Thursday, April 23, 2009

2009 NFL Mock Draft: Version 4.0

In what will probably be my final attempt at an NFL Mock Draft for 2009, I tried a little bit of everything. I used several different draft strategies (Draft for Need, Best Player Available, Draft to Strength), and I put a few of my own twists in there. I will either come off as a genius draft guru, or a complete moron. Hoping it's the former. Either way, enjoy. Also, check in with us during the draft on 4/25. We plan to have a running commentary on the draft as it progresses.

1st Round

1. Detroit: Matt Stafford, QB - Georgia
Though Aaron Curry says he'll take the same or less money than Jake Long did last year, I believe Matt Stafford will be the pick. He has the upside to be something special, and the Lions need to take this shot at resurrecting their franchise. Look for him to be signed before the draft, and the Rams to be on the clock.

Eugene Monroe (Photo Courtesy of

2. St. Louis: Eugene Monroe, OT - Virginia
With Orlando Pace out the door, look for a replacement to be a lock for this pick. Once upon a time, Alex Barron was in line to be groomed as Pace's eventual replacement, but that idea faded. Monroe catches their eye as he's the best pass blocker in this draft, following the footsteps of other former Cavaliers.

3. Kansas City: Aaron Curry, LB - Wake Forest
This is a tough pick. While I don't think Tyson Jackson goes at this pick, the rumor is that the Chiefs would like to trade down and get him. Curry is the next most likely candidate. If a team trades ahead of Seattle for Sanchez, the draft will get very interesting.

4. Seattle: Mark Sanchez, QB - USC
I toyed with the notion that the 'Hawks go with a lineman here. Jason Smith would be a very nice pick, but I'm sticking to my guns on Sanchez. He makes the most sense here.

5. Cleveland: Michael Crabtree, WR - Texas Tech
I'll buy into the Braylon Edwards trade rumors. However, I'm not buying into the "Crabtree is a Diva" talk, and Cleveland removing him from their list. Some of the best WRs are divas, and it's that attitude that keeps them going at that position.

6. Cincinnati: Jason Smith, OT - Baylor
Cincy should land a Smith. Whether it's Jason or Andre shouldn't matter. Either way, they are getting a top LT out of this draft.

7. Oakland: Jeremy Maclin, WR - Missouri
Johnnie Lee Higgins is the leading receiver on the roster with 22 catches in 2008. The Raiders choose to patch a glaring hole. Orakpo could easily get consideration here.

8. Jacksonville: B.J. Raji, DT - Boston College
Look for this to be a trade candidate. They may consider Darrius Heyward-Bey for a second (and he could realistically be the pick). In this scenerio, however, Raji should be the pick. The DT starters are up there in years, and Raji could be starting alongside Henderson as a rookie.

9. Green Bay: Tyson Jackson, DE - Louisiana State
Without Raji available, the Packers consider leaving Pickett at NT, and draft the best 3-4 DE in this year's class (by a longshot).

10. San Francisco: Brian Orakpo, DE - Texas
Tough pick without Sanchez, Raji or Jackson on the board. The Marvel Smith acquisition probably shouldn't keep them from drafting Andre Smith. However, I feel they can't pass on Orakpo, even after re-signing Harrelson and having Lawson around.

11. Buffalo: Andre Smith, OT - Alabama
The Bills get really lucky with one of the top 3 LTs falling to them. Smith will step into some big shoes, filling in for recently traded Jason Peters.

12. Denver: Aaron Maybin, OLB - Penn State
In Nolan's 3-4 defense, you can't have enough LBs. Some of his holdover DEs don't make the best OLBs, so look for Maybin or Everette Brown to go here. Maualuga should get strong consideration, however, they may have a logjam at ILB with the 3-4 conversion.

13. Washington: Everette Brown, DE - Florida State
Word is they're looking to trade up to land Sanchez or Orakpo. Unless they are trying to trade early picks from next year's draft (possible), the Skins don't have much to offer in a trade. Brown looks like a top prospect at end, but you can't overlook the busts that FSU has put out at the DE position.

