It?s almost draft time, and this will be the final revision. This was formulated primarily on Tues. and Wed. and finalized Thursday, so I might miss some last-second info or trades and you?ll probably find someone who posts an update on Friday or even Sat. morning with greater accuracy. A few appetizers before the main course? New Orleans ?desperately? wants Glenn Dorsey, according to a Saints source I talked with recently. That would probably require a move to #2 overall, and that probably means next year?s #1 will be needed. I say ?probably? because the Rams are still undecided at #2 and the Falcons at #3 are a wild card as well. I?m compiling this mock as if they decide that price is too steep, but don?t be surprised if they do make a move. Regarding the variability of the #2 pick: If the Rams take Dorsey, or trade with the Saints and they take him, there are huge ripple effects. Chris Long almost certainly falls to the Jets at #6. The Falcons almost have to take Matt Ryan at #3, which would drive up the value of the next tier of QBs (Henne, Brohm, and Flacco in that order) enough that all 3 would be gone no later than the 1st pick of the 2nd round. I reflected that in this mock already, but if Dorsey goes #2 you can bet the house that both Brohm and Henne are 1st rounders. The Bengals turned down the Skins purported offer of a 1st and a later pick for Chad Johnson. That should be a clear indication Ocho Cinco will still be in the jungle until after the draft. I will be extremely surprised if they move him now. Sorry, Cowboys and Eagles (and Bengals) fans! The more I listen to and read Gil Brandt, Pat Kirwin, and various other former GMs, I am more convinced there will be a flurry of trade activity in the 18-40 range of this draft. As a result, many of the picks in this mock draft reflect a player with a slot and not necessarily the current team in that slot. I will indicate in the comments where I am doing this, just so you don?t think I believe the Seahawks are taking a QB or a team will take two players at the same position in the first three rounds. And if you email me ( and make that mistake, I?ll publicly ridicule your shameless lack of reading skills. Of course that won?t save me from the mock-tracker geeks who just copy player/spot/team, but that?s not exactly my target audience? One last thought: I am well aware of the rivers of deceit (cue Mad Season) and misinformation that flood the football talk this time of year. I?m also keenly attuned to the possibility that certain people I?ve talked to within some organizations have purposely misled me or shamelessly used me to gauge reaction to ideas. That?s part of their job and part of the business. I like to think I have a pretty good BS detector, but my wife would argue that statement is BS. And as always?please do not confuse what I think is going to happen with what I think should happen. Round 1 1. Miami Dolphins: Jake Long, T, Michigan Signed, sealed, delivered--he?s yours, Bill Parcells! Congrats on selecting the next Jumbo Elliot. My friend Stephanie just became a Dolphins fan. 2. St. Louis Rams: Chris Long, DE, Virginia GM Billy Devaney is on record that this will be Chris Long, Glenn Dorsey, or Vernon Gholston. I?m going to do some reading between the lines here: that he?s publicly not sold on Long over Gholston is his way of negotiating with Long to get a deal done, and by bringing up Dorsey he?s put the ?you can buy him for the right price? sign on this pick. See the comments above for what happens if they take Dorsey here. 3. Atlanta Falcons: Glenn Dorsey, DT, LSU Because the Falcons have so many picks in the first three rounds and the QB pool is significantly deeper than the defensive line pool, it makes much more sense for Atlanta to take Dorsey here and maneuver for a QB later in this round. They won?t find anyone close to Dorsey?s caliber at any other position later on, and he?s a solid citizen and a great locker room presence by all accounts. 4. Oakland Raiders: Darren McFadden, RB, Arkansas. If the Jets don?t deal up and snatch him first and Chris Long is off the board, this is a virtual lock. I?ll believe those alternate scenarios when they actually happen and not a second beforehand. If Chris Long is still available and Al Davis picks him, McFadden falls to the Jets, Ryan falls to the Ravens at #8 (or #7 in a trade down by NE), and the Raiders suddenly have a defense capable of winning lots of games. 