Let's get our 2010 mock draft onby Peter Schrager
Peter Schrager is a frequent contributor for FOXSports.com. You can e-mail him at PeterSchrager@gmail.com
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Updated: April 29, 2009, 11:20 AM EST 445 comments Doing a mock draft 365 days in advance of actual Draft weekend is beyond "premature." It's absurd. So many variables come into play that to even attempt one comes off as an incredibly self-obsessed act of hubris. You've got to be some arrogant, pompous know-it-all to even think you can predict a) the correct order of next year's draft, b) which underclassmen are coming out, c) who will size up both on the field in '09 and at the Combine next February, and d) team needs after the free agency period.
Yep, only an arrogant pompous know-it-all would even attempt such an act.
So, let's do it!
With no further adieu, here's my 2010 Mock Draft — a good twelve months before the actual 2010 NFL Draft. To be certain, this draft class is more talented, deeper, and more studded with college stars than the one that was presented to us last week. Unhappy about where I have your team slated? We've got all offseason to argue about it.
1. Detroit Lions — Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma, Junior: Though the Lions should win a few games and improve on both sides of the ball, I don't see a Miami Dolphins-like turnaround in '09. Hamstrung with the financial obligations of the No. 1 overall pick again, they opt to take the best defensive tackle on the board in Oklahoma's McCoy.
2. St. Louis Rams — Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma, Junior: Mark Sanchez and Matt Stafford probably owe Bradford a couple million. Had he left Norman early and entered the NFL Draft, he would have been the first or second quarterback taken in the 2009 Draft. St. Louis gets their signal caller of the future in the physically gifted Heisman winner. For Bradford's sake, let's hope he doesn't have a Matt Leinart/Brian Brohm-like fall down draft boards. Both Leinart and Brohm came back to school only to see their draft stocks go down in their final collegiate seasons. McCoy and Bradford are the first college teammates to go one, two since Courtney Brown and LaVar Arrington did it in 2000.
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma State, Senior: The Bucs protect their 2009 investment at quarterback in Josh Freeman with a fellow Big 12 superstar in Okung. The Oklahoma State big boy is the early odds-on favorite to be the first offensive tackle off the board next April.
4. Kansas City Chiefs — Tim Tebow, QB, Florida, Senior: The Matt Cassel era doesn't last long in K.C., as the Chiefs opt to not re-sign the high-priced gunslinger. Cassel goes into the free-agent pool, leaving a void at the quarterback position. Everyone knows the Kraft/Belichick/Pioli/Meyer connection, and Pioli jumps at the chance to add Tebow to his squad.
5. San Francisco 49ers — Colt McCoy, QB, Texas, Senior: The sure-armed McCoy has that Mark Sanchez aura to him: confident, respected, beloved by teammates. The 4-year Texas starter gets the nod as the next in line to the 49ers quarterback gig. At 6-3, 210 lbs, McCoy has the height and experience to be a first-year starter in the NFL. He'll throw to his one-time nemesis — the man who cost him a national title in '08 — Michael Crabtree for years to come.
6. Oakland Raiders — Trent Williams, OT, Oklahoma, Senior: Another Sooner flies off the board. The Raiders offense improves mightily in '09, but they're missing the stud left tackle of the future. Williams, a 6-5, 310 mountain with surprisingly good footwork, is the final piece in the four-year Raider offense first-round rebuilding plan. Eric Berry's on the board, but Al Davis sticks to his guns with the unknown safety Oakland took in the second round of '09, the mystery man himself — Ohio's Michael Mitchell.
7. Seattle Seahawks (via Denver Broncos) — Eric Berry, S, Tennessee, Junior: A safety drafted seventh overall? That's pretty darn high. Berry's pretty darn good. This pick comes in exchange for Alphonso Smith, Denver's second-round selection via Seattle in '09.
Eric Berry deserves to go in the top 10. (Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images)
8. Cleveland Browns — Terrence Cody, DT, Alabama, Senior: Cody's a beast. Shaun Rodgers has a solid enough year in Eric Mangini's 3-4 defense, but the addition of Cody gives Cleveland more flexibility and beef up the gut. At 6-5, 360 pounds — he could be dominant. Or out of the league in a few years. Cleveland rolls the dice on the big fella.
