With The 7th Pick, In the 2008 NFL Draft, The New England Patriots Select ...

Updated April 26th

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Well, we are finally down to our final days, and the Draft is tomorrow. I have left my April Mock Draft up to show what I think happens if the Rams take Dorsey. My whole Mock Draft was based on the opinion the Long went First overall, and then Dorsey to the Rams, and Ryan to the Falcons. I no longer think that will happen. It's funny, how the key to understanding the Draft appears to be Adam Carriker. Is he a D-Tackle or a D-End? I have always said  that I though Carriker is a Left D-End, so not only is Dorsey the best player, he also fits the Rams needs more. However, I have the most important news you will here on the draft. It may seem slight and silly, but the Rams KNOW where they are playing Carriker next year and we are only speculating. If know where he is playing you know who they are drafting. So you have to read the signs. So here it is, the most important update on this Draft, word out of St Louis is... 

Second Round

Third Round

 

Team

My Picks: 

(U)- Unofficial

Key Needs:

Team Moves:

1.

Miami

Jake Long- 

OT Michigan

6-7, 313

QB, OLT, NT/DT, ILB, TE, CB, WR, RB, OL, DE, CB, S

F.A. Signings:

Justin Smiley OG

Ernest Wilford WR

Josh McCown QB

Keith Davis ST/S

Charlie Anderson LB

Reggie Torbor LB

Michael Lehan CB

Key F.A.  Loses:

Zach Thomas ILB

L.J. Shelton OT

Trent Green QB 

Marty Booker WR

Keith Traylor DT

The Team: Signed, sealed, and delivered. Jake Long IS the number one pick in the Draft.

The Player: Long has terrific hands and feet. He already looks like an NFL LT in his techniques and sets. He blocks with arms extended and punches well with both hands. Then he drives in and grabs shirt with both hands, inside the shoulders (which is NFL legal) and continues shoving violently, and all the while keeping his feet moving, driving, and tapping along for power and balance. He sets his hands in the ready position exactly the way it is coached in the NFL. His footwork is textbook. He does everything the way coaches teach technique. He is clearly one of the most coachable players in this years draft. The more I watch him play the more I think he could be a Left Tackle. He has been compared recently to Jumbo Elliot. Elliot was a power LT who Parcells drafted in the Second Round out of Michigan. He struggled with speed sometimes (but let's be honest here, what LT doesn't struggle with speed sometimes?), but more then made up for it in the Running game. That could be a very apt description of Long, who I consider be the best Run Blocker in the Draft. Plus, he only gave up two Sacks starting for four years at Michigan, I think that amazing stat gets over looked too much. Long doesn't have the classic machinegun feet of a classic LT, but he uses his feet like a tightrope walker to stay in perfect balance. It just never appears that he is out of balance, except when he pulls outside sometimes, and the closer he gets to the left sideline the more uncomfortable he looks. He does have negatives. He doesn't always look smooth moving backwards. His kick-step is good, but not machinegun quick like Chris Williams. But he uses his long arms and great hands perfectly in pass protection to more then make for an imperfect kick-step. And you know, GMs and coach around the league are smiling when they see how mean and nasty he is on the field, and even I was smiling when I saw him interviewed, and he was smiling and laughing as he bragged about how much he enjoyed destroying defenders and driving them into the ground and jumping on top of them;-)  

Monster run blocker. Huge man who makes D-Ends look small and weak. I think Long can step in at Right Tackle where he is better suited. Long has great size, strength and toughness, but I question his feet. If you can't dance you can't play LT in the NFL;-) Looks fierce, graceful, and natural when moving forward into defenders. Can block multiple players on running downs. Is the strongest run blocker in the draft. Can collapse an entire D-Line by driving the D-End into the D-Tackle. Does not look natural moving backwards, his backpedal is not what one would call elegant. Loses all grace when pass blocking. Quicker then he looks, and is never off balance. Doesn't look natural when he pulls to the outside, and struggle the further outside he goes. When he moves off the line straight, he is a wonder to behold. He can punch the D-End and still rush straight forward and eliminate the middle Linebacker or Safety. He is so big and strong, and when he gets his giants mitts on a defender, they are defeated. Doesn't look natural moving backwards. However, he does get back faster then it looks, there appears to be a bit of a hop in his kick-slide, and he uses his long arms and gigantic strong hands well. Only gave up 1 Sack in his super impressive Senior season.

The Reason: Jake Lone makes sense, because he has the least chance to be a complete disaster. Some think, myself included, he can step in and be a Franchise LT for the next 12-15 years. If he can't, he can step in and be a Franchise RT for the next 12-15 years. If for some reason, and we've all seen college OT who can't play Tackle in the Pros, he can step inside and play O-Guard. 

Second Choice: None

2.

Rams

Chris Long- 

DE/OLB

Virginia

6-3, 275, 4.71(U)

OL, DL, CB, WR, LB, S, CB, TE, OL

Key F.A. Signings:

 

Key F.A.  Loses:

Isaac Bruce WR

The Team: Okay, bad news for Pats fans! Word out of St Louis is that Adam Carriker has bulked up to 315 pounds. That's at least 15 pounds of muscle add this off season (I believe he played at 297 last season). I don't see any other way to read it, other than he is bulking up to play D-Tackle fulltime. Which makes Chris Long the pick. I think this is a mistake. The Rams had a bad Passrush last season, but next seasons pass rush is more contingent on a healthy Little then either Dorsey or Long. They also could Not stop the run up the middle, at all. Dorsey significantly improves the run defense more than Long. Carriker is a better run defender then Long at Left DE, and Dorsey is a better run defender then Carriker at Left DT. Drafting Long over Dorsey weakens the Run Defense at two positions. Plus, I don't believe that adding Long improves the passrush. Right now, as a left D-End I don't think Long is a better passrusher then Carriker, in a few years that maybe different, but for next season, no. Now Carriker maybe a better Interior passrusher than rushing from the DE position. But, with Dorsey bursting through the middle, that makes everybody a better passrusher including Little and Dorsey. Plus, Long and Carriker will be playing out of position. Long is a natural Left D-End, and Carriker is natural Right D-End. It just doesn't make sense to me. But, it's like I always say, the reason there are so many busts in the top ten is because the people who made the decisions that earn them the top ten pick (meaning they are in the bottom ten in the league) are the ones making the top ten pick.  

For Pats fans this is the first key to watch. If they don't take Chris Long, he just might fall down to the Pats at 7. The only other real stumbling block is K.C. If they trade Jared Allen they may have to take Long at 5.

The Player: Long had an absolutely great Combine, and looks like he has solidify himself as maybe the top player in the draft. Demonstrating his great combination of size, strength, and speed.    

Long is a terrific football player who can play D-End in a 3-4. Long looks like a great hybrid player in a 3-4, and he can play in the 4-3. Had amazing Senior season. Acquiring 14 sacks, 75 Total Tackles, and 19 TFL as a 5-Technigue D-End playing in a 3-4 is unheard of! Relentless, and I mean Relentless passrusher. In his Bowl Game against Texas Tech, Tech throw the ball 69 times! Long rushed relentlessly on nearly ever single pass, he dropped back into a coverage a few times and was on the bench for a few plays in the First Half. Amazingly, he got the most pressure in the Forth Quarter where he got his hands on Harrell at least twice and almost sacked him twice, but he lost he balance and was falling down and wasn't able to hold on. That is the definition of relentless.   

His coach Al Groh said (and I'm paraphrasing because I did not write the quote down), (He is) "afraid Long might wear down as a D-End in the NFL, and that his most natural position would be as a Mike Vrabel-type OLB." Oh yeah he also said, and I quote, "Clearly, there's no better player in college football than Chris Long. He performs like a star but doesn't act like a star." Sounds like a Patriot to me. First-Team All-America by the American Football Coaches Association. First-Team All-Atlantic Coast Conference. 

The Reason: The strangest thing lately has been the obsession with Dorsey. When talking about Other Teams, like Oakland and Atlanta, everybody is like, "Dorsey's the Best player in the Draft! If he is there they have to take him!" But when it come to the Rams everybody's like, "Well, I think, huh, Dorsey is good, but-huh, I think they'll take. huh. Chris Long." Well If Dorsey is the best player in the draft at picks 3,4,5, and 7, why isn't he the best player in the Draft at 2? So the Rams for some reason shouldn't take the top rated player or the top rated D-Linemen, they should take the 4th or 5th rated player and the Second rated D-Lineman. The Rams revealed in February that they had Dorsey and Jake Long as their 1-2 Players. I don't think that's changed. 

Second Choice: Glenn Dorsey DT

3.

Falcons

Matt Ryan- 

QB BC 

6-5, 230

QB, OLT, DT, CB, OT, RB, WR, S, DE

F.A. Signings

Chris Redman QB

Michael Turner RB

Ben Hartsock TE

Erik Coleman S

Von Hutchins  CB

Key F.A.  Loses:

Rod Coleman DT

Demorrio Williams LB 

Alge Crumpler TE

Warren Dunn RB

Joey Harrington QB

Byron Lwftwich QB 

Wayne Gandy OT

The Team: Word out of Atlanta is that they are going to take Matt Ryan, even if Dorsey is on the board. At first, I didn't believe it, but word coming out of Atlanta is that they have no interest in moving up one spot to secure Dorsey. So now I'm really confused, because giving up a 2nd Round Pick to move up one spot to secure Dorsey would be a stupid move. Not only are the Rams planning to pass on Dorsey, but the player they need the most is Ryan, and Rams have no interest at all in Ryan. I expected Atlanta to make the stupid move, and trade up, they won't. Taking Ryan over Dorsey is the only smart thing to do as well. Michael Vick is the face of this Franchise. Getting a legit starting QB is only way this Franchise can move on. If they take Ryan, they will get an A+ in my grade no matter what. You are not really rebuilding, you are floundering, until you get a young QB who can led your Franchise.

The Player: Matt Ryan has all the measurables that teams want at QB. He reminds me of Matt Hasselbeck, only he is far more advanced now then Matt was when he came out of BC. Would you take Matt Hasselbeck with this pick if he was a Rookie?  He is super tough and smart. As intelligence becomes more and more important each year, I think Ryan has a shot at number one. Loves to hang out after practice and do film work with coaches, an absolute must to succeed as a QB now-a-days. His coaches and teammates rave about him. Plus I have heard Draftnic raving about the Pro-Style Coaching that Brain Brohm has received? And while he has received Pro-Style coaching, Ryan was coached by Pro Coach, Jags was Offensive Coordinator in Green Bay for three seasons. So while Brohm played in a Pro-Style Offense, Ryan played in a Pro Offense last season. He is the most NFL ready QB in this Draft. Miami will live to regret passing on Ryan. 

The Reason: Word out of Atlanta is they are finally going to do something intelligent. Get the young Franchise QB, who is clutch like Brady, studies film like Manning, and is as solid a citizen as both. 

Everybody and his brother knows they have Dorsey ranked number one and Matt Ryan Number two. I am baffled they would not take Matt Ryan here. If they skip on Ryan Author Blank again takes his throne as the second worst owner behind AL Davis.  

Second Choice: Matt Ryan QB

4.

Raiders

Glenn Dorsey- 

DT LSU

6-2, 300

 

OLT, DT, DE, RB, LB, DL, DB, OL, DL

F.A. Signings:

Javon Walker WR

Drew Carter WR.

Kwame Harris OT

Gibril Wilson S

Tyler Brayton DE

William Joseph DT

Key F.A.  Loses:

Jerry Porter WR

Barry Sims OT

Josh McCown QB

Chris Clemons DE

The Team: Word out of Oakland is that they are enamored with Gholston. He has become their number one choose. However, that was before there was a possibility of Dorsey still on the Board. They need help against the interior run and a replacement for Warren Sapp. I saw no way Dorsey last this long. Who would have thought that the Rams would be stupid and the Falcons smart? Davis is the worst Owner in the league, and if he can't see that the one only choice is Dorsey then his Alzheimer's has progressed further then I thought. If Gholston, Chris Long, and Adrian McFadden are still on the board, the Raiders will take Gholston.  

