2008 NFL Mock Draft – Round 1 Write Ups

Full Mock Draft review write ups below:

  1. Miami Dolphins (1-15)
    Needs: MLB, OT, G, DT, CB, QB, LB
    I would pick: Glenn Dorsey, DT, LSU
    They will pick: Matt Ryan, QB, Boston College

    I had a tough time deciding between two guys here, but one of my options wasn’t Matt Ryan. I opted for Glenn Dorsey because of his ability to be a special player at a position that doesn’t have a whole lot of playmakers running the show. He’d be great eating up blockers in a 3-4, and he’d be one heck of a force in a 4-3. He’s strong, very fast, and extremely good at using blockers’ momentum against them. He plays hurt, he plays tough, and he’s everything you want to build your defense around. However, I almost went with McFadden, because I think he’s going to be special. Ronnie Brown is very good, and he’ll make a full recovery, but it’d be very hard for me to pass on D-Mac’s promise. The bottom line is, there’s not room for two Top 2 picks at running back on the same roster, not enough carries and not enough money. The Dolphins will probably go with Matt Ryan. They’ll do so because they don’t have a starting quarterback right now, and Ryan has all the tools to be a starter in the NFL. I don’t think Ryan is worth a first overall pick, but I rarely think quarterbacks are. Ryan does have all the intangibles though, and those are often more important to me than arm strength or big college numbers. What did Ryan do with the talent around him? He elevated everyone else, and he won football games against very good opposition. He’s my top quarterback in the draft, but I still think the Fins are making a mistake by passing on a special defensive line force that doesn’t come around every year. There will be another Matt Ryan next season, and the season after that.
  2. St. Louis Rams (3-13)
    Needs: CB, DE, G, OT, OLB
    I would pick: Chris Long, DT, LSU
    They will pick: Jake Long, OT, Michigan

    This is the only other team in the Top 10, that if I were the headman, I would leave McFadden on the board. Jake Long is the best offensive lineman in the draft, and he’s expected to be a good one. I personally don’t think he’s as good as Joe Thomas, but he’s definitely got perennial starting tackle written all over him. Now, the Rams still have Orlando Pace expected to return, but how well has that option worked out lately? Sure, O is a great option when he’s in, but the bottom line is, his health is suspect. Long could at least be a beast of a guard while he waits to take Pace’s spot. There’s nothing this team can do if they don’t have protection. Marc Bulger isn’t going to escape even the slowest of pass-rushers, and Steven Jackson isn’t going to look like Barry Sanders anytime soon. The Rams could go defensive line with this pick, but they’ll opt with protecting two of their biggest investments, Jackson and Bulger. I would go with Chris Long because his attitude is infectious, and that would be a good thing for this defense. I think there are solid offensive line prospects that can be had in Round 2, where I don’t think you’ll find a guy like Long anywhere else in this draft.
  3. Oakland Raiders (4-12)
    Needs: OT, DT, WR, DE, RB
    I would pick: Darren McFadden, RB, Arkansas
    They will pick: Darren McFadden, RB, Arkansas

    Don’t buy into any mock draft that has McFadden lasting longer than the 3rd overall selection. I don’t care who is picking here; McFadden will definitely be off the board by the time pick 4 is on the clock. I have the Raiders picking 3rd because obviously Atlanta doesn’t have the luck it takes to win the coin toss, and in turn, get another franchise player that will make the team millions of dollars. Right? Not enough luck. As for the Raiders, they will begin building around a freak of nature at quarterback and one of the best running back prospects to come out of the college ranks in years. This guy makes Reggie Bush look like a scat-back. McFadden can do it all, and that includes making LT-like touchdown passes out of the backfield. The Arkansas product has none of the injury concerns that Adrian Peterson had with all of the upside. Like I said, I will be stunned if either Oakland or Atlanta (#3 belongs to one of those two teams) passes on the right to start this elite runner. Glenn Dorsey might be hard for the Raiders to pass on from a football standpoint. I mean, Justing Fargas ran well enough last season, and they could resign him and use Rhodes as part of a 1-2 punch, but as a business man and a lover of speed and explosive football players, how can Al Davis pass on McFadden’s star-power?
  4. Kansas City Chiefs (4-12)
    Needs: OT, DE, C, WR, CB
    I would pick: Chris Long, DE, Virginia
    They will pick: Brian Brohm, QB, Louisville

