Nick's Start of the Season First-Round NFL Mock Draft
Alright guys, it's the start of both the NFL and college football seasons! In celebration of that, I thought I would put out a very early, very subject-to-change first round mock draft for the NFL! Not only will this give fans an idea of where some teams may be looking but it should also provide some names to keep an eye out during this season. Some underclassmen expected to declare were included, and the draft order was based on ESPN's first power rankings of the season. Enjoy!
Nick's Start of the Season First-Round NFL Mock Draft
* = underclassman
1. 49'ers - Calvin Johnson*, WR, GA Tech
-San Fransisco needs a legit receiving target for QB Alex Smith if they expect him to succeed in the league, and Johnson reminds some scouts of Terrell Owens... minus the attitude.
2. Jets - Adrian Peterson*, RB, Oklahoma
-Many Jets fans were salivating at the possibility of drafting Reggie Bush last year. With Curtis Martin on his last legs, a new talent in the backfield is needed.
3. Texans - Brady Quinn, QB, Notre Dame
-The David Carr experiment is over. Quinn is the best signal caller in the country and could be the first overall pick in the draft if the standings turn out differently.
4. Titans - Joe Thomas, OT, Wisconsin
-You don't pass up on a talent like Joe Thomas simply because you have Michael Roos. Thomas could have given D'Brickashaw Ferguson a run in last season's draft.
5. Bills - Quentin Moses, DE, Georgia
-Buffalo's defense can return to an elite level by adding an elite pass rusher on that line. Moses is arguably the best defensive end in the nation and would be a nice fit for the Bills.
6. Saints - Paul Posluszny, OLB, Penn State
-The Saints passed on Derrick Johnson in 2005 and passed on AJ Hawk in 2006. Their linebacking corps is pathetic, so I'd be shocked if they pass on Paul Posluszny in 2007.
7. Packers - Dwayne Jarrett*, WR, USC
-See ***** description. If Aaron Rogers is going to succeed in Green Bay, which is a very big if at this point, he's going to need more than Donald Driver to throw to.
8. Raiders - Gaines Adams, DE, Clemson
-After trading Bobby Hamilton to the Jets, the Raiders really don't have much in terms of defensive end talent opposite of Derrick Burgess. Adams would certainly change that.
9. Lions - Drew Stanton, QB, Michigan State
-The Lions could have taken Matt Leinart or Jay Cutler last year, but decided that Jon Kitna and Josh McCown would be good enough. A year later, they'll realize their mistake.
10. Browns - Sam Baker*, OT, USC
-I'm not convinced Baker declares early, but if he does he'll be a top prospect that will flash brightly on Cleveland's radar, considering their desire to add an elite tackle.
11. Rams - LaRon Landry, S, LSU
-OJ Atogwe enters the 2006 season as a big question mark, and there's no question that a defensive secondary featuring Landry and cornerback Tye Hill could be dangerous for years.
12. Cardinals - Patrick Willis, LB, Mississippi
-With Karlos Dansby's health up in the air and the other linebacker starters hardly impressive, the Cardinals could use a playmaker like Willis to help elevate this defense.
13. Falcons - Brandon Meriweather, S, Miami
-Imagine a secondary that features DeAngelo Hall, Jimmy Williams, Lawyer Milloy, and after this pick, Brandon Meriweather. Now imagine trying to pass against them.
14. Vikings - Frank Okam*, DT, Texas
-How much longer is Sam Williams going to play? Okam is an oustanding junior tackle prospect with the size to really clog the run as well as the awareness to stand up and bat down passes.
15. Eagles - Leon Hall, CB, Michigan
-Maybe a bit early for Hall, though some suggest he'll rise with a solid senior campaign. Either way, the Eagles need to secure the future of the cornerback position.
16. Chargers - Ted Ginn Jr*, WR, Ohio State
-San Diego ranked as one of the worst teams in the league in punt return average, and a lackluster group of receivers makes Ginn an intriguing choice for the Chargers.
17. Ravens - Levi Brown, OT, Penn State
It would be hard for a team like the Ravens, currently starting Tony Pashos at offensive tackle with Adam Terry backing up both ends of the line, to pass on a big talent like Brown.
18. Buccaneers - Quinn Pitcock, DT, Ohio State
-Pitcock may not be a well known name now, but he's an athletic blue collar tackle that will be well known in April and a nice fit in Tampa's scheme.
19. Chiefs - Justin Blalock, T/G, Texas
-With Willie Roaf out the door and Will Shields close behind, one of the best lines in the league now has significant holes to fill. Blalock's versatility makes him a great pick for them.
20. Bears - Greg Olson*, TE, Miami
-Perhaps the best tight end in college football, Olson would be an easy pick for a Chicago team that had a chance to draft every tight end not named Davis and passed on each one.
21. Jaguars - Michael Griffin, S, Texas
-Donovan Darius is a high quality safety in this league, but he's 31-years-old and is coming off a season-ending knee injury. There's really not much depth at safety, making Griffin a quality choice.
22. Giants - Marcus McCauley, CB, Fresno State
-The Giants saw a large turnaround at corner this offseason, but still need to find a young player to start next to Corey Webster for the near future.
23. Redskins - Tim Crowder, DE, Texas
-Washington attempted to improve their defensive line by signing Andre Carter, and could continue to do so by spending a first round pick on Texas end Crowder.
24. Bengals - Zach Miller*, TE, Arizona State
-The final missing piece of this amazing offense is a playmaker at the tight end position. Should Miller come out early, he'll be one of the most complete TE prospects in this draft.
25. Dolphins - H.B. Blades, LB, Pittsburgh
-Blades doesn't have the kind of height you look for in a middle linebacker, but neither does Zach Thomas, so this shouldn't be a hang-up for the Dolphins.
26. Cowboys - Jeff Samardzija, WR, Notre Dame
-Even if the TO experiment succeeds, he's a short term answer, and Terry Glenn isn't getting any younger. The Cowboys need to bring in a young receiver to develop for the future.
27. Patriots - LaMarr Woodley, DE/OLB, Michigan
-The Patriots shocked a number of teams in the 2005 draft by selecting offensive players through the first five rounds. Now, with questions at linebacker, they'll give Woodley a hard look.
28. Panthers - Aaron Rouse, SS, Virginia Tech
-Both strong safeties Shaun Williams and Colin Branch are working on one year deals, and both have had injury problems. Rouse is a fast riser on many boards.
29. Broncos - Kenny Irons, RB, Auburn
-Every year we hear how the Broncos don't draft a runner in the first round. While that may be true, I think Irons is too good to pass up here.
30. Colts - Tom Zbikowski, SS, Notre Dame
-Bob Sanders has really been a diamond for the Colts secondary, but Mike Doss is struggling with injury. Zbikowski is a hard nosed player that can also serve as a return man.
31. Steelers - Adam Carriker, DE, Nebraska
-Many think the loss of Kimo von Oelhoffen will have an effect on Pittsburgh's defense, but grabbing a big underrated defender like Carriker would be a step in the right direction.
32. Seahawks - Kyle Young, C, Fresno State
-Despite having just drafted Chris Spencer two years ago, the Seahawks could shift him to guard and reopen their hole at center. Young is the best prospect at the middle of the line.
Re: Nick's Start of the Season First-Round NFL Mock Draft
11 seems about right from the team's current standpoint. But, picking 11th indicates that the progress we've made under a new regieme may be irreverent. What will a stagnant draft pick in comparison with last year do for team morale, and fan suppot? However, I like the pick for the Rams, and the overall draft is good. How typical is it that ESPN has the Hawks winning. Pfft.