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Rob Rang Draft Talk-USA Today


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Some interesting stuff here, so I thought I'd post it.

Hammer away....

http://transcripts.usatoday.com/Chats/transcript.aspx?c=665

Comment from Rob Rang: Hello everyone. Thanks for taking the time out of your day to talk draft with me. I'm ready for your questions now.

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Dallas Texas: who will be available at either DE or DB when the Seahawks select in the first round?

Rob Rang: The Seahawks will likely be looking at DEs Kiwanuka and Tapp at this point. CBs could include Joseph, Jennings, Youboty, and Marshall. SS could include Allen, Bing, and Whitner. In my latest projection I had the Seahawks selecting Jennings, the CB from Miami.

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chgo, IL: what position do you see the bears more likely to address, either the TE, or CB, and who that possible player would be. Thanks, Scott/chgo

Rob Rang: At this point it looks like CB or WR will be the better value in the first round. Tight end is the Bears' biggest weakness, but I don't believe there is a TE worthy of the first round except for Vernon Davis. The Bears could consider Leonard Pope, the huge TE from Georgia, but I feel it would be a stretch. At this point, I'm giving the Bears WR Santonio Holmes because his speed would open up the offense just like a TE would and I feel Holmes could fall into Chicago's lap.

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lafayette la.: will saints trade#2 pick & how far down will they go

Rob Rang: I believe the Saints will look to trade down. Everything I'm hearing has them focusing on D'Brickashaw Ferguson. They'll explore trading down 1 or 2 spots, but don't want to lose him. If they don't trade down it will be because they didn't receive enough assurances that he'd be available. Leinart is ranked as the #2 player on most boards and should be - according to pure value - the second player drafted.

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roanoke rapids,nc: With the needs the PATRIOTS have who do you think they will take with their first two picks?

Rob Rang: In my latest projection I had the Patriots selecting OLB Bobby Carpenter in the first round and WR Maurice Stovall in the second. The Pats' two biggest needs would be addressed. Carpenter fits the Pats' persona perfectly and will highly recommended by Vrabel. Stovall, coming from Charlie Weis' offense, could make an immediate impact and has the size at WR the Patriots lack.

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Bradenton, FL: What do you think the chances are of GB drafting Vernon Davis #1 and either abdul Hodge or Max Jean-Childs as #2 ? My preferance, of course is Mario Williams as #1!

Rob Rang: Because of their needs at other positions and the value of other players on the board I'd be surprised to see Green Bay take Davis with the fifth pick. Should the team trade down slightly then he would make more sense, as he certainly would provide Favre with another reason to return. I would anticipate Green Bay focusing on Mario Williams at #5 or AJ Hawk before Davis.

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Dave, AZ: Rob, should the Cards move up in the draft to take D'Brickashaw Ferguson? If we moved L. Davis back to guard (where he BELONGS IMHO) and plugged in Ferguson, Edge won't have to worry about holes...Coach Green talks about always drafting the best available talent, but this year, do you agree we should fill holes instead? Also, I don't think we should take Vince Young, we have bigger problems than QB...

Rob Rang: According to the actual NFL-used Draft Trade Chart we feature at NFLDraftScout.com, the cost of moving from the tenth pick to the second or third pick, would simply be too much for the Cardinals to strongly consider such a move. It is more likely that the team stays put and selects the other top 15 offensive lineman, Winston Justice, to fulfill the need. I would also note that the Cardinals likely aren't entering the draft looking to select a QB in the first round, but if a player with Young or Cutler's upside happens to fall into their lap, it might be difficult to pass on him.

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lubbock tx: just want to know who will the cowboys pick at 18

Rob Rang: In my latest projection at NFLDraftScout.com I have the Cowboys selecting outside linebacker Kamerion Wimbley from Florida State. With the addition of free agents Terrell Owens and Jason Fabini, the Cowboys likely will be looking for another pass rusher with this choice. They are clearly gearing up for a Super Bowl run this season, and Wimbley would provide an immediate impact opposite young star DeMarcus Ware.

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Montgomery, Alabama: I notice that on your cite you rank Mark Anderson from Alabama as the 6th best overall defensive end. However, in your mock draft, you have him going to Philly in the 3rd round as the 9th defensive end to be selected. How do you reconcile the two seemingly inconsistent rankings?

Rob Rang: Quite frankly because I'm personally higher on Anderson than I believe most teams are. I've been a strong supporter of his all season long and his performance at both the Senior Bowl and Combine were no surprise to me. I do know of teams, however, who feel that he should be a better player than he has been throughout his career and thus, see him as a late 2nd to 3rd round pick. The difference in ranking and where players are ultimately selected is an issue that comes up often. We, for example, have Vince Young as the 11th rated overall prospect in this draft, but I think it is quite possible he'll go in the top five.

