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Bronco Boy
02-11-2010, 01:13 PM
O-line and D-line take over top 10

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By Todd McShay
ESPN.com


Much has been made of the strength of the 2010 defensive tackle class, and the fact that the first two picks in Scouts Inc.'s latest first-round projection are defensive tackles is no surprise.


However, the offensive tackles are coming on strong, and we now project four offensive tackles to come off the board in the first eight picks. Add a pair of defensive ends to the players mentioned above, and you have eight linemen among the first 10 picks.


That leaves little room at the top for skill players and defensive backs, and some of the biggest names on our board have slipped significantly in our latest projection.


Here's how we see things shaking out now that the college all-star games are over and prospects are preparing for the upcoming NFL combine.



St. Louis RamsRecord: 1-15
Gerald McCoy*, DT, OklahomaThe Rams have a poor track record when it comes to drafting defensive linemen early, and now they have a tough choice to make between the stronger, more instinctive Ndamukong Suh and the quicker, more disruptive McCoy. Coach Steve Spagnuolo is looking for defensive linemen who can penetrate, which is why we think McCoy could be the top overall pick.

Detroit LionsRecord: 2-14
Ndamukong Suh, DT, NebraskaThe Lions will gladly take Suh here. He won't provide the pass-rush production of McCoy, but he is a force versus the run and he consistently disrupts passing windows thanks to his excellent instincts and long arms.

Tampa Bay BuccaneersRecord: 3-13
Jason Pierre-Paul*, DE, South FloridaThe Bucs will consider Tennessee S Eric Berry here, but they are in dire need of a speed rusher and Pierre-Paul is the most explosive one this draft class has to offer.

Washington RedskinsRecord: 4-12
Anthony Davis*, OT, RutgersOklahoma QB Sam Bradford has enough physical and mental tools to develop into a good NFL starter eventually. However, he also enters the league with enough question marks (shoulder injury, spread offensive system, etc.) for a team like the Redskins to pass and fill one of several other holes. Solidifying its offensive line should be Washington's top priority, and Davis is the most naturally gifted tackle in this year's deep group. Two other options at tackle are Russell Okung (Oklahoma State) and Bryan Bulaga (Iowa).

Kansas City ChiefsRecord: 4-12
Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma StateBerry could make a huge impact in the Chiefs' secondary as well, but Kansas City has too much work still to do at core positions to spend No. 5 money on a safety. The offensive line needs to be solidified, and that could happen by bringing in Okung, who has a quick first step, good power and a mean streak.

Seattle SeahawksRecord: 5-11
Bryan Bulaga*, OT, IowaLook for Seattle to pass on a quarterback in the top 10 for the second straight year. Finding a replacement for Walter Jones at left tackle is the more immediate need, and the team will get a safer prospect there than at quarterback. Bulaga still has room to improve in pass protection, but he displays the feet and balance to develop into a very good overall starting left tackle in the NFL.

Cleveland BrownsRecord: 5-11
Eric Berry*, S, TennesseeOklahoma State WR Dez Bryant will be tough to pass up here, but the Browns did spend a pair of second-round picks on WRs Brian Robiskie and Mohamed Massaquoi last year. Berry has the talent and experience to make the kind of impact for the Browns that perennial Pro Bowler Ed Reed made for the Ravens early in his career.

Oakland RaidersRecord: 5-11
Trent Williams, OT, OklahomaConsidering the team has used high draft picks on a quarterback (JaMarcus Russell), running back (Darren McFadden) and wide receiver (Darrius Heyward-Bey) in recent years, it would make sense to shift the focus to the offensive line this April. Both of the Raiders' starting offensive tackles (Mario Henderson and Cornell Green) are below average, and Williams has the physical tools and toughness to provide an upgrade at one of those two spots immediately.

Buffalo BillsRecord: 6-11
Sam Bradford*, QB, OklahomaOffensive tackle and quarterback are chief among the Bills' needs, and they should draft a tackle if Davis, Okung or Bulaga is available. This scenario has them selecting the top quarterback prospect in the 2010 class, though. Bradford is a bit of a project because of his slight frame and the spread system he played in at Oklahoma, but he has the football intelligence and accuracy to be molded into a good starter in the NFL.

