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2010 NFL Draft Analysis - Round One
St. Louis Rams QB Sam Bradford
St. Louis Rams QB Sam Bradford
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Apr 22, 2010


It was a wild and fun first round of the 2010 NFL Draft with Sam Bradford going to St. Louis with the first pick, three other Sooners going early, and a certain Florida legend getting a call from Denver. Check out the CFN pick by pick look at each of the players with analysis of each new NFL star.

2010 NFL Draft

1st Round Picks & Analysis


2010 NFL Draft Analysis
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2010 NFL Combine Results
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2010 NFL Combine
- Offensive Winners  
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- Defensive Losers
1. St. Louis
Sam Bradford, QB Oklahoma 6-4, 236 (Jr.)
Overall Pick: 1 CFN Overall Ranking: 7

He threw the ball awfully well in shorts and with no one putting any pressure on him in a much-ballyhooed Pro Day workout, and that was enough to get St. Louis all hot and bothered. The recent historical statistics don’t lie; there’s roughly a 37% chance that Bradford will end up being worth the selection and there’s roughly a 3% chance that he’ll lead the Rams to a Super Bowl title. He has the raw talent to be an NFL star if he’s not touched, but everyone is spending a LOT of time making excuses for him and appear to be overlooking all the obvious warning signs. The Rams are going to spend $50 million to find out if Bradford is worth the price.

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

2. Detroit
Ndamukong Suh, DT Nebraska 6-4, 307
Overall Pick: 2 CFN Overall Ranking: 1

If it’s possible to get a good value at the second pick in the draft, Detroit just got it. The Lions are all about amassing the top talents possible and they don’t need a quarterback, so it’s almost like they got the No. 1 overall pick for a No. 2 price. Suh’s the best prospect in this draft and the type of dominant game-changer an entire defense can be built around. There are major questions and concerns about Sam Bradford at No. 1. There aren’t any with Suh at the two.

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

3. Tampa Bay
Gerald McCoy, DT Oklahoma 6-4, 295
Overall Pick No. 3 CFN Overall Ranking: 3

Everyone likes him because he’s a good guy, a great interview, and extremely personable, but his mediocre work on the bench at the Combine has to be a bit of a concern; 21 reps are embarrassing for an NFL defensive tackle. He might not be Ndamukong Suh as far as an all-around lineman, but he’ll be the type of interior pass rusher who spends the next decade sitting on quarterbacks’ heads.

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. Washington
Trent Williams, OT Oklahoma 6-5, 315
Overall Pick No. 4 CFN Overall Ranking: 8

Williams is an extremely athletic tackle and is the type of blocker Mike Shannahan will love, but he’s also a big risk. Will he bring the effort game in and game out and will he get stronger? A lot stronger? If nothing else, he’s great on the move, but the hope has to be that he’s just scratching the surface. The Skins desperately need someone to protect Dononan McNabb, so there’s no grace period. He needs to be great right away, and he needs to be a superstar considering Russell Okung and Bryan Bulaga were passed over for him.

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

5. Kansas City
Eric Berry, S Tennessee 6-0, 211
Overall Pick No. 5 CFN Overall Ranking: 2

Merry Christmas. Ndamukong Suh might be the best combination of safe and talented, and Berry is No. 1A. There’s absolutely no down side to him, and he fills in an instant need for a Kansas City team that’ll get about ten more minutes of production from Mike Brown before he breaks down. There might have been some great tackle prospects available, another Chief need, but there’s no arguing whatsoever with taking Berry.

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

6. Seattle Seahawks
Russell Okung, OT Oklahoma State 6-5, 307
Overall Pick No. 6 CFN Overall Ranking: 4

The safest offensive tackle on the board, the Seahawks got a steal and a gift with Washington taking Trent Williams with a slight reach. Okung has no real downside and almost no bust potential, and while he’s not the athlete that Williams is, he’s more ready to step in and produce from Day One. He has the potential to be a ten-year anchor more than Williams does, and while he might not be Walter Jones, he’s not going to be a bad replacement.

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 hands, 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 and he took a little while to play up to his talent last year, there’s nothing to be worried about. He’s a special blocker.
CFN Projection: First Round

7. Cleveland
Joe Haden, CB Florida 5-11, 193
Overall Pick No. 7 CFN Overall Ranking: 25

There’s no truth to the rumor that it took him ten minutes to get up to the podium. Yeah, he ran better in his Pro Day than he did at the Combine, but his excuse was that he had a back strain in Indy and that’s why he ran so slow. Fortunately, he’ll never be dinged up in the NFL and will always be 100%. However, he’s a great football player and will be great as long as he’s in a secondary with other good players. Cleveland needed a safety and might have to someday explain why it passed on Earl Thomas.

