The order’s been determined simply by doing the league standings on ESPN.com in reverse.
1. St. Louis – Ndammukong Suh, DT, Nebraska
– Best defensive player in the draft and makes total sense given Spagnuolo’s reliance on the defensive line for his style of play. With Carriker returning from IR, St. Louis will have 3 of the best DL prospects of the past 3 years on their line. Distinct chance they can go QB here, but the Vick rumors are really picking up steam and it makes a ton of sense for that team.
2. Cleveland – Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame
– Word is Clausen has kind of a Cutler thing going for him and his dad is a wackjob. The former is seriously going to work against him, but he’s the sexy pick for QB at this point. There’s always the chance of a Quinn-slide but it’s just too early to tell.
3. Tampa – Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma St
– Makes total sense for them. They’re in desperate need of a weakside blocker and they have a fantastic pair of young guards who would flourish with Okung. There were concerns about his ability to handle speed rushers but Okung’s quieted those in recent weeks. Fantastic player.
4. Detroit – Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma
– Terrific DT prospect with rare explosiveness. Detroit’s defensive line is awful and almost completely devoid of talent. Second-best DT prospect in a draft absolutely loaded at the position.
5. Kansas City – Eric Berry, S, Tennessee
– Outstanding safety and the best DB in this draft by a wide margin. Special talent that only comes along 2-3 times per decade for the position.
6. Oakland – Joe Haden, CB, Florida
– Anyone doing mocks this year should just write “who the crap knows” next to Oakland. I mean seriously, Roger Goodell could stand up and say; “The Oakland Raiders are trying to select Shirley Maclaine, but there’s no one available by that name.” Wouldn’t surprise anyone at this point.
7. Washington – Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma
– I think Bradford or Clausen to Washington is a lock so far. Washington clearly isn’t set on Campbell and both are fancy names. Bradford would have been the second QB off the board if he came out last season and that should hold true this year as well. Shoulder concerns will definitely turn a few teams away, but the talent is certainly there. It’s worth noting that Washington is particularly high on Clausen right now.
8. Buffalo – Ryan Mallet – QB, Arkansas
– Terrific prospect who’s going to benefit a lot from Locker not coming out. Should continue to shoot up boards as the draft draws closer.
9. Seattle – Trent Williams, OT, Oklahoma
– I’ve been a huge fan of Williams for quite some time. He can play either position at a very high level and has really shined amongst elite talent playing next to him for several years. The jury’s out on whether or not Walter Jones can ever return to form, but father time and a knee are both working against him. Either way, Williams can play the strongside and develop if Jones can somehow make it back.
10. San Francisco (from Carolina) – Terrance Cody, DT, Alabama
– Ideal 3-4 NT who should be a top 10 pick barring bad workouts. A bit inconsistent and conditioning concerns are there, but teams will always take chances on guys who are this size with this type of talent regardless of concerns at a much higher rate than other positions.
11. Denver (from Chicago) – Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma St
– Best WR prospect in this class and the Marshall situation isn’t going away. On top of that Royal hasn’t been that good this season.
12. Tennessee – Rolando McClain, LB, Alabama
– Perfect fit for Tennessee and the best LB in this draft. He’s not exactly a highlight reel but he plays from sideline to sideline very well and is extremely intelligent.
13. Houston – Damian Williams, WR, USC
– Houston is in desperate need of another wideout to compliment Johnson. Kevin Walter isn’t very good.
14. Pittsburgh – Anthony Davis, OT, Rutgers
– Best footwork for an OT prospect since D’Brickashaw Ferguson. Still very young and growing but could definitely work his way into the top ten after workouts. He is expected to declare and Rutgers juniors have had a trend of leaving early if projected high enough.
15. San Francisco – Brandon Spikes, ILB, Florida
– Excellent 3-4 prospect. Spikes isn’t in their long-term plans and even though I was a huge McKillop fan, it’s hard to pass up an opportunity to make your defense this much better in one draft.
16. Atlanta – Jerry Hughes, OLB, TCU
– One of my favorite prospects in this draft. Perfect fit for a defense dangerously inept at linebacker with the exception of Curtis Lofton.
17. NY Jets – Taylor Mays, S, USC
– Great fit for Rex’s defense and athleticism that’s off the charts. Makes a ton of sense given the Rhodes situaiton. This is shaping up to be a pretty deep draft for the first 15 or so picks and there’s definitely a realistic possibility that he’s on the board at this point.
18. Baltimore – Carlos Dunlap, DE, Florida
– Should go even earlier based on talent alone, but character concerns will probably cause him to fall. Baltimore’s defensive strength, which used to be its linebackers, now rests on its DL and Trevor Pryce is clearly declining. Dunlap would be an excellent replacement given his ability to take over games.
19. NY Giants – Jonathan Dwyer, RB, Georgia Tech
– Maybe a few picks before he should go, but the Giants seem to have cured their WR woes. RB is a glaring need for them and Dwyer is probably the best all-around back in this draft. I supposed C.J. Spiller is a possibility but I don’t see why they’d pick him when Ahmad Bradshaw’s more or less a light version of him.
20. Jacksonville – Tim Tebow, QB, Florida
– When the owner of your franchise says this is who he wants, who the hell knows what’s going to happen. From a football standpoint this is a terrible pick, but Jacksonville’s primary concern is a lack of ticket sales due to being in the heart of an area where college ball is king and Tebow would most certainly put people in the stands, even if he sucks.
21. Miami – Ricky Sapp, DE, Clemson
– Well-suited to play rush OLB in a 3-4 and Miami’s LB’s aren’t very impressive outside of rising prospect Cameron Wake, who’s still a situational player.
22. Arizona – Bryan Bulaga, OT, Iowa
– Bulaga doesn’t exactly jump off the page, but he does everything well for his position and Arizona’s line still isn’t anything to gush over.
23. New England – Corey Wooten, DE, Northwestern
– Great 3-4 OLB prospect who’s been yo-yo’ing up and down boards for the past several weeks.
24. Dallas -Cameron Heyward, DE, OSU
– Tons of potential as a 3-4 DE. May go earlier than this and his stock is slowly climbing. Jason Hatcher seems to have plateaued and Igor Olshansky hasn’t been terrible, but Heyward’s a solid value pick here and would be an upgrade.
25. Denver – Sergio Kindle, OLB, Texas
– Mario Haggan is good. Kindle can be great.
26. Green Bay – CJ Spiller, RB, Clemson
– Game breaking RB that Green Bay definitely has a use for. Especially since they wouldn’t have to lean too hard on him early on due to Grant being capable.
27. Cincinatti – Golden Tate, WR, Notre Dame
– Chris Henry is no more than a #3 and Coles is no replacement for Housh. I like Tate a lot and I think there’s a strong chance he sneaks in to the late first.
28. Philadelphia – Bruce Carter, OLB, North Caroline
– Perfect fit for Philly’s defense.
29. San Diego – Charles Brown, OT, USC
Brandyn Dombrowski is awful. San Diego needs to replace him yesterday.
30. Minnesota – Patrick Robinson, CB, Florida St
– Outside of Winfield, Minnesota is very weak at CB and Robinson is one of the better physical prospects in a weak CB class.
31. Indianapolis – Jared Odrick, DT, Penn St
– Athletic DT who’d fit in great with Indy’s underrated defense.
32. New Orleans – Jahvid Best, RB, California
– New Orleans hasn’t run the ball much this season and has had to split carries between 3 backs. Though it’s working for now due to how good the passing game is, this sets them up for the future.