T-9 days and counting. I'm giddy like a school girl with excitement and anticipation. For fun next week I may actually do a 7-round mock draft, if I have time. As for this week, my 1st round pick has not changed. A majority of our picks for this week have not changed except for a few late rounders. With the addition of another 5th rounder the FO has to be looking to trade up for Haden or Thomas, but I don't include trades in my mock. As always I look forward to your questions, comments, and conversations.....unless your screen name is "Hi5Steeler". Just Kidding.
1. St. Louis Rams: Sam Bradford QB, Oklahoma
Team needs: QB/WR/CB/DE/OLB
What the Rams need most is a QB especially after cutting Marc Bulger. The word around the rumor mill is that they are enamored with Sam Bradford after his pro day, so unless they hit a snag during contract negotiations or make some blockbuster trade for a QB this selection is not going to change to Ndamukong Suh, who would be the favorite if they do not select a QB. They have a lot of holes to fill in the later rounds and will need targets for whoever they get to play QB for them next season as well as OLB’s and DB’s for a defense that was absolutely awful last season.
2. Detroit Lions: Ndamukong Suh DT, Nebraska
Team needs: OT/CB/SS/RB/WR
Trading a fifth round pick for Rob Sims seems to have changed the face of this draft. Personally even with the addition of Sims, which means that Backus will not move to LG, I think they should still draft Russell Okung because Jeff Backus is an awful LT. They paid Matt Stafford 40 million guaranteed and it would be nice if he were more than just a floor mat for opposing defenses to wipe their feet on. Here’s an interesting article that explains exactly how I feel about it, http://walterfootball.com/nfldraftlionsokung.php, if only I could put my thoughts into coherent expression like that. The faith the team seems to have in Backus may indeed be a smoke screen but at this point I doubt it. The Lions seem to have interest in trading back to acquire more pick so someone looking to pay a ransom for Suh may entice the team to move off of this pick.
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Gerald McCoy DT, Oklahoma
Team needs: DT/WR/DE/CB/SS
After weeks of hope that Suh would be available to them the Bucs are now stuck with the consolation prize of Gerald McCoy thanks to the Seahawks trading Rob Sims to the Lions. While they may be a little disappointed many feel that McCoy is a more complete player. What the team has lacked is a pass-rush and McCoy’s skills in that regard are superior to Suh’s. Trading back with a pick this high isn’t really much of an option as other teams will not want to pay the amount of guaranteed money expected to a top 3 pick.
4. Washington Redskins: Russell Okung OT, Oklahoma State
Team needs: OT/QB/OG/OLB/OC
Wow I never would have guessed that the Eagles would trade Donovan McNabb to a division rival. Regardless, now the Redskins can focus on filling their number one need which is for offensive linemen, particularly a franchise LT. Mike Shanahan is a big fan of athletic tackles for his zone blocking scheme so he will be ecstatic that Okung is available. As long as he’s on the board when the Redskins pick I can see any other player being given much consideration.
5. Kansas City Chiefs: Bryan Bulaga, OT, Iowa
Team needs: OT/NT/OLB/WR/Safety
Matt Cassell needs a LT that will give him enough time to throw the ball down field. KC spent a lot of money on Cassell and it would be nice if they got a return on their investment. It would also allow them to move 2008 1st round pick Brandon Albert to LG, his natural position, or RT since it doesn't seem like he can make it playing on the left side. Moving Albert to LG means they could slide Brian Waters to center and really solidify that line. GM Scott Pioli is big on positional value, which is why he reached for Tyson Jackson over Aaron Curry last year, so I don’t think Eric Berry is a real option here as some may think he might be. As Peter King of SI has reported, Pioli does not like the idea of drafting a Safety with a top 5 pick. And in the last 20 years only one Safety has been picked in the top 5 of the draft (Sean Taylor).
6. Seattle Seahawks: Eric Berry S, Tennessee
Team needs: OT/DE/QB/DT/WR
Seattle needs a pass-rushing talent and a franchise LT so Derrick Morgan and Trent Williams may be options here but I can’t see them passing on an elite talent like Berry. Berry is an Ed Reed clone and ran a 4.4 40 and posted a 43in vertical at the combine which can only solidify himself as a top player if there were any doubts. You have to love the kid’s swagger when he makes a statement like “you better pick me or I’ll pick you” with regards to any team that might pass on him in the draft. If Okung or even Bulaga were available they would probably go for either of them, but given Bruce Campbell’s injury history, Anthony Davis’ reputation as being inconsistent, and Trent Williams’ struggles on the left side they will go for Berry instead. I gave serious consideration to giving them Jimmy Clausen but I believe that they actually believe Charlie Whitehurst is a future franchise QB.
