The NFL Mock Draft (New Mock!!!)

Alright, news and notes are flying around, and the draft is a month away. I can’t wait. My newest mock draft takes into account the most recent happenings in the NFL (as of March 24th), how I rank the players, as well as team needs, team histories, and the dirt on what’s been going down during workouts and scout evaluations. Dream big!!!

1. Detroit Lions- Matthew Stafford, QB, Georgia: The Lions probably have to take Stafford here. I don’t like the pick for them, I think they can wait to get a quarterback next year, or even later in the draft, but it is what it is, and they have no future stud quarterback and they are a floundering franchise, and they have the top pick in a class that has no clear number one – so they’ll do what almost any other franchise would do in that situation and grab the big upside quarterback, and they’ll likely find themselves right back in this spot next year with a quarterback that they’re still not sure about, but maybe there will be a number one that seperates himself, and hopefully for the Lions that isn’t Sam Bradford. As much as I hate to admit it, Stafford is probably the pick the Lions will choose. Seeing as though the Lions will likely have a shot at a solid OT with the 20th pick, because it’s a deep position, they probably have to make this move. Stafford teaming up with Britton or Oher  makes more sense than Jason Smith and Josh Freeman, in my opinion. I would take Jason Smith here and a stud defensive prospect at #20, but I’m a front line guy – I don’t build teams the Lion way…

2. St. Louis Rams- Jason Smith, OT, Baylor: I thought the Rams would make a pick like this even before they released one of the better offensive tackles of all time, Orlando Pace. With the big OT gone, they’ll take their pick of the deepest position in the draft. Jason Smith looks to have the most upside and the best motor, a fantastic combo for your QB protector to possess, and thus he’ll likely go here.

3. Kansas City Chiefs- Aaron Curry, OLB, Wake Forest: The Chiefs need to get better in more than a few places, and they’ll likely consider taking offensive line help here. But, with a defensive difference maker available for one of the league’s worst defenses, a guy that many consider the best overall talent in the draft, Curry seems to be the best fit at #3.

4. Seattle Seahawks- Eugene Monroe, OT, Virginia: Seeing that the defensive tackle spot wasn’t very deep, and probably deciding that they didn’t want to throw their 4th pick at B.J. Raji, the Hawks went ahead and traded one of their playmaking linebackers to pick up a solid young DT that has upside. That leaves the Hawks in a great place to get better where they need help the most. They’ll take either Aaron Curry or Eugene Monroe. I have the Chiefs grabbing Curry at 3, which will get Monroe, the most polished and consistent left tackle in the draft, a plane ticket to Sea-Tac.

5. Cleveland Browns- Brian Orakpo, DE, Texas: First of all, I wouldn’t be surprised if Mangini and the Browns make a move that changes their need and or pick selection heading into the draft. Right now lets assume that all the players on the Browns roster stay in Cleveland. If that’s the case, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Brian Orakpo go here. Mangini took a chance on a hybrid backer last year, and Orakpo is a much better player with more “now” skills than Vernon Gholston was, and he has the same sack happy upside as last year’s top pick.

6. Cincinnati Bengals- B.J. Raji, DT, Boston College: Cincinnati needs defensive help. I don’t think they could make a better pick at this point than Raji. B.J. is a beast and has excelled in key off-season areas such as the senior bowl and the combine. Put that performance together with his hard work at Boston College and you have a great prospect at one of the draft’s weakest positions. This might be too smart of a pick for the Bengals.

7. Oakland Raiders- Andre Smith, OT, Alabama: Not even God knows what Al Davis and the Raiders will do now. Some like to think that Michael Crabtree will be the guy, and while he certainly is the most popular and well known prospect here, I’m not so sure he’s even Al’s favorite WR prospect. That might go to lightning quick Maclin or physical freak Darrius Heyward-Bey. That being said, I think the Raiders stun the masses, skip over elite skill players, and grab Andre Smith. The big tackle has seen his stock tumble a bit, but I wouldn’t be surprised one bit if he finds his way into the Top 10. The Raiders don’t seem to care much about character, and personality aside, Smith is one of the most talented big men in this draft.

8. Jacksonville Jaguars- Michael Crabtree, WR, Texas Tech: The Jaguars should count their blessings if Crabtree falls to them. It’s not often that you get an elite offensive NFL talent in a position you desperately need. There are a few people with their heads slammed directly up their hoo-hoo’s that think the Jaguars need to go quarterback here. Because Garrard is 31. Please. This isn’t running back here, and it’s not like Garrard failed last season without any real receiving threats and no offensive line. The Jaguars could take Oher or maybe even an awe inspiring selection of Rey Maualuga, amongst many others, but Crabtree is everything they’ve asked for since Jimmy Smith got caught in the life cycle aging process.

9. Green Bay Packers- Aaron Maybin, DE, Penn State: The Packers seem like they’re looking for more of a “now” player than Aaron Maybin might be, but I really like the Penn State product. The Packers might be choosing between him and Everett Brown, and while I like Brown’s athleticism, I happen to think Maybin’s upside is greater. Both are young players that need some time. but Maybin could be special and the Packers should go that direction.

10. San Francisco 49ers- Mark Sanchez, QB, Southern California: If the Raiders go dumb and take the most impressive 40-time or just find better value in another positioin, that might leave Andre Smith here for Iron Mike and the 49ers. If that’s the case, I don’t see them passing up on the big OT even though his “work ethic” might not roll with the former Bears great. However, Mike can motivate a mole to sunbathe, so one of the most talented OTs in the draft at pick 10 would make sense. Since he’s not here in my mock, that leaves two choices I see the 49ers choosing between – Mark Sanchez and Jeremy Maclin. I like Shaun Hill, but he’s not a future pro-bowler by any means. Sanchez has the leadership and work ethic that Mike Singletary and his staff would love. Maclin would give the team a nice gamebreaking option on a team that relies too heavily on Frank Gore. For a team building for the future, Sanchez gets the nod. All in all, there might be a couple teams looking to shoot up to grab Sanchez. If there’s an option out there, the 49ers could pass on the SC product.

11. Buffalo Bills- Everette Brown, DE, Florida State: If there’s any team that needs defensive playmakers as much as the Detroit Lions, it’s the Buffalo Bills. Everett Brown might be a bit of a tweener, but he’s a physical freak of an athlete that does everything he can to put pressure on opposing backfields. Brown could play OLB for the Bills, but could immediately give them pass rush help on passing downs.

12. Denver Broncos- Tyson Jackson, DE, LSU: If there’s a dying breed of player it’s the DE in a 3-4 scheme. With pass rushers getting faster and more athletic, the big space eating ends that do it all have almost disappeared. Jackson is the only real player out there with a first round grade. The Broncos need a lot of help, mostly on the defensive side of the ball, and Jackson looks like a great fit to start his career with first year coach Josh McDaniels in Denver.

