OK boys and girls, here's our first mock draft for 2008 - it was compiled by our boy JG, who surprisingly enough knows his stuff, and Diego and I think it's a great preview.
Look for Snack and Diego to post their own version sometime before the draft, although it probably won't be all that different from this one (unless we go the toolbox way and wait for John "Salsbury makes me cry" Clayton and Mel "creepiest guy on TV" Kiper to ruin draft day for us by telling everyone who the Dolphins will pick)...
1 Dolphins Chris Long DE Virginia
Parcells may decide that Matt Ryan is their future QB, but if he is satisfied with Jordan Beck, Chris Long is too good to pass up.
2 Rams Jake Long OT Michigan
If Chris Long isn’t the number one pick, he should go to St. Louis, but they would also like to beef up their O-line and Jake Long is the best man for the job.
3 Falcons Matt Ryan QB Boston College
If he doesn’t go to the Dolphins, the Falcons should take Ryan, though he may not be worth Top-3 money.
4 Raiders Darren McFadden RB Arkansas
The Raiders need help on their O-line and D-line, but are known for trying to bring in playmakers. They should probably take Glenn Dorsey but after signing DT Tommy Kelly to a huge deal, I don’t see it.
5 Chiefs Glenn Dorsey DT LSU
This is a tough spot for Kansas City because they really need an offensive-tackle and may overpay for Boise State’s Ryan Clady, but there will be much better prospects still on the board. Their best bet is to trade down.
6 Jets Vernon Gholston DE Ohio State
The way the Jets are bringing in big free-agents makes me believe they are praying for McFadden to fall in their hands, which could happen. If he’s not still around, they would probably like to trade down and pay less money for a WR, or an ILB to fill in for Vilma. USC DT Sedrick Ellis would have been the pick if they hadn’t traded for Kris Jenkins.
7 Patriots Leodis McKelvin CB Troy
The Patriots have their eye on Gholston, but if he is off the board, Leodis McKelvin would be a nice fill-in for Asante Samuel.
8 Ravens Sedrick Ellis DT USC
Though this is not a major need for Baltimore, he is the last of a handful of elite prospects, and they would be pretty much forced to take him in this spot. Expect them to take Ryan, Gholston, or McKelvin, respectively, if they should drop.
9 Bengals Ryan Clady OT Boise St.
The Bengals are filling most of their needs in free agency, so may decide to address the O-line with their first pick. After signing DE Antwan Odom, choosing a DE seems highly unlikely.
10 Saints Keith Rivers OLB USC
With the top DT’s off the board, New Orleans may choose the first LB in the draft. The Saints like Rivers, who would probably enjoy being paired with Vilma. They also want a tight-end, but this is too early of a pick to address this need. They may even trade down if they don’t like their options, and don’t think Rivers is worth Top-10 money.
11 Bills Malcolm Kelly WR Oklahoma
The Bills are surely looking for a tall receiver and have been keeping their eye on Texas WR Limas Sweed, but Kelly is considered the top receiver in the draft and has the height the Bills are looking for. Don’t be surprised if it’s Sweed instead.
12 Broncos Chris Williams OT Vanderbilt
Clady may drop to the 12th pick, but if K.C. or Cincy decides to reach for their tackle, Denver will settle with Williams. Pitt OT Jeff Otah is next in line.
13 Panthers Jeff Otah OT Pittsburgh
If he is already off the board, they would most likely make a decision between one of the remaining first-round defensive ends (Harvey, Merling, Campbell).
14 Bears Limas Sweed WR Texas
What don’t they need on offense? The only thing they had was solid receivers, and they’re gone. I believe Lovie Smith is sticking with Cedric Benson, but if not, Illinois’ RB Rashard Mendenhall could be the answer.
15 Lions Aqib Talib CB Kansas
They would also like to get a solid offensive lineman, but with all the top names off the board, they are likely to go with a corner instead.
16 Cardinals Rashard Mendenhall RB Illinois
They would love to have Mendenhall and E. James as a one-two punch, but they will have to decide if they rather use this pick on a top corner. Mike Jenkins is a possible option.
17 Vikings Phillip Merling DE Clemson
They may choose a wide receiver, but would like to find a solid defensive end to build on their already incredible run defense, not to mention help their pass rush.
18 Texans Jonathan Stewart RB Oregon
This is likely if he is still available, but there is a good chance he won’t be. Alternate options include S Kenny Phillips, and any of the previously mentioned corners, as well as Tenn. St. CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.
19 Eagles DeSean Jackson WR Cal
Phillip Merling and Miami DE Calais Campbell are other options for the Eagles after releasing Jevon Kearse, but McNabb needs more options.
20 Buccaneers Mike Jenkins CB South Florida
Tampa is slim on receivers, but there may already be four or five taken. If this is the case, they will most likely look to build on their defense, whether it is cornerback, or defensive-end.
21 Redskins Derrick Harvey DE Florida
They may opt to choose a WR if they like the remaining options at this point, but they are also looking for a DE and a fill-in for the late Sean Taylor. DE Calais Campbell may be their choice instead.
22 Cowboys Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie CB Tenn. St.
The Cowboys are in need of a corner and this could be his time in the draft. Brandon Flowers and Reggie Smith should be other options still available at this position. If Jonathan Stewart and/or Rashard Mendenhall are still not chosen, Dallas may take a corner with their next choice.
