Last Minute Mock Draft
By Zachary Best
– OT Jake Long, Michigan
- The Dolphins have already worked out a contract with Jakes Long, and he will be the number 1 pick in this weekends draft. Long brings a toughness and attitude that the Dolphins offensive line has not had in years.
– DE Chris Long, Virginia
The Rams take Howie Long’s son Chris Long to complete their defensive line. Adam Carriker was a great pick for them last year, and now he can create havoc with Chris Long next to him. Long could be the missing piece to the Rams having a very good defense.
3. Atlanta Falcons – DT Glenn Dorsey, LSU
- Glenn Dorsey is highly regarded as the best pick in this draft to some. The Falcons grab the dominating defensive tackle here to solidify a position that Atlanta has sorely needed for a long time.
– DE Vernon Gholston, Ohio State
- Vernon Gholston is probably the best pure pass rusher in this draft. He is also a freakish athlete who has a knack for making big plays. Gholston and Derrick Burgess could form a very formidable DE tandem.
– DT Sedrick Ellis, USC
- The Chiefs grab the best defensive lineman available, and can do so having another first round pick to use for their offensive line. Ellis is the other big time DT in this draft, and is known for creating havoc in the backfield.
– RB Vernon Gholston, Arkansas
- The Jets offense has been very boring the last few years. They have some good players, but do not have an explosive threat like Darren McFadden. After adding to the offensive and defensive lines in free agency the Jets can afford to go skill position early on in this draft. McFadden can score anytime he touches the football, and should bring excitement to Jets fans.
7. New England Patriots (From 49ers) – CB Leodis McKelvin, Troy
- The Pats took a huge blow when they lost Asante Samuel in free agency, and they also lost nickle CB Randall Gay. They grabbed a few bodies in free agency, but they need a top talent to come in and replace what Samuel did for them. McKelvin may have played at a small school, but he belongs among the elite in college football.
– QB Matt Ryan, Boston College
- Steve McNair has officially retired, and had left the Ravens with an even bigger QB need. They would be thrilled to see Matt Ryan fall in their lap like this, and Baltimore would celebrate having their first franchise QB ever. Ryan has great size, and a lot of intangibles you look for at a QB on the next level.
– DE Derrick Harvey, Florida
- The Bengals defense has to be better for them to make it back to the playoffs. They need to focus mostly on defense this draft, and they can start up front. Derrick Harvey is a tall quick defensive end who is being labeled the next Jevon Kearse. I don’t know if that is a compliment anymore, but at one time Jevon was truly a “freak”. Harvey should probably compete for playing time right away, and make a difference.
10. New Orleans Saints – LB Keith Rivers, USC
- The Saints have focused on getting better linebackers this off season, by trading for Jonathan Vilma, and then signing Dan Morgan. Morgan seems more like a band aid than a long term solution, and that is why they could take Keith Rivers here. Rivers is probably the most athletic linebacker in the draft, and should be a play maker on the outside. Also look for a potential trade up for one of the top DTs by the Saints.
– WR Devin Thomas, Michigan State
- Buffalo needs more weapons on offense to succeed. They have a good looking RB in Marshawn Lynch, and a good speed WR in Lee Evans. After that there is not much to speak of for the Bills. Devin Thomas really made a name for himself at the combine, and proved he is a great athlete.
– OT Chris Williams, Vanderbilt
Denver only has two offensive tackles on their roster, and one of them has never played in an NFL game. Denver solved one problem by acquiring DT Dewayne Robertson from the Jets. Now they can focus on getting the best offensive lineman available. Williams is very athletic and light on his feet, which will probably make him the best fit for Denver’s blocking scheme.
13. Carolina Panthers – OT Branden Albert, Virginia
- The Panthers offensive line has also been troublesome over the past few years. They had to reshuffle the starting line several times last year, and now they get even weaker with the release of Guard Mike Whale. Branden Albert could take over at guard, and start right away, and he could play OT down the line.
– OT Ryan Clady, Boise State
- The Bears offensive line is getting old, and needs to be rebuilt. They can start by drafting big LT Ryan Clady. Clady is a dominating blocker who should bring back some toughness to the Bears ground game.
– DE Phillip Merling, Clemson
- The Lions have focused too much on offensive play makers the past 5 years, and need to start putting their focus on the defense. Kalimba Edwards has been released(not that he was any good) and the Lions need to look for a defensive end for their defense. Merling is a combo end that should be stout against the run, and he is also able to pressure the QB.
– RB Jonathan Stewart, Oregon
- The Cardinals spent a lot of money on free agent Edgerrin James a few years ago, and he has been average at best for them. You can already start to see James declining, and the Cardinals need of a RB. Jonathan Stewart may have a toe injury, but Arizona still has Edge for 1 more year to allow Stewart time to heal.
