Last Update: 10/2/2009
A quick update based on my newly minted power rankings. There will be more updates as the regular season progresses.
Once again, feel free to email me at email@example.com with any opinions, changes or questions you might have.
A big thank you to all those who sent me the several hundred emails I received about last years draft and made this small site a success.
1. St. Louis Rams- Jimmy Clausen, QB (Notre Dame)
> Marc Bulger’s time has passed, and Steve Spagnuolo probably knows it. New head coaches love bringing in their own guy at quarterback, and Spagnuolo will not be any different. With Sam Bradford’s injury and Jevan Snead’s inconsistency, Jimmy Clausen has emerged as the top QB in the 2010 draft, provided he declares early.
2. Cleveland Browns- Sam Bradford, QB (Oklahoma)
> Eric Mangini has nothing tied to Brady Quinn or Derek Anderson, and wasn’t afraid to show it with his reluctance to pick a starting quarterback between the two at the beginning of the season. Quinn has struggled early, and Mangini will not hesitate to rotate quarterbacks while he bides his time waiting for the opportunity to bring in his own quarterback. With Jimmy Clausen off the board, Mangini will take the super accurate Sam Bradford, one year after passing on phenom Mark Sanchez.
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Ndamakong Suh, DT (Nebraska)
> Tampa Bay has little direction on either side of the ball, thus their lack of success. After spending a first round pick to give the team a future at quarterback last year (Josh Freeman), the Bucs will likely bring in a defensive cornerstone this year. Roy Miller is a good defensive tackle, but he will benefit greatly from playing alongside an elite talent like Suh, who can play all along the line, as well as make an impact against the run and in the backfield.
4. Kansas City Chiefs- Eric Berry, S (Tennessee)
> Kansas City has done a good job bringing in youth at most positions, though it hasn’t translated to wins. A playmaker in the secondary is needed, and there is no better prospect for just that than Eric Berry.
5. Washington Redskins- Jevan Snead, QB (Ole Miss)
> While it may be unrealistic to think that there will be three quarterbacks selected in the first four picks of the drafts, it remains that many teams need quarterbacks and this is a talent heavy draft at the quarterback position. If the Redskins are indeed drafting this high, then it is highly likely that Dan Snyder has lost patience with Jason Campbell, and he will try to start fresh with a new signal caller.
6. Oakland Raiders- Taylor Mays, S (USC)
> Never mind that Al Davis drafted Mike Mitchell in the second round last year. Never mind that 2006 first round pick S Michael Huff is starting to pan out. Al Davis loves defensive backs that post great combine numbers, and so Taylor Mays will be the Raiders’ first round pick in 2010.
7. Detroit Lions- Russell Okung, OT (Oklahoma State)
> The Lions finally broke their winless streak, but they still have plenty of work to do. Jeff Backus is just not getting it done at left tackle, and the Lions need to build their lines to continue to give Matt Stafford a chance to turn things around in Detroit. Russell Okung is the best left tackle prospect in this class, and will fill a huge need for the Lions.
8. San Francisco 49ers (from Carolina)- Joe Haden (Florida)
> San Francisco needs to replace aging Walt Harris with a young talent. Joe Haden is the top corner in 2010, and will start quickly across from Nate Clements.
9. Miami Dolphins- Arrelious Benn, WR (Illinois)
>A big reason for Miami’s struggles this year is the lack of a true #1 wide receiver. Ted Ginn Jr. has not become the player the Dolphins envisioned when they drafted him ninth overall in 2007, and Miami cannot wait for him to develop lest they keep declining. Benn has the talent and size to be a number one receiver in the league, and he’ll step into that role in Miami while pushing Ginn into the #2 role that he is better suited for.
10. Tennessee Titans- Trevard Lindley, CB (Kentucky)
> Tennessee’s secondary, a strength a year ago, has been the team’s biggest weakness this season. Cortland Finnegan is entrenched as the team’s #1 corner, though he’s not a shutdown back. A solid partner would allow Tennessee’s secondary to once again return to prominence, and Lindley could be that guy.
11. Buffalo Bills- Trent Williams, OT (Oklahoma)
> The Bills have had some success developing under the radar talent at left tackle (Jason Peters, Demetrius Bell) but the fact remains that they need someone who can instantly step in and protect the blindside of Trent Edwards. Bell isn’t that guy, but Williams could very well be.
12. Seattle Seahawks- Bryan Bulaga, OT (Iowa)
> Walter Jones is getting old and injury prone, and Sean Locklear is better suited to the right side. Bulaga’s stock could be hurt by memories of Robert Gallery, but so far he has shown that he has the athleticism to play left tackle in the NFL.
13. Seattle Seahawks (from Denver)- Jahvid Best, RB (California)
>With two consecutive picks, the Seahawks have a lot of options. After grabbing a new blindside protector, they can go after an upgrade at defensive back, quarterback or running back. With Heisman candidate Jahvid Best still on the board, they won’t hesitate to upgrade Julius Jones and Edgerrin James.
14. Jacksonville Jaguars- Dez Bryant, WR (Oklahoma State)
> Jacksonville seems to have a lot of quantity at wide receiver, but not much quality. A true #1 would be of great benefit to a team that cannot overburden Maurice Jones-Drew, so they’ll try to get one here, as there may not be much left by the time they pick again in the third round.
15. Arizona Cardinals- Terrence Cody, NT (Alabama)
> Arizona has made a somewhat successful transition to the 3-4, but they still lack a good young nose tackle to complete the package, as Gabe Watson is getting old and Alan Branch has done nothing to justify the second round pick the Cardinals spent on him three years ago. Cody is a behemoth in the middle of Alabama’s line, and can rotate in at nose tackle while he improves his endurance.
