Well, the 2009 NFL Draft is over...which means the 2010 NFL Draft is right around the corner!
Since 2010 mocks are already springing up (including Todd McShay's), I might as well throw mine out with some Ram-specific comments.
My first 2010 NFL mock draft below the fold.
1.) Oakland Raiders (1-15) - Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma St.
Oakland is still looking for a premier OT ever since Robert Gallery failed to pan out. This will be a OT-heavy first round; the talent is thick. Alex Barron will determine whether or not we need to look at an OT. And with Jason Smith on board, if we do lose Barron, you'd have to expect J-Smith to move to left tackle and the Rams to pick up either a rookie or FA to play on the right.
2.) Seattle Seahawks (2-14) - Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma
Sure, Seattle just drafted Mike Teel. But Bradford has a shot at the Heisman and a National Championship which would give him a super hype machine going into the draft. On top of that, if he had come out this year, I believe he would have gone #1 to Detroit. The only reason I don't have him going to Oakland is I think they have to give JaMarcus Russell until after the 2010 season before they look elsewhere. They could grab a QB late in this draft though. As we've said here at TST, the Rams would be wise to grab a young QB in this draft. To get Bradford, though, we'll need to have another horrible season. Which is a possibility.
3.) Detroit Lions (2-14) - C.J. Spiller, RB, Clemson
The Lions have been waiting for a real RB since Kevin Jones sputtered out of Virginia Tech. Spiller is set to have a phenomenal senior year now that James Davis is a Cleveland Brown and not a Clemson Tiger. Ram-wise, Steven Jackson makes the RB spot a moot point, outside of filling in the depth chart each offseason.
4.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-14) - Arrelious Benn, WR, Illinois
Benn is a hulking WR at 6'2", 215 lbs. and growing. By the time the 2010 Combine rolls around, Benn could be 230 lbs. and eyeing a 4.3 40-yard-dash...or lower. He would give new Buc QB Josh Freeman a large target to develop a reliable relationship with as the Bucs look to build a new offense. As for the Rams, I think this will be the dilemma going into our 1st pick of the 2010 Draft: QB or WR?
5.) Cleveland Browns (3-13) - Brandon Spikes, ILB, Florida
Spikes gives Cleveland a replacement for aging Eric Barton. He's the kind of ILB you build a defense around. If he can avoid any off-field incidents, he will be a top 10 pick, hands down. I was kind of hoping the Rams would avoid a MLB in 2009 to land Spikes in '10. He's a stud. With James Laurinaitis (whose SBN page has him as an Arizona Cardinal, confusingly) as our defensive centerpiece of the future, any thought of drafting a MLB should be dropped.
6.) Jacksonville Jaguars (3-13) - Taylor Mays, S, USC
I could see the Jags going DE, but Mays is too good and they have a spot. Another interesting storyline going into this draft will be which safety gets taken first, Mays or Eric Berry (S, Tennessee). If the Rams can't keep Oshiomogho Atogwe, Berry would be a wonderful pick. But to take him, they would have to sacrifice a shot at a first round QB or WR.
7.) Miami Dolphins (4-12) - Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska
I know Miami's going to be one of those hot picks that come up every preseason, but I think their defensive front 7 needs a lot of improvement. Some LB help would make sense here, but with their choice of DT here, I don't see Parcells passing up the chance at solidifying his D-line. That being the case, this pick came down to Suh, Gerald McCoy (DT, Oklahoma) and Terrence Cody (DT, Alabama), who may not even declare. In terms of DT, this is a huge year for Adam Carriker; if he doesn't perform, we need to start looking for someone to play alongside Dorell Scott.
8.) Seattle Seahawks (via Denver; 4-12) - Jonathan Dwyer, RB, Georgia Tech
If Denver plays this poorly and Seattle gets two top 10 picks, I will be very angry. Dwyer had a great year in limited action in 2008. He's got great speed and tons of weight to throw around. I can't wait to see him in action in 2009; he's my " next Steven Jackson" pick. And now you see why I'm angry. The thought of Bradford and Dwyer supplying a Seahawk offense makes me sick. Again, RB is not a Ram need in the 1st.
