The 2008 NFL Draft is this Saturday, and since America loves Mock Drafts, we here at Drinking the Forty thought it was time to throw our hat in the ring. But then, we had an epiphany. What could possibly be better than an NFL Mock Draft?
Oh yes, that would be two NFL Mock Drafts. For the first, we turned to our NFL Correspondant (Yeah, we have an NFL Correspondant. I know, we're a big deal around here.) Mamba King to give us our DTF Mock Draft 1.0.
Take it away Mamba...
1. Miami Dolphins – Jake Long, OT, Michigan
Since the Dolphins held a press conference stating that they have signed Jake Long to a reported 5-year, $57.75 million contract with $30 million guaranteed, it’s safe to assume that he will be the first player to hear his name called shortly after the draft begins at 3:00pm on Saturday. Long is widely considered the top OT in the draft, and that happens to be one of the Dolphins biggest needs. The addition of Long fills a hole at a tackle spot and he is as safe a pick as there is in the draft.
2. St. Louis Rams – Chris Long, DE/OLB, Virginia
The Rams have been burned by some recent picks along the DL, but this pick has to be a defensive lineman if they don’t trade the pick away. The question is whether it will be Glenn Dorsey or Chris Long? The pick should be Long considering they picked Adam Carriker in the first round last year and seemed to like playing him inside, and their top two DE currently on the roster, Leonard Little and James Hall, are getting older and may be on their way out.
3. Atlanta Falcons – Glenn Dorsey, DT, LSU
It would seem reasonable for the Falcons to consider quarterback Matt Ryan at this spot since their quarterbacks are currently Chris Redman, Joey Harrington, and D.J. Shockley. However, Dorsey could possibly be the best player in the draft. He is one of the most decorated players to come out of college in recent memory. Not to mention he played a large portion of his senior season injured and still led his team to a national championship. He is a hard worker and the Falcons need a DT with Rod Coleman gone.
4. Oakland Raiders – Darren McFadden, RB, Arkansas
Vernon Gholston could be the pick here, but the defense has been carrying the Raiders for a few years now. The offense probably needs more help. Does anyone really think that Huggy Bear’s son, Justin Fargas, should be carrying the load at RB? Also, Al Davis has a history of falling in love with fast players, and after McFadden ran a 4.33 at the combine he locked up a top 5 selection in this year’s draft. He could be the game-breaker that Oakland needs to make the Raiders offense matter again.
5. Kansas City Chiefs – Branden Albert, OL, Virginia
This could be another spot where Matt Ryan might make sense, but the Chiefs will give Brodie Croyle another shot at leading the team next season. To make things easier on him, they will get him some help up front. Some may say this is too high for Albert, but the Chiefs need help along the OL after the recent retirements of perennial pro bowlers Willie Roaf and Will Shields. Remember, the Cardinals took Levi Brown at the fifth spot last year when many thought that was too high. Albert, who played both guard and tackle in college, most likely will line up a tackle in the NFL. The only reason he was moved in to play guard in college was because Virginia had D’Brickashaw Ferguson.
6. New York Jets – Vernon Gholston, OLB/DE, Ohio State
The Jets will be thrilled to get Gholston at this spot. He has the quickest first step off the line in the draft and he tied Jake Long for the most reps on the bench at the combine with 37 reps of 225lbs. He has had unbelievable workouts and looks like a pass rusher should. The knock on Gholston seems to be that he is inconsistent and that he takes plays off. However, if Eric Mangini and his staff can get more consistent play from Gholston, he will be a force rushing the passer.
7. New England Patriots – Leodis McKelvin, CB, Troy
The Patriots would like to get Gholston, and Keith Rivers is also a possibility for the aging Patriots linebacker corps. However, the loss of Asante Samuel to the Eagles and Randall Gay to the Saints this off-season makes cornerback a need for this team. McKelvin is also a good returner which is always a plus.
8. Baltimore Ravens – Matt Ryan, QB, Boston College
With Matt Ryan still on the board, the Ravens won’t take long to make their pick. At this point, with Steve McNair retiring and Kyle Boller and Troy Smith the top two QBs on the roster, it seems like a good opportunity for Ryan to step in and become the QB that will be tied to new head coach John Harbaugh for years to come.
9. Cincinnati Bengals – Sedrick Ellis, DT, USC
The Bengals desperately need help at DT and Sedrick Ellis will be just what the doctor ordered. He is not far behind Glenn Dorsey as the best DT in the draft. John Thornton and Bryan Robinson are getting older and Ellis will pair up nicely with Domata Peko.
10. New Orleans Saints – Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, CB, Tennessee State
Keith Rivers will be a strong possibility for the Saints here, but Rodgers-Cromartie has a lot of potential to develop into a top-notch corner. The Saints added Randall Gay in the offseason to go along with Mike McKenzie, but Jason David was a disappointment as a free agent signing last year so the Saints will be looking for another solid defensive back.
11. Buffalo Bills – Devin Thomas, WR, Michigan State
The Bills need a WR and Devin Thomas is widely considered the top WR in the draft. It is probably a reach, but the Bills will take a shot with him in hopes that he can take some pressure off Lee Evans because Roscoe Parrish and Josh Reed haven’t been able to do so.
12. Denver Broncos – Keith Rivers, LB, USC
Keith Rivers very likely could go earlier considering his workouts were outstanding. The Broncos may have other more pressing needs and could consider OT Ryan Clady, but Rivers should be the pick even though they added LB Boss Bailey, Champ’s brother, through free agency. You can never have enough good linebackers.
