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Thread: Steelers Fever Mock Draft: we take CB/FS Earl Thomas

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    Steelers Fever Mock Draft: we take CB/FS Earl Thomas

    Updated Steelers Fever 2010 NFL Mock Draft V2
    First-Round Draft Projections
    Sunday, March 14, 2010


    1. St. Louis Rams - QB Sam Bradford, Oklahoma
    TEAM NEEDS: QB, DE, DT, OG, CB, WR
    After all the hype of the Rams taking Suh with the first pick has settled down, the draftniks are finally using their heads. A team is built around a franchise QB. Especially a team that has already invested two high draft picks at DT in the last couple of years. The Rams have shown a great deal of interest in Bradford and since no one is going to want to trade for a overall #1 pick and his subsequent contract....look for the Rams to take the Oklahoma product with the first pick in this years draft.

    2. Detroit Lions - DT Ndamukong Suh, Nebraska
    TEAM NEEDS: DT, CB, DE, LT, OG, WR, OL DEPTH
    The Lions picked up a DT in FA but they have major needs on the defensive front. Suh not only brings incredible skills and lights out athleticism, but will instantly energize the Lions fan base. The DT from Nebraska is nothing less than one of the best DT's to come out of college in the last 10 years. He is a high character player with incredible upside, able to play anywhere on the defensive front.

    3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - DT Gerald McCoy, Oklahoma
    TEAM NEEDS: DT, DE, WR, CB, S, OL DEPTH
    The Buccaneers would love to draft Ndamukong Suh, but things are going pretty good when your consolation prize is Gerald McCoy. Some experts say that there is little difference between the two when you watch game tape, which is the true measure of a player's ability. McCoy may not be as strong as Suh, but he is more of a glass eater.

    4. Washington Redskins - OT Russell Okung, Oklahoma State
    TEAM NEEDS: OT, QB, SLB, RB, OG, C
    There is a chance that Washington will draft a QB if they feel that Campbell is not the answer and that Clausen fits their system. The Redskins have a hole in their front line with the loss of Chris Samuel and Okung can provide blind side protection for whoever lines up behind center.

    5. Kansas City Chiefs - OT Bryan Bulaga, Iowa
    TEAM NEEDS: OT, OG, 3-4 OLB, WR, 3-4 NT, C, S
    Bryan Bulaga will allow Brandon Albert to move to his more natural position of offensive guard. The Chiefs will get stronger in the trenches this year, upgrading their offensive and defensive line.

    6. Seattle Seahawks - QB Jimmy Clausen, Notre Dame
    TEAM NEEDS: LT, OG, QB, RB, S, DL
    I originally had Eric Berry in this slot, but with Clausen falling out of the top 5, Seattle will draft their QB of the future. Perfect situation for the Notre Dame QB. He will be able to learn the system and how to play at the NFL level behind incumbent QB Matt Hasselback.

    7. Cleveland Browns - SS/FS Eric Berry, Tennessee
    TEAM NEEDS: RT, 3-4 DE, ILB, CB, WR, S, TE
    I traditionally don't like to project safeties in the top 10, due to history showing that a good safety can be drafted in any round. With Cleveland it's easier to make the exception. The Browns need a lot of help in their secondary and Berry is athletic enough to play anywhere in the backfield.

    8. Oakland Raiders - OT Bruce Campbell, Maryland
    TEAM NEEDS: 4-3 NT, DE, OT, RG, CB, LB, QB
    A lot of drafts have OT's Anthony Davis or Trent Williams in this slot. I am going to stick with Cambell. Al Davis has shown no ability to look beyond physical measurements and Bruce Campbell is a freak. I predicted in my last mock that Campbell would be a combine warrior and the Maryland Tackle didn't disappoint.

    9. Buffalo Bills - OT Trent Williams, Oklahoma
    TEAM NEEDS: QB, LT, DT, OLB, WR, OL DEPTH
    I think some people are over thinking this pick. The Bills released Jason Peters last year without a proper replacement and promptly fielded a patchwork offensive line all season long. Williams will fill the Bills most glaring need.

    10. Jacksonville Jaguars - DE Derrick Morgan, Georgia Tech
    TEAM NEEDS: DE, OG, S, DT, C, WR
    Jacksonville had next to no pass rush last year. Morgan should be able to upgrade the D-line and subsequently help the secondary by putting pressure on the QB.

    11. Denver Broncos - ILB Rolando McClain, Alabama
    TEAM NEEDS: DT, S, OT, MLB, CB DEPTH
    The Broncos may have drafted a NT at this slot, but they have picked up Jamal Williams who was released by the Chargers. With the front of their defense shored up they will probably grab McClain who is a rare 3-4 ILB talent.

