1.) Saint Louis Rams - Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma
People continue to believe that the Rams will take Ndamukong Suh. I believe it has been clear for a long time that the Rams will go with Sam Bradford, and the signing of defensive tackle Fred Robbins further supports this. Just because they should draft Suh, doesn't mean they will. The best player isn't always taken first. Also, football is not just about winning, as much as the fans would like to believe, it is a business as well.
Ndamukong Suh is the clear-cut #1 player in the draft, although Mike Mayock somehow still doesn't see him as the best defensive tackle. However, the Rams need a quarterback more than they need a defensive line. They do have an opportunity to get one of the best, young defensive lines in the game with Adam Carriker, Chris Long and Suh. However, they also have Bulger . . . Bulger sucks. The Rams are investing in a franchise quarterback here.
Bradford not only fills a need at quarterback where he will most likely replace Bulger and improve the offense quite a bit, but he is also a much sexier pick to the general public. If you are a casual fan of the Rams, you want your quarterback of the future, not a defensive tackle. This is where the business aspect factors in.
Another reason the Rams will take a quarterback is the new owners and relatively new coach. The new owners want to start off their ownership with a splash. The top quarterback would result in a much larger splash than the top defensive tackle. Also, Spagnuolo can play the "I'm developing a young quarterback!" card in order to keep his job when they have yet another terrible season.
2.) Detroit Lions - Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska
The Lions get extremely lucky here thanks to the Rams taking the best quarterback rather than the best player. The Lions, of course, have a plethora of positions of need, including defensive tackle. Now, at number two, the Lions are able to take the best player in the entire draft on both sides of the ball at a position of need.
Ndamukong Suh is an excellent prospect and one of the best in a very long time. He isn't perfect and DEFINITELY isn't a "sure thing". No one is ever a sure thing, and defensive tackles are no exceptions. Defensive tackles, in fact, bust quite often; just as often as quarterbacks and maybe even more often.
It seems like Suh will be an outstanding defensive tackle in the NFL and should make an immediate impact. He does a great job against the run and a great job in the passing game. He had great numbers at the Combine and showed off that athleticism on the field. As opposed to most defensive linemen, Suh does not take plays off. He has a great motor, superb skills, excellent athleticism and good character. It is hard to find a fault when looking at Suh.
3.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma
The Buccaneers are in a great position in this draft. Look at they players, one of which has to be available here: Ndamukong Suh and Gerald McCoy, two of the best defensive tackle prospects in years, and Eric Berry, an amazing athlete who can be a game-changing safety or corner in the NFL.
The Buccaneers have plenty of needs, similar to the Lions and Rams. The only positions they don't need to address are offensive line and quarterback. That rules out both Russell Okung and Jimmy Clausen. This pick comes down to McCoy against Berry and the Bucs ultimately choose McCoy.
McCoy is even better than Ndamukong Suh when it comes to penetration and pressuring the quarterback. He is not as strong or powerful as Suh and he doesn't have the same impact on the running game, but he has more of an impact on the passing game. However, don't think for a second that he is a slouch when it comes to the running game. It is hard to be better than Suh in that area.
This is very early for a safety prospect, which is why I believe they will go with McCoy over Berry. Also, the Tampa Bay defense excelled with Warren Sapp, whom they drafted in the first round. McCoy's ability to get to the quarterback is reminiscent of Sapp's. McCoy will be taken here, not Berry.
4.) Washington Redskins - Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma State
The Redskins are really only expected to have to legitimate options here. Their defensive is very impressive, but their offensive is terrible at nearly every position. Jason Campbell is not a great quarterback, Clinton Portis is old, their receivers and tight ends are almost non-existent, and the offensive line is horrid.
No running back is worth of this spot, not even CJ Spiller, and neither are any tight ends or receivers. Some believe Clausen deserves this spot, but while I don't deny that Clausen is a good prospect, I don't believe the Redskins will take him. Jason Campbell still has not been given a fair chance as a starting NFL quarterback. He has never had a decent offense to work with. Campbell threw for over 3,000 yards the last two years and had a quarterback rating over 80 both years. He managed these impressive stats despite being sacked 38 times in '08 and 43 times in '09.
This proves that the real issue with the offense is the absolutely despicable offensive line. This offensive line, especially with Samuels retiring, could make the Rams' look like The Electric Company. Therefore, the Redskins and new head coach Mike Shanahan will go with Russell Okung, the best offensive lineman in the draft, at the #4 spot.
5.) Kansas City Chiefs - Eric Berry, S, Tennessee
The Chiefs have plenty of needs, especially at wide receiver and offensive line. However, since Okung has been taken, no more offensive linemen and no receivers really deserve to be taken in the top five. Therefore, the Chiefs will address their 30th ranked defense. Suh and McCoy, the two best defensive prospects are gone; that leaves one obvious defensive prospect who is clearly the best.
That player is Eric Berry. Berry is a very unique prospect at safety and he would be the best defensive prospect in most other years. Normally, safeties aren't normally taken this early, but Berry is a special talent. He can play both cornerback and safety. He could be a game-changer at both of these positions. The Chiefs are lucky to get a player of his caliber this late in the draft.
Here is Part II.