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2009 ROUND 1  by Rob Rang
Last Updated: 02/17/09 - Rob Rang, 02/17/09 - Chad Reuter, 02/17/09
Clicking player name will open profile in a new window. * - Underclassman
 Round 1   Round 2   Round 3   Draft Scout Mock Draft: Chad Reuter
 *Matthew Stafford
 QB  Georgia  The Lions clearly need a quarterback. While Stafford is the prohibitive favorite to be their choice to fill that need here, resting on his laurels is unadvisable. Stafford isn't expected to work out at the Combine and has a reputation for being standoffish. If he isn't at least impressive in interviews this week, it will open up the possibility of an athletically gifted, charismatic player like USC quarterback Mark Sanchez or Baylor offensive tackle Jason Smith making a run for the top spot.
Previous: Matt Stafford
 Jason Smith
 OT  Baylor  With Orlando Pace entering his 13th season and starting RT Alex Barron a year away from free agency, the Rams need to address their tackle situation after missing out on Michigan's Jake Long last year. Oher, the elite tackle in the 2009 draft physically-speaking, may have answered questions about his toughness and competitive fire with an impressive showing at the Senior Bowl.
Previous: Michael Oher
 *Mark Sanchez
 QB  USC  Tyler Thigpen showed enough in 11 starts last year to warrant considering other positions here, especially with the success GM Scott Pioli and new head coach Todd Haley have enjoyed developing quarterbacks. However, few teams have been looking for a true franchise quarterback longer than the Chiefs. Sanchez is a risk considering his lack of experience, but his tools - especially in a draft as weak as at quarterback as this one - will ultimately result in a top five selection.
Previous: Everette Brown
 *Michael Crabtree
 WR  Texas Tech  Seattle has holes on both sides of the ball, but none more pressing than a lack of playmakers. There isn't a more dominant playmaker in the draft than Crabtree - whose 41 career receiving touchdowns were largely responsible for his being the only two-time winner of the Biletnikof award.
Previous: Malcolm Jenkins
 *Everette Brown
 DE  Florida St  The Browns finished 31st in the NFL with just 17 sacks last season. Brown, thought by many to be the year's most explosive and technically refined pass rusher, led the ACC with 13.5 last season and could provide an immediate replacement for 15-year veteran Willie McGinest, who is expected to retire.
Previous: Aaron Curry
 Eugene Monroe
 OT  Virginia  LT Levi Jones has started all 16 games only twice in seven years - and none of the past four seasons. RT Stacy Andrews had surgery in January to repair a torn ACL. Monroe took over for D'Brickashaw Ferguson as a sophomore and was so good at left tackle that he kept last year's No. 15 overall pick Branden Albert inside at left guard. Albert allowed 4.5 sacks in starting 15 of 16 games for Kansas City as a rookie -- all at left tackle.
Previous: Andre Smith
 *Andre Smith
 OT  Alabama  Coach Tom Cable and new offensive line coach Jim Michalczik plan to utilize a more power-based approach to the zone-blocking scheme the team featured last year. Smith, a 6-4, 340-pound behemoth with eye-popping agility as a run blocker, has the tools to protect JaMarcus Russell and open running lanes for Darren McFadden.
Previous: Michael Crabtree
 Michael Oher
 OT  Ole Miss  Jaguars LT Khalif Barnes surrendered more sacks last season (7.5) than any other blind-side blocker in the league and is an unrestricted free agent unlikely to return. Jack Del Rio and his staff had the opportunity to coach Oher at the Senior Bowl, and won't likely forget his dominant performance there.
Previous: Jason Smith
 Aaron Curry
 OLB  W Forest  The Packers are the only team since 2000 to use a pick higher than this one on a linebacker. A.J. Hawk, taken with the fifth pick of the 2006 draft, is steady, but not a consistent playmaker. With Green Bay switching to the 3-4 defense under Dom Capers, the Packers shouldn't hesitate to add the 2008 Butkus winner here.
