NFL Mock Draft: Version 4.0
We’re officially less than a month away from NFL Draft weekend and you can feel it in the air. Is your boss being a little nicer around the water cooler these days? Draft time. Do you sense an overall happiness on the streets? Draft time. Find yourself waking up early and wanting to seize the day Tim Tebow style? Draft time.
Since our last mock draft, several prospects have jumped up draft boards with big Pro Day performances and individual workouts (see: Sean Weatherspoon), many teams’ draft needs were seriously altered by free agent offseason moves (see: Bears, Jets) and various trades (see: Seahawks, Charlie Whitehurst, really???) have been made switching up the draft order.
With still many more to come, here's the 2010 Schrager Mock Draft, Version 4.0. Dig in and let us know your thoughts:
1. ST. LOUIS RAMS
Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma
A lot can change between now and April 22, and a big part of me still thinks the Rams will try to acquire a veteran QB to start in 2010. Whether that ends up being one of the Eagles’ three QBs, Jason Campbell or any of the Bills’ signal callers — we’ll have to wait and see.
If no significant moves are made to address the position in the coming weeks, Bradford’s got to be the pick at No. 1. Assuming he throws well and the shoulder grades out fine in his March 29 pro day workout, the Oklahoma gunslinger should be the guy. The Rams have passed on QBs Jason Campbell (2005), Matt Ryan (2008), Joe Flacco (2008), Chad Henne (2008) and Mark Sanchez (2009) in recent drafts. The fans are growing a bit restless. Bradford makes a whole lot of sense.
Mock Draft 3.0 Pick: Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska
Bradford’s Mock Draft 3.0 Placement: No. 4 to Washington
2. DETROIT LIONS
Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska
Ranked last in the NFL last year against the pass and 25th vs. the rush, the Lions will be addressing DE-FENSE(!) in this draft. Jim Schwartz had Albert Haynesworth clogging the middle for him in Tennessee and knows the value of a stud DT anchoring the D-line. Detroit’s front office just needs to decide which Big 12 stud DT they’d rather have — 2009’s All-Everything Suh or Oklahoma’s Gerald McCoy.
Though several experts have McCoy listed higher on their boards — I’m still “Stuck on Suh.” At the Combine, Suh bench pressed 225 pounds 32 times and wowed scouts with his quickness. McCoy’s the more engaging personality and may have the bigger “upside.” In the end, I think Detroit goes with the 'Husker at No. 2. Both will shine under young defensive head coaches in 2010. As for all the talk this week that Detroit’s taking offensive tackle Russell Okung at No. 2 over both of the defensive linemen, it’s certainly possible, but I wouldn’t read too much into the acquisition of DT Corey Williams.
Mock Draft 3.0 Pick: Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma
Suh’s Mock Draft 3.0 Placement: No. 1 to St. Louis
3. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma
The Bucs have been searching for a franchise defensive tackle since Warren Sapp left town in 2003. Roy Miller showed flashes in ’09, but he’s no Gerald McCoy. If anything, Miller will work well alongside McCoy for years to come. McCoy would have been a top 5 pick last year had he entered the draft after his redshirt sophomore season. In 2009, he recorded 14.5 tackles for a loss despite a constant barrage of double teams. Tampa coach Raheem Morris got the heart and soul of his offense in QB Josh Freeman last April. He’ll get the heart and soul of his defense in McCoy in 2010.
Mock Draft 3.0 Pick: Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma State
McCoy Mock Draft 3.0 Placement: No. 2 to Detroit
4. WASHINGTON REDSKINS
Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma State
The Redskins were eerily quiet at the start of the 2010 offseason, a drastic change for Washington fans. Then, in a flurry, new coach Mike Shanahan and new GM Bruce Allen went on a bit of a signing tear, picking up five free agents — including RB Larry Johnson and QB Rex Grossman — in a two-week span. Washington’s five pickups are more than the rest of the NFC East’s free-agent signings combined. Another noteworthy move: Shanahan and the new Washington's front-office brass supported incumbent starting QB Jason Campbell by placing a first-round tender on him. Whether he is the long-term answer or not, Campbell will likely be the guy in Washington in 2010.
