Authored by Jeff Risdon - 5th December, 2009 - 2:16 pm
I began this one on Nov. 25th and the draft order is based on my projected final standings after Week 11 of NFL action. By popular request, this one goes to three full rounds.
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As with the last version, this mock draft includes loads of underclassmen with no regard to whether or not they will actually declare for the draft. There are a few omissions based on prevailing sentiment, most notably Cam Heyward. Note there is often little correlation between the mock draft selections and the Top 103 prospects ordination.
1. Cleveland Browns: Jake Locker, QB, Washington. It?s almost a given there will be a new regime in place (Mike Holmgren?), and that regime will want to start fresh with its own QB. They don?t need a left tackle and they don?t need help on the DL, making QB the only logical pick because no other positions go #1 overall anymore.
2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska. The freakishly agile giant will upgrade the run defense but also can wreak havoc in the backfield, which would make him a unique commodity for the defense-starved Bucs.
3. St. Louis Rams: Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State. The Rams offense needs a dynamic presence to take the pressure off Steven Jackson, and Bryant has the game-breaking skills to restore Marc Bulger?s confidence and downfield mojo.
4. Detroit Lions: Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma. Has the potential to be another Tommie Harris, and the Lions are still regretting the loss of Shaun Rogers in the middle of the defense. McCoy?s quickness is what sets him apart.
5. Kansas City Chiefs: Russell Okung, T, Oklahoma State. One of the quickest big men you?ll ever find, and at 6?8? his sheer length and long arms make him an elite pass protector. I had initially penciled in C.J. Spiller here, but Jamal Charles has earned the right to enter camp as a legit #1 RB and does many of the same things. A guy like Okung will help their offense more than any skill position players.
6. Buffalo Bills: Trent Williams, T, Oklahoma. The transformation of the Bills OL continues with Williams, an ideal zone-blocking LT with great footwork. I?ve heard varied opinions on him and I?m not sold on Williams this high, but Buffalo has to do something bold to help out their skill position talent. Note that I believe they will address their QB problem via free agency or trade *coughDerekAndersoncough*
7. Oakland Raiders: Jimmy Claussen, QB, Notre Dame. Golden-boy gunslinger with a great deep ball and no lack of confidence, i.e. the prototypical Al Davis draft pick. It will be painful to eat JaMarcus Russell?s hefty contract, but he clearly doesn?t fit the ?Just Win Baby? philosophy. Claussen will make their receivers look a lot better.
8. Seattle Seahawks: Eric Berry, S, Tennessee. The funny thing about Berry is that when you ask scouts about him, they come up with such different things that they say is his best attribute. Some will cite his hitting, some his instincts, some his coverage skills, some his leadership, some his uncanny knack for making big plays when most needed. Safety isn't Seattle?s most pressing need, but Berry's talent is too immense to ignore.
9. Washington Redskins: Colt McCoy, QB, Texas. Another team where a new regime is going to want to start fresh with a potential franchise QB of their choosing. McCoy has his detractions, but his accuracy and athleticism make him a tantalizing prospect that can be built around. Remember--QBs invariably go higher than expected at this time of year.
10. Denver Broncos (from CHI): Rolando McClain, LB, Alabama. One longtime SEC-region scout told me McClain will be better than Patrick Willis; another scout compared him to Ray Lewis. The Broncos would happily settle for what I think he is, a bigger, more dynamic Demeco Ryans.
11. Tennessee Titans: Joe Haden, CB, Florida. To quote a Director of Collegiate Scouting for an NFL team, ?Joe Haden is the total athletic package and he can play press, he can play zone, he can tackle.? Sounds like someone the Titans could use, eh?
12. San Francisco 49ers: Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma. This is where I feel obligated to reiterate that this is what I believe the teams would do based on the situation and not what I would do in the same situation. Some scouts still love Bradford, but I see an awful lot of Shaun Hill, one of the guys he would be replacing here.
13. New York Jets: C.J. Spiller, RB, Clemson. Spiller is the closest thing to Chris Johnson this side of, well, Chris Johnson. He knows how to use his lethal speed, and his hands and nose for the end zone give him a chance to be real special. With Thomas Jones on the wrong side of his career and Leon Washington likely to bolt via free agency (not to mention his injury), Spiller and Mark Sanchez could set the Jets in the backfield for years.
14. Jacksonville Jaguars: Tim Tebow, QB, Florida. I will continue to hold the position that the Jaguars are going to draft Tebow with their first pick until proven otherwise. This franchise needs an identity to create excitement and perhaps save the franchise from relocation, and Tebow is a beloved local icon and a winner, even if his QB skills need a lot of work.
15. Atlanta Falcons: Greg Jones, LB, Michigan State. He?s under the radar now, but NFL personnel people know that the lightning-quick Jones is an impact 3-down LB with great fundamentals and fierce demeanor. He and Curtis Lofton could pair to form quite a dynamic duo on the Falcons defense.
