Will he slide or not?

Will he slide or not?

Free Agency always reeks havoc on any early prognostication.   So Brent Sobleski returns to tweak his previous attempt at mocking the league’s most interesting weekend.

Round 1

# Team Selection Position/College
1 St. Louis Sam Bradford QB/Oklahoma
Analysis: For a franchise which has not selected a quarterback prospect in the first round since 1963, eventually the Rams need to take a leap of faith at said position.  While it is certainly easy to slot the likes of Suh or Gerald McCoy at this selection based on their immense talents, St.Louis has finished with a top three choice in the draft three years running.  The dominance of a defensive tackle simply cannot affect the win column as much as landing a franchise quarterback.
2 Detroit Ndamukong Suh DT/Nebraska
Analysis: With the Rams predicament, the Lions have the luxury of selecting whichever of the top two prospects they prefer along the defensive line.   Suh is the bigger and more physical of the two that can play more 1 technique to compliment the recently acquired Corey Williams from Cleveland and Kyle Vanden Bosch at end.
3 Tampa Bay Gerald McCoy DT/Oklahoma
Analysis: At least one source within the Buccaneers organization has stated the team actually prefers this McCoy over the highly decorated Suh.  The preference would be based merely on style and system.   If Tampa is going to once again rely on a heavy attacking Cover 2 scheme, which they reverted to late last season, McCoy is the disruptive type of 3 technique they desperately need to build around.
4 Washington Russell Okung OT/Oklahoma St.
Analysis: Uncertainty around the quarterback position makes this selection very intriguing.   With the recent retirement of veteran stalwart Chris Samuels, and the dearth of talent along the ‘Skins offensive line, taking arguably the draft’s top left tackle prospect appears the most prudent decision. Especially considering Okung’s overall athleticism and how well it would translate to new Head Coach Mike Shanahan’s offensive system.
5 Kansas City Eric Berry S/Tennessee
Analysis: The Chiefs could look at numerous different directions to address their overall needs.    Berry is simply the best talent available at this point and can become a legitimate defensive playmaker and the new face of the franchise.
6 Seattle Jimmy Clausen QB/Notre Dame
Analysis: If new head honcho Pete Carroll is to make a move at the quarterback position, it is always better to do it sooner rather than later.   Matt Hasselbeck is a solid veteran presence, but his play has dropped dramatically recently while injuries have amounted.  Clausen has a history with Carroll dating back to his high school days while possessing the athleticism and accuracy to fit nicely into Offensive Coordinator Jeremy Bates’ system.
7 Cleveland Jared Odrick DT/Penn St.
Analysis: Not a sexy pick by any means for the Browns, yet the addition of Jared Odrick adds to a thinned out defensive line in Cleveland.   His ability to get up field, create disruption, while possessing a non-system specific skill set translate well to a defense in need of talent.  The team’s new regime under Holmgren and Heckert has a history of building the trenches first.  While Odrick is arguably a better talent than Tyson Jackson who went number three overall just a year ago.
8 Oakland Trent Williams OT/Oklahoma
Analysis: The automatic choices for Raiders’ owner Al Davis would seem to be Bruce Campbell, Jason Pierre-Paul, or Taylor Mays after their spectacular performances at the Combine.   While Campbell in particular was lighting up the field in Indianapolis, another offensive lineman was having a great workout of his own…Trent Williams.   Williams is certainly the more polished of the two aforementioned prospects that can immediately help Oakland’s woeful offensive tackle situation.
9 Buffalo Bryan Bulaga OT/Iowa
Analysis: Despite desperately searching for a potential franchise signal caller and coming up just short in this particular draft, the Bills will gladly take one of the top left tackles to solidify the blindside.    After a rash of bad decisions in regarding the position just prior to last season, Demetrius Bell was shoved into the spotlight.  He proved he is not the long term answer.  Bulaga was playing as a good as any lineman in the nation once bowl season commenced and is as well coached as any professional staff can expect to fill said void.
10 Jacksonville Dez Bryant WR/Oklahoma St.
Analysis: What is the best way for a football franchise to sell tickets?  More offense.  Mark Sims-Walker burst on the scene last year for the Jags but was easily shut down in some games due to a lack of a quality receiver opposite the field.   Add a talent such as Dez Bryant to the wide receiver corps, along with one of the league’s top running backs, include a young and improving offensive line; and the Jaguars will be tough to stop for opposing defenses.
