Columnist makes NFL draft picks

Nathan Stacken

Nathan Stacken

The NFL Draft heads to primetime this week starting Thursday 6:30 CT on ESPN and the NFL Network. The draft is very unpredictable this year, but having said that, I am going to attempt to give you my mock draft of the first ten picks and other picks of interest in the 2010 NFL Draft. There undoubtedly will be trades, but I am going to give you the top ten picks as the teams are currently positioned.

1. St. Louis Rams- Sam Bradford QB Oklahoma

Analysis: Nebraska DT Ndamukong Suh may be the best overall player, but the Rams are desperate for a quarterback who can lead the franchise for years to come. With Marc Bulger gone, the Rams need someone other than A.J. Feeley that gives them a chance to win, and win soon, because the fan base is getting antsy. Bradford’s shoulder injuries and his lack of play under center (he played in a spread offense) is a concern, but the Rams will make him their franchise quarterback.

2. Detroit Lions-Ndamukong Suh- DT Nebraska

Analysis: This guy is a stud and the best player in the draft. Lions head coach Jim Schwartz was a former defensive coordinator with the Titans, and the Lions were bad on defense last year. When a guy of Suh’s caliber is staring you in the face, you have to draft him.

3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Gerald McCoy DT Oklahoma

Analysis: The other great defensive tackle in this draft won’t have to wait long to hear his name. His size and the defensive system he played in will make his NFL transition go smoothly. He can plug up the middle and will help the Bucs improve on defense.

4. Washington Redskins- Russell Okung OT Oklahoma State

Analysis: When the Redskins traded for Donovan McNabb, the speculation of the Redskins trying to trade up to draft Sam Bradford pretty much ended. Now they need someone to protect McNabb, and Okung is the guy. His long arms will help steer defensive ends away from McNabb, and despite his size, he is very agile.

5. Kansas City Chiefs- Trent Williams OT Oklahoma

Analysis: While I could see Tennessee safety Eric Berry here, I think the Chiefs will take Williams to help the tackle position on the offensive line. The need to protect QB Matt Cassel remains high and with new running back Thomas Jones, the Chiefs will have to open up some holes for their running game to succeed.

6. Seattle Seahawks- Dez Bryant WR Oklahoma State

Analysis: The Seahawks don’t have much depth at the wide receiver position. Bryant has tremendous size, speed and hands. He caught 19 touchdowns in 2008, and had four touchdowns last year before the NCAA suspended him for a rules violation. The suspension has not dropped expectations for Bryant. Despite the character issues, he’s top ten talent.

7. Cleveland Browns- Eric Berry S Tennessee

Analysis: Jimmy Clausen is there for them, but Eric Berry was a star at Tennessee. He can cover the best, and Cleveland has a glaring need at safety. His athleticism is needed in the secondary.

8. Oakland Raiders- Bryan Bulaga OT Iowa

Analysis: Robert Gallery has not worked out like the Raiders hoped when they drafted him from Iowa in 2004, but the Raiders are heading back to Iowa to draft another tackle. The Raiders need to protect their quarterback and open up holes for their running backs with a good offensive linemen.

9. Buffalo Bills- Jimmy Clausen QB Notre Dame

Analysis: Even though RB C.J. Spiller from Clemson is on the board, quarterback is a more glaring need. Clausen may be the most NFL-ready quarterback in the draft, having played in a pro-style offense at Notre Dame. He was marvelous last year, throwing just four interceptions and will provide Buffalo with stability.

10. Jacksonville Jaguars- Derrick Morgan DE Georgia Tech

Analysis: Morgan is a pure pass-rusher. His 12 sacks this last year double his total from his first two years at Georgia Tech. The Jaguars signed Aaron Kampman in the offseason to come off one end. With the other defense ends (Harvey and Grove) not working out, they’ll take Morgan.

With the #30 overall pick, the Minnesota Vikings select?

The Vikings will most likely take a defensive player. If a good defensive tackle is there, they’ll go that route, but I think they’ll take CB Patrick Robinson, Florida State. With Cedric Griffin coming off ACL-surgery, the Vikings need an athletic cornerback opposite Antoine Winfield.

As for SDSU’s own DE/OLB Danny Batten, you better watch Saturday to see him drafted, because I think he is going in either the fourth or fifth round.