TH mock draft: 6 – 10

Time for the second installment of our 2008 mock NFL draft!

The top-five teams made their selections yesterday and, for the most part, there were no huge surprises.

Matt Ryan to Kansas City is a slight surprise, however. But I have seen his name in that spot on a few other mock drafts, so it is not beyond the realm of possibility.

I also was a little surprised to see Glenn Dorsey go No. 1, but I do not think anyone would argue that he is not capable of being the No. 1 pick. The only thing against him going No. 1 at this point is that all signs point to the Dolphins taking Jake Long with that pick this Saturday, but who really knows.

Darren McFadden to the Raiders is very, very possible, so I was not surprised by that pick.

Jake Long to Atlanta makes sense with Dorsey and Chris Long already off the board, but I would not be surprised to see the Dirty Birds jump on the Matt Ryan bandwagon either.

So with Glenn Dorsey, Chris Long, Jake Long, Darren McFadden and Matt Ryan off the board, hit the jump to see the next five selections in The Hazean’s 2008 NFL mock draft.

The New York Jets [The Fantasy Football Geek Blog] select Vernon Gholston, DE, Ohio State.

Unfortunately, my co-blogger Brandon is MIA this evening, but the show must go on so I guess I’m flying solo on this one. Luckily, this pick is hella easy: Vernon Gholston, DE, Ohio State.

Gholston had a stellar pro workout, where he ran a 4.58, showed off a 42-inch vertical, and went from a guaranteed first-round pick to a guy the Jets would be very lucky to get 6th overall. This video of him owning Jake Long could make the case for him all on its own.

The Jets, 25th in the league in sacks last year, desperately need a guy like Gholston, especially because he’s a perfect fit for their 3-4.

The lack of any notable injury history (aside from a broken hand which has caused no problems since healing) or known personal issues seals the deal. If the Jets are lucky enough to snag this guy in the 6th spot, there’s no question in my mind that they will.

The New England Patriots [The NFL Guru] select Leodis McKelvin, CB, Troy.

The Patriots dream scenario would be to have Vernon Gholston fall to them with this pick. If he’s gone (which is likely) New England will try hard to trade down but if they find themselves stuck at #7 they will be forced to address their corner back position by drafting Leodis McKelvin out of Troy. He is the most talented corner in the draft and with Bill Belichick coaching him up, McKelvin could easily become recognized as a top 5 corner in the NFL someday.

The Baltimore Ravens [Kelloggs23 from Football Jabber] select Ryan Clady, OT, Boise State.

After Matt Ryan fell past the Falcons at 3, I thought for sure that the Ravens would get to pick him at 8 for a no brainer. With Gholston and McKelvin gone, I don’t see a CB or OLB worth taking at 8 so I will move to their next biggest need. Sedrick Ellis is another possibility because he is the best player available, but they don’t really have a need at DT and he wouldn’t fit their scheme too well. Jonathan Ogden is getting old and talks retirement every year, this could possibly be the year he says he isn’t coming back. So with the 8th pick the Ravens choose OT Ryan Clady from Boise State. He provides them with a big body that will help their O-line whether he starts this year or in the future. His blocking will improve Willis McGahee’s 2nd year with the club and hopefully give the QB a chance to look down-field for Mark Clayton more often than in years past. He is a low risk pick and should develop into a solid tackle for many years to come.

The Cincinnati Bengals [Danny Belcher] select Sedrick Ellis, DT, USC.

This is an easy pick for the Bengals. Their biggest need going into this offseason was a premier defensive tackle to be an anchor that Marvin Lewis can build a defense around, and they have one staring them in the face here at 1.09. Sedrick Ellis was one of the top names going into this draft season, and he hasn’t disappointed, running the 40 in the 5.05 – 5.07 range, with a 30 inch vertical jump, and 36 reps on the bench at his pro day. Compare that to the #1 overall pick in this mock, who ran the 40 in 5.12, jumped only 25.5 inches off the ground, and 27 reps on the bench. So with the ninth pick in the NFL draft, the Bengals select Sedrick Ellis.

All that being said, the most important reason why this is the right pick for the Bengals? No character issues.

The Saints are on the clock!

The New Orleans Saints [The Hazean] select Keith Rivers, LB, USC.

I think most people would agree that the Saints’ biggest need area after last season lies on the defensive side of the ball. And the Saints could go any number of directions with the No. 10 pick in the draft.

Some said it would be wise to grab one of the premiere defensive tackles, but both Glenn Dorsey and Sedrick Ellis are gone. Kentwan Balmer is the next best defensive tackle, but taking him at No. 10 would be a stretch.

Others said cornerback is the biggest need for the Saints. The Jason David experiment failed miserably last year and New Orleans has not done much this offseason to remedy the secondary. The signing of Randall Gay is a nice insurance policy, but he may be no more than a solid No. 2 guy. Mike McKenzie, the team’s best corner and one of the best in the league, is coming off a torn ACL and may not be ready for the start of the regular season. Couple all this with the fact that this year’s draft class is stocked with first-round talent, and you might think the Saints would take a cornerback at No. 10.

But I do not think so.

I think the Saints will continue to opt for best available with their first-round draft pick, as they have the last two seasons under the Sean Payton era (Reggie Bush in 2006, Robert Meachem in 2007). The trend has been to take the best offensive player available, which should change this year. I think the Saints’ coaching staff realizes it is the defense that needs the infusion of talent, which is why the team was aggressive pursuing defensive players via free agency. Conveniently, taking the best defensive player available at No. 10 in this draft also corresponds to a need for the Saints at outside linebacker.

With the No. 10 pick in the 2008 (mock) draft, the New Orleans Saints select Keith Rivers, LB, USC.

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