Gosselin's Final Mock Draft is in.
The best NFL draft prognosticator in the business bar none. This guy has been historically one of the best in the business in terms of accuracy. He has us taking Lawrence Timmons. Keep an eye on this tomorrow and see how he does.
Rick Gosselin's final mock draft
11:14 PM EST on Friday, April 27, 2007
1. OAKLAND RAIDERS
Selection: JaMarcus Russell, QB, LSU
Needs: Quarterback, blockers, tacklers
Al Davis has never been a fan of dink-and-dunk football. He wants passers and receivers who can stretch the field. No one stretches it like Russell, who can throw the football 85 yards. The Raiders have started six different QBs in the last four seasons. This position needs to be stabilized.
2. DETROIT LIONS
Selection: Calvin Johnson, WR, Georgia Tech
Needs: Cornerback, safety, pass rushers
Embattled general manager Matt Millen has drafted three wide receivers in the Top 10 in the last four years. But the Lions have leverage here. Atlanta and Tampa Bay are eager to trade up for Johnson, so a Herschel Walker-type deal could be a possibility when the Lions go on the clock.
3. CLEVELAND BROWNS
Selection: Joe Thomas, OT, Wisconsin
Needs: Left OT, CB, DL
Charlie Frye has his doubters in Cleveland, and a belief exists the Browns are in desperate need of a quarterback. But if the Browns can't block for him, it doesn't matter who the quarterback is. Cleveland ranked 31st in the NFL in rushing and allowed 54 sacks, fifth most in the league. Fix the blocking, then evaluate the playmakers.
4. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
Selection: Gaines Adams, DE, Clemson
Needs: Offensive playmakers, blockers, QB
The Buccaneers are still trying to win with defensive players inherited from Tony Dungy six years ago. Offensive whiz Jon Gruden has yet to use a first-round draft pick on defense yet his offense stinks (29th in the NFL). Still, this defense needs to get younger and faster. The draft's best pass rusher also would make it better.
5. ARIZONA CARDINALS
Selection: Adrian Peterson, HB, Oklahoma
Needs: OT, DE, CB
The Cardinals signed aging Pro Bowler Edgerrin James last off-season and finished 30th in the NFL in rushing. The defense is slightly better, finishing 29th in the NFL last season. Arizona can draft at any position and improve this team. A running game takes the heat off your quarterback and defense.
6. WASHINGTON REDSKINS
Selection: LaRon Landry, S, LSU
Needs: DL, LB, secondary
The Redskins ranked 31st in the NFL in defense a year ago, in part because they whiffed in free agency on safety Adam Archuleta. He was a $35 million bust. He was benched and finally banished to Chicago this off-season. Landry has size (6-0, 213), speed (4.36 40-yard dash) and hitting ability (315 career tackles).
7. MINNESOTA VIKINGS
Selection: Leon Hall, CB, Michigan
Needs: CB, WR, safety
The Vikings finished 31st in the NFL in pass defense and whacked cornerback Fred Smoot after the season. Brady Quinn is the discussion in the room, but the Vikings took a quarterback (Travaris Jackson) hand-picked by head coach Brad Childress in the second round last April. Hall walks in as a starter.
8. ATLANTA FALCONS
Selection: Levi Brown, OT, Penn State
Needs: DE, CB, left OT
Incumbent left tackle Wayne Gandy is 36 years old. Brown started 45 games at left tackle for Penn State but has been projected by some as a right tackle in the NFL because of the power game he plays. That's fine with the Falcons they have a left-handed quarterback, so Brown may have even more value to them on the right side.
9. MIAMI DOLPHINS
Selection: Brady Quinn, QB, Notre Dame
Needs: QB, WR, TE
Quarterback gurus need a quarterback. Sean Payton signed Drew Brees when he arrived at New Orleans, and Brad Childress drafted Travaris Jackson when he arrived at Minnesota. Miami coach Cam Cameron is a quarterback guru and Quinn would be the first quarterback drafted by the Dolphins in the first round since Dan Marino in 1983.
10. HOUSTON TEXANS
Selection: Darrelle Revis, CB, Pitt
Needs: Left OT, pass rusher, safety
When you rank 24th in defense, 28th in offense and 29th on special teams, anyone you draft brings an automatic upgrade. Revis is a double upgrade on defense and special teams. A two-time All-Big East cornerback, Revis also averaged 10.2 yards on punt returns in his career with two touchdowns. But Denver may move up here on the clock.
11. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
Selection: Patrick Willis, LB, Mississippi
Needs: DE, LB, WR
The 49ers have a franchise quarterback (Alex Smith) and running back (Frank Gore) in place. Now defensive-minded coach Mike Nolan needs to improve the NFL's 26th ranked defense for the 49ers to realize playoff aspirations. A linebacker with defensive back speed (4.37) such as Willis would be a great start.
12. BUFFALO BILLS
Selection: Marshawn Lynch, RB, Cal
Needs: RB, WR, CB
The Bills traded away disgruntled running back Willis McGahee to Baltimore this off-season. That leaves Anthony Thomas at the top of the depth chart and the Bills are his fourth NFL team. Lynch was the Pacific 10's Offensive Player of the Year. So was O.J. Simpson when the Bills drafted him in 1969.
13. ST. LOUIS RAMS
Selection: Adam Carriker, DE, Nebraska
Needs: DT, WR, CB
The Rams are a punching bag up front on defense, finishing 31st in the NFL against the run. St. Louis needs to inject some size into an undersized line. A 296-pound defensive end such as Carriker would provide resistance in the NFC West against Pro Bowl backs Shaun Alexander and Frank Gore. He can slide inside to tackle on passing downs.
14. CAROLINA PANTHERS
Selection: Jamaal Anderson, DE, Arkansas
Needs: WR, DE, TE
The Panthers are in the process of overhauling what was once the best defensive line in the NFL. They cut DE Al Wallace and are trying to trade DT Kris Jenkins, and DE Mike Rucker is getting up in the years (32). Coach John Fox likes size up front. Anderson is a 288-pound DE coming off a 13 ½-sack season.
15. PITTSBURGH STEELERS
Selection: Lawrence Timmons, OLB, Florida State
Needs: Pass rushers, LB, G
The Steelers built their defense around the linebackers during the Bill Cowher era. Now Cowher is gone and so is Pro Bowler Joey Porter, who became a salary-cap casualty this off-season. James Farrior is getting older (32). Florida State linebackers are usually sure things (Derrick Brooks, Marvin Jones and Ernie Sims).
16. GREEN BAY PACKERS
Selection: Robert Meachem, WR, Tennessee
Needs: WR, RB, CB
Green Bay's only reliable weapon down the field is Donald Driver, who is coming off a 1,295-yard season in 2006. He's also coming off his 32nd birthday in February. The Packers need to give Brett Favre a few more weapons in the waning years of his career to give him one last shot at glory. Meachem, an All-American, has 4.39 speed.
17. CHICAGO BEARS
Selection: Ted Ginn Jr., WR, Ohio State
Needs: Safety, DE, slot WR
Ginn projects as the Devin Hester of this draft. He may not catch 40 balls as a rookie wide receiver, but he may get 120 touches during the course of the season on kickoff and punt returns, reverses and receptions. With his speed, that's 120 chances to break games open. Ginn is a big-play maker.
18. CINCINNATI BENGALS
Selection: Reggie Nelson, S, Florida
Needs: DE, CB, safety
Bengals coach Marvin Lewis won a Super Bowl as defensive coordinator of the Baltimore Ravens. So he knows what a ballhawk like Ed Reed means at the back end of a defense. Nelson has been compared to Reed. The NFL's 31st ranked pass defense could use someone with Nelson's ball skills(six interceptions in 2006).
19. TENNESSEE TITANS
Selection: Dwayne Bowe, WR, LSU
Needs: DE, WR, CB
The Titans found their big-time quarterback in the 2006 draft when they stole Vince Young with the third overall pick. Now they need a big-time receiver to accelerate Young's development into a franchise quarterback. The Titans also need to replace leading receiver Drew Bennett, who left in free agency.
20. NEW YORK GIANTS
Selection: Joe Staley, OT, Central Michigan
Needs: Left OT, CB, LB
Luke Petitgout became a salary-cap casualty this off-season and Bob Whitfield retired. So the Giants don't have a left tackle the most important position on the offensive line. There are three elite left tackles in this draft, and the Giants get the third and final one in Staley. He's also the most athletic of the tackles.
21. DENVER BRONCOS
Selection: Jarvis Moss, DE, Florida
Needs: Pass rusher, LB, CB
The Broncos have a mediocre pass rush, with 35 sacks last season. The team Denver is chasing in the AFC West San Diego had 61 sacks. Moss, a Denton Ryan product, would dial up the pressure dramatically. After Gaines Adams, he's the most natural pass rusher in this draft.