    12. Miami Dolphins - NT Dan Williams, Tennessee
    TEAM NEEDS: 3-4 NT, 3-4 OLB, 3-4 ILB, WR, S, OL DEPTH
    With the signing of Dansby taking care of the Miami's need for a OLB, the Dolphins grab the best NT in this draft. Dan Williams stock is rising as teams begin to tap into the realization that true NT's are hard to find and this is a supply and demand league.

    13. San Francisco 49ers - OT Anthony Davis, Rutgers
    TEAM NEEDS: OT, CB, OG, DE/OLB, S, 3-4 NT
    The 49ers have two picks in the top 20. Look for San Francisco to upgrade their O-line with the first pick, with the knowledge that the best of the offensive tackles may be gone if they wait. Anthony Davis has slid a bit lately but is still one of the "big 4" OT's that should go in the upper half of the first round.

    14. Seattle Seahawks - RB C.J. Spiller, Clemson
    TEAM NEEDS: LT, OG, QB, RB, S, DL
    With the #29 ranked running game last year, Seattle grabs the dynamic playmaker out of Clemson. The future looks bright for the Seahawks if they grab their future QB and star RB in this draft.

    15. New York Giants - LB Sean Weatherspoon, Missouri
    TEAM NEEDS: 3-4 DE, C, 3-4 NT, OG, 3-4 ILB, WR, CB
    The Giants may attempt to trade up for McClain, but with the emergence of the versatile Weatherspoon as a potential ILB, the Giants could stand pat and grab young, brash linebacker to replace Antonio Pierce. I might be a little concerned about Weatherspoon's personality mixed with the bright lights of New York but if he can stay grounded, he could flourish.

    16. Tennessee Titans - CB Joe Haden, Florida
    TEAM NEEDS: DE, CB, OG, OLB, WR, OL DEPTH
    Haden's forty time drops him out of the top 10, but as the best cover corner in this draft he wont make it past the Titans. If Haden runs faster at his pro-day, he will be drafted earlier than this and the Titans will probably go with a WR.

    17. San Francisco 49ers - OLB Sergio Kindle, Texas
    TEAM NEEDS: OT, CB, OG, DE/OLB, S, 3-4 NT
    San Francisco helped their O-line with their first pick and grabs a linebacker that will make Coach Singletary smile with their second. Perfect 3-4 OLB prospect with incredible upside. Look for the 49ers to become the team to beat in the NFC West.

    18. Pittsburgh Steelers - CB Earl Thomas, Texas
    TEAM NEEDS: CB, OT, FS, OG, 3-4 NT, 3-4 ILB, 3-4 OLB DEPTH
    The Steelers have been unusually busy in the offseason. They have managed to keep their three priority free agents and have added depth at a few key positions. Pittsburgh still needs youth at several defensive spots. With NT Dan Williams and the top two ILB's off the board, look for the Steelers to bring in the versatile Earl Thomas who might become the best CB on their team. It doesn't hurt that he can fill in competently at the safety position.


    19. Atlanta Falcons - DE Everson Griffen, USC
    TEAM NEEDS: CB, DE, OLB, WR/TE, OL DEPTH, DT DEPTH
    The return of Peria Jerry should help the Falcons anemic pass rush. Add Everson Griffin to the equation and the Falcons have the beginnings of a D-line that has been a weakness for too long.

    20. Houston Texans - OG Mike Iupati, Idaho
    TEAM NEEDS: OG, CB, 4-3 NT, FS, DE DEPTH, RB
    Mike Iupati has emerged as the best Guard in this draft. He has a few issues at pass protection but is a day one starter for a team that is already offensively potent.

    21. Cincinnati Bengals - WR Dez Bryant, Oklahoma State
    TEAM NEEDS: OG, S, TE, WR, DT, SLB
    The closer we get to the draft the more I think we will see WR's value drop a bit. Bryant is a good fit for the Bengals who need someone to line up on the other side of Chad Ocho-Cinco. TE is a possibility here but there is enough value in the second round to warrant waiting to fill that position.

    22. New England Patriots - DT Jared Odrick, Penn State
    TEAM NEEDS: 3-4 OLB, 3-4 DE, OG, ILB DEPTH, TE, WR DEPTH
    I have projected the Patriots to draft a DE in the first round for awhile. Odrick is a perfect candidate to move to 3-4 DE and the Patriots desperately need a presence at a position that has been undermanned since Seymour was let go.

