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2010 NFL Draft - 1st Round Talents
Nebraska DT Ndamukong Suh
Nebraska DT Ndamukong Suh
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Apr 20, 2010


It's finally here ... NFL Draft Week starts up Thursday night with the first round. What players have the talent go in the top 32? How about in the second round and beyond? From the college football perspective, here's CFN's pre-draft ranking of the top 255 prospects led by Nebraska DT Ndamukong Suh.

2010 NFL Draft Position Rankings

First Round Talents


By Pete Fiutak

2010 CFN Talent Rankings
- 1st Rounders
- 2nd Rounders
- 3rd Rounders
- 4th Rounders
- 5th Rounders
- 6th Rounders
- 7th Rounders 
- Top Free Agent Talents 

2010 CFN Position Rankings & Analysis

- QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs
- Cs | OTs | OGs | DEs
- DTs | ILBs | OLBs
- Ss | CBs

2010 NFL Combine Quick Looks & Post-Combine Rankings

- QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs
- Cs | OTs | OGs | DEs
- DTs | ILBs | OLBs
- Ss | CBs

2010 NFL Combine Results
- QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs
- Cs | OTs | OGs | DEs
- DTs | ILBs | OLBs
- Ss | CBs 

2010 NFL Combine
- Offensive Winners  
- Offensive Losers 
- Defensive Winners 
- Defensive Losers

1. Ndamukong Suh, DT Nebraska 6-4, 307
It’s almost as if everyone is thinking too hard about this. Suh is the near-perfect tackle prospect with the strength to work on the nose if needed, and the quickness and speed to be a 3-4 end or a one-gap playmaker. An all-timer of a stat-sheet filler for a college defensive tackle, he beat up blockers and blew past the slower ones. The 32 reps and the 4.98 40 at the Combine only tells half the story; he moved like a much smaller player. The only real knock is that it took a while for the light to go on and he could have issues with his weight if he’s not careful, but if he wants it, he’ll be a special anchor for the next decade. The only other question is if he can change up his game a little bit to adjust to the higher level; he’s not going to be stronger than everyone else like he was in college and he’ll have to be a bit sharper technique-wise.
CFN Projection: Top Five Overall

2. Eric Berry, S Tennessee 6-0, 211
An almost perfect free safety prospect, Berry is 4.47 fast, strong (with 19 reps on the bench at the Combine), and with a phenomenal 43” vertical leaping ability. As good as the measureables are, the game film is better. An ultra-productive playmaker who was always making things happen, he can do it all with great open-field tackling ability and a ball-hawking attitude when the ball is in the air. Durability could be an issue considering the way he attacks, but if he can stay healthy there’s a chance he could turn out to be the best player in the draft.
CFN Projection: First Round

3. Gerald McCoy, DT Oklahoma 6-4, 295
Extremely quick and unblockable at times, he’s a superior athlete for his size and doesn’t get moved easily. The knock will be his lack of weight room strength after a miserable 23 reps at the Combine, and, compared to Ndamukong Suh, he wasn’t significantly quicker in the drills or more athletic in the workout. However, he’s a high character guy who’s a dream for coaches. He loves football, wants to be the best player possible, and has always played great at the highest of levels. Outside if his bench in Indy, the only other knock is his potential lack of versatility. He’s not a nose and he likely will have to be a tackle in a 4-3 or an end in a 3-4. That’s looking for a problem for a player who’ll be special for a long, long time.
CFN Projection: Top Five Overall

4. Russell Okung, OT Oklahoma State 6-5, 307
Possibly the best prospect in the draft, Okung has excellent size, great feet, and the production to suggest he could be an anchor for the next decade. He has terrific technique, blasts away in the running game, and doesn’t have any one glaring negative. While there are a few little issues here and there, he’s not always consistent with his technique, there’s nothing to be worried about. He’s a special blocker.
CFN Projection: First Round

5. Earl Thomas, FS Texas 5-10, 208
The only question is whether or not he’s big enough. He’s not small, but there’s going to be a concern that he’s really more of a corner trying to play safety, and he might not be a natural on the outside. Everything else is in place with 4.46 speed, phenomenal strength, and more than anything, the instincts. Very smart and very prepared, he’s always in the right position and seems to know what’s going to happen a half step before anyone else. If it wasn’t for Eric Berry, Thomas would be the biggest star among the defensive backs.
CFN Projection: First Round

