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eugeneoregon @ 10:41 pm: NFL Mock Draft, Round 1, Version 1.0
1. Oakland Raiders – Jamarcus Russell, QB, LSU - I'm not here to tell you that Jamarcus Russell is going to turn the Raiders around (he will not), nor that he's better than Brady Quinn (he is, but the same could be said about Drew Stanton)
2. Detroit Lions – Brady Quinn, QB, Notre Dame – A trade seems quite plausible here since the Lions need several pieces and are probably hesitant to take such a boom or bust kind of player in this spot. I get the feeling the Lions would probably prefer not to bring in a QB since it means a lame duck season while he rots on the bench or while he is thrown into an ugly situation. As bad as the Lions are, they’re not that far off the pace in the NFC North, which is a horrific division.
3. Cleveland Browns – Adrian Peterson, RB, Oklahoma – The Browns have signed Jamal Lewis, but they signed him to a one-year deal. They are not mistaken about his abilities, they didn’t even sign him to the five year deal that becomes one year after his inevitable release. They’re looking running back more than receiver or an unglamorous offensive lineman here (they’ll hope for Joe Staley in round 2 if he’s on the board).
4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Calvin Johnson, WR, Georgia Tech - The Buccaneers are an old team that’s nowhere near greatness with the dropoff their defense has shown in recent years. But the crop of players doesn’t make picking defense look reasonable at #4, so the Buccaneers will add a receiver who can replace the underachieving Michael Clayton and give the Bucs a solid 3-WR set that should become their base.
5. Arizona Cardinals – Joe Thomas, OT, Wisconsin - The worst case scenario for the Cardinals is simple. The Lions decide they need Joe Thomas, and the guys left for the Cardinals to pick from are Quinn, Peterson, and Johnson, all in positions where the Cardinals will not select. The best case scenario? They come away with Joe Thomas and don’t have to trade up to do it.
6. Washington Redskins – LaRon Landry, S, LSU - This pick will almost certainly be traded, the Redskins don’t have picks on day one after this one, and the team is closer to awful than they are to adequate. If they were to stay here, they’ll choose between Landry and Gaines Adams. Landry will help to make a more immediate impact than Gaines Adams since he can pair up with Sean Taylor to make a dominant pair of safeties. Adams would just provide a touch of youth to a lousy defensive line.
7. Minnesota Vikings – Gaines Adams, DE, Clemson - The Vikings need help at QB, MLB, WR, and S, but no one is on the board at these positions that can be justified at the seventh overall pick. If Landry goes at #6, the Vikings will likely trade down and try to get a second round pick to burn on a Drew Stanton or Anthony Gonzalez. There might be a case made for moving Darrion Scott as a member of an inside rotation as an undersized DT and using him occasionally at DE and drafting Gaines Adams here to join with Scott, Kenechi Udeze, and Erasmus James at DE. It doesn’t make a heck of a lot of sense, but I’m not projecting trades.
8. Atlanta Falcons – Jamaal Anderson, DE, Arkansas – Bobby Petrino made do at Louisville with receivers that were less touted than his QBs, so it’s not likely he’d reach to go after a target after Roddy White and Michael Jenkins proved to be inadequate weapons for his wildly inaccurate QB. They’ll consider Leon Hall or Levi Brown in this spot, but would more likely trade down before taking him at #8. The pass rush will be weaker with Patrick Kerney gone, so Anderson fits in here.
9. Miami Dolphins – Alan Branch, DT, Michigan – The Dolphins are hard to predict, because there’s been a lot of change in Miami lately. They seem to have more holes on defense, even though the offense looks pretty weapon-less. Defensive tackle isn’t an immediate concern, Vonnie Holliday and Keith Traylor are serviceable, but they need someone to take over in the near future. Branch gives them the size they need in the middle that could permit them to look at making a change to a 3-4 if they added another outside linebacker in the second round and moved Channing Crowder inside. Leon Hall is a distinct possibility here, but it’s too early for Reggie Nelson.
10. Houston Texans – Levi Brown, OT, Penn State – The trade for Matt Schaub might be one of the dumbest moves the Texans have made in their short lifetime, and that’s really saying something. They move down two spots, making their inevitable Levi Brown selection more palatable, but they traded for an unproven QB that’s accomplished less on the field than their current backup Sage Rosenfels, who has established himself as a great QB off the bench and a terrible one as a starter. Brown will give them a tackle, although he doesn’t really project as a top 10 player in most drafts.
11. San Francisco – Adam Carriker, DE, Nebraska – In the 3-4, defensive ends don’t have to generate a lot of sacks, but they should still come up with more than the meager 8 ½ the 49ers combo of Bryant Young and Marques Douglas mustered in 2006. Carriker has the size to play end in the 3-4 and seems to be shooting up draft boards based on his Senior Bowl performance. There are a couple options for the 49ers in reality, since Patrick Willis wouldn’t be a reach here and it’s starting to look plausible to consider a player like Ted Ginn Jr., but Carriker is big, he’s healthy, and he’s an end who already has NFL size with room to grow.
