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2005 NFL Mock Draft Breakdown

April 19, 2005

From time to time I'll go through my mock draft and provide detailed thoughts on who I see going where, and why I have them projected as such. In this case, I'm doing a two-round mock draft, complete with trades (for during round one only) and detailed explainers. This is the only one of these I plan on doing before the draft, but I thought you might enjoy seeing how things could play out... at least with this scenario.

ROUND 2

33. San Francisco 49ers - Justin Miller, CB, Clemson

The 49ers need some help at CB, and Miller is just the player to give them that boost. San Francisco hopes it can get its staff healthy for 2005, but even with a full deck it would sure help to add the physical, hard-hitting Miller to the team. One bonus: Miller is a special teams machine, with exceptional kick-return skills.


34. Cleveland Browns - Charlie Frye, QB, Akron

Trent Dilfer is the QB for Cleveland this year, but the future will be forged by another leader under center. For Cleveland I look for this to be Charlie Frye. Chad Pennington and Byron Leftwich and Ben Roethlisberger have shown that the MAC may be the new QB sleeper conference (overlook Marshall leaving for a moment), and now Frye is the latest from the conference to get a shot in the NFL.


35. Philadelphia Eagles - Luis Castillo, DT, Northwestern

With Corey Simon's future with the team in question, the Eagles need to address DT in this draft. Castillo is a 300+ pound run-stopper who can do just that, and he'd be perfect for Philly at this spot.


36. Tampa Bay Bucs - Adam Terry, OT, Syracuse

Coach Jon Gruden called improving the offensive line a major priority for the Bucs this off-season, and Terry would qualify in that category. At 6'8" he is a massive guy who's hard to move. His run-blocking needs improvement, but he can at the very least keep the QB upright, which would be an improvement.


37. Tennessee Titans - Davis Baas, OG/C, Michigan

The Titans need to add some talent to their offensive line. Baas is someone who can do that for Tennessee, a squad which is very much drafting for need due to its salary cap situation. Plus, he could play either guard or center, which is a benefit for Tennessee.


38. Oakland Raiders - Barrett Ruud, ILB, Nebraska

Someone has to replace Napolean Harris, and the Raiders hope that Ruud can be that person. Odell Thurman of Georgia might be a consideration, though Thurman's personal problems of late might be the deciding factor for Oakland.


39. Chicago Bears - Heath Miller, TE, Virginia

How could someone like Miller fall so far? His sports-related hernia injury has prevented him from working out for teams, and in a surprise this mock has him sliding all the way down to #39. If this really happens, it'd be a tremendous value pick for Chicago.


40. New Orleans Saints - Darryl Blackstock, OLB, Virginia

They'll be celebrating on Bourbon Street if the Saints can really come away from this draft with both Shaun Cody and Darryl Blackstock.


41. Detroit Lions - Matt Roth, DE, Iowa

Talk about a value pick, this is it. Roth would fit in very well with the Lions system, while at the same time filling a need for Detroit.


42. New Orleans Saints - Ciatric Fason, RB, Florida

This is the pick obtained via the projected Darren Howard trade with Dallas. For the Saints, this is where they pick for depth, adding Fason to back up Deuce McAllister.


43. New York Giants - Mike Patterson, DT, USC

Sure, Patterson is a bit undersized at 5'11", but much like Travis Johnson he is good at causing chaos in the backfield. Patterson will have the chance to prove his own merits in the NFL, whereas at USC he was at times overshadowed by some of his very talented defensive line teammates.


44. Buffalo Bills - Marlin Jackson, CB, Michigan

The Bills could use some improvement in its secondary, and Marlin Jackson can provide that.


45. Carolina Panthers - Reggie Brown, WR, Georgia

The Panthers need some WR depth with the departure of Muhsin Muhammad to Chicago. Brown can handle that, as remarkably in 2004 he managed to move past teammate Fred Gibson in the eyes of scouts as to who would make the better pro.


