Posted on: April 25, 2009 3:40 pm
Edited on: April 26, 2009 12:21 am

NFL Draft: First round reaction!

The picks are in... See what Community members and experts are saying about your team's new players!

NFLDraftSite.com | NFLMocks.com

Pick #1: Lions select Matthew Stafford (QB, Georgia)

RichieStamos (user) : Using the first overall pick for Matthew Stafford could turn out to be a great move for the Detroit Lions, because as far as physical tools go, Stafford has them.

He has a rifle for an arm, but the thing that concerns me is that Matthew Stafford can be fundamentally lazy at times. The Lions also have another 1st round pick acquired in the Roy E. Williams trade that needs to go to getting an offensive lineman... preferably a left tackle. I think the Lions should try to grab Andre Smith or Michael Oher, because let's face it, Jeff Backus isn't getting any younger although he has been a quality player for some time now.

So the Lions could seriously address some needs in this draft. They have three really prime picks. A pick did go to drafting a quarterback, but two should go to offensive linemen.

Thread: Lions get Stafford

Pick #2: Rams select Jason Smith (OT, Baylor)

Chris Shellcroft (NFLMocks.com) : The St. Louis Rams used the second pick in the ‘09 NFL Draft to pick Baylor left tackle Jason Smith.jason_smith

Smith’s stock soared after the combine and he has now arrived as the official replacement for future Hall of Fame tackle Orlando Pace. The drama surrounding this pick was whether or not the Rams would select USC’s Mark Sanchez. Maybe 10 years from now we’ll look back on this scratching our heads. Currently, this is a solid pick as many consider Smith the best prospect in 2009 regardless of position.

For more commentary, check out NFLMocks.com .

Pick #3: Chiefs select Tyson Jackson (DE, LSU)

Chris Shellcroft   (NFLMocks.com) : LSU defensive end Tyson Jacksonwas the name on every one’s lips after it was rumored that he was being eyetysonjacksond by the Chiefs at number three. Today, those rumors came to fruition as Jackson was announced as the third pick in ‘09 Draft.

Jackson, who stands 6′4″ and weighs 296 lbs, is an ideal fit for the Chiefs who are making the trendy switch to the 3-4 defense.

This now makes consecutive years of the Chief brass selecting LSU defensive linemen with a top 5 picks after selecting Glenn Dorsey with the 5th pick in 2008.

For more commentary, check out NFLMocks.com .

Pick #4: Seahawks select Aaron Curry (OLB, Wake Forest)

kagezilla (user) : Well, I think the future of the franchise is worse off now because of a GM that is obviously more worried about making an immediate impact, than where we're going to be 3-4 years from now.

I guess he figures if he lasts 4 years were good enough for him. That is 4 full years of buying scratcher tickets and playing Keno, so maybe the odds are with him. I'm just glad they didn't take Crabtree. Curry was No. 2 on my list, so I'm not devastated, but they really missed an opportunity with Sanchez.

Thread: Seattle fans talk about Curry

Pick #5: Jets select Mark Sanchez (QB, USC) ***From Cleveland***

tony spro (user) : Great pick. This was a move they had to make. Clemmens was not the answer. Sanchez has the ability to be a great QB for years to come. Did they give up to much? I don't think so. QB is the most important position in football. You don't get a chance to get a franchise QB often.

The Jets had the chance, took it and I think it was brilliant. Now they need a WR. That's what they need to look at later in this draft. Maybe move up and get a Kenny Britt? That's what they need to do next. Great move

Thread: Jet fans debate Sanchez

Pick #6: Bengals select Andre Smith (OT, Alabama)

NFLDraftSite.com :
There's no denying that Andre Smith is a massive tackle,and will help protect Carson Palmer's knee, help jumpstart the running game again and fill a tremendous need.

Again, Marvin Lewis takes a chance on a player with character issues. Hopefully the Bengals off-field issues will not increase

For a full 7-round mock draft, check out NFLDraftSite.com .

