In the past few weeks, there have been quite a few shake-ups in NFL free agency and the Scouting Combine that will have an effect on this year’s first round. Thought I might update my original First Round Mock Draft:
(to compare….this was the previously posted mock draft: http://viewfromthecouch-dg.blogspot.com/2009/02/first-round-nfl-mock-draft.html )
**Updated MOCK DRAFT**:
1) DETROIT LIONS: Matthew Stafford (QB, Georgia) – Initially, I had thought the Lions were about 50/50 between taking a tackle or a quarterback. After letting both QB Dan Orlovsky and Jon Kitna leave via free agency, and Andre Smith going AWOL at the combine (literally he disappeared when he was supposed to working out and no one knew where he was), I believe they have set themselves up not only to take Stafford #1, but also install him as the started from Day 1.
2) St. LOUIS RAMS: Jason Smith (T, Baylor)- I still like the Rams to take a tackle as the heir apparent to Orlando Pace, but questions about his character have Andre Smith plummeting down the draft boards. Smith worked out the best of any of the tackles at the combine, and appears to be the most athletic. Eugene Monroe warrants consideration as well.
3) KANSAS CITY CHIEFS: Aaron Curry (LB, Wake Forest)- Best workout of any player in the whole draft in Indianapolis (for the NFL combine). Looked big, fast, and athletic. Could very well be the best overall player in the draft. Chiefs are hoping that they have a chance to take him here.
4)SEATTLE SEAHAWKS: Eugene Monroe (T, Virginia)- The Seahawks landed a Pro Bowl receiver in T.J. Houshmandzadeh via free agency, so WR isn’t as glaring a need as it was pre-free agency. Crabtree is still a possibility, but I think they will go OT with this pick. The prospect of getting a player like Monroe to be the successor to an aging Walter Jones at LT is too good to pass up.
5) CLEVLAND BROWNS: Brian Orakpo (DE, Texas)- Browns got rid of Kellen Winslow last week, so TE is a need for them, but it’s too early to take any of the top TE prospects. I had them taking Orakpo before and I still like him here at pick #5.
6) CINCINNATI BENGALS: Michael Crabtree (WR, Texas Tech)- Crabtree is a good value here and fits a need. Having lost Houshmandzadeh in free agency, they really need a big sure-handed WR.
Crabtree would be happy to go this high in the draft. The Texas Tech WR measured in a little shorter at the Combine than expected (listed at 6’4” he measured in at little over 6’1”), and also will not workout for any teams because of a broken foot. I actually wonder if he may have benefited from being injured. Had he run a slow forty time (in the 4.7 range) it would have been a bigger concern to NFL teams than a foot injury. Could have dropped him out of the top 10.
7)OAKLAND RAIDERS: Andre Smith (T, Alabama)- Since the Raiders need a top tackle prospect, and they have been a haven for players with “character issues” over the years….. I’ll bet they take Andre Smith here.
Very ironic: Smith was suspended from the Sugar Bowl for being connected to a professional agent….then went AWOL at the combine and cited “lack of an agent” as the reason he did not notify teams that he inexplicably flown home. Sounds like a Raider to me.
8) JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS: B.J Raji (DT, Boston College)- Jags would like to see either Smith LT or Eugene Monroe fall to them at the seventh pick, but if that doesn't happen I think they go with Raji. They will also have their eye on QB Mark Sanchez, however, I think shoring up there defensive front by selecting the best interior defensive line prospect in the draft will take precedent.
9)GREEN BAY PACKERS: Vontae Davis (C, Illinois)- I originally had them tacking Davis and I’m sticking with him. Best all around athlete of any CB in this draft. Ohio State defensive back Malcolm Jenkins could have been an option here as well, however he ran forty times nearing 4.6 in Indy, and is now thought to be a better fit at safety
10) SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS: Mark Sanchez (QB, USC)- I had them taking Sanchez previously and I still like them to select the former USC signal caller. He most likely won’t start in year one, but could end up being a very good NFL Quarterback down the line.
11) BUFFALO BILLS: Everette Brown (DE, Florida State)- Will almost certainly take a DE with this pick. I have Brown rated as my #2 DE in this draft, and he would be a good addition to the Bills.
12) DENVER BRONCOS: Brian Cushing (LB, USC) – Broncos have proven to be a bit of a wild card this offseason. First firing Mike Shanahan, then signing an army of players in free agency, and finally shopping Jay Cutler of late (although it looks like he’ll be back). I had them taking Maualuga in my first mock draft, but his college teammate Cushing worked out better and I think they will draft him to man the outside backer spot in Denver.
13) WASHINGTON REDSKINS: Aaron Maybin (DE, Penn State)- They cut Jason Taylor and need a DE. Maybin is undersized and might just be a situational pass rusher early in his career, but I think the 'Skins would jump at the chance to get a speedy edge rusher.
14) NEW ORLEANS SAINTS: Rey Maualuga (LB, USC)- Team that needs an outside linebacker. Although Maualuga played the inside in college, his size should allow him to transition to the outside in the NFL.
