It has been an exciting off season thus far. After watching a lackluster combine that showed no 40's in the 4.3 range, I got to see Albert Haynesworth smile ear to ear knowing he can dump his Mercedes for a Bentley.
Then a trade gave KC a quarterback to build around and left the Bucs and Lions in the dark. Throw in a missing boat and away we go.
Detroit Lions- QB Matthew Stafford
-The stench of Matt Millen finally leaves as Detroit gets a signal caller to build around. He played in a pro style offense that usually gives quarterbacks an advantage at the NFL level (see Matt Ryan).They have to make sure they sign a offensive tackle to protect him.
The chances of the Lions trading down died when the Chiefs grabbed Cassell. The Seahawks could make a play for the ex Georgia Bulldog, but I think since Jim Mora has been there a couple years he has developed a relationship with baldy.
He better hope he plays better this season than he did in those annoying Expedia commercials.
St. Louie Rams- WR Michael Crabtree
-I'm sure all of St. Louis was jealous when Kurt Warner was throwing bombs all throughout the playoffs and almost to a Super Bowl win. They are going to try to get back to the days of "The greatest show on turf" with this pick.
His ankle injury shouldn't be that much a problem with his game tape staring them in the face. McGahee bent his leg backwards and still went in the first round with a promising career. Johnathon Stewart came back he takes the pounding of a running back.
The Rams are looking to trade/release Torry Holt before the upcoming draft probably because the whole world knows the Lions aren't going to take Crabtree. St. Louis needs help everywhere, but they take the Matt Millen approach this year. (good luck)
If the Rams are feeling conservative, it'll be Jason Smith.
Kansas City Chiefs- DE/OLB Brian Orakpo
-A lot of people like Arron Curry here, but i don't see them passing on a pass rusher like Orakpo. He has a different kind of speed off the edge. He drops his hips and get under lineman. His legs are tree trunks.
Think of it this way...you're an offensive tackle working so hard to kick that leg to cut off his speed so your pretty much going backwards, not forwards, and he dips those tree trunks and can blast you back with a squat of 600lbs.
Not a fun day of work. Combine that speed, with his "hip dip" and his strength, and he's the best pass rusher to come out since Mario Williams.
Seattle Seahawks- OT Jason Smith
-The signing of Houshmazilli lets them not worry about Crabtree. They still have Burleson who had a good start last year until he got injured (I'd know i had him). They shore up their aging o-line with the ex tight end. If a trade happens, it will happen here, with teams trying to get Curry before the Browns take him.
Cleveland Browns- LB Arron Curry
The Browns get their guy in Curry. I think hes the best prospect in the draft and worthy of going to the Lions, but Schwartz is going to want a new quarterback to build around. Curry is the best Linebacker prospect since Lavarr Arrington and the Browns are getting a future pro bowler if he stays healthy.
Cincinnati Bungals- OT Andre Smith
Cincy is not a team which you would say has "Moral Values". They are like the guy who brags about the 300 lb hookup the night before. They've had everywhere from crooks to murderers, so why not throw in some couch potatoes.
The Bengals need a tackle and Andre Smith has all the talent in the world, but will flop unless he gets off easy street. I guess they wanted to keep going with the trend they could always trade this pick for Plaxico...
Oakland Raiders- OT Eugene Monroe
I know that Al Davis controls this empire, but with the recent ineffectiveness of "Al Davis way or the highway" has to be getting to the old fart. Tom Cable will throw his two cents in for a offensive tackle, and I think the recent losing in the Oakland area makes Davis actually listen to someone else for a change.
The Raiders have tied to much money in defensive tackles to draft Raji, and they need to protect Russell and McFadden.
Jacksonville Jaguars- CB Malcolm Jenkins
Jenkins didn't run the best 40 in the world, but his game tape shows he can play. Del Rio likes big, tall players in the passing game (Just like where he shops). Look at the giants that he drafted...Matt Jones, Reggie Williams, and Ernest Willford.
Michael Oher wouldn't have gotten past them if he didn't go to the Senior Bowl. He hurt his stock more than Enron.
Green Bay Packers- DT B.J. Raji
Green Bay gets the player that has probably risen the most since the end of the collegiate season. Raji tore up the Senior bowl against some pretty good prospects. He will shore up a run defense that will be improved from last years duck.
Candidate for Rookie of the year after the Pack bounce back next year. They are a good sleeper team for '09.
San Fran 49ers- QB Mark Sanchez
Sanchez didn't exactly light up the combine, but he sure did to Penn State. He looks just as good as Stafford on game film. Hes from Mission Viejo California, which means he doesn't exactly need the money and tells me he's ready to take that next step.
He seems like he has a much better head on his shoulders than Matt Leinfart when he came out. He has underrated legs and pocket awareness which is huge in the NFL.
Buffalo Bills- DE/OLB Everette Brown
The Bills get another pass rusher to play with Schobel. The giants showed that if you can get to the quarterback you have a chance to win any game. He doesn't have the same ceiling as Orakpo, but it is still pretty high.
His game film showed he can play with the big boys. Just check out his stats, He had three times more sacks than any player on the Bills roster.
Denver Broncos- LB Rey Maualuga
Denver has no one to play inside backer for their new 3-4 scheme and the Hawaiian Thunder fills that need perfect. Hes underrated blitzing the quarterback and will pair with Dj Williams inside nicely. Brian Cushing is another option if they feel they need more of a pass rusher.
Washington Redskins- OT Michael Oher
Dan Snyder loves taking the public opinion of a great player. Yes, it is cool that Oher had a book about his life. No, It is not cool that people think he is still a top-10 pick after that showing at the Senior Bowl.