To keep him (or whomever the QB of the future ends up being) upright — a premier left tackle is needed. Chris Samuels is gone and there’s no answer currently on the roster. In Okung, a guy I had rated higher than No. 2 overall pick Jason Smith last year, Shanahan and Co. would get a franchise cornerstone who gave up just one sack in 336 pass attempts in 2009. Shanahan struck gold in Ryan Clady at No. 8 overall in Denver. He’ll do the same with Okung at No. 4.
Mock Draft 3.0 Pick: Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma
Okung's Mock Draft 3.0 Placement: No. 3 to Tampa Bay
5. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
Bryan Bulaga, OT, Iowa
The Chiefs have been one of the busiest teams of the 2010 offseason. Kansas City has retained six of their own free agents and has gone out and signed five unrestricted free agents, including RB Thomas Jones and a pair of veteran linemen (center Casey Wiegmann, guard Ryan Lilja). At No. 5 K.C. can run many routes, but I can’t see them passing up a blue-chip left tackle like Bulaga. Drafting Bulaga would allow Branden Albert to move to right tackle or back to guard, protect K.C.'s investment in Matt Cassel and give the the two-headed RB monster of Thomas Jones and Jamaal "Jazz" Charles some legitimate holes to run through.
Another reason to like Bulaga-to-K.C.? GM Scott Pioli and Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz are close friends dating back to their time in the mid-'90s with Cleveland. With three of the top 53 picks, look for K.C. to address other needs in later rounds. Shockingly to some, both Jimmy Clausen and Tennessee All-Everything safety Eric Berry slip out of the top 5.
Mock Draft 3.0 Pick: Bryan Bulaga, OT, Iowa
Bulaga's Mock Draft 3.0 Placement: No. 5 to Kansas City
6. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS
Trent Williams, OT, Oklahoma
Despite taking just four snaps last season and not attempting a regular-season pass, the Seahawks gave up an awful lot to acquire 27-year-old Charlie Whitehurst from San Diego. Believe it or not, there was actually a bit of a bidding war with Arizona for the guy.
Whether Jimmy Clausen’s on the board or not, I think Pete Carroll and Co. address their dire offensive line needs here. Seattle's quarterbacks were sacked an embarrassing 44 times in 2009. In Williams, they get a premier prospect who can play left tackle or right tackle at a high level right away. By selecting Williams, Seattle can move Sean Locklear back to the right tackle spot where he’s far more comfortable. Walter Jones was the cornerstone of the Seahawks offensive line for the past decade. Williams can carry that torch into the next one.
Mock Draft 3.0 Pick: Anthony Davis, OT, Rutgers
Williams’s Mock Draft 3.0 Placement: No. 17 to San Francisco
7. CLEVELAND BROWNS
Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame
"I wish I liked (Clausen) more," front office czar Mike Holmgren told the Cleveland Plain Dealer earlier this week. "You know how you have a type of player that you like? It's not scientific. People like him a lot. He'll go high. But it would be hard for me (to take him)."
With comments like those, there’s no way Cleveland would select Jimmy Clausen, then, right? Riiiight? What’s Lady Gaga sing about? Oh, that’s right — the ol’ poker face. Holmgren’s known as a straight shooter, but why show your cards like this? Something’s certainly fishy with comments like that so far in advance of April’s draft.
Things would certainly get interesting if both Clausen and Tennessee safety Eric Berry slipped to No.7. But in the end, I just can’t see Holmgren passing up on a quarterback talent like Clausen if he’s sitting on the board. Don’t read too much into the recent Jake Delhomme or Seneca Wallace moves to Cleveland. Neither are the long-term answer in Cleveland. Clausen would be. Coming from Charlie Weis’ pro-style offense, he’d be ahead of the curve and ready to learn the Browns offense right away. Can the Dawg Pound handle another highly-touted QB out of Notre Dame?
Mock Draft 3.0 Pick: Eric Berry, S/CB, Tennessee
Clausen’s Mock Draft 3.0 Placement: No. 9 to Buffalo
8. OAKLAND RAIDERS
Eric Berry, S/CB, Tennessee
Oakland suffered through a 5-11 season in 2009, extending the Raiders' NFL record of consecutive seasons with 11 or more losses to seven. This offseason, Oakland added one major piece to the D, acquiring former Cleveland first-round pick Kamerion Wimbley for a third-round pick. Though there are definite needs across the Oakland O-line, I can’t see owner Al Davis passing on a physical freak of nature like Berry.