    Another quarterback hunting team that isn’t willing to play their cards and take the best player available. Chris Long is going to be an All-Pro fixture before his career is over, and while Brohm has the make up of a starter, I just don’t see the kid becoming an elite signal caller at the next level. He doesn’t make his decisions fast enough. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a better option than either of the guys they have in Kansas City right now, but I don’t think he’s all that much better than Todd Collins, Kurt Warner, or another veteran that the Chiefs could try under center. Brohm has the upside, but do the Chiefs really need to waste a 1st round pick, 4th overall, on a quarterback when they could draft and groom one in the later rounds? I don’t think they should, but I think they will. Now, I’m going out on a limb here and expecting Brohm to have very solid tryouts, smarts, interviews, and senior game – but I think this kid’s a good enough passer to make that happen.
  5. Atlanta Falcons (4-12)
    Needs: QB, OT, DT, RB, S
    I would pick: Glenn Dorsey, DT, LSU
    They will pick: Glenn Dorsey, DT, LSU

    With two of the top quarterbacks and Darren McFadden already off the board, the Falcons can’t help but make a good pick here. That’s right, all their “stupid” possibilities are gone, and now they’ll have to pick a player like Dorsey who will help transform their pass rush and defensive motor to the point of respectability. Poor bastards. Their bad luck and inability to win themselves a good coin flip and a spot in the McFadden sweepstakes will eventually allow them to pick the right player after all. I honestly think they can do all right with Leftwich at quarterback and a season of learning a new coaches’ system under his belt. Lefty did good things at Jacksonville, and I think too many people are writing him off because he didn’t produce in his limited opportunities with the Falcons – but he’s shown he’s a winner. Regardless, if the 1st round QBs and McFadden are off the board, like they are in this Mock’s case, I see the Falcons making a good pick that will help their defense immediately. Even bad offenses can win with good defenses. Sedrick Ellis, Chris Long, and possibly Calais Campbell could also be taken here if they aren’t lucky enough to see Dorsey slip. Long has all the tools, and would be a great option opposite Jonathan Abrahm, but if Dorsey is on the board at 5, lock him up in a Falcons uniform.
  6. New York Jets (4-12)
    Needs: WR, NT, ILB, G, OLB
    I would pick: Chris Long, DE, Virginia
    They will pick: Chris Long, DE, Virginia

    If Chris Long is available with the 6th pick, the Jets better make this pick in less than a minute. Long has all the ability to cause pressure off the end and help shut down the run, two things the Jets need a lot of help in doing. Chris Long may not fit perfectly in the Jets’ scheme, but his ability to play football can’t be questioned. He’s the best player left on the board, and he’s probably the safest pick as well. That combination doesn’t come around all that often on draft day, so this choice should be easy for the Jets.
  7. New England Patriots (16-0) via San Francisco
    Needs: LB, CB/S depth,
    I would pick: Vernon Gholston, DE, OSU
    They will pick: Aqib Talib, CB, Kansas

    It’s not like the Patriots to reach for a player, but it is like them to take a game changer immediate impact player with their first few picks in the draft. I think Talib is that kind of guy, so I can’t consider their decision here a bad thing. With Asante Samuel almost certainly out the door, Talib can come right in and help a secondary that will be missing one of their best cover guys. Talib not only has great speed, leaping ability, and ball skills – he has the versatility that always seems to attract Patriotic Brass. Yes, Talib showed he could play offense if needed, return punts, he’s a playmaker. The Patriots don’t have all that many needs, they are 18-0 as we speak, but a versatile corner with size and special ability can find a home with any team.
  8. Baltimore Ravens (5-11)
    Needs: CB, QB, OLB, DE, OT
    I would pick: Ryan Clady, DE, Boise State
    They will pick: Vernon Gholston, DE, OSU

