I know it's still 3-4 months away from the NFL Draft but I figured what the hell? We don't have anything better to do than to take a look at the king of NFL mock drafts right now in Mel Kiper with baseball still a couple of months away and the NFL conference championship games this weekend.
Team Player Pos. College
1. St. Louis Ndamukong Suh DT Nebraska
2. Detroit Gerald McCoy DT Oklahoma
3. Tampa Bay Eric Berry S Tennessee
4. Washington Sam Bradford QB Oklahoma
5. Kansas City Russell Okung OT Oklahoma State
6. Seattle Derrick Morgan DE Georgia Tech
7. Cleveland Joe Haden CB Florida
8. Oakland Anthony Davis OT Rutgers
9. Buffalo Jimmy Clausen QB Notre Dame
10. Denver Dez Bryant WR Oklahoma State
11. Jacksonville Jason Pierre-Paul DE South Florida
12. Miami Rolando McClain LB Alabama
13. San Francisco Trent Williams OT Oklahoma
14. Seattle C.J. Spiller RB Clemson
15. N.Y. Giants Carlos Dunlap DE Florida
16. San Francisco Earl Thomas S Texas
17. Tennessee Everson Griffen DE USC
18. Pittsburgh Brian Bulaga OT Iowa
19. Atlanta Sergio Kindle LB Texas
20. Houston Brian Price DT UCLA
21. Cincinnati Aaron Hernandez TE Florida
22. New England Ricky Sapp LB Clemson
23. Green Bay Taylor Mays S USC
24. Philadelphia Navorro Bowman LB Penn State
25. Baltimore Jermaine Gresham TE Oklahoma
26. Arizona Dan Williams DT Tennessee
27. Dallas Bruce Campbell OT Maryland
28. San Diego Jonathan Dwyer RB Georgia Tech
29. N.Y. Jets Golden Tate WR Notre Dame
30. Minnesota Patrick Robinson CB Florida State
31. New Orleans Jared Odrick DT Penn State
32. Indianapolis Brandon Graham DE Michigan
I completely agree with his first 3 picks of Suh, McCoy, and Berry. You honestly can't go wrong with any of those guys and I believe those are your safest first round draft picks although I do have some doubts about Gerald McCoy in comparison to Suh and Berry. His pick of Sam Bradford at #4 with the Redskins is a bit puzzling. If the Redskins go QB I think they pick the best player in Jimmy Clausen. Bradford is coming off a bad shoulder injury and while he put up some amazing numbers at Oklahoma he had a hard time recognizing defenses especially when they had delay blitzes. Clausen on the other hand played his whole junior season with broken ligaments in his big toe on his planting foot and is the most accurate QB in the draft. He endured 3 years of playing in a pro-style offense under Charlie Weis and matured into a leader this past season. I have my doubts about Clausen being a great NFL QB because of his mobility and pocket presence but in terms of arm strength, accuracy, and the ability to lead teams to come from behind victories I would have to take him over Bradford. Clausen is the safer bet in my opinion.
The Seahawks taking Derrick Morgan of Georgia Tech doesn't make a lot of sense to me. The Seahawks need a QB (Hasselbeck is done) and I believe they will take one of either Bradford or Clausen if available. I've watched a lot of Georgia Tech football and while I think Morgan will be a good pro he does take plays off and there is no way I would take him that high in the draft. Mid to late first round would make more sense. Joe Haden to Cleveland is a good pick and he is without a doubt the best cover corner in this draft. I would love to see Haden in a Falcon's uniform this year but there is no way he slips down to #19. Speaking of the Falcons I like the pick of Sergio Kindle. Falcons have a need at outside linebacker and Kindle could be a beast in the NFL when he isn't smashing cars into apartments.
Kiper has the Bengals taking the first tight end in the draft at #21 in Aaron Hernandez. This would be great news for the Baltimore Ravens because then they could draft the better tight end in my opinion with Jermaine Gresham of Oklahoma at #25. Hernandez and Gresham will both be solid tight ends in the NFL but I like Gresham's height advantage (at 6'6 he has a 4 inch advantage on Hernandez) especially in the red zone.
My man Golden Tate would be a steal for the New York Jets at #29. Golden is a Steve Smith/Hines Ward clone and would be a perfect fit with the Jets. He could step in and run some wildcat while being a great slot receiver for Sanchise to throw to. He also is a hell of a punt returner and he is one of the hardest guys to tackle one on one in this draft.
No Tim Tebow or Colt McCoy in the first round which makes sense. Both guys played in a spread offense in college with tons of talent around them and they will both need time to develop their games for the NFL. I do think one or maybe both of them can play in the NFL and prove their skeptics wrong. Tebow has to work on his mechanics (too big of a windup) and if QB doesn't work out the guy would make a hell of a Wildcat/H-Back/Tight end in my opinion. Colt doesn't have the greatest of arm strength but he is extremely accurate with his throws. Give him some time and he can eat you up much like Sam Bradford.
The Colts are getting a steal if Brandon Graham of Michigan lasts till the end of the first round. Personally I think he is better than Morgan, or at least he was in college when I watched him play, and would be an excellent compliment now as well as an eventual replacement for Dwight Freeney down the road.
Looking at the USC guys I can't argue with Everson Griffen at #17 with the Titans. The guy is a freak and if he can stay healthy he could bring back memories of Jevon Kearse in Nashville. Taylor Mays at #23 with the Packers could be a bust. For all the hype he received in college the guy didn't produce a lot. Sure he can lay out people with hits and all that but his coverage skills blow and his tackling is average.
So what are your thoughts? Any sleepers we should consider as steals or guys you think will be absolute busts? I want to hear it so go ahead and leave some comments. In English is preferable.