2009 NFL Mock Draft

nfl-mock-draft-20091

Everyone’s doing it! Check back frequently to see all the updates.

1.) Detroit Lions – Matt Stafford, QB, Georgia : Update 04/24 – With a deal still not done by 9:00pm Friday night, I’m a little hesitant to keep Stafford at #1. The Lions could take a serious left tackle with Jason Smith or take Aaron Curry with a deal that they have apparently already worked out. Ouch…too close to call.
Update 03/31 – Matt Stafford is not a ‘lock’ for the #1 pick. The Detroit Lions cannot afford to draft a ‘bust’ with the #1 overall pick and so they may go after Baylor’s Jason Smith. Smith is certainly deserving of the first overall pick and the Lions could draft a quarterback with their other first-round pick (possibly Freeman or Sanchez if available).  
After the Lions traded/released both Kitna and Orlovsky, I think they made room for another quarterback. They restructured Daunte Culpepper’s contract, which is interesting, but he is certainly not their future. Stafford is still a little raw to me but the Lions can’t pass him here. If they were too pass, they take Jason Smith and wait for next year’s QB class.
2.) St. Louis Rams – Jason Smith, OT, Baylor : Update 04/16 – I didn’t want to change my pick here because I really thought the defensive-minded Spagnuolo would stick with defense. However, if he doesn’t pick Jason Smith with this pick he’ll be booed before he coaches his first game. Smith is a converted tight end who has not stopped receiving the best of compliments and praise from the top scouts across the country. I like this guy and Seattle would love him even more but St. Louis MUST snatch him up at #2.

Previous Pick: Aaron Curry

I know that a lot of Mocks have Jason Smith going to the Rams, which totally works, but I think new head coach Steve Spagnuolo is drooling over Curry. They could use more help protecting the QB but they signed center Jason Brown to do that AND the Super Bowl Champs allowed more sacks than the Rams last year. They take the best defensive prospect available.

3.) Kansas City Chiefs – Aaron Curry, LB, Wake Forest : Update 04/16 – Kansas City could go with Brian Orakpo here as well but Curry is the best player available and eventhough they brought in Mike Vrabel, he isn’t getting any younger. Curry has tremendous talent and what seems to be even greater work ethic. Pioli would like Curry over Orakpo, in my opinion.

Previous Pick: Brian Orakpo

Kansas City only had 10 sacks last year and they HAVE to get pressure on the opposing quarterback. They may have gone after Mark Sanchez here but they did their trade for Matt Cassel and the position has been filled. I think it’s a no-brainer for Kansas City at this position to take a pass-rusher to accompany Glenn Dorsey.

4.) Seattle Seahawks – Michael Crabtree, WR, Texas Tech: Update 04/24 – I don’t think the Seahawks can take Sanchez. This is a team that was in the Super Bowl just a few years ago and Hasselbeck can get it done, barring injuries. Crabtree will be the guy for the future without question. I don’t know if you can say that about Sanchez. Or can you?

Update 04/16 – I still think that Seattle should stick with a left tackle at this spot (Eugene Monroe in this case) but Crabtree may be too good to pass up. They brought in Housh but he is INTO his thrities and Seattle’s QB of the future will need a longtime target, a.k.a. Crabtree. But make no mistake about it, they need to find a replacement for Walter Jones.

 Previous Pick: Jason Smith

 This guy is worthy of the first overall pick but will fall to Seattle based on team needs. Walter Jones is 35 and not getting any younger, plus the team has been trying to replace Steve Hutchinson ever since he left. Jason Smith is a fixture on the line for years to come. I would say Seattle takes Crabtree here but they already signed Houshmandzadeh and got their guy. Not to mention, this will allow for Crabtree to fall victim to his expected “drop” in the draft after not being able to run.

5.) Cleveland Browns – B.J. Raji, DT, Boston College : Update 04/24 – I thought Raji would fall a little bit because of his positive drug test, but that seems to have had ZERO effect. Apparently Eric Mangini hates Shaun Rogers and loves B.J. Raji. To me, that spells “see ya Rogers, hello Raji”. This all of course if the Browns don’t take Sanchez, because we all know that everyone and their grandma is in love with the one-year starter out of USC.

