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The ‘What You Should Do But Won’t’ mock draft, picks 1-10

April 4, 2010

Welcome one and all to the first 10 picks of the Play Action Post ‘What You Should Do But Won’t’ mock draft 2010! What does this slightly too-long and not-very-catchy title mean exactly? Well, those of you with stellar memories may well remember our piece on the horrors of bad drafting (and helpful tips on how to succeed) last year, and with this new decade will no doubt come some more horrendous front office mistakes which we can all look back on and laugh at (probably mostly to do with Al Davis).

Every blogger in the known universe has a mock draft, but we thought it’d be more fun to do a mock draft of what we think each team should do, followed by what they actually will do. With a fairly deep draft class in a number of useful areas (Offensive tackle, D-line, cornerback), it should be a bumper year for ignoring your draft board and grabbing an overrated prospect or someone the fans want. Nowhere in the world are there more false promises than in the NFL Draft’s top 10 picks, so without further ado, here’s how we see our sanctimonious first ten picks panning out.

With the first overall pick, the St. Louis Rams should select: Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma State

With the first overall pick, the St. Louis Rams will select: Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma

The Rams have been in dire straits for the best part of a decade, and any team that rebuilds their squad properly (case in point: Miami Dolphins) starts on the O-line. Yes, the Rams’ QBs are shocking, but when they inevitably draft Sam Bradford he’s going to spend the entire year on his back. Not only would the pick of Okung solidify pass protection, but would let the Rams only actual playmaker – Steven Jackson – run behind some real-life blocking for a change! Woo-hoo indeed. Whilst a D-tackle would make some sense, especially given coach Steve Spagnuolo’s defensive background, St. Louis has spent first-round picks on Chris Long and Adam Carriker in recent years, so it might be a stretch to take yet another D-lineman. Okung is a complete tackle, comfortably the best in this draft, and he’d be a big boost for the Rams’ offense. Of course, they won’t take him, instead going for a new ‘face of the franchise’: bad news for them, that face is about to take one hell of a pounding.

With the second overall pick, the Detroit Lions should select: Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska

With the second overall pick, the Detroit Lions will select: Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska

Holy Moly! The second pick and we’ve got a reasonable scenario (can this be true?). The new regime in Detroit made its glamour pick last year (NB to Rams: Lions picked a QB 1st overall last year, they’re only picking 2nd the year after), and now will make a sensible one to solidify a position of need. The last time the Lions had a defense was, we’re told, sometime in the 1950s, and they’ve been getting gouged by the NFC North for years without a stout D-tackle. Suh is, for many, the best player in the draft, and will clog up the middle against the likes of A.Peterson, C.Taylor and M.Forte. Jim Schwartz worked wonders with Albert Haynesworth in Tennessee, and he’ll make the PaP-approved pick come April 22nd.

With the third overall pick, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers should select: Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma

With the third overall pick, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will select: Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma

Surely not? Another sensible pick that looks like happening (don’t worry the Redskins pick next), and another D-tackle comes off the board. Raheem Morris is a defensively-minded coach, and is bringing the Tampa 2 back to Tampa. For this, they need an ‘upfield penetrator’ (surely the most innuendo-laden phrase in the NFL lexicon) in the interior defensive line, and McCoy fits the mould. The Bucs also chose a QB in round one in ’09 (NB to Rams: the Bucs chose a QB, are now picking higher in the draft than last year), and now need to make a selection to improve a porous defense. McCoy should, and probably will, be an excellent choice.

With the fourth overall pick, the Washington Redskins should select: Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma State

With the fourth overall pick, the Washington Redskins will select: Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame (or trade the farm to move to no.1 for Sam Bradford)

Just when you thought it was all getting a bit sensible, it’s Dan Snyder to the rescue. The ‘Skins are in DIRE need of offensive linemen, but as usual they’ll make the glamour pick instead of the sensible one. It’s clear the front office hates Jason Campbell (NB to Rams: a first round QB), so he’s on a short leash. Clausen is a polished QB no doubt, but like Bradford is about to spend a lot of time in the ice bath. Chris Samuels’ retirement leaves a gaping void at left tackle, which Okung would fill, but Snyder loves big names (see Haynesworth, DeAngelo Hall, Adam Archuleta et al), so Clausen goes to Washington.

