Posted on: April 25, 2009 7:26 pm
I projected that the Titans would take a receiver for the first since 1998, but with Percy Harvin off the board, thought the Titans might instead shift their attention to the defensive side of the ball. Instead, they took Kenny Britt, whose size and straight-line speed gives the club a big, deep threat they need to take advantage of the safeties cheating close to stop their running game.
The Cardinals have obvious needs at running back and may consider Chris "Beanie" Wells here, though as a bigger, physical back, he is a little similar to what they already have in Tim Hightower. Wells has great potential as a downhill runner, but offers little as a receiver or pass blocker, which might make him a tough fit for the pass-heavy Cardinals.
A pass rusher like Clint Sintim is also a possibility, though inside linebacker Rey Maualuga and cornerback Darius Butler make a lot of sense simply due to their value.
At this point in the draft, Maualuga is just too much of a value for a team needing LBs and more physicality on the defensive side of the ball.
Posted on: April 25, 2009 7:18 pm
For one of the few times in recent memory, the Giants took a player than filled an immediate need in UNC receiver Hakeem Nicks. Though I had him slipping into the 2nd round in my mock draft, I'm quite high on Nicks, who I believe has the hands, toughness and and body control to make an immediate impact.
The Titans, who also could use help at receiver, are up. Rather than take a receiver, however, don't be surprised if they address their depth concerns on the defensive side of the ball.
A. Ziggy Hood, DT, Missouri
B. James Laurinaitis, OLB, Ohio State
C. Rey Maualuga, ILB, USC
D. Darius Butler, CB, Connecticut
E. Kenny Britt, WR, Rutgers
F. Michael Johnson, DE, Georgia Tech
The best player on the board is Maualuga, but he's slipping due to character concerns. I rationalized that the Titans may take Percy Harvin in my mock draft because they've been more willing than most clubs to overlook character concerns.
Posted on: April 25, 2009 7:02 pm
Ted Thompson is known for trading back, but in moving up to get the OLB who may end up being the best at the position (from this draft) a few years from now, he is showing a more aggressive side. The addition of nose guard Raji and OLB Clay Matthews, Jr. gives Green Bay some of the players necessary in making their transition from the 4-3 defense to the 3-4.
The Patriots, perhaps not surprisingly, trade out of the first round. They may end up trading back in, as the first round has had a staggering number of trades so far.
The Colts, with needs at every level of defense are now on the clock. Wide receiver and running back also could be surprise considerations, considering how Bill Polian has consistently used first round picks to supplement his offensive attack.
WR Brian Robiskie, DT Ziggy Hood, CB Darius Butler, and LB James Laurinaitis make the most sense, though the RBs could be a surprise too.
Posted on: April 25, 2009 6:52 pm
The Falcons addressed their need for a defensive tackle with Peria Jerry, putting Miami on the clock.
The Dolphins have needs at pass rusher (OLB), cornerback and wide receiver. Given the way this mock has gone, I'd be surprised by a receiver pick here. I've been told the Dolphins are not as high on Clay Matthews as many have suggested.
A. Rey Maualuga, ILB, USC
B. Clay Matthews, OLB, USC
C. Vontae Davis, CB, Illinois
D. Darius Butler, CB, Connecticut
E. Paul Kruger, DE, Utah
The Dolphins are quite high on Utah defensive end Paul Kruger and could take him here, as well. Most teams view him as a 2nd round pick.
The Dolphins took Davis... who I projected to go one pick later -- 26th overall to the Ravens in my final mock.
The Patriots are now on the clock. They, like the Dolphins, have needs at CB and OLB. Matthews and Butler are possibilities. Don't be surprised by a Beanie Wells or Donald Brown selection, either.
Posted on: April 25, 2009 6:40 pm
The Falcons are on the clock and word I've heard is that they're split on CB Darius Butler and DTs Ziggy Hood and Peria Jerry.
I believe the pick will be Hood, whose size and work ethic impressed the Falcons' staff.
Posted on: April 22, 2009 1:18 am
Edited on: April 22, 2009 11:07 am
With few sure-fire prospects in this draft, many of the teams drafting within the top ten have privately -- and in some cases, publicly -- stated their interest in trading down. Few teams have publicly stated their interest in moving up, but the rarely candid Bill Belichick offered some interesting thoughts on the situation in his annual pre-draft press conference.
I don't think I have ever been in a draft where we've had the potential flexibility that we have this year. Last year, we went in with the 7th pick and 62nd pick and I felt, at that time, it would be hard to move very far from those two spots, and in fact, we didn't. I think this year, if you go by the generic trade charts-the charts everyone uses or has access to-if you just do the numbers we could probably trade a combination of our picks in the first round and get up as high as 10. We already have three picks in the second round, so we could pick anywhere from the beginning of the round until the end of the round and then a couple more picks in the third, so I think it's really important for us to know the value of the board all the way through those first 100 players and be able to know where the opportunities are or aren't, and how we can make the most of them. Again, we don't always have flexibility to trade because you need a partner on that, but I'm sure there will be some discussions there and there already have been with teams that see our multiple picks and have interest in acquiring two for one.
Belichick, of course, is not known for his particularly gabby, often light-hearted and carefree, terrifically insightful comments with media.
With six of the top 97 picks, including three second rounders (34, 47, 58) Belichick's Patriots are in position to do whatever they'd like in this draft, and the reality is, with teams so eager to move out, the Patriots could move even further up than in a typical year.
With a lot of the talk out of New England focusing on cornerback Darius Butler from Connecticut, don't be surprised if the Patriots package some picks and instead move up for Ohio State's Malcolm Jenkins. Jenkins size, physicality, instincts and versatility could make him a perfect fit in New England.
Regardless of who they target, don't be surprised at all if New England makes some interesting, aggressive moves this weekend. For all of the talk that Scott Pioli and Josh McDaniels want to make a splash in the draft to begin their new legacies, Belichick is in better position to extend his own.