By Anthony McClean, Editor In Chief Emeritus NEW HAVEN (BASN) —...
BASN NFL Draft Preview
PHILADELPHIA — Unlike many draft prognosticators who seem to just make their picks out of thin air, I like to wait until after attending the Senior Bowl, NFL Combine, talking with key NFL talent evaluators and letting Free Agency play out before making my picks.
In my opinion you cannot do a true “mock” until after these events, because only then you can get a good sense of how NFL talent evaluators are viewing prospects and have accurate team needs.
1. Miami Dolphins — Jake Long, OT, Michigan
Record: 1-15 | Needs: OL, QB, CB, DT, LB
No matter what anyone wants to sell you on, Parcels and his boys will make this pick — sure they will listen to offers but in the end they won’t get their asking price. The last time we saw a move with the first overall pick it was four years ago as Eli Manning changed hands on draft day. Luckily for the ‘Phins they have the solid triumphant of high character Senior leadership players to choose from in QB Matt Ryan, OT Jake Long, and DE Chris Long. I do believe that Dolphins like Ryan and Chris Long, but Parcels likes to have a franchise tackle to build around — in the past with the Giants the Tuna grabbed Jimbo Elliott from Michigan and now it will be Jake
Long’s turn. Long (6’7, 315) was a unanimous All-Big Ten Conference first-team pick while serving as team captain for the second consecutive season, starting all thirteen games at left offensive tackle, and producing 119 knockdowns. The Tuna and the Dolphins have been very active in free agency reshaping their unit, but there is still a big hole at the offensive tackle position. With John Beck or Josh McCown filling the role of the veteran “Vinny” type quarterback, Jake Long will be their escort. Remember this road-grader only allow two sacks his whole career at Michigan.
2. St. Louis Rams — Chris Long, DE, Virginia
Record: 3-13 | Needs: DE, OT, CB, OLB, WR
With the Rams trying to rebuild a defense that has had problems stopping other teams this pick makes sense. Sure Glenn Dorsey, Sedrick Ellis, and Gholston could be tempting here, but the team has made too many mistakes in the past on the front four (See Jimmy Kennedy) not to go with a high-character player like Long. Howie’s son is an almost clone of last year’s pick Adam Carriker (smart, big, leadership ability). In 2007, ranked 3rd in the nation with fourteen sacks for minus 122 yards in thirteen starts playing as his team’s captain at the right defensive end position. By adding Chris Long (6’4, 275) to Carriker and speedy DE Leonard Little, the Rams defense will have the energy and versatility needed to help their secondary, especially 2006 first rounder Tye Hill make plays.
3. Atlanta Falcons — Matt Ryan, QB, Boston College
Record: 4-12 | Needs: QB, OT, LB, S, CB
This should be the biggest no-brainer of the first five picks as the Falcons have a glaring need at quarterback and Ryan is the obvious number one signal caller in this year’s class. Though Ryan (6’5. 224) needs to cut down on his interceptions (19 in 2007), he is the leadership type player that new GM Tom Domitroff — former New England front office guy that saw many BC games — and new head coach Mike Smith need in the post Michael Vick era. The Philadelphia suburbs kid in ’07 at BC averaged 321.93 yards per game finishing with 4,507 yards passing while setting school season-records for completions 388-of-654 (59.3%) and touchdowns (31). With Ryan’s high character and leadership abilities this is the safest pick for an organization that needs a new beginning. In his private workout he completed 48 of 50 passes.
4. Oakland Raiders — Darren McFadden, RB, Arkansas
Record: 4-12 | Needs: OT, DT, TE, RB, WR
The affinity of the Raiders and Cowboys of McFadden (6’2, 210) has been this draft’s biggest non-secret. Al Davis in looking for game-breaking skills will look to grab the former two-time heisman runner-up. McFadden has all the makings of last year’s yard-churning Rookie of the Year Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson. The former Arkansas star ran a blazing 4.33 seconds in the forty at the combine after leading the SEC in rushing with a 140.77 yards per game average while setting a school season-record with 1,830 yards and sixteen touchdowns. McFadden is a home run threat and should team with the recently signed Justin Fargas and ’07 pick Michael Bush to form a formidable one-two-three punch. Look for the Raiders to try and move current backs Dominic Rhodes and LaMont Jordan because they no longer will be in their plans. The only thing to watch for his a blockbuster trade where Cowboys owner and Arkansas alum Jerry Jones makes a move to grab McFadden by dealing his 22nd and 28th picks to his old friend Al Davis.
