Swerb's Final Mock Draft

A three-round mock, with bonus late-round predictions for the Browns...


ROUND ONE

1. San Francisco – QB Alex Smith, Utah

Despite the fact he may not have even gone top five last season, Smith will be the #1 overall selection this year.  He is the best quarterback in this draft, San Francisco has the most anemic quarterback situation in the league, and there are few suitors for this pick.  Smith has all the characteristics to be a fine quarterback in the NFL, and is a relatively safe pick in my view.


2. ***Tampa Bay  – RB Ronnie Brown, Auburn
    (Tampa trades #5, #71, and a 2006 2nd round selection to Miami for #2 overall)

It's looking more and more likely by the day that both Miami and Cleveland will trade out of the #2 and #3 holes respectively, and I see Ronnie Brown and Braylon Edwards going in these two slots regardless of who is picking here.  The jump up from #9 for Washington and #12 for San Diego may prove too costly, and I see Tampa sneaking up three spots to ensure they get Ronnie Brown at the cost of a 2nd and a 3rd in this years draft or next.  Brown's size, speed, and hands are just what the doctor ordered for Gruden's west coast attack.


3. ***Minnesota – WR Braylon Edwards, Michigan
    (Minnesota trades #7, #49, and a 2006 3rd round selection to Cleveland for #3 overall)

Drama should be high on Draft Day morning, as the Browns will probably not make any deals until they are actually on the clock at #3.  In the end, there are too many holes for the Browns to fill, and I don't believe Savage wants to stand pat at #3 and take Braylon.  Edwards is coveted by a handful of teams, and I think it will end up being Minnesota that makes the move up.  Edwards will step right in and replace Randy Moss for the Vikes.


4. Chicago – RB Cedric Benson. Texas

The Bears need a lot of help on offense.  They have a couple young QB's already, Alex Barron is a reach at #5, and the signing of Mushin Muhammad takes some of the pressure away to add a WR.  Thomas Jones had a nice season last year, but is not the type of back you can hand the ball to 30 times a game.  Benson is.  Benson is the safest pick in this draft, is ready to contribute right now, and is a perfect fit for the type of ball control offense the Bears want to pair with their good young defense under coach Lovie Smith.


5. ***Miami – QB Aaron Rodgers, Cal

The Dolphins are able to deal down, pick up a couple additional selections, and still get the drafts other top tier signal caller.  The Dolphins have lacked a difference making quarterback since Marino retired, and A.J. Feeley and Gus Frerotte are not long term answers that can restore this franchise to greatness.  Remember though, this is Nick Saban.  Despite the fact everyone has Miami going either QB or RB, don't be shocked if the Dolphins go best defensive player available if they deal down.


6. Tennessee – WR Mike Williams, USC

The Titans have a big need at CB, and there are two excellent CB options still on the board for them here at #6.  However, I simply cannot see them passing on a talent like Williams here at #6, especially with Derrick Mason gone, and former USC offensive coordinator Norm Chow in tow.  There should be plenty of options for the Titans to trade down here as well, as many teams would love to move up to #6 to snag Williams or one of the CB's.


7. ***Cleveland – LB Derrick Johnson, Texas

Now down at #7, the Browns have several options.  They could go LB with Johnson or Merriman.  CB with Rolle or Pac Man.  WR with Troy Williamson.  Or even Alex Barron, DeMarcus Ware, or Marcus Spears

I've had a feeling from the beginning that Johnson is the guy Savage wants.  The criticisms of his tackling ability, weight, and impact at the point of attack have been well documented … but simply put, this kid can do things no other defender in the draft can.  If they do take DJ, it will ultimately be a Romeo Crennel call, because the kid does need to be coached up a bit before making an impact at the next level.  Does Romeo believe he can mold this kid into a Ray Lewis type inside?  Or a Lawrence Taylor clone outside?  The Browns are very thin in the front seven, and Johnson is the type of player who could play inside or out.  He wasn't used to rush the passer much at Texas (because of his ability to run and cover), but his freakish athletic ability could eventually be lethal off the edge, giving this defense a game changing impact player.  Johnson averaged eighteen tackles per loss a season at Texas, caused nine fumbles last year, and was a four year college player for a major Division I school.


8. Arizona – CB Antrell Rolle, Miami Florida

The Cardinals situation at cornerback is a mess, and unless Benson or Brown falls, chances are likely that they will target Rolle or Pac Man here.  Denny Green is one of the leagues best on Draft Day, and getting a corner of Rolle's pedigree here at #8 is a coup for the quickly improving Cardinals.


