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    Nick's Post-Combine Two-Round Mock Draft

    1ST ROUND
    1. Miami Dolphins: Chris Long, OLB, Virginia
    As the month of February began, there seemed to be a growing sense the Dolphins would take Long at the top if they couldn’t trade down. Then seemingly out of nowhere, draft gurus began to call for Boston College quarterback Matt Ryan to be the pick. But I think Long’s performance at the combine demonstrated he could excel as an outside linebacker in Miami’s 3-4 scheme, so if the Dolphins can’t move down, I expect Chris to be the pick.

    2. St. Louis Rams: Jake Long, OT, Michigan
    Simply put, I think Jake Long is the best combination of value and need on the board for the Rams. Left tackle Orlando Pace has missed significant time in the last two seasons, prompting fans to question how much longer he’ll play. Alex Barron is a solid tackle on the other side but may not have the attitude to ever take his game to the next level. Long is the best offensive lineman on the board, and could play immediately at guard before eventually shifting outside.

    3. Atlanta Falcons: Matt Ryan, QB, Boston College
    With the Michael Vick days behind them, the Falcons are desperate to find a new face of their franchise. With needs both in the backfield and along the offensive line, it would be tempting for them to take either Darren McFadden or Jake Long here. But McFadden has some character issues – the last thing the Falcons want – and they can likely get talent along the line later in the draft. Ryan should be a no brainer for the Falcons if available.

    4. Oakland Raiders: Sedrick Ellis, DT, USC
    Oh, the temptation to take McFadden. I doubt Al Davis is incredibly concerned about his character issues, but I don’t envision Darren being the choice here. Instead, the Raiders have a significant need at defensive tackle, especially now that Warren Sapp has called it a career. The question is do the Raiders take Ellis or Dorsey here? I think questions about Dorsey’s health combined with the Southern California connection put Ellis slightly ahead.

    5. Kansas City Chiefs: Glenn Dorsey, DT, LSU
    The Chiefs were really hoping that Jake Long would be available when they picked, but sadly he’s not. Would they be willing to reach for Ryan Clady here? Perhaps, but I’ll wait and see what Clady does at his pro day before projecting that. Ultimately the Chiefs may not consider defensive tackle a huge need, but it’s tough to pass on arguably the draft’s best player. In the meantime, I’m anxious to hear how Glenn Dorsey’s medical tests go with individual teams.

    6. New York Jets: Vernon Gholston, OLB, Ohio State
    The Jets have struggled to find pieces that fit their 3-4 scheme, and appear to be willing to part ways with linebacker Jonathan Vilma because he doesn’t fit the scheme. Ohio State standout Vernon Gholston appears to have just about everything you want from a pass rusher, and would be an excellent choice for the Jets to utilize as an outside linebacker in their 3-4 defensive system.

    ***TRADE: New England trades their first round pick (7th overall) to Dallas for their two first round picks (22nd and 28th overall)***

    7. Dallas Cowboys (f/NE): Darren McFadden, RB, Arkansas
    Jerry Jones hasn’t been entirely steadfast regarding whether the Cowboys would trade up for Darren McFadden. I’m not sure that Dallas wants to trade into the top spot, but if McFadden somehow slips this far and is available at the seven spot, I expect Jones will strike a deal with the Patriots, who are seemingly always looking to gain more picks. If Marion Barber signs an extension, Dallas could look for running back help elsewhere. But this situation would probably be too tempting for Jones to pass up.

    8. Baltimore Ravens: Ryan Clady, OT, Boise State
    Clady’s value in the first round will in large part depend on what he’s able to do during his pro day, since injury prevented him from fully participating in the combine. This selection will also depend on what Jonathan Ogden tells Baltimore about his future. If the elite left tackle chooses not to return to football in 2008, then I think the Clady pick makes a lot of sense here, especially since I’m not completely sold on a cornerback going eighth overall.

    9. Cincinnati Bengals: Rashard Mendenhall, RB, Illinois
    Don’t get me wrong – I know the Bengals have bigger needs on defense. They could certainly use some help on the defensive line and potentially at linebacker if they plan on switching to the 3-4. And while they supposedly like Derrick Harvey, I think Mendenhall is the better value here after a nice combine performance. If Marvin Lewis really does want to “blow it up” and start from scratch in Cincy, nabbing a franchise tailback is a solid start.

