2009 NFL Mock Draft: First-Round Breakdown
Here’s my Mock Draft. There are many picks that are subject to question, but this is what I think will happen on draft day. Tell me what you think.
1. Detroit Lions: Jason Smith, OT (Baylor)
Now that Detroit has announced Daunte Culpepper as the starting QB for the '09 season, it would make no sense drafting Matt Stafford, especially since you can wait until next year when Sam Bradford and Colt McCoy are going to be available.
Smith was ranked as the No. 1 left Tackle by NFL Network draft guru Mike Mayock.
He is the best pass protector out of all the tackles in this year’s draft. He has great athleticism, which explains why he started his collegiate career as a tight end.
2. St. Louis Rams: Eugene Monroe, OT (Virginia)
The Rams could go many different directions with this pick.
With new head coach Steve Spagnolo calling the shots, they may want to go defense and draft Aaron Curry to supplement Chris Long or go after Michael Crabtree to replace Torry Holt. However, their most pressing need right now is for a young talented tackle.
With Orlando Pace getting old and with this year's draft being loaded with talented tackles, the Rams have to look at a suitable replacement for him.
I see them taking Eugene Monroe out of Virginia.
3. Kansas City Chiefs: Matt Stafford, QB (Georgia)
With Matt Stafford still on the board the Chiefs are very surprised and with no franchise QB under center Scott Pioli isn’t going to let Stafford slide even more.
Aaron Curry may go here as well, but I don’t think Scott Pioli is going to pass up Stafford.
Stafford has a good arm and great pocket awareness. He can also fit the ball into tight spots.
This pick also depends on who Scott Pioli thinks is better: Matt Stafford or Mark Sanchez.
4.Seattle Seahawks: Michael Crabtree, WR (Texas Tech)
Michael Crabtree is the pick here.
If his still available, there is no way the Seahawks are going to let him pass.
He is the most dynamic player in the draft.
He has great hands and explosiveness every time he touches the ball. His not running the 40-yard dash in the combine, so we can’t compare his speed to the rest of the receivers but on the field he is very fast.
5. Cleveland Browns: Aaron Curry, OLB (Wake Forest)
The Browns desperately need help on their defense.
They didn’t put any pressure on the QB last year and that resulted in them being burned in the secondary. Their choices here are Malcolm Jenkins or Aaron Curry.
I see them taking Curry as that will help them get pressure on the quarterback and help their secondary.
6. Cincinnati Bengal: Andre Smith, OT (Alabama)
This pick has to go offensive lineman. Cincinnati’s current left tackle Levi Jones has had terrible seasons the past two years. Their other tackle, Stacy Andrews, is coming off ACL and MCL injuries.
Andre Smith will give them a big boost and they could move him to right tackle and put Antony Collins, who had a pretty solid season last year, at left tackle.
7. Oakland Raiders: Jeremy Maclin, WR (Missouri)
With Al Davis making the calls anything could happen.
New head coach Tom Cable might persuade him to go offensive lineman and draft Michael Oher but knowing Al Davis he’ll want to draft the most explosive guy available and in this case its Jeremy McClain.
If McClain runs a 4.30 in the combine, this pick is a definite.
If the Raiders lose Nnamdi Asomugha in free agency they could also look to draft Malcolm Jenkins.
8. Jacksonville Jaguars: Michael Oher, OT (Ole’ Miss)
The Jaguars' offensive linemen couldn’t protect David Garrard if their lives depended on it this past season.
That’s the reason I see them going with Michael Oher with this pick.
They could go with a running back to supplement Maurice Jones Drew since they cut Fred Taylor but they could pick a running back in the second round.
Michael Oher is a very good run blocker and picking him will only improve their offensive line.
9. Green Bay Packers: BJ Raji, DT (Boston College)
With the Packers switching to a 3-4 defense they need to get them a run-stuffing DT that could cause havoc.
Luckily for them, BJ Raji is in this year’s draft.
Raji is a monster that can dominate centers and guards for years to come. He could be the building block for their 3-4 defenses.
