2010 NFL Draft – Day 1 Review

Players like 1st overall pick QB Sam Bradford (St. Louis Rams) were all smiles as Day 1 of the NFL Draft took center stage

The 75th rendition of the NFL Draft, titled “The Grand Crossroads of Hope” took center stage of the sports world on April 22nd.  Hope sprung eternal from Oakland to New England as the NFL’s annual “Christmas in April” event arrived and for the first time it was in “Prime Time” on a weekday. 

The crowd made up of fans from every team imaginable with a large group of NY Jets fans packed venerable Radio City Music Hall to cheer or second-guess their teams.  As in years past the anticipation of the moment was not totally there as it was a foregone conclusion that Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford was the first overall pick — 10 out of 13 years that a quarterback went first overall. 

Bradford, the NFL’s newest million dollar quarterback, was all smiles as he and his family strolled to center stage greeted by Commissioner Goodell.  Who could blame the Bradford contingent for basking in the moment as the former Heisman Trophy winner will soon be getting a contract with over $41 Million guaranteed. 

The pace of the first round of the NFL Draft was brisk taking 3 hours, 25 Minutes which was 2 minutes slower than last year’s almost record 3 hours, 23 minutes mark.

Some tidbits from Day 1 included:

Oklahoma in the House – Led by Bradford, the Sooners garnered three of the first four picks in the 2010 NFL Draft.  Bradford went No. 1 to the Rams, DT Gerald McCoy went 3rd to the Bucs, and OT Trent Williams went 4th overall to the Washington Redskins.  The Big 12 also had a big night with 9 first rounders including the top four players.

Rip, Rip – That was the sound of mine and everyone’s Mock Drafts.  No one can predict what will happen on Day 1 of the NFL Draft especially in the first round.  It was fun for a little while seeing that I got the first three picks dead right.  But with the trading going on later, unpredictability ruled the day.  In the end I had 5 out of 32 picks, if you give me the Chargers taking Ryan Matthews, just not at the No. 28. 

First Surprise – A mild surprise was the Redskins selecting Williams at the 4th overall spot, but he is a better fit for Mike Shanahan’s new power running game than Oklahoma State’s Russell Okung.  The biggest shock had to be the Jacksonville Jaguars taking Cal DT Tyson Alualu with the 10th overall pick.  The quick D-lineman wasn’t even listed as a first round pick on several team’s draft boards.

Biggest Reach – Alualu was one big “reach”.  But the two biggest reaches of the first round were the Chargers trading up to No. 12 to take RB Ryan Matthews – probably would have been there later.  And the Eagles trading up to select Michigan DE Brendan Graham when players like Jason Paul-Pierre and Earl Thomas were available.

Best Value Pick – The NY Giants brought the Radio City Music Hall crowd to their feet by patiently waiting and getting South Florida DE Jason Paul-Pierre.  The very athletic freakish defensive end will join Justin Tuck and Mathias Kiwanuka to form one of the best pass rushes in the NFL.

Panic Move – This has to go to the Chargers, who got worried that someone was going to steal RB Ryan Matthews, who they had ear-marked to replace LaDainian Tomlinson.  San Diego scrambled to make a trade with the Dolphins to get to the No. 12 overall spot, by following for someone’s smokescreen.  The Chargers sent Miami their first-rounder (No. 28), a second-rounder (40) and a fourth-rounder (126), as well as linebacker Tim Dobbins. The Chargers also got 4th Rd (110) and 6th Rd (173) picks.

Picks Ready to Play Day 1 – Redskins OT Trent Williams and Detroit Lions DT Ndamukong Suh

Last in the Green Room – It had to be agonizing for Wake Forest cornerback Brandon Ghee and Texas defensive tackle Lamarr Houston to watch 15 other guys walk out the Green Room as they just sat there.  You have to give Notre Dame QB Jimmy Clausen credit for not attending.

