First Round 2005 NFL Mock Draft Part I

With NFL Draft just two months away, has compiled its first mock draft of the season. This Draft includes trades, player and team evaluations, and a few other surprises. How did the San Diego Chargers do? Did they address their team needs? Randy Moss was traded by how about Drew Brees? Which teams tried to climb up the draft board and who tried to trade out of the first round? All these questions are answered and more.

One note, because of the extensive work involved and to ensure you read all of it, this mock draft will be delivered in two parts and this is just the teaser as more mocks will follow, including round two after the Combines.

1. San Francisco 49ers: Aaron Rodgers, Quarterback from the University of Cal

Though Alex Smith might have more upside, Rogers is a hometown product. Quarterback is obviously a position of need, and the organization is hoping to re-energize its fans next season. Rogers' progression will be closely followed and might even be dubbed a savior at some point in time. San Francisco is in badly need a fresh start and Rogers helps provide that.

TRADE: The Miami Dolphins trade the #2 overall selection to Arizona for their #8 and #44 overall selection.

2. Arizona Cardinals: Alex Smith, Quarterback from the University of Utah

Some might ask why Arizona would trade their top two picks for a QB, while it would only take their first pick to gain Drew Brees. Dennis Green has a wide open offense, and he needs a quarterback with the arm strength to throw the ball down field often. Brees is excellent at running an offense, but Smith has the physical attribute needed to excel in Green's system. Not many rookies get to walk into an ideal situation that Smith is going to. Arizona needed a QB, and had to get ahead of the Browns to select one.

3. Cleveland Browns: Antrel Rolle, Cornerback from the University of Miami

With the move by Arizona, Browns have no other choice but to select a corner. Romeo Crennel is probably happy to be taken off the hook by not selecting Smith. He built the Patriot's defense by starting with the cover-corners. Rolle is by far the superior corner prospect, and one could argue that he is the best corner prospect in quite some time. With the new rules in the NFL, various cornerbacks could see their stock slide. Rolle, though, is just too good to pass up. The Browns gave some thought to selecting Cedric Benson, but in terms of talent, Rolle is probably the best prospect in the draft.

4. Chicago Bears: Braylon Edwards, Wide Receiver from the University of Michigan

Despite the addition of Mushin Muhammad, it has been proven that two wide receivers are needed to be effective in the league. The Bears need another offensive playmaker, and Edwards is probably the safest pick with this selection. The more juicer pick would be Mike Williams, but the Bears organization are not in the position to take risks of that magnitude for the moment. Edwards has all the attributes to be great number one receiver, and will provide Rex Grossman with a key target for years to come. Edwards, however, must play with a chip on his shoulder, and prove to the fan base he is not another David Terrell – the receiver the Bears released just this week.

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Cadillac Williams, Running back from Auburn University

John Gruden and company did not expect Benson to still be on the board at this stage of the game. Regardless, the Tampa Bay organization fell in love with Williams at the Senior Bowl and have coveted him ever since. Williams is a threat to score at any given time. He can return kicks and also catch the ball out of the backfield. He is exactly the type of play maker that Tampa Bay has been lacking for quite some time. Williams is not a 30 carries a game type of a back, but if that is what Tampa had wanted they would have chosen Benson.

6. Tennessee Titans: Mike Williams, Wide Receiver University of Southern California

With the addition of Norm Chow as offensive coordinator, the Titans are trying to rebuild their offense inside out. The Titans are full of holes, but need someone to draw instant excitement to the organization. Williams would provide this instant spark, and the newspapers articles about the Chow/Williams re-union will soon be ubiquitous. Considering all the problems Tennessee is going through any selection could have been a good move. The Titans more than likely will be in the same position next year and are looking to select players with the biggest upside.

TRADE: The Vikings trade Wide Reciever Randy Moss to Oakland for Linebacker Napoleon Harris and the 7th overall selection.

7. Minnesota Vikings: Cedric Benson, Running back from the University of Texas

With the loss of Randy Moss, the Vikings need another play maker on offense. Moss was their go-to-guy, and because of his ability never had to rely on a running game. Michael Bennett does not strike fear into the hearts of defenses, and the Vikings running game is in dire need of an upgrade. In the trade the Vikings were able to add support to their defense, and plan to do so with their next selection. Minnesota has shored up its linebacking core with this trade and prior drafts. The Vikings now have a hole in their receiving core and a need at safety, which will be addressed later on.

8. Miami Dolphins: Ronnie Brown, Runningback from Auburn University

Brown might not be the finished product, but he has a lot of upside. Brown will improve Miami's running attack and has the type of ability to make the memory of Ricky Williams a distant one. The Dolphins looked around to trade back again, but no worthwhile offers were made, and the running back talent drops considerably after Brown. Miami still must address its offensive line and aging defense. The Dolphins have dug themselves in such a deep hole the past few years it will take multiple drafts for Saban to pull them out. Choosing Brown, though, is an important first step.

