Panelists weigh-in on selections

Editor's note: Former Saints general manager Randy Mueller, Vikings defensive back Corey Chavous, Redskins offensive tackle Jon Jansen, Ravens quarterback Kyle Boller and Bills linebacker Takeo Spikes are panelists for ESPN's draft roundtable and will weigh in some of this year's picks and transactions.

Mueller's takes

  • On the Cowboys: The most surprising and ultimately frustrating move of the draft has to be Dallas not drafting Kevin Jones or Steven Jackson. The Cowboys were in position to get any running back they wanted and traded their pick and ultimately drafted a back (Julius Jones) who was rated sixth or seventh on most draft boards. I don't see how they've upgraded their team so far.

  • On Randy Starks: One potential reason why Maryland DT Randy Starks fell so far (taken with eighth pick of third round by Tennessee) is because he's a "tweener." He isn't big enough to play an interior line position and isn't fast enough to play defensive end. He's probably best suited for a 3-4 defense.

  • On the first round: As hectic as this first round was, it still isn't the most hectic one I've seen. When I think of hectic first rounds, my mind goes back to 1997 when I was GM of the Seattle Seahawks. We went from having the 10th and 11th picks in the draft to having the third and sixth. We chose CB Shawn Springs and OL Walter Jones, respectively, two guys who became All-Pro players. Of course after making those picks, we had a lot of quiet time.

  • On the Lions: What a great first round by the Detroit Lions. After adding WR Roy Williams and RB Kevin Jones, they obviously made a significant upgrade. Both players were rated No. 1 on some teams' boards for their respective positions. Not only have they added two great players, but they also addressed their main weakness which was their lack of speed.

  • On the Bengals: I have my doubts about the Bengals' selection of RB Chris Perry. He sounds a lot like current Bengals RB Rudi Johnson, which makes me wonder what exactly the Bengals adding to their team? They aren't good enough to draft for depth in the first round and have other needs worthy of being explored. Also, if the Bengals were going to pick a running back in this position, why not get a speedier back like Kevin Jones?

  • On Bills-Cowboys trade: Don't be surprised if the Cowboys decide to trade back into the first round or trade into the early second round. They have plenty of ammunition with two No. 1's next season and this season two No. 2's. On the flip side of this trade, the Bills are pleased to have a QB (J.P. Losman) who they feel can be the cornerstone of their team for years to come. They are in a good position with Drew Bledsoe at the helm for at least another season so there's no pressure on the rookie.

  • On Chargers-Giants trade: This is the first time this has ever happened because there are rookie pool ramifications that I don't think either team has figured out. My first question about this trade has to be: Which player gets the No. 1 pick money? Does Philip Rivers get the No. 1 pick money since he was traded to the Chargers or does Eli Manning? Those rules, and the fact that they haven't been completely defined, have prevented teams from trading in the past. That said, this is a good trade for the Giants. They did give up next year's No. 1, but they won't have a low draft pick next season. To give up a pick in the 20s for a potential franchise quarterback is great for the organization.

  • On Raiders taking Gallery: I was surprised they didn't trade down to take Roy Williams. I was aware beforehand that the Raiders had parameters in place with Gallery's agent. That means they know they can get him into camp early. Also, he's an immediate upgrade at tackle for Oakland. I'm sure the amount of receivers in the draft makes the Raiders confident they can get a speedy receiver in the second round.

  • On Raiders' pre-draft plans: I expect the Oakland Raiders to be the wild card right now. The player they want -- Roy Williams -- is going to be there for them later in the draft, so there's no need for them to stand pat at No. 2. The Cleveland Browns and the New York Giants want to move up in the draft and are willing to and can help the Raiders with extra picks or players.

    Jansen's takes

  • On S Sean Taylor: I like the addition of Taylor to our defense. It allows Matt Bowen to move back to his natural position (strong safety), while maintaining an intimidating presence at the safety spot. Also, Bowen isn't going to stop hitting people hard so this makes our secondary that much harder to face from a physical standpoint.


  • On first-round linemen: All three picks are guys who have the ability to start quickly and make a difference for their respective teams. Gallery would've started for anyone wherever he was picked and is a potential All-Pro, while Shawn Andrews (Eagles) and Vernon Carey (Dolphins) have the ability to start right out of the gate.

  • On Robert Gallery: Gallery has a lot of skill and is a great athlete. Because he is a former tight end he has several plusses. He's very athletic, has great footwork and has been able to maintain his speed despite the added weight.