46. Kansas City Chiefs - Justin Tuck, DE, Notre Dame

Tuck provides an instant boost to the Kansas City pass rush. Notre Dame's all-time sack leader could help improve KC's pressure on the QB, which would be great in combo with key off-season acquisions at LB and CB.


47. Houston Texans - Josh Bullocks, S, Nebraska

The Texans need a safety, and Bullocks can handle that. While not a standout against the run, Bullocks is very athletic and is superb against the pass. His 4.45 speed doesn't hurt things, either.


48. Cincinnati Bengals - James Butler, S, Georgia Tech

If the Texans don't take a safety in round one, and if the Bengals hope to take one at #48, they might consider trying to move up a few spots in round two to get the jump on Houston. But in this case they'd still land Butler, who is a talent seen as having a very bright NFL future.


49. Minnesota Vikings - Mike Nugent, K, Ohio State

Nugent is a highly touted prospect who impressed everyone in his tenure at Ohio State. If you missed the past few years or just plain don't watch college football, Nugent is the best prospect in years to come from the college ranks. And, wow, the Vikings need a kicker. Look for them to trade down if they can, so long as they stay in the second round. San Francisco, at the top of round three, might steal Nugent if he's there. And yes, Nugent is worth all of this work to obtain.


50. St. Louis Rams - Fred Gibson, WR, Georgia. The Rams could use an OT, but this is an odd spot to take one due to the talent level and who else is on the board. Instead I look for the Rams to take Fred Gibson here. It might look like a high spot, but I think not every team is as down on him as some may think. Gibson still has the skills to be a great pro, and he could team with Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce to add yet another dimension of danger to the St. Louis offense.


51. Green Bay Packers - Odell Thurman, ILB, Georgia

Thurman isn't someone who is necessarily emotionally where you want a player to be going into the NFL, but wow can the guy play. Circumstances forced his hand into coming out early, but the NFL is not about sympathy, it's about results. Fortunately for Thurman, the guy is an athlete with speed. Running near a 4.6, he can cover the field well and is good with the form tackle. He might not be the polished type of player at ILB like SEC counterpart Channing Crowder, but the guy can play. And I've begun to suspect that you have to be a little bit mentally unstable anyway to play MLB in the NFL, anyway. Nice guys (on the field) need not apply.


52. Jacksonville Jaguars - Gerald Sensabaugh, S, North Carolina

Even if the Jags can convince Donovan Darius to come back for 2005, clearly the long-term future with Darius is not as a member of the Jaguars. Sensabaugh is a nice pick for the Jags at this spot. He was a special teams standout both at UNC and earlier at I-AA East Tennessee State. A "ballhawk", Sensabaugh has a way of getting near the ball on deep passing plays to his side, and who doesn't like that? He'll need a little time to learn some technique, but all the more reason for Jacksonville to hold onto Darius for one more year. This is one of those picks that I really hope happens, as it would be good for both sides (and ultimately that is good for the game).


53. St. Louis Rams - Bryant McFadden, CB, Florida St.

At one point McFadden looked like a borderline first round pick. That doesn't look likely now, but with this pick (obtained by the Rams as part of a projected round one trade with Baltimore) the Rams can add an experienced major conference player with great 40 speed (4.45ish). Some question his quickness in pattern coverage, but I think he's better than some give him credit for in the various rankings. I'd chalk this up as a steal for the Rams.


54. Seattle Seahawks - J.J. Arrington, RB, Cal

A strange pick? Not really, not with a strained situation with Shaun Alexander as the franchise player and a likely salary cap crunch coming soon (the ghost of the Grant Wistrom deal of 2004). Plus, if for some reason (injury, Ricky Williams-itis, etc.) a team finds itself in desperate need of an RB come training camp, Seattle could potentially part with big salary Alexander (no signing bonus penalty for a franchised player) and have Arrington as a surprise rookie starter if he's showing signs of being ready to handle the rock.