The Player: Dorsey can display almost inhuman strength sometimes. He can grab onto O-Lineman and shuffle his way sideward until the RB appears, and then throw the O-Linemen aside and crush the RB, like Reggie White. He can burst threw the line with 3-Tcchnique explosion, and just throw the OG to the ground.  He reminds me a little of Reggie White, in that he flashes White's Hulk-like strength every now and again, and can just toss an off balance O-Lineman aside like yesterdays trash. Dorsey is not an immovable object in the middle, but he is big, quick and plays under most other players. He get low and shots the gap as well as any D-Linemen ever has. When he stays low, he can drive an O-Lineman 3-5 yards backwards with amazing power and prejudice. He was double-teamed, grabbed, and held on almost every play, but can still made plays. I would like a little more slipperiness out of him. He gets stalemated a little too much, which is a little unfair to say because he gets so much attention from the O-Line. He can shed and really punished the Ball-carrier inside, as well as any D-Tackle who has ever played.

Matt Ryan has all the measurables that teams want at QB. He reminds me of Matt Hasselbeck, only he is far more advanced now then Matt was when he came out of BC. Would you take Matt Hasselbeck with this pick if he was a Rookie?  He is super tough and smart. As intelligence becomes more and more important each year, I think Ryan has a shot at number one. Loves to hang out after practice and do film work with coaches, an absolute must to succeed as a QB now-a-days. His coaches and teammates rave about him. Plus I have heard Draftnic raving about the Pro-Style Coaching that Brain Brohm has received? And while he has received Pro-Style coaching, Ryan was coached by Pro Coach, Jags was Offensive Coordinator in Green Bay for three seasons. So while Brohm played in a Pro-Style Offense, Ryan played in a Pro Offense last season. He is the most NFL ready QB in this Draft. Miami will live to regret passing on Ryan. 

The Reason: Raiders need a Dominate D-Tackle more then anything else in this Draft, period.  

Davis is known to take the fastest athlete available speed is what defines McFadden on the field. However, how would you like to replace Warren Sapp with Sed Ellis? Vernon Gholston tested as maybe the best athlete in the draft. Chris Long looks like a start in the making. This is one of the toughest calls to make in the Draft.  .

Second Choice: Chris Long OLB/DE

5.

Chiefs

Vernon Gholston-

OLB/DE Ohio ST

6-3, 267, 4.58, 

37 Reps, 42" Vert.

OT, DB, WR, DE, OL, OL, QB, RB, DT, OC, QB, DB

Key F.A. Signings:

Demorrio Williams LB

Oliver Hoyte FB 

Key F.A.  Loses:

Ty Law CB

John Welbourn OL

Eddie Kennison WR 

The Team: Chiefs get lucky and Gholston falls. Word out of Kansas City is that they have a deal worked out with Buffalo to trade up to ten. Taking Gholston here will allow them to still get Clady at 10. Of course, you know, KC will try to screw it all up, they want Harvey, and take him here.

This pick is all but assured to be traded. Word out of Kansas City is that they want to come out of the First Round with Derrick Harvey and Ryan Clady. The problem is that KC is notorious for not knowing how to plays the Draft game. They should trade down here, most likely to Baltimore at 8, and trade up from 17 to take Harvey, most to Buffalo. However, KC has been known to zero in on a target they know will be available and take. So don't be surprised to see Derrick Harvey go here. Otherwise, taking a QB here for KC, would not be the worst pick in the world. Though I think this pick goes to Carolina or Baltimore. I am projecting a trade, such as it is. The Chiefs trade down two spots and pick up Clady and the Ravens finally get the QB. Unless they are serious, and take Clady here. I just can't get past the fact that Clady is working out with Will Shield. Shield's should just pick a sign on Clady back saying, "Pick me at 5." Plus there is the old axiom, "It's never a reach if it's a Left Tackle."

The Player: Gholston first and foremost, he is a Super-freak. He is a super freaky physical specimen. Solid muscle with great Combine week. Where football players drop and athletic freaks rise. But he is not just a Combine freak, he has the production, attitude, and experience coaches crave as well. His problem is that his best position in the NFL, right now, is Left D-End, in fact he looks to me like a bigger faster Robert Mathis. But, like Mathis, the question is can he hold the point as a Left D-End in the NFL, and like Mathis, the answer appears to be no. He excels at moving forward. Had 13 sacks to tie Vrabel's single season record, and had a Sack in his Bowl game giving him a total of 14 Sacks for the season, he also had, 37 Tackles and 15.5 TFL. Played the "Leo" position last season, similar to what McGinest used to do. He played Right Outside Linebacker in 3-4 and R-End in 4-3, and dropped back in coverage as Ohio States "Drop-End". But, he does not look natural moving backwards. Has experience moving backwards in coverage, as he was recruited as a Linebacker from High School and played the "Leo" position where he was asked to stand up and put and put his hand on the ground, but he loses his natural grace and aggressiveness whenever he is dropping back. He is not Carl Banks, though he does have some LT in him, in that, when he is moving forward towards the QB he plays with great speed, aggressiveness, and grace. When he shifted to LB, he played on both sides, but still looked more comfortable on the Left side. Has experience covering the RB out of the backfield. Doesn't look natural setting the edge, as he always wants to be attacking the QB. He keeps peeking and moving up field rather then holding the edge and preventing the RB from getting to the outside. He could really learn a lot about Run-Responsibilities from Vrabel, who sets the edge as well as any LB in the NFL. Left D-End looks like is natural position, which is important to figure out when you are talking about a Hybrid player. Blast off the line like the Space Shuttle, and soar around the Right Tackle. Plus, he has a quick inside move when the RT backs up too much. A player you want moving forward. Looks like the best athlete on the field when he is moving forward, but his natural grace and speed dissipates the more he back pedals.  Has all the physical tools to play Outside Linebacker in a 3-4, but he will take more time to adjust to that position, as he does not look as comfortable when he is standing up, and appears to be thinking too much and not reacting. 

Second team All-American

Big-10 D-Linemen of the year.

Gholston is tight wired physical specimen. He will be flying up the charts as coaches and GMs see him up close. Great explosion and speed. If he runs in a sub-4.5 like some people are saying, he will be a Patriot. Already a polished passrusher. Not a great Run-Defender, but his initial burst is a wonder to behold. He blasts off the line like a rocket. Gholston will be a top seven talent come Combine time, and looks like he could be a Dwight Freeney in the making. He looks like a passrushing force waiting to attack.    

The Reason: KC did a GREAT jump trading the Captain Drunk Driving himself Jared Allen. Getting a First and two Thirds makes it the steal of the century. Allen is a drunk and a scumbag, and one strike away from being suspended for a year. And you know it is coming, I know of what I speak. He is a drunk, and he will get drunk and driving, and hopefully not kill some one, like Rose, or Kevin, or Mary. Oh wait, they were already killed by drunk drivers. "They were all me friends and they died." Carroll.    

Second Choice: Derrick Harvey DE 

6.

Jets

Darren McFadden- RB/QB 

Arkansas

6-2, 210, 4.27(U)

CB, RB, QB, WR,  LB, DB

Key F.A. Signings:

Alan Faneca OG

Damien Woody ORT

Jesse Chatman RB

Bubba Franks TE

Calvin Pace OLB

Chris Jenkins DT

Artrell Hawkins S 

Key F.A.  Loses:

CB Andre Woolfolk

Justin McCareins WR

Jonathan Vilma LB

Dewayne Robertson DT

Andre Dyson CD

Erik Coleman S

Adrien Clarke OG

The Team: Word out of NY is that they are zeroed in on McFadden. They have been wining and dining him for the past week in NY, and he is now the Number One player on their Draft Board. And it looks like the Raiders have backed off McFadden, and he is all but guaranteed to be the Jets pick. 

To mean the player that helps this team the most next season is McFadden. Running behind this new O-Line he could be a terror. His blend of size and speed is really wonderful. While he is not Adrian Peterson, he is faster more elusive and will take less career threatening hits then Peterson. And if he get the Corner he is gone. This running game needs help, and if the Raiders pass on McFadden help is coming fast, about 4.27 fast.

Thomas Jones averaged only 3.6 YPC, and I don't see him as a starting back anymore. You can blame the O-Line for stinking after Tannenbaum ridiculously traded Pete Kendall for nothing and a bag a beans, but by years end Leon Washington was averaging 5.0 YPC behind the same line. However, he too is not a fulltime starter. The Jets have been talking about trading up for McFadden, which I think makes sense, because otherwise they are in the same position as the Pats, reaching for their top need at CB, Hank Poteat is their starting Right Corner, or over-drafting a position. Calvin Pace and Vernon Gholston play the same position. Now you can argue which plays it better, I would take Gholston over Pace in a heartbeat, but with the money given to Pace, can the Jets offer up another 20 Million in guaranteed money to the Outside Passrushing Gods. They still have the erratic Bryan Thomas and David Bowens to man to other side opposite Pace, they have been inconsistent but have played well for them upon occasion. I like McFadden or Mendenhall here, but I don't think McFadden will fall or they have the guts to take Mendenhall here. And I'm not saying they should take Mendenhall because I hate the jets, I think he is the player that can help this team the most next season. I think he compares very favorable to LaDainian Tomlinson. He has the same size, speed, strength, and receiving abilities as Tomlinson when he came out of college. Plus, he has Tomlinson's great open-field make-you-miss quickness that really separates him from the other backs coming out. And when he showed up at the Combine at 225 pounds, and ran a 3.37, I think he propelled himself into the top ten and maybe even the Elite Eight.      

The Player: If McFadden reminds me of anyone he reminds me of a faster Marcus Allen. Now, what separated Allen from other backs of his skill level was his amazing toughness. I'm not saying McFadden has his toughness, so very few NFL players do, but when I watch him run he just looks like Allen. Allen was a long lean upright runner, who had this amazing ability to suddenly duck under the pads of an incoming defenders at the last second, and hit him rather then the other way around. It was great to watch, he would be striding along, and bam quicker then you can see he had lowered his shoulder pads right into the defenders gut. McFadden has that same knack for striding along and then bam almost diving into the defender. The comparisons to Reggie Bush are ludicrous. Bush's problem is that he now tries to bounce it outside on every single block. I can't tell you how many times I saw a blocker on his team with inside shade, and the defender holding the edge, and if he just cut inside the blocker he was gone. Instead, he fakes inside and runs right into the defender holding the outside, every single time, and defensive players now know it. If he would just learn to read his blocks he would be a great weapon again. McFadden doesn't bounce it outside on every single block. He will lower his pads and hit the hole where he is suppose to, at least enough to keep the defense honest. Now at Arkansas they ran outside a lot. Duh, with McFadden and Jones in the backfield you want to use that speed to the outside, not pound them into the big fats guys who can't catch them. McFadden reads blocks well, and will lower his pads and hit the hole between the Tackles when he is called to, unlike Bush, who is bouncing himself right outside the league if he continues to not follow his blockers.    

McFadden is a super- fast slick RB. His instincts and intelligence are amazing. I think he is the second best player in this draft. But, I also think the comparisons to Adrian Peterson are weak. McFadden looks and runs nothing like Peterson. Peterson is stronger, shiftier, and quicker, while McFadden has more straight-line speed. Plus, McFadden has no injury concerns. He runs upright in the open field, but does a good jump getting his pads low when he needs to, and is almost miraculously quick at getting his pads low when someone is about to crush him. Incident at night club has hurt his reputation. Was forced to take a Paternity test by an unscrupulous moneygrubber. Neither of these incidents worry me. Also, has fumbled more then makes me comfortable,  23 times in 3 seasons. Two time Doak Walker award winner. Very impressive young man in person. Has the smarts to play QB as well as RB. Articulate and intelligent in interviews. Dealt with the media very well at Combine. Second all time rusher in SEC history with 4,590 yards. Had a very impressive 2,310 all purpose yards and 16 TDs last season at Arkansas. Ran an amazing 4.27 at 211 pounds at the Combine.

