With The 23rd Pick, in the 2009 NFL Draft, The New England Patriots Select ...

Updated march 13st

Google
 

Click Here For My Main Page

with links to my Pats Draft Blog and Player Ratings.

  For more Info on Pats, check out my: Patriots Draft Blog and Player Ratings.

Well, so little known and so much to say. It must be draft time. THIS DRAFT STINKS. This is one of the worst Drafts I have ever covered. The top player in the Draft, a wondrous 6-3 Wide Receiver, who seems to be able to separate from DBs at will with his great feet and sharp cuts, shows up at the Combine at 6-1 and with a stress fracture in his foot. You have 3 of the top 4 Corner who can't run under a 4.5, never mind a 4.4, and the forth Corner, Davis, whose claim to fame is that he is a numb nut but is an athletic Super Freak, shows up at the Combine looking stiff and can't run under 4.4? The top O-Tackle, and some had as the top player in the Draft for a while, had a nervous break down at the Combine? The difference between player 13 (Michael Oher) and player 45 (William Beatty) is not that much. In fact, Beatty and Britton could end up being the top tackles from this Draft, while Oher and André Smith look like their destined to be busts. The three superstar, super- fast, super-speed receivers, all had unacceptable forty times, which where they were suppose to be making their money? The top passrushers all look like different people at the Combine: Everette Brown is 6-1, Maybin shows up at 249 and without his explosive athleticism, and Robert Ayers looked slow? The Passrusher who looked like the best bet at the Combine, Clay Mathews, will play Linebacker in the NFL, and he had only 5.5 career sacks! What do you do with that? 

I Don't know!?!  

The Perfect Draft for the Pats would be: in the First- Aaron Curry OLB from Wake Forest; with their first Second CB Alphonso Smith from Wake forest, and with their second Second SS Chip Vaughn, from, Wake Forest;-)

And this is a good year to need DBs and OLB/DE/Passrushers. The first three round will be loaded up with CBs, Safeties, and D-Ends converting to OLB. So it should be a good year for the Pat's Defense.

 

Team

My Picks: 

(U)- Unofficial

Key Needs:

Team Moves:

1.

Lions

*Mathew Stafford-

QB Georgia

6-2 1/4, 225, 4.6, 30.5"

Ownership, President, GM, QB, DEFENSE, O-Line, ... 

F.A. Signings:

Bryant Johnson WR

Anthony Henry CB

Eric King CB

Maurice Morris RB

Grady Jackson DT

Julian Peterson LB (5th)

Key F.A.  Loses:

Jon Kitna QB

Cory Redding DT

Leigh Bodden CB

Brain Kelly CB

Dwight Smith CB

The Team: Can you believe it? Just when you can look at the Lions and say they may actually be starting to get it? I actually like the signing of Jim Schwartz. I know Bill Belichick respect Schwartz immensely, as he talked about in his Combine Press Conference, "Schwartzie was probably as smart as any person. A brilliant guy. A Georgetown guy. You could give him ten different things to do, and come to him at any point in time, and say 'where are we on this?' and he'd have it for you in a second. Then you'd throw 2 or 3 other things at him, 'Hey Jimmy, can you take care of this, can you take care of that?' and half the time, he'd say, 'Coach, I've already started on that. And here's where I am. Is it Okay what I'm doing?' So he was part-mind reader. Tremendous work ethic, and really, just extremely intelligent. I'm sure he'll do a great job in Detroit, as he did at Tennessee." That's good enough for me. all's I can say Detroit fans is "may the Schwartz be with you." Sorry, I could help it. However, now word coming out of Detroit is that they are planning on passing on Stafford and taking Jason Smith OLT Baylor. Personally I don't believe it. There are two options here: one, going into next season without a young QB to develop behind Culpepper; or two, they have started negotiations with Stafford's agent and are playing games. I hope for Detroit fan's sake that it is the second. This team needs to reboot, and that starts with a new young QB. I hope they are not looking at what happened in Miami first season and think they are going to repeat it. Parcel's got extremely lucky at the stupidity of the Jet's organization. The Jets not only released Pennington, but they released one of the most veteran AFC East QBs, and a veteran of the Parcel's system, and handed Parcel's the perfect QB for his new team. Any QB would not have been as successful in the AFC East, and if Pennington had gone to any other team he would not have as successful. If was a perfect confluence of circumstances. Where is that QB for this team? He doesn't exist. Detroit needs to get a new young QB to develop behind Culpepper, period. It looks they just might agree with me. I have been particularly harsh with the Lion's organization, but after last season, where they were the worst team in the history of the NFL, you can't blame. However, so far this off season they had made two solid decisions in a row, signing Schwartz and trying to have the top pick in the Draft signed before the Draft.  

Once more into the breach dear friends. They are a team in transition, again. It seems like it's been a decade since they've had any stability. The problem is with a team this historically horrible, players and coaches are virtually meaningless. You have to look at the utter and complete failures of Ownership and Upper Management. They cannot continue with their current Ownership situation, and they cannot continue with their current Upper Management situation. This franchise can only be compared to the completely demoralized Atlanta Falcons of last year. They need more then draft picks, they need a massive infusion of football smarts, consistency, and intelligence. They need a complete restructuring of the franchise. Only Blank, who I criticized relentlessly, went outside the organization, and let's be honest, got lucky and hired Dimitroff, who got lucky when Matt Ryan fell to him. So what does the incompetent Owner Ford do, he hires from within. Hiring Tom Lewand a as team president, and Martin Mayhew as GM is a double-dose of disaster. Okay with that being said, they need a QB first of foremost. Only, they gave 517 points last season, second worst in the history of the NFL. 533 points allowed is the record for ineptitude, and they almost made it. They cannot continue with their current QB situation, and they cannot continue with their current Defensive situation. So, I guess, Lion fans should just close their eyes and charge into futility for the ten straight year.  

The Player: On the positive for Stafford, he did come in and start as a true Freshman. So questions on whether he has the mental capabilities to be a Pro QB have to be tempered. You have to be smart, and have a excellent football smarts to play QB as a true Freshman. I also liked his performance in the Capital One Bowl. He was absolutely terrible in the first half, missing every throw he could miss. In fact, I was wondering why I ever thought I liked the way he throws the ball. However, in the second half he dominated. His throws were all suddenly decisive and accurate. He threw 2 TDs in the 3rd quarter, and lofted a perfect 20 TD pass to Mereno that was a thing of beauty. I like to judge QBs by what they do when everything they do is a disaster. How do they react to that adversity. In the NFL, QBs face constant difficulty, and have to overcome adversity every week. The great ones are the ones who can mentally prepare for the game each week, and mentally overcome adversity. I liked how he overcame adversity in that game.

Stafford is a difficult Player to evaluate. He can look so good on one player, and make beautiful touch passes 50 yards down field between the Safety and Corner, and throw the ball ten feet over the WR head on the next. So is he just an inconsistent player who will never learn. On the one hand you have to say yes, he has to take responsibility for his inconsistency. But on the other hand He played behind a kindergarten Offensive Line full of Freshman and Sophomores. So a lot of his inconsistency has to be blamed on the massively inconsistent O-Line, and having a young inconsistent O-Line in the SEC can crush a QB's Psyche quite quickly. Stafford showed a lot of resilience playing behind that line. In fact, he reminds me of Jay Cutler, who played behind a terrible O-Line his Senior season and got the crap beat out of him. And like Stafford: he can throw with great velocity, he can place the ball with a touch and accuracy that few QBs can find, and was seen as inconsistent because he played behind a bad O-Line in the SEC. So in the enc he is pure thrower, who needs to play a little smarter, and will need some good coaching on the next level. For more on Stafford check out my March 1st Blog.   

The Reason: A complete reboot of a franchise doesn't start until the Franchise QB does.   

Second Choice: Jason Smith OT 

2.

Rams

*Jason Smith- 

OLT Baylor

6-4 302

OLT, WR, LB, TE, WR, LB, S, CB, OL

Key F.A. Signings:

Jason Brown OC 

Brain St. Pierre QB

Mike Karney FB

Key F.A.  Loses:

Tory Holt WR

Anthony Becht TE

Orlando Pace OT

Brett Romberg OC

The Team: Just when you try and get a little tricky with the logic they go and cut Pace, and reveal they are locked onto Jason Smith. The release of Orlando Pace ensure that the Rams will be grabbing one of the top OLT prospects. They have clearly settled in on an OLT prospect. The only question that remains is whether it is Jason Smith or Eugene Monroe, unless you want to watch Jacob Bell OG and Alex Barron ORT fight it out at left tackle? Yikes! Monroe has been moving up the charts. I too have been studying film, and it is clear that Monroe has the best machinegun feet of any O-Tackle in the Draft. When scouts watch his feet go ratta-tat-tat on the ground they start to think promotion. He is the best pure pass blocker in the Draft. However, Jason Smith is close in pass protection, and is a much better run blocker. His feet are not as quick and his hips are a little stiffer, slightly. However, Jason plays mean. Between the whistles he plays with bad intentions. That combination of size, athleticism, smarts, and meanness is hard to find. 

The Rams more than anything need a serious steroid injection of charma. Otherwise, what don't they need? A young LT prospect is what everybody is predicting, and with the age and injury history of Pace that is not a bad idea. Plus, Alex Barron has become an uninterested afterthought, and this is the last year of his contract. So does his contract season motivate him enough to succeed this season, or will he continue his strange trend of appearing not to give a crap? However, they have some good young talent at the interior O-Line positions. I had OG/ORT John Greco going to the Pats last year, so you know I like him. I still think he could play some Right Tackle. Roy Schuening lacks a little in talent, but makes up for it with nastiness and hustle. Plus, I believe Richie Incognito played Center in college, didn't he? I can't remember, anyway he is a sociopath who actually plays meaner than Schuening, the problem is that he gets caught to often and needs to play with a little more intelligence. The good news is that two of the three weren't starters. Plus, Starting Left Guard Jacob Bell is being groomed for a move to Tackle. Whether that is a sign of versatility or desperation, we will see, because the question is can they get through the season with Pace and Barron for one more year. Having Bell at OLT and Greco at ORT is a possibility if they don't take Jason Smith here. I now have Jason Smith as my top O-Tackle, but I'm not sure he fits here, unless Pace's career is over. Their Linebacker stink, and their WR need help as well. With Curry and Crabtree on the board, I think they will have tough time passing on both. However, They have a new Head Coach. Hhmm, I wonder how he got this job? He was the D-Coordinator of Giants. He rode the backs of his 4 D-Ends, who were all great passrushers, from Super Bowl to Head Coach. I wonder what he thinks about Brian Orakpo? And how much power does he have in personnel decisions? 

The Player: Smith made a lot of money at the Combine, as I wrote about in my Feb. 25th blog. He showed terrific athleticism, terrific feet, and a terrific Kick Step. Though he still showed some stiffness in the hips. The reason I moved him into the top Left Tackle spot is he was André Smith foil at the Combine. André went down to the Combine and seemed completely lost, like he had no idea what was going on. While Jason seemed to have a complete understanding of why he was there. As uncomfortable and misguided as André acted and sounded, Jason appeared comfortable confident and in control. And when I heard him answer a question about finishing a block, I instantly put him on top, "When I'm on the field, I take a lot of pride in physically assaulting people," he said with a smile. "As for finishing them off, that's a part of the block." Like I said he was the most impressive OLT in everyway at the Combine. 

Smith is a former TE, who converted to LT at Baylor. I love LT prospects who are converted T-Ends, they almost always have the best feet and athleticism for the position in the Draft. He may be the most athletic of the OLT prospects. Another Left Tackle prospect who is hard to figure out, because he never puts his hand down on the ground. In Baylor’s offense he always lines up in a two-point stance, so how do you judge how well he run blocks. But, he is such a phenomenal athlete he should not be discounted, and like Monroe, he just never seems to get beat in pass protection. I think I was just spoiled watching Long and Clady last year, who seem to be technically perfect and super athletes. Baylor ran a screwy shot-gun offense which sometimes made him look bad. He was almost always abandoned on the edge. Football is very important to him, and he has the reputation for being the hardest worker on his team. Very smart. He graduated as a Junior and took Graduate classes as a Senior. He can get outside on an outside run a little in the running game, but can struggle to get to the sideline on sweeps and reverses sometimes. For more on Smith check out my March 1st Blog.

The Reason: Okay that was before they traded Orlando Pace. Of course the other fly in the ointment is that Detroit is rumored to have settled on Jason Smith, leaving them Monroe or Brain Orakpo.

Okay before you call me crazy, just listen to my logic. The Rams are under a new regime. Billy Devaney is now in charge, and really don't have an idea of what his drafting style is, other then he was hired last year as the Player Personnel guy, and last year they drafted Chris Long with the Second pick. So his draft history is taking a D-End number 2 overall (Okay weak I admit it;-) However, he do have a long history of Steve Spagnuolo, bastard! (sorry, I'm still not quite over the Super Bowl). What is his history? He was the D-Coordinator of the Giants. He was the one who made the schemes that put their remarkable 4-passrushing-D-Ends onto the field: Strahan, Umenyiora, Kiwanuka, and Tuck. Do think he would like a D-End who can passrusher inside like Justin Tuck, and says he studies Umenyiora game and that's why he lines up a four-point stance like Osi. It was those four guys who put him in position to get this job. He could continue that trend if he had 4 interesting D-End to scheme, like: Little, Carriker, Long, and Orakpo. 

Second Choice: Brian Orakpo DE/OLB

3.

