Mike's Expert NFL Mock Draft No. 3
Well, my mock draft is back for part three.
There have been some changes after the beginning of free agency, with many players signing with new teams and even traded.
So let's see where I have the prospects going:
1) Detroit Lions- Matt Stafford, QB, Georgia
As I have said before, I am very confident that the Lions will take Stafford with the first pick. I know there are some Lions fans out there that are afraid of this pick, but I highly doubt that Stafford will be a bust. He is very experienced in a pro-style offence that he played with in college. I do not think Detroit will take a tackle here.
2) St. Louis Rams- Jason Smith, OT, Baylor
In my first NFL Mock Draft, I noted that Jason Smith will be rising up the board in the coming months, and might even end up as the top Tackle available. Well, here he is. The Rams are desperate for a tackle, both right and left. The release of Orlando Pace makes this a pretty easy pick.
3) Kansas City Chiefs: Aaron Curry, LB, Wake Forest
For the people that have seen my first two mock drafts, they will find this pick interesting. I have noted many times that a LB rarely is chosen in the top three. However, with KC acquiring Matt Cassel, Curry is now the safest pick. The Chiefs will probably implement a 3-4 defense, so Curry would fit in great as an inside LB.
4) Seattle Seahawks: Eugene Monroe, OT, Virginia
This pick was a difficult choice between Crabtree and Monroe. With the signing of T.J. Housmandzadeh, I am leaning towards Monroe. Seattle is in need of a LT, as Walter Jones' days are numbered. The Seahawks struggled protecting the QB last year, and a good rebuilding process always starts with the O-line.
5) Cleveland Browns: Brian Orakpo, DE/OLB, Texas
The Browns had a great deal of trouble getting to the QB last season, as they only managed 17 sacks. Cleveland is in need of a dominant pass rusher opposite of Kameron Wimbley. Orakpo showed everyone that he has the ability to rush the passer at Texas. Taking anyone in the secondary here is a reach, so this pick makes sense.
6) Cincinnati Bengals: B.J. Raji, DT, Boston College
Once again, Michael Crabtree is an option here. He is quickly becoming the toughest prospect to predict this year. Michael Oher is also an option here, but his stock has fallen and picking him would be a reach here.
Even though the Bengals' WR corps is very thin, they will decide to upgrade their defense, which is still embarrassingly bad. Raji will be an automatic upgrade at the DT position.
7) Oakland Raiders: Michael Crabtree, WR, Texas Tech
With the top tackles and B.J. Raji already taken, Al Davis will take Michael Crabtree here. He is a great talent and the Raiders need to help out JaMarcus Russell and give him someone to throw to. Crabtree might not be available at number seven if he has a solid pro day.
8) Jacksonville Jaguars: Vontae Davis, CB, Illinois
The Jags recently signed Tra Thomas, so they will address their secondary here. Davis has established himself as this year's top corner, with a solid combine, so the safest pick here is the man from Illinois. With the Drayton Florence flop, Jacksonville needs another corner to play opposite Rashien Mathis.
9) Green Bay Packers: Everette Brown, DE/OLB, Florida State:
The Packers would love B.J. Raji here, but in all likely-hood, he will be gone before they pick. With the new 3-4 defense being installed in the Green Bay defense this year, the Pack need a solid pass rusher to sack the QB. Everette Brown is a perfect fit for this team at number nine.
10) San Francisco 49ers: Mark Sanchez, QB, USC
The 49ers offered Kurt Warner close $15 million a year. What does this tell us? It tells us that the Niners are looking for a QB. Is Shaun Hill really the guy? No. Is Alex Smith the guy? No way. Look for San Francisco to take Sanchez here, as they are obviously in need for a franchise QB.
11) Buffalo Bills: Brian Cushing, LB, USC
The Bills' safest pick here is Cushing, with the top DEs off the board. Cushing is a fantastic player with a great mind for the game. He will help the Bills at the OLB position, and will probably start right away. Cushing would be an automatic upgrade to Keith Ellison on the strong side.
12) Denver Broncos: Tyson Jackson, DE, LSU
The Broncos have a number of options here. Their best choice is probably Tyson Jackson. It could be a bit of a reach, but he is a solid player. Jackson is also a great fit to Denver's defense. He will play DE on the Broncos' new three-man line.
13) Washington Redskins: Michael Oher, OT, Mississippi
The Redskins really need help on their offensive line, given the problems they have at guard and right tackle last season. Oher's stock has slipped a bit over the past few weeks, but the Skins would be happy to take him here. Oher can play right or left tackle, so this pick makes sense.
14) New Orleans: Malcolm Jenkins, CB/FS, Ohio State
Jenkins' stock has fallen a bit. He ran a mediocre 40 (4.55) and his poor hips were exposed in the combine drills. He might be used as a FS in the NFL. Either way, New Orleans has a good chance of taking him. They need help in the secondary. They will probably use him at FS with the Jabari Greer signing.
15) Houston Texans: Clay Matthews, LB, USC
Clay Matthews ahead of Rey Maualuga? Yeah, I meant to do this. Although I am leaning towards Matthews with this pick, this is the hardest pick to predict in the first round. The top corners are off the board, so I believe the Texans will upgrade at LB by drafting the USC kid.
