New York Giants:
Round 1: Hakeem Nicks, WR, North Carolina
Round 2: Clint Sintim, LB, Virginia
Round 2B: William Beatty, OT, UCONN
Round 3: Ramses Barden, WR, Cal Poly
Round 3B: Travis Beckum, TE, Wisconsin
Round 4: Andre Brown, RB, N.C. St.
Round 5: Rhett Bomar, QB, Sam Houston St.
Round 6: DeAndre Wright, DB, New Mexico
Round 7: Stoney Woodson, DB, South Carolina
Overview: Nicks may be the most NFL ready of any of this year’s receivers, while Barden could be a steal in the third, as he has incredible size for the position. Sintim is a pass rushing threat from LB, while Beatty could be a starting left tackle some day if he puts on more weight. Beckum would have gone higher if it wasn’t for an injury, and is an excellent receiving tight end, while Brown is incredible value in the fourth and should push for playing time in his rookie year.
Best Pick: Hakeem Nicks – Nicks displayed incredible hands and playmaking ability in the Tar Heels bowl game, and should be welcomed on the receiver-starved Giants.
Sleeper Pick: Rhett Bomar – Bomar looked good at the combine and during Senior Bowl Week, could eventually develop into a starting caliber QB.
Round 1: Jeremy Maclin, WR, Mizzou
Round 2: LeSean McCoy, RB, Pitt
Round 5: Cornelius Ingram, TE, Florida
Round 5B: Victor “Macho” Harris, CB, Virginia Tech
Round 5C: Fenuki Tupou, OT, Oregon
Round 6: Brandon Gibson, WR, Washington St.
Round 7: Paul Fanaika, OG, Arizona St.
Round 7B: Moise Fokou, LB, Maryland
Overview: If you factor in that they picked up Ellis Hobbs and Jason Peters for draft picks, it gives it an ‘A’ grade. Maclin and McCoy should be key contributors immediately on offense. Ingram is a special receiving tight end who fell because of an injury, while Harris is great value in the fifth round.
Best Pick: Jeremy Maclin – Maclin is explosive, and is a big play waiting to happen, be it on special teams or after the catch.
Sleeper Pick: Cornelius Ingram – Some think that he could have been a first round pick if it wasn’t for the season ending injury during his senior year.
Round 3: Jason Williams, LB, Western Illinois
Round 3B: Robert Brewster, OT, Ball St.
Round 4: Stephen McGee, QB, Texas A&M
Round 4B: Victor Butler, DE, Oregon St.
Round 4C: Brandon Williams, DE, Texas Tech
Round 5: DeAngelo Smith, CB, Cincinnati
Round 5B: Michael Hamlin, S, Clemson
Round 5C: David Buehler, K, USC
Round 6: Stephen Hodge, S, TCU
Round 6B: John Phillips, TE, Virginia
Round 7: Mike Mickens, CB, Cincinnati
Round 7B: Manuel Johnson, WR, Oklahoma
Overview: It will be interesting to see which of these mid rounders can actually make a contribution in their first years. The Cowboys saved themselves some money, trading back for a ton of mid round picks. Brewster gives them interior line depth, while McGee is a project QB. Hamlin is a rock solid player, while Buehler should solve their kicking deficiencies. Mike Mickens could be a potential steal in the seventh.
Best Pick: Michael Hamlin – Although he is not very fast, that seems to be the only major flaw in his game. I could see him potentially starting at one of the safety spots.
Sleeper Pick: Mike Mickens – The reason he fell so far has more to do with an injury he sustained during his senior year than lack of talent, has starter potential if he can get healthy.
Round 1: Brian Orakpo, DE, Texas
Round 3: Kevin Barnes, CB, Maryland
Round 5: Cody Glenn, LB, Nebraska
Round 6: Robert Henson, LB, TCU
Round 7: Eddie Williams, TE, Idaho
Round 7B: Marko Mitchell, WR, Nevada
Overview: The Redskins didn’t have much to work with, but got two very good players with their first two picks. Orakpo is a physical specimen who makes their defensive line even better, and he should get a ton of one on one looks while playing next to Haynesworth. Barnes could push for the nickel/dime corner spot.
