I had been meaning to do a mock draft sometime before tomorrow night's (tonight at this point) NFL draft. I'll slap a first round together with a little bit of explanation. 1. STL - Sam Bradford QB: They need a franchise QB. Everyone and their mother knows the Rams are taking Bradford.
2. DET - Ndamukong Suh DT: The defensive force the Lions have been lacking in their line.
3. TB - Gerald McCoy DT: No brainer. The Bucs are looking for the next Warren Sapp. Sam Bradford being taken by STL is going to make this draft for TB.
4. WAS - Russell Okung LT: The McNabb tried settled the QB question. I've heard Trent Williams might sneak ahead of Okung, but I'm not buying it.
5. KC - Bryan Bulaga LT: This is the first pick with a little mystery to it. It just doesn't seem to me like the Chiefs management can justify paying a safety #5-pick money on Eric Berry, although that logic is a whole barrel of stupid if Berry truly is the next Ed Reed. Bulaga fills the need on the Chiefs line. Cassell needs to stay upright. Brandon Albert is just not getting the job done at LT and the Chiefs can plug him in at G or RT.
6. SEA - Trent Williams LT: While Spiller is a possible choice here, I think the 'Gulls are going to take Williams. From what I gather, there's not a whole ton of separation between these first three tackles. Walter Jones is getting old. They need a back, but they need someone to keep Hasselbeck's head attached to his body and help to usher in the new Charlie Whitehurst era. And, yes, if I was a Seahawks fan, I probably would have cried typing that.
7. CLE - Eric Berry FS: Back before Washington put in their pick, Holmgren probably has his finger an inch from the button that trades up to Washington's spot to get Berry. His cowardice saves him some value for Berry, both in Berry's contract and draft compensation to Washington. I have not heard a single person express any real concerns about Berry. The kid's got skills to make a big difference in an NFL secondary. You're gonna see Berry's orange helmet anywhere the ball is passed in the AFC North for years to come.
8. OAK - Jason Pierre-Paul DE/OLB: Guessing what Al Davis is going to do on draft day is like guessing what the liquid is that the bum in front of your apartment building is seemingly soaked in. You have no idea what it could possibly be, but you know if you find out, you'll just be more appalled. From what I've heard, Pierre-Paul may not be as good as he's been made out to be. I guess he only really put together 3/4 of a solid college season to go off of. There are signs pointing to him flopping. If he's going to flop, what better place to do it? Some people have the Raiders going OT here, but I think they already have their OT on the roster. They picked their franchise left tackle 3 years ago with the top selection in the draft. They just thought they were getting a QB.
9. BUF - Dan Williams NT: The Bills CANNOT CANNOT CANNOT take Jimmy Clausen. Here's what Bill Simmons wrote in his mock draft today: "Can't take Jimmy Clausen here -- putting a young QB behind a bad line on a bad team in bad weather for a bad coach wouldn't be fair. I do not approve. Speaking of Buffalo, the 2010 Bills brain trust consists of a 91-year-old owner, a 70-year-old general manager who's never been a GM before and a 58-year-old coach who has only two years of NFL head coaching on his résumé. Or, as some people call it, The Dream Team!" I don't know how to sum it up better than that. Now, why Williams? Simply put, I think there is a dropoff in LTs between Bulaga/Williams and Anthony Davis. Davis may have higher upside, but he also comes with much greater risk. And I don't want risk, and nobody in the NFL is looking harder for a safe bet than Buddy Nix and Chan Gailey. Secondly, the fact of the matter is that the Bills have 3 QBs. They may not all be the best, but at least 2 of them were potential NFL starters at 1 point in their careers (I don't know about Fitzpatrick). The Buffalo Bills have exactly ZERO nose tackles right now. Not drafting one here, ESPECIALLY with the top three tackles off the board, would be about as ludicrous as trading away Jason Peters and not replacing him in the draft. We have to get a nose tackle for the defense and a left tackle for the offense and hope to God we get something out of 1 of our 3 quarterbacks. If that fails, all 3 of their contracts are up and we can do a Cleveland flush.
10. JAX - Derrick Morgan DE: It's been said there's 4 things you need to do to win in the NFL. You need a QB. You need to protect your QB. You need to get to the other team's QB. And you need a coach who can win you games. The Jags need to get to the QB. That's what Morgan does. Him and Kampman wreaking havoc in the backfield will keep Peyton moving quick and force Vince Young to make plays with his legs.
11. DEN - Dez Bryant WR: The Broncos traded Brandon Marshall. Who the hell else is going to catch the ball? Brandon Stokely?
12. MIA - Sergio Kindle OLB: The Dolphins could have used Dan Williams to groom as Jason Ferguson's replacement, but the Bills snatched him up. The next biggest thing is their pass rush, especially with Joey Porter and Jason Taylor gone. Kindle should be able to slide right into the Miami 3-4 and rack up sacks.
13. SF - Joe Haden CB: As much as I love Nate Clements, he's old. Somebody's gotta cover Fitzgerald and Houzshmanzadeh (no idea if I spelled that right). Some less than perfect workouts dinged up his top 10 draft grade, but I think this kid'll do fine.
14. SEA - CJ Spiller RB: The Seahawks lucked out and were rewarded for not pulling the trigger on Spiller at 6. There really wasn't anyone between their 2 picks who desperately needed a running back so they would snatch him up, but still 8 picks is a long time to let a good RB slide. There's concern he may look shinier because of a weak class of running backs, but I've also heard this kid is a good receiver and can take it to the house when he breaks loose.
15. NYG - Rolando McClain MLB: For some reason in my draft, everyone is getting what they really want. That just makes me more sure that I'm WAY off. Having McClain slip past Denver is a Christmas present for the Giants. He's the guy to lead the resurgence of the feared Giants D after last year's dismal collapse.
