Mock Draft - 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, but seemed to have narrowed their selection down to four players, QB's Aaron Rodgers and Alex Smith, WR Braylon Edwards, and CB Antrel Rolle. Rodgers can spread the ball all over the field and would be an upgrade over anyone currently on the Niners roster and with rumors of San Francisco shopping Tim Rattay, you'd have to think they are leaning toward drafting a quarterback.
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 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 which Saban has made obvious that Miami is more than willing to slide down and pick up extra picks.
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 compliment Kellen Winslow Jr. on the inside. The Browns will also look hard at QB and CB, but I don't believe either of the top corners warrants this high of a pick, plus I don't think Romeo wants to invest his future in a rookie quarterback. I believe that Edwards could be a player that teams may be interested in moving up for, even up to the number one or two pick.
4) Chicago- RB Cedric Benson, 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 Muhammad the focus with this pick maybe to build with the best player possible. Not sure Thomas Jones is a franchise back. Benson might be, but at the very least would give Chicago a great 1-2 punch in the backfield.
5) Tampa Bay- WR Mike Williams, USC
The Bucs have issues on both sides of the ball, but the defense is still sturdy enough, that you would have to believe they'd go offense with this pick. Tampa fans would love to replace Michael Pittman, but with the depth of backs in the draft and a chance to snag a top-flight wide receiver who impressed Bucs officials lately, Williams may be the choice.
6) Tennessee- QB Alex Smith, Utah
The Titans have sunk quicker than their ship namesake. The salary cap has torn this once proud team apart so they have leaks everywhere to patch. Steve McNair is coming back for at least one more season, and they have a solid backup in Billy Volek, but word is the Titans have interest in Smith. Could be a situation like the Vikings had where they took Culpepper despite having Brad Johnson and Randall Cunningham already in place.
7) Minnesota (from Oak)- WR Troy Williamson, South Carolina
The Vikings by trading Moss obviously now lack a number one on the outside, and Travis Taylor is not that. Mike Williams name is mentioned a lot, but I don't think he'll be available. Williamson might be a better fit for the Vikes offense with his blazing speed anyway.
8) Arizona- CB Antrel Rolle, Miami (FL)
Quarterback may have been an option before the Kurt Warner signing but it would appear that Dennis Green wants to try to win now and groom Josh McCown some more from the bench. With a trade for Bills RB Travis Henry again looking very possible the Cards need help at corner. Exit one Cane corner (Starks), enter another.
9) Washington- CB Adam Jones, West Virginia
The Redskins offense was one of the worst in football last season, combine that with the fact it doesn't look like Rod Gardner will be back, WR becomes an obvious need. But with the top 2 guys off the board, and Fred Smoot leaving via free agency, acquiring a corner to sit opposite of the rejuvenated Shawn Springs may even be more important.
10) Detroit- DT Travis Johnson, FSU
The Lions have a lot of questions to be answered by the players on their current roster, but one glaring need is depth at defensive tackle. Detroit currently only has 3 on the roster and filling that hole is traditionally tough. Detroit will also look at offensive line, defensive end, and linebacker.
11) Dallas- LB Derrick Johnson, Texas
The Cowboys have two first round picks to play with this year. Dallas made an underrated signing when they inked CB Anthony Henry, but they still will look hard at corners. Dexter Coakley signed with the Rams so if somehow Johnson were to fall this far, no way the Cowboys could ignore the guy who starred just down the road in Austin.
12) San Diego (from NYG)- LB Shawne Merriman, Maryland
San Diego came a long way in a year, and are rewarded with two 1st round picks for their efforts. Merriman is the perfect player for the Chargers attacking 3-4 defense. San Diego will also look at receivers, defensive line, and their secondary. And don't forget the Philip Rivers name may also be a bargaining piece on draft day.
13) Houston- OT Alex Barron, FSU
Inconsistent is a good word to describe the Texans. Offensively, David Carr again was a piñata last season, and the running game really had trouble getting kick started some weeks so help along the line and wide receiver are needed. Defensively help at linebacker and safety is needed. Barron is the top prospect on the line this year.
