By Don Banks
February 25, 2010
2010 NFL Mock Draft 2.0
Big week for Mock Draft Nation. It's NFL Scouting Combine time, and you know what that means. There will be risers. And sliders. And guys who run faster than expected in their underwear. There will be cone drills. And wing-span measurements. And a lot of talk about who's too tight in the hips to drop into coverage. It's all dangerously close to much ado about nothing, but at least it's something -- specifically, the only football we've got in late February. As the combine nears, we present our second attempt at mocking out the 2010 draft's first round:
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Note: This Mock was posted before the February 26th tiebreaking coin toss determined the final draft order. Jacksonville will pick 10th, Denver 11th; Tennessee 16th, San Francisco 17th; and Atlanta 19th, Houston 20th.
1 DT Gerald McCoy Oklahoma Jr. 6-4 298
There seem to be equally strong pockets of support for McCoy and Nebraska's Ndamukong Suh going first overall to the Rams. McCoy is considered slightly more adept at penetrating the backfield on the pass rush, while Suh is viewed as a tad more stout against the run. In today's NFL, anything that helps stop the passing game rules, so we're going with McCoy. But we reserve the right to flip-flop these two right up until St. Louis has to turn in its selection card.
2 DT Ndamukong Suh Nebraska Sr. 6-4 302
This much I know: Whether the Lions end up with Suh or McCoy, they will claim to have had their pick rated higher on their board all along. And that's completely fair. You've gotta love the one you're with. Even better, they might be telling the truth if they end up with Suh.
3 DE Jason Pierre-Paul South Florida Jr. 6-6 260
This is forecasting a big jump for Pierre-Paul, who went 15th to the Giants in our first mock. But he's now viewed as the best edge rusher in the draft, albeit a bit of a risk as a half-year starter at the Division I level. The Bucs need pass rushing help and secondary help, so some still see Tennessee safety Eric Berry as an option (along with Oklahoma State receiver Dez Bryant). But the thinking in the NFL is always that an increased pass rush helps out the secondary, while the inverse of that equation doesn't really hold true.
4 QB Sam Bradford Oklahoma Jr. 6-4 223
With the Redskins' evaluation of quarterback Jason Campbell very much ongoing, this pick obviously has the potential to change to the offensive tackle that Washington so desperately needs. We could go Oklahoma State tackle Russell Okung, and maybe we should. But for now, we're sticking with the headline-loving Redskins taking Bradford on the presumption that his throwing shoulder checks out healthy and Mike Shanahan falls in love with the kid during the combine interview process.
5 OT Russell Okung Oklahoma State Sr. 6-6 305
The Chiefs crave a left offensive tackle, and in this scenario they're in the fortuitous position to take the draft's top-rated prospect at that position. Even if Washington goes Okung and Kansas City has to settle for Iowa offensive tackle Bryan Bulaga, the Chiefs would be in great shape from a need standpoint. Get ready for a real run on OT's in this stretch of the top 10. There could be four coming off the board from picks four through nine.
6 OT Bryan Bulaga Iowa Jr. 6-6 312
Bulaga's stock continues to rise, and he's now seen as the draft's second-most pro-ready offensive tackle (behind Okung). The Seahawks have the No. 14 pick with which to think quarterback, running back or defensive end. But the top four offensive tackles won't be around at No. 14. That makes Bulaga the smart early selection, and gives Pete Carroll plenty of options to mull over before his next pick rolls around.
7 CB Joe Haden Florida Jr. 5-11 190
Haden or receiver Dez Bryant are two blue chips just sitting there for the Browns, but safeties Eric Berry and Earl Thomas are probably considerations as well. From a value standpoint, landing the draft's best cover cornerback should trump getting the draft's impact safety. So for now we're sticking with Haden, although the Browns' choices in this draft all seem to be good ones. Haden needs to run well at the combine to definitively secure a spot in the top 10.
8 OT Anthony Davis Rutgers Jr. 6-6 325
How can we possibly know whom the Raiders will swoon over in the first round until someone blows up with a great 40 time at the combine, and checks in with all the necessary freakish size requirements? As always, height, weight and speed are expected to catch Al Davis' eye. But Rutgers' Davis should be ready to start from day one at left tackle, and if Oakland wants to make JaMarcus Russell better, building a better line in front of him is the place to start.
9 OT Trent Williams Oklahoma Sr. 6-5 318
With apologies to the Bills' new general manager, we've nixed the idea of Buffalo taking Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen. The management tandem of Buddy Nix and head coach Chan Gailey just doesn't seem like a long-term arrangement, so why go down the first-round quarterback road to develop a QB they won't be around to play? The Bills offensive line was in tatters last season, and Williams is the last of the four tackles who carries top 10 value.
10* WR Dez Bryant Oklahoma State Jr. 6-2 215
Byrant is the clear-cut top-rated receiver in the draft, and picking him would allow the Broncos to trade Brandon Marshall in good conscience. When I hear NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock say Bryant reminds him of Andre Johnson, Bryant seems like a heist at No. 10. But then I hear Mayock add that Bryant still has to convince teams he'll display a first-rate work ethic once he gets his rich rookie deal, and that doesn't sound much like Andre Johnson.
*Bears (who traded pick to Broncos) and Jaguars tied for this spot. A coin-flip will determine order.

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