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Nick's First Quarter of the Season First-Round Mock Draft
Based on standings after Week Five in the NFL, here is my latest projection on how the first round might shape up...
* = underclassman
1. Lions - Brady Quinn, QB, Notre Dame
-At the top of the board, barring a trade, there's not much else the Lions can really do. Believe it or not, Calvin Johnson is actually an option here but Lions fans would likely revolt if they draft another WR. It will certainly be interesting to see what Mike Martz can do with an elite signal caller.
2. Titans - Calvin Johnson*, WR, Georgia Tech
-It's no secret that the Titans need help at the wide receiver position. David Givens has not made an impact as a free agent, and thus far through the season, two tight ends rank as the top four receivers for this team. They've drafted Vince Young, and now will give him an elite receiver as a go-to guy.
3. Buccaneers - Joe Thomas, OT, Wisconsin
-The Bucs have been one of the surprises thus far this season. I don't think anyone could have predicted an 0-4 start. The defense has really not looked up to their standards, but Tampa Bay would be hard pressed to pass up a great run blocking tackle prospect this early in the draft.
4. Raiders - Adrian Peterson*, RB, Oklahoma
-Well, with Joe Thomas and Brady Quinn off the table, the Raiders are in a bit of a jam. I don't think the decision here is that hard at all, though. LaMont Jordan has been decent in silver and black, but Adrian Peterson is a guy who can just make things happen and will be a more dangerous option in that backfield.
5. Dolphins - Quentin Moses, DE/OLB, Georgia
-There's talk that the Dolphins would like to transition to the 3-4 defense sometime in the future. They've hinted at it by standing Jason Taylor up at times. If that's the case, an end prospect like Moses makes a lot of sense because of his ability to play both positions.
6. Packers - Ted Ginn Jr*, WR, Ohio State
-Ginn may be losing out in the Heisman race to fellow teammate Troy Smith, but he'll be the winner come April. Teddy makes his speed look so effortless as he crosses the field and burns many a cornerback on the deep route. He should combined with Greg Jennings for a nice young combo for Aaron Rodgers.
7. Browns - Leon Hall, CB, Michigan
-Former Ravens safety Gary Baxter has had trouble staying healthy, and when your tight end is bragging about a guy named Leigh Bodden, then you know it's time to upgrade your secondary. I'm not convinced Hall will be drafted this high in April, but he certainly has as good a chance as any other corner IMO.
8. Cardinals - LaRon Landry, S, LSU
-This is a dream come true pick for the Cardinals. They already have an underrated safety on the strong side in Adrian Wilson. Now they add the missing piece by drafting the best free safety prospect in this class in LaRon Landry. This duo will be reeking havok on NFC West receivers for years to come.
9. Texans - Paul Posluszny, OLB, Penn State
-Poz has seen his stock drop in recent weeks simply because there are concerns about how well he's really coming back from that leg injury last year. That being said, there's a lot of football left to play, and I'm not convinced he takes a bigger drop at this point.
10. Steelers - Gaines Adams, DE/OLB, Clemson
-Another defensive end/3-4 linebacker prospect that the Steelers will be happy to pick up right here. Joey Porter has not been as dominant this season as he usually is, and it could very well be time to go back to the well and strengthen a part of the team that has been great for years.
11. Redskins - Marcus McCauley, CB, Fresno State
-The Redskins just spent a high first round pick on a cornerback in Carlos Rogers, but they are in desperate need of a second man at that position. Behind Rogers and Springs there is virtually nothing. Mike Rumph and Kenny Wright do not exactly provide the best depth in the world.
12. ***** - Dwayne Jarrett*, WR, USC
-The ***** added an offensive weapon for Alex Smith last year in Vernon Davis. And while Antonio Bryant has been impressive thus far this season, more weapons are needed, especially after the ***** traded away Brandon Lloyd, arguably their best young receiver.
