2010 NFL Draft: Pick-by-pick analysis
|Meet the draft experts|
FOX NFL SundayCzar will analyze each team's draft night war room, the reasoning behind every first-round pick and why teams did or didn't cut a deal.
FOXSports.comLive from New York's Radio City Music Hall, Schrager provides an insider's glimpse of the draft-night doings.
| CZAR'S FRONT OFFICE TAKE: The rumor all day was that Washington and Cleveland were in talks with the Rams about acquiring the rights to Bradford, who would have been the first pick last year had he not decided to return to Oklahoma and make a run at a national championship. But the Rams never received a serious offer from any team, including the Browns, who talked about shipping all their picks to St. Louis, according to Mike Holmgren. When the Rams released Marc Bulger, who remains unemployed, the team cleared the way to draft a quarterback and they have A.J. Feeley to tutor him. Bradford scored a very impressive 36 (out of 40) on the Wonderlic test. So, we know he’s extremely smart. Plus, at Oklahoma in 31 starts he holds the Sooner records in pass accuracy (67.6 percent), yards (8.403) and touchdowns (88). Bradford won the 2008 Heisman Trophy when he tossed 50 TDs. Being a finance major, he should know what to do with a contract that will average as much as $13 million a year. Getting a contract done shouldn’t be a problem because Rams CEO Kevin Demoff has dealt with CAA agents Tom Condon/Ben Dogra four times in the last six years on high first-round contracts. Plus, all three men live in St. Louis. The Rams have won only six games in the last three seasons so they desperately needed a quarterback and a leader. |
SCHRAGER ON THE SCENE: And we’re officially on. The Rams take Bradford, though there have apparently been no talks of a contract with uber-agent Tom Condon, no clarity on the franchise’s ownership situation, no veteran quarterback on the roster to learn from, and no offensive playmakers outside of Steven Jackson. And no defense! But hey, good luck with that, kid. As for Radio City, well the crowd’s ALIVE. I must say—I kicked and screamed about the draft being moved to primetime, but now that I’m here--it’s pretty damn cool. There was a red carpet (something I scoffed at but obviously ended up enjoying), Alyssa Milano just walked by me (I’ll never scoff at Sam Micelli), and there’s an incredible intensity in the building right now. It’s like we’re at the Oscars. Only, if the Oscars also happened to feature 350-pound Raiders fans in spiked headdresses and khaki shorts shouting swear words at comparably sized Jets fans. Ah, the draft. There’s nothing like it. Detroit’s on the clock!
| CZAR'S FRONT OFFICE TAKE: Well, this was no secret, either. Everybody knew that Lions coach Jim Schwartz loved Nebraska's Ndamukong Suh and that his defense needed to plug its middle. The Lions made some smart deals prior to the draft with the big signing of Kyle Vanden Bosch, one of the game’s hardest workers, and the trade for Broncos TE Tony Scheffler and Falcons CB Chris Houston while unloading Matt Millen’s next-to-last first-round pick LB Ernie Sims to the Eagles. Suh and Vanden Bosch will make the Lions good on defense immediately, considering the Lions allowed more touchdowns than any NFL team last season. Suh has been compared to Richard Seymour in his younger years with the Patriots. Suh is a dominant player and many thought the best player in this draft. |
SCHRAGER ON THE SCENE: Mr. Suh! The Radio City crowd reacts with a “Suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuh”. I like that. Sounds kinda like “booooo”, though, which I assume at some point in his career in Detroit--the ‘Huskers superstar will hear. Jim Schwartz gets the top overall player on everyone’s board and a cornerstone to build his defense around. Meanwhile, somewhere in Texas, Matt Stafford quietly wonders whether he’ll ever get a left tackle to keep him on his feet. Through the “Suuuuuuuuuuuuuh” chants, I hear a Jets fan behind me scream, “Sanchez to Tomlinson, Touchdown!” He made the same “joke” after the first pick. No one laughed or acknowledged it then. There’s 30 picks left. It could be a long night. Suh walks by Marvez and me. He's not small.
