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Join Date: Apr 2005
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Sporting News Mock Draft Version 10
SPORTING NEWS MOCK DRAFT: Round 1
Pick Team Player Pos. School Previous Rising/Falling High/Low
1. 49ers Alex Smith* QB Utah 1st SAME 1st / 24th
Niners officials have arrived at two conclusions: 1) They won't be able to trade down and 2) The team cannot win in the short term. So, the team should take the QB with the most upside and develop him slowly. Smith could sit behind Tim Rattay in 2005, learn and avoid taking a beating behind a rebuilding offensive line. Smith has a strong arm, outstanding athleticism and winning intangibles.
2. Dolphins Ronnie Brown RB Auburn 2nd SAME 2nd / 25th
Nick Saban is a defensive-minded coach, but he has final say on all Dolphins personnel matters. He needs a workhorse back to make his conservative, ball-control offense work. Brown, with his great combination of power and speed, is tough to tackle and also excels as a receiver.
3. Browns Derrick Johnson OLB Texas 3rd SAME 3rd / 6th
Romeo Crennel wants to build the New England way — defense first. Johnson is the consensus best defensive prospect in this draft. Outside linebacker also is key to the success of Crennel's 3-4. Johnson, a great athlete, also shows terrific natural football instincts.
4. Bears Cedric Benson RB Texas 4th SAME 2nd / 8th
The Bears, in a stunner, may opt to go with a running back, and their preference is Benson. They believe they can get their wide receiver at the top of Round 2. Benson would be the prototypical Chicago back, especially in cold weather. He has nice bulk (222 pounds), runs hard between the tackles, and has both the vision and the speed to get outside.
5. Buccaneers Carnel Williams RB Auburn 5th SAME 4th / 25th
Coach Jon Gruden says he never can have enough offensive cogs. The public favorite is Tampa native Mike Williams, but the Bucs are in more need of a workhorse back. This Williams has the body to take the pounding and the speed to be a home-run threat.
6. Titans Aaron Rodgers* QB California 6th SAME 1st / 16th
Despite what Titans officials say, the team is rebuilding. Although Jeff Fisher is a defensive-minded coach, GM Floyd Reese will make this call. Rodgers would sit behind Steve McNair, learn without undue pressure and keep from taking a beating behind a shoddy offensive line.
(from Raiders) Braylon Edwards WR Michigan 7th SAME 1st / 7th
The Vikings rebuilt their defense through the free-agent market and trades and would look to replace some of Randy Moss' production here. Edwards, a playmaker with a solid frame and great hands, has All-Pro potential. He immediately would become Daunte Culpepper's go-to receiver.
8. Cardinals Adam Jones* CB West Virginia 8th SAME 8th / 32nd
The Cardinals might be reeling here as they plan to take one of the top three backs. Their next greatest need is cornerback. Jones lacks great size (5-9 5/8) but is a big-time playmaker with a confident, winning attitude. He tends to gamble, but his risky decisions usually pay off. Jones would need to show more discipline to function in the aggressive defense of Clancy Pendergast.
9. Redskins Antrel Rolle CB Miami (Fla.) 9th SAME 6th / 13th
After trading Champ Bailey last year and losing free agent Fred Smoot this year, the Redskins now have a glaring need at cornerback. Rolle (6-0 5/8, 197, 4.49) has good size and decent speed but his impressive intelligence and instincts would be a perfect fit as an assignment corner in Gregg Williams' disciplined defense.
10. Lions Erasmus James DE Wisconsin 15th (+5) 6th / 15th
While it appeared the Lions were set to use this spot to bulk up their offensive line, they may try to fill that need with a vet such as the 49ers' Scott Gragg after June 1 cap cuts. James is too talented a pass rusher to pass up. He is an every-down, two-way end who plays with great intensity and terrific leverage. He is the type of strong presence on the edge who will take double teams away from James Hall.
11. Cowboys Shawne Merriman* DE Maryland 11th SAME 11th / 23rd
Bill Parcells is a 3-4 defensive coach at heart and is looking to acquire the personnel to make the transition. His goal is to select two key defenders in the first round in order to commit to the 3-4. Merriman would be a great start. A terrific athlete, he played both end and 3-4 outside linebacker in college.
