Mock draft last updated on April 25.
Three-Step Drop last updated on April 25.
The Raiders may take the best player in the draft for themselves, or trade C.J. for more help, then drop down & select the QB of their choice. They could position themselves to take JaMarcus Russell or Brady Quinn at no. 4 or no. 6, after making a trade. Taking Johnson first could cause anxiety attacks for Detroit, Cleveland and Tampa.
2. Detroit Lions – Gaines Adams, DE, Clemson
The Lions are still looking for a trade partner. GM Matt Millen still needs a lot of help with his club. He guessed wrong on Joey Harrington and if they stay at #2, I don’t think they will take a QB there. When Head Coach Rod Marinelli was Tampa’s defensive line coach, he learned the value of having a pass rushing threat like Simeon Rice. They need a pass rusher big time and Adams is the best in the draft.
3. Cleveland Browns – Brady Quinn, QB, Notre Dame
The logical pick is to take Peterson, who can help in the backfield immediately. But they still need a quarterback, eight years after whiffing on Tim Couch. Romeo Crennel could make a strong push for Brady Quinn, who will be ready to start quicker than JaMarcus Russell. GM Phil Savage, like everyone else, is talking about trading down for more selections.
4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Adrian Peterson, RB, Oklahoma
If they don’t trade up for Calvin Johnson, Gruden might for the one – two punch at RB. Cadillac Williams will get more rest, as he hasn’t been the NFL’s most durable back. Williams was paired with Ronnie Brown at Auburn, so he knows how to share the ball and the spotlight in the backfield.
5. Arizona Cardinals – Joe Thomas, OT, Wisconsin
The Cards do need depth at defensive end, but the draft is deep in pass rushers. The Cards would absolutely love to see Thomas drop to their spot. Last years starting tackle, Leonard Davis, left via free agency for $50 million and Thomas may already be a more polished pass protector than Davis.
6. Washington Redskins – Alan Branch, DT, Michigan
A top priority for the Redskins is help on the defensive line, either at tackle or end. Branch is a very big guy and will occupy two blockers, giving their ends a better chance at pressuring opposing quarterbacks. However, if owner Dan Snyder becomes enamored with a particular player, who knows what he will do.
7. Minnesota Vikings – JaMarcus Russell, QB, LSU
Last year’s starter, Brad Johnson, was released and signed on to be Tony Romo’s backup in Dallas. That paves the way for the Vikes to bring in their QB of the future in Russell. Talked about as the potential #1 overall pick, the Vikings get great value here if they snag Russell all the way down at #7. He will compete with Tarvaris Jackson for playing time his rookie season.
8. Atlanta Falcons – LaRon Landry, FS, LSU
If they don’t trade up to get Calvin Johnson, the Falcons will likely go for the best player available who happens to desperately fill a need. Landry is the most talented defensive back in the draft, so this pick should be a no-brainer.
9. Miami Dolphins – Amobi Okoye, DT, Louisville
The Dolphins should also take the best available player, unless Russell or Quinn fall like Aaron Rogers. Current starting DTs Traylor & Zgonina are near the end of their careers. Okoye will be a 20 year old rookie (who already has his degree) and will give them a fixture in their DT rotation for the next decade.
10. Houston Texans –Leon Hall, CB, Michigan
Houston, we have a problem — in the secondary. Dunta Robinson needs a lot of help back there and with Landry off the board, they take the next best DB. Hall, a San Diego native, was an All-American last year and is a tough DB, who despite bad showings against Ted Ginn and Dwayne Jarrett in 2006, showed at the combine that he has the speed (4.39 40-yard dash) for a traditional man defense.
11. San Francisco 49ers – Adam Carriker, DE, Nebraska
Carriker is a versatile lineman who has the size and speed to play end in either the 4-3 or 3-4. He had good Senior Bowl practice sessions and is one of the safest picks in the draft. A dedicated player with mature character, a seemingly perfect fit with Head Coach Mike Nolan’s philosophy on and off the field.
