Well, the big day is finally here, and the 2008 NFL Draft is finally underway! I’ve already started with the live blog, so if you’re not watching the draft on ESPN, or want a little extra analysis, this is one of the places to be for it all.
8:35 p.m.: That’s it for today – for all who followed along, thanks for stopping by, and come back tomorrow. I’ll have a draft tracker up later on tonight, and I will link it in this post. It was a wild first day, and now it’s time for a break.
8:20 p.m.: Notable players not taken in the first two rounds: Dan Connor of Penn State – At one time, it looked like he could go in the top 15, even in the top 10. He’s got to be pretty disappointed, but disappointment can be a great motivator, Reggie Smith of Oklahoma – Timed speed and question marks on just where he fits in on the next level may have hurt him, and so might have a broken toe he suffered late in the season, as it pushed back when he was able to work out, Mario Manningham of Michigan – honesty is the best policy, Pat Sims of Auburn – I didn’t think he’d drop past the second round, but he shouldn’t fall too far in the third, Early Doucet of LSU – injuries in his senior season hurt his chances of being a first-round pick, and then questions about speed (he ran near 4.6 at LSU’s Pro Day) may have been what knocked him out of the first day.
Other notables: Jamaal Charles (I didn’t have him going in the first couple of rounds, but that was more need-based than anything else), Andre’ Woodson (not much of a surprise, but there was a chance that he could’ve been taken late in the second…unfortunately for him, Brohm and Henne falling to the end of the second squashed those chances), LB Xavier Adibi of Virginia Tech (I had him going in the second), LB Erin Henderson of Maryland (I had him going at the bottom of the second), CB Justin King of Penn St. (I had him going high in the second, but production must’ve won out over potential when it came to King, who’s more potential than consistent production at this point),
7:58 p.m.: The second round is over, and it took less than six hours. Good for me, because I can get an early break (still plenty to do, but hey, I’ll get done earlier).
The rest of the picks: Pittsburgh took Limas Sweed after Quentin Groves was taken by the Jaguars. The Steelers need to address the offensive line in the next few rounds, but by adding Rashard Mendenhall and Sweed, a pretty good offense gets even better. Should they have gone offensive line? Sure, but when #23 came around, there weren’t anymore first-round tackles available, and Mendenhall was the best player available. Then, in the second round, they could’ve taken Anthony Collins of Kansas, but with the third receiver spot really up in the air, and Hines Ward getting older, Sweed is a good choice.
Tennessee went defense and added a guy with a lot of potential, taking Jason Jones of Eastern Michigan. Jones could play either end or tackle, so that will prove valuable to the Titans.
After that, Baltimore took Ray Rice of Rutgers, and then Brian Brohm and Chad Henne finally got to exhale, as they were taken back to back. Brohm went to Green Bay, which is a great pick for the Packers. He’s a guy that will push Aaron Rodgers before long, and if Rodgers struggles this season, Brohm could see some playing time before too long. The Dolphins followed by taking Henne, who will provide competition for John Beck, and be reunited with Jake Long.
Tampa Bay added a speedy receiver named Jackson, like I projected that they would, but it was Dexter, not DeSean, who went to the Eagles earlier in the second. Dexter, of Appalachian St., is every bit as fast as DeSean.
Indianapolis took the top-rated center on the board in Mike Pollak of Arizona State, Green Bay took corner Patrick Lee of Auburn, and the Cowboys quickly added another tight end after trading Anthony Fasano, taking Martellus Bennett from Texas A&M. The final two picks of the round were cornerbacks, as New England took Terrence Wheatley of Colorado, and the New York Giants took Terrell Thomas of USC.
Lee is a guy that has a lot of potential, and he’ll get a chance to learn from two of the best in the league in Charles Woodson and Al Harris. Wheatley, who picked off 14 passes at Colorado, is a little undersized, but like I said, the Patriots have an eye for talent, and he can be a key member of their secondary sometime in the near future.
So, that’s it for the first two rounds – there were some top players who weren’t taken on the first day, but it won’t be too long before they go on the second day. The third round will start bright and early tomorrow, at 9 a.m., and I won’t be checking in that early, but I will be throughout the day.