Chiefs

Brian Orakpo

DE/OLB Texas

6-4, 255, 31 Reps

LB, DE/PassR, WR, OL, CB  S, WR, OT,  RB, OC,  DB

Key F.A. Signings:

Matt Cassel QB

Mike Goff OG

Bobby Engram WR

Make Vrabel LB

Travis Daniels CB

Jon McGraw S

Darrell Robertson LB

Key F.A.  Loses:

Ty Law CB

The Team: The Chiefs have the best GM in the game, period. However Chief fans figuring out what Pioli is going to do in the Draft is like trying to figure out why all politicians love to lie. So here are a few options, Why KC might take Crabtree. So where do they go from here. If KC is to switch to a 3-4, or not for that matter, they have to get passrushers. The Chiefs had a remarkable ten Sacks last season, that's right TEN Sacks! I have never heard a more pitiful defensive stat. Pioli did a great job saving the offense by acquiring Cassel. Now they have to address the defense, and most importantly the worst passrusher in league history. Brain Orakpo is a physical freak and a passrushing monster. If they want to switch to a 3-4, which I can all but assure you they will, because of Pioli and the signing of Clancy Pendergast. Pendergast was the D-Coordinator of the 3-4 defense that helped take the Cardinals to the Super Bowl. They could have a very nice front 7. With Glenn Dorsey and Ron Edwards splitting time at NT. You could have Tamba Hali, Tank Taylor, and Turk McBride at D-End, with Hali being more of a 3rd down D-End. That would give you Mike Vrabel on the outside, and Brain Orakpo on the other side. With Johnson, Boiman, and Williams on the Inside. That is not a bad front seven. With Dorsey, Vrabel, Hali, and Orakpo rushing the QB, I can guarantee you their pitiful passrush will improve. If the Chiefs have any aspirations for competing in the AFC West next season, they have to pressure the QB with much more efficiency next season. Orakpo is the top OLB/DE hybrid in this Draft. This will also give them a lot of interchangeable parts. Dorsey can move outside to D-End and be a Seymour-type D-End. Hali can move outside to OLB, and rush from a stand up position. I still think Orakpo can inside on passing downs and rush from the inside like Tuck. To me, Brain Orakpo the Chiefs the most flexibility in the passrush, which is what this team needs the most.       

The Chiefs have done a good job drafting the past couple of years. If they are planning a switch to a 3-4, they actually have a good base for a 3-4 defense. I think both Turk McBride and and Tank Taylor would be better fits as 3-4 D-Ends, and Dorsey could make a decent NT or a nice 3-4 End, with Edwards at the Nose. With Vrabel on one side and Tamba Hali on the other and with Derrick Johnson, Rocky Boiman, and Demorrio Williams in the middle, they have the Linebackers to justify not taking Curry. However, the Chiefs defense as a 4-3 is a last placed defense, and was officially ranked last for most of the season. They completely rebuilt their secondary with rookies last season, and by season's end they looked like they might have a future. However, as far as I can tell they have only one 4-3 D-End, Tamba Hali, on the whole roster. Right now it looks like it will come down to Aaron Curry or Crabtree.     

The Player: Brain Orakpo Loves to hit the QB, "In a perfect world I would just want to rush the passer, 1st through 4th down," Brain Orakpo said at the Combine. "I'm here to compete. Any position: Right End, Left End, Sam, Will, Mike. I mean anything: 3-4, 4-3. It doesn't matter. That's the thing about being as athletic and versatile as I am." Let's be honest, this Draft stinks. Three are three players who have star potential in this Draft: Curry, Crabtree, and Orakpo. Other than those three, there is not a lot of low risk spectacular players. What makes Orakpo so enticing is that he says he models his game after Osi Umenyiora, and he reminds me of Justin Tuck (and it's not just because he plays in a four-point stance that he reminds me of Tuck, it is also because he has a multiple inside moves that most D-Ends don't have, and I think he would be a monster inside passrusher on obvious passing downs). Those are two of the fiercest passrushers in the game, just ask any Pats Fan. He always seems to want to rush to the inside, like he would rather drag the O-Lineman to the QB rather than prance around him. His size is not the best, but his freakish strength may be his finest asset. He garnered 42 Tackles, 19 TFL, 4 FF, and 11.5 Sacks last season. Played OLB in Texas's hybrid 3-4. He looked smooth and aware in coverage. I was surprised when I saw him dropping back into coverage. Was able to get out to the flat with good efficiency and quickness. Has the athleticism to play Linebacker, but he is a D-End. With combo of speed and power, you want this guy on the line rushing the passer. Plus, is more effective against the run then a great passrusher has a right to be. He holds up well at the point, and loves to split inside and crush the ball carrier. Doesn't always set the edge perfectly, but shows great effort working down the line to help inside when the they run inside or away from him. Like I said, he seem to always be moving inside rather than outside, which odd for a great passrusher. He is an enigma player. He does so many things, big strong passrushers don't normally do. He has such a rare combo of strength and athleticism, like Julius Peppers and Mario Williams, and both those player where top two picks.            

Great passrusher. Reminds me of Justin Tuck, the Tuck who plays for the Giants, and not the Notre Dame DE, maybe it's just because he line up in a four-point stance like a D-Tackle and is such a great passrusher. Also like Tuck he has a rare blend of power and speed. A freak of an athlete who is said to have a 40 inch Vert. Lives in the weight room, and is freakishly strong. Has a great burst around the arc, and can combo that with multiple inside moves and a great bull rush. Could be devastating as an interior rusher in passing situations, like Tuck. For such a great passrusher, he does a good job against the run, and can work down the line and make the tackle. Drops back into coverage sometimes in the Zone-Blitz, and actually looks pretty good in pass coverage. He is such a great athlete, that he lines up at OLB in Texas's hybrid 3-4.    

The Reason: The Chiefs cannot continue to rush the passer with unheard of ineptitude. Aaron Curry is a better all around player, but he is not the passrusher Orakpo is. Part of what makes a 3-4 so effective is the flexibility, and this is where Orakpo can really help. I have been reluctant to add the OLB tag to him, but once Belichick gave him the thumb's up, who am I to complain, "The 3-4 Defensive-End group, I think it's an interesting group. I think there's some really talented players there, guys from different backgrounds. Guys who've been in coverage, guys who haven't been in coverage, with pass rush ability. The Orakpo's, the English's, guys like that, so that will be part of the process as we go forward and try to figure out how they would fit into, in our case, our system, how we would utilize them, what their skills are, and how that translates." I can guarantee you that Pioli and Belichick have discussed Orakpo. Which makes me wonder, does Belichick know how much Pioli likes Orakpo, and this was his way of taking a little friendly inside shot at Pioli? I know Aaron Curry is probably the number option with this pick, and maybe I am searching to far and wide to come up with a reason for them not to take him, but I believe Orakpo would be a monster passrusher in a 3-4, and I'm not so sure about Curry. I think Curry fits more inside like Mayo, which is certainly not a negative thing. However, if I'm picking here, under these circumstances, I think I take Orakpo to play a Willie McGinest-type role.     

Second Choice: Aaron Curry LB 

4.

Seahawks

Eugene Monroe-  

OT Virginia

6-5, 311

OL, LB, RB, DB, DE, OL,

Key F.A. Signings:

T.J. Houshmandzadeh WR

Colin Cole DT

Cory Redding DT

Key F.A.  Loses:

Maurice Morris RB

Floyd Womack OG

Rocky Bernard DL

Howard Green DT

Julian Peterson LB

The Team: Interesting trade. The Hawks really where desperate at D-Tackle coming into Free Agency, and once they Franchised Hill, they where set at Linebacker. With the additions of Cole and Redding to Brian Mebane and Red Bryant, they appear set at D-Tackle for the first time in years. However, a big hole at Linebacker has suddenly appeared. So the question is- Monroe or Aaron Curry? Curry is one of the three super impact players on my board. However, the reason they traded Peterson was because he wouldn't restructure his contract, and they didn't want to pay him 6.5 million, which would give them 3 LBs making over 6.5 million next season. Ironically, this move cost more Cap-money to both teams, because of the prorated Signing Bonuses of both players, the full amount of the remaining bonuses are now slapped onto their Caps. Both players will be cheaper following this season, as their prorated signing bonuses have been taken off the books, but for this season, they are both substantially more expensive in Cap-dollars. So now the Hawks will have a 5+ million Cap-dollar slot dedicated to Peterson's Signing Bonus. In order to draft Curry, they would have 4 Linebacker making over 5 Million in Cap-Dollars next season, when they didn't want three. So I am leaning towards Monroe. However, they just gave Houshmandzadeh the third 40-million dollar contract to a WR, Branch and Nate Burleson, so who knows. Let the mind games begin;-)     

The Seahawks are a mystery. They always seem to be on the brink of something great, and it gets taken away from them. Last season was a season lost to injury. Hasselbeck, 4 of their starting 5 O-Linemen, Deion Branch (of course), Patrick Kerney, all missed games, that's almost as bad as the Pats injuries from last season. Walter Jones had Microfracture surgery on his left knee in December, and that usually takes 18 months to heal. Plus, believe it or not he is 35 already. Getting his replacement, or someone who can send him to the Right side is most likely necessary. I thought the offense could also really use a Running back, and that was before they lost Maurice Morris. Luckily, the 2nd and 3rd rounds will be loaded with RBs. They also need a Corner, preferably one who could cover a big receiver like Fitzgerald or Boldin. Other than that, I think they are mostly searching for depth.                       

The Player: "Monroe has been moving up the charts. I too have been studying film, and it is clear that Monroe has the best machinegun feet of any O-Tackle in the Draft. When scouts watch his feet go ratta-tat-tat on the ground they start to think promotion. He is the best pure pass blocker in the Draft. However, Jason Smith is close in pass protection, and is a much better run blocker." 

What sets Eugene Monroe apart are his feet. He has great machinegun feet. He is a huge man and may have the best feet in the Draft. Has long arms that he uses well to fend off D-Linemen. Not the best run blocker. Dispute his massive size and strength he can still look more like a finesse Tackle. Does a good job of getting out and into his man, but appears more willing to stalemate him rather than dominate him. Is not going to power into a lot of defenders and knock them on their butts, though he looks like the biggest, meanest, S-O-B in the valley. Can turn and seal with good technique and movement of his machinegun feet. Sometimes relents when he has sealed his man, and doesn't always sustain his blocks. He can really show his natural athleticism when he pulls out to the second level. He can really get down field and get in the way to help the Runner gain extra yards. But again doesn't always sustain his blocks, and sometimes seems just as happy to get in the way, rather than to knock the little guy down. Sometimes you just want to see him smash into the Linebacker with bad intent. Does a good job of bending his knees, but I don't see him as a natural knee bender. His game is pass protection, and looks like the best at dancing with bears in this draft. Shades and shadows passrushers with dancing feet and long arms. Has an okay punch, but like most parts of his game he looks like could use more force. Never seems to be off balance when he is moving backward, even though he leans a little at waist sometimes. He can be quite astonishing to watch, as he is so big and looks so natural dancing backwards. And of course, once he gets his big mitts on the little guy passrushing they are done. He will miss blitzers sometimes when he is locked in on D-Ends, and he has to get better at that as he will face multiple blitzing scheme every week in the NFL.

Monroe looks gigantic at the Combine, as I wrote about in my Feb. 25th blog.    

The Reason: Their O-Line is the right in the middle of a complete makeover. Jones has reach the end. Spencer's back will hamper his play, maybe for the rest of his career, and he may be replaced by his backup. Floyd Womack is in the final year of his contract, and they haven't figured out if they are going to keep him. ORT Ray Willis is in the final year of his contract, and has not proven he can start, and I am not of fan of ORT Sean Locklear. With Hasselbeck now 33 and coming off a season lost to injuries, securing a starting RB, and some starting O-Linemen has to be a priority. 

Second Choice: Aaron Curry LB

5.

Browns

Aaron Curry- 

LB Wake Forest

6-2, 242

CB, CB, DE, DB, RB, LB, DL, DB, OL, DL

F.A. Signings:

David Patten WR

Robert Royal TE

Floyd Womack OG

John St. Clair OL

Hank Poteat CB

Corey Ivy CB

Eric Barton LB

C.J. Mosley DT

Key F.A.  Loses:

Kellen Winslow TE (2nd)

Joe Jurevicius WR

Kevin Shaffer ORT

C.J. Mosley DL

Travis Daniels CB

Sean Jones S

The Team: Another team that needs some good charma more than anything else. Plus, believe it or not, they may actually have worse starting Corners than the Pats. Ouch! Right now it looks like a race between Curry and Jenkins. Curry is the better player, but Jenkins is a bigger need. It will probably come down to who they like in the 2nd Round, which talent they like more LB or CB. Curry exploded at the Combine, and Jenkins looked terrible. Plus, all four of the1st Round CBs ran disappointing times, and Alphonso Smith and D.J. Moore look like they are destined for the 2nd Round.   

The Player: Curry is the type of player that the more you watch him the more you like him. Great Junior season has seen him overtake all the Linebackers in this years draft. A football player who is also a Workout Warrior. Could run a clinic on how to Stack and Shed. Drops fluidly in coverage and does a get job of eyeing the QB. Comes off the edge like a truck mowing down a raccoon. Smart, loves football. Can play LB position in 3-4 or 4-3, because he is so smart, fast, strong, and tough. Looks like best bet for Defensive Rookie of the Year. Compares favorable to Mayo. I think he is a little stronger and more explosive, while Mayo was more of an inside guy and a little faster. Great at playing off blockers. Always aware on the field, and you can tell he studies enough film to read what offense is trying to do before they do it. He can hustle all the way across the field with great speed and still get in the play. Excellent hand fighter, who knows how to chop and use his hands to keep O-Linemen off his body. Read and reacts extremely quickly. Great at working through trash and traffic to find the ball-carrier. Watches QB intently. Very physical tackler, and when he has a straight line to the ball-carrier he will just crush him. Great hitter, who every game seems to make stand up and say "Wow!" with a vicious hit. For more on Curry check out my March 1st Blog.       

The Reason: If Curry is still somehow on the board, Cleveland will have to take him. Plus, it looks like either D.J Moore or Alphonso Smith will fall to them in the 2nd Round.  

Second Choice: Michael Jenkins WR

6. 

Bengals

Andre Smith

OL Alabama

6-5, 330

DE, DT, OT, WR, LB, DB, OL, TE

Key F.A. Signings: 

Laveranues Coles WR

Chris Crocker S

Key F.A.  Loses:

Stacy Andrews ORT

T.J. Houshmandzadeh WR

The Team: This team has to be drooling over the big O-Lineman in this years draft. The question is was Oher impressive enough at Senior Bowl for Marvin Lewis. However, a new development has hit the Bengals and sent them into a tizzy. André Smith has destroyed his reputation in 3 short months. Now they have an opportunity to acquire the lowest rated character in the 1st Round at one of their top need positions. Keep up the good work Marvin. However, a passrusher is probably their top need. They has 17 Sacks last season, and that is just not acceptable.   

