With the Scouting Combine upon us, and position drills beginning tomorrow, I feel like it is an appropriate time to unveil my initial 2009 Mock Draft. This will definitely change over the next two months, but this is how it might play out based on my findings and what I hear from my sources.
1. Detroit Lions - Matthew Stafford (QB, Georgia)
I don’t think they should take him. He has bust written all over him. Not many underclassmen QBs seem to succeed. Plus, he won’t have much talent around him for a couple of years. I would take one of the top LTs or trade down (not likely). They shouldn't worry too much about blowing this pick since they'll get another chance in a year.
2. St. Louis Rams – Eugene Monroe (T, Virginia)
The Rams should go with an OT at #2. For some reason I feel like Eugene Monroe will end up being the #1 after it’s all said and done. Guys from Virginia seem to rise leading up to the draft. It seems like UVa has a guy in the Top 5 every year, but they’re always a mediocre team. Al Groh must be a sucky coach.
3. KC Chiefs – Aaron Curry (LB, Wake Forest)
Chiefs could upgrade at almost any position. They’re switching to a 3-4 defense, so they might as well get a LB. People say Curry is the safest pick in the draft, which would be better than gambling on Mark Sanchez. Plus, Steve DeBerg isn’t that bad of a QB. He’s a good game manager and they can win some close games with Curry, Dorsey, and Derrick Johnson anchoring the defense for years to come.
4. Seattle Seahawks – Michael Crabtree (WR, Texas Tech)
At first I didn’t want the Hawks to take Crabtree, but I am coming around on the idea. I don’t think the receiving corps is quite as bad as the national media does, but it does need to be improved (especially if Engram is not back). Now, he’s not 100% yet, so he won’t run at the Combine, but he is training with Michael Johnson (so he’ll be the fastest man alive once he is healthy). Other possibility is BJ Raji (DT, Boston College). I wouldn’t be too opposed to that pick. But it's always a little iffy when a guy’s stock leaps up during the postseason. I don’t think anyone would have had him this high until he wowed the scouts at Senior Bowl practices. That scares me.
5. Cleveland Browns – Everrette Brown (DE/OLB, FSU)
Cleveland needs to improve their pass rush. Their sack totals last year were pathetic. Eric Mangini looks like an idiot for taking Vernon Gohlston last year, so now he’s going to try and right his wrong with his new team. And yes, I am assuming that fat joke has 100% authority over the team’s draft.
6. Cincinnati Bengals – BJ Raji (DT, Boston College)
They could go with an OT since they desperately need one, but they also need some playmakers on the DL. I think they’ll consider Raji a better value (cuz they’re idiots).
7. Oakland Raiders – Jeremy Maclin (WR, Missouri)
Assuming he runs his 40 as fast I think he will, Al Davis will point to Maclin’s picture on draft day.
8. Jacksonville Jaguars – Jason Smith (T, Baylor)
The Jaguars would love to get someone to replace the homeless man that Khalif Barnes paid to impersonate him last year.
9. Green Bay Packers – Andre Smith (T, Alabama)
I feel like Smith's stock will continue to drop. Most mocks have Green Bay going with a CB, such as Malcolm Jenkins. In mine, they are able to get one of the top 3 tackles (better value) because the Bengals, as mentioned previously, are idiots.
10. San Francisco 49ers – Brian Orakpo (DE, Texas)
I thought about having them take Mark Sanchez just so I could feel better about playing them next year, but they should take Orakpo. I could see them going OL or WR if one of the top guys fell to them. I think they’ll take Orakpo here if he can show the ability to line up at both DE and OLB. His performance at the Combine should prove that.
11. Buffalo Bills – Aaron Maybin (DE/OLB, Penn State)
Could go with Brandon Pettigrew (TE, Okla St), but I think they can get a TE in the 2nd round and use this pick to improve their pass rush.
12. Denver Broncos – Rey Maualuga (ILB, USC)
Denver needs to improve their run defense. He can fill the gaps, take on blockers, and lay the wood better than anyone else in the draft. I’m not going to elaborate on the Broncos’ needs unless a certain someone makes his return to the Stache.
13. Washington Redskins – Michael Oher (T, Ole Miss)
This could be a bit of a reach, but I really like Oher and the Redskins need help on the line.
14. New Orleans Saints – Malcolm Jenkins (CB, Ohio State)
The Saints would likely make this pick based on value alone. Probably will not last this long.
15. Houston Texans – Brian Cushing (OLB, USC)
I actually think Cushing could be the Combine MVP who blows it up and then leaps up into the Top 10.