Best Pick: Brian Orakpo – Immediately improves a pass rush that was very poor last season even though the defense played well as a whole.
Sleeper Pick: Kevin Barnes – An injury kept him from going higher, and I could see him being the nickel guy right away before eventually pushing for a starting spot.
Round 2: Everette Brown, DE, Florida St.
Round 2B: Sherrod Martin, S, Troy
Round 3: Corvey Irvin, DL, Georgia
Round 4: Mike Goodson, RB, Texas A&M
Round 4B: Tony Fiammetta, FB, Syracuse
Round 5: Duke Robinson, OT, Oklahoma
Round 7: Captain Munnerlyn, CB, South Carolina
Overview: The Everette Brown selection was a steal at that point, but they gave up way too much to get him in my opinion. They will hope Martin can transition to cornerback, while Fiammetta is the draft’s best fullback and will lead the way for the league’s top rushing attack. Duke Robinson will move to guard, and could be a very good one.
Best Pick: Everette Brown – Brown has one of the quickest first steps in the draft, and
will most likely have to replace Peppers’ production.
Sleeper Pick: Duke Robinson – Robinson played tackle in college so he will be both a very good run blocker as well as pass blocker along the interior.
Round 1: Peria Jerry, DT, Ole Miss.
Round 2: William Moore, S, Mizzou
Round 3: Christopher Owens, CB, San Jose St.
Round 4: Lawrence Sidbury Jr., DE, Richmond
Round 5: William Middleton, CB, Furman
Round 5B: Garret Reynolds, OT, North Carolina
Round 6: Spencer Adkins, LB, Miami
Round 7: Vance Walker, DT, Georgia Tech
Overview: Thomas Dmitroff followed up a superb ’08 draft with another outstanding class. Jerry is the interior line pass rusher and run stopper their defense needed, while Moore will aim to replace Lawyer Milloy. Sidbury Jr., many thought would go higher, and Walker is also great value in the seventh.
Best Pick: Peria Jerry – With all of the hype Raji got, Jerry kind of flew under the radar, which allowed him to fall as far as Atlanta. He will really help their defense this year.
Sleeper Pick: Lawrence Sidbury Jr. – He is a little undersized, but has an incredible burst off the edge and gives the Falcons another threat other than just John Abraham.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers:
Round 1: Josh Freeman, QB, Kansas St.
Round 3: Roy Miller, DT, Texas
Round 4: Kyle Moore, DE, USC
Round 5: Xavier Fulton, OT, Illinois
Round 7: E.J. Biggers, CB, Western Michigan
Round 7: Sammie Stroughter, WR, Oregon St.
Overview: The Buccaneers hope they’ve found their franchise QB in Freeman, and he has all the physical traits, but just needs to work on his accuracy and reads. Moore is good value in the fourth, and is a good run stopping end who can potentially push inside on passing downs.
Best Pick: Josh Freeman – The Bucs at least hope this will be the best pick. Like I said, he has all of the physical tools and just needs to put it all together to be great.
Sleeper Pick: Sammie Stroughter – A very underrated player who had to sit out his senior season because of a kidney ailment, could turn into a very solid player if healthy.
New Orleans Saints:
Round 1: Malcolm Jenkins, CB, Ohio St.
Round 4: Chip Vaughn, S, Wake Forest
Round 4B: Stanley Arnoux, LB, Wake Forest
Round 5: Thomas Morstead, P, Southern Methodist
Overview: The Saints did not have a ton of picks to work with, but did do a nice job of addressing their secondary. Some people don’t think Jenkins is fast enough to play corner, but I am not one of those people. I think he will be a success at corner at the next level, and if he isn’t he can always do an Antrel Rolle style move to safety. Speaking of safety, Vaughn is another very good player from an excellent Wake Forest defense.
Best Pick: Malcolm Jenkins – Jenkins is your prototypical shutdown corner who may have just average timed speed, but covered some of college’s elite at Ohio St.
Sleeper Pick: Chip Vaughn – He may not be the ballhawk you look for at safety, but he is a very good tackler and could start at SS.
Round 1: Percy Harvin, WR, Florida
Round 2: Phil Loadholt, OT, Oklahoma
Round 3: Asher Allen, CB, Georgia
Round 5: Jasper Brinkley, LB, South Carolina
Round 7: Jamarca Sanford, S, Ole Miss.