13. Washington Redskins- Michael Oher, OT, Mississippi: The Redskins could stun a few folks here by grabbing Jeremy Maclin. Maclin would be a nice number 2 option, the one they were looking for when they spent two first day picks on receivers that disappointed last year. He would allow Randel-El to work in the slot where he’s more effective, and relieve some deep help on Santana Moss. However, I think the Redskins give their young receivers another year to establish themselves and take a chance on an elite offensive tackle prospect in Michael Oher. They need help protecting the quarterback, if you watched them in the 2nd half of 2008, that fact is obvious. Oher might have moments where he shows his youth, but those team with moments of greatness.

14. New Orleans Saints- Malcolm Jenkins, CB, Ohio State: If the Saints draft a running back here, you can’t even begin to imagine the failing grade I’ll give them on draft day. They have a great pass catching back in Reggie Bush, one they spend a ton of money on. They also have an even better back in Pierre Thomas, one they don’t seem to like much despite his elite production when given a chance. Beanie Wells is still on the board, but if they know what’s good for them, the Saints will leave him there. Maclin is also available, and you never know what Payton will trick his GM into doing, but Jeremy should stay on the board as well. This team needs to take a chance on defense, and get their offensive help later in the draft. Brain Cushing, Peria Jerry, or Michael Jenkins are three options I like here, with Jenkins being the best for the Saints. He may not have timed out well in the 40, but he has great ability to help a defense that stinks at just about everything.

15. Houston Texans- Brian Cushing, OLB, Southern California: Could the Texans draft Jeremy Maclin? A kid whose gamebreaking ability projected higher than this pick in the draft? The Texans have solid offensive talent, and they probably don’t “need” Maclin, but what a tandem that could be… Still, that’s my fantasy hopes busting into my real football knowledge, and that’s very unlikely to happen. What else is unlikely to happen? The Texans taking a running back this high, so those who expect Beanie or Knowshon to be a Texan, think again. I think the Texans could improve if they got help at defensive end, and maybe outside linebaker (though I do like Xavier Adibi and his future with the club). Brian Cushing could be an immediate impact guy, a linebacker that is effective on all downs – something that shouldn’t be overlooked. I think Cushing is a bit of a reach here, but he fits. A freak like Michael Johnson could really benefit from all the attention Super Mario gets, but he’s even more of a reach because of his inconsistency. I think Cushing fits the bill here.

16. San Diego Chargers- Rey Maualuga, ILB, Southern California: What a difference a year makes. The Chargers came into the ’08 draft with the “pick the best player, we don’t have any huge needs” thing going for them, and everyone thought they’d be a Super Bowl contender. As it turned out, they struggled like a fish out of water just to make the playoffs, but once they got there it looked like they belonged. But the off season hasn’t done much to secure the make-up of this team. Merriman is expected to be back after missing most of the ’08 season, and LT fixed his contract which allowed him to stay. Darren Sproles looks to get more touches in 2009, but the Chargers could still use some help making holes for their two headed running back monster. With LT back, I don’t think the Chargers will waste an early pick on a running back, no need to spend another 6 million on the RB position. Vincent Jackson’s immergence, Antonio Gates greatness, and Chris Chambers’ consistency seems to keep any focus off the skill positions in Round 1, even though it’s not all about needs. If Jenkins falls this far, they have to grab the corner/safety. He’s too solid to pass up for a team that ranked 31st in pass defense and I think he could play anywhere for them. They could take a shot on a guy like Vontae Davis but I wouldn’t go there.  I think they end up taking Rey Maualuga. The USC product is a tackling machine, and they could really use a sure thing in the middle of their defense.

17. New York Jets- Beanie Wells, RB, Ohio State: Coles absence and Maclin falling right into their laps gives the Jets a great option here. They could go for Freeman if they really think he could be the long term answer, but Maclin is a big time game breaker that can do things most players can’t. He’d help the field position game and allow the Jets to use Cotchery’s skill set more appropriately. At 17th overall, this kid might be a steal for the Jets. However, the I have this feeling that the Jets might grab the first running back in the draft. Thomas Jones is talking hold out, and he wants a raise (and probably deserves one, despite his age), so they could cut him loose and draft a back with all the talent in the world. This would allow them to use Leon Washington more, a guy that has proven his worth when he gets the touches. Thunder and Lightening? Lots of ways the Jets could draft under their new staff – but I’m throwing my wild card out there with the OSU big back.

18. Chicago Bears- Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR, Maryland: Heyward-Bey is a physical specimen, no doubt about that – but there’s not doubt in my mind that Maclin is the better receiver. However, in Chicago this big bad fast son of a gun might be the perfect fit. He and Devin Hester could prove to be a tough combo to cover. If Mark Sanchez is still here, I think the Bears go with the USC product. As is, they are looking for more explosion and while Bey might not be the immediate answer, his upside and elite numbers likely get him the nod in Chicago.

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Jeremy Maclin, WR, Missouri: More than a few people have Josh Freeman going here. I don’t think that’s the best move for the Bucs, especially with an elite prospect falling into their laps. Antonio Bryant did big things in Tampa last season, but Maclin would only assure the explosive nature of the offensive weapons being gathered in Tampa. This team has a solid offensive line, so nice running options, and will have a nice plethora of receiver options with Kellen Winslow, Bryant, and Maclin. Probably not a need, but the best prospect on the board is Maclin if the speedster falls this far.

20. Detroit Lions (from Dallas)- Jerry Peria, DT, Mississippi: The Lions traded a promising young defensive tackle to grab perrenial Pro-Bowl OLB Julian Peterson from the Hawks. Getting this quick underrated tackle would be a great bargain because after Peria the talent level at the position really drops off. The Lions need lots of options, no doubt about that, they could go with a project like Robert Ayers, OT Eben Britton, or if they decided to go with Jason Smith in Round 1, Josh Freeman maybe? Like I said, there will be a lot decided by draft day, but as is Peria would be a nice pick for the Lions here, especially with the strengths of the draft the way they are.

21. Philadelphia Eagles- Knowshon Moreno, RB, Georgia: I see Moreno as a Maurice Jones-Drew type runner, a smaller back that runs with elite physicality and power. A guy that is super quick and not afraid of contact at the same time. Moreno has all the athleticism to be a run and catch player for the Eagles, and while Philly has always looked for a big back to compliment Westy, they may walk right into the Brian Westbrook of the future. They don’t run exactly the same, but I do think Moreno has a high ceiling. Now, it’s unlike the Eagles to grab a running back in the 1st round, they are usually more interested in line moves, but even if the don’t go with Moreno here, I don’t think they’ll go for the line. Robert Ayers is an interesting option, but Brandon Pettigrew is my wild card. The big TE does it all, and with L.J. Smith moving teams (and having been hurt for more than a few games over the last couple years), Brandon could be a nice option for McNabb in the passing game. Still, I like Moreno’s fit in Philly.

