Oakland Raiders: JaMarcus Russell, QB, LSU
If you look in my new mock draft database, you'll see that nearly every mock across the internet has the Raiders taking JaMarcus Russell. This one won't be
any different, although it is conceivable that Calvin Johnson could end up No. 1.
There are two things Al Davis looks for every April: athleticism and arm strength (for quarterbacks). JaMarcus Russell has both attributes, and reminds me
of Daunte Culpepper circa 2004. Moreover, Russell's ability to elude defenders will come in handy once opposing pass rushers easily squeak through
Oakland's pitiful offensive line.
So why will Davis choose Russell over Johnson? Well, when Jeff Garcia was negotiating with the team, he asked for the Raiders not to draft a quarterback
No. 1. That's exactly why the two parties reached an impasse, allowing Tampa Bay to snag the top quarterback in free agency. If Oakland planned on selecting
Johnson, it would have simply complied to Garcia's demand.
Detroit Lions: Calvin Johnson, WR, Georgia Tech
I can't believe I have the Lions taking another wide out. Before you say the same thing, read my explanation.
I don't think Johnson will play a single game for the Lions. The best possible move Millen can make is selling Johnson to the highest bidder.
Atlanta is willing to part with its No. 8 selection, and the two second-rounders it just obtained from Houston to acquire Johnson. Minnesota and Washington
are willing to
do something similar. Tampa Bay, meanwhile, might be the most desperate
franchise of all; Jon Gruden and the entire Buccaneers organization is enamored with Johnson. They could be willing to part with every single first-day
choice they have.
Like I said, this is the best thing Millen can do. What could be better than obtaining a barrage of picks and acquiring a great player like Gaines Adams or
LaRon Landry? Sound far fetched to you? The Chargers did this with Eli Manning a few years ago. If this doesn't happen, Millen will probably shop this
selection around, which is basically the same thing.
I've seen some mock drafts projecting Johnson to go No. 4 to Tampa Bay. I just don't understand the logic behind that. Johnson is clearly the top prospect
in the draft. He'll be taken with one of the first two overall picks; the only question is which team will select him � Oakland, Detroit or a franchise that
Cleveland Browns: Brady Quinn, QB, Notre Dame
In my first ever 2007 Mock Draft I had Brady Quinn No. 1. Ever since then, I moved him all over the place, placing him as low as No. 14 in early February.
With an impressive Pro Day and a soaring draft stock, Quinn is back in the top three.
I don�t believe this is the right move for the Browns organization. Nothing against Quinn; it�s just that Cleveland has so many more holes and could benefit
from trading down more than once. However, ownership has hinted that they have some sort of interest in Quinn. In fact, the Lions brought Quinn in for an
interview just so they could possibly manufacture a swap with the Browns.
I don�t think that�ll happen, simply because another squad is more likely to move up for Calvin Johnson. That said, I think Quinn will go third; the Notre Dame
product was raised outside of Columbus, Ohio and has hinted that he would love to play for the Browns.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Gaines Adams, DE, Clemson
It seems like the entire NFL wants to trade up for Calvin Johnson. I believe either Atlanta or Tampa Bay will be the team to do it.
Joey Galloway just turned 35, and Michael Clayton has been a huge disappointment after an incredible rookie campaign, so Jon Gruden won't hesitate to move
up to No. 2 for the electrifying wide out.
I have Tampa Bay picking Gaines Adams because I believe it will swap selections or players with the Lions, who may end up with Adams. Brady Quinn is another
option for Detroit.
What do the Buccaneers have to surrender to move up to No. 2?
Arizona Cardinals: Joe Thomas, OT, Wisconsin
If you missed out on one of the previous versions of my mock draft, , I had Arizona moving up to No. 2 to take Joe Thomas. Makes sense -- for any other organization.
However, knowing Bill Bidwill, the Cardinals will never move up that high; Bidwill just doesn't want to pay any of his players top dollar. Why settle for
dishing out No. 2 money if he can just settle for the No. 5 expenses?