5. Kansas City Chiefs: Vernon Gholston, DE/OLB, Ohio State With Jared Allen gone the Chiefs need a dynamic pass rusher just as much as they need OL help, and Gholston is higher-rated than any OL they could get here. When you?re in full rebuild mode like the Chiefs, you take the best overall player on the board. That would be Gholston, still the best disruptor of screens and draws I?ve ever seen at the college level. He has no problem getting to the QB either--just ask Chad Henne or Brady Quinn. 6. New York Jets: Matt Ryan, QB, Boston College As stated above, the word on the street is that the Jets adore Ryan and have no problem taking him here. I also believe they would take McFadden over Ryan if presented the opportunity, but in this scenario that option is out. From the ?reading between the lines? dept.: if the Jets do take Ryan here, expect Kellen Clemens to be dealt this weekend and Chad Pennington to serve as a place-holding mentor for Ryan in 2008. 7. New England Patriots (from SF): Branden Albert, T/G, Virginia I have to admit--the #7 spot was blank for a real long time. I put the odds that the Pats keep the pick at around 40%, but if they do I have a sneaking suspicion it will be Albert. The versatile big man comes from a Belichick disciple in UVA coach Al Groh, and the Patriot OL could use both depth and size. His intelligence both on and off the field suit him well for the Patriots too. He?s not the most likely trading-up target at this point, but if the Raiders , Rams, or Chiefs have traded down, Albert fits all of those teams right here. 8. Baltimore Ravens: Leodis McKelvin, CB, Troy The best-case fallback for the Ravens in the event that they cannot get Matt Ryan. They are very likely to maneuver into the late 1st to pick up either Henne or Brohm and enjoy taking the talented McKelvin here. They would love to trade down and pick up a CB later if they cannot get Ryan here, and that might put them too low to take McKelvin. 9. Cincinnati Bengals: Sedrick Ellis, DT, USC In every draft there always seems to be one certain pick that makes a perfect marriage of player, need, and slot. In this draft, Sedrick Ellis to Cincy at #9 is that pick, and you?re likely to see it in just about every mock draft. 10. New Orleans Saints: Keith Rivers, LB, USC His ability to excel at any LB spot gives Rivers the edge over other players they are considering here, Derrick Harvey and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. If the Saints trade up to get Dorsey and this pick winds up with the Rams, expect them to take about 4.5 seconds to select Derrick Harvey?which would completely throw off the rest of this mock draft. 11. Buffalo Bills: Devin Thomas, WR/KR, Michigan State The Bills are known for surprises and seeming reaches on draft day, though this cat has been out of the bag for at least as long as the last two mocks I?ve done. Too many people who are close to GM Russ Brandon and scouting director Tom Modrak have lent too much credence to this speculation to not believe the dynamic Thomas will line up opposite Lee Evans and give Trent Edwards another legit target. 12. Denver Broncos: Ryan Clady, T, Boise State Clady grew up a Broncos fan and has the athleticism to fill their huge need at tackle. Since Mike Shanahan declared himself majordomo, his opinion is the only one that matters, and he knows very well that his offense can get by with lesser talent at RB and WR but must have a great OL to thrive. I?ve talked with some scouts who believe Clady is a better long-term prospect than Jake Long. 13. Carolina Panthers: Derrick Harvey, DE, Florida The skinny: If Harvey is on the board he is the pick. If he?s gone, it gets complicated. If they sign Shaun Alexander (a very real possibility), it will be Jeff Otah; if they don?t bring in Alexander or another RB, then Jonathan Stewart is the pick here. But they are also a leading contender to trade up to get Matt Ryan. 14. Chicago Bears: Chris Williams, T, Vanderbilt It?s no secret the Bears are going to take an offensive tackle with this pick; the debate is over which one, Williams or Jeff Otah. According to a couple of different sources, GM Jerry Angelo prefers Williams, who brings more experience and immediate readiness but less snarl and bulk. I?d like to think they?ll at least be tempted to take Rashard Mendenhall here, but every indication is they will solve their RB woes much later in the draft. 