Todd McShay's 3/12 Mock Draft
Quinn moves up to No. 2
By Todd McShay
Monday, March 12, 2007
With the combine in the rearview mirror and a number of key pro day workouts in the books, it's time for my fourth mock draft.
+ -- Underclassman
1. Oakland Raiders (2-14)
Projected pick: +JaMarcus Russell, QB, LSU
Georgia Tech WR Calvin Johnson will be tempting if a deal is made to move WR Randy Moss between now and the draft. Otherwise, the Raiders have a glaring hole at the quarterback position. While some concerns have risen regarding Russell's work ethic, owner Al Davis should still favor the strong-armed Russell over Notre Dame QB Brady Quinn.
2. Detroit (3-13)
Projected pick: Brady Quinn, QB, Notre Dame
Quinn moving up six spots in this mock has more to do with the Lions than Quinn's actual draft stock. By addressing needs at running back (Tatum Bell and T.J. Duckett), offensive tackle (George Foster) and defensive end (Dewayne White) via free agency, the Lions have the flexibility to pull the trigger on a future franchise quarterback with this pick. The Lions could also get a blockbuster trade offer for the No. 2 overall pick, which would be the best-case scenario considering their abundance of needs.
3. x-Cleveland (4-12)
Projected pick: +Adrian Peterson, RB, Oklahoma
The Browns would have a tough decision to make between Peterson and Wisconsin OT Joe Thomas in this scenario. Despite the fact the Browns signed free agent RB Jamal Lewis recently, I still think Peterson is the pick. Lewis has loads of mileage on his legs and the team only signed him to a one-year deal. The veteran back could split carries with Peterson, which would give the rookie a year to get acclimated before taking over as the full-time starter in 2008 -- much like the Corey Dillon/Laurence Maroney situation with the Patriots last season.
4. x-Tampa Bay (4-12)
Projected pick: +Calvin Johnson, WR, Georgia Tech
The Bucs have other more pressing needs but it won't be easy for general manager Bruce Allen and coach Jon Gruden to pass on the draft's most dynamic offensive weapon.
5. Arizona (5-11)
Projected pick: Joe Thomas, OT, Wisconsin
This is the best-case scenario for a Cardinals team in desperate need of an upgrade at offensive tackle. Thomas is the premier offensive line talent in the 2007 class and he's ready to start immediately.
6. Washington (5-11)
Projected pick: Gaines Adams, DE, Clemson
Adams is the perfect fit for a Redskins defense that set a team record for the fewest sacks in a season (19) in 2006. The 6-foot-5, 258-pound end ran the fastest 40 time of all the defensive linemen at the combine and also notched 29 career sacks at Clemson.
7. Minnesota (6-10)
Projected pick: +Jamaal Anderson, DE, Arkansas
The Vikings still have needs at defensive end and wide receiver even after spending high picks on those positions in recent drafts. Anderson notched 13½ sacks during a breakout junior campaign in 2006 and he also has a great frame at 6-foot-5, 288 pounds.
8. Houston (6-10)
Projected pick: Levi Brown, OT, Penn State
After Thomas, Brown is the only other surefire first-round offensive lineman in this class. If Quinn isn't available, the Texans would be wise to use this pick on an upgrade for their marginal offensive line.
9. Miami (6-10)
Projected pick: +Alan Branch, DT, Michigan
Branch would be a steal at No. 9 overall. At 6-foot-5, 323 pounds, he can play NT and/or DE in a 3-4 scheme, as well as DE in a 4-3 scheme. That type of versatility should be attractive to the Dolphins.
10. Atlanta (7-9)
Projected pick: +LaRon Landry, DS, LSU
Brown is a possibility if he slips, especially with new head coach Bobby Petrino looking to get bigger and more physical along the offensive line. However, Landry is an even higher-rated prospect at a position of equal need. A four-year starter in the SEC, Landry should be ready to start immediately in the NFL.
