Hows it going Ravens fans. Thought I'd post this here to see what you guys think. Just wanted to point out that I'm not a Raven basher or hater on any day other than gameday, and i like having debates with you guys over stuff, i respect the Ravens and the way they play ball, and youll never see me say something immature or ridiculous or disrespectful. So heres to my favourite division rival. Cheers, Michael
BEFORE WE BEGIN THERE ARE SUPPOSED TO BE CRAZY, UNLIKELY SELECTIONS IN THIS MOCK DRAFT, BECAUSE I GET SICK OF SEEING EVERY EXPERT GO WITH THE CONSENSUS PICK SO I TOOK A FEW WILDCARD CHOICES IN THIS MOCK TO HELP ADD TO THE DEBATING PROCESS
I know a lot of these picks may seem strange or even crazy, but each to his own opinion guys so be respectful and feel free to add your own opinion rather than bash mine
From what i have seen the last few years, the Draft always has its fair share of surprises and shocks, so Ive done my best to go against the norm and draft some sleepers. It also adds a bit of extra thought and consideration you may not have thought of before
Each pick I make i have my reasons why, so bare with me and see it from my point of view and consider the unlikely, as teams like the Raiders and Jets as examples are often known for drafting some suprises.
Lets get rolling!
I really want to see Detroit draft an OL like Smith or Monroe because I think that whatever QB lines up behind that O Line is going to get killed, but I cant see them passing on Stafford, especially after the successes of Flacco and Ryan last season. They need a new face of that franchise, and selecting Stafford is a good way to instill hope back into that franchise. Stafford looked great at his pro day, he has a strong arm and solid accuracy.
PICK 2: ST LOUIS RAMS select OT JASON SMITH
I personally dont think Bulger is that bad of a QB, and I see the Rams taking Jason Smith, who was actually the #1 pick in a couple experts mock drafts, at #2. He is big and strong at run blocking, which I believe will help the Rams utilise Steven Jackson out of the back field. The Rams need help in a lot of places, but I believe you build a team from the inside out, therefore OL makes sense to me here. However I would not be surprised at all if Aaron Curry is selected here, as Spagnuolo is a sucker for defense, and Curry may be too good to pass.
PICK 3: KANSAS CITY CHIEFS select LB AARON CURRY
Aaron Curry has proven to probably be the safest pick in the Draft this year, his work ethic and physical skills rank him above all the others. He can cover all over the field and is a solid ball and all tackler. He will be too good for Kansas City to pass on, and they are in dire need of him to help that defense
PICK 4: SEATTLE SEAHAWKS select DT B.J RAJI
Although I think Raji is better suited for a 3-4 defensive scheme, I find him too good for the Seahawks to pass on. He is big (300+ lbs) and can occupy two blockers. With the departure of Rocky Bernard to the Giants, the Seahawks need to get some size back up front. They acquired Redding in the trade from Detroit, but I'm not totally sold, so I still think they will address DL here
PICK 5: CLEVELAND BROWNS select DE/OLB BRIAN ORAKPO
The Texas standout shone in his pro day, and his ability to rush the passer combined with the Browns pathetic pass rush on the opposite side from Kamerion Wimbley, makes this pick quite suitable to me. He is very athletic and fast, and i think he is a good fit for the Browns 3-4 Defense. Browns need help all over the place though, and i wouldnt be surprised to see them try and trade out of this spot for more picks, and maybe take an OL later in the first round
PICK 6: CINCINATTI BENGALS select WR MICHAEL CRABTREE
With the departure of Houshmanzadeh to Seattle and Chad Johnson seemingly unhappy with his situation, combined with a couple young WR who havent delivered at the NFL level yet, I think Crabtree lands with the Bengals. He delivered in the biggest moments in College (See Texas Tech beating Texas) and is an amazing all around talent. Forget the injury concerns, I believe this guy is the real deal, and the Bengals need some more help for Palmer against defenses like the Steelers and Ravens. O-Line is also highly likely at this point
PICK 7: OAKLAND RAIDERS select WR JEREMY MACLIN
Al Davis is in love with speed, and Jeremy Maclin has plenty of it. He can be used effectively out of the slot as well as the starting left or right positions. He is a good size wideout at 6 feet, and is a gutsy player, willing to jump for the ball and fight for extra yardage. If Al Davis wants Jamarcus Russell to be as effective as he envisioned when he took him #1, he better get him some more firepower. I personally would not draft a WR not named Crabtree this high, but im not Al Davis. If a solid OL is available he should take it, but im not gonna trust Davis
PICK 8: JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS select QB MARK SANCHEZ
At first I didnt agree with this pick, but after watching tape of Sanchez, i think he may be too good of a talent to pass up on. Despite only starting one season at Collegiate level, he has been flying up draft boards with his very solid workouts, strong arm and above average accuracy, and I think Jacksonville will snag him, because i think Garrard maybe on the down now after appearing to be a possible one hit wonder of a QB. Sanchez can sit and watch for a year and then compete for the start in 2010.
