- Mock Draft

April 17, 2002
Welcome to's sixth annual NFL mock draft. We'll project all 32 picks of the first round. Making the picks will be senior NFL writer John Clayton and NFL editor Peter Lawrence-Riddell.
Moderator: Let's start off with a question from James Shanty in Houston, Texas. ... How soon do you think the Texans should let David Carr start?

John Clayton, senior NFL writer: Three games into the season. Give Kent Graham two or three games and then by Week 4 get Carr in there and let him go. Although if Carr has a really good training camp, I could see him starting in Week 1.

Moderator: We're going to wait until 1 p.m. ET to get started on the mock draft.

Moderator: OK, we're ready to get started with the first draft pick in Texans franchise history and it won't be much of a surprise.
David Carr, QB, Fresno St.
John Clayton, senior NFL writer: Carr is the strong-armed quaterback that Charley Casserly and Dom Caper have built their expansion franchise around. He'll be starting soon.

Moderator: Sorry about the delay. The Panthers are now on the clock and we'll take a question from a question from Joe Crusp in Raleigh, N.C.. ... Can Julius Peppers have the same kind of impact in Carolina that Jevon Kearse had in Tennessee? 

John Clayton, senior NFL writer: John Clayton, senior NFL writer: No. It will be hard for that to happen in Carolina. Kearse went to a much deeper and more talented Tennessee team and that was a big part of his huge rookie season. 
Julius Peppers, DE, North Carolina
John Clayton, senior NFL writer: Even though the Panthers are very weak at cornerback, Peppers gives them a pass rusher who could make everyone's job a little easier. A good pass rush is one of the best ways to help a weak secondary.
Moderator: Let's move to Detroit where Matt Millen was last seen making funny faces in his sky box. We'll take a question from Todd in Ann Arbor, Mich. ... Do you think Mike McMahon is the answer at QB?

John Clayton, senior NFL writer: I don't at this stage. I think he's too raw and too inexperienced and there's too many question about whether he will be a good one. That's why it would be wiser to take a guy like quarterback Joey Harrington.
Quentin Jammer, CB, Texas
John Clayton, senior NFL writer: Jammer gives the Lions a lockdown cornerback that they thought they had in Bryant Westbtrook. However, with Westbrook headed to Dallas, cornerback is a need. Jammer will instantly give Detroit an identity in the secondary.

Moderator: The Bills are next up and we'll take a question from James Jones in Syracuse N.Y. ... How hard will the Bills consider Joey Harrington? Would they be making a mistake by passing on him?
John Clayton, senior NFL writer: They might be making a mistake. But the consideration is minimal because they personally don't rate him among their top 10 prospects. While he might be an upgrade at quarterback over Alex Van Pelt, they will stay true to their draft board this early in the draft.
Mike Williams, OT, Texas
John Clayton, senior NFL writer: Even though the Bills have signed two offensive tackles during the offseason, Williams gives them a mean and nasty blocker who will give their offensive line an identity. The Bills rante him as one of the best -- if not the best -- athletes in this draft.

Moderator: San Diego and new head coach Marty Schottenheimer are on the clock and we've got a question from Pete Ford in Los Angeles, Calif. ... Who do you think will end up winning the starting QB job in San Diego?
John Clayton, senior NFL writer: Tough call. My guess would be that the organization would love for Drew Brees to win the job. But you can't ever discount Doug Flutie in a competative situation.
Bryant McKinnie, OT, Miami (Fla.)
John Clayton, senior NFL writer: Marty Schottenheimer might not think that he's the meanest tackle and he might be a little bit too finesse. But he doesn't give up sacks. In six years of competitive football he's never been beaten for a sack. He'll help a weak offensive line.

Moderator: It's time for the Cowboys and the never predictable Jerry Jones. I don't think they'll pull another Quincy Carter pick this year, but you never know with Jerry. This question comes from Bob Smith in Tujunga, Calif. ... Do you think the Raiders will trade will Dallas for the No. 6 spot and what would Dallas be getting for compensation?

Peter Lawrence-Riddell, NFL editor: I think with Quentin Jammer off the board, the Cowboys will look to trade out of this spot. However, Oakland might be a tough fit. I think the Cowboys would probably be reluctant to drop all the way the No. 21 with their first pick in the first round.
Roy Williams, S, Oklahoma
John Clayton, senior NFL writer: Dave Campo said it best, when he said he doesn't want to be the one who passes on the next Ronnie Lott. Williams and Darren Woodson will play left/right safety, and with Williams, the Cowboys will have a great ability to blitz from the safety position.

Moderator: The Vikings and new head coach Mike Tice are on the clock. Len Thomas from Minneapolis, Minn. asks ... Will the Vikings address their defense early or will one of the tackle be too good to pass up if available?