14. New Orleans: Malcolm Jenkins, CB - Ohio State
Jenkins is an easy pick to make here, although Chris Wells cannot be overlooked. Jenkins can either fill in at CB or FS. Most likely he'll be groomed to replace Darren Sharper at FS.

15. Houston: Brian Cushing, OLB - Southern Cal
Cushing ends up next to another beast MLB. Ryans is a defensive game manager, and could benefit Cushing in a lot of ways.

16. San Diego: Knowshon Moreno, RB - Georgia
LT's days in San Diego just came to a screeching halt as Sproles and Moreno would carry the load. Look for a draft day deal involving LT if the Chargers go RB with this pick.

Darrius Heyward-Bey (Photo courtesy of The Baltimore Sun)

17. New York Jets: Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR - Maryland

Rex Ryan keeps praising his current receivers, but I'll call his bluff. DHB might need a little more work than Crabtree and Maclin, but his potential outmatches both of those receivers. Potential is a dangerous word in the NFL. But, the Jets are willing to take the gamble.
18. Denver (from Chicago): Peria Jerry, DT - Mississippi
Maybe a bit of a reach, but the Broncos are desperate for big bodies on the defensive line.

19. Tampa Bay: Josh Freeman, QB - Kansas State
Forget the Leftwich signing. The details on his contract show that he can be cut loose at any time (even before this season) without much consequence on the cap. Freeman is tabbed as the Franchise QB. Luke McCown realizes he was just a pawn.

20. Detroit (from Dallas): Michael Oher, OT - Mississippi

This pick makes Jeff Backus even more expendible than he was. Look for the Lions to get a late round pick for him during the draft if possible. Oher should have no problem stepping right in and starting.

21. Philadelphia: Chris "Beanie" Wells, RB - Ohio State
The Eagles need to consider Westbrook's health when he carries the load. Wells adds a much needed breath of fresh air for Westbrook: A power runner who can carry the load when necessary and should keep Westbrook fresh into the playoffs.

22. Minnesota: Hakeem Nicks, WR - North Carolina

Tough call between Nicks and Harvin. When it comes to need, Harvin is too much like Berrian and Wade. However, Nicks fills that big receiver role that Sidney Rice failed to fill.

23. New England: Rey Maualuga, ILB - Southern Cal

A slight surprise here, as they took Mayo last year, however Maualuga still fills a need here. He could learn a lot from Bruschi, and take over for him right away.

24. Atlanta: Brandon Pettigrew, TE - Oklahoma State

Matt Ryan gets some help with the top TE in the draft. He will also help Michael Turner with his strong run blocking ability.

25. Miami: Clay Matthews, OLB - Southern Cal
While a CB would be nice to add to the mix, Matthews gives the team options on the pass rushing front, much like what we saw on the Patriots Super Bowl teams. Porter, Matthews and Roth could be out there on any given play, bringing the rush.

26. Baltimore: Kenny Britt, WR - Rutgers

As much as I don't want these WRs in the first round, the attention the Ravens are giving Britt cannot be overlooked. Again, Harvin could get a look, but the team already has Clayton. Britt has the T.O. like mentality. He knows he's good. Question is, can he translate his success to the NFL?

27. Indianapolis: Ziggy Hood, DT - Missouri

Hood is one of my personal favorites in this draft. He was dominant in Senior Bowl practices. If he can bring that unblockability to the NFL, he could benefit the Colts in many ways. Expect him to be a starter, right away.

28. Buffalo (from Philadelphia from Carolina): Robert Ayers, DE - Tennessee

Ayers has seen his stock rise recently. With the Bills placing several players on the trading block, they have an open position at Kelsay's DE spot.