5. Kansas City Chiefs — Ryan Clady, OT, Boise State
Record: 4-12 | Needs: LT, G, CB, DE, S
With the retirements of perennial Pro Bowlers Guard Will Shields and Tackle Willie Roaf in recent years, the Chiefs’ number one priority is solidifying their offensive line. Unfortunately for them Jake Long will be long gone by the fifth pick, so Herman Edwards and Carl Peterson will go with the next O-lineman on the board in Clady (6’6, 316). The former Boise State road-grader is a boom or bust prospect as there have been questions about his attitude and competition. Was named Boise State’s second All-American while only being charged with six penalties, producing 122 knockdowns, and only allowing 3.5 sacks. I believe he has the size and smarts to
learn the Chiefs new ground attack. Look for Larry Johnson to get back on track running behind Clady and Pro Bowl Guard Brian Waters after an injury plagued ’07 season.
6. New York Jets — Vernon Gholston, OLB/DE, Ohio State
Record: 4-12 | Needs: NT, WR, LB, G, RB
With a glaring need for a running back, there is a chance that the Jets try and move up to grab McFadden or reach for any of the other talented junior RB’s. I believe that Mangini will look to add another pass rusher for their attacking 3-4 system. They already have new free agent Calvin Pace and Gholston (6’4, 258) should help in not allowing the big plays downfield that plagued the Jets in ’07. The former Buckeye wowed the scouts at the combine with numbers of 4.67 in the forty and posting the top bench press (37 reps at 225 pounds). Obtained the only sack the Jake Long allowed this year while being named to the All-Big Ten Conference first-team finishing with a school season-record of fourteen sacks for minus 111 yards.
7. N.E. Patriots (from 5-11 San Francisco) — Glenn Dorsey, DT, LSU
Record: 18-1 | Needs: LB, CB, DS, OL, RB
The Patriots probably would go for Gholston if he is on the board to rebuild their aging linebacking core, but they will have to settle for Dorsey (6’2, 316). Much like Warren Sapp during his draft process, Dorsey has experienced going from being the consensus number one pick to move down boards due to red flags (injuries and didn’t workout at the combine). However I believe that if the cat-quick DT is there, the Patriots will jump all over him. He may not be the classic 3-4 defensive tackle, but look for Belichick to use him as an end and to move him around. Despite double teams and illegal blocks that caused some leg problems, Dorsey managed to record 69 tackles (39 solos) with a career-high seven sacks for minus 45 yards and 12.5 stops for losses of 53 yards. He should team with Rich Seymour and Vince Wilfork to form a great rotation upfront allowing for more plays from their linebackers and secondary.
8. Baltimore Ravens — Chris Williams, OT, Vanderbilt
Record: 5-11 | Needs: QB, CB, LOT, ILB, DE/OLB
The ideal pick would be Matt Ryan, but they will need to move up to grab him. Look for the Ravens to wait to find the quarterback of the future until later in the draft as they address the big hole left by the impending retirement of future Hall of Famer Jonathan Ogden at left tackle. Williams (6’6, 320) is known as a finesse much like Ravens ’06 pick Chris Chester and he will need to tap into his nasty streak plus get stronger at the point of attack. But the All SEC lineman had impressive senior numbers of 12 starts at left tackle, 102 knockdowns, and allowing only one quarterback sack.
9. Cincinnati Bengals — Keith Rivers, LB, USC
Record: 7-9 | Needs: DT, TE, LB, OT, DE
With their choice between USC teammates Rivers and DT Sedrick Ellis, head coach Marvin Lewis will choose “the shark”. Ever since troubled linebacker Odell Thurman has not been able to stay out of trouble, the Bengals linebacking crew has been in disarray. Rivers — nicknamed “Shark” from the character played by Lawrence Taylor in the film “Any Given Sunday” — is the most athletic and playmaking linebacker in this draft and should provide a boost along with free agent signee DE Antwaan Odom to a defense that has lacked teeth recently. Rivers (6’2, 236) finished his All-American 2007 campaign with 13 games played, 78 tackles (44 solos), five stops for losses, three fumbles recoveries, and one forced fumble.
