April 20, 2005

2005 NOPF Mock Draft v3.0

Editor's Note: Mock drafts are an inherently annoying thing in the early spring. They become a nuisance in March and an infuriation in April. I despise the entire art, as the information streams for draft information come from two sources: the mouths of self-proclaimed gurus and the mouths of tale-telling "insider" sources, which - even if they are legitimate - come soaked in spin and directives. General managers and agents may be the sleazy type anyway, but around draft time they are especially duplicitous. In the end, mock drafts are an attempt at guessing an uncertain outcome with uneven information subject to unpredictable twists... a vain effort reserved for hopeless draft addicts, naive dreamers and those of us required to by the nature of the website we contribute to.

1. San Francisco QB Alex Smith, Utah
Smith is apparently the pick. All they have to do is sign him.

2. Miami RB Ronnie Brown, Auburn
Saban can do worse with this pick's value and need. He can't do any better though.

3. Cleveland WR Braylon Edwards, Michigan
To get the best player in the draft with the third pick is great value. Very likely that someone will trade into the second spot to steal Edwards.

4. Chicago RB Cedric Benson, Texas
Derrick Johnson makes a lot of sense here, but Benson would give the echelon of power running game to control defenses. Thomas Jones is more of a slasher than a thumper, a dynamic that Benson provides well.

5. Tampa Bay WR Mike Williams, USC
Carnell Williams and Mike Williams make a lot of sense here. Here's thinking that between Williams and Clayton, Gruden solidifies his downfield passing game for years to come.

6. Tennessee CB Adam Jones, West Virginia
If you play the twice Colts every year, you have to have cornerbacks. Then again, taking Carnell Williams would be a good idea to help keep the offense on the field.

7. Minnesota (from Oakland) WR Troy Williamson, South Carolina
Don't think speed alone can propel a player into the top 10? Williamson is far from a polished product but has the kind of elite speed that Minnesota gave up in part to get this draft pick.

8. Arizona QB Aaron Rodgers, Cal
What does Kurt Warner have to do to get a fair shake at keeping a starting job? Short of selling his soul to some mephistophelean entity, Warner's time as the Cardinals' starting QB can now be termed "limited."

9. Washington CB Carlos Rogers, Auburn
The Redskins, of all people, probably won't be going back to Miami for another defensive back any time soon. Rogers may be better than Antrel Rolle anyway.

10. Detroit CB Antrel Rolle, Miami
Lions have needed a legit star cornerback for years. They manage to finally grab one... right after Randy Moss leaves. Classic.

11. Dallas LB Derrick Johnson, Texas
Can't ask for much more than the top linebacker in the draft here.

12. San Diego (from NY Giants) T Alex Barron, Florida State
Chargers got by with a makeshift offensive line.

13. Houston RB Carnell Williams, Auburn
Williams can't possibly fall any lower, and Houston adds a stable force to their unstable runningback situation. Should be a great 1-2 punch with shifty Domanick Davis, not his replacement.

14. Carolina LB Shawne Merriman, Maryland
Their main targets off the board, the Panthers could take a tackle, or go for Merriman, who can challenge Brandon Short right away at SLB.

15. Kansas City LB Demarcus Ware, Troy
Can spell Eric Hicks on passing downs, at the very least. Also, gives the Chiefs Shawn Barber insurance in case his knee injury doesn't return him to full speed.

16. New Orleans DL Marcus Spears, LSU
According to NOPF's Saints Draft Board, Spears is the highest rated player and thus, our pick. T Jammal Brown would be next up.

17. Cincinnati DE David Pollack, Georgia
Bengals add a pass rush threat.

18. Minnesota DE Erasmus James, Wisconsin
Having already grabbed a good WR, the Vikings also add a pass rush threat, one of the few missing cogs on their defense.

19. St. Louis T Jammal Brown, Oklahoma
The rotating door for the Rams at right tackle... sealed shut?

20. Dallas (from Buffalo) WR Roddy White, UAB
White over Clayton here because White has the kind of speed the Cowboys want. Clayton is a slower, but only by a fraction.

21. Jacksonville S Thomas Davis, Georgia
Donovin Darius is becoming a nuisance and is taking up a lot of cap room. Now the Jaguars finally have some leverage. Davis is good value here.

22. Baltimore DT Travis Johnson, Florida State
If the Ravens want to do this 4-3 thing, they need some help at DT.

23. Seattle DE Dan Cody, Oklahoma
A bit undersized, but cut from the same block as Grant Wistrom.

24. Green Bay T Khalif Barnes, Washington
Packers need safety help in the worst way but aren't going to reach badly for somebody here. Meanwhile, they've got to patch the bloodletting on the offensive line. Barnes is great value here.

25. Washington (from Denver) WR Reggie Brown, Georgia
With Rod Gardner in the doghouse and smurf Santana Moss as their starters, Redskins need to add another receiver. I suppose that's why they moved up. Doubt they'd go for Clayton here, if/when Gardner leaves, they need another receive with speed.

26. Oakland (from N.Y. Jets) CB Marlin Jackson, Michigan
Oakland's back in the first round. Without a linebacker with value here, they go for an immediate replacement for their cornerback exodus.

27. Atlanta DT Shaun Cody, USC
Great value for a big man here. Falcons were thin at d-line last year. Could also go for a linebacker.

28. San Diego WR Mark Clayton, Oklahoma
Clayton is great value here and a refined producer on the field.

29. Indianapolis LB Kevin Burnett, Tennessee
Colts reach for Burnett but its a wise decision. Speedy linebacker was made for the Colts' cover 2 defense.

30. Pittsburgh CB Fabian Washington, Nebraska
Super-speedy Washington gives Steelers much-needed injection of deep coverage.

31. Philadelphia DT Luis Castillo, Northwestern
Forget about the steroids. A lesson learned. At least he learned it before he entered the NFL and got himself suspended. Castillo was and still is a fast-rising run stopper and is the best two-gap tackle available.

32. New England LB Barrett Ruud, Nebraska
Ultra-productive and intelligent. Great fit for Ruud and the Patriots.

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