Pick #7: Raiders select Darrius Heyward-Bey (WR, Maryland)

Chris Shellcroft (NFLMocks.com) : That the Raiders would pick a wide receiver who ran a 4.3 40-yard dash is not a surprise. That they would pick dariusDarrius Heyward-Bey over Michael Crabtree is a stunner, plain and simple.

Despite never working out for an NFL team due to injury, many saw Crabtree as the top player in the draft. The NFL draft is truly a crap shoot and by picking the Maryland speedster over Crabtree of Texas Tech, the Raiders have shown they’re more than willing to roll the dice and pray not to see snake eyes.

For more commentary, check out NFLMocks.com .

Pick #8: Jaguars select Eugene Monroe (OT, Virginia)

Chris Shellcroft (NFLMocks.com) : Jacksonville can thank Al Davis for this gift. Had Tom Cable has his way, the Raiders would have grabbed eugenemonroeVirginia’s Eugene Monroe at number seven. Instead, the Jaguars were gifted an elite left tackle with the 8th pick in the draft.

There was one point in time where Monroe was considered as top 5 talent, if not the top pick overall. That’s the draft for you.

For more commentary, check out NFLMocks.com .

Pick #9: Packers select B.J. Raji (DT, Boston College)

NFLDraftSite.com :   In switching to the 3-4 defense, B.J. Raji will be a perfect fit on this new line. This guy is a huge line stuffer, and will certaintly help pressure the quarterback and improve a leaky run defense.

Hopefully, he'll be able to bring out the potential of some of their young defensive linemen.

For a full 7-round mock draft, check out NFLDraftSite.com .

Pick #10: 49ers select Michael Crabtree (WR, Texas Tech)

sportsgeek08 (user) : I was literally dancing around the room when Green Bay picked BJ Raji. Crabtree gives our receiving corp a huge boost and silences all the critics who said we should've taken a receiver last year. Let's see where those guys are five years from now when we're comparing Crabtree to DeSean Jackson, Limas Sweed, etc. But anyway, I'm really excited to add him to the mix of Josh Morgan, Jason Hill, and Brandon Jones and to the tutelage of Isaac Bruce. I hope he gives Jerry Rice a call tomorrow and asks him to teach him everything he knows.

As for our second pick, if Connor Barwin, Clint Sintim, etc. is there at the time, I don't think we have to wonder who they're going to take. Unless there is a tackle prospect who I haven't heard anything about (highly possible) that the Niners love, I think we'll go with defense. Maybe a running back at that spot. But that's a big maybe.

Thread: Will Crabtree help?

Pick #11: Bills select Aaron Maybin (DE, Penn State)

buf-col-cha (user) : I was so happy when Brian Orakpo fell into the Bills laps at No. 11, but the Bills took Aaron Maybin instead. Most experts say that Orakpo is the better DE... so why did the Bills go for Maybin instead of Orakpo?

I'm guessing Maybin was the guy they wanted going in, but how could they pass up the better player at the same position, and the top-rated overall player (at the time of the pick) at the Bills biggest need position?

Thread: Why not Orakpo?

Pick #12: Broncos select Knowshon Moreno (RB, Georgia)

(user) : Moreno to the Broncos to join LaMont Jordan, JJ Arrington, Corell Buckhalter, Selvin Young, Ryan Torain and Peyton Hillis, and I am probably missing one or two. I was kind of buying into them until this pick, they have no direction at all, McDaniels will be gone in three years. I am not saying Moreno isn't worthy, he may very well be but how many RBs can you use?

Another thing, don't you think that Stafford or Moreno has to be a bust? I mean how could a team have the best QB and the best RB and not have been better than Georgia? I would bet one of them was being left alone for the other one by SEC defenses

Thread: 2009 NFL Draft talk

Pick #13: Redskins  select Brian Orakpo (DE, Texas)

.dj.hobbes (user) : I'm pleasantly surprised and very happy Orakpo fell to No. 13.

