Rounds 1 & 2
32. Dolphins – Curtis Lofton, LB, Oklahoma
The Dolphins need somebody to fill the gaping hole left by Zach
Thomas, and Lofton is the best available MLB. The other option
would be a QB, but I have a feeling Parcells wants some time with
John Beck before he jumps ship. Beck wasn’t terrible, and
there will be some QBs Parcells will assuredly take an interest
in during the later rounds.
33. Rams – Anthony Collins, OT, Kansas
Collins might be another second-round steal – and since
they didn’t get Jake Long with the #2 pick, they need to
shore up their O-line here. There other options, but Collins had
a great 2007 season and has almost unlimited potential. He’s
played both left and right tackle, and might be a better fit at
RT, and will be placed there at least until Orlando Pace retires.
34. Falcons (from Raiders) – Brian Brohm,
At this point, the Falcons probably just need to bite the bullet
and take a quarterback, but they don’t necessarily have
to do it in round one. Brohm – who could be the real deal
and might even go in round one– should still be available
at this point. He’s one of the top three quarterbacks on
35. Chiefs – Justin King, CB, Penn State
King will make a nice addition to the Chief’s depleted
secondary. He’s got oodles of raw talent and could excel
at the next level. He may not help right away, and his draft value
has fluctuated a lot lately, but I don’t think he can escape
the top 40. They could also go with Flowers, who rates similarly
36. Jets – Brandon Flowers, CB, Virginia
Flowers is a quick, tough corner who has good coverage skills
and is still considered by some to be a possible first-rounder.
He has the technique and playmaking ability to match up with the
best receivers. While had a poor showing at the combine, he could
see his stock rise if he impresses during Pro Day. The Jets need
someone to pair with last year’s standout rookie, Darrelle
Revis, and fill out the secondary.
37. Falcons – Sam Baker, OT, USC
Baker is another solid tackle out of USC who’s got a shot
to be a stalwart lineman for years in the NFL. He’s not
a prototype left-side guy, but he’ll definitely fit in at
right tackle for the Falcons – and he’s already played
in plenty of big games in college. See Also: Duane Brown, OT,
Virginia Tech – A strong, raw player with unquestionable
drive and a valuable mean streak. Brown could also be a first
or second round selection, surpassing Collins and several other
OT prospects with more developed techniques at the position.
38. Ravens – Mario Manningham, WR,
I’m still not convinced – even with the retirement
of Steve McNair – that the Ravens need a QB. They didn’t
draft Troy Smith to ride the bench, and he’ll definitely
be an improvement over McNair and Kyle Boller given the opportunity
to get some reps. Manningham’s a rare talent, although NFL
Combine results showed less-than stellar speed and he, like Talib,
admitted to smoking marijuana in college. He’s got great
hands and will be a nice possession receiver; Mario could even
end up being a Derrick Mason-like receiver if he reaches his lofty
39. 49ers – Kentwaan Balmer, DT, North
Balmer probably should’ve been a first rounder, but he’s
not quite one of the premier defensive lineman in the draft. He
also doesn’t quite fit in with the teams’ needs at
his current draft value and has been inconsistent at times –
not something war rooms reward. The 49ers will be lucky to grab
him at #39 overall, however, and he’s truly a steal for
a Round 2 pick.
40. Saints – Erin Henderson, LB, Maryland
The Saints need a linebacker badly, and Henderson is one of the
best out there. Based on his versatility (he started out as a
QB) and his pedigree (his brother is Vikings LB E.J. Henderson
– who’s a beast), Henderson could be a standout LB
within a couple years.
41. Bills – Malcolm Kelly, WR, Oklahoma
Many projected the Bills taking Kelly with their first-round
selection a couple months back, but he’s plummeted down
mock drafts since then. The Oklahoma product is a pretty complete
receiver with size, speed and hands to make the tough catch. So
why could he fall this far? He’s had some horrendous workouts,
he’s already had knee surgery to repair cartilage damage,
and he’s had some other minor injuries. The Sooners aren’t
quite known for their stellar wide receivers, either. Can you
tell me the last WR out of Oklahoma to live up to his hype and
flourish in the NFL? Mark Clayton? Travis Wilson? Mark Bradley?
