It's hard to do a mock draft considering all the trade situations I know exist out there. And it's not just the trades that could alter the path of the first round -- there's also the new reality that with the draft broken into an extra day, there's more time for personnel people to hold their newly drafted players like trade chips. It truly is a first for all of us.
That said, there are a lot of new wrinkles in this final mock, as we learn more about players and, more importantly, what the evaluators across the NFL think of them. So here we go with one last look before the festivities begin. As an added note, on Monday after the draft, you can meet me and ask questions about how your team did. We'll be at Baltimore's ESPN Zone. Check it out.
Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma
The bottom line with Bradford is he's done everything possible to reclaim the same status he held last year before he opted not to go pro. He would have been, in my mind, the top pick in last year's draft. And given that St. Louis has passed on Matt Ryan and Mark Sanchez in the past two drafts, they feel comfortable pulling the trigger on Bradford. Sure, there are concerns about the system Bradford came from, and the adjustments he'll have to make, but if the Rams don't expect him to be a savior from day one, they could have a special player.
Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska
The Lions have made some moves to upgrade along the defensive line, but that doesn't mean they should reach on an offensive tackle or trade the pick away, both things they could consider. If they remain here, Suh is the obvious choice, a player who can be dominant in any system. He immediately helps both the pass and rush defense, and he has the relentlessness and character the franchise needs to build around.
Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma
McCoy may be the best all-around talent in the draft, a defensive lineman who can seemingly do it all. McCoy is a gap-penetrating, three-technique DT who fits Tampa's system beautifully. McCoy is sturdy versus the run and disruptive against the pass.
Trent Williams, T, Oklahoma
Williams is the first big surprise of the first round, but his status won't surprise those making the picks in the middle of the top 10. Through the workout process, both at the combine and individually with teams, he's proved himself to be perhaps the most versatile talent in the draft at any position. You're talking about a guy NFL teams believe could play virtually anywhere on the offensive line. That many believe he can develop into a solid NFL left tackle is cause for his continued rise.
Eric Berry, S, Tennessee
A tough call only because the Chiefs have needs all over the field. But Berry is a supreme talent, a guy capable of becoming a perennial Pro Bowl player in a league that places more and more importance on the safety position. The Ed Reed comparisons hold up, but Berry won't have to wait four a couple of hours, like Reed, to hear his name called.