So I have been reading and paying lots of attention to the NFL Draft for the past month and been thinking about doing a mock draft but never got the time to get around to it.
Now I have produced my first mock draft. It is two rounds with analysis for each pick. Enjoy and feel free to comment and disagree and I will respond to you and provide insight into your questions about my draft.
1. Detroit Lions-Matthew Stafford-QB-Georgia
This pick was very tough as I know Detroit would love to trade out to avoid the financial burden. It comes down to Stafford or Jason Smith and Stafford wins because they need a QB badly.
He can be the face of the franchise and if they were smart, they would look at how Matt Ryan has helped Atlanta as an example of not passing on great quarterback's. Now if it comes down to sign-ability, this may be Smith as he will likely be an easier sign and Detroit is looking for an easy, pain free signing before the draft.
2. St. Louis Rams-Jason Smith-OT-Baylor
To me, tackle is a pretty obvious pick here for St. Louis. They just released Orlando Pace this offseason and Alex Barron is no superstar. In Smith, they get a guy who can step in right away and take Orlando Pace's spot and continue a legacy of great left tackle play in St. Louis.
If Smith is gone, they could go with Eugene Monroe but may consider Michael Crabtree or Aaron Curry.
3. Kansas City Chiefs-Aaron Curry-LB-Wake Forest
Aaron Curry is the safest pick in the draft. Most experts will agree on this and it is great value for a player that is probably the No. 1 player on most teams value boards is here at No. 3.
In Curry they get a guy who can play any of the three linebacker positions. Curry provides defensive talent for a team with not much to brag about and could combine with Derrick Johnson and Glenn Dorsey to form a solid young core.
4. Seattle Seahawks-Eugene Monroe-OT-Virginia
This is another tough one, as they would love to see Stafford fall here and get their replacement in waiting for Matt Hasselbeck. Signing T.J. Houshmandzadeh minimizes the chance of picking Crabtree here.
I just don't see them taking a player and committing number four money to him when they already signed a player for huge money at that position in free agency. In Monroe, Seattle gets their replacement for the 35 year old Walter Jones.
5. Cleveland Browns-Brian Orakpo-DE/OLB-Texas
Have heard that Everette Brown is rising on Cleveland's radar and he could go here but I still have a feeling its going to be Orakpo. Both are great rushers and would provide the Browns with another pass rusher.
But Orakpo is just that much better to deserve this pick and with him on the other side, Kamerion Wimbley would be freed up and able to get back to his past production
6. Cincinnati Bengals-B.J. Raji-DT-Boston College
Oh how funny, the Bengals pick a player that has had problems in the past. What a surprise. First off, the only way that Raji's drug test bothers me is if he did it very close to the combine when he knew he was being tested.
Other than that, seriously people, i would bet close to 75 percent of the players in this draft have tried marijuana. I mean our President has admitted to smoking weed. So it really isn't a huge deal unless he can't control himself. Raji provides a nice inside presence for Cincinnati.
7. Oakland Raiders-Jeremy Maclin-WR-Missouri
Another one of those speed guys from Al Davis. This pick being Crabtree wouldn't surprise me as well as Orakpo if he is available. But we all know Al Davis calls the shots and loves speed.
Maclin is a very fast player, and one of the most dynamic in the draft and could be a nice target for JaMarcus Russell. He also comes with the added bonus as a return man.
8. Jacksonville Jaguars-Michael Crabtree-WR-Texas Tech
If Crabtree is there at No. 8, the Jaguars will not hesitate one bit to submit their draft card. They have released Jerry Porter and Matt Jones and let Reggie Williams walk in free agency.
Only Jones produced last year but he cared more about drugs than football. Right now their wideouts are Dennis Northcutt, Mike Walker, and Troy Williamson. Crabtree would be the instant number one and would be a great target to help David Garrard return to the David Garrard of 2007.
9. Green Bay Packers-Everette Brown-DE/OLB-Florida State
Green Bay would love to see Raji be here but will settle for Brown none the less. They are going to be in the 3-4 next year and drafting a hybrid defensive end/linebacker is just the thing they need for that transition.
Brown is a very good pass rusher that will give them a nice rush off the edge.
10. San Francisco 49ers-Vontae Davis-CB-Illinois
I think that Mark Sanchez is a possibility here as well as Aaron Maybin but I think they go with Vontae Davis. Davis had a rough year last year, struggling a bit but his measure-ables are everything you want in a corner.
At 6'0" tall and running a 4.40 40-yard dash at his pro day, his stock is rising and will be a good replacement for former Pro Bowl corner Walt Harris.
