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  1. #1
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    Kiper's 3/13 Mock Draft

    Russell to Raiders at No. 1
    By Mel Kiper Jr.
    Tuesday, March 13, 2007
    Special to ESPN Insider

    MOCK DRAFT: Mel Kiper's new First-Round Projection | March 13

    1. Oakland - JaMarcus Russell, QB, LSU: Nothing changes at the top of the draft board. The Raiders passed on Matt Leinart and Jay Cutler last year, so opting away from another highly regarded signal-caller won't happen this time around. Russell's physical prowess seems to have everyone wowed.

    2. Detroit - Brady Quinn, QB, Notre Dame: The Lions have the option of selecting QB Brady Quinn or RB Adrian Peterson, trading down, or adding a pass-rusher supreme such as Gaines Adams to bolster what already has the makings of a standout defensive front. By trading down, they could still get a player like Adams. Quinn, though, might be too hard to pass up for an organization that needs a smart, tough, high-profile signal-caller like him to become the face of the franchise. Remember, the Lions are one of the few teams that have never even been to a Super Bowl, let alone won one. Additionally, they passed on Dan Marino back in 1983 and, as recently as last year, opted away from Leinart and Cutler.

    3. Cleveland - Adrian Peterson, RB, Oklahoma: You would figure this choice to be between Peterson and Quinn, depending on whether the latter is still on the board. Either would look great in a Browns uniform. Veteran RB Jamal Lewis was signed to only a one-year deal, so that obviously doesn't preclude the team from taking a potential franchise back like Peterson.

    4. Tampa Bay - Calvin Johnson, WR, Georgia Tech: This pick will have both Jeff Garcia and Chris Simms smiling. Johnson is my top-ranked player on the Big Board, so acquiring him with the fourth selection is a real bargain.

    5. Arizona - Joe Thomas, OT, Wisconsin: Things are setting up perfectly for the Cardinals to remain at pick No. 5 and still bring a super blue-chip left tackle such as Thomas into the fold. Here, they get the No. 2 player on my board with the fifth overall selection. Another great value type pick.

    6. Washington - Gaines Adams, DE, Clemson: This is the spot you figure to get some action. The Redskins don't have a second-, third- or fourth-round pick, so trading down in an effort to recoup choices definitely has to be in their thought process. If a deal is to be made, the best scenario would be to have either Quinn or Peterson still on the board. Both would be enticing for a number of clubs, as would highly regarded DBs Leon Hall and LaRon Landry. If the Redskins are forced to stand pat, DEs Adams and Jamaal Anderson would make the most sense.

    7. Minnesota - LaRon Landry, S, LSU: The Vikings will have an opportunity here to upgrade the defensive secondary. The choice would be between safety Landry and CB Hall. I'll go with Landry because Brad Childress saw what a huge difference Brian Dawkins made to the Eagles' deep patrol when he was on the staff with Andy Reid in Philadelphia.

    8. Houston - Leon Hall, CB, Michigan: LT Levi Brown would have to draw serious consideration, but Hall is definitely on the rise back up the draft board after such an impressive showing at the combine workout. He also fills a positional need for the Texans.

    9. Miami - Levi Brown, OT, Penn State: The Dolphins certainly could use a topflight left tackle, and Brown has the potential to become a top echelon NFL bookend.

    10. Atlanta - Jamaal Anderson, DE, Arkansas: The loss of Patrick Kerney in free agency makes this a need area, but the Falcons should be keeping their fingers crossed that either CB Hall or S Landry is still on the board.

    11. San Francisco - Dwayne Jarrett, WR, USC: The Niners need a featured wideout for Alex Smith to throw to, and Jarrett proved against Michigan in the Rose Bowl that he is deserving of such a high grade.

    12. Buffalo - Amobi Okoye, DT, Louisville: I view Okoye as one of the top seven to eight players in this draft, so acquiring him at the 12th spot would be a great deal for the Bills. The 19-year-old phenom has been rising steadily up the draft board all year, overtaking Michigan's Alan Branch as the No. 1 DT in this draft because of his production with the pads on. With the trade of Willis McGahee to Baltimore, the Bills are also in the market for a RB. They probably can't deal up high enough to get Peterson, so Cal's Marshawn Lynch would have to be a possibility.

    13. St. Louis - Alan Branch, DT, Michigan: Physically imposing DT who could be a destructive performer in the NFL, provided he learns how to maximize all that ability and become a more consistent force along the interior. Branch has the edge at DT in terms of potential, but Okoye gets the nod when it comes to production.

