33. Detroit – CB Sean Smith, Utah
He has arguably the biggest upside of any defensive back in this
year’s draft, largely because he’s got a nice combination
of size and speed that could translate into game-breaking safety
skills. The Lions have seen some decent corners come and go in recent
years, and now they need a replacement for Leigh Bodden. Smith could
probably play right away, and his size makes him a safer selection
over a few of the names to follow.
New England (from Kansas City) – CB Alphonso Smith, Wake Forest
Smith has shown good footwork and balance – important factors
in making plays at the next level. He’s comfortable taking
risks and is slightly undersized at 5-foot-9 – probably the
only thing keeping him out of the Top 20 and possibly the first
round. Even though New England has made a couple free-agent pickups
at corner, I think they’d be insane to pass on Smith here
since they’ve seen so many injuries in the secondary over
the past few years.
35. St. Louis
– WR Brian Robiskie, Ohio State
The Rams could unceremoniously release Torry Holt any day now and
be forced to find a solid route-runner with the ability to move
the chains – not that Holt did much of that in 2008 anyway.
Robiskie isn’t the fastest receiver on the field, but that’s
not exactly what the Rams need. Donnie Avery will most likely prove
to be the deep threat to Robiskie’s possession WR –
a formula that could help the Rams passing game for years to come.
36. Cleveland – RB Shonn Greene,
Jamal Lewis is old and the Browns could use a young, strong back
to groom for the inevitable. Greene isn’t a fast back, but
he’s got raw running power and shakes off tacklers like horse
shedding flies. It’s either him or a smaller-faster back that
offers an immediate complement to Lewis’s style.
37. Seattle – QB Josh Freeman, Kansas
Matt Hasselbeck’s best days are behind him, and Freeman is
perhaps the most talented QB of the draft. It’s not a stretch
to see them taking Stafford at #4 if he falls there, but I can easily
see the Seahawks going safe with the first pick and taking a gamble
on a possible project here at #37.
Cincinnati – DE Robert Ayers, Tennessee
The Bengals will undoubtedly be happy to get a guy like Ayers in
the second round, although he has some character issues that might
make them shy away. What am I talking about? These are the Bengals!
Character flaws in this locker room are like jockstraps –
everybody’s got one!
– OT Eben Britton, Arizona
If they don’t take a tackle with their first pick –
and they might not if most of the good ones are gone – they’ll
definitely go for one here and try to get some value in the process.
Britton isn’t as complete a prospect as the Smiths, Monroe
or even Oher, but he was technically sound in the spread at Arizona
and he has the size to make the transition to a pro offense –
although probably not on the left side.
Oakland OT William Beatty, Connecticut
An athletic, agile tackle with unlimited potential, Beatty just
finally seemed to catch his stride with the Huskies in 2008. The
Raiders can’t afford to miss any with their draft selections
at tackle, so this is an important pick if they don’t go OT
in the first round. Beatty is a solid run-blocker and would fit
in well with the Raiders offense.
Green Bay – OT Jamon Meredith, South Carolina
His height and athletic buildmake him a prototypical left tackle,
and the Packers line is getting old and frail. Many scouts are projecting
Meredith to go in the first round, but there are negatives to weigh
– like his average agility and upright technique in pass protection.
42. Buffalo – DE Michael Johnson,
At 6-7, 266, Johnson is a physical specimen with rare athletic skills.
He was a top performer at the combine in nearly all strength and
speed categories, but he’s still an unfinished product who
needs to develop his technique in order to shine at the next level.
If Buffalo takes a more accomplished, NFL-ready defender with its
first pick, then they can take a shot at the tall, rangy Johnson
43. San Francisco –
S Louis Delmas, Western Michigan
A natural playmaker with a good frame, Delmas is what NFL scouts
look for in safety prospects. He’s fearless, reliable and
physical, and he has the makings of a team leader at the next level.
