NFL draft countdown on top 8 draft picks
Sorry if repost,
April 5th, 2005
* Here is what I am hearing in regards to the picks at the top of the 2005 NFL Draft:
#1 San Francisco 49'ers - I'd call this 80/20 in favor of Aaron Rodgers over Alex Smith, with Braylon Edwards getting attention only in hopes of getting a team to bite on a trade package. The Niners would love to move down a little and pick up Rodgers a later but I don't see a deal being out there that would make taking that risk worthwhile, at least at this point. A darkhorse here if they move down is Miami CB Antrel Rolle, who the team has liked for a long time.
#2 Miami Dolphins - Nick Saban is all about adding additional Day One selections but with the Patrick Surtain deal with Kansas City likely to get done they might be less inclinced to trade down from this spot. Right now Ronnie Brown is probably their guy if they stay here with the two quarterbacks being Plan B, but if they are able to move down watch out for Cedric Benson and Cadillac Williams. One way or another look for the Dolphins to come out of round one with a top runner.
#3 Cleveland Browns - There is no doubt that in a perfect world the Browns would like to trade down and choose a little later but if they are forced to stay put and make a pick I think it will be Alex Smith, although Braylon Edwards is a legitimate candidate for them as well. If they do move down they could still potentially land one of the top two signal callers later in the Top 10 while names like Marcus Spears, Shawne Merriman and Antrel Rolle would also then come into play as well.
#4 Chicago Bears - If I were the Bears there is no doubt I would nab Braylon Edwards with this pick but from what I am told they actually prefer Mike Williams over the latest star wideout from the Michigan Wolverines. I continue to hear rumblings that Cedric Benson is the guy the team wants to be the workhorse of their offense though so I would call him the favorite here, followed closely by Mike Williams. Ronnie Brown would also be a strong possibility if he falls this far.
#5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers - This pick will be either a running back or wide receiver and if my sources are correct the choice will be Mike Williams if he is still on the board. After that guys like Cadillac Williams and Cedric Benson will get consideration but Gruden is gushing about Mike Williams so as of now I would say this is about as much of a lock as we have in the Top 5-10 overall picks, but at the rate things are going I would say it's 50/50 he is available.
#6 Tennessee Titans - Right now this is probably the hardest pick in the Top 10 to peg because the Titans have so many needs. In all honesty the Titans could very well select any of the following players who I am hearing in conjunction with this pick (in alphabetical order): Alex Barron, Cedric Benson, Braylon Edwards, Derrick Johnson, Antrel Rolle, or Mike Williams. From what I am hearing recently though the team is very concerned about the o-line so I will go out on a limb and say Barron for now.
#7 Minnesota Vikings - When the trade of Randy Moss went down it looked like a foregone conclusion that at least one of the top two wideouts would still be available here. However, right now that looks very doubtful at best so if the Vikes want Edwards or Williams they will need to deal up, possibly with Miami or Cleveland. Also, word is Mike Tice actually prefers Mike Williams over Braylon Edwards. If not a receiver here look for a running back like Cedric Benson or Cadillac Williams.
#8 Arizona Cardinals - Almost everyone just assumes this pick will be a running back and while that could still very well be the case the guy I am told Denny Green loves is Antrel Rolle. Cornerback is actually an even greater need for the Cards than a runner so if Rolle is still available I think he will be the pick, with the team then targeting a guy like J.J. Arrington in round two (who they also like) or possibly Travis Henry in a trade. Mark it down, Rolle to Arizona if he is there.