    14. Carolina - Greg Olsen, TE, Miami (Fla.): Several months ago, I had Olsen going to the Bears near the end of the first round. After a sensational effort at the combine workout, he's soared up the draft board to the point that Carolina and Green Bay have to be interested. The Panthers need a TE of Olsen's caliber.

    15. Pittsburgh - Lawrence Timmons, LB, Florida State: The Steelers are looking for flexibility at OLB in terms of how that player can be used. Timmons can operate with his hand down or on his feet, figuring to operate effectively in any defensive structure.

    16. Green Bay - Marshawn Lynch, RB, California: Now that Ahman Green has moved on in free agency, the Packers have to bring in a top-notch RB. Lynch is one of the more aggressive RBs you will ever come across, with yards after contact his specialty. He also proved to be a much more effective pass-catching option this past season, with his 34 receptions matching his total for the previous two campaigns.

    17. Jacksonville - Ted Ginn Jr.  WR, Ohio State: The temptation will be to go defense because the Jags have addressed the offensive side in Round 1 each of the past four years. That's why I thought seriously about CB Chris Houston and LB Jon Beason at this spot. In the end, though, a player with Ginn's big-play potential -- both at WR and in the return game -- might be too hard to pass up.

    18. Cincinnati - Jon Beason, LB, Miami (Fla.): Beason didn't run as well as expected (4.74) at the combine workout, but his film evaluation grades, especially from 2005, figure to win out, placing him ultimately in the mid-to-late first round area. Marvin Lewis also knows firsthand what it means to have a former Miami Hurricane setting the tone on your defense.

    19. Tennessee - Adam Carriker, DE, Nebraska: Steady, technically sound and extremely versatile, Carriker would qualify as a very "safe" pick at this juncture of Round 1.

    20. New York Giants - Paul Posluszny, LB, Penn State: A Tom Coughlin type of prospect, with the passion and desire to excel on the gridiron that spills over to his teammates. If you look solely at his junior film from 2005 (116 tackles, 11 stops behind the line) and the combine workout (4.70 at 238 pounds, 37-inch vertical jump, 22 reps at 225 pounds), there is no question that Posluszny deserves to be a first-round draft choice.

    21. Denver - Jarvis Moss, DE, Florida: Pressuring the QB is something the Broncos need to do a better job of in 2007, and Moss qualifies as a potential sack artist.

    22. Dallas - Robert Meachem, WR, Tennessee: Not only did Meachem produce big results as a junior in 2006 (71 catches for an 18.3 yard average and 11 TDs) but he also turned heads at the combine with his 4.39 clocking at 6-2, 214 pounds. The addition of such a talented young wideout would be a huge benefit to the Cowboys.

    23. Kansas City - Chris Houston, CB, Arkansas: This is a need area for the Chiefs, and several CBs figure to be intriguing as this point in Round 1. That group includes Houston, Pitt's Darrelle Revis, Texas' Aaron Ross and UNLV's Eric Wright. I gave the edge to Houston because of the fact he ran in the 4.3s at the combine and proved to be one of the stronger players pound for pound in the draft (27 reps).

    24. New England (from Seattle) - Patrick Willis, LB, Ole Miss: Production, production, production, that's what you harp on with Willis. This kid finished just about every game, including the Senior Bowl, with 13-plus tackles. Then came the combine meeting, where he ran an amazing 4.51 at 242 pounds and also came through with a 39-inch vertical jump.

    25. New York Jets - Darrelle Revis, CB, Pittsburgh: Good, solid football player with the size (5 11, 205) you look for and a ton of athleticism. Had he produced as many big plays this past season as he did as a sophomore, you might have been looking at a top-15 pick.

    26. Philadelphia - Steve Smith, WR, USC: Before the combine workout, I projected Smith as a mid-second-round draft choice. However, after Smith posted a 40 time of 4.45, the days of viewing him as just a complementary No. 2 wideout might have come to an end.

    27. New Orleans - Aaron Ross, CB, Texas: Tough, aggressive football player who also brings excellent ball skills to the CB spot. He'd be a nice addition to the Saints' deep patrol. If you are looking for a potential surprise pick in the later portion of Round 1, UNLV's talented CB Eric Wright could be the guy. The former USC Trojan ran in the 4.3s at the combine and has a great deal of ability.

