Do they take the cannon-armed passer, or the greatest receiver since the last guy everyone thought was the greatest receiver? Will Detroit trade down? How far will Oklahoma back Adrian Peterson slip? And will the Packers get the back they want because of it? The scenarios are limitless. And they will change. That's why these mock drafts get numbered.
The big change from my previous draft on March 21st is at No. 3, where Cleveland selects Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn. This creates a domino effect of sorts that will have implications for several teams, most importantly to those of you reading this -- Green Bay. So without further adieu, I present the latest version of the PackerReport.com Mock Draft:
1. Oakland Raiders: QB JaMarcus Russell, LSU
The Raiders might just be crazy enough to take Georgia Tech receiver Calvin Johnson No. 1 overall and let Russell fall to Cleveland at No. 3. But I don't think so. The ‘Godfather of the NFL' will take Russell and he'll also hang onto Randy Moss. Why unload your best deep threat if you're drafting a guy who'll enter the NFL with arguably the strongest arm?
2. (trade with Detroit) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: WR Calvin Johnson, Georgia Tech
Bucs coach Jon Gruden decides not to risk losing out on the receiver he desperately wants and moves up two spots to grab the player many believe is the best in the draft. History will tell us that Detroit should have kept this pick and taken Johnson themselves. But if Johnson is on the board, then a trade down is imminent.
3. Cleveland Browns: QB Brady Quinn, Notre Dame
Early on, I was pretty convinced the Browns would take Oklahoma running back Adrian Peterson, despite their acquisition of Jamal Lewis, who signed a one-year deal, after he was released by Baltimore Feb. 28. They really wanted Russell, but when he's off the board, they decide to hand Charlie Frye the clipboard and go with the Domer at quarterback, rather than a back who would split carries with Lewis.
4. (trade with Tampa Bay) Detroit Lions: OT Joe Thomas, Wisconsin
They trade down two spots, pick up another pick on the first day of the draft and take the guy they were going to take anyway. Thomas is the safe pick, which is a good thing when you've got the track record these guys have. Easily the best lineman in the draft, he'll anchor their line for a decade.
5. Arizona Cardinals: DE Gaines Adams, Clemson
Sexy wins out over safe. The Cards get the draft's premier pass rusher in Adams, who's a Leonard Little look-a-like, but they pass on Penn State tackle Levi Brown, a guy who could help keep Matt Leinart's jersey clean and open up something resembling a hole for Edgerrin James.
6. Washington Redskins: DT Alan Branch, Michigan
Supposedly Branch's draft day stock is on the decline. Don't believe it. A lot of guys can rush off the edge, but only a select few have the speed and power to be a force in the interior of the defensive line. Branch is such a specimen. He put the beat down on Big 10 opponents and he'll do it next year in the NFC East.
7. Minnesota Vikings: WR Ted Ginn, Jr., Ohio State
They're hoping he is this year's Devin Hester. He won't be, but that's not to say that Ginn isn't a legitimate game-breaker as a receiver and a return man who will be a threat to score every time he touches the ball. He'll instantly become Tavaris Jackson's favorite target.
8. (trade with Houston) Atlanta Falcons: S LaRon Landry, LSU
The league's worst secondary (I'm talking to you Chris Crocker and Lawyer Milloy) just got an extreme makeover. Landry has Pro Bowl potential and will immediately solidify the Falcons' secondary. They would've taken him at No. 10, but the Matt Schaub deal gets him in a Falcons uni two spots earlier.
9. Miami Dolphins: DT Amobi Okoye, Louisville
This kid played as a 16-year-old true freshman and will be a 20-year-old rookie with four years of D-1 experience. He had a great senior year at Louisville and wowed scouts at the Senior Bowl and Combine. Might have the biggest upside of any defensive player in the draft. They might've drafted Quinn if he were there, but they could end up with veteran Trent Green by this time.