11. Buffalo Bills-Aaron Maybin-DE-Penn State
The Bills badly need help in the pass rush. They could use a tight end but I think Brandon Pettigrew is a bit of a reach at 11. Maybin is a bit light, even though he has put on weight since the end of the season and will need to gain more strength but his upside has scouts drooling.
He can be that type of impact pass rusher every team wants.
12. Denver Broncos-Mark Sanchez-QB-USC
Lucky for Denver, they get Sanchez even though they did not trade up. The most likely trade partner would be Jacksonville and considering Crabtree as available, Jacksonville will not be trading back.
But after trading one franchise quarterback, they draft another. Sanchez could have used another year as a starter but still he has all the tools to be an excellent pro QB.
I am not sure either Sanchez or Stafford are ready to start right away like Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco but in the case of Sanchez, he has so much upside that he could end up being better than Stafford.
13. Washington Redskins-Andre Smith-OT-Alabama
No one has seen their draft stock plummet more than Andre Smith. I mean what did he expect when he left the combine early without telling anyone and then did not impress at his Pro Day.
He could end up a lot further down than this, but I have a feeling that Dan Snyder is not stupid enough to pass up on him.
Snyder is the only guy other than Al Davis picking in the top 15 that would ignore character issues and take Smith because he is just so talented. Just look at the impact on Alabama's offense when he was suspended in the Sugar Bowl.
And the last Alabama tackle taken by the Redskins, Chris Samuels, turned out pretty good.
14. New Orleans Saints-Malcolm Jenkins-CB/FS-Ohio State
New Orleans defense has been a mess for years and if they can get some solid players on defense, they can really be dangerous. Now that Jonathan Vilma is back again at linebacker, they do not have as much a need there and can focus on the secondary.
Jenkins was a top 10 lock before the combine but a slow 40 there (4.55) and also in his Pro Day (4.53) have people questioning if he has the speed to play corner in the NFL.
No one questions his talent and the potential to play safety gives the Saints options if they think he cannot keep up with receivers.
15. Houston Texans-Brian Cushing-OLB-USC
First off, don't pay any attention to the report of Cushing using steroids. I do not get this website, which still has the page up reporting this even though it has been refuted by the players agents and the NFL.
Now being from Cushing's area of New Jersey, there were rumblings when he was in high school that he was on steroids but once again it was nothing more than rumors. Now Cushing gives the Texans a solid outside backer next to DeMeco Ryans and along with Mario Williams and Amobi Okoye, give the Texans a very good front seven.
16. San Diego Chargers-Rey Maualuga-MLB-USC
I think that Maualuga may be more talented than Cushing yet because of need he drops all the way to 16. San Diego in my opinion gets a steal here. They get a great middle backer to solidify their defense for many years to come.
This guys could very well be the next Ray Lewis. The only problem here is that there are questions of work ethic. If he can change his work ethic, he will be special.
17. New York Jets-Chris Wells-RB-Ohio State
I really thought about Percy Harvin here but in the end, I felt that Chris Wells worked. Thomas Jones had a great year last year but he is 32. In the NFL, 32 at running back is not exactly young.
Leon Washington is not an every down back so Wells can replace Jones when the time comes and then team with Washington in the backfield. It is a tough pick between Wells and Moreno and if Wells can stay healthy, he is scary good.
18. Denver Broncos (from Chicago)-Tyson Jackson-DE-LSU
Denver has major defensive problems and after using their first pick on offense, they need to take a defensive player at 18. Jackson is a very solid end that can rush the passer efficiently as well as play stout run defense.
He was part of some great teams at LSU in the past four years and would be a solid choice here for Denver.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers-Josh Freeman-QB-Kansas State
This is one pick, no matter how many mock drafts I look at, that you see pretty unanimously. A new coach would love to have a new quarterback to put in his system and start a new era with.
Also, Brian Griese, Luke McNown, and Josh Johnson aren't exactly guys who make defenses respect the passing game or make offensive coordinators salivate because of their talent. Freeman always was very solid at Kansas State and has been shooting up draft boards because of his physical skills.
20. Detroit Lions (from Dallas)-Michael Oher-OT-Ole Miss
Once considered a top-10 lock, questions about his pass blocking have dropped Michael Oher all the way to No. 20. And this could turn out to be a steal for Detroit as they get a guy who very well has top 10 talent.
What is the point of taking a franchise quarterback in Stafford if he doesn't have protection? Oher will provide the protection for Stafford for years to come.
