|1. Miami Dolphins –Chris Long, DE, Virginia
- Parcells is going to want a stud to form his defense around, and Chris Long is a versatile defensive player. He has the strength and motor to play on the line, and the unique ball skills and athleticism to stand up as a 3-4 linebacker.
|2. St. Louis Rams –Jake Long, OT, Michigan
St. Louis has an offense that can be explosive, but we all saw what happened when Orlando Pace went down. The protection fell apart and Marc Bulger was disrupted, sacked, or injured every time he dropped back for a pass attempt.
|3. Atlanta Falcons –Matt Ryan, QB, Boston College
Atlanta needs a quarterback. That’s obvious. Joey Harrington isn’t it. Also obvious. Matt Ryan has all the intangibles. Now that Atlanta has Michael Turner, they really need to pick up the quarterback of the future. Matt Ryan could also give the Falcons a clean image at quarterback after the whole Vick thing. As long as Mike Mayock doesn’t try to have Ryan’s baby, Matt Ryan could maintain his squeaky-clean image and be the top quarterback taken in this year’s draft.
|4. Oakland Raiders –Darren McFadden, RB, Arkansas
- Al Davis is crazy. He also loves speed. He probably crapped his pants when he saw D-Mac’s 4.27 forty time. If McFadden is on the board when the Raiders pick, Al Davis might just crap his pants again.
|5. Kansas City Chiefs – Ryan Clady, OT, Boise State
- The Chiefs need severe offensive line help. Brodie Croyle can’t be looking forward to the upcoming season. He has no protection since the team hasn’t found Willie Roaf’s replacement. Without a tackle upgrade in the draft, he might end up with more concussions than Trent Green.
|6. New York Jets –Vernon Gholston, DE/OLB, Ohio State
- 1. Vernon Gholston is a beast. The combine and Pro Day workouts shot him up draft boards. He is a strong fast freakish athlete that would be scary for opposing quarterbacks to think about. 2. He is a perfect fit to play linebacker in Mangini’s 3-4. They desperately need a sack artist, and that’s what they get with the Ohio State workout warrior.
|7. New England Patriots (From 49ers) –Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, CB, TSU
- Losing Asante Samuel and Randall Gay really hurts the Pats depth-wise. They have signed Fernando Bryant, but they need a playmaking cover corner. That’s what they get with D-RC.
|8. Baltimore Ravens –Sedrick Ellis, DT, USC
- They Ravens need a big, strong beast in the middle to free up Ray Lewis. Big Sedrick Ellis would definitely help that area of the defense while also supplying some interior run defense and pass rush.
|9. Cincinnati Bengals – Glenn Dorsey, DT, LSU
- Injury concerns force him to fall this far. Cincinnati needs a run stuffer in the middle to help out their terrible defense. Glenn Dorsey played this season with an injury and still dominated collegiate offensive lineman all season long.
|10. New Orleans Saints –Mike Jenkins, CB, South Florida
- Jason David sucks. He sucks really really bad. The Saints need to kick him off the team. Mike Jenkins is an elite cover corner that would lose game after game by himself. That’s a definite upgrade that will save the Saints some victories.
|11. Buffalo Bills – Malcolm Kelly, WR, Oklahoma
- With the elite corners off the board and the addition of Marcus Stroud, the Bills will use this pick to get a big red zone target that will force people to stop doubling Lee Evans every single down.
|12. Denver Broncos –Chris Williams, OT, Vanderbilt
- With Sedrick Ellis and Glenn Dorsey off the board, Denver will look at its next biggest weakness, the offensive line. Adding Williams will give Cutler a better chance to get the ball out to his receivers and give him the tackle that protected his blind side in college, so he will already trust him with his well-being.
|13. Carolina Panthers –Philip Merling, DE, Clemson
- The panthers need another defensive end to take some pressure off Julius Peppers, who had a career-low 2.5 sacks.
|14. Chicago Bears –Rashard Mendenhall, RB, Illinois
- Cedric Benson proved he can’t be a lone runner in the NFL (Mack Brown giving him the ball every down for 4 years in college is to thank for that), so Chicago takes the number two back in this years draft to help spell Benson and maybe unseat him as the starter.
|15. Detroit Lions – Jeff Otah, OT, Pittsburgh
- With Calvin Johnson, Roy Williams, Mike Furrey, and Shaun McDonald to throw to, Jon Kitna was excited. Then he looked up and realized he was on his back. He needs offensive line help. Then maybe he can take advantage of Matt Millen’s last 5 years worth of draft choices.
