Football fans, it's not over yet...
The fan's excitement of the NFL seemed to die down a few days after the New York Giants stunned the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl, but the fun for management around the league had just begun. The annual, two-day NFL draft takes as much strategy as it does to run an offense except there's less room for error. With expected contracts rocketing up as high as $70 million, the futures of teams already struggling to succeed are at stake. But the players get just as jittery, knowing that the difference between rounds and picks could be millions of dollars. Right now, only OT Jake Long of Michigan has been guaranteed his draft position. We'll give you a look at other former college stars trying to hit the jackpot this weekend.
2008 First Round Mock Draft
| Pick #|| Team|| Anshul's Pick|| Nitin's Pick|
| 1|| Miami Dolphins|| Jake Long, OT, Michigan|| Jake Long, OT, Michigan|
| 2|| St. Louis Rams|| Chris Long, DE, Virginia|| Chris Long, DE, Virginia|
| 3|| Atlanta Falcons|| Darren McFadden, RB, Arkansas|| Matt Ryan, QB, Boston College|
| 4|| Oakland Raiders|| Glenn Dorsey, DT, LSU|| Darren McFadden, RB, Arkansas|
| 5|| Kansas City Chiefs|| Matt Ryan, QB, Boston College|| Glenn Dorsey, DT, LSU|
| 6|| New York Jets|| Vernon Gholston, DE, Ohio State|| Vernon Gholston, DE, Ohio State|
| 7|| New England Patriots|| Leodis McKelvin, CB, Troy|| Derrick Harvey, DE, Florida|
| 8|| Baltimore Ravens|| Ryan Clady, OT, Boise State|| Leodis McKelvin, CB, Troy|
| 9|| Cincinnati Bengals|| Sedrick Ellis, DT, USC|| Sedrick Ellis, DT, USC|
| 10|| New Orleans Saints|| Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, CB, Tennessee State|| Keith Rivers, OLB, USC|
| 11|| Buffalo Bills|| Devin Thomas, WR, Michigan State|| Domnique Rogers-Cromartie, CB, Tennessee|
| 12|| Denver Broncos|| Keith Rivers, LB, USC|| Ryan Clady, OT, Boise St.|
| 13|| Carolina Panthers|| Branden Albert, G, Virginia|| Chris Williams, OT, Vanderbilt|
| 14|| Chicago Bears|| Rashard Mendenhall, RB, Illinois|| Jeff Otah, OT, Pittsburgh|
| 15|| Detroit Lions|| Jeff Otah, OT, Pittsburgh|| Rashard Mendenhall, RB, Illinois|
| 16|| Arizona Cardinals|| Felix Jones, RB, Arkansas|| Jerod Mayo, LB, Tennessee|
| 17|| Kansas City Chiefs|| Derrick Harvey, DE, Florida|| Phillip Merling, DE, Clemson|
| 18|| Houston Texans|| Jonathan Stewart, RB, Oregon|| Branden Albert, OG, Virginia|
| 19|| Philadelphia Eagles|| Kenny Phillips, S, Miami|| DeSean Jackson, WR, California|
| 20|| Tampa Bay Buccaneers|| DeSean Jackson, WR, California|| Mike Jenkins, CB, USF|
| 21|| Washington Redskins|| Malcolm Kelly, WR, Oklahoma|| Calais Campbell, DE, Miami|
| 22|| Dallas Cowboys|| Aqib Talib, CB, Kansas|| Devin Thomas, WR, Michigan St.|
| 23|| Pittsburgh Steelers|| Chris Williams, OT, Vanderbilt|| Gosder Cherilus, OT, Boston College|
| 24|| Tennessee Titans|| Kentwan Balmer, DT, North Carolina|| Limas Sweed, WR, Texas|
| 25|| Seattle Seahawks|| Dustin Keller, TE, Purdue|| Jonathan Stewart, RB, Oregon|
| 26|| Jacksonville Jaguars|| Calais Campbell, DE, Miami (FL)|| James Hardy, WR, Indiana|
| 27|| San Diego Chargers|| Mike Jenkins, CB, South Florida|| Brandon Flowers, CB, Virginia Tech|
| 28|| Dallas Cowboys|| James Hardy, WR, Indiana|| Aqib Talib, CB, Kansas|
| 29|| San Francisco 49ers|| Gosder Cherilus, OT, Boston College|| Quentin Groves, DE, Auburn|
| 30|| Green Bay Packers|| Dan Connor, LB, Penn State|| Antoine Cason, CB, Arizona|
| 31|| New England Patriots|| Forfeited|| Forfeited|
| 32|| New York Giants|| Jerod Mayo, LB, Tennessee||Kenny Phillips, S, Miami (FL)|
Anshul: Chris Long, DE, Virginia
Considered by many to be the safest pick in the draft, the local-star Long has it all. His combination of speed (a solid 4.71 in the 40) and strength make him an ideal defensive end at any level of the game. His talent won't end with his college career and instead will blossom in the NFL under the guidance of professional coaches. His change of direction and agility skills are remarkable for a man at his size and position and will help him get around those big offensive linemen in the NFL.