22. Minnesota Vikings- Percy Harvin, WR, Florida: What a threat Percy could be as a change of pace guy with Adrian Peterson and a receiver both out of the back field, out wide, and in the slot. Harvin has freakish moves in the open field, and definitely will be a difference maker when healthy in the NFL. Do the Vikings need Harvin? I’m not so sure, but the fact that they went after T.J. Houshmanzadeh makes me think this is a possibility. Harvin and AP would form a disturbing duo for opposing defenses, and that’s something the Vikings could look forward too. And instead of stealing carries from AP, both could spend every down on the field together, with Harvin split out wide.

23. New England Patriots- Clay Matthews, OLB, Southern California: The Patriots need an outside linebacker, definitely, but there’s more than a few and though Matthews has been climbing the board like slick bottle rocket, I’m not sure that he’ll be a lock for New England at 23. It wouldn’t stun me for a second to see the Pats grab a guy like Brandon Pettigrew. He’s a very good blocker with very good hands and a great frame for red-zone activities and physical first downs through the air. He may not fit everything they do offensively, but a football player that does everything well seems like something they dig. As is, I think they go for Clay Mathews here because of his similar skill set. He does things well. He has a chance to start from Day 1 in New England, and this is a team ready to win now.

24. Atlanta Falcons- Vontae Davis, CB, Illinois: Lots of players to choose from for the talented yet youthful Falcons. I think Brandon would be a great fit for a run-first team that keeps their tight end blocking most of the time, but would love to have a useful option to sneak out into passing situations when needed. Pettigrew doesn’t run with the speed of an elite pass catcher, but he’s athletic, has great hands, and is one hell of a blocker. And I don’t think the Falcons would trade the third one for great speed, not the way they run their offense. That being said, Pettigrew is a TE, and I don’t know if the Falcons have enough talent to go tight end in Round 1. He may be more of a sure thing, but the Falcons need defensive help something fierce. They lost two starting linebackers and a starting corner on a defense that wasn’t elite to start with. So lets say they can’t afford to go TE here. Assuming that, Vontae Davis is on the board, and despite his knocks, he’s one of the more physically talented corners in the draft. That’s enough to take him at 24, something the Falcons might very well do.

25. Miami Dolphins- Robert Ayers, DE, Tennessee: I think Michael Johnson has all the ability to be one of the best pass rushers in this draft. He just needs to find the motivation to do so. Being a top 10 talent and dropping to 25 might be enough. Spending time on a Bill Parcells run team might be even more help. This kid is a freak, and has the athletic ability to even be considered as an OLB in the 3-4, at least I think so. However, I don’t know if a questionable motor guy is Parcells’ cup of tea, and thus he will probably get passed up again here. They could also go for Vontae Davis, as they certainly could use help in that secondary. However, I think they’ll take Robert Ayers. This kid was solid on a bad defense last season. He practices and plays well, and despite his mediocre times at the combine, has proven to be effective on the football field, using his skills and a solid motor. More Parcells style maybe? I think so.

26. Baltimore Ravens- Eben Britton, OT, Arizona: This kid is solid, and this offensive line needs to get some young help (at least for the future) for franchise quarterback Joe Flacco. Britton has great upside and with a monster frame and great quickness, he might be a steal at 26. I’m not sure that he’ll last this long with the importance of tackles and the way they seem to be screaming off the board over the past few years, but if he does go this far, the Ravens would be smart to grab him. Other options could be Vontae Davis, or maybe they go for an even bigger project with more freak upside like Michael Johnson – and use that strong willed defense to turn him into a rush linebacker sack artist. As is, I like Britton going here.

27. Indianapolis Colts- Evander “ZIGGY” Hood, DT, Missouri: Weird, the Colts are hurting for defensive line help on the interior. Hood is dancing up the draft charts, and for good reason. He’s very athletic and quick for a defensive tackle, and would fit well in the Colts system, if they indeed stay in that system. Some have said they’re looking for more size up front, but Hood is the best available, and the Colts could definitely use him.

28. Philadelphia Eagles (from Carolina)- Brandon Pettigrew, TE, Oklahoma State: Without a tackle to grab here, I wonder if the Eagles will even risk it by taking Moreno with their first of two picks in Round 1. That being said, I’m not going back on my picks because of the way the draft panned out, and the Eagles can go a couple different directions with this pick. They could grab Hakeem Nicks right here. They have a solid young receiver in DeSean Jackson, but Nicks would look nice on the opposite side. Still, they need help on the offensive line, even though they got better by signing Shawn Andrews’ big brother, Stacy, from the Bengals, they could still use a guy like Max Unger for the future. But I’m going with Pettigrew here because the kid is a stud, they just lost an injury plagued L.J. Smith to Baltimore, and Pettigrew not only helps out with the passing game but in the run game as well. He’s more than the 28th best player in this draft. I expect him to help from Day 1.

29. New York Giants- James Laurinaitis, LB, Ohio State: I really like Hakeem Nicks, and while I don’t think the Giants need to run and pick up the best receiver available because of Plax’s situation, I think Nicks is a nice receiver. Receiver galore in Round 1 though? I’m not so sure. Plus, as much as I like Nicks, the guy put on 15 pounds between the combine and pro day workouts, and is up over 225. Don’t be a pig for 30 days, help your draft stock, I mean come on man…. I think they could find a lot to like at the position in Round 2, and should instead build up their line in the draft with a guy like Max Unger or Alex Mack or maybe linebacker. And trading down is always an option, especially if they like a couple receivers here and don’t see need to pick another one in Round 1. All that being thrown about, I think the Giants see something they like in James Laurinaitis and go get him. He’s not great at shedding blocks, but D-line has been a power for the Giants, and James should do good things behind that group.

30. Tennessee Titans- Michael Johnson, DE, Georgia Tech: Could they go receiver here? Yes, they could try once again to snag a competent starting receiver, but it’s a strong position with many players to be had – why would they pass on a chance at the second coming of Javon Kearse (during his freak days of course)? Michael Johnson has that freakish athleticism and size and the Titans can grab the kid and have him learn from some team greats. He won’t be needed on every down right away, and he has upside to burn. I think they skip taking the 5th 1st round receiver and go for upside on the D-line. I like to wait on receivers, so I’m expecting the Titans to pick without fantasy hopes on the line here. Hakeem Nicks might be the guy, but in a weighted coin flip I’m going with Johnson.

31. Arizona Cardinals- Alex Mack, C, California: LeSean McCoy is my favorite here because I love the running back’s vision and acceleration. However, I think adding a great young center, a guy that can play a couple positions and is basically a sure fire solid starter, seems like the right move. They have a young back they like in Tim Hightower, so getting him help up front might be a better move that tossing a first round pick at another back. Later in the draft is the time to add depth, not Round 1. Another option would be Hakeem Nicks if Boldin is traded. I think ‘Quan will sign a deal with the Cards, however, so that’s “a moo point, like a cow’s opinion, nobody cares”. So I’m skipping over my favorite back in the class for one of my favorite O-line leaders.