The Player: The André Smith Proday was the third or forth stop on the pitiful "I'm a nice guy" propaganda plane ride. Benching 225 pounds 19 times is pitiful for a power O-Tackle. And once again he displayed the self-delusional decision making that has taken him form The top prospect to middle of the road prospect, when unleashed his t-shirt from the gravitational pull off his belly, and ran a 40-yard dash with pitiful man-breasts twirling in the wind like twin propellers. Between all the bullshit flying around and his twirling breasts I half thought he was actually going to take off and fly. Does anybody believe any of this?   

Andre Smith is in a freefall. As I chronicled in my Feb. 25th blog. First he is suspended for Alabama's Bowl game, allegedly because he was meeting with agents. Then he shows up at the Combine on Thursday and gives a bizarre press conference, where he practically brags about not starting to work out yet because he was searching for an agent. Than he just up and leaves on Saturday without telling anybody he was going, and we don't know how many meetings, interviews, and examinations he blew in his exodus. A huge part of the Combine process is the mental test, seeing how these young men stand up to intense harsh nonstop pressure. André has failed that mental test with 100% certainty. I cannot call what he did at the Combine anything but stupid. Everybody of any consequence in the NFL is at the Combine studying these young men, and he just spit in all their faces. They have been calling the Combine the most important job interview of their lives! Can you imagine going for a job interview and brag about how terrible your work ethic is and then just getting up right in the middle and walking. Do you think you would be hired? You'd be considered a mental case, and not an applicant. Just plain stupid. If he falls down to 23, I would not want the Pats to Draft him, and I think he is a heck of a football player.  

Monster run blocker. In the second half against Mississippi ST, he had one of the most dominate performances I've ever seen from a college player. He just destroyed everyone they put in front of him. Alabama ran behind him and beat that defense mercilessly, and ran the clock out. I like him more as an OG than an OT. I don't like the way he move backwards. He has a very short set, an OG set, and in pass protection he usually sets the same depth as the OG. The further backwards he moves the less natural he looks. However, when he gets his big mitts on the defender he is done. He can just catch passrushers and envelope them, something that is not as easy on next level. He is at his best when he is moving forward. Dominate run blocker. Can get low and drive his man to the ground. Can turn and shade defender when the ball is run to the other side. 

The Reason: The reason is simple Smith has the lowest rated character at the highest need position. 

Second Choice: Brian Orakpo DE 

7.

Raiders

*Jeremy Maclin-

WR/RB/KR 

Missouri 

6', 200, 4.41

WR, WR, DL, Help for QB

F.A. Signings:

Kalif Barnes OT

Cooper Carlisle OG

Samson Satele OC

Key F.A.  Loses:

Gibril Wilson S

Jake Grove OC

Kwame Harris OT

The Team: The number one priority of this Draft has to be to help JaMarcus Russell. He is regressing quickly into bust-land. He needs coaching help, O-line help, receiving help, leadership help, psychological help, diet help, hell you guys need to help him by any means necessary. You are watching your young 100 million dollar QB recede into oblivion. Why do teams think they can just spend multi-multi-millions on some young QB, and then think he will do it all himself? He won't. He can't. get this kid some help and he will lead you to the playoffs. Someone please help this kid. Can you hear me now?    

Who cares. They need a new owner. The game has passed the great AL Davis by, period. The problem with this draft is that old Al doesn't take the BPA (Best Player Available), he takes the FAA (Fastest Athlete Available). Only in this years crappy draft there is no FAA. The FAA is Darrius Heyward-Bey, and even old Al can't take this guy this early. So what does old Al have left, well all's he can do is try to outsmart everyone again, like he has tried to do his whole life. He has sued the NFL a ridicules amount of times. The crazy old coot has sued the NFL over 100 times, why? The only reason I can come up with is that he is trying to prove he is smarter than everyone else. So he takes the most talented guy and the most troubled guy, that most team won't touch, and turns him into an all pro. Only it won't work this time. André Smith is destined to be a bust.  

The Player: Maclin is speed on a stick. He is strong and very well built. Of the three super-fast specialist, I believe he has the best chance to develop into a legit NFL WR. He is still more super-athlete than WR. In fact, he reminds me of Irving Fryar. When he first joined the Pats he was the best athlete in the league, but had almost no WR skills. He was 6' 200 pounds, and ran a sub 4.3 at the Combine (and some say a 4.29). It took him a few years to develop into a skilled receiver.

The Reason: Maclin, by default, is the fastest Athlete Available.

Second Choice: Darrius Heyward-Bey WR

8.

Jaguars

*Michael Crabtree

WR Texas Tech   

6-1 3/8, 220

WR, WR, DT, RB, CB, OL, QB, SS, LB

Key F.A. Signings:

Tra Thomas OLT

Sean Considine S

Scott Starks CB

Key F.A.  Loses:

Matt Jones WR

Jerry Porter WR

Reggie Williams WR

Kalif Barnes OT

Paul Spicer DE

Mike Peterson LB

Drayton Florence CB

Gerald Sensabaugh S

Pierson Prioleau S

The Team: Three times was the charm for Matt Million, so maybe three times will be the charm for Jacksonville. The problem is that Matt Jones really was their number one receiver last year, and he is gone. Jerry Porter was placed on the IR on December 16th, after catching 11 balls in 10 games, he is the new undisputed heavyweight champion bust of the year. He was cut on Feb. 9th. Reggie Williams was declared a Free Agent on Feb. 27th. Oh my goodness, do they hate David Garrard? For them to take a WR in the 1st Round again seems like folly. However if they want Garrard to be able to actually step back and throw the ball to a WR, they not only need one WR, they need two. Because, that leaves Northcutt, Dennis (39 Rec. for 422 yards), Williamson, Troy (24 Rec. for 372 yards), Walker, Mike (16 Rec. for 217 yards), Hughes, Nate (0 Career Rec. for 0 yards), and Woods, D'Juan (0 Career Rec. for 0 yards) as the only WR on the Roster. Can Jacksonville go into next seasons with Northcutt and Williamson as their starting WRs? No they cannot.      

The signing of Tra Thomas was a great one. It really frees them up to take an impact defensive player. I seem to be one of the few that think they need to pair a D-Tackle with John Henderson. Henderson has slowed down frighteningly fast since they traded Shroud. Giving him a big tough Nose Tackle to play next to is essential for his health and the health of the defense. However, their biggest need could be a WR. Matt Jones was released because of his bad character. Plus, it looks like Jerry Porter and Reggie Williams (who I still can't believe is a bust) are not far behind. They draft 1st Round Wide Receiver busts like Matt Millen on crack! And they have even more busts. If Crabtree or Maclin are on the board (and we really have to hope they are not, for their sake) The Jags might not be able to stop themselves. They should never draft a WR in the 1st Round again. The third best WR in the Draft, Robiskie, is going to be available in the 2nd Round, and he is a safer pick than Maclin or Crabtree. I can't see a better scenario for this team than Raji in the 1st and Robiskie in the 2nd. 

This team has a lot if issues, and starting on the Lines never hurts. They draft well for their defense, but the seem to draft the perennial flop when it comes to offence. O-Tackle and WR seems to be an issue every year. Taking an O-Tackle here would not be a mistake, and believe it or not taking a WR would be a big help as well. I think taking an attacking D-Tackle would be a big help for this defense. This team bruised its way to the top with Henderson and Stroud bashing everyone they put in front of them. With Shroud missing the defense doesn't seem to bruise as smoothly. Plus, it seems to me they have been searching for help at Safety for the past three Drafts.     

The Player: Wow! What a disaster. Doctors discover a stress fracture in Crabtree's foot at the Combine. And he won't recover until after the Draft. He could fall out of the top ten. 

The best player in the draft. Reminds me of Larry Fitzgerald. Smart player who understands the game. Plays the game with great strength and balance on his feet. Knows how to twist and turn CBs, and make them look foolish. Doesn't have top end speed, but knows how to get open deep, and doesn't get catch from behind. Super athletic WR who has amazing lateral quickness. Knows how to run patterns and set up CBs. Has great hands. Can catch the ball with DBs climbing all over him. Can catch the ball will fighting off CBs with his hands. Sells his cuts with subtle fakes. Comes back to the ball to help his QB when he needs to. Is big, tall, and has big hands. Great blocker. The part of his game I like the most is that he will really sells out to block for teammates. Excellent runner after the catch. He is super strong with the ball in his hands, and just doesn't want to go down. Clutch player who makes the big catch when his team needs it the most. Fantastic route runner, who just knows how to separate even though he received attention from the secondary like he was a pregnant fiancée.     

The Reason: They made their play off runs when they had two great DTs in the middle. However, the release of three of their top 5 receivers makes the situation at WR desperate. They may be in luck however, because of Crabtree's inability to run a 40 before the Draft, it looks like he will drop right into their laps.   

Second Choice: Percy Harvin WR  

9.

Packers

B.J. Raji- 

DT/NT B.C.

6-1.5, 325, 31 Reps

NT, OLB/DE, OT, DB, RB, LB, WR, OL

Key F.A. Signings:

Duke Preston OL

Anthony Smith S 

Key F.A.  Loses:

Colin Cole DT

The Team: The Packers top need is to find player to fit into their new 3-4 defense. Packers who have traditionally need help in the Secondary, had one of the best secondary in the league. They somehow garnered 22 INTs, which I think the most for a secondary last year. Woodson looked like he was in his 20s again, and some guy named Nick Collin tied with Woodson with 7 INTs on the season. I didn't see that coming. What is even more impressive with what their DBs did was how bad their passrusher was! The lost of Corey Williams DT and Cullen Jenkins was somehow more than this D-Line could take. I didn't see that coming. Adding a big D-Tackle and a Passrusher seems imperative for this defense. I think they are praying Raji falls to them. If not look for them to go for the best Passrusher on the board. Unless, they see a O-Tackle they like. I have been André Smith's number one critic, but if he drops to this spot I'm not sure this team could pass on him. However, both their old starting O-Tackles played okay, at best. Getting a young guy to push them would not hurt. I have long thought that Chad Clifton was an O-Guard anyway, and moving him inside would not be the worst thing to happen to this O-Line. I think Michael Oher has the potential of any O-Linemen in this Draft, but his inconsistency on the field is maddening. Getting him to sit behind and learn from a great player like Clifton could be a career saving move. If Raji and Orakpo are off the board, Redshirting a player like Oher could pay huge dividends for both the team and Michael for 10 to 15 years.   

The Player: Raji is an immovable object right in the middle of the Line. His build is so squat, and he is such a natural knee bender that it is all but impossible for an O-Lineman to get under his pads. His gigantic thighs and butt give him a lower body strength that no one else in this draft possesses. He is good hand fighter. He can burst through the line and disrupt the offense with All-pro consistency. Excellent at hold off O-Lineman while he diagnoses the play and than shrugging them aside. Has a good rip move. Last season he had 14 starts and garnered 42 TKL, 16 TFL, and 8 Sacks. Not the tallest guy, but has very strong hands and plays with excellent force and violence. Plays off of initial impact with good quickness, and can create separation with a good Punch or Chop moves. Consistently pushes O-Linemen backwards, and plays in the backfield with frightening consistency. Rarely powered backwards. Can use a swim move, but again his lack of length makes it less effective. What separates Raji from all the rest is his power lower base. He is never knocked down, rarely powered backwards, rarely gives up leverage, and rarely is rarely turned and sealed, because he has such a powerful lower base, and because of his squat frame plays with great lean and leverage. He real value should be as a Nose Tackle. However, I think is he is lined up next to another big D-Tackle and allowed to play more of a 3-Tachnique, he could be All-pro real fast. When he can just attack he is even more trouble than two fighting cats on fire. He had some off the field issues, and was academically ineligible in 2007, amongst massive rumors of marijuana use. But instead of quitting the team and declaring for the Draft, he faced his problems and overcame them with hard work, and apparently sobering up. Has been given a lot of praise for positively changing he work ethic, attitude, and leadership by the coaches during 2008. I also give him positives for his suspension for attacking an opponent in 2005. Some coward O-Lineman from Virginia (? I think it was Virginia, I watched the game but is was 4 years ago) purposely and maliciously took out Kiwanuka with a cheap shot to the knee, from behind of course, as all cowards must do. Kiwanuka sprained his knee and was taken out of the game. Raji lost his nut, jumped on top of the coward and beat the crap out of him. I see getting suspended for sticking up for a teammate who was under attack as a massive positive.       

Mountain of a man. Great penetrater. Dominated at BC, and followed that up with a great Senior Bowl. Can completely control the middle of the line for long stretches in a game. Plus, he is a better passrusher than a man his size should be. He can also disrupt the QB by bull rushing O-Lineman into him. Clearly the top NT prospect in the Draft. Has a knack for following the QB around the pocket and than spring on him when he tries to get away. He can play in any scheme. His greatest strength is his ability to get, stay, and play low. He gets under the pads of O-Linemen more consistently than any player I've seen in a while. 

The Reason: The Packers O-Tackles are steady, but not the best in the world, and they need some help at O-Guard. The passrush really suffered last season, so don't be surprised if they take the best available passrusher. However, I think B.J. Raji biggest value may come as a Nose Tackle for a 3-4 team. I don't think Raji will still be on the board come Draft Day, but if he is the Packer can't pass on him.

Second Choice: Michael Oher OLT

10.

49ers

*Mark Sanchez -

QB USC

6-2 225

OB, FS, OLB/PR, WR, DB,  WR, OL

F.A. Signings:

Brandon Jones WR

Moran Norris FB

Marvel Smith ORT

Allen Rossum KR/CB

Takeo Spikes LB

Key F.A.  Loses:

Bryant Johnson WR

Jonas Jennings OT

Donald Strickland CB

The Team: Okay? Just like Parcels used to say, Alex Smith is a KP, can't play (Or maybe that's Kan't Play;-). He took less pay so he could continue to play in the NFL, not because he is now somehow suddenly good. J.T. O'Sullivan was picked up because he knew the system, not because he can play. Shaun Hill is a better story than player. He is average, at best. He look so good last season, because you had been watching two KPs for too long. Don't believe me? Ask Singletary, who still refuses to anoint Hill the savor of  his coaching career, because we all know the Head Coach and the starting QBs career are intricately linked, if not completely dependent on each other (sorry Josh). Plus, the first thing Singletary said after the season was declare that his top concern was getting a QB. Right now it looks good for this Franchise, because word out of Detroit is that they are leaning towards Jason Smith, which could just mean the negotiations with Stafford have officially started, or Detroit is blowing it again. Which means they could be getting their choice of Stafford or Sanchez, because right now I just don't see any other team in the top ten taking a QB. Okay, if they somehow pass on Sanchez? Jenkins would be an excellent fit here. Their Starting Free Safety Mark Roman not only didn't get an INT last season, he didn't get an INT in 2007 either. That is just not acceptable. Jenkins has top ten talent in this draft, but I can't seem to find a place for him in the top ten, this could be the spot.         

