Updated: April 20/2009
1. Detroit Lions:
Matthew Stafford, QB, Georgia
Logic: Really not sure if this is the correct decision, but Stafford’s lights out post-season workouts, his first-class character and his pure arm-strength have catapulted him to the top of draft boards. Yes, the Lions are reportedly pleased with Culpepper’s conditioning, so Stafford may have the luxury of carrying the clip-board as a rookie.
2. St. Louis Rams: Jason Smith, OT, Baylor University
Logic: Laurent Robinson’s arrival from Atlanta is not the solution to St. Lou’s aerial woes, but it’s an indication that LT is the pick here, and Smith is the cream of the crop.
3. Kansas City Chiefs: Eugene Monroe, OT, Virginia
Logic: Scott Pioli has to protect his new franchise QB, and the slew of LB signings makes Curry passable. Kick Brandon Albert over to RT, and lock Monroe in at LT for a dominant set of bookends.
4. Seattle Seahawks: Aaron Curry, OLB, Wake Forest
Logic: With Julian Peterson gone and franchise player LeRoy Hill skipping off-season activities, the best defensive player in the draft finds himself in the perfect situation.
5. Cleveland Browns: Michael Crabtree, WR, Texas Tech
Logic: No Kellen Winslow, no Joe Jurevicius, no Dante Stallworth, and an inconsistent Braylon Edward’s in a contract year— this one makes too much sense.
6. Cincinnati Bengals: Brian Orakpo, DE, Texas
Logic: Tank Johnson’s addition makes Raji passable, and allows the Bengals to add the pash-rush threat they’ve lacked for years. Orakpo is seen as being more natural as a 4-3 defensive end.
7. Oakland Raiders: Andre Smith, OT, Alabama
Logic: Oakland’s O-line has been mediocre for too long, and JaMarcus Russell deserves more than patchwork protection. Plug this kid in, and the blocking will improve.
8. Jacksonville Jaguars: Jeremy Maclin, WR, Missouri
Logic: Whether or not the Jags are brave enough to draft another WR in the first, they will simply have to due to the undeniable lack of personnel on the roster.
9. Green Bay Packers: B.J. Raji, DT, Boston College
Logic: The Packers have a slew of DT’s, none of which fit the mold of a legit one-technique nose-tackle. Harrell’s been a bust, and an upgrade is needed.
10. San Francisco 49ers: Mark Sanchez, QB, Southern California
Logic: If you don’t have a franchise QB, don’t pass one up. Sanchez is a top-5 talent that could be long-gone at this point on draft-day. Alex Smith and his reduced salary will be cut, and the bay-area will have their next glorified signal-caller.
11. Buffalo Bills: Michael Oher, OT, Ole Miss
Logic: Depth must be restored at the offensive tackle position with the widely publicized loss of Jason Peters. Oher is great talent regardless of his oft-questioned mental capacity.
12. Denver Broncos: Aaron Maybin, DE/OLB, Penn State
Logic: The Broncos have several young hybrid DE’s, much-like Maybin, but none have the superior skill-set and pure pass-rush ability that Maybin possesses. This kid could be a dominant QB killer.
13. Washington Redskins: Everette Brown, DE/OLB, Florida State
Logic: Losing out on the four top-tier tackles is unfortunate, but the Skins improve their pass-rush with the addition of Brown. A younger, quicker and more promising substitute for Jason Taylor.
14. New Orleans Saints: Malcolm Jenkins, FS, Ohio State
Logic: New Orleans has attempted to address their secondary, but it’s been feeble. Malcolm Jenkins is the ideal fit at Free Safety, to quarterback the defensive back-field.
15. Houston Texans: Vontae Davis, CB, Illinois
Logic: An extremely athletic corner, with great measurables, who will complement Dunta Robinson nicely, and should prove to be a better pro than his brother.