32. Pittsburgh Steelers- Max Unger, C/G, Oregon: The Steelers will have options. But if the draft unfolds like this, I don’t think they spend another high pick on a receiver, they let Hakeem Nicks fall dreamily into the lap of another suiter in Round 2. They take Max Unger because the Steelers could use O-line depth, and they are a smart franchise. Unger is a beast, he can play multiple positions, and he’s always been the leading force of great Oregon rushing attacks. Last pick in Round 1 should be a great one for the Steel-City.

Best Available After Round 1:

1. Hakeem Nicks, WR, North Carolina

2. LeSean McCoy, RB, Pittsburgh

3. Alphonso Smith, CB, Wake Forest

4. Donald Brown, RB, Connecticut

5. Ron Brace, DT, Boston College

6. Kenny Britt, WR, Rutgers

7. Josh Freeman, QB, Kansas State

8. Phil Loadholt, OT, Oklahoma

9. Louis Delmas, S, Western Michigan

10. Conner Barwin, DE, Cincinnati

11. Darius Butler, CB, Connecticut

12. Clint Sintim, OLB, Virginia

13. Larry English, OLB, Northern Illinois

14. Derrick Williams, WR, Penn State

15. Jamon Meredith, OT, South Carolina

16. Cornelius Ingram, TE, Florida

17. Shawn Nelson, TE, Southern Miss

18. Shonn Greene, RB, Iowa

19. Rashad Johnson, S, Alabama

20. Sean Smith, CB, Utah

21. Andy Levitre, OG, Oregon State

22. Chase Coffman, TE, Missouri

23. Gerald Cadogan, OT, Penn State

24. Patrick Chung, SS, Oregon

25. Mike Thomas, WR, Arizona

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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2007 NFL Mock Draft by Lucky Lester

While I’ve read a couple absolutely ridiculous Mock Drafts, right now anyone’s set of picks is worth a shot, I guess. However, I’d like to think I have a little more rationale when it comes to this type of thing, so pay attention to something my peers seem to lack, a bit of reason to go with every selection. For now, without any research on who anyone is talking to, interviews, or any other garbage, these picks make sense to me, based on needs, off-season trends, and team draft trends. Here ya go… Enjoy.

  1. Oakland Raiders:
  2. Detroit Lions:
  3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers:
  4. Cleveland Browns:
  5. Arizona Cardinals:
  6. Washington Redskins:
  7. Minnesota Vikings:
  8. Houston Texans:
  9. Miami Dolphins:
  10. Atlanta Falcons:
  11. San Francisco 49ers:
  12. Buffalo Bills:
  13. St. Louis Rams:
  14. Carolina Panthers:
  15. Pittsburgh Steelers:
  16. Green Bay Packers:
  17. Jacksonville Jaguars:
  18. Cincinnati Bengals:
  19. Tennessee Titans:
  20. New York Giants:
  21. Denver Broncos:
  22. Dallas Cowboys:
  23. Kansas City Chiefs:
  24. New England Patriots (via Sea):
  25. New York Jets:
  26. Philadelphia Eagles:
  27. New Orleans Saints:
  28. New England Patriots:
  29. Baltimore Ravens:
  30. San Diego Chargers:
  31. Chicago Bears:
  32. Indianapolis Colts:

2007 NFL Mock Draft

While I’ve read a couple absolutely ridiculous Mock Drafts, right now anyone’s set of picks is worth a shot, I guess. However, I’d like to think I have a little more rationale when it comes to this type of thing, so pay attention to something my peers seem to lack, a bit of reason to go with every selection. For now, without any research on who anyone is talking to, interviews, or any other garbage, these picks make sense to me, based on needs, off-season trends, and team draft trends. Here ya go… Enjoy.

***Please note – this mock draft was written and uploaded (Feb 15th) prior to the final order being set.

Oakland Raiders: JaMarcus Russell
Listen closely, this pick isn’t because Russell is a giant super athlete at the quarterback position, and Al Davis loves looking at amazing stat lines when he makes selections, this pick is because Russell not only has the most upside of any quarterback in the draft, but right now, he is the best one out there. He can throw the ball a mile, make any throw I the book, elude pressure, put his head down and get a first down, lead his team, stand tall and use his vision, and throw accurately. Russell won’t run like Vick, or Young for that matter, but he can throw farther than either of them, and unlike Mike, Russell will succeed at throwing the ball at the next level.

Detroit Lions: Brady Quinn
Everyone and their mother has the Lions passing on Brady and picking an offensive lineman with this pick. I don’t care how good the young kid is from Wisconsin, (and Joe Thomas is the real deal) the Lions don’t pick offensive lineman high, and they shouldn’t. Strong lineman can be had from Rounds 2-5, and many will be their for the taking. Brady Quinn’s are only around once in a while, and they should feel damn lucky to get a kid with his skill-set with the 2nd pick. If the Lions do one thing, it’s pick high profile guys with loads of talent. This one won’t backfire, as Brady has the mental strength to go with his physical tools. I hear rumors that Quinn wants to be a Brown. I hear other rumors that teams pick players, not the other way around.

Cleveland Browns: Adrian Peterson
Reuben Droughns was a nice thought, and he had his solid games in 2005, but in ’06 RD wasn’t much to look at. He was hurt often, and when he did play, his carries were minimal and rarely productive. Peterson is a sure thing. Sure, he’s had injuries, but he’s a big bad mofo with speed, power, man strength and stunningly quick feet for a man of his size. Peterson will take pressure off the Browns offensive line, quarterbacks, and wide receivers. Peterson could slip, and the Browns could take the big lineman, but as far as I can see, Peterson has the biggest chance to single handily improve the Browns, which is exactly what Romeo Crenell is looking for.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Calvin Johnson
If the Bucs don’t trade down, this pick makes too much sense to go any other way. First of all, Calvin has more game breaking ability than any other player in this draft, and that includes JaMarcus and Adrian Peterson. Johnson has the cool, calm demeanor of a Marvin Harrison or Jerry Rice, he has the height of Randy Moss, he’s smart, he’s confident, and his speed will straight out stun you. Plus, he’ll go up and get the ball, something that has been ignored in recent drafts. Gruden’s a smart cat, as he won’t let this absolute gem get away.

Arizona Cardinals: Joe Thomas
Though I’m not a fan of taking an offensive lineman this high (and that’s saying a lot, because not only do I think O-Linemen win football games, but I used to be one) but with the two can’t miss skill guys off the board, the Cardinals are lucky to have no choice but grabbing the one guy that could get them over the hump. Defensively, the Cardinals aren’t stout, so a player like DT Alan Branch, DE Gaines Adams, or even safety Reggie Nelson could go to ‘Zona, but I have a feeling Ken Weisenhunt will get a little bit more out of his defense than Dennis Green did, making Joe Thomas an obvious selection here. I know the Cards played better up front as the year went on, but Thomas would be a huge upgrade in a need spot. Plus, he’s a flat out stud.

