As posted at www.nicelittlesundays.blogspot.com
1 - Miami Dolphins - Jake Long, OT, Michigan (previous - Jake Long) Like we expected in our last mock Jake Long was the selection. No one can really fault Miami for this pick as it was probably as safe of a pick as they could have made. The move allows Miami to move Vernon Carey to right tackle were he belongs and solidifies Miami's offensive line for years to come. Vernon Gholston was their supposed 2nd choice, but Long was the right pick for Miami. The Matt Ryan rumors were still there so it will be interesting to see if they are comfortable with John Beck or if they go QB in round 2.
2 - St. Louis Rams - Glenn Dorsey, DT, LSU (previous - Chris Long) The Rams can't screw this pick up if they select Dorsey or Chris Long. It seems to make more sense to select Chris Long to play DE and leave last years #1 Adam Carriker at DT (especially now that he is up to 315), but the talk is that they are leaning towards Dorsey as the top player on many teams draft boards. There are a number of teams mentioned to be looking to trade up for Dorsey, so St. Louis is a good candidate to trade down a few spots and add another pick (maybe as far back as #10 with New Orleans).
3 - Atlanta Falcons - Matt Ryan, QB, Boston College (previous - Glenn Dorsey) In our first mock we had Ryan as the pick and he is back. Atlanta seems to be as clear as any team picking in the top 5. If Dorsey is still here he is likely the pick, but with him off the board they pick up a franchise QB to build around after the Michael Vick fiasco. With Joey Harrington and Chris Redman as the only QB's on their roster Ryan is the logical chioce, but Joe Flacco, Chad Henne and maybe even Brian Brohm could be there at the top of the 2nd if they can get Dorsey here.
4 - Oakland Raiders - Darren McFadden, RB, Arkansas Absolute crapshoot with The Crypt Keeper. The only logic you can apply is that he loves speed and freak athletes and no one in the draft is a more unique talent than McFadden. If not McFadden, Gholston could be the talent on the defensive side he covets and in that case McFadden and Gholston could flip-flop positions.
5 - Kansas City Chiefs - Chris Long, DE, Virginia (previous - Matt Ryan) As recent as a month ago Jake Long looked to be the pick and would have been their certain first choice. With Long off the board the best thing they could do is not fall into reaching for the next tackle on their board and instead trade down to pick up the tackle later in the round. They'll consider Ryan Clady, Brandon Albert and even DT Sedrick Ellis, but with Jared Allen now gone the Chiefs have the 17 pick at their disposal as well. Our thought is they take the top tackle left at 17 (Clady, Albert, Chris Williams or Jeff Otah) and pick up Allen's replacement here in Long. There is also a good chance the Chiefs trade back a few spots here for someone wanting Gholston or a sliding McFadden or Ryan, allowing the Chiefs to pick up Clady or Albert in a better spot. The issue will become if the Chiefs can fit so many picks under the rookie cap.
6 - NY Jets - Vernon Gholston, DE/OLB, Ohio State McFadden is the popular pick here, but the top 2 talent in the draft shouldn't slip through 5 slots without someone taking him or someone trading up to take him. Assuming he is gone Gholston is the top player on the board and should be the pick.
7 - New England Patriots (via San Francisco) - Leodis McKelvin, C, Troy (previous - Dominique Rogers-Cromartie) Our top corners flip-flop back to where they were a month ago. Cromartie is a fast riser, but McKelvin is higher on most boards. The Patriots shouldn't seemingly be picking so high and with a top 7 pick they are a candidate to trade down and accumulate more picks. Teams could be looking to move up for one of the top 5 to slip or for Ellis. If trade value isn't there the Pat's need help in the secondary and take the top corner. Also, it seems crazy but don't be shocked if New England moves up, yeah up, to get at Gholston if he isn't taken in the top 4.
8 - Baltimore Ravens - Ryan Clady, OT, Boise St A quarterback of the future is a possibility, but with Ryan selected there isn't another QB that should be taken this high. The next step is adding a cornerstone to the offensive line with Jonathon Ogden playing one more year tops (only if he doesn't stick to his retirement talk). Clady ranks as the 2nd tackle in the draft and is the pick.