They could also decide to replace Al Harris and Charles Woodson but that wouldn’t help their transition at all.
10. San Francisco 49ers: Brian Orakpo, DE/OLB (Texas)
With Mark Sanchez still on the board the 49ers might decide to draft him, but I doubt they will and with new head coach Mike Singletary, they will turn to a run first and play good defense philosophy.
There’s no doubt that they will be able to run the ball with Frank Gore, but their defense needs some re-tooling.
They need a safety and somebody to put pressure on the QB. Brian Orakpo will provide them with someone that can put pressure on the QB and cause mistakes. They could pick up a safety later on.
With the run first philosophy, they mine as well let Shaun Hill be the starting QB, considering he already knows the system. They don’t want to make the same mistake they made with Alex Smith.
11. Buffalo Bills: Everette Brown, DE/OLB (Florida State)
The Bills had no pass rush this past season; Aaron Schobel being injured for most part of the season could have caused much of that, but even with him back they still need help.
They only had 24 sacks the whole season.
If Orakpo is still available at this point the Bills can’t pass him up.
12. Denver Broncos: Rey Maualuga, LB (USC)
Denver is switching to a 3-4 defensive scheme with new defensive coordinator Mike Nolan; they’re going to be looking for the right personnel and talent to fit the scheme.
Many see them taking Knowshon Moreno here but Denver needs to fix their defensive problems first—besides Peyton Hillis showed he has some promise before he got injured.
13. Washington Redskins: Peria Jerry, DT (Ole Miss)
Washington could look at WR or an offensive lineman with this pick but I see them trying to fix their lack of pass rush from the interior. Peria Jerry is rising up on draft boards and with a good combine, it‘ll only make his case stronger.
14. New Orleans Saints: Malcolm Jenkins, CB (Ohio State)
If Malcolm Jenkins is still available at this point this would be a sure pick.
The Saints have struggled in the secondary for a long time and Malcolm Jenkins would give them a big improvement. He has the potential to be a shut-down cornerback for years to come.
15. Houston Texans: Tyson Jackson, DE (LSU)
With no great safety in this years draft and Taylor Mays opting to stay in college, the Texans can’t take a safety this high.
The number one safety in this years draft Louis Delmas may still be available when they pick in the second round.
The Texans will focus their attention on getting someone to supplement Mario Williams. I see them taking Tyson Jackson here.
16. San Diego Chargers: Chris Wells, RB (Ohio State)
With LT getting older and Darren Sproles becoming a free agent, I see the Chargers picking up Chris Wells. This pick depends on if they re-sign Sproles but the Chargers don’t have a lot of positions of need.
17. New York Jets: Mark Sanchez, QB (USC)
With Brett Favre finally retired, the Jets need a franchise QB.
Mark Sanchez will provide them with just that. He has a strong arm and good accuracy.
The Jets may think about picking Knowshon Moreno here but I doubt they’ll pass up Sanchez.
18. Chicago Bears: Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR (Maryland)
This may be too high for Darrius Heyward-Bey, but the Bears really need a wide receiver.
If they don’t pick him here I really feel sorry for Matt Forte and anyone who drafts him in Fantasy Football next year. Teams are going to stack the box and put eight men just to stop him.
The Bears offense is going to have a long season if they don’t draft Darrius Heyward-Bey.
I know a lot of people think they need to draft defense with this pick but they can pick up defensive players in free agency or later on in the draft.
19.Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Aaron Maybin, DE/OLB (Penn State)
The Buccaneers may look at a WR here if they lose Antonio Bryant in free agency, but they need someone who can put pressure on the QB.
Although Aaron Maybin is undersized, he has great speed and explosiveness off of the edge. He could add some bulk once he gets drafted.
20. Detroit Lions: James Laurinaitis, LB (Ohio State)
Detroit was terrible in run defense last year and could use a major upgrade at linebacker. James Laurinaitis is a very skilled athlete. They can build their defense around him for years to come.
