Bucky Brooks
Friday April 25th, 2008

Here are four more questions to ponder on the day before the NFL draft. For previous war room debates, click here.

Will a tight end go in the first round?

Yes. The tight end position is not considered to be deep with "complete" tight ends, but there are several prospects garnering consideration at the end of the first round, mainly Fred Davis of Southern Cal and Dustin Keller of Purdue. The most likely suitors for their services are the Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay Packers, who both run a version of the West Coast offense.

Davis is familar with the scheme after spending four years playing under former NFL coach Pete Carroll at USC. Davis has the skills (hands and route running) necessary to be an impact starter as a rookie. Keller, on the other hand, is viewed by most teams as a "H-Back" candidate. He's the fastest and most athletic of the tight end class, leading teams to believe that he has the ability to create mismatches in space as a No. 2 tight end.

What will the Rams do at No. 2?

With Jake Long off the board, the Rams have several options at No. 2. Though several teams have reportedly expressed interest in moving up to the second spot, expect the Rams to stand pat and choose between Glenn Dorsey, Chris Long and Vernon Gholston. Choosing one of the defensive ends would address the team's woeful pass rush, but the feeling around the league is that the Rams will not bypass the top-rated prospect on many boards, Dorsey.

The two-time All SEC defender has been the most dominant defensive player in the country the past two seasons, and his addition to the lineup would greatly improve a defense that finished ranked 20th against the run. Additionally, former first rounder Adam Carriker could move back to defensive end after spending his rookie season at nose tackle. Although Carriker is not regarded as an elite pass rusher, he is stout enough to be an effective run defender on early downs while giving the Rams a decent rush off the edge. The draft is littered with undersized edge rushers with the potential to become solid situational players in the later rounds, so the Rams also have the option of keeping Carriker inside at defensive tackle while upgrading their pass rush production at defensive end.

Who is the fastest rising linebacker prospect?

Jerod Mayo, the SEC's leading tackler, has shot up the draft boards since his standout performance at the combine. After displaying 4.5 speed in the 40 and dazzling athleticism in positional drills, Mayo has vaulted past Dan Connors on several teams' boards.

Mayo is not regarded as simply a workout warrior by scouts. He is a tackling machine who possesses the instincts and awareness to become a force at middle or weak-side linebacker. That makes him an attractive option for a team looking for a combo-type linebacker. Look for him to come off the board in the middle of the first round.

Who is considered the biggest "boom or bust" prospect?

Vernon Gholston, come on down. The Buckeye's single-season sack record holder (14) was widely considered a first-round pick when he entered the draft in January, but his sizzling performance at the combine pushed him to the top. However, when you examine his film, you are left with the classic "potential vs. production" debate due to Gholston's inconsistent motor and performance.

When he is motivated and revved up, he dominates games off the edge and is capable of putting up multiple sack performances against elite competition (three sacks against Michigan and four sacks in the Wisconsin games). But Gholston's uninspired play against the Buckeye's weaker opponents causes scouts to question which player will show up on Sundays.

As one of the most physically gifted players in the draft, Gholston should dominate inferior opponents off the edge, and his long stretches of inactivity in those games raise red flags about his desire, determination and focus. Ultimately, Gholston's tantalizing physical abilities will entice a team to pull the trigger in the top 10, but he is the biggest "boom or bust" prospect due to the looming questions about his passion, motivation and effort.

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