What about Combine standout offensive lineman Bruce Campbell, you ask? A guy just about everyone and their mother has linked to Oakland? In a welcomed departure for Raiders fans, I think the team takes the better player instead of the “Underwear Olympics” gold medal winner. Pairing Berry with All-Everything corner Nnamdi Asomugha would almost instantly place Oakland’s defensive backfield among the league’s best.
Mock Draft 3.0 Pick: Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech
Berry’s Mock Draft 3.0 Placement: No. 7 to Cleveland
9. BUFFALO BILLS
Anthony Davis, OT, Rutgers
GM Buddy Nix and new coach Chan Gailey have more than a few holes to fill. They’ve got needs just about everywhere on the field. The offensive line is a disaster, Buffalo opted not to retain two of their top wideouts this offseason and the pass rush was all but nonexistent in 2009. And oh yeah, they're moving from a 4-3 to a 3-4 and don’t have a run-stuffing 3-4 clog for that scheme.
So, where do they go? I think they address their most dire need — offensive tackle — and grab Davis. Criticized by some scouts for being inconsistent at times, the 6-foot-5, 323-pound masher dominated some of the Big East’s best pass rushers, including Pittsburgh's Greg Romeus and South Florida's George Selvie, for three years. No. 9 may be a bit early, but Nix and Gailey realize the importance of a reliable offensive line. Davis is a bit of a project, but should be worth the investment.
Mock Draft 3.0 Pick: Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma
Davis’ Mock Draft 3.0 Placement: No. 6 to Seattle
10. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS
Rolando McClain, LB, Alabama
If they don't trade down for a certain multi-tasking QB prospect (hint: look at the sidebar, silly!), Jacksonville addressed its need for an elite pass-rushing DE by acquiring Aaron Kampman earlier this month. If both Derrick Morgan and Jason Pierre-Paul are on the board, as is the case, here — they’ll be tempted to jump.
But I think the Jags go for the best middle linebacker in the draft and grab the heart and soul of the Alabama D in McClain. Jack Del Rio can plug McClain, a guy Nick Saban referred to his "on-the-field coach" throughout Alabama’s BCS championship season, at MLB right away and get immediate results. Instantly, he'll be the franchise's most productive 'backer and the core of the Jags defense.
Mock Draft 3.0 Pick: Jacksonville selecting Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, South Florida
McClain’s Mock Draft 3.0 Placement: No. 15 to N.Y. Giants
11. DENVER BRONCOS
Dez Bryant, WR/KR, Oklahoma State
What’s it say about Brandon Marshall’s reputation around the league that Denver basically put a “for sale” sign around him and only one team — Seattle — has had him in for a visit? Whether Marshall is in a Broncos uniform or not in '10, wide receiver is an area of concern in Denver. Coach Josh McDaniels tends to use multiple-receiver sets, but didn’t have the talent to do it as often as he would have liked in 2009. By going out and signing Justin Bannan, Jarvis Green and Jamal Williams over the past few weeks, Denver already addressed their defensive line needs with veterans.
Other draftniks have been awfully hard on Dez Bryant the past few weeks, with some saying he’s such a character question that he’s not worthy of a top-20 pick. Guess what? After he wows scouts at his workout, he’ll have those very same draftniks salivating. The Broncos will pounce at the chance to grab a guy many have compared to another “headache” McDaniels got the most out of in New England — Randy Moss.
Mock Draft 3.0 Pick: Dez Bryant, WR/KR, Oklahoma State
Bryant's Mock Draft 3.0 Placement: No. 11 to Denver
12. MIAMI DOLPHINS
Dan Williams, DT, Tennessee
Though he was re-signed earlier this month, 35-year-old NT Jason Ferguson is obviously not the long-term DT solution for Miami. Williams is. The Dolphins slipped from 10th to 18th in defense in '09 and hired Mike Nolan as their new defensive coordinator. Williams follows in the great tradition of the Tennessee DTs before him (Albert Haynesworth, Justin Harrell, Aubreyo Franklin) and could be that anchor of the Miami D-line for years to come.
