The Draft’s Top 50 Football Players

March 15th, 2010
This guy is no doubt soaring up draft boards around the NFL

This guy is no doubt soaring up draft boards around the NFL

There are mock drafts, and then there are rankings and analysis of the overall best football players eligible for the draft.

The latter is what you’ll find here on the Commish’s Board, which is turned out by NFL Draft guru and WDAE-AM 620 personality Justin Pawlowski, as part of the subscription draft coverage on

Pawlowski has made several changes to the his Top 50 since the opening Commish’s Board.

After each selection, Pawlowski also lists where the player falls in relation to the previous Commish’s Board.

Enjoy. {+++}

1. Gerald McCoy – DT – Oklahoma (no change)
Extremely talented and lives in opposing backfields. Best all-around defensive tackle. He can disrupt running plays and pressure the quarterback. McCoy had 6 sacks in 2009, but probably caused another 5 or 6 by being in the backfield.

2. Ndamukong Suh – DT – Nebraska (no change)
Most dominant player on film from 2009. His strength makes him extremely versatile. Suh could be a one-trick pony, as he relied heavily on his strength in college and never displayed another move. No swim move. No rip. No spin. Despite all that, Suh and McCoy are 1a and 1b, I just consider Suh 1b right now.

3. Russell Okung – OT – Oklahoma St (+2)
Has proven to be the top tackle in draft. Possesses all the necessities of being a franchise left tackle.

4. Sam Bradford – QB – Oklahoma (+5)
Showing up at 236 lbs at the combine was a good thing for Bradford. His workout will determine the entire draft layout.

5. Eric Berry – S – Tennessee (+1)
Berry showed off all his skills at the combine. He’s one of the top players in the draft, but how high will a team take a safety? Since 1993, only five safeties have been taken in the top 10 with Sean Taylor being the highest picked at No. 5.

6. Rolando McClain – MLB – Alabama (-3)
I don’t really understand the hate for McClain. Nick Saban has called him the best linebacker he’s ever coached. He’s smart, determined, a leader, physical, good in coverage, and loves to study film. He does have Crohn’s Disease, but so do other players in the NFL like David Garrard.

7. Derrick Morgan – DE – Georgia Tech (+5)
Most balanced and safest defensive end in this draft. Stout against the run, but can still get after the quarterback.

8. Bryan Bulaga – OT – Iowa (+8)
Bulaga is a typical Big 10 offensive tackle. He’s physical, smart, and reliable.

9. Dez Bryant – WR – Oklahoma (-5)
Character issues are killing Bryant. He has No. 1 talent, but his character might drop him to the late 1st or early 2nd round.

10. CJ Spiller – RB – Clemson (+1)
Playmaker every time he touches the ball. He is lightning quick and extremely fast.

11. Jason Pierre-Paul – DE – USF (-1)
Potential is the big word with Pierre-Paul. No detail here, just know that if he reaches his potential, he’ll be the best player in this draft by far.

12. Dan Williams – DT – Tennessee (+9)
Active nose tackle who’s big enough to stand his ground, but also active enough to get in opposing backfields.

13. Brandon Graham – DE – Michigan (+4)
Best pure pass rusher in this draft. 20 sacks in the last two years prove that.

14. Trent Williams – OT – Oklahoma (no change)
Strong and long armed make Williams a solid it as a right tackle in the NFL.

15. Earl Thomas – S – Texas (+5)
Tremendous in coverage. As a safety, Thomas is a true centerfielder who has a nose for the ball.

16. Mike Iupati – OG – Idaho (+2)
Simply dominant and overpowering. A luxury to a team without many needs.

17. Joe Haden – CB – Florida (-9)
Speed is the biggest question. A good forty at his pro day (3-17) will help him out.

18. Sean Weatherspoon – OLB – Missouri (+13)
I’m starting to really love this guy. He’s big and can run. We could see him continue to rise.

19. Kyle Wilson – CB – Boise St. (+11)
A strong senior bowl really helped Wilson. He s great in coverage and isn’t afraid to stick his nose in on run plays.

20. Maurkice Pouncey – OC – Florida (+12)
By far the top center in this draft. Pouncey has all the talent, but is also smart and knows all the correct calls. He is a true leader of an offensive line.

