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Mel Kiper's latest NFL Mock Draft

Discussion in 'Houston Texans' started by Rockets34Legend, Mar 7, 2005.

  1. Rockets34Legend

    Rockets34Legend Contributing Member

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    From 3/6 Insider:

    With just a few weeks remaining before the 2005 NFL draft there is plenty of shuffling happening on the draft board thanks to the results of the NFL combine and individual workouts.

    Utah quarterback Alex Smith remains my choice as the No. 1 overall pick in my latest first-round projection, but Auburn running back Ronnie Brown has become the top overall prospect and moved into the No. 2 slot in the first round where he would be a great fit for the Miami Dolphins.

    Overall, two quarterbacks and three running backs make up the top five in my latest mock draft, while offensive players occupy seven of the top 10 spots. There are 11 underclassmen (10 juniors and a third-year sophomore) among the 32 picks in this projection.

    And keep an eye on the following players, who are on the fringe of the first round and could jump into the top 32 picks depending on workout results and shifting team needs: Khalif Barnes, OT, Washington; Justin Miller (jr.), CB, Clemson; Roscoe Parrish, WR, Miami; Matt Roth, DE, Iowa; Odell Thurman (jr.), LB, Georgia.


    1. San Francisco 49ers: Alex Smith (jr.), QB, Utah
    A smart player who will pick up an NFL system quickly, Smith has good size, is mobile enough to hurt teams with his running ability and is also an efficient passer who can make all the necessary throws. The Niners likely won't get a good enough deal to move down because there is not a particular player creating a buzz as the surefire No. 1 prospect, but getting Smith would be a good start toward revamping a struggling offense.


    2. Miami Dolphins: Ronnie Brown, RB, Auburn
    Brown is the top running back available after his outstanding combine workout. He showed impressive speed for a 230-pounder, he can catch the ball out of the backfield and also has excellent instincts and quickness, something new Dolphins coach Nick Saban knows all about having coached against Brown in the SEC while at LSU.


    3. Cleveland Browns: Aaron Rodgers (jr.), QB, California
    Rodgers is a smart, accurate passer with a quick release. His arm strength is adequate and he put height questions to rest at the combine. Rodgers is a better prospect at this point in his career than former Cal QB Kyle Boller, now the starter for the Baltimore Ravens.


    4. Chicago Bears: Cedric Benson, RB, Texas
    The Bears addressed their need for a big-time wideout with the free agent signing of Muhsin Muhammad and Benson would give quarterback Rex Grossman two topflight weapons to help out on offense. Benson is a tough, productive runner who can go the distance and always showed up in his team's biggest games.

    5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Carnell Williams, RB, Auburn
    A creative, deceptive runner with tremendous natural skills. Williams can get tough yards inside despite lacking ideal size, a point illustrated by his 29 rushing TDs over the last two years, and Tampa coach Jon Gruden is very familiar with him after coaching Williams in the Senior Bowl.


    6. Tennessee Titans: Adam Jones (jr.), CB, West Virginia
    A good cover man who will also contribute as a kick returner, Jones has very good closing speed and is a willing tackler in run support. That may be his most important quality with the NFL hurting pass defenses by focusing on downfield infractions by defensive backs. Jones also fills a major need after hits in free agency.


    7. Minnesota Vikings (from OAK): Braylon Edwards, WR, Michigan
    Edwards' size, strength, speed and overall athleticism would go a long way toward filling the void left by the trade of Randy Moss, which is how the Vikings acquired the selection in the first place. Minnesota also has needs on defense but can address them later in the first round.


    8. Arizona Cardinals: Derrick Johnson, OLB, Texas
    The best pure linebacker in the draft, Johnson has sideline-to-sideline speed and is always around the ball. His consistency would be welcome on a defense looking for playmakers.


    9. Washington Redskins: Mike Williams (jr.), WR, USC
    Williams has the size and strength to dominate corners with his 6-foot-5, 230-pound frame. He must answer questions about his speed, but beyond that his hands, body control and natural receiving skills make him a very attractive package for a team that needs to help quarterback Patrick Ramsey.


