@ChiefMN , actually Ford has shown flashes in his limited playing time, so I wouldn't rule him out, just yet, as he could blossom in year 3. And, I also wouldn't rule out Ramik Wilson or DJ Alexander (both can run and hit like a ton of bricks) as ILB candidates, either.
That said, I 'll always take an off-the edge pass-rusher, and not knowing if CB Sean Smith will be back, as well as Phillip Gaines status, I'd gladly take another CB, as well.
Detroit Lions: Matt Stafford, QB, Georgia
The Lions have agreed to a deal with Matt Stafford on a 6-year, $78 million contract with $41.7 million guaranteed. The Rams are on the clock.
I'm glad to see that Detroit's new regime made the right move. There are a lot of people out there who think that taking Stafford is the wrong choice. Well, franchise quarterbacks don't grow on trees. The Lions have to take him. He's coming out of a pro-style offense; he has an amazing arm; and he's very intelligent. Unless he receives poor offensive line protection - which shouldn't happen if the Lions go left tackle at No. 20 - there is no reason that Stafford should bust.
St. Louis Rams: Jason Smith, OT, Baylor 11:38 AM: ESPN's Chris Mortensen reports that Jason Smith will be the No. 2 pick, which means the second-overall selection will likely be anyone but Smith. Just kidding, Mort!
I put Jason Smith here immediately after the Combine. I had kept him here until Thursday morning. After hearing reports from three legitimate sources that all said St. Louis was going with Eugene Monroe, I conceded that I was wrong about Smith and changed my pick.
Well, now I'd like to say that I was wrong about being wrong. That's what I get for listening to smokescreens on what Mike Lombardi likes to call "Misinformation Week."
Though Eugene Monroe is more NFL-ready, Jason Smith is the better run-blocker and arguably has more potential. Plus, Monroe has some mysterious knee issues. That's why I've had Smith going No. 2 for eight weeks.
Pick change; previously Eugene Monroe, OT
Kansas City Chiefs: Aaron Curry, ILB, Wake Forest
The Chiefs are switching to the 3-4, so they'll be focusing on finding personnel for their new scheme. A year ago, Scott Pioli selected Jerod Mayo at No. 10, and this is a very similar pick. Kansas City has absolutely nothing on defense, and because they have (read: think they have) a franchise quarterback and left tackle, they're going Aaron Curry.
Why Not Tyson Jackson? I don't know who started mocking Jackson to the Chiefs. This move doesn't make much sense to me. Neither Jackson nor Curry have high positional value, so taking Jackson means that you have him rated higher on your board than Curry. That's pretty much absurd, as Curry is the consensus top player in this draft class. Speculation that Pioli prefers Jackson over Curry is wrong as well, given that he is tight-lipped and seldom lets information slip.
Also, note that the Chiefs went with a 3-4 end in last April's draft, so going there in back-to-back years isn't too smart.
Why Not Eugene Monroe?
Monroe makes even less sense here; the Chiefs selected a left tackle (Branden Albert) last year, so taking Monroe and moving Albert around would be like choosing a guard or a right tackle at this spot. You don't do that at No. 3. Then again, Kansas City traded for a shotgun-spread system quarterback when it already had one, so I guess anything is possible with Scott Pioli running the show.
Seattle Seahawks: Michael Crabtree, WR, Texas Tech
I've gone into major detail regarding this selection in my Seattle Seahawks 2009 NFL Draft Prospects article, where I list every candidate for the No. 4 selection and predict the odds that the team will take each prospect.
As a quick summary, Mark Sanchez, B.J. Raji and Brian Orakpo are not realistic options. It'll come down to Michael Crabtree and Jason Smith, and I'm picking the former because it just makes more sense when you look at everything the Seahawks have done this offseason (details in the article).
Now, if Seattle's front office believes that Walter Jones may not be able to play for at least a portion of the 2009 campaign, it'll heavily consider Smith. But for now, Crabtree's still the pick.