    I think Clady is going to be a cornerstone left tackle in the NFL, and the fact that Baltimore is losing one of the best of all time (Ogden’s probably retirement) should help Baltimore make Clady the pick. However, a lot will depend on their new direction and coaching plans. I can see the team missing what Adalius Thomas did for them, and going with the multi-talented Vernon Gholston with this pick. Clady has his skeptics, and it’s possible that Baltimore’s staff will be one of them. Gholston doesn’t have many scouts that don’t trust in his ability to make a difference. This team has relied upon their defense for years, and now age is starting to become a factor. With Gholston, you would have an athletic freak of nature to pair with Terrell Suggs. That combination, and the terror it could cause, could very well be too much to pass up for the Ravens new staff. I see reason for both picks, and I just have a feeling that Baltimore will pretend that one of their back-ups can come in and take over Ogden’s spot. They’ll obviously be mistaken, but that doesn’t make Vernon a bad pick.
  9. Cincinnati Bengals (7-9)
    Needs: DT, LB, OT, DE, TE, discipline
    I would pick: Sedrick Ellis, DT, USC
    They will pick: Sedrick Ellis, DT, USC

    The Bengals need so much help on defense that anywhere is a good place to start. Getting a guy like Sedrick Ellis is one of the better places to begin, however. Ellis has a nice motor for a huge defensive tackle, and the Bengals need help up front in a hurry. Ellis ended the season well, and proved to be a pass rushing force as well as a top-notch defender against the run. Ellis doesn’t get all the hype that Glenn Dorsey receives, but he’s not that far behind the big tackle from LSU. Ellis uses his speed and athleticism to fool guards and centers, and split double team after double team during the last two seasons. Ellis does it all, and if he falls to the Bengals, they’ll be lucky to have him.
  10. New Orleans Saints (7-9)
    Needs: CB, DT, MLB, TE, OLB
    I would pick: Mike Jenkins, CB, South Florida
    They will pick: Mike Jenkins, CB, South Florida

    The Saints better lace their boots up right and pick defense all weekend. That “speedy receiver” BS isn’t going to fly with a lot of people this time around, and something tells me that if they go that direction again, Sean Peyton’s tenure in New Orleans won’t last all that long. Jenkins is the pick, in my opinion, and I’m going out on a limb here when I say the Saints will agree. Jenkins has the size and ability to help the Saints’ secondary, and that is definitely a group that needs to be reworked and retooled if the Saints want to get back to the playoffs. I think Talib and Jenkins are as close to a toss up as top corners get, and both would be a great addition for the Saints. New Orleans has baffled me in the past, but they don’t have much of a choice come draft time. Their defense couldn’t stop anybody, and that’s why, despite their solid offensive totals, they won just 7 games. Mike Jenkins didn’t play at a huge school, but if you watch this kid for just a few games, you’ll see that he has the makings of an impact corner at the next level.
  11. Buffalo Bills (7-9)
    Needs: CB, TE, WR, LB, DT
    I would pick: Kentwan Balmer, DT, North Carolina
    They will pick: DeSean Jackson, WR, California

    This is a talented kid, but not a good pick for the Bills. They once again ignore some more important positional needs to try and put another playmaker on the offensive side of the ball. For a team that needs to stop the run with a little more effectiveness, and just stop allowing touchdowns so often, you’d think defense would be a little more important. I’m hoping, because I kind of have a soft spot for the Bills since they lost back-to-back-to-back-to-back Super Bowls a while back, that they pull their heads out of their collective tail-pipes and take a young stud defensive run stuffer with loads of talent here. I’m guessing they’ll take the electric playmaker route, and that will only mean one more year of defensive frustration out of the young Bills.
  12. Denver Broncos (7-9)
    Needs: OT, DT, S, MLB, G
    I would pick: Ryan Clady, DE, Boise State
    They will pick: Kenny Phillips, S, MiamiT

    he Broncos haven’t had as much success on the ground lately, and that’s because they need more difference makers on the offensive line. However, passing up on a premier offensive tackle prospect for immediate help in the secondary isn’t as stupid as it sounds. Lynch is getting charred as we speak, and for his own sake I hope he is nearing the end of his career. The man hits way too hard and lays himself on the line every single week. I have so much respect for him, but the Broncos might need to look for some help in the draft. It’s unlike Splinter to go gung ho after a safety this early, but Phillips could be the versatile playmaker this team needs. I would go with line help on either side of the ball, Calais Campbell (DE, Miami) would be a great choice if they went that side of the ball, but Clady has great size and the athleticism linemen need for Bronco-ball. Anyway, I think the Broncos get a little flashy here, and go for the kid that makes all the plays. But one of these days they’ll have to go after some beasts on the line, that’s where games are won and lost.
  13. Carolina Panthers (7-9)
    Needs: QB, WR, DE, OLB, OT
    I would pick: Calais Campbell, DE, Miami
    They will pick: Calais Campbell, DE, Miami

