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Mel Kiper (ESPN) mock draft #2
This is the last big NFL draft primer before the scene really shifts for good. That's because with the NFL combine next week, it's not just about those remarkable 40 times, it's about NFL personnel people finding out whether a guy really is who they believe he is. It's amazing how many times NFL personnel folks come away shocked that a player is 5-foot-11, not 6-1, or 230 pounds as opposed to the 248 he'd been listed at. Remember that my Big Board and position group rankings really help in understanding overall draft value.
Some things that stand out in this second mock draft are a jump for quarterback Jimmy Clausen, who I think will emerge strong from the workout and interview process; eight new names; multiple shifts in draft choices and the degree to which defense dominates. Twenty picks fall on that side of the ball.
St. Louis RamsRecord: 1-15
Ndamukong Suh, DT, NebraskaClearly, the Rams need to figure out who will take the snaps, and it'll be interesting to see whether they are overwhelmed by one of the QB options. But unless St. Louis trades down -- which is always difficult given the economics of the draft -- Suh is a safe pick. As I've said before, on film he's maybe the most dominating defensive tackle I've seen. He can help immediately. Oddly, for a player so highly thought of, Suh may be even more versatile than some think.
Detroit LionsRecord: 2-14
Gerald McCoy*, DT, Oklahoma
McCoy or Suh will be a welcome sight for the Lions with the second pick, and McCoy is an extraordinarily good consolation prize for any team unable to get Suh. He's simply not that far behind the former Cornhusker in the eyes of personnel people. McCoy is highly disruptive and an ideal player to use as an attacking defensive tackle in a 4-3 scheme.
Tampa Bay BuccaneersRecord: 3-13
Eric Berry*, S, Tennessee
People will continue to debate the merits of taking a safety so high, but Berry is an exception to any rule. He could be the next to join the class of true difference-makers at the safety position with the likes of Troy Polamalu, Ed Reed (the most frequent comparison) and Bob Sanders. Berry is outstanding in coverage and far more physical than his size would indicate.
Washington RedskinsRecord: 4-12
Jimmy Clausen*, QB, Notre Dame
Clausen will gain momentum after the combine. Once he's fully recovered from his toe surgery, he'll show teams he can make the throws, but there's more to it. His intelligence, competitiveness and toughness will impress personnel people, and his stock will rise. Clausen has under-center experience and was as close to mistake-free as he could be given his surroundings this past season.
Kansas City ChiefsRecord: 4-12
Anthony Davis, OT, Rutgers
Davis has the physical talent to be a Pro Bowl player early in his career, but he's still developing. Still, given a choice, the Chiefs can't pass on his upside, which is as high as any player's in the draft. A potential Walter Jones-like presence, if his development continues. The Chiefs also could move Branden Albert to the right side.
Seattle SeahawksRecord: 5-11
Sam Bradford*, QB, OklahomaThe bottom line on Bradford: This quarterback has 10-point accuracy and could very well have gone ahead of Matthew Stafford as the No. 1 pick last year. He will have a chance to prove to many scouts he's still the elite prospect many believe him to be. It's fair to doubt him, but his talent is unquestionable.
Cleveland BrownsRecord: 5-11
Joe Haden*, CB, FloridaHaden has the chance to be a top-five player at his position very quickly. He also fits an immediate need for Cleveland and is easily the top cornerback on the board, a player it can plug in from day one. A deft cover corner and great tackler, Haden is the total package.
Oakland RaidersRecord: 5-11
Jason Pierre-Paul*, DE, South FloridaLike Anthony Davis, Pierre-Paul has as much upside as any player in the draft. He's still raw by NFL standards but could contribute quickly just based on incredible athleticism. Once his pass-rushing skills are refined, he's a game-changer.
Buffalo BillsRecord: 6-10
Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma StateThe Bills should race to the podium as the Redskins did last year when Brian Orakpo landed in their laps. Significant need meets fantastic value here, with Okung being able to step in right away and help a weak offensive line.
