Rudy Dominick's NFL Mock Draft: First Round

Rudy DominickCorrespondent IApril 13, 2009

NEW YORK - APRIL 26: National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell introduces the first overall pick during the 2008 NFL Draft on April 26, 2008 at Radio City Music Hall in New York, New York.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

1. Detroit Lions: Matthew Stafford (QB)—Georgia

Detroit attempts to find their quarterback of the future. With eight possible offensive tackles going in the first round, they may attempt to draft one at No. 20 or No. 33. With too many holes to fill around the team, Aaron Curry doesn’t fit because too much money would be tied up in the linebacking corps.

2. St. Louis: Jason Smith (OT)—Baylor

St. Louis released Orlando Pace with an eye on grabbing his replacement. The Rams need a solid line to help protect Marc Bulger while giving Steven Jackson holes to run through. Donnie Avery was the first wide receiver selected last year, so the Rams will look to help him later in the draft.

3. Kansas City: Eugene Monroe (OT)—Virginia

Kansas City filled a need at linebacker by signing Zach Thomas, so Aaron Curry stays on the board here. The Chiefs draft Monroe to protect their new franchise quarterback Matt Cassel.

4. DENVER (Traded from Seattle): Mark Sanchez (QB)—USC
Projected Trade: Denver sends Nos. 12 and 18 to Seattle for the No. 4 pick

Denver trades up to add Sanchez to make up for Josh McDaniels' mishandling of Jay Cutler, which led to the Pro Bowl quarterback’s trade out of town. Denver knows if they don’t draft a quarterback their fans will be in an uproar. Their defense will be improved next year with the Chicago Bears' 2010 first round pick.

5. Cleveland: Aaron Curry (LB)—Wake Forest

Cleveland gets the best consensus player in the draft while also filling a major need.

6. Cincinnati: Andre Smith (OT)—Alabama

Cincinnati takes a player that fills two needs at once. Smith fills in at tackle, protecting Carson Palmer’s blind side. Yet, after being suspended at Alabama and skipping the combine, he also adds to the list of Bengals with questionable characters.

7. Oakland: Jeremy Maclin (WR)—Missouri

Oakland drafts its third top 10 offensive player in three years. Al Davis needs a player with a good 40-yard-dash time, which eliminates Michael Crabtree from consideration.

8. Jacksonville: Michael Crabtree (WR)—Texas Tech

Jacksonville finally gets the franchise wide receiver they have been missing since Jimmy Smith retired. Crabtree would have gone higher if it were not for his foot injury.

9. Green Bay: B.J. Raji (DT)—Boston College

Green Bay shifted from a 4-3 defense to the 3-4. Raji fills a major hole up the middle, giving the Packers an easier transition.

10. San Francisco: Everette Brown (DE/LB)—Florida State

San Francisco misses out on the top two quarterbacks in Stafford and Sanchez. They decide to grab Brown, who helps their pass rush.

11. Buffalo: Brian Orakpo (DE)—Texas

Buffalo gives Aaron Schobel help, adding another pass rusher to the defensive line. This pick could be an offensive tackle if Jason Peters is traded.

12. SEATTLE (Traded from Denver): Michael Oher (OT)—Ole Miss

Seattle traded down and still grabs an offensive tackle. This pick gives them a future replacement for Walter Jones.

13. Washington: Robert Ayers (DE)—Tennessee

Washington helps newly-signed Albert Haynesworth with an explosive pass rusher. Ayers fills the hole left by the release of Jason Taylor.

14. New Orleans: Michael Jenkins (CB/S)—Ohio State

New Orleans needs help in the secondary, whether that’s at cornerback or safety. It’s been debated if Jenkins is a better fit at safety due to his lack of speed. Regardless of position, Jenkins is a major improvement for the Saints.

15. Houston: Vontae Davis (CB)—Illinois

Houston has spent several first round picks on the defensive line. Now is the time to grab the No. 1 cornerback the franchise has never had.