9. Washington Redskins: Pac Man Jones, Cornerback from the University of West Virginia

The Redskins was hoping for Mike Williams at this point, but instead had to opt for the best corner on their board. With Fred Smoot testing the market, and the loss of Champ Bailey the Redskins need a great corner to maintain their defense. If the Skins make a run at the playoffs it will be because of their defense. They still have problems to address on offense, but Jones is the best chance they have next year. Players like Troy Williamson and Mark Clayton are a little bit of a reach at this selection, and the offensive tackle talent in this draft is too raw to make an immediate impact.

10. Detroit Lions: Erasmus James, Defensive End from the University of Wisconsin

The Lion's administration is thinking "no more excuses". Detroit has spent the last three drafts filling their club with high impact offensive stars for young quarterback Joey Harrington. It is now time for Detroit to look at the other side of the ball to upgrade. James is the best defensive lineman in the draft and will help improve the Lions pass rush. Detroit lacks play makers on defense, and hopes they have solved some of their problems with this selection. The Lions are still a young team, but they have the talent to take the next step.

11. Dallas Cowboys: Derrick Johnson, linebacker from the University of Texas

The Cowboys were set to take James but got trumped by Detroit. Regardless, Dallas is very happy in selecting the hometown favorite. Johnson is clearly the best linebacker in the draft and will give much needed help to an aging linebacking unit. Going into the off season the Cowboys were two players away from making a play off push next season, and with the addition of Drew Bledsoe and Johnson, they can draft the best available player with their next pick. Dallas is expecting an immediate impact from Johnson and are now legitimate playoff contenders.

TRADE: San Diego Chargers trade their #12 overall and their fifth round pick to Minnesota for their #18 and #49 overall picks.

12. Minnesota Vikings: Thomas Davis, Safety from the University of Georgia

Minnesota is looking for a big play maker to impact their defense, and since there are multiple teams ahead of them that could use a Davis, the Vikings traded up for their man. The Chargers were more than willing to trade back with both Mike Williams and Braylon Edwards already taken. Mike Tice will be on the hot seat next season, and with the successfully unloading of Randy Moss, the pressure cooker will be that much more intense. Davis arguably has the most upside of any defensive player in the draft. The Vikings initially did not expect to be in striking distance of Davis, but once they were they pulled the trigger.

13. Houston Texans: Alex Barron, Tackle from the University of Florida State

The Texans have been patient the entire draft, and still walk away with the best tackle prospect. They have waited far too long to address David Carr's blind side. Now with Barron and Todd Wade up front, the Texans will be able to establish a better running game, and give Carr more time to find his receivers down field. Dom Capers will be on the hot seat this season, and has to find away to push his team into post season. Houston's biggest need has finally been addressed, and Carr should be able to establish himself as one of the best QB's in football. Now if Houston can stay healthy, they will have all the offensive ingredients to take the next step.

14. Carolina Panthers: Jammal Brown, Offensive Tackle from the University of Oklahoma

Brown can come in and play multiple positions for the Panthers. Many scouts think Brown has the ability to make the switch to left tackle, but with that position already filled by Jordan Gross, Carolina has the luxury of funneling him into the position he played in college. The Panthers have some issues at running back they still need to address, but since the big three are long gone choosing an offensive lineman was a no-brainer. Brown is the most seasoned offensive lineman in the draft, and is a very solid choice in what turned out to be weak class.

15. Kansas City Chiefs: Shawne Merriman, Linebacker from the University of Maryland.

Though Merriman might not fit their scheme perfectly, he is the best defensive prospect still on the board. The Chiefs do have the luxury of using him as a rush end or an outside linebacker. Some consideration was given into taking Marcus Spears, but the Chiefs have spent too much money up front and need to spread it around a little. They haven't yet given up hope on their young tackles and hope that Merriman can make an impact as a blitzing linebacker. If the defense continues to struggle he might be given a look as a rush end. But just having him on the field will improve their defense.

16. New Orleans Saints: Marcus Spears, Defensive lineman from Louisiana State University

The Saints need a lot of help on defense, and with local product still being available they jump at the opportunity to select him. The big question is whether Spears will play end or tackle. The Saints are not too concerned and imagine him as the next Trevor Pryce. The Saints still need to address their defensive backfield and hope to do so in the free agency. Dennis Haslett has one more season to prove his worth and knows unless their defensive play improves he is toast. Maybe with the addition of Spears, the Saints can get more production from Jonathan Sullivan.

The second half of round one tomorrow on

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