Ndamukong Suh is the best player in the draft, but he could slip to No. 3 because franchise quarterbacks are tough to find, and because of some maneuvers in free agency. Sporting News draft expert Russ Lande and his team of former NFL scouts project the first round:
1. Rams: Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma. Bradford’s shoulder is expected to check out just fine. If it does, the Rams shouldn’t pass on the only franchise QB in the 2010 draft.
2. Lions: Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma State. Passing on Suh would be tough, but the defensive line is solid after trading for tackle Corey Williams and signing end Kyle Vanden Bosch. The better move would be to grab QB Matthew Stafford’s blindside protector.
3. Buccaneers: Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska. Bucs officials will consider trading up, but if Bradford’s shoulder is OK it wouldn’t be a shocker to see Suh drop to No. 3.
4. Redskins: Trent Williams, OT, Oklahoma. New coach Mike Shanahan would prefer a QB here but will have to settle for retired left tackle Chris Samuels’ replacement.
5. Chiefs: Eric Berry, S, Tennessee. Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy would be tempting, but he doesn’t fit their scheme. GM Scott Pioli instead should nab the athletic and versatile Berry.
The rest of the top half:
6. Seahawks: Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma
7. Browns: Joe Haden, CB, Florida
8. Raiders: Bruce Campbell, OT, Maryland
9. Bills: Sergio Kindle, OLB, Texas
10. Jaguars: Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State
11. Broncos: Corey Wootton, DE, Northwestern
12. Dolphins: Demaryius Thomas, WR, Georgia Tech
13. 49ers: Anthony Davis, OT, Rutgers
14. Seahawks: Bryan Bulaga, OT, Iowa
15. Giants: Brandon Spikes, ILB, Florida
16. Titans: Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech
For more than 640 player scouting reports from Russ Lande and his team of former NFL scouts — plus an updated mock draft (now three rounds long), Super 99 rankings and more — go to warroom.sportingnews.com.
A version of this story appears in March 9’s edition of Sporting News Today. If you are not receiving Sporting News Today, the only daily digital sports newspaper, sign up today for free.