6. Jimmy Clausen, QB Notre Dame 6-3, 222 (Jr.)
After arriving in South Bend with much fanfare and tremendous hype (and in a limo), Clausen spent most of his career trying not to get killed behind a porous line. While he broke down from time to time with an elbow injury and a right toe problem, he showed excellent toughness by trying to gut it out. In 2009 he became clutch, leading the team to some key, close wins that kept the season from turning into a disaster early, and he was able to live up to all the pressure and showed that he really was worth all the press. Even though he was tutored by Charlie Weis, he still has a little bit of mechanical issues (most notably a laboring throwing motion on his deep passes) and he’s not quite as polished as he probably should be. He’ll also have to go out of his way to early on to be one of the guys and could rub some people the wrong way with a personality that might not be for every team. The basics are there, but he’s hardly a sure-thing star considering he might not be the type of player the rest of the team will run through a brick wall for.
CFN Projection: First Round, Top 15 Overall

7. Sam Bradford, QB Oklahoma 6-4, 236 (Jr.)
The 2008 Heisman winner has excellent size, a good arm, and smart decision-making ability, but there are major question marks. While he has the pure passing skills to be a No. 1 overall pick type of franchise quarterback, he might have to be in the right system. First, he has to prove he can be consistently effective under center after working mostly in the shotgun for the Sooners. Second, he has to show he can handle a steady pass rush. Playing behind a tremendous line, he got all day to throw. While he didn’t struggle when under pressure, he wasn’t nearly the same passer when he was getting hit. Can he throw to a covered receiver? He didn’t have to do it too often at OU. And third, and the biggest problem, can he take a hit? He was rarely touched in 2008 and crunched his shoulder early in 2009. Average arm strength was a knock before, and his bad shoulder isn’t going to help the cause. As good a college player as he was, he doesn’t have sure-thing, standout NFL skills. If he can stay healthy he’s not going to be a bust, and if he gets time and is allowed to be in the shotgun (and gets time), he could be special. But the concerns are simply too great to take a big risk on him when next year a star quarterback might come far, far cheaper.
CFN Projection: First Round, Top Five Overall

8. Trent Williams, OT Oklahoma 6-5, 315
Already a good prospect before Indianapolis, he blew it up at the Combine running a 4.88 in the 40 and was extremely athletic. In 2008 he was the best all-around blocker on the nation’s best offensive line, and he has all the traits needed for a left tackle. He’s a quick and effective pass blocker, a devastating bulldozer for the ground game, and can succeed on either the left or right side. He needs to get stronger, he only came up with 23 reps on the bench, but he plays stronger. Does he have the make-up to be an anchor? There are questions about his attitude.
CFN Projection: First Round

9. Bryan Bulaga, OT Iowa 6-5, 314 (Jr.)
One of the most technically sound blockers in the draft. He’s big, moves effortless, and is young with the upside to still grow into a better, stronger player. He doesn’t just block, he buries, and when a hard yard is needed he comes up with the hit. While he worked out well, on tape he had a few problems with the pure speed rushers. He looks the part and has all the basics, and he could be just scratching the surface. He’ll play somewhere for a long, long time and can move to guard if he struggles at all at left tackle.
CFN Projection: First Round

10. Maurkice Pouncey, C Florida 6-4, 304
With prototype size and good athleticism, he’s by far the best center prospect in the draft. However, he might end up being better served at guard where he can use his nasty run blocking ability and toughness to work well in the right scheme. Extremely quick, smart, and technically sound, he has it all. He’ll make a line his the second he hits the practice field and will be a leader and high-level producer for a decade.
CFN Projection: First Round

11. Dan Williams, DT Tennessee 6-2, 327
Everyone will focus on Ndamukong Suh and Gerald McCoy, and rightly so, but Williams isn’t as far behind prospect-wise as some might think. Very big and very tough, he’s a brick of granite who can sit in the middle of the line and swallow everything up. An ideal two-gap tackle, he’s quick for his size once he gets engaged. He could stand to get stronger after a mediocre 27 lifts at the Combine, and he was a bit of a one-year wonder who only blossomed after Monte Kiffin took over the defense, and he won’t get into the backfield, but he can be a top run stopper for a long time.
CFN Projection: First Round

