NFL Mock Draft III: Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford Vaults to No. 1 for St. Louis Rams

NFL Mock Draft III: Oklahoma's Sam Bradford Vaults to No. 1 for St. Louis Rams The combine is in the books, and it seems like there are a few more answers in regard to the 2010 NFL draft, which is seven weeks away. The first round is also officially set now that the super-scientific coin tosses have determined each tiebreaker. With that, here is NESN.com’s Mock Draft Version III. Check back every Thursday from now until the draft for an updated version.

1. St. Louis Rams
2009 record: 1-15
The pick: Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford
Previous mock draft picks: Nebraska defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh

Analysis: All the talk has shifted toward Bradford, and there’s no fault in that. When teams shell out the kind of dough it takes to sign a No. 1 pick, it makes a lot of sense to grab a quarterback. Suh would still figure to be a great fit in St. Louis, but the Rams have spent a lot of assets on their defensive line and can easily justify the Bradford selection.

2. Detroit Lions
2009 record: 2-14
The pick: Nebraska defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh
Previous mock draft picks: Oklahoma State left tackle Russell Okung, Oklahoma defensive tackle Gerald McCoy

Analysis: The Lions are in a pretty good spot here. It seems like they’ll take either Suh or McCoy. Draft analysts seem split on which prospect is better, but Suh was much more impressive at the combine. Detroit should be thrilled if the Rams pass on Suh.

3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2009 record: 3-13
The pick: Oklahoma defensive tackle Gerald McCoy
Previous mock draft picks: Tennessee safety Eric Berry

Analysis: McCoy was the original mock draft selection at this spot, but gained steam and moved to No. 2 last week. However, McCoy had a curious showing at the combine and only benched 225 pounds 23 times (nine less than Suh). McCoy seems stable for now, but he’ll need to be impressive during future workouts to remain in the top five.

4. Washington Redskins
2009 record: 4-12
The pick: Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen
Previous mock draft picks: Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford

Analysis: Owner Dan Snyder has to be zeroing in on a franchise-caliber quarterback in this draft. They’d obviously prefer to land Bradford, and if they don’t think Clausen is worthy of a No. 4 pick, Russell Okung will be their long-term answer at left tackle.

5. Kansas City Chiefs
2009 record: 4-12
The pick: Oklahoma State tackle Russell Okung
Previous mock draft picks: Tennessee safety Eric Berry

Analysis: The 6-foot-8 tackle has been in this spot for two weeks, and the Chiefs would be overjoyed if he slipped this far. Okung could conceivably go as high as No. 2, so the first hour of the draft will be tense in the Kansas City war room.

6. Seattle Seahawks
2009 record: 5-11
The pick: Tennessee safety Eric Berry
Previous mock draft picks: Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen

Analysis: It admittedly might be a stretch for the Seahawks to target Clausen in this draft, but if he’s out of the picture, that’s not a debate they’ll have to tackle. That said, Berry might be an easy choice at No. 6. They need help at safety and can undoubtedly fill needs on the offensive or defensive line at No. 14.

7. Cleveland Browns
2009 record: 5-11
The pick: Florida cornerback Joe Haden
Previous mock draft picks: Same

Analysis: Haden was considered to be on the slow side for a cornerback, and his 4.6-ish time at the combine won’t help his draft stock. Still, he seems like too much of an Eric Mangini guy for the Browns to pass.

8. Oakland Raiders
2009 record: 5-11
The pick: Oklahoma State wide receiver Dez Bryant
Previous mock draft picks: Same

Analysis: Some draft analysts label Bryant as the third-best prospect in this class. As true as that may be, the wide receiver is becoming an unpopular position at the top of the first round. But we know one thing: Al Davis will like him.

9. Buffalo Bills
2009 record: 6-10
The pick: Maryland tackle Bruce Campbell
Previous mock draft picks: Rutgers left tackle Anthony Davis

Analysis: Davis has been labeled as a guy who doesn’t always live for football, and his unspectacular performance at the combine just might have — at least until he does something to disprove that theory — dropped him out of the first round. With that said, Campbell is a hot name in draft circles, and scouts loved him in Indy.

10. Jacksonville Jaguars
2009 record: 7-9
The pick: South Florida defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul
Previous mock draft picks: Alabama linebacker Rolando McClain, Georgia Tech defensive end Derrick Morgan

Analysis: Pierre-Paul still seems like he could be a sketchy pick with just one year of major college experience, but he is getting great grades from draft analysts and would be a strong defensive end for the Jags’ 4-3 system. Morgan figures like a better fit for a team that runs a 3-4 defense because it still remains to be seen if he’ll be a better fit standing up or in a three-point stance.