16. Baltimore Ravens: Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech. Bears some resemblance to Terrell Suggs, who has been marvelous in this defense. Morgan has shot up this year based on results, not athletic hype, and that is the stereotypical Ozzie Newsome draft pick.
17. San Francisco 49ers (from CAR): Taylor Mays, S, USC. Perhaps the best overall athlete to enter the draft since Vernon Davis, but like Davis it might take him some time for that to translate to the NFL game.
18. Miami Dolphins: Arrelious Benn, WR, Illinois. Last draft the Dolphins rolled the dice on an incredibly athletically gifted perimeter player with questionable drive and football IQ from Illinois, and Vontae Davis worked out fine. Benn?s negatives aren?t as dramatic, and many feel he?s been held back by an erratic QB and lousy offense. Miami needs a field stretcher that can reliably catch the ball.
19. Houston Texans: Jahvid Best, RB California. Best runs well between the tackles and holds onto the ball, which make him a very nice complement to Steve Slaton. Or rather, makes Slaton the 3rd down back he should be while Best assumes the workhorse role. His sneaky explosiveness is the type of thing scouts love a lot more than fans do.
20. New York Giants: Nate Allen, S, South Florida. Rangy hitter with solid coverage fundamentals, and he?s a bright guy who thrives on challenges. The Giants proved in 2009 that just having two safeties on the roster isn?t enough, and Kenny Phillips? health is a long-term question.
21. Seattle Seahawks (from DEN): Anthony Davis, T, Rutgers. The replacement for Walter Jones finally arrives with this bonus pick. Davis has great natural technique and good athleticism, and he should mature into a bedrock bookend tackle--if he matures. He will help the run game more than another RB.
22. Philadelphia Eagles: Carlos Dunlap, DE, Florida. Dunlap has every physical attribute you could ever want from a pass rusher, and at times he?s translated that into on-field dominance. Big-time boom/bust prospect, but the Eagles haven?t been shy about rolling the dice on guys like that--and getting rewarded by the likes of DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, and even Jason Peters in free agency.
23. Green Bay Packers: Brandon Graham, DE, Michigan. He?ll inevitably get compared to former Wolverine Lamarr Woodley, who also played DE in college but quickly became an impact rusher in the NFL. Graham is more of a bull, which makes him a nice fit when the team slides to a 4-man front. He?s often been the only Michigan defender in the picture when tackles are made, which speaks to his ability to play in space.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers: Brandon Spikes, LB, Florida. Spikes isn?t for everyone with his questionable pursuit angles, but he exudes the Steelers mantra of intensity and speed that they love in their LBs. Pittsburgh always does a great job of identifying what they?ll need down the road, not what they need now, and Farrior can?t play forever.
25. Arizona Cardinals: Brandon Ghee, CB, Wake Forest. He?s another guy that scouts like a lot better than draftnik talking heads, and his inspired performance against Georgia Tech showed he?s more than athletic enough to handle bigger receivers. His tackling off the edge will endear him to Coach Whisenhunt.
26. San Diego Chargers: Terrance Cody, NT, Alabama. With Jamal Williams winding down, the Chargers need a new line anchor. Cody has conditioning issues, but he?s a potentially dominant 2-down 0-technique.
27. Dallas Cowboys: Charles Brown, T, USC. Very similar to Joe Staley, a converted TE that kept his agility while bulking up. Dallas badly needs youth and depth up front, and Brown has the ability to attack linebackers that Flozell Adams can only dream about.
28. New England Patriots: Mardy Gilyard, WR, Cincinnati. The odds the Patriots keep this pick are slimmer than Nicole Richie, but Gilyard is a shifty, dynamic receiver that can play off of Wes Welker and also spell him in the slot.
29. Cincinnati Bengals: Rob Gronkowski, TE, Arizona. It?s probably too early to completely write off Chase Coffman, but the Bengals couldn?t be more disappointed in him not filling their gaping void at TE. Gronkowski is coming off a back injury that bears further scrutiny, but his all-around talent will be awful hard for Cincy to bypass here.
30. Minnesota Vikings: Tony Pike, QB, Cincinnati. I don?t actually expect the Vikings to mimic the Packers and use a 1st rounder on Favre?s successor at least a year ahead of time, but scouts I?ve talked to tell me Pike is too tantalizing to slide out of the 1st round. And Favre can?t play forever, right? This pick is the poster child for ?trade down? for Minnesota.
31. New Orleans Saints: Greg Hardy, DE, Ole Miss. Stop me if you?ve heard this before...Hardy is an athletically awesome edge rusher with a questionable motor and iffy run anchor skills. For some reason those players never fall as far as I think they should. Hardy could fit nicely as a nickel-package speed rusher and depth behind Will Smith.