That said, this pick makes sense because Arizona has enormous problems with its offensive line; it could neither pass block nor open up running lanes for
Edgerrin James, who gained just 3.4 yards per carry last year.
Washington Redskins: LaRon Landry, S, LSU
I don't know where to start with Washington's defense; it can't stop the run or get to the quarterback. It also featured Shawn Springs and Troy Vincent,
two fossilized veterans who have lost a step. The Redskins have a few options at this juncture. Do they address the fact that they had 19 sacks
last year, which is one of the most humiliating statistics in NFL history? Or do they fix their horrendous run defense, which Tiki Barber was able to expose
in Week 17? Your guess is as good as mine.
Well, what we do know is that Alan Branch is now out of the picture in the wake of his horrendous Pro Day performance. Branch looked lethargic, out of shape
and indifferent. That's why I've changed this selection to Amobi Okoye. This is Washington's only pick until Round 5, so look for the team to trade down.
Minnesota Vikings: Adrian Peterson, RB, Oklahoma
I know Chester Taylor is a decent running back and the Vikings have greater needs, but I don�t see how they can possibly pass up on a prospect like Adrian
Peterson at this juncture. The same applies if Brady Quinn somehow slips to No. 7.
In case you haven't heard, the Vikings have made it known that they want LaRon Landry. I don't think that's going to happen; I believe someone will select
him at No. 6, whether it's Washington or a team that trades up to that spot. If Minnesota really wants him, it should consider moving ahead of the Redskins
and conducting a deal with Arizona.
Atlanta Falcons: Amobi Okoye, DT, Louisville
As I noted above in the Washington analysis, I think the Falcons will move up to No. 6 if they can't swap with Detroit. Why? The Vikings expressed interest
in LaRon Landry, whom Atlanta also covets. The Falcons need Landry to improve their horrendous safety corps. Besides, Landry, whom I consider to be the top
defender in this class, will be an outstanding playmaker in Atlanta's secondary for years to come.
Miami Dolphins: Levi Brown, OT, Penn State
It�s unclear right now who Miami�s starting quarterback will be in 2007. Rumors are they are planning on trading for Trent Green. If that�s the case,
they�ll have an even more immobile signal caller than they possessed in 2006. Thus, it�ll be crucial for them to find someone better at left tackle than
Anthony Alabi, a fifth-round player chosen in 2005.
Houston Texans: Darrelle Revis, CB, Pittsburgh
Don�t be surprised if the Texans trade out of this pick. They need an offensive tackle, but even if Levi Brown makes it past Miami, I don�t think Houston
will take him, given that he�s not a good fit for their zone-blocking scheme. The Texans want Joe Staley, so look for them to trade down into the early 20s.
If Denver moves up, and it's rumored to happen, Patrick Willis will be taken off the board, forcing the Bills to choose Darrelle Revis or Leon Hall at No.
If Houston can�t move anywhere, look for Darrelle Revis to come off the board. The Texans� secondary is a disaster area and needs to be completely revamped, save
for Dunta Robinson. You might be thinking, "What happened to Leon Hall?" Well, Revis' stock has soared so much the past few weeks that I think he has eclipsed
Hall as the corner everyone wants in this class. This is similar to what happened in 2005, when Pacman Jones leapfrogged Antrel Rolle the week prior to
San Francisco 49ers: Adam Carriker, DE, Nebraska
San Francisco's front seven was an abomination last year. I know the secondary looked just as bad at times, but no group of defensive backs can possibly
succeed with what the 49ers had up front. It�s either Adam Carriker or Patrick Willis at this juncture. Both offer tremendous upgrades for San Francisco.
Buffalo Bills: Patrick Willis, MLB, Ole Miss
There�s a chance the Bills will trade up for Adrian Peterson, but I think Marv Levy and Dick Jauron will both be jumping for joy if Patrick Willis makes it
this far. Willis, who looked absolutely phenomenal in his pre-draft workouts, offers an easy solution to Buffalo�s woes at linebacker. The team lost Takeo
Spikes and London Fletcher this offseason.
