I have been reading so much hooplah on the 2007 Draft and where everyone predicts everyone will go...etc etc etc.
Well, I agree with some of them and I disagree with a lot of them.
So here is my mock 1st round for this years NFL Draft:
1. OAKLAND RAIDERS - Brady Quinn, QB out of Notre Dame. The Raiders have a talented young defense, so I dont see them addressing anything there in the first couple of rounds. Randy Moss still has game and if Art Shell can get Moss and Jerry Porter to jump on his bandwagon then the Raiders could have a fairly potent offense next year. Though I dont see both Moss and Porter coming to Shell's side, I think that Moss would if given the proper QB to give him the consistent passes that Moss desires. The O-Line is solid as is the running backs with LaMont Jordan. Aaron Brooks is not the answer here for the QB position and Andrew Walter is absolutely TERRIBLE. Brady Quinn would instantly be able to step in and provide a young, talented, smart QB to build a franchise around.
2. DETROIT LIONS - JaMarcus Russell, QB out of LSU. This guy has a cannon for an arm and is a hulk of a man. Russell gets compared to Daunte Culpepper a lot in regards to his physical attributes and arm strength. I think that the Lions have a lot of talent at the receiver position and Russell could be the big arm they need to really stretch the field with Roy and Mike Williams as well as Mike Furrey. Kevin Jones is a very talented running back that has yet to have a full season due to injuries, but rookie Brian Calhoun and Arlen Harris could provide Detroit with a lot of options for running back. The Lion's D is stacked with young players who possess speed and talent. Other than the QB position I feel that all this team needs to be great is chemistry, and that comes down to Rod Marinelli.
3. CLEVELAND BROWNS - Adrian Peterson, RB out of Oklahoma. Cleveland has made it apparent that they are sticking with hometown-hero Charlie Frye at the QB position and in all honesty I think Frye has a lot of potential to be a winner in the NFL. The Brownies did a lot to rebuild their defense last year at the linebacker position and I do see them addressing their D-line and secondary later in the draft, but I think that them having the opportunity to grab Adrian Peterson with the # 3 pick is a must for their offense. Reuben Droughns has had plenty of time to emerge as a solid RB and he just hasn't done so. Peterson is quick to hit the holes and has great vision to go along with his 6'2" 215lb frame. With the Brownies getting their multi-million dollar O-line back and healthy next year Peterson should be able to step right in and have a great rookie year and help the Brownies' struggling rushing offense.
4. TAMPA BAY BUCS - Leon Hall, CB out of Michigan. Tampa has a lot of holes to fill on defense this off-season. Ronde Barber is getting older, Simeon Rice is in the twilight of his career as is Derrick Brooks. They picked up Chris Hovan, but got rid of Booger McFarland. I see them taking Hall because he brings starting capabilities to the Buc's defense. Hall excells in pass coverage as well as being able to come up and stop the run if need be. I think that Hall would flourish under Ronde Barber's wing. I don't expect Tampa to address to much offensive issues this draft, I would expect them to go after a vet WR to aide in the development of Michael Clayton and Maurice Stovall.
5. ARIZONA CARDINALS - Joe Thomas, T out of Wisconsin. Zona has a promising offense with Edge, Leinart, Boldin, Fitzgerald, Bryand Johnson, and Leonard Pope. That is a hell of a line-up. What Arizona really needs on offense is a big time lineman to aide the running game. Edge didnt have nearly enough of an impact because of how dismal their o-line is. I expect the Cards to pick up a couple of defensive players later in the draft, but Joe Thomas is the best lineman available and he would be an immediate starter on the Arizona line.
6. WASHINGTON REDSKINS - Gaines Adams, DE out of Clemson. Adams is only 260 lbs and as a DE in the NFL, that isn't all that big. However, Dwight Freeney is only 255 lbs and he is one of the more feared pass-rushers at the DE spot. The Redskins have a lot of work to do and Joe Gibbs really needs to figure out how to get his team of individuals to play like a team and become the elite team that they have the capabilities to be. Gaines Adams brings the speed and work ethic to a very sluggish D-line. The Redskins got hardly any pressure on the QB this past year and that is very very unlike a Greg Williams defense. Adams would be able to give the Redskins that quickness on the D-line that they lack.
