Thursday, April 24, 2008

2008 NFL Draft: Mock Draft Final

Finally, the draft is upon us. This is my final attempt at a mock draft for the 2008 NFL Draft. Compared to my previous mock, I stuck with Jake Long only to find out shortly after starting that Long got locked up by the Dolphins. With 62 other picks to make, let's get rolling and see how "on the money" or how far off I am. Can't wait for this weekend!!!

A note on the trades: The trade values are based on the latest list on PFT. I tried to stay within 25 points to the favor of the team that wasn't as inclined to move. There will probably be more trades than this, but I tried to keep to trades that made sense with available players and team needs.

  • Raiders trade #4, #66 & #213 overall to the Ravens for #8 and #38 overall
  • Patriots trade the #7 overall pick to the Saints for #10 and #78 overall
  • Eagles trade #19 overall to the Chiefs for #35 & #66 overall and a conditional bottom-half 2nd rounder or a top half 3rd rounder in 2009
  • 49ers trade #39 & #169 overall to the Redskins for #51 & #84 overall

1st Round

1. Miami: Jake Long, T - Michigan
I've said it from the almost the beginning. Jake Long will be the #1 pick With the Dolphins locking up Jake Long for 5 years, the Rams are now on the proverbial clock

2. St. Louis: Chris Long, DE - Virginia
The Rams debate on Chris Long or Glenn Dorsey. They bank on Howie's son, and hope he produces like his father, and not like former draftee Grant Wistrom

3. Atlanta: Glenn Dorsey, DT - LSU
Dorsey fills a major need on defense. Coach Mike Smith knows the value of having dominant DTs, like he had in Jacksonville

4. Baltimore: Matt Ryan, QB - Boston College
Knowing they had to get ahead of KC to draft Ryan, the Ravens make the move with Oakland and get their QB of the Future, now that McNair has retired

5. Kansas City: Vernon Gholston, DE - Ohio State
After trading Jared Allen to the Vikings, the Chiefs choose to replace him with Gholston. Gholston is an amazing athlete who's stock is in flux due to concerns over on-field production

6. New York Jets: Darren McFadden, RB - Arkansas
The team has had him in for 3 separate visits in New York. While there is talk of Dallas moving to this pick to nab the talented back, I think the Jets are more interested in him

7. New Orleans: Sedric Ellis, DT - Southern Cal
While the Saints would have liked to move to #2 for Glenn Dorsey, they still get a top DT in the draft and plug him right in the middle

8. Oakland: Branden Albert, T - Virginia
Raiders are drinking the Albert Kool-Aid. While he only has one start in his college career at left tackle, that is where he will be groomed. He will probably start on the inside however at his natural guard position

9. Cincinnati: Keith Rivers, LB - Southern Cal
Speaking of Kool-Aid, I've been a huge fan of Rivers since draft talk started. Outside of his 40 time, this kid has "Junior Seau" written all over him. Big shoes to fill, but the potential is there

10. New England: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, CB - Tennessee St.
The Patriots make a splash and take DRC as the #1 corner in the draft. There is a lot of hype behind this pick, but he's not a reach by any means

11. Buffalo: Leodis McKelvin, CB - Troy
Buffalo benefits from Baltimore's sudden need for a QB. They land, arguably, the top CB in the draft, and have no need to hesitate about placing him across the field from McGhee

12. Denver: Ryan Clady, T - Boise State
Clady has too much talent to pass up at this pick. He also fits Denver's zone-blocking style with his athletic ability. Chris Williams could be considered

13. Carolina: Derrick Harvey, DE - Florida
Derrick Harvey is slowly rising to where he was expected to go, until his stock took a hit at the combines. Regardless of Brayton's presence, the Panthers should have no problem making this pick. Mendelhall could be an option

14. Chicago: Chris Williams, T - Vanderbilt
Mendelhall could go here, but it's no secret that the Bears need help on the offensive line. Williams is an athletic left tackle who could keep speed rushers out of the backfield. Jeff Otah could be an option as well

15. Detroit: Rashard Mendelhall, RB - Illinois
Unless they're going to make a play for Shaun Alexander (and even then they might still go this direction), the Lions need a RB. Mendelhall is great value at 15, and could be a star in this league for years

16. Arizona: Aqib Talib, CB - Kansas
Arizona surprisingly passes on Jonathan Stewart and takes a shot at Talib. With Rolle moving to safety, there is a glaring weakness at the CB spot. Apparently, Talib's history with pot isn't hurting him much, because he was up front about it, and claims to be over it

17. Kansas City: Jeff Otah, T - Pittsburgh
Perfect spot for Otah to land. The Chiefs need help on the offensive line, and Otah fits their style perfectly. Otah could play either side, and may start out on the right side, depending on what the coaches try to do when shuffling the incumbents

