2009 NFL Mock Draft Through Round Four: Underclassmen Dominate Early Picks

Sayre BedingerSenior Writer IJanuary 8, 2009

1. Detroit Lions: Matthew Stafford; Quarterback, Georgia

Detroit is officially the worst NFL team of all time, and they are in desperate need of some help. Matthew Stafford was a very productive quarterback at Georgia, putting up a quarterback rating of 153.54, and doing that with a rocket for an arm.  Stafford's arm strength allows him to take more risks and fit the ball into tighter spaced.

NFL Comparison: Jay Cutler, Denver Broncos

2. St. Louis Rams: Andre Smith; Offensive Tackle, Alabama

Many scouts view Smith as the top prospect available in the draft.  St. Louis was terrible offensively, and a top left tackle prospect would be ideal.  Smith is very agile for his 6'5", 341-pound frame, and could be a dominant left tackle for the next decade. 

NFL Comparison: Walter Jones, Seattle Seahawks


3. Kansas City Chiefs: Brian Orakpo; Defensive End, Texas

Orakpo is my top rated senior, and I love his ability to pass rush.  He proved any doubters wrong this season, playing his best games on the biggest stages.  Kansas City lost all of its pass rushing abilities when they traded Jared Allen to the Vikings, and Orakpo would be a perfect addition.

NFL Comparison: John Abraham, Atlanta Falcons


4. Seattle Seahawks: Sam Bradford; Quarterback, Oklahoma

With the end of the Mike Holmgren era comes the end also of the Matt Hasselbeck era.  Seattle has gotten progressively worse in the past two seasons, and so has Hasselbeck.  Bradford is a really hot prospect who would solidify a top five draft spot if he has a good National Championship game.  He is accurate, but may need some time to develop.

NFL Comparison: Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons


5. Cleveland Browns: Aaron Curry; Outside Linebacker, Wake Forest

Curry may be the most complete defensive player in the draft.  He has never missed a game due to injury and has great speed and athleticism.  Cleveland would likely use him as a pass rushing outside linebacker to replace the aging Willie McGinest, but he is also exceptional in pass coverage.

NFL Comparison: Jason Taylor, Washington Redskins


6. Cincinnati Bengals: Michael Crabtree; Wide Receiver, Texas Tech

Crabtree is a "five tool" player if I have ever seen one.  He combines his excellent speed with great size and has absolute bear claws for hands.  Crabtree catches everything that comes near him, and with the Bengals possibly losing Chad Johnson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh in the next couple of seasons, this seems like a very smart move. 

NFL Comparison: Andre Johnson, Houston Texans


7. Oakland Raiders: Malcolm Jenkins; Cornerback, Ohio State

Jenkins has been the best college cornerback for the last two years and was rewarded by winning two consecutive Jim Thorpe Awards.  Jenkins essentially shut down an entire half of the field and could be a great player for the Raiders.  If Oakland doesn't move Nnamdi Asomugha, they would form a very potent duo for opposing quarterbacks to throw at. 

NFL Comparison: Charles Woodson, Green Bay Packers

8. Jacksonville Jaguars: Michael Oher; Offensive Tackle, Mississippi

Oher was one of the top offensive tackle prospects in last year's draft prior to pulling his name at the last minute to return to school.  At 6'5", 330 pounds, he is an absolute terror for opposing defensive ends and would be an excellent addition to a Jaguars O-line that lost four out of five starters to injury. 

NFL Comparison: Tony Ugoh, Indianapolis Colts


9. Green Bay Packers: Aaron Maybin; Defensive End, Penn State

Maybin is arguably the best defensive end prospect in the country.  He is a phenomenal pass rusher, and he also is able to effectively stop the run.  At 6'4", 250 pounds, he is a bit undersized, but has the room to add weight to his frame.  He would help take a lot of pressure off of Aaron Kampman on the other side, and Green Bay would be getting an excellent player.


10. San Francisco 49ers: Eugene Monroe; Offensive Tackle, Virginia

San Francisco allowed a staggering 55 sacks last season, which led the league.  That statistic is unacceptable, and Mike Singletary is smart enough to recognize it.  Monroe is one of the top pass-protecting offensive tackles in the draft and would significantly improve the Niners' passing game.

