Mock NFL Draft, Round One
Frank Cooney’s NFLDraftScout.com
(*) indicates underclassman.
1. San Francisco – Alex Smith, QB, Utah*: The best fit for this offense. Lacks Aaron Rodgers immediate impact, but will be a better player in the long run, and, let’s face it, the 49ers have a ways to go before competing for the Super Bowl.
2. Miami – Ronnie Brown, RB, Auburn: The Dolphins want to move out of this pick and are visiting with dozens of players to create interest in the pick. They’ll likely be forced to stay, however. This iss a considerably better team than the others in the top four and Brown’s rookie impact could propel them back into the playoff hunt quickly.
3. Cleveland –Braylon Edwards, WR, Michigan: Cleveland could go a lot of ways here, but when it is all said and done, go with the best available player. Edwards is consistently ranked as the No. 1 or No. 2 player on NFL boards and would be considered a bargain here.
4. Chicago – Cedric Benson, RB, Texas: The Bears would consider Edwards at this pick, but rumor has it they love Benson, as well. Lovie Smith needs a reliable offense for his defense to win football games and Benson can be a workhorse.
5. Tampa Bay –Aaron Rodgers, QB, California *: Surprised? Tampa is said to love Rodgers’ upside and reportedly might even be willing to trade up (Miami?) in order to secure his rights.
6. Tennessee – Antrel Rolle, CB, Miami: With so many holes, the Titans are heavily scouting the RBs, WRs, and OT Alex Barron for this pick, as well. That said, for the Titans, Rolle just feels right.
7. Minnesota – Carnell Williams, RB, Auburn: The Vikings would like to add to their running attack. “Cadillac” isn’t the classic power back the Vikings are thought to prefer, but most feel he is the most natural runner in the class. Questions about his durability? What team in the league has more depth at the position?
8. Arizona – Carlos Rogers, CB, Auburn: With the top runners off the board, the Cardinals would be wise to shore up their defensive backfield with Rogers, the Thorpe Award winner as the nation’s top cornerback.
9. Washington – Mike Williams, WR, USC*: The Redskins will consider a defensive back here, but are said to love Williams upside and with mini receivers Santana Moss and David Patten being added, the club could use a more physical wideout underneath.
10. Detroit – David Pollack, DE, Georgia: Would be considered a reach by some. Wait until the games start. It wouldn’t then. Pollack will be a standout at the next level and plays with the temperament and consistency that Matt Millen loves.
11. Dallas – Shawne Merriman, De/OLB, Maryland: Perfect combination of size, strength and speed for the 3-4 outside linebacker and possibly a defensive end for the open side. Parcells loves his upside.
12. San Diego – Marcus Spears, DE, LSU: Will be considered a reach here by some, but Spears has great talent and fits a clear need for a team suddenly lacking them.
13. Houston – Alex Barron, OT, Florida State: The most consistent pass blocker in the draft, Barron would be a great fit for a club looking to protect their emerging quarterback. Could be drafted earlier. Insiders say he’ll never slip past Houston.
14. Carolina – Troy Williamson, WR, South Carolina*: The Panthers want to get faster on the outside and Williamson is moving up the board. Would give the club a terrific young trio of receivers.
15. Kansas City – Derrick Johnson, OLB, Texas: one of the real surprises of the draft might be where Johnson ultimately lands. Some are grading him as a top five pick, others seem certain he’ll fall to #15. If Johnson does make it this far and the Chiefs don’t add him, expect mayhem in Kansas City.
16. New Orleans – Thomas Davis, S, Georgia*: Size and speed combination makes him a perfect fit for this defense. Plays with the consistency and drive others in this organization lack. Would be a great pick here.
17. Cincinnati --- Demarcus Ware, DE/OLB, Troy: Ware is moving up the board fast and the Bengals are looking to add defensive playmakers. Capable of lining up as either a defensive end or outside linebacker. Marvin Lewis would have the flexibility with Ware he once enjoyed with Peter Boulware in Baltimore.