The Reason: The best player in the Draft at two need position, one RB, and two the Jets are desperate for any kind of Offensive explosion. 

Second Choice: Rashard Mendenhall RB

10.

Saints

Sedric Ellis- 

DT USC 

6-2, 310, 5.2

DT, OC, TE, CB, WR, LB, DB, DL, OL

F.A. Signings:

Jonathan Vilma LB 

Randall Gay CB

Aaron Stecker RB

Bobby McCray DE

Key F.A.  Loses:

Jeff Faine OC 

Brian Simmons LB

Spencer Johnson DT

The Team: For the first time in the history of my Draft I have projected a trade. This goes against all that I believe in when doing a Mock Draft. Also they fly in the ointment is that word out of New Orleans is that they are saving pick number 40 to send to the Giants for Jeremy Shockey. So how do they resolve that very big stumbling block? So what if we take two 3s to move down, pick number 78, and the Saints Third next year. How about if we go However, is Gholston and Long are gone the Pats are gone as well. They CANNOT take Ellis, period. If they take Ellis then they CANNOT resign Wilfork. If they want to replace Seymour, that is one thing, but how does losing Wilfork help replace Seymour? Stupid. Getting or Rivers or one of the top Corners is Belichick priority. The best case scenario here is that McFadden falls to them, because they already have a deal worked out with Jerry Jones, picks 22 and 28 for this pick if McFadden is on the board. 

In this scenario the Bengals trade up to 7 and take Ellis, and the Pats take Rivers here at 10. I absolutely hate projecting trades, it only guarantees that you will screw up your Mock, but this makes to much sense for both team to not happen.

The Player: Ellis has the abilities to develop into a superior 3-technique DT. However, he played a lot of read-and-react at USC, and I think he can play in any scheme. He has exceptionally long arms that he uses exceptionally well to keep blockers of his body. The more I watch him play the more I like his game, and the more I think he can play in any scheme. Played on the Nose a lot in USC hybrid scheme, and absorbed a lot of double teams. He would often line up directly on the Center and two-gap. And, when he was unleashed he shot through the gap like a buckshot through balsawood.   

The Reason: The Saints need the most help on their Pass Defense. So how do you help your Pass Defense without drafting a DB, LB, or D-Line. Now, they certainly are not going to draft a D-End, as that position is one of their team strengths. However, their interior D-Line are big, slow, and bulky, and offer little or no passrush. I'm not sure Balmer fits Gary Gibbs defense perfectly. In the end, passing a Corner with the talent of McKelvin, or a Linebacker with the talent of Rivers at 10 would just be foolish. 

Second Choice: Keith Rivers

8.

Ravens

Brandon Albert-  

OG/OT Virginia

6-5, 305

QB, WR, RB, ILB, OT, CB, DT, DE, WR, DB

Key F.A. Signings:

 

Key F.A.  Loses:

Mike Flynn OC 

Mike Anderson RB

Musa Smith RB

The Team:  

The Ravens really need a QB. If Ryan falls here they will be doing Cartwheels in the War Room. They really want to find a Corner to go with their two veterans. Samari Rolle is getting old fast, and McAlister went down with injuries, their defense fell apart. They have no Third Corner worth mentioning. Corey Ivy might be an adequate Forth Corner, but as a starter or Nickel Back he is easily exploited. Still, they also MUST address the O-Tackle situation this off season. If Clady falls and Ryan doesn't I think they take him. 

The Player: Okay I think I'm finally coming around on this guy. The more I watch him the more I like him. Was recruited as a LT, but with D'Brickashaw Furguson many that spot, he slide over to Left Guard, and made that position his own. He was suppose to move back, but they had another young stud LT Eugene Monroe, so they felt it would be less disruptive to keep Albert at LG. He has very long arms that he uses very well to punch, pop, and keep D-Linemen off balance. Pulled a lot in his role at Virginia, and even pulled on Pass Downs sometimes. Plays better on the run, and can be devastating when pulling and hitting defenders on the move. Looks like a LT plays like a LG. Started all 37 games since he step on the campus as a Freshmen. Was named All-ACC all three years at Virginia. Has the natural feet, athleticism, and Quickness to play Left Tackle.   

Reminds me of Ruben Brown the old Buffalo O-Guard who played last season in Chicago. Has a large rounded body like him, and very long arms. Looks like an O-Tackle, and most people think he can play O-Tackle, but he is an O-Guard, and it looks like he should be a great one, like Brown.  

The Reason: I'm not sold on Albert being the second best O-Tackle in the Draft. He started two games at LT last season and played okay. When you are projecting O-Linemen to change positions, normally they move inside where the degree of difficulty is less. When you project an O-Guard to move outside to Left Tackle, you better be real careful. That is a very complicated and difficult move for a player to make. I think Albert is NFL ready to play Left Guard, but Left Tackle? I would be very nervous. However, a team that have grave concerns about an aging Left Tackle, now that I can understand. Albert can start at Left Guard or Right Tackle for this team next season, and be groomed a little slower then most teams to play Left Tackle. This situation is the best thing that could happen to Albert.  

Ryan would be a huge pick up for this team. There should be a solid O-Tackle in the early Second to help with the constant threat of Ogden retiring. 

Second Choice: DRC OT

9. 

Bengals

*Rashard Mendenhall-   

RB Illinois

5-11, 224, 26 Reps

LB, RB, DE, DT, OT,  LB, TE,  DE, DB, OL, TE

Key F.A. Signings: 

Darryl Blackstock LB

Key F.A.  Loses:

Justin Smith DE 

Landon Johnson LB

Madieu Williams S

The Team: I thought there top need last season was LB and Corner, but there Corners have played better than I expected. I have criticized their Secondary for years, and then they pick up 3 starting DBs in last years Draft. CB Leon Hall, S Marvin White, and CB Chinedum  Ndukwe all were starting by the end of the season and playing well. The loss of Madieu Williams is huge, but I think their Secondary could actually be above average next season! How long has it been since you could say that? I'm not a huge fan of their LBs, but they had four guys on IR last season, and all four could be gone next season. Ahmad Brooks and Lemar Marshal are two of the injured players who they want back, but both are FA. They really need a DE, as they have Robert Geathers on one side and no one on the other. Their DTs are good, Peko has developed into an invaluable player on their D-Line, and Thornton is a team player who gives it his all, but is limited and small for a DT. If Sed Ellis falls to them they will be doing jumping-jacks in the Warroom.     

That being said, they still needs to go defense early and often.

The Player: If he reminds me of any player I would say LaDainian Tomlinson, he is a great blend of speed, power, quickness, and a terrific receiver coming out of the backfield. But, besides Ryan he seems to be the hardest player to figure out where he is going. I think he has top ten talent, but which team needs a RB? 

Cutback runner who can make a defense that overpursues look foolish. His agility his astounding. His ability to cutback, take a big hit, and retain his balance is something to watch. Can stay on his feet threw multiple hits if he is not wrapped up. Has a knack for spinning off hitters. The more I watch him the more I like  him. Has the reputation as a power back, but he has that shake-n-bake make you miss quickness, and he is so fast on the field as well.  He was a sight to see in his Bowl game, where Illinois was completely outclassed by USC, except for Mendenhall. He dominated when his team badly beaten in almost every other phase of the game. Has good hands as well. Knows how to get open deep, and make the big game changing play. He is a terrific receiver out of the backfield.   

Speed and power. This kid can really play, and with excellent his showing in Bowl game he could be a top fifteen pick. He really won me over at Bowl Game. He has great speed and quickness and can really get to the outside, Plus, he has amazing strength and can really break tackles. Some have him listed as 224 pounds.

The Reason: The player the Bengals want is Sed Ellis, but in this scenario the Saints hop up over them to number 7 and take Ellis. The player that will help this team the most next season, that is still on the board, is Mendenhall. The Bengals will have to trade up to 5 or 7 to Ellis. There are too many team looking to trade out of the top 7, and too many teams looking to trade up for Ellis for him to make it here. A great RB would give them a terrific Offense and take a lot of pressure off the Chad Johnson-less Offense. I really like Mendenhall and think he has a chance to be a great one. He has a terrific blend of speed, power, and quickness. 

Second Choice: Sed Ellis DT

7.

Patriots

Keith Rivers- 

LB USC

6-3, 235, 4.51, 42", 10"7', 4.38 S.S.

ILB, CB, TE, S, OLB, OL, LB?, CB?

Key F.A. Signings:

T.J. Slaughter LB 

Jason Webster CB

Fernando Bryant CB

Lewis Sanders CB

WR Sam Aiken

TE Marcus Pollard

Key F.A.  Loses:

Asante Samuel CB

Donte' Stallworth WR

Eugene Wilson S/CB

Roosevelt Colvin LB 

Randall Gay CB

The Team: It's the morning of the Draft, and I have no idea what is going on;-) My eyes are bleary, my fingers hurt, and my brain is exploding with Draft rumors. But, here is what I know. I know the Pats can't make it through the season with the Inside linebackers they have on their roster. There number one priority for next season is acquiring an Inside Linebacker  

It is starting to look like the worst case scenario is developing, both Long and Gholston are gone. That means the that the Pats are 95% likely to trade down, there is always a 5% chance that no one wants to pay the money this pick. If the Rams take Dorsey, I believe that Long falls to us. Otherwise, it looks like Keith Rivers, Brandon Albert, or McKelvin. I still look at their roster and see a gapping hole at Inside Linebacker. Right now Bruschi and Victor Hobson are their two Inside Linebackers. And then what? Eric Alexander? He started one game two years ago. Junior Seau? Like all forty year old players, he cannot be counted on to return. Adalius Thomas? He was paid big money to make big plays; he proved he could play Inside Linebacker, but he also proved he makes big plays outside not inside.  The problem is that Belichick is notorious for holding a grudge, and the O-Line clearly lost them the Super Bowl, and immortality. I think if they stay here there is a better than 50% chance they take Brandon Albert. In this scenario, I have them trading down with New Orleans for picks number 10 and 40. It has been reported that New Orleans offered 10 and 40 to St Louis for pick number 2, so they could get one of the two big D-Tackles. They could easily offer that deal to the Pats, and it would actually be more beneficial to the Saints, because they would be paying significantly less money. Then the Pats could pick up McKelvin or Rivers at 10. In this scenario, Matt Ryan is available, and he to could go to the highest bidder. The Pats know the Carolina will give up their First and Second for Ryan, and if the saints offers their First and Second, maybe more. The money at 7 is manageable. And maybe, just maybe Carolina offers two Firsts, this years and next years. Not unprecedented when it comes to QBs.   

The Player: Keith Rivers is a tough player to grade. He disappears in games more then I can say I'm honestly comfortable with, but he played on such a talented defense, maybe the most talented defense ever. Sed Ellis, Lawrence Jackson, Terrell Thomas, all three will be taken in the top three rounds of this years draft. Plus, he shared Linebacking duties with Rey Maualuga (if he had come out, I would have bet 15 gallons of ice cream that the Pats would have taken him) and Brian Cushing (who some think is better then Rivers, I don't). Two Linebacker who could be top ten picks in next years Draft. So there were times when all of these players disappeared because of the talented players making plays around them. Athletically Rivers has everything. Good size, 4.5 speed, great feet, and can twist his hips and run with any Tight End or Running Back. Plus, he is an excellent hitter. He is very smart and has good football instincts. He can find the ball in traffic and trash and still make the big hit. He can change direction on a dime. And really plays to his speed on the field. He runs from sideline-to-sideline like a guy with 4.5 speed. He has started his third straight season at WLB, so moving inside will be an adjustment. Though he didn't start a game as a freshman, where he had 25 Tackles, no Sacks, 3 TFL, 1 INT, and 2 PBU, he didn't missed a start since. His Sophomore season, where he became a starter and never left, he had 52 Tackles, 1 Sacks, 3 TFL, 1 INT, and 1 PBU. His Junior season, he had 85 Tackles, 2 Sacks, 7.5 TFL, 2 PBU, 3 FR and 1 FF. Last season, despite playing on maybe the most talented defense ever, he was an All-American, and he had 78 Tackles, no Sacks, 5 TFL, and 4 PBU. At his Pro Day he looked like he was sculpted out of steroids. You may not think he should be a top ten pick, but he sure looked like it physically. He is an extremely hard worker, with all the intangibles we hope are important. Loves the game of football, and it is very important to him. I think this quote is from NFL.com, "He was 1 of 10 semifinalists for the 2007 Butkus Award and 1 of 17 quarterfinalists for the Lott Trophy, as well as an SI.com All-American first team, Pro Football Weekly All-American first team, Walter Camp All-American second team, Phil Steele's All-American third team and Collegefootballnews.com All-American honorable mention pick."  He is tough and physical in the Number 55 tradition at USC, which is a sacred number given only to it's top Linebacker recruit. He has experience at all three Linebacker positions 'SC played, and as a Freshman and Sophomore played with his hand down in obvious passing downs. He has shown a knack in pass coverage, and is his super smooth athleticism really shines in coverage. Has tremendous on field versatility. Reminds me of Carl Banks, excellent in run defense, a great hitter, and he is an excellent passrusher, but sis ability to cover is so valuable that he is asked to blitz much less then he should.  