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Here's Part II.

Tallahassee, FL: Why is Chad Jackson's stock soaring? Sure, he's fast, but he wasn't exactly a superstar in college.

Rob Rang: Jackson was pretty effective in college. His sophomore season he broke the Florida record for yards per reception (22.3) and his junior season he tied the school record for most receptions with 88. Urban Meyer's offense had Jackson catching a lot of short and underneath passes, but his speed and explosiveness was readily apparent in workouts. Also, you mentioned his speed, but it is also his size. 4.32 speed at 6-0, 213 pounds is exceedingly rare.

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Bowling Green, OH: Where do you see Omar Jacobs, out of Bowling Green, being drafted? Do you think he should have stayed in college another season?

Rob Rang: I struggle to say Jacobs should have stayed for another season because I don't know of his personal situation (financially, children, academically, etc.). However, I do believe his stock could have raised significantly with another season, as he is a talented prospect well worth a middle round pick.

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Blacksburg, VA: Chris Colston is always quoting you in his Sports Weekly stories. Your answers are always good, but don't you get sick of him bugging you all the time?

Rob Rang: Not at all. I'm honored to work with Chris and the other terrific writers from Sports Weekly.

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St. Louis, MO: Who do you think the Rams will take as their first pick?

Rob Rang: I believe the Rams will be focusing on the defensive side of the ball. In my latest projection I have the Rams taking S Michael Huff. To make a move back into contention for the NFC West crown, the Rams have to compete with the passing attacks featured by Seattle and Arizona. Even with the addition of free agent Corey Chavous, the Rams' defensive backs have to be more athletic and better tacklers — two of Huff's strengths — if this defense is to improve in 2006.

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Chicago IL: My Bills have the no.8 pick. With JP Losman being less than impressive do they draft Leinhart, Young, or Cutler if they're there at no. 8? Or do they stay the course and takr the defensive lineman form Oregon?

Rob Rang: I would be surprised to see the Bills take the plunge to take another quarterback in the first round this soon after taking Losman. A defensive tackle like Ngata or Bunkley makes more sense. Watch out for TE Davis, as well.

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New Port Richey, Florida: Mr Rang, Do you believe the Dolphins have a real interest in Vince Young or are they just doing their D.D.

Rob Rang: I believe the Dolphins are doing their due diligence. With Culpepper on board, this team is looking to fix other areas not quarterback.

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San Jose, California: A couple of years ago, it seemed that teams were looking for big, tall corners to play against the bigger WR's coming into the league. Now it seems that those guys are being touted as safeties, does this have to do with agility and hip movement, or are safeties becoming more important to modern defenses? Are there any good pass coverage type safeties in the upcoming draft?

Rob Rang: A little of both, actually. Bigger players, generally, aren't as quick or nimble as smaller ones. The re-emergence of smaller receivers like Steve Smith, Santana Moss, etc. is forcing teams to have quicker CBs. With offenses becoming more aggressive and creative, safeties have to be able to adjust, as well. Often, they are the QB of the defense and not only have to adjust the players around them, but be able to react immediately to the action. Some of the better coverage safeties of this draft are Michael Huff, Jason Allen, and Daniel Bullocks.

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Charlotte: Thanks for seeing my hand at the back of the class. Panthers pick #27 and need a linebacker, running back, and tight end. Who's the best player at each position expected to be available at that point?

Rob Rang: Saw that hand... Thanks for your patience. OLB - Chad Greenway, Demeco Ryans RB - Laurence Maroney, DeAngelo Williams TE - Leonard Pope, Marcedes Lewis

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Indianapolis, IN: Character issues have been associated with LenDale White ... can you elaborate a bit more? I really like him (talent wise) on the Steelers at the end of the 1st round, but am not sure he lands there.

Rob Rang: The biggest thing is just a sense of immaturity with White. There isn't some huge criminal past with him...

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Chris Dover, Tn: Who would be better for the Titans to pick in the draft. Since both Leinart played for Chow at USC and McNair is Vince Youngs mentor who would benefit more in the system and what do you think about the expanded horse collar rule.... does it prevent the defense from playing they're game. Thanks

Rob Rang: Leinart. New rule limits defense. Ten years from now they might have outlawed tackling and we'll be discussing the benefits of the two-hand touch and flag football rules.

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Elizabeth City, North Carolina: With all his on-field and off-field negative images, what round do you think Marcus Vick will be selected and by what team?

