NFL Mock Draft, Round One

sportsloungecentral.comContributor IMarch 19, 2009

1. Detroit—Matthew Stafford

The safest pick would be Aaron Curry OLB from Wake Forest but I feel they can easily get a defensive player who will make an impact at pick No. 20 (Roy Williams Trade). They need to either build the offensive line or go QB here.

I’ve flipped on this many times. I feel that they will try and pull what the Falcons did last year. They selected Matt Ryan and then they traded up and selected Sam Baker to protect him. In this case it will be Eben Britton or William Beatty. They could also go Monroe or Jason Smith with Josh Freeman as the 20th overall pick.

2. St. Louis—Eugene Monroe OT Virginia

They are praying that the Lions select Aaron Curry or Matthew Stafford since they really need an offensive tackle. Monroe is now the second best tackle in the draft because of the recent moves Andre Smith has made to make scouts put red flags all over him. They need to protect Marc Bulger who was a Top 10 QB when he has an offensive line. Rams also need a run-blocker for All-Pro back Steve Jackson, now that Orlando Pace is gone.

3. Kansas City—Aaron Curry

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With the recent trade for New England Patriot’s Matt Cassel they are bound to select an offensive lineman or a defensive player with this pick. In my previous mock draft, I had the Chiefs selecting Matthew Stafford but with Matt Cassel as the new franchise QB they will gladly select Aaron Curry.

Aaron Curry is the best LB prospect in the last three years. He has such good vision and amazing sideline to sideline lateral quickness. He also was one of the fastest LB’s at the NFL Combine and he can rush the passer like no other playing in this draft.

4. Seattle—Jason Smith OT Baylor

It’s really a toss up between Jason Smith and Eugene Monroe. I personally feel that Monroe has some of the best footwork as a LT in this year’s draft. I think that the Rams will realize this and select Monroe over Jason Smith. I’ve also flipped around on this too. Both are so much alike, that it’s hard to tell them apart. I think that the fact that Monroe is never on the ground helps his case as the No. 1 offensive tackle.

5. Cleveland—Brian Orakpo DE/OLB Texas

Cleveland would love to have Aaron Curry at this pick to play OLB but they will settle for the best defensive end in the draft and someone who can play a little OLB. They will not select B.J Raji because they already have Shaun Rodgers and Corey Williams who both can play NT. They have bigger need at OLB and DE.

Orakpo can come in the game and instantly play, He will start from day one and he can take the beating of the NFL. He already has shown the power he can bring along with the speed he brings to the game.

As Jets coach, Eric Mangini selected Veron Golston, and I feel he could select Brain Orakpo who is also a freak in the gym.

6. Cincinnati—B.J Raji DT BC

The best defensive player on the D-Line this year will be selected with the No. 6 pick in the NFL Draft. He can play DT in the 3-4 or 4-3 and he will excel at both. The Bengals haven’t had much of a pass rush in years past and he could fill a gabbing hole at DT. They could also select Andre Smith or Oher and could use an offensive lineman to keep Carson Palmer off his back but they also need a defensive player to lead that team.

Keith Rivers and B.J Raji would be a great combo on a young defense.

7. Oakland—Michael Crabtree WR Texas Tech

With Kahlif Barnes as a free-agent pickup, don’t let this pick shock you. Al Davis will gladly select Michael Crabtree to catch passes from Jamarcus Russell. With Barnes, they can not hesitate to select a wide receiver. This would be the most logical move and the best move for the Raiders. They can always select a left tackle next season to protect Russell when Barnes’s contract is up.

8. Jacksonville—Jeremy Maclin WR Missouri

If Oakland passes on Maclin, the Jags will gladly select him at No. 8. He would bring a huge upgrade over anyone in that WR core, but he also has a little bit of bust written all over him. He will also be an amazing on kick returns and punt returns and hope to become a dangerous player on that offense. With Matt Jones being cut, he will be the pick or Michael Crabtree.

9. Green Bay—Everette Brown DE/OLB FSU

I don’t know how you can’t love this kid. He’s a complete beast and if the Packers take him over Orakpo. I wouldn’t be surprised if Orakpo was still on the draft board to be selected. He’s one of the best 3-4 DE/OLB in this years draft a top three 3-4 player this year. Green Bay has recently said they will be switching over to the 3-4 and they already have a 24-year-old DT in Ryan Pickett, who will be perfectly fine as a NT and allow Brown to run all over at OLB or DE.

10. San Francisco—Mark Sanchez QB USC

Mark Sanchez would make Alex Smith look forgotten. He really won’t have the same problem and likely wouldn’t start his first year which would be perfect for him since he has only seen limited starts in College. Shaun Hill would be the starter next year and then Mark the year after that, He would sit on the bench and soak up everything he can. This would be a perfect fit for both sides.

