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Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Updated: March 31, 5:42 PM ET
SportsNation NFL Mock Draft

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Teams might be emphasizing the offensive line more than ever, but SportsNation only had eyes for the skill positions in the third annual SportsNation Mock Draft.

While highly touted tackles such as Ryan Clady and Chris Williams fell farther and farther down the board, SportsNation kept taking wide receivers. Vanderbilt's Williams in particular suffered the brunt of SportsNation's disdain for big men. Projected to go in the top 15 by many experts, Williams fell to the Seahawks at No. 25.

"There are two that slid too far, and they are both offensive tackles," said Jeremy Green of Scouts Inc. "Ryan Clady and Chris Williams got no respect from the Nation. What happened to the theory that you win in the trenches? Clady and Williams suffered from the Nation watching too many highlights on TV."

Scouts Inc.'s Matt Williamson was particularly astounded by the rush of wide receivers chosen in the first round. In order, SportsNation drafted Malcolm Kelly, Limas Sweed, DeSean Jackson, James Hardy, Mario Manningham, Devin Thomas and Early Doucet.

"Some would argue that this year's draft does not have a wide receiver worthy of a first-round selection," Williamson said, "yet SportsNation selected a whopping seven wideouts in the first frame. SportsNation is obviously more familiar with skill players and have routinely seen highlights of these players on 'SportsCenter.' Offensive linemen like Branden Albert and Chris Williams obviously are not household names and, thusly, were vastly devalued. While I give SportsNation a pass on this to some extent, I can't completely let it slide. If free agency taught us anything, linemen are at an extreme premium.

SportsNation's skill position bias also showed in the first overall pick. Although many mocks had Virginia DE Chris Long or Michigan OT Jake Long going to the Dolphins in the No. 1 spot, SportsNation went with Boston College QB Matt Ryan. A few mock drafts did have Ryan going first, but Green felt the pick was not the best use of the Dolphins' resources.

"The Nation got off to a rough start and never really could recover," Green said. "Once they picked Ryan at No. 1, the draft selection process was thrown out of whack. Not only would I question the selection of Ryan (who has been buoyed by the lack of star power at the QB position), they then give the Rams OT Jake Long."

For the third year in a row, more than a million votes were cast during the mock draft.

Click here for ESPN.com's complete NFL draft coverage.

Be sure to read ESPN The Magazine's NFL draft preview issue, which hits newsstands Thursday, April 10. Your mock draft results will be featured alongside the experts' picks!

SPORTSNATION: NFL MOCK DRAFT
ORDER PICK POLLS
1. Dolphins


History
Selection: Matt Ryan, QB

Jeremy Green says: "Nation, are you nuts? I do not like the selection of QB Matt Ryan with this pick. Ryan would not have been the fourth-best QB in the Manning class (1998) or the Young class (1984). This is a clear reach because he is not even one of the top five players in this draft. Miami has team needs at just about every level of its football team, so even though QB is the most obvious and important, why reach for a player when there are better players that also fill need positions? Miami has needs on both lines as well, and Jake Long or Chris Long would fill the voids. However, I would take a player not at a major need position. The Dolphins should take RB Darren McFadden. He is the best player in this draft, and that is what you want to get when you have the first overall selection."

2007 SportsNation pick: Levi Brown (9)
2007 actual pick: Ted Ginn Jr. (9)
Florida picks Matt Ryan

McShay on their needs
1. OL
2. DT
3. LB
4. CB
5. QB
2.Rams


History
Selection: Jake Long, OT

Jeremy Green says: "It is hard to argue the Rams' selection of OT Jake Long, considering the fact that current LOT Orlando Pace is at the end of his career and OT Alex Barron (who filled in for Pace last season) clearly needs to move back to the right side. It is hard to argue the pick -- but I will, especially when I think the Dolphins will take Jake Long with the first pick. The Rams' offensive line struggled last season, but they have more concerns on the defensive side of the ball. The DE position was once a strength of this team when they had Grant Wistrom and Leonard Little in their prime. Little is still with the Rams, but he's on the downside of his career. The Rams took DE Adam Carriker from Nebraska last season, and he made a fairly smooth transition to the DT position in their defense. It is time to stay with defense, especially in a division with high-scoring offenses. The right choice is Virginia's Chris Long."