Overview: Harvin is an explosive playmaker, plain and simple. If Childress can effectively use Harvin and Adrian Peterson together in the backfield, that could be very frightening for defensive coordinators. Loadholt could potentially start at right tackle, while Brinkley is a big, hard hitting linebacker that fell due to an injury.
Best Pick: Percy Harvin – Was a hybrid type player at Florida, but is an effective enough route runner, and has the hands to play receiver. However, you will see him line up in the backfield occasionally, as well run reverses for the Vikes.
Sleeper Pick: Jasper Brinkley – He was the leader of a stout Gamecock defense before being sidelined with an injury during his senior year, looks healthy now though, and should contribute.
Round 3: Jarron Gilbert, DE, San Jose St.
Round 3B: Juaquin Iglesias, WR, Oklahoma
Round 4: Henry Melton, DE, Texas
Round 4B: D.J. Moore, CB, Vanderbilt
Round 5: Johnny Knox, WR, Albeline Christian
Round 5B: Marcus Freeman, LB, Ohio St.
Round 6: Al Afalava, S, Oregon St.
Round 7: Lance Louis, OG, San Diego St.
Round 7B: Derek Kinder, WR, Pitt
Overview: The Jay Cutler trade has to be factored into this grade, as he is already better than any QB they could have gotten with a first round pick. Gilbert should help their interior pass rush, as he is big enough to play DT, while Iglesias and Knox while vie to become Cutler’s favorite target. Moore and Freeman are steals in the fourth and fifth respectively. Moore was once being talked about as a first rounder, while Freeman is vastly underrated.
Best Pick: D.J. Moore – Moore’s speed is the only question, but he is a lockdown corner who gives them insurance for the declining Vasher and Tillman.
Sleeper Pick: Jarron Gilbert – He could be very good for them, or could be a bust. Looked very good in his
Green Bay Packers:
Round 1: B.J. Raji, DT, Boston College
Round 1B: Clay Matthews, LB, USC
Round 4: T.J. Lang, OT, Eastern Michigan
Round 5: Quinn Johnson, FB, LSU
Round 5B: Jamon Meredith, OT, South Carolina
Round 6: Jarius Wynn, DE, Georgia
Round 6B: Brandon Underwood, CB, Cincinnati
Round 7: Brad Jones, LB, Colorado
Overview: Ted Thompson did something he rarely does, and that is, trading up to grab Clay Matthews. The Packers are transitioning to a 3-4, and grabbed the best DT available, B.J. Raji, at maybe the most important position in that scheme, nose tackle. Clay Matthews is a solid edge rusher at outside linebacker. Johnson will be a bruising lead blocker for Ryan Grant, while Meredith has starting left tackle potential if he can stay out of off the field trouble.
Best Pick: B.J. Raji – Watching tape of him in college shows just how dominant he is on the interior. Has one of the biggest lower bodies I have ever seen, and commands a double team every down.
Sleeper Pick: Jamon Meredith – Meredith started at tackle before being moved to guard after coming back from an injury. Looked outstanding at the combine, and could eventually start at left tackle.
Round 1: Matthew Stafford, QB, Georgia
Round 1B: Brandon Pettigrew, TE, Oklahoma St.
Round 2: Louis Delmas, S, Western Michigan
Round 3: DeAndre Levy, LB, Wisconsin
Round 3B: Derrick Williams, WR, Penn St.
Round 4: Sammie Lee Hill, DT, Stillman
Round 6: Aaron Brown, RB, TCU
Round 7: Lydon Murtha, OT, Nebraska
Round 7B: Zach Follett, LB, Cal
Round 7C: Dan Gronkowski, TE, Maryland
Overview: This draft will hinge on whether or not Stafford develops into a franchise QB. He has a huge arm, and good accuracy, but there are some questions about his leadership and poise in the pocket. Pettigrew will start right away, and will do everything a tight end could possibly be asked to do, whether it be blocking or receiving, he is more than capable at either. Delmas is a big hitting safety, while Williams is a Percy Harvin-esque slasher who will help in the return game.
Best Pick: Brandon Pettigrew – I say this because he will have more of an immediate impact than Stafford, and has less bust potential. Think Jason Witten.