The only knock would be his aggresiveness – since it can be
used against him by crafty QBs and offensive fake-outs.
44. Miami (from Washington) – C Alex
A former high school wrestler who could be the best center in a
very deep 2009 draft class, Mack might be a first-round pick if
there’s a team dissatisfied with their production at this
tricky position. It all starts with the center-to-quarterback exchange,
and Mack is one of the most athletic – despite his massive
height and size – in recent memory. He does have some technique
issues, so if Dolphins scouts notice too many problems, they could
look to Max Unger or try to find a more versatile lineman, but I
like Mack in this spot.
York Giants (from New Orleans) – WR Kenny Britt, Rutgers
The Bayonn, New Jersey-born Britt fits in well as a possible fan
favorite – and also as a talented member of the Ginats receiving
corps. At 6-3, 218, he’s big enough to step in the shoes of
the much-beleaguered Plaxico Burress and unrestricted free-agent
46. Houston –
S Patrick Chung, Oregon
The versatile Chung brings a lot to the table after a very big year
at Oregon and could be the steal of the second round for both his
proficient physical skills and his ability to lead a defense. In
short, he’s exactly what the Texans need in their peripatetic
47. New England (from
San Diego) – LB Clint Sintim, Virginia
I could see the beastly Sintim going as early as the end of round
one or even being selected at #33 by the Lions, but it would be
a reach to see this “elephant linebacker” getting taken
by a defense without a 3-4 – where his upfield burst makes
him a solid fit. James Harrison may have gone undrafted, but it
shouldn’t be long before Sintim’s off the board, and
the Patriots could fill a definite need here.
Denver – DT Evander Hood, Missouri
If they don’t snag B.J. Raji or Peria Jerry with their first
pick, the Broncos will undoubtedly look to bolster their interior
defensive line in the second round. Hood isn’t a physical
specimen with standout size or speed, but he’s a stalwart
technician who’s tough, durable and elusive. I’ve not
yet considered the possibility of Jay Cutler trade changing the
first and second round strategy, but I will address it in future
mocks if there’s a pressing need to do so.
Chicago – OT Phil Loadholt, Oklahoma
At 6-8, 332, he’s definitely a load, and the Bears have expressed
interest in him. If he can learn to stay low and under the pads
of opposing defensive lineman, Loadholt could be a standout right
tackle and dominant drive-blocker at the next level – something
the Bears offensive line is sorely lacking.
Cleveland (from Tampa Bay) – OG Duke Robinson, Oklahoma
The massive, aggressive Oklahoma guard could go a lot sooner –
no pun intended – than No. 58 overall, but most of the OL
needs thus far have been for prototypical left tackles. Robinson
has accomplished much in his college career, and New Engalnd would
love to bring in a lineman of his caliber.
Dallas – WR Derrick Williams, Penn State
As a Cowboy fan, I’d be happy to see them snag an all-purpose
playmaker like Williams with the 51st pick. He could take some of
the pressure off of Felix Jones and Miles Austin on special teams
and provide a versatile, athletic option out of the slot for Tony
52. New York Jets –
DE Connor Barwin, Cincinnati
A converted TE, Barwin has been described as “a Mike Vrabel
clone,” by NFL scouts and is a bona fide first-day talent.
He’s a relentless pass rusher and could be taken as earlier
if New England really decides to test the Vrabel comparison.
53. Philadelphia – OT Ciron Black,
The 6’5, 315-pound junior is a bona fide prospect who could
go to just about any team needing a tackle after round 1. If Philly
doesn’t take care of its pressing OL needs with one of its
first two, it’ll need to scoop up Black before all the good
tackles are gone.
– OT Lydon Murtha, Nebraska
Probably my biggest reach of this mock, Murtha has gargantuan size
and strength but simply lacks the technique and aggressiveness that
NFL scouts are looking at for in first two rounds. He impressed
at the combine with a blazing 4.89 in the 40-yard dash – two
tenths of a second faster than any other OL – but he’s
only a viable prospect for the right side, which prevents him form
being an obvious choice in the top 50. Minnesota could use a right
tackle, and Murtha might surprise if given the opportunity.
