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Sam Farmer's mock NFL draft

Sam Farmer's mock NFL draft

Sam Farmer's mock NFL draft

The draft of top college players won't be held until April 26-27, but our NFL expert takes a look at who might go where . . . and right now, Chris Long of Virginia is looking like No. 1 overall.

1. Miami - Chris Long, DE, Virginia - Howie Long's son will be a cornerstone for a defense in rebuilding mode.

2. St. Louis - Vernon Gholston, DE, Ohio State - The Rams, who also need an offensive tackle, didn't pressure passers enough last season.

3. Atlanta - Matt Ryan, QB, Boston College - The Falcons have all sorts of needs, but why not start with their biggest deficiency?

4. Oakland - Sedrick Ellis, DT, USC - With Warren Sapp gone, Ellis should be able to step right in and pick up the slack.

5. Kansas City - Jake Long, OT, Michigan - Chiefs will look for Long to help them the way Joe Thomas helped Cleveland.

6. New York Jets - Darren McFadden, RB, Arkansas - Character questions swirl around McFadden, but he could be too tempting at this spot.

7. New England - Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, CB, Tennessee State - With Asante Samuel and Randall Gay gone, the Patriots need help at corner.

8. Baltimore - Ryan Clady, OT, Boise State - The Ravens have to start planning for life after Jonathan Ogden.

9. Cincinnati - Glenn Dorsey, DT, LSU - Dorsey's health issues could lead to a slide. Bengals need to shore up defensive front.

10. New Orleans - Keith Rivers, LB, USC - Saints have improved at inside backer but still need help on the outside.

11. Buffalo - Leodis McKelvin, CB, Troy - More depth in the secondary is a must for Bills, and maybe even a replacement for right corner Jabari Greer.

12. Denver - Jeff Otah, OT, Pittsburgh - In addition to thinking defense, the Broncos are always looking for good offensive linemen to mold.

13. Carolina - Kenny Phillips, FS, Miami - The Panthers don't have a locked-in starter at free safety, and Phillips might be good enough to step in as a rookie.

14. Chicago - Brian Brohm, QB, Louisville - The Bears have to develop a fall-back plan if the Rex Grossman experiment fizzles yet again.

15. Detroit - Kentwan Balmer, DT, North Carolina - The Lions could also use a solid offensive tackle and a defensive end. But Balmer might be a good fit here.

16. Arizona - Phillip Merling, DE, Clemson - Merling could help generate a pass rush for the Cardinals, whose Bertrand Berry and Chike Okeafor are coming off injuries.

17. Minnesota - Derrick Harvey, DE, Florida - If Merling is around, the Vikings might take him. They sorely need a pass rusher.

18. Houston - DeSean Jackson, WR, California - Matt Schaub needs more sure-handed targets, and Jackson would certainly be one of those.

19. Philadelphia - Mike Jenkins, CB, South Florida - The Eagles acquired Samuel but lost Lito Sheppard. Translation: they still need capable corner help.

20. Tampa Bay - Limas Sweed, WR, Texas - Despite the acquisition of Antonio Bryant, the Buccaneers are still looking for playmaking receivers.

21. Washington - Calais Campbell, DE, Miami - Campbell could give the Redskins a much-needed infusion of youth on the defensive front.

22. Dallas - Rashard Mendenhall, RB, Illinois - The Cowboys could use some help at cornerback and receiver too, but this is a team with precious few backs.

23. Pittsburgh - Malcolm Kelly, WR, Oklahoma - Now that the Steelers are paying Ben Roethlisberger all that money, why not give him more targets?

24. Tennessee - Lawrence Jackson, DE, USC - Ex-Trojan Jeff Fisher might look to his alma mater to fill void created by departures of Travis LaBoy and Antwan Odom.

25. Seattle - Fred Davis, TE, USC - By staying for his senior year, Davis helped himself as much as anyone in the draft.

26. Jacksonville - Dan Connor, LB, Penn State - Connor would be a good grab at this spot, even though the Jaguars have more pressing needs on defensive line.

27. San Diego - Felix Jones, RB, Arkansas - Not so long ago, the Chargers had an embarrassment of riches at this spot. Not anymore.

28. Dallas - Antoine Cason, CB, Arizona - Cason was not only a shut-down corner in college, but he was All-Pac-10 as a punt returner.

29. San Francisco - Gosder Cherlius, OT, Boston College - The 49ers will use this draft, in part, to improve the depth on their offensive line.

30. Green Bay - Dustin Keller, TE, Purdue - Keller was one of college football's top pass-catching tight ends. USC's Davis or Texas A&M's Martellus Bennett could fit here too.

31. New York Giants - Mario Manningham, WR, Michigan - Fellow Michigan alum Amani Toomer could help teach Manningham the Giants way.

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