We’re losing everything but the truth."
Finally, the day is upon us. Draft Day 2009 is here...can you feel the love! Extra excited after last night's Yankees/Red Sox game, which eerily played out like a game the Yankees were going to win, and then, once again, the Sox surprised me. After grounding into about 40 double plays to start the game, they came through in the clutch. Jason Bay hits the Bernie Carbo-like homer in the ninth off Rivera (with two outs mind you), then Youk comes through in the eleventh off Demarso Marte (who almost left Fenway with an ERA under 15...oh, so close). Another instant classic in the series. I never like the Sox' chances after a great win like that though. Also, this pitching matchup includes A.J. Burnett, who I have accurately predicted would get off to a hot start, but inevitably will hit the DL right around the end of June. So, I'm seeing Burnett going like six or seven, with one earned run. Beckett, however, I'm not totally sold on as far as a pitchers' duel right now. I'm seeing a score of 4-1 heading into the eighth, but as we saw last night, all bets are off with the Yanks' bullpen.
And now, to what we've all been waiting for. The final mock draft in the 2009 series. Right now, it is right around noon, and we are only sold on one pick so far. So, let's see what might happen.
1. Detroit- Matthew Stafford, QB, Georgia: Done deal. Six years, $72 million, $41.7 million guaranteed, 100% wrong.
2. St. Louis- Jason Smith, OT, Baylor: Easily one of the most intriguing subplots heading into the draft was the Rams' brass buying Mark Sanchez a plane ticket from LA to St. Louis for tomorrow. However, if you draft a QB #2 overall, don't you want to get him into the city on Saturday and not Sunday? That's why I think the Rams are attempting a "Belichick" here by screwing with other teams in hopes that a team like Denver or Washington will trade up to #2 to take Sanchez. This just looks too simple. I mean even I saw through it...shame on you St. Louis. Too many theatrics there.
3. Kansas City- Aaron Curry, LB, Wake Forest: All the talk seems to center around Tyson Jackson going here, which doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. Just the fact that Curry is being compared to Patrick Willis should say enough for the Chiefs to take him at #3
4. Seattle- Eugene Monroe, OT, Virginia: What we know is that the Seahawks are falling out of favor with the thought of taking Mark Sanchez. We also know that no one seems to want to trade into the top 5, hoping that Sanchez falls out of the first five picks so the amount of guaranteed money goes way down. So, they draft their future franchise left tackle here. Monroe will be able to replace Walter Jones when he either retires, or gets bounced a la Orlando Pace.
5. Cleveland- Brian Orakpo, DE/LB, Texas: A lot of people continue on the Crabtree bandwagon here, but after reading the reports coming out of Cleveland, citing that Mangini doesn't like the guy at all, and that Crabtree has some character issues, I think Orakpo is the safest pick here.
6. Cincinnati- Andre Smith, OT, Alabama: I realize there are a ton of questions surrounding Smith, but also realize that if you hear what's coming out of Cincy, they have Andre Smith higher than Monroe, which makes the decision at #6 really easy.
7. Oakland- Jeremy Maclin, WR, Missouri: I based this pick entirely on Al Davis' tendencies. He likes the speed guys...he's probably going to go with a speed guy then. Sure, Crabtree, overall, is a better receiver, but Maclin has the speed, and the return game factor going for him.
8. Jacksonville- Mark Sanchez, QB, Southern Cal: Oh trust me, it's not going to be Jacksonville taking Sanchez if he's still on the board. This is kind of like a placeholder for Washington or the Jets.
9. Green Bay- B.J. Raji, DT, Boston College: I've been sold on this one for months now, and really, nothing is changing my mind on this one. They already said they aren't drafting Crabtree, and the only other option would be a guy like Everette Brown, but I think Raji makes the most sense.
10. San Francisco- Michael Crabtree, WR, Texas Tech: Crabtree has character issues, but we've recently learned that Mike Singletary will not be conducting the draft, meaning there is more of a chance that the best player available goes here, and not a "character" guy, which is what Singletary would do.
11. Buffalo- Michael Oher, OT, Ole Miss: This is one of those picks that makes so much sense that I can totally see myself being way off here. Nevertheless, the Bills need a tackle, Oher is the best one available...I mean what would you do?
12. Denver- Tyson Jackson, DE, LSU: The Broncos have said they are not going to trade up for Sanchez...for whatever reason, which basically means they are sticking with Kyle Orton. I will give Josh McDaniels this: I am totally confused by what he's doing. So he has the unpredictability factor going for him...I guess that's nice...if it works.
13. Washington- Robert Ayers, DE, Tennessee: Relax Redskins fans (especially those of you who like Jason Campbell), I don't think the 'Skins will be the ones to move up, although they are one of two or three teams that seem to get the most play to be in the Sanchez hunt. If they hold on to #13, they will get a good player here in Ayers. If they can, I would think the 'Skins would try and trade down to get some more picks, because they are lacking in that department.
