1 (1): Detroit Lions – Matthew Stafford. has got to be an uncomfortable guy right now. At 21, he just signed a contract to become a Detroit Lion worth six years, $78M. I don’t see Matt Ryan in Stafford, and Ryan signed for less (6/72M). Stafford has the big arm, no doubt about it. However, he has no offensive line, and it would’ve been smarter for Detroit to draft Jason Smith (OT/Baylor), Aaron Curry (LB/Wake Forest) or even B.J. Raji (DT/Boston College).
1 (2) – Jason Smith, OT, Baylor. Great pick by the Rams. He not only is the second best, maybe best, player available, he fills a need at left tackle for the Rams. At 320 pounds, he’s a very big guy and could make a huge impact with Orlando Pace gone. Pace, 33, signed a free agent contract with the Bears. The Rams have done a good job improving their line, getting Smith and also Jason Brown, a free agent from Baltimore.
1 (3) – Kansas City Chiefs: Tyson Jackson, DE, LSU. This is a surprising pick. I could’ve seen Jackson falling all the way to 12th into the Denver Broncos hands. But Kansas City decided to take Jackson, who had 27 TFL’s and 18 sacks in his collegiate career. It’s a reach, because Jackson isn’t even the highest rated defensive end on most experts boards, but he has improved every year as a pass rusher. Now, the Chiefs have to hope he improves even more next year.
1 (4) – Seattle Seahawks: Aaron Curry, LB, Wake Forest. The Seahawks were choosing between Michael Crabtree to get youth at the wide receiver position, but decided to take the best player and nab linebacker Aaron Curry. Curry has good pass rushing skills as an outside linebacker and Curry and Tatupu pair up for a very good linebacker corps, not just now, but for the future.
1 (5) – New York Jets (from Cleveland): Mark Sanchez, QB, USC. The Jets have had a very successful offseason, adding Bart Scott, Jim Leonhard and Lito Sheppard. However, they didn’t have a franchise quarterback. That changed when they traded the 17th overall pick along with some players for the fifth overall pick to grab Sanchez.
1 (6) – Cincinnati Bengals: Andre Smith, OT, Alabama. This pick made a lot of sense. Carson Palmer had trouble staying on his feet last season, so they needed that offensive tackle to keep him up. Smith is that guy. He just needs to watch his weight. He’s pushing 340 pounds, and that has to change before the season starts.
1 (7) – Oakland Raiders: Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR, Maryland. This is one of the surprises in the draft. Raiders legendary owner Al Davis likes speedy guys, and Heyward-Bey ran the fastest 40 time in the NFL Scouting Combine. You do the math. It could be a very, very good pick. However, he has inconsistent hands and is more a track athlete than a football player.
1 (8) – Jacksonville Jaguars: Eugene Monroe, OT, Virginia. The Jacksonville Jaguars made a great move by drafting Eugene Monroe, the third tackle off the board in the first eight selections. Monroe is a big guy, and can make an impact. The Jaguars’ David Garrard was sacked 41 times. Monroe waltzes into an AFC South that features Dwight Freeney, Kyle Vanden Bosch and Mario Williams.
1 (9) – Green Bay Packers: B.J. Raji, DT, Boston College. The Packers drafted their poor man’s Haloti Ngata by drafting B.J. Raji, the 337-pound Boston College defensive tackle. Raji will free up room for guys like AJ Hawk in the linebacking corp. Mike Mayock calls him a “prototypical defensive tackle”. I’d have to agree with Mr. Mayock.
1 (10) – San Francisco 49ers: Michael Crabtree, WR, Texas Tech. Michael Crabtree is easily the best wide receiving prospect in this draft. He has the size, production, and hands. People worry about his 40 time and his injury. To put it shortly: I could not care less. It’s odd that the third wide receiver prospect goes seventh while the top one goes tenth.
1 (11) – Buffalo Bills: Aaron Maybin, DE, Penn State. The Bills decided to address their defensive end need by adding Penn State D-end Aaron Maybin. Maybin has good athleticism, and while he’s small for a defensive end (249 pounds at the combine), he’s very athletic. Some times were turned off by his utter failure stopping the run. This pick is risky, but I think it will work out.
