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    Nick's "Cutting It Close" Three-Round NFL Mock Draft and 7-Round Rams Mock

    ROUND ONE

    1. Oakland Raiders: JaMarcus Russell, QB, LSU

    -As the draft nears, there seems to be a lot of smoke about what's going to happen at the top. Rumors of the Raiders switching directions and selecting Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn have surfaced, and though the coaching staff is rumored to like Quinn better, it seems as if owner Al Davis is leaning in Russell’s direction. I wouldn’t rule out Calvin Johnson here either, but going into tomorrow’s draft, I still have Russell as the first pick.

    2. Detroit Lions: Gaines Adams, DE, Clemson

    -I’m not sure I’m buying into the recent news that the Lions are set to take Georgia Tech receiver Calvin Johnson here. Sure, Johnson makes a lot of sense. He’s the best player in this draft and would certainly be an ideal starter for Detroit over Mike Furrey. But this team has spent three of its last four first round picks on Johnson, and as good as he is, I’m just not convinced they can spend a fourth pick here. I think Detroit ends up trading down and selecting Gaines Adams to rush the edge in head coach Rod Marinelli’s Tampa 2 scheme.

    3. Cleveland Browns: Brady Quinn, QB, Notre Dame

    -For the longest time I was leaning Adrian Peterson for the Browns because he’d have the most immediate impact. But news came out recently that Peterson isn’t 100% just yet, and I think though the Browns deny it publicly, this raises concerns about whether or not he’s worth the pick here. I’m not convinced Quinn is an elite quarterback prospect, but the Browns need to find a future signal caller for their team, and Quinn’s “local boy” story might be too good for them to pass on.

    4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Calvin Johnson, WR, Georgia Tech

    -Will the Buccaneers actually land the best player in the class? They certainly could, but I doubt it’s at this pick. Ultimately I think Tampa mortgages a number of picks to swap with Detroit to take their receiver, but since I’m not projecting trades I had him fall to them here. Tampa’s biggest need is not at receiver, but they could certainly use help there. Joey Galloway signed an extension but isn’t getting any younger, and Michael Clayton hasn’t done anything since what was supposed to be a breakout rookie season. Adding Calvin Johnson would be welcome help for Jeff Garcia or Chris Simms or Bruce Gadkowski or whomever the Bucs are playing at QB this year.

    5. Arizona Cardinals: Joe Thomas, OT, Wisconsin

    -Dream come true scenario for the Cardinals. It’s rumored that they actually might like Penn State tackle Levi Brown better, but barring a trade down, they’re not going to take him here, especially not with Thomas on the board. The Wisconsin lineman can step right into the hole left by Leonard Davis or can shift to the right side and protect Matt Leinart’s blindside from the right tackle position. If Ken Whisenhunt can add a franchise tackle in his first draft as a head coach, he’ll be on his way toward eventual success in Arizona.

    6. Washington Redskins: Amobi Okoye, DT, Louisville

    -There’s a lot of momentum gaining behind the Redskins taking LSU defensive back LaRon Landry. But even though they need someone to play next to Sean Taylor, I’m not convinced they go that direction in the first round. They really would like to improve their pass rush on the defensive line, and while they might prefer an end to rush from the edge, they certainly won’t complain with an interior rusher like Amobi Okoye, whom some have compared to Warren Sapp because of his ability to collapse the pocket and get into the backfield.

    7. Minnesota Vikings: Adrian Peterson, RB, Oklahoma

    -The Vikings really have other bigger need areas, but there’s no way they can pass on a running back like Adrian Peterson if he’s available here. LaRon Landry would be tempting, but the Vikings are very aware that teams need a good one-two punch in the backfield in today’s league. After all, they play Chicago twice a year and saw the kind of success that kind of system gave their rivals. Chester Taylor is probably not an ideal feature ‘back, so drafting a talent like Peterson with the intention of working him into the line-up slowly would be a nice strategy.

    8. Atlanta Falcons (f/HOU): LaRon Landry, S, LSU

    -The Falcons swapped picks with Houston in order to move up and get a shot at a better prospect, and that’s exactly what they end up with by selecting Landry here. The Falcons secondary really has been missing that elite safety that can do it all. Additionally, cornerback DeAngelo Hall gets beaten more than the Falcons would like to admit. Landry gives them someone who can come up and support the run, a player who can blitz from the secondary, and also someone who can do everything in coverage from playing some man as well as protecting half of the field in a deep zone.

    9. Miami Dolphins: Levi Brown, OT, Penn State

    -Rumor has it the Dolphins aren’t as high on Levi Brown as a left tackle prospect. I was tempted to give them a cornerback here, until the news broke that last year’s first round pick Jason Allen was being moved to corner. There’s not a safety here worth taking his place, and in the end they might not have been completely honest in their assessment of Brown. Ultimately he’s the best pick for them at this spot, especially considering the exodus of offensive linemen the Dolphins engaged in this offseason.

