A few reaches, and some quality players falling way too far, but honestly, this is easily the best Mock I've seen from the mass media (beats the living Hell out of FOX and ESPN).
2005 NFL Mock Draft by Fanball Staff - Fanball.com Thursday, March 24, 2005
Our first 2005 Mock Draft will assume no trades; future mocks (one a week, right up until the real thing in late April) will feature both a straight (no trades) draft and a mock draft with trades based on some of the trade rumors we're hearing.
Without further ado, our 2005 NFL Mock Draft.
1. San Francisco 49ers Alex Smith, QB, Utah Comment: Smith showed his intelligence by earning a bachelor's degree in economics in just two years. He also went to Utah, which means he should be Osmond-like off the field. He acts and even looks a little like Opie from Mayberry. How could the Niners even think about passing on this kid? Actually, they might if the rumors about their fondness for Michigan wide receiver Braylon Edwards or California quarterback Aaron Rodgers are accurate.
ADVERTISEMENT 2. Miami Dolphins Ronnie Brown, RB, Auburn Comment: Like every other team with a top-five pick, the Dolphins would love to trade down. Brown's combine workout was eye-popping enough that a team in need of a back might make the leap, but more likely is that the Fins will have to make the pick on their own. Texas LB Derrick Johnson is an option, though it sounds as if new coach Nick Saban is sticking with a 4-3 base defense and quality linebackers should be available in later rounds. The Dolphins might also look at another Longhorn, RB, Cedric Benson, though his similarities to excommunicated Fin Ricky Williams might prohibit such a selection.
3. Cleveland Browns Aaron Rodgers, QB, California Comment: Last year, we had the Browns using their first-round pick on local quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Obviously, they didn't take our advice, and after marking time for a year with Jeff Garcia and Kelly Holcomb at the helm the Browns find themselves in the exact same spot they were a year ago. Trent Dilfer is a short-term solution, and unless the Browns are confident Charlie Frye will be available for them with their next pick, it makes sense to get Rodgers here. The dearth of playmakers on Cleveland's roster could also direct them towards Edwards, and new coach Rome Crennel loves the defense so Johnson or West Virginia CB Adam "Pac-Man" Jones could also garner consideration.
4. Chicago Bears Braylon Edwards, WR, Michigan Comment: Just because the Bears signed free agent Muhsin Muhammad to a six-year, $30 million contract doesn't mean they've filled their wide receiver needs. Not when the players listed below Moose on the depth chart are Bobby Wade, Justin Gage, and Bernard Berrian. Plus, Muhammad will be 32 years-old this season, so it's hard to imagine him playing out the duration of his contract. That said, the Bears are the early wild card of the draft, as they could just as easily select a running back or Texas linebacker Derrick Johnson.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cedrick Benson, RB, Texas Comment: Bucs' head coach Jon Gruden fell in love (in a manly way) when he coached Cadillac Williams at the Senior Bowl in February. However, we'd be surprised if Chucky were to choose Williams over Benson if the situation presents itself. Michael Pittman played well following his stint in the big house and a four-game suspension, but the coaching staff lost faith after he fumbled six times. Another possibility with his pick is USC wide receiver Mike Williams, who has been working out with Bucs' wideout Michael Clayton.
6. Tennessee Titans Adam Jones, CB, West Virginia Comment: The Titans are in full-on rebuilding mode, and one of the many pieces of the puzzle who left due to the salary cap was CB Samari Rolle. The Titans might consider another Rolle, Antrel (no relation) with this pick, but Pac Man is the better prospect—with the added bonus of being the kick returner the Titans have a need for as well. New OC Norm Chow might put in a good word for Williams, and the Titans have only two wideouts on their roster after losing Derrick Mason to the Ravens and releasing the rest of their backups, so don't be stunned if USC alum Jeff Fisher keeps it in the family with a Trojan pick.
7. Minnesota Vikings (from Raiders) Mike Williams, WR, USC Comment: Vikings' officials will be delighted if Williams or Edwards fall to them in the No. 7 spot. Head coach Mike Tice would love to pick a receiver who can step right in and help fill some of the void left by Randy Moss, who was dealt to the Raiders during the offseason. If both receivers are gone, the Vikings might consider Texas linebacker Derrick Johnson with this pick. If all three players are gone, don't be surprised if the Purple trade down.