18. Houston: Jonathan Stewart, RB - Tennessee
The Texans can give Stewart all the time he needs to heal. Don't be fooled by the presence of Green and Brown in the backfield. They aren't young by any means either. Without one of the top LTs available, the Texans would have no problem making this pick

19. Kansas City: Mike Jenkins, CB - South Florida
Philly didn't want to reach at 19 for a need position, so they do the smart thing and trade down with the Chiefs, also picking up a high round pick next year. The Chiefs desperately need help at the CB position, and knew Jenkins wouldn't fall past Tampa or Washington. He's a steal at this pick

20. Tampa Bay: Devin Thomas, WR - Michigan State
Gruden has no problem adding numerous bodies at QB and WR. In this case, with starters Joey Galloway and Ike Hilliard beyond old age. He could push Hilliard early. He would be a nice addition to a disappointing corps

21. Washington: Phillip Merling, DE - Clemson
While word is that the Skins like Kentwaan Balmer, they can't pass up on a talented DE like Phillip Merling. If Mike Jenkins is available, he could also go. Word is they might reach for Malcolm Kelley as well

22. Dallas: Felix Jones, RB - Arkansas
Something tells me Dallas fans will be happier with this Barber/Jones combination, compared to the last one. While Jerrah Jones would like McFadden, he's more than happy to take his Arkansas running-mate

23. Pittsburgh: Ghosder Cherilus, T - Boston College
The Steelers have a need at tackle, and decide to fill it with Cherilus, who showed NFL coaches what he can do on the field at the senior bowl

24. Tennessee: Limas Sweed, WR - Texas
I'm sure Vince Young would love to lob passes to fellow Longhorn, Limas Sweed. When 100% healthy, Sweed is a big play possession receiver who can be dangerous near the goal line. The large receiver will be greatly complimented by the speedy receivers that will surround him

25. Seattle: Calais Campbell, DE - Miami
A tough pick to figure out if there isn't a top RB available. The Seahawks could trade down, instead they take a DE that might have been a top 10 pick in last year's draft, before having a dismal year last season

26. Jacksonville: Kenny Phillips, S - Miami
While Phillips projects as a free safety in most schemes, he can play strong in Gregg Williams's scheme. As another coverage option at safety, he can allow Williams to do what he loves and send the corners on blitz packages

27. San Diego: Jerod Mayo, LB - Tennessee
With Stephen Cooper set to be suspended to begin the season and Derek Smith is way past his prime, Mayo could get some time next to Wilhelm at ILB in the Chargers 3-4. Depending on how the team feels about Cooper and Smith, this could push one of them off the roster completely

28. Dallas: Antoine Cason, CB - Arizona
Cason should have no problem settling in as the #3 CB, and will be the eventual starter for the Cowboys by his 2nd season

29. San Francisco: Justin King, CB - Penn State
Finally, King lands in the first round. With the free fall of WRs, someone has to benefit, and King is one of the beneficiaries. King has as much athletic talent as any CB in this draft, he just needs the coaching to put it all together

30. Green Bay: Martellus Bennett, TE - Texas A&M
The Packers need a safety valve receiver for their young QB. Bennett looks like the best of a talented trio at the top of the TE ranks. Bennett looks a lot like Antonio Gates

New England: Selection Forfeited

31. New York Giants: Kentwan Balmer, DT - North Carolina
Balmer adds value as an interior pass-rusher, bringing a similar style to Warren Sapp early in his career. He will eventually replace Robbins, but for now will join a rotation with Robbins, Coefield and Alford

2nd Round

32. Miami: Chilo Rachal, G - Southern Cal
Rachal should step right into the left guard position and start. The Dolphins could probably trade down a few picks (picking up a 3rd rounder) and still get Rachal

33. St. Louis: DeSean Jackson, WR - California
Word is that the Rams are in love with Jackson. Questions about his lack of production in college still loom, and his size doesn't help either. However, he has Hester-like moves and will great value to the return game

34. Atlanta: Brian Brohm, QB - Louisville
While they might trade back into the first with their slew of 2nd round picks to take Brohm, they sit tight and land him anyway. He could be starting by season's end

35. Philadelphia: James Hardy, WR - Indiana
The Eagles land a WR that brings a lot of size to the table. At 6'6" he will compliment the burners that he will be teaming up with at WR. Donovan McNabb could benefit from this big target

36. New York Jets: Quentin Groves, LB - Auburn
Not phased by his surgery, the Jets take one of the best speed rushers in the draft and will plug him in at OLB in Mangini's 3-4 scheme

37. Atlanta: Brandon Flowers, CB - Virginia Tech
The team needs help at CB with Hall out of the picture. Flowers does it all on the field, however his size (5'9") and his work out results leave a little to be desired. This shouldn't bother teams that have scouted him well

