Just 9 days away from the 2009 NFL Draft I have decided to unveil my first mock draft. I have included some potential trades and surprises. This will probably change by the time I post it but here is my 2009 NFL Mock Draft:
- Detroit – Matthew Stafford, QB, Georgia
With the first overall pick the Lions will take their quarterback of the future. Although they have a plethora of other holes the Lions begin to rebuild with a Stafford to Calvin Johnson connection that should produce a ton of big plays. One side note: the decision between Stafford and USC signal caller Mark Sanchez is a lot close than most people think.
2. St. Louis – Jason Smith, OT, Baylor
With the release of Orlando Pace earlier in the off season the Rams will be looking for a top tier tackle to rebuild around. Smith offers the best combination of size, athleticism, work ethic, and potential of any tackle in the draft.
3. Kansas City – Aaron Curry, OLB, Wake Forest
Curry is perhaps the most talented player at any position in the draft; he possesses a great mix of speed and bulk at 254 pounds. Most consider Curry to be the safest pick of the draft.
4. Seattle – Mark Sanchez, QB, USC
Seattle is by far the biggest wild card in the top 10; they could take any one of 6 players but at the end of the day I think they go with Sanchez. Seattle will draft Sanchez with the intention of having him learn for a year or two behind Matt Hasselbeck, but with Hasselbeck’s recent injury history Sanchez may not be afforded that luxury
5. Cleveland – Michael Crabtree, WR, Texas Tech
I have the Browns trading Braylon Edwards to the Giants so Crabtree would make a lot of sense here. With the trade of Edwards the Browns receiving corps of Josh Cribbs, David Patten, and Syndric Steptoe aren’t going to cut the mustard. Crabtree is a big, strong, physical receiver who was as productive as any receiver in NCAA history.
6. Cincinnati – Eugene Monroe, OT, Virginia
Cincinnati is a team that is currently in disarray and has too many holes on their roster to count. Carson Palmer when healthy is a top five quarterback in the league and needs better protection. Monroe will step in to replace injury prone Left Tackle Levi Jones on a line that was ranked 30th in sacks allowed in 2008.
7. Oakland – Andre Smith, OT, Alabama
Is there a better fit then a superior talented player with major off the field concerns and the Oakland Raiders? If Andre Smith had not gone off the reservation in the past few months I think he would have been the first tackle off the board and perhaps the #1 overall pick.
8. Jacksonville – B.J. Raji, DT, Boston College
Jacksonville gets a huge defensive tackle to plug in next to John Henderson and shore up a run defense that fell dramatically last year.
9. Green Bay – Brian Orakpo, OLB/DE, Texas
Orakpo was nicknamed “Osackpo” by his college teammates because of his ability to get to the quarterback. Lining Orakpo up opposite Aaron Kampman in the Packers new 3-4 defense would give coaches in the NFL more then a few sleepless nights.
10. San Francisco – Aaron Maybin, OLB/DE, Penn St.
San Francisco is another team with a lot of holes on it roster especially on the offensive side of the ball; but Maybin’s upside may be too much for the 49ers to pass up on.
11. Buffalo – Robert Ayers, DE, Tennessee
This is the first true reach of the draft, for a team that as been known to reach for players in the past. Reportedly the Bills front office is very high on Ayers who has rocketed up draft boards since the Senior Bowl.
12. Denver – Rey Maualuga, ILB, USC
Former Ravens Defensive Coordinator Mike Nolan is now running the defense in Denver and he will begin building his defense with Maualuga. The Broncos could not stop anyone on the ground last year and Maualuga would be an immediate improvement in the middle of Nolan’s 3-4 scheme.
13. Washington – Michael Oher, OT, Ole Miss
Oher is a big athletic tackle who would really help an offensive line that is a mess; but never count out the possibility of Daniel Snyder trading this pick for an old, over the hill player.
14. New Orleans – Chris “Beanie” Wells, RB, Ohio State
While Knowshon Moreno may be more talented, Beanie Wells would be the perfect compliment to Reggie Bush in the backfield. The Saints also need help on defense but with the loss of Deuce McAllister in the off season the Saints need a back to punch the ball in the end zone.