29. New York Giants: Donald Brown, RB - Connecticut
Tough pick to make here. The Giants have a nice roster all around, and again, with Harvin we have the same issue. Too many similar players on the roster. After losing Derrick Ward, and knowing that Ahmad Bradshaw is more of a situational back, the Giants nab Brown. Brown can team with Jacobs and take over whenever Jacobs goes down for his

30. Tennessee: Vontae Davis: CB - Illinois
The team is short on CB (aren't they always?) and in this scenario have their pick of the top CB available in this draft outside of Jenkins.

31. Arizona: Alex Mack, C - California
Late last year, the Cards were firing on all cylanders, going all the way to the Super Bowl. If there was one place where the team could have used the help though, it was on the line. Mack will be a Day 1 starter and could be a difference maker late in the year when they need the inside push.

32. Pittsburgh: Max Unger, C - Oregon
Regardless of Max Starks and Chris Kemoeatu returning, the Steelers still need help on the offensive line. It was with those two in there that they were still giving up a lot of sacks. Unger can play any position on the offensive line. He would probably push Hartwig at center early, but could be groomed to play LT if needed.

Second Round

33. Detroit: James Laurinaitis, MLB - Ohio State

Great pick for the Lions if they don't go with Curry at #1. Laurinaitis should step right into the MLB spot and be a leader for the defense.

34. New England (from Kansas City): Connor Barwin, OLB - Cincinnati

The Pats land the next Mike Vrabel. Barwin is an exceptional athlete who can play OLB, DE, FB and TE. He'll settle in at OLB, but don't be surprised if he's out there on offense. He actually has decent skill as a TE.

35. St. Louis: Percy Harvin, WR - Florida

Finally Harvin goes. But, only because he's a steal at this point, and the run on WRs was steep. He's no Torry Holt, but he still brings a lot of speed and moves to the table.

36. Cleveland: Michael Johnson, OLB - Georgia Tech
The Browns can't expect Shantee Orr to be the answer at OLB across Wimbley. Johnson was a beast in college and has a lot of potential as a 3-4 backer.

37. Seattle: William Beatty, OT - Connecticut

Beatty can learn from one of the best before taking over. He'll back up Walter Jones, but don't be surprised if he's starting sooner than later. Beatty is a talent worth the 1st round, but falls to the 2nd round in this scenario.

38. Cincinnati: Alphonso Smith, CB - Wake Forest
The Bengals can go a lot of directions here. A RB like Rashad Jennings or a LB like Clint Sintim are possibilities. However, at CB Joseph and Hall aren't living up to their draft status, and could use some help. Smith is the most NFL-ready CB available, and should help right away.

39. Jacksonville: Darius Butler, CB - Connecticut

Duke Robinson would be a great fit here, but it is harder to get a good CB in a draft than a good OG. Butler could land a starting spot before too long.

40. Oakland: Larry English, DE - Northern Illinois
If the Raiders don't address DE in the first round, expect them to take the top DE off the board in the 2nd round. English is an intriguing prospect. Some have labeled him as the best non-first round prospect in the draft if he falls out of the first. Offensive line could be another target.

41. Green Bay: Eben Britton, OT - Arizona
Britton fell far, but luckily he fell to the right situation. The competition at RT is open after Tauscher wasn't re-signed. Britton should have no problem winning. Look for the team to also consider Ron Brace, as the switch to the 3-4 defense left them short of pure NTs.

42. Buffalo: Jared Cook, TE - South Carolina
The Bills add the most athletically gifted TE in the draft. Cook moves like a WR and catches like one. He's a breath of fresh air compared to the last couple of projects at TE.

43. San Francisco: Ron Brace, DT - Boston College
They needed a 3-4 NT, and they got one. Raji's college teammate is built much the same and can't easily be moved as well. He'll share time at NT with Aubrayo Franklin.

44. Miami (from Washington): Derrick Williams, WR - Penn State
Williams has had a great offseason, boosting his stock with his great 40 times and impressive workouts. He could fit right into the slot alongside Ginn and Camarillo.

45. New York Giants (from New Orleans): Clint Sintim, OLB - Virginia
A pass rushing OLB who fits in the 4-3 defense. This is just what the doctor ordered for the Giants. He would bring a lot of what Kiwanuka did for the Giants when he played OLB.