14) Carolina- S Thomas Davis, Georgia B 15) Kansas City- DE Erasmus James, Wisconsin 16) New Orleans- RB Carnell Williams, Auburn 17) Cincinnati- LB Channing Crowder, Florida 18) Minnesota- DE Marcus Spears, LSU 19) St. Louis- CB Carlos Rogers, Auburn 20) Dallas (from Buffalo)- WR Mark Clayton, Oklahoma 21) Jacksonville- OT Jamaal Brown, Oklahoma 22) Baltimore- LB DeMarcus Ware, Troy State 23) Seattle- CB Marlin Jackson, Michigan
The Seahawks have answered a lot of questions this offseason on what their future looks like on offense. But I do know the defense; especially the LB's were riddled with injuries last year so that's one thing Seattle will look hard at. The loss of Ken Lucas at corner hurts and could force the Hawks hand.
24) Green Bay- S Brodney Pool, Oklahoma 25) Denver- DE/LB David Pollack, Georgia 26) New York Jets- TE Heath Miller, Virginia 27) Atlanta- DL Shaun Cody, USC 28) San Diego- WR Roddy White, UAB 29) Indianapolis- LB Kevin Burnett, Tennessee 30) Pittsburgh- DE Dan Cody, Oklahoma 31) Philadelphia- OT Khalif Barnes, Washington 32) New England- WR Reggie Brown, Georgia ROUND TWO
The Chiefs have made nice additions so far this offseason picking up Kendrell Bell and Sammy Knight with his ex-Dolphins teammate Patrick Surtain perhaps on his way as well before the draft. That leaves KC's biggest need getting a pass-rushing end. James value is down after poor workouts, but he is the best and most complete end in the draft.
The Saints did this a few years ago taking a sliding Deuce McAllister despite having Ricky Williams in tow. New Orleans was forced to pick up Ki-Jana Carter last year who shared time with Aaron Stecker when McAllister was injured. Adding Williams could allow them to do some creative things on offense with both backs in the backfield, and he would be the best player available at this point, which is never a bad idea.
Marvin Lewis made it public that the Bengals must get better on the defensive side of the ball. Crowder has a lot of talent and someone like Lewis can bring the best out in. Cincinnati will also look at defensive tackles and secondary players.
The Vikings could look at wide receiver with this pick if they don't draft one with their first pick. The Vikes have done a great job of improving their defense, but still have a hole at defensive end. Spears is a Kevin Williams-like player who go inside and out, but if they opt with a more pure pass rusher, Roth out of Iowa may be the pick.
The Rams defense was exposed for how awful they could be on occasion in their playoff loss at Atlanta. St. Louis received good news about Leonard Little, but will still look at ending an end at some point in the draft. St. Louis may also look for help in the secondary, and along their offensive line, especially at right tackle.
With the trade of Antonio Bryant for the most part unproductive Quincy Morgan, plus the injury to Terry Glenn, adding a playmaker on the offensive side of the ball would be a great move for the Cowboys. Clayton would be a perfect compliment to Keyshaun Johnson and Jason Witten for the Boys.
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 offenses 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 defensive end where they were depleted last year, but the acquisition of Reggie Hayward may have minimized its importance.
The Ravens, much like the Jags, struggled on offense at times, but the addition of Derrick Mason is a huge upgrade will make them more patient with young guys 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. The linebacking core has taken a hit this offseason, and Ware could be an interesting fit for the Ravens.
Darren Sharper's release makes acquiring a safety important. The Pack also could use help at linebacker and along the offensive line where they could use an injection of youth. Pool is a talented player who could become an instant starter.
Denver has addressed their defensive line, I guess, by bringing in the entire Browns line so 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. But with the team looking to play a 3-4 defense next season, they need bodies at linebacker possibly more.
Clearly the Jets top needs are at DE, CB, and TE. 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 which is why Miller's value is too much to pass up on.
The Falcons defense was light years better last season than the year before, which some credit must go the offense and the rushing attack just allowing the defense time to breathe and putting them ahead on the scoreboard instead of always behind. Ed Jasper retiring leaves a hole at DT, which could be the way Atlanta leans with their 1st round pick. A threat on the outside is needed, but another year for Michael Jenkins to develop could be the answer to that question.
