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  1. #1
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    Nick’s First Round Draft Reactions & Top 15 Best Available

    First Round Reactions

    1. St. Louis Rams: Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma
    -No surprise here. Bradford is the new face of the franchise, and he brings a lot of talent to the position. If he can stay healthy, and if the Rams can improve the talent around him, he has the potential to be very good. Rams fans can only hope he turns out better than some other recent first overall quarterbacks.

    2. Detroit Lions: Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska
    -Again, not surprising. The Lions weren’t going to pass on the best player in the draft to take an offensive tackle. Jeff Backus isn’t a stud but he’s serviceable enough, and there’s depth at the position. Suh fills a big need as well, and should blossom under Jim Schwartz.

    3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma
    -This is a great fit for Tampa, even though it was reported they liked Suh more. McCoy has the potential to excel in the Buccaneers’ penetrating one-gap defensive front, and he brings a familiarity since he played a similar style in college. There really wasn’t any doubt about this pick.

    4. Washington Redskins: Trent Williams, OT, Oklahoma
    -Washington was the first real question mark, although most thought they’d go with the offensive line since they lost Chris Samuels this offseason. The only question was between Okung and Williams, and since Williams is more athletic and better fit as a zone blocker, he was the choice.

    5. Kansas City Chiefs: Eric Berry, DB, Tennessee
    -I had the Chiefs going with Okung here, simply because I viewed him as the top tackle in this class. But the Chiefs must feel pretty good about what they have in Branden Albert, because they passed. Berry is the higher rated player on my board, so it’s not as if I think they made a bad choice. He’ll be an instant starter.

    6. Seattle Seahawks: Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma State
    -The Seahawks couldn’t have asked for a better Top Five than the one they got, because they’ve managed to come out of it on the other side with the draft’s best tackle prospect. Okung will replace Walter Jones as the blindside protector in Seattle, and should do a fine job.

    7. Cleveland Browns: Joe Haden, CB, Florida
    -There was a late buzz that Kyle Wilson might end up being the pick here, but I’ve had Joe Haden as the draft’s top corner despite a slow combine forty time. With Berry off the board, it makes sense for the Browns to take the next best DB in Haden.

    8. Oakland Raiders: Rolando McClain, LB, Alabama
    -Did the Raiders finally make a smart pick? I had McClain in my top ten, so while some view him as a bit of a reach here, I’m not one of them. He’ll replace Kirk Morrison – whom apparently the Raiders have soured on – in the middle of their defense.

    9. Buffalo Bills: C.J. Spiller, RB, Clemson
    -The first real shock of the night, if you don’t count McClain. Marshawn Lynch is almost surely gone, but Fred Jackson did enough in limited time to make you think running back wasn’t a priority. Was Spiller’s value so great that the Bills couldn’t pass up? Jackson/Spiller will make for a good backfield, but this was an odd pick for a team with bigger needs elsewhere.

    10. Jacksonville Jaguars: Tyson Alualu, DT, California
    -The Jaguars come along and make you forget about the Spiller pick by taking a guy that many felt was a second rounder who could sneak into the first. Alualu has been getting some late buzz, but nothing nearly this high, so you wonder what Jacksonville was thinking here. In the end, if he pans out, it won’t matter where he was drafted.

    11. San Francisco *****: Anthony Davis, OT, Rutgers
    -I don’t believe the ***** had to trade up in order to get Anthony Davis; it was unlikely Denver or Miami were taking him, but since both teams were looking for a trade down, the ***** may have felt the need to strike. Davis should be able to step in and compete immediately at right tackle.

    12. San Diego Chargers: Ryan Mathews, RB, Fresno State
    -Our third big surprise in the last four picks, not because the Chargers taking Mathews was a shocker, but because they moved up 16 spots to do it. If the Chargers were worried about Mathews not getting by Houston, and couldn’t find another trade partner, maybe this was their only option. He’ll be a great partner with Darren Sproles.

    13. Philadelphia Eagles: Brandon Graham, DE, Michigan
    -Another trade! Many assumed the Eagles were moving up for safety Earl Thomas, but I’ve been saying for a while that defensive end was an area of concern as well. They had their choice of ends and decided to take Graham, who looked unblockable at the Senior Bowl. Should be a nice compliment opposite Trent Cole.