They made the transition to a new regime, now it's time for a new QB. They have to get Sanchez or Stafford for this franchise to reboot itself completely. Their next biggest need is at WR and Crabtree will be long gone. They are just not in a good position for their needs, although if Cleveland and Seattle pass on a QB, Sanchez could fall into their laps.

The Player: I don't see a big difference between Sanchez and Stafford. In fact, I think Sanchez has more of the unmeasurables than Safford. Sanchez is not as natural a thrower as Stafford, but when he steps into his throws and really snaps his arm he can match his velocity. He is also a much better athlete, and can do thing athletically that most QBs cannot do. He can make all the throws. He throws with terrific accuracy. He can place the ball on the WR hands while they are running at full speed in full stride. He can check down and throw to third or forth option. He steps up and has played his best game in USC's Bowl games. However, he played with a lot of talent around him, and had a excellent O-Line. He doesn't have the starting experience that precludes success in the NFL. I love how everybody jumped all over Pete Carroll for simply relaying the facts- QBs with starting experience fail to make the transition to the NFL a ton more then they have succeeded. Starting experience as a QB in college matters. However, Sanchez has some advantages over a lot of those QBs who failed. He played a USC, which has been the most talented program over the past 7 years or so. Carroll runs legendary pro practices, and stresses competition at every turn. They compete for the back up QB every week. He also has played/practiced in a pro offense for the past 4 years. Just playing in the USC system is a huge advantage for this kid. For more on Sanchez check out my March 1st Blog.

The Reason: 49ers need to help their offense. If they can't get a QB or WR they need to strengthen their O-Line to help their QBs and WRs. If Sanchez drops, there is no other option.  

Second Choice: Get Fired.  

11.

Bills

*Aaron Maybin-

OLB/DE Penn ST

6-3 3/4, 250, 4.6, 

22 Reps, 40", 10'10"

TE, DE, OL, RB, TE, LB, OL, CB

F.A. Signings:

Geoff Hangartner OG

Ryan Fitzpatrick QB

Terrell Owen WR

Drayton Florence CB

Key F.A.  Loses:

Robert Royal TE

Derrick Dockery OG

Duke Preston OC

Melvin Fowler OG

Jabari Greer CB

The Team: They needed a Tight End before they lost Royal, now the need is desperate. I just had a scary notion. The Bill spent, oh I don't 500 million dollars on O-Linemen a couple of years ago, and two seasons ago it looked like they were developing one of the top five O-Lines in the league. Than, for some unexplainable reason they have spent the past year tearing it all down??? (one question mark each lineman released). First, they completely refused to give any money to their best O-Linemen, Jason Peters- as I said in last years mock he is the best player you've never heard of (unless of course you read my mock draft last season, or are a Bills fan, or you know you might actually know him personally, or, ah forget, he's very good). They give over one hundred million dollars to three O-Linemen, and then act surprised when the vastly underpaid foundation of their O-Line gets upset at not getting any money (remember that Pats fans when you start dreaming of giving Peppers 12-17 mil per year). Leaving him, not just unmotivated, but disgruntled. Then they act surprise when the O-Line struggles early, ridiculous. Okay then they go and cut 3 of their four best interior O-Linemen??? Wow! Now that they are building their offense around the infamous Marshawn Lynch and the insane Terrell Owens, what do you think they'll do if the incompetent André Smith falls to them? I see this as the furthest Smith can fall. However, they have two excellent D-Ends in Chris Kelsey and Aaron Schobel who both seemed to have gotten together and decided to stop producing any sort of passrush? Back up DE Ryan Denney for some unexplainable reason led the team in Sacks with a measly four. Yikes! When they are sitting here on the clock, they have to be praying that Sanchez is still on the board, then they can trade down and still pick up one the three or four players that fit their top two needs who should all still be on the board. Brandon Pettigrew is the player everybody wants on their team, but no one wants to draft because of his slow forty at the Combine. Everette Brown is the player everybody wants on their D-Line, but no one wants to draft, because of his inconsistent play and the two inches in height he lost at the Combine. Aaron Maybin is the speedy passrusher everybody wants rushing QBs on their defense, but no one wants to draft, because he ran a 4.8 and looked like a different person at the Combine. Then of course their is Michael Johnson who no one wants to see playing on their defense, but everyone wants to draft, because of the amazing physical gifts he put on display at the Combine. If Smith is off the board, and Sanchez or Stafford is still on the board look for Buffalo to trade down. One or two of the four players I mentioned above will still be on the board at 17, 19, 20, and 22, but Sanchez will never make it past 12. 

They need a TE. Word out of Buffalo is that they really want to add a D-End who can rush the passer in this draft. This pick demonstrates the importance of the Combine. Brown had a better Combine then Pettigrew. Plus, 3-4 T-Ends emerged as legitimate 2nd Round options at TE.

The Player: What a draft? Maybin showed up at his Proday looking like a different person, again. He was 250 pounds, one pound over his Combine weight and 12-16 pounds over hi splaying weight from last season. He also increased all his Combine measurables (he actually grew 3/8ths of an inch, measure at 6-4 1/8;-), shaving almost a full 2/10ths of a second off his forty, gaining 4" on his Vert, and 6" on his Broad Jump. His arms measure at 35 3/4", which is excellent for a Passrusher. But most importantly, while doing the drills he looked smooth, explosive, and athletic again. It looks like he has moved ahead of Brown and into the second D-End spot. He may be a top ten player now.     

Aaron Maybin, the best pure passrusher in the draft, shows up at the Combine looking like a different person. He was listed at 238 pounds, and claims he played ay 234, and at that weight he tortured QBs like Bush with a walkie-talkie. Then he showed up at the Combine at 249 pounds. He looked almost awkward and noticeably less athletic. The scary part is that his game is his initial burst off the line, it is the best in this years draft, but his astonishing suddenness and quickness seemed to be missing as well. Who is this guy? I thought he needed to add weight and strength to play in the NFL, but I was worried that added weight would hinder his burst. I'm afraid I may have been right. However, he is only 20 years old. Players that young often have trouble holding onto weight, but their bodies can adjust to the added weight better. He added too much weight too soon, but at his age he should be able to adjust to it better then most people. This may be a bit of an NBA evaluation, as I am a speaking of a 20 year olds potential, but in a year or two he could be the best player from this Draft. It reminds me of the story of Marshall Faulk, who played in college at 200 pounds. He bulked up to 220 in order to deal with the pounding of the NFL, and it cost him some speed and quickness, which is what made him one of the best college players I ever watched. He struggle for a couple of years with the weight and injuries and then was traded to the Rams. But then his body adjusted, and he suddenly looked like the player he was in college, only 20 pounds heavier. This is the blue print for Maybin. How quickly does his body adjust to the extra 15 pounds? That is the question talent evaluators have to ask themselves. Is he Marshall Faulk, or did he just bulk himself out of the league? Because as a 20-year old 3rd year Sophomore, he garnered 49 Tackles, 20 TFL and 12 Sacks. As a Second year Freshman he garnered 12 Tackles, 4.5 TFL, and 4 Sacks. The coach who can harness his potential is going to have a great passrusher on his hands, hopefully very quickly.   

Maybin is a one hit wonder and a one trick pony. He reminds me of Roosevelt Colvin, and not just because he wears number 59. He is a pure speed rusher, who has that natural knack for getting to the Quarterback. He is a third year Sophomore who has virtually no production his first two years at Penn. He is a pure passrusher who does little else. Please don't ask him to set the edge. Needs to add some strength, if not bulk. I'm afraid to say he needs to add weight and bulk, because speed is his game. Super athlete who has physical gifts that can't be taught. He blasts off the line quicker than any other player in this draft, and maybe the past couple of drafts. He can circle an O-Tackle faster than a band of movie Indians on horseback. Once he gets around the OT he loves to dive at the QB and swat at the ball. Overrated. The problem is, he does one thing well- get to the QB with amazing speed and quickness. However, that "one thing" may be the most valuable "thing" a defender can do- relentless harass the Quarterback.     

The Reason: The Bills don't have a lot of needs, and TE and DE seems to be their biggest needs. Maybin showed he still had his phenomenal athleticism and burst at 250 pounds during his Proday work outs. He may not make it out of the top ten.  

Second Choice: Everette Brown DE

12.

Broncos

Rey Maualaga- 

ILB USC

6-3, 256, 31 Reps, 

QB, DEFENSE

F.A. Signings:

Brain Dawkins S

Renaldo Hill S

Kenny Peterson DL

J'Vonnie Parker DL

Darrell Reid DT

Ronald Fields DT

Renaldo Hill DB

Andre' Goodman DB

Andra Davis LB

Jabar Gaffney WR

David Anderson WR

LaMont Jordan RB

Correll Buckhalter RB

J.J. Arrington RB

Lonnie Paxton LS

Key F.A.  Loses:

Karl Paymah CB

Dre' Bly CB

Dewayne Robertson DT

Jamie Winborn LB

Marquand Manuel S

John Engelberger DE

Niko Koutouvides LB

The Team: Wow! Sorry Josh, you got stuck with the biggest, most selfish, baby QB in the league. Every year Cutler has to go to further and further lengths to show he has no understanding of leadership or the existents of other human sentient beings around him. He still thinks everything is about him and him only, and I quote myself, "Leadership matters in football. Look at Tom Brady, he never has a disparaging word to say about anyone on the team. That matters. Look at Jay Cutler, he has everything you want in a QB, except leadership. He's smart, has a great arm, can read defenses, studies film, etc. However, he will never be a great player until he learns to lead. I have heard him bashing teammates and coaches behind their backs, to the media, multiple times. Stabbing his teammates in the back in the worst possible way, to the media. You simply cannot do that. Sanchez showed better charisma and leadership skills at the Combine, by all accounts, then Stafford. And I am not trying to say in any way that Stafford is a jerk like Cutler." I wrote this before all hell broke lose in Denver. "Thank you, thank you, thank you very much, your applause is necessary." So anyway, you can argue that Denver had the worst defense in the league last season. Josh did a nice job rebuilding the entire defense, except at LB. He grabbed four DBs and 4 D-Linemen. If a QB is not available look for him to continue the trend towards defense. Rey Maualaga has somehow because the most underrated prospect in the Draft. He is a great ILB, and Josh would be a fool to pass on him.  

One of the worst defenses in the league, and the worst over the final quarter of the season.  However, they seem to have almost complete rebuilt their defense this off season, at every position except Linebacker. They actually have some good Linebackers. I thought Wesley Woodyard was the most underrated player in last years Draft. D.J. Williams has a god reputation, but can't stay healthy. Jamie Winborn had moment where he looked like a good player. Still adding a big stud in the middle wouldn't hurt. Plus, they will never be a winner with perennial whiner Jay Cutler as their QB. I hate when fans and media say a player should just shut up and play, it is so ignorantly opposed to what America stand for, but if ever their was a player who needed to shut up and play it is super crybaby Jay. I feel sorry for Josh McDaniel, his career in Denver is nearly over before it started as I predicted in my March 1st Blog: "Leadership matters in football. Look at Tom Brady, he never has a disparaging word to say about anyone on the team. That matters. Look at Jay Cutler, he has everything you want in a QB, except leadership. He's smart, has a great arm, can read defenses, studies film, etc. However, he will never be a great player until he learns to lead. I have heard him bashing teammates and coaches behind their backs, to the media, multiple times. Stabbing his teammates in the back in the worst possible way, to the media. You simply cannot do that." All I can say is that he asks for a trade, and when they try to trade him he whines like a spoiled two year old. He is a loser, and will always be until he grows up and stops being such a baby.  

The Players: The more I watch him the more I like him. Great player at USC who should be a top ten pick. Good passrusher from the inside. Smart, makes calls for 'SC at the line. Excellent in Pass Coverage for such a big guy. Drops back smoothly as he eyes the QB. has good hands and can get the INT in the middle of the field. Can adjust to tipped ball, and still make INT. Can really get to the QB fast. H may be the hardest hitting LB in the country. The best blend of size, power, and speed at LB in the Draft. Can play the spy on scrabbling QB. Was slowed by knee injury this season, but if you can watch some tape of his play in his 2007 Bowl game he liked he could do anything on the field.   

The Reason: Shanahan lost his job because of the complete collapse of the defense. They need an Inside Linebacker. 

Second Choice: Malcolm Jenkins CB/FS 

13.

Redskins

*Everette Brown- 

DE/OLB

Florida ST

6-1 7/8, 250, 

4.7, 26 Reps

DE, DT, OL, LB, OL

F.A. Signings:

Derrick Dockery OG

Albert Haynesworth DT 

Renaldo Wynn DE

Key F.A.  Loses:

Shawn Springs CB

Jason Taylor DE

The Team: The Skins need Pass Rushers like geeks need glasses. The Skins garnered a total of 19 Sacks last season. They could use a little help on the O-Line as well. 

