Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Quickfire first round mock draft

I'll be publishing a final two round mock draft on Friday, but with just a few days left until the draft I wanted to put out a quick-fire first round mock for discussion.

1 Detroit Lions - QB Matt Stafford
2 St Louis Rams - OT Jason Smith
3 Kansas City Chiefs - OT Eugene Monroe
4 Seattle Seahawks - WR Michael Crabtree
5 Cleveland Browns - QB Mark Sanchez
6 Cincinnati Bengals - LB Aaron Curry
7 Oakland Raiders - DT B.J. Raji
8 Jacksonville Jaguars - OT Andre Smith
9 Green Bay Packers - DE Tyson Jackson
10 San Francisco 49ers - OT Michael Oher
11 Buffalo Bills - OLB Brian Cushing
12 Denver Broncos - RB Knowshon Moreno
13 Washington Redskins - DE Brian Orakpo
14 New Orleans Saints - CB Malcolm Jenkins
15 Houston Texans - OLB Clay Matthews
16 San Diego Chargers - WR Jeremy Maclin
17 New York Jets - QB Josh Freeman
18 Denver Broncos - OLB Larry English
19 Tampa Bay - DE Everette Brown
20 Detroit Lions - DT Peria Jerry
21 Philadelphia Eagles - RB Chris Wells
22 Minnesota Vikings - OT William Beatty
23 New England Patriots - RB Donald Brown
24 Atlanta Falcons - CB Darrius Butler
25 Miami Dolphins - OLB Aaron Maybin
26 Baltimore Ravens - WR Darrius Heyward-Bey
27 Indianapolis Colts - DE Robert Ayers
28 Buffalo Bills - TE Brandon Pettigrew
29 New York Giants - OT Eben Britton
30 Tennessee Titans - DT Evander Hood
31 Arizona Cardinals - OG/C Alex Mack
32 Pittsburgh Steelers - OG/C Eric Wood

A quick summary and some thoughts. I don't include trades in my mocks, but I can't see Mark Sanchez falling passed the eighth pick. Someone will trade up to get him if one of the teams picking early doesn't. I have Cleveland taking him now - it's a possibility but it's also a stronger indication of the area I think Sanchez will leave the board. I still believe Washington will be the team to really make a push for Sanchez. I have Rey Maualuga dropping out of the first round - he is very talented but if teams aren't confident of his three down capabilities they won't risk a high draft pick.

I think the Houston Texans will look to move down - there could be some movement in the middle of the first. Buffalo might trade up or down from the 11th spot but it'll be costly to move up. Kansas City remain the toughest team to predict - they will try their best to move down where talents like Tyson Jackson and B.J. Raji become better value. If they cannot work out a trade, they could reach for Jackson/Raji or take Eugene Monroe, Aaron Curry or Michael Crabtree.

I think the Seahawks will take Michael Crabtree in this situation and won't take Mark Sanchez. The benefit of locking up a long term option at quarter back remains high, but so does the cost. Sanchez is more of a gamble than Matt Stafford in my opinion, and it will ultimately be a hand Tim Ruskell isn't willing to play. Crabtree and Curry offer greater impact for a team hoping to immediately become a challenger in the NFC West (if not the NFC) and the decision could be down to those two.

What do you think? Have your say by clicking the comments section below or email


Truehawk said...

Based on what I read on about Tim and his grades for the picks this year, I think the Hawks will be ready to pull the trigger on Crabtree if there at #4, but ultimatley, I think they are hoping for a trade to move into the teens, and pick up a couple picks.
I would be happy with either scenerio if it happens, and I have changed my thoughts to Crabtree as the best pick at #4. Curry is interesting, but linebacker depth is easier to find than a skill guy like Crab, just look at our young receivers for instance.
Would love to pick up another first or high second so we can get 3 or 4 of the top 65 players.
We will see and it will be a great weekend I am sure and hopefully we make the most of this high pick, because I dont see us having another one like this for a while.

J said...

I can't see Denver taking a RB this early, even with Moreno's talent. They already have about 4 starting caliber RBs on the roster and they have a desperate need of defensive talent.

Old School said...

