2008 NFL Draft Mock
1 Dolphins DE Vernon Gholston Ohio State
Despite the fact that Miami desperately needs a quarterback, there is none available with the top overall pick. There are really only three players that should be strongly considered here, Gholston and the Longs. With their hybrid 3-4 system, I see Gholston getting the nod as the OLB opposite Jason Taylor, with the ability to drop into a DE role with a four man front. Though Chris Long has shown through workouts that he can perform well as an OLB in the 3-4, Gholston has the better overall athleticism.
Options: OT Jake Long, DE Chris Long
2 Rams DE Chris Long Virginia
The Rams won’t exactly consider Chris Long a consolation prize here. While Gholston may have put up astounding Combine and workout numbers, Long was a prolific pass rusher playing defensive end in the Cavaliers’ 3-4 defense. He has the quickness and frame to make the move to the same position in a 4-3, and the Rams really need a solid pass rusher.
Options: OT Jake Long, DT Sedrick Ellis, DT Glenn Dorsey
3 Falcons OT Jake Long Michigan
Like the Dolphins, the Falcons really need a QB. However, Matt Ryan doesn’t carry value here, and there will be good QB’s available in rounds two and three. The Falcons really need to better protect whoever is under center, and need someone to open holes for high-priced free agent running back Michael Turner. DT is a possibility, but Jake Long is a rare specimen and fills a huge need for the “Dirty Birds”.
Options: QB Matt Ryan, DT Sedrick Ellis, CB Leodis McKelvin
4 Raiders RB Darren McFadden Arkansas
Al Davis doesn’t follow any true rules when drafting players, other than one: go with the speed. McFadden can be this years version of Adrian Peterson. Though Justin Fargas was re-signed and did fairly well, everyone knows he’s not in the same league (technically he is) as McFadden. The Raiders could go with Ellis or Dorsey to replace Warren Sapp, but that would make too much sense for Davis.
Options: DT Glenn Dorsey, OT Ryan Clady
5 Chiefs DT Sedrick Ellis USC
Should the Chiefs gamble on Glenn Dorsey, or do they reach for a prospect? Their offensive line is in shambles, so moving down to get some value and taking Ryan Clady with a later pick makes sense. But all the trade bait players are off the board other than Ellis, and he does fill a need. Though just a small reach here, Sedrick could ultimately be a better NFL player than Dorsey.
Options: DT Glenn Dorsey, CB Leodis McKelvin, OT Ryan Clady
6 NY Jets CB Leodis McKelvin Troy
The Jets would be crying at this spot if they lost out on all the players taken before in this mock. McFadden, Gholston or Chris Long would be highly desirable. However the Jets also need to upgrade their secondary as well. McKelvin is a reach here, but he could start from day one on the Jets defense opposite Darrelle Revis. Andre Woolfolk was signed, but is not starting material in the NFL.
Options: DT Glenn Dorsey, CB Dominique Cromartie, LB Keith Rivers
7 Patroits (SF) CB Dominique Cromartie Tennessee State
It wouldn’t surprise me to see the Patriots find a way to move down and collect a few picks, but they may have very few takers. Rogers-Cromartie is perhaps the best pure talent at his position, but his small school roots could scare some. It won’t scare the Pats, who know talent when they see it, and typically draft it.
Options: CB Michael Jenkins, LB Keith Rivers, RB Reshard Mendenhall
8 Ravens QB Matt Ryan Boston College
The Ravens really need a quarterback, and though he may not be worth a top ten pick, Ryan is the best available by a long shot. The Ravens would be wise to try and trade down, as the next few teams have no needs at the position. However, should they be stuck with the pick, getting a new QB has to be the call.
Options: CB Michael Jenkins, OT Ryan Clady, DT Glenn Dorsey
9 Bengals DT Glenn Dorsey LSU
The Bengals landed free agent Darryl Blackstock, but that doesn’t mean they still don’t have linebacker needs. However, they still have to shore up their front four, and the will take what could end up being the best player in this draft. Recent medical issues aside, Dorsey is a disruptive force to contend with.