10. (trade with Atlanta) Houston Texans: OT Levi Brown, Penn State
Peterson is a tempting pick, but the Texans invested a lot of money into Ahman Green and just re-signed Ron Dayne. It's hard to imagine them drafting another back. Brown is a 328-pound man mountain who will blow open holes in the running game.
11. San Francisco 49ers: WR Robert Meachem, Tennessee
They'll consider MLB Patrick Willis and DE Adam Carriker, but Meachem is a smooth 6-foot-3, 214 pounder who could be the second-best receiver in the draft behind Johnson. Getting Ashley Lelie won't stop them from adding Meachem to the mix.
12. Buffalo Bills: RB Adrian Peterson, Oklahoma
This is a player that wasn't supposed to be around at No.12, but when he is, the Bills pounce on him. Peterson is a big, fast, powerful runner who makes up for the loss of Willis McGahee. Though they have holes to fill at CB and LB, quality like this can't be passed on. On a related note, the Packers' Draft Room just erupted with high fives. Unless the Bills sign Chargers RB Michael Turner, Peterson is the pick.
13. St. Louis Rams: DL Adam Carriker, Nebraska
A versatile player on the rise who was the defensive star of the Senior Bowl, Carriker will fortify the Rams' front four at 6-foot-6, 300 pounds. A DE throughout his college career, he has the potential to play inside. The recent addition of DE James Hall won't sway the Rams from adding this young playmaker.
14. Carolina Panthers: ILB Patrick Lewis, Ole Miss
Athletic and versatile, Willis can play inside or out. Carolina has several needs, but they opt for a replacement to Dan Morgan at middle linebacker. With his stock is on the rise after a strong performance at the Senior Bowl, the Combine and his pro day, Willis a great pick for the Panthers.
15. Pittsburgh Steelers: CB Leon Hall, Michigan
The Steelers need an OLB, but Hall grades out as the best pick and you can never go wrong with a shutdown corner. He ran a 4.39 40 at his Pro Day to put to rest questions about his speed, and adds an infusion of youth to an aging defense.
16. Green Bay Packers: RB Marshawn Lynch, California
All that worrying for nothing. Green Bay gets its back of the future and plugs the gaping hole left by the departure of Ahman Green. Lynch is a perfect fit for the Packers zone-blocking scheme and has excellent hands catching the ball out of the backfield. They might be tempted to take Miami TE Greg Olsen and see what backs are available in Round Two, but passing on Lynch would be a mistake.
17. Jacksonville Jaguars: S Reggie Nelson, Florida
A standout for the National Champion Gators, Nelson has the toughness of a safety with the cover skills to play corner. Deon Grant left J-Ville for the Emerald City and Donovin Darius finished the last two seasons on IR. Nelson scorched a 4.35-second 40-yard dash at his recent pro day and he'll be a Day 1 starter for the Jags.
18. Cincinnati Bengals: DE Jamaal Anderson, Arkansas
The junior had 19.5 tackles for loss and 13.5 sacks. Some have said his numbers are a product of the Razorback's defensive scheme, but Anderson looks like a Richard Seymour clone. He's got loads of athletic ability (he used to play receiver) and a huge upside.
Projected to go much higher, Anderson will shore up the Bengals defensive line and fill the void left by David Pollack.
19. Tennessee Titans: CB Darrelle Revis, Pittsburgh
A 2006 Thorpe Award winner who's played both cornerback positions in college and just ran a 4.38 at his Pro Day, Revis helps the Titans send Pacman Jones packing and gives them a talented young player who won't embarrass them off the field or on it.
20. New York Giants: OLB Lawrence Timmons, Florida State
New York released both of last season's starting outside linebackers, so Timmons would be a natural to come in and claim on of those spots. He only started one year for the Seminoles, but his athletic ability makes him the pick over Penn State's Paul Posluszny.