PICK 9: GREEN BAY PACKERS select OL EUGENE MONROE
Monroe slides a bit in my mock draft, but not for the wrong reasons. I think any one of the teams ahead could have picked him up too, but I feel there is a good enough chance he will be here at #9 for the Green Bay Packers. The Packs O-Line is aging, and they want to keep the development of Aaron Rodgers continuing on strongly, which is more effective if he can stay on his feet. Monroe is tall and has long arms, and is highly touted as a pass blocker, something the pass-happy offense of McCarthy requires
PICK 10: SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS select OT ANDRE SMITH
Andre Smiths odd exit from the combine along with a disappointing pro day workout has him slide from a potential top 3 pick down to number 10 in my mock. His college career is too promising to ignore, along with the Outland Trophy that he has on his resume. The 49ers have needs all across the board on Offense, but the line is the gateway to success, and if there is any coach that light a fire under this guy and make him realise his potential, its Mike Singletary
PICK 11: BUFFALO BILLS select DE/LB EVERETTE BROWN
The Bills lacked a pass rush last season after Aaron Schobel was slowed with injuries, and with Schobel also being 32 years of age, its now time for the Bills to address the defense. Brown is a big versatile player, with the athleticism to play both DE and OLB, and i think the Bills would love to design some defensive packages for this guy. He is fast off the line and able to beat OLinemen with his technique rather than always using his speed.
PICK 12: DENVER BRONCOS select DE/OLB AARON MAYBIN
Some mock drafts have Maybin going in the middle of the first round, a couple had him top 10 and some didnt have him in the first round at all. With the Denver Broncos in need of some versatile linebackers and defensive ends for their switch to a 3-4 defense, i think that Maybin will fit the bill for them. The 6'4'' Penn State stars athleticism make up for his inexperience of playing time, and there are questions about how he will make the switch to the NFL, but i think he will be fine.
PICK 13: WASHINGTON REDSKINS select DE TYSON JACKSON
Washington needs some help on the DLine now that they have let go of Jason Taylor, and their remaining pieces of the line are getting up there in age. Tyson Jackson has the size to play either end or tackle, however he lacks elite pass rushing speed, but has very good strength and build for the position. I personally think this may be a bit of a reach, but i think the Redskins would be happy landing the LSU star here
PICK 14: NEW ORLEAN SAINTS select RB CHRIS "BEANIE" WELLS
Wells has a great combo of size (6'1''), strength and agility, and is the power type of runner that the New Orlean Saints now require on offense now that Deuce McAllister has departed. Reggie Bush is never going to be an every down back, and even though Pierre Thomas could fill Deuces role for a year and allow the Saints to draft defense instead, i think that Wells will be too tempting for the Offensive minded Sean Payton to resist.
