NFL Mock Draft 2009: The Real Deal 2.0, Feb. 28
1. Detroit Lions: Matthew Stafford, QB, Georgia
In my first draft I had the Lions taking Jason Smith, but as the draft nears I think they will go with Stafford. He has a cannon for an arm and a huge upside as long as he learns to make better decisions.
With Dante Culpepper returning, Stafford won't be rushed into action. If the Lions keep the pick they might as well go with Stafford and look for a tackle later on.
2. St. Louis Rams: Jason Smith, OLT, Baylor
Smith is just too good for the Rams to pass on. The former tight end has great foot work and possesses the agility and athleticism to excel at left tackle in the NFL. "J. Smooth," also has the nasty temperament that is key to protecting the QB's blindside for years to come.
3. Kansas City Chiefs: Aaron Curry, LB, Wake Forrest
Curry had an outstanding combine and is probably the surest thing in the draft. He is a complete linebacker who can play inside or out and has rare athleticism. The Chiefs need a cornerstone to build around and Curry is it. He has excellent football intelligence and is a fierce hitter. A future Pro Bowl pick.
4. Seattle Seahawks: Eugene Monroe, OLT, Virginia
With Walter Jones nearing retirement Seattle finds the heir apparent in Monroe at left tackle. He is the most NFL ready lineman and will step in and start from day one. Monroe is a better prospect than D'Brickshaw Ferguson who the Jets took fourth-overall in 2006.
He is strong enough to run block and nimble enough to excel as a pass protector.
5. Cleveland Browns: Brian Orakpo, DE, Texas
The Browns desperately wanted Curry, but unable to move up they decide to take the sack master Orakpo instead. He is the best pure pass-rusher to come into the NFL since the Cowboys selected DeMarcus Ware. He could end up playing linebacker. Orakpo is extremely strong and bench-presses over 500 pounds.
Crabtree slid a little due to his foot injury, but pairing him with Ocho-Cinco will make fans forget about T.J. leaving as a free agent. He is an outstanding prospect who was the only player to win consecutive awards as the nations top wideout.
He has top-notch hands and run-after-the-catch-ability. Has all the skills to develop into a Pro Bowler.
7. Oakland Raiders: Jeremey Maclin, WR, Missouri
Al Davis nearly sets fire to the Raiders war room as his head explodes after failing to trade-up and grab Crabtree. Cooler heads prevail as they regroup and select the dynamic Maclin who is a multipurpose freak catching and returning the ball. A true threat to score from anywhere at anytime. Maybe the biggest playmaker in the draft.
8. Jacksonville Jaguars: B.J. Raji, DT, Boston College
Ever since they lost tackle Marcus Stroud, the Jag's defense just hasn't been the same. John Henderson has battled injuries and pairing him with the disruptive Raji is just what the doctor ordered. At 330 pounds he is an outstanding run-stuffer and also gets good penetration into the opposing backfield.
9. Green Bay Packers: Everette Brown, DE, Flordia St.
The Pack failed to mount any consistent pressure on the quaterback for most of the season. Brown has great speed of the edge and registered 13.5 sacks as a Junior last season. Pairing him with Aaron Kampman should boost their pass-rush and get the Packers defense headed in the right direction.
New head coach Mike Singletary stated that quaterback was a major need at the end of the season. Shaun Hill played decent but is more of a back-up talent wise. He will allow Sanchez time to develop. Mark played in a pro-style offense at USC and preformed well at the combine, showing good accuracy and arm strength.
11. Buffalo Bills: Aaron Maybin, DE-OLB, Penn St.
With the Bills biggest needs being end and linebacker, Maybin fits the bill as he has the potential to play either position in the NFL. He has a devastating first-step and possesses raw pass-rush ability that can't be taught. He has a high ceiling and might only be scratching his potential.
