Everybody else seems to be conducting a mock draft these days, so I figured, why not HN.com, too?
Ours will have a little twist, however. The only thing in which we're interested is the time and destination of our beloved Hawkeyes.
I'll get things started here. Please feel free to chime in with your thoughts whether they be on a couple of guys or the whole ball of wax like the long-winded yours truly with throw out.
Robert Gallery:This one seemed to be a lot easier to figure out a few days ago. Then, Team Manning pulled an Elway on the Chargers.
I've been saying for the last month that RG would end up with the Raiders, but I'm starting to flip-flop a bit. One theory as to why SD let the Manning story out of the bag was that it was a smoke screen for its fans. The Chargers wanted RG all only, and this gives them an out:
"Sorry, we really wanted Manning, but he didn't want to come here. We did what we could to trade the pick, but we couldn't get enough value and were afraid that we would miss out on Gallery. So, we decided to stay here and draft one of the best LTs ever to be up for grabs."
My wife, Kathryn, seems to like this theory. So, who am I to argue? I'll switch it up.
Prediction:No. 1 overall to San Diego.
Bob Sanders:Whoever steps up and grabs The Bullet first will be getting a steal because I believe he'll last to the second round despite having first-round talent. Teams will continue to draft according to measurements instead of just looking at pure talent and desire.
Among the group of teams that could be looking to lift Bob are Cleveland, both New York teams, New Orleans, Washington, Houston, Cincinnati, Miami, Seattle, St. Louis and Carolina.
Look for Bob to go somewhere in the middle of that second round. I think Seattle would snatch him up with the 53rd pick, but Cincinnati has two picks in that area - one ahead and one behind that Seahawks pick.
Prediction:No. 49 overall to Cincinnati.
Nate Kaeding:The man as reliable as death and taxes fights the macho stereotype in the NFL that kickers aren't really football players, thus there's no need to use a high draft pick on one. It's amazing to me how oblivious these player personnel guys are to how often games come down to a field goal.
There are three teams - San Diego, K.C., and Jacksonville - that are showing a lot of interest in Kaedo. If he makes it to the 93rd pick, K.C. grabs him in a heartbeat.
But I'm going to use the same theory that I used with Sanders. Jacksonville owns two picks at the top of the third round. It knows it won't get Nate in Round 4 because of K.C.
Prediction:No. 72 overall to Jacksonville.
Fred Russell:Fred seemed to be a hot guy back in January and February with solid showings in the OutBack and Hula Bowls as well as the combine. But something dropped the running back as we got closer to selection weekend.
The Clarett decision certainly helps Fred, but NFL teams really see Fred as a situational back and a possible return guy. But there are not many teams you hear about being interested in Russell as with some of the other guys. And as we all know with the draft, that could mean that quite a few teams are interested.
I'm thinking Fred would be best served on a turf field, maybe even a dome.
Prediction:No. 158 overall to St. Louis.
Mo Brown:Iowa's mystery man right now. The Press-Citizen's Andy Hamilton tried unsuccessfully for weeks to track Mo down.
There's no doubt in my mind that if Mo didn't go down against ISU last season, he's a first-day pick. But that injury, coupled with off-of-the-field issues probably are hurting the WR.
Still, as Kirk Ferentz and Chris Doyle say all of the time, nothing means more than game film. And Mo has some impressive game film.
You can never have enough WRs in the NFL. And even though this draft is loaded with them, somebody is going to take a shot on Iowa's playmaker.
Prediction:No. 179 overall to San Francisco.
Jared Clauss:He is kind of the forgotten man in the pack of Iowa draft hopefuls. But Clauss' postseason workouts, including a 4.9 40, should have enough teams interested.
Clauss is going to fit into a system that uses strong, fast tackles in a 4-3 or big ends in a 3-4. Think Green Bay, San Francisco, New England, Cleveland, teams like that.
Prediction:No. 233 overall to New England.
Free Agent Possibilities:
Nathan Chandler (St.Louis) - Why not? Warner looks like he's going to get the pink slip. Here's a chance to develop a young guy.
Sam Aiello (Green Bay) - Reunited with Joe Philbin.
Edgar Cervantes (Oakland) - The Raiders love the bruising fullbacks.
Ramon Ochoa (Atlanta) - Falcons need a return guy and added depth at receiver.
Howard Hodges (Denver) - Fits nicely into their system as a situational rushing LB.
Erek Jensen (Cleveland) - Browns need all of the blockers they can get.
Chris Smith (Houston) - Back home in Texas.
Kevin Worthy (Arizona) - Cards have had luck with Woods.