16. San Diego: Chris “Beanie” Wells (RB)—Ohio State

San Diego has a lot of money tied up with the running back position in 2009, yet this could be LaDainian Tomlinson’s last season with the Chargers. Darren Sproles is too small to carry the load himself. By drafting Wells, the Chargers will have a 1-2 punch for many years to come.

17. New York Jets: Josh Freeman (QB)Kansas State

New York failed in their attempts to trade for Jay Cutler. Barring a trade for either Brady Quinn or Derek Anderson, the Jets select Freeman to be the quarterback of the future.

18. SEATTLE (Traded from Denver): Darrius Heyward-Bey (WR)Maryland

Seattle has already upgraded the wide receiver position with the signing of T.J. Houshmandzadeh, but they still need help for him. Heyward-Bey gives the Seahawks a solid second option that adds incredible speed to the lineup.

19. Tampa Bay: Peria Jerry (DT)Ole Miss

Tampa Bay adds a big run-stuffing defensive tackle in Jerry. After signing Byron Leftwich to a two-year contract, they will look to grab their future quarterback later in this draft or in another.

20. Detroit: Rey Maualuga (MLB)USC

Detroit improves its terrible defense with Maualuga, a hard-hitting middle linebacker. Unlike Curry, Maualuga would sign for far less money without making a position change. Other possible selections would be offensive or defensive tackle.

21. Philadelphia: Knowshon Moreno (RB)Georgia

Philadelphia helps out veterans Donovan McNabb and Brian Westbrook with this selection. Moreno adds solid depth at the running back position and can help Westbrook stay on the field. McNabb finally sees improvement after an offseason where many talented veterans left the team.

22. Minnesota: Kenny Britt (WR)Rutgers

Minnesota attempted to sign Houshmandzadeh. Since they failed, the Vikings add a receiver with size to go along with speedy Bernard Berrian.

23. New England: Clay Matthews Jr. (LB/DE)USC

New England traded Mike Vrabel earlier this offseason, so Matthews replaces him, adding youth to their aging linebacking corps. Matthews has versatility that makes him more attractive to the Patriots.

24. Atlanta: Brandon Pettigrew (TE)Oklahoma State

Atlanta has shown its hand by trying to acquire Tony Gonzalez from the Chiefs. With Pettigrew still on the board, the Falcons grab the best player available while filling a need.

25. Miami: Aaron Maybin (DE/OLB)Penn State

Miami could use a pass rushing linebacker across from aging Joey Porter. Maybin will take some time to develop though.

26. Baltimore: Brian Cushing (OLB)USC

Baltimore selects Cushing to replace Bart Scott, ensuring that the Ravens still have one of the top linebacking corps in the NFL.

27. Indianapolis: Evander “Ziggy” Hood (DT)Missouri

Indianapolis needs a defensive tackle that can take pressure off of their defensive ends. The addition of Hood will make life easier for superstar Dwight Freeney.

28. Philadelphia: Eben Britton (OT)Arizona

Philadelphia lost both offensive tackles this offseason. Britton will fill one of those spots with Stacey Andrews, who just signed via free agency. Andrews will join his brother, Shawn Andrews, on the Eagles' offensive line.

29. New York Giants: Hakeem Nicks (WR)North Carolina

New York released Plaxico Burress after legal troubles, which leaves a massive hole at receiver, especially after veteran Amani Toomer left as a free agent. Nicks gives the Giants a possession receiver with great hands.

30. Tennessee: Percy Harvin (WR)Florida

Tennessee has been lacking quality at wide receiver for years and adds Harvin to their ranks. Harvin would have gone earlier in the draft, but character issues and a possible failed drug test at the combine drop his stock to this pick.

31. Arizona: Donald Brown (RB)Connecticut

Arizona needs to add a running back early in the draft and do so with UConn’s Donald Brown. Brown gives the Cardinals a solid running game with Tim Hightower, who failed in his attempt last season as the starter.

32. Pittsburgh: William Beatty (OT)Connecticut

Pittsburgh needs to add an offensive lineman or two in the draft and select Beatty to fill a need.


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