23 Steelers Branden Albert OG Virginia
Tomlin believes they are in a position to take the best player available in the upcoming draft. If this is true, they could possibly land a superstar. If RB Jonathan Stewart falls to the 23rd pick, he could be our short-yardage back, but that’s not all. This guy is a machine, weighing in at close to 235 lbs. and running a 4.4 40-yard dash. Yes, I know we all like Fast Willie, and with a better O-line (Mahan) he probably would have found the end-zone more often, but doesn’t it seem like they’ve been missing something since the departure of Bettis? The answer could be Jonathan Stewart. But, after signing Mewelde Moore, this seems highly improbable. It would be nice if Pitt tackle Jeff Otah were available as well. Word is the Steelers are interested in the lineman, and there is a slight possibility he could fall as far as the 23rd choice. He could definitely help their offensive-line issues.
If the Bills do not choose WR Limas Sweed and decide take Malcom Kelly instead, there is a chance he could fall in Pittsburgh’s hands. He is 6’4” and has the build to be a #1 receiver in the NFL. There’s no doubt he’ll be smarter than Plaxicco was during his stint in the Burgh. A 6’5” James Hardy wouldn’t be too bad either. CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie had an outstanding combine and has the best chance to be available out of all these guys, besides Hardy. Steelers fans know we could use another corner, but teams are worried because of his lack of competition. He played at a small college in Tennessee St., but I happened to believe this is the #1 or #2 corner in the draft. Teams let his cousin, Antonio, slip in the draft, and I don’t think they should make the same mistake twice.
In the end, I’m going to call Tomlin’s bluff and say he chooses Virginia OG Branden Albert. But don’t be discouraged by the choice because this guy could fill in for Faneca for years to come. He is by far the best guard in the draft and has all the tools to become a consistent pro-bowler. This would be the smart choice, but we all may be surprised. RB Rashard Mendenhall and CB Mike Jenkins may still be on the board as well.
24 Titans Mario Manningham WR Michigan
Vince Young needs some help from his receiving corps, but Manningham had such a bad workout at the combine that the Titans may turn to Indiana WR James Hardy, or LSU WR Early Doucet.
25 Seahawks Kentwan Balmer DT N. Carolina
Balmer could go higher in the draft, and the Seahawks would like to at an OT, but with all the top names off the list, Balmer would be the best choice for Seattle.
26 Jaguars Calais Campbell DE Miami
Now that the WR situation has been resolved, Jacksonville’s main concern will be defensive end, and Campbell would be a great addition to an already dominant defense, who already added ex-Charger CB Drayton Florence.
27 Chargers Sam Baker OT USC
The Chargers are in position to take the best available, but would like to at a right tackle to help Tomlinson. Boston College OT Gosder Cherilus is another option for San Diego.
28 Cowboys Felix Jones RB Arkansas
If they already have their corner in place with the 22nd pick, expect the Cowboys to use their 2nd first-round choice on a RB. Chances are they are not going to make a trade to get McFadden, but his college backup will work just fine.
29 49ers James Hardy WR Indiana
If Hardy lasts this long, he would be a huge help to Alex Smith. The addition of Issacc Bruce is not the long-term answer.
30 Packers Gosder Cherilus OT Boston College
The Packers would like to see Rodgers-Cromartie still available, which is a strong possibility, but may need choose the best player available this deep in the first- round, while still addressing their needs. CB Reggie Smith, CB Brandon Flowers, and TE Fred Davis have are viable choices as well.
31 Giants Dan Connor ILB Penn State
He may be gone by this point, but not many teams are focusing on linebackers as their top priority this year. OLB Keith Rivers could even drop as far as the Giants, or even into the second round.
Other First-Round Possibilities
Fred Davis TE USC, Kenny Phillips S Miami, Brian Brohm QB Louisville, Early Doucet WR LSU, Quentin Groves DE Auburn, Chilo Rachal OG USC, Reggie Smith CB Oklahoma, Brandon Flowers CB Virginia Tech, Devin Thomas WR Mich. St, Other Notable Players, Dustin Keller TE Purdue, Ray Rice RB Rutgers, Jamaal Charles RB Texas, John Carlson TE ND, Chris Johnson RB East Carolina, Carl Nicks OT Nebraska, Mike Pollak OC Arizona St., Steven Justice OC Wake Forest, Anthony Collins OT Kansas, Roy Schuening OG Oregon St., Pat Sims DT Auburn, Curtis Lofton ILB Oklahoma, Ali Highsmith OLB LSU, Andre Caldwell WR Florida, Eddie Royal WR Virginia Tech, Colt Brennan QB Hawaii, Owen Schmitt FB WVU, Peyton Hillis FB Arkansas, Jacob Hester FB LSU, Lawrence Jackson DE USC, Jerod Mayo OLB Tennessee, Xavier Adibi OLB Virginia Tech, Erin Henderson OLB Maryland, Tracy Porter CB Indiana, Antoine Cason CB Arizona, Dejuan Morgan S NC St., Trevor Laws DT ND, Wesley Woodyard Jr OLB Kentucky, Lavelle Hawkins WR California, Cody Wallace C Texas A&M, Donnie Avery WR/KR Houston, Dexter Jackson WR/KR Appalachian State.