I know it is early, but we can already see what teams will be fighting for playoff spots, and which teams will be looking for help to get there next year.
The first round will only go the top 10 picks, maybe a couple of more, but these projections are based off of the standings right now.
Things will obviously change, as team needs change throughout the season, but this is what I have thus far.
1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Sure they won, finally, but they still have earned the number one pick with their play. Where to start with their needs? Actually let’s talk about what they will not be looking for:
1. Quarterback- They will not be taking a quarterback early in this draft.
2. Running Back- They may not have a great running back, but they have three good ones who they have paid. Add in that there is no clear cut Adrian Peterson type back this year and that means this will not be the pick.
Other than that, they need it all. You could say DB is still a strength, but no one knows when Aqib Talib will punch someone else. That being said you don’t draft a DB with the #1 pick, so I say:
With the first pick in the 2010 NFL Draft: Ndamukong Suh, DT Nebraska
This would be a great step in recovering what was once a dominant Tampa Bay D.
2. St. Louis Rams: Man this team needs help. What made this team great? A quarterback. So with early draft picks at RB, OL, DL, WR and LB littering the field, they need someone that can lead.
I am not a huge fan of this guy, but I can’t deny his fabulous talents. He would look good moving over from South Bend:
With the second pick in the 2010 NFL Draft: Jimmy Clausen, QB Notre Dame
3. Kansas City Chiefs: The Chiefs have not had nearly the success they had hoped with the Todd Haley hire and the bringing in of Matt Cassel. That being said, they still have talent, but they need help along the offensive line and at running back.
As I said, there is no running back that jumps out at you as being #3 overall pick worthy, so I think they look to bolster the OL:
With the third pick in the 2010 NFL Draft: Russell Okung, OT Oklahoma State
Okung has not had the year he wanted too, but he still is the best o-line prospect for this draft.
4. Detroit Lions: The Lions would love to be able to grab Okung, but with him off the board at this point, they will look to the other side of the line. The defensive line has looked, well not good this season. So adding a potential star would be a huge boost”
With the fourth pick in the 2010 NFL Draft: Gerald McCoy, DT Oklahoma
McCoy came into the season as one of the top DL, and he has not let that position slip at all.
5. Cleveland Browns: Well, I would say quarterback is a need, but I am not even sure Eric Mangini knows that yet. So what does a team that looks horrible on offense do in a relatively weak offensive draft? Probably reach for a player here, but I would like to see them go with one of the better defensive players in the draft:
With the fifth pick in the 2010 NFL Draft: Taylor Mays, FS USC
6. Washington Redskins: Would they look to replace Jason Campbell, or would they look to continue to bulk up their defense? Could they draft an offensive linemen? I don’t know what is going to happen with this team, and to an extent, I am not sure who the pick here would be. For now, I give them the hottest QB prospect in the draft:
With the sixth pick in the 2010 NFL Draft: Jake Locker, QB Washington
I know that would not be a popular pick right now, but with the way Steve Sarkisian is turning him into a credible top 10 pick, I don’t know if the Redskins can pass him up.
7. Tennessee Titans: What a rough start to the year for the Titans. With the insertion of Vince Young into the starting lineup, the need for a QB has lessened. They still need help along the defensive line and defensive backfield. That is why I think they stay local:
With the seventh pick in the 2010 NFL Draft: Eric Berry, SS Tennessee
Adding a playmaking safety to a struggling defense can be the shot in the arm that the team really needs.
8. Oakland Raiders: I don’t know what to say. I have no idea who they will pick, so I have no idea how to diagnose their issues. I could see them taking a WR or maybe even a QB. Here, I give them what they need, in my mind:
With the eighth pick in the 2010 NFL Draft: Trent Williams, OT Oklahoma
I thought they should have taken Eugene Monroe last year, so I will give them a solid, potential Pro Bowl offensive linemen this year.
9. Seattle Seahawks: I am sure the Seahawks would love to draft an OT or local boy Jake Locker, but both of those players are off the board. They need a running back as well as an offensive linemen, but I don’t see another linemen worth taking this high, so they go with the who was supposed to be the best running back in the nation this year.
With the ninth pick in the 2010 NFL Draft: Jahvid Best, RB California
They could also go with CJ Spiller out of Clemson, but I really think they would love Trent Williams or maybe even Russell Okung to fall here.
10. San Francisco 49ers: Another team in desperate need of an offensive lineman. I am not sure what they would do here with the reinsertion of Alex Smith into the starting role.
What I would do is look to improve on the porous pass rush defense, and look for an impact DE. That is why:
With the tenth pick in the 2010 NFL Draft: Sergio Kindle, OLB/DE Texas
Would fit perfectly in the 3-4 scheme the 49ers are running and would really help the pass rush. Could also see Carlos Dunlap being picked here, but he is more of a prototypical 4-3 end, and Kindle should excel in the 3-4 stand up role.
That is it for the first 10 picks of the 2010 NFL draft. This was using the NFL.com league wide standings and that is how I chose the Seahawks and 49ers as the 9th and 10th selections.