1. San Francisco 49ers, Aaron Rogers, QB, California - San Francisco opened negotiations with Rogers, quarterback Alex Smith and wide receiver Braylon Edwards, but settle on the Bay area player in Rogers. They'd love to save money and trade down, though. The team stinks and you have to fill the stands somehow.
2. Miami Dolphins, Ronnie Brown, RB, Auburn – Brown is the most complete running back available in this draft, better than Texas' Cedric Benson and fellow Auburn star Carnell "Cadillac" Williams. The Dolphins move on from the Ricky Williams debacle with their newest star.
3. Cleveland Browns, Alex Smith, QB, Utah – The Browns should have taken home state QB Ben Roethlisberger last season. Smith isn't from Ohio, but he did beat Pitt in his final collegiate game. This is a team that really needs to rebound from a number of awful drafts.
4. Chicago Bears, Braylon Edwards, WR, Michigan – The Bears took the last big Michigan star wide receiver in David Terrell, cutting him last month after three disappointing seasons. Edwards is a better player than Terrell was/is. If Cedric Benson doesn't go here, his fall could begin.
5. Tampa Bay Buccanneers, Carnell "Cadillac" Williams – Cadillac is the kind of running back head coach Jon Gruden loves, a smaller, shifty type in the Charlie Garner mold. Williams doesn't catch the ball like Garner did, but he'll be a star as his nickname suggest.
6. Tennessee Titans, Antrel Rolle, CB, Miami (Fla.) – The Titans released both starting cornerbacks during the offseason in cost-cutting move and need an infusion of talent at the position. You can't go wrong with a Miami defensive back.
7. Minnesota Vikings (from Oakland), Mike Williams, WR, USC – This is the pick the Vikings received in the Randy Moss trade and they use it to bolster their receiving corps. But Nate Burleson will be Moss' main replacement in 2005, with Williams being a secondary receiver.
8. Arizona Cardinals, Adam "Pac-Man" Jones, West Virginia – Coach Dennis Green looks long and hard at Cedric Benson, but feels he can get a decent running back in the second round. Jones could be the first star in Arizona's secondary since Aeneas Williams roamed the defensive backfield.
9. Washington Redskins, Shawne Merriman, DE, Maryland – The Redskins bolster their defensive front and make good with the fans by keeping a local player at home. Merriman is a playmaker and will help make an already formidable Washington defense even more so.
10. Detroit Lions, Derrick Johnson, LB, Texas – Johnson is too good a player for the Lions to pass up. He's a sideline-to-sideline heat-seeking missile and will help the Lions make the playoffs in 2005. That's right, the Lions will make the playoffs.
11. Dallas Cowboys, David Pollack, DE/OLB, Georgia – The Cowboys are moving to a 3-4 defense and Pollack would help the team's pass rush immediately as an outside linebacker. He's in the 260-pound range and showed some ability to drop into coverage.
12. San Diego Chargers (from New York Giants), Erasmus James, DE, Wisconsin – James has the best pass rushing skills of the defensive ends in this draft, but injuries are a concern after he sat out 2003 with a dislocated hip. James has checked out OK in his physicals, however. Cedric Benson's drop continues.
13. Houston Texas, Alex Barron, OT, Florida St. – Houston really needs a big-time blocker on its offensive line. Barron is plenty talented, but some question his desire. With the money he'll get as the 13th pick, he can buy some desire.
14. Carolina Panthers, Troy Williamson, WR, South Carolina – Another stay-at-home pick that fills a need. Steve Smith is coming back from a broken leg and Muhsin Muhammad is now in Chicago. Carolina is only too happy to grab the speedy Williamson.
15. Kansas City Chiefs, Carlos Rogers, CB, Auburn – Rogers gives Auburn three players selected in the top 15. Too bad they didn't get to play for a national championship. The Chiefs are desperate to build some semblance of a defense. Somebody has to trade up for Benson.
16. New Orleans Saints, Thomas Davis, S, Georgia – Davis is a big hitter and will bring a physical presence to a secondary that hasn't had one. Davis is super fast and also excels in run support. A nice value pick.
