By Don Banks
March 04, 2010
2010 NFL Mock Draft 3.0 (cont.)
11 NT Dan Williams Tennessee Sr. 6-2 329
If the Broncos move Brandon Marshall, they'll feel pressure to take receiver Dez Bryant in this slot. But Bryant's irresponsibility and immaturity was a storyline at the combine, and what's the point of replacing Marshall with a guy who might be even more of a headache, minus the proven NFL track record? That's why we're going with Williams, who fills Denver's need for a sizable, run-stopping presence in the middle of its 3-4 defense.
12 DE-OLB Sergio Kindle Texas Sr. 6-4 255
The Dolphins should have several good options here. They can choose between Kindle or rising Missouri outside linebacker Sean Weatherspoon, or go with Alabama's Rolando McClain to fill a need at inside linebacker. And there's always Dez Bryant if Bill Parcells and Co. are feeling up to the challenge of babysitting a potential diva receiver.
13 OT Trent Williams Oklahoma Sr. 6-5 318
The 49ers can play this a number of ways, but they'd like to come away with an offensive tackle, and then either a safety (Earl Thomas or Taylor Mays) or a running back (C.J. Spiller) with their two first-round picks. Offensive tackle carries the greater value, and the run of sure-fire first-round prospects runs out after Williams is off the board.
14 QB Jimmy Clausen Notre Dame Jr. 6-3 223
Maybe Clausen never gets past No. 11 Denver, but if he does, Seattle will be his landing spot. Having a second first-round pick will convince Pete Carroll that it's time to invest in his quarterback of the future, and Matt Hasselbeck's presence gives the Seahawks at least a year of transition time to play with.
15 ILB Rolando McClain Alabama Jr. 6-4 258
A lingering hamstring injury kept McClain from running and working out at the combine, and that makes his pro day a bit more important than anticipated. But McClain can rightfully stand on his game film, because it doesn't lie. The Giants could use a safety like Earl Thomas, but building a defense around McClain at middle linebacker will prove too enticing to pass on.
16 DE Jason Pierre-Paul South Florida Jr. 6-6 260
Pierre-Paul has real volatility in the top half of this round, because his talent is obvious but raw. The Titans need more pass rush, and once upon a time they took a freakish young athlete out of the state of Florida and got great things from him as a rookie defensive end. In fact, some see more than a little Jevon Kearse in Pierre-Paul's game.
17 S Earl Thomas Texas So. 5-10 197
With their OT need addressed at No. 13, the 49ers would face a choice between a safety like Thomas or Taylor Mays, or the draft's top rusher in Clemson's C.J. Spiller. We're sticking with Thomas, who had a quality week in Indy, but let's watch to see if San Francisco does anything in free agency that might alter its need list prior to the draft.
18 G-OT Mike Iupati Idaho Sr. 6-5 325
With nose tackle Casey Hampton re-signed, the Steelers can shift their draft priority to their interior offensive line, which needs an upgrade. Iupati had one of the more impressive personal stories at the combine, and scouts love his toughness, versatility and self-motivation. If there's another name to keep track of for Pittsburgh, it's Florida center Maurkice Pouncey.
19 CB Kyle Wilson Boise State Sr. 5-10 186
The Falcons aren't as locked in on a cornerback as I first presumed, and if a pass rusher like Pierre-Paul or Morgan should fall to them, they won't blink, because John Abraham isn't getting any younger. But I still have them taking a much-needed cover corner in this scenario, and Wilson remains the second-rated prospect behind Haden, and the gap isn't all that wide any more.
20 RB C.J. Spiller Clemson Sr. 5-11 195
After Spiller's boffo combine performance, I'll admit he may not last until Houston. But he wouldn't be the first top-notch running back to linger longer on the board than he should have (see Steven Jackson, Adrian Peterson, and Chris Johnson). If the Texans go out in free agency and sign a Thomas Jones, Chester Taylor or a LaDainian Tomlinson, maybe they shift their draft focus to cornerback in the first round. For now, Spiller would be a steal at No. 20.

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