(from Giants) Mike Williams* WR USC 12th SAME 5th / 21st
The Chargers need a young playmaking receiver to continue to balance their offense. Williams is big (6-4 5/8, 229), physical and fast enough to create mismatches all over the field. The team would be thrilled if Williams remains available here.
13. Texans Marcus Spears DE LSU 13th SAME 13th / 2nd round
The Texans must upgrade their aging, injury-prone defensive line that is key to their success in the 3-4. Spears, a run-stuffing wide body (6-4, 304), has the athleticism to play two-gap end. He also has enough upfield push to squeeze the pocket and provide pass-rush support for 2004 first-rounder Jason Babin.
14. Panthers Troy Williamson* WR South Carolina 14th SAME 7th / 2nd round
With the loss of Muhsin Muhammad, the Panthers need a playmaking receiver. Williamson has good size (6-1 3/8, 203) and blazing speed (4.32 40-yard dash at the Combine). Paired with Steve Smith, the Panthers will have two vertical threats to take pressure off their power rushing attack.
15. Chiefs Travis Johnson DT Florida State 17th (+2) 11th / 17th
The Chiefs' line is the weakest of several weak links on defense. The acquisition of former Titan Carlos Hall for a fifth-round pick adds a wave rusher for the nickel package but the addition of Johnson addresses their biggest need, upgrading run defense. Johnson, a big (6-3 7/8, 296), physical presence, is a strong run defender who also could get some upfield pass-rush push in their attacking one-gap scheme.
16. Saints Carlos Rogers CB Auburn 16th SAME 15th / 2nd round
Rogers, whose stock is rising, would give the Saints an immediate upgrade. In addition to his great speed (4.44) and quickness, he is physical and fearless and provides good run support. He needs to improve his ball skills, however.
17. Bengals Alex Barron OT Florida State 10th (-7) 5th / 17th
Traditionally the Bengals select the best player available, and Barron fits that bill. While coach Marvin Lewis hopes to improve his run defense here, Barron could be a franchise tackle who can replace aging vet Willie Anderson and line up opposite Levi Jones for a long time. Barron, huge (6-7˝, 320) with outstanding athleticism, excels in pass protection. He must adjust if called upon to play RT because he isn't a great run blocker.
18. Vikings David Pollack DE Georgia 18th SAME 6th / 21st
Ted Cottrell's defense already has enjoyed an infusion of talent, and it continues here. Cottrell prefers the 3-4 and Pollack could be the missing piece to make the conversion from a 4-3. Pollack (6-2 3/8, 270) is very athletic and versatile with great speed, quickness, instincts and hustle. Best suited as a pass rusher, he also can stuff the run and play the open field. Pollack can either line up as a pass-rushing end or a 3-4 OLB.
19. Rams Jammal Brown OT Oklahoma 19th SAME 18th / 28th
The Rams must do a better job of protecting Marc Bulger. Brown would be an immediate upgrade at right tackle with his long, strong arms, working best in pass protection. He has the tools for run blocking but must get stronger and bulkier to excel there.
(from Bills) Darryl Blackstock* OLB Virginia 20th SAME 20th / 2nd round
The addition of Blackstock would secure Parcells' conversion to the 3-4. Blackstock has good size (6-2˝, 238) and is an outstanding athlete (4.60 40, 39-inch vertical jump). At Virginia, he played OLB in a 3-4 under Al Groh, a Parcells protégé — which only shortens the learning curve. While there are some character issues, Parcells would get Blackstock to toe the line.
21. Jaguars Justin Miller* CB Clemson 21st SAME 21st / 2nd round
The Jaguars have upgraded their defensive line with free agents and now must upgrade at cornerback to compete in the pass-happy AFC South. Miller possesses great change-of-direction and ball skills and is both tough and physical. He also is a productive kick returner.
22. Ravens Mark Clayton WR Oklahoma 22nd SAME 11th / 2nd round
The Ravens named Jim Fassel offensive coordinator and brought in Rick Neuheisel to mentor QB Kyle Boller with a commitment to opening up the passing game. The team would be thrilled if Clayton still were on the board here. Clayton, drawing comparisons to Marvin Harrison, is a playmaker who can score from anywhere on the field. He is a bit undersized (5-10 3/8, 193) but shows elite speed, hands and agility.
