NFL Mock Draft: April 13, 2009
We all have read almost 21531 mock drafts on Bleacher Report (ok maybe not that many). Here is my final mock draft before the actual draft which takes place in less than 12 days.
1) Jason Smith, OT, Detroit Lions.
Analysis: Why? It's easy, Lions need the SAFEST pick for their crumbling fan base and franchise. They cannot afford to take a QB at No. 1 and let him be an epic failure.
The Lions will select Jason Smith, who is a converted TE, has the best feet in the draft and is a franchise Left Tackle. Book him and Gosder Cherlius at the tackles and let Kevin Smith run his way to 1000 yards for the next couple years if healthy.
2) Eugene Monroe, OT, St Louis Rams.
Analysis: There was no secret that the Rams were coveting Jake Long in last year's draft. They let go Orlando Pace and have Alex Barron heading into a free agency year. They need stability up front for Steven Jackson and Marc Bulger to have a chance in '09.
3) Aaron Curry, ILB, Kansas City Chiefs.
Analysis: Curry is the best PLAYER in this year's draft. Better than Crabtree, Stafford, Smith, Monroe and etc. He is the perfect defensive force that new GM Scott Pioli wants in KC. Curry and Johnson along with Dorsey would give KC some much needed punch on defense.
4) Mark Sanchez, QB, Seattle Seahawks.
Analysis: A lot talk has been that the 'Hawks will take WR Michael Crabtree. However, with the signing of WR TJ Houshmandzadeh this offseason, I think Seattle can't afford to give two starting WR's mammoth salaries. Hasselbeck is in his last year with Seattle and Jim Mora wants a QB who has leadership skills and knows how to win big games.
5) Brian Orakpo, DE/LB, Cleveland Browns.
Analysis: Orakpo is the second best defensive pass rusher on the board. He is very strong and quick to the ball. Orakpo would give Wimbley much needed relief on the outside and helps him go single coverage vs the opposing team's tackles.
6) Andre Smith, OT, Cincinnati Bengals.
Analysis: Smith's stock has been falling worse than the Dow Jones in recent months. He has questionable work ethic, and discipline. However on a team like the Bengals he would be the perfect fit. Palmer is coming off a torn rotator cuff and needs time to throw to his only target now in Chad Johnson.
Smith is the most gifted OT in the draft and with the right people around him he could be the steal of this year's draft in another two or three years.
7) B.J. Raji, DT, Oakland Raiders.
Analysis: A lot of people have Al Davis taking Crabtree here. No I do not because in the past 20 years Davis has taken only ONE WR in the first round. His name? Tim Brown. The Raiders run defense is just atrocious and needs help on the defensive front. Raji is the best inside lineman in this year's draft and can cause havoc in Oakland.
8) Everette Brown, LB/DE, Green Bay Packers.
Analysis: Packers implemented a new 3-4 defense this past off season. They have two choices, Aaron Maybin who is 20 and doesn't have the NFL body just yet or Brown who can dominate his opponents with a quick step and has a great motor.
Brown has the intangibles to be a star in this league, and GB needs a player to produce now rather than three or four years down the line.
9) Michael Crabtree, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars.
Analysis: Wow the Jaguars must be laughing at the way the draft has turned out. They have two choices, take the franchise QB in Matt Stafford or the potential future all pro WR in Michael Crabtree. Del Rio takes the WR for his offense.
They have the OL, QB who they just signed to a huge extension and the RB in Maurice Jones-Drew. Crabtree at the ninth spot is like Fitzgerald at the three spot back in 2004.
10) Aaron Maybin, DE, San Francisco 49ers.
Analysis: I am a diehard 49er fan, I know we need the franchise QB. However we also need a pass rush. I can't see Issac Sponaga line up at LE anymore. Maybin is 20 years old, ran a 4.59 and had a 10x10 broad jump. With this selection Mike Singletary gets the game changing pass rusher that this team desperately needed.
11) Robert Ayers, DE, Buffalo Bills.
