Mock This Way

January 21, 2002
Mock This Way
by Keith Weiland

There may be no greater folly than attempting a one-round mock draft, unless, of course, an attempt at a two-round mock draft is made. Draft day itself will bring with it too many team officials claiming they just took the quintessential “best player available,” team needs be damned. Much can and will happen between now and April 20, as one team’s cap casualty will be another’s free agent savior, but here’s a peek at how the draft would go down if it happened three months early. Read on to see how it might all shake out for the Texans.

Though trades in mock drafts are usually too contrived, it is unreasonable to ignore their role on draft day. Two key trades are speculated in this mock, though plenty more will likely occur. They are as follows:

  • Houston trades their first round pick to Detroit in exchange for their first and second round picks in 2002 and their second round pick in 2003.
  • Jacksonville trades their first round pick to Washington in exchange for their first round pick in 2002 and their second and fourth round picks in 2003.

Draft order is estimated through the Divisional Round of the NFL playoffs.

1. Detroit: Team Needs – CB, DE, OLB, QB
Julius Peppers, DE, North Carolina: The Lions decide that they need to move ahead of Carolina to draft Peppers, who pairs with Robert Porcher and Chris Claiborne to solidify their defense.

2. Carolina: Team Needs – DT, DE, RB, OG
John Henderson, DT, Tennessee: Carolina switches to option 1B and happily takes Henderson to free up their linebackers to make more plays.

3. Houston: Team Needs – Everything
Bryant McKinnie, OT, Miami (FL): The Texans finally bite on an offer to trade down for extra picks and still take a franchise left tackle.

4. Buffalo: Team Needs – DT, OT, S, QB
Wendell Bryant, DT, Wisconsin: Don’t believe others who say the Bills are looking for a QB here. They will look to bolster either line and possibly trade down.

5. San Diego: Team Needs – OL, WR, DT, CB
Mike Williams, OT, Texas: The Chargers had a hard time opening holes for RB LaDainian Tomlinson during their second-half swoon. This team will select the best OT available.

6. Dallas: Team Needs – DT, CB, WR, QB
Quentin Jammer, CB, Texas: Should the Cowboys sign Chad Hutchinson, they’ll be looking to get out of this pick in the worst way, and plenty of teams, including the Saints, Chiefs, Bengals, and Colts, would love to move up to take corner like Jammer.

7. Minnesota: Team Needs – WR, OT, CB
Mike Pearson, OT, Florida: Even minus Dennis Green, the Vikes continue to ignore the defense on draft day. The loss of Korey Stringer exposed a thin offensive line as their rushing game disappeared in 2001.

8. Kansas City: Team Needs – CB, DT, WR
Jabar Gaffney, WR, Florida: Coach Dick Vermeil would love to add more firepower to his passing game, though needs on their defensive front, which can be addressed in round two, shouldn’t be underestimated.

9. Washington: Team Needs – QB, WR, OG, DE
David Carr, QB, Fresno State: The ‘Skins need to trade up to make sure they draft their QB of the future. New coach, Steve Spurrier, will want a completely renovated offensive roster to run his system.

10. Cincinnati: Team Needs – CB, OT, TE, K
Phillip Buchanon, CB, Miami (FL): Buchanon made a smart decision to leave school early, as plenty of teams need help at his position, including the Bengals.

11. Indianapolis: Team Needs – DT, CB, DE
Albert Haynesworth, DT, Tennessee: The Colts settle for the “other” Vol tackle, though if their new coach wanted to make a bigger splash, they could try to trade up.

12. Arizona: Team Needs – DE, DT, CB
Joey Harrington, QB, Oregon: By selecting Harrington, the Cards put Jake Plummer, who has yet to have a season in five years with more than 60% of his passes completed and a QB rating over 80.0, on double-secret probation.

13. New Orleans: Team Needs – CB, WR, S, TE
Josh Reed, WR, LSU: Cornerback may be a bigger need for the Saints, but with Jammer and Buchanon off the board, Reed makes the short trip south from Baton Rouge to complete a nice receiver tandem with Joe Horn. Recent history with Albert Connell makes them think twice about Antonio Bryant.

14. Tennessee: Team Needs – DB, WR, OG, DT
Roy Williams, S, Oklahoma: The Titans were decimated by losses in their defensive backfield. Williams can make an immediate impact on this team and will be regarded as a steal at #14.

15. New York Giants: Team Needs – S, TE, OT, LB, DT
Jeremy Shockey, TE, Miami (FL): The Giants may also consider trading down, as Shockey and Ed Reed will still be available at a later pick.

16. Cleveland: Team Needs – RB, OL, MLB
William Green, RB, Boston College: The Browns lack a runner with Green’s skills. Cleveland will focus future picks on big uglies to open holes for their new back.

17. Atlanta: Team Needs – WR, DE, RB, OLB
Antonio Bryant, WR, Pittsburgh: This team will be desperate for a wide receiver. With no second round pick (traded to San Diego last year to acquire Michael Vick), the Falcons will no doubt take the best receiver available.

18. Jacksonville: Team Needs – OG, WR, TE, CB. DE
Toniu Fonoti, OG, Nebraska: The Jags have a ton of needs, and they will suffer many cap casualties. Trading down makes sense for them, as they can have their pick at guard.

