Friday, April 25, 2008

2008 NFL Mock Draft

Mel Kiper Jr. remembers when nearly everyone around the NFL mocked his mock drafts. They called him a kook, an oddball, an eccentric, and, worst of all, a draftnik.

That was 25 years ago.

It was then that he first starting publishing his mock drafts for ESPN. Now, there’s a mock draft everywhere you look. On Web sites, in magazines, in newspapers, and in daily installments on the Worldwide Leader.

Since the NFL Draft is less than 28 hours away, columnists, fans, and bloggers are scrambling to update their mock drafts with the latest scouting information and rumors on what the teams may do in the first round. It is only appropriate that I throw my two cents in on what may or may not happen in this year's NFL Draft.

1) Miami Dolphins - Jake Long, OT, Michigan
Needs: OT, CB, WR, QB, G
Its pretty hard to screw up this pick since Long has already agreed to a five year contract with Miami with $30 million guaranteed and worth up to $57.75 million.

2) St. Louis Rams - Chris Long, DE, Virginia
Needs: DE, DT, WR, C, OLB, OT
Rams coach Scott Linehan has been quoted as saying, "We'll take whichever Long falls to us." That so happens to be Howie's son Chris.

Scenario 2: Take DT Glenn DorseyScenario 3: Trade down with Atlanta since Atlanta is interested in Dorsey.

3) Atlanta Falcons - Matt Ryan, QB, Boston College
Needs: QB, OT, CB, DT, TE
The coaching staff would like to start the new regime with a hot young quarterback in place. However, the Falcons scouting department loves Glen Dorsey. Who will out?

Scenario 2: If Dorsey is gone, Ryan is definately the pick. If they are both on the board Ryan is the pick.

4) Oakland Raiders - Glen Dorsey, DT, LSU

Needs: DE/DT, OT/G, SLB, WR, RB

Scenario 2: If C. Long is off the board and McFadden is still on the board, look for the Raiders to take the runstopper Dorsey to help rebuild a depleted defensive front since Sapp retired.

Scenario 3: If C. Long and McFadden are off the board, the Raiders would look to bolster the defensive front by taking either Dorsey or DT Sedrick Ellis.

5) Kansas City Chiefs - Vernon Gholston, DE, Ohio State
Needs: DE, OT, CB, DT, G, C, WR
Trading Jared Allen to the Vikings now moves DE to the forefront on the need list, and an offensive lineman will come later. Gholston's measurables are off the charts.

Scenario 2: If they want to go OT, they will take Ryan Clady or Branden Albert.
Scenario 3: Trade back and acquire more picks to better address a slew of needs.
Scenario 4: The Chiefs could also consider Ryan, Dorsey, Ellis, or Derrick Harvey.

6) New York Jets - Darren McFadden, RB, Arkansas
Needs: DE, WR, CB, FS, ILB, RB
Though running back isn't a top need, McFadden is the versatile and explosive weapon the Jets' offense has been missing for years.

Scenario 2: If KC passes on Gholston, and McFadden is gone, Gholston is the pick.
Scenario 3: Take Matt Ryan if McFadden and Gholston are gone.
Scenario 4: If McFadden, Gholston, and Ryan are gone the Jets may trade down if they can find a partner.

7) New England Patriots (from SF) - Keith Rivers, OLB, USC
Needs: ILB, OLB, CB, ROT, TE
The Patriots will trade out of this pick, down to get better value. If stuck at No. 7, the intelligent and versatile Rivers makes the most sense.

Scenario 2: Take Ellis if Rivers and Dorsey are gone.
Scenario 3: Don't be surprised if the Patriots ignore need and take Ellis if he's still available. He would represent the best value.
Scenario 4: New England could upgrade at right tackle by selecting OT Brandon Albert if he's available.

8) Baltimore Ravens - Derrick Harvey, DE, Florida
If Ryan isn't on the board and the Ravens don't trade out of this slot, they will take the best available player.

Scenario 2: Might have to trade up to get Matt Ryan.
Scenario 3: Sit patiently and hope either Ryan or Ellis falls to them.
Scenario 4: If they can't get one of their top two players and are unable to trade out, the Ravens would then look at Gholston, Albert and CB Leodis McKelvin, in that order.

9) Cincinnati Bengals - Sedrick Ellis, DT, USC
Needs: NT, OT, DE, LB, WR, C
Ellis has a great burst off the ball. He'll make everyone better on what was a disappointing unit last year. The Bengals may even trade up a pick or two to get him.

Scenario 2: If Ellis isn't available, the Bengals will look to trade back because there would not be a player on the board representing great value at their positions of need.
Scenario 3: If Cincinnati is stuck here with Ellis off the board, the possibilities include OT Ryan Clady, OLB Rivers and DE Derrick Harvey.

10) New Orleans Saints - Leodis McKelvin, CB, Troy
Needs: CB, DT, LB, TE, ROT, S
The top corner is available if the Saints want him. The decision will be between the explosive Mike Jenkins and Troy's kinetic Leodis McKelvin.

Scenario 2: Trade up to land Dorsey.
Scenario 3: Trade up to land Ellis.
Scenario 4: Hope Rivers is available.

