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2009 NFL Mock Draft
by Alex Wiederspiel - Apr 20, 2009 2:59 AM EST. Email him...
1. Detroit Lions - Stafford, Matthew, QB Georgia
While I could still definitely see Jason Smith and the safe pick Aaron Curry going ahead of Stafford based on the dollars and cents, Stafford is still ahead in the game as far as position value and franchise need.
2. St. Louis Rams - Smith, Jason, OT Baylor
This raw former tight end seems to have won the battle in St. Louis against Eugene Monroe according to new reports that surfaced today. He's got a lot of upside, especially as a run blocker, and certainly could be more versatile then Eugene Monroe, but drafting an offensive tackle 2nd overall is supposed to be a safer pick. That bothers me about Smith.
3. Kansas City Chiefs - Raji, BJ, DT Boston College
Scott Pioli knows the most important cog of a 3-4 defense is the nose tackle, and the best nose tackle since Vince Wilfork is available at 3rd overall. Raji, the #1 player on my big board, as the versatility to play in any system as an undertackle or a nose tackle. He reminds me a lot of Kris Jenkins. If he can stay healthier then Jenkins, he'll have a dominant career. Glenn Dorsey, who isn't much of a fit at nose tackle, will likely move to defensive end in KC's 3-4. Dorsey doesn't have the ideal height, but has the long arms required for the position.
4. Seattle Seahawks - Sanchez, Mark, QB USC
I debated about this pick for a while, but felt I could justify it now with Sanchez's stock jumping since his Pro Day. This is the best fit for Sanchez. He can sit and learn instead of starting from Day One and Seattle upgrades the position like coach Jim Mora Jr. requested. Earlier this off-season Mora hinted that Hasselbeck's injuries may not allow him to play much longer. In contrast, earlier this week GM Tim Ruskell said he thinks Hasselbeck is as good as over. That's the beauty of the NFL off-season. It's all a big game of cat and mouse with plenty of misinformation. Sanchez fits Seattle's system very well, and he can sit. His lack of experience is pretty terrifying, and two scouts (one in Baltimore, one in St. Louis) called him the riskiest pick in the draft because of his lack of experience (16 games started in college). One of them indirectly referend a statistic brought to us by Football Outsiders writer David Lewin about how a high number of games started and high completion percentage often correlated with more successful NFL quarterbacks. Sanchez is high risk, high reward.
5. Cleveland Browns - Orakpo, Brian, DE Texas
While I'm not Orakpo's biggest fan, he's probably got the highest stock of all pass rushers right now. Orakpo would move to outside linebacker in Cleveland's 3-4 defense, and they sorely need someone opposite of Kamerion Wimbley. Someone who is a better run defender and someone to take some pressure off of Wimbley, who hasn't been able to match his rookie sack total in his 2nd or 3rd years combined. Shaun Rogers isn't the ideal fit for a 2-gap 3-4, but he'll learn eventually. He's a better fit in a 1-gap which would ask him to penetrate more, but Mangini will whip Rogers into shape where Crennel could not. One was a fluffy teddy bear and the other a strict disciplinarian.
6. Cincinnati Bengals - Monroe, Eugene, OT Virginia
The Bengals have some serious needs across the offensive line and they need to focus on keeping Carson Palmer, there 100 million dollar quarterback, healthy for an entire season. Levi Jones has been a disappointment after being drafted in the first round a few years back. Not a bona fide bust, but enough of a disappointment to warrant this selection. Monroe is a superior pass blocker, probably the best in his class. He compares favorably to former Virginia OT D'Brickashaw Ferguson. Like Ferguson, Monroe is an all-around excellent pass blocker who is an average run blocker. Monroe's biggest strength is blocking in space, particularly when asked to pull or lead block on the oustide.
7. Oakland Raiders - Crabtree, Michael, WR Texas Tech
Crabtree isn't the best fit for the Raiders desire of a vertical offense, but the Raiders also need JaMarcus Russell to improve his short and intermediate accuracy and adding a weapon like Crabtree is a good incentive towards improving that area of his game. Crabtree excels at taking those passes and using his combination of quicks and power to gain yards after the catch. While a superb route runner, he still has a few pro routes to learn, since Texas Tech wasn't exactly a training ground for professional football players.
