2008 NFL Draft: Analysis and Predictions

Gabe SimondsContributor IApril 15, 2008

This year's draft seems about the same as 2007 was.  Just replace JaMarcus Russell with Matt Ryan, who could be a instant impact or a big bust, Joe Thomas with Jake Long, also a possible number 1 draft pick, Adrian Peterson with Darren McFadden, both showed great talent, but injuries and conduct were issues, Tedd Ginn, Jr., with Malcom Kelly, and Chris Gaines with Chris Long. That is only based on first ten picks.  Only exceptions to these players are Calvin Johnson and LaRon Landry.  Calvin Johnson was said to be the best wide receiver talent-wise in a long time.  There is no prospect that matches him in this draft; or for that matter no prospect in the past 10 years if he lives up to potential.  Landry was a good safety and the first safety available in draft is predicted late 1st round.

Other interesting notes include the Patriots missing their pick at 31st pick.  Unfortunately (unless your a Patriots fan), they traded up and have the 7th draft pick.  The Dolphins with the number one pick are looking to trade it.  No one is accepting that offer.  The reason is because recent studies shows that on average the #1 pick is worth barely more than the 10th pick yet it costs a good amount more. 

The top 4 people up for being picked #1 are QB Matt Ryan, DE Chris Long, OT Jake Long, and RB Darren McFadden.  Matt Ryan seems like a good option for Miami except for the inconsistency of quarterbacks picked high in history.  Ryan Leaf was chosen after Peyton Manning, Tim Couch was chosen 1st ahead of Donavon McNabb, and thereafter Akili Smith.  Intangibles have a lot to do with this while they may have good skills, they don't have the leadership or toughness.   While this is present time not history, the Dolphins need a safe option right now.  Darren McFadden, who seems to have the most talent, has conduct and little durability issues.  The argument for him is his speed, but this doesn't prove anything unless he can break tackles.  An example is in 2006.  Reggie Bush had a 4.33 and Joseph Addai had a 3.37.  Bush has since got 1,146 yards over 2 seasons while Addai has averaged a little less than that per season.

With Dolphins having a greater need at offensive line, the obvious choice is Jake Long.  The Rams would then choose Chris Long as their main pick gone in Jake, Falcons would choose Matt Ryan almost unquestionably if he's open, Raiders choose McFadden, rounded out by DT Glenn Dorsey to Chiefs.

My draft predictions for the rest are:

6- DE Vernon Gholston, NYJ  7- CB Leodis McKelvin, NE   8- OT Ryan Clady, BAL  9- DT Sedrick Ellis, CIN  10- CB Aqib Talib, NO  11- WR MalcomKelly, BUF  12- LB Keith Rivers, DEN  13- OT Jeff Otah, CAR  14- OT Chris Williams  15- CB Dominque Rodgers-Cromartie, DET 16- CB Mike Jenkins, ARI  17- DE Derrick Harvey, MIN 18- RB Rashard Mendenhall, HOU  19-DE Philip Merling, PHI 20- WR Devin Thomas, TB 21-WR DeSean Jackson, WAS  22- RB Jonathon Stewart, DAL 23- DT Kentwan Balmer, PIT 24- DE Calias Campbell, TEN  25- TE Dustin Keller, SEA  26- DE Lawrence Jackson, JAGs  27- OT Gosder Cherilus,SD  28-CB Justin King, DAL  29- WR Limas Sweed, SF  30- CB Brandon Flowers  31- VOID NO PICK,NE  31-(REAL ONE)- LB Dan Conner