The Player: 3/16 I have underrated Brown, because he was obviously not 6-4 and was a Florida ST guy with a bit of a reputation. I was right about him not being 6-4, I was right about the history of Florida ST D-Ends, but I was wrong about his character. He has done nothing but show himself to be a mature gentleman and an intelligent upstanding adult. Florida St coaches rave about his leadership skills and his practice habits. He talks with open respect about his farther. He is a Redshirt junior, who has graduated from Florida ST already, and he said had to get permission from his parents to leave school early. A month ago I would have been pissed if the Pats had taken him. Now I am openly lobbying for the Pats to take him. His biggest knocks are his weight and his inconsistency. First he is the same height as Adalius Thomas, and second he has very long arms that he uses very well to keep blockers off his body. I hate to say his long arms help him play like he is 6-4, but it is so. Second all passrusher are inconsistent. He had three, 3 Sack games, and 12 total Sacks. Meaning he had 3 Sacks in the other 9 games. That is inconsistent even for a passrusher, but if gets 12 Sacks next season, and has three, 3 Sack games, will and Pats fan be complaining? Plus, like Adalius Thomas, who is the player I compare him to, he has played both the Left and Right sides. He is a fantastic player when moving forward. He blasts-off the line like the Enterprise trying to explore strange new worlds. However, he is not so graceful moving backwards, and has little or no experience dropping into coverage. He has very strong legs and is a natural knee bender. He plays and stays low, and is adept at getting under O-Linemen's pads and leveraging them backwards. When he is on, he is scary quick at getting the QB, and can openly intimidate them, and I don't say that often about any D-Linemen. However, he can disappear for long stints, and when he gets frustrated he starts trying to rush the QB on every snap, and losses sight of his gap-responsibilities. When he is on, he can set the edge with good use of his long arms and strong legs, but he loses focus you can run under him, as he has already blasted-off past the QB. He has garnered over his career- 25 starts at D-End, 100 career TKL, 46.5 career TFL, 23 career Sacks, 5 PBU, and 5 FF. Okay here's the fun part, last season, his first as a fulltime starter and his first playing mostly on the Right side, he garnered 36 TKL, 21.5 TFL,13.5 Sacks, and 4 FF. Has a terrific Rip-move to the outside. Knows how to string together moves, and like all great NFL Passrusher, his initial burst off the line is so intimidating that he gets a lot of pressure by redirecting inside. Has a violent inside move that he uses when O-Tackle overextend to the outside. He is so quick that he can be particularly vicious when stunting inside. Okay, he is a great pure passrushing D-End, who has more than enough speed and athleticism to play OLB in a 3-4. However, he has not displayed all skill needed to play the position on the field, and he will struggle in out in space in pass defense. But, he is more than smart enough to learn the position, and more specifically learn all the nuances of playing OLB in a Belichick 3-4 defense.     

3/1 Brown first and foremost, he is a Super-freak. He reminds me of Charles Haley. He is a super freaky physical specimen. And he is true talent is as a speed rusher. However, though he has the athleticism to play OLB, I don't see him fitting into that role. I think he is a D-End. He is a player you want moving forward. Looks like the best athlete on the field when he is moving forward, but his natural grace and speed dissipates the further back he has to backpedal.  He can be stouter against the run than he usually shows. Although, he will sometimes abandon his run responsibilities in his zeal to get to the QB. Has garnered 36 Sacks in his career to date. He is a great athlete with great speed. When he is on, he can really disrupt the QB. Had 12.5 Sack during Junior season, going into Bowl game. Great speed around the arc, and pursues like a bankrupt bounty hunter. Has a tendency to blast-off on every snap, and ignore his gap responsibilities. However, when he chooses he can be stout against the run, and really hold his ground. Has excellent inside spin move, which he can also when the OT over sets, and when they try to run behind him.  

The Reason: I just don't like their D-Line, and their O-Line is not far behind. Defense starts on the D-Line.   

Second Choice:  Jerry Peria DT

14.

Saints

Beanie Wells- 

RB Ohio ST

6-1, 235, 4.38, 10'8"

RB, DB, DL, OL

F.A. Signings:

Heath Evans FB

Paul Spicer DE

Rod Coleman DT

Jabari Greer CB

Darren Sharper S

Pierson Prioleau S

Key F.A.  Loses:

Deuce McAllister RB

Mike Karney FB

Mike McKenzie CB

Josh Bullocks S

The Team: Their offense was one of the tops in the league, at least their passing offense, but it seems their defense let them down again. The good news is that they had a great Draft last year. They had 3 rookies start, and 2 more who looked like they could play before they got hurt. Unfortunately Tracy Porter, who earned a starting job in the preseason got injured as well. So even though their defense failed them, the defense might not be so bad. It's easy to say oh DBs and LBs, that is the Saints top needs. However, their Linebackers suffered terrific improvement last season, and all three starters garnered over 100 Tackles. If Gay and Porter can stay healthy, which is a big if, they don't need any other help ay CB. However, their Safeties can't cover me, and that's as insulting as it gets! They need at least one Safety who can actually cover. So what is their top need? They have to get a RB. Their biggest problem last season was they lost every game decided by 3 points or less. They could not close out a game. McAllister was injured, and Bush had Microfracture surgery on his left knee in January. Some guy named Pierre Thomas was their leading rusher? They need a big back who can gain yards in the 4th quarter and "Finish".  

The Player: Wells is a freakish RB. Is looks like the typical Big Ten big pounding backs, who put up big yards in college, but won't in the NFL. However, what separates him from a Back like Ron Dayne is speed. He just runs faster than a man his size should be able to. I can't remember the last time I saw a RB with combination of size, speed, power, and athleticism. Has great balance. He can get hit low and get jarred off his feet, than jam his hand into the ground, somehow regain his feet and keep on Chooglin' I saw him do that twice against Illinois alone. Show really explode at Combine. However, you have to concerned about his ability to stay healthy.  

The Reason: The Saints need the most help on their Pass Defense, or they a closer. A big RB who can close out a games for them. If they think Beanie Wells is that that guy then they have to take him.    

Second Choice: Malcolm Jenkins FS/CB

15.

Texans

Malcolm Jenkins-

CB Ohio ST

6' 3/8, 194, 4.54

DE/PR, WR, CB, RB, DB, TE, LB

Key F.A. Signings:

Dan Orlovsky QB

Eugene Wilson CB/S

Antonio Smith DE

Shaun Cody DT

Key F.A.  Loses:

 

The Team: Defense, defense, defense. Word out of Houston is that they want defense. They ranked 22nd in defense last season, and purged their defensive coaches. Firing not only their D-Coordinator, but heir Secondary coach and their D-Line coach. They are planning to rebuild their defense.

Houston needs another Running back, if they want Steve Slaton to survive. Slaton garnered 1,283 yards, because he got so many rushing attempts. He is listed at 5-10, 190 LBs, how long do you think he can last if forced to carry the ball so many times. Their secondary actually wasn't to bad, once Eugene Wilson was inserted into the starting lineup. However, I just don't trust Jacques Reeves. I liked rookie CB Antwaun Molden in last years Draft, but they are taking it real slow with him and he never got on the field in defensive situations, but he was a special teams maven by the end of the season. I'm so used to saying the Texans need an OLT and a CB that I never even thought about it. However, their secondary has a solid if unspectacular starting four, and their O-Line was more than solid last season, if Duane Brown can continue to develop they actually have a very good starting five. I really believe they are looking for a starting D-End/Passrusher right here. With Everette Brown and Aaron Maybin being the prime targets. However, if Malcolm Jenkins is still somehow on the board, they cannot pass on him.   

The Player: Jenkins just keeps getting better. I thought he was much improved as a Senior. I was not been Jenkins biggest fan last season. He is tall, but didn't appear to be quick enough for me. He is a great athlete, but I always saw his as a Corner who would need to be protected in a zone. However, as a Senior, he looks like a different player to me (maybe I just watch his worst games as a Junior and his best as a Senior, I don't know). He seems fast, and much quicker. He is playing with terrific toughness and aggressiveness I never saw as a Junior. He has the size and athletic abilities to be a great pro Corner, the question for me has always been does he have the smarts and the heart. I have always been a bit disappointed in these regards when I watched him. Ironically, as Ohio ST season seem to be falling apart, he seems to be becoming a smarter and more physical player. Showing more intelligence and toughness than I saw from him all last season. I am now firmly planted in his corner.

The Reason: Their need in the secondary is more for a back up at Safety and a Nickel Corner, Jenkins can not only fill both those roles, he will push Reeves and Wilson for starting spot. Plus, I just can't see Jenkins can fall this far, but if he slips past Green Bay, you tell me where he lands?

Second Choice: Everette Brown DE/Passrusher 

16.

Chargers

Tyson Jackson-

DE/DT LSU

6-5, 295, 5.0, 

20 Reps

DE, ORT, ORG, NT, RB, DB, ORG, WR, RB

Key F.A. Signings:

Kevin Burnett ST/LB

Key F.A.  Loses:

Mike Goff OG

Igor Olshamsky DE 

The Team: The Chargers really need to rebuild thee right side of the O-Line. If André Smith drops this far down don't be surprised if the classless A.J. Smith. The question might be is this to early for Eben Britton, who started more games at Right Tackle than Left Tackle in college. However, I keep coming back to Tyson Jackson. Jamal Williams was old last season, and he really started to show it. He was no longer a fulltime player last season, and I can't see it getting any better. The problem is that it is way to early for Ron Brace, who is looking more and more like the second best Nose Tackle prospect every week. but I keep think Tyson Jackson was made to play in a 3-4. Darren Sproles is a tiny fellah, geared more for a Kevin Faulk role than a Michael Turner role. Plus, the classless LaDainian Tomlinson can no longer be counted on when his team needs him most. He is an old workhorse who has taken an ungodly beating over the past eight years, and is sprinting to the end faster than should make anyone comfortable. e needs a big Michael Turner-type back to take some weight off his old injured legs, someone like Beanie Wells? of course Wouldn't it be convenient to have Tyson Jackson slide into Igor's vacated spot? Although word out of San Diego is that they are very happy with there two Back up D-Ends Jacques Cesaire and Ryan Bingham. So maybe Eben Britton is the pick, still?        

The Player: Tyson Jackson is giant of a D-End who returned for his senior season in order to work on his passrushing moves. Which is did accomplish, sort of. He is a better passrusher technically: he has more moves, he uses his hands better, and attacks the outside better, but he added so much more weight and size that he lost some of the speed and burst he played with as a Junior. He is great athlete for a player his size. However, he keeps adding to his size and may grow out of his athleticism. He looks like a perfect Ty Warren-type 5-technique D-End, but if he keeps acquiring mass like he did between his junior and senior season he could be 320 pound Nose Tackle in a couple of years. He no longer looks like he can be 4-3 D-End. He will either be a 3-4 D-End or an interior passrusher in a 4-3. In his four years at LSU he garnered 122 Tackles, 27 TFL, and 19.5 Sacks.  

The Reason: The Chargers don't have a lot of needs, but they needs they have are big. Getting one O-Lineman who can step in on the right side next season is critical, and getting two may be necessary, especially when you consider the injury histories of Rivers, Gates, and Tomlinson. If they don't get a legit NT in this Draft they will be in big trouble before the season is over, Jamal Williams may be a valiant warrior inside, but we all get old and suffer from the ravages of gravity. The same can said about Tomlinson, the less carries he has during the regular season the more likely he is to be around for the post season when his team needs him most.   

Second Choice: Eben Britton OL  

17.

Jets

*Josh Freeman-

QB Kansas St

6-5 7/8, 250 

QB, WR, RB, WR,  LB, DB

Key F.A. Signings:

Brandon Moore OG

Marques Douglas DE

Howard Green DT

Bart Scott LB

Lito Sheppard CB

Donald Strickland CB

Jim Leonhard S

Key F.A.  Loses:

Laveranues Coles WR

C.J. Mosley DT

Eric Barton LB

Hank Poteat CB

The Team: I hate to admit this, but I like what Ryan is doing with the Jets, Damn! In a great display of Parcelian philosophy, he is grabbing as many of "his guys" as he can get from his old team, to help with the transition into his defense and teach the young player what he expects on and off the field. however, there is one deficiency to his signings, offense. This is what separates great Head Coaches from great coordinators. He needs to address his offense with the same passion he addresses his defense. So far he has not. This pick will give a large indication of how successful he will be as a Head Coach. he needs to address the offense with this pick. I am not the biggest fan of Josh Freeman, but with a QB depth chart of Kellen Clemons (oops), Erik Ainge (who actually impressed me at Senior Bowl last year), and Brett Favre, I mean Brett Ratliff (who?), Josh Freeman looks like an All-pro. 

The seem to have a lot of talent on paper, and it appears to be overrated on the field. The Jets, in essences, made one of the worst trades in NFL history by trading the brittle Pennington for the washed up Favre. Favre proved to be more trouble than he was worth, and Pennington went on to lead their Division rivals to the play offs, and no matter how big a Parcells fan you are, you have to admit that he had screwed up last season leaving the Dolphins with out a viable starting QB. Miami was going nowhere last season with out a starting QB, and the Jets, in an act of pure stupidity, handed him the QB that would Miami to the play offs.. Now Favre is gone, and Pennington is entrenched as the starting QB for the AFC East Champions. Nice job. The more I look at the Jets the more I think QB. 

The Player: Freeman is still more athlete than QB. he struggle with decision making and accuracy, the two worst things a B can struggle with. However, he has a cannon of an arm and can run like a FB. He has started 32 consecutive games, including his last 8 games as a Freshman. Has a 3/4 delivery. Trust his arm too much, and still tries to force it into spots he shouldn't. Struggled against better competition, but played on a crappy team that couldn't help him much against better players. Has all the physical tools you want in a QB, but hasn't proven he has is all mentally yet. Completed 63.3% of his pass for 3,353 yards as Sophomore, and only 58.6% of his passes for 2,945 yards as a Junior. However, he lost Jordy Nelson to last years Draft, and he was the best player he played with in college, and he throw for more TDs (18-20) and less INTs (11-8) last season. As a Junior he combined for 34 TDs, running for 14 TDs.        

The Reason: Lack of speed at WR didn't help last season, but their QBs may be the worst in the NFL. 

Second Choice: Percy Harvin WR 

18.

Bears

Michael Oher- OT 

Mississippi

6-6, 333

WR, WR, DB, QB, LB, WR, OL, DB, QB, LB, WR, DB

F.A. Signings and Trades:

Frank Omiyale OL

Kevin Shaffer ORT

Josh Bullocks S

Key F.A.  Loses:

John Tait OT

John St. Clair OT

The Team: The Bears have lost their two starting O-Tackles from last season. They drafted Chris Williams in the 1st Round last year, but he had back surgery, so you have to question how healthy he can stay in only his second season. The Bears have to get a starting O-Tackle in this Draft.  

