Head-to-head mock: Bradford firm at No. 1

Nolan Nawrocki and Doug Farrar
Yahoo! Sports

More: NFP vs. Shutdown Corner (March 25) | PFW vs. Shutdown Corner (March 18)

Shutdown Corner's assessments were trimmed for this column. For Doug Farrar's complete breakdowns, read Part 1 and Part 2 of his most recent mock drafts

Sam Bradford impressed observers this week. So did Anthony Davis. Meanwhile, Dez Bryant might have hurt his stock with slow times in the 40-yard dash.

With the 75th NFL draft now three weeks away, here's our latest head-to-head mock draft. This week, we pit Pro Football Weekly vs. Shutdown Corner:

Subject

1. St. Louis
St. Louis
St. Louis
Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma

The premium on the QB position makes Bradford the most valuable player in the draft from a trade standpoint. With so many holes on the roster, the Rams could benefit from trading down and acquiring more picks, but the greatest chance of executing a trade will come by selecting Bradford, who, if no trade is made, fills the Rams' greatest need.

Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma

Bradford looked completely comfortable throwing in his private workout on Monday. There's still the issue of how he'll hold up under pressure in the NFL, but barring a real surprise (or a team like the Redskins trading up to get him), Bradford had best start packing his bags for St. Louis. The Rams desperately need a franchise quarterback, and Bradford has the arm and accuracy to be that guy over time.

2. Detroit
Detroit
Detroit
Russell Okung, OT, Okla. State

Jeff Backus(notes) is 32 years old with 32½-inch arms, the shortest of any left tackle in the league, and he struggled to keep prized QB Matthew Stafford(notes) healthy in his first season at the helm. Lions' brass has made an effort to draft more securely and, although Okung is not the most athletic offensive tackle, he is a very safe pick.

Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska

Bradford may go with the first overall pick, but Suh is the best player in this draft. Head coach Jim Schwartz, formerly Tennessee's defensive coordinator, knows all about what a dominant defensive tackle can do for a team. With his pursuit speed, ridiculous upper-body strength, ability to disrupt, and elite work ethic, Suh could exceed the greatness of Albert Haynesworth(notes) at his peak.

3. Tampa Bay
Tampa Bay
Tampa Bay
Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma

The Buccaneers could be sitting in an enviable position with a huge need at defensive tackle and their choice of the draft's best defender. The ability to consistently rush the passer should play into McCoy's favor.

Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma

One of the many challenges the Bucs face in returning their franchise to prominence is to rebuild a defensive line that allowed almost five yards per carry in 2009. McCoy is the perfect first solution, as he's an outstanding run-stopper in several different ways.

4. Washington
Washington
Washington
Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska

The key position in a “30” front is nose tackle, and the Redskins are counting on 31-year-old Ma'ake Kemoeatu, who is coming off an injury, to hold down the middle. Greater needs exist at the QB and OLT positions, but Mike Shanahan has shown he can make his quick-hitting offense function with average quarterbacks (Jake Plummer(notes), Brian Griese(notes)) and free- agent left tackles (Matt Lepsis(notes)). Daniel Snyder aggressively tried to acquire Jay Cutler(notes) and trade into position for Mark Sanchez(notes) last year and would like nothing more than to acquire a franchise quarterback. However, if the Redskins cannot move into position to land Bradford, they could find Suh too talented to pass up and welcome a centerpiece to their defense.

Russell Okung, OT, Okla. State

Shanahan may want his own quarterback down the road, but there's wisdom in sticking with Jason Campbell(notes) in the here and now. Reason No. 1 is the necessity of finding Chris Samuels'(notes) replacement at left tackle. Campbell was under siege last year, and no other quarterback would fare better behind Washington's current offensive line. Okung is the most developed tackle in this class, and the best pass protector. He doesn't have elite drive-blocking power, and he's a little stiff at the second level, but he's a persistent blind side blocker with excellent in-line technique.

5. Kansas City
Kansas City
Kansas City
Eric Berry, FS, Tennessee

It's difficult to justify spending top-five money on the safety position, but with more teams airing out the ball and picking apart secondaries, a new premium has been placed on defending the back half, where the Chiefs are sorely undermanned.

Bryan Bulaga, OT, Iowa

GM Scott Pioli has a longtime friendship with Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz, and he knows that teaching offensive linemen the basics and getting them fundamentally sound is Ferentz's specialty. While not a top-level pass-blocker, Bulaga comes prepared for the pros more than most at his position. Where he excels is in creating rushing lanes, and extending plays with downfield blocks.

