The draft is just days away now and in just a mere three days from April 22nd to the 24th months and months of work will finally come to fruition for NFL teams as they select the next crop of fresh talent.
At this point it’s obvious to most what the first five picks will be this year, St. Louis will take Bradford after releasing Bulger, then Suh or McCoy in some order followed by Okung to Washington then Williams or Berry to the Chiefs.
NcNabb to Washington rules out any possibility the Redskins may have had at targeting a quarterback to replace the often under appreciated Jason Campbell and Brandon Marshall’s trade from Denver to Miami nearly forces McDaniels andthe Broncos to look at taking a receiver in the first round.
New Orleans has the luxury of sitting back and waiting to see who falls the them at 32 but have not ruled out the possibility of trading down, or up, to get a prospect they desire….Sean Weatherspoon anyone?
The signing of former Bear defensive end Alex Brown and meeting with Buccaneer free agent defensive end Jimmy Wilkerson is a good indication the Saints don’t feel like a defensive end prospect they like will be available at 32 and instead will look at taking an outside linebacker.
Amendment: At the time of this writing Jimmy Wilkerson had not signed with the Saints, as of 4/20 he has agreed to a one year contract with the team worth roughly 2M dollars.
However the Saints have never been a conventional team when it comes to drafting and not to say they would take a quarteback or receiver 32nd they could target a host of postions from defensive lineman to offensive lineman to even safety.
CBS Sports and Fansided teamed up today to do a live mock draft of the first and second rounds with the respective team writers, like me, making the picks for their teams.
It has now concluded and if you would like to see the outcome of the first 64 picks click the link CBS/Fansided Live NFL Mock Draft to view the mock in its entirety.
My picks for the Saints were DE Everson Griffenin the first round and DE Alex Carrington in the second round.
If you haven’t noticed I was joking when I said the Saints would take Tim Tebow, gotta get the readers in here somehow…on to the mock!
|Pick||Team||Player Selected||Player’s Position||Player’s School||Analysis|
|1.||Sam Bradford (Previous Pick: Sam Bradford)||Quarterback||Oklahoma||After the release of starting QB Marc bulger the Rams are in need of a new signal caller. After refusing to take a QB the last two drafts Spag and the Rams have no choice here but to take Bradford and hope for the best.|
|2.||Ndamakong Suh(Previous Pick: Russell Okung)
||Defensive Tackle||Nebraska||What a tough call, do they take Okung to help protect the young Matthew Stafford or a future superstar player in Suh. Detroit has made it a priority to look at rebuilding the defensive line and ultimately opt to take Suh over Okung.|
|3.||Gerald McCoy(Previous Pick: Ndamakong Suh)||Defensive Tackle||Oklahoma||The hapless Bucs have allot of holes to fill and HC Raheem Morris allot of work to do. Re-building a struggling secondary is high on the list but with McCoy here they just can’t let him go by and opt to draft him as an anchor to the middle of their Tampa 2 defense for a long time to come.|
|4.||Russell Okung(Previous Pick: Bryan Bulaga)||Offensive Tackle||Oklahoma State||Now that the Skins have acquired Donovan McNabb from the Eagles there is no longer a need to draft a QB, which was a possibility. A glaring need for the Shanahan run franchise is offensive tackle and they take arguably the best and draft Russell Okung.|
|5.||Eric Berry(Previous Pick: Gerald McCoy)||Safety||Tennessee||The Chiefs needs some help in the secondary especially at safety and although McCoy and Suh would have been a consideration here they are gone. It only makes sense they take the best safety prospect and select Eric Berry, a possible future hall of famer.|
|6.||Trent Williams(Previous Pick: Anthony Davis)
||Offensive Tackle||Oklahoma||With Pete Carroll now at the helm in Seattle it is possible that Matt Hasselbeck’s futurethere is in jeopardy, but again there is not a QB worth drafting this high after Bradford. There are a number of monster OT left here and think the third best is taken, Trent Williams, to help keep Hasselbeck upright.|