2007 SportsNation pick: Amobi Okoye (13)
2007 actual pick: Adam Carriker (13)
Missouri picks Chris Long

McShay on their needs
1. DE
2. OT/G
3. CB
4. OLB
5. WR
3. Falcons


History
Selection: Darren McFadden, RB

Jeremy Green says: "Even though the Falcons have a lot of pressing needs, they could not pass on Darren McFadden if he is on the board. Well, at least not before they take a call with Dallas owner Jerry Jones, who could be looking to move up to draft the star Razorbacks running back. I have to agree with the Nation in going with McFadden here. In my opinion, he is the best overall player in this draft and that would be tough for Atlanta to pass up even though the Falcons have two potential solid starters in UFA acquisition Michael Turner and Jerious Norwood. If Jake Long were available, he could go here, and after Atlanta passed up DT Amobi Akoye last season, LSU DT Glenn Dorsey will get some consideration, but I will never argue with the theory of taking the best available player."

2007 SportsNation pick: LaRon Landry (8)
2007 actual pick: Jamaal Anderson (8)
Georgia picks Glenn Dorsey

McShay on their needs
1) QB
2) OT
3) DT
4) RB
5) S

4. Raiders


History
Selection: Chris Long, DE

Matt Williamson says: "Howie's son to Oakland with the fourth pick in the draft is a home run for the Raiders. He is an exceptional complement to Derrick Burgess, and this defensive line all of a sudden becomes fearsome. With this selection and the Raiders' free-agent moves, they can now concentrate solely on the offensive side of the ball with their remaining selections. Of every player in this draft, Long is the one who is most unlikely to be a bust. The consistency and aggression he brings is exactly what the Raiders need."

2007 SportsNation pick: JaMarcus Russell (1)
2007 actual pick: JaMarcus Russell (1)
California agrees on Long

McShay on their needs
1. OT
2. DT
3. WR
4. DE
5. RB
5. Chiefs


History
Selection: Glenn Dorsey, DT

Matt Williamson says: "Although defensive tackle is not the Chiefs' biggest need -- and they do have some glaring needs -- Dorsey is just too good to pass up at this spot. Free agency showed us that there is a premium on defensive linemen more than ever in the league right now, and if Dorsey lives up to his billing, obtaining a difference maker like him on the open market is nearly impossible. Assuming that Dorsey's health is not an issue, arguing with this selection is fruitless."

2007 SportsNation pick: Joe Staley (23)
2007 actual pick: Dwayne Bowe (23)
Kansas-Missouri split

McShay on their needs
1. LOT
2. G
3. CB
4. DE
5. C
6. Jets


History
Selection: Vernon Gholston, DE/LB

Matt Williamson says: "With his ridiculous workout numbers at the combine and more recently at Ohio State's pro day, Gholston has simply been flying up draft boards. Although I think his stock could be a bit inflated right now, he still presents value here as a 3-4 outside linebacker to the pass rush-starved Jets. He will probably begin his career as a designated pass rusher while he learns the nuances of dropping into coverage, but bringing him off the edge opposite Calvin Pace will keep opposing offensive coordinators up at night trying to devise sound methods of keeping both players blocked. On passing downs, New York can now also combine Gholston, Pace and Bryan Thomas -- whose career could be resurrected with this influx of talent -- to give opposing quarterbacks a look similar to what the Giants did so well last year. Adding another pass rusher is never a bad idea."

2007 SportsNation pick: Patrick Willis (25)
2007 actual pick: Darrelle Revis (14)
NY/NJ sold on Gholston

McShay on their needs
1. DE
2. CB
3. WR
4. LB
5. RB
7. Patriots


History
Selection: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, CB

Jeremy Green says: "Although I can't argue the Patriots need a corner, this pick may be a bit of a reach. Rodgers-Cromartie is a great athlete, but keep in mind, he is a player coming from a small school background. He is coming from a system that plays a lot of man coverage. My first concern would be how quick can he pick up the difficult schemes the Patriots employ. This was something their first-round pick in 2007, DS Brandon Meriweather, has had trouble adjusting to. Although I would normally argue against taking a player who might need time to adjust to a system in the top 10, I think the Pats are a special case. Assuming they can't trade down, the only other player that makes any sense is LB Keith Rivers. Although Rivers might be readier now, I love Rodgers-Cromartie's upside. And for a talented New England team that will thrive even if its first-round pick develops slowly, a la Meriweather last season, the small school corner from Tennessee State is worth the gamble."