I don’t think so, football fans.
42. Broncos – Dre Moore, DT, Maryland
Moore is big, strong and effective getting into the backfield
and wreaking havoc. He’s also versatile and could be effective
in different schemes, making him a useful tool in the Broncos
arsenal. He’s not the best DT on the board, but he might
be the best after Balmer. Also – the Broncos could draft
Pat Sims here – another explosive defensive lineman out
43. Panthers – Joe Flacco, QB, Delaware
The Panthers need to start thinking about the future –
and Flacco could be the future. His combine performance showed
excellent speed, footwork and agility for a 6-6, 238-pound QB,
and he’s got an arm that can make all the NFL throws. Maybe
Parcells will go after him at some point, so don’t rule
out him trading for a spot like this if Carolina believes former
Oregon State Beaver Matt Moore has promise.
44. Bears – James Hardy, WR, Indiana
Hardy is tall (almost 6-6), fast and has all the tools to be
a quality receiver in the NFL. He’s got some character issues,
but Lovie’s not the kind of guy who backs away from a challenge.
The Bears need receivers now that Muhsin Muhammad and Bernard
Berrian are gone, and they can’t do much better than Hardy
at this point. Andre Caldwell and Early Doucet are possible alternatives.
45. Lions – Jamaal Charles, RB, Texas
This is where the Lions need to grab a running back, and Charles
might be the best available. He decided to join the pro ranks
after a big finish to the 2007 season, but the deep running back
class will undoubtedly push him into the middle of the second
round. With a little work and a full camp, he’d be ready
to start in September. And he’s faaaaassst.
46. Bengals – Quentin Groves, LB, Auburn
Did you know Quentin Groves recently had heart surgery? That
seems it would drop him down a bit in value, but the talent-hungry
Bengals war room will not pass up a guy like Groves if he drops
this far. If the Bengals add Sedrick Ellis and Groves in the same
draft, they’ll finally have a defensive foundation they
can be proud of. Groves is a beast who’s an amazing, almost
preternatural edge rusher, but injuries took away much of his
senior glory. He’s got a huge upside, but the Bengals need
him to be on the field.
47. Vikings – Early Doucet, WR, LSU
He’s a proven winner with a national championship under
his belt, and he stood out among his peers during Senior Bowl
week, but he skipped the NFL Combine. We’ll know more on
March 26 after Pro Day, but I think the Vikes – who need
a possession receiver to complement the tall, young, athletic
Sidney Rice--might be able to get him here.
48. Falcons (from Texans) – Reggie Smith,
Smith has the size and speed to play safety in the NFL and could
develop into a top pro defender. His only downside is a foot injury
that’s plagued him, but the Falcons – with so many
draft choices in Round 2 – can afford to take a shot.
49. Eagles – Lawrence Jackson, DE, USC
Jackson is an athletic player who had a strong finish to his
collegiate career. He turned some heads at the Senior Bowl and
at the combine. He has proven to be a legitimate threat off the
edge as a pass rusher, but also has shown that he can contain
the run as well – a focus of the Eagles defense.
51. Cardinals – Terrell Thomas, CB, USC
The Cards need to address their depth at CB, and this strong
corner impressed against top receivers at the Senior Bowl. He
elevated his rating after an inconsistent final season with an
excellent overall workout at the Combine, making him a distinct
possibility for a second-round selection. See also: Patrick Lee,
50. Redskins – Darrell Robertson, DE,
Robertson has been labeled a tweener, which can be a gift or
a curse, depending on the system. He displayed big-play ability
off the edge during his college career, and will help the Redskins
develop a more potent pass rush. See also: DE/OLB Cliff Avril
of Purdue – another athletic pass rusher who’ll most
likely go to a team that runs the 3-4.
51. Buccaneers – Xavier Adibi, LB, Virginia
Adibi is a mobile, slightly undersized OLB who has drawn comparisons
to Michael Boley. He’s fast, quick and has excellent instincts,
as he displayed during a very productive college career. The Bucs
seems to gravitate toward these guys, so I’d expect him
to catch their eye.