55. Atlanta – S William Moore,
Moore is a versatile safety and elite playmaker who can instantly
improve the Atlanta secondary and add an edgy factor that could
turn the tide of close games. Moore scores defensive TDs and is
a big, physical safety with dynamic talent and athleticism who could
shine at the next level.
– LB Darry Beckwith, LSU
The Dolphins could very likely go after a guy like Beckwith, who’s
a prototypical MLB with the innate ability to stop the runner and
rack up tackles – something they’ve missed since the
loss of Zack Thomas. While current LB Channing Crowder has filled
in admirably, the defense needs a bigger, more physical guy like
57. Baltimore –
CB D.J. Moore, Vanderbilt
The Ravens arwe always looking for good corners, and while Moore
isn’t the biggest, most physical corner available, he’s
one of the best, considering his elite speed and excellent instincts.
58. New England – OT/OG Andy Levitre
He’s very quick, he’s got great balance and technique,
and he’s a versatile lineman who’ll probably end up
at guard. The Patriots could try to move up a bit from this pick
if they see better offensive lineman disappearing from the boards
and they want in, but I think they’ll settle for Levitre in
this spot without too much concern.
Carolina – C Max Unger, Oregon
Easily one of the best offensive line prospects of the draft, this
versatile 6-5, 309 lineman earned First Team All-Pac-10 honors at
left tackle in 2005 and 2006 and at center in 2007 and 2008. The
Panthers did a lot of moving around in 2008, and I’m sure
they could use that kind of durability and versatility, as well
as the winning combination of size, toughness, and quickness this
established technician offers. It’s possible the Panthers
trade up for a worthy WR to help out Steve Smith or look at the
QBs available in Round 2, but I think they’d be better off
waiting until the later rounds to work out a guy like Graham Harrell.
60. New York Giants – DT Sen’Derrick
A good run defender with a good build, Marks could fill the need
for another DT prospect to bolster the Giants current roster of
stars. It’s not their most obvious need, but bringing a guy
with as much potential as Marks into this fray of established veterans
could be a wise move that pays off down the road.
Indianapolis – DT Fili Moala, USC
The Colts had major problems at DT in 2008, with 2007 standout Ed
Johnson after a marijuana-related arrest and inconsistency among
the undrafted player’s replacements. Moala has been anything
but inconsistent, establishing a bulky presence on a defense that’s
sending most of its members to the pros. He’s quick, durable,
and built to add a few pounds and really clog up they middle of
62. Tennessee –
DT Ron Brace, Boston College
When Raji missed 2007 due to academic ineligibility, Brace helped
the Eagles to one of their most successful season ever. He was upstaged
a bit by Raji in 2008, but that doesn’t mean NFL scouts aren’t
taking note. He’s strong, quick and explosive – commodities
that could help the Titans one day recover from the loss of Albert
Haynesworth. If they don’t go DT in Round 1 and don’t
trade up to take Marks or Moala, then Brace is their man.
63. Arizona – TE Shawn Nelson, Southern
Nelson could be the most NFL-ready tight end out of a talented group
of prospects in this year’s draft, and could go as early as
the first round. The Cardinals shouldn’t let this talented
player escape the second round, and he should complement a solid
receiving corps and explosive offense with his abilities.
64. Pittsburgh – QB Pat White, West
Judging on his talent and athleticism alone, White shouldn’t
last past the second round, or NFL war rooms as a whole deserve
an F. The West Virginia offense clicked because of White, but it’s
possible he doesn’t have an NFL position where he can feature
prominently. Given the past selections of Kordell “Slash”
Stewart and Antwaan Randle El, I think this makes sense, although
it may be a round sooner than Pittsburgh’s front office would