Brandon Thorn's 2009 NFL Mock Draft
1st Round (March 8)
1. Detroit - QB Matthew Stafford ~ Georgia = #1 QB on my board this guy has a rifle for an arm. With Calvin Johnson to develop his game with, I would feel comfortable taking him here. Although I feel Detroit should trade down and get more picks, they don't seem to have a suitor at this point.
2. St. Louis – OT Jason Smith ~ Baylor = The Rams have the often injured and aging Orlando Pace as their left tackle now and an above average right tackle in Alex Barron. If the Rams feel Pace is done then this pick is ideal. I have them taking Smith based on value over a big need.
3. Kansas City – LB Aaron Curry ~ Wake Forest = The Chiefs need a leader on their defense along with some playmaking ability so the best defensive player in the draft fits the bill. Curry can come in and team with Derrick Johnson while learning from Donnie Edwards and perhaps no other player in this draft appears more NFL ready then Curry.
4. Seattle – OT Eugene Monroe ~ Virginia = Seattle has the 35 year old Walter Jones at left tackle along with the underachieving Sean Locklear at right. Adding Monroe to the mix will upgrade your right side tremendously while having the replacement to your hall of fame left tackle. Learning from a guy of Walter’s caliber sure won’t hurt Eugene’s development either.
5. Cleveland – DE/OLB Brian Orakpo ~ Texas = The Browns right now have OLB Kamerion Wimbley as their top pass rusher who in 06 had 11 sacks, 07 5 sacks and last year 4 sacks. He still is very young, but the team needs to add someone like Orakpo to take some pressure off of him. This pick will elevate a defense that has the pieces to be a top 15 defense in the NFL.
6. Cincinnati – DT B.J. Raji ~ Boston College = The Bengals are in desperate need of a penetrator in the middle of their defensive line. Raji is already better than any guy they currently have on the roster and who knows what he can do better than the guys who coached him at the Senior Bowl where he was flat out dominant?
7. Oakland - WR Michael Crabtree ~ Texas Tech = Wow would Al Davis be ecstatic about this if arguably the best player in college football fell in his lap at 7? Crabtree would come in and instantly give former number 1 overall pick JaMarcus Russell his go to guy. Oakland has one of the most dynamic rushing attacks in football and imagine if Javon Walker got his act together…they would have some serious potential on offense.
8. Jacksonville - CB Vontae Davis ~ Illinois = Jacksonville let their #2 corner(Drayton Florence) go in free agency after a very disappointing year. They not only upgrade their secondary, this is a guy who would potentially give them two of the best corners in football along with Rashean Mathis. It would allow them to blitz much more and in turn make their entire defense better.
9. Green Bay - DE/OLB Everette Brown ~ Florida State = Green Bay made the switch to the 3-4 this off-season without the proper personnel to do so. Arguably the most critical position in the 3-4 is the rush backer so Brown fits the bill. He has great burst off the line and in my opinion is the purest pass rusher in the draft. This pick fits a huge need while also carrying nice value as well.
10. San Francisco – CB/S Malcolm Jenkins ~ Ohio State = Hear me out on this selection, San Fran has holes all over their secondary. CB Nate Clements is the only real legitimate starter they have and Malcolm is a guy who is extremely versatile. Not only could he come in and be a very solid #2 corner he also could potentially be a pro bowl safety in the league. The 49ers have other needs that are equal to secondary, but Malcolm is the best player on the board.
11. Buffalo –.OT/OG Andre Smith ~ Alabama = This pick makes a ton of sense for a few reasons. First, it would be excellent value getting in my opinion the best offensive lineman in college football from last season. Second, Buffalo lost starting guard Derrick Dockery to the Redskins and aside from him they are weak on the interior of their line. Third, playing in Buffalo, New York requires the ability to play smash mouth football and no other guy will maul people quite like big Andre will.
12. Denver – DE Tyson Jackson ~ LSU = The biggest need on the Broncos entire defense is easily a defensive end for the new 3-4 scheme being installed. I see a lot of Ty Warren in Tyson Jackson and if he can come in and work hard without needing much if any recognition than this is the perfect fit. He just needs to understand that playing end in the 3-4 means a whole lot of double teams and no props from the media. I can tell you us die-hard Bronco fans sure would appreciate it.
13. Washington – DE Aaron Maybin ~ Penn State = Washington cut ties with Jason Taylor and now they once again are in need of a pass rusher on the outside. Having Maybin on one side(preferably the side without the tight end) and Andre Carter on the other one of them will be one on one every single time. How am I so sure about this? Albert Haynesworth.
14. New Orleans – LB Brian Cushing ~ USC = The Saints always seem to be in need of more pieces on the defensive side. They locked up Vilma for the next few years and they have two lunch pail guys on the outside in Scott Fujita and Scott Shanle.With Cushing you not only bring in another lunch pail type of player, you bring in a guy who much more talent than either of those two.
15. Houston – WR Jeremy Maclin ~ Missouri = The Texans have some other more glaring weaknesses on their football team, but a receiver with this much potential at this point in the draft would be tough to pass up. This would complete their receiving core and give them another deep threat to take pressure off all-world WR Andre Johnson.
16. San Diego – RB Chris “Beanie” Wells ~ Ohio State = Recent news has the Chargers low-balling Tomlinson with as his mother said “Peanuts” as far as the money they have offered him. Assuming they trade the future hall of famer, a guy like Wells would be the ideal fit. Paired with the lighting in a bottle Darren Sproles you will once again have a dynamic rushing attack while keeping pressure off your golden boy QB Philip Rivers.
