Hat's off to Sayre Bedinger for his round 1-3 mock draft. Very interesting picks in there.
I'm going to give you my darkhorse draft and a brief reason why.
1. St. Louis Rams: Russell Okung, OL, Oklahoma State - The Rams know they can get QB Colt McCoy in the 2nd round and drafting a franchise OT in the draft is always a must if available. Plus, who would protect Bradfords' back?
2. Detroit Lions: Trent Williams, OL, Oklahoma - The very same reasoning for Stafford, who is going to protect his back? In reality, you need to protect your investment. Franchise QB's are an investment. That's why I see the top 2 picks going to the very best lineman this draft has to offer.
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Ndamukong Suh, DL, Nebraska - If Tampa has the option of Suh or McCoy, I believe they will choose Suh based on the tag "The best interior DL to come into the league in the past 30 years.", and Suh is the superior run defender of the two. Tampa was last in run defense last year.
4. Denver Broncos: Gerald McCoy, DL, Oklahoma - McCoy is a better pass rusher than he is stopping the run. If we had the option of McCoy or Suh, I'd like to think we'd take Suh but Tampa has the same needs Denver does (Stopping the run, Denver ranked 26th in the stopping the run). McCoy goes a long way in helping rectify that issue.
5. Kansas City Chiefs: Eric Berry, S, Tennessee - There is a major need at safety, and he is the very best available.
6. Seattle Seahawks: Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma - Seahawks, thrilled Bradford is still available, and select their new franchise QB. The good thing is he will not start right away w/ Matt Hasselbeck starting and teaching the young QB.
7. Cleveland Browns: Dan Williams, DL, Tennessee - They'll need to find a long-term replacement for current NT Shaun Rogers and Williams gives them that.
8. Oakland Raiders: Anthony Davis, OT, Rutgers - Some experts have said he's the best pure blocker in this years draft, and I think they really want to give DeMarcus Russell all the tools to succeed. They invested a lot of money in him.
9. Buffalo Bills: Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame - They need a long term fix a QB and he is the best available.
10. Jacksonville Jaguars: Earl Thomas, S, Texas -Best safety available, plus, they ranked 27th in pass defense last season.
11. Washington Redskins: Bryan Bulaga, OL, Iowa - They've traded for McNabb and given him a #1 receiver in Brandon Marshall. they'll need to protect him and Bulaga is the obvious choice here at #11.
13. San Francisco 49ers: Joe Haden, CB, Florida - They need help on the OL and they can't justify taking Iupati or Campbell at #13 so I believe they'll take the best CB in the draft, and a steal at #13.
14. Seattle Seahawks: Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State - What better way to build an offense than picking the #1 QB in Bradford and #1 receiver in Bryant.
15. New York Giants: Rolando McClain, ILB, Alabama - No secret the Giants are coveting him and are thrilled to get him here at #15.
17. San Francisco 49ers: Mike Iupati, OL, Idaho - He instantly imporves the OL, by playing multiple positions.
18. Pittsburgh Steelers: Maurkice Pouncey, C, Florida - Best C in the draft and with the woes with Big Ben, they may want to run the ball a little more. Pouncey strengthens the interior line to pound the rush.
19. Atlanta Falcons: Brandon Graham, DE, Michigan - DE size at 270lbs, and an OLB speed at 4.72 in the 40. Perfect fit for the Falcons.
22. New England Patriots: Sergio Kindle, OLB, Texas - He's versatile and the exact need at OLB for the Patriots. What a combo, Kindle and Mayo.
25. Baltimore Ravens: Kyle Wilson, CB, Boise State - With the addition of Anquan Boldin, the passing game need is no longer warranted, and they'll need to keep up their defense witha solid CB and Wilson fits the bill.
26. Arizona Cardinals: Sean Weatherspoon, LB, Missouri - The Karlos Dandby departure makes this pick neccesary.
27. Dallas Cowboys: Charles Brown, OL, USC - A natural fit as they need help on the O-line.
28. San Diego Chargers: Jahvid Best, RB, Cal - Experts say this may be a reach for Best, but I don't think so, he's the best RB behind Spiller. Best was named 2009 Elite Running Back Trophy recipient of the College Football Performance Awards.
29. New York Jets: Golden Tate, WR, Notre Dame - What is the more pressing need, WR or DE? I think Tate is a solid pick her and matching up with Edwards is a solid pick and gives young QB Sanchez more to work with.
30. Minnesota Vikings: Jared Odrick, DL, Penn State - There is a need on the interior DL, though the injury to EJ Henderson may also neccesitate a need at LB. I think Odrick is an excellent value at #30.
31. Indianapolis Colts: Brian Price, DT, UCLA - Great pick to work between Freeney and Mathis.
32. New Orleans Saints: Jerry Hughes, OLB/DE, TCU - The departure of Scott Fujita creates this pick. They have needs at DT and safety (Possible departure of Sharper), but as far as quality at 32, I think Hughes is the best pick for their biggest need.
I didn't work trades into this very much except for what I can see the Broncos doing. I'd Also trade Tony Scheffler to the Rams for their 4th round #99 overall, or thr Bills 4th rounder at #109. Scheffler would help any young quarterback (Namely The Rams with my assessed draft position #1 of the 2nd round), or Claussen with the 9th overall). As a result of the trades, Denever would have
#04: Gerald McCoy, NT, Oklahoma - (See above).
#45: Vladimir Ducasse, OL, UMass - Great news is, he can play Guard or Tackle.
#80: J.D. Walton, C, Baylor - Ranked at #2 Center in this years draft and it’s a need for us.
#99 (From the Rams for Scheffler): Patrick Angerer, ILB, Iowa - Excellent coverage LB, and a leader. Love this guy!!!
#103 (From the Redskins for Brandon Marshall): Anthony McCoy, TE, USC - Solid blocking TE w/ very soft hands.
#114: Greg Hardy, DE, Mississippi or Brandon Lang, DE, Troy - One of these guys should fall to us.
Trade #183 and #220 as high as we can go in the 5th for LaGarrett Blount, RB, Oregon. Solid 1-2 punch with Moreno, and Blount.
Lastly, to fill the void left by the Brandon Marshall tarde at WR, sign Terrel Owens.