NFL Comparison: Ryan Harris, Denver Broncos

11. Buffalo Bills: Everette Brown; Defensive End, Florida State

Brown is another great pass rushing prospect.  Buffalo ranked 29th in sacks this season, largely due to the absence of Aaron Schobel.  Brown would provide an instant impact in getting to opposing quarterbacks and would make Buffalo's talented secondary that much better.

NFL Comparison: Gaines Adams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers


12. Denver Broncos: Taylor Mays, Safety, USC

Mays is the most physically imposing of the safeties in this year's draft, standing at 6'3", 230 pounds.  Denver's defense ranked near the bottom in every major category, and Mays would give this defense some instant credibility.  He is a hard hitter who has more speed than any other safety in the draft.

NFL Comparison: Adrian Wilson, Arizona Cardinals

13. Washington Redskins: Rey Maualuga; Middle Linebacker, USC

Maualuga has been one of the most dominant defenders in the nation since he put on his USC uniform.  He has a nose for the ball carrier and is rarely out of place.  For the Redskins to get him here would be an absolute robbery, and he could go as early as number eight to the Jaguars. 

NFL Comparison: Brian Urlacher, Chicago Bears


14. New Orleans Saints: James Laurinaitis; Middle Linebacker, Ohio State

This is as early as Laurinaitis will go, I think.  He is a great tackler, but he just hasn't "wowed" me recently.  He has all of the physical tools to be a great middle linebacker at the next level, and since New Orleans has an awful defense and could lose Jonathan Vilma, this pick makes sense.

NFL Comparison: Paul Posluszny, Buffalo Bills

15. Houston Texans: Brian Cushing; Outside Linebacker, USC

Cushing could be the steal of the draft.  This may be a bit higher than he will actually go, but once the season starts, everyone will be wondering why he wasn't drafted higher.  There is no safety worth taking at this point for Houston, so that makes outside linebacker the next area of need.  Cushing is a great pass rusher and a great coverage linebacker.

NFL Comparison: Chad Greenway, Minnesota Vikings


16. San Diego Chargers: Chris Wells; Running Back, Ohio State

This would be an interesting pick for the Chargers.  They could potentially lose Darren Sproles to free agency, and LaDainian Tomlinson just isn't what he used to be.  Wells has a great skill set for a back of his size, and he could be a great impact player for the Chargers in 2009.

17. New York Jets: Mark Sanchez; Quarterback, USC

Sanchez will be very hyped going into this draft if he decides to declare.  The way he shredded Penn State's defense cemented his status as a first round talent, and the Jets could jump at the chance to get him.  Brett Favre will retire, and Kellen Clemens would be the starter already if he had developed as planned.

NFL Comparison: Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints


18. Chicago Bears: Jeremy Maclin; Wide Receiver, Missouri

For the longest time, the Chicago Bears have lacked a playmaker at the WR position.  Maclin could be an instant upgrade and make Kyle Orton look good.  He has unmatched speed and is a threat to take the ball the distance any time he touches it.  He may only be 6'1", but he plays like he is 6'4".

NFL Comparison: Steve Smith, Carolina Panthers


19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Gerald McCoy; Defensive Tackle, Oklahoma

Tampa Bay's defense is really aging, and I think their top choice would be an outside linebacker, but McCoy is a fast-rising prospect who could be a dominant defensive tackle at the next level.  He is strong and has the ability to clog up any hole.

NFL Comparison: Tommie Harris, Chicago Bears


20. Detroit Lions (from Dallas): Jason Smith; Offensive Tackle, Baylor

Detroit gave up the second-most sacks of any team in the NFL in 2008 and will most certainly need to correct that if they are to bring in a franchise quarterback.  Jason Smith is a very good pass protecting offensive lineman, and he could be the anchor on the left side for a long time.

NFL Comparison: D'Brickashaw Ferguson, New York Jets


21. Minnesota Vikings: Duke Robinson; Offensive Lineman, Oklahoma

Robinson is one of the most massive offensive linemen I have ever seen.  Minnesota’s right side has been the reason for their pass-protecting woes.  I like Robinson because he has the ability to play either guard spot, or even slide out to right tackle if need be. 

