First Round Mock Draft

Ten weeks from today is the NFL Draft. Between now and then a lot will happen, but for now, it's time to start looking at where the picks may land and who will wind up filling what need in the first round.

1) Oakland- WR Calvin Johnson, Georgia Tech
JaMarcus Russell is the easy answer, but if the Raiders want the best player, the choice is clear to me. Johnson is a faster version of Larry Fitzgerald.

2) Detroit-
OT Joe Thomas, Wisconsin
The Lions have been burnt by receivers and quarterbacks. Thomas is a safe and smart pick for Matt Millen.

3) *Cleveland-
QB JaMarcus Russell, LSU
The Browns need more on offense, and they may as well start at the top with the guy calling the signals.

3) *Tampa Bay-
QB Brady Quinn, Notre Dame
Gruden has never been a Simms fan, and would have taken Alex Smith two years ago if the Niners didn't. Youth in the front seven is also needed.

5) Arizona-
DE Jamal Anderson, Arkansas
Cards need help all over on defense, and Anderson may make as big an impact as any player out of this draft his rookie year.

6) Washington-
DE Gaines Adams, Clemson
Adams had 13.5 sacks last season in Death Valley. The Redskins had 19...as a team!

7) Minnesota-
WR Dwayne Jarrett, USC
The jury is still out on Troy Williamson, but it doesn't look good. And neither did the Vikings offense last year. Enter Dwayne Jarrett.

8) Houston-
RB Adrian Peterson, Oklahoma
Almost too easy a pick to make to be honest. Texans could look defense again if not A.P.

9) Miami-
CB Daymeion Hughes, Cal
Miami's secondary was a mess last year. Hughes led nation with eight interceptions, and that's with teams throwing away from him for the most part.

10) Atlanta-
DT Alan Branch, Michigan
Falcons were torched with injuries last year in their front seven.

11) San Francisco-
LB Lawrence Timmons, FSU
Timmons could be the high riser in the coming months. I am just ahead of the curve as Mike Nolan continues to build 49er's defense.

12) Buffalo-
OT Levi Brown, Penn St.
Weakest part of the roster for the Bills is their offensive line, and the draft will be most certainly part of their upgrade strategy.

13) St. Louis-
CB Leon Hall, Michigan
The Rams secondary still needs a lot of work. In fact, the whole defense does. It needs to get younger and faster as the Cards and Niners are in their rear view and closing.

14) Carolina-
LB Patrick Willis, Ole Miss
At this point, the Panthers can't rely on Dan Morgan, they can only hope. So with that said drafting a tackling machine out of Oxford is a good idea.

15) Pittsburgh-
DE Charles Johnson, Georgia
The Steelers didn't leave an empty cupboard for new coach Mike Tomlin, so Pittsburgh could go a variety of directions on draft day.

16) Green Bay-
S LaRon Landry, LSU
The Packers need better play at safety. They also could attempt to get younger at other positions for the future, but that thought may not be as strong with Brett Favre back in the saddle for another year.

17) Jacksonville-
DE Jarvis Moss, Florida
The Jags need to figure out how to improve their offense, but they are already young so they may use the draft just to get faster on defense.

18) Cincinnati-
DT Amobi Okoye, Louisville
The Bengals have to defend the run better. They also have a ton of significant free agents which could drastically alter what they do in the draft.

19) Tennessee-
DE Adam Carriker, Nebraska
Vince Young revitalized the offense. Now the defense has to catch up and keep up with the offense for this team to take the next step.

20) NY Giants-
WR Ted Ginn, Jr., Ohio St.
The Giants struggles offensively late in the year had everything to do with no legit receiver opposite of Plaxico Burress. Ginn's lack of polish will cause him to slip a bit.

21) Denver-
CB Chris Houston, Arkansas
The Broncos needed help at corner before the tragic death of Darrent Williams, but now they even more thin. D-line is an issue too.

22) Dallas-
S Reggie Nelson, Florida
I don't think it's a reach for Nelson to fall because he is a small safety, but he'd be the perfect centerfielder for the Cowboys who desperately need someone in that spot.

23) Kansas City-
WR Sidney Rice, South Carolina
The Chiefs probably won't see many changes in the roster this offseason, but one thing they need to do is get younger. Rice is an explosive player that should only get better and KC could really open up the field more for L.J. with another weapon on the outside.

24) New England (from Seattle)-
WR Dwayne Bowe, LSU
Speaking of needing help on the outside. It was cute to test Tom Brady this past year by making him throw to busts and scrubs, but enough is enough.

25) NY Jets-
RB Marshawn Lynch, Cal
The revolving door needs to stop, and Lynch could do that. Leon Washington would be better as a change of pace behind the dynamic Cal runner.

26) Philadelphia-
WR Robert Meachem, Tennessee
Dante Stallworth is a free agent who I am sure the Eagles would love to have back, but it will be a competitive market. Depth on defense should be targeted if Stallworth is kept.

27) New Orleans-
LB Paul Posluszny, Penn St.
The Saints need to get better on defense, but also lead the league with 16 free agents so that could factor in. Their line backing corps was a patchwork job last year, so let's start there.

28) New England-
CB David Irons, Auburn
Just the type of player the Pats like. Samuel will likely get a big pay day elsewhere and Irons is a gritty, but athletic player who helps New England now.

29) Baltimore-
RB Michael Bush, Louisville
Bush would have been a top 10 pick perhaps a year ago, but he came back and got hurt, as did his draft stock. The Ravens need to replace Jamal Lewis now, so it's either here or in free agency.

30) San Diego-
S Brandon Meriweather, Miami (FL)
The Chargers defensive front seven was so good it disguised some of the weakness in the secondary, but the gutty Meriweather, who plays bigger and faster than his numbers, could reduce that weakness.

31) Chicago-
DT Tank Tyler, NC State
The Bears lack of depth in their interior line was exposed when Tommie Harris went down. Plus, two Tanks are better than one, right?

32) Indianapolis-
LB Rufus Alexander, Oklahoma
Cato June will be highly sought after on the open market, and the Colts have a history of losing linebackers so this just makes sense.



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