With the Combine going on right now, Sportmeisters Justin and Ryan decide to reveal their first NFL Mock Draft of 2009. Expect some updates after this next week.
No. 1--Detroit Lions:
Sportmeister Justin: Matthew Stafford (QB): With not many elite quarterbacks in this year’s draft class, Stafford is the clear-cut best quarterback in the draft, and the Lions struggled all year to find a signal caller.
Sportmeister Ryan: Andre Smith (OT): They have passing options in Daunte Culpepper and Drew Stanton; they need a solid offensive line to establish a running game before looking into a quarterback.
No. 2--St. Louis Rams:
Justin: Andre Smith (OT): Smith could make an impact right away on the field. He can run and pass block effectively.
Ryan: Aaron Curry (LB): Curry is the top LB on the block. Although the Rams want Smith, they will fall back on another team need.
No. 3--Kansas City Chiefs:
Justin: Aaron Curry (LB): With new GM Pioli coming from the Patriots, they are guaranteed to pick a defensive player. The Chiefs invested in the defensive line last year and need an linebacker this year.
Ryan: Matt Stafford (QB): Personally, I do not think there are many good quarterbacks out there this year. Kansas City cannot wait for another quarterback, and a long-term investment will help Tony Gonzalez and Dwyane Bowe.
No. 4--Seattle Seahawks:
Justin: B.J. Raji (DT): Seahawks need a playmaker at wide receiver, but a more pressing concern is the defensive line.
Ryan: B.J. Raji (DT): Agreed here, their two biggest weaknesses are offensive and defensive line. I like Raji in this spot.
No. 5--Cleveland Browns:
Justin: Everette Brown (DE): Browns could not put pressure on opposing quarterback last year, so Brown could be a welcome addition.
Ryan: Malcom Jenkins (CB): Eric Mangini loves physical corners, and it is too much of a reach to go after an outside linebacker. There are other big needs.
No. 6--Cincinnati Bengals:
Justin: Micheal Oher (OT): Once a strength of the team, the tackle position is a dire need this year.
Ryan: Jason Smith (OT): I agree. The team gave up 51 sacks, and cannot afford many more injuries to Carson Palmer.
No. 7--Oakland Raiders:
Justin: Micheal Crabtree (WR): Quarterback JaMarcus Russell needs a consistent target, and Crabtree is the best option.
Ryan: Michael Crabtree (WR): It is a tossup right now between Crabtree and Maclin, but Crabtree is the healthier prospect to take at this spot.
No. 8--Jacksonville Jaguars:
Justin: Eugene Monroe (OT): Jaguars need to revamp their offensive line that suffered many injuries last year.
Ryan: Eugene Monroe (OT): A beast of an offensive lineman, he can shore up the line immediately, provided he stays healthy.
No. 9--Green Bay Packers:
Justin: Brian Orakpo (DE): Orakpo is a pass rushing specialist, and the Packers ranked last in the league with sacks.
Ryan: Aaron Maybin (DE): With the Packers switching from a 4-3 to a 3-4, the spot is perfect for a defensive end who can switch back and forth, a la Jason Taylor, to help the team make the adjustments.
No. 10--San Francisco:
Justin: Rey Maualuga (ILB): Thanks to coach Mike Singletary, the linebacker position will be a strength of the 49ers.
Ryan: Brian Cushing (OLB): While the 49ers do need key help at linebacker, they need a pass-rushing outside linebacker more than an inside linebacker.
No. 11--Buffalo Bills:
Justin: Aaron Maybin (DE): Bills need to improve their defensive edges.
Ryan: Brian Orakpo (DE): With Aaron Schobel returning, throwing another defensive end on the line should help improve a pass rush that was 26th last year.
No. 12--Denver Broncos:
Justin: James Laurinaitis (ILB): Broncos need to desperately improve their defense.
Ryan: Rey Maualuga (ILB). The Broncos need a linebacker, and again, it is a toss up between the top two linebackers left.
No. 13--Washington Redskins:
Justin: Jason Smith (OT): The Redskins need to strengthen their offensive line, and Smith has the best feet of any lineman in the draft.
Ryan: Everette Brown (DE): The defensive end position was a huge bust for Washington this season, and with two guys over 30, it makes sense to go for a young end.
No. 14--New Orleans Saints:
Justin: Vontae Davis (CB): A cornerback is a more pressing need than a linebacker.
Ryan: Vontae Davis (CB): While the Saints could use some linebacker help, Davis is just the smarter pick for a weak secondary.
No. 15--Houston Texans:
Justin: Brian Cushing (OLB): He is a gifted athlete, and he flies all around the ball.
