Posted by Walter
1. Oakland Raiders - Jamarcus Russell, QB LSU
At this point it looks to be a two horse race between Russell and Calvin Johnson (I am definitely NOT buying Brady Quinn as any sort of serious candidate). If the Raiders are able to find a taker for Randy Moss some time in the next few days, I might reconsider this pick. Still, picking a wideout before the person who is going to throw him the ball is, metaphorically speaking, putting the cart before the horse. Furthermore, if the Raiders were really serious about moving Moss and drafting Johnson, why didn't they make more of an effort to acquire David Carr when he was available? Carr is a young, former #1 overall pick, who would have been a major upgrade for the Raiders. They have too many holes in their roster to take Johnson after eschewing the opportunity to add Carr.
Frazier Fan - Please? He's big, he's strong, he's incredibly accurate (which everyone seems to forget) and we are desperate for a quarterback. This needs to happen. I just hope Al Davis is alive to make the pick.
2. Detroit Lions - Gaines Adams, DE Clemson
If I were a gambling man, and who's to say I'm not, I would put the odds of the Lions trading this pick at a little under 60%. Chances are that if Jamarcus Russell goes #1 overall, Calvin Johnson will go to some team, not the Lions, in this spot....problem is that right now it is just about impossible to say which team. If the Lions stick at this spot, which could happen if they aren't offered a fair deal, Adams seems the likely pick. While he is not the elite prospect that either Johnson or Joe Thomas is, Adams is the best player who fits an immediate need for the Lions. Really Adams selection is nothing more than a function of attrition. I don't think Matt Millen has the stones to pick another wideout in the top 10, so Johnson is out. Brady Quinn would be a nice fit, but Mike Martz isn't exactly known for developing young quarterbacks and the team could be targeting local product Drew Stanton at the top of round 2. Adrien Peterson would be a defensible pick based on value, but the Lions already have Kevin Jones, Tatum Bell, and Brian Calhoun on the roster. Bottom line is that the Lions better trade out of this spot.
FF - WHAT?! Fuck, this is a Mario Williams situation in the making. Whatever happened to "best available"?! Who the hell makes a "reach" pick with the second selection in the entire draft?! FIRE MILLEN!
3. Cleveland Browns - Brady Quinn, QB Notre Dame
News broke yesterday that the Browns had narrowed their choices down to two players: Adrien Peterson and Joe Thomas. Folks, this is what we call a smoke screen. Neither pick makes any sense given what the Browns have done this offseason. A month ago, Peterson would have been a mortal lock to go to the Browns. But then the team paid Jamal Lewis starter money, and the chances dropped. Sure they could pick Peterson and team him in the backfield with Lewis, but that doesn't make a ton of sense. If they were interested in running a two back system, with the lead back being Peterson, they had an adequate, and MUCH cheaper, compliment in Reuben Droughns. As for Thomas, the Browns have spent more money on their offensive line the past two offseasons (adding among others, Lecharles Bentley, Joe Andruzzi, and Eric Steinbach) than any other area.....and it's showed. The line has a ton of talent and should be solid, but it does you no good to have a top O-line if you don't have electric skill guys to make plays.
FF - Great, Crennel and company are so busy trying to save their asses that the pick this ridiculous Golden Domer so that if things don't go well, they can say they were "rebuilding" with a "talented" rookie signal caller. This kid is like a deer in headlights in a big game, fortunately for him, he won't play in any of those in Cleveland.
4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Calvin Johnson, WR Georgia Tech
Again, if I were a betting man I'd say the odds of Johnson falling all the way to #4 are about 50-50. If he does fall to #4, I'd bet that the odds of the Bucs actually drafting him are also 50-50 (the other 50% being a trade). It is very difficult for teams to offer enough value to get into the top 3, but there is somewhat of a dropoff at #4 overall. Teams like the Vikings and Falcons may be willing to offer Tampa a godfather type deal to get into position to draft Johnson at four because he is a top 2 caliber talent. Jon Gruden is an offensive guy no doubt, but given GM Bruce Allen's draft history, my bet is that Allen's top choice would be tackle Joe Thomas. The Bucs really could end up holding the key to the entire first round. If they hold serve and draft Johnson their may be minimal movement in the top 10. But if they are willing to trade down, they could really shake things up by squeezing a team aching to draft either Johnson or Joe Thomas.
FF - Woohoo! The best player in the draft at #4?! I don't care if we have other needs, this dude is a sure thing. Also, we can blaze together.
5. Arizona Cardinals - Joe Thomas, OT Wisconsin
If he is available, Thomas to Arizona is the lock of the first round. The Cardinals desperately need Joe Thomas to protect Matt Leinart's blind side, and give him time to find their superb wideout duo of Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald. Really, there is no other possibility here. In fact, I believe the Cardinals want Thomas so badly that they may consider trading up with Detroit to ensure that he is available when they pick. The bottom line is that no other player in the draft will help solidify the Cardinals like Thomas will. Thomas is worth a lot more to them than he is to any other team in the draft. The Cardinals can sit tight and hope that Thomas falls, but I could see either Cleveland or Tampa taking Thomas, especially if the Raiders or the team drafting #2 selects Calvin Johnson. If I were them, I'd be proactive and do what I had to do to get into the top 2 to draft the big Wisconsin tackle.