Bears have to be hoping Maclin falls to them. They have to draft offense, but rumors abound that they were heavily scouting the LB at the Senior Bowl. Is this to early for Heyward-Bey or Hakeem Nicks? They may have to go WR here, and with Heyward-Bey running a 4.3 that pick could be justified. However, they have a strange situation on the O-Line. They drafted OLT Chris Williams last year, and blew-up his back in the first week of training camp, and had to have season ending surgery, yikes! Olin Kreutz and John Tait are both on the wrong side of 33. They do however have some pretty solid O-Guards, unfortunately it looks like they now have 4 of them. Getting a O-Tackle who could play for Williams and/or Tait seems more and more important the more you look at QB Kyle Orton's injury history. The most important information with this pick could be the medical reports from Williams back, because it looks like Oher, Eben, and Beatty will all be on the board when the pick.        

The Pick: Oher has really cost himself a lot of money because of his inconsistency. However, when he is on and focused he is the best athlete of the four OLT prospects, as I wrote about in my Feb. 25th blog.

Oher plays with excellent form and perfect technique in the First Quarter. My top rated OLT. When he is focused, and keeps his hands up in front of him in Pass Protection, he is a force. However, sometimes he drops his hands, which is the first sign he is losing his perfect form. I don't know if he gets lazy, tired, unfocused, or cocky, but when he drops his hands, he loses technique, and he starts to flap his arms around like chicken wings. He tries to push up into the D-Ends body , and starts getting beat, and he gives up the big play. His troubles all start when his hands start to drop. However, He has the most natural kick-step of all the O-Tackles in this draft. When his hands are up, and forming a perfect diamond right in front of his chest, he already is an NFL Pass Blocker. He has good size, long arms, and is an amazing athlete for a bear his size. He is the only LT prospect who compares favorable to last years great draft class, when his hands are up. He can set quickly and redirect instantly in reaction to passrushers moves. Excellent at dancing and shadowing the DE with great foot quickness. Does a good jump for reacquiring his target on stunts and twists, and even when he over commits to a D-End stunting inside, he can still redirect again, and get his big paws on the D-Tackle suddenly flashing outside. He can be explosive in the run game. He can completely dominate his man in the running game, especially when he is pissed. He plays his best when he is pissed. He can seal-block so quickly that he doesn't even touch the D-End until the D-end realizes it is to late, he is trapped. He can be an explosive drive-blocker when he gets low and extends his arms, and just smashes his man back.  

The Reason: Rumor going around the Senior Bowl was that the Bears where looking at LB. Loading up on big linemen is never dumb, and Michael Oher has the potential to be a top OLT in the NFL. I know you Bears fans are going to hate this pick, right? you guys always hate my picks;-)  

Second Choice: Percy Harvin WR 

19.

Buccaneers

Peria Jerry-  

DT Mississippi

6-1 3/4, 299, 4.93, 

QB, DT, DE, RB, LB, WR, DT, CB, DT

F.A. Signings:

Kellen Winslow TE

Derrick Ward RB

Angelo Crowell LB

Key F.A.  Loses:

Derrick Brooks LB

Cato June LB

Joey Galloway WR

Ike Hilliard WR

Warrick Dunn RB

The Team: The team completely fell apart last season, after starting off nine and three, and I still haven't seen an explanation why? It looks to me like it was a failing at QB and the D-Line. They stopped getting a passrush in the final four games. Garnering only 4 sacks, and they allowed over 30 points a game over that stretch. Then to make life fun the run defense collapsed and gave up an average of almost 170 yards rushing per game over the final four games. So they immediately addressed the issue, by firing Head Coach and offensive  wunderkind Gruden, and hired Defensive Coordinator Raheem Morris? The man whose coaching just decimated the defense? Good luck with that Tampa. I wish I could give more insight, but with this pick is looks to me like they will be choosing between Peria Jerry and Everette Brown, or the top DT or passrusher they have on their board. On the good news side they have been dispiritingly searching for a QB to trade for and or sign, and have failed at every turn. Is that a sign of things to come?   

The Player: Dominated the Senior Bowl like Sed Ellis did last seasonEvery time I watch him he dominates whoever they put in front of him. He gets off the ball low with extreme prejudice and explosion. Uses his arms well to keep blockers off his body. Has a good swim move. When he is double and triple  teamed, which is often, he can split the blockers and still harass the QB. Excellent push-pull move, which he uses to diagnose run or pass, and than shrugs aside the O-Lineman and arrives on the ball quickly. Great athlete, with amazing quickness. He can blast off the line like a rocket in heat, and is the Prototype 3-Technique D-Tackle. By the end of last season he was double and triple teamed on almost every play. Texas Tech doubled him on over 90% of the plays in Bowl game. He can be fooled by the Draw sometimes when he over-passrushes. Also has a great pull rush, and can get under the OG pads and drive him back into the QB. Excellent hand fighter who rarely allows O-Linemen to get their big mitts on him. Great Stunter, who knows how to push the O-Lineman back and allow teammate a free lane to the QB. Great at play off initial impact and scooting around the OG. Great hand fighter. Has great hand placement. Uses a vicious punch to stun O-Lineman, and then uses his great quickness to take every advantage of the slight separation. Great power. Can sometimes look like he can disengage any O-Lineman at will. Better passrusher as a Senior. He is a 3-Technique Under Tackle who is ready to start in the NFL.      

The Reason: Top rated player at top need position. They could easily draft 2 or 3 D-Lineman with their top three picks. The top Under-Tackles are dropping in the draft, Peria Jerry (who is fighting Maualaga as the most underrated defender in the Draft), Sen'Derrick Marks, and Ziggy Hood, all look like they may be doomed to the 2nd Round, so Tampa can take a chance on a Passrusher here. If they can't pick up a starting QB before the Draft, they better start praying the Josh Freeman somehow makes it past the Jets, because after Freeman there are only lottery ticket QBs left. However, DT looks like their biggest need to me beside QB. Peria Jerry really fits their Defense, and he was the best Under-Tackle I saw play this year.

Second Choice: Josh Freeman QB  

20.

Lions

Brain Cushing-   

LB USC

6-3, 249, 4.74, 

30 Reps 

Ownership, GM, QB, DEFENSE, CB, 

F.A. Signings:

Bryant Johnson WR

Anthony Henry CB

Eric King CB

Maurice Morris RB

Grady Jackson DT

Julian Peterson LB (5th)

Key F.A.  Loses:

Jon Kitna QB

Cory Redding DT

Leigh Bodden CB

Brain Kelly CB

Dwight Smith CB

The Team: First they a QB, and than they need everything. 

The Player: A super athlete who was overrated as a football early in his career. However, he developed into a better football player a little bit each year. He had an excellent Senior season, and really looked good at the Senior Bowl. An excellent competitor, who is driven to get better. great hitter who can just crush people. Played some Rush-End early in his career. Showed better awareness last season, it looked like he understood what was happening on the field much better. A pumped up athlete, who is a weight room prisoner, and lifts weights like he fighting for his freedom. Has a high ceiling, as he learns to diagnose and read the defense better each year. Can read the screen to the opposite side and has the speed to get all the way across the field and make the tackle. When he "sees it" he is exceptional, and he "sees" more now than he did last season. Has really worked on his skills, and is actually very adept in pass coverage, something I couldn't say with confidence last year. he can really stay with the RB after he swings out of the backfield..  

The Reason: Lions need Linebackers. I don't think that's a mystery. They have the lightest defense in the league, and Cushing will certainly help with that. 

Second Choice: Eben Britton OL 

21.

Eagles

Brandon Pettigrew-

TE Oklahoma ST

 6-5 3/8, 256, 4.83

OLT, TE, RB, DB, DB, WR, S, OT, TE, DB, LB, DL

F.A. Signings :

Stacy Andrews ORT

Sean Jones S

Rashard Baker S

Key F.A.  Loses:

Tra Thomas OLT

Greg Lewis WR

Jerry Porter WR

Correll Buckhalter RB

L.J. Smith TE

Lito Sheppard CB

Drayton Florence CB

Brain Dawkins S

Sean Considine S

Paul Spicer DE 

The Team: This teams needs some playmakers on Offense. Getting a RB to help take some of the pressure off of Westbrook has to be a priority. However, they may have to take a O-Tackle prospect.   

The Player: Pettigrew is a classic old school TE. The more I watch him the more I like him. Big blocking TE who showed excellent hands at the Senior Bowl. He is a much better receiver than given credit. He has very good hands. He can extend for the ball and snatch it out the air. He runs short patterns very well. The problem is that he doesn't have the speed to separate with consistency, or to stretch the seam. Won't run well at Combine, will probably go lower than he should. He is excellent at blocking D-Ends. He gets low, gets shirt, and sustains for longer than you think a TE should. However, when is comes to getting out on LB, his lack of grace becomes evident. When he gets hold of them they are done, by he miss blocks on LB more than makes me comfortable.  

The Reason: They made need to replace both their starting Tackles. However, getting a T-End who can help in the passing game and running game is a priority for this team.     

Second Choice: Brain Robiskie WR 

22.

Vikings

*Derrius Heyward-Bey

WR Maryland

6-1 5/8, 210, 4.3, 38.5", 10'6"

OT, QB, S, WR, TE,  DB, DT, OL, WR

Key F.A. Signings:

Sage Rosenfels

Karl Paymah CB

Key Loses:

Maurice Hicks RB

Matt Birk OC

Darren Sharper S

The Team: Sage Rosenfels?!? What a joke. Is this the same Sage Rosenfels who has thrown 22 INTs as a part time player in the past two seasons? A QB, A QB, my kingdom for a QB! If they had a good QB they would have won their first Play Off game, and who knows where they'd be. In that game, the running game was dominate, the defense was dominate, and the QB stunk and lost them that game. If this team doesn't offer this pick for Matt Cassel, than the fans should riot. They cannot continue with Tavris Jackson as their QB, I wrote about it on my February 28th Blog and my Feb 21st Blog

The Player: Like I have been saying all along he is fast. He ran the fastest official time of any WR at the Combine, 4.30. He should be the third WR taken behind Crabtree and Maclin, and could be the second. He could go as high as 7 the the Raiders. However, I think that is slim chance. 

Heyward-Bey is a triangle numbers guy. His size, speed, and weight is unmatched in this Draft. He is a track guy, who is still learning to play football.  He is a speed receiver and plays like a speed receiver. Though he is tall, he does not play like a big receiver. He is NOT Michael Irvin He reminds me of DeSean Jackson, who the Eagles took in last years Draft. When he was on the field the California offense just played better, just like when Heyward-Bey was on the field at Maryland. He doesn't always dominate the game, but the defense has to do so many adjustments to account for his speed, that it opens up so much of the field for his teammates. The Offense just looks smoother and runs better when he is on the field. His game is speed. He has inconsistent hands. He doesn't do as well in traffic. he doesn't look natural when he has to jump up and grab the ball. That is when he has most of his drops, when there is a DB on his body, or he has to jump for the ball. He is a much smoother catcher when he is all alone, because he is still more a track guy than a WR.. What makes him special is that when the ball is in his hands he plays to his 4.3 speed.  

The Reason: Does it really matter? Without a viable starting QB this team is going nowhere. Rick Spielman passed on Brady Quinn in Miami and drafted the pure speedster from Ohio State Ted Ginn JR., and he was fired for it. Spielman then comes to Minnesota, and passes on Matt Cassel, and then drafts the pure speedster from Maryland Derrius Heyward-Bey, and gets fired for it. Sorry Vikings fan, but you are stuck with a man who doesn't learn form his mistakes, and so he doomed to repeat them.   

First Choice: A QB, and QB.

Second choice: A QB  

23.

Patriots

*Eben Britton-

OLT Arizona

6-6, 309, 5.16

24 Reps

LB, ORT, S, ILB, OL,

Key F.A. Signings:

Tully Banta-Cain OLB

Shawn Springs CB

Leigh Bodden CB

Fred Taylor RB

Chris Baker TE

Joey Galloway WR

Greg Lewis WR (5th)

Brad Listorti TE

Al Johnson OC/OG

Nathan Hodel LS

Key F.A.  Loses:

Matt Cassel QB

LaMont Jordan RB

Heath Evans FB

C.J. Jones WR

Darrell Robertson LB

Mike Vrabel LB

Lonnie Paxton LS

The Team: Sorry Pats fans I have been neglecting my duties as the Pats Draft expert, and have not been supplying my usual info on what the Pats might be doing in this Draft. So I will pull some quotes out of my Blogs, and go from there.

I think, if Eben Britton is available the Pats take him here are some of my reasons from my 3/20 Blog

I do believe BB will add a OLB/PR in the Draft. I talked a lot about this in my 3/19 Blog entry. However, there are some snags on the way to passrushing bliss. As I say below, I doubt they can pick up Maybin, Brown, or Mathews. In his Combine press conference, he mentioned the names of Orakpo and (unfortunately) Larry English. He has never drafted a player who he has mentioned by name in his pre-Draft Press Conference. However, he has never given a Combine press conference before either.  

