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Posted: Thursday February 14, 2008 12:14PM; Updated: Thursday February 14, 2008 1:09PM
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Mock NFL Draft No. 2
Pick Team Pos. Player College Class Ht. Wt.
11 WR/PR DeSean Jackson Cal Jr. 6-0 179
We're sticking with Jackson for the Bills, even though the other projected first-round receivers -- Malcolm Kelly of Oklahoma, Mario Manningham of Michigan and Limas Sweed of Texas -- all have their strengths. Jackson isn't thought to be as polished a receiver, but he's the best vertical threat with the biggest upside.
12 OT Chris Williams Vanderbilt Sr. 6-5 318
With the retirement of Matt Lepsis, finding a replacement at offensive tackle rises to the top of the Broncos' need list. If Clady is gone, Denver could easily shift its focus to Williams, who has great size and NFL-ready footwork.
13 DE Phillip Merling Clemson Jr. 6-4 275
The Panthers have a number of needs that fit well with their draft slot. They could address their likely vacancy at offensive tackle -- where Travelle Wharton is expected to depart via free agency -- by taking Pitt's Jeff Otah, or give Steve Smith some help by selecting a receiver such as Kelly or Manningham. But Merling is a junior prospect who has been gaining momentum in recent weeks, and Carolina needs youth and more impact in its pass rush.
14 QB Brian Brohm Louisville Sr. 6-3 225
Opinion varies greatly on whether the Bears will go with a quarterback in the first round, and Brohm doesn't currently carry a first-round grade on every draft board. But the Bears can't go through another status quo year at quarterback, and the free-agent pickings are pretty slim. Unless the Bears have a strong conviction about a passer in the second round, we're giving them Brohm over an offensive tackle like Otah or a defensive tackle like North Carolina's Kentwan Balmer.
15 CB Aqib Talib Kansas Jr. 6-2 201
The Lions need an upgrade in the secondary and Talib is a proven play-maker who has prototypical NFL size for a cornerback and can also be a situational receiver on offense. The other area of need that makes sense here is offensive tackle, where Otah and USC's Sam Baker remain possibilities.
16 RB Rashard Mendenhall Illinois Jr. 6-2 203
The Cardinals are in a significant cap crunch this offseason and one of the byproducts of that situation is that Edgerrin James' return for a third season in the desert is not guaranteed. Even if James is back, don't rule out Mendenhall, who some believe will be a better NFL back than the flashier Darren McFadden.
17 DE Derrick Harvey Florida Jr. 6-4 250
With this week's news that 2004 first-round defensive end Kenechi Udeze is battling leukemia, the Vikings have even more motivation to be thinking of improving their pass rush in this year's first round. Minnesota should have its choice between Harvey and 6-foot-8 Miami junior defensive end Calais Campbell.
18 RB Jonathan Stewart Oregon Jr. 5-11 233
We could see the Texans taking Miami safety Kenny Phillips as well, but Stewart is a big, powerful runner who gives Houston its long-term starter in the backfield once the stop-gap Ahman Green era is over.
19 S Kenny Phillips Miami (Fla.) Jr. 6-2 203
The Eagles could make Donovan McNabb happy by taking their highest-rated receiver here -- Manningham, Kelly or Sweed -- but that's rarely the Philly way. A defensive end like Campbell or choosing Phillips, the eventual replacement for 34-year-old free safety Brian Dawkins, is more likely.
20 WR Mario Manningham Michigan Jr. 6-0 188
The Bucs offensive line could get their first-round attention, but given head coach Jon Gruden's tendency to fall in love with offensive play-makers, Manningham or Oklahoma's Kelly are a more likely bet. Manningham doesn't have Kelly's prototypical NFL receiver size, but he's got a track record as a play-maker.

Mock Draft Continued