Mock Draft 3.0 Pick: Dan Williams, DT, Tennessee
Williams' Mock Draft 3.0 Placement: No. 12 to Miami
13. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
Joe Haden, CB, Florida
The once-considered top-10 lock had an underwhelming Combine in February, but stole the show from teammates Tim Tebow, Carlos Dunlap and Brandon Spikes during Florida’s March 17 Pro Day. The top-rated cornerback on my board, Haden is drafted by the 49ers to address their primary needs in the secondary. Dre Bly, Walt Harris and Nate Clements all saw significant time at corner in 2009. They’re all getting a little long in the tooth. Insert Haden here and hope for an offensive tackle to slip to No. 17.
Mock Draft 3.0 Pick: Bryan Bulaga, OT Iowa
Haden’s Mock Draft 3.0 Placement: No. 7 to Cleveland
14. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS
C.J. Spiller, RB, Clemson
With Seattle grabbing Trent Williams at No. 6 and Spiller at No. 14, the Seahawks offense would see overnight improvement. In Spiller, coach Pete Carroll would get a Reggie Bush clone, but perhaps a player even better suited for the NFL. Spiller can be an every-down back, is a receiving threat out of the backfield and can return kicks and punts. Of his 50-plus TDs in college, 23 went for 50 yards or more. He’s a game-breaker.
When Carroll talks about a need for “firepower” in Seattle, it’s hard not to imagine Spiller’s face on a bulletin board with a heart around it. Williams and Spiller in the first round? If Carroll and new GM John Schneider can emerge from Day 1 with those two, there will be a lot of happy fans in the Pacific Northwest.
Mock Draft 3.0 Pick: C.J. Spiller, RB/KR, Clemson
Spiller's Mock Draft 3.0 Placement: No. 14 to Seattle
15. NEW YORK GIANTS
Sean Weatherspoon, LB, Missouri
Who?! Take a deep breath, Giants fans. This would be a good selection. Weatherspoon is a 239-pound producer that has a high football IQ, runs a 4.6 40 and recorded over 400 tackles in his college career. He also squats 770 pounds and was one of the bigger personalities at both the Senior Bowl and the Combine.
Likely capable of playing either inside or outside for the Giants, I can see him making an instant impact for defensive coordinator Perry Fewell. Some have Weatherspoon going late first round. Others have him going in the middle of the second round. No. 15 to New York seems right to me.
Mock Draft 3.0 Pick: Rolando McClain, LB, Alabama
Weatherspoon’s Mock Draft 3.0 Placement: No. 31 to Indianapolis
16. TENNESSEE TITANS
Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, South Florida
Coordinator Chuck Cecil’s defense struggled out of the gates in ‘09, but really came along down the stretch. Still, the pass rush wasn’t what it used to be. Now, with losing Pro Bowl DE Kyle Vanden Bosch to Detroit in free agency, the D-line becomes an even greater need. Insert Pierre-Paul. With just one year of D-I college ball (and just seven starts) under his belt, Pierre-Paul made a major splash on the scene in 2009. A 272-pound defensive end who clocked a 4.64 40 (and in a YouTube video captured at his bowl game, did 13 straight back flips), Pierre-Paul could be the pass-rush demon this team so sorely needs.
Mock Draft 3.0 Pick: Brian Price, DT, UCLA
Pierre-Paul’s Mock Draft 3.0 Placement: No. 10 to Jacksonville
17. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
Mike Iupati, OT/OG, Idaho
Look for the Niners to draft an O-lineman with one of their two first-round picks. Iupati’s an intriguing prospect and certainly a possibility at No. 17. Though he played guard — and not tackle — at Idaho, scouts see him as more than capable of anchoring either the left or right side of the line at an OT spot. Mike Solari, an ex-Seahawks offensive line coach, joins the San Fran staff and can work with Iupati. Joe Staley’s going to start at one tackle spot in San Francisco. I’m confident Iupati — after a few months of on-the-job-training — can man the other one. If not, he’ll work the interior at guard. Either way, it’s a can’t lose for the 49ers at No. 17.
