A lot has happened since the Clarion gave its first attempt at sorting out the first five picks of the 2010 NFL Draft on SinclairClarion.com.
Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford is now the likely first overall selection, Florida quarterback Tim Tebow signed an endorsement deal with Nike and the Washington Redskins are no longer in the market for a starting quarterback.
Many experts believe the talent in the 2010 Draft is the one of the deepest in history.
Here’s a preview of what the first ten picks would look like if I were running the show.
1. St. Louis Rams (1-15) — Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma
After releasing former starting quarterback Marc Bulger, the Rams are forcing themselves into taking Bradford, the former Heisman Trophy winning from Oklahoma.
It’s not a bad decision by any means because St. Louis’ roster is full of players who don’t produce. Honestly, the Rams are so bad that picking any player at any position—except running back—would be an upgrade.
There’s little doubt when it comes to Bradford’s intelligence and accuracy, but after sustaining two serious shoulder injuries in a two-month span, the Rams will have some worries to consider.
Out of the 12 teams that made the playoffs last season, each starting quarterback either was drafted in the first round or has become a legitimate MVP candidate.
2. Detroit Lions (2-14) — Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska
If the Lions can grab this dominating defender, Detroit just might end its pathetic run of losing.
Suh, a 6-foot-4 monster weighing in at 300 lbs., generates a ton of attention that other teams don’t give to Detroit’s awful defense. Suh automatically garners two blockers, which will allow Detroit linebackers to roam free.
The Lions aren’t winning a title anytime soon, but players like Suh are essential when it comes to turning a losing organization into one that wins consistently.
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-13) — Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma
The Bucs need some serious interior line help, so they picked the right year to lose 13 games. Suh and McCoy are rare talents that both have the ability to dominate at the defensive tackle position straight out of college, so Tampa Bay could have either one of them if they drop to No. 3.
McCoy has similar size and strength to Suh, but he’s viewed as quicker threat. Tampa Bay doesn’t have a lot of building blocks and I was torn between McCoy and Oklahoma State offensive tackle Russell Okung. Tampa is in a similar position with St. Louis in that there isn’t a wrong answer.
4. Washington Redskins (4-12) — Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma State
Now that the Redskins plucked quarterback Donovan McNabb from the Philadelphia Eagles, quarterback is no longer an objective in the first round.
Washington has to address the offensive line. Left tackle Chris Samuels retired, so Okung would be a wise investment if they want to keep McNabb healthy. The Redskins are a run-based team with three former Pro Bowl running backs on the roster. Okung has the size and strength to provide a solid structure to a weak offensive line.
5. Kansas City Chiefs (4-12) — Brian Bulaga, OT, Iowa
Bulaga is a prototypical “can’t miss” prospect when it comes to offensive tackles. The size and strength are present and the nastiness is a welcoming characteristic. Plus, Bulaga has experience grinding it out in the “between-the-tackles” style of the Big Ten.
Kansas City needs some serious help on the offensive line and Bulaga can step right in and provide.
6. Seattle Seahawks (5-11) — Eric Berry, S, Tennessee
Under head coach Pete Carroll, the Seahawks begin a new course with two picks in the first round. Selecting Berry would be an excellent beginning if Carroll gets the opportunity to pull the trigger.
As a ball-hawking safety, Berry makes quarterbacks second-guess a decision to throw deep. Not only is Berry superior against the pass, but he can hold his own against the run. The Seahawks have a few more glaring needs along the roster, but Berry is a piece Seattle shouldn’t pass up.
7. Cleveland Browns (5-11) — Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame
With Mike Holmgren at the helm, the Browns finally have some one intelligent running the operation.
Cleveland shot itself in the foot when they drafted Brady Quinn out of Notre Dame in 2007. But, Clausen shouldn’t send the same negative shockwaves that Quinn produced during his three years in Cleveland.
Clausen would be able to start from moment he signs and his arm can light up a scoreboard. He’s going to have to deal with the Quinn comparisons for while, but Browns fans should get over it.