12. Denver Broncos: Tyson Jackson, DE, LSU
Jackson is the one of the most versatile lineman in the draft and could play end or tackle. At 295 pounds, he has exceptional strength and never gets injured. The Broncos need help at both positions and Jackson could play end and switch to tackle on passing downs.
13. Washington Redskins: Andre Smith, OL, Alabama
Smith fell due to questions of his weight and his disappearance from the Combine. He is the consummate, " Boom or Bust " prospect who has top five talent. With the signing of Albert Haynesworth, the Redskins decide to roll the dice on the other side of the line.
Might end-up being a better guard on the inside where he can use his enormous size and strength to maul opponents.
14. New Orleans Saints: Malcom Jenkins, CB, Ohio St.
Jenkins slipped due to the pedestrian 4.5 he ran at the combine. Although he is a play-maker, there are questions if he should play cornerback or safety. Since the Saints could use help at either position, Jenkins would help improve their shaky secondary.
15. Houston Texans: Peria Jerry, DT, Mississippi
After re-signing Dunta Robinson, the Texans turn their attention back to the D-line they have already so-heavily invested in. 2007 first-round pick Amobi Okoye has been inconsistent, and Mario Williams faces never-ending double-teams. Jerry has a non-stop motor and lives in opposing teams backfields.
He should be able to step in from day one and give the Texans one of the most dynamic, young lines in the league.
16. San Diego Chargers: Michael Oher, OT, Mississippi
If L.T. is ever going to regain his form the Chargers desperately need to address the O-line. They lack a good right tackle and right guard Mike Geoff is a free agent. The athletic Oher would form a nice book-end with left tackle Marcus Mcneill. Like Andre Smith, he's another " boom-or-bust " player with all the tools.
17. New York Jets: Vonte Davis, CB, Illinois
The Jets struck gold with 2007 first round pick Darrelle Revis, but have failed to find a good corner to play opposite him. Davis is a Prima Donna, but possesses outstanding size and quickness for a corner.
He has top 10 talent, but character questions will cause him to fall into the middle of the draft. If his head doesn't get too big he could form one of the best corner combos in the AFC with Revis.
18. Chicago Bears: Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR, Maryland
With the Bears unlikely to add anyone of significance in free agency, DHB is too talented to pass on. At 6'2", 205 he is the big target that Chicago sorely lacks. Heyward-Bey absolutely tore-up the combine posting a 4.3 time in the 40-yard dash.
Only one wide receiver has run faster at the combine this decade. He is a game-breaker and pairing him opposite Devin Hester will have opposing defensive coaches buying Rolaids by the pound.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaners: Brian Cushing, OLB, USC
With Derrick Brooks and Cato June being let-go, the Bucs need outside linebackers to say the least. Cushing has great awareness and toughness to man the outside for Tampa. He has the ability to play inside or out and is also good in coverage.
20. Detroit Lions: Lames Laurinaitis, ILB, Ohio St.
After taking Stafford with their first pick, the Lions decide to get a "QB" for the other side of the ball and take Laurinaitis. Detroit will be switching to the Tampa Cover Two and having a leader at the mike position is a must.
Laurinaitis is extremely smart and has an absolute passion for the game.
He is versatile enough to play all three linebacker positions and has the coverage skills necessary to play the Tampa 2.
21. Philadelphia Eagles: Chris "Beanie" Wells, RB, Ohio St.
After signing tackle Stacey Andrews as a free agent, and losing back-up running back Correll Buckhalter, the Eagles take the bruising Wells. He possesses excellent size and run strength and would be a great change-of-pace back to pair with Brian Westbrook.
Beanie is reminiscent of former Buckeye Eddie George and is a good receiver coming out of the back-field.
22. Minnesota Vikings: Percy Harvin, WR, Flordia
The Vikings need help at wide receiver and Harvin is a game-breaker. Although he has questionable character, he is a dynamic player who is one touch away from a touchdown. He also has the ability to run the ball out of the backfield and Minnesota could really use his offensive production.
