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Updated: March 10, 2010, 1:28 PM ET
Mock Draft 3.0: Splitting differences
Will it be Suh, McCoy or a surprise? Todd and Mel make their picks
* Comments 1
By Mel Kiper and Todd McShay
It's fair to say that defensive prospects continue to dominate regardless of who is projecting the early stages of the 2010 NFL draft. But a wrench has been thrown into previous suggestions that the top of the draft would be a decision between a pair of defensive linemen, and both Mel Kiper and Todd McShay have added several surprises to the top 10.
Both of our draft experts have changed their top pick, and even as a deeper consensus forms as teams address some needs through free agency, the two are split on over two-thirds of the first-round picks.
Some differences include where Earl Thomas could land, Jimmy Clausen's stock and how a deep group of tackles stacks up. But perhaps as no surprise, Kiper and McShay agree on an unconventional choice by the Raiders.
Mel Kiper/Todd McShay Mock Draft
St. Louis Rams
Kiper: The Rams passed up Matt Ryan for Chris Long and Mark Sanchez for Jason Smith during the past two years, and the results are obvious: They'll draft here. Their feeling has changed, and they have a chance to pick Bradford, who could have been No. 1 over Matthew Stafford last year. Questions still surround Bradford, but the Rams are now thinking it could be a greater risk not to take a guy like Bradford.
McShay: Taking a quarterback at No. 1 overall has proved risky, and adding to the uncertainty are concerns about the spread system in which Bradford played, the fact that he was generally well protected and the shoulder injury that ended his 2009 season. However, Bradford has the accuracy and overall intangibles that NFL starters need, and if his shoulder exams and workouts are satisfactory, we expect him to be the Rams' choice.
Kiper: Detroit has made a pair of moves in the past week to upgrade along the defensive line, and adding a player of Suh's caliber here would put them in position to make massive strides on defense in 2010. They can't lose with Suh or McCoy here, but I give the slight edge to Suh.
McShay: Suh might not penetrate opposing backfields as consistently as Gerald McCoy, but he should quickly emerge as a three-down force along the interior. Suh could make the same kind of impact that Albert Haynesworth made in Tennessee when current Lions head coach Jim Schwartz was on the Titans' staff.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Kiper: It would be hard to pass up a potential Pro Bowl player and a guy whom many consider the best overall player in the draft at No. 3. McCoy should provide an immediate upgrade against both the run and as an interior pass-rusher, which should help the secondary in the process.
McShay:McCoy is the best pass-rushing defensive tackle in this class. His quick first step and relentless pursuit of the quarterback would be a welcome addition to a Buccaneers defense that tied for 26th in the league with just 28 sacks last season.
QB, Notre Dame
OT, Oklahoma State
Kiper: I continue to believe that Clausen will see his stock rise when he is physically ready to perform for NFL personnel. He has all the tools to become a solid NFL quarterback, and the Redskins need one and have a chance to develop one.
McShay: Bradford would make sense if he's available, but reaching for Jimmy Clausen would be a mistake. If Bradford is off the board, the Redskins would be wise to solidify their offensive line with Okung, who is the top-rated tackle on the board and a player who is ready to step into a starting role immediately.
Kansas City Chiefs
Kiper: The Chiefs will race to the podium when Berry is still there at this position. He's a clear need fit and is exceptional value here, and Berry showed in Indy that his physical capabilities match his outstanding film. The Ed Reed comparisons are legit.
McShay: The Chiefs have bigger needs, including offensive tackle, but Berry is clearly the best available player in this scenario. Berry's range and ball skills would significantly upgrade a safety group that comes up short in both areas.
OT, Oklahoma State
Kiper: Seattle won't find the heir to Walter Jones anywhere on the virtually empty free-agent market, and Okung is an ideal replacement here. I see Okung as a steady player whose stock hasn't slipped all year. He'd be a safe, solid pick who would directly impact the team.
McShay:Bulaga is not a special athlete, but he has enough size, balance and technique to develop into a solid starter in the NFL. Seattle's biggest weakness is at tackle, and it needs to stay ahead of the curve rather than take a chance that another top tackle will be available at No. 14.
