2007 NFL Mock Draft, Final Release

As we approach zero hour for NFL draftnik maniacs everywhere (present company included), the draft picture for the league's yearly selection extravaganza is becoming increasingly and predictably cloudy. Misinformation is leaked through just about every media channel known to man and it requires a disciplined look at the facts and trends to make any sort of semi-educated guess as to what any one team may do on April 28th. Or you can just save yourself the trouble of sorting through the details on your own and you can take some "expert's" word.

That is where I come in. As one of these aforementioned "draftnik maniacs," I have spent a nauseating amount of time pouring over articles, team statements, depth charts, and eligible prospects in attempting to determine, for no apparent reason, just how the draft may play out. While the pay-off may be frustratingly intangible, it has come time to collect, and that collection comes in the form of my final mock draft.

As a self-proclaimed "expert" — and I use this term about as loosely as it can be used — I would like to qualify myself by stating that I've been a draft aficionado for the better part of 10 years. I've watched every minute of draft day coverage since the turn of the century, taking copious notes on draft-day tendencies, team preferences, and what I like to call the "Belichik Factor" (which, for future reference, can be best described as any team's tendency to say one thing and mean something completely different).

In addition, I've spent an alarming amount of time reviewing publications, videos, and combine/personal workout results in an attempt to quantify the actual value of hundreds of this year's prospective draftees. My "hit rate" over the past several years is solid enough to separate myself from some of my peers, even when I faced ridicule (for example, I called the Mario Williams pick in mid-March last year) and doubt (I theorized that Ben Roethlisberger would slide to the Steelers on draft day, but would be the most successful QB in his draft class over the short term).

This is not to say my picks are infallible (I insisted that Maryland DT Randy Starks was a top-20 pick and he fell to round three in the '04 draft, for instance), but on the whole, my record qualifies me as more than just someone that throws darts at a wall full of names.

So, submitted for your perusal and approval, I present to you the final three round version of my 2007 NFL draft projection, complete with potential trades, reaches, and steals. I ask you to judge for yourselves...


1. Oakland Raiders: QB Jamarcus Russell, LSU — Big arm. Durable body. Hot commodity. The three most attractive things about the former Tiger QB are high on Al Davis' list of favorite things, not to mention that he happens to play a high-profile position of need. While WR Calvin Johnson is certainly on the radar, Oakland's recent flirtations with the standout Georgia Tech receiver are little more than a last-ditch effort to get the Bucs to sell the farm for this pick. Russell makes much more sense and is big Al's kind of guy.

2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (via Detroit): WR Calvin Johnson, Georgia Tech — Jon Gruden has made no secret of his lust (professionally speaking) for the Yellow Jacket receiver many have rated as the best-in-class regardless of position. Detroit has made no secret of their desire to trade down. This looks like a clear match on both fronts, and Gruden would jump at the chance to get the dynamic receiver he's craved.

TRADE DETAILS: Tampa Bay receives No. 2 overall pick; gives No. 4 overall, No. 35 (rd. 2), and No. 68 (rd. 3).

3. Cleveland Browns: RB Adrian Peterson, Oklahoma — While both Notre Dame's Brady Quinn and Wisconsin's Joe Thomas are options here, Peterson is the higher value pick, especially considering the mileage on new RB Jamal Lewis's sizeable frame. GM Phil Savage would love for Russell to slide to this spot, and if he does, that will be his pick, but smart money says he won't be around and smarter money has Savage grabbing the promising Sooner runner and looking for a developmental QB in round two.

4. Detroit Lions (via Tampa Bay): DE Gaines Adams, Georgia — I don't feel great about this pick simply because it makes so much sense that Matt Millen just may go a different route to spite the world. However, the need for a pass-rushing end is great in the Motor City and Adams is the class of that breed of potential draftees. The draw of Brady Quinn may wind up winning out here because of his name recognition, but that would be a terrible mistake considering the Lions' other needs and the potential immediate impact a player like Adams can make. Lions fans, hold your breath.

