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And the first pick is ...
With the NFL draft looming, ChicagoSports.com and Bears Today present their first mock draft. We'll update it as we approach the April 24 draft and results from workouts are released.
1. San Diego Chargers (New York Giants)
The Chargers need a quarterback. And if they were to keep the pick they'd have their choice of Eli Manning, Ben Roethlisberger or Philip Rivers, all of whom they've met with in the last week. The last time they were in this position they picked all-time draft bust Ryan Leaf. Are they spooked? Perhaps.
There have been reports out of Cleveland and New York that the Browns and Giants are interested in trading up. The Browns reportedly want Iowa's gigantic left tackle Robert Gallery. The Giants want Manning. So what the heck, we'll say in a shocker the Giants move up and take Manning.
2. Oakland Raiders
Judging by some of his wardrobe choices, it would be nearly impossible to predict what Al Davis is thinking. That said, the Raiders will take a receiver and not the fastest one available Pitt's Larry Fitzgerald over Texas' Roy Williams and USC's Mike Williams.
3. Arizona Cardinals (Cleveland)
Dennis Green is sold on quarterback Josh McCown. While he may be the only one, it points to the Cardinals staying out of the QB derby.
It also could be a pre-draft smokescreen. Nevertheless, the Cards and Green, who wanted Fitzgerald, will trade down with Cleveland. The Browns will take Gallery and be set at left tackle.
4. New York Giants (San Diego)
Roethlisberger goes from the cloud-belt of Oxford, Ohio, to sunny San Diego and starts immediately.
5. Washington Redskins
The 'Skins have only three picks in the draft, so they may consider trading down to grab more. But with their needs, standing pat could nab an immediate impact player, like, say, Miami's Kellen Winslow. We'll go with him even though their defensive line is hurting.
6. Detroit Lions
Matt Millen actually gets creative and trades the pick to New England for the Patriots' two first-round picks No. 21 and 32. The Super Bowl champs grab Miami safety Sean Taylor. Unfair.
7. Cleveland Browns (Arizona)
Tommie Harris, Oklahoma. The Cardinals' needs are many, so they grab the best defensive tackle on the board.
8. Atlanta Falcons
Mike Williams, USC. Williams has yet to run for teams and a lot is riding on his April 8 workout. Chances are the NFL's appeal of the Clarett ruling will be denied, Williams will run a 4.4, and the Falcons will draft him.
9. Jacksonville Jaguars
Coach Jack Del Rio says drafting a defensive end "makes sense." That's good enough for us. The Jags take USC end Kenechi Udeze.
10. Houston Texans
The Texans have picked an offensive player two straight years. This year they take Virginia Tech cornerback DeAngelo Hall. Speed trumps character issues and this guy can fly.
11. Pittsburgh Steelers
Steelers really need a quarterback. NC State's side-armed slinger Philip Rivers is on the board and they take him.
12. New York Jets
A whole lot of people are talking about Miami middle linebacker Jonathon Vilma. Who are we to disagree?
13. Buffalo Bills
The Bills need a quarterback, but they'll be out of luck getting one of the big three here and it's too early for Tulane's J.P. Losman. Instead they'll take Texas receiver Roy Williams even though they have no one to throw him the ball.
A week ago we would've said Miami tackle Vince Wilfork. But now Lovie Smith is talking up defensive end as a major priority. Miami restricted free agent Adewale Ogunleye is a major long shot. The Bears get jiggy with it and take Ohio State end Will Smith, which means they will have drafted a Big Ten end with their top pick two years running. Is this a good thing?
15. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tampa abandons its plan to upgrade the offense and grabs Wilfork as Warren Sapp's replacement.
16. San Francisco 49ers
The Niners, meanwhile, replace Terrell Owens with Washington receiver Reggie Williams.
17. Cincinnati Bengals
This is not a misprint. Yes, the Bengals are picking way down here at 17. They go defense and grab South Carolina corner Dunta Robinson.
18. New Orleans Saints
The Saints follow suit by taking a cornerback as well Ohio State's Chris Gamble.
19. Minnesota Vikings
Since there are no head coaches on the board and the Vikings really need a defensive end, they reach and select Alabama's Antwaan Odom.
20. Miami Dolphins
Offensive line is a safe pick, so the Dolphins take Arkansas right tackle Shawn Andrews.
21. New England (Detroit)
As other teams fill needs, Oregon State running back Steven Jackson falls all the way to 21. Detroit is more than happy to be the beneficiary.
22. Dallas Cowboys
Does Dallas even have a running back? They will now after they take Virginia Tech's Kevin Jones.
23. Seattle Seahawks
Maryland defensive tackle Randy Starks falls this far and fits in nicely with Seattle's revamped D-line.
24. Denver Broncos
Florida tight end Ben Troupe could possibly take over for Shannon Sharpe one day. Possibly.
25. Green Bay Packers
The Packers have a lot of defensive needs and Miami linebacker D.J. Williams will still be available.
26. St. Louis Rams
The Rams lost Grant Wistrom to Seattle and could use some help on the defensive line. Unfortunately there's not much left on the board, so they go in the opposite direction and select Oklahoma State receiver Rashaun Woods, even though they already are loaded at the position.
27. Tennessee Titans
The Titans lost defensive linemen Jevon Kearse and Robaire Smith in free agency. They fill a need with Florida State tackle Darnell Dockett.
28. Philadelphia Eagles
USC cornerback Will Poole will fill a hole in defensive secondary left by the departure of Troy Vincent and Bobby Taylor.
29. Indianapolis Colts
Marcus Washington left in free agency. Auburn outside linebacker Karlos Dansby would be a logical choice.
30. Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs may take a quarterback like Tulane's Losman. But their secondary was torched last year. Oklahoma cornerback Derrick Strait is their guy.
31. Carolina Panthers
The Panthers need a guard and Auburn's Vernon Carey is the top-rated player at the position.
32. New England Patriots (Detroit)
The Lions stay in state and take Western Michigan defensive end Jason Babin.
Think I'm full of it? Join the club. Submit your own mock drafts and we'll post them -- with my comments.