55. Arizona Cardinals - Alex Smith, TE, Stanford

Because I put a "no trade" rule for the second round (I want to finish this today), I can't mock the Cards trying to trade up to get Heath Miller if he does start falling down the line in round two. But if it's not Miller, then look for Smith here to fill a TE hole that the Cards have. He's a better receiver than blocker, which is scary when you think about the wideouts that this team already has.


56. Denver Broncos - Jason Campbell, QB, Auburn

Let's see... the Broncos could forge ahead into the future with Jake Plummer as the next Elway. Err... Or, Denver could do the smart thing and take Jason Campbell if he's on the board here. Campbell proved himself as a leader in taking Auburn to an undefeated record in 2004 (illustrating for the millionth time that college football needs a playoff system: why were we prevented from seeing USC vs. Auburn?!?) His skills, while not first-round grade, are still NFL quality, and he should be a comfortable fit for Denver.


57. New York Jets - Jeremy Parquet, OT, Southern Miss

The Jets took an OT hit in the off-season, and while the team has needs also at DT and TE, Parquet fits the bill for them. He's a good pass blocker AND a good run blocker, in no small part because of being nearly 6'7" 323 lbs. He's also a strong leader and intelligent, and once he gets into the Jets weight training program, he should improve all the more. He'll need that extra strength going up against some of the beefier DEs in the league (and when he has to face an OLB pass rush).


58. Green Bay Packers - Brandon Browner, CB, Oregon St.

The Packers secondary hasn't been the same since Mike McKenzie left. Yes, the team used a first round pick on Ahmad Carroll last year, but adding a second rounder this time around would be prudent. Browner can handle man-to-man coverage well and is a good playmaker as far as making his goes. If you're keeping score, that's a projection of a DL, an LB and a secondary defender for the Packers, all in the first two rounds.


59. Atlanta Falcons - Donte Nicholson, S, Oklahoma

There are mixed feelings out there about Nicholson. Some feel that he'll be one of the first safeties to go in the draft. Others believe that he bites too easy in coverage, which could make him vulnerable for playfakes and the like. But he is a skilled athlete and he would fill a huge need for Atlanta.


60. Indianapolis Colts - C.J. Mosley, DT, Missouri

The Colts are looking to bulk up their defensive line, and Mosley would do that. At 6'2" 315, he can collapse the pocket and put pressure on the QB. In combination with Dwight Freeney, that could be a welcome force for Coach Dungy and company.


61. San Diego Chargers - Chris Canty, DE, Virginia

Because the Chargers don't have a first round pick, they really need to get a DE at this spot, and Canty is the best of who is on the board. Canty, at 6'7", at the very least can be a threat to bat down passes, and while he's not a chase down the QB type of DE (at least he'll have to prove that post-injury), he can handle the run pretty well. He has recovered from his torn ACL, and he is seen as a natural DE for the 3-4, which San Diego runs.


62. Pittsburgh Steelers - Chris Henry, WR, West Virginia

Looks like a major free-fall for WRs under this scenario. Teams looking for WRs might want to take that into consideration. For the Steelers, it means a huge steal in landing the 6'4" Chris Henry. Pittsburgh doesn't need another tall WR per se to replace Plaxico Burress, but it wouldn't hurt. Henry will need some time to mature, both physically and mentally, but if Coach Bill Cowher can get him to buy into the system, he could be a very positive addition to the team.


63. Philadelphia Eagles - Lance Mitchell, ILB, Oklahoma

A torn ACL knocked Mitchell out of first-round consideration, but the Eagles can get him at #63 for a bargain. DT is a big need for the Eagles, but this draft is devoid of DT depth.


64. New England Patriots - Jerome Mathis, WR, Hampton

The Patriots could use a young WR and someone to handle kick returns. Enter Mathis, who has major kick return skills and blazing speed. He's not a big school guy, but he'll have plenty of time to learn the system. Plus imagine the Pats having a guy this fast when they go with a five-wide set. A defense must take him into consideration, even if he appears to be the fourth or fifth option, due to his blazing 4.3 speed.

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