17. Cincinnati Bengals: Travis Johnson, Defensive Tackle from Florida State University
There was much deliberation over this selection. The Bengals had a tough time deciding between Dan Cody, Travis Johnson, Shaun Cody and Anttaj Hawthorne. Of all the players the Bengals opted for the one with the greatest upside. Johnson is considered a character gamble, but Marvin Lewis has made a career of turning players with problems into defensive monsters. If anyone can get the most out of Johnson it is Lewis. Free agency will hurt the Bengals defensively this year, but if Johnson comes in shape and with the right attitude, Cincinnati shouldn't miss a beat.
18. San Diego Chargers: Shaun Cody, University of Southern California
If Spears was still at 18, the Chargers would have gone in that direction. He was not so they decided to select the next best tackle/end. All things being equal, San Diego made a very good selection in Cody who serves the same purpose that Spears would have. He might not be as strong as Spears, but is a better rusher. Cody will fill the RDE spot and give San Diego one of the best defensive fronts in football. The Chargers are very familiar with this local product, and Cody is ecstatic to stay home. The next day, Cody gets a gigantic lightning bolt tattoo below the "SC" engraving on his right arm.
TRADE: The St. Louis Rams trade their 19th overall selection to the Denver Broncos for their 25st overall selection, a fourth, and sixth round choice.
19. Denver Broncos: Anttaj Hawthorne, Defensive Lineman from University of Wisconsin
The Broncos are in dire need of more defensive help. With the emergence of Reggie Hayward, Denver has helped its defense tremendously by adding bulldozer Hawthorne to the roster. In the process the Broncos felt it necessary to jump a few other teams to get their man now that defensive tackles started falling off the board. Hawthorne is a perfect fit for Denver's interior line, and will be essential in Denver's run defense (with the inevitable departure of Trevor Pryce). Hayward will continue to roam the pocket with single coverage, and help maintain one of the best past rushes in the NFL.
20. Dallas Cowboys: Carlos Rogers, Cornerback from Auburn University
Even though Bill Parcells vowed never to take a corner with a top pick, Dallas cannot pass up an opportunity of selecting a big play-making corner like Rogers. The value with Rogers at the twentieth selection is far greater than Troy Williamson or Mike Clayton. Dallas has not only improved their linebacking unit but coverage team as well, and consequently, big expectations will be placed on the Cowboys next season. Parcells realizes he is not getting any younger, and with this draft has improved his playoff chances more than any other team in the NFL.
21. Jacksonville Jaguars: Dan Cody, Linebacker from the University of Oklahoma
The Jags did not expect Cody to fall this far, and Jacksonville was ready to select either Justin Tuck, Matt Roth, or David Pollack, but Cody was the more ideal selection due to his tenacity and how he fits their defense. He is a perfect fit for a rush end and will help maintain the Jacksonville's defensive superiority. The Jags still would like to upgrade their secondary or maybe get another play maker on offense, but Cody is by far their best bet at this juncture. The Jags will eye offense in the next round, and hope that someone like Chris Henry is still around by their next selection.
22. Baltimore Ravens: Troy Williamson, Wide Receiver from the University of S. Carolina
This isn't a sexy pick, but a must need for the Ravens. Though some consideration was given to drafting Mark Clayton, they chose Williamson because of his size and speed. The Ravens have a young QB and it is about time the organization gives him some weapons to work with. In addition to Todd Heap and Jamal Lewis, the Ravens will now have a very formidable offense. Most people tend to forget that Brian Billick was an offensive coordinator, and Williamson gives him the type of threat he had in Minnesota with Chris Carter. Williamson has a long way to go before he reaches the status of Carter, but with a field stretcher on the team Billick now has the tools to open up the offense as he did in Minnesota.
23. Seattle Seahawks: David Pollack, Defensive Lineman from the University of Georgia
The Seahawks an are enigma. They have a lot of cap room to play with, yet are full of unhappy- talented underachieves. They were able to keep their offensive unit together, and consequently, turned to the draft to upgrade their defense. Pollack has become the forgotten man, and at the beginning of the year was expected to be a top ten pick. He would make an excellent rush end for the Seahawks, and now the only question is if Mike Holmgren can get everyone to play up to their talent level. Maybe Pollack's all or nothing attitude will rub off on his new teammates.
TRADE: Green Bay trades their 24th overall selection and a conditional second round choice in the 2006 Draft for San Diego Quarterback, Drew Brees.
24. San Diego Chargers: Khalif Barnes, Offensive Tackle from the University of Washington
The Chargers are very familiar with this local high school product. Barnes probably has helped himself more than any other lineman in the draft this year with his Senior Bowl display. He is an incredibly hard worker and a gifted athlete. Some scouts believe Barnes has more upside than any other tackle in the draft. The one reservation is Barnes's lack of experience. This does not make the Chargers hesitate because they don't need him to start initially anyways. Barnes will be groomed for the left tackle position, and will have a year to learn under a great teacher in Roman Oben.
