NFL Mock Draft: 9/27 picks 1-16

NFL Mock Draft Steve O Speak

It might be September but it is never too early to start looking at next April’s draft. I’ll post a weekly mock draft, based on team needs. Since its still early in the season I’ll base my draft order on last year’s. As we get deeper into the season, I’ll start basing it on actual standings.

* denotes underclassmen

1. Detroit Lions: Gerald McCoy DT*

I don’t think the Lions will be picking first again, but if they are I can’t see them passing up a talent like McCoy. McCoy is a difference maker along the interior and would be the perfect compliment next to Grady Jackson. The Lions focused on offense last year in the first round, so this year they should target defensive players. While their defensive tackles are improved with Jackson in the middle, they need to add another force in the middle. Detroit could go a number of directions here, with Offensive tackle and defensive end the next two likely choices.

2. St. Louis Rams: Sam Bradford QB*

Last year the Rams added their LT, now the Rams need to add someone for him to block for. Marc Bulger’s time in St. Louis is all but over, and the Rams will be quite lucky to replace him with Sam Bradford. Bradford is the best quarterback in the country despite being injured in week one against BYU. Bradford will rejuvenate the Rams offense, and could bring them back to the glory days of ten years ago.

3. Kansas City Chiefs: Russell Okung OT

Safety Eric Berry is the best player on the board right now, but I have a feeling the Chiefs will play it safe here and go with the best OT on the board. Okung will get some competition for that spot, but right now he is the best OT in the nation. Okung is a powerful blocker that is equally talented in run and pass blocking. Kansas City could use some help up front and Okung should give Cassell the kind of protection that he needs.

4. Seattle Seahawks: Eric Berry S *

The Seahawks would have wanted either Bradford or Okung, but with them off the board they will gladly take Berry the best player in this draft. Berry is a ball hawk in the mold of Ed Reed or Bob Sanders. He will fill a big need on defense, and be a cornerstone for Seattle to build around. With two first round picks the Seahawks can ignore their bigger needs on offense and draft the best available player here. Quarterback, running back and offensive tackle are all positions that need addressed as well.

5. Cleveland Browns: Jahvid Best RB*

This is a tough pick for the Browns, they have any number of needs but the three positions that there are plenty of top-10 talent available are, offensive tackle (Joe Thomas), defensive tackle (Shaun Rodgers), and quarterback (Quinn/Anderson) the Browns seem set at. Now Quinn has not looked impressive so far, but I think they will give him one more year after this to prove himself. Maybe they draft a quarterback in the 2nd or 3rd round, but I don’t see them spending a top 5 pick on a QB. The Browns could go after S Taylor Mays here, but running back is the bigger need right now. Best isn’t a top 5 player in the country, and probably is a stretch to say he’s worthy of a top 10 pick, but the Browns running game is so awful they need to upgrade here. Even if that means a bit of an overdraft. Best will give them a playmaker and weapon on offense, but I don’t see him as an every down running back.

6. Cincinnati Bengals: Ndamukong Suh DT

Bengals are another team that could go a number of directions here. They need a running back, but with Best off the board no one is good enough to even over draft at this point. They could use a safety but Mays is a SS and Roy Williams has been working out so far. They need another offensive tackle, but the Bengals aren’t the type of team to spend top-10 money on bookend tackles. I think they grab Suh here, which is an absolute great value. Suh is a force in the middle, which should give Odom even more freedom from his defensive end spot. Suh is a prototypical nosetackle that should occupy a number of blockers to free up the Bengals talented linebacking corps to make plays.

7. Oakland Raiders: Taylor Mays S

The Raiders would have drafted Mays last year at the 7th spot had he entered the draft, so they will be quite happy to take him here this time around. He hits like a linebacker and runs like a corner back, making him one of the best physical specimens in this draft. He doesn’t have great ball skills, leaving some to wonder if he’s more like Roy Williams rather than Sean Taylor. I think there is a big of a risk with Mays, i’m not sold that he is the next Polamalu just because he went to USC (that line of thinking didn’t work out to well for the Raiders when they drafted Bing a few years ago). I would not be shocked if his ultimate position is outside linebacker given his speed and strength. The Raiders will draft him as a safety and he should be an upgrade there, but be wary of considering him a savior.

