USAToday - Mock Draft
by Larry Weisman
1. Houston: QB David Carr, Fresno State — A done deal. No suspense here. Too bad the Texans didn't sign free-agent WR Donald Driver. Carr and Driver? Get me a subscription.
2. Carolina: DE Julius Peppers, North Carolina — After post-draft party, he'll be pickled Peppers.
3. Detroit: CB Quentin "Whammer" Jammer, Texas — Fans of J. Geils Band as excited as anyone.
4. Buffalo: OT Mike Williams, Texas — Unless it's OT Bryan McKinnie. Or DT Ryan Sims. Definitely a large person.
5. San Diego: McKinnie, Miami (Fla.), or Williams — Either one will be twice Doug Flutie's size, half his age.
6. Dallas: S Roy Williams, Oklahoma — Coach Dave Campo says he wouldn't want to miss on the next Ronnie Lott. No pressure there, Roy.
7. Minnesota: DT Ryan Sims, North Carolina — New coach Mike Tice was the OL coach and can't look partial to that group. So if Sims is there, he's heading for Winter Park. If he's gone, Tice looks partial to the O-line and takes Williams or McKinnie.
8. Kansas City: We have a trade — Washington can't contain its passion for QB Joey Harrington (Oregon), worries the Chiefs will take him instead of a DT and ponies up big-time to get coach Steve Spurrier a new toy that comes equipped with an actual arm. The Chiefs move down to 18. Have a nice trip.
9. Jacksonville: DT John Henderson, Tennessee — The Jags lost Seth Payne and Gary Walker in the expansion draft and can select for need.
10. Cincinnati: CB Phillip Buchanon, Miami (Fla.) — Will contribute mightily to an improving defense after his holdout ends in mid-September.
11. Indianapolis: DT Wendell Bryant, Wisconsin — Ah, we're in mid-run on the interior defensive linemen. Funny, nobody ever wants to draft a guard this high ... and who is it that blocks the DTs?
12. Arizona: DT Albert Haynesworth, Tennessee — Like Henderson better, but DT a position of absolute need. Should appeal to right demographic — Haynesworth doesn't turn 21 until June. Youth will be served (but only non-alcoholic beverages).
13. New Orleans: WR Donté Stallworth, Tennessee — Helps QB Aaron Brooks find targets instead of himself serving as one. This pick causes pain one slot below, but nobody said life is easy.
14. Tennessee: WR Ashley Lelie, Hawaii — Ouch. Wanted Stallworth. Might think about O-line but historically avoid taking G/C in this neighborhood. Titans then announce that life is easy.
15. New York Giants: TE Jeremy Shockey, Miami (Fla.) — Surprisey! Need help on O-line. But this guy could give much-pressured QB Kerry Collins a place to go with the ball, assuming he ever holds onto it.
16. Cleveland: RB T.J. Duckett, Michigan State — They ponder the choice, Duckett or William Green. Duckett or William Green. The clock runs down, and they say, "Ah, Duckett."
17. Atlanta: WR Javon Walker, Florida State — Here's a bit of an eye-opener. Stallworth and Lelie are gone, but Walker's the guy Falcons liked anyway. Size, speed, plenty of upside. Michael Vick exults.
18. Kansas City: DT Anthony Weaver, Notre Dame — Could develop into a run-stuffing interior lineman. Could develop into an interior decorator. Who knows what the future holds?
19. Denver: WR Jabar Gaffney, Florida — Narrowly, over Josh Reed. It's a tale of the tape, with Gaffney being 6-1 and Reed a smidge over 5-10. A smidge? Make that a tad.
20. Seattle: TE Daniel Graham, Colorado — They might try to move down to take him. First time he wears a muscle shirt, he earns the nickname Sleeveless in Seattle.
21. Oakland: RB William Green, Boston College — The real need is for DTs, and they have enough draft picks now and, going forward to package them, move up and make a mockery of this mock draft. That would be just like them.
22. New York Jets: CB Lito Sheppard, Florida — Lost starting CBs to Houston in expansion draft. That makes secondary more than a secondary concern.
23. Oakland: LB Napoleon Harris, Northwestern — Hard to believe he lasted this long, but here he is. Can learn from Bill Romanowski and Co.
24. Baltimore: DE Dwight Freeney, Syracuse — Decimated by free agency/roster cuts, the Ravens look to regain some rush with a fiery Freeney.
25. New Orleans: DE Charles Grant, Georgia — Some folks expect him to go to the Saints with the first of their first-round picks. He had six sacks last year, five in one game. This is high enough, thank you.
26. Philadelphia: RB DeShaun Foster, UCLA — What better fit for the West Coast offense than a West Coast guy? One more hint to Duce Staley that tomorrow belongs to someone else. Eagles will be tempted by S Ed Reed.
27. San Francisco: OT Levi Jones, Arizona State — A 300-pounder who can help the 49ers maintain their pounding ground game.
28. Green Bay: WR Josh Reed, LSU — Might need a catcher's mitt as he adjusts to Brett Favre's bullets.
29. Chicago: DE Bryan Thomas, Alabama-Birmingham — Bears liked Freeney. Thomas figures on the right side as edge pass-rusher, maybe pushes Phillip Daniels to LE.
30. Pittsburgh: OG Toniu Fonoti, Nebraska — Solid fit for run-oriented team that picked OLs No. 1 three times in 1990s.
31. St. Louis: OG Andre Gurode, Colorado — Rams would be more likely to take a WR but can use the OL help. This kid can pass-block, and, as you know, the Rams will throw the ball on occasion.
32. New England: S Ed Reed, Miami (Fla.) — Playmaker with a real schnozz for turnovers and explosion. It's a hedged bet; RB Clinton Portis also tempting.
Miami, Tampa Bay no first-rounders, due to trades.