Friday, April 25, 2008

Franchise's 2008 NFL Draft Rankings - Pt. 3

I find drafts that are top-heavy with offensive linemen to be boring. That's nothing against the big guys, who are crucial to any good team's success, but plenty of good linemen have been mined from the middle rounds of the NFL Draft. The perception of linemen is that they are safe picks (though you can swing and miss just as easily with them - see Tony Mandarich, Mike Williams, etc.) so you will continue to see drafts like this year's, where almost a quarter of the first round could consist of guys from the offensive trenches.

I'm lumping all of the linemen together for my rankings, though I'll try to note where experts think they'll play in the NFL. Oh, and thanks to the Dolphins, there's not much suspense about who's No. 1!

Offensive Linemen
  1. Jake Long, Michigan (T)
  2. Branden Albert, Virginia (T/G)
  3. Ryan Clady, Boise State (T)
  4. Chris Williams, Vanderbilt (T)
  5. Jeff Otah, Pittsburgh (T)
  6. Gosder Cherilus, Boston College (T)
  7. Sam Baker, USC (T)
  8. Duane Brown, Virginia Tech (T)
  9. Anthony Collins, Kansas (T)
  10. Mike Pollak, Arizona State (C)
Others to consider: Mike McGlynn, Pittsburgh (G); Roy Schuening, Oregon State (G); Oniel Cousins, UTEP (T/G); Carl Nicks, Nebraska (T); Jeremy Zuttah, Rutgers (G/C)

Tight end is a tough position to rank, simply because different teams use them in different ways, leading to wildly varying opinions based on need. Though it's been trendier to take tight ends early in the past few years, it doesn't look like any will be going in the first round this year.

Tight Ends
  1. Dustin Keller, Purdue
  2. Fred Davis, USC
  3. John Carlson, Notre Dame
  4. Martellus Bennett, Texas A&M
  5. Martin Rucker, Missouri
  6. Brad Cottam, Tennessee
  7. Kellen Davis, Michigan State
  8. Jermichael Finley, Texas
  9. Jacob Tamme, Kentucky
  10. Craig Stevens, Cal

Teams are always looking for pass rushers, and since the NFL is very much a copycat league, even more will be attempting to follow the New York Giants' blueprint from last season. Fortunately for the followers, there's some nice talent in the 2008 class at both end (both 4-3 and 3-4 types) and tackle.

Defensive Ends

  1. Chris Long, Virginia
  2. Vernon Gholston, Ohio State
  3. Derrick Harvey, Florida
  4. Phillip Merling, Clemson
  5. Lawrence Jackson, USC
  6. Calais Campbell, Miami (Fla.)
  7. Quentin Groves, Auburn
  8. Jason Jones, Eastern Michigan
  9. Cliff Avril, Purdue
  10. Jeremy Thompson, Wake Forest

Others to consider: Chris Ellis, Virginia Tech; Kendall Langford, Hampton; Pat Sims, Auburn

Defensive Tackles

  1. Glenn Dorsey, LSU
  2. Sedrick Ellis, USC
  3. Kentwan Balmer, North Carolina
  4. Trevor Laws, Notre Dame
  5. Dre Moore, Maryland
  6. Red Bryant, Texas A&M
  7. Ahtyha Rubin, Iowa
  8. Andre Fluellen, Florida State
  9. Marcus Harrison, Arkansas
  10. Carlton Powell, Vriginia Tech

Others to consider: DeMario Pressley, N.C. State; Letroy Guion, Florida State; Lionel Dotson, Arizona

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