Posted 04/26/2008 at 01:02 PM
12:40 p.m. Eastern: Good afternoon ladies and gents. I want to encourage all of you to check out BoDog.com's live draft bets as the day progresses. Since when did this thing begin starting at 3:00? Hasn't it always started at noon?
Anyhow, I'll chime in off and on throughout the draft with my thoughts.
So far, the news of the day is the Rams (according to ESPN's Michael Smith) are going to select Virginia DE Chris Long, the son of Hall of Famer Howie Long. As we all know, the 'Fins have already locked up OT Jake Long from out of Michigan as their No. 1 pick.
So that puts my Falcons on the clock. As I've stated all week, I think Atlanta should trade the pick and I won't be shocked if Jerry Jones tries to move up to get Darren McFadden, who I think is (EASILY) the best player in this draft. With that said, ESPN's Rachel Nichols is indicating that she feels the Falcons are leaning towards taking Matt Ryan.
Again, I like Ryan, but I think he's a little bit of a reach at No. 3. Only time will tell. I'd prefer to see the Falcons trade the pick or go with DT Glenn Dorsey out of LSU.
I'd go Dorsey and then try to get either Louisville's Brian Brohm or Michigan's Chad Henne later on. We'll see. I'll check back in a bit...
1:20 p.m. ET.: I had zero idea that Howie Long went to Villanova (learn something new every day). ESPN is reporting that the first four picks are set in stone with the Falcons going with Ryan and the Raiders taking McFadden.
2:50: We're just minutes away from the start of the draft. Here are some quick-hit thoughts:
1-McFadden is the best player in the draft and will light up the league just like Adrian Peterson did last season.
2-Brian Brohm is going to be a steal for some team either late in the first round or early in the second. I think Brohm might end up being better than Ryan.
3-Vandy OT Chris Williams is going to be a huge steal if he falls past the No. 10 pick.
4-This draft is vital for two teams in the league -- Atlanta and Kansas City. Both have a slew of picks in the first three round and they better take advantage.
3:35: Ok, we're five picks deep with no major surprises. And really, I can't knock any of the selections. Miami got an OT that it thinks will be a perennial Pro-Bowler for the next 10 years and change. The Rams get a big-time character guy in Chris Long who will be an outstanding pass rusher on the opposite side of Leonard Little.
The Falcons get their QB of the future which was their biggest need. The Raiders get the best player in the draft in McFadden and the Chiefs at No. 5 get a guy that many teams had at the top of their board -- LSU defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey.
Jets on the clock...
They go with Ohio St. DE Vernon Gholston and I give that pick my first thumbs down.
The Saints trade up to get New England's No. 7 pick and then the 'Who-Dat's' take USC DT Sedrick Ellis and I like that pick. Ravens on the clock...
3:50ish: Check that about the Ravens, who have traded the pick to the Jags (details to follow). Obviously, Baltimore is thinking QB but thinks it can get Brohm or Delaware's Joe Flacco with the Jags' 26th selection.
Who are the Jags trading up to get? Maybe Florida DE Derrick Harvey, who I think is a reach that early (and as most of you know, I'm a GATOR!). If I'm the Jags, I go with USC linebacker Keith Rivers, especially since Mike Peterson (another GATOR!) has struggled with injuries the last couple of seasons.
Jacksonville does decide to go with Harvey and I think the Ravens made out on this trade, as they receive Jacksonville's No. 1 (26th), two third-rounders and a fourth.
The Bengals go for LB Keith Rivers. Great pick!
Pats on the clock...
5:00 p.m.: Allright, let's play catch-up. New England ended up selecting Jered Mayo, a linebacker out of Tennessee. That pick certainly fits a need for the Pats, who have an aging LB corps.
At No. 11, Buffalo went with the draft's best cover corner in Leodis McKelvin out of Troy. I like that pick. Denver took OT Ryan Clady from Boise State who was listed in the top 10 of most mock drafts. At No. 13, Carolina went with RB Jonathan Stewart, who wasn't expected to go quite this high.
LOVE the Bears pick -- Vandy OT Chris Williams, who is a total stud. Kansas City traded up a couple of spots to take Branden Albert, an OG out of UVA. Back shortly...
6:30: Ok, we're into the second round now. Some of the late first-round highlights included three consecutive RBs taken with picks 22-24. Dallas went with Felix Jones, who is a scatback in the mold of a Dave Meggett type. Jones has explosive speed and can take it to the house on any given touch. Look for him to be a factor on special teams in the return game for the Cowboys.
With all that said, I think Rashard Mendenhall from out of Illinois is the better back. The Steelers took Mendenhall at No. 23. Then the Titans took Chris Johnson (who I haven't seen much of) at 24.
Baltimore took its QB (Flacco) with the 18th pick. I admittedly have seen next to none of him so I can't give an informed opinion, but I expect both Brohm and Henne to be better NFL quarterbacks.
I really like the Giants' first-round pick in Miami safety Kenny Phillips, who went at No. 32.