    14. Seattle Seahawks: Earl Thomas, DB, Texas
    -It pains me to say this, but this is a great pick for the Seahawks. Seattle has a number of holes in their secondary, and Thomas’ versatility will help him address some of them. He could probably step in right away at either safety spot, and could help as a nickel back as well. I ranked Thomas right there with Derrick Morgan, so I don’t fault them for passing on the DE.

    15. New York Giants: Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, South Florida
    -The rumors were flying pre-draft that if the Giants selected Jason Pierre-Paul, they’d be willing to move Osi Umemyiora. So does Osi get dealt, and are the Rams calling? JPP is a big risk/reward prospect, but the Giants won’t have to rush him into the line-up and can allow him to develop.

    16. Tennessee Titans: Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech
    -This pick just made too much sense for a while now. Kyle Vanden Bosch left for Detroit in free agency, so defensive end was clearly a need. It’s hard to believe that Morgan, a potential Top Ten pick to a team like Seattle or Cleveland, won’t start sooner rather than later for the Titans.

    17. San Francisco *****: Mike Iupati, G, Idaho
    -Kind of a surprise pick in that the ***** traded up earlier in the first round to take an offensive tackle, but with a need at offensive guard as well, why not take the best one? The ***** have accumulated some offensive weapons and now have made an effort to shore up their line. Alex Smith has no excuses.

    18. Pittsburgh Steelers: Maurkice Pouncey, C, Florida
    -This pick made a lot of sense, because this is a position the Steelers would like to secure before it becomes a problem area. Offensive line and secondary may have been their biggest needs, and they take the best center on the board. Pouncey will be counted on to step in once Justin Hartwig’s time is over.

    19. Atlanta Falcons: Sean Weatherspoon, LB, Missouri
    -Again, too good of a fit to not be the pick. Weatherspoon likely secured Top 20 status with his outstanding offseason, and the Falcons could certainly use some help at outside linebacker, as Mike Peterson and Stephen Nicholas aren’t ideal starters. Great pick by Atlanta.

    20. Houston Texans: Kareem Jackson, CB, Alabama
    -I had Kyle Wilson as my second best cornerback on the board, but there’s something to be said about being a three-year starter in the SEC under Nick Saban. Losing Dunta Robinson meant the Texans needed someone who could step in and help immediately; Jackson’s experience against top college competition makes him a good choice.

    21. Cincinnati Bengals: Jermaine Gresham, TE, Oklahoma
    -In a choice between Dez Bryant and Gresham, I had the Bengals going with the better talent. But their need at tight end and Gresham’s ability made him a distinct possibility, and ultimately, the choice. He should fit right into the starting line-up and provide Carson Palmer with another weapon in the passing game.

    22. Denver Broncos: Demaryius Thomas, WR, Georgia Tech
    -The Broncos traded back up in the first round, but not for the receiver you’d think. Opting to pass on Diva Dez, the Broncos pulled the trigger on Demaryius Thomas, making the Georgia Tech alum the first receiver taken in the draft. Thomas has all the physical ability in the world, and could be a special one once he learns pro routes.

    23. Green Bay Packers: Bryan Bulaga, OT, Iowa
    -I had Bulaga going much earlier in my mock, and I believe had him as a Top 20 prospect on my board, so I’m impressed that Green Bay could get him here. Reports that came out in the last two days said he was being overrated, but I wouldn’t have guessed to this degree. He seems like a great fit for the Packers.

    24. Dallas Cowboys: Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State
    -I could have sworn I read a few days ago that Dallas wouldn’t trade up for Bryant, but that just shows you the kind of smoke that comes out this time of year. After trading away a boatload of picks for Roy Williams, Dallas devoted more picks to the selection of Bryant. He’ll either be really good, or really disappointing. I don’t see much middle ground.

    25. Denver Broncos: Tim Tebow, QB, Florida
    -And there he is, folks! Can’t decide which is more shocking – Tim Tebow coming off the board in the first round, or Tim Tebow coming off the board before Jimmy Clausen! I guess there’s something to be said for off the charts intangibles, and Denver can afford to let him sit and learn behind Kyle Orton.

    26. Arizona Cardinals: Dan Williams, NT, Tennessee
    -The Cardinals needed a nose tackle before moving Alan Branch to end, but after that move, the need became greater. I didn’t expect Dan Williams to be here, but with him available, this pick made a lot of sense. Arizona’s signing of Joey Porter probably lowered OLB down their list of needs, allowing them to take a lineman.

