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.
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.