Thursday, January 22, 2009

2009 NFL Mock Draft: Pre-Super Bowl Version

The Super Bowl is around the corner, and things are about to pick up for me, as it's NFL Draft Season. Look forward to NFL Draft coverage and rookie scouting PHSports style. The Pre-Super Bowl Version of our Mock Drafts will be one round without trades. Subsequent Mock Drafts will grow to 2 and maybe 3 rounds, and include trades. Looking forward to the comments.

1st Round

1. Detroit: Andre Smith, OT - Alabama
An offensive tackle goes #1 again. With Joe Thomas in 2007, and a bevy of rookie OTs helping their teams in 2008, it's clear that the focus of the draft has shifted positions. Smith is a clone of former Tide OT Chris Samuels. Smith is a great cornerstone to start rebuilding a franchise on.

2. St. Louis: Eugene Monroe, OT - Virginia
Here's a first. Offensive linemen go 1 & 2 overall. Monroe is no consolation prize. Virginia keeps churning out left tackles for the league.

3. Kansas City: Matt Stafford, QB - Georgia
Pioli nabs the top QB off the board in hopes of landing another Matt Ryan or Joe Flacco. What about Tyler Thigpen? Maybe he can play the role of Kurt Warner to Matt Leinart.

4. Seattle: Michael Crabtree, WR - Texas Tech
The Seahawks couldn't stay healthy on offense, especially at WR. Crabtree should more than fill in, and bring the game breaking ability that the franchise has sorely missed at the WR position over the years. Crabtree reminds me of Fitzgerald on some plays.

5. Cleveland: Aaron Curry, LB - Wake Forest
Curry is a monster who could come in, replace Willie McGinnest, give Wimbley a bookend OLB in the 3-4, and allow Alex Hall to team with the two bookends to force mis-matches in an all-out pass rush. He could play inside or outside in Mangini's defense.

6. Cincinnati: Chris "Beanie" Wells, RB - Ohio State
Forget all the hype about Cedric Benson being a priority to bring back. He averaged 3.5 YPC, and didn't actually do much for the team. With the team's apparent commitment to the run in 2009, they will need a platoon of starting backs. Beanie Wells could end up staying close to his college roots, in hopes of being another Chris Johnson.

7. Oakland: Malcolm Jenkins, CB - Ohio State
The Raiders should probably take an offensive lineman, but the front office there is in such disarray that they can't make good decisions. If Asomugha returns, the Raiders should have a nice tandem with him and Malcolm Jenkins.

8. Jacksonville: Jeremy Maclin, WR - Missouri
Another team that should go with an offensive lineman, however they have such woes at WR, they can't pass on Maclin. Unlike current Jaguars receivers, Maclin can stretch the field and is a home run threat.

9. Green Bay: Brian Orakpo, DE - Texas
The Packers defense should switch to the 3-4 under Capers, and it sorely needs a pass rush. Orakpo was a beast sack artist for the Longhorns and can be converted to an OLB. He has a great size, strength and speed combination and could find himself in the top 5 before too long.

10. San Francisco: Mark Sanchez, QB - Southern Cal
The 9ers are crossing their fingers that they have the same luck that Atlanta and Baltimore had last year when drafting a rookie QB. If Sanchez can continue his hot play at the end of the season, getting the 9ers to the playoffs might not be such a tough feat.

11. Buffalo: Everette Brown, DE - Florida State
Expect the Bills to trade down and amass picks, as they have plenty of routes they can take. If they stay put, Brown could easily be an option. They need pass rushing and Brown is a pass rushing specialist.

12. Denver: B.J. Raji, DT - Boston College
Raji should thank the likes of Kris Jenkins and Shaun Rogers for the fact that a team will reach for him early. The Broncos will switch to the 3-4 defense with Nolan in town. The 3-4 cannot thrive without a monster NT. Tyson Jackson or Aaron Maybin would make sense here too.

13. Washington: Jason Smith, OT - Baylor
Jason Smith should not drop this far. Oakland or Jacksonville would be smart to take him at 7 or 8. If he drops to this pick, however, he is a good enough pass blocker that he could have Samuels moved to the right side.

14. New Orleans: Vontae Davis, CB - Illinois
Mike McKenzie's health is fading and Randall Gay didn't prove to be the answer. The Saints should look into a future with Davis teaming up with Tracy Porter at CB, shutting down opposing WRs.

