Mock Draft - 1st round - v. Feb1.0

  I'm changing the title of these since I'm going to try to roll them out with more frequency, albeit with less explanation as to the picks which I'll leave to the comment section.

  I'm also going to leave out the post-pick comparison to other mocks.  I'll do that in follow up posts after the mock, because I want to keep these focused on discussion and that stuff just seems to complicate things.  Besides, you can always head to the official TST mock draft database to compare and contrast.  We'll try to update it regularly.

  I am going to put links to the players' scouting reports from ESPN (which I think are available to everyone, not just Insider subscribers) and Mocking the Draft underneath names for readers who want a bit more information on each player if available; those will be represented by the acronyms 'ESPN' or 'MTD'.  Pretty self-explanatory.

  And at the end of the pick, I'll put a "Pulse of the Nation" link to each teams' respective SBNation blog and pick a recent story to keep us abreast of what each team's fan base is monitoring.

So one more TST mock before the combine.  Kiper, your thoughts?

Kiper_medium

Great.

1.) Detroit - Matthew Stafford, QB, Georgia

ESPN, MTD

Nothing to change my mind on this yet.

Pulse of the Nation (Pride of Detroit): The CW is starting to push the Stafford at #1 storyline.  PotN notices.

2.) St. Louis - Andre Smith, OT, Alabama

ESPN, MTD

Lot's to change my mind on this one, though.  Does his versatility (many are suggesting he may fit better as a guard than a tackle in the NFL) make him more valuable or less to teams and specifically to ours?  Would we be better served with Eugene Monroe (OT, Virginia) or Michael Oher(OT, Ole Miss)?  Is the fact that Jason Smith (OT, Baylor) is a converted TE a good or bad thing?  I'm so much less certain pick than I was a month or two ago.  Damn you, conventional wisdom.

Pulse of the Nation (TST): VanRam runs down the top LB prospects

3.) Kansas City - Michael Crabtree, WR, Texas Tech

MTD (I have no idea what ESPN is waiting for on this one...)

I know I might be the only person mocking Crabtree to KC, but I just can't envision them passing on him.  If nothing else, they'll pick him and immediately trade the pick one spot down to Seattle (who is desperate for a young, talented WR) for a DE picked by (or through?) Seattle and something extra.  He's just too good, too athletic and too hyped (given his separation from other WR's and the "We need a Larry Fitzgerald" mantra echoing through front offices across the NFL) to drop to #4.

Pulse of the Nation (Arrowhead Pride): On pick value and recent blockbuster draft day trades.

4.) Seattle - Eugene Monroe, OT, Virginia

ESPN

Monroe is tied with Crabtree as I write this for the second most popular mock pick for the Rams (3 mock picks each) after Andre Smith (9 mock picks).  It would seem the consensus is that either A-Smith or Monroe is the top OT with Oher and J-Smith battling for the 3rd and 4th spot.

Pulse of the Nation (Field Gulls): John Morgan argues that Seattle GM Tim Ruskell has his eyes on Patrick Chung (S, Oregon).

5.) Cleveland - Aaron Curry, OLB, Wake Forest

ESPN, MTD

Like Stafford at #1, I still feel confident about this one.

Pulse of the Nation (Dawgs By Nature): Nothing draft related.  DBN is one of the thinnest SBN NFL blogs I've seen, and most of their recent discussion has been on revamping the front office down through the coaches.  Sound familiar?

6.) Cincinnati - Brian Orakpo, DE, Texas

ESPN, MTD

The CW seems to pushing Orakpo hard as the top DE.  I still like Aaron Maybin (DE, Penn St.) and Everette Brown (DE, Florida St.) in the discussion for top DE, but hype momentum determines top draft picks and Orakpo's getting it.  So at this point, I have to go with Orakpo as the first DE off the board.

Pulse of the Nation (Cincy Jungle): How Crabtree affects T.J. Houshmandzadeh.  Or is it the other way around?

7.) Oakland - Michael Oher, OT, Ole Miss

ESPN

I still think Oakland's need for an OT (both in terms of production and mentality to get over Robert Gallery) pushes them for an OT here.  I wouldn't be surprised, however, if they took Rey Maualuga (MLB, USC) here.