17. New York Jets – QB Mark Sanchez ~ USC = Sanchez is the toughest prospect to gauge where he might land. After going back and forth with many other teams, this would be a nice landing spot for the kid. The Jets are in need of a face of the franchise and Sanchez can fill that role. Not only will he sell tickets and bring excitement, he fits a need. I also love the idea of him coming in and having to battle with Kellen Clemens and Brett Ratliff for the starting spot.
18. Chicago – WR Percy Harvin ~ Florida = The Bears have bigger needs elsewhere, but they still have the rest of the draft to address those needs. If the biggest playmaker in the entire draft falls to them, they can have two of the biggest playmakers in the NFL with Devin Hester being the other. This also will give them that big-time threat in the return game again, which put the Bears over the edge in the past.
19. Tampa Bay – WR Darrius Heyward-Bey ~ Maryland = Tampa Bay recently cut the speedster Joey Galloway. Now they have three #2-3 receivers none of which have much speed at all. Bey could come in and sure fix that. He blazed the combine with a 4.30 40, has great size (6’2” 210), and enormous potential.
20. Detroit – LB Clay Matthews ~ USC = Detroit could easily select a tackle here to go along with their franchise quarterback. Why I could see them going for value instead of need is simple, they have LT Jeff Backus in place who hasn’t missed a game in 8 years. They also have RT Gosder Cherilus who they spent a 1st round pick on last year. New head coach Jim Schwartz is a defensive guy and Matthews is one of the fastest risers in the draft.
21. Philadelphia – OT Michael Oher ~ Ole Miss = Both of the Eagles starting tackles are unrestricted free agents and both are over 30. This pick gives them a guy who they can plug in either side, but will most likely be McNabb’s blindside protector for the remainder of his career and then well into the future. Oher is also a very talented run blocker as well.
22. Minnesota - C Alex Mack ~ Cal = By losing a franchise center in Matt Birk they just gained another to solidify them as having one of the best offensive lines in football.
23. New England – LB Larry English ~ Northern Illinois = The Patriots are in need of an OLB after Mike Vrabel’s departure. English is a guy high on intangibles with a great motor who would fit the Patriots scheme beautifully. This pick not only has good value but fits a big need.
24. Atlanta – TE Brandon Pettigrew ~ Oklahoma State = If Pettigrew fell into Atlanta’s lap they could be ecstatic. This would give Matt Ryan a very consistent, all-around threat at the tight end position. Pettigrew will be a rare rookie in that he can stay on the field all three downs because of his sound blocking.
25. Miami – LB Rey Maualuga ~ USC = The Dolphins need someone who will intimidate, we know how big Bill Parcells is on big, physical, mean linebackers. You won’t find another linebacker who fits that description better than the USC nightmare. This guy will meet ballcarriers in a very bad mood and also fill a need in the 3-4 defense of the Dolphins.
26. Baltimore – WR Hakeem Nicks ~ North Carolina = The Ravens are thin at receiver and will be very warm to the idea of bringing in another weapon for their young gunslinger. Nicks has great upside and can come in and play in the slot until A. Derrick Mason retires or B. They realize Michael Clayton won’t ever be a #1 receiver.
27. Colts – DT Peria Jerry ~ Ole Miss = The Colts haven’t had consistency at defensive tackle in years, and Jerry will give them the ideal three technique for their defense. He can penetrate with his quickness and he fits the mold of a slightly undersized but tough defensive lineman that the Colts love.
28. Eagles – RB Knowshon Moreno ~ Georgia = Philadelphia has bigger needs elsewhere, but this could be the steal of the draft. Moreno is a lot like Brian Westbrook, only he won’t be 30 years old come week 1. Philly let their backup Buckhalter go, so Moreno will be able to extend Westbrook’s career while giving them one of the very best runningback duo’s in the NFL.
29. Giants – CB Alphonso Smith ~ Wake Forest = New York is a team with very few if any holes, and with all the receivers gone who merit a 1st round selection I see them getting their nickel corner. Smith is an undersized guy who was extremely productive in college, he has great ball skills and plays hard all the time. Having a great nickel corner in the league is one of the things that’s becoming more and more important for a defense, so this pick makes a lot of sense.
30. Titans – DT Ziggy Hood ~ Missouri = Tennessee let arguably the best defensive lineman in the league go in free agency this off-season. They have two guys who could come in and take his place adequately. DT Tony Brown and DE/DT Jason Jones. Jones is only 275lbs, and Ziggy is 300lbs. Hood can come in and give them a solid 3 man rotation at tackle to try and fill the void left by Albert’s departure.
31. Cardinals - RB LeSean McCoy ~ Pittsburgh = The Cardinals need a feature back to go along with Tim Hightower for the future. McCoy is supremely talented and Edgerrain James is losing his "Edge" by the carry.
32. Steelers – OT Eben Britton ~ Arizona = It is common knowledge that Pittsburgh’s only real need is along the offensive line. I like OT William Beatty to develop into something special, but he just doesn’t fit the kind of player Pittsburgh covets on the line. Britton doesn’t have a finesse bone in his body and brings nice versatility where it is needed most. This pick fills a huge need and has decent value as well.
Fringe 1st Rounders - DE Robert Ayers, LB Clint Sintim, QB Josh Freeman, WR Kenny Britt, OT William Beatty, C/OG Max Unger, DE Michael Johnson, CB Darius Butler, S Rashad Johnson, S Louis Delmas, *LB James Laurinaitis