Friday, March 13, 2009

NFL Mock Draft 2.0

Post Free Agency, here's another mock. remember, this is what I think teams should do, not what they will do.

Detroit Lions - WR Michael Crabtree (Texas Tech)
If the lions did this, their fans would burn the stadium down. And although Matt Millen probably would've done this, Jim Schwartz, a former defensive coordinator, would never do this. But hear me out: The Cardinals had a horrible defense, a washed up quarterback and running back, and an average o-line, but they got to the super bowl because their two receivers are so beastly. Just plug any quarterback in, have him throw to Calvin Johnson and Crabtree, and Detroit would score 100 points a game (on second thought, this makes so much sense that Millen would never even consider this). If Detroit really wants a QB, taking Josh Freeman in the 2nd round, Pat White in the 3rd round, would be much more economical than splurging $100000000000000 on Matt Stafford. Better yet, why not sign Ron Mexico (a.k.a. Michael Vick)? The Lion's PR can't really go any lower. Mexico still has more raw talent/athleticism than most QB's in the league, and because Mexico will be willing to sign for virtually anything, he brings a better risk/reward ratio than any other available quarterback.

St. Louis Rams - OT Michael Oher (Ole Miss)
St. Louis needed a left tackle before releasing Orlando Pace. I think Andre Smith is the best left tackle, but it makes way more sense for him to go somewhere else (I'll explain later). Oher has the best fluidity and athleticism of the other top tackles, and he has a book written about him (for what its worth).

Kansas City Chiefs - OT Eugene Monroe (Virginia)
When Monroe played with KC's current left tackle Branden Albert the two were unstoppable. By drafting Monroe, the Chiefs will be set at o-line for the next 12 years. And they will need a good o-line once Todd Haley screws up all their quarterbacks the way he messed up Matt Leinart's game.

Seattle Seahawks - DE Everrette Brown (Florida State)
Seattle has needs at all levels of the defense, and they should start with defensive line, where they absolutely could not get pressure on the QB. Brown is a tad undersized, but anyone who saw an FSU game knows that he will dominate at the NFL with his speed, quickness, and intensity.

Cleveland Browns - LB Aaron Curry (Wake Forest)
The Browns sucked on defense, and they need better linebacker play. Curry is an absolute stud.

Cincinnatti Bengals - OT Jason Smith (Baylor)
The Bengals need better offensive line play, so they grab this athletic left tackle.

Oakland Raiders - OT Andre Smith (Alabama)
He's the best lineman in the draft, so why does Big Andre fall so far? Because he makes way more sense here than anywhere else. Al Davis intentionally creates an environment that is perfect for guys with checkered pasts. After being kicked off his college team for (allegedly) dealing with an agent and then ditching the combine, Andre is perfect for a franchise known for taking in castoffs. On a side note, why did Al Davis not sign Terell Owens? TO is a cancer anywhere else, but in Oakland Al Davis creates such a creepy, tense, uncomfortable environment that TO would fit right in.

Jacksonville Jaguars - DT Fili Moala (USC)
Jacksonville clearly missed Marcus Stroud, as teams dominated Jacksonville's defensive line on a weekly basis. Fili is the best DT on the board. B.J. Raji basically did nothing his senior year but rose up draft boards because he lit it up at the senior bowl. Who cares? Moala was a stud on one of the most dominant college football defenses in history.

Green Bay Packers - DE Tyson Jackson (LSU)
To implement a 3-4, Green Bay needs some new lineman. Jackson is the best 5-technique player in the draft. I don't understand why everyone is hating on Tyson? Never mess with a man with the same name as Iron Mike Tyson! But in all seriousness, he was one of the few bright spots on LSU's pathetic season.

San Francisco 49ers - DE Aaron Maybin (Penn State)
At this value a right tackle or offensive guard doesn't make much sense. The niners need an outside linebacker who can complement Patrick Willis by getting pressure on the quarterback. So what if Maybin didn't run well at the combine? He absolutely dominated the big 10 this season, and there have been plenty of defensive linemen whose 40 times weren't indicative of eventual success.

