NFL Mock Draft 2008
By Ron Jumper
All right, it is finally that time. With it almost being time for the draft, here is my mock draft. I donít see the point in doing mock drafts every week or regularly throughout the season, as way too much can change. On the other hand, Iím not a big fan of moving around my overall rankings after the combine. How can a guyís rating change when nothing actually happened? I think it is just terrible that a prospects stock can move depending on what side of the bed Mel Kiper wakes up on each day. Also, doing a mock now will be much more accurate as we now know who the top pick will be and there have also been multiple trades that will give a better idea of team needs.
Before I get to the mock draft, I wanted to review the Jared Allen trade with the Vikings. While Allen fills a need, there is no way he is worth both what they gave up in draft picks and what they are paying him in salary. The Vikings gave their first rounder (17 overall), both their 3rd rounders, and swapped 6th round picks. So they gave up 3 picks and allowed the Chiefs to move up 12 spots higher on another, all to make Jared Allen the highest paid defensive player in the league (the deal has $31 million guaranteed and could pay him as much as $74 million with incentives). Does anyone really think Jared Allen is even one of the top 5 defensive players in the league? Top 10? Iím thinking I would rather have Champ Bailey, Bob Sanders, Troy Polamalu, Ed Reed, Brian Urlacher, Shawn Merriman, Lance Briggs, Albert Haynesworth, Vince Wilfork, Richard Seymour, Julius Peppers, and Jason Taylor right now. If Iím building for the future, give me Mario Williams, Demarcus Ware, DeAngelo Hall, Demeco Ryans, Patrick Willis, or Antonio Cromartie.
Allen will make the Vikings better, but they didnít get him at a bargain. If Iím the Vikings, I take Derrick Harvey at 17 if he is there or I trade down in the first round (to maybe get an extra pick or two) then take Quentin Groves. They could also take a chance on Tommy Blake and Wallace Gilberry in the later rounds, as I think both will end up being better than Phillip Merling or Calais Campbell down the road. Why ruin your cap space and mortgage this yearís draft so you can add Jared Allen?
Mock Draft 2008:
1. Miami Dolphins
OT Jake Long, Michigan
This is the safe, simple pick. I love Matt Ryan, but drafting a quarterback first overall is a risky gamble when rebuilding a franchise (see David Carr and Tim Couch). Throw in they already invested a 2nd rounder in John Beck, so QB wasnít the way to go. As for defense, Dorsey doesnít fit the 3-4. You want Dorsey to be able to get after the QB and create havoc, where he would just clog the middle and take up space as a nose tackle in a 3-4 scheme.
2. St. Louis Rams
DE Chris Long, Virginia
Long is ready to play right now. He fits a need for the Rams, which is defensive end and getting pressure on the quarterback (the Rams were awful in this area). Oddly, the Rams can win next season if they stay healthy. They played the bulk of the year without a healthy Steven Jackson or Marc Bulger, so I see them having the best chance of any of the bottom dwellers to emerge back into at least mediocrity.
3. Atlanta Falcons
QB Matt Ryan, Boston College
Whether or not this pick actually happens, I think the Falcons are crazy not to make it. They are currently starting Chris Redman at QB, this guy was working for an insurance company before Petrino was named head coach of the Falcons. Also, what better way to separate the franchise from the Vick era then drafting the clean cut, high character gunslinger from BC?
4. Oakland Raiders
RB Darren McFadden
The Raiders need a playmaker on offense to make life easier on JaMarcus Russell. What better way than a running back that has no problem carrying the ball 25-30 times a game? As for his character concerns, this is Oakland. If any team would be less likely to care about character issues, it would be the Raiders.
5. Kansas City Chiefs
DT Glenn Dorsey, LSU
I donít think people realize how good Dorsey is going to be. He is a freak of nature, in terms of size and athleticism. He will be the key piece of any defense for the next decade. Forget need, though the Chiefs do need another DT, as Dorsey is as close as it comes to a sure thing in the draft.
6. New York Jets
DE Vernon Gholston, Ohio State
I like Gholston quite a bit. In fact, I think he will be better than Chris Long in 5 years. However, as of today, he isnít quite ready to be a starter in the NFL. If the Jets are patient, he will mature into a quality player in time.
7. New England Patriots
CB Leodis McKelvin, Troy
Without Asante Samuels, the Patriots need a cornerback. They also need linebackers, but there arenít any worth taking at 7. McKelvin will be a very good corner and fit the Pats scheme. I see him playing early and contributing.
8. Baltimore Ravens
OT Brandon Albert, Virginia
The Ravens really want Matt Ryan and will try to trade up for him. If it doesnít work out, then I see them taking an offensive lineman. Albert is versatile, as he could play at guard or tackle.
9. Cincinnati Bengals
DT Sedrick Ellis, USC
The Bengals just have to address their defense, as they are awful. It starts up front, so adding a quality DT like Ellis could be a great way to turn that unit around. It will be interesting to see how everything plays out with Chad Johnson, but they have to address defense no matter what.
10. New Orleans Saints
CB Mike Jenkins, South Florida
This is a hard pick to predict, as there is no position that everyone seems to have a different opinion more so than at corner. Some have Rodgers-Cromartie or Talib higher than Jenkins but yours truly likes the man from South Florida. The Saints will pick defense and, most likely, it will be a corner.
11. Buffalo Bills
WR Devin Thomas, Michigan State
Ladies and gentleman, we have our first reach of the night.
12. Denver Broncos
RB Jonathon Stewart, Oregon
This is a surprise, but a great pick none of the lessÖ
13. Carolina Panthers
QB Brian Brohm, Louisville
Doesnít this just make sense?
14. Chicago Bears
RB Rashard Mendenhall, Illinois
They need a playmaker on offense.
15. Detroit Lions
OT Chris Williams, Vanderbilt
They need a running back, but the top 3 are gone.
16. Arizona Cardinals
OT Ryan Clady, Boise State
They still need to solidify the offensive line.
17. Kansas City Chiefs
OT Jeff Otah, Pittsburgh
They still want to address their need at tackle.
18. Houston Texans
OLB Keith Rivers, USC
The Texans are quietly building an awesome defense.
19. Philadelphia Eagles
MLB Jerod Mayo, Tennessee
They need a linebacker and Mayo fits their scheme perfect.
20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
WR James Hardy, Indiana
Wow, I really hope this happensÖ
21. Washington Redskins
DE Derrick Harvey, Florida
They want a defensive end so they take the best available.
22. Dallas Cowboys
CB Aqib Talib, Kansas
The best corner on the boardÖ
23. Pittsburgh Steelers
S Tyrell Johnson, Arkansas State
The buzz on this kid comes true.
24. Tennessee Titans
WR Desean Jackson, Cal
They need speed on the perimeter and Jackson is just that.
25. Seattle Seahawks
OT Gosder Cherilus, Boston College
They need to re-establish dominance on the o-line.
26. Jacksonville Jaguars
DE Phillip Merling, Clemson
They want to address their defensive line so they take Best Player Available.
27. San Diego Chargers
CB Brandon Flowers, Virginia Tech
They want a WR but there is better value at corner.
28. Dallas Cowboys
RB Felix Jones, Arkansas
The Cowboys could use a speed back here.
29. San Francisco 49ers
MLB Dan Connors, Penn State
This is a little bit of a reach but who cares, I sure donítÖ
30. Green Bay Packers
CB Antoine Cason, Arizona
This is a great value at this point in the draft.
31. New York Giants
S Kenny Phillips, Miami
There really is no value at this point, so they take a chance on Phillips.
April 24, 2008