1. Detroit Lions Matthew Stafford Quarterback Georgia
The Lions have been debating back and forth whether they should make Matthew Stafford the number one overall selection and in the end I think they’ll do it. The Lions need a franchise quarterback that they can pair with Calvin Johnson on offense. Matthew Stafford is the top quarterback on the board and one of the rules on the draft is if their is a quarterback available you make the pick. After much debate, the Lions add some stability to their team with their selection of Stafford with their first, first round pick.
2. St. Louis Rams Jason Smith Offensive Tackle Baylor
Since the combine Jason Smith has separated himself as the best offensive lineman in this year’s class. If the Lions pass on him with the number one pick, then watch for the Rams to select their left tackle of the future. Running a 5.09 forty and benching 33 reps, Jason Smith has the workout and film required to be a top 5 pick. The Rams have been set at left tackle for the last 10 years with perennial pro bowler Orlando Pace, however, with Pace getting released from the Rams, Jason Smith will have the room to develop into a premier left tackle in. St. Louis.
3. Kansas City Chiefs Aaron Curry Linebacker Wake Forest
Scouts all agree, the best player in this years class is the linebacker from Wake Forest. Curry has all the tools to be a top NFL linebacker. He stands 6-3, 247 lbs and as exceptional athleticism and hands. During his junior season in 2007, he had three interception returns for touchdowns. With Matt Cassel now in K.C, Scott Pioli can take the best player available and the top player on nearly every NFL teams draft board.
4. Seattle Seahawks Mark Sanchez Quarterback Southern California
Probably the toughest player to gage in the draft, Mark Sanchez could go in the top 5, or in the top 15. However, reports coming out of Seattle are that they are uncomfortable paying out the high guaranteed money of the fourth selection so they want to make sure they get their moneys worth. Sanchez is pushing Stafford as to who is the top quarterback in the draft and should be a perfect fit in the pacific northwest to replace the aging Matt Hasselbeck.
5. Cleveland Browns Michael Crabtree Wide Receiver Texas Tech
Perhaps the biggest disappointment from last season, the Browns are in a position in the draft where they can take a top-flight college prospect. With Braylon Edwards likely to be traded before the draft, the Browns are able to quickly find his replacement by drafting the clear number one receiver in this years draft. Crabtree, like Edwards, is a big athletic receiver who can make all the catches, unlike Edwards. Michael Crabtree would give whoever wins the quarterback battle a dynamic playmaker.
6. Cincinnati Bengals Eugene Monroe Offensive Tackle Virginia
Whoever played quarterback for the Bengals last season got crushed. Carson Palmer suffered a season ending injury and Kyle Fitzpatrick didn’t have enough time to lob the football up to the Bengals two great receivers. Last off-season when the Bengals released Willie Anderson they had no one to replace him. With Monroe the Bengals get a lineman who can play tackle or guard, and posses great athleticism for a big man. The best way to fix a bad team is by improving your play in the trenches, Monroe give the Bengals a stout offensive lineman, something no team can have enough of in the blitz happy AFC North.
7. Oakland Raiders Jeremy Maclin Wide Receiver Missouri
You would think eventually with all the top 10 picks the Raiders have accumulated over the past ten years, that they would be significantly better than they are. In reality the Raiders are a bad team with few bright spots. Darren McFadden and Michael Bush help form one of the leagues best young backfields and if JaMarcus Russell further develops in Oakland, they could have a potentially potent offense. With Crabtree taken off the board two picks earlier, Al Davis sets his sights on the second best wide receiver in the draft. Jeremy Maclin could provide the Raiders with a playmaking receiver and kick returner, a welcome addition to a team who did not have one WR with more than 25 catches last year.
8. Jacksonville Jaguars B.J Raji Defensive Tackle Boston College
Raji’s stock has slipped recently with reports of a positive drug test, but even with those reports circulating the Boston College defensive tackle won’t slip out of the top 10. raji could add some inside toughness to a team who desperately needs a presence on the defensive line. A WR is also a possibility with this pick, but with Torry Holt close to a deal and no receiver available with the number 8 pick the Jaguars can select the best player available.