13. Carolina Panthers – Ryan Clady, OT, Boise State
The Panthers need help on their OL and Clady is a good athlete that will be able to line up at tackle for the Panthers right away pairing him with Jordan Gross at the other tackle spot. Travelle Wharton, who played tackle last year, should move inside to guard.
14. Chicago Bears – Rashard Mendenhall, RB, Illinois
The Bears suffered last year without Thomas Jones to take some of the load off Cedric Benson, who has had some injury concerns. They could consider taking an OL here, but Mendenhall is too good to pass up.
15. Detroit Lions – Felix Jones, RB, Arkansas
After releasing Kevin Jones, the Lions are left with Tatum Bell as their top running back. Jones could be the most explosive back in the draft. The only reason he wasn’t more productive in college is because he had to play in the same backfield as Darren McFadden.
16. Arizona Cardinals – Mike Jenkins, CB, South Florida
The Cardinals could be moving Antrel Rolle to safety and they will need to add depth at corner. Jenkins runs a sub-4.4 and should get significant playing time right away in the Cardinals secondary.
17. Kansas City Chiefs – Derrick Harvey, DE, Florida
After trading Jared Allen to pick up this additional 1st round pick, the Chiefs will want to add one of the best pass rushers coming out in the draft. Harvey is a steal at this point and will fill in nicely for Allen.
18. Houston Texans – Gosder Cherilus, OT, Boston College
The Texans have been looking for a legitimate starting LT ever since the Tony Boselli experiment didn’t work in their expansion draft. Cherilus may finally be the long term answer at that position.
19. Philadelphia Eagles – DeSean Jackson, WR, Cal
Aside from T.O., the Eagles have never had receivers for Donovan McNabb. DeSean Jackson’s speed makes him a game-breaker as a receiver and a return man. He is this year’s Ted Ginn, Jr.
20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Limas Sweed, WR, Texas
Limas Sweed is the best of the big WR in this class, and Jon Gruden would love to have a tall, young receiver on the other side of Joey Galloway. Michael Clayton has fallen off since his rookie year so the Bucs will not hesitate to pick Sweed at this spot since his wrist injury is now healed.
21. Washington Redskins – Phillip Merling, DE, Clemson
The Redskins have been looking for help across the DL for years. Merling is a solid DE that will eventually replace 12-year veteran Phillip Daniels on the opposite side of pass rush specialist Andre Carter.
22. Dallas Cowboys – Aqib Talib, CB, Kansas
The Cowboys don’t have too many holes to fill when it comes to starters, but their depth is thin in a few areas. In particular, the DBs are thin after losing Jacques Reeves, who started 14 games last season, along with Nathan Jones and Keith Davis in free agency. Now they don’t have much behind starters Terrance Newman and Anthony Henry. They will grab Talib here despite the recent reports of his off-field issues.
23. Pittsburgh Steelers – Jeff Otah, OT, Pitt
The Steelers OL was very weak last season and Big Ben Roethlisberger took a beating. That was before they lost their best OL in Alan Faneca to free agency. Otah is another good tackle prospect in the draft and the Steelers will hope the hometown kid is still around.
24. Tennessee Titans – Antoine Cason, CB, Arizona
The Titans have a need at corner, and Cason is the best on the board at this point. He is a playmaker in the secondary that has the ability to take an interception all the way back at any time.
25. Seattle Seahawks – Kentwan Balmer, DT, North Carolina
Kentwan Balmer is in the next tier of DT following Dorsey and Ellis. He will give the Seahawks some much needed help up front. The Seahawks could also be looking for a TE here, but they will most likely be able to pick one up later in the draft.
26. Jacksonville Jaguars – Calais Campbell, DE, Miami
The Jaguars have been rumored to be interested in trading for a good pass rusher, but they can stay right where they are in the draft and pick up Calais Campbell. His numbers fell from 2006, but the Jaguars will take him in hopes that he regains that form.
27. San Diego Chargers – Kenny Phillips, S, Miami
The Chargers have a very strong team, but the weakest part of the defense is probably at safety. Last year’s starters were Clinton Hart and Marlon McCree. That is why they will take the best safety in the draft, Kenny Phillips, with this pick.
28. Dallas Cowboys – Chris Williams, OT, Vanderbilt
This is another case of Dallas adding depth and possibly preparing for life after Flozell “The Hotel” Adams hangs it up. Dallas would also like to pick up a WR or a RB here, but Williams will be the best value.
29. San Francisco 49ers – Dan Connor, ILB, Penn State
The Niners picked up the top ILB in the draft last year when they selected Patrick Willis. Since they like to run a 3-4, they will do the same thing this year adding Dan Connor. Plus, the 49ers have had a recent history of adding players they already know from coaching at the Senior Bowl, such as Connor.
30. Green Bay Packers – Brandon Flowers, CB, Virginia Tech
Charles Woodson and Al Harris are both getting up there in age and they could use some depth behind them. Flowers isn’t the fastest CB, but he is a good football player that always seems to know where to be.
31. New York Giants – Jerod Mayo, LB, Tennessee
The Super Bowl Champions always have a hard time retaining all of their players through free agency. The Giants lost two of their starting LB, Kawika Mitchell and Reggie Torbor, from the Super Bowl run. Picking up Mayo will fill a need, and he is versatile enough to play both inside and outside as he did at Tennessee.
32. Miami Dolphins – Quentin Groves, OLB/DE, Auburn
Ok, so technically this is a 2nd round pick. However, there are usually 32 picks in the 1st round, but the Patriots got caught trying to cheat their way to a Perfect Season and had to forfeit their 1st round pick. Therefore, the Dolphins get the 32nd pick and will be very happy to have the opportunity to pick Groves here. He is a young pass rusher that will have a great opportunity to work himself into the lineup.