FF - DEAR GOD YES! This is hands-down the best thing that could possibly, conceivably, ever happen to us. We get rid of a terrible OL to a massive contract, and we pick a stud in the first round?! Our running game just got better, our passing game just got better, and I'm thinking...... playoffs?
6. Atlanta Falcons - Laron Landry, S LSU (projected trade with Washington)
I expect Atlanta to make a major push to move up into the top 4 to draft Calvin Johnson. The Falcons acquired an extra 2nd round pick for Matt Schaub so they are one of the few teams that have the ammunition necessary to make such a move. As I posited yesterday, the Falcons are in somewhat of a precarious position. They have a great new coach, and actually have a ton of talent that is almost ready to win right now. Their two big holes are at wide receiver and safety, and Calvin Johnson and Laron Landry are the only elite prospects in the draft that can help them right now. If the top 5 plays out as I have it, Atlanta will be sitting at #8 with one guy on their draft board: Landry. Now it is possible that he could be available at 8, but both the Redskins and the Vikings need help at safety. It probably wouldn't cost the Falcons a lot to move up two spots, and it would ensure them that they get their man.
FF - Not crazy about trading up to get a safety. Especially seeing as it won't help Vick any, and that's really where we need to make strides. Landry is good, but I have to question the value for us in this position.
7. Minnesota Vikings - Adrien Peterson, RB Oklahoma
Look Chester Taylor is not the answer. He is a nice player, but passing on a talent like Adrien Peterson because you have Chester Taylor would be a monumental mistake. The Vikings are another team that could hold a key to how the first round plays out. They have a ton of needs, but they may also be in a position to snap up a superior talent like Peterson or Brady Quinn if either of them start sliding down the board. Head man Brad Childress tended to prefer smaller backs in Philly, but Peterson's skill set is unmatched, and he is strong enough to carry the load for a full 16 games (something guys like Duce Staley and Brian Westbrook) were never able to do. If the Vikings decide they like Chester Taylor, trading down is also an option.
FF - Get the orthopedics division at the Mayo clinic on the phone, NOW! I love Peterson, and lord knows that Tayler is not the answer. Especially seeing as how we have NO quarterbacks on the roster right now. So this may be an awesome pick, but I'm just afraid we drafted a porcelein running back.
8. Washington Redskins - Jamaal Anderson, DE Arkansas (projected trade)
This is why trading out of the 6 spot makes a lot of sense for the Skins. Anderson is the guy they need, and probably the guy they want all along. They need help on the defensive line and at least one of Anderson or Amobi Okoye will be available at this spot (most likely both will be here). Anderson is not as polished as Gaines Adams, but he has far more raw ability, and may even project better as an every down NFL lineman due to his ability to play the run. While I do believe the Redskins like Anderson, I wouldn't be shocked to see them trade down again to acquire more picks.
FF - Woohoo! I really like Anderson. He's big, and strong, and fast, and he's going to be very good for our defense. Put the quarterback on his ass!
9. Miami Dolphins - Amobi Okoye, DT Louisville
The Dolphins desperately need help on the interior defensive line. Their top three tackles from last year are all gone (not that any of them were any good) so at a minimum they need bodies who can play inside. Okoye is by far the best interior line prospect in this draft. At only 19 years old, Okoye has a lot of development left and it's anybody's guess how good he could be in 4 years if coached up properly. He projects as a classic 3 technique, pass rushing tackle, and would fit in perfectly in Miami. Jason Taylor is still dominant, but he is getting old. Okoye would be the perfect player to succeed Taylor as the Dolphins best pass rushing threat.
FF - Does the kid play quarterback? I'm not saying we're all-set defensively, but our offense was a problem last year. I like the potential here, but if we don't start scoring some points, our defense is going to calcify before it matters whether Okoye is doing anything or not.
10. Houston Texans - Levi Brown, OT Penn State
Many pundits and scouts feel that Brown has narrowed the gap between himself and Joe Thomas over the past few weeks....no freakin way. Brown is a nice player, and should be a starting caliber NFL tackle, but he isn't nearly the athlete that Thomas is. Brown is more of a mauler, and is going to struggle with NFL speed rushers. Still, he is clearly the #2 tackle on the board, and no team, perhaps in the history of the NFL, needs a tackle more than the Texans. Houston's lack of pass protection submarined David Carr's career. They paid a dear price to acquire Matt Schaub, and they owe it to him to provide him with enough protection to give him a fighting chance.
FF - Pinch me. I must be dreaming. A reasonable pick at a position that has been the bane of our existence since our inception? No way. It's like the Bizarro-Texans or something.
11. San Francisco 49ers - Adam Carriker, DE Nebraska
The 49ers are a nice up and coming team. Their biggest need is at wide receiver, but this is probably a bit early for them to grab either Ginn or Meachem. But still it could happen. Carriker wouldn't be a bad consolation prize. He is a big, strong, NFL ready defensive lineman who most feel can play any position on a defensive line. San Francisco is in somewhat of a state of transition. They aren't sure whether they want to be a 4-3 team or a 3-4 team. Drafting Carriker gives them the option to play both, as he is the rare prospect who could play the end spot in either defense.
