NFL draft: Rob Rang Thursday, April 5, 2:00 PM ET Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com's senior analyst, is stopping by to talk about the league's selection show coming up on April 28. Whose name will the Oakland Raiders call with the No. 1 pick? Will Calvin Johnson's star keep rising to the top spot? Have questions about who your team will be picking up this year? Drop a note for Rob. Mock draft from USA TODAY NFL coverage from USA TODAY Draft coverage from NFLDraftScout.com Comment from Rob Rang: Hello everyone. Thanks for taking time out of your day to participate. Let's get things started!San Antonio, Texas: Rob; Why do you feel that the NFL draft has become the media spectacle that it has, and why haven't we seen this same impact in regards to other drafts in professional sports?Rob Rang: An interesting question. For one, the NFL, as a whole, has grown into the biggest sport in the country, obviously. Because of the popularity, the draft is interesting in itself, but what makes it even more interesting is that rookies are often able to come in and make an immediate impact -- or at least the perception is that they will be able to. hollywood florida: Who do you think are the three options the Atlanta Falcons have with their first pick? I think either Landry 1st, Anderson 2nd and Brown 3rd. Either way with their 1st three picks it will be DE, S and OL pending on the best available. Rob Rang: I agree with Landry and Levi Brown, Landry is, in my opinion, the safest defensive pick in this draft. A future Pro Bowler, in my opinion, who fills a big need for the Falcons. I'm quite high on Levi Brown and think he'd fit the new linemen prototype that Petrino is looking for. While defensive end is a clear need with the loss of Kerney, I'm not particularly high on Jamaal Anderson -- at least not this early. I could see another defensive linemen, perhaps Petrino's former player, Amobi Okoye, here. Landry remains the favorite, in my mind. Chicago, Il: Is Patrick Willis unlikely to fall to Buffalo, following his incredible pro day performance?Rob Rang: No, I think that is about where he'll be selected. As talented as he is, inside linebacker just isn't considered a value position in the top ten. I feel that Willis is likely drafted somewhere between San Francisco at #11 and Carolina at #14. Pomona, NY: In your most recent 3 round projection for Pittsburgh, you have them going for DE/OLB, RB & OL. For the 2nd round you have them going for Tony Hunt RB Penn St. Would Rob Leonard RB from Rutgers be a better fit as he is a better reciever, faster, solid inside runner, and equal in all other areas to Hunt? Thanks.Rob Rang: Perhaps. I'm a huge fan of Brian Leonard and think he would fit in well with Pittsburgh. I also a huge fan of Tony Hunt, however. Despite his lack of timed speed, Hunt is a terrific interior runner and would give the club the inside presence missing last year. Regardless, if the Steelers were able to add either of these runners I think their running game production improves -- especially in short yardage situations. orlando fl: why is no one even considering adrian peterson anymore in the top five picks? he is the highest rated running back in draft and we all know how important RB's areRob Rang: Durability concerns. Athletically speaking, Adrian Peterson is on a level right there with Reggie Bush and Ronnie Brown, two backs taken with the second overall pick of the past two drafts. But his durability questions could drop him down the board. He still is absolutely a consideration in the top five, though. London, UK: Hi Rob - which DEs do you think the Titans will be looking to pick up come draft day? It is a huge need for the team especially with it looking like Turner may be on his way to TennesseRob Rang: If the team is able to engineer a trade for Michael Turner, the Titans likely won't have a first round pick. Here are a couple of defensive ends likely available in the second and third rounds: Anthony Spencer, Ikaika Alama-Francis, Charles Johnson, Tim Crowder, Victor Abiamiri. Bakersfield, CA: Grettings Rob, Where do you see USC's Steve Smith going in the draft? Many mock drafts list him late second to third round. Should he go higher than Sidney Rice?Rob Rang: Early to mid second round. Yes, he should higher than Rice. SAN ANTONIO, TX : Rob, I would love to see the Rams take a hard look at Michael Bush (BIG LOU) in the 3rd round. We need a solid backup/tandem back for Stephen J and we can afford to be patient with Bush's leg injury. You projected him to ATL at 75. Any chance the Rams reach for him in the 2nd at 52 or work for a trade to get an earlier 3rd round pick?Rob Rang: I don't know that the Rams would have to "reach" for Bush early. Without a verified forty time on him teams are concerned already about his speed. Of course, the second surgery just clouds the picture that much more. I see him as a likely Day Two pick and gave him to Atlanta only because he fills a clear (and stated) need for the