Contrary to my previous, shotgun production of Mock Drafts, this time I waited a week before coming back to the board to assess where players had been released, who had signed where, and what players were climbing/falling on the draft boards.
A few names have fallen completely out of my first round, most noticeably Knowshon Moreno. But based on the team needs and the talent available, I think there could be just as much jockeying to get into the top third of the second round as there is to get into the top half of round one.
So, without any more buildup, here it is: Tab's Mock Draft 7.0.
1. Detroit Lions: Aaron Curry, LB
I still think they’ll take Curry as much because their new management doesn’t have the intestinal fortitude to put their names and jobs on the line for a quarterback, but also because Curry’s the best player in this draft.
2. St. Louis Rams: Jason Smith, OT
They are in danger of losing Torry Holt because he’s asked out; they need to keep Marc Bulger off his back if anyone’s going to get the ball. Smith’s become the best tackle in this deep class.
3. Kansas City Chiefs: Brian Orakpo, DE
Stafford was a popular idea here until they traded for Matt Cassel. Their defense has regretted the trade of Jared Allen for too long; they’ll take a physical freak in Orakpo.
4. Seattle Seahawks: Matthew Stafford, QB
Some people like Crabtree here, but in the wake of the deal they game Houshmandzadeh, they’ll look to their future, and groom a replacement for Matt Hasselbeck.
5. Cleveland Browns: Everette Brown, DE
They need a lot...but I think they’ll look to take a big body to play next to Shaun Rogers.
6. Cincinnati Bengals: Michael Crabtree, WR
They signed Laveranues Coles, but Crabtree’s the best talent on the board here. This might lead to Chad Johnson being traded and the Bengals finally taking steps to clean up their roster.
7. Oakland Raiders: Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR
Here’s your enormous shocker in the draft. He’s got a big, physical body and blew away the 40 at the combine. Sound like someone Al Davis would like?
8. Jacksonville Jaguars: Rey Maualuga, LB
My initial thinking here was an OT, maybe Eugene Monroe; but then the Jags went out and signed Tra Thomas away from Philadelphia on Monday. Maualuga would step in to replace Mike Peterson inside, and he might get along better with Jack Del Rio.
9. Green Bay Packers: Brian Cushing, LB
They’re going to try to make a smooth transition to a 3-4 defense this year, so adding a stud OLB makes all the sense in the world. They’d be crazy to pass on Cushing here.
10. San Francisco 49ers: BJ Raji, DT
They have some good, young linebackers to run their 3-4, but coach Mike Singletary will still look to bulk up his defensive line. Raji at 10 would be a steal.
11. Buffalo Bills: Malcolm Jenkins, S/CB
Even with Jeremy Maclin on the board as a potential insurance policy for the eventual implosion of T.O., the Bills will try to fortify their secondary.
12. Denver Broncos: Aaron Maybin, DE/OLB
They need help on defense. Maybin was, at one time, a top-ten projected pick in this draft. They’ve brought in three running backs and two safeties, so I’ll say they take a DE here.
13. Washington Redskins: Eugene Monroe, OT
In case you hadn’t heard, they’ve spent some money to fix up their defense this winter. Chris Samuels isn’t a youngster any more, so Monroe might be a step towards the future at tackle.
14. New Orleans Saints: Beanie Wells, RB
They’d probably like to fix up their secondary, but their running game has serious issues if they don’t have a primary back, and Reggie Bush continues to be a fragile red carpet accessory for Kim Kardashian. Wells would replace Deuce McAllister.
15. Houston Texans: Michael Oher, OT
They annually give up as many sacks as any team in the NFL. Oher is a good, safe value pick in the middle of the round, and fills a need.
16. San Diego Chargers: Tyson Jackson, DE
He’ll replace Igor Olshansky almost perfectly. The future of LaDanian Tomlinson will play a major role in determining not only this pick, but likely much of the order of the first round of this draft.
17. New York Jets: Jeremy Maclin, WR
They’re spending their money and attention on free agents to bolster their defense. Maclin would replace Laveranues Coles and fill a huge need for the Jets in the wake of the Brett Favre...era?
18. Chicago Bears: Michael Johnson, DE
They need a safety...they need a receiver...they need a linebacker...so I think they’ll take a pass rush-specialist at DE. This might allow them to move Adewale Ogunleye.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: James Laurinaitis, LB
They need to replace Cato June and Derrick Brooks. They’re praying a linebacker’s around when they pick. It’ll be either Laurinaitis or Clay Matthews here.
20. Detroit Lions: Andre Smith, OT
The artist formerly known as a No. 1 overall prospect sliding to the Lions at 20? This might actually be the best-case scenario for Detroit.
21. Philadelphia Eagles: Alphonso Smith, CB
They might want to take a replacement for Brian Dawkins here, but they’re take a good corner to replace Lito Sheppard instead.
22. Minnesota Vikings: Mark Sanchez, QB
Sage Rosenfels? Seriously?
23. New England Patriots: Brandon Pettitgrew, TE
Yes, they brought in Chris Baker this offseason, but they’ve also brought in a couple corners, and a veteran running back. Pettitgrew gives them some depth at a position they haven’t had in a couple years.
24. Atlanta Falcons: Clay Matthews, LB
Keith Brooking won’t be playing linebacker for the first time in a decade in Atlanta. So, if Matthews falls into their lap, they’ll take a talented replacement.
25. Miami Dolphins: Hakeem Nicks, WR
Local name Percy Harvin will be tempting, but he’s similar in size and skill set to Ted Ginn Jr. Nicks is a bigger body.
26. Baltimore Ravens: Larry English, DE/OLB
Out goes Bart Scott, in comes Larry English.
27. Indianapolis Colts: Alex Mack, C
Jeff Saturday almost walked out the door this winter, but got a new deal. They’ve always stockpiled around veterans, and so Mack would make sense. I can also very easily see them trading down to take a running back or wide receiver at the beginning of the second round.
28. Philadelphia Eagles: Eben Britton, OT
I already mentioned that Tra Thomas signed with Jacksonville. Britton is a nice value pick to replace either Thomas or Jon Runyan.
29. New York Giants: Robert Ayers, DE
He’s rocketing up the draft rankings, and would bring another big body to the defensive line of the Giants. The G-Men have a lot of picks in this draft, so they might be players to jump up the draft.
30. Tennessee Titans: Peria Jerry, DT
Replace Albert Haynesworth? Maybe not in production, but Jerry would fill the roster spot and depth chart.
31. Arizona Cardinals: Percy Harvin, WR
I’m going to roll the dice here and say the Cardinals will trade Anquan Boldin before the draft to acquire additional picks, potentially higher in this round, to add depth at running back. But, because there aren’t many marquee backs in this draft, replacing Boldin with a waterbug in Harvin helps keep Kurt Warner’s elbow sore every Monday.
32. Pittsburgh Steelers: Max Unger, C
He’s currently rating out just about break even with Alex Mack as the top center in this draft, and he would bring some depth to an offensive line that just won some jewelry. Not a bad place to land.