7:05 p.m.: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are on the clock now – are they going end Brian Brohm or Chad Henne’s wait? Nope, because they trade the pick with the Jacksonville Jaguars, who add another SEC pass rusher in Auburn’s Quentin Groves. Could Brohm or Henne fall into the third round? It’s certainly looking possible, because the only team potentially interested in taking a quarterback is Miami, who has the 26th pick of this round.
7:05 p.m.: Trevor Laws to the Eagles, Jerome Simpson to the Bengals, and Fred Davis to the Redskins. The Bengals needed a receiver with the release of Chris Henry, and with Chad Johnson or T.J. Houshmandzadeh potentially not being in Cincy after the 2008 season (or before), and Simpson, out of Coastal Carolina, has a great deal of potential (6’2, about 200 pounds, 4.4 speed, 40+ inch vertical, great hands).
DeSean Jackson is finally off the board, going to the Eagles. So, not drafting a receiver makes a lot of sense now, with a guy that they could have drafted at #19 falling all the way to the middle of the second round.
As for the Redskins, they already have one of the best tight ends in the league in Chris Cooley, and add another pass-catching tight end in Davis.
Well look at that, the Redskins are stockpiling the pass-catchers, as they take Kelly after Arizona selects Calais Campbell from Miami. Jason Campbell should be beaming right now, because his receiving corps has gotten a huge upgrade in a short while.
6:32 p.m.: Still no Brian Brohm off the board, as the Bears take Tulane RB Matt Forte with their second-round selection. They really needed a running back, because their run game was pretty anemic last season, and Cedric Benson hasn’t really exploded as of yet.
Where will Brohm (or Chad Henne) go? The next team who might be in the market for a QB is Tampa Bay, who has the 21st pick of the second round. Meanwhile, Detroit went linebacker with their second pick, taking Colorado’s Jordon Dizon. Dizon was a real playmaker at Colorado, and racked up the tackles, but his size could’ve dropped him to the mid to late rounds. However, the Lions took production, not physicals, into consideration.
How many people had Dizon going before Dan Connor? Not many, I imagine.
6:27 p.m.: After the Denver Broncos take Eddie Royal, Minnesota, who traded up with the Eagles, take Arkansas State safety Tyrell Johnson. Johnson is another guy I like, as he has size (6’1, 200+ lbs), speed (4.4 in the 40 at the combine), strength, and all-around playmaking ability (360 career tackles – a Sun Belt Conference record).
6:20 p.m.: Indiana Hoosiers go off the board with consecutive picks, as the New Orleans Saints take cornerback Tracy Porter with the 10th pick of the second, and the Buffalo Bills nab their big receiver by getting 6’6 James Hardy with the following pick. I had both of these guys going in the first round, so both are good choices at this point.
New Orleans needed to add another corner even though they got Randall Gay in free agency, and Porter is a guy who can make a lot of plays in the secondary and help out as a returner. As for Hardy, well, there are few physical matchups that he won’t win, and few balls that he won’t get.
6:07 p.m.: The 49ers address the offensive line with the eighth pick of the second round by taking USC guard Chilo Rachal. I had him going late in the second round, but had he stayed for his senior season, he would’ve been a certain first-round pick. Mel Kpier says he could slot in at either right guard or tackle, so it’s a good pick for the Niners.
6:04 p.m.: If there’s a team that has to be feeling pretty good right about now, it’s the Buffalo Bills. Instead of reaching for a receiver with the #11 pick, they not only got the top cornerback prospect, but with no receivers being drafted in the first round, they’ll be able to get their big, athletic receiver with their upcoming second-round pick.
6:01 p.m.: The third linebacker off of the board is Oklahoma’s Curtis Lofton, who goes to the Atlanta Falcons. The Seattle Seahawks follow the Falcons by taking Notre Dame’s John Carlson, who’s the second tight end off the board.
5:56 p.m.: Three receivers go off the board in four picks. After Avery goes to the Rams, Devin Thomas finally has a home, as the Washington Redskins take him with the following pick. Kansas City takes Virginia Tech’s Brandon Flowers with the fourth pick of the second, and the Green Bay Packers use the pick that they got from the Jets to select a guy that I really like, Kansas State receiver Jordy Nelson.