    10. Houston Texans (f/ATL): Darrelle Revis, CB, Pittsburgh

    -One of the more interesting questions in this draft is who is truly the #1 ranked cornerback, Leon Hall or Darrelle Revis? As the draft nears, it would seem the Pittsburgh product has taken the thrown, and now that Levi Brown is off the board, the Texans should have no qualms about taking Revis here at the ten-spot. He’ll not only be a productive starter opposite of Dunta Robinson, but he can bring some talent to the Houston return game as well. Be on the look-out for a draft-day trade with the Broncos though, as that kind of deal could really shake up the top of the first round.

    11. San Francisco *****: Patrick Willis, ILB, Mississippi

    -I’ve had Nebraska defensive lineman Adam Carriker going here for quite some time, but recently I’ve changed my mind about this pick. Yes, some of it has to do with Adam Schefter’s report that the ‘Niners would take Willis if he were here. But also, I think the pick makes a lot of sense as well. Let’s remember that Mike Nolan and the San Francisco coaching staff really loved working with Willis at the Senior Bowl, and this wouldn’t be the first time that a coach has taken a guy based on productive interaction at that offseason event. If the Broncos jump ahead to take Willis though, Carriker becomes the favorite here again.

    12. Buffalo Bills: Marshawn Lynch, RB, California

    -Word has it the Bills aren’t completely sold on Marshawn Lynch. But the only other true option I see for them here is Patrick Willis, and he’s gone. A receiver or some help on the defensive line could be an option, a trade down could be in the works as well, or the Bills could also end up trading this pick away to San Diego in exchange for the talented Michael Turner. But if they’re here and can’t move the pick, I think Lynch is the guy because the Bills simply have to find some way of replacing Willis McGahee in the backfield.

    13. St. Louis Rams: Adam Carriker, DL, Nebraska

    -The Rams really seemed to fall in love with Adam Carriker both at the combine and his pro day. There’s no question that Carriker is a physical freak and he’s proved it on and off the field. A man his size (6’6” 296 lbs) should not be running in the 4.7-4.9 range in the forty, and his 33 reps on the bench were outstanding. Carriker himself has said that the Rams like the idea of moving him inside as a three-technique tackle, but realistically St. Louis could very well play Adam just about anywhere on the defensive line. That kind of versatility makes him hard to pass up here.

    14. Carolina Panthers: Robert Meachem, WR, Tennessee

    -The Panthers have a number of important areas they need to address. They need to find some help at safety, especially since this is Mike Minter’s final year in pro football. They need to find a future middle linebacker to replace the often-injured Dan Morgan. They could also use a tight end to provide another weapon in their offense. But here I think the pick will be Robert Meachem, wide receiver out of Tennessee. Meachem gives the Panthers someone to groom as a replacement for Keyshawn Johnson, who took plenty of time this spring deciding whether or not he still wanted to play football.

    15. Pittsburgh Steelers: Joe Staley, OT, Central Michigan

    -Consider this my first true surprise pick of round one. It's no secret that the Steelers like Joe Staley. In fact, reports earlier this month indicated that offensive line coach Larry Zierlein was pushing for Staley to get some consideration should the Steelers trade down. But Staley's stock has been on the rise so much that some speculate he may pass Levi Brown as the #2 tackle in this class. If Zierlein really does love Staley as much as reported, he could find himself in the Steel City after next weekend, even if the Steelers elect to stay at this spot.

    16. Green Bay Packers: Greg Olsen, TE, Miami

    -Green Bay would have really preferred for Marshawn Lynch to fall to them here in the middle of round one, and if the Bills aren’t completely sold on him, he still might. But in this projection, he’s gone, which means the Packers have to regroup and look in another direction. I think the next option for Green Bay would be tight end Greg Olsen out of Miami. Olsen leaves a bit to be desired as a blocker in the running game, but his skills as a receiver are well documented, and the Packers could certainly use some additional weapons for Brett Favre and eventually Aaron Rodgers to throw to.

    17. Jacksonville Jaguars: Jamaal Anderson, DE, Arkansas

    -Wow, what a great spot for Jacksonville! They love Florida safety Reggie Nelson and could really use his help in the secondary, but for Jamaal Anderson to be available here is some pretty good fortune as well. Though their need on the defensive line may not be as great, I think Anderson’s value wins out here and he finds himself the pick of Jacksonville in this scenario. Anderson gives them a young pass rusher that they can groom as part of a rotation before counting on him as a full time starter.