With the fifth overall pick, the Kansas City Chiefs should select: Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma State

With the fifth overall pick, the Kansas City Chiefs will select: Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma State

Scott Pioli’s a clever guy. He masterminded the Patriots’ dynasty, drafted Tom Brady and traded for Wes Welker and Randy Moss. So it should come as no surprise that he makes a solid pick at number five. Okung is an excellent tackle prospect, and by picking him the Chiefs can move Branden Albert to guard and Brian Waters to center: instantly, Matt Cassel gets a lot more help and the Chiefs step towards recreating what was once the best O-line in all of football.

With the sixth overall pick, the Seattle Seahawks should select: Bryan Bulaga, OT, Iowa

With the sixth overall pick, the Seattle Seahawks should select: C.J. Spiller, RB, Clemson

The Seahawks’ improbable slide has continued to worsen the last few years. Walter Jones is at the end of his career and injury prone, and his absence means that Matt Hasselbeck gets smacked around like a nerd in gym class. Bulaga is a polished technician who can start straightaway if called upon. Unfortunately, Pete Carroll used to coach Reggie Bush. Spiller is definitely the best RB in this class, and has a similar skill set to Bush (speed, elusiveness, return ability), so we think the new coach in Seattle convinces the front office and reaches for a home-run hitter, when what the ‘Hawks really need is protection for their pitcher.

With the seventh overall pick, the Cleveland Browns should select: Eric Berry, S, Tennessee

With the seventh overall pick, the Cleveland Browns will select: Eric Berry, S, Tennessee

Thank God for Mike Holmgren, eh Browns fans? A man who knows his stuff and makes sensible choices. Berry is for our money the best overall prospect in the 2010 draft, so the idea of getting him at seven must seem too good to be true. The Chiefs might nab him, but if not, Holmgren makes a great selection to shore up what’s got to be one of the worst secondaries we’ve seen in years.

With the eighth overall pick, the Oakland Raiders should select: ANY OFFENSIVE LINEMAN

With the eighth overall pick, the Oakland Raiders will select: Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, South Florida

Raider Nation must be crying into their facepaint at this notion, but it seems like a depressingly plausible choice. We all know that Oakland just drafts athletes who have track speed but no track record, and Pierre-Paul is the most freakish specimen this year. A physically imposing edge rusher with oodles of speed (and backflipping skills), he fits the Raiders’ draft ‘scheme’ of grabbing a bust candidate (NB to Rams: JaMarcus Russell went no.1 overall to Oakland, has not panned out at all) who’s really athletic. OT Bruce Campbell is a possibility because he’s a height-weight-speed guy, but Pierre-Paul is such an Al Davis pick that it’s impossible to avoid it.

With the ninth overall pick, the Buffalo Bills should select: Bryan Bulaga, OT, Iowa

With the ninth overall pick, the Buffalo Bills will select: They’ll try to trade this for Donovan McNabb, or take an O-tackle if they keep it.

The Bills, you will probably recall, foolishly traded their left tackle to Philadelphia for a pittance last year. Now, Buffalo’s in the hunt for Philly’s QB Donovan McNabb, and they’ll do their darndest to trade for him, probably using this pick as bait. The Bills do definitely need an answer at QB (NB to Rams: J.P. Losman was a first-rounder. Enough said), but their offensive line is truly dire. If they keep the selection, we firmly believe they’ll replace Jason Peters and won’t make the mistake they did last year, passing on Michael Oher to draft, erm, Aaron Maybin. However, don’t be shocked if the Iggles end up picking here instead. The wildcard is if they don’t get McNabb and Clausen slides; new coach Chan Gailey would force the Clausen pick in that hypothetical.