    10. New Orleans Saints: Leodis McKelvin, CB, Troy
    The Saints recognize they made a huge gaffe in acquiring restricted free agent Jason David last year, and know that an upgrade at corner is still necessary. They could go out and spend even more free agent money to compete for Asante Samuel’s services, but if they don’t, they’ll likely have their choice of defensive backs with this pick. At this point, I think the choice is going to be Troy’s Leodis McKelvin.

    11. Buffalo Bills: Keith Rivers, LB, USC
    Buffalo is in an interesting position. They’re desperate to add offensive weapons to help out Trent Edwards (or J.P. Losman), but I don’t think the Bills can justify picking a receiver right here. None of them have really jumped off the page and made a strong case to be a top fifteen guy. And while USC linebacker Keith Rivers didn’t completely the combine workouts because of injury, many consider him a top pick in this class. The Bills would love to have him here.

    12. Denver Broncos: Chris Williams, OT, Vanderbilt
    The Broncos would have loved to see one of the defensive tackles slip to them here, but that was a pipe dream to begin with. Kenny Phillips would be an upgrade at safety, but I’m no longer convinced Phillips carries good value at this spot. I think Denver could look to improve their offensive line with the twelfth pick, especially since they lost Matt Lepsis to retirement. Enter Chris Williams, who really has been rising up the charts recently.

    13. Carolina Panthers: Derrick Harvey, DE, Florida
    The Panthers have needs at quarterback and wide receiver, but again, I don’t see either being good value here. Offensive tackle was an option until Chris Williams was taken one pick earlier. Consider though that Carolina’s defense finished the 2007 season ranked 31st in sacks, with Julius Peppers amassing only 2.5 on the year. Translation – the Panthers need pass rush help, and should Derrick Harvey somehow be available, he’s the man to do it.

    14. Chicago Bears: Jonathan Stewart, RB, Oregon
    Is the Cedric Benson era of Chicago football finally over? It’s hard to say, but neither head coach Lovie Smith nor general manager Jerry Angelo would commit to Benson as their 2008 starting running back. Jonathan Stewart was already a top twenty prospect on my board, and proceeded to help himself at the combine with a sub-4.5 forty yard dash and 28 reps of the bench press.

    15. Detroit Lions: Mike Jenkins, CB, South Florida
    After the recent release of Fernando Bryant, the Detroit Lions currently have one cornerback under contract. They’ll likely try to add some depth in free agency – hell, they’ll have to – but I expect them to make a push for a defensive back early in the draft. I think after a stellar Senior Bowl and combine, some teams may have Dominique Rogers-Cromartie ranked higher than Mike Jenkins, but Jenkins gives the Lions experience that will help him see the field sooner.

    16. Arizona Cardinals: Phillip Merling, DE, Clemson
    I think Phillip Merling’s stock is slipping a bit, especially after a poor performance in the bench press at the combine. But there are plenty of teams that need help on the defensive line so I’m not convinced he slips all that far. Arizona seems to be running a hybrid 3-4 scheme, and I think Merling’s versatility and ability to play on the end in either the 4-3 or the 3-4 will make him a solid fit for the Cardinals here.

    17. Minnesota Vikings: Malcolm Kelly, WR, Oklahoma
    The Vikings were really hoping one of the top defensive ends would be available when they picked, but a number of them have already been taken. They could opt to go with Miami’s Calias Campbell, but if the Vikings expect Tarvaris Jackson to succeed at cornerback, they’re going to have to get him some more weapons to throw to. Malcolm Kelly’s value here will be dependent on his pro day, but for right now, I have him as a solid middle first round choice.

    18. Houston Texans: Kenny Phillips, S, Miami
    It’s very tempting to go with a cornerback here, especially with DRC still on the board. But this isn’t a strong safety class, nor does it look to be a strong free agency group when it comes to safety as well. The Texans need to improve their entire secondary, so looking at a top prospect like Miami’s Kenny Phillips could accomplish just that.