FF - Our offense is looking promising these days, and if we step up defensively we could really make some noise. Carriker does a lot of things I like, and I've got a feeling he's going to do some great things for us.
12. Buffalo Bills - Patrick Willis, LB Mississippi
Buffalo is another intriguing team. After dumping Willis McGahee, if Adrien Peterson starts to fall they'd be foolish not to try and move up a few spots to grab him. If they are unable to move up enough, they should have two players available at the #12 spot that fill immediate needs for them: Willis and Michigan corner Leon Hall. The Bills have lost two top corners via free agency in the past few offseasons, but they have young players in the defensive backfield who they like very much. The same cannot be said for the middle linebacker position, where London Fletcher's departure leaves a gaping hole. Willis is the best Mike prospect in the draft, and he would probably start from day one.
FF - Nothing better than losing a quality free agent and then having to spend your first-round pick replacing him with an unproven rookie. So, what you're saying is, best case scenario we are as good as we were last season? Um, we sucked, that's why we have this high draft choice in the first place. Ugh.
13. St. Louis Rams - Leon Hall, CB Michigan
The Rams have a lot of holes in their roster, so this pick could go a number of way. Chances are it is going to be a defensive pick, especially since they spent so much money on the offense during the offseason. Even after choosing Ty Hill last year, the Rams still need a ton of help in the defensive secondary. They'd be dumb to pass on the draft's top rated corner this late in the first round. Hall is a physical player, who reminds some of Ty Law (not me though, I consider that an insult to Law) and he'd fit in nicely in St. Louis. Alan Branch is another possibility here, as he'd solidify one of the worst run defenses in the league last season.
FF - Getting the top CB in the draft at #13? Yeah, that's a steal. Although I didn't love seeing him get destroyed by Jarrett, I am loving the upgrade at a marquee position!
14. Carolina Panthers - Greg Olsen, TE Miami
The Panthers have some needs, but unfortunately none of them mesh with where they are picking. The Panthers' biggest need is wideout. While I think Ted Ginn is an option here, my esteemed co-blogger has posited on many occasions that Ginn is basically the same type of player as Steve Smith, and therefore doesn't make a whole lot of sense for Carolina. This is true, but I still believe Ginn or one of the other wideouts is a possibility. Olsen, is a player who probably doesn't deserve to go this high, but definitely fits a needs for the Panthers. Since Wes Walls retired the Panthers haven't had a top pass catching TE, and they could even split Olsen out wide to compliment Steve Smith. Olsen is a logical pick, but the question remains how much Carolina wants to reach here to fill a need.
FF - Ok! Another option besides Smith? Yeah, I can get on board with this. I know our defense isn't what it was, but we're going to need more than a one-man offense, and Olsen should be a big target that can be an excellent compliment.
15. Pittsburgh Steelers - Paul Poszlusny, LB Penn State
OK several reasons why this just makes too much sense not to happen. (i) Puz is a local(ish) guy, and former Steeler great, and Penn State alum, Jack Hamm absolutely loves what Pu brings to the table. (ii) Pittsburgh needs a linebacker after letting Joey Porter go. And (iii) Mike Tomlin is a classic Tampa Cover 2 defensive guy. He isn't going to change his entire philosophy and run the 3-4, even though that's what Pittsburgh has been running for years. To install his defense he needs linebackers that can play the 4-3. Puz is the only backer in this draft who can ease the transition by playing in the 3-4 in 2007, and then moving either to the weak side or middle in a cover 2 4-3 scheme. Remember, you heard it here first. Paul Poszlusny will make his mark as a Tampa 2 middle linebacker, a la Brian Urlacher.
FF - ROCK ON! I couldn't be happier. I am downright giddy. Puz is a stud! He's is everything that Porter isn't, young, hard-working, doesn't run his mouth. This is the next great one from Linebacker U. Puz is just a guy who makes tackles, knows the game, and plays with tremendous heart.
The Girl of Steel - YES! WOOHOO!
16. Green Bay Packers - Marshawn Lynch, RB California
The Packers drafted AJ Hawk last year, so we're betting that this is going to be an offensive pick. Ted Ginn would make some sense, but again, choosing a wideout before you have a competent running back is putting the cart before the horse. Vernand Morency is not the option, and it won't matter how good the wideouts are if the Packers can't run the ball. For years Ahman Green carried this team. While I am not high on Marshawn Lynch, he is the consensus #2 running back in the entire draft and would infuse the Packers running game with some game breaking ability immediately.
FF - Ugh. This makes me ill. I know we need a running attack, so that Favre won't try to do everything himself. But Lynch just isn't good enough to be taken here. Isn't there a way we could trade up for Peterson? Or trade down and get Lynch later? Or, well, anything other than taking JJ Arrington Jr? I am going to throw up about six Schlitzes and a wheel of chedder.