Mike Dixon's 2009 NFL Mock Draft
Pick #1 Detroit Lions- QB Matt Stafford (Georgia)
The Lions need a lot of help, no doubt about it. Just about any of the players projected to be in the top 10 in this years draft would help the perpetually struggling Lions tremendously. Whether they draft one this year, or next year the Lions need a franchise QB at the helm, and Matt Stafford appears to have the biggest upside of any of the quarterbacks in this draft.
Pick #2 St. Louis Rams- OT Jason Smith (Baylor)
Of the top tier tackles in this years draft, Smith appears to have risen to the top of the pack. Future Hall of Fame LT Orlando Pace was released, and this pick will allow the Rams to move forward with a solid starter from day 1.
Pick #3 Kansas City Chiefs- OLB Aaron Curry (Wake Forest)
Most opinions rate Curry as the most solid player in the draft. While I am convinced that this is the player that the Seahawks would most like to draft, barring a trade I don't foresee Curry falling to #4. The Chiefs could use an edge rusher to replace the traded DE Jared Allen, but combo guys such as Brian Orakpo, Everette Brown, and Aaron Maybin are better suited to a team that runs a 3-4 defense.
Pick #4 Seattle Seahawks- OLB/DE Brian Orakpo (Texas)
If OLB Aaron Curry is available to them the Seahawks will select him, period. Orakpo would fill the slot of departed OLB Julian Peterson, and looking at the physiques of the two players thats a pretty good interchange. DE Lawrence Jackson had a sub-par first season, and the lack of a pass rush played havoc on the defense as a whole. From what was reported of Orakpo's workout, he did well enough in position drills to think that he can play decently in a 4-3, especially with the strong complimenting cast of ILB Lofa Tatupu, and OLB Leroy Hill.
Pick #5 Cleveland Browns- OLB/DE Everette Brown (Florida State)
Will bring an intensity that the Browns sorely need. Suited to a 3-4, but should be able to drop in coverage as well. Browns need a lot of help, but a strong defense in the division that they play in is huge.
Pick #6 Cincinnati Bengals- WR Michael Crabtree (Texas Tech)
Measured shorter, and slower than expected yet still is rated as the best WR in the draft. With T.J Houshmandzadeh heading to Seattle, and WR Chad Johnson perennially unhappy in Cincinnati, the Bengals need a fresh play maker for QB Carson Palmer to throw to. Nobody in the draft has the day one potential to make as much impact on offense as Crabtree does.
Pick #7 Oakland Raiders- WR Jeremy Maclin (Missouri)
The Raiders biggest threat at WR is an over the hill Javon Walker. They have drafted the franchise QB, the franchise RB, and now they need the franchise WR to compliment them.
Pick #8 Jacksonville Jaguars- OT Eugene Monroe (Virginia)
LT Tra Thomas isn't the answer. Draft Monroe, move Thomas to the right side, and get that offense rolling again. Wouldn't surprise me to see a WR picked here either.
Pick #9 Green Bay Packers- OT Michael Oher (Ole Miss)
Oher is an upgrade over LT Chad Clifton, and QB Aaron Rodgers needs all the help he can get. I like a 3-4 NT here as well, someone like a B.J Raji (Boston College).
Pick #10 San Francisco 49ers- DT B.J Raji (Boston College)
Stud DT that will fit very well in the 3-4 that features a loaded linebacking corps.
Pick #11 Buffalo Bills- TE Brandon Pettigrew (Oklahoma State)
Pettigrew gives the Bills an excellent weapon to help free up coverage that would otherwise go to WR Terrell Owens, and Lee Evans.
Pick #12 Denver Broncos- RB Knowshon Moreno (Georgia)
Seemed like everyone that carried the ball for the Broncos last season got hurt. With a new coach, and a whole lot of drama this off-season, the Broncos need a solid running game to take the pressure off of whomever they have throwing the ball, whether its QB Jay Cutler or someone else.
Pick #13 Washington Redskins- OLB/DE Aaron Maybin (Penn State)
DE Alfred Fincher and Rocky Macintosh aren't exactly names that strike fear into the opposing offenses. Maybin will instantly make the Redskins defense a better unit with his edge rushing ability.
Pick #14 New Orleans Saints- DT Peria Jerry (Ole Miss)
With the best offense in the NFL, the biggest priority in this draft is to make the defense better. Along with DT Sedrick Ellis, this big interior lineman will help give the Saints a dominant defensive line.
Pick #15 Houston Texans- QB Mark Sanchez (USC)
Trading for QB Matt Shaub turned out to make the Atlanta Falcons better. That was definitely not the goal when the Texans pulled the trigger on that one. Sanchez has enough potential, that one year holding the clipboard and being coached in an NFL program will ready him to be the franchise QB that the Texans have needed from day one of their existence.