St. Louis Rams: Jamaal Anderson, DE, Arkansas
I�ve been going with Alan Branch for a while at this juncture, but there are too many negatives to draw the Rams away from him. The thing everyone is aware of was his poor Pro Day performance, where he looked sluggish. He also was inconsistent in games, appearing invigorated one Saturday and sluggish the next. Furthermore, there are reports that Branch has stress fractures in his legs. Can St. Louis spend another first-round selection on a potential bust at defensive tackle?
If they shy away from Branch, look for them to take Jamaal Anderson. It doesn�t really make much sense to me because they just traded for James Hall, but the Rams are reportedly interested in him. They need to bolster their pass rush and Anderson is a top-10 talent. Look for St. Louis to go defensive tackle in Round 2, whether it�s drafting a guy or trading for Kris Jenkins.
Carolina Panthers: Reggie Nelson, FS, Florida
I previously had Levi Brown going in this spot, but with the Panthers switching to a zone-blocking scheme, I believe they will look elsewhere, as Brown
doesn't really fit that system. Carolina needs help at both safety positions; Mike Minter is planning to retire after this season, while Nate Salley, last
year's fourth-round pick, is unproven. Greg Olsen is also an option, but the Panthers can simply pursue Zach Miller in the second round. An elite safety like
Nelson won't be there.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Paul Posluszny, OLB, Penn State
Steelers fans would love Paul Posluszny; he�s a blue-collar guy who exemplifies everything their team stands for. Posluszny can play in either the 3-4 or 4-3; new coach Mike Tomlin is looking to transition his defense to the latter scheme, and needs a 4-3-type linebacker like Posluszny. If Jamaal Anderson slips to No. 15, Pittsburgh will take him instead.
Green Bay Packers: Marshawn Lynch, RB, California
The Packers cannot go into the 2007 season with Vernand Morency and Noah Herron, and seriously expect to compete with Chicago for the NFC North title. Greg
Olsen and Ted Ginn are options here, but the running back position is simply too much of a glaring need.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Ted Ginn, WR, Ohio State
Everyone saw how many passes Jacksonville's receiving corps dropped during its Monday Night Football contest against the Giants. All of the Jaguars' wide
outs happen to be of the possession variety. They need a speed-burner. Ted Ginn will also help out in the return department. Jacksonville will consider
Reggie Nelson, but it'll probably have to trade up to get him.
Cincinnati Bengals: Leon Hall, CB, Michigan
Tory James and Deltha O'Neal are pretty much done in Cincinnati. Jonathan Joseph and Keiwan Ratliff will most likely be the starting corners next year. If I were a Bengal fan, I'd be uncomfortable with the latter in my lineup. Regardless, Cincinnati needs depth at cornerback.
Tennessee Titans: Robert Meachem, WR, Tennessee
Pacman Jones has been suspended for the entire 2007 season, so it obviously wouldn�t surprise me if the Titans opted for a corner like Darrelle Revis,
Chris Houston or Aaron Ross at this juncture. However, the fact remains that Pacman is gone for a year or less � his suspension might be reduced to 10 games
� and Tennessee desperately needs a top-flight player at receiver to really open its offense. I�m looking for the Titans to go corner in the second round.
For now, it�s the best wide out available.
New York Giants: Aaron Ross, CB, Texas
There are so many options at this point that this selection really depends on what the Giants do in free agency. Do they go offensive tackle to replace
Luke Petitgout? What about outside linebackers in the wake of the releases of LaVar Arrington and Carlos Emmons? The Giants also could use someone to take
Tiki Barber's spot. Given that New York signed Kawika Mitchell, it looks like it will select a corner.
Denver Broncos: Alan Branch, DT, Michigan
Denver has a huge hole in the middle of its defensive line, and what better way to fix it than to take a monstrous defensive tackle? As I mentioned in the St. Louis analysis, Branch has been tagged with being lazy and having stress fractures. For Mike Shanahan, that�s no problem; Shanahan has a history of bringing in troubled linemen and getting the most out of them. If Branch doesn�t make it this far, the pick�s Anthony Spencer. Of course, the Broncos could also trade down to No. 10 and pick Patrick Willis.