The Chargers with their second pick of the first round may look to add some pass rush if they are able to get a receiver with their first pick. Or in this case they could go the other way, adding a sleeper like White who has size and the speed to stretch the field for Drew Brees and company.
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 is each of the last two seasons.
The Steelers could use a big receiver even though the Cedric Wilson signing is underrated, but that leaves Big Ben throwing to t a bunch of smurfs. Cody is too good of a player to pass up on though as he is a perfect fit a DE in a 3-4 scheme.
The Eagles continue to search for a pass rush from the DE spot. More depth at LB and along the offensive line will also be looked at. Barnes was the best linemen at the Senior Bowl would be a nice pickup for the Eagles.
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. The linebackers aren't getting any younger either, and with Ted Bruschi's status in limbo that may influence this pick. But Brown is the ideal Patriot receiver, small and quick, a solid route runner that catches everything.
33) San Francisco- DE Justin Tuck, Notre Dame
34) Cleveland- LB Odell Thurman, Georgia
35) Philadelphia- DE Matt Roth, Iowa
36) Tampa Bay- RB Ciatrick Fason, Florida
37) Tennessee- CB Justin Miller, Clemson
38) Oakland- CB Fabian Washington, Nebraska
39) Chicago- LB Daryl Blackstock, Virginia
40) New Orleans- DB Brandon Browner, Oregon St.
41) Detroit- WR/HB/QB Matt Jones, Arkansas
42) Dallas- S Ernest Shazor, Michigan
43) NY Giants- DT Anttaj Hawthorne, Wisconsin
44) Arizona- DT Mike Patterson, USC
45) Carolina- TE Alex Smith, Stanford
46) Kansas City- DT C.J. Moseley, Missouri
47) Houston- WR Vincent Jackson, Northern Colorado
48) Cincinnati- DT Luis Castillo, Northwestern
49) Minnesota- S Josh Bullocks, Nebraska
50) St. Louis- OT Adam Terry, Syracuse
51) Green Bay- LB Kirk Morrison, San Diego St.
52) Jacksonville- CB Cory Webster, LSU
53) Baltimore- OL Logan Mankins, Fresno St.
54) Seattle- QB Jason Campbell, Auburn
55) Buffalo- RB Darren Sproles, Kansas St.
56) Denver- OG/C David Baas, Michigan
57) NY Jets- CB Darrent Williams, Oklahoma St.
58) Green Bay- QB Charlie Frye, Akron
59) Atlanta- OT Wesley Britt, Alabama
60) Indianapolis- DT Jonathan Babineaux, Iowa
61) San Diego- RB J.J. Arrington, Cal
62) Pittsburgh- WR Chris Henry, West Virginia
63) Philadelphia- LB Barrett Ruud, Nebraska
64) New England- CB Bryant McFadden, FSU
15) Kansas City- DE Erasmus James, Wisconsin
16) New Orleans- RB Carnell Williams, Auburn
17) Cincinnati- LB Channing Crowder, Florida
18) Minnesota- DE Marcus Spears, LSU
19) St. Louis- CB Carlos Rogers, Auburn
20) Dallas (from Buffalo)- WR Mark Clayton, Oklahoma
21) Jacksonville- OT Jamaal Brown, Oklahoma
22) Baltimore- LB DeMarcus Ware, Troy State
23) Seattle- CB Marlin Jackson, Michigan The Seahawks have answered a lot of questions this offseason on what their future looks like on offense. But I do know the defense; especially the LB's were riddled with injuries last year so that's one thing Seattle will look hard at. The loss of Ken Lucas at corner hurts and could force the Hawks hand.
24) Green Bay- S Brodney Pool, Oklahoma
25) Denver- DE/LB David Pollack, Georgia
26) New York Jets- TE Heath Miller, Virginia
27) Atlanta- DL Shaun Cody, USC
28) San Diego- WR Roddy White, UAB
29) Indianapolis- LB Kevin Burnett, Tennessee
30) Pittsburgh- DE Dan Cody, Oklahoma
31) Philadelphia- OT Khalif Barnes, Washington
32) New England- WR Reggie Brown, Georgia