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The Most Defensive NFL Draft Ever?

January 11, 2010

I’m not trying to do my best Mel Kiper impression here, but it isn’t hard to notice the overwhelming amount of defensive talent entering the NFL in 2010.  Of the Top 25 prosects, 17 play defensive positions, of the Top 50, 33 play defensive positions. It’s not just the quantity of defensive prospects that makes this draft so defensively lopsided, it’s also the quality of the prospects.  

We all know how many changes will happen over the off season and during the NFL Combine, but as of this moment, I wouldn’t be suprised to see the first five overall picks in 2010’s NFL Draft be defensive players.  There is always the possiblity a team will be dumb enough to look past the abundance of defensive studs entering the league next year, and that would be a huge mistake for them.  Having said that, here are a few possible offensive skill position players who might get drafted too early:

Running Back- C.J. Spiller (Clemson)

Spiller has tremendous speed(might be the fastest 40-yard dash at the combine) and is explosive through the line, but provides little else as far as receiving and pass blocking. I know this is all very similar to what they said about Chris Johnson three years ago, but let me reassure you, C.J. Spiller is no Chris Johnson.

Quarterback- Jimmy Clausen (Notre Dame)

Clausen has matured greatly over his last two years at Notre Dame, and although Charlie Weis( former Notre Dame head coach) has proven to be a pathetic head coach, he has been known to produce some quality quarterbacks. Having said that, I dont trust anyone coming out of present day Notre Dame and Jimmy definitely shouldn’t be drafted any higher than mid first round-early second round.

Wide Reciever- Dez Bryant (Oklahoma St.)

At 6’3″, 225 lbs., this man-child is already a full blown BEAST, but as far as the NFL is concerned, the issue/scandal with Deion Sanders that caused Bryant’s suspension will also cause his draft value to drop.  Therefore leaving more spots open for defensive players to be drafted.

Although it’s possible for any one of those 3 prospects to go top 5, I doubt any of them will.  The teams with the top 5 picks in the NFL draft may have issues offensively, but all need extreme amounts of help defensively and there is a plethora of defensive talent to choose from this year. Thats why the top 5 picks in the 2010 NFL Draft will go like this:

With the First overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, the St. Louis Rams select,

Ndamukong Suh, Defensive Tackle (Nebraska)

I know the Rams have a lot of needs — basically needs at every position — and with Marc Bulger being a bum and possibly retiring, a QB would be a smart pick, but you can’t pass up on “Big Suh”! In 2009 Ndamukong Suh registered 82 tackles, 12 sacks and 29 hurries, 25 tackles for a loss, 10 pass break-ups, 3 blocked kicks, 2 interceptions and 1 forced fumble.  Those stratospheric numbers enabled  Suh to become a Heisman trophy finalist and hands down A.P. Player of the Year.  Need I say more?

With the Second overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, the Detroit Lions select,

Eric Berry, Safety (Tennessee)

If Matt Millen was still the wide reciever infatuated general manager of the Lions, I would imagine this pick would be Dez Bryant all the way. Thank heavens Millen is no longer the GM in Detroit because without him the Lions can’t be stupid enough to look past Eric Berry aka The Fifth Dimension.  This mixture of Ed Reed and Troy Polomalu started all three years at safety for the Volunteers, including winning SEC Freshman Defensive Player of the Year.  He lead all NCAA players in total interceptions, interceptions per game, interception return yards, and interceptions returned for touchdowns.  After only three years at Tennessee, Berry is widely considered one of the best defensive backs in NCAA history.

With the Third overall in the 2010 NFL Draft, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers select,

Rolando McClain, Linebacker (Alabama)

The Buc’s obviously have needs at every position on the field, but they’ve proven to be a successful team when they think defense first, so why look elsewhere? McClain aka The Physical Freak has played three full seasons as a Crimson Tide linebacker and has proven why he should be a top five pick in each and every season.  This past year as a junior was his best year to date for more than one reason.  Not only because of his stats – 101 tackles, 12.5 tackles for a loss, 4 sacks, 14 QB hurries, 3 interceptions and 2 forced fumbles – but also winning the Jack Lambert Award and a Dick Butkus Award, both are awarded to the best collegiate linebacker and exemplify the type of athlete McClain is. Last but not least, the cherry on top, McClain’s hard work and athletic ability paid off when him and the rest his Crimson Tide teamates won the school’s first National Championship since ’92.  These credentials have Rolando drawing comparisons to Brian Urlacher as well as  another Alabama linebacker in Derrick Thomas.  Two comparisons any Linebacker should be proud of.

With the Fourth overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, the Washington Redskins select,

Gerald McCoy, Defensive Tackle (Oklahoma)

I know Shanahan just took over the duties as coach and VP of Football Operations for the Redskins, and I know he loves to have at least one stud running back on his team at all times. I doubt Quinton Ganther is the answer and we know Portis and Betts aren’t the answer, but I can’t see Shanahan and the Redskins overlooking the huge amount of defensive talent that will still be available with the fourth pick.  Especially when it isn’t hard to notice the Redskins defense upgrading over the past three years, and with Albert Haynesworth dealing with multiple injuries and overall not meeting expectations, another stud Defensive Tackle who can also play Defensive End couldn’t hurt.  Especially when that Defensive Tackle is being compared to perennial Pro Bowler Kevin Williams of the Minnesota Vikings. Gerald McCoy is a brick wall against the run and still harrasses the QB enough to be an elite pass rusher.  He’s also extremely versatile in the fact that he can play Defensive Tackle in a 4-3 defensive scheme and makes an easy transition to Defensive End in a 3-4 scheme.  No need to question his durability either, considering he broke a school record for consecutive starts with 38 in a row.  In summary, the NFC East is all about defense and this might be a good way for the lowly Redskins to even the playing field a bit.

With the Fifth pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, the Kansas City Chiefs select,

Derrick Morgan, Defensive End (Georgia Tech)

I know the Chief’s main concern is and should be protecting Matt Cassel by upgrading their horrible offensive line, but their defense is equally horrible, if not worse, and thats enough of a reason for Kansas City to go defense with their first overall pick.  As a Quarterbacks worst nightmare, Morgan is a pass rush monster, which is more than enough for the Chiefs to overlook his slight lack in run stop ability.  He’s an athletic phenomenon, with unbelievable speed for his size(6’4″, 290 lbs.)  A stellar junior year has Morgan flying up the draft boards as well as being compared to a young Patrick Kerney and Shawn Merriman(minus the Roids).  Those should all be good enough reasons for Kansas City to look toward Derrick Morgan as a factor in the Chiefs attempt at success in the future.

 I know it’s too early to be worrying about the draft, the 2009 playoffs have basically just begun, the Jets are advancing, and I know a lot is going to change from now until April(2010 Draft).  The problem is, I’m a Giant fan, my season was over week 9 against the Chargers when Kevin Gilbride took it upon himself to shit the bed for the entire “Big Blue” nation.  Thanks Kevin, you’re the best!  Now, I get to analyze a draft that isn’t happening for four months. AWESOME!

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