9. Green Bay Packers Aaron Maybin Defensive End/Linebacker Penn State
Not a finished product by any means, Aaron Maybin will be a project for some NFL team over the next few years. Only a sophomore, Maybin had 49 tackles with 20 tackles for a loss. He has an extremely quick jump off the ball and can attack offensive lineman before they are properly set. Maybin could reunite in Green Bay with fellow Big Ten alum A.J Hawk, and form one of the top young linebacker groups.
10. San Francisco 49rs Brian Orakpo Quarterback
Some teams rank Orakpo the highest out of the defensive ends in the draft. If he’s available, he would be a nice addition to San Francisco’s defense next to Patrick Willis. With Mark Sanchez and the top two receivers off the board, the 49rs can follow the lead of their head coach and go on the defensive side of the ball.
11. Buffalo Bills Robert Ayers Hybrid Defensive End Tennessee
The first of two first round picks, Buffalo is in a position to address their defense by taking the highest ranked pass rusher on their board. Ayers has steadily been rising up many teams draft boards and could add some speed and power to a Buffalo defense which plays Tom Brady twice a year.
12. Denver Broncos Tyson Jackson Defensive End Louisiana State
Playing in the nations toughest conference, Tyson Jackson terrified SEC quarterbacks all year utilizing his excellent size and power. Jackson is not Mario Williams or Julius Peppers, who will out race opposing lineman around the edge. This LSU product uses his size and great hands to bull rush through offensive lineman and has a quick burst to get to the quarterback. Last year the Broncos could score points with anybody in the league, but everybody in the league could score points on them. Tyson Jackson would hurry opposing quarterbacks and let Champ Bailey and Brian Dawkins make plays down the field.
13. Washington Redskins Andre Smith Offensive Tackle Alabama
All this quarterback talk must be making Jason Campbell crazy. However, with the price to trade up to get Mark Sanchez being too high for the Redskins to move up, they will address their aging tackle position. Jon Jansen and Chris Samuels are both getting up their in age, by drafting Andre Smith they could add one of the elite players in the draft who has slipped to them based on maturity questions. Remember, Andre Smith was once the top pick of the draft in many minds.
14. New Orleans Saints Malcolm Jenkins Cornerback/Safety Ohio State
Once considered a lock for the top ten, Jenkins has slipped recently because of questions about his speed and his position. His numbers at The Ohio State University don’t lie, he played in 52 games for the Buckeyes and had 196 tackles, 17 passes broken up and 11 interceptions. However, his 4.55 40 yard dash time has left some questions on whether or not he’ll be a cornerback or a safety at the next level. Either way the Saints could use someone with the talent of Jenkins in their secondary. Jenkins would dramatically improve a defense which has struggled to keep up with their explosive offense.
15. Houston Texans Everette Brown Defensive End/ Linebacker Florida State
The last several drafts the Texans have been trying to bolster their defensive line in order to try to take down the AFC South’s mighty Indianapolis Colts. In 2006 Houston make Marion Williams its number 1 pick over Reggie Bush and Vince Young. Then in 2007 they drafted Louisville DT Amobi Okoye. In 2009 they continue to stockpile defensive players with the hybrid Everette Brown. The former Seminole has great size, 6-4, 252 lbs, and uses his above average speed to harass quarterbacks. He should give the Texans a pass rusher from the second level that could free up some of those young d lineman.
16. San Diego Chargers Brian Cushing Linebacker Southern California
The Chargers had a rough 2008 campaign and still made it to the playoffs and won a wild card round game against Indy. With LaDainian Tomlinson staying in Southern California, it doesn’t make sense though for the Chargers to pay top dollar to a first round draft running back when they just franchised Darren Sproles. Cushing was overshadowed at USC by Maualuga but has an excellent motor and was seen making plays all over the field. The Chargers can be happy picking Cushing who some think is a more complete linebacker than his Trojan teammate.