12. Derrick Morgan, DE Georgia Tech 6-3, 266
The raw skills are there with excellent speed, good quickness, and nice size. With a long frame he could still add at least ten pounds without losing much, and with his strength he could fine in anywhere up front in either a 3-4 or a 4-3. Always the No. 1 focus of every blocking scheme, he still produced at a high level. However, he can be erased at times by top offensive tackles and will disappear for stretches. There are some who might be thinking about moving him to outside linebacker, but that would be a mistake; he’s an end. The key to his career will be adding more to the repertoire as a pass rusher since a lot of the big plays he came up with in college won’t translate; he’s not necessarily a speed rusher at an NFL level. While he might not be a dominant sackmaster, he’ll be a very, very good all-around defender for a long time with the drive to get better. There’s almost no bust factor.
CFN Projection: First Round

13. Jermaine Gresham, TE Oklahoma 6-5, 261 (Jr.)
The most talented receiving tight end in the draft, Gresham runs and moves like a big wide receiver, is almost uncoverable by linebackers, and has tremendous hands with great route running ability. Not just an H-Back target, he can also block and isn’t afraid to get a little dirty for the running game. The only question mark was an injured knee that cost him the entire 2009 season, but those concerns are gone after looking great at the Combine. He benefitted from a hurry-up offense that was loaded with talent but he’s a tremendous talent with room to get even better.
CFN Projection: First Round

14. Taylor Mays, S USC 6-3, 230 (FS)
A straight-up freak of nature, there hasn’t ever been a safety prospect with this combination of raw skills. From the 6-3, 230-pound size, to the 4.36 40 speed, to the 41” vertical, to the 24 reps on the bench, he’s the dream safety who seems too good to be true. Now he has to show he can play. He simply doesn’t make enough big plays considering his raw talent, he doesn’t have a sense for the game, and he’s way too sloppy. Yes, he’s a knockout hitter, but he’s not nearly productive enough on tape getting fooled way too easily and making up for it with his athleticism; that’s not going to fly at the next level. And then there’s the attitude. He comes across as aloof and entitled, and he’s not going to be for everyone. But for all the concerns, with his skills he could be a special, transcendent player with the right coaching and the right dedication to doing all the little things right.
CFN Projection: First Round

15. Rolando McClain, ILB Alabama 6-3, 254
A peerless leader with an unquestioned football mind, he’s like a coach on the field. When Nick Saban gushes, that means something. He’s a bit tall for an inside linebacker and he was overrated having gotten a great reputation by playing on a high-profile team in a ton of big games, but he should be a long-time high level pro with great athleticism and tough tackling ability. Can he handle getting blocked on a regular basis? He benefitted from having a huge, talented line in front of him and has to prove he can consistently fight through the trash. But that’s nitpicking. Plug him in and let him go from Day One and enjoy for the next decade.
CFN Projection: First Round

16. Jason Pierre-Paul, DE South Florida 6-5, 270
It could be argued that he’s the biggest X factor in the entire draft. There isn’t a big body of work to go on, he was a JUCO transfer who only did it for one year at USF, but the raw skills are Hall of Fame level even if they don’t match his ability as a football player. Very big with the prototype look, he’s also extremely fluid moving around the short drills at the Combine like a safety and running a solid 4.64. Able to fly off the ball, he has the skills to become an elite pass rusher while also showing the upside to do far more. If he hits the weights hard he could become even better as he has to get his weight room strength up a bit. A major, MAJOR risk, there’s mega-disaster potential if he’s taken high and eats up a ton of salary cap dough.
CFN Projection: First Round

17. Brandon Graham, DE Michigan 6-1, 268 (OLB)
After destroying everyone in the Senior Bowl and the practices leading up to the game, he stepped up even more in the Combine with 31 reps on the bench and a nice 4.72 40. Always working and always looking to crank out the big play, he’s explosive, has great closing ability, and is all over the field. He’s not an elite athlete and is a bit of a tweener, and there will be times when he gets erased by talented tackles. While he worked out well, he’s an even better football player even though he’s not as tall as many would like and he doesn’t have the perfect look.
CFN Projection: First Round

\ 18. Sergio Kindle, OLB Texas 6-3, 250 (DE)
A tweener, he’s not an elite athlete and isn’t sure-thing dominant as an outside linebacker, and he’s not an NFL defensive end. Very strong looking with the right body and the right look, he’s a good worker who can play in a variety of spots and plays much faster than he times. There have been a few off-the-field issues, but there’s nothing to get into a big twist over. If he’s in the right system, he could become a devastating pass rusher who’s far better in the pros than he was as a collegian when he was the focus of every blocking scheme. However, he has to prove it. Everyone bent over backwards to make excuses why he wasn’t producing at a high level.
CFN Projection: First Round