Cleveland Browns: Brian Orakpo, DE/OLB, Texas
Cleveland simply couldn't get to the quarterback in 2008. The team managed 17 sacks, and no player had more than four. This really needs to change quickly. Eric Mangini took Vernon Gholston with the No. 6 overall selection last year, and this pick mirrors that one.
Michael Crabtree will be considered if he's available.
Why Not B.J. Raji or Tyson Jackson? Both B.J. Raji and Tyson Jackson are great prospects, but going with either makes absolutely no sense financially.
The Browns are in the second year of Shaun Rogers' 6-year, $42 million deal. If they cut or trade him, they'd take a $9 million cap hit. Cleveland is also in the second year of Corey Williams' 6-year, $38.6 million contract. The team would have to take a huge penalty if it moves him as well. At the other 3-4 end position, the Browns reportedly like Robaire Smith, per the Cleveland Plain Dealer. And don't forget that Cleveland also signed C.J. Mosley, a Mangini guy, to play behind Williams and Smith.
Where would Raji or Jackson fit in? Would the Browns ownership really want to pay tons of money to three linemen on the team's defensive front? I highly doubt it.
Cincinnati Bengals: Andre Smith, OT, Alabama
With the addition of Tank Johnson and his arsenal of illegal weapons, it's almost a given that Cincinnati will go left tackle here.
I said it in my last mock update: "Don't rule out Andre Smith either. I know that's a scary prospect for Bengal fans, but the team has a dubious history of acquiring players with huge character concerns. And as PuppyPuncher mentioned on the forums, Marvin Lewis may covet pure talent over upside because he could be on thin ice."
Between Smith and Eugene Monroe, I'd have to believe that the Bengals go with the former. They have to love his high upside, and they really don't care that he showed up out of shape to the biggest job interview of his life.
Also, for what it's worth, Smith is the overwhelming favorite to be drafted No. 6 overall on Bodog. Smith is 10/11, while Monroe is 3/1.
Pick change; previously Jason Smith, OT
Oakland Raiders: Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR, Maryland
I talked to a source close to the Raiders front office Tuesday morning about the prospect of Al Davis taking Michael Johnson. The source revealed that Johnson would be a good fit for the Raiders, but Davis envisions Trevor Scott as his right defensive end of the future. Per the source, "[Davis] really wants to have Scott be the guy, and he will never draft over a pet project."
As a 255-pound rookie, Scott managed an impressive five sacks. I always envisioned Scott as a rotational end, but if Davis isn't looking at the defensive line, he won't take a defensive lineman.
So, whom does the source have the Raiders taking? My second choice, Heyward-Bey. The Maryland product ran a 4.30 40 at the Combine. At 6-2, 210, I'll even admit that was impressive. Davis, meanwhile, loves 40 times. Upon seeing Heyward-Bey accomplish that feat, Davis might believe Heyward-Bey could be the best receiver who has ever lived.
As Matt McGuire notes in his 2009 Mock Draft, Davis would love the prospect of having his top commodity, JaMarcus Russell, throwing long bombs to Heyward-Bey multiple times per game.
Heyward-Bey doesn't fit Al Davis' NFL Draft History, but how many wideouts are 6-2, 210, and run 4.3 40s? Based upon measurables alone, Davis might think that Heyward-Bey is the second coming of Tim Brown, the last receiver he drafted in the first round (1988).
Eliminating some other candidates: Jeremy Maclin's 40 wasn't nearly fast enough. Andre Smith won't be the pick because he doesn't fit Oakland's zone-blocking scheme and he's not athletic enough. B.J. Raji isn't athletic enough either. Plus, Davis has taken a defensive tackle in the first round only twice in the past 30 years, most recently Darrell Russell in 1997, and he ran a 4.8 at 320 pounds. Raji wasn't anywhere near a 4.8.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Mark Sanchez, QB, USC
I believe Mark Sanchez will be drafted eighth overall. Does that mean that he'll be a Jaguar going into training camp? No. There are three possibilities here, and I'll discuss each of them:
Broncos Trade Up for Mark Sanchez: Pat Bowlen and Josh McDaniels really screwed up the Jay Cutler fiasco, and they need to save face. Denver needs a franchise quarterback; Kyle Orton, who's in his contract year, is hardly the solution. Drafting Sanchez, whose stock is on fire right now, would really appease an angry fan base.
