Head-to-head mock: Bradford unanimous No. 1

For the next five weeks, the same questions will be asked: Who's going No. 1 overall? Where will Tim Tebow get selected? And how will Al Davis screw up the Raiders' draft? Leading up to the 75th NFL draft in New York starting April 22, National Football Post, Pro Football Weekly and Shutdown Corner will help answer some of those queries.

Here is Yahoo! Sports' first head-to-head mock draft of the year, pitting PFW vs. Shutdown Corner:


St. Louis

Although he is not the draft's highest-graded talent or the best player available, Bradford plays the highest premium position and is the only surefire passer in this draft at a spot the Rams desperately need to address. A trade is not out of the question if they can find the right terms.

Rams GM Billy Devaney has kept in close contact with Tom Condon, Bradford's agent, and everything points to a completely healthy Bradford throwing at his private workout on March 29. If the Rams don't solve their quarterback problems elsewhere, there's only one team Bradford needs to concern himself with.


After drafting Sammie Hill(notes) last year and trading for Corey Williams(notes), the Lions have plenty of size to stack the middle. What they need inside is a pass rusher who can get to the quarterback, and applying pressure is what McCoy does best.

In 2009, Detroit ranked 29th in Football Outsiders' Adjusted Line Yards metric, and 22nd in Adjusted Sack Rate. They've invested the gross national product of a mid-sized country in Matthew Stafford(notes), so keeping Stafford upright could be priority one.

Tampa Bay

In between his stints with the Buccaneers, Raheem Morris coordinated Kansas State's defense and is very familiar with Suh from Morris' days in the Big 12. Big, strong and stout, Suh could anchor the middle of the Buccaneers' defense for a long time.

Tampa Bay gave up almost five yards per carry against opposing running backs and amassed a middling 28 sacks last season. In Suh, they'll get the most dynamic pass-rusher in the draft, regardless of position, and a terrifying line-of-scrimmage threat under any circumstances.


Questions continue to swirl about Williams' work ethic and toughness, which could have a slight spiraling impact on his draft status. But Mike Shanahan and Bruce Allen have shown they will take chances on some perceived character risks, as Shanahan did in selecting Jarvis Moss(notes) in Denver and as Allen did by selecting Gaines Adams(notes) in Tampa Bay. With Chris Samuels(notes) having retired, the Redskins have a dire need to fill, and the quick-footed Williams best fits Shanahan's zone-blocking scheme.

The Okung pick at No. 2 throws the 'Skins for a loop, as they may have taken him here, so it's off to the "Best Player Available" station. At 6-foot-4 and 295 pounds, McCoy can play different roles in Washington's new 3-4 – he's probably best as the point person inside in a 4-3, but with his ridiculous first step, he could succeed as a 3-4 end, and we don't know how many hybrid fronts Washington will run.

Kansas City

GM Scott Pioli showed when he drafted Tyson Jackson(notes) a year ago that he not only values safe selections, but that he prefers to build inside-out. Bulaga is the safest tackle in this year's draft, and Pioli could feel comfortable knowing exactly what he is getting with strong ties to the Kirk Ferentz-led Iowa program.

The Chiefs need a lot of things, but line reinforcements are key. Bulaga is tough, technically sound, and more people are coming around to the notion that he wouldn't be a real reach in the top five. His selection would allow the Chiefs to move Branden Albert(notes) inside or to right tackle.


With Walter Jones(notes) set to retire, the Seahawks desperately must address the OT position. Okung could prove to be a better right tackle than left, but his length will allow him to function on the left side in the pros and give injury-riddled QB Matt Hasselbeck(notes) a better chance to survive another season.

The Seahawks have offensive needs everywhere, but I doubt that Pete Carroll, long a defensive mastermind with a deep understanding of the importance of safeties in his defensive schemes, would hesitate for a second to take Berry. The recent release of veteran Deon Grant(notes) points the way to a younger, faster defense.


After choosing not to tender FS Brodney Pool(notes), Eric Mangini's defense now needs more help at safety than it does at cornerback, and a player with potential to help at both positions will be difficult for even an offensive-minded president such as Mike Holmgren to pass up.

Haden "redeemed" himself and his slow NFL scouting combine 40 times at Florida's pro day, but anyone who kept watching tape of Haden throughout all the discussion knows that he played faster than those bad times in Indianapolis.


Al Davis is not ready to give up on JaMarcus Russell(notes), and the best way to let him develop is to give him more time in the pocket. Campbell fits the Davis prototype as the draft's quintessential tease. He grades out like a fifth-rounder on tape, but has intriguing measurables that will be too difficult for Davis to pass on. He could reunite with Darrius Heyward-Bey(notes), a former Terps teammate.