13. Bills - Sam Baker*, OT, USC
Buffalo has been in need of a strong left tackle to replace Jonas Jennings, and while they've tried to make due with Mike Gandy, he's just not getting the job done. Baker is an elite left tackle prospect who, should he come out this year, would get serious consideration from the Bills.
14. Jets - Marshawn Lynch*, RB, California
The Jets would like to add more components to their new 3-4 defensive scheme, so if LaMarr Woodley rises up draft boards, he'll get a look here. But Marshawn Lynch is a special running back who is both a strong inside runner as well as an effective outside guy, and the Jets are in need of Curtis Martin's replacement.
15. Chiefs - Sidney Rice*, WR, South Carolina
-Make no mistake about it. If Sidney Rice declares for April's draft, it's because he's going to get strong first round looks. He's a talented receiver out of South Carolina who combines good size and speed, and would be a welcomed addition to a Chiefs team that's been in need of a WR for years now.
16. Giants - Frank Okam*, DT, Texas
-Can we finally call Willian Joseph a bust? The Giants have had trouble finding good defensive tackles, and when they finally do, it seems they pack up and head somewhere else (Kendrick Clancy). Okam is a special player who has amazing size and can single handedly stuff a team's inside run.
17. Cowboys - Drew Stanton, QB, Michigan State
-Drew Bledsoe is arguably the worst starting quarterback in the NFL. Why? He'll have some good games now and then, but when you need a guy to lead you to victory, Bledsoe crumbles like a stale potato chip. It's time to find the future, especially since Drew Henson turned out to be a waste.
18. Jaguars - Victor Abiamiri, DE, Notre Dame
-Abiamiri's stock is on the rise even though he's had some problems with consistency this season. But there's no doubting this guy's talent. He can beat you with the bull rush but can also stunt inside and get to the quarterback. He may not be explosive, but he'll definitely be productive.
19. Panthers - Patrick Willis, LB, Mississippi
-Dan Morgan once again cannot get over injuries. This time, he's out for the season with a concussion. Adam Seward has been filling in but is not playing well. Enter Patrick Willis, arguably the best ILB prospect in this class and potentially a top 15 pick.
20. Vikings - Justin Blalock, G/T, Texas
-Minnesota has been struggling to find a guy to man the right tackle position. Marcus Johnson has been working there, but he's needed blocking support against some of the tougher competition he's faced. Blalock could project as either a guard or a tackle, but should be a road grader for Chester Taylor in the NFC North.
21. Broncos - Quinn Pitcock, DT, Ohio State
-You can tell a team is in need of good defensive tackle depth when they shift a 250-lbs college defensive end inside to the tackle position. It's only a matter of time before this position needs addressed, and Pitcock looks to be one of the best senior tackles in this class.
22. Falcons - Brandon Meriweather, S, Miami
-Atlanta already has a strong young secondary. DeAngelo Hall is one of the best corners in the game and Jimmy Williams should develop into a good player for them. But they need someone to groom as a replacement for Lawyer Milloy, and Brandon Meriweather could very well be the guy.
23. Bengals - Adam Carriker, DE, Nebraska
-Tied for 16th in the league with ten sacks through four games, the Bengals might give off the aura of being okay at defensive end. But Justin Smith and Robert Geathers alone have accounted for eight of those sacks, and both are in contract years. Carriker is a big bodied end who can hold up equally well against the run-heavy AFC North.
24. Patriots (f/SEA) - LaMarr Woodley, DE/OLB, Michigan
-Like the Steelers, the New England Patriots have been strong at the linebacker position for quite some time. But injuries, age, and free agency have caught up with them. Some argue that Woodley could play down as an end, but he'd be dangerous as a pass rusher in the Pats' 3-4 scheme.
25. Chargers - Jason Hill, WR, Washington State
-With young Phillip Rivers at the helm, the Chargers offense is picking up where it left off with Drew Brees. But with an aging Keenan McCardell starting at one wide receiver spot and questionable depth overall, the Chargers would benefit from taking a touchdown machine like Jason Hill.
