2) Rams-2008_NFL_Mock_Draft_St_Louis_Rams-250108">St. Louis Rams: Jake Long, OT, Michigan
4) Raiders-2008_NFL_Mock_Draft_Oakland_Raiders-040208">Oakland Raiders: DeSean Jackson, WR, California
5) Chiefs-2008_NFL_Mock_Draft_Kansas_City_Chiefs-050208">Kansas City Chiefs: Chris Long, DE, Virginia
7) Patriots-2008_NFL_Mock_Draft_New_England_Patriots-100208">New England Patriots: Vernon Gholston, DE/OLB, Ohio State
The Longest Mock Draft in NFL History Continues...
I just recently discovered that Bleacher Report is read by over 400,000 people per month.
That’s a lot of pressure. I always assumed it was just my parents, wife, and a few other people like me reading this thing.
I handle pressure like Shaq handles foul shots—awkwardly and with very little chance of success.
I was so stressed over the potential number of readers that I actually forgot which team picked next in my mock draft. My wife assures me that it’s the Baltimore Orioles.
We’ll just assume she means the Ravens.
You can’t talk about the Baltimore Ravens without talking about Steve McNair’s quarterback play.
You can’t talk about Steve McNair’s quarterback play without laughing for at least ten minutes and then quietly suggesting a forced retirement.
Unless you’re a Baltimore fan, in which case you can’t discuss Steve McNair’s quarterback play without coming to tears.
The Ravens haven’t had a real quarterback since Trent Dilfer, who himself could only be considered marginally real (though he did get to go to Disney World…and he’s great on the NFL network).
I’m an Ohio State fan, mostly because I’m a front runner and until the BCS figures out how to add a “suck conference” factor into their ratings, the Buckeyes are pretty much guaranteed a spot in the national championship game every season, but to steal a phrase from Adam Schein, if Troy Smith is the answer, I’m not sure I want to know the question.
Kyle Boller looked good at times (especially against the Patriots), but he has one very crucial thing going against him: He’s Kyle Boller. Kyle Boller is not an NFL caliber starting quarterback.
That said, Matt Ryan is the only quarterback in this draft worth taking in the top ten. There are no other sure-thing prospects. Brian Brohm has “Chad Pennington” written all over him.
Plus, Andre Woodson and Chad Henne will be there in the second round (presumably).
They could also take a shot at Colt Brennan, but he played in a fantasy world and put up stupid numbers in college. Those guys never seem to translate their collegiate achievements into NFL success.
The Pick: Ryan Clady, OT, Boise State
Jonathan Ogden is going to be 34 years old in July—and at times last season he looked every bit his age. John Harbaugh has said he’s not sure Ogden is going to be back next season. Even if he is, they’re going to have to start grooming his replacement.
Ryan Clady is the right guy for the job. He’s a tremendous pass blocker and a work-in-progress run blocker. He’s athletic and huge, the perfect combination for an NFL left tackle.
Whomever the Ravens go with at quarterback, whether it’s Troy Smith, Steve McNair, Kyle Boller, or a draft pick, that person will be extremely happy to have Ryan Clady guarding his blind side.
Second Choice: Brian Brohm, QB, Louisville
Brian Brohm was supposed to be the best quarterback prospect in the 2008 draft, but Matt Ryan has taken the undisputed lead in that category.
Brohm is a decent player, but does nothing special. He’s relatively accurate, but doesn’t have a terribly strong arm. He’s an OK leader, but probably isn’t vocal enough. He’s also been hurt quite a bit.
That said, he’s still the second best QB prospect in the draft, and the best one available at this pick, so the QB poor Ravens will certainly give him a look.
But hey, if they want a Chad Pennington they can probably get the real one from the Jets for far less than the 8th pick in the draft.
Sleeper Pick: Mike Jenkins, CB, South Florida
The Ravens dealt with injuries in their secondary all season. To have someone like Mike Jenkins, who can start at the nickel and fill in for McAlister or Rolle in case of injury would be a pretty decent luxury to have.
Jenkins can play safety and corner, the only question is whether he can play either at a high level in the NFL.
I’m not convinced that he’s a sure-thing lockdown corner, and I’m not sure he’s the best corner in the draft, but he’d fit what Baltimore does on defense well. Plus, he’s been arrested, so he’s sure to get along with Ray Lewis.