If you’re like me, you probably spend hours and hours watching draft coverage just to see if you can decipher any type of clear picture of what the draft might look like. Personally, I like to think that I can predict the draft just as easily as Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay. Sometimes its easy. Like two years ago, when the one thing that didn’t go as planned was Matt Leinart falling to the Cardinals. I know, I know. You’re probably thinking… what about the Texans taking Mario Williams over Reggie Bush? Honestly, if you were Charlie Casserly and your job depended on taking the sexy choice and go with Reggie Bush, or taking someone who would eventually be the leader of a very underrated defensive line… what would you do? Personally, I would’ve gone with Vince Young. Hometown hero, doesn’t need an offensive line, and he finds ways to win without putting up insane numbers. But enough about the past. Lets talk about this year’s draft. For those that know me, this is like Christmas time for me. I always look forward to the draft and this year is no different.
If you haven’t heard it before, this might either be the year of the running back or the year of the offensive lineman. Regardless, its a pretty deep draft. In this mock draft, some things might make a lot of sense, and other things might not make sense at all so don’t be surprised if you see a few changes here and there between now and April 26th. Without further delay, your 2008 NFL Draft.
With the first pick in the 2008 NFL Draft, the Miami Dolphins select…
1. Michigan OT Jake Long with a side of dignity. This is the same team that took Ted Ginn Jr last year at number 9. I mean, seriously? He’s a good wideout with less than stellar lateral movement and decent change of direction skills. But I digress. Jake Long should provide some consistency along that miserable offensive line. The Dolphins ranked 23rd overall last season in rushing offense. Part of that was due to injuries to Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams. I think the Dolphins benefit from having Long here because he can be the anchor that they build around for the next ten years. Its happened before. Orlando Pace helped turn the Rams into the “greatest show on turf”, Walter Jones has been a solid member of that Seahawks running game for years. Need I remind you that Joe Thomas helped the Browns win 10 games and made the Pro Bowl? If you need more proof, look at next season’s schedule. The Browns have 3 Monday Night games. They haven’t had any in the past three years. With that said, offensive linemen are the unsung heroes. Bill Parcells isn’t stupid. He’s going to take Jake Long. Besides, no one else is going to trade up that far.
2. Chris Long, DE University of VirginiaThere’s speculation that the Rams want to trade out of this spot and the Saints are interested. Regardless of who is picking here, a defensice lineman will be selected. Lets assume there are no trades. If thats the case, Chris Long goes the Rams to form a strong young defensive line with Adam Carriker and Chris Long on both sides. In fact, Chris Long is already my pick for Defensive Rookie of the Year. If the Saints pick here, I could see them passing on Long to take Glenn Dorsey which would mean that Long would end up where his dad played with the Raiders. Hows that for pressure?
3. Matt Ryan QB Boston College The Falcons need to move on and help themselves by taking a franchise quarterback. Matt Ryan is a no-brainer. Sure, they could take Glenn Dorsey but I’m not sure if thats the direction they need to go. I think this is a smart pick in terms of public relations after the Michael Vick fiasco.
4. Vernon Gholston DE Ohio St The Raiders just gave Tommy Kelly a new contract worth $50 million a few weeks ago. Before then, I had no idea who Tommy Kelly was. And thats saying a lot. He had 30 tackles and 1 sack last season. He only has 13 career sacks. They need help on the defensive line. With that said, the Raiders are going to be looking to get some help on the line. Vernon Gholston is an absolute animal. The only knock on him is whether he gives 100% on every play. If he does, then they’ve got a great player coming in.
5. Ryan Clady OT Boise St. At first I was thinking that Glenn Dorsey would go here but after the year that Jared Allen just had, why draft another defensive lineman? Instead, draft someone who can take the pressure off of Brodie Croyle.
6. Darren McFadden RB, Arkansas Could the Jets really be dumb enough to pass on Run DMC? Seriously, the one thing they’ve lacked since Curtis Martin’s knees went AWOL is a running back and they’ve been trying to platoon it since. Yeah, Thomas Jones did well in Chicago but guess what? He had an offensive line. Leon Washington is a nice change of pace back but he’s not your starter. McFadden is an exceptional talent who can be productive for many years. He’s no Adrian Peterson but he’s talented.
7. Aqib Talib, CB Kansas I was thinking that the Pats could go offensive line or linebacker here with either Jeff Otah or Keith Rivers but they lost so much in the secondary with Asante Samuel and Randall Gay. Knowing the way the Pats work, they can find someone later in the draft to fill their needs on the offensive line, and there are plenty of good linebackers to be had in the second and third rounds.