11 Denver (from Chicago) Rolando McClain LB/Alabama
Analysis: McClain’s recent revelation about his suffering through Crohn’s disease should not have too much of an impact on his draft status…if everything checks out properly.  The Butkus Award winner never missed a game in his collegiate career despite the aforementioned malady.  Denver continues to revamp their front seven by replacing an average Andra Davis at Mac linebacker with an oversized and intelligent field general.
12 Miami Dan Williams DT/Tennessee
Analysis: Nose tackle will continue to be a concern for the Dolphins until someone is selected to replace the soon to be 36 year old Jason Ferguson at the point of attack.   He is an aging 0 technique that is also coming off a season ending injury and will now be suspended for the first half of the 2010 NFL season. Dan Williams is a squat and strong defender coming of a fantastic senior campaign while also being the best pure two gap nose tackle among his contemporaries.  A perfect marriage of value plus need.
13 San Francisco Joe Haden CB/Florida
Analysis: As this off season progresses, Haden will look to improve from his surprisingly disappointing Combine performance.  While a forty yard dash is never the best indicator of a football player, no cornerback who has run a 4.5 or above has been drafted in the top ten this past decade.  Recent news is that the cover man had a back injury.  So further testing shall be interesting.  Coach Singletary would gladly open his arms as this cornerback slides slightly to the cornerback deprived 49ers.
14 Seattle (from Denver) Jason Pierre-Paul DE/South Florida
Analysis: Defensive end has been one of the targeted positions for the Seahawks entering this off season.  Coach Carroll became accustomed while at USC possessing freakish athletes on his defense, especially off the edge.   Pierre-Paul fits said description to a tee while even presenting the possibility of playing a somewhat similar role as the elephant in Carroll’s system, if the coach so chooses.  And who better to coach up such a raw prospect than one of the best college coaches who just moved to the professional ranks?
15 NY Giants Derrick Morgan DE/Georgia Tech
Analysis: The G-Men need help along all three lines of their defensive unit.   Safety was the team’s initial concern and was addressed with the signing of Antrel Rolle in free agency.   Attention should turn to the team’s pass rush which has not been the same since Coach Spagnuolo departed, Michael Strahan retired, and Osi Umenyiora decided to go AWOL.  Morgan is the most polished edge rusher in this class.
16 Tennessee Brandon Graham DE/Michigan
Analysis: Although slightly undersized as a traditional 43 defensive end, it never prevented Brandon Graham from being productive at the collegiate level.   The Titans will hope he can transition easily to the professional ranks and continue to create the type of havoc they have grew accustomed with names such as Jevon Kearse, Albert Hayensworth, and Kyle Vanden Bosch produced over the years.
17 San Francisco (from Carolina) Earl Thomas S/Texas
Analysis: San Francisco could go in numerous directions with needs at their right tackle position, more wide receiver help, etc.  But by adding Earl Thomas to the earlier selection of Joe Haden; they would be forming one of the truly dynamic secondaries in the National Football League.   Any help along the secondary is a dire need for a defensive based team who is very thin along the back line.
18 Pittsburgh Bruce Campbell OT/Maryland
Analysis: Despite a Super Bowl victory two seasons ago and then falling just short of the playoffs this past season, the Steelers offensive line has continued to be one of the weaker units in the league.   Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has been one of the top sacked signal callers in the league.  Yet this team has yet to seriously address the situation.   Campbell is the type of athlete the team has sorely lacked up front for years.  And under the vision of Mike Tomlin as head coach, Pittsburgh has looked toward becoming more athletic overall.
19 Atlanta Taylor Mays S/USC
Analysis: A great workout by Mays recently has once again landed this prospect squarely into the first round range.   His freakish athleticism has never been questioned, but his play on the field has.   On a team like the Falcons, they need playmakers in the secondary and can be afforded the chance on a high ceiling prospect with plenty of bust potential.
20 Houston Golden Tate WR/Notre Dame
Analysis: Seemingly, Andre Johnson has done it all offensively for the Texas in recent years.  Kevin Walter is a competent second receiver but is not feared by opposing defenses.   Tate has the explosive qualities to compliment Johnson tremendously while continuing to improve an offense which already ranked fourth in the NFL in 2009.
21 Cincinnati Brian Price DT/UCLA