8. Arizona Cardinals Carnell Williams, RB, Auburn Comment: Head coach Dennis Green will be downright giddy if Cadillac or one of the other big-three backs is still available with this pick. The Cardinals are candidates to trade up to solidify their chances of scoring Brown, Benson, or Williams if they can find a team that will give up a better pick in exchange for the No. 8 and offensive tackle L.J. Shelton. It's also possible that the Cards will deal Shelton and a draft pick to the Bills for Travis Henry, who has publicly expressed his desire to play in the desert. If such a scenario plays out, the Cards would likely shift their focus to linebacker.
9. Washington Redskins Dan Cody, DE, Oklahoma Comment: Joe Gibbs would love to add a wide receiver or an offensive lineman with this pick, but he's probably out of luck unless he chooses to reach for a player at either position. Gibbs would be better off addressing the team's defensive end need, which they've tried to fill by cozying up to free agent Courtney Brown. Although team officials claim the move was unrelated, the Skins even went so far as to sign the oft-injured former No. 1 overall pick's cousin safety Pierson Prioleau. If nothing else, this shows how desperate the team is to add a defensive end.
10. Detroit Lions Alex Barron, T, Florida State Comment: This might feel like a reach, but the Lions aren't stretching too far with his pick, as Barron is considered the best offensive lineman in the draft. The Lions lost starting right tackle Stockar McDougle in free agency to the Dolphins, and general manager Matt Millen doesn't appear to be going out of his way to fill that hole. Maybe that's because Millen expects Barron to be available, or maybe we are reaching. We'll find out on draft day.
11. Dallas Cowboys Derek Johnson, LB, Texas Comment: Johnson blew away coaches and scouts at the NFL scouting combine earlier this month with his impressive workout. Some scouts believe he is the best linebacker prospect to come around in ages, while others feel that he is a bit overrated. The logic behind the latter assessment is that he's an undersized player who relies on speed, and therefore turned in some dazzling dash times at the combine. Head coach Bill Parcells has a hole to fill at linebacker, and team owner Jerry Jones will be smiling somewhere underneath those plastic surgery scars if he can add this instate product.
12. San Diego Chargers (from Giants) Marcus Spears, DE, LSU Comment: How did the Chargers come out of nowhere to go 12-4 last year? By consistently picking at the top of the draft and quietly assembling a talented roster. By virtue of the Eli Manning fleecing, the Bolts have an early pick this year as well and will likely get to decide between a pair of pass-rushing defensive end types. The Chargers really can't go wrong either way, but Spears is the better fit because the other option, Maryland's Shawne Merriman, projects to be a linebacker at the NFL level. If the Redskins opt for Merriman and Cody slides here, he might be the Bolts' pick.
13. Houston Texans Shawne Merriman, DE/LB, Maryland Comment: The Texans will be crushed if Alex Barron isn't around for this pick, and they might seriously consider a cornerback like Antrel Rolle or Carlos Rogers here as well. However, after giving both Jay Foreman and Jamie Sharper their walking papers this offseason, it would be extremely difficult for Dom Capers not to add Merriman's pass-rushing skills to his defense. With Jason Babin, an early pick last year, on one side and Merriman on the other, Capers would finally have the talent to unleash his pet zone blitz schemes.
14. Carolina Panthers Troy Williamson, WR, South Carolina Comment: The fact that Panthers' head coach John Fox talked 85 year-old Ricky Proehl into returning for another season as the No. 3 wide receiver is proof that this team needs wideout help. Steve Smith is returning from a broken fibula, and Keary Colbert is fresh off a so-so rookie campaign. Enter Williamson, who is arguably the fastest receiver in the draft and a hometown product.
15. Kansas City Chiefs Antrel Rolle, CB, Miami Comment: Great googly-moogly, the Chefs are drafting defense! With so many needs on that side of the ball, KC will opt for the top defender on their board regardless of position—though if they land Ty Law via free agency they might lean towards Flordia State defensive tackle Travis Johnson or Wisconsin defensive end Erasmus James. Auburn corner Carlos Rogers could also get consideration here, though Rolle's recent workout probably elevated his stock enough to make him the Chiefs' choice.
16. New Orleans Saints Carlos Rogers, CB, Auburn Comment: The Saints will continue to overhaul a secondary that was among the worst in the league last year. They renovation began last year when they acquired cornerback Mike McKenzie from the Packers, and continued when they signed free safety Dwight Smith earlier this month. The overhaul will be complete on draft day when the team adds Rogers or another cornerback.
17. Cincinnati Bengals Travis Johnson, DT, Florida State Comment: The question for Marvin Lewis' defense has been, "Where's the beef?" Johnson should answer that question, filling a big need for the Bengals on their defensive front line. Cincy has plenty of talent on the offensive side of the ball, and since Marv's specialty is defense you know the Bengals' struggles in that area gnaw at his insides. Johnson would be a significant step in upgrading Cincy's defensive front, but if he's gone the Bengals could turn to other D-linemen like James or USC's Shaun Cody or possibly Oklahoma safety Brodney Pool.