    Please, pair this young beast up with Julius Peppers and watch the opposition do their best to game plan around to super talented ends with too much size and athleticism to spare. Word on the curb is that Mike Rucker is going to retire, and that would even make this pick make more sense. Many will say that the Panthers should shoot for a quarterback (my uncle for example) but I just don’t see it. The Panthers need to win now if Fox wants to keep his job, and I don’t like Woodson’s release enough to see him going here. A quarterback right here would be a project player, and like I said, this team is set up to win right now. They need help defensively, that is obvious with their failure to meet expectations all season long. Campbell is too skilled to pass up for a team in need.
  14. Chicago Bears (7-9)
    Needs: QB, OT, DT, G, RB
    I would pick: Ryan Clady, OT, Boise State
    They will pick: Kentwan Balmer, DT, North Carolina

    I know, they need a quarterback, and thus they will make Andre’ Woodson their man. Come on now, it’s not that simple. In fact, this used to be a team that didn’t need a quarterback to win. Remember those good old days? They weren’t that long ago. In fact, they are still around. Rex might not be the answer, hell, there might not be a guy on this roster that is the answer – but they can still win games, and it all starts with help on the offensive and defense lines. Both were brutal this season, and both need help. Clady would give the Bears a boost at OT, and that would in turn make everything on offensive run with a little more efficiency. But I think the Bears will go with defense to start, and be yet another team that passes on one of the most athletic O-linemen in the draft. But, Balmer is a super-talented defensive tackle that played on a bad college team. That means he got the oppositions best double team every single night, and he still looked good all season long. The Bears need a guy that can do the dirty work and keep blockers off of Urlacher and company. I like the Balmer pick, but think Clady has a chance to be a star. Either one is better than a last chance gasp at a starting quarterback.
  15. Detroit Lions (7-9)
    Needs: OT, G, CB, S, DE
    I would pick: Ryan Clady, OT, Boise State
    They will pick: Derrick Harvey, DE, Florida

    I know the Lions rarely prove to be an intelligent breed of rich people when making athletic decisions, but they have to make this pick if Clady is still on the board. I know Jake Long is the biggest baddest hombre on the O-line prospect list, but I honestly think Clady has more room to grow and a higher top line. The Lions were absolutely terrible running the ball this season, and even though a lot has to do with Doctor Crazy Martz calling the plays, you can’t look at game film and tell me that this offense doesn’t need help on the line. I know this team needs help on defense as well (31st ranked pass defense), but that very well may work itself out if the Lions just spend more effort trying to control the clock. It doesn’t matter though, attempts to talk sense into these people are futile, and they will almost surely go for a flashy pick here instead. (See almost all past drafts) But, there is no way I can publish a mock draft that has the Lions taking Rashard Mendenhall, so I’m going to pretend, for just a second, that Detroit has a clue about life now, and will ignore that urge to make a dumb pick, and just get better up front like the desperately need to do. However, they never do what I think they’ll do, so I’m going out on a limb and saying they’ll ignore Clady to get help on the defensive line first. I don’t think the value is there, but Derrick Harvey is a pass rushing specialist freak of nature that could help the Lions immediately. He’s only 245lbs, but he’s long, fast, and super athletic.
  16. Arizona Cardinals (8-8)
    Needs: OLB, CB, TE, RB, DE
    I would pick: Rashard Mendenhall, RB, Illinois
    They will pick: Keith Rivers, LB, USC

