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Mel Kiper opening Mock Draft 2010

January 20, 2010 02:50PM
Originally Published: January 20, 2010
Underclassmen dominate first mockThere are 21 underclassmen in the first round of Mel's initial mockEmail Print Share By Mel Kiper

Things will certainly change as the workout season commences, but it's time to get the ball rolling for the 2010 NFL draft. Remember that my Big Board and position group rankings (now adjusted so all declared players are grouped) are a good primer. That said, off we go.

Two things that stand out early in the first mock draft of the season are the degree to which the first round is dominated by underclassmen --they make up 21 of the 32 picks  and how we're also seeinga truly deep class of defensive lineman. Even as many NFL teams now employ the 3-4, the options up front for either 4-3 or 3-4 defenses are pretty significant in this draft.

St. Louis Rams
Record: 1-15

Namukong Suh, DT, Nebraska

Nobody questions that the top need for the Rams is a quarterback. But unless St. Louis trades down -- an extremely difficult proposition on multiple levels -- they shouldn't take a quarterback here. Suh is maybe the most dominating player at his position that I've seen in 32 years of doing this. He can be effective immediately for the Rams.

Detroit Lions
Record: 2-14

Gerald McCoy*, DT, Oklahoma

Getting McCoy both fits a big need for the Lions and is an extraordinarily good consolation prize for ny team unable to get Suh. McCoy makes his living in the opponents' backfield, and is such a talent he could have landed in this position last year had he declared as a redshirt sophomore.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Record: 3-13

Eric Berry*, S, Tennessee

This is a very high position to see a safety go off the board, but Berry is that kind of talent. A player compared often, but not unfairly to Ed Reed, Berry is a difference-making safety headed to a league that has seen those types (Reed, Troy Polamalu, Bob Sanders) become more and more notable in recent years.

Washington Redskins
Record: 4-12

Sam Bradford*, QB, Oklahoma

Mike Shanahan and the Redskins can get a quarterback here that may have been the top player taken had he opted to come out last year. The Redskins need to find their franchise quarterback, and when healthy, Bradford is an exceptionally accurate passer with an underrated arm. Shanahan also hit on his last QB selection, when he drafted Jay Cutler in Denver.

Kansas City Chiefs
Record: 4-12

Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma State

I think the Chiefs could use help at safety as well, but Berry likely won't fall this far, and they'd be reaching on either of two other safeties with a first round grade. Okung could solve two problems, making him a good value. He can step in at LT and allow the Chiefs to move Brandon Albert to the right side. A pick that can pay immediate dividends for the Chiefs.

Seattle Seahawks
Record: 5-11

Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia TechMany in Seattle will view the offensive line as a greater need, but Morgan fills another huge hole for a team that simply couldn't get to the quarterback in 2009. He represents great value because he can rush the passer, is productive against the run and can even drop back -- a versatile talent. Pete Carroll knows defense and should love what Morgan can offer.

Cleveland Browns
Record: 5-11
Joe Haden*, CB, FloridaI'm not convinced the Browns will be willing to draft a quarterback simply because the position is unsettled. In Haden they can't go wrong with by far the top CB on the board, a player who they can plug in from day one. A deft cover corner and great tackler, Haden is the complete package.

Oakland Raiders
Record: 5-11

Anthony Davis*, OT, RutgersDavis may not yet be the most complete tackle in the first round, but he is the most naturally gifted and should get better. Great feet, ideal size and he has the ability to maul defenders in the run game. After a whiff in the first round last year, the Raiders address a big need here.

Buffalo Bills
Record: 6-10

Jimmy Clausen*, QB, Notre DamePeople will debate the merits of Clausen long after he shakes the commissioner's hand, but he has continued to improve, showed toughness, has an NFL arm and perhaps most importantly, has experience under center in a pro-style offense. That was a key for Matthew Stafford and Mark Sanchez and is a huge consideration for scouts.

Denver Broncos (from Chicago)
Record: 7-9

Dez Bryant*, WR, Oklahoma StateIn all likelihood, Brandon Marshall is headed elsewhere, so the Broncos here attempt to fill the void with the best deep threat in the draft. Bryant has great size and was unstoppable in the Big 12. He represents an immediate weapon in the passing game.

Jacksonville Jaguars
Record: 7-9

Jason Pierre-Paul*, DE, South FloridaThis is no place to draft a guy like Tim Tebow just to sell tickets. Pierre-Paul is local enough, and could be the Mario Williams of this draft class, a raw talent, but one with remarkable athleticism and an incredible burst off the line. Could be a terror for QBs in the future.