19. Denver: Team Needs – WR, S, OG
Edward Reed, S, Miami (FL): The draft’s depth at wide receiver should allow the Broncos to select Reed with confidence, knowing that a decent wideout prospect will be waiting for them in the second round.

20. Seattle: Team Needs – DL, QB, S, OL
Kalimba Edwards, DE, South Carolina: Edwards’ health is the big question here. The team could use more depth on the defensive line, but Holmgren won’t last another year using a platoon of Hasselbeck and Dilfer (if he’s even back).

21. Tampa Bay: Team Needs – CB, OL, DE, WR
Lito Sheppard, CB, Florida: Sheppard is undersized, but he is a complete player. The Buc pass defense needs the help.

22. New York Jets: Team Needs – DT, S, OL
Ryan Sims, DT, North Carolina: Sims, who played under Peppers’ shadow, will bolster an already strong Jet defense that was running out of gas as the 2001 season wore into December.

23. Baltimore: Team Needs – DT, RB, QB, OG
Andre Gurode, OG, Colorado: The retirement of Tony Siragusa makes DT a huge need for the Ravens, but the offensive-minded Billick needs to have his line open better holes.

24. Oakland: Team Needs – OLB, DT, WR
Ashley Lelie, WR, Hawaii: Tim Brown and Jerry Rice are good, but ancient. LB is a much bigger need, but these are the Raiders — a team that took a diseased left-footed kicker in the first round not so long ago. As an organization, the Raiders seem to skip LB’s early.

25. Miami: Team Needs – RB, OT, DT
T.J. Duckett, RB, Michigan State: The Dolphins may consider taking an offensive lineman but figure one will be around later. Duckett will give the Fins the power rushing attack they desire.

26. New England: Team Needs – OLB, DE, WR
Napolean Harris, OLB, Northwestern: Patriots could have their pick of the LB litter. Harris will fit in their defensive scheme quite nicely.

27. Philadelphia: Team Needs – DT, OG, CB
Anthony Weaver, DL, Notre Dame: If nothing else, Weaver fits into the Eagles rotation on the defensive line. Larry Tripplett is a possibility here, too.

28. San Francisco: Team Needs – OL, DT, CB
Terrance Metcalf, OL, Mississippi: The Niners aging offensive line needs an infusion of youth. Metcalf is a serious blocker that should help open the inside rushing lanes.

29. Green Bay: Team Needs – WR, DT, QB, LB
Marquise Walker, WR, Michigan: Brett Favre will think Christmas has come eight months early. Walker will pair with Antonio Freeman to finally give the Pack a legitimate second option downfield.

30. Chicago: Team Needs – DE, CB, QB, TE
Dan Graham, TE, Colorado: The Bears need a tight end to help them open up their offense and give their quarterback an outlet on third downs.

31. Pittsburgh: Team Needs – LB, DT, QB
Saleem Rasheed, LB, Alabama: The Steelers may have some holes to fill at linebacker if they are unable to resign all their free agents.

32. St. Louis: Team Needs – TE, OL, WR, DE
Alex Brown, DE, Florida: Could be a case where the Rams take the best player available, though Martz would love to upgrade his tight end and possibly replace free agent Az Hakim at wideout.

Second Round:
33. Houston: Larry Tripplett, DT, Washington
34. Carolina: DeShaun Foster, RB, UCLA
35. Houston (via Detroit): Dwight Freeney, DE/LB, Syracuse
36. Buffalo: Levi Jones, OT, Arizona State
37. San Diego: Keyou Craver, CB, Nebraska
38. Dallas: Eddie Freeman, DT, UAB
39. Minnesota: Javon Walker, WR, Florida State
40. Kansas City: Alan Harper, DT, Fresno State
41. Jacksonville: Dennis Johnson, DE, Kentucky
42. Cincinnati: Kurt Kittner, QB, Illinois
43. Indianapolis: Derek Ross, CB, Ohio State
44. Arizona: Dorsett Davis, DT, Mississippi State
45. New Orleans: Mike Rumph, CB, Miami (FL)
46. Tennessee: Kendall Simmons, OL, Auburn
47. New York Giants: Michael Lewis, S, Colorado
48. Cleveland: Marc Colombo, OT, Boston College
49. San Diego (via Atlanta): Andre Davis, WR, Virginia Tech
50. Houston: Kelly Campbell, WR, Georgia Tech
51. Washington: Kahlil Hill, WR, Iowa
52. Denver: Ron Johnson, WR, Minnesota
53. Seattle: Rohan Davey, QB, LSU
54. Tampa Bay: Cliff Russell, WR, Utah
55. New York Jets: Pig Prather, S, Mississippi State
56. Baltimore: Seth McKinney, OL, Texas A&M
57. Oakland: Rocky Calmus, LB, Oklahoma
58. Philadelphia (via Miami): LeCharles Bentley, OL, OSU
59. New England: Victor Rogers, OT, Colorado
60. Philadelphia: Clinton Portis, RB, Miami (FL)
61. San Francisco: Mike Echols, CB, Wisconsin
62. Green Bay: Levar Fisher, LB, North Carolina State
63. Chicago: Charles Grant, DE, Georgia
64. Pittsburgh: Jerramy Stevens, TE, Washington
65. St. Louis: Reche Caldwell, WR, Florida