    18. Cincinnati Bengals: Leon Hall, CB, Michigan

    -Cincinnati could go a number of ways with this pick. Michigan tackle Alan Branch is certainly a possibility, because the Bengals would like to find an eventual replacement for Sam Adams on the interior line. A safety such as Michael Griffin could be an option because Cincy would like to find a capable compliment next to free safety Madieu Williams. But at this spot, I’m leaning Leon Hall, even though the Bengals drafted a cornerback in the first round of last year’s draft. With Tory James out the door and Deltha O’Neil living on borrowed time, the secondary just really needs to be the focus here.

    19. Tennessee Titans: Ted Ginn Jr., WR, Ohio State

    -There are a number of reasons why the Ttians should go with a receiver in round one. First of all, they lost their number one target when Drew Bennett signed with the St. Louis Rams, and I don’t think Brandon Jones and David Givens are an ideal starting duo either now or in the future. Furthermore, the loss of Adam “Pacman” Jones means there’s a hole in the return game as well. Drafting Ginn may not give the Titans an immediate starter at receiver, but he could develop into an electrifying starter in this league that can contribute immediately on special teams.

    20. New York Giants: Lawrence Timmons, OLB, Florida State

    -The Giants had a discount sale of linebackers this offseason, releasing both LaVar Arrington and Carlos Emmons. Though they signed Kawika Mitchell, it was only for one year. On the weak side, is third round pick Gerris Wilkinson really ready to step up as a starter? I think New York would benefit from drafting Lawrence Timmons here, because what Timmons lacks in experience he makes up for in athleticism and potential, and he could really develop into something special for the Giants.

    21. Denver Broncos: Alan Branch, DT, Michigan

    -Alan Branch’s free fall ends here as Denver snatches him up to lock down their interior defensive line. In a division featuring LaDainian Tomlinson as well as Larry Johnson, Denver has to be able to stop the run. When at Michigan, Branch was part of a 2006 defense that led the NCAA in run defense. There have been questions raised about how much he wants to play the game and some possible leg injuries, but if Branch is able to maximize his natural talent, he’ll be one incredible interior player.

    22. Dallas Cowboys: Reggie Nelson, DB, Florida

    -What a break for the Cowboys! They were probably considering whether or not Brandon Meriweather would be good value for them here, but if Reggie Nelson drops to this spot, I think they’ll rush to the podium to turn their draft card in. Nelson could play either cornerback or safety, so the Cowboys will have some versatility in their defensive backfield. They could choose to keep Nelson at safety and rotate him into the line-up with recently signed Ken Hamlin or they could shift him to cornerback and have him compete for playing time with Aaron Glenn and Anthony Henry.

    23. Kansas City Chiefs: Ben Grubbs, OG, Auburn

    -The more I see this pick in other mocks, the more I think it makes sense. The Chiefs really are in need of some offensive line help, especially after the retirement of Will Shields. They think they’ve addressed the left tackle position by signing Damien McIntosh to a big deal, and now they turn to Auburn’s Ben Grubbs to try and fill the hole left by Shields. Cornerback or defensive tackle are options, especially with Aaron Ross, Chris Houston, and Justin Harrell on the board. But protecting the quarterback (be it Green, Huard, or Croyle) and opening holes for Larry Johnson should be priority one.

    24. New England Patriots (f/SEA): Aaron Ross, CB, Texas

    -A great scenario for a team that’s had a good offseason thus far already. Ross is a physical cornerback that will fit in well in Bill Belichick’s defensive scheme. The Patriots would really like to add a young body in the secondary considering the uncertainty surrounding Asante Samuel’s long-term status in the Patriots organization. After seeing Nate Clements get megabucks as a free agent this spring, Samuel unquestionably wants to see the money himself. Having a capable player like Ross waiting in the wings may give New England a second option should Samuel refuse to sign long-term.

    25. New York Jets: Chris Houston, CB, Arkansas

    -Like their AFC East rivals, the Jets are also in the market for some help in the secondary, which makes Arkansas cornerback Chris Houston a great selection at the end of the first round. While Andre Dyson is a capable starter, Hank Poteat is nothing more than a stop-gap at the position. Justin Miller has yet to pick up the pace a secure a starting spot himself. Houston’s stock has been up and down this spring, with some considering him a Top 15 pick while others aren’t even sure he belongs in round one. But for the Jets, I think Houston combines good value while meeting a need here at spot #25.

    26. Philadelphia Eagles: Michael Griffin, S, Texas

    -There’s really no guarantee Michael Griffin makes it to this pick. Word has it Carolina likes him quite a bit, and he could go to Cincinnati, Denver, or New England before this pick. But if he’s available for the Eagles in the first round, I have no doubt that he’ll be their selection. The Eagles decided to let Michael Lewis leave as a free agent because they liked Sean Considine quite a bit. But Considine may not be ready to make the jump as a full time starter. Furthermore, the Eagles would like to find someone to groom as a replacement for the immortal Brian Dawkins. Because he could be used either as Dawkins’ heir or in a rotation with Considine at strong safety, Griffin just makes too much sense here.