9 - Cincinnati Bengals - Sedrick Ellis, DT, USC This team is developing needs all over, but the most important is interior help on the D-line. Ellis is the 2nd DT prospect in the draft and the right choice if he is still available.
10 - New Orleans Saints - Keith Rivers, LB, USC New Orleans would like to move up for Dorsey, but that will take a lot. Ellis is the obvious next DT choice and they could try to move in front of Cincinnati to get him, but assuming they don't we'll go along with everyone else. 99% of mock drafts have Keith Rivers as the selection here and he is what makes sense following the Saints helping their secondary by signing Randall Gay. A healthy Jonathon Vilma and Rivers makes quite a linebacker corp, however don't be suprised if a corner comes off the board here.
11 - Buffalo Bills - Devin Thomas, WR, Michigan State Buffalo should make every attempt to trade down and get Thomas (or another WR) later, but with the top talents off the board trade partners may be a little tough to find. Previous top WR Malcolm Kelly had his pro day and instead of running a 4.4 40 yd dash he ran a 4.68 and a 4.75. So instead of being the first wideout taken Devin Thomas jumps up to this slot. He's not as big, but at 6'2, 215 and running a 4.4 he will be Lee Evans new running mate.
12 - Denver Broncos - Brandon Albert, OG, Virginia Many have Albert going to KC at 5, but now that KC has the #17 as well they shouldn't have to reach for Albert and instead can take the top tackle at 17, or trade up from 17 with their extra picks to get their man. Clady would be the pick if he is here, but instead they get the fast riser in Albert. He was a guard in college, but could transition out to tackle in the pros. Is there a better spot for an athletic lineman who has the flexibility to play more than one position than Denver?
13 - Carolina Panthers - Rashard Mendenhall, RB, Illinois The recent excitement of DeAngelo Williams fantasy owners (after DeShaun Foster left) ends in round one of the draft when Carolina selects Mendenhall. Mendenhall is the 2nd rated back in the draft and would push DeAngelo back to a 3rd down role. If he slips one spot Chicago would likely jump on him, but will instead Chicago will wait until round 2 in this scenario and go with...
14 - Chicago Bears - Chris Williams, OT, Vanderbilt Another tackle to pair with John Tait would go a long way in Chicago and Williams is the athletic tackle that could start on the right side and make a move to the left eventually.
15 - Detroit Lions - Jonathon Stewart, RB, Oregon Stewarts injury shouldn't drop him and the Lions need someone to avoid having to feature Tatum Bell as their primary back. We can't imagine they would cut Kevin Jones (after losing TJ Duckett) without planning to pick up a back that is able to carry the load, and Stewart can. Plus, drafting skill position players is what Matt Millen does. The defense is horrendous and needs help, but remember, Millen is the GM.
16 - Arizona Cardinals - Dominique Rogers-Cromartie, CB, Tenn St (previous - Leodis McKelvin) Roderick Hood and Eric Green as your starting corners? Don't think so. Cromartie is a small school product, but all of the top corners in this years class are.
17 - Kansas City Chiefs (via Minnesota) - Jeff Otah, T, Pittsburgh (previous - Derrick Harvey) We had the Vikings taking Harvey, but the trade puts the pick in KC's hand and with Chris Long at 5 KC moves on to the tackle spot. Clady, Williams and Albert are off the board so we have Kansas City taking Jeff Otah. Otah fits Herm Edwards scheme great as a run blocking road grater in Kansas City's run first offense.
18 - Houston Texans - Mike Jenkins, CB, South Florida Houston could really use a RB and if Mendenhall or Stewart were here they would take them. If they are not they add an athletic corner to help their defense.
19 - Philadelphia Eagles - Derrick Harvey, DE, Florida (previous - Limas Sweed) The Eagles have to find an outside threat at WR that would start for more than 2 teams in the league or they might as well trade McNabb now. That said, Philly was rumored to be interested in the Jared Allen sweapstakes. Although unsuccessful the chain reaction works in their favor. We had Minnesota taking Harvey at 17, but they got their DE by trading for Allen. The loss of Allen created a need at DE for Kansas City, causing them to take Chris Long at 5. So, Philly can now take the fast rising Harvey here and look to address WR in the 2nd round.
