This is my first attempt at drilling all 32 NFL teams down to a first round pick. Before the Patriots pillage the Carolina Panthers for Julius Peppers and before the Broncos end up with Chris Simms starting quarterback, I'm going for it . . .keep up!
The 2009 LynchyRightNow NFL Mock Draft
1. Detroit Lions Matthew Stafford, Quarterback, Georgia - The Denver Broncos and first year head coach, Josh McDaniels aren't crazy enough to attempt Jay Cutler to Detroit for the #1 overall. For starters, it just isn't good business. McDaniels wanted Cassel because he provided stability, familiarity with the offense, and a safety net for his first head job. Matthew Stafford and Mark Sanchez would provide NONE of that for Denver. With that aside, Stafford fills the biggest void in Detroit. Next to employment for unemployed automakers in Detroit, the city needs a franchise type quarterback more than anything else. Matt Stafford, you don't have to be Matt Ryan or Joe Flacco, you just can't be David Carr or Alex Smith. Good Luck.
2. St. Louis Rams Jason Smith, Offensive Tackle, Baylor Everyone from Mel Kiper to Todd McShay believe that Smith is the consensus best tackle in this draft class, a deep tackle draft class. I'm on board with them. The Rams need to get better on both the defensive line and offensive line, with Orlando Pace being out in St. Louis, it's clear where they are going to sure up first. In '07 the Rams drafted nose tackle Adam Carriker, and '08 defensive end Chris Long, they will not be drafting a defensive lineman for the third straight year, even with former Giant defensive coordinator, Steve Spagnulo, taking over in St. Louis.
3. Kansas City Chiefs Aaron Curry, Linebacker, Wake Forest This is the no brainer of the top five. After Scott Pioli poached both Cardinal coordinators to take over the Kansas City coaching staff, and traded for Matt Cassel, I am completely sold on this team being the Falcons/Dolphins/Ravens of 2009. He brings in former Cardinal offensive coordinator, Todd Haley, gives him the head job and then rewards him with former Patriot quarterback, Matt Cassel. Now that former Cardinal defensive coordinator, Clancy Pendergast, is on board as the defensive coordinator, he gets Aaron Curry to lead his defense. Oh, and he's got 3x Super Bowl Champion linebacker, Mike Vrabel, there to play tutor to the young dominant Wake Forest linebacker. Not a bad start for Pioli, only two months into the job.
4. Seattle Seahawks Mike Crabtree, Wide Receiver, Texas Tech Believe it or not, the Seahawks aren't in rebuilding mode. Yes, even despite their dismal Seneca Wallace laced 2008 season. (Sorry to bang on Seneca, but come on) Newly signed, T.J. Houshmandzadeh, is the insurance policy on any injury that remains tied to the foot of Michael Crabtree. I think that Jim Mora Jr. believes he can win and win now. You move forward with Hasselbeck, grab Crabtree and combined with Houshmanzadeh, that offense becomes dangerous for the first time since the days of Shaun Alexander being a dominate back in the league. As far as B.J. Raji coming off the board at #4, don't count on it. The Seahawks just inked Colin Cole, a 330 lb. defensive tackle, that's exactly what the Boston College Eagle, B.J. Raji is.
5. Cleveland Browns Brian Orakpo, Defensive End, Texas The Browns have some problems, and when I say problems, I mean about 50 of them. I don't understand trading Kellen Winslow, one of their quarterbacks needs to be moved, and their top receiver can't catch the football consistently, not to mention their running back isn't getting any younger. With all that surrounding their offense, the Browns need to improve on a terrible defense. They were ranked 27th in the league in yards allowed per game and tied for 30th in the league for sacks at only 17. Draft Orakpo, he's a 6'3", 260 lb. end, I think that would improve on the pass rush and hopefully improve on that sack total.
6. Cincinnati Bengals Eugene Monroe, Offensive Tackle, Virginia Let it be known, the Bengals have no other options here. You've got to fill holes with this pick, and they need to protect Carson Palmer, he's turned into a full blown punching bag at this point. If Marvin Lewis wants to salvage any of his head coaching career, draft Monroe and keep Palmer off the ground. This means dumping Levi Jones.