Options: LB Keith Rivers, DE Derrick Harvey, DE Phillip Merling
10 Saints CB Michael Jenkins South Florida
What does it say about college cornerbacks when the top three off the draft board this year are from “second tier” colleges? Jenkins is a big corner who has excellent speed and quickness. His zone skills need some work, as does his tackling. There are some character concerns as well, but that won’t prevent the Saints from taking him here.
Options: LB Keith Rivers, OT Ryan Clady
11 Bills LB Keith Rivers USC
The Bills could use a big wide out with possession skills or a cover corner. Since no receiver is worth this pick and the best corners are off the board, the Bills take the best defensive player available in Rivers. He can play any linebacking spot, and will become a starter before the ink dries on his contract.
Options: OT Ryan Clady, WR Devin Smith, DE Derrick Harvey
12 Broncos OT Ryan Clady Boise State
The Broncos would be thrilled if Clady fell to them here. Denver needs a replacement for Matt Lepsis, and Clady has the talent to start immediately. The Broncos need some help at safety, and they always seem to need defensive line help, but the offensive line is what needs to be addressed here.
Options: DE Derrick Harvey, DE Phillip Merling, WR Devin Smith
13 Panthers DE Phillip Merling Clemson
Carolina has stated that they would be willing to use their first round pick on a running back, and I for one don’t think they are kidding. If Mendenhall falls here, the Panthers may take him. But, I think the Panthers realize they need to get Julius Peppers some help, and will take Merling here to do just that.
Options: DE Derrick Harvey, RB Reshard Mendenhall, OT Chris Williams
14 Bears OT Chris Williams Vanderbilt
The Bears have to address some issues on offense; quarterback, running back and the offensive line have needs. Is Rex Grossman really their man behind center? Is Cedric Benson officially a bust? Who will replace Fred Miller? That last question is the one that will be answered with this pick.
Options: RB Reshard Mendenhall, WR Devin Smith, QB Brian Brohm
15 Lions DE Derrick Harvey Florida
The Lions have some desperate needs on their defense. A pass rusher, a middle linebacker and overall depth at just about every spot. Although he may not have put up great workout numbers, Harvey has proven his ability to get to the quarterback against top level college competition. The Lions need to get a replacement for the released bust known as Kalimba Edwards.
Options: RB Reshard Mendenhall, OT Jeff Otah
16 Cardinals RB Reshard Mendenhall Illinois
Edgerrin James may have seen his last game in a Cards uniform. Mendenhall represents a great value here, as many see him as a top ten player. He put up impressive numbers at his workouts, and game tapes show that he can translate that onto the football field.
Options: DE Quentin Groves, CB Aqib Talib
17 Vikings WR Devin Smith Michigan State
The Vikings would have loved an opportunity to land one of the top defensive ends, but miss out. They have a desperate need at wide receiver as well, and Smith has all the tools to be the answer to their desires.
Options: QB Brian Brohm, WR Devin Smith, WR DeSean Jackson
18 Texans CB Aqib Talib Kansas
Talib isn’t a value here by any stretch, but he fills a tremendous need. Houston can get a quality runner in round three, but likely not a corner of Talib’s caliber. Talib can also serve as a return specialist and has shown himself to be a smart and versatile player. He could start immediately.
Options: OT Jeff Otah, DE Quentin Groves
19 Eagles WR DeSean Jackson California
Andy Reid loves to take linemen on the first day, but he needs to address his skill positions now. Jackson is a flyer who can make great catches and has NFL skills now. It is likely that Jackson won’t start immediately, but that could change by mid-season.
Options: OT Jeff Otah, FS Kenny Phillips
20 Buccaneers QB Brian Brohm Louisville
The Bucs need to take care of their QB position before Gruden loses this team. Chris Simms is unlikely to start for them again, and Brian Griese is a stop gap. They need to get a future signal caller and leader out of this draft, and Brohm may turn out better than more highly touted Matt Ryan as an NFL starter.
