NFL Mock Draft
As I preface my mock draft every year, this is my best guess on what I think will happen, not necessarily what I want to occur. I plan on updating this (hopefully two more times) prior to the draft. Bear in mind that I wrote this before the Kevin Carter trade was announced, and didn�t feel like adjusting the Titan pick, although, as you�ll see, I did type that the Rams will surely use this pick to address defense.
- San Diego Chargers
QB Micheal Vick - Virgina Tech
I am not sold on Vick, probably because, as a Stiller fan, I am a bit nervous about athletic college QBs with a reputation as playmakers that lack throwing accuracy. If I were the Chargers I would deal this pick, but I have a feeling they will end up with their second highly touted rookie QB in 3 years. Hopefully for Charger fans (if any are left) things will work out better in 2000 than 1998.
- Arizona Cardinals
DT Gerard Warren - Florida
The Cards would probably prefer to trade this pick to a team that wants David Terrell or their choice of the defensive linemen. Barring a deal, the Cards last two first rounders have been spent on skill position offensive players and the defense is a shambles so I think they will take whichever DL is at the top of their draft board.
- Cleveland Browns
WR David Terrell - Michigan
I originally thought if Terrell got to the 3rd pick the Browns would definitely not let him past. With Butch Davis in control instead of Dwight Clark and Terrell suffering from a stress fracture in his foot I am now not so sure. Still, I think Terrell is the most skilled player in this draft and a solid RB will be available for the Browns at the top of the second round.
- Cincinatti Bengals
DE Justin Smith - Missouri
The Bengals have decent LBs, but need to get a pass rush out of their front four to help a porous secondary. Smith has consistently improved his stock and now seems likely to be picked ahead of Jamal Reynolds and Andre Carter. The Bengals could also use help on the offensive line or defensive backfield. No one at DB has enough value for the fourth pick, but OT Leonard Davis is a possibility.
- Atlanta Falcons
OT Leonard Davis - Texas
The Falcons have major needs at QB, WR, offensive line, and defensive line. Rumors indicate Dan Reeves likes Davis. Some question whether he will be able to play on the left side in the pros, but with Bob Whitfield at LT that won't be an immediate issue in Atlanta.
- New England Patriots
WR Koren Robinson - North Carolina State
Picking Robinson almost makes to much sense for the Patriots. He is arguably the most talented player left on the board, the Patriots lack offensive weapons, and Troy Brown seems best suited as a slot receiver in 3rd down situations. However, Bill Belicheck often doesn't make the move that I think makes the most sense. Bob Kraft may also be scared of paying big money to a player with off the field questions. If they pass on Robinson, the Patriots could use help at RB, defensive line, and offensive line.
- Seattle Seahawks
DT Richard Seymour - Georgia
If David Terrell or Koren Robinson fall to this pick one of them would most likely be the Seahawks selection. The release of Derrick Mayes and Sean Dawkins has left their receiver corps painfully thin. Although Mike Holmgren has addressed his DL problems through free agency, a young lineman with the ability to play inside or outside would still be a useful addition. Seymour's stock has dropped a bit because he did not work out at the combine, but he did participate in drills with Tim Krumrie that were attended by scouts from multiple teams.
- Chicago Bears
DE Jamal Reynolds - Florida State
Reynolds weight at the combine put to rest doubts that he would be to light to play DE in the pros. The Bears could also use this pick on a RB, but even with Curtis Enis out of the picture they seem happy enough with James Allen despite his fumbles.
- San Fransisco 49ers
DE Andre Carter - California
There have been alot of trade rumors, but I think the top ten pick that has the most chance of being dealt is this selection. The 49ers need quality, but they also need quantity on the offensive line and everywhere on the defensive side of the ball. I could see the Niners trading down into the low teens for extra picks and a chance to take Dan Morgan. I am just not sure if there is a team that would be willing to give up much to trade up for this selection. Carter probably cost himself several draft positions by weighing only 250 lbs at the combine.
- Green Bay Packers
WR Rod Gardner - Clemson
If Seymour, Reynolds, or Carter is still available I would expect the Packers to select a defensive lineman. Having to settle for Gardner should not be a major disapointment.
- Carolina Panthers
RB LaDainian Tomlinson - Texas Christian
Rating the RBs in this years draft seems to be a very divisive issue among analysts and draftnicks. Tomlinson certainly racked up the numbers at TCU, but there are questions about his level of competition and effectiveness in a pro style offense. I probably wouldn't rank Tomlinson as the top RB in this draft, but indications are George Seifert prefers him over the other backs. The Panthers could also consider Kenyatta Walker to fill a major need at offensive tackle or even Drew Brees who is well suited to play in the west coast offense.
- Kansas City Cheifs
RB Duece McAlister - Mississippi
Few would deny the Cheifs have a desperate need for a feature back. Even though McAlister suffered from nagging injuries in college he has the speed and receiving ability to fit into the offensive style prefered by new head coach Dick Vermeil. This is also a possible destination for Brees whose recent workout was attended by Cheifs officials.
- Jacksonville Jaguars
OT Kenyatta Walker - Florida
Walker presents excellent value with this selection. The Jaguars have multiple holes due to cap related cuts. Walker should be able to step in immediately on the right side for the departed Leon Searcy.
- Buffalo Bills
CB Fred Smoot - Mississippi State
Free agency and salary cap problems have resulted in the Bills having major needs on the right side of the offensive line, on the defensive line, and at corner. If Kenyatta Walker or a highly rated defensive lineman fell to this pick they would be tough to pass up.