Miami Dolphins

Rolando McClain*, LB, AlabamaA potential home run for Miami, who needs an inside linebacker, and could get the best one in the whole draft after the top ten. The Dolphins you could also see go after Bryant if he were to fall to them here.

San Francisco 49ers
Record: 8-8

Trent Williams, OT, OklahomaI consider the right tackle position a big need for the 49ers, and getting Williams here should strengthen them immediately both in the run game and as they look to further develop a potentially dangerous passing game with Michael Crabtree and Vernon Davis.

Seattle Seahawks (from Denver)
Record: 5-11

C.J. Spiller, RB, ClemsonHe's not an offensive lineman, but Spiller could be a Reggie Bush-like option for the Seahawks. For a coach uniquely familiar with what Bush can do, Spiller is a missing home run threat in the run game, a good receiver and a valuable returner. He has elite speed.

New York Giants
Record: 8-8

Carlos Dunlap*, DE, FloridaThis is a high value pick for the Giants, who I feel have had their depth on the defense line overstated. There are makeup questions surrounding Dunlap, but for much of the year he was considered the premier pass rusher in the college game. He has the potential to be like a Jevon Kearse.

San Francisco 49ers (from Carolina)
Record: 8-8

Earl Thomas*, S, TexasThe 49ers need help in pass coverage, and Thomas fits because he's a great value here, whereas reaching for a CB at No. 16 wouldn't represent good value at all. Thomas isn't a huge guy, but can cover a tremendous amount of real estate.

Tennessee Titans
Record: 8-8

Everson Griffen*, DE, USCPierre-Paul likely won't fall this far, so the Titans get a gifted underclassmen that looked like a pro coming out of high school who is now living up to his potential. He already has an NFL frame, and when Griffen is consistent, he's a strong pass rusher.

Pittsburgh Steelers
Record: 9-7

Bryan Bulaga*, OT, IowaPittsburgh clearly needs help up front if they want to return to power running and protecting the quarterback, and Bulaga is an emerging tackle with great feet from a pro-style system. They improve immediately, and he wears the black and gold well already.

Atlanta Falcons
Record: 9-7

Sergio Kindle, OLB, TexasThe Falcons could use some help at OLB, and Kindle's continued improvement throughout the season is appealing. He's not quite in the class of Brian Orakpo, but he's a similar type of player, and has also proven to be very physical.

Houston Texans
Record: 9-7

Brian Price*, DT, UCLAPrice is hidden away a bit in such a deep class of defensive lineman, but he's a disruptive force who utilizes great leverage. He should add depth to an improving defense.

Cincinnati Bengals
Record: 10-6

Aaron Hernandez*, TE, FloridaThey need to give Carson Palmer options in the passing game aside from what's there, and Hernandez is the most athletic TE available, a guy with surprising run-after-catch ability. The favorite target of Tebow at Florida, he could offer immediate help in the passing game.

New England Patriots
Record: 10-6

Ricky Sapp, OLB, ClemsonThe Patriots clearly need help when it comes to getting to opposing quarterbacks, and Sapp is an ideal fit on the edge in the 3-4. He's the kind of athlete that can adjust to being upright and flat out knows how to get to the quarterback.

Green Bay Packers
Record: 11-5

Taylor Mays, S, USCIf you told Green Bay they could get Mays at No. 23 overall in August, they'd have been thrilled. An extraordinary athlete, Mays may have suffered against expectations, but the Pack hit a home run with Clay Matthews Jr. out of USC last year and Mays both fills a need and has great potential.

Philadelphia Eagles
Record: 11-5

Navorro Bowman*, OLB, Penn StateThe Eagles have a need for an athletic OLB, and they get a lot of value by landing Bowman here. Bowman lacks size, but any parsing on measurables can't overcome his great play on film. Could end up as the best at his position in this class.

Baltimore Ravens
Record: 9-7

Jermaine Gresham*, TE, OklahomaGresham is so good that while he sat out his junior year, I left him on the Big Board the whole time. Now healthy, he's a great find this late in the first and a perfect target for Joe Flacco as an heir to Todd Heap. At a hair over 6-6 and 262 pounds, he's the total package at TE.

Arizona Cardinals
Record: 10-6

Dan Williams, DT, TennesseeI see this position as the second-biggest need for the Cardinals and Williams is a great value here. Tremendously strong in the lower body, Williams is a disruptive force against the run.

Dallas Cowboys
Record: 11-5

Bruce Campbell*, OT, MarylandJerry Jones knows he needs to address the tackle position after the debacle he witnessed against Minnesota in the playoffs and Campbell, while still learning, is a tremendous talent at this position.