11. Buffalo—Aaron Maybin OLB/DE Penn State

They will gladly select one of the best 3-4 DE/OLB in this year’s draft. He will make a huge impact on that defense and Aaron Schobal on the other side is a nasty duo. He can stand up and play OLB and he can also get down and play DE. He’s exactly what the Bills need and he brings that pass rush that they have been lacking.

12. Denver—Rey Maualuga ILB USC

This would be a great pickup for any team. He would help D.J Williams and instantly become a defensive leader. They need to pick a 3-4 player here and he’s one of the best 3-4 pure ILB’s in this year’s draft. He has a little bit of everything and he’s a very strong and fast player. They hope that B.J Raji falls all the way here but it’s very unlikely. They will settle for the next best thing with Rey Maualuga.

13. Washington—Michael Oher OT Ole Miss

They are thanking god that Michael Oher has dropped this far in the NFL Draft. They would love to select him here. If Andre Smith or Oher are here, they will be packing to go to Washington. They need offensive line help and they need it bad. He’s the best LT in the draft left and has great physical attributes, He’s strong and he usually does not fall down. He also has nice footwork and he’s one of the big three at offensive line.

14. New Orleans—Malcolm Jenkins CB Ohio State

They will gladly select the best CB in this years draft class, if he falls all the way to No. 14 they won’t even take two minutes off the clock. With recent injuries to Mike McKenzie and Tracey Porter, they would take Jenkins. Tracey Porter should be completely healthy next year and that would make a great duo for years to come. If he does not make it in the NFL as a CB then he would be a lights out safety and the best part is that he already has played safety.

15. Houston—Robert Ayers DE Tennessee

He’s been rising all up and then down the draft boards. He might be a one-hit wonder but he was simply outstanding last season. He lit up Matthew Stafford offensive line and then he lit up Andre Smith. He has had a great combine and he was very good at the senior bowl. He has very good potential and next to Mario Williams he would excel. He would come in as the third defensive end and he might be able to take the second defensive end position later in the year when he gets use to the NFL game. Mario Williams would welcome the pressure off him. Another pick could be Brain Crushing.

16. San Diego—Andre Smith OL Oklahoma

They have a need at guard and right tackle. He could fill both of these needs and Tim Dobbins didn’t do a horrible job at ILB. If Rey Maualuga falls to this pick they would select him. They will gladly select Andre Smith and try to play him at right tackle or guard. They both are needs and he would help LT and Darren Sproles run all over teams. Phillip Rivers would be very happy with this pick and it’s the best pick for the team. You can’t build an offense without an offensive line.

17. New York—Josh Freeman QB Kansas St

Josh Freeman might have just raised his stock even more. With the QB drill he came in second for the vertical and first for the broad jump, He showed accuracy and he showed off his arm. With an impressive pro-day, he move even higher. He also ran a pro-style offense in college. The Jets now need a QB more then ever, Kellen Clemens is a decent QB but I don’t know how much they are committed to him. Freeman would be the best pick here. If he slips past the Jets the Bucs could select him.

18. Chicago—Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR, Maryland

He ran the fastest 40 time at the combine for WR and I’m sure the Bears are looking to pickup a playmaker for Kyle Orton. I mean, how do you expect him to be good when he has a converted cornerback as his No. 1 WR. This would allow Devin Hester to return kicks and punts, and it would bring a whole new dimension to this offense that would come in and learn from day one. He could even been the No. 1 WR from day one.

19. Tampa Bay—Knowshown Moreno RB Georgia

They really could use a running back or a cornerback, but I feel that they are content with keeping Ronde Barber and Phillip Buchanon, who you could say was their best CB last year. They drafted Aqib Talib last year and I don’t think they want to take another CB.

Moreno and Graham would be a very good combo. If Josh Freeman fell they would take him. With Dunn leaving the Bucs he would fill that void as a running back who can catch out of the back field and make plays. This would also take pressure of the QB and the wide receivers.

20. Detroit—William Beatty OL Connecticut

He’s one of the last great offensive tackles left. He has great footwork and he’s big and strong. He’s comparable to Sam Baker of the Atlanta Falcons and he would make a great blindside protector of Matthew Stafford, which would make Lions 2009 draft comparable to the Atlanta Falcons 2009 draft of Matt Ryan and Sam Baker.

21. Philadelphia—Chris “Beanie” Wells RB Ohio State

Brain Westbrook could really use another running back behind him. He would bring that bruiser type back to the Eagles. If they had that type of back last year they would have easily won three more games. I can also see them going offensive Line this pick or Brandon Pettigrew. This would help Mcnabb in the passing game and take less pressure off the entire offense, mostly Westbrook.