The Reason: Is simple with pick number 40, the Pats have a lot of versatility in this Draft, and pay less money. New Orleans is desperate to hop over Cincy for Sed Ellis, and Carolina is desperate to hop over the Ravens for Matt Ryan. Desperation has caused a lot of mistakes on Draft Day, and the Pats are poised to take advantage. If the Pats stay here, I think it will be Brandon Albert if he is still on the board.

A couple of weeks ago I put up a mock, with the same top seven picks. As all the stars aligned, and  all earthly signs pointed to Gholston reaching the Pats, and the Gods of the Outside Linebackers looked down and smiled on us. Last week all the TV and radio monkeys joined my choir, and started chanting "Gholston to the patriots, oh my!". This week, suddenly, out-of-thin-air, the giant double-reinforced-steel battle-door squeaked open, and the great green ogre, Bill Beli-Shriek, stuck his giant green head out of the evil Dungeon door (formally known as the Bunker), ever so slightly and whispered, "We have no interest in Vernon. We want to trade out of seven." Then he quickly ducked his giant green head back into the great evil dungeon, before anyone could video tape him. And the TV and Radio Monkeys started chanting, "Vernon Gholston not that good. The Pats will pass, just like they should." Well, aah-gain, be careful what you believe in March and the beginning of April, when teams are in full espionage mode. The latest chant has me more convinced then ever that Gholston is their man, or do you really believe that the great green ogre Beli-Shriek will tell the truth about his intentions on Draft Day?   

For more Info on Pats, check out my:  

Patriots Draft Blog.

Second Choice: Trade Down with N.O. for picks 10 and 40

17.

Chiefs

*Ryan Clady- 

OT Boise ST

6-6, 320

 

Vernon Gholston-

OLB/DE Ohio ST

OT, DB, WR, DE, OL, OL, QB, RB, DT, OC, QB, DB

Key F.A. Signings:

Demorrio Williams LB

Oliver Hoyte FB 

Key F.A.  Loses:

Ty Law CB

John Welbourn OL

Eddie Kennison WR 

The Team: This is the second trade I have every projected. It just make to much since, The Bills crave Devin Thomas and he Cheifs crave Clady. If they take Gholston or Derrick Harvey at 5, they will have to trade up for Clady. Word out of Buffalo is that they have discussed this very trade, and I think it would be beneficial to both teams. The Chiefs give up two 3s, number 66 and Number 82, as the Bills are taking a bit of a risk that Thomas might be gone.

Word out of KC is that they want Derrick Harvey, and plan to take him at 5. I just couldn't give them that pick, as I had Derrick Harvey going here to the Vikings. The problem is that I have Harvey going 17 to the Vikings, so how can I have the Chiefs taking Harvey here. It will be a big mistake to take Harvey here. If you have the 17th pick and an two extra Thirds, reported thrown in to the deal as well, you can trade up a few spots to get Harvey. Teams are desperate to trade down in this Draft, and I just don't see Harvey going in the top 14. Baltimore might if they see him as an OLB, I don't. Cincy at 9 might, but Sed Ellis looks like their man at 9, and they will probably trade up to get him. New Orleans? Not a chance. The Bills at 11? No. Denver? Carolina? Chicago? Detroit? I just don't see D-End as a big need for these teams. And if the O-Linemen are gone by Carolina or Chicago, then I think they will all be looking to trade down. 

The Player: He has risen into the top Eight, given this draft an Elite Eight. His has the best combination of feet, long arms, and quickness in this years Draft. He is seen as the only legit Left Tackle Prospect in the Draft. He has left scouts drooling since he displayed his amazing athleticism for a man the size of a bear, and it looks like he may have danced is way into the top five. The Panthers and Broncos are already trying to trade up to get him, however, I no longer think the Chiefs can pass on him at five. He was so dominate at Boise State, that some teams stopped lining up Passrusher in front of him during obvious passing downs, I don't think there is a bigger complement you can pay to a Left Tackle. 

Clady physically is as good as it gets, but he hasn't put it all together. He needs some add strength, coaching, and technique work, and he could be as good as any linemen in this years draft. Has long arms and quick feet, just needs to consistently put the two together. Physically he is huge and towered over D-Ends in his conference. He has excellent feet, and there is little doubt he can play LT in NFL.

The Reason: I just think that KC would be foolish to take Harvey at 5. I also saw an interesting trade where they switch place here with the Bills, so they can get Harvey and the Bills could pick up Devin Thomas here.

First Choice: Brain Brohm QB

12.

Broncos

Jonathon Stuart-

RB/KR Oregon

6-1 235

OLT, RB, WR, OT, CB, WR, LB

F.A. Signings:

Keary Colbert WR

Boss Bailey LB

Niko Koutouvides LB

Marlon McCree S

Marquand Manuel S

Key F.A.  Loses:

Javon Walker WR

The Team: Apparently, they are happy with Ryan Harris, their Third Round pick from last season who has had back surgery already, as their starting Left Tackle. Word out of Denver is that Shanahan is going Running Back here, and it may be Jonathon Stuart. I just think Mendenhall is a superior prospect. I have a hard enough time believing they will take a RB here, other then Mendenhall is just too much for me to swallow right now. Although, Stewart does fit their one-cut power running style a little better then Mendenhall.  

I hate projecting the Broncos to take an O-Linemen in the First Round, as they tend to get by with no-name O-Linemen, but they have no Left Tackle! They have two returning starts who were injured last season in OC Tom Nalen and OLG Ben Hamilton, and the two young players who took there place and played well, Chris Kuper and Chris Myers, and have excellent depth at interior Line positions. However, there O-Tackles are a mess. They have one O-Tackle on the roster Eric Pears, who played Right Tackle last season, and No Left Tackle! They need to draft two guys who can play LT for next season, one starter and one Swing- Tackle.

The Players: Foot surgery could cause Stuart to freefall, especially when you consider the amazing depth at RB in the this years draft. However, the other way to look at it is that he ran a 4.44  and had a 36.5" Vert at 235 pounds, with a stress fracture in his foot. If he fully recovers, how good can he be? However, the history of stress fractures is a 100% recovery. He was one of the top Kick Returners in the country for the past two seasons. is an accomplished receiver out of the backfield. Set an Oregon record for All-Purpose Yards last season with 2,481 Yards.  

Stuart is a physical freak. He showed up at the Combine at 235 pounds of solid muscle. He runs with great power, amazing balance, and stamina. He showed he can run away from defenders when necessary in his Bowl Game. Split time his first two seasons at Oregon so his bruising running style hasn't worn him out yet. Rushed for 280 times 1,722 yards (a Oregon record), had 14 100 yard+ games, and an impressive 6.2 YPC. He also rushed for 11 TDs, and caught 22 Passes for 145 Yards and 2 more TDs.

The Reason: They need an Inside Linebacker so they can shift DJ Williams outside. Safeties are getting very old. They have no Fulltime starter at RB, oh yeah and there star young receiver, Brandon Marshall, came up lame last week. So they have a lot of needs to address. Oh yeah, they have no LT! Passing on a Left Tackle will be impossible. If ever need met player it is Chris Williams to Denver. In fact, you could argue they will choosing solely between Otah or Williams here, the need is that desperate. I have them taking Williams, because besides his short arms, he is the prototype for O-Tackle in their scheme: smart, athletic, finesse blocker, ability to pull, can understand their complicated zone concepts, and oh yeah doesn't mine Cut-Blocking. Stuart is a top ten talent with a bad foot. He is a rare blend of power speed. reports are that his surgery was 100% successful, and he will be ready to go before Training Camp. I think he would compliment Henry wonderfully. 

Second Choice: Brandon Albert OL

13.

Panthers

Derrick Harvey-  OLB/DE Florida

6-4.5, 271, 4.8, 31 Reps, 28" Vert

QB, OLT, DT, FS. RB, LB, DL. TE

Key F.A. Signings:

Muhsin Muhammad WR

D.J. Hackett WR 

G Keydrick Vincent

Landon Johnson LB

Tyler Brayton DE

Key F.A.  Loses:

Chris Jenkins DT

Keary Colbert WR

DeShaun Foster RB 

Ricardo Colclough CB

David Carr QB

The Team: Harvey is still on the rise and could be a top ten pick. Losing Jenkins is a big loss, and getting D-Line help has to be a priority for Fox, a Defensive coach

The Player: Harvey showed up at he Combine looking like a different player. Weight 291, and then later was listed at 271. Getting a fix on his size and weight has always been a problem. He didn't look like the ultra-thin ultra-quick D-End I have been watching at Florida the past two seasons. He look frumpy and out of shape, and weight 271 pounds. He couldn't be the rail thin passrusher we've been watching at Florida the past two seasons weigh over 290 pounds. I don't know, but if he is 271 pounds and still has that remarkable onfield speed and quickness, he is a legit top ten pick.

He is just simply speed, hustle, and aggression, all over the field. Relentless passrusher, uses his hands and long arms expertly. Has an excellent Rip-move. Has knack for slapping the ball out of QBs hands. Great up field speed. great athlete. Looks like ha could play 3/4 Outside Linebacker.

The Reason: The Panthers propelled themselves to the Super Bowl just a few short years ago on the backs of their D-Line. That D-Line has been decimated. If they want anyc hance of returning to the play off they must rebuild their D-Line, and fast..  

Second Choice: Chris Williams OL

14.

Bears

*Chris Williams- 

OT Vanderbilt

6-6, 320

QB, RB, WR, OT, LB, DT, WR, OL, DB, QB, LB, WR, DB

F.A. Signings:

WR Marty Booker 

Key F.A.  Loses:

Bernard Berrian WR

WR Muhsin Muhammad

Brain Grease QB

The Team: Word out of Chicago, is that they are desperately trying to trade down. They WANT Chad Henne QB from Michigan. However, they know taking him here is way to early. If they trade back into the 20s, and pick up another 2nd Round Pick, they will do so to pick up Chad Henne.

Bears really need a Left Tackle prospect, and it looks like one or even two will fall to them. If the Chiefs trade Jared Allen, then they will probably take Chris Long, or inconceivably Derrick Harvey at 5, that would mean Clady will fall, and I still believe the Ravens take Brandon Albert even if Clady is on the board. And if Denver really wants Mendenhall or Stuart, that should leave the Bears choosing between Williams and Otah.  

