2010 NFL Mock Draft, Version 5.0

Wednesday April 7th, 2010
2010 NFL Mock Draft 5.0
It's too early to tell if the Redskins and Donovan McNabb or the Eagles with a newly elevated Kevin Kolb and an extra second-round pick will be the big winner in Easter night's blockbuster trade. But it's already painfully clear who lost out when McNabb switched teams in the NFC East: Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen, whose most logical landing spot in the top 10 was the No. 4 Redskins.

We're still 15 days away from the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft, plenty of time for Clausen's stock to ride the mid-April rollercoaster for a while longer. But a Brady Quinn- or Aaron Rodgers-like free fall is at least now a distinct possibility for the draft's second-rated quarterback, and don't discount the chance that someone picking low in the first round actually likes Texas's Colt McCoy or Florida's Tim Tebow better than they do Clausen.

I don't see the No. 5 Chiefs, No. 6 Seahawks, No. 7 Browns or No. 8 Raiders pulling the trigger for Clausen given their current quarterback situations. Buffalo is Clausen's best chance to avoid the big slide, and if he gets past the Bills at No. 9, maybe only the 49ers (who pick No. 13 and 17) could keep him from tumbling all the way to the bottom of round one. It's silly season in terms of draft scenarios, but for now I've got Clausen making it all the way until No. 30 Minnesota until he hears his name called.

And now on to our fifth attempt to mock out the April 22 first round:
(Send comments to siwriters@simail.com)

1 QB Sam Bradford Oklahoma Jr. 6-4 223
With Bradford allaying all health-related concerns at his pro day last week, the Rams can start printing his jersey for the press conference. Any lingering chance of someone trading up to No. 1 for a shot at him likely went by the boards when Washington got its quarterback Sunday night.
2 DT Ndamukong Suh Nebraska Sr. 6-4 302
Plenty of mockers seem to be buying the notion the Lions will pass on Suh in favor of an offensive tackle like Russell Okung or Trent Williams. I'm not there yet. True, offensive left tackle is a higher premium position than defensive tackle, and taking an LT can make your salary structure more sensible. But is everyone forgetting the ex-Cornhusker might be the most special player in this draft, like we all thought four months ago?
3 DT Gerald McCoy Oklahoma Jr. 6-4 298
What's the worst that can happen for the Bucs on draft night when their only tough call might be having to choose between Suh and McCoy? But in the case of the ex-Sooner, those Warren Sapp comparisons aren't just draft-season hype.
4 OT Russell Okung Oklahoma State Sr. 6-6 305
The Redskins could well put this pick up for sale in an effort to recoup the second-round pick they surrendered in the McNabb trade, but if they stick, taking a franchise offensive tackle to help keep No. 5 safe and sound makes the most sense. Okung has been the draft's top-rated tackle forever, but Oklahoma's Trent Williams is making a late charge up the board.
5 OT Trent Williams Oklahoma Sr. 6-5 318
No matter the order of how Okung, Williams and Iowa offensive tackle Bryan Bulaga go, slotting them in the 4-5-6 holes seem to be among this round's surer bets. The Chiefs need to better protect quarterback Matt Cassel, and that makes an OT the choice over a defensive play-maker like Tennessee safety Eric Berry.
6 OT Bryan Bulaga Iowa Jr. 6-6 312
If the Lions do take an offensive tackle at No. 2, it could push one of the two premier defensive tackles (probably McCoy) down to Seattle and give the Seahawks a real choice to make. Otherwise it should be easy to turn in the card for Bulaga and address the need to replace Walter Jones' at left tackle.
7 S Eric Berry Tennessee Jr. 5-11 203
It doesn't sound like Mike Holmgren likes Clausen enough to pound the table for him, and would another first-round quarterback from Notre Dame really be the right thing in Cleveland these days? Berry supplies a much-needed playmaker in the back of a Browns defense that has undergone a significant upgrade this offseason.
8 DE Jason Pierre-Paul South Florida Jr. 6-6 260
The Raiders could do the sensible thing and take the best available offensive tackle, like Anthony Davis of Rutgers. But that's not what we've come to expect from Al Davis on draft weekend. I flipped a coin between workout warrior offensive tackle Bruce Campbell of Maryland and the gifted but raw Pierre-Paul, and it came down in favor of Al's mantra that "the quarterback must go down and he must go down hard."
9 OT Anthony Davis Rutgers Jr. 6-6 325
The full weight of having to make the call on Clausen's NFL potential falls squarely on the shoulders of the Bills' new regime, general manager Buddy Nix and head coach Chan Gailey. Unless they have a complete conviction about the quarterback, I see the Bills going the safer route and getting an offensive tackle to help rebuild their shambles of an offensive line. But I can see why everyone keeps giving Clausen to Buffalo. If not there, how low does he go?
10 S Earl Thomas Texas So. 5-10 197
The Jaguars' need to pump up their fan base and sell some tickets could prompt them to go in the direction of either Clausen or Oklahoma State receiver Dez Bryant, but those are a pair of gambles I don't think Jacksonville has the stomach to take. In a division where the Jaguars play Peyton Manning and Matt Schaub four times a year, a safety who can impact the game is a must.
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