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Craig Smith's 2008 NFL Mock Draft
Round One

Last update: Tuesday, April 22, 2008. Next Update: TBA.
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  1. Miami Dolphins: Jake Long, OT, Michigan
    While I doubt this team is as happy with John Beck as they make it out to be, they have openly said Matt Ryan is out of the equation. The team is currently in active negotiations with Jake Long and rumored to be with Vernon Gholston; no word on whether they plan on speaking to Chris Long. But it does appear that Chris Long is maybe No. 4 on their list behind Jake Long, Gholston and Glenn Dorsey.

  2. St. Louis Rams: Chris Long, DE, Virginia
    Chris Long is a prototype for what a defensive end should be - physical and fast. He appears to be the man St. Louis is targeting right now, and it would allow Adam Carriker to stay inside to defensive tackle and help solidify their defensive line.

  3. Atlanta Falcons: Glenn Dorsey, DT, LSU
    Atlanta has a fairly young and talented defense set in place for new head coach Mike Smith. But Michael Vick will never play in the NFL again. That means this team's future is intertwined with either Chris Redman or Joey Harrington without a pick at quarterback. There is a lot of depth at the position though, and with numerous second-round choices, Atlanta can target someone else at the position.



  4. Oakland Raiders: Darren McFadden, RB, Arkansas
    This was a tough call between Chris Long, Darren McFadden. Both men are intense athletes with great physical abilities. But in the end, Al Davis takes the sexy pick, just like last year.

  5. Kansas City Chiefs: Sedrick Ellis, DT, USC
    This team has a lot of problems. With Tony Gonzalez's career winding down, Dwayne Bowe and Larry Johnson are the only bright spots on their offense. Jared Allen is likely to be traded before the draft, and they had trouble stopping the run in the first place. There is not a whole lot of promise on defense either. Ellis is a big, powerful body who can help shore up their defense.

  6. New York Jets: Vernon Gholston, DE/OLB, Ohio State
    One of the Jets' biggest needs is an outside rush linebacker for their 3-4 defense. It's a mold that Vernon Gholston fits perfectly. With Gholston still available and the Jets on the clock, it's close to a perfect match.

  7. New England Patriots: Leodis McKelvin, CB, Troy State
    In the wake of failing to bring in any decent talent at the cornerback position after losing both Asante Samuel and Randall Gay, corner becomes New England's biggest need. While I like Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie's upside much more, Leodis McKelvin is the more complete corner right now.

  8. Baltimore Ravens: Matt Ryan, QB, Boston College
    Hard to argue with a pick here, but as a new head coach, you might as well grab "Your Guy" with your very first pick. Regardless, Kyle Boller and Troy Smith don't necessarily make many defenses tremble with fear.

  9. Cincinnati Bengals: Keith Rivers, OLB, USC
    This team thought they were getting a talented linebacker when they took Ahmad Brooks in the supplemental draft last year. Brooks has failed to live up to the hype he had built before getting dropped for academic reasons. The Bengals need any help they can get at stopping the run, and are weak all around at the linebacker position. Keith Rivers gives them and instant boost in both departments and versatility to play multiple linebacker positions.



  10. New Orleans Saints: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, CB, TSU
    Corner is still a needed hole to fill. Mike McKenzie is getting older, and Randall Gay has some shoes to fill in proving he can move from the nickel role to being a starter. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, who probably has more upside to any corner in this draft, will be able to learn for a year and refine his technique before moving into a starting role.

  11. Buffalo Bills: Mike Jenkins, CB, South Florida
    Buffalo let Nate Clements walk away with a huge contract to San Francisco. I can't really blame them, I wouldn't pay the man that kind of money either after watching Detroit's Roy Williams tear him apart for over 160 yards under man coverage in the 2006 season. But Ashton Youboty failed to step up and fill in his shoes. Jabari Greer, meanwhile, was solid but is better suited at nickel. There is room for improvement and Mike Jenkins should push Greer for the starting job from day one.

