Kiper: First-round draft projection, March 5

Kiper: First-round draft projection, Jan. 24

Mel Kiper's story archive

Tuesday, April 10

Updated first-round draft projection

1. San Diego | Michael Vick, QB, Virginia Tech: With a workout scheduled with the Chargers on Friday, it looks like GM John Butler is prepared to make Vick the first overall selection.

2. Arizona | Gerard Warren, DT, Florida: With a huge void at DT, the Cardinals desperately need a talent like Warren to collapse things along the interior.

3. Cleveland | LaDainian Tomlinson, RB, TCU: The Browns need impact performers at WR and at RB, with free agency also available to fill one of the two holes. If things remain as they are, Tomlinson would make a great deal of sense. He could provide the balance needed on offense to assist the development of their young signal-caller, Tim Couch. Another strong possibility would be Michigan wide-out David Terrell.

4. Cincinnati | Leonard Davis, OT, Texas: With the Bengals in need of a LT, Davis figures as a hole-filler who will also use his dominant run-blocking skills at 6-foot-5½ and 370 pounds to assist Corey Dillon.

5. Atlanta | Justin Smith, DE, Missouri: While a big-time wide-out is needed, the Falcons also will be looking for more game-changing plays out of the DE position. Last year Patrick Kerney, Brady Smith and Chuck Wiley combined for only 11 sacks. Smith's forte is getting after the QB.

6. New England | Deuce McAllister, RB, Mississippi: Of late, the Pats have attempted to fill the RB void in round two with players such as Kevin Faulk and J.R. Redmond, who are more ideally suited for situational roles. McAllister is definite feature-back material. Florida OT Kenyatta Walker is a strong possibility here as well.

7. Seattle (from Dallas) | David Terrell, WR, Michigan: With the injury question subsiding, Terrell is gradually climbing the draft board again. He would be ideal for Mike Holmgren's style of offense.

8. Chicago | Koren Robinson, WR, N.C. State: How about teaming about Marcus Robinson and Koren Robinson at the wide-out positions?

9. San Francisco | Kenyatta Walker, OT, Florida: If Tomlinson and McAllister are off the board, look for the 49ers to address their definite need area at tackle with a quality talent like Walker. Remember, he played RT at Florida but has the skill level you look for in a top-flight LT.

10. Green Bay (from Seattle) | Rod Gardner, WR, Clemson: DT is at the top of the Packers' need list, so they could definitely go in that direction. However, with WR No. 2 on the wish list, the fast-rising Gardner would make a great deal of sense.

11. Carolina | Michael Bennett, RB, Wisconsin: While he needs work catching the football, Bennett's explosiveness and upside potential will be hard to overlook for the Panthers.

12. Kansas City | Nate Clements, CB, Ohio State: With his size (5-foot-11½ , 209 pounds), 4.37 speed and physical strength, Clements figures to be the first CB taken off the draft board. And guess what? This is the key need area for the Chiefs along with RB.

13. Jacksonville | Andre Carter, DE, California: With his solid all-around ability, Carter would be an ideal complement to Tony Brackens on the other side. A quality offensive lineman like Michigan's Steve Hutchinson would also be an ideal choice for the Jaguars.

14. Buffalo | Steve Hutchinson, OL, Michigan: A dedicated, versatile warrior like Hutchinson who could figure at guard or RT brings a great deal of value at this point in the draft.

15. Washington | Santana Moss, WR, Miami (Fla.): With a huge need at WR and MLB, the Redskins have the option of looking at Moss or his college teammate, Dan Morgan.

16. Pittsburgh | Dan Morgan, LB, Miami (Fla.): Now that Levon Kirkland is no longer a Steeler, Morgan would be an ideal replacement.

17. Seattle (from Green Bay) | Fred Smoot, CB, Mississippi State: The Seahawks are positioned well at No. 17 to land a quality cover man like Smoot.

18. Detroit | Jamal Reynolds, DE, Florida State: Reynolds has the natural outside pass-rush ability the Lions need to complement Robert Porcher.

19. New York Jets | Richard Seymour, DT, Georgia: Seymour could be off the board by this stage of round one, but if he drops this far, he would figure as a hole-filler for the Jets.

20. St. Louis | Marcus Stroud, DT, Georgia: With all the problems the Rams had last year on defense, they have to address the interior of the front four with one or both of their first-round draft choices. Stroud has the 6-foot-6, 322-pound frame to really clog things in the middle.

21. Tampa Bay | Jeff Backus, OT, Michigan: Backus started 49 straight games at LT with the Wolverines while ranking as one of the more consistent bookends you will ever come across. The LT spot is the No. 1 need area for the Bucs.

22. Indianapolis | Kris Jenkins, DT, Maryland: Following his impressive individual workout, on the heels of a strong senior campaign with the Terrapins, Jenkins has risen to the point where he could land at this stage of round one.

23. New Orleans | Willie Middlebrooks, CB, Minnesota: Middlebrooks is a big corner with impressive recovery speed and a ton of upside potential. For the Saints, who are looking for a true lead corner, he could be answer.

24. Denver | Freddie Mitchell, WR, UCLA: The Broncos have upgraded the defense in free agency, so they can now look to add a big-play wide-out like Mitchell to provide the vertical stretch ability they are lacking.

25. Philadelphia | Chad Johnson, WR, Oregon State: Johnson would have been off the board by this point in round one had it not been for his sub-par effort at the combine.

26. Miami | Chris Chambers, WR, Wisconsin: With his awesome athletic and physical ability, Chambers would be tough to overlook for the Dolphins, even though they added James McKnight in free agency.

27. Minnesota | Jamar Fletcher, CB, Wisconsin: While he lacks eye-catching recovery speed, Fletcher was such a great player with the Badgers that he figures to definitely attract some interest at this stage of round one.

28. Oakland | Todd Heap, TE, Arizona State: The Raiders are close to reaching Super Bowl status. That's why a proven pass-catching TE like Heap would make so much sense.

29. St. Louis (from Tennessee) | Damione Lewis, DT, Miami (Fla.): Would combine with Marcus Stroud (see pick No. 20) to solidify the interior of the defensive line. The Rams also need to replace Kevin Carter, so TCU DE Aaron Schobel could figure here as well.

30. New York Giants | Will Allen, CB, Syracuse: It's no secret that the Giants are in the market for a top-drawer cover man to work opposite Jason Sehorn. And this is about where Allen figures to come off the board.

31. Baltimore | Maurice Williams, OL, Michigan: The Ravens have a major problem at guard, and this happens to be a spot where Williams got some playing time back in '98 with the Wolverines. And down the road, he could shift back to RT if necessary. Remember, Jonathan Ogden worked at guard early on with the Ravens.

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