2009 NFL Mock Draft – Middle Of The Pack Selections
After posting my top-ten picks (here) and taking a little time to research, I’m ready to throw out my predictions for picks 11 thru 20. Check it out…
11.) Buffalo Bills – Brian Cushing, OLB, USC : 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.) Denver Broncos – B.J. Raji, DT, BC : 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 : 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 : 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 – Clay Matthews, OLB, USC : 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 – Eben Britton, OT, Arizona : 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 : 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.) Chicago Bears – William Beatty, OT, Connecticut : The Bears could use a wide receiver but taking Heyward-Bey or Hakeem Nicks is too much of a reach at 18. John Tait has retired and John St. Clair continues to remain a free-agent. Andre Smith is still waiting in the Green Room but his character is too large an issue. The Bears should take the next best offensive-tackle, William Beatty, in order to fill an immediate need. They may need some depth at defensive-end but this is a little too high for Larry English and incredibly too high for Michael Johnson.
19.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Mark Sanchez, QB, USC : 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 – Andre Smith, OT, Alabama : 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.
Stay tuned for picks 21-32 to finish up the first round of my 2009 NFL Mock Draft. Changes will come as we get closer to April. Please leave me a comment or email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org