Saturday, April 18, 2009

NFL Draft 2009, what may be...

Most folks would find the NFL draft to be boring and a waste of time. However for football fans, it has been turned into a spectacle, an extravaganza of future opportunity and non-stop highlights. As part of my tradition, I attempt to gaze deep into the crystal football and see what will happen. It is an impossible endeavor to attempt to see what they see as we don't have all the access to what they are looking at. From the combine, to private workouts, all the way to stalking the athletes using social websites, scouts are looking for the edge to tell them whether they have a star or a bust. This year, I also have the pain of watching my team go number one. I keep hearing that this year is a weak year in terms of talent, but I don't believe the hype. Not everyone can decide to stay in school another year to avoid being drafted by the Lions. In general, you can't evaluate a draft class until years have passed. What makes a good college player doesn't translate directly to the makings of a great professional player. At least this is what I keep telling myself, because likely the Lions will be shelling out $37 million in guaranteed money and probably running about $60 million in the end for the first pick and this could seriously put a damper on finances if you have a bust. Even a guy not making the pro-bowl earning this type of dough is a bit of a bust.

This year, I am going to try and do this a bit different. I always try to take a look at what trades happen, but end up just filling out my draft prediction without them. This time, I will see what I can do in predicting those as well.

  1. Detroit Lions: Matt Stafford. I don't see the Lions picking one of the other slots. I think the draft is deep enough at OT to pick up one later. I think LB is also pretty deep as well. I don't know if he is a blue chipper, but we need one for the long haul.
  2. St. Louis Rams: Eugene Monroe. While they need WR and OT and could use Curry over at SLB, I think they will address some core QB protection with someone that can come in day one and start. Jason Smith is likely to need some more technique work before he can start.
  3. Denver Broncos: Mark Sanchez. This I really see as the first trade. I am not sure what they will offer besides swapping first round picks, but Denver is going to make a move to get a QB with Cutler gone and I see them making the move before Seattle can potentially try and draft a QB. If this doesn't happen it will be McDaniel's being upset with the Cassel trade.
  4. Oakland Raiders: Michael Crabtree. Hoping to make a splash and add an offensive weapon for the QB Russell, they step up and grab to top rated WR in the draft before the Browns or Bengals can grab him.
  5. Cleveland Browns: Aaron Curry. Cleveland will try and shop this pick around with Crabtree off the boards, but there will be too much desparation and they likely won't get a bite on this one.
  6. Cincinnati Bengals: Jason Smith. Shocked that he has dropped to here and in need of more protection for Carson Palmer, they grab some raw talent and plug him in right away.
  7. Seattle Seahawks: Malcolm Jenkins. Looking for a combination SS/CB, the Seahawks will grab one of the larger presences in the draft for this position.
  8. Jacksonville Jaguars: B. J. Raji. Looking to regain their status as one of the top defenses, they bulk up on the D-line to give them more power and run stopping ability.
  9. Green Bay Packers: Tyson Jackson. With the move to 3-4 defense, the Pack will need to brack a tall, athletic DE that will help move the running lanes and press the line.
  10. San Francisco 49ers: Jeremy Maclin. Isaac Bruce is not getting any younger and the 49ers could use a raw speedster to add the receiving core. There are other needs, but the 49ers are not likely to grab another 1st round QB and ROT can wait till round 2.
  11. Buffalo Bills: Andre Smith. With Peters on his way to the Eagles, the Bills need to bolster their offensive line and will grab the best OT available on their draft board.
  12. Kansas City Chiefs: Rey Maualaga. The Chiefs need to bolster their LB corps even though they have acquired a few in free agency as those have been on the older side.
  13. Washington Redskins: Everette Brown. Don't expect the defensive spending to stop for Mr. Snyder. He is boning up the d-line to add the supporting cast to make his major acquisition look the star they paid him to be.
  14. New York Jets: Robert Ayers. A large powerful DE for Ryan's 3-4 will entice the Jets to move up a few slots to make sure they get him.