18. Minnesota Vikings Erasmus James, DE, Wisconsin Comment: The Vikings' defense doesn't have many needs, but they are still shaky at the end positions. Meanwhile, James' stock is on the rise thanks to his monster workout at the scouting combine, and the Vikings could save themselves some salary cap space by adding James and releasing underachieving starter Kenny Mixon. If selected by the Purple, Erasmus would likely join last year's first-round pick and fellow defensive end Kenechi Udeze in the starting lineup.
19. St. Louis Rams Jammal Brown, T, Oklahoma Comment: Brown is probably a dark horse candidate because the Rams are also in search of defensive end help after losing Grant Wistrom and Bryce Fisher to the Seahawks over the last two years. However, the Rams' offensive line gave up 50 sacks last season, and Mike Martz is and always will be an offensive minded head coach. Brown can't fill all of the Rams' offensive line holes, but he and left offensive tackle Orlando Pace would give the team a pair of impressive bookends to build around.
20. Dallas Cowboys (from Bills) Roddy White, WR, UAB Comment: Keyshawn Johnson had surgery to repair a fractured ankle and a torn meniscus back in January. Terry Glenn had surgery two days later on his right knee. Quincy Morgan didn't do enough to impress the coaching staff during his nine-game run with the team last season. As such, we expect the Cowboys to bring in a receiver who can compete for a starting job or at least provide the team with some insurance in their injury plagued wideout corps.
21. Jacksonville Jaguars Fabian Washington, CB, Nebraska Comment: The Jags have a couple areas of need, and fortunately for them both of those areas should offer numerous options with this pick. The signing of defensive end Reggie Hayward may alleviate some of the pressure to take a pass rusher, but they could still opt for a defensive end like Iowa's Matt Roth. With Donovin Darius short-timing them they could nab Georgia's Thomas Davis, who hits so hard he may be moved to linebacker in the NFL. Ultimately, in a division with Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne, and Andre Johnson the Jags will go with Washington as they upgrade their secondary.
22. Baltimore Ravens Mark Clayton, WR, Ravens Comment: Baltimore could go defensive with this pick, in which case Georgia's David Pollack could end up in purple. But it's unlikely that Brian Billick will pass on the opportunity to add a playmaking receiver like Clayton. The former Sooner provides the game-breaking threat the Ravens' passing game has sorely lacked, and the signing of Derrick Mason means Clayton can be groomed for success rather than pressed into duty.
23. Seattle Seahawks David Pollack, DE, Georgia Comment: Sure, the Seahawks signed former Rams' defensive end Bryce Fisher, but that hasn't stopped them from visiting with other defensive ends such as Courtney Brown and Marcellus Wiley. In other words, we don't think Mike Holmgren is sold on using Fisher as a starter. A linebacker is also a possibility. Thomas Davis is still available, but he played safety in college and there seems to be some uncertainty as to whether he'll play linebacker or safety in the pros.
24. Green Bay Packers Thomas Davis, S, Georgia Comment: The loss of safeties Darren Sharper, Bhawoh Jue, and Michael Hawthorne means the Packers won't think twice about where to line up Davis. Mark Roman is the only safety expected to return from last year's squad, and Packer coaches were less than impressed by his shaky play last season. Given the lack of depth at the position, Davis won't be the only safety the Packers select on draft day.
25. Denver Broncos Demarcus Ware, LB/DE, Troy Comment: Fears the Broncos may have had about reaching to a smaller school like Troy should have been eradicated by Ware's performance at the Senior Bowl. Ware is the perfect fit for Denver's new 3-4 defense, a quick hybrid player who can fill either the defensive end position (neither Bronco starter at that position from 2004 will be back this season) or play upright at outside linebacker. If Denver is still jittery about a player from a non-football factory, they could look to USC's Shaun Cody or Iowa's Matt Roth on the line, or Oklahoma safety Brodney Pool in the secondary.
26. New York Jets Marlin Jackson, CB, Michigan Comment: The Jets just had C.J. Mosley, a defensive end from Missouri who several teams consider a sleeper, in for a visit. However, it's unlikely Gang Green will stretch quite that far with their first pick. There's also a possibility the Jets look for a run-stuffer up front and tab Wisconsin defensive tackle Anttaj Hawthorne with this pick. In the end, we expect Jackson's combine performance, coupled with the Jets' need in the secondary, to make him the selection. This will be the notoriously rowdy New York City crowd's only opportunity to voice their opinion of a hometown selection (the Giants having dealt their pick to the Chargers for Eli Manning), so expect this selection to be met with a maximum-volume reception.