9. Washington – CB Pac Man Jones, West Virginia

With Fred Smoot now in Minnesota, the Skins resist the temptation to move up to #2 or #3 and take Braylon Edwards because they know one of the draft's top two cornerbacks should still be available here at #9.  Pac Man reminds many of a young Darrell Green, with great speed, instincts, and also kick return ability.


10. Detroit – OT Alex Barron, Florida St. 

Here at #10, Millen and Mariucci will most likely be looking at either taking the draft's best OL or best available defender off the board.  In the end, taking Barron to help protect all of their young offensive investments of the last three years may be too tempting.  The Lions are solid inside up front with DeMulling, Backus, and Woody … but have just Jeff Backus and last years 6th round pick Kelly Butler at tackle.
 

11. Dallas – DE Marcus Spears, LSU  

Always looking to move down, Parcells could very well so that here at #11.  For this, my final projection, I will keep them here, and have them going with Marcus Spears over guys like Merriman and Ware.  Spears is a man's man at DE, and has the physical attributes to become a great player.  With bust Marcellus Wiley now shipped out of town, defensive end is the Cowboy's biggest need.


12. ***Philadelphia – WR Troy Williamson, South Carolina
    
 (Philadelphia trades #31 and #35 to San Diego for #12 overall)

Philly loves to trade up, and with 13 selections this year, it is almost a given that they will work their way into the upper half of the 1st round.  I have them dealing #31 and #35 overall to San Diego for this selection, where they will snag Troy Williamson, who has freakish speed, and will give opponents nightmares lining up across the field from Terrell Owens.


13. Houston – OLB DeMarcus Ware, Troy

DeMarcus Ware has shot up draft boards since his impressive showing at the Senior Bowl, and is being hailed as an ideal OLB for a 304 scheme, which the Texans employ.  Ware will team with last years #1 Jason Babin to man the edges of the Houston defense, allowing them to move Kailee Wong back inside and solidify a beleaguered unit from a year ago.


14. Carolina – RB Carnell Williams, Auburn

John Fox thanks his lucky stars and gets the first gift of the draft.  Thanks to late risers Troy Williamson and Demarcus Ware, one of the draft's elite running backs falls into the Panthers laps at #14.  Stephen Davis is on his last leg, DeShaun Foster has had injury problems, and the Panthers love to run the football … especially with Mushin Muhammad in Chicago.


15. Kansas City – OLB Shawne Merriman, Maryland

With Troy Williamson gone, the Chiefs have to be looking best defensive player available here at #15, and it appears Merriman is that guy at this juncture of the draft.  Adding Merriman to a defense that has also signed Kendrell Bell, Carlos Hall, and Sammy Knight should be a big shot in the arm to a Chief defense that has been downright terrible these last two years.


16. New Orleans – CB Carlos Rogers, Auburn

Every season the Saints go best defensive player available, yet their defense never improves.  Expect more of the same here, although I do like Rogers a lot as a player.  The Saints secondary is a mess of castoffs and underachievers, and Rogers would instantly step in as one of their top DB's.


17. Cincinnati – TE Heath Miller, Virginia

Every year the pundits project Marvin Lewis to go defense, and I think he will fool everyone one more year by taking Miller off the board here at #17.  The Bengals may go defense with every remaining pick, but getting a player like Miller for the teams' most important investment (Carson Palmer) will simply be too tempting.


18. Minnesota – DE Erasmus James, Wisconsin

Adding a player as talented as James to Kenechi Udeze, Pat Williams, and Kevin Williams up front would be a coup for the Vikings here at #18.  If James can stay healthy, he will become one of the draft's elite players, and possibly begin to harken days of the Purple People Eaters.  I don't see the Vikings being willing to deal this pick in addition to #7 to move up, and you can see why with the wealth of talented players still on the board here at #18.


19. St. Louis – OT Khalif Barnes, Washington

The Rams OL is an absolute mess, and it's the main reason their offense bears no resemblance to the Greatest Show On Turf offense of 3-4 years ago.  They have had a rotation of inept right tackles ever since Turley went down, and I expect them to address that gaping hole here in round one.


20. Dallas – WR Mark Clayton, Oklahoma

This just seems like a Parcells pick, and the Cowboys could use another weapon for new QB Drew Bledsoe.  Keyshawn and Terry Glenn are getting long in the tooth, and there is little behind them besides our old friend Quincy Morgan.


21. Jacksonville – DE David Pollack, Georgia

The Jags have one of the best DT tandems (Henderson and Stroud) in the league, and love using high picks on talented defensive linemen.  All they have at defensive are free agent signings Marcellus Wiley and Reggie Hayward, who have both been inconsistent … and there is little depth behind them.  Pollack will continue to improve this young, talented defense which is quickly evolving into one of the league's best.