Jacksonville Jaguars**Record: 7-9
Derrick Morgan*, DE, Georgia TechMorgan will not wow scouts with his results at the combine, but he is a high-motor, technically sound player who can pressure the quarterback and set the edge against the run. He has the physical tools to develop into a good every-down starter at the next level.

Denver Broncos** (from 7-9 Chicago)Record: 6-7
Dez Bryant*, WR, Oklahoma StateDenver still has needs along its offensive and defensive fronts as well as in the secondary, but it will be tough to pass on the clear-cut No. 1 wideout in this year's class should Bryant fall to the Broncos.

Miami DolphinsRecord: 7-9
Rolando McClain*, ILB, AlabamaBryant falling to No. 12 would be a dream scenario for the Dolphins, but if he is off the board, look for Miami to target a top talent in the defensive front seven. McClain is NFL-ready with the size, straight-line speed and work ethic to win a starting inside linebacker job immediately.

San Francisco 49ersRecord: 8-8
Joe Haden*, CB, FloridaThe 49ers could go in several directions with this pick, including quarterback, offensive line or a pass-rusher, but they wouldn't go wrong taking a top-10 skill player like Haden at this spot.

Seattle Seahawks (from 8-8 Denver)Record: 5-11
C.J. Spiller, RB, ClemsonNotre Dame QB Jimmy Clausen might be a possibility here, but we do not believe he's worthy of a first-round selection. After finding a left tackle at No. 6, it would make sense for the Seahawks to use this pick on a difference-maker like Spiller. Running backs generally are not worth drafting this high, but Spiller has additional value due to his home run ability as a receiver and return man.

New York GiantsRecord: 8-8
Brian Price*, DT, UCLAThe Giants need to retool the middle of their defense, and Price would be a good player to start with. He possesses the quickness and power to develop into a disruptive playmaker who can get into opposing backfields.

San Francisco** (from 8-8 Carolina)Record: 8-8
Mike Iupati, OT/G, IdahoIupati is a fast-rising guard/right tackle prospect who is strong and nasty and would fit in nicely with coach Mike Singletary's hard-nosed brand of football.

Tennessee Titans**Record: 8-8
Carlos Dunlap*, DE, FloridaDunlap is a bit immature and there are questions about his work ethic, but he also possesses a rare combination of size and athleticism for a defensive end. The Titans have enough veteran leadership on that side of the ball to pull the trigger here on a developmental project like Dunlap.

Pittsburgh SteelersRecord: 9-7
Dan Williams, NT, TennesseeThe Steelers would like to use this pick on a top offensive line prospect like Iupati or Trent Williams, but with both off the board, they will avoid reaching for another offensive lineman. They also will avoid stretching for a tackle like Maryland's Bruce Campbell to go for value with Dan Williams, who has the size and strength to develop into the eventual replacement for NT Casey Hampton, who is set to become a free agent.

Atlanta Falcons**Record: 9-7
Kareem Jackson*, CB, AlabamaThe Falcons need to improve their secondary talent after getting shredded through the air this past season. Jackson is one of the most underrated prospects in the 2010 class, and has the size, agility and balance to hold up in bump-and-run coverage on the perimeter. Plus, Jackson's instincts and technique are outstanding, so he should be ready to play as a rookie despite leaving school a year early.

Houston Texans**Record: 9-7
Earl Thomas*, S, TexasThomas is undersized but physical enough to play safety in the NFL if used properly. Regardless, he's one of the three most talented defensive backs in the 2010 class, and the Texans could use an upgrade at both free safety and cornerback, so Thomas is a fit no matter where he ends up playing.

Cincinnati BengalsRecord:10-6
Jermaine Gresham, TE, OklahomaThe Bengals are likely to use an early-round selection on a tight end, and while Gresham is a risk due to knee injuries (torn left ACL in high school, season-ending cartilage damage to right knee in 2009), his combination of size and athleticism is rare and he can stretch the seam effectively.