16. Houston Texans- Gerald McCoy, DT (Oklahoma)
> Houston’s defense has once again been the team’s Achilles heel. They have looked soft, and they gave up 272 passing yards to a rookie quarterback in week 1, and followed that up by allowing Chris Johnson to run roughshod over them for 284 total yards from scrimmage. This needs to change, so Houston is almost guaranteed to target some defensive help early in the 2010 draft.
17. Dallas Cowboys- Brandon Spikes, ILB (Florida)
>Cycling in aging free agents at inside linebacker might be a novel idea, but eventually Dallas is going to need a young answer. Brandon Spikes is one of the top inside linebackers in the nation, and will be a good replacement for Keith Brooking.
18. Cincinnati Bengals- Ciron Black, OT (LSU)
> Surprisingly, Cincinnati does not really have any glaring holes, so they could trade down or go with a luxury pick here. I know they drafted Andre’ Smith in the first round last year, but they could kill two birds with one stone by drafting Black. Current Bengals LT Andrew Whitworth is playing out of position, so by replacing him with Black, Cincinnati can upgrade the left tackle position and get Whitworth back to playing a position he’s better suited for, like guard.
19. Denver Broncos (from Chicago)-Colt McCoy, QB (Texas)
> Josh McDaniels didn’t get Matt Cassel, but he can get the closest thing in this year’s draft. Both Cassel and McCoy are mobile quarterbacks with limited arm strength who fit well in McDaniel’s shotgun scheme.
20. Green Bay Packers- Charles Brown, OT (USC)
> Green Bay’s pass protection has been an absolute abomination this season. Antwan Odom single handedly wrecked the Packers in week 2, registering 5 sacks by himself. Green Bay will not be able to contend unless they can keep Aaron Rodgers upright, so they have to go after a new left tackle here.
21. Pittsburgh Steelers- Anthony Davis, OT (Rutgers)
> Pittsburgh’s offensive line is still the team’s Achilles’ heel, so they need to upgrade as many positions as they can. Davis can play all along the line, and will be a boost at whichever spot Pittsburgh puts him at.
22. San Diego Chargers- Damian Williams, WR (USC)
> It would not surprise me to see the Chargers trade up for a chance to draft Terrence Cody in order to replace Jamal Williams. However, if they are unable to do so they will probably stay put and draft a wide receiver. Chris Chambers will be gone after this season, and Buster Davis has lived up to the first four letters of his name. Williams is emerging as an elite prospect, and may not be available at #22, in which case San Diego will still go after one of the other wideouts in this receiver heavy draft.
23. San Francisco 49ers- Rolando McClain, ILB (Alabama)
> If McClain pans out, how scary would the tandem of Patrick Willis and Rolando McClain be? Takeo Spikes is still serviceable, but he’s not what he once was. Singletary knows linebackers and will get his man.
24. Philadelphia Eagles- Carlos Dunlap, DE (Florida)
> Andy Reid loves building depth on the lines, and it has worked pretty well so far. With no immediate needs, Philadelphia can take a player who is heavy on talent but needs motivation, like Dunlap, and prepare him for a bigger role down the line.
25. Atlanta Falcons- Sean Witherspoon, OLB (Missouri)
> With a great combine, Witherspoon could rocket up boards the way Aaron Curry did last year. Atlanta needs a player like Witherspoon, as Mike Peterson is getting old.
26. Minnesota Vikings- Ras-I Dowling, CB (Virginia)
> Antoine Winfield, the Vikings best corner, is 32. After him, the Vikings don’t have much, which spells trouble in a division that features Greg Jennings, Calvin Johnson and Donald Driver. Dowling would be a good fit for a team that needs a tall corner.
27. New England Patriots- Eric Norwood, DE/OLB (South Carolina)
> New England has had trouble putting pressure on the quarterback because they just don’t have anyone on the roster who can do it consistently. Adalius Thomas is alright on the strongside, but New England lacks that marquee blindside rusher. Eric Norwood has made a name for himself lately, and could be the guy New England turns to.
28. Indianapolis Colts- Reshad Jones, S (Georgia)
>Indianapolis is another team that has the luxury of trading down, since they have no real glaring areas of weakness. However, if they stay in this spot the Colts will likely try to get some insurance for the talented, but oft injured Bob Sanders.
29. New York Jets- Brandon LaFell, WR (LSU)
> New York is sorely in need of a big receiver who can at least split the no. 1 role with Jerricho Cotchery, the way they did when they had Laveranues Coles. LaFell is 6’3” with great hands and good speed. Mark Sanchez would surely prefer to have his college teammate Damian Williams here, but “settling” for LaFell isn’t going to raise any complaints.
30. New Orleans Saints- Greg Jones, LB (Michigan State)
> New Orleans’ linebacking corps needs a shot in the arm, and Jones is the guy to give it to them. He is a tackling machine who has a great nose for the ball, and will fit well in Gregg Williams’ aggressive defensive scheme.
31. Baltimore Ravens- Kristofer O’Dowd, C (USC)
> Matt Birk was a good replacement for Jason Brown, but he is still too old for a team that has done a good job with its youth movement. Baltimore needs a young future at the center of its line, and they can get it with O’Dowd.
32. New York Giants- Jermaine Gresham, TE (Oklahoma)
> Kevin Boss is alright, but nothing special. Gresham is an elite talent who can recover for a while from his injury (torn ACL) behind Boss and Travis Beckum, then make an impact somewhere down the road.