DE, South Florida
Kiper: Pierre-Paul has the chance to be a dynamic star in the NFL if he continues to develop, and he would be a dangerous pass-rusher as he is now. With off-the-charts physical skills for his size, he's an exciting talent. I said before that he could be the Mario Williams of this draft, and I maintain that thought.
McShay: Haden ran surprisingly slow 40-yard dashes at the combine, but we cannot find any issues with his playing speed on tape. Cleveland could opt for top WR Dez Bryant here, but from a positional value standpoint, we believe the team is better off spending top-seven money on a cornerback.
OT, Maryland Terrapins
Kiper: You could see the Raiders taking Trent Williams or Anthony Davis here, but Campbell fits the Al Davis profile. He's a need pick and maybe a reach, but he's also a stunningly impressive physical package, the tops among all tackles available. Campbell has star talent, but his productivity is still a question. In a nutshell, he makes sense in Oakland.
McShay:Why not? A fringe first-round prospect on most boards, Campbell was the workout warrior at this year's combine, and Al Davis' obsession with height-weight-speed combos is well-known. Trent Williams would be a better choice but also would be a reach, and Campbell's physical tools are off the charts.
QB, Notre Dame
Kiper: Dez Bryant could be a temptation here, but a versatile talent like Williams, who has lined up at left and right tackle, would help the Bills immediately. He would aid the run game and help whichever Bills passer is taking snaps stay upright.
McShay: We think the Bills should go in a different direction, but they need a long-term answer at quarterback, and Clausen is the second-best prospect in this class. Assuming his surgically repaired toe checks out, he likely will be the pick.
DE, Georgia Tech
Kiper: Jacksonville won't stop with the signing of Aaron Kampman, not when it got two sacks out of defensive ends last season. Morgan is great value at No. 10, a remarkably productive and versatile player, and he would allow them to rotate in Derrick Harvey. Don't forget, it's not just a pass-rush with Morgan -- he's great against the run.
McShay: The surprise Kampman signing fills a need at defensive end, and although quarterback and outside linebacker are need areas as well, no player at either position would be worth drafting here. An upgrade at safety is needed, too, and Thomas has the instincts, closing burst and ball skills to be a starter from day one.
Denver Broncos (from Chicago)
WR, Oklahoma State
WR, Oklahoma State
Kiper: I had the Broncos taking Dan Williams here until they used free agency to add the likes of Jamal Williams to that interior line. Problem solved. Bryant fills another need and would be a downfield threat and the top wide receiver available for a team that is likely to lose Brandon Marshall.
McShay: Marshall is generating interest from other teams and may not be in a Broncos uniform next year. Even if Marshall doesn't leave, the Broncos have to get help at receiver, and Bryant is the best receiver in his class by far.
Kiper: Getting Karlos Dansby in free agency frees up the Dolphins to take Williams, who will in turn help an improved linebacking corps by occupying blockers and disrupting both the passing and running games. Williams is stout, strong and underrated as a disruptive force.
McShay: Jason Ferguson is a 35-year-old coming off a season-ending injury and facing an eight-game suspension. In other words, Miami would be wise to get help at nose tackle through the draft, and Williams is the premier two-gap player on the board.
San Francisco 49ers
Kiper: A less-than-great 40 showing in Indy was the first chink in the armor for Haden, but he's still clearly the top cornerback in the draft if you watch the film. If San Francisco opts to let Nate Clements go, Haden would be a perfect pick. Even if it doesn't, he has great value.
McShay: San Francisco's greatest need is at right tackle, so taking Williams would make sense in terms of both value and need. Williams has the physical tools and toughness to push for immediate playing time on the right side and quickly develop into an effective starter.
Seattle Seahawks (from Denver)
Kiper: Seattle needs a pass-rusher on the edge of a 4-3 scheme, and Griffen both fits the bill and has a history with Pete Carroll. Griffen proved to scouts at the combine that he's a physical force. He could be even better in the pros than he was at USC.
McShay: This might be a bit early to take a running back, but Spiller could help the Seahawks in a number of ways. Aside from giving the ground game a boost, he also would provide explosiveness in the return game and as a slot receiver.
