Now that the Olympics is over, and I have gotten a chance to watch the NFL Scouting Combine on NFL Network. I am ready for my initial mock draft of the first round. Where mine differs from others; I am going to tell you based on my knowledge and observations who I think each team should take. I am not going to attempt to predict what corporate executives will do for their own reasons.
1. Saint Louis Rams – Ndomukong Suh, DT, Nebraska. Suh is the clear first pick in this draft. Suh can play top notch run defense and can rush the passer as well. Well worth the top pick.
2. Detroit Lions – Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma. McCoy is the second best defensive tackle in the draft. McCoy is a big fast strong player that will be disruptive to any offense.
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Eric Berry, S, Tennessee. The Bucs were burned by the pass last season and often. Berry is a hard hitting, intelligent, safety that has every trait one would want in a safety. He makes receivers wary of the middle of the secondary. Perfect fit for the Bucs.
4. Washington Redskins – Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma State. 6’5”, 310 lbs, Okung is too good to pass up even for a team like the Skins who are in need of a quarterback. Snider will find a way to screw this up though.
5. Kansas City Chiefs – Anthony Davis, OT, Rutgers. The Chiefs have played very poor on the offensive line. Especially protecting the passer. Davis will start right away and is a good start to improving one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL.
6. Seattle Seahawks – Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma. Bradford has done a lot of hard work in college, and since being injured last season to get ready for April. He’s shown the leadership, skill, and work ethic the Seahawks need. Bradford won’t have an immediate impact, but, will be a fine NFL quarterback in the years to come.
7. Cleveland Browns – Joe Haden, CB, Florida. Some have knocked Haden for his less than impressive 40 time at the combine. Having the pleasure of seeing Joe Haden play in person, I know better. His closing speed when the ball is in the air is astounding. Great pick for the Browns.
8. Oakland Raiders – Bryan Bulaga, OT, Iowa. Al Davis is wild when it comes to the draft. He needs offensive line help. I bet he takes the guy with the fastest 40 time, like clockwork. Bulaga is a tackle that is tough hammering run blocker, and pass protects very well. He would help the Raiders immensely.
9. Buffalo Bills – Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State. The Bills found out that no matter the physical ability of Terrell Owens, he’s still, T.O.. Bryant from all accounts is a fine young man, and gifted athlete. He sat out last season because the NCAA ruled a dinner at Deion Sanders house amounted to contact with an agent. Bryant will be motivated to prove his value to the NFL.
10. Denver Broncos – Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame. No matter what anyone says, Kyle Orton is not a good quarterback. Clausen has all the physical tools, and coaching by offensive guru Charlie Weis. However his composure on the field is an issue as far as I can observe. He was easily rattled at times against inferior competition.
11. Jacksonville Jaguars – Carlos Dunlap, DE, Florida. A 6’6”, 295 defensive that can be lined up at any position on the line is a defensive coordinators dream. Dunlap is strong, and fast. The Jaguars only registered 14 sacks last season and will be looking for a player to immediately help in this area.
12. Miami Dolphins – Jason Pierre-Paul, DE/OLB, South Florida. Pierre-Paul is just what the Dolphins need. They have some playmakers on defense, and this versatile player will make Miami a tough nut to crack for offenses around the league.