New England PatriotsRecord: 10-6
Brandon Graham, OLB, MichiganGraham is a bit undersized to play a traditional defensive end role, and he does not have the ideal athleticism you want in an outside linebacker. If used properly, though, Graham can excel in the NFL, and he appears to be in Bill Belichick's wheelhouse with his nonstop motor, excellent technique and good overall football intelligence.

Green Bay PackersRecord: 11-5
Bruce Campbell*, OT, MarylandCampbell will turn some heads with his performance at the combine. However, while he might have the best combination of physical tools in this year's offensive tackle class, we expect Campbell to slip to the bottom half of the first round due to injury concerns and below-average technique.

Philadelphia EaglesRecord: 11-5
Taylor Mays, S, USCThe Eagles need a replacement for the physical presence former defensive leader Brian Dawkins took with him when he left for Denver. Mays is a bit of a liability in deep coverage and he needs to learn to wrap up more consistently as a tackler, but it is hard to imagine a player with his combination of size, straight-line speed and explosive hitting falling out of the first round.

Baltimore RavensRecord: 9-7
Kyle Wilson, CB, Boise StateWilson is a fast-rising prospect after showcasing his upper-echelon bump-and-run coverage skills at the Senior Bowl. A cornerback-needy team like the Ravens could easily pull the trigger on Wilson late in the first round.

Arizona CardinalsRecord: 10-6
Sergio Kindle, DE/OLB, TexasKindle is a bit overrated, but we do think he is worth a pick at this point in the first round. The Cardinals could put him to work as a situational edge rusher early in his career while he works on getting bigger and stronger in order to hold up better versus the run.

Dallas CowboysRecord: 11-5
Nate Allen, S, South FloridaAllen is far from a first-round lock, but the Cowboys need to improve their athleticism at safety, and Allen has the right combination of speed and fluidity in coverage to help fix the problem.

San Diego ChargersRecord: 13-3
Jahvid Best*, RB, CaliforniaBest's draft stock could take a big hit depending on how the medical reports (back/neck, concussion) from the combine look. Assuming he checks out, Best likely will be high on the Chargers' board, along with Dan Williams, fellow RBs Ryan Mathews (Fresno State) and Jonathan Dwyer (Georgia Tech), and DT/DE Jared Odrick (Penn State). A healthy Best gets the nod thanks to his game-breaking speed.

New York JetsRecord: 9-7
Arrelious Benn*, WR, IllinoisThe Jets need perimeter weapons for QB Mark Sanchez to throw to, and Benn is a better prospect than his 2009 production might indicate. He played through a nagging ankle injury and his quarterback was inconsistent, but Benn shows good initial burst and the ability to generate yards after the catch. Still, he needs to be more consistent catching the ball away from his body and must become a more savvy route runner.

Minnesota VikingsRecord: 12-4
Jared Odrick, DT, Penn StateThe Vikings have proved they will take the best player available on the board, and in this scenario, Odrick fits the bill and would be groomed as an eventual replacement for aging DT Pat Williams. Other possibilities include Clausen, ILB Brandon Spikes (Florida), TE Anthony McCoy (USC) and C/G Maurkice Pouncey (Florida).

Indianapolis ColtsRecord: 14-2
Maurkice Pouncey*, OL, FloridaOdrick would make sense if he was still on the board, or the Colts could reach for an athletic offensive tackle like USC's Charles Brown. But Pouncey is a gifted interior lineman with the quick feet, versatility and football intelligence to help the Colts solidify their interior offensive line.

New Orleans SaintsRecord: 13-3
Sean Weatherspoon, OLB, MissouriWeatherspoon is expected to turn some heads at the combine with his speed, and we're hearing that some teams grade him out as a mid-first-round pick. We're not quite as high on Weatherspoon because we question his ability to play in space, but the Super Bowl champs are expected to focus on upgrading the speed and athleticism of their defense, and Weatherspoon fits the mold.

* Denotes underclassmen

** Indicates picks that will be decided by coin flip

Bronco Boy
02-11-2010, 01:14 PM
Pierre-Paul at 3? Berry falling to 7? Odd.

PRBronco
02-11-2010, 01:18 PM
I wonder how the relationship is between Shanny and McDaniels/Xanders? If one of the "big 3" fell out of the top 3, I'd be tempted to do some serious wheeling and dealing to move into that 4 spot.

