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As the 2008 NFL Draft Veers Closer...
As the 2008 NFL Draft veers closer, teams are studying and scouting who will fit best in their franchise. Arkansas running back Darren McFadden has established himself as the best overall prospect on the board, but this draft has a very deep pool of talent. People are getting a better idea of who might go where with free agency cooling down. It seems the trend in this year’s draft ill be taking offensive tackles and defensive ends early rather than late. Since the NFL is a copycat league, teams will most likely try to replicate the success of the New York Giants by drafting defensive ends and then switching them to linebackers.
#1 Miami Dolphins: Jake Long, OT, Michigan
J.Long is the most sensible choice. The Dolphins addressed their offensive line in the off-season, signing former Niners Kwame Harris and Justin Smiley, but the offensive line still needs help. They also traded for defensive tackle Jason Robertson and signed Randy Starks, so they really don’t need a defensive tackle. Coach Bill Parcels should give quarterback John Beck one more year to develop because last year the Dolphins offense was plagued with injuries and inconsistency.
#2 St. Louis Rams: Chris Long, DE, Virginia
Last year quarterback Marc Bulger season ended early due to his underachieving offensive linemen allowing the defense to drive him into the ground. The Rams do need help on defense, but all that money they paid Bulger won’t matter because he can’t throw if he’s constantly on the ground. With J.Long gone the Rams will most likely improve their defensive line.
#3 Atlanta Falcons: Glenn Dorsey, DT, LSU
Quarterback may be the biggest need for the Falcons, but I think they have their heart set on Kentucky quarterback Andre Woodson or Delaware quarterback Jon Flacco. Woodson shows some comparisons to former Falcons’ quarterback Michael Vick. Both Woodson and Flacco have big arms, but Woodson is more mobile. Another possibility is trading up in the late first-round and get Louisville quarterback Brian Brohm. Atlanta needs to fill a big hole on their defensive line after releasing defensive tackle Rod Coleman and Dorsey is the best defensive player on the board.
#4 Oakland Raiders: Vernon Gholston, DE, Ohio St.
Halfback Darren McFadden is without doubt the best player in this draft, but the Raiders have too much depth at that position to draft another one. Gholston was a dominant pass-rusher in college and would help defensive tackle Tommy Kelly live up to the ridiculous contract the Raiders have given him. Owner Al Davis most likely just wants to trade out of this pick, maybe to the Chargers or Cowboys.
#5 Kansas City Chiefs: Sedrick Ellis, DT, USC
The Chiefs have a lot of needs and might want to trade this pick. Their offensive line can't block, and their defense is terrible. Having a preference for defense, Coach Herm would like a big body like Ellis to help defensive ends Jared Allen and Tamba Hali.
#6 New York Jets: Darren McFadden, RB, Arkansas
The Jets filled many off their needs in free agency. Jets’ Halfback Thomas Jones isn’t getting any younger and the Jets’ only scored six rushing touchdowns last year, so McFadden is the best pick here.
#7 New England Patriots: Leodis McKelvin, CB, Troy St.
New England lost Cornerbacks’ Asante Samuels and Randall Gay, so why not get McKelvin? Cornerback Ellis Hobbs is not a franchise corner, so this pick should be easy for the Pats.
#8 Baltimore Ravens: Matt Ryan, QB, Boston College
Ravens’ Quarterback Steve McNair is too old and quarterback Kyle Boller is a first-round bust. Ryan is hands down the best quarterback in the draft and the Ravens’ are lucky for him to fall this far in the draft.
#9 Cincinnati Bengals: Derrick Harvey, DE/OLB, Florida
The Bengals have done nothing in free agency, except for let the few talented players they had on defense sign with other teams. Wide receiver is also a possible choice, but the Bengals need speed on the defensive line and Harvey is the best defensive linemen available.
#10 New Orleans Saints: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, DB, Tennessee St.
The Saints went out and improved their defense tremendously signing cornerback Randall Gay, defensive end Bobby McCray, and linebackers Dan Morgan and Jonathan Vilma. The secondary was the big problem last year. Safety Josh Bullocks has struggled and cornerback Mike McKenzie needs help. Rodgers-Cromartie impressed scouts at the Senior Bowl and Combine workouts. He is ideal for any position in the secondary.
#11 Buffalo Bills: Malcolm Kelly, WR, Oklahoma
#12 Denver Broncos: Ryan Clady, OT, Boise St.
#13 Carolina Panthers: Brandon Albert, OG, Virginia
#14 Chicago Bears: Chris Williams, OT, Vanderbilt
#15 Detroit Lions: Rashard Mendenhall, RB, Illinois
#16 Arizona Cardinals: Keith Rivers, OLB, USC
#17 Minnesota Vikings: Phillip Merling, DE, Clemson
#18 Houston Texans: Mike Jenkins, CB, USF
#19 Philadelphia Eagles: Jerod Mayo, OLB, Tennessee
#20 Tampa Bay Buccaneers: DeSean Jackson, WR/PR, California
#21 Washington Redskins: Devin Thomas, WR, Michigan St.
#22 Dallas Cowboys: Felix Jones, WR, Arkansas
#23 Pittsburgh Steelers: Calais Campbell, DE, Miami
#24 Tennessee Titans: Limas Sweed, WR, Texas
#25 Seattle Seahawks: Dustin Keller, TE, Purdue
#26 Jacksonville Jaguars: Kentwan Balmer, DT, North Carolina
#27 San Diego Chargers: Aqib Talib, CB, Kansas
#28 Dallas Cowboys: James Hardy, WR, Indiana
#29 San Francisco 49ers: Mario Manningham, WR, Michigan
#30 Green Bay Packers: Brandon Flowers, CB, Virginia tech
#31 New York Giants: Kenny Phillips, S, Miami