  • On O-linemen (pre draft): The lack of offensive tackles going high isn't because of a lack of talent. There are some very talented linemen in this draft, but they may not be ready to start this season. For that reason alone, they'll probably be drafted in the second or third round and will start in this league in the next few seasons.

    Boller's takes

  • On the Ravens acquiring WR Kevin Johnson from Jacksonville: This trade is huge for my team. Now the pressure is on my shoulders because the organization has surrounded me with great talent. I'm very excited about the prospect of having these guys on my team (Johnson and rookie WR Devard Darling). Now I have them in addition to great players like TE Todd Heap, RB Jamal Lewis and WR Travis Taylor.


  • on Losman (whom Boller played against in high school): He's got very good feet and a live arm. People talk about his cockiness, but a quarterback needs a certain amount of confidence to be successful. I think he's going to a very good situation with Bledsoe essentially in the last year of his contract. This is a great chance for him to learn from one of the best and possibly take his place in a year or two.

  • On QBs: It's tough being in their situation because you never know where you're going to go. Last year for instance, I was projected to go several different places. On the day of the draft, I thought I might end up in the 10th position, but I wasn't drafted until No. 19 by the Ravens. It's going to be tough for Philip Rivers, Ben Roethlisberger and J. P. Losman, but it's worth it when you hear your name called and know your dreams have come true.

    Corey's takes

  • On Darnell Dockett: Florida State DT Dockett will be a grand larceny pick for the organization that picks him. I don't understand why he hasn't been taken yet, but he will be gone by the end of the second round (last pick taken).

  • On Kenechi Udeze: The addition of Udeze to the Vikings adds speed to the defensive line and the defense overall. I'm looking forward to watching this young rookie make some big plays for the my team next season.

  • On surprises: The first big surprise of the draft was Roy Williams falling to the Detroit Lions at No. 7. Pairing Williams with last year's No. 2 pick overall Charles Rogers could give the Lions one of the best receiving tandems in the history of the game if they both work hard enough. The Lions now have a ton of speed at receiver and two guys who'll compete for the No. 1 receiving spot, which should only make them better. Another surprise was St. Louis taking RB Steven Jackson. This move doesn't help the Rams take the step to the next level, which is what a veteran team should be trying to do.

  • On first two CBs selected: I like both picks. DeAngelo Hall is playing on a fast surface (in the Georgia Dome), which will help him defensively and when he returns punts. Don't forget he led the country in punt returns last season and can give the Falcons another element of danger on special teams. Adding him gives their new coaching regime a lot more versatility. Meanwhile, Dunta Robinson can learn a lot from Texans veteran Aaron Glenn, which makes this a very advantageous situation for him. Any chance a player gets to learn from one of the best makes his transition that much easier.

    Takeo's takes

  • On getting drafted: The pressure on a first-round pick is bigger now than when I was the 13th pick out of Auburn. It's difficult to go from being drafted in front of millions of die-hard fans to getting ready for the NFL. To be successful in making the transition, players have to show extreme dedication.

  • On Bills' picks: I'm very happy with our draft right now. We have some great talent coming in that will help us now and some that will help us potentially down the road. Drafting Lee Evans was great because he gives the offense a deep threat opposite WR Eric Moulds. It also stops defenses from playing the "Cover 2" constantly because we didn't have anyone who could consistently go over the top. The addition of Evans also frees the offense up to do some creative things with WRs Bobby Shaw and Josh Reed. I look forward to helping Evans and QB J.P. Losman get ready for the NFL and the Buffalo Bills.

  • On rookie teammates: I look forward to helping the rookies along with their career and the transition into the NFL. But they also must be taught who's in charge … and it's not them. Just because Eli Manning was able to dictate where he went doesn't mean any rookie is going to be able to dictate anything in my locker room.

  • On linebackers: I felt that Jonathan Vilma would've been a stud player wherever he went. He understands the game extremely well. Some linebackers are told what the scheme is and can play it because of what they've been taught. Vilma understands all schemes and is a true student of the game. It doesn't matter which scheme he's placed in because he'll understand it and perform within the system. On the other hand, D.J. Williams is a more athletic linebacker who'll be helped more by his system. Hopefully he gets into a system with coaches who understand that he's better suited for a more wide-open scheme that will allow him to freelance. He can run from side-to-side and hit the A-gap up the middle on the blitz. If he's given the opportunity to take advantage of his athletic ability, he'll thrive and maybe become an All-Pro.