Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Rock Out With Your Mock Out IIIA

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Mel Kiper chimes in with his latest mock, and he has the Miami Dolphins taking Michigan OT Jake Long. When you notice Tony Sparano told the Sun Sentinel that right now their right tackle is "void" and left guard is Drew Mormino, taking Jake Long #1 doesn't seem too bad. They can opt to play him at RT to start his career and keep Carey at LT with the intention of eventually flip flopping them when Jake gets his feet wet, or start Long at LT from the start and move Carey back to the right side.

Kiper makes a good point about signability. With no clear cut #1, the Fins do have leverage when negotiating with their top candidates, Jake or Chris Long, perhaps Dorsey or less likely Ryan to see who signs cheapest and before the draft.

Look for Parcells to draft lineman with No. 1 overall pick
By Mel Kiper Jr.
Updated: April 1, 2008

For the third time in as many mock drafts, I'm projecting someone new to go No. 1 overall. My initial mock draft had LSU DT Glenn Dorsey going first, then I had Virginia DE Chris Long going No. 1.

Now it's Michigan OT Jake Long's turn to reside atop the draft board

But whether it's Dorsey, Chris Long or Jake Long, one thing's for certain: Miami executive vice president of football operations Bill Parcells wants to take a lineman with the No. 1 overall pick. Also, the one word you can expect to hear a lot leading up to the draft is sign-ability. All indications are Parcells will draft the player who he can sign and get into camp

Two other notable changes from my last mock draft deal with the emergence of Virginia offensive lineman Branden Albert and Boston College QB Matt Ryan.

Albert was a guard at Virginia, but he did play two games at left tackle. His individual workouts have been phenomenal and Albert has convinced teams he can play left tackle in the NFL. I have him going No. 5 to the Chiefs, and they aren't going to draft him that high to play guard.

As for Ryan, if Miami, Atlanta and Kansas City all pass on this year's No. 1 quarterback prospect, the Baltimore Ravens would love to see him on the board when it's their turn to pick. One thing to watch on draft day: I'm hearing if the Falcons pass on Ryan, they might try and trade back into the first round (Atlanta owns two second-round picks) in an attempt to get Delaware QB Joe Flacco.

The three new names appearing on my mock draft are: Purdue TE Dustin Keller; USC DE Lawrence Jackson; and Arkansas St. safety Tyrell Johnson. Oklahoma WR Malcolm Kelly and Miami's Calais Campbell and Kenny Phillips dropped out of the first round.

My final mock draft will appear on the eve of the NFL draft, April 25.

* denotes underclassman
Kiper's First-Round Projection
No. Team Player School
1 Miami Dolphins Jake Long, OT Michigan
2 St. Louis Rams Chris Long, DE Virginia
3 Atlanta Falcons Glenn Dorsey, DT LSU
4 Oakland Raiders *Darren McFadden, RB Arkansas
5 Kansas City Chiefs *Branden Albert, OT/G Virginia
6 New York Jets *Vernon Gholston, DE Ohio St.
7 New England Patriots (from SF) *Aqib Talib, CB Kansas
8 Baltimore Ravens Matt Ryan, QB Boston College
9 Cincinnati Bengals Sedrick Ellis, DT USC
10 New Orleans Saints Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, CB Tennessee St.
11 Buffalo Bills *Derrick Harvey, DE Florida
12 Denver Broncos Keith Rivers, LB USC
13 Carolina Panthers *Ryan Clady, OT Boise St.
14 Chicago Bears Chris Williams, OT Vanderbilt
15 Detroit Lions *Rashard Mendenhall, RB Illinois
16 Arizona Cardinals Leodis McKelvin, CB Troy
17 Minnesota Vikings *Phillip Merling, DE Clemson
18 Houston Texans *Jonathan Stewart, RB Oregon
19 Philadelphia Eagles Jeff Otah, OT Pittsburgh
20 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Mike Jenkins, CB South Florida
21 Washington Redskins *Devin Thomas, WR Michigan St.
22 Dallas Cowboys (from CLE) *Felix Jones, RB Arkansas
23 Pittsburgh Steelers Kentwan Balmer, DT North Carolina
24 Tennessee Titans *DeSean Jackson, WR California
25 Seattle Seahawks Dustin Keller, TE Purdue
26 Jacksonville Jaguars Lawrence Jackson, DE USC
27 San Diego Chargers Gosder Cherilus, OT Boston College
28 Dallas Cowboys *Justin King, CB Penn St.
29 San Francisco 49ers (from IND) *Jerod Mayo, LB Tennessee
30 Green Bay Packers *Brandon Flowers, CB Virginia Tech
31 New England Patriots Forfeited pick
32 New York Giants Tyrell Johnson, S Arkansas St.

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