Falcons and because Petrino, more than anyone, knows what Bush is capable of. Rochester, NY: What do you think the Browns do at #3? I've been hearing more talk about the Browns possibly moving up to get Russell, do you think that will happen? If the Raiders pass on Russell, how much would the Browns have to give up to move up to get him? I read an article from a well known reporter saying Cleveland should give up their 2008 1st rd pick to move up to #2 in this scenario - that seems like too much to move up one spot...especially for a team trying to rebuild. Rob Rang: My opinion is that Cleveland should sit back at #3 and pick the best available player. Should the Raiders pass on Russell, then a potential trade up for Russell is a consideration. In no way do I consider trading my 2008 1st round pick to move up 1 or 2 spots. At the "worst" some combination of Russell, Quinn, Peterson, Thomas, and oh-by-the-way the consensus #1 prospect, Calvin Johnson, will be available. Cleveland has plenty of options. If I ran their board, the pick would most likely be Joe Thomas. moss point Ms.: At the 27 pick. If the saints can't land a DB, do they go for tackle and who should they pick?Rob Rang: An offensive tackle of defensive tackle? At that point in the draft if Tennessee's Justin Harrell, a defensive tackle, is available, he makes some sense. There are some who believe that Miami tight end Greg Olsen could slip all the way here and he, also, would make some sense even though the Saints clearly would rather address defense here. Enid, OK: Mr. Rang, What makes Michael Johnson a better 3rd round pick for the Broncos than John Wendling? Thanks, Tim WatersRob Rang: Consistency. That doesn't mean that Wendling won't be a third round pick. Wendling is an incredible athlete who played very well for Wyoming, but I scouted him closely while attending practice at the East-West Shrine Game and didn't leave as impressed as I thought. I thought Daren Stone, a safety from Maine, was the much more impressive football player. Fairmont, MN: If adrian peterson were avialable at #7 to the vikings would you take him with that pick?Rob Rang: I would certainly consider it. Minnesota already has a talented running back corps, but Peterson is a phenomenal talent. That said, I see QB and WR as much bigger needs. The Vikings have enough holes that a trade down would be my inclination. pittsburgh pa: why do you continue to rate okoye above branch? they have the same speed, but branch is bigger, stronger and was far more dominant on the field, with the run defense allowing only 43 ypg against top competition. okoyes team allowed 100 ypg against far lesser competition. i hope branch falls far enough for the steelers to somehow attain him. if they get him clear the shelves for more lombardi trophies.Rob Rang: I rank Okoye higher than Alan Branch for several reasons. For one, he is a better overall athlete and more capable of playing different positions along the line. Also, I'm more confident in Okoye's determination to become the best player he can be. I was concerned about Branch's penchant for losing steam late in games and that concern was bolstered by his struggles during his Pro Day. I feel that Branch is a potential top ten pick who could fall a bit. Certainly if the Steelers had an opportunity to get him, he'd make some sense. With Pro Bowler Casey Hamtpon in the fold already, however, Branch would likely have to move outside to defensive end (where he has played before) or the pick might forecast Tomlin's switching the current 3-4 alignment into a more conventional 4-3 scheme. Houston, TX: Looking at purely the Combine "measurables" Brian Robison definitely fits the role of this year's "freak" DE. Why is Jarvis Moss, whose measurables leave something to be desired, consistently ranked higher than Robison? It's not as if Moss was significantly more productive than Robison in college. Rob Rang: Moss wasn't significantly more productive in college because he struggled with injuries. When he was on the field he was a terrific edge rusher capable of putting pressure on the quarterback with every play. Robinson's measurables at the Combine were staggering. That said, despite his staggering numbers, this athleticism does not translate well onto the field. Again, I scouted Robinson in person all week at the Shrine Game. A hard-charging player, but not a special athlete -- at least not on the football field. Houston Texas: when is the NFL going to release the Wonderlick scores from the combine?Rob Rang: I don't think they will. san francisco, california: How high can Ted Ginn Jr. raise his draft stock if he runs a time in the 4.2-4.3 range and do you think that the 49ers will draft him if he's still available at number 11? Rob Rang: I'm considerably lower on Ginn than most. I'm expecting him to run in the 4.3s. His speed is obvious on film. That said, also obvious is his lack of natural hands, mediocre route-running, hesitancy over the middle, and spindly, small frame. Ginn