7. Cleveland Browns: Jimmy Clausen QB, Notre Dame
Team needs: QB/FS/OLB/ILB/WR
Cleveland needs help everywhere except for LT where they have Joe Thomas. Holmgren has stated that he isn’t overly impressed with Clausen but I suspect that may just be posturing so that the Bills won’t jump a head of them to take him. Seneca Wallace and Jake Delhomme are not quality starting QB and even though the Browns are paying Delhomme 7mil a year it’s only a short-term contract. With Berry off of the board and the recent trade for Sheldon Brown, taking any of the available DB’s is looking like less of an option. They need a pass-rusher like Jason Pierre-Paul to replace the traded Kamerion Wimbley, and at some point they may need a number one receiver because Mohamed Massaquoi and Brian Robiskie are both only number two receivers at best so Dez Bryant can be thrown into the mix as well.
8. Oakland Raiders: Bruce Campbell OT, Maryland
Team needs: OT/DT/CB/DE/OLB
Bruce Campbell secured this pick by measuring in at the combine at a stout 6’6” 314lbs., with 36 1/2in arms, and add to that 34 reps on the bench press and a 4.85 40. That’s enough to make undead Al foam at the mouth. Given Okung’s great combine if he manages to slip this far I believe the Raiders would take him, although given his great combine I doubt he would make it past Seattle. At this point I really can’t see anyone but Campbell being selected here unless Davis is even more enamored with Taylor Mays unofficial 40 time of 4.27. Even though they have Richard Seymour it’s not out of the realm of possibility that they take JPP or Carlos Dunlap.
9. Buffalo Bills: Dan Williams NT, Tennessee
Team needs: OT/QB/NT/OLB/ILB
The Bills have 3 huge needs, a QB, a NT, and OT’s. Unless the Browns pass on Jimmy Clausen the Bills will have to trade up or wait for a QB. So this pick will basically come down to Trent Williams or Dan Williams. The Bills will try their hand at the 3-4 defense this year and the most important cog is a quality NT to anchor the front. With the proliferation of the 3-4 over the last few years it’s not hard to see a NT overvalued somewhat, which is why B.J. Raji went so high last year. There’s also an outside chance they may pick Jason Pierre-Paul but it’s unlikely since they selected pass rusher Aaron Maybin in the first round of last years draft.
10. Jacksonville Jaguars: Earl Thomas S, Texas
Team needs: FS/OC/OG/WR/DE
The Jags young receiving corps has come on this year and as such seems to be no longer a dire position of need, although they due lack a true number one receiver in which case they make target Dez Bryant. Derrick Morgan may still be given consideration but now that the team has signed Aaron Kampman DE has become a lesser need, as I’m sure they are still holding out hope that Derrick Harvey and Quinton Groves will pan out. Thomas would be a replacement and upgrade over the extremely disappointing Reggie Nelson. There’s talk that the Jags are looking to save money so they may look to trade back with a team looking to get Jason Pierre-Paul, Rolando McClain, Joe Haden, or one of the available OT’s. They could trade back with a team like the Steelers who would be targeting Joe Haden and still be able to get Everson Griffen.
11. Denver Broncos(via Chicago Bears): Joe Haden CB, Florida
Team needs: WR/NT/OC/OG/CB
I haven’t seen Haden go to the Broncos in any other mock drafts but it makes a lot of sense. What they really need is a NT because Jamaal Williams is nothing more than a 34 year old stop-gap but Dan Williams is already off of the board. Until they trade Brandon Marshall they have no hole to fill for a #1 WR so Dez Bryant isn’t an option. Rolando McClain is an option to replace the departed Andra Davis but they already have D.J. Williams and Wesley Woodyard is serviceable. Current starting CB’s Champ Bailey and Andre Goodman are 31 and 32, with Champ becoming a free agent next offseason. Ty Law is way too old to be counted on, and last year’s rookie Alphonso Smith is only a nickel CB and maybe a #2 at best. So why not take the best CB in the draft and have him learn from the best CB in the NFL over the last decade? Haden reclaimed himself as a top pick after a horrible 40 at the combine with a phenomenal pro day, running 40’s of 4.39 and 4.43.
12. Miami Dolphins: Jason Pierre-Paul DE/OLB, USF
Team needs: OLB/WR/FS/NT/TE
Previously I had them choosing Dez Bryant, but Bill Parcells doesn’t typically draft WR’s in the first round but he does have a lot of experience drafting Linebackers. Personally I think he has a high bust rate and have compared him to Vernon Gholston on many occasions as he too is a one year wonder and a workout warrior but with a great combine he has clearly shown that he has the tangibles to be an excellent rusher at the next level. Whether or not he can parlay those skills into actual results remains to be seen. With Dan Williams off of the board they will have to wait to replace the 34 year old Jason Ferguson. The signing of Karlos Dansby makes it unlikely they will take Rolando McClain, although with the constant injuries to Channing Crowder it’s not out of the question. With the release of Gibril Wilson they could draft Joe Haden with the intention of moving Sean Smith back to FS, or they could take Earl Thomas to replace Wilson. That would give Miami one of the best young secondary’s in the NFL.