46. Houston: Louis Delmas, S - Western Michigan

The Texans land the top safety in the draft. He shouldn't take long before unseating either starter. Many don't know Delmas that well. He has the tools to be a star in this league.

47. New England (from San Diego): Rashad Jennings, RB - Liberty

A bit of a surprise pick here, but he will add a lot to this team. In a year, this big, speedy back could be the feature back on the team. While he played on a lower level of competition, his measurables cannot be overlooked.

48. Denver: Patrick Chung, S - Oregon
While Vernon Fox is a half-decent stop-gap, the Broncos still have a gaping hole at SS. Chung is a pure SS who excels at playing near the line.

49. Chicago: Brian Robiskie, WR - Ohio State

Don't be surprised if the Bears try to package some picks and move up for a top tier WR. The way they are tooling their team, it looks like they're trying to make a run. However, Cutler gets a nice big target in Robiskie. A CB like Sean Smith or D.J. Moore could be an option.

50. Cleveland (from Tampa Bay): William Moore, S - Missouri

He can team up with Brodney Pool and give the Browns a lot of range in the defensive backfield. Look for the Browns to also consider a TE like Cornelius Ingram or Shawn Nelson.

51. Dallas: Sean Smith, CB - Wisconsin

Smith is a huge CB who has the athletic ability to stick to a WR. With Anthony Henry out of the picture, the Cowboys could use another physical presence at CB to take on some of the bigger receivers in the NFL.

52. New York Jets: Jarron Gilbert, DE - San Jose State
One of the most talked about NFL draft prospects on YouTube. Gilbert is a tall athletic big man who played DT, but projects to DE on the Jets.

53. Philadelphia: Rashad Johnson, S - Alabama
Johnson is no Dawkins, but he has better promise than the current replacements. Johnson is a rangy safety who can cover a lot of ground.

54. Minnesota: Eric Wood, C - Louisville

With Birk's departure, the Vikings need to think about their future at center. Wood or Alabama's Caldwell make great selections here. UConn's Cody Brown would be a nice fit at OLB.

55. Atanta: Duke Robinson, OG - Oklahoma

Great value pick at 55. Robinson has 1st round talent, but plays a position that teams don't always look at in that round.

56. Miami: LeSean McCoy, RB - Pittsburgh
It could be smokescreen, but the Dolphins could be looking at moving Ronnie Brown. Regardless, Ricky Williams is way past his prime, and it might be time to look at another option. McCoy was very productive in college. His measurables aren't the greatest, but the skills are far from lacking.

57. Baltimore: Cody Brown, LB - Connecticut
Who would have thought Connecticut would be the dominant school in this draft? Brown can play inside or outside for the Ravens. He could eventually move inside and replace Ray Lewis when he retires, if needed.

58. New England: Fili Maola, DT - Southern Cal
Maola is a DE in the 3-4, bringing some athleticism to the table, but he's still strong enough to step in at NT for Wilfork on occasion and give him breathers. Don't rule out a TE at this pick.

59. Carolina: Lawrence Sidbury, DE - Richmond

Sidbury's hype machine is in effect. He's moving up the charts, and could find himself going higher if DEs start coming off the board like OTs did last season.

60. New York Giants: Jamon Meridith, OT - South Carolina

Meredith can play any position on the offensive line except center. He will fill in wherever he is needed, and can help the team save roster spots.

61. Indianapolis: Sen'Derrick Marks, DT - Auburn

It's no secret where the Colts need help. They add their 2nd DT in the draft, both on the first day. Marks could easily be starting alongside Peria Jerry as rookies.

62. Tennessee: Louis Murphy, WR - Florida

Nothing new for the Titans. They've been picking 3rd Tier WRs in the draft for years. However, Murphy has upside. He can be a #1 receiver in the right offense.

63. Arizona: Javon Ringer, RB - Michigan State

Ringer heads into the Cards as part of a three-headed monster at RB. Before Ringer was injured, he had 1st round potential written all over him. He looks good right now, and if he blossoms, could take over as the #1 option.