Would have loved to trade back, but I thought for sure he was going to be gone when Buffalo came up at 11. Then, I thought he would for sure be gone at 12 to Denver. Nope. And you can't trade back when a sure thing falls into your lap.

They made the right choice, and also I'm so thankful we lost out on the Sanchez sweepstakes. I'm sure he'd have been fine, and I think it's a great move for the Jets, but it wasn't for us. The Skins already have a QB, and now, for the first time in a long time, I think we have a D-Line too.

Thread: Redskins draft talk

Pick #14: Saints  select Malcolm Jenkins (CB, Ohio State)

Nightshade1  (user) : Jenkins is one of the best defensive back prospects to come out of the Big Ten Conference, drawing comparisons to Michigan's Charles Woodson . The similarities in their game is what most impresses pro scouts, as both are known for their physicality in playing the bump-and-run, along with the ability to make game-changing plays.

The comparisons between the two continue, as most experts also envision Jenkins moving to free safety in the professional ranks, a position Woodson has had great success playing, for the Green Bay Packers . The three-time All-Big Ten choice usually plays on the wide side of the field, but often shadows the opponent's best receiver.

Called a natural pass defender with great instincts and outstanding speed and quickness, Jenkins excels at man-to-man coverage. He tied the school career-record by returning two of his 11 career interceptions for touchdowns and has also used his excellent leaping ability as a standout special team performer, having blocked three kicks during his career. In 49 games for the Buckeyes, he has never allowed a touchdown reception.

Thread: Malcolm Jenkins breakdown

Pick #15: Texans  select Brian Cushing (ILB, USC)

With an improved defensive line, being able to slip Cushing next to DeMeco Ryans should make for an incredible pass rush, as well as an impenetrable running defense.

If Xavier Abidi proves worthy of last year's pick, and their secondary improves and stays healthy, this could become one of the best defenses in the league

For a full 7-round mock draft, check out NFLDraftSite.com .

Pick #16: Chargers  select Larry English (OLB, Northern Illinois)

LTowns515 (user) : I think AJ Smith picked this guy as insurance in case Merriman does not come back at 100% and/or they cannot agree on a new contract next year. I just don't understand why they could not look for a pass-rusher in later rounds.

I think the DE from Tenessee (Ayers) would have been a more logical choice to replace Igor, or we could have dropped down who knows how many spots to get English and pick up a 2nd round pick. I know you're smarter than us when it comes to football talent, AJ, but you just overpaid for the 16th pick with this guy.

On a lighter note, how comical is Al "Grandpa Munster" Davis when it comes to the draft and free agent signings. Classic.....

Thread: Chargers war room

Pick #17: Buccaneers  select Josh Freeman (QB, Kansas State) ***From Jets through Cleveland***

(user) : I think the pick was too high, Josh should have been a high second-round draft pick. Now we are gonna have to pay Josh first-round money and sign him for a long period of time. He is a project at most. All the talking heads seem to agree that this player should not have been taken as high as a first round.

As I understood it, we were to go into practice with 4 quarterbacks, but I suppose the coaches and management changed their mind. So far, this is the only decision that I have second-guessed the new coaches on. They have inside in formation that I am not privy to, so I will trust them and hope this decision works to our advantage.

I just would have thought we would get a few defensive players, and if Josh was still available in the second round, go ahead and pick him.

Thread: Let the Josh Freeman era begin!

Pick #18 : Broncos select Robert Ayers (LB, Tennessee) ***From Chicago***

Bogballa33 (user) : At 6'2" 273, Robert Ayers will be our DE. McDaniels believes Ayers can add 20 pounds to his frame, but was that the best we could do in the first round with the 18th pick? He ran just under 5 seconds in his 40, so it's not like he has blazing speed. Im a bit baffled. To me Evander "Ziggy" Hood would have been the better pick, if that's the direction they wanted to go.

6'2 273 is too small to play DE in our new 3-4 defense, and I don't wanna even get started about the idea of having him play OLB. Moreno and Ayers just do not make any sense and no one here can justify these picks to me.