What would it cost for Denver to move up? The difference between Picks 8 and 12 is just 200 TVC points. The Broncos have a third-round selection worth 195 points. So, Denver would only have to give up one of its two third-rounders to net a franchise quarterback. I think that's a steal.
From Jacksonville's perspective, owner Wayne Weaver hasn't spent any money this offseason. Who can blame him in this economy after botching numerous signings a year ago? The Jaguars don't want to pay top-10 money to anyone - especially after what happened with Derrick Harvey - so they'll be looking to move down. They can acquire a third-round pick and still take the top corner in this class at No. 12.
Redskins Trade Up for Mark Sanchez: Daniel Snyder is a smart businessman, but he's proven that he has absolutely no clue when it comes to football decisions. Though he traded up for Jason Campbell and never provided the Auburn product with a consistent playbook, Snyder now wants Mark Sanchez to be the face of his franchise. Snyder tried to trade Campbell this offseason, and he has the money to pay Sanchez top-10, or even top-five money.
The difference between the Nos. 8 and 13 selections is 250 points. The Redskins have the 80th pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, which is worth 190 points, so they'd have to give up more. Not that doing so means much to Snyder; I suspect he'd be happy enough to relinquish next year's third-rounder as well.
As a football decision this makes no sense; by the time Sanchez is ready to take over as the starter, Chris Samuels, Santana Moss, Clinton Portis, Albert Haynesworth and Andre Carter will be past their primes. But how common is it that Snyder makes an intelligent football decision?
Jaguars Draft Mark Sanchez: Again, from a football perspective, this doesn't make much sense. The Jaguars recently gave David Garrard a new contract. Why would a franchise so strapped for cash want to pay top dollar to two quarterbacks?
Well, Matt McGuire talked about it in one of his recent NFL Draft Blog entries. If Wayne Weaver wants to sell and move the team to Los Angeles, Sanchez would be the perfect commodity to make the deal happen.
I'm confident one of these three scenarios will come to fruition. I believe Sanchez will be taken eighth, though his destination is unclear right now.
Green Bay Packers: Tyson Jackson, DE, LSU
As usual, Ted Thompson will draft the player he has ranked highest on his board. In this case, that's Tyson Jackson.
So, Why Not Eugene Monroe? Well, you won't get nearly as strong an argument from me as the possible Cleveland-B.J. Raji and Kansas City-Tyson Jackson options. I wouldn't be surprised at all if Thompson drafted Monroe.
However, Chad Clifton and Mark Tauscher are both coming off knee surgery. Is Thompson really willing to roll the dice with yet another offensive tackle with alleged knee problems? That's my only concern here.
At any rate, I could also see this pick being B.J. Raji; the monstrous nose tackle would displace current start Ryan Pickett, who has absolutely no experience playing in the 3-4. Pickett is also in his contract year.
But at least the Packers have someone penciled into that slot. They have no one across from Cullen Jenkins at defensive end.
The National Football Post believes that the Chiefs are "in love" with Tyson Jackson, and see him going as high as No. 3 overall to be their Richard Seymour. If that's true, then Thompson may also covet Jackson over Raji. And as mentioned, Jackson over Raji makes more sense from a needs standpoint.
San Francisco 49ers: Eugene Monroe, OT, Virginia
The 49ers will be doing cartwheels in their war room if Eugene Monroe falls to No. 10. Let's just hope Mike Singletary has his pants on.