2007 SportsNation pick: Reggie Nelson (24)
2007 actual pick: Brandon Meriweather (24)
NE likes Rodgers-Cromartie

McShay on their needs
1. LB
2. CB
3. S
4. OL
5. RB
8. Ravens


History
Selection: Brian Brohm, QB

Matt Williamson says: "There are many out there who are not very high on Brohm and think there are other quarterbacks in this draft who deserve to go second before him. Well, they are wrong. Brohm would be an excellent addition to the Ravens' offense, which features a strong running game and should put him in a position where he isn't consistently asked to put the team on his shoulders to win games. Although I would not be surprised if Baltimore stuck with its present group of quarterbacks this year while fortifying the rest of the roster, franchise quarterbacks are just too tough to get a hold of. That is exactly what Brohm will be for the Ravens -- their franchise quarterback. I have no idea why his stock has supposedly fallen during his senior season. He is the real deal and, in all honesty, has no business getting past the Vikings' first-round pick in any scenario. However, passing on Ryan Clady, Sedrick Ellis and Leodis McKelvin is going to be tough for Ozzie Newsome to do -- so trading down also makes a lot of sense here."

2007 SportsNation pick: Anthony Spencer (29)
2007 actual pick: Ben Grubbs (29)
Maryland agrees on QB

McShay on their needs
1. QB
2. CB
3. LOT
4. ILB
5. DE/OLB
9. Bengals


History
Selection: Sedrick Ellis, DT

Matt Williamson says: "Far and away the best player still on the board, the Bengals made the wise decision and took this interior difference maker to kick start their lackluster defense. The Bengals should be doing cartwheels that Ellis was still available, and the SportsNation voting never should have been this close. Obviously I am a big Ellis fan here, but the one concern I see with this pick is that Cincinnati is supposedly moving to a 3-4 scheme and Ellis' immense talents would be wasted as a two-gapping nose tackle. Still, the Bengals desperately needed help with their front seven, especially in the middle of their defensive line, and they got one of the top five players overall in this draft in my opinion. Nice work."

2007 SportsNation pick: Alan Branch (18)
2007 actual pick: Leon Hall (18)
Ohio goes for Ellis

McShay on their needs
1. DT
2. TE
3. DE
4. LB
5. OT
10. Saints


History
Selection: Aqib Talib, CB

Matt Williamson says: "The Saints did a terrific job of upgrading their roster this offseason and filling their holes. Cornerback was a massive problem a year ago, and though New Orleans did sign Randall Gay, SportsNation was right to think more reinforcements were needed. This was a close race between Talib, McKelvin and Mike Jenkins. Personally, I would have taken McKelvin or Jenkins over Talib because I trust their man-to-man skills more -- which is the Saints' predominant coverage. But Talib is a decent selection here, albeit a bit early for him, and he has a lot of big-play ability."

2007 SportsNation pick: Chris Houston (27)
2007 actual pick: Robert Meachem (27)
Louisiana prefers McKelvin

McShay on their needs
1. CB
2. LB
3. TE
4. DT
5. C
11. Bills


History
Selection: Malcolm Kelly, WR

Matt Williamson says: "Since Kelly has been unable to work out to this point, this is a risky selection. But there is no doubting that adding a big wideout with Kelly's skill set is exactly what the Bills -- and young QB Trent Edwards -- desperately need. Lee Evans is a fine receiver, but the Bills have little else to take the heat off Evans. Making matters worse, their wide receivers are tiny, and a big playmaker like Kelly would be a very welcome addition, particularly near the goal line. Having two threatening wideouts would also open up running room for franchise back Marshawn Lynch."

2007 SportsNation pick: Marshawn Lynch (12)
2007 actual pick: Marshawn Lynch (12)

NY also for Kelly

McShay on their needs
1. WR
2. DT
3. CB
4. LB
5. TE
12. Broncos


History
Selection: Limas Sweed, WR

Jeremy Green says: "While Sweed is the best WR left on the board I would be shocked if they took him here. First and foremost they have not had great success drafting receivers in the first round. Secondly, offensive tackle and middle linebacker are bigger needs. The Broncos need to replace their stalwart at left offensive tackle, Matt Lepsis, who retired this off-season. If Clady were on the board he would merit consideration, but the one position Denver needs to fill more then any other is not on the offensive side of the ball, it is on defense. It is the Denver defense that is of bigger concern, primarily the defensive tackle and MLB spots. There is not a DT worth selecting here, but there is a LB in Keith Rivers who can play outside or inside. Denver was amongst the worst teams in the NFL vs. the run becuase they cut an aging and beat up Al Wilson and moved DJ Williams inside. In effect, they hindered two positions by moving Williams inside where he struggled. Denver needs an MLB, and Rivers fits the bill. They should take Rivers, move Williams back to the weak side and their run defense will move up a minimum of 10 spots in 2008."

