Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Draft Approaches

And today, the Miami Dolphins made it official: They agreed to terms with Jake Long, the Michigan offensive tackle. He's certainly a nice building block, and he'll immediately help the offense-but then, you could suit up the '72 Dolphins today in their sixties and be better on offense than they were last year.

So with that news, here's my projected order: After all, everybody does one, so why not me? Remember that this is for entertainment purposes only. Don't go to Vegas just 'cause I said that the Rams will pick...

2. St. Louis: Glenn Dorsey, DT, LSU-probably the most can't miss guy in the draft, the Rams try again on the defensive line. They do need OL help in the worst way; don't think they won't try to trade back and get more picks. I don't think anyone's buying, though.

3. Atlanta: Matt Ryan, QB, Boston College-I'm not a real big Ryan guy. I understand the positives-big arm, intangibles, but there's something that just doesn't seem right to me, though for the Falcons, he can't be any worse than their last guy, right? The Falcons probably hoped Dorsey would make it to them.

4. Oakland: Vernon Gholston, DE, Ohio State-If they hold the pick, I just don't see them going with McFadden, and there's bad blood between the Longs and Al Davis. This pick is there for the taking for someone who might want to jump up and grab someone. Calling Jerry Jones...

5. Kansas City: Ryan Clady, OT, Boise State-The Chiefs would have loved for Ryan to fall to them, but they've gotten old quick, and need new blood on the OL. They're probably working on getting St. Louis on the phone right now...

6. New York Jets: Darren McFadden, RB, Arkansas-the Jets have made big moves in the offseason, and adding McFadden would give them a real home run hitter on offense that they've lacked since...since...uh...well...Al Toon?

7. New England: Keith Rivers, LB, USC-Yes, 18-1 lands you at eighth, due to last year's San Francisco trade. The Pats linebackers are old and they need help there. Rivers fits that need perfectly.

8. Baltimore: Chris Long, DE, Virginia-Another team who wanted Matt Ryan, if Long falls this far Ozzie Newsome will jump at him. They need major help on offense but the whole team is starting to get old. They're eight years removed from their Super Bowl win. Again, they're on the phone with St. Louis as we speak I'm sure.

9. Cincinatti: Sedrick Ellis, DT, USC-The Bengals need help on defense in the worst way. Ellis is a close second to Dorsey on the defensive tackle boards.

10. New Orleans: Mike Jenkins, CB, South Florida-Good lord, finally the Saints pick secondary help. They're not very good back there and haven't been for years. Here's hoping he turns out better than Tebucky Jones, Fakir Brown, and Jason David.

11. Buffalo: Devin Thomas, WR, Michigan State-Poor Buffalo. They've been rebuilding constantly since Jim Kelly retired. They go offense because they're just so bad at it. Here's hoping Thomas helps them stay in Buffalo.

12: Denver: Derrick Harvey, DE, Florida-Quarterback is settled, the top reciever is gone, they always find running backs later...yep, going defense, where they just can't get it exactly right on the defensive line.

13: Carolina: Rashard Mendenhall, RB, Illinois-After several mediocre years, the Panthers need to win now. They need to get back to being a bruising team, and Mendenhall can be that guy. Delhomme should be back, and the QB for the future will be there in round 2.

14: Chicago: Jeff Otah, OT, Pitt-Meanwhile, Rex Grossman and Kyle Orton are still your quarterbacks, and Cedric Benson is your running back. Oh, well-can't get much worse, can it?

15: Detroit: Jonathan Stewart, RB, Oregon-They cut Kevin Jones, Tatum Bell's never been the guy. The question is can Stewart go from the spread to the pro-style?

16: Arizona: Leodis McKelvin, CB, Troy-They moved Rolle to safety, they need another corner, and the offense has the potential to be explosive. The Cards need to make a move now before Fitzgerald, Leinart, and Boldin start getting antsy-or getting the funnel out more frequently, in Leinart's case.

17: Minnesota: Limas Sweed, WR, Texas-A possibility for Denver, Minnesota needs recievers in the worst way, too. They've jettisoned Troy Williamson and Tavares Jackson needs all the help he can get.

18: Houston: Chris Williams, OT, Vanderbilt-The next best guy at tackle, where the Texans have always struggled. They've invested in a QB in Matt Schaub, now they have to keep him upright.

19: Philadelphia: DeSean Jackson, WR, California-Count Choke-ula needs recievers. Maybe this one won't turn out to be a moron. Kevin Kolb will eventually, too.

20: Tampa Bay: Phillip Merling, DE, Clemson-The Bucs could trade here. Merling would be reunited with his former teammate, Gaines Adams, the Bucs first rounder last year.

21: Washington: Kentwan Balmer, DT, North Carolina-Merling was probably their guy. They'd probably like to go offense.

22: Dallas: Felix Jones, RB, Arkansas-McFadden's speedy understudy would compliment bruiser Marion Barber. Corner is also not out of the question.

23: Pittsburgh: Branden Albert, OL, Virginia-the Steelers want to get back to beating on people's heads. Albert, who's huge and athletic, could do that.

24: Tennessee: Calais Campbell, DE, Miami-He's 6-8, and the defensive ends need work.

25: Seattle: Jerrod Mayo, LB, Tennessee-a playmaker they'll need to get past just being the token Western Division team in the playoffs.

26: Jacksonville: Dominique Rogers-Cromartie, CB, Tennessee State-The Jags are good and fairly young. I can see them trading here, just like Tampa Bay, to either Carolina or Baltimore.

27: San Diego: Aqib Taliq, CB, Kansas-To beat Indy and New England, they need all the corners they can get.

28: Dallas: Malcolm Kelly, WR, Oklahoma-See, here's the thing. Dallas could package the two picks here to Oakland for McFadden. They might even trade them for a veteran reciever. If they don't, Kelly will compliment Terrell Owens perfectly, in more ways than one.

29: San Francisco: Gosder Cherilous, OT, Boston College-more protection for Alex Smith after last year's trade up for Joe Staley. Plus, that's a cool handle.

30: Green Bay: Dustin Keller, TE, Purdue-Well, Brett's gone. Aaron Rogers gets his shot. Bubba Franks is on the decline. Tackle and Corner are also needs.

31: New England: Bad Pats! No pick for you.

32: New York Giants: Kenny Phillps, S, Miami-The Champs lost their starter to free agency, they'll need to fill the vacant spot with either Phillps or Tyrell Johnson of Arkansas State.

First round possibles/Second round noteables: Chad Henne, QB Michigan; Joe Flacco, QB Delaware; Brian Brohm QB Louisville; Lawrence Jackson, DE USC; Sam Baker, T USC; Xavier Adibi, LB Virginia Tech; Jimmy Williams, CB Virginia Tech.

It would not surprise me if Baltimore moved up a bit to land one of those QBs, and I'd be surprised if Carolina didn't make a move as well. Baker looks like he was made for the Rams in the second if he falls that far.

Have fun Saturday and Sunday. I know I will.

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