OVERVIEW: As expected, when we announce that were doing our last mock draft update barring a trade, the Bears and Jets must have been watching. The two teams swung a deal and now the Jets are ahead of the Vikings at No. 4. However, the result will likely be the same DT Dewayne Robertson will be off the board. Dare we say Version 10.0 is our final mock draft update? Maybe we shouldnt be so bold or so stupid as to tempt fate. Are you reading this New Orleans?
| Carson Palmer, QB, USC -- After talking
for a month about trading the first overall pick, it looks like this pick will
be moot on draft day. The Bengals and Palmer have agreed to a contract and
he will become the next high draft pick of Cincinnatis that hopes to
pan out. Heres hoping he works out better than Akili Smith did in the
| Charles Rogers, WR, Michigan State --
Steve Mariucci wants an impact player to get the weak Kitties offense moving.
Visions of Harrington to Rogers for years are flashing in many heads, but the
new regime may be willing to trade down and stockpile picks. Anyone moving
into this spot could take someone else.
| Andre Johnson, WR, Miami - It
has become more apparent in the interest of several teams outside the top 10
that Johnsons stock is on the rise to the point that, if Houston doesnt
use this pick on him, someone will trade up with Chicago to get him. The Jets,
who have two picks in the first round, have expressed a lot of interest in
moving up to grab him as a replacement for Laveranues Coles. Houston could
use a running back, but with the distinct possibility of having their choice
of RBs with their second-round pick, adding an explosive receiver to play pitch
and catch with for the next several years looks like a good option for a team
that had a surprisingly strong defense for an expansion team last year. That
being said, OT Jordan Gross and DE Terrell Suggs could both be viable alternatives.
|4.||New York Jets (from Chicago)||
| Dewayne Robertson, DT, Kentucky -- The
Jets made this move Friday because they were guaranteed on one thing. With
Carson Palmer already signed, they were either guaranteed Robertson or one
of the two game-breaking wide receivers in this years draft. By virtue
of assuring themselves of this pick, even if someone moves into Houstons
spot and takes Robertson, they will still have Andre Johnson as a consolation
prize. Had the Bengals not finalized an agreement with Palmer, this deal likely
would not have been done. As it is, the Jets cant lose and will get a
solid player to meet an immediate team need.
| Terence Newman, CB, Kansas State -- The
Cowboys had targeted Gross at this spot, but signed both Flozell Adams and
Ryan Young. That has eliminated the immediate need for an offensive tackle
-- especially this high in the draft. Leftwich remains a possibility since
the Cowboys dont have a legitimate stud QB to go with right now. We keep
hearing the buzz that Jerry Jones and Bill Parcells -- both notorious for trading
down to stockpile draft picks -- will be listening to any and all offers to
move down and get two first-round players as opposed to one. But Newmans
stock has been on the rise so much that he may be too tempting to pass and
give the Cowboys one of the best young secondaries in the NFC -- joining last
years top pick, S Roy Williams.
| Terrell Suggs, DE, Arizona State -- Until
he had a sub-par individual workout, Suggs was expected to be gone by the first
three picks. Now it looks as though if he makes it past Houston, which operates
a 3-4 in which he would be a perfect fit, he will still be on the board for
Arizona. While there is no arguing his talent, this seems like a no-brainer
for a franchise desperate to sell tickets. When the Cardinals overspent (badly)
to sign Emmitt Smith, it wasnt because they believed he was still the
Emmitt that tore up the league while playing for the Cowboys. Far from it.
It was clear that Emmitt would sell tickets and sell jerseys. The same would
be true for Suggs. Having played his college ball at Arizona State, the local
fans are familiar with him and he would be a great fit for a new marketing
campaign designed to bring interest back in a product devoid of interest at
| Jimmy Kennedy, DT, Penn State -- The
Vikings didnt expect Bryant McKinnie would be on the board last year
when they picked at No. 7 (thank you, Detroit) and probably didnt think
Kennedy would be here, either. If the Jets took Robertson instead of Kennedy,
the likelihood is that he would still be on the board and the Vikings would
be crazy not to take him. He is massive and exactly what the Vikings need to
take double-teams off of Chris Hovan. While there is still plenty of talk that
the Vikings will look to trade down so Red McCombs wont have to shell
out another monster eight-figure signing bonus to a rookie, Kennedy and Robertston
are probably the only two players that could get the team to not consider that
as an option. Its been a long time since the Vikings had a double-shot
presence in the middle of the defensive front, and Kennedy and Hovan could
set the team up for some time to come. By getting one of the top two DTs in
the draft, the Vikings will take what may be the final step of the offseason
to get back into the playoffs next January.
| Marcus Trufant, CB, Washington State --For
the longest time, weve had the Jags taking QB Byron Leftwich here. But,
with Mark Brunell still showing signs of life and Trufant continuing to climb
the draft boards, he could make more sense in the big picture of things. There
is a possibility the Jags could trade down with a team like the Rams, allow
St. Louis to take Trufant here and still get either Leftwich or Kyle Boller
at pick No. 12 and add a pick in the third round. While Leftwich remains a
serious option here, Trufant has earned his way into this spot and now looks
to be the man the Jags add to get themselves back into contention and hold
off finding the eventual replacement for Brunell.
| Jordan Gross, OT, Utah -- This is
a value pick more than anything else. John Fox hit the mother lode last year
when he got Julius Peppers, because he was the best athlete in the 2002 draft.
