Updated: January 29, 2009
* Denotes Underclassman
1. Detroit Lions — Matthew Stafford, QB, Georgia*
6-3 | 237 lbs. | Junior
Tampa Bay, FL
Sam Bradford made the right decision by returning to school for another season. Bradford did not exactly light up the field during the BCS Championship verses Florida. However, he still remains a talented prospect for the 2010 draft. The Lions should not expect to turn things around as quick as the Miami Dolphins did this season. However, a Matthew Stafford-Calvin Johnson combination should give fans some optimism. A new identity is needed for the team that struggled so much in 2008. Stafford has the best arm in the draft, hands down. He could make any throw on the next level, and to be honest, he probably should have been slotted at the top spot a couple weeks ago. There is an option out there that would allow the Lions to select an offensive tackle here and then a quarterback at No. 20. However, that’s a bit too risky for a team that despartely needs a franchise quarterback.
2. St. Louis Rams — Andre Smith, OLT, Alabama*
6-4 | 341 lbs. | Junior
Jake Long was probably going to become a member of the St. Louis Rams at the 2008 draft, had the Dolphins not snatch him up with the first overall pick. Furthermore, with that being said, the team has done little to improve at either tackle position. Andre Smith could step in for Orlando Pace or become the team’s starting right tackle in 2009. Smith was high on my list before the season started, and he has performed well against fierce SEC competition. There is no question the team should start to get the running game rolling again, and Smith is arguably the best run-blocker in the draft.
3. Kansas City Chiefs — Aaron Curry, LB, Wake Forest
6-3 | 247 lbs. | Senior
This is a tough spot for the Chiefs considering how significantly Brian Orakpo recently lowered his stock. Kansas City despartely needs to add a pass rusher to their defensive unit. However, reaching for Everette Brown or Aaron Maybin would be a huge reach, one that would be too significant for a new front office. Aaron Curry has all the tools to be a productive linebacker at the next level. Good size, and unbelievable athleticism allowed Curry to establish himself as the best defensive player in this draft class. While Curry does not fix the pass rush, he would serve as a fixture in the defense for years to come.
4. Seattle Seahawks — Michael Crabtree, WR, Texas Tech*
6-3 | 214 lbs. | Sophomore (RS)
In this scenario, Seattle would select Crabtree here with little debate in the war room. The only two prospects Seattle would take over Crabtree (Stafford, Curry) are already off the board. Mark Sanchez here is an option, but this still might be a bit high for him at this point. Crabtree, with his combination of size, speed, and productivity, is clearly the best wide receiver in this draft class.
5. Cleveland Browns — Malcolm Jenkins, CB, Ohio State
6-1 | 201 lbs. | Senior
This particular mock draft leaves the Browns with their worst case scenario. The team would love to grab Aaron Curry at this spot, however the Chiefs do not appear they are going to pass him up. Instead, Malcolm Jenkins is still a fantastic cornerback prospect. One could argue that pass defense was one of the reasons why Eric Mangini got fired in New York. While Cleveland has a better pass defense, there’s no doubt that last year still resonates in Mangini’s mind. Jenkins would be the lockdown corner the Browns need. He has been a fixture in the Ohio State secondary, and opposing quarterbacks always will have to know where he is on the field. Considering the amount of underclassmen that are expected to be in this year’s draft, Jenkins should be widely considered one of the safer selections. He was the 2008 winner of the Jim Thorpe Award, previously won by Charles Woodson, Antonine Winfield, Terence Newman, Carlos Rogers, and Aaron Ross. Not so bad company.
6. Cincinnati Bengals — Eugene Monroe, OLT, Virginia
6-5 | 310 lbs. | Senior
Cincinnati struggled in all aspects on offense. T.J. Houshmandzadeh, a free agent-to-be, was the team’s lone bright spot on offense, and he too has not scored since the Philadelphia game over a month ago. This was an offense that was regarded as one of the league’s best only a year ago. The problem comes down to help needed on the offensive line. Eugene Monroe instantly fits into that offensive line and is even probably a better fit than Andre Smith, who goes two spots above him in this draft. The Bengals face at least six 3-4 defenses a year (Browns, Ravens, and Steelers), all equipped with a prolific edge rusher. Monroe is probably a little better, and more experienced, in dealing with these types of pass rushers. However, Smith has more room to improve given his athleticism.
