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Mock Draft, Edition 1 You're Going to Like This
Starting today and going through every Wednesday, I will present a new mock draft with explinations and other possibilities, so without further adue, lets get it started.
Please comment as I'd like to hear your opinion on each of the selections.
1) San Francisco 49ers: Aaron Rodgers, QB California
Rodgers came on strong this year and has become a local hero in San Francisco. Rodgers led a Cal team from being one of the celler dwellers of the NCAA to a top 10 program by seasons end. New coach Mike Nolan might be interested in going elsewhere however, but I still believe that they will end up taking Aaron Rodgers on the same basis the Lions took Charles Rogers over Andre Johnson just 2 years ago.
Other Possibilities: Alex Smith, QB Utah; Derrick Johnson, LB Texas; Mike Williams, WR, USC; Antrel Rolle, CB Miami (FL);
2) Miami Dolphins: Alex Smith, QB Utah
I am basing this pick on the fact that it is overwhelmingly likely that the Dolphins will either score Shaun Alexander, Travis Henry, or Edgerrin James in the off-season via free agency. People forget that this team, with a solid running game, was one of the toughest teams to beat just 2 years ago. Smith, who is much quicker and smarter than either A.J. Feely or Jay Fiedler, might be able to bring this team back to a playoff contender in his first year in the league. I feel Nick Saban will want to find his guy at quarterback that can lead the team to prominence for many years to come.
Other Possibilities: Cedric Benson, RB Texas; Carnell Williams, RB Auburn; Ronnie Brown, RB Auburn; Derrick Johnson, LB Texas; Aaron Rodgers, QB California;
3) Cleveland Browns: Alex Barron, OT Florida State
With the only quarterbacks worth this high of a pick gone, Romeo Crennel turns to another pressing need that they've struggled with since the beginning of the new Browns in 1999, Left Tackle. This may be a few spots too high for Barron, but the Browns might realize that the line may have helped in causing injuries to Jeff Garcia and Kelly Holcomb, the top 2 quarterbacks on their depth chart. If they do decide to go defense, which might be very well possible with Phil Savage (Baltimore) and Romeo Crennel (New England) calling the shots, look for Derrick Johnson or Antrel Rolle to be taken here. Until then, my money is on Barron.
Other Possibilities: Aaron Rodgers, QB California; Alex Smith, QB Utah; Antrell Rolle, CB Miami (FL); Derrick Johnson, LB Texas; Pac Man Jones, CB West Virginia;
4) Chicago Bears: Mike Williams, WR USC
This is probably the most sure-fire pick in the draft that a blindfolded monkey could have projected. It's been painfully obvious that the Bears lack a #1 receiver since they decided to part ways with Marty Booker to sure up their defense (which didn't happen). Williams will not burn you with his speed, but will be a quality #1 that has hands made of gold. With Williams, 3rd year quarterback in Rex Grossman, and a resurgant Thomas Jones, this tandem could cause fear for the NFC North for many years to come. If Alex Barron falls here, however, they may think of taking him and moving John Tait over to the right side, shoring up what could be the best tackle combo in football.
Other Possibilities: Braylon Edwards, WR Michigan; Alex Barron, OT Florida State;
5) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Cedric Benson, RB Texas
Jon Gruden found a good year to get a running back. With the 5th pick, he will have his options of Benson, Carnell Williams, and Ronnie Brown to pick from. I believe he'll go with the sturdy and dependable Benson. Benson has shown he can be tough and has shown signs that he can be a good pass catcher out of the backfield as well. If Mike Williams drops to here, he will also be considered in the running.
Other Possibilities: Ronnie Brown, RB Auburn; Carnell Williams, RB Auburn; Braylon Edwards, WR Michigan; Mike Williams, WR USC; Alex Barron, LT Florida State;
6) Tennessee Titans: Derrick Johnson, OLB Texas
1 word should describe this for any Texans fan: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. I don't even want to imagine Keith Bullick and Derrick Johnson on the same linebacking core, but it might become a reality April 25. If Alex Barron somehow finds his way to #6, he will most likely get the nod over Johnson or any other prospect at this point.
Other Possibilities: Alex Barron, OT Florida State; Antrell Rolle, CB Miami (FL); Pac Man Jones, CB West Virginia; Erasmus James, DE Wisconsin; (If Barron isnít there, look for the Titans to trade down and take Jammal Brown, OT from Oklahoma later in the draft.)
7) Oakland Raiders: Carnell Williams, RB Auburn
Odds are he won't be a Raider. The more likely scenario is Shaun Alexander signing on March 4, 2005. Until that day comes, I think that Williams becomes the feature back in Oakland. Injurie concerns could drop Williams down into the 20's of the draft, but I still feel he's the #2 running back on the board and will be a great pick up for Oakland. Don't rule out WR, OLB or a QB here as well.
Other Possibilities: Cedric Benson, RB Texas; Ronnie Brown, RB Auburn; Derrick Johnson, OLB Texas; Dan Cody, OLB Oklahoma; Braylon Edwards, WR Michigan; Mike Williams, WR USC; Aaron Rodgers, QB California; Alex Smith, QB Utah;
8) Arizona: Ronnie Brown, RB Auburn
For four straight picks two pairs of teammates go back to back (don't worry, won't happen again.) I feel that if any of the big 3 running backs are here, one will be going to Arizona. Even if it means passing on Alex Smith from Utah. What a difficult team to figure out draft-wise.
