My First 2009 NFL Mock Draft
1. Detroit Lions: Jason Smith OT Baylor – Although quarterback is the most important position on the field, it’s irrelevant without security at the second most position – left tackle. Maybe for once the Lions will get the pick right and take the best tackle in the draft.
2. St. Louis Rams: Eugene Monroe OT Virginia – St. Louis wanted Jake Long last year but they’ll get Monroe who is at the top of this year’s deep tackle class.
3. Kansas City Chiefs: Aaron Curry ILB Wake Forest – This seems the most obvious pick of the draft. Curry might be the best talent in this year’s draft, and with the acquisition of Matt Cassel this will not be a quarterback.
4. Seattle Seahawks: Mark Sanchez QB USC – In the first shock of the draft, Sanchez is picked over Stafford and stud-WR Michael Crabtree. Word out of Seattle is that they like Sanchez more than Stafford and may be looking for a long-term replacement for Matt Hasselbeck who turns 34 this season.
5. Cleveland Browns: Brian Orakpo DE/OLB Texas – The Browns could not generate a pass rush last season and Orakpo is easily the best pass rusher in this draft.
6. Cincinnati Bengals: B.J. Raji DT Boston College – Even though Raji tested positive for marijuana, he is still a force to be reckoned with on the interior line. Besides, the Bengals never cared about character problems anyway.
7. Oakland Raiders: Michael Crabtree WR Texas Tech – Crabtree is an immense talent and could be the best player in this draft. Al Davis does not hesitate to pull the trigger with Crabtree and gives JaMarcus Russell an extraordinary target.
8. Jacksonville Jaguars: Matt Stafford QB Georgia – There is a very good chance the Broncos will try to trade up to this spot to take Stafford. If not, David Garrard may not be the long-term solution in Jacksonville and the Jags are happy to see Stafford drop.
9. Green Bay Packers: Aaron Maybin DE Penn State – The Packers need to generate a pass rush and Maybin’s stock has been climbing since his pro day.
10. San Francisco 49ers: Andre Smith OT Alabama – Sure, the niners just signed right tackle Marvel Smith but Smith is turning 21 and Andre Smith is too immense a talent to pass up at this spot.
11. Buffalo Bills: Everette Brown DE Florida State – The Bills want Andre Smith because the current Jason Peters holdout is getting out of hand. However, none of the top three tackles drop. This could be Michael Oher from Ole Miss but the Bills decide to address issues at defensive end rather than tackle.
12. Denver Broncos: Tyson Jackson DE LSU – Although I think this pick may be used to move up to take Sanchez or Stafford, Tyson Jackson is a great fit for the 3-4 which the Broncos will institute.
13. Washington Redskins: Michael Oher OT Ole Miss – Chris Samuels is a pro bowl left tackle but he’s getting old and Jon Jansen just cannot stay on the field. Oher is too talented to drop and his stock is rising.
14. New Orleans Saints: Malcolm Jenkins DB Ohio State – New Orleans desperately needs secondary help and Jenkins can play either cornerback or free safety.
15. Houston Texans: Clay Matthews OLB USC – Matthew’s uncle is an assistant on the Houston staff and the Texans need a strongside linebacker.
16. San Diego Chargers: Jeremy Maclin WR Missouri – Chambers is getting older and Vincent Jackson has underperformed to his talent. Maclin dropping this far is a steal.
17. New York Jets: Chris Wells RB Ohio State – Wells is too talented to drop further than this and the Jets could use a solid running back behind the aging Thomas Jones (31).
18. Denver Broncos (from Chicago): Peria Jerry DT Ole Miss – The Broncos were terrible on defense last year and Jerry will help the line stuff the run. This pick could also be packaged to move up to draft a quarterback if McDaniels feels the need.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Josh Freeman QB Kansas State – The Buccaneers have had their eye set on this guy. New coach Raheem Morris gets his quarterback of the future, something the Buccaneers did not have in the Jon Gruden era.
20. Detroit Lions (from Dallas): Rey Maualuga LB USC – The Lions addressed offensive line with the first pick and will look to improve the defense. Maualuga was a stud at USC and should give the Lions great support next to Ernie Sims.
21. Philadelphia Eagles: William Beatty OT Connecticut – The Eagles traditionally draft offensive and defensive lineman. With the loss of Tra Thomas this offseason, the Eagles are in serious need of a left tackle – Beatty is that guy.
22. Minnesota Vikings: Percy Harvin WR Florida – Although Bernard Berrian performed well at time last season, Harvin’s talent is undeniable. His playmaking ability, paired with Adrian Peterson, could provide Minnesota with a lot of talent on offense.
23. New England Patriots: Brian Cushing LB USC – It’s a surprise to most that Cushing drops this far and Belicheck does not blink. With Mike Vrabel in Kansas City, Cushing is an easy selection at this point.
24. Atlanta Falcons: Brandon Pettigrew TE Oklahoma State – Pettigrew is a great blocked and pass catcher. The Falcons released Alge Crumpler last offseason so now they will add Pettigrew to provide quarterback Matt Ryan with more options on offense.
25. Miami Dolphins: Vontae Davis CB Illinois – Davis is too talented to pass up at this point in the first round for Miami. The Dolphins seemingly missed with Jason Allen a few years ago but Davis at 25 would be a lot of value.
26. Baltimore Ravens: Darius Heyward-Bey WR Maryland – The Ravens choose to add the local product of Maryland to provide Joe Flacco with a receiver who can stretch the field. Derrick Mason wants an extension but he is only getting older.
27. Indianapolis Colts: James Laurinaitis LB Ohio State – Laurinaitis could have been a top 15 pick in last years draft but staying the extra year costs him. This is a great pick for the Colts as his talents and football instincts should help bolster a Colts defense in need of playmakers at linebacker.
28. Philadelphia Eagles (from Carolina): Robert Ayers DE Tennessee – Their first pick as offensive tackle so the Eagles make this one on the defensive line.
29. New York Giants: Hakeem Nicks WR North Carolina – The Giants did a lot to help the defense this offseason but uncertainty stills rests at WR. With Plaxico Burress’ pending jail time, Nicks could bolster the offense. Nicks could be a reach at this point but it’s the biggest need.
30. Tennessee Titans: Michael Johnson DE Georgia Tech – Michael Johnson is a boom or bust type player (similar to Vernon Gholston last year) and could provide great value this late in the first round.
31. Arizona Cardinals: Eben Britton OT Arizona – Arizona’s offensive line could still use work and Britton could step in at right tackle and contribute immediately. Britton could be a good bookend with Levi Jones.
32. Pittsburgh Steelers: Max Unger C Oregon – An infusion of youth is just what the Steelers need on offensive line. The line performed very well this past season but Unger could play center or guard for the Steelers.
(April 2, 2009)