Kiper's 3/6/05 Mock Draft
1. San Francisco *****: Alex Smith (jr.), QB, Utah
A smart player who will pick up an NFL system quickly, Smith has good size, is mobile enough to hurt teams with his running ability and is also an efficient passer who can make all the necessary throws. The Niners likely won't get a good enough deal to move down because there is not a particular player creating a buzz as the surefire No. 1 prospect, but getting Smith would be a good start toward revamping a struggling offense.
2. Miami Dolphins: Ronnie Brown, RB, Auburn
Brown is the top running back available after his outstanding combine workout. He showed impressive speed for a 230-pounder, he can catch the ball out of the backfield and also has excellent instincts and quickness, something new Dolphins coach Nick Saban knows all about having coached against Brown in the SEC while at LSU.
3. Cleveland Browns: Aaron Rodgers (jr.), QB, California
Rodgers is a smart, accurate passer with a quick release. His arm strength is adequate and he put height questions to rest at the combine. Rodgers is a better prospect at this point in his career than former Cal QB Kyle Boller, now the starter for the Baltimore Ravens.
4. Chicago Bears: Cedric Benson, RB, Texas
The Bears addressed their need for a big-time wideout with the free agent signing of Muhsin Muhammad and Benson would give quarterback Rex Grossman two topflight weapons to help out on offense. Benson is a tough, productive runner who can go the distance and always showed up in his team's biggest games.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Carnell Williams, RB, Auburn
A creative, deceptive runner with tremendous natural skills. Williams can get tough yards inside despite lacking ideal size, a point illustrated by his 29 rushing TDs over the last two years, and Tampa coach Jon Gruden is very familiar with him after coaching Williams in the Senior Bowl.
6. Tennessee Titans: Adam Jones (jr.), CB, West Virginia
A good cover man who will also contribute as a kick returner, Jones has very good closing speed and is a willing tackler in run support. That may be his most important quality with the NFL hurting pass defenses by focusing on downfield infractions by defensive backs. Jones also fills a major need after hits in free agency.
7. Minnesota Vikings (from OAK): Braylon Edwards, WR, Michigan
Edwards' size, strength, speed and overall athleticism would go a long way toward filling the void left by the trade of Randy Moss, which is how the Vikings acquired the selection in the first place. Minnesota also has needs on defense but can address them later in the first round.
8. Arizona Cardinals: Derrick Johnson, OLB, Texas
The best pure linebacker in the draft, Johnson has sideline-to-sideline speed and is always around the ball. His consistency would be welcome on a defense looking for playmakers.
9. Washington Redskins: Mike Williams (jr.), WR, USC
Williams has the size and strength to dominate corners with his 6-foot-5, 230-pound frame. He must answer questions about his speed, but beyond that his hands, body control and natural receiving skills make him a very attractive package for a team that needs to help quarterback Patrick Ramsey.
10. Detroit Lions: Dan Cody, DE, Oklahoma
The Lions need their front seven to get more pressure on the quarterback and Cody would help with his fiery attitude and relentless motor. He stepped up in big games and was one of the most consistent performers on a defense full of stars.
11. Dallas Cowboys: Shawne Merriman (jr.), DE/OLB, Maryland
A workout warrior with incredible physical skills, Merriman would be an ideal end/linebacker combo in a 3-4 scheme. He fits the mold of Patriots linebacker Willie McGinest, who was the first draft pick of Cowboys coach Bill Parcells when Parcells began his tenure in New England.
12. San Diego Chargers: Marcus Spears, DE, LSU
The Chargers need more playmakers on the front seven and Spears would be a good option for providing pressure along the defensive front. He boosted his stock immensely with a great week of work at the Senior Bowl.
13. Houston Texans: Alex Barron, OT, Florida State
Texans quarterback David Carr is improving but needs more protection, making the versatile Barron an ideal fit. He is very strong in the lower body and has quick feet in pass protection.
14. Carolina Panthers: Troy Williamson (jr.), WR, South Carolina
Williamson showed great speed at the combine and would be a nice option for a team that lost Muhsin Muhammad in free agency. Williamson did not play in a passing offense in college but has the speed all teams are looking for.
15. Kansas City Chiefs: Carlos Rogers, CB, Auburn
The Chiefs likely will dedicate most of their draft to defense, and Rogers is a good place to start. He was Auburn's best defensive player last season, Rogers can support the run or excel in pass coverage and has plenty of experience against top-shelf collegiate competition.
