2009 NFL Mock Draft: Week Three

PJ PointerCorrespondent IMarch 27, 2009

Here is week three of my NFL mock draft. There are a few changes, and I expect quite a few more as we get closer to the draft.

I will be doing an update every Friday until the week of the draft. Let me know what you think.

Here it goes...


1. Detroit Lions: Jason Smith – OT – Baylor - The Lions will negotiate with a number of prospects before the draft. In the end they will more than likely decide to draft an anchor for the offensive line.

Monroe may have better feet, but the Lions seem to be infatuated with Smith.

Who should they take?

Aaron Curry, from Wake Forest, is the safest player in this draft. He is pretty much the only guy that you can say without a shadow of a doubt, will not bust. He can play all three LB positions, and can even rush the passer.


2. St. Louis Rams:  - Eugene Monroe - OT - Virginia - You can’t really argue with this pick for St. Louis. Orlando Pace, the offensive line's anchor for 10 years, was released this offseason.

The Rams must have an LT to protect Marc Bulger’s blind side, not to mention they need to be able to fully use Stephen Jackson and let him re-establish himself as one of the best young RB in the NFL.

Who should they take?

Jason Smith and Eugene Monroe are neck and neck for the title of best left tackle in this draft. St. Louis would be happy with either player here.


3. Kansas City Chiefs: Aaron Curry – LB – Wake Forest – Curry is a machine. He plays every LB position. He has even been asked to drop into coverage and cover slot receivers. Doing this in his Junior year, he intercepted four passes, returning three of those four for touchdowns.

Who should they take?

Again, you have to stick with Curry. They’ve traded for Matt Cassel, so that eliminates Matthew Stafford from consideration. If Curry isn’t available here then they’d be smart to grab Brian Orakpo, the big DE\OLB from Texas.


4. Seattle Seahawks: B.J. Raji – DT – Boston College – The Seahawks desperately need interior linemen on the defensive side of the ball. Raji would allow Lofa Tatupu to wreck havoc in opposing backfields.

Who should they take?

Can’t argue with the choice to take Raji at this point. He fills a need, and will upgrade the entire defense.


5. Cleveland Browns: Brian Orakpo – DE/LB – Texas – Orakpo would be the staring outside linebacker from day one. He is an incredible physical specimen, standing 6’3” and weighing in at, a chiseled, 263 lbs.

Orakpo has an innate ability to rush the passer. He is quick off of the ball, and is constantly in the opponent’s backfield, disrupting the play.

Who should they take?

Cleveland needs defensive backs in the worst way; their secondary was terrible last year. As in the case of the running backs, none are worthy of a top 10 selection.

You can’t really argue with the Orakpo pick here. He fills a need, and fits in perfectly in their 3-4 defense.


6. Cincinnati Bengals: Andre Smith – OT – Alabama – The Bengals need a left tackle in the worst way. Left tackle Willie Anderson was released last year and ended up playing in the playoffs for Baltimore.

Smith may have had a bad workout, but you can't argue with the body of work that he has put together over the past three years in Alabama.

They have to keep Carson Palmer healthy if this team has any chance at all of succeeding. Smith gives you a guy that can play left tackle and protect Carson's blind side, as well as greatly improves their running game.

And if worse comes to worse, you can kick him inside and probably have a Pro Bowl guard for the next 10 years.

Who should they take?

Smith has to be the pick. The Bengals need far too much help on the offensive line for this to go down any other way. The only other player that I could see here would possibly be Michael Crabtree, who they don't need after signing Laveranues Coles, or maybe Michael Oher.


7. Oakland Raiders: Michael Crabtree – WR – Texas Tech – Al Davis loves wide receivers, and while not as fast as Davis would like, Michael Crabtree is the best there is at the receiver spot in this draft.

They've invested far too much in JaMarcus Russell to not give him a quality target to throw to. He needs his Jerry Rice or Larry Fitzgerald, a guy that he can throw the ball up to and know that he will go get it.

Who should they take?

Crabtree shouldn't be available at this point, but he had the foot problem, and none of the teams picking before the Raiders really need a wide receiver (Matt Millen isn't in charge in Detroit anymore. Right?). So the Raiders really get a great value here.


8. Jacksonville Jaguars: Matt Stafford – QB – Georgia– The Jaguars need a quarterback. David Garrard isn't getting any younger, and last year showed that when teams actually have tape on a guy it's much harder for him to succeed.

Stafford is the best quarterback available. He has a strong arm, above average athleticism and has played against top competition in the SEC. The presence of David Garrard means you won’t have to start him right away.

Who should they take?

You can’t argue with Stafford if he’s available. If not then they should take a seriously look at a wide receiver.


9. Green Bay Packers: Everette Brown – DE/LB – Florida State – Green Bay is switching to a 3-4 defense this year and need linebackers that can rush the passer. Brown was a hand-in-the-dirt defensive end in college, but shows the agility and athleticism to play outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme.

Who should they take?

