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NFL Mock Draft: Version 1
Round 2
Version 2 - 4/9/09
Version 3 - 4/23/09
Round 1 | Round 2

Round 2

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.

34. 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, Iowa
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 State
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.

38. 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!

39. Jacksonville – 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.

40. 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.

41. 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, Georgia Tech
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 here.

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 Mack, California
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.

45. New 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 Amani Toomer.

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 secondary.

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.

48. 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.

49. 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.

50. 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.

51. 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 Romo.

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, LSU
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.

54. Minnesota – 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, Missouri
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.

56. Miami – 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 Beckwith.

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.

59. 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 Marks, Auburn
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.

61. 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 the defense.

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 Miss
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 Virginia
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 like.