Other Possibilities: Carnell Williams, RB Auburn; Cedric Benson, RB Texas; Aaron Rodgers, QB California; Alex Smith, QB Utah; Justin Miller, CB Clemson; Antrell Rolle, CB Miami (FL); Pac Man Jones, CB West Virginia; Travis Johnson, DT Florida State; Erasmus James, DE Wisconsin; Derrick Johnson, OLB Texas;
9) Washington Redskins: Braylon Edwards, WR Michigan
Do you think Joe Gibbs is happy that a guy with Edwards talent dropped this low in the draft? Nope, b/c he knows his team still is terrible. But getting Edwards is a great start. Losing Rod Gardner seems inevitable at this point and Edwards would be a great compliment to an underachieving Lavernaues Coles up in Washington. They could conceiveably (SP) go corner, tight end, or defensive end here, but I feel that Edwards is too valuable to pass up.
Other Possibilities: Mike Williams, WR USC; Elton Brown, OG Virginia; Antrell Rolle, CB Miami (FL); Pac Man Jones, CB West Virginia; Justin Miller, CB Clemson; Dan Cody, DE Oklahoma; Erasmus James, DE Wisconsin; David Pollack, DE Georgia; TE Heath Miller;
10) Detroit Lions: Thomas Davis, SS Georgia
Forget everything you've heard about the Lions being disapointed in Corey Redding's performance, they love him. The one true weakness on that defense is the strong safety position where Bracy Walker has proven his case that he's just a good special teams player. Although Davis isn't great in coverage, he's suitable and they need a good run stopper to stop Ahman Green and Michael Bennett 4 times a year. No doubt in my mind this is who they pick.
Other Possibilities: Erasmus James, DE Wisconsin; David Pollack, DE Georgia; Dan Cody, DE Oklahoma; Ernest Shazor, SS Michigan; Heath Miller, TE Virginia;
11) Dallas Cowboys: Shawne Merrimen, DE Maryland
Anyone remember a guy by the name of John Abraham that came out of South Carolina as an OLB-DE tweener? Okay think that, but 5 times better, and you have Merrimen. He excelled on the same D-Line as Randy Starks last year and probably helped Starks become a dependable rookie in the NFL. Dallas needs defensive line help like none other. With Thomas Davis off the board, there's really no strong safety worth this spot to replace Darren Woodson.
Other Possibilities: Antrel Rolle, CB Miami (FL); Pac Man Jones, CB West Virginia; Erasmus James, DE Wisconsin; Dan Cody, DE Oklahoma; Justin Miller, CB Clemson; Antaaj Hawthorne, DT Wisconsin; Thomas Davis, SS Georgia;
12) San Diego Chargers: Jammal Brown, OT Oklahoma
Roman Oben is not the long term answer at right tackle. Brown has anchored one of the best Offensive lines in the country over the last 3 years and brings a lot of experience to the table that is valuable going to the NFL. Many feel that Brown isn't worth a pick this high, but with the combine workout, I believe he will be this pick without a doubt if Edwards is not here.
Other Possibilities: Dan Cody, OLB Oklahoma; Thomas Davis, SS Georgia; Braylon Edwards, WR Michigan; Mike Williams, WR USC; Shawne Merrimen, OLB Maryland; Derrick Johnson, OLB Texas;
13) Houston Texans: Antrel Rolle, CB Miami (FL)
This may not be the most popular pick of the day, but I don't think I'd be disapointed. Odds are Rolle wouldn't start his first year or two in the NFL, but would be tutored by one of the best coaches and DB's in the game today. While it could be possible to take Heath Miller here, I don't see them passing up a potential pro bowl corner in Rolle if he's available here.
Other Possibilities: Jammal Brown, OT Oklahoma; Marcus Spears, DE LSU; Thomas Davis, SS Georgia; Heath Miller, TE Virginia; Ronnie Brown, RB Auburn; Antaaj Hawthorne, DE Wisconsin; Ernest Shazor, SS Michigan;
14) Carolina Panthers: Heath Miller, TE Virginia
Although it could be very likely this pick becomes possesion of a team trading up to get Travis Johnson away from Cincinnati, I feel that they will take Heath Miller with this pick. Injuries is what killed the Panthers this season, and really, they don't have a true weakness other than the tight end position. Elton Brown could be another possible selection if they decide to move down.
Other Possibilities: Jammal Brown, OT Oklahoma; Elton Brown, OG Virginia; Adam Terry, OT Syracuse;
15) Kansas City Chiefs: Pac Man Jones, CB West Virginia
Talk about a team that needs a defensive playmaker. I don't care where they go on the defense, they just need to get an impact player. It's possible they take a defensive end here, but Holliday and Hicks are quality DE's in their own right. I think they take the best secondary player available, which is Adam "Pac Man" Jones. I'm not too high on Jones, mainly b/c the toughest receiver he went up against other than Thorpe in the bowl game, was King out of Connecticut. We'll see how he does in the workouts, then we'll talk.
Other Possibilities: Antrel Rolle, CB Miami (FL); Erasmus James, DE Wisconsin; David Pollack, DE Georgia; Justin Miller, CB Clemson; Channing Crowder, MLB Florida;
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