15. Detroit Lions: Jonathan Stewart, RB, Oregon The two players the Lions really want here are Keith Rivers and Derrick Harvey--if either is on the board Matt Millen just might chest-bump the commish when he delivers the pick. I know the Lions prefer Stewart over Mendenhall at RB, even with the toe injury clouding Stewart?s immediate availability. Apparently Millen hasn?t learned the Kevin Jones lesson quite yet? 16. Arizona Cardinals: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, CB, Tennessee State The Cards sorely need an impact corner who can contain a #1 WR without needing help over the top. DRC comes from a small school but has shown he can more than hang with the big boys in postseason workouts. Mendenhall would not surprise me here either, but a Cards scout I talked to a few weeks ago told me that was ?unlikely?. We?ll see how well I can trust him? 17. Kansas City Chiefs (from MIN): Jeff Otah, T, Pittsburgh The main prize for Jared Allen is the huge tackle the Chiefs hope can help remedy their OL woes. Otah strikes me as more of a RT or even a G than a LT, but the Chiefs need all those spots. Hard to say how much interest they would have in moving down, but the Texans desperately want one of the above tackles at the next slot. 18. Houston Texans: Mike Jenkins, CB, South Florida Jenkins might be the best coverage corner in the draft, and he?s shown the ability to lay the lumber at times. He?s (rightfully) getting rapped for not always keeping his head in the game or trying real hard all the time in run support, but he?s a potential shutdown corner for a team that needs loads of secondary help. If he doesn?t go here and the Texans take Rashard Mendenhall or unexpectedly get real lucky and have one of the above tackles fall here, Jenkins could very well fall out of the first round. 19. Philadelphia Eagles: A. Chad Henne, QB, Michigan or B. Quentin Groves, DE/OLB, Auburn Back down, Eagles fans: this is strictly a player/slot pick. Henne has enough momentum that some QB-needy team (CHI, BAL) could move up here to take him, and those teams would (rightfully) be worried with Tampa having the next pick. If the Eagles keep the pick, in this scenario Groves makes the most sense, a versatile pass rusher who has shown some ability to hold the edge, when healthy. You?re going to see Groves later in this mock and this is a terrible example of waffling, but you want to know what I think is going to happen, right? The honest answer is that I don?t know, but these are the two most plausible outcomes. 20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Desean Jackson, WR/RS, California The Bucs #1 priority is to add an explosive element to the offense. Jackson provides the potential to take it to the house every time he touches the ball both as a wideout and a punt returner. The big question is whether Jackson?s decided lack of mass (he?s built like a HS freshman swimmer) can handle the NFL pounding. This is where Henne or Brohm might go in a trade down, where the Bucs can pick up James Hardy or Malcolm Kelly. 21. Washington Ethnic Slurs: Philip Merling, DE, Clemson Merling has become one of those players who winds up being ?Plan B? for about 10 picks in a row. He?s widely regarded as a very talented all-around end but not a major difference maker, sort of like a corner outfielder who hits .300 with great defense, but just a .330 OBP and .420 SLG and no speed. Coaches love guys like that, fans who understand the intricacies of the game love him, but the statheads and fans who want sizzle with their steak find him a disappointment. 