6. Seattle
Seattle
Seattle
Trent Williams, OT, Oklahoma

After relying on Walter Jones(notes) for so many years, the Seahawks need to find a replacement, and no one is better-suited for Alex Gibbs' zone-blocking scheme than Williams.

Eric Berry, FS, Tennessee

Everybody knows that the Seahawks have desperate needs along their offensive line, but it's quite possible that their secondary is even weaker. Berry could fill a void – he's fast, smart, and tough, and he might just be the best defensive player in this draft not named Ndamukong Suh.

7. Cleveland
Cleveland
Cleveland
Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State

After shipping off Braylon Edwards(notes) and Kellen Winslow(notes), Derek Anderson(notes) struggled to function. If Mike Holmgren expects to get a return on the investment he made in Jake Delhomme, he will need at least one playmaker on offense. Bryant has the hands, body control and leaping ability to make an average quarterback look good.

Joe Haden, CB, Florida

Haden can play press man and is comfortable in zones; his read recognition is exceptional and he has the recovery speed to make up for any mistakes. The Browns have already put Haden through a private workout on the Florida campus and will bring him to Berea for a visit in early April.

8. Oakland
Oakland
Oakland
Bruce Campbell, OT, Maryland

There is no tape to support Campbell being drafted anywhere near this early, but Al Davis has not relied on football-playing evaluations for a long time. Instead, he drafts on numbers and perceived upside, and a physical marvel like Campbell could be too much for Davis to pass up.

Trent Williams, OT, Oklahoma

Williams moved from right to left tackle in 2009, and impressed more and more as the season went along with his ability to get the hang of the more complicated position. Williams has great feet, short-area-speed, and drive power. He's not a finished product, but the evolutionary version could be a perennial Pro Bowler.

9. Buffalo
Buffalo
Buffalo
C.J. Spiller, RB, Clemson

The Bills are legitimate contenders in the market for Donovan McNabb(notes), and he could provide a missing piece of the puzzle. But whether the Bills are able to upgrade the QB position, they could still sorely use a catalyst in the mold of Brian Westbrook(notes) to take over games, and Spiller has the ability to electrify.

Dan Williams, DT, Tennessee

The Bills need a nose tackle that can man the point and soak up double teams, while disrupting the middle as well. Williams is quick for his size, plays with great strength, and sets up in a wide base that makes him very difficult to move. If Williams doesn't go here, he won't make it past the Broncos and Dolphins at 11 and 12 – both 3-4 teams also need a nose tackle of his caliber.

10. Jacksonville
Jacksonville
Jacksonville
Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame

The Tim Tebow show is expected to come to Jacksonville, and it still may be a possibility – only if he is available in the second round and the Jaguars cannot address the position sooner. David Garrard(notes) has not been able to get the Jaguars over the hump, and a new offensive leader is needed.

Earl Thomas, FS, Texas

Slightly underrated as a corner/safety hybrid projection, Thomas is one of the best defensive playmakers in this draft class at any position. He led the nation with 24 passes defensed, and finished second with eight interceptions. Jacksonville has long been a home for physically talented DBs who couldn't read a quarterback's intentions if their lives depended on it. That changes with the selection of Thomas.

11. Denver

(from Chicago)

Denver
Denver
Bryan Bulaga, OT, Iowa

The Broncos are as sound on the edges as any team could be, with Ryan Clady(notes) and Ryan Harris(notes) very capably manning the corners. However, if they want to pound the ball, they need a more physical temperament on the inside, and Bulaga could add it to the ground game from Day 1.

Rolando McClain, MLB, Alabama

What the Broncos need is the kind of young franchise player on the defensive side who will establish a culture of accountability just as much as he brings it on the field. McClain is as tough as they come, both mentally and physically – he practically lives in the film room and he never missed a game for the Crimson Tide.

12. Miami
Miami
Miami
Taylor Mays, S, USC

Earl Thomas is a more instinctive, ballhawking defender and more worthy of being the second safety off the board. However, Bill Parcells is too enticed by size and will be thinking he can mold Mays, an immature physical specimen, into a player.

Brandon Graham, DE, Michigan

Graham's utterly dominant performance at the Senior Bowl showcased a player who recorded 10½ sacks and 26 tackles for loss in the 2009 season. Graham and former CFL star Cameron Wake(notes) will give new defensive coordinator Mike Nolan the kind of quarterback pressure he needs to turn that defense around.

13. San Francisco
San Francisco
San Francisco
Rolando McClain, MLB, Alabama

Pairing McClain with Patrick Willis(notes) at inside ‘backer could give the Niners a dominant duo to defend the middle. Quintessential pro Takeo Spikes(notes) is entering his 13th season and soon will need to be replaced.