9.) San Francisco 49ers (4-12) - Colt McCoy, QB, Texas
Having dealt with another year of the San Fran QB carousel, the Niners fill that spot for a couple years with McCoy. Why just a couple? In Colt, I see Chris Simms v2.0. So it goes without saying that I don't want McCoy in the blue & gold.
10.) St. Louis Rams (6-10) - Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma St.
Bryant gives us a phenomenal WR corps, and with Steve running the ball, maybe the best offense in the NFC West. After this pick, QB becomes the only need on offense...and a vital one. If, however, Bulger plays well this season, a pick like Dez Bryant could allow Bulger to keep his job through 2010.
11.) Kansas City Chiefs (6-10) - Jermaine Gresham, TE, Oklahoma
Had Gresham come out for the 2009 draft, he would have come off before Brandon Pettigrew. He's an absolute beast. I could see the Rams going after a TE, but not in the 1st. We have too many other needs where we need top talent.
12.) New York Jets (6-10) - Carlos Dunlap, DE, Florida
Dunlap is an absolute beast with phenomenal size and speed. He could certainly go much higher than this as he is going into his junior year on a championship contending team. My only concern is that there is so much top-tier offensive talent at this point, I wonder who will pass up on that firepower to improve their defense. One team I could see going after Dunlap: the Rams.
13.) Cincinnati Bengals (7-9) - Eric Berry, S, Tennessee
With Chinedum Ndukwe and Marvin White set to hit free agency in 2011, the Bengals would be well served in taking either Berry or Mays, if either are still on the board. As I said above at #6, to take a safety (or even Dunlap at DE), the Rams miss out on a QB of the future or a true #1-style WR.
14.) Washington Redskins (7-9) - Rolando McClain, ILB, Alabama
How much longer can London Fletcher do what he does? If it's much longer, I'm going to get scared. Again, as I said at the #5 Spikes pick, ILB isn't an option for the Rams for at least 3-4 years, and that's only if Laurinaitis busts in spectacular fashion, which is hard to imagine.
15.) Buffalo Bills (7-9) - Bryan Bulaga, OT, Iowa
With Jason Peters having bolted to Philly, Bulaga fills the Bills' need for a beefy beefeater who loves to drop beef. Now that's insightful analysis at its' best. For my Rams thoughts, see the 1st pick.
16.) Denver Broncos (via Chicago; 8-8) - Terrence Cody, DT, Alabama
Denver could use a beefier NT to anchor their 3-4, and in Cody, the Broncos would get a 375 lb. elephant. I don't think Cody would fit our DT needs.
17.) Green Bay Packers (9-7) - Trent Williams, OT, Oklahoma
I'd be surprised if Green Bay doesn't go after an OT in the 1st next year; luckily for them, there are a ton of options at this point: Okung, Bulaga, Williams, Ciron Black (OT, LSU), Adam Ulatoski (OT, Texas), and Sam Young (OT, Notre Dame) all look to be possible 1st rounders. For my Rams thoughts, see the 1st pick.
18.) Tennessee Titans (10-6) - Everson Griffen, DE, USC
Griffen gives Tennessee a young pass rushing beast just as the contracts of Jevon Kearse and Kyle Vanden Bosch are set to expire. If the Rams go for a DE, it'll be Dunlap or nothing.
19.) New York Giants (10-6) - Sergio Kindle, OLB, Texas
Kindle gives the Giants a great LB corps to couple with their DEs. They'll need a SS to replace Butler, but they'll have options later in the draft to do so. With Pisa Tinoisamoa set to become a free agent in 2012, Kindle could be an attractive pick for the Rams.
