Mock Draft

A lot has transpired since I did my last mock draft, way back on January 31st. The Combine is over and all the workouts are complete. We have the numbers, we have rumored trades (along with some real ones), and we have Mike Williams and Maurice Clarett in and out of the draft. Most of the dust is settled and now is time to reveal how round 1 will play out.

1. San Diego Chargers - I can't say much has changed since I wrote the following: While this privileged draft position would seem to demand the pick of either top quarterback, that's not San Diego's greatest need. There are gaping holes on the offensive line and defensive line. Newly hired defensive coordinator Wade Phillips may implement the 3-4, which would radically change the plans for staffing the defensive line. Such a high pick for this scheme seems unlikely. One way to improve the quarterback situation is addressing pass protection. Certainly, the Chargers could become enamored with the likes of QB Eli Manning or WR Larry Fitzgerald, but landing the best offensive tackle in the draft seems the smartest move. San Diego is desperately hoping to trade out of the top spot in the 2004 NFL Draft.

Pick: OT Robert Gallery, Iowa

2. Oakland Raiders - Will Al Davis go Manning or won't he? I don't think so. The Raiders have a screaming need for speed at the WR position. Davis looks for the best player to stretch the field.

Pick: WR Roy Williams, Texas

3. Arizona Cardinals - I'm having a hard time imagining Manning falling even this far, but I believe the hype connecting Fitzgerald with coach Dennis Green. I'm actually of the mind that Fitz shouldn't go this high, but what do I know?

Pick: WR Larry Fitzgerald, Pitt

4. New York Giants - Supposedly, the Giants have fallen in love with Eli Manning. Enough falling already!

Pick: QB Eli Manning, Ole Miss

5. Washington Redskins - Defensive tackle would be the pick here, but there is not much cream rising to the top at this position. The Skins will dip into the deep pool of talent coming out of Miami and the buzz on Sean Taylor is beginning to sour.

Pick: TE Kellen Winslow, Miami

6. Detroit Lions - Detroit wants to trade down. That's no secret. They are probably targeting one of the top two running backs, but this position is too high for such a pick. Winslow would have been a nice pick, but Washington beat Detroit to the punch. The Lions will trade down or REACH for…

Pick: RB Steven Jackson, Oregon State

7. Cleveland Browns - Robert Gallery is the preferred target. Now the Browns are making noises that they will chase a quarterback. They are hoping that some team will trade up to grab either Roethlisberger or Rivers. Dream on, Butch Davis.

Pick: CB DeAngelo Hall, Virginia Tech

8. Atlanta Falcons - The Falcons wouldn't mind a wide out, but they can get a great one in round 2. The best tackle is still on the board. There may be some debate about who that player is, but for now I'll stick with convention. I think there are bigger questions about Wilfork.

Pick: DT Tommie Harris, Oklahoma

9. Jacksonville Jaguars - The Jags are in dire need of a better pass rush and a marquee wide receiver. Like the Falcons, they can probably get the latter in round 2. The best DE is still on the board and he'll be too difficult to pass up.

Pick: DE Will Smith, Ohio State

10. Houston Texans - There he is, staring you right in the face. How fortunate are the Texans? The Texans need major help in the defensive secondary. They can grab a pretty good CB in round 2.

Pick: FS Sean Taylor, Miami

11. Pittsburgh Steelers - With Hall of the board, Kevin Colbert will likely win his battle with Bill Cowher over the first pick. Cowher wants a CB. Colbert has already made the case that one can be had later in the draft, particularly at the second pick. One question remains, which QB is better?

Pick: QB Philip Rivers

12. New York Jets - The Jets are desperate enough to reach a little here to help their overmatched secondary. Robinson has been a big mover up draft boards of late.

Pick: CB Dunta Robinson, South Carolina

13. Buffalo Bills - How good is Ben Roethlisberger, really? Is he good enough for the Bills to pass over other needs? I think Buffalo could live with one of the second round QBs. Tom Modrak has said plenty of good things about Lee Evans, but size matter.