Previous Pick : Brian Orakpo

Update 04/16 – If Crabtree falls to Cleveland then they might select him and shop Braylon Edwards even harder than they already are. However if Crabtree is gone, the Browns still need that pass-rusher. Orakpo is the best pass-rusher available and his potential is worthy of a #5 pick. I had Everette Brown before this update, which is more than okay, but a choice between Brown and Orakpo will mostly always go to Orakpo.

Previous Pick: Everette Brown

Cleveland needs defense above all else. Crabtree is there but they are expecting production from Stallworth, Edwards, and Steptoe. The team had just 17 sacks last season and they allowed an atrocious 150 yards rushing per game. Brown will serve as a guy to get sacks and to deter opposing running backs from his side. Without Willie McGinest, the Browns can find their replacement with Everette Brown.

6.) Cincinnati Bengals – Eugene Monroe, OT, Virginia: Update 04/16 – Unfortunately for Monroe, I don’t think he’ll fall to Jacksonville at #8. The Bengals need some help in a number of places and Levi Jones may be on the way out. B.J. Raji and his drug habit may work here but the Bengals brought in a criminal of there own, Tank Johnson, to handle those duties. They should probably just take the best available at this spot and that still leaves you with Monroe. I still really want to change this, for Monroe’s sake.

 Previous Pick: Michael Crabtree

The Bengals lost Housh and they’ll need a replacement. They were 30th in passing yards per game last year and Carson Palmer is due back. They already have middle-of-the-league defense but they need the points, Crabtree can open it up and help you do that. This will be that highly anticipated “drop” of Crabtree that everyone is talking about.

7.) Oakland Raiders – Jeremy Maclin, WR, Missouri : Update 04/16 – I read somewhere that in the past 30 years Al Davis hasn’t selected a receiver in the first round since 1988 (Tim Brown). As scary as that sounds, I’m not ready to change my pick at #7. Sure ol’ Al could take a freakish athlete like Maybin or Michael Johnson, but he knows he has to give JeMarcus “Soon To Be Bust” Russell some help. And by the way, Maclin is still pretty freaky. I will also note that I have heard Raiders’ head coach Tom Cable really likes Andre Smith out of Alabama. Smith’s character would certainly fit Oakland’s character style and they definitely need help on the offensive-line. But Khalif Barnes was just signed and we all know that Tom Cable won’t have any say over Al Davis’ wanting of a particular guy. What does Al Davis do right? Nothing, especially draft. I think they should take B.J. Raji at this position after a dismal performance by big-money Tommy Kelly last season. But instead, Al Davis will want a skilled position player (like always) to help JaMarcus Russell. Al Davis REACHES way over and takes Jeremy Maclin, bringing him to Wide Receiver Hell! They should also think about taking Eugene Monroe right here, they allowed the ninth most sacks in the league last year.

8.) Denver Broncos (via trade with JAX) – Mark Sanchez, QB, USC: Update 04/16 – This is where the draft may get juicy. It has been rumored that the Denver Broncos will try to trade down to this #8 spot and select their franchise quarterback, Mark Sanchez. HOWEVER, I think Jacksonville only takes this deal if Eugene Monroe is selected by the Bengals. If Monroe is still on the board at #8, then I think Jacksonville declines the trade and they select Monroe (because they need a tackle). If Monroe is off the board (likely to the Bengals) then I think Jacksonville accepts the trade and moves down to 12th, where they will probably address the same offensive-line issue but with someone like Michael Oher. Possibly a shut-down corner. In this case, we will assume that Monroe is gone and Jacksonville accepts the trade from Denver. Denver of course selects the USC quarterback whose stock is red-hot and remember how much McDaniels loves USC QB’s.

Previous Pick: Eugene Monroe

 The Jaguars need an offensive lineman and Monroe is a GREAT option right here. Khalif Barnes disappeared after his rookie season and declared for free agency, so the Jags should bring in a better replacement. Monroe could block for Maurice Jones-Drew for many years in Jacksonville.