Peter Lawrence-Riddell, NFL editor: It will depend on who's there. If one of the top tackles drops this far, Minnesota would have to think hard about grabbing one. However, it's likely they'll both be gone, meaning the Vikings will look to defense.
Ryan Sims, DT, North Carolina
John Clayton, senior NFL writer: The Vikings would have taken McKinnie or Mike Williams if they had fallen to this spot. But Sims should start immediately and will complete what is now a very good defensive front four of Kenny Mixon, Chris Hovan, Sims and Lorenzo Bromell.

Moderator: Also, be sure to check out Ryan Sims in chat today at 4 ET.
Moderator: The Chiefs are now on the clock with what is shaping up to be one of the most interesting picks of the first round.
Joey Harrington, QB, Oregon
John Clayton, senior NFL writer: This pick might change as Dick Vermeil tries to convince management to get a player like former Tennessee WR Donte Stallworth that he can use now. The Chiefs like Ryan Sims, but aren't as sold on the next three DTs with the eighth pick. If management wins the argument, they'll probably take Harrington.
Moderator: Let's head to Jacksonville, where the salary-cap depleted Jaguars are in need of plenty of help.
Albert Haynesworth, DT, Tennessee
John Clayton, senior NFL writer: It's a flip of the coin which of the Tennessee tackles (John Henderson being the other) they will take. Wendell Bryant fits Tom Coughlin's personality profile, but he's little lighter than Coughlin would want. Haynesworth gets the nod on upside.

Moderator: This next question comes from Rick Thomas in Dayton, Ohio, who asks ... Will the Bengals make any effort to trade up to get Joey Harrington?

Peter Lawrence-Riddell, NFL editor: All indications at this point are that the Bengals aren't seriously exploring the idea of trading up. There are other players they can get at No. 10 if Harrington isn't there and that's probably what they'll do.
Phillip Buchanon, CB, Miami (Fla.)
John Clayton, senior NFL writer: The debate at this point is probably between Jeremy Shockey, who the offensive coaches prefer and Ray Buchanon, who the defensive coaches want. We'll say the defensive coaches win and Buchanon is the pick.
Moderator: Time for Tony Dungy and his first draft in Indianapolis. Peter James from Bloomington, Ind. asks ... Are the Colts forced to go with defense here or could they go offense if they feel a player is too good to pass up.
John Clayton, senior NFL writer: They're forced to go defense. As tempting as a Donte Stalllworth might be, they brought Tony Dungy in to get an impact out of the defense so they could go a to a Super Bowl.
Wendell Bryant, DT, Wisconsin
John Clayton, senior NFL writer: Tony Dungy would rather have quickness rather than size at the defensive tackle position, which is why Bryant is the pick over John Henderson. Bryant is a little more versatile and could also play defensive end if necessary.
Moderator: Time to pick up the pace a little bit, so we won't be getting to as many user questions. Next up is Arizona.
John Henderson, DT, Tennessee
Peter Lawrence-Riddell, NFL editor: The Cardinals clearly need to get better on defense and they can't pass on any top defensive lineman at the this spot. While they'd like to add a pass rusher, Henderson gives them one player whho can create some force from the defensive tackle postion. He's too good to pass up.
Moderator: Time for the Saints.
Charles Grant, DE, Georgia
John Clayton, senior NFL writer: This might be one of the toughest calls in the first round, deciding between Grant and Donte Sallworth. However, the Saints feel they can get a good receiver at No. 25, while the top defensive ends will be gone by then.

Moderator: Time for the Titans.
Donté Stallworth, WR, Tennessee
John Clayton, senior NFL writer: This one is probably one that will be changed. But at this stage, they'd love to trade down, but it will be hard for them to pass up a talent like Donte Stallworth. They don't have much speed at wide receiver and Stallworth would be a huge boost..

Moderator: Time for the Giants.
Jeremey Shockey, TE, Miami (Fla.)
John Clayton, senior NFL writer: The coaching staff would love to have a tight end that can do the things that Shockey can do. However, the coaches might need to convince the front office that they will play him on all three downs.

Moderator: Here's the Browns pick.
T.J. Duckett, RB, Michigan State
John Clayton, senior NFL writer: The simple thing will be to stay put and take Duckett over William Green. But coach Butch Davis will try to see if he can trade up to get McKinnie, his former OT at Miami (Fla.). If not, then the pick will be Duckett who has moved slightly ahead of Green as the top back in the draft.
Moderator: The Falcons are on the clock.
Ashley Lelie, WR, Hawaii
Peter Lawrence-Riddell, NFL editor: The Falcons need receivers and they need to add more weapons on offense for second-year quarterback Michael Vick. Lelie will take care of both of those. He's extremely fast and big and while he might be a little raw, he should help the Falcons.

