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I admit my last mock draft left a little to be desired. So now I have come back with my first mock since the draft order has been finalized (kind of) and all the players who could declare have done so. And it's my best one yet. As usual let me explain a few things before I start.

 

  • - This draft relies heavily on Bill Parcells and Jerry Jones...which means ANYTHING could happen.
  • - I really think the Eagles are going to be large players in this NFL off-season. Let me explain why. If they are smart they will realize they can't compete in the loaded NFC East with the current team they have. And Brian Westbrook is the biggest waste of talent in the NFL right now. So they have 2 basic options in Philly. First, they make a play for Chad Johnson and get McNabb and Westbrook the playmaker they need. If they land Chad Johnson they become one of the favorites in the NFC. Or the other option (and I believe more likely) they trade McNabb for picks. Upgrade a lot of positions with this year's draft and go through the growing pains of Kevin Kolb for a year.

 

With that being said...here's my 5th Mock Draft of the year.

 

Round 1

 

  1. Dolphins (Trade #1 overall pick to Dallas for the #22, #28, #92, and Roy Williams) Cowboys - Darren McFadden. This scenario is like a perfect storm. Miami is more than one impact player away from being a contender. They have more holes than Swiss cheese. The Cowboys on the other hand have already proven they have enough to compete in the NFC, they just need a little something to put them over the top. Enter Darren McFadden. He gives them a dynamic playmaker out the backfield that defenses must game plan around. As long as Garret gives him touches he very well could take them to the next level. In return the Dolphins get 3 potential starters (provided they draft quality with their added picks) and 1 playmaking safety that could help revitalize that defense.
  2. Rams - Chris Long. Interesting spot the Rams are in here. They have several need areas and there seems to be a player at the top of this draft to fill each of them. In the end it's too hard to pass up a guy that not only has potential but you KNOW he has the work ethic and discipline to realize that potential.
  3. Falcons - Matt Ryan. Word has it the Falcons don't think there is a QB in this draft worthy of the #3 pick. I don't buy that. It's their biggest need area and they may be able to pick up a decent QB in later rounds. But why not get the best one in this year's class with this selection. Ryan has gotten a bad rap because of a bad game or two. In the end he has what you're looking for in a franchise guy. The only way they don't take a QB is if McFadden is still available. They may select him instead.
  4. Raiders - Glenn Dorsey. Another no-brainer to anyone looking from the outside but this is Al Davis so who knows. Their biggest need is a DT and Dorsey is arguably the best player in this draft when healthy. If Dorsey and McFadden are both gone at this point they would turn to Sedrick Ellis.
  5. Chiefs - Jake Long. No-brainer number 2 of the draft. Biggest need by far is offensive line and the best prospect by far is Jake Long. He's a massive franchise left tackle that will open up holes for LJ. Unless he's taken earlier he'll be gone at this spot.
  6. Jets - Vernon Gholston. No one's stock rose more in one week than Gholston's did after the Michigan game. He is a fast, strong athlete who can be a difference maker on a team in desperate need of a pass rush.
  7. Patriots (Trade the #7 pick to the Bengals for the #9, #108, and next year's 2nd round pick) Bengals - Sedrick Ellis. With fear of the Ravens coveting Ellis the Bengals know they must move up to get him. Most feel he's the last player in the "elite" prospect class this year and the Bengals feel he can help turn around their defense. The Patriots have their eyes on 2 corners anyways so even if the Ravens take one of them the other will be there.
  8. Ravens - Mike Jenkins. Once Malcolm Jenkins decided to return to school it became a wide-open race for the top CB in this year's class. Jenkins wins the race by the narrowest of margins. The Ravens fill a big need area with a high potential guy.