10. New Orleans Saints — Sedrick Ellis, DT, USC
Record: 6-9 | Needs: CB, LB, TE, DT, C
With the Saints putting a lot of dollars into the cornerback (Randall Gay), defensive end (Bobby McCray), and linebacker (traded for Jonathan Vilma) positions look for them to grab the best front seven defensive guy on the board. With Hollis Thomas slowing down and DE Will Smith underachieving the D-Line needs an infusion of talent. Ellis (6’1, 308) has risen up draft boards recently after solid showings at the Senior Bowl. He has excellent strength and quickness, which should help in Sean Payton’s off-season overall of his defensive unit. As a senior in 2007, started thirteen games at DT helping the Trojans rank fourth in the nation against the run (84.15 ypg). Recorded a career-high 58 tackles, 8.5 sacks, 12.5 tackles for losses, and had two fumble recoveries.
11. Buffalo Bills — Leodis McKelvin, CB, Troy
Record: 7-9 | Needs: CB, DT, LB, WR, TE
With Nate Clements leaving in ’07 for big free agency dollars there has been a strong need for a top flight cover corner in Buffalo. With a choice between McKelvin, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, and Aquib Talib, I believe that McKelvin (5’11, 190) will be the pick. The silky smooth cover corner will provide an immediate lift to the Bills back four helping in the nickel and dime. The All-Sun Belt Conference first-team choice started twelve games at left cornerback producing 60 tackles w/ 2.5 stops for loss, causing three fumbles, and 2 interceptions. Also his high marks as kick returner will not hurt (Ranked fourth in the nation with 436 yards and three touch-downs on 25 punt returns (17.44 avg) and had a 23 yard average on kick returns).
12. Denver Broncos — Kentwan Balmer, DT, North Carolina
Record: 7-9 | Needs: DT, OT, MLB, S, WR
With Long and Ellis long gone, the Broncos reach a little to bring in a much needed defensive tackle. The former Tar Heel is a
fast-rising prospect with very good size, power, and quickness. Balmer (6’5, 310) in 2007, started twelve games, had 59 tackles including 3.5 sacks and 9.5 tackles for loss. He should help in taking heat off of sack man Elvis Dumervil and push troubled ’07 draftee Marcus Thomas. I heard many evaluators at the combine comparing the All-ACC second teamer to Patriots versatile D-lineman Richard Seymour.
13. Carolina Panthers — Derrick Harvey, DE, Florida
Record: 7-9 | Needs: OT, DE, WR, DS, DT
With the Panthers’ career of Julius Peppers looking like it will end soon, look for an upgrade on the D-Line. Harvey (6’5, 252) will provide some of the versatility and disruptive skills that Peppers brought early in his career. The stout Florida Gators defensive end is a more complete player than Broncos ’07 first round selection Jarvis Moss and should quickly emerge as an impact every-down two-way end. The junior eligible started thirteen games at left defensive end position recording 49 tackles (31 solos), 8.5 sacks (fifth in SEC), 17 tackles for loss, causing one fumble, and deflecting five passes.
14. Chicago Bears — Rashard Mendenhall, RB, Illinois
Record: 7-9 | Needs: QB, RB, OL, DT, S
Don’t be surprised if GM Jerry Angelo takes advantage of this year’s talented crop of running backs by selecting Mendenhal (5’11, 210) with this pick. Mendenhall is a natural fit, because he plays in the Bears backyard and he can provide more explosiveness and versatility than current starter Cedric Benson. The All-Big Ten Conference first-teamer ranked eighth in the nation in rushing (129.31 ypg). Had amazing final numbers of 13 games started with 1,681 yards (6.4 avg) and 17 touchdowns rushing and 34 receptions for 318 yards (9.4 avg) and two touchdowns.
15. Detroit Lions — Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, CB, Tenn. St.
Record: 7-9 | Needs: OT, G, CB, S, DE
The Lions’ secondary was a major reason why the Lions limped home at the end of the ’07 season and Rodgers-Cromartie (6’2, 183) will be welcomed with open arms. The former TSU star is one of the fastest-rising prospects in the 2008 class. After an amazing week at the Senior Bowl where he displayed his speed, versatility, and athleticism, he went from a small-school product to a top 15 pick. Started eleven games at left cornerback as a senior recording 37 tackles with two tackles for loss, recovering two fumbles, deflecting 11 passes, and 2 interceptions. Also set the school season-record by blocking four kicks, ran back 33 kickoff for 806 yards, and played some offense. He experience at free safety and cornerback, which should definitely help one of the NFL’s weakest secondaries — remember the 56 points the Eagles hung on them in week 3.
