First, a little while ago, I entered a writing contest on the excellent sports blog The Lions In Winter which covers the Lions exceptionally. I didn't win, but you can find the post here and read about my proudest moment of being a Lions fan. The writer, Ty, is an awesome guy who was nice enough to link STWWC during the post. Check out my article and the blog, you won't regret it.
I love the draft, but I don't want to bore you with another mock draft. Look how different they are now since all the trades. More trades will follow before next Thursday. I like the new format, (First round Thursday at 7:30 pm, Second and Third round Friday at 6:30 pm, and rounds Four through Seven starting at noon on Saturday) because it splits up and gives the most important round the most coverage, then splits up rounds on matter of importance and cuts daily watching time down.
For my Big Board, I rank the top 10 players and give a little write up on each. We have less than a week until the draft, so its getting close to showtime.
1. Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska: He is disruptive, getting into the backfield often. He gets more sacks than most DTs could dream off. He out lifted Gerald McCoy and had a great combine, running a sub 5 forty yard dash. Hes big and powerful. Comes with a lot of hype, but could be amazing.
2. Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame: Best deep ball in the draft, and the positives are obvious. He played in a pro system, for a pro coach, taking snaps under center and has the timing. Remember when he came in as a freshman? He got destroyed. He bulked up and studied and threw for 3,762 yards last year (ridiculous in College Football for a team who isn't Texas Tech or Hawai'i) and a 28:4 TD to INT ratio.
3. Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma: Super accurate, worked out really well, gained weight and worked hard. Brittle in his last year of college. I'm not convinced he has the arm strength to make all the throws. On top of that, he played in a spread offense. Still has the size and comes from a major program. Has played in huge games. Just behind Clausen for me.
4. Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma: A banner year for DTs and the Sooners. McCoy would be first overall in most years. More of a pass rusher than Suh, has the size and speed you want in a DT. Didn't lift as well as I would have wanted. Is that because he isn't driven enough or because he isn't strong like we think. Played for a better defense than Suh. Didn't have a "wow" game.
5. Russel Okung, LT, Oklahoma State: Played in a spread offense, but has great pass blocking skills. Has the size and strength to play at LT in the NFL. I would put him inside then/or have him play RT, to learn to run block. Had a good combine, and no behavior problems. Should be the first OT taken.
6. Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State: Would be higher, but he has some "behavioral problems." By that, he worked out with Deion Sanders and was mentored by the former All-Pro. He is flying off most teams boards, but he is too talented for me to not to include. He has the size and speed to be the number one wideout for most teams. Someone will get great value for him.
7. Eric Berry, S/CB, Tennessee: Great player who played in an NFL system his last year. Has the skill to play Safety or Corner Back. Hes a little lower on my board because I don't know what he will end up playing in the NFL. Smart and tough, great guy and could go Top on Thursday. I would put him at Safety and let him ball hawk.
8. Joe Haden, CB, Florida: Best cover corner in the draft, and has everything you want. Ran a better forty after being hurt in the combine. Played in the SEC so you know hes fast. Could shut down a side of the field. Played on a very good defense.
9. CJ Spiller, RB, Clemson: Has great size and speed, can be a receiving and returning threat as well. That versatility will be excellent in today's running back by committee approach. Can bring a home run threat to any team and could play WR too. Hes a Reggie Bush type player but without the price tag. He could go anywhere, because you can never have enough RBs.
10. Rolando McClain, LB, Alabama: Great leader, tough and played great down the stretch in the BCS Championship game and the BCS Playoff game (SEC Title game). Played in a pro defense, and played on a great defense. Is a complete LB that can play in the middle in the NFL. He has a lot of leadership and swagger. Needs to play in a 4-3 though. It would best show his talents.
There is my Top Ten. I don't have a lot of OTs because I don't think they (Brian Bulaga, Trent Williams, Anthony Davis) really don't separate from the pack. I do like Jimmy Clausen more, although Bradford will go first. Hope you enjoy.