NFL Comparison: Max Starks, Pittsburgh Steelers


22. New England Patriots: Vontae Davis; Cornerback, Illinois

Davis would be a great value pick here.  He likely will go higher, pending a 40-yard dash time, but New England needs to find a more adequate replacement for Asante Samuel.  Davis is a great cover corner who is big and can help in the run game as well. 

NFL Comparison: Antoine Winfield, Minnesota Vikings


23. Atlanta Falcons: Jermaine Gresham; Tight End, Oklahoma

It would be no surprise if the Falcons drafted Gresham here.  Tight end is definitely the biggest area of need on offense for Atlanta, and Gresham is the best player at that position in the draft.  He is a great pass catcher with speed to go along with his size.

NFL Comparison: Tony Scheffler, Denver Broncos


24. Miami Dolphins: Terrence Cody; Defensive Tackle, Alabama

This would be an excellent selection for the Dolphins.  At 6’5”, 375, Cody is the perfect fit for Miami’s 3-4 defense, and he has been one of the most dominating DTs in college this season.  Not only can Cody stuff the run, he is also a disruptive force in the passing game.

NFL Comparison: Shaun Rogers, Cleveland Browns

25. Indianapolis Colts: B.J. Raji; Defensive Tackle, Boston College

Raji may be a better fit for a 3-4 defense, but the Colts need defensive tackles badly, and Raji is the best available.  Indy’s defense has been very inconsistent as of late, and a premier defensive tackle could step them up to the next level.

NFL Comparison: Vince Wilfork, New England Patriots

26. Arizona Cardinals: Knowshon Moreno; Running Back, Georgia

It would be a surprise if Moreno fell this far, but there is really no other team ahead of Arizona in desperate need of a running back.  Moreno is a playmaker who would instantly breathe some life into the running game of Arizona, which was the worst in the league in 2008.

NFL Comparison: Reggie Bush, New Orleans Saints


27. Philadelphia Eagles: Darrius Heyward-Bey; Wide Receiver, Maryland

Philly fans will love this pick.  Heyward-Bey is a great combination of size and speed, and would very effectively compliment DeSean Jackson. 

NFL Comparison: Roddy White, Atlanta Falcons

28. Baltimore Ravens: Alphonso Smith; Cornerback, Wake Forest

Smith is a very, very fast cornerback who plays bigger than his listed size of 5’9”.  Smith will dazzle at the combine with his measurables and may have the best top-end speed of any corner in the draft.

NFL Comparison: Quentin Jammer, San Diego Chargers


29. Philadelphia Eagles (from Carolina): Brandon Pettigrew; Tight End, Oklahoma State

With L.J. Smith on the downslide, Philly is definitely going to need a long-term replacement at tight end.  Brett Celek has performed well as of late, but he is more of a backup than an every down starter.  Pettigrew can block with the best of them, runs great routes as a receiver, and is great after the catch.

NFL Comparison: Daniel Graham, Denver Broncos


30. Pittsburgh Steelers: Alex Mack; Center, California

Mack has no business falling this far, but the Steelers would not complain.  Ben Roethlisberger was sacked more than most quarterbacks in the AFC this season, and pass protection help is needed in a bad way.

NFL Comparison: Nick Mangold, New York Jets


31. New York Giants: Brandon Spikes; Middle Linebacker, Florida

New York would most likely slide Spikes to the outside, which is their greatest area of need.  If nothing else, Spikes is the best player available, and since Brian Cushing is gone, the Giants could go with a running back here as well.

NFL Comparison: Jonathan Vilma, New Orleans Saints


32. Tennessee Titans: Percy Harvin; Wide Receiver, Florida

Harvin is a playmaker with a nose for the end zone.  He can do it all on the football field and is very underrated as a receiver.  Tennessee would yet again be getting arguably the best athlete in the draft, while also filling a need at WR.

