After seeing the many mock drafts out there I’ve decided to throw out my own two cents on the drafts top ten.
1) Miami Dolphins- Chris Long - With the first overall the Bill Parcells is going to take Chris Long. He’s a phenomenal talent who put up numbers at Virginia. Not only did he 22 sacks and 43 tackles for a loss but he did it from the end position of a 3-4 defense, the type Parcells will more than likely assemble. Not only is Long one of the most pro ready players in the draft but he has the pedigree of an elite player. Chris Long will become a corner stone for the Dolphins for years to come.
2) St. Louis Rams – Jake Long - The Rams can’t pass up a player like Jake Long. With this Long they’ll not only have an immediate improvement in their line strength but have a replacement for their aging tackle Orlando Pace. He may end up being a right tackle in the NFL but even as such he has the ability to be a pro bowler years to come, making him a perfect decision for the Rams new personnel chief.
3) Atlanta Falcons – Glenn Dorsey - With new head coach Mike Smith the Falcons may be looking to improve their defense before bettering their offense. Formerly the Jacksonville Jaguars defensive coordinator, Smith is going to be a defensive minded and looking to build something similar to what he had in Jacksonville. After signing Michael Turner to be the Fred Taylor work horse running back of his team we can rule out drafting McFadden. Dorsey will be the defensive tackle that Smith will begin the building of his Jaguar-esque defense around.
4) Oakland Raiders – Darren McFadden – Al Davis is enamored with speed and players with home run capabilities. In McFadden he’ll get a player that fulfills both of those wants. Sharing a backfield with Justin Fargas will make the raiders running backs one of the leagues best one-two punches. The bettering of the run game will also take pressure off of new quarterback Jemarcus Russell making his transition to full time starter even easier.
5) Kansas City Chiefs – Ryan Clady – The Chiefs have had line troubles for a few seasons now and will need to improve that area of their team in order to succeed in the league. Clady will be able to come in and play left tackle for the Chiefs improving their offensive line significantly. Not only will he provide added support for the run game, but he’ll bring better protection for Brodie Croyle.
6) New York Jets – Matt Ryan – With the improvements we’ve already seen on the Jets Ryan would be a valuable pick up. With Pennington’s injury history and age he will have to be replaced soon and I don’t see Kellen Clemons as the Jets long term solution. However with the addition of Ryan the Jets will have a quarterback they don’t have to start right away and be the future of their franchise. Many people are more than willing to tell you Matt Ryan won’t be a Peyton Manning Type of quarterback, but to be fair who outside of Tom Brady is? If Ryan develops correctly and gets the proper tools to work with he could easily become being a Matt Hasselbeck type of player. The best part for the Jets is that if he does develop and Clemons does improve they’ll be able to trade one away to improve their team with little cost to their own success.
7) New England Patriots – Vernon Gholston – Gholston is the obvious choice for the Patriots. He’ll be an immediate impact player as an outside linebacker in their 3-4 defense. Gholston has the pass rush ability that will allow him to fill the role left open with the release of Rosevelt Colvin. Bringing him in not only adds some much needed youth to the Pats linebacking core but also allows them to keep Adalius Thomas at inside backer with Teddy Bruschi. Along with Mike Vrabel and the defensive line the Patriots will have one of the best front sevens in football.
8) Baltimore Ravens – Leodis McKelvin - With Matt Ryan and Ryan Clady gone the Ravens will look to improve their defensive secondary. McKelvin brings some much needed youth to not only an older secondary but an aging defense. He can make an immediate impact as a nickel back and develop into a starting corner for the next season. Along with his defensive abilities McKelvin will bring a new and dangerous speed threat to the Ravens return game, giving the team one more reason to make sure he comes to their team.
9) Cincinnati Bengals – Sedrick Ellis - After again having a defense that was one of the leagues worst defenses the Bengals will look to improve with Ellis. After trying to acquire Shaun Rodgers this offseason we know that the teams is looking for a big bodied defensive tackle and Ellis fits the bill. His size and strength will bring some much needed improvement to their defensive line and a great line mate to new comer Antwan Odom.
10) New Orleans Saints – Keith Rivers – The Saints have enough tools to feel set with their offense and need to improve one of the leagues worst defenses. With Rivers the Saints will bring in a linebacker that will be able to make an immediate impact on their defense. At 6’3” 235lbs he has the size to play middle while having the speed to play outside allowing Jon Vilma to play outside linebacker where he flourished with the Jets and either play Dan Morgan as their middle linebacker or keep him as a backup Rivers can learn the position from.