Crushed Optimists

We are twin brothers who grew up in Central Washington. This blog is devoted to the life of Seattle sports fans, as well as various other topics that we will espouse for your enjoyment. We could be called another OFFICIAL SEATTLE SEAHAWKS site, but we'll take our uneducated crack at the Mariners, Sonics, and Huskies as well. A Seattle Sports Blog? Must be the land... of crushed optimism!

Thursday, April 21, 2005

NFL Mock Draft - Uneducated and Quick

I would like to start this off by saying that I don't really read Mel Kiper, I haven't watched ESPN specials, and I haven't asked anyone's opinion. However, I did watch way too much NFL last year and figure I at least have an idea what teams need. Most of these picks will more than likely be wrong. This is why I'm an engineer. But it's fun, so I'm doing it. My conventional wisdom? Have a need and fill it with the best player, unless there's a stud sitting out there. In this draft, with the overall parity of prospects, I don't see that happening. I also don't see much in the way of trades. Everyone up wants to trade down, and no one wants to trade up. So here goes!

1. San Francisco 49ers - Braylon Edwards, WR, Michigan
The 49ers, to put it simply, were awful across the board. Yet Tim Rattay, when healthy, showed that he could move the ball effectively down the field. I guess I just don't see either Aaron Rodgers or Alex Smith being much of an improvement. They also have Kevin Barlow at running back, who is one year removed from being the back of the future. Braylon Edwards is a stud. He rocked the world for Michigan this past season. He will pair with Brandon Lloyd to give San Francisco a decent offense.

2. Miami Dolphins - Aaron Rodgers, QB, California
Miami will be tempted to take a running back, but AJ Feeley was so pathetic last year that I can't imagine them passing on a quarterback. Most pundits are high on Alex Smith, but as I wrote yesterday anyone who saw Aaron Rodgers play USC know who the better QB is. Hopefully Miami will be ready to trade for Shaun Alexander at this point.

3. Cleveland Browns - Alex Smith, QB, Utah
Cleveland has Lee Suggs. They could use Mike Williams at wide receiver, but have no one to throw the ball. If they were smart they would trade for a QB like Jon Kitna and take Williams, but look for them to go with Smith instead.

4. Chicago Bears - Cedric Benson, RB, Texas
The Bears desperately need a runner to complement QB Rex Grossman. I don't know why everyone likes the Auburn runners better than Benson. Texas had NO passing game this year, and yet he still piled on the yards. This is similar to what he will see in the NFL.

5. Tampa Bay Bucs - Carnell Williams, RB, Auburn
I also like Cadillac Williams better than Ronnie Brown. Whenever scouts talk about "upside" with NFL prospects, I tend to tune out. This isn't the NBA. Williams will be an excellent fit for Gruden's offense.

6. Tennessee Titans - Antrel Rolle, CB, Miami
Tennessee lost both starting CBs in free agency. This is not a difficult decision. Rolle is the best of a deep CB crop. Look for them to take a QB in the second round.

7. Minnesota Vikings - Mike Williams, WR, USC
Minnesota should take a defender here, but they traded away Randy Moss, so they won't even be able to outscore teams as is. Mike Williams has the tools to be the best player out of the draft and will be a steal here at seven... he will make Vikings fans forget about the trade quickly.

8. Arizona Cardinals - Ronnie Brown, RB, Auburn
Instead of trading for Travis Henry, the Cardinals get a great running back dropping into their laps here at the 8 spot. Combine this with a solid O-line, the best set of WRs in the league, and Kurt Warner and Arizona will score some points.

9. Washington Redskins - Adam Jones, CB, West Virginia
Washington goes for defense replacing departed starter Fred Smoot. They easily could look for a wide receiver to go with Santana Moss and Rod Gardner as well, not to mention an offensive lineman, but with a later pick available in the first round get the best CB available.

10. Detroit Lions - Derrick Johnson, LB, Texas
Scouts are pretty down on him, but I thought he was an absolute stud the past few years, someone who can control a game and force more turnovers than I've ever seen. Detroit needs playmakers on defense and Johnson definitely fits the bill.

11. Dallas Cowboys - Alex Barron, OT, Florida State
Dallas needs to start getting younger in the offensive front. Drew Bledsoe does not move around much, and his protection has to be good. Alex Barron is a stud, best offensive lineman in an otherwise weak crop. If not this, look for Dallas to take a wide receiver.

12. San Diego Chargers - Carlos Rogers, CB, Auburn
What does one of the most improved teams in the league do? Fill the few holes still out there. San Diego had great offensive consistency, but looked to need help on defense, getting schooled by Chad Pennington and the Jets in the playoffs. Rogers will provide them with a great corner, and the best available defensive talent left.

13. Houston Texans - Troy Williamson, WR, South Carolina
Houston's defense kept them in games, and their offense still struggled to score. Andre Johnson needs help on the other side. Troy Williamson can provide it... I love his size.