Im crossing my fingers for DE Jarron Gilbert, OLB Connor Barwin and DT Sammie Lee Hill with our next picks.

Thread: Robert Ayers?

Pick #19 : Eagles select Jeremy Maclin (WR, Missouri) ***From T.B. through Cleveland***

Chris Shellcroft (NFLMocks.com) : After yet another trade by the Cleveland Browns - this time swapping with the Philadelphia Eagles - Jeremy Majeremy-maclinclin has fianlly heard his name called by Roger Goodell.

The Eagles, in a bit of a head scratcher, selected the Missouri receiver with the 19th pick of round one. One has to wonder: What does Maclin give you that Desean Jackson doesn’t already?

For more draft commentary, check out NFLmocks.com .

Pick 20# : Lions select Brandon Pettigrew (TE, Oklahoma State) ***From Dallas***

Chris Shellcroft (NFLMocks.com) : With Matthew Stafford officially in the fold, the Lions used their second pick of round one to get an intermediate nfl_g_pettigrew_576target for their new franchise QB. With the 20th pick of round one, Oklahoma State tight end Brandon Pettigrew became a member of the Detroit Lion family.

Pettigrew, the best TE prospect in the draft, was thought to be a possible top 15 pick before he posted a lumbering 4.85 in 40-yard dash at the combine.

For more draft commentary, check out NFLmocks.com .

Pick 21# : Browns select Alex Mack (C, California) ***From Jets through T.B.***

BigBlueFan21 (user) : It's not sexy, but it's a pick that sures up a weakness on the line. Not only that... we will have him for 10 years anchoring the line. I think they see a defensivly deep draft, and a draft low on the one line need we had.

Good centers are hard to find. I still think Matthews is there at 36th, unless we use one of the 6th rounders to move up some. Maybe the Edwards trade is going through and they get a backer at 29th.

I like this: As unsexy as it is, the AFC North requires a beast offensive line. Steinbach, Mack and Thomas for years to come means that the QB's blind side is safe. I really hope they move Anderson, or if they can, get a team to give up a first for Quinn.

Thread: Browns go drafting

Pick 22# : Vikings select Percy Harvin (WR, Florida)

backnine31 (user) : Love it or hate it, this has the possibility of being the defining moment of Childress's career.  I think the results of this pick will seal his fate.  If he excels, obviously Vikes probably improve again this year and Childress stays.  If he's a bust and the Vikes regress, Chilly's gone.

My opinion, great pick.  One great receiver can make an entire offensive line better.  One lineman can't do that to your receiving corps.  Couple that with the fact that the gap in talent level between Michael Oher and a lineman taken in the 2nd round will be far less than the gap between Percy Harvin and pretty much any other receiver in the draft and it really becomes a no-brainer.

My last point is that this pick will finally force Childress to get creative on offense.  Minnesota Vikings fans will not put up with vanilla anymore.  There are now too many weapons on this team to "manage the game" and try to win at the end.  It's time to start dictating pace and tempo to the other teams and shoving it down their throats.  Even if Harvin misses some time for whatever reason, the playbook should still open up and I think that will do nothing but benefit the entire squad.

Thread: Minnesota reacts to Percy Harvin

Pick 23# : Ravens select Michael Oher (OG, Mississippi) ***From New England***

m3t4L (user) : Wow, he did it again!! Ozzie Newsome has worked that draft day magic yet again. This pick just screams VALUE, the kid was ranked 13th overall... out of everyone in the entire draft. The O-line is going to be a real strength, giving Flacco all day to throw and the receivers all day to get separation!

Like Harbaugh said, with no real holes in the team, we can draft the best player available. They're not drafting based on need! It's a wonderful thing....

Thread: Michael Oher, baby!!!

Pick 24# : Falcons select Peria Jerry (DT, Mississippi)

canesfan4lyf (user) : Are you kidding me!? We filled two needs with two players that both have top-20 talent. Some scouts have said Peria Jerry could end up being better then B.J. Raji.