San Francisco currently has Joe Staley and Marvel Smith penciled in at left and right tackle, respectively. However, both of these prospects have major issues. The recently signed Smith has chronic back problems, and consequently missed 15 games in the past two seasons and 29 games since 2003. Staley, meanwhile, really struggled last year, surrendering 8.5 sacks. That number was actually less than the nine sacks he allowed as a rookie. Also note that the 49ers have just $1.5 million tied into Staley over the next three seasons.
Monroe makes a lot of sense because he could provide some stability to either tackle position if Staley continues to struggle or Smith gets hurt again.
Pick change; previously Michael Oher, OT
Buffalo Bills: Michael Oher, OT, Ole Miss
The Bills made a great move getting rid of one of the most overrated players in the NFL - click here for my Jason Peters Trade Reaction. Unfortunately, they now have a gaping hole at left tackle, which they will address here.
Michael Oher is a no-brainer if he's available here. Outside of quarterback, left tackle is the highest position of value in football, so the Bills need to make sure they secure one in the first round. Expecting William Beatty or Eben Britton to drop to No. 28 is unrealistic, especially considering the manner in which teams are now reaching for left tackles.
Pick change; previously Andre Smith, OT
Denver Broncos: B.J. Raji, NT, Boston College
The Broncos could trade up for Mark Sanchez, despite whatever Josh McDaniels says. If not, they'll take whomever falls between B.J. Raji and Tyson Jackson.
Denver fans will be giddy if Raji makes it this far. The team, making the transition to the 3-4, is in desperate need of a nose tackle to finally improve its porous run defense. Raji has been mocked as high as No. 5 by some experts, so getting him at No. 12 is quite a bargain. Consider Raji a lock if he's available to Denver and Sanchez is off the board.
Washington Redskins: Brian Cushing, OLB, USC
Daniel Snyder loves big-name guys. That's why I mocked Andre Smith to the Redskins since the end of February. But with Smith off the board, who is the biggest name available? That's a pretty easy question to answer.
If Snyder can't trade up for Mark Sanchez - huge IF because I think he'll make the move to No. 8 - I don't think he'd mind to grab one of the most recognizable and glamorous players in the 2009 NFL Draft. Plus, Cushing would fill a huge hole at strongside linebacker, currently occupied by Robert Thomas. Who? That's exactly why Cushing makes a lot of sense here.
Pick change; previously Aaron Maybin, DE
New Orleans Saints: Malcolm Jenkins, FS, Ohio State APRIL 20 UPDATE: No change here, so I'd like to use this space to point out that I'm once again running an NFL Draft Contest. It's free to enter and first prize is $350. So, make sure you register for the WalterFootball.com 2009 NFL Draft Contest.
Malcolm Jenkins' stock has fallen a bit. He ran a mediocre 40 (4.55) and his poor hips were exposed in the combine drills. Said Deion Sanders of Jenkins, "He's killing himself."
However, I can't see New Orleans passing on Jenkins, given the team's problems in the secondary. Jenkins can play both free safety and corner, though the team will be drafting him for the former in the wake of the Jabari Greer signing. The bottom line is the Saints desperately need an upgrade at free safety; I really think their fans would start having nose bleeds and seizures if Josh Bullocks and Kevin Kaesviharn were allowed to start for another year. Good thing Bullocks has left for Chicago. Poor Bears fans.
Houston Texans: Clay Matthews, OLB, USC APRIL 6 UPDATE: Let's clear the air. Clay Matthews has never proven to be a steroids user. A Web site recently reported that Matthews tested positive at the Combine. These allegations are completely bogus, as no tests have been revealed to anyone yet. Keep in mind that this is the same site that reported that Brandon Spikes would be declaring for the 2009 NFL Draft.
As an independent football Web site owner, I'm really pissed off. Irresponsible reporting like this gives independent football Web sites like mine, DraftCountdown.com, NFLDraftDog.com and TheFootballExpert.com a black eye. If I were Matthews, Brian Cushing or Vontae Davis, I'd be talking to my lawyers right now about a lawsuit.
