Sunday, 1 February 2009

Updated mock draft - Super Bowl Sunday

Here's my updated mock draft for Super Bowl Sunday. It includes a full first round prediction.

1 Detroit Lions - Matt Stafford (QB, Georgia)
Little has changed and it's still 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. The Lions fans may prefer to look elsewhere, but with a dearth of talent at QB this year they'll use their first pick to find the face of their franchise.

2 St Louis Rams - Andre Smith (OT, Alabama)
A few mocks are starting to predict Michael Crabtree will go here. It's certainly a very realistic prospect, Crabtree is arguably the most talented prospect in the 2009 class. But the Rams also need to beef up their line and they did take Donnie Avery with a high pick in 2008. If they release Torry Holt, Crabtree is increasingly likely to go here. Last year the Rams wanted Jake Long, I believe, to watch the right side of the offensive line. Smith could be a dominant right tackle from day one and has massive upside if he can keep his weight down and improve against speed.

3 Kansas City Chiefs - Aaron Curry (LB, Wake Forest)
The Chiefs have a new GM and soon a new head coach. 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 and offer a much needed pass rush.

4 Seattle Seahawks - Michael Crabtree (WR, Texas Tech)
The Seahawks need a play maker on offense and Crabtree can help from day one. He fits the criteria GM Tim Ruskell looks for - showing consistent production (double Biletnikoff winner) and a good character.

5 Cleveland Browns - Everette Brown (DE, Florida State)
Brown is the guy I expect will shoot up draft boards after the combine. He is the best pass rusher in this year's draft and would be a perfect fit for Cleveland's 3-4 defense.
To see the rest of the pick's, click here.

6 Cincinnati Bengals - Eugene Monroe (OT, Virginia)
Monroe is getting more attention as the weeks go by and could be the first offensive tackle taken in this draft. Pundits have questioned Monroe's heart but he did keep Brendan Albert at guard in Virginia. The Bengals need to protect Carson Palmer, that is their number one priority this off season.

7 Oakland Raiders - Malcolm Jenkins (CB, Ohio State)
Al Davis has often taken defensive backs in the first round and he invested millions in DeAngelo Hall in an attempt to get a perfect tandem with Nnamdi Asomugha. That project failed and Davis could look at Jenkins with the seventh pick. The only question mark is on his recovery speed, he needs to run well at the combine.

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 - B.J. Raji (DT, Boston College)
Raji had a strong Senior Bowl week but I'm not totally convinced he'll go as high as this. His character issues are a concern and he can be inconsistent. Green Bay say they are comfortable with their middle linebacker situation shifting to a 3-4 but they do need a big nose tackle.

10 San Francisco 49ers - Brian Orakpo (DE, Texas)
The Niners have already stated that they would love to get a talented pass rusher in the first round. Orakpo can play in a 4-3 or 3-4 and had an excellent senior year.

11 Buffalo Bills - Michael Oher (OT, Ole Miss)
The Bills have more pressing needs but Oher has dropped out of the top ten and they'll take him for value. Jason Peters held out at the start of last year and then was a big disappointment on his return. The Bills take advantage of a deep tackle class to lock up this position with Oher.

12 Denver Broncos - Rey Maualuga (LB, USC)
The Broncos' defense is so bad even with offensive talent like Knowshon Moreno still on the board they have to address their most important need. With a switch to 3-4 on the cards Denver can rebuild their defense with the talented Maualuga at 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. Teams are really starting to value offensive tackles and even though this is a slight reach, the Redskins will be hoping to lock up an important position for the next few years.

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. Knowshon Moreno is also an option if LT2 is cut/traded, or is Darren Sproles leaves in free agency.

17 New York Jets - Mark Sanchez (QB, USC)
I have Sanchez falling out of the top 10 and if this happens expect a few teams to try and trade up before this pick. If he makes it this far the Jets won't hesitate to take him. They need to move on from the Brett Favre show.

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.

21 Philadelphia Eagles - William Beatty (OT, Connecticut)
Beatty is a prospect who is shooting up the draft boards. As with Duane Brown and Gosder Cherilus last year, with tackle the hot commodity in the NFL expect a couple to go earlier than expected.

22 Minnesota Vikings - D.J. Moore (CB, Vanderbilt)
Would they trade up to have a shot at Sanchez? They also have a big need at corner back. Everybody knows how good they are against the run but can be beaten through the air. Moore instantly upgrades the Vikings secondary.

23 New England Patriots - Aaron Maybin (DE, Penn State)
Maybin would be perfect as a DE/LB hybrid in a 3-4 defense. The Pats had great success drafting Jared Mayo to play inside last year and now they could focus on the exterior. Mike Vrabel will be 34 in August.

24 Atlanta Falcons - Peria Jerry (DT, Ole Miss)
Jerry had a great game in the Senior Bowl, scoring a touchdown. The Falcons need to get better at tackle and particularly against the run. The Ole Miss prospect would be good value with this pick. Atlanta will look elsewhere if they get a chance to sign Albert Haynesworth.

25 Miami Dolphins - Brandon Pettigrew (TE, Oklahoma State)
This pick has Bill Parcell's written all over it. They got some production from Anthony Fassano last year but Pettigrew is an upgrade as an all round tight end who blocks and catches.

26 Baltimore Ravens - Hakeen Nicks (WR, North Carolina)
The Ravens could go for a linebacker here because it'll be tough to keep all three of Ray Lewis, Bart Scott and Terrell Suggs - all free agents. Nicks' stock is starting to rise and he's being considered a potential first round pick. Baltimore could take a young receiver as another target for Joe Flacco.

27 Indianapolis Colts - Fili Moala (DT, USC)
The Colts need to improve up front and this pick might be a bit of a reach but it could also have tremendous upside too. Moala has the bulk to be a force but can also get to the quarter back.

28 Philadelphia Eagles - LeSean McCoy (RB, Pittsburgh)
Brian Westbrook is getting on in years and he just didn't look like the Westbrook of old in the playoffs. One way to prolong his effectiveness is to draft a talented runner to feature alongside him.

29 New York Giants - Brian Cushing (LB, USC)

The Giants defense has already lost it's MVP in Steve Spagnuolo so it might get some added attention in the draft.

30 Tennessee Titans - Paul Kruger (DE, Utah)
Many pundits expect the Titans to go wide receiver here but they have resisted that temptation before and I think they will again. Getting younger at defensive end may even be a bigger need, it's not like their offense struggled in the regular season and an injury to Chris Johnson really hindered their playoff chances against Baltimore.

31 Arizona Cardinals - Louis Delmas (S, Western Michigan)
Safety isn't the biggest need but Delmas has really impressed at the Senior Bowl and he's risen to the top ranked safety in this class.

32 Pittsburgh Steelers - Tyson Jackson (DE, LSU)
With most of the offensive line talent off the board,Pittsburgh will go best player available. Jackson offers some value and can play as a DT or DE. Aaron Smith is soon to turn 33 so Jackson could be an eventual replacement.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I wasn't 100% sold on drafting Crabtree until the Super Bowl. I think that game alone showed what a true playmaker can do for a team. Not sure that Holmes is in that category YET but he will be.