On Wednesday, a four-headed mock draft was held here with the help of three insightful commenters from the blog. Today, on draft day, here is my projection.
One aspect that I will be interested to see is how medical reports on some players will impact some choices. That's always a wild card, a player unexpectedly slipping because of medical concerns that came up on physicals.
Also, I did not project any trades but there are surely to be some.
1. St. Louis – QB Sam Bradford (Oklahoma) -- After passing on Matt Ryan in 2008 and Mark Sanchez in 2009, the Rams hope the third time is the charm in selecting a “franchise” quarterback.
2. Detroit – DL Ndamukong Suh (Nebraska) -- The Lions are in the second year of a transition phase in which they are trying to build a bigger, more physical defense following the Rod Marinelli regime, which didn't value size as much.
3. Tampa Bay – DL Gerald McCoy (Oklahoma) – Last year, the Buccaneers landed what they hope is their franchise quarterback (Josh Freeman) and now they work the other side of the ball with a penetrating interior rusher.
4. Washington – OL Trent Williams (Oklahoma) – The Redskins have to make the most of the few picks they have. They traded for quarterback Donovan McNabb and the idea is to protect his blindside with the left tackle who best fits their scheme.
5. Kansas City – OL Russell Okung (Oklahoma State) – General manager Scott Pioli’s connection with Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz might make offensive tackle Bryan Bulaga the pick, but Okung appears to be a cut above.
6. Seattle – S Eric Berry (Tennessee) – Williams or Okung would fill their greatest need at left tackle, but they also have a big hole at safety.
7. Cleveland – RB C.J. Spiller (Clemson) – An unusual choice, but after watching the Browns’ anemic offense in 2009, they need a spark and personnel chief Mike Holmgren knows a thing or two about offense.
8. Oakland – OT Anthony Davis (Rutgers) – Biggest offensive tackle on the board for a team that generally likes bigger players.
9. Buffalo – OT Bryan Bulaga (Iowa) – An offensive tackle helps address their glaring weakness.
10. Jacksonville – DE Brandon Graham (Michigan) – They’d apparently like to trade out as they don’t have a second-rounder (shipped to New England last year during the draft for promising CB Derrick Cox). If they stay put, a high-energy pass rusher fills their top need.
11. Denver – S Earl Thomas (Texas) – The Broncos will reportedly entertain trade offers. If they stay put, a future "quarterback" for their secondary.
12. Miami – NT Dan Williams (Texas) – A big body in the middle for the 3-4 defense.
13. San Francisco – QB Jimmy Clausen (Notre Dame) – A chance to land a franchise quarterback is too good to pass up.
14. Seattle – DE Derrick Morgan (Georgia Tech) – Pete Carroll hopes he’s found a Willie McGinest-like clone to be his “elephant” end.
15. N.Y. Giants – LB Rolando McClain (Alabama) – Middle linebacker to lead the huddle.
16. Tennessee – DE Jason Pierre-Paul (South Florida) – Much like when they drafted Jevon Kearse, they hope Pierre-Paul will help bring the heat off the edge.
17. San Francisco – CB Joe Haden (Florida) – If not for a slower-than-anticipated 40-yard dash time, he would have been selected by now.
18. Pittsburgh – C Maurkice Pouncey (Florida) – Maybe the safest pick in the first round, a Day 1 starter who will bring a physical edge to any line.
19. Atlanta – CB Devin McCourty (Rutgers) – The hope would be to land a pass-rusher or top interior lineman, so this would be a fallback plan, a solid 1-2 cornerback punch to pair with new free-agent acquisition Dunta Robinson.
20. Houston – RB Ryan Mathews (Fresno State) – Some doubts that he will slip this far, and a player to keep on the Patriots’ radar as well.
21. Cincinnati – WR Dez Bryant (Oklahoma State) – Explosive talent who gives Carson Palmer another weapon.
22. New England – CB Kareem Jackson (Alabama) – Some teams reportedly have questions with Sergio Kindle’s knee, and if the Patriots are one of those clubs, that could lead them in another direction to a safer choice. Also keeping an eye on Florida center Maurkice Pouncey and Fresno State running back Ryan Mathews at this point, should they slide.
23. Green Bay – G Mike Iupati (Idaho) – Could become a Day 1 starter.
24. Philadelphia – CB Kyle Wilson (Boise State) – After trading Sheldon Brown, they fill the void with a strong corner to complement the finesse style of Asante Samuel.
26. Arizona – LB Sean Weatherspoon (Missouri) – Need meets opportunity as they add a new piece to help fill the void from Karlos Dansby’s departure.
27. Dallas – WR Demaryius Thomas (Georgia Tech) – Hoping that Dez Bryant slips here, they take the next option on the board.
28. San Diego – DE Jared Odrick (Penn State) – They’ll focus on landing a running back a bit later.
29. N.Y. Jets – DE Jerry Hughes (Texas Christian) – Jason Taylor can keep the seat warm for Hughes, a high-energy pass rusher who will be unleashed in coach Rex Ryan’s blitzing scheme.
30. Minnesota – QB Tim Tebow (Florida) – If a top cornerback falls here, it will be tough to pass up. Tebow can learn behind Brett Favre, assuming Favre is back.
31. Indianapolis – OT Rodger Saffold (Indiana) – The Super Bowl showed that better protection is needed up front.
32. New Orleans – LB Sergio Kindle (Texas) – Some teams have questions about his knee, but he’s worth the risk in this spot.