Tough dilemma for the Texans - either they address a primary need and reach for a player, or they satisfy a "lesser" need by going with one of the top prospects available.
Looking at what happened last year, Houston traded down and then made a slight reach for Duane Brown. I feel as though the same thing will occur this April.
However, if the Texans can't move down, I believe they may still target Clay Matthews as an upgrade at strongside linebacker.
San Diego Chargers: Eben Britton, OT, Arizona
The Chargers have proven to be unpredictable on Draft Day, but if Tyson Jackson is off the board, I believe they will go with a right tackle, even if Michael Oher and Andre Smith aren't available.
San Diego has a huge hole at the position; current starter Jeromey Clary gave up 6.5 sacks and was whistled for six penalties in 2008. Britton would be a great upgrade over Clary.
New York Jets: Chris Wells, RB, Ohio State
I've probably received more e-mails regarding this pick than any other. Most Jet fans want a receiver here in the wake of Laveranues Coles' release. Others think Josh Freeman is the way to go.
Receivers fell last year, and we may see the same thing happen again. I've only had two or three receivers in the first round of my 2009 NFL Mock Draft for that specific reason. Plus, there are rumors that the Jets are interested in signing Torry Holt.
I also can't really see them going Freeman because general manager Mike Tannenbaum drafted Kellen Clemens and also acquired Brett Ratliff. If the Jets had a new general manager like the Chiefs, 49ers, Buccaneers, etc., they would definitely go with a quarterback. But the Jets don't have a new regime in place. Tannenbaum is not going to sit on the hot seat while a young quarterback develops. For more on why Stafford and Sanchez are very unlikely here, check out the New Regimes Mean New Quarterbacks article.
The Jets need a young running back. Thomas Jones is 31 and is likely playing his final season with the team. Chris Wells and Knowshon Moreno will be way too difficult to pass up.
Denver Broncos: Aaron Maybin, DE/OLB, Penn State
I haven't given the Broncos a rush linebacker in the first round of too many of my mocks because they have Jarvis Moss developing. But if someone like Aaron Maybin or Everette Brown is available at No. 18, Denver may pull the trigger.
The Broncos have a new regime in place, so they have nothing tied into Moss. Whereas Mike Shanahan would have given Moss another year, Josh McDaniels doesn't have to do that. Instead, he needs to worry about fixing his pass rush, which managed a pathetic 26 sacks in 2008.
Pick change; previously Everette Brown, DE/OLB
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Josh Freeman, QB, Kansas State
As I've said repeatedly in this and previous updates of my 2009 NFL Mock Draft, New Regimes Mean New Quarterbacks. The Buccaneers have a new head coach and general manager in place, so if history is an indicator, it's probable that they will choose "their guy" relatively early in the 2009 NFL Draft.
If Freeman is off the board, Tampa Bay will consider Peria Jerry, Evander Hood and Michael Johnson.
By the way, if you're a Bucs fan, make sure you check out Pewter Report.com. It's the ultimate source for inside news on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, including all of the draft prospects they're targeting.
Detroit Lions: William Beatty, OT, Connecticut
Now that the Lions have made it clear that Matt Stafford will be the pick, barring an impasse in contract negotiations, this selection has to be a left tackle.
Detroit doesn't have to play Stafford right away, but once he enters the lineup, the front office better make sure that he's well-protected; otherwise, they're risking a possible Joey Harrington 2.0 (minus the caviar and piano-playing).
William Beatty had a great Combine, and considering how much offensive tackles have been reached for in recent drafts, the Lions will be lucky if the Connecticut product is available here. With Beatty in the lineup, Jeff Backus will move to left guard, thus improving two spots on a front that surrendered 52 sacks in 2008.