|7.||Joe Haden(Previous Pick: Eric Berry)||Cornerback||Florida||CB Joe Haden may have rescued his draft after silencing any doubts scouts had about his speed at his pro day. Mangini needs to re-build his secondary and although Mays still here he opts for the best corner and higher rated prospect in the draft and takes Haden.|
|8.||Bruce Campbell(Previous Pick: Trent Williams)
||Offensive Tackle||Maryland||What can you say here, Al Davis loves to draft freakishly fast players and my gut instinct tells me Davis wants Taylor Mays and that sub 4.3 speed in his backfield even with some pretty stud players there already. However I think Davis is pigeon holed into drafting a glaring need for the team and takes the player he likes most at LT, the beast Bruce Campbell.|
|9.||Jimmy Clausen(Previous Pick: C.J. Spiller)
||Quarterback||Notre Dame||New head coach Chan Gailey would like to get better running the ball but they also have to get better throwing the ball. Clausen is rising up teams draft boards, the Bills included, so they see a need andfill it with the 1-A quarterback in the draft Jimmy Clausen.|
|10.||Derrick Morgan(Previous Pick: Dunlap)||Defensive End||Georgia Tech||The Jags will look to upgrade their pass rush after posting only 14 sacks in 2009 by drafting the best true defensive end Derrick Morgan|
|11.||Dez Bryant(Pevious Pick: Bryant)
||Wide Receiver||Oklahoma State||Marshall was finally traded as McDaniels dis-assembly of the Shanahan franchise is nearly complete. Some would argue that to let a player as productive as Marshall go is sheer stupidity, the Broncos don’t see it that way. With no one left to fill Marshall’s shoes they address the need in the draft andtake the man with the magic hands Dez Bryant.|
|12.||Sergio Kindle(Previous Pick: Kindle)
||Outside Linebacker||Texas||This one is truly a no brain-er as the only logical choice for the Dolphins is to take a linebacker after parting ways withJoey Porter coupled with the uncertainty of Jason Taylor’s future. The best linebacker in the draft comes off the board, Sergio Kindle, a future beast in a 3-4 scheme.|
|13.||Earl Thomas(Previous Pick: Eric Berry)
||Safety||Texas||The 49ers need some help in the secondary and since Haden and Berry are both gone they decide to go after the best ball hawking safety in the draft Earl Thomas and they are happy about it.|
|14.||C.J. Spiller(Previous Pick Ryan Matthews)||Running Back||Clemson||Carrol is a smart guy and he understands that a good running back can go along way and let’s face it the Seahawks definitely need an upgrade at the position as they have not had a viable back since the days of Sean Alexander. At 14 they take the best back off the board and draft Spiller.|
|15.||Rolando McClain(Previous Pick: McClain)
||Inside Linebacker||Alabama||With former starter and leader of the Giants defense linebacker Antonio Pearce a distant memory in the big apple the Giants desperately need someone to step up in his place and become a play-maker. The clear choice is the best inside backer in the draft Rolando McClain.|
|16.||Jason Pierre-Paul(Previous Pick: Pierre-Paul)||Defensive End||South Florida||The Titans pass rush could use an overhaul and Pierre-Paul is an interesting draft prospect that seemingly came out of nowhere to emerge as the potential best pass rusher in the draft. Clubs are drooling at the though of developing him and the Titans decide to get him first.|
|17.||Bryan Bulaga(Previous Pick: Mike Iupati)
||Offensive Tackle||Iowa||No question if Bulaga is here they would opt to take him over Iupati and Pouncey both. An elite tackle he can help anchor the line and blast open holes for Frank Gore for years to come.|
|18.||Kyle Wilson(Previous Pick: Dan Williams)||Cornerback||Boise State||The Steelers sewed up their starting nose tackle Casey Hampton which helped solidify the position heading into the draft. I still think they go defense here and draft according to need and take who some consider the best corner in the draft over Haden, corner Kyle Wilson.|
|19.||Brandon Graham(Previous Pick: Daryl Washington)
||Defensive End/Outside Linebacker||Michigan||The Falcons no longer need a corner after signing Dunta Robinson from the Texans. More importantly they need someone to rush the passer and Brandon Graham suits the bill nicely.|
Ryan Matthews (Previous Pick: Devin McCourty)