9.) Green Bay Packers – Brian Orakpo, DE, Texas : Update 04/24 – I have Orakpo falling because the Browns either take Raji or stupidly trade to get Sanchez. The next team that needs a solid defensive end is the Packers. Of course Oakland could use a lot of positions but there’s no doubt in my mind that Al Davis drafts a skilled position. I’ll take Orakpo over Everette Brown at #9.

Previous Pick : Everette Brown

Update 04/16 – B.J. Raji is still a good option and possibly the best player available, however he apparently likes to toke a little too often. I wouldn’t personally be offended by Raji’s pot-smoking in college but when a franchise is about to invest millions of dollars into a top-ten pick, I think their mindset and beliefs differ a little bit from mine. Besides, Everette Brown is no mop here for the 3-4 defense that Green Bay runs.

Previous Pick: Tyson Jackson

 B.J. Raji is a good option here but, after ranking in 25th in sacks, the Packers need a pass-rusher first. Tyson Jackson could be a freak and build with Kampman and Hawk very effectively. Again, I wouldn’t be surprised if Green Bay went with the ginormous Raji at this spot.

10.) San Francisco 49er’s – Michael Oher, OT, Ole Miss: Update 04/16 – San Francisco could entertain a trade from Buffalo in order for the Bills to land their latest squeeze, Aaron Maybin. San Fran may also want to take Maybin themselves. The trade may not sound too good for the 49er’s unless a potential player was thrown into the deal because the two teams have very similar positions in both the first, second, and third rounds. With that said, I still believe San Fran needs help at the tackle position. I know they signed Marvel Smith but he doesn’t seem to be like a savior to me, especially long-term. Oher’s stock has dropped a little but I still think he has the tools to be a big time player in this league.

This is a VERY difficult pick to predict. I would say Mark Sanchez here but the Niners seem to be close to signing Kurt Warner. Plus, Sanchez doesn’t really impress me all that much. San Francisco could also use a wide receiver at this position but they would be reaching to get Hakeem Nicks (in my opinion) and the team is all to familiar with Maryland studs who have impressive 40 times at the combine (Vernon Davis), so I would slightly dismiss Darrius Heyward-Bey. I think if Singletary sticks with Shaun Hill, who isn’t really that bad, Oher could come in and help block for him. I understand that the Niners allowed a LEAGUE-HIGH 55 sacks, but J.T. O’Sullivan held the ball longer than any quarterback I have ever seen. I would account a lot of the sacks to O’Sullivan’s extremely poor decision making and overall play. Nonetheless, they are forced to take an OT here.

11.) Buffalo Bills – Aaron Maybin, DE/OLB, Penn State : Update 04/16 – I wasn’t high on Maybin after his combine workout but his Pro Day was about 100 times better. One of his issues was putting on weight and he has already been doing his part, and we all know that NFL coaches have the ability to bulk anyone up. Buffalo has fallen in love with Maybin and if the Niners don’t take him at #10, the Bills will probably scoop him up.

Previous Pick: Brian Cushing

The Bills need some help getting to the quarterback and they happen to have a pretty weak linebacker crew as well, Cushing fits well at number 11. Cushing performed well in the Combine and he can help with the Bills’ poor rushing defense too(Buffalo allowed 121 rushing-yards-per-game in ‘08).

12.) Jacksonville Jaguars (via trade with DEN) – Andre Smith, OT, Alabama: Update 04/16 – Remember, this is all if the trade happens with Denver. If Denver stays at this position and Mark Sanchez is here, then the Broncos pick Sanchez. If Denver stays at #12 and for whatever reason Sanchez is off the board, then the Broncos will likely take Tyson Jackson. For the sake of the trade I think the Jags have the #12 pick and they have a number of options. Tyson Jackson is a good talent but they reached for Derrick Harvey last year and that didn’t work as planned, however still a working project. Andre Smith of Alabama is available and the Jaguars do need offensive line help. Assuming Monroe goes to the Bengals, the Jags do this trade, and Andre Smith is sitting in front of them at #12, I think they take the character risk of Smith with all expectations of Jack Del Rio whipping this kid into shape.