23. Seahawks Fabian Washington* CB Nebraska 23rd SAME 23rd / N/A
Playing in the NFC West, with the Rams' passing attack and the Cardinals' talented young receiving corps, the Seahawks need to add more high-quality corners. Washington, who had an Olympian Combine workout (4.29 40, 3.91 short shuttle, 41˝-inch vertical), compensates for his undersized frame (5-10˝, 188) with athleticism and strong coverage skills. He'd contribute in the nickel package at first but should develop into a solid starter.
24. Packers Demarcus Ware OLB Troy State 24th SAME 24th / 2nd round
Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila is the Packers' only viable pass rusher. Ware played outside linebacker in college but would move to end as a pro. He shows both the speed and burst to be a dynamic pass rusher and has both the athleticism and instincts to play the run.
25. Broncos Corey Webster CB LSU 29th (+4) 15th / 2nd round
With the free-agent loss of Kelly Herndon, the Broncos need to add a solid cornerback to either start opposite Champ Bailey or play in the nickel package if Lenny Walls returns to his pre-injury form. Webster, with good size (6-0 1/8, 199) and long arms, plays physical at the line and is willing in run support. He uses his frame and ball skills to his advantage downfield, making up for a slight speed deficiency.
26. Jets Heath Miller* TE Virginia 26th SAME 25th / 2nd round
Miller may be the biggest mystery. If healthy he may warrant a top-10 pick. A serious abdominal injury has kept him from working out for any teams and he may not be healthy by draft day. The Jets, who need a top TE, have a history with this type of pick. Last year's first-rounder, LB Jonathan Vilma, had failed most teams' physicals because of concern over a knee injury. The Jets' doctors cleared Vilma and he became an all-rookie performer.
27. Falcons Brodney Pool* S Oklahoma 25th (-2) 19th / 2nd round
Last year, Jim Mora and his coaching staff installed a good attacking defensive scheme, but what they discovered is that they didn't have the ideal personnel at safety. Pool, an outstanding athlete, is strong in run support and solid in coverage. He is the physical safety the Falcons' defensive coaches covet.
28. Chargers Shaun Cody DT USC 27th (-1) 19th / 29th
The Chargers need an infusion of depth and talent at defensive end. The line is the anchor of coordinator Wade Philips' 3-4 scheme. At 6-3 7/8, Cody has unusually short legs, which works to his advantage in gaining leverage on offensive linemen, a must as a two-gap defender. Cody plays with great intensity and would help the interior pass rush.
29. Colts Barrett Ruud ILB Nebraska 31st (+2) 18th / 2nd round
The Colts have many needs on defense. Bill Polian has long been a believer in selecting the best available player, who in this case also fills a big need. Ruud, a versatile defender, isn't the most gifted athlete, but he plays smart and has great character, both important traits to the Colts.
30. Steelers Matt Jones WR Arkansas 30th SAME 30th / 2nd round
The Steelers already have three former college QBs in their huddle. With the success of Hines Ward and Antwaan Randle El, however, they won't be afraid to select the former Arkansas QB and make him their next conversion project. Jones would step into the role vacated by Plaxico Burress, especially on red zone fade routes.
31. Eagles Matt Roth DE Iowa 28th (-3) 21st / 2nd round
The Eagles lost free-agent defensive end Derrick Burgess and are looking for a two-way replacement to play opposite Jevon Kearse, who will get pressure off the edge and play strong run defense. Roth plays with nonstop hustle and sometimes gets a little out of control. To adapt to Jim Johnson's upfield scheme, Roth would need to improve his pass-rush discipline to match his great potential.
32. Patriots Channing Crowder* OLB Florida 32nd SAME 18th / 2nd round
The Patriots' defense is driven by aging LBs, but Tedy Bruschi's health may cause him to miss the season, and Ted Johnson and Willie McGinest are 32 and 33, respectively. The Pats would need to accept some character concerns regarding Crowder, who without those issues, wouldn't stay on the board this long. Aggressive with nonstop hustle, he can play undisciplined, but he still is young, having played only two years at Florida.