    28. New England - Reggie Nelson, S, Florida: Nelson brings a great deal of versatility to the defensive secondary, as well as demonstrating in the SEC with the national champion Gators that he is a proven playmaker. He can cover a lot of ground and will hit like you expect from a safety.

    29. Baltimore - Joe Staley, OT, Central Michigan: The former TE displays incredible feet, athleticism and agility while operating at the critical LT spot, bringing with him the upside potential you look for at this point in the late first round.

    30. San Diego - Dwayne Bowe, WR, LSU: After the Senior Bowl practices, I really thought Bowe would hear his name called in the middle of the first round. Although he seems to have lost a little momentum after running in the mid-4.5s to 4.60 at the combine workout, you have to remember that he checks in at 221 pounds. He also brings superlative natural receiving skills to the position. I'll give you a quick history lesson. Back in the 2001 NFL draft, a WR with a similar scenario was the next-to-last pick in the first round and has turned out to be a quality performer at the pro level. The player I'm referring to is former Miami Hurricane Reggie Wayne, now a key entity on the Super Bowl champion Indianapolis Colts.

    31. Chicago - Ben Grubbs, OG, Auburn: Offense figures to dictate the draft this year for the Bears. WR and TE are at the top of the need list, but adding a big-time guard like Grubbs would significantly aid the likes of Cedric Benson and Rex Grossman. A WR to consider at this stage would be South Carolina's Sidney Rice. This is also the point in the draft when USC's highly regarded C-G Ryan Kalil could hear his name called, figuring as a late first- or very early second-rounder.

    32. Indianapolis - Justin Harrell, DT, Tennessee: Had it not been for a season-ending (torn biceps) injury in the second game of the 2006 campaign, Harrell might have established himself as top-15 choice. In the first two weeks, before the injury, he was a dominating performer. Good fortune would continue for the Super Bowl champion Colts if Harrell falls in their lap as the first round comes to an end.


  2. #2
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    Re: Kiper's 3/13 Mock Draft

    Branch falls to us? I like in a way, but i have a feeling its going to be like an Alex Barron moment, where a guy falls due to concerns on work rate

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    Re: Kiper's 3/13 Mock Draft

    What's just as interesting is how many DEs fall into the second round here, which would be a good scenario for the Rams. If we could get a guy like Spencer or Johnson in the second round with Branch in the first, I'd be ecstatic.

  4. #4
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    Re: Kiper's 3/13 Mock Draft

    Kiper barely has the brain power to breath and keep his hair upright. His mocks always suck and if Branch falls to us I will be shocked and then due a serious dance around my basement.

  5. #5
    general counsel's Avatar
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    Re: Kiper's 3/13 Mock Draft

    but you HAVE to love the hair with mel. I dont have a problem with branch if okoye is gone.

    ramming speed to all

    general counsel


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    Re: Kiper's 3/13 Mock Draft

    Quote Originally Posted by Country View Post
    Kiper barely has the brain power to breath and keep his hair upright. His mocks always suck and if Branch falls to us I will be shocked and then due a serious dance around my basement.
    Say what you will about Kiper, and I tend to agree that early in the offseason his mocks are strange, but the guy knows his stuff more often than not and studies A LOT of tape and knows quite a bit about these prospects. For example, I'm pretty sure his was the first draft site I saw giving Ikaika Alama-Francis any credit as a prospect.

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    Re: Kiper's 3/13 Mock Draft

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    Say what you will about Kiper, and I tend to agree that early in the offseason his mocks are strange, but the guy knows his stuff more often than not and studies A LOT of tape and knows quite a bit about these prospects. For example, I'm pretty sure his was the first draft site I saw giving Ikaika Alama-Francis any credit as a prospect.
    I can't see Branch falling that far no matter what the hair do says. Branch will go to the Dolphins, ***** or Falcons before we get a sniff,

    I would like to see what Mayock has to say.

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    Re: Kiper's 3/13 Mock Draft

    I'm not going to say I love the pick because Carriker is there, and I'd be defeated by Nick once again but I like the pick!
    RamsFan16

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    Re: Kiper's 3/13 Mock Draft

    Quote Originally Posted by RamsFan16 View Post
    I'm not going to say I love the pick because Carriker is there, and I'd be defeated by Nick once again but I like the pick!
    I just read some concerning stuff about Branch from the Milwakee Sentinel from interviews with scouts at the combine.

    I think if Branch is there he is the pick but I owuld like more information, everyone reports different stuff. One magazine says he is a stand up dominant guy the other says he is a no talent hack.

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