NFL Draft: Stafford Not First Overall, Mack Finishes First Round

Gabe SimondsContributor IApril 13, 2009

I have set up my official mock draft.  This is assuming none of the teams trade which will not happen, but that makes everything complicated if you predict that part of the draft. I will present my choice, and explain why I chose (or why I think the team would choose) a particular player.

1. Detroit Lions select OT Jason Smith.

The Lions should choose Jason Smith because of the recurring thing that happens over the years in the NFL Draft: bust.  It's a scary word to a GM and Matthew Stafford shows the makings of a possible bust.  Just the word "possible" would scare me.

The Lions canNOT afford to draft ANOTHER bust. 

That leaves out any WR in the first round so...Jason Smith, while not a sure thing either, could follow the route of Jake Long and Joe Thomas in turning their teams into 10 win seasons (by no account am I predicting the Lions to do that...or close).

2. The St. Louis Rams select OT Eugene Monroe.

Not Michael Crabtree, for the same reason as stated above.  BUST.  I think Crabtree is the real deal, but many people feel the same about all first round receivers.  Plus they have a dire need for OT with Orlando Pace leaving.

3. Kansas City Chiefs select LB Aaron Curry

Cassel made my choice about...ooh.. 10,000x easier.  QB position...? Check (Whether your sold on Cassel or not, KC is and that is all that matters). Curry was projected here before Cassel came (but that was assuming Lions take Stafford) and nothing has changed.

4. Seattle Seahawks select WR Michael Crabtree

They select him for two reasons: depth and talent.  They need his depth and his certainly his talent is irresistible.  Last season, they had to sign Koren Robinson in the middle of the season because their first three options were injured.  That would convince me to get more receivers.

5. Cleveland Browns select QB Matthew Stafford

Yes, they have Brady Quinn and Derek Anderson, but personally for me that solidifies the argument.  They aren't the answer at QB for the Browns.  They are good enough to teach him what NOT do in the NFL.  And what's so bad about a little competition anyway.

6. Cincinnati Bengals select DT B.J. Raji

They pick him because he's still available, even though WR is more pressing. Raji goes to the Seahawks and then the Bengals will select Crabtree.  My justification is their need especially since the Bengals are running a 4-3 and have no legitimate No. 2 option there.

7. Oakland Raiders select WR Jeremy Maclin

As a Mizzou Tiger fan, I would hope he could creep into the Top Five.  That just won't happen while Crabtree is here.  Raiders will go with a skill position, because JaMarcus Russel has no threat at wide out.

8. Jacksonville Jaguars select CB Malcolm Jenkins

Todd McShay has the Jags selecting Crabtree.  He won't fall that far.  If Maclin falls then they will select him (I hope they don't because they either have bad luck with receivers or are terrible at tutoring them into the game).  Jenkins would fill a need at DB.

9. Green Bay Packers select DE Brian Orapko.

They did install a 3-4 recently, but they will find somewhere for this talented d-lineman to go after he fell.

10. San Fransisco 49ers select QB Mark Sanchez

Well, they do have Shaun Hill and Alex Smith.  Smith, however is probably a bust and Hill may have been springing the pigskin all over the place because of Mike Martz.  Sanchez could a least give them a long-term option.

11. Buffalo Bills select DE Aaron Maybin

Bills need a pass rusher.  I hear Maybin is pretty good at that.

12. Denver Broncos select RB Chris Wells

This may be too high, but so is the other guy they want in Tyson Jackson and seeing as they have no No. 1 RB threat, Wells seems like the guy.

13. Washington Redskins select DE Robert Ayers

Ayers is drafted too high here, but the Redskins love him.  They also need a DE.

14. New Orleans Saints select CB Vontae Davis.

Is anybody questioning this move?

15. Houston Texans select LB Clay Matthews.

Matthews has impressed the Texans who pretty much can choose the best defensive player available.  I can seem them chasing Sanchez if he is available too though.

16. San Diego Chargers select OT Andre Smith.

An aging O-line pushes the Chargers here and what's better than a guy who, pure talent-wise, was projected second.

17. New York Jets select DE Tyson Jackson.

Jets would love for Sanchez to fall (and frankly, they will probably trade up).  But Jackson is the best person available.  Another surprise route may be drafting Knowshon Moreno at running back to back up Thomas Jones who is getting up there in age.

18. Denver Broncos select DE Everette Brown.

The Broncos ideal situation would be getting Sanchez (or Stafford) 12th and then a top flight DE at 18.  The DE may be done pretty easily, at least potentially, with Orapko, Maybin, Ayers, Jackson, Everette Brown, and even Larry English in the draft.

Unless six teams need defensive end in front of them, they will get what they want. And with Brown and English as two possibilities, Brown is just purely better value.

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers select DT Peria Jerry.

Now my personal opinion is they will trade down and get Josh Freeman, because of, well the Jon Gruden situation.  Gruden was fired because of lack of development in young QBs so Morris has no choice, but to do that. 

But Jerry is a little higher than he should be.  Need is the most important thing, however, and they need a DT in their 3-4 defense.

20. Detroit Lions select LB Ray Maualuga. (acquired from Cowboys)

Now, Stafford gets picked first overall and Michael Oher is drafted for OT depth (or just as a starter).  But the Lions need help on defense too (and special teams) and Maualuga is the best defensive player available.