13. San Francisco 49ers: Trent Williams OT, Oklahoma
Team needs: RT/SS/CB/OG/RB
Williams is an absolute mauler and would fill a big position of need even before they lost Tony Pashos to free agency. The 49ers also have needs at SS where Michael Lewis has become concussion prone and at CB to replace Nate Clements who is 30 years old and not nearly worth the contract they are paying him.. If Earl Thomas, Trent Williams, and Joe Haden are all off of the board at this point I would expect them to take C.J. Spiller. He wouldn’t fill an immediate position of need but would provide a pass-catching option on third downs that the team currently lacks as well as a boost in the return game after the loss of Arnaz Battles to free agency, and provide a great insurance policy for the often injured Frank Gore.
14. Seattle Seahawks (via Denver Broncos): C.J. Spiller RB, Clemson
Neither Walter Jones nor Sean Locklear can seem to stay healthy, with Jones announcing his retirement. Unfortunately all of the top tier OT’s are gone so they will have to look at other options. Anthony Davis has done nothing but hurt his draft stock throughout the whole offseason evaluation process and as such I think it would be a mistake to take him this high. Charles Brown would be an option as he would fit the zone blocking style of Seattle but Spiller is a much better prospect. Justin Forsett and Julius Jones are not starting quality RB’s.
15. New York Giants: Derrick Morgan DE, Georgia Tech
Team needs: MLB/DT/RT/DE/CB
After waffling between Brian Price, Rolando McClain, and Derrick Morgan I’ve settled with Morgan. He is a top-10 talent who’s managed to slip due to so many teams making the switch to the 3-4 defense. With the release of Antonio Pierce MLB has become a glaring need for the G-men but Rolando McClain is not an ideal fit for the Tampa-2 defense that DC Perry Fewell plans to install. As Scout’s Inc. writer Matt Williamson points out here, he’s not a for any 4-3 defense after posting a 4.71 40. Sean Weatherspoon would be a much better fit for their defense but I can’t see them passing on a talent like Morgan. They also have needs at the DT position, especially with losing Fred Robbins to free agency and Rocky Bernard having a very underwhelming season, so Brian Price will definitely come into play. In the next couple of rounds I expect them to find a replacement for Kareem McKenzie.
16. Tennessee Titans: Carlos Dunlap DE, Florida
Team needs: DE/CB/OLB/ DT/OC
Who would have thought that after a 0-6 start that Vince Young would salvage their season? They have multiple needs but Young’s play means they won’t be looking for a QB. Their biggest need is for pass-rushers as they were unable to get any pressure last season. Due to the lack of pressure the CB’s were exposed so they will need to make upgrades in the secondary as well. I know Titans fans are going to hate this pick because Dunlap has bust written all over him, but the Titans love workout warriors and no one epitomizes that more than Dunlap.
17. San Francisco 49ers(via Carolina Panthers): Taylor Mays S, USC
Taylor Mays has a certain reputation around the mock draft community as a huge gamble for good reason. He has all the intangibles you would want in a Safety, or someone who plays any position. He’s a solid 6’3” 230lbs. and ran an unofficial 4.27 40 at the combine. Unfortunately he has extremely poor cover skills. He takes bad angles and more often than not he’s only looking to deliver the big hit rather than go for the ball in the air. If anyone can teach him the fundamentals of the game it’s going to be coach Singletary who apparently is very high on Mays’ stock.
