1. Detroit Lions – Matt Stafford, QB, Georgia
We might not agree with this pick, but we do believe that Stafford will be the choice here at #1 for the Lions. They drafted Drew Stanton 2 seasons ago, who a lot of people said was 1st round talent, yet they have not yet given him a shot to start. The Lions probably should look to take Smith here, but we still think the pick is Stafford.
2. St. Louis Rams – Jason Smith, OT, Baylor
Classic left tackle who is arguably the top offensive lineman in a draft full of them. The Rams clearly need someone to protect the QB’s backside to replace Orlando Pace. Very athletic for his size.
3. Kansas City Chiefs – Aaron Curry, LB, Wake Forest
Clearly the best linebacker in this draft, and maybe the safest pick in the entire draft. All signs point to Curry being a future pro-bowler. Since the Chiefs acquired Matt Cassell to address their QB situation, they would be silly to pass on Curry at this point if he is there.
4. Seattle Seahawks – Eugene Monroe, OT, Virginia
Some people consider Monroe the best offensive lineman in the draft over Jason Smith. Monroe is a classic tackle, perfect size, and the Seahawks should go offensive lineman, since they just signed Houshmandzadeh at wide receiver.
5. Cleveland Browns – Michael Crabtree, WR, Texas Tech
It will be interesting to see where Crabtree ends up going, as he is falling in the eyes of some due to his upcoming surgery, and not being able to participate in the combine. He also measured in at 6’1” instead of the 6’3” he was listed as at Texas Tech. Still a beast, who is the best receiver among a group of deep receivers in this draft class, and the Browns may take him here having just lost Stallworth, and looking to trade Edwards.
6. Cincinnati Bengals – Brian Orakpo, DE, Texas
Orakpo is a guy you can plug in as the foundation of a defense, and is a flat out physical specimen. The Bengals could go a few different ways with this pick, but Orakpo is too good to pass up if he is on the board here.
7. Oakland Raiders – Jeremy Maclin, WR, Missouri
Maclin may be the ultimate “playmaker” of the draft. Maclin has speed, can run routes, catch the ball, and can return punts. Definitely the 2nd best receiver in this draft behind Crabtree, and could fit in for the Raiders right away, as they have no good receivers.
8. Jacksonville Jaguars – B.J. Raji, DT, Boston College
Raji not only dominated the senior bowl, he also performed very well at the combine, and has established himself as the premiere defensive tackle in the draft. The Jaguars will probably go O-Line or D-Line here, and Raji will be a good stopper up the middle, similar to Haloti Ngata of the division rival Ravens.
9. Green Bay Packers – Malcolm Jenkins, CB, Ohio State
The Packers need help all over their defense, and Jenkins is probably the best secondary player in this draft. Jenkins ran a bad 40 at the combine but his speed on the field still appears to be quick enough. The Packers are not getting any younger in the secondary, and Jenkins should be able to help right away.
10. San Francisco 49ers – Mark Sanchez, QB, USC
The 49ers missed out on getting Kurt Warner this offseason, and clearly need a quarterback, and Sanchez could be the guy. Sanchez could turn out to be a very good QB, but may take some time to break in to the starting lineup.
11. Buffalo Bills – Everette Brown, DE/LB, Florida State
Brown is a guy who can play both defensive end, or outside linebacker positions, depending on what the Bills need. The Bills need a solid defensive end who can get after the quarterback, and Brown plays a lot in the backfield, on both running and passing plays.
12. Denver Broncos – Aaron Maybin, DE/LB, Penn State
Maybin is a solid prospect out of Penn State, who can project as an outside linebacker or defensive end. Maybin didn’t do much to help himself at the combine, but bounced back with a terrific pro day. Either way, Maybin could be exactly what the Broncos need at defensive end, or outside linebacker.
13. Washington Redskins – Andre Smith, OT, Alabama
The Redskins have addressed a few needs in free agency, and with Andre Smith on the board here, they may take him. Smith was once considered a top 5 pick, and could be a steal here for the Redskins if he has his head on straight. Should be able to provide some security and much needed help in the passing game for Jason Campbell.
14. New Orleans Saints – Rey Maualuga, LB, USC
The Saints need help all over their defense, and Maualuga is a flat out playmaker. He had an average combine, but if you watch tape of this guy, he stands out. He can get to the edges, and cover a tight end or running back. Maualuga could be plugged in right away next to Vilma and help out their linebacking corps.
15. Houston Texans – Brian Cushing, LB, USC
Cushing is shooting up the draft boards, and some say he will go before teammate Rey Maualuga. Cushing has a lot of upside, and could be plugged in at the outside linebacker position next to Ryans.
16. San Diego Chargers – James Laurinaitis, LB, Ohio State
Laurinaitis is another one of the solid linebackers in this draft, who could go higher than this pick, or could drop down the board. With the Chargers bringing back both LT and Sproles, they probably won’t go RB, so they may look to sure up their defense, and provide some help to Merriman.