Analysis: Bills need a pass rush so desperately. Since Bruce Smith left for Washington after the 1999 season (I believe?). They haven't had a dominant pass rusher who can get at QB's throughout the course of the season. Ayers is the best run stopping/pass rushing DE in the draft. Clearly a no brainer for the Bills.
12) Michael Johnson, DE, Denver Broncos.
Analysis: I have heard from a couple sites that Denver plans on trading up to the #2 pick and get Aaron Curry and screw the Chiefs out of their star player. Only fitting right after what the saga of Matt Cassel happened?
However, Denver has the luxury of two first round picks and they take Michael Johnson who had a poor 2008 season. Johnson also has incredible size, speed and agility. The new 3-4 Broncos finally get a pass rusher since Trevor Pryce was foolishly let go back a couple years ago.
13) Michael Oher, OT, Washington Redskins.
Analysis: Chris Samuels is 30, Jon Jansen is injury prone and old now. They need new blood on the line, and Oher who is physically gifted can excel in the run first scheme of the 'Skins.
With spending already 150M on Haynesworth and D'Angelo Hall, 'Skins take a OT who can stabilize the position for the next 10-15 years, hopefully just as good as Jansen did in his prime.
14) Vontae Davis, CB, New Orleans Saints.
Analysis: Well Tracy Morgan was a failure, he got injured midway of the 2008 season and was placed on the IR. Meanwhile they let go CB Mike McKenzie.
With options of S/CB Malcolm Jenkins and Davis here, Payton goes to the speedy Davis who has the luxury of containing WR Steve Smith, Roddy White and Antoino Bryant in his division. The turf will make him much more dangerous and quick once he gets the ball in his hands.
15) Brian Cushing, OLB, Houston Texans.
Analysis: Houston is a sexy pick for the playoffs next year. They have Mario Williams, DeMeco Ryans and Amoki Okoye and they also signed Antonio Smith a key member of the surprising Arizona team that almost shocked the world.
With Cushing on the perimeter the Texans have the two best perimeter LB's in the NFL. Also another pass rusher who can harass Peyton Manning.
16) Malcolm Jenkins, S/CB, San Diego Chargers.
Analysis: To LT? or not to LT? was the question this past offseason. Chargers reworked LT's contract and tagged epic folklore hero Darren Sprioles last month. So they can wait on the running back situation next year.
However they lack a physical safety since letting go of Rodney Harrison. Jenkins has the tools to be an excellent safety under the SD's pressure attack defense. With Merriman and Castillo and company coming after the QB, you have to contend with Jenkins trying to knock the WR's socks off over the middle.
17) Chris "Beanie" Wells, RB, New York Jets.
Analysis: Rex Ryan loves big backs who can pound away at the opposing teams defenses. Beanie is injury prone yes, but he also has the best size speed and quickness in the RB crop this year.
Thomas Jones is 30 and I don't see him doing well this year, and they can use Beanie in selective situations to keep him fresh and most of all healthy.
18) Rey Maualuga LB, Denver Broncos.
Analysis: With the trade of Jay Cutler to the Bears two weeks ago, Denver has its second first round pick to help the defense. Rey is a play maker and a physical hitter that McDaniels loves in this system. With DJ Williams and Maualuga on the front seven, teams have to respect the run defense (I know it's a oxymoron).
19) Josh Freeman, QB, Tampa Bay Bucs.
Analysis: The new Morris regime in Tampa needs a QB to start with. Freeman has the best tools and size to be a MONSTER star in this league. He is a prospect but if he is given time and care he can develop into a franchise QB that Tampa hasn't had in nearly forever.
20) Matt Stafford, QB, Detroit Lions.
Analysis: The law of averages have to even out eventually when you go 0-16 and have won only ONE playoff game in the past 51 years. This draft will go PERFECTLY for the Lions. Stafford has immaturity issues and mental lapses during games but he has the best talent overall to come out this year in the QB spot. City of Detroit must be rocking after this selection.