PICK 15: HOUSTON TEXANS select LB REY MAUALUGA
Houston could take either of the two USC Inside Linebackers here, but I think it will be Rey Maualuga who will go first, as he possesses the explosive hitting and all out mentality that I believe the Texans are looking for to compliment Demeco Ryans. Maualuga has great speed and can cover the field from side to side, and can explode to the ball carrier. The Texans will need that extra speed to cover agile running backs like Chris Johnson and Jones-Drew out of the backfield in the AFC South
PICK 16: SAN DIEGO CHARGERS select LB BRIAN CUSHING
With one USC LB off the board, the Chargers will take the other in Brian Cushing. Cushing is versatile and can line up at a number of positions across the defense, something i believe the San Diego Chargers will covet in their 3-4 defense. He is big enough to play some downs at Defensive End, but also has the speed and mobility to line up across from Tight Ends and running backs in the slot. A good solid wrap em up tackler
PICK 17: NEW YORK JETS select WR PERCY HARVIN
I know what a lot of you might be saying in your heads, but let me explain. I think Harvin is a bit of a reach at 17, but I can realistically see him being landed by the Jets. Lavarenues Coles has departed for Cincinatti, leaving a WR spot open opposite Jerricho Cotchery, and i think the Jets would be happy to address their WR depth in this draft. Harvin has burner speed and also the running skills to have an impact in any Wildcat offensive spreads that the Jets could use with him. Rex Ryan loves defense though so im not going to rule that out either.
PICK 18: CHICAGO BEARS select DT PERIA JERRY
The Bears defense was lacking a bit of luster last season. A bit of physical presence was missing, especially in the run defense side of things. I like the Bears to add a DT to compliment Tommie Harris and Jerry is the guy to do it. Jerry often occupied two blockers in College, and has the off-the-line quickness and strength to be a force in the middle alongside Harris
PICK 19: TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS select QB JOSH FREEMAN
With the media attention the Stafford and Sanchez are receiving, Freeman is getting lost in the background a little. A number of mock drafts that I have seen have Freeman going to the Jets, but i think the Jets will pass, so here he lands in Tampa. The Bucs look to have McCown as there apparant starter, and i dont think that is a great QB situation, so the Bucs will add Freeman to push McCown and add a bit of healthy competition. Freeman has the height necessary to look over OLineman and throw over them with ease, and is very mobile for a guy this size, not to mention the cannon of an arm he possesses.
PICK 20: DETROIT LIONS select OT MICHAEL OHER
After addressing their QB need with the #1 overall pick, the Lions will now look to add some bulk up front to protect the QB. Much like the Falcons did with their 2 first round picks last season, the Lions will take an OT with their later 1st round pick. I like this guys work ethic and can be a solid starter in the NFL. He has good size, bulk and mobility for the tackle position, and the Lions could sure use his skill set.
PICK 21: PHILADELPHIA EAGLES select RB KNOWSHON MORENO
I initially thought Lesean McCoy would be the better option - adding a power back to the speed receiver type of Westbrook, but i think that Moreno will still be available at this point and too good for the Eagles to pass on. Moreno can fill the void left by Correll Buckhalter and possibly succeed Westbrook in time. Westbrook is not the most durable of running backs, and McNabb wants more offensive weapons in Philly, and Morenos combo of speed and agility, combined with the ability to be a receiver out of the backfield will make him an attractive option for the Eagles.
PICK 22: MINNESOTA VIKINGS select WR DARRIUS HEYWARD-BEY
With Harvin off the board, i like the Vikings to add H-B on offense as another deep threat opposite Berrian. The Vikings need to make opposing defenses respect their aerial game in order to leave more room for AP to work. Heyward-Beys collegiate production was not stellar, due to often being double teamed, however teams will not be able to that with both he and Berrian on the field at the same time. He is also tall for a receiver at 6'2'', so has a lot of upside.
PICK 23: NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS select RB LESEAN MCCOY
This pick here is based on the fact that i believe the Patriots will pursue either Peppers or Taylor, eliminating their need of a LB. If it doesnt pan out that way look for them to draft a Clay Matthews or James Lauranaitis. However if they draft Lesean McCoy they will have obtained a solid quick runner with great burst and elusiveness to add to the Patriots rushing attack, as well as a solid option as receiver lining up from the slot or out of the backfield.