Previous Pick: Denver selecting B.J. Raji

Update 4/2: Sources have confirmed that B.J. Raji has failed a drug test that was administered at the NFL Combine. SI.com has also reported that Raji tested positive for marijuana while at Boston College. Is this news to anyone? I wouldn’t be surprised if B.J. Raji smoked pot everyday, his ‘munchies’ are definitely noticeable. But in all seriousness, I am unsure about what this will do to his draft status. Weed or no weed, he still a moving brick house in the middle of the line. However, maybe Denver doesn’t risk one of their two first-rounders on a weed toker…Check back for changes. Denver could do a lot of things with this pick, which really makes me think that they may do some draft day trading. However, assuming they keep the #12, you can’t pass up on Raji at this point. I could also see them taking a safety at this position but Sean Smith is a little bit of a reach and Malcolm Jenkins isn’t necessarily a safety just yet.

13.) Washington Redskins – Rey Maualuga, OLB, USC : Update 04/16 – For some odd reason, and I really have no idea why, I have been liking Andre Smith lately. If Smith was available here at #13 then I would say Dan Snyder takes the future left tackle, but I have him going to the Jags. The Redskins have addressed the interior of the d-line by adding Haynesworth, so Raji is out. They signed Derrick Dockery so a reach for Eben Britton is not likely. And I really don’t see the Skins making a move to get Sanchez, all this talk is all apart of the plan to put a little fire under Jason Campbell’s hind parts. With all that said, linebacker is a position that needs help. The Redskins cut Marcus Washington, though they may re-sign him, and London Fletcher is aging. Tyson Jackson is an option at defensive end but he is more of a run-stopping end, and I think the Skins need a pass-rusher. Brian Cushing is probably the best OLB available but he lacks the ability to really blitz the passer. What does it leave you? Rey Maualuga is a pretty freaky athlete and you could throw him in on the OLB spot during his rookie season until he ultimately takes over for London Fletcher. He can blitz, force turnovers, and play the pass. I happen to really like this guy. I’m thinking a Troy Polamalu in the front seven.

 The Redskins have a number of positions that need to be taken care of, but due to the signing of Derrick Dockery to help the offensive-line and Albert Haynesworth to help the defensive-line, I think they go with the next position of need. Maualuga can rush the quarterback and he can play some pass-defense as well. I would love for the Skins’ to take a tackle at this point but Andre Smith is a HUGE risk and the departure of Marcus Washington makes for a serious need at linebacker. But then again, it’s the Redskins. Dan Snyder could select Josh Freeman and I wouldn’t be surprised.

14.) New Orleans Saints – Malcolm Jenkins, CB/S, Ohio State : Update 04/16 – Kiper and McShay will argue all day about whether the Saints should take Beanie Wells at #14, but I just can’t see it. The Saints offense had no problems last year and their defense let up the second-most yards per catch on defense. That stat alone will allow me to keep my pick of Malcolm Jenkins at #14.  Jenkins didn’t have that impressive of a Combine but I think that just makes him a safety, worst case scenario. The Saints obviously need secondary help and Jenkins may be able to play both safety and corner. Vontae Davis is a corner that had a better Combine performance so don’t be surprised if Davis is taken here instead. However, I believe that Jenkins being able to play two potential positions and being a part of a title-contending Buckeyes team gives him an upper hand.

15.) Houston Texans – Brian Cushing, OLB, USC : Update 04/19 – My suspected trade with the Eagles is out of the question now that the Eagles found their tackle via Jason Peters. Houston will still try to trade this pick, I assume, but for now I will say that they end up keeping it. I continue to believe that Cushing is a slight reach at #15 but it makes sense for the Texans.

Previous Pick: Brian Cushing (04/12) Clay Matthews

Houston has a few holes to fill, but they’re going to be a good team despite the fact. They could go with Vontae Davis but I think an outside linebacker to help DeMeco Ryans is a HUGE need for them. A number 15 selection may seem a little high for Matthews but he’s the best available OLB at this point. And that’s not a cut on Matthews, he’s a great player and should be just fine in the NFL.