Anthony Davis, OT, Rutgers

Davis has some question marks regarding his technique and work ethic, but he's a very good pass-blocker with a good punch when opening lanes for running backs. Perhaps a supreme motivator like Mike Singletary could keep Davis' head straight, allowing him to live up to his potential.

14. Seattle

(from Denver)

Seattle
Seattle
Derrick Morgan, DE, Ga. Tech

Dealing Darryl Tapp(notes) to the Eagles only increases the Seahawks' need for an end, even if they received Chris Clemons in exchange. Patrick Kerney(notes) is 33, has lost a step and has not been able to stay healthy, and Morgan can ably step in to replace him.

C.J. Spiller, RB, Clemson

Spiller may be the ultimate weapon for an offense like Seattle's, in which production has lagged at most every position. Not only can he bounce outside from the backfield and speed past defenders, he can also line up in the slot and wide as a receiver – in fact, he'd be a second-day pick as a receiver alone.

15. N.Y. Giants
N.Y. Giants
N.Y. Giants
Jermaine Gresham, TE, Oklahoma

Kevin Boss(notes) has limitations, and Travis Beckum(notes) was a disappointment as a rookie. The Giants could open up their offense considerably if they were able to stretch the seam more consistently, as Gresham is very capable of doing.

Ryan Mathews, RB, Fresno State

Jacobs frequently ran as if there was a stop sign at the line of scrimmage, and though Ahmad Bradshaw(notes) was more efficient, he's recovering from surgeries to both feet and his ankle. Mathews, who led the nation in rushing last season, has a rare combination of size, speed, and versatility that could help the Giants transition out of the "Earth, Wind, and Fire" era.

16. Tennessee
Tennessee
Tennessee
Sergio Kindle, OLB, Texas

Owner Bud Adams still makes his residence in Houston and has an affinity for Texas-grown talent, with these four starters (Vince Young(notes), Michael Griffin(notes), Bo Scaife(notes), Ahmard Hall(notes)) all hailing from Longhorn country. Kindle is best with his hand on the ground and could bring the edge burst the Titans are seeking to ramp up their pass rush.

Derrick Morgan, DE, Ga. Tech

Tennessee's formerly dominant defensive line has dropped off in recent years; losing Kyle Vanden Bosch(notes) to the Lions was just the latest hit. In replacing Vanden Bosch, the Titans need an end that can do double-duty as an edge rusher and run-stopper. At 6-3 and 266 pounds, Morgan has the do-it-all skill set needed – it's the upside to the occasional concerns that his pass rush alone isn't elite.

17. San Francisco

(from Carolina)

San Francisco
San Francisco
Joe Haden, CB, Florida

With Nate Clements(notes) struggling last season and the Niners lacking a true No. 1 corner, Haden would fill a strong area of need and give coordinator Greg Manusky the chance to be more creative with pressure packages.

Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame

Clausen was productive in the right kind of system at Notre Dame, but a good dose of film review should have a lot of teams balking in the end. He's got a very limited palette when it comes to deep throws, and he telegraphs his reads far too frequently. That doesn't make him a bust, but it also doesn't make him a top-five quarterback.

18. Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh
Mike Iupati, G, Idaho

Chris Kemoeatu(notes) turned out to be a very solid find for the Steelers in the sixth round, possessing the power desired to clear holes in the running game. Iupati could be paired with Kemoeatu to establish the physical running game Mike Tomlin is seeking to re-establish after taking to the air much more often last season, and Iupati's versatility is a big plus on a line with a number of holes.

Maurkice Pouncey, C, Florida

When it's time to turn away from the police blotter and head back to the draft board, they'll see what's been staring them in the face for at least two seasons – their offensive line is a problem from left to right. Pouncey brings experience with the shotgun snap favored by offensive coordinator Bruce Arians (in 2009, Pittsburgh ran shotgun plays 40.1 percent of the time, fifth in the league) as well as the size and drive-blocking ability needed in a line that's become less powerful in the middle.

19. Atlanta
Atlanta
Atlanta
Brandon Graham, DE, Michigan

The Falcons did not get enough from their pass rush last season, with rookie DT Peria Jerry(notes) being shelved because of injury and DE Jamaal Anderson(notes) struggling to produce a sack per season in his three years as a starter since Rich McKay and Bobby Petrino made him the eighth overall selection. Graham has enough strength to stack the run and much better foot energy to rush the passer and would upgrade the Falcons' rush.

