NFL Mock Draft 2010: How Far Will Notre Dame's Jimmy Clausen Fall?

Jonathan SchechterContributor IApril 21, 2010

This is my second attempt at predicting the first round of the 2010 NFL draft. In my first draft, the biggest slide was Notre Dame Quarterback Jimmy Clausen to the Vikings at 30, and unfortunately I still see it happening.

Call me crazy, but I don’t agree with some of the draft experts that see top 10 talent in Clausen. I see a player who in any other draft would be a late-first or second round pick, and I’ve chosen to draft him accordingly in my mock. Below I’ve also further explained my reasoning.

The biggest surprise in this mock is at the number five spot with the Kansas City Chiefs. You just can’t tell what Scott Pioli might do on draft day, and this choice really shook up the rest of my draft compared to my first edition.

So in another attempt at futility, here is my latest mock draft:

1. St. Louis Rams  - Sam Bradford, Oklahoma QB

This is the easiest choice of the draft. Nebraska’s Ndamukong Suh or Oklahoma’s Gerald McCoy might be the best players in this draft, but Head Coach Steve Spagnuolo and G.M. Bill Devaney need to buy themselves a couple more years as they finish their reclamation project.

The only way to do so is drafting your quarterback of the future.

2.  Detroit Lions   – Ndamukong Suh, Nebraska DT

Detroit has so many holes to fill and they could easily draft one of the top tackles here. Paying a left tackle top three money makes more sense than paying a defensive tackle. But head coach Jim Schwartz is a defensive coach and knows that teams are built from the inside out.

Suh is an incredible talent who will demand double teams, which should in turn help the pass rushers and clog up the middle against the run. Although Oklahoma’s Gerald McCoy is the superior pass rusher, Suh just fits the Albert Haynesworth role better in Schwartz’s defense.

3.  Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Gerald McCoy, Oklahoma DT

Tampa needs to help improve its defense, and McCoy is the second coming of Warren Sapp. He can pass the rusher from the defensive tackle position and has a nasty streak in him, just like Sapp.

If McCoy goes to the Lions, the Bucs won’t be upset to land Suh. The biggest draft day question will be if the Lions draft a tackle and both Suh and McCoy are available.

4.  Washington Redskins  – Russell Okung, Oklahoma State OT

Okung and Oklahoma’s Trent Williams are the top two tackles in this draft and either one would make new Redskins’ quarterback Donovan McNabb happy. Rumors right now suggest that the Redskins like Williams more because he fits into their zone blocking system better, but at the end of the day you always draft the more talented player, and that’s Okung.

The Redskins could try to trade down and recoup some picks, but I don’t see a team willing to trade up unless one of the DTs is available at this point or someone desperately wants Okung and the Redskins feel comfortable with drafting another tackle.

5.   Kansas City Chiefs -  Dan Williams, Tennessee NT

So much for the SEC being the most talented conference in football. That's four straight Big 12 players at the top of the draft.

The Chiefs need play-makers, so Tennessee safety Eric Berry could be the pick. They could also use Trent Williams or Bryan Bulaga to protect Matt Cassel. But Chiefs General Manager Scott Pioli comes from the Bill Belichick school of drafting, and that means defensive linemen in round one.

He did it last year drafting Tyson Jackson, and Williams would be perfect at either defensive end or nose tackle in the 3-4 defense. Also, drafting Williams will allow them to trade Glenn Dorsey if they want to. If it isn’t Dan Williams, then I think Bryan Bulaga goes here and moves to right tackle for his first year.

6.   Seattle Seahawks – Trent Williams, Oklahoma OT

The Seahawks are in the same position as the Chiefs, and Eric Berry could be too enticing as a play-maker not to draft.  But the Seahawks were terrible without Matt Hasselbeck, and they need to give him (or recently acquired Charlie Whitehurst) enough time to throw the ball.

Even with the rumors that Walter Jones is attempting a comeback, the Seahawks will be better off drafting his replacement here. Originally I had Iowa’s Bryan Bulaga here, but the Seahawks now get the drafts’ second best tackle and should be a starter for the next decade.

