Mock Draft IX: With One Week To Go, Sam Bradford Maintains Top Spot

Mock Draft IX: With One Week To Go, Sam Bradford Maintains Top Spot With only a week to go before the NFL draft, teams are in the midst of their final preparations. The draft boards are probably about as set as they’ll get, and trade value could become an increasingly popular discussion at team headquarters. Here is the NESN.com Mock Draft Version IX, and check back next Thursday for the final 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: Bradford seems to have escaped the late phase in which top picks are overly criticized to the point where they’re made out to sound like third-rounders. Surely, the shoulder has been a concern, but everything else has checked out for the former Sooner.

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: After spending a week in Detroit for the Frozen Four and hearing plenty from the town’s media, it sounds like Suh would be an unpopular draft choice due to the bust rate of defensive tackles. Rather, the fan base is clamoring over Okung and Tennessee safety Eric Berry.

3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2009 record: 3-13
The pick: Oklahoma defensive tackle Gerald McCoy
Previous mock draft picks: Tennessee safety Eric Berry
Analysis: Anyone else hear, “McCoy will go in the top five,” and mistakenly think they’re talking about Colt the quarterback? No? OK, then, neither do we.

4. Washington Redskins
2009 record: 4-12
The pick: Oklahoma State tackle Russell Okung
Previous mock draft picks: Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford, Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen
Analysis: It will be tempting for Washington to trade down, but if Okung is still on the board, he would be a perfect fit for what this team needs.

5. Kansas City Chiefs

2009 record: 4-12
The pick: Iowa tackle Bryan Bulaga
Previous mock draft picks: Tennessee safety Eric Berry, Oklahoma State tackle Russell Okung
Analysis: Berry would add some juice to this team, but Bulaga fills a more important hole.

6. Seattle Seahawks
2009 record: 5-11
The pick: Tennessee safety Eric Berry
Previous mock draft picks: Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen
Analysis: There has been some speculation that the Seahawks will go for Clemson running back C.J. Spiller at this spot, but that would be a mistake. There’s a very strong likelihood Spiller is still there at No. 14.

7. Cleveland Browns
2009 record: 5-11
The pick: Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen
Previous mock draft picks: Florida cornerback Joe Haden
Analysis: If head coach Eric Mangini can get some growth out of Clausen in 2010, he’ll earn another year in Cleveland. It’s much more difficult to fire a head coach after handing the reins to a young franchise-type quarterback than it would be if the Browns drafted, say, Haden.

8. Oakland Raiders
2009 record: 5-11
The pick: Rutgers tackle Anthony Davis
Previous mock draft picks: Oklahoma State wide receiver Dez Bryant
Analysis: Davis can’t be any worse than Robert Gallery, right?

9. Buffalo Bills
2009 record: 6-10
The pick: Oklahoma tackle Trent Williams
Previous mock draft picks: Rutgers tackle Anthony Davis, Maryland tackle Bruce Campbell
Analysis: Williams recorded 102 knockdowns last season. Hecklers, beware. 

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 has the size and apparent strength to be pretty effective right away in a four-man front. 

11. Denver Broncos (From Chicago Bears)
2009 record: 8-8
The pick: Alabama linebacker Rolando McClain
Previous mock draft picks: Tennessee defensive tackle Dan Williams, UCLA defensive tackle Brian Price, Georgia Tech defensive end Derrick Morgan
Analysis: Tough to tell which way the Broncos will go here. Josh McDaniels, who has an offensive background, would love a weapon like wide receiver Dez Bryant. But the head coach is a clone of Bill Belichick, who would never draft a wideout this high. Despite trading away Brandon Marshall, Denver still needs a middle linebacker, and McClain is the best in the class.

12. Miami Dolphins
2009 record: 7-9
The pick: Georgia Tech defensive end Derrick Morgan
Previous mock draft picks: Alabama linebacker Rolando McClain, Clemson outside linebacker Ricky Sapp
Analysis: After acquiring Brandon Marshall, do the Dolphins still try to trade Ted Ginn? The thinking here is he might actually relish the role as a No. 2 wideout, and Ginn could receive more opportunities with coverages heavily focused on Marshall.

13. San Francisco 49ers
2009 record: 8-8
The pick: Florida cornerback Joe Haden
Previous mock draft picks: Florida defensive end Carlos Dunlap, South Florida defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, Texas safety Earl Thomas
Analysis: The Niners probably have a more pressing need on the offensive line, but they can’t pass on Haden, who should instantly start in their secondary.

14. Seattle Seahawks (From Denver Broncos)
2009 record: 5-11
The pick: Oklahoma State wide receiver Dez Bryant
Previous mock draft picks: USC defensive end Everson Griffen, Iowa tackle Bryan Bulaga
Analysis: The Seahawks are a tough team to predict. They’ve got a number of issues, two early draft picks and a coach who just came from the college ranks. That makes for a tough read.

15. New York Giants
2009 record: 8-8
The pick: Missouri linebacker Sean Weatherspoon
Previous mock draft picks: Tennessee defensive tackle Dan Williams, Alabama linebacker Rolando McClain, UCLA defensive tackle Brian Price
Analysis: It’s funny how everyone raves about Weatherspoon’s great performance at the Combine, yet the lasting image of him is the one in which he's tripping over one of those foot-high bean bags in Indy.

16. Tennessee Titans
2009 record: 8-8
The pick: USC defensive end Everson Griffen
Previous mock draft picks: South Florida defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, Georgia Tech defensive end Derrick Morgan, Missouri linebacker Sean Weatherspoon, Texas outside linebacker/defensive end Sergio Kindle
Analysis: Griffen is a prototypical down lineman who is a better fit for Tennessee’s system than Kindle.