12. Buffalo Bills – Marshawn Lynch, RB, California
The Bills will grab a tailback early after trading Willis McGahee to the Ravens. Lynch proved he was a complete back in 2006 with 328 receiving yards and 4 TD catches to go along with his 1356 rushing yards and 11 TD runs. Getting picked at 12 may be a little high for Lynch, but they are probably worried that he could be taken by the Packers at 16.
13. St. Louis Rams – Robert Meachem, WR, Tennessee
The Rams receiving corps took a hit in free agency, as both Shaun McDonald and Kevin Curtis left for greener pastures. The starting receiver tandem of Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce is aging. They lured WR Drew Bennett away from the Titans, but he will be 29, Holt will be 31 and Bruce 34 when the season kicks off. Meachem has speed (4.39 40), size (6’2”, 214 lbs) and put up untypically high numbers (1,298 receiving yards, 18 ypc, 11 TDs) in the typically low scoring SEC. This pick could also be Ted Ginn, Jr. if the Rams think his durability won’t be a problem in the future.
14. Carolina Panthers – Reggie Nelson, FS, Florida
Current starter Mike Minter is 33 years old and has only two interceptions since 2004. Nelson is a ballhawking safety (6 INTs in 2006) who ran a 4.35 40 at Florida’s Pro Day, cementing himself a spot in the first round. If injury-prone LB Dan Morgan becomes a cap casualty, this pick could turn into Ole Miss LB Patrick Willis.
15. Pittsburgh Steelers – Patrick Willis, ILB, Mississippi
Rarely does a MLB get taken in the top half of the first round, but Willis is that good. He was First Team All-SEC, the SEC Defensive POY, an All-American and the Butkus Award winner in 2006. Plus he had a great combine (39” vertical and 4.51 40-yard dash) and looks like he could be the replacement for Joey Porter. If the Steelers want him to play OLB, it looks like he has the athleticism to play there as well.
16. Green Bay Packers – Greg Olson, TD, Miami
The Packers need another playmaker to keep Brett Favre happy in his golden years. Greg Jennings appears to have all the tools of a #2 receiver, but they need more production from their tight ends. David Martin signed with the Dolphins in the offseason and Bubba Franks is coming off his worst season (25 receptions, 232 yards, 0 TDs) as a pro. Olson is a talented tight end and showed at the combine with his 4.51 40, that he also has wide receiver speed. The Packers could also consider Marshawn Lynch here to replace Ahman Green, if Lynch makes it past Buffalo at #12.
17. Jacksonville Jaguars – Levi Brown, OT, Penn State
Starting RT Maurice Williams is rumored to be on the trading block and Khalif Barnes has some character issues, so depth at tackle is needed. Plus, at 17, Brown is too good of a player to pass on.
18. Cincinnati Bengals – Jamaal Anderson, DE, Arkansas
The Bengals need a pass rusher since David Pollack is still an uncertainty for the future. They should take the best available end to replace Bryan Robinson and pair him with Justin Smith. If Anderson is gone by the time the Bengals pick, Cincy will likely be looking for players that won’t appear on a police blotter. The Bengals could grab a strong character guy in LB Paul Posluszny of Penn State to replace the recently released Brian Simmons.
19. Tennessee Titans – Darrelle Revis, CB, Pittsburgh
A cover corner is now desperately needed due to the trials and tribulations of Pacman Jones. The Titans must have an insurance policy for beyond this season in case he never fixes his problems. Revis would also fix a gaping hole in the return game that Pacman opened. Chris Houston could also be a possibility if Revis is off the board.
20. New York Giants – Paul Posluszny, LB, Penn State
The Giants top priority is to grab up an OLB after releasing LaVarr Arrington and Carlos Emmons. The two-time All-American and Bednarik Award winner is a solid citizen who can drop into coverage & is a solid tackler, another safe pick in the mold of Adam Carriker.
