Commentary

Edwards, Williamson rising; Williams falls

Mel Kiper's final first round projection has Alex Smith at the top, Marlin Jackson at the bottom and plenty of shuffling in between.

Originally Published: April 22, 2005
By Mel Kiper Jr. | Special to ESPN Insider
The draft is upon us and it's time for my final first-round projection, which has Utah quarterback Alex Smith going No. 1 overall to the San Francisco 49ers.

Michigan wide receiver Braylon Edwards has moved into the top three and Auburn cornerback Carlos Rogers into the top 10, while USC receiver Mike Williams slides out of the top 10. Auburn quarterback Jason Campbell makes his first-round debut while Iowa defensive end Matt Roth falls out. Roth is part of a group on the fringe of the first round that includes Howard cornerback Ronald Bartell Jr., Michigan guard/center David Baas, Tennessee linebacker Kevin Burnett and USC defensive end/tackle Shaun Cody.

Cleveland at No. 3 overall will be the pivotal team. The Browns will look to trade down if both Braylon Edwards and Alex Smith are off the board, but if they can't they might make a major reach and draft Georgia defensive end David Pollack in that spot. New coach Romeo Crenell is bringing in a 3-4 defense and Pollack would be a nice fit with his ability to play on his feet or in a 3-point stance, and perhaps even move inside.

Other players are also moving up late: Oklahoma safety Brodney Pool and his teammate, wide receiver Mark Bradley, could both be early second-rounders, as could Northwestern defensive tackle Luis Castillo.

In all, there are 10 underclassmen on the list, including three of the top 10 picks.

Mel Kiper Jr.

Football analyst

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