11. Denver Broncos (From Chicago Bears)
2009 record: 8-8
The pick: UCLA defensive tackle Brian Price
Previous mock draft picks: Georgia Tech defensive end Derrick Morgan, Tennessee defensive tackle Dan Williams

Analysis: At this point, it seems pretty standard that Price will go before Williams. The UCLA product is also versatile enough to play across the defensive line, and Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels will value that from his days in New England.

12. Miami Dolphins
2009 record: 7-9
The pick: Clemson outside linebacker Ricky Sapp
Previous mock draft picks: Alabama linebacker Rolando McClain

Analysis: Sapp was the pick in the original mock draft, and an excellent showing at the combine has re-established his position. Plus, McClain is being labeled as a slower linebacker, and he won’t run the 40 until Alabama’s pro day. The Dolphins need help at each linebacker position, and Sapp looks like their best fit right now.

13. San Francisco 49ers
2009 record: 8-8
The pick: Texas defensive back Earl Thomas
Previous mock draft picks: Florida defensive end Carlos Dunlap, South Florida defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul

Analysis: Thomas is looking more and more like a safety after there were questions about his best position in the defensive backfield. He is also climbing up draft boards and would be a playmaker this defense needs.

14. Seattle Seahawks (From Denver Broncos)
2009 record: 5-11
The pick: Iowa tackle Bryan Bulaga
Previous mock draft picks: USC defensive end Everson Griffen

Analysis: This is an interesting spot for the Seahawks. If they feel strongly about Morgan, Dunlap or Griffen, they’ll be able to capitalize on an edge rusher. But there are doubts about each of those three players, and the Seahawks can still land a good defensive end with the 40th pick. Bulaga, on the other hand, seems like a universal hit and someone who could be a rock on the offensive line for a long time.

15. New York Giants
2009 record: 8-8
The pick: Alabama linebacker Rolando McClain
Previous mock draft picks: Tennessee defensive tackle Dan Williams, UCLA defensive tackle Brian Price

Analysis: It would be interesting to see if the Giants could turn Morgan into a pass-rushing threat, and he could be an exciting addition to their system. However, the Giants have more pressing needs in the middle of their defense, and McClain could fit the role vacated by Antonio Pierce.

16. Tennessee Titans
2009 record: 8-8
The pick: Georgia Tech defensive end Derrick Morgan
Previous mock draft picks: South Florida defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, Texas outside linebacker/defensive end Sergio Kindle

Analysis: Yeah, the Titans run a 4-3, which goes against an earlier sentiment of Morgan. But this might be a little too far for him to fall, and head coach Jeff Fisher is always able to find a way to get his edge rushers turned loose.

17. San Francisco 49ers (From Carolina Panthers)
2009 record: 8-8
The pick: Oklahoma tackle Trent Williams
Previous mock draft picks: Iowa tackle Bryan Bulaga

Analysis: San Francisco’s up-and-coming spread offense is only as successful as Alex Smith’s ability to stay upright. One of the Niners’ first two picks will be dedicated to the offensive line.

18. Pittsburgh Steelers
2009 record: 9-7
The pick: Idaho guard Mike Iupati
Previous mock draft picks: Oklahoma tackle Trent Williams

Analysis: It should be all about finding the best offensive lineman on the board for the Steelers, whose offensive line suffered a big drop-off last season.

19. Atlanta Falcons
2009 record: 9-7
The pick: Texas outside linebacker/defensive end Sergio Kindle
Previous mock draft picks: Clemson outside linebacker Ricky Sapp

Analysis: Kindle was the pick in NESN’s original mock draft, and he is back in Atlanta this week. The Falcons need to add some fire to their boring defense.

20. Houston Texans
2009 record: 9-7
The pick: Boise State cornerback Kyle Wilson
Previous mock draft picks: Texas defensive back Earl Thomas

Analysis: Wilson debuted in the mock draft last week, and he jumped nine spots this week. Expect Houston to select the best defensive back available, regardless of position.

21. Cincinnati Bengals
2009 record: 10-6
The pick: Florida offensive lineman Maurkice Pouncey
Previous mock draft picks: Oklahoma tight end Jermaine Gresham, Idaho guard Mike Iupati

Analysis: Collegiate centers are typically able to make a smooth transition to guard in the NFL, and Pouncey is expected to do the same. The Bengals might be tempted to make a run at USC safety Taylor Mays, but the should stay safe here and find a replacement for right guard Bobbie Williams.