17. New York Jets Darrius Heyward-Bey Wide Receiver Maryland
If Heyward-Bey would have been more consistent for the Terps, he likely could have been a top ten selection. However, he disappeared in games for Terps and struggled to be a constant playmaker in a hot and cold Maryland offense. There is something that no one can dispute with Darrius, he’s fast. Heyward-Bey ran the fastest time at the combine this year and the second fastest this decade. He’s a little raw, but with some polishing Heyward-Bey could become a dynamic go to receiver in the NFL. With the Jets letting Laverneus Coles go to Cincinnati, the New York needs to address WR in the draft and Heyward-Bey is a good start.
18. Denver Broncos James Laurinaitis Linebacker Ohio State
The 2007 Butkus award winner is one of the best football players in the draft this year. While his workout numbers weren’t spectacular, he was all over the field for the Buckeyes over the last three years and one of the main reasons why they made two national championship games and a Fiesta Bowl. Laurinaitis has great sideline to sideline speed and has a great football IQ.This is probably a reach for Denver, but the Broncos could add a young, highly intelligent football player to their defense with this selection. Denver is in need for an impact playmaker on defense.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Peria Jerry Defensive Tackle Ole Miss
An underrated defensive tackle, Jerry would be an excellent fit for the Buccaneers as they continue to mix youth with age on thier defense. Jerry could instantly add some toughness, athleticims, things he did well for Ole Miss in the SEC.
20. Detroit Lions Michael Oher Offensive Tackle Ole Miss
Andre Smith hurt his stock at the combine. He left before the offensive lineman had their workout and didn’t let any of the coaches know. The fact is that Smith is a top flight talent who, if he had acted appropriately, could have been the top overall selection. With their selection of Matthew Stafford at number 1, the Lions need someone who can guard his backside for the next 5-10 years. A.Smith has all the talent to be that guy. Playing for Alabama in the SEC Smith constantly dominated defensive players and help lead ‘Bama to the Sugar Bowl. If the Lions are able to get Smith with the 20th pick and he comes to training camp mature and ready for the NFL, then Detroit would have to be happy with its two selections in the first round.
21. Philadelphia Eagles Chris “Beanie” Wells Running Back Ohio State
While their are some durability questions with Wells, the Eagles would have a nice tandom at running back if the were to select the former Buckeye. Last year the Eagles had all sorts of problems converting 3rd down and short. Wells would give the Eagles a power back who can pick up that one yard to extend a drive, or the threat to take it the distance. Wells would be a nice pick for Philly and allow them to rest the over used Westbrook.
22. Minnesota Vikings Eben Britton Offensive Tackle Arizona
If Hakeem Nicks had not had weight questions throughout the offseason I think he would be he pick here, however the Vikings will use this selection instead to sure up their offensive line. Britton could help the Vikings offensive line mold togethter following the loss of Matt Birk to the Baltimore Ravens.
23. New England Patriots Clay Matthews Linebacker Southern California
Clay Matthews Sr. played for Bill Belichick when he was the coach in Cleavland. Could his son follow Belichick to the Patriots? Scouts think that,” While teammates Rey Maualuga and Brian Cushing certainly earned more attention throughout their respective careers, it is the former walk-on Matthews Jr. who some scouts feel ultimately could be the best of the bunch.” Matthews has great size and fits the mold that Belicheck has built for his linebackers. The Patriots linebackers are one of the oldest groups in the leagues. Last years first round pick Jerod Mayo added some youth to the group and a Defensive Rookie of the Year to his own collection. Matthews could be a great prospect to pair with Mayo to add energy to a defense who traded Mike Vrabel.
24. Atlanta Falcons Brandon Pettigrew Tight End Oklahoma State
While Chris Houston still remains in “Hot Lanta”, Dominique Foxworth hopped on a jet and landed in Baltimore on the first day of FA. So their is a possiibilty the Falcons could go cornerback with this selection. Though with the best TE in the draft sitting on the board, they will take the former Oklahoma State Cowboy. What he lacks in speed and vertical threat, Pettigrew more than makes up for with strength and power. An outstanding run blocker, Pettigrew can take on larger defensive ends and linebackers to open holes for running backs. With a saftey valve like Pettigrew, Matt Ryan could continue to develop into a franchise quarterback.