9. Cincinnati Bengals — Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska, Senior: The Bengals were the beneficiaries of Rey Maualuga slipping all the way to the second round in Saturday's draft. They cash in on Suh, thought by many to be a top-5 selection for next year's draft, dipping to No. 9 in 2010.
10. Green Bay Packers — Jermaine Gresham, Oklahoma, TE, Senior: Boomer Sooner! The fourth Sooner drafted goes at No. 10, where Aaron Rodgers gets a giant pass-catching tight end who can block quite a bit, too.
11. Jacksonville Jaguars — Arrelious Benn, Illinois, WR, Junior: The Jags picked up a nice potential No. 2 guy in Jarrett Dillard and a solid No. 3 in Mike Thomas on Day 2 of the '09 Draft. They get their No. 1 in Benn in next year's first round.
12. New York Jets — Carlos Dunlap, DE, Florida, Junior: Shaun Ellis can't play forever. Dunlap's a 6-5, 290-pound pass rusher. If he has a breakout season, he can go this high or even higher.
13. Seattle Seahawks — Greg Hardy, DE, Ole Miss, Senior: The Seahawks pick up another young defender in Hardy, the fierce DE out of Oxford. Hardy had 8.5 sacks for the Rebels last year before injuring his foot and missing the final four games of the 2008 season.
14. Miami Dolphins — George Selvie, DE/OLB, South Florida, Senior: Joey Porter isn't getting any younger. The Dolphins beefed up their defensive back situation with Vontae Davis and Sean Smith in the '09 Draft. They crank it up on the pass rush with Selvie, the sack machine out of South Florida in '10.
15. Atlanta Falcons — Brian Bulaga, OT, Iowa, Senior: After taking eight defensive players on Draft weekend '09, the Falcons take a tackle to pair alongside Sam Baker at the OT spots in Atlanta. Baker stays at left tackle and Bulaga battles Tyson Clabo for the job manning the right.
16. Washington Redskins — Jevan Snead, QB, Ole Miss, Senior: Colt McCoy's former understudy at Texas goes nine picks later to the Redskins. After another year of missing the postseason, Daniel Snyder pulls the trigger and drafts a quarterback in Snead.
17. Buffalo Bills — Taylor Mays, S, USC, Senior: There wasn't a single safety drafted in the first round in '09 and only one in '08 (Kenny Phillips). The improved Bills, with some other needs across the board, can't let the freakishly athletic Mays slip any further than here and scoop him up at 17.
18. Indianapolis Colts — Marvin Austin, DT, UNC, Junior: The Colts missing the playoffs? Roast me, if you must, but I think this is the year the postseason streak comes to an end. The defense finally stops bending and breaks in Indy. Marvin Austin, the former No. 1 high school recruit, comes out early and gets snagged up by Bill Polian and co.
19. San Francisco 49ers (via Carolina) — Anthony Davis, OT, Rutgers, Junior: Lots of Niners fans wanted Michael Oher with the No. 10 pick over wide receiver Michael Crabtree last weekend. With the 19th pick, courtesy of Carolina in the Everette Brown deal, San Fran grabs an offensive tackle to complement Joe Staley and protect their quarterback of the future, Colt McCoy. At 6-6, 330 pounds, Davis is a beast. He's raw but should be greatly improved in '09.
20. Houston Texans — Trevard Lindley, CB, Kentucky, Senior: Okay, okay. Yes, it's true. I have the Houston Texans — for the second straight year — as my big "sleeper" team and making the playoffs. So darn original, I know. But I really, truly believe this is the year it all comes together for Houston and they get over the hump, making their first trip to the postseason ever. They're then quickly dispatched by the Chargers in the first round. They go defense AGAIN and upgrade at CB in the upcoming draft with Lindley.
21. Minnesota Vikings — Ciron Black, OT, LSU, Senior: An All-SEC performer in '08, Black is returning for his senior campaign in '09. Doing so likely ensures the 6-5 mauler a spot in the first round next season. Minnesota falls a win shy of the playoffs and looks to find a stud OT for the future. Whether Brad Childress is there to coach him is a whole other story.
