Did you know Michael Crabtree loves Subway Subs? Well I'll bet you've never read one of my articles either! This is your lucky day.
With only three days left before the NFL Draft there are few hidden gems to be uncovered. We know the players, we know the team needs, and we know that Crabtree takes a toasted footlong over a BigMac. So I'll spare you the details concerning player sizes and attributes and get right into the picks!
1. Matt Stafford, Detroit Lions
I really wanted to put Aaron Curry here. New head coach Jim Schwarts would get a head start on his defense while Detroit would still have a shot at Sam Bradford in next years class. But if keeping Calvin Johnson interested is of any concern they need to get the offense rolling now and Stafford has been saying all the right things.
2. Jason Smith, St. Louis Rams
You've likely seen this pick a thousand times by now. He has more upside than Monroe and will add more to the Rams than Curry could.
3. Aaron Curry, Kansas City Chiefs
Long considered the best player in the draft, I don't see the Chiefs passing him for an OT. Bringing in veteran players Vrabel and Thomas to help groom Curry will make this high character player a Chief for years.
4. Mark Sanchez, Seattle Seahawks
Word on the street is that this is a done deal. I'm not sold on his consistently rising stock but I am into going 32 for 32 in this mock.
5. Michael Crabtree, Cleveland Browns
They have a great young offensive line and two potential quarterbacks, but after trading away both Winslow and Edwards they are going to need someone to make that offense work. If the trade doesn't happen Brian Orakpo will go here.
6. Eugene Monroe, Cincinnati Bengals
In all reality I think they will go with Andre Smith based on his talent being better than the Virginia product and their apparent need to help troubled youth. Then again, maybe they've learned their lesson and go with the safe bet.
7. Andre Smith, Oakland Raiders
Al Davis has no fear! With Crabtree gone, Al again makes the wrong decision and continues to build his offense with big-name rookies.
8. BJ Raji, Jacksonville Jaguars
After drafting Derrick Harvey at DE last year, DelRio continues to fortify the line with this thick run stuffer.
9. Brian Orakpo, Green Bay Packers
If I've been wrong about any of the last four picks I would put Orakpo in their spot. He is maybe my favorite player in the draft and will provide pressure for the Pack opposite Kampman.
10. Jeremy Maclin, San Francisco 49ers
I really wanted to go defense with this pick but a gut-feeling is telling me that Bay area will have someone besides Vernon "ultra-bust" Davis to target. It could certainly open up their run...maybe "possibly" is a better word there.
11. Michael Oher, Buffalo Bills
There would be no reason to pay Terrel Owens on a one year deal if the Bills QB has less than three seconds to get the ball out. I'm not sure they realized this when they acquired "the player" and then delt away Peters.
Oher is a reach at this point and typically the Bills go defensive in their early draft but this year they are in a bind and there will be no first round talent at the 28 spot.
12. Tyson Jackson, Denver Broncos
Another no brainer with the Bronco's D as it is. Look up another mock draft if you want more info on him. He has been slotted here for the last three weeks by everyone (and I agree with them).
13. Aaron Maybin, Washington Redskins
After signing Haynesworth, Maybin will complete the rush for the Redskins.
14. Malcolm Jenkins, New Orleans Saints
Already too far down the board, the Saints will be jumping for joy if this becomes reality. More than likely Jenkins could go as high as 8th and the Saints would look to either Vontae Davis or a LB in Cushing. Reports have also has Chris Wells going here but I don't buy that with the Saint's defense holding them so far back.
15. Clay Matthews, Houston Texans
Personally I would take either of the other SC backers before Matthews but so many reports have stated Matthews will be the pick here and there is relevancy to it. His uncle is a member of the Texans organization and Clay himself has the intangiables to warrant the decision. Pedigree and attitude may trump skill at 15.
16. Brian Cushing, San Diego Chargers
A steal at 16. The day his contract is signed they will be the AFC South favorite. By midseason Superbowl talk will have started alond with defensive ROY consideration.
17. Chris Wells, New York Jets
While Rex Ryan has quietly(?) moved the Ravens D to the Big Apple, Thomas Jones has decided that even though he is the oldest man on the team he should hold out.
While Ryan will not want to pick offense with Rey and Everette still on the board, Wells will be a huge upgrade and take pressure off of Clemens.
If I'm a Jet fan, I'm praying this is the pick.
18. Rey Maualuga, Denver Broncos
With the addition of Dawkins earlier in the preseason, Denver's D moves up ten spots in the rankings. After next years draft, and with Jarvis Moss/the 09 first-rounders kicking in, the Cutler trade becomes a thing of beauty.
