NFL Draft First Round Predictions

Apr 8, 2008


Gary Hartman from  The Fantasy Sports Forum posted his projected first round in the upcoming NFL Draft.  I’ve provided that info to you as well as my thoughts.  Gary’s picks are in blue.  I went with orange.

1. Miami- Chris Long DE, Virginia
Great talent that does not come around very often and Parcells would love to have an impact pass rusher.

I think Bill Parcels starts the rebuilding process the old-fashioned way…blocking.  Jake Long is too valuable to pass up.

2. St Louis- Vernon Gholston DE/OLB, Ohio State
Great all-around prospect and athlete that can anchor a defense for years to come. Pass on Dorsey because DE is more of a need than DT.

I’m afraid Gholston may be a workout warrior so I’ll guess St. Louis goes with Chris Long instead.

3. Atlanta- Jake Long OT, Michigan
Amazing player who will anchor the Falcons O-Line for at least a decade.

Atlanta has plenty of issues to address.  Matt Ryan is a possibility, but I think Glenn Dorsey is the name they will call to improve their defensive front.

4. Oakland- Glenn Dorsey DT, LSU
They will pass on McFadden because they probably can’t afford to pay him, and they just locked up Fargas, who proved he can get the job done just fine. And besides him, Dorsey is by far the BPA.

Oakland is where I think Vernon Gholston will end up as Al Davis can’t resist this physical specimen. 

5. Kansas City- Sedrick Ellis DT,USC
There is really no OT worth taking here so they go the best defensive player available. Proven himself to be top 5 worthy.

I could see Kansas City calling Ryan Clady’s name to improve a weak offensive line.  With guys like Larry Johnson, Tony Gonzalez, and Dwayne Bowe, the Chiefs desperately need to improve their offensive line play to keep the offense from stalling out.

6. New York Jets- Darren McFadden RB, Arkansas
Get the best overall player in the draft with this steal, will carry the Jets offense for many years.

New York seems to have been putting their team together in the anticipation of landing McFadden.  They won’t let the future Rookie of the Year pass them by.

7. New England Patriots- Leodis McKelvin CB, Troy St
Cornerback is their number one need but they’ll have a tough decision between him and Rodgers-Cromartie.  They’ll go with McKelvin, who they believe is the more complete corner.

I agree the Patriots need to improve their secondary, but their linebacking corps needs to be addressed as well.  However, they typically don’t do that in the first round so I agree with both the selection of a CB as well as it being McKelvin.

8.Baltimore Ravens- Matt Ryan QB, Boston College
They really need a QB of the future and they won’t let Ryan slip by.

Totally agree.  Baltimore can’t afford to not pick Matt Ryan.

9. Cincinnati Bengals- Keith Rivers OLB, USC
A little bit of a reach here, but the Bengals need every position on D except corner, so they’ll take the best player available.

Sedrick Ellis is the pick for Cincinnati in my opinion.  Free agency left a gaping hole in their defensive front, and Sedrick will be the logical choice to help fill it.

10.New Orleans Saints – Domonique Rodgers-Cromartie CB, Tenn St
Jason David has proven he sucks and Gay is nothing special. McKenzie is not what he used to be either. They still have huge problems at corner and this pick helps that out immensely.

I could see Cromartie going here, but I think the Saints will go with LB Keith Rivers instead. 

11. Buffalo Bills- Malcolm Kelly WR, Oklahoma
His stock has been dropping a bit and people have been down on him because of knee issues, but he was great in college and would be great along side Lee Evans.

Buffalo won’t be able to resist Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie to fill the hole that Nate Clements left when he departed last year.  The Bills do need help at WR, but will address that need later.

12. Denver Broncos- Ryan Clady OT, Boise State
Can really use someone to anchor that O-Line and they get the next best left tackle prospect.

In the wake of Brandon Marshall’s stupidity and the departure of Javon Walker, the Broncos turn to Limas Sweed to give Jay Cutler a nice target.

13. Carolina Panthers- Chris Williams OT, Vanderbilt
Desperately in need of an OT and Williams is just as good as Clady and will hold that line together.

I agree this is the move for Carolina.  They need a lot of help on the O-Line.  Williams will provide that help.

14. Chicago Bears- Devin Thomas WR, Mich St
Could have gone OT here, but Otah is a bit of a reach.  And who is their number one receiver as of now? I don’t even know the answer.

With Berrian’s departure, the Bears have an obvious need.  However, I think they will address that later.  Instead they will draft Illinois’ Rashard Mendenhall to make up for the Cedric Benson mistake.

15. Detroit Lions- Rashard Mendenhall RB, Illinois
Really need that RB of the future and Mendenhall is a top 10 talent.
I agree that RB is a need for the Lions, but with Mendenhall off the board they turn to Oregon’s Jonathan Stewart.

16. Arizona Cardinals- Mike Jenkins CB, USF
Rolle moved to S and their corners are very thin.
Totally agree the Cards need a CB here but I think the pick is Aqib Talib.

