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.