    Believe it or not, Rashard Mendenhall could be the answer here, but I think the Cardinals will roll with Edgerrin James one more season, if only to draft a position they need more than running back. The reason I’d take Mendenhall is because I think he’ll be special. He attacks the hole like Ryan Grant, but this kid is faster. He makes speedy defenses look slow, and he overpowers tacklers at the point of attack. He had a great bowl game and a great season, especially when you think about the lack of passing attack Illinois had all season. I love Edge, but running backs careers end to fast, and Edge has a lot of mileage on those knees. Rashard could learn from a pros pro, and the Cards would have a stud runner for the not so distant future. However, like I said, I don’t think the Cardinals will waste a 1st round pick on running back when they have Edge and some decent backups. I think the Cardinals will go after a bigger need, and pluck Keith Rivers with their 16th pick. I know this is a bit of a reach, but Rivers does things the right way. I think he’ll test out better than expected, and the fact that he’s always making plays will help him in the eyes of Ken Whisenhunt and Ken’s staff. This is a reach, I know, but it’s not a mistake.
  17. Minnesota Vikings (8-8)
    Needs: DE, WR, S, QB, TE
    I would pick: Reggie Smith, CB/S, Oklahoma
    They will pick: Malcom Kelly, WR, Oklahoma

    The Vikings will pretend that wide receiver is their problem, but I have to be honest, I think they are just fine at that spot. I would take Reggie Smith, put him wherever he can make the most plays, and win two more football games in 2008 because of it. Yes, the Vikings struggled in the secondary as the season moved forward, and that had a great deal to do with their losses. But Kelly is a nice prospect with good size and speed. He catches the ball and will help make things happen for the Vikings, but he’s not the right choice. It’s unfortunate, but sometimes NFL Brassies get confused about what a team needs because they look at where the team lacked production. In everybody’s eyes, the Vikings lacked passing efficiency, but to blame that on the receiving corps is a little much in my opinion. This team had youth at quarterback all year long, and that was the biggest reason for passing problems. If they get smart, they’ll take the best secondary piece available in Round 1, and go from there. The way it is, I think they’ll take Kelly.
  18. Houston Texans (8-8)
    Needs: CB, G, WR, S, OT
    I would pick: Ryan Clady, OT, Boise State
    They will pick: Ryan Clady, OT, Boise State

    The Texans draft smart, and they need one of the best offensive tackle projects in the draft to help keep their stars healthy. Sure, they need a running back, because obviously Ahman Green isn’t ever going to be healthy again – but there are plenty of running backs that would help the Texans in this draft, and there’s only one elite offensive tackle prospect left on the board, and it’s only straight luck that they get him here. Clady can do it all, and has proven that against elite competition over the last couple of years. The Texans are too smart to pick a running back when instant help in their most needed position is right smack in front of them. This pick is a no-brainer if Clady is on the board this late. The thought the Houston just can’t get away without a “franchise 1st round running back” is absurd. The Broncos have proven for years, if you have the right group up front, and a scheme that works with a select style, your running game can succeed without that MVP runner.
  19. Philadelphia Eagles (9-7)
    Needs: OT, S, WR, LB, TE
    I would pick: Jeff Otah, OT, Pittsburgh
    They will pick: Sam Baker, OT, USC

    Pick your favorite here, I guess, but I see Otah as a better pro tackle than Sam Baker. I know, Baker is a California boy and he gets all that hype because he’s anchored USC’s line for a few years – but Otah is the bigger, badder, more dominant force on the line of scrimmage, and that’s how I see it. I actually wouldn’t be surprised if the Eagles do something completely off-base here, but seeing them try to pass protect this season made me a little uneasy, and I can only imagine that Andy Reid and company feel the same. The Eagles need more of a force on the line of scrimmage in both pass and run blocking, and while I like Otah more, Baker seems to be the consensus higher rated player of the two. Either one would help the Eagles offensive line woes, they need to replace some age with a little youth, and this pick should get them on the right foot.
  20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9-7)
    Needs: OT, WR OLB, CB, QB
    I would pick: Jeff Otah, OT, Pittsburgh
    They will pick: Jeff Otah, OT, Pittsburgh

    Three offensive tackles in a row? Here’s the deal, almost every team in the league could use some help on the offensive line. The way I figure, Philadelphia will make Tampa’s pick for them. They could really use a top prospect at tackle, as their lack of youth and explosiveness in the passing game forces them to run the ball a lot. Earnest Graham has proven to be more than capable if Cadillac Williams struggles with his attempted comeback, but Otah would only help the cause. He’s a monster of a man, and he’s athletic for the position. Not only that, but he had his best games against the toughest competition, which is a great thing for an offensive lineman, or any player for that matter. Otah is a beast, and he fits perfectly into the Bucs system.
  21. Washington Redskins (9-7)
    Needs: WR, DE, S, OT, CB
    I would pick: Lawrence Jackson, DE, USC
    They will pick: Limas Sweed, WR, Texas

