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Matt McGuire's 2009 NFL Draft Prospects
Top 5 By Position - Defense


These rankings do not reflect where these players will go in the draft or how I think they will fall in the draft. It is just how good I think these players are on my personal draft board.

I have a key to better understand my star system:
: Elite Prospect
: Top 8 Prospect
: Solid First-Round Prospect
: Fringe First-Round Prospect; Very Strong Round 2 Prospect
: Second-Round Prospect
: Third-Round Prospect
: 4th-5th Round Prospect
: Late Round/Undrafted Free Agent



Matt McGuire's 2009 NFL Draft Prospects:
Top Five Offensive Players By Position


Updated April 20, 2009

4-3 Defensive Ends

  1. Tyson Jackson, LSU
    Great size and has an underrated motor in terms of rushing the quarterback.

  2. Brian Orakpo, Texas
    Brian Orakpo really lived up to the hype this year and will be the first pass-rusher taken on Draft Day.

  3. Larry English, Northern Illinois
    Makes up for lack of size with an outstanding work ethic, great effort and an elite rip move.

  4. Robert Ayers, Tennessee
    Displayed impressive athleticism and a nice spin move in Mobile, but I am not buying it that he is a top 10 talent at all.

  5. Paul Kruger, Utah
    Paul Kruger was one of the most productive defensive linemen in the country, amassing 61 tackles, seven pass breakups, 16.5 tackles for loss and two forced fumbles.

3-4 Rush Linebackers

  1. Brian Orakpo, Texas
    I just do not see Eric Mangini passing up on Brian Orakpo at No. 5 overall if he doesn't trade Braylon Edwards or Brady Quinn.

  2. Everette Brown, Florida State
    Disappointing measurement at the Combine when he measured in at 6-1 1/2 as opposed to his listing at 6-4. He did not show elite athleticism so I have to move him down a little bit.

  3. Larry English, Northern Illinois
    Gives versatility in the 3-4 and 4-3.

  4. Clay Matthews, USC
    Outstanding family tree. His father, Clay Matthews, Jr., played in the NFL for 19 years, and his uncle, Bruce Matthews, is a Hall of Famer.

  5. Aaron Maybin, Penn State
    Could be a one-year wonder and comes from bad program pedigree. A one-dimensional pass-rusher who can't do much else.





Defensive Tackles

  1. B.J. Raji, Boston College
    Scouts and general managers are salivating at the thought of drafting B.J. Raji. He really played himself into the top 11 picks in Mobile.

  2. Peria Jerry, Ole Miss
    I had Peria Jerry as a first-round grade before the Senior Bowl. I wasn't shocked when he tore it up.

  3. Evander Hood, Missouri
    Another under tackle during Senior Bowl week showcasing his talent. Could go much higher than people expect.

  4. Ron Brace, Boston College
    Great nose tackle prospect could go off the board high in the second round.

  5. Alex Magee, Purdue
    Alex Magee has very overlooked athleticism and is active.




Inside Linebackers

  1. Rey Maualuga, USC
    Back-to-back years of impressive game film doesn't discount one mediocre week at the Senior Bowl. I was disappointed at the weigh-in as Maualuga looked pretty average and slightly overweight.

  2. James Laurinaitis, Ohio State
    I didn't think James Laurinaitis was very physical this season, and not showing up to Mobile gives me reason to worry about his level of competitiveness.

  3. Jason Phillips, TCU
    For my money, Jason Phillips is the most underrated MIKE linebacker in the 2009 NFL Draft because he shows great toughness and instincts.

  4. Jasper Brinkley, South Carolina
    Very impressive measurement times caused me to do a re-evaluation of his tapes and I subsequently moved him up on my board. Great fit in the 3-4.

  5. Dannell Ellerbe, Georgia
    Dannell Ellerbe has great instincts and grades out high on effort. I want to know why he wasn't invited to Mobile. I don't get it.






4-3 Outside Linebackers

  1. Aaron Curry, Wake Forest
    Doesn't have the ability to play weakside linebacker in the Tampa-2, but that defensive scheme is dying off anyway.

  2. Clay Matthews, USC
    Clay Matthews has versatility to play both WILL and SAM.

  3. Tyrone McKenzie, South Florida
    Elite versatility, as Tyrone McKenzie can play WILL, MIKE and SAM in the 4-3 defense. Extroardinary production with 359 career tackles. Big-time leader.

  4. Brian Cushing, USC
    Not instinctive and does not make many impact plays. More of an athlete than a football player.

  5. Nic Harris, Oklahoma
    Experience at safety showed in Mobile, as Nic Harris was a sideline-to-sideline player with the ability to close quickly. Great weakside prospect and can contribute on special teams.



Cornerbacks

  1. Darius Butler, Connecticut
    I moved up Darius Butler to the No. 3 corner spot after the Senior Bowl, then to No. 2 after Malcolm Jenkins' disappointing 40 times. Now, he is my top corner in the 2009 NFL Draft because of Davis' growing character concerns.

  2. Vontae Davis, Illinois
    Vontae Davis really isn't that far off from an elite grade. He had a phenomenal season, showing outstanding speed, ball skills and support against the run. However, is he uncoachable regarding his character rumors?

  3. Michael Jenkins, Ohio State
    Will likely be picked by New Orleans at No. 14 overall because of his corner/free safety versatility.

  4. Alphonso Smith, Wake Forest
    An overrated athlete with bad size, Alphonso Smith did not show up in Mobile for Senior Bowl week practices.

  5. Mark Parson, Ohio
    For my money, I think Mark Parson is one of the biggest sleepers in the 2009 NFL Draft. His athleticism, instincts and ability to break up passes goes very overlooked.




Safeties

  1. Malcolm Jenkins, Ohio State
    Very good free safety prospect, but it might require a rough transition.

  2. Rashad Johnson, Alabama
    Elite play-maker with top notch intangibles. I do not understand why he is regarded as a second-round talent.

  3. Sean Smith, Utah
    Another very good free safety with great size (6-3). Sean Smith isn't very rangy.

  4. William Moore, Missouri
    I have to drop William Moore a little bit after his bad week of Senior Bowl practice, and I don't like knee-jerk decisions. Still, he's the top strong safety in the 2009 NFL Draft.

  5. Patrick Chung, Oregon
    Patrick Chung is a physical safety who loves to fill up in the run game.




NFL Draft Big Board Entries:

Overall 2011 NFL Draft Big Board - 8/23
2011 NFL Draft Big Board: Seniors - 8/23
2011 NFL Draft Big Board: Juniors - 8/23
2011 NFL Draft Top Five by Position: Offense - 9/2
2011 NFL Draft Top Five by Position: Defense - 9/2
Overall 2010 NFL Draft Big Board - 4/22
2010 NFL Draft Top Five by Position: Offense - 4/22
2010 NFL Draft Top Five by Position: Defense - 4/22
Overall 2009 NFL Draft Big Board - 4/24/09
2009 NFL Draft Top Five by Position: Offense - 4/24/09
2009 NFL Draft Top Five by Position: Defense - 4/24/09
2008 NFL Draft Top Five by Position: Offense - 4/24/08
2008 NFL Draft Top Five by Position: Defense - 4/24/08
NFL Draft Big Boards - Home



Matt McGuire's 2009 NFL Draft Prospects:
Top Five Offensive Players By Position


Matt McGuire's 2008 NFL Draft Prospects:
Top Five Defensive Players By Position


Matt's 2009 NFL Mock Draft


2009 NFL Mock Draft Database


2009 NFL Draft Prospects


2009 NFL Mock Draft - Walt's


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