12. Buffalo Bills – Leon Hall, CB, Michigan – The Bills have several big holes that you wouldn’t expect a team that finished with the 12th worst record to have developed in the offseason. They lost perhaps their three best players in Willis McGahee, London Fletcher, and Nate Clements, and can’t possibly grab gap-fillers for each of these spots in one round. Hall is the one who’ll be hardest to match at the position, although he’s not the most useful for the Bills, who have a workable corner in Ashton Youboty with adequate dime package backs like Kevin Thomas and Jabari Greer. Still, the Bills can’t really feel optimistic burning another first round pick on a running back.
13. St. Louis Rams – Darrelle Revis, CB, Pittsburgh – A lot of people have Amobi Okoye going at this spot, but the Rams keep getting burned up front with high picks like Jimmy Kennedy and they added Claude Wroten in the draft last year. This may be the first big reach of the draft, since the Rams clearly need cornerback help, but no one is guaranteed to be available a few picks later. A trade may happen here to help shore up a poor defense to match an offense that might be even better this year after adding Randy McMichael and Drew Bennett.
14. Carolina Panthers – Greg Olsen, TE, Miami (Fla.) - The Panthers greatest need may be at strong safety, but Reggie Nelson doesn’t fit the profile of a strong safety. Olsen shot his value up at the combine and may lure the Panthers into adding him. He’s not really flashed any top-notch talent in his college days, but the Cokerizing of Miami has made other players look far more dreadful, and it wouldn’t take much to upgrade the Panthers’ TE corps.
15. Pittsburgh Steelers – Patrick Willis, ILB, Ole Miss – The Steelers could use help anywhere in their defensive front seven, which aged rapidly last year and has already lost Joey Porter. Though their greater needs are on the outside, Willis is hands down the highest ranked linebacker at this point in the draft, so he’ll warrant the pick here. The Steelers may very well trade down and try to grab Jarvis Moss, Jon Beason, or Lawrence Timmons, but at #15, Willis would be a steal.
16. Green Bay Packers – Marshawn Lynch, RB, California – Lynch isn’t an amazing runner, his backup matched his production a little too well for him to be receiving serious accolades, but he’s a reliable pass-catcher out of the backfield and he’s an upgrade from Vernand Morency. The Packers may look at Ted Ginn Jr. in Round 1 and consider a running back in Round 2, but for production purposes, it makes more sense to take the running back now, rather than a raw receiver who often lacked explosiveness on punt returns last season.
17. Jacksonville Jaguars – Jon Beason, OLB, Miami (Fla.) – The Jaguars need about three receivers, but Jarrett is too Mike Williams-ian to be drafted onto a team with such inconsistent wideouts and Ginn is too unpolished. Beason is a classic recent Miami player, all athleticism (that sure didn’t show at the combine), no real greatness, but that’s much more forgivable in Jacksonville where the defensive tackles should generate enough of a push to let Beason focus on coverage or as an occasional pass rusher.
18. Cincinnati Bengals – Amobi Okoye, DT, Louisville – Okoye is ranked as a top 10 player by most services, and his age has to be appealing. But the fact is that even though he’s 19, there’s no reserve clause and free agency would still arrive in a few years. If he should fall this far, there’s no way the Bengals turn him down, since he could add a lot to an old defensive line with no real production or run-stopping ability. If Okoye is gone and there’s a market for the pick, the Bengals may trade down to try and take a defensive back and focus their next few picks on linebacking and defensive line help.
19. Tennessee Titans – Dwayne Jarrett, WR, USC – The Titans need receiving help galore after the departure of Drew Bennett, and Jarrett has the size and experience with Norm Chow that make him a likely target here. There may be interest in pursuing a cornerback to make a statement to Pacman Jones, but they can’t afford to take their eyes off the offense.
20. New York Giants – Lawrence Timmons, OLB, Florida State – The Giants need help at defensive tackle and outside linebacker. The linebackers don’t really look like first rounders, but Timmons is athletic and will be an improvement over their current set.
21. Denver Broncos – Jarvis Moss, DE, Florida – Thankfully for the Broncos, Courtney Brown is injured and will not be returning. They can finally stop recycling Browns d-linemen by adding a guy who dominated the national title game and embarrassed an entire country of people (i.e. me) who thought Florida had no business being in the title game against an undefeated team.