    27. New England Patriots: Devin McCourty, CB, Rutgers
    -I believe the Patriots drafted another corner out of the Big East last year as well (UConn’s Butler?), so now they have a pair for the future of their pass defense. A bit odd to see them pass on Jared Odrick and the outside linebackers, as I thought any of those guys would have been great fits in New England.

    28. Miami Dolphins: Jared Odrick, DL, Penn State
    -Not the defensive lineman I thought the Dolphins would take here, but I think Odrick is a great fit in a 3-4 front and Miami could certainly use some help on the defensive line as a whole. I mocked Odrick to the Jets at 29, not thinking he’d get that far, and in the end, he got pretty darn close.

    29. New York Jets: Kyle Wilson, CB, Boise State
    -A luxury pick for the Jets, as the value of Wilson here is simply outstanding IMO. Though they traded for Cromartie, who knows how he works out. He had one great season in San Diego and then wore out his welcome. Wilson will push Antonio for playing time and provide security in case Cromartie bombs.

    30. Detroit Lions: Jahvid Best, RB, California
    -I’d heard the Lions would be targeting Best if he slipped to the second round, but I didn’t expect them to trade up to make sure they got him. Perhaps they were concerned that the Rams might take him @ pick 33. Either way, they add an electrifying component to their backfield.

    31. Indianapolis Colts: Jerry Hughes, DE, TCU
    -Hughes is an ideal fit in Indianapolis, where he’ll back-up and eventually replace either Dwight Freeney or Robert Mathis as a pass rushing extraordinaire in the Colts’ Tampa 2 defense. Not having to jump in and play right away will benefit him as well, as he can get stronger, bigger, and learn better pro technique.

    32. New Orleans Saints: Patrick Robinson, CB, Florida State
    -This one struck me as a bit of a confusing pick, but I guess if you’re the Super Bowl champions, you get to stray from the expected. The Saints took Malcolm Jenkins last year, but since they haven’t re-signed Darren Sharper, you have to wonder if Jenkins is moving to free safety and Robinson is taking his role as the young, developing corner.




    Top 15 Available

    14. Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame
    -Rams took Bradford, so they won’t be interested in Clausen, but maybe someone else will and makes an offer for a trade up.

    18. Sergio Kindle, LB, Texas
    -I think he’s more of a 3-4 OLB than he is a 4-3 DE, and with some off the field history, I imagine the Rams would pass.

    29. Everson Griffen, DE, USC
    -I like Griffen if the Rams stay put and don’t intend on trying to trade for Osi Umenyiora. He has first round potential and gives the Rams another young end opposite of Chris Long.

    31. Charles Brown, OT, USC
    -Doesn’t strike me as the kind of guy we’d be looking for as our right tackle of the future, but maybe someone in need of a LT moves up.

    33. Rodger Saffold, OT, Indiana
    -See above. I think there’s more value in trading down than taking Saffold here.

    34. Taylor Mays, DB, USC
    -Not a huge Mays fan, but if we’re worried about Atogwe in some regards, maybe you take Mays to be your center fielder.

    35. Brian Price, DT, UCLA
    -I like Price but there are concerns he’s more of a nose than a three technique. We already have a nose, but if we’re looking for well rounded guys, he could be the choice.

    36. Golden Tate, WR, Notre Dame
    -I’m not as high on Tate as others, but he appears to be the best receiver on the board and his run-after-catch ability makes him intriguing. Bradford’s going to need some weapons.

    37. Colt McCoy, QB, Texas
    -See the Clausen description.

    39. Damian Williams, WR, USC
    -I’m higher on Williams than some, but I still put him a notch below Tate. Still, he’s an excellent route runner and could develop into a reliable #1.

    40. Vladimir Ducasse, OT, Massachusetts
    -See Brown and Saffold.

    42. Rob Gronkowski, TE, Arizona
    -Rams have a huge hole at tight end, but what’s the medical on Gronkowski like? There’s some depth at the position, so I’m not inclined to go this route.

    44. Morgan Burnett, S, Georgia Tech
    -Again, this is going to depend on how we feel about Atogwe. I like Burnett, but I’m not convinced he’s great value @ 33.

    45. Daryl Washington, LB, TCU
    -I have Washington ranked at 45 but I wouldn’t cry if we took him at the top of the second round. I think he’d be a nice fit for us at WILL linebacker.

