By Don Banks
April 22, 2010
2010 NFL Mock Draft 7.0 (cont.)
21 WR Dez Bryant Oklahoma State Jr. 6-2 215
I'm torn between giving the Bengals Bryant or Oklahoma tight end Jermaine Gresham, but since when has Cincy passed on anybody due to character issues? Either player upgrades the Bengals passing game, but Bryant's ceiling is higher than Gresham's. And the Bengals know if they pass on Bryant, he'll be a Patriot within 10 minutes.
22 TE Jermaine Gresham Oklahoma Sr. 6-5 259
In other words, I think Bryant and Gresham are going 21-22 to Cincinnati and New England in some order, and this is my best hunch. If the Pats say no thanks and focus on defense, Texas OLB Sergio Kindle or Penn State defensive tackle Jared Odrick are the names to know.
23 G-OT Mike Iupati Idaho Sr. 6-5 325
Moving up in the draft isn't really the Packers' style, but we've heard some rumblings they might jump up in search of either one of the top four offensive tackles or a cornerback like Kyle Wilson. But if they stay at 23, Iupati looks like a solid pick who could be productive at guard and eventually transition to tackle, where Green Bay is aging. A cornerback like Rutgers' Devin McCourty or Alabama's Kareem Jackson isn't out of the question either.
24 DE-OLB Sergio Kindle Texas Sr. 6-4 255
Once nose tackle Dan Williams came off the board at No. 9, the Dolphins knew they could trade down and still get some help on defense. Finding Kindle, a 3-4 outside linebacker with edge-rushing skills, still available makes our projected deal with the Eagles a move entirely worth making.
25 WR Demaryius Thomas Georgia Tech Sr. 6-3 226
Baltimore has options and will stay true to its draft board, but the choice isn't going to be real tricky. The Ravens won't pass on Dez Bryant, Jermaine Gresham or Kyle Wilson if any of them tumble to 25, but that's not happening. They love Thomas's size and potential, and their earlier moves at receiver this offseason buys them time to let him develop.
26 OLB Sean Weatherspoon Missouri Sr. 6-2 245
The Cardinals are fortunate in that their draft need and draft slot lined up nicely with this pick, giving them a versatile linebacking talent who can replace departed inside starter Karlos Dansby.
27 OT Rodger Saffold Indiana Sr. 6-5 316
The Cowboys think they're close to being Super Bowl ready and that means they don't have to take any big chance or make a splash with this pick (USC safety Taylor Mays, for example). That should prompt them to take their highest-rated remaining offensive tackle and hit a solid double. It's either the fast-rising Saffold or the thought-to-be-NFL-ready Charles Brown of USC.
28 DT Jared Odrick Penn State Sr. 6-5 296
If the Chargers don't get running back Ryan Mathews in the first round, I believe they'll upgrade their defensive line and then target Stanford running back Toby Gerhart in the second round. Odrick isn't the nose tackle the Chargers really covet (and this seems a bit high for Alabama DT Terrence Cody), but he's a quality 3-4 end prospect who's A.J. Smith's type of player.
29 CB Devin McCourty Rutgers Sr. 5-11 193
The Jets have filled so many needs this offseason with veterans that the draft feels like icing on the cake. With Jason Taylor now on board, finding a young 3-4 end who can play the "five-technique" is job one, but Odrick just went to the Chargers at 28, and this is probably too high for a question mark like Florida's Carlos Dunlap. TCU outside linebacker Jerry Hughes or USC defensive end-linebacker Everson Griffen would offer depth for the future, but you can never have enough cornerbacks against the likes of Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, and McCourty could contribute right away in the return game.
30 QB Tim Tebow Florida Sr. 6-3 236
Anyone else thinking what I'm thinking, that the Vikings' signing of veteran cornerback Lito Sheppard on Wednesday will be the final impetus to not go for a corner in the first round and turn their attention to the future of the quarterback position? Don't discount that the Vikings might like Texas's Colt McCoy more than Tebow here, especially with the success that the "short" Drew Brees had against them last January. If it is a cornerback Minnesota still wants, Alabama's Kareem Jackson is our highest-rated remaining prospect.
31 OT Charles Brown USC Sr. 6-5 297
We're not going to over-think this one, because the Colts always play it pretty straight in the draft. Indy needs some youth at tackle, and Brown is the best available tackle remaining. Some scouts believe he can step into a lineup and help you from day one of his rookie season.
32 OLB Jerry Hughes TCU Sr. 6-2 257
Defense is going to get the call for the Super Bowl champs, and outside linebacker remains their highest priority need. Hughes or his former Texas Christian teammate, outside linebacker Darryl Washington, would seem to be the best possible fits for the last slot in the round.

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