52. Steelers – Andre Caldwell, WR, Florida
Caldwell is a sure-handed, agile receiver who the Steelers could
definitely groom to eventually replace Hines Ward – another
guy who does all the little things right without the football.
He’d make an excellent addition to a team that might just
need one more healthy, offensive weapon to put them over the top.
53. Titans – Pat Sims, DT, Auburn
Sims is a big boy who can plug the gaps in the middle. He can
collapse the pocket and has the explosiveness to make plays along
the line. See also: Dre Moore (above – #42), and Notre Dame
DT Trevor Laws, an undersized nose tackle who could end up as
a better complement to the massive Albert Haynesworth on the inside
of the line. The Titans could also trade up in round two to snag
a WR like Hardy or Caldwell.
54. Seahawks – Chilo Rachel, G, USC
Rachel is a big, agile junior who had an impressive 2007 season
and combine, but he’s only had 21 college starts. He has
moved up draft boards over the past couple months, and could even
be a first round pick. But I think most teams will stand pat at
guard until round two. See also: Roy Schuening, OG, Oregon State
– a more plodding guard who’ll probably end up going
in round three or four.
55. Packers (from Browns) – Chad Henne,
Henne is a classic pocket passer with decent size (6-3, 235)
and solid arm strength. He’s fought through injuries but
seemed okay at the Senior Bowl and NFL Combine. He may or may
not be the right choice for the Packers, but they should probably
grab somebody respectable before round three – just in case
Aaron Rodgers doesn’t work out.
56. Dolphins (from Chargers) – Charles
Godfrey, CB/S, Iowa
Again – they could take a QB, although they’d probably
draft up or down to get the most value out of that type of selection.
Bill Parcells likes big, physical corners, and Godfrey certainly
fits the bill. It’s also possible Tuna tries to fill some
other serious offensive line gaps – but he usually likes
to square away his defense before getting to that side of the
ball. This veteran corner had a solid career against NFL-caliber
receivers, and displayed that again at the Senior Bowl.
57. Jaguars – Earl Bennett, WR, Vanderbilt
He had a marvelous career in the SEC but after a marginal performance
at the combine, his stock went down. He’s not a gamebreaker,
but the Jags need to find the right receiver for their system,
and Bennett could be the guy. See Also: Virginia WR Eddie Royal,a
playmaker who showed tremendous speed (4.39 in the 40) and strength
(a position-leading 24 bench reps of 225 pounds) at the NFL Combine;
and Donnie Avery, WR, Houston – an ultra-speedy receiver
with great moves, amazing separation and serviceable hands and
body control who could be either an early reach or a second-round
58. Colts – Chris Johnson, RB, East Carolina
The Colts should probably look for replacement for Kenton Keith,
whose struggles holding onto the football last season and recent
legal trouble could effectively end his NFL career. Johnson has
got impressive speed and versatility as big-play runner, receiver
and return specialist. He also performed well at the NFL Combine,
and the Colts could always use an extra back with breakaway speed
in its offense. See also: Tulsa RB Matt Forte - a back with lots
of raw skills and potential.
59. Packers – DaJuan Morgan, S, North
Morgan’s strong and fast – nice attributes for an
NFL safety-but he’s still a work in progress. He’s
been effective in run support and pass coverage, and he could
end up being a standout pro.
61. Cowboys – Tracey Porter, CB, Indiana
The Cowboys need a corner and Porter’s another guy that’s
getting great reviews from scouts. He’s an athletic performer
who worked out well at the Senior Bowl and NFL Combine. See also:
Patrick Lee, CB, Auburn.
62. Patriots – Ray Rice, RB, Rutgers
Rice is a strong, compact RB with plenty of raw talent who showed
promise at the combine. It may be a stretch to have him in round
two, but the Pats might want to add a back of his caliber before
he disappears in round three.
63. Giants – Carl Nicks, OT, Nebraska
Nicks has some character question marks, including his drive,
attitude and consistency, but he’s got the tools to be a
solid tackle in the NFL. Nicks has a massive frame (estimated
at 6-5, 340), good quickness and surprising athleticism. He’s
more effective as a run-blocker, is a versatile player and has
a big upside – although he’s not had a ton of college
starts to evaluate.