16.) San Diego Chargers – William Beatty, OT, UConn : Update 04/16 – Many analysts have Beatty over Britton, so the Bolts will take the big lineman from UConn.

Previous Pick: Eben Britton

If LT had left San Diego then there would be no question that I put Knowshon Moreno at this spot. But LT is back, Charger fans should be pleased, and they’ll take an offensive-lineman at number 16. Andre Smith has talent but has admitted that he’s out of shape, which is not worth it to me. Why not take a VERY talented Britton? He may be playing right tackle but I wouldn’t be complaining about that. If Oher slips this far, they may prefer Oher due to his familiarity with the right side. I would opt for Britton regardless.

 17.) New York Jets – Chris Wells, RB, Ohio State : Update 04/16 – Josh Freeman would not surprise me here because I think Rex Ryan has some confidence in strong-arm quarterbacks (see: Joe Flacco). However, I’m sticking with Beanie. I want to say Mark Sanchez really bad at this spot because I think he makes a splash in the Big Apple, but I think Tannenbaum (GM) wants to give Kellen Clemens a real shot. Tannenbaum drafted Clemens and he has yet to see what he can do in a fair trial season. I also think the Jets could use a receiver but rumors have it that they may sign Torry Holt and they could easily pick up Robiskie or Iglesias in the second round. With that being said, Thomas Jones isn’t getting any younger and Beanie Wells is the best running back in the Draft. Wells is a perfect dose of speed and power and he should be a fan favorite in New York.

18.) Denver Broncos – Tyson Jackson, DE, LSU : Update 04/24 – It would have been nuts if Raji fell all the way to the Broncos, which he won’t. However, Denver will be satisfied with Jackson. He’s a freak athlete and some people have him going in the top-fifteen. If he’s sitting here at #18, the Broncos should bite.

Previous Pick : B.J. Raji

Update 04/16 – If this happens as I have it, Denver will pull out the best first-round of 2009. According to my Mock Draft, the Broncos would get their franchise guy in Mark sanchez with pick #8 after a trade with Jacksonville and then they land their defensive squeeze, Raji, at #18. Raji at this spot is an absolute STEAL and Denver should feel extremely lucky. I wouldn’t be surprised if Raji is taken much higher than #18 because he has top-10 talent. The drug-related problems along with specific team needs after pick #10 are the only things dropping Raji this far.

Update 04/02 – I’m still researching this one after the Jay Cutler trade. Denver now has Kyle Orton as their starter? I wouldn’t be satisfied with that but maybe they are content. The Broncos desperately need help on the defensive side of the ball but perhaps they’ll steal away Mark Sanchez, a USC quarterback like Cassell that McDaniels seems to love. Whether it be in the first or second round, McDaniels probably wants “his” guy at quarterback. Why not groom Sanchez? 

Previous Pick : Chicago Bears – William Beatty, OT, UConn

19.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Everette Brown, DE, Florida State: Update 04/24 – Tampa Bay is getting difficult to figure out. I still think they could address the defensive end position and get a Gaines Adams compliment, and Everette Brown is a Florida kid that’s sitting at #19. Why not? I would also not rule out a reach for a receiver, Heyward-Bey possibly?

Previous Pick: Tyson Jackson

Update 04/16 – Josh Freeman may have been my updated pick but the Bucs just went out and signed a veteran big-arm quarterback, Byron Leftwich. That signing tells me that the Bucs do not expect Sanchez to fall to #19, they don’t expect to trade down far enough to get Sanchez, and they’re not high enough on Freeman to draft him at 19. Therefore, they can take Tyson Jackson to line up opposite Gaines Adams and have an end that can effectively stop the run. Offensive line help never hurts and William Beatty is available, I wouldn’t be shocked at that pick. Also, Chris Hovan is getting up there in age and that makes Peria Jerry a likeable selection at #19. In fact, I may be back shortly to pencil in Jerry.