  9. Patriots - Leodis McKlevin. If he went to LSU, Ohio State, or Oklahoma he would be hands down the top corner in this year's class. But he didn't...so he has to settle for second best CB in his class and being drafted in the top 10 by a team that went 18-1. Real tough break...
  10. Saints - Antoine Cason. The run of CB's continues. The Saints pass defense was horrible for that first Thursday night game where Manning shredded them all the way through to week 17. They need help at CB and Cason gives him a solid guy. He may not have the extreme upside of Jenkins and McKlevin but he's reliable and you know he can start for you for the next 8 seasons.
  11. Bills - Dan Connor. This is one pick that I have had in most of the mock drafts I have made. It just seems like too good of a fit for them not to make this move. They could have one of the best young LB groups in the league if they can stay healthy. The 2 Penn State boys made that defense tough against the run and will look to do the same in Buffalo.
  12. Broncos - Curtis Lofton. Most of their picks need to focus on stopping the run. This pick helps to address that situation by drafting a guy who can replace the void left by Al Wilson. Lofton is a solid looking prospect that comes from a great program.
  13. Panthers - Brian Brohm. Once thought to be the run-away #1 pick of this year's class Brohm has slipped significantly. No doubt he has all the physical tools to be a star. Now it's whether he can put all of that together with the mental aspects that will determine if this was a good pick or not. If he puts it all together it's a steal because he will become an All-Pro. If he doesn't he'll become a lifetime backup.
  14. Bears (Trade the #14 pick, #44, #90 Acquired from SD, and 2nd Rounder next year to Philadelphia for Donovan McNabb) Eagles - Kenny Phillips. Blockbusters like this just don't get done very often in the NFL but Chicago gave the Eagles an offer they couldn't refuse and they jumped at it. It works for both teams. Chicago becomes an instant contender. With a healthy defense this year and McNabb at QB they have all the ingredients to make a title run. While it may seem by doing this Philly is scrapping the season and rebuilding, you're wrong. While they may struggle some with Kolb in the first year, if he develops and the players they draft this year develop. They can be right back in the thick of the wild card race at the end of this upcoming season. Phillips is a playmaking safety that fills a need. As you'll see with the rest of Philly's draft, they will end up with several starters from these added picks.
  15. Detroit - Ryan Clady. Detroit has made noise the past few years by taking receivers. The only year they didn't was their best draft year...they got Ernie Sims. They need a similar draft this year. Nothing too extreme...just get a couple of nice prospects and improve your team. Clady is a huge upgrade on the offensive line and will start from Day one. This team is a couple free agents and a good draft away from contending. The defense and O-Line are need areas. You can check off the O-Line need after this pick and one FA acquisition.
  16. Cardinals - Derrick Harvey. They need an edge rusher who can be a disruptive force in the 3-4 system. Harvey fits the mold perfectly. He will be an impact player in this league from day one.
  17. Vikings - DeSean Jackson. They need to get some playmakers other than AP on that offense. Sidney Rice looks like he can be something special but he can't do it alone. Jackson gives them a homerun guy who also significantly upgrades their return game.
  18. Texans - Reshard Mendenhall. It's not secret that the Texans need a RB. The only question that remains is when in this draft will they take one. Since their 2nd round pick belongs to the Falcons as compensation in the Schaub deal, the next pick after this one isn't until the 18th pick of the 3rd round. That might be too long to wait. They pull the trigger on a guy who could be their franchise back for the next 8-10 years. Depending on how the combine goes they will also be looking at Stewart at RB here.
  19. Eagles - Calais Campbell. They continue to upgrade their defense with an infusion of youth and talent. Campbell was once thought to be a top 5 pick in the draft whenever he decided to come out. However, significant questions about his work ethic and taking plays off have dropped him down draft boards. Good pick here for the Eagles though. Their DE's haven't been producing and this guy has the chance to be a star.