7. MINNESOTA VIKINGS - Calvin Johnson, WR out of Georgia Tech. Johnson is 6'5" and 235lbs and runs a 4.35 40-yard dash. He has incredible hands and a 47" verticle jump. He is, by far, the best athlete coming out in this years draft. The Vikings dropped Marcus Robinson this year and their only real WR threat is Troy Williamson, who potentially can be great because of his burner speed, but they have no one other than him who can consistently make plays. I think Johnson combined with Williamson and Travis Taylor will provide the perfect scenario for head coach, Brad Childress, to groom his young QB, Tavarres Jackson into the next Donovan McNabb.
8. HOUSTON TEXANS - Justin Blaylock, T out of Texas. I said it last year and I will say it again, the Texan's biggest downfall was not providing QB David Carr with the proper protection. Bringing in Eric Moulds and Jeb Putzier are great as far as weapons for Carr to throw to, but it means nothing if he can't get the ball off. I hope the Texans don't give up on Carr just yet and they actually put an O-line in front of him because when they do I think the Texans will be able to do some damage. Blaylock is a big and powerful tackle and a huge reason why Texas beat USC two years ago in the National Championship. He is an instant starter in the NFL and will remain injury free most of his career as he has not had any major issues while at college.
9. MIAMI DOLPHINS - Dwayne Jarrett, WR out of USC. At 6'5" and 215lbs, Jarret will give the Fins the height they desperately need in their passing offense. WR's Chris Chambers, Marty Booker, and Wesley Welker are all under six feet in height. I think Culpepper comes back to full-force and anyone remember the last time Culpepper had a 6'5" receiver to throw too? He had one of the best seasons any QB has ever had in the NFL.
10. ATLANTA FALCONS - Jeff Samardzija, WR out of Notre Dame. Everyone thinks that Michael Vick is not that great of a QB, myself included. However, this year he really seemed to try and become a "pass-first" QB, but all of his receivers dropped pretty much every ball that he threw at them. Samardzija brings the height (6'5") and hands (147 receptions, 2200 yards, and 26 TD's in 2 years) to Atlanta, which is exactly what Vick needs. The only receiving threat for the Falc's is TE Alge Crumpler and he can only do so much.
11. SAN FRANCISCO 49'ERs - Alan Branch, DT out of Michigan. Branch is 6'6" and 330 lbs. He would be the perfect fit for the 49er's 3-4 scheme, which allowed 412 points this past season (the worst in the NFL). Branch is great at stopping the run and can provide a lot of penetration in regards to rushing the passer.
12. BUFFALO BILLS - Troy Smith, QB out of OSU. Smith may not have the most "desireable" height that NFL scouts look for in the QB position, but Smith is an accurate passer who is incredibly mobile and always brings his A-Game to the field. Smith plays the best in the biggest games and that intangeable attribute is something very few players have. Not only that but Buffalo loves Ohio State players (Ashton Youboty, Donte Whitner, Nate Clements). JP Losman is too much of a roller-coaster QB and Buffalo has too much talent on the offensive side of the ball to be as unproductive as they have been the past couple of years.
13. ST. LOUIS RAMS - LaRon Landry, S out of LSU. The Ram's need someone to replace Adam Archuletta and they need a solid run-stopping safety who also posseses the ability to make plays on the deep ball. LaRon Landry is that safety and will play alongside Corey Chavous beautifully.
14. CAROLINA PANTHERS - Paul Posluszny, LB out of Penn State. Poz brings a lot to the table as far as understanding the game and is arguably the best LB in this years draft. The Panthers are known for their defense, which is why I think they will take a top LB as their first pick. Dan Morgan has been injured the past two seasons and there are concerns on whether or not he will even return to playing. Poz would be the perfect person to fill that role.
15. PITTSBURGH STEELERS - Reggie Nelson, S out of Florida. The Steelers defense was so up and down last year, but the loss of safety Chris Hope was felt all year long. Adding a hard hitting and ball-hawking safety like Reggie Nelson will allow Troy Polamalu to be able to go back to being the roaming safety that he plays best in.