    23. Green Bay Packers - CB Kyle Wilson, Boise State
    TEAM NEEDS: LT, CB, S, DL, 3-4 OLB DEPTH, RB
    Kyle Wilson has made a believer out of most of his doubters. The Packers corners are aging and they could easily use a starter to replace Al Harris. At the very least Kyle Wilson provides depth to a very thin position.

    24. Philadelphia Eagles - DE Jason Pierre-Paul, South Florida
    TEAM NEEDS: DE, FS, OG, CB depth, OLB, RB DEPTH
    Outside of Trent Cole, the Eagles have very little in the way of DE's. Pierre-Paul is a bit of a one year wonder, so there is some gamble to taking him in the first round, but I look for a team like the Eagles to take a chance that is past years performance translates to the Pro level.

    25. Baltimore Ravens - CB Devin McCourty, Rutgers
    TEAM NEEDS: WR, CB, DE/OLB, TE, DL DEPTH
    The Ravens filled their biggest need in a big way by picking up Anquan Boldin in Free Agency. I do look for Baltimore to find another WR in the later rounds of this draft, but in the first round I think they find a solution to their poor cornerback play. Devin McCourty is one of my favorite CB's in this draft and I think that in a few years he will mentioned as one of the best in the NFL.

    26. Arizona Cardinals - OT Charles Brown, Southern California
    TEAM NEEDS: LT, ILB, OLB, OL DEPTH, CB, TE
    Brown showed up at the combine a little heavier than anticipated. That was a good thing for his draft value as some had written off as a finesse zone blocking OT. The truth is that Brown is a very strong specimen that might take a short while to touch up his technique, but who has the potential for a very good payoff.

    27. Dallas Cowboys - S Taylor Mays, USC
    TEAM NEEDS: OT, FS, ILB, DE, CB DEPTH, OG DEPTH
    Mays is ultra athletic and some think that his coverage problems are correctable. I think he is a great fit for the Cowboys who would find more value at the safety spot than at their other needs.

    28. San Diego Chargers - RB Ryan Mathews, Fresno State
    TEAM NEEDS: RB, RT, 3-4 NT, CB, 3-4 DE, LB DEPTH
    Matthews is another draft climber and has cemented himself as the second best RB in this draft. Look for San Diego to grab a premier RB in the first round and look for a NT replacement for Williams in the second.

    29. New York Jets - OLB Brandon Graham, Michigan
    TEAM NEEDS: 3-4 DE, 3-4 OLB, OG, CB, WR, 3-4 NT
    A prospect that has compared himself to the Steelers Lamarr Woodley. OLB is the biggest team need for the Jets, though it's possible that they might go with a Defensive End if they find Carlos Dunlap as an attractive prospect.

    30. Minnesota Vikings - QB Colt McCoy, Texas
    TEAM NEEDS: OG, S, CB DEPTH, QB, LB DEPTH, DL DEPTH
    This is the pick that I am going to get the most criticism about. Under ideal circumstance McCoy can learn under Brett Farve, but if the Vikings starting QB retires (again) McCoy is the only prospect left on the board that has first year starting potential. Technically this pick isn't that much of a reach since I have McCoy rated as the #39 overall talent this year.

    31. Indianapolis Colts - DT Brian Price, UCLA
    TEAM NEEDS: DT, OT, CB, OG, DE DEPTH, LB DEPTH
    If Brown was still available, the Colts may go OT, but I think that DT is actually a bigger need. Price is a beast. He had 23.5 tackles for loss and 7 sacks last year. The Colts are a tough team to predict as they will buck conventional wisdom and draft for need over BPA.

    32. New Orleans Saints - DE Carlos Dunlap, Florida
    TEAM NEEDS: OLB, NT, DE, C, OT DEPTH, TE DEPTH
    With the aging and injured Charles Grant being released, the Saints can retool the DE position with 6-6 277 pounds Carlos Dunlap. Dunlap has a few character issued that the Saints will look at carefully, but if he passes muster he strengthens the position dramatically.

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    Re: Steelers Fever Mock Draft: we take CB/FS Earl Thomas

    Thomas makes a lot of sense, especially since all of the "experts" are saying that he can play safety as well. He instantly becomes our nickel back and probably displaces Gay by mid-season. Then again, Burnett could probably replace Gay before then. Thomas would be a big, physical corner and I think will be a good pick. I'd rather see him than Iupati or Pouncey.

  3. #3

    Re: Steelers Fever Mock Draft: we take CB/FS Earl Thomas

    Quote Originally Posted by NW Steeler
    Thomas makes a lot of sense, especially since all of the "experts" are saying that he can play safety as well. He instantly becomes our nickel back and probably displaces Gay by mid-season. Then again, Burnett could probably replace Gay before then. Thomas would be a big, physical corner and I think will be a good pick. I'd rather see him than Iupati or Pouncey.
    Actually Thomas is smallish and physical enough. But, everything else he possesses is elite...coverage skills, bawk hawking ability...he is a true play maker. I still like him better as a safety than a DB personally but he will be great at both.

