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2008 NFL Mock Draft February 16, 2008

Note: Draft order is indicative of the order on February 16, 2008. Trades already completed by NFL teams are reflected in this draft order. A few projected trades have been included as well.

Note: The New England Patriots forfeited their first round pick (#31 overall) by illegally videotaping opponent's signals from the sidelines.

(*) = denotes underclassman

Round One:

  1. Miami Dolphins Chris Long/DE/Virginia

Quarterbacks have been the first overall pick in six of the last seven drafts, so there is a good chance the Dolphins could select Boston College's Matt Ryan with this pick. But Bill Parcells was known as a defensive guru as a coach, so I expect him to start off the Dolphin's rebuilding process with a potential franchise defender in Chris Long.

  1. St. Louis Rams Glenn Dorsey/DT/Louisiana State

The popular thought is that the Rams will take Michigan offensive tackle Jake Long with this pick. The Rams offensive line was a mess in 2007, but their defense didn't fare that much better (21st in total defense). La'Roi Glover is up there in age, and nose tackle Adam Carriker may be better off at another position along the line. I think Dorsey grades slightly higher than Jake Long at this point in time, so I have the Rams selecting Dorsey in this mock. It's also worth noting that the Rams should have an opportunity to select a quality offensive tackle prospect at the beginning of the second round (USC's Sam Baker, Boston College's Gosder Cherilus, Kansas' Anthony Collins).

  1. Atlanta Falcons Sedrick Ellis/DT/Southern California

Would the Falcons pass on a potential franchise quarterback in Matt Ryan with this pick? Don't be surprised if they do. They badly need to add some power to the defensive line (29th in total defense, 26th in rushing defense, 30th in sacks), and new GM Thomas Dimitroff has a well documented history of selecting defensive linemen early in the draft.

  1. Buffalo Bills (from Oakland) Matt Ryan/QB/Boston College (projected trade)

With Glenn Dorsey and Sedrick Ellis off the board, and Justin Fargas having recently signed a contract extension (which likely diminishes the Raider's interest in Arkansas' Darren McFadden), the Raiders would likely look to deal out of this spot. Offensive tackles Jake Long or Ryan Clady (Boise State) would be the most likely candidates if the Raiders would remain in this spot. Buffalo has two third round picks, so they can easily afford to give up a second rounder to get up to this spot and pick a potential franchise quarterback. J.P. Losman seemed to go backwards early in 2007, and while Trent Edwards has promise he doesn't possess the upside potential that Ryan does. Note that while I have Ryan being the fourth overall pick in this mock, I wouldn't be surprised if he ended up being selected number one overall in April. **Trade details : Oakland trades a first round pick (#4 overall) to the Bills for a first round pick (#11 overall) and a second round pick (#41 overall).**

  1. Kansas City Chiefs Jake Long/OT/Michigan

The Chief's offensive line was a total mess last year, and a Jake Long selection makes perfect sense for them. There is a chance a passing team looking for a "pure" left tackle might select Ryan Clady instead of Long. But with the Chiefs recent history of running the ball and the fact that they could use help on both ends of the line, I feel that they would lean towards selecting Long.

  1. New York Jets Vernon Gholston/OLB/Ohio State (*)

The Jets need to add playmakers on the defensive side of the ball. They finished 25th in sacks and were tied for 30th in takeaways. The addition of Gholston should improve those numbers. Gholston played defensive end at Ohio State, but he is very athletic and figures to be a perfect fit for a 3-4 OLB spot.

  1. New England Patriots (from San Francisco) Ryan Clady/OT/Boise State (*)

The Patriots only faltered once last season, and the inability of the Patriot's offensive line to contain the opposing defensive line was the biggest factor in determining the outcome of that game.

  1. Dallas Cowboys (from Baltimore) Darren McFadden/RB/Arkansas (*) (projected trade)

The Ravens don't have many picks in this draft (only five before the addition of compensatory picks), so there is a good chance they will be looking to move down. Cowboy's owner Jerry Jones is reportedly in awe of McFadden and would love to land him. After watching Marion Barber perform last year I wonder if the Cowboys would be better off just sitting put and filling out the depth on their roster. But if McFadden slips this far I'll bite on the rumors and project a trade up so the Cowboys can select him. Note that even though I have McFadden being selected with the eighth overall pick in this mock, I expect him to be selected higher in April. **Trade details : Baltimore trades a first round pick (#8 overall) to the Cowboys for two first round picks (#22 and #28 overall).**

  1. Cincinnati Bengals Derrick Harvey/DE/Florida (*)

Simply put, the Bengal's defense was nothing short of a total wreck in 2007. They were able to generate a surprising amount of takeaways (tied for 5th in the NFL), but the defense ranked 27th in yardage allowed and was dead last in sacks. Adding a defensive end with the pass-rush upside of Harvey would be a nice start to rebuilding the defensive front seven.