14. Carolina Panthers - Khalif Barnes, OT, Washington
This is a bit of a reach, but the Panthers need some help at offensive line. They looked weak last season after losing so many key starters. Barnes was good for UW and should be good in Carolina.

15. Kansas City Chiefs - Shawne Merriman, DE, Maryland
The Chiefs need defense desperately. They need a pass rush desperately. Merriman is the best rusher available (linebacker converted to defensive end), although I'm torn between Merriman and David Pollack.

16. New Orleans Saints - Marlin Jackson, CB, Michigan
The Saints also need help at defense, starting a string of such needs. They are set on the defensive line, so secondary help becomes important. Here they decide between safety and cornerback, settling on best available corner. That would be Jackson.

17. Cincinatti Bengals - David Pollack, DE, Georgia
The Bengals desperately need defense as well. They were giving up tons of points to the Browns, for crying out loud. Their needs extend up and down the board, so the best available player becomes Pollack. David has size questions, but I think he'll be a pass rushing stud.

18. Minnesota Vikings - Erasmus James, DE, Wisconsin
This is a toss-up between James and Marcus Spears, but the Vikings could apply no pressure from the outside. Stick James in with that great defensive middle and the Vikings might actually have the makings of a decent defense.

19. St. Louis Rams - Jammal Brown, OT, Oklahoma
St. Louis is losing Kyle Turley. Marc Bulger is taking too many hits, and Rams fans saw what happen when he goes down. Brown provides some youth and solidity at this key position opposite Orlando Pace.

20. Dallas Cowboys - Mark Clayton, WR, Oklahoma
Two Sooners in a row get picked, as Dallas needs some wideouts prety badly, and Clayton has led the Sooner offense in receptions the past couple of years. He is consistent and could be the best wideout rookie performer.

21. Jacksonville Jaguars - Roddy White, WR, UAB
This is as much about how bad Reggie Williams has been as anything else. Jacksonville could have won five more games last year if their offense had been up to the challenge. White will give added depth especially as Jimmy Smith gets older.

22. Baltimore Ravens - Matt Jones, WR, Arkansas
With the top wide receivers off the board, the Ravens go for the most intriguing player in the draft, and the best athlete on the board. I expect good things from Matt... he has picked up the position extremely well and singehandedly made Arkansas a contender the past few years.

23. Seattle Seahawks - Channing Crowder, MLB, Florida
There are lingering concerns over Crowder's knees, but I didn't see any issues with them last year. The Hawks also need a defensive end, but Niko Koutivides is not a serviceable middle linebacker option and none of the other end options are that much better.

24. Green Bay Packers - Thomas Davis, S, Georgia
The Packers had the worst secondary in the league last year and ended it with losing Darren Sharper. Thomas Davis is the best safety prospect in the draft, and should help the Pack out... although they still won't have any corners.

25. Washington Redskins - Jason Campbell, QB, Auburn
Campbell might actually be the best QB in the draft. Patrick Ramsey is obviously not the QB of the future, and this would put the Redskins back on track offensively.

26. Oakland Raiders - Shaun Cody, DT, USC
The Raiders tried Warren Sapp... not a good idea. Cody provides youth, big game experience, a great motor, and play making skills. This is a steal at 26.

27. Atlanta Falcons - Travis Johnson, DT, Florida St
They would take a wide receiver here, since they have none, but there aren't any left that are worth this first round pick. Either they trade down or take the best available player... Johnson.

28. San Diego Chargers - Marcus Spears, DE, LSU
Spears has gone everywhere in the draft. The Chargers need the best rusher available, and that is Spears. Also, a great pick at 28.

29. Indianapolis Colts - Dan Cody, DE, Oklahoma
If there were better linebackers available, they would take one of them, but one will still be ready in the second round. Cody paired up the best rusher in the game (Dwight Freeney) will give the Colts plenty of pressure on opposing quarterbacks, maybe even Tom Brady.

30. Pittsburgh Steelers - Heath Miller, TE, Virginia
Yes, Pittsburgh needs a WR, but how do you let Heath Miller go by? The guy was outstanding for years at Virginia and Ben Roethlisberger could really use a big target across the middle.

31. Philadelphia Eagles - JJ Arrington, RB, California
Brian Westbrook is going to have serious injury problems if he keeps getting overused like this year. Arrington provides the Eagles some necessary depth and a good change of pace. They could also go for an offensive lineman here.

32. New England Patriots - Fabian Washington, CB, Nebraska
This is not a surprise, considering that the Patriots were starting kids named after Earth, Wind, Fire in the Super Bowl. You can only get away with that for so long. Washington is first-round talent, and the Patriots get him to help them continue the dynasty.

That's it! It'll be fun on Saturday!

posted by Gavin @ 6:42 PM  0 comments

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