Bears must take a QB, or trade up for Ryan. However, word out of Chicago is that they are not enamored with Brohm, the only other QB worth taking in the First Round. Rex Gross stinks. He has had what 27 INTs in his last 20 starts, and 10 fumbles. That's 37 Turnovers in 20 games. Teams that turn the ball over twice in a game lose around 75% of the time. Teams that lose the Turnover battle loss what around 90% of the time? You cannot win with a QB who turns the ball over TWICE A GAME, period! He is not a developing young player or a rookie, he is quickly approaching 30 and needs to be replaced. They apparently are focusing in on Henne in the Second Round, of course they'll probably pass on him too. However, I will say that I do like Kyle Orton and think he can develop into a better QB then Gross, though that's not saying much. Cedric Benson is looking more and more like a worn down bust. What can you say to a team that lets both starting WRs leave while trying to develop a young QB? (Help me) They have two ancient O-Linemen who have been starters since the Ice Age and must be replaced. Both Brown and Miller were excellent in their time, but it looks like their time is over. Their line must get some  younger player quickly. If Williams or Otah floats down to them they will grab them without reservation. Well, that is four desperate needs and I haven't even gotten to the defense yet.       

The Pick: Finesse blocker who looks NFL ready as a pass blocker. He needs to add strength in the legs to improve run blocking. Has feet and athleticism to play Left Tackle in the NFL. Smooth as my frozen driveway moving backwards;-( Has the smoothest Kick-Step in the Draft. Looks like he is an NFL ready pass protector, which I hate to say about any rookie. Maybe best pure pass blocker in the draft. The more I watch him the more I like him.   

The Reason: The Bears get lucky. If either one of the big Left Tackles falls to them they will be ecstatic, and looks like right now one will. 

Second Choice: Brain Brohm QB 

15.

Lions

*Jeff Otah- 

OLT Pittsburgh 

6-6, 340, 5.2 

RB, OT, DE, NT, QB, DL, LB, RB,  OL, S, DB

F.A. Signings:

Dwight Smith WR 

Michael Gaines TE 

Kalvin Pearson S

Dwight Smith S

Leigh Bodden CB

Brain Kelly CB

Chuck Darby DT 

Key F.A.  Loses:

J.T. O'Sullivan QB

Damien Woody OL

RB Kevin Jones

T.J. Duckett RB

Boss Bailey LB

Fernando Bryant CB

The Team: With Mendenhall and Stuart gone Lions will pick up an O-Tackle to go with their new Head Coach and Ex-O-Line coach.

First they take away Carries from Tatum Bell for Kevin Jones. Then Bell complains that he is not getting enough carries, so they bench him and he demands a trade. He doesn't get a single carry the rest of the season? Then they fire Martz, a pass happy O-Coordinator. Then they promote the O-Line coach to O-Coordinator, a conservative Run oriented coach. Then lose D..J. Duckett, and announce they are planning to run the ball much more next season. Then they release Kevin Jones, leaving them with only disgruntled RB Tatum Bell. If Mendenhall is still on the Board they will jump all over him. However, it is starting to look more and more like Jonathon Stuart will be their guy. The goods news is the depth at RB is excellent this year, and I think starting caliber RBs will be available as late as the 3rd and 4th Round, in players like: Ray Rice, Steve Slaton, Tashard Choice, Matt Forte, and Kevin Smith. So passing on a RB would not be a disaster here. If Williams or Otah fall they will gladly grab either one. They couldn't find anyone who could play Right Tackle last season, until Woody step in, and actually played well until he was injured, so they let him leave. Finding a Tackle to play opposite Backus is a priority. However, if they leave Backus at Left Tackle, I still see Backus as a Right Tackle, there will be some decent Second Round Tackles available who would have an easier time stepping in at RT, like: Anthony Collins (if their lucky), Oniel Cousins, and Carl Nicks. Of course that leaves out a replacement for Shaun Rogers and a QB to replace Jon Kitna. Although they do have an extra 3rd, and a pretty good QB: John David Booty, André Woodson, or Erik Ainge, and/or NT: Pat Sims (Maybe), Ahtyba Rubin (undervalued good player), Frank Okam (weight problems), or Marcus Harrison (Off field issues). See the problem? if they had kept Kevin Jones they could have addressed one of their 3 big holes, but by releasing him they create a forth big hole that must be addressed early. 

The Player: The thing that separates Otah from Clady and Williams is that he is already a dominate Run Blocker. He explodes off the ball, and can drive back D-Lineman with great power and balance.  He has great feet, and can dance with any bear. Dominated verse LSU. Despite HUGE size can play low and gains leverage. He has the feet, size, and athleticism to play Left tackle in the NFL. When he is on, he destroys D-Linemen. His biggest negative is experience. He didn't play football until his senior season in high school. He then played two seasons at LT for Valley Forge Military Academy. He then went to Pittsburgh where he started every game for the past two seasons.

The Reason: I would have guessed the Lions would probably prefer one of the top O-tackles to drop into their laps. If you want to run the ball more, you have to have a RB who can carry the ball.   

Second Choice: Gosder Cherilus OT 

16.

Cardinals

Leodis McKelvin- CB/PR Troy  

5-10.5, 190

RB, OLB, NT, CB, DE, OL, S, LB, OL, DL, DB

F.A. Trades:

TE Jerame Tuman

Key F.A.  Loses:

Bryant Johnson WR

Oliver Ross ORT

Chris Coopr DL

Calvin Pace OLB

Darryl Blackstock LB

The Team: The Cardinals have a lot of needs. This pick will tell a lot about the Defense next season. If they are going to continue there ascension from Loserville, they will need to help the defense. Outside was a need before they lost Pace and Blackstock. Chike Okeafor missed all of last season due to injury, so much he has left is a question. Bertrand Berry is a good DE, but hasn't worked as a, OLB. Plus, he to was injured last season. Darnell Dockett is a revelation as a 3-4 DE, and a waste at DT. They have to get a consistent NT so they can leave Dockett outside where he excels on passing downs. Their secondary is average at best. They could get by with all four starters returning or upgrade all four positions. An upgrade at two would make since. Well, that's a lot of needs and I haven't gotten to the defense yet. A lot of people are saying they are looking for an O-Tackle with this pick, but I kind of like their O-Tackles. That being said, Otah or Williams would not be a shock here. 

The Player: The thing I like about McKelvin is that he backpedals like a panther waiting to bounce. I have never seen a more intimidating Backpedal. In fact, I have never seen an intimidating backpedal until the Senior Bowl Practices, where McKelvin was the best Defensive player on the field in practice, and yes, I watched Sed Ellis power-rush his way into the top five. I just don’t think I have ever been so impressed with a player at the Senior Bowl before. He is the best Corner I have ever seen at positioning himself between the snap and the throw. He has that unique ability to see the WR, and watch the QB. And, when the QB winds up too throw to his side, he attacks the ball like a panther bouncing on a dead duck. Unfortunately, he has hands like paws, like a panther. His complete inability to catch the ball will cause him some trouble. 

He actually caught the ball well at the Combine. The more I watch McKelvin, the more I think he will be a top ten pick  in the new NFL, where touching a WR is a worse crime then Video Taping;-) He dominates the man he is covering, without ever really touching him. It is amazing to see. His backpedals so perfect, and always keeps himself in position to make a play on the ball, but rarely puts his hand on the man he is covering. Being a physical Corner in college is not necessarily a positive in the NFL. Being a Corner who can consistently and completely cover a WR without any contact is worth his weight in salary cap space.  

Terrific man to man cover skills. Has great feet and hips. Can break on the ball quicker then anyone in this years Draft. Makes plays on EVERY ball in his area, Amazing. Seemed to be the only guy who could cover Andre Caldwell at the Senior Bowl. Plays Off-Man better then any Corner I've every seen at the Senior Bowl. But, has horrible hands. Looks like Ronnie "Stone hands" Lippet. Couldn't catch a cold in a blizzard. But, he just makes plays on every ball thrown his way. During Senior Bowl practice he must have gotten his hands on ten straight passes thrown his way, and of course didn't catch one. Has the talent to led the league in Passes Defensed, and not have a single Interception, Amazing. He should also do well at the Combine, where Corners tend to go in direct relation to their Forty times.

The Reason: If they can find a top flight Cornerback this defense could really be something. If McKelvin, DRC, or Jenkins drops here they will have trouble passing.  This pick show the depth of the years Draft, where players 10 though 40 could go anywhere.   

Second Choice: Mike Jenkins CB  

11.

Bills

Devin Thomas- 

WR/KR Michigan ST

6-2 215, 4.32 (U)

CB, WR, TE, LB, CB, WR, DT, RB, CB

F.A. Signings:

Marcus Stroud DT

Kawika Mitchell LB

Spencer Johnson DT

Key F.A.  Loses:

Peerless Price WR 

Michael Gaines TE

Kiwaukee Thomas CB

The Team: Buffalo may have finally learned to play the game. If you like a player rated in the 20s by everybody, trade down a few spots and grab him and a an extra draft pick or two. Devin Thomas maybe the top rated WR in this draft, but he come with concerns. He drops balls too much, and he is a One Hit Wonder. The Bills will trade down if they are smart. They already have this deal in place if they just have the guts to pull the trigger, and who knows maybe they can get K.C.'s Second Round pick. Getting a Second for trading down 7 spots in the First Round is more likely, I'm just trying to be a little conservative with the picks to help the trades work out better.

Word out of Buffalo is that are determined to take a WR in the First Round, and that WR is Devin Thomas. In this scenario, the Bills trade back to17, so K.C. can take Harvey here, and they can take Thomas at 17. Just remember, that Buffalo has a long history of reaching for players they know will be on the board when they pick, at their top need position, and refuse to trade down. So, don't be surprised if the Bills don't trade down and just take Thomas here.  

The Player: A one hit wonder who is flying up the charts. A transplanted RB playing WR, so when he gets the ball in his hands in the open field he can really carry it. The best runner at the WR position in the Draft. Coach did everything to get the ball in his hands so he could run, put him as a Kick Returner, run reverses, and WR screens. He would sometimes line up in the Backfield and just let take the hand off. He has terrific big strong hands. Played Juco as a Freshman, then only caught 6 passes for 90 Yards and 1 TD as a Sophomore. blamed old coach for not playing him. Last season, under new coach, had 79 Catches for 1,260 yards, 15.9 YPR, and 8 TDs. Rushed 27 times for 177 Yards and an impressive 6.6 YPC. Returned 7 punts for a paltry 18 Yards, but returned 39 Kick Offs for an impressive 1,135 Yards averaging nearly 30 yards a return.

The Reason: The Bills biggest need is at WR opposite Lee Evans. Devin Thomas is flying up the charts, and has some serious talent as a Kick returner, WR, and runner. He is best WR in the Draft at YAC. If they are choosing between McKelvin and Thomas, I went Thomas because he is bigger and fits the West Coast Offense better.

The Bills have gaping hole in the Secondary that needs to be filled. But, the Secondary has played a little better then I expected. McKelvin could step in and start on this team next season. Plus, when your in the same division as the Pats, taking a CB is never a bad decision;-) 

Second Choice: DRC CB

18.

Texans

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie-

CB Tennessee ST 

6'1.5, 186, 4.28(U)

CB, OLT, RB, DB, TE, DT/NT, LB

Key F.A. Signings:

Kevin Bentley LB

Chris Brown RB

Key F.A.  Loses:

Mike Flanagan OC

Shawn Barber LB

Von Hutchins  CB

The Team: Houston needs another press Corner to make this defense Playoff worthy, or some help for Schaub. However, the need for a Corner seems to have overwhelmed all other needs. Losing three CBs to injuries was painful last season: Dunta Robinson, Jason Simmons, and Glenn Earl. But what really hurts is that their best Corner, Robinson, had a serious knee surgery and won't return until the second half of the season, and with knee and hamstring injuries that serious there is no telling how good he will be when he returns. The good news is that they have a lot of average depth, and may be able to survive without a serious talent injection. With all that being said, I just can't see any possible way then can pass on DRC or Mike Jenkins. Of course Left Tackle is always a serious problem with this team, they currently have 6 players on their roster who they have tried at LT. A legit LT would give them an excellent O-Line, and if, well you know, another team that could really use Otah or Williams, that's 7 straight teams. 