Buffalo Bills - DE Robert Ayers (Tennessee)
I've been saying for weeks that Ayers is way better than Brian Orakpo. Ayers ate up Andre Smith (who's only the best lineman in the draft). I think a lot of people ignored him because he played on such a bad team, but i think that other than Everrette Brown, Ayers is the best 4-3 pass rushing defensive end in the draft. I had Brandon Pettigrew here in the last draft, and I still think he's a top 15 talent, but a good defensive end is more valuable than a tight end, even if its a tight end as good as Pettigrew.

Denver Broncos - DE Larry English (Northern Illinois)
New Defensive Coordinator wants to implement a 3-4, and he'll need a linebacker who can rush the passer. Orakpo might have more upside, but I like English more because he plays the run better and shows more willingness to go all out all the time.

Washington Redskins - LB Rey Mauluga (USC)
After adding Albert Haynesworth, the redskins need to improve the linebackers. Mauluga is athletic and intense, but people are ripping him basically because he ran a bad 40 time on an injured hamstring. If the Redskins are smart, they won't care.

New Orleans Saints - CB Malcolm Jenkins
Malcolm has been the best corner in college football for two years, but now the "experts" think that he can't play corner because his 40 yard dash time is .1 seconds too slow. Meanwhile, i'm not very surprised that no NFL team has offered Mel Kiper and Todd McShay jobs. Jenkins will shore up the Saints pass defense, even if he does end up having to switch to safety. The only reason why I have Malcolm going lower than last time is because i finally remembered cornerbacks in general are a tad overrated. It doesn't matter how good your defensive backs are if you have no pass rush.

Houston Texans - LB Brian Cushing (USC)
Signing Antonio Smith means Houston can concentrate on other areas of its porous defense. I think safety is a bigger priority for the Texans, but Taylor Mays stayed in school, so I don't think any of thie year's safeties merit this high of a pick.

San Diego Chargers - OT Ebbon Britton (U of A)
Anyone who thinks that LT is done needs to watch more Chargers games. Their once dominant offensive line sucks now, and the Chargers could use a right tackle to block opposite current LT Marcus McNeil.

New York Jets - WR Percy Harvin (Florida)
The Jets need a more explosive receiving corps. I'm not sure how anyone can not have Harvin ranked as the second best reveiver. Didn't anyone see him carve up Oklahoma's D despite playing with a bad ankle on one of Tebow's bad days? (Then again, maybe no one notticed because they had to listen to Thom Brennamen and Charles Davis ejaculating every 5 minutes over Tebow).

Chicago Bears - DE Michael Johnson (Georgia Tech)
MJ and Brian Orakpo both follow Randy Moss's mantra of "I play when I want to Play." The difference is, Johnson was more productive his senior year, plays the run better, and has more upside due to his freakish wingspan and size/speed combination. So why do most internet mocks predict that Orakpo will be a top 10 pick while Johnson will be a second rounder? Makes no sense. In any case, either player will help Chicago's dismal pass rush.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers - QB Matthew Stafford (Georgia)
Unless Tampa believes that Brian Griese, who's body is more fragile than Britney Spears's mind, is the answer, they better go find a quarterback of the future. Because Sam Bradford stayed in school, Stafford is the best passer available. But any team that picks him in the top 10 will be very disappointed by his lack of accuracy and his tendency to disappear in big games. At 19, this is about where is true value is.

Detroit Lions - OT William Beatty (UConn)
No matter who's playing at the skill positions, Detroit's offense won't function without a competent tackle. Beatty, an athletic freak, is the next best available prospect. The Lions can slide him in at left tackle, which would allow last year's 1st round pick, Gosder Cherilus, to move to right tackle, where he's a better fit because of his run blocking ability.

Philadelphia Eagles - DE Brian Orakpo (Texas)
Philadelphia could stand to add more depth at defensive line. Orakpo is overrated, but he's still valuable because of his pass rushing ability.

