NFL Insider Mock Draft
Draft 2008
Senior NFL Reporter
Posted Apr 26, 2008


Scout.com's NFL insider Adam Caplan takes his annual look at the first round of the draft just hours before the madness begins.

1) Miami Dolphins: Jake Long/OT/Michigan

Analysis: He was their pick all along. While some personnel evaluators believe Long is best suited to play on the right side, he'll be lining up at left tackle for Miami. This team has put together some dreadful offensive lines for many years but they can start to rebuild it with Long.

Other Possibilities: Chris Long was next as he could have been an impact pass rusher for the team right away.


2) St. Louis Rams: Chris Long/DE/Virginia

Analysis: Keep in mind Adam Carriker put on weight to hold up better inside. Getting Long in the fold helps their stagnant pass rush.

Other Possibilities: Glenn Dorsey who would team with Cliff Ryan to form a very solid interior pair of linemen.


3) Atlanta Falcons: Glenn Dorsey/DT/LSU

Analysis: Atlanta's run defense wasn't exactly stellar last season and they lack quality playmakers at the position.

Other Possibilities: Matt Ryan who could become the face of the franchise.


4) Oakland Raiders: Darren McFadden/Arkansas

Analysis: Expect the unexpected when Oakland's on the clock. McFadden and Justin Fargas will provide the speed at the running back position along with Michael Bush who will provide the power.

Other Possibilities: Glenn Dorsey who could help their weak run defense.


5) Kansas City Chiefs: Branden Albert/OL/Virginia

Analysis: Albert could start right away and he's capable of playing four of five offensive line positions.

Other Possibilities: They'd love to have Chris Long and would take him if he was there. It wouldn't be a shock at all if they traded down to take Gholston.


6) New York Jets: Vernon Gholston/DE-OLB/Ohio St.

Analysis: They could use another pass rusher.

Other Possibilities: Darren McFadden would be it if he falls. Leodis McKelvin who could start opposite Darrelle Revis.


7) New England Patriots (from San Francisco 49ers): Keith Rivers/LB/USC

Analysis: They've never taken a true linebacker before the fifth round since Bill Belichick became the head coach. However, they have to get younger at the inside positions.

Other Possibilities: We actually think they will wind up trading down to take either a cornerback, outside linebacker, or an offensive lineman.


8) Baltimore Ravens: Matt Ryan/QB/Boston College

Analysis: Ron Jaworski told us he thinks Ryan is capable of challenging for the starting job right away.

Other Possibilities: Sedrick Ellis who they really like and he could push Kelly Gregg immediately for playing time. They also like Leodis McKelvin who could replace either of their aging starters.


9) Cincinnati Bengals: Sedrick Ellis/DT/USC

Analysis: They shouldn't take too long to turn the card in if he's still on the board when it's time for them to select. Ellis could be an immediate starter who would upgrade their defense significantly.

Other Possibilities: Keith Rivers who would start at WLB.


10) New Orleans Saints: Leodis McKelvin/CB/Troy St.

Analysis: They've spent a lot of time investigating the cornerback position in recent weeks and the coaches worked McKelvin out earlier this week.

Other Possibilities: Sedrick Ellis, if he drops, also would be a possibility since their run defense is poor.


11) Buffalo Bills: Devin Thomas/WR/Michigan St.

Analysis: They are in dire need of a physical receiver who can stretch the defense to play opposite Lee Evans

Other Possibilities: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie also is a consideration to help upgrade their secondary. They may decide to trade down to select Thomas.


12) Denver Broncos: Ryan Clady/OT/Boise St.

Analysis: LT Matt Lepsis has decided retire so Clady would be his replacement.

Other Possibilities: Jeff Otah or Chris Williams if he was still there.


13) Carolina Panthers: Jeff Otah/OT/Pittsburgh

Analysis: They could then move Jordan Gross to RT. Carolina wants to go with a power running game again and Otah fits their profile of an offensive lineman for this scheme.

Other Possibilities: Ryan Clady if he drops. They also are looking for a power back so Rashard Mendendall isn't out of the question.


14) Chicago Bears: Chris Williams/OT/Vanderbilt

Analysis: They have to get an offensive tackle out of this round and Williams is the best one left on the board.

Other Possibilities: Jeff Otah would be the pick if he drops to them.


15) Detroit Lions: Derrick Harvey/DE/Florida

Analysis: They have no impact pass rushers on their roster so Harvey is the logical pick here. He's the kind of edge rusher head coach Rod Marinelli covets.

Other Possibilities: Rashard Mendenhall who would take over the starting job right away.


