Rounds 1 & 2
Ediitor's Note: Antoniio will update this article two more times
(4/7, 4/21) before the NFL draft takes place.
32. Dolphins – Curtis Lofton, LB, Oklahoma
The Dolphins need somebody to fill the gaping hole left by Zach
Thomas, and Lofton is the best available MLB. The other option
would be a QB, but I have a feeling Parcells wants some time with
John Beck before he jumps ship. Beck wasn’t terrible, and
there will be some QBs Parcells will assuredly take an interest
in during the later rounds.
33. Rams – Kentwan Balmer, DT, North Carolina
Balmer probably should’ve been a first rounder, but he
doesn’t quite fit in with the teams’ needs at his
current draft value and has been inconsistent at times –
not something war rooms reward. The Rams will be a better team
with him, and he’s a steal for a Round 2 pick.
34. Falcons (from Raiders) – Brian Brohm,
At this point, the Falcons probably just need to bite the bullet
and take a quarterback, but they don’t necessarily have
to do it in Round One. Brohm – who could be the real deal
and might even get picked in the first round – should still
be available at this point, and he’s one of the top three
quarterbacks on most minds for the first two rounds.
35. Chiefs – Justin King, CB, Penn State
King will make a nice addition to the Chief’s depleted
secondary. He’s got oodles of raw talent and could excel
at the next level. He may not help right away, and his draft value
has fluctuated a lot lately, but I don’t think he can escape
the top 40.
36. Jets – Calais Campbell, DE, Miami
Campbell wasn’t as good as expected at the U, but he’s
still got the requisite size and speed to be a disruptive pass
rusher. His stock has gone down some, but he’s still a great
NFL prospect that the Jets could use to bolster their pathetic
37. Falcons – Anthony Collins, OT, Kansas
Collins might be another second-round steal – and while
the Falcons have another pick to get him with, he might be gone
by #48. There are other options, but Collins had a great 2007
season and has almost unlimited potential.
38. Ravens – Mario Manningham, WR, Michigan
It’s amazing how high scouts were on Manningham not too
long ago, but NFL Combine results showed less-than stellar speed.
He’s got great hands and will be a nice possession receiver;
Mario could even end up being a Derrick Mason-like receiver if
he reaches his lofty potential.
39. 49ers – Sam Baker, OT, USC
Baker is another solid tackle out of USC who’s got a shot
to be a stalwart lineman for years in the NFL. He’s not
a prototype left-side guy, but he’ll definitely fit in at
right tackle for the Niners – who need lots of help with
40. Saints – Erin Henderson, LB, Maryland
They need a linebacker badly, and Henderson and Connor are probably
the best two out there. I give the edge to Henderson based on
his versatility (he started out as a QB) and his pedigree (his
brother is Vikings LB E.J. Henderson – who’s a beast).
41. Bills – Dan Connor, LB, Penn State
Connor has drawn comparisons to fellow Penn State product Paul
Posluszny, and reuniting these two in the same unit would be a
dream. Maybe it’s just wishful thinking to say that Connor
can fall this far, but I think some teams will pass on him because
of obvious needs in other areas and draft value quandaries.
42. Broncos – Dre Moore, DT, Maryland
Moore is big, strong and effective getting into the backfield
and wreaking havoc. He’s also versatile and could be effective
in different schemes, making him a useful tool in the Broncos
arsenal. He’s not the best DT on the board, but he might
be the best after Balmer.
43. Panthers – Joe Flacco, QB, Delaware
The Panthers need to start thinking about the future –
and Flacco could be the future. His combine performance showed
excellent speed, footwork and agility for a 6-6, 238-pound QB,
and he’s got an arm that can make all the NFL throws. Maybe
Parcells will go after him at some point, so don’t rule
out him trading for a spot like this.
44. Bears – Andre Caldwell, WR, Florida
When I was discussing the Bears first-round pick with my brother-in-law,
he emphasized the Bears need for receivers now that Muhsin Muhammad
and Bernard Berrian were gone. But I know the Bears can still
end up with a solid WR halfway through Round 2. Caldwell is a
sure-handed, agile receiver who the Bears could definitely use
– and a guy who does all the little things right without
the football, a la Hines Ward. Isn’t that just the type
of receiver the Bears need right now?
45. Lions – Jamaal Charles, RB, Texas
This is where the Lions need to grab a running back, and Charles
might be the best available. He decided to join the pro ranks
after a big finish to the 2007 season, but the deep running back
class will undoubtedly push him into the middle of the second
round. With a little work and a full camp, he’d be ready
to start in September. And he’s faaaaassst.
46. Bengals – Quentin Groves, LB, Auburn
If the Bengals add Sedrick Ellis and Quentin Groves in the same
draft, they’ll finally have a defensive foundation they
can be proud of. Groves is a beast who’s an amazing, almost
preternatural edge rusher – but injuries took away much
of his senior glory. He’s got a huge upside – but
the Bengals need him to be on the field.
47. Vikings – Early Doucet, WR, LSU
He’s a proven winner – with a national championship
under his belt, and he stood out among his peers during Senior
Bowl week, but sat out the NFL Combine. We’ll know more
on March 26 after Pro Day, but I think the Vikes – who need
a receiver to complement the tall, young, athletic Sidney Rice,
might be able to get him here.