Moderator: The Redskins are up next.
Toniu Fonoti, OG, Nebraska
John Clayton, senior NFL writer: Dan Snyder is obviously going to be calling up Kansas City and the teams below to try to get Harrington. But for now, they will pick Fonoti. But also don't be surprised if they trade down in the first round to get Tulane quarterback Patrick Ramsey.

Moderator: The Broncos are up next.
Napoleon Harris, LB, Northwestern
John Clayton, senior NFL writer: They'll take the best defensive player available. Which at this stage would be former Northwestern linebacker Napoleon Harris over South Carolina linebacker/defensive end Kalimba Edwards. 

Moderator: The Seahawks are up next.
Kalimba Edwards, DE, South Carolina
John Clayton, senior NFL writer: They will probably try to trade down. But if they can't get a deal done, they'll take Edwards over UAB defensive end Bryan Thomas. If they traded down they'd probably be looking to pick former Colorado tight end Daniel Graham.

Moderator: Time for the first of Oakland's two first-round picks.
Bryan Thomas, DE, UAB
John Clayton, senior NFL writer: The Raiders need help on the defensive line and they will try to trade up in the draft so they can get one of the top four defensive tackles. However, if they can't get that done, they will select Thomas, who is a bigger-size defensive end.

Moderator: We got so many Jets' questions, we figured we'd answer one of them. Mike Yorn from Newark, N.J. asks ... How much playing time will Chad Pennington get at quarterback for the Jets this year?

Peter Lawrence-Riddell, NFL editor: At some point the Jets need to figure out if Pennington can play and one way might be to play him for a series or two in games. That being said, Vinny Testaverde is still the quarterback of choice for the Jets and that won't change any time soon.
Lito Sheppard, CB, Florida
John Clayton, senior NFL writer: As much as the Jets need interior help on the defensive line, no tackle is available at this point that suits them. Sheppard certainly gives them a much need third cornerback.

Moderator: Another pick for the Raiders.
William Green, RB, Boston College
John Clayton, senior NFL writer: This might one of the surprise picks because Green isn't a need. But at this point in the draft, he's too good to pass up. Remember that the Raiders are trying to trade up.

Moderator: Next up is the Ravens.
Levi Jones, OT, Arizona State
John Clayton, senior NFL writer: Don't get caught up in the idea that this pick has to be a cornerback. The Ravens have so many needs that they have to take the best player on the board and that is Jones, who can help them immediately at right tackle.
Moderator: Next up is the Saints.
Antonio Bryant, WR, Pittsburgh
John Clayton, senior NFL writer: As tough as it was to pass up Stallworth at No. 13, the Saints will feel delighted in getting Bryant this late in the first round. He will allow them to use a three-receiver combo of Joe Horn, Jerome Pathon and Bryant.

Moderator: The Eagles are now on the clock.
Edward Reed, S, Miami (Fla.)
John Clayton, senior NFL writer: Though it's not out of the question for them to take running back DeShaun Foster or offensive guard Andre Gurode to help the offense, Reed is a playmaker who adds depth to the secondary.

Moderator: Next up is the 49ers.
Mike Rumph, CB, Miami (Fla.)
John Clayton, senior NFL writer: They really like Lito Sheppard, but with him gone Rumph is the call. He will give them a third cornerback in a division that is loaded with good wide receivers.

Moderator: Next up is the Packers.
Jabar Gaffney, WR, Florida
John Clayton, senior NFL writer: They might on the way up in the draft with a trade to get either Antonio Bryant or Napoleon Harris. But settling for Gaffney is a pretty good second position. In fact it's a bargain.

Moderator: Next up is the Bears.
Dwight Freeney, DE, Syracuse
John Clayton, senior NFL writer: Tough choice between defensive end or offensive tackle, but Freeney gives them an outside pass rush that will be hard to pass up at this point in the draft. He'd be a great addition to an already strong defense.

Moderator: Next up is the Steelers.
Daniel Graham, TE, Colorado
John Clayton, senior NFL writer: They definitely can take the best player available and Graham is clearly that. Although don't be surprised if they go for a receiver such as Josh Reed or Jevon Walker.

Moderator: Next up is the Rams.
Andre Davis, WR, Virginia Tech
John Clayton, senior NFL writer: Mike Martz needs a right tackle, which is why he'll splurge and take a wide receiver. Martz can never have enough good wide receivers and he likes Davis.

Moderator: And last, but not least, the defending Super Bowl champion Patriots.
Clinton Portis, RB, Miami (Fla.)
John Clayton, senior NFL writer: With no real great pass rusher available, Bill Belichick will be hard pressed to say no to a running back as good as Clinton Portis, who along with Antowain Smith will give them great depth at running back.
Moderator: That concludes's sixth annual mock draft. Thanks for all the questions, we received well over 3,000. Also, be sure to tune into the actual draft which gets going Saturday at noon ET on ESPN.