    27. New Orleans Saints: Dwayne Bowe, WR, LSU

    -Wide receiver is not the biggest need for New Orleans. They could very well look at a linebacker like Paul Posluszny or Jon Beason here. Tennessee’s Justin Harrell makes some sense here as well, and even though the Saints locked up Jason David to a four-year deal, I wouldn’t rule out a corner either. But from a value perspective, I like Louisiana State’s Dwayne Bowe the best here. After cutting ties with New Orleans icon Joe Horn, the Saints really need to find someone to groom into a starter. Marques Colston is fine but I don’t think the Saints are ready to depend on Devery Henderson or Terrance Copper on the other side.

    28. New England Patriots: Paul Posluszny, LB, Penn State

    -There’s growing speculation that Michigan’s David Harris could be the pick here for New England. Still a very good possibility, but I think it would be hard to take Harris when Paul Posluszny is still on the table. This guy is just the ultimate football player. He simply has great instincts and makes plays all over the field, which to me sounds like a great fit for a New England Patriots team that is in need of some young leadership at the inside linebacker position. The hard-nosed Posluszny should earn the respect of the Boston fans rather quickly, and will be a solid pick for them here.

    29. Baltimore Ravens: Justin Blalock, OL, Texas

    -The Ravens gave two third round picks and a seventh rounder to Buffalo in exchange for running back Willis McGahee, but the trade will have been pointless if the Ravens can’t find a way to open up holes for the talented ball carrier. Drafting a stud lineman like Justin Blalock would be one step in helping McGahee restore some production to the Baltimore running game. Blalock works for the Ravens for two reasons – they don’t exactly have a great interior line-up and Blalock could work as a guard but they also could use some help at right tackle where Blalock could also play.

    30. San Diego Chargers: Brandon Meriweather, S, Miami

    -Character concerns will make taking Meriweather here a bit of a challenge for the Chargers, especially since they were cut ties with Terrence Kiel because of his own off the field problems. But word has it a number of teams have given Meriweather the stamp of approval based on what they’ve heard in interviews, and it seems the Miami prospect has found his way back into the first round. While the Chargers may prefer someone like Michael Griffin here, I think they’d be willing to take the risk on a player of Meriweather’s caliber.

    31. Chicago Bears: Jon Beason, LB, Miami

    -The Lance Briggs situation gets more and more ridiculous the more you hear. First he's franchised tagged, and then Briggs says he'll never play for the Bears again. Then Briggs goes on to claim that he'll sit out the entire 2007 season if he has to. For some reason, the Bears didn't take a trade offer from Washington that involved the 6th overall pick, and here we are. If Briggs is serious about his threats to never play in Chicago again, then the Bears may want to move quickly on a WILL linebacker of the future. The talented Jon Beason, who could go much earlier, should be their man here.

    32. Indianapolis Colts: Justin Harrell, DT, Tennessee

    -The Colts traded their second round pick during the season to acquire Booger McFarland. But Booger turns 30-years-old this season, and there isn’t an incredible amount of depth surrounding him. Corey Simon is probably going to be cut because of health issues, and the Colts already cut ties with Monte Reagor. Indianapolis needs to find someone who can not only make things happen on the interior line but someone they can depend on for the future. Harrell has some injury concerns, but has the ability to stuff the inside run as well as explode off the line and into the opposing backfield.


    ROUND TWO

    33. Oakland Raiders: Ryan Kalil, C, USC
    -Even though they signed Jeremy Newberry, head coach Lane Kiffin would love to add a familiar anchor like Kalil in round two.

    34. Detroit Lions: Trent Edwards, QB, Stanford
    -Mike Martz gets his next great quarterback prospect in Edwards, who could even find himself going to Oakland if they pass on a quarterback in round one.

    35. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jarvis Moss, DE, Florida[/SIZE]
    -Great turn of events for Tampa Bay as they find their next great edge rusher when Florida’s Jarvis Moss slips to them here.

    36. Cleveland Browns: Arron Sears, OL, Tennessee
    -Cleveland spent big money on Eric Steinbach this offseason but can continue to upgrade their offensive line with the versatile Sears.

    37. Chicago Bears (f/NYJ): Tony Ugoh, OT, Arkansas
    -Neither John Tait nor Fred Miller are getting any younger, so some young depth at tackle should be a priority in Chicago.

    38. Arizona Cardinals: Anthony Spencer, DE, Purdue[/SIZE]
    -Spencer could go a lot higher, so Arizona should feel very fortunate to get him within the first few picks of the second round.

