Another productive day at the office....
1. Miami - Chris Long DL/OLB Virginia
-- Parcells has said that he doesn't know what kind of defense he's going to use this year, which means he's going to see what kind of personnel he can put together and then see what their suited for. Long here is the smart pick. He's a tough kid that's been around football all his life, loves the game, and knows how to act professionally. More importantly, he's versatile enough to be an immediate contributor in either the 4-3 or the 3-4.
2. St. Louis - Glenn Dorsey DL LSU
-- I was tempted to go OT here, since the Rams OL was historically bad last year, but they also need help on the defensive interior, and there's a better chance that they can get a starting-caliber OT later than a starting-caliber DT. Plus Ochmed would metaphorically go upside the head if I didn't go defense here.
3. Atlanta - Darren McFadden RB Arkansas
-- This pick is subject to a coin flip, but since the Raiders suck, let's say Atlanta wins. Plus, Al Davis can go on another conspiracy rant. I refuse to believe that Matt Ryan is the answer here. Tom Dimitroff would probably prefer Jake Long or Sedric Ellis, but Arthur Blank is no dummy, and will likely nudge Dimitroff in McFadden's direction. The Falcons have had their worst year since their inception from a PR
perspective (Vick, Open mutiny in the locker room, Petrino) and played several home non-sell outs, which is ridiculous for the NFL circa 2007. They also have two running backs incapable of being a full-time guy. McFadden helps on both counts. He'll sell jerseys and tickets, and he can team up with Jerious Norwood to give Atlanta a credible run game, with Warrick Dunn nudged gracefully towards retirement.
4. Oakland - Sedric Ellis DT USC
-- Having been burned by the last Big Ten lineman he drafted high (in the draft), Al Davis, getting increasingly lazy in his old age, sees a dominant defensive lineman without having to look outside his home state. Which leaves plenty of time for napping.
5. Kansas City - Jake Long OT Michigan
-- I don't think Brody Croyle is going to make Chiefs fans forget Len Dawson....or even the aging Joe Montana. However, I think he'll end up being good enough to win with...if they can get their protection straight. The days of the Chiefs being synonymous with great line play is long gone, and in fact, their line is a few clicks south of terrible. Long's the guy.
6. New York Jets - Vernon Gholston LB Ohio St
-- Let's see...drafting Ryan would be an admission of missing on Kellen Clemens. Drafting Clady would be an admission of missing on D'Brickashaw. I don't think either of these things are true, and more importantly, Bradway and Mantits are too proud too admit it if they were. It's possible that they could trade the pick to somebody who wants Ryan, but I think that the Jets pettiness will see Gholston making the Patriots even better, and will draft him so that doesn't happen.
7. New England - We know that Matt Ryan would be an ideal quarterback for the new regime to develop. Are there any other teams out there looking for him? Possibly Carolina and Chicago. At the very least, Baltimore would be willing to flip picks with us to prevent that from happening. Chicago has an extra pick, so let's look at what would likely be the packages: From Baltimore, we could get probably the #8 pick and a fourth rounder. From Chicago, we could get probably get #14 and #44. So where would Belichick be more comfortable drafting? Between the cornerbacks, Clady, and the rush linebackers, I think Belichick will take the chance on somebody
he likes there at #14 in order to pick up the second rounder. PROJECTED TRADE: New England trades the #7 pick to Chicago for the #14 and #44 picks. The Bears select Matt Ryan QB Boston College.
8. Baltimore - Ryan Clady OT Boise St
-- With Jonathan Ogden leaning towards retirement, an immediate replacement is a must.
9. Cincinnati - Keith Rivers LB USC
-- Cincinnati keeps drafting linebackers that fail them, in either health or keeping out of trouble. They could use a running back, since I can envision them pulling the plug on Rudi Johnson, and going into the season with Kenny Watson, Chris Perry, Kenny Irons, and Quincy Wilson is no way to get through life. But running backs can be found later and in free agency. Play-making linebackers, not so much.
10. New Orleans - Leodis McKelvin CB Troy
-- More than anything else, New Orleans needs a better flood management system and money to rebuild. Next on the list is somebody who can cover. McKelvin's sticky like glue. And this could launch a run on cornerbacks.
11. Buffalo - Malcolm Kelly WR Oklahoma
-- If nothing else, Marv Levy has proven two things -- he can lose Super Bowls, and he's not afraid to "reach" for a player. Buffalo's needs are at MLB and WR, so failing a trade, do they reach for a big target like Kelly, or do they reach for a guy like Curtis Lofton/Phillip Wheeler? You can never have too many guys who can cover, but Buffalo needs some reliable targets for the quarterbacks. Lee Evans is getting lonely. Linebacker will have to wait.