    Sweed has a lot of things going for him, and I can’t argue with the Redskins getting a receiver over 5’9″, but I really think they could make a great pick here by taking Jackson from USC. They won’t, and they probably will grab the big, athletic receiver from Texas if he’s on the board, but I think Sweed is a reach here. But he is a great athlete with decent speed as a 6’4″, 220lb receiver. I don’t know why the Redskins have insisted on miniature receivers all these years, but Sweed could really add something to the outside game that could definitely help a young quarterback like Jason Campbell. It will be interesting to see where the Redskins go with this pick, because obviously they’ll have a new head coach, and likely a new offensive game plan. My next mock will probably have a little more about he Redskins pick, but right now there’s too many questions, and they definitely need help on the defensive line and a big playmaking wide receiver. So, we’ll see.
  22. Dallas Cowboys (13-3) (from 10-6 Cleveland)
    Needs: CB, WR, OT, ILB, RB
    I would pick: Dan Conner, LB, Penn State
    They will pick: Felix Jones, RB, Arkansas

    I don’t believe the “Dallas needs a running back” hype, but apparently, somewhere in the glass eye of an on-looking pirate, Marion Barber doesn’t have enough ability to be an every-down back. As far as I’m concerned, that is a pile of crap. But, Julius Jones continued to start all year, and there’s been loads of rumorville gossip pushing the Cowboys’ trading up to get Darren McFadden. There’s no reason to do such a thing, as I believe Barber to be one of the Top 5 running backs in the NFL, but obviously the Cowboys’ staff doesn’t think Barber can be that guy. Either that, or the Boys were just trying to save MBIII for the future. Either way, I actually think Jones would be a better fit than McFadden. Jones has more game-breaking ability, and would act as the perfect compliment to Barber’s thunder. But, like I said, I still think there’s a better pick out there for Dallas. Reggie Smith could be an athletic safety that takes good angles and doesn’t get beat deep like the combo Dallas has right now, or he could be immediate corner help. Either way, he’s be a more reasonable selection. My pick, Dan Conner, would fill a hole in the middle for the Cowboys, and give them one of the best linebacking units in football. Conner is an extremely smart linebacker that always finds a way to make a play. But, Jerry Jones is a plastic-faced freak of mind-numbing decisions – and I see him taking Felix Jones (who I think will be a great running back in this league) with the first of his two 1st round picks. I just don’t think Dallas needs Jones, but they could definitely use the kid.
  23. Pittsburgh Steelers (10-6)
    Needs: OT, C, DE, G, RB, CB
    I would pick: Lawrence Jackson, DE, USC
    They will pick: Reggie Smith, CB, Oklahoma

    I don’t care what people say about the Steelers not needing secondary help, just look at their play over the 2nd half of the season. While I would take Lawrence Jackson’s huge frame and productive work ethic, I don’t see a problem with taking Reggie Smith if he’s still on the board. He would give any defense a lot of options, and you can never have too many playmakers in the secondary. Smith could help immediately, and I think he will. Jackson would help with a pass rush, and if Mike Tomlin has his way and moves this defense along to a 4-3, Jackson would be a great option at defensive end. However, there are options that fit better in a 3-4, and Pittsburgh can use a 2nd round pick on one of those players if they feel they need it. I like Jackson if he lasts this long, but understand completely if the Steelers go with Smith, as I have them doing here.
  24. Tennessee Titans (10-6)
    Needs: WR, CB, TE, WR, OL
    I would pick: Chris Williams, OT, Vanderbilt
    They will pick: Early Doucet, WR, LSU

