Here is my 2008 NFL Mock Draft. I made more explanations on the picks I felt needed more explaining.
1. Miami Dolphins - JAKE LONG, LT, Michigan
Miami has too many problems to just address in this draft and could go in any direction with this first pick.
I believe they will begin building from the inside out by acquiring Jake Long with this first pick. With the success of Joe Thomas last year and even Joe Staley, an OT seems to be the safest pick for the kind of guaranteed money a top pick will require. Finding a great LT on the open market is nearly impossible and Jake Long will surely turn into a Franchise LT.
2. St. Louis Rams - CHRIS LONG, DE, Virginia
The Rams would really love to get Marc Bulger some Protection but with Jake Long off the board they need to look at the other side of the ball.
Chris Long would seem to be the obvious choice here. Everyones building him up to be a slam dunk superstar DE. Taking Long here will also allow them to move last years number one choice, Adan Carriker, back from DE to his normal postion at DT.
3. Atlanta Falcons - GLENN DORSEY, DT, LSU
The Falcons are in LOVE with Glenn Dorsey. With newly acquired Head Coach and GM both being defensive minded fellows it will be no surprise that they pass up Matt Ryan for Glenn Dorsey.
Matt Ryan just doesn't fit what the Falcons are looking for at QB. They need a strong armed QB who can stretch the field and Ryan just isn't that guy. A better choice for the Falcons would be to take Joe Flacco in the second round.
4. Oakland Raiders - DARREN MCFADDEN, RB, Arkansas
The Raiders addressed most of their pressing needs by spending a ton of cash during free agency. I really see Oakland taking McFadden here because of Al Davis' desire for superstars. Reports out of Oakland are saying that Davis is in love with the kid and to expect Davis to take him on the 26th.
I am not too fond of the pick, though. Oakland just extended Justin Fargas' contract and these two backs do not make a great tandem, as they are both the same type of back. I would even describe Fargas as a poor man's Darren McFadden. Neither of these guys will make great plays in between the tackles but boy can they fly outside.
5. Kansas City Chiefs - RYAN CLADY, OT, Boise State
The chiefs most prevalent need is an O-Lineman, and with Jake Long off the board we could see another Levi Brown situation. Clady is no where near the fifth best player in this draft class but the Chiefs have to address that need at o-line.
They might be able to try to trade down if anyone is that high on Gholston and take Clady if he's still on the board or Jeff Otah.
With Matt Ryan still on the board some may be shocked if the Chiefs pass him up, but the truth is that they are still very much in love with their guy Brodie Croyle, and will look to add some protection for him in the first round and probably look for a WR in the second round.
6. New York Jets - VERNON GHOLSTON, DE/OLB, Ohio State
The jets pick here really depends on who the Raiders take. I see the Raiders taking McFadden so the likey pick for the Jets will be Gholston. However, it could end up the other way around.
Pairing Gholston with newly acquired Calvin Pace could turn into a great pass rushing combo. And most of all you take the player your rival (NE) is salivating over.
7. New England Patriots (from 49ers) - KEITH RIVERS, LB, USC
I don't really like the Pats to take a corner here but McKelvin is the best on the board at this spot. They have had success with plugging in mediocre talent at the CB position and they did pick up a pair of mediocre CB's in Fernando Bryant and Jason Webster. I could see them taking a corner like Tracy porter in the second round or possibly pick one up even later.
With that being said Rivers will add youth and speed to that aging LB core the Pats have. Rivers is the kind of versatile LB the Patriots love. Rivers can play both inside or outside LB, and will probably play a little of both this season.
8. Baltimore Ravens - LEODIS MCKELVIN, CB, Troy
If New England took McKelvin I could really see the ravens rolling the dice on Matt Ryan, who their not really in love with. The Ravens are going into this draft with all their intentions set on drafting Leodis McKelvin, and if he's here at number 8 they will take him. I could see them taking a great accurate passer in Brian Brohm in the second round if he's still on the board.
9. Cincinnati Bengals - SEDRICK ELLIS, DT, USC
The Bengals rushing Defense last year ranked 24th in the league and their pass rush was almost as bad. With Rivers off the board the likely choice will be to take Ellis. Adding a big body like Ellis to the middle of that D-Line will surely improve both of those areas.