Previous Pick: Mark Sanchez

I like Knowshon Moreno at this point but the Bucs just signed Derrick Ward. New coach and a relatively new general manager means that the team still needs their franchise quarterback. Why not bring Sanchez from sunny Cali to sunny Florida? Sanchez is possibly the best remaining QB and the Bucs cannot rely on Luke McCown as the future. So what happens when Gruden leaves? The team will continue to have a shelf of quarterbacks.

 20.) Detroit Lions – Eben Britton, OT, Arizona : Update 04/17 – I will stick to my guns and say that the Lions take a tackle with their second first-round pick in order to block for franchise kid Matt Stafford for many years to come. Linebacker seems to also be a Lions’ need but Britton is a damn good option at #20.

Previous Pick: William Beatty

Update 04/16 – After taking Stafford with the first pick, which seems pretty clear-cut, I think the Lions HAVE to go after some protection for the young man. I had Andre Smith slipping this far and the Lions would almost have to take him at this point. But, again, for some reason I have Andre Smith back in my top-15 and I don’t see him being available at #20. If Smith is available, obviously the Lions take him. If he isn’t, the Lions can select Beatty and get a pretty good lineman for many years to come (IMO) 

Previous Pick: Andre Smith

Update 04/02 – This is even too high for Andre Smith, in my opinion, but if he’s available at #20 and your team is desperate for an offensive-tackle, it’s worth a shot. Hopefully by April this guy can get his act together, because he really does have the tools to succeed in the league. Detroit needs a tackle so bad that they should seriously contemplate taking Jason Smith with the first overall pick and then selecting whatever quarterback is left at this spot, whether it be Stafford, Sanchez, Freeman, etc. Anyway, given my current Mock, I have them taking a huge offensive-tackle to help the newly drafted Matt Stafford.

21.) Philadelphia Eagles – Knowshon Moreno, RB, Georgia : Update 04/24 – I thought the Eagles would follow their own suit and take defense in the first-round, but reports have said that the team is very high on Moreno. Moreno could be the future replacement for Westbrook and that’s after lining up WITH Westbrook for a few years.

Previous Pick: Robert Ayers

Update 04/19 – Well the Houston/Philly trade that I had predicted is down the crapper now that Philly traded their 28th away in order to land Jason Peters. Now that the Eagles have their tackle, I could see them going defensive end or wide receiver at #21. And with Andy Reid’s draft history, I would guess defensive line. I’ll go back with my original pick of Ayers.

Previous Pick: Suspected trade with Houston (04/16) and HOU selecting Cushing, original pick of PHI selecting William Beatty

Update 04/02 – Pretty solid offensive tackle and certainly coachable. Andy Reid loves big guys on his o-line and Beatty fits the bill at 310. And there’s even better news, Beatty is still rackin’ on the pounds. Looks like Andy may have a new young eating partner. Previous Pick: Robert Ayers, DE, Tennessee – Philly could take Knowshon Moreno here to help out Westbrook and eventually take over, but I can’t see Andy Reid pulling that move. McNabb is back on board and a receiver could really help the Eagles, one good receiver. However, I don’t think any of the top-receivers in this draft are the type of receiver that Philly needs because they don’t necessarily need the “speed” guy. With that being said, watch for the Eagles to select ANOTHER defensive player. Larry English may be big on some people’s boards but Robert Ayers is a more complete player and he comes from the SEC. Solid pick here for the Eagles and they have another selection just six picks later.

22.) Minnesota Vikings – Vontae Davis, CB, Illinois : The Vikings have somewhat of a hole over there at right tackle on the offensive line but that doesn’t seem to bother Adrian Peterson all that much (1,760 yards in ‘08). I thought that the Vikings may try to go after a quarterback, but instead they traded for a guy named Sage Rosenfels. I guess that position is considered “okay”…for now. But there is still no doubt that Minnesota needs help at defensive back. The defense is Super Bowl ready but a good corner could propel them. I like Vontae Davis at #22. He’s fast, athletic, the best available, and an absolute steal at this position.

