As we brace ourselves for the NFL draft season, there are mock drafts beginning to surface. We've already talked about how Mel Kiper has the Redskins selecting Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford with the No. 4 overall pick in his first mock draft, which is available to ESPN.com Insiders for a nominal fee. Kiper has Oklahoma State offensive tackle Russell Okung going fifth overall.
But NFL.com mock drafter and former scout Bucky Brooks has a completely different take on the situation. He has the Redskins selecting Oklahoma offensive tackle Trent Williams at No. 4 overall. And if that pick didn't surprise you, consider that Brooks has Bradford dropping all the way to the Cardinals at No. 26. Surely he's pulling our leg. Sometimes an initial mock draft can change dramatically because a current NFL scout may call up Brooks and say something like, "Bucky, what were you thinking with that Bradford pick?"
Or maybe Brooks has some insider knowledge on Bradford that will eventually make him look like a genius. For the record, he has the Giants selecting Florida linebacker Brandon Spikes with the No. 15 pick. With Antonio Pierce's future hanging in the balance because of age and injuries, Spikes probably makes sense. Of course, you'd also like to see the Giants address their lack of depth at safety. And a talented defensive tackle should also be on the list.
Brooks has the Eagles taking USC safety Taylor Mays at No. 24. I think Eagles fans would be happy with that pick, but there's a good chance Mays will start moving up the board after his workouts. He's already a high-profile player, so all he needs is a couple of strong workouts to move into the top 20 -- if he's not there already.
The Cowboys will select Iowa offensive tackle Bryan Bulaga, according to Brooks. He thinks the Cowboys need to find someone to replace left tackle Flozell Adams. But I believe the Cowboys have already identified Doug Free as the player who will replace Adams, perhaps as early as next season.
Many of you (three) want to know when I'm planning to release my first mock draft on the Beast. I have not set a date at this point because there's still so much film to watch. But as we get closer to the combine next month, I promise to give you guys a heads up.