5:46 p.m.: The first receiver has finally been taken, and it’s not Devin Thomas, DeSean Jackson, or Limas Sweed. It’s Houston’s Donnie Avery, who goes to the Rams with the second pick of the second round – I know Kelsey has to be ecstatic about this one. Avery’s got speed, speed, and more speed, so he’ll thrive in St. Louis.
5:38 p.m.: Phillip Merling finally goes off of the board, with the first pick of the second round to the Miami Dolphins. This is where I take a break – I’ll be back after a little while to go over some of the picks from the second round.
5:35 p.m.: Few picks from my mock draft have ended up being right thus far, but I finally get another one right to end the first, as the New York Giants take Miami safety Kenny Phillips with the 31st and final pick of the first round.
It’s the fastest first round since 1990, lasting all of three and a half hours, after the marathon six-plus hour first round from last year.
5:26 p.m.: The Jets fans are hoping for Devin Thomas, but will they get their wish? The ESPN guys are talking about a quarterback potentially going here, and if that happens, that will set off a riot inside Radio City Music Hall.
Here’s the pick…who will it be? It’s a mix of boos and cheers as the Jets take Purdue tight end Dustin Keller. Well, look at that – a tight end off of the board before a receiver. Well, Keller’s just as good of a pick as taking a receiver, as he’s got the tools to be one of the best receiving tight ends in the league in the near future.
The Giants are now on the clock with the final pick of the first round, and unless they take a receiver, it’s going to be a receiver-less first round.
5:19 p.m.: Steve Young is a little disappointed, as he was expecting his old team to take a quarterback or a corner with the #29 pick, but instead, the San Francisco 49ers take defensive tackle Kentwan Balmer from North Carolina.
The Jets have just traded up with the Green Bay Packers’ to get the #30 pick. I’m going to go out a limb and say they go with a receiver or a running back, but how many times have I been right thus far? All of the trades have thrown things into a loop, and so have a couple of the picks (I had the Falcons taking Glenn Dorsey and the Raiders taking Vernon Gholston).
5:16 p.m.: The Seahawks make their selection at #28, and it’s a defensive end. I had Lawrence Jackson in that late-first/early-second range, and he goes to Seattle at #28. That makes four USC players taken in the first round. Is this a good pick? I figured the Seahawks would go offense, but they went with the defensive side of the ball to get a guy who had 30.5 sacks in four seasons at USC. Jackson has strength, size, and good quickness, and could really contribute a lot to the Seahawks’ front four, which is already pretty good.
5:10 p.m.: It doesn’t take long for the San Diego Chargers to make their pick, and they go with Arizona’s Antoine Cason, this past season’s Thorpe Award winner. I had Cason going to the Arizona Cardinals at #16, but this is a good pick for the Chargers here. Cason isn’t a burner, but he’s got all of the skills to be an impact corner on the next level.
There’ve been a lot of trades in the first round, and I’ll be recapping them at the end of the first round. Will there be more to come? I certainly don’t doubt it!
I won’t be actively blogging the second round, but I will be checking in regularly, so don’t go anywhere, and keep hitting the refresh button.
5:07 p.m.: The Seahawks traded the #25 pick to the Cowboys in exchange for the #28 pick, and Dallas uses it to select Mike Jenkins. Jenkins likely would have been a Houston Texan if not for the Cowboys jumping up, so as a result, the Texans nab Virginia Tech tackle Duane Brown at #26. Brown flew up draft boards with a great combine, and while some people might be saying ‘Who?!’ at this point, Brown’s athleticism and potential could make him a quick starter.
4:50 p.m.: The Titans’ pick is in, and Steve Young has Devin Thomas in pen. Looks like he should’ve had a pencil, because the Titans take Chris Johnson of East Carolina. Surprise? Somewhat, but Johnson could help the Titans not only at running back, but at receiver and kick returner. On certain plays, the Titans could very well put Johnson in the slot and have Lendale White in the backfield, and make a lot of things happen. Still, they do need to get a receiver at some point.
The Seattle Seahawks are now on the clock at #25, and will we see a receiver taken? At this point, there’s no telling, because the Seahawks could go and take Brian Brohm, and after that, the next likely team to take a receiver is Dallas, unless Houston doesn’t go for Mike Jenkins. Time for a short break, as I need to restart the computer.
