Some changes from the last mock, and this one includes the compensatory picks at the end of the 3rd round. More pro days are completed and some info regarding individual workouts and team meetings is beginning to filter out. You will notice some changes near the top, namely Jake Long no longer being #2 overall. I?ve talked with two evaluators recently who believe there are enough concerns about Long being able to handle the smaller, speedier edge rushers that are becoming more en vogue that he could slide a bit. He?s still certainly in the mix for the Rams at #2 overall but in this mock he?s no longer the first tackle off the board. I still do not see much trade activity happening in the top 10, other than the Patriots at #7 trying to move down. The talent pool lacks any definitive separation after the first 4 or 5 picks, which means teams don?t have to trade up to get a more talented player, unless they have a specific positional target in mind. I do believe there will be lots of trade activity in the 25-40 overall range, including the Colts trading their 2009 1st rounder to dip their toes back in this draft pool. *Updated April 5th Round 1 1. Miami Dolphins: Chris Long, DE, Virginia No change from the last mock, mainly because there is so little fresh info coming out of Miami. If Parcells? intent was to keep his intentions shrouded in secrecy, he?s done a great job. Most people close to the situation believe it will be either Chris Long or Jake Long, and with Parcells being a defense-first (and second) type of guy, it?s hard to see him passing on such a naturally gifted talent with the work ethic and 3-4 experience under a Parcells disciple. 2. St. Louis Rams: Vernon Gholston, DE/OLB, Ohio State The more you watch Gholston on film, the more you realize he has the ability to become an absolutely dominant NFL defender. He has the instincts and quickness to stand out in coverage, and the freakish blend of speed, power, and quickness to notch double-digit sacks every season. The fact he?s still raw on some edges (holding the edge vs. the run, avoiding TE chips and cut blocks) makes his potential seem even greater. Trust me, the Rams have noticed; he?s Def. Coordinator Jim Haslett?s wet dream and can pair with the dynamic DL duo from last draft to finally turn around the punchless Rams defense. 3. Atlanta Falcons: Sedrick Ellis, DE, USC I?m sticking to my guns with the choice of Ellis over Glenn Dorsey (and Matt Ryan) here. Ellis flashed vastly superior athleticism to Dorsey at his Pro Day, and he was more productive in making plays in the backfield in college. Plus he doesn?t have the shady injury issue but adds the ability to play multiple DL techniques. He?s the playmaking rock in the middle like what new coach Mike Smith built a strong defense around in Jacksonville. Holding three 2nd round picks gives the Falcons the flexibility to package picks and acquire the QB of their choosing at pretty much any point they desire (say, Matt Ryan at #7 overall or Chad Henne at #22). 4. Oakland Raiders: Darren McFadden, RB, Arkansas. This pick remains the biggest lock of the top 10 picks for previously stated reasons. Nothing I?ve heard from numerous sources gives me any inclination to change from McFadden. His negatives are very legit (carries exclusively left handed, stops his feet when hit, misreads some holes, questionable character decisions) but his positives are far and away better than any other RB in this draft. McFadden truly does physically resemble the young Marcus Allen and runs in a similar style, and Al Davis has been looking for the next Marcus Allen ever since the first one left in 1992. 5. Kansas City Chiefs: Ryan Clady, T, Boise State. This represents the first mock in which Jake Long is not the #1 tackle taken, but two seasoned NFL talent evaluators impressed upon me their beliefs that Clady will wind up being the better NFL player in time. This organization appears to have embraced the total rebuild they sorely need, and waiting for Clady to blossom in another year or two fits that mentality better than the more-ready-now Jake Long. Clady has the athleticism to handle the outside speed rushes, but also has the grit and size to set the edge for Larry Johnson (or Kolby Smith). For those who believe Matt Ryan is a great fit here: I don?t disagree, but keep your eyes on Tyler Thigpen, a youngster the Chiefs genuinely believe has a lot of promise. 