Rohirrim
02-11-2010, 01:38 PM
If there is one thing the Broncos have learned over the last few years, neither of the lines are strong enough to complete a season. A WR, no matter how good, is not going to help cure that fundamental disease. In fact, it just exacerbates it. One more mouth calling for the ball from a QB who has no time to do anything about it.

Doggcow
02-11-2010, 01:41 PM
I'm hoping we can somehow boondoggle Baluga in the first and Iupati in the 2nd.

gyldenlove
02-11-2010, 03:02 PM
Our record was 6-7? what the hell has he been smoking?

Mediator12
02-14-2010, 10:13 AM
If there is one thing the Broncos have learned over the last few years, neither of the lines are strong enough to complete a season. A WR, no matter how good, is not going to help cure that fundamental disease. In fact, it just exacerbates it. One more mouth calling for the ball from a QB who has no time to do anything about it.

Winner, winner, Chicken Dinner :strong:

I could not agree more. Any coach who looks at this roster has to admit there is not one single non-replaceable player along the front seven, except Dumervil. When your front seven is that weak, you can only play solid defense if you can achieve the scheme advantage. We have seen what happens when they do not for 4 straight years. Pathetic, trying to play defense with that talent level in the front seven.

Along the OL, it is hard to say if the current players just played poorly due to the transition in protection and running schemes. Or, they just lacked the ability in personnel to consistently execute the new schemes. To me, it looks like a lot of both. The Tackles are pretty solid players, Wiegmann struggled late, Kuper has a lot of talent, and the LG position was totally inconsistent no matter who played there. To me, that screams replacing the LG with a better talent and trying to find more consistency from the Center and RG positions. I also think these guys will need to gel better as they were not healthy at all unlike the previous year when they hardly missed anyone.

At this point, Dez may be the BPA when DEN gets to their selection. However, there is more than one team drafting behind them that needs a WR to step in and play right away. They are also outside the top 10 picks or so financially and those teams seeking to make an immediate upgrade (BAL, JETS, etc) really might make a trade with DEN to go get him more than DEN ought to pull the trigger on taking him there.

This would be an excellent draft to stockpile picks and move around to get who you want at the right values. This draft has all kinds of Defensive front seven immediate impact players, but to tell you the truth, the interior OL look very thin unless you take a Tackle and convert him to LG, which I really like doing (and so has NE for that matter). So, I pray the offseason illuminates the Staff to the strength and depth of this draft relative to where the talent level of the roster stands. If they play their cards right, it could be the foundational draft this team needs to move forward.

robbieopperude
02-14-2010, 08:46 PM
It's hard to even read this mock when Claussen is no where in the first round. I could see him or Bradford falling like A.Rodgers but someone will trade back into the first to draft them in the late teens early 20's if they last that long. If Denver passed on Claussen/Bradford at 10 I would be beyond furious.

TheElusiveKyleOrton
02-15-2010, 11:07 AM
It's hard to even read this mock when Claussen is no where in the first round. I could see him or Bradford falling like A.Rodgers but someone will trade back into the first to draft them in the late teens early 20's if they last that long. If Denver passed on Claussen/Bradford at 10 I would be beyond furious.

If we pass on them at 10 but move back into the first to grab one, I'd be really good with that. Especially if we go DL with 10.

broncos-rock
02-15-2010, 12:01 PM
I just don't see Shanny not grabbing Bradford there at 4. They obviously dont see Campbell as the long term answer and shanny wont be drafting in the single digits another year. Bradford is their guy I think!

snowspot66
02-15-2010, 12:11 PM
I guess WR is going to be this years new TE. Didn't most mocks have us taking TE or something retarded for the past two years?

epicSocialism4tw
02-15-2010, 12:18 PM
I have never liked McShay. I'll wait for Gosselin.

Requiem
02-15-2010, 12:38 PM
Med, I've been having the same thoughts on taking a top flight tackle and moving them inside. Plus, I think McDaniels has made it clear that our emphasis will be on the lines, as much as he has been critical of them through the end of the season and through the off-season interview process.