I don’t care if Cleveland signed Jake Delhomme to play quarterback. Delhomme isn’t going to improve and he isn’t leading anybody to the playoffs. Give Clausen the ball and get out of the way.
8. Oakland Raiders (5-11) — Trent Williams, OT, Oklahoma
How many times can owner Al Davis screw this up and get away with it?
It’s clear Davis loves offense. In the last three drafts, Oakland has used its first round picks on quarterback JaMarcus Russell (bust), running back Darren McFadden (semi-bust) and wide receiver Darius Heyward-Bey (destination: Bust).
So, in order for those players to discover any sort of success, somebody needs to block. That’s why the Raiders must choose Williams. He’s not going to be an elite tackle, but he’s got to be better than what is already present in Oakland.
9. Buffalo Bills (6-10) — Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State
Since former All-Pro receiver Andre Reed left town, the Bills have lacked a true No. 1 receiver since 1999. Plug in Bryant and that problem is solved.
With a 6-foot-2, 225-pound frame, Bryant is a force at the receiver position. Though Buffalo has zero talent at the quarterback position, Bryant is the kind of talent the Bills are in desperate need of.
10. Jacksonville Jaguars (7-9) — Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, South Florida
Pierre-Paul is a freak of nature. It seems every draft class has one or two prospects that physically stand out above and beyond the rest. Pierre-Paul lacks big game experience and the numbers, but his physical skills are what impress NFL general managers the most.
Jacksonville’s Quentin Groves, the current starter at right defensive end, produced little pressure on opposing quarterbacks last year. It’s become a serious necessity in a division with strong quarterback play from Indianapolis Colts QB Peyton Manning and Houston Texans QB Matt Schaub.
11. Denver Broncos (8-8), from Chicago — Earl Thomas, S, Texas
After trading wide receiver Brandon Marshall to the Miami Dolphins, the Broncos are in dire need of a wideout. Bryant is gone at this point and the next rated receiver doesn’t garner the No. 11 pick. Denver needs to keep upgrading its aging defense if it wants to improve.
12. Miami Dolphins (7-9) — Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech
The Dolphins answered their biggest questions after acquiring Marshall, so the lack of pass-rushers needs to be resolved. Miami lost both starting outside linebackers Joey Porter and Jason Taylor from last year. Morgan fits nicely in the hybrid linebacker position accustomed to 3-4 defenses.
13. San Francisco 49ers (8-8) — Joe Haden, CB, Florida
Outside of quarterback, the 49ers don’t have a lot of holes to fill. Upgrading the cornerback position is never a bad idea and Haden can step right in and start from day one.
14. Seattle Seahawks (5-11), from Denver — Rolando McClain, LB, Alabama
Carroll stacks his defense with this pick after already scooping Berry. McClain is a prototypical leader in the mold of linebacker Ray Lewis. Pairing McClain, Berry and last year’s No. 4 overall pick Aaron Curry brings a ton of excitement to Seattle.
15. New York Giants (8-8) — Anthony Davis, OT, Rutgers
The Giants had a tough year with injuries and in order to right the ship, New York needs to protect quarterback Eli Manning in 2010. Davis is raw, but he has the talent to become a vital piece to the puzzle.
16. Tennessee Titans (8-8) — Dan Williams, DT, Tennessee
The Titans need to fill the hole left by former defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth. Selecting Williams allows the Titans to start him right away to help create some havoc on the line of scrimmage. Williams isn’t on the same level as Suh or McCoy, but he’s a nice value at pick.
17. San Francisco 49ers (8-8), from Carolina — Mike Iupati, OG, Idaho
I’ve never seen the guy live, but Iupati is shooting up draft boards. On film, Iupati is a physical blocker that any team would welcome with open arms. It’s a difficult decision to select an offensive guard this early, but Iupati’s skills warrant the pick.
18. Pittsburgh Steelers (9-7) — Kyle Wilson, CB, Boise State
The Steelers are pretty set on offense, so going with a defensive back would be wise considering how thin the cornerback position is in Pittsburgh. I’m not sure Wilson would start right away, but he was a highly impactful player for Boise State and Pittsburgh loves playmakers in its secondary.