    I think the pick before this one could have saved me calling the addition of a receiver here, stupid. However, Doucet doesn’t strike me as a guy who will excel at the next level. I don’t know what it is, but I just don’t see him doing huge things as a pro. Personally, I think more help on the offensive line would better suit the Titans, and while a lot of linemen have been taken already, I’d like to see the Titans select Chris Williams, the big offensive tackle from Vanderbilt. Williams would help give Young a little more time, and he would give the Titans an opportunity to move some people around and really improve their line across the board. However, the need to “find Vincent Young some playmakers” seems to be a major goal for the Titans. Yes, blame the receivers! Okay, so Vince’s group of pass catchers dropped more than a few balls, sure, but that’s just because they were stunned when it got their accurately and on time. Too hard on Vince? Actually, I like Vince a lot, but everyone knew he was going to take a little longer to mature in the NFL, but now everyone is frustrated at his down year. Seriously, he’s one of the better offensive players from that draft, and his ability to win football games is obvious to any doubter willing to pull his head out of his inner piping. The best QB in the league? No – but who is? Anyway, Doucet is pretty good at a lot of things, but I don’t see him being a Hines Ward type player, and I don’t see him being the game-breaker many are predicting. I wish him the best, but I don’t see it.
  25. Seattle Seahawks (10-6)
    Needs: OT, DT, RB, TE, G
    I would pick: Rashard Mendenhall, RB, Illinois
    They will pick: Jonathan Stewart, RB, Oregon

    So, in this case, I’m actually going for a running back as the answer as opposed to an offensive linemen. However, the Hawks could realize that they haven’t been half the running team since the got sniped by the Vikings and saw Steve Hutchinson leave, and thus do their best to replace that spot via the draft. But no, please, please, pretty please, save me from watching any more Shaun Alexander runs. I’m going with the idea that Seattle, like me, is tired of seeing Shauna run the ball absolutely no where, and they’ll go RB if the price is right at 25. With two great backs available, they have to, right? I think Mendenhall is going to be special, so even though he’s not the all around back that Stewart is (and Jon would better fit Seattle’s attack because of his receiving and blocking skills) I would choose him in this situation. As I said earlier, he attacks the line of scrimmage like Ryan Grant but with more speed. That’s a great combination, and I can only see him becoming a star in the NFL. On the other hand, I love Stewart’s game as well, I’m just not sure he’s going to be the elite player that Rashard could be. Both have plenty of upside, and both would be good picks for Seattle – so please, for the love of decreasing Shauna’s touches, take one of these talented rooks.
  26. Jacksonville Jaguars (11-5)
    Needs: WR, DE, SS, CB
    I would pick: Lawrence Jackson, DE, USC
    They will pick: Lawrence Jackson, DE, USC

    If Jackson is still on the board this late, the Jaguars will have to take the versatile USC end. He’s everything this team needs from the defensive end spot. He does things right. He makes plays with his feet, and he has the ability to hold up at the line of scrimmage against the run. I’ve watched him do it over and over again. Jackson had a great final season, and the promise and improvement he showed should get him into the first round. Another option here would be Quentin Groves, a super talented prospect that struggled during his final season because of injuries. I was close to taking Groves with my pick here, but Jackson seems to be the safer option of the two. Groves has more upside, more speed, and that freak of nature athleticism, but Jackson can do it all, and sometimes safe is the way to go. For the Jags, a team that could win it all as soon as next season, I think safe is the best kind of answer.
  27. San Diego Chargers (11-5)
    Needs: G, OT, NT, FB, RB
    I would pick: Chris Williams, OT, Vanderbilt
    They will pick: Chris Williams, OT, Vanderbilt

    The Chargers could use some help on the offensive line, and I think Williams is a guy that could work just right. Vanderbilt wasn’t a top program, but that shouldn’t take anything away from Chris. He’s been the best offensive lineman for Vanderbilt over the last two seasons, and his athleticism for a big guy is the reason why. In 2006, the 6’6″ 325lb offensive tackle allowed just one sack all season long. In 2007, Williams continued his dominance over the competition. Chris has his best games against top-flight competition, warding off the best pass rushers each defense has, and thus giving his quarterback time. For his size, and for any offensive lineman, Williams has a very quick punch and great feet. He’s the type of guy that can be molded into a top-notch protector. Phillip Rivers could use a little more protection, and LT’s career might last a little longer with big Chris.
  28. Dallas Cowboys (13-3)
    Needs: CB, WR, OT, ILB, RB
    I would pick: Dan Conner, LB, Penn State
    They will pick: Mario Manningham, WR, Michigan

