April 15, 2002
Mock This Way, V2.0
by Keith Weiland
Draft week is here, and it’s time once again to dust off the dartboard and blindfold. One big ground rule for this two-round mockery: There will be no projected trades in this draft, but plenty should be expected this weekend.
1. Houston: Team Needs – QB, DL, LB, WR, TE, S
David Carr, QB, Fresno State: I’ll at least get this one, right? Though offensive coordinator Chris Palmer may reportedly tweak his throwing motion, Carr’s uncanny delivery is offset by his quick release. He can throw the ball deep with precision. Best of all, Carr is already complaining about Houston’s humidity and traffic, so he’ll fit in just fine around here.
2. Carolina: Team Needs – RB, DE, CB, OLB
Julius Peppers, DE, North Carolina: Though the Panthers are making noise about their interest in Jammer, they’ll end up with Peppers. He may take longer than expected adjusting to the NFL game, and if Carolina isn’t patient, he may get a “bust” tag early. Peppers relied on his superior athleticism at the college level, but he’ll need time to learn proper technique in becoming a perennial Pro Bowler.
3. Detroit: Team Needs – CB, DE, TE, QB, OLB
Joey Harrington, QB, Oregon: Here we go. Matt Millen and Marty Mornhinweg are putting up quite a smokescreen. Will they go Jammer, or will they go Joey? I think they’ve done such a good job, they might even be fooling themselves. Add to that the visit Harrington made to Detroit last week, and all this secondhand smoke should be enough to make anyone nervous.
Bottom line is the Lions already drafted a big hitting corner from Texas a few years ago, and that didn’t go so well. Despite puffing to the contrary, Mike McMahon is not the long-term answer in Detroit. He could start next year while Harrington learns the ropes.
4. Buffalo: Team Needs – DT, DE, OT, QB
Ryan Sims, DT, North Carolina: Speaking of smoking something, Tom Donahoe shouldn’t bogart the stuff. As opposed to the Lions, the Bills seem earnest in their lack of interest in drafting a QB. The team has made an effort to bring in Jeff Blake and to trade for Drew Bledsoe. That neither has happened to date doesn’t mean it won’t, or that the Bills won’t find another arm to unseat Alex Van Pelt.
With OT Trey Teague signed, the Bills will make the D-line a priority and may even find a way to move down a couple spots. The guess here is that Sims, maybe the safest of the premier DT’s on the board, will be the pick unless the Bills trade down.
5. San Diego: Team Needs – OG, CB, WR, OT
Quentin Jammer, CB, Texas: The Chargers can fill their OL needs with one of their second round picks. Jammer, who is the bait du jour in the weeks leading up to the draft, fills a huge need in their secondary, and strengthens a rather decent defense.
6. Dallas: Team Needs – WR, CB, DT, TE, S
Roy Williams, S, Oklahoma: Yes, Cowboys will get the blues sometimes, especially when Jammer goes one pick ahead of them. Though another DT wouldn’t hurt, the signing of La’Roi Glover allows Jerrah to do the safety dance. The Cowboys make for the fifth team in a row that would like to trade down, and they just might be able to it with the top two OT’s and top three DT’s still on the board.
7. Minnesota: Team Needs – OT, WR, CB, S, OLB
Bryant McKinnie, OT, Miami: Good karma for the Vikes.McKinnie, who may be the best player in the draft, will afford Daunte Culpepper all the time he needs to unload bombs to Randy Moss, even if Moss moonwalks the first ten yards of his route.
8. Kansas City: Team Needs – DT, CB, WR, OLB
Albert Haynesworth, DT, Tennessee: Needs at wide receiver are greatly exaggerated for the Chiefs, and the recent signing of Johnnie Morton makes the notion of Kansas City selecting one with the eighth pick obsolete. Though the Chiefs likely prefer Sims, they’ll be just as happy to land Haynesworth, the heaviest of the DT foursome available in the draft.
9. Jacksonville: Team Needs – OT, WR, DT, OLB, CB
Mike Williams, OT, Texas: The Jaguars have plenty of critical needs, and they are yet another team that may be looking to trade down. Mark Brunell was none too pleased when Tony Boselli was exposed to the Texans, so the team offers him an olive branch in selecting Williams.