19. Golden Tate, WR Notre Dame 5-10, 199 (Jr.)
He’s short. That’s the knock. In today’s day and age of big, strong NFL receivers, Tate is a big of a mighty-mite (even though he’s not really that small). Uncoverable at times throughout his career, he showed that he had all the basic skills at the Combine running a 4.42 while looking natural in all the quickness drills. Strength? The 17 reps on the bench weren’t that bad. With extreme quickness and tremendous route-running ability, he’ll quickly grow into his starting quarterback’s best friend and should be a yard-after-the-catch monster. He’s ready to go right away having played in a pro-style offense at Notre Dame and can be used as a kick and punt returner to go along with his potential as a No. 1 target. While he’ll be banged up from time to time and will have a few problems with the bigger corners, he’ll be a terrific pro.
CFN Projection: First Round

20. Mike Iupati, OG Idaho 6-5, 331 (OT)
Very big, he’s a people-mover who’s expected to be strong for the running game. His 27 reps at the Combine were fine, but hardly special for a player considered to be the sure-thing No. 1 guard in the draft. He’s extremely quick for his size, but he’s not necessarily a tackle, and he’s way too sloppy with his hands and could get called for holding any time an official wants to throw the flag. His upside might be limitless, but he’s not ready to destroy out of the box. In time, he has the potential to be special with the right coaching.
CFN Projection: First Round

21. Sean Weatherspoon, OLB Missouri 6-1, 239 (ILB)
A natural leader who’s very yappy, but is the type of player everyone wants to be around and follow, he had an ultra-productive career and proved at the Combine to be extremely strong with nice quickness. Always around the ball, he’s an active defender who holds up well against big blockers and he doesn’t miss a tackle when he gets there. He doesn’t have the best range and is a bit small, but his intensity and his tackling make up for it. But be warned; he’ll rub some people the wrong way, and if he’s not great and he keeps talking, he’ll tick off a lot of teammates.
CFN Projection: First Round

22. Jerry Hughes, OLB TCU 6-2, 255 (DE)
A very pure, elite pass rusher who showed at the Combine that he could be a defensive end if he needs to be and could also be quick enough to work as an outside linebacker. The 26 lifts on the bench were fantastic and he flew around the short drills. With great work ethic, a high motor, and the ability to raise his game at the right time, he’s the type of player coaches rave about and love to have around. He’ll need to find the right fit and he can’t be asked to hold up against the run on a regular basis, but he’ll be deadly when turned loose.
CFN Projection: Second Round

23. Ryan Mathews, RB Fresno State 6-0, 218 (Jr.)
Very fast on the field, he showed at the Combine that he really was fast with a 4.45 in the body of a big back. Basically, if you liked him on film, you loved him even more after his workouts. Unlike the other top runners in this draft, Mathews has the potential to be a workhorse runner who can touch the ball 25 times per game and can be just as explosive. A home-run hitter who ripped up some of the better teams on the schedule, Mathews can take it the distance with just a little bit of room and a hole to cut back through. Not just a runner, he has nice hands and can be used on third downs as a receiver, too. There’s a lot of wear on the tires and he’ll likely have a short shelf life, but the three or four years of production should be huge.
CFN Projection: Late First Round

24. Dez Bryant, WR Oklahoma State 6-2, 225 (Jr.)
On sheer talent and raw ability he has all the tools to be the next NFL superstar receiver. He’s big, strong, fast, and productive with the want-to when it comes to fighting for the ball to go along with the desire to succeed. He’s tough, will beat up the weaker corners, and he’s just shifty enough to make big things happen in the open field. So what’s the problem? There are some huge, waving, bright red flags about his character, maturity, and ability to handle himself as a pro at the next level. When the coaches say something negative about a player, that should be a warning sign. OSU insiders have said that Bryant has about a five-second attention span, can’t focus on anything, and can’t be counted on to grasp the intricacies of the pro game. If he goes somewhere with a veteran, talented receiver and can be a protégé (sort of like Cris Carter was for Randy Moss), the talent could be tapped. If he goes somewhere and has to be the No. 1 target out of the box, there’s Charles Rogers bust potential.
CFN Projection: First Round