Pulse of the Nation (Silver and Black Pride): SaBP's saint yaks draft.

8.) Jacksonville - Jason Smith, OT, Baylor

ESPN, MTD

Another confident mock pick.

Pulse of the Nation (Big Cat Country): If you haven't ever been by BCC, you should.  They're handing out scouting reports like Bush's Treasury Department handed out bailout cash.  FSBlueApocalypse compiles a report on Oher as part of their Better Know a Draft Prospect Series and pushes the meme that Jax will take an OT with their first pick.  Props to BCC for the series.

9.) Green Bay Packers - Aaron Maybin, DE, Penn St.

N/A

Switches with Orakpo.

Pulse of the Nation (Acme Packing Company): Another SBN member not talking draft.  What is with you people?  bizzle4 slides some draft talk at the end of a piece looking at the future Green Bay 3-4 defense.  Of note are three names he mentions that he thinks would fit in that D: Orakpo, Maybin and Maualuga (which surprised me.  I like A.J. Hawk).

10.) San Francisco 49ers - Everette Brown, DE, Florida St.

MTD

Another keeper.

Pulse of the Nation (Niners Nation): A Random Ramsdom just San Francisco-ized on draft news.

11.) Buffalo Bills - Bradon Pettigrew, TE, Oklahoma St.

ESPN, MTD

Can we consider this a lock yet?

Pulse of the Nation (Buffalo Rumblings): I guess not.  Five of the six front-page contributors did a group mock.  Not a single one jumped at Pettigrew.

12.) Denver Broncos - B.J. Raji, DT, Boston College

ESPN, MTD

I only feel uncomfortable about this because with Green Bay moving to a 3-4 (which Denver is too), they might feel compelled to draft Raj-zilla.  I think they have pieces in place that can make it work, though.  Not so for Denver.  If GB does snap Raji up, I would slot the Broncos to grab Knowshon Moreno (HB, Georgia).

Pulse of the Nation (Mile High Report): styg50, who is covering the NFC West at MTD, stopped by on Monday to talk draft with us.  Over at MHR, his home blog, he ranks the DTs.  BTW, if you haven't been over to MHR, you should.  Need more convnicing?  You need to enroll in Mile High Report University.

13.) Washington Redskins - Rey Maualuga, MLB, Southern California

ESPN, MTD

I had Michael Johnson (DE, Georgia Tech) here last time, but I think the hype pushing Maualuga (he is a hell of a run-stopper) will convince the Redskins it's time to bring in London Fletcher's successor.  And about those O-line and D-line issues?  Well, these are Dan Snyder's Redskins.  I'm sure thay'll find a free agent to drop a ton of money at.

Pulse of the Nation (Hogs Haven): A Chiefs fan stopped by to propose a trade to the HH community.  The answer: "No.  Now go away."

14.) New Orleans Saints - Malcolm Jenkins, CB, Ohio St.

ESPN, MTD

I'm still have trouble justifying this to myself.  Someone in the top 6 needs to pick this guy, but I'm not sure which team up until now will pull the trigger.

Pulse of the Nation (Canal Street Chronicles): CSC's lone front-pager recently helped out in picking for the Saints in a mock draft.  I guess I can't be surprised at his choice.

15.) Houston Texans - Michael Johnson, DE, Georgia Tech

ESPN, MTD

The DE pick for the Texans is picking up serious steam.  If Houston does go that route, they could have the best pair of DEs in the NFL soon.

Pulse of the Nation (Battle Red Blog): A found a post from mid-January that is worth reading.  TransientTexan put together the teams with the top 14 picks, their position needs and a best case / worst case scenario from a Houston viewpoint.

16.) San Diego Chargers - Peria Jerry, DT, Ole Miss

ESPN, MTD

The Chargers might be forced to grab a RB in either Moreno or Chris Wells (HB, Ohio St.) by the time the draft arrives depending on what San Diego does with LT & Darren Sproles.  If they aren't pressed into taking a running back, Jerry upgrades their interior defensive line and should give Merriman some help upon his return.

Pulse of the Nation (Bolts from the Blue): The head writer for BftB, daBolts, participated in a mock and selected Jason Smith.

