Thursday April 26th, 2007

Mock NFL Draft No. 6
21DTJustin HarrellTennesseeSr.6-5314
If the Broncos don't try and trade up to Houston's No. 10 slot in a bid to get Willis, staying at No. 21 and taking Miami inside linebacker Jon Beason is a decent option. But with Dan Wilkerson nixing the trade to Denver, the Broncos have need for an infusion of talent at defensive tackle. Harrell has climbed into contention for a spot in the second half of the round.
22CBAaron RossTexasJr.6-1192
It's hard not to give the Cowboys one of the top-rated remaining receivers in Bowe or Meachem, but then I remember that Dallas hasn't spent a first-round pick on offense since 1997. The secondary seems to still be priority No. 1, and if Ross isn't the choice, then fellow ex-Longhorn Griffin or Miami's Meriweather could give a boost to Dallas at safety.
23WRRobert MeachemTennesseeJr.6-3210
The Chiefs offensive line could use help in the wake of guard Will Shields' retirement, but this is probably a bit high for Auburn's Ben Grubbs or Texas's Justin Blalock. Meachem is a sure-fire first-round receiver, and K.C. has to get somebody to catch either Damon Huard's or Brodie Croyle's passes this season.
24SBrandon MeriweatherMiamiSr.5-11195
The Patriots refuse to be tied to need and are capable of taking a player at a position where they are seemingly well-stocked. Thus, they could take a receiver such as Dwayne Bowe, even though they have a crowded depth chart. But safety and inside linebacker are two logical positions to address with picks 24 and 28.
25TEGreg OlsenMiamiSr.6-5250
If the Saints don't try and trade above them to nab Olsen, the Jets will take him and give themselves a play-making threat at tight end. He's not another Jeremy Shockey, but he's a reasonable facsimile. If Olsen is off the board, New York could go for Arkansas cornerback Chris Houston or Purdue DE/LB Anthony Spencer.
26SMichael GriffinTexasSr.6-0202
The Eagles are in the position to take their highest ranked defensive prospect, but knowing that Andy Reid doesn't think linebackers are generally first-round values makes me shy away from Lawrence Timmons, Paul Posluszny and Jon Beason. DE/LB Anthony Spencer is a viable option, as is cornerback Chris Houston. But with Brian Dawkins in his mid-30s, it's time to replenish at safety.
27LBPaul PoslusznyPenn StateSr.6-2239
The Saints aren't as desperate for a cornerback after signing Jason David away from the Colts. Given the options available, linebacker is likely to get first-round attention, with the play-making Posluszny, Timmons and Beason all on the radar screen. If there's a corner who might make them think, it's Chris Houston of Arkansas.
28LBDavid HarrisMichiganSr.6-2243
If the Pats went for a safety or cornerback at No. 24, giving inside linebacker some help next makes sense, because Tedy Bruschi is near the end. The Pats don't like taking linebackers in the early rounds, but Harris is a prospect who is thought capable of handling an inside role in New England's cerebral 3-4 defense.
29OLBen GrubbsAuburnSr.6-3311
On my board, if Staley is gone, the Ravens will likely try to find the best available guard, or consider a trade down to early in the second round for a tackle like Tony Ugoh of Arkansas. Baltimore likes USC center Ryan Kalil, but it doesn't really need a center. Michigan inside linebacker David Harris is an option to consider.
30WRDwayne BoweLSUSr.6-3220
The Chargers could use one of the first-round safeties to fall, such as Texas's Griffin. But if Bowe, a consensus first-round receiver, makes it to them, there's no way they'd pass on him. If Bowe is gone, other receiving options to keep an eye on include the USC tandem of Steve Smith and Dwayne Jarrett.
31WRDwayne JarrettUSCJr.6-5210
The Bears also own the No. 37 pick that they obtained in the Thomas Jones trade, and I expect them to use it to address their need at guard (Texas's Justin Blalock?). But the chance to land a borderline first-round receiver like Jarrett is appealing. He's in the mold of veteran receiver Muhsin Muhammad, who will soon be 34.
32LBLawrence TimmonsFlorida StateJr.6-3230
Timmons could go much higher than this, but if he's still hanging around, the Colts will jump all over him as the ideal replacement for departed weakside linebacker Cato June. He's a little green in spots, but Timmons is the kind of athletic, sideline-to-sideline pursuer the Colts defense thrives on.

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