1 (12) – Denver Broncos: Knowshon Moreno, RB, Georgia. The Broncos decided to ignore Brian Orakpo and Robert Ayers and take Knowshon Moreno. Moreno is a special running back. He has the obvious production at the running back position. Moreno is fast, elusive and has great leaping abilities. Good pick, but they must address defense at 18.
1 (13) – Washington Redskins: Brian Orakpo, DE, Texas. The Redskins decided to make up for losing Jason Taylor and draft Texas defensive end Brian Orakpo. The Skins were just 24th in the league last season in sacks, so they needed a pass rushing threat. Orakpo doesn’t always show the effort as a defensive lineman, though.
1 (14) – New Orleans Saints: Malcolm Jenkins, CB, Ohio State. The Saints got their franchise cornerback by adding Malcolm Jenkins, the versatile d-back out of Ohio State. In two consecutive drafts, the Saints have restocked their cornerback spots. Tracy Porter was drafted by the Saints last year, and Jenkins can even play safety down the road. Great pick.
1 (15) – Houston Texans: Brian Cushing, LB, USC. The Texans decided to beef up their linebacking corps by adding Brian Cushing, the pass rushing, hard working linebacker. DeMeco Ryans and Mario Williams should take him under their wing. Cushing has a good motor, but durability is a concern. I expect him to make an impact. Very good pick for a rising organization.
1 (16) – San Diego Chargers: Larry English, DE, Northern Illinois. This is a shock for most. He’s a huge reach as the fifth, maybe even sixth, ranked defensive end in the draft. It might be a reach. They are probably right. However, English is one of my favorite football players in this year’s draft. He has a knack for finding the quarterback and putting him on the ground. Great pick for the Chargers and he will be good for them.
1 (17) – Tampa Bay Buccaneers (from Browns): Josh Freeman, QB, Kansas State. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers select a quarterback. What a shocker. Freeman reminds me of Joe Flacco a little bit. He is the sleeper quarterback of this NFL Draft, can make every throw, and is huge (6′6″, 245 LBS). Freeman will make an impact immediately with an unsure quarterback situation.
1 (18) – Denver Broncos: Robert Ayers, DE, Tennessee. The Denver Broncos decided to address their front seven by adding Tennessee defensive end Robert Ayers. Ayers made a joke of Ole Miss offensive tackle Michael Oher when they faced off, which is why Oher falls so far. Good selection and addition their front seven.
1 (19) – Philadelphia Eagles (from Browns): Jeremy Maclin, WR, Missouri. This pick is very surprising. The underclassmen wide receiver was drafted by the Eagles after the Browns made yet another trade to gain some more picks. My expected pick for the Eagles would be TE Brandon Pettigrew, as the Eagles need a guy who can catch passes and block. I’m iffy on this pick.
1 (20) – Detroit Lions: Brandon Pettigrew, TE, Oklahoma State. The Lions made an excellent pick by signing Pettigrew. The Lions, potentially, have a dangerous passing offense, with Stafford at quarterback, Johnson at wide receiver and Pettigrew at tight end. Excellent, excellent selection.
1 (21) – Cleveland Browns: Alex Mack, C, California: The Browns decided to make a draft pick. How ’bout that? The Browns decided to draft center Alex Mack, the top rated center in this year’s draft. Mack can make an impact immediately, but will have to battle Haloti Ngata, Casey Hampton and a resurgent James Harrison two times a year.
1 (22) – Minnesota Vikings: Percy Harvin, WR, Florida. To put it short, I hate this pick. He has character problems, isn’t the real home-run hitting deep threat Tarvaris Jackson needs and when his life was at it’s peak, he tested positive for steroids. He reminds me of Marcus Vick. If he can clean his act up, he can be a tremendous player, but that’s a huge if.
1 (23) – Baltimore Ravens (from Patriots): Michael Oher, OT, Mississippi. The Ravens made an incredible move by adding the best player available, and also filling a need. NFL Network draft analyst called Oher “a top ten pick physically”. Oher is the third rated offensive tackle in this draft, and most consider him better than Andre Smith.
1 (24) – Atlanta Falcons: Peria Jerry, DT, Mississippi. In short, I love this pick. The Falcons had to make up for losing Keith Brooking and Michael Boley, so decided to add to their weak defense. I love it. Jerry will allow the linebackers they do have to run around all day long.