12. Denver - Mike Jenkins CB South Florida
-- The once-impressive stable of cornerbacks needs replenishing. There's just no depth here anymore.
13. Carolina - Brian Brohm QB Louisville
-- One of the surest bets in the offseason is that David Carr will no longer be employed by the Panthers. Brohm would be a logical candidate to succeed Delhomme.
14. New England (from Chicago)
-- Aqib Talib CB Kansas
-- Essentially, the choices are Derrick Harvey, Kenny Phillips, or whatever CB BB prefers, and it will probably be determined by free agency gains or losses. I think Harvey could be dynamite, but it's a high risk to use a pick this high on a guy who hasn't played standing up. I don't get the first-round status assigned to Phillips, personally, and I don't think using back-to-back first rounders on safeties is the answer. Nor is he an upgrade on James Sanders. Therefore, let's go best available cornerback. To my eyes, that's Talib.
15. Detroit - Kenny Phillips S Miami
-- Detroit clearly needs major help on the defensive interior, but it's just not there right now. Next item on the list is secondary.
16. Arizona - Rashard Mendenhall RB Illinois
-- Mendenhall seems to be a perfect guy to take over for the Edge. He'll be a monster in the Whisenhunt/Carthon/Grimm offense.
17. Minnesota - Derrick Harvey DE Florida
The needs are fairly simple -- catching the ball, and preventing your opponent from catching the ball. Then again, it appears Kenechi Udezi is going away for a while, so Harvey makes perfect sense here.
18. Houston - Sam Baker OT USC
-- Wow, Houston's drafting late this year!
19. Philadelphia - Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie CB Tennessee St
-- I think the Eagles underestimated how much worse their pass defense would be without Rod Hood.
20. Tampa Bay - Limas Sweed WR Texas
-- When Joey Galloway (37) and Ike Hilliard (32) are your two best receivers, that's a clear cry for help.
21. Washington - Early Doucett WR LSU
-- When Santana Moss and Antwaan Randle-El are your two best receivers, that's a clear indication that your better off than Tampa Bay...but not by much.
22. Dallas (from Cleveland) - Felix Jones RB Arkansas
-- We all knew that Jerry Jones was infatuated with an Arkansas running back....
23. Pittsburgh - Jeff Otah T Pittsburgh
-- OL and DL depth seem to be the trouble spots. I'm sure they're very familiar with Otah.
24. Tennessee - Jerod Mayo LB Tennessee
-- Going over their roster, the Titans are solid at every position. QB and RB could be improved, but they're committed to Vince Young, and I don't think this is the spot for another RB for them, given two second round picks the previous two years, so it really comes down to solid rotational guys in the linebacking corps or at defensive tackle. With the big nasties up front taking on the blockers, a swift, sure-tackling MLB could really shore up the defense here. Mayo fits the bill.
25. Seattle - Jonathan Stewart RB Oregon
-- Some say Shaun Alexander is over the hill. Some say he's never gotten over his foot injury. Some say he misses Hutchinson. I say his biggest problem is that he's gotten soft after his big payday. You cannot say that about Stewart. This seems a perfect fit.
26. Jacksonville - Calais Campbell DE Miami
-- CB depth is probably more pressing, but the value here is at the DE spot. Campbell can be dropped seamlessly into the rotation.
27. San Diego - Mario Manningham WR Michigan
-- Another target for Rivers could really open things up on this offense. He'll battle with Eric Parker for the #3 spot.
28. Dallas - Antoine Cason CB Arizona
-- When Dallas wasn't outscoring folks, they weren't winning. That sounds rather obvious, doesn't it. What I mean is that Dallas couldn't stop anybody's passing game, so they put too much pressure on the offense to score every possession. Cason will help.
29. San Francisco - Kentwan Balmer DL North Carolina
-- Good options on the board for offensive tackles and 3-4 ends, which the Niners need badly.
30. Green Bay - Chad Henne QB Michigan
-- Here's a team with decent starters everywhere. However, nobody knows what's on 4's mind, and Aaron Rodgers might be a UFA before Favre retires. Henne could have a shot to be the next link in the Dickey-Majkowski-Favre line.
31. New York Giants - Dan Connor LB Penn St
-- Well, we know they don't need another pass-rushing lineman. They do need some linebacking help however.