New York Giants
Kiper: McClain is the top inside linebacker in the draft, and the Giants would be thrilled to see him available at No. 15. Speed is the only question surrounding McClain, but he's an instinctive player with great diagnostic skills that make up for those question marks. He's also a fiery leader.
McShay: McClain has yet to run the 40 for teams and shows some inconsistencies on film, but the Giants would do well to get him here after Antonio Pierce became a salary-cap casualty. McClain is an excellent tackler who shows elite instincts when playing at his best.
DE, Georgia Tech
Kiper: Kindle has proved surprisingly effective against the run despite questions about his size. But he has a long frame, could add some weight and has great value as a pass-rusher. He could be a great third-down edge guy in the absence of Kyle Vanden Bosch.
McShay: With unrestricted free agent Vanden Bosch leaving in free agency, the Titans need an end who's capable of pushing for immediate playing time. Morgan is the most consistent and reliable end in this class on film and would step in nicely in Tennessee.
San Francisco 49ers (from Carolina)
DE/OLB, South Florida
Kiper: Iupati isn't a tackle, but he is the most dominant offensive lineman in the draft class and could be the Steve Hutchinson of this draft. That he could go this high as a guard is indicative of his talent. A former defensive player, Iupati can immediately improve the run game and plays with a mean streak.
McShay: San Francisco is looking to upgrade an inconsistent pass rush that didn't perform as well last season as statistics suggest. Pierre-Paul is a risky pick because of his lack of experience at the FBS level, but he has rare upside, and 49ers head coach Mike Singletary is the kind of motivator who can help Pierre-Paul reach his potential.
Kiper: Davis has all the physical tools to become a Pro Bowl left tackle and will represent great value at No. 18. Pittsburgh needs to protect and run-block better in 2010, and Davis' size and mobility make him capable of protecting the blind side and mauling in the run game.
McShay: Owner Art Rooney Jr. has said publicly that he wants to see Pittsburgh returning to the smashmouth ground game that made the organization so successful in the past. Iupati is the top-ranked guard on the board and a mauler who could help the Steelers get back to their old ways of running inside.
Kiper: Graham has carried the momentum from a dominating season -- he led the nation in tackles for loss -- to an impressive Senior Bowl and combine. Projected by some as an outside linebacker, Graham uses great quickness and leverage and could be a fantastic pass-rusher in a 4-3. He's also strong and pursues well against the run.
McShay: Atlanta struggled to mount a consistent pass rush last season, so the Falcons should be in the market for an edge rusher. At 275 pounds, Griffen has the closing speed, athletic ability and power to make an immediate impact, contribute against the run and develop into a starter.
CB, Boise State
CB, Boise State
Kiper: Atlanta's free-agent addition of Dunta Robinson is now Houston's hole to fill, and Wilson should be able to step in immediately to help the Texans' secondary. Wilson's stock is in solid shape after the combine, where he also showed off surprising strength.
McShay: With Robinson gone, there is a void at cornerback, and Wilson is more than just a simple need filler. At the Senior Bowl, he showed the fluid hips, burst and toughness to make him an impact player and a good value pick at this point in the first round.
Kiper: Even if the Bengals add a veteran wideout to pair with Chad Ochocinco, they'll still need to find a younger threat in the passing game. Benn displays speed, strength and strong hands and has the ability help in the return game.
McShay: Wide receiver may be a more pressing need, but safety isn't far behind, and Mays would be tough to pass on at this point. There are clear concerns about his inconsistencies in coverage, but he has a rare blend of size and speed.
New England Patriots
Kiper: You could see the Patriots taking a shot on an outside linebacker like Jerry Hughes, but Spiller would give this team a home run threat it desperately needs and be a steal here. Spiller's speed was confirmed in Indy, and he has the hands to be both a danger in the passing game and a return option.
McShay: New England re-signed OLB Tully Banta-Cain but needs to continue to address the position and bolster its pass rush. Graham has been impressive during the pre-draft process and has the burst, tenacity and consistency to make an immediate impact.
Green Bay Packers
Kiper: Green Bay is lucky Aaron Rodgers was still standing at the end of last season. The Packers can't take that chance again. Upgrading the offensive line is a huge priority, and although Bulaga has had his off days, he's an impressive talent who moves well and has long arms that disrupt pass-rushers.
