Three Weeks and Counting: Mock Draft No. 1

Russell goes first, Quinn slips down to No. 9

April 9, 2007

By Howard Balzer

Special to from The Sports XChange


1. Oakland: QB JaMarcus Russell, LSU - Talent like Russell's doesn't come around very often, so the Raiders can't pass him up. They'll take Russell, and then build an offense around him.


2. Detroit: WR Calvin Johnson, Georgia Tech - So the Lions whiffed on receivers Charles Rogers and Mike Williams. But they hit on Roy Williams, and Johnson can team with him to give Detroit a pair of pass-catchers who will be difficult to stop.


3. Cleveland: RB Adrian Peterson, Oklahoma - Jamal Lewis doesn't have a lot left, and he's on a one-year contract. Peterson can give the Browns a running game for years to come.


4. Tampa Bay: DE Gaines Adams, Clemson - The Bucs lost Dewayne White in free agency, and Simeon Rice doesn't have a lot of years left. Investing in Adams should immediately upgrade the defense.


5. Arizona: OT Joe Thomas, Wisconsin - The Cardinals are rebuilding their line with Russ Grimm's attitude, and a premier tackle can't be passed up. Thomas is just what Arizona needs to continue the upgrading of the offense.


6. Washington: DT Amobi Okoye, Louisville - He's young, but the Redskins need help inside on the defensive line, and Okoye will give them the presence needed.


7. Minnesota: OT Levi Brown, Penn State - Plug him in at right tackle, where he will team with Bryant McKinnie to give the Vikings bookend tackles for many seasons.


8. Atlanta: S LaRon Landry, LSU - Just what the doctor ordered for the Falcons' secondary. They have been searching for a difference-maker at safety, and Landry is the answer.


9. Miami: QB Brady Quinn, Notre Dame - The Dolphins will be tempted to go in other directions, but at this spot they won't be able to pass on a potential franchise quarterback.


10. Houston: LB Patrick Willis, Mississippi - Just plug him into the middle, and watch Willis immediately make the Texans' defense better. Getting a talent like this at the 10th spot is a blessing.


11. San Francisco: WR Robert Meachem, Tennessee - The 49ers need playmakers at receiver to go with running back Frank Gore, and Meachem fits the bill. Quarterback Alex Smith will be very happy.


12. Buffalo: DT Alan Branch, Michigan - There are questions about his work ethic, but the Bills will take their chances adding Branch with the 12th choice.


13. St. Louis: DE Jamaal Anderson, Arkansas - Leonard Little will be 33 and James Hall is 30, so the Rams need to add a young pass rusher to the defensive end rotation.


14. Carolina: TE Greg Olsen, Miami - Some might say this is too high for Olsen, but it's not too early for a player who can make the offense better.


15. Pittsburgh: DE Adam Carriker, Nebraska - He can play end or tackle, and in the Steelers' 3-4 defense, that versatility will come in handy.


16. Green Bay: RB Marshawn Lynch, California - After the departure of Ahman Green, the Packers can't count on Vernand Morency and Noah Herron. Lynch is just what quarterback Brett Favre needs to keep the pressure off the passing game.


17. Jacksonville: CB Leon Hall, Michigan - Other players will be tempting, but getting the top corner on the board at 17 is a gift. Hall will be a big help to the Jaguars' secondary.


18. Cincinnati: CB Darrelle Revis, Pittsburgh - The Bengals' first day should be filled with defense, and it begins with Revis, who should step in and start from Game 1.


19. Tennessee: WR Ted Ginn, Jr., Ohio State - Ginn can help the Titans on several levels. While he learns the nuances of being a receiver, he can be explosive in the kick return game.


20. N.Y. Giants: LB Paul Posluszny, Penn State - Linebacker is at the top of the Giants' priority list, and Posluszny is just the right fit at this point in the draft.


21. Denver: DE Jarvis Moss, Florida - The Broncos' back end is fine, but they need a pass rush from their ends. Moss should be able to provide that.


22. Dallas: CB Aaron Ross, Texas - The Longhorn stays home and contributes a quality upgrade to the Cowboys' secondary.


23. Kansas City: OG Ben Grubbs, Auburn - Will Shields doesn't have much time left, and Grubbs will be a tough starter for a long time.


24. New England: S Reggie Nelson, Florida - The rich get richer, as the Patriots add more quality to the secondary.


25. N.Y. Jets: S Brandon Meriweather, Miami - A hard hitter who will add some pop to the Jets' back line.


26. Philadelphia: WR Dwayne Bowe, LSU - The Eagles always seem to make do with the receivers they have, and Bowe will be another addition that will make the offense better.


27. New Orleans: CB Chris Houston, Arkansas - There were too many big plays against the Saints' secondary in 2006, so bringing in a quality cover guy like Houston will make the defense better.


28. New England: OT Joe Staley, Central Michigan - Will develop into one of the better tackles in the NFL, and what better place to do it than with the Patriots?


29. Baltimore: LB Lawrence Timmons, Florida State - Perfect for the Ravens' defense as he will be able to rush the passer from the edge.


30. San Diego: WR Dwayne Jarrett, USC - He should be able to come in and compete for playing time right away in a receiving corps looking for an upgrade.


31. Chicago: DT Justin Harrell, Tennessee - He will contribute run-stopping ability in the defensive tackle rotation.


32. Indianapolis: LB Jon Beason, Miami - His skill set fits well with the Colts' defense, and he should have no problem coming in and playing immediately.