  20. Buccaneers - Malcolm Kelly. Joey Galloway is old and Clayton has never lived up to the hype. They need a playmaker on the outside. Someone who can develop into a #1 receiver and stretch the field. Kelly can definitely be that guy.
  21. Redskins - Phillip Merling. Another late bloomer in the draft class. Washington has needed a pass-rushing end for a long time now. But it seems each year they find a player they just can't pass up so they pass on a defensive end. Not this year. They pick up a guy in Merling that has good upside and can compete for a spot early.
  22. Dolphins - Chris Williams. Time to rebuild. Instead of one potential star they go for 4 solid contributors with good upside. Williams is exactly that. He might not be Jonathan Ogden but he could start for them at LT for the next 10 years and give some stability to that line. They need help just about everywhere so they can afford to take best available player.
  23. Steelers - Jeff Otah. This pick just makes a lot of sense. Otah is a versatile lineman who will help them deal with the loss of Faneca by giving them youth and flexibility at OL. Doesn't hurt that he went to school at the University of Pittsburgh.
  24. Titans - Limas Sweed. I really like this pick for the Titans. Vince Young has gotten criticism for not developing in the passing game as much as the organization was hoping for. I attribute it to two main things...First of all his receivers just flat out aren't very good...Second and more importantly, he hasn't had a receiver he felt comfortable with. Sweed is a former college teammate that he developed a good rapport with while at Texas. Will really help Young.
  25. Seahawks - Jonathan Stewart. If Stewart is available when Seattle is on the clock it will take them somewhere around 15 seconds to make this selection. It makes all the sense in the world. They need a RB, he's a Northwest guy, and he's a freak of an athlete. Great value if they can get him at #26.
  26. Jaguars - Lawrence Jackson. Jaguars are a team that doesn't have a lot of pressing needs. One area they want to add some depth and talent is defensive line. Jackson is a good fit here. He's versatile and came on at the end of last season.
  27. Chargers - Jarod Mayo. Another team that really doesn't have any holes. They are talented at every position on the football field. Even with the loss of Turner they remain strong at RB with Sproles. One possible area that could be upgraded is ILB. Mayo is a solid LB who could push for playing time.
  28. Dolphins - Aqib Talib. Once again they can afford to take the best player available and at this point it's hard to argue against Talib as being that guy. He's very similar to Williams in that he probably won't turn into the best CB in the NFL but he could be their starter for the next 10 years and help solidify that defensive backfield. These are the types of guys you begin to build a franchise with and the Tuna knows that.
  29. 49ers - Mario Maningham. Talk about a hard guy to figure out. Maningham looked at times like the best receiving prospect in this class and at other times looked like a butterfingers WR that would be lucky to get drafted. Fortunately for him their were more of the first scenario than the second. The 49ers get a guy who could quickly become their best receiver and who will help in the development of Alex Smith. Plus you're going to need receivers in Martz's system.
  30. Packers - Keith Rivers. They don't have a ton of pressing needs but this is one of them. Two LB spots are locked down for the next 10 seasons (provided they re-sign them). With the addition of Rivers the Packers are hoping you can make that all three. This pick would give them one of the best young LB groups in the NFL. And in a year or two could be far and away the best.
  31. Giants - Sam Baker. Their line played very solid throughout their run to the Championship. However, the bottom line is they need to get better. Baker does that for them. He was once considered a top 10 pick but has dropped. With a decent workout and solid combine he can get back into the first round.

