Monday, April 21, 2008

2008 NFL Mock Draft

Unfortunately I am one of those idiots who gets all psyched up about the NFL draft. I watch all the combine stuff, check out all the mock drafts, and last year I even grew my hair out like Mel Kiper, Jr. I’ll be honest, I didn’t even know who a bunch of these guys were until after the season ended. Is that going to stop me from prognosticating where they will go and how good they’ll be? Of course not. I’ll guarantee you that at least six of these are dead on.

1. Dolphins – Jake Long, Michigan

Just seems like Jake Long is willing to be the next Parcells guy. I think the Big Tuna wants Vernon Gholston, but knows that he’s not a great value at the top pick. The NFL basically has a value attached to every pick for all seven rounds of the draft. Using that formulation, teams can figure out how much they would have to sacrifice to move from the 20th pick to the 6th pick. What I don’t get is that that system is outdated. Teams seem to value quantity over quality these days, so the idea of giving up a first, second, and a third to move up 15 spots in the first round is just absurd. The Giants gave up what amounted to Philip Rivers, Shawn Merriman, Roman Oben (who started at left tackle for San Diego before they got Marcus McNeil) and some low round pick, for Eli Manning. Obviously, just like when the Pistons won a championship with Darko instead of D. Wade, Melo, or Bosh, you can’t question the end result, but I still think that’s giving up way too much to move up a couple of spots. What Parcells really wants to do here is get Gholston, Long, or Long, and get them for as cheap as possible. So why not trade down to the Raiders spot for like a fourth round pick? It would get them a huge amount of cap relief, allow them to get Gholston, and everyone knows Al Davis wouldn’t be able to resist it, even though it would go against everything the Raiders need to do right now. I think Jake Long becomes the guy. Gholston doesn’t deserve to be the top pick, and Parcells must have doubts about Chris Long’s ability to play outside linebacker in a 3-4.

As an aside, Parcells must get so pissed when he’s reminded that the Dolphins spent a top ten pick on Ted Ginn last season. I don’t think Parcells would have okayed drafting him in the third round. I also like that everyone basically operates under the assumption that Parcells is actually coaching the team. Nobody mentions Tony Sparano’s preferences in drafting.

2. Rams – Vernon Gholston, Ohio State

They sound like they want to move to a 3-4 at least part of the time, and Gholston is a prototypical outside backer for a 3-4. He also gives the Rams a pass-rusher, and their defense really needs that. Glenn Dorsey makes sense here, but I guess he makes too much sense, so Gholston becomes the guy.

3. Falcons – Matt Ryan, Boston College

Ryan doesn’t deserve to be the third guy taken, but the Falcons desperately need a new face for the franchise. Ryan is probably the whitest QB in the draft (Chad Henne is next, but he has Chinese character tattoos so Ryan keeps his title as whitest), and Atlanta is the blackest franchise. This might not be the face the fans are looking for. We’ll see.

4. Raiders – Darren McFadden, Arkansas

Does anyone have any doubt that the Raiders will take Run DMC? Even Howie Long’s son can’t stop Al Davis from drafting McFadden.

5. Chiefs – Glenn Dorsey, LSU

I hope the Chiefs are smart enough to do this. I know Dorsey has injury concerns, but he was the most dominant defensive tackle that college football has seen since Warren Sapp. Teams are trying too hard to find reasons not to take Dorsey.

6. Jets – Chris Long, Virginia

Pretty good value for Chris Long here, and the Jets get to make an easy pick, and add a pass-rusher.

7. Patriots – Branden Albert, Virginia

Virginia could have two of the top five picks in the draft, no wonder they were so awesome last season! I think the Patriots will trade out of this pick, and they’ll probably get waaaayyy too much for it. If they stand pat (pun intended) I think they take an offensive lineman, and Branden Albert is the hot name right now. I’m confused that he played guard in college, and was originally projected to be picked in the late teens as a guard, but now teams think he can play left tackle, and it’s rumored he’ll go as high as fifth to play a position he didn’t play in college. Curious.

8. Ravens – Leodis McKelvin, Troy

The Ravens almost always get the best value with their high picks, corner is one of their greatest needs, and McKelvin is considered about as good as there is in this draft class. I really wanted the Cowboys to draft him, but McKelvin just looked too good at the Senior Bowl and Combine to slip that far. I’ll go ahead and officially begin my campaign to have him referred to as “McLovin.” It’s a reference about twenty years too current for Berman to anoint him with that nickname, but hopefully someone steps up to the plate and gets the ball rolling. Think McLovin, people, YES WE CAN!