4:44 p.m.: Two backs in two picks, as Rashard Mendenhall is finally off of the board, with the Pittsburgh Steelers taking him with the 23rd pick. Good pick? They’ve got Willie Parker, but he broke his leg late in the season, and it definitely had an effect, as the Steelers were unable to muster anything against the Jaguars in their playoff loss.
The Tennessee Titans are now on the clock, and I think we’ll finally see a receiver come off the board. If they don’t take a receiver, there’ll be some gnashing of teeth in the Music City.
4:38 p.m.: Well, I guess I called this one, eh? The Cowboys take Felix Jones at #22, and now they’ve got the thunder and the lightning in the backfield, with the speed of Jones and the power of Barber.
4:30 p.m.: Well, I don’t think the Falcons had to make this trade to get this guy, but they did it anyway, trading up to get USC tackle Sam Baker at #21. I had him penciled in as a second-rounder, and I think he would’ve lasted until then, but I guess it’s better safe than sorry. Baker seemed like a first-round pick at one point, so this might not be as much of a reach as it looks right now.
The Dallas Cowboys are now on the clock at #22. Will Jerry Jones get his Arkansas running back in Felix Jones, or will the Cowboys be the first team to take a receiver? Mike Jenkins is on the board, and he could wind up going to Big D. Rashard Mendenhall is also still on the board as well, so he’s definitely an option.
4:26 p.m.: The Redskins are on the board now, after the Bucs chose Aqib Talib with the #20 pick. After all the fuss surrounding the failed drug tests at Kansas, Talib really didn’t drop all that far, and actually went higher than quite a few people expected.
Phillip Merling is still on the board, and the Redskins love him, as they sent a ton of guys to his workout this week. Or, will they go for a receiver, and take a big, athletic guy like Limas Sweed? Nope, they won’t be taking anyone here, as they just made a trade with the Falcons.
4:13 p.m.: With all of the likely first-round tackles off of the board, where will the Pittsburgh Steelers go at #23? They’re reportedly in love with Auburn DE/OLB Quentin Groves, so he may be their guy.
As for the upcoming pick, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are on the clock at #20 – will they be the first team to take a receiver, or will they grant Jon Gruden’s wishes and draft a QB in the first round?
4:10 p.m.: There has been yet another trade, as the Eagles have traded the 19th pick to the Carolina Panthers. Will they take a quarterback here, or will they go for Pittsburgh’s Jeff Otah or Clemson’s Phillip Merling? We’ll see shortly. It doesn’t take long to find out, and it’s Otah. So, Carolina gets a new running back with their first pick and addresses the offensive line through a trade for another first-round pick.
4:03 p.m.: The Ravens’ pick is announced, and as expected, it’s Flacco. The last time Baltimore drafted a strong-armed QB in the first round, they took Kyle Boller #19 overall in 2003. How’s that turned out so far?
The Philadelphia Eagles are now on the clock, and in about five or ten minutes, there are going to be about 350 posts on Yardbarker about the Eagles’ selection.
4:00 p.m.: The Baltimore Ravens have traded up with the Houston Texans to get the #18 pick. Joe Flacco’s smiling, so I’m going to take a wild guess and say that he’s the pick for the Ravens. So, where is Brian Brohm going to go?
3:58 p.m.: The Lions make their pick, and this is a pretty interesting one. They do go offense, but they go for a lineman, and it’s Boston College’s Gosder Cherilus. I had him going to the Steelers at #23. So, does that mean running back in the second?
3:53 p.m.: The Arizona Cardinals make their pick, and Steve Young is incorrect in his prediction of a running back. I’m also incorrect, but I did get the position right, as the Cards take Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie to upgrade a secondary that made a lot of plays last season, but gave up a great deal of plays as well. He only has one kidney, but hey, that hasn’t stopped him yet, has it? Detroit is now on the clock – Rashard Mendenhall time?
3:46 p.m.: After taking a bit of a break, I’m back. At #14, the Chicago Beras took tackle Chris Williams of Vanderbilt, and then at #15, the wheelin’ and dealin’ Chiefs traded up with the Detoit Lions, and took Branden Albert, who I originally had them taking at #5. The Chiefs are early winners right now, having taken Dorsey at #5, then getting the versatile Albert at #15. And better yet for them, they’ve still got about 30 picks left.