22. DALLAS COWBOYS
Selection: Aaron Ross, CB, Texas
Needs: WR, kick returner, safety
The Cowboys need depth at cornerback, and Ross gives it to them. He won the Thorpe Award as college football's top defensive back in 2006. The Cowboys also need help on special teams, finishing 21st in the NFL in punt returns. Ross has an 11.8-yard career punt return average with three touchdowns.
23. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
Selection: Amobi Okoye, DT, Louisville
Needs: DT, WR, blockers
If you can't stop the run, you can't win out West. Denver and San Diego perennially field top 10 rushing attacks. The Chiefs have been soft against the run witness the 188 yards the Colts slapped on them in the playoffs. One good player seems to slide in every draft, and the 300-pound Okoye would be a steal here.
24. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
Selection: David Harris, LB, Michigan
Needs: Defensive depth, punter, DB
Bill Belichick won three Super Bowls as defensive coordinator of the Giants and three more as head coach of the Patriots. He has always built his success on a big, physical, intimidating defensive front seven. Harris grew up stuffing the run in the Big Ten. He goes 6-2, 243 with 4.59 speed.
25. NEW YORK JETS
Selection: Greg Olsen, TE, Miami, Fla.
Needs: CB, pass rusher, offensive playmakers
Chad Pennington doesn't have a big arm, so the Jets have to fill receiving lanes with reliable hands in the short and intermediate routes. Trading for running back Thomas Jones helps as does drafting Olsen, the best pass-catching tight end in this draft. He could give the Jets what Dallas Clark gives the Colts.
26. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES
Selection: Paul Posluszny, LB, Penn State
Needs: LB, CB, safety
Finishing 26th against the run was uncharacteristic of a Jim Johnson defense. The problem was linebacker, and the Eagles need to replace two of them. Posluszny would be a terrific starting point. He won a Butkus Award and two Bednarik Awards for his sterling play at Penn State.
27. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
Selection: Justin Harrell, DT, Tennessee
Needs: DT, WR, LB
The Saints are another playoff team that struggled against the run, finishing 23rd in the NFL. The Bears lit them up for 196 yards rushing in the NFC title game. Harrell missed the bulk of the 2006 season with a ruptured biceps, so the Saints would be adding a big (6-4, 300), fresh run stuffer inside in Harrell.
28. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
Selection: Brandon Meriweather, S, Miami, Fla.
Needs: DL, LB, secondary
Meriweather may not be the best of the four safeties in the first round, but he's easily the most versatile. He can cover a slot receiver and also get you through a game at corner. He's the best cover safety in this draft. He also had 289 career tackles.
29. BALTIMORE RAVENS
Selection: Ben Grubbs, G, Auburn
Needs: OT, LB, slot WR
If you could pick five guys in this first round with the best chance of becoming Pro Bowlers, Grubbs would be one of them. He slides because of the position he plays, not because of ability. Pro Bowlers Ray Lewis, Ed Reed and Todd Heap all fell to the Ravens late in the first round of drafts. Now it's Grubbs.
30. SAN DIEGO CHARGERS
Selection: Jon Beason, LB, Miami, Fla.
Needs: Slot WR, safety, LB
Beason played strong, weak and middle linebacker in college. He can move inside for the Chargers, replacing salary-cap casualty Donnie Edwards. In Shawne Merriman and Shaun Phillips, the Chargers have pass rushers. They need a run stopper and that's Beason's forte.
31. CHICAGO BEARS
Selection: Dwayne Jarrett, WR, Southern Cal
Needs: CB, TE, RB
Jarrett isn't as fast as the NFL would like. But when it's 10-below and the wind is howling off Lake Michigan in January in Chicago, who needs speed? Jarrett is a big (6-4) target with long arms (35 inches). He's a playmaker, evidenced by his staggering 41 touchdowns in college. And he's skipping his senior season.
32. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS
Selection: Michael Griffin, S, Texas
Needs: LB, slot WR, CB
The Colts lost starting cornerbacks Jason David and Nick Harper in free agency. Griffin would allow the Colts to move starting safety Marlon Jackson back to his true cornerback position. Colts coach Tony Dungy likes DBs who hit and Griffin leaves Texas with 364 career tackles.
55. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS
Selection: Justin Blalock, G, Texas
Needs: G, DE, TE
The Seahawks made a mistake when they allowed Pro Bowl guard Steve Hutchinson to leave in free agency in 2006. A year later, they are still trying to fix it. Blalock started 51 games at tackle for Texas, but the Seahawks project him at guard because of his height (6-3).