Analysis: With a lockdown secondary and two physically impressive pass rushers off the edge in Antwan Odom and Michael Johnson, a presence in the middle is needed to be a constant disruptive force pushing the middle of the pocket.   Price was one of the top defenders in the nation with his 23.5 tackles for loss and knives in the backfield as well as anyone in this class.
22 New England C.J. Spiller RB/Clemson
Analysis: Positional value drives down a dynamic talent such as C.J. Spiller, the Patriots would benefit greatly from his abilities.  Spiller simply adds another element to an already explosive offense.  He may never be an every down back, but the Clemson product can pick up some of the slack left by Laurence Maroney, learn under the watchful care of veteran Kevin Faulk, while also contributing on special teams.
23 Green Bay Anthony Davis OT/Rutgers
Analysis: Physically, Anthony Davis may be the most gifted offensive lineman in this draft class.  Unfortunately with a recent bad workout and questions being raised about his overall work ethic; he could just as easily slide.    The Packers would count their blessings based in their dire need to improve their offensive tackle position.
24 Philadelphia Sean Weatherspoon LB/Missouri
Analysis: Ravaged a year ago by injuries along their linebacking corps, the Eagles could benefit greatly by bringing in a talent and personality like Sean Weatherspoon.   ‘Spoon can play inside or outside and is just as comfortable dropping back in coverage as he is running sideline to sideline defending the run.
25 Baltimore Carlos Dunlap DE/Florida
Analysis: Recently receiving good reviews from scouts, Dunlap had been discussed previously as having a penchant for not playing to his fullest while at Florida.   He has the potential to be a dominant 5 technique opposite Haloti Ngata.   With a locker room as strong as the one found in Baltimore, along with the veteran presence on the field, the Ravens could expect to get the best out of this tremendous talent.
26 Arizona Everson Griffen DE/USC
Analysis: Another prospect that has never quite played completely to his fantastic physical prowess.   Griffen showed flashed while at Southern Cal.   He has the athleticism to play in space, while being an effective edge rusher.   A combination teams look for in regards to drafting 34 outside linebackers.  A position Arizona has looked to upgrade for quite some time.
27 Dallas Mike Iupati OG/Idaho
Analysis: The average age for the Cowboys’ starting offensive line next season is over 32 years.  Owner/General Manager Jerry Jones loves big, physical, and nasty offensive linemen.   Enter Mike Iupati who fits the bill to a tee.   The former Vandal needs refinement in technique, but his natural ability is off the charts for a guard prospect.
28 San Diego Ryan Matthews RB/Fresno St.
Analysis: In a surprise move, the Chargers finally tendered running back Darren Sproles just prior to the flood of free agency.  This is merely an indication of how desperate their situation is currently at running back.   Matthews has the size, ability, and skill to step in immediately and take over the load for one of the better offenses in the NFL.
29 NY Jets Jerry Hughes DE/TCU
Analysis: Coach Rex Ryan has already stated this is a make or break season for former top five overall selection Vernon Gholston.   The former Ohio State product was never a fit for 34 based teams, but the Jets hoped his natural physical talent would take over.   It has not and the team is still lacking the dynamic presence off the edge to create consistent pressure.   Hughes is a more natural and flexible edge rusher who recently put together an outstanding linebacker workout for NFL scouts.
30 Minnesota Maurkice Pouncey C/Florida
Analysis: John Sullivan took over at center last off season when veteran rock Matt Birk departed for more purple pastures.   While the Notre Dame graduate did an adequate job on the pivot, he does not set the point of attack as consistently as his predecessor once did.   The difference was noticeable in their ample running attack.   On a team without too many holes, they select the top center (who can also play guard) and one of the best interior blockers in this class to off set said problem.
31 Indianapolis Charles Brown OT/USC
Analysis: Priority number one for the Colts…protect Peyton Manning.  Former second round pick, Tony Ugoh has been a disappointment after a stellar rookie campaign.   Charlie Johnson is solid but is not the long term answer at the position.  Charles Brown has the athleticism and upside to be a perfect fit as the blindside protector in the Colt’s high octane offense.
32 New Orleans Sergio Kindle LB/Texas
Analysis: A selection the caliber of Sergio Kindle addresses two issues on this Super Bowl Champion defense.   First, Kindle is a natural pass rusher off the edge.   Second, he can replace Scott Fujita on the strong side who is now sampling the water in the free agency pool.  Kindle’s speed and athleticism on the turf in the Super Dome would be a boon.