I really think that Brown is the best choice here for the Packers. A case could be made for either Rey Maualuga or Malcom Jenkins.


10. San Francisco 49ers: Mark Sanchez – QB – USC - The 'Niners need a quarterback. Shaun Hill and Alex Smith just aren't going to cut it. So they possibly reach a bit here and grab Sanchez.

He can sit the bench for a year while the coaching staff lets Shaun Hill warm his spot on the field, and then he can give them the kind of play from the quarterback position that they have been missing for quite awhile now.

Sanchez has the highest floor of any quarterback in this draft, meaning that he has the least potential to be a colossal bust.

Who should they take?

Sanchez or an offensive tackle should really be the only possibilities here.


11. Buffalo Bills: Tyson Jackson – DE – LSU - Buffalo needs a left defensive end in the worst way. Jackson is ideal for this position as he is big enough to stop the run at 290 lbs, and also has a very underrated ability to rush the passer.

Who should they take?

Jackson is the right choice here. Although I could see them possibly going with Rey Maualuga here.


12. Denver Broncos: Aaron Maybin – DE/LB – Penn State – Quick! The Denver Broncos linebackers are D.J. Williams and… Do you see the problem? They are switching to a 3-4 defense under new defensive coordinator Mike Nolan, the problem is they don’t have two good linebackers, let alone four.

Maybin will more than likely play linebacker in the NFL, however he will do an amazing job of rushing the passer. Denver needs a pass rusher at the linebacker spot and Maybin provides that.

Who should they take?

I would have to stick with Maybin here.


13. Washington Redskins: Michael Oher – OT – Mississippi – Chris Samuels is getting older, and Jon Jansen is not only old, he’s coming off of a pretty serious injury. Oher could play the right tackle spot for a year or two and then slide into the left tackle spot and replace Samuels.

Who should they take?

Oher. They need help on that offensive line. Re-signing free agent guard Derrick Dockery should help, but that still doesn’t address the problem at right tackle, or the problem of Samuels getting older.


14. New Orleans Saints: Malcom Jenkins – CB – Ohio State – The Saints just signed Jabari Greer, but it is going to take a lot more than one player to fix that secondary.

Jenkins can play either corner or safety and at this point I think New Orleans will view him as a safety.

Who should they take?

Jenkins definitely addresses a huge need and makes the entire defense better.


15. Houston Texans: Brian Cushing – LB – USC –Houston needs to go defense here.

Cushing gives them another linebacker that they can plug in next to Demeco Ryans and instantly upgrade their defense.

Who should they take?

Clay Matthews would be the only other guy here that makes sense. However, he is better suited to play in a 3-4 defense, than a 4-3.

16. San Diego Chargers: Ebben Britton – OT – Arizona – The Chargers have a huge problem at right tackle, and an injury concern with Marcus McNeil at left tackle. Britton can start from day one on the right side, and you can groom him as a swing tackle in case McNeil’s spinal condition becomes a problem.

Who should they take?

Britton has to be the choice. They cannot ignore that right tackle position.

17. New York Jets: Josh Freeman – QB – Kansas StateBrett Favre is gone and the Jets are now going to rely on Brett Ratliff and/or Kellen Clemens? Freeman has really risen up the draft boards in recent weeks and the Jets are rumored to be in love with him.

Who should they take?

Freeman is really the only player that makes sense here. The Jets cannot plan on Brett Ratliff or Kellen Clemens being the kind of quarterback to take this team to a Super Bowl.


18. Chicago Bears:Darrius Heyward-Bey – WR – Maryland – The Bears have serious problems at the wide receiver position. The only starter that they have set in stone at this point is Devin Hester.

Heyward-Bey would give them a big target to place opposite Hester, and is also a burner in his own right.

Who should they take?

Evander “Ziggy” Hood – DT – Missouri – Hood is a perfect defensive tackle for Chicago’s defense. He would also provide tremendous insurance in the event that Tommy Harris gets hurt again, and would be an immediate upgrade over Dusty Dvoracek.


19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Peria Jerry – DT – Mississippi –Jerry would give them the interior presence that they are losing with the free agent departure of Jovan Haye.

Jerry will stuff the run and get to the quarterback. He makes complete sense for what Tampa wants to do on defense.

Who should they take?

Jerry is a great pick here. They need the interior line help.


20. Detroit Lions: Rey Maualuga – LB – USC – Detroit needs a middle linebacker, someone fierce.

Maualuga is a starter from day one and really gives Jim Schwartz a run thumper on the inside. This is something that Schwartz insists the Lions need, and he's right.

Who should they take?

Without any real NFL middle linebackers on the roster Detroit has to pick Rey-Rey here.

(They should have taken Curry No. 1 and then been selecting William Beaty the offensive tackle from Connecticut here, but hey... they’re the Lions)

21. Philadelphia Eagles: William Beaty – OT – Connecticut – The Eagles select 21 and 28. They have a need at running back and left tackle. None of the teams between them and 28 need a running back, so they will take the left tackle here and the running back later.