8. Jeff Otah OT Pittsburgh If the Falcons have a lapse in judgement, and pass on Matt Ryan for Glenn Dorsey, Matt Ryan would be ideal here with the Ravens because Kyle Boller isn’t cutting it and Steve McNair just retired. If the Ravens decide to keep Boller they better get him some protection with Jeff Otah.
9. Glenn Dorsey, DT LSU The Bengals have a working offense with or without Ocho Cinco and they need to do something about that defense. Why not go after the best prospect at his position, Glenn Dorsey. Most draft gurus would probably want my head on a platter for having Glenn Dorsey so far down, but I really think that if teams wanted to draft intelligently, it would go this way.
10. Sedrick Ellis DT, USC Honestly, I think the Saints could go tight end here and take Dustin Keller but if they want a defensive tackle so badly, unless they trade up, taking Sedrick Ellis is their best bet.
11. Devin Thomas WR Michigan St They have Lee Evans and Roscoe Parrish. I think Trent Edwards would appreciate another target. They could go tight end here but I’m not sold on any of this year’s tight end prospects.
12. Rashard Mendenhall RB Illinois The Broncos say they want a back to complement Travis Henry and/or Selvin Young. Mendenhall is the best answer here and he’s what they’ve lacked since they traded Clinton Portis to the Redskins.
13. Brandon Albert OG Virginia The Panthers would be smart to draft either an offensive lineman or a quarterback here as an insurance policy for Jake Delhomme. A big bruising guard like Albert would help open up holes for DeAngelo Williams, who’s going to be getting a lot more snaps now that DeShaun Foster is gone.
14. Chad Henne QB Michigan The Bears need a quarterback… nuff said.
15. Keith Rivers LB USC The Lions have a good offense and could benefit from taking a quarterback here but they have more pressing needs on the defensive side of the ball. The Lions were dead last in total defense last season.
16. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie CB Tennessee St. Its hard to believe he’ll fall this far to the Cardinals but at this point, he’s the best player available at his position.
17. Malcolm Kelly WR, Oklahoma The Vikings need another reciever to stretch the field on the other side of Sidney Rice. Malcolm Kelly may be disputing his 40 time but I think he’s a great fit here in Minnesota.
18. Leodis McElvin CB, Troy The Texans would really improve their pass defense with a corner here. Up until a few weeks ago, this guy was a projected to be in the top 10.
19. Kenny Phillips S Miami Brian Dawkins isn’t going to be around forever.
20. DeSean Jackson WR California I’d hate to sound repetitive but Joey Galloway isn’t going to be around forever. And remember how up until last year, The Buccaneers had gone over 1,800 attempts without a kick returned for a touchdown? Jackson is a good returner, so there you go Tampa.
21. Limas Sweed WR Texas Its hard to believe the Redskins would get another wide reciever but this one can actually catch and is taller than 5’10”. The only knock on him is his durability.
22. Felix Jones RB Arkansas There’s no way Jerry Jones misses out on a complementary back for Marion Barber… that also went to his alma mater.
23. Derrick Harvey DE Florida The Steelers need another impact defensive lineman to rush the passer.
24. James Hardy WR Indiana Seriously, is Vince Young on Punk’d? He’s got no recievers… at all. Go ahead. Name one. See? I told you.
25. Dustin Keller TE Purdue The one thing that the Seahawks lacked has been a pass catching tight end. Its just too bad they dont have the impact running back to get that offense over the hump.
26. Chris Williams OT Vanderbilt Absolute beast. Remember when David Garrard ran on that 4th and long play in the playoffs against the Steelers? He wouldn’t have had to with this guy on the line.
27. Brandon Flowers CB Virginia Tech With this guy and Cromartie on both sides, the Chargers pass defense will be way better.
28. Andre Caldwell WR Florida With DeSean Jackson off the board, the Cowboys need a replacement for Terry Glenn.
29. Gosder Cherilus OT Boston College Finally some protection for Alex Smith.
30. Dan Connor LB Penn St. This is a smart pick for anyone, especially this late in the draft. The Packers could also draft a quarterback like Joe Flacco or Brian Brohm here if they’re not sold on Aaron Rodgers.
31. Xavier Adibi LB Virginia Tech I think the Giants would like to draft a linebacker here so they can move Mathias Kiwanuka back to defensive end. This might change if Strahan decides to come back.
32. There is no 32 because the Pats decided they wanted to steal signals and be cheaters. Dumbasses.