Mock Draft 3.0 Pick: Trent Williams, OT, Oklahoma
Iupati’s Mock Draft 3.0 Placement: No. 18 to Pittsburgh
18. PITTSBURGH STEELERS
Earl Thomas, CB/S, Texas
If Iupati’s off the board at No.18 and Thomas somehow is still on it, Pittsburgh brass should take about three seconds before pulling the trigger and grabbing the Texas All-American defensive back. Thomas is a playmaker who dominated at the highest level of college football in 2009. The Steelers’ defensive backs were woeful in 2009, never recovering from the loss of Bryant McFadden and Troy Polamalu's injuries. Through 12 weeks in ’09, the Pittsburgh cornerbacks had zero interceptions. Thomas can pick up the slack. Plug him into Dick Lebeau’s defense and watch the sparks fly. He and Polamalu together? Watch out.
Mock Draft 3.0 Pick: Mike Iupati, OG, Idaho
Thomas’s Mock Draft 3.0 Placement: No. 19 to Atlanta
19. ATLANTA FALCONS
Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech
With 2007 first-round pick Jamaal Anderson likely moving to defensive tackle, the Falcons could be looking to scoop up a top-flight pass rusher with the 19th overall pick. John Abraham isn’t getting any younger, either. Insert Morgan, the most accomplished 4-3 pass rushing defensive end on the board. Expected to play second fiddle to Jason Pierre-Paul at the Combine, Morgan went out and wowed scouts and personnel. He looked good at his Pro Day, as well. Signing Dunta Robinson in free agency helped fill a massive void at cornerback. Now, Atlanta GM Thomas Dimitroff can address the team’s ailing pass rush with a local star.
Mock Draft 3.0 Pick: Earl Thomas, CB/S, Texas
Morgan’s Mock Draft 3.0 Placement: No. 8 to Oakland
20. HOUSTON TEXANS
Ryan Mathews, RB, Fresno State
Dunta Robinson's signing with Atlanta makes CB an immediate concern in Houston, but RB still remains a glaring need, as well. By not going after Thomas Jones, LaDanian Tomllinson, Chester Taylor or Larry Johnson in free agency — running back remains a giant question mark on the Houston depth chart. Ryan Mathews is a guy who can step up and shine right away. The highest the Texans have selected a RB in the draft has been in the third round: Vernand Morency (2005) and Steve Slaton (2008). Look for them to grab Mathews if he’s on the board at 20. A fierce competitor, Mathews opted to run the 40 at his Pro Day despite terrific Combine times. He nailed it again recently with a 4.48, solidifying a spot in the first round, and more than likely — the top 20. Houston will grab Mathews here, and then take a corner in Round 2.
Mock Draft 3.0 Pick: Kyle Wilson, CB, Boise State
Mathews’ Mock Draft 3.0 Placement: No. 44 to New England
21. CINCINNATI BENGALS
Taylor Mays, S, USC
Another former Trojan to the Bengals? Yes, sir. Adding to a list that already includes Carson Palmer, Keith Rivers, Frostee Rucker and Rey Maualuga, Cincy will go with another Trojan in Mays. Mays would be a tremendous addition to the Cincinnati defensive backfield. A three-time All American and a four-year starter at USC, Mays punishes receivers across the middle and has top-flight pro safety speed. Most pundits have him going much later than No. 21, but I can’t see Cincy passing on him if the draft plays out this way.
Mock Draft 3.0 Pick: Taylor Mays, S, USC
Mays' Mock Draft 3.0 Placement: No. 21 to Cincinnati
22. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
Brandon Graham, DE/LB, Michigan
Thus far this offseason, the Patriots have re-signed Pro Bowl nose tackle Vince Wilfork, 10-sack linebacker Tully Banta-Cain and top corner Leigh Bodden. Now, they need to add some more youth along the front seven.
Insert Brandon Graham, the do-everything defensive end/outside LB prospect out of Michigan. The Senior Bowl MVP pulled his hamstring at February’s Combine and has been out of action for weeks. He’ll work out for scouts and solidify his first round draft status on April 8. Projected to star in a 3-4 defense at the OLB, he’ll make a perfect fit in New England. Nothing flashy, just solid and reliable. Right up coach Bill Belichick’s alley.