  12. Denver Broncos : Chris Williams, OT, Vanderbilt
    Right tackle has been a position of need for the Broncos the past couple of seasons. Jay Cutler is young; he will need every second possible in the pocket as he continues to develop.

  13. Carolina Panthers: Derrick Harvey, DE, Florida
    This team has some questions at offensive tackle, but with Mike Rucker still on the market, the Panthers need to add a legitimate pass-rushing threat opposite Julius Peppers. Harvey, having added some mass to his body, has moved more toward the DE role rather than the Outside-rush linebacker.

  14. Chicago Bears: Ryan Clady, OT, Boise State
    Oh man, Chicago's offense is hurting. They need a new quarterback and may even reach for Brian Brohm here. Rumors also persist that they are targeting Rashard Mendenhall. But ultimately they have to realize that Mendenhall won't be able to do much behind a horrible offensive line.



  15. Detroit Lions: Rashard Mendenhall, RB, Illinois
    This will be a tough call for Detroit with Keith Rivers still on the board and the deep talent pool of running backs in this year's draft. There are still positions more pressing like tackle, and inside linebacker, but there is a noticeable talent gap between Rashard Mendenhall and the remaining running backs in this draft, even Jonathan Stewart, whose recent injury could bump him toward the lower half of the first round.

  16. Arizona Cardinals: Jerod Mayo, ILB, Tennessee
    Arizona was hoping for a steal when they drafted an undersized Buster Davis last year in the third round. It was horrible match and resulted in Davis spending virtually the entire season on Detroit's practice squad. They retained Karlos Dansby, but lost Calvin Pace and still lack a field general manning the middle of their defense. Jerod Mayo has been a late riser and could anchor the center of their defense nicely.

  17. Minnesota Vikings: Phillip Merling, DE, Clemson
    The Tarvaris Jackson experiment is going to continue. He may not have looked overly effective last season, but his team rallied around him when he was starting. They went 8-4 with him as their starter and 0-4 when he was out of the lineup. With the health of Kenechi Udeze in question, Erasmus James' injury problems become a much greater risk. With one of this draft's premier defensive ends still being available in Phillip Merling, Minnesota will be able to rest a little easier.

  18. Houston Texans: Branden Albert, G, Virginia
    With Rashard Mendenhall and Darren McFadden off the board, this team is going to wait until the third round to target a running back in a very deep running back class. This team has never found a franchise left tackle. The Texans need to keep Matt Schaub upright. If Branden Albert doesn't pan out at Tackle, he can always be bumped inside to guard. Who knows, maybe a better offensive line will help Ahman Green stay healthy too.

  19. Philadelphia Eagles: Kenny Phillips, FS, Miami
    Brian Dawkins is starting to develop injury concerns and Sean Considine, opposite him, leaves something to be desired. Kenny Phillips' versatility is a bonus for a team that still has issues in its secondary despite the signing of Asante Samuel.

  20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: James Hardy, WR, Indiana
    James Hardy is an interesting prospect who brings many similar traits to the board that Calvin Johnson had last year. Not quite the same level of athleticism or talent, but Hardy still possesses an impressive skill set of size and speed. He was also impressive in drills at the combine, leap frogging to the No. 2 wide receiver. He will fill in nicely opposite Joey Galloway before taking his role as the No. 1 receiver in Tampa Bay.

  21. Washington Redskins: Limas Sweed, WR, Texas
    One of the biggest downfalls to Washington's offense is that they lack a true possession receiver. All the receivers on their roster are small-burner type wideouts. The only check-down option Jason Campbell really has is tight end Chris Cooley. A big guy running intermediate routes will help make Campbell look a little better.



