Mike's 2009 Expert NFL Mock Draft No. 1
So here it is, my first (and definitely not last) NFL Mock Draft on Bleacher Report.
Keep in mind, my picks involve what I think teams will do, not what they should do.
1. Detroit- Matt Stafford, QB, Georgia
Stafford is a pretty easy pick here at No. 1. Like the Falcons last year, the Lions need a face for their franchise, so a future franchise QB really makes sense. The Lions obviously need to start a massive rebuilding process. Dan Orlovsky and Dante Culpepper aren't exactly the QB's a GM would want starting for their team.
2. St. Louis- Michael Crabtree, WR, Texas Tech
Many mocks have a Left Tackle at this slot, but there is no agreement on who the number one tackle in the draft is. It was Michael Oher a while back, then Andre Smith, who now has his status questioned due to weight issues, so I do not think any tackle should be taken with the second pick, unless one of the three (the other being Eugene Monroe) shines in the weeks before the draft.
Crabtree is one of the best players in the draft. Donny Avery is not a number one receiver, and Marc Bulger needs playmakers, especially if Torry Holt is not back next season.
3. Kansas City- Mark Sanchez, QB, USC
This is, in my opinion, the hardest pick to predict at the moment. There are some questions surrounding Sanchez, who is only a one year starter in college. However, he did have a great season.
What makes sense about KC taking Sanchez with the third pick is that they have a new GM and a new head coach. A new system almost always equals a new QB.
4. Seattle- Eugene Monroe, OT, Virginia
Seattle would probably take Michael Crabtree if he is available here, but if he is not they will go with the best Offensive Tackle. Walter Jones is getting old and, at the moment, I believe Monroe is the No. 1 tackle in the draft.
5. Cleveland- Aaron Curry, LB, Wake Forest
Cleveland can use help anywhere in their defence, but since there is no CB or Safety good enough to be taken fifth, Aaron Curry makes sense here. Andre Davis is a free agent, so he might not be back. Aaron Curry would be a great upgrade in the middle of Mangini's 3-4 defence.
6. Cincinnati- Michael Oher, OT, Ole Miss
The No. 1 need for the Bengals is Offensive Tackle. Carson Palmer has been banged around his whole career, and he needs protection in order to be the QB they drafted him to be. Cincinnati's O-line is pathetic, so Oher is a great pick here.
7. Oakland- Brian Orakpo, DE, Texas
Knowing Al Davis, he will take the best athlete on the board. With Crabtree gone, the Raiders need a sack artist, as Derrick Burgess only got to the QB 3.5 times this season. If Orakpo has a good 40 time at the combine, this pick will make even more sense.
8. Jacksonville- Jason Smith, OT, Baylor
Watch out for Jason Smith in the coming months. He is a player who's draft stock will rise and might end a top five selection on draft day. Jacksonville is in desperate need of a Tackle, as Garrard had nightmares every gameday. Once protected, he'll be a solid QB like he was two years ago.
9. Green Bay- B.J. Raji, DT, Boston College
Corner is an option here, and most mocks I've seen have the Packers taking Malcolm Jenkins, but Green Bay can draft a CB in the second round. With Bigby healthy, they can move Woodson back to CB. With the Packer's new 3-4 defence, Raji makes more sense.
Green Bay doesn't have a monster DT that can play nose and stuff opposing team's running attacks. Raji had a great Senior Bowl, so his stock has risen.
10. San Fransisco- Everette Brown, DE/OLB, Florida State
Manny Lawson has been a bust since the 49ers drafted him a few years ago. It's not all his fault though, as the entire San Fran front seven has trouble getting to the QB. Everette Brown is a great solution here. He fits their scheme nicely as well.
11. Buffalo- Andre Smith, OT, Alabama
Since both Aaron Curry and Brian Orakpo are off the board, the Bills will upgrade their Offensive Line. Andre Smith can play both Tackle positions, and the Bills would love to give Trent Edwards good protection.
12. Denver- Rey Maualuga, LB, USC
Mike Nolan is the new defensive co-ordinator in Denver, so the Broncos will switch to a 3-4 defense. Denver need desperate help at Linebacker, so Maualuga is a perfect option here. He fits a need, and their scheme.
13. Washington- Eben Britton, OT, Arizona
This is a bit of a reach in my opinion, but the need for Offensive Tackles in the NFL is very high. Jon Jasen is 33, so the Redskins are looking to upgrade the Right Tackle position. Eben Britton can slide in once Jansen either retires, or is released.
14. New Orleans- Brian Cushing, LB, USC
New Orleans, even after adding Jonathan Vilma in the offseason, is still in need of a linebacker. Cushing is an immediate upgrade from Scott Shanle at SAM, so this pick makes sense. James Laurinaitis is an option here, but his stock has fallen somewhat.
15. Houston- Malcolm Jenkins, CB, Ohio State
The Texans need help at Safety and Guard, but taking either of those positions would be a reach. Houston also needs help at corner. Jenkins would be a great fit to a mediocre secondary.
