I dropped a quick mock draft after the 2009 draft, but quite a bit has changed. After the fold, I've got my second mock draft. Join me, shall you not?
I went ahead and projected the rest of each team's schedule and then calculated each team's strength of schedule to have a hypothetically accurate draft order. And bear in mind, too many things happen leading up to the draft, so I know most of these will be way off, so calm down. Very few people saw Tyson Jackson going 3rd to the Chiefs or HeyBey going ahead of Crabtree. Let's do this.
This is becoming a consensus pick for Tampa, though I've seen few mocks with them picking first. I could see them going after Russell Okung (OT, Oklahoma St.) or Eric Berry (S, Tennessee) here, but I would think with D-line being such a huge need and having Suh and Carlos Dunlap (DE, Florida) available, one of those would be the top pick if Tampa leads off the draft.
2.) Kansas City Chiefs (3-13) - Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma St.
The Chiefs get a young anchor for their line and can move Branden Albert back to his natural position. I wouldn't be surprised if they find a way to move Larry Johnson (or just cut him outright), so C.J. Spiller (RB, Clemson) would make sense if they're a bit lower down in the draft order.
3.) Cleveland Browns (3-13) - Eric Berry, S, Tennessee
So three picks in and no QBs. But the talent of these three is tough to ignore, especially here for Cleveland. Berry is a vulture at the back of the Vols defense, and he could do the Browns a world of good at the back of theirs. The Browns have a lot of rebuilding to do with Jamal Lewis at the end of his career the Quinn/Anderson saga in full flux, and their GM being fired - Berry is the kind of player you can lean your defense on as you fill in the gaps.
Kerry Collins is finished, and Vince Young has been handed the reins to see if he can reignite his career. I have my doubts. Nevertheless, at #4, the Titans have a chance to grab the QB of their choice and build an offense that starts with Sam Bradford and ends with Chris Johnson. Not bad at all.
5.) Oakland Raiders (3-13) - Carlos Dunlap, DE, Florida
*insert Al Davis joke here* Look, we all know Al is pretty damn wacko and he loves the workout warriors. Well, Dunlap is set to drop one hell of a combine. Richard Seymour will likely hit the free agent market; Dunlap gives them a freak athlete on the D-line.
I wouldn't be surprised to see the Lions take Spikes here even if Larry Foote does come back. Spikes is a terror of a MLB, even when he's not gouging out opposing RBs' eyes. Similar to the Stafford pick in this year's draft, Spikes gives them a centerpiece to build around.
The Seahawks need to revitalize their offense starting with QB. Locker will be riding a hometown media wave into Seattle giving the franchise a much needed jolt. John Morgan at Field Gulls wrote a great scouting report on Locker that was heavily against drafting Locker in the first; however, with Hasselbeck under contract through 2010, the Seahawks could be justified in drafting Locker and letting Hasselbeck mentor him for a year. It may not be the prettiest conversion, but it could be the most beneficial.
In drafting Clausen, the Skins get an accurate, intelligent, game manager. He'll need a younger weapon then Santana Moss, Antwan Randle-El or Chris Cooley soon, but this gives whoever the next head coach is (assuming Zorn is booted this offseason) his signal caller of the future.
I talked it over with Jags fans thinking DE and QB were their biggest holes, and I came away thinking the same. The Jags get a force at DE that BPAniks could even justify, especially if Hardy has a good combine. Still, I wouldn't be surprised to see a QB here, except for Tebow. I just don't see any franchise sacrificing their rationality for their emotionality.
This is the lowest you'll find the Rams on any mock anywhere. And sure, you could chalk it up to homerism, but if the Rams go 4-4 in their last 8 games, I'll be sure to remind you. Besides, it's a mock draft; I'm trying to predict schedules, free agency moves, roster cuts, combine and pro day performance along with franchise cultures (i.e. the Raiders & Redskins). Cut me some slack.
