Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Ian's 2009 Mock Draft v1.0

Well, I'm going to take a shot at this here. I'm doing it right now with no trades, but there obviously will be trades. But predicting those is better saved for another day.

I used some basic draft lessons/rules of thumb from previous drafts to break ties/hard decisions. Here's some numbers. Over the past five years, the distribution of players drafted in the first round:
O-Line: 26
C- 3, G- 5, T- 18
QB: 18
WR: 23
RB: 19
TE: 8
DB: 36
LB: 19
D-Line: 42
DE: 24
DT: 18

The trend over the last two seasons was to heavily draft positions such as offensive tackles, defensive ends, and defensive backs. Last season, we saw no wide receivers taken in the first round and then a slew of them go in the second. I think most teams will go for help along the lines or in the secondary unless they have a glaring need at another position. Due to this, a lot of running backs and wide receivers fell towards the bottom or out of my mock draft.

Matthew Stafford (QB-Georgia)

Stafford is the best quarterback in this draft and Detroit would be smart to take him. With Daunte Caulpepper signed, Stafford could ease his way into the lineup behind a shaky offensive line, which will need to be addressed later in the draft.

Jason Smith (OT-Baylor)

The Rams cut Orlando Pace this offseason and have a glaring hole on the left side of the line that needs to be filled. Smith is the best lineman in the draft that hasn't had a complete breakdown and should go to the Rams at #2.

Eugene Monroe (OT-Virginia)

Yes Kansas City needs help on the defensive front as well, but the more pressing issue is finding someone to block for Matt Cassel so he doesn't have a repeat of the Steelers game in every game.

Aaron Curry (LB-Wake Forest)

At this point, someone might try to trade up for Curry, but he will be a good replacement for Julian Peterson.

Everette Brown (DE-Texas)

Close call between Brown, Orakpo and Jenkins, but Brown gets the nod for now as he looks to be a better 3-4 outside linebacker/pass rush threat.

BJ Raji (DT-Boston College)

Raji will probably be gone at this point as it's likely someone will try to trade up to snatch him, but the Bengals need to stop the run, and drafting a DT is a great start.

Michael Crabtree (WR-Texas Tech)

Al Davis loves speed. An offensive lineman makes more sense, but JaMarcus Russell needs someone to throw to, so the Raiders take Crabtree, the best receiver in the draft.

Malcom Jenkins (CB-Ohio State)

The Jags need help on the defensive side of the ball and while CB might not be the #1 need on the team, Jenkins is too big of a value to pass up here. This is a likely spot for someone to try to trade up to in order to take Mark Sanchez.

Brian Orakpo (DE-Texas)

Green Bay is switching to a 3-4 and needs some young talent that can pressure the quarterback. Aaron Maybin may get a look here, but his raw skills will take some work and Green Bay is looking to win now.

Michael Oher (OT-Ole Miss)

Oher has been falling in some mocks, but he should remain a top 5 tackle in this draft. He has the size to be a great left tackle with some work, and San Francsico could use some improvements up front.

Brian Cushing (LB-USC)

Cushing will be an excellent addition to the Bills linebacking unit which already boasts former Butkus Award winner Paul Posluzny. The Bills are a good candidate to trade down to get TE Brandon Pettigrew.

Mark Sanchez (QB-USC)

Will he still be here at this point? Probably not, it is more likely someone trades up to get him, maybe even Denver. With the Jay Cutler controversy, Denver obviously wants someone else under center. Look for Cutler to be moved on draft day.

Michael Johnson (DE-Georgia Tech)

Johnson had an awesome Pro Day and is being talked about as one of the top D-Ends in the draft. Washington needs help getting pressure on the QB and Johnson gives them a great compliment to Haynesworth on the line.

Vontae Davis (CB-Illinois)

The Saints secondary has been weak over the past few years and Davis is an immediate upgrade at CB. We all know their offense can score, but unless they can stop anyone, this is no better than an 8-8 team.

Chris "Beanie" Wells (RB-Ohio State)

Steve Slaton emerged as a stellar back last season and Wells would give them the power to go with Slaton's speed. This would keep both Slaton from absorbing too much contact and enable him to prolong his career at running back. This pick could also be traded.