With the tenth overall pick, the Jacksonville Jaguars should select: Rolando McClain, LB, Alabama

With the tenth overall pick, the Jacksonville Jaguars will select: Derrick Harvey Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech

The Jags are probably in the top five worst drafters in the NFL. Among their first round misfires: Matt Jones, Reggie Williams and Byron Leftwich. Last year’s no.8 selection, DE Derrick Harvey, already looks bust-tacular, and the Jags will no doubt have to waste another pick on the D-line. We think they should take McClain, a thumping middle linebacker who can lead and replace the void left by Mike Peterson’s acrimonious departure. Morgan isn’t a horrible pick, but quite possibly another in a long line of bad Jags decisions. Only time will tell.

So there it is, hit us back in a couple of days for the next ten picks in the Play Action Post 2010 ‘What You Should Do But Won’t’ NFL Mock Draft.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. Nicholas permalink
    April 4, 2010 9:38 pm

    On the whole I agree with your assessment of the draft, a lot of teams probably need O-line help but it isn’t a sexy pick when there are QBs on the board. I’m interested to see what Al Davis decides he wants this year (the Raiders’ 1st rounder is always entertaining) and to see Holmgren’s first draft in Cleveland. I have to disagree with your assessment of the Jaguars though.

    First, Troy Williamson was drafted by the Vikings in the first round and was traded to the Jags for a sixth round pick a few years ago. Their first round picks have been pretty spotty, admittedly, especially with receivers: Matt Jones, Reggie Williams, R Jay Soward. But they’ve had some very good picks in the past: Marcus Stroud, John Henderson, and Mercedes Lewis has been a very good TE and would be better if he had someone other than Garrard throwing to him. Reggie Nelson and Harvey looks like busts but they’re still young, give them a chance.

    To call them one of the worst drafting teams is a little silly when their top four picks last year are all starters (Monore and Britton at LT and RT, Knighton at DT, and Cox at CB, several other rookies were major contributors last year). They’ve had some poor drafts in the past but they are not one of the worst in the league.

    Also, I can’t see them drafting another DE when they just signed Aaron Kampman, resigned Reggie Hayward and have two 3rd year DEs on the roster in Harvey and Quentin Groves. Most indications are that they’re going to trade down for more picks (they only have 6 right now, traded a second rounder last year to draft Cox). If Clausen or one of the safeties drops to them I would guess they’d pick them up (no one in Jacksonville believes in Garrard, including Del Rio, and safety is considered one of their weakest positions since signing Kampman). McClain would be a good choice there also, but there is a lot of depth in this draft at LB.

  2. distantblues permalink*
    April 4, 2010 11:00 pm

    Thanks for reading Nicholas, you make some interesting points there (thanks for the save on Troy Williamson as well, that was a blunder and I apologise wholeheartedly for the error).

    The Jags’ draft last year was good, that is very true. The reason for it, as you mention, was that they made sensible picks by grabbing cornerbacks, offensive and defensive linemen, three of the positions where instant impacts can be made.

    Perhaps I have overstated my case a touch, but I don’t think that a lot of their picks merit first-round grades: Marcedes Lewis is a solid TE, but from first-round picks you expect more than 7 TDs in 4 years. Reggie Nelson has been alternately amazing and awful. Harvey and Groves have 7 sacks between them in 2 years which is dreadful by any standard, especially when compared to someone like Brian Orakpo, who played extremely well in his first year as a pass rusher (I think it’s a position where production should be expected of first-rounders).

    I do agree with you that the front office improved its judgment hugely last year, but one swallow doesn’t make a summer for me. Smart moves like grabbing Maurice Jones-Drew in the second round always seem to get cancelled out by bad picks like Matt Jones.

    However, you have made me consider this statement more, and I’ll be sure to give the Jags slightly more respect in the future. Thanks for reading, hope to hear from you again when the next ten picks come out!

    P.S. I’m really looking forward to the Raiders’ pick as well. Got to love Al Davis’ innate craziness. Idiotic ‘sexy picks’ make the draft so much more exciting.

  3. Nicholas permalink
    April 5, 2010 12:11 am

    Yeah, I’m not quite ready to drink the kool-aid on the Jags new front office but if they can make something like last year’s draft happen again I’m sold.