In any case, I've got the Rams taking the best WR prospect in the draft who brings not just size, speed and hands, but return experience. You could certainly make the case for a QB here or Gerald McCoy (DT, Oklahoma), but if the Rams are sitting at 10 and Dez falls this far, I'd be surprised if he isn't their pick.
11.) Buffalo Bills (6-10) - Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma
With "The Real" McCoy (apologies), Buffalo continues rebuilding their trenches after using three of their four day 1 picks in the 2009 draft on linemen. In McCoy, they get a serious interior pass rusher to play alongside Marcus Stroud. Buffalo could go a number of different ways here, but given how line focused their last draft was, they could continue to go that route again, and form a very impressive foundation for the future.
This one just makes too much sense. The Niners get the wrecking ball at the back of the Trojans' defense who adds even more punch to the Mike Singletary Project. If the Niners do make this a reality, they would be amassing a very violent defense.
On the other side of the ball, it's pretty apparent that Singletary has never been comfortable with Alex Smith, Shaun Hill or ex-Niner J.T. O'Sullivan. Taking a QB with one of their two 1st rounders would give him "his guy" moving forward with an offense that includes the RB tandem of Gore and Coffee (or as I like to call them CoffeeGore - it sounds like a B horror movie about a Starbucks) and the suddenly fantastic fantasy TE Vernon Davis.
Ryan Grant is a bit of an enigma, and adding the electric Spiller makes them less one-dimensional. They could certainly use him on special teams as well. I don't think he'd hold up well if he has to carry a team alone early in his career, but similar to Dallas' Felix Jones, he could be a wonderful change of pace for almost any team.
It's a win-win with this pick whether or not the Jets re-sign Braylon Edwards. The Jets could use another WR to help Sanchez along, and LaFell is the best blocking WR I've seen in a long, long time. He's got great body control, but he has to improve on his hands to be a more reliable possession target at the NFL level. As a Rams fan, I'd love to see us get his teammate, Terrance Toliver, later on in the draft if he declares, but we'll end up with too high of a pick to nab LaFell.
Miami has shown a knack for the specialist: in last year's 2nd round, it was future wildcat anchor Pat White, and in the '07 draft it was (as ESPN finally decided to notice) kick returner supreme Ted Ginn, Jr. In Mount Cody, they get another specialist: a elephantine nose tackle for their 3-4. I say specialist, because he lacks stamina (ESPN insider only). He's lost about 50 pounds...to slim down to about 375. The ESPN label for him is going to be "one-dimensional", but I don't think that will stop the Dolphins. He can be a huge asset (pun intended).
I'm making this based on what I think the effect will be from Williams' combine & pro day. I say that for two reasons. First, if it was on talent and collegiate production, I'd grade him as a mid-1st rounder. But he's had so many off field problems, and this last one persuaded him to abruptly end his college football career. That second reason would drop him down, but I think his pre-draft work will remind people that he can be a force on the football field - think Brandon Marshall 2.0. While Vincent Jackson may re-sign with the Chargers, they could use another weapon to help Philip Rivers guide these team back to the post-season.
Cincinnati is making the most out of Cedric Benson right now; adding Best gives them a great duo that can offer power and speed, brute force and lithe athleticism. Cincy has shown this year that they have a very well balanced team with very few holes; more than most teams, they can afford to commit to the draft with a BPA mindset. That being the case, I don't really expect Best to be the pick. Either someone more talented will slip through the cracks (as in Spiller or Mays who they could team up with former sledgehammer Rey Maualuga) or they'll grade someone higher than Best as in OLBs Rolando McClain (Alabama) or Sean Weatherspoon (Missouri), Joe Haden (CB, Florida) or Sergio Kindle (DE, Texas).
Denver produced a gem out of Elvis Dumervil, a former 4th round pick out of Louisville who they transitioned to OLB in their 3-4. In Selvie, they have a tough decision to make. He'll list a couple inches taller and a couple pounds lighter. They could always package him on the same side as Dumervil to toggle the weights on that side, but who knows. That's a depth chart decision for Josh McDaniels to make.