    39. Atlanta Falcons (f/HOU): Dwayne Jarrett, WR, USC
    -Once considered a potential top ten pick, Jarrett has fallen a long way. The Falcons have bigger needs but might find Jarrett too hard to pass up.

    40. Miami Dolphins: John Beck, QB, BYU
    -Beck has been gaining a lot of momentum and should challenge Trent Edwards in a competition to be the third quarterback chosen this year.

    41. Minnesota Vikings: Tim Crowder, DE, Texas
    -The Vikings need to do something to improve on their pass rush; they ranked 25th in sacks in 2006.

    42. San Francisco *****: Steve Smith, WR, USC
    -Southern California’s own Steve Smith would be a welcomed addition to a San Francisco organization in need of some receiver talent.

    43. Buffalo Bills: Eric Wright, CB, UNLV
    -Off the field concerns may cause Wright to drop, but Buffalo needs to find some help after losing Nate Clements in free agency.

    44. Atlanta Falcons: Victor Abiamiri, DE, Notre Dame
    -Cutting ties with Patrick Kerney was hard to do, but selecting Notre Dame’s Abiamiri in the middle of round two should be rather easy by comparison.

    45. Carolina Panthers: David Harris, LB, Michigan[/size]
    -The Panthers will be living the dream if they somehow find David Harris available in the middle fo the second round.

    46. Pittsburgh Steelers: Ikaika Alama-Francis, DE, Hawaii
    -Pittsburgh says they’re moving defensive end Brett Keisel to outside linebacker, so that means they need to find someone to take his place on the line.

    47. Green Bay Packers: Antonio Pittman, RB, Ohio State
    -Missing out on Marshawn Lynch in round one means the Packers still have a hole at running back to fill.

    48. Jacksonville Jaguars: Eric Weddle, S, Utah
    -If the Jags can walk away with Jamaal Anderson and Eric Weddle in the first two rounds, it will have been a coup.

    49. Cincinnati Bengals: DeMarcus Tyler, DT, NC State
    -Tyler has some repeated character concerns that could see him drop, but the Bengals could use an additional run-stopper on their line.

    50. Tennessee Titans: Jonathan Wade, CB, Tennessee
    -The loss of Adam Jones for the 2007 season will likely force the Titans to address their secondary at some point on Day One.

    51. New York Giants: Marcus McCauley, CB, Fresno State
    -McCauley had a poor senior season but has all the tools you look for. He only needs to put the entire package together.

    52. St. Louis Rams: Sidney Rice, WR, South Carolina
    -Rice has the height Scott Linehan loves in his receivers, and could learn a lot behind Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce.

    53. Dallas Cowboys: Craig Davis, WR, LSU
    -Terrell Owens and Terry Glenn are really getting up there, and Patrick Crayton is playing on a one-year tender.

    54. Kansas City Chiefs: Josh Wilson, CB, Maryland
    -Ty Law and Patrick Surtain aren’t the players they used to be and are both on the wrong side of 30.

    55. Seattle Seahawks: Zach Miller, TE, Arizona State
    -This is really a best case scenario for Seattle, as taking Miller here gives them someone to groom for the future behind Marcus Pollard.

    56. Denver Broncos: Charles Johnson, DE, Georgia
    -It seems Johnson’s stock has been slipping a bit, which I’m sure will be A-OK for Denver as they continue to improve their defensive front.

    57. Philadelphia Eagles: Brian Leonard, RB, Rutgers
    -For some reason, I love this pick. I really think Leonard would be a nice change of pace to the shifty Brian Westbrook.

    58. New Orleans Saints: Stewart Bradley, LB, Nebraska
    -They signed Brian Simmons and locked up Scott Shanle, but Bradley could compete with the expensive Scott Fujita on the strong side.

    59. New York Jets: LaMarr Woodley, DE/OLB, Michigan
    -Word is Woodley had an impressive pro day and could get some looks in round two as a potential outside linebacker in the 3-4 scheme.

    60. Miami Dolphins (f/NE): Tanard Jackson, DB, Syracuse
    -Jackson was a college corner who some project as a safety at the next level. Basically, Miami can play him wherever Jason Allen isn’t.

    61. Baltimore Ravens: Tim Shaw, LB, Penn State
    -Shaw would be a great utility man in the mold of Adalius Thomas; he’s played multiple linebacker positions as well as defensive end.

    62. San Diego Chargers: Anthony Gonzalez, WR, Ohio State
    -Given a late first round projection before declaring, Gonzalez may not last this long but gives the Chargers a capable receiver who can stretch the field.

    63. New York Jets (f/CHI): Manuel Ramirez, OG, Texas Tech
    -There’s a wide range of opinions on Ramirez, but the Jets could look for him here to help plug a hole at the guard position.

    64. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (F/IND): Ray McDonald, DL, Florida
    -McDonald is a versatile lineman who can play defensive end or rush the passer as a three-technique tackle.