7. Oakland Raiders — Michael Oher, OL, Ole Miss
6-5 | 318 lbs. | Senior
Devastated by the selection of Aaron Curry by the Chiefs, the Raiders have to now look to improve the offensive line. JaMarcus Russell and Darren McFadden are both valuable assets that need offensive line help in order to be effective. Oher took a risk in returning for his senior season at Ole Miss, he would have more than likely been a first round pick in 2008, but it paid off. Oher makes a good fit in Oakland because while he played tackle his last three years at Ole Miss, he played guard in his freshman season. Linemen that have the ability to play multiple positions are often coveted come draft time (see: Branden Albert, 2008). Oher is no exception here, and either way he would be a top 15 pick.
8. Jacksonville Jaguars — Jeremy Maclin, WR, Missouri*
6-1 | 200 lbs. | Sophomore (RS)
Jacksonville has lacked a legitimate threat at the wide receiver position for a while. The Jags have bigger needs along the offensive line, but it would be easy to address those needs later in the draft (or through free agency). Maclin is a speedy wide receiver that is a deep threat, not to mention incendiary (possibily explosive) speed as a kick and punt returner. He could spread the field a little bit, and make it easier for Maurice Jones-Drew to run the ball. In a way, the selection of Maclin still improves the running game. Plus, at this point, the only linemen the Jaguars should considering taking are off the board. Jason Smith has been impressive, but I’m not ready to move him into the top ten just yet.
9. Green Bay Packers — Everette Brown, DE, Florida State*
6-4 | 252 lbs. | Junior
Green Bay definitely needs somebody to help take the pressure off of Aaron Kampman, who did not see a double-digit sack total this season. Everette Brown would probably be best suited playing the outside linebacker spot in a 3-4 defense. However, that does not mean he cannot have success as a 4-3 defensive end. Brown has arguably the best pass rushing skills in the draft, which is exactly what the Packers need. This might be a little high for him, but the Packers are not afraid to reach for the player to return them to a contender.
10. San Francisco 49ers — Rey Maualuga, ILB, USC
6-2 | 260lbs. | Senior
Mark Sanchez is a strong possibility to be drafted by the 49ers here. However, Shaun Hill is a servicable quarterback that could lead an NFC West winning squad. There’s no reason why the 49ers need to shell out top ten money, especially to a quarterback, when the they can win with Hill. Mike Singletary would love to use his first pick as a coach to pick a player of Rey Maualuga’s abilities. Adding Maualuga along side of Patrick Willis should be freightening for opposing offenses.
11. Buffalo Bills — Aaron Maybin, DE/OLB, Penn State*
6-4 | 236 lbs. | Junior
Ellicott City, MD
Buffalo needs to develop a pass rush in order to contend in the AFC. Aaron Maybin is another prospect that would excel in a 3-4 defense. However, the Bills would use Maybin strictly as a pass rusher. Unpolished, and probably a little small for the defensive end position, Maybin is one of those players that may take a year or two to see results at the next level. There’s no question he needs to add some weight, and he would help his cause by having a good weigh-in at the combine.
12. Denver Broncos — B.J. Raji, DT, Boston College
6-1 | 323 lbs. | Senior
Washington Twp., NJ
Denver’s defense is pathetic, to say the least. They are in a position in the draft to select the best available defensive player and it would shock me if they did otherwise. Now for the player that has been the talk of the draft for the past two weeks. B.J. Raji had an unbelivable week at the Senior Bowl, and has moved himself into the top 15. At this point, Denver is the lowest place Raji would project. He is a perfect fit for Denver, where they are expected to make the switch to a 3-4 defense.
13. Washington Redskins — Jason Smith, OT, Baylor
6-5 | 305 lbs. | Senior
Washington needs serious help along the offensive line, and in this scenario Jason Smith falls into their lap. The Redskins have some promising pieces on offense, but nobody could perform without a solid offensive line. Jon Jansen, who struggles to stay on the field, and Chris Samuels are both on the wrong side of 30. Jason Smith is a no-brainer here should he be available.
14. New Orleans Saints — Vontae Davis, CB, Illinois*
6-0| 204 lbs. | Junior
The Saints have pretty much tried everything to improve their passing defense. The one problem is that nothing has worked. If drafted by the Saints, Vontae Davis instantly becomes the lockdown corner the Saints need across Mike McKenzie. Davis, the younger brother of 49ers tight end Vernon Davis, is right behind Malcolm Jenkins, talent wise, at the cornerback position.