    46. Terrence Cody, DT, Alabama
    -I don’t view him as much of an option for us, as I don’t think he’s a schematic fit for Spags.

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  2. #2
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    Re: Nick’s First Round Draft Reactions & Top 15 Best Available

    Looks to me that in your opinion we should get Griffen or trade down!

    Looks like the Giants have said they arent trading Osi so we have to take Griffen to play opposite Long.

  3. #3
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    Re: Nick’s First Round Draft Reactions & Top 15 Best Available

    After the Rams trade down.
    I think the Rams will draft TE Rob Gronkowski.

    I hope one of these players are available after trading down.

    1 DE Carlos Dunlap
    2 WR Golden Tate (Reminds me of Steve Smith)
    3 WR Branden Lafell (Reminds me of Anquan Bolden)
    4 OT Bruce Campbell
    5 DT Brian Price
    6 OLB Daryl Washington
    7 DT Lamarr Houston

    I don't think Taylor Mays makes it at safty. Will be a better WLB in NFL if he can handle tackleing.
    Would rather have DE Carlos Dunlap than Everson Griffen. Don't care about DUI. L.L. played through a DUI that killed someone and was a satr player for the Rams.
    DE Carlos Dunlap the next Julius Peppers.
    Last edited by Shan the Ram Man; -04-23-2010 at 02:54 AM.

  4. #4
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    Re: Nick’s First Round Draft Reactions & Top 15 Best Available

    What kind of off field issues did Kindle have? I think he could be a good replacement for Little at DE. They say he has the frame to add 20 pounds.

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    Re: Nick’s First Round Draft Reactions & Top 15 Best Available

    Kindle had a DUI in college, but that was in 2007. He's been clean since. I very much think he could be a star pass rusher, though I agree he might be better suited for a 3-4. I'd try him out at a mix of SAM and DE and see where he can do the most for us. Maybe he plays SAM on 1st and 2nd, and then moves down to Long's spot as we kick him inside a la Justin Tuck on 3rd down.
    I believe!

  6. #6
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    Re: Nick’s First Round Draft Reactions & Top 15 Best Available

    A few comments:

    Chiefs -- Are clearly a BPA team, and they made the decision to take that player. I went back and forth with Berry and Okung myself.

    Raiders -- Maybe this was a calculated gamble, where they anticipated Bruce Campbell falling to them in the second. I think I'm giving them too much credit here.

    Bills -- You need to run the ball in Buffalo! And take the pressure off Edwards.

    Jaguars -- Holy cow. I think it was certainly a reach, but the Jags did a good job of cycling out one fearsome DT tandem with another one, in Knighton and now Alualu.


    ***** -- Agreed that they didn't need to trade up for this pick. We were trying to figure out in the chatroom who they were leapfrogging the Dolphins for, and I was convinced it was for a defender. They'll definitely have a solid group on the line in a couple years. They still have a young Staley and also that fellow from USC that they drafted not too long ago.

    Chargers -- Your analysis was probably the correct one. That was the only trade partner that they could find. They got the guy they needed though. A.J. Smith has a knack for sniffing out good defenders though, and will probably find a good nose tackle later on.

    Eagles -- This pick was surprising, but certainly adheres to Reid's philosophy of building from the inside out. Having said that, the Eagles seem to me, the casual observer, of a team that's falling quickly behind in the NFC east.

    Giants -- I think this is good value here. The guy they wanted fell into their laps. Kiwanuka is on his last year in the contract, and Osi certainly has question marks around him also. Good look to the future with this pick.

    Broncos -- The Thomas pick was an intriguing one, especially the comments about him associated with the pick, which went something along the lines of him reminding Daniels (?) a lot of Brandon Marshall. Someone on ESPN pointed out that there had to have been more to the Marshall saga that the public didn't know about. Great job of McDaniels wheeling and dealing his way around the first round this year, although I think he gave up way too much to get Tim Tebow.

    Cowboys -- I think they got the steal of the draft. Perhaps now Jerry Jones can sleep at night again, instead of having nightmares about Randy Moss.

    Jets -- I think they just went for BPA here, and some extra insurance in case Cromartie doesn't pan out. They certainly have that luxury. It might also be a slight nod in the direction of Vernon Gholston, whom they could have easily brought in a replacement for, with Kindle and Hughes still on the board.