Colorado crazy for Clady

McShay on their needs
1. DT
2. OT
3. MLB
4. S
5. WR
13. Panthers


History
Selection: Keith Rivers, OLB

Matt Williamson says: "Carolina made a colossal mistake with this pick. That statement is not a knock on Rivers, who is an excellent all-around linebacker, but Ryan Clady is one of the elite players in this draft and a true left tackle, which is a rarity. There is no way that Clady would have gotten by Denver's pick in the real world. In fact, don't be surprised when Kansas City pulls the trigger on him at pick No. 5. Even Chris Williams of Vanderbilt makes more sense for the Panthers than adding another linebacker. Like I said, I like Rivers a lot, but don't pass on a fixture at left tackle. SportsNation, this draft could not have fallen better for you, but you screwed it up."

Carolinas split

McShay on their needs
1. OT
2. DE
3. WR
4. S
5. DT
14. Bears


History
Selection: Chad Henne, QB

Matt Williamson says: "While there is little doubt that the Bears need help at quarterback, as they certainly do not have a franchise signal-caller on their present roster, this was a bad move. Especially considering the offensive tackles still available. Henne is a fine prospect for a second-rounder. He is immobile and needs a secure pocket and plenty of help from a strong supporting cast. These are all things that the Bears simply do not have. Henne's stock has risen considerably since the season ended, but there wasn't a pass rush to deal with during the Combine, his Pro Day and Senior Bowl practices. Not only did SportsNation bypass better prospects in Chris Williams and especially Ryan Clady, but they are drafting a quarterback who could be thrust into an awful offensive situation. That is now two picks in a row that SportsNation has screwed up. Come on guys!"

Illinois wants Mendenhall's legs

McShay on their needs
1. QB
2. OL
3. RB
4. DT
5. S

15. Lions


History
Selection: Rashard Mendenhall, RB

Matt Williamson says: "Mendenhall is an excellent selection for the Lions. They could certainly go a lot of different ways with their first round selection, but I also give them credit for shoring up their cornerback position, which was a glaring need when free agency opened. Mendenhall will bring a big, physical presence to this running game, which is right up head coach Rod Marinelli's alley. Sooner or later, they will be breaking in a young quarterback, and a safety valve like Mendenhall should make that transition much easier. This selection surely will not cure all that ails Detroit, but Mendenhall should team with the Lions' outstanding young wide receivers to give them a core for their offense. It is a good start."

Michigan wants Mendenhall

McShay on their needs
1. OT
2. G
3. CB
4. S
5. DE

16. Cardinals


History
Selection: Jonathan Stewart, RB

Jeremy Green says: "Even with the injury question marks surrounding Stewart, I am a huge fan of the RB from Oregon. That said I am not a fan of him going right here with the players that are still on the board. All indications are that Stewart will be ready to go at the start of training camp so I don't think his stock will take a major dip. I am a believer that teams in the middle of the draft should go value over need. Arizona's number one priority right now is the CB position. Out of this group I would say the highest rated player is CB Leodis McKelvin from Troy. McKelvin is an excellent athlete that excels in man coverage. Arizona defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast loves to blitz and play some man in the back end. McKelvin would have to adjust some to their zone blitz packages, but the bottom line is they would get an aggressive corner for an aggressive coordinator. With Antrell Rolle moving to free safety the Cardinals to not even have a solid No. 2 corner right now. McKelvin should be the slam dunk pick here on draft day if these are their options."