Denver Broncos (from Chicago)Record: 7-9
Dez Bryant*, WR, Oklahoma StateObviously, a lot depends on whether Brandon Marshall is expected to be back come draft time, but if he isn't, this pick is a winner. You fill the void with the best deep threat in the draft. Bryant has great size and was unstoppable in the Big 12; he's a weapon in the passing game.
Jacksonville JaguarsRecord: 7-9
Derrick Morgan*, DE, Georgia TechIn the first mock, I had Pierre-Paul in this spot, but his rising stock moves him up the board. Morgan certainly hasn't fallen as a prospect and should be snatched up quickly by the pass-rush-deficient Jags. He's as productive and versatile a player as there is in the draft.
Rolando McClain*, LB, AlabamaA great get for Miami, a team that needs an inside linebacker and could get the best one in the draft after the top 10. I mentioned before that the Dolphins also could go after Bryant if he were to fall to them here, because they also must address their need at wide receiver. Problem is after Bryant, there's a value gap. If McClain and Bryant are gone here, a trade down the board could be considered.
San Francisco 49ersRecord: 8-8
C.J. Spiller, RB, ClemsonIn Spiller, the 49ers can add a player who complements Frank Gore in a way I don't think Glen Coffee can. Spiller is a home run threat and should spell Gore and diversify the offense. He also provides an upgrade in the return game.
Seattle Seahawks (from Denver)Record: 5-11
Everson Griffen*, DE, USCSeattle could use help on its O-line, but Griffen fills a significant need for pass-rush help here. The Seahawks will take a serious value hit if they select an offensive tackle here with Okung and Davis already off the board. Griffen also has a great size-speed combination, ideal on the edge of a 4-3.
New York GiantsRecord: 8-8
Sergio Kindle, OLB, TexasKindle is a need pick for the Giants, who must get stronger in their linebacking corps and could use a little more help with situational pass-rushing than some think. Kindle will need to overcome size issues -- another way of saying he simply could add some bulk to a long (6-4) frame -- but he's proven far sturdier against the run than many who also can rush the passer.
San Francisco 49ers (from Carolina)Record: 8-8
Trent Williams, OT, OklahomaConsidering how good Williams is, even at a position that normally doesn't draw high-to-mid first-round picks, getting him here would be of solid value. Williams could step in immediately at right tackle, and the 49ers would upgrade up front.
Tennessee TitansRecord: 8-8
Carlos Dunlap*, DE, FloridaAt a certain point, even questions surrounding a player's makeup can't overcome the talent, and getting a player like Dunlap at this stage is hard to question. With exceptional size and top-end athleticism for a defensive end, Dunlap should help disrupt opposing passers early in his career.
Pittsburgh SteelersRecord: 9-7
Mike Iupati, G, IdahoIupati was one of the breakout stars at the Senior Bowl. He fits what Pittsburgh likes as an athletic but powerful guard who should help return the Steelers' running game to the upper half of the league. Steve Hutchinson comparisons are legitimate. (Hutchinson went No. 17 overall in the 2001 draft.)
Atlanta FalconsRecord: 9-7
Kyle Wilson, CB, Boise StateWilson is another player who jumped at the Senior Bowl. He's fluid, excellent in coverage and an immediate help on special teams. Wilson had a quiet season, but great cornerbacks often do. He simply wasn't challenged enough. Stock is now back on the rise.
Houston TexansRecord: 9-7
Brian Price*, DT, UCLAOne of the guys who carries over with the same team from the first mock. Price is hidden away a bit in such a deep class of defensive linemen, but he's a disruptive force who uses great leverage. He should help a defense that's really close to being very good.
Cincinnati BengalsRecord: 10-6
Demaryius Thomas, WR, Georgia TechHere's the big riser of the past couple of weeks. Thomas will be red-hot after the workouts get going. He's a big target (6-3, 225 pounds) and a downfield threat. He averaged more than 25 yards per catch and remained productive in a run-based offense based. Carson Palmer needs weapons, and Thomas can be one.