10. Cincinnati: Team Needs – CB, DE, QB, TE, OT, C
Phillip Buchanon, CB, Miami: The Bengals might select Harrington if he falls this far. Cincinnati has also shown interest in Kurt Kittner who will be available with a third round pick if they don’t feel Akili Smith will heal in time or if they realize Jon Kitna fails to possess enough talent. There are some who think Buchanon is the best corner in the draft, so the Bengals would be wise not to mess this one up.
11. Indianapolis: Team Needs – DT, S, CB, OG, DE
Wendell Bryant, DT, Wisconsin: The Colts are a lock to look at defense with this pick. There’s a lot to like about Bryant, who was a one-man show for the Badgers line last year. Though he may need to add more strength to reach his full potential, Bryant can play any position on the line. Roy Williams would be a nice fit for Tony Dungy with this pick if he fell this far, too.
12. Arizona: Team Needs – DT, DE, S, WR, RB
John Henderson, DT, Tennessee: Selecting a DE with this pick would be a reach, so the Cardinals break Henderson’s fall. It’s been a strange trip for Henderson since he bypassed last year’s draft. A potential top pick, his younger apprentice, Haynesworth, will likely go ahead of him on draft day. It’s not exactly the type of “Stay in School” message kids today need to see, so parental guidance is advised. Henderson still possesses the ability to be the best defensive tackle in the draft, even if he is the fourth one taken.
13. New Orleans: Team Needs – DE, WR, CB, OG
Donte Stallworth, WR, Tennessee: The Saints paid Jerome Pathon good money to play in New Orleans, but they also paid good money to fill their other needs in free agency. I question Stallworth’s hands and maturity, but his speed has him atop the list of WR prospects. One thing’s for sure if the Saints add Stallworth to the Pathon-Joe Horn tandem, Aaron Brooks will be sleeping better at night.
14. Tennessee: Team Needs – DT, CB, WR, S, OG
Ashley Lelie, WR, Hawaii: Titans GM Floyd Reese will take the best player available with this pick. If all four DT’s figure to be gone, plus the top CBs and S, the Titans will entertain offers to move down or take Ed Reed. Lelie would make a nice addition to the Titan’s offense since Derrick Mason and Kevin Dyson have found their peaks.
15. New York Giants: Team Needs – TE, OT, OG, OLB
Jeremy Shockey, TE, Miami (FL): The Giants may be tempted to go for tackle Levi Jones with this pick. If not, Shockey will add a new dimension to the Giants offense. He leads a rather deep class of tight ends in this year’s draft.
16. Cleveland: Team Needs – RB, OG, OT
T.J. Duckett, RB, Michigan State: That the Browns need a running back is no surprise. The tension that still exists with this selection is whether the team favors the more talented William Green or the bigger Duckett. Like the Dawgs that they are, the Browns were caught drooling all over Duckett at the combine. Was it a show?
17. Atlanta: Team Needs – WR, OG, S, DT, LB, CB
Josh Reed, WR, LSU: The Falcons won’t pick again until the third round, so the question isn’t whether the Falcons will take a receiver with this pick, it’s which one will they take? Reed may not be the biggest or the fastest, but he can always find a way to get open and make something happen with the football.
18. Washington: Team Needs – QB, OG, DT, WR, DE
Toniu Fonoti, OG, Nebraska: The Redskins may make a play for Harrington, but they will take the best OG or DT if he’s gone. Steve Spurrier will not go after Florida wideouts Jabar Gaffney or Reche Caldwell with this pick after his team drafted Rod Gardner last year and signed former Gators Reidel Anthony and Jacquez Green this spring. Fonoti’s stock has been dropping as of late, so Andre Gurode is a possibility, too.
19. Denver: Team Needs – OT, S, WR, FB
Levi Jones, OT, Arizona State: Mike Shanahan and the Broncos can be a little shifty on draft day, and the team may in fact consider a safety (like Ed Reed) or a wideout to play with Rod Smith, Ed McCaffrey, and Rob Moore. Jones cemented his status as the third-best OT on the board after a strong week of Senior Bowl workouts. If Jones is gone, then Mike Pearson could be the pick.
20. Seattle: Team Needs – DE, TE, CB
Charles Grant, DE, Georgia: Grant is another player whose value has been climbing. The Seahawks may be thinking tight end with this pick, especially if Shockey falls this far, but the Seahawks need a lot of help at DE. The team is also reportedly interested in Bryan Thomas, and Kalimba Edwards is a possibility as well.