The Player: The more I watch him the more I like him. Was not a great cover guy his first the seasons. Then last summer he trained with Darrel Green, the Hall Of Fame CB who played for the Redskins for years. DRC completely credits Green with completely changing his style of play. He learned Pro footwork, and how to turn his hips efficiently from backpedal to sprint from Green, and says learned how to cover from him. If you don't see that as a positive then you never saw Green play. Most importantly, he has continued his hard work and thirst to improve, and has continued to develop. If you saw him at the Senior Bowl and Combine, then I don't see how you can see him as other then a Top Ten pick in this years Draft.  

Cromartie is such an interesting prospect. I think he has a chance to be a star in the NFL. He is the best pure athlete at CB. He literally looked like his cousin on the field, and I can’t see any reason he can’t develop into just as good a player. People forget that when Cromartie came out of Florida State he too was more promise then production. He played mostly Nickel Corner at FSU, and he was injured his last season there and barely played. DRC, has played more, and better, in college then his All-Pro Cousin. Plus, he is the tallest of the three top CBs at 6-1.5, has very long arms, and can jump through the roof. He pulled down two leaping INTs that no other CBs in this Draft could have touched, one in practice and one in the game at the Senior Bowl. They were as great a defensive play as I have seen this year; except of course his cousin’s INT against Manning, when he leaped up above the Luxury Boxes and pulled down the ball with one hand. If a team believes, like I do, that he has the equal talent to his cousin, he is worth the 7th Pick in this years Draft. Especially when you consider that he was a track guy in college, and should be able to run faster then McKelvin, and some think he may pull down a legit 4.3 Forty. Shit, I think I just convinced myself that we should take at Seven;-)

Similar to his Cousin, he has everything physically, but lacks experience. Plays the ball in the air like a WR. Is very tall with long arms and can leap like cougar snatching a pheasant out of the air. Cannot be thrown over. Can cover large receiver. Is bone thin and looks brittle, but should he was tough and can tackle with the best of them at the Senior Bowl. Has enough quickness and the superior closing speed to make up for a lot of mistakes. Made a fortune at the Senior Bowl. He will be a First Round pick. The only question left is his forty time at the Combine, and speed is not an issue with him. Showed he more than belonged at a higher level of competition at the Senior Bowl

The Reason: Houston really needs a Corner, even with a healthy Robinson, and it looks like that will not happen next season. 

Second Choice: Gosder Cherilus OT

19.

Eagles

*Jerod Mayo-  

LB Tennessee

6-1 3/8, 237, 4.5, 22 Reps, 40.5"

RB, WR, S, OT, TE, DB, LB, DL

F.A. Signings :

Asante Samuel CB 

Chris Clemons DE

Key F.A.  Loses:

Jevon Kearse DE 

Takeo Spikes LB

The Team: Word out of Philly is they are taking a long hard look at Linemen. Their Secondary still needs a lot of help even with the Assante Samuel signing. A play making LB would be nice, but they have 4 good young LBs on their roster. A team who could be looking to trade down, as is their history. The players that seem to make the most since are DeSean Jackson, Devin Thomas, Gosder Cherilus, and Kenny Phillips. If you go by their history Reid's draft history it won't be DeSean and is most likely Cherilus. However, both Runyan and Tra Thomas are still playing well, and the main concern is their complete lack of depth behind them, Thomas missed one game and the line gave up 12 Sacks in that game against the Giants! safety looks like a critical need as well, Dawkins is missing more and more games due to injury, and at 34 is getting any more durable. Sean Constantine is a good player, but he had a serious shoulder injury last seaosn, and the state of his return is questionable. So do you draft a back up WR, a back up O-Tackle, or a back up S?    

The Player: Jerod is a player who is moving up quickly into the First Round. He is a terrific young man. Very intelligent, and his intelligence really shows in interviews where he is blowing coaches and GMs away. He has already graduated. He is a player that coaches want on their team. Played Outside Linebacker his whole career, then moved inside last season to help the team, even though he was not comfortable playing inside. He struggle in Training camp and didn't feel comfortable for the first two games. Then it all came together for him and he had a  great season, as he garnered 140 Tackles, 8.5 TFL, 1.5 Sacks, 5 Pressures, 1 FF, 2 PBU, and 1 INT, which he returned for a TD. Understands team concepts and how to help team. A coaches dream. He does everything you ask him to do well. He has great instincts on the field and plays fast. He can get outside fast when he reads the play correctly, which he did last season with terrific consistency. Really read plays better last season and wasn't fooled by play action and misdirection as much as earlier in his career. Presents a dilemma on Passing Downs, he is a good blitzer, but is so smooth and fast in coverage that he was asked to drop into coverage more and more, and last season did not blitz as much as you would have liked. He really shows his superior athleticism in coverage: he has great feet, good hips, he can twist his hips and out run most Tight Ends, and he cover smaller faster RB out of the backfield. The more you watch him the more you like him. Had a good Sophomore season where he had 83 Tackles, and 5 Sacks. Has interviewed with teams as high as Pats at Seven. If the Pats start trading down, don't be surprised if he is their guy.

The Reason: Mayo maybe the best football player still on the board. Philly has a hole in their LB corps do to the loss of Spikes. It seems like a match made in football heaven. Okay, so it's not perfect, they need an O-Tackle. When Tra Thomas gets injured the ENTIRE O-Line inexplicably falls apart. I mean, he miss one game and they give up 12 Sacks! They have nothing resembling a back up Left Tackle on the Roster. But can they take Cherilus over Mayo, no. Limas Sweed would give them a big receiver that fits their offense, but again Mayo is so much higher rated. Jerod Mayo is a top 20 talent, I just can't seem to find a place for him. He will be invaluable to any team as he can play any LB position, and I believe play it well.

Second Choice: DeSean Jackson WR 

20.

Buccaneers

Mike Jenkins- 

CB S. Florida  

6, 198

OT, CB, RB, DT, OT, CB, DT

F.A. Signings:

Jeff Faine OC 

Brain Grease QB

Warren Dunn RB

Ben Troupe TE

Antonio Bryant WR

Marques Douglas DE 

Eugene Wilson CB/S

MLB Teddy Lehman

OLB Matt McCoy

MLB Leon Joe

Key F.A.  Loses:

Kalvin Pearson S

Dwight Smith S

Brain Kelly CB

Chuck Darby DT 

The Team: I still think D-Tackle is their biggest need. But, there O-Tackles are terrible. They need a huge up grade. It will be interesting to see if they address this in Free Agency. They could go Corner here as well. You have to think Gruden will want to go Offense here. Could he go Brohm, who holds a resemblance in style, demeanor, and physical build to Garcia. He can also have his choice of WRs here.    

The Player: Jenkins has been pushed into the background.  I have him rated third now . He has everything you want in a Corner, except pure straight-line speed. He has excellent quickness, excellent hips that allow him to turn and run without any wasted motion, and natural instincts to play the ball when it is in the air. Plus, he does a great job of jamming receivers and disrupting their routes. He will need to run in the 4.4s, because both McKelvin and Cromartie look like sub-4.4 guys. Unfortunately, most consider him more of a 4.5 guy, so the Combine will be more important to him the then other two. You also have climbing up his back Aqib Talib, who many think will is a 4.45 guy, and Antoine Cason, who could run a sub-4.4 and hop over both of them.

Rose from Second day pick to First Round with terrific season for South Florida. A really physical Corner who can Bump and Run receivers off their routes as well as any Corner in this years draft. Has very good hips. Better in press then backing off. Needs to go to team that plays aggressive press coverage like the Pats, Jags, or Texans. Has been flying under the radar as he didn't attend Senior Bowl, but if he runs a 4.4 or under he should be a lock as a top fifteen pick.

The Reason: Top rated player at top need position. Brain Kelly is gone and Ronde Barbers twin brother has already retired, so how far behind can he be. Jenkins is not a perfect fit, but he is physical Corner who looks like he can play in any system.

Second Choice: Aqib Talib CB

21.

Redskins

*Malcolm Kelly-  

WR Oklahoma

6-3 3/4, 224, 4.46, 32"

 

DE, DB, WR, OL, WR,  DB, LB, OL

F.A. Signings:

 

Key F.A.  Loses:

Brandon Lloyd WR 

The Team: Word out of Washington is that Snyder went to two work outs this week. The first was to see Phillip Merling, who was okay. The second he took Zorn and his young QB Cambell. By all accounts the Kelly Work out was far superior. Reports have his Forty time as low as 4.46, that is a First Round number for a player of his size and production. Now I have said all along that Merling is not the player they need. They need a passrusher, and he is more of a run stuffer then passrusher. But, the final straw was taking Cambell down to Oklahoma to throw pass to a big strong guy like Kelly. When you do that, you have no choice but to take the big guy. 

The Player: Big and fast (sometimes;-), but always leaves me wanting more? A lots of scouts really like him. Has great Triangle numbers, and he has great hands. If he can out it all together he has greatness in him. Has unique blend of excellent size and the ability to get open deep. When he is on he can look like Randy Moss running wide open deep. Could turn out to be the best deep threat to come out of this Draft. I have been comparing him to T.O. He is not the fastest guy on the field, but is big and strong, and has that unique knack for getting open down field. Has great hands and can snag the ball out of the air with one hand when playing well.

His rating is on the rise again, and it looks like if he is still on the Board, and Devin Thomas is gone, he will be a Redskin. But to me, he is a buyer beware player. He is excellent against the run, has great athleticism, but he is not a great Passrusher. He reminds me of Kevin Carter, who was a good Left D-End for a lot of years, but never a great Passrusher.

The Reason: Zorn is an Offensive coach whose top priority will be to help his QB mature. This pick will reveal how much power he has in the Organization and how much Snyder listens to him. The Redskins still need to help their young QB. Zorn is a West Coast guy and should be looking for a big WR here. They have plenty of small guys, Randle El and Santana Moss are good but very small. Kelly will slip to them here, because of his his hissy-fit about his forty time. But he sure looks like he is tailor-made for the West Coast Offense. When you ignore all the Pre-Draft events, and then run a 4.7 Forty at your Proday, you will be lucky to go in the Second Round. 

Second Choice: Phillip Merling DE 

22.

Cowboys

*Aqib Talib-  

CB  Kansas 

6-1, 180, 4.4

PR/KR, CB, WR, RB, S, NT, CB, DB, WR, OL

Key F.A. Signings:

Zach Thomas LB

Key F.A.  Loses:

Oliver Hoyte FB

Julius Jones RB

The Team: Dallas is getting very old at WR, and it looks like they will lose one or both of their starting WRs in a season or two. They have to pick up a Corner as well. I am not a big fan of Anthony Henry, but he played better last season and the team apparently is very happy with him. Jacques Reeves was addition by substation, as he stinks, but their is really nothing else left at Corner. It looks to me like they will be choosing between DeSean Jackson, Antoine Cason, and Aqib Talib here. The biggest area of need for this team is the return game. The good news Captain Egomaniac, Jerry Jones, has actually developed into a pretty good GM. Dallas has done well in the First Round, and I thought they had an excellent draft last season. I liked the trading of their Number One Pick, and still getting Spencer, and I liked both O-Tackles James Martin and Doug Free. He now has to prove he can do it without Parcells. 

The Player: I am not the biggest fan of Talib. And his value seems to be dissipating like pot smoke wafting out the window. I thought he looked awkward at the Combine and displayed questionable hips. As a top ten pick he is overrated. But, in the twenties or thirties he could be a good fit. He will take some time to develop, as he needs a LOT of work on his technique, footwork, and twisting his hips coming out of his backpedal. On the plus side, he has an excellent size and speed ratio, and he has excellent ball skills. He has the athleticism and instincts too stick to a receivers hips, sometimes. He likes to peek into the backfield, which helps him in zone, but hurts him in man coverage, as he loses sight of the WR and gets beat when he tries to read the QB to much, and by double moves, as we all saw Jody Nelson do. Is very aware in a zone, and I think needs to be in a zone-based system. The more man he plays the more he gets exposed. Had good production at Kansas that can't ignored. As a true Freshman he started 9 games and had 54 Tackles, 2 INTs, and 8 PBU. In 2--6 he had 42 Tackles, 6 INTS, and a nice 22 PBU. Last seaosn, he had 66 Tackles, 18 PBU, 5 INTs, and returned those 5 INTs for an astonishing 195 yards, that's almost 40 yards a return on INTs, which really shows what a great athlete he is. Holds value as a Returner. 