16. Arizona Cardinals — Aqib Talib, CB, Kansas
Record: 8-8 | Needs: CB, OLB, TE, RB, DE
With making moves to retain all of their offensive fire power including receiver Larry Fitzgerald, the Cardinals should concentrate on defense especially cornerback. With some thought out there that Antrelle Rolle might be a better safety, the Cards will need a physical young corner like Talib (6’2, 202). The junior eligible played in 10 games in 2007 finishing with numbers of 42 tackles with two tackles for a loss, six interceptions, and 22 passes defensed. The former Kansas Jayhawk is a big and fast (ran 4.4 at the combine) corner that should help provide better coverage in the Cardinals back four that allowed too many big plays in 2007. A red flag to watch is that Talib was suspended 2 games for violating team rules in ’07.
17. Minnesota Vikings — Quentin Groves, DE, Auburn
Record: 8-8 | Needs: DE, S, WR, QB, TE
Believe it or not, Minnesota still is in the market for help at defensive end, despite investing first picks in the past on DE’s Kenechi Udeze (2004) and Erasmus James (2005). After coming back to school after an All SEC junior season, Groves (6’3, 250) had some difficulty as a senior. In ’07, he finished with 38 tackles, three sacks, seven tackles for a loss, and a SEC best 23 quarterback pressures. After a good showing at his March 10th Pro Day, Groves seems to be back on track weighing in 10 pounds less than at the combine producing a 35-inch vertical jump, which was 5Â½-inches better than he did at the combine.
18. Houston Texans — Mike Jenkins, CB, South Florida
Record: 8-8 | Needs: CB, RB, S, LOT, DE
The Texans have been looking for a partner for former first round selection Dunta Robinson for some time and Jenkins (6’0, 200) looks like a good fit. The South Florida star is a man to man corner with size, speed, and athleticism. Started thirteen games at right cornerback producing a career-high 41 tackles with four tackles for loss, twelve passes break-ups, and three interceptions. Jenkins can also help wideout Andre Davis on kickoffs as he averaged an amazing 30.4 yards per kickoff with one touchdown.
19. Philadelphia Eagles — Jeff Otah, OT, Pittsburgh
Record: 8-8 | Needs: WR, S, OT, G
I know you want a receiver here Birds fans, but given the Eagles track record and their need to get younger at Offensive Tackle, you will have to wait until the second round for a pass catcher. Stalwart bookend tackles Jon Runyan and William Thomas have been stellar for years, but they aren’t getting any younger. Otah (6’6, 340) reminds me a lot of Eagles Pro Bowl Guard Shawn Andrews and Colts ’07 rookie sensation Tony Ugoh coming out of college. The New Castle, Delaware native was an All-Big East Conference first-team selection starting twelve games at left offensive tackle while helping the offense average 141.4 yards rushing. Produced 101 knockdowns and committed only two penalties. He needs to work on his conditioning, but there is no doubt that he has the ability to be a solid pro. With O-line guru Juan Castille pushing him look for this big athletic player to push disappointing ’06 pick Winston Justice and add depth to an area that Andy Reid always loves to build up.
20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Malcolm Kelly, WR, Oklahoma
Record: 9-7 | Needs: WR, CB, RB, QB, LB
With his stable of quarterbacks (Simms, Garcia, McCown, Griese, and Gradkowski) a difference making receiver is needed. Kelly (6’4, 218) should fit in well in the Bucs west coast offense. He is a true big play receiver with the size of T.O, but possessing better speed (4.35 in the forty at the Combine) and less attitude. The All-Big Twelve second-teamer started fourteen games at split end producing numbers of 49 receptions for 821 yards (16.8 avg) and nine touchdowns. Amazingly the junior eligible receiver on thirty-six of his catches produced first downs. With Joey Galloway getting older and Michael Clayton underachieving this is a natural pick. Kelly should thrive in Gruden’s system, which needs a young receiver to emerge.
21. Washington Redskins — Kenny Phillips, S, Miami
Record: 9-7 | Needs: S, DE, OT, CB, WR
In 2007, the Redskins suffered a tragic blow with the death of Sean Taylor. After making an improbable run into the playoffs, a replacement is needed in their back two and I think they go back to the “U” for the guy. In Phillips (6’2, 208) the ‘Skins can select a player who may not be as physical as Taylor, but possess some of the same playmaking ball skills of past Hurricane safeties Ed Reed, Brandon Merriweather, and Taylor. The junior eligible was an All-ACC first-teamer was a semi-finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award while starting twelve games at free safety, producing a career-high 82 tackles with six stops for loss, causing three fumbles, and intercepting two passes.