22. Baltimore – CB Marlin Jackson, Michigan

No need for analysis here when we can go back in time to one of my favorite takes, from fellow BI columnist Doc Gonzo:

"BALTIMORE: I hate this team, town, the state of Maryland, flesh-eating birds, the color purple and crabs. The apocalypse would be worth it just to wipe out this city and its useless, mentally deficient citizens. Sodom and Gomorrah are Avon Lake and Bay Village compared to this seething nest of perverts,  criminals, thugs, drug addicts, radicals, corruption, vice and sin. The football team is little more than a collection of egos, starting with its glib, effete toad of a head coach, and centered around a pair of former or soon-to-be convicts, Ray Lewis and Jamal "8 Ball" Lewis. There's a special place in the low-rent section of hell reserved for these grotesque, disgraceful creatures. There will be no peace and justice until this team is disbanded and wiped from the record books, its players jailed, its stadium razed, the land salted and the people sold into bondage in some distant galaxy. To complete its absolution, Baltimore must burn the corpse of Art Modell on a pyre of garbage along its dump of a waterfront."


23. Seattle – DT Luis Castillo, Northwestern

Castillo admitted to using steroids recently, but was up front about it, and only did so (allegedly) to rehab an injury.  This kid is a tough as nails DT, that ran a 4.8 forty at the combine.  I don't see a slip here, and the Seahawks are very weak up front defensively and have forever struggled to stop the run.


24. Green Bay – S Thomas Davis, Georgia

Most mocks have Charlie Frye going here, but who the QB is next year will be irrelevant if the Pack cannot do something about their miserable secondary, which gets them knocked out of the playoffs every year.  Darren Sharper has moved on, and the Pack needs a new QB for this defense … forget the offense.  Davis projects to be a great pro, and will hope to follow in the footsteps of LeRoy Butler and Darren Sharper as great Packer safeties.


25. Washington – QB Jason Campbell, Auburn

The Redskins acquired this pick knowing they could use it either on a QB, or to help move up into the top three.  In the end, they use it on Campbell, their favorite of the second tier QB's.  Brunell is old, and the jury is still out on Ramsey.


26. Oakland – CB Fabian Washington, Nebraska

This is the pick the Raiders just acquired from the Jets, and the chances appear likely that they will use it on a CB to replace the recently traded Phillip Buchanon.  Washington has been a late riser since running an eye-popping forty at the combine, and the Raiders have always been enamored with speed guys under Al Davis.


27. Atlanta – DT Travis Johnson, Florida St.

The Falcons could use some help inside up front, and Johnson is one of the draft's elite defensive tackles, and probably deserves to go higher than this.  Johnson will team with last year's pleasant surprise Rod Coleman to continue to improve the Falcon defense under Jim Mora Jr.


28. San Diego – LB Daryl Blackstock, Virginia

Blackstock is a 3-4 OLB through and through, and the Chargers won't hesitate to add him to help bolster their 3-4 defense.  They need a WR, but still have several picks coming up, allowing them to go best player available here.


29. Indianapolis – CB Corey Webster, LSU

The Colts are very weak at cornerback, and I'd be very surprised if they didn't take one off the board here at #29.  Webster is very athletic, very gifted, and is one of my favorite guys in this draft, a guy I'd love to still see on the board when the Browns are up at the top of round #2.


30. Pittsburgh – WR Roddy White, UAB

Here at #30, the Steelers will likely look to add a CB or a WR, though you can never discount them drafting for depth on the offensive line.  Roddy White is another kid whose game I love, he has all the tools to become a great wide receiver in this league.  He and Matt   Jones are the top WR's left on the board here, and there's a good chance the Steelers nab one of them here.


31. San Diego – DT Shaun Cody, USC

With Jason Fisk now in Cleveland, the Chargers need a DT that can rotate with Jamal Williams up front, and Cody is great value for them here at #31.  Adding Cody and Blackstock to a defense that was very good last season should make AFC opponents sleep uneasy.


32. New England – LB Odell Thurman, Georgia

The Pats suddenly have a real hole at ILB with Teddy Bruschi's troubles and Ted Johnson's age.  Thurman is a smart player, a great tackler, and has good strength.  He appears to be cut from the Patriot cloth, and would make for a fine selection for them here to finish up round one.

