BIRDLAND – Welcome to Mock Draft 2.0!
This is the first one since getting back from the NFL scouting combine. There was plenty of information to digest from Falcons head coach Mike Smith and general manager Thomas Dimitroff who addressed the national meeting.
The Falcons like their defensive ends and have concluded that a healthy Peria Jeria would have helped the pass rush immensely. Therefore, they are not compelled to reach for a defensive end after taking a tackle and an end in last year’s draft. Also, this draft is pretty deep at the position.
Dimitroff made it clear that the Falcons are a “needs based” drafting team. They know that center Todd McClure, who turned 33 in February, can’t play forever. So the decision will come down to either getting the McClure replacement or a linebacker for Mike Peterson, who will turn 34 in June.
With the 19th pick in the 2010 NFL draft, the Atlanta Falcons, in a surprise move, will select Florida center Maurkice Pouncey over Missouri linebacker Sean Weatherspoon. In Pouncey, the Falcons would get the top center in the draft, McClure’s eventual replacement and long-term protection for Matt Ryan.
Some of the risers after the combine include California running back Jahvid Best, UCLA defensive tackle Brian
Price and Texas Christian outside linebacker Jerry Hughes.
Some of the players who dropped where Florida’s Joe Haden, Georgia Tech’s Jonathan Dwyer, Tennessee defensive tackle Dan Williams and Oklahoma tight end Jermaine Gresham.
1. St. Louis Rams: Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma. The word is that head coach Steve Spagnuolo has fallen in love with McCoy. They will kick the tires on quarterbacks Sam Bradford and Jimmy Clausen, but pass.
2. Detroit Lions: Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska. Coach Jim Schwartz is trying to re-create the type of defensive front he had as a coordinator in Tennessee.
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Eric Berry, DB, Tampa Bay. The Creekside High product is the consensus No. 3 pick and Falcons fans will get to see him twice a year.
4. Washington Redskins: Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma State. The Redskins have to get a replacement for the retired Chris Samuels.
5. Kansas City Chiefs: Byran Buluga, OT, Iowa. Can maul in the run game and is an excellent pass protector. He held Georgia Tech’s Derrick Morgan without a sack in the Orange Bowl.
6. Seattle Seahawks: Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech. Pete Carroll knows his defense has to be upgraded and passes on the quarterbacks. . . for now.
7. Cleveland Browns: Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma. New Cleveland president Mike Holmgren took a different approach to studying the quarterbacks at the combine. “We will watch them,” Holmgren said. “We’re not going to sit down with them here. If we are interested, we’re going to bring them in to Cleveland.” There haven’t been in Bradford sightings in the Flats yet.
8. Oakland Raiders: Anthony Davis, OT, Rutgers. Al Davis was probably be excited about all of the back flips that Jason Pierre-Paul can do, but goes for some help for the offensive line.
9. Buffalo Bills: Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, South Florida. One of the stars of the combine. Go find his back flip video on youtube.com.
10. Jacksonville Jaguars: Rolando McClain, LB, Alabama. The Jaguars get a middle linebacker to anchor the defense.
11. Denver Broncos: Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State: The Broncos go for a Brandon Marshall replacement.
12. Miami Dolphins: Earl Thomas, FS, Texas. He had a great combine and is moving up on several boards. Dolphins need better back-end secondary coverage.
13. San Francisco 49′ers: C.J. Spiller, RB, Clemson. The 49ers need some help for the over-worked running back Frank Gore.
14. Seattle Seahawks: Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame. Carroll gets his quarterback of the future.
15. New York Giants: Sergio Kindle, LB, Texas. The G-men get a linebacker to replace Antonio Pierce.
16. Tennessee Titans: Carlos Dunlap, DE, Florida. With Kyle Vanden Bosch off to Detroit, the Titans have to restructure the defensive line.
17. San Francisco 49ers: Trent Williams, OT, Oklahoma. The 49ers want to keep their running game moving and
will have book-end tackles in Williams and Joe Staley.
18. Pittsburgh Steelers: Joe Haden, CB, Florida. The Steelers go by what they see on film and not combing 40 times.
19. Atlanta Falcons: Maurkice Pouncey, C, Florida. Thomas Dimitroff said the Falcons will draft based on need. They know Todd McClure can’t keep playing forever and pull the trigger on the top center in the draft. Not the sexiest pick, but you can’t start without the center.
20. Houston Texans: Sean Weatherspoon, LB, Missouri. The three-time all-Big 12 pick gets to return to the Lone Star state.
21. Cincinnati Bengals: Golden Tate, WR, Notre Dame. The Bengals want to put some speed opposite of Ocho Cinco.
22. New England Patriots: Taylor Mays, S, USC. A super athlete slips because his film is not that good. He only had two picks in three years as starter.
23. Green Bay Packers: Mike Iupati, OT, Idaho. The Packers let both of their tackles, Chad Clifton and Mark Tauscher, leave during free agency.
24. Philadelphia Eagles: Brandon Graham, DE, Michigan. He fits the Eagles scheme and can help generate a pass rush.
25. Baltimore Ravens: Arrelious Benn, WR, Illinois. The search for wide receivers has been ongoing in Baltimore for quite some time now.
26. Arizona Cardinals: Bruce Campbell, OT, Maryland. Has great size at 6-foot-7, 310 pounds. Has a big upside.
27. Dallas Cowboys: Chad Jones, S, LSU. Cowboys reach here for Jones, but they like his size and striking ability.
28. San Diego Chargers: Jahvid Best, RB, California. Makes a leap into the first round after a fine showing at the combine.
29. New York Jets: Demaryius Thomas, WR, Georgia Tech. Jets decide to get vertical weapon for their young quarterback.
30. Minnesota Vikings: Patrick Robinson, CB, FSU. He addressed his lack of a physical nature at the combine and was convincing. “If they want me to tackle, I’ll tackle,” Robinson said.
31. Indianapolis Colts: Brian Price, DT, UCLA. Gets great penetration and would be a nice fit in the Colts
32. New Orleans Saints: Jerry Hughes, LB, Texas Christian. A versatile linebacker, who made a lot of plays for the Horned Frogs.
ON THE FRINGE: Jonathan Dwyer, RB, Georgia Tech; Ryan Matthews, RB, Fresno State; Kyle Wilson, CB, Boise State; Jared Odrick, DT, Penn State; Perrish Cox, CB, Oklahoma State; Dan Williams, DT, Tennessee; Jermaine Gresham, TE, Oklahoma; Charles Brown, OT, USC, Everson Griffen, DE, USC and Colt McCoy, QB, Texas.