16. GREEN BAY PACKERS - MarShawn Lynch, RB out of Cal. The Packers are prepared at QB if Favre decides to leave, they have some talent at WR, but I wouldnt be surprised to see them address that later in the draft. The Pack's defense is solid if they can keep everyone healthy, but I think the one obvious spot they need to fill quickly is their running game. A balanced running attack is imperative in the NFL today and Ahman Green is constantly sidelined with injury and really hasnt been productive the past couple of years. Nick Herron showed some signs of life, but is certainly only a situational back and Vernand Morrency is nowhere near a #1. MarShawn Lynch is the perfect choice for Green Bay and because he is leaving early he will provide the Pack with a lot of years.
17. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS - LaMarr Woodley, DE/OLB out of Michigan. The Jag's defense is their cornerstone and while most people would argue that they are giving up on Leftwich and need a QB, I tend to disagree. I think Del Rio won't give up on Leftwich that easily. I think the Jags need to bring in some veteran receivers on offense to assist Leftwich in the passing game. However, I think that adding a pure pass rusher like LaMarr Woodley will only help this defense in a division where they have to keep Peyton Manning from throwing a thousand TD's per game. You can line Woodley up at DE or at an outside linebacker position. Reminds me a lot of Terrell Suggs for the Baltimore Ravens.
18. CINCINATTI BENGALS - Quinn Pitcock, DT out of OSU. The Bengal's defense needs some serious help with stopping the run as well as getting to the QB. Marvin Lewis seems to not be interested in bringing back Odel Thurman at the LB position, but considering that David Pollack will probably never play again, Lewis doesnt seem to have much of a choice in my opinion. However, I think adding someone like Pitcock on the D-line will really boost the Bengal's defense with stopping the run and Pitcock will take up blockers, which in turn will open up lanes for pass rushers to get through.
19. TENNESEE TITANS - Ted Ginn Jr, WR out of OSU. Ginn is by far the fastest player in the NCAA right now and has the capability of developing into a solid receiver. Definitely fits right into Norm Chow's offense with stretching the field and giving Vince Young another weapon to throw to. Since Brandon Jones emerged as the Titan's #2 and Travis Henry eats up yards on the ground, Ginn would be the perfect "x-factor" in their offense. Someone like a Steve Smith from the Panthers. Or a Bernard Berrian from the Bears. Not too mention the fact that Ginn + PacMan Jones returning kicks and punts is by far the scariest special teams returners the NFL has ever seen.
20. NEW YORK GIANTS - Kenny Irons, RB out of Auburn. Now that Tiki is retiring the Giants are left with a huge blank spot on their offensive roster. Brandon Jacobs is a hulk of a RB that can definitely carry the load on offense, but Tiki provided that homerun threat to the Giants offense because he was an incredible runner with great vision and had very good hands out of the backfield. I think that Irons will provide that quick, home-run threat that the Giants will need to replace.
21. DENVER BRONCOS - Greg Olsen, TE out of Miami. Who knows how long Rod Smith will stick around and Javon Walker and Brandon Marshall are going to be a great tandum for Jay Cutler to throw to, but why not give Cutler a big body to go to in the red-zone and Olsen also has the speed and size to create mismatches for opposing defenses.
22. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (f/trade with Seattle) - Sidney Rice, WR out of South Carolina. This was actually a tough call for me because New England has a lot of holes on defense, but I think the focus of this franchise is on Tom Brady and giving him weapons to throw to. Chad Jackson has a lot of promise and Doug Gabriel could be good as well as Reche Caldwell, but I think that New England needs WR's desperately.
23. DALLAS COWBOYS - Levi Brown, T out of Penn State. A lot of analysts see the Boy's taking a safety in the first round, but I think there will be some quality safeties left in the 2nd and 3rd rounds, which is why I think that the Cowboy's will draft to replenish their aging offensive line. Tony Romo is a fairly mobile QB, but he still needs protection and the Boy's o-line is lacking that ability.
24. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS - Antoine Cason, CB out of Arizona. Let's face it, Ty Law isn't going to be around forever and has already lost a step or two and who knows how long the Chiefs are going to be willing to pay his bloated salary. I think that Cason brings is the best CB available at this time of the draft and the Chiefs could use him right away in Nickel and Dime schemes.
25. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS - Patrick Willis, LB out of Ole' Miss. Talk about a LB who hunts for the ball and punishes whoever has the ball, then you must be talking about Patrick Willis. The Saints were all ready to take AJ Hawk last year with the 2nd pick until Reggie Bush fell into their laps so, it would be no surprise at all for the Saints to add to their remarkable over-achieving defense. Patrick Willis FTW in the Big Easy.
26. NEW YORK JETS - Alley Broussard, RB out of LSU. There is a lot of contention that Leon Washington will be capable of filling the role of the #1 running back for the JEt's franchise, but I dont think they will feel too comfortable without options. I forsee the Jets dropping power backs Kevan Barlow and Cedric Houston and drafting a much younger powerback such as Alley Broussard. I think that he and Washington could be a great duo to build an offense around.
27. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES - HB Blades, LB out of Pittsburgh. I think that Dhani Jones is one of the most overrated linebackers in the NFL and I think he is a weak spot on the Eagle's defense. Omar Gaither is going to be great for them and they need someone else to replace Jones. McCoy is a good special teams player, but I question is capabilities in regards to play recognition. Blades has been a standout linebacker at Pittsburgh his entire career there and has been healthy his entire career also. Andy Reid likes going after hometown players so it wouldnt surprise me whatsover to see him go for someone like HB Blades. Plus with that name, couldnt you see him Trotter and Dawkins getting along very well?
28. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS - Tom Zbikowski, S out of Notre Dame. New England has a lot of holes to fill on their aging defense but I think that Zbikowski is that hard-nosed type of player that would fit right in with the rest of thew Patriots. Not too mention that Zbikowski can add a return threat to special teams. I can't see him replacing Rodney Harrison just yet, but Harrison has been plagued with injuries the past two years, I can see Zbikowski being worked in sporatically throughout the season and being a starter beside Harrison at the end of the season.
29. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS - Adam Carriker - DE from Nebraska. The Colts need to draft nothing but quality defensive players. Their defense was so ugly this past year that I dont even know where to begin. I would lean towards them going after a linebacker or a safety, but if Bob Sanders stays healthy and their D-Tackles stay healthy then I think that improves their defense ten-fold. Their biggest problem is that their ends are undersized and when both big DT's are out (Corey Simon and Booger MacFarland) they need another DE who can stop the run and get to the QB. Carriker is 290 pounds and moves like a linebacker. The Colts get a steal with Carriker.
30. DA BEARSSS - Drew Stanton, QB out of Michigan State. The reason I suggest this is because of the inconsistency of Rex Grossman. I can never see him being the leader of the Chicago Bears for the long haul. I think Kyle Orton is a great back-up, but lacks the talent to be a true #1. Griese is getting older and no one likes a QB controversie. Stanton brings tremendous mobility and a cannon of an arm to the table. I think behind Brady Quinn and Troy Smith, Stanton is the best all around QB in the draft this year.
31. BALTIMORE RAVENS - Tony Hunt, RB out of Penn State. The Baltimore Raven's pride and joy is their defense. They have tremendous depth at all of the positions on defense so I cant see them taking anyone defensively in the first round. I think that with the acquisition of Steve McNair the Raven's passing offense is going to continue to improve with Mark Clayton and Demetrius Williams emerging as the #1 and #2 receivers. However, the running game is what really appears to be the area of focus this off-season. It was only a few years ago that Jamal Lewis joined the ranks of the game's elite by rushing for over 2,000 yards in one season, but since then he has struggled. He seems to be lacking that certain spark that he once had. Maybe it is time for him and Baltimore to part ways, maybe not, but the Ravens need to bring in someone else who can push Lewis for the starting role and eventually become the starting role and I see Tony Hunt being that player. Hunt has great vision and speed for a larger running back (6'1" 225lbs) and I see his type of downhill running being perfect for Baltimore's grinding offense.
32. SAN DIEGO CHARGERS - Steve Smith, WR out of USC OR Robert Meachem, WR out of Tenn. I couldn't really decide in this situation because the Chargers need someone else for Phillip Rivers to throw to besides LT and Antonio Gates. If Meachem comes out then I see the Chargers taking him because of his size (6'3" 210 lbs) and his speed for that size. If Meachem doesnt come out then I can see them going with Steve Smith because he also has good size at 6'1" but posses explosive speed that can stretch defenses downfield.