Saturday, February 02, 2008

2008 NFL Mock Draft

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
Sedrick Ellis, DT, USC
After a disappointing injury-plagued season, defensive tackle Rod Coleman is a potential cap casualty. Even if the Falcons restructure his contract and keep him, he will turn 32 this summer, and his best years are definitely behind him. Ellis should be a dominant player for years to come and his presence should also help the development of 2007 first-round defensive end Jamaal Anderson.

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. Long should be able to step in and play left tackle the way Cleveland's 2007 first-rounded did and San Diego's 2006 second-round Marcus McNeil did. That would allow Damion McIntosh to move to right tackle or right guard where he would be better suited.

6. New York Jets
Derrick Harvey, DE/OLB, 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. They need to get more pressure and adding Harvey will help accomplish that.

7. New England Patriots (from San Francisco 49ers)
Vernon Gholston, DE/OLB, Ohio St.
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.

8. Baltimore Ravens
Matt Ryan, QB, Boston College
Either Steve McNair or Kyle Boller will be back next year, but probably not both. If Troy Smith has a future with the Ravens it's as a backup.

9. Cincinnati Bengals
Keith Rivers, OLB, USC
With the top defensive line prospects off the board, the Bengals select the best defensive player available. The Bengals linebackers played woefully last year, though a lot of that can be attributed to losing their starters (as well as a couple of backups) to injuries.

10. New Orleans Saints
Leodis McKelvin, CB, Troy
Mike McKenzie is coming off an injury. Jason David was an awful free agency signing, looking a lot like Fred Thomas in 2006 only somehow playing even worse. 2007 third-rounder Usama Young has some upside and could be a starter, but with the top front-7 guys off the board, the Saints have to get a potential starter.

11. Buffalo Bills
Malcolm Kelly, WR, Oklahoma
The Bills simply aren't going to compete in the AFC by scoring—as they did in 2007—15.8 points per game. They must add more weapons to the offense.

12. Denver Broncos
Ryan Clady, OT, Boise State
Clady is a top tackle prospect especially suited for Denver's zone blocking scheme.

13. Carolina Panthers
Jeff Otah, OT, Pittsburgh
The Panthers need to rebuild their offensive line to help keep Jake Delhomme healthy and Matt Moore on the sidelines for another season or two, where he can develop 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
Chris Williams, OT, Vanderbilt
Williams would allow the Lions to finally move Jeff Backus to the right side where he would be a better fit.

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
Phillip Merling, DE, Clemson
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 giving Jackson a vote of confidence and instead selecting a defensive end in the hopes of improving their pass rush.

18. Houston Texans
Mike Jenkins, CB, South Florida
New offensive line coach Alex Gibbs prefers to select lower round linemen and coach them up, so it seems highly unlikely the Texans will use their first round choice on a left tackle. Instead, they should turn to the other side of the ball. Coming off his knee injury, Dunta Robinson could miss significant time in 2008. If the Texans want to compete, they will have to select someone who can help their secondary immediately.

19. Philadelphia Eagles
Calais Campbell, DE, Miami
McNabb says the Eagles need more playmakers. And they do. But with Jevon Kearse and Darren Howard both 31 and Juqua Thomas about to turn 30, they could use a youthful upgrade at left defensive end to team with right DE Trent Cole.

20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
DeSean Jackson, WR, California
Joey Galloway is 36. It's time the Bucs brought in a young WR who can stretch the field.

21. Washington Redskins
Kenny Phillips, S, Miami
There would be eerie feel as the Redskins announce their selection: a safety from "the U" to step in and attempt to fill Sean Taylor's shoes.

22. Dallas Cowboys (from Cleveland Browns)
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, CB, Tennessee State
If Dallas head coach had time to watch his old team the Chargers last year, he probably was left wishing he had cornerback Antonio Cromartie with him in Big D. Well, he can't have Antonio, but if the board fall this way he can have Antonio's cousin, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, destined to be known simply as DRC.

23. Pittsburgh Steelers
Kentwan Balmer, DT/DE, North Carolina
Although the offensive line might be their biggest area of need, the Steelers also need to get younger on the defensive line. Balmer checked in at 6'4.5" and 308 lbs.—prototypical size for a 3-4 DE.

24. Tennessee Titans
Mario Manningham, WR, Michigan
I'm not sold on Vince Young, but if he’s going to succeed, the Titans must surround him with more weapons. Although given to lapses in concentration, Manningham is arguably the “playmakingest” receiver in this year's draft.

25. Seattle Seahawks
Sam Baker, OT/G, USC
Running back would have to be a strong consideration here as well, but the offensive line didn't play very well last year and is going to require a major infusion of talent this off season, meaning a free agent or two, in addition to a couple of draft picks. At the Senior Bowl, Baker's arms measured shorter than is hoped for by NFL scouts, but he performed well all week. Seattle general manager Tim Ruskell won't shy away from picking a player because of measurables, e.g. 2005 fifth-rounder Lofa Tatupu, who many thought was a huge reach and blunder. With all of the top tackles off the board, Virginia guard Branden Albert could also be a possibility.

