A week ago, Chris Long went to Miami with the first pick in Mock Draft 1.0. He could still be a Dolphin on April 26.
But in the world of mock drafts, which started even before the Super Bowl, it's de rigueur to change perspective from day to day and week to week. Teams do it all the time, which is why it's futile to guess until a few days before the draft, when things start to clear up _ a little.
The Dolphins have been talking to Tom Condon, the agent for another Long, offensive tackle Jake. Reason says that's a smoke screen. Bill Parcells' offensive linemen often come from lower in the draft, a perfectly sound tactic that's been successful for a lot of teams over the years.
Typically, rumors (disinformation?) are floating that Ohio State's Vernon Gholston doesn't play as well as he works out. That goes against instinct when it involves Miami's new overseer, who has spent the last two decades in a quest for the next Lawrence Taylor.
Mock Draft 2.0 comes a week after 1.0 to demonstrate the many scenarios and how deceptive teams are about which players they really want.
"I don't know where anyone's going, I really don't," Condon said last week, an interesting observation from an agent who represents three top 10 clients: Jake Long, Matt Ryan and Gholston. But agents dissemble, too _ more often than some teams.
With that in mind, Mock Draft 2.0:
1. MIAMI. A hunch. Parcells had success with "the next LT" in Dallas with DeMarcus Ware. VERNON GHOLSTON, DE/LB, Ohio State. Previous: Chris Long.
2. ST. LOUIS. The Rams finally got a defensive tackle they like when they took Adam Carriker last year. So they try an outside guy, CHRIS LONG, DE, Virginia. Previous: Vernon Gholston.
3. ATLANTA. The Falcons could take Matt Ryan, but love GLENN DORSEY, DT, LSU. QB comes in the second round: Brian Brohm, Chad Henne or Joe Flacco. Previous: Dorsey.
4. OAKLAND. Al Davis has tried to collect some impact defensive guys in the offseason. He says he has enough running backs, but could be fibbing. Al Davis fib? DARREN McFADDEN RB, Arkansas. Previous: Sedrick Ellis.
5. KANSAS CITY. The OL is in desperate shape. JAKE LONG, OT, Michigan, the best lineman in a good class. Previous: Jake Long.
6. NEW YORK JETS. Kellen Clemens, the previous quarterback of the future, was average as a starter in the second half of last season. It may be too early to give up on him, but ... MATT RYAN, QB, Boston College. Previous: Darren McFadden.
7. NEW ENGLAND. Patriots lost their own pick for spying on Jets coaches, but already had San Francisco's, 24 picks higher. They never take linebackers high. then again, they never follow "rules," either. KEITH RIVERS, LB, Southern California. Previous: Leodis McKelvin.
8. BALTIMORE. As always, QB is a priority, but Brohm, Henne or Flacco are available later and Josh Johnson of San Diego is a later-round prospect. LEODIS McKELVIN, CB, Troy, for an aging secondary. Previous: Ryan.
9. CINCINNAT. In this scenario, the Bengals get lucky and SEDRICK ELLIS, DT, Southern Cal, falls to them. Previous: Keith Rivers.
10. NEW ORLEANS. There are still rumors the Saints will trade for Jeremy Shockey, but not with this pick, which goes for the much-needed DOMINIQUE RODGERS-CROMARTIE, CB, Tennessee State. Previous: Rodgers-Cromartie.
11. BUFFALO. The Bills want a big receiver and a cornerback. DEVIN THOMAS, WR, Michigan State has been moving up as quickly as Oklahoma's Malcolm Kelly has been moving down. Previous: Thomas.
12. DENVER. There are a lot of holes here and more problems than the Broncos are supposed to have, including QB Jay Cutler sniping at WR Brandon Marshall, who hurt his right arm in an accident. RYAN CLADY, OT, Boise State, is a big help, but could go higher. Previous: Clady.
13, CAROLINA: Mike Rucker is nearing the end of his career. DERRICK HARVEY, DE, Florida, can be a nice pass-rushing bookend to Julius Peppers and help Peppers revive a declining career. Previous: Chris Williams.