21. Denver Broncos: DE Jarvis Moss, Florida
With additions to their secondary, offensive backfield and at tight end, the Broncos will address the pass rush. Moss has drawn comparisons to another former Gator defensive playmaker: Jevon Kearse. He may need to bulk up his 250-pound frame, but he'll be a great third-down rusher and a playmaker in Jim Bates' defensive scheme.
22. Dallas Cowboys: FS Brandon Meriweather, Miami
Meriweather's off-field troubles don't scare off the ‘Boys and the former Hurricane would pair up nicely with Roy Williams. With Nelson and Landry gone, Dallas crosses their fingers on a character risk.
23. Kansas City Chiefs: WR Dwayne Bowe, LSU
This offense needs a serious upgrade to current starters Eddie Kennison and Sammie Parker. Overshadowed by the underclassman at his position, Bowe was JaMarcus Russell's favorite target at LSU and will be for Damon Huard. He quieted the critics by running a 4.4-second 40-yard dash at his pro day at 218 pounds.
24. New England Patriots: TE Greg Olsen, Miami Olsen's stock is soaring after a terrific combine and pro day. At 6-foot-6 and 254 pounds, he's got size, speed (4.51 40 at the combine) and run-after-the-catch ability. Olsen can be the red-zone threat that Daniel Graham was, while stretching the defense between the 20s.
25. New York Jets: DE Anthony Spencer, Purdue They were hoping Olsen fell one more spot, but Jets fans will boo the pick regardless. A bit undersized at 6-foot-3, 261 pounds, Spencer might be the best pass rusher in the draft. He's well-suited for the Jets' 3-4 scheme and could line up as an OLB when all is said and done.
26. Philadelphia Eagles: WR Dwayne Jarrett, USC
Sure they already signed Kevin Curtis, but Jarrett can't be passed up at this spot. At 6-foot-5, he's a huge target for Donovan McNabb and catches the ball with one hand as easily as most receivers do with both hands.
27. New Orleans Saints: CB Chris Houston, Arkansas
The Saints secondary got absolutely torched during the playoffs. Fred Thomas is still smoldering three months later. Houston, who is quickly moving up the draft boards, puts a stop to that. He ran a blistering 4.32 at the combine, he's got a 450-pound bench press. Better yet, the bigger the game, the better he plays.
28. New England Patriots: S Michael Griffin, Texas
Decent speed and a big hitter, Griffin gives the Pats their heir apparent to Rodney Harrison at safety. Offensive tackle Joe Staley could also be a consideration here, as could Penn State LB Paul Posluszny.
29. Baltimore Ravens: OT Joe Staley, Central Michigan
Shooting up a draft board near you, Staley is a small-school talent ready for the big time. He can step in immediately for departed right tackle, Tony Pashos, and be on hand if the retirement rumors surrounding left tackle Jonathon Ogden prove true.
30. Chargers: LB Paul Posluszny, Penn State
Chargers GM A.J. Smith loves this tough, instinctive playmaker. ILB Donnie Edwards left for Kansas City during free agency and Randall Godfrey may do the same. While the Bolts have decent depth, Posluszny truly is the best player on the board at this spot.
31. Bears: OG Justin Blalock, Texas
Three of Chicago's starting five lineman are 33 or older. Blalock, who started a school-record 51 consecutive games at Texas, can play guard or tackle and gives an injection of youth and power to the interior of the Bears' aging offensive line and can eventually replace 35-year old guard, Ruben Brown.
32. Colts: LB Jon Beason, Miami
With Cato June gone via free agency, Beason gives the Colts a speedy, undersized player who projects nicely into the weak-side linebacker role of their 'Tampa 2' scheme. Tennessee tackle Justin Harrell would be another option to shore up the middle of a run defense that got exposed in the latter half of the regular season.
W. Keith Roerdink
W. Keith Roerdink is a frequent contributor to PackerReport.com and Packer Report magazine. Look for his next Mock Draft update on April 25. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.