Washington Redskins: Gaines Adams
It would surprise me if the Redskins pulled off another trade here, as this is a high enough spot for them to improve immediately and get younger, something that is usually very difficult for them. In fact, I like them to take a young defensive lineman. While 19 year old, Amobi Okoye could be the best project on the line in this draft, and Alan Branch is a beast against the run, I think pass rushing elitist Gaines Adams will find himself in a Redskin uniform. He’ll be an instant playmaker at the position, and that will help the Skins secondary, as nothing helps a secondary more than limiting a quarterback’s time in to pick you apart. Jamal Anderson is also an option here, but I like Gaines a little better. Plus, as Joe Gibbs said about Rocky McIntosh last year, “What a name!”

Minnesota Vikings: Reggie Nelson
Of course, the Vikings are praying right now that Calvin Johnson slips to them, but I have a sneaky feeling he won’t get passed pick 4, so that, at least without a trade, leaves the Vikings without a chance at CJ. However, it might be best this way, because a fine receiver like Johnson shouldn’t be wasted on a team with a play caller like Brad Childress and a quarterback situation that boasts a second year project as its top option. For now, I’m going to say the Vikings get smart, and refrain from reaching on a receiver like Dwayne Jarrett or Ted Ginn Jr., and continue to try Chester Taylor as their main back, and pick a defensive game changer. I like two options here. One would be Jamaal Anderson, who would add a lot to a defensive end group that hasn’t show much lately. But I think Erasmus James will get healthy and be a stud eventually, so help in the secondary is the next option. Fred Smoot wasn’t a stud purple, and he might be on his way out of Minnesota, so Leon Hall (the consensus best corner in the draft) could be an option here. But I like Reggie Nelson. He’s a ball hawk, a hard hitter, and just as good in coverage as he is against the run. Makes sense to me.

Houston Texans: Leon Hall
First and foremost, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the Texans might find themselves happy to see the best corner in the draft fall to them here, but then again, another defensive lineman here might be their move. Alan Branch could help clog the middle in Houston, while Amobi Okoye might have too much potential to pass up for this young team. But, the Texans just went with a young pass rusher, and their defense is still pretty brutal, so secondary help looks like a strong option. Hall is a stud, as even the speedy Trojans tried to steer clear of Hall in the Rose Bowl. Somebody like Ted Ginn Jr is another talented speedster at this position, and its not like Houston is built at the #2 receiver spot, with the aging Eric Moulds standing pat. But I think Gary Kubiak lives by the Mike Shanahan philosophy of building via defense, and plugging less popular players into schemes on offense, so picking up instant help on defense looks like the best option here. Plus, offensively, the Texans should be in a better position with Domanick Williams coming back after a year off with a knee injury. And if Levi Brown impresses at the combine, he could go here as well. For now, look for the Texans to take the top defensive player available, whom I happen to believe is Leon Hall.

Miami Dolphins: Alan Branch
Contrary to everyone’s beliefs, the Dolphins don’t need a quarterback, receivers, or running backs. Their tight end is a stud, too. Culpepper needs to be healthy, and given a chance before the Dolphins write him off, like some of the other idiots who do mock drafts are claiming they should do. Even if Brady Quinn happens to slip this far, the Dolphins need to get younger on defense before they straddle up and hook Brady. Offensive line help wouldn’t hurt either, so if Joe Thomas falls this far, the Dolphins won’t hesitate. That being said, I don’t know if there is an offensive lineman left on the board that is worth reaching for here, so defense it is. Depending on Cam Cameron’s ideas for defense, it will be interesting to see where the Dolphins go here. Help in the secondary, either Darrelle Revis, Leon Hall, LaRon Landry, or Reggie Nelson are all ideas, as its still unsure whether last years’ first round pick, Jason Allen, can play safety or cornerback. The Dolphins have great defensive players, but age is becoming an issue, which is why I think Miami will trade down here instead of reaching for raw young linebacker to eventually replace Zach Thomas. If they don’t trade this pick, and Levi Brown doesn’t move up a little more after the combine, Alan Branch is as solid a defensive tackle as this draft holds, and a damn good pick for the Fins.

Atlanta Falcons: LaRon Landry
The Falcons should be stoked to see one of the best defensive players in the draft here. But they won’t be. Though I am suggesting they take LaRon here, to vastly improve their depth in the secondary, hell, I even think the kid would start next to Lawyer Milloy, I think the Falcons will trade down here. If Free Agency rips Patrick Kerney and or Rod Coleman from their little Falcon claws, expect this pick to be someone in the area of Okoye, Jamaal Anderson (might pick him anyway), or even Quintin Moses. But lets say they don’t trade down (to possibly pick up Patrino’s “Big Back” he’s been wanting – Michael Bush), and they get Patrick Kerney and Coleman to resign, I still think the Falcons will have trouble doing the right thing here and taking Landry, because a pass catcher with elite speed and game breaking ability is still on the board. Ted Ginn Jr. I don’t know. I think this pick is as big a question mark as any, because the Falcons are much better than getting the 10th pick, because they have a new staff, and because they are the Falcons. If you really want to figure out the Falcons draft, or you’re a fan, pay attention to pre-draft-day dealing, because I have an inkling that the Falcons might dip into another teams roster to pull an elite receiver not named Terrell.

San Francisco 49ers: Amobi Okoye
The 49ers could use a plethora of things, but first they need a super star in the waiting to sure up their defensive line. When you think about Okoye being a 10 year veteren in this league, and still showing up in the program at 29 years of age, you get trembles down your spine. Now imagine what a young, improving team with defensive line needs feels about adding someone like Amobi, a flat out stud at the age of Jitters, surely some of those. Receiver is a problem for San Francisco, but this is a receiver heavy draft, and the second round will offer plenty of options for the young Niners to step up and improve that situation. Plus, unlike many, I kind of like the Niners two starters. Bryant isn’t the best top receiver, and he has some ‘tude problems, but he’s steady at one spot, while Arnaz Battle has improved every year and will probably make a claim for the #2 spot. Ted Ginn Jr. might be a popular choice here, but I think the 49ers need cornerstones on defense to become a solid team, as that was obviously their sour spot last season. Look for them to jump at the prospect of adding this super talented youngster.

Buffalo Bills: Dwayne Jarrett
I couldn’t think of a better fit in this draft for Lee Evans. A big, fast, physical presence like Jarrett would give Evans the partner in crime Buffalo has been trying to plug in since Moulds jaunted out the door. Jarrett has fantastic hands, runs precise routs, and would give the much improved JP Losman a larger target. Something any young signal caller would approve of. The Bills could go defense, with a possible hole at corner opening up, and a defensive line that could always use depth, Jamal Anderson might be too much to pass up if he’s still on the board. If the threats of Buffalo axing Willis McGahee actually ring true, Marshawn Lynch might find himself in cozy Buffalo. But right now, I think Willis (as much of a dunder head as he is) will work things out with Buffalo, and the Bills will get smart and resign Nate Clements (because he’s the best option out there), so that leaves a nice little opening for a newfound dynamic duo in Evans and Jarrett.

