NE Patriots Draft -
Mock Draft 2.0
1. Miami- Chris Long - DE/LB - Virginia
I think they will be trying to trade down here, but in lieu of that, they will select the safest pick. Miami can't afford another bust a la the Ricky Williams fiasco or some of their questionable draft picks lately. Yep, looking at you Ted G.
2. St. Louis- Jake Long - OL - Michigan
Can we all agree that Orlando Pace just isn't going to play all 16 games anymore? This pick would cause Steven Jackson and Marc Bulger to breathe a sigh of relief. Jake is a lot less risky than Dorsey here.
3. Atlanta- Matt Ryan - QB - Atlanta
If they believe Matt Ryan is the man, they should take him. I just don't think there is a first-round QB in this draft. Glenn Dorsey and Jamaal Anderson would make quite an inside/outside tandem here, but Ryan could solidify their QB position for the next 10 years.
4. Oakland- Vernon Gholston - DE/OLB - Ohio St.
With Justin Fargas locked up, they really don't need McFadden. Gholston is an absolute beast that should really make the Raider D something to be scared of.
5. Kansas City- Ryan Clady - OT - Boise St.
At this point KC will be burning up the phones to get out of the Top 5. If they are forced to pick here, I think they reach and grab the best remaining OL. Their line needs to help Brodie and LJ and Clady would be a step in the right direction.
6. NY Jets- Darren McFadden - RB - Arkansas
If Clady and both the Longs are gone, the Jets will take the most dynamic playmaker left, and that is the TD from anywhere threat from Arkansas. He might have the best arm on the team as well.
7. NE Patriots (From SF)- Glenn Dorsey - DT - LSU
If Dorsey is here, the Patriots will scoop him up in a heartbeat. He doesn't really fit in a typical 3-4 system, but Belichick's version is fluid enough to accommodate such a talent.
8. Baltimore Ravens- D. Rodgers-Cromartie - CB - Tenn St.
Baltimore gets what many scouts believe is the best CB prospect in 2008. McCalister and Rolle aren't getting any younger, and with Ryan off the board, cornerback becomes their most pressing need.
9. Cincinnati Bengals- Sedrick Ellis - DT - USC
With the departure of Justin Smith, Cincinnati needs to hit on a defensive prospect here. The explosive Ellis really made some cash during the post-season, impressing scouts with his quick first step and explosive power.
10. New Orleans Saints- Leodis McKelvin - CB - Troy
After the failed Jason David experiment, the Saints need someone that can cover people deep. The speedy and solid McKelvin, along with the experienced Randall Gay from the Patriots, will help shore up a shaky secondary.
11. Buffalo Bills- Mike Jenkins- CB - USF
AFC East teams need cornerbacks and DL that can rush Tom Brady. With the Bills taking the extremely quick Jenkins, each AFC East team has addressed playing against the Patriots offensive juggernaut.
12. Denver Broncos- Jeff Otah - OT - Pitt
Bringing in Otah will bolster a line that is in transition. The huge Otah will help get the line back to the glory days of TD and company.
13. Carolina Panthers- Derrick Harvey - DE - Florida
The once vaunted D-Line from Carolina has fallen on hard times as of late. Harvey's playmaking ability, even if he was a bit slower than most thought at the combine, would be a welcome addition to Julius and company.
14. Chicago Bears- Rashard Mendenhall - RB - Illinois
My father always told me to fold a losing hand sooner rather than later. The Bears need to fold on Cedric Benson, or at least bring in some help. Mendenhall is a three-down back that could be a real help to whatever QB the Bears put out there this year.
15. Detroit Lions- Philip Merling - DE - Clemson
The Lions need some help across the defensive side of the ball, but a speedy DE prospect like Merling would do a lot to offset the loss of Shaun Rogers. Merling is a bit raw, but—cliche alert—his upside is huge.
16. Arizona Cardinals- Keith Rivers - LB - USC
The sure-tackling Rivers would join an improving Cardinal defense that is looking to build a contender in the weakened NFC West.
