Friday, 16 January 2009

Updated mock draft

Today I have updated my mock draft to correspond with events this week. Taylor Mays and Sam Bradford have both decided to stay in school whilst Mark Sanchez is heading for the pro's. This changes the outlook of the first round dramatically.

1 Detroit Lions - Matt Stafford (QB, Georgia)
It's Matt Stafford vs Mark Sanchez to decide who goes first overall. Stafford's greater experience as a starter gives him the edge for now, but things can change over the next few weeks.

2 St Louis Rams - Andre Smith (OT, Alabama)
Last year the Rams wanted Jake Long, I believe, to watch the right side of the offensive line. Question marks linger about Smith's ability against elite speed, but he could be great on the right.

3 Kansas City Chiefs - Aaron Curry (LB, Wake Forest)
The Chiefs have a new GM and the question still remains - will they want their own guy at QB? Scott Pioli was part of a Patriots front office that excelled in taking quarter backs later on. Curry is a guy they can build their defense around.

4 Seattle Seahawks - Michael Crabtree (WR, Texas Tech)
Crabtree can help the Seahawks offense immediately, offering a weapon to Matt Hasselbeck and drawing attention that could open up other receivers and the running game. Does he make it to the fourth pick though?

5 Cleveland Browns - Everette Brown (DE, Florida State)
Every year, one prospect flies up the draft board and breaks into the top picks. I'm going to predict it's this guy. Brown is the prototype DE/LB for a 3-4 defense. To see the rest of the picks, click here.

6 Cincinatti Bengals - Michael Oher (OT, Ole Miss)
The Bengals need to protect Carson Palmer so they won't hesitate to select the best pass protecting tackle in this class.

7 Oakland Raiders - Eugene Monroe (OT, Virginia)
JeMarcus Russel needs better protection to develop. Monroe kept Brendan Albert at guard when both were at Virginia.

8 Jacksonville Jaguars - Jason Smith (OT, Baylor)
Smith is creeping up draft boards and could go higher than this. Jacksonville's offensive line was ravaged by injuries in 2008 and needs to get better.

9 Green Bay Packers - Malcolm Jenkins (CB, Ohio State)
The Packers need to improve their pass rush but could also do with getting younger and better in the secondary. Despite concerns about his recovery speed, Jenkins is still an exciting prospect.

10 San Francisco 49ers - Mark Sanchez (QB, USC)
There's a chance a team could trade up to get Sanchez before he reaches this far. The 49ers have given up on Alex Smith and need a long term option at quarter back.

11 Buffalo Bills - Brian Orakpo (DE, Texas)
The Bills need to support Aaron Schrobel with another pass rushing end. Orakpo could fit in a 4-3 or a 3-4 and had an excellent senior year.

12 Denver Broncos - Rey Maualuga (LB, USC)
With Mike Nolan announced as new defensive coordinator, a shift to 3-4 appears imminent. Maualuga would insantly upgrade the Broncos defense as an inside linebacker.

13 Washington Redskins - Eben Britton (OT, Arizona)
Britton excelled at both right and left tackle for Arizona. In Washington he would start at RT and could eventually move over.

14 New Orleans Saints - Vontae Davis (CB, Illinois)
The Saints have a prolific offense and the only thing holding them back is a substandard defense. Secondary help is their biggest need and Davis has the potential to be a shutdown corner.

15 Houston Texans - Chris Wells (RB, Ohio State)
They already have an explosive offense and would prefer to upgrade their secondary with this pick. Taylor Mays would have been ideal here. Instead, they take Wells to compliment Steve Slaton in the backfield.

16 San Diego Chargers - Jeremy Maclin (WR, Missouri)
Maclin is an explosive play maker with elite speed. Chris Chambers is in a contract year and will be 31, whilst Vincent Jackson was recently arrested for DUI.

17 New York Jets - Aaron Maybin (DE, Penn State)
Maybin is a good fit as a DE/LB hybrid in the 3-4 defense. If the Jets did go this way, what does it say about Vernon Gholston?

18 Chicago Bears - Michael Johnson (DE, Georgia Tech)
The Bears have needs at QB and WR but perhaps their biggest need is at defensive end. Johnson has the physical talents and could excel in the Bears defense.

19 Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Knowshon Moreno (RB, Georgia)
Tampa Bay need to get younger and better at running back. Moreno is a true triple threat back as a runner, receiver and blocker. He could be a steal this late in the first round.

20 Detroit Lions - James Laurinaitis (LB, Ohio State)
Having got their franchise quarter back with the first overall pick, they pick up their defensive leader in Laurinaitis, who provides great value at this spot.

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