Alright, after weeks of wrangling, my final mock draft. Last year, I experienced more success that usual in my final mock, connecting on 27 of the 32 1st round selections, and successfully prognosticating the Browns 2nd and 3rd round selections of Chaun Thompson and Chris Crocker.
As far as the draft ahead of us, I have the Browns trading up to take Robert Gallery, then selecting safety Sean Jones of Georgia and wide receiver P.K. Sam of Florida St. in the second and third rounds. Also, I feel both Couch and Northcutt will be moved either today or tomorrow morning for additional picks this season.
Good luck to everyone in the Mock Draft Contest, and I'm looking forward to enjoying a couple of ice-cold beers with many of you at the First Annual Bernie's Insiders Draft Day Bonanza!
Get it done Butch. Please. Get it done.
- ** New York Giants
QB Eli Manning, Ole Miss: Eli is holding the Chargers hostage, and Marty needs to win now too badly to play hardball. The bottom line here is that the Chargers covet Phillip Rivers, and can acquire additional selections, move down, and still get him. The Giants will give up #4, #34, Ike Hilliard, and a 5th round selection in 2005 for this pick. Eli goes to the Big Apple, and agent Tom Condon's dream of seeing the Manning Brothers face each other in the Super Bowl one day becomes a possibility.
- ** Cleveland Browns
OT Robert Gallery, Iowa: By the end of the day today, you could see all of the following deals executed by our beloved Brownies: Couch to Green Bay for a 4th round selection, Northcutt to Denver for a 2nd round selection, and a move up to the #3 spot in the draft. For arguments sake, I'm going to say the Browns end up giving #7 overall, #173 (one of two Browns 6th round picks), their #1 next season, and Earl Little in exchange for #2 overall, which they will use to select Robert Gallery…to the delight of Browns fans everywhere. Butch needs to win now. That's why he is demanding selections this season for Couch and ‘Cutt. And frankly, I believe Oakland will come down off their lofty demands for this pick, because they can still get Roy Williams at #7. Find a way to get it done Butch.
- Arizona Cardinals
WR Larry Fitzgerald, Pitt: Denny Green gets his guy, a great kid and special talent he has known for 10 years, and all of the sudden has a lethal young trio of receivers in Fitzgerald, Boldin, and Bryant Johnson.
- ** San Diego Chargers
QB Phillip Rivers, North Carolina St.: San Diego is playing with fire, and passing on Michael Vick and Eli Manning in a three year span is risky. But what to do? Eli has them held hostage, and they allegedly like Rivers better anyway. While a safe pick, if Rivers goes the way of Leaf and Brees…Marty and the entire Charger regime could be gone in a couple of seasons.
- Washington Redskins
S Sean Taylor: Forget the trade up for Gallery and Winslow smoke. The bottom line is that the Redskins had the worst safeties in football last season and dealt Champ Bailey. Taylor is an immediate starter, and an immediate upgrade to a Redskin defense that will need retooled under Joe Gibbs.
- Detroit Lions
TE Kellen Winslow Jr., Miami Fla.: Coach Steve Mariucci is committed to providing Joey Harrington with as many offensive weapons as possible, and this selection will likely come down to a choice between Winslow, Roy Williams, and Stephen Jackson. In the end, Winslow is the best prospect and will team with Charlie Rogers, Tai Streets, and Michael Ricks to give Harrington several big, fast, physical targets in the passing game.
- ** Oakland Raiders
WR Roy Williams: Al Davis trades down and is still able to get his guy. Long enamored with speed at the skill positions, Davis and Norv Turner will have effectively prepared for the end of the Rice and Brown days, with the mega talented Jerry Porter and Roy Williams as their heir apparents.
- Atlanta Falcons
CB DeAngelo Hall: I think Jim Mora Jr. goes with the best defensive player available here, and that is likely to be Hall, a gifted athlete with the skills to become a true shut down corner, as well as one of the leagues best return men.
- Jacksonville Jaguars
DE Will Smith: I just keep getting the feeling that the Jags endless and blatant Udeze pimping is nothing but a Butch Davis-like attempt to ensure they get Will Smith at #9. The Jags desperately need end rushers, and the chances are high that they take the first DL off the board.
- Houston Texans
DE Kenechi Udeze, USC: There have been some injury concerns surrounding Udeze in the days leading into the draft, but the Udeze camp has quickly denied them. In the end, this kid is just too big, fast, and talented to slip much farther than around here.
- Pittsburgh Steelers
CB Dunta Robinson, South Carolina: I know, you were all expecting Ben Roethlisberger here. I say no. From what I can decipher, the Stillers have targeted three players with this selection. DeAngelo Hall, Phillip Rivers, and Dunta Robinson. I would not be surprised to see them deal up…but if they sit tight and the draft falls like this, the pick will be Robinson.
- New York Jets
WR Reggie Williams, Washington: This should come down to a selection between Williams and Jonathon Vilma. From listening to coach Herm Edwards speak a couple times in the last week, I just get the sense he wants to add pieces to this offense to help Chad Pennington blossom after a tough '03 campaign. Reggie Williams projects to be a great pro WR, and would have been a top 7-8 pick in almost any other year.