New Orleans Saints- CB Vontae Davis
The Saints need a corner. Bad. They did good be resigning Vilma and they have a good defensive line coming back next year. They need to find that last piece of the puzzle and Davis is all that's left for elite prospects in the defensive backfield.
Look for them to go safety with their second rounder, I've heard they like Sean Smith from Utah who they might have to trade up for.
Houston Texans- LB Brian Cushing
The Texans are happy to land cushing at this spot. Putting him in this defense will make things very interesting for them next year. Their defense is one of the fastest in the NFL. My only question..."is that boy friends with A-Rods cousin?"
San Diego Chargers- CB/S Sean Smith
Bit of a reach but San Diego needs a safety. They in a tough position after all the top Offensive tackle prospects are gone. They will probably be shopping this pick if there's none left come draft day.
New York Jets- WR Jeremy Maclin
Maclin fills a need that Coles left, then filled, then left again. Hes a burner that can stretch defenses. Hes not the best at getting off press coverage, but combine him with Leon Washington and that's two players who can take it to the house any play of the game.
Look for them to trade up for Mark Sanchez if not Maclin.
Chicago Bears- DE/OLB Larry English
The only real need the bears have is at safety, a pass rusher and a quarterback. The only need they think they need is a safety and a pass rusher. Kyle Orton apparently will start for them next year.
He did show some flashes of mediocrity and if any year is the year for him to break out its this one. He did seem a lot more comfortable in the games that he wasn't injured. But the catch is he got injured by the Lions...which proves my point.
Tampa Bay Bucs- DT Peria Jerry
Jovan Haye hasn't panned out for them and Jerry is the next best tackle after Raji. He can stuff the run and is still a nice pass rusher. Not the next Warren Sapp, but think the ceiling of Kevin Williams. Note that after Jerry there is a huge drop off at Defensive Tackle.
Detroit Lions (from Dallas)- MLB James Laurinaitis
The Lions need a run stuffer that can lead a uninspired defense. King Laurinaitis is exactly that. He needs a lot of help in the passing game, hes still a elite prospect. He has the "it" that some players lack. Not to mention he will work his tail off for you, otherwise his dad will suplex him with spiked shoulder pads on.
Philadelphia Eagles- RB Chris Wells
The eagles lost Correll Buckhalter to free agency and Westbrook is getting up there in age. They haven't had a running back that could pound the rock since Deuce Staley. If they don't sign a running back in free agency, look for them to take the former buckeye.
Minnesota Vikings- WR Percy Harvin
The Vikings can't pass up a talent like Harvin playing in a dome like they do. He has the game speed that NFL scouts drool over and will pair with AP and Berrian very nicely. All they need is a Quarterback worth handing the ball off to Peterson.
New England Patriots- DE Tyson Jackson
The Patriots are getting old on defense and need to give Jerod Mayo someone to hang out with when the rest of the grandpas hang out with their wives. Jackson falls to them only because of the lack of 3-4 teams where he is predicted to land around.
Atlanta Falcons- TE Jerod Cook
Its obvious the Falcons need is Defense more than offense but there simply isn't anyone left worth taking that fits their system. The biggest surprise thus far after Cook had a extremely impressive combine.
He clocked a better 40-yard dash than Petitgrew by .35 seconds and has a bigger vertical by 8". He benched 225 one time more and he's almost twenty lbs lighter. Think Calvin Johnson at tight end that can block. A great spot to trade down.
Miami Dolphins- CB D.J. Moore
The Fins need corner help like Dan Marino needs Xanex (look at his temper tantrum on YouTube). Moore is the best available corner after they lost Andre Goodman to the Broncos.
Baltimore Ravens- WR Darrius Heyward-Bey
Call me crazy but the Ravens aren't exactly stacked at the skill positions. This could be a place to find a young linebacker but the only ones left that are worth taking (Maybin and Matthews), are better fits as pass rushers. Bey ran the fastest 40 at the combine, not to mention he has two last names, which is always cool.
Indianapolis Colts- OG Duke Robinson
The first offensive guard comes off the board since the colts dreams aren't answered with a dropping defensive tackle. Ron Brace doesn't fit their system and he has more of a ceiling to bring him to round two.
Philadelphia Eagles (from Carolina)- OT William Beatty
The Eagles have the two oldest offensive tackles in the NFL in John Runyan and William Thomas. Beatty provides youth to the position and is of great value here. William Moore is also a option if they want to reach.
New York Giants- WR Hakeem Nicks
Wide Receiver has become a position of need after the Giants traded away Burress (see Cincinnati selection). Hakeem Nicks has the build at 6'1" and 212 lbs to help out a team that needs more playmakers at the skill positions. And of course, his last name is Nicks. ....(They Giants play in New York, duh).
Tennessee Titans- DE/OLB Aaron Maybin
After all the previous first round track stars drafted, the titans finally go defense in Maybin. They need to find a eventual replacement for Jevon Kearse. Maybin plays with a Titan attitude and could at least learn from the nine-year veteran for the next couple years.
Arizona Cardinals- RB Knowshon Moreno
Maybe the biggest steal of the draft, The Cardinals get a gift here with the former Georgia Bulldog. He runs with a certain nastiness that all teams love. He can run between the tackles and the Cardinals got a first hand look of how much that helps in the NFC championship game.
Edge is also getting up in age and Tim Hightower isn't an every-down back.
Pittsburgh Steelers- C/G Max Unger
Unger looks like he wrote the book on how to look like a offensive linemen. The Steelers could use help at pretty much any position on the interior line. He looks like he was born to be a Steeler playing in those cold games late in January.
Look for my second round coming on Friday.