7. Oakland Raiders B.J. Raji, Defensive Tackle, Boston College No one's stock has risen higher since the end of the college football regular season. Raji made himself millions of dollars at the Senior Bowl. Established himself as the only lock at defensive tackle during the combine, and continued to impress at his pro day on Chestnut Hill. To put it bluntly, the rest of the world woke up to what Boston College fans have known for more than a year. This kid is a dynamic run stuffer, had he not sat out the 2007 season due to academic reasons, you could make the argument that Boston College captures the Orange Bowl. Anyway, he's a good fit for the Raiders, while he doesn't provide the flash that McFadden and Russell provided, even Al Davis has to know how impressive he's been leading up to the draft.
8. Jacksonville Jaguars Mark Sanchez, Quarterback, Southern California I've fought this theory. The theory that Mark Sanchez could learn anything or that you'd want him to learn anything under the likes of David Garrard. I think the Jaguars were foolish to hand a giant question mark $20 million dollars in guaranteed money last June. In '06 the Jaguar quarterback played in 11 games, threw 10 TD's, recorded 9 INT's, and had a passer rating of 80.5, followed by an '07 season where he threw 18 TD's, only 3 INT's, and had a passer rating of 102.2, now that is a giant leap in a short amount of of time, right? Maybe give it another season before you lace him up with guaranteed money, no? Well now you have a quarterback, in his first full season as a starter throwing 15 TD's and 13 INT's, with a passer rating of 81.7, that's more like the '06 Garrard, am I wrong? He's average, he's 31, he needs to be replaced. Sanchez has personality, he's exciting, and if you want to save your job, Jack Del Rio, invest in Mark Sanchez.
9. Green Bay Packers Everette Brown, Defensive End, Florida State Raji gone, Orakpo gone, and they need more on defense than just Aaron Kampman. I've had Everette Brown all over this draft board, I think he might be somewhat undersized and I don't LOVE many defensive ends/outside linebackers from the ACC, ACC football is smaller and faster, these players need time to impact in the NFL (Julius Peppers being the exception) However, he's the best available for what they need, so you take him.
10. San Francisco 49ers Andre Smith, Offensive Tackle, Alabama Why not here? If things go according to my mock draft, Mark Sanchez would be gone. The big thing on Smith was that he's lazy, immature, and he needed the fiery Nick Saban to reach his potential at 'Bama. Enter Mike Singletary, can you pick anyone this side of Bill Parcells that is more fiery than Mike Singletary? That is your answer to Andre Smith. The massive offensive tackle could be an anchor on your offensive line. I was the first to say I loved this guy, he was big and could throw down with everyone, you saw how much his team struggled playing without him in the bowl game he got suspended for. However, he's got talent and you can't teach natural talent. This is the team that needs to be in the Jay Cutler sweepstakes, this is the team that needs to land a quarterback who wants to spread it out and put up some points. Mike Singletary go out and get Jay Cutler and draft Andre Smith, I'm telling you it's a good plan. Then again, I have no credentials above NFL fan.
11. Buffalo Bills Larry English, Defensive End, Northern Illinois First mentioned by Mike Lombardi on The BS Report, why wouldn't you trade this pick and Trent Edwards for Jay Cutler? Why wouldn't Buffalo do it and why wouldn't Denver do it? Denver would have Trent Edwards and the draft rights to the #11 & #12 pick. Terrell Owens, Lee Evans, Marshawn Lynch, Jay Cutler . . . I'm down with that. Anyways, back to English. Larry English is a quick hybrid defensive end / outside linebacker, he'd fit great in Buffalo and if your looking to do something other than add the cancer known as Terrell Owens to your locker room, how about improving a defense with only 24 sacks last season.
12. Denver Broncos Tyson Jackson, Defensive End, Louisiana State Come on Josh, how bad could you screw up the draft after what you've just done with free agency? Take the best fit for your defense, that would be Jackson. Furthermore, I love the Brian Dawkins signing to add to that defense that was putrid last year. Walter Football, Mel Kiper, and Todd McShay all like this pick, that is good enough for me.