    The thing with receivers and TEs and the Jags that worries me is how much can you blame Marcedes Lewis (or other receivers) for poor production when no one on the team is producing well. To me it seems like a QB issue, Garrard is serviceable and doesn’t make too many mistakes but he isn’t lighting up the scoreboard and he’s been bad at the end of games. Don’t think this is just a Jaguars thing either, it’s a problem with the QB position as a whole in the league right now: there are a few very good quarterbacks and mostly mediocre ones. Just another reason the Rams are going to draft a QB #1 when they shouldn’t, the same way the Lions did.

    Back to Lewis for one second, a lot of personnel people think he has potential but I do agree that it would be nice to see more production wise from him. He did have fewer drops last year and he is a pretty good blocking TE. Would I want to spend a 1st rounder on a blocking TE? No, not really. 2nd or 3rd round pick and Lewis would be considered better than he is as a 1st rounder I think. Opposite is true of Jones-Drew, amazing 2nd round pick: steal of that draft maybe? If he were a first rounder people would have expected what he’s produced. In the end I’m probably just hoping for the best from the hometown team, maybe all Lewis is a good blocking tight end who can catch some passes (I really do think he’s better than his numbers show).

    Their two more recent first rounders are definitely disappointing. Nelson does look amazing at times and then blows a coverage and misses three tackles. Great athlete, not a great football player. Harvey we’ve all been disappointed by but I have trouble expecting anything from rookies. Mario Williams has become a dominant player for Houston after a rookie year that was crap for the most part. And players like Kearse and Peppers have been dominant from day one. Orakpo had a very good rookie season, I’ll be interested to see if he can keep it up. Those 11 sacks look impressive but 4 came in one game against a dreadful Raiders offense and he had more help in the middle than a lot of rookie DEs get. I had hoped Harvey would improve last year but he didn’t, maybe he’ll improve but that’s why we went and got Kampman. It seems like a wasteful pick if the Jags draft another DE when they have bigger holes. Kampman scares me a little because of age and injury concerns but it seems like a good signing.

    The Jets did the right thing a few years ago, their fans may not have liked them picking a bunch of offensive linemen early in drafts but having one of the best offensive lines in football made being a rookie QB easy on Mark Sanchez and made their RBs look better than they probably are. Stafford had moments last year in Detroit but never found a grove because he got hit so much and Bradford will probably find the same thing in St. Louis. I hope Clausen drops to Jacksonville, it is probably one of the best O-Line situations in the top 10.

    10-20 should be interesting, have a bunch of teams that are close to being contenders that under-accomplished last year (Steelers and Broncos, Falcons and Texans are definitely playoff threats) and then teams from the NFC West (two Niners picks and another Seahawks pick) who haven’t drafted well in a while.

  4. Nicholas permalink
    April 5, 2010 12:30 am

    Looks like McNabb is on his way to Washington maybe they’ll do the smart thing and pick a OT and Clausen will drop down to Cleveland or Jacksonville.

  5. distantblues permalink*
    April 5, 2010 1:10 pm

    Yeah McNabb has gone to Washington now, so that puts paid to the Clausen scenario I’d imagine. A shame because a day after I wrote it, this draft is now out of date! I’ll write an update today.

    You make a superb point about the Jets, they were very smart in their drafting the last few years and, as you say, it made the transition for Sanchez a whole lot easier than it will be for Bradford or was for Stafford.

    I understand your QB concerns, and I think that Clausen, should he slip, would be an excellent pickup, although I think if he lasts to Cleveland they might well take him instead. Garrard has never been a big-numbers guy, and that was fine when he threw 2 INTs in a season, but if you’re going to be a ‘game manager’ as the critics love to call it, you have to protect the ball better.

    As far as the DEs go, there does seem to be a lack of something with HArvey and Groves, though what it is exactly I don’t know. I think Kampman is supposed to help develop those guys as much as put up numbers: his presence may well make the two young guys a lot better. You just hope that they rebound from bad starts like WIlliams and don’t fail like Kamerion Wimbley or Erasmus James.

  6. Nicholas permalink
    April 5, 2010 11:13 pm

    From what I’ve read, Holmgren apparently doesn’t like Clausen and they have 3 QBs already. It does seem like a logical place for Clausen to go though *shrug*

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