TRADE DETAILS: Detroit gives No. 2 overall pick; receives No. 4 overall, No. 35 (rd. 2), and No. 68 (rd. 3).

5. Arizona Cardinals: OT Joe Thomas, Wisconsin — This remains the easiest call on the board. Oliver Ross is not a name that breeds confidence in the minds of Edgerrin James and franchise QB Matt Leinart, and this is the man who would be slotted to start the season as the team's left tackle. Enter Mr. Thomas, who besides having a great last name is a mountain of a man with a dancer's footwork and a proven grasp of what it takes to dominate a defense's attack at the line of scrimmage.

6. Miami Dolphins (via Washington): QB Brady Quinn, Notre Dame — Miami has openly hoped for Quinn to fall into their laps, and the likelihood is such a thing would never happen with Minnesota picking in the No. 7 slot. Thus, Miami will deal one of their two extra second round selections to move up for the well-known QB from South Bend and, in doing so, will force Chief GM Carl Peterson into accepting the mid-round pick Miami is offering for QB Trent Green as he'll realize the 'Fins will now have a backup plan.

TRADE DETAILS: Miami receives No. 6 overall; gives No. 9 overall, and No. 60 (rd. 2).

7. Minnesota Vikings: S LaRon Landry, LSU — While the Vikings will be startled with Miami's move to take Quinn out of their plans, they will quickly realize that they are every bit as happy to be able to grab the sturdy safety from LSU. Landry is the type of player that can jump into the starting lineup immediately and help anchor a secondary needing a hard-hitting enforcer who is not a liability in coverage.

8. Atlanta Falcons (via Houston): OT Levi Brown, Penn State — Ironically, the Falcons will be using the pick acquired from Houston to take the promising tackle that the Texans have had their eyes on since early spring since their preferred choice, Landry, will be off the board. While a receiving option is also a possibility here, reaching for LSU's Dwayne Bowe or USC's Dwayne Jarrett just doesn't make sense when the team had such a tough time protecting Michael Vick last season.

9. St. Louis Rams (via Washington thru Miami): DT Amobi Okoye, Louisville — The Rams will take advantage of Washington's hope of accumulating day one picks to jump ahead of their division rival 49ers, who would love to have Okoye fall to them at No. 11. St. Louis has a need for players like Okoye, who has scouts drooling over his size/speed ratio and on-film tenacity. A great pick, as the 19-year-old Louisville standout could be one of the top defensive players to come out of this draft.

TRADE DETAILS: St. Louis receives Miami's original No. 9 overall; gives No. 13 overall and No. 83 (rd. 3).

10. Houston Texans (via Atlanta): CB Leon Hall, Michigan — The way this draft board is playing out, the Texans wind up losing the most in terms of potential available players versus actual draftees still around when they round out the top 10 with this selection. While Hall is a solid option at a position of need for Houston, the team would have much rather landed Levi Brown, LaRon Landry, or Okoye and probably thought one of the three would still be around when they made the deal for Matt Schaub. Hall may be a bit of a reach this early, but he has top-15 talent and may wind up being a better pick than the others as he will give the team a cover corner they desperately need.

11. San Francisco 49ers: DT Alan Branch, Michigan — Obviously, the Niners would have much rather landed Louisville's Okoye, as he is the better prospect. However, the team is looking for a big nose-tackle type and Branch is the ideal at that position. While there are motivational concerns for Branch, he produced in college and is a big, strong, gap-filling tackle prospect that would bolster San Francisco's defensive front nicely.

12. Buffalo Bills: LB Patrick Willis, Ole Miss — Bills fans everywhere may well be praying for the selection of a running back to fill a very clear need at that position, but reaching for Cal's Marshawn Lynch when a player of Willis's caliber at a position of equal need is available would not be a good business move for Buffalo. Assuming the Bills don't pull the trigger on a draft-day trade with the Charges for RB Michael Turner, Willis is their guy.

