It’s that time of year again, and since we saw that everyone and their mother is doing a mock NFL draft, we decided it wasn’t too early. We are guaranteeing that every single pick is accurate. Ok…maybe not. Anyway, here is Micah Warren’s 2008 NFL Mock Draft:
1. Miami Dolphins: Chris Long, DE, Virginia
I can’t imagine the Dolphins want anyone at this slot. No one is really worth it, but Chris Long is close. If possible, the Dolphins should trade down and accrue multiple picks, but I just don’t see anyone willing to play ball with them. When you barely win one game (because a veteran misses a field goal that he rarely misses), you have a lot more needs than one guy can fill. That said, Long is the safe pick.
2. St. Louis Rams: Jake Long, OT, Michigan
I was tempted to say Glenn Dorsey, and that very well could happen (like how I’m covering myself in case they take Dorsey?), but their offensive line was simply a mess last year.
3. Atlanta Falcons: Matt Ryan, QB, Boston College
Unless they really have an aversion to Ryan, I don’t know how they can pass on a QB. Currently, they have Chris Redman, Joey Harrington and D.J. Shockley on their roster. I just don’t see how you can win football games with those players. It’s easy to make a case for a bunch of other players they could draft because there is a reason they are drafting this high.
4. Oakland Raiders: Vernon Gholston, LB, Ohio St.
I know, no one wants to believe that Al Davis will pass on Darren McFadden. But he has a logjam at running back and his current group can get it done. The Raiders currently have six RB’s on their roster, four of which are of note. Dominic Rhodes could have been Super Bowl MVP two years ago. Lamont Jordan can do some damage with a little room. Justin Fargas was great at times last year. And the wild card is Michael Bush. Many thought he was a sure first-rounder last year before he broke his leg in the season opener at Louisville. The Raiders need help elsewhere.
5. Kansas City Chiefs: Ryan Clady, OT, Boise St.
The key to the Chiefs success in the past was that dominant offensive line. It made superstars out of Priest Holmes and Larry Johnson. Willie Roaf, Brian Waters, Will Shieldsâ€¦studs. Waters is still there, but not much else. Rebuilding the offensive line will be the key for the Chiefs.
6. New York Jets: Darren McFadden, RB, Arkansas
The running game just wasn’t working last year, and I personally blame the offensive line. As soon as Pete Kendall left, it was a mess. Thomas Jones is an excellent back who didn’t have a lot of room last year. But the Jets will take McFadden anyway. GM’s are drunk with thoughts of Adrian Peterson last year and everyone wants to add an All Day to their roster.
7. New England Patriots: Leodis McKelvin, CB, Troy
The Patriots defense woes were largely covered up last year by the high-flying offense. In close games, they showed their holes. Their secondary in particular isn’t very good and they lost their top player in the back, Asante Samuel. They need to replace him. I may suggest that the Patriots use all of their draft choices on the secondary.
8. Baltimore Ravens: Brian Brohm, QB, Louisville
I know, I know, Brohm’s stock has fallen considerably. But, the Ravens need a quarterback and John Harbaugh knows this. He watched how the Eagles were built and it started with the selection of Donovan McNabb.
9. Cincinnati Bengals: Sedrick Ellis, DT, USC
Anytime you ring up 45 points in a game and lose, something is wrong on the defensive side of the ball. Seriously wrong. Ellis will hopefully provide an anchor to the defensive line and set up everything else on the defense. A disruptive force in the middle changes everything.
10. New Orleans Saints: Glenn Dorsey, DT, LSU
Again with the defensive tackles. Dorsey wouldn’t have to move very far to play for the Saints. This New Orleans team desperately needs playmakers on defense and newly acquired LB Jonathan Vilma would love to see Dorsey on the roster. With the additions of Vilma and Dorsey, the Saints would have the beginnings of a real NFL defense. Oh wait, the secondary. Well, there is always round two. This would be the perfect time to trade for Lito Sheppard, especially considering the Saints affinity for former Eagles.
11. Buffalo Bills: Malcolm Kelly, WR, Oklahoma
I don’t love Kelly, but Limas Sweed has injury issues. At 6-4, Kelly would be that target that they would love to put opposite Lee Evans.
12. Denver Broncos: Chris Williams, OT, Vanderbilt
Quick: Name an offensive lineman on the Broncos. Exactly. Jay Cutler would love some blind side help.
13. Carolina Panthers: Phillip Merling, DE, Clemson
The Panthers need help in a lot of places, especially QB, but I don’t see a QB worth taking this high. They lost DT Kris Jenkins in a trade and that makes it even more important that they get Julius Peppers some help.
14. Chicago Bears: Limas Sweed, WR, Texas
The Bears desperately need o-line help, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see Jeff Otah go here. But the Bears best WR right now is Marty Booker. Yep, read that again. Marty Booker. Bernard Berrian and Muhsin Muhammed weren’t even that great, and now they don’t even have that. The simple fact is that Jerry Angelo needs to prove that he can draft offensive players.