17. Minnesota Vikings- Malcolm Kelly - WR - Oklahoma
We will see this year if Tarvaris Jackson is the man or not. With the two-headed monster of Peterson and Taylor, along with the solid trio of Berrian, Allison, and Kelly, and their great line, Jackson will be out of excuses.
18. Houston Texans- Chris Williams - OT - Vanderbilt
The monstrous Williams should keep Matt Schaub healthier than he was last year. Houston is a team that is close to getting them over the hump, and this skilled mauler will help them reach their goals.
19. Philadelphia Eagles- Kenny Phillips - S - Miami
Brian Dawkins worked out for the Eagles, and I feel like Phillips could be that sort of dynamic player. With Asante Samuel not requiring tons of help over top, Phillips will be comfortable from day one in Philly.
20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Aqib Talib - CB - Kansas
Aqib falls a bit, bu the Bucs will be happy to grab this skilled defensive back. His times won't be that impressive, but his ball skills and instincts more than make up for his lack of top-flight speed.
21. Washington Redskins- James Hardy - WR - Indiana
The third Big Ten prospect to be selected, Hardy brings quite a skill set with him. His lone on-field problem--getting off press coverage--may be a problem, but the red zone target he creates for Jason Campbell is a hard thing to turn down.
22. Dallas Cowboys (From CLE)- Jonathan Stewart - RB - Oregon
If Jerry Jones can't go up and get McFadden, he will target either Felix Jones or Stewart here. The Oregon prospect's turf toe surgery shouldn't limit him past early summer. Provided they hang on to Marion the Barbarian, Stewart and Barber would be a heck of a tandem.
23. Pittsburgh Steelers- Devin Thomas - WR - Michigan St.
Hines Ward might not agree, but Big Ben was right when he asked for more receivers. Devin Thomas is a solid choice that has done well for himself at the combine. The Steelers had pretty good luck with some other MSU WR prospect as well.
24. Tennessee Titans- Desean Jackson - WR - Cal
With Pacman doing Pacman-esque things as of late, the Titans are going to be in the market for a dynamic return man. While the small-framed Jackson may never be a No. 1 receiver at the NFL level, he should be able to contribute right away as a special-teamer.
25. Seattle Seahawks- Dustin Keller - TE - Purdue
If they can't get Jonathan Stewart here, a local Oregon boy, look for the 4.5 fast Keller to stretching the seam for Coach Holmgren in 2008.
26. Jacksonville Jaguars- Quentin Groves - DE/LB - Auburn
While Drayton Florence isn't the long-term answer, he allows the Jags to go a different direction in the first round, and possibly take a Charles Godfrey in the second or third round. Groves' explosive potential, albeit underwhelming play at times, is hard to pass on at 26.
27. San Diego Chargers- Gosder Cherilus - OT - BC
The Chargers have no glaring needs, although safety could be another choice here. The OT's have started to get lots of love lately in the draft and I wouldn't be surprised to see Cherilus drafted here.
28. Dallas Cowboys- Limas Sweed - WR - Texas
Local boys are becoming a trend for the Cowboys this year. With Sweed's wrist problems pushing him down a bit, the Cowboys get a potential steal with this future replacement for Terrell Owens.
29. San Francisco 49'ers (From IND)- Antoine Cason - CB - Arizona
Taking a cue from the Ravens of a few years back, the Niners are going to try and build around an undeniable MLB and some good CB's. Cason fits the bill here across from Nate Clements.
30. Green Bay Packers- Brandon Flowers - CB - Virginia Tech
With Charles Woodson and Al Harris still licking their wounds from the beating Plaxico gave them in the NFC Championship game, the Pack needs to bring in some help in the backfield. Another option would be Balmer from NC to shore up the d-line.
31. Pick Forfeited -- SpyGate or something? I haven't really heard much about this.
32. New York Giants -- Dan Connor - LB - Penn St.
With Kawika Mitchell gone, the G-men need a versatile LB to fill some gaps. Connor brings the smarts necessary to get the job done.