11. San Francisco (7-9)
Projected pick: +Ted Ginn Jr., WR, Ohio State
Ginn may never be a premier No. 1 receiver in the NFL, but he possesses elite speed to stretch the field vertically for QB Alex Smith. Ginn also is a home run threat in the return game. However, it should be noted that Ginn's draft stock is in question due to his lingering foot injury, which prevented him from working out at the combine and Ohio State's pro day.
12. Buffalo (7-9)
Projected pick: Leon Hall, CB, Michigan
The Bills are in the market for a top-shelf cornerback after losing Nate Clements in free agency. Hall's stock has fluctuated over the past few months but it's back up after answering questions regarding his speed with a 4.39 40 time at the combine. Even though he doesn't play that fast, he makes up for it with instincts, size and natural athleticism.
13. St. Louis (8-8)
Projected pick: Amobi Okoye, DT, Louisville
The Rams are looking to improve their size and toughness up front on defense. Okoye is still a bit raw but his upside is tremendous because he's only 19 years old. He is quick and powerful enough to contribute as a sub-package pass rusher early in his rookie season before hopefully emerging as an impact full-time starter in the future.
14. Carolina (8-8)
Projected pick: Patrick Willis, LB, Mississippi
Some people may view this as a bit high for Willis, but I disagree. He's without question the premier inside linebacker prospect in the 2007 class and his experience as a dominant three-year starter in the SEC makes him NFL-ready immediately. If the Panthers do not address their need for youth at ILB with this pick, other possibilities could include Miami TE Greg Olsen and Florida S Reggie Nelson.
15. Pittsburgh (8-8)
Projected pick: +Jarvis Moss, DE/OLB, Florida
Moss is a bit raw but a great athlete. Moss is fluid enough to fit as a 3-4 outside linebacker and his frame is big enough to add bulk for when the Steelers eventually move to a 4-3 defensive scheme under new head coach Mike Tomlin.
16. Green Bay (8-8)
Projected pick: +Marshawn Lynch, RB, Cal
The Packers are in desperate need of offensive playmakers. QB Brett Farve could help maximize Lynch's explosiveness and versatility if they're working in the same backfield in 2007.
17. Jacksonville (8-8)
Projected pick: Adam Carriker, DE, Nebraska
The Jaguars could use this pick on a better pure pass-rusher or on a safety like Nelson, but Carriker is the better value in this scenario. At 296 pounds, Carriker has the size, strength, quickness and technique to develop into a quality every-down starter at the next level.
18. Cincinnati (8-8)
Projected pick: +Lawrence Timmons, OLB, Florida State
Timmons didn't help his draft stock at the combine, where he was 2 inches shorter and two-tenths of a second slower in the 40 than expected. Still, Timmons is an outstanding athlete who flashed playmaking ability in his one season as a full-time starter at FSU. He also doesn't have amy character issues, which is critical for the Bengals.
19. Tennessee (8-8)
Projected pick: Dwayne Bowe, WR, LSU
QB Vince Young needs more weapons to work with on the perimeter and the Titans would be elated if Bowe slipped to them at No. 19. Bowe averaged 15.2 yards per catch with 12 TDs as a senior. At 6-foot-2, 222 pounds, Bowe also impressed with his toughness and athleticism at the Senior Bowl.
20. N.Y. Giants (8-8)
Projected pick: +Chris Houston, CB, Arkansas
The Giants have needs at a few different positions, none of which is more pressing than cornerback. Houston's draft stock is skyrocketing after his remarkable performance at the combine. Even more importantly, Houston shut down some top-flight receivers such as USC's Dwayne Jarrett, LSU's Dwayne Bowe and Tennessee's Robert Meachem as a junior in 2006.
21. Denver (9-7)
Projected pick: Anthony Spencer, DE, Purdue
The Broncos will look to exploit this year's deep crop of defensive ends by taking Spencer at No. 21 overall. Spencer exploded onto the scene with 26.5 tackles for loss as a senior.