    This is another receiver that I think is overrated. I like James Hardy more, and personally, I don’t think the Cowboys need to throw yet another 1st round pick away on an offensive player when their freaking offense was one of the best units in the entire league. Defensive help would be ideal, and Conner could do a lot of things for the Cowboys right off the bat. But then again, what do I know? I know Conner won’t test out that well on combine day, and honestly, I could care less about that BS. What he will do is make lots of plays for any team that picks him up, and the Cowboys could use his sure tackling and knowledge of the game. But, they are getting older at receiver, and they could go after a receiver with this pick. I don’t think they need receiving help, but why not take a chance on a very talented kid in James Hardy? The Cowboys have the ability to take a chance with this pick, and if they keep it, Hardy could be steal. However, I personally don’t even think the Cowboys will end up with this pick on draft day. A trade up or down makes more sense for a team that doesn’t really desperately need anything. I like Conner and think he’d be a perfect fit, but if the Boys stay here, it could be for Mr. Manningham.
  29. San Francisco 49ers (5-11) (via 13-3 Colts)
    Needs: WR, OT, OLB, DE, QB
    I would pick: James Hardy, WR, Indiana
    They will pick: Pat Sims, DT, Auburn

    The 49ers have made too many picks for receivers with questionable backgrounds and mental stability, so I don’t think they’ll take a chance on James Hardy, but the more research I do, the more they need a good receiver. Look at their recent history; TO went nuts and bolted for greener pastures, before flying to Dallas after going gonzo on another team. Brandon Lloyd, please, locker room rust. Then trading for that kid via Cleveland that got drafted by Dallas (Antonio Bryant); that turned out to be a ticking time bomb as well. I don’t know much about Hardy, except that he’s one hell of a football player, but I don’t see the 49ers taking a chance on another receiver with baggage, so there goes my pick. However, that leaves room for my 2nd pick, one Pat Sims from Auburn. This big, bad defensive lineman had a great season in ’07, and he seems as though he’s just started to come into his own. The 49ers defensive front was brutal, and Sims could stuff the run and penetrate the backfield. He made plays all season long form the defensive tackle position, showing that he not only hold up against double teams, but make a difference. I like him going to San Francisco, and maybe the Niners taking the high road will be just what they need.
  30. Green Bay Packers (13-3)
    Needs: OT, S, CB, TE, P
    I would pick: Leodis McKelvin, CB, Troy
    They will pick: Fred Davis, TE, USC

    I think McKelvin would help take this secondary to the next level in passing situations, but I foresee the Packers finally going for offensive help in the passing game and taking this supposed elite tight end receiving prospect. Is he fast enough? I don’t know, I’m not completely sold on him yet, and kind of believe that he’s a product of the system that he was in at USC. However, a lot of people think pretty highly of this kid, so maybe I’m wrong. I like McKelvin because, despite the Packers insistence that Al Harris is one of the best man-to-man corners in the league, I often watched the Pro-Bowler get lost in his coverage, losing the ball one to many times, and allowing more than his share of big plays. Now, I still think Harris is a great option, and he should stay around Green Bay, but both he and Charles Woodson are collecting years, and a young corner with ball skills and top-notch speed could be a great assistance in helping the Packers reach the next level.
  31. New York Giants (10-6)
    Needs: OLB, CB, S, OT, DT
    I would pick: Ali Highsmith, LB, LSU
    They will pick: Dan Conner, LB, Penn State

    Best defensive player available, and despite the Giants’ success in stopping the run and winning games with defense late in the year, a young linebacker that wins plays with his mind as well as his body will be a blessing in disguise for the team picking last in the 1st round. Conner has plenty of skills to excel at this level, but does he have the playmaking ability of Highsmith? I’m not sure Highsmith will test out like a workout warrior, but on the football field there wasn’t a guy at LSU that forced more turnovers or proved to be a bigger game-breaker that Ali. This kid is as competitive a player as I’ve seen in a long time. He doesn’t have out of this world size or speed, but he knows how to get his hands on the ball, make tackles, get in the right spot, and he just has the will to win. I’d go with him, but the Giants couldn’t go wrong with Dan Conner either. Conner played excellent football at Linebacker U, and I imagine he’ll turn into a good player at the next level. I just like Highsmith more.

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