01. LIONS - Matthew Stafford, QB, Georgia
I have steadily projected Stafford to the Lions in my JI blog for months, even while many others were projecting an O-lineman, sighting the copy-cat syndrome following the first year success of Matt Ryan & Joe Flacco, and now by all indications the Lions have pretty much settled on Stafford.
02. RAMS - Jason Smith, OT, Baylor
With the departure of Orlando Pace, the Rams will have first dibs on #1 LT in the draft, and while its a close call between Smith & Monroe, VERY CLOSE, I'll Give the nod to Smith who tested better in virtually every category at the combines.
03. CHIEFS - Aaron Curry, LB, Wake Forest
Curry is this years consensus "best player in the draft" who can play inside or outside in either scheme, 43 or 34, but the Chiefs figure to transition to the 34 at some point with the former Patriots contingent, Pioli & Haley, calling the shots. Also the acquisitions of Vrabel & Zach Thomas should have no baring on this pick since both are nearing retirement.
04. SEAHAWKS - Eugene Monroe, OT, Virginia
Walter Jones is coming off the dreaded micro-fracture surgery to his knee and he's not getting any younger either. Even if he does make it back, a move to RT might be in order with Monroe taking over at LT
05. BROWNS - BJ Raji, NT, Boston College
Will Mangini's great experience with Kris Jenkins, and horrible experience with Vernon Gholston, influence this pick despite the fact that 34OLB seems like the more logical choice? Even with Shaun Rogers on board, who is known to have stamina and conditioning issues, and is obviously no big Mangini fan either, I just have a hunch they may surprise some people and add the big/talented nose tackle.
06. BENGALS - Brian Orakpo, DE/OLB, Texas
The Bengals have ranked 30th and 32nd (dead last) in sacks over the past two seasons. It is "impossible" to win in todays NFL if your pass rush is that non-exsistent. Maybe in the 1940's, 50's and 60's, but that is a recipe for disaster todays NFL.
07. RAIDERS - Michael Crabtree, WR, Texas Tech
I would be shocked if the Raiders didn't snatch Crabtree in this spot, and I know I would have pleny of company. BTW, if he hadn't hurt his foot, Crabtree was probably the best candidate to challenge Curry for that mythical title of "best player in the draft."
08. JAGUARS - Jeremy Maclin, WR, Missouri
Jags recently cut Matt Jones and Reggie Williams. Needless to say WR is a huge need and you can't argue with the value of Maclin in this spot.
09. PACKERS - Everette Brown, DE/OLB, Florida State
This could not have fallen any better for the Packers who are shifting to the 34 and need an elite edge rusher just like Everette Brown.
10. 49ERS - Mark Sanchez, QB, USC
The hometown kid gets to stay home and perhaps watch Shaun Hill for a year as he's brought along slowly.
11. BILLS - Aaron Maybin, DE/OLB, Penn State
Probably better suited at 34OLB, but this kid is a terrific edge rusher and the Bills will gladly use him at defensive end where he played in happy valley.
12. BRONCOS - Josh Freeman, QB, Kansas State
Big/mobile kid with a howitzer for an arm who was never surrounded with much talent in college and therefore didn't win a ton of games, but man those tools are enticing. Might be a slight reach in this spot, but after trading Cutler I have to believe Denver is taking a serious look at Sanchez & Freeman.
13. REDSKINS - Andre Smith, OT, Alabama
When you play in a division with guys like Osi, Tuck, Kiwanuka, DeMarcus Ware (etc.), you better be really good at offensive tackle ... or else!
14. SAINTS - Brian Cushing, OLB, USC
I think Malcolm Jenkins is a real possibility in this spot, but his off season workouts have been sub-par while Cushing has looked terrific, and the Saints do have a need at OLB as well.
15. TEXANS - Malcolm Jenkins, DB, Ohio State
Good fit for a team that needs help at Corner and Safety, and while Jenkins workouts have been sub-par, his play at Ohio State was anything but that.
16. CHARGERS - Michael Oher, OT, Ole Miss
I think you can play this kid anywhere on the offensive line other than Center and he'll probably excell if not dominate. Right now the need is RT and I have little doubt they can plug Oher in immediately.
17. NY JETS - Knowshon Moreno, RB, Georgia
With Thomas Jones approaching 32 (132 in RB Years), now is the time to be pro-active, especially with Jones holding out for a new deal and due a hefty roster bonus if he makes the team next year. And for those who would say, "but he just led the AFC in rushing", need I remind you so did Curtis Martin at around the same age, just before his body broke down physically and the inevitable decline incurred.
On that note, the choice for me here was Beanie Wells or Knowshoen Moreno. While Wells has the better size/speed ratio, IMO Moreno is the better and more instinctive back. Lastly, Wells could not stay healthy in college, it was a constant procession of one injury after another, and you have to wonder how a guy who can't stay healthy in college is going to stay healthy in the pros where defenders are bigger, stronger and a heck of a lot meaner too!
Conversely, Moreno has been extremely durable (and productive) in the SEC, toughest conference in college football and really the closest thing pro football has to a minor leagues.
18. BRONCOS - Connor Barwin, DE/OLB, Cincinnati
With Denver also transitioning to the 34 defense, Connor Barwin is exactly the type of 34OLB they need to explose off the edge and get after the QB
19. BUCCANEERS - Tyson Jackson, DE, LSU
I think it's a bad pick, but quite a few draft guys have Jackson in their TOP 15 and the Bucs need a defensive end, so it seem like a reasonable projection.
20. LIONS - Peria Jerry, DT, Ole Miss
The Lions need help everywhere and in my view their entire D-line can be overhauled as well. So I considered Robert Ayers and Michael Johnson who seem to be making a late push, but decided to stick with the more stable Jerry who has ranked in this area for months.