15. Houston: Aaron Maybin, OLB - Penn State
The Texans need a bookend pass rusher for Mario Williams. Weaver isn't the answer. Maybin came out after his sophomore year and could add about 15 lbs, but his pass rush skills are right up there with Orakpo and Brown.

16. San Diego: Rey Maualuga, ILB - Southern Cal
The Chargers land another MLB out of USC with a mean streak that is unmatched. Hopefully he can have a similar impact to Seau.

17. New York Jets: Tyson Jackson, DE - Louisiana State
If there is a 3rd QB (Josh Freeman?) that rises up the charts, expect the Jets to be players. If not, Jackson fits in nicely as a 3-4 DE. Jackson has the potential to be a Richard Seymour or Ty Warren type.

18. Chicago: D.J. Moore, CB - Vanderbilt
As of this moment, it is a toss up between Moore and Davis as the #2 CB in this draft. Moore can also offer a change of pace on returns to Devin Hester, who rarely found his groove last season.

19. Tampa Bay: Michael Oher, OT - Mississippi
The Bucs would be very lucky for Oher to drop this far. He could step in and replace Jeremy Trueblood, who has the opposite of Pacman Jones's problem and can't seem to keep himself out of trouble ON the field.

20. Detroit (from Dallas): Jim Laurinaitis, ILB - Ohio State
On paper, this doesn't make a lot of sense with Ernie Sims and Jordan Dizon around. However, a pick like this brings something else to the franchise that it sorely lacks. Laurinaitis is a natural leader and brings the right attitude to a franchise that needs a makeover. He can either step into the middle or play the weak side.

21. Philadelphia: William Moore, S - Missouri
With Dawkins nearing the end of his career, the Eagles need to start thinking about the safety position. With Taylor Mays returning to USC, Moore is the top safety in this draft. He has a linebacker's size, but can roam the field like a DB.

22. Minnesota: Josh Freeman, QB - Kansas State
Josh Freeman has a lot to prove, but there is always that 3rd QB that complements the top 2 QBs in a lot of these drafts. On draft day, Freeman could have Joe Flacco written all over him.

23. New England: Brandon Pettigrew, TE - Oklahoma State
Pettigrew fills a couple of needs here. He's a nice size target around the end zone, but he also blocks like an offensive lineman. Could he be another Daniel Graham around the end zone for the Pats? Maroney would appreciate the extra blocking.

24. Atlanta: Peria Jerry, DT - Mississippi
While they could probably use a beefier DT, Jerry can still come in and make his impact. The trio of Curtis Lofton, Jonathan Babineaux and Jerry would cause a lot of match up issues for other teams. Sen'Derrick Marks could also fit here.

25. Miami: Brian Cushing, OLB - Southern Cal
Cushing would be a textbook Parcels guy. He has a nasty mean streak while keeping his head on his shoulders. Michael Johnson could be a nice fit here too.

26. Indianapolis: Sen'Derrick Marks, DT - Auburn
Using a LB-sized DT last season didn't do the Colts well. They need a DT more than anything right now, and Marks could easily be available at this pick. Don't rule out a trade-down.

27. Baltimore: Clint Sintim, OLB - Virginia
With Ray Lewis rumored to be headed to Dallas once free agency opens, along with Bart Scott and Terrell Suggs also hitting the market, linebacker suddenly becomes a shaky position for the Ravens. Sintim can do it all. He can rush the passer, he can stop the run and he can cover against the pass. He could play inside or outside in Baltimore.

28. Philadelphia (from Carolina): Knowshon Moreno, RB - Georgia
Regardless of who fills in for Westbrook when he gets hurt every season, they never fill the void. Time for the Eagles to start looking at another option. Maybe with a RB of Moreno's caliber around, Westbrook can share the duties a little more and stay fresher as the season goes on. An offensive tackle would be a nice pick too.

29. New York Giants: Michael Johnson, DE - Georgia Tech
The Giants can select the best player available, and have the luxury of giving that player some time. Johnson is a monster pass rusher who is too light to play DE on every down. He can step in and play his spots and cause mismatches for opposing offenses.

30. Tennessee: Percy Harvin, WR - Florida
The Titans can't expect to win a Super Bowl without their receivers taking some of the pressure off the run game. Harvin can also help out in the return game.

