Monday, March 26, 2007

2007 NFL Mock Draft
by: Armin Mohajeri

In my years of pretending to be an NFL draft guru, I've found one thing to be constant. A mock draft that is on-the-money one day, could become a mockery the next. Outside of the top pick, that statement could be very true of this draft. Even the Raiders can't make the mistake of bypassing Russell, can they? Regardless, many teams employ several strategies (best player available, draft for need, draft towards strength), which is the ultimate wild-card. Below is the first version of my first round mock draft. It has its fair share of reaches and steals. So, without further ado, let the mocking begin.

1. Oakland: Jamarcus Russell, QB - LSU
His Pro-Day was so impressive, Oakland cannot look elsewhere.

2. Detroit: Brady Quinn, QB - Notre Dame
Ignoring Marinelli and Martz, who want Joe Thomas, the Detroit front office goes for the guy that will put rears in seats.

3. Cleveland: Adrian Peterson, RB - Oklahoma
Cleveland will take a QB if either Russell or Quinn are available. Peterson is too good of a talent to pass up on, regardless of Jamal Lewis's presence. Lewis only has a one year deal.

4. Tampa Bay: Calvin Johnson, WR - Georgia Tech
Probably the top prospect in this draft. Galloway and Hilliard are old. Clayton is coming off a down year. Johnson is just what this team needs.

5. Arizona: Joe Thomas, OT - Wisconsin
Thomas is the 2nd highest graded offensive lineman in the draft in the last 20 years, behind Jordan Gross. The Cards fill a HUGE void at left tackle. Thomas will be everything Leonard Davis never lived up to in Arizona.

6. Washington: Gaines Adams, DE - Clemson
Despite reports that Washington came away unimpressed by Adams's workouts, the team cannot pass him up. Adams will bring the pass rush that this team has lacked at DE since Dexter Manley.

7. Minnesota: Jamaal Anderson, DE - Arkansas
With Erasmus James coming off a season ending injury, and Kenechi Udeze's pass rush non-existent (zero sacks in 2006), Anderson is the pick. The Vikings could trade down to a spot where taking a WR might make more sense.

8. Atlanta (from Houston): LaRon Landry, S - LSU
By NFL standards, Lawyer Milloy is older than molassas and slower than dirt. No, that wasn't a typo. Chris Crocker would be a backup on most other teams. Landry fits this team to a "T"

9. Miami: Alan Branch, DT - Michigan
Despite being outdone and outperformed in off-season workouts by Okoye, and despite reports of off-season laziness, Branch wins out as the top DT drafted. The Dolphins hope he is as dominant on the field as he was at Michigan

10. Houston (from Atlanta): Amobi Okoye, DT - Louisville
The Texans go with the D-Line for the third year in a row, drafting the 19 year-old stud from Louisville. As far as upside goes, his limits are still undefined. Okoye and Mario Williams have the potential to give O-Line coaches heart attacks.

11. San Francisco: Adam Carriker, DE - Nebraska
Bryant Young's successor. Carriker is moving up the charts. His combine numbers weren't impressive, however his individual workouts have teams doing a double-take. Regardless of if the 9ers run a 3-4 or 4-3, Carriker can play any position on the D-line, except the 3-4 NT.

12. Buffalo: Patrick Willis, LB - Mississippi
What a treat for Buffalo fans. Willis is strong and athletic, and he just posted a 4.3 40 time. He will likely take over in the middle, but if Takeo Spikes gets traded he could move outside. Willis will eventually be the unquestioned leader of the defense.

13. St. Louis: Leon Hall, CB - Michigan
While drafting a CB in the first round 2 years in a row isn't ideal, the Rams cannot pass up on Leon Hall at this point. He brings a physical style that the current Rams CBs lack.

14. Carolina: Greg Olsen, TE - Miami
Unless some team surprises and picks him earlier, this is about as much of a "LOCK" as a pick as any this year.

15. Pittsburgh: Jarvis Moss, DE - Florida
This ends any flirtation with Brett Keisel playing OLB. Moss can play OLB if the team sticks with the 3-4, and he can play DE if the team moves over to the Cover-2.

16. Green Bay: Marshawn Lynch, RB - California
While the team could go after Ted Ginn, to give Favre a weapon in the slot, Lynch would fill a GAPING hole at RB, where Vernand Morency is penciled in as the starter.