Sleeper Pick: Zach Follett – Was the leader of a very good Cal defense, and although he doesn’t have much upside, he will find his way onto the field at some point.
Round 1: Chris “Beanie Wells, RB, Ohio St.
Round 2: Cody Brown, DE, UCONN
Round 3: Rashad Johnson, S, Alabama
Round 4: Greg Toler, CB, St. Pauls
Round 5: Herman Johnson, OT, LSU
Round 6: Will Davis, DE, Illinois
Round 7: LaRod Stephens-Howling, RB, Pitt
Round 7B: Trevor Canfield, OG, Cincinnati
Overview: The Cards may have landed a franchise back, or they may have themselves a player who is great when healthy, but can never stay healthy. That was the story on Wells in college, but hopefully he can remain injury free in the NFL. Johnson is a very smart, solid player, who I can see eventually starting for them, while Johnson and Canfield beef up the interior line.
Best Pick: Chris Wells – He is an elite running back when healthy, and has one of the best stiff arms I’ve ever seen.
Sleeper Pick: Herman Johnson – An absolute mammoth of a man, and could be a force inside if he can get his footwork down.
San Francisco 49ers:
Round 1: Michael Crabtree, WR, Texas Tech
Round 3: Glen Coffee, RB, Alabama
Round 5: Scott McKillop, LB, Pitt
Round 5B: Nate Davis, QB, Ball St.
Round 6: Bear Pascoe, TE, Fresno St.
Round 7: Curtis Taylor, S, LSU
Round 7B: Ricky Jean-Francois, DT, LSU
Overview: The Niners grade gets inflated due to the fact that they picked up a first round draft pick from the Panthers for their second. Crabtree was a steal at tenth overall, and will form a nice duo with Josh Morgan and Isaac Bruce. Coffee is a steady back who isn’t flashy, but is effective, while McKillop is a great ‘football’ player. Jean-Francois will fit nicely into the 3-4 scheme.
Best Pick: Michael Crabtree – Crabtree is the only two time Biletnikoff winner, and has all the physical tools to go with superb college production.
Sleeper Pick: Scott McKillop – Underrated because he won’t blow you away athletically, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him starting next to Willis after Spikes is done.
Round 1: Aaron Curry, LB, Wake Forest
Round 2: Max Unger, C, Oregon
Round 3: Deon Butler, WR, Penn St.
Round 6: Mike Teel, QB, Rutgers
Round 7: Courtney Greene, S, Rutgers
Round 7B: Nick Reed, DE, Oregon
Round 7C: Cameron Morrah, TE, Cal
Overview: The Seahawks also picked up an extra first rounder for next year by only giving up a second round choice. Curry was the consensus best player in the draft, and the Seahawks have enough faith in him that they released LeRoy Hill. Unger fills a position of need and can fill in anywhere on the line, while Deon Butler could be good in a few years. Mike Teel is a young signal caller to groom under Hasselbeck.
Best Pick: Aaron Curry – Excels in every facet of the game defensively, and is my early favorite for defensive rookie of the year.
Sleeper Pick: Mike Teel – Hasselbeck isn’t getting any younger, so it wouldn’t surprise me to so Teel in the mix in a couple of years.
St. Louis Rams:
Round 1: Jason Smith, OT, Baylor
Round 2: James Laurinaitis, LB, Ohio St.
Round 3: Bradley Fletcher, DB, Iowa
Round 4: Dorell Scott, DT, Clemson
Round 5: Brooks Foster, WR, North Carolina
Round 6: Keith Null, QB, West Texas
Round 7: Chris Ogbonnaya, RB, Texas
Overview: The Rams were able to find their replacement for the departed Orlando Pace in Jason Smith. James Laurinaitis is great value in the second and will be their starting middle linebacker. Brooks Foster flew under the radar being on the same team as Hakeem Nicks and Brandon Tate.
Best Pick: James Laurinaitis – He was the unquestioned leader of one of the nation’s top defenses, at a big time program. He’s a solid tackler who will lead by example in St. Louis.
Sleeper Pick: Chris Ogbonnaya – The Rams have been looking for some production behind Steven Jackson, so don’t be surprised to see this hard worker get some burn.