13. Washington Redskins (via St Louis): WR Dwayne Bowe, LSU — Consider this a draft-day plan run to perfection if it does in fact play out like this. Bowe is the guy the team covets in round one (besides the unattainable Calvin Johnson) and they will have managed to land him and pick up a second and third round pick in the process. Score one for Daniel Snyder ... finally.

TRADE DETAILS: Washington gives Miami's original No. 9 overall; receives No. 13 overall and No. 83 (rd. 3).

14. Denver Broncos (via Carolina): DE Jamaal Anderson, Arkansas — The Broncos will move up to grab the best remaining pass rushing end in the class as Carolina will comfortably slide back a bit in the draft with the goal of landing Miami TE Greg Olsen in a more economically favorable spot.

TRADE DETAILS: Denver receives Carolina's No. 14 overall; gives No. 21 overall and No. 56 (rd. 2).

15. Pittsburgh Steelers: OLB Lawrence Timmons, Florida State — The Steelers will need to fill their sizeable hole at outside linebacker and Timmons has all the tools to be an immediate impact player. While they had hoped to have CB Hall fall to them, they'll certainly settle for Timmons as they prepare for life without Joey Porter.

16. Green Bay Packers: RB Marshawn Lynch, California — Assuming Lynch is still around, this is the second easiest call on the draft board. Marshawn is a capable pass catcher and should step into the lineup immediately behind Brett Favre, who will be happy to have a running option to take some of the pressure off of him and allow him to breathe a bit in the pocket.

17. Jacksonville Jaguars: DE Jarvis Moss, Florida — Wide receiver is also a possibility for the Jags, but Moss helped his stock immensely with his workouts and his big-game performances at Florida. An added plus is the relative lack of consistent pounding that Moss has to his credit with the Gators' defensive line-by-committee approach.

18. Cincinnati Bengals: CB Darrelle Revis, Pittsburgh — In all honesty, Cincy's only real objective in this year's draft is to grab some players that don't end up in court by September. Revis is a capable cover guy, has played and excelled in zone coverage and tackles well and, more importantly to the Bengals, has consistently demonstrated a work-ethic that shows a maturity many on their current roster lack.

19. Tennessee Titans: WR Ted Ginn, Jr., Ohio State — Tennessee has needs at running back and everywhere along their defense, especially considering the unanticipated loss of Pacman Jones. But a player of Ginn's potential is far too enticing to pass up, especially when factoring in the Titans' need for a receiver and now, a play-making return man.

20. New York Giants: OT Joe Staley, Central Michigan — I actually have Staley rated as a top-15 prospect, so the Giants would be foolish to pass on him if he's still available at No. 20. They need some offensive line help and, based on the makeup of this year's running back class, they can wait on grabbing a potential secondary option to RB Brandon Jacobs as decent value should be available in the later rounds of the first day.

21. Carolina Panthers (via Denver): TE Greg Olsen, Miami — The Panthers front office will breathe a sigh of relief if Olsen does fall, but if he does happen to be selected earlier, they'll grab a safety instead. Olsen is a good TE option and will give Jake Delhomme and company another threat to take some pressure off of Steve Smith.

TRADE DETAILS: Carolina gives No. 14 overall; receives No. 21 overall and No. 56 (rd. 2).

22. Dallas Cowboys: WR Dwayne Jarrett, USC — Personally, I have a lot of trouble with this pick. I think USC's C Ryan Kalil would be a better pick, as would Florida's Reggie Nelson at DB. But all the signs point to Jarrett being on Jerry Jones's wish list, and who am I to argue with the facts?

23. Kansas City Chiefs: WR Robert Meacham, Tennessee — If Staley slips past the Giants at No. 20, KC would not hesitate to grab the tackle instead of the underrated Meacham. The team clearly needs to land a receiver somewhere on day one of the draft, and Meacham is a big, fast, sure-handed target and is projected as an opening day starter, a good fit for a team needing some help on the outside.