25. Miami Dolphins Darius Butler Cornerback UCONN
The Dolphins have tried to address their need at cornerback in the draft several times with each pick not fully reaching their potential. Well this year they’ll try again picking the UCONN defensive back. While they might be tempted with Vonte Davis, his characer issues will cause the Dolphins to pass on him. The Dolphins need a WR, but history will continue this year with Bill Parcells not selecting a receiver in the first round.
26. Baltimore Ravens Rey Maualuga Linebacker Southern California
This would be a classic Ozzie Newsome selection. LB is not an area of great need, however Rey Maualuga is talent wise a top 10 player. Maualuga would give the Ravens defense an intense hard hitting backer who could continue the tradition of great linebackers in Baltimore. The former Trojan has good speed and instincts but needs to work on his ability to shed blockers. Such a scouting report was issued once before on an undersized linebacker from Miami, who was taken with the 26th pick.
27. Indianapolis Colts Percy Harvin Wide Receiver Florida
With Marvin Harrison no longer on the Colts, at least for now, the Colts can continue to stock pile their receiving corps with the playmaker from the University of Florida. Falling because of questions of durability, Harvin could be the slot receiver that Peyton Manning always relies heavily on. With Wayne and Gonzalez on the outside and Harvin stretching defenses from the slot, the Colts won’t miss the departure of the future hall of famer Harrison.
28. Buffalo Bills (from Philadelphia) Larry English Northern Illinois
The Bills could use this pick to find the replacement for the recently traded Jason Peters, however drafting a tackle in the second round would be a better value so they continue to stock their defense with the 28th pick. English is an underrated defensive end hybrid linebacker that when combined with Robert Ayers, could help form a dynamic pass rushing duo. In the AFC North you have to be able to pressure the quarterback or Tom Brady and Chad Pennington will pick you apart. By using both first round picks on pass rushers. the Bills will have a speedy duo to attack opposing quarterbacks.
29. New York Giants Kenny Britt Wide Receiver Rutgers
Assuming the Giants don’t win the Braylon Edwards sweepstakes, the local product from Rutgers would provide Eli Manning with the big target missing since Plexico Burress’s suspension. Britt is big athletic and has good hands, however one of his best qualities is his run blocking. How nice it would be for the number one ranked rushing offense to add a receiver with the size and ability to run block effectively. Britt could give Eli Manning the big play option to help the Giants venture past the first round of the NFL Playoffs.
30. Tennessee Titans Vonte Davis Cornerback Illinois
After Malcolm Jenkins’ slip up at the combine their were scouts who thought that Vonte Davis might be the best corner in the draft. However, with NFL teams questioning his work ethic and the report of a positive test at the combine Davis falls into the Titans lap with the 30th pick. A big corner such as Davis could help them offset the loss of Albert Haynesworth with good man to man coverage. Vonte Davis gives the Titans a player with dynamic physical tools, it remains to be seen though how those tools transfer to Sunday afternoons.
31. Arizona Cardinals Knowshon Morino Running Back Goergia
Arizona had trouble running the ball all season last year until the playoffs when they balanced out their potent offense. Knowshon Morino could be the best back in the draft and is a You Tube sensation. NFL.com says, “Possessing extraordinary lateral quickness and elusiveness that has drawn comparisons to Barry Sanders…An offensive machine, Moreno rushed for 2,734 yards and 30 touchdowns in two seasons after redshirting in 2006 in addition to catching 53 passes for 704 yards and two scores.”
32. Pittsburgh Steelers Max Unger Center Oregon
Once a teammate of Haloti Ngata, now Max Unger gets to play against him at least twice a year. The center from Oregon would provide the Steelers with a young aggressive offensive lineman to help sure up a line that let Ben Roethlisberger get hit too many times. A big center like Unger would match up well in the physical AFC North where he would face Ngata, Shaun Rogers and the newly acquired Bengal Tank Johnson.
Let us know what you think, Do you agree with the Ravens selection in the mock draft?
We’re interested in getting another fan’s perspective into the 2009 NFL Draft.