48. Falcons (from Texans) – Reggie Smith,
Smith has the size and speed to play safety in the NFL and could
develop into a top pro defender. His only downside is a foot injury
that’s plagued him, but the Falcons – with so many
draft choices in Round 2 – can afford to take a shot.
49. Eagles – Lawrence Jackson, DE, USC
Jackson is an athletic player who had a strong finish to his
collegiate career. He turned some heads at the Senior Bowl and
at the combine. He has proven to be a legitimate threat off the
edge as a pass rusher, but also has shown that he can contain
the run as well – a focus of the Eagles defense.
50. Cardinals – Brandon Flowers, CB, Virginia
Flowers is a quick, tough corner who has good coverage skills
and is still considered by some to be a possible first-rounder.
He has the technique and playmaking ability to match up with the
best receivers. While had a poor showing at the combine, he could
see his stock rise if he impresses during Pro Day.
51. Redskins – Darrell Robertson, DE,
Robertson has been labeled a tweener, which can be a gift or
a curse, depending on the system. He displayed big-play ability
off the edge during his college career, and will help the Redskins
develop a more potent pass rush. See also: Cliff Avril, DE/OLB,
Purdue – another athletic pass rusher who’ll most
likely go to a team that runs the 3-4.
52. Buccaneers – Xavier Adibi, LB, Virginia
Adibi is a mobile, slightly undersized OLB who has drawn comparisons
to Michael Boley. He’s fast, quick and has excellent instincts,
as he displayed during a very productive college career. The Bucs
seems to gravitate toward these guys, so I’d expect him
to catch their eye.
53. Steelers – Tracy Porter, CB, Indiana
The Steelers need a corner and Porter’s another guy that’s
getting great reviews from scouts. He’s an athletic performer
who worked out well at the Senior Bowl and NFL Combine.
54. Titans – Pat Sims, DT, Auburn
Sims is a big boy who can plug the gaps in the middle. He can
collapse the pocket and has the explosiveness to make plays along
the line. See also: Trevor Laws, DT, Notre Dame – an undersized
nose tackle who could end up as a better complement to the massive
Albert Haynesworth on the inside of the line.
55. Seahawks – Chilo Rachel, G, USC
Rachel is a big, agile junior who had an impressive 2007 season
and combine. He has moved up draft boards over the past month,
and could even be a first round pick. But I think most teams will
stand pat at guard until round 2. See also: Roy Schuening, OG,
Oregon State – a more plodding guard who’ll probably
end up going in Round 3 or 4.
56. Packers (from Browns) – Chad Henne,
Henne is a classic pocket passer with decent size (6-3, 235)
and solid arm strength. He’s fought through injuries but
seemed okay at the Senior Bowl and NFL Combine. He may or may
not be the right choice for the Packers, but they should probably
grab somebody respectable before Round 3 – just in case
Aaron Rodgers doesn’t work out.
57. Dolphins (from Chargers) – Charles
Godfrey, CB/S, Iowa
Again – they could take a QB. But Bill Parcells likes big,
physical corners, and Godfrey certainly fits the bill. It’s
also possible Tuna tries to fill some other serious offensive
line gaps – but he usually likes to square away his defense
before getting to that side of the ball. This veteran corner had
a solid career against NFL-caliber receivers, and displayed that
again at the Senior Bowl.
58. Jaguars – Earl Bennett, WR, Vanderbilt
He had a marvelous career in the SEC, but after a marginal performance
at the combine, his tock goes down. He’s not a gamebreaker,
but the Jags need to find the right receiver for their system,
and Bennett could be the guy. See Also: Eddie Royal, WR, Virginia
Tech – a playmaker who showed tremendous speed (4.39 in
the 40) and strength (a position-leading 24 bench reps of 225
pounds) at the NFL Combine.
59. Colts – Chris Johnson, RB, East Carolina
He’s got impressive speed and versatility as big-play runner,
receiver and return specialist. He also performed well at the
NFL Combine, and the Colts could always use an extra back with
breakaway speed in its offense. See also: Matt Forte, RB, Tulane
– a back with lots of raw skills and potential.
60. Packers – DaJuan Morgan, S, North
Morgan’s strong and fast – nice attributes for an
NFL safety, but he’s still a work in progress. He’s
been effective in run support and pass coverage, and he could
end up being a standout pro.
61. Cowboys – Terrell Thomas, CB,
The Cowboys still need to address their needs at CB, and this
strong corner impressed against top receivers at the Senior Bowl.
He elevated his rating after an inconsistent final season with
an excellent overall workout at the Combine, making him a distinct
possibility for a second-round selection. See also: Patrick Lee,
62. Patriots – Ray Rice, RB, Rutgers
Rice is a strong, compact RB with plenty of raw talent who showed
promise at the combine. It may be a stretch to have him in Round
2, but the Pats might want to add a back of his caliber before
he disappears in Round 3.
63. Giants – Carl Nicks, OT, Nebraska
Nicks has some character question marks, including his drive,
attitude and consistency, but he’s got the tools to be a
solid tackle in the NFL, including a massive frame (estimated
at 6-5, 340), good quickness and surprising athleticism. He’s
more effective as a run-blocker, is a versatile player and has
a big upside.