NFL Comparison: Santana Moss, Washington Redskins

Round Two

33.  Detroit Lions:  Michael Johnson; Defensive End, Georgia Tech

34.  St. Louis Rams:  D.J. Moore; Cornerback, Vanderbilt

35.  Kansas City Chiefs:  Eben Britton; Offensive Tackle, Arizona

36.  Seattle Seahawks:  Kenny Britt; Wide Receiver, Rutgers

37.  Cleveland Browns:  Trevard Lindley; Cornerback, Kentucky

38.  Cincinnati Bengals:  Jerry Hughes; Defensive End, TCU

39.  Oakland Raiders:  Russell Okung; Offensive Tackle, Oklahoma State

40.  Jacksonville Jaguars:  Victor Harris; Cornerback, Virginia Tech

41.  Green Bay Packers:  Ciron Black; Offensive Tackle, LSU

42.  San Francisco 49ers:  Patrick Chung; Safety, Oregon

43.  Buffalo Bills:  Mark Herzlich; Outside Linebacker, Boston College

44.  Denver Broncos:  Shonn Greene; Running Back, Iowa

45.  Miami Dolphins (from Washington):  William Moore; Safety, Missouri

46.  New York Giants (from New Orleans):  Louis Delmas; Safety, Western Michigan

47.  Houston Texans:  Rashad Johnson; Safety, Alabama

48.  New England Patriots (from San Diego):  Tyson Jackson; Defensive End, LSU

49.  New York Jets:  Brandon LaFell; Wide Receiver, LSU

50.  Chicago Bears:  Greg Hardy; Defensive End, Ole Miss

51.  Tampa Bay Buccaneers:  Sean Witherspoon; Outside Linebacker, Missouri

52.  Dallas Cowboys:  Seth Olsen; Offensive Lineman, Iowa

53.  Minnesota Vikings:  Josh Freeman; Quarterback, Kansas State

54.  New England Patriots:  Javon Ringer; Running Back, Michigan State

55.  Atlanta Falcons:  Sen’Derrick Marks; Defensive Tackle, Auburn

56.  Miami Dolphins:  Derrick Williams; Wide Receiver, Penn State

57.  Indianapolis Colts:  Clint Sintim; Outside Linebacker, Virginia

58.  Arizona Cardinals:  Peria Jerry; Defensive Tackle, Mississippi

59.  Philadelphia Eagles:  Darry Beckwith; Middle Linebacker, LSU

60.  Baltimore Ravens:  Mike Mickens; Cornerback, Cincinnati

61.  Carolina Panthers:  Ndamukong Suh; Defensive Tackle, Nebraska

62.  Pittsburgh Steelers:  Phil Loadholt; Offensive Tackle, Oklahoma

63.  New York Giants:  James Davis; Running Back, Clemson

64.  Tennessee Titans:  Geno Atkins; Defensive Tackle, Georgia


Round Three

65.  Detroit Lions:  Juaquin Iglesias; Wide Receiver, Oklahoma

66.  St. Louis Rams:  Nate Davis; Quarterback, Ball State

67.  Kansas City Chiefs:  Donald Brown; Running Back, UConn

68.  Seattle Seahawks:  Jamon Meredith; Offensive Tackle, South Carolina

69.  Dallas Cowboys (from Cleveland):  Hakeem Nicks; Wide Receiver, North Carolina

70.  Cincinnati Bengals:  Kevin Ellison; Safety, USC

71.  Oakland Raiders:  Mohamed Massaquoi; Wide Receiver, Georgia

72.  Jacksonville Jaguars:  Louis Murphy; Wide Receiver, Florida

73.  Green Bay Packers:  Sean Smith; Cornerback, Utah State

74.  San Francisco 49ers:  Graham Harrell; Quarterback, Texas Tech

75.  Buffalo Bills:  Asher Allen; Cornerback, Georgia

76.  Denver Broncos:  Fili Moala; Defensive Tackle, USC

77.  Washington Redskins:  Nic Harris; Safety, Oklahoma

78.  New York Jets (from New Orleans):  Evander Hood; Defensive Tackle, Missouri

79.  Houston Texans:  Darius Butler; Cornerback, UConn

80.  San Diego Chargers:  Herman Johnson; Offensive Guard, LSU