22. New England Patriots
2009 record: 10-6
The pick: Florida defensive end Carlos Dunlap
Previous mock draft picks: Florida middle linebacker Brandon Spikes

Analysis: The more you read about Dunlap, the more he sounds like Richard Seymour and Julius Peppers – big, immensely talented and sometimes disinterested. But if Dunlap is around at No. 22, he might be too good to pass up.

23. Green Bay Packers
2009 record: 11-5
The pick: USC defensive end Everson Griffen
Previous mock draft picks: Michigan defensive end/outside linebacker Brandon Graham

Analysis: Graham is vertically challenged and has short arms, and that’s not what teams are typically searching for with their first-round pick. Griffen is a more athletic prospect who could fill multiple roles in Green Bay’s scheme.

24. Philadelphia Eagles
2009 record: 11-5
The pick: California running back Jahvid Best
Previous mock draft picks: USC safety Taylor Mays, Clemson running back C.J. Spiller

Analysis: Spiller is still typically considered the best back of the draft class, but Best would be a better fit for Philadelphia’s system. He is lightning-quick and acts as a great receiver out of the backfield, and the Eagles already have a pair of powerful runners in LeSean McCoy and Leonard Weaver who can log carries between the tackles.

25. Baltimore Ravens
2009 record: 9-7
The pick: Illinois wide receiver Arrelious Benn
Previous mock draft picks: Notre Dame wide receiver Golden Tate, USC safety Taylor Mays

Analysis: Rather than planning for life after Ed Reed, which was the thought process with the Mays selection before he tanked at the combine, the Ravens should shift back to the receiver position. There seems to be a pretty similar crop of talent after Dez Bryant, but Benn is gaining more steam as the second wideout off the board.

26. Arizona Cardinals
2009 record: 10-6
The pick: Florida middle linebacker Brandon Spikes
Previous mock draft picks: Maryland tackle Bruce Campbell

Analysis: Spikes might not be the fastest middle linebacker in the draft, but he’s got booming potential as a late first-rounder or early second-rounder. Teams might not be thrilled about passing him by in a couple of years.

27. Dallas Cowboys
2009 record: 11-5
The pick: Penn State outside linebacker Navorro Bowman
Previous mock draft picks: Maryland tackle Bruce Campbell

Analysis: This is the second time Bowman has been slotted here, and he’ll add yet another frightening dynamic to the Cowboys’ pass rush.

28. San Diego Chargers
2009 record: 13-3
The pick: Clemson running back C.J. Spiller
Previous mock draft picks: Fresno State running back Ryan Mathews

Analysis: It’s pretty scary to think the Chargers will likely be without LaDainian Tomlinson and Darren Sproles next season, but San Diego will be able to fill that void in this draft with Spiller, Mathews or Jahvid Best.

29. New York Jets
2009 record: 9-7
The pick: Alabama cornerback Kareem Jackson
Previous mock draft picks: Wide receiver Brandon LaFell, Boise State cornerback Kyle Wilson

Analysis: The Jets will be reworking their secondary in the offseason, and Jackson looks like a sure bet. But with this team’s pass rush, Jets corners only need to have a pulse to be effective for their defense.

30. Minnesota Vikings
2009 record: 12-4
The pick: Texas quarterback Colt McCoy
Previous mock draft picks: Same

Analysis: Why mess with a good thing? McCoy is one of three players who have remained in the same spot in each of the last three weeks.

31. Indianapolis Colts
2009 record: 14-2
The pick: USC tackle Charles Brown
Previous mock draft picks: Idaho guard Mike Iupati

Analysis: In the spirit of finding new offensive linemen for Bill Polian, Brown is the pick for the second consecutive week. Anthony Davis might be a pretty appealing talent this late in the draft, but he’s got “bust” written all over him. We’ve got to believe the Colts are smarter than that.

32. New Orleans Saints
2009 record: 13-3
The pick: Tennessee defensive tackle Dan Williams
Previous mock draft picks: UCLA defensive tackle Brian Price, Penn State defensive tackle Jared Odrick

Analysis: This would be quite the fall for Williams, who has gone 15th and 11th in the previous two mock drafts. But there seem to be more pressing needs for teams in the second half of the first round, and the Saints will be just fine with that.

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