Perenial Powers stuck on the sidelines – USC, Miami and Notre Dame had zero first round selections while Oklahoma (3), Florida (3), Tennessee (2), Rutgers (2), Alabama (2), Oklahoma State (2), and Georgia Tech (2) led the way.  Even Fresno State, Boise State and Idaho had first rounders.

Plenty of Trades – Teams were aggressive as they moved quickly to grab their guy.  There were seven trades in the first round including the Denver Broncos, who traded back twice,  then hustled back up to select QB Tim Tebow with the 25th overall pick (from the Ravens).

  • San Francisco swapped picks with Denver, so they could moving up two spots to draft Rutgers OT Anthony Davis. The Broncos also got a fourth-rounder (No. 113), then sent the No. 13 pick to the Eagles.
  • San Diego traded up 16 spots to draft Fresno State running back Ryan Mathews, at No. 12. The Chargers sent Miami their first-rounder (No. 28), a second-rounder (40) and a fourth-rounder (126), as well as linebacker Tim Dobbins. The Chargers also got fourth-round (110) and sixth-round (173) picks.
  • The Denver Broncos sent their first-round pick at No. 13 to the Philadelphia Eagles, who took Michigan defensive end Brandon Graham. In exchange, the Broncos got the No. 24 pick and the Eagles’ two third-round picks (Nos. 70 & 87).
  • The Denver Broncos traded with the New England Patriots to select Georgia Tech WR Demaryius Thomas at No. 22. The Pats picked up the Broncos’ No. 24 pick (via Philadelphia) and No. 113 picks in exchange.
  • The Dallas Cowboys picked up the No. 24 pick from New England to take Oklahoma State WR Dez Bryant. The Patriots got the No. 27 and No. 70 picks in exchange, and used the No. 27 pick on Rutgers CB Devin McCourtney. Dallas also got New England’s fourth-round pick (No. 119).
  • The Broncos traded for the No. 25 pick from the Baltimore Ravens, which they used to draft Florida quarterback Tim Tebow. Denver sends 2nd, 3rd, and 4th round picks to Baltimore (Nos. 43, 70 & 114). The Broncos also received the No. 119 pick in the deal.
  • The Lions sent 2nd, 4th, and 7th round picks (Nos. 34, 100 & 214) to the Minnesota Vikings in exchange for the No. 30 pick and the No. 128 pick. The Lions used the No. 30 pick to take Cal RB Jahvid Best.

Liked:  Super Bowl MVP Drew Brees announcing the Saints pick; The Make A Wish Kid announcing the Steelers first pick; NFL Network’s coverage; The New England Patriots stockpiling picks; and the appreciative attitude of the draftees.

Didn’t Like:  What was up with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell bearhugging every pick it seemed (you know Pete Rozelle wouldn’t have been doing that); The Red Carpet treatment for the picks (too much for the youngsters before they have earned their stripes); Detroit Lions draftee Jahvid Best lingering on the phone while everyone waited; and people downing the Oakland Raiders even though the pick of LB Rolando McClain was very “solid” at the 8th spot.

Potential 1st round Superstar Player – KC Chiefs safety Eric Berry a the 5th spot

Potential 1st round Bust Player – Bengals TE Jermaine Gresham at the 21st spot

Best Players still available after the first round

Notre Dame QB Jimmy Clausen

USC S Taylor Mays

Alabama DT Terrence Cody

Wake Forest CB Brandon Ghee

Texas DT Lamarr Houston

Maryland OT Bruce Campbell

USC DE Everson Griffen

Notre Dame WR Golden Tate

UCLA DL Bruce Davis

Texas QB Colt McCoy

Texas LB Sergio Kindle

TCU LB Darryl Washington

Florida DE Carlos Dunlap

Day 1 Winners — Lions, Chiefs, Niners, Patriots and Packers

Day 1 Head Scratchers – Ravens (traded out of first round), Chargers, Jaguars, and Bills

That’s a Wrap, see you tomorrow for Rounds 2 and 3



Lloyd Vance is a Sr. NFL Writer for Taking It to the House and Sports Journey Network , who is also an award-winning member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA)