2009 NFL Mock Draft: Calling the Shots (Updated 2/23/09)
With my last Mock earning 2932 reads and 17 comments i'd like to thank all those readers and give them an updated mock.
So here we are, about a week has passed and alot has changed. With the activity in the NFL these past few days, let's take a look at some of the major changes.
1)The biggest change is the Panthers resigning of Jordan Gross and tagging Julius Peppers. In essence, the Panthers' took the top two players at their respective positions out of free agency in a single day. That will definitely make some other teams look elsewhere to fill there voids at DE and OT.
2) Andre Smith (OT, Alabama) may have just become the biggest idiot on the planet. Smith showed up out of shape, reportedly turned in horrible interviews, and then just walked out of the combine, without saying anything, he just left. Some are saying this may even drop him out of the first round.
3) Michael Crabtree announced he has a foot-stress fracture and will need surgery. He will still run the 40 (Which may or may not be a good idea) then will have surgery that could sideline him up to 10 weeks.
4)Penn State's Aaron Maybin (4.78) and Texas' Brian Orakpo (4.60) both turned in outstanding (unofficial) 40 times. Reports are that Maybin has bulked up to 250 pounds which will do nothing but help him at the next level and makes his 40 time even more impressive. He did nothing at the combine to make anyone believe he's not worth a first round pick.
Meanwhile Orakpo dazzled scouts with his athleticism. His workouts may have put him into the top 10 picks or past Everette Brown as the top DE in this draft.
4) The Dolphins re-signing OT Vernon Carey took another top free agent out of the tackle pool, making OT's that much more of a commodity in the draft. Alot of teams have begun drafting more lineman in the first round viewing them as safer picks.
5) Pat White, what's there not to say? His scouting combine was amazing, after turning in a (unofficial) 4.5 in the 40, then just nailing the passing and QB drills, White showed everyone he's a legitimate NFL passer and showed he's worth a late first-early second round selection.
6) Quarterbacks- Mark Sanchez may have made it a two man race for the No. 1 pick today at the combine. Sanchez participated in EVERY drill he could, even running a full shuttle. With Stafford standing on the sidelines not participating, the best thing he could have done for his stock was stay home.
Everything Sanchez did today screamed "I'm a competitor" and he performed extremely well in passing drills. Showing up and just watching seemed to reek of arrogance from Matt Stafford, in my opinion. I don't understand why someone who wants to get paid to play football say's he's not in his best shape and doesn't want to compete. (He did run the 40-yard dash however)
If you ask me a good player understands a NFL season last 365 days a year, maybe Stafford should ask David Greene what can happen to a promising career.
7) Running backs- This year the RB's failed in the 40. With Knowshon Moreno turning in a 4.6, Chris Wells a 4.59. and Shonn Greene a 4.63. The fastest 40 from a running back was Cedric Peerman, Virginia with an official 4.45 40 time.
Also. something to note, the Colts are expected to release Marvin Harrison, I think you should look for a team like Baltimore, Philidelphia, or maybe Kansas City to try to grab him, question is, would go to a team like Kansas City where the Super Bowl is a long way's away.
As he showed with the Colts though, in the end, I expect Marvin will be saying is "Show me the money" to the team with the biggest check. (Which will be a lot smaller then the one he was due in Indy)
So without further ado' let's look at the changes this week may have had on the 2009 draft.
"And with the first pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, the Detroit Lions select...
Detroit Lions-Pick 1: QB Matthew Stafford, Georgia.
Sanchez did great at the combine but I still think the Lions will go with Stafford. He's the more NFL ready QB in most teams eye's and the Lions are no different. Though Sanchez obviously impressed alot of people, Stafford's upside is too much to pass on for a team who has waited far too long for a good QB.
St. Louis Rams-Pick 2: OT Eugene Monroe, Virginia
I still think that Monroe is the safest OT in the draft. While Jason Smith may have more potential, Monroe is better now, and that plays a lot into giving someone a $30 million guarantee. Orlando Pace might wanna start looking into retirement plans.
Kansas City Chiefs-Pick 3: LB Aaron Curry, Wake Forest
Nothing's changed here, Curry was impressive at the combine, solidifying his spot in the Top 5. He would pair well with Derrick Johnson and Glenn Dorsey to form a core for this rebuilding defense.
Also, if the team decides to trade Tony Gonzalez (Which is making its rounds at the combine) look for them to try to move back or get back into the first round. (rumor has it Haley has a sweet tooth for Brandow Pettigrew and Pioli is gauging Gonzalez's trade value at the combine)
Gonzalez and a second rounder for Anquan Boldin, hmm....bet that would keep Warner around.
Seattle Seahawks-Pick 4: QB Mark Sanchez, USC
Former Pick-WR Michael Crabtree
Ok, I'm ready for the wrath of Seahawks fans everywhere. After Crabtree's announcement I think you'll see teams in the top five hesitate to draft him. Bottom line is he withheld the information, he was aware of the injury and didn't voluntarily offer up the info, instead only acknowledging it after his physical snitched on him.
Meanwhile Sanchez improved his stock a lot with a great workout. With Mora taking over, and Hasselbacks' back a lingering issue, don't be suprised to see Mora take the QB.
Cleveland Browns-Pick 5: DE Everette Brown, Florida State
Brown is the probably best pure 3-4 RE in this draft, even though some doubt his ability to play with his hand down in the NFL. Orakpu turned in a better workout but Everette is an amazing specimen who put up solid numbers, 21.5 TFL, 13.5 sacks and four forced fumbles, in 2008. He's definitely worth the pick and would go a long way towards improving the Browns front seven.
Cincinnati Bengals-Pick 6:WR Michael Crabtree, Texas Tech
Former Pick-OT Andre Smith, Alabama
With Houshmandzadeh to test the free agent market and Chad "Ocho Stinko" Johnson seeming to have lost a step, the Bengals look past the fact he's injured and grab Crabtree.
Oakland Raiders-Pick 7: WR Jeremy Maclin, Missouri
Former Pick-OT Michael Oher, Ole Miss
Oher is still an option but after the combine I expect the Raiders will look at the options and draft.....Jeremy Maclin, I know I said it wouldn't happen but with Maclin turning in a good workout (Before tweaking his hamstring), and the rumor that the Raiders might release Javon Walker, that would leave a glaring hole at WR.
If Crabtree isn't on the board expect them to try to move back if Maclin is their target, but if they are unable to get out of the spot, I can actually see Roger Goodell walking to the podium laughing as he announces this pick.
Jacksonville Jaguars-Pick 8: DT BJ Raji, Boston Colege
Alot of people are saying that the Jaguars might draft Knowshon Moreno, if they do, they deserve to suck next year. Jones-Drew is about to get paid now that Taylor's gone and I don't foresee them looking past the obvious holes at OT and DT.
Marcus Stroud going to Buffalo made this defense fall apart. The Jaguars were simply unable to find anyone else who could pull attention of John Henderson making him a non-factor. Raji would instantly fix that, or at least he would after a few games of destroying slower, weaker guards.
Green Bay Packers-Pick 9: DE Brian Orakpo, Texas
As they transfer to the 3-4 Brown would have been perfect for the Packers, with him gone look for them to focus on the next best DE in the draft.
Orakpo was a rock for Texas. Standing 6'4'' with 260 pounds of never quit, Orakpo will be a great upgrade to the Packers' line, he impressed at the combine, verifying his 4.6 speed and notching 31 bench reps.
San Francisco 49ers-Pick 10: CB Malcolm Jenkins, Ohio State
*Former pick-QB Mark Sanchez, USC
Mike Singletary will make sure of one thing, the 49ers defense will be better. Jenkins teaming with Clements would go a long way towards making the defensive line better. Jenkins may not be the fastest corner but he is solid. With good size and great instincts, Jenkins is the type of playmaker Singletary needs.
Buffalo Bills-Pick 11: OT Jason Smith, Baylor
With Orakpo off the board and no end worth this selection, look for the Bills to either move back or take the best available tackle. In this case they get Jason Smith, a 6'5'' 300 pound tackle with amazingly quick feet. A former TE, Smith has everything you look for in a franchise tackle and would pair well with Jason Peters.
Denver Broncos-Pick 12: LB Rey Maualuga, USC
Unless the Broncos pick up one of the many free agent MLB's available, this will be the selection. They desperately need someone to play middle linebacker so they can keep D.J. Williams outside. Maualuga is an instinctive LB with a nasty streak and a knack for great positioning. Add good work-ethic and world-class tackling and you get a solution.
Washington Redskins-Pick 13: OT Michael Oher, Ole Miss
Former Pick-DT Peria Jerry, Ole Miss
Same school different player. With Oher on the board, the Redskins fill a huge whole on their team. A mauler who projects best to RT in the NFL, Oher would instantly become a starter.
New Orleans Saints-Pick 14: CB Vontae Davis, Illinois
Former Pick-CB Malcolm Jenkins, Ohio State
The Saints need a corner. Jenkins would have been great but the Saints go with the next best corner on the board to fix a lingering issue with their secondary. Tracy Porter returning gives the saints a great young corner duo to build on.
I was gonna put LB Brian Cushing (USC) here but with the news that Dan Morgan is returning, the Saints will pass on a LB.
Houston Texans-Pick 15: OT Andre Smith, Alabama
Former Pick-DE Michael Johnson, Georgia Tech
With the Franchise Tag being applied to Dunta Robinson, the Texans go with their next biggest need.
Andre Smith, once considered a possible top 5 pick in the draft, destroyed his stock at the combine. The Texans however, are willing to take a flyer on his talent. They are horrible on the line and it shows by Matt Schaub's consistent injuries. They need to improve the line or things will never change in Houston.
Smith walked out on the combine (YES, WALKED OUT) after turning in horrible interviews, reporting overweight, and being out of shape. He should be thankful the Texans stopped his plunge before the Lions did. (Or maybe the Lions should be thankful)
San Diego Chargers-Pick 16: RB Knowshon Moreno, Georgia
With LT refusing to take a pay cut, the team will probably look to trade him.
Either way they need to look forward. Darren Sproles is too small to be an every down back, however he and Moreno would look great together. I just don't think they're sold on Wells. (I don't really think anyone is sold on Wells after his combine, well not horrible, none of the RB's truly stood out which he needed to do.)
New York Jets-Pick 17: DE Michael Johnson, Georgia Tech
*Former Pick- DE Larry English, Northern Illinois
Ryan will be glad to add this huge (6'7" 265 pounds) lineman to his stable. The Jet's were unable to get a consistent pass rush which caused their defense to look horrible. Johnson is a monster who Ryan would love to mold into a Terrell Suggs type of DE. With very few glaring holes thanks to lasts year free agency binge, the Jets can take the best pass rusher on the board.
Chicago Bears-Pick 18: DE Aaron Maybin, Penn State
Former Pick-OT William Beatty, Purdue
Maybin turned in an excellent combine, packing on an additional 15 pounds of muscle and still running a 4.7 40 yard dash. Maybin is a pass rushing monster that could bring a huge upgrade to the Bears aging defense, and give opposing defenses someone other than Urlacher to scheme around.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers-Pick 19: DE Larry English, Northern Illinois
Former Pick- CB Vontae Davis, Illinois
English is hand tailored to fit in the Tampa 2 defense. Cato June has been decent, but it's time to begin looking for a replacement for the aging Derrick Brooks, who may become a salary-cap casualty.
Detroit Lions-Pick 20: DE Tyson Jackson, LSU
Former Pick-RB Chris Wells, Ohio State
The Lions stink everywhere, but games are won and lost in the trenches. Putting Jackson with Redding would make the Lions d-line instantly better. Though not a great pass-rusher, at 6'5 290 pounds, Jackson is a Ty Warren type capable of playing well against the run and is versatile.
With the state of Tra Thomas and Jon Runyan, its time to add some new legs to the OL. Britton fits Andy Reid's mold at 6'6'' 310 pounds. He's a durable player who can play left or right tackle. He's also started every game since red-shirting in 2005. He played RT for two years before moving to the left side in 2008 for the Wildcats.
Minnesota Vikings-Pick 22: LB James Laurinaitis, Ohio State
Former Pick-CB Alphonso Smith, Wake Forest
I was going to put Josh Freeman here because QB and CB seem like the Vikings biggest issue, but with breaking news, the Vikings will most likely acquire Sage Rosenfels on Friday for a fourth round pick.
Which opens the door for the Vikings to draft Laurinaitis, with MLB EJ Henderson leaving, the Vikings need to look for a permanent fix and James is definitely talented enough to provide them with that.
New England Patriots-Pick 23: DT Peria Jerry, Ole Miss
Former Pick-DE Tyson Jackson, LSU
the Patriots stick to their plan of best available player that fits their needs. In this case it's the high motor Peria Jerry. After a standout performance at the Senior Bowl, Jerry is without a doubt the second best DT in this draft and would provide an inside pass rusher to complement Vincent Wilfork.