21. Philadelphia Eagles-Knowshon Moreno-RB-Georgia
Even though I am a big Florida Gators fan, I will not deny the talent that Knowshon Moreno has. He is an extremely talented running back that has star potential.
He drops this far partly because running back isn't a need for many teams picking before 21 and his size and speed are not exactly the most ideal.
Philadelphia could really use another running back. Sure they have Brian Westbrook but he isn't exactly Mr. Durability and with Correll Buckhalter signing with the Rams, they could use a complement to Westbrook.
22. Minnesota Vikings-William Beatty-OT-Connecticut
They could use a quarterback here but unless they want to really reach, they are not going to get one. A receiver is a huge possibility but I think Beatty is a solid option here.
They can give Tarvaris Jackson some more time in the pocket as well as a solid line for Adrian Peterson to operate behind.
23. New England Patriots-Darius Butler-CB-Connecticut
Bill Belichick was recently at Connecticut's Pro Day. That is usually means he is very interested in a player and word is that player is Darius Butler. The Patriots' corners were awful last year, to put it bluntly.
Butler gives them a young corner for the future and could step in immediately and maybe make an impact in nickel and dime situations.
24. Atlanta Falcons-Brandon Pettigrew-TE-Oklahoma State
The Falcons could really use a big time tight end to give Matt Ryan one more option. Their offense could be scary with Ryan having Pettigrew, Roddy White, and Michael Jenkins to throw to. Pettigrew is no Kellen Winslow as a receiver but is solid.
He also brings good blocking and is just a complete tight end.
25. Miami Dolphins-Clay Matthews-OLB-USC
Another guy who got falsely accused of steroid use. Read Brian Cushing's blurb about the smear campaign by nfldraftbible.com. But Matthews had a great year as a defensive end, terrorizing quarterbacks in the Pac-10. He has rocketed up draft boards and presents a good value here for Miami.
With his pass rushing abilities, he will be a good fit in the 3-4 and the NFL roots he has don't hurt either.
26. Baltimore Ravens-Percy Harvin-WR-Florida
This is a pick that I really didn't have to think much about once I saw that Harvin was there for the Ravens. Joe Flacco could really use a big time wide out who can stretch the field like Harvin can.
The issue with Harvin is his durability. He has lots of leg problems at Florida but those could subside a little once he stops playing running back for 10-15 carries a game. To me, Harvin is a top 10 talent when healthy in this draft. He is a game changer, a Reggie Bush type.
The difference is Harvin has a set position at wide receiver and also has great hands and toughness, shown by playing the National Championship on a fractured ankle.
27. Indianapolis Colts-Peria Jerry-DT-Ole Miss
Peria Jerry is a guy that has been rising recently as well on draft boards all over. Never has Indianapolis seemed to have a very good defensive tackle and they can get one that will be there for years in Peria Jerry.
Also, Ed Johnson's recent marijuana scandal would be another reason to go with a defensive tackle here. Wide out is also an option here but I see the Colts addressing the defensive tackle position first.
28. Philadelphia Eagles (from Carolina)-Eben Britton-OT-Arizona
After having addressed their running back need with their earlier pick, Philadelphia turns to their offensive line. Tra Thomas signed with Jacksonville and Jon Runyan is not getting any younger. They can get a guy like Britton and he can come in a replace Tra Thomas in the lineup.
29. New York Giants-Kenny Britt-WR-Rutgers
This pick came down to three options, Britt, Hakeem Nicks, or Brian Robiskie. In the end I felt that it was Britt. Robiskie is just not a first rounder in my mine and Nicks put on 14 pounds between the combine and his Pro Day and also refused to run.
Britt is rising a bit and the fact he ran a 4.47 40-yard dash at 6'3" helps.
30. Tennessee Titans-Evander Hood-DT-Missouri
The Titans would love to see Peria Jerry be here but if he is not, they may reach a little and take Hood. Hood was on first team All Big XII and was one of the best defensive players on Missouri last year.
After losing Albert Haynesworth to Washington, it makes sense for the Titans to replace Big Al in the middle.
31. Arizona Cardinals-Donald Brown-RB-Connecticut
Another pick to me that was really easy to make. The Cardinals need a running back and Donald Brown is there. He has been a hot prospect of late and had a great year last year at Connecticut. He may not immediately be a No. 1 option but will share carries and get some experience.
Who thought that there would be three players from the University of Connecticut drafted in the first round.
32. Pittsburgh Steelers-Alex Mack-C-California
There aren't many needs for the team from the Steel City and one may be corner after losing Bryant McFadden to Arizona. But they go with Mack who will be a nice replacement for Justin Hartwig, the leader among centers for sacks allowed.