The team made several moves to improve its offense in free agency -- signing
RB Stephen Davis and WR Kevin Dyson among others -- but those players wont
flourish without talent up front. While the Panthers still desperately need
a quarterback and, if Leftwich was still on the board he would be awfully tempting,
Gross fills a need and is a value pick at the No. 9 slot. It makes too much
sense for him to slide much farther than this.
| Byron Leftwich, QB, Marshall -- In
his time as Ravens head coach, Brian Billick has never had a franchise QB.
For Leftwich to still be available at the No. 10 pick is too tempting for Billick
to pass on, despite many needs on the defense. Leftwich will probably have
a chance to start by the end of the season and will be much more comfortable
in Billick's offense than he would have trying to adjust to a West Coast offense.
| William Joseph, DT, Miami -- Mike
Holmgren knows that John Randle is likely in his final year and Chad Eaton
isnt getting any younger. There will be some sentiment to take Outland
Trophy winner Rien Long from nearby Washington State, but Josephs stock
has been on the rise steadily since the Combine, while Longs stock has
dropped somewhat in the eyes of many scouts. This will be a tough decision,
but, while the names may be somewhat interchangeable, the position seems to
be pre-destined -- the Seahawks will take a defensive tackle with this pick.
| Boss Bailey, LB, Georgia -- Mike Martz
has his eyes set on several players, including Trufant if the Jaguars took
Leftwich at pick No. 8. However, that seems unlikely because, if Trufant was
still on the board somewhere after No. 8, odds are some team would jump up
to take him. The conventional wisdom is that Trufant could go anywhere from
the Vikings pick at No. 7 to this spot. Because of that, the odds of him still
being there go away quickly and the Rams are forced to meet their other more
pressing needs. Bailey has the speed Martz likes and fills a need on a Rams
defense that struggled badly last year to stop opponents. His athletic upside
is enough to make him a solid choice at this spot.
|13.||Chicago (from NY Jets/Washington)||
| Kyle Boller, QB, Cal --The Bears seemed
content to sit back and not take a QB in the first round, as has been the wont
of G.M. Jerry Angelo. But the fact is that Boller wont be on the board
by the time the Bears use their second pick in the first round because someone
will trade up to get him and Boller is viewed by many scouts as having as much
upside as any QB in the draft. At No. 4, a QB pick for the Bears didnt
make sense. At No. 13, it looks a lot more likely.
|14.||New England (from Buffalo/Drew Bledsoe trade)||
| Johnathan Sullivan, DT, Georgia -- The
Patriots are one year removed from the Super Bowl and four months removed from
missing the 2002 playoffs. One of the problems was blamed on the lack of a
cohesive defensive line so, like many others in the first and second rounds,
the Pats will look to patch up that hole by taking Sullivan who can
give them a steady young presence in the middle of the defensive front and
give Patriot fans hope that the return to playoff glory will be sooner than
later. There is still speculation that if the Pats are enamoured with a top
10 player, they may package both of their first-round picks and move up, but
Bill Belichick has a chance to add three quality players instead of two and
Sullivan is a nice start.
| Kwame Harris, OT, Stanford -- The
Chargers made a big move to improve their offense with the blockbuster signing
of WR David Boston. There are some growing needs on defense with safety Rodney
Harrison gone and LB Junior Seau likely on the way out, but Harris is a player
who simply shouldnt be on the board at this point and could add another
vital piece to an improving Charger offensive puzzle. While players like DE
Jerome McDougle or safeties Troy Polamalu and Mike Doss will get serious consideration,
this is one of those gift picks that a coach, especially one like Marty Schottenheimer
who loves to pound the ball on the ground, cant pass up.
| Jerome McDougle, DE, Miami -- The
Chiefs defense was awful last year, but a lot has been done to rectify the
situation signing free agents like Vonnie Holliday, Dexter McCleon and
Shawn Barber. If Trufant somehow remained on the board to this point, he would
be snapped up in a heartbeat, but the same may not be true for CB Andre Woolfolk.
