By Don Banks
April 25, 2008
Mock Draft 7.0 (cont.)
11 WR Devin Thomas Michigan State Jr. 6-2 217
With Troy cornerback Leodis McKelvin still available, the Bills might be tempted to fill their need in the secondary, given that his draft value lines up better with the No. 11 slot. But we're sticking with Thomas based on Buffalo's lack of a big receiving option opposite Lee Evans.
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12 OT Chris Williams Vanderbilt Sr. 6-5 318
The Broncos offensive line needs help, nowhere more than at the left tackle position vacated by the retired Matt Lepsis. Denver reportedly has Williams -- Jay Cutler's former college teammate -- rated ahead of both Boise State tackle Ryan Clady and Virginia guard/tackle Branden Albert. Illinois running back Rashard Mendenhall is the skill-prospect who could tempt Mike Shanahan.
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13 DE Derrick Harvey Florida Jr. 6-4 250
The Panthers love Clady and could use an offensive tackle in anticipation of losing the franchised Jordan Gross next year. And if Jonathan Stewart is still there at No. 13, Carolina would have a hard time passing on him. But Harvey still makes the most sense because of the dreadful condition of the Panthers' D-line. Mike Rucker's retirement this week only underlined how dire the need is.
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14 OT Ryan Clady Boise State Jr. 6-6 317
Bears fans are going to hate to see their team pass on home-state running back Rashard Mendenhall of Illinois. But Chicago is desperate for help at offensive tackle. It's lucky in that it's got three good ones to choose from: Clady, Pitt's Jeff Otah and Virginia's Branden Albert.
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15 LB Keith Rivers USC Sr. 6-3 236
I've had the Lions zeroed in on running back Rashard Mendenhall for quite some time, but the Lions didn't expect Rivers to reach them. Coach Rod Marinelli wanted to add an impact linebacker to go along with weakside starter Ernie Sims, and he won't pass on Rivers, who many have graded as a top 10 talent.
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16 RB Rashard Mendenhall Illinois Jr. 5-11 225
The Cardinals could use help at cornerback and Leodis McKelvin of Troy is still on the board. But they'll pounce on Mendenhall if he slips past both Chicago and Detroit. The ex-Illini star will share the backfield with Edgerrin James this season and take over as the Cardinals' primary rusher in 2009.
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17 OT Branden Albert Virginia Jr. 6-7 317
With the pick they just obtained from the Vikings in the Jared Allen trade, the Chiefs are in great position to address their glaring need for an offensive tackle. Albert, who projects to tackle in the NFL after playing guard in college, represents great value at mid-round, and he gets the call over Pitt's Jeff Otah.
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18 CB Leodis McKelvin Troy State Sr. 5-11 186
The Texans lock up one of the draft's top two cornerbacks, depending on whose ratings you trust. McKelvin has great speed and his cover skills are considered top-notch. He also can contribute to the return game.
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19 OT/LB Jeff Otah Pittsburgh Sr. 6-6 339
The Eagles could use a cornerback as a replacement for the soon-to-be-leaving Lito Sheppard, and Jenkins is a possibility there. But Andy Reid seldom misses an opportunity to bolster his line, and Otah gives Philly an eventual replacement for veteran tackle Jon Runyan.
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20 WR DeSean Jackson California Jr. 6-0 169
Jackson and Indiana's James Hardy are receivers on the Bucs' radar screen, but head coach Jon Gruden seems especially taken with Jackson, the speedster who could also contribute to Tampa Bay's return game. If the Bucs go cornerback in an effort to replace Brian Kelly, Jenkins is the likely target.
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