|Running Back||Fresno State||Matthews is the perfect compliment to Steve Slaton and the Texans cannot pass up the opportunity to put together this fearsome tandem of running backs.|
Jermaine Gresham(Previous Pick: Gresham)
|Tight End||Oklahoma||The Bengals have had nothing but inconsistency and injury at the tight end position and desperately need a play making tight end to command respect in the middle of the field. Regardless of Gresham’s knee injury they welcome him to Cincinnati with open arms.|
(Previous Pick: Sean Weatherspoon)
|Defensive Tackle||Penn State||The Patriots see a need and fill it, his addition will help an increasingly struggling run defense and you know how Belicheck loves versatile players.|
|23.||Anthony Davis(Previous Pick: Bruce Campbell)
||Offensive Tackle||Rutgers||Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers spent the majority of the 2009 season lying flat on his back as the o-line was a complete and utter catastrophe. Great strides were made towards the end of the season but never the less they will look to bolster the line and protect Rodgers by taking the best available, Anthony Davis.|
|24.||Carlos Dunlap (Previous Pick: Griffen)||Defensive End||Florida||The same old analogy applies, if you can upgrade your pass rush then do it. Dunlappaired with Cole is a tandem destined to wreak havoc.|
|25.||Dan Williams(Previous Pick: Arrelious Benn)
||Defensive Tackle||Tennessee||Many think the Ravens may look at taking a linebacker here and there is definitely a consideration given the age of Ray Lewis. The other choice for the Ravens could have been a receiver but they were able to land their prize fee agent Anquan Boldin. They take Dan Williams to compliment Haloti Ngata.|
|26.||Demaryius Thomas(Previous Pick: Earl Thomas)||Wide Receiver||Georgia Tech||The loss of Anquan Boldin to the Ravens was a big hit to the red birds andalthough many consider Thomas a risky pick because of his foot injury his physical gifts far outweigh those concerns. Paired with Fitzgerald he could prove to be a monster in the NFL.|
|27.||Taylor Mays(Previous Pick: Mays)||Safety||Southern California||Jerry Jones may be getting the steal of the draft by taking Mays with the 27thpick, assuming he falls this far that is. Mays is a freakish athlete with blazing speed and you can bet Jones is more than happy to add him into his secondary. They have to start winning play off games is they expect to pay for the Jones-Mahal.|
|28.||Terrence Cody(Previous Pick: Jahvid Best)||Defensive Tackle||Alabama||Cody is hailed as a proto typical 3-4 nose tackle and with the popularity of thatstyle of defense in the NFL has seen a drastic rise in his draft placement. After the Chargersparted with Jamal Williams they need a young tackle to take over nose and Cody fills that need.|
|29.||Everson Griffen(Previous Pick: Demaryius Thomas)||Defensive End||USC||After acquiring SantonioHolmes the need for receivers becomes secondary and if there is one thing Ryan loves its young prospects he can use to mold his tenacious defenses. Griffen is arguably one of the best pass rushers in the draft and the Jets take him to do just that.|
|30.||Devin McCourty(Previous Pick: Patrick Robinson)
||Cornerback||Rutgers||Plain and simple the Vikes really, really need help at corner and Haden, Wilson are both gone. Devin McCourty might not bet the most popular pick but it’s definitely the smartest considering his versatility and ability to play special teams.|
|31.||Maurkice Pouncey(Previous Pick: Jahvid Best)||Center||Florida||Pouncey is being hailed as one of the best center prospects in recent memory. Most mocks have him going higher and in some instances as high as 19th to San Francisco. Jeff Saturday is coming to the end of his playing career so taking Pouncey to groom as his eventual replacement makes perfect sense.|
|32.||Sean Weatherspoon(Previous Pick: Jared Odrick)||Outside Linebacker||Missouri||After the signing of DE Alex Brown and the potential signing of DE Jimmy Wilkerson the DE position is no longer such a glaring need for the Saints. Weatherspoon is fast, athletic and physical and will immediately assume the starting strong-side linebacker spot vacated by Scott Fujita in Gregg Williams defense. It’s a miracle he is even here at 32 and the Saints jump all over him.|
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