17. San Francisco 49ers (From Carolina Panthers)
2009 record: 8-8
The pick: Maryland tackle Bruce Campbell
Previous mock draft picks: Iowa tackle Bryan Bulaga, Oklahoma tackle Trent Williams
Analysis: After taking Joe Haden and Campbell, the 49ers have clearly displayed their East Coast bias.

18. Pittsburgh Steelers
2009 record: 9-7
The pick: Idaho guard Mike Iupati
Previous mock draft picks: Oklahoma tackle Trent Williams
Analysis: The Steelers will employ Iupati as Ben Roethlisberger’s on-field security detail. Maybe they can draft Tim Tebow in the second round to be Roethlisberger’s off-the-field advisor.

19. Atlanta Falcons
2009 record: 9-7
The pick: Michigan defensive end/outside linebacker Brandon Graham
Previous mock draft picks: Clemson outside linebacker Ricky Sapp, Texas outside linebacker/defensive end Sergio Kindle, USC defensive end Everson Griffen
Analysis: This is the highest Graham has gone in this draft. His size is simply too much of a concern for a first-rounder.

20. Houston Texans
2009 record: 9-7
The pick: Texas safety Earl Thomas
Previous mock draft picks: Boise State cornerback Kyle Wilson
Analysis: Thomas has been the pick here for several weeks, and he would fit great with Houston.

21. Cincinnati Bengals
2009 record: 10-6
The pick: Oklahoma tight end Jermaine Gresham
Previous mock draft picks:
Idaho guard Mike Iupati, Florida offensive lineman Maurkice Pouncey
Analysis: Bill Belichick touched on the fact that there are a good amount of first-round prospects who didn’t get much playing time last season. Here’s betting he was directly referring to Gresham, which means the Bengals might need to take him here if they hope he lasts.

22. New England Patriots
2009 record: 10-6
The pick: Texas outside linebacker/defensive end Sergio Kindle
Previous mock draft picks: Florida middle linebacker Brandon Spikes, Oklahoma tight end Jermaine Gresham, Florida defensive end Carlos Dunlap
Analysis: Kindle is a monster who could create havoc in Bill Belichick’s system. Yet, this is only the second time in nine mock drafts we’ve had him fall this far.

23. Green Bay Packers
2009 record: 11-5
The pick: USC tackle Charles Brown
Previous mock draft picks: USC defensive end Everson Griffen, Penn State outside linebacker Navorro Bowman, Michigan defensive end/outside linebacker Brandon Graham
Analysis: Brown can help Green Bay’s grounds crew avoid weeklong maintenance to remove the Aaron Rodgers-shaped craters from the grass at Lambeau.

24. Philadelphia Eagles
2009 record: 11-5
The pick: Tennessee defensive tackle Dan Williams
Previous mock draft picks: USC safety Taylor Mays, Clemson running back C.J. Spiller, California running back Jahvid Best, UCLA defensive tackle Brian Price
Analysis: Williams has remained here for awhile. He’ll help anchor the middle of Philly’s line and give some relief to Trent Cole.

25. Baltimore Ravens
2009 record: 9-7
The pick: Penn State defensive lineman Jared Odrick
Previous mock draft picks: Notre Dame wide receiver Golden Tate, USC safety Taylor Mays, Illinois wide receiver Arrelious Benn, Oklahoma State wide receiver Dez Bryant
Analysis: Odrick and the Ravens were made for each other like buffalo chicken quesadillas and spicy salsa (don’t judge).

26. Arizona Cardinals
2009 record: 10-6
The pick: TCU outside linebacker Jerry Hughes
Previous mock draft picks: Maryland tackle Bruce Campbell, Florida middle linebacker Brandon Spikes, USC defensive end Everson Griffen, Texas outside linebacker/defensive end Sergio Kindle
Analysis: Everyone is counting out the Cardinals next season, preferring to anoint the 49ers. There’s nothing wrong with that logic, but don’t expect the Cards to go belly-up.

27. Dallas Cowboys
2009 record: 11-5
The pick: Florida offensive lineman Maurkice Pouncey
Previous mock draft picks: Maryland tackle Bruce Campbell, Penn State outside linebacker Navorro Bowman, Rutgers tackle Anthony Davis, Oklahoma tackle Trent Williams, USC tackle Charles Brown
Analysis: Pouncey is a natural center who could also play either guard spot.

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: LaDainian who?

29. New York Jets
2009 record: 9-7
The pick: USC safety Taylor Mays
Previous mock draft picks: Wide receiver Brandon LaFell, Boise State cornerback Kyle Wilson, Alabama cornerback Kareem Jackson
Analysis: One guy named “Mays” once worked out OK in New York. Keep the karma going.

30. Minnesota Vikings
2009 record: 12-4
The pick: Boise State cornerback Kyle Wilson
Previous mock draft picks: Texas quarterback Colt McCoy
Analysis: Anyone heard from Brett Favre lately?

31. Indianapolis Colts
2009 record: 14-2
The pick: Indiana tackle Rodger Saffold
Previous mock draft picks: Idaho guard Mike Iupati, USC tackle Charles Brown
Analysis: Saffold went to the same high school as NFL wide receivers Lee Evans and Chris Chambers. In case you were wondering, that has nothing to do with Saffold’s blocking ability. 

32. New Orleans Saints
2009 record: 13-3
The pick: UCLA defensive tackle Brian Price
Previous mock draft picks: Penn State defensive tackle Jared Odrick, Tennessee defensive tackle Dan Williams, Florida defensive end Carlos Dunlap
Analysis: Price turned 21 on Saturday. This is shaping up to be a pretty good month for him.

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