Is actually faster then Mike Jenkins, but not as refined. Looks to me like he could develop into a great Tampa Two Corner. Struggles in transition sometimes, and needs refinement on his footwork. But if he puts it all together he could be best Corner in this years draft. He can really break on the ball, but sometimes his aggressiveness hurts him on the double move. 

The Reason: They are apparently ready to take Felix Jones at 28. I still think they are going to take a NT prospects early, but CB is a big need. They must address CB with this pick if they are committed to Jones at 28. I think they need to pick up multiple Corners in this draft. I think a WR or NT, along with CB makes more sense for them in the First Round, but it is what it is. Aqib Talib would also be better served playing in a Tampa Two. He looks better in a Zone when he can read the QBs eyes and react to the ball. However, Talib is clearly the top rated Corner on the board. I think testing positive for weed three time, that's THREE times, is a major concern. I think he might drop right out of the First Round. However, the Cowboys need a Nickel Corner and some help at FS, two roles Talib looks like he can fill, and we all know Jones doesn't give a crap about character, just ask Pacman. 

Second Choice: DeSean Jackson WR

23.

Steelers

Kentwan Balmer- 

DT North Carolina

6-5, 305

CB, OT, OC, RB, OG, WR, DB, DB

Key F.A. Signings:

Mewelde Moore RB 

Key F.A.  Loses:

Alan Faneca OG

Ricardo Colclough CB

The Team: Word out of Pittsburgh is that they are locked onto Cherilus. Which makes since when you consider they need help at RT, as Willie Colon is more of a Guard, and a credible back up for Marvel Smith at LT.  I think they are in the midst of  decline. The loss of Cowher will be felt more and more as the season wears on. Tomlin is a good coach who is trying to be something he is not, Bill Cowher. As long as he continues this this team will continue to descend. He prefers the Tampa Two, and this team needs to switch over to make it his team instead of Cowher's old team. The big, two-gap 3-4 and the speed 4-3 Tampa Two are at the opposite ends of defensive Philosophies. Until Tomlin can seize control of the football operations, at least enough to install the type of defense that gave him his shot as a Head Coach, this team will continue to decline. Steelers had surprising season with new coach, but I still don't like their Corners. A pass rusher wouldn't hurt either. But, A big powerful RB to go with "Fast" Willie Parker is a Huge temptation. 

The Player: Balmer showed up at the Combine even bigger and showed off his great athleticism. However, he is still more promise then production. With his physical talent he should be in the top five with Dorsey and Ellis. In fact, he will test out better athletically then Dorsey and Ellis, but is not near the football player those two are. On the plus side his production finally increased to an acceptable level last season. In his first three season he totaled 34 Tackles. In his Senior Season he garnered 59 TKL, 9.5 TFL, and 3.5 Sacks. Not bad, but not great.

Late blooming athlete, who has the physical skills to be a great one. He has great strength, especially in the upper body. It will be interesting to see what he benches at the Combine. Doesn't move like a 300 pound guy, moves with the grace of a much smaller man. Is very smooth. Has excellent hands, uses them very well. Received excellent coaching in college. Reminds me a little of Richard Seymour, doesn't always look like the best effort player, because he is so smooth, but he plays at 100% all the time.

The Reason: Max Starks finally resigned, so they have time to pick up an O-Guard later in the Draft. Balmer is a top 15 pick physically who struggled in college a little. However he looks like he finally put it all together, and looks like a perfect Under-Tackle in a Tampa Two, or a 5-Technique DE in a 3-4. And I am always trying to give players who fit both schemes here. He could certainly help his Defense as a rookie as an interior Passrusher on passing downs. Plus he has the Speed and Quickness to develop into a 3-Technique D-Tackle, something none of the DT on their current roster can say. He is still more promise then production, but he has all the physical tools to be a great 3-4 D-End, and looks like he is finally putting all his great physical tool together. 

Second Choice: Lawrence Jackson DE 

 24.

Titans

Limas Sweed-  

WR Texas

6-4, 215, 4.40

WR, DE, S, TE, CB, DL, WR, OL, DL

F.A. Signings:

Alge Crumpler TE  

RB Chris Brown

Jake Scott OG

Jevon Kearse DE 

Key F.A.  Loses:

David Givens WR

Ben Troupe TE

Ben Hartsock TE

DE Antwan Odom

DE Travis Laboy

The Team: Titans have a huge hole at WR. There passing game is far worse then it needs to be. Right now Young is vastly underachieving. He went what the first 9 games with only 1 TD, that is pathetic. He ended the season with 9 TDs and 17 INTs. Having any kind of decent WR would be huge for his development. If they don't Limas Sweed with this pick whoever makes the draft decisions should be fired immediately. I have always wondered why teams would spend 50 million dollars on a young QB, and not draft any players he played with in college. Just having a familiar face in the locker room will help any rookie or second year player develop. Sweed played two season with Young at Texas, and they could both help each other transition into the NFL, as Young still is transitioning. Titans lost two DEs who combined for 14 sacks, and they must be replaced. in this draft. 

The Player: This is the cheap way out, I know, but he reminds me of Roy Williams, skinny, tall, and fast. Has good hands and can leap up and grab the pass that no one else can touch. Worked well with Vince Young as a Freshman and Sophomore where he caught 59 passes for 808 yards and 5 TDs, and averaged 15.1 YPR as a Sophomore. In 2006 he caught 46 passes for 801 Yards and 12 TDs, and averaged 17.4 YPR despite crappy QB play. Came into last season as a Preseason All-American, and looked good early. caught 19 passes for 306 yards and 3 TDs in 6 games, despite a painful wrist injury he acquired sometime in the Spring of 2007. He was finally overpowered by the pain and had wrist surgery on Oct. 16. Terrific athlete who sometimes looks like he can do anything on the field.    

The Reason: If Sweed is still on the Board, they cannot pass on him. Then they can address DE in Second Round.  

Second Choice: Quentin Groves OLB/DE

25.

Seahawks

*DeSean Jackson- 

WR/KR/PR California

6', 169, 4.31 (U)

 

OL, WR, TE, LB,  DB, TE, OL,  DE

Key F.A. Signings:

Julius Jones RB 

T.J. Duckett RB

Key F.A.  Loses:

D.J. Hackett

Kevin Bentley LB

Niko Koutouvides LB

The Team: Word out of Seattle is that Holmgren wants playmakers to help Hasselbeck. The Seahawks top needs are tough to figure. WR is in desperate repair, as both projected starters from last season, Deion Branch and DJ Hackett are gone, Branch had major knee surgery and is projected to miss most if not all of next season. Nate Burleson is an okay player, but at 49 million dollar player, he has to be defined as a disappointment. Bobby Engram, believe it or not, had his best season as a pro, and he is what 94? No, that was how many receptions he had last season, and he had his first season of over 1,000 in receiving yards. He can't keep it up forever as he is 35 and is never what one would a speed burner. Holmgren is high on Courtney Taylor and he should an increased role next season. They could could get by at WR, but getting a top Wide Out would be a big help. They have, maybe, the best group of starting Linebackers in the NFL, but they have virtually nothing behind them. They can get by at LB, but any kind of injury would devastate this team group as they have no viable back ups. They need a lot of help on the O-Line, but besides Brandon Albert their are no O-Guards worth taking in the First Round, and some think Albert is a LT prospect and not an OG. They have enough young player that are developing and enough old players who are hanging on to get by next season, but getting a sure starter would sure help this offense. Tight End however, needs to be addressed more then once, as Marcus Pollard (36) is all they have and he is all but done. However, their are no TEs worth taking in the First Round, and about ten TEs worth taking in the Second and Third Rounds.

The Player: Speed guy who will go early in this draft. Has good hands as well. Knows how to get open deep, and make the big game changing play. The California Offense just looked better when he was on the field. Reminds me of Ted Ginn Jr., only he's a little more skilled and just the slightest bit slower. He has the same tiny/skinny frame, likes the same deep patterns, and has that same sleek speed that scares defenses as Ginn. Great Punt Returner. In fact, he is such a scary PR that Army devised a bizarre Rugby-Punt, to under-punt the ball horribly so he couldn't return the punt. Like I said he has that On-field speed that scares his opponent. However, he is bafflingly inconsistent on and off the field, discipline will be his main concern. He will be their starting Kick Returner, Punt Returner, and Slot WR.

The Reason: Holmgren wants play makers and Jackson certainly is a play maker. He will give them some vastly needed speed, as all their WR are good but slow. He also holds tremendous value as a KR and PR. Plus, he has excellent hands. 

First Choice: Trevor Law DT

26.

Jaguars

Phillip Merling-

DE Clemson

6-5, 270

S, DT, DE, LB, QB, OL, SS, LB

Key F.A. Signings:

Troy Williamson WR

Jerry Porter WR 

Drayton Florence CB

Key F.A.  Loses:

Marcus Stroud DT

Bobby McCray DE

Sammy Knight S

The Team: If Merling slip[s to them they will take. However, they will regret passing on Lawrence Jackson. Jackson is a better Passrusher than Merling and Cambell now, in college, and in the future.      

The loss of Marcus Stroud leaves a mammoth hole in the middle of a D-Line that needed some youth to begin with. Reggie Hayward had as many injuries, 3.5, as sacks last season. Bobby McCray looked very old last season. Paul Spicer had more injuries then Sacks last season. If they can find another Pro Bowl DT, and everything goes perfectly this unit will be a strong veteran unit led by John Henderson. Things never go perfectly.  I still think they need a Safety. They also really need a Corner. When teams spread them out and forced their Corners to cover they were picked apart. 

The Player: Is really rising and some think he was a guaranteed first rounder until hernia surgery. Had an impressive 78 Tackles his senior year, leading all D-Linemen on his team, and led his team with 17 TFL. Had 7 sacks, and was able to pressure the QB consistently. Was named ACC Defensive Player of the Week 3 times. I watched his game against Florida State this year where he had a terrific game and was named ACC D-Lineman of he week. Then I saw him dominate against B.C. He had Two Sacks and looked unblockable at some points. Still, I hate placing D-Ends in the First Round who are not great Passrushers. Merling is not a great Passrusher, he only had 7 Sacks last season (2 against BC, 2 against Florida State, and only 3 in the other 12 games), and only 12 career Sacks in three seasons. However, he is a high motor player with exceptional size, and is excellent against the run. May be better off adding weight and moving inside to DT like Cory Redding. 

The Reason:  They had enough Run stuffers, before they lost Stroud, so they might still be able to afford to add a pure Passrusher. They are looking for a D-Tackle to start building this team inside-out. They have a desperate need for a Left Tackle, but can afford to wait a few picks.

Second Choice: Quentin Groves Passrusher

27.

Chargers

Gosder Cherilus- 

OT B.C.

6-6 3/8, 314 

RT, NT, S, CB, RB, OG, OT

Key F.A. Signings:

Derek Smith LB

Key F.A.  Loses:

Lorenzo Neal FB

Marlon McCree S

Fernando Bryant CB

Shane Olivea ORT

The Team: The Chargers really don't have a bunch of needs. They want to get an O-Linemen or two to help with depth on the Right side of the line. If the Chargers could pick up a young NT to back up and develop behind Jamal Williams they would be in great shape. Their second appear good, but their are some holes to fill. They need a new Nickel Corner. They also need a Safety to help push their starting Safeties Marlon McCree and Clinton Hart, or hopefully push both out of the starting line up with the help of last years Second round pick Eric Weddle.  