16) San Diego Chargers: Andre Smith, OT, Alabama
Smith has had a rough off-season. He did not perform at the combine, he put on some weight, and did not have a great pro day. However, he will not slide past San Diego. Smith is an upgrade from current RT Jeromey Clary. Smith is still a solid player, if he can sort all of his issues out.
17) New York Jets: Jeremy Maclin, WR, Missouri
With the departure of Laveranues Coles, the Jets need to upgrade at WR. Chris Wells is an option here, but even with his talent, I do not think the Jets will draft him. They already have two capable running backs. There are rumours that the Jets will try and land Tory Holt, but for now, I'm staying with Maclin.
18) Chicago Bears: Eben Britton, OT, Arizona
Even though the Bears took Chris Williams last year, they still need to address their offensive line. They currently do not have a RT, so Britton will fill that void here. Defensive End is an option here as well, but the void is too big on the right side of the O-Line.
19) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Darius Butler, CB, Connecticut
This could be a bit of a reach, but the Bucs need to upgrade at CB. Moreno and Wells are no longer possibilities here with the Derrick Ward signing. Some mocks even have Josh Freeman going here. I highly doubt that at the moment. The Bucs could trade down to get him. For now, Ronde Barber is getting old and Butler fills a need.
20) Detroit Lions: William Beatty, OT, Connecticut
With the drafting of Matt Stafford, the Lions now need to address how they are going to protect their QB. Enter William Beatty. Detroit will take a page out of the Falcons' book and draft a OT with their second first-round pick. The Lions had all sorts of trouble protecting the QB last year, so Beatty is a safe pick.
21) Philadelphia Eagles: Chris Wells, RB, Ohio State
I'm sure Eagle fans will be happy here, including myself. Philly had loads of trouble converting on third and short and fourth and short because they did not have a big back. Chris Wells is a big back and can take some carries off of Brian Westbrook this upcoming season.
22) Minnesota Vikings: Alex Mack, C, California
With Matt Birk leaving to sign with Baltimore, the Vikings do not have a starting Centre. Alex Mack is a perfect option here. Brad Childress wants to protect newly-acquired Sage Rosenfels, so this pick makes a great deal of sense. Mack can lead the O-Line for the Viks for many years.
23) New England Patriots: Rey Maualuga, LB, USC
The Pats will continue to bring youth to their old LB corps. Maualuga's stock has dropped a bit since the Scouting Combine, but he is still a great player. New England would be happy to pick him this high in the first round. He and Mayo would make an outstanding duo at ILB.
24) Atlanta Falcons: Brandon Pettigrew, TE, Oklahoma State
With the L.J. Smith rumours finished, I put Pettigrew back here. The Falcons are desperate for a TE, and Pettigrew will be another weapon for Matt Ryan. He is also a great run blocker, something that Atlanta loves to do.
25) Miami Dolphins: Larry English, DE/OLB, Northern Illinois:
Miami could use another pass rusher opposite Joey Porter. Bill Parcels loves drafting defensive players, and this year will be no different. CB is also an option here, but Miami signed Eric Green recently, so the safer pick is English.
26) Baltimore Ravens: Kenny Britt, WR, Rutgers:
Baltimore probably would have loved to draft Jeremy Maclin here, but unfortunately for them, he is off the board. Kenny Britt is the next best option here. Joe Flacco needs a number-one target to throw to. Britt is a first-round talent, and could be the guy for Flacco.
27) Indianapolis Colts: Peria Jerry, DT, Mississippi
This is a nice pick here. Jerry could go as high as number thirteen, but it's better to assume him going to the Colts. The Colts need to address their DT position, as they are very thin there. Jerry will improve the Colts' run defense immediately.
28) Philadelphia Eagles: Duke Robinson, OG, Oklahoma
This could be a bit of a reach, but it is pretty safe to say that the Eagles will take one offensive lineman with one of their two first-round picks. Drafting the mammoth guard will allow Todd Herramens to move outside to play LT.
29) New York Giants: Knowshon Moreno, RB, Georgia
The G-men can draft a WR in the second round. For now, they absolutely cannot pass on Moreno. He should not even be here in the first place. With Derrick Ward signing in Tampa, the Giants could use another RB to replace him. With Moreno, New York will have another three-headed monster running the ball.
30) Tennessee Titans: D.J. Moore, CB, Vanderbilt:
With the signing of Nate Washington, the Titans probably won't take a receiver. Next season will be Nick Harper's final year on the Titans. Harper is currently 34 years old, so Tennessee will need to find another corner to take his place pretty soon. Moore is a good fit here.
31) Arizona Cardinals: Michael Johnson, DE/OLB, Georgia Tech:
The Cards will probably take the best-player-available approach this year. Michael Johnson is probably the best pick this late in the first round. The Cards have a history of drafting talented players that underachieved in college (Calais Campbell, Alan Branch, Gabe Watson).
32) Pittsburgh Steelers: Sean Smith, S/CB, Utah:
Sean Smith has established himself as this year's top safety prospect. He has a great shot to be drafted in the first round. Ryan Clark is a decent player when healthy, but the injury-prone free safety turns 30 in October. His contract also expires after the 2009 NFL season, so Smith is a solid pick here.
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