- Buffalo Bills
QB Ben Roethlisberger, Miami OH: The Bills brass, after failing to be able to deal for Drew Henson and Tim Couch, rejoice when Big Ben falls to them at #13. Roethlisberger will study under Bledsoe for the next couple years before he and Willis McGahee take over this offense.
- ** Philadelphia Eagles
RB Stephen Jackson, Oregon St: The Eagles have never been afraid to make aggressive moves up in the 1st round to get their guy, and I see that happening again this year after they moved up to get Jerome McDougle last season. The Bears have mentioned a desire to move down, and the Eagles would like to move into a position to get Jackson or Vince Wilfork. The Eagles will give up #28, #58, and a 4th rounder in '05 for this pick. With Jackson and Terrell Owens now in the fold, the Eagles feel they are now poised to advance past the NFC Championship game.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers
OG Shawn Andrews, Arkansas: This pick is likely to be an interior lineman on either side of the ball, but feel Chucky goes offense here as opposed to replacing Sapp. Andrews will help supply a much-needed infusion of youth on the Bucs offensive front.
- San Francisco 49ers
WR Lee Evans, Wisconsin: The Niners hope Reggie Williams will fall to them, and may even look to move down if he doesn't…but if they stay put Evans is the likely selection here to help replace a depleted WR corps that saw Owens, Streets, and Jed Weaver leave this off-season.
- Denver Broncos
DT Vince Wilfork, Miami Fla.: Hoping Stephen Jackson will fall, the Broncos will still be very glad to land Wilfork here, to help repair a run defense and interior rush that was decimated by the Colts in the playoffs last season.
- New Orleans Saints
LB Jonathon Vilma, Miami Fla.: This is truly a coup for the Saints as Vilma is one of the top players in this draft in my opinion. Eventually, all these defensive picks by the Saints have to turn into something, and I think Vilma is a helluva start. He's tough, athletic, and versatile enough to play inside or out. The kid just brings it, and will be an immediate upgrade.
- Minnesota Vikings
DT Tommie Harris, Oklahoma: Speaking of coups, Minnesota can't even screw this one up, as Harris falls all the way to #19 after long being projected as a top ten guy. Harris will team with Chris Hovan and Kevin Williams on a revamped, young, and talented Viking defensive front.
- Miami Dolphins
OT Vernon Carey, Miami Fla.: One would think that this pick has to be either Shawn Andrews of Carey, as Miami is a run first team with limited options at QB…and they are a mess up front, especially after losing Todd Wade in free agency.
- New England Patriots
CB Chris Gamble, Ohio St.: With Ty Law out of the picture, Belichick will use his first selection on Gamble, a physically gifted corner, still raw to playing the position. If anyone can tutor Gamble on playing CB in the NFL it is Bill, and chances are he will develop into a great player.
- Dallas Cowboys
RB Kevin Jones, Virginia Tech: It would not surprise me to see Parcells go with the best defensive player available, but Jones represents such a huge need for the team. Carey and Andrews are also possibilities here as well if still on the board.
- Seattle Seahawks
DT Marcus Tubbs, Texas: Another team that always seems to be drafting defense, the Seahawks need help up front, and there figure to still be some good DT's still on the board for them here at #23. Tubbs, Dockett, Starks are all strong possibilities here as are Marquise Hill, Dansby, and D.J. Williams.
- Cincinnati Bengals
LB Karlos Dansby, Auburn: After going offense with his first three picks last season, expect Marv Lewis to go defense with five of his seven first day picks. To start things off, chances are likely he goes best defensive player available, which at this point would seem to be one of the two linebackers, Dansby or Williams, both who fill a big need.
- Green Bay Packers
DE Marquise Hill, LSU: Assuming the Pack deals for Couch (which should go down shortly), defensive line or receiver will be the likely target areas for them here. Hill is a true edge rusher, a physically imposing kid that could have been a top ten pick last year had he stayed in school.
- St. Louis Rams
Jason Babin, Western Michigan: Annually one of the toughest teams to predict, I actually jotted down seven players names before settling here on Babin. Tight end is also a need, but DL is an even more pressing one with Grant Wistrom gone, and the fact that they had problems up front with Wistrom last year.
- Tennessee Titans
Michael Jenkins, Ohio St.: Jenkins is seen as a kid that is a virtual lock to be a solid pro. He's a heady, smart player with good size, speed, and hands. Receiver is a need in Tennessee with McCareins in New York. Calico, Mason, and Jenkins will give McNair and Volek a lethal trio of wideouts to work with for years to come.
- ** Chicago Bears
DT Randy Starks, Maryland: The trade down with the Eagles ends up becoming a genius maneuver as the Bears still get Starks, a prospect they were considering at #14! Starks will help replace the losses of Ted Washington and Keith Traylor, the keys behind the '01 team that won 13 games.
