Projecting the NFL draft has been boiled down to a science by each and every self-proclaimed expert around. So here is my attempt at this seemingly Herculean task of projecting this year's first round picks.
1. Detroit Lions: QB Matthew Stafford, Georgia
It is either a matter of picking a quarterback of the future or a stable left tackle in Jason Smith. The Lions need to generate some sort of buzz after the worst season by a franchise in NFL history and opt for a potential franchise quarterback in Stafford.
2. St. Louis Rams: OT Jason Smith, Baylor
With the departure of Orlando Pace, the Rams have a hole on their left side. St. Louis will pin their hopes on Smith to provide the stability Pace gave to the organization for more than a decade.
3. Kansas City Chiefs: LB Aaron Curry, Wake Forest
Considered to be the top talent of this draft class by many scouts, Curry will provide the Chiefs with speed at the linebacker position with the flexibility to play on outside or inside.
4. Seattle Seahawks: OT Eugene Monroe, Virginia
Many are slotting Mark Sanchez into this spot to be the heir apparent to Matt Hasselbeck. However, in order to keep Hasselbeck on his own two feet for much longer, the Seahawks need to shore up the O-line.
5. Cleveland Browns: DE Brian Orakpo, Texas
This is a difficult selection with the uncertainty of whether WR Braylon Edwards will still be on the roster when it is Cleveland's time to pick. The Browns need help defensively in a big way. Crabtree is the other option in this position, but that scenario relies on the Edwards situation.
6. Cincinnati Bengals: OT Andre Smith, Alabama
Smith's stock has been up and down due to his bizarre behavior at the scouting combine. Cincinnati needs to protect Carson Palmer and Smith would provide solid pass protection.
7. Oakland Raiders- WR Michael Crabtree, Texas Tech
Quarterback JaMarcus Russell needs solid targets to make it to the next level as an NFL quarterback. This tandem could be what Russell needs to live up to be the No. 1 overall pick in 2007.
8. Jacksonville Jaguars: WR Jeremy Maclin, Missouri
The same goes for David Garrard in Jacksonville. Garrard lacks wideouts to make him an elite quarterback in this league. With the release of Matt Jones, Jacksonville is lacking a quality wide receiver, something they have lacked since the days of Jimmy Smith and Keenan McCardell. Maclin is explosive and could help in the return game as well.
9. Green Bay Packers: DE Aaron Maybin, Penn State
The knocks against Maybin are his youth and lack of size. Maybin has a high motor and could potentially move to linebacker.
His lone season at Penn State was a very productive one and should only prove that he has a big upside when he gets more playing time under his belt.
Green Bay should take a gamble on a player who could prove to be a steal if he slips further down the board.
10. San Francisco 49ers: QB Mark Sanchez, USC
This one is a no-brainer. Alex Smith has not panned out and the other option on the San Francisco roster is Shaun Hill.
Sanchez would be the smart pick unless the Redskins trade up to snag Sanchez away. The California kid, Sanchez, would be the popular pick. DT BJ Raji would be another possibility if Sanchez is not available.