| CZAR'S FRONT OFFICE TAKE: No team is more financially pinched than the Bucs, who also followed the mock-draft procession by selecting Oklahoma defensive tackle Gerald McCoy. This was a no-brainer because some teams liked him more as a pass rusher than Suh. McCoy is super quick, and could be this franchise's next Warren Sapp. Now, Mark Dominik, the Bucs' second-year general manager, has put a lot of pressure on himself, publicly stating that this year’s draft is as important as the 1995 one was to this franchise when the club grabbed Sapp and then Derrick Brooks. He added: “If this draft class doesn’t succeed, I probably don’t either.” I met this young man at the Combine and he is one sincere, very emotional and dedicated athlete. He won't cheat the game. |
SCHRAGER ON THE SCENE: The Bucs go with Gerald McCoy and the crowd reacts with mild applause. Somewhere, a kid who did a mock draft just pumped his fist. 3 for 3! No surprises yet. The Jets fan changed his joke up a tad. He substituted Tomlinson’s name with Santonio Holmes. Jason Taylor’s name is next. There are some amazing Tampa creamsicle jerseys in this crowd. Warren Sapp, hello! Errict Rhett, hello! Trent Dilfer, hello! We’re seated right below the NFL Network studio. If you’re wondering at home, the NFL Network set is on one side of the building; ESPN’s on the other. There’s no interaction between the two. Sharks and Jets. Bloods and Crips. Mayocks and Kipers. Fox? We’re Switzerland.
| CZAR'S FRONT OFFICE TAKE: Washington's false rumor today was that Tennessee safety Eric Berry, by far the best secondary prospect in this deep draft, was the preferred pick over offensive tackle Trent Williams. But Williams made total sense because he was the most athletic blocker in the draft and his style fits what new coach Mike Shanahan likes to do in his running game. However, Williams was a specific need in order to protect 33-year-old Donovan McNabb. It looks like trade talks between the Redskins and the Titans for Albert Haynesworth have cooled off. When you think about it, what Shanahan and GM Bruce Allen have accomplished is pretty good: Williams and McNabb with their second-round pick. They also have two running backs, Willie Parker and Larry Johnson, to compete with Clinton Portis. Williams fills a void with the retirement of Chris Samuels. |
SCHRAGER ON THE SCENE: After weeks of crazy rumors, chatter about Eric Berry on all the blogs today, and just one pick in the first three rounds—the Redskins go with the guy everyone has pegged to them since January. I love when that happens. I’m a big Trent Williams fan. He can play right or left tackle. But can he play both at once? That’s what the ‘Skins new quarterback really needs. As for Donovan McNabb--I saw the most bootleg attempt at a customized NFL jersey in my life walking in…a HEATH SHULER Redskins jersey with scotch tape over the name Shuler and McNabb written over it in marker. The problem? It was spelled “McCnabb.” You can’t make this stuff up. Jets guy stayed quiet this pick, by the way. He’s checking his Blackberry and mumbling about David Wright’s inability to hit with runners in scoring position.
| CZAR'S FRONT OFFICE TAKE: Not only did the Chiefs surrender the biggest running day of last season, but they were also torched by the Cowboys' Miles Austin for 10 catches and 250 receiving yards. They needed Tennessee safety Eric Berry, who has super hitting ability and has the foot speed to may be even line up at cornerback. Berry is very instinctive and had almost 500 interception return yards in his career. He could be an immediate star. Like the Rams, the Chiefs have so many personnel needs in order to be competitive once again; the franchise has only 10 wins over the past three seasons. GM Scott Pioli’s big off-season acquisition was Jets RB Thomas Jones, a solid team player, and Colts guard Ryan Lilja and not much else. |
SCHRAGER ON THE SCENE: Mr. Rocky Top, himself, Eric Berry. Berry’s been compared by draftniks to every great safety from Ronnie Lott to Troy Polamalu to Ed Reed. Apparently, he’s a cocktail of all three. Not bad. The Chiefs were the one team in the league no one had heard ANYTHING from all week. It was like Scott Pioli put the entire organization in a room, threatened to take away their keys to the complex if they spoke to anyone, then called Belichick to gossip about “American Idol.” (Pioli: "How about that Bowersox?" Belichick: “She’s all heart and hustle. Would love to have her on our squad.”) The Kansas City fan contingent at Radio City is all over the board. I saw one gentleman in a candy striped shirt and a Chiefs tie. He was shaking hands, kissing babies, and talking about Tyson Jackson in a 3-4. Classy. I then saw a grown man in fuzzy Chiefs pajamas. Matching top and bottom. It’s 8:11 PM in the evening. Can't be doing that. What happens when you walk in the door to your family later on having worn pajamas in public for an entire night? Do you just cry yourself to sleep?
