I thought I had this year figured out - posting my predictions for the first 16 overall picks of the 2008 NFL draft. Then Jake Long gets signed by the Dolphins yesterday. Here's my second shot at forecasting the draft - the changes may surprise you.
Well, I had absolutely convinced myself that Long’s contract negotiations were simply bait to lure other teams into trading for the number one pick – but it seems that the behemoth out of the Big Ten was Bill Parcells’ guy. He should be a cornerstone of the team for a decade.
There have been rumblings about
I’ve always had the Falcons going with their choice between the two top tackles on the board, but with the Dolphins taking Jake Long overall, there’s no choice left to make – Glenn Dorsey will be the first step to a rebuilding Falcons squad. Matt Ryan has been mentioned here, but given the depreciation of Quarterbacks on draft day (see: Brady Quinn), I expect
Al Davis loves physical specimens – he’s a freak enthusiast. That has led me to conclude that this pick is up to Darren McFadden and Vernon Gholston – the two best pure athletes for each side of the ball. Given the needs between the two teams – whoever the Raiders don’t pick will fall to the Jets. Despite the Justin Fargas contract suggestion, I think the Raiders load up on offense and select Run DMC – he has Adrian Peterson potential.
7. New England Patriots - Leodis McKelvin - CB,
This is the ideal situation for the rebuilding Ravens – both the top quarterback in the draft and one of the top cornerbacks are available. Though their secondary showed it was vulnerable to depth issues last season, they won’t pass up on the opportunity to get the new face of their franchise at a bargain price. Steve McNair is retired, Kyle Boller never panned out, and Troy Smith is still a huge question mark – Ryan finds himself in a great situation to make an impact.
9. Cincinatti Bengals - Sedrick Ellis - DT, USC
The Bengals have never figured out that defense wins championships – either that, or they have done a bad job evaluating talent for their team. Though linebacker is also a need area, I predict that
The Saints’ mediocre defense finally caught up to them. That, combined with the sudden suckitude of the offensive line and loss of Deuce McAllister, left them to struggle to a 7-9 record last year after nearly making it to the Super Bowl in the 06-07 season. Rivers is the consensus top linebacker in the 2008 class and could bolster a less than intimidating unit. A member of the secondary could also be selected here.
The Panthers got off to the right start in drafting center Ryan Kalil out of USC last year – their offensive line has failed to protect the quarterback, whether it’s Delhomme or Matt Moore, and done a miserable job of opening holes for running backs. Clady is not quite the talent that Jake Long is, but had a great showing in bowl games in college and can be a fixture for the panthers.
I really thought that Lito Sheppard would join Rod Hood as former members of the Eagles secondary building a respectable Cardinals defense. Regrettably, the team decided to re-negotiate Larry Fitzgerald’s contract and refuse to hear offers on Anquan Boldin, and will therefore not make a trade with the Eagles for the Pro-Bowl corner.
17. Kansas City Chiefs (Received from
The Texans savvy in bringing new personnel has paid off – though he was injured for half the season, Matt Schaub took Andre Johnson to new levels, and DE Mario Williams is finally looking ‘Super’. But for the Texans to challenge their rivals in the toughest division in football, they’ll need a strong rushing attack. Unfortunately, they will not draft a running back here because of all the money tied up in Ahman Green – instead they will open up lanes for the overpaid back by selecting the 300-plus pound Otah.
I loved the idea of Calvin Johnson in burgundy and pewter last year – but he was taken by the Lions before Jon Gruden could get his newest offensive toy. Devin Thomas is no ‘Megatron’, but he does have the potential to be an elite NFL receiver. Despite his mere one year of Division 1 experience, he has the physical tools and instinct to succeed Joey Galloway in
Safety, in light of the tragic death of Sean Taylor, is a glaring need for the Redskins, but Kenny Phillips is the only player worth taking in round one. The defensive line also lacks playmakers, but the top two tackles are off the board.
The Titans need to get Vince Young someone to throw to. Name one
The Seahawks already have an unsung defense with underrated performers like Lofa Tatupu, but Balmer has tremendous upside and could make the unit more widely respected. Despite the singings of TJ Duckett and Julius Jones, I have no doubt Jonathan Stewart will be taken to replaced recently cut Shaun Alexander if he somehow falls to #25.
This would be a deal for the Jags –
The Chargers don’t have a lot of needs – they are the most restrained team in free agency, and as a result, always have young guys ready to step in for those who leave for the market or get injured. Cherilus, a second-tier talent at tackle, is a great fit for
Jerry Jones isn’t going to sell the farm to get Darren McFadden – it just doesn’t make sense. What he does get is the guy who rushed very well in Run DMC’s shadow. Jones will not only replace but make fans forget completely about Julius Jones, who signed with the Seahawks this offseason.
At 6’8”, Calias Campbell is a physical monster. His stock has fallen recently, but a team that began a commitment to forge a defense last year could be desperate to roll the dice on a guy who could come out of nowhere and be a stud.
The Pack has two great corners in Al Harris and Charles Woodson, but they are both over thirty and the suddenly de-valued Talib would be a great insurance policy. Because of his admitted marijuana exploits, the
Dan Connor shouldn’t fall this far, but I’m biased. Even if he does near getting passed over by every team in the first round, he is a great fit for the Super Bowl Champions. Linebacker is a need and, like Paul Posluzny, Connor can start in game one for