Previous: Aaron Curry
 Malcolm Jenkins
 CB  Ohio St  Jenkins can ease some of the concerns about his top-end speed with a strong performance at the Combine, but it still may not be enough to keep him at cornerback. The 49ers, considering the lack of big plays turned in by free safety Mark Roman over his three years (one interception) as their starting free safety, would be wise to grab the Thorpe Award winner and move him to safety if they were among those who believe that is his best pro position.
Previous: Rey Maualuga
 *Aaron Maybin
 DE  Penn St  Former Nittany Lion Paul Posluszny nearly doubled the production of the Bills' second-leading tackler last season. Considering the free agent status of undersized Keith Ellison and the medical uncertainty of former starter Angelo Crowell, the Bills may look back to Penn State. Maybin, an ascending talent, could provide a combination of athleticism and size currently missing from Buffalo's linebacking corps.
Previous: Brian Orakpo
 B.J. Raji
 DT  Boston Col  Among new coach Josh McDaniels' first moves was to hire Mike Nolan as his defensive coordinator. Nolan, a strong proponent of the 3-4 defense, needs stouter, strong personnel to help the Broncos make the transition from the 4-3. Raji, built like a Coke machine and just as tough to move, could be the center piece at nose guard.
Previous: Rey Maualuga
 Brian Orakpo
 DE  Texas  With only four picks in the 2009 draft, the Redskins cannot afford to make mistakes. Considering that last year's offseason pickups of DEs Jason Taylor and Erasmus James were busts, Orakpo, winner of three of the four top defensive awards (Nagurski, Hendricks, Lombardi), may be able to provide the outside help they need.
Previous: Brian Cushing
 *Knowshon Moreno
 RB  Georgia  Deuce McAllister isn't expected to return, Reggie Bush isn't a bell cow back even when healthy and it's uncertain if the Saints view Pierre Thomas as a potential feature back. Moreno is a phenomenal talent who could rise into the top 10 if he performs well in workouts and interviews.
Previous: Vontae Davis
 Brian Cushing
 OLB  USC  Projected starters at outside linebacker Zach Diles and Xavier Adibi lack size, athleticism and big-play ability. Cushing would provide an immediate improvement in each facet, and also could be dropped down as a pass rusher opposite Mario Williams on passing downs.
Previous: B.J. Raji
 Tyson Jackson
 DE  LSU  The Chargers have shown a willingness to invest high-round picks in their 3-4 defensive ends, using the 28th overall pick on Luis Castillo in 2005 and the 35th on Igor Olshansky the previous year. With Olshansky an unrestricted free agent and thought unlikely to be resigned, the Chargers would be wise to add Jackson, the elite 3-4 defensive end prospect of this draft.
Previous: Knowshon Moreno
 *Jeremy Maclin
 WR  Missouri  The Jets haven't had a true speed threat since trading away Santana Moss in 2004. Maclin is a true playmaker; he only played two seasons at Missouri, but during that time recorded two of the six highest all-purpose totals in NCAA history.
Previous: Jeremy Maclin
 *Josh Freeman
 QB  Kansas State  Kyle Orton continues to top the depth chart, but didn't show the consistency the team hoped for last season. The Bears would like to add some competition to the roster and would likely consider Freeman, a rising prospect who has the required arm strength to battle the winds in Soldier Field.
Previous: Mark Sanchez
 Peria Jerry
 DT  Ole Miss  A breakout senior campaign followed by a strong week of practice at the Senior Bowl has Jerry's stock on the rise as arguably the draft's elite three-technique tackle. Jerry isn't as explosive as former Bucs DT Warren Sapp, but he's a fabulous value at this point and would upgrade the team's inconsistent push from the interior.
Previous: Peria Jerry
 Rey Maualuga
 ILB  USC  Questions about Maualuga's instincts could lead to a surprising drop on draft day, but if available to the Lions here they'd likely pounce. Considering his size, physicality and knack for the big play, he'd be a perfect fit into new coach Jim Schwartz's defense.
Previous: James Laurinaitis
 Beanie Wells
 RB  Michigan St  Wells has top five, but he needs to answer plenty of questions in interviews and through medical tests to earn a selection that high. If he begins to fall on draft day, the Eagles would be wise to snatch him up and use him as a powerful complement to Brian Westbrook.
