Commentary

How the first round could break down

Plenty of variables come into play and make for interesting first-round possibilities

Originally Published: April 19, 2010
By Todd McShay, Steve Muench and Kevin Weidl | ESPN.com

The 2010 NFL draft is rapidly approaching, and the first round seems to be coming into focus. However, plenty of scenarios still could unfold and affect any pick and those teams selecting thereafter.

The following is a look at Scouts Inc.'s breakdown of those scenarios. The first scenario offered for each team is an explanation of the pick we project at this point, followed by two possibilities that could come into play based on variables in previous picks.

These projections likely will change as trades and other moves shake up the first round and beyond, so stay tuned for our full seven-round mock draft on Wednesday as a primer for Thursday's first round (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN).


St. Louis Rams

Record: 1-15 | Needs: QB, WR, CB, OT, DT

Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma

Scenario 1: The Rams stay put and select a quarterback in the first round for the first time in the history of the common draft, even if neither side wants to begin contract negotiations before the draft.
Scenario 2: A team presents a deal St. Louis cannot turn down, saving itself in the neighborhood of $45 million in guaranteed money and still maintaining a chance at Notre Dame QB Jimmy Clausen later in the round.
Scenario 3: The Rams draft one of the top two defensive tackles on the board, Oklahoma's Gerald McCoy or Nebraska's Ndamukong Suh.

Detroit Lions

Record: 2-14 | Needs: DT, OT, ILB, RB, SS

Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska

Scenario 1: Detroit takes Suh and gets one of the four elite talents in this draft, a player who will bring instincts, size, strength and playmaking ability to the interior.
Scenario 2: McCoy could be the pick if the Lions opt for the defensive tackle, who brings a bit more as a pass-rusher.
Scenario 3: There is some speculation an offensive tackle could be the choice, presumably Oklahoma State's Russell Okung or Oklahoma's Trent Williams.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Record: 3-13 | Needs: DT, WR, DE, DC, OLB

Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma

Scenario 1: McCoy fills a need as the perfect 3-technique in Tampa Bay's defensive scheme.
Scenario 2: Should McCoy end up in Detroit, we still believe the Buccaneers will go for defensive line help and take Suh.
Scenario 3: If McCoy is off the board Tennessee S Eric Berry, who has a great understanding of the Tampa 2 scheme, is a possibility, but No. 3 money is pretty rich for a safety.

Washington Redskins

Record: 4-12 | Needs: OT, DE, FS, NT, OG

Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma State

Scenario 1: The Redskins fill their biggest hole with the safest offensive tackle on the board.
Scenario 2: Washington GM Bruce Allen is a notorious wheeler and dealer and could seek the right deal to move back in the first round and also recover some picks in the second and third rounds.
Scenario 3: We don't envision the Redskins staying here to take Clausen. More likely is a defensive end, or Tennessee NT Dan Williams could come into play if the Redskins deal DT Albert Haynesworth, who has expressed displeasure with his team's new 3-4 defensive scheme, on draft day.

Kansas City Chiefs

Record: 4-12 | Needs: OT, FS, NT, ILB, OLB

Bryan Bulaga, OT, Iowa

Scenario 1: Chiefs GM Scott Pioli takes the safest offensive tackle on the board. Bulaga is a solid pick who could become a bookend starter opposite current LT Branden Albert.
Scenario 2: Should Okung get past the Redskins, he would be the pick here.
Scenario 3: Berry is the highest-rated player left on the board and would fit a primary need, but the Chiefs will have to consider whether a safety is worth the money required to sign the No. 5 overall pick.


To see how the remainder of the first round could fall into place -- including where big names like Jimmy Clausen, C.J. Spiller, Dez Bryant and Rolando McClain could end up -- you must be an ESPN Insider.