22. Dallas Cowboys (from CLE): Felix Jones, RB, Arkansas Jerry Jones gets his Arkansas RB, and he gets the one that a lot of evaluators feel is the best ?lightning? back in this draft. Because they already have the ?thunder? in Marion Barber and the Cowboys clearly feel that RB is a major need (I strongly dispute that, considering how much cash they are about to give Barber), taking Jones here makes sense, as he might not be available at #28. 23. Pittsburgh Steelers: Gosder Cherilus, T, Boston College Priority #1 for the Steelers is to protect their $100M man, QB Ben Roethlisberger. Cherilus spent his college career protecting Matt Ryan, and showed all the traits necessary to be a very successful NFL right tackle. He struggled some at LT but has the intelligence and athleticism to develop, should the Steelers decide to plug him in there. If by some chance all 5 tackles are gone before this pick, the Steelers will give away every Terrible Towel in Aliquippa to trade down. 24. Tennessee Titans: Rashard Mendenhall, RB, Illinois In an interview last week, Titans legend and TV analyst Frank Wycheck let it slip that the Titans were looking very hard at going RB with this pick if the RB in question rated higher than any DT or DE still on the board. Mendenhall is in the top 10 in many big boards (mine included), and the same cannot be said of any other player still available. 25. Seattle Seahawks: Brian Brohm, QB, Louisville Definitely a player/slot pick, as the Seahawks are known to be very interested in trading down. Most likely scenario: SEA trades down with ATL for #35 and a later pick, perhaps #68. The Seahawks will take Dustin Keller at wherever they drop, which would be #35 in this scenario, just so you don?t think I think the Falcons are taking a TE at #35? 26. Jacksonville Jaguars: Tyrell Johnson, S, Arkansas State Skyrocketing up draft boards everywhere, the playmaking safety could pair with last year?s 1st rounder, Reggie Nelson, to form a dynamic young safety tandem. That?s an important attribute in a pass-happy division. He brings the dynamic of being able to get to the QB, and Jack Del Rio likes to bring some unexpected heat. 27. San Diego Chargers: Jerod Mayo, LB, Tennessee Another player/slot pick, and I believe it will be the Detroit Lions moving up to take Mayo, who is everything Rod Marinelli wants in a MLB. Trying to predict Matt Millen?s draft shenanigans is a painful exercise in futility, so I won?t automatically slot the Chargers with one of the Lions? later picks. The Chargers could very well take Mayo too, though if they keep the pick I?ve been lead to believe they are more interested in Marcus Harrison or Kentwan Balmer. 28. Dallas Cowboys: Antoine Cason, CB, Arizona I?ve heard two different Cowboys beat writers trumpet Cason as this pick, and they certainly need to add a corner. This does not mesh with most Big Board CB rankings, but if drafts went straight by prospect ranking life would be boring. This is the more likely of the two Dallas picks to be dealt, and I would speculate this is the floor for Henne being taken as the result of a trade. It?s going to be real hard for them to pass on Limas Sweed if this scenario plays out, though. 29. San Francisco 49ers (from IND): Sam Baker, T, USC Baker? stock has been all over the place, but he seems to have settled in this range. His projected versatility--many see Baker as an elite-caliber center--is a great asset for a 49ers unit that needs to replace as many as 4 starters over the next two years. The depth of the WR class allows the Niners to wait until their next pick, and Baker probably would not be an option there. 30. Green Bay Packers: Brandon Flowers, CB, Virginia Tech A physical corner who can step right in at nickel back and play the press coverage the Packers love, Flowers is a great fit for the Cheeseheads. His stock is literally all over the place, thanks to questionable decisions off the field and an alarming lack of speed in Indy. Seasoned Hokie watchers I?ve talked with believe Flowers is every bit as good as Deangelo Hall, just a step slower. It wouldn?t shock me if they took Dustin Keller here, as you will undoubtedly see on some other mocks. 