Atlanta Falcons-Pick 24: TE Brandon Pettigrew, Oklahoma State
The Falcons are running around clapping as they make this pick because they know it will only make their offense better. He is without doubt the most complete tight end in this draft. Brandon, at 6'6'' 260 pounds, has good hands and uses his size to be an effective blocker. Matt Ryan will love him.
Miami Dolphins-Pick 25: LB Brian Cushing, USC
Former Pick-WR Jeremy Maclin, Missouri
With Channing Crowder leaving, and Joey Porter already being overpaid, I expect the Dolphins will fill the hole via the draft. Cushing is a great dual-threat linebacker who could step in and start instantly for the Dolphins. Capable of playing inside or outside, Bill Parcells will love this kid.
Writer's Note- Something tells me to watch out for Pat White or Josh Freeman here. The Dolphins have been searching for a solution for years and while Pennington is a stable QB, the Dolphins would be wise to choose someone to start grooming as Pennington isn't a long-term fix.
Both Freeman and White would benefit from a year or two under Pennington while the Dolphins continue to build their team, then step in as the starter.
White has all the tools to be a good QB but would need time to work on his footwork, drops, and ability to read through his progressions without taking off out of the pocket. After seeing the combine performance White put up today though, which included a 4.5 40-yard dash time, White is quickly making teams realize he can play QB effectively at the next level.
Baltimore Ravens-Pick 26: CB Alphonso Smith, Wake Forest
Former Pick- LB Brain Cushing, USC
Though they will undoubtedly lose one of their linbackers (Scott or Lewis) through free agency, the release of Chris McAlister creates a huge hole at corner. Though undersized, Smith is an amazing athlete who can fly. He's yet to run today at the combine, but is expected to clock between a 4.25 and a 4.35 in the 40. He uses his skill set well, has great closing speed, and exhibits amazing body control.
WR could also be an option here, but with no sure bets, I think they opt to go with the corner.
Indianapolis Colts-Pick 27: DT Sen'Derrick Marks, Auburn
The Colts desperately need help inside, Hakeem Nicks may be an option if Harrison is released, but otherwise the Colts will go with the 6'1'' 295 pound Marks, at a reported 4.9 40 time, he will bring the type of pressure the Colts haven't had inside and do nothing but help Mathis and Freeney get free.
Philadelphia Eagles-Pick 28: G Duke Robinson, Oklahoma
With everything that's happened with Stacy Andrews, the Eagles would be wise to take the best available guard in this slot. Robinson is another big lineman like those Reid prefers at 6'5'' 335 pounds.
New York Giants-Pick 29: WR Darrius Heyward-Bay, Maryland
Former Pick- WR Hakeem Nicks, North Carolina
Odds are that Plaxico Burress won't be welcomed back to the G-Men. and with no real alternative on the roster or in free agency, that leaves the Giants with a hole they can easily fill on draft day.
I had a hard time figuring out which of the second-tier recievers should go first and well both Nicks and Harvin performed well the combine, Heyward-Bey has amazing speed for a 6'3''. 205 pound man.
He turned in a great combine (4.30 40yd dash, 16 bench reps,38.5 vertical) and I think best fills the role Burress had with the Giants well giving them the big play threat they thought they were getting with Steve Smith in one package.
Tennessee Titans-Pick 30: WR Hakeem Nicks, North Carolina
Former Pick-WR Percy Harvin, Florida
This is the year they draft a receiver, and it's about time. After years of trying to plug in 3rd and 4th round picks, they finally realize a playmaker is needed.
In comes Hakeem Nicks. Although I had Harvin in this slot I feel Jeff Fisher goes with the bigger, more polished, Nicks. At 6'2'' 210 pounds, Nicks is the type of physical receiver the Titans need. He however, does not lack speed after turning in a 4.49 40 at the combine today.
Arizona Cardinals-Pick 31: RB Chris "Beanie" Wells, Ohio State
Former Pick-LB James Laurinaitis, Ohio State
Once again, same school different player. There's still no guarantee the Edgerrin James will return to the Cardinals and Tim Hightower does to much dancing. Pairing Wells, who see's himself nearly fall out of the first round, with Hightower, would give the Cardinals a solid duo to move towards defending their first NFC Championship.
Pittsburgh Steelers-Pick 32: C Alex Mack, California
Nothing different here. The Steelers need to rebuild their offensive line and with Max Starks being tagged, they look to C Alex Mack to become the next great Steelers offensive lineman.
I will continue to update my Mock as more news happens in the NFL.
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