1. Oakland – Georgia Tech WR Calvin Johnson
JaMarcus Russell is a fine prospect, but when your offense is as bad as Oakland's was in 2006, taking the best weapon available is a necessity. Adding Calvin to Ronald Curry, Jerry Porter, and Doug Gabriel allows the Raiders to move Randy Moss on draft day, potentially to Green Bay in exchange for the No. 78 overall pick.
2. Detroit – Wisconsin LT Joe Thomas
I can't see the proud Mike Martz pushing for a QB this early after turning Marc Bulger (a sixth-rounder) and Kurt Warner (undrafted) into stars. A trade down (possibly with Chicago) is more likely, but if the Lions stand pat, Thomas gives them options with newly acquired guard/tackle George Foster. Detroit's current blind side protector, Jeff Backus, is not coming off a stellar campaign after signing a big contract last offseason.
3. Cleveland – Oklahoma RB Adrian Peterson
Peterson, not Jamal Lewis, can make the instant impact coach Romeo Crennel needs to save his job. Lewis' deal is only for one year. Expect Lewis to lose his starting gig by Week 4 and Peterson to become a real fantasy factor behind Eric Steinbach and company.
4. Tampa Bay – Ole Miss LB Patrick Willis
A few clubs will be looking to deal up for Russell or Brady Quinn here, but Derrick Brooks is 34, Shelton Quarles is done, and Tampa has shown little faith in 2005 second-rounder Barrett Ruud. Willis, who can play inside and out, solidified a top-ten selection with a terrific Combine.
5. Arizona – LSU FS LaRon Landry
The Steelers-turned-Cardinals coaching staff realizes the impact a dominant safety can have, and Aaron Francisco is better suited as a gunner and nickel back. Landry is an animal and will instantly help form one of the NFL's best safety duos along with Adrian Wilson.
6. Washington – Arkansas DE Jamaal Anderson
Renaldo Wynn's days as a starter are long gone and the 'Skins weren't blown away by Alan Branch or Gaines Adams in February. A wideout should be considered, but Washington is desperate for pass rushers. Anderson is one and will allow Phillip Daniels to move inside.
7. Minnesota – LSU QB JaMarcus Russell
Let's not forget how big a reach Tarvaris Jackson was in 2006; Brad Childress figured Brad Johnson would be starting for the next few years. Minnesota openly pines for receivers, but Ted Ginn Jr. doesn't fit Childress' West Coast attack and it appears Dwayne Jarrett may now slide to the second round. Russell upgrades a quarterback situation that is currently the Vikings' biggest weakness.
8. Houston – Notre Dame QB Brady Quinn
Believe it or not, Houston is still kicking itself for passing on Vince Young and, according to the Houston Chronicle's John McClain, won't let Quinn go if he's there at No. 8. David Carr will be shipped to a team like Oakland either before or on draft day and Houston can add competition for Kevin Walter later on in an exceptionally deep receiving class.
9. Miami – Michigan NT Alan Branch
Branch was overhyped when he initially declared for the pros, but is near unstoppable when motivated. His size-athleticism combo is too tough for a team so desperate for a nose tackle to pass on. Branch will occupy blockers in front of Zach Thomas and his 6-6/330-pound frame will come in handy when the 'Fins give their 3-4 look.
10. Atlanta – Nebraska DE Adam Carriker
Patrick Kerney's loss leaves a gaping hole at left end, and Carriker is the type of power player that can match up against left tackles, allowing the 258-pound John Abraham to wreak havoc on the other side. Carriker can also play outside in a 3-4, and defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer got a taste of that scheme during his time in Dallas.
11. San Francisco – Tennessee WR Robert Meachem
Meachem produced, then tested himself into this spot with a 4.39 at the Combine. He's what the Niners were looking for when they signed Antonio Bryant last offseason. San Francisco is far from done adding wideouts after bringing Ashley Lelie aboard.
12. Buffalo – Pittsburgh CB Darrelle Revis
Nearly devoid of decent corners with Nate Clements gone and Kiwaukee Thomas still on the free agent market, the Bills add a player that fits perfectly Perry Fewell's defense. Revis can also take some pressure off Terrence McGee in the return game if need be.
13. St. Louis – Ohio State WR Ted Ginn Jr.
The Rams aren't done adding wideouts. Drew Bennett is injury prone, Torry Holt is on the wrong side of 30, and Isaac Bruce probably won't be back next season. While Ginn learns how to be an NFL receiver he'll reenergize a perpetually awful return unit and even help in the secondary. Imagine Ginn running around on turf.
14. Carolina – Clemson DE Gaines Adams
The Panthers will be one of the teams looking to deal up for Quinn and possibly Willis, but if they stay put, Adams shouldn't fall past 14. Mike Rucker is coming off a torn ACL and Stanley McClover is still raw. Adams can step in and start opposite Julius Peppers while linebacker is addressed the second round of a draft heavy at the position.
15. Pittsburgh – Michigan LB David Harris
The Steelers covet Carriker, but there's little chance he falls here after tearing up the Senior Bowl and Combine, where Harris wasn't too shabby himself, running a 4.53 after a breakout senior campaign. He can play inside in a 3-4 or middle linebacker in a 4-3 and is a character player that would fit well in Pittsburgh.
16. Green Bay – South Carolina WR Sidney Rice
Marshawn Lynch isn't worth this pick after being accused of sexual assault and running two times in the 4.5s at the Combine, and the Packers' zone-blocking scheme doesn't require them to use a high-round pick on a tailback (ask Denver). Green Bay does need a No. 1 receiver if a Moss deal isn't in the works and Rice can be that in due time.
17. Jaguars – Texas FS Michael Griffin
All but certain to lose Deon Grant in free agency to Gerald Sensabaugh is more naturally a strong safety and Donovin Darius is going on 32 while rehabbing a broken leg and torn labrum. The steady Griffin played his pants off at the Senior Bowl and ran a 4.45 in February.
