Putting It On The Line

Published 3:57 am Thursday, April 22, 2010

Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay, meet your match.

For several years running, local NFL draft handicapper Bart Burcham has had more first round selections right and on the right teams than the high-profiled ESPN selectors.

Burcham said skilled players usually make the headlines, but not in this year’s draft.

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“It has some really good linemen. There are two quarterbacks who are very capable and relally only one running back that’s a first rounder,” said Burcham.

“It’s a linemen’s draft. I like the defensive ends and tacklers, the cornerbacks and a couple of linebackers. The offensive line is pretty good, too.”

To emphasize the evaluations, Burcham has seven of first nine picks as linemen, either on offense or defense.

1. Rams: Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma. There’s a chance they take Ndamukong Suh and get Colt McCoy in the second round, but they can’t pass on another QB, especially after they cut Marc Bulger.

2. Lions: Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska. He might be the most for-sure thing in the draft.

3. Buccaneers: Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma. He’s a better pass rusher than a plug guy. He can get up the field. They need corner and a receiver, and there’s neither worthy of this pick.

4. Redskins: Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma State. This would have been the place for Clausen, but they got a quarterback with McNabb and they need help on the offensive line.

5. Chiefs: Eric Berry, S, Tennessee. This could be a lot of positions. If he passes Kansas City, he’ll be in Cleveland or some team will trade up.

6. Seahawks: Trent Williams, OT, Oklahoma. They need OT, DL and RB. Spiller could go here.

7. Browns: Dan Williams, DT, Tennessee. They’d love to have Berry if he drops, and they might reach for Dez Bryant, but they need interior line help on defense.

8. Raiders: Anthony Davis, OT, Rutgers. This could be Pittsburgh picking if the Raiders trade for Ben Roethlisberger. But it could be whoever ran the fastest 40 time in the combine like last year.

9. Bills: Bryan Bulaga, OT, Iowa. They could pick Jimmy Clausen, but they need an offensive lineman bad. Look for Tebow to end up here later.

10. Jaguars: C.J. Spiller, RB, Clemson. He’s a RB and kick returner. It hurt losing Fred Taylor last year.

11. Broncos: Rolando McClain, LB, Alabama. They could go receiver since they traded Brandon Marshall, but McClain is tough.

12. Dolphins: Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech. He has more size than Jason Taylor.

13. 49ers: Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame. When Alex Smith played decent, the 49ers did pretty well. They’ve got the pieces, but the quarterback is inconsistent.

14. Seahawks: Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, South Florida. He’s more of a speed pass rusher. They got the tackle with the first pick.

15. Giants: Brandon Graham, OL-DE, Michigan. He’s looked good in workouts.

16. Titans: Kareem Jackson, CB, Alabama. He’s NFL ready and can step in and play right now.

17. 49ers: Joe Haden, CB, Florida. They could take Haden first, but they might be worried the Seahawks will take Clausen behind them.

18. Steelers: Maurkice, Pouncey, C, Florida. The need is for cornerback first, but if not they need an offensive lineman.

19. Falcons: Jerry Hughes, DE, TCU. They need a pass rusher desperately and he was dominant in college.

20. Texas: Kyle Wilson, CB, Boise State. He’s one of the top two or three corners. This is a major need along with running back.

21. Bengals: Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State. They should take the tight end Jermaine Gresham, but the Bengals seem to like guys with a troubled background.

22. Patriots: Sergio Kindle, LB, Texas. They need linebackers most and he’s a pretty good player.

23. Packers: Mike Iupati, OG, Idaho. He can also play tackle. He’s a physical lineman and he may not make it this far. This could be corner if Iupati is gone.

24. Eagles: Earl Thomas, S, Texas. The Eagles have a ton of picks and they may trade up to get him earlier. He’s right behind Berry at safety.

25. Ravens: Demaryius Thomas, WR, Georgia Tech. This is the best player available.

26. Cardinals: Jermaine Gresham, TE, Oklahoma. He’s by far the best tight end in the draft. If he hadn’t been hurt, he’d have been a top 15 pick. Bengals or Patriots may take him earlier.

27. Cowboys: Charles Brown, OT, Southern Cal. They have to get better on the offensive line. They have everything else on offense.

28. Chargers: Ryan Mathews, RB, Fresno State. He’s a big, thick inside runner.

29. Jets: Jared Odrick, DT, Penn State. They just signed Jason Taylor and this gives them another pass rusher and he can play the run. This could be an offensive lineman.

30. Vikings: Taylor Mays, S, Southern Cal. They’ll just take the best player available. If someone takes Tebow in the first round, this would be it.

31. Colts: Rodger Saffold, OT, Indiana. They go for the best guy. It could be Odrick if he’s available.

32. Saints: Daryl Washington, OLB, TCU. They have to replace one linebacker spot. They could take Sean Weatherspoon of Missouri who also plays linebacker.