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Wednesday, April 09, 2008

First mock

With the NFL draft now just a couple of weeks away, it’s time to start figuring out who is going to go where.

Here’s one stab at who could – or at least in my opinion, should – go where.

1. Miami Dolphins, Chris Long, DE. Virginia. Long is everything you’d want in a player, though the Dolphins would certainly like to trade down to acquire more picks.

2. St. Louis, Jake Long, OT, Michigan. St. Louis’ offensive line was awful last season because of injuries and ineffectiveness.

3. Atlanta, Glenn Dorsey, DT, LSU. Dorsey’s workouts eased a lot of minds about his injuries.

4. Oakland, Sedrick Ellis, DT, USC. The Raiders have been spending like crazy this offseason, but there is still a need at defensive tackle. Former USC assistant Lane Kiffin knows all about Ellis.

5. Kansas City, Matt Ryan, QB, Boston College. When your quarterbacks are Brodie Croyle and Damon Huard, that position is an obvious need. Offfensive line is as well, but the Chiefs have to grab the QB.

6. N.Y. Jets, Darren McFadden, RB, Arkansas. Thomas Jones isn’t getting any younger and underwhelmed in his first season in the Big Apple last season.

7. New England, Vernon Ghoulston, DE/OLB, Ohio State. Bill Belichick loves players with position flexibility. Ghoulston fits the bill.

8. Baltimore Ravens, Ryan Clady, OT, Boise State. Jonathan Ogden is likely done. Clady will help fill the void.

9. Cincinnati, Keith Rivers, LB, USC. The Bengals would have loved Ellis to fall to them, but settle for a stud linebacker.

10. New Orleans, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Tennessee State. The Saints added Randall Gay and still have Mike McKenzie, but McKenzie is 32.

11. Buffalo, Derrick Harvey, DE, Florida. Buffalo had just 26 sacks last season. Harvey will help the pass rush.

12. Denver, Chris Williams, OT, Vanderbilt. Matt Lepsis retired, leaving a big hole on the Broncos’ offensive line. Denver is really looking to move down, though.

13. Carolina, Branden Albert, G/OT, Virginia. The Panthers snap up the player the Steelers would really love to have.

14. Chicago, Jeff Otah, OT, Pitt. The Bears need to upgrade the offensive line and Otah could be plugged in at right tackle as a road grader.

15. Detroit, Rashard Mendenhall, RB, Illinois. The Lions failed in their efforts to sign Julius Jones and released Kevin Jones.

16. Arizona, Leodis McKelvin, CB, Troy. It looks like Antrelle Rolle is moving to free safety full time.

17. Minnesota, Phillip Merling, DE, Clemson. Kenechi Udeze’s diagnosis with cancer makes this a big need.

18. Houston, Kenny Phillips, FS, Miami (Fla.). The Texans had an NFL-worst 11 interceptions last season. He didn’t run well at the combine, but he’s a playmaker.

19. Philadelphia, Mike Jenkins, CB, South Florida. Even with the signing of Asante Samuel, the Eagles are looking to get rid of Lito Sheppard.

20. Tampa Bay, Malcolm Kelly, WR, Oklahoma. Joey Galloway and Ike Hilliard are older than Mozes.

21. Washington, Devin Thomas, WR, Michigan State. New head coach Jim Zorn will be looking for a big receiver to match with Santana Moss and Antwaan Randle El once the top defensive ends are off the board.

22. Dallas, Jonathan Stewart, RB, Oregon. There is some concern that Marion Barber won’t be able to hold up getting 300 carries with his physical running style.

23. Quentin Groves, OLB, Auburn. Groves will play immediately as a situational pass rusher even though the Steelers took linebackers with their first two picks last year. Gosder Cherlius is a possibility, but the Steelers stay true to their board and take the best player available.

24. Tennessee, Kentwaan Balmer, DT, North Carolina. The Titans lost a lot on their defensive front this offseason and Jeff Fisher’s teams are always strong up front.

25. Seattle, Martellus Bennett, TE, Texas A&M. Fred Davis is a possibility, but Bennett is a better all-around player, particularly as a blocker.