 

Round 2

 

  1. Dolphins - Kentwaan Balmer. Balmer becomes a steal at this point in the draft. Balmer falls out of the first round more because of team needs than lack of potential. He could go as high as top 15 but I have him sliding down and falling into the Dolphins lap at the top of the 2nd round. I'm about to get repetitive. He's a solid player. He has the potential to start at DT for the next 10 years. Tuna continues to lay the foundation during his first draft. And stay tuned because he will continue to impress.
  2. Rams - Gosder Cherilus. After debating and coming close to taking Jake Long with the second overall pick they get a pretty good OT here in the 2nd round. Cherilus has also fallen off of some people's radars but not the Ram's. He gives them youth, flexibility, and much needed depth on the offensive line.
  3. Falcons - Felix Jones. After missing the boat on McFadden in the first round (Those damn Cowboys) they take the guy who played in D-Mac's shadow his whole career. Jones is a versatile, homerun hitting running back. Also upgrades the return game.
  4. Raiders - Carl Nicks. Is it possible that Al Davis and the Raiders organization make two sensible picks in the first two rounds?? Nicks solidifies the O-Line and gives needed protection for a developing Russell.
  5. Chiefs - Chilo Rachal. After taking Jake Long to shore up the OT position they take Rachal to shore up the OG position. These two picks will go a long way towards getting the Chiefs back into contention. Not flashy but smart picks.
  6. Jets - Quentin Groves. Is it possible that they take 2 OLB's in the same draft?? Absolutely. They need to create pressure on the QB and these two guys will do that. This gives them tremendous flexibility. They can rotate both of these guys in at DE or OLB in all kinds of blitz packages.
  7. 49ers - Chris Ellis. Perhaps a little high for Ellis but it's going to be hard to find an impact defensive lineman at this point in the draft. Ellis has the potential to be just that. Tommy Blake could move himself up here with a great showing at the combine and in his psychological evaluations.
  8. Ravens - Andre Woodson. Baltimore needs hope on offense. With Troy Smith and Andre Woodson battling they may finally have at least a glimmer. Maybe.
  9. Bengals - Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. The Cincinnati defense needs a total makeover. It started with trading up for Ellis and continues with the selection of Rodgers-Cromartie. Will push for time very early.
  10. Saints - Xavier Adibi. LB has been a position they haven't gotten much playmaking from in the recent past. With Adibi pushing for time that could quickly change.
  11. Bills - Adarius Bowman. They may consider a WR in round one but I don't see any worthy of a top 12 pick. Bowman would be an outstanding selection in this spot. He's a big physical receiver who could finally take some pressure off of Lee Evans.
  12. Broncos - Pat Sims. High potential guy here for the Broncos. Their run defense was in a word pitiful last year. Sims could come in and help to plug some of those holes. Then hopefully Lofton will come in behind and clean up.
  13. Panthers - Fred Davis. Steve Smith is a stud. The Panthers next best receiver is garbage. Davis would start from day one and would instantly open things up for Smith on the outside. He's a big, fast TE who will command a lot of attention over the middle. In my opinion he's a steal here. He has top 15 talent.
  14. Eagles - Early Doucett. What a surprise WR position is an area of need for the Eagles. Doucett gives them another solid option.
  15. Lions - Reggie Smith. Any of you who watched the Lions on Thanksgiving know how much sense this pick makes. He's a versatile DB who can play at CB or S. I think he would make a great fit as a CB in the Lions defensive system.
  16. Cardinals - Kevin Smith. It's time to start grooming a replacement for Edgerin James. Smith not only can be his replacement in the future but he can take some of the pressure off instantly by playing the all important 2nd RB role.
  17. Vikings - Tracy Porter. Pretty simple logic here. The Vikings need a CB who can push for time early and Porter is the best CB left on the board.
  18. Falcons - Anthony Collins. They potentially picked up their franchise QB and RB with their first two picks. Now they get a guy with great upside. Could develop into 10 year starter at OT. Not a bad draft. Of course they could all 3 be flops too. That's the beauty of the NFL draft.
  19. Eagles - Oniel Cousins. The Eagles continue to draft need areas in hopes they develop quickly and Philly can return to the top of the NFC in just a year or two. They pick up a solid O-Lineman here.
  20. Buccaneers - Chris Johnson. With the status of Cadillac Williams largely uncertain the RB position becomes a need area for Tampa Bay. Johnson is a homerun hitting back who could compliment Williams, Graham, or whoever the starter may be.
  21. Redskins - James Hardy. The Redskins get the two things in the draft that they've been missing for years...a pass rushing defensive end and a big WR who can go across the middle.
  22. Browns - Red Bryant. It's pretty simple for the Browns. They need defensive lineman in every way imaginable. They don't have a first round pick (Brady Quinn) so their 2nd and 3rd round selections should both be D-Linemen.
  23. Steelers - Brenden Albert. Two offensive linemen in the first two rounds really solidifies the offensive line. After losing Faneca they thought it may be a weak spot but with these two additions in becomes a strength again.
  24. Titans - Charles Godfrey. He might not quite have the same skill set as Pacman Jones on the field but hopefully he won't make it rain off the field.
  25. Seahawks - Martellus Bennett. Seattle would love to nab Fred Davis somehow but if they can't they will settle for Bennett. A solid TE who will push to be the starter by opening week.
  26. Jaguars - Terrell Thomas. They can afford to draft depth and youth at positions in preparation for the future. Thomas may push for time but will ultimately be groomed to start in a couple years.
  27. Dolphins - Jonathan Goff. After releasing Zach Thomas they become even thinner at the LB position. Goff gives them 3 things they need at the position...youth, talent, and depth. Solid draft continues. 5 starters and counting...
  28. Cowboys - Justin King. Fortunately for the Cowboys they don't need a guy who has to step in right away. Just someone who will push Henry to stop being out of position all the time. King is very talented and if he works at it could replace Henry by the end of his rookie campaign.
  29. Colts - Ali Highsmith. Great value pick here for the Colts. They need some LB help and Ali is the best one available.
  30. Packers - Patrick Lee. Pretty easy decision here. They need to take the best available CB and I believe that's Lee. Obviously Woodson and Harris are studs but they are also old. Lee can be groomed to take over.
  31. Patriots - J. Lehman. This pick could change if they decide to sign Zach Thomas. Lehman is Zach Thomas Jr.
  32. Giants - Erin Henderson. They need some depth at the LB position and Henderson gives them that. He could possibly crack the rotation.

