NFL Mock Draft Version 2.0 - the top 66
1. San Diego Chargers- Robert Gallery- OT- Iowa- The safest pick in the draft steps into an area of needs for the Chargers and is the gift LaDainian Tomlinson so truly deserves.
2. Oakland Raiders- Larry Fitzgerald- WR- Pitt- Never known for his patience, Al Davis goes for the draft's biggest impact player to re-energize his offense rather than taking a year to groom a passer.
3. Arizona Cardinals- Eli Manning- QB- Ole Miss- The explosive duo he and Anquan Boldin would create would finally give Cardinals fans a reason to be excited about their team again.
4. New York Giants- Ben Roethlisberger- QB- Miami-Ohio- With the perennially inconsistent Kerry Collins in the final year of his contract, the Giants will have him groom his successor, and the man that will lead the Giants back atop their division, before showing him out the door.
5. Washington Redskins- Sean Taylor- S- Miami- With their priorities now shifted towards defense, and their secondary already taking a big blow this off-season, this pick seems like a no-brainer.
6. Detroit Lions- Mike Williams- WR- USC- His combination of size and strength combined with Charles Rogers speed and athleticism would give Detroit the leagues‚ most feared downfield passing game.
7. Cleveland Browns- Kellen Winslow- TE- Miami- Winslow will be a huge help for whoever ends up playing quarterback for the Browns, and will be an impact player in the mold of Jeremy Shockey.
8. Atlanta Falcons- Roy Williams- WR- Texas- With the Falcons priority being maximizing the playmaking abilities of Michael Vick, the thought of lining Williams up next to Peerless Price must have them salivating over the potential explosiveness of their passing game.
9. Jacksonville Jaguars- Chris Gamble- CB- Ohio State- Gamble has the size and speed Jack Del Rio felts the Jaguars were lacking last season, and should develop into a true shut down corner.
10. Houston Texans- Kenechi Udeze- DE- USC- Udeze has the size to hold up as an end on the Texans three man front, and will add the heat off the edge needed to help improve the Texans terrible pass defense of a year ago.
11. Pittsburgh Steelers- Phillip Rivers- QB- NC State- The magnificent off-season Rivers had changes this pick from a reach to a steal, as the Steelers prepare to replace journeyman quarterback Tommy Maddox.
12. New York Jets- DJ Williams- OLB- Miami- Herm Edwards feels he can coach technique, so he goes for a somewhat raw talent like Williams who has phenomenal computer numbers.
13. Buffalo Bills- WR- Reggie Williams- Washington- Williams has the speed to take the pressure off of Eric Moulds on the underneath routes, and the size to be a factor in the red zone early on.
14. Chicago Bears- Steven Jackson- RB- Oregon State- New coach Lovie Smith knows the heart of an offense is its running game, so he snags a runner like Jackson, whose powerful style and soft hands make him a great fit in the new Bears offense.
15. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Shawn Andrews- OT- Arkansas- Fed up with the inconsistent play of Kenyatta Walker and the lack of physical play by his offensive line, coach Gruden will kill both birds with this one stone, this very big stone.
16. San Francisco 49ers- Tommie Harris- DT- Oklahoma- The 49ers defense did not make enough game altering plays last year, so they start their rebuilding process by adding a playmaker in the trenches.
17. Cincinatti Bengals- DeAngelo Hall- CB- Virginia Tech- Hall‚s speed and athleticism will allow him to be the ball hawk the Bengal‚s secondary has long been missing.
18. New Orleans Saints- Dunta Robinson- CB- South Carolina- The Saints need speed in their defensive back seven, and they need a pure cover man, and despite his lack of size Robinson is a player that provides both.
19. Minnesota Vikings- Will Smith- DE- Ohio State- With their young secondary beginning to emerge last season, the Vikings lend them a hand by drafting Smith, who along with Kevin Williams and Chris Hovan will make dropping back to pass against the Vikings a very undesirable idea.
20. Miami Dolphins- Michael Clayton- WR- LSU- Clayton falls here because of his poor forty time, but playing opposite Chris Chambers he should have ample opportunity to show off his dynamic run after the catch abilities while working the underneath routes.
21. New England Patriots- Kevin Jones- RB- Virginia Tech- The Patriots land their starting running back here, as Jones will add a homerun threat to a previously stale running game.
22. Dallas Cowboys- Vince Wilfork- DT- Miami- Bill Parcells prefers beefy lineman, and he would love to help free up La‚Roi Glover to help improve the Cowboys‚ poor pass rush, so he jumps all over the ultra strong and surprisingly quick Wilfork.