15) HOUSTON TEXANS: Tyson Jackson (DE, LSU)- In my opinion WAY too early for Jackson at pick #15. However, the Texan’s biggest need is at DE opposite Mario Williams, and Houston has been known to reach for picks. They took T Duane Brown out of Virginia Tech in the first round last year when he carried a mid-second round grade on most draft boards.
16) SAN DIEGO CHARGERS: Jeremy Maclin (WR, Missouri)- Still like the Chargers to take Maclin. They can afford to make a bit of a luxury pick. Can you imagine how explosive this team will be on third down with Darren Sproles and Maclin on the field at the same time?
17) NEW YORK JETS: Darius Heyward-Bey (WR,Maryland) – After letting Laveranues Coles walk in free agency WR is a good pick for Gang Green. They SHOULD take Percy Harvin, but I believe they will be too enamored with Hayward-Bey’s 6’2” frame and 4.3 speed (fastest player in the whole draft) to pass him up.
18) CHICAGO BEARS: Percy Harvin (WR, Florida)- Would be smart to take Harvin with this pick, but don’t be too surprised if the Bears make a shocking selection (and a mistake) and draft QB Josh Freeman out of Kansas State. Big guy with a big arm….they will think he makes sense as a future QB to throw in the wind and cold in Chicago.
19) TAMPA BAY BUCS: James Laurinaitis (LB, Ohio State)- Tough one to call for the Bucs at #19. Would be taking a RB if they hadn’t picked up Derrick Ward in free agency. Linebacker is a need since Derrick Brooks was cut, however they would take Heyward-Bey or Harvin if they fell this far.
20) DETROIT LIONS: Malcolm Jenkins (CB/S, Ohio State)- DB is a good selection for the Lions with their second first round pick. If it's me making the pick I go with Alphonso Smith from Wake Forest, but I think they would more likely go with Jenkins and play him at both CB and S.
21) PHILADELPHIA EAGLES: Chris “Beanie” Wells (RB, Ohio State)- Big bruising (but slow) running back is a good pick for the Eagles as a compliment for Brian Westbrook.
Side not: Is anyone really surprised that two OHIO STATE guys, in Wells and Jenkins, ran much slower than expected 40 times at the Combine? You know guys who played for the teams that looked like they were stuck in the mud when Florida and LSU players blazed past them in ’07 and ’08 National Championship games.
22) MINNESOTA VIKINGS: Jared Cook (TE, South Carolina)- Still like them to take a TE but this time I’m going with Jared Cook from South Carolina instead of Brandon Pettigrew. He ran 4.5 at the combine. VERY fast for a tight end. He also proved to be a smooth athlete in the drills. Cook will have to work on his blocking to be a complete NFL Tight End.
23) NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS: Sean Smith (CB, UTAH)- I think I made a shrewd selection here in my previous Mock Draft. Smith is very much a “Patriots guy” in that he is a versatile player who, at 6’3” and 214 pounds, could play both CB or S.
24) ATLANTA FALCONS: Peria Jerry (DT, Ole Miss)- Had Jerry here before and still like the Falcons to select him at pick #24. Very important for a young team to get a good interior defensive lineman.
25) MIAMI DOLPHINS: Clay Matthews (LB, USC)- Could really use a WR, but Matthew is the type of high effort, high motor player that Parcell's loves. Three USC ‘backers could go in the first round.
26) BALTIMORE RAVENS: Alphonso Smith (CB, Wake Forest) – They cut Chris McCalister earlier this year and lost Jim Leonhard and Bart Scott to free agency. Will pick a defensive player with this pick. Will most likely take the highest rated DB still in the draft. n this case Smith.
27) INDIANAPOLIS COLTS: Hakeem Nicks (WR, North Carolina)- Polished receiver to help fill the Marvin Harrison void. Could also pick a DT. Would take Peria Jerry if he fell this far.
28) PHILADELPHIA EAGLES: Michael Oher (T, Ole Miss)- It just hard to imagine a guy like still being here at this point. A good chance a team from the second round would come up to get him. If he is here to be taken, the Eagles would count their blessings.
29) NEW YORK GIANTS: Clint Sintim (LB, Virginia)- Sticking with Sintim. Hoping the G-Men resist the temptation to select…..
30) TENNESSEE TITANS: Kenny Britt (WR, Rutgers)- Very much a reach to go in the first round. But his size will entice some teams. Titans desperately need a WR (seems like this is the case every year), and would ideally get Nicks or Heyward-Bey if they were available at the 30th pick. Also, people in Nashville should be on red alert: Terrell Owens could be coming to town. No team is in more need of a playmaking WR.
31) ARIZONA CARDINALS: LeSean McCoy (RB, Pittsburgh)- Had them taking Moreno originally, but he ran too slow at the combine. UConn RB Donald Brown would be a sleeper pick for the Cardinals here as well.
32) PITTSBURGH STEELERS: Duke Robinson (G, Oklahoma)- If the Steelers don’t get some offensive line help, Big Ben is going to have a very short career. A lot of the sacks that he took came up the middle, so taking the top guard in the draft makes a lot of sense from where I’m sitting (eh hem…..my couch).