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Maclin, Stafford, Curry, Wells and Orakpo (Getty Images)


TSN's 2009 NFL Mock Draft: V-2

Updated April 19
It's getting closer. On Saturday, the best eligible NCAA players will be up for grabs as teams look to add a missing piece to the puzzle or a conerstone to build around. The Detroit Lions lost every game in 2008 and have the first selection. (Photos: Getty Images)

1. Detroit Lions

Photo: Getty ImagesMatthew Stafford, QB
Georgia
6-2, 227

Notes: With Bobby Layne's half-century curse concluding with an 0-16 season in 2008, the Lions will look to move into a hopefully brighter future with a new man behind centre in Motown. In their first draft since the end of the Matt Millen era, Detroit will address their most problematic position by taking Stafford, a physically gifted and highly intelligent quarterback prospect. Taking a signal caller in the first round comes with its fair share of risk, something the Lions know all too well thanks to Joey Harrington, but with the success of last year's crop, which included Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco, Detroit will have no hesitations.

2. St. Louis Rams

Getty Images Jason Smith, OT
Baylor
6-5, 305

Notes: With the release of perennial pro-bowler Orlando Pace, the Rams are handcuffed to the offensive tackle position with the second selection. Luckily for Mark Bulger this year's draft is stockpiled with O-lineman who are expected to make an impact at the pro level, and keep their QBs undisturbed in the pocket. The most coveted of that group is Jason Smith, a raw talent at the tackle spot, whose nasty streak and work ethic have moved him slightly ahead of fellow tackle Eugene Monroe. Long gone are the days of the Greatest Show on Turf but selecting Smith will effectively fill the void left by Pace and be a huge step towards getting the St. Louis offence back on track.

3. Kansas City Chiefs

Getty Images Aaron Curry, OLB
Wake Forest
6-2, 254

Notes: Curry is the most complete player in the draft, ready to step on the field and contribute immediately as a three-down linebacker. Now that Scott Pioli is at the helm in Kansas City, you can be sure he'll make their selections using the shrewdness he exemplified with the Patriots. With his first pick he can't go wrong delivering to fans at Arrowhead a sideline to sideline defender, who will team up with veteran Mike Vrabel to set the tone for the Chiefs defence.

4. Seattle Seahawks

Getty Images Eugene Monroe, OT
Virginia
6-6, 315

Notes: There are sexier picks to be had by the Seahawks at number four, like playmaking wide receiver Michael Crabtree, but with the free agent acquisition of T.J. Houshmanzadeh, Matt Hasslebeck should be happy with his receiving corps (assuming they can avoid the run of injuries that plagued them a year ago). Instead they will look to bolster their offensive line and bring in a young top-two tackle to groom behind Walter Jones, who has been the cornerstone Seattle's offensive line for the last decade.

5. Cleveland Browns

Getty Images Michael Crabtree, WR
Texas Tech
6-3, 214

Notes: The Browns' new front office wasn't sold on explosive tight end Kellen Winslow and his mixture of off-field issues and on-field drops, now he's wearing a Buccaneer on the side of his helmet. Wide receiver Braylon Edwards has shown superstar ability, but much like Winslow, leaves too many passes on the turf. So whether the Browns choose to trade Edwards as well, or pair him up with Crabtree, the Texas Tech wideout would give the Dawg Pound another much-needed aerial weapon. Putting his size and athleticism aside, Crabtree averaged 1.6 touchdowns per game during his collegiate career.

6. Cincinnati Bengals

Getty Images Brian Orakpo, DE/OLB
Texas
6-4, 260

Notes: Nothing will help the Bengals more this year than the return of quarterback Carson Palmer, who missed the majority of last season due to injury. With their leader back behind centre, the Bengals will look to continue to improve a defence that has made considerable strides, going from being the 27th ranked unit in the NFL, to the 12th last season. Brian Orakpo can bring the team a consistent pass rusher that they've been missing. In an outstanding senior season, he compiled 40 tackles, 18 for a loss, and 10.5 sacks for the Longhorns.

7. Oakland Raiders

Getty Images Jeremy Maclin, WR
Missouri
6-1, 200

Notes: How many Raiders receivers can you name off the top of your head? That's exactly the thinking that will lead Al Davis to select the lightning-quick pass catcher out of Missouri. Maclin can give the Raiders a legitimate threat outside, and has the speed to get under JaMarcus Russell's deep tosses. Russell's development could be tied to the talent he has to work with and with a full stable of running backs, it's time to give him some receiving options. Maclin could also showcase his playmaking ability on special teams, as he is one of the best returners available in this year's draft.