Dallas Cowboys: Dwayne Jarrett, WR, USC
I�ve had Dwayne Jarrett slipping into the second round for months now, so you can imagine my surprise when I heard multiple sources telling me that the Cowboys are very interested in him. That�s fine; Jarrett�s going to be a solid player and Dallas needs a receiver behind the aging Terrell Owens and Terry Glenn.
Kansas City Chiefs: Joseph Staley, OT, Central Michigan
Hmmm... I wonder what the Chiefs are going to do in this spot. Both of their offensive tackles retired prior to the 2006 season, so they can't be addressing
that position, can they?
New England Patriots: David Harris, ILB, Michigan
Whoops, looks like the Patriots' interest in David Harris leaked out a bit too soon. Pro Football Talk reported New England's desire to take David
Harris at No. 28, so other teams may attempt to move ahead of the Patriots. Thus, I believe Harris will go here. Besides, the selection makes a lot of
sense. New England has no depth behind Mike Vrabel and Tedy Bruschi, both of whom will be 32 or older by the start of the 2007 season.
New York Jets: Greg Olsen, TE, Miami
The Jets probably have more pressing needs at linebacker, defensive end and cornerback, but they just won�t be able to resist if Greg Olsen slips this far.
I know they recently spent a first-round pick on a tight end (Chris Baker), but that was under a different regime. Eric Mangini knows Baker is a backup at
best, and that a player like Olsen can make his offensive very explosive.
Philadelphia Eagles: Michael Griffin, SS, Texas
Brian Dawkins is still playing really well, but his skills will quickly erode within the next few years. Meanwhile, Michael Lewis defected for the West
Coast. Andy Reid must address the safety position.
New Orleans Saints: Justin Harrell, DT, Tennessee
If the Colts don�t match Jason David�s offer sheet, the Saints will have managed to secure a top-notch cornerback, nullifying the chance they take one in
the first few rounds, although I do think they�ll select one in the fourth regardless of whether David signs or not. New Orleans will then turn to the
defensive tackle position, which was widely responsible for the team�s inability to stop the run last year. Justin Harrell is flying up most draft boards,
so the Saints will be more than willing to obtain him.
New England Patriots: Brandon Meriweather, FS, Miami
Now that the Patriots have acquired Donte' Stallworth and Wes Welker, I believe they'll turn their attention to the safety position, where it seems Rodney
Harrison gets hurt every year. You may be asking, "Doesn't Harrison play strong safety? Why a free safety?" He does -- however, when Harrison either retires or
defects for another team, Eugene Wilson will move over to strong safety, allowing Meriweather to start in his spot.
Baltimore Ravens: Jarvis Moss, DE/OLB, Florida
The Ravens will take an offensive lineman unless Anthony Spencer or Jarvis Moss slips. They have a huge hole at outside linebacker in the wake of Adalius
Thomas� defection. Moss would be a competent replacement.
San Diego Chargers: Dwayne Bowe, WR, LSU
It looks like the Chargers will be taking the best player available at this juncture, and in this mock that happens to be Dwayne Bowe. Remember, Keenan
McCardell was cut in March.
Chicago Bears: Jon Beason, OLB, Miami
Lance Briggs has made it clear that he will never play in Chicago ever again, so the Bears will need an outside linebacker if he leaves. The irony is that
they won't even have this selection if they trade him. If you haven't heard the latest rumor, it involves Chicago trading Briggs and this pick for
Washington's No. 6.
Indianapolis Colts: Lawrence Timmons, OLB, Florida State
It's no secret that despite winning the Super Bowl, Indianapolis has major issues on the defensive side of the ball. The Colts will be very lucky if
Lawrence Timmons falls to them; they need a top-notch outside linebacker in the wake of Cato June�s defection to Tampa Bay.
Out of sheer boredom and the upcoming NBA draft has gotten me itching to make a new mock draft. Of course the NFL draft is a whole lot less predictable than the NBA draft, but also provides more success stories than the NBA draft. Again, I used schedules to determine each team's records and if you get upset with me just remember it's June and a whole lot can change by next April.