31. New York Giants: Quentin Groves, DE/OLB, Auburn I?ll try to keep this brief; if Groves is off the board thanks to no trades up for Henne or Brohm, the Giants will go with a DB, probably Mike Jenkins or Dajuan Morgan. Henne would go to ATL at #34 or #35, Brohm would drop no further than the Panthers. If the draft plays out like this, Groves makes perfect sense for the G-Men, who need to replenish the LB corps. His ability to play end or rush LB makes him a great fit for Jim Johnson?s attacking 4-3. Round 2 32. Miami Dolphins: Joe Flacco, QB, Delaware 33. St. Louis Rams: Limas Sweed, WR, Texas 34. Atlanta Falcons: Kenny Phillips, S, Miami FL 35. Atlanta Falcons (from OAK): Dustin Keller, TE, Purdue--see #25 above 36. Kansas City Chiefs: Aqib Talib, CB, Kansas 37. New York Jets: Chris Johnson, RB, East Carolina--but if they got McFadden in the 1st, then look at any above QB or a pass rusher here. 38. Baltimore Ravens: Dan Connor, LB, Penn State--but look for a trade up for a QB 39. San Francisco 49ers: James Hardy, WR, Indiana 40. New Orleans Saints: Kentwan Balmer, DT, North Carolina 41. Buffalo Bills: Curtis Lofton, LB, Oklahoma 42. Denver Broncos: Malcolm Kelly, WR, Oklahoma 43. Carolina Panthers: Ray Rice, RB, Rutgers 44. Chicago Bears: Matt Forte, RB, Tulane 45. Detroit Lions: Trevor Laws, DT, Notre Dame 46. Cincinnati Bengals: Andre Caldwell, WR, Florida 47. Minnesota Vikings: John Carlson, TE, Notre Dame 48. Atlanta Falcons (from HOU): Duane Brown, T, Virginia Tech 49. Philadelphia Eagles: Justin King, CB, Penn State 50. Arizona Cardinals: Jamaal Charles, RB, Texas 51. Washington Ethnic Slurs: Marcus Harrison, DT, Arkansas 52. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Tashard Choice, RB, Georgia Tech 53. Pittsburgh Steelers: Jason Jones, DE, Eastern Michigan 54. Tennessee Titans: Xavier Adibi, LB, Virginia Tech 55. Seattle Seahawks: Eddie Royal, WR, Virginia Tech 56. Green Bay Packers (from CLE): Martellus, Bennett, TE, Texas A&M 57. Miami Dolphins (from SD): Dre Moore, DT, Maryland 58. Jacksonville Jaguars: Lawrence Jackson, DE, USC 59. Indianapolis Colts: Early Doucet, WR, LSU 60. Green Bay Packers: John Greco, OL, Toledo 61. Dallas Cowboys: Anthony Collins, T, Kansas 62. New England Patriots: Beau Bell, LB, UNLV 63. New York Giants: Dajuan Morgan, S, NC State Round 3 64. Miami Dolphins: Jordy Nelson, WR, Kansas State 65. St. Louis Rams: Mike Pollak, C, Arizona State 66. Kansas City Chiefs: Reggie Smith, CB, Oklahoma 67. New England Patriots (from OAK): Kellen Davis, TE, Michigan State 68. Atlanta Falcons: Tavares Gooden, LB, Miami FL 69. Carolina Panthers (from NYJ): Phillip Wheeler, LB, Georgia Tech 70. Chicago Bears: Chilo Rachal, G, USC 71. Jacksonville Jaguars (from BUF): Carl Nicks, T/G, Nebraska 72. Buffalo Bills: Charles Godfrey, CB, Iowa 73. Kansas City Chiefs (from DEN via MIN): Tyvon Branch, CB, Connecticut 74. Carolina Panthers: Jeremy Zuttah, OL, Rutgers 75. San Francisco 49ers: Erin Henderson, LB, Maryland 76. Detroit Lions: Tracy Porter, CB, Indiana 77. Cincinnati Bengals: Calais Campbell, DE, Miami FL 78. New Orleans Saints: Mario Manningham, WR, Michigan 79. Houston Texans: Tony Hills, T, Texas 80. Philadelphia Eagles: Kevin Smith, RB, Central Florida 81. Arizona Cardinals: Jerome Simpson, WR, Coastal Carolina 82. Kansas City Chiefs (from MIN): Dexter Jackson, WR, Appalachian State 83. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Chris Ellis, DE, Virginia Tech 84. Washington Ethnic Slurs: Fred Davis, TE, USC 85. Tennessee Titans: Jeremy Thompson, DE, Wake Forest 86. Seattle Seahawks: Red Bryant, DT, Texas A&M 87. Detroit Lions (from CLE): O?Neill Cousins, T, UTEP 88. Pittsburgh Steelers: Donnie Avery, WR, Houston 89. Jacksonville Jaguars: Andre Fluellen, DL, Florida State 90. Chicago Bears (from SD): Andre Woodson, QB, Kentucky 91. Green Bay Packers: Letroy Guion, DT, Florida State 92. Dallas Cowboys: Josh Barrett, S, Arizona State 93. Indianapolis Colts: Ezra Butler, LB, Nevada 94. New England Patriots: Terrell Thomas, CB, USC 95. New York Giants: Earl Bennett, WR, Vanderbilt 96. Washington Ethnic Slurs: John Sullivan, C, Notre Dame 97. Cincinnati Bengals: Jordon Dizon, LB, Colorado 98. Atlanta Falcons: Patrick Lee, CB, Auburn 99. Baltimore Ravens: Lavelle Hawkins, WR, California - New England forfeited their 1st round pick (#31) due to the Spygate incident - 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. Join us in the chat room during the draft!