Paladin
02-15-2010, 03:22 PM
In relation to this, do you think of the Broncos drafted a top flight LG prospect, that Weigman might be able to handle the C positon one more year? My thought is that Olsen might get there, might not. Round 2 would go to the DL. I would even say to heck with "value" grab that best LG prospect at 10 or 11, and move on......

BroncoMan4ever
02-16-2010, 10:39 PM
In relation to this, do you think of the Broncos drafted a top flight LG prospect, that Weigman might be able to handle the C positon one more year? My thought is that Olsen might get there, might not. Round 2 would go to the DL. I would even say to heck with "value" grab that best LG prospect at 10 or 11, and move on......

looking at this past season, i think Weigman is done. he might last another season or 2 on a team running a ZBS but in Denver he has nothing to offer, regardless of who is lined up to the sides of him

Zoobie
02-17-2010, 12:53 AM
Drafting a tackle to play guard and then still paying him top ten money? No thanks that is a foolish move especially in a draft this deep.

robbieopperude
02-17-2010, 12:55 AM
I am starting to lean towards taking Price or Williams at 10 if we keep Marshall and just be done with it if we can't move back a few spots. We need a DT and we missed out last year when G.B. took ours. We can't miss out this year.

BroncoMan4ever
02-17-2010, 02:36 AM
i say we go after Dan Williams at 10 regardless of Marshall being here or not. if Marshall is traded though(i bet on Baltimore) i say with the other 1st round pick we get we go after Iupati. build up the lines.

Mediator12
02-17-2010, 05:37 AM
Drafting a tackle to play guard and then still paying him top ten money? No thanks that is a foolish move especially in a draft this deep.

There is no way you do that. You draft a LT late in the second or third round and push him inside to play LG. Any OL getting Top ten Money would have to be a LT eventually. There are a good amount of Guys that should move inside from OT in that 2-3 range as well.

Still, the best thing to do is evaluate the draft value of certain players accurately and maneuver to get them. 10/11 is a prime trade up spot in this draft as it falls outside the big money, but still yields a top 10 falling player in this draft. DEN will either get the player they want right there, or be able to make a trade to get more selections.

Because of the wierd FA rules in this uncapped year, this draft may yield the most trades ever IMHO. The top 8 finishing teams in the Playoffs may not have any FA chances at all, so they have to maximize the draft and player trades like never before. All in all, this just might be the most exciting and action filled offseason in NFL history. That makes me smile ;D

Mediator12
02-17-2010, 05:40 AM
I am starting to lean towards taking Price or Williams at 10 if we keep Marshall and just be done with it if we can't move back a few spots. We need a DT and we missed out last year when G.B. took ours. We can't miss out this year.

Williams yes, Price no. Unless they change the scheme, Price will not be a value at 10/11 by the time the draft occurs. Williams can play multiple positions in multiple fronts including NT in the 3-4. Price really is not a DE in a 3-4 due to his height and arm length. His skillset fits a DT in a 4-3 much more than a 3-4.

Zoobie
02-17-2010, 10:39 AM
Personally, Williams is a huge reach at ten. As of now id say the best value would be McClain, Bryant, or Haden. Of course the combine can change that but in a draft like this if we aren't maximising our value we need to trade down to stockpile picks.

TheDave
02-17-2010, 10:46 AM
If Sam Bradford is still on the board at #9, we may want to take a shot at him.

Mediator12
02-18-2010, 07:04 PM
Personally, Williams is a huge reach at ten. As of now id say the best value would be McClain, Bryant, or Haden. Of course the combine can change that but in a draft like this if we aren't maximising our value we need to trade down to stockpile picks.

Williams was not even on the radar before the season started. This kid finally had the light go on and has totally surprised a lot of evaluators. Right now his value might not be top 10, but it is still way to early to predict where he may fall.

Film Wise, in this system, he would not be a talent reach at 10/11. Best NT prospect In several years by my grades. He also will be a better Pro than college player IMHO.

Zoobie
02-18-2010, 07:44 PM
Williams was not even on the radar before the season started. This kid finally had the light go on and has totally surprised a lot of evaluators. Right now his value might not be top 10, but it is still way to early to predict where he may fall.