Arizona trusts Stewart's health

McShay on their needs
1. CB
2. OLB
3. TE
4. RB
5. DE
17. Vikings


History
Selection: DeSean Jackson, WR

Matt Williamson says: "While it baffles me why Chris Williams and especially Ryan Clady are still available in this draft, bypassing Derrick Harvey was the real crime by SportsNation with this selection. The Vikings need pass rushers in a big way and Harvey provided excellent value at this point of round one. It seemed like a no-brainer to me. However, Sportsnation decided upon Jackson. Jackson is certainly enticing and he can make an instant impact on a game; particularly as a return man. That being said, he is very small and should get pushed around at the next level. This is especially true in his rookie season, as adapting to the NFL is difficult enough already for wide receivers. It will be noticeably more difficult for Jackson, just due to a physical standpoint, but Minnesota very well could have landed a top flight returner with this selection. I would have taken Harvey in a heartbeat. "

Minnesota wanted Harvey

McShay on their needs
1. DE
2. S
3. WR
4. QB
5. TE
18. Texans


History
Selection: Ryan Clady, OT

Jeremy Green says: "OK, enough of this nonsense. Nation, it is time to wake up. This is not a fantasy draft, so Ryan Clady will not be on the board. He is so far off the board that he could go fifth overall to the Chiefs. For argument's sake though, it would be hard to scold the Texans for this pick. The offensive line is still in transition and has been since the first day of their franchise season. Clady would be the instant starter at the LOT position and though he may struggle early with the speed of the game, he will be a quick learner at the position. The more realistic pick will be at cornerback. No, Leodis McKelvin will not likely be on the board either. The pick will likely be Mike Jenkins. He possesses an excellent combination of size, speed and athleticism. His man cover skills would be a nice fit in the Texans' scheme. Why am I talking about Mike Jenkins when you took Clady? Because Jenkins will be on the board and Ryan Clady will be long gone, Nation."

Texas preferred Jenkins

McShay on their needs
1. CB
2. RB
3. S
4. LOT
5. DE
19. Eagles


History
Selection: James Hardy, WR

Jeremy Green says: "The Eagles' No. 1 goal this offseason was to acquire a No. 1 receiver. They tried to strike a deal with unrestricted free agent WR Randy Moss (New England) and inquired about trading for Arizona's Larry Fitzgerald -- before he reworked his deal -- and Detroit's Roy Williams, who will be a UFA after the 2008 season. They were not able to land a veteran, so it makes sense to go WR here, which is one of their glaring needs. Kevin Curtis is a No. 2 and Reggie Brown has not developed as quickly as they would like. Although Hardy won't give them an instant No. 1 at the position, I love his upside. He has excellent size and soft hands. He possesses excellent body control for a big receiver and will have an immediate impact in the red zone, he will be able to go up to take the ball away from smaller defenders. However, one of the issues with the Eagles WR group last season was they struggled to release and get away from press coverage. This is also an area where Hardy, who has great size but is not quick or sudden off the line of scrimmage, will need to improve. Hardy would be a nice fit in the West Coast offense and should be able to earn valuable reps as a rookie."

Pennsylvania goes with Hardy

McShay on their needs
1. WR
2. DE
3. S
4. OT/G
5. MLB
20. Buccaneers


History
Selection: Mike Jenkins, CB

Matt Williamson says: "Although wide receiver is probably the Bucs' biggest need at this point, there should be several receiver options in the second round. You can't go wrong adding another talented cover guy, though, and Jenkins is obviously someone that this organization and fan base should be very familiar with. He is big and strong enough to excel in Tampa Bay's Cover-2 scheme and should fit in very nicely, as he can learn from an all time great in Ronde Barber while he hones his craft and learns the nuances of the scheme. This pick makes a lot of sense. Nice work, SportsNation."

Florida wants Jenkins

McShay on their needs
1. WR
2. CB
3. RB
4. QB
5. C
21. Redskins


History
Selection: Mario Manningham, WR

Matt Williamson says: "Manningham reminds me quite a bit of Chad Johnson and I think he has a very bright future in the NFL. However, I think Washington needs to add a wideout with more size and overall physicality than what Manningham brings to the table. Derrick Harvey, Chris Williams and Leodis McKelvin all look to be more prudent selections in my book, and I would have taken Harvey, all things considered. I do consider wide receiver to be the Redskins' top overall need, but it is not by a wide margin and adding a defensive end with Harvey's upfield pass-rushing ability on the opposite side of Andre Carter would do wonders for this defense."

