1. Miami Dolphins
Chris Long, DE, Virginia
Playing for Al Groh at Virginia as well as he did, and being the son of a Hall-of-Famer, makes Chris Long a "Parcells guy" by association.
2. St. Louis Rams
Glenn Dorsey, DT, LSU
La'Roi Glover will turn 34 in July. And 2006 third-rounder Claude Wroten hasn't yet shown that he can step in and be the man. Dorsey should immediately improve the Rams front four and possibly allow 2007 first-rounder Adam Carriker to move to left defensive end.
3. Oakland Raiders
Darren McFadden, RB, Arkansas
Al Davis drafted Bo Jackson even though he had Marcus Allen. So why wouldn't Davis go after McFadden when all the Raiders have now is Lamont Jordan and Domenic Rhodes? And, oh yeah, Davis has never shied away from a player just because he got caught up in a bar fight.
4. Atlanta Falcons
Matt Ryan, QB, Boston College
Ryan's not going to be confused with Peyton Manning or Carson Palmer, but with a little seasoning he could be a solid starter who makes a couple of Pro Bowls, not unlike BC alum Matt Hasselbeck.
5. Kansas City Chiefs
Jake Long, OT, Michigan
The Kansas City offensive line needs serious help. If this is the way the board falls, then this pick should be a no-brainer for KC.
6. New York Jets
Derrick Harvey, DE, Florida
The Jets re-signed pass rusher Bryan Thomas after a career-year in 2006; the result: a lackluster performance similar to his first four seasons.
7. New England Patriots (from San Francisco 49ers)
Mike Jenkins, CB, South Florida
By the time next season gets rolling along, the Pats linebacking corps will be really old. OLBs Mike Vrabel and Rosevelt Colvin will be 33 and 31 respectively. ILBs Tedy Bruschi and Junior Seau will be 35 and 39! Even heralded free-agent signing Adalius Thomas will be 31. Since the Pats defense looked better with Thomas at ILB, acquiring an OLB should probably be the higher priority. But this isn't a good draft for dynamic pass rushers. I doubt Ohio State DE Vernon Gholston could smoothly transition to the Pats 3-4 and Auburn tweener Quentin Groves looked lost at times in his senior season.
8. Baltimore Ravens
Jeff Otah, OT, Pittsburgh
Marty Schottenheimer would be perfect for this team (he would actually make use of the underrated Mike Anderson). With Otah and 2007 first-rounder Ben Grubbs the Ravens would be building the kind of offensive line that could dominate for the next ten years.
9. Cincinnati Bengals
Sedrick Ellis, DT, USC
Though the Bengals have needs all over the defense, they've been weak in the middle of the d-line for years now; it's time for them to finally address the problem in the first round.
10. New Orleans Saints
Kenny Phillips, S, Miami
Another team that needs help at every level of their defense, the Saints will probably go with the best defensive player on the board.
11. Buffalo Bills
Malcolm Kelly, WR, Oklahoma
Last year, just about everybody had JaMarcus Russell and Brady Quinn as the top two QB prospects (not necessarily in that order). The big question was "Who's the best of the rest?" I'm happy to say my answer was Trent Edwards because in his first year he played like it. Combine Edwards with Marshawn Lynch who ran better in his first season than I thought he would, Jason Peters at left tackle, and Lee Evans split wide, and the Bills have the makings of an explosive offense. Now they need to keep adding weapons to help Edwards progress; without a top-10-tpye tight end prospect in this draft, the next best bet is to add the top-rated WR in the draft.
12. Denver Broncos
Keith Rivers, OLB, USC
A fast linebacker, perhaps a tad undersized, Rivers could excel in the Denver defense provided that the youngsters in the front four play better than last year.
13. Carolina Panthers
Ryan Clady, OT, Boise State
Panthers are in need of a left tackle to help protect Jake Delhomme, so Matt Moore can continue to develop on the sidelines for another season or two, the way Tony Romo did in Dallas.
14. Chicago Bears
Rashard Mendenhall, RB, Illinois
It's time to admit that Cedric Benson was a bust and move on. As much as the Bears need improvement at QB, Mendenhall is the kind of elite runner who is actually worth a first-round pick: the kind of back whose presence can help the passing game by forcing the defense to play eight-in-the-box.
15. Detroit Lions
Vernon Gholston, DE, Ohio St.
With the top-three offensive tackles off the board, the Lions select a WR. Just kidding! The Lions still don't get enough pressure on the QB and should be looking to add a pass-rusher. I'm not as high on Gholston as most of the draftniks are, but at this point it looks like he'll be a top-20 pick.
16. Arizona Cardinals
Jonathan Stewart, RB, Oregon
Stewart is another prospect I don't have rated as high as many others do. Still, I can't help imaging Head Coach Ken Whisenhunt imaging Stewart bringing a power running game to Arizona the way Jerome Bettis brought it in Pittsburgh.
17. Minnesota Vikings
Jason Jones, DE, Eastern Michigan
Are the Vikings ready to sink or swim with Tarvaris Jackson? That's the decision before them with Brian Brohm still on the board. Even though there would be some value to drafting Brohm and keeping him on the bench to see what happens with Jackson (Brohm could bring value in a trade if Jackson continues to improve as he did during the course of 2007), I see the Vikings showing him a vote of confidence and selecting another small school prospect: this time on the defensive side of the ball, where the Vikings ends don't generate enough pass rush.
18. Houston Texans
Reggie Smith, DB, Oklahoma
The Texans could be set at cornerback with Dunta Robinson and 2007 fourth-rounder Fred Bennett, who showed some promise. But they need help at safety and that could be where Reggie Smith steps in.
19. Philadelphia Eagles
Adarius Bowman, WR, Oklahoma St.
McNabb says the Eagles need more playmakers. And they do.
20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
DeSean Jackson, WR, California
Joey Galloway is 36. It's time to find a new WR who can stretch the field.
21. Washington Redskins
Calais Campbell, DE, Miami
22. Dallas Cowboys (from Cleveland Browns)
Leodis McKelvin, CB, Troy
23. Pittsburgh Steelers
Gosder Cherilus, OT, Boston College
24. Tennessee Titans
Limas Sweed, WR, Texas
25. Seattle Seahawks
Fred Davis, TE, USC
26. New York Giants
Mario Manningham, WR, Michigan
27. San Diego Chargers
Earl Bennett, WR, Vanderbilt
28. Jacksonville Jaguars
Antoine Cason, CB, Arizona
29. Green Bay Packers
Tracy Porter, CB, Indiana
30. San Francisco 49ers (from Indianapolis Colts)
Devin Thomas, WR, Michigan State
31. Dallas Cowboys
James Hardy, WR, Indiana
32. New England Patriots