  15. Detroit Lions: Michael Oher. Lions will make the trade that the Texans want as Detroit will want to grab a top tier OT before he goes to San Diego.
  16. San Diego Chargers: Peria Jerry. They need help filling up holes on the defensive line created by age and player attrition. While picking up a powerful end, those are few and far between. I expect them to grab Peria who could play either spot depending on how they develop him.
  17. New Orleans Saints: Brian Cushing. A lot of money would be needed here to pick up another RB in the stable for New Orleans. Expect them to grab one is the 3rd round with the pick they grab from the Jets (or perhaps Thomas Jones).
  18. Denver Broncos: Jarron Gilbert. With the switch to 3-4 (which is common this year) there is going to be a strong demand for that style DE. I think Jarron will fill that role for the Broncos.
  19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Darrius Heyward-Bey. Definitely a need for picking up a speedy WR to play opposite Clayton.
  20. Houston Texans: Chris Wells. Look for the Texans to beef up their running back corps to use the 2 back system everyone else is using now-a-days.
  21. Philidelphia Eagles: Knowshon Moreno. With Brian Westbrook getting older, look for someone they can bring in to be that speed rusher they like to use. Also fits the Westbrook mold of a multipurpose back.
  22. Minnesota Vikings: William Moore (SS). Looking for a ballhawk to sit out in the middle to help their defense out.
  23. New England Patriots: Clay Matthews. The Patriots strike gold again on their Linebackers by adding Clay after losing Vrabel and seeing that Bruschi isn't getting younger.
  24. Atlanta Falcons: Sherrod Martin. Look for them to pick up a CB after losing their best one in free agency. Has played FS more often than not but could make the transition.
  25. Miami Dolphins: Connor Barwin. Adding a rushing OLB to help Joey Porter out and give some rest to the aging LB.
  26. Baltimore Ravens: Vontae Davis. While the Ravens need help with the Linebackers, I see them picking up Jasper Brinkley later on to fill that role. So they will grab up Davis to help with their CB line earlier. They could grab a big DE but those will be available later on as well.
  27. Indianapolis Colts: Brian Robiskie. With Marvin gone, there is still a need for a big possession type receiver.
  28. Buffalo Bills: Aaron Maybin. Look for Buffalo to bolster their d-line. There has been some injuries in the past season and surprisingly Maybin will still be available.
  29. Arizona Cardinals: Alex Mack. Technically you could say the Giants pick Anquan Boldin, but either way it will be the Cardinals pick here. My guess is that they are going to use this bonus pick to bolster that front line to help protect their QB dinosaur.
  30. Tennessee Titans: Ziggy Hood. Haynesworth? Do we need him? Maybe, but this should be a good pick here.
  31. Arizona Cardinals: Brian Orakpo. Yet another team moving to the 3-4 and have a need for those type of specialized players. Brian should definitely make that defense even better. However look for them to potentially move down and grab another DE/OLB and a RB to help Hightower out.
  32. Pittsburgh Steelers: Ebon Britton. They will try to pick up someone to stop their QB from continuing his trek to achieve permanent brain injury. Likely to move Ebon inside to G to bolster the run game as well.

4 comments:

ish said...

"Stafford"

Just because we all know the worst is going to happen doesn't mean you have to pretend it's a good idea.

Reverend0 said...

I am just feeling resigned to the fact that this is what is going to happen. I tried to figure out what reasoning they would have to actually pick him. I should not assign logic to the Lions, but... can't help myself.

Their other need positions would be a bit of a stretch for the number one overall. If only you could draft someone way down the draft board with the first pick and not pay number one money...

ish said...

Yeah, obviously it would be preferable to pick lower, but like you said, no one else wants to be number 1 either. I still would rather take Smith or Curry, but have accepted that we won't.

Jeff is having a draft party here, watching the first two rounds and then the Wings game immediately following (if required). "Unfortunately", I think I'll be up in TC.

The Really Sarcastic Weasel said...

1. Detroit Lions: Michael Crabtree. Hoping to make a splash and add an offensive weapon for the QB Culpepper, they step up and grab to top rated WR in the draft before the Browns or Bengals can grab him.