| CZAR'S FRONT OFFICE TAKE: The Seahawks had to replace left tackle Walter Jones, who was so critical to Mike Holmgren's run in Seattle. Russell Okung, who started 47 games at Oklahoma State, should start immediately, maybe at right tackle until he gets settled into the offense. But Okung figures to eventually become Matt Hasselbeck's blind-side protector. One thing that first-year head coach Pete Carroll already knows is that his team has plenty of holes, especially at safety and along the defensive line. He needs pass rushers, too. There's going to be a run on offensive tackles in this draft. There could be as many as seven taken in the first round. Offensive and defensive linemen are the strongest and deepest positions in this draft. |
SCHRAGER ON THE SCENE: Pete Carroll and Jon Schneider’s first pick is a pragmatic one. After draft day rumors linking Seattle to everyone from Jimmy Clausen to Dez Bryant, the ‘Hawks pick Walter Jones’s successor in Okung. On cue, the house deejay plays Nirvana’s "Smells Like Teen Spirit." One of these days, Temple of the Dog’s "Hunger Strike" is going to supplant that tune for Seattle on Draft Day. Better song. (Yeah, I said it.) New Buccaneer Gerald McCoy is introduced to the Radio City crowd and house emcee Alan Roach asks him what he’s looking forward to in Tampa Bay. He says "Hopefully, a Super Bowl." And with that, he becomes the first comedian in New York City history to make everyone in Radio City Music Hall laugh in unison. What a joker.
| CZAR'S FRONT OFFICE TAKE: Browns bossman Mike Holmgren wasn't kidding when he revealed that he wasn't sold on Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen. Homgren passed on Claussen because the Browns' biggest need was cornerback and Florida CB Joe Haden beat out Kyle Wilson of Boise State for this honor. Now, Haden ran in the high 4.5s at the Combine, but he played faster than that in the SEC. Holmgren may still seek out a quarterback in this draft after jettisoning last year’s quarterbacks in Derek Anderson and Brady Quinn. But Holmgren seems comfortable with Jake Delhomme and his former Seattle backup, Seneca Wallace. Remember, Holmgren isn't thinking about Eric Mangini here. He's thinking about the 2010 season only. He could decide to coach this team in 2011 or even go out and hire ESPN's Jon Gruden, who was a very young assistant on Holmgren's first staff with the Packers. |
SCHRAGER ON THE SCENE: Well, I’m an idiot. I had Haden slipping to Green Bay at No. 23. He just went No. 7. I’m not sure why I wasn’t sold on Haden. I’d seen him singlehandedly shut down SEC superstars and future pros A.J. Green, Julio Jones and Brandon LaFell on Saturdays. Stupid combine numbers — they get me every time. The Dawg Pound reacts with barks and howls. One Browns fan is dressed in a Tim Couch jersey. I appreciate that. His buddy is sporting a Kelly Holcomb jersey. Who can forget THAT magical era of Browns football? Meanwhile, serious rumors of Rolando McClain to Oakland. A Giants fan behind me just fell off his chair when he heard that news.
| CZAR'S FRONT OFFICE TAKE: Well, Al Davis shocked the world once again, meaning that the Jaguars can take Jason Pierre-Paul in the 10th spot if they really want him. Alabama middle linebacker Rolando McClain was ranked as a top 10 player on most team's draft boards. Granted, this pick breaks the heart of the Giants, who desperatedly needed McClain. Bottom line, though, it was too bad the Steelers weren't serious about trading Ben Roethlisberger because he would have been such a big upgrade over Fat Boy, JaMarcus Russell. Also, the Raiders could have afforded to keep both quarterbacks because they could have used the first-round rookie money to pay Big Ben’s contract. Why owner Al Davis didn’t trade this pick to Pittsburgh for Roethlisberger is the question of the day? The Steelers, though, were never really interested in dealing Ben; just scaring him. Terry Bradshaw always talks about how Davis wanted to trade for him when Chuck Noll was messing around with him. |
SCHRAGER ON THE SCENE: Raiders Nation is pleased. Or, at least the crew here is. The Raiders fans I saw in the spikes and khaki shorts earlier are hugging and chanting “Let’s Go Raiders!” After seven consecutive seasons of 5 wins or less, April is always the best day of the calendar year for these guys. The other fans in the house are giving them a pass. Let them celebrate. There’s not much to cheer about for the silver and black. Meanwhile, the Giants fan contingent here is treating this like the day all of their dogs died. Just long faces and depression. Rolando McClain was supposed to be the next great Giants linebacker. Instead, he’ll be in a locker room with fellow SEC stars Darren McFadden and JaMarcus Russell. Hopefully, his pro career starts a little better.