Options: WR James Hardy, RB Jonathan Stewart
21 Redskins FS Kenny Phillips Miami, FL
Washington could use some help along their offensive and defensive fronts, but they also need to get someone to replace Sean Taylor. Phillips has good range and ball skills, and is the best player to try and fill the shoes of a player lost well before his time.
Options: WR James Hardy, DE Quentin Groves
22 Cowboys WR James Hardy Indiana
Jerry Jones knows that Terry Glenn should not be a starter now, and he needs someone to start opposite TO. Hardy is a big target with surprising speed and would take some heat off Owens in the Cowboys downfield offense.
Options: RB Felix Jones, OG Branden Albert
23 Steelers OT Jeff Otah Pittsburgh
The Steelers have been able to retain Max Starks, and even picked up an interior lineman to boot. With their offensive line set, the Steelers can look to other areas for fixing. Or will they? Starks will still be a free agent next year, and it is likely that Pittsburgh will look at Otah as an eventual replacement.
Options: CB Antoine Cason, OG Branden Albert
24 Titans WR Malcolm Kelly Oklahoma
The Titans need to land a wide receiver to help out their franchise quarterback. Kelly has slipped due to some questionable workouts, but scouts are wowed by his college performances and will judge him on that more than anything else.
Options: LB Jerod Mayo, OG Branden Albert
25 Seahawks OG Branden Albert Virginia
The Seahawks have had a solid free agency period. They’ve locked up Marcus Trufant long-term, and have strong depth at running back now, allowing themselves to shed Shaun Alexander soon. What is left? Finding a replacement for the hole left by Steve Hutchinson two seasons ago.
Options: DE Quentin Groves, DT Pat Sims
26 Jaguars DE Quentin Groves Auburn
The Jaguars are said to be interested in moving up to possibly land Phillip Merling or Derrick Harvey. If they fail in their attempt, they could go with Groves, who is faster than those two but lacks their strength. Since they need linebackers as well, it wouldn’t surprise to see Groves line up their for Del Rio either.
Options: DT Pat Sims, OT Sam Baker
27 Chargers OT Gosder Cherilus Boston College
San Diego recently released Shane Olivea, and they need to replace him. Sam Baker is a thought, but Cherilus seems to be a better overall athlete and was impressive at the Senior Bowl, as well as at his workouts. Minor character issues aside, Cherilus is the safer pick.
Options: WR Limas Sweed, CB Antoine Cason
28 Cowboys RB Felix Jones Arkansas
The Cowboys let Julius Jones walk, so they replace him with another Jones, who happens to be from the same school that owner Jerry Jones is an alumni of. Keeping up with the Joneses? Felix is an underappreciated talent who would have been a starter anywhere else in the country except Arkansas.
Options: CB Antoine Cason, OT Sam Baker
29 49ers (IND) LB Jerod Mayo Tennessee
The ‘niners got Mike Martz to design their offense, and then went out and signed Isaac Bruce and Bryant Johnson has their targets for the passing game. So, they can elect to use this pick on the other side of the ball, and use it to take someone to line up next to defensive ROY Patrick Willis, now that Derek Smith is done.
Options: OT Sam Baker, WR Limas Sweed
30 Packers RB Jonathan Stewart
Is anybody really buying the fact that the Packers think Ryan Grant, DeShawn Wynn or Brandon Jackson are the answer for this team out of the backfield? Stewart is a strong all-purpose back that the team will now have to rely upon with Brett Favre retiring.
Options: OT Sam Baker, CB Antoine Cason
31 Patriots Forfeited
32 Giants LB Dan Connor Penn State
The Super Bowl champs have some holes to fill on their roster after losing two starters at linebacker and another at free safety. The Giants have a decision to make and elect to go with a player who is versatile enough to play inside or outside for them.
Options: DB Reggie Smith, OT Sam BakerRound 2
33. Dolphins QB Chad Henne Michigan
Parcells needs to get the future offensive leader for this team out of this pick.
