This is my first mock of 2009. I'll update it as April draws closer. Feel free to chime in with your thoughts/opinions. Cheers.
Pick 1, Detroit Lions; Andre Smith OT, Alabama.
If you go check 99 percent of most mock drafts at the moment have the Lions selecting a QB with the No. 1 pick overall. It’s for the same reason that Matt Millen couldn’t resist taking a WR in the first round four out of the last five drafts: Who can resist the sexy pick?
If the new guys in the front office are the real deals, we’ll see it here at this pick. I think they should trade down for an extra pick or two to fill in some more holes, but I would be as happy as a clam with the selection of Smith.
Pick 2, St. Louis Rams; Matt Stafford QB, Georgia.
Déjà vu – No. 2 in 2008 and now No. 2 in 2009. I don’t see them passing on Stafford. Especially having passed on the wonder-rookie QB, Matt Ryan, last April.
At least with a rookie at QB, it’ll buy the new head coach some time to figure this mess out. But with Orlando Pace on his last legs, taking a QB here might not be such a good idea.
Of course, my personal advice? Draft O-Lineman – Early & Always – learn it, love it, live it!
Pick 3, Kansas City Chiefs; Michael Crabtree WR, Texas Tech.
This pick is dependent upon two factors: 1) Prying Offensive Coordinator Todd Haley away from the world champion Cardinals (yes, you heard it here first!) and 2) Signing free agent to be Kurt Warner.
Crabtree’s skill, size, and work ethic have made him Mel Kiper’s No. 1-rated prospect. Imagine a lineup that included Bowe, Gonzalez, Crabtree, L. Johnson, Charles, and Warner? You'd have all the makings of an elite offense, instantly making the Chiefs division favorites.
What I see happening here is some team (probably Oakland) trading down to No. 2 or possibly even No. 1 to secure Crabtree. I’d be surprised to see him on the board at this spot.
Pick 4, Seattle Seahawks; Knowshon Moreno RB, Georgia.
Tough one to call. A lot of mocks have the Seahawks taking a wideout with this pick. But if Crabtree is off the board by this point (as I’m sure he will be) I think Mora will be swayed to go with defense.
It’s his first year, he will want to inject some zing. By taking Moreno, it’ll give Seattle the Slash & Bash combo that so many teams are trying to incorporate nowadays.
Pick 5, Cleveland Browns; Brian Orakpo DE, Texas.
The Browns are in a very strange position this year. They have enough talent to compete, that’s for sure, but most of that talent is found on the offensive side.
Maybe Mangenius can evoke some passion and get these guys to play. I think they should take Curry, but Orakpo would be a great fit in Cleveland.
Pick 6, Cincinnati Bengals; Michael Oher OT, Mississippi.
WhoDey? The Bengals should go O-Lineman here and try to protect Palmer. Key word – try. I think Oher fits the bill.
Pick 7, Oakland Raiders; Rey Maualuga LB, USC.
I have a buddy who proudly calls himself a member of the Raider Nation and swears that they are a receiver away from .500. Maybe they’ll either make a play for Crabtree with Detroit or St.Louis, or take a wideout in the later rounds.
I would say common sense dictates taking an OL here, but the Robert Gallery bust must still sting. I think they’ll turn to defense with this pick.
Pick 8, Jacksonville Jaguars; Aaron Curry LB, Wake Forest
I think Curry would be a perfect fit for the Jags. And if Harvey gets his thing going, this defense could regain its heavyweight status.
Pick 9, Green Bay Packers; Malcolm Jenkins CB, Ohio State.
Simple pick because the offensive wasn’t the problem last year. The Packers need a youthful infusion of secondary talent. Although this could seem high to some, Jenkins was projected as the No.1 DB last year.
And there’ll always be a someone jumping the gun early to secure someone like Jenkins. It’s a need pick here but solid as well. Not too much of a gamble.
Pick 10, San Francisco 49ers; Mark Sanchez QB, USC.
You just have to ask yourself, ‘’What would Mike do?’’ Singletary is intense, be it as a player, coach, or even just being interviewed, but I think he’ll want to pass on Sanchez to add another layer to the D. Perhaps visions of ‘’Monsters of the Mid-Bay."
Sanchez though, being a SC guy, also brings with him so much more. I don’t know if he’s ever been to Mexico, or if he even speaks Spanish, but that won’t matter to the 110 million or so potential fan base that’s south of the border, just waiting for someone like him to come along and cheer.
Remember, the Niners played the Cards in Mexico City a few years ago. They would be smart to try and continue to grow that interest that was created. Also, the guy can play some football too. Just ask Penn State.
Pick 11, Buffalo Bills; Darrius Heyward-Bey WR, Maryland
Most mocks have the have the Bills going wideout here. That strikes me as sound enough. Now all they need is a new stadium/city to play in. Hello, Toronto!
Pick 12, Denver Broncos; James Laurinaitis ILB, Ohio State
The defensive side in Denver must be addressed with the first pick. The new coach is almost obligated to take a defender here. And Laurinaitis is going to be a great pro football player. Depending on his pro-day, he very well just may go in the top 10.
