2008 NFL Draft Projection – The First Round

With the NFL Draft less than three weeks away, TGI takes a look at how we think the first round will go down…

1) Miami – Chris Long – DE/OLB – Virginia – Howie's son is a great fit for Parcells' new 3-4.

2) St. Louis – Jake Long – OT – Michigan – Orlando Pace doesn't have much, if anything left and Alex Barron is better at right tackle.

3) Atlanta – Matt Ryan – QB – Boston College – Michael Vick's days in Atlanta are over and the team moves on with a new QB.

4) Oakland – Darren McFadden – RB – Arkansas – Al Davis loves speed and trophies. He gets both in McFadden.

5) Kansas City – Glenn Dorsey – DT – LSU – They need offensive linemen badly but Dorsey is too good to pass up here.

6) NY Jets – Vernon Gholston – DE/OLB – Ohio State – Jets get a great athlete who will be a great fit in their 3-4 defense.

7) New England (from SF) – Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie – CB – Tennessee State – The Pats look to replenish their secondary, which was raided heavily in free agency.

8) Baltimore – Ryan Clady – OT – Boise State – Ravens will wait until round two to get their QB. Clady will replace Jonathan Ogden, who looks like he will retire.

9) Cincinnati – Sedrick Ellis – DT – USC – Bengals need to beef up their defense and Ellis will do that nicely.

10) New Orleans – Leodis McKelvin – CB – Troy – Corner has long been a sore spot for the Saints. McKelvin and newly signed UFA Randall Gay will help.

11) Buffalo – Malcolm Kelly – WR – Oklahoma – This is not a particularly strong WR group, but Kelly brings size and speed.

12) Denver – Chris Williams – OT – Vanderbilt – With the retirement of Matt Lepsis, Williams is a sound pick.

13) Carolina – Derrick Harvey – DE – Florida – Harvey brings much-needed edge speed opposite Julius Peppers.

14) Chicago – Jeff Otah – OT – Pittsburgh – Otah is big and physical and he will elevate their running game.

15) Detroit – Rashard Mendenhall – RB – Illinois – Keith Jones and TJ Duckett are gone. They should not be comfortable with fumbler Tatum Bell.

16) Arizona – Mike Jenkins – CB – South Florida – Every team needs three good corners and we aren't sure the Cards even have one. Jenkins is a good fit here.

17) Minnesota – Philip Merling – DE – Clemson – The Vikes need pass rush help and Merling has great edge speed and athleticism.

18) Houston – Keith Rivers – LB – USC – The Texans need help at OLB and Rivers can play either side.

19) Philadelphia – Limas Sweed – WR – Texas – McNabb has been crying for offensive playmakers and Sweed can provide the big play.

20) Tampa Bay – DeSean Jackson – WR – California – With Joey Galloway aging, Jackson brings badly needed speed for the receiver spot.

21) Washington – Kentwan Balmer – DT – North Carolina – The Skins need inside help and Balmer is one of the few good DTs in this draft.

22) Dallas (from CLE) – Aqib Talib – CB – Kansas – They need a third corner and eventual replacement for Anthony Henry. Talib is a playmaker.

23) Pittsburgh – Branden Albert – OG – Virginia – Losing Alan Faneca hurt an already weak interior OL. Albert fits the Steelers' mold.

24) Tennessee – Quentin Groves – DE – Auburn – They have some age at DE with Bryce Fisher and Jevon Kearse. Groves will look good opposite Kyle Vanden Bosch.

25) Seattle – Andre Caldwell – WR – Florida – The Hawks need a receiver they can groom to eventually replace the aging Bobby Engram. He will also help replace D.J. Hackett.

26) Jacksonville – Dan Connor – LB – Penn State – Connor will add immediate depth and versatility. He will eventually be a starter here.

27) San Diego – Jonathan Stewart – RB – Oregon – They need to replace Michael Turner. They do not have an every down back if something were to happen to Tomlinson.

28) Dallas – Felix Jones – RB – Arkansas – Jerry Jones would rather have McFadden, but he'll settle for Jones, who will be a good complement to Marion Barber.

29) San Francisco (from IND) – Kenny Phillips – S – Miami – They need someone to challenge Mark Roman. Phillips is a hitter.

30) Green Bay – Brian Brohm – QB – Louisville – Favre's retirement leaves a very inexperienced Aaron Rodgers at the helm. Just in case Rodgers is not their guy, Brohm provides insurance.

* New England – Forfeited pick.

31) NY Giants – Jerod Mayo – LB – Tennessee – Mayo can play all three LB positions. Though he's a little shorter than ideal, he can hit, has good movement skills and can cover. See a more detailed analysis of this pick in our round-by-round prediction of the Giants' draft.


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