Mock Draft 3.0 Pick: Brandon Graham, DE/OLB, Michigan to New England
Graham’s Mock Draft 3.0 Placement: No. 22 to New England
23. GREEN BAY PACKERS
Bruce Campbell, OT, Maryland
As this year's sparkling Combine "workout warrior," he carries a few red flags: A) He's started only 17 collegiate games. B) He never was voted to an All-ACC team. Not a first-, second- or third-team nod. C) His technique and film work leave a lot to be desired. That said, if he's sitting there at No. 23, Ted Thompson's going to have to pounce. At 6-foot-6 and capable of running a 4.78 40 and bench pressing 225 pounds 34 times — the upside is insane. it’s worth the risk.
Mock Draft 3.0 Pick: Bruce Campbell, OT, Maryland
Campbell's Mock Draft 3.0 Placement: No. 23 to Green Bay
24. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES
Maurkice Pouncey, C/G, Florida
When center Jamaal Jackson tore his ACL late in the season, guard Nick Cole struggled mightily to replace him. Guard Shaun Andrews was released. There are giant needs at offensive line in Philly. Pouncey, an All-American with experience at both the guard and center spots in college, would provide immediate depth and long-term stability inside. He’s been graded as the top interior lineman prospect in this draft — ahead of even Iupati — by some. A potential 10-year starter in Philly, the Eagles’ brass will be mighty happy to see him still on the board at No. 24.
Mock Draft 3.0 Pick: Maurkice Pouncey, C/G, Florida
Pouncey's Mock Draft 3.0 Placement: No. 24 to Philadelphia
25. BALTIMORE RAVENS
Carlos Dunlap, DE, Florida
Though the Ravens addressed their much-needed holes at wide receiver in acquiring both Donte Stallworth and Anquan Boldin, they lost two starting DEs — Dwan Edwards and Justin Bannan — in free agency. Dunlap’s stock has taken a hit because of character questions stemming from a DUI arrest days prior to the 2009 SEC championship game. If he slips to 25, look for GM Ozzie Newsome to scoop him up. The MVP of the 2008 season's BCS title game is a 6-foot-6 ,270-pound sack machine. Ray Lewis will take him under his wing and make sure he gets his act together in Baltimore.
Mock Draft 3.0 Pick: Golden Tate, WR, Notre Dame
Dunlap’s Mock Draft 3.0 Placement: No. 16 to Tennessee
26. ARIZONA CARDINALS
Sergio Kindle, DE/OLB, Texas
Karlos Dansby’s gone in 'Zona. So is safety Antrel Rolle. The Cardinals will be looking to address defense in the draft. At 6-foot-3, 255 pounds, Kindle has the size and speed to make an impact right away in the desert. Kindle, who ran a 4.71 40, made an unheard of 57 plays behind the line of scrimmage while at Texas. The Cardinals can certainly use that kind of defensive production.
Mock Draft 3.0 Pick: Sergio Kindle, DE/OLB, Texas
Kindle's Mock Draft 3.0 Placement: No. 26 to Arizona
27. DALLAS COWBOYS
Charles Brown, OT, USC
I’ve said this before, but I’m fairly sure Flozell Adams’ and Mark Colombo’s jock straps are still lying around midfield at the Metrodome from the clinic Jared Allen and Ray Edwards put on the veteran tackles in the playoffs. Neither is getting any younger, either. And though OT Doug Free played well for the Cowboys down the stretch, depth at offensive tackle is a major concern. A former tight end who made the move to left tackle in college, the 6-foot-5, 290 pound Brown is one of the more athletic offensive linemen in the draft. Look for Jerry Jones to scoop him up if he’s still on the board.
Mock Draft 3.0 Pick: Charles Brown, OT, USC
Brown's Mock Draft 3.0 Placement: No. 27 to Dallas
28. SAN DIEGO CHARGERS
Jahvid Best, RB, California
Growing up in Southern California, Ryan Mathews wore the No. 21 in high school because of LaDainian Tomlinson. He would be the perfect guy to fill in for LT. Alas, he’ll be gone by No. 28. Instead, San Diego will grab another California product in Best. The Cal junior ran a 4.35 40 at the Combine and bench pressed 225 pounds an impressive 18 times. He opted not to run at Cal’s recent Pro Day. There’s been skepticism about Best’s lingering health issues, but he appears to be hungry, healthy and ready to prove critics wrong. He makes sense for San Diego.