19. Peria Jerry, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Along with Gaines Adams, the D-Line will be fortified and the Bucs can focus much of their remaining draft on building an offense. However after losing Kiffin this will not be the Tampa 2 scheme we have been accustomed to (on a side note, I could see the Buc's finishing near the bottom of the league in '09).
20. Everette Brown, Detroit Lions
After forgoing Curry for a franchise QB the Lions begin their defensive transformation in the trenches. A good place to start as there should be many options to fix the secondary in next years class.
21. Vontae Davis, Philadelphia Eagles
Although Assante Samuels remains an elite corner, the loss of Dawkins and Sheppard has left a hole in the Eagles secondary and Vontae Davis could easily be the pick.
Robert Ayers could add rush, but that has never been an issue for Jim Johnson. Likewise they could opt for Moreno, but also have a shot at Donald Brown in the next round.
22. Eben Britton, Minnesota Vikings
Believe me, not the pick I wanted to make! Percy Harvin...ditto!
In a perfect world the Eagles will take Knowshon and Vontae will be in purple. Even more perfect, the Vike's trade down (to say 28) and take Harvin there. Then in round two go after Phil Loadholt or a Center such as Alex Mack or Brian Unger...but there I go dreaming again!
I do realize Harvin would provide many instant benefits, but personally he's just not a guy I want to cheer for.
As for Britton (as my draft currently shakes out...), I must say I love offensive linemen but I think he is like that last scrawny slice of pizza that a hungry person eats.
I would much rather see us go for the best available player of need. In our case (yes I'm a Viking fan) that could be a LB in Laurinaitis. I would be thrilled at that pick!
23. Robert Ayers, New England Patriots
Unless the Peppers trade goes through, the Pats will land their rusher through the draft. I could also see them going with Laurinaitis or Brandon Pettigrew.
With five picks in the first two rounds anything is possible for this team. New England will once again be a contender.
24. Brandon Pettigrew, Atlanta Falcons
Yes, a LB makes a ton of sense here, but so does giving Matty Ice a great blocking and recieving Tight End. Falcons fans completely embraced Alge Crumpler and still have a longing for the days of a beast running through oppossing defenses.
Again, Laurinaitis could be the choice.
25. Hakeem Nicks, Miami Dolphins
While Darius Butler could easily be chosen here, Parcells likely realizes that offensive firepower is lacking in a major way. While the second round may get Miami a comparable corner, that will not be the case if they pass of Nicks and attempt a round two wideout.
26. James Laurinaitis, Baltimore Ravens
I may just be sick of typing out his name, but JL also fits here. They lost Bart Scott and had to franchise TSuggs, so the addittion of a young (and fierce) linebacker would make plenty of sense.
Regardless I see the defensive unit taking a huge step back in Ryan's absence.
27. Evander Hood, Indianapolis Colts
If Nicks were to be available here the Colts would be handing in their card as Goodell finishes shaking hands with JL (almost did it again).
The Colts also need to give Freeney some help and Hood is the next best option.
28. Josh Freeman, Buffalo Bills
Many mocks have Freeman going earlier to either the Jets or Bucs, but I don't see them biting on potential alone.
Edwards is the starter for this season but having Freeman slide this far, and beginning to lack real options, the Bills could take a flyer with this free pick. Prototypical size can never hurt when you have two speed guys flying down the sidelines.
29. Connor Barwin, Cleveland Browns (trade yet to happen)
After sending Braylon Edwards to the NY Giants, this pick will likely go towards defense. Barwin would give Mangini the kind of versatile player he attempted to develop in Vernon Gholston (obviously with a lesser talent).
30. Derrius Heyward-Bey, Tennessee Titans
The Titans have virtually no wideouts and Percy Harvin is a little too reminiscent of Chris Johnson. An end zone threat is the glaring weakness on this team and DHB is among the better options with that in mind.
31. Knowshon Moreno, Arizona Cardinals
Again, there is a good chance he will have been drafted at 21 by Philli and in that case Donald Brown would be the runner-up choice. Either way the Cards look to draft a recieving RB.
32. Percy Harvin, Pittsburg Steelers
While Santonio Holmes isn't far off from Harvin's style of play, the other option in a Center has been left quite open. Both Unger and Mack remain in the draft and neither is a huge concern.
The potential in Harvin is worth the 32nd pick.
NOTE: Please check in to read my victory speech after nailing all 32 picks and eating a delicious Lobster Sub from SUBWAY(TM)!
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