The season is over now and everyone is dealing with withdrawal, and writing articles is one of the best ways to help. I made the article "Part One" because I will make another mock draft after free agency and the combine.
1) Detroit Lions: Jason Smith, OT, Baylor
One of the most athletic tackles in the group. After the senior bowl, the top tackles showed that they could not handle the quick pass rushers off the edge, so Smith moves up to the number one tackle.
2) St. Louis Rams: Andre Smith, OT, Alabama
The Rams' offensive line is old and they need a replacement for Orlando Pace. Smith is considered an elite tackle and will be drafted high. I considered putting Michael Crabtree here, but offensive line is more of a concern for the Rams.
3) Kansas City Chiefs: Mark Sanchez, QB, USC
Kansas City needs a quarterback. Tyler Thigpen did a good job for them, but newly appointed GM Scott Pioli will want a franchise quarterback. I'm not big on the quarterbacks this year, but Sanchez is one of the few QB's this year that can throw past 20 yards. I also considered putting Aaron Curry here, but quarterback is more of a concern.
4) Seattle Seahawks: Michael Crabtree, WR, Texas Tech
Easily the best wide receiver in the draft, and with Seattle's old receiving corps, they are in dire need of youth and a big playmaker. Crabtree obviously fits that role with his athleticism and big body.
5) Cleveland Browns: Aaron Curry, LB, Wake Forest
Mangini will love this guy. Curry is a versatile linebacker with a motor that doesn't stop. The Browns need a talented linebacker, and with Andra Davis heading into free agency, they need to get younger at the position. I considered putting Malcolm Jenkins here, but the 5th pick is too high to take Jenkins and some have questioned his speed, so his draft stock is declining. Also, there will be a question if Jenkins will be playing corner or safety in the NFL.
6) Cincinnati Bengals: Eugene Monroe, OT, Virginia
With Carson Palmer coming back off injury, the Bengals need to draft a offensive tackle to protect him. The Bengals are not known for having an elite offensive line, so if they plan to keep Palmer healthy next season, they need to draft a offensive tackle with their first pick.
7) Oakland Raiders: Michael Oher, OT, Mississippi
With new head coach Tom Cable, the Raiders will be butting heads in the war room come draft day. Al Davis will want the player with that fastest 40-yard dash time, no matter what position they play for, and Cable will want an offensive tackle to protect JaMarcus Russell. With Al Davis as the owner and the main guy calling the shots in the war room, this pick is nearly impossible to make.
8) Jacksonville Jaguars: Chris Wells, RB, Ohio State
With all the top offensive linemen gone, the Jaguars need to revive their 1-2 punch system with Fred Taylor getting old. Chris Wells and Maurice Jones-Drew could could be a two-headed monster that NFL teams will have a lot of trouble stopping. If there is a top offensive tackle left then the Jaguars could draft him, or trade down.
9) Green Bay Packers: Brian Orakpo, DE/OLB, Texas
The Packers are aging in both their defensive line and in their secondary. Depending on what scheme the Packers go with next season, a defensive end will be needed. I considered putting B.J. Raji here because if they switch schemes a stronger interior defensive lineman will be needed.
10) San Francisco 49ers: Matthew Stafford, QB, Georgia
Shaun Hill had a good season this year, but Hill is no franchise quarterback by any means. Alex Smith was supposed to be their franchise quarterback, but has not showed much promise. I put Stafford here because I believe Mark Sanchez is better than Stafford. I considered putting DE/OLB Everette Brown here, but the 49ers are in desperate need of a franchise quarterback.
11) Buffalo Bills: Everette Brown, DE/OLB, Florida State
Brown could play either defensive end or outside linebacker in the NFL, something that the Bills could use as a weapon on defense with their linebacker core needing an upgrade. Aaron Maybin is also a possibility here.
12) Denver Broncos: Rey Maualuga, LB, USC
Maualuga is a tackling machine and the Broncos are dying to get one of those. D.J. Williams is a good linebacker for the Broncos, but he really needs some help because his teammates aren't doing it. With new head coach Josh McDaniels being an offensive-minded coach, his offense is already good (save for a running back), but their defense really needs help. B.J. Raji is also a big possibility here.
13) Washington Redskins: Aaron Maybin, DE/OLB, Penn State
The Redskins need a quality pass rusher at defensive end or outside linebacker. Maybin could play either position for the Redskins. Maybin's stock is rising and he has proved that he can get by quality tackles. I considered a CB here, but I'm confident that they will resign DeAngelo Hall because he will want to stay close to home.
14) New Orlean Saints: Malcolm Jenkins, DB, Ohio State
He's considered the top cornerback in the draft and the Saints could really use that with Mike McKenzie getting old. Only problem is that scouts are not sure if Jenkins will play safety or corner back in the NFL because they question his speed. I thought of putting OLB Brian Cushing here, but they need a young corner more.
15) Houston Texans: Tyson Jackson, DE, LSU
The Texans need a good defensive end to play opposite Mario Williams and to improve their defensive line, because Anthony Weaver has been a bit of a disappointment. A safety is also a possibility here.