Minnesota Vikings - TE Brandon Pettigrew (Oklahoma State)
This would be a major steal. Pettigrew is the best, most complete tight end to come out since Jason Witten and Heath Miller. He fits seamless into the Vikings' run first offense and gives more receiving options to whoever ends up starting. It seams like many are downgrading Brandon for his 4.8 forty time, which makes no sense to me. He was ranked highly because of his combination of blocking, route running, and hands, not because he's some super athletic tight end who creates mismatches, a la Antonio Gates. Besides, Tony Gonzalez ran a 4.8 40 time, and he's become a hall of famer.

New England Patriots - LB James Laurinitis (Ohio State)
A smart, safe player who fits the Partiots system perfectly. He won't make a ton of plays that end up on sportscenter, but he'll be a steady, impactful player from day one.

Atlanta Falcons - DT B.J. Raji (Boston College)
I must admit, I'm not as enamored with Raji as it seems like everyone else is. He was decent during his college career, but he mostly rose up draft boards because he looked good at the senior bowl. I wouldn't say that he will be a bust, but I could see a team being very disappointed if they spend a top fifteen pick on him and end up getting the production of a late 1st rounder. But Atlanta needs help on the interior defensive line, so they might have to reach a bit.

Miami Dolphins - LB Clay Matthews (USC)
At first I wasn't sure why his stock has risen so quickly, but once I saw the Rose Bowl I was convinced that matthews can play. The fact that he worked his way from being a former walk on to a potential 1st round pick shows his work ethic and dedication.

Baltimore Ravens - CB Vontae Davis (Illinois)
The Ravens have a good front 7 even with the loss of Bart Scott, but the corners are a mess. Chris McCalister and Samari Rolle (both of whom will probably be cut anyway) are older than the city of Baltimore. There's a reason Dominique Foxworth has barely gotten any playing time in his first four years (except in the 2005 AFC championship, in which the steelers receivers made him look like a high school player), and unless Al Davis takes over the NFL and awards points for running a 4.3 40 time, Fabian Washington will be a useless player. It makes a lot of sense for the ravens to pick the hometown kid Davis, whose insane athletic ability make him a prospect with tons of upside.

Indianapolis Colts - QB Mark Sanchez (USC)
Peyton Manning is in his 30's, so it makes sense to start grooming a QB of the future. I like everything about Sanchez. He has an above average arm, good accuracy and footwork, and he succeeded in an offense similar to what most pro teams run. The biggest concern that most people have is his limited number of starts, but in this scenario he could sit behind Peyton Manning and gain experience. Also, consider that Matt cassel never started at USC, and he's become a starting caliber quarterback.

Philadelphia Eagles - RB Beanie Wells (Ohio State)
Philly's offense got pretty stale last season. If the Eagles don't add either another running back or a competent wideout, then Brian Westbrook should file a lawsuit against the Eagles. Most people have Knowshon Moreno ahead of Beanie, which I think is perfectly understandable. I just think that Beanie Wells is a special prospect because of his combination of size and speed, and because of the way he carried his team in big games. Both Beanie and Knowshon are top 15 talents, so you migh wonder why they're out of the top 25. It's because I believe that without an offensive line, a good running back is useless. The eagles, however, have a pretty good line, so this pick makes sense.

New York Giants - WR Darius Heyward-Bey
I've been saying all along that because New York is so stacked at every position except wide receiver, and because Anquan Boldin so desperately wants to leave the Cardinals, it makes sense for the Giants to trade some combination of its draft picks for Anquan Boldin. But assuming they keep this pick, they should select the best wideout remaining. In this case thats Darius Heyward-Bey.

Tennessee Titans - CB Sean Smith (Utah)
The Titans could use an upgrade or two in the secondary. Smith has size, speed, good production, and the versatility to play either corner or safety.

Arizona Cardinals - RB Knowshon Moreno (Georgia)
You could switch this pick with the Beanie Wells pick and it would still make sense for both teams. Edgerrin James is aging, and Tim Hightower looks like a career backup. This pick would ease some of the pressure on Boldin and Fitzgerald.

Pittsburgh Steelers - OG Duke Robinson (Oklahoma)
I would rather tear my acl than be forced to watch Chris Kemoeatu and Justin Hartwig sabotage my Steelers by blocking like a pair of JV football players. Duke Robinson, who was the most underrated player on Oklahoma's record breaking offense, is the second coming of Alan Faneca.

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