| CZAR'S FRONT OFFICE TAKE: The Bills' biggest needs were an offensive tackle and a quarterback, but they went for the home-run hitter in Clemson running back C.J. Spiller, who is also the draft's best return man. This move also means that GM Buddy Nix is willing to trade RB Marshawn Lynch. Most mock drafts had Iowa offensive tackle Bryan Bulaga going here, but his stock has been falling the past week or so. Obviously, new head coach Chan Gailey wasn't sold on any of the quarterbacks. |
SCHRAGER ON THE SCENE: I read somewhere last month about a kid in Indiana who had a perfect NCAA Tournament bracket after two rounds. I’d like to find the kid who had Haden-McClain-Spiller on his mock draft. Hire him now. Give him his own column. Let him and Todd McShay yell at each other on 11 different networks on 34 different shows. The draft has officially gone haywire. I see a Bills fan in the distance who’s got the Marshawn Lynch jersey on. He’s cheering. Little does he know that the jersey he’s wearing just went from $20 to 20 cents on eBay. C.J. Spiller — enjoy Buffalo, buddy. A Florida kid who went to Clemson, and now goes to a team with no quarterback, no offensive line and no notable receivers. Pack a winter coat, C.J.!
10. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS
| CZAR'S FRONT OFFICE TAKE:Well, we were right that the Jaguars wanted another pass rusher, it's just that they fooled the world with Cal's Tyson Alualo, who started 39 of 51 games. Alualo had 16 career sacks and 16 quarterback pressures. He's an under-sized defensive tackle who needs to get stronger. A lot of teams had this guy at the bottom of the first round or in the second round, so there's a ton of pressure on Jack Del Rio to make this pick work. |
SCHRAGER ON THE SCENE: In my seven-round mock draft, I had Alualu going early in the second round. I think that’s the highest I saw him in any of the mock drafts. The reaction here at Radio City is a collective "Who?!" Meanwhile, the Jets fans from earlier are losing interest. It’s been a good six hours since the Jets signed a 40-year-old veteran or player with off-the-field issues. They’re bored. The Jets better trade their entire draft for Tebow soon or their fans may all lose interest in the team.
| CZAR'S FRONT OFFICE TAKE: Everyone thought that Denver head coach Josh McDaniels, who has traded away Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall, wanted to trade down in this draft and did just that, picking up an extra fourth-round pick by swapping with the 49ers -- who drafted Anthony Davis. The Rutgers OT should start immediately at right tackle. This position was a specific need for the 49ers and not one that Denver needed. I don't know why the 49ers were nervous about missing out on Davis, but Trent Baalke, the new draft picker, was apparently. |
SCHRAGER ON THE SCENE: A fellow Jersey native, I’m happy to see Anthony Davis taken in the Top 15. Questioned for his consistency, Davis dominated George Selvie and Greg Romeus in college. He’ll now be the bookend at tackle with Joe Staley down in San Francisco. Meanwhile, the Niners fan contingent is downright giddy. Just saw a guy in a Steve Young jersey slap his buddy five. Left handed, no less! The Draft. It's amazing.
| CZAR'S FRONT OFFICE TAKE: Well, if Ryan Mathews is as good as Fresno State head coach Pat Hill says he is, the Chargers should be in business this season. Coach Norv Turnver coveted Mathews, who is a three-down back, and this pick means that Turner can return to running the ball more, something he couldn't do with LaDainian Tomlinson last season. Mathews cost the Chargers their second-round pick (40th overall) and their first-round pick to move into Miami's spot. This deal made sense for the Dolphins, whose big money move was trading and signing receiver Brandon Marshall. It was pretty hilarious that singer Jennifer Lopez told Jay Leno on Wednesday night’s “Tonight Show” that her Dolphins should draft NT Dan Williams because “we need a defensive tackle and he’s really explosive off the line and can beat any double-team.” Marc Anthony, who is married to Lopez, owns about 1 percent of the team, but that wasn’t enough to sway Bill Parcells |
SCHRAGER ON THE SCENE: Ryan Mathews wore no. 21 in high school because he idolized LaDanian Tomlinson. Oh, the irony. Just as this selection is being digested by the crowd, though, the Eagles-to-13 pick is announced. The room explodes. Before the Eagles fans can even crack a smile, the Giants and Jets fans unite — for possibly the first time ever — and get a deafening “Eagles SUCK” chant going. I actually saw a Jets fan and a Giants fan laugh and hug over this. This is monumental stuff. What's next? Israel-Palestine? Al Davis and Lane Kiffin going out for tea? Mathews goes to San Diego, the Eagles suck, and fans are still looking up Tyson Alualu on their cell phones. What’s next?