Jason-Pierre Paul, DE, S. Florida

Two things kept the Falcons out of the playoffs in 2009 – a below-average pass rush, and a secondary that allowed too many big plays. GM Thomas Dimitroff took care of the latter need with the signing of cornerback Dunta Robinson(notes). Pierre-Paul could solve the first issue in a way that the disappointing Anderson never could.

20. Houston
Houston
Houston
Earl Thomas, FS, Texas

Bernard Pollard(notes) turned out to be a bargain pickup for the Texans, but Eugene Wilson's(notes) inability to stay healthy remains an issue, and he may have more value at cornerback, where the Texans are now short after letting Dunta Robinson enter free agency. Thomas is also instinctive and athletic enough to help at corner or safety and could contribute immediately.

Kyle Wilson, CB, Boise State

In losing Robinson, the Texans turn to Wilson to fill the gap. Though Houston plays more zone than man defense, and Wilson has the chops to step right into that scheme, his best ability may be the way he turns his hips and trails deep receivers out of initial press coverage. When you're facing Peyton Manning(notes) twice a year, that's a very valuable asset.

21. Cincinnati
Cincinnati
Cincinnati
Everson Griffen, DE, USC

The Bengals have a Trojan look, with Keith Rivers(notes) and Rey Maualuga(notes) manning the middle and Frostee Rucker(notes) coming off the bench. Antwan Odom(notes) is coming off a serious season-ending Achilles injury and may need to be upgraded. Griffen also gives the Bengals more flexibility to transition to “30” looks – something Mike Zimmer dabbled with a year ago.

Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State

The Bengals have long believed that they can find value in the draft by taking players whose stock has dropped due to ancillary issues, and Bryant certainly fits the mold. On the football side, Bryant does have the toughness over the middle and ability to get downfield after the catch that would make him a fine target for quarterback Carson Palmer(notes).

22. New England
New England
New England
Jared Odrick, DL, Penn State

Trading Richard Seymour(notes) to Oakland and letting Jarvis Green(notes) go to Denver in free agency created a void at right defensive end, where Odrick would ideally fit in the Patriots' “30” look. His versatility would be attractive to a defensive mastermind.

Sergio Kindle, OLB, Texas

As an award-level defender at end and outside linebacker, Kindle would be a great fit in coach Bill Belichick's hybrid defenses that often switch between 3-4 and 4-3 fronts. Kindle's not just an edge rusher, though – he can get downhill against the run and chase down the best offensive weapon.

23. Green Bay
Green Bay
Green Bay
Anthony Davis, OT, Rutgers

Mike McCarthy was able to adapt the offense last season and allow Aaron Rodgers(notes) to get rid of the ball more quickly, but a strong need still remains for edge help, with Chad Clifton(notes) and Mark Tauscher(notes) both on the wrong side of 30 and showing signs of wearing down. GM Ted Thompson has shown he will take some chances on players with character flaws.

Devin McCourty, CB, Rutgers

The 35-year-old Al Harris(notes) may miss pat of the season recovering from a knee injury, and Tramon Williams(notes) racked up over 100 yards in pass interference penalties in Harris' stead. McCourty could make an impact right away with his speed and surprising toughness in tackling. He's also an outstanding return man, something the Packers, with the moribund special teams, could certainly use.

24. Philadelphia
Philadelphia
Philadelphia
Sean Weatherspoon, LB, Mizzou

The Eagles were plagued by injuries at the LB position and are in need of more depth at the position, as they wore down defensively late in 2009. Weatherspoon brings the versatility to play multiple positions and the range highly desired in Sean McDermott's defense.

Taylor Mays, S, USC

The Eagles have a need at free safety, and Mays has the kind of athleticism rarely seen at any position. The question is whether he can take his measurables to the field in a way that allows him to make a difference. An absolute terror in run support, Mays is still figuring out the complexities of pass coverage. Still, he can make an impact as a rover on a Eagles team that also has weaknesses at outside linebacker.

25. Baltimore
Baltimore
Baltimore
Dan Williams, DT, Tennessee

With Kelly Gregg(notes) aging and the Ravens losing Justin Bannan(notes) to the Broncos in free agency, Greg Mattison could use more help in his defensive line rotation. Williams is ideally suited for the Ravens' movement front and could be too difficult to pass up despite more pressing concerns at cornerback.

Jermaine Gresham, TE, Oklahoma

With Todd Heap(notes) getting up in age and Joe Flacco(notes) needing as many reliable targets as possible, Gresham would be a great fit here. People will look at Gresham's size and debit him for not being as physical at the line as other big tight ends, but Gresham projects better as a downfield threat – think more Antonio Gates(notes) than Brandon Pettigrew(notes).