I don't know about that, but he is a legit top-20 prospect that will be key in the rotation with Jonathan Babineaux, Trey Lewis and Kindal Moorehead. Some say he's not a good fit, but I say he's fine... if Trey Lewis is healthy and we can have excellent depth and rotation with him.

Thread: Saturday could not have gone better for Atlanta

Pick 25# : Dolphins select Vontae Davis (CB, Illinois)

NFLDraftsite.com: Miami got a great player at a position that was much needed. By improving their secondary, their defense drastically improves. With Davis's athletic ability, and pure cover skills, Miami fans should be very happy with this pick.

For a full 7-round mock draft, check out NFLDraftSite.com .

Pick 26# : Packers select Clay Matthews (ILB, USC) ***From Baltimore through N.E.***

G&GinPTown (user) : I'm very happy with both picks, but we certainly gave up too much for Matthews. There is no way to say we didn't. We spent three high picks on one player? I just don't get it. I think a 2nd, 3rd and 5th would have been a little more even. Ted Thompson really, really put his stock in Matthews, and he had better pan out (and start from day one) or he will be killed by the TT-haters.

Even though we gave up too much, it sure is nice to add two solid first-round, high-end players to this defense. I couldn't be more excited about the defense this year. We are getting three solid players back from injury (Jenkins, Bigby and Barnett), drafted two solid players who should both be starters, and brought in one of the best defensive coordinators in the entire NFL. Plus, we hired a great defensive staff around him. I really see the Packers "D" being top-10 this year, and possibly even top-5.

Thread:  Official Packers draft talk

Pick 27# : Colts select Donald Brown (RB, Connecticut)

ColtsSB07 (user) : I think the Colts have lost confidence in Addai.  Addai is more of a 3rd down type back now, and I think he's soft as well.  Even in a split with Rhodes last year, Addai did not look good.  You can point to the line, which deserves some of the blame, but Addai just doesn't seem to run as hard as he should, or have the fire in him to get the job done.

We lost Rhodes. Who knows what is going to happen with Hart and his knee. Simpson is small. And we are not going to bank on Ball, who played only one game last year.

The more I think about it, the more sense it makes.  We need a running game. If you actually look at the stats, our defense was ranked higher than our offense last year.  Not to say our defense doesn't need work, because we all know it does, but I trust the Colts to make a few solid defensive selections later on.

We needed this pick.  Our running game was horrible last year.  Donald Brown led the nation in rushing last season... playing for UConn of all places.  He also blocks well, catches like a WR and is fast.  Great pick, Polian!

Thread: Is Donald Brown a good pick?

Pick 28# : Bills select Eric Wood (C, Louisville) ***From Carolina through Philly***

NFLDraftsite.com: Buffalo certainly needed some help on the offensive line, although an offensive tackle might have been better to address.

Eric Wood is a smart player, who will give more protection for Trent Edwards to find his new target.

For a full 7-round mock draft, check out NFLDraftSite.com .

Pick 29# : Giants select Hakeem Nicks (WR, North Carolina)

GMEN (user) : I grew up about 20 minutes from the Meadowlands and am a diehard Giants fan, but now live in Chapel Hill and have been down here for several years. I've seen Nicks play the last few years and I don't think anyone needs to worry about him gaining weight.

I expect him to show up in camp in great shape, and fans will be happy with this pick after he gets on the field. He has hands like glue, and as much as I love Eli, he does need that kind of receiver to bail him out once in a while. He also doesn't have a great 40 time, but if he gets a step, he has unbelievable separation speed. I have never seen him caught from behind. I'd rather have a player with game speed that combine speed.

Thread: We should have drafted Stevie Nicks

Pick 30# : Titans select Kenny Britt (WR, Rutgers)

jayhawkpack786 (user) : I get weary when there is a pick concerning a 6'3/6'4 WR, because that starts to remind me of Tyrone Calico and his one good game as a pro before crashing and burning with injuries.