    Lions -- Did a good job leapfrogging a few teams, perhaps even the Rams, to grab Best. They're quietly assembling a solid core group of playmakers in Detroit.

    Saints -- A bit of a head scratcher, but this probably means Jenkins is moving to safety, which is a solid move. He played there in college, and in watching him, I can say he's a very smart player.

  7. #7
    richtree's Avatar
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    Re: Nick’s First Round Draft Reactions & Top 15 Best Available

    Benn should be up there too...


    lets take Tate or Benn and have an offense this year..

  8. #8
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    Re: Nick’s First Round Draft Reactions & Top 15 Best Available

    Quote Originally Posted by harrydog View Post
    What kind of off field issues did Kindle have? I think he could be a good replacement for Little at DE. They say he has the frame to add 20 pounds.
    There's an article out now about how he had knee surgery, then again had microfracture surgery on the same knee, raising some red flags for teams. Perhaps that is what bumped him out of the first round.

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    Re: Nick’s First Round Draft Reactions & Top 15 Best Available

    No reason Kindle can't play slb in a 4-3. The dude is a beast

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    Re: Nick’s First Round Draft Reactions & Top 15 Best Available

    Here's what I'm thinking, in order
    (1) Trade, and I'm a bit disappointed, because I'm not sure if a big one is coming to get anyone
    (2) Daryl Washington
    (3) Tate
    (4) Benn

    Hopefully we can trade then take one, if we don't I think we are missing drafting a bit high.

  11. #11
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    Re: Nick’s First Round Draft Reactions & Top 15 Best Available

    Buffalo, KC and the Vikings should all be fighting to trade up with us. I would swap 2nds and gladly take their 3rd rounder

  12. #12
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    Re: Nick’s First Round Draft Reactions & Top 15 Best Available

    Not sure why you think KC and Minnesota would be fighting to trade up with us, and there's no way we could grab either one's 3rd rounder in my opinion. KC has a quarterback that they're heavily invested in, so they're out. Minny's just one slot behind us, so why would they trade up with us to get a QB that they're assured of getting if we stay anyway? It makes no sense.

    Now, if you want to discuss the Browns as a potential contender for a QB pick, then maybe, but not KC or Minnesota.

    Personally I think there will be a number of teams looking for a number of positions that will be willing to trade with us, and we should be able to get them in a small bidding war so we just might get a 3rd out of someone.
    I believe!

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    Re: Nick’s First Round Draft Reactions & Top 15 Best Available

    Quote Originally Posted by TekeRam View Post
    Not sure why you think KC and Minnesota would be fighting to trade up with us, and there's no way we could grab either one's 3rd rounder in my opinion. KC has a quarterback that they're heavily invested in, so they're out. Minny's just one slot behind us, so why would they trade up with us to get a QB that they're assured of getting if we stay anyway? It makes no sense.

    Now, if you want to discuss the Browns as a potential contender for a QB pick, then maybe, but not KC or Minnesota.

    Personally I think there will be a number of teams looking for a number of positions that will be willing to trade with us, and we should be able to get them in a small bidding war so we just might get a 3rd out of someone.


    So the Vikes are going to rely on Favre forever ? And, I guarantee it will take their 3rd minimum ( plus swapping 2nds). The auction has already started. This pick is huge.

  14. #14
    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: Nick’s First Round Draft Reactions & Top 15 Best Available

    Quote Originally Posted by TekeRam View Post
    Not sure why you think KC and Minnesota would be fighting to trade up with us, and there's no way we could grab either one's 3rd rounder in my opinion. KC has a quarterback that they're heavily invested in, so they're out. Minny's just one slot behind us, so why would they trade up with us to get a QB that they're assured of getting if we stay anyway? It makes no sense.
    I agree with you about Minnesota. I'm not even convinced they take a QB at that spot anyways.

    As for the Chiefs, they're in an interesting spot. They signed Cassel to a big deal last summer, but consider this: Charlie Weis is now involved with the Chiefs, and had success with Jimmy Clausen at the college level. Matt Cassel is due $11.75 million in salary with a $250,000 workout bonus this coming year.

    Taking Clausen as a second round pick would be insurance if Cassel falters, because if he does, the Chiefs could opt not to pay Matt's 2011 $7.5 million option bonus, and then they'd have Clausen ready to step in.

    I think it's unlikely, but I wouldn't rule it out.
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