He could well be the choice, but a designated pass rusher like McDougle would
cure a lot of ills in a hurry and be another cog in turning the Chiefs defense
from a joke a year ago to a unit to contend with this season.
| Kevin Williams, DT, Oklahoma State --
There has been a lot of sentiment to take TE Jason Witten because he has
been given the label of being the next Jeremy Shockey. However, the Saints
can still get a quality TE to stretch the middle of the field in the second
round and need more help on the defense (see next pick) than they do on offense.
Like the Patriots, there has been talk the Saints will package both the 17
and 18 picks to move up to No. 4 and grab Dewayne Robertson from the Bears
and allow Chicago to pick a pair of players in the middle of the round.
|18.||New Orleans (from Miami/Ricky Williams trade)||
| Andre Woolfolk, CB, Oklahoma -- Thank
you, Ricky Williams. Not only did Duce McAllister play above expectations,
but the Saints can now add another first-rounder. If Trufant was available
with the last pick, he'd be available here, but Woolfolk is no slouch by any
means and will help a defense that has surrendered 20 or more points in 20
of its last 21 games (only Detroit couldn't muster 20 points). The trade of
Kyle Turley to the Rams was anticipated when the Saints signed free agent Wayne
Gandy, but, if Harris is still on the board, he could be hard to pass up.
| Eric Steinbach, G/T, Iowa -- Having
addressed defensive tackle on their first pick, the Pats would be ecstatic
to see Steinbach still available. A guard who most scouts are convinced can
play left tackle in the NFL would fill a huge void in the Patriots offense.
While Belichick loves his defense, he has to give some attention to the other
side and may continue it in the second round by taking a RB to push Antowain
Smith. Steinbach, many believe, is the best NFL prospect on the offensive line
after Jordan Gross, and to get him at No. 19 would be a good fortune for the
| Michael Haynes, DE, Penn State -- The
Broncos were strapped to the salary cap after last season and were forced to
part with some expensive talent on the defense, which makes this pick more
of a necessity. Haynes can fill the role of pass rusher and give the Broncos
some youth up front in a NFC West that has Oakland ahead of them and Kansas
City and San Diego prepared to leave them in the dust. While coach Mike Shanahan
is known for his shrewd offensive signings, his team needs more defense to
compete this year, and Haynes will be a step in the right direction.
| E.J. Henderson, LB, Maryland -- The
Browns could easily take OT George Foster with this pick to solidify the offensive
line, but considering that the team released all three of its starting linebackers
from last year, this pick makes the most sense. Henderson and Boss Bailey were
the only linebackers with first-round capability and, with Bailey gone, Henderson
remains the only option. While the Browns have a lot of work to do in replacing
players at multiple positions, linebacker is a screaming need, and Henderson
looks like a glove fit between need and player availability.
|22.||Chicago (from NY Jets)||
| Ty Warren, DT, Texas A&M -- This
pick makes the trade with the Jets worthwhile. Warren is a solid run stuffing
DT and, while he may not have some of the athletic numbers Robertson would
have had at No. 4, in other years, he would be one of the top two DTs to go
in the first round. To get an immediate starter like Warren as well as a QB
of the future in the same round and still have the 35th pick in the
draft coming up the Bears have done themselves proud in the 2003 draft.
There is also a chance the Bears will use this extra pick to snap up RB Willis
McGahee, who was their targeted pick before he blew out his knee in the NCAA
championship game vs. Ohio State in January.
|23.||Buffalo (from Atlanta/Peerless Price trade)||
| Taylor Jacobs, WR, Florida -- We had
the Jets taking Jacobs at No. 22, but with the Bears now in that slot and having
more pressing needs than wide receiver, Jacobs becomes available again. While
there still be may be a sentiment to jump on the defensive lineman bandwagon,
getting a player like Jacobs as a replacement for Price at a lower cost is
a smart business move and wont force the Bills offense to miss a beat.
He will start out at the No. 3 receiver spot and will quickly challenge Josh
Reed for starting time. But with the many multi-receiver sets the Bills run,
he will see plenty of early playing time regardless.
| Troy Polamalu, S, USC -- Tony Dungy
would prefer to have taken a defensive tackle to line up next to Dwight Freeney,
but the top of the line guys have already gone off the board. DE-DT Kenny Peterson
remains a possibility, but Polamalu is viewed by most as the top safety available
in this years draft and Dungy is still trying to build the Colts defense.