16. TEN - Brandon Graham DE: Here's where I'm going to start not knowing a whole lot. I guess the Titans need a pass rusher after Vanden Bosch ditched for Detroit. This guy beat Bryan Bulaga like a red-headed stepchild this past fall.
17. SF - Mike Iupati G/T: 1 for O, 1 for D. The 49ers get another blocker to help get Frank Gore out of the backfield, because once he gets out of the backfield, his next stop is usually the end zone.
18. PIT - Kyle Wilson CB: The AFC North & East just had a major influx of receiving talent. The Steelers are in the North and matched up against the East this year. Time to shore up that secondary. And I'm really sad I couldn't work in a Roethlisberger joke. I considered switching it to an O-Lineman just so I could crack a guarding the bathroom dig.
19. ATL - Jerry Hughes DE: Falcons need pass rush. They fixed their secondary by getting Dunta Robinson. Now they need to put Brees on the ground.
20. HOU - Earl Thomas FS: The Texans are really hoping Kyle Wilson somehow slips down to them. Losing Dunta Robinson put their secondary in need. The next best thing they can do is go get a big playmaking safety. They'll do just that.
21. CIN - Jermaine Gresham TE: I don't actually have a clue what the name of the Bengals' starting tight end is right now. Not a good sign. I'm not even sure if Carson Palmer does. A big receiving option over the middle would free up Ochocinco on the outside to make some plays, provided he's not vacationing on Revis Island for the weekend.
22. NE - Jared Odrick DT/DE: Richard Seymour got traded last year. Jarvis Green left this year in free agency. Vince Wilfork is a monster, but I think occupying an entire offensive line is a bit ambitious of an assignment for one man. Odrick should fit in at the 3-technique DE position and bolster the Patriot defense and stuff any holes that Marshawn or Freddy Jackson might get a glimpse of. Just remember, Ralph Wilson only owns the Bills 363 days a year. The other 2, the Patriots own them.
23. GB - Anthony Davis LT: Resounding thud number 1 of the first round: Anthony Davis tumbling all the way down the board to this spot. I've seen him as high as 8 to the Raiders. I just don't think anyone up there is biting and once you get past the Bills, the only team that could use help at tackle is the 49ers and they took Iupati (a better choice). Chad Clifton is old. It is astounding how good of a year Aaron Rodgers had, considering he spent more time on his back last year than all of Tiger Woods' "acquaintances" combined. Davis could use some polish, but he could just as easily be the big story from this draft for good reasons as he can for bad ones.
24. PHI - Maurkice Pouncey C: Pro-Bowler Jammal Jackson got hurt last year. The Eagles fell apart. They need to shore up the inside of their line to prevent Jay Ratliff from going to town on them again like that. I've heard Pouncey referred to as the best interior lineman in the draft. The guy who spent his college career being the guy who got to touch the ball before Tebow will now be delivering to Kevin Kolb (or sometimes Michael Vick).
25. BAL - DeMaryius Thomas WR: There really just wasn't anywhere else to turn. They're set at QB, RB, OL, ILB, DB, and the only tight end I see going in Rd 1 is Gresham. They could use a pass rusher, but I don't think Everson Griffen cuts it in a 3-4. So we're left with receiver, which isn't such a huge need in the first place. But Flacco could always use more targets. And Derrick Mason isn't getting any younger. And it remains to be seen if Dante Stallworth's till got it. You can't wait until it gets to the point where Anquan Boldin is running his routes while Mason does his in a walker.
26. ARI - Jimmy Clausen QB: THUNK. Tumbled all the way down from Buffalo. I really think the only team that really has a use for him between 9 and 26 is SF, but they are still clinging to the belief that Alex Smith will play into his No.1 Pick potential. Warner's gone for good as far as we can tell. They signed Derek Anderson, but I don't see a guy who only completed 2 passes in Buffalo last year (regardless of the fact that he won the game) getting the starting gig for a team that won a playoff game last year. I also don't think the Cardinals organization has any faith and Matt Leinart, and I think the only reason he's still in Phoenix is so he can go hook up with girls at Arizona State. If Clausen pulls a Brady Quinn and falls this far, I think the Cardinals will put him out of his misery.
27. DAL - Charles Brown LT: This guy has been really popular for the last couple weeks. The Cowboys cut Flozell Adams, but I think that was because they couldn't bring him back to Dallas when his feet got encased in cement on the rug in Minneapolis in January. I think there's a few chunks of Romo's skull out there, too. Good grief. He should do fine on Romo's blind side.
28. SD - Ryan Matthews RB: The ghost of LT has stopped haunting Qualcomm. Darren Sproles, plucky as he is, is not a feature back. They need a new guy. Pronto.
29. NYJ - Taylor Mays S: The Jets traded Kerry Rhodes. Mays can step in an lay some hits on people. Something Rex will be pleased.
30. MIN - Devin McCourty CB: Much like fellow former Bills cornerback Nate Clements, Antoine Winfield is getting old. They need better cover guys, especially with Rodgers, Cutler, and Stafford on the rise.
31. IND - Brian Price DT: The Colts don't really have much to speak of between Freeney and Mathis. Price can help make that Colts D-Line even scarier.
32. NO - Everson Griffen DE: Get sacks. There is no way a team looking to defend a championship blows a first round pick on a project like Tim Tebow. I've seriously heard Tebow with this pick. That is silly. Tebow will not be a New Orleans Saint unless he lasts til like the 3rd round.
I hope you enjoyed my first ever NFL Mock Draft. I pulled a great deal of it out of my ass and stole a great number of ideas from sources all over the internet.
All of this time spent writing this draft, and the Bills are still picking Clausen tomorrow night.
Good evening, your holiness. How hangs the hammer?