15. Houston Texans — Brian Orakpo, DE, Texas
6-4 | 260 lbs. | Senior
Brian Orakpo saw his stock drop a little bit during the Senior Bowl week. However, with that being said, he is still an outstanding pass rusher and a terrific value for the Texans at this spot. Already with Mario Williams and Amobi Okoye along the defensive line, Brian Orakpo can turn that line into a force to be reckoned with in the AFC.
16. San Diego Chargers — Chris “Beanie” Wells, RB, Ohio State*
6-1 | 237 lbs. | Junior
LaDainian Tomlinson’s days as a productive running back are numbered. This would not be a problem had the team retained Michael Turner. To the defense of the Chargers, hindsight is always 20/20. Adding a back to pair with Tomlinson would be nice if the opportunity presented itself. If Beanie Wells falls to the Chargers, then the opportunity would have fallen in their lap. Wells gives the Chargers a power back that could spell Tomlinson when needed.
17. New York Jets — Mark Sanchez, QB, USC*
6-3 | 225 lbs. | Junior
Mission Viejo, CA
Mark Sanchez slips here to the Jets and instantly improves their offense. Kellen Clemens, while dubbed the quarterback of the future for the past three years, would be immediately overshadowed by Sanchez’s presence. Sanchez will have success at the next level, especially with a supporting cast that includes Thomas Jones, Laveranues Coles, and Jerricho Cotchery. Oh, by the way, that Favre guy is finished.
18. Chicago Bears — Percy Harvin, WR, Florida*
5-11 | 178 lbs. | Junior
Virginia Beach, VA
The wide receiver position could easily be upgraded at this spot for the Bears. Devin Hester has flashed some potential and developed nicely as a wide receiver. However, there is still a question mark at the other wide receiver spot. Percy Harvin gives the Bears two players at wide receiver capable of scoring every time each touches the ball.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Josh Freeman, QB, Kansas State*
6-6 | 238 lbs. | Junior
Kansas City, MO
Jeff Garcia is a free agent, and the future of the Buccaneers quarterback position should have been addressed years ago. Josh Freeman is a big quarterback with an even bigger arm. He is quick to evade pressure in the pocket, and has above average mobility for someone of his size. Defensive line is still a priority, but that could be addressed in later rounds.
20. Detroit Lions (f/DAL) — Peria Jerry, DT, Ole Miss
6-2 | 290 lbs. | Senior
Peria Jerry is the best defensive tackle on the board for the Lions to select here. Detroit has struggled stopping the run all season, which is without a doubt due to them shipping Shaun Rogers off to Cleveland. The ideal scenario for the Lions would be if a high quality offensive tackle (Oher or Jason Smith) fell to them at this spot after picking Stafford.
21. Philadelphia Eagles — Knowshon Moreno, RB, Georgia*
5-11 | 207 lbs. | Sophomore (RS)
At 29, Brian Westbrook has trouble going through a full season without some type of injury. Correll Buckhalter has been impressive, but he is a free agent this off-season. Knowshon Moreno might not be the pure powerback the Eagles sorely need. However, he could spell Westbrook for an extended period of time, making Westbrook more effective when he is on the field. Moreno, who catches the ball effectively, is more of a complete back than his running back counterpart, Chris Wells.
22. Minnesota Vikings — Eben Britton, OT, Arizona*
6-6 | 310 lbs. | Junior
Ryan Cook is a servicable offensive tackle, but he could be upgraded. Overall, the Vikings would be frustrated to find out that neither Sanchez nor Freeman will fall to them in the first round. Britton could give the Vikings some balance along the offensive line.
23. New England Patriots — James Laurinaitis, ILB, Ohio State
6-3 | 240 lbs. | Senior
James Laurinaitis is a risky selection for any team employing a 3-4 defensive scheme. Anthony Fasano and Dustin Keller are two young tightends within the division that the Patriots need to cover for years to come. Pair Jerod Mayo with Laurinaitis in the middle, and suddenly the Patriots linebacker group is not looking half bad. Should Laurinaitis be off the board at this point, I would expect the Patriots to go after Clint Sintim of Virginia.