There is debate who between Mack and Max Unger is the number one center but I believe that is Mack.
33. Detroit Lions-James Laurinaitis-MLB-Ohio State
There are so many holes on the Detroit team but having addressed quarterback and offensive tackle, they really should turn to defense here. Laurinaitis was super productive in college but his slow 40 has hurt.
Still a great value here for a guy who most likely would have been a top 20 pick in the 2008 draft.
34. New England Patriots (from KC)-Connor Barwin-DE/OLB-Cincinnati
Connor Barwin is one of those non-stop motor guys. He would be ideal for a 3-4, just what the Patriots play and I have seen him compared to Mike Vrabel. What a perfect match.
35. St. Louis Rams-Darrius Heyward-Bey-WR-Maryland
I am really not a big Heyward-Bey fan. He never really produced in college and the fact he shoots up draft boards because he ran a 4.30 40 amazes me. Everyone knew he was fast so why does he rise up boards because he did what we expected.
Yet the Rams need a receiver and will bite for him here.
36. Cleveland Browns-LeSean McCoy-RB-Pittsburgh
Jamal Lewis is slow, there is no questioning that. So the Browns get a complement to Lewis here who has that ability to be a game changer. McCoy is durable and young, at 20 years old.
37. Seattle Seahawks-Sean Smith-CB/FS-Utah
Sean Smith is 6'4" at cornerback. There is talk that he is more of a safety and at that size you can see why. Seattle could use help at both corner and safety and Smith's versatility is useful for them.
38. Cincinnati Bengals-Robert Ayers-DE-Tennessee
Now this is interesting as Ayers has been by far the hottest prospect, with many people having him in the top 15. I looked at it and couldn't find a spot for him until here so that's where he lands. Cincinnati can really sure up their defensive line with Raji and Ayers.
39. Jacksonville Jaguars-Victor Harris-CB-Virginia Tech
Jacksonville needs help in the trenches and will consider Ron Brace or Duke Robinson but neither seems to be worth the pick here. Victor Harris was a shut-down corner in college and his slow 40 has hurt his but make no mistake, he can play.
40. Oakland Raiders-Michael Johnson-DE-Georgia Tech
Jeez, Al Davis must be drooling to see Michael Johnson here. First he gets Jeremy Maclin, the speedster in round one and now he gets the freak in Michael Johnson.
Johnson has work ethic questions and never really produced in college for all the skills and measure-ables he has. But at 6'7" with a 4.59 40, do you really think Al Davis will pass?
41. Green Bay Packers-Jamon Meredith-OT-South Carolina
Meredith is a very good offensive tackle that may be a little lower than his talent because of the amount of quality offensive tackles in the draft. Mark Tauscher is still a free agent who tore his ACL in December and Chad Clifton is 33, time to get a tackle.
42. Buffalo Bills-Jared Cook-TE-South Carolina
The Bills could use a tight end and after passing on Pettigrew in round one, they get Cook in round two. Cook is a solid receiver with very good speed that could make an impact on an offense already with Lee Evans and Terrell Owens.
43. San Francisco 49ers-Larry English-DE/OLB-Northern Illinois
Another one of those guys who fits perfectly into a 3-4 defense with his body size and ability as a pass rusher. English was a big time pass rusher in college and San Francisco really struggled with the pass rush. Larry English could sure that up the pass rush in San Francisco.
44. Miami Dolphins (from Washington)-Brian Robiskie-WR-Ohio State
The Dolphins take another guy with an NFL background. Robiskie was solid at Ohio State but never got the ball thrown to him enough to prove his talent. He will provide Chad Pennington with a nice option.
45. New York Giants (from New Orleans)-Clint Sintim-OLB-Virginia
After addressing their big need at wide out in round one, the Giants turn to another in round two. This team doesn't have many needs but some more depth at outside linebacker would be nice.
46. Houston Texans-William Moore-SS-Missouri
A guy who has plummeted since the start of his senior year, Moore is now viewed as a liability in pass coverage. The Texans have such a need though for impact defensive players that they take him to sure up run coverage and hope he improves against the pass.
47. New England Patriots (from SD)-Jarron Gilbert-DT/DE-San Jose State
I have Gilbert listed as both a defensive tackle and defensive end since he would play defensive end in the Patriots 3-4 defense. Gilbert's 4.80 40-yard dash helped him a lot and this is more a pick for depth as the Patriots don't need that much immediate help.
48. Denver Broncos-Ron Brace-DT-Boston College
Another pick here spent on defense for Denver. They got a guy to bolster the outside of their defensive line in round one now they get a guy who can anchor the center of that line in the big Brace.
