Tuesday, August 12, 2008

2009 NFL Pre-Season Mock Draft

A mock draft so early? While I do look at this as a true attempt at a mock draft, it is also somewhat of a preview into some of the top players to watch in college this season. A few things needed to be taken into consideration when I did this mock. First, we don't know how the NFL season will pan out. Therefore, choosing a draft order was a bit of an adventure. First, I chose the handful of teams that I knew would finish at the bottom of the league. Then I picked my playoff teams. Everything else in the middle was a wild guess. Second, picking the playoff teams proved tricky, as I was tempted to pick similar teams to last year's playoffs. Instead, I decided to throw a few eyebrow-raisers for the sake of keeping it interesting. Note that while there are a couple of sophomores in this draft, they are redshirts and eligible for the 2009 draft. This in no way means that they will enter the draft. However, for the sake of keeping things interesting, I included them as well. Here's how it looks, and I'm looking forward to your comments.

Michael Crabtree (Photo Courtesy of DayLife)

1. Atlanta: Michael Crabtree, WR - Texas Tech
The Falcons need help in two places, WR & CB. The bigger need is at CB, and I don't see Jenkins going first. So the Falcons nab a redshirt sophomore who will prove that he's the real deal this season.

2. Miami: George Selvie, LB/DE - South Florida
The junior LB/DE reminds me somewhat of DeMarcus Ware, a former Parcells pick. He…oops…Ireland should have no problems making Selvie the pick. Selvie's 31.5 tackles for loss and 14.5 sacks put him at the Derrick Thomas/Tedy Bruschi level in college.

3. Kansas City: Malcolm Jenkins, CB - Ohio State
Corners don't go #1, but Jenkins has that kind of talent. He should step in across Brandon Flowers during the KC youth movement. Arguably the best CB prospect coming out of college since Shawn Springs.

4. Oakland: Andre Smith, OT - Alabama
Smith is as athletic as they come at LT, and that seems to be popular in the draft these days. His arrival will move Kwame Harris back over to the RT position.

5. Baltimore: Tyson Jackson, DE - Louisiana State
He's a Trevor Pryce clone at DE in the 3-4. Jackson is versatile enough as a 3-4 end to get after the passer when called on.

6. St. Louis: Michael Oher, OT - Mississippi
This draft is top-heavy with offensive tackles, and teams are needy for them. Look for Oher to go to the Rams and make Orlando Pace expendable

7. Cincinnati: Chris "Beanie" Wells, RB - Ohio State
He goes about 230 and has no problem running up the middle. His speed is deceptive, until you see DBs attempting to chase him down the field. He also receives good grades on his field vision and his pass blocking. Don't be surprised if a RB-needy team trades up to the top 5 for him.

8. Green Bay: Vontae Davis, CB - Illinois
Green Bay could look to a DE that is rising up the charts, however they go for a CB. Davis is the 2009 version of Leodis McKelvin. He's a physical corner who fits the Green Bay defense.

9. Philadelphia (from Carolina): Brian Cushing, LB - Southern Cal
The Eagles are in desparate need of help at the OLB position. Cushing would be a mainstay on that defense. His length and athleticism are unmatched at the LB position in this draft.

10. Denver: Jim Laurinaitis, LB - Ohio State
The Broncos could look at a safety, but they can't pass on Laurinaitis if he's there. Laurinaitis could be the captain of that defense as a rookie.

11. Detroit: Greg Hardy, DE - Mississippi
The Lions are weakest at DE. If they don't address the situation in free agency, we could see a DE going at their pick.

12. Washington: Rey Maualuga, LB - Southern Cal
While London Fletcher-Baker is the heart of the Washington Defense, he's also going to be 34 on draft day in 2009. Maualuga brings the same heart to the game, and could learn a lot from Fletcher-Baker.

13. Tennessee: Percy Harvin, WR - Florida
The Titans should not settle for the WR corps they have, and should not pass up an opportunity like having Harvin fall into their laps. Harvin will force Tim Tebow to take 2nd billing on the Gators offense.

14. Houston: Knowshon Moreno, RB - Georgia
Moreno has the talent to end up in a neck-and-neck battle with Wells over who is the top back in the draft. Moreno has a lot more to prove however.

15. New York Jets: Matt Stafford, QB - Georgia
The strong-armed QB from the preseason favorite to win the National Championship is the first QB off the board. If Stafford displays better accuracy than last season, he could be looking at the top 5 picks in the draft. This pick is also based on the fact that the Jets seem to have lost faith in Clemens and Favre is only a band-aid for a year or two.

16. Seattle: Eugene Monroe, OT - Virginia
When did Virginia become a left tackle factory? Monroe could push Walter Jones out early. Monroe is a carbon copy of D'Brickashaw Ferguson. They play the same athletic style. He can cover a QB's blind side as well as anyone in this draft.

17. Tampa Bay: Ciron Black, OT - Louisiana State
The Bucs can't survive forever with Luke Petitgout at the left tackle spot. Black should come in and start on day one.

18. Arizona: Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR - Maryland
Another freakishly athletic Maryland product (Shawne Merriman & Vernon Davis). It's very rare that a WR can be over 6 feet and weigh over 200 pounds, and have the ability to create space, all while possessing the type of speed that makes them a threat to take the ball to the house every time he touches it. The Fitz situation might make this pick a necessity.