24. New England Patriots (via Seattle): DE Adam Carriker, Nebraska — 100% value pick, in typical Bill Belichik fashion. Carriker is ideal as an end in a 3-4 scheme and can slide to a rush tackle spot in a nickel package, providing the versatility that the Pats have hanged their collective hats on for a decade. Carriker is a luxury New England likely didn't anticipate having available to them this deep in round one, so I doubt highly they'd pass up the opportunity to grab him.

25. New York Jets: C Ryan Kalil, USC — It is always tough to find a home for centers in the first round of any draft, and this is no exception. Kalil has all the tools to compete for a starting spot from the very beginning of his professional tenure and New York, while having just drafted at this position a year ago, certainly wouldn't mind further solidifying their offensive line, especially since drafting for true need here at cornerback would likely result in reaching for a player they may have access to in round two.

26. Atlanta Falcons (via Philadelphia): S Reggie Nelson, Florida — Philly is no stranger to wheeling and dealing on draft day, and Atlanta is a sensible partner with their additional pick early in round two. Having already filled their need along the offensive line, picking up the versatile ex-Gator here would further solidify a young, dynamic, play-making secondary already containing pro-bowler DeAngelo Hall and the young Jimmy Williams. They'll have to move up to get their guy, though, as New England would certainly grab Nelson at No. 28 should he slip.

TRADE DETAILS: Atlanta receives Philadelphia's No. 26 overall; gives No. 44 (rd. 2), No. 75 (rd. 3), and No. 118 (rd. 4).

27. New Orleans Saints: LB Paul Posluszny, Penn State — While most players are not deserving of draft-day slides, Posluszny is even more undeserving than most, as his workouts have been more than adequate and his body of work speaks for itself. However, there just doesn't seem to be a whole lot of need for the type of skills the Penn State linebacker brings to the table. Enter New Orleans, who may have been a consistent linebacker short of making it to the Super Bowl one year ago.

28. New England Patriots: CB Aaron Ross, Texas — Ross is a fine second option to Reggie Nelson, who New England would have preferred to get in this spot. Ross can return kicks and is versatile enough to play any of the five primary secondary positions the Patriots fill in their base defenses. All in all, a very good value selection at a position of need.

29. Baltimore Ravens: OT Tony Ugoh, Arkansas — While many have soured on Ugoh of late (me being one of those many), he is still a road-grader on film. With Baltimore looking to deepen their talent pool at tackle, the big Razorback makes sense.

30. San Diego Chargers: S Michael Griffin, Texas — San Diego doesn't need a whole lot of help anywhere, but their secondary is their one relative weak spot and Griffin is a great value pick as he can slide into either safety slot or as a coverage guy in the nickel package. In another case of the rich getting richer, Griffin's availability is a pleasant bonus for the Chargers.

31. Chicago Bears: DT Justin Harrell, Tennessee — If the Super Bowl showed anything to the Bears, it showed them that they were nowhere near as deep along their defensive front seven as they would need to be to truly contend year in and year out. Harrell is a big, solid defensive lineman that will give the team some depth and a long-term contributor to work into their rotation.

32. Indianapolis Colts: LB Brandon Siler, Florida — Potentially, Indy could look to grab a receiver here to fortify that position further. Another possibility would be to try to grab a backup runner to replace the freshly-departed Dominic Rhodes. That being said, Siler is every bit as valuable a guy, as he combines his talent and work ethic with a winning history that goes a long way on a team like the Colts, who have a similar winning tradition to build on.