26. Ravens - Levi Brown, OT, Penn State
-One of the reasons running back Jamal Lewis has not been able to return to his near record-breaking form of 2003 is because of weaknesses on the Baltimore Ravens offensive line. One of the biggest weaknesses is at right tackle. A huge prospect with great strength, Levi Brown should be able to lock that side down.
27. Eagles - Kenny Irons, RB, Auburn
-Through five games, Brian Westbrook has struggled with injuries and has only amounted to an average of 11 carries per game. Behind him is Correll Buckhalter, Ryan Moats, and Reno Mahe - hardly an impressive unit. Irons gives Philadelphia another legitimate weapon in the backfield.
28. Saints - H.B. Blades, LB, Pittsburgh
-New Orleans just missed out on DJ Williams in 2004, passed on Derrick Johnson in 2005, and went talent over need by taking Reggie Bush over AJ Hawk in 2006. Blades isn't an elite prospect, but he's a tackling machine that would be a nice fit on the Saints defense.
29. Patriots - Jeff Samardzija, WR, Notre Dame
-Let's face it, no one blames the Patriots for trading away Deion Branch. He had yet to establish himself as a top receiver, and you can't turn down a first round pick. But now it's time to find some receiving help, and where better to look than Charlie Weis' backyard?
30. Rams - Josh Beekman, OG, Boston College
-Beekman, arguably the top guard in this class, will not make it by St. Louis here. A smart guard who is rarely out of position, Beekman not only displays great lower body strength which will help create interior holes for Steven Jackson but also has the quick footwork to be effective as a pass blocker.
31. Colts - Michael Griffin, S, Texas
-A great steal for the Colts if he's available here, Griffin is a leader on the field who is known for being a hard hitter. He recorded 92 tackles last season, leading the Texas Longhorns from the free safety position. Aggressive in both pass coverage and against the run, Griffin woudl fit well in Tony Dungy's defense.
32. Bears - Zach Miller*, TE, Arizona State
-Through five games, Desmond Clark's numbers are already as impressive as they have been through 16 games the last two years. But he turns 30 next spring, and the Bears need youth at the tight end position. Enter junior Zach Miller, a complete package at tight end who should be a household name among draftniks.
Re: Nick's First Quarter of the Season First-Round Mock Draft
This is what I love about you, Nick. My kids halloween costumes aren't even finished yet, and you've already published a mock. I don't care who gives you a hard time with talk of "wait for the offseason", it's never too early to look at April. Don't ever change.30. Rams - Josh Beekman, OG, Boston College
The only question I have, is McCauley at #11. I think he's gone by then, and (maybe I'm overstating a little) even the first DB off the board.
Last edited by HUbison; -10-13-2006 at 11:29 AM."Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod
Re: Nick's First Quarter of the Season First-Round Mock Draft
Re: Nick's First Quarter of the Season First-Round Mock Draft
Cool, Nick. Man I want Justin Blalock to fall.
Couple of queries though.
Adrian Peterson to the Raiders, I can see is BPA, and as you said it's a Jam for the Bay Area Natives,but I just can't see it happening with all the money they've invested in Jordan. They could be after a QB, DE, LB, or even a reciever after Jerry Porter's suspension at this stage. My money is on a trade back a little with a team who wants a shot a Peterson to put the Raiders in position to grab a Paul Posluszny or a Gaines Adams.
It's hard to see Buffalo pass on Stanton if JP Losman can't get it together. I'm not a huge JP fan, but to his credit he has improved. I don't know how long the Bills want to wait. Stanton is a perfect fit for the Boys' though.
I like our pick, BPA, Fills a need, Bang on with that one.
Again, put it down to bias, but Michael Griffin, is a more proven, and better tested player than Brandon Merriweather. Look for him to go about 10 picks earlier, IMO. Also, where does Griffin start on the Colts? They have a strong, youthful duo in Mike Doss (Admittedly he isn't fantastic and oft-injured), but he's solid, and Bob Sanders is in the upper echelon of safeties in the league.
What do you think?