17. Minnesota Vikings- Derrick Harvey DE, Florida
Vikings pass rush needs work and they get a huge steal with Harvey here.

Great choice for the Purple.  They need help getting to the Quarterback.  Harvey will be a welcome addition to their D-Line.

18. Houston Texans- Jeff Otah OT, Pitt
O-Line has been a problem for the Texans since they have come into the league and Otah will help ease it.
This is another great choice.  Drafting an Offensive Lineman isn’t sexy, but it’s a great way to improve your offense.

19. Philadelphia Eagles- DeSean Jackson WR, Cal
WR is still a glaring need for the Eagles, as they have a bunch of mediocre ones but no one that stands out.
Having missed out on the few free agent WRs that were available this year, I agree that their plan must be to draft one in the first roun.  DeSean Jackson would be a great pick for the Birds.

20. Tampa Bay Bucs- Brian Brohm QB, Louisville
No set QB of the future, and Brohm immediatley brings that to the table.
I tried to think of a better need for the Bucs, but couldn’t come up with one.  The collection of QBs Tampa has is a junk pile.  Brohm gives them a potential franchise QB.  Chucky won’t pass that up.

21. Washington Redskins- Phillip Merling DE, Clemson
Can use that intense, game changing pass rusher and get it in Merling.
Agree that Merling would be a nice fit, but Malcolm Kelly would bring size to a small WR corps.

22. Dallas Cowboys- James Hardy WR, Indiana
Dallas has no set 2nd Receiver and Hardy automatically brings that and an impact from day one.
I think Patrick Crayon can hold down the job for a little while.  Jerry Jones wants McFadden, but Felix Jones will be the Razorback he ends up with.

23. Pittsburgh Steelers- Branden Albert OG, Auburn
The Steelers really need O-Line help and Albert is a versatile player who can help replace Faneca immediately.
Great pick.  With Faneca gone, this is an immediate need to protect Big Ben and spring Willie Parker. 

24. Tennessee Titans- Limas Sweed WR, Texas
Still need that big, physical target for Vince Young.
With Sweed, DeSean Jackson, and Malcom Kelly off the board, the Titans will turn to James Hardy to give Vince Young a weapon for his disposal.

25. Seattle Seahawks- Jonathan Stewart RB, Oregon
Is well worth the injury risk as Duckett and Jones are only short term answers. Stewart can bring the long term, pro-bowl type answer.
The Seahawks have issues at receiver, which will lead them to select Devin Thomas.

26. Jacksonville Jaguars- Quentin Groves DE/OLB, Auburn
Very versatile front 7 guy who can bring help to a needy pass rush.
The Jags would be giddy if Phillip Merling fell into their lap. 

27. San Diego Chargers-Reggie Smith S/CB, Oklahoma 
He can immediately address their supbar safety position, as well as add depth to the corners.
I think the Charges would be wise to draft depth on their offensive line here.  A good choice would be Gosder Cherilus.

28. Dallas Cowboys- Aqib Talib CB, Kansas
Really need a CB to go along with Newman, and Pacman is not there yet.
With their second pick, I think the Cowboys will go the WR route.  Early Doucet will be there choice.  Of course, they may try to package these picks to move up.

29. San Francisco 49er’s- Dan Connor OLB, Penn State
Can really use a physical OLB and Connor gives it to them.
Quentin Groves would be a nice addition to the 49ers defense.  He could play either DE or OLB.

30. Green Bay Packers- Antoine Cason CB, Arizona
Woodson and Harris are both getting old for corners and from the looks of the NFC Championship game, it’s looking like Harris is losing a step.
The Packers do need to upgrade their aging  secondary.  Antoine Cason would be a great pick.


31. New York Giants- Kenny Phillips S, Miami
Safety is the Giants absolute number one need and Phillips is a great athlete who brings all the tools of a future All-Pro
I agree once more.  This would be a perfect pick for the Super Bowl Champs.

Be sure to check out The Fantasy Sports Forum for great fantasy info.

Posted by | Categories: NFL |
. .

6 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. Terry
    April 8th, 2008 at 11:21 am #

    Very cool commentary. I really like the two different perspectives on each player.

  2. Ryan Lester
    April 8th, 2008 at 11:25 am #

    Thanks Terry. The real work was done by Gary. It’s easier to pick when you have something in front of you already.

  3. Larry Novak
    April 8th, 2008 at 8:48 pm #

    I agree with you on Miami. As good as Chris is Jake Long is the best pick for them. A team must have a solid O-Line to ahve any chance.

  4. Ryan Lester
    April 9th, 2008 at 4:43 am #

    Larry – Agree. Look at how well joe thomas worked out for cleveland.

  5. Big Denny
    April 10th, 2008 at 4:51 pm #

    Yeah, the Vikes do need a pass rush. Maybe they should re-sign Carl Eller. He’s strong as an ox still.

  6. Ryan Lester
    April 10th, 2008 at 9:17 pm #


Leave a Comment

Partner of USA TODAY Sports Digital Properties