22. Dallas Cowboys (from 10-6 Cleveland) — Limas Sweed, WR, Texas
Record: 13-3 | Needs: CB, WR, OT, RB, FS
Assuming owner Jerry Jones doesn’t package picks to trade up, expect Dallas to use its two picks to address needs at corner and receiver in the first round. With Jones’ favorite Darren McFadden long gone off the board look for the Cowboys to settle for Texas product Sweed (6’4, 212). Much like former Cowboys great Michael Irvin, Sweed is a big physical receiver that should help ease the transition from older players T.O and Terry Glenn. After being pick on everyone’s preseason All-American team, Sweed struggled with a nagging wrist injury. He played in the team’s first six games of the season before a October 16th surgery finishing with a career-low nineteen catches for 306 yards (16.1 avg) and three touchdowns. Teams will try and lean on his ’06 numbers of 46 receptions for 801 yards and 12 touchdowns. But is he this year’s Bobby Meachem — Saints ’07 first round draftee that never made it on the field due to injury.
23. Pittsburgh Steelers — Branden Albert, T/G, Virginia
Record: 10-6 | Needs: OT, G, DE, WR, RB
With Alan Faneca leaving for the Jets and other glaring needs along their front group, look for the Steelers to select at least three offensive linemen in the draft. Albert (6’7, 315) is a massive player that could play either guard or tackle in the Steelers power running system. The junior eligible has good feet, rare quickness, and a good initial punch with a play to the whistle mentality. An All-ACC pick for the past three seasons, Albert started straight 36 games since his freshman year.
24. Tennessee Titans — DeSean Jackson, WR/KR, California
Record: 10-6 | Needs: WR, DE, DT, CB, C
Though they made the playoffs, it was evident that the Titans need a weapon on offense. Brandon Jones was their number one by default without much behind him. A young receiver needs to be added to help in Vince Young’s development. Jackson is not big (5’10, 180) however he is a big play guy who will open the field up for the Titans other receivers. Also Jackson can help out in the return game, which has suffered since the suspension of the CB Adam Pacman Jones. In 2007, the junior eligible was a semi-finalist for the Biletnikoff Award even though a sprained left thumb suffered in the season opener against Tennessee nagged him. Catch a career-high 65 passes for 762 yards (11.7 avg) and six touchdowns plus in the return game had 132 yards with a touchdown on kickoffs and a 10.8 yard average on punts with one touchdown.
25. Seattle Seahawks — Sam Baker, OT, USC
Record: 10-6 | Needs: OT, DT, RB, TE, G
Mike Holmgren believes in having the horses upfront so that his runners have many holes to choose from. Baker (6’5, 308) is a versatile player that should be able to fit in at any of the positions on the O-line. I can see him finally filling the void left by the ’06 departure of Guard Steve Hutchinson and he can also provide valuable insurance to Pro Bowl tackle Walter Jones slowing down. The stout USC product helped his offense average 434.9 yards per game in 2007 while producing 88 knockdowns and allowing only two sacks on 460 pass plays.
26. Jacksonville Jaguars — Gosder Cherilus, ROT, Boston College
Record: 11-5 | Needs: S, CB, OT, LB
Finally after years of being picked to make some noise in the AFC, the Jags finally put a good “run”. Behind upstart quarterback David Garrard and a power running game led by a rejuvenated Fred Taylor and Mighty Might Maurice Jones-Drew the Jags were a tough wild card team beating the Steelers on the road. With several moves already made in free agency (Jerry Porter, Troy Williamson, trading Marcus Stroud, and other moves) they will now look to the draft to continue building. For years the Jags have tried to fill a void at the tackle position with players like Bills retread Mike Williams and Cherilus (6’6, 314) should be an upgrade. The huge Boston College O-lineman should help in continuing the Jags ball control prowess. At his recent Pro Day he ran the forty in just over 5.00 seconds and reportedly looked very good in position drills.
