Posted: Tuesday April 4, 2006 12:07PM; Updated: Tuesday April 4, 2006 3:23PM
Mock NFL Draft No. 4
The Rams aren't considered a quarterback-needy team, but Marc Bulger isn't exactly an iron man back there, and new head coach Scott Linehan might want to groom a guy who doesn't have the imprint of Mike Martz on him. Cutler would be a solid value in this slot.
Sims seems to be shooting up everyone's board, and he's exactly the playmaking presence the Browns are looking for in their 3-4 defense. Penn State defensive end Tamba Hali is another possibility here, but Sims seems to have the edge in that he can impact a game in more ways from his outside linebacker position.
Bunkley continues to look like a top 15 pick in the wake of his impressive combine workout (44 bench-press reps, 4.97 time in the 40 at 307 pounds). The Ravens lost underrated DT Maake Kemoeatu to Carolina in free agency, and Bunkley would fill that vacancy rather nicely.
Giving the Eagles USC offensive tackle Winston Justice would make sense, too, even though they re-signed veteran tackle Jon Runyan. But it's hard to see Philly's offense matching up with the likes of their NFC East rivals without a No. 1 receiver who can at least compare with Terrell Owens, Santana Moss and Plaxico Burress.
The Broncos got this pick from Atlanta in the John Abraham deal, and it should put them into prime position to fill their need at either receiver (Ohio State's Santonio Holmes?) or running back. Williams' strong pro-day workout has cemented his status as the draft's No. 2 back behind Bush.
The Dolphins could opt to address needs at cornerback (Clemson's Tye Hill or South Carolina's Johnathan Joseph) or receiver (Ohio State's Santonio Holmes). But Justice is too highly rated to pass up. He had a stellar pro-day workout over the weekend, and some are predicting he could crack the top 10.
The Vikings have the ammo to move up in the first round in pursuit of a franchise quarterback like Cutler, maybe to No. 10 Arizona. But if they stay put, getting depth for their secondary, where they lost third cornerback Brian Williams in free agency, is the logical choice.
Whitner is a newcomer to our board, but the Buckeyes junior has risen on the strength of a pair of blazing 40s (4.37 and 4.39) during Ohio State's pro day. The Cowboys already got their No. 1 receiver in Terrell Owens and just missed out on their offensive tackle of choice (USC's Justice).
You have to think general manager A.J. Smith wants to give quarterback Philip Rivers the best possible chance to succeed, given that Smith has staked his reputation on him and sent Drew Brees packing. Getting Rivers another receiving target should be Smith's top priority.
In a first round that is suddenly silly with defensive backs, the Chiefs should have their choice between Joseph, Ohio State's Ashton Youboty and Florida State's Antonio Cromartie. If there's one constant in the NFL, it's that K.C. never has enough pass defense.