8. Jacksonville Jaguars

Getty Images Mark Sanchez, QB
USC
6-3, 225

Notes: Jack Del Rio's crew pushed their chips to the middle with David Garrard, and took a serious step backwards last season. Garrard could be a stop-gap for a season or two as Sanchez gets acclimated to the speed and complexity of the pro game, similar to how Jon Kitna kept the seat warm for another USC pivot, Carson Palmer, in Cincinnati a few years ago. Sanchez will give the Jags a prototypical pocket passer with the mobility and mental toughness to elude the rush and keep his eyes down field.

9. Green Bay Packers

Getty Images B.J. Raji, DT
Boston College
6-2, 337

Notes: In 2007, Green Bay's defence helped push them to a surprising 13-3 record and an appearance in the NFC Championship game. A year later, that same unit fell back to earth and out of the upper echelon. Part of the reason for that was a lack of pressure from their defensive front. By drafting the big-bodied Raji, the Pack would be able to create havoc from the middle of their defensive line. Raji is surprisingly quick for a 320-pounder and has a knack for getting into the backfield to disrupt opposing offences. He would fit perfectly into their 3-4 scheme.

10. San Fransico 49ers

Getty Images Andre Smith, OT
Alabama
6-4, 325

Notes: No one has become as much of an enigma in this year's draft class as Andre Smith, after he disappeared from the combine without testing and then had a less than desirable performance at his pro day. Once toted as a top three pick, Smith's stock has fallen, but not out of the Top 10. The 49ers new regime under Mike Singletary will be willing to deal with Smith's reported maturity issues and as a result they'll reap the benefits.

11. Buffalo Bills

Getty Images Everette Brown, DE
Florida State
6-4, 252

Notes: After trading left tackle Jason Peters, many might assume this pick will be used to find his replacement, but the Bills biggest need rests in their inability to get to the quarterback. Buffalo has been at the bottom of the league in sacks for the past two seasons, and Brown is the definition of a pass rushing specialist, who will quickly get to know Tom Brady, Chad Pennington, and Kellen Clemens, as well as the other quarterbacks on the Bills' schedule outside of the AFC East. With three picks in the top 45, the Bills will address their offensive line later on.

12. Denver Broncos

Getty Images Tyson Jackson, DL
LSU
6-5, 291

Notes: The Broncos could use help against the run and Jackson fits the bill. His size affords him the opportunity to play anywhere along the defensive line. He could thrive under Mike Nolan. With all that said, the Broncos could be thinking about drafting a QB now that they have parted ways with Jay Cutler. Mark Sanchez would be a good fit and Denver might try to package their two picks (12 and 18) to move up.

13. Washington Redskins

Getty Images Michael Oher, OT
Ole Miss
6-2, 322

Notes: After spending big money on their defensive line with the addition of Albert Haynesworth, the Redskins give a little love to the other side of the trenches by selecting the much talked about tackle. Oher was the subject of Michael Lewis' book Blind Side: The Evolution of the Game; which followed his development as a young high school prospect. The Redskins would like to see him come in and continue to expand his game under the tutelage star left tackle Chris Samuels. Oher would be the eventual replacement for Samuels, while manning the right side of the line.

14. New Orleans Saints

Getty Images Knowshon Moreno, RB
Georgia
5-11, 208

Notes: With no clear cut number one running back coming off the boards, the Saints will take a chance on Moreno, who is the most complete player available at his position. The Georgia Bulldogs star showed a willingness to pound the ball between the tackles and the agility to bounce it outside for the big play. The Saints aren't sold on Pierre Thomas as the one-two punch to pair with Reggie Bush, so Moreno would be the perfect fit for an already prolific Cajun offence.

15. Houston Texans

Getty Images Brian Cushing, OLB
USC
6-3, 255

Notes: With a promising young core on defence, which includes the likes of Mario Williams, DeMeco Ryans, Amobi Akoye, and the recently signed Antonio Smith, the Texans are poised to make a move above the .500 mark for the first time in franchise history. The addition of Cushing would give Ryans a much-needed wingman in the linebacking corps. There are questions about his durability, but he held up during his senior season and the Texans will look to bring this ballhawk to the Lone Star state. He will compete against and learn from veteran Cato June, who signed with the club in free agency.

16. San Diego Chargers

Getty Images Rey Maualuga, LB
USC
6-2, 260

Notes: As the third of four Trojans taken in the first round, Maualuga will be making USC head coach Pete Carroll proud when he takes the podium for the Bolts. In college he was accustom to lining up next to Brian Cushing and Clay Matthews, and in the San Diego he won't miss a beat as he teams up with Shawne Merriman to give the Chargers' defence the attitude they were lacking last season. Playing behind Jamal Williams, Maualuga will be free to roam the field and impose his aggressive style on anyone who gets in his way. Combined with the return of Merriman, this pick could be a huge stride towards San Diego's defence returning to elite status.