22. Dallas Cowboys – Ted Ginn Jr., WR, Ohio State – The Cowboys will probably trade down from this spot after signing Ken Hamlin to fill their biggest hole. Plus, there’s certainly a lot of places I could see Ginn going before here, whether it’s the 49ers, Packers, Jaguars, or Titans. But the injury questions and attitude questions that arose during the title game will red flag an already risky player who has barely established himself as a receiver. But the Cowboys have had a liking to Ohio State players in recent years, particularly at receiver with Joey Galloway and Terry Glenn. That was Jerry Jones’ doing, and he’s likely to have total control with lame duck Wade Phillips filling in as the permanent interim head coach. Ginn adds to kick returns, punt returns (since the Skyler Green experiment failed), and gives a deep threat.
23. Kansas City Chiefs – Dwayne Bowe, WR, LSU – The Chiefs need receivers and have needed receivers since Azusa Pacific alum Christian Okoye was carrying the ball for Steve DeBerg. Bowe is not the answer, but he might be an adequate answer.
24. New England Patriots – Aaron Ross, CB, Texas - This may be the year the Patriots finally do it. They have bought so much in free agency it’s hard to see them addressing anything but cornerback in the first round this year. Ross has some size on Chris Houston, who is a definite possibility (they did draft Chad Jackson on the basis of combine numbers, after all), and has experience returning kicks, since Laurence Maroney won’t be doing it this year.
25. New York Jets – Paul Posluszny, OLB, Penn State – The 3-4 requires big, physical linebackers who have great instincts. While he’s not a combine guy, Posluszny made a solid name for himself based on his instincts and ability to read plays. The Jets would be hard-pressed to fill a need better than with Posluszny in this situation. They might look at Robert Meachem, but their limitations at quarterback really defeat the point of drafting a wide receiver in the first round.
26. Philadelphia Eagles – Michael Griffin, S, Texas –By adding Griffin, they’ve replaced Sean Considine or at least added an alternative. Wide receiver is a need, but not one they’ll address after adding Kevin Curtis in free agency. With Posluszny gone, outside linebacker isn’t worth pursuing (particularly after acquiring Takeo Spikes), so the Eagles will add more youth to a secondary that was partly rejuvenated last season.
27. New Orleans Saints – Chris Houston, CB, Arkansas – Safety is not their primary need, so Reggie Nelson probably won’t go here. Nelson might be athletic enough to play cornerback and certainly looks to be a safer NFL bet than players like Marcus McCauley or Chris Houston at this spot. Moreover, he’ll be gone one spot later if the Saints don’t take him. They might finagle a fourth round pick out of the Patriots to trade up one spot and get Nelson, but I think they might just take him here and hope to find a cornerback in disguise.
28. New England Patriots – Reggie Nelson, S, Florida – While a case could be made for a player like Brian Leonard, the Patriots don’t often reach for a player that could be had much later (Logan Mankins was, in my mind, an exception). There could be discussion of drafting a wide receiver like Robert Meachem since the 24th pick was acquired for Deion Branch, but the Stallworth signing makes it a lower priority. By adding Nelson and Ross, they’ve rebuilt a secondary in the span of an hour.
29. Baltimore Ravens – Joe Staley, OT, Central Michigan – The Ravens don’t have a great deal of holes after the McGahee deal, and Staley is something of a reach, but it is time for the Ravens to start looking for a new Jonathan Ogden. Staley isn’t him, but is as close as they’ll find in this spot.
30. San Diego Chargers – Robert Meachem, WR, Tennessee – The Chargers haven’t had a receiver who could put up big seasons since about the days of Anthony Miller, and it’s showed. By arming themselves with another offensive weapon here, they can spend the rest of the draft looking for value, particularly in the defensive backfield.
31. Chicago Bears – Justin Harrell, DT, Tennessee - Everyone agrees that Ben Grubbs becomes the first guard off the board at pick #31. I don’t buy it. This team was content to draft for defense last season when they had few needs. Now they’re facing significant holes right up the middle, particularly with the potential holdout of Lance Briggs. By the end of the season, there might as well have been a giant hole in the middle of the field that stretched from DT to safety. Guards can be had in round 2, the Bears need to start plugging holes.
32. Indianapolis Colts –Eric Wright, CB, UNLV - The Colts really need an outside linebacker, but with nothing on the board here, they will try to replace Nick Harper. Wright is a risky proposition and is more raw than most of the cornerbacks, but is more athletic, which will be useful in pursuing running backs that have just plowed through the Colts’ front seven on their way to 20 yard gains.

Comments

[User Picture]
From:ryanfox
Date:March 28th, 2007 04:18 am (UTC)
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We might go after OL in round 1, though Herm Edwards says we'll take the best player available (right). If rumors that Casey Weigmann might retire are true (he's 31)--in addition to the probable Will Shields retirement--we are fucked beyond belief. We would be one Brian Waters injury away from having the worst offensive line in history.

Is it sad that I'm more optimistic about the future of the Royals? Answer: yes.
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