Who should they take?

They have to get a left tackle, Tra Thomas is not coming back and you can’t expect Donovan McNabb to be running for his life every play, at this point in his career.


22. Minnesota Vikings: Percy Harvin – WR – Florida – Harvin can make plays. It’s as simple as that. The Vikings are OK on the outside with Bernard Berrian and Sidney Rice. What they are missing though is that slot receiver who can create mismatches.

Who should they take?

Darius Butler – CB – Connecticut – Butler has amazing physical ability and tremendous ball skills, and regardless of the fact that Antoine Winfield made the Pro Bowl, the Vikings still ranked only 18th against the pass in 2008.

They need a playmaker in the secondary and Butler would provide that immediately.


23. New England Patriots: Clay Matthews Jr. – LB – USC – The third USC linebacker comes off of the board in the first round. The Patriots need an outside linebacker to rush the passer and create some pressure.

Who should they take?

The case could be made for Larry English – DE/LB – Northern Illinois, but Matthews has the pedigree that Belichick will love, being the son of former NFL linebacker Clay Matthews Sr.


24. Atlanta Falcons: Brandon Pettigrew – TE – Oklahoma State – Pettigrew isn’t the fastest tight end in this draft, but he is the best all around tight end. He is a very similar player to Jason Witten, of the Dallas Cowboys, and would be an excellent security blanket for Matt Ryan.

Not to mention the fact that he is a devastating blocker and would make Michael Turner even more effective.

Who should they take?

Larry English - DE/LB - Northern Illinois - English would immediately give them a pass rush, something that they, at times, struggled with last year. Not to mention the fact that the addition of Mike Peterson means that they are a lot more sound at linebacker than they were two weeks ago.


25. Miami Dolphins: Darius Butler – CB – Connecticut – Butler has amazing physical ability and tremendous ball skills, and with the departure of Andre Goodman the Dolphins need a cornerback.

Who should they take?

Butler has to be the choice. They need a defensive back, and the only other possible guy to be taken this high would be Alphonso Smith from Wake Forest.


26. Baltimore Ravens: Kenny Brit – WR - Rutgers - The Ravens need a deep threat so that Joe Flacco can unleash that cannon he has attached to his right shoulder.

Brit would provide that, as well as becoming a reliable relief valve for Flacco.

Who should they take?

Can’t argue with getting your young quarterback weapons to throw to.

27. Indianapolis Colts: Evander “Ziggy” Hood – DT – Missouri – Hood is a perfect defensive tackle for the Colt's  defense. They need interior defensive linemen desperately.

Who should they take?

Linebacker is a huge area of need for the Colts. Only James Laurinaitis or possibly Dannell Elerbe from Georgia would be the only other players considered at this point.

28. Philadelphia Eagles: Knowshon Moreno – RB – GeorgiaBrian Westbrook is getting old, and gets hurt every year. Correll Buckhalter is gone to Denver.

The Eagles get probably the best running back in the draft and fill a need.

Who should they take?

Moreno has to be the pick.


29. New York Giants: Michael Johnson – DE – Georgia Tech – The Giants can afford to take the best player available, and physically Johnson is the best player available, possibly in the whole draft.

What has hurt Johnson is his inconsistency. That won’t be a problem playing for the Giants. He’ll be a part of their “Wave” defense, in which they are constantly throwing fresh defensive linemen at an offense.

He will only need to rush the passer, nothing else.

Who should they take?

Whomever they deem to be the best player available. They don’t have a lot of holes other than wide receiver, and this is way too high for any of the remaining receivers.


30. Tennessee Titans: Jeremy Maclin – WR – Missouri - Tennessee needs wide receivers. It is the only offensive position, where you can point and say that they have a weakness.

Maclin will give them the big play threat that they haven't had since Derrick Mason left. He can stretch the field and will also help by replacing Chris Carr in the return game.


Who should they take?

They have to start getting some decent receivers on this team. If they don't, teams will eventually figure out a way to stop that run game.


31. Arizona Cardinals: Chris Wells - RB - Ohio State - Edgerrin James wants out of Arizona, and they really do want to grant him his wish. The only problem is that they aren't ready to just hand all of the running duties to Tim Hightower.

Wells gives them a big physical back that can pound it between the tackles and really set up the play action pass.

Who should they take?

Wells would be virtually impossible for Arizona to pass on at this point.

32. Pittsburgh Steelers: Alex Mack – OG/C – Oregon – Despite coming off of a Super Bowl winning season, the Steelers still realize that they have a tremendous need at the interior of their offensive line.

Mack can play either guard or center at close to an All Pro level, and would give an immediate shot in the arm to the run game.

Who should they take?

Sean Smith – CB – Utah – Bryant McFadden signed with the Cardinals, leaving a huge hole at defensive back for the Steelers. Smith is a big defensive back, standing 6’4” and around 214 lbs, but has very good hips and can turn and run with quicker/faster wide receivers.