I talked about this in my 3/19 Blog, and I quote myself, "Right now I have Aaron Maybin, but after his Proday he will be going to Buffalo at the latest. I like Everette Brown as well. However, after his Proday he will definitely not make it past the Buccs at 19. Clay Mathews is an interesting pick, as he has ties to Belichick, his dad played for BB in Cleveland. However, BB has always believed in production, and I have a lot of problems seeing him taking an OLB/Passrusher who has only 5.5 career Sacks. Rey Maualaga seems to be slipping in the Draft, and if he is still somehow on the board at 23, there is no way BB can pass on him. Maualaga is a great football player. I have been wondering lately if there is a deal in the works with Denver, to allow them to trade up to 12 and take Maualaga. It would seem to benefit both teams, and you won't need to give up 34 or 49, in my opinion. Our third 2nd Round pick should do it. However, as it stands now, and in my next mock draft, I will be giving them Eben Britton, ORT out of Arizona. I doubt you or anyone else would agree with me. However, he can play any line position except OC. He can play ORG, and whenever Stephen Neal, and his chronically crappy shoulder, get injured the O-Line falls apart. He will start at ORT next season and be serious upgrade over Nick Kaczur. Plus, I believe his eventual position in the NFL will be OLT, and this would allow Light to play LT for another 2 or 3 seasons and than slide over to RT." I have a problem. I outlined in my 3/19 Blog why I think the Pats will eventually land Jason Taylor. However, in Belichick's interview on WEEI, A MUST LISTEN TO, he mentioned both Julius Peppers and Jason Taylor. Now when it comes to the Draft, when Belichick mentions a player by name he will not draft him. Does that include Free Agents? He has never mentioned a player, by name before he signs them in Free Agency. However, he also has never talked to the media in March before. Jason Taylor was a great player, and I think BB could make him great again. However, I lived long and prospered with the knowledge that once BB names a player he has never drafted him (Larry English), and I will speculate that that transcends into the realm of Free Agency. I know for a fact their is no way he can sign Peppers, and I believe that since he has named both Peppers and Taylor their fate has been sealed, and they will not be here. However, I do think he talked about Adalius Thomas at the Pro Bowl the year they signed him. Oh crap, now I'm not sure again;-)

Rey Maualaga is the guy Vic Carucci said on WEEI the Pats were going to try and get, I personally don't believe most of what he said, but I would not object if they traded up for Maualaga. Here is a quote from my 3/20 Blog:

Rey Maualaga is the man. I place my full Draftnic reputation on him. He will succeed in the NFL or my name isn't Mr. Patriot Homer! Oh Wait, my name isn't Mr. Patriot Homer. Oh crap, caught again. Okay, I say Rey will be a great player or my name isn't TOM! Okay so my name isn't TOM. Well it is Tom, but T-O- M are actually my initials. My initials spell my name;-) Okay, I say Rey will be a great player or my initials aren't TOM! There I said it;-) If they Pats have a chance to trade up and grab Rey they have to do it. In my opinion, he is better geared for the Pats system than Mayo. I mean Mayo plays at a spectacular speed, but in college, Rey has shown better strength at taking on O-Guards. His play in USC Bowl game two years ago was the most dominate performance I have ever seen a Defensive player have in college, period. They have 9 picks and absolutely no chance of 9 rookies making the team next season. Trade up and trade out (acquire picks in next years Draft). I really have a hard time seeing more than 4 or 5 rookies making the roster next year.

I have been saying a while I think the Pats need a DB or three. The of Springs and Bodden leaves one. I don't see how the Pats can come out the 2nd Round without a Safety in tow, I am absolutely convinced that Safety will be Rashard Johnson, here are two quotes about Safeties from my 3/20 Blog and my 3/21 Blog:

Okay, I will not be brief here;-) I love both Delmas and Chung, but I don't see the Pats taking either player. Okay, don't get mad at me, but Bob Sanders is a great player. I know he is a dreaded Colt's player, and Patriots nemesis, but he is a great player. I have been comparing Louis Delmas to Bob Sanders. Now Sanders has better speed (I think the little freak actually ran a 4.3 at the Combine), and Delmas ran 4.5. However, his strength is, like Sanders, moving forward and assaulting anything and anybody with suicidal viciousness. His strength is his weakness, just like Sanders, he hits opponents with ferocity and without any regard for self-preservation. He will knock out opponents, and he will knock out himself, just like Sanders. This is a guy, who if he can stay healthy, and I don't see how that could be possible, could a defense changing All-Pro, just like Sanders. Chung reminds me of Brandon Meriweather. He is another slightly undersized Safety, who has the athleticism to play Free Safety, but plays like a Strong Safety. He is always looking to move forward and hit. He is a great physical player, for his size, who just loves to hit, and can have the spectacular hit that is on TV ten times before the night is through. Chung ran a 4.24 in the Short Shuttle at his Proday, and that is Deion Branch type quickness. He has good balls skills and the speed to play Center Field, but is at his best when he is allowed to attack. Chung is the type of guy you want on your team. He was that knack for always seeming to be around the ball. No Safety in this this Draft has better change of direction quickness than Chung. I think he can play a little CB in a pinch, but he is not a CB, I think he has better cover skills than given credit for, but even I can't see him playing CB full time. I do think he can step down as a Nickel Corner for a game or two when injuries strike, but any more than that and you are asking for trouble. Okay, now the problem, Rashard Johnson. Rashard Johnson is a Saban special. He raves about this guy. I just don't see anyway the Pats get through the 2nd Round without taking Johnson, period. If you take Johnson at say 57, you won't take Delmas at 34, or Chung at 49, and I don't either player lasting much longer than 34 and 49 respectively. However, I think if they come out of the 2nd Round with either of the three, I will be ecstatic.         

I really like Will Moore. He was great as a Redshirt Junior two seasons ago, where he garnered 111 Tackles, 6 PBU, and 8 INTS, and really looked like a top ten pick. He looked like a super athletic Safety playing in a Linebacker's body. I had him in my top ten right up the Senior Bowl, and I had to reluctantly lower him. He is smart and super tough kid, who is willing to sacrifice for his team. Ironically, it was his apparently not so smart decision to help his team and play through injuries that has caused him to drop. If he had stayed off the field when he was not 100% healthy, he would have healed faster and played better at the end of the season. So do you kill him for last season, when he was devastated by injuries, or do you give him Credit for playing through the injuries to help his team. He won't be a 1st Round pick, but he should be. He showed up at the Combine, healthy, and displayed the athleticism that had him rated as a top ten player before last season. Then he looked even better at his Proday. This guy is a terrific player, and if the Pats took him at 34 I would be ecstatic. However, they won't. In my opinion, they have locked onto Rashard Johnson as their Safety of choice in the 2nd Round. He is Saban guy, and Belichick did a good job describing Johnson when he was describing how the play of Safeties had changed over the past few years, in his press conference at the Combine.    

That doesn't leave much for now. However, I did also talk about pick 34, and how desperate the Wilfork situation might become in my March 21st Blog:

I think this is hilarious. I have been thinking about the 2nd Round a lot lately, and I the more I think about it the more I thought about the more I thought that the Pats can't pass on Brace at 34. Brace is big strong immovable object in the middle of the line, who offers almost no passrush. That sounds like a Nose Tackle to me. The Pats have done a good job of addressing needs on the outside and off the line. I think they will be addressing more needs along the line than people think right now. They need some help on the O-Line, and, like you said, the Wilfork issue. If we lose Wilfork, now, we are screwed. And I cannot say with certainty he will be here next year. He has already said he is looking for big bucks. Miami, the Jets, Cleveland, Denver, and KC will all be looking for NTs. How much is it worth to those teams to not only acquire an All-Pro NT, but to also take him away form the Pats. If they don't work out an extension this season, I think it's 50-50 or less Wilfork is on the team next season. That is a terrifying thought. However, if they have Ron Brace, who will also have a year in the system, they will not be anywhere near as bad off. Plus, Wilfork really has no back up. He has some D-Ends who step in and play NT, but they are not anywhere near fulltime NTs. Also, whether they take Brace or not, we will learn a lot about how confident BB is at signing Wilfork. If they pass on him,, than I say BB believes they will be able to sign Wilfork, and some kind of deal is in the works. If they take Brace or Hood in the 2nd, or Terrence Taylor, or Roy Miller late, than you can bet they are nervous about Wilfork's contract.  

Here is another quote in regards to OLB/DE, in particular Conner Barwin and Robert Ayers:

I have been seeing Barwin going to the Pats at 34 for a long time, but now I'm not so sure. He is the type of ultra versatile talent that Belichick loves. I'm not secure in the Vrabel comparisons, but I see what people are talking about. Plus, he is a safe pick, because he is already a special teams maven, so he is assured to be a contribute as a rookie. I am very suspicious of Robert Ayers. He really came out of no where this season, but he was a monster at the Senior Bowl. In the passrushing practices he was unbelievable. Speed, technique, freakish power, inside, outside, great hands, he was unstoppable in those contact drills at the Senior Bowl. He also had the best highlight of the drill when he just went low, stuck his helmet right into the chest of the OT, drove him back, and actually lifted him right off his feet and threw him into the cone that was suppose to be the QB, it was THE highlight of the Senior Bowl practices. Then more importantly, he translated that skill and intensity to the field with constant pressure during the game. If he is there at 23, I think he is a NEP. My suspicion, Mike Mayock loves this guy and has him rated higher than everybody else. Mayock is buddies with Belichick, and it has been alleged that they have lunch every week together in the off season. So when he has aberration, a player who fits a 3-4 and is much higher rated than everyone else, I pay attention. I don't see Brown making down to the Pats. They will not Draft Larry English.  

The Player: Britton is a Redshirt junior who decided not to come back for a fifth year. He not only play both sides of the line, he can play Guard or Tackle, giving him the unique versatility to play four positions on the O-Line. Plays with excellent power and balance on his feet. Plays with some nastiness, and loves to knock defenders onto their butts. Plays with good lean, and can play low enough to move inside to OG. Has 24 starts at Right Tackle in 2006 and 2007. Switched to Left Tackle last season where he started all 13 games. The more I see him the more I like him. He displayed great machinegun feet at the Combine, which is so imperative in pass protection, especially on the Left side. Tough kid. Plays with good strength and is super competitive.     

Britton is a very good athlete who has the feet to play Left Tackle in the NFL. However, he can look a little stiff and can struggle with speed sometimes. I don't believe he is ready yet, and will need a year or two to develop into a legit OLT. He is a converted Tight End, which I always like in a LT prospect. He showed me he has great feet at the Combine. I was a little shocked to read that some where disappointed by his performance at the Combine. For me he proved that he has the feet and athleticism to play OLT in the NFL. I could not have been more impressed. On the field he is a better run blocker than you would think. He blockers little high and tries to knock over the D-End every time, but he is a natural knee bender who gets just low enough. He will have to play with better lean in the NFL. Surprising, for a converted TE he doesn't get outside and hit LBs and DBs as well as you would think, like a lot of players in this damn Draft it is a bit of an enigma. He was voted Team Captain, and Coach Stoops called him, "The glue behind our Offensive Line." Stoops also said, "He's been the leader of his group the last two years. He has a chance to be a great player. I'm going to support Eben in everything he does." Well that's good enough for me. 

The Reason: The reason? The Pats have addressed almost all of their off the Line issues in Free Agency. Belichick knows defense and offense start on the Lines. This may be to early to address the O-Line, but look for him to start getting help for the Right Side of the O-Line. Eben has the feet and athleticism to play OLT in the NFL, but looks like he will be better off starting on the Right side like he did in college. An OLB/PR, a Nose Tackle and a Safety look like the only other real needs going into next season. 

For more Info on Pats, check out my: Patriots Draft Blog.

Second Choice: Robert Ayers OLB/DE 

24.

Falcons

Clay Mathews-

LB/PassR USC 

6-3, 250, 4.67,

23 Reps

DT, LB, CB, LB, OT, S, WR, DB, DE

F.A. Signings

Brett Romberg OC

Key F.A.  Loses:

Grady Jackson DT

Michael Boley LB

Keith Brookings LB

Domonique Foxworth CB 

The Team: The Falcons have to do a lot of work at the Linebacker position. The loss of Boley and Brookings leaves two big holes. Both players didn't really fit in the new system. They both struggled last season and needed to be replaced in different situations. Smith likes big powerful Linebackers, like Belichick. If there is no top D-Tackle on the board, look for them to one of the USC Linebackers if they are still on the board. When looking at the Falcons, you have to think they will be addressing their defense early and often. They have to acquire a D-Tackle or two, and they have to acquire a LB or two. Plus, getting a CB and a Safety wouldn't hurt.     

The Player: Clay Mathews is a tough player to evaluate. He looked great at the Senior Bowl. He dropped back into coverage like he had been doing it his whole life. He took to coaching well, and was able to change what he was doing on the field. He looked great in the drills. He showed he could play at his ever increasing weight, and he proved he could not only hold the weight, but looked more and more athletic the bigger he got. He is a great hand fighter, and really showed he has learned all the tricks for his dad. He plays all-out all the time. However, he has done virtually nothing statistically at 'SC. He has a great story, showing up at USC in 2004 as 166 pound non-scholarship athlete. Whether he was on the team or not, I don't know? Do you really need to Redshirt a walk-on? But, I do know he wouldn't have been there if not for his dad. However, you have to give him max credit for working his ass off. He has gained almost 100 pounds of muscle in the past 5 years. He worked his way onto the field, and in 2005 and 2006 he garnered 0 starts, 23 TKL, 1.5 TFL, and 1 Sack. But he showed a work ethic and all-out hustle that coaches crave in their players. in 2007 seven he managed 2 starts, and garnered 17 TKL, 3 TFL, and 0 Sacks. But he found a role as the Elephant pass rusher, and Right OLB in USC's hybrid 3-4. That's 4 years at 'SC and 1 Sack. He started all 10 games last season. Displaying a vast untapped potential as a speed rusher. However, the production still wasn't present. He flew all over the field, a gold and maroon blur, but garnered only 56 TKL, 9 TFL, and 5.5 Sacks. Not bad, but not what you are looking for in your Right Outside Passrusher. So when you are discussing Mathews you have to talk in terms of potential. However, you also have to use terms like work ethic, playing speed, hustle, relentless, energy player, bloodlines, and versatility. He is a great athlete, but he is still learning how to play. So where do you draft him? On what he did at USC not very high. But hen he goes to Senior Bowl and is as impressive as Maualaga and Cushing. So you raise him, then he goes to the Combine, and he tested out as the second most athletic LB at the Combine, behind Curry. And you think, he sure looks like a 1st Round pick to me, but were was the production in college. Okay, so Mathews is a late bloomer, who is still learning the game, but he is a top athlete who played at the top football school in college. So you have to decide, did he get lost in the shuffle at 'SC, or does he lack what it takes upstairs.   

Got lost in the greatness in the greatness of the Linebackers at USC. He had to mostly play the Elephant at USC, a rush D-End. Where he locked up against bigger O-Tackles game in and game out, and he never back down and never surrendered. Not only that, but he flash amazing pass rushing skills and moves. As I was watching the other talents at USC, all of sudden he would flash across the screen and kill the QB. Showed he had the skills to be a Linebacker at the Senior Bowl, and then showed he was one of the most athletic Linebackers at the Combine. I can tell you one thing for sure, PAC 10 O-Tackles did not enjoy facing this guy.