20.) Dallas Cowboys (10-6) - Trevard Lindley, CB, Kentucky
The Cowgirls get the best CB in the draft, as of today. If the Rams can't get two starters out of the stable we have on the roster right now, something's wrong.
21.) Minnesota Vikings (9-7) - Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma
The Williams duo is a great 1-2 punch at DT, but Pat Williams is getting too old. For my Rams thoughts, see the 7th pick.
22.) Atlanta Falcons (11-5) - Travis Lewis, OLB, Oklahoma
After losing Michael Boley to the Giants and Keith Brooking to Dallas, the Falcons could use some LB help, since they oddly didn't address the position in this year's draft. Lewis, who would be the 5th Oklahoma Sooner off the board at this point, gives them a non-stop motor on the outside. Like other prospects and positions, I feel that if the Rams don't go after Kindle, they won't look at an OLB in the 2010 draft.
23.) San Francisco 49ers (via Carolina; 11-5) - Adam Ulatoski, OT, Texas
The 2010 version of Phil Loadholt, a tall Big XII tackle, Ulatoski gives the Niners a solid complement to LT Joe Staley. For my Rams thoughts, see the 1st pick.
24.) New Orleans Saints (12-4) - Brandon LaFell, WR, LSU
How long can Drew Brees anchor this offense? I would guess not too much longer. And if he goes, so do the Saints chances. So although they could use some OLB help to take some of the focus off of Jonathan Vilma, LaFell is a true #1 type that should open up more space for Marques Colston.
25.) New England Patriots (12-4) - Mark Herzlich, OLB, Boston College
New England adds more LB help in Herzlich, the 2008 ACC Defensive Player of the Year. I thought they would go this route in this year's draft, but four 2nd rounds picks adds so much youth to an aging team. I hate how good the Pats are at the Draft. For my Rams thoughts on OLB, see the 22nd pick.
26.) Baltimore Ravens (12-4) - Lawrence Marsh, DE, Florida
Trevor Pryce is at the end of his career. Marsh would be a great partner with Haloti Ngata as the bookends of a 3-4 D-line. He wouldn't fit very well into the Rams' system.
27.) Indianapolis Colts (12-4) - Greg Hardy, DE, Ole Miss
The Colts addressed their rushing defense woes in drafting Fili Moala and Terrance Taylor. Hardy would take some of the heat off of Dwight Freeney. I don't think he'd be a fit for the Rams opposite Chris Long, though.
28.) Houston Texans (12-4) - Ciron Black, OT, LSU
Black reminds me of Andre Smith: phenomenal talent, plentiful off-field issues. His senior year could make him a top 10 pick, or a 2nd round sleeper. Of note: Black could set the mark for most D1A games started by any player ever. So you can't knock his experience. Given the Rams' philosophy on drafting character and not characters, you would think Black won't be a Ram any time soon.
29.) Arizona Cardinals (13-3) - Sam Young, OT, Notre Dame
Mike Gandy's contract expires after 2010 and Levi Brown has been disappointing, so Arizona would be well served in picking up Young, a powerful bull blocking tackle. For my Rams thoughts, see the 1st pick.
30.) Pittsburgh Steelers (14-2) - Damian Williams, WR, USC
With Hines Ward's receiving skills rapidly diminishing and Santonio Holmes hustling more off the field than on, the Steelers could go WR in round 1.
31.) San Diego Chargers (14-2) - Dominique Johnson, WR, UCLA
My 2010 Super Bowl losing team, San Diego, will ultimately lose to Philadelphia due to a lack of receiving options. Johnson should give Philip Rivers an option besides Antonio Gates and the fading Chris Chambers.
32.) Philadelphia Eagles (13-3) - Navorro Bowman, OLB, Penn St.
And with the last pick of the 1st round, my 2010 NFL Champions, the Philadelphia Eagles, take Bowman out of Linebacker U. Stewart Bradley is becoming a very reliable MLB, and Bowman would give him some breathing room he hasn't had yet. Scary to think about it.
Holler at me without hollering at me.