Mock Draft Feb 15th: Todd McShay, ESPN.comPosted: February 15, 2007
1. Oakland Raiders (2-14)
Projected pick: +JaMarcus Russell, QB, LSU
Notre Dame QB Brady Quinn, Georgia Tech WR Calvin Johnson and Wisconsin OT Joe Thomas are also possibilities, but Raiders owner Al Davis could fall in love with Russell’s size and arm.
Projected pick: Joe Thomas, OT, Wisconsin
It might not be the sexy pick, but sexy picks haven’t gotten GM Matt Millen and the Lions very far. Offensive tackle is the team’s most glaring weakness, and Thomas is the only elite offensive lineman in this year’s draft.
Projected pick: +Adrian Peterson, RB, Oklahoma
If Thomas is off the board, the Browns will be faced with a tough decision between Peterson, Quinn and Michigan DT Alan Branch. The team might not want to invest more money in another young quarterback, and Branch is a bit of a reach at No. 3 overall, so Peterson makes the most sense at this point. Quite honestly, spending this high a pick on a back with durability questions makes me nervous.
Projected pick: +Calvin Johnson, WR, Georgia Tech
The Bucs have other more pressing needs, but it won’t be easy for GM Bruce Allen and coach Jon Gruden to pass on the draft’s most dynamic offensive weapon.
Projected pick: Gaines Adams, DE, Clemson
As usual, the Cardinals are prime candidates to trade down. Otherwise, they should use their pick on the best available defensive playmaker. Adams, Branch and Jamaal Anderson could all be considered.
Projected pick: +Jamaal Anderson, DE, Arkansas
Branch might also be considered, but Anderson is a no-brainer for a Redskins defense that set a team record for fewest sacks in a season (19) in 2006. Anderson is the complete package physically, and registered 13.5 sacks as a junior in 2006.
Projected pick: +Ted Ginn Jr., WR/RS, Ohio State
Quinn and Branch would be better values. Unfortunately, the Vikings’ biggest draft priority is to find an upgrade at wide receiver, despite using the No. 7 overall pick on Troy Williamson two years ago. Ginn’s world-class speed as a receiver and return specialist will be attractive to coach Brad Childress and his staff.
Projected pick: Brady Quinn, QB, Notre Dame
Quinn is the toughest prospect to place on the board right now. He could still be the top overall pick to the Raiders, but it’s also feasible he could slip all the way to the Panthers at pick No. 14. David Carr, the 2002 top pick, has clearly fallen out of favor with the Texans, so they would find it tough to pass on Quinn if he’s available here.
9. Miami (6-10)
Projected pick: +Alan Branch, DT, Michigan
Branch would be a steal at No. 9 overall. At 6-foot-5, 330 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
Penn State OT Levi Brown is a possibility, especially with new head coach Bobby Petrino looking to get bigger and more physical along the offensive line. However, Landry is rated higher and plays a position of equal need. A four-year starter in the SEC, Landry should be ready to start immediately in the NFL.
Projected pick: +Dwayne Jarrett, WR, USC
Jarrett is admittedly a reach at No. 11, but there’s a drop-off in overall talent after the top 10 prospects. Jarrett is a proven playmaker with extraordinary hand-eye coordination. He needs to run well to sneak into the top 15. Jarrett would be a fine young weapon for QB Alex Smith.
12. Buffalo (7-9)
Projected pick:: Leon Hall, CB, Michigan
The Bills will be in the market for a top-shelf cornerback if they lose free agent Nate Clements. Hall’s stock is dropping because he lacks elite speed, but he makes up for it with instincts, size and athleticism.
13. St. Louis (8-8)
Projected pick: Amobi Okoye, DT, Louisville
The Rams are looking to improve their size and toughness up front defensively. Okoye is still a bit raw, but his upside is tremendous because he’s only 19 years old. Okoye is quick and powerful enough to contribute as a sub-package pass-rusher early in his career, before hopefully emerging as a full-time starter in the future.
14. Carolina (8-8)
Projected pick: Levi Brown, OT, Penn State
Florida DS Reggie Nelson is also a possibility, but the Panthers have spent a first- or second-round pick on a defensive back in each of the past three drafts. Brown makes more sense, as he could help solidify an offensive line that was shuffled due to injuries in 2006. If Brown emerges as the starting left tackle, Travelle Wharton could move back inside to his more natural guard position.
15. Pittsburgh (8-8)
Projected pick: +Lawrence Timmons, OLB, Florida State
Timmons’ stock will soar if his combine workout matches the hype. The Steelers may be facing a scheme change defensively under new head coach Mike Tomlin, so Timmons’ versatility and rare physical tools could help ease that transition.
16. Green Bay (8-8)
Projected pick: +Marshawn Lynch, RB, Cal
Brett Favre could help maximize Lynch’s explosiveness and versatility if they’re working in the same backfield in 2007.