St. Louis Rams: Jamal Anderson
It would stun me if Anderson fell this far, but crazier things have happened, no doubt about that. Anderson is young, athletic, and enormous. He devours quarterbacks and puts the squeeze on opposing offensive linemen. A player of his caliber here would not only be one hell of a deal, but a perfect fit for a Ram team that struggled defensively for most of the season. Another danger to opposing quarterbacks would give the pass rush master on the other side of the line, Leonard Little, more freedom, and less double teams sliding his way. The Rams could use help a plethora of places, and they might take a shot at a possible game breaker like Ted Ginn Jr., Darrelle Revis, or Lawrence Timmons, but Anderson is the best player and best fit left on the board.

Carolina Panthers: Levi Brown
This is almost the perfect pick for the Panthers. It’d be nice if Joe Thomas fell here, but that’s not only unlikely, but down right impossible. Taking Brown here will only be a minor reach, and after watching the Panthers running attack flounder all season long, with two pretty solid running backs, you’d think the Panthers would jump at the opportunity to get a bookend to hold down the fort on the other side of Jordan Gross, especially one with top flight talent like Levi Brown. The upside for this kids frame and athleticism makes him a great pick here. If Keyshawn leaves, and Jarrett is still on the board, I think he’d be a perfect partner for Steve Smith, but the smart money lies on Levi at #14.

Pittsburgh Steelers: Darrelle Revis
The Steelers are definitely in the “best player available” scenario, and I think Revis can definitely fit in that category. Speed, hips, and a knack for getting his hands on the ball make him everything you want in a corner. The Steelers didn’t dominate defensively last season, and while much of the blame was placed on Big Ben, defensively the Steel Curtain was more of a cuddly little blanky for a good majority of the season, especially on the corner. Revis could come in and sure up the secondary in a hurry. Some other names that come to mind here are Ted Ginn Jr., (just because he’s explosive) Adam Carricker, Michael Griffin, and Lawrence Timmons, but I have a feeling Revis (if he doesn’t shoot up draft boards everywhere) will be the best for the Steelers.

Green Bay Packers: Marshawn Lynch
I hate to have the same damn pick as pretty much every mock draft I’ve seen, but this is a great place to get a future featured back for an offense that could be without their top runner, as Ahman Green will almost surely go elsewhere. Lynch has all the skills to be the best back in this class, if he can just put it together for a full season, and full career. Lynch is tough, has tons of speed, and very quick feet, as his body is close to that of Mr. MVP, LT2. But then again, it all depends what happens before the draft. If Green resigns, then don’t expect the Pack to snag Lynch here. If GB does actually pursue a top receiver, via trade or free agency, then I don’t even expect them to go offense here. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if Green Bay went best player on the board for this selection, considering the vast areas of football they could improve in. With the assumption that Green is gone, I think Lynch gets the nod here, and splits time with Vernand Morency.

Jacksonville Jaguars: Tedd Ginn Jr.
Okay, this one is easy. With their top 4 pass catchers being as tall and ball possession-y as all getty-up, how can the Jaguars pass on someone like Ted Ginn Jr.? They can’t, and probably won’t. Ginn will give the Jags a stretch the defense type player that they just don’t have, and haven’t had since Jimmy Smith’s wonder years. Who knows what the Jaguars will do at the quarterback position, but whomever gets the nod, Byron, David, Quinn, or even someone like Jake Plummer; a receiver like Teddy will be just what the Jaguar ordered. I think Ginn would make all the receivers on the field better. He’s to big of a threat to go the distance, so single coverage on the other guys would give them more chances, and the tandem of Drew and Fred Taylor would also benefit from some attention paid to the team’s pass attack. Of course, this might not happen, and if it doesn’t, expect the Jags to select a young pass rushing type, or any defensive front 7 for that matter, because they’ve learned all about the need for depth. But honestly, depth there can be had with the rest of their picks, the fastest and most explosive offensive player in the draft can be had here and only here.

Cincinnati Bengals: Paul Posluszny
Please, please, please! I plead to those who watch over Cincinnati and the dire need of adding good people to the Bengals, young men who won’t sell coke, slap police officers, shoot guns, feed booze to young underaged women, drink and drive, and live in the substance abuse policy in the NFL. Can you please force the Bengals to pick Posluszny? I know he doesn’t fit the form, but is that such a bad thing? This kid does all the right things, on and off the field, and after a season as pathetic as the Bengals just had, Paul’s getting drafter here would at least show a shuffle in the right direction. He might not be as athletic as Odell Thurman, or as talented as Chris Henry, but he’s got plenty of ability to play this game at this level, and you know he’ll get the job done off the field to boot. Oh, and the Bengals suck defensively, did I mention that. This kid helps the squad as well.

Tennessee Titans: Jarvis Moss
The last time the Titans picked a receiver in the first round was 1998 (Kevin Dyson). In the last 8 drafts, the Titans have had six 1st round picks. Five of those picks have been that of the defensive nature. I’m putting the numbers together as I write. Seems like most of the time Mr. Fischer and the Titans have gone with a defensive selection. I’m going to go out on a limb and say they do it again in ’07. Many think the Titans are dying to add some more game breakers at the receiver spot, but honestly, I think they’re happy enough to go somewhere else with this pick, especially with all the defensive stars sitting on the board. In this receiver heavy draft, the 2nd or 3rd round will have a couple possibilities for big production, so right here, I think the Titans will strengthen their D core with the addition of a defensive lineman. I’m going with Jarvis Moss. He’s not neccecarily a freak like Javon Kearse freak, but the kid plays all out with some fantastic speed, which is just what the Titans need to improve all aspects of their defense. In fact, a big addition here would make them a pretty intriguing defense going into next season.

New York Giants: Lawrence Timmons
The Giants have shown interest in free agent running backs, or possibly trading for a solid back up the league has to offer, but even if they don’t get something done by draft day, I don’t expect them to reach for a runner here. Reaching is not something the Giants often do. After taking a receiver last season fairly early (Top of Round 2), I don’t expect them to go WR again, but Sydney Rice and Dwayne Bowe are two solid targets with all the ability to improve a passing game that wasn’t very consistent last season. But the Giants don’t need WR, especially a young unproven one (as the learned with Moss last season) and in a receiver heavy draft, it wouldn’t be right to go receiver. I think the Giants add a possible Pro Bowl linebacker in Lawrence Timmons. LT or so he may be referred to as some day in his career, maybe LT3, would be a great depth creator on a team that can’t seem to keep linebackers healthy if it saved their lives. I’m going with Timmons here, as he’s bound to impress at the combine, dude is athletically gifted, that’s for sure. A young rangy tackling machine can’t hurt this struggling defense.

Denver Broncos: Aaron Ross
First of all, there is no way Marshawn Lynch gets passed the Broncos, but in this situation, Lynch no longer is draftable, so I’d imagine Mike the Mou(se) is headed in another direction, as he’s shown he will never reach for a runner. (Free agency could sure up that position anyway) For now, I think the Broncos will trade down, but since that is impossible to predict and imagine who they would trade this pick to, I’ll just imagine that they don’t trade this pick at all, instead picking up an All American type athlete at corner, Mr. Aaron Ross. Ross has a chance to finish a top this class of corner backs, as his skill set is phenomenal. That’s exactly the tool box he’ll need lining up next to Champ Bailey, because God knows whomever gets that task will have plenty of opportunities to prove his worth. Without a trade, I can’t see Shanny leaving Ross’s talent on the board.