21. Oakland: Team Needs – DT, OLB, WR, S, OG
Napolean Harris, LB, Northwestern: The Raiders may have serious interest in packaging some picks, including this one, to move up and take a DT. If they can’t, Harris fills another need for Oakland at LB.
22. New York Jets: Team Needs – DT, CB, WR, S
Lito Sheppard, CB, Florida: The Jets camp has gone on record saying there are only four DT’s worthy of a first round selection. If the Jets fail to move up to take one, and it is doubtful that they will, then a cornerback will be targeted. Sheppard, the CB name that seems to keep popping up when the Jets flap their gums, figures to be available a few picks later in the draft, so a trade down is a possibility.
23. Oakland: Team Needs – DT, OLB, WR, S, OG
William Green, RB, Boston College: The primary draft day priority should be finding a defensive tackle, so Eddie Freeman is a possibility. The Raiders are in a “win now” mode though, and plugging in Green to their backfield may provide the offensive spark the Raiders need. Then, of course, if Al Davis finds a diseased left-footed kicker still on the board, all bets are off.
24. Baltimore: Team Needs – DT, CB, OT, WR, S, DE, LB, QB, RB
Kalimba Edwards, DE/OLB, South Carolina: With so many needs, Ozzie Newsome will undoubtedly take the best player available on the Ravens draft board. With a move to the 3-4 defense planned, Edwards can be utilized as OLB for the Ravens. There’s also a chance that the Ravens will go after William Green, though Jamal Lewis is said to be recovering well from injury.
25. New Orleans: Team Needs – WR, DE, CB, OG
Andre Gurode, OG, Colorado: The Saints find a replacement for the departed Chris Naeole. Gurode has great size for a guard at 6’3″ and 320 pounds, and he’ll be able to open plenty of holes for the new feature back, Deuce McAllister.
26. Philadelphia: Team Needs – DT, LB, WR
Eddie Freeman, DT, UAB: The Eagles had a tendency to get worn down defending the run and need depth at tackle to keep legs fresh. There will be some teams that have Freeman as the best available DT after the top four, so he’s the pick. Freeman can get around and make things happen.
27. San Francisco: Team Needs – OT, WR, CB, DL
Javon Walker, WR, Florida State: I suspect this choice may surprise some. The Niners are reportedly interested in a CB like Sheppard or Mike Rumph if either is still around, but Terrell Owens gave the team a scare in his dispute with Steve Mariucci. Regardless of whether Owens stays in SF long term, Walker will be a terrific target (at over 6’2″) and speedy deep threat (ran a 4.38 40 at the combine) for Jeff Garcia and the 49er offense. Another year of throwing to J.J. Stokes and Tai Streets just won’t do.
28. Green Bay: Team Needs – WR, DT, LB, FS
Antonio Bryant, WR, Pittsburgh: Bryant will not fall out of the first round. In signing Terry Glenn, the Packers have proven that they’re not afraid of a receiver with off-field problems. Bryant is well worth the gamble, too. He is very talented, and could become the best of this year’s receiver class.
29. Chicago: Team Needs – DE, TE, CB, OT, S
Ed Reed, S, Miami: The Bears lost Tony Parrish, but the team has been giving indications that safety is not a need for them. Whatever. If Reed falls to them with this pick, the Bears should be all over him. Reed is a top-flight playmaker who can also be a leader in the clubhouse someday. The Bears could also use a DE, and might go after Grant if he somehow slipped this far.
30. Pittsburgh: Team Needs – CB, ILB, FS, WR, TE
Mike Rumph, CB, Miami: Depth at this position is a major concern for the Steelers. Rumph is a tall corner who will likely help out in nickel packages. In addition to the Jets and 49ers, the Steelers may also be interested in Sheppard.
31. St. Louis: Team Needs – OT, WR, CB, LB, TE
Mike Pearson, OT, Florida: Much has been made over the loss of Az-Zahir Hakim and how the Rams will need to find a replacement for him. The team instead opts for an OT since there are several talented WR’s that will still be around at a later pick. The Rams lost both Ryan Tucker and Rod Jones, and Pearson can eventually step in as the everyday right tackle.
32. New England: Team Needs – LB, DE, DT, OG, WR
Dwight Freeney, DE/OLB, Syracuse: The Pats need an edge rusher, and Freeney excels at finding a way to the quarterback.