The Player: Mature, smart, and studious prospect who will succeed in the film room as well as on the field. Super hard worker and leader who will do all the big things and little things to succeed, including helping teammates. Has a Pro Bowl type blend of size, strength, long arms, and meanness. Reminds me off Flozell Adams, in that he looks and plays like a Right Tackle, but might have the long arms and feet to develop into a Left Tackle. I think he is as NFL ready as any Tackle in this draft to step in at Right Tackle. He is already a terrific run blocker, and made less mistakes in pass protection last season as the season wore on. Played Right Tackle early in his career and Left Tackle last season.

The Reason: The Chargers really only have one big need. Word out of San Diego is that Smith wants to replace Jeromey Clary and Shane Olivea. So they see Right Tackle as their Number One Need. If Red Bryant can get into shape, he has all the physical tools. This could be the perfect situation for him, as he will have time to learn behind Williams.   

Second Choice: Red Bryant NT

28.

Cowboys

*Felix Jones-

 RB/KR Arkansas

5-10, 207, 4.4, 35.5, 13 Reps

CB, WR, RB, S, NT, DB, WR, OL

Key F.A. Signings:

Zach Thomas LB 

Key F.A.  Loses:

Oliver Hoyte FB 

Julius Jones RB

The Team: Everybody and his brother has Felix Jones going here, and I understand it makes sense. Still drafting a Third Down Back in the First Round is a little tricky. But left only with the overrated Barber they may have no choice. Now, I'm not saying Marion Barber is a bad back, in fact I thought he had a great season last year and deserves to be a starter this year. Plus, I thought the best run I saw all last season was his run in the end zone against the Pats, when 10 Patriot defenders hit him and he kept going. But, he shouldn't have been a Pro Bowler last season. When was the last time a back up was in the Pro Bowl? Never. He ran for 975 Yards and a terrific 4.8 YPC. When was the last time a Running Back was in the Pro Bowl who rush for more then 1,000 yards? The Sixties? The Seventies? Plus, with power running style he is destined to be dinged-up a lot. You give him 40-50 % more carries, and I'm not sure he can last the season.

The Player: He is a blaze of speed on the field. Shifty and fast and hard to touch on the field. Great returner and a natural pass catcher. A misunderstood player, when I saw Draftnics had him listed at over 6' tall and 220 pounds, I wonder if anyone had watched him play. On the field he looks small, and anyone who had watched play would mot list him as over 6' tall or over 200 pounds. I admit I was surprised when he showed up at the Combine at 207 pounds. He is a slight back, built to be a Third Down Back, and he reminds me of Michael Westbrook. Benched 225 pounds only 13 times at Combine, that has to worry some people. Started only 11 games in three seasons at Arkansas. Never carried the ball more then 154 times in a season. Last seaosn he ran 133 times for 1,162 yards and 11 TDs, and he caught 16 passes for 176 Yards. Production is inflated because caches at Arkansas did a good job of running trick plays, misdirection, and toss sweeps when he was in at RB and McFadden was in at QB. Defenses where so preoccupied with McFadden, that when he gave the ball to Jones he was in the second level before most of the Defenders knew what was happening. A buyer beware player. Still, he has that on field speed that scares defenses, and he averaged an astonishing 8.7 YPC last season.  

The Reason: Not much to say here, the DNA evidence is in, the dye is cast, the alumni have sent in their contributions. GO HOGS! 

Second Choice: Quentin Groves DE/OLB

29.

49ers

Quentin Groves-  

DE Auburn

6-3, 245, 4.55, 30 

OL, QB, OLB, OL, NT, DE,  DB,  WR, OL

F.A. Signings:

Bryant Johnson WR

Isaac Bruce WR

Deshaun Foster RB

Justin Smith DE  

Dontarrious Thomas LB

J.T. O'Sullivan QB

Key F.A.  Loses:

Derek Smith LB

Darrell Jackson WR

Marques Douglas DE 

The Team: The QB battle should be good Alex Smith is Battle Shaun Hill for the starting position. Alex Smith was the Number One pick in the Draft, so this Shaun Hill guy must be pretty good. Oh wait, he was an undrafted free agent, and he's battling the number one pick i the draft for a starting position. This is a good representation of why having the top pick in the Draft can be detriment. They would be better off grabbing Brohm here, but they can't because Alex Smith is still owed to much money. When I look for a need position I really have trouble finding one. This team is pretty set at every position except O-Line. Then I start thinking why were they so bad last season? I can only say, because of the complete failure at the QB position. Alex Smith was horrid last season, Trent Differ and Chris Weinke not much better. All three were out played by an undrafted rookie free agent. Shaun Hill should be battling Brain Brohm for a starting position, instead he has to outplay Smith, because the organization needs Smith to be the starter to justify his salary. Now last season the WR stunk, but they stunk for Hill as well, and he won games. They even hired the Mad Scientist Mike Martz, to see if could brew up some production out of Smith, and even got the message loud and clear, Alex Smith must be the starter, as he is already talking about quickening Smith release, and has not mentioned Hill. I don't like the O-Linemen left in the First Round. Though Anthony Collins and Chilo Rachal could certainly help this team. Joe Staley was the best O-Lineman on the team last season and he is moving to LT. Larry Allen and Justin Smiley are gone. They are talking abut moving Adam Snyder to LG or RT, he is okay, at best, and that still leaves one hole that must be filled. They have a ton of Linebackers, but not a lot of production. When I look at the LB depth I move on to the next position, but when I look at the production I take a second look. The 3-4 is an interesting scheme, but when you have two Outside Linebacking Passrushers, it can be destructive. Parys Haralson is a better player then I thought he would be, but he had just 2.5 Sacks last season though he started 11 Games. Tully Banta-Cain is more promise then production as he contributed just 3.5 Sacks, plus he is a liability against the run and a bit of nut case. Manny Lawson has been when more promise then production as he can't stay healthy. Adding a serious passrusher to this crew would do San Fran's D wonders. Remember Mike Nolan is a 3-4 Coach, and all 3-4 coaches love there Outside hybrid passrushers. 

The Player: Groves just had off season Heart surgery. The good news is that his condition is better then 100% healed, and he may be a better player physically now then before the surgery. He had a condition that caused his heart to beat to rapidly, and now it won't do that. However, it was heart surgery a few weeks before the Draft, so I just can't see any team taking him in the First Round.  

Speed player. Terrific athlete. Primary position was as DE, but played a lot standing up, and dropped into coverage more then I thought acceptable. Had two serious injuries he played through, toe and shoulder. Had 9.5 Sacks as a Junior playing DE. Had 3 Sacks as a Senior, where they kept moving him further and further from the line. Showed inconsistent effort as a Senior. Teams have to decide if that was caused by injury or lack of heart. Attempting not to sound pathetic, I hurt my toe a month ago and it is still killing me, so I am giving him the benefit of the doubt and saying that it was injuries that caused him to look so bad and not a lack of wanting to play, as is the assumption of some. His value is his ability to blast off the line like a bullet with a grudge. He looses value when he is caught by O-Linemen, and is stalemated to much. However, if you need a Pure Passrusher he is top five on the list in this years Draft.  

The Reason: 49ers will have a very difficult time passing on a O-Lineman. Larry Allen is older then the dinosaurs and probably will retire, Justin Smiley is long gone, Bass and Snyder are all they have left. Groves will be very difficult to pass here. A pure Passrusher would really help this defense. Plus, Nolan is a 3-4 coach, and we all know 3-4 coaches like Linebackers like fat guys like ice cream. Oh that reminds me I'm out of ice cream;-) 

Second Choice: Brain Brohm QB

30.

Packers

Antoine Cason-

CB Arizona

6', 190 

TE, S, DB, LB, RB, WR, OL

Key F.A. Signings:

 

Key F.A.  Loses:

Bubba Franks TE 

Corey Williams DT

The Team: I like the O-Line, but the O-Guards really didn't play well most of the season. Their biggest hole on defense appears to be Strongside Linebacker as Brady Poppinga gives it his all, but is limited. Have good young RB who came out of nowhere, but he needs help. I also am not impressed with their Safeties, and both starting Corners are moving up in the their 30s. Packers secondary is looking old fast, they couldn't cover anybody against the Giants. I liked Aaron Rouse when came out, but if can't beat out Nick Collins, Charlie Paprah, and Atari Bigby who are average at best, then he is not the player I saw at the Senior Bowl. They really need a Safety or two how can come in and start.   

The Player: Cason is a bit of a sleeper pick. Reminds me of Darrelle Revis from last year. Like Revis, since he stepped onto the field as a Freshman he was the best Corner at Arizona. And I believe, that just like Revis, when he steps on the field as a Pro he will be the best Corner on the team. Just a solid player. Cason was a great player in College. It looks like he has the speed to be a good Corner in the Pros. He has good size, toughness, and tackling ability. He has the pure cover skills all Corners crave.

The Reason: The weakest position in their defense appears to be Strongside Linebacker. However, with Mayo gone I think they will address the Secondary. They like Cason, and more importantly I like Cason.

Second Choice: Dan Connor LB

31.

Giants

Dan Connor- 

LB Penn ST   

6-2.5, 233, 4.6

LB, CB, S, LB, WR, DT, LB, DB, TE

Key F.A. Signings:

Sammy Knight S

Key F.A.  Loses:

Gibril Wilson S

Kawika Mitchell LB

Reggie Torbor LB

William Joseph DT

The Team: The Giants need defense more then anything. But, getting your Franchise QB help is never a mistake. I just don't think they need a O-Tackle. David Diehl has played well at LT, really better then anybody could have expected, and Guy Whimper looks ready to start at LT to me. Their crop of Linebackers has been ravaged by free agency, losing two starters. They are planning to move Kilauea back to D-End. Linebacker must be addressed in this years Draft

The Player: Connors has great instincts, toughness, and production. If he can play in a system with big DT in front of him he could be a tackling machine. I have become a big Dan Connor fan. He is a guided missile on the field. He is faster and more physical then Paul Posluszny. He has fantastic instincts and intelligence. He is a terrific tackler, and a fantastic athlete. What sets him apart is his ability to read what the offense is doing, and break on the ball with amazing speed and accuracy. I recorded his Bowl Game, and focused in on him through the whole game. What impressed me most was a few plays. The first was a swing pass off to his left, he was lined up in the middle, read the play, swiveled his hips and exploded in a straight line to the right sideline and some how got in on the tackle, amazing speed, just a great display of great football instincts. The other, was three times in the first half, he was lined up in the middle, in his extra low stance, and right before the snap he stood up. You could see him staring into the backfield. He took a single step forward to get a better look, then turned and ran to his left like a guided missile, BEFORE the snap. Obviously, he saw something on tape, like when the RB is in his stance, and is suppose to run behind the Right Tackle, he moves his left foot forward to get a better plant, or something alone those lines, because all three times he took off before the snap and split the Right Guard and the Right Tackle and met the RB just as he tried to run through that hole, just a great display of great football intelligence. He acts with impressive decisiveness. I love the way he plants and turns and gets to full speed in one or two steps. He has great feet and hips and turns and runs like a safety, and unfortunately that is my main concern, he looks like a safety on the field. Also, while his backpedal is effective, he moves backwards in coverage with great speed, it is spastic and ugly. Instead of switching feet in a quick backpedal, he spastically hops backwards with both feet hopping up-and-down at the same time, and looks like a Mexican jumping bean. The funny part is that he gets back into position with amazing speed and quickness, and is really exceptional in coverage, it just looks horrible awkward. But (okay here's the big but), he just looks SOOOO Small on the field. I would be shock if he is over 6-1 225 pounds. I did notice when he is in his two point stance he gets very low, lower then any other player on the field. So maybe he just plays with exceptional knee bend and with an extraordinarily low base. I have already said, if he is 0ver 6-2 and over 230 pounds the Pats should take him. 

The Reason: My highest rated player still on the board at a need position. Connors should go much higher. But I just couldn't find a place for him. Giants will strike gold if he last this long.. 

Second Choice: Antoine Cason CB

Second Round

Third Round

If you have any questions or comments feel free to email me:

patsfanmock12@yahoo.com