6. New York Jets: Jake Long, T, Michigan Sure the Jets just ridiculously overpaid for Damien Woody to play RT and have 2006 #4 overall pick D?Brickashaw Ferguson on the left side. D?Brick has his limitations and detractors, and Woody rightfully sat the bench on one of the worst OLs in football for nearly two seasons while battling weight and knee issues. Long is the best run-blocking tackle to enter the league in years and plays with the snarl and attitude Jets fans sorely crave from Ferguson. If Gholston and Ellis are gone as they are in this situation, this represents the best pick they could make, allowing them to move Woody to his more natural RG spot and establish a physical running game to ease the pressure off their QB problems. 7. New England Patriots (from SF): Leodis McKelvin, CB, Troy If they cannot trade down, McKelvin is the best fit for both what they need and the type of player Belichick & Co. like to have. Very similar to the departed Asante Samuel in both body type and style of play, McKelvin can step right in and start for the AFC Champs. His PR and KR ability bring added value. Most in the know expect the Pats to vigorously pursue trading down from this spot. 8. Baltimore Ravens: Matt Ryan, QB, Boston College The best-case draft scenario for GM Ozzie Newsome comes true, and the Ravens get the franchise QB the team has never had in Baltimore. Ryan has the arm to make all the throws and oozes intangibles. His experience leading a team with marginal surrounding skill-position talent will help him here, as will the apparent presence of Steve McNair as a mentor. The OL is in better shape than a lot of people will have you believe, and Ryan is heads and shoulders above any DB they might get with this pick. If someone (say, Carolina) trades ahead of this pick and takes Ryan, the Ravens would take any player above that would fall down, most likely McKelvin. 9. Cincinnati Bengals: Glenn Dorsey, DT, LSU A lot of folks will scoff at the notion that Dorsey falls this low, but the more scouts and front office people I talk with, the more convinced I am that Dorsey is this year?s Brady Quinn or Matt Leinart, a highly-talented collegian who has just enough questions about his ability to unexpectedly slide down. A legit inside mauler with a great package of quickness, power, and savvy, Dorsey has the potential to turn a chronic weakness into a strength for the run-defense challenged Bengals. The mysterious nature of his knee injury will scare some teams, though he proved at LSU he can play in pain and still kick butt. 10. New Orleans Saints: Mike Jenkins, CB, South Florida Signing Randall Gay helps stem the tide, but the Saints are still looking for more young talent to help dam the flood that is their inept pass defense. Jenkins is the most naturally talented cover man in this draft, though he doesn?t always bring his ?A? game. Even his ?B? game in coverage represents an upgrade over Jason David and Fred Thomas, and Jenkins has shown he can lay the wood against the run as well. Sleeper Pick: Keith Rivers 11. Buffalo Bills: Devin Thomas, WR/KR, Michigan State Thomas is tearing up draft boards after tearing up Big Ten defenses last fall. He is a lethal open-field runner with an ideal blend of size (6?1?, 215) and speed (4.4 40 with a 1.47 first 10--that?s outstanding). Showing very strong hands and the ability to line up all over the field, Thomas is a perfect fit for the Bills, who need a sizeable complement to Lee Evans and Roscoe Parrish. Consider this about Thomas: he was more productive as both a receiver and return man than the more heralded Desean Jackson, plus he?s significantly bigger and accelerates faster to boot. Unchanged from the last draft. 12. Denver Broncos: Keith Rivers, LB, USC The Broncos are in the midst of overhauling the LB corps, and the versatility of Rivers will be a major asset. Rivers has the range, fluidity, and solid tackling ability the Broncos missed with the departure of Al Wilson. It?s not the sexiest of picks, but the recent impact of similar rookie LBs should ease the minds of skeptical Broncos fans who want upgrades elsewhere. Never shy about wheeling and dealing, Mike Shanahan would like to move down and pick up an extra pick or two while getting a player of similar immediate usefulness. 13. Carolina Panthers: Derrick Harvey, DE, Florida Unchanged from last mock, and that?s because Harvey is the top player at the position the team identifies as its biggest weakness--the pass rush. Harvey is regarded as a more dynamic version of former Gator teammate Jarvis Moss, a 1st rounder last year. With Mike Rucker?s status up in the air and Julius Peppers underachieving his way into the final year of his contract, revamping the defensive front 4 is imperative if John Fox & Co. hope to get back to the playoffs. The Panthers are a team that could trade up to get Matt Ryan. 14. Chicago Bears: Branden Albert, G/T, Virginia The Bears need help across the board on offense, but getting help along the front line will make life easier for whoever is running, throwing, and trying to catch the ball. Albert is an agile giant who dominated at G but also proved he?s a top-shelf tackle prospect. With so many needs along their OL, where only C Olin Kreutz is set in stone, taking a talented mauler with the versatility of Albert makes good sense. Most Bears ?insiders? believe GM Jerry Angelo sees the need to build the line up and worry about the skill positions later. 