9. Bengals – Sedrick Ellis, USC

If he’s available, the Bengals will sprint to the podium to land this big lug.

10. Saints – Keith Rivers, USC

Rumored to desire a trade up to secure Dorsey or Ellis. If they can’t pull off that feat, they’ll probably go with Rivers. The secondary is weak, but they can’t just keep sinking money in it. Rivers is considered one of the safest picks in the draft

11. Bills – Devin Thomas, Michigan State

The Bills really need more options on offense, and Thomas was a one year wonder last year with excellent combine numbers.

12. Broncos – Ryan Clady, Boise State

Obligatory reference to zone blocking. Aren’t the offensive line picks always boring? They show those highlights and basically the point of the highlight is that there was no highlight so the O-Line did a good job. They should sub in footage of naked women or clips from Wes Anderson movies (Hotel Chevalier…two birds one stone).

13. Panthers – Derrick Harvey, Florida

Julius Peppers is in a contract year. If Derrick Harvey comes in and can play, the Panthers are going to take out at least one QB this season. Which leaves four to go to break even after last year when they went through Delhomme, Carr, Testaverde, Damon Whiteside, and Matt Moore.

14. Bears – Chris Williams, Vanderbilt

Because last season wasn’t Rex Grossman or Cedric Benson’s fault…maybe.

15. Lions – Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, TSU

His combine numbers were just sick, and he’s almost 6’2”. He’s a really intriguing prospect, and his cousin had a decent season last year. I have never seen him play, but I heard that he got beat regularly last year against inferior talent. Maybe he has terrible instincts and he’ll never pan out, but if he can convert the measureables into on-field success, then the Lions will have picked wisely in the first round two years in a row. One more and the planet core explodes.

16. Cardinals – Rashard Mendenhall, Illinois

Edgerrin is getting old, and everyone loves Mendenhall, Detroit and Chicago are threats to take him earlier than this.

17. Chiefs – Brian Brohm, Louisville

If the Vikings trade for Jared Allen, as it appears they will, then they will no longer have such a pressing need for a defensive end...I was assuming that the Vikings were going to keep this year's first round pick, but I was wrong. Brohm could still be such a good find here. He’s probably the most NFL ready of all the QBs (for the Ryan enthusiasts, please note that Matt Ryan threw 19 interceptions last season). I know that the Chiefs have a ton of needs, but when you have two first round picks, you get to play with house money a bit, and why not spend this pick on a QB that probably would have gone in the top five last season, and all he did was come in and have a great year? The run of DEs and top flight tackles is over by here, so the Chiefs should just take the best player available, and that's probably Brohm.

18. Texans – Mike Jenkins, USF

They need help in the secondary, receiver, running back, maybe quarterback (pending injuries), and in the linebacking corps. The defensive line is all set though!

19. Eagles – Jerod Mayo, Tennessee

I just hear so many good things about this guy, and I feel like Andy Reid will dig his heels in and refuse to get a playmaking receiver here. Fortunately, Donovan McNabb will never bring that up later in the season when Eagles can’t move the ball.

20. Buccaneers – DeSean Jackson, Cal

I used to have huge questions about Jackson because of his size (only about 169 pounds). But I’ve read that his route-running is solid, he has good hands, and he’s obviously a very talented returner. He could learn from Gray Beard Galloway, and possibly be a steal. First round receivers have a high bust rate, but with Jackson you know you’re at least getting an outstanding returner.

21. Redskins – Limas Sweed, Texas

They need a receiver that’s bigger than me.

22. Cowboys – Aqib Talib, Kansas

I set this mock up so that Dallas could get Talib. The knock on him is that he smoked weed in college. So have the last two Presidents (and counting). He’s a big-time playmaker who puts pressure on the QB because he’ll go for interceptions. He’ll pay for some of those gambles, but as the nickel corner, that’s certainly something the Cowboys could live with.

23. Steelers – Jeff Otah, Pittsburgh

A steady pick for a franchise that doesn’t like to get too crazy on draft day. The Steelers line was terrible last season, and Otah could help keep Big Ben and Fast Willie in the lineup.

24. Titans – James Hardy, Indiana

I really like Hardy, and I hope Vince Young gets a nice big target like him to improve the Titans pathetic offense. They can’t even move the ball in Madden.

25. Seahawks – Dustin Keller, Purdue

Keller was the ultimate combine warrior. Amongst tight ends he was either first or second in the 40 yard dash, vertical leap, broad jump, cone drill and watermelon seed spitting. The Seahawks already signed TJ Duckett and Julius Jones to go with Mo Morris, and they’re still eating Alexander’s salary, so they shouldn’t put any more eggs in the running back basket. I know Alexander is technically still a Seahawk, but by that standard he’s technically still a starting running back in the NFL, and I’m not going to mislead my fine readers.