1 (25) – Miami Dolphins: Vontae Davis, CB, Illinois. If this guy was a little more coachable and risky, he’s easily a top ten pick. Davis has been known not to mesh with the coaches he’s dealt with over the years. It’ll certainly be interesting to see if he can get along with Tony Sparano, a very likeable guy.
1 (26) – Green Bay Packers: Clay Matthews, LB, USC. The Green Bay Packers capped off an amazing first round by trading up to the 26th overall pick to grab Clay Matthews, a good pass rushing linebacker. The Packers needed some help stopping the run, and Raji and Matthews make for a respectable front seven along with Cullen Jenkins, AJ Hawk and Brady Poppinga.
1 (27) – Indianapolis Colts: Donald Brown, RB, Connecticut. The Colts decided to pass on defensive tackle Evander Hood and elected to grab Brown, a productive UConn running back to play Domonic Rhodes role as a backup running back. Last year, Brown had 2,083 yards and 18 touchdowns. I don’t like the pick, because it’s not getting the best player available, it’s plainly filling a need now that Rhodes is a Bill.
1 (28) – Buffalo Bills: Eric Wood, C, Louisville. I am still shaking my head over this one. After losing Jason Peters, I honestly thought they’d be interested in filling their offensive tackle need. They decided to pass on Eben Britton and William Beatty and take Wood. I don’t get it.
1 (29) – New York Giants: Hakeem Nicks, WR, UNC. I like this pick. Nicks is productive, has good hands and is a good fit in the Giants offense. I love this pick, and don’t ask me, ask Elisha Manning. Nicks could assume the No. 2 role soon with Plaxico Burress released recently.
1 (30) – Tennessee Titans: Kenny Britt, WR, Rutgers. I can see right through the Titans. Instead of adding the best available player, they decided to just go according to need. They should’ve waited and added Brian Robiskie earlier in the second round. I don’t like this pick very much, as Britt is a second rounder.
1 (31) – Arizona Cardinals: Chris Wells, RB, Ohio State. The Cardinals decided to balance their offense by adding OSU tailback Chris ‘Beanie’ Wells. Wells is a big guy, but incredibly fast for his size. I love this pick, and it should be incredibly interesting to see if Anquan Boldin moves when the Cardinals are on the clock in the second round.
1 (32) – Pittsburgh Steelers: Evander Hood, DT, Missouri. The Super Bowl Champion Steelers decided to bolster their already strong defense by adding Hood, the best player available. I love what they did here. Instead of building on the offensive line and foolishly just taking care of needs. I love it.
1 (33) – Detroit Lions: Louis Delmas, S, Western Michigan. I love what Jim Schwartz and the Lions are doing. I don’t think the No. 1 pick was a good investment, but he is their face now, and they added a tight end who can catch and block. Now, they add a hit machine in Delmas.
2 (34) – New England Patriots (from Chiefs): Patrick Chung, S, Oregon. The first two safeties taken in the draft were taken to start the second round. Chung is a hitting machine out of Oregon and is the Patriots kind of guy. He is very versatile and is a hard worker.
2 (35) – St. Louis Rams: James Laurinaitis, LB, Ohio State. The Rams made a surprising pick by passing up on Rey Maualuga and taking James Laurinaitis. Laurinaitis is very productive, as he has been a dominating force in a strong Ohio State Buckeye defense the last two seasons.
2 (36) – Cleveland Browns: Brian Robiskie, WR, Ohio State. The second consecutive Buckeye came off the board. I like this pick, but at the same time, don’t. Robiskie is definitely NOT the best available player, and good teams don’t worry about what they need, they grab the best player. I don’t like this pick, as it is purely a thing of need.
2 (37) – Denver Broncos (from Seahawks): Alphonso Smith, CB, Wake Forest. The second crucial member of the Wake defensive unit came off the board. After trading up, it appeared the Broncos wanted to bolster their run defense and add Rey Maualuga. Wrong I was. I like the pick, but Maualuga would’ve been better.
