Running back Darius Walker was one of four participants in the first-ever HoustonTexans.com Mock Draft.
On Tuesday, defensive tackle Travis Johnson, running back Darius Walker and SportsRadio 610's Marc Vandermeer joined Texans TV's Brooke Bentley for the first-ever HoustonTexans.com Mock Draft, completing all of the first round picks.
Each participant was designated eight teams, and a random selection order determined that Johnson would pick first, followed by Vandermeer, Bentley and Walker. The mock draft was filmed prior to the announcement of Jake Long as the No. 1 pick, as well as Kansas City's trade of defensive end Jared Allen to Minnesota, which gave the Chiefs the Vikings' No. 17 pick.
Here are the results from Part 1 (picks 1-15):
1. Miami Dolphins (Johnson): Jake Long, T, Michigan
Johnson: "The building block for a franchise, like we tried to do with Tony Boselli, is a left tackle... You see in Cleveland with Joe Thomas, what he's done this year. You see the year before with San Diego's pick (Marcus McNeill). You keep getting these Pro Bowl guys at left tackle, and I think the lineage is going to keep going on with Jake Long."
Writer's take: Our mock draft was filmed about an hour before the Dolphins officially announced Long as their pick, so kudos are in order for our very own soothsayer, Travis Johnson.
2. St. Louis Rams (Vandermeer): Glenn Dorsey, DT, LSU
Vandermeer: "I like Chris Long an awful lot but I like Dorsey as a run-stopper, not only to plug up those running holes but a guy who could actually make plays from the defensive tackle position. The guy is a ferocious animal when he's on his game."
Writer's take: Rumor has it the Rams are trying to trade down with either New Orleans or Atlanta, who both covet Dorsey. But St. Louis does need help across the defensive line, so in lieu of a deal they can't go wrong with one of the top-rated defensive players in the draft.
3. Atlanta Falcons (Bentley): Chris Long, DE, Virginia
Bentley: "I was going to go with Glenn Dorsey – I thought he'd be available, but apparently not. So I'm going to throw the quarterback thing out and I'm going to go with defensive end Chris Long, the other Long, because I think that he's the best athlete available."
Writer's take: Quarterback is a huge need for the Falcons, so Matt Ryan also could go here. But if the Falcons don't grade Ryan as franchise-quarterback material, then Long seems like the most sensible pick at this spot.
4. Oakland Raiders (Walker): Darren McFadden, RB, Arkansas
Walker: "They do have Justin Fargas and they did just re-sign him to a six-year deal, but I think that Oakland, they always like to pick the flashy players, and Darren McFadden is the flashiest player in the draft. They don't have a second or third round pick, so they need to pick a guy who's going to suffice for rounds one through three, basically. Darren McFadden would be that type of guy."
Writer's take: Walker's analysis is spot-on. It's not hard to picture the game-breaking McFadden playing for Al Davis in Silver & Black.
5. Kansas City Chiefs (Johnson): Matt Ryan, QB, Boston College
Johnson: "Matt Ryan is the best quarterback available in this draft. He's better than anybody they have on the team as we currently speak. Brodie Croyle, even though he was a great Alabama quarterback and he probably will be good in the future, the team needs this right now. They especially need to get Larry Johnson a little help, and the best help they can get is coming by way of Boston College and Matt Ryan."
Writer's take: If Ryan falls to the Chiefs as he has in our draft, things will get interesting. Defensive end has become a top priority for Kansas City with the Allen trade, so they might look at Vernon Gholston here, or at a tackle such as Ryan Clady from Boise State.
6. New York Jets (Vandermeer): Vernon Gholston, DE, Ohio State
Vandermeer: "They need a defensive end; they need a playmaker at that position. It's a no-brainer right now. I thought if McFadden might have slipped they might go for him, but Gholston is the pick for the Jets at number six. He's got a lot of skills for you at that position."
Writer's take: This is a perfect fit for the Jets, who run a 3-4 defense and could use the versatile Gholston as a speed rushing outside linebacker.
7. New England Patriots (Bentley): Leodis McKelvin, CB, Troy
Bentley: "With the loss of Asante Samuel, I've got to go with a corner. I saw McKelvin play. The guy can hit hard; people say he looks like Dunta (Robinson), but he's even a little bit bigger."
Writer's take: The Patriots' starting linebackers from last season average 35 years of age, which makes a compelling case for USC linebacker Keith Rivers in this slot. But McKelvin would instantly solidify the cornerback position in place of the departed Samuel and Randall Gay, and his return skills would be an asset for the Patriots' special teams.