25. St. Louis Rams: Adam Terry, Offensive Tackle from Syracuse University
The Rams missed out on their top prospect (Brown) and decided to trade back to gain more picks. The Rams are getting old and the extra picks will come in handy later on. Also, they had a sneaking suspicion that Terry would be around at this juncture. The tackle position is vital with the injury to Kyle Turley and the Rams need to make some noise in the playoffs next season. Mike Martz is one of the most hated coaches in football, and if he does not prove his worth next year he will be looking for work shortly afterwards. Martz will start playing to his strengths by utilizing running back Steven Jackson, and needs the talent up front for him to run behind.
26. New York Jets: Justin Miller, Corner Back from Clemson University
The Jets have a solid team overall. There is no real great position of need, so they chose to pick the best available player. Brodney Pool is given some consideration but the organization still wants to give Jon McGraw one more year to fish or cut bait. The Jets have a very strong interior line and should have an outstanding pass rush. With a player like Miller and the emergence of Jonathan Vilma, the Jets will have one of the best defenses in football. With the dominating pass rush, and a play maker like Miller, do not be shocked to see him lead all rookies in interceptions next season.
27. Atlanta Falcons: Brodney Pool, Safety from the University of Oklahoma
The Falcons were really hoping Chris Terry or Khalif Barnes would have fallen to this spot, but since they did not the Falcons went in another direction. Chris Colmer is too risky of a proposition to take in the first round, and the Falcons can not deny the value of Pool at this selection. Pool is a big athletic safety that will bring a new dimension to their defensive backfield. He is always a threat to make a big play, and since the Falcons were so close to the Super Bowl, someone like Pool could put them over the hump. Atlanta knows that Philadelphia will be the team to beat, and with the healthy return of Terrell Owens, the Falcons must compensate.
28. San Diego Chargers: Mark Clayton, Wide Receiver from the University of Oklahoma
With their final pick in the first round, the Chargers were set to take Clayton. He is an ideal fit for their team. San Diego needs a kick returner and someone that can stretch the field. This selection offsets the loss of Tim Dwight, a fan favorite that has to be replaced. What made this a tough selection, on the other hand, was Channing Crowder presence on the board. San Diego was not expecting this, and he is without a doubt the best defensive prospect still available. But San Diego has two second round picks to look for another linebacker, and after Clayton the talent level at wide receiver takes another steep dive. The Chargers still have two second round picks to round out the rest of their team.
TRADE: The Indianapolis Colts trade the 29th overall selection to the Miami Dolphins for cornerback Patrick Surtain.
29. The Miami Dolphins: Elton Brown, Guard from the University of Virginia
The Dolphins had to trim down their salary, and opted to trade Surtain for that purpose more than any other. The Colts pulled the trigger because Surtain is still in his prime, and he is much more of a safer bet than a unproven (yet talented) corner. The Dolphins filled a big hole with this selection. Brown is the best guard on the board, and has enough athletic ability to make the switch to tackle if needed. Miami has not given up hope on Vernon Carey, and with the addition of Brown, the Dolphins should have a very solid interior running game. The Dolphins will eye center prospect Chris Spencer with their newly acquired second round choice.
30. Pittsburgh Steelers: Channing Crowder, Linebacker from the University of Florida
The Steelers are a factory for linebackers, and the trend continues this year. Crowder is the second best linebacker in the draft, and the Steelers are besides themselves over his availability. Crowder will project on the inside of Pittsburgh's 3-4 system, and should find himself starting as soon as the Steelers inevitably lose players to free agency. The Steelers want to continue to be ahead of the curve with linebackers, and cannot pass up a talent like Crowder this late in the first round. He does have some character issues, but nothing Bill Cowher can't handle. The Steelers did give some consideration to tight end prospect Heath Miller, but the urge to draft Crowder won out in the war room.
31. Philadelphia Eagles: Roddy White, Wide Receiver from the University of Ala-Birmingham
The Eagles try desperately to trade out of the first round. They have a top pick in the second and know that their targeted players will more than likely still be around. Tennessee, Miami, and Oakland were all candidates, but no one offered proper value for the selection, and Eagles figured they should not taken an unnecessary risk. White is the best wide receiver available for the moment and has very impressive physical skills. The Eagles realize they need another big play option though Terrell Owens is the go-to-guy without question. This pick might not pay off big next year, but once White develops the Eagles could have one of the best one-two punches around.
32. New England Patriots: Marcus Johnson, Guard from the University of Mississippi
Many are puzzled over this selection, but Johnson's upside will have greater value for the Patriots than someone like Marlin Jackson or Brandon Browner. Teams that have long term success (and often find themselves choosing late in the first round on a consistent basis) usually select the best available lineman, and the Patriots decide not to deviate from that particular axiom. Johnson will add solid depth to New England next season and help them maintain their power running game. The Patriots realize they will have to address their aging defense with the rest of their selections, but feel they have found a bonafide sleeper in the mammoth guard from Ole Miss.
First round 2005 NFL Mock Draft part II
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