Pick: WR Michael Clayton, LSU

14. Chicago Bears - The Bears need some beef upfront on defense, but Lovie Smith prefers his players to be lean and mean. Wilfork would be tempting here, but Smith has his own ideas.

Pick: DE Kenechi Udeze, USC

15. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - The Bucs need to rebuild their defense. Like Lovie Smith, the scheme was built for speed, not for comfort. This is a good spot to take the best LB in the entire draft.

Pick: OLB D.J. Williams, Miami

16. San Francisco 49ers - San Francisco needs a lot of things, must glaringly wide receiver. This is a good draft to need that position.

Pick: WR Lee Evans, Wisconsin

17. Denver Broncos - I have the sneaking suspicion that the Broncos moved up in hopes of grabbing one of the top running backs. I could be wrong, but this is as good as guess as any.

Pick: RB Kevin Jones

18. New Orleans Saints - There are many needs, mostly on defense, in New Orleans. The best corners are off the board and grabbing Vilma at his point may be a stretch. There's another Cane waiting.

Pick: DT Vince Wilfork, Miami

19. Minnesota Vikings - The Vikings are in a tough spot. What they really need is some help getting their 3-4 off the ground. That's a tall order, but there's a sleeper sneaking up the boards that could help.

Pick: OLB/DE Jason Babin, Western Michigan

20. Miami Dolphins - The Dolphins need help on the offensive line, desperately. Who is the next guy ranked on their board?

Pick: OT Shawn Andrews, Arkansas

21. New England Patriots - I'll stick with what I wrote before: Is he a linebacker or a safety? Sounds exactly like a Patriot to us.

Pick: LB Jonathan Vilma, Miami

22. Dallas Cowboys - Sure, everyone knows the Cowboys need a running back. But they also need an offensive tackle and the RB class is much deeper than the one at tackle.

Pick: OT Vernon Carey, Miami

23. Seattle Seahawks - The Seahawks are itchy for help at linebacker and they may be forced to reach a little bit here to do so. They should mine for value instead, addressing other needs first.

Pick: DT Marcus Tubbs, Texas

24. Cincinnati Bengals - Sure, the Bengals need help at corner, but who doesn't? The AFC North is not going to go aerial all of the sudden. You better stop the run first and worry about the pass later.

Pick: DT Dwan Edwards, Oregon State

25. Green Bay Packers - He's fallen a long way, baby. The Packers might be willing to wait a little bit before trading for the services of Tim Couch. Let's see how Day 1 unfolds first.

Pick: QB Ben Roethlisberger, Miami of Ohio

26. St. Louis Rams - The Rams might be anxious enough to move up after watching Big Ben fall through the draft. If Babin was still on the board, St. Louis might chase him. They need some size at CB.

Pick: CB Chris Gamble, Ohio State

27. Tennessee Titans - The Titans like to carry plenty of defensive linemen, which does allow them to play more nickel defense, which is almost their base alignment. That said, there is some depth in this year's DT class and the Titans have two second round picks. This might be a little high to go center, but Grove could be a great one.

Pick: C Jake Grove, Virginia Tech

28. Kansas City Chiefs - Isn't this the draft of the wide receiver? I think I got lost there for a spell.

Pick: WR Reggie Williams, Washington

29. Philadelphia Eagles - They turned the Duce loose and could use some help at RB. They need the most complete back in the draft.

Pick: RB Chris Perry, Michigan

30. Indianapolis Colts - The Colts may start a run on the second tier of CBs. This will make the Steelers nervous, very nervous.

Pick: CB Ricardo Colclough, Tusculum

31. Carolina Panthers - Get your wide outs while you can.

Pick: WR Michael Jenkins, Ohio State

32. New England Patriots - The need at RB has been addressed with Corey Dillon. WR might be tempting, but the interior offensive line needs some help.

Pick: OG Justin Smiley, Alabama

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