The 2010 NFL Draft kicks off in a matter of hours, fresh in its brand spankin’ new primetime slot.
All the usual drama will be in play, this year headlined by a new listing of talent at all positions, most notably the trio of quarterbacks that paraded through college football for the last three to four years – mainly Tim Tebow, Sam Bradford and Colt McCoy.
But it’s Tebow that has stolen the headlines throughout the past few months – from the holes in his game, to the overall improvement and elimination of many of those football shortcomings. On top of that, there’s the overall passion and work ethic that Tebow brings – an attribute that every franchise covets.
Tebow has been mentioned across a few rounds, and to a number of different teams – so many in fact that it mimics the game “Six Degrees of Separation of Kevin Bacon”.
That’s why I’ve pieced together a mock draft of my own, featuring six teams that could choose to go the “Tebow route” come draft day.
KP’s 2010 NFL Mock Draft: The Six Degrees of Separation of Tim Tebow
1. ST. LOUIS RAMS – Sam Bradford (QB, Oklahoma)
The only real question mark on Bradford was his shoulder – that is, until Dr. Andrews OK’d that. Now the question mark is his future contract numbers.
2. DETROIT LIONS – Ndamukong Suh (DT, Nebraska)
Every prognosticator fell in love with this guy after his Big 12 Championship performance against Colt McCoy and Texas. Come Thursday, Lions fans will fall in love, too.
3. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS – Gerald McCoy (DT, Oklahoma)
The Bucs need to reload a once dominant defense with young talent, and no one else fits Tampa Bay’s system better than McCoy.
4. WASHINGTON REDSKINS – Russell Okung (OT, Oklahoma State)
The Redskins need O-line more than anything. Personally, I would trade down, and then select an OL and WR, but if a deal is not struck – Okung is the best bet here.
5. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS – Eric Berry (S, Tennessee)
The Chiefs still have a number of needs on both offense and defense. Therefore, the “best available” pick makes the most sense here – and that’s Berry, who has drawn comparisons to Ed Reed (via Mel Kiper).
6. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS – Trent Williams (OT, Oklahoma)
The Seahawks haven’t quite been the same up front since losing Steve Hutchinson to Minnesota. It’s time to rebuild the offensive line – and Williams would be a good start with this pick.
7. CLEVELAND BROWNS – Earl Thomas (S, Texas)
Honestly, something tells me that Cleveland will be wheeling-and-dealing on this day, potentially moving up to get Berry, or down to get additional picks. But if the Browns stay here, my pick is the talented former Longhorn, Earl Thomas.
8. OAKLAND RAIDERS – C.J. Spiller (RB, Clemson)
“Crazy Al” Davis always loves to surprise us, and seems to lean towards weapons with tons of speed. The Raiders also need a QB – but rumors are swirling around an outside shot to deal for Roethlisberger – leaving the top offensive weapon on the board – and that’s Spiller.
9. BUFFALO BILLS – Bryan Bulaga (OT, Iowa)
There has been chatter about the Bills maybe taking a chance on Clausen with this pick, but there’s an offensive line need, too – and therefore I wouldn’t be shocked to see Buffalo go that route instead, especially with Bulaga falling this far. As for QB, I can see Buffalo finding a way to draft Tebow at some point. After all, he did dine with Jim Kelly a while back.
(Tebow Tally = 1)
10. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS – Maurkice Pouncey (C, Florida)
I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Jags trade down, add extra picks and use one later pick to draft Tim Tebow – a guy who used to play in nearby Gainesville, and therefore would add income to a struggling franchise. If they keep the pick, Pouncey – another talented Florida player – would be a good fit.
(Tebow Tally = 2)
11. DENVER BRONCOS (from Chicago) – Dez Bryant (WR, Oklahoma State)
Some reports have stated the Broncos are avoiding players with character issues after the Brandon Marshall situation. I see that as a smokescreen, as McDaniels is used to a Belichick system that takes on these players. That, plus Bryant would fill the hole left by Marshall.
12. MIAMI DOLPHINS – Dan Williams (DT, Tennessee)
Williams fits more of the mold of a kind of player that Parcells loves to add to his roster in the early rounds.
13. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS – Anthony Davis (OT, Rutgers)
Offensive line is one of the bigger needs for San Francisco, and with both top safeties off the board, Davis is the top option available here.
Matt Hasselbeck has been injured often the last few seasons, and it’s been no secret that Seattle has dabbled in the QB trade market. That’s why Clausen makes sense here for Carroll to add a young gunslinger to his offense.
15. NEW YORK GIANTS – Rolando McClain (ILB, Alabama)
The Giants have needs at the linebacker position, and he’s the top rated LB prospect by just about anyone critiquing this year’s draft.