49. Chicago Bears-Hakeem Nicks-WR-UNC
His stock has really taken a hit after refusing to run a 40 at his Pro Day and putting on 14 pounds since the combine. None the less, he is very talented and with the awful receivers that Chicago has for Jay Cutler right now, it would make sense to take one here.
50. Cleveland Browns (from TB)-Louis Delmas-FS-Western Michigan
Once considered a late first, early second-round pick, Delmas drops a little due to teams needs. He is still a very good safety and Cleveland could use a lot of help on their defense.
51. Dallas Cowboys-Patrick Chung-SS-Oregon
It's no surprise that Roy Williams, the safety, is likely to get traded this offseason and if not, he will probably not play much in 2009. Chung had a great career at Oregon and would look to be the replacement for Williams, bringing a better pass coverage than Williams ever did.
52. New York Jets- Louis Murphy-WR-Florida
After not taking a wide out in round one, the Jets take one here. Their quarterback situation is very unsettled so providing whoever wins with a solid group on receivers is key, especially after releasing Laveranues Coles.
Murphy never put up huge numbers due to the offense at Florida but his potential is huge.
53. Philadelphia Eagles-Duke Robinson-OG-Oklahoma
I know the Eagles picked an offensive lineman earlier on but they could still use another and Duke Robinson is a solid pick. He is the top guard in the draft and was part of a line that protected the Heisman winner Sam Bradford wonderfully last year.
54. Minnesota Vikings-Alphonso Smith-CB-Wake Forest
Alphonso Smith may be a little on the short side a five foot nine but he can cover. Smith along with Aaron Curry were the stars of the Wake Forest defense and Minnesota gets a guy that can play the side opposite Antoine Winfield.
55. Atlanta Falcons-Sen'Derrick Marks-DT-Auburn
Marks is another one of those guys that if he can put it all together, he will be very good. He has tons of talent and Atlanta has a big time lack of depth at defensive tackle so Marks can help sure that up.
56. Miami Dolphins-D.J. Moore-CB-Vanderbilt
D.J. Moore was by far the best player on Vanderbilt last year and was an impact player in the return game as well. He can return kicks for Miami as well as provide some depth in the defensive backfield.
57. Baltimore Ravens-Gerald Cadogan-OT-Penn State
Wow, there are a ton of very quality offensive tackles in this draft. Cadogan is not the most physically imposing guy that ever play the position but he is solid and could be a big part of a line to protect Joe Flacco.
58. New England Patriots-Max Unger-C-Oregon
First off, Unger drops to here due to no one needing a center but he is certainly a fringe first round, early second round talent. Second, the Patriots really just take him for depth and could even move him to guard.
Third, the rich keep getting richer. Seriously, do the Patriots have enough picks already. They have had four picks now, three in the second round and in the first three rounds total they have six picks. This is why I hate the Patriots.
59. Carolina Panthers-Fili Moala-DT-USC
The Panthers have missed the presence of Kris Jenkins in the middle and will try to recreate that with Moala. Moala may not be as big but he is good, he did come from Pete Carroll's USC who churns out NFL players. Moala was the number one overall pick in Todd McShay's 2009 draft last April so there is something to work with.
60. New York Giants-Shonn Greene-RB-Iowa
The Giants don't have many needs and can afford to take a running back here. Greene has a spectacular senior year at Iowa and may never be a No. 1 option at running back, but he can still be a good platoon back. Greene can come in a replace Derrick Ward in the backfield.
61. Indianapolis Colts-Juaquin Iglesias-WR-Oklahoma
The Colts released Marvin Harrison and could use a number three wide receiver. With Anthony Gonzalez now moving into the No. 2 wide receiver position it open up the slot receiver spot for Iglesias.
62. Tennessee Titans-Jairus Byrd-CB-Oregon
Jairus Byrd has tons of versatility, with the ability to play most of the positions in the defensive backfield. Nick Harper is 34 years old and the Titans could use some depth in the secondary.
63. Arizona Cardinals-Jonathan Luigs-C-Arkansas
When Lyle Sendlein is your starting center, you could use an upgrade. Luigs won the award for the nation's top center two years ago in his junior season. Unfortunately for him, he is in the same draft as Alex Mack and Max Unger.
64. Pittsburgh Steelers-Coye Francis-CB-San Jose State
The Steelers don't have much to fix on their team but after losing Bryant McFadden they could use some depth at corner. Francis has some off the field and character issues but he definitely has tons of talent.