33. New York Jets (via Oak) — DE Anthony Spencer, Purdue
34. Detroit Lions — QB Drew Stanton, Michigan State
35. Detroit Lions (via TB) — OG Ben Grubbs, Auburn
36. Cleveland Browns — CB Marcus McCauley, Fresno State
37. Chicago Bears (via Was thru NYJ) — LB Jon Beason, Miami
38. Arizona Cardinals — S Brandon Merriweather, Miami
39. Atlanta Falcons (via Hou) — WR Sidney Rice, South Carolina
40. Miami Dolphins — CB Daymeion Hughes, California
41. Minnesota Vikings — QB Trent Edwards, Stanford
42. San Francisco 49ers — OG Justin Blalock, Texas
43. Buffalo Bills — RB Michael Bush, Louisville
44. Philadelphia Eagles (via Atl) — WR Steve Smith, USC
45. Carolina Panthers — CB Eric Wright, UNLV
46. Pittsburgh Steelers — DE LaMarr Woodley, Michigan
47. Green Bay Packers — OG Arron Sears, Tennessee
48. Jacksonville Jaguars — WR Anthony Gonzalez, Ohio State
49. Cincinnati Bengals — DT Tank Tyler, NC State
50. Tennessee Titans — DE Charles Johnson, Georgia
51. New York Giants — RB Antonio Pittman, Ohio State
52. St. Louis Rams — LB David Harris, Michigan
53. Dallas Cowboys — CB Chris Houston, Arkansas
54. Kansas City Chiefs — OT James Marten, Boston College
55. Seattle Seahawks — DE Victor Abiamiri, Notre Dame
56. Carolina Panthers (via Den) — DE Ray McDonald, Florida
57. Philadelphia Eagles — LB Steward Bradley, Nebraska
58. Tennessee Titans (via NO) — RB Brian Leonard, Rutgers
59. Oakland Raiders (via NYJ) — TE Zach Miller, Arizona State
60. Washington Redskins (via Mia thru NE) — DE Quentin Moses, Georgia
61. Baltimore Ravens — S Eric Weddle, Utah
62. San Diego Chargers — WR Jason Hill, Washington State
63. Oakland Raiders (via NYJ thru Chi) — CB Jonathon Wade, Tennessee
64. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (via Ind) — DE Tim Crowder, Texas


65. Oakland Raiders — DE Ilaika Alama-Francis, Hawaii
66. Detroit Lions — RB Tony Hunt, Penn State
67. Cleveland Browns — DT Brandon Mebane, California
68. Detroit Lions (via TB) — DT Quinn Pitcock, Ohio State
69. Arizona Cardinals — S Josh Gattis, Wake Forest
70. San Francisco 49ers (via Den) — WR Craig Davis, LSU
71. Miami Dolphins — OT Doug Free, Northern Illinois
72. Minnesota Vikings — RB Kenny Irons, Auburn
73. Houston Texans — OG Manny Ramirez, Texas Tech
74. Denver Broncos (via Buf) — LB Rufus Alexander, Oklahoma
75. Philadelphia Eagles (via Atl) — LB H.B. Blades, Pittsburgh
76. Buffalo (via Den thru SF) — CB Josh Wilson, Maryland
77. Pittsburgh Steelers — OG Marshall Yanda, Iowa
78. Green Bay Packers — WR Aundrae Allison, East Carolina
79. Jacksonville Jaguars — QB Troy Smith, Ohio State
80. Cincinnati Bengals — NO PICK – FORFEITED
81. New Orleans Saints (via Ten) — WR Courtney Taylor, Texas A&M
82. New York Giants — CB David Irons, Auburn
83. Washington Redskins (via StL) — DT Antonio Johnson, Mississippi State
84. Carolina Panthers — DT Ryan McBean, Oklahoma State
85. Kansas City Chiefs — QB Kevin Kolb, Houston
86. Seattle Seahawks — CB A.J. Davis, NC State
87. Denver Broncos — OT Ryan Harris, Notre Dame
88. Detroit Lions (via Dal) — DE Dan Bazuin, Central Michigan
89. New Orleans Saints — TE Ben Patrick, Delaware
90. New York Jets — CB Ryan Smith, Florida
91. Philadelphia Eagles — LB Anthony Waters, Clemson
92. New England Patriots — RB DeShawn Wynn, Florida
93. Buffalo Bills (via Bal) — OG Andy Alleman, Akron
94. San Diego Chargers — DE Baraka Atkins, Miami
95. Chicago Bears — RB Lorenzo Booker, Florida State
96. Indianapolis Colts — WR David Clowney, Virginia Tech
97. (compensatory) San Diego Chargers — DB Tarell Brown, Texas
98. (compensatory) San Francisco 49ers — OT Adam Koets, Oregon State
99. (compensatory) Indianapolis Colts — CB Kenny Scott, Georgia Tech
100. (compensatory) Oakland Raiders — WR Paul Williams, Fresno State

Comments and Conversation

April 24, 2007


You’ve got Eric Weddle going twice, to Baltimore at 61 and Arizona at 69.