26. Jaguars – Phillip Merling, Clemson

He’s an enormous defensive end, and the Jaguars like enormous football players. Going back to Madden, Maurice Jones-Drew is the best football player ever in Madden ’08. He’s completely unstoppable. He returns squib kicks for touchdowns, and his little Ewok legs just churn right through any would-be tacklers. It’s mind boggling.

27. Chargers – Kentwan Balmer, UNC

Everyone says Balmer is amazing, and the Chargers are loaded at every position, so they really can just pick the best player available. They’ll probably trade out of this pick to get more picks and someone will take Brohm or Flacco here. If not, then I’ll just roll the dice and say Balmer. I hope he likes steroids.

28. Cowboys – Felix Jones, Arkansas

There are like zero mock drafts that don’t have Felix Jones going to Dallas. Are other teams even allowed to draft him? The Cowboys are going to take a corner, WR, and RB with their first three picks, and they can pretty much just see who the best player at one of those positions is available at each of their picks.

29. 49ers – Dan Connor, Penn State

Last season everyone raved about Patrick Willis being so NFL ready and he slipped to the 49ers. The exact same thing is happening with Dan Connor. He and Willis could be cornerstones at MLB for the 49ers 3-4 for the next decade, which is probably a lot longer than Alex Smith and Mike Nolan will be around.

30. Packers – Antoine Cason, Arizona

Woodson and Harris are ancient, and Cason is sort of small, but he’s the same type of physical, ball hawking corner that the old guys are, so he could fit in well with the Packers’ scheme. I hear number 4 is available as a jersey number if he’s looking to make a splash with the fans.

On a side note, I went to Madison, Wisconsin a couple of weeks ago. If you ever go, give the Spotted Cow beer a try, and don’t let your friend T.J. talk about how Brett Favre is the most overrated athlete of your generation.

31. Giants – Kenny Phillips, Miami

Almost went the entire first round without drafting a guy from the U. That was too close for comfort…way to make us sweat it out, Calais Campbell.


Blogger Thelonius Monk said...

Jake Long really is the only pick here for the Dolphins if they believe Ronnie Brown will return to full health from his injury. However, I think this is a completely underrated group of quarterbacks and a lot of these top teams are going to regret passing on some of these guys a few years down the line.

I also can't decide whether or not having Run-DMC sharing carries has helped Jones' draft stock or hurt it. I like the Cowboys plan of having two reliable backs who each take a half. Felix Jones could run wild in the second half of games next year for the Boys.

I'm not big on Matt Ryan, and Atlanta seems like one of the worst situations to walk into if you are a rookie. Sort of like being drafted by the Vancouver Grizzlies in the mid-90's.

Back to my comment on the quarterbacks, I don't think this is a particularly deep quarterback class, but I think Brohm could be a 10-13 year starter in the league. I also think Andre Woodson can start, especially in a league where Trent Edwards and Brody Croyle have both been described by the words "the future." I'm not big on John David Booty, but I think Chad Henne could also play.

Sidebar: I have a friend in St. Louis who friends with Josh Booty, John David's older brother. About a year ago Josh Booty was tasered after being pulled over for drunk driving and resisting his arrest. My friend is going to Josh's "One Year Since Being Tasered Party" in a few weeks. So, no, I don't have a lot of hope for John David.

April 22, 2008 at 11:43 AM  
Blogger Thelonius Monk said...

Wow, what a call by Runs. You're 1 for 1 already.

April 22, 2008 at 3:54 PM  
Blogger Runs With Two Horses said...

I know, right? This clearly shows that I'm no bullshitter. The analogy between Atlanta and the mid-90's Grizzlies is dead on. Just a sad, sad franchise that has almost nothing going for it. Also, I can't believe the Bengals turned down essentially two first round picks for Crazy Chad Johnson. There aren't many players in the NFL that shouldn't be traded for two first round picks. Chad isn't one of them.

April 22, 2008 at 8:44 PM  
Blogger Thelonius Monk said...

It was only guaranteed two first rounders if Chad met certain expectations and the Redskins met certain expectations next season. If not, it would have been a first and third rounder. And what have we done with draft picks so far. Chris Perry - injured, Kenny Irons - injured, David Pollack - injured and done, Odell Thurman - just returned from two year suspension. Leon Hall is all we can show for the past three years.

April 23, 2008 at 11:55 AM  

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