18. Pittsburgh Steelers: Rolando McClain ILB, Alabama
Team needs: ILB/OG/NT/CB/DE
The Steelers have 11 draft picks (which includes 3 compensatory picks) but clearly they do not have 11 roster spots to fill with rookies. With the addition of the Jets 5th rounder for the trade of Santonio Holmes it now seems more likely that the Steelers will trade up to target someone they especially like. I would guess that the most likely targets will be Joe Haden and Rolando McClain, with the very dark horse being Eric Berry. Here I have McClain falling to the Steelers mostly due to his large size and his speed limitations, as he’ll almost certainly have to play in a 3-4 defense in the pros and so many teams a head of the Steelers employ a 4-3. And ILB’s typically tend to fall on draft day. The Steelers may move up to get him because the Giants also have a need for a MLB. Given his prior experience in the 3-4 he’ll be an ideal fit for the Steelers, and be the successor to 35 year old James Farrior. McClain is very instinctive with great leadership qualities. The signing of Larry Foote will not impact the decision to draft McClain as the Steelers prefer to have their rookies, especially on defense, sit a year and learn the scheme. As previously stated the Jaguars are the most likely trading partner as they are looking to save money and trading up with them would put us in a position to take McClain, Haden, or even Earl Thomas. As a long shot option the Steelers could trade up to the 6th pick with the Seahawks, who have many more needs than the Steelers do, to get Berry. However that may provide too costly as the Steelers would have to surrender their 2nd rounder and change to get the 6th pick and this is a very deep draft. Other options should the Steelers stay at 18 would be Mike Iupati who would shore up the one weak point along the Steelers offensive line at RG, Kyle Wilson given that Ike Taylor is 30 years old an in the final year of his contract, or Jared Odrick who is a local product and would help continue the youth movement along the defensive line. The Steelers typically take the best player available whether it is at a slight position of need or a dire position of need. Personally I think it would be a slight reach if they were to take Kyle Wilson and a huge reach for someone like Maurkice Pouncey and the Steelers rarely trade back in the first round.
19. Atlanta Falcons: Brandon Graham DE, Michigan
Team needs: DE/OLB/DT/WR/Safety
The Falcons will take the best defensive player available, particularly an OLB or DE. The signing of Dunta Robinson means that CB is no loner a need for them. I’ve decided to give them Graham because GM Thomas Dimitroff is a Scott Pioli disciple and puts a big emphasis on positional value. He would take the place of first round bust Jamaal Anderson. Sean Weatherspoon is an option as current starting WLB Mike Peterson is 34 years old. They also have needs for a solid #2 WR because Michael Jenkins just isn’t cutting it.
20. Houston Texans: Kyle Wilson CB, Boise State
Team needs: CB/FS/OG/NT/RB
The Texans need help in multiple areas, specifically on defense after they let the unhappy Dunta Robinson leave via free agency, and in the interior defensive line after sending former 1st round pick Travis Johnson to the Chargers earlier in the year. Kyle Wilson is a slight reach here in my opinion but he will fill a dire position of need. They also need help on the offensive side of the trenches, specifically along the interior so Mike Iupati is an option. They could also reach for Terrence Cody, or Ryan Matthews who would be a good fit for their zone blocking scheme.
21. Cincinnati Bengals: Dez Bryant WR, Oklahoma State
Team needs: WR/FS/TE/ILB/OG
The Bengals only real needs are for WR’s and safeties and here they manage to take the top WR in the draft. There have been many questions raised about his maturity level but as recent draft history has shown us the Bengals are more than willing to draft players with character issues. Outside of Chad OchoCinco, none of their WR’s has had much of an impact this year. They signed Antonio Bryant but he’s not the answer to the WR issues. If none of the WR options at this point are preferable to the Bengals they would certainly consider Oklahoma TE Jermaine Gresham.
22. New England Patriots: Jared Odrick DT/DE, PSU
Team needs: OLB/DE/WR/TE/RB
After the Richard Seymour trade to Oakland, the Patriots defense suffered greatly. Odrick is a great 3-technique DT that has the size and strength to convert to 3-4 DE much like Seymour did when he came out of college. The Patriots also need more youth and depth in their linebacking corps. After losing Ben Watson and Chris Baker to free agency they will need to find another TE, and will be tempted to take Gresham given that he’s still available and Belichick has a history of taking TE’s in the first round. Given how much the Patriots like to trade back, it would actually surprise me if they keep this pick, especially considering how deep the talent pool is in this draft.
23. Green Bay Packers: Charles Brown OT, USC
Team needs: OT/CB/Safety/OG/DE
The Packers have had to compensate for the lack of talent at OT by adjusting their scheme to keep TE’s in to block. Adding some OT depth would really help open up that potent offense. After losing Aaron Kampman to free agency they may consider Jerry Hughes and Sergio Kindle who are both still on the board to add as a pass-rushing threat to go across from Clay Matthews. Green Bay also needs to start looking at replacements for their aging secondary but will find better value for that in the next 2 rounds, especially with Kyle Wilson already off of the board.
24. Philadelphia Eagles: Sean Weatherspoon OLB, Missouri
Team needs: OLB/CB/DE/OT/FS
The Eagles are a solid team but have multiple needs at OLB after trading Chris Gocong who never fit into Philly’s defensive scheme, and where they cut Will Witherspoon. With the signing of Marlin Jackson they have found a replacement for the dreadful Sean Jones at FS. After trading away Sheldon Brown to Cleveland the Eagles definitely have a need for a CB, but with Kyle Wilson already off of the board they will take Sean Weatherspoon who is a better prospect than CB Devin McCourty.