20 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers - DeSean Jackson, WR/KR, California In most cases a 5'9, 169 lbs receiver shouldn't go in the first round unless you want to be disappointed, but Jon Gruden is the coach that would desire a playmaker in the slot that has game changing speed and ability enough to draft him with pick 20.
21 - Washington Redskins - Limas Sweed, WR, Texas (previous - James Hardy) There are a number of WR's that could go in the first round, but the Redskins need an outside receiver with the size and speed to be a true #1. This was proven by Washington making a play for Chad Johnson. They could go a number of ways, but just like our first mock draft Sweed is back here as the selection as the top big WR on the board.
22 - Dallas Cowboys (via Cleveland) - Felix Jones, RB, Arkansas Kelly, Thomas, Hardy and Sweed might all be the pick here if available, but assuming they are not the Cowboys go a different route. Instead of taking Felix Jones with their next pick (28th) he'll jump up a few spots and still be paired with Marion Barber as the speed back. If one of the top wideouts is there look for them to take the WR to pair outside with T.O., move Patrick Crayton to the slot and plan to grab Felix Jones with their next pick IF available.
23 - Pittsburgh Steelers - Gosder Cherilus, OT, Boston College (previous - Jeff Otah) They are expected to go O-line and the first round run on tackle's has neared its end.
24 - Tennessee Titans - James Hardy, WR, Indiana (previous - Mario Manningham) Hardy slides back a few spots into Tennessee's hands to fill their need as an outside threat to help Vince Young. Hardy is a big target and a perfect fit for the Titans.
25 - Seattle Seahawks - Dustin Keller, TE, Purdue Currently Will Heller stands as the Seahawks starting TE and Keller had the best combine of any tight end, putting himself in front of Fred Davis of USC.
26 - Jacksonville Jaquars - Philip Merling, DE, Clemson They could go a lot of directions here and the best available is likely. In this mock Merling is the top DE on the board. They have been intersted in amateur dancer Jason Taylor, but if they don't make a move for him look for them to take Merling.
27 - San Diego Chargers - Sam Baker, OT, USC (previous - Sam Baker) They can take the best available talent and the top offensive lineman makes sense with their current lack of depth after losing Shane Olivia. Baker is maybe a small reach, but he'd play right tackle in San Diego relieving him of jumping in at LT right away.
28 - Dallas Cowboys - Brandon Flowers, CB, Virginia Tech With the run on receivers and Felix Jones in place the Cowboys can go after the best available. The Pacman Jones trade doesn't look as likely to occur and Flowers has the ability to start right away, but more likely takes the nickel spot and starts opposite of T. Newman the following year.
29 - San Francisco 49ers (via Indianapolis) - Lawrence Jackson, DE, USC (previous - Gosder Cherilus) With a 30 year old Jonas Jennings at left tackle the 49ers could use a young bookend to add to the mix (while leaving Joe Staley on the right side). However, all of the top tackles have come off the board so they add a starting caliber DE in Jackson to add to their pass rush.
30 - Green Bay Packers - Antoine Cason, CB, Arizona When there isn't arguably much seperation between the corners available, having any off field issues doesn't help your positioning. That said Aqib Talib's sticky icky issues drop him from round 1 and brings Antoine Cason up into the 1st. It still gives the Packers a potential shut down corner as Charles Woodson moves into the end of his career.
31 - New England Patriots - FORFEITED (because THEY got caught)
32 - NY Giants - Kenny Phillips, S, Miami They could go with a young receiver or get the O-line some help, but with the players already off the board they add the best safety in the draft after losing Gibril Wilson.
2nd Round Not a chance...if no one can project the first round accurately, what's the point of trying to build on a mistake and project the 2nd?
For previous versions of the mock go to www.nicelittlesundays.blogspot.com