This is the latest mock draft from our resident draft guru, Shane. A few changes here and there should be enough to raise your eyebrows. This mock does include the trade between Denver and Chicago.
Be sure to scroll down for our own “Mock Draft Poll“. A daily poll for you to voice your opinion on who each team will select in this Aprils’ draft. 20 days and counting.
1. Detroit – Matthew Staford, QB, Georgia. Detroit needs a young QB to build this franchise around they have a young receiver in Johnson and RB in Smith, Staford could give them the young trio they need. Detroit could look a few different ways and I would not be shocked if they went offensive line or defensive end. Schwartz is a defense guy and the GM Martin Mayhew is a former DB as well. Wouldn’t be shocked if they decided to go with Aaron Curry.
2. St. Louis – Eugene Monroe, OT, Virginia. Pace is gone and Andre Smith would have been the pick here if not for his fiasco. Monroe could step in day one. Remember Monroe is the reason Chiefs starting LT Brandon Albert played inside at LG at Virginia.
3. Kansas City – Everett Brown, DE/OL, Florida State. I have gone back and forth between Brown and Curry here. Curry is going to be a great player, but Brown is the best pure pass rusher in the draft. KC has met with him many times and he fits the bill for Pioli. Brown gives them a guy that can play DE in a 4-3 or OLB in a 3-4. He is very athletic and his 12.5 sacks and 23 tackles for loss in 2008 will translate to a guy that can play on the offensive side of the line of scrimmage.
4. Seattle – Mark Sanchez, QB, USC. Hasselbeck will turn 34 during the season and he has only played 2 full seasons in the last 5. Seattle sent the entire front office to the USC proday and they spent a lot of time with Sanchez. Sanchez will be able to sit behind Hasselbeck for a year or two then take over the reigns.
5. Cleveland – Aaron Curry, OLB, Wake Forest. Browns could go Orakpo here, but Curry may be the best player in the draft. Mangini can line Curry at any one of the linebacker spots and he will be a Pro Bowler.
6. Cincinnati – Jason Smith, OT, Baylor. The Bengals have to improve the offensive line. Smith has the ability to be a top 5 pick and they will jump at the chance to grab him at #6.
7. Oakland – Jeremy Maclin, WR, Missouri. Big Al likes the big name, but he likes the 40 times better. Maclin comes off the board before Crabtree. Maclin fits the bill for the type of receivers Davis loves. He will be able to stretch the field while Russell can rare back and throw the ball.
8. Jacksonville – Michael Crabtree, WR, Texas Tech. Jacksonville can’t be happier that the best player at their biggest need fell to #8. Crabtree’s injury cost him a few spots, but it may have gotten him on a better team and will help him to be a contributor early.
9. Green Bay – Vontea Davis, CB, Illinois. Harris and Woodson are long in the tooth. Davis will give them a physical corner who is a bit raw but has the ability to be one of the top corners in the NFL. He is a hard hitting ball hawk that should help create turnovers.
10. San Fran – Brian Orakpo, DE, Texas. Lawson has not lived up to expectations and San Fran has to find a way to get pressure on the QB. Orakpo should be able to give them that pressure and he would fit in nicely next to Willis. Singeltary will love his intensity and hard hitting ability.
11. Buffalo – Clay Mathews, DE/OLB, USC. Mathews has done nothing but impress. The least heralded of the three linebackers from USC, but may be the best at the NFL level. The former walk-on safety has the ability to get after the QB and the hips to drop back in coverage. Mathews run up the board is similar to that of Patrick Willis’s a couple of years ago, and his NFL productivity should be similar.
12. Denver – BJ Raji, DT, BC. Even with the hiring of McDaniels there is little doubt yet they must improve on defense. Denver can’t stop the run at all, Raji gives then the tree stump in the middle to build that 3-4 defense around.
13. Washington – Andre Smith, OT, Alabama. Samuels, Fabini and Jensen are all over 30 and Jensen’s future with the Redskins is in Question. The Redskins struggled on offense once Samuels went down. He could sit a year or he could step in right away or even be moved to the right side if they decide not to bring Jensen back.
14. New Orleans – Malcolm Jenkins, DB, Ohio State. Chances are the Saints would move Jenkins to safety and he should be able to make the transition without an issue. Jenkins is a very physical DB and at 6’0”, and 204 lbs he has the size.
15. Houston – Brian Cushing, OLB, USC. Cushing will add another young player to the already young front seven. Cushing and Williams coming after the passer from the right side will be tough for offenses to stop.