15. Houston – Malcolm Jenkins, CB/S, Ohio State
Malcolm Jenkins stock has fallen quicker than any other player in this draft due to his horrid 40 time at the combine. With a move from corner to safety Jenkins could be a pro bowler in the very near future.
16. San Diego – Brian Cushing, LB, USC
Cushing would move inside in the Chargers 3-4 scheme.
17. New York Jets – Jeremy Maclin, WR, Missouri
With the loss of Laveranues Coles to the Bengals, Maclin would be an excellent down field threat for the Jets. One problem, who is going to get him the ball?
18. Denver (From Chicago) – Tyson Jackson, DE, LSU
The Broncos got this pick when they decided to trade away Jay Cutler to the Bears; I think Denver continues to bolster their front seven.
19. Tampa Bay – Everette Brown, DE/OLB, Florida State
Tampa Bay is looking for a pass rusher to line up opposite Gaines Adams and they don’t have to look too far by taking Everette Brown from Tallahassee.
20. Detroit (From Dallas) – Clay Matthews, OLB, USC
Detroit would love to follow the Falcons blueprint from last year and draft their franchise quarterback in the top 3 and then protect his blindside with your second first round pick. I think the draw of adding some punch to the defense in Matthews may be too tempting to pass up.
21. Philadelphia – Brandon Pettigrew, TE, Oklahoma State
The Eagles let oft-injured tight end L.J. Smith move on to Baltimore; in Pettigrew that add the best tight end in the draft and a much needed weapon for Donovan McNabb.
22. Minnesota – Eben Britton, OT, Arizona
Britton is the best tackle remaining on the board and fills a need for the Vikings at Right Tackle.
23. New England – Vonte Davis, CB, Illinois
Vernon’s brother has top ten talent but comes with some baggage. It has been reported that Vonte clashed with coaches at Illinois and takes plays off; but if there is one man who can the most out of a player with a bad reputation it is Bill Belichick.
24. Atlanta – Louis Delmas, S, Western Michigan
Falcons shore up their secondary with Delmas, the top pure safety in the draft.
25. Miami – Darius Butler, CB, Connecticut
To try and figure out what Bill Parcells will do with his draft picks is next to impossible, but they have a glaring hole at corner.
26. Baltimore – Darius Heyward-Bey, WR, Maryland
Raven and Terp fans can rejoice because I believe that Heyward-Bey will fall to us. Joe Flacco gets a much needed down field target and a potential #1 receiver.
27. Indianapolis – Peria Jerry, DT, Ole Miss
The Colts have nobody to play in the middle of their defensive line; they may use their second round pick on another defensive tackle.
28. Philadelphia – Kenny Britt, WR, Rutgers
If the Eagles draft looks anything like my mock draft Donovan McNabb should give Andy Reid a big wet one. Britt would give McNabb a big receiver with playmaking ability, something the Eagles haven’t had since a certain receiver whose name must not be spoken in the city of Philadelphia.
29. Cleveland Browns (Projected From Giants) – Larry English, DE/OLB,
I project this pick will be part of the package that the Giants send to Cleveland for Braylon Edwards. The Browns must get some pressure on the quarterback in a division that includes Ben Roethlisberger, Carson Palmer, and Joe Flacco.
30. Tennessee – Evander “Ziggy” Hood, DT, Missouri
With the Redskins signing Albert Haynesworth a to a seven year, $100 million dollar contact in the off season the Titans need to address the massive hole left in the middle of their defensive line.
31. Arizona – Knowshon Moreno, RB, Georgia
Cardinal fans will be ecstatic to see Moreno, the most talent running back in the draft fall to them so late in the draft. Moreno would be a huge upgrade over Edgerrin James and Tim Hightower.
32. Pittsburg – Alphonso Smith, CB, Wake Forest
With the loss of Bryant McFadden in free agency the Steelers get a supremely talent corner with the last pick of the first round.