|16. Arizona Cardinals –Keith Rivers, OLB, USC
- Arizona is close. One thing they need is a hard-hitting, playmaking linebacker across from Karlos Dansby. Rivers wore 55 at USC, and would shore up the defensive side of the ball, leaving Arizona primed for a playoff spot, presuming the offense stays healthy and keeps the pieces together. They could also go offensive line at this sport, but Rivers is too good a value to pass up.
|17. Minnesota Vikings –Derrick Harvey, DE, Florida
- With Kenechi Udeze battling Leukemia, Minnesota needs an edge rusher to make an impact so that they can better their pass defense and take the jump to the playoffs.
|18. Houston Texans –Jonathan Stewart, RB, Oregon
- The franchise has been without an elite running back since its conception, and though he had the toe injury, he is an elite runner that could balance out Houston’s attack and push them over the hump to challenge the Jags and Colts for division supremacy.
|19. Philadelphia Eagles –Devin Thomas, WR, Michigan State
- Philadelphia is pretty good at everything but receiver. Since number 81 left them for Dallas, the Eagles have had trouble because they don’t have a legitimate number 1 receiver. Devin Thomas is a gifted athlete that could get them back into contention for the division.
|20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers –DeSean Jackson, WR/PR, California
- Joey Galloway will get old. He will slow down. Behind him the Bucs have no one to catch the football. He could take over as the speedy receiver once Galloway retires and will have an instant impact on the return game.
|21. Washington Redskins –Quentin Groves, DE/OLB, Auburn
- Washington can’t rush the passer. They could go safety here after the tragic death of Sean Taylor (He was one of my favorite players even though I’m a Cowboys’ fan, and my prayers go out to him and his family). But pass rush will help out the pass defense, and its no use having a coverage guy if the quarterback gets to sit in the pocket for 20 minutes looking for wideouts.
|22. Dallas Cowboys (From Browns) –Leodis McKelvin, CB, Troy State
- Dallas needs a corner. We need one bad. McKelvin has all of the tools except good hands, but that isn’t a huge problem. We need a cover corner to play man-to-man so that Demarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer can rush the quarterback and force him to take a sack or throw the ball into tight coverage. This would also let us move Anthony Henry to safety where he needs to be, and do something with Roy Williams (what I’m not sure, but something).
|23. Pittsburgh Steelers –Branden Albert, G, Virginia
- Losing Alan Faneca will hurt if Pittsburg doesn’t get a new guard to open running lanes for Willie Parker and protect Ben “8 year 102 million dollar hope he doesn’t ride a motorcycle anymore” Roethlisberger.
|24. Tennessee Titans –Mario Manningham, WR, Michigan
- Vince Young needs receivers. Manningham was solid at Michigan and that’s way better than the other receivers Tennessee has on the roster can say for themselves.
|25. Seattle Seahawks – Kentwan Balmer, DT, North Carolina
- Seattle doesn’t have a whole lot of needs with the running back additions this offseason. However, if they do have a weakness, it’s interior defensive line, because that’s the only place without a standout NFL star.
|26. Jacksonville Jaguars –Lawrence Jackson, DE, USC
- Jacksonville could use a fresh defensive end, and Calais Campbell could also go in this spot. Both are the big physical defensive lineman the Jags favor, but Campbell’s poor combine definitely hurt his draft stock.
|27. San Diego Chargers –Kenny Phillips, FS, Miami
- San Diego doesn’t need much. With the emergence of Vincent Jackson and addition of Chris Chambers, wide receiver is no longer an issue, so they address the secondary with the top safety in the draft.
|28. Dallas Cowboys –Limas Sweed, WR, Texas
- Terrell Owens and Terry Glenn are getting older, and Limas Sweed would provide Tony Romo with a deep threat and pull away some attention some Owens and Jason Witten, allowing the Dallas passing attack to soar the Patriot-like heights.
|29. San Francisco 49ers (From Colts) –Gosder Cherilus, OT, Boston College
- The 49’ers need offensive line help. Joe Staley is going to be a solid tackle in this league for years to come, and he could move to left tackle and insert Cherilus at right tackle, and San Francisco could have their tackle tandem for the next 10 years.
|30. Green Bay Packers –Brandon Flowers, CB, Virginia Tech
- This solid corner, one of Mike Mayock’s favorites, would provide insurance and give Green Bay their cornerback of the future once Charles Woodson retires in a couple of years.
|31. New York Giants – Reggie Smith, CB/S, Oklahoma
- Gibril Wilson leaving opens a hole at safety, and Reggie Smith could provide a solid safety as well as depth at cornerback, where he also played at Oklahoma. The Giants could also go linebacker as Kawika Mitchell’s departure leaves a hole at outside linebacker.