There has been a major shake-up in the top 10.
With the NFL Scouting Combine mostly in the books, some things have changed in our early first-round NFL mock draft. For one, LSU’s Glenn Dorsey has fallen behind Southern California’s Sedrick Ellis. Until Dorsey can prove the injuries are not a concern, his stock will continue to slip. But he is not out of the top 10 just yet.
For the rest of the movers and shakers in our early mock draft, hit the jump.
1. Miami Dolphins: Chris Long, DE, Virginia [previous: Glenn Dorsey, DT, LSU]
MM: If the Dolphins do not trade out of this pick, Long is the best player for the Bill Parcells’ regime. He is a versatile, hard-working defensive end with a tireless motor. He would fit well in a 3-4 defensive scheme, which the Dolphins figure to employ.
2. St. Louis Rams: Sedrick Ellis, DT, USC [previous: Jake Long, OT, Michigan]
MM: Ellis’ meteoric rise may be complete. Fellow defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey hurt his stock by going to the combine and revealing a previously undisclosed injury, which could allow Ellis to jump Dorsey in the rankings and, subsequently, the draft.
3. Atlanta Falcons: Matt Ryan, QB, Boston College [previous: Darren McFadden, RB, Arkansas]
MM: Rumors are circulating that Falcons’ owner Arthur Blank is enamored with Ryan. In addition to his affinity, Blank also is looking for the next face-of-the-franchise player after losing Michael Vick last year.
4. Oakland Raiders: Darren McFadden, RB, Arkansas [previous: Chris Long, DE, Virginia]
MM: First, I thought about putting McFadden at No. 6 to the Jets. Then he ran at the combine. The Raiders will not be able to ignore his speed and the potential that he could be the next great runningback. There are greater needs on the defensive line, but McFadden does fill a need on the offensive side of the ball.
5. Kansas City Chiefs: Jake Long, OT, Michigan [previous: Matt Ryan, QB, Boston College]
MM: You hear that? It is the sound of Brodie Croyle and Larry Johnson rejoicing. Long would infuse both youth and talent to the
old veteran offensive line and should start for the Chiefs from day one.
6. New York Jets: Vernon Gholston, DE, Ohio State
MM: Gholston would be a good fit as a hybrid (defensive end/outside linebacker) in Eric Mangini’s 3-4 defensive scheme. He is a freak-of-nature type athlete making the jump from college to the NFL as a junior. Although his draft stock shot up dramatically with a three-sack effort against Michigan in Ohio State’s 2007 regular season finale, Gholston will need to play with more consistency in the pros.
7. New England Patriots: Kenny Phillips, S, Miami [previous: Mike Jenkins, CB, South Florida]
MM: Many have the Patriots on a cornerback here, but it might be a reach to take any here. Phillips is widely regarded as the best safety available and would make a good free safety in Bill Belichick’s defense. Do not forget how highly Belichick regards Baltimore Ravens’ safety Ed Reed, who also is a product of the University of Miami.
8. Baltimore Ravens: Brian Brohm, QB, Louisville
MM: I thought I would change this pick when I redid the mock, but it turns out that it will remain the same. The Ravens have made no indication on who exactly they like so far, and most of the whispers have them looking at Brohm to backup Steve McNair for one season before taking over as the starter.
9. Cincinnati Bengals: Glenn Dorsey, DT, LSU [previous: Kenny Phillips, S, Miami]
MM: Despite the concerns about Dorsey’s injuries, the Bengals would be delighted to grab the talented, tough defensive tackle here. The Bengals’ defense was atrocious on the field in 2007 and the team’s off-the-field transgressions have been well documented. As well as being one of the better talents in this draft, Dorsey is a high-quality character guy.
10. New Orleans Saints: Keith Rivers, LB, USC [previous: Sedrick Ellis, DT, USC]
MM: Sedrick Ellis’ meteoric rise the last few weeks screws the Saints out of arguably the best defensive tackle in this draft. But Keith Rivers is a great consolation prize, particularly given the Saints’ deficiencies in the linebacking corps. If the Saints can upgrade at middle linebacker via free agency, Rivers and Fujita would be pretty good bookends in the Saints’ 4-3 defense.