2009 NFL Draft: Top Eleven Plus One

Richard WhittContributor IApril 25, 2009

No. 1. Detroit Lions - Matthew Stafford, QB, Georgia 

No. 2. St. Louis Rams - Michael Crabtree, WR, Texas Tech 

No. 3. Kansas City Chiefs - Michael Oher, LT, Ole-Miss 

No. 4. Seattle Seahawks – Aaron Curry, OLB, Wake Forest 

No. 5. Cleveland Browns - Brian Orakpo, DE, Texas

No. 6. Cincinnati Bengals – Chris "Beanie" Wells, RB, Ohio State

No. 7. Oakland Raiders – Jeremy Maclin, WR, Missouri

No. 8. Jacksonville Jaguars – Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR, Maryland

No. 9. Green Bay Packers – B.J. Raji, DT, Boston College

No. 10. San Francisco 49ers – Everette Brown, DE, Florida State

No. 11. Buffalo Bills – The Bills have two first round picks after the Jason Peters trade but now there’s an obvious hole at tackle.  Maybe not at left tackle because the Bills played Langston Walker there when Jason Peters was sucking wind and he played well enough to go into camp as the No. 1 candidate, regardless of who the Bills draft here.

This can be an opportunity for Buffalo to redistribute some of the talent they have on their team and they would be, in my humble opinion, foolish not to take the opportunity to address an area of their team that has been shamelessly neglected since Bruce Smith’s tenure. Of course I am talking about defensive end and not just any end, I mean an edge rusher with a great first step and great power.

But only if that kind of player is still available.

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If Orakpo and Brown are gone, the argument is simplified to Robert Ayers and Aaron Maybin. From a production standpoint, Maybin had more sacks his senior season with 12 compared to only 3 sacks for Ayers, but Ayers had 15.5 tackles for loss. Maybin had 20 tackles for loss, so he has the edge there too, but from my standpoint they are both great athletes who can get to the passer.

Both were one-year starters.

The separator is how they stack up against the run and whether or not they are three down players. Here Ayers separates himself tremendously, and if you want some statistical support for that you’ve already read it. Ayers produced tackles for loss, not simply sacks. He attacked the line of scrimmage, he didn’t just take the A-Train to the QB.

I think the Bills select Robert Ayers, from Tennessee, here.  

No. 28. Buffalo Bills – Honestly, it’s very hard to nail down who will be available at this spot. So what I am going to do it list their board at this point and you can hold me to the top spot (based on availability) if you’re keeping score.

If you run the Tampa-2 defense, you prefer linebackers that are natural fluid athletes but you prefer smarter ones even more. You get there sooner if you diagnose the play earlier. All of the speed in the world doesn’t help you if you are often out of position and take poor angles. If you can find a guy like Curry you don’t mess around.  The Bills won’t get Curry, at 11 and obviously not at 28 either.

- Brian Cushing, LB - USC
- Clay Matthews Jr., LB – USC
- Eben Britton, T – Arizona
- Alex Mack, G/C - California

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