  1. New Orleans Saints Mike Jenkins/CB/South Florida

Before the Jason David acquisition, the Saint's big needs heading into the 2007 NFL Draft were wide receiver and cornerback. After finishing 30th in the league in pass defense, the cornerback position proved to remain a huge need area for the Saints.

  1. Oakland Raiders (from Buffalo) Jeff Otah/OT/Pittsburgh (projected trade)

The biggest problem for the Raiders last year was defending the run (finished 31st in the NFL). Perhaps the second biggest problem they had was protecting the quarterback (finished 22nd in the NFL in sacks allowed). With JaMarcus Russell soon to take over the helm, it would make all the sense in the world to add another big body up front to provide him some protection.

  1. Denver Broncos Kenny Phillips/S/Miami, Fl (*)

The Broncos did everything in their power to fix the defensive line last year but unfortunately most of the moves they made didn't have a positive impact. The group did a good enough job defending against the pass, but they had all sorts of problems against the run. If there were a defensive lineman left that figured to be a top run defender, the Broncos would likely give him a long look. But under these circumstances, the Broncos will have to hope that the trio of defensive linemen they selected in last year's draft will show the necessary improvement. Denver could also look to trade out of this spot but I don't see a good fit for a trade down. The Broncos did have some problems with the safety position last year, and John Lynch wouldn't exactly qualify as a youngster these days. Getting a versatile safety prospect like Kenny Phillips would make a lot of sense for the Broncos.

  1. Carolina Panthers Calais Campbell/DE/Miami, Fl (*)

The Panthers had all sorts of difficulty pressuring the quarterback last year with Julius Peppers not playing at full strength (finished 31st in the NFL in sacks). There has also been some talk that Martin Rucker may retire. Calais Campbell has great pass-rush upside, and would be a logical fit for the Panthers.

  1. Chicago Bears Chris Williams/OT/Vanderbilt

The Bear's offensive line was miserable in 2008. I'm not as high on Williams as some but his stock has really been on the rise of late and the Bears need offensive tackle help badly. A running back could also be a strong possibility with this pick, but considering the depth of the running back class, I predict the Bears take the offensive lineman here and possibly draft a running back later.

  1. Detroit Lions Dan Conner/ILB/Penn State

Overall the Lions had one of the more disappointing seasons in 2007. After a hot start they faded badly down the stretch and, quite frankly, many of the players just didn't appear to have their heads in it. At this point it looks like the Lions need to be completely overhauled, especially the defense, which finished dead last in yardage allowed. Dan Conner is a solid, versatile linebacker prospect that may be drafted a bit lower than this in April, but he and Sims could make a nice linebacking duo and really stabilize the Lion's second level of defense.

  1. Arizona Cardinals Leodis McKelvin/CB/Troy

The Cardinals will look to improve upon their 28th ranked pass defense of 2007. McKelvin is one of the highest grading players left and appears to be an excellent fit for Arizona.

  1. Minnesota Vikings Malcolm Kelly/WR/Oklahoma (*)

Tavaris Jackson had a rough end to 2007 and the Vikings seemed to be down on him a bit. It's likely that he will still be the guy in 2008, and the Vikings know that they have to give him some more receiver help.

  1. Houston Texans Jonathan Stewart/RB/Oregon (*)

The Ahman Green signing did not work out, and while Ron Dayne is serviceable the Texans will likely be looking for an upgrade. I think Jonathan Stewart is a top ten talent, and would be a great bargain for the Texans in this area of the draft.

  1. Philadelphia Eagles Keith Rivers/OLB/Southern California

The Eagles performed pretty well defensively in 2007 in terms of allowing yardage, but the defense was unable to generate any turnovers (finished 32nd in the league). While they have some young linebackers who may have solid NFL futures, other than Omar Gaither none of them have shown the potential for having game-changing NFL ability to this point. Keith Rivers could be the highest grading prospect left on the board and would provide a boost to the Eagle's linebacking group.