Rob, what the Seahawks want is to trade down for extra picks, and then select Knowshon Moreno at # 1. This will happen if Sanchez is available at #4 as trade bait. If a team has traded up with Chiefs and selected Sanchez, the choices will be between Curry and Crabtree, and I think they will go with Curry. Crabtree is a 50-50 risk to go bust, and he plays the same positions, flanker or slot, as TJ Housh and Branch. At WR, the Seahawks need a backup SE behind Burleson, and that can be had later. My own view is that the Seahawks have to see this as a once-in-a-decade opportunity to draft a franchise QB. To get to the Super Bowl again the Seahawks must have a Pro Bowl QB. Matt will be done in a couple of years and this is the best way to find that QB, rather than hoping against hope that they will luck into another Matt or Tom Brady in the later rounds.

akki said...

It's hard to handicap any of these guys as the definite favorite, since there are solid cases to be made for and against any of the three. I'd probably pick Crabtree, but it would be easy to pick up the rationale if Seattle took one of the others. I'm most worried about taking an inexperienced QB like Sanchez but I always tend to see the glass half empty when it comes to QBs. And what do I know, I was in the Matt-Ryan-will-bust group because he seemed too careless with the ball in college.

On roster construction, drafting Crabtree is likely to cause the dumping of either Branch or Burleson by season's start. I don't see a #4 pick only playing in 4-wr formations all year long. Branch also started his Seahawks career as a SE and could move back.

Rob Staton said...

Old School, I wouldn't say Crabtree is '50-50' to bust. Essentially, there's no percentage bust rate for any prospect. I don't think he's a slot receiver. He has the talent to be a #1 receiver. His YAC ability and short game lead people to think he's a slot guy, but I would disagree.

J - It's just a hunch on the Denver pick. If the board falls this way, they might look to draft the best player on their board. I'm largely unimpressed with their RB's, and they might take Moreno to take some pressure off Kyle Orton in the same way Matt Forte did in Chicago.

kearly said...

Assuming no drugs, alcohol, or injuries, I think the absolute downside of Crabtree is Bobby Engram type production. A modest projection would be TJ Houshmandzahdeh with better YAC. His top projection is something between Reggie Wayne and Larry Fitzgerald. If he ends up like Engram, a 700 yard slot receiver, he's a "bust" for a top 5 pick but could still be a nice piece for a good offense when his rookie contract runs out.

I really hope that in Ruskell's mind, this draft comes down to Crabtree/Sanchez. That is the best case scenario.

I'm starting to worry though that Curry has been his pick all along. For a guy that scores so highly on Ruskell's criteria, we've heard shockingly few connections with him to Seattle. Ruskell likes to keep his 1st pick a secret, and there is no one in the top of this draft he's been quieter about.

I'm also starting to get paranoid that Ruskell might be that "top 5" team rumored to be enamored with Tyson Jackson (Lo-Jack 2.0). And I'm also preparing myself for the possibility of a huge reach at #4 also (Wells, Jenkins, Brown).

At this point, if Sanchez or Crabtree's names get called at #4, I'll actually be a little surprised.

Rob Staton said...

I don't think Seattle will draft Tyson Jackson. He's a 3-4 defensive end, it's the same reasons why they were never going to draft Kentwan Balmer last year.

Here's the thing with Curry. Coming into 2008, he was getting 3rd-4th round gradings. At the start of the draft rumblings, I think he was originally getting picked in the 8-15 range. Then suddenly, he's the best player in the draft. Scouting is done over 2-3 years. A lot of what happens between January-April is speculation and hype. The thought that Tyson Jackson will actually be a top 10 pick is shocking to me. The mocks at the start on 2009 had him as a border line first.

I think Seattle will have known very early what they wanted to do, picking fourth overall. Since the end of the season, they'll be doing the homework, checking out backgrounds, a bit of detective work. One of the reasons why I don't think they'll take a Tyson Jackson or maybe even an Aaron Curry, is their stock has risen so dramatically in a short space of time. Ruskell's picks are usually guys he's wanted all along. There was no hype for Lawrence Jackson and John Carlson's stock was a bit down when they moved to get him.

Timshorts said...

so to summarise, what we are saying is that we don't have a clue......
Smith looks like he's going to the Rams, and is so, I'm all for trading down If we do, lets hope that we get a good deal.