1. Oakland Raiders- JaMarcus Russell, LSU, QB
It looks as if Randy Moss or Jerry Porter will stay in Oakland. Someone has to get them the ball. Russell has done a great job of shaking off doubts of having poor work habits and putting in one of the best QB Pro Days in years. He’ll enter the NFL as the strongest arm from the get-go.
2. Detroit Lions- Calvin Johnson, GaTech, WR
A what? A what?! Another wide receiver in the first round?!?! Yes! The difference this time is that Calvin Johnson is the clear-cut best talent of this draft. Furrey will excel as a #3. Johnson and Roy Williams will have opposing defensive coordinators scared.
3. Cleveland Browns- Adrian Peterson, OU, RB
Sure… they signed Jamal Lewis, but only for one year. Lewis is a workhorse, but his production has lacked. With his difficulty to be in a single-back set, Peterson is the perfect RB to pair with Lewis. Basically, don’t be fooled by the signing of Lewis… it’s a smokescreen.
4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Gaines Adams, CLEM, DE
The Bucs defense is aging and it’s too high to address any other defensive position. They grab the draft’s best D-lineman, with the most upside. With the addition of Kevin Carter, he’ll be able to focus on contributing on passing downs, until he bulks up and becomes an every-down player.
5. Arizona Cardinals- Joe Thomas, WIS, OT
Definitely the best offensive lineman in the draft. Joe Thomas is amongst the elite tackle prospects in the past few years and will make Matt Leinart happy.
6. Washington Redskins- Adam Carriker, NEB, DE/DT
I look for the Skins to trade down here, but predicting with whom and for what is far too difficult. One thing is clear… they need to stop the run AND put pressure on the QB. Carriker provides that by being technically sound, strong and athletic. He can step in from day one (or day 3 or 4… Greg Williams is notorious for not starting rookies) and contribute.
7. Minnesota Vikings- Brady Quinn, ND, QB
Tavaris Jackson surprised many, but an elite franchise QB? Eh… The Vikings feel more comfortable with Quinn, whom is well prepared for the NFL. Now the problem is finding him reliable receivers…
8. Houston Texans- Laron Landry, LSU, FS
They’ve been building their defense for the past few years. Mario Williams, Demeco Ryans and Dunta Robinson are all solid at their position, but they need an elite leader and they get that in the form of Laron Landry, who just may be the best overall defensive prospect this year.
9. Miami Dolphins- Amobi Okoye, LOU, DT
The nineteen year old phenomenon falls to the Dolphins and they’re ecstatic. Kevin Carter may be missed, but not for long. Okoye can play any position on the D-Line and is a nice fit for a 3-4 DE.
10. Atlanta Falcons- Jamaal Anderson, ARK, DE
Patrick Kerney left for Seattle. He’s aging and coming off an injured season, so the Falcons grab Jamaal Anderson. He and a healthy John Abraham will bring terror off the edges. Tackles beware.
11. San Francisco 49’ERs- Alan Branch, MICH, DT
In order to switch to the 3-4, they need a big wide body to eat up space in the middle. Perhaps, Branch being too big and wide is the reason he falls out of the top ten, but if he can contain his weight, he’ll be a top 5 NT in the league in a few short years.
They lose the 80 Million Dollar man, Nate Clements to the overpaying 49’ER’s, and replace him with a similar, hard-hitting, sure-tackling, ball-hawking cornerback, Leon Hall. Hall, Donte Whitner, Ko Simpson, and a returning Ashton Youbouty will form a very young, very talented secondary.
13. St. Louis Rams- Ted Ginn Jr., OSU, WR/CB
They’d love to address DE, here, but really… who’s worthy at this point? They lose Kevin Curtis and Bruce and Holt are not getting younger. Drew Bennett adds youth and the skills you look for in a possession receiver, but they still lack a true burner and playmaker. Holt is still an elite WR, but it’s time to bring more electricity back into this offense. Ginn provides exactly that and he’s capable of being a dangerous kick returner. He’s been quoted as being interested in contributing as a CB at the next level.
14. Carolina Panthers- Patrick Willis, OLE MISS, ILB
They can’t go into next season with a revamped secondary, top d-lines and still relying on Dan Morgan to be healthy a full season to sure up their LB core. Patrick Willis is head-above-heels when it comes to MLB talent, so they select the best one. Look for last year’s 3rd rounder, James Anderson to compete for a starting job at WLB, along with SLB Thomas Davis and the Panthers may be ready for a strong playoff push.
15. Pittsburgh Steelers- Levi Brown, PSU, OT
Once thought to be a top ten pick, the Steelers strike it rich with the big fellow, due to the overwhelming defensive talent this year. Protecting Big Ben is key to the Steelers success. It starts here.
16. Green Bay Packers- Marshawn Lynch, CAL, RB
Will they get Randy Moss? Yes? No? Maybe so? Either way… they have to think about replacing Ahman Green and “Money” Lynch just may be an upgrade at this point in their careers.
