By Rob Staton
The Draft is tomorrow and I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has visited the blog, contributed and helped continue it's development. It's a pleasure to write and that's mainly down to you guys who visit and join in the debate. I also want to thank everyone who has linked to this blog throughout the year and helped spread the word. Finally, I want to thank Kyle Rota and Kip Earlywine who have both been great to work with and have consistently produced material of the highest quality.
Having projected a number of different solutions for the draft, it seems somewhat strange to now be focusing on one true prediction. It's impossible to guess every pick and I will miss more than I hit on this final mock. Still, let me know what you think and by tomorrow we'll know how accurate (or inaccurate) some of the things we discussed this year were. Here is my final, first round mock draft.
#1 St. Louis: Sam Bradford (QB, Oklahoma)
He won't sign a contract like Matt Stafford, but Bradford will be the first overall pick.
#2 Detroit: Ndamukong Suh (DT, Nebraska)
I maintained from day one that this pick would be one of the two defensive tackles. Suh is a great pick up as the Lions look to rebuild their defense.
#3 Tampa Bay: Gerald McCoy (DT, Oklahoma)
The Buccs will settle for McCoy if Suh's off the board. This fills a huge need in Tampa Bay.
#4 Washington: Trent Williams (OT, Oklahoma)
I still think this pick could be Anthony Davis. I've long felt that Okung was over rated and wouldn't go as high as some believe. At this stage, it would be a surprise if Williams isn't taken here.
#5 Kansas City: Rolando McClain (LB, Alabama)
Nobody thought Tyson Jackson would go third overall this time last year. McClain is the 'coach on the field' Kansas City wants and he fills a huge hole at inside linebacker. The Chiefs would like to move down and make a pick like this with a lesser cost.
#6 Seattle: Eric Berry (S, Tennessee)
With Trent Williams expected to go at #4, this appears to be an obvious choice for the Seahawks. In the midst of a clear out and rebuild, Pete Carroll will bank on Berry being part of the future revolution as his cornerback/safety hybrid.
#7 Cleveland: Derrick Morgan (DE, Georgia Tech)
The Browns traded sack leader Kamerion Wimbley. Morgan could be BPA and some scouts think he can work in a 3-4 or 4-3 scheme. C.J. Spiller or Joe Haden could be in contention here too.
#8 Oakland: Mike Iupati (OG, Idaho)
The Raiders never do anything by the book, so it makes little sense to suggest they will here. Iupati to Oakland is gaining a lot of momentum. Would they really take him ahead of Okung, Bulaga and Brown?
#9 Buffalo: Russell Okung (OT, Oklahoma State)
When I watched Okung, I didn't see a dominant force. Kyle Rota's report is a must read. However, I have to appreciate that others rank him higher and this could keep him in the top ten.
#10 Jacksonville: C.J. Spiller (RB, Clemson)
The Jags will probably do everything they can to trade down. However, if no offer is forthcoming they have a big choice. They want to improve their secondary, so Haden and Thomas make sense. However, they also like flashy offensive guys.
#11 Denver: Sergio Kindle (OLB, Texas)
Kindle fits the system Denver use and there's a chance he goes this early. The Broncos are making big moves on defense. They are another team who would probably love to move down.
#12 Miami: Dan Williams (DT, Tennessee)
The Dolphins re-signed Jason Ferguson, but he's suspended for the first half of the season. He's also getting up in years, so adding Williams to play the valuable nose tackle position makes sense.
#13 San Francisco: Jimmy Clausen (QB, Notre Dame)
The Niners are not sold on their QB situation - how else do you describe the current battle between Alex Smith and David Carr? They're aware that it could hold back what is otherwise a very solid roster. They might see Clausen as the answer.
#14 Seattle: Charles Brown (OT, USC)
The Seahawks want to trade this pick. If they don't get the offer they're looking for, they will choose between the three remaining offensive tackles: Bryan Bulaga, Anthony Davis and Charles Brown. The USC lineman is a perfect scheme fit, but don't rule out the other two.
#15 New York Giants: Joe Haden (CB, Florida)
If Haden makes it this far, the Giants will feel pretty pleased with themselves. New York sits in a wonderful position with many options and brilliant value.
#16 Tennessee: Jason Pierre-Paul (DE, USF)
Pierre-Paul is raw but he has unlimited upside and teams will look at him as someone they can coach into greatness. Tennessee aren't afraid to gamble on upside.
#17 San Francisco: Bryan Bulaga (OT, Iowa)
It wouldn't surprise me if Bulaga lasted this long. The Niners want a right tackle though and Bulaga fits the bill.
#18 Pittsburgh: Kyle Wilson (CB, Boise State)
The Steelers are touted to draft offensive lineman every year. Bryan Bulaga and Maurkice Pouncey will be tempting. However, they also need a cornerback.
#19 Atlanta: Demaryius Thomas (WR, Georgia Tech)
Receiver isn't a need for Atlanta, but the Falcons will consider drafting another big target for Matt Ryan.
#20 Houston: Earl Thomas (S, Texas)
I could see a team trading up to get Thomas, but if he makes it this far - it's a nice pick for Houston.
#21 Cincinnati: Everson Griffen (DE, USC)
The Bengals do have needs on the defensive line and they like USC prospects.
#22 New England: Jared Odrick (DT, Penn State)
The Patriots are in the process of major changes on their defensive line. Drafting the versatile Odrick gives New England some options long term.
#23 Green Bay: Kareem Jackson (CB, Alabama)
The Packers will consider adding a cornerback at some stage and Jackson might be the best available here.
#24 Phildadelphia: Maurkice Pouncey (C, Florida)
I think the Eagles are one of the teams who would like to move up. Alternative options could be at cornerback and defensive end.
#25 Baltimore: Devin McCourty (CB, Rutgers)
The Ravens would find some value in the under rated McCourty, who put on a show at the combine.
#26 Arizona: Anthony Davis (OT, Rutgers)
Davis could go in the top ten, he has the ability. His non-existent work ethic concerns a lot of teams though. Arizona aren't afraid of a challenge.
#27 Dallas: Taylor Mays (S, USC)
The Cowboys moved on Ken Hamlin creating a space at the strong safety position. Mays could be an option, but the Cowboys are another team who could move around.
#28 San Diego: Ryan Mathews (RB, Fresno State)
I think this is too high for Mathews, but if the Chargers don't want to risk him making it to #40, they might take him here. There are many other directions they could go.
#29 New York Jets: Linval Joseph (DT, East Carolina)
Joseph is a late riser, but a lot of people are talking about him potentially making the first round. Don't be surprised if it happens. Jerry Hughes is an alternative.
#30 Minnesota: Dez Bryant (WR, Oklahoma State)
Would Bryant fall this far? I'm not 100% and a team could move up to get him in the teens. The Vikings have a good enough all round roster and can easily justify a selection like this. It's just BPA and would be tremendous value for a star studded team.
#31 Indianapolis: Brandon Graham (DE, Michigan)
Graham is a good pass rusher, but his lack of size might put off some teams. The Colts like smaller, faster lineman and this would make some sense.
#32 New Orleans: Sean Weatherspoon (LB, Missouri)
I was never blown away watching tape of Weatherspoon from 2009 and some teams will be put off by his talkative personality.
Just missed the cut: Jahvid Best (RB, California), Chris Cook (CB, Virginia), Patrick Robinson (CB, Florida State), Jerry Hughes (OLB, TCU), Carlos Dunlap (DE, Florida), Jermaine Gresham (TE, Oklahoma), Roger Saffold (OT, Indiana), Tim Tebow (QB, Florida).