15. Detroit Lions: Rashard Mendenhall, RB, Illinois
The Lions need help in a lot of places, but with the loss of Kevin Jones, they’ll need someone to pound the rock. Especially with the pass-happy Mike Martz gone. Tatum Bell and Brian Calhoun just don’t do it for me.
16. Arizona Cardinals: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, CB, Tennessee St.
All I heard was "Cromartie" and I was sold. They didn’t make the move for Lito Sheppard and they desperately need help in the secondary (thanks for nothing, Antrel Rolle). This guy is big, fast and makes plays. All things the Cardinals need.
17. Minnesota Vikings: Devin Thomas, WR, Michigan St.
I’ve seen many mock drafts that have the Vikings taking a DE here because of the sad news about Kenechi Udeze (leukemia). But they’ve invested a lot of first rounders in recent years on the defensive line (Kevin Williams, Erasmus James) and they desperately need more playmakers on offense. Adrian Peterson is going to get killed with no threat of the pass. I think they should address QB in the second round.
18. Houston Texans: Jeff Otah, OT, Pittsburgh
The offensive line of the Texans has become a running punch line in the NFL. They need to protect Matt Schaub and give their mediocre running backs a little room.
19. Philadelphia Eagles: Kenny Philips, S, Miami
I really think the Eagles want an offensive lineman first, but there aren’t any tackles right now that they like. Brian Dawkins isn’t getting any younger and the Eagles value the secondary enough to take a safety in the first round.
20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Keith Rivers, LB, USC
The Bucs get a steal here. The Cover 2 requires athletes and the Bucs linebackers could use a shot in the arm.
21. Washington Redskins: Derrick Harvey, DE, Florida
While the Redskins desperately want to add a big-time WR, they need help on the defensive line. This would be the smart thing to do, but as we all know, Dan Snyder and Vinny Cerrato don’t always do the smart thing.
22. Dallas Cowboys: Felix Jones, RB, Arkansas
Jerry Jones will get his Arkansas running back, just not the one everyone expected. With Julius Jones gone, they need a compliment to Marion Barber. His running style is just too violent to be conducive to long-term health.
23. Pittsburgh Steelers: Branden Albert, G, Virginia
They need to replace Alan Faneca. Didn’t have to dig too deep to figure this one out.
24. Tennessee Titans: James Hardy, WR, Indiana
I was thinking of going with Desean Jackson from Cal, but then I remembered he’s not that big and Vince Young isn’t the best passer. Hardy solves this problem. At 6-7, he is basically daring Young to over throw him. In all fairness to Young though, he really hasn’t had any weapons to play with during his time in the NFL. That has to change.
25. Seattle Seahawks: Fred Davis, TE, USC
This may be a bit of a reach here, but the Seahawks would love to get Matt Hasselbeck a good tight end. Jerramy Stevens was a waste of time, and Marcus Pollard is going to be 64 in August. Davis is a nice, big target and averaged 14.2 yards per catch last year.
26. Jacksonville Jaguars: Gosder Cherilus, OT, Boston College
The offensive line is just too important, especially when you like to pound it. Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew just got that much better. If one of the 18 WR’s that they acquired in the offseason turns out to be something, extra time for Garrard could mean a lethal offense.
27. San Diego Chargers: Reggie Smith, CB/S, Oklahoma
The Chargers really don’t have any glaring needs. They came close to beating the mighty Patriots in the playoffs last year with an ACL-less QB, no starting MVP-caliber RB, and no all-world TE. The addition of Chris Chambers last year and the emergence of Vincent Jackson downgrades the priority of wide receiver. Why not bolster the secondary?
28. Dallas Cowboys: Aqib Talib, CB, Kansas
I can’t believe he fell this far. I know they need WR help, but they need a corner even more. Did anyone else not realize that Terrence Newman turns 30 in early September? Don’t be surprised if they grab DeSean Jackson here as their WR’s are ancient too, but defense has to come first.
29. San Francisco 49ers: Kentwan Balmer, DT, North Carolina St.
They could grab tweener Quentin Groves, but a good defensive tackle is tough to pass up. Imagine if Patrick Willis had a monster in the middle of that line? 174 tackles will seem like a down year.
30. Green Bay Packers: Brandon Flower, CB, Virginia Tech
Green Bay really doesn’t have many holes. Even the retirement of Brett Favre is covered by former first-round pick Aaron Rodgers. Running back was a problem, then along came Ryan Grant. Greg Jennings and James Jones look like they are going to be fine at WR. The big issue is the age of Al Harris and Charles Woodson at corner. They should start grooming a new guy.
31. New England Patriots: Forfeited
32. New York Giants: Dan Connor, LB, Penn St.
If you watched Penn St. over the last couple of years, you know about Dan Connor and Paul Posluszny. All they do is play football. I don’t know about their 40 times or high jumps or bench press reps, but these guys are damn good football players. The Giants will be getting help immediately if they can nab Connor.