By Don Banks
April 20, 2007
Mock NFL Draft No. 6
Pick Team Pos. Player College Class Ht. Wt.
11 DE Adam Carriker Nebraska Sr. 6-6 295
The 49ers are looking for talent to help them fully transition to the 3-4 defense that Mike Nolan wanted to install -- but couldn't -- upon arriving in town in 2005. Carriker is versatile along the defensive line, so whether it's the 4-3 or the 3-4 formation that San Francisco has on the field, he'll fit in regardless. Most mocks seem to have Branch in this slot, but I've been told the 49ers aren't sold on him.
12 LB Patrick Willis Mississippi Sr. 6-2 240
Don't be stunned if Buffalo fills its running back vacancy with Cal's Marshawn Lynch in this slot, or perhaps tries to trade down a couple spots and get him cheaper. But if that scenario is too risky for them, the safest path appears to be Willis, who slides right into the key position vacated by London Fletcher.
13 DT Alan Branch Michigan Jr. 6-6 330
We're predicting the Rams will stop Branch's free-fall, but we're not dead certain about the pick. Both Arkansas defensive end Jamaal Anderson and Pitt cornerback Darrelle Revis are definite options for St. Louis, but the run defense seems to be priority No. 1.
14 LB Paul Posluszny Penn State Sr. 6-2 239
The Panthers could use a tight end, and that's why Miami's Greg Olsen has been linked to them in the first round. But they also need a linebacker given Dan Morgan's health issues, and even though Willis is off the board, it wouldn't be a stretch to target Posluszny. The former Nittany Lion has played both inside and outside.
15 CB Darrelle Revis Pittsburgh Jr. 6-0 205
The Steelers are in the market for an outside linebacker, but this may be a bit high for FSU's Lawrence Timmons, the best of the remaining bunch with Posluszny gone. Pittsburgh could turn its attention to the defensive line, but another cornerback wouldn't hurt either. Revis played collegiately at Heinz Field, and you know how Pittsburgh loves its local sons.
16 RB Marshawn Lynch California Jr. 5-11 215
We dropped Lynch out of this slot in our last mock, but he's back, because the rumors that there were concerns about some character issues don't seem to have amounted to much of anything. Though Green Bay could still opt for one of the highly rated receivers, this is where you have to guard against over-thinking the first round.
17 DE Jamaal Anderson Arkansas Jr. 6-6 280
The Jaguars could use Florida safety Reggie Nelson, or Gators defensive end Jarvis Moss, but they'll have the higher rating on Anderson, a pass-rushing talent who has some how lasted until the second half of the first round.
18 S Reggie Nelson Florida Jr. 6-1 195
The Bengals need options in their secondary, and they'd be pleasantly surprised if the athletic and rangy Nelson gets past Jacksonville. OLBs Lawrence Timmons of Florida State or the fast-rising Jon Beason of Miami are also tempting, given the release of Brian Simmons, the uncertainty of David Pollack's status and demise of Odell Thurman's career in Cincy.
19 WR Ted Ginn, Jr. Ohio State Jr. 6-0 180
The Titans should have their choice of the top three receivers who aren't named Calvin Johnson: Ginn, ex-Vol Robert Meachem and LSU's Dwayne Bowe. But the threat Ginn poses in the return game should be the deciding factor in his favor, now that Tennessee has lost the services of cornerback/return man Pacman Jones for at least 10 games in 2007.
20 OT Joe Staley Central Michigan Sr. 6-6 306
The Giants could continue the run on receivers with Bowe or Meachem, and outside linebacker is another need that either Timmons or Beason would address. But somebody's going to turn in a card with Staley's name on it in this portion of the draft, and New York makes as much sense as anybody.

Mock Draft Continued

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