Jax
    The Jags have needs at LB, DB, and O-line, any of which could be addressed here.  There are rumors that they love C.J. Spiller, but that should just be a smokescreen with MJD already on the team.  Jacksonville isn’t good enough to have the luxury of using first round picks on a second runner.  With play-calling experience in a pro-style defense at Alabama, McClain is the steady player they need to plug the hole in the middle of the defense.

For picks 11-21, click here.
For picks 22-32, click here.

Blue Duck Mock Draft 2010 (part II)

April 22, 2010

For picks 1-10, click here.

11 .Dez Bryant – WR – Den
Out with one receiver who has character issues, in with another.  Sure, Bryant’s never been arrested, but irresponsibility is a character issue too.  Whether it was showing up sans cleats for the biggest workout of his life or his inability to show up for class, Bryant is a timebomb.  He’s also head and shoulders above the field in terms of skill.  Josh McDaniels gambles his future on the hope that he can keep the kid on the straight and narrow.

12. Dan Williams – DT – Mia
Jason Ferguson is 35, suspended for the first 8 games of the season, and Paul Soliai isn’t the answer at the nose.  Williams is exactly the monstrous DT the Dolphins need to employ the 3-4 defense.  He’ll clog space and allow new toy Karlos Dansby to wreak havoc from the ILB spot.

13.  Joe Haden – CB – SF
Nate Clements is getting old and has been ready to shift to safety for a couple of seasons.  Best case scenario, Haden is ready to start by mid-season which will allow Clement to move to centerfield.  Worst case scenario, he’s one of the most talented nickelbacks in the league as a rookie.  That’s not such a bad thing when you’ve got to face the Cardinals twice, along with the Eagles, Packers, and Chargers in 2010.

14. C.J. Spiller – RB – Sea
Pete Carroll always had talented, speedy backs at USC who could run and catch.  The Seahawks roster doesn’t have anyone on the roster who can do either of those tasks very well, so Spiller is definitely the pick.  But “Spiller’s not an every-down back?”  Neither was Reggie Bush and Carroll used him well enough to grab him a Heisman.  As the premier recruiter in college football, the Trojans always had loaded backfields.  Carroll will find the correct role for Spiller to be a success.

15. Mike Iupati – OG – NYG
There’s a reason Eli Manning set career highs in yards, TDs, and sacks and it’s not because of the apparent fall-off by Brandon Jacobs.  It’s because their offensive line was a sieve, which didn’t allow their backs any space to run.  The Giants began a makeover last year by choosing UConn’s William Beatty and continue by beefing up the interior with Iupati.  He’a a low-key mauler from an underrated program, the exact type of player Tom Coughlin would love to coach.

16. Jason Pierre-Paul – DE – Tenn
Eleven years ago, with the 16th pick in 1999 Draft, the Tennessee Titans select: a 6’4”, 265lb athletic “Freak” to rush the passer.
With the 16th pick in the 2010 Draft, the Tennessee Titans select: a 6’5”, 270lb athletic freak to rush the passer.  Jason Pierre-Paul might not have the track record or the elite school competition to point to that says he’s going to be great.  But he’s got the makeup: speed, power, and elite upside.  Oh yeah, that “Freak” was Javon Kearse, he of speed, power, and 74 career sacks.

17.  Brandon Graham – LB – SF
Some scouts knock him for his short stature.  But Graham is good pass-rusher and plays with a high motor.  Sounds a bit like San Francisco’s coach Mike Singletary’s playing career right?  He certainly won’t hold build against production, something Graham showed plenty of as a Wolverine.

18.  Kyle Wilson – CB – Pitt
Landing in the middle of the pack in terms of passing yards per game allowed, Pittsburgh needs to retool in the secondary.  With no top-flight talent at corner, Ike Taylor turning 30, Pitt needs to bring in some young blood.  After winning 3 state championships in high school, excelling on the impressive Boise State team that lost only 5 games in his career, Wilson will be able to step into the Steelers winning culture and not skip a beat.

19. Derrick Morgan – DE – Atl
Pressuring the quarterback was an issue for Atlanta last year, totaling only 28 sacks as a team.  Adding Morgan, who can play DE or LB, will help in that regard.  Also, John Abraham is going to be 32 by the start of the 2010 season, so planning for the future is a need with this pick.

