1. Oakland Raiders – QB JaMarcus Russell (LSU) The Raiders are tempted to take WR Calvin Johnson here, but they realize they don’t have anybody to throw him the football. Owner Al Davis tipped his hand when he compared Russell to John Elway. Russell is the pick.
2. Detroit Lions – DE Gaines Adams (Clemson) The Lions may consider taking T Joe Thomas or QB Brady Quinn here, but head coach Rod Marinelli needs to improve his defense’s pass rush and he loves Adams. Detroit likely will entertain trade offers since the Lions feel they could take Adams a few picks later.
3. Cleveland Browns – RB Adrian Peterson (Oklahoma) Cleveland will be tempted to select QB Brady Quinn, but they’ll go with the safer pick in Peterson, who will be groomed behind RB Jamal Lewis for a year. The Browns figure an improved ground attack will immediately help improve the play of their quarterbacks.
4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – WR Calvin Johnson (Georgia Tech) The Bucs will be fortunate to have Johnson fall to them since several teams likely will attempt to trade up with Oakland, Detroit and Cleveland to position themselves to draft Johnson. But in the end, Johnson and T Joe Thomas will fall in Tampa Bay’s lap. A franchise tackle has a lot of appeal, but the Bucs offense, which scored just 20 touchdowns last season, simply can’t afford to pass up a player with Johnson’s attributes and playmaking ability.
5. Arizona Cardinals – T Joe Thomas (Wisconsin) There’s a chance the Cardinals could attempt to trade up with the Bucs to select Thomas, but they won’t make that move if they believe the Bucs will select Johnson. Arizona fills a need and grabs the best left tackle in the 2007 NFL Draft.
6. Washington Redskins – DT Amobi Okoye (Louisville) The Redskins must go defense, where they ranked 30th overall last season. The interior line is suspect, but Okoye, who is just 19 years old, can help them do that.
7. Minnesota Vikings – WR Ted Ginn Jr. (Ohio State) The Vikings finally have a defense, but now their offense is struggling. Ginn Jr. gives their offense instant playmaking ability, and he’s a dangerous return man, too.
8. Atlanta Falcons – S LaRon Landry (LSU) Atlanta’s safety play was suspect to say the least last year. The Falcons will be tempted to take a defensive end here, but safety is the more pressing need, and Landry can instantly address it.
9. Miami Dolphins – QB Brady Quinn (Notre Dame) The Dolphins might execute a trade that would send Kansas City QB Trent Green to Miami, but they still need a quarterback of the future. Quinn would benefit from learning behind Green, and Miami will need another signal caller as they might release Daunte Culpepper.
10. Houston Texans – LT Levi Brown (Penn State) The Texans will be tempted to take Adrian Peterson if he falls to them, but their quarterback needs protection. Brown is a franchise left tackle and can improve pass protection and the running game.
11. San Francisco 49ers – DE Jamaal Anderson (Arkansas) The 49ers need defensive help, especially at left end, where Bryant Young isn’t getting any younger. The 49ers would be thrilled if Anderson falls to them at No. 11 overall.
12. Buffalo Bills – LB Patrick Willis (Mississippi) Buffalo’s run defense was inconsistent in 2006. Buffalo has other needs, too, but the Bills need help at linebacker, and Willis can provide it.
13. St. Louis Rams – DT Alan Branch (Michigan) The Rams ideally would like to draft Okoye, but he will probably be gone by the time they pick in the first round. However, Branch’s stock appears to be slipping, and the Rams might jump all over him if he falls to them here.
14. Carolina Panthers – S Reggie Nelson (Florida) The Panthers have some other needs to address, but neither Shaun Williams nor Mike Minter are getting any younger, which makes drafting a safety like Nelson a real possibility.
15. Pittsburgh Steelers – DE Adam Carriker (Nebraska) New head coach Mike Tomlin is sticking with the 3-4 defensive scheme in Pittsburgh, and a defensive lineman like Carriker, who can play either defensive end or tackle, would be a great fit for this style of defense or if Tomlin decides to switch to the Tampa 2 down the road.
16. Green Bay Packers – RB Marshawn Lynch (California) Brett Favre and the Packers could use a receiver, but their ground game ranked 28th in the NFL in 2006, and Ahman Green signed with Houston. Lynch is capable of starting right away.