17. Jacksonville Jaguars- Reggie Nelson, FLA, SS
Deon Grant left in free agency so they quickly replace him with the young, hard-hitting, ball-honing, Florida native, Reggie Nelson. His upside is unlimited. His potential is amazing, and I expect him to fulfill it, unlike some of their past draft picks…
18. Cincinnati Bengals- Darrelle Revis, PITT, CB
No more knuckleheads!!! They get an impeccable talent at CB, minus any baggage. Look for Revis to be to the Bengals what Dunta Robinson has been for the Texans… a scrappy, brave-hearted CB who aggressively defends ANY opponent. Revis may contribute on special teams as a returner, as well.
19. Tennessee Titans- Dwayne Bowe, LSU, WR
Poor Jeff Fisher. During his entire tenure, he’s been looking for a go-to receiver. With the loss of Drew Bennett, they’ll really need to find someone to help Vince Young show that he’s elite. Dwayne Bowe’s stock has been on the rise. He’s tall, tough, strong and fast. He’ll surely dominate in the red zone.
20. New York Giants- Chris Houston, ARK, CB
He’s steadily rising up draft boards with his blazing speed and impressive measurables. The Giants have a weak secondary and they hope Houston will improve it.
21. Denver Broncos- Brandon Meriweather, MIA(Fla), S
They could use a consistent pass rusher but the depth at DE is deep in this draft and a pass rusher can always be found later, so the Broncos solidify their secondary as the best with this selection. Meriweather is an impeccable talent. He can play just about any position in the defensive secondary, including cornerback, which he proved at the Senior Bowl. With the tutelage of Lynch and Bailey, he’ll easily be a future Pro Bowler.
22. Dallas Cowboys- Justin Blalock, TEX, G
Surely, they added Leonard Davis, but they still need to get better at G. Blalock’s explosiveness and quick feet will help the run game immensely. Julius Jones is not bad… the O-Line just needs some youth, so they get it.
23. Kansas City Chiefs- Dwayne Jarrett, USC, WR
Eddie Kennison is their only mentionable name at WR, and he’s 34. They could reach for an offensive tackle, or even defensive tackle, at this point, but they can’t ignore receiver for long. It’s not often that you get a player of Jarrett’s caliber to fall this far. They can’t pass on him.
24. New England Patriots- Jarvis Moss, FLA, DE/LB
He’s talented and versatile. While they added Adalius Thomas in the offseason, they only add more speed, tenacity and talent to their defense with this pick. Taking a chance on potential vs. production is a luxury the Pats always seem to have.
25. New York Jets- Aaron Ross, TEX, CB
Aside from Kerry Rhodes and Justin Miller, their defensive secondary is nothing to be crazy about. They take a very mature player, who may not have much more upside, but is already prepared to contribute immediately. Look for them to get a space-eating NT to free up Jonathan Vilma, later on.
26. Philadelphia Eagles- Lawrence Timmons, FSU, LB
The Eagles need more talent on both sides of the ball and at this point, Timmons may be the best pure talent, albeit raw. Dhani Jones made no impact last season. Trotter is not getting any younger, and Omar Gaither (5th rounder, 2006) filled in nicely. Timmons is a wise choice to upgrade at either outside linebacker position.
27. New Orleans Saints- Daymeion Hughes, CAL, CB
This is their biggest glaring need, aside from a talented LB, but they take a ball-hawk. This pick could very well be Marcus McCauley, but Hughes will create more turnovers and proved that his speed is not a big liability, during his Pro Day.
28. New England Patriots- Michael Griffin, TEX, S
They need to look for someone to groom as Rodney Harrison’s replacement and Griffin is the perfect choice. Griffin has extremely long coverage range, but tends to make a lot of mistakes. He’ll correct that with a year of special teams and studying behind one of the best safeties of the past ten years.
29. Baltimore Ravens- Arron Sears, TENN, OL
They landed a steal in McGahee, and now they need more youth on that O-line because McGahee is a cut-back runner. Running lanes must come often and quickly for the McGahee-Ravens marriage to work.
30. San Diego Chargers- Robert Meachem, TENN, WR
At this point, he’s a steal. They need to replace Keenan McCardell and Vincent Jackson needs to step up, even more, this season. It may take him a year or two to completely take over, but I see a lot of Anquan Boldin in Robert Meachem. Everyone is looking for the Chargers to have a relapse, since Norv Turner will be the head coach, and Marty is out… so why not develop a player with this potential at a glaring position of need?
31. Chicago Bears- Ben Grubbs, AUB, OG
Chicago needs some help protecting their franchise QB, and Grubbs is an athletic, strong and athletic big man that should do wonders for their running game.
32. Indianapolis Colts- DeMarcus ‘Tank’ Tyler
The Super Bowl champs add to their run defense with this wide-body. Tyler shares the same privilege as former teammates, Mario Williams, and Manny Lawson, becoming a first round pick. He shall help the Colts run defense, which was horrid during the regular season.