17. New York Jets – Josh Freeman, QB, Kansas State
One of the most intriguing guys in the draft is Freeman. At the combine, Freeman was shaky, but showed a tremendous upside. Could be a huge bust, but may be worth it for the Jets who will be hurt without having Favre at QB.
18. Chicago Bears – Percy Harvin, WR, Florida
Harvin had a great career in college, and looks like he could be a good playmaker at the next level. Harvin has been shooting up the draft boards due to his combination of speed and strength. The Bears could go a couple different ways here, but as we have projected Freeman off the board, there is no QB worth taking here.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Knowshon Moreno, RB, Georgia
The Bucs have running backs, but they are very fragile and never healthy. Moreno is probably the best running back in the draft, and if he is available at this pick, may be a huge steal.
20. Detroit Lions – Peria Jerry, DT, Mississippi
The Lions need to go defense here if they take a QB #1 overall. Jerry is the 2nd ranked defensive tackle this season, and could make an immediate impact on the Lions.
21. Philadelphia Eagles – Michael Oher, OT, Mississippi
Another one of the good tackles that will be taken in the first round. Oher could go higher or lower, depending on how teams rank the tackles that are available. The Eagles need offensive line help, as they have lost both their starting tackles this offseason, and Oher could be a steal at this pick.
22. Minnesota Vikings – Vontae Davis, CB, Illinois
The Vikings use this pick on the secondary in an attempt to make their passing defense as good as their rushing defense. Davis is the 2nd ranked cornerback in this draft, although he may be the most athletic. Davis is a flat out playmaker.
23. New England Patriots – Clay Matthews, LB, USC
It is obvious that the Patriots are looking to get younger at the LB position, and with losing Vrabel, we think they will take the best available linebacker to groom into a beast in the Patriots defense. Matthews is shooting up the draft boards, and some say he will go before teammates Maualuga, and Cushing. Matthews has a lot of upside, and could be a steal at this pick.
24. Atlanta Falcons – Brandon Pettigrew, TE, Oklahoma State
Great blocker, but doesn’t have much speed. Can still catch what is thrown his way, and should be effective. The Falcons should be surrounding Matt Ryan with talent, to maximize his talent. They have Turner, and White already. Pettigrew should be able to help out a lot with the passing and running game.
25. Miami Dolphins – Darius Heyward-Bey, WR, Maryland
May have done the most to help himself at the combine than anybody else. Ran the fastest 40 at the combine, and with his decent size, locked himself into being a first round pick. The Dolphins don’t have much depth at receiver, and Heyward-Bey could provide help to Ted Ginn, Pennington, and the rushing attack.
26. Baltimore Ravens – Louis Delmas, S, Western Michigan
With most of the playmakers (Maclin, Harvin) off the board here, look for the Ravens to continue to keep their defense among the best in the NFL. The Ravens lost their starting strong safety, Leonhard, and Ed Reed could groom Delmas to be the next great Ravens defensive player.
27. Indianapolis Colts – Evander “Ziggy” Hood, DT, Missouri
The Colts need a solid defensive tackle to plug up the middle, as their run stopping continues to be poor. Hood is a very good defensive tackle, who can come in and help plug up the middle of the line, which is exactly what they need.
28. Philadelphia Eagles – Chris “Beanie” Wells, RB, Ohio State
Wells stock has been up and down all offseason, but could end up being a great pick for the Eagles at this pick. With Buckhalter gone, and Westbrook hitting the age of 30, the Eagles definitely need a running back, and Wells is both athletic and can make people miss, or run the ball between the tackles. Should be a solid back for years to come.
29. New York Giants – Hakeem Nicks, WR, North Carolina
The Giants could look elsewhere in this pick, since they are inviting Burress back to their initial minicamps. However, there is no guarantee that Burress will be back with the Giants, and the Giants clearly were not the same without him. Nicks is a receiver who has the same skill set as Burress; he is tall, and can stretch the field. Looks a lot like Larry Fitzgerald when he plays. Is a true #1 receiver, can catch the ball anywhere on the field, and makes catches that most receivers can’t.
30. Tennessee Titans – Kenny Britt, WR, Rutgers
Britt had a great junior season this past season on an average Rutgers team. Another big receiver who can go deep or go over the middle. Should be able to step in quickly and help the Titans at the wide receiver position, and provide Collins with a go-to target.
31. Arizona Cardinals – LeSean McCoy, RB, Pittsburgh
McCoy is a beast, and may be the most complete running back of this draft. McCoy is considered a small back at 5’11”, but weighs 210, and can run the ball up the middle if he needs to. Finds the hole quickly, and can make defenders look foolish with his cutting ability. Should be a solid back for years to come. Has better numbers than any of the other RB’s in this draft, and with Edge wanting out, the Cardinals need a RB at this pick.
32. Pittsburgh Steelers – Alex Mack, C, California
The Steelers may get a steal here in Mack. There are a lot of other good offensive lineman going in the first round, most are huge tackles, so Mack can get overshadowed. The Steelers need offensive line help, and Mack can provide it.