knew he wasn't going to run at the Combine and thus, he likely added weight to measure in as heavily as possible there. He still only weighed in at 178 pounds. Our accomplished draft biographer, Dave Te Thomas, classified Ginn as a "returner who can help out as a receiver" rather than a "receiver who can help out as a returner." I couldn't agree more. I think Ginn is more of a luxury pick who can have a Devin Hester-like impact on special teams, but will never be a true #1 or #2 receiver -- and those players I don't believe are worth the #11 pick in the draft. plant city florida: why wont the falcons trade down with detroit. i think calvin johnson is a must for them.Rob Rang: A must is a strong statement, especially since they've already invested so many high picks on receivers. Certainly Johnson would be an exciting option for the Falcons, but it would cost a lot for them to move up 6 spots. Durham,NC: Will the NFL policy concerning behavior outside of the playing field have an impact on the draft picks ? The recent problems of Pacman Jones and Chris Henry have raised questions about NFL policies . Will draft picks who have gotten into minor problems suffer in the pick because they could be viewed as potential problems for a NFL team ?Rob Rang: Good question. I think it will. Teams are forced to be even more cognizant (and ultimately, responsible) of the off-field actions of their players. Players in this draft with character concerns could fall even lower than before. Bellefonte, PA: With Hamlin in the fold, the Cowboys should go after a WR with their first pick, right? Rank these who should be available: Jarrett, Bowe, and Meachem.Rob Rang: Meachem almost surely will not be available at #22. I'd rank them as Meachem, Bowe, Jarrett. Also, even with the addition of Ken Hamlin, I wouldn't pigeon hole the Cowboys with a receiver. There are other needs for this team and Dallas has had a tendency to draft defensively first. In fact, they haven't use their first round pick on an offensive player since TE David LaFluer ten years ago. Hartford, CT: We have heard some rumors up here that Dan Murray had a pretty good performance at his pro day.... any chance someone takes a stab at him late due to the weak TE class this year? Also-what about Deon Anderson?Rob Rang: Murray is an intriguing late round option at tight end, and you are right, the weaker than normal crop at the position does open some possibilities for players from universities other than the so-called "football factories." I'm particularly high on three small school tight ends, in fact, Delaware's Ben Patrick, Western Oregon's Kevin Boss, and Whitworth's Michael Allan. I like Deon Anderson as a late round fullback. Not a runner and only a marginal receiving threat, but a good lead blocker and special teams' demon. Sherwood,Or: Do you think there will be a quality pass rusher at 21 when Denver picks, and will they take one?Rob Rang: In most drafts, I wouldn't expect there to be a quality pass rusher at this point, but the defensive end class is as strong as any position in the 2007 draft. Anthony Spencer, Jarvis Moss, Ikaika Alama-Francis are among the players who I, personally, see as high second round picks, but could surprise as late firsts. Boston, Mass: I went to school at central connecticut state and have been following their football program because i am a hugh pats fan and thats where Scott Pioli went. I have been following a kid named Justise Hairston. The last couple of days he has been getting some positive press SPorts Illustratreed"top risers" Maximum Draft # 14 running back. Can this kid really get drafted even though he comes from a small school against small competion? I hope he does but just dont know how realistic that is. Do you know anything about him and what do you think?Rob Rang: Hairston is an interesting guy. He played at Rutgers prior to moving on to Central Connecticut State and was a significant player there. After a dominating season at Central, he was invited to the Hula Bowl and though he only rushed the ball a few times, he showed a better combination of power, speed, and quickness than many of the bigger named backs available. Hairston has been featured prominently for weeks on my "Diamonds in the Rough" articles at NFLDraftScout.com as one of the better small school sleepers available this year. Los Angeles, CA: Do you think the Lions should take JaMarcus Russell if he falls to them at no. 2?Rob Rang: No. For one, I don't think he'll fall to them. If he did, however, I don't like the fit between Russell and Mike Martz' offense. Football is such a game of matching prospects' individual strengths and weaknesses to the system they're being taught to play. I would think the Lions would trade down if Russell was available to them -- quite likely to Cleveland. Houston,Texas: What are your thoughts on the Schaub trade? Should the Texans try to trade back to the late teens to mid 20's and get back a 2nd round pick they lost . If so, DT Harrel, OT Staley, WR