23. New England Patriots: Clint Sintim, OLB, Virginia
After signing Fred Taylor, running back isn't as big a need and the Pats could use another young play-making linebacker. After hitting a home run with Mayo last year, and losing Mike Vrabel to the Chiefs, Sintim would fit in nicely in the 3-4.
He is an excellent pass rusher having recorded 11 sacks last year, which was tops in the nation for linebackers. He reminds a lot of scouts of Shawne Merriman, and is also good in dropping into pass coverage.
24. Atlanta Falcons: Brandon Pettigrew, TE, Oklahoma St.
Matt Ryan had an outstanding rookie year, but lacked a good pass-catching tight end. Pettigrew is a huge target at 6'5" and an excellent blocker. Not only will he help the passing game, but his blocking should make Michael Turner even more dangerous.
25. Miami Dolphins: Rey Maualuga, ILB, USC
Rey slipped a little after a sub-par combine which he failed to finish after injuring his hamstring. That's fine with Parcells because the Dolphins need an inside linebacker. Maualuga is a fierce, hard-hitting bowling ball who runs through opponents.
He will give Miami the presence in the middle they have been missing since losing Zach Thomas to the Cowboys last year.
26. Baltimore Ravens: Alphonoso Smith, CB, Wake Forest
The Ravens would have jumped all-over Maualuga if he were there, but without any linebackers worth taking, they decide to fill another need and take Smith. With Chris McAlister departing as a free agent, and Samari Rolle's age, the ball-hawking Smith is just what the Ravens need.
He finished his career with 21 interceptions, 40 passes defended, and plays his best in big games.
27. Indianapolis Colts: Knowshon Moreno, RB, Georgia
The Colts finished second-to-last in the NFL in rushing last year beating out only the Cardinals. Joseph Addai has been inconsistent and injury-prone, and Moreno is the complete back the Colts lack. He is a strong runner who is elusive and possesses good pass-catching ability out of the back field.
He runs well in space and would feel at home in the Colts wide-open offense.
28. Philadelphia Eagles: Eben Britton, OT, Arizona
With Jon Runyan and Tra Thomas most likely leaving as free agents, the Eagles desperately need a tackle and Winston Justice isn't the answer. Britton has played both right and left tackle in college and is a massive, strong, and competitive player.
With Beanie Wells and Britton, McNabb will see that the Eagles are serious about improving the offense.
29. New York Giants: Kenny Britt, WR, Rutgers
The Giants need a replacement for Plaxico and Britt is the strong and physical wide-out who will fill his shoes. Despite only playing three seasons at Rutgers, Britt finished as the all-time receiving yardage leader in Big East history.
So you say, big deal, the Big East? Well the receiver he eclipsed was a pretty good one maybe you have heard of him? Larry Fitzgerald.
After losing Haynesworth, the Titans wanted a tackle but none are worth taking here. Nicks has great hands, runs crisp routes, and the Titans lack a true No. 1 receiver. Nicks set 14 school records as a Tar Heel despite leaving after his junior year. He attacks the ball in the air and would give Tennessee a nice down-field target.
31. Arizona Cardinals: LeSean McCoy, RB, Pittsburgh
About the only thing lacking in the Cardinals offensive attack was a consistent running game. They finished last in the NFL in rushing and Edgerrin James is not expected to return. Back-up J.J. Arrington signed in Denver and Tim Hightower isn't a franchise back.
McCoy played in a pro-style offense at Pittsburgh and has great vision and a knack for making big plays. He would step in and start from day one for the Cards.
32. Pittsburgh Steelers: Andy Levitre, OG, Oregon St.
Levitre played left tackle in college but projects as a guard or possibly center in the NFL. He is versatile enough to play any of the positions on the offensive line and is smart and strong. The Steelers need some help on the O-line and the versatile Levitre would help out and most-likely find a starting spot of the bat.
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