NPC's Mock Draft of Doom

With the NFL Draft a mere three days away, I thought I’d take a stab at predicting how things will fall.  I fill out my NCAA Tournament brackets every year so being horrifically bad at making predictions has never stopped me before!   So don’t expect in-depth analysis on the level of my personal hero, Mel Kiper Jr., but rather accept this humble offering as food for thought.

While you’re in a mock drafty sort of mood, check out CBS by clicking here and take a look at a live mock draft I will be participating in alongside my fellow FanSided NFL bloggers.

As for the Pittsburgh Steelers, I’ll have a post up tomorrow detailing my thoughts on their specific needs and draft strategy. This is just to give you guys a picture of how I think the first round will play out (and give me a chance to write about something other than Big Ben Gone Wild).

Pick Team Player Selected Player’s Position Player’s School Analysis
1. Sam Bradford Quarterback Oklahoma Releasing Marc Bulger is a big flashing neon sign that they’re taking a QB.  Bradford is the only logical pick here.
2. Ndamukong Suh Defensive Tackle Nebraska

Let’s see how many abbreviations I can use.  Detroit fans probably want an OT to keep their young QB upright. However, head coach Jim Schwartz is a defensive mastermind and his team’s D sucked last year.  OT can wait until Rd 2.

3. Gerald McCoy Defensive Tackle Oklahoma Tampa needs to rebuild their defense basically from scratch.  McCoy is a smudge behind Suh as far as prospects go so they’ll jump at the chance to land him.
4. Russell Okung Offensive Tackle Oklahoma State The ‘Skins have their franchise QB in Donovan McNabb.  Now they need to keep him healthy and upright.

5. Bryan Bulaga Offensive Tackle Iowa The Chiefs paid a ton of money to QB Matt Cassel.  You’re not going to get your money’s worth unless you protect him.
6. Eric Berry
Safety Tennessee Pete Carrol made a living at USC with strong defensive units.  Berry will be a playmaker in the secondary.
7. Derrick Morgan Linebacker Georgia Tech Football Czar Mike Holmgren will probably take a developmental QB in later rounds.  Neither Matt Hasselbeck nor Bret Favre were first round picks.  Instead, they’ll shore up their D with the best pass rushing LB in the draft.
8. Bruce Campbell Offensive Tackle Maryland Well, he did run the fastest 40 time among all OL at the combine.  The Raiders have a decent defense and weapons on offense.  Maybe if they can protect Jamarcus Russell he’ll learn not to stink.
9. Jimmy Clausen Quarterback Notre Dame Their QB situation is dire.  And, to be honest, they need something big to sell tickets and get their fanbase excited.  Clausen will be the new face of the Bills.
10. Rolando McClain Linebacker Alabama The Jags had no pass rush last season.  McClain is a beast who’ll help solve that problem.
11. Dan Williams Defensive End Tennessee Denver needs to re-tool a defense that has been porous the past couple years.  Williams is an excellent run-stopper who can also bring pressure.
12. Earl Thomas Safety Texas Bill Parcells loves a strong defense.  Especially in a pass happy division with Tom Brady and the newly explosive Jets.  Thomas can cover and hit and will shore up a weak secondary.
13. Trent Williams Offensive Tackle Oklahoma Coach Mike Singletary is old school.  He wants a tough physical running attack.  Now that they have settled on Alex Smith as their QB, a stud OT to protect him and pave the way for their RBs is a must.
14. (From Denver) Dez Bryant Wide Reciever Oklahoma State I don’t think Pete Carroll cares about character issues since USC was hardly a squeaky clean program.  We also know he loves explosive pass-oriented offenses so why not go for this uber-talented headcase?
15. Brandon Graham Defensive End Michicgan The Giants need to generate more pass rush and they usually do that with their defensive line.  Graham will play either DE or LB in the NFL but in either case he’ll be a perfect fit for the G-Men.
16. (From Carolina) Joe Haden
Cornerback Florida What division do the Titans play in?  Oh, right, the one with Peyton Manning.  So picking up the best CB in the draft seems pretty obvious here.
17. CJ Spiller Running Back Clemson See previous comment about Coach Singletary. RB Frank Gore is great but injury prone.  Spiller would provide an awesome 1-2 punch and take pressure off Alex Smith.
18. Mike Iupati Offensive Guard Idaho I know.  Every year we think the Steelers are going to finally address the O-Line.  I don’t see how they pass up Iupati, who is raw but looks every bit the heir apparent to Alan Faneca at LG.
19. Sean Weatherspoon Linebacker Missouri The Falcons need a pass rusher and Weatherspoon will be a solid player for them from day one.
Patrick Robinson
Cornerback Florida State The Texans lost CB Dunta Robinson during the off-season and, say it with me, play in the same division as Pey-Pey.  Robinson is an excellent cover corner.
Taylor Mays
Safety USC The Bengals have plenty of offense, they just need to tighten up their D.  The Steelers have a big-hitting playmaking safety from USC named Troy Polamalu.  The Bengals will hope Mays turns out to be version 2.0
22. Jared Odrick
Defensive Tackle Penn State The Patriots began injecting youth into an aging defense last season.  The re-tooling process continues this year.  Odrick will be the pass-rushing lineman they lost when they got rid of Richard Seymour.
23. Kyle Wilson
Cornerback Boise State The Packers offensive line was terrible but that was due to injuries.  Their defensive, however, simply couldn’t stop anybody.  Especially in the passing game.  Wilson has flown up draft boards as a speedy cover corner.
24. Jason Pierre-Paul Defensive End South Florida The Eagles defense needs a pass rusher to  play opposite Trent Cole.  Pierre-Paul is raw and the Philly mutants may boo but if he fulfills his upside they’ll have another Reggie White.
25. Maurkice Pouncey Offensive Guard/Center Florida Center Matt Birk is 33 years old.  Pouncey is a rare first round center prospect.  He’ll go nicely with last year’s first rounder, Big Mike Oher, in providing the Ratbirds with a young talented OL for years to come.
26. Jermaine Gresham Tight End Oklahoma Matt Leinart needs all the help he can get, especially with WR Anquan Boldin gone.  Gresham has some character and durability questions but appears to have talent on the level of a Vernon Davis.  If he pans out, he’ll be a dynamic playmaker and a steal this late in the draft.
27. Charlie Brown Offensive Tackle USC Flozell Adams was released so they need to do some re-working at the tackles.  Brown can probably start at RT immediately and has enough upside that he could eventually move to LT.
28. Jonathan Dwyer Running Back Georgia Tech With the loss of L.T., they need another running back to platoon with tiny Darren Sproules.  Dwyer is a North-South runner with game-breaking ability.
29. Sergio Kindle Linebacker Texas Rex Ryan.  Need I say more?  They acquired plenty of offense in the off-season and shored up their secondary with Antonio Cromartie so why not add another explosive pass-rushing linebacker?
30. Demaryius Thomas Wide Receiver Georgia Tech Broke his foot in Feb. so teams aren’t sure what his measurables truly are.  It’s rumored that he ran 4.3’s prior to injury which at 6’3 220 pounds would be Top 10 pick level stuff.  Vikes take a chance on what could be the next Randy Moss.
31. Brian Price
Defensive Tackle UCLA Colts can always use upgrades on defense, especially to their defensive line.   Price is a big strong space-eater who will likely demand a double team which frees up their linebackers or Dwight Freeney coming off the edge.
32. Jerry Hughes
Linebacker TCU Saints could use some better linebackers.  Hughes is an active, athletic player who can rush the passer and effectively stop the run.

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