NFL Draft 2008: Projecting Top 10 Picks
The state of Miami had to view one of the worst seasons by a pro football franchise in NFL history, the 1-15 Dolphins had no offense, led by the relentless Cleo Lemon, and their defense was not too hot either, but with losses comes hope, in the draft I mean.
1. Miami - Jake Long, OT. I know I know, The Dolphins need more than Long at this point, but the pick makes sense. The Dolphin's ranked 23rd in sacks allowed last year, which any team can admit is the wrong way to develop a young QB like John Beck. And no, I am not saying Beck is the future of this franchise, I am simply saying if you want to start building from the ground up, you need those big uglies on the line, and Long is by far the best player at his position. He has great footwork, not footwork like #3 pick Joe Thomas, but he is alot more physical and does not give up on a play. Long makes alot of sense at the number 1 pick.
2. St. Louis - Glenn Dorsey, DT. Dorsey has been riddled with injuries the past 2 years, but when healthy he is the most dominant D-Lineman in the nation. His numbers do not jump out at you, but he is a force, constantly disrupting offenses and drawing double teams, which in turn lead to other defenders doing great. The Rams need to address defense, bottom line. Last years pick Adam Carriker might just need someone like Dorsey to shine in this league. One thing is for certain, Dorsey is a great pick at 2.
3. Atlanta - Chris Long, DE/OLB. New head coach Mike Smith is drooling at this pick, because he has a choice between Long or Gholston, and either is great and will transition well to the NFL, but I got to give the nod to Long. Atlanta is not the place to be right now, you lose your franchise QB to...well, another "sport", your former head coach leaves the team early to start his new job at the University of Arkansas, and overall the losing season is the cherry on the shit cake. Mike Smith comes in from Jacksonville, bringing a ferocious defensive mind, and plug in Long who can be versatile in the next level (which is crucial), and you have a pretty great pick at 3.
4. Oakland - Vernon Gholston, DE. After thinking it over for some time, I came to the conclusion that Gholston over McFadden would make more sense at 4. Look, you don't sign a guy like Fargas, who was pretty much your workhorse last year, and then draft a back like McFadden to try and take his job. Oakland might want to start the 2 back set if they do take McFadden, but I say Gholston is the type of player that can be moved on any side of the line, maybe even OLB position if needed. The Raiders have the talent to possibly make a playoff push, and Rex Ryan would utilize a player like Gholston to his fullest potential.
5. Kansas City - Sedrick Ellis, DT. I know this seems like a reach for the former USC tackle, and this was hard for me to think of because Ryan is still here, but I think the Cheifs believe in Croyle and want to give him a full year under his belt before making any rash decisions. Ellis can help immediately in there defensive line, and one thing the Cheifs are not known for is defense. The signing of Demarrio Williams and Devard Darling should help both sides of the ball, and Ellis would be a great choice here, he is a great defensive tackle that can (like Dorsey) be a disruptive force in the middle.
6. New York - Darren McFadden, RB. McFadden does not slip past the Jets, even though Thomas Jones is still there, he is not the answer for the future, and for the time being the Jets can establish the 2 back set, with Jones being a hard runner and McFadden being a slasher, both running styles can prove worthy for the Jets. Aside from the off the field issues, Darren was a great player with his 3 years at Arkansas. He touched the ball 785 times at Arkansas, which most people would think could cause wear and tear, but because he balanced out with teammate Felix Jones, the lingering effects did not show. Proving yourself to be an elite all time back in the SEC is not easy, but McFadden made it look easy.
7. New England - Leodis McKelvin, CB. "The rich get richer" was what I kept hearing on ESPN and the Pats with this second pick. Branden Albert, the guard from Virginia would be good here too, but most certainly the loss of Asante Samuel and Eugene Wilson hurt the Patriots, and they want to address the secondary with this pick. McKelvin would help in the return game, and because the loss of Stallworth, the Pats might want to send Welker out there less and less, fearing injury to their star, so McKelvin would benefit from that. He is a great athlete, scoring 8 touchdown on returns. The Pats have this solid pick up at 7
8. Baltimore - Matt Ryan, QB. I am sorry Steve McNair, I love your relentless play, but sooner than later, you gotta hang em up. New coach Jim Harbaugh would love for Ryan to fall to him at 8, and since he is coached by a former NFL QB coach (Jagdozinski coached Brett Favre), so he might be able to adjust to a NFL offense well, since he throws like a NFL QB. Ryan could be a great face to this franchise, and no, Boller had his chance, time to step aside for this future star. Cam Cameron would build around this guy with his short passing attack.
9. Cincinnati - Ryan Clady, OT. Assuming the Bengals don't trade out of this pick, Clady would be the perfect pick at 9. Willie Anderson is up their in age, still effective though, but aside from Chris Henry being arrested 4 times in 13 months, and Ocho Cinco just being himself, the Bengals need to start making some noise to make the playoffs. Clady has near to perfect form, his footwork is smooth, he ran traps and pulls with ease, and being a former defensive tackle he understands defenses. Palmer and Rudi would thank the Bengals organization for this pick.
10. New Orleans - Antonio Rodgers-Cromartie, CB. Cromartie is the best athlete in this draft, he has great awareness and he is very instinctive with his on the ball reaction. An amazing statistic, in 39 starts, opposing quarterbacks only completed 55 of 161 passes (34.16%) in Rodgers-Cromartie's area. The Saints need to rebuilds on the defense, since the NFC Championship game, the Saints have not been an offensive juggernaut they were a year ago, but that can be pointed at injuries. Antonio is tall (6'2"), well built frame and long arms, so much so that he might be able to switch to Free Safety at the next level.
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