    ROUND THREE

    65. Oakland Raiders: Ryan Harris, OT, Notre Dame
    -The Raiders continue to address their weakest point by drafting Harris as a potential left tackle.

    66. Detroit Lions: Daymeion Hughes, CB, California
    -Hughes should excel in a Cover 2 scheme that minimizes concerns about his deep speed.

    67. Cleveland Browns: Turk McBride, DL, Tennessee
    McBride had a great senior year and would work well for the Browns as a 3-4 end.

    68. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: John Wendling, S, Wyoming
    -Wendling is climbing up the charts, and Tampa could certainly use a total package like him.

    69. Arizona Cardinals: Justin Durant, OLB, Hampton
    -Durant was a middle linebacker for Hampton but would be a nice fit in Arizona on the weak side.

    70. Denver Broncos (f/WAS): Aaron Rouse, SS, Virginia Tech
    -Rouse is a physical safety that could learn a lot from someone like John Lynch in Denver.

    71. Miami Dolphins: Quentin Moses, DE/OLB, Georgia
    -The Dolphins will be excited to find Moses in the third, hoping to play him as an OLB in the 3-4.

    72. Minnesota Vikings: Jason Hill, WR, Washington State
    -A need at wide receiver is met by drafting Jason Hill, whose stock has been on the rise.

    73. Houston Texans: Doug Free, OT, Northern Illinois
    -After missing out on Levi Brown in round one, expect the Texans to look for some O-line help here.

    74. Buffalo Bills: Brandon Siler, LB, Florida
    -There are rumblings that Siler could fall much further, but the Bills ultimately need to find someone capable of manning the middle.

    75. Atlanta Falcons: Michael Bush, RB, Louisville
    -Bobby Petrino knows what Bush is capable of doing, and will look to add him in round three.

    76. San Francisco *****: Andy Alleman, OG, Akron
    -Rumor has it Justin Smiley is being shopped, so the ***** may be looking for a replacement.

    77. Pittsburgh Steelers: Dan Bazuin, DE/OLB, Central Michigan
    -Bazuin had 35.5 sacks in college and could possibly transition to an outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme.

    78. Green Bay Packers: David Irons, CB, Auburn
    -Al Harris and Charles Woodson are fine but depth is needed in the Green Bay secondary.

    79. Jacksonville Jaguars: Johnnie Lee Higgins, WR, UTEP
    -The Jaguars signed Dennis Northcutt as a speedy receiver but could also look for help in the draft.

    80. Cincinnati Bengals: FORFEITED (Ahmad Brooks)

    81. Tennessee Titans: Kenny Irons, RB, Auburn
    -If the Titans don’t trade for Michael Turner, then Kenny Irons would be a nice compliment to LenDale White.

    82. New York Giants: Samson Satele, OL, Hawaii
    -Satele is good value here and gives the Giants a versatile interior lineman.

    83. Kansas City Chiefs: Quinn Pitcock, DT, Ohio State
    -Kansas City hasn’t had great production from their defensive tackles; Pitcock has slipped but it as a hard worker.

    84. Carolina Panthers: Michael Johnson, S, Arizona
    -Johnson could be in the mix immediately to start at strong safety for the Panthers.

    85. St. Louis Rams: Paul Soliai, NT, Utah
    -Soliai may be a round three target for St. Louis if they suspect he won’t last to their pick in round four.

    86. Seattle Seahawks: Josh Beekman, OG, Boston College
    -Beekman has slipped a bit this offseason but is still a capable guard that would benefit the Seahawks.

    87. Denver Broncos: Aundrae Allison, WR, East Carolina
    -The Broncos could use additional receiver help as they prepare for the eventual retirement of Rod Smith.

    88. Dallas Cowboys: James Marten, OT, Boston College
    -Marten provides good depth and could replace Marc Columbo if he gets injured or leaves in a few years.

    89. New Orleans Saints: Brandon Mebane, DT, California
    -The Saints retained their 2006 defensive line but that doesn’t mean they can’t improve it.

    90. New York Jets: Ben Patrick, TE, Delaware
    -Great value pick for the Jets, who could certainly think about upgrading over Chris Baker.

    91. Philadelphia Eagles: Fred Bennett, CB, South Carolina
    -The starting cornerback spots are set but depth is an issue that could be addressed here.

    92. New England Patriots: Sabby Piscitelli, SS, Oregon State
    -Piscitelli is a big aggressive safety who would fit nicely with the Patriots defense.

    93. Buffalo Bills (f/BAL): Scott Chandler, TE, Iowa
    -Chandler gives Buffalo the receiving threat they want from the tight end position.

    94. San Diego Chargers: Zak DeOssie, ILB, Brown
    -DeOssie could sneak onto the first day as an inside linebacker prospect for a 3-4 team like San Diego.