11) Buffalo Bills - Devin Thomas, WR, Michigan State
Needs: WR, TE, CB, DE, FS
Taking Thomas here is a substantial reach, but the Bills most pressing need is at receiver.

Scenario 2: Trade down and still take Thomas. If Thomas is gone they could select CBs Jenkins or McKelvin.
Scenario 3: While it doesn't seem like a pressing need, don't be surprised if the Bills end up pulling the trigger on Harvey if he is still on the board.

12) Denver Broncos - Branden Albert, OT, Boise State
Needs: OT, WR, DT, MLB, S
At 6-7, 315, he slides over to tackle (to replace the retired Matt Lepsis), with the power and athleticism to handle the move.

Scenario 2: If Albert is gone, Denver could take OT Chris Williams, OT Jeff Otah, or Ryan Clady.
Scenario 3: Opt for a RB and take Rashard Mendenhall.

13) Carolina Panthers - Ryan Clady, OT Boise State
Needs: OT, FS, DE, RB, TE
Since Wharton will be moved inside to left guard, the Panthers need a left tackle. They have coveted Ryan Clady all along.

Scenario 2: If Clady is gone, they could take Derrick Harvey.
Scenario 3: If both Harvey annd Clady are gone, OT Jeff Otah.

14) Chicago Bears - Chris Williams, OT, Vanderbilt
Needs: OT, QB, RB, WR, G, S
Well, one thing is for sure. This pick will be an offensive tackle as it looks to be a very offensive draft for the Bears.

Scenario 2: If Williams is off the board, take the best remaining OT out of Otah, Albert, and Clady.
Scenario 3: If Mendenhall is available, the Bears will have to consider taking him because the power back would be a great fit for their scheme. And if he slips to them and none of the top five offensive linemen are still on the board, Mendenhall becomes the obvious choice.

15) Detroit Lions - Jerod Mayo, ILB, Tennessee
Needs: RB, DE, OT, LB, DT
Jerod Meyo is my choice for Detroit because he would be a perfect fit for the Lions Tampa 2 scheme. Would this be a reach? Probably.

Scenario 2: Take Mendenahll if he is available.
Scenario 3: If Mendenhall and Meyo are gone, take Harvey if he is still available.

16) Arizona Cardinals - Mike Jenkins, CB, South Florida
Needs: CB, FS, RB, LOT, WR, S
Arizona needs to bolster its defensive backfield, and the Cardinals can take the best available safety or corner because current DB Antrel Rolle can line up at either position.

Scenario 2: Take McKelvin, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, or Aqib Talib if Jenkins is off the board.
Scenario 3: The Cardinals are looking for a back who can complement RB Edgerrin James, and because Arkansas' Felix Jones would be a reach and Oregon's Jonathan Stewart is coming off toe surgery, there is an outside chance Arizona would trade up in an effort to get Mendenhall.

17) Kansas City Chiefs (from Minnesota) - Jeff Otah, OT, Pittsburgh
Needs: DE, QB, OT, CB, WR

After getting Long to replace Allen at defensive end, the Chiefs will look to address the offensive line here. Otah is a tough drive blocker capable of making an immediate impact on the right side.
Scenario 2: If Otah is off the board, KC takes the next best offensive tackle.
Scenario 3: Select a the best remaining cornerback.

18) Houston Texans - Rashard Mendenhall, RB, Illinois
Needs: CB, LOT, DE, G/C, S
RB is not a pressing need but Mendenhall is great value this late in the first round. Look for the Texans to select a CB if Mendenhall is off the board.

Scenerio 2: If Mendenhall is gone, they could select RB Stewart.
Scenario 3: Take the next best available corner, probably Dominque Rodgers-Cromartie.
Scenario 4: Take Chris Williams if he is available because Ephraim Salaam is not a long term answer at left tackle.

19) Philadelphia Eagles - Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, CB, Tennessee State
Needs: S, WR, LB, OT/G, DE
The Eagles signed free agent Asante Samuel, but Lito Sheppard has asked to be traded and likely will be gone after the draft. Keeping that in mind, taking the No. 3 corner prospect here makes sense.

Scenario 2: If DR-C is gone, they could select Talib or Jenkins.
Scenario 3: Select the best remaining OT since Tra Thomas and John Runyan are getting older, probably Jeff Otah.
Scenario 4: Take Phillip Merling to give Trent Cole help on the defensive front.

20) Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Aqib Talib, CB, Kansas
Needs: WR, LOT, CB, QB, DT
WR is more of a need however Talib has more value here.

Scenario 2: If Devin Thomas is gone, as is the case in this scenario, the Bucs could take the next-best receiver on their board, perhaps DeSean Jackson or James Hardy.
Scenario 3: Cornerback is a secondary need, and Talib would be a good value at this late point in the first round.

21) Washington Redskins - Phillip Merling, DE, Clemson
Needs: WR, S, DE, OL, CB
Washington is clearly in the market for a No. 1 receiver, as it already has tried to get disgruntled Cincinnati WR Chad Johnson in a trade. So the Redskins would like Thomas here, but it's highly unlikely. If they can't get Thomas, Merling is a good value here, and taking him would help them address one of their most pressing needs.

