By Don Banks
April 14, 2010
2010 NFL Mock Draft 6.0
Another headline trade in this trade-happy NFL offseason unfolded Wednesday morning, creating another fresh set of ramifications and implications on our latest (and penultimate) first-round mock. At a quick glance, the Brandon Marshall-to-Miami deal serves to clear up the draft intentions of both the Dolphins and Broncos:

In Denver, the end of the team's always-eventful Marshall era seems to open the door wide for the arrival of Dez Bryant, the controversial Oklahoma State receiver who is perhaps the most enigmatic of all 2010 draft prospects. Denver, which holds the 11th pick, now has a crying need for a big-play receiver, and Bryant's price tag in that draft slot will certainly be more affordable than the long-term deal the Broncos had no intention of giving Marshall.

With the second-round pick Denver obtained from the Dolphins (43rd overall), the Broncos own two selections in that round and can target one of the best available safeties, such as South Florida's Nate Allen or Florida's Major Wright, as an eventual replacement for Pro Bowl pick Brian Dawkins.

And in Miami, the Dolphins can now turn their attention fully to defense in the first round, having finally secured a lead receiver who opponents must account for downfield. Miami, at No. 12, is thought to be targeting either Texas outside linebacker-defensive end Sergio Kindle, who would replace free agent Jason Taylor, or top-rated nose tackle Dan Williams of Tennessee.

In the meantime, the Dolphins are probably more motivated than ever to continue shopping receiver-return man Ted Ginn Jr., who has underachieved mightily since arriving as the team's first-round pick in 2007. Landing Marshall makes Ginn eminently expendable.

And now on to our sixth attempt to mock out the April 22 first round, which is just eight days away:
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1 QB Sam Bradford Oklahoma Jr. 6-4 223
The Rams continue to go through their scouting paces, meeting with both Bradford and Texas QB Colt McCoy this week in St. Louis. But anyone other than the ex-Sooner holding up a No. 1 jersey next Thursday night in New York -- pre-draft contract or not -- would register as the kind of stunning turn of events we haven't seen in years.
2 DT Ndamukong Suh Nebraska Sr. 6-4 302
Suh's addition to the re-built Detroit defensive line would make it the most improved unit in the NFL this offseason, Ravens receiving corps and Broncos defensive line notwithstanding. The Lions defensive front easily becomes the cornerstone element of head coach Jim Schwartz's year two turnaround efforts.
3 DT Gerald McCoy Oklahoma Jr. 6-4 298
The Bucs get the penetrating three-technique defensive tackle that seems to remind everyone of Warren Sapp. Funny, but I don't seem to recall hearing yet this spring whether McCoy reminds Warren Sapp of Warren Sapp.
4 OT Trent Williams Oklahoma Sr. 6-5 318
I'm buying the notion that Williams has supplanted Russell Okung as the Redskins' pick because scouts say he's more athletic and better suited to the zone-blocking schemes long favored by Mike Shanahan-coached teams. Williams was seen as something less than a safe pick pre-combine, but he has assuaged the doubts and continues to rise as the draft nears.
5 OT Russell Okung Oklahoma State Sr. 6-6 305
There's plenty of sentiment for Tennessee safety Eric Berry or Iowa offensive tackle Bryan Bulaga out there in mock-dom, but in this scenario I think Okung is a no-brainer for Scott Pioli and his young Chiefs. Paying a safety top-five money seems risky, and Okung is at worst the second highest-rated offensive tackle in this year's class.
6 OT Bryan Bulaga Iowa Jr. 6-6 312
An important caveat for this pick right off the bat: Bulaga has slipped down some teams' draft boards and there's real volatility regarding opinions about his potential. One talent evaluator even told me some clubs have given him a third-round grade. The rub seems to be the tapes that show him getting soundly beat by some of the best pass-rushers in this year's draft. But unless Seattle decides it has to pull the trigger on Clemson running back C.J. Spiller this early, replacing left tackle Walter Jones remains the priority.
7 S Eric Berry Tennessee Jr. 5-11 203
The Browns have options galore in this slot, but I keep coming back to the notion that in a division where Troy Polamalu and Ed Reed set so much of the tone on defense for Pittsburgh and Baltimore, getting an impact safety of its own is the most clear-cut upgrade for Cleveland.
8 DE Jason Pierre-Paul South Florida Jr. 6-6 260
Remember last year's YouTube draft-season sensation, that clip of San Jose State defensive end Jarron Gilbert jumping out of a pool? This year's No. 1 with a bullet features the intriguing Pierre-Paul back-flipping his way across a football field to the delight of his USF teammates. That's the kind of athletic feat that can really get you noticed in Oakland's draft room.
9 NT Dan Williams Tennessee Sr. 6-2 329
Taking quarterback Jimmy Clausen or offensive tackle Anthony Davis of Rutgers is certainly defensible, but the Bills can also make a strong case for Williams, the most natural nose tackle in the draft. Implementing Buffalo's new 3-4 defense would be made much easier with Williams in hand, and this offseason has taught us the rising value of the nose position in the NFL.
10 RB C.J. Spiller Clemson Sr. 5-11 195
We're hearing the Jaguars are calling around the league seeking a partner to trade downward and out of the No. 10 slot. Jacksonville doesn't have a second-round pick and wants more volume in this deep draft. But if the Jags stick, they like two players at No. 10: Jason Pierre-Paul and Spiller. With the South Florida defensive end already gone, Spiller gets the nod, as Jacksonville covets a Chris Johnson-like home run hitter in its own backfield.

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