New England PatriotsRecord: 10-6
Brandon Graham, OLB, MichiganIf production were all that mattered, Graham would be long gone by now. He led the FBS in tackles for loss and showed why at the Senior Bowl. Always in the backfield, he's an ideal outside linebacker for the Patriots' system, a terror against both the run and the pass.
Green Bay PackersRecord: 11-5
Bryan Bulaga*, OT, IowaThe more you listen to Green Bay's people, the more you get the sense that keeping Aaron Rodgers upright is a major priority, and it should be, because seeing an MVP-level talent knocked out because of a lack of protection is a sad thought. Bulaga can help immediately, and he has room to grow.
Philadelphia EaglesRecord: 11-5
Taylor Mays, S, USCThe Eagles are looking for that heir to Brian Dawkins, a physical safety who can scare opposing receivers and contribute to the rush defense. Mays has everything you could ask for as a physical package. He had a bad season, and there are legit concerns, but Mays still reeks of top-level NFL athleticism. He just needs to put it together.
Baltimore RavensRecord: 9-7
Arrelious Benn*, WR, IllinoisEvery indication out of Baltimore is that this organization is committed to finding pieces that can help Joe Flacco. If Benn shows scouts he has the necessary speed, everything else is there. He is physical, can run after the catch and can even help in the return game.
Arizona CardinalsRecord: 10-6
Dan Williams, DT, TennesseeI kept Williams here as a solid remedy to fill the Cardinals' second-biggest need. Just a tremendously strong player, starting with exceptional drive from his lower body, Williams is a disruptive force against the run and is a great help to linebackers.
Dallas CowboysRecord: 11-5
Bruce Campbell*, OT, MarylandCowboys fans with bad memories of getting thrashed up front in the playoffs should be thrilled to get a talent like Campbell right here. Campbell should see his stock rise at the combine, where his athleticism will be on display. If the Cowboys are serious about addressing their biggest need, this is the direction they need to go.
San Diego ChargersRecord: 13-3
Terrence Cody, DT, AlabamaAs I explained earlier this week, I expect to see Cody's stock rise because he may be the purest example in this draft of a guy who, limitations aside, specifically fits a scheme. Cody is the prototype block-occupying clogger in a 3-4 scheme. You can question his weight or his versatility, but he can make other players better. Remember, Jamal Williams' injury is a factor here.
New York JetsRecord: 9-7
Devin McCourty, CB, RutgersThe Jets could use some receiving help for Mark Sanchez here as well, but McCourty is a guy whose stock could skyrocket if he runs the way many think he will. The Jets can get exposed when passers throw away from Darrelle Revis, and McCourty could be the answer on the other side.
Minnesota VikingsRecord: 12-4
Maurkice Pouncey, G/C, FloridaThe Vikings could use help on the interior of their offensive line, and Pouncey has a first-round grade as a guard, which makes him an outstanding player. The Vikes did well when they looked to Gainesville in the first round last year.
Indianapolis ColtsRecord: 14-2
Jared Odrick, DT, Penn StateOne of the areas in which Indy could use help is along the interior of its defensive line, and Odrick can help the linebackers run free and be disruptive in his own right. Like Williams at No. 26, a great talent buried a little bit in a deep class of defensive linemen.
New Orleans SaintsRecord: 14-2
Sean Weatherspoon, OLB, MissouriWeatherspoon fits like a glove for the Saints as an outside linebacker in 4-3 system. He has ideal size for the position and is a tackling machine. Weatherspoon has the speed and experience to play inside or out, so adding versatility is also a good value proposition.
* -- Draft-eligible junior/redshirt sophomore
Only concern is, wheres Earl Thomas? Why did he fall out of the first? Isn't he rated as the #2 safety and corner?
Get there by kickoff.
Last edited by Section516; 02-17-2010 at 12:34 PM. Reason: 1-5
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