|Connelly’s Top Ten: Patriots Win By Less Than a FOOT||Panic Mode in Full Effect, Minutemen are Struggling||Patriots Survive Gritty Challenge From Jets||Smart Era Gets Off to a Good Start with Win over T’wolves|
The Patriots selected Tennessee middle linebacker Jerod Mayo with the 10th pick in the 2008 NFL draft. The Pats traded down from No. 7 and were able to score a middle linebacker which should take some pressure on aging LBs Tedy Bruschi, Mike Vrabel and Junior Seau.
1. Miami Dolphins – Jake Long, LT, Michigan – No surprises as Miami takes Long with the No. 1 overall pick. Long signed a 5 year, $57.75 million deal four days ago. Long should bring some stability to the Dolphins offensive line under new team President, Bill Parcells. Long is just the third OT taken No. 1 overall; the last was Orlando Pace to the St. Louis Rams in 1997.
2. St. Louis Rams – Chris Long, DE, Virginia – It was widely reported that the Rams would be selecting the big DE from Virginia with the number two pick. The son of NFL Hall of Fame defensive end and current Fox commentator Howie Long, Chris Long will slide in nicely for the Rams and give them some speed on the turf. Long had 79 tackles in his final season which is impressive considering he was consistently double teamed during the season.
3. Atlanta Falcons – Matt Ryan, QB, Boston College – It seems the Falcons can now completely move on from Michael Vick and have Matt Ryan as their new franchise face. Matt Ryan can now step in to a new coaching staff and a new look franchise in hopes of giving Falcon fans something to look forward too. Some say he can come in and play right away and at 6’4″ and 228lbs, Ryan has the physical skills to succeed at the next level.
4. Oakland Raiders – Darren McFadden, RB, Arkansas – The reports were correct from earlier as McFadden is drafted at No. 4 to Oakland. He’s a two time Heisman Trophy runner-up and has the size and speed gives him the opportunity to run over defenders. He was the best rusher in the best NCAA conference in 2006 and 2007 and should be able to step right in and contribute ala Adrian Peterson.
5. Kansas City Chiefs – Glenn Dorsey, DT, LSU – The Chiefs seemed to debate until the minutes before their pick but went with their gut and picked Glenn Dorsey. Dorsey was a dominant defensive force for the national champion LSU Tigers but his draft stock has slide because of questions of durability. It was reported the Chiefs were looking to trade down for more picks but in the end, the potential presence of Dorsey in the middle of the Chiefs defensive was too much to pass up for Herm Edwards and co.
6. New York Jets – Vernon Gholston, DE/OLB, Ohio State – The freak athlete hybrid DE/OLB showed up in the biggest game against Michigan. As mentioned before, he had the only sack recorded against No. 1 pick Jake Long last season. Though people say he takes plays off here and there, I think he’s going to keep growing as a player and be a beast in the NFL. Unfortunately, we’ll have first hand knowledge of just how good he is twice a year.
7. New Orleans Saints (traded from Patriots, via San Francisco) – Sedrick Ellis, DT, USC – The Saints move up three spots and select defensive tackle Sedrick Ellis. He’s big, quick and a force inside during his career at USC. The Saints were looking to move up as they need defensive tackle and corner back. They were able to move up and get their man.
8. Jacksonville Jaguars (trade with Baltimore Ravens) – Derrick Harvey, DE, Florida – Mel Kiper feels this is a reach for the Jags at No. 8. The details of the trade haven’t been released but it’s assumed the Jags had to give up a ton to move up from the mid-20s. Harvey has great speed and size, but some feel he was inconsistent at times at UF. The Jags were looking to move up to make a big score and get the last piece to their defensive puzzle to make a Super Bowl run.
9. Cincinnati Bengals – Keith Rivers, LB, USC – ESPN gave away the pick and showed Rivers receiving the phone call from the Bengals telling him they would make him the ninth overall pick. Rivers is a fast linebacker who is a big hitter, but needs to work on his open field tackling. He was a target of the Patriots but the Bengals snatched him at No. 9 to help a linebacker corps which just lost David Pollack to retirement because of a neck injury.
10. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS – Jerod Mayo, MLB, Tennessee – The Pats trade down and score a smart MLB who should give the Patriots good depth heading into the next season. He ran a 4.54 40 yard time at the combine. The Patriots aren’t known for selecting linebackers early in the draft but in Mayo they were able to trade down, gain a pick and get their guy. More on the pick later…