1. Miami Dolphins - Sedrick Ellis, NT, Southern California
Ellis seems to make the most sense to me. Nose tackles are hard to come by and Ellis certainly looks the part. He was dominant at the Senior Bowl and backed up that performance at the combine. He comes from a winnning program at USC and is a competitor. Chris Long or Vernon Gholston don't make sense to me because of the money they would have tied up at the LB position with Jason Taylor and Joey Porter already having big contracts. I'm also unsure how all three would get on the field at the same time. I believe the Matt Ryan rumors are just that, rumors and a possible ploy to get the Atlanta Falcons to try to move up.
Other options: Jake Long, Chris Long, Vernon Gholston, Darren McFadden
2. St. Louis Rams - Jake Long, OT, Michigan
There are several direction the Rams could go here. Jake Long showed he's the real deal at the combine and the Rams have a real need at LT with Orlando Pace's HOF career coming to an end. The Rams have invested enough high picks along the DL to make me rule out Glenn Dorsey, Chris Long, and Vernon Gholston. There could be a slim chance they go with Matt Ryan here given the fact they were considering Jay Cutler two years ago. Marc Bulger is good enough and young enough that his job is secure for the near future.
Other options: Glenn Dorsey, Chris Long, Vernon Gholston
3. Atlanta Falcons - Matt Ryan, QB, Boston College
This is getting closer and closer to being a lock. You can't win in the NFL without a viable starter a QB and the closet is bare for the Falcons. Arthur Blank came right out and said a QB would be the pick, and there's not much argument Ryan is this years top QB. Ryan has been quoted saying Atlanta is a great city and Blank is a good owner. Sure he's going to lobby to be a top 5 pick, I'll be surprised if Ryan isn't their starter next year. I'm sure Darren McFadden will get a look and provided he has a clean bill of health Glenn Dorsey will too. If the Rams pass on Jake Long, things could get interesting here. I could see the Raiders and Chiefs getting in a bidding war to move up.
Other options: Glenn Dorsey, Chris Long, Vernon Gholston
4. Oakland Raiders - Darren McFadden, HB, Arkansas
This just seems like an Al Davis type pick. Davis loves speed, and after McFadden's 4.33 40 at the combine McFadden could be a Raider. This might not be the most sensible pick for the Raiders, but after spending last years first pick on JaMarcus Russell the Raiders need to begin building around him. The closet will be full at the RB position and I'm not sure why NFLN calls RB the Raiders biggest need, but this seems a very likely pick. I'm sure Chris Long will get a very long look here, but defense isn't the problem in Oakland.
Other options: Chris Long, Glenn Dorsey, Vernon Gholston
5. Kansas City Chiefs - Glenn Dorsey, DT, Louisiana State
It's going to be interesting how the medical reports play out for Dorsey, but if everything checks out he's too good for the Chiefs to pass on. Not the biggest need the Chiefs have, but that's not what it's all about. It's about getting better players. Dorsey could help tremendously in the Chiefs attempt to play some defense and stop the run. Line him up next to Jared Allen, and opposing offensive coordinators will have nightmares. If Dorsey doesn't check out medically, don't be surprised to see the Chiefs reach for a tackle here and take either Ryan Clady or Chris Williams.
Other options: Chris Williams, Ryan Clady, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie
6. New York Jets - Vernon Gholston, OLB, Ohio State
After flipping a coin here to choose between Vernon Gholston and Chris Long, I think Gholston gets the nod because he might be a slightly better OLB prospect and has had experience standing up. If the first 5 picks play out like I have here, I couldn't immagine the Jets taking anyone other than Gholston or Long. If Darren McFadden is still on the board here this pick could get interesting. Not only would McFadden entice the Jets, this could be where teams begin to consider moving up to take McFadden.
Other options: Chris Long, Jonathan Stewart
7. New England Patriots - Chris Long, OLB/DE
Long really seems like a Patriots type of player to me. First and foremost he's a football player. With the Patriots defensive scheme and philosophies they would have several options on how to best utilize his talents. We might even see him catching touchdown passes for the Patriots al la Mike Vrabel. If Vernon Gholston and Long are both somehow still on the board, they may have the same dilema as the Jets. If that's the case, Long seems a better fit to me for what the Patriots look for.
Other options: Keith Rivers, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Kenny Phillips
8. Baltimore Ravens - Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, CB, Tennessee State
After a standout Senior Bowl followed by a very impressive combine, Rodgers-Cromartie has seen his stock rise all the way to the top 10. Perhaps no player in this class has as much up side as Rodgers-Cromartie. The Ravens secondary was the weak link of a generally solid unit. Cromartie can fill an immediate need at nickleback while he waits in the wings to become a starter.