Moreover, I do like this pick from the standpoint that it gives us another deep threat to compliment Nate Washington and Justin Gage, but I would have liked to see us get more of a possession receiver. I guess he was the best pick available at the time. 

I got the chance to see this kid in college many times, and he is certainly an impressive route runner with excellent breakaway speed.  Obviously, his pass dropping woes are well documented, but we have seen many receivers his size with suspect hands, and some have turned out all right... Terrell Owens for example. 

As Pete Prisco noted, this is a "need pick", unlike some of the picks we made in previous years, such as cough cough... Travis LaBoy.  I think in a matter of 2-3 years, he may become our best receiver, but I guess that is not saying too much.

Thread: Titans take Kenny Britt

Pick 31# : Cardinals select Chris Wells (RB, Ohio State)

AZ fan#1 (user) : I can't believe Arizona got a high quality player at a very low draft pick. Cards got very, very lucky to draft a player of that caliber that low.

Not only is he good, but he'll come at a decent price since we got him that late. We got a great quality player who we need to complete this offense. Him and Tim Hightower are going to be splitting time, making this team a very dangerous team offensively. Whisenhunt will now be able to incorporate a balanced pass and run attack, which he intended to do since he first came to Arizona.

Great day to be a Cardinals fan. 

Thread: Wells is our man!!!

Pick 32# : Steelers select Evander Hood (DT, Missouri)

GoSteelers!86 (user) : I love the pick... Once Mack and Wood were off the board, he was exactly who I was looking at. He could be a DE or a NT in a 3-4, seems to get good penetration and has the bulk to clog holes. Love it.

The Steelers likely will lose Keisel or Hampton, and he could be a candidate to replace either. The second round is going great for us too, there are still only seven offensive linemen off the board, so there is going to be something good at 64.

Phil Loadholt is starting to look like a good possibilty, Duke Robinson starts to come up again as well. Robinson was the Steeler mock favorite until mid-February, but as their first-round pick.  

Thread: Ziggy Hood

Posted on: April 24, 2009 10:04 pm
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Posted on: April 24, 2009 8:16 pm
Edited on: April 24, 2009 8:25 pm

Rob Rang Chat Transcript

On Friday, April 24, NFLDraftScout.com senior analyst Rob Rang stopped by the Writer's Group for one more last-minute chat with the Community. The chat lasted a little over a hour, with Rob answering a variety of outstanding draft-related questions. Check out the full transcript below.

Rob Rang: Hello all, thanks for joining me for today's chat. I'm ready for your questions now!

funkyCanadian: Hi rob. What is the chance that the Packers will trade down in teh draft and pick up additional picks later on? They have multiple needs, i.e a NT, OL and CB and I feel these could be addressed best by an additional first round pick or early second round pick. If not, what is the latest buzz on who they take (Tyson jackson, B.J. Raji, Andre Smith if available)? Thanks,


Toronto Ontario

Rob Rang: Ted Thompson always looks to trade down and acquire extra picks -- and in this draft -- especially so. The Packers are focusing on big guys with their current pick, #9 overall, and would likely take Raji, if he were there. I believe he'll be off the board at that point and thus, the Packers will, instead, be looking at the tackles, likely Eugene Monroe or Michael Oher.

G33S3: Rob. ... I've been following your Draft Analysis for years now. Your insight has been spot on, but I became a faithful follower during the 05 draft when you promised Seahawks fans that we'd love the Lofa pick. In the last 4 or 5 years, your accuracy in predicting picks has increased right before the draft (even predicting trades), so I'm begging for you to talk me off the ledge again.

Rob Rang: The hawks aren't rebuilding, we're not a 4-12 team. Please tell me that Sanchez is a smokescreen and Ruskell will be able to parlay that hype into 2 or 3 impact players. Are you hearing anything about the Skins, Jets, Broncos pulling a Ditka type move?