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    Re: Steelers Fever Mock Draft: we take CB/FS Earl Thomas

    When did Earl Thomas ever play CB?

    Does the idea he could be drafted to play CB not concern anyone? Chadman has read that he has terrificstraight line speed, but hasn't heard any super-positive talk about his ability to stay with WR's, or turn & run with a WR one-on-one.

    And yet there are so many of you convinced that this guy could be the answer to our CB woes?

    Chadman would draft Thomas simpy to be a FS. If the Steelers want a CB- go get a CB. Jerome Murphy in Round 2 seems quite intriguing.
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    Re: Steelers Fever Mock Draft: we take CB/FS Earl Thomas

    Quote Originally Posted by Chadman
    When did Earl Thomas ever play CB?

    Does the idea he could be drafted to play CB not concern anyone? Chadman has read that he has terrificstraight line speed, but hasn't heard any super-positive talk about his ability to stay with WR's, or turn & run with a WR one-on-one.

    And yet there are so many of you convinced that this guy could be the answer to our CB woes?

    Chadman would draft Thomas simpy to be a FS. If the Steelers want a CB- go get a CB. Jerome Murphy in Round 2 seems quite intriguing.
    03/19/2010 - TOP RATED NFL DRAFT SCOUT CORNERBACKS: *Earl Thomas, Texas, 5-10, 208, 1: He entered the draft as a redshirt sophomore after setting a school record with eight interceptions last season while playing safety. He then bulked up from his college weight of 195 pounds to 208 at the combine, possibly in response to concerns voiced by scouts about his ability to hold up at the next level, where he might project better as a cornerback. "The extra weight helps if I'm going to be in the box banging heads out there," Thomas says of the prospect of remaining at safety. He was a ballhawking center fielder, leading the nation with 24 passes broken up last year and collecting 143 tackles since 2008. He has the speed, instincts and attitude to play safety, but also owns the hips, man-to-man skills and ability to high-point balls in flight that could make him a formidable corner. But his college career wasn't perfect. He was the victim when Texas Tech's Michael Crabtree made the game-winning catch against Texas in 2008, and he missed several tackles in the BCS title game loss to Alabama. - Frank Cooney, The Sports Xchange, NFLDraftScout.com/CBS Sports/USA TODAY

  6. #6

    Re: Steelers Fever Mock Draft: we take CB/FS Earl Thomas

    Quote Originally Posted by Chadman
    When did Earl Thomas ever play CB?

    Does the idea he could be drafted to play CB not concern anyone? Chadman has read that he has terrificstraight line speed, but hasn't heard any super-positive talk about his ability to stay with WR's, or turn & run with a WR one-on-one.

    And yet there are so many of you convinced that this guy could be the answer to our CB woes?

    Chadman would draft Thomas simpy to be a FS. If the Steelers want a CB- go get a CB. Jerome Murphy in Round 2 seems quite intriguing.
    Yes it concerns me personally. I think there will be an obvious learning curve. That's why I prefer him in the position he played in college...FS.

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    Re: Steelers Fever Mock Draft: we take CB/FS Earl Thomas

    Quote Originally Posted by Chadman
    When did Earl Thomas ever play CB?

    Does the idea he could be drafted to play CB not concern anyone? Chadman has read that he has terrificstraight line speed, but hasn't heard any super-positive talk about his ability to stay with WR's, or turn & run with a WR one-on-one.

    And yet there are so many of you convinced that this guy could be the answer to our CB woes?

    Chadman would draft Thomas simpy to be a FS. If the Steelers want a CB- go get a CB. Jerome Murphy in Round 2 seems quite intriguing.
    I'm not concerned. Thomas has the athletic abilty and natural skills to become a special player at CB. He also welcomes the challenge to switch to CB and that does nothing but help the situation.

    Thomas is not a straight line speed guy. If you saw him at the combine, you would have seen great change of direction abilty. Loose hips, explosive closing burst, and a natural ability for tracking the ball in the air. Maybe one of the most fluid DBs in this draft. He has a nose for the ball and cover skills of a corner. It sounds like you just described Murphy actually. Another year in school, Thomas would not have been in our conversations unless we were picking in the top 10. Personally, Thomas would be my choice even if Berry & Haden were both there.

