Warpaint Illustrated: First Round Mock Draft

With free agency hitting the back burner this week, Warpaint Illustrated is looking ahead to the NFL Draft in April. With the Chiefs recent pursuits of NFL free agents hitting a brick wall. It's time to look at the NFL draft and see who the Chiefs might select with the 15th overall pick. Not many of heard of him but he's stock is rising and our Draft Guru Mike Tuck breaks down Oregon State cornerback Brandon Browner and the rest of the players who could be selected in Round One.

1. San Francisco - QB Aaron Rodgers, Cal
Tough spot for all the teams near the top of the board because there is not a clear-cut franchise player available. The 49er's have issues across the board, and would likely prefer to move down, but that seems unlikely. Rodgers can spread the ball all over the field and would be an upgrade over anyone currently on the Niners roster.

2. Miami - RB Ronnie Brown, Auburn
Nick Saban has kept his cards close to his chest so far, but unless a trade happens, it's looking less likely the Dolphins can simply sign a franchise back. Brown's stock is up and he may be the only need player Miami can draft at this spot unless they can come up with a partner to trade down with.

3. Cleveland - WR Braylon Edwards, Michigan
The Browns offense needs a huge boost, and Edwards should give them the speed and playmaking ability on the outside to complement Kellen Winslow Jr. on the inside. The Browns will also look hard at QB and CB.

4. Chicago - LB Derrick Johnson, Texas
The Bears' young defense kept them in games last season and is on the right track. Chicago needs to get more big plays from their offense, but with the signing of Muhsin Muhammad the focus with this pick may be to build with the best player possible. Enter perhaps the best player available.

5. Tampa Bay - RB Cedric Benson, Texas
Benson may slide a little because of the depth of the position in this draft, plus the surplus of solid-to-great backs available in free agency. The Bucs do have other issues, but the defense is still sturdy enough that if the offense can just run the ball better they can turn around quickly.

6. Tennessee - CB Antrel Rolle, Miami (FL)
The Titans' pass defense has been in disarray for years now, even dating back to their Super Bowl appearance. Rolle is a do-everything corner that possesses great size, strength, and instincts. Tennessee could also look to move down and address their offensive line problems in the mid-first round as well.

7. Minnesota (from Oak) - CB Adam Jones, West Virginia
The Vikings, by trading Moss, obviously now lack a number one receiver on the outside, but the offense was able to get by without Moss last year when he was hurt and if this team has any intentions of becoming a legit contender they must continue to improve the defense. The Vikes filled one of their corner holes by siging Fred Smoot in free agency but their pass defense deficiencies were the most glaring problem of all as they continue to revamp that defense in the off-season.

8. Arizona - QB Alex Smith, Utah
Dennis Green showed his displeasure with progress of Josh McCown by benching him in favor of Shaun King during the season, when McCown clearly seemed the best option. The Cardinals would also look hard at a tailback, but remember the depth at that position and the potential trade for Travis Henry.

9. Washington - WR Mike Williams, USC
The Redskins offense was one of the worst in football last season, combined with the fact it doesn't look like Rod Gardner will be back. Despite the deal sending Coles to the Jets for Santana Moss, WR is still an obvious need. He seems to be a pick that's in the 'eye of the beholder' but the Skins are hoping he's on the board with the ninth pick.

10. Detroit - DE Erasmus James, Wisconsin
The Lions need more speed on defense, especially coming off the end. Offensively, they could use another OG opposite of Damien Woody and perhaps a tight end like Heath Miller that could make them a more complete West Coast offense for Mooch.

11. Dallas - CB Carlos Rogers, Auburn
The Cowboys were plugging guys in from the street at various times last year it seemed. Rogers would give them a little stability opposite of Terrence Newman. DE and OL are also concerns.

12. San Diego (from NYG) - WR Troy Williamson, South Carolina
San Diego came a long way in a year, and are rewarded with two first-round picks for their efforts. The Chargers made a great trade for Keenan McCardell, but still lack a legit threat on the other side. Tim Dwight was released and the injured Reche Caldwell is more in the #3 WR mold.

13. Houston - OT Alex Barron, FSU
David Carr again was a piñata last season, and the running game really had trouble getting kick started some weeks. Barron should be able to jump into the lineup early for the Texans. Help at safety and WR are also needed.

14. Carolina - TE Heath Miller, Virginia
The Panthers are a very well rounded football team, especially once they get everyone off the injured list next season. Jake Delhomme's progress has been impressive, and can only get better with a true threat at tight end. Miller is the only first-round prospect at the position.

15. Kansas City- CB Brandon Browner, Oregon St.
The "Chief" concern for Kansas City is addressing a defense that continually let them down over the last two seasons. KC's biggest needs are getting a pass rushing defensive end and a corner that can cover man to man in the secondary. Browner has great size and speed to cover big wideouts like the Raiders Randy Moss.

16. New Orleans - S Thomas Davis, Georgia
The Saints struggled stopping everyone last season. Thomas Davis had no trouble stopping anyone in the Bulldogs secondary. Davis is a tackling machine, comparable to Roy Williams of the Cowboys. New Orleans also could use help at LB, but Davis may even be experimented with at LB at times.