Pick #16 San Diego Chargers- LB Brian Cushing (USC)
Shawn Merriman can't do it all himself, and (pick USC linebacker in this years draft) will help take some of the pressure off of him.
Pick #17 New York Jets- CB Vontae Davis (Illinois)
Playing against the dominant pass offenses in the AFC East, the Jets need weapons to try and stop them. Good size, speed, and pedigree make Davis an excellent choice for the first DB off the board.
Pick #18 Denver Broncos (From Chicago)- DE Robert Ayers (Tennessee)
May be the best true DE in a draft full of combo guys. The Broncos could use Ayers even though they got this pick from the Bears. DE Darrell Reid and Kenny Peterson are the current starters, and one will have to take a backseat now.
Pick #19 Tampa Bay Buccaneers- WR Percy Harvin (Florida)
WR Antonio Bryant needs someone to help take double teams away. With WR Joey Galloway gone, Harvin is that guy.
Pick #20 Detroit Lions (from Dallas)- LB Ray Maualuga (USC)
The huge anchor of the best defense in college last year is an immediate starting impact player for the terrible Lions defense.
Pick #21 Philadelphia Eagles- DE Tyson Jackson (LSU)
DE Jaqua Parker and Trent Cole don't make opposing Tackles quake in their Nike's. Jackson will make an immediate impact on the Philly D-line.
Pick #22 Minnesota Vikings- QB Josh Freeman (Kansas State)
Tarvaris Jackson, Sage Rosenfels, and John Davis Booty aren't the answer, and RB Adrian Peterson needs someone to stop the defenses from stacking the line (not that it has hurt him terribly). Freeman will remind Vikings fans of a young Daunte Culpepper.
Pick #23 New England Patriots- ILB James Laurinaitis (Ohio State)
The Patriots traded away LB Mike Vrabel for a reason...they needed an infusion of youth in their defense. Laurinaitis has seen his stock fall a little in these weeks leading up to the draft, but the Patriots will reap the benefits from drafting this talented LB.
Pick #24 Atlanta Falcons- CB Malcolm Jenkins (Ohio State)
The Falcons hit the jackpot last year with QB Matt Ryan, and they hope to add an impact player in this years draft as well. Jenkins will probably switch to Safety at the next level due to a sub par 40 time, and a size more suited to the position.
Pick #25 Miami Dolphins- OLB Clay Matthews (USC)
Joey Porter needs help in the linebacking corps, and another USC player makes the seamless transition to the NFL.
Pick #26 Baltimore Ravens- WR Darrius Heyward-Bey (Maryland)
The Ravens got their franchise QB in the 2008 Draft. Now they need the franchise WR to help him out. A bit raw, but Heyward-Bey has amazing speed (fastest at the combine), and good size too.
Pick #27 Indianapolis Colts- WR Hakeem Nicks (North Carolina)
With WR Marvin Harrison put out to pasture, QB Peyton Manning needs another weapon to throw to. Nicks arguably has the best hands in the draft, and will compliment WR Reggie Wayne very well.
Pick #28 Philadelphia Eagles- OG/C Alex Mack (Cal)
Perhaps the best interior lineman in the draft. Mack can play multiple positions, and will help RB Brian Westbrook, and an aging QB stay healthy.
Pick #29 N.Y Giants- OT Eben Britton (Arizona)
Talented LT that would have been a top 10 pick if he had stayed in school another year. Will add some depth to the Giants offensive line.
Pick #30 Tennessee Titans- CB Darius Butler (Connecticut)
Good cover corner to help a great Titans defense. Wouldn't surprise me to see him become a perennial Pro Bowler.
Pick #31 Arizona Cardinals- OT William Beatty (Connecticut)
Beatty had a great workout at the combine, and if can show he won;t be a negative character guy he will excel at the next level.
Pick #32 Pittsburgh Steelers- WR Brian Robiskie (Ohio State)
Robiskie brings good size and speed to a team that has everything. With WR Hines Ward getting older, the winning attitude that Robiskie will bring to the Champs will fit right in.
1st Round Bubble Picks:
RB Donald Brown (Connecticut)
RB Chris (Beenie) Wells (Ohio State)
CB Alphonso Smith (Wake Forest)
OT Andre Smith (Alabama)
OLB/DE Larry English (Northern Illinois)
OL Max Unger (Oregon)
S Patrick Chung (Oregon)
OG Duke Robinson (Oklahoma)
RB LeSean McCoy (Pitt)
WR Kenny Britt (Rutgers)