 

ROUND TWO

  1. San Francisco – DE Matt Roth, Iowa
  2. Cleveland – QB Charlie Frye, Akron
  3. San Diego – WR Matt Jones, Arkansas
  4. Tampa Bay – DE Dan Cody, Oklahoma
  5. Tennessee – OT Jamaal Brown, Oklahoma
  6. Oakland – LB Channing Crowder, Florida
  7. Chicago – OG David Baas, Michigan
  8. New Orleans – LB Kevin Burnett, Tennessee
  9. Detroit – DE Justin Tuck, Notre Dame
  10. Dallas – FS Brodney Pool, Oklahoma
  11. NY Giants – CB Brandon Browner, Oregon St.
  12. Arizona – RB J.J. Arrington, Cal
  13. Carolina – OG Elton Brown, Virginia
  14. Kansas City – CB Justin Miller, Clemson
  15. NY Jets – OG Marcus Johnson, Ole Miss (pick acquired in Jolley deal with Raiders)
  16. Cincinnati – DT Anttaj Hawthorne, Wisconsin
  17. Cleveland – DE Chris Canty, Virginia
  18. St. Louis – SS Ernest Shazor, Michigan
  19. Green Bay – CB Bryant McFadden, Florida St.
  20. Jacksonville – RB Ciatrick Faison, Florida
  21. Baltimore – WR Reggie Brown, Georgia
  22. Seattle – LB Barrett Rudd, Nebraska
  23. Buffalo – OT Adam Terry, Syracuse
  24.  Denver – WR Terrance Murphy, Texas A&M
  25. NY Jets – TE Alex Smith, Stanford
  26. Green Bay – DT Jonathon Babineaux, Iowa
  27. Atlanta – CB Eric Green, Virginia Tech
  28. Indianapolis – DT Mike Patterson, USC
  29. San Diego – CB Stanford Routt, Houston
  30. Pittsburgh – OT Chris Colmer, North Carolina St.
  31. Philadelphia – C Richie Incognito, Nebraska
  32. New England – OG Evan Mathis, Alabama


ROUND THREE

  1. San Francisco – CB Stanley Wilson, Stanford
  2. St. Louis – LB Adam Seward, UNLV
  3. Cleveland – DT C.J. Mosley, Missouri
  4. Tennessee – K Mike Nugent, Ohio St.
  5. Oakland – CB Dominique Foxworth, Maryland
  6. Miami – OT Adam Snyder, Oregon
  7. Tampa Bay – RB Ryan Moats, Louisiana Tech
  8. Detroit – FS Josh Bullocks, Nebraska
  9. Houston – WR Mark Bradley, Oklahoma
  10. NY Giants – OG Logan Mankins, Fresno St.
  11. Arizona – DT Atiyyah Ellison, Wisconsin
  12. Denver – QB Andrew Walter, Arizona St.
  13. Philadelphia – QB Adrian McPherson, Florida St.
  14. Houston – RB Marion Barber III, Minnesota
  15. Carolina – WR Chris Henry, West Virginia
  16. Minnesota – OG Chris Kemoeatu, Utah
  17. St. Louis – DE Jovan Haye, Vanderbilt
  18. New Orleans – LB Lance Mitchell, Oklahoma
  19. Cincinnati – DE Bill Swancutt, Oregon St.
  20. Baltimore – C Chris Spencer, Ole Miss
  21. Seattle – DE Eric Moore, Florida St.
  22. Buffalo – DT Lorenzo Alexander, Cal
  23. Jacksonville – LB Robert McCune, Louisville
  24. NY Jets – RB Eric Shelton, Louisville
  25. Green Bay – QB David Greene, Georgia
  26. Atlanta – WR Vincent Jackson, Northern Colorado
  27. Tampa Bay – SS Donte Nicholson, Oklahoma
  28. Indianapolis – LB Alfred Fincher, UConn
  29. Pittsburgh – CB Scott Starks, Wisconsin
  30. Philadelphia – WR Craphonso Thorpe, Florida St.
  31. Arizona – OG Dan Buenning, Wisconsin
  32. Tennessee – LB Michael Boley, Southern Mississippi
  33. Denver – DT Anthony Bryant, Alabama
  34. Seattle – OT Michael Munoz, Tennessee
  35. Kansas City – WR Craig Bragg, UCLA
  36. New England – WR Courtney Roby, Indiana
  37.  Denver – RB Vernand Morency, Oklahoma St.


BROWNS REMAINING SELECTIONS

Round 4, pick #103:  OG Claude Terrell, New Mexico

Round 5, pick #139:  OT Ray Willis, Florida St.

Round 6, pick #176:  WR J.R. Russell, Louisville

Round 7, pick #217:  CB Nick Collins, Bethune-Cookman


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