Thursday, February 19, 2009

2009 NFL Mock Draft

1. Detroit Lions
Matt Stafford, QB, Georgia
The Lions have three of the first thirty-three picks in a draft deep in offensive tackle prospects but shallow as ever in prospective franchise QBs, so I think it makes sense to grab the QB first and the OT later.

2. St. Louis Rams
Andre Smith, OT, Alabama
I still have some reservations about Andre Smith's pass blocking, but for now he seems to be the closest thing to the consensus number one OT. Whether it's Andre Smith, Jason Smith, or Eugene Monroe, the Rams need to finally find their replacement for Orlando Pace.

3. Kansas City Chiefs
Brian Orakpo, DE, Texas
If the Lions pass on Stafford, then I think the Chiefs have to take him, but otherwise they need to address their defensive front seven. I had Michael Crabtree going here in my first mock, but as good as Crabtree is, with Scott Pioli now in charge in KC, I think he's too smart to select a WR when the Chiefs are so awful at pressuring the QB.

4. Seattle Seahawks
Michael Crabtree, WR, Texas Tech
I like Crabtree a lot, and it's true the Seahawks haven't had a bona fide number one receiver in some time, but if I were in Seattle's front office, I'd be pushing to select one of the great left tackle prospects in this draft who could be Walter Jones's eventual replacement.

5. Cleveland Browns
Vontae Davis, CB, Illinois
Davis has been making standout plays since he was a freshman and I can't believe he's not the highest-rated corner on most draftniks' boards. He's a perfect fit for Mangini's defensive scheme.

6. Cincinnati Bengals
Eugene Monroe, OT, Virginia
A position of strength on the Cincinnati roster just two years ago, the Bengals have few options at either tackle spot right now.

7. Oakland Raiders
Jeremy Maclin, WR, Missouri
Given a need at both positions I would always take a top offensive tackle prospect over a wide receiver, but Al Davis doesn't think that way. Speed rules in Mr. Davis's mind.

8. Jacksonville Jaguars
Jason Smith, OT, Baylor
If the last three seasons have proved anything it's that a rookie left tackle can step in and play at a very high level (see Marcus McNeil, Joe Thomas, Ryan Clady and Jake Long). The Jags will be hoping Smith or one of other top OT can step in and be an immediate upgrade over Khalif Barnes, a serviceable tackle likely to leave via free agency.

9. Green Bay Packers
Everette Brown, DE/OLB, Florida State
NT B.J. Raji and OT Michael Oher both would also make sense here, but the Packers absolutely have to get another pass rusher to play OLB if they're truly going to transition to a base 3-4.

10. San Francisco 49ers
B.J. Raji, NT, Boston College
It might not be as much of a need as right tackle, free safety, wide receiver, or a pass rusher, but if the 49ers truly want to play Fysical football, then they need to go with the value on the board and upgrade their defensive line.

11. Buffalo Bills
Aaron Curry, LB, Wake Forest
For my money the best pure linebacker in the draft, Curry brings great value here, although the Bills could also stand to add a pass rusher like Aaron Maybin or Larry English or tight end Brandon Pettigrew.

12. Denver Broncos
Rey Maualuga, MLB, USC
B.J. Raji would be the best pick for the Broncos since he would be the biggest help in their transition to a 3-4 defense. With him off the board, Denver will have to add a different piece of the 3-4 puzzle. I think Aaron Curry would be a great fit and that Maualuga is a bit overrated, but sometimes you have to dance with who's available.

13. Washington Redskins
Aaron Maybin, DE, Penn State
Maybin could learn some of the tricks of the trade from one of the best, Jason Taylor, while he gets the necessary time he'll need to acclimate to the pro game.

14. New Orleans Saints
Malcolm Jenkins, CB, Ohio State
The Saints have been trying to fill holes in their secondary for years now, so they could be very happy to find Jenkins, who many view as a top-ten talent, available here. I think he's a bit overrated myself and might be better suited as a free safety at the next level.

15. Houston Texans
Michael Johnson, DE, Georgia Tech
I don't think Johnson warrants a first round selection, but I can see how the Texans might view him as a potential perfect bookend to Mario Williams, especially down the road after Johnson has a year of NFL conditioning.

16. San Diego Chargers
Tyson Jackson, DE, LSU
Losing right defensive end Igor Olshansky to free agency shouldn't hurt too much, since he lost his starting job last season, but the Chargers still need to bolster their front three, and Jackson has the size and skill set to play 3-4 DE, though he's another overrated prospect in my opinion.

17. New York Jets
Mark Sanchez, QB, USC
When he came out, I had high expectations for Kellen Clemens, but he didn't look so hot when he had his chance to play in 2007. It doesn't seem likely that either he or Brett Ratliff are the future starters.

18. Chicago Bears
Robert Ayers, DE, Tennessee
The Bears defensive ends are getting up there in age and Ayers is arguably the best base DE prospect in this year's draft.

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Michael Oher, OT, Mississippi
The Bucs get a gift as Oher falls all the way to the nineteenth pick.

20. Detroit Lions (from Dallas Cowboys)
Eben Britton, OT, Arizona
Having taken a franchise QB with the first pick, the Lions can turn their focus to shoring up the offensive line.

21. Philadelphia Eagles
Brandon Pettigrew, TE, Oklahoma State

22. Minnesota Vikings
Peria Jerry, DT, Mississippi
The Vikings have the best DT tandem in the league, but they need to think about the future given Pat Williams age, and with all of the top offensive linemen off the board, it makes sense to go where the value is.

23. New England Patriots
Larry English, DE/OLB, Northern Illinois
If the draft turns out this way, I'll be cursing the first twenty-two teams who picked for letting English get to the Pats. Given the way Bellichick collects tight ends, don't be surprised if Brandon Pettigrew (should he still be on the board) goes here even though the Pats have Ben Watson and Dave Thomas.

24. Atlanta Falcons
Percy Harvin, WR, Florida
I guess this would be another huge steal, but I'm not sold on Harvin's potential as a pro. He could be a fine complement to Roddy White, and given a creative offensive scheme that gets him the ball he could be a dangerous weapon, I just hink he's a bit overrated.

25. Miami Dolphins
Ron Brace, NT, Boston College
This might be a bit high for Brace, but there just aren't that many quality nose tackle prospects.

26. Baltimore Ravens
Brian Cushing, LB, USC
Cushing should prove to be an adequate replacement for Bart Scott, though I don't have quite as much confidence in his pro potential as most others do.

27. Indianapolis Colts
Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR, Maryland
Oh boy.

28. Philadelphia Eagles (from Carolina Panthers)
William Beatty, OT, Connecticut
The Eagles need to add some good young players at both offensive tackle positions.

29. New York Giants
Hakim Nicks, WR, North Carolina
Adding Nicks should go a long way toward forgetting Plaxico Burress.

30. Tennessee Titans
Fili Moala, DT, USC
If Albert Haynesworth bolts via free agency, the Titans will need to bolster the depth along the interior of their defensive line.

31. Arizona Cardinals
Knowshon Moreno, RB, Georgia
Moreno is as worthy of a top-ten pick as RB who has come out in recent year. I'd put him behind only Adrian Peterson. But he's still a RB after all. But but: this would be one of the steals of this and any draft if the Cards landed him this far down.

32. Pittsburgh Steelers
Max Unger, C, Orgeon
Pittsburgh's offensive line played better as the year went on, but an upgrade in the interior of the line is still much needed if they don't want to see Big Ben keep getting knocked silly.

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