By Don Banks
January 28, 2010
2010 NFL Mock Draft 1.0 (cont.)
21 WR Golden Tate Notre Dame Jr. 5-11 195
The Bengals receivers couldn't get much separation in the second half of the season, and Tate's the kind of player who could provide some instant juice for an offense -- a'la Percy Harvin this season in Minnesota. A former running back like Harvin, Tate is a strong runner after the catch and he plays bigger than his size.
22 DE-OLB Sergio Kindle Texas Sr. 6-4 255
The Patriots 3-4 defense is in obvious need of more building blocks in the front seven, and Kindle is a 3-4 outside linebacker who can offer some burst off the edge and handle his coverage responsibilities.
23 OT Bruce Campbell Maryland Jr. 6-7 310
I was all set to look smart by giving the Packers Massachussetts offensive tackle Vladmir Ducasse in this first mock, but then the 330-pound I-AA product had a very shaky week in Mobile. Scouts say he projects more as a third-rounder at this point. So Campbell it is, because he's a cleaner, safer pick. Green Bay's need for help at offensive tackle was painfully obvious in the first half of this season.
24 LB Brandon Spikes Florida Sr. 6-3 258
The Eagles linebacking was in such need early last season that Philly had to go sign Jeremiah Trotter for a third time. Spikes plays mostly inside, and with Stewart Bradley recovering from ACL surgery, Spikes is at least a very smart insurance policy for Philly in 2010.
25 TE Jermaine Gresham Oklahoma Sr. 6-6 258
The Ravens need either a receiver capable of making first-year impact, or a tight end who can instantly upgrade the passing game and eventually replace Todd Heap. If Golden Tate should linger, he would be intriguing. And here's another receiving option to keep your eye on: Georgia Tech junior Demaryius Thomas. Gresham is the draft's top tight end, and if the knee injury that cost him his 2009 season checks out fine at the combine, he'll get a long look from Baltimore.
26 QB Tim Tebow Florida Sr. 6-3 245
This one is pure projection on my behalf, but hear me out: Tebow's rough week at the Senior Bowl notwithstanding, it's only going to take one team to fall in love with him to make him a low first-rounder. Why the Cardinals? If Kurt Warner retires Friday as expected, does anyone think Arizona has 100 percent confidence in Matt Leinart at this point? And we already know Ken Whisenhunt doesn't mind playing two QBs in the same game, because he did it with Warner and Leinart in 2007. As rough as things were for the Cardinals defense in the playoffs, that side of the ball probably should get first-round attention. But for now, we're sliding our Tebow chips to Arizona's square.
27 G-OT Mike Iupati Idaho Sr. 6-5 325
The Cowboys offensive line needs help in light of its playoff-game meltdown at Minnesota, and Iupati is a prospect who really helped himself with his showing in this week's Senior Bowl practices. He has good feet and plays with a mean streak. Another intriguing possibility that can't be overlooked for Dallas is if USC safety Taylor Mays tumbles to No. 27. But the offensive line should take priority.
28 RB Jonathan Dwyer Georgia Tech Jr. 5-11 235
With LaDainian Tomlinson in all likelihood a soon-to-be ex-Charger, the Bolts need to find a bigger, more powerful rushing option than scat-back Darren Sproles. Dwyer is a 5-11, 235-pounder who can run between the tackles and punish would-be tacklers, but he also has some quicks.
29 WR Damian Williams USC Sr. 6-1 195
No matter what they decide in regards to Braylon Edwards' contract situation, the Jets need another play-making option in their receiving corps. Why not give them Williams, whom quarterback Mark Sanchez used to throw to at USC? Williams has good hands and quickness, and some added value in the return game.
30 DT Dan Williams Tennessee Sr. 6-2 329
What could be more perfect than if the Williams Wall stayed intact in Minnesota, even if veteran defensive tackle Pat Williams retires, as he says he's contemplating? It'd be kind of a reverse Reagan, with the Vikings deciding to not tear down that wall. (Any history buffs out there?) Penn State's Jared Odrick and UCLA's Brian Price are two more defensive tackle options who figure to be available near the end of the first round.
31* OLB Navorro Bowman Penn State Jr. 6-1 232
The Saints this offseason could lose veteran strongside linebacker Scott Fujita, who's poised to enter free agency with or without a new CBA being reached. Bowman is a quality linebacker prospect and might help make up for the fact that New Orleans passed on Brian Cushing last year in favor of cornerback Malcolm Jenkins.
*31st pick will go to Super Bowl loser; 32nd pick to Super Bowl winner
32 DT Jared Odrick Penn State Sr. 6-5 296
The Colts could use an offensive tackle to groom as an upgrade over Charlie Johnson on the left side, but Odrick is too good a value to pass up. He's the kind of quick, penetrating defensive tackle the Colts like, and yet he's strong enough to hold the point of attack.

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