Rob Rang: I don't believe he deserves to be drafted. Then again, I felt the same way about Clarett last year and he went on the first day. Anything earlier than a 5th round pick and I think it is a utter joke.

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Cornelius, North carolina: Do you anticipate that any teams with high picks this year are likely to trade down?

Rob Rang: I believe you'll see the Saints trade down a spot or two. There could be a lot of action between picks 4-7. That said, I don't anticipate a team in the top 8 trading down more than 2-3 spots unless Denver gets involved (because of their two picks).

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Kingsland Ga: Hi Rob, do you think the Falcon will trade Matt Schaub, to get back in the first round?

Rob Rang: No. He's too valuable for a team with legitimate Super Bowl hopes and a starting QB as likely to miss time as Vick.

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And finally, here's part III:

detroit, MI: With all the changes the Lions made at QB, and rumors of Vince Young's stock falling will the Lions go for Young or get help at offensive line, defense or trade down? thanks

Rob Rang: I believe the Lions will have to consider either Young or Cutler if available, but the more likely scenario right now has the team adding a physical tough guy in the mold of what Millen and Marinelli are trying to build here. In my latest projection I had the Lions selecting OT Winston Justice.

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Sparta Ky: Who do you have the Bengals drafting?

Rob Rang: S Donte Whitner from Ohio State. Even with the recent free agent addition of Dexter Jackson, the Bengals would be wise to snare Donte Whitner if he's available. Whitner, blessed with spectacular speed for a safety, could be the missing element on an athletic Cincinnati defense. Tight end remains the Bengals' biggest need, but most scouts feel the only player at the position worthy of a first-round selection is Davis, who won't make it out of the top 10.

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Des Moines IA: With James gone, will the Colts go after a running back? I do not think Rhodes can handle the carries they need him to have.

Rob Rang: I believe the Colts will look to the draft to add some depth. In my current projection I have the Colts taking Laurence Maroney from Minnesota at pick #30. However, the Colts don't have to take a RB in the first round because of the depth of the position and the talent already on the team. Watch out for a Brian Calhoun or Maurice Drew in the second if not addressed in the first.

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Miami,FL: Who do you like better as a 3-4 OLB Wimbely or Lawson from NC St.

Rob Rang: Interesting question and one that is very open to debate. Wimbley is the more versatile athlete, in my opinion. He can play both OLB and DE. Lawson has the athleticism to transition to OLB, but has struggled to maintain the weight to remain at DE. Either way, both are terrific natural pass rushers that won't make it out of the first round.

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Santa Fe, NM: Who is your suprise top 15 pick this year? Can the Jets find a run stuffing DT in round 2?

Rob Rang: My surprise - and I've been touting him long enough now that it might not be considered much of a surprise anymore - is S Jason Allen from Tennessee. Once he showed scouts he was over the hip injury, he moved back into the top 15 for us.

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Cleveland, Ohio: Here is a simple question. Where will Vince Young go?

Rob Rang: That, my friend, is the question of the draft. I know of scouts with most of the teams in the top 7 and everyone is talking up Young. The problem is, no one seems convinced enough about him to take him. So, I could see him easily going in the top 7. However, I have league sources who claim Young is about to take an Aaron Rodgers-like tumble down the board.

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Portland, OR: Where do you see Mike Hass going in the draft and how have the combines helped him?

Rob Rang: I see Hass as a 3rd round pick. Don't get me wrong - I love his hands, routes, and toughness, but he isn't a speed threat, doesn't have great size, and wasn't able to really distinguish himself at the East-West Shrine Game that I personally scouted. I like him and think he finds a niche at the next level, but he isn't a high round pick.

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Honolulu, Hawaii: Aloha Rob! This is, of course, the time of rumors,smoke etc.The Niners are rumored to be enamored of Charles Gordon from Kansas. What do you think of him and what round would you think he should go in? What other return guys are high on your list? Mahalos, Rob!

Rob Rang: I'm not a huge Gordon fan, quite honestly. He is a terrific natural athlete, but hasn't shown the ability to consistently play at a top level at either CB or WR. I see him as a middle round pick. As far as other returners, Sinorice Moss is a very good one that rarely got a chance at Miami due to Devin Hester. Coincidentally or not, I have the 49ers selecting Moss in the second of my most recent mock at NFLDraftScout.com.

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Comment from Rob Rang: Okay, with dozens of questions still on the board, I have to run. I hope that you all will consider signing on with us at NFLDraftScout.com. There, we feature among many other items, a message board in which I answer every question posed. Thanks again for your time, questions, and patience. Only a month to go!

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