It's that time of the year, where the mock drafts fly around the Web, so I decided to do mine.
1. Detroit Lions – QB Matthew Stafford, Georgia*
Everyone is thinking how the Lions will screw their 2009 Draft, but I'm more worried in how the Lions will screw a young talent career by selecting him. Here, the Lions could take an offensive tackle but he only way I could see that pick is if the Lions are willing to pay the price the Patriot will put over Matt Cassel.
Stafford gives Detroit a young, good and talented franchise QB they desperately need. And with a good passer (and protection for him) the stats of Calvin Johnson should break the sky (or the Ford Field sealing at least).
2. St. Louis Rams – OT Michael Oher, Ole Miss
A no-brainer here by selecting an offensive tackle, last two years they have selective defensive linemen but they haven't addressed their elderly offensive line.
Orlando Pace is old but still good, by selecting an LOT, Pace should move to ROT and still help the Rams in these hard times. Michael Oher seems like the perfect pick here with his aggressiveness, long arms, nice slide and size (6'6" 320lbs).
3. Kansas City Chiefs – DE/OLB Brian Orakpo, Texas
Three or four years ago, the Chiefs were "rebuilding" their defensive line, last year they start doing it again. By selecting Glenn Dorsey last year they added the big talented DT every pass rusher needs to be more productive, but there are not pass rushers in Kansas.
Orakpo will give the Chiefs the pass rusher they need, and with Dorsey there the rival offense should be worried. He is ready to play in the next level, and will be a strong candidate for Defensive Rookie of the Year if Herm Edwards don't screw Kansas City this year (but we all know he will).
4. Seattle Seahawks – WR Michael Crabtree, Texas Tech
The Seahawks could select an OT here but their receiving corps are as bad as their offensive line or worst. Deion Brach is a great WR, but he has given more job to the Seattle Doctors than the whole King County.
Crabtree has been the best WR in the nation two years in a row and he knows how to do big plays. With him, Branch, and John Carlson, the Seahawks could be a real threat by the air this year.
5. Cleveland Browns – CB Michael Jenkins, Ohio State
The Browns have huge coverage issues, their starting CBs were Eric Wright and Brandon McDonald (yes, that one that screwed it big time in front of the entire nation, twice).
With the addition of Jenkins they should really improve in that area, he could start since Day One and progress through the season.
6. Cincinnati Bengals – LB Aaron Curry, Wake Forest
The Bengals have used a lot of draft picks in LBs the last five years, but Aaron Curry have a superior ability. With Keith Rivers in the opposite side the Bengals offense should improve a lot in all the ways and mainly they could blitz more often.
7. Oakland Raiders – OT Andre Smith, Alabama*
The Raiders need a lot of thing in this draft: WR, CB, OT, a long term coach, a blitzing DC and a new owner. But just the first ones can be drafted.
Andre Smith seems like the perfect pick for the Raiders here, they will be able to protect JaMarcus Russell and slightly improve their running game.
8. Jacksonville Jaguars – OT Eugene Moore, Virginia
Jacksonville lost like 100 O-linemen this season and they need to add talent in the tackle position. Eugene Moore will give them a young, talented OT that in a couple of years will be Pro Bowl material, and they will be able to protect David Garrard.
9. Green Bay Packers – CB Vontae Davis, Illinois
Aging seems to be everybody’s problem this days, the starting CBs of the Packers are Al Harris and Charles Woodson but they are losing speed, strength and physical resistance to compete against top receivers, like Calvin Johnson.
Davis should be a starter from Day One, and that will help Patrick Lee or Tramon Williams to play in only nickel formations so they don’t screw up, play after play.
10. San Francisco 49ers – LB Rey Maualuga, USC
The 49ers are on the clock and Rey Maualuga is available, should they draft him? DUH!!
Drafting Maualuga and making him the starting ILB along with Patrick Willis should give San Francisco one of the best defenses in the league, or at least one of the top LB corp. With Singletary as Head Coach, this pick should be a no-brainier.
And maybe Rey could teach some dance moves to Willis.
11. Buffalo Bills – C/G Alex Mack, California
The only big time lineman in Buffalo is Jason Peters, and he was a lucky shoot. The Bills need to add some talent to their offensive line and Mack will boost their offense hugely.
If the Bills pick Mack, Trent Edwards and Marshawn Lynch will throw a party. And Peters is invited.
12. Denver Broncos – LB James Laurinaitis, Ohio State
Denver has huge defensive needs but the addition of Laurinaitis will be the best for them. Nate Webster was the starting MLB this season for god sake.
With Laurinaitis there, D.J. Williams will stop worrying if the MLB will screw the play.
13. Washington Redskins – OT Jason Smith, Baylor
The Redskins need a good tackle, and Jason Smith, with his feet, should be the perfect piece for the West Coast offense of Jim Zorn.
14. New Orleans Saints – LB Brian Cushing, USC
New Orleans need to address many positions in the draft but at this point Brian Cushing is the perfect pick for them. With Sedrick Ellis messing in the interior line, Cushing should be dominant at OLB: blitzing, stopping the run, covering the pass, etc…
(Remember that this pick will go to the Jets if Vilma is re-signed. But the Saint could wait and sign him in the first day of the FA to keep this pick.)