20.  Kareem Jackson – CB – Hou
After losing Dunta Robinson to free agency, cornerback is their most pressing need.  While all the analysts on ESPN say running back is the biggest need for the Texans, they were a top 10 scoring offense without much of a running game last year (ranked 30th).  Having to face Peyton Manning twice a year, the Texans need to do all they can to keep building their defense.

21.  Jermaine Gresham – TE – Cin
Earl Thomas should be the pick here, but Mike Zimmer seems to like Roy Williams in the secondary.  Given the talent outside in Chad Ochocinco and Antonio Bryant, taking Gresham gives Carson Palmer the underneath option he needs.  Given his apparent lack of arm strength, Gresham could be a popular target in Cincinnati in year one.

For picks 22-32, click here.

Blue Duck Mock Draft 2010 (part III)

April 22, 2010

For picks 1-10, click here.
For picks 11-21, click here.

22. Jared Odrick – DE – NE
Let’s be honest, if the draft falls this way, New England trades down with a team who wants Earl Thomas (that’s you Philly).  But as is, the Patriots have a lot to consider here.  They can fill a pass rush need with Sergio Kindle or add another RB to their stable with Ryan Matthews.  But these are the Patriots, who build from the lines out.  The only choices here are Maurkice Pouncy, who could be groomed to take over for Dan Koppen or Stephen Neal, or Jared Odrick, the mammoth DT at Penn State.  He could set the edge opposite Ty Warren, allowing whoever plays LB to make plays on the ball.

23.  Sergio Kindle – LB – GB
Green Bay began the transition to a 3-4 defense last year and adding Kindle to rush the passer will make the transition complete.  With elite pass rushing skills and above average coverage ability, having Kindle opposite Clay Matthews makes the Packers LB needs non-existent for the next 10 years.

24.  Earl Thomas – S – Phi
This is a dream scenario for Philadelphia, which struggled to fill the void left by Brian Dawkins surprise departure last offseason.  A playmaker in the defensive backfield, Thomas will take advantage of all the pressure that Philly’s front seven creates.

25.  Demaryius Thomas – WR – Balt
Sure, trading for Anquan Boldin and resigning Derrick Mason would seem to have the Ravens set at receiver.  But neither one is a burner who can stretch the field and allow Joe Flacco to showcase his big-time arm.  Thomas is a true deep threat that will allow Boldin and Mason to work the underneath.

26.  Jerry Hughes – LB – Ari
Head coach Ken Whisenhunt knows how to shuffle linebackers to keep them pressuring the quarterback, from his time in Pittsburgh.  Joey Porter is nothing more than a stop-gap solution for the Cards and Hughes is considered a hybrid DE/LB, similar to Lamar Woodley in Pittsburgh.

27.  Charles Brown – OT – Dal
Releasing Flozell Adams created a massive hole on Tony Romo’s blindside.  The Cowboys need to draft the best tackle on the board, to compete with incumbent Doug Free.  Worst case scenario and the Cowboys have quality depth along the offensive line.

28.  Ryan Mathews – RB – SD
Best available talent meet biggest need for a Super Bowl hopeful.  Tomlinson is gone and this is Phillip River’s team now, but they still need to grind out some tough yards on the ground.  Mathews can take over one first and second down, while Darren Sproles can continue on third down and special teams.

29.  Carlos Dunlap – DE – NYJ
The biggest need for loaded Jets team is to get younger along the front seven.  Dunlap is immensely talented, but off-field concerns have many teams shying away.  Nobody has ever lumped the word “shy” with Rex Ryan before, as all off-season they’ve been acquiring character issues.  Dunlap can begin with sub-packages, rushing the passer; then he can grow into taking over Shaun Ellis’ starting spot.

30.  Maurkice Pouncey – OG – Min
When your bread and butter is running the ball with the most devastating RB the league has seen in years, you want to make sure you continue to open holes for him.  At worst, Pouncey starts at center this year.  He could be the eventual successor to Steve Hutchinson at LG.

31.  Rodger Saffold – OT – Indy
Protecting Peyton Manning is priority number one in Indianapolis.  With a questionable running game, keeping Peyton healthy is all the more important considering all the responsibility heaped on his shoulders.  Bringing the hometown kid in to compete with Charlie Johnson and Tony Ugoh should be the goal here.

32.  Sean Weatherspoon – LB – NO
Scott Fujita left in free agency, so filling his position is most important to the defending champs.  Weatherspoon is a a well-rounded athlete who, combined with Jonathan Vilma and Scott Shanle, will give Gregg Williams the mobile unit he desires.