So the NBA playoffs dont get good until well into May, baseball is not important until win game totals get to triple-digits, and no one watches Hockey below the Mason Dixon Line, so with that said there is only one thing that matters in sports...who will my Cowboys take with the 167th pick in the sixth round? And you thought I was talking about Danica Patrick breaking gender stereotypes? The following Mock Draft has gone through more changes than the enitre guest star history of Nip/Tuck with the latest change coming five seconds before posting it when the Cowboys announced the acquisition of PacMan Jones. I think it is finally polished enough for me to be confident in it. Let's just say, Todd McShay doesnt have shit on me. So without further ado....my final mock draft before the big day (purportedly)...
1. Miami – Jake Long, Michigan OT – With no real must-have standout phenoms in this year’s class, Parcells went with the surest thing and grabbed a cornerstone to start Miami’s renovation.
2. St Louis – Glenn Dorsey, LSU DT – Some analysts say that a D-End makes more sense here, but this much raw force in the middle, to me makes rushing the outside that much easier for the Rams.
3. Atlanta – Matt Ryan, Boston College QB – The quarterback position is just such a sexy pick in the draft and it isn’t like the Falcons have anyone of any merit to start the season with. The Birds may try to trade down to grab a QB, but I just think with Dorsey gone, Ryan goes this early due to such dominant workouts.
4. Oakland – Chris Long, Virginia DE – The fancy pick is McFadden, but the Oakland Raiders are already loaded with talented running backs. Al Davis needs to bolster a defensive line that lost Warren Sapp and how perfect would it be to go for the gritty son of Howie Long?
5. Kansas City – Vernon Ghoulston, Ohio State DE – Well the Chiefs cut ties with defensive bookend Justin Allen and thus must replace their top pass rusher. That being said, this pick comes down to pass rusher vs pass protector and I just feel like the best value pick is taking Ghoulston here and waiting until Minnesota’s pick to get a tackle.
6. New York Jets – Darren McFadden, Arkansas RB – The next Curtis Martin? The Jets would love it if McFadden falls all the way to six here and if Oakland skips on him like they should, then the Jets should get their man.
7. New England – Leodis McKelvin, Troy CB – I don’t think there is any doubt that the Patriots will shop this pick around. If no one bites, than the losses of Randall Gay and Asante Samuel mean that New England needs some help in the secondary. McKelvin is the best available and is a safer pick than Keith Rivers.
8. Baltimore – Dominique Rodgers Cromartie, Tennessee State CB - The Ravens would love to get a franchise quarterback here, but outside of Ryan, no other QB warrants this high of a pick. In turn, I think the Ravens look to improve their secondary with DRC.
9. Cincinnati – Sedrick Ellis, USC DT – A mass of a man at 6 feet 309lbs, Ellis will provide a scary, dominant presence inside for a struggling Cincinnati defense.
10. New Orleans – Keith Rivers, USC LB – There are a lot of rumors flaring that the Saints want to trade up to grab one of the huge DT’s, but I don’t know how much listening that will warrant. Thus, I say the Saints should grab the best defensive player available. Rivers can fill any linebacking hole the Saints seem to have.
11. Buffalo – Mike Jenkins, USF CB – The Bills biggest need may be at receiver but there may not be a WR that warrants discussion this high and with a deep WR class, the Bills can grab a quality prospect in the 2nd or 3rd round. With that being said, defensive back is also a need with the glaring hole that Nate Clements left and Jenkins may be the best after McKelvin and DRC.
12. Denver – Ryan Clady, Boise State OT – The Broncs need to bolster the offensive line and with Alberts launching himself up the board, Clady falls into Denver’s lap. Cutler’s old OT Chris Williams is also getting a look, but I think Clady is a more polished guarantee in the Broncos zone blocking scheme.
12. Carolina – Derrick Harvey, Florida DE – A team who initially want an offensive lineman may go with the talented DE Harvey in order to replace the retired Mike Rucker. There is still a good chance that the Panthers take Chris Williams or Jeff Otah, but I think Harvey fills an immediate void.
14. Chicago – Chris Williams, Vanderbilt OT – Its likely to be all offense in this year’s draft for da Bears and if they want to improve their running game, they’ll go with the run-blocking stalwart Chris Williams. Williams is one of the best run blockers after Jake Long and should be a starter in Chicago from day one.