26. Arizona
Arizona
Arizona
Demaryius Thomas, WR, Ga. Tech

After shipping off Anquan Boldin(notes) to Baltimore and losing Kurt Warner(notes) to retirement, the Cardinals could use another physical, run-after-the-catch receiver to alleviate pressure on Matt Leinart(notes) or Derek Anderson.

Jared Odrick, DL, Penn State

In Bill Davis' gap control defense, it's crucial that the front three and four are able to hold the point and prevent big plays up the middle. Odrick doesn't have the sheer weight the Cards will need at some point in the draft, but he has the kind of end-tackle versatility that could be a perfect fit for Arizona's front seven.

27. Dallas
Dallas
Dallas
Patrick Robinson, CB, Fla. State

With one of the deepest rosters in football, Jerry Jones can afford to draft the best available player as opposed to filling a need and could go any number of ways. However, Robinson has the size and man-cover skills Wade Phillips desires.

Bruce Campbell, OT, Maryland

At 6-foot-7 and 315 pounds, Campbell has the size required on Dallas' line, plus elite raw athleticism. He doesn't project as well on game tape, but Jerry Jones has never shied away from project players.

28. San Diego
San Diego
San Diego
Devin McCourty, CB, Rutgers

Despite a glaring need for a bell-cow back, where Fresno State's Ryan Mathews could look appealing, the Chargers have a considerable need to fill at cornerback after dealing Antonio Cromartie(notes) to the Jets, and McCourty's toughness and special-teams ability should be attractive to A.J. Smith.

Terrence Cody, DT, Alabama

Cody didn't live on many first-round draft boards until he dropped to about 350 pounds and showed improved short-area speed and agility at Alabama's pro day. Maintaining a better fitness level will be his key to transcending the two-down basher label, and being worthy of a first-round grade.

29. N.Y. Jets
N.Y. Jets
N.Y. Jets
Vladimir Ducasse, OT, Mass.

The Jets have one of the best offensive lines in football, but ORT Damien Woody(notes) and OLG Alan Faneca(notes) are not getting any younger, and Ducasse could greatly benefit from being groomed in their presence.

Mike Iupati, G, Idaho

Adding Iupati to the left side of that line might make it the best in the NFL. Considered by some to have the agility to kick out to left tackle someday, Iupati has an outstanding group of attributes – he's great in pass pro, a nasty run blocker, and can move on pulls and slides.

30. Minnesota
Minnesota
Minnesota
Kyle Wilson, CB, Boise State

Cedric Griffin(notes) and Antoine Winfield(notes) are both coming off injury-riddled seasons, and Wilson fits a similar mold as a feisty, physical competitor and could help in nickel situations.

Patrick Robinson, CB, Fla. State

Robinson might balk out of coverage assignments in Minnesota's frequent zone schemes, but he's also got the recovery speed to make up for any mistakes. A potential shutdown corner over time.

31. Indianapolis
Indianapolis
Indianapolis
Maurkice Pouncey, C, Florida

Jeff Saturday(notes) is not getting any younger, and the Colts need to get bigger in the trenches if they want to run the ball with more success. Pouncey has the girth to match big-on-big and handle the space eaters who are becoming more common in AFC fronts.

Brian Price, DT, UCLA

The Colts moved from a series of vanilla Cover/Tampa-2 schemes under Tony Dungy to a more aggressive set of defensive looks under new coordinator Larry Coyer in 2009. Adding Price to that mix would be a wise move, as he has rare ability to blast through blocks and make plays in the backfield.

32. New Orleans
New Orleans
New Orleans
Jason-Pierre Paul, DE, S. Florida

The Saints need to replace the pass rush they lost after cutting Charles Grant(notes) and could be very tempted by the raw physical tools of Pierre-Paul if he happens to slide to the Super Bowl champs, as he potentially could.

Jerry Hughes, DE, TCU

While Scott Fujita's(notes) departure to Cleveland leaves a hole at outside linebacker, the Saints also require more pass rush with Gregg Williams's hyper-aggressive defenses. Hughes mirrors that versatility –- while he may be a bit undersized to survive as a 4-3 end, Williams would no doubt find many different uses for his edge speed and run-stopping ability.

To read all of Nolan Nawrocki's scouting reports on 395 players, as well as player rankings, team needs and much more, you can now pre-order your copy of the 2010 Draft Preview online at PFWstore.com, or you can purchase your copy of the book at newsstands and bookstores across the country when it goes on sale March 30.

Doug Farrar is a regular contributor to Yahoo! Sports' Shutdown Corner

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