    10. Detroit Lions: Dan Cody, DE, Oklahoma
    The Lions need their front seven to get more pressure on the quarterback and Cody would help with his fiery attitude and relentless motor. He stepped up in big games and was one of the most consistent performers on a defense full of stars.


    11. Dallas Cowboys: Shawne Merriman (jr.), DE/OLB, Maryland
    A workout warrior with incredible physical skills, Merriman would be an ideal end/linebacker combo in a 3-4 scheme. He fits the mold of Patriots linebacker Willie McGinest, who was the first draft pick of Cowboys coach Bill Parcells when Parcells began his tenure in New England.


    12. San Diego Chargers: Marcus Spears, DE, LSU
    The Chargers need more playmakers on the front seven and Spears would be a good option for providing pressure along the defensive front. He boosted his stock immensely with a great week of work at the Senior Bowl.


    13. Houston Texans: Alex Barron, OT, Florida State
    Texans quarterback David Carr is improving but needs more protection, making the versatile Barron an ideal fit. He is very strong in the lower body and has quick feet in pass protection.



    14. Carolina Panthers: Troy Williamson (jr.), WR, South Carolina
    Williamson showed great speed at the combine and would be a nice option for a team that lost Muhsin Muhammad in free agency. Williamson did not play in a passing offense in college but has the speed all teams are looking for.


    15. Kansas City Chiefs: Carlos Rogers, CB, Auburn
    The Chiefs likely will dedicate most of their draft to defense, and Rogers is a good place to start. He was Auburn's best defensive player last season, Rogers can support the run or excel in pass coverage and has plenty of experience against top-shelf collegiate competition.


    16. New Orleans Saints: Jammal Brown, OT, Oklahoma
    Brown is equally adept in pass and run blocking, using his quick feet and long arms to move defensive linemen away from the action.


    17. Cincinnati Bengals: Travis Johnson, DT, Florida State
    Johnson has the size and strength to be a force up front. He raised his stock throughout the 2004 season and would give the Bengals some beef along the defensive front.


    18. Minnesota Vikings: Fabian Washington (jr.), CB, Nebraska
    Washington was the talk of the combine after running the 40 in 4.28 seconds, and his speed and athleticism are just what the Vikings need in a secondary that struggled against top wideouts and quarterbacks last season.


    19. St. Louis Rams: David Pollack, DE, Georgia
    Pollack plays with tremendous intensity and his motor does not stop. He makes up for a lack of size with good initial quickness and great closing speed, but his 40 time at the combine was a bit disappointing and he will have to show more speed during his individual workout.


    20. Dallas Cowboys (from BUF): Roddy White, WR, UAB
    Averaged 20 yards per catch during his senior season and was very good at both the Senior Bowl and the combine. The acquisition of quarterback Drew Bledsoe means the Cowboys will have to find him some help in the passing game.


    21. Jacksonville Jaguars: Antrel Rolle, CB, Miami
    The Jags are thin in the secondary and need a player with Rolle's speed and toughness, a player who can be solid in coverage and also a force in run support.


    22. Baltimore Ravens: Erasmus James, DE, Wisconsin
    James is an outstanding pass rusher who also plays the run very well thanks to his strength and quickness. He will have to answer a bit of a speed question after a disappointing 40 at the combine, and there are also durability concerns since he missed all of 2003 and part of 2004 with various injuries.


    23. Seattle Seahawks: Shaun Cody, DE/DT, USC
    Cody would be a nice addition to a line that already includes Pro Bowl player Chad Brown. Cody has the size and versatility to play end or tackle and was a major force for the nation's leading rush defense.


    24. Green Bay Packers: Thomas Davis (jr.), S/OLB, Georgia
    Davis played safety in college but has the size and speed to move to outside linebacker at the pro level. He is a punishing tackler who is always around the ball and would form a nice outside tandem with Nick Barnett.


    25. Denver Broncos: Demarcus Ware, DE/OLB, Troy
    Ware would fit perfectly in Denver's new 3-4 scheme with his ability to either play on his feet or put his hand on the ground in a three-point stance. He is not physically imposing but has shown the necessary speed and burst.