The departure of Justin Smith might entice some Bengal fans to rally for the drafting of a DE in this spot, but the Bengals did a nice job of adding a solid DE in Antwan Odom.
10. New Orleans Saints - JEROD MAYO, ILB, Tennessee
The Saints have BIG money tied up in their CB's at the moment and will look to address another need with this pick. The saints Jerod Mayo has been flying up many teams' boards. Mayo is a very quick athletic LB that will quickly make an impact for this Saints struggling defense.
11. Buffalo Bills - DOMINIQUE RODGERS-CROMARTIE, CB, Tennessee State
I know most people have a WR going to the Bills here but I don't think they see anyone worth a number 11 pick outside of maybe Devin Thomas who many are not sold on just yet. I see them going after Malcom Kelly in the second round. The Bills can really finish off their young and talented defense by adding Cromartie to compliment McGee on the other side of the field. Many questioned the moves by the bills last off season but now we are seeing it working out.
12. Denver Broncos - JEFF OTAH, OT, Pittsburgh
With the recent injury to Branden Marshall and the trading of Javon Walker the Broncos may look to address their need at WR. But without getting a linemen to give Cutler some time to throw the ball the addition of a reciever would be futile. Otah will not only help protect Cutler but will also help sealing the edge for speedy back Selvin Young, and solidfying the line for Travis Henry.
13. Carolina Panthers - CHRIS WILLIAMS, OT Vanderbilt
Jake Delhomme is getting older and they may give great consideration to taking Matt Ryan here but I think they stay away from him and getting some help for keeping Delhomme off the ground. The Panthers NEED to take an Offensive Lineman here and it will most likely be Chris Williams. He's a big body that will improve the protection for Delhomme, and improve holes for DeAngelo Williams.
I see the Panthers addressing the loss of Foster in the second round by picking up Ray Rice.
14. Chicago Bears - MATT RYAN, QB, Boston College
Some may be surprised to see Matt Ryan fall so far in the first round but nobody is sold enough on the guy to sink the kind of guaranteed money a top 10 pick QB would be asking for. The bears would really love to address their O-Line need but with both Otah and Clady gone and Matt Ryan on the board at 14 he's too much to pass up at this point, especially with the Bears QB situation.
15. Detroit Lions - RASHARD MENDENHALL, RB, Illinois
The Lions should be thrilled if Ryan falls to the Bears at 14 because it means that they wont be taking their guy, Mendenhall. They let Kevin Jones walk this FA period and retained Tatum Bell. Mendenhall will make a great tandem with RB Tatum Bell, and with Mike Martz gone, the Lions might actually run the ball this year.
16. Arizona Cardinals - MIKE JENKINS, CB, USF
The Cardinals are in desperate need of a premiere corner. They were 27th in the league in points allowed and finished 28th in passing defense. Mike Jenkins will immediately make an impact for the lackluster Arizona secondary.
17. Minnesota Vikings - DERRICK HARVEY, DE, Florida
Losing Kenechi Udeze from an already thin pass rushing core makes this pick all the more obvious. No DE on the Vikes had more than 5 sacks on the year. Derrick Harvey will make a great addition to this team. Good luck to Udeze as he fights lukemia.
18. Houston Texans - JONATHAN STEWART, RB, Oregon
Ahman Green did spend most of his time injured last year but they don't expect him to be the man he was in Green Bay. Houston's rushing was atrocious last year. Jonathan Stewart could come in and be the number one back from the get go if his knee is healed by training camp.
19. Philadelphia Eagles - DEVIN THOMAS, WR, Michigan State
A lot of people have the Eagles selecting a OT or CB here but neither make much sense to me. Outside of the Giants game Winston Justice didn't really do too bad this past season. Even if Lito Sheppard gets traded, an Asante Samuel/Sheldon Brown secondary is still quite good.
I do believe the Eagles could add look to add depth to corner but not in the first round when they so desperately need to add another play maker outside of Brian Westbrook to the offense. Devin Thomas has quickly become the consensus number one receive in this draft class. He's got great size and speed to quickly develop into a threat on this offense.