Bowe or Meechem might be there. Who would you pick? or is it just silly, The Texans should pick CB Hall or OT Brown at 10. What zone blocking tackles can be had in the later rounds? Thanks Rob.Rob Rang: If the team gets an offer to move down from #10, then certainly that has to be something they consider as this isn't a club who will suddenly be a Super Bowl contender with one top ten pick. That said, a cornerback to pair opposite Dunta Robinson makes a good deal of sense and certainly adding a quality left tackle like Levi Brown to protect their investment in Schaub would be a good move, as well. Rochester Hills, MI: Do you think the Patriots should try to move up in the 1st round to acquire either Patrick Willis or Paul Posluzny at the LB spot?Rob Rang: The only team with 2 first round picks, the Patriots have a great many options. It would take a big time trade -- moving up 10 spots or so to secure Willis, so I don't anticipate that happening. The club may not have to trade up for Posluszny as there are many teams who aren't as high on him as the media would lead you to believe. We have him ranked as the 22nd player in the draft, and with New England's first pick being the 24th, he certainly could be available. The team is also considering help along the offensive line and at defensive back. CINCINNATI, OH: SHOULD THE BENGALS DRAFT CORNER OR SAFETY IN THE FIRST ROUND?Rob Rang: Certainly if a safety or cornerback of value is available with the 18th pick it'll be a consideration. The Bengals may have struck gold last year with Joseph. CBs Aaron Ross, Chris Houston should be available. Darrelle Revis is a talent, but he should be off the board. I'd expect Reggie Nelson to be gone and the team might be willing to reach a bit for Michael Griffin. I'm a huge fan of Brandon Meriweather, but his off-field concerns are likely too much for the Bengals, considering their new high character requirements. Charlotte, NC: Rob, A lot of mock drafts have the Panthers selecting Olsen the TE from Miami in the first round. Do you see that happening? I see them selecting a safety in the first round. What are your thoughts on Reggie Nelson as oppose to Brandon Merriweather or Michael Griffin? Rob Rang: Olsen is a talent and it is known that the Panthers would like to involve the tight ends more. That said, I agree with you that safety is a bigger need. I feel that Brandon Meriweather is about as underrated a prospect as there is in this draft, but his off-field concerns and lack of prototype size likely has him selected in the 20s or 30s rather than 14. Reggie Nelson is a terrific player, but he isn't as smooth as a true coverage safety as Landry and scouts are a little concerned with his test scores. Griffin is solid but has struggled with consistency, a bit and, again, I see him as more of a late 1, early 2. Springfield: I've been hearing lately the Dolphins are interested in Greg Olsen at no. 9. Any truth to that?Rob Rang: Certainly the release of Randy McMichael opened up the position, but I feel that Olsen would be a reach at this point in the draft. San Diego, CA: why is Ginn moving back up your draft board...your earlier mocks had him falling to the Chargers...Rob Rang: He isn't. My mock draft doesn't reflect my "board." My board has Ginn firmly as the 25th best player in the draft, but I recognize that some team may fall in love with his playmaking ability and draft him higher. Lou, Denver: Of the 2nd-round WRs, who is most ready to contribute now? Anyone have the potential to develop into a #1 guy in the long term?Rob Rang: Two names: Steve Smith, USC and Craig Davis, LSU. Smith is likely more ready to contribute immediately but he lacks Davis' upside, in my opinion. Davis, however, is very much NFL ready, as well. I expect both to be drafted within the top 10 picks of the second round. San Antonio, TX : Rob, Is the knock on Alan Branch legit, or just pre-draft noise?Rob Rang: I think it is legit. I was recently given a piece of scouting advice from a trusted resource. Watch film of players starting from the late 3rd quarter on and then rewind and start again, If you watch Branch in this capacity, you'll see how much he tires late in games and loses his effectiveness. Rome, GA.: Do you project any impact LB's that can be found in the mid to late rounds of the draft this year? Rob Rang: This is a particularly weak class of linebackers, but here are a few who I think will surprise: Michael Okwo, ILB, Stanford Anthony Waters, ILB, Clemson (coming off torn ACL) Antwan Barnes, OLB, Florida International Sam Olajubutu, OLB, Arkansasorlando fl: who do you think will be this year's for marques colstonRob Rang: An unrealistic expectation that some 7th rounder will compete for NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year honors as Colston did, but a couple of middle to late round receivers who I really like are: Jacoby Jones, Lane James Jones, San Jose State Chris Davis, Florida State Saratoga NY: Quick one regarding the Jets. I know