  1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers DeSean Jackson/WR/California (*)

Jackson doesn't fit the prototype for a receiver in a west-coast offense, but then again neither does Joey Galloway. The Buccaneer's receivers are getting up there in age, and the group could use an infusion of youth. It's also worth noting that the Buccaneers finished 28th in the NFL in punt return average, a number that Jackson could improve upon as a rookie.

  1. Washington Redskins Limus Sweed/WR/Texas

The Redskins have a pretty solid roster and performed well in most areas in 2007. But Santana Moss looked like he may have lost a step last year, and their wide receiver group could use more size.

  1. Baltimore Ravens (from Cleveland through Dallas) (projected trade) Brian Brohm/QB/Louisville

The Ravens had all sorts of quarterback problems last year, making this pick a no-brainer.

  1. Pittsburgh Steelers Aqib Talib/CB/Kansas (*)

The Steelers are another team with a pretty solid roster and no obvious need area. They could look to add another interior offensive lineman, especially with Alan Faneca being an unrestricted free agent. But Deshea Townsend has a few years on him, and teams can never have enough cornerbacks these days.

  1. Tennessee Titans Mario Manningham/WR/Michigan (*)

The Titan's biggest problem in 2007 was a pass offense that finished 27th in the league. While Vince Young hasn't looked like the greatest passer in his short career, the Titans haven't exactly given him the best group of receivers to work with either.

  1. Seattle Seahawks Kentwan Balmer/DT/North Carolina

The Seahawk's run defense finished a very respectable 12th in the NFL last season. However, that same defense got destroyed by the opponent's running attack in a few key contests last year, including their playoff loss at the hands of the Packers. This is an area that the Seahawks need to address this off-season.

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie/CB/Tennessee State

There is no problem with the Jaguars starting cornerbacks, but top reserve Terry Cousins turns 33 years old prior to the start of the 2008 season.

  1. San Diego Chargers Reggie Smith/CB/Oklahoma (*)

The Chargers upgraded their most significant need area during the 2007 season when they were able to land wide receiver Chris Chambers from the Dolphins. Even though Antonio Cromartie had a breakthrough season, they could lose Drayton Florence in free agency, which would make cornerback depth a need area.

  1. Baltimore Ravens (from Dallas) Sam Baker/OT/Southern California (projected trade)

Franchise left tackle Jonathan Ogden has been talking retirement lately, which makes it imperative that the Ravens try to find a replacement as soon as possible.

  1. San Francisco 49ers (from Indianapolis) James Hardy/WR/Indiana (*)

After showing some promise in 2006, the 49ers took a huge step backwards last year. They finished the season in the bottom 12 in almost every key offensive and defensive statistic. Among their biggest problems was a wide receiver group that did next to nothing last year.

  1. Green Bay Packers Fred Davis/TE/Southern California

Cornerback and offensive line might be greater need areas for the Packers. Donald Lee had a breakthrough year in 2007 but he had been a wildly inconsistent player up to that point, and the release of Bubba Franks leaves the Packers with virtually no depth at the position.

  1. New York Giants Tracy Porter/CB/Indiana

The Giants took Aaron Ross in the first round last year, but with age becoming a factor for players like Sam Madison and R.W. McQuarters, don't be surprised if the Giants go right back to that position in the 2008 Draft.

Round Two:

  1. Miami Dolphins Gosder Cherilus/OT/Boston College

The Dolphin's offensive line was terrible in 2007 and they could really use some help on both side of the line. Cherilus is a good fit on the right side and perhaps could help out in a pinch on the left side.

  1. St. Louis Rams Anthony Collins/OT/Kansas (*)

The Rams address the defensive line needs in the first round and are still able to land a potential left tackle of the future with this selection.

  1. Oakland Raiders Pat Sims/DT/Auburn (*)

The Raider's run defense was terrible last year, and the retirement of Warren Sapp opened a huge need area at defensive tackle.

  1. Kansas City Chiefs Early Doucet/WR/Louisiana State

The Chiefs scored a major hit with Dwayne Bowe in the first round last year, but I still see wide receiver being a significant need area for the Chiefs.

  1. New York Jets Phillip Merling/DE/Clemson (*)

The Jets badly need to improve a run defense that finished 29th in the NFL last year, and adding a physical end like Merling should provide some instant help. This might also qualify as a real bargain pick, as I wouldn't be surprised if Merling turned out to be a top 20 overall pick in April.