25. Baltimore Ravens: Jermaine Gresham TE, Oklahoma
Team needs: CB/TE/DE/WR/OC
With the newly acquired Anquan Boldin WR is no longer a dire need for the Ravens, although they may still look for one in the later rounds. This pick comes down to a CB given that the team lacks a #1 corner, a DE to replace an aging Trevor Price, and a TE because despite a solid season last year Todd Heap has had a long injury history and is on the downswing of his career. Gresham is by far the best TE in the draft and would pair perfectly with young QB Joe Flacco for years to come. This draft is deep with corners and plenty will be available in round 2. With CB Kyle Wilson and DE Jared Odrick already off of the board, and the trade for Boldin I really can’t see this pick being anything other than Gresham except for maybe an OLB if they don’t feel Paul Kruger can develop into a 3-4 pass-rusher.
26. Arizona Cardinals: Anthony Davis OT, Rutgers
Team needs: OT/OLB/ILB/CB/NT
Arizona’s biggest need for a long time has been for a LT. They drafted Levi Brown a couple years ago but he has struggled on the left side. Anthony Davis has caused his stock to plummet all offseason due to a poor combine workout and bad interviews. Apparently during his pro day he refused to participate in some of the drills and really rubbed some team reps the wrong way. Due to his potential though there is no way that he falls out of the first round and Arizona will almost be forced to take him on his potential. With OC Russ Grimm’s illustrious background he should be able to whip Davis into shape. OLB’s Haggans, Okeafor, and Berry are all 33 years old or older so they will definitely be interested in Sergio Kindle and Jerry Hughes. They signed Joey Porter but he seems intent on spending the season in jail rather than on the Cardinals defense. With the extra picks they acquired from Baltimore in the trade for Anquan Boldin I would expect them to package them with this pick to move up for one of the elite Tackle prospects such as Bryan Bulaga or Trent Williams if they fall a little from the top of the draft.
27. Dallas Cowboys: Mike Iupati OG, Idaho
Team needs: OT/FS/OG/NT/ILB
Mike Iupati fits the bill of exactly what the Cowboys look for in an offensive lineman, a big mauler. Apparently the Cowboys reps were very interested in Iupati at the Senior Bowl. Unless Taylor Mays or Anthony Davis manages to slip I can’t see the Cowboys giving much consideration to anyone else. There’s a slight chance they may consider speedster Golden Tate to play slot receiver because of his ability to stretch the field.
28. San Diego Chargers: Ryan Matthews RB, Fresno State
Team needs: NT/RB/DE/ FS/CB
The Chargers have two pressing needs, one for a NT to replace the Jamal Williams who was signed by the Broncos, and for a RB after the release of LaDainian Tomlinson. Unfortunately the only NT with a 1st round grade is already taken, and I don’t think that General Manager A.J. Smith will gamble on “Mount” Cody with a 1st round pick given that it’s become highly probably that he’ll eat himself out of the league in a couple years unless he has to in the event that all of their other targets are already taken. Even with the fast 40 times of Spiller and Jahvid Best it was Mathews who had the best combine performance in my opinion. He ran a 4.4 40 and looked very solid in catching the ball which is something San Diego covets in its RB’s.
29. New York Jets: Sergio Kindle DE/OLB, Texas
Team needs: DE/OLB/WR/FS/NT
With the Jets trade for Antonio Cromartie to play opposite Darrell Revis, their greatest needs become a DE considering Shaun Ellis is coming off of an injury and Marques Douglas is a free agent and both are 33 years old, and a rush linebacker. They go with Hughes to replace 1st round bust Vernon Gholston since Jared Odrick is already off the board. Now that they have traded for Santonio Holmes there is absolutely no reason for them to target a WR early.
30. Minnesota Vikings: Maurkice Pouncey OG/OC, Florida
Team needs: CB/FS/MLB/OG/DT
The Vikings biggest weaknesses are in the secondary and along the interior of the offensive line. Current CB’s Griffin (torn ACL) and Winfield (Foot) are both nursing injuries, with Griffen unlikely to be ready for the start of the season. Along the interior line they could use an upgrade for John Sullivan and Anthony Herrera. Fortunately Pouncey is versatile enough to play either Center or Guard. The Vikings could also consider FS Nate Allen, CB Devin McCourty, or MLB Daryl Washington and in the later rounds I expect them to draft a RB to replace Chester Taylor.