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

8. Oakland
Rolando McClain, ILB Alabama 6-3, 254
Overall Pick No. 8 CFN Overall Ranking: 15

WHAT?! The Oakland Raiders, the franchise that took Darius Heyward-Bey and some guy named Mike Mitchell made a … a … smart pick?! McClain isn’t really what the team needed personnel-wise, but for a team that needs high-character players and as many rock-solid playmakers as possible, this was a brilliant selection.

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

9. Buffalo
C.J. Spiller, RB Clemson 5-11, 196
Overall Pick No. 9 CFN Overall Ranking: 27

No, Spiller didn’t pull his hamstring on the way up to the podium. The Bills needed a quarterback, a defensive tackle, and an offensive tackle, but instead of going for Jimmy Clausen, Dan Williams, or Bryan Bulaga they went for a guy who’ll be out in Week 11 with a full body sprain. When he’s on the field he’ll be pure electric … when he’s on the field.

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

First Round
10. Jacksonville
Tyson Alualu, DT California 6-3, 295 (DE)
Overall Pick No. 10 CFN Overall Ranking: 29

And here’s your first big-time reach in the draft. A great player, a great athlete, and a potentially disruptive interior playmaker as either a quick tackle or a big end, he’ll be a terrific player for a Jaguar team that needs to be better up front, but he was taken at least 15 teams too early.

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

11. San Francisco (from trade with Denver)
Anthony Davis, OT Rutgers 6-5, 323 (Jr.)
Overall Pick No. 11 CFN Overall Ranking: 31

The Niners moved up a few picks to make sure they got their guy, but would Denver or Miami have taken an offensive tackle? Not likely. It cost them a fourth rounder to assure themselves of a tremendously talented prospect with tremendous upside and even bigger bust potential. Jimmy Clausen has to be crushed that he didn’t go here to a team that desperately needs an upgrade at quarterback.

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

12. San Diego (from trade with Miami)
Ryan Mathews, RB Fresno State 6-0, 218 (Jr.)
Overall Pick No. 12 CFN Overall Ranking: 23

This is what you do if you desperately need a player and don’t want to screw around. The Chargers got an every down back, unlike a C.J. Spiller, and they traded up to get a home run hitter with size and the potential to be a big-time producer for a team that needed one missing piece. Mathews is an instant upgrade.

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

13. Philadelphia (from trade with Denver from a trade with San Francisco)
Brandon Graham, DE Michigan 6-1, 268 (OLB)
Overall Pick No. 13 CFN Overall Ranking: 17

The Eagles made a big move to trade up to get a tremendous, relentless pass rusher. With a need to upgrade the defense, Earl Thomas might have made more sense because of his versatility in the secondary, but Graham is the type of game-changer who can instantly upgrade the Philly D.

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

14. Seattle (from trade with Denver)
Earl Thomas, FS Texas 5-10, 208
Overall Pick No. 14 CFN Overall Ranking: 5

Seattle needed a running back and has to be a little ticked that Denver moved up to grab Ryan Mathews, and it also needed corner. Thomas is a safety, but he’s versatile enough to play on the outside if needed and is enough of a playmaker to find a starting role instantly. He’s a great value selection.

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

15. New York Giants
Jason Pierre-Paul, DE South Florida 6-5, 270
Overall Pick No. 15 CFN Overall Ranking: 17

The Giants love their pass rushers and they had a few good ones on the board, but they went for the moon with the freak-of-nature type of talent who doesn’t need to be a superstar right away, but he can be used as a pass rushing specialist. He might be the sexy pick, but a big run plugger like Dan Williams likely would’ve made more sense.

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

16. Tennessee
Derrick Morgan, DE Georgia Tech 6-3, 266
Overall Pick No. 16 CFN Overall Ranking: 12

An extremely good value at 16, but he’s not the pass rusher that Brandon Graham and Jason Pierre-Paul are and ended up slipping a bit. The Titans needed an end and had to be ecstatic to get a guy who doesn’t need any motivation and should be a rock-solid pro from the word go. He might not be a superstar, but he’s a very, very nice cog in the system.

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

31st Round (Picks 17-32)