15. Detroit – Rashad Mendenhall, Illinois RB – The Lions released Kevin Jones in the offseason and are left with a glaring hole in the backfield. There are needs on the offensive line and at linebacker, but I think that RB is more pressing and a more media-saavy pick.
16. Arizona – Taqib Alib, Kansas CB – The Cardinals need a running back, but with Mendenhall gone, I don’t think they take a chance on Stewart just yet. They can easily grab a Ray Rice or Jamaal Charles down the road. Here they need to improve on defense and Alib gives them a great option in the secondary.
17. Kansas City (from Minnesota) – Jeff Otah, Pittsburgh OT – The Jared Allen trade left a gaping hole on the defensive front and with that filled with pick 5, the Chiefs need to beefen up the offensive line. Otah is the best available offensive lineman left and could provide great assistance to the running game.
18. Houston – Kenny Phillips, Miami S – The Texans have bigger needs like offensive linemen and linebackers, but those positions are dry here. I look for the Texans to get some defensive help in the back seven. Phillips is one of those NFL-bred safeties from The U and may be worth a shot. RB wouldn’t surprise me here either.
19. Philadelphia – Devin Thomas, Michigan State WR – I’m not sure I even like a receiver here, but offensive line prospects are running slim and so Philly may wait until the second round to provide depth behind Jon Runyan and Tra Thomas. Take the best receiver and hope for the best.
20. Tampa Bay – DeSean Jackson, Cal WR – It wouldn’t surprise me to see the Bucs take a defensive player, but I think an explosive receiver/returner would excite the Jon Gruden offense. DeSean Jackson fits that mold and would bring speed to that short-pass oriented offense.
21. Washington – Calais Campbell, Miami DE – I keep juggling this pick between Campbell, Phillip Merling, and Kentawn Balmer, but because Campbell’s old line coach Joe Palmero is now the line coach in Washington, they’ll probably take an overrated Campbell.
22. Dallas – James Hardy, Indiana WR– The Cowboys secured PacMan Jones from Tennessee and now they can take care of their WR and RB concerns in the first round. I really hope the Boys will package thier picks and trade them for Roy Williams, if they don't they'll need a big, speedy, young reciever.
23. Pittsburgh – Gosder Cherilus, Boston College OT – The Steelers love dominant offensive line play and Cherilus is able to offer that play to the whistle tenacity for the black and gold.
24. Tennessee – Limas Sweed, Texas WR – Tennessee is in need of a big play receiver to compliment Vince Young and who better to provide that then VY’s favorite collegiate target Limas Sweed?
25. Seattle – Jonathan Stewart, Oregon RB – So everyone tends to think that this pick will be a tight end, but with the sudden release of Shaun Alexander, the Hawks need a superstar at tailback. That’s not Julius Jones. I think that Seattle takes a stretch on a guy who played on the west coast.
26. Jacksonville – Kentawn Balmer, North Carolina St DT – The Jaguars need help on the defensive line and though an end makes sense here too, a bigger need is opposite John Henderson in the middle.
27. San Diego – Brandon Flowers, Virginia Tech CB – The Chargers don’t have a lot of needs, especially none that need first round money tossed around. That being said, they will probably look to trade down, if they can’t Flowers gives the Chargers a physical corner opposite Quentin Jammer.
28. Dallas – Felix Jones, Arkansas RB – The Boys will be looking for a compliment to Marion Barber early in this draft; personally I think they could do it in the second round with a Jamaal Charles or Steve Slaton. However, Mr. Arkansas Jerry Jones will most likely go after Felix. I think they should also consider Stewart here.
29. San Francisco – Malcom Kelley, Oklahoma WR – This is a make or break season for QB Alex Smith and that being said, I think Mike Martz will try to offer him one more big target to throw at. With Kelley dropping so suddenly, this could also be James Hardy.
30. Green Bay – Dustin Keller, Purdue TE – It seems like there is always a tight end in the first round these days and so I am going with Keller here. Fred Davis and Martellus Bennett could just as easily be picked as well. The Packers may also trade down or look at a CB like Justin King.
31. New York Giants – Jerrod Mayo, Tennessee LB – Mayo’s stock has been rising since the combine and his individual workout and I think the Super Bowl champs could use some help on the defensive side of the ball