Hall of Fame
Join Date: Jan 2006
alright his 2nd mock is out and its a good bit better.dont like JAX's pick and would def. take j. joseph @#33 instead of whitworth
(April 23, 2006) -- Soon after I released my first mock draft last week, I heard from a few NFL executives and coaches around the NFL. One front office executive told me his scouting department only gave 18 players a first-round grade. Another scout told me his team has 21 players with a first-round grade. The shortage of perceived first-round talent due to various reasons is causing a number of teams to think about moving up into the top 12-15 picks. And it is also causing some teams down in the bottom third of the draft to move down, if possible. Did the Broncos know something about this draft early enough to sell off its No. 22 pick? One personnel man told me that if all the guys with medical alerts and off-the-field baggage were clean, then this draft would have a solid first round. But the risk/reward means taking very talented players in the second round where the money is significantly less.
A couple of things that rang clear to me this week that influenced my mock draft were: Vince Young has done a nice job on his visits around the league. One coach said, 'I was expecting to meet a Michael Vick kind of guy and felt more like I sat down with Donovan McNabb'. Two defensive coaches weighed in on Manny Lawson and described him as a cross between Jason Taylor and Jevon Kearse. Both of those veteran players entered the NFL under 240 pounds. Lawson has weighed anywhere from 241 at the Combine to 233 on his visits. Two players, who I will not mention, have apparently failed a drug test and will not be top choices next week. Unfortunately, one of those players is a clear-cut first-round talent. I was curious about the sudden rise in interest in quarterback Kellen Clemens this past two weeks and although he will not be a first-round selection, he may have moved into the second round on some boards. One QB coach I respect told me Clemens simply has the best combination of arm strength and mechanics in the draft.
The most important thing I heard this week and typical of the feelings around the league with just days to go before the draft was, 'We have all studied these players so much that we found something wrong with everyone of them. Now we have to go back and remember the good'. I will post my final mock draft on April 28, but here's version No. 2 and there are some changes. This mock draft does not take into account any future trades, but it does consider late free-agent signings. As for rumors floating around right now: Oakland is moving up to take Vince Young at the No. 2 spot; Tennessee is internally split about Matt Leinart and Vince Young; and there going to be upwards of eight corners drafted in the first round. These are all part of the art of deception. Believe what you want to believe at this point.
1. Houston: Reggie Bush, RB, USC
As I said last week, Bush is a once-in-a-decade player. He will create matchup problems for every team in the league. I would talk to the other top (non-QB candidates) too, but I would draft Bush with or without a pre-draft deal.
2. New Orleans: D'Brickashaw Ferguson, OT, Virginia
There is a chance the Raiders will wind up in this spot for Young, but if a deal can't be reached, the struggle is between Mario Williams and Ferguson. It's not an easy choice, but the Saints can't make a bad decision. Ferguson will line up for 10-12 years.
3. Tennessee: Matt Leinart, QB, USC
If Oakland moves up, then the decision is made for the Titans. They take the QB who is left. If Young and Leinart are on the board, I hope the front office listens to the coaches and takes the guy who threw 109 touchdown passes and only 23 interceptions. Leinart reminds me more and more of Bernie Kosar, but faster. He gets the ball out of his hand the quickest and to the right spot.
4. N.Y. Jets: Mario Williams, DE, N.C. State
The Jets take the player the Saints pass on and they can't be wrong except that they need a quarterback. Mario Williams will be to the Jets what Richard Seymour is to the Patriots.
5. Green Bay: A.J. Hawk, LB, Ohio State
This week, I heard from too many 4-3 teams that they have downgraded Haloti Ngata. It is hard to pass on rare size, but the Packers break the eight-year NFL mold of only taking one outside linebacker with a top-five pick and grab Hawk because of his 368 career tackles, 37 tackles for a loss and 14½ sacks.
6. San Francisco: Vernon Davis, TE, Maryland
If Alex Smith doesn't get a go-to player like Vernon Davis, the pressure will mount quickly in the Bay area. Davis is a matchup problem for opponents, just like Antonio Gates and Tony Gonzalez. Davis changes the game and not many players in this draft have that label.
7. Oakland: Vince Young, QB, Texas
The Raiders are the perfect place for Vince Young to land. He does not have to step onto the field as a rookie. His target outside is Randy Moss and the owner will make sure the team plays to his strengths. Al Davis may have to move up to get him before Saturday.