PICK 24: ATLANTA FALCONS select LB CLAY MATTHEWS
Matthews has soared up draft boards with his upside. He is a big, quick player at OLB, and i believe he has the potential to play the ILB spot as well. WIth the departures of Falcons linebackers Boley and Brooking, the Falcons need to address it in the draft. He has a tonne of potential, and has shown the ability to stop the run, cover the field and rush the passer. Maybe too much potential for Falcons head coach Mike Smith to ignore.
PICK 25: MIAMI DOLPHINS select WR KENNY BRITT
In the end, the Dolphins just didnt have the offensive personnel to compete with better defenses last season, the point made obvious when the Ravens embarassed them in the wild card playoffs. WR is a major area of need for Miami, and i like them to take Kenny Britt. Britt is tall at 6'3 and very athletic, as well as a hard worker, something Bill Parcells covets in his players. He has had problems with dropped passes, but its not enough of a problem to make the Dolphins pass on his toughness
PICK 26: BALTIMORE RAVENS select CB VONTAE DAVIS
Baltimore cut Rolle and McAllister and now have Washington and Foxworth, 2 speedy corners, but not overly physical, as well as having little experience lining up against elite WRs. By drafting Davis, the Ravens can bring a physical presence back to the cornerback position. Davis is a little short for corner, but is solidly built and quick all the same, and he makes a lot of tackles for a corner. Known to step it up in big time games, he will relish the chance to play against the defending Superbowl champion Steelers. LB may also be considered here.
PICK 27: INDIANAPOLIS COLTS select LB JAMES LAURINAITIS
Laurinaitis appeals to many as the prototype sort of linebacker, with good height, bulk, speed and agility. The Colts struggled with their linebacker play and didnt have a great time stopping the run last season, which they hav to step up this season because their division boasts 3 of the better young running backs in the league. Laurinaitis is capable of being a sideline to sideline defender, and is comfortable dropping into coverage against the pass and would fit nicely in the Colts defensive schemes.
PICK 28: PHILADELPHIA EAGLES select TE BRANDON PETTIGREW
As i said before McNabb wants weapons and a solid receiving tight end will go a long way to helping the Eagles offense and take pressure off McNabb. Pettigrew also has a lot of experience as a blocker, and his size of 6'5, 260+ combined with his athleticism make him capable of holding the edge in run blocking and engaging linebackers on the edges. He will be a good compliment to the emerging Celek.
PICK 29: NEW YORK GIANTS select WR HAKEEM NICKS
With the status of Plax up in the air, and the fact that the Giants proved they werent nearly as capable on O without him, the Giants should look to address WR in the draft. Hakeem Nicks has good enough size for a WR at 6'1 and has reliable hands He doesnt have blazing speed, but the Giants arent necessarily looking for a burner. A solid consistent wideout that should be able to combine nicely with Eli Manning and give more options in the passing game.
PICK 30: TENNESSEE TITANS select CB ALPHONSO SMITH
Alphonso Smith is another player who seems to be all over the place in various mock drafts. I like Alphonso Smith as a ball player, who doesnt allow his less than ideal size to hinder his production or commitment on the field. He has the speed to keep up with elite speed WRs and he has great jumping ability to go up and cover the ball. He would be a surprise here at 30, because no one knows how he will adjust to the NFLs taller and more athletic receivers.
PICK 31: ARIZONA CARDINALS select DE MICHAEL JOHNSON
This guy is huge! Michael Johnson boasts very impressive size standing at 6'7 and has monsterously long arms. He has a great burst off the edge and is just the type of pass rusher the Cardinals should go after now that Antonio Smith has departed for Houston. He would fit in nicely initially as a rotation DLineman until he proves himself, but this guy has a tonne of upside based on his raw size and athleticism
PICK 32: PITTSBURGH STEELERS select C ALEX MACK
Alex Mack is a big guy at 6'4, 300+, and has the versatility and top two inches to make him a possible starter at both Center and Guard. The Steelers have always like players on OL who can play more than one spot, and Mack is a nice option at 32 to upgrade the Steelers OLine and compete for a starting spot straight away. The Cal center is solid in his footwork and has a nice ability to get right up under the pads of Defensive players and drive them backwards in the running game, as well as stabilise the pocket.
Let me know your views Ravens fans