Thanks for the kind words. Just as in years before, I do not KNOW who the Seahawks are going to take and instead try to accurately project their thinking based on Tim Ruskell's historical tendencies. Those historical tendencies lead me to believe he'll take Aaron Curry with the fourth pick, rather than go for the quarterback Sanchez, receiver Crabtree, or one of the tackles -- though all remain legitimate possibilities.

Ruskell is actively looking to trade out of the pick and if they can get reasonable value, I believe they'll gladly move down.

Avatar13: What were the faults everyone saw in Ware and Merriman in 2005 and do the current cop of DE's/LB's have any of those same faults that may turn out to be non-issues?

Rob Rang: There was the concern with both Ware and Merriman that they'd be making the transition to outside linebacker after playing defensive end in college. For Ware, there was also the level of competition question, as he came from Troy.

In my opinion, there isn't an athlete in this draft with the combination of size and explosiveness that Ware and Merriman possess. The best of the bunch, I believe, is Orakpo, but his struggles with durability and stiffness, make him a lesser prospect than either Ware or Merriman, though he ultimately may be selected earlier than either Pro Bowler was...


Posted on: April 24, 2009 1:30 pm
Edited on: April 24, 2009 1:37 pm
Posted on: April 22, 2009 3:48 pm
Edited on: April 24, 2009 12:30 pm

Chad Reuter: Trading up

Setting stage for draft swap meet


NEW YORK -- The flurry of activity on the first day of the NFL Draft last year included 11 trades involving first- or second-round picks, and there could be at least that many this Saturday.

Last year's figure didn't even include the trades of top 64 picks for veteran players. We've already had two such deals this year, with Chicago including its first-round pick in the deal with Denver for quarterback Jay Cutler and the Eagles shipping several picks, including No. 28 overall, to Buffalo for left tackle Jason Peters.

A Cleveland quarterback (Derek Anderson or Brady Quinn) and various pass-catchers such as Anquan Boldin, Braylon Edwards, Tony Gonzalez and/or Chad Ocho Cinco could all be moved on or before Saturday for one or two first-day picks, as well as a second-day pick or possibly a player.

Buffalo, Denver and Detroit figure to be the biggest players in the first round because each team has two selections. The Patriots own six of the top 97 picks, so they could also make a move or two on Saturday.

Teams are leaking to the media that they want out of the top 10 because of the multi-million guaranteed bonuses awarded to those players. The price for those initial selections could decline, however, based on teams' desire to move a bit down the board (but not too far down, as to miss out on the top prospects).

Despite the bellyaching, there is enough interest in Southern California quarterback Mark Sanchez that a trade into the top 10 could very well happen. At least one trade within the top 10 is also likely, with Sanchez, wide receiver Michael Crabtree, linebacker Aaron Curry, offensive tackle Eugene Monroe or defensive tackle B.J. Raji the focus of any potential deal.

Here are 25 pick swaps to watch for on the draft's first day. An NFL team's trade value chart was used to make sure appropriate picks were involved in each scenario.



(Chad Reuter is a senior analyst for NFLDraftScout.com.)

Posted on: April 22, 2009 12:55 pm
Edited on: April 24, 2009 12:30 pm

Pete Prisco: Better-Than Team

Better-Than Team: Sleeper scouting starts with McGee


During the 2007 college football season, I would watch Texas A&M games and think how unfair their offense was to quarterback Stephen McGee.

Dennis Franchione, then the coach of the Aggies, used a spread offense that featured plenty of option runs for McGee.

Yes, McGee is a talented runner, racking up four 100-yard games. But he also has a big arm. That offense wasn't preparing him for the NFL, but did Franchione care? It was his offense.

So every single time I would watch the Aggies play, I would curse the screen. Let the kid play quarterback, not that thing you're running, Coach Fran.

Franchione got in trouble with the school that year when it was revealed he was selling a secret e-mail newsletter to boosters that included inside information.

What was the title: How to hold back a talented passer?

Franchione was fired after that season, replaced by former Green Bay Packers coach Mike Sherman. It was expected McGee would get his chance to play quarterback in an NFL-friendly offense.