8. Jacksonville Jaguars - Curry, Aaron, OLB Wake Forest
Curry, who could go as high as first overall, falls here because weak side linebacker in a 4-3, or MIKE backer in a 3-4 (inside linebacker) are both not important enough positions to warrant such a high selection. Usually, linebackers at this position do fall, and Curry won't be much different. Still, he's probably the safest selection in this draft.
9. Green Bay Packers - Oher, Michael, OT Ole Miss
The Packers lost a lot of close games last season, and while most of that can be attributed to lack of a pass rush, the Packers couldn't run block for most of the season, leading to a down year for Ryan Grant. Oher is the most well rounded of all the offensive tackles. He's got very high potential, but hasn't been playing football all that long. He was a defensive tackle up until his junior year of high school, and then switched to offensive tackle. His story is well known because of the book about him called "The Blind Side" which tells Oher's life story and about the evolution of his position and the blind side defensive end position. Regardless, Oher's an immediate upgrade for Green Bay. I suspect that Tony Moll would lose his job to either Chad Clifton who may move to RT or to the position and system diverse Oher who may start his career at RT.
10. San Francisco 49ers - Smith, Andre, OT Alabama
Based on game-film alone, Andre Smith is the 2nd best player in the 2009 NFL Draft. His off-season actions have been a little overblown, but I still don't expect him to get past San Francisco. Smith can play multiple positions on the line, and while there is concern about him playing left tackle because of his trouble with speed rushers, Smith will still succeed in the NFL regardless of position. He is the most dominant run blocker to come out since Marcus McNeill in 2006, and he's going to prove it. Mike Singletary will get the most out of Smith.
11. Buffalo Bills - Brown, Everette, DE Florida State
I'm not expecting the Bills to trade up, despite having the ammunition, for one of the Big Four offensive tackles. Why? Because they basically just backed themselves into a giant corner. They would be picking an unproven offensive tackle and paying him big money (they'd have to trade into the Top 8 where players traditionally make huge money followed by a big drop off at 9) and they didn't want to give a proven offensive tackle the money either. Peters, before his contractual dispute, was one of the best left tackles in football. He came in to the season late in 2008 having missed all of Training Camp which resulted in his poor play most of the season. Peters should be back to form in 2009 for Philadelphia.
12. Denver Broncos - Freeman, Josh, QB Kansas State
Denver is going to be content to sit and wait for a quarterback to fall to them, because one of them is bound to. Freeman has more experience then Sanchez, a bigger arm, a great frame, and very solid mechanics. Freeman struggles throwing on the run, which shouldn't be a problem in Denver as they have a good (though slightly overrated) offensive line. Freeman also failed to put up big numbers at Kansas, but one must remember that one of his starting receivers this year was a 5'7'' and 142 pounds. That's DII size.
13. Washington Redskins - Maybin, Aaron, DE Penn State
Maybin fills the Redskins biggest remaining defensive need, and if he's able to prove himself early should force defenses to pay most of their attention to Albert Haynesworth, which would benefit Maybin and Andre Carter alike. I'm not a huge Maybin fan, but Washington is definitely a place he can succeed.
14. New Orleans Saints - Jenkins, Malcolm, CB Ohio State
I've been hearing that the Saints are interested in Beanie Wells if the elite defensive talents are off the board. Well, one of them fell into the Saints lap. Malcolm Jenkins is easily the best corner in this class, and unlike current Saints corner Jason David, can actually play in a man-to-man scheme.
15. Houston Texans - Cushing, Brian, OLB USC
Cushing lacks the instincts to be an elite linebacker at the NFL level, but he has the athleticism and experience to be a very good one. One thing that stands out in particular about Cushing is his excellent short shuttle. Cushing can change direction very well for a man of his size, which should allow him to man up on a tight end.
16. San Diego Chargers - Jackson, Tyson, DE LSU
Beanie Well is going to be awfully tempting here, but the Chargers need a replacement for Igor Olshansky who mosied his way over to Dallas. Jackson is the best 3-4 DE available this year and has received comparisons to Richard Seymour. The scuttlebut is that Kansas City really likes Jackson as well. They could trade down from 3rd overall to snag him (if they can find someone who wants Sanchez, Raji, or Crabtree bad enough) or they could trade back up to get him, but they don't really have the ammunition for a trade up. Watch this scenario though.
Picks 1-16 | 17-32 | 33-48 | 49-64 | 65-96
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