16) Arizona Cardinals: Mike Jenkins/CB/South Florida

Analysis: He'll replace Antrel Rolle who moved to safety.

Other Possibilities: They'd love a shot at Rashard Mendenhall who could eventually replacing aging RB Edgerrin James.


17) Kansas City Chiefs (from Minnesota Vikings): Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie/CB/Tennessee St.

Analysis: He'll replace Ty Law.

Other Possibilities: Phillip Merling who would help replace Jared Allen.


18) Houston Texans: Rashard Mendenhall/RB/Illinois

Analysis: He'll be the eventual replacement for veteran RB Ahman Green.

Other Possibilities: Jonathan Stewart who could be rated higher on their draft board. They also would snap up Chris Williams first should he still be on the board.


19) Philadelphia Eagles: Phillip Merling/DE/Clemson

Analysis: After what they saw Justin Tuck do, they want the versatility of Merling who just might be the second best end in this draft.

Other Possibilities: We think there's a decent chance they trade up for this pick to select the best offensive tackle (Branden Albert) on their draft board. Or they could trade up for Devin Thomas. They'll look for a receiver in the second round (Dexter Jackson). Trading down is also a possibility for Kenny Phillips.


20) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Aqib Talib/CB/Kansas

Analysis: Assuming they don't trade for CB Lito Sheppard, Talib will be the eventual replacement for Ronde Barber or he'll compete for playing time against Philip Buchanon.

Other Possibilities: Merling, Jonathan Stewart because of severe knee injury to Carnell Williams, or Devin Thomas should he drop this far.


21) Washington Redskins: Kentwan Balmer/DT/North Carolina

Analysis: They need an upgrade who can line up next to Cornelius Griffin.

Other Possibilities: They wanted Merling because they're in dire need of pass rush help. They also wanted a receiver with size so they'll look at Jordy Nelson or Limas Sweed in the next round.


22) Dallas Cowboys (from Cleveland Browns): Felix Jones/RB/Arkansas

Analysis: He would be a speedier upgrade over Julius Jones and he could also return kicks.

Other Possibilities: Jonathan Stewart who would be a decent value here.


23) Pittsburgh Steelers: Gosder Cherilus/OL/Boston College

Analysis: He's capable of playing several offensive line positions. Cherilus could back up Marvel Smith this season and eventually replace him. A league source notes Smith's back is fine, however.

Other Possibilities: They're looking for a power back and it's not out of the question that Jonathan Stewart is selected here if he's still on the board.


24) Tennessee Titans: Calais Campbell/DE/Miami-Fla.

Analysis: The power end would replace Antwan Odom.

Other Possibilities: They'd love a shot at Phillip Merling. They'll get their receiver in the second round. Perhaps Donnie Avery who gives them the speed they're looking for at the receiver position.


25) Seattle Seahawks: Jonathan Stewart/RB/Oregon

Analysis: They need a true feature back and Stewart could fill that role for them.

Other Possibilities: Best offensive lineman that drops or Kentwan Balmer should he still be on the board.


26) Jacksonville Jaguars: Quentin Groves/DE/Auburn

Analysis: As long as Mike Tice isn't turning in their draft card, Groves is their guy here and he fills a pass rushing need.

Other Possibilities: They could look for a safety here to challenge for the SS role.


27) San Diego Chargers: Matt Forte/RB/Tulane

Analysis: This might be a little early for him (most teams have a second-round grade for him) but Forte would take over the No. 2 role in the backfield immediately and he has the size they're looking for.

Other Possibilities: They could go for a cornerback here.


28) Dallas Cowboys: Antoine Cason/CB/Arizona

Analysis: They need to get depth at this position and Cason will push Anthony Henry right away for playing time.

Other Possibilities: Brandon Flowers. Both are highly rated on their draft board.


29) San Francisco 49ers (from Indianapolis Colts): Jerod Mayo/LB/Tennessee

Analysis: He'll replace ILB Derrick Smith in the starting lineup.

Other Possibilities: They'd love to get a solid offensive lineman here but there aren't any good values left in that area. They'll look for a receiver or offensive lineman in the second round.


30) Green Bay Packers: Brandon Flowers/CB/Virginia Tech

Analysis: They have to eventually replace aging CBs Al Harris and Charles Woodson.

Other Possibilities: Quentin Groves if he drops this far. Don't be shocked if they select a quarterback here or trade back for one.


31) New England Patriots (selection forfeited)


32) New York Giants: Kenny Phillips/S/Miami-Fla.

Analysis: They need an improvement in the secondary and the highly intelligent and physical safety will give them that.

Other Possibilities: Tyrell Johnson who is also highly rated on their draft board.



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