21. Philadelphia Eagles select OT Michael Oher.(acquired from Panthers)

Now, all I've heard about is its not in Andy Reid's style to draft OT or something. Well, he doesn't have much of a choice so I refuse to believe he would pass on this great talent (especially with their aging line).

22. Minnesota Vikings select WR Hakeem Nicks.

Now, other options besides Nicks are Darrius Heyward-Bey, Kenny Britt, and Percy Harvin.  Considering they have the speedy, deep threat in Bernard Berrian, that takes away Harvin and Heyward-Bey.  Considering Nicks as sure hands, he may be a decent possession receiver in his first year with a club that needs receivers.

23. New England Patriots select LB Brian Cushing.

Now they have four picks in first two rounds, this being the only first round pick.  My best guess is they try to replace Teddy Bruschi with Cushing, but this pick could be about anything (besides WR).

24. Atlanta Falcons select DE Larry English.

John Abraham is getting up there in age (and personally I don't think he'll last as long as Michael Strahan at 36) and they are stacked at the most available position in the draft, WR. Plus, the length of time needed to learn the NFL "stance" takes a while since they aren't taught this in college. 

25. Miami Dolphins select WR Percy Harvin.

I think the Dolphins would like Nicks more, but I am biased considering I am a UNC basketball fan (and those amazing catches in the bowl game). But that aside, I put a lot of opinion in that you shouldn't have two of the same receivers on both sides (not quite sure why or if it even matters). 

But Harvin is a nice selection, even though I won't want a Ted Ginn Jr. duplicate on the field.

26. Baltimore Ravens select WR Darrius Heyward-Bey.

(Thank God he finally got picked.  Typing his name is a hassle).  But seriously if he falls this far, Ravens will pick him.

27. Indianapolis Colts select WR Kenny Britt.

Peyton Manning is given weapons so well that the Colts go out of there way to help him.  Britt should last another 5-10 picks, but all the receivers have been taken.  As a side note, please receivers don't follow up on last year with the no-show in the first round. 

Otherwise, this mock draft is screwed.

28. Philadelphia Eagles select RB Knowshon Moreno.

Does Brian Westbrook finally have a viable backup? We won't know even if Moreno is picked, but if they do pick him, Eagles' fans will be happy.  (Eagles fans will you be happy with Oher and Moreno as your two draft picks?)

29. New York Giants select LB James Laurinaitis.

Well, this is one weird pick.  I have no idea what they will do if all these WRs actually fall of the draft boards.  Well Laurinaitis is best available and they like to have good defensive depth.  Oh, and I think Jacobs and Bradshaw will be enough for them at RB.

30. Tennessee Titans select DB Darius Butler.

The Titans apparently tend to take best available.  Butler is the best defensive player available. Also, don't expect them to draft a wide out even if they are available.  They NEVER draft wide receivers in the first round (which hasn't worked out so well for them considering every off-season they need.... A WIDE RECEIVER)

31. Arizona Cardinals select RB Donald Brown.

Brown was a workhorse at Connecticut and that is about the only thing that worries me with him.  Way too many carries by the time he is 22.  He has crept up draft boards ever since his explosion in bowl game as well.

32. Pittsburgh Steelers select C Alex Mack.

WAIT!!! They select an offensive lineman? Of course they do, Big Ben is getting killed out there and his career won't continue with the beating he takes.  Ebon Britton is another option, but I tend to think inside depth is more of a goal.

SLEEPERS!!!- (Not to get drafted with the first thirty-two, but in general.)

1. WR Jarret Dillard (predicted fifth round) of Rice: ESPN has him with second most SuperScore right behind Michael Crabtree

2. TE Chase Coffman (predicted fourth-fifth) of Missouri: Injury has caused his low position plus blocking, but some TEs can get on purely on receiving.

3. CB Victor Harris (predicted third-fourth) of Virginia Tech: They seem to flow out of VT every year and have productive NFL careers

4. RB Ian Johnson (predicted seventh) of Boise State: Fiesta Bowl 2006

5. Any Oklahoma lineman (from third-undrafted) of Oklahoma: Bradford literally could sat down, did a sit-up, got back up and have five more seconds left.  Seriously!!!

BUSTS!!!!- Mostly first rounders...

1. QB Matthew Stafford- any surprise here coming from me...

2. RB Chris Wells- just because I think he will be injury-prone...

3. LB Ray Maualuga- he is a USC linebacker and I feel if he was any other school, he would be lower...

4. LB James Laurinaitis- seems to lack physical tools to be in NFL and The Ohio State University (why do they say it like that?) career did get him in first round alone (I would love if u didn't comment on why you think I'm wrong with him, him, or him, because everyone has a favorite school and is heart broken when his player won't succeed.  Besides I will bash a little on my own favorite college football...)

5. DT Ziggy Hood- I'm sorry, but my mouth dropped to the floor when I heard he could be a first rounder.  Him, but NOT Chase Coffman.  He made minimal effect on our defense, especially passing game (although that is more DE). 

I may, and hope, I'm wrong, but its not good when you hear a certain player on your favorite team and surprised they come so early (especially when projected optimistically that Chase Daniels will be drafted fifth-sixth round based on college success and Chase Patton in seventh for his height, arm strength.

And Patton was a four-year backup.

I want comments, but not comments that bash my writing skills.  I want opinions on why Stafford will be selected first, or even why Hood won't be a bust.  I would love to be wrong on that. 

Also, especially comment on my "BUSTS", because that was purely opinion unlike my sleepers which I feel I have enough evidence (in my own brain) to support while my busts are purely guesses.


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