24. Atlanta Falcons — Brandon Pettigrew, TE, Oklahoma State
6-6 | 260 lbs. | Senior
To be honest, Brandon Pettigrew is probably being a little overrated by most at this point. Some have him going as high as to Buffalo with the No. 11 selection. However, considering how Matt Ryan is developing, Pettigrew would be a solid acquisition for the Falcons. Pettigrew might be the one piece Matt Ryan needs to be elevated to the next level.
25. Miami Dolphins — Alphonso Smith, CB, Wake Forest
5-9 | 190 lbs. | Senior
Addressing the secondary with this pick is criticle for the Dolphins, who ranked No. 25 in the league this past season in passing yards against. Possibly a little short for the position, Alphonso Smith still established himself as the third best corner in this draft class. Aside from his height, Smith is a very talented corner who could greatly improve the secondary in Miami.
26. Baltimore Ravens — Kenny Britt, WR, Rutgers*
6-4 | 215 lbs. | Junior
Simply put, Kenny Britt is being underrated by most. He’s a big, smooth wide receiver that should find success at the next level. Pair him with Joe Flacco, and you have a solid quarterback-wide receiver combination for years to come. Honestly, what young quarterback doesn’t want to toss the ball to a 6-4 wide receiver? Do not be surprised if Kenny Britt turns out to be the second best wide receiver in this draft class, behind Michael Crabtree of course.
27. Indianapolis Colts —Sen’Derrick Marks, DT, Auburn*
6-2 | 296 lbs. | Junior
Indianapolis has struggled against the run for a while. Both defensive tackle positions could use an upgrade, especially with Tennessee in the division. Sen’Derrick Marks greatly benefits from guys like Terrance Cody and Gerald McCoy not delcaring. Do not sleep on a wide receiver here, Hakeem Nicks could be an intriguing possibility as another target for Peyton Manning.
28. Philadelphia Eagles (f/CAR) — Phil Loadholt, OT, Oklahoma
6-8 | 337 lbs. | Senior
Tra Thomas and Jon Runyan are both getting old, 34-years old and 35-years old, respectively. We all remember Winston Justice’s first start against the Giants, and that is not necessarily a good thing. An offensive tackle here, or with Philadelphia’s other pick in the first round, should be a high priority for the squad. Andy Reid certainly loves his big offensive linemen, and Loadholt is one monster of a tackle.
29. New York Giants — Brian Cushing, OLB, USC
6-3 | 255 lbs. | Senior
Park Ridge, NJ
The Giants will not draft a wide receiver if the draft ends up like this mock draft. Other than Michael Crabtree and Jeremy Maclin, there are no other wide receiver prospects that would be a major upgrade to what the Giants have already. Brian Cushing is the best player on the board that fills a need. While he went to USC, Cushing is from Park Ridge, New Jersey, located just outside of New York City. He is an important part of the very talented defense at USC, playing next to Rey Maualuga. Cushing is very skilled verses the run, as he always seems to find himself around the ball carrier.
30. Tennessee Titans — Hakeem Nicks, WR, UNC*
6-1 | 210 lbs. | Junior
Adding a target, for when Vince Young eventually takes over the reigns of quarterback, is a necessity. Hakeem Nicks had an unbelivable game verses West Virginia in the Meineke Car Care Bowl, which really propelled on the first round radar. As a big play threat, Nicks could stretch the field and make it even easy for Chris Johnson and Lendale White to run the ball (if that’s possible).
31. Arizona Cardinals — LeSean McCoy, RB, Pittsburgh*
5-11 | 210 lbs. | Sophomore*
The Arizona Cardinals have serious problems running the football. While being paid like a top back, Edgerrin James has not been effective in a while. On the other hand, Tim Hightower, the once thought future back after a 100+ yard performance against the Rams, has had major problems as of late. LeSean McCoy would be the perfect complement to Tim Hightower. McCoy made a late decision to enter the draft, though he should be able to crack the first round.
32. Pittsburgh Steelers — Alex Mack, OC, Cal
6-4 | 316 lbs. | Senior
Santa Barbara, CA
There may be no single team in the league that needs offensive line help as much as the Steelers. While their defense may be the best in the league, the offensive line might hold the team back from winning the Super Bowl this season. It is safe to say the Steelers will take the best offensive line prospect with their selection late in the first round. Mack is the best center prospect to come out in a long time. Look for his stock to rise as the draft becomes closer, especially if he could add to his versatility by proving to be able to play guard at the next level.
