Tuesday, January 27, 2009

2009 NFL Mock Draft: Take-Two (Top 15 Edition)

It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to realize Armin is the brains of our NFL Draft operation here at PHSports. Ditto for Pay and the NBA’s version of the annual draft selection show.

Nevertheless, I just L-O- V-E interjecting my opinion and “expertise”. Shocker, right?
At least for the top 15 picks (this time).

Sure I wanted to do 10, but Pay warned me that “any Joe Six-Pack can do a Top Ten.”
You would’ve enjoyed my top 10 more I bet…
Credit: BostonHerald.com

So I’m going to play the ULTIMATE devil’s advocate (mock draft-wise, at least) with Armin’s well-researched, in-depth, much more realistic mock draft. Again, just the top 15.

Let’s venture a different route and see how things might shake up just a little differently.
While I’m not disagreeing just to disagree, I do enjoy being a pain in Armin’s Redskin-loving butt.

Missing in action: Jeremy Maclin. My explanation? Lunacy.
Credit: Photobucket

1st Round [Top 15 picks]

1. Detroit: Matt Stafford, QB - Georgia
It’s obvious that Armin is correct in declaring the tangible advantages and glaring needs for a stud offensive tackle in Detroit. 0-16 teams aren’t fixed by rookie quarterbacks typically. Then again, nobody has ever gone 0-16, so do we really know exactly where to start? Jim Schwartz is the latest “new man on the job” and often that means a new QB is coming to town as well. With Matt Cassell already being franchised and the QB market a real unknown right now, I’m going to try my best not to speculate too much on Lion plans at QB outside of the draft. There clearly isn’t a solution on the current roster and while Stafford would’ve potentially graded below Bradford and McCoy, a quarterback at #1 – even if it’s too early – is never an unsafe bet come draft day. By the way, with Millen gone, any Crabtree-related jokes should never even start. Seriously.
Armin’s Selection: Andre Smith, OT - Alabama

2. St. Louis: Andre Smith, OT - Alabama
Tit for tat, tackle for tackle. I know. Nevertheless, Andre Smith – despite the mess before the Sugar Bowl – consistently grades out as BOTH the top offensive linemen and the top player in this entire draft field. The recent successes of early 1st round picks in recent years on the O-Line (Joe Thomas, Jake Long, Ryan Clady, etc.) should only further solidify the Rams’ need to draft early for help on an aging (Orlando Pace) and still suspect (Alex Barron, I’m talkin’ about YOU) o-line. Don’t underestimate their desperate need for defensive playmakers though, despite recent 1st-round selections of Adam Carriker and Chris Long. All this potential leads to two words: trade down (especially if somewhat legitimately fears what KC might do).
Armin’s Selection: Eugene Monroe, OT - Virginia

3. Kansas City: Mark Sanchez, QB – USC
Call this the Jay Cutler-factor (who I know didn’t go top 5 and was the 3rd QB taken), but I think the “next-best, but definitely not top” QB is gonna go higher than anyone expected. Tyler Thigpen isn’t the future of this franchise. Problem is: who will be their coach? I’ve questioned Pioli in the past – mainly due to the Belichick’s greatness – but now hes’ got an early draft pick which should show the direction of this team rather swiftly.
Armin’s Selection: Matt Stafford, QB - Georgia

4. Seattle: Malcolm Jenkins, CB – Ohio State
The Crabtree-selection makes way too much sense. However, there is still a lot of money in that position already in Seattle and this team is teetering on rebuilding mode. Despite spending a recent early-round pick on Kelly Jennings, depth at the CB position in Seattle has been hot/cold at best; especially since the departure of the uber-talented punching-bag for Steve Smith known as Ken Lucas. Jenkins may be considered this year’s Terrance Newman - #1 overall potential at the corner position – with a good combine. Arizona has a few good wideouts you might want to cover, too.
Armin’s Selection: Michael Crabtree, WR - Texas Tech

5. Cleveland: Chris “Beanie” Wells, RB – Cleveland
I’m going pure cheeseball pairing up Brady Quinn with Buckeye and fellow Ohioan Chris “Beanie” Wells. Can we just decide if it’s Chris or Beanie? Jamal Lewis is on the wrong side of 30 and may not be on this team’s opening day roster (just wait and see). While the Browns still need to solidify depth in their secondary and offensive line, a playmaking back will excite the franchise and can be a workhorse for Eric Mangini and company. Again, Armin was wise to tap a LB with 3-4 potential, Mangini’s preferred defensive scheme.
Armin’s Selection: Aaron Curry, LB - Wake Forest