Pick 13, Washington Redskins; Vontae Davis CB, Illinois
Snyder will see the value of taking a flyer on someone like Davis based on pedigree alone. I see Davis having an incredible pro-day that will shoot his stock up the charts like lightning.
Whether he’s a good fit won’t come into play here. Washington has a few needs, and one of them is adding depth to the secondary. The Skins’ secondary hasn’t been the same since Champ Bailey left town. Davis at least will address that.
Pick 14, New Orleans Saints; B.J. Raji DT, Boston College
There are not a lot of D-linemen in this draft who can plug a hole like Raji can and I think that in itself will drive up his value somewhat. Although I think Johnson would be the better fit here, I see the Saints going for some size in the middle.
Pick 15, Houston Texans; Michael Johnson DE, Georgia Tech
I know a lot of people are calling for the Texans to draft a DB at this spot, but I really don’t see them letting Dunta Robinson go.
Johnson could be a risk here, but the payout would be worth it if he were to find his game playing Mario Williams’ D-Line bookend. Still, they can fill the secondary in the latter rounds.
Pick 16, San Diego Chargers; Brian Cushing OLB, USC
This pick will depend on what happens to LT’s backup, you know, the little guy. I see them keeping him so the offensive should be good.
The defense could use some tinkering. I think Merriman meant a lot more to the defense's identity than most people thought.
The Chargers would be good to add some depth at LB, just in case Merriman is slow to come back, or is not the same once he does.
Pick 17, New York Jets; Jason Smith OT, Baylor.
This is another tough one to call. But I am going to slot the Jets going with keeping the O-line strong, especially if Favre doesn’t come back.
They can look to take another QB in the second round. Since Rex Ryan is now the head coach, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Jets went defense with this pick.
Pick 18, Chicago Bears; Jeremy Maclin WR, Missouri
I have the bears taking a wideout here as most do. But I would rather see them go with Maclin than Harvin. Although I also think by taking Harvin it would give a wideout with a greater upside. Either way, they need to find a better QB via free agency or via trade. Grossman/Orton is certainly not the answer.
Pick 19, Tampa Bay Buccaneers; Eugene Monroe OT, Virginia
Although, going with another pressing need at wideout wouldn’t be all too bad. I think if you build up the line and give the QB a little more time, the receivers will suddenly seem that much better than they actually are.
Pick 20, Detroit Lions; Clint Sintim OLB, Virginia
More than a few good options on the board with this pick (thanks Roy!) With having already addressed the O-line with the first overall pick, the attention now needs to shift to the other side of the ball.
I would like to be able to plug in a solid DT here, but I just don’t see one of value at this point. Jackson and Brown also came to mind with this pick. But I think taking Sintim, at 6’3, 254 pounds, would be the best pick.
Pick 21, Philadelphia Eagles; Chris Wells RB, Ohio State
A TE or Safety might be the route the Eagles take in the first round, but I think anytime a two time Heisman winner says a RB reminds him of Jim Brown, you take his advice.
This also gives the Eagles a great one/two punch, also preventing Westbrook from getting banged up too much.
Pick 22, Minnesota Vikings; DJ Moore CB, Vanderbilt
The secondary is really the only place the Vikings should look at with this selection. Moore fits the bill well.
Pick 23, New England Patriots; LeSean McCoy RB, Pittsburgh
I think the Pats will be making some bold moves to shore up the defensive front. Cassell is the proverbial ace in the hole. I think New England can therefore go out on a limb here and draft their feature back for years to come. But then again, didn’t they say the same thing a few drafts ago?
Pick 24, Atlanta Falcons; Peria Jerry DT, Mississippi
The dirty birds can now afford to address the D-line early and spend a first round pick on Jerry.
Pick 25, Miami Dolphins; Eben Britton OT, Arizona
I see the Fins making a defensive selection here, but still think they would jump at the chance to continue to revamp that O-Line by adding a guy like Britton.
Pick 26, Baltimore Ravens; Everette Brown DE/OLB, Florida State
Ray Lewis might be gone next year, and the Ravens should be starting to think ahead. This pick would make sense.
Pick 27, Indianapolis Colts; Aaron Maybin DE/OLB, Penn State.
The Colts might also be thinking DB here, but I think they need to add some serious depth along the D-Line and LB positions.
Pick 28, Philadelphia Eagles; Brandon Pettigrew TE, Oklahoma State.
I think this is one of those no-brainers. The Eagles could very well be taking Pettigrew at No. 21. Last year’s TE crop really did a lot to enhance the importance of having a multi-talented TE, and now they can hit the ground running the same year as being drafted.
Pick 29, NY Giants; Percy Harvin WR, Florida.
Plaxico is most likely off the team, and although Harvin isn’t made in the Plaxico mold, he proved how dangerous he can be if used correctly in the right formation.
Pick 30, Tennessee Titans; Everette Brown DE/OLB, Florida State
For depth really much more than a pressing need.
Pick 31, Pittsburgh Steelers; Alphonso Smith CB, Wake Forest
Another pick that essentially adds depth. Looks like the Steelers are pretty set for a few years to come anyway.
Pick 32, Arizona Cardinals; Shonn Greene RB, Iowa
I’ll go out on a limb and say the the Edge will not be back in 2009 for the Cards. Greene would be a value pick here, but I can also seeing them adding depth at DL.