McShay: Davis is free-falling because of character concerns, but he's worth the risk here, especially for a team that needs immediate help at tackle. Davis is an excellent pass-blocker with quick feet and great lateral mobility.
Kiper: The Eagles have a hole to fill in the center of their offensive line, and Pouncey can step in. He's not a mauler but is a cerebral, versatile talent who can play any of the three interior line positions. He's an ideal fit.
McShay: Kindle's versatility and ability to get to the quarterback make him a good fit. He would give the Eagles much-needed help at outside linebacker and could make it tougher for teams to double-team DE Trent Cole by lining up opposite him in obvious passing situations.
Kiper: The Ravens aren't finished in their mission to find weapons for Joe Flacco. Gresham is the best pure tight end in the draft and answered physical questions in Indy. The heir to Todd Heap is the perfect weapon for a young passer.
McShay: Baltimore addressed its wide receiver need by trading for Anquan Boldin and signing unrestricted free agent Donte' Stallworth. Gresham is the best pass-catching tight end on the board and would be a great addition to an already upgraded receiving corps.
Kiper: Productivity was never a question for Hughes -- he was a sack machine in Fort Worth -- but he also has proved that he has the physical skills to succeed as an OLB and dangerous situational pass-rusher in the NFL. Hughes could help fill the productivity void left by Dansby's departure.
McShay: Hughes would give the Cardinals' base 3-4 scheme the explosive outside pass rush it currently lacks. Bertrand Berry and Chike Okeafor are free agents on the wrong side of 30, and Arizona's two best pass-rushers are five-techniques Darnell Dockett and Calais Campbell.
Kiper: At the combine, Thomas answered questions I raised about his size, and although the Boys could use a tackle, if a top one isn't available here, the Texas product is a great fit for the Cowboys as a playmaker with cover skills at the safety position.
McShay: Brown is a bit of a reach here, but his size and athletic ability give him the potential to develop into starting left tackle. With Flozell Adams on the downside of his career, Brown gives the Cowboys an insurance policy at the position.
San Diego Chargers
RB, Fresno State
Kiper: Talk about his physical limitations, weight questions and lack of speed -- that's beside the point. Cody is the quintessential block-occupying clogger who makes everyone else better. He'd be a perfect centerpiece for San Diego's 3-4.
McShay: San Diego's decision to release LaDainian Tomlinson leaves it without a franchise back. Mathews' size and bruising running style make him a good fit for the scheme and a nice complement to scatback Darren Sproles.
New York Jets
DE, Penn State
Kiper: The best size-speed combination in the draft, Mays would fit with the Jets, who have solid cover corners and could use his impressive array of physical skills as a presence in the secondary. Rex Ryan could bring out the best in him.
McShay: The Jets need help at defensive end, and Odrick would be a perfect fit as a five-technique in their base 3-4 scheme. He has the quickness, frame, long arms and toughness to push for immediate playing time.
Kiper: McCourty's stock has surged, and he proved during the combine that he has the speed to change directions and run with NFL receivers. The Vikes also could go for Patrick Robinson here, but I have McCourty rated higher.
McShay: Stalwart DT Pat Williams is 37 years old and reportedly has considered retiring this offseason. Price is a disruptive force who could help keep Williams fresh, give the interior pass rush a boost and step into a starting role after Williams moves on.
Kiper: Previously, I had the Colts taking Jared Odrick here, but Price is a superior option, a player who can beat or shed blockers and cause problems on the interior. The Colts should upgrade along the defensive line, and Price represents great value.
McShay: Indianapolis needs help at guard and must address its future at center, and Pouncey would help solve both problems. He's talented and versatile enough to start at guard this season and slide inside once aging C Jeff Saturday moves on.
New Orleans Saints
Kiper: Weatherspoon is a perfect fit for the Saints, who need to add talent to their linebacker corps, particularly after the defection of Scott Fujita. Weatherspoon is a steady tackle who showed better speed during his combine workouts than many had expected.
McShay: With Fujita now in Cleveland, outside linebacker one of the Saints' top priorities. They are also reportedly focusing on upgrading their athletic ability on defense, making Weatherspoon and his blend of size and speed a perfect fit.