    I actually think Murphy's stock has dropped some. He might be an early 3rd guy. Big hitting CB. Might be better suited for FS because his hips are a little tight. He didn't look as good as the top guys coming out of his backpedal. He's actually one of those guys who could be a solid CB but a special FS.



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    Re: Steelers Fever Mock Draft: we take CB/FS Earl Thomas

    I don't think Thomas falls to 18.

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    Re: Steelers Fever Mock Draft: we take CB/FS Earl Thomas

    Quote Originally Posted by JUST-PLAIN-NASTY
    Quote Originally Posted by Chadman
    When did Earl Thomas ever play CB?

    Does the idea he could be drafted to play CB not concern anyone? Chadman has read that he has terrificstraight line speed, but hasn't heard any super-positive talk about his ability to stay with WR's, or turn & run with a WR one-on-one.

    And yet there are so many of you convinced that this guy could be the answer to our CB woes?

    Chadman would draft Thomas simpy to be a FS. If the Steelers want a CB- go get a CB. Jerome Murphy in Round 2 seems quite intriguing.
    I'm not concerned. Thomas has the athletic abilty and natural skills to become a special player at CB. He also welcomes the challenge to switch to CB and that does nothing but help the situation.

    Thomas is not a straight line speed guy. If you saw him at the combine, you would have seen great change of direction abilty. Loose hips, explosive closing burst, and a natural ability for tracking the ball in the air. Maybe one of the most fluid DBs in this draft. He has a nose for the ball and cover skills of a corner. It sounds like you just described Murphy actually. Another year in school, Thomas would not have been in our conversations unless we were picking in the top 10. Personally, Thomas would be my choice even if Berry & Haden were both there.

    I actually think Murphy's stock has dropped some. He might be an early 3rd guy. Big hitting CB. Might be better suited for FS because his hips are a little tight. He didn't look as good as the top guys coming out of his backpedal. He's actually one of those guys who could be a solid CB but a special FS.

    Funny...Chadman thinks the opposite. Here's the thing- the combine has a few tests that actually are worth considering when looking at DB's, particularly CB's. You mention that Murphy is stiff hipped, that he has trouble coming out of his backpeddle. Yet, the two tests designed to expose his lateral quickness (shuttle drills) & his change of direction ability (cone drills) are the two drills that Murphy exceeded in- he was awesome in both. What he lacks is pure foot speed, only running the 40 in 4.5, where Thomas ran a 4.43. Strangely (and concerningly), Thomas has no times posted on either the shuttle or cone drills- did he not run them? If so, why not?

    Funny thing about watching game tape to combine drills- and this one works in reverse to everything Chadman believes in when it comes to assessing college players- is that game tape can be decieving. You have to factor in the strength of the players around Thomas, and their ability to allow Thomas to go for the big play. Sure- he had a wonderful career in college. But there is little evidence outside of a few nice articles written about him that prove any real ability to play CB at a high level. After all, it is generally accepted that CB's are 'better' athletes than Safeties- more agile, explosive, quicker. That is why many people believe 'slower' CB's can transition to FS easily- they are superior athletes that can move to a position that limits any liability they may have. It's VERY RARE that a FS in college moves to CB- it's taking a guy that wasn't considered a good enough 'island defender' to play CB at college & then deciding he's good enough to do it in the pro's. Not only that- but if chosen at #18, it would mean he's considered better than all but 1 actual college CB for the pro's. And this is a good year for CB's too. Don't get Chadman wrong- he believes Thomas is a special talent. But he's the 2nd best FS in the draft. Not the 2nd best CB. If it's a CB you are after at #18, you take Wilson from Boise St.
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    Re: Steelers Fever Mock Draft: we take CB/FS Earl Thomas

    It's the same thing with guys like Iupati- he's the #1 OG, and as an OG, worthy of a Round 1 grade, and worthy of being the first OG drafted. But if you viewed him as an OT, a position he doesn't play- a physically more demanding position- then you don't take him as the #2 OT on the draft board. In fact, if he was to be viewed simply as an OT, he probably drops to mid 2nd round.

    Taylor Mays is almost a LB size. But if he was viewed as simply a LB, after playing Safety his whole career, you most likely drop him behind Weatherspoon, most likely a couple below that even. He has no body of work to say he is a LB.

    Best example might be TJ Ward though. He was considered the 3rd best CB on his team, so they shift him to FS, the position that can hide his lack of genuine foot speed & change of direction, in order to get the best 4 DB's on the field. They didn't shift a FS to CB.

    OT's can play OG, because it's less physically demanding. CB's can play FS, because it's less physically demanding. OG's don't get moved to OT very often. FS's don't get shifted to CB.
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