    19. Philadelphia Eagles: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, CB, Tennessee State
    Ecstatic that the Texans opted to pass on DRC, the Eagles will waste no time taking him here. He’s raw, but should have the time to learn the ins and outs of the game with Sheldon Brown and Lito Shepard starting in front of him… assuming Shephard doesn’t get traded. Regardless, DRC should become a star in the Philadelphia defense just like his cousin became one for San Diego.

    ***TRADE: Tampa Bay trades their first round pick (20th overall) to Jacksonville for their first round pick (26th overall) and third round pick (89th overall)***

    20. Jacksonville Jaguars (f/TB): Calias Campbell, DE, Miami
    Oh, those crafty Jaguars. They really are only a few pieces away from making a serious playoff run, and one of those pieces is a legitimate pass rush threat off the edge of the defensive line. But they know that Washington is in the market for a pass rusher as well, so they’ve got to make a deal that puts them ahead of the Redskins if they want to land Campbell. I don’t think Tampa will mind trading down a few spots, either.

    21. Washington Redskins: James Hardy, WR, Indiana
    Ugh, maybe this is why Dan Snyder doesn’t like draft picks – because other teams trade up in front of you and take the guy you want. No matter, the Redskins have a back-up plan, and his name is James Hardy. Some might not be crazy about the value here, but I think the Redskins really want to find a receiver that has some size to him, and Hardy showed at the combine he not only has great size but also is very athletic.

    22. New England Patriots (f/DAL): Aqib Talib, CB, Kansas
    Damn those Patriots. Just when you take away one of their first round picks for cheating, they find a way to end up with two of them anyways. By trading into the bottom of round one, the Patriots should be able to meet more of their needs, the first of which is cornerback. After reportedly having a good conversation with the Patriots at the combine, I think Talib could be the choice here and would be a nice addition to that secondary.

    23. Pittsburgh Steelers: Brandon Albert, OL, Virginia
    It’s tempting to go with the local guy Jeff Otah here, but right now I have Albert at a higher grade and I think he’d be more helpful for the Steelers. Pittsburgh is on the verge of losing Alan Faneca to free agency, and even though they slapped him with the transition tag, they could lose Max Starks as well. Brandon Albert is the top offensive guard in this class, and some even think he could slide outside and play some tackle.

    24. Tennessee Titans: Limas Sweed, WR, Texas
    I think prior to the combine, Sweed was in danger of slipping out of the first round. But the 6’3” receiver put up impressive marks in the 40-yard dash and vertical jump, and I think provided he checks out medically, he’s secured his spot in round one. More importantly, will it help Vince Young’s development as a passer to add someone he’s already familiar with, a fellow Longhorn? It certainly couldn’t hurt.

    25. Seattle Seahawks: Felix Jones, RB, Arkansas
    Jones didn’t blow scouts away with his combine workout numbers, but I still think he has the potential to be drafted in the late first round. And it just so happens the Seahawks are in need of a running back that they can pencil in as a future starter once Shaun Alexander calls it a career. Some think the Seahawks might nudge Alexander a bit by forcing him out the door; either way, Jones could be a solid pick here.

    26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (f/JAX): DeSean Jackson, WR, California
    The Buccaneers are looking for a dynamic threat on offense, and even after trading down six spots, they should still be able to find it. They’ve seen what the undersized Steve Smith can do, since his Carolina Panthers play in the NFC South as well. And the Bucs have had success with a somewhat small but quick receiver in Joey Galloway. Thus, I don’t think Jackson’s size or lack there of will scare Jon Gruden away.

    27. San Diego Chargers: Jeff Otah, OT, Pittsburgh
    The Chargers are in an interesting position in that I think they could really go a number of ways with this pick. They could always look to improve their secondary, or may want to beef up their front seven. Receiver is certainly an option as well. But I think San Diego will see the value of a guy like Jeff Otah, who could fill a fairly large need for them on the right side of their offensive line.

    28. New England Patriots (f/DAL): Quentin Groves, OLB, Auburn
    The second of two first round picks from the Patriots will be spent on a linebacker, an area that was in need even before New England missed out on Zach Thomas and cut Roosevelt Colvin. The Patriots probably don’t put a whole lot of stock in combine numbers, but they had to be impressed when Auburn’s Quentin Groves ran a sub-4.6 40-yard dash. He’d look awfully good rushing the passer off the edge in their 3-4 defense.