20.) Dallas Cowboys (10-6) - Rolando McClain, MLB, Alabama
Dallas has shown a penchant for signing aging LBs recently in Zach Thomas and Keith Brooking. In McClain, they get a steal in BPA terms. McClain is a technical LB with a shell of desire and tenacity wrapped in a 255 lb. frame. The exact kind of LB the Cowboys need in a younger body.
21.) Houston Texans (10-6) - Joe Haden, CB, Florida
Haden is the best corner coming out this year. In fact, I would put him alone in the top tier of CB prospects. It's just not a good class for CBs this year. That bodes well for Houston who could certainly use his services. Their best CB, Dunta Robinson, is set to be a free agent this offseason. Like other teams above, they'd be better off with this pick whether or not they bring their key FA back.
Ben Watson never really developed into a top-tier TE, though he is a nice option. Gresham would provide Brady & the Pats more than just a nice option; he's 3 inches taller than Watson and more athletic, IMO. In fact, he's got tons of raw talent, but his game needs quite a bit of polishing. The Pats have the right kind of staff that can turn Gresham from a prospect into a superstar very quickly.
The Giants are struggling to impose the kind of defensive will they did when Spagnuolo was the DC. With both Fred Robbins and Barry Cofield playing in contract years, the Giants could use a powerful DT like Arthur Jones to open things up for Osi Umenyiora and Justin Tuck.
The Cardinals drafted a solid RT in Levi Brown in 2007; they can get their other tackle in Williams and solidify their O-line for the good of their running duo - Hightower and Wells. Now about that QB issue...
The Curtain has gotten mixed results from RT Willie Colon. He's got solid upside, but between the penalties and the mental mistakes, I think the Steelers could let him walk since his contract ends after this season. Bulaga is a meaty tackle who can withstand the late season weather in Pittsburgh.
Back-to-back Big 10 picks give the Norsemen a force behind their ridiculous D-line. Weatherspoon is the Tigers' leader on defense, and he could carry that to the NFL under the tutelage of OLBs Chad Greenway and Ben Leber, who are both playing under contracts that expire after what would be Weatherspoon's rookie season.
While I'm skeptical of JP-P having just arrived to FBS football from the Juco ranks, he has taken some of the focus away from Selvie. He measures well and he's definitely played his way into contention for the draft. I wonder if he'll declare for the draft or wait a year for the DE prospect pool to thin out, because it's going to be overflowing with talent in this draft.
Bowman injects some technique to the Colts' power defense. His biggest flaw is his pass rushing skills, but with Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis, the Colts can absorb that flaw easily.
DWill is a solid athletic WR prospect who would give rookie Jake Locker a more athletic option than TJ Housh. He needs to add some bulk to his frame, but he should have time. He is the most polished route-runner in the draft, so it would add some certainty in that aspect tot the passing game.
The Saints could bolster their defense, which has been impressive this season, by adding Kindle. He's a high energy, high impact LB/DE prospect who could be the eventual successor to Scott Fujita.
My pick for AFC champions right now, the Ravens can't make the most out of Joe Flacco due to their WR corps. Derrick Mason came out of "retirement" to return to the Ravens, but they can't rely on that moving forward. Benn is of solid build and has electric talent, but he is very unpolished. Flacco and he could be a serious tandem for the Ravens for years to come if Coach Harbaugh can develop Benn into a more technical weapon.
Griffen is a powerful end with above average speed who is still improving. After the Eagles win the Super Bowl, they'll look to fill their last D-line hole with EG. The Eagles line is young and talented - a mixture that Griffen would fit in perfectly with.
So there it is, v 2.0. I'll add a second round next time; right now, things are bound to change so signnificantly that I don't know if it warrants the effort to even put a second round together.
Holler at me.