15. Houston Texans – S Taylor Mays, USC*
Houston have a lot of needs at the safety positions. Taylor Mays is the best safety in this year's draft, and his hard-hitting abilities (if you saw the Rose Bowl you know what I’m talking about) will make him dominant at the next level.
16. San Diego Chargers – DT B.J. Raji, Boston College
Jamal Williams is a great NT but the Chargers don’t even have a backup for him. By drafting Raji, they will be able to rest Williams more often during the games and in the near future he will become the starter.
17. New York Jets – S William Moore, Missouri
Kerry Rhodes is a good safety, but on his opposite side, Abram Elam and Eric Wright aren’t starting material. Moore will give the Jets the missing piece to complete their young talented defensive backfield, he is a sure tackler and if needed he can defend the pass.
18. Chicago Bears – DT Peria Jerry, Ole Miss
Season after season, Tommie Harris always depends on Dusty Dvoracek's health to not be triple teamed, and the Bears have seen enough of that.
With Jerry the Bears will have the perfect complement for Harris, and a great pressure in the interior of the line that will allow the Des to play with more freedom.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – RB Chris Wells, Ohio State*
Cadillac Williams, Warrick Dunn, and Earnest Graham are the RBs of the Buccaneers, and the coach shouldn’t trust in this depth. “Beanie” will give Tampa a good and reliable running back that will come to change the whole offense.
20. Detroit Lions (From Dallas) – G Duke Robinson, Oklahoma
They already drafted Stafford and one way to protect the QB is improving the running game. Robinson should be dominant in the NFL, protecting the QB and opening holes for the rush game.
Kevin Smith will be very thankful about this pick.
21. Arizona Cardinals – RB Knowshon Moreno, Georgia*
The Cardinals have a great passing game but their running game have struggle the whole year. Moreno will give the Cardinals a great weapon; he will be a top rusher and also will cause some problems in the passing game.
With him Arizona will take some pressure off to Kurt Warner and take some coverage form Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald.
22. Philadelphia Eagles – TE Brando Pettigrew, Oklahoma State
L.J. Smith was franchise tagged by the Eagles this season, only to play at a mediocre level. With the addition of Pettigrew, the Eagles will have the missing offensive weapon they need, even if McNabb isn’t around next season.
23. Minnesota Vikings – OT Phil Loadholt, Oklahoma
The Vikings need a defensive back or a offensive tackle, and they could pick Loadholt at this point because he is a true ROT and will complete the great Minnesota offensive line.
24. New England Patriots – CB Alphonso Smith, Wake Forest
New England have struggle at the position this year. They let go Asante Samuel and didn’t find a good replacement in last year's draft or FA. Alphonso Smith should be an improvement over Deltha O’Neal.
Smith will become a Pro Bowler under the tuition of Bill Bellichick, just like Samuel.
25. Atlanta Falcons – CB Darius Butler, Connecticut
The Falcons need to improve a lot their coverage (just see the wild-card game vs. Arizona) and Butler could play the 2009 season as CB3; also, he can be the starting kick/punt returner of the team and gaining experience during the season.
26. Miami Dolphins – DE/OLB Greg Hardy, Mississippi
Hardy looks like the prototypical Bill Parcells pick, a great pass rusher and solid tackler. Hardy should start right away in the opposite side of Joey Porter, even he could be better than the second best sacker of the league and is an obvious improvement over Matt Roth.
27. Baltimore Ravens – WR Jeremy Maclin, Missouri
Baltimore already have Joe Flacco, now is time to give him weapons. Derrick Mason is almost 34 years old and he should have a couple of good seasons ahead, but the Ravens need to develop a WR for the future.
With some of Mason's tuition and playing time, Maclin will be a great receiver, and with his blazing speed, he will cause some problems going deep.
28. Indianapolis Colts – CB DJ Moore, Vanderbilt
Indy needs to add some depth at CB, an Moore will be the perfect fit for the Colts. At the beginning, he will need to battle to earn the starting spot and maybe he will be a backup his rookie season but under Dungy scheme he will become a starter and a very solid CB.
29. Philadelphia Eagles – OT Jerome Merideth, South Carolina
Both Philadelphia tackles are free agents and old. Merideth will be the perfect pick for the Eagles offense and could be a future Pro Bowler with all the talent he haves.
30. Pittsburgh Steelers – G Herman Johnson, LSU
Pittsburgh has huge needs at the offensive line, and with all the “elite” tacklers already gone they should go for Johnson. He is a one of the best Gs in the game and with some experience and development he will dominate the rivals.
31. New York Giants – TE Jermain Gresham, Oklahoma*
New York did the right thing trading away Jeremy Shockey, but Kevin Boss hasn’t been the player they expect. Greshman will give Eli Manning a great weapon at the offense, being a receiving TE he will fit into the Giants right away and letting Boss to stay as a blocking TE.
32. Tennessee Titans – WR Juaquin Iglesias, Oklahoma
The Titans need a true WR1 and Iglesias is their man. With some playing time and development he could become a top receiver, and from Day One he will be an improvement over the whole Titans receiving corp.
A very interesting first round, as you see only one QB was drafted but I think that position will be very solicited in the second round. In the second part, I will continue with the draft second round and some late-rounds sleepers.
[*] = Denotes an underclassman that hasn't declared for the Draft yet.