    95. Chicago Bears: Michael Coe, CB, Alabama State
    -Charles Tillman is entering a contract year and Devin Hester may be moved to offense.

    96. Indianapolis Colts: Paul Williams, WR, Fresno State
    -The Colts basically have little depth behind Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne.

    97. San Diego (comp): Tony Hunt, RB, Penn State
    -If the Chargers are looking to unload Michael Turner, Hunt would be a nice compliment to LT.

    98. San Francisco (comp): Usama Young, CB, Kent State
    -This guy’s stock is on the rise and he could sneak into the late first after an impressive pro day.

    99. Indianapolis (comp): A.J. Davis, CB, NC State
    -After losing Jason David, the Colts at least need some additional depth at corner.

    100. Oakland (comp): Jay Moore, DE, Nebraska
    -Moore could help improve a pass rush that was lacking outside of Derrick Burgess and Warren Sapp.
    Last edited by Nick; -04-28-2007 at 04:57 AM.


  2. #2
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    Re: Nick's "Cutting It Close" Three-Round NFL Mock Draft

    COMPLETE RAMS SEVEN-ROUND MOCK

    13. Adam Carriker, DL, Nebraska
    -I'll try to expand on why I had the Rams take Carriker at 13 as opposed to Alan Branch. It wasn't so much based on personal preference, as I would be happy with either pick. But all indications are that the Rams really are just not high on Branch, and that's an understandable position. I think with the right coaching, Branch could be a monster in this league. But it doesn't seem like the Rams feel he's worth their first round pick, either because of his work ethic concerns or inconsistency or whatever. They've fallen in love with Carriker, so I have little doubt he'll get a strong look if he's available. Moving him inside could spell trouble for Wroten, because it's hard to imagine Claude seeing much time at UT over Adam. Unless of course the Rams put both Carriker and Wroten on the field in passing downs and just shy away from having a true nose in that package.

    52. Sidney Rice, WR, South Carolina
    -To elaborate on this pick a bit, I think the Dante Hall trade will allow the Rams to push back wide receiver to a later round. Ideally they could push it back further than this, but if Sidney Rice is available in round two, I think Linehan pulls the trigger. Rice is 6'3" with a 39" vertical leap and 4.5 speed, so he has the kind of height Linehan likes in his receivers and gives the Rams another guy who can be a threat in the red zone. For those fans who think we need to start looking for a potential starting-caliber receiver, they should enjoy this pick.

    85. Paul Soliai, NT, Utah
    -There's a school of thought that Soliai may go in round three. I certainly don't think he'll last until the fourth round for the Rams to take him there, and after moving down a bit in the third from the Dante Hall trade, I think the Rams could pull the trigger. If the Rams plan on using Carriker as a three technique, it may be strange to spend two first day picks on defensive tackles. Strange or not though, Soliai is a true nose tackle with massive size and strength to hold up at the line. He's an ideal two-gap player who can stuff the interior run. If the Rams want him, I think they have to take him here.

    117. Chris Henry, RB, Arizona
    -I'm not convinced Henry goes too much earlier than this pick. There's a chance he sneaks onto day one or goes at the top of round four, but I don't think it's unreasonable to think he could be available here. And if he is, then the Rams scoop him up. They seem to have been very interested in him thus far this offseason, but it should be important to note that Henry's stock is based more on his workouts than it is his on-the-field play. He really wasn't very accomplished in the college game, rushing for a career total of less than 900 yards. But the Rams seem to see something they like, and if Henry is available here, I think he's added to the St. Louis backfield.

    190. DeAndre Jackson, CB, Iowa State
    -It's very conceivable that the Rams use an earlier draft pick on a cornerback; in fact, they may end up using their first round pick on Darrelle Revis if he's available. But I think they'll jump on Carriker, will see Rice as too good to pass up, will want to add NT help with Soliai, and then feel a back-up RB is a bigger priority. That leaves cornerback until round six, which is a little ways to wait. Someone who I have always thought of as a solid late round prospect is Iowa State's DeAndre Jackson. He's recovering from a torn ACL so he's an injury risk, but when healthy he displayed good speed and was pretty good at jumping the ball when it was in the air. Furthermore, he's a talented return man, so at this point in the draft I'd take a flier on him.

    248. Kyle Cook, C, Michigan State
    -Cook should be available in the later rounds; whether he lasts to the seventh is unknown but if he's there he could be a solid pick to give Romberg some competition. Perhaps this is personal preference, but I would take a dependable technician over a physical brute any day on the interior line, and Cook fills the former rather than the latter. He's versatile enough to provide depth at guard as well, which we could need depending on what happens with Claude Terrell.