 

Round 3

 

  1. Dolphins - Roy Schuenning. An offensive guard to who will compete for a starting spot.
  2. Rams - Phillip Wheeler. They need defensive help...especially at LB. Wheeler could play early for St. Louis.
  3. Falcons - Demario Presley. After addressing offense with their first 3 picks they add a defensive player who has solid upside.
  4. Patriots - Drew Radovich. Offensive line depth added here.
  5. Chiefs - Chad Henne. Brody Croyle may or may not be the answer at QB. If he's not Henne could be in a couple of years.
  6. Jets - Ray Rice. In a deep class of RB the Jets are able to wait until the 3rd Round to take a RB. They get a guy who can split carries with Jones and give them a fairly dynamic ground attack.
  7. 49ers - Bruce Davis. They need a pass rushing OLB. Bruce Davis is the perfect combo player that can provide that for them.
  8. Bills - Jermichael Finley. Royal and Gaines aren't terrible options at TE but Finley can develop into a real threat in the middle of the field. The addition of Bowman and Finley will really help out the Edwards and Evans.
  9. Bengals - Martin Rucker. LB might be the better option here but the chance to take a guy like Rucker who will give Palmer yet another weapon is too tempting to pass up.
  10. Saints - Dre Moore. They continue their defensive makeover. They take a DB, LB, and DL in the first three rounds. Smart selections that upgrades entire defense.
  11. Bills - DeJuan Tribble. They could use a CB that has potential. Tribble was once thought of as a first round pick. Good value here in the 3rd round.
  12. Vikings - Thomas DeCoud. Darren Sharper can't play forever and Mike Doss hasn't lived up to the hype. DeCoud is a playmaker.
  13. Panthers - DeJuan Morgan. They need a safety in the worst way. If they don't nab Phillips in the first round they'll have to get one in rounds 2 or 3.
  14. Bears - Mike Hart. Good fit for the Bears. He can take some pressure off of Benson and has that Chicago hard-hat mentality.
  15. Lions - Steve Slaton. Kevin Jones hasn't played a 16 game season yet in his career. His rookie campaign he played in 15. Slaton is an upgrade over Duckett, Bell, and Calhoun. And in a year or two he may be the feature back. He can also return kicks.
  16. Cardinals - Tony Richardson. An Offensive Line coach at heart can only wait so long to take one of his own.
  17. Vikings - Erik Ainge. Even if they still have confidence that Jackson can be the man, it wouldn't hurt to have a guy like Ainge waiting in the wings.
  18. Texans - Heath Benedict. Gives the line some needed depth. He's a versatile lineman who can play either the tackle or guard spot.
  19. Eagles - Vince Hall. Solid draft class continues with a guy who may be able to start early at LB.
  20. Bucs - Colt Brennan. Why not take another QB?? Other than Garcia I'm not sure any of the others can be a potential long-term starter. Brennan could be.
  21. Redskins - Mike McGlynn. Great value if they can get him here. Adds depth and talent to the offensive line.
  22. Browns - Kendall Langford. Real good fit in the 3-4 system at DE. Two much needed linemen added.
  23. Steelers - Dwight Lowrey. They could use another defensive back who can push for time at the Nickel position.
  24. Titans - John Carlson. Another weapon added for VY. Will open up the middle of the field.
  25. Seahawks - Tony Hills. They can afford to take an OT that needs some polishing. He will have a pretty good mentor to take notes from.
  26. Jaguars - Devin Thomas. One position they still lack a difference maker at is wide receiver. Thomas has the potential to crack their top 3.
  27. Eagles - Brandon Flowers. A good looking Cornerback prospect with a high upside. Trading McNabb ends up netting them a starting safety, starting WR, a CB who will push for time early, and a 2nd round pick next year. Pretty decent trade off. Will pay off dividends not this season but the following.
  28. Dolphins - Andre Caldwell. Miami simply doesn't have enough talented receivers. Throwing Caldwell into the mix helps fix that.
  29. Colts - Trevor Laws. Good defensive tackle fit for Indy. Small, quick DT.
  30. Packers - Jamar Adams. Depth at safety is worthy of the pick here.
  31. Patriots - Cliff Avril. Perfect fit in that Patriots system. Can play that hybrid role at OLB.
  32. Giants - Ahtyba Rubin. Good time to add some more defensive line depth.

 

 

 

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