17. New York Jets

Getty Images Josh Freeman, QB
Kansas State
6-6, 238

Notes: With Brett Favre riding a tractor in Mississippi, the Jets offence is in desperate need of life. The Jets have been busy this off-season, firing head coach Eric Mangini, and bringing in a slew of new players on defence like Bart Scott, Lito Sheppard and Jim Leonhard. One might think with a defensive minded coach like Rex Ryan, New York might continue to stockpile assets on that side of the ball, but after his time in Baltimore, Ryan knows a good field general can make life a lot easy, like Joe Flacco did last season. Enter Josh Freeman. He's a physical monster to put under centre and at 6-6, 238 pounds, the Kansas State hurler would have excellent look at all his options, however limited they might be for the time being in New York.

18. Denver Broncos

Getty Images Malcolm Jenkins, CB
Ohio State
6-1, 201

Notes: As noted previously, the Broncos could be looking for a QB in the draft. If they can find a way to move up for Sanchez, or Freeman, they will. If not, they'll continue to look to the defence, where they were dominated a year ago. Jenkins won't fix every problem on the Broncos' D, but he will provide the Mile High City with another legitimate cover corner across from Champ Bailey, something the team has failed to find since his arrival in 2004. With his size and toughness, Jenkins can also step up and help stop the run, something Denver's defence as a whole was simply unable to do in 2008.

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Getty Images Aaron Maybin, DE/OLB
Penn State
6-4, 249

Notes: The signing of Byron Leftwich may very well have been a smoke screen for the Bucs to trade up and draft of Josh Freeman. However, if new head coach Raheem Morris is content with his stable of QBs, Tampa will be in search of weapons on the defence, specifically in their front seven. Maybin would provide a long-term solution on the edge of their D-line, with Gaines Adams teeing off on the other side. Maybin made need time to grow into the role and adapt to the game at the highest level, but the former Nittany Lion has the quickness off the ball that will allow him to prosper as a pass rusher in the league.

20. Detroit Lions (From Cowboys)

Getty Images Vontae Davis, CB
Illinois
6-0, 204

Notes: Anyone who watched the Lions play last year knows their secondary was a misguided group that was exposed all season long. The revival of that group will will start with Vontae Davis, who may be the most accomplished corner to come out of this draft when all is said and done. Davis looks like the real deal, but may need a year or two to learn the complexities of an NFL defence. He has all the talent in the world, but has a tendency to take too many risks, something he'll have to be more calculated with in the pros.

21. Philadelphia Eagles

Getty Images Chris 'Beanie' Wells - RB
Ohio St.
6-1, 235

Notes: After trading for Jason Peters, the Eagles need for an offensive tackle is diminished. With Correll Buckhalter no longer in the fold to backup Brian Westbrook, the Eagles will take Wells, who is a highly touted prospect and may prove to be the top rusher in this year's draft class. He is strong with the ball, has the ability to break tackles all over the field and will be a nice compliment to Westbrook's speedy style. This pick will cause headaches for fantasy owners, as Wells will eat into the heavy workload that Westbrook has kept up over the last few years, but it could mean a more well-rested Westbrook come January.

22. Minnesota Vikings

Getty Images Percy Harvin, WR
Florida
5-11, 195

Notes: Offensively, the Vikings need another weapon in the passing game to draw attention away from Adrian Peterson and Bernard Berrain. In Harvin, Minnesota would guarantee themselves another highlight-maker, who is a threat anytime the ball touches his hands and someone who could use his rare speed and elusiveness to take advantage in the open field on offence and special teams. The former Gator also spent time coming out of the backfield in Florida's offence, so Brad Childress could choose to use him in a variety of ways.

23. New England Patriots

Getty Images Darius Butler, CB
Connecticut
5-10, 183

Notes: The Patriots track record when it comes to the draft speaks for itself. The reason New England plays meaningful football well into January most years under Bill Belicheck is due to their ability to spot talent at the end of the first round. Enter Darius Butler, whom Belicheck has apparently developed a liking for, even going as far as to attend his pro day at Conneticut. Butler may not be the most physical defensive back, but he has the speed and agility to stay with any receiver. He could flourish in New England's veteran-led defence.

24. Atlanta Falcons

Getty Images Brandon Pettigrew, TE
Ohklahoma
6-5, 263

Notes: Last year the Falcons wrote the book on how to turn around a franchise, a book the Lions should have more than a few copies of hanging around their front office. In the second season of Thomas Dimitroff's regime you can expect another strong draft. There have been plenty of whispers that Tony Gonzalez will be leaving Kansas City via trade and joining Matt Ryan and company in Atlanta, but barring that move the Falcons will take the best tight end on the board at 24. The Oklahoma product is a gifted blocker and is a solid receiver in the short game. He doesn't have the explosive speed to beat defenders downfield like Antonio Gates or Kellen Winslow, but he can be a serviceable option in the passing game and will Matt Ryan's new best friend from the moment he suits up for the Falcons.