16. San Diego Chargers: Rey Maualuga, ILB, Southern California
Logic: A hard-nose middle linebacker to rejuvenate a defense that was demoralized on a number of occasions this past season. A perfect fit in SD’s 3-4 defensive alignment.
17. New York Jets: Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR, Maryland
Logic: The Jets are ecstatic to have the speed demon fall to them, and instantly fill the hole that Laverneus Coles left.
18. Denver Broncos (from Chi): Tyson Jackson, DE, Louisiana State
Logic: The Broncos need help on their d-line in every shape and form. Jackson’s poor work-outs raise some flags, but he should ease the transition to the 3-4 for the Broncos.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Percy Harvin, WR, Florida
Logic: The Bucs lack an explosive play-maker at WR. Dexter Jackson’s poor performance as a rookie and the loss of Galloway makes Harvin a great fit. Regardless of the failed drug test, Harvin’s pure talent will prevent him from dropping out of the top-20.
20. Detroit Lions (from Dal): Eben Britton, OT/OG, Arizona
Logic: When you spend close to 80 million dollars on a rookie QB, you have an obligation to do everything in your power to protect him.
21. Philadelphia Eagles: Knowshon Moreno, RB, Georgia
Logic: The Eagles have reportedly elevated Knowshon to the top of their draft-board. Much-like Wells, he will provide the perfect complement to Brian Westbrook.
22. Minnesota Vikings: Josh Freeman, QB, Kansas State
Logic: Both Jackson and Rosenfels are not long term solutions, and drafting another wide-receiver will just continue to mask the true problem. Vikes find a QB of the future.
23. New England Patriots: Brian Cushing, OLB/ILB,
Logic: Youth on the Pats front seven is urgently needed. Cushing brings versatility to the NE 3-4, and can pound it as an inside backer, or rush from the outside.
24. Atlanta Falcons: Brandon Pettigrew, TE, Oklahoma State
Logic: The ideal all-around tight end. This gives Matty-Ice another weapon in his arsenal. Pettigrew’s ability as an in-line blocker will also aid Ryan’s continued growth.
25. Miami Dolphins: Alphonso Smith, CB,
Logic: Two Wake Forest players taken before a single Miami Hurricane? Yikes. Smith has drawn criticism for his size, but he has the best footwork in this draft, bar-none.
26. Baltimore Ravens: Robert Ayers, DE, Tennessee
Logic: The Ravens would have loved a speedy wide-out here, but the value at the WR position is gone. Ayers brings a nasty size-speed combo to an aging d-line, and is a steal at this point.
27. Indianapolis Colts: Peria Jerry, DT, Ole Miss
Logic: This is the ideal selection for the Colts who have one of the most abysmal interior d-lines in the league. Peria Jerry is a inside penetrator who will assist Freeney and the Indy pass-rush.
28. Buffalo Bills (from Phil, via Car): Michael Johnson, DE,
Logic: The Bills are reportedly shopping DE Chris Kelsay. Regardless, Johnson is an absolutely terrifying specimen who falls because of his game-tape. Incredible potential with a Julius Peppers-like physique.
29. New York Giants: James Laurinaitis, LB, Ohio State
Logic: The Giants have a knack for taking pure football players at the bottom of the first-round (see Kenny Phillips last year). JL will be groomed to replace Antonio Pierce as the Mike.
30. Tennessee Titans: Alex Mack, OC, California
Logic: Mack is one of the most versatile interior linemen I’ve seen in a while, and he satisfies a huge need for the Titans here. He can effectively play all interior line positions.
31. Arizona Cardinals: Chris Wells, RB,
Logic: ‘Zona needs to draft a young feature back, and Wells is exactly what the doctor ordered. Edge is all but done, and Hightower didn’t show much when given the opportunity. Wells is an absolute steal this low in the first round.
32. Pittsburgh Steelers: Duke Robinson, OG, Oklahoma
Logic: A physical beast who is an absolute wolverine at the point-of-attack, He will keep Big Ben off his back side, which was all too common this past season.