Scenario 2: Take the best available WR since Thomas will be gone. Could choose from Sweed, Jackson, Hardy, and Malcolm Kelly.

22) Dallas Cowboys (from Cleveland) - Felix Jones RB, Arkansas
Needs: CB, WR, RB, OT, S
With Dallas not expected to make a blockbuster trade to acquire McFadden, it could fill the need at running back with Felix Jones, who would complement Marion Barber well.

Scenario 2: Dallas could also select the best available receiver here or wait till 28 to take a receiver.

23) Pittsburgh Steelers - Limas Sweed, WR, Texas
Needs: DE (3-4), OT, WR, G, FS
Jonathan Stewart is a possibility here, but a possesion receiver is what the Steelers need.

Scenario 2: After defensive end, offensive tackle is Pittsburgh's greatest need, so Boston College's Gosder Cherilus is another option, though he would be a reach here.
Scenario 3: Pittsburgh could also select the best available receiver here and take Hardy or Jackson.

Scenario 4: Take Jonathan Stewart to compliment Willie Parker even though RB is not a pressing need.

24) Tennessee Titans - Malcolm Kelly, WR, Indiana
Needs: WR, DE, DT, CB, OLB
DT Kentwan Balmer is a possibility here, but wide receiver is the more pressing need, and Hardy would be the best available in this scenario.

Scenario 2: The Titans have an abundance of size at receiver but lack ideal explosiveness and have some problems separating from coverage when running routes underneath. In addition, getting him would give an average punt return unit a boost.
Scenario 3: Merling is another possibility, as Tennessee will probably look to address the defensive end spot in the first three rounds.

25) Seattle Seahawks - Kentwan Balmer, DT, North Carolina
Needs: TE, WR, DT, S, OL
While tight end and receiver are arguably more pressing needs, the Seahawks should be able to get help at those positions after the first round. Meanwhile, Balmer ranks third in what is a shallow defensive tackle pool, so taking him here makes the most sense for the Seahawks.

Scenario 2: Could opt to take the best available player left.

Scenario 3: Take a TE such as Fred Davis or Dustin Keller even though they are reaches.

26) Jacksonville Jaguars - Jason Jones, DE, Eastern Michigan
Needs: DE, DT, SS, OT, WR
The Jaguars need help along the defensive front, so they should take the best available defensive lineman. With DE Calais Campbell sliding down draft boards, that would be Jones.

27) San Diego Chargers - Jonathan Stewart, RB, Oregon
Needs: ROT, S, RB, NT, CB
Rumor has it that San Diego is another team interested in Stewart's services, but it doesn't appear that he will last this long. In addition, the Chargers clearly need a right tackle, and Cherilus would be a good fit.

Scenario 2: Take Gosder Cherilus if Stewart is off the board.

28) Dallas Cowboys - DeSean Jackson, WR, California
Needs: WR, CB, RB, G/C, QB, NT
With running back being addressed at No. 22 and no real value at corner here, look for the Cowboys to take a receiver. Jackson has the burst to make an immediate impact working out of the slot, and he also would give Dallas' punt return unit a boost.

29) San Francisco 49ers (from Colts) - Gosder Cherilus, OT, Boston College
Needs: ROT, OLB, WR, G/C, QB
The 49ers need multiple weapons to put around Alex Smith and may select the best WR availaible.

Scenario 2: San Francisco did well to get Joe Staley in the first round last year, but Jonas Jennings has had problems staying healthy and doesn't appear to be the answer at left tackle. The 49ers can move Staley and his quick feet to the left side and then plug Cherilus in on the right, where he has the size and quickness to make an immediate impact.

30) Green Bay Packers - Brandon Flowers, CB, Virginia Tech
Needs: CB, S, OT, TE, QB, RB
Charles Woodson and Al Harris are both on the downsides of their careers and there's no heir apparent behind either of them, so Green Bay needs to inject youth and talent at corner. Flowers is a bit of a reach here, but his smarts and toughness would make him a good fit for the Packers' scheme.

Scenario 2: Safety is also a pressing need, so don't be surprised to see Green Bay take Kenny Phillips if Flowers comes off the board earlier than expected.
Scenario 3: If Flowers is off the board, take Arizona CB Antione Cason.

31) New England Patriots - Pick forfeited
Needs: ILB, CB, OLB, OL

32) New York Giants - Tyrell Johnson, S, Arkansas State
Needs: S, OLB, CB, WR, G/T, DT
The ideal situation is for Mayo to slide this far because he would be an excellent value this late in the first round. However, the Giants also need help at safety after losing Gibril Wilson to free agency, and Johnson has been moving up draft boards.

Scenario 2: The Giants may decide to opt for S Kenny Phillips instead of Johnson.
Scenario 3: Dan Connor would be a good choice as well because he would offer solid value at one of the Giants' positions of need.

Scenario 4: Take a CB such as Antoine Cason or Brandon Flowers is available to an aging secondary.

1 comment:

The Matt said...

nice! you should post on mine as well, then we have two views!