23.) New England – James Laurinaitis, ILB, Ohio State : New England is a hard team to predict, in anything. They could use help at strong safety but it would be a far reach for anyone at that position with the #23 pick. Not to mention the team has an even bigger need at the interior linebacker position. Tedy Bruschi is extremely old and he will need a replacement. Laurinaitis just seems like a Belichick guy to me. He may not be the fastest guy on Earth, but the Patriots make great players out of anyone who has good knowledge of the game, which Laurinaitis has. I know some people will think this is a slight reach, but I really think it fits.

24.) Atlanta Falcons – Clay Matthews, OLB, USC : Update 04/24 – Even when the Falcons make an unbelievable trade and bring in Tony Gonzalez, I still think they can select Pettigrew here. However, the Falcons brought in Gonzalez in order to focus on the defense in this year’s draft. Although I like the idea of having Gonzalez and Pettigrew on the field with Roddy White and Michael Turner, I think the Falcons go defense here. Matthews is available and almost worthy, I’d go with him.

Previous Pick: Brandon Pettigrew

I think this is a no-brainer for Atlanta if Pettigrew is still around (which he should be). Roddy White is the big receiver, Matt Ryan is the stud quarterback, Michael Turner has brought a ton to the offense, and the defense played much better than expected. I could see Atlanta going after defense in this position but Pettigrew is the piece that is missing from the offense. With his pass-catching ability and blocking skills, he will put this offense over the top.

25.) Miami Dolphins – D.J. Moore, CB, Vanderbilt : I really like Moore out of Vandy. He is a little undersized (5′9) and his forty time disappointed a few, but I think he will make a good pro player. The Dolphins are very slim at the defensive back position after the departure of Goodman across from Will Allen and D.J. Moore could come in and make a spark. Moore can also provide returning abilities, which he showed while in college. Is it a reach? Maybe. But you’ll notice that many of my predictions in the latter part of the round will receive the “reach” label.

26.) Baltimore Ravens – Kenny Britt, WR, Rutgers : Baltimore needed some help at defensive back and they went out and got Dominique Foxworth, which will pay off nicely for them. They need help at defensive end but I think receiver is a bigger question mark. Derrick Mason is on his last games and they need someone opposite Mark Clayton (who just decided to start playing good football at the end of last year). Flacco is a young quarterback that needs a young target, I see Britt as that guy. Kenny Britt has climbed up a lot of people’s boards and I am very high on this guy. He’s 6′3 at 210 pounds and he ran a 4.4 at his Pro Day. He is a great catcher and he could really be the large target for the developing Flacco. Not to mention, Derrick Mason would serve as a great mentor to the rookie in terms of route running and reading defenses. Did I mention he’s only 20-years-old? If Jeremy Maclin slips this far then I would look for Baltimore to grab him. Otherwise, Britt is a really good option at #26.

27.) Indianapolis Colts – Peria Jerry, DT, Ole Miss : Indy needs to give Peyton a new target to throw to but I think they wait until the second round to address the receiver position. With the #27 pick, I see the Colts improving their atrocious interior defensive line and taking the best defensive tackle at this point in the draft. Peria Jerry seems to be either completely overlooked or chalked in as a future Colt, I think he fits pretty well. Although Jerry may seem to be overwhelmed at times, I think he can serve as a good rusher up the middle for the line.

28.) Buffalo Bills (via trade with PHI) – Brandon Pettigrew, TE, OSU: Update 04/24 – I think the Bills need a tight end, as well as a tackle, and they can now take an unreal Pettigrew with the #28 pick. Atlanta would take Pettigrew but they just traded for a 10-time Pro Bowler.

Previous Pick : Jared Cook

Update 04/19 – Buffalo parted ways with their solid left tackle but he obviously didn’t want to be there. The Bills collect the #28 pick in the draft and they could go with either a defensive lineman or OLB. I have them selecting Maybin with the #11 pick so perhaps they look at tight end. Pettigrew is off the board to Atlanta just four selections prior but the Bills could slightly reach for Jared Cook. Cook is a huge target, like Pettigrew, who has a tremendous skill set. In fact, Cook was stronger than Pettigrew at the Combine, Cook demolished Pettigrew in the vertical leap by EIGHT inches, and Cook ran the second-fastest 40-time for a tight end within the past ten years. I think he’s worth a try. Think of the receiving targets: Owens, Evans, Cook?