15. Detroit Lions: Jeff Otah, T, Pittsburgh The new offense under Jim Coletto figures to be more smash-mouth, balanced, and not likely to finish last in time of possession. In order for that to work, the team needs to bring in more physical and nasty linemen. Otah is still learning the game but has already proven he?s a quick study with incredible size and decent agility for such a big guy. He?s a Rod Marinelli kind of guy, and Matt Millen appears to be giving more than lip service to getting players who fit his head coach?s mold. They do really like Rashard Mendenhall, however. 16. Arizona Cardinals: Rashard Mendenhall, RB, Illinois A physical speedster who kept improving as the year progressed, Mendenhall is the home run-hitting RB the Cardinals have been coveting for years. Where some see an issue with Mendenhall only producing for one year in college, others see that as fresh legs on a guy about to hit his stride. The Cardinals are squarely in the latter camp and would love to get his package of power, speed, and vision behind an improving OL. 17. Minnesota Vikings: Quentin Groves, DE/OLB, Auburn His stock slid thanks to injury problems, but before he got hurt many regarded Groves as the premier pass rusher in this draft class. Groves has the elite speed off the edge the Vikings sorely need, though he needs loads of work against the run. The Vikings don?t appear to be dissuaded by all the recent high draft picks at DE that have not panned out for them, and it?s hard to see how the team could improve more than by adding an impact pass rusher. 18. Houston Texans: Chris Williams, T, Vanderbilt This is the first mock in awhile where I haven?t had the Texans taking a RB (primarily Jonathan Stewart), but after talking with a Houston beat writer, I got the distinct impression the Texans are more interested in shoring up their chronically inferior OL. Williams reminds me of a bigger Jeff Backus, a technically sound tackle with good agility and smarts, but not very physical or powerful. That kind of lineman can work well with the type of offense coach Gary Kubiak employs, and Williams is battle-tested in the talented SEC and ready to start from day one. I still believe Stewart is a strong possibility here, and taking a corner wouldn?t surprise me either. 19. Philadelphia Eagles: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, CB, Tennessee State Small school, big potential, and DRC showed in numerous postseason opportunities that he is more than ready to compete with the big boys. At nearly 6?2? and with sub 4.4 speed, the physical tools are impressive, though he often played down to the level of competition as much as he played up to it at the Senior Bowl. The Eagles brought in Asante Samuel, but if they deal Lito Sheppard as oft-rumored, there is little behind Samuel and Sheldon Brown. With the attacking style of defense the Eagles deploy, having solid, reliable depth at CB is imperative. 20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Malcolm Kelly, WR, Oklahoma This sure seems like a perfect fit--a big, smooth WR with big-play potential to a team with an aging starting WR duo and next to nothing in reserve. I talked with a Bucs scout last month and he raved about Kelly, noting his ability to turn a simple pass into a touchdown and also his ability to get open on scrambles and in the red zone. Sounds like a Jon Gruden kind of WR to me. 21. Washington Ethnic Slurs: Philip Merling, DE, Clemson His recent sports hernia surgery might concern some teams, but with both starting DEs near but not quite at the end, the Skins can afford to let Merling heal completely and reap the benefits down the road. Perhaps the most well-rounded DE in this draft class, Merling might never hit double digits in sacks in a season but has the potential to be among the league leaders in tackles and tackles for loss at his position. 