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Wednesday, April 2, 2008

INRCP's Mock Draft

Ed. Note: This mock draft is brought to you by Kyle Miller, a guy who scans web material all day about the draft. I personally trust his judgement, but if he's wrong, I claim absolutely no responsibility. Seriously. So don't whine.

The NFL Draft is coming up this month on the 26th. Besides being a thrilling TV spectacle (I fell asleep before the Raven's first pick last year), the draft is a great opportunity to celebrate young athletes. Unfortunately, I hardly know who they are past the top 10 prospects, so I did what any sports blog author would do: Made my roommate make a mock draft for me.

Here's his take and explanations:

1) MIAMI - DE CHRIS LONG: Other than Jake Long, C-Long is the most polished player in this draft. He’s no L.T., but Bill Parcells can use this kid in multiple positions in a weak Miami defense.

2) ST. LOUIS - DT GLENN DORSEY: Drafting Adam Carriker last year was a step in the right direction for the Rams on the defensive side of the ball. Now with Dorsey on the roster, Carriker will be able to move back to his defensive end position. Dorsey is the best 4-3 tackle in this draft with a rare blend of size, power, and athleticism. He could be the next Warren Sapp ... seriously.

3) ATLANTA - QB MATT RYAN: This just needs to happen. Joey Harrington is their starting quarterback right now ... Are you f***ing kidding me?

4) OAKLAND - RB DARREN MCFADDEN: Chris Long and Jake Long may be the most polished, but Run DMC is the best talent and given Oakland’s lack of real depth at running back, McFadden is a great prospect. If he runs in the NFL like he did in college, say hello to The Juice part II.

5) KANSAS CITY - OT JAKE LONG: Larry Johnson is personally flying this kid to KC if he falls to them. He is the kind of guy you can build a line around. He has a nasty demeanor, great push in the running game, and is a very solid pass blocker. Not as good as Joe Thomas of last year’s draft, but he is bar-none the best O-lineman in a deep tackle draft.

6) NYJ – DE/OLB VERNON GHOLSTON: This won’t take but about 2 seconds for the Jets to think through - he is the best pass rusher in this draft. He made Jake Long look average in the Ohio State - Michigan game, registering two sacks. He also possesses a rare blend of size (6’4-265) and athleticism (45 inch vertical, 37 bench press, 4.6 speed). Just the guy they need to get after Brady.

7) NEW ENGLAND – CB LEODIS MCKELVIN: This makes sense on a lot of levels. One, he is the best cornerback in this draft. The patriots lost key players in their secondary. Also, he is a big-time return man. Has great ball skills and can run with anyone.

8) BALTIMORE – CB DOMINIQUE RODGERS CROMARTIE: Yes, they need a QB (ed. note: I'm pretty certain Troy Smith is the answer, but maybe to be safe ...) but there is no quarterback worth this pick. Chris McCallister is getting old and they need to start grooming replacements for some of those playmakers that made that defense great.

9) CINCINNATI – DT SEDRICK ELLIS: Some believe he is the top DT in the draft. My mock obviously begs to differ. However, this would be an amazing pickup for the Bengals who have essentially had the Brokeback Mountain technique run on their defensive front seven for the past few years. Ellis provides an interior pass rush as well as the ability to make plays behind the line of scrimmage against the run.

10) NEW ORLEANS – LB KEITH RIVERS: It sucks for the Saints that Ellis went to Cincinnati but Keith Rivers is the best linebacker in this draft. Reliable tackler, good cover man, and with John Vilma next to him, that looks like a linebacker corps to take seriously. The Saints are going in the right direction in terms of rebuilding the defense.

11) BUFFALO – WR MALCOLM KELLY: When Lee Evans is your top receiver, you’re in trouble - he is not as complete as a No. 1 receiver should be (ed. note: and he kills your fantasy team). Malcolm Kelly is 6’4 230 pounds, can make all the pro catches, and has some wheels on him to go deep. Plus, his presence could make the Lee Evans go route more deadly.

12) DENVER – OT RYAN CLADY: This is a definite need pick for Denver in order to get younger up front. In addition, Clady himself said he felt more comfortable in a zone-blocking scheme.

13) CAROLINA – DE DERRICK HARVEY: Mike Rucker is gone. So is Kris Jenkins. Derrick Harvey is an animal in terms of rushing the passer (MVP of BCS Championship: 3 sacks on Troy Smith). If Julius Peppers even bothers showing up on the field, Harvey can get a lot of one-on-one matchups.

14) CHICAGO – RB RASHARD MENDENHALL: They made a mistake letting go of Thomas Jones and leaving their running game in the hands (or lack there of) of Cedric Benson. Mendenhall has great strength, size, and speed. Hopefully he works out for them in order to put Ceddy the Human Teddy on the bench.