    26. New York Jets: Marlin Jackson, CB, Michigan
    His combine performance showed Jackson has the speed to be a true corner and not a safety/corner combo like he was in college.


    27. Atlanta Falcons: Brodney Pool (jr.), S, Oklahoma
    Another OU standout, Pool has tremendous instincts and is always in the middle of the action. He led the Sooners in tackles last season, showing his willingness to mix things up in run support, and he is adequate in pass coverage.


    28. San Diego Chargers: Mark Clayton, WR, Oklahoma
    Clayton has speed, quickness and elusiveness that make him dangerous after the catch. He would round out a receiving corps bolstered by the addition of WR Keenan McCardell and the emergence of TE Antonio Gates.


    29. Indianapolis Colts: Channing Crowder (3rd so.), MLB, Florida
    An impressive physical specimen who adjusted immediately to top-level collegiate competition, Crowder has ideal size and athletic skills for a man in the middle.


    30. Pittsburgh Steelers: Heath Miller (jr.), TE, Virginia
    There is some question whether Miller will be able to work out before the draft due to a pelvic injury, but he still remains the best tight end prospect and would give Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger a nice option in the middle of the field.


    31. Philadelphia Eagles: Jerome Mathis, WR, Hampton
    Played at the Division I-AA level in college but showed at the Gridiron Classic and the combine he belongs with the big boys. He dominated Hampton's playoff game this season and was the best player on the field at the Gridiron thanks to his overall athleticism.


    32. New England Patriots: Barrett Ruud, LB, Nebraska
    His speed and athletic ability made him Nebraska's all-time leading tackler and Ruud would help the Patriots get younger at a key position, a big key with the health of Teddy Bruschi in question.
     
  2. rezdawg

    rezdawg Contributing Member

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    hmmm, I dont think I would want to draft an OT with our first pick.

    Carr doesnt need another first year player protecting his blind side.


    Given this mock, I would trade down, take Rolle, and in the process, pick up a 3rd or 4th rounder.
     
  3. giddyup

    giddyup Contributing Member

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    Why has Rolle's stock fallen so much. Seems like in preseason he was a Top Five pick...
     
  4. rezdawg

    rezdawg Contributing Member

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    That was my question as well. And on top of it, I hear that he tore up the combine.

    I think character issues is probably most of the reason, but still...
     
  5. meh

    meh Contributing Member

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    I can't see Rolle sliding in the draft. The guy simply has too much size and skills. If he's at 13, the Texans should pick him up without hesitation.

    I'm not sure how I'd feel about drafting a OL. Our line suck, of course. But it's hard to fix. McKinney and Wade should not be replaced. There's really no FA out there that would make sense to replace Weigert. And the consenus with Wand and Pitts out of the draft was that they were raw talent. Should the Texans give up on them? Or should they stick with them and hope they can reward them with good play?
     
  6. rikesh316

    rikesh316 Member

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    This draft is pretty weak on o-lineman and mel said in ordinary draft, Barron whould be a late first/early secound round pick.
     
  7. ROCKSS

    ROCKSS Contributing Member

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    Wow......2 Huskers projected in the first round.
     
  8. SamFisher

    SamFisher Contributing Member

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    That's what they said for the last 3-4 years and yet still the Texans O-line is still horrendous. Eventually you have to bite the bullet unless you want your QB to die - the Seth Wands and Chester Pitts of the world, sprinkled in with journeymen like Zach Wiegert are not going to get it done.
     
  9. rezdawg

    rezdawg Contributing Member

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    Whats better, a Seth Wand that has one year of experience under his belt or a rookie OT?

    I gotta go with Seth on this one. I doubt Dom wants to have a first year player, regardless of potential, manning that spot on the left side.
     
  10. SamFisher

    SamFisher Contributing Member

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    They had one of the worst OL's in the league last year, and were playing as badly as ever at the end of the season. How could it get much worse? And if it's such a big deal then don't start the rookie - either way you can't live on scrap heap pick ups and lackluster 3rd round picks on your O-line for much longer.
     
  11. mateo

    mateo Contributing Member

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    I would be more than happy to see Alex Barron as a Texan. Solid offensive linemen aren't "sexy" picks, but I'm tired of seeing Carr throw the ball away.
     
