Posted: Tuesday April 4, 2006 12:07PM; Updated: Tuesday April 4, 2006 3:28PM
Mock NFL Draft No. 4
The Patriots have options galore. They could take the tumbling LenDale White or Minnesota's Laurence Maroney as the heir apparent to Corey Dillon. They could reach a bit for Miami's Sinorice Moss, whose versatility as a receiver/return man would come in handy. But Greenway or Ohio State LB Bobby Carpenter fill the biggest need.
Having landed their running back at No. 15 in DeAngelo Williams, the Broncos are free to use their second No. 1 pick on a receiver. If Denver thinks defensive end, Penn State's Tamba Hali, Boston College's Mathias Kiwanuka or FSU's Kamerion Wimbley could get the nod.
Cromartie remains a question mark on some boards, because he missed all of 2005 with a knee injury. But he ran two 40s in the 4.3 range, jumped 42 inches vertically and has shown enough potential to find his way into this section of the first round.
The Sam Adams signing addressed the Bengals' need at defensive tackle, at least in the short term. And safety got some help when Dexter Jackson was acquired. That leaves the Bengals in good shape to pick between tight ends Lewis and Georgia's Leonard Pope.
Depending on what New York does in the LaVar Arrington bidding, linebacker might slide a bit further down the need list. But Carpenter is head coach Tom Coughlin's type of solid, dependable player, and the Giants always love those Big Ten prospects.
With no more receivers first-round worthy, the Bears wisely address their need at tight end. If the Bengals go Pope, the Bears will nab Lewis, and vice versa. USC tight end Dominique Byrd is another possibility.
Don't make the mistake of assuming that by re-signing DeShaun Foster the Panthers are out of the running for a first-round running back. Foster's injury history demands the position receive more attention. Maroney looks like a steal this low in the first round.
On our board, the Jaguars have their pick of three pretty good defensive end prospects: Hali, who has tumbled some of late, Florida State's Kamerion Wimbley, whose stock is rising, and Boston College's Mathias Kiwanuka, who has held fairly steady as a bottom-third first-round selection. Hali's probably the safest of the three.
White may not fall this far, but after showing up at the Trojans' pro day at a squishy 244 pounds, not running and doing only 15 reps, there's nobody who has him cracking the top 20 about now. But at No. 29, he'd be worth taking to play in tandem with the aging Curtis Martin.
With the big four running backs all gone, the Colts might be looking at the somewhat surprising Addai as a replacement for Edgerrin James. Addai could sneak into the bottom of the first round based on his impressive 40 times, in the 4.4 range, at the combine.
Wimbley or Boston College's Mathias Kiwanuka could be the situational pass rusher the Seahawks need. Both players might need some time to develop into full-time starters but have enough potential to justify a late-first-round pick. Georgia guard Max Jean-Gilles is a possible replacement for Steve Huchinson.
With Antwaan Randle El lost in free agency as expected, the Steelers would like an impact receiver. But they won't reach for one in this slot if the top three prospects (Jackson, Holmes and Moss) are all gone. Give them Mangold, because veteran center Jeff Hartings will be 34 in September.