Steuber's 2008 NFL Mock Draft

Now that the All-Star games and the Scouting Combine are behind us the draft picture is starting to get a little clearer. Scout.com's NFL Draft Analyst Chris Steuber updates his first-round projections and has a few surprises in his top ten.

With the All-Star games and Scouting Combine behind us, it’s time to get serious and intensify the predictions. A lot of players impressed scouts and NFL personnel at the Combine and have really improved their stock.

The No. 1 and 2 selections in my mock draft have stayed the same, while there has been a bit of a shakeup in the top ten. A top prospect has gone from No. 3 to No. 9, and I projected two quarterbacks and two cornerbacks being selected in the top ten.

This year’s draft features over 50 underclassmen, and I project 14 of them to be selected in the first round. There are 31 picks in the first round this year, due to the Patriots forfeiting their own selection in light of the Spygate scandal.

My current mock draft also features 16 offensive players versus 15 defensive players being taking in round one. I project the most popular position in the first round to be defensive end.

If you have any questions about my mock draft, email me by clicking on this link.


Pick

Team

Pos.

Player

College

Class

Ht.

Wt.

1

(1 - 15)

DE

Chris Long

Virginia

Sr.

6-3

272

The Dolphins will look to trade this pick at all costs. This is a draft that doesn't possess a sure No. 1 overall pick, and this will prompt Parcells and Co. to look to secure more picks throughout the draft. But, if the Dolphins are unable to unload the selection, Virginia's Chris Long makes sense and gives Miami a high motor guy with great character.

Previous Mock Draft Selection: Same

2

(3 - 13)

OT

Jake Long

Michigan

Sr.

6-7

335

The Rams will decide between Jake Long and Sedrick Ellis at this pick. Glenn Dorsey is falling out of favor with his injury history, and not participating in any All-Star games or the Combine has hurt his stock. St. Louis' inability to protect Marc Bulger was a major problem last year, and even though Orlando Pace will return to the team, it's unknown how much longer he will play. The safe pick for the Rams is Long.

Previous Mock Draft Selection: Same

3

(4 - 12)

RB

Darren McFadden

Arkansas

Jr.

6-1

211

The Falcons won the coin toss for the right to select third overall, and they have a lot of options at this pick. Atlanta could entertain offers for this selection and move down, especially with Darren McFadden and Matt Ryan on the board. Also, Sedrick Ellis and Vernon Gholston are gaining a lot of publicity. But in the end, whoever is selecting third overall, McFadden is too good to pass up.

Previous Mock Draft Selection: Glenn Dorsey

4

(4 - 12)

DT

Sedrick Ellis

USC

Sr.

6-0

309

The Raiders will decide between Glenn Dorsey and Sedrick Ellis. Ellis has really elevated his draft stock since the end of the season. He's shown that even though he's short, he still has the ability to dominate inside, and in reality, his height actually helps him play with great leverage. Dorsey's intriguing, but Ellis is the pick.

Previous Mock Draft Selection: Darren McFadden

5

(4 - 12)

QB

Matt Ryan

Boston College

Sr.

6-4

228

Personally, I don't think Matt Ryan is the best QB in the draft. I believe Brian Brohm is the best and safest QB selection in the draft. With that said, the Chiefs front office has strong ties to the Philadelphia and Northeast region and have studied Ryan's game significantly. Kansas City has other needs and could grab Dorsey at this pick, but Ryan is favored by the front office and will give incumbent QB Brodie Croyle competition.

Previous Mock Draft Selection: Brian Brohm

6

(4 - 12)

DE

Vernon Gholston

Ohio State

Jr.

6-3

266

The Jets have a need for a quality pass rusher who can disrupt a game by pressuring the QB. Ohio State's Vernon Gholston is a physical freak who can line up at OLB or DE in the 3 - 4 and will add a lot of versatility to the Jets defense.

Previous Mock Draft Selection: Sedrick Ellis

7


from 49ers
(5 - 11)

CB

Aqib Talib

Kansas

Jr.

6-1

205

This will be an interesting selection for the Patriots. New England has to add youth to their linebacker core and add depth to their secondary. The Pats could reach for USC's Keith Rivers at this pick or draft Leodis McKelvin or Aqib Talib. With Talib's size, speed and playmaking ability, the Pats get a quality corner who can start immediately.

Previous Mock Draft Selection: Vernon Gholston

8

(5 - 11)

QB

Brian Brohm

Louisville

Sr.

6-3

230

The Ravens have to identify a franchise quarterback and add some stability behind center. New Head Coach John Harbaugh, who comes from Philadelphia, understands the importance of having a franchise QB. With Matt Ryan off the board, the Ravens luck out and grab the draft’s best QB Brian Brohm.