20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - DESEAN JACKSON, WR, California
With an aging Joey Galloway and Ike Hilliard look for the Bucs to add some youth to the WR position. Jackson could be a great compliment to Galloway on the other side of the field and can relieve him of ever having to return the ball like he had to a few times in 07.
21. Washington Redskins - PHILLIP MERLING, DE, Clemson
The Redskins have a burning desire to upgrade at the DE position. The only talent they have at DE is Andre Carter. Phillip Merling will provide mystical pass rush ability and run stuffing ability. If it isn't Merling that they take it will be Calais Campbell.
22. Dallas Cowboys (from Cleveland) - LIMAS SWEED, WR, Texas
With just one year left on Terrell Owens' contract, and the fact that he will be turning 35 at the end of this season, the cowboys will need to add youth and security to their wide outs. Limas Sweed has great size for a WR and has great speed for a guy his size. He reminds me a lot of Plaxico Burress, and playing in the NFC East the Cowboys have a great idea of what the upside of a guy like that is.
23. Pittsburgh Steelers - GOSDER CHERILUS, OT, Boston College
The Steelers let up 47 sacks last season and on top of that lost Alan Faneca. Look for the Steelers to take the best available tackle at this position, who should be Cherilus unless someone slips.
24. Tennessee Titans - JAMES HARDY, WR, Indiana
If Sweed had slipped past the Cowboys at 22 then the obvious choice for them would be to take him, but I just dont see that happening. Hardy is 6'5 and ran a 4.5 40. He could prove to be a Lethal Weapon for Vince Young, and could help push the Titans over the first round hump.
25. Seattle Seahawks - BRANDEN ALBERT, OG, Virginia
The Seahawks really havent been the same since they lost Steve Hutchinson after Shaun Alexander's MVP season. I see them trying to upgrade the Guard position for newly acquired RB's Julius Jones and TJ Duckett.
26. Jacksonville Jaguars - KENTWAN BALMER, DT, UNC
I expect the Jags to look at DT here because of the loss of Marcus Stroud. There is also a need at DE as well and with Campbell on the board he will be hard to pass up but there have been rumors of a Jason Taylor trade involving Jacksonville.
27. San Diego Chargers - AQIB TALIB, CB, Kansas
The loss of Drayton Florence this year leaves a hole that needs to be filled in the secondary. Even though they would love to have a Cromartie/Cromartie connection, they'll have to settle for Aqib Talib, who just happens to be a great value at this pick.
28. Dallas Cowboys - REGGIE SMITH, CB, Oklahoma
A lot of people have the Boys going after Felix Jones with this pick. I don't buy it. Why waste a first round pick on a backup to a Pro Bowl running back? I see the Cowboys addressing this need in the third or fourth round by taking a guy like Steve Slaton or Chris Johnson.
With Talib off the board I see them taking Smith. Reggie Smith will add some nice depth to the secondary for Dallas. He's a versatile DB that played both CB and safety at Oklahoma. With a slow 40 speed at the combine and Oklahoma pro day he will probably see more time at Safety than Corner for the Cowboys.
29. San Francisco 49ers (from Indianapolis) - CALAIS CAMPBELL, DE, Miami
With Thomas, Sweed, and Hardy off the board the 49ers will switch focus to defense. Campbell is an excellent value at this pick and will add great pass rushing ability to that Lackluster 49er defense who ranked 22nd against both the run and the pass in '07.
30. Green Bay Packers - BRANDON FLOWERS, CB, Virginia Tech
No, not the lead singer from the Killers but could prove to be equally as lethal. Woodson and Harris were probably the best CB tandem in the NFL last year but behind those two there are no talented CB's to come fill in. Adding depth at this position is necessary to keep Woodson and Harris fresh through the season, without having to put a liability out on the field.
31. New England Patriots - FORFEITED
32. New York Giants - KENNY PHILLIPS, S, Miami
The Giants lost Gibril Wilson this offseason to the raiders and will need to address that postion with this pick. Miami has done a great job at developing talented safeties for the NFL... most recently Ed Reed and Sean Taylor. Could Phillips turnout to be the next great DB from Miami?