22. Dallas Cowboys (from CLE): Jonathan Stewart, RB, Oregon Stewart doesn?t look like the prototypical change-of-pace back, but he?s got great hands and shifty feet for a guy built like a GMC. The Cowboys have enjoyed lots of success employing Marion Barber as 1A and Julius Jones as 1B, and they need a new option B. Coupled with the fact he comes from a spread offense that has a history of producing underwhelming pros, Stewart?s recent toe surgery (some speculate he?ll miss the entire season) could hurt his stock enough that he falls out of the first round. The Cowboys are known to be looking up with this pick, but I would speculate they could also move down form here, fulfill Jerry Jones? Arkansas itch with Felix Jones, and save both some injury risk and signing bonus cash. 23. Pittsburgh Steelers: Gosder Cherilus, T, Boston College Cherilus projects best as an NFL RT, which is no problem for the Steelers, who need a big upgrade at that spot and depth all across the OL. He fits the Steeler persona well, an intelligent guy who isn?t afraid to play through the whistle and maybe a little after too. Like many others, I will be shocked if Pittsburgh does not address their glaring OL issues with this pick, and it?s fairly common knowledge they covet Branden Albert. 24. Tennessee Titans: Limas Sweed, WR, Texas When you watch Vince Young play QB, one of the impressions you often get is that he seems uncomfortable with his receivers. The Titans need to upgrade the WR spot, and who better to bring in than someone who has already developed chemistry with Young? Sweed is a great red zone target who gets good separation for a bigger WR, and he might have the strongest set of hands of anyone in this class regardless of position. If Sweed is gone, James Hardy or Mario Manningham could hear their names called here. 25. Seattle Seahawks: Dustin Keller, TE, Purdue In theory Keller is precisely what the Seahawks need most, an athletic freak of a TE with great hands who can stretch the field and split out if necessary. The worry is that he?ll be like the other prominent 1st round NFC West TE who fits that bill, the bitterly disappointing Vernon Davis. It?s a risk Mike Holmgren can afford to take as he guns for a title in his last season at the helm. This pick is often mentioned as a target for a team trading up (ATL?) to take a QB here. 26. Jacksonville Jaguars: Aqib Talib, CB, Kansas The Jaguars don?t have any pressing needs, but adding a CB with Talib?s size and big-play ability will look smart when facing the 3 and 4 WR sets teams deploy when trying to catch up. Evaluators seem to be polarizing even further into love/hate with Talib, who has at times been dominant but also made to look terrible by the likes of Maurice Purify. His ability to step up and jam at the line fits what Jack Del Rio likes to do when he turns the pressure up on the offense. Kenny Phillips makes sense here too. 27. San Diego Chargers: Jerod Mayo, LB, Tennessee Mayo is steadily rising up draft boards (thank you, Arkansas game!), and his hard-hitting power and decent inside range appeal to a 3-4 team like the Chargers, who have very good OLBs but not a lot of impact inside. His knee issues and bad habit of overpursuing the play (watch the South Carolina game) and abandoning his responsibility make Mayo a high risk/high reward pick, but a team in a position like the Chargers can afford to take that risk. Much like Dustin Keller, player show see their stock shoot up for off-field performance often wind up being surprise draft-day fallers, and the Chargers could choose to find a CB or even a RB to back up LT here. 28. Dallas Cowboys: Antoine Cason, CB, Arizona The Cowboys desire to upgrade their secondary is no secret. I?ve heard two different beat writers bring up Cason?s name in conjunction with this pick in recent radio interviews, and a team employee confirmed the Cowboys do indeed really like the CB from Arizona. Cason gets knocked for his speed, but consider his 10 yard split and 20-yard shuttle times are both in the top 3 for corners in this class, and he?s one of the biggest to boot. I?m reading between some lines here, but I get the impression they would still prefer taking a DB in this pick, not a WR, even if the Pacman Jones trade finally consummates. 29. San Francisco 49ers (from IND): Mario Manningham, WR, Michigan The Niners haven?t been shy about professing their admiration for Manningham, as both coach Mike Nolan and GM Scot McCloughan have brought it up in interviews. Despite his complete lack of physicality and horrendous ending to his college career (9 drops in his last two games), Manningham proved he could consistently get behind defenses and make outstanding clutch catches while at Michigan. He has the potential to fit nicely into the Z role in Mike Martz?s offense and will get on-the-job training from the guy who had the most success in that role, Isaac Bruce. 