Between designing and printing programs and place cards I've somehow managed to squeeze in a mock draft. Welcome to those who are just joining us from Hail Redskins. Now I do have some thoughts about what draft day trades we'll see and I predict that it will involve the Dolphins and Cowboys enabling the Cowboys to get the number one pick so Jerry Jones can support his alma mater and take Darren McFadden, but for this mock I just went with what we already have set.
1. Miami Dolphins-Chris Long, DE, Virginia
People still talk about the possibility of Matt Ryan going to the Dolphins, this is nonsense since in the last five years Bill Parcells used each first round draft pick he had on a defensive player. It is a combination of the media hyping the only first round quarterback in the draft and the media's obsession with the quarterback position. Chris Long is the son of Howie, a fuckin monster who plays the game the way it should be played. Parcells knew this was his choice the moment he took the Dolphins job.
2. St Louis Rams-Jake Long, OT, Michigan
In my mind the closest thing to a sure thing in this draft as Parcells taking Long is the Rams taking Long as well, Jake Long. I think every offensive lineman on that team spent time on the DL last year, and Orlando Pace isn't a spring chicken anymore. Their game plan is throwing the ball and having Stephen Jackson make other defenses look like fools. They still want to be the greatest show on turf, and to do that you have to be able to block. The only way they don't take Jake Long in my mind is if there is Chris Long available to them at this spot. Though, I wouldn't put it past them to trade down and grab some picks as well.
3. Atlanta Falcons-Glenn Dorsey, DT, LSU
This will shock some of you, but look at who the new coach is. The Jaguars built their stellar defense around their defensive linemen and their defensive tackles in particular. You also need a leader who is solid, upright, and is a great representative for your organization. Glenn Dorsey is easily one of the best roles models in this draft, which is something the Falcons need after Vick, hall and letting Warrick Dunn go.
4. Oakland Raiders-Darren McFadden, RB, Arkansas
They have three running backs on their team currently who have been starters during their careers. Why would they take Darren McFadden? Cause this is Al Davis and the Oakland Raiders. Nevermind that he already has bar brawls on his resume, no other offensive player has been hyped this year as much as McFadden and The Godfather loves big names.
5. Kansas City Chiefs-Matt Ryan, QB, Boston College
Yes, I think Herm Edwards takes a chance, I don't are if Brodie Croyle is his boy or not. The two options they have right now were far form stellar last season and the Chiefs faithful aren't exactly a patient bunch. The Chiefs will be a team everyone will be watching as what they do could start a flurry of trades trying to get up and I can see the Jets trading down to acquire picks.
6. New York Jets-Vernon Gholston, DE/OLB, Ohio State
Gholston's stock continues to rise after having a better pro-day then his combine, and his combine was easily one of the five best. Mangenius learned from Hoodie that you take the best player available on the board, and that's Gholston by a yard. He can fit in nicely with their 3-4 system and is the type of worker that they have come to expect from Ohio State, see Nick Mangold.
7. New England Patriots (via 49ers)-Sedrick Ellis, DT, USC
The Patriots lost both starting corners in free agency so the drafting a corner seems like the smartest move, but look what I said above. They take the best player available and at this time the best player available is Sedrick Ellis. There are a good number of corners in this draft who can be very good players, so they don't need to pay that high corner money at this point in the draft, which the Patriots are also very wary to do.
8. Baltimore Ravens-Leodis McKelvin, CB, Troy State
I'm not sure there will be a run on the corners in the first round as many else do. I think you'll see that tackle run, but not completely sold on corners, that's a lot of money to sink into a player. Ozzie Newsome is a part of those GMs though who take the best player available, most of the time, Kyle Boller was far from the best. Give McKelvin a year to adjust to this higher level of playing and in two years he'll be one on one with Braylon Edwards.
9. Cincinnati Bengals-Keith Rivers, OLB, USC
Defense, defense, defense, this should be the mantra of the Bengals' draft. I think Rivers will fit into their defense very well, specially with their adjustment to the 3-4 coming on. He's also an upstanding citizen, which is something else they need to look for when drafting.
10. New Orleans Saints-Phillip Merling, DE, Clemson
If the Saints somehow are able to land Glenn Dorsey watch New Orleans go nuts for the LSU Tiger. I wouldn't put it past the Saints trading up to try to land Glenn Dorsey which would continue to grab huge support from the community as they are coming down from the Reggie Bush excitement. Drafting Merling though allows them to move one of the bigger d-ends they have right now to tackle as their defensive line is still a big weakness for the Saints.
11. Buffalo Bills-Aqib Talib, CB, Kansas
They've had one of the best draft records the last three or so years and this very well may be the year we see Buffalo really start to compete for that wild card spot. I say wildcard because as long as New England has Tom Brady I don't see any team in the AFC East over taking them. I'm a big fan of Talib and I think he fits in beautifully with mentality they're building in Buffalo.