21. Denver Broncos – Jarvis Moss, DE, Florida
With the exception of Trevor Pryce, Mike Shanahan has not faired well drafting defensive linemen. That Cleveland Browns DL import plan didn’t work well either. Shanahan hasn’t replaced Bertrand Berry or Reggie Hayward, who left in 2004 and 2005
22. Dallas Cowboys – Dwayne Bowe, WR, Louisiana State
Terry Glenn and Terrell Owens will both be 33 when the 2007 season starts, so youth and depth will be needed beyond Patrick Crayton, who will be 28 years old himself next year. Bowe is a big (6’2-1/4”, 221 lbs) and productive (12 TDs, 15.6 ypc) wideout who would become another weapon for Tony Romo in the red zone. Plus, Terrell Owens is wearing out his welcome in Dallas and you never know when that experiment will end.
23. Kansas City Chiefs – Aaron Ross, CB/KR, Texas
Patrick Surtain (age 31) and Ty Law (age 33) are both on the downslope of their careers and count more than $14 million against the salary cap. The Chiefs need a young corner who fits a cover 2 scheme. Enter Aaron Ross, a talented DB who was near the top of all the speed and agility drills at the combine amongst defensive backs. He can also return punts, which is a bonus now that Dante Hall has been traded. GM Carl Peterson also likes Darrelle Revis, if he were to fall.
24. New England Patriots (From Seattle for Deion Branch) – Joe Staley, OT, Central Michigan
He is the shooting star of the draft. An outstanding Pro Day workout (4.79 40!) has shot him up the board. OL coaches now view him as a left tackle prospect and he figures to be selected between picks 20 – 25. The Pats like athletic linemen and they may want to eventually move Matt Light inside. With his value climbing, Levi Brown’s value may now drop a bit.
25. New York Jets – Chris Houston
A fast cover corner is desperately needed in the Jets secondary. Houston was the fastest (4.32 40) and strongest (27 reps of 225) of all the defensive backs at the NFL Combine. Also played well against Robert Meachem and Dwayne Jarrett last year.
26. Philadelphia Eagles – Brandon Meriweather, FS, Miami
The Eagles let incumbent SS Michael Lewis walk in free agency after losing his job to Sean Considine last season. Considine may not be the long term answer and Brian Dawkins isn’t getting any younger either. The Eagles typically don’t worry about character concerns (see Owens, Terrell), so Meriweather’s involvement in the Miami-FIU brawl may not come into play here.
27. New Orleans Saints – Jon Beason, LB, Miami
The Saints need a weak side linebacker with speed. Beason would be an immediate upgrade at WLB over Scott Shanle. After losing Joe Horn, Ted Ginn Jr. could also be a possibility.
28. New England Patriots – Justin Harrell, DT, Tennessee
The Pats can afford to take the best available player approach. With cornerbacks being a deep position in this draft, they can find some insurance for Asante Samuel later on. Harrell is a two-gap lineman who can effectively play in a 3-4 defense.
29. Baltimore Ravens – Ben Grubbs, OG, Auburn
The Ravens once powerful offensive line took a hit in the offseason. Starting guard Edwin Mulitalo was released and starting right tackle Tony Pashos left via free agency. Depth is a necessity, so they will take the highest rated lineman on their board. They also have their eye on USC center Ryan Kalil.
30. San Diego Chargers – Michael Griffin, S, Texas
Safety and wide receiver are the Chargers two biggest need. This year, once again, I think the Chargers grab a DB from the state of Texas. He has the versatility to play either S position, giving them flexibility in the future. A WR like Steve Smith or a lineman like Justin Blalock could also be options.
31. Chicago Bears – Justin Blalock, OL, Texas
Chicago fans want to get rid of da QB of da Bears, but a bigger need is getting younger on the offensive line. The Bears have three 30 year old+ starting lineman this year, and Blalock could eventually replace any of them at tackle or guard. With the recent sentencing of Tank Johnson, a defensive tackle like Tennessee’s Justin Harrell (if he’s still on the board) could also go here.
32. Indianapolis Colts – Ted Ginn, Jr., WR/KR, Ohio State
More of a luxury than a necessity, Ginn would quickly slot in as the replacement for Brandon Stokely. There is a concern over his ankle injury, which is why he may drop so far. He was only 70% at his pro day workout, and only managed a 4.4 forty on a fast track. Scouts were expecting something in the 4.29 range. He also didn’t show lateral agility in his receiver drills. His health status and durability questions make him the wild card in round 1.
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