6. Cincinnati: Michael Crabtree, WR – Texas Tech
Ocho Cinco isn’t long for Cincy and TJ Houshamzzilli will need a new counterpart once Carson Palmer returns healthy. Cedric Benson clearly isn’t “the man”, but I feel the Bengals can address that need in free agency (Darren Sproles perhaps?). Crabtree seems like a classy kid – the exact opposite of Chad “Johnson” – and this team sure needs something exciting after their return to shame in recent seasons. Let’s just say I‘ve already written off Jerome Simpson, for better or worse. Sorry bro.
Armin’s Selection: Chris "Beanie" Wells, RB - Ohio State

7. Oakland: Eugene Monroe, OT – Virginia
I hate leaving such a talented tackle lingering this long, but it’s far from the end of the world. I like Monroe’s talent, but am not ready to declare him a top 5 lock just yet. Although if a team is sold on him and is rebuilding, he could go much earlier. MUCH earlier. As for the Raiders, JaMarcus Russell will continue to be this team’s QB and protecting him has got to become more of a priority. The Robert Gallery-debacle needs to end NOW with a mercy-killing. It’s nearly impossible to gauge who the Raiders will truly target though, not until Al Davis rewards 2 or 3 “Javon Walkers” with ridiculous free agent contracts.
Armin’s Selection: Malcolm Jenkins, CB - Ohio State

Wondering where Mr. Moreno is??? Look no further.
Credit: Sundaypaper.com

8. Jacksonville: Knowshon Moreno, RB - Georgia

Again, Maclin and the Jags seem a perfect fit. Solid work again, bastard. However, Fred Taylor is leaving and MJD can’t do it alone. True they can go fishing for a talented #2 in the later rounds, yet I feel that Moreno’s talent will be too much to pass up. Despite his lack of beef, Moreno’s pass catching skills downfield are underrated and a new 1-2 combo can be rejuvenating to a stale Jags offense. The wideout position is a MESS and the offensive line was gutted last year from injury; nevertheless, I think the skill position wins out with the most talented RB on the entire draft board going here. I also see the Jags signing a free agent or two on the line, instead of relying on a rookie.
Armin’s Selection: Jeremy Maclin, WR - Missouri

9. Green Bay: Michael Johnson, DE – Georgia Tech
This is where Armin, a few other experts, and I disagree. While I don’t consider him to be Mario Williams, I do prefer to label Johnson as a Gaines Adams-type. I think his freakish athleticism will be a site to see at the combine and for personal workouts. If the Giants were to get their hands on him, it’d be the coup of the draft. Instead, I have the Packers stocking up on a talented defensive end who will help their defensive put more direct pressure on the QB and force more turnovers. While Armin was correct to challenge his every-down ability, the Packers need talent on the other side of Kampman. Especially in the NFC North with the “risky” QB-play (at best).
Armin’s Selection: Brian Orakpo, DE - Texas

10. San Francisco: Rey Maualuga, LB - USC
Sanchez is going to be a really interesting pick in the 1st round; especially since Oakland won’t be in the mix (I think). A lot of teams before San Fran – save the top three – appear to have QBs for the realistic-future. Meanwhile, San Francisco isn’t likely to turn the franchise over to Shaun Hill. Alex Smith, on the other hand, is likely done in San Fran and that mess has been pushed into the shadows just enough to draft another quarterback in the first round. I can’t slot Freeman here (just yet); however, it’s a coin flip as I’ve allowed an extremely talented LB to slip out of the top 10 (Curry). With Willis a perennial Pro Bowler in the middle, Singletary will decide between linebackers from Wake Forest and USC. Guess which one wins out in San Fran?
Armin’s Selection: Mark Sanchez, QB - USC

11. Buffalo: Brian Orakpo, DE - Texas
While it’s almost criminal I keep allowing Curry to slip, Buffalo needs an edge rusher like it needs to avoid games in Toronto in December. Funny, right? Orakpo is a monster on the edge and should prove to be a solid almost-everydown player on a young defense. James Hardy's seleciton last season further plummets the stock of Maclain.
Armin’s Selection: Everette Brown, DE – Florida State