22. Denver Broncos (via Chicago Bears) — Mark Herzlich, LB, Boston College, Senior: The Bears make the playoffs in Cutler's first year, but the Broncos get the rights to the 22nd pick in the Cutler trade. Herzlich, an athletic OLB out of BC, will be one of those immediate-impact guys for the listless Denver D.
23. Baltimore Ravens — Brandon LaFell, WR, LSU, Senior: The Ravens squeak out another wild card spot in '09 and grab Joe Flacco's new go-to No. 1 guy in LaFell in next year's draft. LaFell's a personality. He's been known to run his mouth and shoot straight from the hip. He's also got a great set of hands and a blazing set of wheels.
Could Brandon LaFell end up in Baltimore? (Doug Benc / Getty Images)
24. Philadelphia Eagles — Sergio Kindle, LB, Texas, Senior: The Eagles load up on another defensive talent in Kindle, the 10 sack man for Texas in '08. Brian Orakpo got all the press last year; Kindle will get all the love in '09.
25. Arizona Cardinals — Sean Weatherspoon, LB, Missouri, Senior: Along with Ziggy Hood and D.J. Moore, Weatherspoon's been the defensive leader of the Mizzou defense the past few seasons. After a solid '09 campaign, he joins the Arizona defense in next year's draft. Yes, Seahawks fans, that's the defending NFC West champion Cardinals.
26. New Orleans Saints — Brandon Spikes, LB, Florida, Senior: After winning their first division crown in three years, the Saints return to the playoffs before falling to New York on a Saturday night divisional round playoff game in January. New Orleans reloads yet again on the defensive side of the ball, still the team's Achilles Heel, next year. Spikes is going to be a Butkus Award finalist in '09 and should be a first round pick in '10.
27. Tennessee Titans — Vince Oghobaase, DT, Duke, Senior: Duke?! Really? Well, yes. Oghobaase is a clog in the middle who gave ACC teams fits last year. Well, relatively speaking. After all, he does play for Duke. Oghobaase's been Duke's best player for the past few seasons and has a bright NFL future. Tennessee defends its AFC South title but falls just short in the playoffs, yet again.
28. Dallas Cowboys — Damian Williams, WR, USC, Junior: Tony Romo gets over his playoff-itis and the Cowboys manage to win their first playoff game in 13 years, knocking off the Eagles in Dallas' new stadium, a.k.a. Jerry World. After falling to the Giants at home for the second time in three years, Jerry Jones dips back into that Arkansas bag of tricks and grabs the former Razorback wideout Williams next April.
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View more photos >>29. San Diego Chargers — Dez Bryant, WR/KR, Oklahoma State, Junior: After giving Houston a lesson on playoff football, the Chargers get the doors blown off them in a divisional round battle in Pittsburgh yet again in '09. Bryant, several pundits' preseason pick for the Biletnikoff award as the nation's top receiver, is currently recovering from January knee surgery. If fully recovered, he'll be a Heisman candidate and an all-world performer for Oklahoma State in '09. He'll then leave school early and be a first-round pick in '10.
30. Pittsburgh Steelers — Javier Arenas, CB, Alabama, Senior: The Steelers manhandle teams all season long before losing yet another AFC Championship Game vs. New England at the end of January. Though only 5-9, Arenas is a solid cover corner with good speed. There's talk on the 'Bama blogs of Arenas getting some time at safety in '09, which only makes him more appealing to scouts at the next level.
31. New York Giants — Crezdon Butler, CB, Clemson, Senior: The Giants return to the Super Bowl despite question marks at the wideout position plaguing them all season long. The stout defense wills the team to playoff victories down the stretch over Chicago and New Orleans and rookies Hakeem Nicks and Ramses Barden each come into their own in the playoffs. After New York knocks off Dallas in a bloodbath of an NFC Championship Game, they fall short in a Super Bowl XLII rematch with the Patriots. Okay, okay — enough with the crystal ball, Peter. The Giants grab Butler, the physical corner out of Clemson late in the first round, adding depth to the position.
32. New England Patriots — Jahvid Best, RB, California, Junior: After the Patriots get their revenge on the Giants from Super Bowl XLII and knock off New York in Miami, the Patriots enter the off-season with a look toward the future. They go with Best, the do-everything junior back out of Cal who may just steal the Heisman from Tebow, Bradford, and McCoy in '09.