13. Washington Redskins Michael Oher, Offensive Tackle, Mississippi I'm going to assume they've corrected their defensive line issues by adding $41 million dollar man Albert Haynesworth, now correct the very old offensive line. I've already got Jason Smith in St. Louis, Eugene Monroe in Cincy, Andre Smith in San Francisco, so Washington gets the guy whose left. Oher is part of a very top heavy offensive line class, no pun intended, and I believe he's accurately the least hyped among the group.
14. New Orleans Saints Knowshon Moreno, Running Back, Georgia In effect he replaces an aging and oft-injured Deuce McAllister. Moreno adds another element to an offense that is already pretty good. How much more bad luck can the Saints make signing and drafting defensive guys? No way with all the questions surrounding Malcolm Jenkins and Vontae Davis do they go ahead and gamble.
15. Houston Texans Brian Cushing, Linebacker, Southern California Here they go, the first of the Trojan linebackers drafted in the first round. Cushing adds to a defense that is already solid. By all accounts, Brian Cushing is as advertised. The ability to play outside really intrigues the Texans, they need someone either an outside linebacker or defensive end to compliment Super Mario Williams.
16. San Diego Chargers Malcolm Jenkins, Safety, Ohio State The Chargers need help over the top and Jenkins fits that mold, he doesn't have the speed it takes to play corner in the NFL, or at least that is what every report on him says. If Jenkins can fall right into San Diego's lap you could argue they did more to get better on defense than many teams. Merriman returning and Jenkins over the top. I like the Chargers ability to play better defensively in 2009.
17. New York Jets Chris Wells, Running Back, Ohio State New head coach, Rex Ryan, doesn't strike me as the type to "mess around." With Thomas Jones skipping out on offseason workouts due to increasing unhappiness with his contract, and the simple fact that the Jets have done very little to improve their quarterback situation, Chris Wells strikes me as their guy. Wells is a tough, fast, running back who is used to playing in monster stadiums with millions of fans surrounding him. Chris Wells is New York.
18. Chicago Bears Darrius Heyward-Bey, Wide Receiver, Maryland Heyward-Bey is an unpolished big time ACC receiver. He's got blazing speed and impressed Bears scouts to the extent that they believe their #1 need is a receiver. May I remind them that Kyle Orton is playing quarterback? Heyward-Bey gives them a legit shot at having a #1 type wide out in a couple seasons.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Josh Freeman, Quarterback, Kansas State Pencil it in, heck, pen it in. Bucs head coach, Raheem Morris is very familiar with Freeman, he was at Kansas State when Freeman was a freshman. They didn't land Jay Cutler so all signs point to Josh Freeman. On a sidenote, you have to wonder who was convincing Boomer Sooner, Sam Bradford, to come back for his senior season. He is far better than Matt Stafford, Mark Sanchez, and Josh Freeman, he would have been the #1 overall, he's already got a Heisman, and there is no guarantee he will win a National Title. Anyway, Freeman is a big quarterback and they've already re-signed Mark Clayton and Antonio Bryant, again, all signs point to Freeman.
20. Detroit Lions (from Dallas)William Beatty, Offensive Tackle, Connecticut First you add the quarterback, Matthew Stafford, then you add an offensive tackle to protect him, enter Huskie, William Beatty. Very impressive at the combine, he's a safe pick for the Lions. This is just the first step in a very long rebuilding process, wait, were they ever built?
21. Philadelphia Eagles Robert Ayers, Defensive End, Tennessee Fits Jim Johnson's defense to a T. Aters defines work out wonder and has done alot to impress the NFL since the college football season ended. Andy Reid would love to draft a running back, but Moreno and Wells are gone, furthermore, if you think he is going to give into the demands of Donovan McNabb, your crazy.
22. Minnesota Vikings Vontae Davis, Cornerback, Illinois Davis has questions surrounding him, hustle, motivation, etc. Not a good place for the Illinois corner, Minnesota doesn't exactly get you excited about football. However, they do need help at corner given the age of Winfield and Davis can play right away.