8. Buffalo: Broderick Bunkley, DT, Florida State
If Dick Jauron is serious about building a defense similar to the Tony Dungy/Tampa defense, it starts up front and Bunkley is the key piece. He's not perfect. He can play too high at times, but a 4.91 40 time at 306 pounds and nine sacks as a senior are strong credentials.
9. Detroit: Michael Huff, DB, Texas
The safest pick in the draft. I still believe he's more of a safety than a corner, but he has the skills to handle matchup problems like Reggie Bush and Vernon Davis and he's a team leader.
10. Arizona: Jay Cutler, QB, Vanderbilt
There will be some discussions about another player or two like Winston Justice, but Kurt Warner is old enough that the Cards can't pass on Cutler. They may get a few serious calls about this spot.
11. St. Louis: Jimmy Williams, CB, Virginia Tech
There are mixed reviews about Jimmy Williams. Is he a safety or a corner, was his senior year a red flag? He's big and versatile and fits a need in St. Louis.
12. Cleveland: Haloti Ngata, DT, Oregon
Ngata slips in the draft this week until a 3-4 team is staring right at him. Romeo Crennel was in New England when Bill Belichick was using first-round selections on defensive linemen.
13. Baltimore: Winston Justice, OT, USC
You know Ray Lewis would have loved Haloti Ngata to fall to Baltimore, so blockers could not get out and block him. But it doesn't work out that way so the Ravens take Justice to start on the right side and eventually move over to the left when Jonathan Ogden retires.
14. Philadelhia: Nick Mangold, C, Ohio State
Most people think this is way too high for a center, but Mangold is good enough to justify the selection. The Eagles wanted LeCharles Bentley badly in the offseason and unless they trade for Jeff Faine, this pick makes a lot of sense to me. Not one offensive line coach I have spoken to felt Mangold wasn't the second best lineman in the draft to Ferguson.
15. Denver: Chad Jackson, WR, Florida
If the Broncos get Javon Walker in a pre-draft trade, then this pick changes. If they miss, then taking Jackson and trading Ashley Lelie is a strong possibility. Jackson doesn't have the production of Santonio Holmes, but he has the size and speed to be a pretty good player.
16. Miami: Manny Lawson, OLB, N.C. State
The Dolphins are an emerging 3-4 team and Lawson is a fit as an OLB or a weakside end in a 4-3. He's about the same size as Jason Taylor coming out of college, but even a better athlete. Lawson was a 50-foot triple jumper in high school as well as 25-foot long jumper. He had 17 sacks at N.C. State.
17. Minnesota: Ernie Sims, LB, Florida State
The perfect 4-3 weakside linebacker. He's fast, can blitz and should be in on close to 100 tackles a season when he earns a starting job.
18. Dallas: Kamerion Wimbley, OLB/DE, Florida State
When Bill Parcells built the great N.Y. Giants defense, he drafted Carl Banks the year after Lawrence Taylor. With DeMarcus Ware on one side, it's time for the other piece. Signing Marcus Coleman to play safety takes the pressure off a safety at this pick.
19. San Diego: Antonio Cromartie, CB, Florida State
The best corner at Florida State since Deion Sanders is a strong statement, especially for a guy who has been injured and rarely played. His personal workouts have been excellent and the Chargers need an elite corner.
20. Kansas City: Tamba Hali, DE Penn State
Throw out his disappointing 40 time (4.8), Hali has an explosive first step and a motor that doesn't quit. He plays much faster than his recorded speed and he makes plays. In three years, he had 35 tackles for a losses and 14 sacks.
21. New England: Bobby Carpenter, OLB, Ohio State
Carpenter has been moving up the draft boards in the past two weeks because he is versatile, big, and smart --the three things Bill Belichick loves on his team.
22. San Francisco: Chad Greenway, OLB, Iowa
Some scouts describe Greenway as a safety playing linebacker and think he is dropping into the second round. The 269 tackles, 18 tackles for a losses, five sacks, eight passes defended and four interceptions sounds like he's a real good football player to me. Mike Nolan needs some OLBs for his 3-4 defense.
23. Tampa Bay: Santonio Holmes, WR, Ohio State
Too good to pass up if Holmes drops to the Bucs. Here's a guy who ran 46 seconds in the 400-meters in high school, high jumped 6-foot-10 and caught 140 balls at a 16.3 average and scored 25 times.
24. Cincinnati: Marcedes Lewis, TE, UCLA
Surprised? I am too a bit, but the run on outside linebackers puts Lewis' grade in line to be selected. He has some flaws in his game, but the Bengals need a pass catching tight end and 120 receptions and 20 college touchdowns is a good place to start.