Previous: Brandon Pettigrew
 James Laurinaitis
 ILB  Ohio St  Only once in the past four years has any Vikings linebacker started the entire season (Chad Greenway, 2007). Considering this lack of durability and the fact that three backups (Napoleon Harris, Dontarrious Thomas and Heath Farwell) are unrestricted free agents, the the versatile and dependable Laurinaitis would be a good pickup.
Previous: Josh Freeman
 *Vontae Davis
 CB  Illinois  The Patriots let CB Asante Samuel walk as a free agent last offseason and got burned trying to skate by with the likes of Deltha O'Neal last season. They will make this position a priority and would seemingly jump at the chance to take the physically blessed Davis.
Previous: Aaron Maybin
 Robert Ayers
 DE  Tennessee  Jamaal Anderson has shown very little since the Falcons made him the eighth overall pick of the 2007 draft. While defensive end isn't a huge need for the Falcons considering the play of John Abraham and development of Jonathan Babineaux, they would still be wise to add more pass rushers, especially if a talent like Ayers - considered by some to be this year's top defensive end - remains on the board.
Previous: Tyson Jackson
 Larry English
 OLB  N Illinois  The Dolphins have other needs, but considering Bill Parcells' penchant for selecting pass rushers, the fact that 11-year veteran Joey Porter (18) contributed roughly half of Miami's 40 sacks and that this is an especially strong year for the position, few league insiders would be surprised if Miami took another pass rusher here. English, the two-time defending MAC Defensive Player of the Year, impressed scouts at the Senior Bowl.
Previous: D.J. Moore
 *Darrius Heyward-Bey
 WR  Maryland  Perhaps the most exciting aspect of rookie QB Joe Flacco's development last season was his consistent accuracy downfield. With teams forced to attack the line of scrimmage due to Baltimore's running game and the precise route-running from Derrick Mason, general manager Ozzie Newsome may consider the speedy Heyward-Bey here as a deep threat.
Previous: Clay Matthews
 *Percy Harvin
 WR  Florida  Considering his looming $13.4 million cap hit, Marvin Harrison is very much a candidate to be a salary cap casualty. The Colts' bigger needs remain on the defensive side of the ball, but Harvin's explosiveness in the slot and on special teams could make a more immediate impact than any defensive lineman available at this point.
Previous: Percy Harvin
 Brandon Pettigrew
 TE  Okla St  Despite franchising L.J. Smith, the Eagles' best tight end through most of last season was receiving specialist Brent Celek. Pettigrew, a dominant blocker, would be a bit of a luxury selection, but considering the importance of the tight end in this offense and the fact that the Eagles have two first-round picks due to their trade last year with Carolina, they can afford it.
Previous: Eben Britton
 Clay Matthews
 OLB  USC  The Giants have a fondness for pass rushing hybrids, and are one of several teams thought to be especially high on the ascending Matthews -- who some believe will ultimately be a better pro than USC teammates Rey Maualuga and Brian Cushing.
Previous: Hakeem Nicks
 Michael Johnson
 DE  Georgia Tech  The defensive line was backbone of Tennessee's stout defense last season. With DE Kyle Vanden Bosch 30 years old and DT Albert Haynesworth possibly headed elsewhere as a free agent, the Titans could look to add another excellent athlete to their front seven.
Previous: Robert Ayers
 *LeSean McCoy
 RB  Pitt  Considering the Cardinals' struggles to run the ball last season and Edgerrin James likely to work his way out of town, the Cardinals need to add a feature back in front of Tim Hightower, who is better suited to a short-yardage role. McCoy has the speed and elusiveness to give the Cardinals a "Thunder and Lightning" attack.
Previous: LeSean McCoy
 *Eben Britton
 OT  Arizona  Only the 49ers (55), Lions (52) and Bengals (51) surrendered more sacks last season than the Super Bowl champs (49). With the Steelers' top four tackles either unrestricted or restricted free agents, and it's easy to see why Pittsburgh would strongly consider Britton, a first-team All-Pac-10 selection as a junior.
Previous: Alex Mack

 Round 1   Round 2   Round 3   Draft Scout Mock Draft: Chad Reuter

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