2 (38) – Cincinnati Bengals: Rey Maualuga, LB, USC. As a Ravens fan, I know about hard hitting linebackers. Maualuga is the epitome of a Raven. However, instead of hitting for the Ravens, he’ll be going at them twice a week. The Bengals made a great pick by not only bolstering their horrible run defense, they got the best player available, and have a USC duo at LB, with Rivers and Maualuga.
2 (39) – Jacksonville Jaguars: Eben Britton, OT, Arizona. The Jaguars got a true steal here. Not only did they add Monroe in the first round, which was also considered a steal, they added Britton, who some consider a first round player. The Jags will need offensive line help with a one-dimensional running game with just Maurice Jones-Drew manning the backfield, David Garrard needs help, as he was sacked 41 times last year.
2 (40) – New England Patriots (from Raiders): Ron Brace, DT, Boston College. Yet again, the Patriots made a draft day trade. After the trade, the Pats decided to keep making their defense younger, and take Boston College defensive tackle Ron Brace. To tell you the truth, I consider Brace to be better than Hood, and I love what the Patriots are doing.
2 (41) – New England Patriots (from Packers): Darius Butler, CB, Connecticut. The Patriots traded for a pick. How ’bout that? The Patriots got consecutive picks and added Darius Butler, the great corner out of Connecticut. I absolutely love what NE is doing. They are getting younger on an experienced defense and look bright for now and for the future.
2 (42) – Buffalo Bills: Jairus Byrd, CB, Oregon. This is an interesting selection. The Bills, who added Leodis McKelvin in last year’s draft, decided to add Byrd. Byrd is a very well built guy, he’s got good initial jam, and has very loose hips. I like the pick here, and McKelvin and Byrd is a very good tandem.
2 (43) – Carolina Panthers (from 49ers): Everette Brown, DE, Florida State. The Panthers decided to trade with the 49ers to move up. They made a great pick, adding Everette Brown, who is a first round talent. Most looked at him as a Top 15 pick. The Panthers got a huge steal here with Brown.
2 (44) – Miami Dolphins: Pat White, QB, West Virginia. This, in my mind, is one of the best picks so far. White has the versatility to play wide receiver and quarterback, maybe even running back, in a Dolphins Wildcat formation. I love this pick, and I think when Chad Pennington leaves Miami, it’ll be White, not Chad Henne, to assume the QB role. He can wing it.
2 (45) – New York Giants: Clint Sintim, LB, Virginia. The New York Giants made a very good selection in getting Sintim. He’s a big outside linebacker, but will have to learn to play defensive end, because the Giants pull lots of stunts defensively. All in all, I like the pick, but it’ll be hard to find a permanent spot for him.
2 (46) – Houston Texans: Conor Barwin, DE, Cincinnati. The Texans beefed up at linebacker when they added Brian Cushing in the first round, but needed another pass rusher to pair with Super Mario Williams. I like the pick here. He’s got great value and has risen up draft boards, as he was before seen as a late second round pick.
2 (47) – Oakland Raiders: Michael Mitchell, CB, Ohio. The Raiders continue to boggle my mind. The Raiders drafted Heyward-Bey at seven, an incredible reach. Then, they draft Mitchell, a guy not high at all on draft boards. I don’t understand the pick. At all.
2 (48) – Denver Broncos: Darcel McBath, CB, Texas Tech. The Broncos continue to blow my mind. They’ve taken three defensive players, none of which were actually the best defensive player available at that spot. McBath may have good value, but it could be better.
2 (49) – Seattle Seahawks: Max Unger, C, Oregon. The Seahawks need a new face on their offensive line since Walter Jones won’t be lasting forever. I expect Unger to be that guy. He is a big center and could’ve been taken by the Steelers, but they decided to pass him up.
2 (50) – Cleveland Browns: Mohamed Massaquoi, WR, Georgia. The Browns made it clear they are either trading Braylon Edwards or, at least, shopping him. Massaquoi is a surprising pick in the second round, as I value him in the third round, at least. The Browns seem to be reshaping their offense.
2 (51) – Buffalo Bills (from Cowboys): Andy Levitre, OG, Oregon State. The Cowboys actually ran out of time when picking 51st and the Bills took the pick and grabbed Levitre, the guard from Oregon State. He’s a very physical guy at guard and while the Bills refuse to fill Peters’ void, they have built well on their line.