26. Jacksonville, Calais Campbell, DE, Miami (Fla.). It’s hard to believe considering how the Jags’ defense played against the Steelers, but they need help on the defensive line.

27. San Diego, Gosder Cherlius, OT, Boston College. Cherlius will be expected to step into the lineup in place of Shane Olivea.

28. Dallas, Aquib Talib, CB, Kansas. Dallas could have gone corner with its first pick, but the value is here now.

29. San Francisco, Pat Sims, DT, Auburn. Sims will help keep blockers off of last year’s top pick and NFL defensive rookie of the year Patrick Willis.

30. Green Bay, Dan Connor, LB, Penn State. Will challenge Brady Poppinga right out of the gate.

31. N.Y. Giants, Reggie Smith, DB, Oklahoma. Smith could play corner or safety and the Giants need help at both spots.


Wieters said...

God, I hope Gholston doesn't fall to the Patriots. Hopefully Oakland takes McFadden so that the Jets can take Gholston.

I'd much rather watch Gholston knock Brady on his ass for the Jets than watch him knock Ben on his ass for the Patriots.

adamg said...

If Denver wants to move down, why not a swap with the Steelers especially if Albert is the guy they want? Seems like a match made in heaven.

Anonymous said...

Why are we not talking more about Kentwaan Balmer as an understudy to Aaron Smith @ DT.

pat in philly said...

hey Dave, love your work. While goofing around on the Net, I decided to look at prospects who fit the mold of a prototype Steelers 3-4 DE. So I looked and the height and weight of our DE's and found that the mold is about 6'4-6'5 and right about 300 LBS. Lo and behold, Kentwan Balmer fits this mold perfectly even though his listed as a DT. Do you think the Steelers could draft him and play him at end? I'm starting to think that unless Albert or a top corner is on the board that this our pick.

Anyone else, please feel free to provide you're input as I could be way off.

pat in philly said...

hey anonymous, sorry I wasn't trying to steal your thuder, I just though the same thing at almost the same time.

Thoughts on my post?

Dale Lolley said...

Balmer's a possibility, but I think they like some of the guys later in the draft - such as Kendall Langford - better for value purposes.
As for moving up to trade with Denver, it would be a steep price to pay to move up 11 spots. And they only have six picks to work with this year.

adamg said...

Dale, if the Steelers think Albert is their guy and, as you said, he will start at LG from Day 1 and play there for the next ten years, the most logical move is to move up and take him.

The Steelers free agent signings (Moore, Fox, Hartwig)addressed some of the depth issues they had. They got younger and better. They don't have to spend low round draft choices on special teams guys.

If they don't move up, then I think Balmer is probably the choice. Tomlin has said the Steelers need big, young guys on both the OL and DL. Balmer fits that philosophy.

Dale Lolley said...

But they won't reach to do so, And the moves they have made allow them to take the best player available.
Plus, you also have to look at a linebacker - in this defense - as somebody on that defensive front, particularly an outside backer.
Groves is a tremendous pass rusher.

Anonymous said...
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kelly said...

Oh brother, look who's back. I thought this dude was banned.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous #2 wasn't me pat in philly. I think we are thinking along the same lines, gave me a good laugh though. Balmer goes right after us in most mock drafts. Anonymous #2, you give us lurkers a bad name.

Dale Lolley said...

He is banned.

Dale Lolley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Dale, any chance they'll take a corner in the first round? I don't know much about Talib, but he was pretty high on draft boards early on.

Dale Lolley said...

There's a chance it will be a corner, just not Talib - in my opinion. He tested positive for marijuana three times in college, getting suspended for it once.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

I see the spam man is hitting this place too " hitter " what a loser ...

Nice work Dale , hopefully spaghetti legs Albert is not the selection as badly as we need O-Linemen

Dale Lolley said...

He can keep taking the time to blow his misguided smoke. I'll keep on deleting them.

As for Albert, he's the real deal. But he's not going to be there when the Steelers pick.

deanwebley said...

I love your draft and your thoughts. Superior blog - well done. Great Mock draft!