Mock Draft 3.0 Pick: Terrence Cody, DT, Alabama
Best’s Mock Draft 3.0 Placement: No. 38 to Cleveland
29. NEW YORK JETS
Terrence Cody, DT, Alabama
No one is a bigger fan of Cody as an NFL prospect than me. I’ve had him going as high as No. 9 to Buffalo. I truly think he’ll be a star at the next level. New York seems like the perfect fit for the big guy and if he’s still on the board, I see the Jets grabbing him. Kris Jenkins is coming off an injury, isn’t getting any younger and Rex Ryan’s 3-4 scheme suits Cody perfectly. Mount Cody weighed in at Alabama ’s recent pro day at a respectable 348 pounds, 22 less than he did at the Senior Bowl. He’s a run-stuffing DT that demands attention from multiple interior offensive linemen. Forget the silly shirtless photos on the Internet and focus on his skills. Because those — far more than the pictures — are what’s really nasty.
Mock Draft 3.0 Pick: Devin McCourty, CB, Rutgers
Cody’s Mock Draft 3.0 Placement: No. 28 to San Diego
30. MINNESOTA VIKINGS
Kyle Wilson, CB, Boise State
With Cedric Griffin on the mend, Antoine Winfield battling injuries and not much depth on the roster — look for Minnesota to grab a top-flight cornerback if there’s one left on the board. Amazingly, Wilson could still be there. He is a consensus top-three corner in this draft. The 5-foot-10 Jersey native is a physical corner who can also provide big time value in the return game. Wilson opted not to run at the Combine, but will be doing so at his Pro Day in Boise on March 26. Expect his stock to get even hotter after an impressive workout.
Mock Draft 3.0 Pick: Jared Odrick, DE/DT, Penn State
Wilson’s Mock Draft 3.0 Placement: No. 20 to Houston
31. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS
Brian Price, DT, UCLA
As well as DTs Antonio Johnson and Daniel Muir performed in this past season, neither is the dynamic talent inside that Price is. Ideally fit for coordinator Larry Coyer’s 4-3 scheme, Price is a 6-foot-3, 300-pound former Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year. Price turns just 21 in April, but has some big-game experience under his belt. In an upset win at Tennessee, the junior had five tackles and two sacks. Against Arizona State, he had six tackles and two sacks, as well. A menace inside, he’d force opposing offensive lines to divert at least some attention from ends Robert Mathis and Dwight Freeney.
Mock Draft 3.0: Sean Weatherspoon, LB, Missouri
Price's Mock Draft 3.0 Placement: No. 35 to Tampa Bay
32. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
Everson Griffen, OLB/DE, USC
When New Orleans recently opted to not retain longtime veteran Charles Grant, defensive line became a draft day need for New Orleans. Griffen, one of the few players in the draft who played both the DE and OLB position in college, had eight sacks, 9.5 tackles for a loss and 45 tackles in his one year as a starter in 2009. Clemson pass rush specialist Ricky Sapp, or either of the top two remaining defensive tackles on the board — UCLA’s Brian Price or Penn State’s Jared Odrick — could be possible options, too.