38. Oakland: Trevor Laws, DT - Notre Dame
With a unit full of under-achieving DTs, the Raiders land a DT that continues to rise up the charts

39. Washington: Malcolm Kelly, WR - Oklahoma
The Redskins need a big receiver, and they have benefited from the WR free fall. Kelly will want to prove many wrong, and he could have all the opportunities to do it in Washington

40. New Orleans: Dan Connor, LB - Penn State
Needing help along the LB corps, the Saints dip into Linebacker-U for some help. Connor will probably challenge Scott Shanle, but could also be an option in the middle if injuries strike, or if Vilma is moved to the weakside

41. Buffalo: Andre Caldwell, WR - Florida
This could come down to Caldwell and Donnie Avery. Caldwell brings size and speed to the table. He also has experience in a lot of big games. He could eventually start alongside Lee Evans

42. Denver: Pat Sims, DT - Auburn
Sims will join McKinley and Thomas in the DT rotation. Sims has a lot of upside, and could crack the starting lineup

43. Carolina: Chad Henne, QB - Michigan
Apparenly, Henne is ranked as the #3 QB on a lot of teams' draft charts. Carolina needs a QB out of this draft that has gained experience on a large scale, and in college, it doesn't get much larger than Michigan

44. Chicago: Joe Flacco, QB - Delaware
The Bears need help at QB, and the team needs someone with the tools to develop into a starter. Flacco has the arm to air out the ball to the likes of Hester, Bradley and Davis

45. Detroit: Lawrence Jackson, DE - Southern Cal
Missing out on Derrick Harvey in the first round, the Lions don't panic, and nab a DE that was once projected to go in the first round. Jackson could win a lot of playing time early

46. Cincinnati: Early Doucet, WR - LSU
The Bengals are now very thin at WR, with Henry out and Chad Johnson pulling his regular antics. Doucet could push for time early on

47. Minnesota: Carl Nicks, T - Nebraska
Nicks has vast potential and can play either tackle. This can either be a wake up call for McKinnie, or a chance to move Cook to guard or his natural center spot to eventually replace Birk

48. Atlanta: Sam Baker, T - Southern Cal
Baker can't choose a better place to land than Atlanta, where he'll have every opportunity to beat out incumbent LT Patrick McCoy

49. Philadelphia: Curtis Lofton, MLB - Oklahoma
The Eagles need help at LB and Lofton can help in a big way. If he can beat Bradley out for the MLB spot, he can send Bradley to a more natural OLB spot

50. Arizona: Chris Johnson, RB - East Carolina
Johnson's speed and potential make him a very attractive pick at this point in the draft. He could be the change-of-pace back for a year, before he moves more towards a full time role

51. San Francisco: Red Bryant, DT - Texas A&M
The 9ers choose to add depth on their D-Line. Bryant projects more as a NT, but can play DE in the 3-4. He could eventually push Franklin for first team snaps

52. Tampa Bay: Chris Ellis, DE - Virginia Tech
The Bucs would probably be better off moving Marques Douglas inside to DT. However, they are so thin at DE, that he's penciled in there. Ellis brings a lot to the table in terms of motivation and a high motor. He could be one of those players that comes out of nowhere and impresses

53. Pittsburgh: Mario Manningham, WR - Michigan
Finally, Manningham ends his free fall (though some have him falling to day 2). Pittsburgh would be a nice place for Manningham, who would benefit from a mentor like Hines Ward

54. Tennessee: DeMario Pressley, DT - North Carolina State
Pressley could be a diamond in the rough. If he develops nicely in the Titans defense…he could wind up as a starter

55. Seattle: Dustin Keller, TE - Purdue
Keller brings a lot of upside to the table, and could be the team's answer to the TE position. Don't rule out Fred Davis here

56. Green Bay: Patrick Lee, CB - Auburn
Patrick Lee is a big corner who adds speed to the equation. He will provide much-needed depth behind Harris and Woodson

57. Miami: Cliff Avril, LB - Purdue
Avril can line up as Jason Taylor's backup and learn from him for a year before taking over full time.

58. Jacksonville: Jason Jones, DE - Eastern Michigan
A sleeper pick who was playing out of position as a DT his senior year. Has good technique and brings pressure. Worth a gamble at a money position

59. Indianapolis: Jamaal Charles, RB - Texas
The Colts need someone to spell Addai when he's tired and to keep his carries around 20-25 a game. Charles can step in and take on 10-15 carries a game and not leave much to be desired when Addai is out. With Kenton Keith's recent trouble, this pick is all the more enticing for the Colts

60. Green Bay: Tracy Porter, CB - Indiana
It's not secret that the Packers need depth at CB, and someone that can be groomed to take over for Harris and Woodson once they start to pack it in. I feel that Porter is better than advertised and can be considered a steal down the road