  1. Atlanta Falcons Rashard Mendenhall/RB/Illinois (*)

New head coach Mike Smith wants to have an offense that is run first, pass second. Warrick Dunn is near the end and Jerious Norwood is more of a change of pace type of back. I have Mendenhall as a top 10 talent on my top prospects board, so grabbing him this far down in the draft could represent a major steal for the Falcons.

  1. Baltimore Ravens Quentin Groves/OLB/Auburn

Groves would be a perfect fit as an OLB in the Ravens 3-4 defense. Groves is a 250-pounder with sub 4.5 speed, and good individual workouts could easily push his stock into the first round.

  1. Chicago Bears (from San Francisco) Felix Jones/RB/Arkansas (*) (projected trade)

The Bears need a complimentary back to provide a change of pace for Cedric Benson, so they make the move up to acquire the versatile speedster Felix Jones. Like Mendenhall at #37, Jones would qualify as a major bargain in this area of the draft and I would suspect he'd be drafted much higher in April. **Trade details : Chicago trades a second round pick (#39 overall) to the 49ers for a second round pick (#44 overall) and a fourth round pick (#106 overall).**

  1. New Orleans Saints Ali Highsmith/OLB/Louisiana State

The Saints could really use some more speed and playmaking ability out of the linebacker group.

  1. Oakland Raiders (from Buffalo) Devin Thomas/WR/Michigan State (*) (projected trade)

As expected, the Raider's wide receiver group was nothing to write home about in 2007.

  1. Denver Broncos Branden Albert/OT/Virginia (*)

Albert played left guard at Virginia but he has the size and athletic ability to move outside and excel in the Bronco's zone-blocking scheme. Don't be surprised if Albert is picked about 20 spots higher than this in April.

  1. Carolina Panthers Martellus Bennett/TE/Texas A&M (*)

The Panthers haven't had a pass-catching tight end like this in years.

  1. San Francisco 49ers (from Chicago) Lawrence Jackson/DE/Southern California (projected trade)

The 49ers took two defensive linemen in last year's draft, but neither of them made much of an impact.

  1. Detroit Lions Antoine Cason/CB/Arizona

Cason is more help for a Lion's defense that finished dead last in yardage allowed. Cason is a perfect fit for the Lion's cover-2 defense.

  1. Cincinnati Bengals Curtis Lofton/ILB/Oklahoma (*)

Landon Johnson did fine job in the middle last season, but might be better suited to play on the outside. Ahmad Brooks missed most of last season with injury, and even though he has potential, he remains a big question mark entering his third season.

  1. Minnesota Vikings John Carlson/TE/Notre Dame

The Vikings were really high on Visanthe Shiancoe last off-season, even though he had never posted a 100-yard year in 4 NFL seasons. Schiancoe did have a big 79-yard catch last year, but if you subtract that one catch he posted 244 yards and a 9-4 yard per catch average. Carlson is a fine all-around tight end that showed the ability to stretch the seam as a junior.

  1. Atlanta Falcons (from Houston) Andre Woodson/QB/Kentucky

When the actual draft arrives there is a very good chance that the Falcons would have already addressed their quarterback need well before this pick. But if not, Woodson would provide pretty good value in this area of the draft.

  1. Philadelphia Eagles Andre Caldwell/WR/Florida

Jason Avant and Hank Baskett are quality backup receivers, but neither of them brings speed to the table like Caldwell does.

  1. Arizona Cardinals Carl Nicks/OT/Nebraska

The Cardinals took Levi Brown last year to stabilize one offensive tackle spot, and Nicks could do the same for the other offensive tackle spot.

  1. Washington Redskins Chris Ellis/DE/Virginia Tech

Phillip Daniels is still a quality player, but he'll be 35 years old when the 2008 season begins and he's only totaled 5.5 sacks over the last two seasons. Chris Wilson showed some promise last year but he's on the small side and may not project to be a full-time defensive end. The Redskins could use a young defensive end with some pass rush skills to groom to be Daniels eventual replacement.

  1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Chad Henne/QB/Michigan

The Buccaneers have a bunch of quarterbacks on their roster, but all of them have question surrounding them (age, injury, ability).

  1. Pittsburgh Steelers Tavares Gooden/ILB/Miami, Fl

The Steelers could use additional depth at the inside linebacker positions.

  1. Tennessee Titans Terrell Thomas/CB/Southern California

The Titan's pass defense was very good in 2007, but the cornerback position could still use an upgrade.

  1. Seattle Seahawks Chris Johnson/RB/East Carolina

Shaun Alexander was a huge disappointment in 2007.