22. Minnesota—Vontae Davis CB Illinois

They really need another cornerback to go with Winfield. Winfield is an elite CB but he can’t cover two WR at once. He needs someone on the other side to take less pressure off the rest of the offense. With that defensive line, Vontae wouldn’t have a problem coming in and starting right away. He really wouldn’t have to cover for that long besides of that defensive line. That was one of the weakest points on the Vikings last year. They could use another wide receiver but I feel they opt upgrade their coverage. Berrian is still a deep threat and Sidney Rice was injured last year.

23. New England—Brain Crushing LB USC

This would be an outstanding pick for the Pats; they would bring in a very smart USC player and would upgrade that LB core. Mayo and Crushing would be a nasty combo for years to come and it really brings this defense a lot more youth. I’m sure he would be in consideration for ROY with the defense around him. He could replace Mike Vrabel and he would add to that very young defense. He might be gone by this pick because his stock has risen, but I think he could fall to the Pats.

24. Atlanta—Brandon Pettigrew TE Oklahoma State

He’s the best tight end in the NFL draft this year. The Falcons could use someone to help out their young QB Matt Ryan. They could use a SS but I expect them to look at one in the second round. If Pettigrew is here he won’t slip by the Falcons, and Ryan will be happy. He would bring a huge upgrade to that offense and he would be another offensive weapon for Ryan. He can also take pressure off Roddy White and Michael Turner.

25. Miami—Alphonso Smith CB Wake Forest

He’s the best corner left in this years draft and they would love to snag him up. He would play opposite to Will Allen and make a very good young duo. They have a need here and they would select Smith, if he’s still here. They could go WR here but I feel that they still like Ted Ginn Jr. and Devon Bess who both played outstanding at the end of the year.

26. Baltimore—Clay Matthews LB USC

I could also see them going WR with Hakeem Nicks. They really love to build around the linebackers so that’s exactly why I have them skipping on the other things they could sure backfire. Derrick Mason is still a No. 1 WR and Clayton really isn’t that bad at all. Clay Matthews would play along side Suggs at the OLB position and with Ray Lewis a Raven still they will take OLB over someone like James Laurinaitis.

27. Indianapolis—Peria Jerry DT Ole Miss

This really is a no brainer type pick. The biggest need of the Colts last year was a defensive tackle. Peria Jerry brings that big defensive tackle they have been looking for. He would really upgrade that lin,e and with Mathis and Freeney on the outside he would have an easy time getting pressure on the QB. That defensive line would be just sick with Jerry on it. That is why I feel the Colts will select Peria Jerry, it’s just a complete need pick. If he’s still left he will be the selection.

28. Philadelphia—Eben Britton OT Arizona

This is a huge need for the Eagles. They likely will bring back Tra Thomas at LT, but Britton can play both RT and LT. The Eagles are always looking to upgrade the defensive line or offensive line and they have always done a great job at doing it. Williams Beatty could also be put into consideration or Brandon Pettigrew, but I feel that offensive line is more of a need for the Eagles and that’s why I have them going with Britton.

29. New York—Hakeem Nicks WR UNC

Can you say Plaxicos' replacement? He would be a huge upgrade over Hixon and would take the place of Plax as the No.1 WR. This would be a great pickup for them and make the fans happy. Hixon is much better as a No. 2 or as a slot WR. Nicks had a very good combine and ran a good 40 time for being one of the larger and stronger WR in this years draft. They would select Nicks over Harvin because people are not sure that Harvin can be a No. 1 WR.

30. Tennessee—Percy Harvin WR Florida

They selected Chris Johnson last year as a playmaker; they will do the same right here too. He can play a little bit of RB and WR. He also can return punts or kicks. He brings the speed on the outside that the Tenn has not had in many years. Whoever will be starting for them will love to have Harvin, I can see them going Bey If he drops too. I just have a feeling they will be going WR no matter what.

31. Arizona—Lesean McCoy RB Pittsburgh

They would love to have a combo of Tim Hightower, who is a power type back, and Lesean Mccoy, who is a very shifty and fast type of running back. I think they have a need at DE but I don’t think they will reach for someone yet. I could see them looking at Robert Ayers in a later type round, he’s the sleeper of this draft at DE.

32. Pittsburgh—Alex Mack C USC

This would be a huge upgrade over Hartwig who gave up the most sacks this year at center. Alex Mack is the best center in this year’s class, and some people think the best center in the last five years.

Duke Robinson is also another player I can see the Steelers going with but I feel that Mack brings more of an impact then Robinson.

Notables That Fell

Michael Johnson, Sean Smith, Tyson Jackson, James Laurinaitis, and Larry English