I decided to do this, since I did this for another blog site that I am involved in... I will go pick by pick with a grade ( there no pluses or minuses). It took a lot of time out of me, so I hope you enjoy it.
1. Sam Bradford- A
Obvious choice here. Rams need a franchise figure and somebody that they can develop to be their leader. I am not sure if Bradford is the answer, but he is the best option they could have took.
2. Ndamukong Suh- A
Another obvious choice. Suh was the best player available and the Lions couldn't say no. In the past, their defensive line has been terrible. They couldn't get much push or get pressure at most times. Suh is the most complete lineman in the draft and should be a force. With Suh, Vaden Bosch, and Corey Williams on the line, the Lions look like their changing their image as a physical team.
3. Gerald McCoy- A
Another obvious choice. The Bucs had the worst run defense in the league and got gashed up in the middle. McCoy's speed, shooting gap ability and pass rushing should be something the Bucs will be happy about. I am not sure, if he is going to be the next Warren Sapp but McCoy should make a huge impact.
4. Trent Williams- A
I wasn't sure if Williams was the right pick compared to Okung, but the Redskins fill a serious need. With McNabb in town, the Redskins can protect his blindside. Williams is better for the Redskins scheme, but needs to tear down his reputation of having a lack of commitment for the game.
5. Eric Berry- A
The Chiefs were getting hooked into picking a Left Tackle, but stayed away which was smart. Berry is a huge talent and looks like the best pick that won't be a bust. The Chiefs safeties have been a joke in past years and the defense has lacked playmakers. Berry could make a huge difference here.
6. Russell Okung- A
A solid pick for a Seahawks team that needs to replace Walter Jones. Okung seems to be the most ready tackle in the draft, who is really a mauler. The guy is really nasty and that is something that Pete Carrol will like. With an injury prone quarterback and no running game to speak of, Okung is the first step in the right direction for the Seahawks.
7. Joe Haden- C
I am not denying Haden's talent, the guy should be a Pro Bowler in a few years. He is the best corner in this draft, but if I am a Cleveland fan I am pissed. The Browns just got Sheldon Brown in a trade ( it wasn't cheap) and Eric Wright is solid. With needs all around like safety, quarterback, linebacker, and a pass rusher the Lions didn't need a cornerback. Not a good start for the Holmgrem era.
8.Rolando McClain- B
It wasn't the greatest pick by the Raiders, but it could have been far worse. The picks they have made in the past have almost made this pick look genius. This is a solid pick though as McClain could be a huge hit for the Raiders. He is a no- nonsense player and a player to build around. He is a safe pick here, although the Raiders could have used it some other needs ( left tackle would have been smart). Still good job Raiders for not screwing up.
9. C.J. Spiller- B
I was close to making this a C, but Spiller is really talented. Spiller can easily change a game with his game breaking ability. My only problem is why Spiller for the Bills? Marshawn Lynch could get traded, so maybe this pick will look better. I just think the Bills have some serious holes. The offensive line has been a mess and was really awful last year. A quarterback could have been used here like Clausen, but they may end up with him due to the events. Spiller could be a huge hit for Buffalo, but without an offensive line this pick could go down the tube.
10. Tyson Alualu- F
I really don't understand this pick. Your team might be moving and you need to impress the fans... so what do you do? How about taking some guy that could be either a D-End or a DT. This guy was projected to be mid 2nd rounds, as he wasn't even heard about in the first round. Also, it doesn't help the fact that Jacksonville paid big bucks for Aaron Kampman. Maybe he will prove me wrong, but this guy has a true chip on his shoulder. He does look like a physical player that can really use his hands, but wouldn't have he been ranked higher if he had some pass rushing moves? Jacksonville could have used a linebacker here or a safety....
11. Anthony Davis- C
So the Niners traded up two spots for him? Davis seems like a good prospect, but the guy has some concerns? He is really inconsistent and a guy named Bryan Bulaga is still on board. Bulaga seems much more prepared and ready to start than Davis. The Niners did need to work on their O-Line after last year's skeptical play. I just think they could have done a better job with it.
12. Ryan Mathews- A
A.J Smith is a pretty smart guy. After realizing the Texans might take Matthews at 20, they traded up to get Matthews. It did cost them a second rounder as well, but this was a crucial pick. Matthews is a guy, who can carry the load and the dirty work. He will make an excellent one two punch with Darren Sproles. The Chargers could have picked a NT here, but running back was a huge concern coming into the draft.
13. Brandon Graham- A
A brilliant trade by the Eagles. Derrick Morgan could have been picked here, but Graham could be just as good. It pissed me off that he was gone, since as a Falcon fan I really wanted him to last. My hats are off to the Eagles with this move. Although they need a corner because Sheldon Brown is gone, putting Graham on the same line with Trent Cole seems deadly. Graham is on a really talented line and can really produce. The Eagles realized the better pass rush, the better the secondary will look. Great work Philly...
