NFL Draft First-Round Selections Print
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Saturday, 26 April 2008 13:07
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 The first-round picks in Saturday NFL draft:
1) Miami Dolphins - JAKE LONG, 6-7, 315, Michigan: Bulldozer of a tackle in the run game who can also be a solid insurance policy for any franchise QB. Has the strength to move the pile and aggressiveness and smarts to clear out second-level blockers. Lacks the nimbleness of the truly great LTs, as he'll occasionally get beat by quick edge rushers or a strong second move. Could be the first overall pick.
2) St. Louis Rams - CHRIS LONG, 6-foot-4, 275 pounds, Virginia: A versatile prospect at the position who could be a three-down player due to his array of pass-rush moves and nose for the football. Strong and athletic enough to fight off blocks, his one weak spot is a lack of edge-rush speed. Still, his quickness and anticipation usually are enough for him to overwhelm all but the most massive OLs.
3) Atlanta Falcons - MATT RYAN, 6-foot-5, 224 pounds, Boston College: Has all the tools to succeed in the modern NFL. Is tall enough to see over defenses, quick to check down through receivers, and can avoid the rush and throw on the run. His one weakness is the deep ball. Calm under pressure. Showed toughness when dealing with left foot injuries in junior year, but had surgery in January 2007 and a successful senior year.
4) Oakland Raiders - DARREN McFADDEN, 6-2, 210, junior, Arkansas: Has the speed and acceleration to make defenders look foolish, as well as the strength to defeat tacklers and make a strong second effort. Good vision and can run between the tackles or outside them. Excellent skills receiving - and throwing - the ball. Has developed a nice cut move for blitz pickups, but will need to improve stand-up blocks. Possible contributor on special teams, though ball-security was an issue there in college.
5) Kansas City Chiefs - GLENN DORSEY, 6-2, 316, LSU: Explosive and violent, he makes up for lack of size with his strength and energy. Astonishingly quick off the ball, and strong. Quick to diagnose plays and find the ball. Demands attention from blockers, but production could be limited. Also some durability issues.
6) New York Jets - VERNON GHOLSTON, 6-4, 258, junior, Ohio State: Has the speed to get upfield and past blockers in a hurry, but is less effective against the run. Raw, with plenty of potential to become a top speed rusher or linebacker.
7) New Orleans Saints - SEDRICK ELLIS, 6-1, 305, Southern Cal: Sudden off the ball, he can disrupt plays before they develop. Good at sniffing out the ball and pursuing. Probably not ideal for a two-gap scheme.
8) Jacksonville Jaguars - DERRICK HARVEY, 6-5, 252, junior, Florida: Quick to read and react, he could be a linebacker project. Either way, he shows excellent acceleration and speed, as well as football IQ.
9) Cincinnati Bengals - KEITH RIVERS, 6-3, 235, Southern California: Excellent athletic ability, but sometimes can get neutralized, especially in traffic. Persistent effort. Shows promise in pass coverage.
10) New England Patriots - JEROD MAYO, 6-1, 242, Tennessee: Smart and agile athlete who shows good ability to change direction and stay with RBs and TEs in coverage, as well as avoid blockers. Not great in tight spaces, so his blitzing ability is limited to edge rushes.
 

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