Dallas Cowboys: Michael Griffin
First things first: Tony Romo will be fine. Please, everyone take a break on predicting the young singal caller’s demise at the hands of psychiatric problems, bad dreams, and in the end, a pill or two from TO. If anyone can get over doing something like Romo did, it’s Tony. Its not like the game was over then and there anyway, though I’m sure Tony thinks he lost the game for his guys. Hence him saying, “I lost the game.” But the Hawks still had over a minute left to drive down, and let Josh Brown kick a field goal to win the game. He’s usually pretty good at that. But sorry, back to the mock draft. The Cowboys should put in some work with free agency, and that will obviously change things in Big D’s draft process. I have a feeling Dallas will take the best player on their board with this selection. If Levi Brown falls this far, his fall will stop. But Jerry Jones is a chance taker, so I can imagine him trying to make a splash with this selection. I don’t see much of a cannon ball here, so I’m going way out on a limb and predicting Jones plucks Texas kid Michael Griffin from the draft pool. This UT player can shut down the run, but he has a knack for breaking up passes, as his athleticism seems to get him in the right spot.

Kansas City Chiefs: Dwayne Bowe
I like Bowe. In fact, I think the kid is a flat out steal here. He’s going to be a top receiver in this league. He’s not afraid to do anything. He’s big, fast, strong, and he’ll go get the ball from a defender if you just give him a chance. The Chiefs haven’t had a big solid #1 receiver since, since, damn how long has it been? I don’t even know, and that’s saying something. And NO, Easy Eddie Kennison doesn’t count. Bowe will instantly give the Chiefs offense another much needed target, and one that can get first downs as soon as he puts on a jersey. This is a Herm Edwards type guy, I can feel it. The Chiefs have many a need, on both sides of the ball, but Bowe here is the right decision.

New England Patriots (via Sea): Patrick Willis
How soon people can forget the plays you made yesterday, just ask Reche Caldwell. After making a few huge catches against the Chargers, to get the Patriots in the AFC Championship, he drops a couple balls and now everyone and their mother wants to replace this guy immediately. Sure, he’s not a stud, and neither is Gaffney, but don’t expect the Patriots to go all out to get a receiver just because they are limited there. With that being said Sidney Rice would be a solid pick here. But the Patriots liked Chad Jackson enough to trade up to get him, and that says a lot, so don’t be surprised if the Patriots exit the 1st round of the draft without a new receiver for Tom Brady. Defense is a much bigger need with plenty of aging key players that might very well need to be replaced. Patrick Willis is an excellent athlete, a kid who would flourish under the guidance of a couple crafty veterans. Even if their grandfathers come back to play another year at linebacker, a young super star in the making, (Willis) would be a great pick here. Yes, I’m sorry to crush everyone’s hopes that the Pats will pick a receiver to replace Branch with the pick they got for Branch. Just too much coincidence there, makes me sick.

New York Jets: DeMarcus Tyler
This “Tank” is just what the Jets need. Well, I’d say they need about 3 Tanks, but one to start with will be a good move for one of the worst run defenses pro football has to offer. Tyler played ball with 3 former 1st round picks while at North Carolina State, but had his best season this year, his final year, without one of those ’06 first rounders to help him out. Tyler would be a huge boost at nose tackle to a team that desperately needs defensive line help. Last year the Jets showed they were willing to pass up talented skill players and build from within, something they’ll do again this year, just defensively this time.

Philadelphia Eagles: Adam Carriker
The Eagles always use their first round picks on defensive linemen. With Javon Kearse getting hurt again, I won’t be surprised one bit if the Eagles select the versatile Adam Carriker. Adam is huge 6’6″ 300+lbs and has the strength and speed to play either end or defensive tackle. So, even if Kearse does come back and stay healthy, Carricker will still have plenty of room to make his presence felt in Philly. This kid is a consistent player that could be labeled an overachiever, but don’t question his ability. Not only does Adam fit the Eagles draft mold, he seems like a steal at the 26th spot, which is something the Eagles always seem to do, steal great players later than they should have been selected.

New Orleans Saints: Greg Olsen
The Saints need defensive help, as the Eagles and Bears both proved in the Saints two playoff games. Linebackers, secondary, interior defensive linemen, you name it, needs are there. But with so man defensive players finding new teams early in Round 1, the Saints will have to turn another direction, and hope for a steal in the latter rounds to improve their defense. That leaves room for New Orleans to add something both Drew Brees and Sean Payton both love to utilize, a pass catching tight end. And there’s only one that is worthy taking this early, Miami product, Greg Olsen. Many think Greg would have had similar numbers to Jeremy Shockey and Kellen Winslow had he had the former Hurricane’s offensive attack. I’m not so sure about that, but Olsen looks like a very good tight end option to me, and he’s a solid blocker as well.

New England Patriots: Marcus McCauley
Believe that, the Patriots had two first round picks and didn’t pluck a receiver. “Gasp!” McCauley is a very talented cornerback prospect whose draft stock suffered because of the lack of help around him. McCauley, with a chance to become part of the Patriot system, has the tools to take over for Asante Samuel (because he’ll almost surely be gone). Physically, this kid is quite the prospect, so look for the brilliant Patriot brass to gobble this kid up late in the 1st round.

Baltimore Ravens: Michael Bush
I don’t really understand it much. Bush gets hurt, and suddenly, he drops down the draft board, as if he’ll never be healthy again. It’s not like Bush tore every ligament in his knee, ala Willis McGahee. Bush was a touchdown machine in college, a hard nosed runner with plenty of size, and some pretty nice speed for his body type. How lucky are the Ravens that this kid got hurt early, they’ll have a chance to scoop up a replacement for the departed (or soon to be departed) Jamal Lewis. Mike Anderson will give Bush time to adapt to the pro game, and taking a year off of football, but soon he’ll turn into the 25 carry back that Jamal Lewis used to be. If the Ravens don’t grab a runner here, look for them to help provide for whomever does take that spot. In other words, an offensive lineman, maybe Ben Grubbs, Josh Beekman, or Justin Blalock could fill that need.

San Diego Chargers: Sidney Rice
As if having LT wasn’t enough, getting someone at a need position with the talent of Sidney Rice might turn out to be too fairy-tale for the San Diego Chargers. But in this Mock, team after team went defense instead of plucking Sidney, and the Chargers are there to improve their receiving corps. Rice might not have elite speed, but I’m willing to bet my lefty that he could beat Keenan McCardell in a race. Plus Keenan is upwards of 50, and on his last legs I’m sure. (Kudos to you Keenan, you’ve had one hell of a career by the way) Rice can go get the ball, has great hands, and is raw for the molding. Rivers needs more options, and so the youngster receives a receiver.