San Diego Chargers
Record: 13-3

Jonathan Dwyer*, RB, Georgia TechWith the possible departure of LaDainian Tomlinson on the horizon, Dwyer represents the player that can handle 20-plus carries in an offense that already has a great speed-back in Darren Sproles. Dwyer has ideal size and also shows explosiveness.

New York Jets
Record: 9-7

Golden Tate*, WR, Notre DameThe Jets must give Mark Sanchez some weapons in the passing game, and while Tate has question marks on his ability to separate, he's more physical than many think and has always been a playmaker. In the mold of a Laveranues Coles.

Minnesota Vikings
Record: 12-4

Patrick Robinson, CB, Florida StateNeed meets value here. Robinson is the second-best corner in the draft and Minnesota should be happy to grab him this late. Robinson has the chance to step in and contribute.

New Orleans Saints
Record: 13-3

Jared Odrick, DT, Penn StateOdrick is an ideal pick here for the Saints, who are looking to add stability to the rush defense. His presence helped standout LBs Bowman and Sean Lee run free, and the Saints will ask for the same.

Indianapolis Colts
Record: 14-2

Brandon Graham, DE, MichiganGraham was a one-man show for the Wolverines, leading the nation in tackles for loss. Always in the backfield, he's a guy that can learn under master pass-rushers in Indy and build on the tradition.

* - Draft eligible junior/redshirt sophomore

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/20/2010 02:54PM by jemach.

  Mel Kiper opening Mock Draft 2010

jemach4705January 20, 2010 02:50PM

  The quality of players remaining make the #2 pick....

jemach564January 20, 2010 03:07PM

  Re: The quality of players remaining make the #2 pick....

SoCalRAMatic486January 20, 2010 03:24PM

  Re: Iaputi...lets get nasty...

spagsbacker443January 20, 2010 04:09PM

  Things being what they are for the Rams,

BigRed_Ram418January 20, 2010 04:19PM

  Bingo..Rams will take Tebow in Round 2

PaulButcher59352January 20, 2010 07:20PM


rams124403January 20, 2010 03:49PM

  He was projected at a potential pick around 20...

jemach377January 20, 2010 04:30PM

  Re: He was projected at a potential pick around 20...

oldschoolramfan347January 20, 2010 05:14PM

  Re: He was projected at a potential pick around 20...

leafnose279January 21, 2010 12:33AM


LMU93405January 20, 2010 05:15PM

  Re: Weatherspoon

oldschoolramfan344January 20, 2010 05:18PM

  Re: I wasn't impressed

BigGame81351January 20, 2010 05:19PM

  If you're going to judge on one game

rams124336January 20, 2010 06:15PM

  As for the Holiday Bowl...

jemach273January 20, 2010 10:27PM

  Re: If you're going to judge on one game

BigGame81256January 21, 2010 10:08AM

  I watched every Mizzou game

Supplemental Draft Pick288January 20, 2010 11:44PM

  Re: I watched every Mizzou game

LMU93249January 21, 2010 01:31PM

  Only JL seems to play every down

Bucky261January 21, 2010 01:38PM

  Absolutely true Bucky.

alyoshamucci286January 21, 2010 02:03PM

  Re: Absolutely true Bucky.

LMU93238January 21, 2010 02:35PM

  A guy like Weatherspoon would probably take JL off the field...

jemach250January 21, 2010 02:38PM


Blue and Gold239January 22, 2010 04:58AM

  Re:I prefer other LB/DE's

spagsbacker333January 20, 2010 05:28PM

  that would be my pick-Weatherspoon

ferragamo79285January 20, 2010 07:45PM

  Iupati, nm

hangdog295January 20, 2010 05:28PM

  Re: Iupati, nm

SoCalRAMatic318January 20, 2010 05:39PM

  Re: Iupati, nm

hangdog301January 20, 2010 05:41PM

  Re: Iupati, nm

spagsbacker253January 20, 2010 07:22PM

  in this case I'd go Hughes.

alyoshamucci329January 20, 2010 06:29PM

  Re: in this case I'd go Hughes.

SunTzu_vs_Camus302January 20, 2010 06:41PM

  Great dilemma...

jemach252January 20, 2010 10:28PM

  Mel's wrong: No way both Tate & Bowman go in the first.

guinnessram325January 20, 2010 10:55PM

  Re: Mel's wrong: No way both Tate & Bowman go in the first.

RamsfanRobLA295January 21, 2010 03:29AM

  Re: Mel Kiper opening Mock Draft 2010

leafnose429January 21, 2010 12:29AM

  Horn Dog's Mock Draft

Horn Dog382January 21, 2010 03:54AM

  DraftTek 2010 Mock

jemach593January 21, 2010 08:13AM

  Re: DraftTek 2010 Mock

SunTzu_vs_Camus343January 21, 2010 10:20AM