The Arizona Cardinals are now on the clock, and after that, the Lions will be making their selection, after having traded the #15 to the Chiefs. To recap that trade, the Lions traded the #15 pick and a third-rounder to the Chiefs for the #17, a third-rounder, and a fifth-rounder.
3:30 p.m.: Instead of going for an offensive or defensive lineman, the Panthers elect to go for Oregon RB Jonathan Stewart, giving Carolina two talented young backs, with Stewart and 2006 first-rounder DeAngelo Williams. I had Stewart penciled in as the second running back before he had toe surgery, and going somewhere in the top 20, so this isn’t a bad choice in the least, because Stewart should be ready to go by the time training camp starts in July.
3:23 p.m.: The Denver Broncos’ selection is in, and this one’s not a surprise either, as they take Boise St. tackle Ryan Clady at #12. We could see offensive linemen go off the board with the next two picks as well. The Panthers, who are next at #13, will likely go for either an offensive lineman (Chris Williams of Vanderbilt?), or they could go for Clemson DE Phillip Merling, with Mike Rucker retiring. I had them taking Derrick Harvey, but with the Jaguars jumping up into the top ten to take Harvey, Merling might be the guy at #13.
3:18 p.m.: The Buffalo Bills have the #11 pick in, and the first corner is off of the board, in Troy’s Leodis McKelvin. Buffalo’s secondary instantly gets better, and a return game that also features one of the league’s best punt returners in Roscoe Parrish (16.3 yards per return, one touchdown in 2007), also gets even better. The Broncos are now on the clock.
3:13 p.m.: There’s a world of boos as the Patriots’ pick is announced, and here’s a potential surprise – Jerod Mayo of Tennessee. Right after Rivers goes, Mayo goes as the second linebacker. Mayo’s stock really rose after entering the draft, and I had him going as the second ‘backer, though a good bit lower than this (#29 to the 49ers).
But, if there’s a team that has an eye for talent, it’s the Patriots, and they just got the future of their linebacking corps with Mayo. How many cans of Miracle Whip will we see at Gillette Stadium this season?
3:07 p.m.: No surprise here, the Bengals take Keith Rivers with the #9 pick. The New England Patriots are now on the clock.
3:06 p.m.: Jacksonville’s trade for the 8th pick netted Baltimore the #26 pick, two third-round picks, and a fourth-round pick. The Ravens will likely end up taking a QB with the #26 pick – will it be Joe Flacco, Chad Henne, or Brian Brohm? Kiper likes Flacco behind Ryan, but those who check out this site regularly know that I like Brohm a lot, more than Ryan in fact.
3:03 p.m.The Cincinnati Bengals are now on the clock at #9, and the cameras just showed a happy Keith Rivers on the phone. I wonder what that means…
With Ellis off the board, Rivers is a perfect fit for the linebacker-needy Bengals, who got Odell Thurman back this week, but at the same time, lost David Pollack, who’s apparently deciding to call it quits instead of trying to make a comeback from the serious injury that he suffered in the 2006 season. Best wishes to him in the future – he was a guy I liked watching while he was at Georgia, and I thought he could’ve really done big things in the NFL.
3:01 p.m.: The ESPN guys are nailing them thus far, as the Jaguars take Derrick Harvey with the #8 pick. This one’s a reach in Mel Kiper’s eyes, but I think Harvey is a guy with terrific potential. Like Gholston, he has to master being able to bring it each down and each time out. If he can do that, he could be a great one.
3:00 p.m.: Did Chris Berman just say Socco instead of Flacco (in reference to Delaware QB Joe Flacco)?
2:57 p.m.: The Saints’ trade for the #7 pick netted them New England’s fifth-round pick, while the Patriots got the 10th overall pick, along with a third-rounder.
2:53 p.m.: As expected, the Saints have taken Sedrick Ellis, taking another big step towards bettering a defense that was pretty bad in 2007. The Ravens are now on the clock – with Matt Ryan off of the clock, what will they do?
Nothing, as it happens, as the Jaguars are jumping all the way up from #26 to #8. Are they going to take Derrick Harvey here? I had him going to the Panthers at #13, but it wouldn’t be a surprise for him to be taken at this point. No details yet on what Jacksonville gave up to get the #8 pick, but whatever it was, it best be worth it.
