2008 NFL Mock Draft
by Ricky Dimon, Updated Friday, April 18, 2008Round 1 of 2
MIA: Jake Long, OT, Michigan
Bill Parcells would like to trade down and get more picks, but that looks impossible right now. So the question is: which Long will Miami go for here? The offensive line was the cause of a lot of the offense's problems in 2007, and Jake
would anchor the front for years.
STL: Chris Long, DE, Virginia
The Rams will probably end up with whichever Long the Dolphins pass up. Chris, son of Hall of famer Howie Long, was unstoppable last year at UVA and he continued to astound in the off-season.
ATL: Glenn Dorsey, DT, LSU
Matt Ryan or Glenn Dorsey? The Falcons have made no secret about wanting to build their team starting in the middle of the field, and with three second-round picks, they can still get a potential starting QB later on. That would indicate Dorsey going #3 overall.
OAK: Darren McFadden, RB, Arkansas
McFadden ran all over some of the best defenses in college football this season, so it's clear he is ready to make an instant impact on Sundays. That's exactly what the Raiders need in their backfield, as LaMont Jordan slowed to a halt this season and Justin Fargas is not the answer. You can bet Al Davis won't let an opportunity to take McFadden--and pair him with JaMarcus Russell--pass him by.
KC: Branden Albert, G, Virginia
Kansas City needs an offensive lineman in the worst way, so if Jake Long doesn't fall to this spot, the team could trade down. Albert's stock is soaring right now, but this would still be a bit of a reach.
NYJ: Vernon Gholston, DE, Ohio State
Obviously the Jets would love it if Chris Long slipped, but that possibility now seems nonexistent. Gholston, who enjoyed a monster season for Ohio State, is not a bad alterative to give the Jets' 3-4 scheme a huge boost on the outside.
NE: Leodis McKelvin, CB, Troy
Asante Samuel is out and the depth behind him at cornerback was already thin to begin with. Enter replacement Leodis McKelvin, who was little known in college but is shooting up draft boards now.
BAL: Matt Ryan, QB, Boston College
If Atlanta passes on Matt Ryan with the third pick, the Ravens will be licking their chops. They need a quarterback, and unless Ryan falls here, the Ravens will look elsewhere and pick up a QB later in the draft.
CIN: Sedrick Ellis, DT, USC
The Bengals struggled mightily last season, but as usual their most glaring needs showed up on defense. They'll have to able to at least somewhat stop the run this season and Ellis would be an ideal fit.
NO: Keith Rivers, LB, USC
Injuries hurt the Saints' offense last season but it's the defense that's been the Achilles' heel for years. Rivers has established himself as the cream of the crop among linebackers in this class and that is an area of need for New Orleans.
BUF: Devin Thomas, WR, Michigan State
If Keith Rivers gets past the Saints, Buffalo will be happy to snatch him up. Otherwise another much-needed weapon in the passing game is needed, and Devin Thomas' meteoric rise up draft boards has him at the top of the receiver list.
DEN: Ryan Clady, OT, Boise State
Clady could easily be gone by this point, so this would be a dream scenario for the Broncos. They need to replenish the offensive line in order to continue their run as a dominant running team.
CAR: Chris Williams, OT, Vanderbilt
The Panthers have plenty of needs, but offensive line could be the most pressing. Williams' stock is on the rise, and he would be a fine alternative if Ryan Clady is already off the board.
CHI: Jeff Otah, OT, Pittsburgh
It's too early to take one of the other QBs, so Chicago needs to look addressing a different problem on the offensive side of the ball: the line. Otah would instantly become a big piece--literally (6-6, 339 pounds)--to solving that puzzle.
DET: Rashard Mendenhall, RB, Illinois
While it's time for Detroit to go defense in the first round, improvement in the running game is needed to open up the passing game and the offense as a whole. The Lions have failed to get anything going on the ground recently, but Mendenhall would help in that regard.
ARI: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, CB, Tennessee State
Mendenhall could be the pick here if he is still available, otherwise Arizona needs to bolster its defense. Rodgers-Cromartie flew under the radar at Tennessee State, but he has been turning heads in off-season workouts.