everyone has the Jets taking the guy out of Purdue but what about trading up to get Olsen. I think TE is the most pressing need for them and it should take alot of pressure off of Pennington. Who do you think that they will take in the 1st and 2nd rounds?Rob Rang: The guy from Purdue is Anthony Spencer and his ability as both an DE and OLB intrigues me. I would certainly agree with you that tight end is a significant need, as well. There is a chance that Greg Olsen lasts to the Jets. He is one of the true wild cards in this draft, as some teams love him, others feel he is overrated. In my latest mock draft I gave the Jets Olsen and CB David Irons in the second round. Columbus, Georgia: Do you think Chris Jackson, the WR from Millsaps will be drafted? if so where?Rob Rang: We do not currently list Jackson as a draftable prospect. buffalo, ny: Who do you think the Bills will take with their first pick and is Marshawn Lynch's stock dropping?Rob Rang: Because I don't forecast trades in my mock drafts I see a scenario in which Adrian Peterson falls all the way to Buffalo at #12. More likely, someone will trade up to get him should he begin to tumble out of the top five. I don't believe Lynch's stock is dropping. He is a talented runner with excellent hands out of the backfield. He's a solid first round pick. New Orleans, LA: Will Damarcus Davis WR from Tulane suprise experts by getting drafted in the late rounds like LSU Benny Brazzell did in the 2006 draft? Rob Rang: Possibly. He has great speed like Brazzell. However, the depth of the 2007 class at receiver makes it tougher for a fringe player like Davis to be selected. I view him as a free agent. Ryan, Ohio: Please tell me the Browns won't take a QB! Joe Thomas or Petereson should be the pick. Frye hasn't been given a real chance with the surrounding pieces and only 18 games.Rob Rang: I agree, which is why I maintain that the Browns should take Joe Thomas. Peterson makes a great deal of sense, but with Cleveland appearing to be almost "snake-bitten" when it comes to injuries, I'm not sure how to justify taking a RB who was hurt every year of his collegiate career. Tim, Seattle: If the Packers have a choice between Lynch and Olsen in the 1st round, and given the availability of good RBs in the 2nd/3rd round, do you think they should take Lynch?Rob Rang: Lynch would fill a bigger hole, in my opinion, and is a better fit for what Green Bay does. That said, if there is one pick that everyone seems to agree on in mock drafts it is the Packers taking Lynch. Because of this fact, I think it most likely won't happen. Ted Thompson is an excellent judge of talent and has as good of a poker face as anyone in the business. Running back and tight ends are clear needs for the Packers, but Thompson will take the best available player, positional needs be damned. Philadelphia: Rob, What are the Eagles going to do at No. 1?Rob Rang: The Eagles have a great many options, making them one of the tougher teams to forecast. Certainly a DB, either CB or S makes some sense in terms of building depth. The Eagles have also shown a tendency throughout the Reid era to build their lines. An athletic linebacker makes sense, as well. In my latest mock I gave them Aaron Ross, CB, Texas. Vancouver, BC, Canada: Who are the Chargers targeting? I assume that Turner will be traded, but lets make believe he is not.Rob Rang: Like the Eagles (last question) the Chargers don't have a lot of clear needs. There is a lot of speculation that the team will add a receiver and if the right one is available, that remains a possibility. That said, the Chargers are exceptionally high on Vincent Jackson and think he is going to be their star WR of the future. A speed threat like Ted Ginn, Jr. makes sense for them in terms of his ability to stretch the field and provide an impact on special teams. Certainly a safety like Michael Griffin or even Brandon Meriweather makes some sense. Meriweather, as I mentioned earlier, is a terrific talent, but has some off-field concerns. AJ Smith has shown more willingness than most to gamble on greatness (Castillo, Cromartie, McNeil) and so, they might be one of the clubs who would be open to a player like Meriweather. pinconning, mi: who will lions pick no. 1 overallRob Rang: I thought I just answered this question, but I may have pushed the wrong button afterwards. Gaines Adams, the DE from Clemson is the player they're targeting, but the Lions correctly believe that he is not worthy of the second overall pick. Thus a slight trade is likely. Comment from Rob Rang: Thank you all so much for participating in the chat. I hope you will check out our work at NFLDraftScout.com. Quite honestly, I believe we have the best quality and quantity of draft information anywhere. In fact, my email is plastered throughout the site. If you are willing to invest the 24.95 it costs to join, I'll be willing to personally refund your payment if you can find a draft resource with as good or more information. Thanks again.