16. TENNESSEE TITANS – Jason Pierre-Paul (DE, South Florida)
The Titans need D-line help. If Tennessee doesn’t strike a deal to get Haynesworth back, then look for Fisher and Co. to take Pierre-Paul, who has been often compared to former Titan star Jevon Kearse.
17. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (from Carolina) – Joe Haden (CB, Florida)
Filling the offensive line need at pick #13, San Francisco moves to the defensive side of the ball and adds the top corner in the draft.
18. PITTSBURGH STEELERS – Mike Iupati (G, Idaho)
The Steelers have a class reputation, one that’s been tarnished recently by the likes of Holmes (now traded) and Roethlisberger (recently suspended). Amidst the rumors swirling about Big Ben being trade bait, I’d honestly add the high-character Tim Tebow to restore order in the Steel City. But that likely won’t happen, and instead, Pittsburgh will likely add depth in the trenches.
(Tebow Tally = 3)
19. ATLANTA FALCONS – Derrick Morgan (DE, Georgia Tech)
If Morgan were to fall this far, it would be a steal for the Falcons, as he’s a beast and Atlanta could use some additional depth on the defensive front.
20. HOUSTON TEXANS – Kareem Jackson (CB, Alabama)
With a need at the cornerback position – plus Haden off the board already – the Texans add Jackson, the highest value left in regards to their position needs.
21. CINCINNATI BENGALS – Jermaine Gresham (TE, Oklahoma)
The Bengals are used to taking on players with character issues – heck, they were the joke of the league a few seasons ago regarding that front. But Gresham has a ton of talent and tight end is a hole for Cincinnati, so it’s a good fit.
22. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS – Brandon Graham (DE/OLB, Michigan)
Graham caused all kinds of headaches for Big Ten opponents for years, and having him fall this far would be a gift for the Patriots, who could use him as a part of Belichick’s defense. Tim Tebow has also been mentioned in the same breath as the Pats, but maybe they would take a chance on him with one of their many other draft picks.
(Tebow Tally = 4)
23. GREEN BAY PACKERS – Kyle Wilson (CB, Boise State)
Cornerback is one of Green Bay’s needs, and Wilson is one of three corners that have been listed to go during the first round.
24. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES – Sergio Kindle (OLB, Texas)
Some have Kindle going as high as the early teens, so there’s no question he has a ton of talent – and would be a good fit for Philadelphia with this pick. It’s a worthwhile chance considering how many picks the Eagles have in the draft.
25. BALTIMORE RAVENS – Jerry Hughes (DE/OLB, TCU)
A few significant pieces of the Ravens defense are starting to get up there in age. Therefore, a need for some youth and hard working talents would be smart – and Hughes, who is similar to an Aaron Maybin or Dwight Freeney, could be a sneaky selection here.
While many have him going a pick earlier to the Ravens, I see the big-bodied and talented Thomas being a solid replacement for Anquan Boldin, who was dealt to the Ravens during the offseason.
27. DALLAS COWBOYS – Charles Brown (OT, USC)
After letting Flozell Adams go, it makes sense that the Cowboys would address the OL need by taking Brown – though I also wouldn’t be shocked to see Jerry Jones and Co. go with a sexy pick, like Taylor Mays.
28. SAN DIEGO CHARGERS – Ryan Mathews (RB, Fresno State)
With the departure of Tomlinson, the running back position is a fairly obvious need for the Chargers – and what better fit than a talented kid who also went to school in the state of California.
29. NEW YORK JETS – Everson Griffen (DE, USC)
Griffen is the kind of talent that Rex Ryan would likely love to have as a part of his defense, and while he’s added plenty in the offseason, guys like Jason Taylor are older, and therefore youth will be needed going forward.
With Brett Favre to eventually move on from football (insert Favre retirement joke here), the Vikings will need a quarterback. Since there’s obviously a trust issue with Jackson and Rosenfels, why not build around a high character, hard working guy like Tebow?
(Tebow Tally = 5)
31. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS – Jared Odrick (DT, Penn State)
The extremely talented Odrick would be a great addition to the middle of Indy’s defensive line, which features Mathis and Freeney playing on either end. If Odrick were off the board, I wouldn’t be shocked to see Tim Tebow here, as Tony Dungy – still close with the Colts staff – has spoken highly of him, plus he could thrive and learn working behind Peyton Manning.
(Tebow Tally = 6)
32. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS – Sean Weatherspoon (OLB, Missouri)
Weatherspoon has the fire, the talent and some of the best leadership skills I’ve seen in this year’s draft pool – most notably seen during the Senior Bowl. A good fit for New Orleans, Weatherspoon is the last pick of the first round in my eyes.