12. Denver Broncos-Ryan Clady, OT, Boise State
Their offensive line is old, inexperienced and in shambles. This isn't good when your offense is on the shoulders of a third year quarterback. They need to protect Jay Cutler, and Ryan Clady I think is the best fit for their zone blocking scheme.
13. Carolina Panthers-Lawrence Jackson, DE, USC
Imagine being a quarterback and seeing Julius Peppers on one side and Lawrence Jackson on the other, a daunting view from where I'm sitting. Now shipping Kris Jenkins to the Jets will no doubt make them think about local Tar Heel Kentwan Balmer, but I think Jackson is by far the better player overall and the one most likely to take the pressure off poster boy Julius Peppers.
14. Chicago Bears-Rashard Mendenhall, RB, Illinois
I've been preaching that the Bears will take a tackle for a very long time, but today this hit me. Benson hasn't worked out that well, and why not take the best Illinois player to enter the draft in decades? This kid is PHE-NOMINAL and I think is the best running back in the draft. It also works fan wise, taking the local college prospect is almost always looked at positively by the fans.
15. Detroit Lions-Jeff Otah, OT, Pitt
They have stated that this year they are focusing on the running game, they must establish the running game. Well, one has to block to establish the running game. If Mendenhall is available you'll see a path of fire where the Lions ran up to hand his card in, but with him gone they have to get the best lineman available.
16. Arizona Cardinals-Chris Williams, OT, Vandy
This is a big question mark for people, as they have a few big areas they could focus on in the first round. I went with the offensive tackle, help facilitate Edge running the ball and give some protection to Kurt Warner and Matt Leinart. Williams is a solid tackle who should make his share of prp bowls.
17. Minnesota Vikings-Derek Harvey, DE, Florida
I think the Vikings could go offensive tackle here as well, but for some reason I couldn't stop but picking Derek Harvey. They've almost been Lion-esque at times when it comes to drafting defensive ends in the first round and here it isn't much different. I think it gives them some speed at the end position that they're missing right now.
18. Houston Texans-Kenny Phillips, S, Miami
They will sit there, hoping and praying like good Texans, that Kenny Phillips land in their laps at number eighteen. They've been building that defense up to beat the Colts, putting this Miami General in charge of your air force is the next stop in toppling Peyton.
19. Philadelphia Eagles-DeSean Jackson, WR, Cal
They have their pick of wide receivers, but I went with DeSean Jackson purely because of his return ability. He would take the load off of Westbrook, and we have seen over the last two years how return men are becoming more and more of a factor in the NFL, this just continues that trend.
20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers-Dominique Rogers-Cromartie, CB, Tennessee State
Their defense has been solid for years, almost a decade it seems, but with that comes age and it's time to start restock piling their shelves. I think DRC is the type of player Jon Gruden adores. I think he has untapped physical potential, he could be the most athletic player in this draft, and could be a huge steal at 20. He has the potential to be a damn good shut down corner.
21. Washington Redskins-Malcolm Kelly, WR, Oklahoma
Pass rush is what they need most of all, but at 21 the real big name defensive ends are gone. Jason Campbell needs that tall wide receiver who can go up and snatch a pass if he's going to become one of those elite quarterbacks in the NFC. Kelly gives him that option, and moves Randal-El back to the slot, where he plays his best.
22. Dallas Cowboys (via Browns)-Felix Jones, RB, Arkansas
Step one, protect Tony Romo. At least, that's what it should be. Jerry Jones though is getting older and a bit more reminiscant about his past. He also hasn't seen Arkansas players this good come into the NFL since maybe the 70s. I believe he is determined to take one of those Arkansas running backs and make him a star. He doesn't want to risk losing Felix Jones, he takes him with their first of two.
23. Pittsburgh Steelers-Quentin Groves, DE/OLB, Auburn
They lost Alan Faneca, so taking Albert with their first round pick seems like a no-brainer, but rumor is circling that the Steelers are infatuated with Quentin Groves. One can see why, he is a dynamic player with great physical prowess and fits well into their defensive system. They can wait until the second round to grab a guard, Groves though won't be there.
24. Tennessee Titans-Limas Sweed, WR, Texas
I think there isn't a question that they will take at least two wide receivers in the draft, starting in the first round. Here though it depends on who the Eagles take, and they sort of get the left overs. I think Kelly and Sweed are so close together that it's a toss em. I do think over the long haul though Sweed is the better NFL caliber player as were Kelly may be a number 2 or slot receiver. It doesn't matter though, the Skins have selected Kelly and that allows the Titans to reunite Sweed and Young.