C.J. Spiller is also projected by many at this spot, but Justin Forsett has the same skills as Spiller and just doesn’t make sense when you don’t have a quality offensive line to run behind. Also, the recent history of top ten running backs not named Adrian Peterson hasn’t been pretty.

7.   Cleveland Browns – Eric Berry, Tennessee S

The Browns might try to make a move for Sam Bradford, but if they stand pat, they will be rushing to the podium to draft Berry. Simply put, he is a stud and possibly the best athlete in the draft.

If the Chiefs or Seahawks draft Berry, then the Browns pick will be Joe Haden from Florida or possibly Oklahoma State’s Dez Bryant if they want to ensure that they add a play-maker. Bulaga also makes sense and it would allow him to play RT opposite Joe Thomas and give new QB Jake Delhomme even more protection.

8.  Oakland Raiders  -  Jason Pierre-Paul, South Florida DE-OLB

Pierre-Paul is a project and a player I see as too raw to go this high. The biggest issue here is that Pierre-Paul is probably a better 4-3 DE than a 3-4 OLB or DE which could lead him to struggle for the Raiders as he adjusts to the new scheme.

No one knows what Al Davis will actually do, but we know he falls in love with players who exceed expectations at the combines and are physical freaks. Pierre-Paul fits both criteria plus he gives the Raiders someone to rush Phillip Rivers for the next few years.

Maryland’s Bruce Campbell has been projected by many here because Davis needs to give quarterback JaMarcus Russell (or hopefully another QB) time, but Campbell is still too raw even for Al. Bulaga would be the best choice here (which is why he isn’t the pick), but  Jimmy Clausen could be an intriguing choice since everyone knows Russell isn’t the long-term answer at QB for the Raiders.

9.   Buffalo Bills  – Bryan Bulaga, Iowa  OT

The Bills couldn’t keep the pressure off their quarterback last year, which caused a potentially promising Trent Edwards to flounder. I personally think Edwards has the chance to be a decent quarterback in this league, and given more than two seconds to read the defense will prove that.

Even if Edwards isn’t the future, drafting Jimmy Clausen doesn’t make sense here because he’ll have the same bad offensive line. Furthermore, new Head Coach Chan Gailey prefers mobile quarterbacks, so Texas’ Colt McCoy or Florida’s Tim Tebow might be who he is targeting in Round Two.

I also have a feeling that Bills would love to trade down a couple slots and still get an offensive tackle, possibly Rutgers’ Anthony Davis. Perhaps if Denver, whom might covet Dez Bryant and worry that the Jaguars might draft him with the tenth pick, makes a them an offer we’ll see our first trade.

Another option might be Philadelphia if Eric Berry were to fall this far.

10.  Jacksonville Jaguars – C.J. Spiller, Clemson, RB

Possibly the most explosive offensive player in this draft, Spiller (in photo) would team with Maurice Jones-Drew as the NFL’s best one-two running back tandem. It would energize the fan base because every time he touches the ball they’d get excited waiting to see what might happen.

This would also be the perfect team for Spiller because he wouldn’t have to be the No. 1 running back with Jones-Drew carrying the load. It would also allow the Jaguars to rest Jones-Drew and not force him out of the game too soon.

11.  Denver Broncos (from Chicago) -  Rolando McClain, Alabama  ILB

Last mock draft I thought the Broncos would do whatever it takes to get Oklahoma State’s Dez Bryant. It could be a smoke screen and they might still choose him, but now my gut says that Head Coach Josh McDaniels wants to put the finishing touches on his defensive front seven.

That means drafting the best middle linebacker, and his name is McClain. If it isn’t McClain, then it’s Earl Thomas or Dez Bryant.

12.  Miami Dolphins – Sergio Kindle, Texas  DE-OLB

The Dolphins need to improve their pass rush, and this pick comes down to Kindle and Georgia Tech’s Derrick Morgan. I think Kindle has the kind of motor that Bill Parcells loves. If Dan Williams is still here, I think he’ll be the pick to replace an aging Jason Ferguson.

For the rest of this NFL Mock draft article, head over to .


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