33. Houston: selected David Carr
remaining needs – DL, LB, TE, WR, S
Larry Tripplett, DT, Washington: The Texans have no depth on the defensive line. The 3-4 defense needs extra linemen to keep a rotation moving so the guys taking a beating on every down can take a breather. Tripplett is a classic 3-4 nose, and he had a knack of coming up big at key moments for the Huskies.
34. Carolina: selected Julius Peppers
remaining needs – RB, CB, OLB
Clinton Portis, RB, Miami: There’s no chance that the Panthers can go another year with the mess they had at RB. If Carolina wants to let Chris Weinke develop, drafting Portis is great way to start.
35. Detroit: selected Joey Harrington
remaining needs – CB, DE, TE, OLB
Derek Ross, CB, Ohio State: There will be a serviceable corner like Ross available to the Lions if they pass on Jammer in the first round. A bonus here is his size, which is 6’1″.
36. Buffalo: selected Ryan Sims
remaining needs – DE, OT, QB
Anthony Weaver, DL, Notre Dame: Weaver has the ability to play either tackle or end on the line, and the Bills may still need both, even with Sims already drafted. Donahoe may consider taking a QB here like Patrick Ramsey, but Weaver is too good for him to pass up.
37. Dallas: selected Roy Williams
remaining needs – WR, CB, DT, TE
Dan Graham, TE, Colorado: If Jerrah is still able to draft Graham with this pick, people might start thinking Jones knows what he’s doing. Yeah, right.
38. Minnesota: selected Bryant McKinnie
remaining needs – WR, CB, S, OLB
Jabar Gaffney, WR, Florida: Though it may surprise some that Gaffney will fall this far in the draft, perhaps it shouldn’t after seeing other Gator wideouts fail to live up to first round expectations.
39. San Diego: selected Quentin Jammer
remaining needs – OG, WR, OT
Terrence Metcalf, OG, Mississippi: Despite many rumors regarding the Chargers’ interest in a tackle, the team is desperate for help at the guard position.
40. Jacksonville: selected Mike Williams
remaining needs – WR, DT, OLB, CB
Reche Caldwell, WR, Florida: Another olive branch for Brunell. With the likely departure of Keenan McCardell, the Jaguars look to Caldwell to play opposite Jimmy Smith.
41. Cincinnati: selected Phillip Buchanon
remaining needs – DE, QB, TE, OT, C
Bryan Thomas, DE, UAB: The Bengals can still take their QB in the third. Thomas pairs with Justin Smith to pressure opposing quarterbacks.
42. Indianapolis: selected Wendell Bryant
remaining needs – S, CB, OG, DE
Lamont Thompson, S, Washington State: The losses of Chad Cota and Jeff Burris leave holes in the Colt secondary. Thompson is a ballhawk that will force turnovers for Tony Dungy.
43. Kansas City: selected Albert Haynesworth
remaining needs – CB, WR, OLB
Saleem Rasheed, LB, Alabama: Though the Chiefs could take a corner here like Keyou Craver, Rasheed fills a need at outside linebacker.
44. New Orleans: selected Donte Stallworth, Andre Gurode
remaining needs – DE, CB
Dennis Johnson, DE, Kentucky: The Saints replace Joe Johnson with Dennis, a rangy pass rusher who can tackle.
45. Tennessee: selected Ashley Lelie
remaining needs – DT, CB, S
Kendall Simmons, OL, Auburn: Simmons moves to guard to replace a legend, Bruce Matthews. The Titans could reach on a DT if one isn’t selected in the first, but there will be another chance to do so in the third round.
46. New York Giants: selected Jeremy Shockey
remaining needs – OT, OG, OLB
Marc Colombo, OT, Boston College: With Lomas Brown retired, the 6’7″ Colombo fills the void and then some.
47. Cleveland: selected T.J. Duckett
remaining needs OG, OT
Fred Weary, OG, Tennessee: I would say the Browns begin rebuilding their O-line by selecting Weary, but did they even build one in the first place?
48. San Diego: selected Quentin Jammer, Terrence Metcalf
remaining needs – WR, OT
Marquise Walker, WR, Michigan: Though Walker may not be as flashy as former Wolverine David Terrell, the Chargers may already have all the flash they need in new multi-millionaire Tim Dwight.
