LINK SPORTING NEWS MOCK DRAFT: Round 1 Pick Team Player Pos. School Previous Rising/Falling High/Low 1. 49ers Alex Smith* QB Utah 1st SAME 1st / 24th Niners officials have arrived at two conclusions: 1) They won't be able to trade down and 2) The team cannot win in the short term. So, the team should take the QB with the most upside and develop him slowly. Smith could sit behind Tim Rattay in 2005, learn and avoid taking a beating behind a rebuilding offensive line. Smith has a strong arm, outstanding athleticism and winning intangibles. 2. Dolphins Ronnie Brown RB Auburn 2nd SAME 2nd / 25th Nick Saban is a defensive-minded coach, but he has final say on all Dolphins personnel matters. He needs a workhorse back to make his conservative, ball-control offense work. Brown, with his great combination of power and speed, is tough to tackle and also excels as a receiver. 3. Browns Derrick Johnson OLB Texas 3rd SAME 3rd / 6th Romeo Crennel wants to build the New England way defense first. Johnson is the consensus best defensive prospect in this draft. Outside linebacker also is key to the success of Crennel's 3-4. Johnson, a great athlete, also shows terrific natural football instincts. 4. Bears Cedric Benson RB Texas 8th (+4) 2nd / 8th The Bears, in a stunner, may opt to go with a running back, and their preference is Benson. They believe they can get their wide receiver at the top of Round 2. Benson would be the prototypical Chicago back, especially in cold weather. He has nice bulk (222 pounds), runs hard between the tackles, and has both the vision and the speed to get outside. 5. Buccaneers Carnel Williams RB Auburn 5th SAME 4th / 25th Coach Jon Gruden says he never can have enough offensive cogs. The public favorite is Tampa native Mike Williams, but the Bucs are in more need of a workhorse back. This Williams has the body to take the pounding and the speed to be a home-run threat. 6. Titans Aaron Rodgers* QB California 6th SAME 1st / 16th Despite what Titans officials say, the team is rebuilding. Although Jeff Fisher is a defensive-minded coach, GM Floyd Reese will make this call. Rodgers would sit behind Steve McNair, learn without undue pressure and keep from taking a beating behind a shoddy offensive line. 7. Vikings (from Raiders) Braylon Edwards WR Michigan 4th (-3) 1st / 7th The Vikings rebuilt their defense through the free-agent market and trades and would look to replace some of Randy Moss' production here. Edwards, a playmaker with a solid frame and great hands, has All-Pro potential. He immediately would become Daunte Culpepper's go-to receiver. 8. Cardinals Adam Jones* CB West Virginia 9th (+1) 8th / 32nd The Cardinals might be reeling here as they plan to take one of the top three backs. Their next greatest need is cornerback. Jones lacks great size (5-9 5/8) but is a big-time playmaker with a confident, winning attitude. He tends to gamble, but his risky decisions usually pay off. Jones would need to show more discipline to function in the aggressive defense of Clancy Pendergast. 9. Redskins Antrel Rolle CB Miami (Fla.) 10th (+1) 6th / 13th After trading Champ Bailey last year and losing free agent Fred Smoot this year, the Redskins now have a glaring need at cornerback. Rolle (6-0 5/8, 197, 4.49) has good size and decent speed but his impressive intelligence and instincts would be a perfect fit as an assignment corner in Gregg Williams' disciplined defense. 10. Lions Alex Barron OT Florida State 13th (+3) 5th / 14th The Lions need to fill the void left by the free-agent departure of Stockar McDougle. Barron, huge (6-7½, 320) with outstanding athleticism, excels in pass protection. He must adjust if called upon to play right tackle because he isn't a great run blocker. He still should start as a rookie. 11. Cowboys Shawne Merriman* DE Maryland 17th (+6) 11th / 23rd Bill Parcells is a 3-4 defensive coach at heart and is looking to acquire the personnel to make the transition. His goal is to select two key defenders in the first round in order to commit to the 3-4. Merriman would be a great start. A terrific athlete, he played both end and 3-4 outside linebacker in college. 12. Chargers (from Giants) Mike Williams* WR USC 7th (-5) 5th / 21st The Chargers need a young playmaking receiver to continue to balance their offense. Williams is big (6-4 5/8, 229), physical and fast enough to create mismatches all over the field. The team would be thrilled if Williams remains available here. 13. Texans Marcus Spears DE LSU 20th (+7) 13th / 2nd round The Texans must upgrade their aging, injury-prone defensive line that is key to their success in the 3-4. Spears, a run-stuffing wide body (6-4, 304), has the athleticism to play two-gap end. He also has enough upfield push to squeeze the pocket and provide pass-rush support for 2004 first-rounder Jason Babin.