By Don Banks
March 04, 2010
2010 NFL Mock Draft 3.0
It's overreaction time in mock-dom, because after hearing from everyone in the NFL that the league's scouting combine is just a small piece of the scouting-season puzzle, all it takes is one disappointing 40-yard dash timing -- hello, Joe Haden -- to send the stock of some first-round prospect plummeting. Just remember: Knee-jerk reactions are usually wrong. Fresh off the trip to Indy, here's our latest reading of how we see the first round playing out in the primetime hours of April 22:
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1 QB Sam Bradford Oklahoma Jr. 6-4 223
The only thing anyone should be guaranteeing these days when it comes to the Rams' pick is no one knows for sure yet who it will be. But I came away from Indy believing St. Louis is very open to taking a quarterback and the key phrasing was this from Rams GM Billy Devaney: "The defensive tackles are difference-makers and we have them graded extremely high. But I have a feeling at the end of the day, the quarterbacks are going to be, if not right there, they're going to be within striking distance so that you have to think about taking them, because of (the value issue)." Besides that, you can't discount the logic that taking and playing a rookie QB probably buys Devaney and head coach Steve Spagnuolo some patience from a new Rams owner, which isn't necessarily the case if you draft a defensive tackle and then go 2-14.
2 DT Ndamukong Suh Nebraska Sr. 6-4 302
A new friend of mine is a Lions fan and he asked me a couple weeks back if I could convince the Rams to take a quarterback at No. 1, leaving Detroit with their choice of defensive tackles in the two spot. I would say I'm happy to help, but that's vastly overstating my influence. The Lions reportedly like Suh over Gerald McCoy, and no one will be happier on draft night than Detroit head coach Jim Schwartz if the Rams land their franchise QB.
3 DT Gerald McCoy Oklahoma Jr. 6-4 298
The Bucs would be big winners too in this scenario, because there are many who think McCoy's the best player available this season, even if he did "only" 23 reps on the bench press at the combine. Tampa Bay would settle for the next Warren Sapp and consider itself fortunate to be able to find out if the comparison is apt.
4 OT Russell Okung Oklahoma State Sr. 6-6 305
Maybe Mike Shanahan will talk himself into Jimmy Clausen with Bradford off the board, but the wiser move would be to take Okung and immediately fill the void created by left tackle Chris Samuels' retirement. Jason Campbell probably becomes a bit better quarterback with that move alone.
5 S Eric Berry Tennessee Jr. 5-11 203
Berry hit everything out of the park at the combine: He has size (211 pounds), speed (4.47), aced all the drills and interviewed well, emerging as the clear-cut best defensive back in this year's draft. The Chiefs would love to see him get past No. 3 Tampa Bay, which shouldn't be a problem if St. Louis goes quarterback at the top.
6 OT Bryan Bulaga Iowa Jr. 6-6 312
Jimmy Clausen is a real consideration here for Seattle, and as it turns out, Pete Carroll knows him well from recruiting him in high school. But the Seahawks have a better shot to get Clausen at No. 14 than they do one of the draft's top five offensive tackles in that slot. If they take Bulaga here, they might have their pick between Clausen and running back C.J. Spiller when 14 rolls around.
7 CB Joe Haden Florida Jr. 5-11 190
What a difference a week can make. I went from thinking the Browns had two good choices here between Haden and Oklahoma State receiver Dez Bryant, and now both of those players have some red flags coming out of Indy. Haden needed to run well to secure his spot in the top 10 and he didn't, posting 4.57 and 4.58, which looks slow for an elite cornerback. But I'm not going to throw the baby out with the bath water just yet. Haden has time to recover his mojo with a strong pro day workout, and we're going to fight through the urge to over-react. At least this once.
8 OT Bruce Campbell Maryland Jr. 6-7 310
Maybe it's too easy to give the Raiders the size and speed specimen of this year's combine, but you have to admit Oakland is pretty consistent when it comes to taking those workout warriors. And it doesn't hurt that the Raiders need an offensive tackle. Campbell wowed everyone with his physique and athleticism in Indy, but he's seen as a project when it comes to his readiness for the pivotal left tackle slot.
9 OT Anthony Davis Rutgers Jr. 6-6 325
The Bills can get funky on us in the first round, but this is an easy trigger to pull when it comes to Davis. Buffalo is more desperate for offensive tackles than they are for quarterbacks, and that's a mouthful indeed.
10 DE Derrick Morgan Georgia Tech Jr. 6-4 272
Texas safety Earl Thomas is tempting, but the reality is the Jaguars need more pass rush. Their 14 sacks were last in the NFL in 2009, and Morgan comes out of the combine looking like the more pro-ready prospect when judged against South Florida's Jason Pierre-Paul. The USF prospect has a huge upside, but Jacksonville head coach Jack Del Rio can't afford to wait around for potential to blossom.

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