49. Arizona: selected John Henderson
remaining needs – DE, S, WR, RB
Cliff Russell, WR, Utah: We already know David Boston is good, but adding a speedster like Russell could make him even better.
50. Houston: selected David Carr, Larry Tripplett
remaining needs – LB, TE, WR, S
Will Overstreet, OLB, Tennessee: The Texans deem Overstreet capable of making the transition from end to 3-4 OLB. The draft’s depth at WR allows the team to wait until 3a to select one.
51. Denver: selected Levi Jones
remaining needs – S, WR, FB
Andre Davis, WR, Virginia Tech: Moore is too old to be a long-term solution.
52. Washington: selected Toniu Fonoti
remaining needs – QB, S, DT, WR, DE
Patrick Ramsey, QB, Tulane: I just hope Ramsey doesn’t mind the embarrassment of carrying Danny Wuerffel’s bags on road trips.
53. Oakland: selected Napolean Harris, William Green
remaining needs – DT, WR, S, OG
Dorsett Davis, DT, Mississippi State: Assuming the Raiders don’t make a move for a DT in the first round, Davis fills one of the two holes in the D-line.
54. Seattle: selected Charles Grant
remaining needs – TE, CB
Jerramy Stevens, TE, Washington: The Seahawks know the big guy carries the added weight of off-field problems, but with good hands, Stevens will add a dimension Holmgren hasn’t had since Mark Chmura. Just so long as Stevens doesn’t follow Chewie’s lead and keeps those hands off of high school girls in hot tubs.
55. Oakland: selected Nap Harris, William Green, Dorsett Davis
remaining needs – DT, WR, S, OG
Tim Carter, WR, Auburn: Carter should be honored to learn from Jerry Rice and Tim Brown.
56. Baltimore: selected Kalimba Edwards
remaining needs – a bunch
Keyou Craver, CB, Nebraska: Will need to learn on the job in replacing Duane Starks.
57. New York Jets: selected Lito Sheppard
remaining needs – DT, WR, S
Alan Harper, DT, Fresno State: Might consider a safety like Michael Lewis if he’s deemed healthy, but the Jets can’t wait on a DT any longer.
58. Philadelphia: selected Eddie Freeman
remaining needs – LB, WR
DeShaun Foster, RB, UCLA: Foster will be the man after Duce Staley, not Correll Buckhalter, and may even replace him.
59. Philadelphia: selected Eddie Freeman, DeShaun Foster
remaining needs – LB, WR
Levar Fisher, LB, North Carolina State: The loss of Jeremiah Trotter coupled with the need of an upgrade at weakside LB makes Fisher a nice pick for the Eagles.
60. Green Bay: selected Antonio Bryant
remaining needs – DT, LB, FS
Ben Leber, LB, Kansas State: Welcomed depth for the Pack.
61. San Francisco: selected Javon Walker
remaining needs – OT, CB, DL
Ryan Denney, DE, BYU: The Niners hope this workout warrior will work out as D-line depth.
62. Pittsburgh: selected Mike Rumph
remaining needs – WR, FS, LB
Robert Thomas, LB, UCLA: Thomas will fill the shoes of departed Earl Holmes.
63. Chicago: selected Ed Reed
remaining needs – DE, TE, CB, OT
Victor Rogers, OT, Colorado: The Bears need a tackle following the losses of Blake Brockermeyer and Jimmy Herndon.
64. St. Louis: selected Mike Pearson
remaining needs – WR, CB, LB, TE
Antwaan Randle-El, WR, Indiana: Heck, Randle-El might even end up as the second best QB on this roster, too.
65. New England: selected Dwight Freeney
remaining needs – LB, DT, OG, WR
Raonall Smith, LB, Washington State: Bill Belichick will keep the focus on defense.
Since the Texans have the first pick of the third round, I’ll let you take a peek at which player they might take if these are the first 65 players off the board
66. Houston: selected David Carr, Larry Tripplett, Will Overstreet
remaining needs – LB, TE, WR, S
Ron Johnson, WR, Minnesota: Big and smooth, but not particularly fast, Johnson can make the catch.
Keith Weiland would like to take this time to remind readers that correctly picking the first 66 picks in the NFL draft is less likely than winning the state lottery. Ever the optimist though, Keith will have five quick picks in hand on Saturday night just in case.