Aaron Maybin (DE/LB-Penn State)

The Chargers weren't the same without the Juicer last year, and they get another pass-rusher with pure talent for Ron Rivera to work with. Another candidate to trade down if a big name is still on the board.

Josh Freeman (QB-Kansas State)

Assuming the Jets don't land Jay Cutler, Jeff Garcia, or Byron Leftwich, they need a quarterback, particularly one that can stay for the long term.

Jeremy Maclin (WR-Missouri)

While the Bears have other needs, I don't see them passing on Maclin at this point. They could go LB or OT or DB, but Maclin finally gives their offense a deep threat.

Rey Maualuga (LB-USC)

I doubt Maualuga falls this far, but if he does the Bucs will probably grab him as the steal of the draft thus far. If Maualuga drops past San Diego, look for someone to try to trade up for him.

Eben Britton (OT-Arizona)

Detroit gets a franchise quarterback and a franchise offensive lineman in the first round of the draft. All in all, not a bad few hours with the first pick in the second round still waiting for them to add some beef on defense.

Brandon Pettigrew (TE-Oklahoma St)

It isn't much secret that the Eagles could use some help at the tight end position. LJ Smith is not the answer and Pettigrew is versatile enough to be a solid blocker.

Alex Mack (C/G - California)

Guards usually start to make their way off the draft board at this point, and Mack's versatility puts him up there with Max Unger of Oregon as the top two interior linemen. The Vikes look to shore things up and give AP the room he needs to cut back.

Alphonso Smith (CB-Wake Forest)

New England isn't going to run the ball next year, which means to beat them, you're going to have to throw. I wouldn't be surprised if they try to trade up for Maybin though, he's the kind of player Parcells would love to have.

Peria Jerry (DT-Ole Miss)

Tyson Jackson also gets some consideration, but he is more of a 3-4 end, so the Falcons take Jerry to help in run defense.

Robert Ayres (DE-Tennessee)

Parcells finds a defensive end he can mold into a stellar 3-4 outside linebacker. Joey Porter isn't going to be around forever, so it wouldn't be a surprise to see the Dolphins draft a DE/OLB. Watch out for them in the Maybin sweepstakes as well.

Darius Butler (CB-UConn)

They may take a linebacker, but they cut Samari Rolle and Chris McAllister this offseason, which means they need help at corner.

Tyson Jackson (DL-LSU)

This is way too far for Jackson to fall, and he will very likely go higher, but it's no secret that the Colts need help on their defensive front and will probably take the best DT available unless someone else falls to them.

William Beatty (OT-UConn)

With two picks in the first round, Philly may very well trade one. But for now, I have them finding their replacement to Tra Thomas along the offensive line. Moreno and McCoy also get looks here, but they shore up the O-line first.

Darrius Heyward-Bey (WR-Maryland)

DHB has the size to replace Burres, better jumping ability and arguably better hands. This is a good pick for the Giants and DHB will be a good addition to Manning's receiving corps.

Clay Matthews (LB-USC)

The Titans have two aging D-Ends, but with no premiere talent available here, they add depth at linebacker with a solid player who is always around the ball.

Knowshon Moreno (RB-Georgia)

The Cards choose Moreno over McCoy for his open-field maneuverability. Arizona made moves on defense in free agency, so look for them to address the RB situation in the draft.

DJ Moore (CB-Vanderbilt)

Moore is a CB and had a stellar career returning kicks, filling two needs for the Steelers. If Moore drops past #20, look for the Steelers to try to trade up to get him. I doubt he falls all the way to #32, but with the loss of Bryant McFadden and the aging Deshea Townsend, the Steelers would do well to add depth to their secondary. Max Unger (OL-Oregon) also gets a look here, but the Steelers go with Moore who can provide an immediate boost to their return game, which was last in the league last season.

Next Best (Top Ten Best Available)
Max Unger (OL-Oregon)
Larry English (DE/LB-Northern Illinois)
James Laurinitis (LB-Ohio St)
LeSean McCoy (RB-Pitt)
Donald Brown (RB-UConn)
Kenny Britt (WR-Rutgers)
Percy Harvin (WR-Florida)
Hakeem Nicks (WR-UNC)
Evander Hood (DT-Missouri)
Duke Robinson (OG-Oklahoma)

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