The Reason: I think they would like a D-Tackle here. However, with the loss of two of their start Linebackers, grabbing a LB is just as important. Mathews is a guy who fit Smith system, and he has everything you want in a LB, except production.     

Second Choice: Vontae Davis CB

25.

Miami

Darius Butler

CB Connecticut 

5-10, 184, 4.38

CB, WR,  NT, ILB, TE, DB, WR, RB, OL, CB, S

F.A. Signings:

Jake Grove OC

Gibril Wilson S

Eric Green CB

Key F.A.  Loses:

Samson Satele OC

Al Johnson OC/OG

Vonnie Holiday DE

Renaldo Hill DB

Andre' Goodman DB

The Team: The Miami secondary has taken a couple of big hits. Losing their best CB and their starting FS. 

I'm thinking defense or WR. Parcells really got lucky when he got Pennington. However, as great as he can be in the Regular season, he chokes in the play offs. It will be interesting to see where they go from here. Can Beck or Henne step up. I really liked their Draft last year, and I'm not talking about Long or Henne. I had both Merling and Langford pegged as 3-4 D-Ends, and seeing Parcells agreed with me was a good day for a Draftnic. 

The Player: Butler is a terrific cover Corner. Has great feet. Transitions out of backpedal better than any CB in this Draft. Looks smooth and natural in backpedal. Can plant his foot and explode in any direction. He has the snap in his his that make defensive coaches drool. Butler has terrific ball skills and play WR for a few downs every game last season. Has great experience and started 42 games as a four year starter at Connecticut. Has great intangibles and was voted Team Captain twice. Has the best combination of hips, feet, and speed in the Draft. Stepped up and ran 4.38 at his Proday, which caused him to hop over Alphonso Smith, Vontae Davis, and DJ Moore.       

The Reason: With this coach and GM they have to be thinking defense. And I can't see them getting by another season with their Corners. However, if Laurinaitis falls this far, he is just to good to pass up.

Second Choice: Percy Harvin WR

26.

Ravens

*Vontae Davis

CB/FS Illinois  

5-11 1/8, 203, 4.40

WR, CB, OC, DB, LB, DT, DE, WR, DB

Key F.A. Signings:

L.J. Smith TE

Matt Birk OC

Chris Carr CB

Domonique Foxworth CB 

Key F.A.  Loses:

Jason Brown OC 

Marques Douglas DE

Bart Scott LB

Chris McAllister CB

Samari Rolle CB

Corey Ivy CB

Jim Leonhard S

The Team: The Ravens will try to sign their LBs. All three LBs are FA. They have Tagged Suggs They may have to a LB. Otherwise look for them to take a player to help their young QB. 

The Player: Davis has really fallen, further than most draftnic's think. He showed flaws in his transition out of his backpedal. Taking an extra step when he has to turn and run. Displayed the bad hands and bad ball skills he showed at Illinois. And, to make things worst, he showed a bad attitude towards the coaches on the field, ignoring them and flashing disdainful looks, which had been rumored was his bailiwick at Illinois. It was rumored that was the main reason he was suspended last season, bad attitude, being disrespectful to coaches, and laziness.      

In his 3 years in college, he garnered 206 Tackles, 13.5 TL, 22 PBU, 3 FF, and 7INTs. 

Wow! Vontae Davis showed up at the Combine and looked horrible. His hips looked stiff. He looked like a Safety trying to play CB. He didn't run as well as expected, and he exhibited the distain for coaches that has been rumored about him for a few years. Personally I think his Combine was nearly as disastrous André Smiths. I would not Draft him. He looks destined to break the heart of any GM who takes him, and I can guarantee Belichick has taken him off his board. His problem is that what really separated him from the rest of the CBs was his wondrous athleticism, and that was just missing at the Combine.    

He is probably the best pure athlete in the draft, and should be a top ten pick. He is not only a super-freak, he can cover. Has the best size speed ratio of any DB in the Draft. Not just triangle-number athlete, he is a legit CB. He has fluid hips which he can snap in transition out of his backpedal. His ceiling is only limited by his ability to understand the Pro game, the mental part of the game, because he has the hips, feet, and speed to be an All-Pro CB. So far he has shown he is willing to learn on the field, but still trying to learn off the field. He looks more and more like a football player each year. He can shadow a WR with terrific strength and speed. He is a terrific tackler, who plays the run like a Safety. He is a freak, and I believe in the freak factor. However, he still plays the WR more than the ball/ Doesn't have great ball-skills, and sometimes looks like he'd rather jar the ball lose with a great hit than Intercept the ball. I just wish he'd make a few more plays on the ball. The more I study the Draft, the more I wonder how he can get past the Raiders at 7.

The Reason: I like Cushing here, but a lot of people have Harvin rated much higher than I do, and if they just had one more play maker on offense then just might have beaten Pittsburgh. And you know, I always think the the best option to help their young QB. 

Second Choice: Percy Harvin WR

27.

Eagles

 *Knowshon Moreno- RB Georgia

5-10, 205, 4.55 

OLT, DB, RB, DB, DB, WR, TE, LB, DL

F.A. Signings :

Stacy Andrews ORT

Sean Jones S

Key F.A.  Loses:

Tra Thomas OLT

Greg Lewis WR

Jerry Porter WR

Correll Buckhalter RB

L.J. Smith TE

Lito Sheppard CB

Drayton Florence CB

Brain Dawkins S

Sean Considine S

Paul Spicer DE 

The Team: This teams needs some playmakers on Offense, and some help for the aging O-Line.     

The Player: Speed guy. Has amazing instincts. Reminds me of Cadillac Williams, only doesn't have the injury history. Super quick shimmy-shimmy shake feet. Has the power to run between the Tackles, but what makes him special is the flash and dash when he is flushed to the outside, or has a set run and gets to the corner. Good receiver, he is such a good athlete that he makes everything look smooth and easy. He can chip on the D-End and still get out in the flat and make the catch. Good pass blocker, I like who he continues to hit and fight after initial contact. He is very effective going low on the blitzer's legs, but sometimes ducks his head which will hurt him more in the NFL. He needs to keep his head up consistently in pass protection.   

The Reason: Is this the year they finally give McNabb some serious offensive weapons.    

Second Choice: William Beatty OLT  

28.

Colts

*Hakeem Nicks-

WR North Carolina

6' 7/8, 226, 4.5, 

4.43 SS,

DT, WR, ILB, OT, CB, DT, DE, WR, DB

Key F.A. Signings:

Adam Seward LB 

Key F.A.  Loses:

Jeff Saturday OC

Daerrell Reid ST/DT

The Team: The Colts could go just about anyway, but keeping Manning happy might trump the defense. 

The Player: A big well built WR who looks the part. He looks like a full grown NFL Wide Receiver. Came up big in Maryland Bowl game this year, where he caught to long TD passes First Quarter alone. Both pass were badly thrown balls and he had to make great adjustments to the ball in the air. He can catch bowls with DBs draped all over him. Showed he could make adjustments to the ball in the air. Has great hands, and can catch the tipped ball or still make the catch when a DB is grabbing his arm. Strong receiver who can bully DBs, and will not be chucked at the line. Great route-runner who works on his skills, and the nuances of playing WR. Can really sell a fake with head, shoulder, and eye fakes. The more you watch him the more you like him. Had a great Junior season where he averaged 18 Yards Per Catch. broke all kinds of records at North Carolina. In this age of the spread offense and the crazy passing yards this may be hard to believe, but he was North Carolina first receiver to catch more than a thousand yards in a season. He also garnered 68 catches for 1,222 yards and 12 TDs last season alone. If has the speed to play NFL he will be dominate, because he has everything else you want in a WR. He is a physically dominate route runner

The Reason: Harrison may have reached the end of the road, and that road may lead to prison. Robiskie works out with Anthony Gonzalez. However, Robiskie is falling down the charts and Nicks is flying up the charts.

Second Choice: Brian Robiskie WR

29.

Giants

*Kenny Britt

WR Rutgers

6-2 7/8, 218, 4.43 

WR, DT, CB, S, LB, WR, DT, LB, DB, TE

Key F.A. Signings:

Michael Boley LB

Rocky Bernard DL

Chris Canty DL

Key F.A.  Loses:

Derrick Ward RB

The Team: The Giants are a tough team to figure. They Draft so well and have a lot young talent on their team. However, I think there top need is at WR, for obvious legal reasons. I just can see Plaxico getting out of this one. Word out of New York is that they like both Nicks and Britt, and if either one is still on the board hey will be happy to take either one. 

The Player: Britt is a tall well built receiver who has had two season of excellent production. In the past two seasons he has garnered 2,603 yards and 15 TDs, on 149 reception. That is terrific production. He also has a prima-donna reputation, but once he ran a 4.43 at his Proday, I had to put him in the 1st round. He has struggled with concentration, and will drop the ball sometimes. He played with a bad QB, and showed he can play DB and knock the ball down when the ball is thrown to the CB rather than him. Has amazingly quick feet for player his size. Has some shake and bake in him, and like to shake and bake before he breaks to the inside or outside. Tall, and looks big on the field, but he still makes good quick cuts when he is concentrating on his route running. He is a better route runner than given credit for. Plays fast, especially when the ball is in his hands. Can run the reverse and get to the far sideline with great speed. Clutch player who comes through at the end of games and plays well in Bowl, had. He garnered 119 yards on 6 receptions in Rutgers Bowl Game, and was paramount in Rutgers second half comeback (down 11 in the 3rd), and he scored the winning TD with 8:30 to go in the game. Really came through in the second half of last season, where he seemed to put his mental lapses behind him, and became the best player on Rutgers team. He carried the offense, after the team started off 1 and 5, and led them to an 8 and 5 record. His only question is did he finally put it all together, or was his play over the last 7 games a contract run once he decided he was going pro? I try to give these kids the benefit of the doubt and say he finally matured enough to stop being a prima-donna, and maximized his wonderful physical talent.   

The Reason: My highest rated player still on the board at a need position. Word out of New York is that they have grown very fond of Britt.   

Second Choice: LeSean McCoy RB

 30.

Titans

*Percy Harvin

RB/WR/PR Florida 

5-11, 200, 4.41, 

20 Reps 

WR, DT, WR, DE, S, CB, DL, WR, OL, DL

F.A. Signings:

Nate Washington WR

Key F.A.  Loses:

Albert Haynesworth DT

Brandon Jones WR

The Team: Titans have a huge hole at WR.  

The Player: Harvin is more RB than WR. He plays the WR position like a converted RB. My problem with his is that he plays more like Reggie Bush, than Derrick Mason (or name your WR). He is a good slot receiver, but the further outside he lines up the less comfortable he looks. He cannot play RB in the NFL, but he makes most of his big plays when lined up at RB more than at WR. I think he is going to have a hard time finding a position in the NFL, or rather he has to play WR, and I don't see those skills in him yet. He is one those players who has relied on their extraordinary athletic abilities and has not had to cultivate the skills of a position. He can no longer simply rely on his great speed and quickness, because in the NFL Physical freak are on every team. However, he has that explosive speed that makes D-Coordinators sweat, and can make big plays all over the field, and his Special Team skills are unquestioned. Likes to shimmy-shimmy-shakes before he makes his break on pass patterns. Has amazing quickness out of his cuts, and gains separation with his machinegun feet like a divorce lawyer. Explosive, and is at his best when he running after the catch. Tough, and plays with great heart. Played injured all season and still found ways to contribute.   

The Reason: Titans could have won in the Play Offs if they just had one more play maker.  

Second Choice: Brain Robiskie WR

31.

Cardinals

*Donald Brown-

RB Connecticut

 5-10 1/4, 210, 4.51, 10'5", 41.5

RB, OLB, NT, CB, DE, OL, S, LB, OL, DL, DB

F.A. Trades:

Anthony Becht TE

Elton Brown OL

Mike Peterson LB

Bryant McFadden CB

Key F.A.  Loses:

Antonio Smith DE

Matt Stewart LB

Nathan Hodel LS

The Team: Which team are we looking at, the regular season team or the play off team. The more I look at this team the more I think RB.  

The Player:  What Brown has that separates him from the rest is ability to follow blockers, so he can run in any scheme. Has great natural running instincts. I started watching UConn play to scout Butler, but every time I watch UConn this crazy little RB was tearing everybody up. I thought I had discovered my first super sleeper, now it looks like he will be a 1st Rounder. Does the best job I have seen a college Running Back do following blockers, and cut off their blocks with amazing burst and surprise. Does a great job setting up defenders for his blockers. Never runs in Straight line long, which confuses defenders and makes him unusually elusive. Reminds of Tashard Choice from last years draft. Is good enough in all areas physically, but will be successful in the NFL because of his smarts, toughness, and ability to follow blockers.         

The Reason: Oops, I kind of forgot about him on my Mock.    

Second Choice: Larry English OLB  

32.

Steelers

 Ron Brace-

NT BC

6-3, 329, 5.50, 

32 Reps, 28"

CB, WR, OL, DB, NT, DL

Key F.A. Signings:

 

Key F.A.  Loses:

Nate Washington WR

Kendal Simmons OG

Marvel Smith ORT

Anthony Smith S 

Bryant McFadden CB

The Team: Steelers have a great defense, but I still don't like their CB. However, it appears all 5 of their starting O-Linemen are Free Agents, Yikes! For more on the Steelers needs just check out my March 2nd Blog. They have done a remarkable job retaining all their O-lineman except Simmons. If they don't take a Corner here they will be looking at young depth to develop at NT or WR.    

The Player: Brace in a pure bull in a china shop D-Tackle, who make a lot of money if he could add even a hint of finesse. Right now it's hard to see him as more than a 2 down Nose Tackle. Has enough quickness to fool an O-Lineman. If he could just add a move or two to his arsenal of push-pull and a bullrush. However his game is power, and that is why he will be drafted early. He can extend his arms and push any O-Linemen into the backfield with enough consistency to make him dangerous. Good hand placement.   

The Reason: I don't like their Corners. However, they have done a good job addressing their O-Line. Butler has hopped over Alphonso Smith and D.J. Moore, because he tested better at the Combine. However, with Butler gone I think they may just take the best Nose Tackle available. Hampton is not getting any younger.   

Second Choice: Alex Mack OC 

If you have any questions or comments feel free to email me:

patsfanmock12@yahoo.com