29.) New York Giants – Darius Butler, CB, UConn : The Giants are stacked! This is a very difficult selection to predict. Knowshon Moreno is available and he could be the replacement for the outgoing Derrick Ward. They could also use some help at strong safety but Sean Smith is a free safety (?). With that being said, they could use some depth at defensive back. Sam Madison is getting older and Darius Butler could come in and help out in a year or so. In all honesty, this just a throw-up for me. I really don’t have any idea of what the Giants want to do. They needed some linebacker help but they went out and got Chris Canty, so the position is filled. The defense is loaded. The offense is loaded. With a situation like this, it usually indicates trading the selection or taking the best available talent. Knowshon Moreno is best available at #29 and a trade is very possible.

30.) Tennessee Titans – Michael Johnson, DE, Georgia Tech : Update 04/16 – The Titans went out and got Nate Washington but I still would not be against them selecting Percy Harvin right here. My personal “Bust Meter” flashes a little bit when it comes to Harvin but he obviously has speed and playmaking ability. On the defensive side, Tennessee needs defensive end help and a corner. Nick Harper is aging and the first-round defensive ends are gone. The Titans reached last year with Chris Brown so why not reach again. Michael Johnson is a freak athlete with possible work ethic issues. Victor Harris is a strong corner and a likely second-rounder. Toss-up? Watch closely for updates.

Previous Pick: Aaron Maybin

Tennessee, I think, still needs receiver help even after the Nate Washington signing but Heyward-Bey is too risky for the first round. The Titans are getting thin at cornerback due to Nick Harper’s age but no remaining cornerback is worth this high of a pick. After that, I like addressing the defensive end position. Jevon Kearse and Kyle Vanden Bosch are both in their thirties and we all know that these guys can’t play forever. There is a ton of options at this selection for a defensive end including Michael Johnson, Larry English, and Conor Barwin. However, Maybin had an outstanding year and his Pro Day performance has shot him up the boards as of late. Many criticize Maybin by calling him a one-year-wonder and pointing out his questionable size, but I don’t think there is any way you can pass up this potential when it falls in your lap.

31.) Arizona Cardinals – Donald Brown, RB, UConn: Update 04/24 – The Cardinals are hoping that Moreno falls but they’ll be happy to take Brown in the case that Moreno is selected by the Eagles at #21. I think the Cards could take an end at this spot, but they seem to have their eyes on the backfield.

Previous Pick: Knowshon Moreno

Will Moreno make it all the way to 31? The Cardinals hope so. Edgerrin James is on the way out and Moreno is the perfect fit in the desert. Moreno is a great pass-catcher out of the backfield and, in case you haven’t noticed, the Cards like to throw it. Moreno is an every-down back and he can breakout at any time. Moreno is a playmaker that would go great alongside Fitzgerald and Boldin (assuming he stays).

32.) Pittsburgh Steelers – Alex Mack, C, Cal : Update 04/16 – Bottom line, the Steelers let up too many sacks last season. Alex Mack is certainly first-round talent but the center position isn’t nearly as glamorous as the left tackle. Therefore, centers often go unnoticed, but not this kid. Steelers should steal him, without question, at #32.

Previous Pick: Sean Smith

Surprising enough, the Steelers do have holes to fill…but not many. Sean Smith is a BIG safety and he could fit the mold as a Steeler. He has tremendous ability and upside. He’s 6′4 and should be the Steeler’s starter after one year. However, the Steelers’ offensive line fizzled out a little bit last year. To me, the next best available lineman would be Oklahoma’s Duke Robinson but I’m not sure he’s a sure first rounder. Sean Smith is a good talent to be selected here, we’ll keep him at #32 for now.

 

 

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