  12. moestavern19

    moestavern19 Member

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    The knock on Rolle right now is that he won't be able to adjust very quickly to the NFL's pass coverage rules, resulting in lots of illlegal contact penalties
     
  13. rezdawg

    rezdawg Contributing Member

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    True, the OL was ugly last year.

    However, chemistry amongst the OL is probably the most important factor in determining how good the line is/will be.

    The Texans lacked chemistry because of 2 major reasons. For 1, 60% of the line was new. Wade was an addition to the roster at RT, Wand was new at LT, and Pitts was moved to LG after two seasons of playing tackle. Secondly, the Texans were implementing a new blocking scheme. Therefore, every single lineman on the team was adjusting to a new style of play.

    Given these two factors, you can easily see why the OL was not successful last year. It takes time to gel, its not something that "works" with a snap of the finger.

    Wand has the size, strength, and quickness to be a successful lineman in the league. No need to start over with a rookie when we have a guy that is completely capable and has started a full seasons worth of games while learning the system.

    Building an OLine is a process, a process that could take much longer if the Texans decide to take an OL with their first pick in the draft. They wont do so, so I wouldnt worry about it.
     
  14. Baqui99

    Baqui99 Contributing Member

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    Maybe so, but this guy's upside is too high to pass on. He's got size and speed, not to mention the Miami pedigree. We all know the extremely high hit rate on Miami players in the NFL. If he's available, we should grab him without hesitation. Lock down corners are much harder to find than offensive linemen.

    If Antrel Rolle is still on the board at #13, Casserly will RUN not walk to the podium to get this pick in. We can address OL depth in the 2nd and 3rd rounds, where there will still be some solid guys available.
     
  15. gr8-1

    gr8-1 Contributing Member

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    James is dropping like a rock.
     
  16. couple of d's

    couple of d's Member

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    i hope muffin head is right and rolle is left for the pickin at numero 13 because i have seen that guy play live, and forget about the questions, that guy is a hell of a football player, forget the charachter issues!:cool:
     
  17. MONON

    MONON Member

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    Good sumation REZ. I agree.
     
  18. SamFisher

    SamFisher Contributing Member

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    It takes time to gel - that would explain if they had a shaky start. But their pattern was the opposite - they got worse at the end of the season.

    Wand has size, etc., but there's a reason nobody had ever heard of the guy and why he played at nowhere state U.

    If you look at the overall quality of draft pick the Texans have invested in the offensive line the past few years - it's pretty minimal. You're going to have to have a LOT of things go right and be extremely confident in guys like Wand and Pitts - confidence which I don't think they have shown they merit judging by performance - if you think can continue to neglect that area.
     
  19. rezdawg

    rezdawg Contributing Member

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    True, the OLine didnt improve over the course of the season. Do you attribute that to the fact that the players arent capable or to the fact that our schedule over the 2nd half of the season was much tougher than the first half? Not to mention injuries played a factor with Wade and Weigert over the second half as well.

    Who says nobody had ever heard of him? Just because he went to a small college doesnt mean scouts didnt know about him. Sure, the average Joe may not know, but I guarentee that the NFL scouts knew exactly who he was. In fact, he was listed as a top 10 lineman by Kiper, pre-draft.

    If this draft had a surefire prospect at OT, then I'd be all for it. However, this is not the case. I would rather take a player that I know can succeed at another position than gamble on a guy that has a 50/50 chance of outplaying Wand.

    Lets assume we take the Olineman and he ends up being the missing piece. That would be fantastic. On the flipside, what if he doesnt measure up to Wand...then, not only does our OL take a hit, but we also failed to address another area of the team. Double whammy.

    I dont have the confidence in any of the OT's in the draft to take one with our first pick. Its just too risky given the talent level in this draft.
     
  20. SamCassell

    SamCassell Contributing Member

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    Offensive line was one of the team's biggest deficiencies last year. To not upgrade the obvious lack of talent there via the draft or free agency would be ridiculous. They don't need to use their first round pick if there's not a good candidate, but they need to do something.
     

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