34. Rams OT Sam Baker USC
Orlando Pace can’t play forever, last season proved that fact. Time for his replacement to be taken.
35. Falcons CB Antoine Cason Arizona
With DeAngelo Hall shipped to RaiderNation, the Falcons have to get a top notch cover man here.
36. Chiefs CB Tracy Porter Indiana
The Chiefs have no starting quality corner on their roster as of now. This pick helps take care of that.
37. Jets DE Calais Campbell Miami, Fla
Campbell falls after sub-par workouts, but he’s perfect as a DE in the 3-4 defense and Mangini knows it.
38. Falcons QB Joe Flacco Delaware
Finally, the Falcons make their pick to replace Mike Vick behind center, and Flacco could be very good.
39. Ravens OT Carl Nicks Nebraska
The Ravens know they have to replace Odgen, and Nicks is too good a talent to pass on here.
40. 49ers WR Earl Doucet LSU
While they may have signed some veterans, the 49ers still lack quality at the receiver spot.
41. Saints DT Pat Sims Auburn
He was more productive than Glenn Dorsey the second half of the season. Enough said.
42. Bills DB Reggie Smith Oklahoma
Some teams see him as a safety, others as a corner in the NFL. Buffalo wants him as a corner.
43. Broncos WR Earl Bennett Vanderbilt
A familiar face for Jay Cutler to throw to, and he fills a big need for Denver as well.
44. Panthers RB Jamaal Charles Texas
With DeShaun Foster gone, the Panthers want a partner for DeAngelo Williams.
45. Bears QB Andre Woodson Kentucky
Honestly, how much longer before the Bears figure this one out?
46. Lions ILB Curtis Lofton Oklahoma
Though he won’t start the season in the middle, he’ll end up there by season’s end.
47. Bengals OLB Erin Henderson Maryland
The Bengals are ALWAYS looking for linebacking help. When healthy, he’s a beast.
48. Vikings DE Lawrence Jackson USC
The Vikings still need to get someone who can effectively rush the passer.
49. Falcons OT Anthony Collins Kansas
New RB, new QB, now the Falcons need someone to protect them.
50. Eagles DE Chris Ellis Virginia
Jevon Kearse was released so the team needs quality and depth at the ends.
51. Cardinals CB Terrell Thomas USC
With Antrel Rolle moved to safety, the Cards need to find another starter at the corner.
52. Redskins DT Trevor Laws Notre Dame
The Redskins need someone who can get to the quarterback. Laws is quick and strong inside.
53. Buccaneers WR Mario Manningham Michigan
Just how much longer can the Bucs rely on Joey Galloway as a starter?
54. Steelers CB Justin King Penn State
The Steelers need to get some secondary help and do that with the speedy Justin King here.
55. Titans RB Chris Johnson East Carolina
Johnson will pair with Lendale White to form another “Thunder and Lightning” duo.
56. Seahawks TE Fred Davis USC
The Seahawks have to get a good tight end for their offensive, and Davis is it.
57. Packers DT Kentwan Balmer UNC
After trading away Corey Williams, the Packers will need someone to fill his spot.
58. Dolphins WR Andre Caldwell Florida
He could pair with Ted Ginn to form one of the fastest starting set of wideouts ever.
59. Jaguars OT Duane Brown Virginia Tech
Jacksonville needs to add some depth and quality to their starting offensive line.
60. Colts OLB Xavier Adibi Virginia Tech
Indianapolis likes speed on defense, and Adibi could start immediately on the strong side.
61. Packers TE Martin Rucker Missouri
With Bubba Franks gone, the Packers need to get a reliable big target for Aaron Rogers.
62. Cowboys OG Chilo Rachal USC
They’ve never really adequately replaced All-World guard Larry Allen.
63. Patriots ILB Philip Wheeler Georgia Tech
Youth infusion at inside linebacker is the Pats primary need and area of focus here.
64. Giants FS DaJuan Morgan North Carolina State
Gibril Wilson left for Oakland, so the G-men need to get themselves a starter here.