31. Arizona: LeSean McCoy, RB - Pittsburgh
With Edgerrin James seemingly pulling the plug on his Arizona career, and Tim Hightower unable to prove that he can lead the Cards on the ground, McCoy makes a lot of sense. McCoy could easily take the reigns from Hightower, and cause a resurgence in the running game in Arizona.

32. Pittsburgh: Duke Robinson, OG - Oklahoma
The Steelers offensive line somehow got the team into the Super Bowl, but they are the weakest unit on the team. Robinson would fill a huge hole at right guard.


kiya said...

I think your mock looks good except for a few issues. First and foremost, Percy Harvin won't last beyond 20. I know I am biased but with Ted Ginn having a decent year after being drafted #8, and Harvin being faster and bigger I think a team will be in love with him in the top twenty if not a lot higher.

Second, I think Minnesota will not take a QB in the first three rounds as I believe they liked the maturity that Jackson showed at the end of the year. I see them going receiver.

Third, I like Buffalo to trade down and take Pettigrew if he is available a few spots lower, if not Brown fits in nicely for a team without a pass rush.

Last, I also think the 9ers won't go QB and I think Sanchez may be the flash-in-the-pan player that shoots up the boards and goes in the top ten.

Overall great looking draft.

Armin said...

Harvin was a tough fit. Teams that needed WR had bigger needs, but that doesn't mean they won't take him. I really like Harvin too.

As a rule, I had to throw a 3rd QB into the first round. More often than not in drafts, at this point it's a 2 QB race, but by draft day, a 3rd guy pops into the picture. Again...pure speculation.

Pettigrew to Buffalo is a match made in heaven. But, yes...they need to trade down. I had them taking him in my Pre-Season Mock before the season even started.

I have the same concerns about Sanchez. He had a great bowl game. We'll see what the private workouts look like. Flash in the pan...definitely a possibility.

Skippy Smithy said...

This is very nicely done. I'm being a typical silly fan and want a solid #1 Running back in the 1st round for my Broncos but a DT makes sense. Nice work, that takes some home work to put together.

Just curious: when might Denver tackle the RB position most likely (free agency or the draft)? Plus, if they targeted an RB with their selection in round 1, who fits them best?

Armin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Armin said...

Thanks Skippy.

Great questions. Both are up in the air, as we don't know how close Josh McDanials wants to match the Denver offense with the New England offense, and does he want similar personnel.

We have to remember, this isn't the Shanahan offense anymore, so we don't know if you can just plug in any RB. Rounds 1-3 should be the target area, in my opinion.

If they go RB in the first, there is one RB that isn't a reach at 12 (as of today). That would be Beanie Wells. If Cincinnati goes offensive line (which is a strong possibility) Wells will drop to Denver, unless a team trades up between 7-11 for him. The question is: Does he fit?

Which RB does McDanials want, Maroney or Faulk? Wells averaged 5 catches per year at OSU. Knowshon Moreno and LeSean McCoy, on the other hand, bring that receiving ability to the table, both with 30+ receptions. None of the three mentioned are exactly a Maroney or Faulk, but you get the gist of what I'm saying.

Best fit, in my opinion would be Moreno or McCoy, but a trade down would make sense (again, things will probably change, especially after the combines and pro day workouts).

In the mid rounds look for Jason Davis of Clemson, Javon Ringer of Michigan State, and a pick I like who may be available later Devin Moore of Wyoming. Moore reminds me of Steve Slaton, except he wasn't counted on as a receiver, so we don't know if he can contribute there.

Armin said... fully answer the question about Denver and RBs.

Free agency will be interesting with those available. Slim pickings, if you consider Brandon Jacobs and Darren Sproles re-signing with their current teams.

The Chargers won't trade Tomlinson in the division, and that would be a stupid trade anyway.

Total Dark Horse...and this is WAY off the deep end...could they pry Clinton Portis away from Washington, especially since the relationship between Portis and Jim Zorn seems a little strained after the 2nd half of the season?

Anonymous said...

49ers pick Sanchez? You guys must be on drugs. Niners need a pass rusher and Mark Sanchez is a major reach. Shaun Hill gets the job done.

Anonymous said...

As a Lions fan, I would say your draft here is spot on! good job.