21. EAGLES - Beanie Wells, RB, Ohio State
Beanie and Westbrook and make a nice thunder & lightning duo, provided Beanie can stay healthy?
22. VIKINGS - Robert Ayers, DE, Tennessee
Could be the perfect bookend compliment to Jared Allen.
23. PATRIOTS - Rey Maualuga, ILB, USC
Will the Pats answer the Jets inside duo of Harris & Scott with Mayo & Maualuga?
24. FALCONS - Sean Smith, S, Utah
Dirty Birds desperately need a young and talented safety, and this kid as a chance to be special. Can also play corner, but the obvious need here is at safety.
25. DOLPHINS - Larry English, DE/OLB, Northern Illinois
Joey Porter is not getting any younger, despite a terrific 2008 campaign, and the other side can use a lethal edge rusher too.
26. RAVENS - Vontae Davis, CB, Illinois
Ravens seem to be rebuilding their secondary having lost McAllister, Rolle and more, so I think they might take the talented young corner if he falls to this spot.
27. COLTS - Percy Harvin, WR, Florida
Yeah I know they need defense, but the Colts will always live or die with their passing attack so long as Peyton Manning is the QB and so long as they continue to play have their games in a dome. Harvin is arguably the most explosive player in the draft and that had Colts written all over it.
28. EAGLES - Brandon Pettigrew, TE, Oklahoma State
This TE was widely considered a TOP 10-15 Pick prior to running a sup-par forty, but the film doesn't lie, he's still a terrific player as both a blocker and a receiver, and very good value towards the end of round one.
29. GIANTS - Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR, Maryland
Giants finally cut bait with Burress who looks ticketed for Rikers Island, so they'll be looking for another big/fast wideout to keep Eli happy.
30. TITANS - Kenny Britt, WR, Rutgers
I think the Giants might struggle with DHB or Britt? Britt is bigger and was far more productive. Actually his numbers dwarf DHB's. But I'm guessing the Giants get sold on DHB's size/speed ratio and potential, and that would leave Britt sitting there for the Titans.
31. CARDINALS - Donald Brown, RB, UConn
Brown rushed for over 2000 Yards this year, he's also a good receiver out of the backfield, so I think this would be a very good pick for the Cards at 31.
32. STEELERS - Eben Britton, OT, Arizona
Both lines (excluding Casey Hampton) are weak links, so they can just as easily take a 34DL (Jarron Gilbert?) in this spot, but I would imagine protecting BIG BEN will be Pittsburgh's first priority.
33. LIONS - William Beatty, OT, UConn
34. PATRIOTS - Clay Matthews, OLB, USC
35. RAMS - James Laurinaitis, LB, Ohio State
36. BROWNS - Alphonso Smith, CB, Wake Forest
37. SEAHAWKS - Evander Hood, DT, Missouri
38. BENGALS - Alex Mack, C, California
39. JAGUARS - Darius Butler, CB, UConn
40. RAIDERS - Michael Johnson, DE, Georgia Tech
41. PACKERS - Jarron Gilbert, DE/DT, San Jose State
42. BILLS - Max Unger, OL, Oregon
43. 49ERS - Clint Sintim, DE/OLB, Virginia
44. DOLPHINS - Ron Brace, NT, Boston College
45. GIANTS - DJ Moore, CB, Vanderbilt
46. TEXANS - Shonn Greene, RB, Iowa
47. PATRIOTS - Louis Delmas, FS, Western Michigan
48. BRONCOS - Lawrence Sidbury, DE/OLB, Richmond
49. BEARS - Brian Robiskie, WR, Ohio State
50. BROWNS - LeSean McCoy, RB, Pittsburgh
51. COWBOYS - Patrick Chung, S, Oregon
52. NY JETS - Hakeem Nicks, WR, North Carolina
53. EAGLES - Jamon Meredith, OT, South Carolina
54. VIKINGS - Phil Loadholt, OT, Oklahoma
55. FALCONS - Jared Cook, TE, South Carolina
56. DOLPHINS - Duke Robinson, OG, Oklahoma
57. RAVENS - Shawn Nelson, TE, Southern Miss
58. PATRIOTS - Herman Johnson, T/G, LSU
59. PANTHERS - Fili Moala, DT, USC
60. GIANTS - James Casey, TE, Rice
61. COLTS - Sherrod Martin, DB, Troy
62. TITANS - Eric Wood, C, Louisville
63. CARDINALS -David Veikune, DE/OLB, Hawaii
64. STEELERS - Andre Brown, RB, NC State
65. LIONS - Paul Kruger, DE, Utah
66. RAMS - Jairus Byrd, CB, Oregon
67. CHIEFS - Cody Brown, DE/OLB, UConn
68. SEAHAWKS - Williams Moore, S, Missouri
69. COWBOYS - Kyle Moore, DE, USC
70. BENGALS - Sen'Derrick Marks, DT, Auburn
71. RAIDERS - Jason Williams, OLB, Western Illinois
72. JAGUARS - Kevin Barnes, CB, Maryland
73. PACKERS - Mike Mickens, CB, Cincinnati
74. 49ERS - Juaquin Iglesias, WR, Oklahoma
75. BILLS - Chase Coffman, TE, Missouri
76. NY JETS - Alex MaGee, 34DE, Purdue
Some Others Possibilities for the Jets in Proceeding Rounds
Chris Baker, NT/DE, Hampton
Sammie Lee Hill, NT/DE, Stillman
Richard Quinn, TE, North Carolina (dominant blocker)
Anthony Hill, TE, Wisconsin (ditto)