17. Cincinnati - DT Travis Johnson, Florida St.
Marvin Lewis made it public that the Bengals must get better on the defensive side of the ball. Johnson possesses great quickness and balance, and could potentially be a top-ten pick if he has a good showing during his workouts.

18. Minnesota - DE Marcus Spears, LSU
The Vikings could look at WR with their second pick and would love to land a defensive tackle to replace Chris Hovan who fell out of favor, but would have to move up to get Travis Johnson or reach to draft the next best tackle on the board. Spears is a big end who could provide them with versatility along their front four.

19. St. Louis - DE Dan Cody, Oklahoma
The Rams defense was exposed for how awful they could be on occasion in their playoff loss at Atlanta. St. Louis may be without Leonard Little this upcoming season depending on his legal status, plus the Rams were really hindered with the loss of Grant Wistrom. St. Louis may also look for help in the secondary and along their offensive line.

20. Dallas (from Buffalo) - DE Matt Roth, Iowa
Marcellus Wiley was an absolute bust in free agency so Dallas needs to go back to the drawing board to address their lack of a pass rush. Roth had an outstanding week at the Senior Bowl where he showed great skill in getting to the quarterback.

21. Jacksonville - RB Carnell Williams, Auburn
The Jaguars are a nice work in progress. The team will be counting on WR Reggie Williams to really step up and become a threat opposite of Jimmy Smith, but also a reason for the offense's struggles was Byron Leftwich getting hit far too often, so help on along the offensive line is needed too. The Jags also desperately need help at DE. But from what I am hearing, landing another tailback seems to be a high priority and if Cadillac slips, which he might because supply is plentiful but demand isn't, the Jags may bite.

22. Baltimore - OG Elton Brown, Virginia
The Ravens, much like the Jags, struggled on offense at times, but will probably try to ride it out with young receivers like Devard Darling and Clarence Moore. The offensive line could use a little tweaking on the inside, and DT could be another area for the Ravens to address.

23. Seattle - LB Channing Crowder, Florida
The Seahawks have answered a lot of questions this offseason on what their future might look like on offense. But I do know the defense, especially the LB's, were riddled with injuries last year, so Crowder would be a big help.

24. Green Bay - LB Kevin Burnett, Tennessee
The Packers need to get faster in their front seven, and Burnett should do the trick. The Vols LB did get injured last season, but should be fine to go at the start of training camp. Offensively everything looks good for the Pack, unless #4 retires.

25. Denver - WR Mark Clayton, Oklahoma
The Broncos need a lot of help at end as their highly ranked defense early in the season faded late because they couldn't sustain pressure on the QB and Reggie Hayward looks to by on his way out the door. The Broncos also may look at WR again, as Rod Smith isn't getting any younger and Darius Watts was very up and down as a rookie. Clayton is very consistent.

26. New York Jets - CB Marlin Jackson, Michigan
Clearly the Jets' top needs are at DE and CB, but if John Abrahams is brought back, end takes a backseat. The Jets struggled moving the ball and putting points on the board toward the end of the season, so adding a playmaker on that side of the ball, whatever the position, could also be another direction they could head in.

27. Atlanta - DT Anttaj Hawthorne, Wisconsin
The Falcons defense was light years better last season than the year before, which some credit must go the offense allowing the defense time to breathe and putting them ahead on the scoreboard instead of behind. Ed Jasper retiring leaves a hole at DT, which could be the way Atlanta leans with their pick. A threat on the outside is needed, but another year for Michael Jenkins to develop could be the answer to that question.

28. San Diego - LB Shawne Merriman, Maryland
With their second pick of the first round, the Chargers may look to add some pass rush. Merriman has the size and tenacity to be effective as a 3-4 outside backer, plus adding a pass rush the Chargers are seeking.

29. Indianapolis - LB Daryl Blackstock, Virginia
The Colts, much like the Chiefs, will be looking defense to help out their explosive offense. The Colts need help on the interior of their defensive line and at outside linebacker where they've lost great players Mike Peterson and Marcus Washington in each of the last two seasons. Blackstock would be able to step right in and start for Indy.

30. Pittsburgh - WR Roddy White, UAB Plaxico said himself "probably so" when asked if he had played his last game with the Steelers. Randle El is solid, but is still much more effective as a #3 WR. White has the size and speed to be a nice weapon for Big Ben and the Steelers.

31. Philadelphia- DE Justin Tuck, Notre Dame
The Eagles continue to search for a pass rush from the DE spot. Tuck is non-stop, hard working, and was extremely successful in college despite constant double-teams while playing for the Irish. More depth at LB and along the offensive line will also be looked at by Philly.

32. New England - OT Jamaal Brown, Oklahoma
What do you get the team that has everything? There is no obvious choice for the Patriots here. New England could use help in the secondary and at wide receiver, with Givens and Patten both free agents. But the Patriots are in a position where they can just take the best player available, which is Brown in this case.


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