One problem: He injured his throwing shoulder and was limited to three starts. He healed enough to play again, and showed well in the East-West game. But he never really got the chance to show off his arm.

He has a strong arm, even if he's raw throwing it. At 6-feet-3 and 223 pounds, he also has good size and he's a tough kid, as evidenced by the way he took on tacklers as a runner.

McGee won't be a first- or second-round pick, but I think he's worth a look in the third round. Once a good coach gets with him and works on the fundamentals, McGee will become a better NFL passer than he was in the college game.

That's why he heads up my annual "Better-Than" team, a list of 20 players I think are better than the scouts' projections.








Posted on: April 21, 2009 1:14 pm
Edited on: April 24, 2009 12:32 pm

Chad Reuter: Mathematical Mock

Numerical order: Mock drafting by the numbers


Even the best mock drafts miss on six or seven players in the first round. An author who accurately projects eight players to the correct team in the first round deserves praise for his work.

That makes studying trends and using history a good way to take some of the "over-thinking" out of the mock draft equation.

The mock draft below is based on how the past 15 drafts unfolded. To place players in each slot, the first, second (also known as the median) or third quartile slot values for each position-rank combination (quarterback being No. 1, tight end No. 3, etc.) were used, with the average value used as a tiebreaker. The strength of the 2009 class at each position determined the quartile values used.

Using statistics to determine a mock will lead to some very unlikely scenarios, especially when a certain position group is considered strong or weak. This year, the offensive tackle class is strong (although eight won't go in the first round like last year) so the math puts players like Andre Smith and Michael Oher too far down the board. The 2009 safety class is a bit weak at the top (unless you rate Malcolm Jenkins as a free safety) so it's unlikely one will be picked in the late first round, as is typical.

By the same token, using math will point to some players who might not go as high (or as low) as people expect. Some mock drafts had tackles Ryan Clady, Chris Williams and/or Brendan Albert going in the top 10, but none made it. A similar situation could happen this year. Not everyone had Darren McFadden going to Oakland at No. 4 in 2008, but historically it made sense. The same appears to apply to Chris "Beanie" Wells, as he could sneak into the top 10 despite being picked by most mock draft authors to go in the 14-16 area.

Check out the mock...


(Chad Reuter is a senior analyst for NFLDraftScout.com.)


Posted on: April 20, 2009 4:00 pm
Edited on: April 24, 2009 12:33 pm

Rob Rang: Playing it safe

Looking for safe draft picks? Check out these future stars


While the on-field activity between the pro day season and the NFL Draft crawls to a near standstill, the media and public interest in the prospects only intensifies.

With little workout news to report, rampant speculation regarding failed drug tests, poor practice habits and the inability to play different positions (or in different schemes) occupies too many headlines. It's enough to leave one with the impression that next week's draft lacks any talented, hard-working prospects at all.

Call me a hopeless optimist, but I believe the reality to be considerably less gloomy than some of my peers. Some of the boom-or-bust prospects in this draft will be, after all, booms.

There are no "sure things" in the inexact science of the NFL Draft. But those less willing to gamble on draft day will keep a close eye on the following eight players who were characterized to me as the "safest" by a menagerie of scouts and front office personnel.

Aaron Curry, OLB, Wake Forest: Though I've listed the safest players alphabetically, it is fitting that Curry tops the list. The Butkus Award winner is characterized by many, including NFLDraftScout.com, as this year's safest pick and the top-rated player overall. His statistics (332 tackles, 45.5 tackles for loss, three interceptions returned for scores) are eye-popping, and his performance at the combine, where he led all linebackers in four of the six categories he tested in, is a testament to his athleticism. In the words of one NFL general manager, Curry is also "off the charts" in terms of his intangibles. A team captain and four-year starter who signed with Wake Forest as a relatively unheralded prep talent, Curry has the work ethic and desire to be great.


(Rob Rang is a senior analyst at NFLDraftScout.com.)



The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com