30. Green Bay Packers: Kenny Phillips, S, Miami FL So long as the expectations placed upon Phillips are reasonable, he has a good chance to be a very good safety. He?s not Sean Taylor or Ed Reed, but he has more overall ability than either Atari Bigby and Aaron Rouse, the incumbent (along with Nick Collins) safeties. Like the Chargers and Jaguars, the Packers lack any glaring holes and can afford to take the top player on their draft board here without fear of fan recrimination. Reggie Smith and Brandon Flowers make sense here too, though Flowers has enough issues to pass on here. 31. New York Giants: Dan Connor, LB, Penn State Despite lacking ideal measurables, Connor passes the on-field eyeball tests with flying colors. His ability to play any LB spot is quite appealing to the Giants, who lost two LBs and might move Kiwanuka back to DE. Connor will never be an All Pro, but you can pencil in 104 tackles and a couple of fumble recoveries every year for the next decade. Completely unchanged from the last mock. Round 2 32. Miami Dolphins: Joe Flacco, QB, Delaware 33. St. Louis Rams: DeSean Jackson, WR/KR, California 34. Atlanta Falcons: Chad Henne, QB, Michigan 35. Atlanta Falcons (from OAK): Reggie Smith, CB, Oklahoma 36. Kansas City Chiefs: Brandon Flowers, CB, Virginia Tech 37. New York Jets: James Hardy, WR, Indiana 38. Baltimore Ravens: Brian Brohm, QB, Louisville 39. San Francisco 49ers: Chilo Rachal, G, USC 40. New Orleans Saints: Curtis Lofton, LB, Oklahoma 41. Buffalo Bills: Calais Campbell, DE, Miami FL 42. Denver Broncos: Andre Caldwell, WR, Florida 43. Carolina Panthers: Kentwan Balmer, DT, North Carolina 44. Chicago Bears: Felix Jones, RB, Arkansas 45. Detroit Lions: Matt Forte, RB, Tulane 46. Cincinnati Bengals: Cliff Avril, DE/OLB, Purdue 47. Minnesota Vikings: Justin King, CB, Penn State 48. Atlanta Falcons (from HOU): Sam Baker, T, USC 49. Philadelphia Eagles: Anthony Collins, T, Kansas 50. Arizona Cardinals: Patrick Lee, CB, Auburn 51. Washington Ethnic Slurs: Duane Brown, T, Virginia Tech 52. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Trevor Laws, DT, Notre Dame 53. Pittsburgh Steelers: Lawrence Jackson, DE, USC 54. Tennessee Titans: Pat Sims, DT, Auburn 55. Seattle Seahawks: Shawn Murphy, G, Utah State 56. Green Bay Packers (from CLE): John Carlson, TE, Notre Dame 57. Miami Dolphins (from SD): Jordy Nelson, WR, Kansas State 58. Jacksonville Jaguars: Erin Henderson, LB, Maryland 59. Indianapolis Colts: Xavier Adibi, LB, Virginia Tech 60. Green Bay Packers: Jack Ikegwuonu, CB, Wisconsin 61. Dallas Cowboys: Early Doucet, WR, LSU 62. New England Patriots: Tyrell Johnson, S, Arkansas State 63. New York Giants: Dajuan Morgan, S, NC State Round 3 64. Miami Dolphins: Red Bryant, DT, Texas A&M 65. St. Louis Rams: Tracy Porter, CB, Indiana 66. Kansas City Chiefs: Lavelle Hawkins, WR, California 67. New England Patriots (from OAK): Fred Davis, TE, USC 68. Atlanta Falcons: John Greco, G/T, Toledo 69. Carolina Panthers (from NYJ): Ray Rice, RB, Rutgers 70. Chicago Bears: Andre Woodson, QB, Kentucky 71. Jacksonville Jaguars (from BUF): Dre Moore, DT, Maryland 72. Buffalo Bills: Martellus Bennett, TE, Texas A&M 73. Minnesota Vikings (from DEN): Charles Godfrey, CB, Iowa 74. Carolina Panthers: Jerome Simpson, WR, Coastal Carolina 75. San Francisco 49ers: Roy Schuening, G, Oregon State 76. Detroit Lions: Marcus Howard, LB, Georgia 77. Cincinnati Bengals: Donnie Avery, WR, Houston 78. New Orleans Saints: Marcus Harrison, DT, Arkansas 79. Houston Texans: Jason Jones, DE, Eastern Michigan 80. Philadelphia Eagles: Beau Bell, LB, UNLV 81. Arizona Cardinals: Eddie Royal, WR, Virginia Tech 82. Minnesota Vikings: Jermichael Finley, TE, Texas 83. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Chris Johnson, RB/KR, East Carolina 84. Washington Ethnic Slurs: Josh Barrett, S, Arizona State 85. Tennessee Titans: Terrell Thomas, CB, USC 86. Seattle Seahawks: Tyvon Branch, CB, Connecticut 87. Detroit Lions (from CLE): Jeremy Thompson, DE, Wake Forest 88. Pittsburgh Steelers: Earl Bennett, WR, Vanderbilt 89. Jacksonville Jaguars: Tony Hills, T, Texas 90. Chicago Bears (from SD): Letroy Guion, DT, Florida State 91. Green Bay Packers: Mike Pollak, C, Arizona State 92. Dallas Cowboys: John David Booty, QB, USC 93. Indianapolis Colts: John Sullivan, C, Notre Dame 94. New England Patriots: Ahtyba Rubin, DT, Iowa State 95. New York Giants: Dexter Jackson, WR, Appalachian State 96. Washington Ethnic Slurs: Mark Bradford, WR, Stanford 97. Cincinnati Bengals: Kevin Smith, RB, Central Florida 98. Atlanta Falcons: Ezra Butler, LB, Nevada 99. Baltimore Ravens: Jonathan Wilhite, CB, Auburn The Bears and 49ers swapped spots in the 3rd round based on the tampering charges surrounding Bears LB Lance Briggs. Picks 96-99 are compensatory picks I?m putting together a ?What ICness Would Do? mock draft on the message board. If you want to see what I believe is the best bet for the top 50 picks, check it out later this weekend.