    249. Antwan Applewhite, DE, San Diego State
    -The Rams added a potential starting defensive end in Carriker earlier, but if they move Carriker to the inside to play three-technique, then they may still want to add some pass rush help to the outside. Applewhite is an underclassman who probably would have benefited from staying in school. That being said, he's a classic edge rusher who gets by with his speed off of the corner. There are questions as to whether or not he'll ever be anything more than a situational pass rusher, but at this point in the draft you're not going to be getting well-rounded all stars. The bottom line is Applewhite has some tools to work with and could learn a thing or two watching another undersized edge rusher (Little) in practice every week.
    Last edited by Nick; -04-28-2007 at 04:48 AM.

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    Re: Nick's "Cutting It Close" Three-Round NFL Mock Draft and 7-Round Rams Mock

    i agree with your reasoning Nick, but im not sure i like this. Especially passing up Alan Branch for Carriker. I would personally only do that should the Rams have traded for Jenkins. But even then i would still strongly consider Branch.

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    Re: Nick's "Cutting It Close" Three-Round NFL Mock Draft and 7-Round Rams Mock

    I would strongly consider Branch as well, but ultimately I believe a mock draft is a prediction about what you think will happen rather than what you'd like to see happen or what you think should happen. And all indication points to the Rams loving Carriker and being pretty down on Branch. Unless it's a massive smokescreen, I think Carriker is higher on their board and thus is the pick over Branch if both are there.

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    Re: Nick's "Cutting It Close" Three-Round NFL Mock Draft and 7-Round Rams Mock

    thanks nick, fantastic work as always. You are the expert so i am not trying to debate you on this, but i will say that if a comporable value is available on defense in round 2, thats what i want, rather than rice. Meanwhile, i dont think that we will have that pick anyway, i think it will be in carolina for jenkins.

    ramming speed to all

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    Re: Nick's "Cutting It Close" Three-Round NFL Mock Draft and 7-Round Rams Mock

    Nick,

    I must commend you. This is an awesome thread and the time and effort you put into this is very much appreciated. Especially for me because I don't have a real good handle on the college players and their ranks.

    I can only hope and pray that we do in fact have the chance to pick Carriker.

    Thanks again,

    :r :bash:

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    Re: Nick's "Cutting It Close" Three-Round NFL Mock Draft and 7-Round Rams Mock

    Well done, my friend.

    It was Joe Staley!

    I can't see anything i completely disagree with.

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    Re: Nick's "Cutting It Close" Three-Round NFL Mock Draft and 7-Round Rams Mock

    Mel Kiper, you have some competition, you better watch your back!


    Always and Forever a fan of the St. Louis Rams

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    Re: Nick's "Cutting It Close" Three-Round NFL Mock Draft and 7-Round Rams Mock

    I am strating to like Carriker more because of his strength, speed, and versatility. He also looks like the least likely to fail at the next level. Round 2 I really have no comment on the WR. I am not that aware of his versuses others tallents at that position. I don't think we need a WR I would prefer to go best defensive player available. Round 3 I like Paul Soliai as a NT IMO Branch is a risk and this guy is also but I would rather take the risk in round 3. Soliai and Thomas are two DTs that previously I discussed targetting in the later rounds if we passed on Branch.

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    Re: Nick's "Cutting It Close" Three-Round NFL Mock Draft and 7-Round Rams Mock

    Very good Nick thats why you are the best in the Biz. I hope we don't go WR in the second, we still need D IMO. I like the names uni's !

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    Re: Nick's "Cutting It Close" Three-Round NFL Mock Draft and 7-Round Rams Mock

    That jersey looks really good.
    JUST WIN ONE FOR THE FANS


    "HIT HARD, HIT FAST, AND HIT OFTEN"
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    Re: Nick's "Cutting It Close" Three-Round NFL Mock Draft and 7-Round Rams Mock

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    13. St. Louis Rams: Adam Carriker, DL, Nebraska

    -The Rams really seemed to fall in love with Adam Carriker both at the combine and his pro day. There’s no question that Carriker is a physical freak and he’s proved it on and off the field. A man his size (6’6” 296 lbs) should not be running in the 4.7-4.9 range in the forty, and his 33 reps on the bench were outstanding. Carriker himself has said that the Rams like the idea of moving him inside as a three-technique tackle, but realistically St. Louis could very well play Adam just about anywhere on the defensive line. That kind of versatility makes him hard to pass up here.
    *cough* Man this guy is good!

  13. #13
    keith m. klink Guest

    Re: Nick's "Cutting It Close" Three-Round NFL Mock Draft and 7-Round Rams Mock

    well NICK , this is KLINK , THE DRAFT FOOD SWAS AWESOME , and it seemed that we are the only two that wanted and picked CARRIKER , i wanted him for the last 3-4 weeks or so . so here is to us .

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