Chicago Bears: Justin Blalock
If this young and versatile lineman is still on the board when Chicago drafts, he’ll be a Bear. He’s very talented and plays both positions, and although the Bears have a solid offensive line, I believe 4 of the starters are or will be on the wrong side of 30 when next season slums around. Chicago has some free agents looking for a big pay day, like Lance Briggs, so you never can tell what they’ll be dealing with when draft day actually rolls around. Secondary help can always improve the Bears defense, as they’ve had their own problems throughout the year in that area. More depth at defensive tackle, if that area happens to be a steal at this point in the draft, could be addressed.

Indianapolis Colts: Chris Houston
The Colts need nothing, as they are the Super Bowl Champions. Right. While the running game finally started to run like a well oiled machine at the end of the season and in to the playoffs, the Colts look to be set at that position for years to come. If Rhodes was a more popular player, he would have been MVP (and will likely be resigned, because there aren’t a ton of teams that will break the bank to get Rhodes), and if Addai had one more catch in the last 20 minutes of the game, he would have tied the all time record for receptions in a Super Bowl. They’re both solid. Offense is good, unless you look at the offensive line, where Tarik Glenn is ancient, and both Jake Scott and Ryan Lilja are set to test the free agent market. Oh, and the entire defense seems to be becoming free agents this off-season. 4 of the best linebackers, their best defensive player (Dwight Freeney) and both their starting corners could become free agents, and the Colts only have 5 million bucks to resign players with. Should be interesting. Houston is my pick because even if the Colts find room to resign their corners, its not like they are awesome. And the secondary in Indy isn’t deep. With all first round linebackers off the board, I think the Colts take Houston. He’s flying under the radar right now, but who knows, maybe I get lucky here.

Mock Draft Database

2006 Lucky Lester Fantasy Draft Board

When it all comes down to it, every fantasy nut needs a draft board. Your best players ranked from 1 to 100, maybe even to 200. Think about it, write it down, rewrite it; then follow it throughout your draft. And if you never crumble to the temptations of a sexy pick two rounds too early, and you forget about your defense and kicker until the last few rounds, then you’ve done your scouting well young Luke. If the fall’s lazy eye has you by the beans, and making your own list out of the question; here’s one that should get you to the top. This list is based solely on a smooth immeasurable ratio of value and point production. If QB touchdowns and WR/RB touchdowns are equal in your league, all the quarterbacks jump up 4-5 spots.

Don’t forget the three main rules of your draft board.

  • Feel free to deviate slightly for things such as; preference, bye week differential, and the value of a player depending on who has been chosen previously. For example, if my favorite player is Ronnie Brown, and I get to chose between Ronnie and Cadillac, I’m taking Ronnie, because they are close enough on my board. If my starting RB has a bye in week 10, and I’m choosing between Frank Gore and Willie Parker, and Frank has a bye in week 10, take Willie. And last, if you’re choosing between Chad Johnson and LaMont Jordan for your 2nd pick, and all the other top tier RB’s have been taken, take LaMont because his value is higher.
  • Don’t get caught up in the tight end, defense, or kicker hullabaloo. If you can get good value with Antonio Gates, go for it. But chances are, he’ll get drafted much earlier than he should, as will guys like Shockey, Gonzalez, and Crumpler. Aside from Gates, TE’s are too equal to pick early in drafts. Wait it out and take advantage of guys like Ben Watson, Ben Troupe, and Kellen Winslow falling down the draft. Same goes for defenses, except never pick one until you have starters and backups at all positions. Kickers…. Hahaha…. Last two rounds could be too soon.
  • Don’t let bye weeks break your balls. If you’re choosing between two players relatively close on your draft board (3-5 spots apart) then bye week should come into your mind. But if I’m choosing between Anquan Boldin and Plaxico Burress in round 4, and you already have Larry Fitzgerald (who has the same bye as Boldin) take Boldin anyway. He’s that much better. You can always come up with something in that situation. But don’t pass on great players because of one lousy bye week.

Stick to your game plan, follow good ol’ Lucky Lester’s Rules and his Top 100, and take home the pride and prize at season’s end.

MY Draft Board – Top 100

  1. Shaun Alexander
  2. LaDainian Tomlinson
  3. Larry Johnson
  4. Tiki Barber
  5. Steve Smith
  6. Edgerrin James
  7. Clinton Portis*
  8. Brian Westbrook
  9. Peyton Manning
  10. Larry Fitzgerald
  11. Steven Jackson
  12. Torry Holt
  13. Terrell Owens*
  14. Cadillac Williams
  15. Rudi Johnson
  16. Ronnie Brown
  17. Anquan Boldin
  18. Chad Johnson
  19. LaMont Jordan
  20. Willis McGahee
  21. Carson Palmer*
  22. Warrick Dunn
  23. Marvin Harrison
  24. Reggie Wayne
  25. Corey Dillon
  26. Chris Chambers
  27. Randy Moss
  28. Santana Moss
  29. Kevin Jones
  30. Dominick Davis*
  31. Tom Brady
  32. Julius Jones
  33. Reuben Droughns
  34. Antonio Gates
  35. De’Shuan Foster
  36. Frank Gore
  37. Willie Parker
  38. Matt Hasselbeck
  39. Jamal Lewis
  40. Thomas Jones*
  41. Plaxico Burress
  42. Javon Walker*
  43. Donovan McNabb
  44. Donald Driver
  45. Marc Bulger
  46. Hines Ward*
  47. Darrell Jackson*
  48. Roy Williams
  49. Chester Taylor
  50. Andre Johnson
  51. Eli Manning
  52. Dominic Rhodes
  53. Deuce McCallister
  54. Reggie Bush
  55. Fred Taylor
  56. Chris Brown
  57. Ahman Green*
  58. Daunte Culpepper
  59. Joey Galloway
  60. Mike Bell
  61. Drew Bledsoe
  62. Jake Delhomme
  63. Joe Horn
  64. Kurt Warner
  65. Ben Roethlisberger
  66. Derrick Mason
  67. Jeremy Shockey
  68. TJ Housmandzadeh
  69. Todd Heap
  70. Mike Vick
  71. Tatum Bell
  72. Jason Whitten
  73. Reggie Brown
  74. Drew Brees
  75. Steve McNair
  76. Tony Gonzalez
  77. Brett Favre
  78. Joseph Addai
  79. Jake Plummer
  80. Terry Glenn
  81. Randy McMichael
  82. Byron Leftwich
  83. Chris Cooley
  84. Jon Kitna
  85. Cedric Benson*
  86. Ben Troupe
  87. Chris Simms
  88. Rod Smith
  89. Deion Branch*
  90. Mike Anderson
  91. Laveraneus Coles
  92. Mushin Muhammad
  93. Lee Evans
  94. Drew Bennett
  95. Michael Clayton
  96. Braylon Edwards*
  97. Algae Crumpler*
  98. LJ Smith
  99. Antonio Bryant
  100. Ben Watson