Nitin: Leodis McKelvin, CB, Troy
The big time cover corner/returner from the small school of Troy has the speed and quickness to keep pace with the NFL's top tier wideouts. And McKelvin's playmaking ability on kick and punt returns will be welcome on any team aside from the Chicago Bears. Baltimore could really use some new blood in the defense with aging stars starting to show signs of wear and tear. His blistering 4.38 40 time at the NFL Combine will do wonders for the oft-injured Ravens defense. Even in a star-studded secondary, McKelvin will get his fair share of the spotlight on his way to a Pro Bowl career.
Anshul: Devin Thomas, WR, Michigan State
Thomas had an outstanding 2007 season at Michigan State, but was barely a factor in the previous year. One solid year may not be enough to show Thomas' consistency. In addition Thomas never really developed into a legitimate deep threat and has been criticized for his inability to make the long catch. If Thomas is used as a possession receiver, then he may have some success. But he is likely not going to be a franchise receiver or a primary target. His route running and burst have been criticized also, two of the most important qualities for a successful receiver at the professional level.
Nitin: Matt Ryan, QB, Boston College
The former Eagle had an impressive four year campaign at Boston College, both on and off the field, but he hasn't "wowed" anyone a la Carson Palmer or Vince Young. Any team with a top ten selection eyeing quarterback as their priority need likely doesn't have a jaw-dropping offensive line. In the 2008 draft, Atlanta, Kansas City and Baltimore may go for Ryan, but not one has a successful running game to take pressure off the passer. Not to mention the lack of a possible veteran mentor at any likely destination; the best he can hope for is the Chiefs' Damon Huard. Ryan is by far the top quarterback prospect, but with teams' tendency to keep most average rookie signal callers on the sideline for a season or two, I don't see Ryan making a sizeable impact any time soon.
Anshul: Arman Shields, WR, Richmond
The local receiver amassed over 1,800 yards and had 13 touchdowns in his first three seasons with Richmond before missing the majority of the 2007 season due to a knee injury. But he showed that he is back at the NFL Combine, putting up a 4.37 40-yard dash and a 37.5" vertical jump to go with his 6'1" 194-pound frame. Shields blazed through the other speed drills with a 3.96 20-yard dash (the only sub-four time at the Combine) and a 10.87 in the 60-yard dash (the only sub-eleven time at the Combine). Projected to be drafted somewhere between the fourth and sixth rounds, Shields could be a huge pick-up for a team needing a speedy receiver.
Nitin: Marcus Monk, WR, Arkansas
Marcus Monk's four-year stay at Arkansas was marked by flashes of brilliance along with disappointing stints on the sideline while injured. He amassed 27 TD receptions and 2151 receiving yards with 15.6 yards per reception in his career, but his physical nature and monster frame (6'6", 220 pounds) can give NFL teams a possession and red zone threat they need without sacrificing a top pick in the draft. Monk's only true downside is his limited quickness and first step, but if quarterbacks call his number on the right routes he will be a success as a pro.
Anshul Sood. Anshul is a very laid-back person, a real take-it-easy kind of guy. He often burns time listening to music, playing music, watching some sports game, or playing some sport. Recently, he has entered into the world of running, though he is not very good. However, … More »
Nitin Sukumar. Nitin's middle name is Antonio Gates. More »