Other options: Brian Brohm, Keith Rivers, Kenny Phillips, Antoine Cason
9. Cincinnati Bengals - Keith Rivers, OLB/ILB, Southern California
Best case scenario for the Bengals in my opinion. Last year they were playing defensive linemen at linebacker and by seasons end the cupboard was bare at the LB position. The Bengals have struggled to stop the run and Rivers could be a move in the right direction. I also think with all the drama the Bengals have had over the last couple years, I think it's important they get players with a winning, competitive attitude. Rivers coming from USC fits that bill in addition to fitting a need. Rivers is also worth every bit of a top 10 pick, and given the right situation one of my early favorites to be next years defensive ROY.
Other options: Derrick Harvey, Kenny Phillips, Quentin Groves
10. New Orleans Saints - Chris Williams, OT, Vanderbilt
Not the most exciting or popular pick here, but a sensible one non the less. The Saints have some issues along the offensive line that includes skill and depth. Add to that the inability for the Saints to establish a running game, Williams makes good sense to me. This could be the type of pick that could help the '06 pick of Reggie Bush to begin to pay dividends. Cornerback might be the most glaring need, but it's also a very deep position in this years draft class. Local product Chevis Jackson could be a very good 2nd round pick for them.
Other options: Antoine Cason, Dan Connor, Ryan Clady, Leodis McKelvin
11. Buffalo Bills - Dan Connor, OLB/ILB, Penn State
Maybe a slight reach here, but the Bills have shown they aren't affraid to reach a bit. They might be best served to try to deal down here, and I'm sure they'll expore their option. They fell in love with Paul Posluszny last year and nearly took him in the first, so I'm sure they love Connor as well. They need an OLB, and why not reunite Connor with Posluszny and solidify the LB positon for years to come? Receiver might be the biggest need the Bills have, but the class is deep and nobody stands out enough to warrent a pick this high.
Other options: Devin Thomas, Limas Sweed, Kentwan Balmer, Antoine Cason, Kenny Phillips
12. Denver Broncos - Ryan Clady, OT, Boise State
The biggest need for the Broncos seems to be along the offensive line. Clady is an ideal fit for the Broncos zone blocking scheme. Clady is raw and has inconsistancies in his technique, but has a ton of upside. There are a few directions the Broncos could go here, but no clear option that doesn't involve a bit of a reach. The Broncos have to be considered a team likely to attemp to trade down.
Other options: Kentwan Balmer, Rashard Mendenhall, Kenny Phillips, Devin Thomas
13. Carolina Panthers - Kenny Phillips, S, Miami
Good pick here for the Panthers. Safety is a huge need, and Phillips is a boom or bust prospect with a very high ceiling. Phillips can easily step in and start immediatly and will help greatly in solidifying the secondary. An offensive tackle should also get a lot of consideration here as well. If Ryan Clady is still on the board, this could be a tough call for the Panthers.
Other options: Brian Brohm, Jonathan Stewart, Antoine Cason, Jeff Otah
14. Chicago Bears - Brian Brohm, QB, Louisville
I know this pick will get some arguments here. Brohm may be a slight reach here, but only by a little in my opinion. I fully expect the Bears to try to deal down here, but for now I'm giving them Brohm. The Bears just signed Rex Grossman to a one year deal and I think that says a lot. The Bears have lacked a viable starter at QB for a long time now and I thinks it's time for change. Many feel they may try to grab a guy like Chad Henne in the 2nd or possibly get Brohm in the 2nd. I feel the need at QB is too big for them to gamble on who may or may not be available in the 2nd. If they are able to move down and pick up another 2nd round pick maybe they do gamble. If they are forced to make a selection at #14, I feel Brohm should and will be the pick. Brohm could be a steal here. His production fell off his senior year, but he was also forced to learn a new system.
Other options: Rashard Mendenhall, Jonathan Stewart, Jeff Otah, Mike Jenkins, Devin Thomas, Limas Sweed, Kentwan Balmer
15. Detroit Lions - Jonathan Stewart, HB, Oregon
I think Stewart will be too good to pass on here. I personally give Stewart a top 10 grade and rank him as my #2 back. His size, speed, and vision all add up to what I expect to be a great NFL running back. Cornerback is the bigger need, but Stewart is a better value. Both cornerback and runningback are very deep positions, but I feel the RB position drops off after McFadden, Stewart, and Mendenhall. A guy like cornerback Patrick Lee could be available in the 2nd round.
Other options: Rashard Mendenhall, Mike Jenkins, Jeff Otah, Derrick Harvey
16. Arizona Cardinals - Rashard Mendenhall, HB, Illinois
With an aging Edgerine James, and no good options behind him this pick should be easy for the Cardinals with Mendenhall still on the board. Mendenhall appears to be the complete package and could do a lot to improve the Cardinals offense. The Cardinals have struggled in the red zone, and Mendenhallís presence and ability to catch the ball could be the missing link.
Other options: Mike Jenkins, Leodis McKelvin, Jeff Otah, Derrick Harvey
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