21. Philadelphia Eagles: Brandon Pettigrew, TE (Oklahoma State)
There are a lot drafts suggesting the Eagles go offensive lineman, but they need an upgrade at tight end. They could pick up an offensive lineman later on in the draft.
Brandon Pettigrew is a complete tight end as he can block and catch the ball.
22. Minnesota Vikings: Vontae Davis, CB (Illinois)
The Vikings need a QB and could very well draft Josh Freeman, but I think the Vikings will have to get some veteran help.
Josh Freeman is no better than Tavaris Jackson, because it’s going to take some time for him to develop. If they draft him, it's probably going to work out that Tavaris Jackson beats him out for the job anyway and its back to square one.
The Vikings are better off getting Derek Anderson or trading for Matt Cassel.
23. New England Patriots: Brian Cushing, LB (USC)
As a Patriots fan this is a no brainer for me.
It makes no sense drafting a cornerback when we already invested two picks last year for Terrence Wheatley and Jonathan Wilhite.
Wheatley showed a lot of promise during Training camp and before he got injured. Jonathan Wilhite also showed potential filling in for Deltha O’Neal later on in the season.
Brian Cushing will have an immediate impact on the defense just like Mayo had last year.
24. Atlanta Falcons: Louis Delmas, S (Western Michigan)
Mike Mayock of the NFL Network rated him as his top safety and after seeing Delmas in the Senior Bowl practices—I don’t disagree.
Delmas is good in coverage and good at tackling. He is also very smart.
Many may argue that William Moore belongs here, but I disagree.
Receivers burned Moore numerous times in the Senior Bowl practices. If he has a bad combine, then I have even more trouble believing he is better than Delmas.
Atlanta could use a safety with the talent that Delmas potentially has.
25. Miami Dolphins: Percy Harvin, WR (Florida)
With Percy Harvin still on the board I see them picking him.
Although the Wild Cat faded away from Miami’s play calling as the season progressed they could still use him in that regard.
You put Ronnie Brown, Ted Ginn, and Percy Harvin all in the backfield or shifting around and the defense won’t know what to do.
Harvin is very explosive. All Chad Pennington needs to do is give him the ball and he’ll rack up 30, 40 or 50 yard gains.
26. Baltimore Ravens: Alphonso Smith, CB (Wake Forest)
The Ravens have released
Chris McAllister and with Samari Rolle set for free agency they could loose them both. If they do, they seriously need to draft a CB.
Alphonso Smith will provide them with a suitable replacement.
27. Indainpolis Colts: Hakeem Nicks, WR (North Carolina)
With the top defensive tackles all ready gone the Colts have to look at another position of need.
Marvin Harrison is getting old and will likely retire or be cut if he doesn’t restructure his contract.
Knowing the Colts draft history, they like to draft receivers high and early so if they want to replace Harrison, they’ll use this pick.
28. Philadelphia Eagles: Knowshon Moreno, RB (Georgia)
If Moreno is still available at this point the Eagles are going to draft him.
Brain Westbrook is getting old and Moreno is a suitable replacement. They could look at an offensive lineman here but they can draft one later.
Moreno will be too enticing to pass up.
29. New York Giants: Clint Sintim, OLB (Virginia)
Wide receiver could be a possibility here but all of the top receivers are gone. Look for them to improve their outside linebackers with Clint Sintim.
30. Tennesse Titans Michael Johnson, DE (Georgia Tech)
Once again, the Titans could look at wide receiver here but all the op receivers are gone. Michael Johnson has great pass rush abilities and they will improve their strengths by getting him.
31. Arizona Cardinals: LeSean McCoy, RB (Pittsburgh)
Edgerrin James has said that he doesn’t want to return to Arizona.
If he gets traded or cut the Cardinals will have to replace him because Tim Hightower can’t carry the load all by himself.
LeSean McCoy will be a good pick here.
32. Pittsburgh Steelers: Alex Mack, OL (California)
The Pittsburgh Steelers had trouble protecting Ben. Look for them to upgrade the offensive line with Alex Mack.
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