21) William Beatty, OT, Philadelphia Eagles.
Analysis: Andy Reid loves his big OL, and Beatty is no exception. With Tra Thomas leaving to Jacksonville and William Thomas is just about done. Eagles need new blood on the OL to help McNabb stay healthy in his twilight years. Beatty had a great combine and his stock is improving, so now is the time to get him.
22) Eben Britton, OT, Minnesota Vikings.
Analysis: Viking fans will cry foul after losing out on Jay Cutler to their arch rivals the Bears and now losing Matt Stafford to the Lions. Vikes lost Matt Birk to Baltimore this past off season and they need the right side of the line to be more productive than ever.
Britton is huge and has amazing strength, something that the Vikes love and another blocker for Adrian Peterson, lord have mercy on the NFC North defenses.
23) Connor Barwin, LB, New England Patriots.
Analysis: Barwin played TE in college, also he is a great motor guy who can rush the passer or drop down into coverage (sound familiar of a certain Ex Pats LB?). Pats have an amazing first four picks in the first two rounds. They can choose need here right away.
24) Brandon Pettigrew, TE, Atlanta Falcons.
Analysis: QB Matt Ryan was a phenomenal story last year, same with RB Michael Turner and the entire offense. Imagine how to contain that offense if they select Pettigrew who is an excellent run blocker and pass receiver. Matt Ryan must be licking his chops after this pick.
25) D.J. Moore, CB, Miami Dolphins.
Analysis: Moore is the best cover corner in the draft, and Miami's secondary is terrible. Jason Allen is an incredible bust and the DB's they have starting are pure garbage. Moore is a ball hawk and a great return man. He would help Miami's improving defense into the realm of respectability.
26) Jeremy Maclin, WR, Baltimore Ravens.
Analysis: Flacco needs a big time WR to make him go to the next level as a star in this league. WR Derrick Mason is unhappy with his contract situation in Baltimore and is entering free agency this year.
Maclin is a great athlete and can cause match up problems for any AFC North team. He is a big time player and Ravens don't look back on this selection.
27) Peria Jerry, DT, Indianapolis Colts.
Analysis: Indy's run defense has been their Achilles heel since forever. Jerry is a monster in the middle and would already be their best interior lineman if selected. He had a good combine and Colts would be laughing all the way to the bank with this selection.
28) Kenny Britt, WR, Philadelphia Eagles.
Analysis: McNabb wanted a WR added this offseason. He didn't get the WR he wanted but Britt is pretty good. He has great size and leaping ability and would solve their Red zone problems in the near future.
29) Clay Matthews, LB, New York Giants.
Analysis: Giants need LB's and Matthews is a tough nosed competitor who brings intangibles and work ethic. He can learn from Antonio Pierce and the Giants defense would be amazing with yet another elite young player creating havoc.
30) Victor Harris, CB, Tennessee Titans.
Analysis: Titans need CB's and with Nick Harper turning 34 and into free agency they likely get one. Harris can blitz and cover, something that Jeff Fisher loves in his CB's. His time isn't an issue either, he ran a 4.46 at the combine.
31) Knowshon Moreno, RB, Arizona Cardinals.
Analysis: James is finished and Hightower is nothing more than a good third-down RB. Moreno has the complete package as a running back. With him being in the backfield and Fitz and Boldin on the outside it would give opposing defenses the heeby jeebies.
32) Alex Mack C, Pittsburgh Steelers.
Analysis: Steelers need OL for Roethlisberger, its well documented. Mack is one of the best C prospects to come out in a LONGGGGGGG time. He can carry the tradition of the Steelers elite C's and pickup where Webster, Dawson, and Hartings left off at.
Notes: I can see Eagles trading up for Crabtree if he falls out of top 10. Denver can make a run at Aaron Curry at No. 2, and also the 49ers making a run at Matt Stafford if he falls out of top 15. Cleveland also can trade players for some picks (Edwards and Rogers and possibly Quinn.
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