18. Cincinnati – Arkansas CB Chris Houston
Houston, who shut down college football's best receivers, then tested himself
19. Tennessee – Louisville DT Amobi Okoye
With Albert Haynesworth destined for free agency in 2008 and Robaire Smith still scouring today's market, Okoye won't fall past this spot. He'd be a major character upgrade at a position in Tennessee that's experienced a slew of problems with off-field issues recently. He'd also start right away.
20. NY Giants – Penn State LT Levi Brown
GM Jerry Reese's decision to release Luke Petitgout left a gaping hole on Eli Manning's blind side that David Diehl doesn't seem ready to fill. The Giants have glaring needs at linebacker but can wait a round and snag a starter. Brown is an immovable force.
21. Denver – Michigan CB Leon Hall
A Dre' Bly trade to Washington appears imminent, forcing Denver to go back to the drawing board at corner. The Broncs won't have to look far. Hall, who ran a 4.39 last month, is the best cover corner in the draft according to some and can immediately challenge Dominique Foxworth to lock down the right side of the field.
22. Dallas – Miami (FL) FS Brandon Meriweather
It no longer appears that Anthony Henry will move to free safety after all, and considering Meriweather should be available when Dallas drafts, that's a decision that makes sense. Meriweather can cover the deep middle, allowing Roy Williams to play closer to the line of scrimmage and Pat Watkins to learn the nickel from Aaron Glenn, who's close to retirement.
23. Kansas City – LSU WR Dwayne Bowe
One great need for Kansas City is a wideout that can own the red zone and make blocks downfield for Larry Johnson, Bowe's bread and butter. Jeff Webb remains a decent prospect but opposite Eddie Kennison, a possession threat like Bowe would fit in well.
24. New England – Fresno State CB Marcus McCauley
After a so-so senior season during which McCauley was limited by a concussion, he came to the Combine on a mission. The 6-1/200-pound cover corner ran a 4.39 and repped 225 17 times. Bill Belichick will get the inside scoop from old friend Pat Hill, and it wouldn't be a surprise to see the Pats try McCauley at free safety if he makes it here.
25. NY Jets – Penn State LB Paul Posluszny
The Jets may be set to dump Eric Barton, and if they can't swing a deal with free agent David Bowens, Posluszny could step right in next to Jonathan Vilma. Poz brings the smarts and versatility Eric Mangini will love, and allow Victor Hobson to stay outside opposite Bryan Thomas on a talent-laden linebacking crew.
26. Philadelphia – Washington State WR Jason Hill
The Iggles appear to be parting ways with Donte' Stallworth and can ease that loss by drafting Hill, who ripped up the RCA Dome turf with a 4.32 forty. Hill had a senior season marred by injuries, but lest we not forget his tremendous sophomore and junior campaigns. He's a very underrated prospect.
27. New Orleans – Texas CB Aaron Ross
One thing I don't like about Ross is that he's turning 25 soon and may only have seven strong years in the league as opposed to ten. But that doesn't make him much less of a prospect. Fred Thomas took a pay cut to stay in New Orleans and will face competition. Ross can provide that and assist Reggie Bush on returns.
28. New England – Florida State LB Buster Davis
After a strong Senior Bowl, Davis's stock continues to rise, as he ran a surprisingly fast 4.67 at the Combine. New England isn't afraid to "reach" for players anyways. A hitter, Davis will excel initially on special teams and eventually replace Tedy Bruschi inside when he bulks up and gets a firm grasp on the Patriots' complex defense.
29. Baltimore – Purdue DE Anthony Spencer
Knowing Terrell Suggs enters a contract year in 2007, the Ravens should have the opportunity to select a similar-type player in Purdue's Spencer, who led the nation in tackles for loss last season. Spencer can also play some linebacker, an appealing attribute in coordinator Rex Ryan's "multiple" defense.
30. San Diego – Florida FS Reggie Nelson
Many have Nelson tabbed for the top ten, but he ran in the 4.5s at the Combine and measured two inches shorter than his listed college height (6-1). Still, he's the ballhawk Terrence Kiel wasn't, and the Bolts can't be too sold on the oft-injured Bhawoh Jue at strong safety. Marlon McCree can play there while Nelson holds down centerfield.
31. Chicago – California RB Marshawn Lynch
The Bears might package this pick and the one they got for Thomas Jones (No. 37) to move up as high as No. 14, but if the feeling is Lynch will be available, it'd be silly to make a maneuver. Though he has some baggage, Lynch would at least give Chicago a potential backfield partner for disappointing former top-five pick Cedric Benson.
32. Indianapolis – Louisville RB Michael Bush
The potential "thunder" to Joseph Addai's "lightning," Bush is also a polished receiving back. If Bush, recovering from a broken leg, isn't available for the Cardinals' Pro Day on March 14, he could slip out of the first round, but his size, athleticism, and pre-injury production would be tough for a team with DeDe Dorsey in a backup role to pass on.
I'm not a huge fan of this mock at all. He has the Raiders drafting Calvin Johnson, following the trading of Moss to the Packers. Yet the Packers still use their highest pick on a WR (over Lych), despite having Moss (if a trade happens), Driver, and a rising talent in Greg Jennings.
Lynch then falls all the way to Chicago and Bush goes to Indy despite the emergence of Addai last year (all they really need is an okay guy in FA) for a little more power IMO.
Also, Patrick Willis to TB is a bit of a reach especially considering TB has greater needs on offense then defense. One of the things that I had the most trouble with was Amobi Okoye falling all the way to the Titans despite being widely regarded as a top 10 maybe top 15 pick.
Am I wrong? What do you think of this mock?