18. Minnesota – Reggie Brown, WR, Georgia: Minnesota can afford to focus the #7 pick on positions other than receiver because the depth is so great. When it is all said and done, expect Brown to be one of the more productive receivers of this draft.
19. St. Louis – Adam “PacMan” Jones, CB, West Virginia*: Surprised? Don’t be. Jones is one of the likelier players to drop due to his lack of size and relative depth at his position. Would be a great fit in St. Louis.
20. Dallas – Roddy White, WR, Alabama-Brimingham: Big play artist would be a nice fit in Dallas. Could surprise with just how high he goes.
21. Jacksonville – Khalif Barnes, OT, Washington: Back-to-back Washington Huskies? Jacksonville had better hope this year’s version plays with more urgency than Reggie Williams, last year’s top selection. Barnes has Pro Bowl potential as a pass blocker but lacks consistency.
22. Baltimore – Jammal Brown, OT, Oklahoma: Many are projecting receivers here, and with Baltimore’s needs and the depth of WR it could happen. Jammal Brown would be a great fit on the right side of this line and would make a more immediate impact on a club gearing up for a potential Super Bowl run.
23. Seattle – Erasmus James, DE, Wisconsin: Another surprise falling star. Teams are very concerned with James’ durability and some teams are projecting a fall. Seattle needs a pass rush and while hesitant over his injuries, would have to consider a sack artist of this magnitude falling in their lap.
24. Green Bay – Marlin Jackson, CB, Michigan: Doesn’t fill the biggest need, but we’ve heard whispers that the Packers love Jackson. This would be considered a reach by some, but Jackson’s versatility as a safety could be the deciding factor.
25. Denver – Justin Miller, CB, Clemson*: By addressing their defensive line needs in free agency, the Broncos set themselves up for the expected late first round run on defensive backs. Miller has similar big play ability as former Bronco Deltha O”Neal, though scouts hope he’ll be more consistent than the former Cal prospect.
26. New York Jets – Fabian Washington, CB, Nebraska*: Solid size, unbelievable speed and three years of recognition as an All Big-12 cornerback make Washington a good bet for late 1st consideration. Fills a huge need with the Jets, who reportedly love his upside.
27. Atlanta – Brodney Pool, S, Oklahoma*: Pool fills a big need for the Falcons and makes sense here. Will be considered by some a reach, but there are many teams looking at safeties in the next ten picks and Pool is clearly the best remaining.
28. San Diego – Mark Clayton, WR, Oklaoma: Wide receiver is a clear need with Reche Caldwell coming back from injury and Keenan McCardell aging. Clayton lacks prototype size but has the combination of hands, routes and maturity to make an immediate impact.
29. Indianapolis – Matt Roth, DE, Iowa: The dependable Roth would make a nice addition to this defense. Considered by scouts not athletic enough to be a star in his own right, lining up opposite a terror like Freeney would be the best possible scenario for Roth.
30. Pittsburgh – Matt Jones, WR/TE, Arkansas: While teams in the top ten aren’t considering Jones as some have suggested, teams well stocked with talent toward the end of the first round might consider it. Jones would give the Steelers the tall, deep threat they lost in Burress while still utilizing the dependable Ward and Randle El as their primary outlets.
31. Philadelphia – Travis Johnson, DT, Florida State: The Eagles will be looking to address their lines and with five selections on the first day can afford the gamble on greatness Johnson provides. Watch out for a surprise Mike Patterson selection here.
32. New England – Corey Webster, CB, LSU: Nick Saban coached under Bill Belichick back in Cleveland and utilizes some of the same defensive schemes. Webster was a bit inconsistent his senior season and looked tentative at the Senior Bowl. However, his size and experience in complicated schemes makes him an intriguing selection for a club needing depth.
Courtesy of Frank Cooney’s NFLDraftScout.com
NOTE TO READERS: I will have rounds 2-3 of this mock draft posted tomorrow.
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