Mock Draft 3.0: Everson Griffen, OLB/DE, USC
Griffen's Mock Draft 2.0 Placement: No. 32 to New Orleans
33. St. Louis Rams — Jared Odrick, DT, Penn State
34. Detroit Lions—Roger Saffold, OT/OG, Indiana
35. Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Demayrius Thomas, WR, Georgia Tech
36. Kansas City Chiefs — Daryl Washington, LB, TCU
37. Washington Redskins — Tim Tebow, QB, Florida
38. Cleveland Browns — Devin McCourty, CB, Rutgers
39. Oakland Raiders — Jared Veldheer, OT, Hillsdale
40. San Diego Chargers — Cam Thomas, DT, North Carolina
41. Buffalo Bills — Golden Tate, WR, Notre Dame
42. Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Vladimir Ducasse, OT/OG, Massachusetts
43. Miami Dolphins — Brandon LaFell, WR, LSU
44. New England Patriots — Jermaine Gresham, TE, Oklahoma
45. Denver Broncos — John Jerry, OG, Ole Miss
46. New York Giants — Corey Wooton, DE/DT, Northwestern
47. New England Patriots — Jerry Hughes, DE/OLB, TCU
48. Carolina Panthers — Ricky Sapp, DE/OLB, Clemson
49. San Francisco 49ers — Dexter McCluster, RB/WR, Ole Miss
50. Kansas City Chiefs — Rob Gronkowski, TE, Arizona
51. Houston Texans — Kareem Jackson, CB, Alabama
52. Pittsburgh Steelers — Patrick Robinson, CB, Florida State
53. New England Patriots — Damian Williams, WR, USC
54. Cincinnati Bengals — Aaron Hernandez, TE, Florida
55. Philadelphia Eagles — Nate Allen, S, South Florida
56. Green Bay Packers — Dominique Franks, CB, Oklahoma
57. Baltimore Ravens — Akwasi Owusu-Ansah, CB, Indiana University (Pennsylvania)
58. Arizona Cardinals — Koa Misi, OLB, Utah
59. Dallas Cowboys — Reshad Jones, S, Georgia
60. Seattle Seahawks — Jermaine Cunningham, DE, Florida
61. New York Jets — Morgan Burnett, S, Georgia Tech
62. Minnesota Vikings — Toby Gerhart, RB, Stanford
63. Indianapolis Colts — Jerome Murphy, CB, South Florida
64. New Orleans Saints — LaMarr Houston, DT, Texas
65. St. Louis Rams — Carlton Mitchell, WR, South Florida
66. Detroit Lions — Jonathan Dwyer, RB, Georgia Tech
67. Tampa Bay Buccaneers — C.J. Wilson, DE, East Carolina
68. Kansas City Chiefs — Alex Carrington, DE, Arkansas State
69. Oakland Raiders — Colt McCoy, QB, Texas
70. Philadelphia Eagles — Anthony Dixon, RB, Mississippi State
71. Cleveland Browns — Navarro Bowman, LB, Penn State
72. Buffalo Bills — Geno Atkins, DT, Georgia
73. Miami Dolphins — Major Wright, S, Florida
74. Jacksonville Jaguars — Brandon Spikes, LB, Florida
75. Chicago Bears — Arrelious Benn, WR, Illinois
76. New York Giants — Chad Jones, S, LSU
77. Tennessee Titans — Mike Johnson, OG, Alabama
78. Carolina Panthers — Linval Joseph, DT, East Carolina
79. San Francisco 49ers — Tony Pike, QB, Cincinnati
80. Denver Broncos — Marshall Newhouse, OG, TCU
81. Houston Texans — Chris Cook, CB, Virginia
82. Pittsburgh Steelers — Jon Asamoah, OG, Illinois
83. Atlanta Falcons — Willie Young, DE, North Carolina State
84. Cincinnati Bengals — Mitch Petrus, OG, Arkansas
85. Oakland Raiders — D’Anthony “Boo” Smith, DT, Louisiana Tech
86. Green Bay Packers — Joe McKnight, RB, USC
87. Philadelphia Eagles — Amari Spievy, CB, Iowa
88. Baltimore Ravens — Dorin Dickerson, TE, Pittsburgh
89. Arizona Cardinals — Dan LeFevour, QB, Central Michigan
90. Dallas Cowboys — Brandon Ghee, CB, Wake Forest
91. San Diego Chargers — Jason Worilds, DE/OLB, Virginia Tech
92. Cleveland Browns — Montario Hardesty, RB, Tennessee
93. Minnesota Vikings — Perrish Cox, CB/KR, Oklahoma State
94. Indianapolis Colts — Jordan Shipley, WR, Texas
95. New Orleans Saints — LeGarrette Blount, RB, Oregon
96. Cincinnati Bengals — Eric Norwood, LB, South Carolina
97. Tennessee Titans — Mardy Gilyard, WR, Cincinnati
98. Atlanta Falcons — A.J. Jefferson, CB, Fresno State