19. Atlanta Falcons (9-7) — Kareem Jackson, CB, Alabama
Jackson is one of the fastest players in the draft and he showed his coverage skills as a standout on Alabama’s excellent defense last season. The Falcons need some help at corner and Jackson is the best player available. Makes sense to me.
20. Houston Texans (9-7) — Maurkice Pouncey, C, Florida
The offensive line has always seemed to be a problem for Houston. Pouncey can start at center from day one or shift to a guard slot. He’s the best center in the draft and would be a nice upgrade to a mediocre Texans offensive line.
21. Cincinnati Bengals (10-6) — C.J. Spiller, RB, Clemson
The Bengals are pretty set on defense outside of a good pass rush. Cincinnati realized how important a running game is. Running back Cedric Benson has three years left, at best. Spiller is the best player available and Cincinnati usually takes that route when it comes to the first round. Spiller would be an excellent addition to an average offense.
22. New England Patriots (10-6) — Golden Tate, WR, Notre Dame
Wide receiver Wes Welker is doubtful for the 2010 season. Tate would be an interesting addition. He has strong hands and is a good route runner. Quarterback Tom Brady makes everybody around him better and Tate would excel in New England.
23. Green Bay Packers (10-6) — Bruce Campbell, OT, Maryland
Campbell is the most athletic offensive tackle in the draft and Green Bay has to protect quarterback Aaron Rodgers. This is a great value for Campbell who has high potential.
24. Philadelphia Eagles (11-5) — Taylor Mays, S, Southern California
The Eagles have some serious holes on defense. Mays is a physical specimen at safety and I wouldn’t be too surprised if Philadelphia transitioned Mays to linebacker. Mays is a big hitter that the Eagles have lacked since safety Brian Dawkins departed.
25. Baltimore Ravens (9-7) — Brandon Graham, DE, Michigan
Graham would fit nicely into a 3-4 standout linebacker role and the Ravens need some help with their aging defense. Baltimore needs more impact players and Graham proved at Michigan that he can get to the quarterback with the best.
26. Arizona Cardinals (10-6) — Sergio Kindle, LB, Texas
Another hybrid linebacker, Kindle plugs into the 3-4 scheme in Arizona. Kindle showed a remarkable knack for the football during his final season for Texas. The Cardinals lost a couple key pieces to their defense, so going defense with this pick is important.
27. Dallas Cowboys (11-5) — Charles Brown, OT, Southern California
Dallas has a huge hole on the offensive line after left tackle Flozell Adams got releases. The Cowboys need to add some youth to the line and Brown is the best tackle available.
28. San Diego Chargers (13-3) — Patrick Robinson, CB, Florida State
Trading cornerback Antonio Cromartie to the New York Jets opens up a hole in San Diego’s secondary. Robinson has good speed and excels in coverage, and the Chargers seem to lean toward players in the secondary with their first round picks.
29. New York Jets (9-7) — Carlos Dunlap, DE, Florida
If the Jets can pick Dunlap with the 29th pick, it would be considered a theft of epic proportion. Dunlap has top-five talent, but dealt with legal issues last season. If Dunlap can stay out of trouble, he has a chance to provide a strong spark to an already excellent defense.
30. Minnesota Vikings (12-4) — Jahvid Best, RB, California
Running back Adrian Peterson couldn’t hold onto a football in the playoffs and reliable backup Chestor Taylor bolted for Chicago in free agency. The Vikings have to get some insurance for Peterson how always seems to get small injuries over a course of the season. Best would be a nice third-down option, as well.
31. Indianapolis Colts (14-2) — Everson Griffen, DE, Southern California
The Colts realize how important a pass rush is and Griffen is a nice value at No. 31. Defensive ends Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis are as good of pair as they come, but it never hurts to add pass rushers.
32. New Orleans Saints (13-3) — Daryl Washington, LB, Texas Christian
After winning Super Bowl XXIV, the Saints lost two starting linebackers to an opportunistic defense. New Orleans is a very complete team, so it’s obvious to take Washington, an athletic linebacker who can make all the plays.