17.) New York Jets - Mark Sanchez, QB, Southern California

ESPN

Whether Favre retires or not, they'll need some potential here; Kellen Clemens, the former Oregon standout, doesn't bring much.  Regardless, a post-Favre era that sees Sanchez and Clemens on the Jets' depth chart bodes well.

Pulse of the Nation (Gang Green Nation): GGN hasn't hopped on the draft train yet, but I'm sure they will soon in their "2009 Possibility" series, which kicked off with the dream signing of Nnamdi Asomugha.

18.) Chicago Bears - Jeremy Maclin, WR, Missouri

N/A

Chicago needs help on offense.  A lot of help.  Maclin is a start.

Pulse of the Nation (Windy City Gridiron): WCG manager WCG (what a name) opens up a piece on safeties and lets Bears fans take over from there.

19.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Percy Harvin, WR, Florida

N/A

A Florida receiver going to Tampa Bay.  This seems familiar...

Pulse of the Nation (Buc' Em): UNFNOLE, from the Buc' Em community, has been working on his Prospect Spotlight.  #4 in the series is on Percy.

20.) Detroit Lions (via Dallas Cowboys) - James Laurinaitis, MLB, Ohio St.

ESPN

And in a single draft, the Lions snag their future franchise QB with a MLB defensive general to boot.

Pulse of the Nation (Pride of Detroit): Right around New Year's Day I stopped by PoD to see what they thought about their #1 pick.  NOTE: Lions fans are still defensive about the 2008 season, so tread lightly.

21.) Philadelphia Eagles - Knowshon Moreno, HB, Georgia

N/A (really?)

The weakest crop of running backs to hit the draft in a while.  That doesn't mean that one of them won't have a productive career.  Most are betting that "one" will be Moreno.  Philadelphia has two aging and oft-injured backs in Westbrook and Buckhalter.  Moreno gives them flexibility at the position and an answer for the future.

Pulse of the Nation (Bleeding Green Nation): A bit old, but a short piece that outlines Philly's top 5 needs.

22.) Minnesota Vikings - Eben Britton, OT, Arizona

MTD

Giving Adrian Peterson more blocking is good...except for teams that play Minnesota.

 

Pulse of the Nation (Daily Norseman): Gonzo sifts through some mock drafts and lets the community go at it.

23.) New England Patriots - Brian Cushing, OLB, Southern California

ESPN

A solid Sam-style linebacker to pair with Jerod Mayo adds youth to an aging defense.  I wouldn't be surprised to see the Pats pick a CB to fill the chasm Asante Samuel left.  Any of the top 5 CBs - Jenkins, Vontae Davis (CB, Illinois), D.J. Moore (CB, Vanderbilt), Alphonso Smith (CB, Wake Forest), or Sean Smith (CB, Utah) - would fit.

Pulse of the Nation (Pats Pulpit): Speaking of CBs, wishing for Malcolm Jenkins will only bring you disappointment, Pats fans.

24.) Atlanta Falcons - Vontae Davis, CB, Illinois

MTD

In reality, someone will have to take Davis higher than this.  Someone will catch Mel Kiper fever and take the best player on the board, not the best player at the position they need the most help at.  But since I do my mocks by need not BPA (Best Player Available), Davis comes late in the game.  Expect him to come off very soon after Jenkins to a New Orleans or a Houston.

Pulse of the Nation (The Falcoholic): Dave pores over MTD's mock.

25.) Miami Dolphins - Hakeem Nicks, WR, North Carolina

N/A

Miami needs some aerial threats to help out Chad Pennington.  Nicks, at 6'1" and more than 200 lbs., would give Miami some power in their receiving game.

Pulse of the Nation (The Phinsider): Matty I has gone through the team needs dedicating a thread to each one and analyzing the performance of players already on the roster at that position followed by trade targets, FA targets and potential draftees.  His piece on WRs is very thorough.  I wouldn't mind seeing a similar series here.

26.) Baltimore Ravens - Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR, Maryland

N/A

It's either a WR or CB for Baltimore in the 1st this year, unless an absolute steal drops in their lap.  Hey-Bey is a local star and would have tons of fan support, so I'd be surprised if they don't make him a Raven.  Like I mentioned after Cushing at 23 for the Pats, if Jenkins and Davis are gone here, their CB options are D.J. Moore, Alphonso Smith or Sean Smith.