2:50 p.m.: The Patriots have traded the #7 pick to the Saints for the 10th pick, so New Orleans is now on the clock. The Saints wanted Dorsey, but now that he’s gone, Sedrick Ellis is the next tackle on the board, and that’s where they’ll likely head with this pick, while the Pats could go with a corner, Keith Rivers, or Branden Albert at #10.
2:44 p.m.: The Jets are up…oh boy. It’s Vernon Gholston, and well, well, the Jets fans are in celebration mode. Gholston was their next best option behind McFadden, so this was a no-brainer after McFadden went to the Raiders. I’ll be taking a break after a little while, but it likely won’t be until after the 10th pick. The Patriots are now on the clock – will they take Branden Albert, or will they go for a cornerback – or could they go for Keith Rivers? I have the Chiefs taking Albert, but with how things shook out, New England seems his likeliest destination now. I’ve missed on the last four, so don’t take my word for it. That’s the way the cookie crumbles sometimes though, so I’m not too torn up about it.
2:35 p.m.: The Chiefs’ selection is in, and this one isn’t a surprise – Glenn Dorsey. But, is he going to be a Chief? The Saints really want Dorsey, and with Kansas City wanting as many picks as possible, his rights could be traded before too long. The Jets are now on the clock, and with McFadden off of the board, I’m thinking that they go with Vernon Gholston.
2:26 p.m.: The Raiders are up – who will it be? Will it be McFadden? From the big smile on DMC’s face, I think it is, but we’ll see in a few seconds. And the winner is…Darren McFadden. From Razorback to Raider – need-wise, the Raiders could’ve and should’ve gone defense, but we all knew that Al Davis loved McFadden, and given that the Raiders should have a good defense next season, the addition of McFadden could transform an offense that’s currently average (at best) into a pretty serviceable one.
2:18 p.m.: These first few picks have gone by quickly, as the commish is already up with the Falcons’ selection, and I think Dave the Falconer is going to be pretty pissed, as Atlanta takes Matt Ryan at #3. I’m not saying that he’s going to be a bust, but I think they could’ve taken Dorsey and waited until the second to take a QB. Then again, Ryan could become a Hall of Famer and shame us all.
2:11 p.m.: Pick #2 is in, and there’s no surprise there, as the Rams go defense with their choice. Virginia DE Chris Long will be going to the Gateway City, and now, the Falcons are on the clock. This is a great pick for the Rams, and their defense should immediately be better. I do think they need to add a defensive tackle in the second round, as there isn’t a ton of depth for them at that position either, and at this point, I have them taking Notre Dame’s Trevor Laws.
2:00 p.m.: Roger Goodell has stepped up to the mic, and we are officially underway. It sounds like there are more boos than cheers as Jake Long steps up on the stage to officially take his place as the #1 overall pick. The Rams are now on the clock, and unlike in the past, there’s only 10 minutes in between picks in the first round, as opposed to 15 previously.
1:57 p.m.: I put up a NFL Draft tracker so that all of the picks can be separate from the blog. You can find it here: http://theredzonereport.com/2008-nfl-draft-hq/2008-nfl-draft-tracker-round-1/.
1:40 p.m.: Most of the pre-draft talk right now is about what’s going to happen at #2 with St. Louis and #3 with Atlanta. The Rams are likely set to decide between Chris Long and Glenn Dorsey, while Atlanta seems to be leaning towards Matt Ryan, according to the ESPN reports.
The possibility of Baltimore trading up with St. Louis to get ahead of Atlanta to get Ryan, but it looks like that possibility is out of the window, as the Rams wanted the Ravens’ 1st, 2nd, and 4th round picks in exchange for the #2, which is a little more than Baltimore seems willing to part with.
If the Rams take Long #2, and the Falcons take Ryan #3, where does that put Dorsey? He could go to the Raiders at #4, though Kansas City at #5 might be the more likely option. Now, if he falls past there, well, he probably wouldn’t go off the board until Baltimore, and who knows, could that force a trade between the Falcons and Raiders? I still don’t think the Falcons should go with Ryan, but if they’re committed to doing it, then hey, who’s to stop them?