8. Baltimore Ravens (Walker): Brian Brohm, QB, Louisville
Walker: "They just lost Steve McNair, so I think they've got to go with a quarterback. Matt Ryan would be a good pick right here, but since he's gone I go with Brian Brohm from Louisville. I think he's a solid player, has done it for years and is proven."
Writer's take: As Vandermeer put it during our mock, "There's going to be a lot of celebration in the Brohm household" if the Ravens nab him at No. 8 overall. He is projected to go from anywhere in the middle of the first to the second round.
9. Cincinnati Bengals (Johnson): Sedrick Ellis, DT, USC Johnson: "I'm going to have to go with a d-lineman; I'm going to have to go with my guy from USC, Sedrick Ellis, because with David Pollack not playing for the last two seasons and I guess this trade with Washington (for wide receiver Chad Johnson) is not going through, Sedrick Ellis is my guy."
Writer's take: I'm in no position to debate with a professional defensive tackle about defensive tackles, and the pick fills a gaping need for the Bengals. If Ellis is still on the board here, it would be shocking to see Cincinnati send anybody else's name to the podium.
10. New Orleans Saints (Vandermeer): Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, CB, Tennessee State
Vandermeer: "I need a cornerback. I think (Rodgers-Cromartie) is a phenomenal athlete. He's going to make a lot of plays, play a lot of years in the National Football League. I saw too many of my guys get torched too many times last year. I wish he were around perhaps for the Texans at number 18, but he's not going to be."
Writer's take: Though the Saints did sign Randall Gay this offseason, they are still looking to upgrade at cornerback. Rodgers-Cromartie or USF's Mike Jenkins would both make sense.
11. Buffalo Bills (Bentley): Devin Thomas, WR, Michigan State
Bentley: "Marc, once again, you took my pick. That's who I was going to go with, with Buffalo, but that's alright. I think (Thomas) can take short passes and make some big gains. I think he'd be good for their offense, so I'm going to go a different direction."
Writer's take: Bentley had some bad luck with Vandermeer's thievery throughout the draft, but such is the life of a mock NFL general manager. Thomas looks like a good bet to be the first wideout off the board, and he would give Lee Evans a dangerous running mate in Buffalo.
12. Denver Broncos (Walker): Ryan Clady, T, Boise State
Walker: "I think that Denver is a straight run team. They like to run the ball; they always run the ball. I think they're going to go with an offensive lineman. (Clady) is a solid guy. He's ready to play, very strong, he uses his hands well. I think that's a good pick for number 12."
Writer's take: The Broncos only have two inexperienced tackles on their roster, so they stand ready to take advantage of this tackle-rich draft class. Many believe that, after Long, the best available tackle is Clady, while others like Vandy's Chris Williams.
13. Carolina Panthers (Johnson): Calais Campbell, DE, Miami
Johnson: "I'm stretching with this 13th pick to Carolina because they need somebody. With the contract problems they have with Julius Peppers and now with Mike Rucker retiring, they need a defensive lineman, a defensive end in particular, and none is better than the 6-foot-8 defensive end out of the University of Miami."
Writer's take: "Stretching" is an understatement. After the show, Johnson admitted a bit of nepotism with this pick – he and Campbell share the same agent – but Campbell's measurables could possibly vault him up a team's draft board and make him a surprise early selection on Saturday.
14. Chicago Bears (Vandermeer): Jeff Otah, T, Pittsburgh
Vandermeer: "I need an offensive tackle. Otah is the best player here on the board. (He is) going to play left tackle for me in Chicago, in the cold weather, in that division where I need to make strides again to get back to the form that I had two years ago going to the Super Bowl and losing to the Colts."
Writer's take: Otah is a massive road grader in the mold of former Pitt teammate and current Texan Charles Spencer. The Bears are in search of a young tackle, and Otah can play on either the left or right side.
15. Detroit Lions (Bentley): Jerod Mayo, LB, Tennessee
Bentley: "They've got to rebuild their defense – they were last in yardage and points with their defense – and I'm going to go with a linebacker. At inside linebacker, I think (Mayo) can come in and shake things up right away."
Writer's take: Mayo can play at inside or outside linebacker, is a great physical talent with high upside and would form a fearsome tandem with Ernie Sims. The Lions could also opt for Rivers, defensive end Derrick Harvey or running backs Jonathan Stewart or Rashard Mendenhall.