Previous Mock Draft Selection: Matt Ryan

9

(7 - 9)

DT

Glenn Dorsey

LSU

Sr.

6-1

297

The Bengals desperately need help on defense, especially on the defensive line. Glenn Dorsey ends up being this year's prospect who falls in the draft and ultimately gives the Bengals what they need inside.

Previous Mock Draft Selection: Keith Rivers

10

(7 - 9)

CB

Leodis McKelvin

Troy

Sr.

5-10

186

The Saints need help in the secondary. They need a playmaker who can turn defense into offense, and that player is Aqib Talib. But the Saints could also use a return man who can give the offense great field position, and that's Leodis McKelvin. It's a tough choice, but in the end, the pick will be McKelvin.

Previous Mock Draft Selection: Aqib Talib

11

(7 - 9)

WR

Malcolm Kelly

Oklahoma

Jr.

6-4

224

Outside of Lee Evans, the Bills don't have a big-play threat at the receiver position. Buffalo finished the season with the third-worst passing offense in the league. The Bills have a young starting quarterback in Trent Edwards, so supplying him with a player of Malcolm Kelly's abilities will help the Buffalo offense.

Previous Mock Draft Selection: Same

12

(7 - 9)

OT

Ryan Clady

Boise State

Jr.

6-6

320

Any time a team is grooming a young quarterback, it's important to give him the best possible protection to be successful. The Broncos have done a good job with Jay Cutler, but giving him a quality tackle to grow with makes sense. Ryan Clady, a junior from the Boise State Broncos, is a solid pick.

Previous Mock Draft Selection: Same

13

(7 - 9)

DE

Derrick Harvey

Florida

Jr.

6-4

271

The Panthers have a few areas that they'd like to address in the draft: quarterback, defensive line and offensive line. The most pressing need is on the defensive line, and adding Derrick Harvey should help Julius Peppers rebound from a disappointing season.

Previous Mock Draft Selection: Same

14

(7 - 9)

RB

Rashard Mendenhall

Illinois

Jr.

5-10

225

The Bears may look to upgrade their offensive line at this selection, but they should wait until the second or third round. Quarterback is another need for the Bears, and that's another area they will address later in the draft. But with concerns surrounding Cedric Benson, the Bears decide to draft a local product with tremendous upside, Illinois' Rashard Mendenhall.

Previous Mock Draft Selection: Kenny Phillips

15

(7 - 9)

CB

Mike Jenkins

South Florida

Sr.

5-11

200

The Lions are another team that has struggled in the secondary this season. They finished 31st in the league in passing yards allowed (258 YPG) and need a playmaker who can challenge the opposition. Adding a classic cover corner in Mike Jenkins to the secondary is what the Lions need.

Previous Mock Draft Selection: Leodis McKelvin

16

(8 - 8)

OLB

Keith Rivers

USC

Sr.

6-2

241

The Cardinals are building a solid foundation on defense. In order for that to continue, they have to add playmakers. USC LB Keith Rivers offers versatility and an attacking style that fits well into Arizona's defensive scheme.

Previous Mock Draft Selection: Mike Jenkins

17

(8 - 8)

DE

Calais Campbell

Miami

Jr.

6-8

290

Adding a receiver makes sense for the Vikings, but improving their pass rush is a priority. Miami DE Calais Campbell is an imposing force who should make an immediate impact.

Previous Mock Draft Selection: Same

18

(8 - 8)

RB

Jonathan Stewart

Oregon

Jr.

5-10

235

The Texans were one of twelve teams that finished the season averaging less than 100 yards a game, and for Houston to compete in their division, they have to have an effective rushing attack. Oregon's Jonathan Stewart is the best RB on the board, and he adds a physical presence in the running game on a Texans team that faces a tough AFC South.

Previous Mock Draft Selection: Rashard Mendenhall

19

(8 - 8)

DE

Lawrence Jackson

USC

Sr.

6-4

271

The Eagles will look to upgrade their secondary or defensive line with this pick. South Florida's Mike Jenkins is available and the Eagles will consider him, but in the end they know they have to add another DE. USC's Lawrence Jackson is a complete DE who can rush the passer and defend the run. The Eagles go with Jackson.

Previous Mock Draft Selection: Same

20

(9 - 7)

WR

DeSean Jackson

California

Jr.

5-9

169

The Buccaneers have to address the receiver position with this pick, and it's possible that they look to add a cornerback. Cal's DeSean Jackson measured in at a disappointing 5-9, 169 pounds, but he ran a mid-4.3 in the 40. His speed is a valuable weapon that will allow the Bucs to overlook his size.

Previous Mock Draft Selection: Same

21

(9 - 7)

FS

Kenny Phillips

Miami

Jr.