64. Pittsburgh: Alex Magee, DE - Purdue
Magee played DE in college, but should have been playing DT. He fits right in as a DE for the Steelers. He could be starting within a year.

Comments welcome.


Sum said...

If Pettigrew is available at #21, they'll totally take him.

Paymon said...

Armin - any trade predictions?

Also, in the NBA, the practice of promising to draft a player at a spot is commonplace. Are there any such promises outside the top 10?

Armin said...

Sum: I took out part of my blurb there for Philly at 21, because I felt it was getting too long. I mentioned that Pettigrew is an option at that pick.

Only reason I put Wells there...if the foot issue is a smokescreen, he's another Michael Turner. Ask any Philly fan what happens to their team when Westbrook goes down. Their team suffers. Wells (or Moreno), in my opinion, offers more to the team than a TE.

Pettigrew is a beast though. Celek is not the answer by a long shot, however, there are some nice receiving TEs available in round 2...but, not the same RBs. Jared Cook or Cornelius Ingram would be great fits in Philly.

There was also that Tony Gonzalez thing...but he was traded to ATL right after I posted this.

Armin said...

Paymon: Tough call. There's a lot of smokescreen and speculation out there. The closest I could come to that is if there is a player that I could guarantee you will be picked at a certain spot, if available.

I'm almost 100% positive Malcolm Jenkins goes to New Orleans if he's there. They could consider a RB, but it's too early. They would have to trade down if they wanted Wells or Moreno.

If someone told me about Baltimore with Britt, I would believe it. But, that's not etched in stone either. If DHB somehow falls to that pick (he won't), they'll take him instead.

Paymon said...

I also saw a rumor of Eben Britton to the Vikes at pick #22.

Totally agreed on RB being a bigger need than TE for Philly. Buckhalter was a big loss, and Booker/Hunt were useless. Wells is not much of a pass catcher which Andy Reid may not like.

Also, I could see the Eagles taking a WR in Round 2, although we have a decent number under contract. I watched a bit of Rashad Johnson and he is good - not sure if he has as much upside as Demps. I'm worried (and completely expecting) that Mikell's production is going to dip without BDawk.

Sum said...

So, given all the news about the Redskins w/ Cutler a few weeks ago, and then with Dirty Sanchez over the past few weeks, there's one name I'm surprised about not hearing...

With the Browns seemingly eager to give up golden boy Quinn, why isn't the Daniel all over that? Quinn represents a "splash" which Danny and Vinny love. And he might be cheaper to obtain than Sanchez (in terms of what they'd give up in a trade). Don't get me wrong, I'd rather they go OL here, but Quinn is a better guy to go after than Sanchez. Could even be a 3 team trade involving the Jets...

Armin said...

Paymon: Just saw the Eben Britton thing. Not giving that much thought. Though he's talented...he's a right tackle, and any number of players could fall to 22 that will have the Vikings reconsidering.

The other thing I'm hearing is that Seattle likes their RT Locklear so much, that they are grooming him for the left side. They may not even need a LT.

Moreno is the better fit for Philly at RB, but Wells will be tough to pass up. Not that it's certain they won't pass on him. In my opinion, he helps them the most.

I've never really been high on Demps, or Mikell for that reason. Johnson is a cover safety, which the Eagles will need. My only concern is whether he can do anything else. We all know Stanley Richard was a cover guy, and we know how that turned out for the Chargers and Skins.

WR in round two? Maybe. It's not a reach. My question is: Which TEs will be available?

Armin said...

Sum: For some reason, the Vikings, Jets and Skin want Dirty Sanchez, yet only the Vikings and Jets want Quinn.

No clue.

But, from what I understand, there could be a 3 way trade involving the Jets, Skins and Browns, with Quinn going to the Jets, but can't figure out how the rest makes sense. *shrugging shoulders*

It's Danny and Vinny. Have they ever done ANYTHING right?