32. Indianapolis Colts: Sean Weatherspoon, LB, Missouri. Another player that isn?t for everybody, but he?s shown range, ability in coverage, and strong drive, not to mention some major-league hitting ability. He?ll be very appealing to a well-coached team like the Colts.
33. Cleveland Browns: Jonathan Dwyer, RB, Georgia Tech
34. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Marvin Austin, DT, North Carolina
35. St. Louis Rams: Mike Iupati, G, Idaho
36. Detroit Lions: Patrick Robinson, CB, Florida State
37. Kansas City Chiefs: Sergio Kindle, OLB, Texas
38. Buffalo Bills: Jared Odrick, DL, Penn State
39. Oakland Raiders: Kyle Wilson, CB, Boise State
40. Seattle Seahawks: Arthur Jones, DT, Syracuse
41. Washington Redskins: Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, South Florida
42. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (from CHI): Golden Tate, WR, Notre Dame
43. New England Patriots (from TEN): Ryan Matthews, RB, Fresno State
44. San Francisco 49ers: Jon Asamoah, G, Illinois
45. New York Jets: Brandon Lafell, WR. LSU
46. New England Patriots (from JAX): Corey Wootton, DE, Northwestern
47. Kansas City Chiefs (from ATL): Jeremy Williams, WR, Tulane
48. Baltimore Ravens: Jermaine Gresham, TE, Oklahoma
49. Carolina Panthers: Dan Williams, DT, Tennessee
50. New York Giants: Eric Norwood, LB, South Carolina
51. Miami Dolphins: Von Miller, LB, Texas A&M
52. Houston Texans: Jordan Shipley, WR, Texas
53. Philadelphia Eagles: Tyler Veldheer, T, Hillsdale
54. Denver Broncos: Navorro Bowman, LB, Penn State
55. Green Bay Packers: Selvish Capers, T, West Virginia
56. Pittsburgh Steelers: Kris O?Dowd, G/C, USC
57. Arizona Cardinals: Syd?Quan Thompson, CB, California
58. San Diego Chargers: Bryan Bulaga, T, Iowa
59. Dallas Cowboys: Javier Arenas, CB, Alabama
60. New England Patriots: Ben Tate, RB, Auburn
61. Cincinnati Bengals: Brian Price, DT, UCLA
62. Minnesota Vikings: Ras-I Dowling, CB, Virginia
63. New Orleans Saints: Jerry Hughes, OLB, TCU
64. Indianapolis Colts: Jason Fox, T, Miami FL
65. Cleveland Browns: Everson Griffen, DE/OLB, USC
66. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Perrish Cox, CB/RS, Oklahoma State
67. St. Louis Rams: Damian Williams, WR, USC
68. Detroit Lions: Nate Solder, T, Colorado
69. Kansas City Chiefs: Dennis Pitta, TE, BYU
70. Buffalo Bills: Dan Lefevour, QB, Central Michigan
71. Oakland Raiders: Greg Romeus, LB, Pittsburgh
72. Philadelphia Eagles (from SEA): Jerome Murphy, CB, South Florida
73. Washington Redskins: Taylor Price, WR, Ohio
74. Chicago Bears: Lindsey Witten, DE, Connecticut
75. Tennessee Titans: Kurt Coleman, S, Ohio State
76. San Francisco 49ers: Evan Royster, RB, Penn State
77. Cleveland Browns (from NYJ): Vladimir Ducasse, T/G, Massachusetts
78. Jacksonville Jaguars: T.J. Ward, S, Oregon
79. Atlanta Falcons: George Selvie, DE, South Florida
80. Baltimore Ravens: Dezmon Briscoe, WR, Kansas
81. Philadelphia Eagles (from CAR): Charles Scott, RB, LSU
82. Miami Dolphins: Toby Gerhart, RB, Stanford
83. New York Giants: Kyle Calloway, T, Iowa
84. Houston Texans: Donovan Warren, CB, Michigan
85. Philadelphia Eagles: Josh Bynes, LB, Auburn
86. Denver Broncos: Dexter McCluster, WR/ATH, Mississippi
87. Green Bay Packers: Morgan Burnett, S, Georgia Tech
88. Pittsburgh Steelers: Allen Bailey, DT, Miami FL
89. Arizona Cardinals: Maurkice Pouncey, C, Florida
90. San Diego Chargers: Quan Sturdivant, LB, North Carolina
91. Dallas Cowboys: Willie Young, DE, North Carolina State
92. New England Patriots: Jarrett Brown, QB, West Virginia
93. Cincinnati Bengals: Akwasi Owusu-Ansah, CB, Indiana PA
94. Minnesota Vikings: Mike Pouncey, G, Florida
95. New Orleans Saints: Ed Dickson, TE, Oregon
96. Indianapolis Colts: Case Keenum, QB, Houston