16. New Orleans Saints: Jammal Brown, OT, Oklahoma
Brown is equally adept in pass and run blocking, using his quick feet and long arms to move defensive linemen away from the action.
17. Cincinnati Bengals: Travis Johnson, DT, Florida State
Johnson has the size and strength to be a force up front. He raised his stock throughout the 2004 season and would give the Bengals some beef along the defensive front.
18. Minnesota Vikings: Fabian Washington (jr.), CB, Nebraska
Washington was the talk of the combine after running the 40 in 4.28 seconds, and his speed and athleticism are just what the Vikings need in a secondary that struggled against top wideouts and quarterbacks last season.
19. St. Louis Rams: David Pollack, DE, Georgia
Pollack plays with tremendous intensity and his motor does not stop. He makes up for a lack of size with good initial quickness and great closing speed, but his 40 time at the combine was a bit disappointing and he will have to show more speed during his individual workout.
20. Dallas Cowboys (from BUF): Roddy White, WR, UAB
Averaged 20 yards per catch during his senior season and was very good at both the Senior Bowl and the combine. The acquisition of quarterback Drew Bledsoe means the Cowboys will have to find him some help in the passing game.
21. Jacksonville Jaguars: Antrel Rolle, CB, Miami
The Jags are thin in the secondary and need a player with Rolle's speed and toughness, a player who can be solid in coverage and also a force in run support.
22. Baltimore Ravens: Erasmus James, DE, Wisconsin
James is an outstanding pass rusher who also plays the run very well thanks to his strength and quickness. He will have to answer a bit of a speed question after a disappointing 40 at the combine, and there are also durability concerns since he missed all of 2003 and part of 2004 with various injuries.
23. Seattle Seahawks: Shaun Cody, DE/DT, USC
Cody would be a nice addition to a line that already includes Pro Bowl player Chad Brown. Cody has the size and versatility to play end or tackle and was a major force for the nation's leading rush defense.
24. Green Bay Packers: Thomas Davis (jr.), S/OLB, Georgia
Davis played safety in college but has the size and speed to move to outside linebacker at the pro level. He is a punishing tackler who is always around the ball and would form a nice outside tandem with Nick Barnett.
25. Denver Broncos: Demarcus Ware, DE/OLB, Troy
Ware would fit perfectly in Denver's new 3-4 scheme with his ability to either play on his feet or put his hand on the ground in a three-point stance. He is not physically imposing but has shown the necessary speed and burst.
26. New York Jets: Marlin Jackson, CB, Michigan
His combine performance showed Jackson has the speed to be a true corner and not a safety/corner combo like he was in college.
27. Atlanta Falcons: Brodney Pool (jr.), S, Oklahoma
Another OU standout, Pool has tremendous instincts and is always in the middle of the action. He led the Sooners in tackles last season, showing his willingness to mix things up in run support, and he is adequate in pass coverage.
28. San Diego Chargers: Mark Clayton, WR, Oklahoma
Clayton has speed, quickness and elusiveness that make him dangerous after the catch. He would round out a receiving corps bolstered by the addition of WR Keenan McCardell and the emergence of TE Antonio Gates.
29. Indianapolis Colts: Channing Crowder (3rd so.), MLB, Florida
An impressive physical specimen who adjusted immediately to top-level collegiate competition, Crowder has ideal size and athletic skills for a man in the middle.
30. Pittsburgh Steelers: Heath Miller (jr.), TE, Virginia
There is some question whether Miller will be able to work out before the draft due to a pelvic injury, but he still remains the best tight end prospect and would give Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger a nice option in the middle of the field.
31. Philadelphia Eagles: Jerome Mathis, WR, Hampton
Played at the Division I-AA level in college but showed at the Gridiron Classic and the combine he belongs with the big boys. He dominated Hampton's playoff game this season and was the best player on the field at the Gridiron thanks to his overall athleticism.
32. New England Patriots: Barrett Ruud, LB, Nebraska
His speed and athletic ability made him Nebraska's all-time leading tackler and Ruud would help the Patriots get younger at a key position, a big key with the health of Teddy Bruschi in question.
Re: Kiper's 3/6/05 Mock Draft
If the Rams take Pollack and leave Rolle on the board you'll hear my "booos" all the way from Florida to Missouri.