In a few short months the NFL draft will again take place. Up until then countless mock drafts and predictions arise with the projected top picks. Who will it be, Stafford or Sanchez? Smith or Monroe? Curry or Maualuga?
Plenty of young, good quality starters and prospects are in this year's draft class, and it will be difficult to decide who's stock will really end up where until the combine. Here is my current list of the top players available this year:
1. Michael Crabtree WR/Texas Tech - Great size, great athlete, great receiver, and very young. This guy will be a starting number one receiver in the NFL. He was an absolute monster in college, and he was only there for two years. Teams who will be interested in Crabtree: Seahawks, Raiders, Jaguars.
2. Andre Smith OT/Alabama - Big, strong offensive tackle. He's a great player, and the only reason his stock took any hit was because of getting suspended at the end of last year. He's a solid bet, and at his position that is a great thing to be.
Teams who will be interested in Smith: Anyone in the top 10, all of them need help on their line.
3. Malcolm Jenkins CB/Ohio State - Very athletic, shutdown corner who possess great skill. He can come in and get put directly into a starting role and do a great job. Probably will fall a little bit in the draft because CB isn't exactly what teams want to draft in the top five picks. Teams that will be interested in Jenkins—Browns, Bengals, Jaguars, 49ers.
4. Eugene Monroe OT/Virginia - Another big, solid offensive tackle. He will be a starting tackle for his whole career if he can stay healthy. Plenty of teams will be interested in grabbing him. Teams that will be interested in Monroe—Anyone in the top 10.
5. Aaron Curry OLB/Wake Forest - He is the best LB in the draft, and has amazing speed and skill. Great fit for any defense in need of an OLB. He'll play similar to Ernie Sim's in his rookie season. Teams that will be interested in Curry—Rams, Browns, Bengals, Raiders.
6. Mark Sanchez QB/USC - Only one season as the Trojan's starter, but showed great strength and accuracy that an NFL-type QB needs to have. Stafford is a great college QB as well, but I think that neither of them are NFL-ready right now, and Sanchez will be the better of the two in a couple of years. Teams that will be interested in Sanchez—Lions, Chiefs, 49ers.
7. Rey Maualuga LB/USC - Possibly the most ready for the NFL, Maualuga will be a great LB in the NFL. Although he may never develop in an elite player, he will be a very solid linebacker for any team for many years.
Teams that will be interested in Maualuga - Raiders, Packers, Bills.
8. Jeremy Maclin WR/Missouri - Pure playmaker who is very quick and athletic. Second best wideout in the draft, and will be a huge part of the offense that drafts him.
May fall a little in the draft and land with a big-arm QB that will get him huge numbers. Teams that will be interested in Maclin—Bengals, Raiders, 49ers, Bills.
9. Jason Smith OT/Baylor - Big tackle with great upside. I wouldn't select him before Smith or Monroe, but tackle is a position with great value and Smith could develop into a star. A little bit of time will be needed for him to adjust to the NFL. Teams that will be interested in Smith—Anyone in the top 10.
10. Matt Stafford QB/ Georgia - How did he fall to No. 10? That's because he will be a good starter in the NFL but I think he is a reach if the Lions are to draft him at No. 1 overall. That's a need pick, not value.
Nonetheless, he's got fine mechanics, great arm strength and good accuracy. Little bit of work and he will be a good NFL QB. Teams that will be interested in Stafford - Lions, Chiefs, 49ers.
Well those are my top 10 available players, and well we all know the other guys that could possibly be taken in the first round, here are some guys that may not be first round worthy yet, but may surprise you:
DE/OLB Larry English(NIU), QB Josh Freeman(KSU), WR Hakeem Nicks(UNC), OT William Beatty(UCONN), DE Michael Johnson(GT), S Louis Delmas(WMU), C/T/G Max Unger(ORE).
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