Manningham unanimous

McShay on their needs
1. WR
2. S
3. DE
4. OT
5. CB
22. Cowboys


History
Selection: Felix Jones, RB

Jeremy Green says: " Even though Dallas did not make it to the Super Bowl last season, the Cowboys have as much talent top to bottom as any team in the NFL. The Cowboys enter this draft without one glaring need going into the 2008 season. That is one of the reasons they appear to be at least exploring what it might take to move up and select Arkansas RB Darren McFadden if he were to fall out of the top five. Dallas needs to add a third corner so the Cowboys can matchup better on the back end, build for the future at WR and find a RB to pair with Marion Barber. SportsNation wisely gives them the other back from Arkansas: Felix Jones. Jones is a versatile all-purpose type back who would be a perfect compliment to Barber. Barber can pound it inside and Jones will be the home-run hitter Julius Jones never became. If the Cowboys were to get Jones, look for him to quickly establish himself as a key component on offense catching it out of the backfield, getting into space and also as a return man."
Texas goes for Jones

McShay on their needs
1. CB
2. WR
3. OT
4. RB
5. ILB
23. Steelers


History
Selection: Jeff Otah, OT

Jeremy Green says: "I think the rest of the AFC North division would be very pleased with the Pittsburgh SportsNation contingent if they took Pittsburgh OT Jeff Otah over Vanderbilt OT Chris Williams. If this were to happen and Williams were at the draft, he would have just been called into the commissioner's back room, Brady Quinn-style. This does not mean I don't have respect for Otah -- I think he is a solid player. But come on, Nation, Chris Williams is the better player and better fit. Pittsburgh voters got caught up in going with the "homer" pick in this one because they know him as a Pittsburgh Panther. Pittsburgh needs to address the LOT position more than the ROT position at this point. In taking Williams they could move LOT Marvel Smith to the right side where he would be more comfortable at this stage of his career. Even if they did not move Smith, they have ROTs in Max Starks and Willie Colon. Smith would beat both out and that would likely be the move too; Williams is poised to be a starter from Day 1. While Otah is a solid player he is not as good or versatile compared to Williams because Otah is a ROT only. I will chalk this one up to Pittsburgh bias as the fans were blinded by the Pa. native and former Panther."
Pennsylvania loves Otah

McShay on their needs
1. C
2. OT
3. DE
4. RB
5. G
24. Titans


History
Selection: Devin Thomas, WR

Jeremy Green says:"It seems like over the past few years, the Titans' No. 1 need going into the season is wide receiver. This season is no different. If Buzzmaster put four other positions and my name next to WR, I think I could carry the vote and SportsNation would make me an instant millionaire. I think that statement gives you a little idea of how WR-starved Titans fans are right now. It should come as no surprise that the Nation gave them the highest-ranked WR available in the form of Michigan State's Devin Thomas. Although the best option available to the Titans, don't be surprised if he takes a little time to develop. He's still a little raw as a route runner, and at times, he does not have a great feel in finding the voids in zone coverage. Thomas does not have great timed vertical speed, but he does show the ability to make plays with the ball in his hands. Although he might be best utilized in more of a West Coast system, the Titans controlled passing attack is still a fairly good fit. Jeff Fisher … Mickey Loomis … the Nation and Titans fans are begging you, please take a WR in the first round."

Tennessee takes Thomas

McShay on their needs
1. WR
2. DE
3. DT
4. CB
5. C
25. Seahawks


History
Selection: Chris Williams, OT

Matt Williamson says: "Well … it is about time! This qualifies as the absolute steal of the SportsNation draft, and clearly Williams is far too good of a prospect to pass up this late in the first frame. Williams is a natural left tackle and would eventually succeed Walter Jones in that role in Seattle. But in the meantime, Williams will challenge Sean Locklear as the starting right tackle, or more likely, would be moved inside to guard for the short term. Williams is big, smart, athletic and versatile. Adding a player with his skill set to this line is a home run for the Seahawks. As I said -- it is about time!"

Washington wishes for Williams

McShay on their needs

1. ROT
2. DT
3. RB
4. TE
5. G
26. Jaguars


History
Selection: Derrick Harvey, DE

Matt Williamson says: "This is a tremendous pick for the Jaguars. Defensive end is the team's biggest need and Harvey is a potentially top-15 overall talent. The chances of this pick coming to fruition are slim, but not impossible. Harvey makes out as well. He gets to stay in the Sunshine State and play for a contender. His edge pass-rush ability is exactly what Jacksonville needs to help get the Jags over the top in this brutal division. Harvey would not have to be forced into an every-down role right off the bat and could be very well utilized in a rotation and as a situational pass-rusher. This pick is a tremendous win/win for both player and club … but it probably will not happen."