Film Wise, in this system, he would not be a talent reach at 10/11. Best NT prospect In several years by my grades. He also will be a better Pro than college player IMHO.

I like Williams, a lot. However, I would be much more comfortable picking him in the late teens if a trade back scenario is possible to work out.

robbieopperude
02-19-2010, 10:10 PM
I still like Price too. He played well for UCLA and I think he would be a good player for us but an overdraft at pick 10. He does belong in the late teens or early 20's. When all is said and done I could see Williams creeping up to ten with good workouts. A good DT is hard to find. If we trade Marshall I would lean towards taking Dez for the replacement factor but I also like A.Benn/D.Williams/G.Tate. One of those guys could be around in Round 2.

oubronco
02-20-2010, 08:18 AM
does it really matter whether you get your guy at 10 or 15 as long as you get the guy you want

Bronco Boy
02-20-2010, 08:37 AM
does it really matter whether you get your guy at 10 or 15 as long as you get the guy you want

Well yeah kind of if you factor in contract prices.

oubronco
02-20-2010, 09:49 AM
Well yeah kind of if you factor in contract prices.

I think it's stupid to pass on a player cause you are at 10 and you think he should be picked at 15 and noone really knows if he will be a good player or a bust

Dedhed
02-20-2010, 09:49 AM
I just don't see Shanny not grabbing Bradford there at 4. They obviously dont see Campbell as the long term answer and shanny wont be drafting in the single digits another year. Bradford is their guy I think!
Clausen is much more likely to be Shanny's target, imo. He's Cutler, part II.

Bronco Boy
02-20-2010, 11:02 AM
I think it's stupid to pass on a player cause you are at 10 and you think he should be picked at 15 and noone really knows if he will be a good player or a bust

I see what you are saying, but if you are the one picking the guy you are supposed to be confident that he's going to be a good player. So if you decide a guy is worth X amount of dollars and a #10 pick will require more money than X, you have to think about the pick more. But, yeah the whole thing is a crapshoot and none of us on this board really know much about any of this stuff anyway.

Chris
02-20-2010, 02:55 PM
Bradford fans - You better pray he ****s the bed in the coming weeks

Zoobie
02-20-2010, 03:38 PM
I see what you are saying, but if you are the one picking the guy you are supposed to be confident that he's going to be a good player. So if you decide a guy is worth X amount of dollars and a #10 pick will require more money than X, you have to think about the pick more. But, yeah the whole thing is a crapshoot and none of us on this board really know much about any of this stuff anyway.

Not to mention if you reach for a player you leave talent on the board as well as potential picks in a trade down scenario.

Dedhed
02-20-2010, 04:24 PM
Bradford fans - You better pray he ****s the bed in the coming weeks
I agree that it is unrealistic that he'll drop to us unless his shoulder seems bunk, but if he does, it's an easy pick.

I'm not a huge fan, so I hope he does get taken early, but I would still be nothing but 100% behind the pick if he does fall. I think there are guys at other positions who can have a greater immediate impact, and developmental QBs who hve more upside.

However I think that Bradford would do very well in our system, and it would put to rest, once and for all, the talk about Cutler getting the boot.

John Skelton is my QB this year.

ZONA
02-23-2010, 12:36 AM
I wonder how the relationship is between Shanny and McDaniels/Xanders? If one of the "big 3" fell out of the top 3, I'd be tempted to do some serious wheeling and dealing to move into that 4 spot.

While most believe moving down and getting an additional high pick in this ultra deep draft, you want to trade up and lose picks, that's odd. There's nobody I would want to move up for. Not when the talent that follows is this awesome, hell no.


Alot depends on FA before the draft starts. If we ink Orton to a multi year deal, I don't think we draft a QB in the first several rounds at all, even if Bradford or Clausen fall to us. But, I think this is why Denver might want to just sign Orton to a 1 year deal. Who knows how the draft will go. If Bradford or Clausen are there at 10, you think you would take a chance on either one and have your potential franchise QB for years to come. This draft is deep, we can still find solid players for the lines in the following rounds.