  22. Dallas Cowboys: Devin Thomas, WR, Michigan State
    Two first-round picks and not a lot of holes are going to make Dallas a dangerous team next year. Their receiving corps is getting older and Devin Thomas is built in almost an identical mold to Terrell Owens. The benefit of learning Owens' training and work habits will be an unimaginable benefit to Thomas.

  23. Pittsburgh Steelers: Dan Connor, ILB/OLB, Penn State
    After re-signing Max Starks, Pittsburgh may look to drop out of the first round and target a guard high in the second. By this time next year, James Farrior will be 34 years old, and sooner or later you will have to bring in a replacement. I like the youth they have added to their linebacking corps by drafting Lawrence Timmons and LaMarr Woodley last season. The addition of Dan Conner will keep the Steel Curtain defense primed to stuff the run for 10 more years.

  24. Tennessee Titans: DeSean Jackson, WR, California
    Vince Young needs more weapons, period. Bringing back Justin McCareins is almost the equivalent of Chicago bringing back Marty Booker to potentially be their No. 1 receiver. It's amazing this team made the playoffs with their lack of talent on offense. DeSean Jackson is fairly undersized for the NFL despite possible being the best receiver overall in the draft. He will have to stick to the outside, unless he finds some way to add some body mass; otherwise he won't be able to physically handle the abuse of going over the middle.

  25. Seattle Seahawks: Jeff Otah, OT, Pittsburgh
    With the offseason moves this team has made, it appears to only be a matter of time before Shaun Alexander is cut. Julius Jones and T.J. Duckett will be stopgap replacements for a year or two. But this team has still yet to recover from Steve Hutchinson leaving. With Walter Jones nearing retirement, they need to begin to add youth to their offensive line.

  26. Jacksonville Jaguars: Kentwan Balmer, DT, North Carolina
    This team appears to have struck gold with David Garrard, and they are trying to surround him with weapons. Having made moves at wide out, I am guessing they will pass on a receiver here, though I think they may reconsider next year after getting a better look at Troy Williamson and Jerry Porter. Both of these guys were non-factors in poor passing offenses last year. After the trade of Marcus Stroud though, an opening has been left that should be filled here.

  27. San Diego Chargers: Antoine Cason, CB, Arizona
    This team has a need for a free safety, but no one is really available. A good chance is, if they land a top corner here they will move Quentin Jammer to safety to make room on a crowded cornerbacking corps.

  28. Dallas Cowboys: Jamaal Charles, RB, Texas
    Jamaal Charles is a bit of a reach here, and not even the best running back on the board. But he has the best value here to complement Marion Barber's power running style. If Dallas drops out of the corner trading market, which if things completely fall out in the Pacman Jones talks, they may turn their attention to Lito Sheppard. There is also the possibility of Dallas trading this pick to back out of the first round.



  29. San Francisco 49ers: Quentin Groves, DE/OLB, Auburn
    Patrick Willis is a monster inside linebacker, but when Manny Lawson went down with an injury last season, this 3-4 team's pass rush suffered tremendously. Quentin Groves gives the 49ers defense someone to play opposite Lawson and insurance that they will still have a pass rush if someone gets hurt.

  30. Green Bay Packers: Aqib Talib, CB, Kansas
    Let's face it, as long as there is a first-round prospect corner still available, Green Bay will go that direction. Charles Woodson and Al Harris are both venturing into the age range where their bodies are less durable, and injuries will begin to become a question mark. This team has no depth behind them. This is a scary team because they are so young right now and so talented. As long as Aaron Rodgers can be half the quarterback Brett Favre was at the end of his career, this team will contend for the playoffs and their division.

  31. New York Giants: Tracy Porter, CB, Indiana
    It's hard to pinpoint an actual need on this team after they played so well together last season. The Giants may try to drop out of the first round, but sitting here, they can use a good corner opposite Aaron Ross.



Walter's 2008 NFL Mock Draft

Matt McGuire's 2008 NFL Mock Draft

Emmitt Smith's 2008 NFL Mock Draft



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