    29. San Francisco ***** (f/IND): Devin Thomas, WR, Michigan State
    You can tell Mike Martz’s influence is felt in San Francisco as they elect to take… a wide receiver! Nevermind that Martz never took a receiver in the first round when he was the head coach in St. Louis, but the fact of the matter is that San Francisco needs an upgrade in this department. Michigan State’s Devin Thomas burst onto the scene in 2007 as a senior and has been very impressive in post-season events.

    30. Green Bay Packers: Brandon Flowers, CB, Virginia Tech
    Al Harris turns 34 this season, and Charles Woodson will be turning 32. Unless the Packers feel comfortable with Will Blackmon and Jarrett Bush as the future of their secondary, they’d be wise to at some point invest in a cornerback of the future. Flowers should be able to contribute immediately as a nickel cornerback before working his way into the starting line-up when age has finally caught up with Green Bay’s starting duo.

    31. New England Patriots: Forfeited
    Pffft, f'n cheaters…

    32. New York Giants: Reggie Smith, DB, Oklahoma
    I really wanted to go with Penn State linebacker Dan Connor here, but I think with the impending loss of Gibril Wilson to free agency, the Giants have bigger fish to fry. Reggie Smith offers New York the versatility of either playing at cornerback or playing as a safety. The Giants could really use help in either spot, so this would be a solid way to improve their secondary as a whole.



    2ND ROUND
    33. Miami Dolphins: Sam Baker, OT, USC
    The Dolphins cut four offensive linemen in February, so Miami is going to need to add some bodies from both free agency and the draft.

    34. St. Louis Rams: Lawrence Jackson, DE, USC
    Jackson has all the tools to succeed but hasn’t been as consistent as you’d like. He could help situationally on the line as he works to improve his game.

    ***TRADE: Oakland trades their second round pick (35th overall) to New Orleans for their second round pick (41st overall) and fourth round pick***

    35. New Orleans Saints (f/OAK): Dan Connor, LB, Penn State
    Oakland won’t mind moving down, and with Connor on the board, the linebacker-hungry Saints get a guy who should immediately help their defense.

    36. Kansas City Chiefs (f/NO): Gosder Cherilus, OT, Boston College
    Boston College is known for pumping out quality offensive linemen; Cherilus could step in immediately on the right side of the Chiefs line.

    37. New York Jets: Kentwan Balmer, DL, North Carolina
    The Jets added a stud outside linebacker in the first round, but they still have work to do on their 3-4 defense. Balmer’s unimpressive combine might cause him to slip here.

    38. Atlanta Falcons: Curtis Lofton, LB, Oklahoma
    The Falcons would like to move Keith Brooking back outside, but in order to do so, they’ll need to spend a pick on a replacement. Lofton should excel for them in the middle.

    39. Baltimore Ravens: Tracy Porter, CB, Indiana
    Baltimore thought about taking a cornerback in the first round but didn’t like the value; they’ll be rewarded here with Porter, who is great value at this point in the draft.

    40. San Francisco *****: Cliff Avril, OLB, Purdue
    Purdue seems to specialize in pass rushers, and Avril is no exception. Coincidentally, a pass rusher is exactly what the ***** need in their 3-4 defensive scheme.

    41. Oakland Raiders (f/NO): Early Doucet, WR, LSU
    The Raiders are losing Jerry Porter to free agency, and what better receiver to bring in to help JaMarcus Russell than a fellow Tiger?

    42. Buffalo Bills: Fred Davis, TE, USC
    Finding someone to start opposite Lee Evans may be a bigger priority, but adding a quality tight end in Davis will help Buffalo’s offense as well.

    43. Denver Broncos: Josh Barrett, S, Arizona
    After running a 4.35 40-yard dash at the combine, the 223-pound Barrett is on the rise. Denver is in need of safety help, so expect them to pounce on him here.

    44. Carolina Panthers: Brian Brohm, QB, Louisville
    I think this would be a good spot for the Panthers to take a running back to compliment DeAngelo Williams, but Brohm is too good of value to ignore.

