Folks, the NFL Draft is only 1 week away, can you believe that? It seems like only yesterday that the Houston Texans shocked the world and made NC State DE Mario Williams the #1 overall pick over USC's 2005 Heisman Trophy winner, RB Reggie Bush. Might we see something similar to that on April 28th? Probably not, but we'll have to wait and see. There is still quite a bit of uncertainty at the top of the draft regarding the Raiders and the Lions, but I'm sure that the Raiders will begin negotiations with LSU's JaMarcus Russell and Georgia Tech's Calvin Johnson within the next few days (if they haven't already).
This week's post includes my projections for the entire 1st Round. The 2 biggest risers from last week's mock are QB Brady Quinn (#7 to #2) and DE Adam Carriker (not listed to #11). Next week I'll have my final mock draft, covering rounds 1 and 2. Look for that Friday night on the eve of the draft (hopefully the Raiders will have their guy signed by then).
1. OAKLAND QB JaMarcus Russell, LSU
The Raiders are still debating whether they want Russell or stud WR Calvin Johnson. Unless they acquire a veteran QB, the pick is Russell.
2. DETROIT QB Brady Quinn, Notre Dame
The Lions should get plenty of calls from teams wanting to move up, but if they stay, then they should make Quinn their franchise QB.
3. CLEVELAND RB Adrian Peterson, Oklahoma
The Browns need a player who can help them win now. With both QB's off the board, the choice will be between Peterson and Joe Thomas.
4. TAMPA BAY WR Calvin Johnson, Georgia Tech
The Bucs may not be able to sit at #4 and wait for Johnson. They'll be holding their breath when the commissioner reads off Oakland's pick.
5. ARIZONA OT Joe Thomas, Wisconsin
The Cards will also be crossing their fingers hoping that Thomas is still on the board. If he's gone, then look for them to trade down.
6. WASHINGTON DE Gaines Adams, Clemson
The Redskins need to improve their pass rush, but they may still trade this pick to Chicago for LB Lance Briggs.
7. MINNESOTA FS LaRon Landry, LSU
The Vikings are in position to select the best available player. LaRon Landry will provide an immediate impact on their defense.
8. ATLANTA DT Amobi Okoye, Louisville
The Falcons covet FS LaRon Landry, but the 19 year old Okoye played for Petrino in college and has a huge upside.
9. MIAMI OT Levi Brown, Penn State
The Dolphins can go in any direction with this pick. They'll start by trying to piece together a stable offensive line.
10. HOUSTON FS Reggie Nelson, Florida
The Texans also need a LT and may consider trading down if Brown is off the board. Nelson would provide a major upgrade at FS.
11. SAN FRANCISCO DE Adam Carriker, Nebraska
The 49ers will probably consider DT Alan Branch, but will pass because he didn't dominate in college the way a guy his size should.
12. BUFFALO LB Patrick Willis, Ole Miss
The Bills need help at MLB, CB, and RB. Willis should start immediately and become an early favorite for NFL Defensive R.O.Y.
13. ST. LOUIS DT Alan Branch, Michigan
The Rams took CB Tye Hill last year, and must continue to build the defense. They will take the best available defensive lineman.
14. CAROLINA TE Greg Olsen, Miami (FL)
The Panthers took RB DeAngelo Williams last year, and will add another offensive weapon, a TE that can stretch the field.
15. PITTSBURGH LB Lawrence Timmons, Florida State
The Steelers are transitioning from the 3-4 defense to a Tampa 2 scheme. Timmons has the ability play outside in either scheme.
16. GREEN BAY RB Marshawn Lynch, California
The Packers need a RB, first and foremost. They can address their needs for a big, physical WR and a playmaking TE in later rounds.
17. JACKSONVILLE DE Jamaal Anderson, Arkansas
The Jaguars would love to see Reggie Nelson still on the board, but with him gone they go after the best value at DE or CB.
18. CINCINNATI CB Leon Hall, Michigan
The Bengals drafted a CB in the 1st Rd last year, but Tory James is gone and it appears Deltha O'Neal has a lost a step.
19. TENNESSEE WR Ted Ginn Jr., Ohio State
The Titans need to replace Pacman Jones not only at CB, but in the return game as well. Ted Ginn Jr. more than satisfies the latter.
20. NY GIANTS LT Joe Staley, Central Michigan
The Giants are very thin at CB and LB, but they must also protect their investment (Eli Manning) better.
21. DENVER DE Jarvis Moss, Florida
The Broncos need an explosive pass rusher to fully compliment their outstanding tandem at CB (Champ Bailey and Dre Bly).
22. DALLAS CB Darrelle Revis, Pittsburgh
The Cowboys seemed to have address their need at FS by signing Ken Hamlin, but they must continue to upgrade the secondary.
23. KANSAS CITY WR Dwayne Jarrett, USC
The Chiefs liked Tamba Hali last year and drafted him higher than most people expected. I see a similar situation with Jarrett.
24. NEW ENGLAND S Michael Griffin, Texas
The Patriots have to be concerned with the recent injuries that have plagued SS Rodney Harrison.
25. NY JETS DE Anthony Spencer, Purdue
The Jets need a pass-rushing OLB to help complete their transition into to the 3-4 defense used by Coach Mangini.
26. PHILADELPHIA CB Chris Houston, Arkansas
The Eagles added WR's Kevin Curtis and Bethel Johnson, so I think they'll draft a DB.
27. NEW ORLEANS CB Aaron Ross, Texas
The Saints defense overachieved last season, but they were extremely vulnerable at CB, and still are.
28. NEW ENGLAND LB Paul Posluszny, Penn State
The Patriots are the only team with two first round picks, and will likely use them to add depth to their aging defense.
29. BALTIMORE C Ryan Kalil, USC
The Ravens need lots of help along the offensive line, but who better to anchor that line than Kalil?
30. SAN DIEGO WR Robert Meachem, Tennessee
The Chargers need a guy that can stretch the field and open things up for Tomlinson and TE Antonio Gates.
31. CHICAGO OG Ben Grubbs, Auburn
The Bears are still negotiating trades for disgruntled LB Lance Briggs, so it's difficult to project their pick. At #31, I like Ben Grubbs.
32. INDIANAPOLIS LB Jon Beason, Miami (FL)
The Colts replaced Edgerrin James through the draft last season by selecting Joseph Addai. Now they'll look to replace LB Cato June.