16) San Diego Chargers: Knowshon Moreno, RB, Georgia
This could change if Chris Wells drops this far, but I don't see that happening. Either way, the Chargers need a running back to replace LaDainian Tomlinson because he is getting old and his numbers are slipping each year. Not to mention they need a running back that is not going to whine as much as Tomlinson.
17) New York Jets: Josh Freeman, QB, Kansas State
I wasn't sure what to put here with new head coach Rex Ryan, but he is a defensive coach and he is pretty much already set defensively. The Jets need a quarterback and they are better off if Favre doesn't come back. As a Patriots' fan, I would love to see Favre come back so he can throw more interceptions. Josh Freeman could be the quarterback the Jets have been looking for since they got rid of Chad Pennington. This pick is up in the air.
18) Chicago Bears: Jeremy Maclin, WR, Missouri
The Bears need a deep threat at wide receiver since the departure of Bernard Berrian. The Bears will probably draft a defensive player to improve their strength, but wide receiver is definitely a need.
19) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR, Maryland
The Buccaneers need a wide receiver with Antonio Bryant going to be drawing double coverages next year after the good season that he had this year. Quarterback or linebacker is also a possibility here. The Buccaneers have too many needs at this point.
20) Detroit Lions: Vontae Davis, CB, Illinois
The Lions' secondary was one of the worst this year even with the addition of Leigh Bodden. They need a playmaking cornerback and they will find that in Davis. Linebacker is a strong possibility here also.
21) Philadelphia Eagles: Percy Harvin, WR, Florida
The Eagles need a good wide receiver to survive if they make it to the playoffs next season. Tight end is also a strong possibility here, but wide receiver will be more appreciated by the fans with their first of two first round draft picks.
22) Minnesota Vikings: Eben Britton, OT, Arizona
The Vikings' offensive line is pretty old and they might lose players to free agency. The Vikings will take the best offensive lineman available or look to see them draft a corner back because of aging Antoine Winfield, even though he made the Pro Bowl this year.
23) New England Patriots: Brian Cushing, LB, USC
The Patriots really need to get younger on their defense, especially with their secondary and linebacking corps. Brian Cushing or James Laurinaitis will be the top draft targets of the Patriots. Cornerback is also a strong possibility here, but they drafted two in last years draft.
24) Atlanta Falcons: William Moore, DB, Missouri
The Falcons need to get younger at the safety position with old man Lawyer Milloy still playing. Moore is one of the top safeties and will probably be the number one safety after the combine.
25) Miami Dolphins: James Laurinatis, LB, Ohio State
The Dolphins need to get younger at linebacker with Joey Porter aging and the uncertainty surrounding Channing Crowder. Parcells loves linebackers and if Brian Cushing falls down to the 25th pick, Parcells will snatch him up without even thinking. Corner back or safety is also a strong possibility here, but the Dolphins have too many needs so this pick is up in the air.
26) Baltimore Ravens: Alphonso Smith, CB, Wake Forest
The Ravens are really aging at the cornerback position with Samari Rolle and Chris McAllister still playing. Fabian Washington is a decent cornerback with good speed, but they need a young quick ball hawk like Alphonso Smith. Look to see the Ravens draft a linebacker with this pick because they can't resign Ray Lewis, Terrell Suggs, and Bart Scott.
27) Indianapolis Colts: Peria Jerry, DT, Mississippi
The Colts have not had a good defensive tackle since Montae Reagor and Jerry will get double-teamed all day, so that could free up Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis. I would put my money on the Colts taking a wide receiver in the first round because Peyton Manning seems to struggle when he is not throwing to first round talented receivers.
28) Philadelphia Eagles: Brandon Pettigrew, TE, Oklahoma
The Eagles need a tight end with the disappointment of L.J. Smith, who is probably leaving for free agency. The Eagles need more offensive weapons to take the heat off Brian Westbrook and DeSean Jackson if they want to survive in the playoffs next season.
29) New York Giants: Clint Sintim, OLB, Virginia
The Giants need help at outside linebacker and also at inside linebacker with Antonio Peirce getting older. Clint Sintim runs on a high motor and can be counted on to make tackles. Wide receiver is also a strong possibility here, but all the top wide receivers will be gone.
30) Tennessee Titans: Michael Johnson, DE/OLB, Georgia Tech
The Titans could use someone like Johnson at outside linebacker and on passing situations because he will be a pass rushing demon in the NFL. Ron Brace is also an option here because they don't know if Albert Haynesworth will stay or not.
31) Arizona Cardinals: Louis Delmas, DB, Western Michigan
The Cardinals need to upgrade the safety position with Adrian Wilson getting older, and not much depth at the position which showed in the Super Bowl. This would also allow Antrel Rolle to move back to his original position at cornerback.
32) Pittsburgh Steelers: Alex Mack, OL, California
The Steelers really need to improve their offensive line and Mack could be the answer. Mack is entering the draft as a center, but is versatile enough to play guard too. Cornerback is also a strong possibility here as D.J. Moore will probably be available here, but offensive line is a big need.
Tell me what you think so I can make improvements for my next mock draft after free agency and the combine.
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