You mention that the Laurinaitis pick doesnt necessarily make sense, but I disagree. The lions are in desperate need of linebackers that can actually stop the run. Laurinaitis would definatly be the pick if hes still there. (unless they take Curry first overall)

Anonymous said...

The Steeler's pick--Duke Preston? He already plays for the Bills. Do you mean Duke Robinson?


I think that the QBs in this draft are going to fall. I see the Niners taking Stafford at #10 and either the Jets at #17 or the Lions at #20 taking Sanchez. The Chiefs are desperate for a pass rush and I think that Orakpo will get the nod. I would also suggest that Cincy and Oakland are both going to go OT. I think Denver would go with your pick or else grab Maualuga. I know Freeman looks the part of the all world QB, but I don’t think he makes the 1st round. Maybe he will go to the Lions or Chiefs at the top of the second. Finally, I would almost bet my house that Philly goes O line in the first. Just my opinion.

Armin said...

Thanks for the comments. Sorry for the delay in response. My paying job took the front seat today.

Regarding the 9ers and Sanchez. They can't deal with the "Cluster" they have at QB. As far as pass rushers...why would the 9ers draft another pass rusher to add to their platoon of pass rushers with potential (Manny Lawson, Parys Harrelson, Roderick Green, Tully Banta-Cain)...all whom are under contract? Because it would be a shame for them to add a 5th guy, if he turns out to be an underperformer too. And, could that be a system issue?

Regarding the Lions. I like Laurinaitis a lot. He would bring great intangibles to that defense. If they go Curry #1 (which Curry is THAT good), it would be a slap in the face of all the franchises that believe you can get LBs later in the draft and still prosper.

Regarding Duke Preston. Good catch. Good call on knowing who I meant. And corrected. Thank you sir/madame.

Regarding DA BEARS FOREVER. QBs could easily fall. It's early, and a lot of this mock is based on team needs and very very early information. I wish I could nail it this early, but as you will see, I will have many changes on my subsequent mocks (stay tuned!!!). The Chiefs do need a pass rush, and Orakpo makes a lot of sense. I could also see them taking Curry. I could also see Cincy and Oakland going OT (I think I even mentioned that with Jason Smith dropping to the Skins). Add Jacksonville to that list. They can move some heads around and help an O-Line that could not stay healthy last year. On Denver, I actually had a hard time putting Rajji that high, but like I said in the blurb, Kris Jenkins and Shaun Rogers helped him out, BIG TIME. On Freeman, I just threw him in there to make it a 3 QB race. He looks like the next best right now (after Stafford and Sanchez). A lot will change. On Philly, I was just emailing fellow writer Paymon about how I really wanted Philly to go O-Line, but went with Moore and Moreno, as they also fill big needs. They could go RB in round 2.

Again...Thanks for the comments. Keep them coming. I really appreciate it.


Here is my top ten, not that I am trying to steal the show here or that I am even remotely an expert:

1. DET- Andre Smith OT Alabama
2. STL- Michael Oher OT Ole Miss
3. KC- Brian Orakpo DE Texas
4. SEA- Michael Crabtree WR T. Tech
5. CLE- Aaron Curry OLB Wake Forest
6. CIN- Chris Wells RB Ohio St.
7. OAK- Eugene Monroe OT Virginia
8. JAX- Jason Smith OT BAYLOR
9. GB- Malcolm Jenkins CB OSU
10. SF- Matt Stafford QB Georgia

If Cincy resigns Benson and feels he still has it then they go O line. I dont know what to do with Green Bay as they have a new D coordinator and I am betting they will be looking for an edge rusher for the new 3-4 alignment like you said. For now their CBs are aging fast so I gave them the best CB on the board. Maybe Everette Brown is the pick if I am right about Orakpo. I am sure there will be about ten trades so we will have to see... Thanks for your input on the previous post:)

Jag Fan said...

The Jag will not draft a WR with their #8 pick. Gene Smith (the GM), Wayne Weaver (the owner) and Del Rio have all stated that it starts with the lines. With Smith having the final say (and with him being a huge proponent of big men), if there are any big men on their board at the time of their pick, he will take them.

Anonymous said...

I don't see the Bengals going for Wells that high. Cincinnati may take an RB but it would be later.

Their commitment to the run has always been to make play action credible so Palmer and the wideouts can do their thing. It's not a run happy team.