61. Dallas: Reggie Smith, S - Oklahoma
Jerrah Jones knows this kid, and in my opinion would have no problem picking him here. Especially with some minor rumblings that Roy Williams could be on his way out in a year or two

62. New England: Charles Godfrey, CB - Iowa
Godfrey should provide valuable depth, and could eventually be a starter on this club down the road

63. New York Giants: DaJuan Morgan, S - North Carolina State
A raw player who has all the confidence in the world. You can't tell him what he can't do. With the right coaching, he could be a steal

As always, reader insight is very important to us here at PH Sports. I would love to hear what you have to say and give my responses in the comments section. Hope you enjoyed, and can't wait for Saturday for the 2008 NFL Draft.


Fannation Comments said... reactions:

1) First Round Notes:
A) I agree, I think the Rams take the safe pick and go with Chris Long. Also Wistrom was not a disappointment - at least not for the Rams.
B) Dallas no longer wants McFadden. You don't break the bank for an unproven running back when you are close to resgning Marion Barber.
C) Also New York won't take a DT - their strength on defesne in the line, they need a safety or a linebacker. If Connors or Mayo are there they go after him or Phillips if he drops.

2) Bravo...
Finally a Mock where someone has the Bills taking a CB. At least you're smart enough to know that the Bills wont take a WR until round 2.

3) How can a four year starter at QB in the SEC, not be taken in the first two rounds? Ainge Beat Georgia three times! Twice between the Hedges. He beat Greene, and Stafford twice. He's 6'6" and 225 lbs. He's got a gun and is incredibley accurate. He broke Peyton Mannings completion record and completion % records. He beat South Carolina three times, Kentucky three times, Alabama twice, was MVP in Senior Bowl, Hero of the game, he really demonstrated his vision, poise in the pocket and arm strength. He tough, plays hurt and WINS anyway!
He greatest attribute is just that: He's a Winner!!
In the SEC with receivers who couldn't create space, his are accuracy was amazing and only TOOK three sacks. He understands pass protection begins with the quarterback. UT couldn't take any losses and move the chains. So Ainge didn't take any sacks...Only Three in 14 games with EVERYBODY coming after him...Truly AMAZING in the SEC...He was coached by the same man who coached Eli and Peyton Manning, he's a winner period!

4) Simply put no way bears draft Flacco in the second rd...its a waste...bears have wayy too many other needs on offense to waste it on a QB..they need to draft top. WR RB or Guard depending on best value with pick...the 2 3rd pics should be spent on the 2 of the 3 needs assuming they pick a tackle in the 1st round... Maybe QB in the 4th or 5th round if someone like Dixon or Woodson falls in their lap...QB next year when hopefully line and RB issues will be fixed...

Armin said...

Thanks for the great comments.

1a. Wistrom wasn't bad, by any means. He just stepped up in a contract year, and landed big money as a result, and regressed. I would say for his draft position, and his hype coming out of college, he was a slight disappointment.

1b. I think that any time you have an owner like Jerrah Jones, there's potential for anything. But, that's what I like about Jones, and why I think he's the best owner in sports (can't believe I said that about my most hated team). Jones is the most capable owner as a GM, and he could probably even get down on the sidelines and coach. He's a football guy. Played the game and has been around it all of his life. As far as D-Mac goes...while Dallas might not have the money (right now), I'm sure Jerrah wouldn't pass him up if the right trade opportunity came up.

1c. This is a draft where decent LBs will be available in the 3rd. No need for the Giants to reach, and Connor's stock is falling. I think the Giants could easily go DT, because Balmer is a 2-gap type (somewhat like Warren Sapp) and can get after the QB. The Giants showed everyone what a strong pass rush can do. I could see them building towards their's what some of the great teams of the past did to stay successful.

2. With the type of receivers that will be available when they pick in the 2nd round, I don't know why they would reach at #11 for a WR. CB is a huge need for the Bills, and McKelvin, DRC, Talib and Jenkins could all be available at that spot. I think Andre Caldwell in the 2nd round could be a Florida WR that breaks the mold.

3. Ainge was a good QB in college. Success in college is a factor, but not as big as some would think. Tee Martin won the National Championship that Peyton couldn't. It's all relative. Ainge needs to show that he has the right tools for a QB coach to work with. This is the reason Joe Flacco is rated so high. He probably had the most impressive QB workout of all the QBs in the draft (according to scouts). Ainge might be a 3rd or 4th rounder. Before Flacco and Johnson emerged, I had Ainge in my top 5 at QB, so....

4. I thought about Jamaal Charles going to the Bears at that pick, but, I can't see them going to Texas for a RB again. At WR, keep an eye on Mark Bradley (currently on the team). He's one of my sleepers this year. Flacco could be a Derek Anderson Clone in a couple years