81.  Green Bay Packers (from New York Jets):  Terrance Taylor; Defensive Tackle, Michigan

82.  Chicago Bears:  Tim Tebow; Quarterback, Florida

83.  Tampa Bay Buccaneers:  Brian Robiskie; Wide Receiver, Ohio State

84.  Detroit Lions (from Dallas):  Marcus Freeman; Outside Linebacker, Ohio State

85.  Minnesota Vikings:  Jarrett Dillard; Wide Receiver, Rice

86.  New England Patriots:  Clay Matthews; Outside Linebacker, USC

87.  Atlanta Falcons:  Michael Hamlin; Safety, Clemson

88.  Miami Dolphins:  Larry English; DE/OLB, Northern Illinois

89.  Indianapolis Colts:  Keenan Lewis; Cornerback, Oregon State

90.  Arizona Cardinals:  Max Unger; Center, Oregon

91.  Philadelphia Eagles:  Andrew Levitre; Offensive Guard, Oregon State

92.  Baltimore Ravens:  Jasper Brinkley; Middle Linebacker, South Carolina

93.  Carolina Panthers:  Michael Bennett; Defensive End, Texas A&M

94.  Pittsburgh Steelers:  Jonathan Luigs; Offensive Lineman, Arkansas

95.  New York Giants:  Chase Coffman; Tight End, Missouri

96.  Tennessee Titans:  Jonathan Casillas; Linebacker, Wisconsin

Round Four

97.  Dallas Cowboys (from Detroit):  Ron Brace; Defensive Tackle, Boston College

98.  St. Louis Rams:  Alex Magee; Defensive Tackle, Purdue

99.  Kansas City Chiefs:  Antoine Caldwell; Center, Alabama

100.  Seattle Seahawks:  Carey Harris; Cornerback, USC

101.  Cleveland Browns:  Andre Brown; Running Back, North Carolina State

102.  Cincinnati Bengals:  P.J. Hill; Running Back, Wisconsin

103.  Oakland Raiders:  Darryl Richard; Defensive Tackle, Georgia Tech

104.  Jacksonville Jaguars:  Dannell Ellerbe; Linebacker, Georgia

105.  Green Bay Packers:  Jason Phillips; Linebacker, TCU

106.  San Francisco 49ers:  Brandon Gibson; Wide Receiver, Washington State

107.  Buffalo Bills:  Joe Burnett; Cornerback, UCF

108.  Denver Broncos:  Worrell Williams; Middle Linebacker, Cal

109.  New York Jets (from Washington):  Connor Barwin, DE/OLB, Cincinnati

110.  New Orleans Saints:  Tim Jamison; Defensive End, Michigan

111.  Houston Texans:  Kraig Urbik; Offensive Guard, Wisconsin

112.  San Diego Chargers:  Antonio Appleby; Middle Linebacker, Virginia

113.  New York Jets:  Bruce Johnson; Cornerback, Miami

114.  Chicago Bears:  Brandon Tate; Wide Receiver, North Carolina

115.  Tampa Bay Buccaneers:  Domonique Johnson; Cornerback, Jackson State

116.  Dallas Cowboys:  Rhett Bomar; Quarterback, Sam Houston State

117.  Minnesota Vikings:  Fenuki Tupou; Offensive Tackle, Oregon

118.  New England Patriots:  Trevor Canfield; Offensive Lineman, Cincinnati

119.  Atlanta Falcons:  Tyrone McKenzie; Outside Linebacker, South Florida

120.  Miami Dolphins:  DeAngelo Smith; Cornerback, Cincinnati

121.  Indianapolis Colts:  Chase Daniel; Quarterback, Missouri

122.  Arizona Cardinals:  Curtis Taylor; Safety, LSU

123.  Philadelphia Eagles:  Dorell Scott; Defensive Tackle, Clemson

124.  Baltimore Ravens:  Demetrius Byrd; Wide Receiver, LSU

125.  Carolina Panthers:  Quan Cosby; Wide Receiver, Texas

126.  Pittsburgh Steelers:  Matthew Shaughnessy; DE/OLB, Wisconsin

127.  New York Giants:  Alexander Boone; Offensive Tackle, Ohio State

128.  Tennessee Titans:  Troy Kopog; Offensive Tackle, Tulane


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