31. Indianapolis Colts: Brian Price DT, UCLA
Team needs: OT/DT/OG/DE/Safety
Without any cornerstone LT’s left, which is their biggest need, the Colts will focus on defense. I know the Colts do not typically invest early round picks on defense but it’s about time that they start. They are really lacking depth at DT and Price is a great 3 technique player. Like Derrick Morgan, Price is the victim of the proliferation of the 3-4 defense. They may continue the trend of drafting offense in the 1st in which case they would go for Maurkice Pouncey if he’s available to shore up a weak point at OG where Mike Pollack was lacking all year. I’ve also seen a couple of mock drafts where the Colts reach for an OT prospect like Rodger Saffold. Now that they have resigned Gary Brackett, MLB is no longer an issue for them.
32. New Orleans Saints: Everson Griffen DE, USC
Team needs: DE/DT/OLB/Safety/OC
With an already formidable offense the Saints will look to upgrade a defense that was hot and very cold all season long. Their biggest need is a DE to replace Charles Grant. The Saints are lucky to have Griffen fall into their lap at the end of the 1st round. I don’t believe that the signing of Alex Brown will impact this pick unless Brian Price is available. In the event that Price and Griffen are both gone they will go with LaMarr Houston to pair with Sedrick Ellis or a FS like Nate Allen to replace Darren Sharper who may sign elsewhere.
33. St. Louis Rams: Golden Tate WR, Notre Dame
Now that the Rams have their QB of the future they need weapons for him to throw the ball to.
34. Detroit Lions: Devin McCourty CB, Rutgers
They traded for Chris Houston but he’s only a #2 CB at best. Before the combine McCourty graded out as a late 2nd round prospect, but after running the fastest 40 time (4.34) of any DB and looking very fluid in the drills he’s managed to catapult himself into the number 3 CB slot.
35. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Arrelious Benn WR, Illinois
The Bucs need WR’s to help the progression of young QB Josh Freeman. Michael Clayton has been underwhelming so far in his career and Antonio Bryant was lost to free agency.
36. Kansas City Chiefs: Terrence Cody DT, Alabama
Even though he may eat himself out of the league in a couple years, which is why he’s slipped out of the 1st round to begin with, the Chiefs are not going to pass up the chance to solidify their defensive front with someone who is could be a dominant 2-down NT.
38. Cleveland Browns: Jerry Hughes OLB, TCU
After trading Kamerion Wimbley to the Raiders they are now in desperate need of a pass-rusher.
39. Oakland Raiders: Jeff Owens DT, UGA
Jeff Owens did 44 reps on the bench press which makes him a great player in the eyes of the Crypt Keeper.
41. Buffalo Bills: Rodger Saffold OT, Indiana
The Bills dire need for an OT gets filled here.
44. New England Patriots (via Jacksonville Jaguars): Koa Misi DE/OLB, Utah
Misi has been nothing short of spectacular this offseason, first at the Senior Bowl, then at the combine, and finally at his pro day.
46. New York Giants: Jamar Chaney ILB, Miss. State
Chaney ran a 4.51 40 at the combine and would be a great addition as the Giants convert to the Tampa-2.
48. Carolina Panthers: Brandon LaFell WR, LSU
Team needs: WR/DT/OG/DE/OT
Now that Jake Delhomme is gone and Matt Moore will be the starting QB next season, they need someone to throw to besides Steve Smith. LaFell drops considerably due to a poor 40 time but is a solid possession receiver and a very underrated downfield blocker.
49. San Francisco 49ers: Vladimir Ducasse OG/OT, UMass
Just the sort of big, run-blocking lineman Coach Singletary loves.
51. Houston Texans: Ben Tate RB, Auburn
They need a power RB that can fit their zone blocking scheme.
54. Cincinnati Bengals: Jimmy Graham TE, Miami
Carson Palmer has not had a serious pass-catching threat at TE his whole time in Cincinnati. The hype machine is starting to build on Graham who has a lot of potential but very little game experience.
55. Philadelphia Eagles: Daryl Washington OLB, TCU
Washington would replace Will Witherspoon. Putting him with Stewart Bradley and first round pick Sean Weatherspoon would give Philly a great young linebacking core.
56. Green Bay Packers: Chris Cook CB/FS, Virginia
They fill their second biggest need for youth in the secondary.
57. Baltimore Ravens: Tyson Alualu DT/DE, Cal
They find a replacement for Trevor Price. Alualu already has experience playing in a 3-4 defense.
58. Arizona Cardinals: Jason Worilds OLB, Va. Tech
The Cards fill their need for youth at the OLB position.
60. Seattle Seahawks (via San Diego Chargers): Tony Washington OT, Abilene Christian
Washington is a good tackle and hopefully for his sake teams will look past the fact that he’s a registered, although non-violent, sex offender.
61. New York Jets: Alex Carrington DT/DE, Arkansas State
Ellis and Douglas are both 33 years old, with Ellis coming off of an injury and Douglas a pending free agent.