21. Kareem Jackson – CB – Alabama (+20)
I love the combination of speed (4.41) and physical play Jackson possesses.

22. Brian Price – DT – UCLA (-9)
While a lot of other players have helped themselves, Price hasn’t done much to stand out. Still love the work of his hands.

23. Anthony Davis – OT – Rutgers (-16)
Character issues are really starting to concern me with Davis. There are major red flags here. Without those flags, he’s a top 10 pick.

24. Jared Odrick – DT/DE – Penn St (-5)
Great fit as an end in a 3-4 defense. Odrick is strong with nice size (6’5’’ 300 lbs.)

25. Sergio Kindle – OLB – Texas (+8)
Some scouts have said that Kindle is more prepared for the NFL than Brian Orakpo was last year.

26. Devin McCourty – CB – Rutgers (NR)
I loved McCourty at Rutgers. He is physical, fast, and a leader.

27. Jerry Hughes – DE/OLB – TCU (+20)
Hughes was brilliant in linebacker drills at the combine. His stock is on the rise, and shouldn’t fall out of the 1st round.

28. Arrelious Benn – WR – Illinois (-4)
I keep hearing that Benn has the work ethic of Marvin Harrison. I love that. He has prototypical size and speed. Inconsistency in college might have been from his quarterback.

29. Carlos Dunlap – DE – Florida (-14)
Dunlap has all the talent in the world, but just doesn’t want to be great. If he finds “it”, look out. For now, teams might shy away.

30. Jimmy Clausen – QB – Notre Dame (-8)
Clausen is solid, but there are plenty of question marks around him. With the right coach and right system, Clausen can be great.

31. Demaryius Thomas – WR – Georgia Tech (NR)
Risk/Reward. Thomas has the size (6’3’’ 224 lbs) and the speed (4.40), but also played in an option offense and will not be able to fully workout for scouts before the draft.

32. Taylor Mays – S – USC (-6)
As expected, Mays was great at the combine and measured extremely well. Unfortunately, he struggles in coverage and was not productive on the field in 2009.

33. Jermaine Gresham – TE – Oklahoma (-6)
Top tight end in the draft, but needs to improve his run blocking.

34. Terrance Cody – DT – Alabama (no change)
You’ll be hard pressed to find someone who improved their stock as much as Cody did from the senior bowl to the combine. He slimmed up from 370 to 354, and even got down to 349 lbs for his pro day.

35. Ryan Matthews – RB – Fresno St (+2)
Matthews may be the most balanced back in this draft. He’s a workhorse.

36. Everson Griffen – DE – USC (-13)
Excellent pass rusher who saw his sack totals rise each year at USC.

37. Golden Tate – WR – Notre Dame (-2)
Blazed the 40 at the combine (4.42). Tate has been called this year’s Percy Harvin.

38. Bruce Campbell – OT – Maryland (-13)
Looks great with his clothes off, but not on film.

39. Jahvid Best – RB –Cal (-10)
Big-time playmaker with speed to burn. Durability is a concern.

40. Charles Brown – OT – USC (+4)
Brown has grown on me, and I can see him anchoring the left side of an offensive line. Good pass protector.

41. Brandon Spikes – MLB – Florida (-13)
Speed is still a concern, but teams seem to like the nastiness he brings.

42. Tyson Alualu – DE/DT – Cal (NR)
I’m not as high on Alualu as other people. When I watch him on film, I see him moving a lot, but taking a long time to get where he’s going.

43. Vladimir Ducasse – OT/OG – UMASS (-4)
Might be a project, but might be worth it. Ducasse is big and nasty.

44. Patrick Robinson – CB – FSU (-4)
More of a cover corner with decent skills and good speed.

45. Nate Allen – S – USF (same)
Centerfield type safety that has a nose for the ball.

46. Rob Gronkowski – TE – Arizona (NR)
Most balanced tight end in the draft. Blocks and catches equally well.

47. Alex Carrington– DE – Arkansas St. (-5)
This small school product has the tools to be a solid 5-technique in a 3-4 defense.

48. Thaddeus Gibson – DE/OLB – Ohio St (NR)
Gibson’s stock is rising slightly as a hybrid outside linebacker after a nice pro day.

49. Perrish Cox – CB – Oklahoma St (-6)
Physical corner with nice speed.

50. Dorin Dickerson – TE – Pitt (NR)
Ran a 4.40 at the combine. He’s a playmaker at tight end and could be a huge weapon for a creative offensive mind.

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