More and more, you'll see Williams' name rising up the boards as teams acknowledge his toughness, determination and athleticism. The switch from right to left tackle in 2009, and his status as the lone returning offensive lineman from the 2008 squad, will have people looking more at how he improved through the 2009 season – and the fact that he returned to complete his education.


The Bills need a lot of help on defense as they convert from an even to odd front, but the depth of the DL class will allow for more options to fill their front in the coming rounds. Finding a game-breaking talent such as Spiller outside the top 15 picks is much more difficult, and head coach Chan Gailey is fully aware of Spiller from his days coaching against him in the ACC. The continued off-field troubles of Marshawn Lynch(notes) only further deepen the Bills' RB need.

While Williams' rise should be no surprise, I start to wonder if Clausen will fall on draft day. Yes, it helps his case that he was the beneficiary of a pro-style offense at Notre Dame, but have we seen his ceiling? How much growth potential does he have? Are the questions about his character and leadership ability accurate? Is he really $20 million better than Colt McCoy? We have him at No. 9 now, but if there's one guy who could take an Aaron Rodgers(notes)-style tumble, it might be Clausen.


Neither Derrick Harvey(notes) nor Quentin Groves(notes) have lived up to their draft potential, and the Jaguars need to upgrade a stagnant pass rush. Morgan has intriguing scheme flexibility – able to play on either side – and has a motor that never stops. GM Gene Smith made the trenches a top priority in last year's draft, more so on the offensive side of the ball, and could continue to build up front defensively.

Safety Reggie Nelson's(notes) tenure in Jacksonville has been dramatic: equal parts comedy and tragedy on the field. The Jags have shored up their pass rush with Aaron Kampman(notes); now they take their pass coverage to the next level with the versatile Thomas, who projects as a very good cornerback or an outstanding safety at the next level.

(from Chicago)


Bryant is hands down the top receiver in the draft, but questions about his reliability and intelligence could push him down draft boards considerably. Josh McDaniels has experience managing prima donnas, having worked with Randy Moss(notes) and Brandon Marshall(notes) (who could still be dealt or signed by another team via the restricted free-agent market) and might have the support system in place to keep Bryant focused.

No matter what he Broncos do with Brandon Marshall, whoever plays quarterback for this team in 2010 is going to need more big, complementary targets. Bryant doesn't have Marshall's downfield speed, but his ability to get vertical in short spaces makes him a great weapon for Brady Quinn(notes) or Kyle Orton(notes) – and neither one of those guys is going to win any distance-throwing events.


After parting ways with Joey Porter(notes), the Dolphins are left with a lot of questions at outside linebacker. Kindle is big, strong and explosive and could be very attractive to Bill Parcells.

Bill Parcells values the franchise two-gap tackle far too much for this pick to go anywhere else if Williams is still on the board.

San Francisco

The premium on the QB position could easily pull Clausen off draft boards sooner, the same way Mark Sanchez(notes) fit into the top five a year ago. However, if Clausen is available, the Niners could have a difficult time passing on him, despite the resurgence of Alex Smith last season.

With Scot McLoughan on his way out as the 49ers GM, and team president Jed York possibly positioning himself as the team's new "football czar," all bets are off as to who they might take with their two first-round picks. While Davis has question marks, he'd be an improvement for a front five in desperate need.

(from Denver)


Lawrence Darryl Tapp(notes) was just dealt to the Eagles, Lawrence Jackson(notes) has struggled to live up to expectations and Patrick Kerney(notes) could be on his way out before long, creating nearly as great a void at the DE position as there is at offensive tackle. Graham possesses the strength, burst and motor to consistently produce.

Bad news for the Seahawks: The run on offensive linemen went just before their 14th overall pick, and Eric Berry was too good to pass up at No. 6. So, their horribly depleted line still needs massive help. Good news for the Seahawks: Spiller is the kind of playmaker Seattle's offense has been lacking since Shaun Alexander(notes) had good hops, and Spiller might be able to gain a few yards despite the guys blocking for him in the short term.

N.Y. Giants

Tom Coughlin needs to replace recently released defensive leader Antonio Pierce(notes), and there is no better inside 'backer in this draft than the Butkus Award winner, who does not figure to be affected much by Crohn's disease.

McClain will be going from Nick Saban's 3-4 to the prototypical 4-3 run by the G-men, but as a downhill tackler, he transcends schematic issues. A total film rat who never missed a game at 'Bama. McClain brings the kind of toughness Tom Coughlin loves – and hasn't seen enough of lately.


With storied DL coach Jim Washburn known for turning water into wine, the Titans could be intrigued by the raw, athletic talent of Pierre-Paul, who is even more of a project than Jevon Kearse(notes) was coming out of college.

With Kyle Vanden Bosch(notes) gone to Detroit, the Titans could go one of two ways here. They could take Jason Pierre-Paul, or go with a more well-rounded end like Morgan. Jeff Fisher likes ends who can get to backs in space as well as go after quarterbacks, which breaks the tie in Morgan's favor.

(from Carolina)

San Francisco

Iupati possesses the physical tools to play guard or tackle – with refined technique – and his versatility and aggressive style of play will blend well with Jimmy Raye's run-first, pound-the-rock philosophy.

At 6-foot-3 and 230 pounds, Mays might be an irresistible pick for a San Francisco team that always valued raw athleticism in the Scot McCloughan era. No matter who runs their draft in 2010, here's betting that the Niners find Mays impossible to pass up.


No franchise has a more storied history at the center position than the Steelers, and they could add another great one to the mix with the selection of Pouncey, who is much better suited to handle Shaun Rogers(notes) and Haloti Ngata(notes) twice a year than Justin Hartwig(notes) ever was.

The Steelers may or may not be looking for a franchise quarterback sooner than later, but one thing's for sure – if the guy under center isn't Ben Roethlisberger(notes), Pittsburgh's front office will have to stop assuming that their QB can fight off five different pass rushers on every play. Pouncey is tough enough to deal with all the 3-4 nose tackles he'll face in his new division and elsewhere.


With Jamaal Anderson(notes) failing to create pressure and John Abraham(notes) remaining inconsistent, the Falcons need to find a way to heat up the edges, and Hughes has the edge burst and motor to make a mark quickly.

Pierre-Paul can fly off the edge with the best of them, leaving the rest of the Falcons' underrated line to play gap-control defense just as head coach Mike Smith(notes) intended.


The Texans shocked the league when they drafted Mario Williams(notes) ahead of Reggie Bush(notes) upon his arrival, and despite having a potentially greater need in the backfield, the Texans' offense creates running backs. What Kubiak and GM Rick Smith need to do is fortify the interior of the defensive line, and Williams could help greatly in that area.

After losing Dunta Robinson(notes), the Texans will look to grab the best replacement possible. Slightly underrated because of his school affiliation, Wilson could impress at the NFL level just as former teammate Ryan Clady(notes) did. Wilson isn't anything approaching a run-stopper, but the Texans have enough of those. What they need is a guy who can cover like flypaper, and that's the ability Wilson brings to the field.


Despite signing Antonio Bryant(notes) in free agency, the Bengals still could use more help to lift Carson Palmer(notes) out of the doldrums, and the addition of a top-flight pass catcher at tight end really could open up the Bengals' passing game.

They'd be taking a chance on Gresham, who didn't play in 2009 due to a knee injury, but this offense could benefit greatly from an enormous target who enjoys running over linebackers. Gresham is just that kind of player.

New England

Bill Belichick has clung to the philosophy of drafting the best available player, and despite more pressing needs at outside linebacker and receiver, he could potentially help the Patriots at cornerback or safety.

Jerod Mayo(notes) is a stud on the inside, but the Pats have long needed reinforcements on the perimeter of their defense. Kindle has the ability to put his hand down and fire out after the quarterback, or play well in space.

Green Bay

After addressing the defense early last year, the Packers need to revisit a struggling offensive line that at one point was on pace to break the league record for sacks allowed. Despite some character questions, Davis could appear to be a steal at this spot – much like Michael Oher(notes) year ago – if he is to slide as expected after showing his immaturity in interviews and not working out well at the combine.

Ryan Grant(notes) was the second-most efficient back in 2009, according to Football Outsiders' statistics, but those numbers don't factor in blocking. To put it bluntly, Grant is a terrible pass-blocker, and that doesn't work in an offense where the line has vulnerabilities everywhere. In Matthews, head coach Mike McCarthy will have the kind of player whose ability to do the dirty work matches his physical tools.


Griffen has as much raw pass-rushing talent as any pass rusher in the draft, and he played through injuries much of his junior season. However, his lack of focus and his immaturity are considerable questions that need to be addressed and could force him to slide to the Eagles or even potentially push him out of the first round.

The Eagles need another elite edge rusher to complement Trent Cole(notes). Dunlap, who was seen running 4.6 40s at 6-foot-6 and 280 pounds at Florida's pro day, would benefit from a stable organization like the Eagles as much as Philly would enjoy Dunlap's disruptive abilities.


The draft gods have a way of working in the Ravens' favor, as Baltimore continually unearths good football players in the first round that are not perceived to have prototypical size (Ed Reed(notes), Ray Lewis(notes)), speed (Suggs, Chris McAlister(notes)) or makeup (Michael Oher, Jonathan Ogden(notes), Joe Flacco(notes)). With a strong need at cornerback, they could be in a position of strength again and staring at their pick of the litter from a CB class featuring solid depth but lacking elite talent.

There's no question that the Ravens need an elite pass-catcher. While the acquisition of Anquan Boldin(notes) gives them the toughest possession receiver in the league, Tate would give the Ravens two other important things: an instant ability to get the hang of pro-style offenses, and the kind of downfield speed that could really boost Joe Flacco's numbers.


With Karlos Dansby(notes) now in Miami, the Cardinals have a gaping hole in the middle of their defense. They could fill it with the selection of Weatherspoon, who could last late into the first round because of inconsistencies in his play, short arms, a tendency to get stuck on blocks and an inability to navigate through clutter.

Going from Kurt Warner(notes) to the somewhat mystifying combination of Matt Leinart(notes) and Derek Anderson(notes) is like waking up one day and discovering that Gary Cherone is singing in your band instead of Sammy Hagar. The Cards can address this problem by surrounding Mr. Mystery Quarterback with as many great receivers as possible. Thomas' foot injury will probably keep him from working out before the draft, but the tape doesn't lie – he's got rare downfield ability and would be an outstanding complement to Larry Fitzgerald(notes).


Mays' rare size-speed combo would be too difficult for Jerry Jones to pass up. While it might seem low for Mays to fall in light of his eye-popping straight-line speed, questions about his instincts, missed tackles and ball skills left many evaluators stamping third-round grades on the four-year starter during the fall, and it's not inconceivable at all that he is the third safety drafted or slides into open arms at the back of the first round.

An underrated player who could help Dallas' obvious need for edge protection, Saffold stood out at the East-West Shrine Game but didn't make the Senior Bowl list. No matter – at the combine, he put up the best times in the vertical jump, the broad jump, three-cone drill and short shuttle. Saffold is another player who could see stock could rise over the next month.

San Diego

After saying goodbye to LaDainian Tomlinson(notes), the Chargers could look to a local product to replace a legend and handle the tough, between-the-tackles carries at a position that clearly needs to be addressed.

Teams are finding more and more to like about Hughes. His ridiculous speed and ability to get after the quarterback will prove indispensable to the Chargers, who have some key decisions to make with their front seven in the next few seasons.

N.Y. Jets

Despite breaking his foot training in preparation for the combine, Thomas should be healthy before the draft to run again, and he has the type of size the Jets covet in their receivers to pair alongside Braylon Edwards(notes) and support the growth of Mark Sanchez.

The Jets' offensive line might have been the NFL's best in run-blocking last year. but left guard Alan Faneca(notes) will be 34 in December, and Iupati would be the perfect long-term replacement. He's a nasty guy on the inside with some technique issues that could be solved with a year to learn at the pro level. In a pinch, he could start right away.


The Vikes could use a No. 3 cornerback, especially with Cedric Griffin(notes) and Antoine Winfield(notes) coming off injury-riddled seasons. McCourty fits the fast, physical mold that suits the Vikings' style.

When you have a front four as dominant as Minnesota's, and you give up 26 passing touchdowns and allow an opposing quarterback rating of 92.5, it's a fair bet that there are issues with your secondary.


Bill Polian has a penchant for drafting Big Ten talent and has shown he will reach to select offensive linemen, as he mistakenly did with Tony Ugoh(notes), and to fill positions of need. It makes little sense to protect the game's best quarterback with one of the worst starting offensive tackles (Charlie Johnson(notes)) in the game. Whether at guard or tackle, Saffold upgrades a struggling offensive line from Day 1.

For years, the Colts ran a blitz-averse defense that focused on nickel sets and Tampa-2 looks. That went away with Tony Dungy. Now, under Larry Coyer, Indy will set its linebackers on the edge and wreak havoc in a less-than-polite fashion. Price, who amassed more tackles for loss than Ndamukong Suh in 2009, would be a perfect sparkplug for this defense.

New Orleans

Unheralded in the Saints' championship quest are all the defensive linemen they have drafted in the first round through the years. Sedrick Ellis(notes), Will Smith(notes), Johnathan Sullivan(notes), Charles Grant(notes) and Darren Howard(notes) were all early selections in the past decade, and after cutting Grant, less than half remain, increasing the need for another versatile defender.

In replacing Scott Fujita(notes) in Gregg Williams' system, Weatherspoon would impress immediately with his ability to make zone drops. This is a must with all the fake blitzes and different looks Williams throws at opposing quarterbacks. Weatherspoon also brings a hammer when he's pursuing at the line, which makes him even more important to a defense that struggled against the run, right up to and through their Super Bowl victory.

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, 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