17. Jacksonville Jaguars – DE Charles Johnson (Georgia) Jacksonville’s defense is one of the league’s best, but it can get even better with the addition of Johnson, who would be a great pick for the Jags if he falls this far.
18. Cincinnati Bengals – CB Leon Hall (Michigan) The Bengals could release or trade cornerback Deltha O’Neal in a cap maneuver, which would immediately create a need for a cornerback. Cincinnati’s pass defense ranked 31st last year, and Hall would be a good value pick at No. 18 overall.
19. Tennessee Titans – WR Robert Meachem (Tennessee) The Titans offense needs an infusion of young talent, particularly in the passing game, which ranked 30th last year. Adding Vince Young was a great start. Now Titans offensive coordinator Norm Chow, who might have been tempted to take USC WR Dwayne Jarrett had his 40 times been better, and the Titans will go with the safer pick in Meachem, who played collegiately at Tennessee.
20. New York Giants – LB Lawrence Timmons (Florida State) With linebackers LaVar Arrington and Carlos Emmons out in New York and the Giants’ defense struggling with injuries last year, the team can address a need at linebacker by drafting Timmons.
21. Denver Broncos – DE Jarvis Moss (Florida) The Broncos could go in a number of different directions here, but Kernard Lang and Ebenezer Ekuban aren’t getting any younger, and Moss could be the perfect successor for either one of them.
22. Dallas Cowboys – OL Justin Blaylock (Texas) Tony Romo’s mobility helped make Dallas’ pass protection look better than it actually was last season. The Cowboys are a strong running team, but pass protection is a major issue, and the versatile Blaylock can step in and immediately help in that regard.
23. Kansas City Chiefs – WR Dwayne Bowe (LSU) While he could go much earlier in the draft, some believe Bowe could slip. He could be an absolute steal for the Chiefs, who are in desperate need a playmaking wide receiver like Bowe.
24. New England Patriots – CB Darrelle Revis (Pittsburgh) The Patriots filled several needs in free agency, but cornerback is one they will have to address in the draft. Revis would be a great pick if he falls to the Patriots at No. 24.
25. New York Jets – CB Aaron Ross (Texas) Like the New England Patriots, the Jets have a need to draft a cornerback, and they’ll be extremely fortunate to have a player with Ross’ abilities and talent fall to them. The Jets could go defensive tackle, but Ross would be too good to pass up here.
26. Philadelphia Eagles – LB Paul Posluszny (Penn State) Philadelphia’s run defense struggled mightily last year, and it had a lot to do with the play of its linebackers. Posluszny could go higher than No. 26, but if he falls to Philly the Eagles could fill a need and land a solid player by taking him.
27. New Orleans Saints – DT DeMarucus “Tank” Tyler The Saints have several areas of need on defense, particularly cornerback and defensive tackle. They say it all starts up front with defense, which might be one of the reasons why New Orleans would make Tyler its first-round pick.
28. New England Patriots – LB David Harris (Michigan) The Patriots need to plan for life without Teddy Bruschi and Mike Vrabel, both of whom are in the twilight of their careers. Harris’ stock is on the rise and he would be a good fit for New England’s 3-4 defensive scheme.
29. Baltimore Ravens – DE Anthony Spencer (Purdue) The Ravens allowed LB Adalius Thomas to sign with the Patriots in free agency, and LE Trevor Pryce is past his prime. Spencer’s stock has been on the rise since the Combine. He would fit nicely into Baltimore’s defensive 3-4 scheme.
30. San Diego Chargers – WR Dwayne Jarrett (USC) The Chargers need to find a receiver that can help QB Phillip Rivers and Co. Jarrett, whose slow 40-yard dash times will cause him to drop, would be a good value pick here and he’d fill a pressing need for San Diego at the bottom of the first round.
31. Chicago Bears – TE Greg Olson (Miami) Desmond Clark was quite productive for the Bears last year, but Chicago could get even more production, particularly in the passing game, by drafting Olson, who is considered the best tight end in this draft.
32. Indianapolis Colts – LB Rufus Alexander (Oklahoma) The Super Bowl champion Indianapolis Colts lost Cato June to Tampa Bay in free agency. While Indy has a big need at cornerback, Alexander can help fill the void left by June.
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