Round 2

# Team Selection Position/College
33 St. Louis Kyle Wilson CB/Boise St.
34 Detroit Jahvid Best RB/California
35 Tampa Bay Damian Williams WR/USC
36 Kansas City Aaron Hernandez TE/Florida
37 Washington Nate Allen S/South Florida
38 Cleveland Devin McCourty CB/Rutgers
39 Oakland Patrick Robinson CB/Florida St.
40 Seattle Vladimir Ducasse OT/Massachusetts
41 Buffalo Brandon LaFell WR/LSU
42 Tampa Bay (from Chicago) Navorro Bowman LB/Penn St.
43 Miami Arrelious Benn WR/Illinois
44 New England (from Jacksonville) Jermaine Gresham TE/Oklahoma
45 Denver Terrence Cody NT/Alabama
46 NY Giants Daryl Washington LB/TCU
47 New England (from Tennessee) Brandon Spikes LB/Florida
48 Carolina Corey Wootton DE/Northwestern
49 San Francisco Rodger Saffold OT/Indiana
50 Kansas City (from Atlanta) Ricky Sapp DE/Clemson
51 Houston Kareem Jackson CB/Alabama
52 Pittsburgh Chris Cook CB/Virginia
53 New England Tyson Alualu DE/California
54 Cincinnati Jonathan Dwyer RB/Georgia Tech
55 Philadelphia Koa Misi DE/Utah
56 Green Bay Perrish Cox CB/Oklahoma St.
57 Baltimore Dominique Franks CB/Oklahoma
58 Arizona Rob Gronkowski TE/Arizona
59 Dallas Alex Carrington DE/Arkansas St.
60 San Diego Cam Thomas NT/North Carolina
61 NY Jets DeMaryius Thomas WR/Georgia Tech
62 Minnesota Dexter McCluster RB/Mississippi
63 Indianapolis A.J. Edds LB/Iowa
64 New Orleans Toby Gerhart RB/Stanford

Round 3

# Team Selection Position/College
65 St. Louis Jeremy Williams WR/Tulane
66 Detroit Amari Spievey CB/Iowa
67 Tampa Bay Jason Worilds DE/Virginia Tech
68 Washington *pick forfeited* via supplemental draft
69 Kansas City Matt Tennant C/Boston College
70 Oakland Geno Atkins DT/Georgia
71 Philadelphia (from Seattle) Chad Jones S/LSU
72 Cleveland Tony Pike QB/Cincinnati
73 Buffalo Tim Tebow QB/Florida
74 Miami T.J. Ward S/Oregon
75 Jacksonville Brandon Ghee CB/Wake Forest
76 Chicago Mike Johnson OG/Alabama
77 New York Giants Arthur Jones DT/Syracuse
78 Tennessee Jacoby Ford WR/Clemson
79 Carolina Marshawn Gilyard WR/Cincinnati
80 San Francisco Antonio Brown WR/Central Michigan
81 Denver Jarrett Brown QB/West Virginia
82 Houston Montario Hardesty RB/Tennessee
83 Pittsburgh Jamar Chaney LB/Mississippi St.
84 Atlanta Eric Norwood LB/South Carolina
85 Cincinnati Reshad Jones S/Georgia
86 Oakland (from New England) Major Wright S/Florida
87 Green Bay Joe McKnight RB/USC
88 Philadelphia Dennis Pitta TE/BYU
89 Arizona (from Baltimore) Colt McCoy QB/Texas
90 Arizona Taylor Price WR/Ohio
91 Dallas Morgan Burnett S/Georgia Tech
92 San Diego Jerome Murphy CB/South Florida
93 Cleveland (from New York Jets) Joshua Moore CB/Kansas St.
94 Minnesota Sean Lee LB/Penn St.
95 Indianapolis Mike Neal DT/Purdue
96 New Orleans Jimmy Graham TE/Miami