– OT Jeff Otah, Pittsburgh
- The big Jared Allen trade nets the Chiefs this extra first round pick. Here they look for the best offensive lineman available. Otah is a massive Tackle that could probably start right away for the Chiefs. The Jared Allen trade may help Kansas City rebuild through the draft if they play their cards right.
18. Houston Texans – DE Quentin Groves, Auburn
The Texans could use a young defensive end to play opposite Mario Williams. Right now they have two over the hill veterans in Anthony Weaver and ND Kalu. Groves is a very athletic end who is considered to be a bit of a tweener, but his athletic ability gives him a very high upside.
– CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, TSU
This would probably be the nightmare scenario for the Eagles. They are looking to go after a LT prospect, but the top 5 are already gone(look for them to trade up). Faced with this situation they would likely trade down a few spots, and fill another position later. If they were forced to make a selection, they would take the best CB left in DRC. He is a top notch athlete who has a great ability to make a play for the ball. Since it appears that Lito Sheppard is on the move the Eagles could solidify their CBs even more by drafting Dominique Rodgers Cromartie.
– WR DeSean Jackson, Cal
- The Bucs are rumored to the the leading candidate for acquiring CB Lito Sheppard, and this would eliminate a huge need for Tampa. They could then focus on drafting the best WR available. DeSean Jackson has blazing fast speed, and should be the successor to Joey Galloway.
– CB Mike Jenkins, USF
- The Redskins would love for Jenkins to fall to them at this spot. Jenkins could help out a secondary that is a bit banged up right now. Former first round pick Carlos Rogers is rehabbing from an ACL tear, and Shawn Springs seems to have nagging injuries every year. Jenkins could give the team a good young prospect to develop and eventually start.
(From Browns) – LB Jerod Mayo, Tennessee
- The Cowboys have been rumored to possibly cut ILB Akin Ayodele. They went and signed veteran lb Zach Thomas in the off season, and if Mayo falls to them they would definitely consider taking him. Mayo could be the missing piece to that very good LB core.
– WR Limas Sweed, Texas
- Big Ben has asked for a big WR, and now he gets his wish. Limas Sweed had a very big college career in Texas, but many question his ability to separate. The Steelers see a guy who has great size, good speed, and was very productive in college. They wont pass on this big wide out.
24. Tennessee Titans – CB Antoine Cason, Arizona
- The Titans have finally dumped criminal CB Pac Man Jones. Now that they are rid of the problem, they need to look for the solution at CB. Cason is a very talented Cb who has a knack for getting interceptions. He could be a steal of this this draft.
25. Seattle Seahawks – RB Rashard Mendenhall, Illinois
- Seattle has cut former MVP Shaun Alexander, and needs to look for a RB in this draft. Mendenhall is an explosive runner, who should fit in the west coast offense very well. With Julius Jones, and TJ Duckett has the other backs, Seattle will not miss SA much at all.
26. Jacksonville Jaguars – DE Calais Campbell, Miami
- Jacksonville has a pretty good defense, but they are lacking at DE. They failed to sign Justin Smith in free agency, and now look to fill this need in the draft. Campbell is a huge end, and should be a great fit with the Jaguars.
– OT Gosder Cherilus, Boston College
- The Chargers biggest need is RT, and they would love for Cherilus to fall to them here. He dominated at BC at RT, and should do the same in the NFL. Expect him to be a starter from day 1.
– RB Felix Jones, Arkansas
- Contract negotiations with Marion Barber have not gone well, and Dallas let starter Julius Jones leave for Seattle. The Cowboys solve this issue by drafting the other Arkansas RB Felix Jones. Jerry Jones is an Arkansas guy, and he is sure to want his Cowboys to get Felix Jones.
(From Colts) – LB Dan Connor, Penn State
- San Fran struck gold with MLB Patrick Willis last year, and this year they get another MLB to play next to him. Dan Connor is not the most athletic player, but he sure is productive. He has managed to become Penn States all time tackles leader, and he won the chuck Bednarik Award. Connor and Willis would be a nasty duo in the middle of the 49ers defense.
– CB Brandon Flowers, Virginia Tech
- With Al Harris, and Charles Woodson getting older the Pack need to find a young Cb prospect for the future. Brandon Flowers is a very tough and physical corner who would be perfect for Green Bays pressing style of defense.
FORFEITED FOR CHEATING
– CB Aqib Talib, Kansas
- Aqib Talib will slip in this draft because he failed drug tests in college, but he is very talented. The Giants would realize he is the best player on the board, and happily grab him here. He played CB, but there is a small chance that he could convert to Safety in the NFL is he added some bulk. Talib could probably work his way into the starting lineup by the end of his first year.