14. CHICAGO. Using the fourth overall pick on Cedric Benson in 2005 was a bad move. Benson might be better if CHRIS WILLIAMS, OT, Vanderbilt, upgrades the line. Previous: Rashard Mendenhall.
15. DETROIT. The Lions gave up on injury-prone Kevin Jones, so they add RASHARD MENDENHALL, RB, Illinois instead of the traditional wideout. Previous: Harvey.
16. ARIZONA. The Cardinals need a running back to eventually succeed Edgerrin James _ perhaps sooner than later. JONATHAN STEWART, RB, Oregon, who is recovering from toe surgery but should be ready by training camp. Previous: Stewart.
17. MINNESOTA. Kenechi Udeze has a form of leukemia, so defensive end has to be a priority. PHILIP MERLING, DE, Clemson is the best one available. Previous: Merling.
18. HOUSTON. The Texans gambled in the 2002 expansion draft on an injured Tony Boselli. It didn't work out, one reason why the offensive line has been awful for six seasons. JEFF OTAH, OT, Pitt. Previous: Otah.
19. PHILADELPHIA. The Eagles need a top receiver, but the last one they took in the first round was Freddie Mitchell, who talked better than he played. Besides, first-round wideouts have a high failure rate. BRANDEN ALBERT, G-T, Virginia. Previous: Jerod Mayo.
20. TAMPA BAY. Brian Kelly is gone, Ronde Barber is 32. Time for AQIB TALIB, CB, Kansas, who has a few character issues but is the best fit for the Tampa Two. Previous: Talib.
21. WASHINGTON. Everyone thinks the Redskins will take Calais Campbell. So: CALAIS CAMPBELL, DE, Miami, who probably won't go to the Redskins because we all know everyone lies at draft time. Previous: Campbell.
22. DALLAS. Jerry Jones wants an Arkansas running back. FELIX JONES, RB, Arkansas, who he was going to take at 28 but is scared might be gone. PREVIOUS: Michael Jenkins.
23. PITTSBURGH. The Steelers like to build from the inside out _ offensive line to backfield. GOSDER CHERILUS, OT, Boston College, is about as good a bet as you can get. About two-thirds of the BC players in the NFL are offensive linemen. Previous: Quentin Groves.
24. TENNESSEE. One of Vince Young's problems last year was average receivers. He'll feel more comfortable with LIMAS SWEED, WR, Texas, to whom he threw in college. Previous: DeSean Jackson.
25. SEATTLE. The Seahawks got the prize of last year's free agency, DE Patrick Kerney. This year they lost two DTs, which means KENTWAN BALMER, DT, North Carolina, is a good fit. Previous: Albert.
26. JACKSONVILLE. Are Troy Williamson and Jerry Porter really sure things at receiver after problems in Minnesota and Oakland? DeSEAN JACKSON, WR California, is small and may be injury prone. But he's also a game-breaker anyone can use. Previous: Balmer.
27. SAN DIEGO. You know a team has few real needs when it's biggest is replacing a departed nickel back. MICHAEL JENKINS, CB, South Florida. Previous: Kelly.
28. DALLAS. Anticipating the arrival of Pacman Jones, Jerry Jones uses his second pick on MALCOLM KELLY, WR, Oklahoma, whose apparent me-first attitude has caused him to slip. Perfect to team with T.O. Previous: Felix Jones.
29. SAN FRANCISCO. Was Joe Staley worth what turned out to be the seventh pick this year, especially with all the offensive linemen available? JEROD MAYO, LB, Tennessee, who can play inside and out and fits well with Patrick Willis, last season's Defensive Rookie of the Year. Previous: Sweed.
30. GREEN BAY. If Brett Favre doesn't decide to make a comeback, or maybe if he does ... CHAD HENNE, QB, Michigan. The Packers could deal down to a team that wants to move up for a QB, as could the Chargers and Giants. Previous: Brian Brohm.
31. NEW YORK GIANTS. The Giants usually take the best player available although they need a safety and TYRELL JOHNSON, S, Arkansas State fits. With their second-round history (Strahan, Toomer, Barber, Umenyiora, Snee) they can trade down with a team seeking a QB and still probably get him. Previous: Cherilus.
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