Philadelphia Eagles: Robert Ayers, DE, Tennessee
Now that the Eagles traded for Derrick Coleman Jason Peters, it's highly doubtful that they go offensive line at this selection, though you never know with Andy Reid. By the way, you can check out my Jason Peters Trade Reaction here.
I joke about Reid finding eating buddies early in the draft, but he's only taken one offensive lineman in the first round in his tenure with the Eagles. So, what does Reid like to do (desperately trying to avoid cheesesteak joke here)? Reid tends to draft defensive linemen more than any other position early on (link below).
If Robert Ayers is available, I believe he'll be the pick. One of Philadelphia's needs is an every-down left end who can help against the run and get to the quarterback. Ayers would be a very nice fit in Jim Johnson's system.
I also wouldn't count out Darius Butler or Vontae Davis. Sheldon Brown recently criticized the Eagles organization. The last corner to do that, Lito Sheppard, was quietly fazed out until he somehow fell behind the unbelievably inept Quintin Demps on the depth chart.
For more on Reid's draft history, including an explanation as to why the Eagles won't take Knowshon Moreno or any other running back, check out Andy Reid's NFL Draft History.
Minnesota Vikings: Jeremy Maclin, WR, Missouri
If Eben Britton is available, he'll be the pick. If not, the Vikings may consider Jeremy Maclin or Phil Loadholt.
Brad Childress is on the hot seat. He needs a player who can help him right away; if he doesn't advance deep into the playoffs this season, there's a good chance he'll be fired.
Maclin is a potent return specialist. Minnesota was dreadful in this department last year, as Maurice Hicks' longest return was just 38 yards. Maclin, meanwhile, took two back to the house with Missouri in 2008.
Childress also can't afford to sit and wait around for Sidney Rice to develop. Rice was hurt for most of the 2008 campaign, but there's no guarantee he'll make a huge leap in his third year. Maclin is a threat to score every time he touches the ball. Childress needs someone like that if he wants to keep his job.
New England Patriots: Rey Maualuga, ILB, USC
Though Bill Belichick added a young linebacker to his roster last April, he'll have to keep acquiring them. The Patriots are really old and thin in their linebacking corps. In the middle, Tedy Bruschi will be celebrating his 36th birthday in June.
In one of my recent updates, I had Rey Maualuga going to the Broncos at No. 12. Maualuga may have torn his hamstring and was also criticized for some off-the-field stuff. Both of those things could drop him down a bit.
Atlanta Falcons: Evander Hood, DT, Missouri
I like the Tony Gonzalez trade for both teams. Atlanta gets a top-notch tight end for Matt Ryan. The Chiefs get a second-rounder in 2010, which doesn't seem like much, but Scott Pioli is starting over in Kansas City. He needs to stockpile as many selections as possible because the Chiefs have so many holes on their roster. And besides, by the time Pioli assembles a solid roster, Gonzalez would be worth much less.
At any rate, general manager Thomas Dimitroff is a smart guy, and he knows that other than quarterback and left tackle, the defensive line holds more positional value than anything else. Evander Hood, certainly one of the better players available here, fits a huge need for the Falcons, who couldn't stop the run in 2008. Hood would line up next to Jonathan Babineaux, giving Atlanta a very formidable interior.
Pick change; previously Brian Cushing, OLB
Miami Dolphins: Darius Butler, CB, Connecticut
Looking at Bill Parcells' previous 10 first-round picks, four were spent on linebackers. Two were used on corners. The other four were on an offensive tackle, defensive end, wide receiver and quarterback.
Based on the Tuna's history and the first 24 picks of my 2009 NFL Mock Draft, I'm betting that this is either Connor Barwin or Darius Butler. And considering that corner is now a much greater need in the wake of Andre Goodman's departure, I'll go with the latter.
Miami has nothing across from Will Allen. The team signed Eric Green, but that was just to a 2-year deal worth $6 million. Green will be used for depth; nothing more. Cornerback is still a huge need, with rush linebacker being a close second option here.
