Look Ma, It's My Mock Draft!
Here's how I think Saturday's first round will end up. Note, that while I think there will be trades, I kept the current draft order intact for simplicity sake.
1. San Francisco: Alex Smith, QB, Utah
The 49ers want to trade this pick, but it won’t happen. Their hearts say Cal quarterback Aaron Rodgers, but their brains say Smith. Brains will win out.
2. Miami: Ronnie Brown, RB, Auburn
The Dolphins want to trade this pick (notice a trend), and I think they will. (The Vikings will move up and take Braylon Edwards.) But if not, they’ll take the best running back available. He should allow them to free up time up in their passing game, for whoever it is that ends up at QB.
3. Cleveland: Antrel Rolle, CB, Miami (Fla.)
There is a lot of offensive firepower available. But didn’t Cleveland score 48 in a game last year and lose by 10? Romeo and Savage go D.
4. Chicago: Braylon Edwards, WR, Michigan
The Bears need many things. But I think a young receiver to match up with the newly acquired Mushin Muhammad makes the most sense here.
5. Tampa Bay: Carnell Williams, RB, Auburn
They need a running back. And while, personally, I’d take Cedric Benson, they’ll probably go for “Cadillac” instead. Unless they reach on Aaron Rodgers, which makes so little sense that it could happen.
6. Tennessee: Adam "Pacman" Jones, CB, West Virginia
He fills their biggest need. If they pick him, he’ll start.
7. Minnesota: Mike Williams, WR, USC
If the Vikings don’t move up for Edwards, or pick Derrick Johnson, then they’ll take Williams to plug the hole created by the departure of Randy Moss.
8. Arizona: Cedric Benson, RB, Texas
Arizona cooled on trading for Travis Henry in case this scenario occurred. Benson will replace the retired Emmitt Smith.
9. Washington: Carlos Rogers, CB, Auburn
They wanted Pacman, but Rogers' will do. However, if they package this pick and the one they acquired at 25 to move up 3 spots to get Jones, the whole brain trust should be kicked out of “Raljon.”
10. Detroit: Derrick Johnson, LB, Texas
The guy the Redskins should have picked; the Lions get the top LB on the board.
11. Dallas: Shawne Merriman, DE, Maryland
Tweener type that could excel in the Cowboys' 3-4 defense.
12. San Diego: Troy Williamson, WR, South Carolina
Playoff teams don’t usually get to pick this high, unless they pull off the curb job they did on the Giants last year. His size/speed combo makes him awfully tough to defend.
13. Houston: Alex Barron, OT, Florida State
If they don’t make this pick, David Carr should quit. The Texans line has been getting him killed for years. Barron will most likely start at left tackle.
14. Carolina: Jammal Brown, OT, Oklahoma
St. Louis really wants to move up to this spot to take Brown. If they don’t, Carolina will take him.
15. Kansas City: David Pollack, DE, Georgia
I’m not sure where he’ll eventually line up in the NFL, but the Chiefs’ are said to be in love with his potential to chase down quarterbacks.
16. New Orleans: Travis Johnson, DT, Florida State
He’s big and strong and should help the Saints horrendous defense.
17. Cincinnati: Erasmus James, DE, Wisconsin
It could be Marcus Spears here, or Shaun Cody. But James has been rising and I think he’ll end up as the pick here.
18. Minnesota: Marcus Spears, DE, LSU
He is huge and excels at stuffing the run.
19. St. Louis: Thomas Davis, SS, Georgia
If they don’t move up to get Brown, I really think they’ll try to move down for Khalif Barnes, the tackle from Washington, who would be a reach this high still. If they DO stay here, Davis could be the pick. They may be tempted to try him at LB, but I think he’ll settle in at safety.
20. Dallas: Demarcus Ware, DE, Troy
Some see Mark Clayton here, but I think the Cowboys will add a second stud to their revamped D.
21. Jacksonville: Shaun Cody, DT, USC
The Jags might try him at end. In any case, he’ll find his way to the QB.
22. Baltimore: Justin Miller, CB, Clemson
Miller is a physical corner that will work into the nickel early on while learning from Samari Rolle and Chris McAlister.
23. Seattle: Khalif Barnes, OT, Washington
The Seahawks are notorious from reaching on local picks. But in this case, he fills the huge void caused by Chris Terry’s release.
24. Green Bay: Jason Campbell, QB, Auburn
They’d be better served, in the short term, with an o-linemen, like Michigan’s David Baas. And they still may go that way. But call this a hunch. They need a young QB and I think Campbell would be a better student of Favre than Aaron Rodgers. Washington may give up the world to move up one spot to snag Campbell for themselves.
25. Washington: Aaron Rodgers, QB, California
Big trouble here. They mortgaged the future to get this pick, in order to draft Campbell. But they were too noisy about it. Green Bay will demand more than the Redskins can part with at this point. Mark Brunell is a shadow of the player he was, and the team doesn’t seem to have any desire to help Patrick Ramsey grow. Rodgers’ free fall finally ends, but his woes have only begun.
26. Oakland: Barrett Ruud, LB, Nebraska
The Raiders went and got this pick hoping either Rudd or Channing Crowder would be here. They both are. My guess is they’ll go with Ruud.
27. Atlanta: Fabian Washington, CB, Nebraska
Washington is a bit short at 5’10”, but he’s fast and always seems to be in the right spot at the right time. Atlanta might consider free safety Brodney Pool instead.
28. San Diego: Matt Roth, DE, Iowa
Roth is tailor made for this defense. He’s got a big motor and makes most of his plays on grit alone. Marty Schottenheimer is drooling over the fact that he’s still on the board
29. Indianapolis: Brodney Pool, FS, Oklahoma
There is no way Pool should have dropped this far. He’s an incredible athlete who can cover wide receivers and meet running backs head-on.
30. Pittsburgh: Heath Miller, TE, Virginia
There are just so many ways the Steelers could go. Offensive line and cornerback are definite needs. And personally, I would love it if they took a chance on QB turned WR Matt Jones. But I think they’re counting on N. Colorado hoss Vincent Jackson to still be there in Round 3 to fill their need at wideout. The Steelers will end up taking Miller, who is far and away the best tight end in the draft, to give Big Ben a big target.
31. Philadelphia: Mark Clayton, WR, Oklahoma
Philly held a private workout with Matt Jones. And when the Jets traded out of the first round, I’m sure they were ecstatic, knowing Miller would probably fall to the Steelers, leaving Jones for them. But I don’t think they counted on Clayton still being on the board. They’ll snatch him up if he’s there.
32. New England: Channing Crowder, LB, Florida
Tedy Bruschi's health has to be a concern. Crowder gets my nod over Georgia’s Odell Thurman Tennessee’s Kevin Burnett.