  1. Cleveland Browns Earl Bennett/WR/Vanderbilt (*)

The Browns would love to find a good defensive lineman here, but there really isn't one available that is worth this pick. The Browns do not have a deep receiver group and Joe Jurevicius is getting up there in age, so an Earl Bennett selection would make a lot of sense for them.

  1. Miami Dolphins (from San Diego) Erin Henderson/ILB/Maryland (*)

Jason Taylor and Joey Porter should make fine outside linebackers when the Dolphins shift to a 3-4 defense. Channing Crowder will likely end up inside, but who would play the other inside linebacker spot would be a major question mark at this point in time. Erin Henderson played on the weak side during the last couple of seasons, but figures to have the size and ability to play inside in a 3-4 defense.

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars Adarius Bowman/WR/Oklahoma State

The Jaguars continue their quest to find a true number one wide out.

  1. Indianapolis Colts Oniel Cousins/OG/Texas-El Paso

The Colts don't have a lot of depth on the interior of the offensive line and free agency could take some of those interior linemen away from them. Cousins played right tackle in 2007 but should have no problem shifting inside to guard.

  1. Green Bay Packers Charles Godfrey/CB/Iowa

Godfrey would be somewhat of a risky pick for the Packers because he is more of a zone corner and the Packers play mostly man-press coverage. But it's easy to fall in love with this player's size/speed combination. A cornerback like Auburn's Patrick Lee might prove to be a better fit and, as a result, be more attractive to the Packer's front office.

  1. Dallas Cowboys Donnie Avery/WR/Houston

Avery would provide additional depth at receiver and perhaps boost the return game that was pretty average for the Cowboys in 2007.

  1. New England Patriots Brandon Flowers/CB/Virginia Tech (*)

The Patriots could take a hit at the cornerback position in free agency.

  1. New York Giants Xavier Adibi/OLB/Virginia Tech

Antonio Pierce is solid in the middle, but the Giant's play on the outside can be somewhat inconsistent.

Round Three:

  1. Miami Dolphins Joe Flacco/QB/Delaware

  2. St. Louis Rams DeJuan Tribble/CB/Boston College

  3. Kansas City Chiefs Jerod Mayo/OLB/Tennessee (*)

  4. New York Jets Martin Rucker/TE/Missouri

  5. Atlanta Falcons Dustin Keller/TE/Purdue

  6. New England Patriots (from Oakland) Jamaal Charles/RB/Texas (*)

  7. San Francisco 49ers Roy Schuening/OG/Oregon State

  8. Buffalo Bills (from Baltimore) Justin King/CB/Penn State (*)

  9. Buffalo Bills Dre Moore/DT/Maryland

  10. Minnesota Vikings (from Denver) Jonathan Hefney/S/Tennessee

  11. Carolina Panthers John David Booty/QB/Southern California

  12. Chicago Bears Eric Young/OG/Tennessee

  13. Detroit Lions Trevor Laws/DT/Notre Dame

  14. Cincinnati Bengals Beau Bell/OLB/Nevada-Las Vegas

  15. New Orleans Saints Erik Ainge/QB/Tennessee

  16. Houston Texans Steve Justice/C/Wake Forest

  17. Philadelphia Eagles Patrick Lee/CB/Auburn

  18. Arizona Cardinals Steve Slaton/RB/West Virginia (*)

  19. Minnesota Vikings John Greco/OT/Toledo

  20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Mike Pollak/C/Arizona State

  21. Washington Redskins DaJuan Morgan/S/North Carolina State (*)

  22. Tennessee Titans Philip Wheeler/ILB/Georgia Tech

  23. Seattle Seahawks Cliff Avril/DE/Purdue

  24. Cleveland Browns Red Bryant/DT/Texas A&M

  25. Pittsburgh Steelers Robert Felton/OG/Arkansas

  26. Jacksonville Jaguars Johnny Dingle/DE/West Virginia (*)

  27. Chicago Bears (from San Diego) Eddie Royal/WR/Virginia Tech

  28. Green Bay Packers Heath Benedict/OT/Newberry

  29. Dallas Cowboys Trae Williams/CB/South Florida

  30. Indianapolis Colts Ray Rice/RB/Rutgers (*)

  31. New England Patriots Darrell Robertson/OLB/Georgia Tech

  32. New York Giants Lavelle Hawkins/WR/California

Mock draft assembled by Joseph B. Coaty.

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