14. Earl Thomas- A
Spot on pick by the Seahawks. Pete Carroll has done an excellent job drafting, which is no surprise. He was spot on with Thomas, who can fill a role in the secondary. The Seahawks have major holes at safety with Deon Grant being gone and Lawyer Milloy aging. Thomas can really cover and is really versatile. The Seahawks were 30th against the pass last year, so Thomas should give them an upgrade. The only thing that he is a bit undersized, but is a underrated tackler. Seahawks did a helluva job in the first round.
15. Jason Pierre-Paul- D
I really don't like this pick. Pierre-Paul seems to be way too much of a risk this early, not to mention that Derrick Morgan is still on the board. Morgan is way more experienced and performed way better on the field than Pierre-Paul. Jason has loads of potential, but I can't see him being better than Morgan. The Giants do have time to develop him, but they could have filled in another hole. They could have gotten an outside linebacker here or fill in their Left Guard hole. I am not liking this pick that much, but I be lying if I didn't say Pierre- Paul has great potential. It's just why pass up on a Top 10 player like Morgan....
16. Derrick Morgan- A
A complete steal for the Titans. Morgan was considered to go before the Titans went ( although I didn't in my mock draft). Morgan is the most ready D-End in this draft. The guy can play the run really well and can pass rush with the best of them. With Vaden Bosch leaving, the Titans had a major hole in the pass rushing department. I really like this pick, as Morgan fills a huge need and can make a difference of whether or not this Titans team can make the playoffs.
17. Mike Iupati- B
This was a solid choice. Iupati is a mauler and is a major improvement on what was a soft 49ers line. The guards really struggled last year, so an improvement was needed. My only problem here is that I thought a corner here would been wiser. The Niners struggled badly in coverage and don't have anyone really back there. Nate Clements is alright, but who else is back there. Dre Bly got lit up several times and shouldn't start anymore. This is still a good pick, as Iupati doesn't have any huge weaknesses and seems to be an all-around player.
18. Maurkice Pouncey- A
I thought the Steelers could have used a wide receiver here, but Pouncey is an excellent pick. This guy can be either a Center or Guard, so you see off the bat that he is an athlete. He is a better pass blocker than anyone the Steelers have and will be needed. The Steelers o-line has been below average for the past few years, so this was still a need. Overall, I liked this pick a lot despite the need for wide receiver.
19. Sean Weatherspoon- A
I know some of you might think this is a B, but even as a Falcon fan I love this pick. There is a huge need for pass rushing, but once Graham and Morgan were off the board there was no one I would want to fill that need in the first round ( Pierre-Paul wasn't in my planbook). Weatherspoon is a great cover linebacker, something the Falcons have lacked since Michael Boley left. Weatherspoon isn't soft like Boley, as Weatherspoon hits with fire and brings great size along with strength. With Mike Peterson aging and Steven Nicholas not making much of an impact. I say outside linebacker was the second need for the Falcons. Great work by the genius himself Thomas Dmitroff.
20. Kareem Jackson- B
I was close to giving this a C, but I applaud the Texans for getting a CB that was desperately needed. The Texans needed a corner, after Dunta Robinson bolted to Dirty Bird nation ( yeahhh). Jackson is a solid corner, as he can really cover and had great coaching with Nick Saban tutoring him. I still think Kyle Wilson would have been a better pick here, but Jackson is solid. I think the Texans liked big time experience like Jackson being from the SEC, then Wilson being from Boise State. A solid pick by Houston, as they look to try to fill a huge gap in the secondary.
21. Jermaine Gresham- A
I was close to giving this a B, but tight end was a need. I thought a pass rusher could have been used here, but there was no one really around to pick. They could have reached on Everson Griffen, but that could have been too much a risk. The Bengals haven't had a good tight end in years, so Gresham should change that. He has great hands and leaping ability as a tight end. He is the most complete tight end in the draft and gives Carson Palmer a new target to throw to.
22. Demaryius Thomas- B
I understand this pick by Denver. After the whole Marshall fiasco, the Broncos wanted to stay away from wide receivers with issues like Dez Bryant ( I should have known that in my mock draft). Thomas is a solid pick here, although I am not sure if he is a Number One. He might be pressed into one, but has proved he can make big plays. His route running is raw, but he offers good size and no baggage to Denver.
23. Bryan Bulaga- A
This has to be the steal of the draft ( either that or Derrick Morgan ). Bulaga was considered a top ten talent and the 3rd best tackle in the draft. To see him fall to 23rd was shocking in my view. His athleticism might have turned off teams, but this guy has all the tools to be a productive starter. With the Packers' tackles aging ( Clifton and Tauscher), LT was a need. I had the Packers taking a tackle ( Charles Brown), but didn't think he would last this long. A huge steal for the Packers, as Bulaga could have similar success like Aaron Rodgers did when he fell into the twenties.
24. Dez Bryant- A
Despite the need for a safety and the baggage, I have to give this an A. Bryant is a complete difference maker and makes the Cowboys offense scary. This gives Dallas a legit number two next to Miles Austin. With Roy Williams doing nothing, Bryant can step in and make this offense completely unstoppable. Bryant is a top ten talent and easily the best wide receiver in this draft with his tools. With Witten, Austin, and now Bryant... Tony Romo should be prepared to have a career year. A safety is still needed, but Dallas might have done one of the most smartest things in this draft.
