With the 2009 NFL draft just around the corner, I noticed that I had not yet made up a mock draft. Well, here it is, with trades, because let's be honest, there is no way that the first round goes without a trade, it just doesn't happen anymore. You read these experts like Todd McShay and Mel Kiper Jr. do their mock drafts with absolutely no trades, and don't get me wrong, they are great mock drafts, but you have to at least take a stab at what will happen due to trades. So that's what I will do here, this is my attempt. Here's round 1:
1. Detroit: Matthew Stafford, QB, Georgia
Stafford is in contract negotioations with the Lions already. The Lions will have an all-new, fresh stat this season with their new logo, uniforms, GM, head coach, and this will be the icing on the cake when they get their franchise QB to lead the way. Anyone else think Stafford looks like he has down syndrome?
2. St. Louis: Jason Smith, OT, Baylor
Steve Spagnuolo wants to center the offense around Steve Jackson, so they will need a big OT since they let Orlando Pace go. They are hoping this is their guy.
3. Kansas City: TRADE WITH DENVER-No. 12, No. 18, Denver: Mark Sanchez, QB, USC
Many sources report that Seattle will draft Sanchez at No. 4, so Denver, with their new franchise will look for their new franchise QB and jump the gun in a deal with their AFC West rivals.
Scott Pioli showed that he LOVES trading on draft day and he also likes to get LBs from free agency, so Curry is out of the question there. Look for the Chiefs to trade down. Hopefully not, seeing as though I'm a Chiefs fan and would LOVE Curry here, but you never know with Scott Pioli.
4. Seattle: Aaron Curry, ILB, Wake Forest
I don't think Seattle was ever going to draft Sanchez, I think it was all a smoke screen. Here's my reasoning: They have Matt Hasselbeck and Seneca Wallace, that will do for this year and next year, they will have MUCH better options at a franchise QB with Colt McCoy, Sam Bradford, and Tim Tebow. This year, they get Curry who fell to them and they are very happy about it.
5. Cleveland: Michael Crabtree, WR, Texas Tech
Goodbye Braylon Edwards, goodbye Donte' Stallworth, hello Michael Crabtree.
6. Cincinnati: Eugene Monroe, OT, Virginia
The Bengals have to make this pick if they want to protect Palmer, as they have a terrible O-line and Palmer is coming off of an injury.
7. Oakland: Brian Orakpo, DE/OLB, Texas
Al Davis goes bonkers when Orakpo drops to him. Then he gobbles him up and that's the end of his career. You had a good college career Orakpo, but you're done, but at least you will get paid millions for sucking, and it won't seem like your fault because the whole franchise sucks.
8. Jacksonville: TRADE WITH WASHINGTON-No. 13, Washington: Josh Freeman, QB, Kansas State
Why do the Redskins want a QB when they have Jason Campbell? Who knows, but they have been trying to trade Campbell and I can see them jumping the gun ahead of the 49ers to get Freeman, even if he isn't ranked this high. Freeman will be able to sit out a year and then take on the starting role next year after Campbell's contract year (2009) is up.
9. Green Bay: Michael Johnson, DE, Georgia Tech
The Packers need some help at DE and with Michael Johnson still available, they will be able to snag up a premier palyer who can help right away.
10. San Francisco: Michael Oher, OT, Ole Miss
The Niners need a lot of help, but it all starts down in the trenches, so they will get Oher who they reportedly "love".
11. Buffalo: Andre Smith, OT, Alabama
They got rid of Jason Peters, they signed TO, they have someone to throw it to him, and now they get someone to block so that Edwards can throw it. This is their last shot to get in the playoffs before the Jauron is fired.
12. Kansas City(from Denver-No. 3-No. 12, No. 18): Tyson Jackson, DE, LSU
The Chiefs have Tamba Hali on one end but need another DE for their new 3-4 defense. The Chiefs love Jackson, and will come in immediately with his former teammate Glen Dorsey to create the new D-line with Tamba Hali.
13. Jacksonville(from Washington-No. 8-No. 13): Malcom Jenkins, FS, Ohio State
The Jags would like to draft Mark Sanchez but he was gone at No. 3, so they trade down and pick up a much need safety.
14. New Orleans: Clay Matthews, OLB, USC
The Saints needs LBs outside of Jonathan Vilma and Matthews can help right away.
