First off, let me just say one thing. The media is already all over this "slip up" in which GM Jeff Ireland may or may not have inadvertently shown Miami's hand. The south Florida papers, especially, are already beating this story into the ground. But in reality, who really has any idea at all what it means? If the Dolphins were looking to go defense, then why (with 8 days left until the draft) have the Dolphins only opened up contract talks with one player, an offensive tackle at that? At this point, nobody has any idea what Miami's plans are or if Ireland's "slip up" was actually a mistake or if it was planned. Granted, it didn't seem too planned when watching it. But maybe Jeff's just a very good actor. Just don't blow this story out of proportion.
Moving on, since it's Friday and there isn't anything really new to discuss, I thought I'd just throw up my latest mock draft and then get some thoughts from you guys. Also, I wanted to get some ideas on a draft contest we could do. Right now, I'm thinking we do a top 10 mock draft competition where we see who can more accurately guess the top 10 picks. But any other ideas lave below and we'll discuss them.
Now onto the mock draft:
1. Miami Dolphins - Jake Long, OT, Michigan
This is the first time that somebody other than Chris Long is the guy I list at #1. But I guess, right now, it just seems like this pick makes too much sense for the Dolphins. There's clearly a need for a tackle, and he's the best one in the draft. Theoretically, it's a match made in heaven. But that's just "theory." We'll see what happens a week from now.
2. St. Louis Rams - Chris Long, DE, Virginia
I think they'd love for Jake to fall to them. But if he doesn't, Chris Long or Glenn Dorsey make the most sense. Drafting Dorsey would let Adam Carriker, last year's #1 pick, move back to end. Or he could remain at DT and Long could fill the need at end. I put Chris here, though, because I simply have him graded slightly above Dorsey.
3. Atlanta Falcons - Glenn Dorsey, DT, LSU
Another team that would probably like either of the 2 that are already gone. Many have Matt Ryan pegged to go here, as did I, but now I think they will land a QB with one of their 2nd rounders. They might even trade back into the end of the 1st round like Cleveland did a year ago. So at #3, they take the best defensive lineman still left on the board.
4. Oakland Raiders - Darren McFadden, RB, Arkansas
Al Davis loves measurables and great athletes. That means I think this pick is between McFadden and Vernon Gholston. And even though I'd take Gholston if I was them (remember the Raiders got Justin Fargas and a healthy Michael Bush), I think Al Davis is just crazy enough to take the top offensive player in the draft and pair him with JaMarcus Russell for the foreseeable future. That's not a bad way to build an offense, is it?
5. Kansas City Chiefs - Matt Ryan, QB, Boston College
I just get a feeling that the Chiefs are praying that Ryan falls to them. I'd bet that the top 2 on their board, who fill big needs, are probably Ryan and Jake Long. With Ryan slipping to them, I'd really be surprised to see Carl Peterson and company pass on Ryan.
6. New York Jets - Vernon Gholston, DE/OLB, Ohio St.
I think we'll be very lucky if McFadden doesn't slip to the Jets because they would love to have him. Of course, I'm not too happy with the Jets getting Gholston, either. He's got the potential to really be a star, but doesn't come without question marks, either. He's a classic "boom or bust" kind of player.
7. New England Patriots - Leodis McKelvin, CB, Troy
I could see the Patriots going a couple different routes here. I could see a guy like Keith Rivers being the pick. I think they could take a look at lineman like Ryan Clady or Branden Albert. But in the end, I think they'll end up taking the best cornerback in the draft (yes, even better than DRC).
8. Baltimore Ravens - Dominique Rogers-Cromartie, CB, Tennessee St.
Speaking of DRC, the Ravens will likely pounce on him if Matt Ryan is indeed gone. I think they do love Ryan but I don't see them making a move up ahead of the Chiefs to snatch him away.
9. Cincinnati Bengals - Keith Rivers, LB, USC
The Bengals need to sure up that defensive line and their linebackers. Bringing in a guy like Sedrick Ellis or Keith Rivers would certainly does that. I think, though, they'll take Rivers because he has more game-changing ability than his college team.
10. New Orleans Saints - Sedrick Ellis, DT, USC
It's being reported that the Saints are looking to move up to get Ellis. But in this scenario, they don't need to. The Saints get the guy they want to help improve their porous run defense.
The rest of round 1 looks like this:
- Buffalo Bills - Devin Thomas, WR, Michigan St. (if anyone is going to trade down, this is the team)
- Denver Broncos - Ryan Clady, OT, Boise St.
- Carolina Panthers - Branden Albert, OG/OT, Virginia
- Chicago Bears - Chris Williams, OT, Vanderbilt
- Detroit Lions - Rashard Mendenhall, RB, Illinois
- Arizona Cardinals - Aqib Talib, CB, Kansas
- Minnesota Vikings - Derrick Harvey, DE, Florida
- Houston Texans - Mike Jenkins, CB, South Florida
- Philadelphia Eagles - Limas Sweed, WR, Texas
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Jeff Otah, OT, Pitt
- Washington Redskins - Phillip Merling, DE, Clemson
- Dallas Cowboys - Felix Jones, RB, Arkansas
- Pittsbrugh Steelers - Gosder Cherilus, OT, Boston College
- Tennessee Titans - Chris Johnson, RB, East Carolina
- Seattle Seahawks - Jonathan Stewart, RB, Oregon
- Jacksonville Jaguars - Jerod Mayo, LB, Tennessee
- San Diego Chargers - Quentin Groves, DE/OLB, Auburn
- Dallas Cowboys - Antoine Cason, CB, Arizona
- San Francisco 49ers - Kentwan Balmer, DE, North Carolina
- Green Bay Packers - Brandon Flowers, CB, Virginia Tech
- New York Giants - Kenny Phillips, S, Miami (FL)
And just to add one bonus pick here, I think the Dolphins ,with their 1st second round pick in this particular scenario, will go with either a corner like Penn State's Justin King, Indiana's Tracy Porter, or Auburn's Patrick Lee. Or they could go linebacker and take Penn State's Dan Connor or Oklahoma's Curtis Lofton, though neither fit the Bill Parcells criteria for size in an inside linebacker.