Also, congrats on being the first person ever to predict Daniel Snyder making a smart football move.

April 24, 2007


Oh, and good work.

April 24, 2007


I think this is the best prediction I have seen. All of the trades make sense and the players drafted fill appropriate needs. If there is no real need, THEN the teams go for whatever the most valuable option is. I for one will be a little disappointed though if the broncos trade up to get anderson and then carriker falls all the way to 24. Great Mock!

April 25, 2007


great mock draft! it is obviously thorough and must have taken a ton of work and research! congrats and mad props to you!

April 25, 2007

Mike R:

Why in the world would the Jets take Ryan Kalil when they took Nick Mangold last year. Clearly did not do research on that pick. I’d say there’s probably 300 guys in this draft they’d take over Ryan Kalil in the first round.

April 25, 2007


Because Kalil is the best available on the board in that slot. Mangold can play OG, as Kalil is a far better pro prospect than Mangold, and that’s saying a lot considering how well Mangold played in his rookie season-so the pick wouldn’t be that off-the-wall. Maybe it is you that should research the talent Kalil brings to the table.

While it is not the “sexy” pick and may not fill a particular need, it is a top-10 talent in the mid-20’s of the draft and any savvy team would make this move since none of their need-positions have players ranked high enough to justify selection at this spot.

So, to summarize, I’ll frame it like this…if Kalil is on the board, the Jets pick him. If not, they will trade down, UNLESS a CB like Revis slips.

One last thing…if you look hard enough, you can find a flaw on the Mona Lisa, but that doesn’t mean Da Vinci didn’t take his time when painting that one spot.

Keep the comments coming!!!

April 26, 2007


Awesome mock! All of the players fit the teams needs well. I like how you have Okoye going to St Louis. Many of the mocks I’ve looked at have them taking Ginn, but it’s obvious they have adressed that need with trading for Dante Hall. And as much as I’d like to see the Falcons get Landry, the Vikings will take them if they have any sense at all. Great work!

April 26, 2007


You have SF taking 3 offensive players on day one and only one Defensive, Why when Nolan said he was going defense. With 4 picks in the 4th round you would think SF would trade up more than just 6 spots in the 3rd! and for a WR they could have had in the 4th round! Two 4th’s and a 3rd might get SF Ilaika Alama-Francis in the late second!

April 27, 2007


Nolan will “go defense” with his first round pick…and he likely plans on staying on that side of the ball for the balance of day 1, however you have to project the draft out the full three first day rounds to truly know who you are going to take, as a coach/GM.

In this case, OG Blalock is a guy that SF needs and one that they likely, going in, don’t expect to have sitting around with their 2nd round selection - in short, they can’t pass on him.

As for the third round trade up…valid point, except for the part about getting that receiver in the 4th round. Craig Davis has blazing speed…his workouts put him as one of the faster receivers in this draft…what he offers any team that drafts him is a deep option that will open up the short passing game to a player like, say, Vernon Davis. He’s actually a late 2nd round prospect and only his lack of proven toughness will keep him from the 2nd round. SF trades up for this guy because Miami, Minnesota and Houston all will be looking for a speed-receiver, and Craig Davis is on all of their radars at about this spot in the draft, so SF will make the move to grab him before the others get a chance.

April 27, 2007


Atlanta will take C. Johnson or Abiamiri in second round to make up for the loss of Kearney. M. Bush will not go that high in the 2nd round especially after his 2nd surgery being so close to the draft. But besides that I think your draft is great!

April 27, 2007


Completely agree with the Cleveland Tampa trade.

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