6-2

208

The death of Sean Taylor sent shockwaves through the NFL and has left a big hole in the secondary. The plan was to pair last year's first round pick LaRon Landry with Taylor to give the Redskins the best safety tandem in the league, but the plan is no longer valid. From one plan to the next, the Skins decide to draft another former Hurricane to replace Taylor, FS Kenny Phillips.

Previous Mock Draft Selection: James Hardy

22


from Browns (10 - 6

WR

Limas Sweed

Texas

Sr.

6-4

215

The Cowboys are a team that will be interested to move up in the draft in hopes of selecting Arkansas' Darren McFadden. But if the Cowboys are unable to move up, they will address the offensive side of the ball in the first round. With this pick, the Cowboys add a young receiver in Limas Sweed to go along with veterans on the roster.

Previous Mock Draft Selection: Mario Manningham

23

(10 - 6)

OT

Chris Williams

Vanderbilt

Sr.

6-6

317

The Steelers are solid all around, but giving Ben Roethlisberger more protection up front is key to their success. Pittsburgh's Jeff Otah is a possibility, but after a disappointing workout at the Combine, Otah will slip into the second round. However, Vandy's Chris Williams is rising up the charts and is a quality selection for the Steelers.

Previous Mock Draft Selection: Jeff Otah

24

(10 - 6)

WR

James Hardy

Indiana

Jr.

6-5

217

If the Titans want to see if Vince Young can become a quality passer at the NFL level, they have to give him a go-to-guy that he can grow with. DeSean Jackson, Mario Mannigham, James Hardy and Early Doucet are all intriguing names. But Hardy's size and playmaking ability are too much to pass on at this selection.

Previous Mock Draft Selection: Limas Sweed

25

(10 - 6)

TE

Dustin Keller

Purdue

Sr.

6-3

242

The Seahawks haven't drafted a tight end since 2002, and that was used on Jerramy Stevens in the first round. Stevens was a major disappointment and never lived up to his potential. USC's Fred Davis is a possibility and is considered the best TE in the draft, but Purdue's Dustin Keller showed scouts his skills and athleticism at the Combine and has been the most consistent tight end in college football over the last two seasons.

Previous Mock Draft Selection: Jonathan Stewart

26

(11 - 5)

DE

Quentin Groves

Auburn

Sr.

6-3

259

The Jaguars could look to add a wide receiver at this selection, but adding a pass rusher who can get in the backfield and create havoc will give the defensive line much needed explosion. Auburn's Quentin Groves is the pick.

Previous Mock Draft Selection: Phillip Merling

27

(11 - 5)

RB

Chris Johnson

East Carolina

Sr.

5-11

197

The Chargers are in a situation to draft the best available player, and they can go in many directions. But the one direction they should go in is adding a running back. LaDainian Tomlinson is still the best in the business, but how many more years will he play at a top level? Also, Michael Turner is a free agent and won't return. East Carolina's Chris Johnson displayed mind-blowing speed at the Combine and has raced his way into the first round.

Previous Mock Draft Selection: Kentwan Balmer

28

(13 - 3)

RB

Felix Jones

Arkansas

Jr.

5-10

207

The Cowboys got a young receiver with their first pick and will now look to add a running back with this selection. Jerry Jones wanted Darren McFadden, but he will settle for McFadden's backfield mate Felix Jones.

Previous Mock Draft Selection: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie

29


from Colts
(13 - 3)

WR

Devin Thomas

Michigan State

Jr.

6-2

216

The Niners need serious help. Their offense is horrendous. Their defense is disappointing. And it looks like there's no hope. The one thing San Francisco can do is give Alex Smith a deep threat who can make plays down field. With Sweed and Hardy off the board, Michigan State's Devin Thomas is the best big bodied, deep threat available.

Previous Mock Draft Selection: Chris Williams

30

(13 - 3)

CB

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie

Tennessee State

Sr.

6-1

180

The Packers are in a position to draft the best available player as well, although they have some depth and age issues at certain positions. The secondary isn't getting any younger, and adding youth that can learn from Charles Woodson and Al Harris will benefit the Packers in the future. Cromartie's rise lands him with the Packers.

Previous Mock Draft Selection: Reggie Smith

31

PATRIOTS SELECTION FORFEITED - (16 - 0)

 

32

(10 - 6)

OLB

Dan Connor

Penn State

Sr.

6-3

233

The Super Bowl Champions, the New York Giants, played very well on defense this year, but they have some concerns at linebacker. Penn State's Dan Connor is an excellent choice at this pick and gives the Giants a future star on the weak side.

Previous Mock Draft Selection: Same



A member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America, Chris Steuber has provided his analysis of the NFL and NFL Draft prospects on the web and on the radio since 1999.


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