16. San Diego – Knowshon Moreno, RB, Georgia. LT will turn 30 this off-season and just post his worst season as a pro. He has worked out a contract, but his time in SD is still limited. Moreno is similar is size and stature to LT and I am not sold that Sproles is and every down back in the NFL.
17. New York Jets – Josh Freeman, QB, Kansas State. Kellen Clemons is not the answer and who knows if Eric Ainge is. Jets could look a few ways here, but in the end I think Freeman works here.
18. Denver – Tyson Jackson, DL, LSU. Denver needs to shore up the defensive front seven. Raji and Jackson are the #1 and #2 players for a defensive front 3 and they get them both.
18. Tampa Bay – Percy Harvin, WR, Florida. Harvin gives the Bucs an instant playmaker. He can be used in many ways and one he touches the ball he is dynamic. Harvin reminds me a lot of Steve Smith and while he doesn’t play as angry as Smith he does play with a bit of a chip on his shoulder.
20. Detroit (f/Dallas) – Michael Oher, OT, Mississippi. Detroit finally gets a draft right. They get their franchise QB and their franchise LT in the same draft. Oher has more snaps at LT than any other player in this year’s draft.
21. Philadelphia – Chris Wells, RB, Ohio State. The Eagles window is closing fast and the biggest need is a big running back that can pound the ball between the tackles. Westbrook may be the best all around back in the NFL, but he just doesn’t have the size to take the pounding inside and when he goes down the Eagles feel it.
22. Minnesota – Max Unger, OL, Oregon. He can play any spot along the offensive line and if the Vikings can’t resign Matt Birk he could step in and start day one. Minnesota will more than likely try and move down because they need to get a QB and unless one of the tier 2 guys really impresses ala Flacco last year they can drop back and get a QB later in the round or in round 2.
23. New England – Aaron Maybin, DE/OLB, Penn State. They could very well go DB but Maybin’s ability is just too hard to pass up in this spot. The patriots have had a hard time of getting pressure on the QB and Maybin should help that. He is raw, but he may have the biggest upside of any DE/OLB in the draft.
21. Atlanta – Brandon Pettigrew, TE, Oklahoma State. Pettigrew will give the Falcons and Matty Ice a very good middle of the field threat. He will also bring another very good run blocker for Michael Turner.
25. Miami – Hakeem Nicks, WR, North Carolina. This goes completely away from what I have felt, but with Mathews long gone and the fact that Parcells and Sporano took Chad Henne to the UNC pro day to work out Nicks tells me they have interest. They did the same with Harvin, but he is gone. Nicks has a very similar style to Anquan Boldin and may have the best hands and second best route running ability in the draft. I still think OLB or CB could be the pick here, but going with Nicks for now.
26. Baltimore – Rey Maualuga, LB, USC. Bart who? The Ravens don’t think twice about this pick. They are shocked that he fell past New England and Miami, but Maualuga next to Ray Ray for a year or two will be priceless learning.
27. Indianapolis – Jerry Peria, DT, Mississippi. The Colts need help in the middle. Peria is big enough to stuff the run, but is also quick enough on his feet the pressure the QB. He is a perfect fit for the Tampa 2 defense.
28. Philadelphia – Sean Smith, DB, Utah. This pick will more than likely come down to a need and Philly may very well move this pick or use both picks to move up in the draft. Smith can play safety or corner and Philly could lose Dawkins in the off-season. He is a big DB and fast. He would fit in nicely with Johnson’s attacking style defense.
29. New York Giants – James Laurinaitis, ILB, Ohio State. The Giants are ecstatic that Laurinaitis is there at #29. He will give them a tough run stuffing MLB that attacks. Depending on what they think happens with Plaxico they could look at Britt or Bey in this spot as well.
30. Tennessee – Darius Butler, CB, Connecticut. Butler might be the best cover corner in the draft, but he may be a bit raw. Tennessee needs to upgrade the defensive secondary and Butler would fit in well.
31. Arizona – Conner Barwin, DE/OLB, Cincinnati. Barwin has been shooting up the charts and has gone from a round 4 pick to a first round pick. He is a perfect fit for Zona’s pressure blitzing type of defense.
32. Pittsburgh – Alex Mack, OL, California. Pitt could go CB here, but Mack is too much of a value for them to turn down. Mack can play 4 of the 5 OL spots, but will more than likely be a Pro Bowl center or guard at some point. The rich get richer.