Baltimore Ravens: Vontae Davis, CB, Illinois
The Ravens will be hoping for Jeremy Maclin to fall to them. If he doesn't, they'll likely look at the best available player at the receiver and corner positions.
A few weeks ago, Vontae Davis was a projected top-10 pick. He has some attitude problems, but it's not like the Ravens have ever avoided cocky players. Davis is the most talented player on the board, and he'd be a great addition to Baltimore's stop unit. The team could then move Fabian Washington to nickel.
Indianapolis Colts: Peria Jerry, DT, Ole Miss
Wide receiver and running back (Knowshon Moreno) are strong options, but Indianapolis' run defense has to be addressed. Defensive tackle has always been a problem for the Colts, especially after the Ed Johnson marijuana scandal.
Buffalo Bills: Brandon Pettigrew, TE, Oklahoma State
Buffalo fans have to be thrilled about this Tony Gonzalez trade. With tight end no longer an option for Atlanta, there's a very good chance that Brandon Pettigrew will slide down to No. 28.
The Bills haven't had a potent receiving threat at tight end for years, and Pettigrew brings the blocking ability that Dick Jauron and his coaching staff likes.
New York Giants: Knowshon Moreno, RB, Georgia
There's a good chance this pick could be moved to the Browns, so I wanted to make sure this selection would make sense for both New York and Cleveland.
If the Browns are picking here, they'll consider Knowshon Moreno. As Emmitt said in his Mock Draft, "[Jamal] Lewis probably more slower than a really slow man, or a turtle, so to speak." Moreno would offer a huge upgrade over Lewis and the other running backs Cleveland has in its stable.
And as for the Giants? General manager Jerry Reese has done such an incredible job in free agency that his team really doesn't have any needs anymore, save for the wideout position. That can be addressed in Round 2.
With most of New York's needs addressed, the team can take the best player available. That would be Knowshon Moreno, who would be a great, pass-catching complement to Brandon Jacobs, essentially replacing the "Wind" element of the squad's running back corps.
I know the Giants just gave Jacobs a new contract, but he's not the most durable back in the NFL. He has missed eight games the past two seasons, so if he gets hurt, New York will be down to just Ahmad Bradshaw and Danny Ware. Besides, recall 2007. That April, the Vikings selected Adrian Peterson with the No. 7 choice (which obviously commands much more money than the No. 29 pick) despite the fact that Chester Taylor was coming off a 1,200-yard rushing season.
This is an outside-the-box selection, but if Moreno slips all the way down to No. 29, I don't think the Giants would be able to resist.
Tennessee Titans: Sean Smith, CB/S, Utah
Next season will be Nick Harper's final year on the Titans. Harper is currently 34 years old, so Tennessee will need to find another corner to take his place pretty soon.
Sean Smith seems like a good fit for the Titans because he can blitz effectively and play well in run support, two major things the Titans look for in their cornerbacks. Smith also ran an impressive 40 (4.47) at his size (6-4, 214).
Arizona Cardinals: Donald Brown, RB, Connecticut
The Cardinals will be hoping for Knowshon Moreno to fall to them. If not, Donald Brown isn't a bad consolation prize. Brown could add an element that the Cardinals' offense really lacks. Edgerrin James is pretty much done, while Tim Hightower does too much dancing around. Brown could be an enormous upgrade. Michael Johnson and Larry English would work as well.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Alex Mack, C, California
Sean Smith is an option here - I've had him going at this spot in the past few updates - but I really have trouble seeing Pittsburgh pass up on Alex Mack if he falls to them.
The Steelers need upgrades all over their offensive line, including the center position. Justin Hartwig surrendered more sacks (6.5) than any other center in the NFL in 2008.
Mack, arguably the best center prospect in 25 years, could continue the tradition of great centers in Pittsburgh, picking up where Mike Webster, Dermontti Dawson and Jeff Hartings left off.