63. Indianapolis Colts: Jermaine Cunningham DE, Florida
The Colts need youth and depth at the DE position. When Freeney is injured they have no pass-rush.
68. Kansas City Chiefs: Demaryius Thomas WR, Georgia Tech
They can’t be completely confident in having Chris chambers as their #2 WR.
69. Oakland Raiders: Mitch Petrus OG, Arkansas
Oakland needs an OG and Petrus put up 44 reps on the bench press, which makes him a steal in the 3rd as far as Al Davis is concerned.
71. Cleveland Browns: Major Wright FS, Florida
They need a replacement for Brodney Pool.
73. Miami Dolphins: Linval Joseph DT, East Carolina
The Dolphins need an upgrade at NT.
74. Jacksonville Jaguars: John Jerry OG, Ole’ Miss.
They could use an upgrade to create running lanes for MJD.
75. Chicago Bears: Jon Asamoah OG, Illinois
Team needs: OG/FS/ DE/DT/OC
They have a major need at LG.
76. New York Giants: LaMarr Houston DT, Texas
The G-men need an upgrade along the interior of the defensive line.
79. San Francisco 49ers: Jahvid Best RB, Cal
Best would give them the pass-catching third down back they’ve been missing.
80. Denver Broncos: Brandon Spikes ILB, Florida
He would provide competition and a possible upgrade over Wesley Woodyard.
82. Pittsburgh Steelers: Akwasi Owusu-Ansah CB, IUP
This is a value pick. The Steelers have greater needs at OG, OC, and DE but any of the available players would be big reaches. AOA ran a 4.31 40 at his pro day and would be a great special teamer which is something that has been an issue for the team in recent years. He has 5 career returns for TD’s. Interesting side note, Akwasi means “Born on Sunday” which sounds like he was destined to play football.
84. Cincinnati Bengals: Amari Spivey CB, Iowa
This is a BPA situation. They have a greater need at FS but any of the available prospects would be considered a reach. Spivey would be an upgrade over Morgan Trent as the nickel CB.
87. Philadelphia Eagles: Kyle Calloway OT Iowa
BPA situation as they could use some OT depth.
90. Dallas Cowboys: Jared Veldheer OT, Hillsdale
He’s the kind of massive lineman the Cowboys prefer.
91. San Diego Chargers: Larry Asante SS, Nebraska
They could use an upgrade at both Safety positions.
94. Indianapolis Colts: Jason Fox OT, Miami
This may be a bit of a gamble given Fox’s knee injury, but if not for the injury he would be an early 2nd round selection. Fox is the type of lean, athletic lineman the Colts prefer and if his knee passes the physical he could become the franchise LT they’ve been missing.
97 Comp pick: Tennessee Titans: Roddrick Muckelroy OLB, Texas
They need OLB depth.
98 Comp. pick: Atlanta Falcons: Andre Roberts WR, Citadel
They need a solid #2 WR.
101. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Daniel Te’o-Nesheim DE, Washington
This time they upgrade the RDE spot.
103. Washington Redskins: Mike Johnson OG, Alabama
Another great, athletic lineman that is prefect for Shanahan’s zone blocking scheme.
104. Seattle Seahawks: Perrish Cox CB, Oklahoma State
They need an upgrade over Ken Lucas.
106. Oakland Raiders: Jacoby Ford WR, Clemson
Ford ran the fastest 40 at the combine, enough said.
107. Buffalo Bills: Mike Neal DT/DE, Purdue
Neal is versatile enough to play DE in a 3-4 and DT in a 4-3.
109. Chicago Bears: Myron Lewis CB/FS, Vanderbilt
Their second biggest hole gets filled.
110. Miami Dolphins: Aaron Hernandez TE, Florida
They need a pass-catching TE and Graham is an excellent athlete who had a great combine.
111. Tennessee Titans: Sergio Render OG, Va. Tech
They need OG depth.
112. Carolina Panthers: Geno Atkins DT, UGA
They need DT depth.
113. San Francisco 49ers: Riley Cooper WR, Florida
They need a slot receiver.
114. Denver Broncos: Jonathan Dwyer RB, Georgia Tech
They need RB depth behind Knowshon Moreno.
117. Atlanta Falcons: Zane Beatles OT, Utah
The Falcons need OT depth.
118. Houston Texans: Donovan Warren CB, Michigan
They still need secondary depth. He’s slipped due to a horrible combine and pro day but could end up being the steal of the draft.
119. New England Patriots: Joe McKnight RB, USC
He is the sort of versatile passing option that is a perfect fit for Belichick’s offense.
120. Cincinnati Bengals: Kurt Coleman S, Ohio State
They need competition for Chris Crocker.