15) DETROIT – OT CHRIS WILLIAMS: He is one of the more highly regarded left tackles in this draft and too good of a prospect to pass up. He pass blocks like no other (only 2 sacks his last two seasons at Vanderbilt) so Detroit’s QB can actually stay vertical.

16) ARIZONA – CB MIKE JENKINS: They wish Keith Rivers fell to them but they still get value in Mike Jenkins. Playmaker at the corner position. Has good ball skills and timed well at the combine. Can instantly help Arizona’s defense.

17) MINNESOTA – DE PHILLIP MERLING: One of their defensive ends unfortunately came down with a career threatening disease. Phillip Merling is a playmaker, a very hard worker, and while he may not have eye-popping measurables, his game film definitely shows a DE that has all the tools to have a successful NFL career.

18) HOUSTON – RB JONATHAN STEWART: They don’t care about his injury. He will be healthy by the start of the season. Running back is one of the easiest positions to play in transition from college to the pros. Ahman Green is getting old and they need a back that can handle the 20-25 carry load in the future.

19) PHILADELPHIA – OT JEFF OTAH: They could go with DeSean Jackson here but Andy Reid is the kind of coach that loves to build the trenches in the draft. He can step in immediately and give Winston Justice serious competition. He is raw as hell, but is a mauler and has decent pass-blocking skills. Could be a starter within the next year or so.

20) TAMPA BAY – WR DESEAN JACKSON: Joey Galloway is like 60 and Garcia had no one else to throw the ball to. Jackson is small but he is a playmaker at the receiver position and in the return game. He is deadly in the open field. Tampa can use him a million different ways.

21) WASHINGTON – WR LIMAS SWEED: Santana Moss, Chris Cooley, and ... my point exactly (ed. note: Brandon Lloyd really worked out, didn't he?). They need another receiver to help compliment Moss and help bring along young Jason Campbell. He has breakaway speed, can win 80% of jump balls, and can make all the difficult catches necessary to be successful in this league.

22) DALLAS – RB FELIX JONES: Perfect complement to Marion the Barbarian. He can catch balls out of the backfield and has some burners on him (4.45 speed).

23) PITTSBURGH – OG BRANDON ALBERT: This is just too easy. Kevin Colbert and Mike Tomlin tear their hamstrings running to hand in their selection to Roger Goodell. He projects to play LG immediately and LT in the near future. He is nasty with excellent pass-blocking skills(something the Steelers would’ve killed for last year). He also gets great push in the running game. In short, he’s a freak of nature.

24) TENNESSEE – LB JEROD MAYO: They wished Limas Sweed fell to them but Keith Bulluck is getting old and this kid would be a great addition to an already good defense. Mayo can flow through traffic, making tackles in the trenches, and has a ridiculous motor.

25) SEATTLE – TE DUSTIN KELLER: They do not have a good tight end . They could go with Fred Davis but Keller is bigger, better blocker and a more versatile tight end. Hopefully he can make Seahawks fans forget about that asshole Jerramy f***ing Stevens (ed. note: who raped someone in college).

26) JACKSONVILLE – DT KENTWAN BALMER: Had a pretty productive career at North Carolina. Can help the Jaguar’s interior and step in where John Henderson was.

27) SAN DIEGO – CB AQUIB TALIB: Not only did they lose Drayton Florence, this is way too good for the chragers to pass up. Talib is a top-10 caliber corner. He can make plays in the secondary, has great ball skills, and he is not afraid to take risks, which isn’t terrible when thinking about the Charger’s pass rush.

28) DALLAS - WR DEVIN THOMAS: He can provide another big strong weapon for Tony Romo in that offense. Good return man, good speed and fluid athleticism.

29) SAN FRANCISCO – DE QUENTIN GROVES: This is more of a luxury pick for the 49ers since there are no O-lineman worth taking here. Nonetheless, he is one of the best pass rushers in this draft. He's got great timed speed and great strength to beat big offensive tackles off the edge.

30) GREEN BAY – CB BRANDON FLOWERS: They need a corner and all the top corners are taken. Brandon Flowers is polished and experienced. Plus he would be playing with two of the better corners in the league (Al Harris and Charles Woodson).

31) NEW ENGLAND – Canon EOS 5D Digital Camera.

32) NYG – S KENNY PHILLIPS: He is the best safety by far in this draft, and the Giants need a safety to put in the secondary. He had a disappointing junior season, but he has all the tools necessary to be a starter in this league. Excellent range, hard hitter, and he’s a safety from the U. What more do you want?

Thanks for your perspective Kyle, and readers, leave a comment.

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