Florida likes Harvey

McShay on their needs
1. DE
2. WR
3. CB
4. SS
5. OL
27. Chargers


History
Selection: Kenny Phillips, S

Matt Williamson says: "I cannot condemn this pick all that much, but if it were up to me, I would have secured an offensive lineman with this selection; preferably a right tackle to come in and compete for a starting spot. San Diego's secondary is a bit thin after some free agent defections, but is starting a rookie (Phillips) and a second-year player (Eric Weddle) a good idea for your last line of defense? Phillips is the best safety in an extremely weak class, but without a second-round selection, San Diego should have attacked its right tackle spot and secured someone like Gosder Cherilus. All this being said, the Chargers' roster is stacked, so the addition of another potential playmaker to this defense is a difficult selection to heavily criticize."
California picks Phillips

McShay on their needs
1. ROT
2. NT
3. S
4. CB
5. RB
28. Cowboys


History
Selection: Leodis McKelvin, CB

Matt Williamson says: "The Cowboys are reportedly on the cusp of making a trade for Pacman Jones. Although McKelvin is an excellent prospect and very well could be the best cornerback in this year's draft, Jones is already a much better corner and returner. That being said, Mr. Jones isn't exactly the most reliable guy around, and adding someone with McKelvin's talent at this stage of Round 1 has to be considered an excellent addition. With the wealth of talent on this defense, the small-school product can be nurtured along slowly, and the Cowboys have had just a tad of success with another talented first-rounder from Troy in DeMarcus Ware. Great pick … but McKelvin isn't going to be there this late."
Texas likes Leodis

McShay on their needs
1. CB
2. WR
3. OT
4. RB
5. S
29. 49ers


History
Selection: Early Doucet, WR

Jeremy Green says: "With the solid addition of offensive coordinator Mike Martz this offseason, the 49ers are bound to improve on their awful 2007 offensive performance. However, you must get playmakers if you are going to be explosive on offense. The 49ers added former Arizona WR Bryant Johnson through free agency and will make another solid move here if they draft LSU's Early Doucet. Even though there are questions about Doucet's overall vertical speed, Martz offenses rely more on precision. Yes, Martz's offense produces big plays, but many come after the catch, and that is why I think a healthy Doucet makes sense here. Doucet shows excellent quickness in the short to intermediate area of the field and can separate from coverage on crossing routes. Doucet has excellent hands, runs solid routes and is willing to go over the middle. If the 49ers went this direction, he would have an immediate impact in the slot, which is a key component of the Martz offense."
California claims Doucet

McShay on their needs
1. WR
2. OT
3. OLB
4. DE
5. QB
30. Packers


History
Selection: Brandon Flowers, CB

Matt Williamson says: "Flowers' stock has dropped due to pedestrian times in the 40-yard dash, but he plays faster than his times and is an excellent all-around football player. He is very competitive, with a physical edge to his game as both a pass defender and in the run game. He makes a lot of big plays and can do a lot of things well at his cornerback spot. His speed could be exposed some in this defense, however. I don't fault SportsNation for selecting Flowers here (as he is the best player on the board at the Packers' biggest need position), but I worry about his ability to mirror faster wide receivers in press man-to-man coverage, which is Green Bay's primary coverage. It is a good pick, considering the cornerbacks who went before Green Bay selected, but there were higher-rated players like Gosder Cherilus and especially Branden Albert who could have really upgraded the Packers' offensive line. Overall, I give Sportsnation a B- for this one. Albert would have been my pick."
Wisconsin picks Flowers

McShay on their needs
1. CB
2. OT
3. S
4. TE
5. QB
31. Giants


History
Selection: Dan Connor, LB

Matt Williamson says: "With the final pick in the first round, the Super Bowl champions secured a very solid football player in Connor. He could play any of the Giants' three linebacker spots and, initially, will provide outstanding depth while acting as a core special-teams player. It probably will not take long for Connor to grab hold of a starting spot, probably on the outside, because he is an intelligent student of the game who reacts quickly to the play without taking a lot of false steps. He is an excellent tackler, an above-average athlete and a very solid two-way linebacker. Steve Spagnuolo will like his new toy and should find a way to get quite a bit of production from this product of 'Linebacker U.' Even with a couple of defections, an already excellent front seven gets better than it was a year ago with this selection."
New York wants Connor

McShay on their needs
1. LB
2. OT
3. S
4. WR
5. CB