16. San Diego- Chris Wells, RB, Ohio State
With rumors swirling regarding LT leaving the Chargers this offseason, and Darren Sproles hitting free agency, running back is a good position to address at this position, especially with a talent like Chris Wells available. If either Sproles or LT leaves, the Chargers will be looking to upgrade their running game.
17. New York Jets- Vontae Davis, CB, Illinois
If the Jets were confident with their CB position, then they would not have brought in Ty Law to start for them near the end of the season. Vontae Davis is a fantastic player with great ball skills. He will improve an already solid Jets defense.
18. Chicago- Jeremy Maclin, WR, Missouri
The Bears need help at Wide Receiver, so Maclin is a good fit here. He is superbly talented and adds a kick-returner aspect to his draft stock. Defensive End is an option here, but any pick would be a reach.
19. Tampa Bay- Knowshon Moreno, RB, Georgia
With Cadillac Williams going down with another major knee injury and Warrick Dunn being the age that he is, it is time for the Bucs to bring in a new running back. Knowshon Moreno is a steal here, as running backs are not in high demand this year.
I've seen a few mocks that have Josh Freeman going here, but I am not ready to put him in the first round until I see more of him.
20. Detroit- Alex Mack, C, California
With all of the elite tackles already taken, Alex Mack is the top Offensive Line prospect here. Detroit will need to protect Matt Stafford well; not they way they protected Jon Kitna, Dan Orlovsky and Dante Culpepper the last two seasons. Offensive Line is a huge need for the Lions.
21. Philadelphia- William Beatty, OT, Connecticut
With John Runyan and Tra Thomas both free agents, the Eagles will definitely look to upgrade their O-Line. Beatty can play both Right Tackle and Left Tackle, and can fill in for either of the two guys. He is a bit undersized, but can add at least ten pounds of bulk to his frame.
22. Minnesota- D.J. Moore, CB, Vanderbilt
With all of the Tackles taken, the Vikings will look to upgrade their secondary, as Cedric Griffin has looked awful since they drafted him. Moore is not the fastest corner, but he has great ball skills. He'll immediately improve Minnesota's defense.
23. New England- Aaron Maybin, DE/OLB, Penn State
New England will look to add another rush linebacker to their defense. Aaron Maybin is a fantastic player who can slide right in to the starting lineup on week one. Mike Vrabel is not getting any younger, and the Pats only generated 31 QB sacks last season. Maybin will help improve that number.
24. Atlanta- Brandon Pettigrew, TE, Oklahoma State
This pick makes perfect sense. The Falcons do not have any good Tight-Ends, so Pettirgrew can slip into the starting lineup right away. Matt Ryan would be even more dangerous with a guy like Pettirgrew in the lineup. He not only does a great job catching the ball, but he is a great run blocker as well.
25. Miami- Larry English, DE/OLB, Northern Illinois
I am a huge fan of Larry English. He is a fantastic player that could be the next DeMarcus Ware. English would be a great fit in Miami's 3-4 defense, as Matt Roth did almost nothing last year.
26. Baltimore- Kenny Britt, WR, Rutgers
When it is all said and done, I believe Kenny Britt will be taken in the first round. The Ravens could use another Wide Receiver to complement Joe Flacco, especially since Derek Mason is old and Mark Clayton hasn't proved himself as a No. 1 wideout yet. Kenny Britt is a fantastic possession receiver.
27. Indianapolis- Peria Jerry, DT, Ole Miss
The Colts need some help along the D-line, and at defensive tackle more specifically. With Ed Johnson being released last year, the Colts need another solid DT. Peria Jerry is a great option here. Running back and offensive line could be other options with this pick.
28. Philadelphia- Duke Robinson, OG, Oklahoma
Knowing Andy Reid and being an Eagles fan, I believe Philly will take another Offensive lineman here. Duke Robinson is a great player and is a solid run blocker. Running the ball was something the Eagles had trouble with last season. If Thomas and Runyan both leave, then this pick makes even more sense.
29. New York Giants- James Laurinaitis, LB, Ohio State
Wow. This is a major steal. I can't understand why Laurinaitis' draft stock has slipped; he is a phenomenal player. He understands the game well and is a born leader. If he is here for the Giants, they will not hesitate to take him.
30. Tennessee- Percy Harvin, WR, Florida
The Titans don't usually take wideouts in the first round, but this year could be an exception. The Titans love drafting speedy playmakers, as they did last year with Chris Johnson, so this pick makes alot of sense, and fills a need.
31. Arizona- LeSean McCoy, RB, Pittsburgh
The Cards need help at RB, even though Edgerrin James had a solid postseason. He will probably not be back with the team next year, so drafting McCoy here is a good idea for the Cards.
32. Pittsburgh- Tyson Jackson, DE, LSU
Since all of the better offensive lineman are taken at this point in the draft, the Steelers will draft an end here. Aaron Smith is getting old, and Jackson is a great fit for their 3-4 defense. Jackson is solid against the run but wont get to the QB much.
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