23. Seattle Seahawks- Jonathan Vilma- MLB- Miami- After spending years wasting draft picks on defensive lineman who never met their potential, the Seahawks go another way in addressing their run defense woes by adding Vilma, a tackling machine who is always around the ball.
24. Denver Broncos- Randy Starks= DT- Maryland- After Daryl Gardner flopped much to the surprise of no one, the Broncos bring in a player to replace him who has good size and the ability to penetrate.
25. Green Bay Packers- Antwan Odom- DE- Alabama- Odom is a solid pass rusher and has the size to hold up against the run as well, and fills and area of great need for the Packers after Joe Johnson‚s career in green and gold ended before it ever really began.
26. Saint Louis Rams- Ben Troupe- TE- Florida- Frustrated by Marc Bulger‚s propensity for untimely turnover, Coach Martz gets him a safety valve in the sure handed and dependable Troupe.
27. Tennessee Titans- Darnell Dockett- DT- Florida State- With their defensive line set to be pillaged and plundered via free agency, the Titans take a risk on the inconsistent but supremely talented Dockett, who can be a terror inside when he is on his game.
28. Philadelphia Eagles- Chris Perry- RB- Michigan- The Eagles need a running back who can carry the load during a game, and wear down defenses as the game goes along, and Perry should be able to do that for them for years to come.
29. Indianapolis Colts- Will Poole- CB- USC- Tony Dungy‚s secondary has been sound, but lacks a dynamic player like Poole, who brings speed and big play ability to the field every time he steps on it.
30. Kansas City Chiefs- David Pollack- DE- Georgia- The Chiefs can no generate an outside pass rush for the life of them, so the give it another go, and take their chances on the hustle and work ethic of the young pass rusher Pollack.
31. Carolina Panthers- Derrick Strait- CB- Oklahoma- The Panthers awesome pass rush will hide his lack of pure speed, and the ball skills and physicality are exactly what Coach Fox is looking for.
32. New England Patriots- Vernon Carey- OT- Miami- The Patriots made their Super Bowl run with a line full of back-ups and fill-ins, and so they add the versatile Carey to add depth across the entire line, and a player capable of staring and playing well.
1. Arizona Cardinals- Ricardo Colclough- CB- Tusculum- His speed and raw talent appeal to Coach Green as he seeks to add dynamic talent to a very slow and stale defense.
2. New York Giants- Nat Dorsey- OT- Georgia Tech- With the Giants line arguable the least talented in the league, Coach Couglin adds a pure talent in what would be the definition of a need pick.
3. San Diego Chargers- Karlos Dansby- OLB- Auburn- With the Chargers expected to deploy the 3-4 defense this season, the team looks here to add speed and talent as they fill out their new defensive line-up.
4. Detroit Lions- Bob Sanders- FS- Iowa- With their secondary torched often last year, and with many solid cornerbacks available in free agency, the Lions add a safety with ball skills to help solidify their secondary.
5. Cleveland Browns- Chris Snee- G- Boston College- The Browns have been getting by with journeymen and un-drafted players on their offensive line, and it has not been working for them, so they look here to add the best guard in this year's draft.
6. Atlanta Falcons- Jake Grove- C- Virginia Tech- The Falcons continue to build their team around Vick, as here they improve what has proven to be a very suspect interior line.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars- Rashaun Woods- WR- Oklahoma State- He has better size than Kevin Johnson, better speed than Jimmy Smith, and more raw talent than Del Rio can pass on at this point.
8. Houston Texans- Nathan Vasher- CB- Texas- The Texans look to the experience Vasher to help improve a secondary that last season was ravaged by injuries and age.
9. Denver Broncos- JP Losman- QB- Tulane- Jake Plummer still has a lot to prove, and the Broncos no longer have a proven number two man, so Shanahan pulls the trigger here to end Losman‚s painful slide.
10. Tennessee Titans- Lee Evans- WR- Wisconsin- Take out Justin and insert Evans. Not a bad trade. It is quick and elusive receivers like Evans that have had the most success in their current offensive scheme.
11. Buffalo Bills- Stuart Schweigert- S- Purdue- The Bills erase the one weak link from last year‚s dominant defense by plugging the hole at free safety with this always productive selection.
12. Pittsburgh Steelers- Greg Jones- RB- Florida State- With Zereoue expected to be gone and the Bus now making back-up money, the starting running back gig is there for the taking, and Jones has the power and determination to surprise some people.
