I know, I know…Everyone has a mock draft and most of them Bite.. But I felt this site needed one so here’s mine. I am going to project from # 1 to 22 ( where the Vikings pick) I reserve the right to tweak it here and there as information and events warrant. So here goes…
1. Detroit Lions – Matthew Stafford – QB – Georgia. Even the Lions know that you don’t pass up a franchise Quarterback when you get the chance. His upside is higher then Sanchez or Freeman although it may take a year or two to grow into the position. Personally, I think the best player is Aaron Curry of Wake Forest, but the quarterback position carries a higher profile, and the Lions need a face for the franchise. They also are in dire need of an upgrade at tackle, but they can answer that need at # 20.
2. St Louis Rams – Jason Smith – OT – Baylor. The Best of an excellent crop of tackles this year. Just slip him into the starting line-up and run behind this future pro-bowler for the next ten years.
3. Kansas City Chiefs – Aaron Curry – LB – Wake Forest – New GM Scott Pioli really wants to make a splash in his first draft with the Chiefs, and he nails the target with this “Can’t miss” Beast at inside linebacker for his new 3-4 base defense.
4. Seattle Seahawks – Eugene Monroe – OT – Virginia – Many draft gurus seem to think that Michael Crabtree is the pick here. But with T.J. Houshmandzadeh recently added to the receiving corps my feeling here is that the choice comes down to DE Brian Orakpo and Monroe. I am going with Monroe because not only is he the Drafts best pure left tackle but he would also make a terrific eventual replacement for Walter Jones who is entering his 14th NFL season.
5. Cleveland Browns – Brian Orakpo – DE – DE/OLB – Texas– The Browns need an infusion of talent in the defensive secondary, but there is no one rated high enough for them to take at # 5. They may try to trade down for more picks while still getting their choice of Vontae Davis, Darious Butler or Malcolm Jenkins. But if they stay at # 5 then the choice here is Orakpo. The Browns managed only 17 sacks last season…..Nuff said !
6. Cincinnati Bengals – Michael Oher – OT – Mississippi – The Bengals gave up 51 sacks in 08. I feel that Oher is a bit of a reach at #6, but with Andre Smith dropping like Scott Boris on a stack of dimes, he becomes the man. It’s a solid pick for a team not known for it’s drafting prowess.
7. Oakland Raiders – Micheal Crabtree – WR – Texas Tech – Al Davis loves speed and athleticism and is absolutely giddy to get both in Crabtree. A true Homerun hitter to go with Jamarcus Russell’s powerful arm. He was originally projected as a top 5 pick. But could not participate in the combo because of injury.
8. Jacksonville Jaguars – Jeremy Macklin – WR – Missouri – After releasing Matt Jones because of drug related problems, the need for a wide-out here is greater then ever. Macklin fit’s the bill to a tee. He is a top character guy who’s athleticism is off the charts.
9. Green Bay Packers – D.J. Raji – DT – Boston College – In a division with Adrian Peterson, you had better be able to stop the run. The Packers are trying to shift to a 3-4 defensive front and need an anchor in the middle of the line. Raji is a true high effort lunch pail type of player this team needs.
10. San Francisco 49ers – Mark Sanchez – QB – USC – The Niners recently Signed RT Marvel Smith so it’s unlikely they would pick a tackle here. Sanchez has played in a pro-style offense, and could start by the middle of the season. Two majors points ….1. This team needs to admit to the Alex Smith mistake. 2. Shaun Hill doesn’t send defensive coordinators running for cover.
11. Buffalo Bills – Aaron Maybin – DE/OLB – Penn. State – Maybin has been flying up the charts since he blew scouts away on Penn. States pro day where he recorded a 4.59 40 time, which was an improvement over his time at the Combine. He also had a 40.5-inch vertical and a 10‘10” broad jump. Although he is a bit undersized, he has put on weight in the past few months and his upside is ridiculous.
12. Denver Broncos – Josh Freeman – QB – Kansas State – The trade of Jay Cutler has draft prognosticators scrambling to figure out what this team is going to do on draft day. To me, with this pick and also the bears pick at # 18 the Broncos can’t be satisfied with Kyle Orton as the long term answer at QB. Freeman is raw, and quarterbacks who come out early have a history of futility, but Josh McDaniels seems to think he can turn anyone with moderate skills into a Pro Bowler. He will have more than that with Freeman who’s upside ceiling is high.
13. Washington Redskins – Andre Smith – OT – Alabama – The slide ends here as Daniel Snyder takes a chance on this behemoth talent with the poor work ethic. If the skins don’t grab him, he might well slip all the way to # 22 ( where the Vikings might take a chance on him). Snyder loves the Big Names. So this choice makes sense here. They may also opt for DE as Jason Taylor is as good as gone via free agency.
14. New Orleans Saints – Brian Cushing – OLB – USC – I liked Malcolm Jenkins here originally, but since they recently signed CB Jabari Green and safety Darren Sharper, I am convinced that the choice here is Cushing over RB Beanie Wells. Cushing is a weight room junkie and has the intangibles GM’s love and could possibly start immediately for the Saints.
15. Houston Texans – Malcolm Jenkins – CB – Ohio State – The Texans were hoping Cushing was still on the board, but with multiple needs, Jenkins is an excellent value at this point. Although he may not be fast enough to play corner ( 4.5 – 40 time ), he would still be an excellent choice at safety to a team that always seems to need help in the secondary.
16. San Diego Chargers – Everette Brown – DE – Florida State – The Charges were hoping for help at right tackle, but it is a reach to pick Eben Britton or William Beatty this early. Brown fit’s a definite need as the Bolts need a replacement for the departed Igor Olshansky who took $ 18 million to become a Cowboy.
17. New York Jets – Percy Harvin – WR – Florida – The Jet need playmakers and the speedy and strong Harvin ( 20 reps at 225 ) brings kick return ability as well as the potential to score every time he touches the ball.
18. Denver Broncos – Chris“Beannie”Wells – RB – Ohio State – ( From Chicago as compensation for Jay Cutler ) – A powerful back that fits their zone blocking scheme and a good value at # 18.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Peria Jerry – DT – Ole Miss. – The Bucs have a new Coach and a new GM and they would love to turn this once powerful defense back to what it was five years ago. Jerry is a good start as he is potentially dominant on the interior. T- Bay could really use a run stopper and the drop-off at DT is huge after this.
20. Detroit Lions – William Beatty – OT – UConn – After getting their franchise Quarterback with the # 1 pick the Lions now look to protect his backside with the massive Beatty ( 6‘6“ 307 ). The Lions gave up 52 sacks in 08 and Beatty should help solidify this porous line for years.
21. Philadelphia Eagles – Knowshon Moreno – RB – Georgia – With Chris Wells gone the next best back is Moreno. He runs hard between the tackles and has shown the quickness to bounce outside. The Eagles, who pick again at # 28 hope that TE Brandon Pettigrew is around at that time.
22. Minnesota Vikings – Eben Britton – OT – Arizona – The Vikings have needs at OT, WR and CB and could go in several directions here. They could trade down for an extra # 2 pick and still get C Alex Mack from Cal.. Or stay put and take their choice of WR’s Kenny Britt, Hakeen Nicks or Darrius Heyward-Bey. Although Brad Childress says he’s not going WR with the number 1 pick ( Troy Williamson ring a bell ? ) They may look for a CB with Vontae Davis or Darius Butler both available. But the biggest need here is RT so look for them to grab Britton here. I personally have both Davis and Butler rated higher, I think Davis would be an absolute steal at #22, but the glaring need for an upgrade at RT over Ryan Cook takes precedence.