26. San Diego Chargers
Gosder Cherilus, OT, Boston College
With the improvement of WR Vincent Jackson, the arrival of Chris Chambers (who played better than he had in years), and the emergence of All-Pro CB Antonio Cromartie, the Chargers have one of the most talented rosters in the league. It's a good thing, too, because they don't have many draft picks. Ideally, they would trade down to help build depth, but if they can't do that, Cherilus would make sense as a guy to be groomed as the eventual starting right tackle.

27. Jacksonville Jaguars
Limas Sweed, WR, Texas
2004 first-rounder Reggie Williams had his best season, and proved to be a red zone weapon, as he put up 10 TDs, but he's still not a number one receiver. Ernest Wilford is a solid possession receiver, but he's a free agent and not likely to return. 2005 first-rounder Matt Jones does little more than catch jump balls. Dennis Northcutt is neither a number one nor number two receiver, and is questionable as a three. Short version: the Jags need lots of help at the receiver spot.

28. Dallas Cowboys
Felix Jones, RB, Arkansas
Felix Jones' speed would be a fine complement to Marion Barber III's crash-and-romp running style. In addition, Jones could improve the Cowboy's inconsistency in the kick return game.

29. Green Bay Packers
Tracy Porter, CB, Indiana
Arguably the best pure man-to-man cover guy in the draft, Porter would be a perfect fit for the Packer defense. He could step in and immediately challenge to be the nickel back. After a year or two in the NFL, he should be able to step up and replace Al Harris or Charles Woodson.

30. San Francisco 49ers (from Indianapolis Colts)
Devin Thomas, WR, Michigan State
Darrell Jackson looked worse in San Fran than he did in Seattle, and given all of the struggles had had in the Emerald City, that's a far cry from a good thing. Arnaz Battle is little more than steady, while Ashley Lelie barely resembles a pro wide out anymore.

31. New York Giants
Dan Connor, OLB, Penn State
Kawika Mitchell played better as the season wore on, but he will be a free agent. 2006 third-rounder Gerris Wilkinson showed flashes in relief of Mitchell, but is not to be counted on as a starter. Mathias Kiwanuka's conversion from defensive end had its moments, but he should be returned to the rotation along the line. All of which points to the Giants needing a linebacker with their first pick.

32. Miami Dolphins
John Carlson, TE, Notre Dame

33. St. Louis Rams
Xavier Adibi, OLB, Virginia Tech

34. Atlanta Falcons
Curtis Lofton, MLB, Oklahoma

35. Kansas City Chiefs
Pat Sims, DT, Auburn

36. New York Jets
Branden Albert, G, Virginia

37. Oakland Raiders
Fred Davis, TE, USC

38. Baltimore Ravens
Earl Bennett, WR, Vanderbilt

39. San Francisco 49ers
Joe Flacco, QB, Delaware

40. New Orleans Saints
Brian Brohm, QB, Louisville

41. Buffalo Bills
Erin Henderson, LB, Maryland

42. Denver Broncos
Jerod Mayo, MLB, Tennessee

43. Carolina Panthers
Andre Caldwell, WR, Florida

44. Chicago Bears
Chad Henne, QB, Michigan

45. Detroit Lions
Aqib Talib, CB, Kansas

46. Cincinnati Bengals
Jamaal Charles, RB, Texas

47. Minnesota Vikings
James Hardy, WR, Indiana

48. Atlanta Falcons (from Houston Texans)
Early Doucet, WR, LSU

49. Philadelphia Eagles
Adarius Bowman, WR, Oklahoma State

50. Arizona Cardinals
Jason Jones, DE, Eastern Michigan

51. Washington Redskins
Lawrence Jackson, DE, USC

52. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
DeMario Pressley, DT, North Carolina State

53. Pittsburgh Steelers
Cliff Avril, DE/OLB, Purdue

54. Tennessee Titans
Ray Rice, RB, Rutgers

55. Seattle Seahawks
Patrick Lee, CB, Auburn

56. Cleveland Browns
Matt Forté, RB, Tulane

57. Miami Dolphins (from San Diego Chargers)
Phillip Wheeler, LB, Georgia Tech

58. Jacksonville Jaguars
Reggie Smith, DB, Oklahoma

59. Indianapolis Colts
Anthony Collins, OT, Kansas

60. Green Bay Packers
Kellen Davis, TE, Michigan State

61. Dallas Cowboys
Lavelle Hawkins, WR, California

62. New York Giants
Charles Godfrey, CB, Iowa

63. New England Patriots
Jonathan Goff, ILB, Vanderbilt

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