MIN: Derrick Harvey, DE, Florida
Seems like a no-brainer if Harvey is still around at this point, because the Vikings must get pressure on opposing QBs in order to improve a dismal pass defense. Harvey is a nasty athlete at 6'4'' and 245 pounds.
HOU: Aqib Talib, CB, Kansas
There should be at least one star cornerback still available at this point, and that will suit the Texans just fine because it's their biggest area of need. They need help right away, too, and Talib is ready to make an immediate impact after a huge senior campaign for the Kansas Jayhawks.
PHI: Malcolm Kelly, WR, Oklahoma
Kelly is a physical specimen at 6-5 and 215 pounds. Regardless of who is at quarterback--and right now it looks like McNabb will still be there--the Eagles need a top-notch threat at wide receiver that they have been lacking in recent seasons.
TB: DeSean Jackson, WR, California
The Bucs need to get younger and better at wide receiver if the offense is ever going to improve. Jackson is a speed demon who can stretch the field and also help out in the return game.
WAS: Phillip Merling, DE, Clemson
The Redskins must improve their pass rush next season, as they are very old at the ends of the defensive line and getting to QBs will be especially important since they took a tragic hit in the secondary, losing Sean Taylor. Merling is ready to take his domination at Clemson to the next level.
DAL: Mike Jenkins, CB, South Florida
Dallas could go offense-offense with two picks in the first round, but addressing the defense is a smart move if Jenkins is still around. He has the size, speed, and athleticism to make an immediate impact.
PIT: Gosder Cherilus, OT, Boston College
Max Starks and Alan Faneca are out, so the Steelers will have to take a long look at the offensive line. Cherilus is probably not their top choice here, but he is worth reaching for late in the first round to satisfy a pressing need.
TEN: Kentwan Balmer, DT, North Carolina
Wide receiver is an option here depending on who is available, but Balmer would be an outstanding alternative and a great value pick at this point. A Balmer-Haynesworth combination on the line would be devastating.
SEA: Dustin Keller, TE, Purdue
The Seahawks could go in a number of different directions with this pick, but a real threat at tight end is necessary if the offense really wants to take it to the next level. Keller is enjoying a rise up draft boards and should be worthy of a first-round pick.
JAX: Calais Campbell, DE, Miami (FL)
The Jacksonville defense was solid in the regular season, but only ordinary in defending the pass. All of that starts up front, and Campbell would not be a bad option late in the first round after the top-notch ends are off the board.
SD: Jonathan Stewart, RB, Oregon
Michael Turner left for Atlanta and the Chargers will want to give LaDanian some help to preserve his durability. Stewart has the size (230 pounds) and speed to succeed in a similar role to that of Turner.
DAL: Felix Jones, RB, Arkansas
Julius Jones is out and the Cowboys are not interested in having Marion Barber III go it alone. Just think what this Jones would have done at Arkansas if McFadden hadn't been there.
SF: Limas Sweed, WR, Texas
Alex Smith took a big step back in his development even before being sidelined with an injury. He could use some help up front, but he could really use another pass-catching option. Sweed would have gone higher had it not been for an injury-plagued 2007.
GB: Antoine Cason, CB, Arizona
Green Bay is aging at the cornerback position with Al Harris and Charles Woodson and at the very least it's time to add depth. Cason enjoyed a strong senior campaign at Arizona and he is the most experienced cornerback on the board.
NE: Forfeited Pick
NYG: Kenny Phillips, S, Miami (FL)
The Giants are probably going defense here, and they are probably going with the best player regardless of position. Phillips, the next in a long line of play-making safeties out of Miami, is a great value pick at the end of the first round. Round 2 of 2
MIA: Justin King, CB, Penn State
If the Dolphins go OT with their first pick, defense is needed here and the secondary has been problematic.
STL: Dan Connor, LB, Penn State
Going Chris Long then Dan Connor would be a lethal combo that would address serious defensive concerns.
ATL: Joe Flacco, QB, Delaware
Flacco could be the reason--if it happens--that the Falcons shy away from Matt Ryan at #3 overall.
KC: Tracy Porter, CB, Indiana
Cornerback class is deep so the Chiefs will be able to fill a big need with a great player here.