- Washington Redskins
WR Santana Moss - Miami
I have had Santana Moss penciled in as the Redskins pick for quite awhile. He could step in immediately as a big play receiver opposite Micheal Westbrook and provide value as a return man. If the Redskins are scared off by his diminutive size there is a chance that Freddie Mitchell could move up to this pick. Actually, despite the clear need at WR the Redskins could use this pick to fill holes on defense. Adding Dan Morgan to a young, improving LB corps would have to be tempting. The Redskins could also use an interior defensive lineman with the release of Dana Stublefield.
- Pittsburgh Steelers
LB Dan Morgan - Miami
After spending their last two first rounders on receivers I expect the Steelers to move to the defensive side of the ball. Levon Kirkland's release due to cap concerns makes Dan Morgan an excellent fit. If Morgan is unavailable the Steelers would most likely look to improve a weak defensive line. A trade down would also be a possibility if the Steelers can move into the mid-twenties to select CB Will Allen.
- Seattle Seahawks
WR Freddie Mitchell - UCLA
This selection depends on what the Seahawks did with the seventh pick. The Seahawks need a WR, so if they didn't take one earlier they need one now. Mitchell is a productive collegiate performer whose recent workouts have been moving him up draft boards.
- Detriot Lions
G Steve Hutchison - Michigan
The Lions have surprisingly few weaknesses for a team that missed the playoffs with a final game loss to the Bears. The real key for Detriot was sweeping the inept Bobby Ross and Gary Moeller out the door. This stills seems high for an interior offensive lineman, but Hutchinson has the ability to step in immediately. If Fred Smoot somehow falls to this pick he is another possibility.
- New York Jets
DT Marcus Stroud - Georgia
The signing of Matthew Hatchette lessens the Jets well documented need for a WR. New coach Herman Edwards is implementing a 4-3 defense and even though John Abraham is moving from OLB to DE the Jets have to find more players for the defensive line. Drafting a DT allows Shaun Ellis to remain at DE instead of moving inside.
- St. Louis Rams
DL Damoine Lewis - Miami
The Rams need to add talent to their front seven on defense and if the Kevin Carter trade rumors come true the defensive line becomes an even bigger need area. Lewis has the size to play inside and the speed to play at DE. His versatility can only help as the Rams try to upgrade their defensive line rotation.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers
T Jeff Backus - Michigan
A straight need pick. The Bucs are searching for a LT and Backus fills the bill.
- Indianapolis Colts
DL Willie Howard - Stanford
The Colts have built an explosive offense and like last year need to focus their draft on defense. Howard is another versatile DL that will probably find himself at tackle on the Colts.
- New Orleans Saints
TE Todd Heap - Arizona State
Jim Haslett has publicly stated the Saints need to add speed. There are questions about Heap's abilities as a blocker, but he would add another dimension to the Saints offense as a receiver. The Saints could also use this pick on a cornerback, especially considering they play in a division with some excellent WRs.
- Denver Broncos
DT Shaun Rogers - Texas
I had problems projecting this pick. The Broncos could use depth at WR and the offensive line, but Mike Shanahan does not seem inclined to use a first rounder at either position. Denard Walker was signed to address the CB position. That pretty much leaves the defensive line. Rogers stock has fallen because of injury concerns that have limitted his post season workouts. At this point in the draft the Broncos can afford to take a chance.
- Philadelphia Eagles
WR Chad Johnson - Oregon State
Johnson has had an interesting year. A one year starter at the major college level after attending junior college, Johnson saved his best performances for the most opportune times. Shining in the Fiesta Bowl and Senior Bowl, analyst and scouts were raving that he had moved himself into the top half of the first round. Slow 40 times have tempered the enthusiasm. Still, the Eagles have a major need for a receiver with Johnson's on the field big play ability.
- Miami Dolphins
T Maurice Williams - Michigan
Richmond Webb is a free agent that is not expected to resign leaving a major hole on the Dolphins offensive front. Williams played RT at Michigan, but reportedly has the physical ability to move to the left side. If the Dolphins decide to go in another direction they could use this pick on a receiver even with the signing of James McKnight.
- Minnesota Vikings
RB Micheal Bennett - Wisconsin
I am not a big fan at all of Denny Green as a gameday coach, but he has proven to be a solid judge of offensive skill position talent. Green is not afraid to take a player with question marks if he is physically gifted.
- Oakland Raiders
QB Drew Brees - Purdue
If the Panthers and Cheifs pass on Brees, he could be in for a long wait. The Steelers and Dolphins have also been rumored to be possible destinations for Brees. Steelers officials have flat out stated they will not take a QB on the first day and I do not think they are trying to create a smoke screen. The Dolphins already improved their QB depth by signing Ray Lucas. The Raiders could use a young QB to groom behind Rich Gannon and Brees would be a nice fit for Gruden's offense. The Raiders could fill a more pressing need with this pick by selecting a safety, but I am not sold on Derrick Gibson or Adam Archuleta.
- Tennessee Titans
WR Chris Chambers - Wisconsin
Free agency and salary cap concerns hit the Titans hard, opening up holes at WR, DL, and CB. Chambers would provide a big target opposite Derrick Mason, filling the need created by the release of Carl Pickens and Yancey Thigpen. This pick could also go to the Rams as part of a rumored deal for Kevin Carter. If the Rams exercise this selection it would definitely be used on defense.
- New York Giants
CB Will Allen - Syracuse
Anyone who watched the Super Bowl knows the Giants need to add speed at the CB position. Allen is now a probable first rounder in large part due to his speed. Nate Clements, Kenny Lucas, and Willie Middlebrook are other possibilities.
- Baltimore Ravens
Another pick based on need created by free agency. The Ravens would be looking for Raioli to step in immediately for Jeff Mitchell.