23. New England Patriots Rey Maualuga, Linebacker, Southern California This seems like a lock if he is available. The Patriots have the ability to add yet another top of the pile linebacker. Maualuga is all that and more. The Patriots benefit greatly from injury questions surrounding Maualuga, the teams drafting ahead of them can't afford to take a flyer on an injury, the Patriots can afford to do that. The days of Bruschi and Vrabel are over . .Enter Rey Maualuga and 2008 Defensive ROY, Jerod Mayo.
24. Atlanta Falcons Aaron Maybin, Defensive End, Penn. State While I once thought that if Brandon Pettigrew still remained available the Falcons would add him to the arsenal of Matt Ryan. However, since both Michael Boley and Keith Brooking have left the Falcons via free agency, they have more pressing defensive needs. Mike Smith knows how to get the best out of players who lack discipline, I'd say that would be Aaron Maybin who needed another year of college but he's very valuable. He can play that 3-4 defense and fits in Atlanta.
25. Miami Dolphins Clay Matthews, Linebacker, Southern California If Matthews is the last of the Trojan 1st round caliber linebackers, you can bet The Tuna grabs him at #25. Matthews takes pressure off of Joey Porter and fits in the 3-4 perfectly. The guy walked on at one of the best schools in the country that recruits only the top players, now he's a top 30 pick in the NFL draft. If this isn't a Bill Parcells guy, I don't know what is.
26. Baltimore Ravens Hakeem Nicks, Wide Receiver, North Carolina Derrick Mason is 35-years old, despite what he managed to do in the '08 postseason, the Ravens need to get younger at receiver. Hakeem Nicks is a big, flashy, powerful wide out, exactly what Joe Flacco needs. While the Ravens could look to replace some holes on defense, what they really need to do is sure up weapons for Flacco so that offense can flourish.
27. Indianapolis Colts Peria Jerry, Defensive Tackle, Ole' Miss While I would love to see the Colts select the "other" defensive tackle from Boston College, Ron Brace, Peria Jerry is the best available defensive tackle at this pick. The defense that managed only two sacks from that position in 2008 needs a serious upgrade, the speed Jerry provides would fix that. Sidenote: I wouldn't be shocked if Percy Harvin was on the Colts come May.
28. Philadelphia Eagles (from Carolina)Brandon Pettigrew, Tight End, Oklahoma State Pettigrew replaces L.J. Smith, and adds an all around pass catching, blocking tight end to the Eagles offense. The Eagles won't draft a running back in the first round, they'll still be available in the later rounds. This pick should calm Donovan F. McNabb.
29. New York Giants Percy Harvin, Wide Receiver, Florida Imagine the depth Percy Harvin gives the Giants, not to mention the versatility. The Giants would love to find a replacement for the touches that Derrick Ward got in the backfield and also a receiver that can handle the touches and attention that Plaxico used to get. While small in statue, you could argue that Harvin is the most dynamic offensive player in this draft.
30. Tennessee Titans Darius Butler, Corner Back, Connecticut I liked D.J. Moore here, played his college ball in Tennessee and the Titans need help at corner but Butler is the clear best corner left in the draft. Butler is quick and fits a Titan defense that is aging at the position and has a need for a fast break up the play corner.
31. Arizona Cardinals LeSean McCoy, Running Back, Pittsburgh Replace the "Edge" because no one buys the James & Hightower show any longer. LeSean McCoy doesn't come with the fan fare of Moreno and Wells, but he'll do for the Cardinals. McCoy was a 1,000 yard rusher in two Big East seasons and is good catching the ball out of the backfield, he works great in the Cardinal system.
32. Pittsburgh Steelers D.J. Moore, Corner Back, Vanderbilt A number of cornerbacks could be drafted here, if Darius Butler is still on the board and Moore is off, the Steelers would do that. Wake Forest corner Alphonso Smith is also an option for the defending champs who just lost Bryant McFadden in free agency. The Steelers just need to add depth with this draft, this pick does that.
Wooooo; That was tough. Thank you for checking out my 2009 NFL Mock Draft; Someday when I'm writing for the World Wide Leader you can think about this day, cause I won't be haha. Thanks folks.