15. Houston: Aaron Maybin, DE, Penn State
The Texans strong point, if they have one, is their offense, but they need to build their defense. With Maybin still available here, there's a good chance they will chomp at the bit to get him. I was torn between Maybin and Raji, but a NT wouldn't make sense for them I think.
16. San Diego: B.J. Raji, NT, Boston College
With Maybin coming off the board to the Texans, the Chargers will draft a NT who will learn under Jamal Williams and one day be his successor.
17. New York Jets: Chris Wells, RB, Ohio State
This pick makes sense for the Jets. They aren’t able to get a QB unless they trade up and Thomas Jones is going to be 31. Leon Washington is not a No. 1 RB. Chris Wells will fit right in.
18. Kansas City(from Denver-No. 3-No. 12, No. 18): Eben Britton, OT, Arizona
The Chiefs have to get an OT early, especially with this extra pick they get from the Denver trade that I think will happen. Another choice here for them would be Rey Maualuga from USC, but I think OT is a bigger concern.
19. Tampa Bay: Everette Brown, DE/OLB, Florida State
The Bucs need to address the DE position and with their new head coach coming from Mike Tomlin’s staff, he will more than likely go with defense with Josh Freeman off the board, who would be their first choice and is a possibility if the Redskins don’t make a move for him.
20. Detroit: William Beatty, OT, Connecticut
Almost an obvious pick here, they got Stafford and now they get someone to block for him. They need a lot more help. I do NOT think they will have the kind of turn around that the Dolphins had. The Dolphins randomly got Ricky Williams back who greatly improved their team with the 2-back combo with Ronnie Brown. The Lions have nothing. At all. And they are in the Bermuda Triangle of football: (Detroit, Cleveland, and Cincinnati).
21. Philadelphia: Robert Ayers, DE, Tennessee
This just sounds like an Andy Reid pick, meaning defense and passing up on a position they need that is available, but it’s on offense, which is WR and more importantly, RB to take over for Westbrook. But I think they go with Ayers.
22. Minnesota: Darius Butler, CB, Connecticut
The Vikings will continue to improve their bad pass defense with this pick. Last year, they added Jared Allen to help with the pass rush and hope that the QB question will not be much of an issue this year, it probably will be the biggest however.
23. New England: Rey Maualuga, ILB, USC
The Patriots continue to get younger in their LB core with this pick in addition to last year’s 1st round pick Jerod Mayo. Maualuga and Mayo are learning from some great players.
24. Atlanta: Brandon Pettigrew, TE, Oklahoma State
The Falcons need a TE and luckily they can get one at the position they are in at picking 24th. Pettigrew will help Matt Ryan and the Falcon’s offense right away with his blocking skills as well as his ability to get open as a receiver. Look for Pettigrew to be Matt Ryan’s go-to-guy.
25. Miami: Vontae Davis, CB, Illinois
All Miami has at CB is Will Allen. They need help here quick.
26. Baltimore: Jeremy Maclin, WR, Missouri
Maclin is going to be Joe Flacco’s No. 1 guy for a long time with this draft pick. The current WRs for the Ravens are getting old and won’t be able to help Flacco much longer. This will be a great pick for the Ravens. Look for them in the playoffs again this year.
27. Indianapolis: Peria Jerry, DT, Ole Miss
The Colts need to keep beefing up their defensive if they want their success to last and they have a perfect opportunity here and will take it.
28. Buffalo: Connor Barwin, DE/OLB, Cincinnati
The Bills will also look to beef up their defense with this pick from the Eagles in the Jason Peters trade.
29. Cleveland(from New York Giants for Braylon Edwards): Sean Smith, CB/S, Utah
I am making a prediction that Edwards will go to the Giants in a draft day trade when Crabtree falls to the Browns at No. 5.
They will see no use for Edwards and begin to build for the future. With that being said, Cleveland desperately needs CBs and Mangini will want to go defense in the draft for the most part, because he likes building with the defense first.
30. Tennessee: Evander Hood, DT, Missouri
The Titans will be looking for a replacement to Big Al Haynesworth, that will be a tough task.
31. Arizona: Knowshon Moreno, RB, Georgia
Ideal situation for the Cardinals, they really need a RB and this arguably the best available. He will be able to learn behind the Edge and alternate with him and Hightower.
32. Pittsburgh: Alex Mack, C, California
The Steelers need to start to prepare for the future of the O-line if they want their success to continue. They lost Alan Faneca last year and Justin Hartwig surrendered more sacks than any other center in the NFL.