Draft week is finally here, and there are still a number of veteran transactions that can have a profound impact on the early rounds.
Will the Washington Redskins sign a veteran left tackle such as Flozell Adams, and then attempt to move down in the first round and acquire more picks in the process?
The Miami Dolphins' trade for Brandon Marshall eliminated their need for a receiver, but created a need at that position in Denver. Speaking of the wide receiver position, that wasn't even a consideration a few weeks ago in Pittsburgh, but now the Steelers -- who traded Santonio Holmes to the New York Jets -- may be looking more closely at the position.
Finally, mocking Round 2 -- which we attempt to do right here -- is even more difficult. The time off between Round 1 and Round 2 is a new experience for all decision-makers and teams will have additional time to re-stack their draft boards and get on the phone to work out some trades. This will change the whole complexion of the second day of the draft. It is going to be the most interesting draft in years.
Here is a look at my final mock draft -- this time going three rounds deep -- before the real thing kicks off Thursday (starting at 7:30 p.m. ET).
Rule No. 1 in the draft is never pass on a franchise quarterback. Bradford is healthy, and fits the NFL profile for height and weight. He is reminiscent of Troy Aikman with his poise and accurate passing. According to Phil Simms, it is a clear-cut decision for the Rams when compared to the other quarterbacks in this draft.
In Detroit, Suh could line up between established veterans such as Corey Williams and Kyle Vanden Bosch, which should accelerate his growth. Finally, the Lions will have a solid defensive front.
McCoy fits the profile of a Tampa defensive tackle, with terrific one-gap penetration skills. He's not as strong as Suh, but has a big-time motor and will be disruptive in the backfield.
There is talk of Trent Williams in this spot, but Okung is the better left tackle candidate in the eyes of the offensive line coaches I spoke with. The retirement of Chris Samuels and the addition of quarterback Donovan McNabb makes this move critical. If the Redskins sign Flozell Adams, they could move out of this spot and pick up more picks, which they very much need. Don't be surprised if Seattle is interested in moving into this spot for Okung.
Spiller is a 20-touch-a-game guy right away between rushing, receiving and returns. With an aging veteran quarterback like Jake Delhomme -- who knew how to get the ball in Steve Smith's hands for years in Carolina -- Spiller could get close to 1,800 yards of total offense in his rookie season.
Clausen is NFL-ready, his toe injury is healed and he has played in cold weather. Clausen has also displayed a strong arm, which the Bills need for those windy days in Buffalo. Clausen played for a head coach in college who is an excellent mentor for quarterbacks. Quarterbacks always drive up draft boards late in the process.
The Jaguars want to move down in the draft and acquire more picks, but if they stay at this spot, then Thomas is the big-play, hybrid defensive back that can play corner or safety.
The Broncos continue to build their 3-4 defense, and McClain is a leader type. He plugs in at strong-side inside linebacker at 6-foot-4, 254 pounds, and takes advantage of having big Jamal Williams at nose tackle keeping blockers off him as he plays the run.
The Dolphins will find an adequate nose tackle later in the draft, but they need an outside linebacker with pass-rush skills now. Bill Parcells has always liked the elite outside linebacker types (Lawrence Taylor, Carl Banks, DeMarcus Ware) and it could be why they told Jason Taylor they wouldn't sign him until after the draft.
The Giants claim they like their young linebackers, and maybe they do, but if McClain is still on the board, they will take him. Otherwise, a solid defensive tackle candidate such as Williams is a solid fit. Williams can play in any scheme and be productive. He is more than a two-down player and gets some push in his pass rush.
This is a risky pick because Pierre-Paul is so raw and only has seven college starts, but he has the physical traits of a premier defensive end. The Titans have a tremendous defensive line coach to develop him.
Some have their doubts about Haden's speed, and the fact that he played boundary corner most of the time. Other coaches tell me he wasn't even the best corner at Florida. The truth is most consider him the best corner in this draft. Haden should be able to start early in his career.
Holmes is gone and there really isn't enough talent in the receiver group to avoid taking a pass catcher high in the draft. The Steelers like Mike Wallace, but Hines Ward is aging and Limas Sweed is struggling. Thomas is a big athlete with close to 19 yards a catch in a triple-option offense in college.
Wilson is a very confident guy who claims he's the best corner in the draft. Wilson is not afraid to come up and make a tackle, and is also a fine return man. His week at the Senior Bowl helped his draft status immensely.
The Bengals will consider Dez Bryant or even Odrick, if either one is available at this point in the draft. Gresham helps the team more than anyone else, and Carson Palmer has never really had an elite tight end. Gresham is a solid blocker, and with the big emphasis on the run in Cincinnati that completes the package he brings to the table.
Bill Belichick always has to have the kind of receivers Tom Brady needs to pick apart opponents. Randy Moss thinks this is his last year in New England and Wes Welker is coming off a season-ending injury. Bryant has excellent receiving skills, is not afraid to go over the middle and could be a 50-reception guy as a rookie.
The Packers build through the draft, and when ever thy see a potential 10-year starter type, they are interested. There are age issues at tackle and production issues inside at guard. Iupati can be the answer at either spot. He can pull, trap, and drive block. Iupati has measured in at 6-foot-5 and 331 pounds, which solidified his first-round status.
The Eagles have 11 picks in this draft and can afford to take the best player available, or use some picks to move up the draft board. Andy Reid has never hesitated to take linemen in the first round, and Pouncey gives him a guard-center type who could be blocking for Kevin Kolb for his whole career.
Ed Reed has medical issues and is already hinting at retirement. Mays has some questions about his coverage skills, but brings a very intimidating presence to the field, and that fits the style that the Ravens have been known for the last decade. Mays is more than a big athlete who can run like a wide receiver. He has football intelligence and makes good decisions.
The Cardinals took some hits during free agency -- especially on defense -- and signing Joey Porter isn't much more than a stop-gap move. Graham can play linebacker or defensive end. In the Cardinals' 3-4 package Graham could line up at strong-side outside linebacker, just like Lamarr Woodley does in Pittsburgh.
Saffold has been moving up draft boards for weeks since the offensive line coaches started their private workouts. The Cowboys released Flozell Adams and need line help. This kid can play guard or tackle, and don't let the quiet, passive demeanor fool you, he is a solid player.
The Chargers need a running back and they will be lucky to see Mathews on the board at this point. He has 4.4 speed, is a solid citizen and really wasn't overworked in his college career. He is a very good complement to Darren Sproles, who can remain the third-down back.
The Jets need an outside linebacker, which they are attempting to satisfy by signing Jason Taylor. If they get that accomplished, then they can turn to the "five-technique" defensive end. Shaun Ellis isn't getting any younger, and Dunlap has all the physical traits. He has some off-the-field issues, but that hasn't stopped the Jets this offseason from making a number of risky moves. It's hard to find 6-foot-6, 277-pound men who run 4.66.
Pat Williams is close to retirement and Jimmy Kennedy should remain the third tackle. Price is a very disruptive player who steps into a starting role in 2011. In the meantime, he gets 10 to 15 snaps a game as a rookie. The Vikings can address their corner need in the next round.
The Saints will hit a home run if Weatherspoon is still on the board at this point. Weatherspoon is very bright, which is critical in Greg Williams' defense. He can really run and is very powerful. The Saints lost Scott Fujita in free agency, and Weatherspoon can be plugged right into his spot. Here's one weight-room achievement on this kid: He has the University of Missouri record with a full squat of 770 pounds.