    45. Chicago Bears: Carl Nicks, OL, Nebraska
    The Bears didn’t find offensive line help in round one and elected to draft a running back. They’ll come back in round two and solidify the trenches.

    ***TRADE: Detroit trades its second round pick (46th overall) to New York for its fourth round pick and linebacker Jonathan Vilma***

    46. New York Jets (f/DET): Andre Caldwell, WR, Florida
    This trade values Vilma in the late second round, which is probably what he would warrant in a straight up deal. After spending two picks on defense, the Jets grab a receiver.

    47. Cincinnati Bengals: Pat Sims, DT, Auburn
    Are the Bengals going with a 4-3 or 3-4? I’m not even sure they know at this point, but I’d like to think that Pat Sims gives them enough versatility to do either.

    48. Minnesota Vikings: Chris Ellis, DE, Virginia Tech
    Might be a little early for Ellis, but the Vikings are a team in desperate need of a pass rush and can’t afford to wait much longer.

    49. Atlanta Falcons (f/HOU): Anthony Collins, OT, Kansas
    If the Falcons expect Matt Ryan to do anything in Atlanta, they’re going to have to find some offensive linemen to protect him.

    50. Philadelphia Eagles: Mario Manningham, WR, Michigan
    Can Mario Maningham be a legitimate starting receiver in the NFL? He still has a lot of questions to answer, but could find success in Philadelphia.

    51. Arizona Cardinals: Chris Johnson, RB, East Carolina
    After trying to secure the future of their offense by signing Larry Fitzgerald long-term, the Cardinals could continue to help their offense by drafting a future starting running back here.

    52. Washington Redskins: Jason Jones, DE, Eastern Michigan
    The Redskins missed out on improving their line in the first round, so I would look for them to come back in the second with their defense in mind.

    53. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Antoine Cason, CB, Arizona
    With Brian Kelly opting to test the free agent market, the Buccaneers would be thrilled to get a cornerback of Cason’s caliber in the second round.

    54. Pittsburgh Steelers: Trevor Laws, DL, Notre Dame
    Laws could contribute as a defensive end in the current 3-4 scheme, but could also help Pittsburgh transition to the 4-3 with versatility to play as a three-technique tackle.

    55. Tennessee Titans: Martellus Bennett, TE, Texas A&M
    The Titans would like to add a pass rusher here, but I don’t like the value on the board. Instead, they opt to give Vince Young another weapon.

    56. Seattle Seahawks: Dustin Keller, TE, Purdue
    No one was surprised that Marcus Pollard ended up being a free agent bust for Seattle; expect them to address the tight end position early in the draft.

    57. Cleveland Browns: Red Bryant, DT, Texas A&M
    Oh my god, Cleveland is on the clock! Ted Washington could be leaving in free agency, meaning the Browns have to find a capable 3-4 nose tackle.

    58. Miami Dolphins (f/SD): Joe Flacco, QB, Delaware
    John Beck may be enough to allow the Dolphins to pass on a quarterback in round one, but they should come back in the second and find some competition for the job.

    59. Jacksonville Jaguars: Patrick Lee, CB, Auburn
    Has Brian Williams lived up to his free agent contract? Lee might need some time to develop but could eventually challenge for a starting spot.

    60. Indianapolis Colts: Jerod Mayo, LB, Tennessee
    The Colts could go a number of ways here, but I think upgrade their linebackers with the addition of Mayo would be a solid option.

    61. Green Bay Packers: Erin Henderson, LB, Maryland
    If Henderson checks out medically, he could be a contender for the Packers in the second round to compete with Brady Poppinga for the starting strong-side linebacker job.

    62. Dallas Cowboys: Eddie Royal, WR, Virginia Tech
    With Terrell Owens and Terry Glenn aging, the Cowboys need to find a young receiver to partner up with Patrick Crayton for the future.

    63. New England Patriots: Chilo Rachal, OG, USC
    After getting crushed by a relentless Giants pass rush in the Super Bowl, I’m sure Tom Brady will appreciate some help along the offensive line.