33. Detroit Lions (f/DAL) — Duke Robinson, OG, Oklahoma
6-5 | 335 lbs. | Senior
34. Kansas City Chiefs — Michael Johnson, DE, Ga. Tech
6-7 | 260 lbs. | Senior
35. St. Louis Rams — Clint Sintim, OLB, Virginia
6-3 | 254 lbs. | Senior
36. Cleveland Browns — Tyson Jackson, DE, LSU
6-5 | 290 lbs. | Senior
37. Seattle Seahawks — Max Unger, OL, Oregon
6-5 | 300 lbs. | Senior
38. Cincinnati Bengals — Shonn Greene, RB, Iowa*
5-11 | 235 lbs. | Junior
39. Jacksonville Jaguars — William Beatty, OT, UConn
6-6 | 310 lbs. | Senior
40. Oakland Raiders — Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR, Maryland*
6-3 | 206 lbs. | Junior
Silver Spring, MD
41. Green Bay Packers — D.J. Moore, CB, Vanderbilt*
5-10 | 182 lbs. | Junior
42. Buffalo Bills — Chase Coffman, TE, Missouri
6-6 | 245 lbs. | Senior
43. San Francisco 49ers — Louis Delmas, FS, Western Michigan
5-11 | 196. | Senior
Miami Beach, FL
44. Miami Dolphins (f/WAS) — Ron Bruce, DT, Boston College
6-3 | 324 lbs. | Senior
45. New York Giants (f/NO) — Troy Kropog, OT, Tulane
6-6 | 315 lbs. | Senior
46. Houston Texans — Victor Harris, CB, Virginia Tech
6-0 | 194 lbs. | Senior
Highland Springs, VA
47. New England Patriots (f/SD) — Jamon Meredith, OT, South Carolina
6-5 | 297 lbs. | Senior
48. Denver Broncos — Clay Matthews, OLB/DE, USC
6-3 | 240 lbs. | Senior
Agoura Hills, CA
49. Chicago Bears — Andy Levitre, OG, Oregon St.
6-3 | 317 lbs. | Senior
Ben Lomond, CA
50. Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Paul Kruger, DE, Utah
6-5 | 265 lbs. | Senior
51. Dallas Cowboys — Larry English, DE/OLB, Northern Illinois
6-3 | 255 lbs. | Senior
52. New York Jets — Mike Mickens, CB, Cincinnati
6-0 | 190 lbs. | Junior
Huber Heights, OH
53. Philadelphia Eagles (f/CAR) — William Moore, FS/SS, Missouri
6-1 | 230 lbs. | Senior
54. Minnesota Vikings — Nate Davis, QB, Ball St.
6-2 | 225 lbs. | Senior
55. Atlanta Falcons — Fili Moala, DT, USC
6-5 | 295 lbs. | Senior
Buena Park, CA
56. Miami Dolphins — Evander Hood, DT/DE, Missouri
6-4 | 295 lbs. | Senior
57. Baltimore Ravens — Darius Butler, CB, UConn
5-11 | 183 lbs. | Senior
58. New England Patriots — Alex Boone, OT, Ohio State
6-8 | 312 lbs. | Senior
59. Carolina Panthers — Connor Barwin, DE, Cincinnati
6-4 | 255 lbs. | Senior
Hazel Park, MI
60. New York Giants (f/NO) — Derrick Williams, WR, Penn State
6-0 | 194 lbs. | Senior
61. Indianapolis Colts — Mark Parson, CB, Ohio
5-10 | 192 lbs. | Senior
62. Tennessee Titans — Rhett Bomar, QB, Sam Houston St.
6-2 | 220 lbs. | Senior
Grand Prairie, OK
63. Arizona Cardinals — Fenuki Topou, OT, Oregon
6-6 | 330 lbs. | Senior
64. Pittsburgh Steelers — Herman Johnson, OG, LSU
6-7 | 386 lbs. | Senior
Credits: Team logos and images are property of the National Football League and Yahoo! Sports, respectively.
A few closing notes:
- Just downloaded a free trial of photoshop, so check out the new banner I made for the 2009 draft year.
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