NYJ: James Hardy, WR, Indiana
Hardy is not a big name, but he will give the Jets a long-overdue playmaker on offense.
ATL: Sam Baker, OT, USC
At least one of Atlanta's three second-round selections needs to be used on the offensive line.
BAL: Quentin Groves, DE, Auburn
Groves is just the kind of hybrid DE/LB player that the Ravens always seem to love.
SF: Erin Henderson, LB, Maryland
San Francisco would have a young and beyond talented linebacker corps with Henderson alongside MLB Patrick Willis.
NO: Brandon Flowers, CB, Virginia Tech
Flowers could even sneak into the first round, but the Saints have serious issues at CB so they'd love it if he fell.
BUF: Terrell Thomas, CB, USC
Problems abound on the defensive side of the ball and Thomas' experience at USC should have him ready to step in immediately.
DEN: Jerod Mayo, LB, Tennessee
The Broncos might go LB in the first round, but either way want someone in the middle so that D.J. Williams can move back outside.
CAR: Cliff Avril, DE, Purdue
Avril would certainly be an acceptable new battery-mate for star defensive end Julius Peppers.
CHI: Brian Brohm, QB, Louisville
It's way past time to stabilize--or at least attempt to stabilize--the quarterback predicament in Chicago.
DET: Lawrence Jackson, DE, USC
The pass rush needs revamping if Detroit wants to stop getting lit up via the airwaves.
CIN: Curtis Lofton, LB, Oklahoma
Linebacker--and defense in general--has been a huge need for Marvin Lewis and the Bengals for many years now.
MIN: Carl Nicks, OT, Nebraska
Line needs to protect better if Adrian Peterson is ever going to get help from the passing game.
ATL: Reggie Smith, CB, Oklahoma
The Falcons picked up one of their extra choices by trading DeAngelo Hall, so a CB with one of them would be logical.
PHI: Patrick Lee, CB, Auburn
The Eagles need to get younger at cornerback, and Lee is probably the best of the bunch left.
ARI: Chris Johnson, RB, East Carolina
Edgerrin James is wearing down so this is a good pick if the Cards pass on an RB in round one.
WAS: Early Doucet, WR, LSU
Jason Campbell needs some threats in the passing game. Doucet would go higher if he didn't come with injury concerns.
TB: Chad Henne, QB, Michigan
Henne's strong arm should convince the Bucs that it's finally time to get a QB of the future.
PIT: Darrell Robertson, DE, Georgia Tech
Pittsburgh's pass defense needs to get better in both coverage and pressure. At this point the best value pick addresses pressure.
TEN: Mario Manningham, WR, Michigan
For Vince Young's sake, the Titans almost have to get a wide receiver at some point before the end of round two.
SEA: Ray Rice, RB, Rutgers
The Seattle running game completely deteriorated this season and while Rice would be the future, he'd help Shaun Alexander and Maurice Morris at present.
GB: Fred Davis, TE, USC
If the Packers want a lethal two tight-end set to help their new quarterback, Davis would be a smart pick at this point.
MIA: Xavier Adibi, LB, Virginia Tech
Zach Thomas is gone so the need is there. Will Adibi still be available here? The Dolphins would love it.
JAX: Andre Caldwell, WR, Florida
Just think how good David Garrard could be if he had some receiving weapons at his disposal.
ND: Marcus Howard, DE, Georgia
It became apparent when Dwight Freeney went down that Indianapolis needs depth at defensive end.
GB: Anthony Collins, OT, Kansas
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers needs some protection if he wants to come close to filling the shoes of one Brett Favre.
DAL: Earl Bennett, WR, Vanderbilt
If Dallas chooses not to select a WR with one of its first two picks, Bennett is a more than adequate pick this late in round two.
NE: Philip Wheeler, LB, Georgia Tech
Wheeler is a sideline-to-sideline 'backer who has an endless motor. That's exactly what the aging Patriots lack at the position.
NYG: Pat Sims, DT, Auburn
Giants could probably add more depth to other positions, but the defense is so good you have to go with value here. At this point Sims is a steal.
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