16. San Diego Chargers – Beanie Wells (RB, Ohio State)
With Sanchez still on the board, the Chargers might be able to find some trade partners who want to get ahead of the Jets. Possibly the Vikings, Bucs, or Lions if they go with someone other than Stafford at #1. Wells makes sense here if they get rid of one of their other backs.
17. New York Jets – Mark Sanchez (QB, USC)
The Jets will gladly take Sanchez and he will go on to be their QB of the future until they realize he’s not ready to start in the NFL. I wonder if the Jets fans at the Draft would boo this pick?
18. Chicago Bears – Tyson Jackson (DE, LSU)
Um, I got nothing
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Vontae Davis (CB, Illinois)
I don’t think they’ll reach for Josh Freeman (QB, Kansas State). They should go with a solid CB prospect who can replace Ronde Barber when he decides to do television.
20. Detroit Lions – James Laurinaitis (ILB, Ohio State)
He could act as the anchor of their defense for the next 10 years. Interesting note: his father was The Animal from Legion of Doom fame.
21. Philadelphia Eagles – Knowshon Moreno (RB, Georgia)
A nice compliment to Brian Westbrook. I would love for the Hawks to somehow get their hands on Moreno. I think he’s going to be one of the best players to come out of this draft. Plus, his touchdown against Florida two years ago set off one of the greatest TD dances of all-time.
22. Minnesota Vikings – Eben Britton (T, Arizona)
This would be a reach based on their need for help on the O-line. They might be interested in Freeman here.
23. New England Patriots – Larry English (DE/OLB, No. Illinois)
If English can prove that he can play standing up he’ll be a good pick to improve the Pats pass rush.
24. Atlanta Falcons – Brandon Pettigrew (TE, Oklahoma State)
They would probably like to get a DE or DT here, but the best value would be Pettigrew who would also fill a need. Maybe they can get the line help next year when they’re picking much higher.
25. Miami Dolphins – Hakeem Nicks (WR, North Carolina)
Percy Harvin might be rated higher, but Ted Ginn Jr is already there as a WR/KR. Nicks is slowing getting more attention especially after his highlight reel catches in UNC’s bowl game.
26. Baltimore Ravens – DJ Moore (CB, Vanderbilt)
The Ravens have limited depth at cornerback and they just released McAllister (I think). Although Alphonso Smith (CB, Wake Forest) might be a more likely pick because of his ball skills and play-making ability.
27. Indianapolis Colts – Peria Jerry (DT, Ole Miss)
The Colts need help at the position and Jerry seems to be moving up people’s boards.
28. Philadelphia Eagles – Darrius Heyward-Bey (WR, Maryland)
They would like to add an OT, but there’s not one worth this pick. They might reach for Beatty (UConn) or Meredith (S Carolina), but I think they’ll try and trade down. If not, I guess Heyward-Bey makes sense because he would be another young receiver to help the passing game. If Andy Reid has his way he’ll probably select a pepperoni pizza. HAHAHAAHAHAHA!!
29. New York Giants – Clint Stintim (OLB, Virginia)
I think the Giants could use help at this position. The real reason I have them taking Stintim is because I know nothing about him and didn’t want to give the Giants a cool player. If there are any draft-eligible players currently sleeping with anyone in Coughlin’s family then that will be the obvious pick (see Chris Snee, 2004).
30. Tennessee Titans – Percy Harvin (WR, Florida)
Name a receiver on Tennessee’s roster. Nope, he’s not there anymore. Plus, he only played for the Oilers, not the Titans (I’m assuming you all said Haywood Jeffries). Harvin might go much sooner than this.
31. Arizona Cardinals – LeSean McCoy (RB, Pitt)
It seems like every mock draft has this pick, so I just went with it. McCoy has lost weight recently after contracting the flu. I think he read the same mocks as me and became physically ill with the idea of playing for Arizona.
32. Pittsburgh Steelers – Some Cheater (WR/QB, Lucky State)
Actually they’ll probably take Alex Mack, but only if Clarissa Darling is off the board.
This would leave some interesting possibilities for the Seahawks early in the 2nd round. I left Clay Matthews (LB, USC) out of the first round, but he might go in the Top 20. My choice would be Alphonso Smith, but he is another guy who will probably end up in the first round. There are still the top safeties and some quality OTs. One other possibility would be Josh Freeman. That’s what I have for now. Check in on Monday and Tuesday for Combine notes.