13. Oakland Raiders- Teddy Lehman- OLB- Oklahoma- Lehman is the type of instinctive and passionate football player Al Davis loves to build his team around.
14. San Francisco 49ers- Michael Jenkins- WR- Ohio State- Jenkins has experience as a go to receiver, and has the size to replace Terrell Owens as the 49ers premiere red zone threat.
15. Chicago Bears- Chad Lavalais- DT- LSU- Lavalais is the kind of quick one-gap tackle Lovie Smith built around while in Tampa Bay and in St. Louis as well.
16. New Orleans Saints- Daryl Smith- MLB- Geargia Tech- Smith is a hard nosed player with is instinctive and aggressive, and can hopefully inject the Saints porous run defense with the attitude it has been lacking.
17. Cincinatti Bengals- Dave Ball- DE- UCLA- Trying desperately to improve their pass defense, the Bengals compliment their pick of a cover man in the first round with the selection of the best pass rusher left on the board in the second.
18. Minnesota Vikings- Mark Clayton- WR- Oklahoma- Despite mediocre numbers last season, Clayton excelled given the number of opportunities he received, and would be given every chance to win the staring job opposite Randy Moss.
19. Baltimore Ravens- Maurice Clarett- RB- Ohio State- The Ravens make this selection because for one, Jamal Lewis may not be available next season, and two, without picking in the first round this is the only way for them to get noticed.
20. Dallas Cowboys- Michael Turner- RB- Northern Illinois- The small school runner with big time speed will be given every chance to start down in Dallas, and has the vision and ability to do a lot with that opportunity.
21. Seatle Seahawks- Marcus Tubbs- DT- Texas- The Seahawks choose this big man to free up their talented trio of linebackers, as well as to occupy the spot left by the now retired John Randle.
22. Denver Broncos- Dontarrius Thomas- OLB- Auburn- With Ian Gold expected to sign elsewhere, and John Mobley no longer a spring chicken, the Broncos add a speedy playmaker on the outside with a terrific football resume coming out of college.
23. Green Bay Packers- Ahmad Carroll- CB- Arkansas- Although Mike McKenzie and Al Harris as a solid starting duo, a good nickel back is lacing, and the Packers pass defense cost them their season last year, so this is a good pick for them.
24. New England Patriots- Michael Boulware- OLB- Florida State- The Patriots will find a way to use his unique speed and coverage ability as an outside linebacker in their 3-4 set.
25. Tennessee Titans- Nick Leckey- C- Kansas State- The center position is annually in question for the Titans during their off-season, so they add a talented and technically efficient building block to man the hub position for years to come.
26. Philadelphia Eagles- Derrick Johnson- OLB- Texas- With Carlos Emmons leaving via free agency this becomes a need pick, and Johnson is a player who should excel on special teams as well.
27. Indianapolis Colts- Richard Seigler- MLB- Oregon State- Although incumbent Rob Morris continues to improve, the Colts would like an option with more speed, range, and playmaking ability.
28. New Orleans Saints- DE- Bobby McCray- Florida- McCray would be a rotational player used to apply heat and keep Charles Grant and Darren Howard fresh, and should help improve the Saints weak pass defense.
29. Kansas City Chiefs- Ernest Wilford- WR- Virginia Tech- Made the most of his opportunities in college to display his explosiveness, will get a chance to excel in Dick Vermeil‚s wide open offense.
30. Carolina Panthers- Ben Watson- TE- Georgia- Watson has had injury problems, but has shown the ability to be not only productive but and elite talent, and would provide another solid option for Jake Delhomme.
31. New England Patriots- Jamaal Brimmer- S- UNLV- Brimmer has speed and ball skills and could play both safety positions in the Patriots scheme, so he would be used on special teams and as an insurance policy as the team refines his game.
1. Arizona Cardinals- Dwan Edwards- DT- Oregon State- The Cardinals use Edwards size to try and free up their previously unproductive outside pass rushers such as Kyle Vanden Bosh and Calvin Pace.
2. New York Giants- Rod Davis- MLB- Southern Miss- This physical run-stopper is a Tom Couglin type player and fills a void in the heart of the Giants defense; he also has the ability to start right away.
3. San Diego Chargers- Isaac Sopoaga- DT- Hawii- With the Chargers lacking depth and talent on their defensive line, they make this massive selection to improve their run defense and to provide insurance in case Jamal Williams goes back to his injury prone ways.
Michael Lombardo can be reached at BenLeber51@yahoo.com