17. Jacksonville: Reggie Nelson, S - Florida
Great pick for the Jags. They have a huge hole at center field, as Donavin Darius is not a cover guy. Nelson had amazing individual workouts, bringing his status back up to where it was before the combines. Plus the Jags get a Florida boy.

18. Cincinnati: Jon Beason, LB - Miami
Odell Thurman. Gone. David Pollack. Gone. Brian Simmons. Gone. Beason keeps firing up the boards. He'll start.

19. Tennessee: Teddy Ginn, Jr., WR - Ohio St.
Vince Young gets a big smile on his face. He gets what he lacked last year…a game-breaker. Ginn and Young's strong arm are a marriage made in heaven for the Titans.

20. New York Giants: Levi Brown, OT - Penn St.
He replaces Luke Petitgout. Don't be surprised if a CB like Revis or Houston is the pick here.

21. Denver: Joe Staley, OT - Central Michigan
One of the most athletic/versatile linemen to ever grace the draft. He can play all positions on the line except center. However, he could probably learn that too. A Broncos type of lineman. He'll battle Adam Meadows for the starting RT spot.

22. Dallas: Darrelle Revis, CB - Pittsburgh
Revis hurt himself at the combines, however his individual workouts put him back as the #2 prospect at CB. Henry and Glenn are up there in years, and possibly have lost a step. Revis could supplant Henry at some point during his rookie year.

23. Kansas City: Dwayne Bowe, WR - LSU
KC has plenty of speed at WR, but no true possession WRs. Bowe infuses the kind of talent at WR that KC has been lacking for many years.

24. New England (from Seattle): Paul Posluszny, LB - Penn St.
The Pats land a player that fits their team philosophy to a "T". Posluszny will eventually replace Tedy Bruschi. A bit of a steal as Posluszny improved on his combine numbers during his individual workout.

25. New York Jets: Chris Houston, CB - Arkansas
Jets had some depth issues at corner last season, and need to address the position. Houston had a great combine, and his laundry list of receivers he faced in college is pretty impressive.

26. Philadelphia: Michael Griffen, S - Texas
Griffen steps into the SS spot vacated by Michael Lewis. Griffen brings a lot of speed and coverage ability to the Eagles defense. Look for him to start from Day One.

27. New Orleans: Aaron Ross, CB - Texas
The Saints are in dire need of some young talent at CB. Ross is a bit raw, as he started only one year in college, which could be blamed on the large amount of talent in the Texas D-Backfield. However, Ross won the Thorpe award.

28. New England: Brian Leonard, RB - Rutgers
A player who I'm hoping the Patriots take, as they would utilize him the best. He could be a day one starter. Very intelligent, and as much of a team player as anyone in the draft. He could be used at a number of positions, and the Pats have the type of offense where he could be moved around a lot to create mis-matches.

29. Baltimore: Anthony Sprencer, DE - Purdue
The Ravens can go a number of ways. Currently, they have Jarrett Johnson penciled in as Audalius Thomas's replacement. Spencer would fit that position even better. He might need a year for the transition to LB, but this coaching staff has had their fair share of DEs that they've converted to LB.

30. San Diego: Robert Meachem, WR - Tennessee
Meachem brings much needed speed to the Chargers receiving corps. His talent grades out as a mid-first rounder, however WRs tend to fall on draft day.

31. Chicago: Ben Grubbs, G - Auburn
When you decide to hand the reigns to a young RB, you better make sure you got the blockers that can pave the way in front of him. Grubbs is the best all-around talent at guard in the draft. An athlete at the position.

32. Indianapolis: Lawrence Timmons, LB - Florida St.
Colts have huge holes to fill at OLB. This is a bit of a steal, as Timmons grades out high. However, teams with needs at LB have bigger holes elsewhere.


Anonymous said...

There's no chance that Belichick drafts running backs in the 1st round in 2 straight drafts.

Is Leonard one of your reaches?

Armin said...

Leonard is a slight reach. He has a realistic shot at the first round. However, he wouldn't be a pure RB for the Pats. He'd be more of a Running Back, H-Back, Fullback, Tight End Hybrid. Like I said, he can play all over the field in the Pats offense, which means that cutting into Maroney's productivity would be minimal. Versatility is something Belichick loves on offense. Look at his linemen, his tight ends and fullbacks. Most can play multiple positions. Don't rule out an offensive tackle, especially if Joe Staley is available when they pick.

summy said...

Well ... also note that Maroney's off-season shoulder surgery went crappily. And Dillon's gone. Without a solid RB in place, the Patsies will go after one, especially now that they have the WR position well-covered.