25. Seattle Seahawks-Fred Davis, TE, USC
They took care of some of their needs via free agency, especially at the running back position. Now they have Alexander, Morris, Duckett AND Julius Jones. I wouldn't be surprised if each of them got their own specific down and distance, maybe even 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th downs. So drafting a running back is no longer a first round priority. I still think they need a dynamic tight end for the west coast offense and Fred Davis to me is above and beyond the best tight end in the draft.
26. Jacksonville Jaguars-Calais Campbell, DE, Miami
He may have the most upside of any defensive end, save for Gholston and Long, as he has the pure physical ability that may be unmatched in this draft. The problem is his motor, can Jack Del Rio motivate Campbell to play to the best of his ability? If he can, then they made a steal at 26.
27. San Diego Chargers-Gosder Cherilus, OT, Boston College
They have this one draft pick until I think the fourth or fifth round, maybe even until 2009 the rate they're going. They desperately need another offensive tackle to book end their offensive line, protect the trash talker and LT. To me, this is the only kind of pick that makes sense with as few picks as they have in this draft.
28. Dallas Cowboys-Curtis Lofton, ILB, Oklahoma
Once again I think they will go away from what people expect them to do. Their inside linebackers don't exactly strike fear in the hearts of anyone, even with the Zach Thomas addition. Taking Curtis Lofton, a player much in the same mold of Zach Thomas, allows him to learn from the veteran and become the general that defense needs.
29. San Francisco 49ers (via Colts)-Mike Jenkins, CB, South Florida
With the addition of Issac Bruce wide receiver is no longer a given for the Niners in the first round. Their secondary though needs an immediate injection of youth and talent. They spent the farm on Clements, but that didn't result in the success they were expecting. Jenkins I believe is the type of player Mike Nolan cherishes and would probably end up starting over Walt Harris before the season began.
30. Green Bay Packers-Brandon Flowers, CB, Virginia Tech
The Packers are an interesting team as they don't have that many weaknesses and needs in regards to the draft. Their corners are getting quiet old, especially in the NFL and it may be time to draft a corner in the first time, for the first time in a very long time. I'm not as sold as Flowers as other people are, but he'll be serviceable and I honestly don't know who else they could take here.
31. New York Giants-Erin Henderson, OLB, Maryland
They lost Mitchell in the offseason, who was all over the field during the Super Bowl. I can't say enough how much I enjoy watching Erin Henderson play. I think he would fit in very well with that Giants style of football. The only other option I can see here is maybe going after Antoine Cason and getting another young corner, or reaching for a safety.
32. Miami Dolphins-Kentwan Balmer, DT, North Carolina
33. St Louis Rams-Antoine Cason, CB, Arizona
34. Atlanta Falcons via Raiders-Chad Henne, QB, Michigan
35. Kansas City Chiefs-Reggie Smith, CB, Oklahoma
36. New York Jets-Early Doucet, WR, LSU
37. Atlanta Falcons-Terrell Thomas, CB, USC
38. Baltimore Ravens-Brian Brohm, QB, Louisville
39. San Francisco 49ers-Mario Manningham, WR, Michigan
40. New Orleans Saints-Dustin Keller, TE, Purdue
41. Buffalo Bills-John Carlson, TE, Notre Dame
42. Denver Broncos-Branden Albert, G, Virginia
43. Carolina Panthers-Joe Flacco, QB, Delaware
44. Chicago Bears-Sam Baker, OT, USC
45. Detroit Lions-Michael Grant, CB, Arkansas
46. Cincinnati Bengals-Red Bryant, DT, Texas A&M
47. Minnesota Vikings-Josh Barrett, S, Arizona St
48. Atlanta Falcons (via Texans)-James Hardy, WR, Indiana
49. Philadelphia Eagles-Kevin Ellison, S, USC
50. Arizona Cardinals-Tavares Gooden, OLB, Miami
51. Washington Redskins-Jason Jones, DE, Eastern Michigan
52. Tampa Bay Buccaneers-Cliff Avril, DE/OLB, Purdue
53. Pittsburgh Steelers-Chilo Rachal, G, USC
54. Tennessee Titans-Tracy Porter, CB, Indiana
55. Seattle Seahawks-DaJuan Morgan, S, North Carolina State
56. Green Bay Packers (via Browns)-Jonathon Stewart, RB, Oregon
57. Miami Dolphins (via Chargers)-Donnie Avery, WR, Houston
58. Jacksonville Jaguars-Trevor Laws, DT, Notre Dame
59. Indianapolis Colts-Michael Johnson, DE, Georgia Tech
60. Green Bay Packers-Oniel Cousins, OT, UTEP
61. Dallas Cowboys-Dexter Jackson, WR, Appalachian State
62. New England Patriots-Spencer Larsen, ILB, Arizona
63. New York Giants-Ahtyba Rubin, DT, Iowa State