27. Atlanta Falcons Brodney Pool, S, Oklahoma Comment: The Dirty Birds released starting free safety Cory Hall in a salary cap move last month and have yet to find a suitable replacement. Enter Brodney, who was known as the leader of the Sooners defense and the best defensive back in the Big 12 last year. Other possibilities with this pick include offensive line help and a run-stopping defensive tackle.
28. San Diego Chargers Khalif Barnes, OT, Washington Comment: Unfortunately for the Chargers, the top five wideouts will likely have already gone off the board by the time they make their second pick in round one. They could make it six wideouts in the first round by grabbing Georgia's Reggie Brown or maybe even taking a chance that West Virginia's Chris Henry has Randy Moss-type talent to go with his Moss-like size and attitude. Instead, on the heels of some incredibly productive drafts the past few seasons, the Chargers will likely play it safe and upgrade the line they're entrusting to open holes for LaDainian Tomlinson and keep Drew Brees and/or Philip Rivers upright.
29. Indianapolis Colts Channing Crowder, ILB, Florida Comment: Indy certainly needs defensive help, and they could turn to a corner like Clemson's Justin Miller here. However, Tony Dungy should jump at the chance to add an athletic defensive playmaker to the mix if Crowder remains on the board this late in round one. If Crowder's injury history (he's had both knees rebuilt) or character concerns (his jacket boasts multiple arrests) scare Indy off, they could go for the slightly smaller and less athletic Barrett Ruud from Nebraska.
30. Pittsburgh Steelers Heath Miller, TE, Virginia Comment: The Steelers' window of opportunity with their current lineup is starting to close, with some salary cap problems looming on the horizon. That could spur Pittsburgh to take Miller or Crowder here and plan for some veteran departures. However, their most pressing need at present appears to be at tight end, as Jay Riemersma is gone and Ben Roethlisberger's only XL-target, Plaxico Burress, left via free agency. The Steelers will want to make sure Miller has a clean bill of health after undergoing surgery for a sports hernia in the offseason, but the former high school quarterback (a la Hines Ward and Antwaan Randle El) is not only a great pass-catcher but also a solid blocker—the perfect fit for the Steelers.
31. Philadelphia Eagles Shaun Cody, DE, USC Comment: The Eagles don't have a major need at defensive end. Actually, they don't have any urgent needs to speak of, so they'll likely take the best player available with this pick. In this case, it's Cody, who can also play defensive tackle. That versatility could come in handy if the team honors Darwin Walker's trade request. The former Trojan could also help fill the void left by defensive end Derrick Burgess, who departed via free agency.
32. New England Patriots Barrett Ruud, LB, Nebraska Comment: With Tedy Bruschi a major question mark for 2005, the two-time defending champions suddenly have a big need right smack dab in the middle of their defense. Lucky for them, Ruud should still be on the board for this pick. If Bruschi's situation clears up before the draft, New England could address a couple other needs by looking at a cornerback like Miller or Oregon State's Brandon Browner or possibly a guard like Marcus Johnson from Ole Miss or Chris Kemoeatu from Utah to replace Joe Andruzzi.
Players will fall. Mocks are just an entertaining diversion until the real deal. Who thought KJ, S-Jax, Darnell Dockett and half a dozen others would fall like they did last year? Two years ago MANY mocks had GB taking DE Kenny Peterson in the 1st round. GB did take him, IN THE 3RD ROUND. Remember TB getting Sapp after the 10th pick (12th I think). Sapp was a "sure top 5 pick". No use getting upset about it.
onepunch wrote:Players will fall. Mocks are just an entertaining diversion until the real deal. Who thought KJ, S-Jax, Darnell Dockett and half a dozen others would fall like they did last year? Two years ago MANY mocks had GB taking DE Kenny Peterson in the 1st round. GB did take him, IN THE 3RD ROUND. Remember TB getting Sapp after the 10th pick (12th I think). Sapp was a "sure top 5 pick". No use getting upset about it.
I remember that. I was hoping the Skisn would take him in the third, but the Pack traded in front of us. Has he done anything in GB?
K. Peterson has had some "flashes" of ability, but nothing to get excited about. I guess there was a reason he dropped. He's kind of a 'tweener as they say. Still has a chance, but GB wouldn't be scouting DE/DT for the 1st few rounds so heavily if he was the answer they needed on the D-line.