25. Tim Tebow- F
Sorry Tebow lovers, but this was an awful pick. I would have liked to see Tebow go to a team with not many glaring needs, but Denver!!!!!!! If I am a Denver fan, I have to be fuming. With a struggling interior O-Line and a front seven that has been weak for about three years now, the Denver go out and get a QB, who has a long way to go before being an actual QB. Tebow is a prospect that has poor footwork and a really long delivery. If Denver wanted to get a QB, Jimmy Clausen would have been the obvious choice. Clausen is a true QB that can run an offense. Other than Elvis Dumervil and DJ Williams, Denver's front seven is a mess. This was a terrible pick that will likely come back to haunt Denver.
26. Dan Williams- A
I like this pick a lot. The Cardinals could use a nose tackle, which would keep Darrell Dockett from moving in and out of NT. Dockett is the perfect fit for a 3-4 end and it will be good to keep him there. Dan Williams is the best fit for NT in this draft ( not including McCoy and Suh). Williams was expected to get picked in the teens, but dropped considerably. This could be a huge steal, as Williams is tough to push around and is quite athletic for a 330 pounder. Arizona needed more depth at NT and likely found themselves a starter.
27. Devin McCourty- C
McCourty is a solid player, but the Pats really don't need a Corner... at least not yet. McCourty can come in and can start alongside Leigh Bodden. He is a bit undersized and hasn't had a ton of experience at CB. He still has solid cover skills and is first round caliber. My problem is that the Pats pass rush was hot and cold last year. They wasted money on Derrick Burgress, who gave them little to nothing. Sergio Kindle would have been the ideal pick here, but the Pats didn't bite. He would have been a great fit and could have brought pressure to a team that is seriously lacking it.
28. Jared Odrick- B
This was a solid pick by Miami. They traded down to gain another 2nd rounder, so this could look good. Odrick is a really tough player, who plays great against the run and has a huge motor. The problem is that he is a bit of a tweener and doesn't know if he is a DE or a DT. In the 3-4, I doubt he can be a nosetackle due to the fact that he is barley 300 pounds. This is still a solid pick, but Miami could use a nosetackle quickly since Jason Ferguson is suspended first eight games. I am a little shocked that Miami moved down, since they could have got a perfect answer to their need by selecting Dan Williams. Will have to see what they need to do to address this clause.
29. Kyle Wilson- B
I could have given it an A, but the Jets could have used a safety here. With Kerry Rhodes leaving, I am not sure Brodney Pool is the answer. The least the Jets could have done is bring someone to give some competition. Kyle Wilson is still a solid pick here, as he could be a replacement if Antonio Cromartie continues his poor play ( I already have odds that he is a bust this year, since he has done nothing the past two years after his breakout year in 2007. Not to mention the fact that he is 25 years old with 8 CHILDREN!!!!!!!). Wilson is one of the better corners in this draft and has great ball skills. He can step in if there are injuries or problems and can be a sufficient corner.
30. Jahvid Best- A
A remarkable move by the Lions. They were concerned that the Vikings might make Best the backup to Peterson, so they traded up and swapped Best. Best is a bit injury prone, but the guy is a complete game breaker. He has electrifying speed along with great moves and cuts. With Kevin Smith not being ready for the season, Best will be called upon. When Smith returns, this will make a great one two punch. I like the Lions offense already, as it can be a force to be reckon with IF it stays healthy ( big if with guys like Burleson, Best, Smith, and Scheffler around).
31. Jerry Hughes- B
This wasn't a bad pick for the Colts, but I am not sure if they needed it. Hughes is a great talent with a non-stop motor and really good speed to accelerate past the lineman. He is undersized similar to Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis, but could be groomed to replace them. The Colts could have used an interior lineman here or a CB, but this wasn't a bad move by any means. The Colts love to have depth with their D-Line with Freeney always being prone to getting injuried.
32. Patrick Robinson- C
Robinson has the tools to be good, despite his inconsistent play. He does need some development into becoming an successful corner. My problem is why would the Saints take them? Jabri Greer proved that he could be a number one corner with a productive year, despite injury. Tracy Porter has loads of potential, even though he was hurt half the year ( as a Falcon fan, I hate talking good about the Saints). I know the Saints corners were a bit injury prone, but couldn't you look for depth later? Outside linebacker has a big hole there with Fajuita being gone and the pass rush can still be better. Alex Brown doesn't fix everything, so I think the Saints might have wasted a pick here.
The year's upcoming draft and the college game can be discussed here.
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- 2009 Mock Contest Winner
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Not bad Emmitt. I would differ with you on a few, and I really don't believe in grades until the player has a few years under his belt....but good writeup. By the way...Hughes may be the steal of the latter round..he is exactly the kind of player that excels in the colts system.
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