25. Miami Dolphins

Getty Images Clay Matthews, LB
USC
6-3, 240

Notes: The Dolphins are another team in the second year of a rebuilding project. Bill Parcels has brought accountability to the club and in year one the team responded. Now comes time to take the next step and they will do that by drafting Matthews, who is a dangerous threat off the edge. He will fill the Lawrence Taylor or Demarcus Ware role in the defence, and learn how to do so behind a rejuvenated Joey Porter. Matthews is a hard worker, evidenced by the fact he was a walk-on at USC. It also helps that he comes from a long line of football talent, including his father Clay Jr., a linebacker who played the third most games in NFL history, and his uncle Bruce, a heralded offensive lineman for the Houston Oilers.

26. Baltimore Ravens

Getty Images Darius Heyward-Bey, WR
Maryland
6-3, 206

Notes: With Joe Flacco heading into his sophomore season, it's time to give the young passer a legitimate target. Heyward-Bey fits a specific need that can't be overlooked for the defensive minded Ravens. His size, speed and frame would make him an attractive target downfield or in the endzone for Flacco, and help stretch the field for the Ravens to hammer the ball in the running game. Baltimore may also be in search of an heir apparent to Ray Lewis, but none of the top tier linebackers will be available this late in the first round.

27. Indianapolis Colts

Getty Images Peria Jerry, DT
Mississippi
6-2, 290

Notes: The Colts have long been in search of a run-stopper on the interior of their defensive line. Jerry has the capabilities to work against the run and get into the backfield to disrupt opposing offences. His presence could help take double teams off sack specialist Dwight Freeney and help the Colts defence become a more consistent unit. If the Colts can contain the run with their front seven, it will allow safety Bob Sanders to roam the field and make a bigger impact, instead of being forced to stay in the box and help in run support.

28. Buffalo Bills (From Eagles, Panthers)

Getty Images Eben Britton - OT
Arizona
6-6, 309

Notes: Goodbye Jason Peters, hello Eben Britton. In a draft full of talent at the offensive tackle position, Britton is a big-bodied lineman, who excels in the run game and has the strength to neutralize defenders. Buffalo is now in desperate need of a tackle and Britton will help keep Trent Edwards upright, which will allow him to the time to look for Terrell Owens downfield, and keeping TO happy is what will make this offence click as the season goes on.

29. New York Giants

Getty Images Hakeem Nicks, WR
North Carolina
6-1, 210

Notes: A trade for Braylon Edwards or Anquan Boldin remains a possibility and would likely involve this pick being moved, but if they stay in this spot the Giants will take a receiver and Hakeem Nicks has had his name rise up team's draft charts. Nicks won't set the turf on fire behind him or tower over defenders, but he has generated plenty of interest from scouts thanks to his all-round game. He is strong and has a bit of a mean streak, so he does not mind the physical game at the line of scrimmage or over the middle of the field.

30. Tennessee Titans

Getty Images Robert Ayers, DE
Tennessee
6-3, 273

Notes: With Haynesworth out of the picture, the Titans have little in the way of proven players on their defensive line, aside from veteran Kyle Vanden Bosch. They added defensive tackle Jovan Haye from the Buccaneers in hopes of filling some of the void left in Haynesworth's wake, but they will need to find a new source to get after quarterbacks. Ayers had some off-field issues early in his college career, but rebounded and had a solid senior year for the Volunteers. He has good size for a defensive end, combined with a quick first step. The Titans would be overjoyed if he falls to them and they can keep the pass rusher in state.

31. Arizona Cardinals

Getty Images Donald Brown, RB
Connecticut
5-10, 210

Notes: Arizona's young defence looked like the real thing during their playoff run, so the team has the luxury of drafting another skill position player with this pick. With Edgerrin James' future with the club in doubt, and their high-powered aerial attack still intact, the Cardinals will look to solidify their running game and find another young back to pair with Tim Hightower. Brown has been heralded as an all-round prospect, who is capable of carry the load, but will likely work best in a running back by committee situation in the pros. Brown doesn't excel in any particular area, but he has all the skills you could ask for in a back and will be the perfect compliment to Hightower.

32. Pittsburgh Steelers

Getty Images Alex Mack - C
California
6-4, 316

Notes: Steelers' fans remember centre Dermontti Dawson and his Pro Bowl level play for a decade in Steeltown. The Steelers are in need of help in the middle of their offensive line and much like Dawson, Mack has a chance to become an anchor on Pittsburgh's offensive line for years to come. He would be a welcome addition to the Super Bowl champions, who don't have any glaring needs that must be addressed with the final pick of the first round.



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