Readers have their say on making a mockery of projecting the draft
The first mock draft of the offseason unearthed varying opinions of the 32 first-round projections. Eli Manning to the Chargers? Many agreed, several disagreed while others opined that it really doesn't matter who the Bolts draft; he'll be a bust simply because San Diego picks him.
While I do not necessarily agree with that last line of thinking, I do not believe the Chargers should pull the plug on Drew Brees right now. He's yet to start a 16-game schedule, so who knows what the kid can -- or cannot -- do. Given another offensive weapon (WR Mike Williams from USC?), I think Brees' numbers would improve and he could be a good QB.
So with Williams declaring for the draft Wednesday, does that make me change my No. 1 pick? Yes. Williams is that good, in my opinion, and sticking with Brees while adding Williams would be worth the gamble of passing on Manning.
Next week, we'll roll out a second mock draft and try to project scenarios that could play out with free agency.
In the meantime, here are a few comments:
Most people are talking about depth of wide receivers in this draft. Has anyone looked at the linebackers? You have four LBs going in the first round -- and there are many more candidates who could go there. Darrin Smith is great, Teddy Lehman is great and Michael Boulware is, too. I would say that there will be a record number of linebackers taken in the first round and maybe even 20 taken in the draft.
Indeed, this could be a great year for 'backers, as well as receivers. Each of the LBs you mentioned -- Smith, Lehman and Boulware -- could be first-rounders in any year. This draft may be remembered as one of the all-time best because there are arguably three solid rounds on tap for April 24.
You need to update the mock draft to include the strong possibility of USC's Mike Williams going pro.
Mr. Williams made his intentions known after the first Mock Draft was published; you can bet he will be included in the next one.
What about Lee Evans? He didn't do enough this past year to prove that he is still a first rounder?
Still a first rounder? When was he drafted in the first round to begin with? Yes, Evans will be an NFL starter, but he's caught in a numbers game (especially if Williams declares).
Philadelphia choosing a LB! Are you serious? Where were you during the entire season? The Eagles are in desperate need of a talented WR. The only way I see Jonathan Vilma coming is if Philly picks up Terrell Owens or any of the other talented free agents.
And that's exactly what I think Philly will do -- sign a free-agent receiver. It would be too much to ask a rookie to step into Andy Reid's system and be expected to meet the expectations of Eagles fans. Instead, Philadelphia signs a veteran and continues to revamp its D with youth.
Come on, man, get real! Dallas had no running game last year, it was nonexistent, and you think they're going to skip the possibility of drafting a RB like Chris Perry or Kevin Jones, who could start and give them a ground game! Defense? We had one the top five defenses last year. No, we need a running back, and that rumor about trading Joey Galloway for Keyshawn Johnson would be helpful, too!
The Cowboys would be better served trading for Corey Dillon or signing Duce Staley in free agency. And defensive tackles the likes of Randy Starks do not grow on trees; he's a once-every-five-years player, and could be an important cog on Dallas' D-line during its next Super Bowl run -- a time when La'Roi Glover won't be the same player he is today.
I have been a Raiders fan for 23 years, and although Larry Fitzgerald is an awesome player (and would fit nicely along side Jerry Porter), this draft is deep at WR. What the Raiders desperately need is a long-term, big-time safety to intimidate and cover. Sean Taylor is being compared to all the greats; I would be very happy with him back there for the next eight seasons.
No arguing that point of view; Taylor has the potential to be a force for many years to come. Oakland is another case where free agency will have a big impact on its first-round choice. If the Raiders land a WR on the open market, snaring Taylor at No. 2 would be a no-brainer.
Do you think Washington will take Sean Taylor if it trades Champ Bailey?
I don't see Taylor making it to No. 5 -- if Dennis Green is true to his word that Josh McCown will be the Cardinals' QB. If 'Zona passes on Ben Roethlisberger, Taylor is the sudden-impact player that can help turn around the franchise.
Without a first-round selection, do you think the Ravens could trade up to maybe a high second-round pick to grab a much needed receiver?
Baltimore now sits at No. 51, the 19th pick in Round 2. (The Texans used their second-round choice to select Tony Hollings in the supplemental draft.) The Ravens can sit tight and still grab a good receiver -- Michael Jenkins or Devery Henderson, perhaps -- without giving up other much-needed draft picks.
Will someone tell the Bills to pick up Jay Fiedler!
Matt, you just did. ... But is Fiedler that much better than Drew Bledsoe -- behind that offensive line? Riddle me this: Why would the Dolphins fork over a second-round pick for A.J. Feeley to replace Fiedler? Given Miami's draft spot (No. 20), there is certain to be a potential franchise QB available, something that Feeley (nor Fielder) is not.
I am a St. Louis Rams fan, and you are right on target. St. Louis has needed a tight end since being in St. Louis; Ben Troupe would be phenomenal as a Rams receiver. Here's hoping that the Rams can unload Kurt Warner for maybe a first-round pick.
Ben Troupe is the next Tony Gonzalez. Kellen Winslow Jr.'s ego is almost as inflated as his ability. Troupe is a more efficient workhorse tight end with amazing athletic ability. Both tight ends can go up and get the ball in the seam, but you don't often see a 262-pound receiver leaping over defensive backs.
Ralph, you had me there for a moment. Troupe will be a great talent in the NFL; he was a man among boys in college. But Warner for a No. 1? Not gonna happen; a No. 3, maybe.
Paul, you're letting the cat out of the bag; I, too, like Troupe over Winslow -- less hot air, more on-field performance.
I disagree with your pick for K.C. I think the Chiefs should go after a corner, perhaps Chris Gamble. I think right now their linebacker corps is solid -- not awesome, but solid. The Chiefs need to draft all defense, but you and I know that Dick Vermeil is offense, offense, offense!
I won't argue that K.C. needs to improve its defense -- and there will be plenty of corners available. Taking LB Dontarrious Thomas will be a good start, but keep your eye on CB Joey Thomas; he could be had in Round 2 and those two would be a great start.
In your mock draft, you have four cornerbacks selected in the first round. DeAngelo Hall from Virginia Tech is not one of them. Why? By most publications, Hall and Chris Gamble are considered the two best corners available in the draft. I would think the Saints would select Hall, if he were available, over Dunta Robinson. What are your thoughts?
Several e-mails focused on the omission of Hall among the first 32 picks, and the general feeling is that Gamble's upside is bigger, while Will Poole, Robinson and Derrick Strait are all right there in talent. Any of these five CBs can go in Round 1, but judging teams' needs, all five probably won't.
A mock draft this year is going to be a moot point. With the Pats having four early picks, San Diego not really jumping at the opportunity to draft another QB to be slaughtered from the lack of an O-line and Dennis Green showing his "What the hell did he just do?" drafting abilities, there is going to be more player swapping and position changing than Madonna in that Erotica video.
Yep, that just about sums up how this thing could shake out. In the meantime, it's a lot more fun to project what could happen. ... As long as everyone understands it's just that: a projection. Trust me, there is no NFL team compiling mock drafts from across the Internet, then gathering in the war room to make its picks.
B. Duane Cross is a senior producer for SI.com.