8. Jacksonville Jaguars: Tim Tebow QB

I’m not sold on Tim Tebow as a quarterback or as a 1st round pick. I think he does a lot of things well, and good things always seem to happen when the ball is in his hand, but its tough to project him as a top-10 pick. While I don’t want to deny the natural talent and leadership that he possesses, I also can’t deny that his success screams “system quarterback”. No one has ever seen what he can do under center in a pro style formation, and until you do see that drafting him early in the 1st round is a major risk. Given all of that I believe the hype I think the Jaguars will take the risk and sign the local hero to market him to their fans. It might not be the smartest pick on the field, but it probably will be at the box office.

9. Green Bay Packers: Trent Williams OT

Its very likely the Packers won’t have a top-10 pick, but regardless of where they pick offensive tackle should be their top priority. It’s simple if they can keep Aaron Rodgers upright they have a chance to win, when he spends most of the afternoon on his back or running for his life, they get upset by the Bengals. Green Bay desperately needs a help along the line so Williams will fill a major void in Wisconsin. If they can’t get good value at OT look for them to turn their attention on the defensive side of the ball.

10. San Fransisco 49ers: Jevan Snead QB*

The 49ers got screwed this year with the Michael Crabtree holdout. Hopefully for their sake they will be able to trade his rights before the draft and maybe get at least a 2nd round pick out of the fiasco. This year I think San Fransisco will target a signal caller to give Singletary a quarterback to build around. Shaun Hill has been nice but he’s taken the 49ers as far as his arm will allow. He is solid enough where he can stick around another year and let Snead learn from the sidelines. Snead is a quality prospect, and I wouldn’t knock him too much for his performance against South Carolina. I think he’ll bounce back and show that he is a Franchise talent.

11. Buffalo Bills: Brian Bulaga OT*

When your bookend tackles are Demetrius Bell and Jonathan Scott offensive line help is a must in the first round. The Bills might have needs on defense or at wide reciever, but they just can’t afford to pass up Bulaga at this point. Bulaga would be best suited to start out at RT and move over to the blindside after a couple of years, but I don’t think Buffalo can wait, and will stick him in their opening day line up at LT. Bulaga is a mauler though and should be able to handle the tougher position with ease.

12. Seattle Seahawks (from the Broncos): C. J. Spiller RB

Quarterback is a STONG possibility here Hasselbeck is near the end of his career and Wallace isn’t the heir apparent, but I think Seattle goes in a different direction here. The NFC West is a poachable division and if the Seahawks add another playmaker they could make a pretty good run if Hasselbeck stays healthy. Julius Jones has been solid so far this year, but he needs another back to compliment him and that back’s name isn’t Edgerrin James. Spiller would be a nice upgrade at running back, and give Seattle a ground attack that can keep the chains moving.

13. Washington Redskins: Colt McCoy QB

Their is little doubt in my mind that Jim Zorn and Jason Campbell are out in Washington after this year. Offensive tackle is a priority as well, but I think they will look for their franchise signal caller in the first round. Jimmy Clausen is an option here as well, but I’d like to see if he can keep up his early success as the competition gets tougher, and with his top receiver out for the year. McCoy worries me given his lack of arm strength, but I think he is a leader and a winner overall, and is worth the risk. He reminds me of Mark Brunell (Jaguars years, not his time with the Skins) as a quarterback with a weaker arm, but his leadership and athleticism wins through in the end.

14. New Orleans Saints: Sean Weatherspoon LB

The Saints have one of the best offenses in the league, now they need to build a defense that is comparable. There are more talented defensive linemen available, but the Saints biggest need is at linebacker. Weatherspoon is always around the football, and unlike many college linebackers he his a complete player, that has the ability to drop back into coverage. New Orleans will likely address their defensive line and secondary in the next two rounds.

15. Houston Texans: Carlos Dunlap DE*

Dunlap has the physical talent to be the best defensive player in the country, he just hasn’t shown it so far on the football field. He is a Mario Williams clone at defensive end, and bookending him with Williams should jump start a pass rush that has disappeared this season. The Antonio Smith signing has been a bust so far, even if he starts producing I don’t see the Texans letting Dunlap fall any further in the draft. Even though it would be yet another 1st round pick used on the defensive line, the Texans need to start putting more pressure on the quarterback, and Dunlap fits the bill perfectly.

16. San Diego Chargers: Terrence Cody DT

Cody is a monster in the middle and a pure nose tackle prospect. He needs to be blocked by at least two players and clogs up the interior with the best of them. He is a perfect fit for San Diego, as good as the Chargers defense is they don’t really have a quality NT. Drafting Cody will allow their linebackers to get more freedom to get after the quarterback.


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