    64. New York Giants: Xavier Adibi, LB, Virginia Tech
    Adibi might not be the biggest of prospects, but he projects to the outside in the pros and could compete for Kawika Mitchell’s spot if he leaves in free agency.
    Last edited by Nick; -02-27-2008 at 07:09 AM.


  2. #2
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    Re: Nick's Post-Combine Two-Round Mock Draft

    You, tease, you!

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    Re: Nick's Post-Combine Two-Round Mock Draft

    Hey, you've gotta build up the hype somehow!

    First round is almost done, will be starting on the second round soon.

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    Re: Nick's Post-Combine Two-Round Mock Draft

    Alright, the full two-rounder is up. This is also the first time I've projected trades into my mock. Normally I'm not a huge fan, but I thought I'd spice it up this time. Tried to keep it realistic though. Enjoy!
    Last edited by Nick; -02-27-2008 at 05:16 AM.

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    Re: Nick's Post-Combine Two-Round Mock Draft

    This mock is a little trade happy for my tastes, and I am not sure how good Tavaris Jackson will be at cornerback. But aside from that, it seems very logical to me.

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    Re: Nick's Post-Combine Two-Round Mock Draft

    Is the Rams second pick a bit of a reach there Nick? I don't recall hearing much about the guy, but I'm not as obsessive as you. Any details you could provide would be appreciated.

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    Re: Nick's Post-Combine Two-Round Mock Draft

    Quote Originally Posted by cfh128 View Post
    This mock is a little trade happy for my tastes,
    But so is the REAL draft. Picks get swapped a whole lot easier than players.

    Looks good Nick. I know JL isn't the "sexy" pick, but he looks like a pro for some time to come. Where I disagree is that I believe he beats Barron in camp.
    "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

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    Re: Nick's Post-Combine Two-Round Mock Draft

    Jake Long is certainly not whom I'd want, but if he keeps the skill players healthy, I won't be able to complain!

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    Re: Nick's Post-Combine Two-Round Mock Draft

    Nick, I'm telling you. Jerry Jones comes on AM 1300 the Zone just about every Wednesday and he isn't hiding the fact one bit that he wants McFadden. Said today that after his 40 time at the combine, he would definately go to the top of the draft.

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    Re: Nick's Post-Combine Two-Round Mock Draft

    Interesting that you still have Calais Campbell as a Top 20 pick given his train-wreck performance at the Combine. I suspect he'll get in better shape and improve his #s when UM has its individual workout, but I would think that many teams would simply view that as an indication that he's a guy who is not interesting in staying in shape.

    Your buddy Scott Wright has the Rams taking Campbell in the 2nd round. I'm not sure I like that pick any more.

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    Re: Nick's Post-Combine Two-Round Mock Draft

    Limas Sweed to the Titans would be a sweet pick for them

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    Re: Nick's Post-Combine Two-Round Mock Draft

    Quote Originally Posted by cfh128 View Post
    I am not sure how good Tavaris Jackson will be at cornerback.
    You mean quarterback?

    Quote Originally Posted by chiguy View Post
    Is the Rams second pick a bit of a reach there Nick?
    I have him as an early to mid second round pick, so I think he's okay there. On the flip side, the Rams could go WR there and then return to DE later, but I think there's a question as to who they take in the third.

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    Interesting that you still have Calais Campbell as a Top 20 pick given his train-wreck performance at the Combine.
    Yeah, I was on the fence about what to do with Campbell. He was not impressive at the combine and didn't have the senior season many hoped for. He needs to improve with his performance at his pro day if he wants to stay in the first round. I'm personally not a huge fan at this point, but I'm hearing that the Redskins really like him and I know a Jags fan that's crazy about him, so that's where the trade idea came from.

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    Re: Nick's Post-Combine Two-Round Mock Draft

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    You mean quarterback?
    I mean cornerback. Did YOU mean quarterback?

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    Re: Nick's Post-Combine Two-Round Mock Draft

    Quote Originally Posted by cfh128 View Post
    I mean cornerback. Did YOU mean quarterback?
    Yes, yes I did...

    ...pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

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    Re: Nick's Post-Combine Two-Round Mock Draft

    In your last mock you had Gholston going #1 overall to Miami. My question is, if he was good enough to go #1 then, why would the Rams not be interested in him at #2?

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