17. Cincinnati Bengals, Travis Johnson, DT, Florida St. – Despite what some scouts said was a bad attitude, Johnson goes here because Northwestern's Luis Castillo, who had been rising up draft boards, tested positive for steroids at the combine.
18. Minnesota Vikings, Shaun Cody – Vikings need to get better on defense and pass on Benson after giving him some serious thought. Cody can play end or tackle, which gives him some value. Somebody has to trade up to grab Benson at this point.
19. St. Louis, Khalif Barnes, OT, Washington – Kyle Turley is finished in St. Louis and the Rams need to replace him. They would have preferred Jammal Brown or Thomas Davis here, but settle for a very athletic tackle in Barnes.
20. Dallas Cowboys, DeMarcus Ware, OLB/DE, Troy – If the Cowboys previous pick, Pollack, isn't a linebacker prospect in a 3-4, Ware sure is. The speedy pass rusher would immediately give the Cowboys a threat coming off the edge.
21. Jacksonville, Justin Miller, CB, Clemson – This is a team that started the now released Dwayne Washington at cornerback in 2004. Miller is a playmaker who also doubles as a fine punt and kickoff returner.
22. Baltimore Ravens, Mark Clayton, WR, Oklahoma – And Benson's fall continues unless somebody trades up for him. Clayton is an awful lot like Derrick Mason, but the Ravens also have a couple of good-sized receivers on their roster. Now, if QB Kyle Boller didn't stink, they'd have something.
23. Seattle Seahawks, Cedric Benson, RB, Texas – Finally, Benson goes. Yes, the Seahawks have Shaun Alexander, but they've been trying to get rid of him all offseason. Now, they can ease him out the door in 2005, with Benson taking over full-time in 2006.
24. Green Bay Packers, Marcus Spears, DE, LSU – Spears has Reggie White size and can get after the passer. The Packers need defensive help and Spears is a pure value pick at this point in a draft loaded with defensive player at the top.
25. Denver Broncos, Dan Cody, DE, Oklahoma – Yes, they traded for the entire Cleveland Browns defensive line from last season. But the Browns stunk. Cody is a bit of a question mark in this draft because he was diagnosed with clinical depression. But the kid can play.
26. New York Jets, Heath Miller, TE, Virginia – The Jets break the Steelers' hearts by taking a player that really would have helped them this season. New York made a pitch to get Denver's Jeb Putzier as a restricted free agent, but the Broncos matched the offer. Nobody can match this offer.
27. Atlanta Falcons, Brodney Pool, S, Oklahoma – Pool is the best value available at this point at a need position for the Falcons. If Luis Castillo hadn't tested positive for steroids, he may have been the pick here.
28. San Diego Chargers, Reggie Brown, WR, Georgia – San Diego got its defensive end with its first pick and now adds a big wide receiver to pair with Keenan McCardell and tight end Antonio Gates. Brown eventually replaces McCardell as the No. 1 target for Phillip Rivers.
29. Indianapolis Colts, Darryl Blackstock, LB, Virginia – A speedy playmaker at linebacker is just what the Colts need to help take some pressure off of defensive end Dwight Freeney. Blackstock and Freeney have great ability to force fumbles.
30. Pittsburgh Steelers, Marcus Johnson, OT, Mississippi – It's not an exciting pick to be sure, but Johnson fills a position of need for the Steelers. He could end up starting right away at right tackle and at the very least gives the Steelers precious depth.
31. Philadelphia Eagles, Terrance Murphy, WR, Texas A&M – Terrell Owens is 32 and the other receivers on this team really aren't that good. Murphy gives the Eagles a speedy compliment to Owens and a possible replacement down the road as the No. 1 receiver.
32. New England Patriots, Marlin Jackson, CB/S, Michigan – The Patriots need an upgrade in the secondary and can shift Eugene Wilson to cornerback with Jackson playing free safety, or just keep Wilson at safety and play Jackson at corner. Bill Bellichick loves players who can handle more than one position.
With a week to go, SteelCitySports.com mock draft
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