Projected pick: +Reggie Nelson, DS, Florida
FS Deon Grant is the only defensive starter not locked up for the 2007 season. If he leaves, Nelson would be a good replacement. Nelson needs to get bigger and stronger, but his speed and ball skills are outstanding.
18. Cincinnati (8-8)
Projected pick: +Darrelle Revis, DC/RS, Pittsburgh
The Bengals will be targeting the top defensive prospect available with this pick and Revis fits the bill. He is a big cornerback who will support the run and show quality instincts and athleticism in coverage. Revis’ value is also helped by his potential as a return specialist.
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 and 222 pounds, Bowe also impressed with his toughness and athleticism at the Senior Bowl.
Projected pick: Aaron Ross, DC/RS, Texas
The Giants must upgrade their cover-corner situation and Ross has the type of size, speed and agility to quickly emerge as a starter in the NFL. Ross also brings value as a playmaking return specialist.
21. Denver (9-7)
Projected pick: +Charles Johnson, DE, Georgia
The Broncos have needs at safety, wide receiver and running back, but none is more pressing than the need for an impact pass-rushing defensive end. With four Day 1 picks, the Broncos are prime candidates to move up in the first round. If they stay at No. 21, Johnson has the quickness and relentlessness to help the cause.
22. Dallas (9-7)
Projected pick: Daymeion Hughes, CB, Cal
The Cowboys could go with the top defensive back with this pick. Nelson would be ideal. If he’s gone, the team could draft a cornerback and move Anthony Henry to free safety. Hughes stood out as the best cover corner at this year’s Senior Bowl, but must answer questions regarding his top-end speed.
Projected pick: +Sidney Rice, WR, South Carolina
Rice’s draft stock could fluctuate greatly depending on his postseason workouts. Assuming he grades out as a late first-round prospect, the Chiefs would welcome his pass-catching services on the perimeter.
Projected pick: +Jarvis Moss, DE/OLB, Florida
The Patriots have not been keen on drafting linebackers on Day 1, but that could change this year. Bill Belichick has a thing for players out of Florida and Moss is a perfect fit as a developmental rush linebacker in the Patriots’ 3-4 scheme.
25. N.Y. Jets (10-6)
Projected pick: Adam Carriker, DE, Nebraska
Cornerback, running back and offensive tackle are also positions of need, but Carriker is an ideal fit as a versatile 290-pound defensive lineman who can play end in a three- or four-man front.
Projected pick: Anthony Spencer, DE, Purdue
Tennessee WR Robert Meachem is a possibility if the team elects to let Donte Stallworth go, but addressing the defensive front seven is a bigger priority. Spencer was a late bloomer in college, but burst onto the national scene with 26.5 tackles for loss as a senior.
Projected pick: +Chris Houston, CB, Arkansas
The Saints need a youth movement at cornerback and Houston could emerge as a good value late in the first round. He’s flying under the radar right now, but the more film I watch of him the more impressed I become with his natural cover skills. Houston did an excellent job of limiting top-flight wideouts such as Jarrett, Meachem and Bowe as a junior this past season.
Projected pick: Patrick Willis, ILB, Mississippi
Tedy Bruschi and Mike Vrabel are not getting any younger. Willis is instinctive, tough, quick and versatile enough to earn a starting job as a rookie, which would allow Vrabel to move back to his more natural outside linebacker position.
29. Baltimore (13-3)
Projected pick: Ben Grubbs, OG, Auburn
Baltimore’s offensive line is aging quickly. Grubbs is the premier guard prospect in this year’s class and could be ready to start immediately in the NFL. USC OC Ryan Kalil is another NFL-ready interior offensive lineman who should be available. Finally, the Ravens may choose not to re-sign free agent OLB Adalius Thomas in the offseason, so drafting a hybrid defensive end/outside linebacker is another possibility.
30. San Diego (14-2)
Projected pick: +Robert Meachem, WR, Tennessee
Safety is a possibility here, but the Chargers could get a better value in Meachem, who displays the size, speed and playmaking skills that QB Philip Rivers needs on the perimeter.
31. Chicago (13-3)
Projected pick: Paul Posluszny, OLB, Penn State
If the Bears can’t re-sign Lance Briggs, Posluszny could become his replacement. Posluszny’s stock is dropping due to a sub-par senior season. He returned from a knee injury and made a position change to inside linebacker in a new 3-4 scheme. Do not be surprised, though, if he sneaks back into the bottom of the first round after finishing as the career leader in tackles at “Linebacker U.”
Projected pick: Justin Harrell, DT, Tennessee
The Colts could go in a number of different directions with this pick, including an athletic inside linebacker such as Florida’s Brandon Siler. However, Harrell could be a steal late in the first round, if he checks out physically after suffering a season-ending biceps tear as a senior. He’s the type of quick and aggressive interior player the Colts will be looking for throughout this year’s draft.