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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 and pending on Jason Taylor's future, he might be the Dolphins best player the second he steps on the field.
2. St. Louis - Glenn Dorsey DT LSU -- Some mocks have him falling due to injury concerns, but I don't see it. He came back from leg injury to play productively last season. He's a great player and will allow Haslett to move Carriker out to DE, vastly improving two DL spots. The other option is Jake Long, but there's a better chance of getting a quality OT later in the draft than a game-changing DL.
3. Atlanta - Matt Ryan QB Boston College -- Tom Dimitroff would probably prefer Jake Long or Sedric Ellis, but Arthur Blank is no dummy, and will likely nudge Dimitroff in Ryan'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. Darren McFadden looked to be this guy, until it came to light that he was chasing Travis Henry's fertility records. That's not what Atlanta needs right now.....especially with the high-class gentlemens' clubs in the area.
4. Oakland - Sedric Ellis DT USC -- With as great as Son of Huggy Bear ran last year, and with Michael Bush in the fold, and possibly Dominic Rhodes or some similarly-talented free agent on board, does it make sense for the Raiders to draft McFadden? Has anything Al Davis done lately made sense? The smart pick is Ellis, who can take over for Warren Sapp. Plus, taking a defensive player is probably the
right move for pissing off Lane Kiffin....if he's still the Head Coach by draft-time.
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 - Ryan Clady OT Boise St -- The Jets have done an admirable job filling holes in free agency, and there's really no need here. I highly doubt the FO will draft a RB this high, but they could trade the pick to one that would. Clady would give the Jets a young offensive line, that could potentially be the league's best for a long time.
7. New England (from San Francisco) - Vernon Gholston LB Ohio St -- The Patriots are in position to take the best available defender here. The biggest hole is the one left by Samuel, but this looks too early to draft a corner. Gholston can help the coverage by putting some heat on the quarterback.
8. Baltimore - Leodis McKelvin CB Troy -- Neither Chris McAllister nor Samari Rolle look to have much tread left. McKelvin looks to be the athletic cover guy that can play the nickel immediately, and probably take over on the outside by November.
9. Cincinnati - Keith Rivers LB USC -- The McFadden watch continues. Lewis says that he's through with players of questionable character, and McFadden appears to have fallen into that camp. Why somebody with millions of dollars at stake chooses to participate in brawls is beyond me.
10. New Orleans - Mike Jenkins CB South Florida -- McFadden could conceivably go here, either to the Saints or another team. But the Saints have some money tied up in Reggie Bush, and I think Pierre Thomas is a legit running back. McAllister is still around somewhere also. New Orleans signed Randall Gay to play corner, but he's not really starting material.
11. Buffalo - Malcolm Kelly WR Oklahoma -- If a team really wants McFadden at this point, this is the spot to grab him. He might not get past Denver, and Buffalo can pick up Kelly or another talented WR later in the round. Kelly will give Trent Edwards a large target to throw to, and should make some big plays if defenses focus too much on Evans.
12. Denver - Kenny Phillips S Denver -- McFadden seems to be a Shanahan-type back, so it could happen. If it does, he teams up with Travis Henry to move Denver into the top spot on the Cities My Daughter Can't Go list. But Denver's bigger issue is defense, especially up the middle, where they can be run on. John Lynch decided to give it another go, but I don't think he can be relied on to stay healthy and above-average at this stage of his career.
13. Carolina - Quentin Groves DE Auburn -- It's starting to look like Julius Peppers could follow Kris Jenkins out the door in Charlotte. Even if he stays another year, lack of pass rush killed the Panthers last year. After Groves proved at the combine that his toe problems were behind him, he vaults up into the top half of the round.
14. Chicago - Devin Thomas WR Michigan St -- McFadden could be a great fit here, although I'm not convinced he's the best cold weather back available. More importantly, the Bears have much more pressing needs, and this draft is deep in running backs. The Bears lost their top two receiving threats last week, which means their top returning WR is....Devin Hester? Rashied Davis? Mark Bradley? Whomever the QB is going to be doesn't really have much chance for success until the Bears upgrade. Thomas is a WR that can do whatever you need him to.
15. Detroit - Darren McFadden RB Arkansas -- The Lions have to be concerned with Kevin Jones ending the season injured for the second consecutive year. Tatum Bell wasn't really the answer. At the very least, McFadden can provide Detroit with a change of pace back, and allow them to bring back Jones slowly. If Matt Millen weren't in charge here, the pick might be a CB, which would be smart.
16. Arizona - Jonathan Stewart RB Oregon -- Mendenhall seems to have more of Edge's game, but Stewart could be Whisenhunt's new Jerome Bettis, only with a much higher top gear and a legit threat in the screen game.
17. Minnesota - PROJECTED TRADE - The Vikings trade the 17th and 82nd picks to Seattle for #25, #55, and their fourth-rounder. The Seahawks select Rashard Mendenhall RB Illinois. Minnesota will trade down and hope that Harvey falls to them. Seattle could stay put, but they have to figure Houston will take the last of the Big 3 RBs, which would leave the Seahawks to reach for a Tight end or lineman here and pick up a guy like Forte later.
18. Houston - Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie CB Tennessee St -- With Dunta Robinson's status in the air, some reinforcing is needed in the secondary.
19. Philadelphia - Reggie Smith DB Oklahoma -- Asante is in, Lito looks to be out, and there's a hole at either free safety or nickel, depending on who you talk to. Smith can play both those positions, and can be moved to CB full time if needed.
20. Tampa Bay - Andre Caldwell WR Florida -- When Joey Galloway (37) and Ike Hilliard (32) are your two best receivers, that's a clear cry for help.
21. Washington - Limas Sweed WR Texas -- When Santana Moss and Antwaan Randle-El are your two best receivers, that's a clear indication that you're better off than Tampa Bay...but not by much. The
Skins definitely could use a big, dependable target to compliment the smaller quick guys.
22. Dallas (from Cleveland) - Felix Jones RB Arkansas -- We all knew that Jerry Jones was infatuated with an Arkansas running back, and Jones and Barber make an ideal tandem.
23. Pittsburgh - Brandon Albert G Virginia -- OL and DL depth seem to be the trouble spots. Albert should be a big upgrade over Faneca, and could probably upgrade their tackle postitions too.
24. Tennessee - Derrick Harvey DE Florida -- Having two of your three Defensive Ends leave as free agents officially qualifies you as having a need. Harvey will immediately pay dividends lined opposite of VandenBosch.
25. Minnesota (from Seattle) - Early Doucett WR LSU -- So, the Vikes weren't able to nab Harvey, but they pick up a polished receiver to breathe life into what passes for a passing game.
26. Jacksonville - Calais Campbell DE Miami -- The Jerry Porter signing allows the Jacksonville defense to get better and nastier up front.
27. San Diego - Carl Nicks OT Nebraska -- Neither Olivea nor Clady are terrible at RT, but neither has the talent nor the nastiness that Nicks can provide in the run game. The Dainian is going to love this guy.
28. Dallas - Chris Williams OT Vanderbilt -- The Cowboys pick up a stellar pass blocker to slide into the LT spot in 2009.
29. San Francisco (from Indianapolis) - Gosder Cherilus OT Boston College -- Looking for a reason why Frank Gore and Alex Smith regressed in '07? Look no further than the right side of San Francisco's line. Cherilus and Staley give the Niners two ideal tackles to anchor the OL.
30. Green Bay - Aqib Talib CB Kansas -- Talib disappointed at the Combine, but he blanketed the likes of Sweed, Kelly, and Bowman at Kansas, and the slow field at Lambeau will help him.
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.