22. Dallas (9-7)
Projected pick: +Reggie Nelson, DS, Florida
Nelson stamped his standing as the No. 2 safety in the 2007 class when he blazed a 4.35 40 at Florida's recent pro day. He isn't great against the run, but Nelson is a ball hawk center fielder who would complement SS Roy Williams extremely well.
23. Kansas City (9-7)
Projected pick: +Dwayne Jarrett, WR, USC
Jarrett's draft stock could significantly fluctuate depending on his speed at USC's pro day later this month. As it stands right now, Jarrett is one of the top four receivers in this class and he's enough of a playmaker to warrant the Chiefs' consideration at pick No. 23. Another need is offensive line, but after Thomas and Brown, there isn't an offensive tackle worth drafting in the first round. If Kansas City doesn't go with a wide receiver, it could use this pick on a cornerback.
24. New England (from Seattle)
Projected pick: Aaron Ross, CB/RS, Texas
The Patriots have transitioned college cornerbacks into NFL safeties before (see: Eugene Wilson) and Ross has the potential to make a similar move if necessary. Regardless, Ross is a tall, fast and athletic defensive back with playmaking instincts when the ball is in the air. He also is a home run threat in the return game.
25. N.Y. Jets (10-6)
Projected pick: +Greg Olsen, TE, Miami
Instead of using this pick on more pressing positions of need, the Jets could snatch the only elite talent in this year's weak crop of tight ends. Olsen would be a valuable weapon for Chad Pennington now and Kellen Clemens in the future.
26. Philadelphia (10-6)
Projected pick: +Darrelle Revis, CB/RS, Pittsburgh
The Eagles need to get younger and add depth on defense. They also could use quality youngsters at wide receiver and running back. Revis makes the most sense in this scenario because he's a versatile player with the size and athleticism to contribute immediately as a sub-package defensive back, while also competing for touches in the return game.
27. New Orleans (10-6)
Projected pick: Marcus McCauley, CB, Fresno State
If Olsen doesn't fall to the Saints at No. 27 overall they will need to find a tight end later in the draft. Cornerback then becomes the top priority in Round 1. McCauley is a fringe first-round prospect with elite skills but inconsistent technique and awareness.
28. New England (12-4)
Projected pick: Paul Posluszny, LB, Penn State
After nabbing a defensive back with their first of two first-round selections, the Patriots will be looking for top talents at linebacker and wide receiver here. Posluszny, who played inside (3-4) and outside linebacker (4-3) at Penn State, is an ideal fit because of his toughness, instincts and versatility.
29. Baltimore (13-3)
Projected pick: +Charles Johnson, DE/OLB, Georgia
After upgrading their running back situation by trading for Willis McGahee, the Ravens' biggest needs exist at outside linebacker (Adalius Thomas' departure), offensive tackle (Tony Pashos' departure) and cornerback (depth). Of those three spots, Johnson is the highest-rated prospect and he shows enough athleticism to fit as an outside linebacker in the team's 3-4 defensive scheme.
30. San Diego (14-2)
Projected pick: +Robert Meachem, WR, Tennessee
The Chargers would be thrilled if the speedy Meachem fell to them at No. 30 overall. If Meachem is off the board, South Carolina WR Sidney Rice would be a possibility. The team also could take the best available safety, linebacker or offensive guard.
31. Chicago (13-3)
Projected pick: Ben Grubbs, OG, Auburn
The Bears have bigger needs at safety, defensive tackle, tight end and wide receiver, but Grubbs is a higher-rated prospect than any player still available at those positions. The top-rated guard in this year's class, Grubbs possesses the mobility, toughness and instincts to beat out Roberto Garza at right guard in 2007.
32. Indianapolis (12-4)
Projected pick: Justin Harrell, DT, Tennessee
The Colts' biggest need will be at outside linebacker once unrestricted free agent Cato June signs elsewhere. Miami OLB Jon Beason is a possibility but he hurt his chances by running poorly at the combine. That's why Harrell makes more sense. He's the type of quick and aggressive interior player that the Colts will be looking for early in this year's draft.