25. Joe Haden, CB Florida 5-11, 193
After a peerless college career, he was everyone’s sure-thing, no question about it No. 1 corner off the board. And then he ran. With a brutal 4.57 at the Combine, all of a sudden, his stock as a shut-down defender dropped like a rock. He jumped well and was quick through the short drills, but the timed speed was too miserable to think he can ever be the type of NFL corner who can erase half the field. Even with the workout issues, his tape overshadows almost everything and he should be a functional pro with little bust potential. He’s strong, had no problems staying with some of the best receivers in college football in some of the biggest games, and is terrific at stopping the run. On an elite defense with great players around him, he was allowed to take plenty of chances and get away with it, so it could be buyer beware if he gets put on a mediocre secondary where he has to be a standout.
CFN Projection: First Round

26. Kyle Wilson, CB Boise State 5-10, 194
Extremely strong for his size, coming up with 25 reps on the bench at the Combine, he’s tough, fast, and very productive. He’s not quite the all-around athlete of some of the other corners, but he moves well and spent the last few years erasing opposing No. 1 receivers. He needs to be more of a pick-off artist and he gets blocked too easily, but he has outstanding skills and should be a good corner on an island as long as he doesn’t have to be the star of a secondary.
CFN Projection: Second Round

27. C.J. Spiller, RB Clemson 5-11, 196
Extremely fast, extremely explosive, and extremely dangerous, if the goal was to draft a potential game-changer who can come up with one or three big plays a game, but will only play for ten games, then Spiller is the guy. His 4.31 at the Combine showed the flash that everyone needed to see to get the juices flowing, but he’s not an inside runner and he’s always, always, always hurt. It’s not like he has a slew of major injuries, but he always has a pull, a strain, or a ding of some sort. He could be another Reggie Bush and be used in a variety of ways, including as a receiver and a returner, but he can’t be the focal point or centerpiece of an attack and he can’t be counted on for a full season.
CFN Projection: First Round

28. Daryl Washington, ILB TCU 6-2, 230
One of the high risers, he’s a terrific athlete with a good frame, a lot of fight, and a fantastic burst. He needs to get a lot stronger after only coming up with 17 reps on the bench, and he’s a beefed up safety-sized player without much room to get bigger, but the upside is tremendous. There isn’t a lot of wear on the tires and he could be scratching the surface, but he might end up working more on the outside as his career goes on if he’s not playing in a 3-4. He’s not an NFL middle linebacker.
CFN Projection: Second Round

29. Tyson Alualu, DT California 6-3, 295 (DE)
Unblockable at times, he’s too quick for most lumbering linemen and he showed off his athleticism with a dominant week at the Senior Bowl. He’s not a load and he’s not going to be anyone’s anchor, but he’s an ideal 3-4 end and could be more than fine as a 4-3 one-gap tackle. Very smart with tremendous character and work-ethic, he’s always working and brings it on every play. While he needs to get stronger and is a bit too much of a tweener, he’ll be the type of player everyone loves because of his coachability and versatility.
CFN Projection: Second Round

30. Patrick Robinson, CB Florida State 5-11, 190
Very fast with good size and tremendous athleticism, he has the raw tools and the explosiveness to be a top-shelf shut-down corner. He’s a game-changing ball-hawk who knows how to hang around with receivers and not let them go, and he’s not afraid to make a stick and get in on a tough run stop. The problem is the same that many top college corners have; no one wanted to throw his way. Durability is a question mark and he can be beaten when he’s not focused. He can hit, but he only tackles when he wants to. On athleticism alone he should grow into a very nice, very safe pro, and if he wants it, he could be a perennial Pro Bowler.
CFN Projection: Second Round

31. Anthony Davis, OT Rutgers 6-5, 323 (Jr.)
A superstar recruit for Rutgers, he was good, but he didn’t have the career expected. It’s all there with perfect size, good quickness, and the mentality to work as a pass protector on the left side. The issue is his make-up. Extremely undisciplined, he never reached his full potential after failing to adhere to team rules. He wasn’t nearly consistent enough considering his skills and when he wasn’t concentrating, he was beaten by far lesser players. His size could also be a problem and will have to stay away from the table. Even with all the problems and concerns, he could be a superstar with the right coaching and if the light bulb goes on.
CFN Projection: First Round

32. Sean Lee, LB Penn State 6-2, 236
It’s all up to how his knee holds up. He was having a special career before suffering a torn ACL just before the 2008 season. He was good when he returned, but he wasn’t quite the same all-around playmaker. A great tackler who always takes the right angles and rarely takes a wasted step, but he’s not blazing fast and he’s not the biggest hitter. Smart enough and just good enough to play any linebacking spot, his versatility will make him a godsend for most coaching staffs. But can his knee last? Durability will always be a concern
CFN Projection: /i> Second Round