- Indianapolis Colts
LB D.J. Williams, Miami Fla.: We thought the Colts would go best defensive player available last season, and they surprised us with Dallas Clark. This year, I think there will be too many solid defensive prospects left on the board. Williams is a player that's ready to start today, and becomes the 6th Miami Hurricane taken in the 1st round.
- Kansas City Chiefs
CB Ahmad Carroll, Arkansas: There has been some speculation that the Chiefs may go with a WR here, but if they do not go defense with five of their seven picks after being depantsed by Manning and the Colts in the playoffs last season, the fan base should follow their coaches lead and start crying. Carroll is said to be the second best pure athlete at CB behind DeAngelo Hall and fills a big need in KC.
- Carolina Panthers
S Matt Ware, UCLA: With Deon Grant gone, the Panthers have a huge hole at free safety, and it's likely one of their first two picks will be used on one of the many talented safeties in this draft. Ware has been a late riser on many teams' boards, and possesses solid tackling and coverage skills.
- New England Patriots
DT Darnell Dockett, Florida St.-With Corey Dillon in the fold, and knowing how well Pioli and Belichick draft…it is very likely the Pats emerge from the 1st round with two excellent defensive players. And that's exactly what I have happening as they add Dockett and Gamble, two talented youngsters that will be immediately plugged into one of the league's top defensive units.
- Arizona-DE Antwaan Odom, Alabama
- **San Diego-OT Kelly Butler, Purdue
- San Diego-WR Rashaun Woods, Oklahoma St.
- Detroit-RB Chris Perry, Michigan
- CLEVELAND-S Sean Jones, Georgia
- Atlanta-OG Justin Smiley, Alabama
- Jacksonville-WR Michael Clayton, LSU
- Houston-CB Will Poole, USC
- Denver-TE Ben Troupe, Florida
- Tennessee-OG Chris Snee, Boston College
- Buffalo-DT Terry "Tank" Johnson, Washington
- Pittsburgh-OT Jacob Rogers, USC
- Oakland-QB J.P. Losman, Tulane
- San Francisco-DT Isaac Sapoage, Hawaii
- Chicago-CB Derrick Strait, Oklahoma
- New Orleans-DT Chad Lavalais, LSU
- Cincinnati-C Jake Grove, Virginia Tech
- Minnesota-LB Dontarrous Thomas, Auburn
- Baltimore-WR Devery Henderson, LSU
- Dallas-DT Donnell Washington, Clemson
- Seattle-CB Richard Colclough, Tusculum
- Oakland-S Bob Sanders, Iowa
- Green Bay-TE Ben Watson, Georgia
- Cincinnati-RB Greg Jones, Florida St.
- Tennessee-DT Dwan Edwards, Oregon St.
- **Chicago-OT Nat Dorsey, Georgia Tech
- Indianapolis-DT Igor Olshansky, Oregon
- New Orleans-CB Joey Thomas, Montana St.
- Kansas City-DE Matthias Askew, Michigan St.
- Carolina-WR Devard Darling, Washington St.
- New England-OG Sean Locklear, North Carolina St.
- Arizona-LB Michael Boulware, Florida St.
- New York Giants-LB Derek Smith, Georgia tech
- San Diego-LB Teddy Lehman, Oklahoma St.
- Oakland-OT Adrian Jones, Kansas
- CLEVELAND-WR P.K. Sam, Florida St.
- Atlanta-DE Travis LaBoy, Hawaii
- Jacksonville-LB DeMorrio Williams, Nebraska
- Houston-S Stuart Schweigert, Purdue
- Jacksonville-CB Keith Smith, McNeese St.
- Detroit-CB Shawntee Spencer, Pitt
- Buffalo-WR Keary Colbert, USC
- Pittsburgh-QB Matt Schaub, Virginia
- New York Jets-LB Courtney Watson, Notre Dame
- San Francisco-CB Keiwan Ratliff, Florida
- Chicago-TE Jason Peters, Arkansas
- Tampa Bay-DT Tim Anderson, Ohio St.
- Cincinnati-DE Darrion Scott, Ohio St.
- New Orleans-RB Julius Jones, Notre Dame
- Minnesota-WR Derrick Hamilton, Clemson
- Dallas-OT Travelle Wharton, South Carolina
- Seattle-OT Max Starks, Florida
- Denver-RB Michael Turner, Northern Illinois
- Green Bay-S Jason Shivers, Arizona St.
- Miami-WR Johnnie Morant, Syracuse
- Baltimore-DE Ike Hilton, Hampton
- Philadelphia-DT DeMarco Neil, Auburn
- Indianapolis-S Will Allen, Ohio St.
- St. Louis-CB Nathan Vasher, Texas
- Tennessee-RB Tatum Bell, Oklahoma St.
- Kansas City-WR Kendrick Starling, San Jose St.
- Carolina-CB Greg Brooks, Southern Miss
- New England-S Madieu Williams, Maryland
- Cincinnati-CB Jeremy LeSeur, Michigan