25. N.Y. Giants: Eric Winston, T, Miami
The signings of LaVar Arrington and Brandon Short last week changes the direction this team needs to go. By the time the Giants select again at No. 56, the quality tackles will be gone.
26. Chicago: Ty Hill, CB, Clemson
Most teams playing the Cover-Two scheme want bigger corners than Ty Hill, but this guy can flat out run. He showed an ability to close on receivers at the Senior Bowl and his 41-inch vertical jump will help him go up for the ball against the bigger receivers. There are other corners available and Chicago could go with one of them, but I think most coaches are trying to play more man coverages and Hill gives Lovie Smith that flexibility.
27. Carolina: Laurence Moroney, RB, Minnesota
The run on running backs starts right here and Maroney has 300 less carries on his resume than DeAngelo Williams, the other top back. That was the logic Bill Polian used when he selected Edgerrin James over Ricky Williams.
28. Jacksonville: Mathais Kiwanuka, DE, Boston College
Some people have Kiwanuka out of the first round and by the next mock draft I might too. For now, I see a guy with 34 sacks in college and capable of being a situational rusher until he learns to disengage from blockers.
29. N.Y. Jets: DeAngelo Williams, RB, Memphis
Curtis Martin is nearing the end of his career and Williams has a big heart, and lots of credentials -- 69 rushes for 6,026 yards, 55 touchdowns -- on a team where the opponents always knew to stop Williams first.
30. Indianapolis: Demeco Ryans, OLB, Alabama
Sure the Colts lost Edgerrin James in free agency and he has to be replaced, but they also lost David Thornton. The Colts defense can't go backward now and Ryans is a solid football player. Some coaches believe he has slipped to the second round. If the Colts feel that way, they can always draft Thomas Howard.
31. Seattle: Donte Whitner, S, Ohio State
Last week, I felt the Seahawks would take offensive guard Davin Joseph here, but two line coaches convinced me he spends too much time in a two-point stance. Whitner is at a need position and he ran 4.38 at his Pro Day. Seattle takes a guard in the second round.
32. Pittsburgh: LenDale White, RB, USC
I could have gone in 10 different directions with this pick and I am not convinced the Steelers believe White is a 'Steeler' type player. But if his hamstring tear is less severe than first reported, this has a chance of happening. Pittsburgh will also consider a safety like Ko Simpson, a defensive end like Rodrique Wright, and maybe even a receiver.
33. Houston: Andrew Whitworth, OT, Louisiana State
34. New Orleans: Jonathan Joseph, CB, South Carolina
35. N.Y. Jets: Jason Allen, DB, Tennessee
36. Green Bay: Roger McIntosh, OLB, Miami
37. Denver: Darnell Bing, S, USC
38. Oakland: Thomas Howard, OLB, Texas-El Paso
39. Tennessee: Abdul Hodge, ILB, Iowa
40. Detroit: Kelly Jennings, CB, Miami
41. Arizona: Davin Joseph, G, Oklahoma:
42. Buffalo: Ashton Youboty, CB, Ohio State
43. Cleveland: Ko Simpson, S, South Carolina
44. Baltimore: Gabe Watson, DT, Michigan
45. Philadelphia: Sinorice Moss, WR, Miami
46. St. Louis: Leonard Pope, TE, Georgia
47. Atlanta: Deuce Lutui, G, USC
48. Minnesota: Joe Klopfenstein, TE, Colorado
49. Dallas: Anthony Fasano, TE, Notre Dame
50. San Diego: Pat Watkins, FS, Florida State
51. Minnesota: Brodie Croyle, QB, Alabama
52. New England: Brian Calhoun, RB, Wisconsin
53. Washington: Daniel Bullocks, S, Nebraska
54. Kansas City: Maurice Stoval, WR, Notre Dame
55. Cincinnati: Claude Wroten, DT, Louisiana State
56. NY Giants: John McCargo, DT, N.C. State
57. Chicago: Tony Scheffler, TE, Western Michigan
58. Carolina D'Quell Jackson, LB, Maryland
59. Tampa Bay: Darryl Tapp, DE, Virginia Tech
60. Jacksonville: Joseph Addai, RB, Louisiana State
61. Denver: Kellen Clemens, QB, Oregon
62. Indianapolis: Jerious Norwood, RB, Mississippi State
63. Seattle: Charles Spencer, OG, Pittsburgh
64. Pittsburgh: Rodrique Wright, DT, Texas