BRANDON GRAHAM, DE, MICHIGAN - Profile
| CZAR'S FRONT OFFICE TAKE: The Eagles traded away two of their third-rounders to the Broncos (the 13th pick acquired earlier from the 49ers) in order to take Michigan pass rusher Brandon Graham, who dominated offensive tackles in the Big Ten last season. Graham's play was a big reason why Iowa's Bulaga is still available in this draft because he beat him like a drum when he played him. Now, Graham is a speed rusher and Andy Reid is hoping that he can mature into another Dwight Freeney. Graham was a solid producer and his selection proves that there were a lot of defensive linemen in this draft and there should be a run on them in the next 12 picks. This is a solid pick, but the story about this pick is how Denver's Josh McDaniels continues to wheel and deal like he's been doing this for job for 10 or 15 seasons. |
SCHRAGER ON THE SCENE: There’s an "Earl…Thomas" chant here in Radio City by the Philly fans. The Giants and Jets fans don’t want to hear it. They’re still going with "Eagles Suck" and having a blast with it. Mr. Jets fan behind me from earlier is suddenly alive again. He’s into this "Eagles Suck" thing. He just pumped a fist, SNOOKIE-style. Brandon Graham was a pass rush demon on an otherwise abysmal Michigan squad. He was the Senior Bowl MVP, led the nation in sacks, and is an all-around great kid with no character issues. Perfect for Philly. What’s not perfect for Philly? The 360 pound guy in the 4-sizes-too-small Brian Westbrook jersey screaming in the face of a Redskins fan. That’s all going on above me. The NFC East is alive and well.
| CZAR'S FRONT OFFICE TAKE: Pete Carroll completed his first draft day by filling two needs with the offensive tackle and now Texas safety Earl Thomas, who has 4.3 speed and was definitely the second-best safety in this draft. No tricks here for the Seahawks; they took the two best players when they were on the clock. Thomas is a ball-hawking safety who simply needs to bulk up a bit. Thomas had eight interceptions last season. What's interesting about this selection is that Carroll showed the world that he wasn't interested in one of his former prized players, USC safety Taylor Mays. |
SCHRAGER ON THE SCENE: The ‘Hawks take the sixth-rated player on my big board in Earl Thomas. With Deon Grant gone, it makes sense. I heard a certain network analyst — it was one of the guys from the Bloods or Crips — say that Seattle will take a combination of offensive tackle, defensive end, or running back with 6 and 14. He said it very confidently. Well, what about the safety? Oh well. Meanwhile, the Giants fans are quietly getting ready for their pick. By quietly getting ready, I mean jumping on top of one another and chanting “Let’s Go Giants!”
| CZAR'S FRONT OFFICE TAKE: The Giants lost their projected middle linebacker in Rolando McClain to the Raiders and they needed to go defense because they allowed 52 touchdowns last season and finished 30th overall on defense. Jason Pierre-Paul was a high school basketball star in Florida, and he has played only three full football seasons, two at junior colleges in California and Kansas, one with South Florida. Pierre-Paul is a high-energy pass rusher and he should immediately get into New York's defensive-line rotation. The Giants have denied they could be trading Osi Umenyiora, but this selection means such a move remains possible. This is somewhat of a risky pick because Pierre-Paul is undersized at 270 pounds, but he has room to grow and mature. A lot of teams were fascinated with his raw athletic ability. |
SCHRAGER ON THE SCENE: JPP! All I’ve heard about Pierre-Paul are the details about his back flipping ability. He did 23 of them once! He was on YouTube doing them! Shawn Johnson, move over—there’s a new gymnast in town! ESPN’s been really excited about these back flips, even running an entire "Sports Science" segment on it last night. Apparently, there’s lots of back flipping in the NFL. When DeAngelo Williams runs over Pierre-Paul on the first play from scrimmage at the new Giants Stadium in September, does the rookie plan on back flipping down field to chase him down? Can he play football? I didn't hear much about that. OK, now on to the crowd. There’s apprehension, confusion, and mild applause from the Giants fans in the building. Certainly not the reaction I heard here when the Jets took Sanchez last year. That was pure mayhem. One conversation I did overhear? Two Giants fans sitting a row behind me discussing Mizzou linebacker Sean Weatherspoon. Giants Fan 1: "Know what’s in Missouri?" Giants Fan 2: "Nope Never been." Giants Fan 1: "Just tumble weeds and fresh air. And nothin’ else."…solid 3 second pause… "I was out there once." And then they both nodded. Ah, the Eagles suck.