Ryan: Tyson Jackson (DE): With a young complement of linebackers, the time is right to get a big end opposite Mario Williams
No. 16--San Diego Chargers:
Justin: Terrance Cody (DT): Chargers need a linebacker, but with the big names gone, they will look to strengthen the defensive line.
Ryan: Knowshon Moreno (RB): LaDanian Tomlinson has peaked, and even if they re-sign Darren Sproles, his size prevents him from being an every-down back. Moreno would be a nice complement
No. 17--New York Jets:
Justin: Mark Sanchez (QB): With Favre gone, they are in need of a quarterback.
Ryan: Mark Sanchez (QB): Even though Coach Rex Ryan is a defensive mastermind, they need a quarterback.
No. 18--Chicago Bears:
Justin: Michael Johnson (DE): His massive size (6’7’’) will apply pressure to opposing quarterbacks.
Ryan: Jeremy Maclin (WR). No need to grab an injury-prone clone of Devin Hester like Percy Harvin, the 6'1" Maclin will fit in just fine.
No. 19--Tampa Bay:
Justin: Knowshon Moreno (RB) : Tampa needs an insurance plan for Cadillac Williams.
Ryan: Peria Jerry (DT): Since Warren Sapp left, the Bucs have struggled to find a defensive tackle that could help improve their defense.
No. 20--Detroit Lions:
Justin: Malcolm Jenkins (CB): Due to a porous secondary, this would be a smart pick.
Ryan: James Laurinaitis (LB). This team has a lot of holes, but bringing in Laurinitis could go a long way to shoring them up.
No. 21--Philadelphia Eagles:
Justin: Brandon Pettigrew (TE): He is the best all-around tight end in the draft.
Ryan: Michael Oher (OT): The team is doubtful they can keep Tra Thomas and Jon Runyan, so drafting a solid OT would be the right step here.
No. 22-Minnesota Vikings:
Justin: Tyson Jackson (DE): He will compliment Jared Allen nicely.
Ryan: Josh Freeman (QB): Tarvaris Jackson is not the answer, and unless the team makes a big free agent hit, they will need to spend their draft pick grooming another option. The 6'6" quarterback might be the right one.
No. 23--New England:
Justin: Taylor Mays (FS): The Patriots' secondary is a big concern in 2009.
Ryan: Chris “Beanie” Wells (RB): A wide receiver would also be a nice pick here, but the speed of Wells can infuse their 2009 rushing game.
No. 24--Atlanta Falcons:
Justin: Peria Jerry (DT): He is one of the most productive pass rushers in the nation and one of the top two defensive tackle prospects.
Ryan: Brandon Pettigrew (TE): Most people do not think he will fall this far, but I do. He will be a perfect safety valve in the middle for quarterback Matt Ryan next year.
No. 25--Miami Dolphins:
Justin: Clay Matthews (LB): The Dolphins need a playmaker on defense.
Ryan: Percy Harvin (WR): We all know how much the Dolphins love the Wildcat. With the speed of Harvin and Ginn, the Dolphins will fly in 2009.
No. 26--Baltimore Ravens:
Justin: Jeremy Maclin (WR): Baltimore needs to get a playmaker on offense, especially at wide receiver.
Ryan: Kenny Britt (WR): They need a wide receiver, but I like the size of Britt (6’4’’) over other options.
No. 25--Indianapolis Colts:
Justin: Percy Harvin (WR): The Colts are going to need to replace Marvin Harrison.
Ryan: Darrius Heyward-Bey (WR): Again, you have the right position but the wrong player. Heyward-Bey is the top-rated wide receiver in this spot.
Justin: Alex Mack (C): The Eagles have a huge need to upgrade their offensive line.
Ryan: Eben Britton (OT): They will take two offensive lineman in the first round!These young players could help save their older guys.
No. 27--New York Giants:
Justin: Hakeem Nicks (WR): With the loss of Buress, it showed a distinct weakness in the Giants.
Ryan: Hakeem Nicks (WR): The Giants need a wide receiver, point blank.
No. 28--Tennessee Titans:
Justin: Darius Heyeward-Bey (WR): The Titans need some more weapons in the passing game.
Ryan: Ron Brace (DT): A reach here, but without Albert Haynesworth, the team needs this hole to get filled quickly.
No. 29--Arizona Cardinals:
Justin: Alphonso Smith (CB): Arizona needs definite improvements in their secondary.
Ryan: LeSean McCoy (RB): The Cardinals have only one running back on the roster, so look for the shifty McCoy to be the best option here.
No. 30--Pittsburgh Steelers:
Justin: Eben Britton (OT): The Steelers showed huge holes in the offensive line during the Super Bowl, so protecting Big Ben is the big choice.
Ryan: Alex Mack (C): Agreed on protecting Big Ben, but Mack is the top offensive line prospect at the end of the first round.