» Previous mock drafts: 1.0
The NFL Scouting Combine is on the horizon, and front office executives are feverishly putting the finishing touches on their preliminary draft boards based on the performance of a few highly touted prospects at all-star games.
Though the draft boards are sure to change when some prospects inevitably have spectacular showings during pre-draft workouts, the initial rankings serve as a solid basis for teams pinpointing available talent with picks.
With that premise in mind, let's take a look at my latest mock draft scenario:
1. St. Louis Rams
Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska
The battle for the top spot could come down to Gerald McCoy and Suh, despite the team's quarterback woes. While McCoy has his fair share of supporters within the building, Suh's dominant run skills make him the Rams' choice.
2. Detroit Lions
Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma
Landing a dominant interior rusher is not a bad consolation prize for the Lions.
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, South Florida
4. Washington Redskins
Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma State
5. Kansas City Chiefs
Trent Williams, OT, Oklahoma
6. Seattle Seahawks
Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech
7. Cleveland Browns
Joe Haden, CB, Florida
8. Oakland Raiders
Anthony Davis, OT, Rutgers
The ultra-athletic Davis answers the team's glaring weakness at offensive tackle.
9. Buffalo Bills
Bryan Bulaga, OT, Iowa
Chan Gailey will think long and hard about taking QB Sam Bradford with this pick, but the team's woeful offensive line needs a franchise-caliber tackle on the left side.
10. Jacksonville Jaguars
Carlos Dunlap, DE, Florida
After registering only 14 sacks, the Jaguars turn to Dunlap to upgrade their non-existent pass rush.
11. Denver Broncos
Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State
12. Miami Dolphins
Sergio Kindle, OLB, Texas
Joey Porter's eventual release and Jason Taylor's uncertain status makes acquiring a top-edge rusher like Kindle a must for the Dolphins.
13. San Francisco 49ers
Eric Berry, S, Tennessee
Berry's ball-hawking skills are a welcome addition in the middle of the 49ers' emerging defense.
14. Seattle Seahawks
C.J. Spiller, RB, Clemson
15. N.Y. Giants
Rolando McClain, LB, Alabama
The release of Antonio Pierce creates a huge hole in the middle of the Giants defense. However, McClain's playmaking ability and leadership skills should fill the void created by the loss of the former defensive captain.
16. San Francisco 49ers
Mike Iupati, OG/OT, Idaho
The former Vandal has shot up draft boards after dominating practices throughout the week at the Senior Bowl. With the versatility to move outside to right tackle, Iupati gives the 49ers a solid solution to their offensive line woes.
17. Tennessee Titans
Brian Price, DT, UCLA
After watching his defense decline dramatically after the loss of Albert Haynesworth, Jeff Fisher adds the hard-working Price to to fortify the unit.
18. Pittsburgh Steelers
Terrence Cody, DT, Alabama
Casey Hampton's impending free-agent status makes it imperative the Steelers find a replacement at nose tackle. While Cody's weight may concern some, there is no disputing his ability to control the point of attack in the middle.
19. Atlanta Falcons
Navorro Bowman, LB, Penn State
20. Houston Texans
Earl Thomas, S, Texas
The Texans continue to add to an emerging defense by selecting Thomas with their top pick. The versatile ball hawk shows excellent range as a safety, but also possesses the athleticism to fill in at corner.
21. Cincinnati Bengals
Jermaine Gresham, TE, Oklahoma
The Bengals add the ultra-athletic Gresham to their lineup despite the former Oklahoma star missing all of his senior season with a knee injury. If his medical concerns check out, Gresham would give the Bengals a much-needed vertical threat in the middle of the field.
22. New England Patriots
Brandon Graham, OLB, Michigan
Graham lacks the athleticism to play as a conventional 3-4 outside linebacker, but his outstanding pass rush skills make him an intriguing addition to the Patriots' lineup.
23. Green Bay Packers
Bruce Campbell, OT, Maryland
The Packers' woes in pass protection will result in the team grabbing Campbell with its top pick. Although the former Terrapin is raw in some aspects, his potential makes him an attractive option at this point.
24. Philadelphia Eagles
Everson Griffen, DE, Southern California
25. Baltimore Ravens
Arrelious Benn, WR, Illinois
26. Arizona Cardinals
Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma
Matt Leinart is penciled in as the team's starter, but Ken Whisenhunt will bring in Bradford to compete for the starting job. If the signal-caller isn't there, a pass-rushing threat such as Ricky Sapp would be a welcome addition.
27. Dallas Cowboys
Taylor Mays, S, Southern California
Jerry Jones finds it too difficult to pass on adding a talent like Mays to his defense.
28. San Diego Chargers
Jahvid Best, RB, California
The swift playmaker from Cal steps into the Chargers' starting lineup on Day 1 to ignite a dormant rush attack.
29. N.Y. Jets
Kyle Wilson, CB, Boise State
The instinctive corner has the savvy and athleticism to blossom in the Jets' aggressive scheme.
30. Minnesota Vikings
Dan Williams, DT, Tennessee
31. Indianapolis Colts
Jared Odrick, DT, Penn State
The hardworking Odrick is an ideal fit as an interior player in the Colts' scheme, and his presence will help shore up the team's woes against the run.
32. New Orleans Saints
Sean Weatherspoon, LB, Missouri
The loquacious Weatherspoon adds speed and athleticism to the Saints' linebacker corps.