Their need is an O line that can open up enough of a hole in the D line for one the many non-flashy RBs to hold the LB's up in the box (as well as to keep the QB upright).

RB - 4th round or FB - 6th round

Anonymous said...

Looks pretty good to me. I am a Lions fan (yeah, go ahead, laugh) and I could definitely see them going that way with their two picks. In fact, that draft would make me happy.

The only criticism I have is, I don't think Orakpo will go that low, by any stretch.

Anonymous said...

Percy Harvin 3rd WR? Pfft.... Name me a quality U of FL WR in the NFL.... Can't be done. Darrius Heyward Bey 6' 2+ sub 4.4 speed

WR Rank

4.Derrick Williams (PSU)

BucsFan said...

That is the worst explanation of a bucs first round pick that I have seen all year. If the bucs pick an OT it will be at LT to compete with Donald Penn(a 7th round pick) who is serviceable but average at best.

It seems like maybe you do not like Trueblood very much(Maybe you just don't like Boston College) but do not let that be a reason to make a horrible pick. Trueblood was a 2nd round pick a couple years ago and has been doing well and improving each year. Many fans(and im sure his teammates) usually love when he shows some emotion on the field, he sticks up for his quarterback and his teammates. Of course we dont want him getting a personal foul when the game is on the line, but he doesnt take any crap and usually that is a good thing for us.

Armin said...

Thanks for the comments. Looking forward to seeing Clement's mock that will be very different than mine. Maybe some people will be less angry with his results. ;)

DA BEARS FOREVER: That top 10 mock works. There's one issue. I think that teams will realize that Michael Oher doesn't have the upside that Monroe and Jason Smith have. Monroe's upside is vast, and Jason Smith has a very high ceiling...limitless if he could run block like Andre Smith. I see Oher going as high as 7 or 8, and as low as the bottom of round one. Again...combine and pro days will determine a lot.

Regarding the Jags: I have made several mentions now that OL is a likely pick there. But, I had to put Maclin in there as having Matt Jones as your "top" receiver (not gonna entertain the Porter argument) is HURRRR-TING!!!

Bengals: Another situation where a team needs an offensive lineman, but has glaring weaknesses in several places. Interestingly, although they have a bunch of receivers, the Bengals could be a landing place for Maclin (Dark Horse candidate?). Chad Johnson needs to get over himself. T.J. Houshamazillah needs to decide if he's staying. It wouldn't be a bad fit. But, anyone that thinks Cedric Benson is the answer there after he basically continued his crappy play from Chicago, is kidding themselves.

Lions Fan & Orakpo: My scenario really helps the Lions, and it's not an unrealistic scenario. Maybe I should be the Lions GM. On Orakpo, the question comes down to need (and we know how that philosophy can vary based on front offices). If the Chiefs are content with Thigpen (and they very well could be), Orakpo doesn't fall past them.

Percy Harvin: I'm as big a fan of DHB as anyone here. He went in the first round in my Pre-Season Mock (when he was a relative unknown...emphasis on relative). But, I'm going to say that after the combines and pro days, scouts will be so high on Harvin (and his Devin Hester-ish return skills when he's 100%) that he will go higher than DHB, who at this point is all potential. DHB is similar to Vernon Gholston in this draft. Amazing athletic ability and great size at the WR position...disappeared in college games. We all saw how Gholston is working out so far. Healthy inactive in the last game of the season.

BucsFan: That was the worst explanation of what a team player is. There are plenty of players who back their teammates, and they don't need to get selfish and go throwing punches at the opposing team. Oh wait...did I say team player and selfish? I guess selfish players are the team leaders in Tampa. Probably why there is a new GM and Head Coach. I am not a fan of Donald Penn, but threw the Trueblood statement in there, because we need less of the Truebloods and Incognitos who put themselves ahead of the team. Not saying Trueblood doesn't have football talent. Arron Sears needs to get in his best friend's head and calm him down.

Anonymous said...

RE: Regarding the Jags: I have made several mentions now that OL is a likely pick there. But, I had to put Maclin in there as having Matt Jones as your "top" receiver (not gonna entertain the Porter argument) is HURRRR-TING!!!

Okay, but is having Matt Jones as your best WR worse than having no left tackle at all? The Jags don't have a single left tackle on their roster right now. Until they sign one, mocking them reaching for a WR doesn't make much sense.