He got them to the playoffs last year, but will need more help on defense to
take them to the next level their unceremonious caning by the Jets in
the first round of the AFC playoffs proved that there is still a long way to
go. Polamalu can help in that regard.
|25.||New York Giants||
| Chris Kelsay, DE, Nebraska -- As always
with the ever-changing picks weve assigned the G-Men, it isnt out
of the realm of possibility that the Giants will use both of their first two
selections on defensive linemen. At this point, Kelsay is a better value pick,
since the DE crop has been depleted as fast as the tackles have been going
off the board. If the Giants use a DT pick here as insurance for the torn Achilles
of starter Keith Hamilton, dont be surprised to see them take a defensive
end on the second round, as Jim Fassel tries to bulk up a defense that got
riddled by the 49ers in the playoffs in January.
| Kelley Washington, WR, Tennessee -- If
not for a neck injury, Washington would likely have been gone in the top dozen
picks. With the 49ers facing the loss of both J.J. Stokes and Tai Streets,
having an adequate replacement is a must. Hes a player who has been labeled
as having a bad attitude, but how would he match up with Terrell Owens? They
could both be explosive on and off the field in Dennis Ericksons new
| Mike Doss, S, Ohio State -- In the
minds of some draft insiders, Doss is a better pro prospect than Polamalu at
safety. The Steelers need plenty of help in the secondary and may end up using
two of their top three picks (if not their top two) on defensive backs. What
had been a strength is no longer so and with Lee Flowers told he wouldnt
be brought back when free agency began, a big hole sits in the deep middle
of the Steeler defense. Look for Pittsburgh to be aggressive here, whether
it is Doss or a cornerback the team likes who is still on the board. The Steelers
have a shot at making one more run at the Super Bowl with its current cast
of characters. If it doesnt happen this year, the decks will be cleared.
Doss will remain. The question is, how many of his teammates this year will
be his teammates in 2004?
| Larry Johnson, RB, Penn State -- This
will be the stamp on the evolution of this team if they make this call. It's
clear to anyone who has seen Eddie George the last two years. Ask a fantasy
football owner. He's hit the wall. George has been such a workhorse for seven
years -- much more so than most. It's happened to Eddie George. Many think
it's happening to Curtis Martin. Years of abuse as a 30-carry-a-game back have
taken their toll. Johnson could end up being this year's Clinton Portis and
replace George quicker than some would think. Then again, WR could be an option
-- giving George a hollow vote of confidence. If the Titans are convinced a
RB and WR they like will be available later, they could take a run at a cornerback.
They have several options, but none that are aching needs.
| Rex Grossman, QB, Florida -- If Grossman
wants to become a great NFL quarterback, he will likely have to wait a year
or two. Brett Favre still has the hankering to play, but it's starting to diminish.
Ideally, Grossman could have two years to absorb the intricacies of the West
Coast Offense and be fully prepared when Favre is ready to step aside. Some
around the Packers have questioned Grossman's willingness to be a caddy for
two years waiting for Favre to step into retirement, so the name of Kyle Boller
from Cal has surfaced as a possibility. However, with the Packers looking to
get a guy in now to do the job in the future, it's hard to go wrong with Grossman
-- especially since four or five QBs currently still on the board will be gone
by this pick in the second round
| Dewayne White, DE, Louisville -- The
Eagles had been hopeful that their success over the last two years would be
enough to keep Hugh Douglas with the Eagles. But, the Jags offered enough money
to get him to bolt, and now the team has a serious question at DE. With Shawn
Barber and Barry Gardner also gone, there could be a push to grab a linebacker,
but the talent pool at DE is dwindling and White seems like the better option
for filling that hole in the first round. The Eagles entered free agency knowing
they were going to lose at least one of the three big-ticket defensive free
agents. But to lose all three was a serious blow, and Douglas was the biggest
loss of all -- which demands a change.
| Jeff Faine, C, Notre Dame -- Up until
the Tijuana police became part of Barret Robbins frame of reference, drafting
a center wasn't even on the radar scope. Now that he's likely never going to
play with the Raiders again -- what teammate can depend on him when he goes
AWOL before the Super Bowl? -- this has become a priority. Faine is regarded
as the best center going and will be a need pick now. With two picks, the Raiders
could address the problem at center as well as either defensive end or defensive
tackle. But, knowing Al Davis, if there is a player he really likes, he won't
hesitate to jump up a few spots dangling both of the next two picks as trade
|32.||Oakland (from Tampa Bay/Jon Gruden trade)||
| Willis McGahee, RB, Miami -- This
is a very tough call to make, because McGahee may never fully regain his pre-injury
form and likely wont play much, if at all, this season. But, with essentially
a free pick from the trading of head coach Jon Gruden, it seems to minimize
the risk somewhat. While the Raiders could go defensive end or wide receiver
to eventually replace Jerry Rice and Tim Brown both of whom will likely
be gone after this season McGahee could be a star on the horizon at
a bargain price. If the Raiders pass on McGahee, dont expect to see him
last beyond Dallas with the sixth pick in the second round.
Mock Draft - Version 10.0
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