19. Chicago: Taylor Mays, S - Southern Cal
Mike Brown has had too many major injuries and Daniael Manning hasn't quite turned into the player that the Bears wanted him to be. So they go after the top talent at safety in the draft. Mays is the closest thing to Sean Taylor that there is out there. He has size, speed and has no problem helping against the run. His coverage ability isn't as polished as Taylor's was coming out of Miami, but his potential should keep him high on most charts.

20. Pittsburgh: Victor "Macho" Harris, CB - Virginia Tech
"Macho" brings two important things to the table. He's a ball-hawking cornerback with a bit of an attitude (which you want in a corner), and he's an effective return man. Harris could live up to the expectations that Coulclough couldn't.

21. San Francisco: Michael Johnson, LB/DE - Georgia Tech
Johnson is the perfect fit as an outside backer in the 3-4 defense. He's a speed rusher who makes himself at home in opposing backfields. His pass rush skills are probably second only to Selvie in this draft. If he could add another 10-15 pounds while keeping his speed and agility intact, he would be a prototypical 3-4 OLB.

22. Minnesota: Alex Boone, OT - Ohio State
Bryant McKinnie has basically worn out his welcome, and the team needs to figure out a replacement. Boone is no consolation. As mentioned earlier, this draft is full of top prospects at the OT position. Boone has the size and strength to move the line, and the ability to keep bull rushers off his QB.

23. Cleveland: Mike Mickens, CB - Cincinnati
The Browns didn't play their cards well, and are going into the 2008 season with an extremely thin corps of CBs. They must address this position next offseason with at least a top flight free agent and a top draftee.

24. Philadelphia: Myron Rolle, S - Florida State
Dawkins is up there in years, and Quinton Mickell doesn't have much upside. Rolle has great pedigree and can fill in at either safety spot.

25. Buffalo: Brandon Pettigrew, TE - Oklahoma State
There is debate whether Pettigrew or Shawn Nelson is the top TE in this class. There are some scouts out there that think Pettigrew is another Jeremy Shockey.

26. Jacksonville: Fili Maola, DT - Southern Cal
Henderson and Meier will be in their 30s, and the team will need a DT to bring in as the 3rd man in the rotation to eventually groom as a starter. Maola is the top DT prospect on the board and would fit in nicely on the Jags

27. New Orleans: Duke Robinson, OG - Oklahoma
Robinson is a road grader who keeps defenders out of the backfield. He can probably even play some right tackle if needed. He could move right into Nesbit's left guard spot and spend a decade dominating there. Don't rule out a DT here.

28. Indianapolis: Sen'Derrick Marks, DT - Auburn
Marks fits the Colts defense like a glove. He's the size of a DT, but is really a tweener DT/DE. He can get after the QB by collapsing the pocket from the inside.

29. New York Giants: Brandon Spikes, LB - Florida
Spikes can play inside or outside in Spagnola's defense. This is a steal of a pick, however because of Laurinaitis, Maualuga and Cushing, Spikes will be available later than his true value.

30. San Diego: Phil Loadholt, OT - Oklahoma
Loadholt blocks out the sun, and is not shy about throwing his weight around. He will probably settle in at right tackle in San Diego where Olivea's drug addiction forced him out, and Clary isn't quite the answer.

31. New England: D.J. Moore, CB - Vanderbilt
Not only can he help out the Pats with depth at the CB position, he can also return kicks.

32. Dallas: Brandon Gibson, WR - Washington State
Gibson would make a good compliment to T.O., but the difference is he's an Academic All-American. On that merit alone, many can expect him to handle himself with much more self-respect on and off the field.


Clement said...

Very interesting to see the Jets with a QB.


Clemens isn't the answer. Most of "us" know that.

Favre is only a rental for a year or two. But supposing this season isn't an unequivocal disaster and Brett wants to stay a 2nd year (GM Tenenbaum had to discuss with Favre the team's desire that he at least "think about" 2-3 more years)...I doubt we pull an Aaron Rodgers-esgue pick.

Even with loaded talent.

Favre doesn't want to mentor and god knows he'd hate that media circus of, "When is it Stafford's chance?"

That's my two cents.

Fannation.com Blog Post said...

...Fannation Questions & Comments...

1) Great blog except for a few things.

Crabtree won't go #1, teams will be scared away from him because he plays in a wide open system. and when I say wide I mean you could fit Romeo Crennel, Charlie Weis, and a sperm whale through all at the same time.

Taylor Mays will be a top 10 pick, mark my words. He is a monster, he has linebacker size and DB speed. He will force people into a coma with the force behind his hits.

I think Stafon Johnson could sneak in the first round is he leaves early. He has great power, size, and speed for the pro level. He is a Willis McGahee clone, and he will have a breakout year. He is the thunder that will compliment the lightning Joe McKnight.

And I love the Pick you made for the Chargers. That RT spot has bee open for longer than people realize, Olivea was average at best.

2) Green Bay #8?????

3) Michael Crabtree can't go number 1. He's only a sophmore this year. Also Knowshon Moreno can't be in the NFL draft for the same reason as Crabtree..other than that pretty good job.

4) Moreno and Crabtree ae both Redshirt soph's so they will be eligible as will Jeremy Maclin, and Lesean McCoy, I believe.
Nice blog, but I think you are severly underrating William Moore, the safety out of Missouri, I have him as the #2 player in this class, and a can't miss prospect. Last year he had 8 picks, and 115 tackles, I think that he is up there as one of the top 5 defensive players in the nation, and the Bengals pick is perfect.