12. Denver: Aaron Curry, LB – Wake Forest
This would easily be the steal of the draft, so you know it’s not happening. Nevertheless, Denver needs an entire defensive makeover (outside of the CBs and D.J. Williams) and the scrap heap of LBs they picked up last season were almost as embarrassing as the roulette shuffle they had at the RB-position.
Armin’s Selection: B.J. Raji, DT – Boston College

Guess who Washington shouldn't be drafting??? Yep, Percy Harvin.
Credit: HarvinZone.com

13. Washington: Michael Oher, OT – Mississippi
I disagree about the third (and maybe second) most talented tackle in this draft with a lot of the experts. While Armin has Oher in the low teens (19, to be exact), I think the guy has legit top 10-talent. Of course, that doesn’t mean he’ll even go in the first round if his combine is lazy or his attitude doesn’t win people over. Either way, this team better not draft a skill position player. Even if Maclin is an enticing prospect.
Armin’s Selection: Jason Smith, OT - Baylor

14. New Orleans: William Moore, S – Missouri
Obviously, Armin has the right guy. However, I wouldn’t sleep on the middle of the field getting some attention as well. The ‘Aints need a field marshal and Moore clearly is the top talent at the safety position. Don’t be surprised – even after bringing in Vilma last season – if one of the talented middle linebackers goes here; especially if one slips one too many spots.
Armin’s Selection: Vontae Davis, CB - Illinois

15: Houston: BJ Raji, DT – Boston College
Houston has the talent on offense (duh), but clearly are devoid of overall team talent on the defensive-side. Okoye hasn’t made much noise in the past two seasons and “Super” Mario Williams and DeMeco Ryans deserve some legit help. While the cornerback position could always use a young playmaker, I feel that safety (see the above pick) or the interior line has the best shot. Raji fits well as a run stuffer, as the outside pass rush needs to be let loose as often as possible.
Armin’s Selection: Aaron Maybin, OLB – Penn State

While it’s far from perfect, it’s just a different thought or two. I do have to admit I hate agreeing with a lot of Kiper Jr.’s out there with Sanchez soaring to the #3 and Kansas City.

Although I still want to plug that last year, when most everyone else jumped off the bandwagon weeks before, I had DeSean Jackson as top 10 talent at this point. He would be drafted behind 6 other wideouts (including the aformentioned Jerome Simpson) and ended up being a MAJOR factor on a team playing in the NFC Championship game.

Let’s not talk about my “real” mistakes though.
Why you gotta go and do that?

1 comment:

Armin said...

The analysis on some of the picks is spot on, in my opinion. Here's some pick by pick comments.

1) I think Kitna will get one last shot. I also think next year's stable of QBs will be much more talented. However, in this case, I am the one going against the norm with Andre Smith.

2) No arguement. If Andre Smith is there, this is a no-brainer.

3) Cutler factor aside...I'm leaning more and more towards the DE pick at 3. But, seeing that it's Pioli, and the amount of work that team needs...this is a trade down candidate.

4) I'm a big fan of Trufant and Jennings, however, this league has shown that two CBs isn't always enough. Jenkins is worth the 4th overall pick.

5) The Browns are the classic example of why a team needs two starting RBs. When Jamal Lewis is hurt (or out), Cleveland doesn't have a #2 guy worth mentioning.

6) Crabtree works here. With word that Houshamazillah could end up in San Fran, this could make sense. Simpson and Caldwell didn't impress at all.

7) Oakland would be very wise to make this pick if Monroe is there (which he could easily be)

8) Excellent point on Taylor & MJD not being able to do it alone. If they go RB, they should trade down, in my opinion.

9) Johnson would make sense in Green Bay with their new 3-4 defense. Johnson still needs to put on 15-20 lbs, unless they plan on solely letting him play pass downs.

10) Willis and Maualuga would be BEASTLY in the middle. Willis could move outside too.

11) Orakpo would be Buffalo's dream situation

12) Ditto on this one too. Curry would be Denver's Dream situation.

13) While I'm not high on Oher (because I feel he doesn't have much upside), I've been wrong plenty of times. I am very high on Jason Smith though.

14) Moore is a beast, and could be a fit in New Orleans. Too bad Trevor Laws decided to stay at USC.

15) Raji is a big man and would be a nice fit next to Okoye. That would be a monster defensive line if they could just get another pass rusher across Mario Williams.

Great stuff. Can't wait to see more.