Pulse of the Nation (Baltimore Beatdown): shake n bake from MTD stopped by to work on his Ravens team profile.  He's got the AFC North covered over at MTD.

27.) Indianapolis Colts - D.J. Moore, CB, Vanderbilt

N/A

Similar to Baltimore's WR/CB dilemma, Indy has to choose between OT and CB; I see a lot more valuable CBs on the board at the end of the 1st than the remaining OTs outside of the big 4 and Britton - such as Jamon Meredith (OT, South Carolina) and Phil Loadholt (OT, Oklahoma).  Thus, 'tis a CB for thee Coltes.

Pulse of the Nation (Stampede Blue): Community contributor bamock put together a comprehensive look at the Colts' needs.  Great post.

28.) Philadelphia Eagles (via Carolina Panthers) - Louis Delmas, S, Western Michigan

MTD

How much more does Brian Dawkins have in the tank?  Delmas renders that question moot.  With Quintin Mikell at SS, a FS here gives the Eagles a pair of safeties with both youth and talent.  Delmas will have a lot to prove at the combine since his competition while at Western Michigan doesn't stand up to the caliber of competition so many of the names above faced.

Pulse of the Nation (Bleeding Green Nation): Some recent talk from the BGN faithful on Dawkins' future.

29.) New York Giants - Kenny Britt, WR, Rutgers

N/A

With Plaxico in limbo (how long before the Cowboys make the call?), the Giants need a WR to pair with Steve Smith v2.0.  Britt gives them a large, physical WR that can be a possession type guy if he learns to use his 6'4" frame against NFL coverage.

Pulse of the Nation (Big Blue View): Editor-in-Chief ETVal hooked up with anshey from Rutgers SBN blog Protect R Turf to post a Britt report.

30.) Tennessee Titans - Sean Smith, CB, Utah

N/A

The conventional wisdom is pushing the Titans to take a WR here.  I don't think they need depth (which is what I see Britt and Hey-Bey bringing).  They need a legitimate #1 WR.  Since they don't have a shot at Crabtree (barring a huge trade), they'll probably look to bolster their secondary, linebacking corps and interior line (since Kevin Mawae is old.  Really old.).  The Sean vs. Alphonso Smith debate will be just as tough to judge as the Andre vs. Jason Smith one.  Sean, however, has 6" (!) of height on Alphonso, and the Titans two starting CBs are around 5'10", so a nice 6'2" CB should help them cover the passing attacks of the Colts and Texans (read: Andre "Best receiver in the NFL" Johnson).

Pulse of the Nation (Music City Miracles): An early 2009 post on the anti-WR argument for the Titans.

31.) Arizona Cardinals - Chris "Beanie" Wells, HB, Ohio St.

N/A

This guy comes with serious injury concerns.  Then again, so did Adrian Peterson...  If nothing else, this should allow the Cardinals to put their running back issue to bed.

Pulse of the Nation (Revenge of the Birds): Remember my story on the beginning being the end and the end being the beginning and all that crap? While their team was making their way to the Super Bowl, some Cardinals fans couldn't help but think about the draft.  Opening salvo: "The Arizona Cardinals are in the Super Bowl and the draft should be the last thing on our minds..", but here's some draft talk.  I love football fans.

32.) Pittsburgh Steelers - Alex Mack, C, California

ESPN, MTD

I'm going to hope all the way up to draft day that Mack falls to our 2nd round pick, but he's a definite fit here.  The Steelers will be looking at guards, centers and defensive ends, and Mack is an immediate NFL-ready center.  They could grab another center or Duke Robinson (G, Oklahoma), but those would seem to be stretches at this point.  They could also go for Tyson Jackson (DE, LSU) or Paul Kruger (DE, Utah) if they want to add a pass rusher in the 1st round.

Pulse of the Nation (Behind the Steel Curtain): Again, celebrations for the past are short for NFL fans.  Just two days after their 6th Super Bowl ring, a post on the Steelers' draft options racked up 65 comments.  Favorite quote from steelguy99:

After the superbowl at about 1:30 am I commented to a friend at the bar that we’d be talking about the draft by the end of the week.

I love steeler nation.

And I love Ram nation.  And football.

Have at it.

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