27. San Diego Chargers — Felix Jones, RB, Arkansas
Record: 11-5 | Needs: ROT, RB, S, CB, DT
After a year where everyone thought they would take a step back after the firing of Marty Schottenheimer along with the hiring of Norv Turner, the Chargers may have not lived up to their 14-2 in ’06 record. But they did make it to the AFC Championship game and won the AFC West after a slow start. With Michael Turner taking his speed to Atlanta as a free agent, the Chargers should find their new homerun threat with Jones (6’0, 200). Despite only starting three games in 2007, he ranked fifth in the SEC in 89.38 yards per game rushing. Had an amazing 1,990 all purpose yards on only 171 touches while ranking 22nd in the nation in the category. Finished second to Darren McFadden on the team with 1,162 yards on only 133 carries (8.7 avg) and eleven touchdowns. The mercurial speedster should have an immediate impact in the kick return game and provide a complement to LT.
28. Dallas Cowboys — Reggie Smith, CB, Oklahoma
Record: 13-3 | Needs: CB, WR, OT, RB, FS
With a receiver in hand at #22 look for Jerry Jones to help out his beleaguered secondary with his second first rounder – barring of course the usual Dallas wheeling and dealing. Sure the ‘Boys are hoping to land Pacman Jones, but that is not a done deal and Smith can definitely help situation immediately. Smith (6’1, 198) is a smooth cover corner that will help Terrence Newman and the slower safety combination of Hamlin and Williams. In 2007, the junior eligible had 78 tackles, one sack, seven tackles for loss, a fumble recovery, and three interceptions. He also did not allow a touchdown against in ’07.
29. S.F. 49ers (from Indianapolis) — James Hardy, WR, Indiana
Record: 5-11 | Needs: WR, OT, OLB, DE, QB
Think they want to rethink their trade up to grab Joe Staley last year?? Anyway armed with the Colts pick, the 49ers grab a much needed playmaker at the wide receiver position. The junior eligible Hardy (6’6, 220) is a Plaxico Burress clone, who will provide size and speed to take attention away from TE Vernon Davis. The All-Big Ten Conference first-teamer set school season-records with 79 catches for 1,125 yards (14.2 avg) and sixteen touchdown. Quickly look for Hardy to become QB Alex Smith’s security blanket.
30. Green Bay Packers — Antoine Cason, CB, Arizona
Record: 13-3 | Needs: CB, OT, S, TE, QB
With the retirement of Brett Favre looking at the offensive side is tempting, but aging corners Charles Woodson and Al Harris need a future replacement. Cason (6’0, 190) is not a burner running in the 4.5 range in the forty, but he is a smart tough corner. In 2007, he started twelve games producing a career-high 71 tackles (56 solos), one sack, four tackles for a loss, causing two fumbles, intercepted five passes and a team-high fourteen deflected passes.
31. The NFL stripped the New England Patriots of their own first round pick (#31) for “spygate” activities this past September
32. New York Giants — Dan Connor, LB, Penn State
Record: 10-6 | Needs: LB, CB, S, Backup QB, OT
The Giants may also take a look at Connor’s PSU teammate CB Justin King at this spot. But after the loss of linebacker Kawika Mitchell to the Bills, the instinctive and athletic Connor is the right pick for the Giants. He should be able to contribute immediately on the inside or outside. A tough high character Giants type of player (2 time captain at Penn State). Has good size (6’3, 233), great football instincts, and intelligence. He always is around the ball as shown by his stats as PSU’s all-time leading tackler. Has the ability to cover running backs and tight ends one-on-one. Reminds me of former Lions LB Chris Spielman.
Teams not owning a first round pick
Record: 10-6 | Needs: CB, G, LB, RB, S
Last year was a magical year for the Browns as they just missed the playoffs while posting a 10-6 record thus saving head coach Romeo Crennell’s job. By not having a first round pick in ’08 — thanks to moving up in ’07 to pick Brady Quinn in the first round — the Dogs thought building through free agency and trades was the best way to go this off-season adding DT Shaun Rogers, DT Corey Williams, WR Donte Stallworth, and others. They definitely need some help in the secondary with the trading of Leigh Bodden to Detroit. However they now have painted themselves into a corner due to they will not be picking until the fourth round.
Record: 13-3 | Needs: DT, LB, G, RB, CB
After a good season where the defending Super Bowl champs lost at home to the Chargers in playoffs, the Colts head into the draft looking to get back to the big game. They seemed to have made a good move trading up in ’07 to grab promising offensive tackle Tony Ugoh, but not picking until the second round (#59) will hurt. With head coach Tony Dungy coming back for one more season and the opening of Lucas Oil Stadium this season look for some key additions especially at defensive tackle where Booger McFarland left for Pittsburgh and Cory Simon was let go.