121. Philadelphia Eagles: Brandon Lang DE, Troy
They could use some depth if Darrell Tapp doesn’t work out.
129. Indianapolis Colts: Rennie Curran OLB, Georgia
If Curran were just a little bit bigger he would be a 1st round pick, as it stands now he’s a perfect fit for the Colts cover-2.
130. New Orleans Saints: Jeremy Williams WR, Tulane
BPA situation as Williams, who is a local product and sure to be fan favorite, is a much better prospect than reaching for any of the available OC’s or FS’s.
131 Comp. pick: Cincinnati Bengals: Vince Oghobaase DT, Duke
They could use some depth at the DT position.
135. Washington Redskins: Selvish Capers OT, WV
They have a need for a RT.
137. Philadelphia Eagles (via Cleveland Browns): Jarrett Brown QB, WV
McNabb has been traded as will Vick, either this offseason or next. Either way they need a capable back-up and Brown is a mobile developmental QB who would be a good fit for a West Coast offense.
139. Seattle Seahawks: Derrick Hardman OT, Eastern Kentucky
They still need OT depth.
140. Buffalo Bills: Blair White WR, Michigan State
They could really use some depth at WR.
141. Chicago Bears: Earl Mitchell DT, Arizona
With the constant injuries to Tommy Harris they need some DT depth.
143. Jacksonville Jaguars: Tim Tebow QB, Florida
Before all of the Jags fan start in on this one, they need a young talent to push David Garrard. Tebow would fill that need as well as be an attendance draw to boost ticket sales.
149. Atlanta Falcons: Nate Collins DT, Virginia
They could use some DT depth.
150. Houston Texans: Jevan Snead QB, Ole’ Miss
If Matt Schaub ever gets hurt they are screwed. Snead needs some work on his decision-making skills but he has the arm and accuracy to make all the NFL throws.
151. Pittsburgh Steelers: Toby Gerhart RB, Stanford
Gerhart is epitome of what the Steelers love in a player. He’s a tough, blue-collar type with high character which is something the Steelers could use right about now.
154. Green Bay Packers: Eric Norwood OLB, South Carolina
They could use an upgrade at the rush-linebacker spot opposite of Clay Matthews.
155. Pittsburgh Steelers (from New York Jets (via Philadelphia Eagles): Brandon Carter OG, Texas Tech
Brandon Carter is a mountain of a man at 6’6”, 319lbs. He has the size to play OG or OT, and has even played some DT which makes him the type of versatile player Coach Tomlin loves. His wild man persona may turn off the FO but he would be a lot of fun to watch on Sundays, and in the 5th round there isn’t much of a gamble with him. As stated in the 1st round description, it’s highly unlikely that the Steelers will keep this pick.
156. Baltimore Ravens: Walter Thurmond CB, Oregon
Lardarius Webb was a pleasant surprise this past year but they still lack quality depth.
158. Oakland Raiders (from New England Patriots via Denver Broncos via Dallas Cowboys: Andrew Tyshovnytsky OT, Fordham
The Raiders had a need for a RT and he ran a 4.91 40 and did 33 reps on the bench press at his pro day.
159. San Diego Chargers: C.J. Wilson DT/DE, East Carolina
Louis Castillo misses a lot of games.
162. Indianapolis Colts: Alterraun Verner CB, UCLA
They need CB depth.
167. Comp. pick: Minnesota Vikings: Jeff Byers OC, USC
They need an upgrade of John Sullivan. Drafting Byers means that they could leave 1st round pick Pouncey at RG to replace Anthony Herrera.
169. Comp. pick: Green Bay Packers: John Estes OC, Hawaii
The Packers need interior O line depth.
There are several possible 6th and 7th rounders that could be targets which include:
Clifton Geathers DE, South Carolina
At 6’7” 300lbs he would be a good project player who could compete for the future starting DE job across from Ziggy Hood.
Eric Decker WR, Minnesota
If not for a foot injury that cost him his senior year Decker would probably be a 2nd round pick.
Antonio Coleman DE/OLB, Auburn
He was a force in the SEC his entire career. He’s a solid pass-rusher but not the best run-stuffer.
O’Brian Schofield OLB, Wisconsin
If not for an ACL tear on the first day of Senior Bowl practices he would be a 3rd round pick.
Ekom Udofia NT, Stanford
He’s 6’2”, 315lbs. and could be a solid back-up NT, and maybe even a starter byt the time Casey Hampton is gone.
Erik Cook OC, New Mexico
At 6’6” 310lbs. he’s got the big body to fir our blocking scheme.
Garrett Lindholm K, Tarleton State
He kicked a 64 yarder during a game last season and hit 3 of 4 at 60 yards during his pro day. Come draft day he’ll probably be taken ahead of Leigh Tiffin.