2 (52) – Cleveland Browns: David Veikune, DE, Hawaii. The Browns decided to finally add to their horrible defense by gaining David Veikune, the athletic D-end out of Hawaii. At 6′2″, 257, he’s not the biggest defensive end, but is, nonetheless, a good football player. I like the pick, but I’m confused as to where he plays position wise.
2 (53) – Philadelphia Eagles: LeSean McCoy, RB, Pittsburgh. The Eagles didn’t add Beanie Wells. They didn’t add Knowshon Moreno. Not even Donald Brown. But they did add LeSean “Shady” McCoy. I absolutely love this. Westbrook has gotten hurt frequently over the years, so they need a feature back, and McCoy is definitely the guy.
2 (54) – Minnesota Vikings: Phil Loadholt, OT, Oklahoma. Loadholt is an excellent selection here at 54. Look at the first four letters of his last name: load. That describes him. At 6′8″, 337, he’s a dominating physical specimen and can rotate between right tackle and left and receive great tutelage from Steve Hutchison, the great guard.
2 (55) – Atlanta Falcons: William Moore, S, Missouri. The Falcons continued to add to their poor defense by adding one of the top safety prospects in the draft in Moore. Moore is a productive guy, as he racked up 115 tackles and eight interceptions as a junior in 2007. With Domonique Foxworth gone, he may see some time.
2 (56) – Indianapolis Colts (from Dolphins): Fili Moala, DT, USC. The Colts adressed their weak defense by adding Moala, the 6′4″, 305 pound USC Trojan. He’s not very fast, as he runs a 5.16, but that’s not needed and reminds me of Haloti Ngata, a guy who can help the linebackers tremendously.
2 (57) – Baltimore Ravens: Paul Kruger, DE, Utah. Paul Kruger is a physical freak of nature. At defensive end, he runs a 4.87 40-yard dash, which is insane for that position. Kruger is a very polished player and could fit in to the Baltimore Ravens scheme very well, as all defensive players the Ravens draft seem to develop into Pro Bowlers.
2 (58) – New England Patriots: Sebastian Volmerr, OT, Houston. The Pats seem to be getting younger everywhere. Now, they got the offensive line younger by drafting Volmerr, a 6′7″, 312 pound offensive tackle who has prototypical build. He’s got plenty of upside and I love the pick.
2 (59) – Carolina Panthers: Sherrod Martin, S, Troy. At 6′1″, 198, Troy safety Sherrod Martin has ideal build and wiry frame for an NFL player. Martin may have to play corner in the near future with Carolina, though. I actually like this pick. He can fly around the field, and can get to opposing sidelines in the blink of an eye.
2 (60) – New York Giants: William Beatty, OT, Connecticut. The Giants improved the nucleus of their football team by adding wide receiver Hakeem Nicks and outside linebacker Clint Sintim. Beatty improves their offensive line that should help Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw, who will both see an increasew in carries with Derrick Ward gone.
2 (61) – Miami Dolphins: Sean Smith, CB, Utah. The Dolphins continue to build on their pass defense by adding both Vontae Davis and Smith. Smith is very comfortable in press coverage and can take away routes. He is a press/zone corner and the reason he slipped this far is his lack to be physical.
2 (62) – Tennessee Titans: Sen’Derrick Marks, DT, Auburn. The Titans decided to fill the Albert Haynesworth void. Marks is inconsistent. In some games, he showed a lack of effort and in others, he was a playmaking force in the backfield. He struggles mightily at the point of attack, and Tennessee must work with him on this. I do like the pick, though.
2 (63) – Arizona Cardinals: Cody Brown, DE, Connecticut. The Cardinals added to their run game by selecting Chris Wells in the first round. With Antonio Smith and Bertrand Berry departed, they needed a pass rusher, and Brown is that guy. I like this pick.
2 (64) – Denver Broncos: Richard Quinn, TE, UNC. I love this pick. He’s a very good blocker, almost as good as Pettigrew, and has surprisingly good hands. Despite horrible production (12 rec, 124 yards, 2 TD’s), he will help Knowshon Moreno on the ground immediately. He will be utilized better in a Denver offense that should be pass happy next year.