14. New Orleans- Malcolm Jenkins, CB, Ohio State: I can say with like 80% certainty that a Buckeye is going here...which one is the question. I flip-flopped again on this pick because of what I'm hearing from New Orleans and where these so-called "experts" are leaning. So, I say Jenkins with some hesitancy.
15. Houston- Clay Matthews, LB, Southern Cal: It's either him or Aaron Maybin...that's pretty much all I keep hearing. I think Matthews' stock is receiving a well-timed boost right before the draft, which helps him bust into the top 15.
16. San Diego- Rey Maualuga, LB, Southern Cal: Just read a report on NFL.com saying that the Chargers are likely not going with a running back at 16, contrary to every other report I've heard. They instead want an "impact" player who can step in right away. Enter Maualuga.
17. New York Jets- Brandon Pettigrew, TE, Oklahoma State: It would not surprise me one bit if the Jets ended up trading up into the top 15 to take Pettigrew, as apparently, the Jets are absolutely huge on him. Of course all of this goes out the window if they are able to make a deal with Jacksonville, which I expect they will do. You heard it here: The Jets will trade up to #8 and draft Mark Sanchez. Again though, if for some reason they can't work out a trade, they go with Pettigrew here, as I've heard that they're not as huge on Josh Freeman as it was originally thought.
18. Denver- Chris "Beanie" Wells, RB, Ohio State: With news of the Chargers passing on Wells at 16, it may change up the Broncos' plans in terms of who they will be going with at #18. They have an interesting decision here, which is very much reflective of how the Broncos' offseason has been so far...interesting.
19. Tampa Bay- Josh Freeman, QB, Kansas City: I know the Bucs are big on Josh Johnson, but I mean...really? A guy who has not started one game in the NFL and was a fifth-rounder last year...really? I'm going to go ahead and say I'm not sold on that at all.
20. Detroit- Brian Cushing, LB, Southern Cal: This is going to be one of the easiest ones to predict right before the pick goes down. Basically, Detroit is going to go with the best player on the board, so at this point, just look and see who's the best guy left. I had Maualuga here, but with him off, the board, all you have to do is substitute another SC linebacker in, and you're good to go.
21. Philadelphia- Knowshon Moreno, RB, Georgia: So Philly is in an interesting dilemma here. With all of the recent discussion about Moreno going to Denver, and the Jets' recent fascination with Brandon Pettigrew, you have two teams drafting ahead of Philly that are targetting the two guys they are big on. Plus, factor in the Eagles possibly trading for one of the big three receivers available, and who knows what could happen here.
22. Minnesota- Percy Harvin, WR, Florida: All the reports about Brad Childress showing up down in Florida to meet with Harvin basically makes this pick a lot easier to make. That is, unless the Jets makes things interesting and draft Harvin at 17. I think the Jets potentially could control how the first round of the draft shakes out...I'm telling you, those New Yorkers...it always has to be about them.
23. New England- Aaron Maybin, DE/LB, Penn State: Maybin, LarryEnglish, Everette Brown, or Connor Barwin here, and everything will be copacetic.
24. Atlanta- Peria Jerry, DT, Ole Miss: The Gonzalez trade means there are no worries as far as a tight end. Great move by the Falcons. Now, they can focus on the defensive side of the ball.
25. Miami- Everette Brown, DE/LB, Florida State: This pick now makes the Jason Taylor saga that more interesting. With the Pats and Dolphins both potentially taking rush ends in the first round, who is in the lead to get Taylor now? Very interesting.
26. Baltimore- Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR, Maryland: They need a receiver, the guy is from Maryland, and he's the best receiver left on the board...this is too easy, meaning that it probably won't happen.
27. Indianapolis- Evander "Ziggy" Hood, DT, Missouri: I think that because the defensive tackle position is so weak, a guy like Hood, who worked out very well, was able to become a first round pick based on the workouts and also based on need.
28. Buffalo- Michael Johnson, DE/LB, Georgia Tech: Again, the Bills get a top tackle and a top DE prospect in the first round...they're pretty psyched.
29. New York Giants- Kenny Britt, WR, Rutgers: Anytime you have a guy like Britt, or Heyward-Bey, and you slot them in with a team that plays their games right by where they went to school, you get a little nervous, because very rarely does that all work out.
30. Tennessee- Hakeem Nicks, WR, North Carolina: There exists a distinct possibility that Nicks' recent weight battle could slide him out of the first round altogether, opening up the door for Brain Robiskie or Mohamed Massaquoi sneaking into the first round. To me, Nicks is the goods, and Robiskie and Massaquoi would be gigantic reaches here.
31. Arizona- Donald Brown, RB, Connecticut: It's funny how many people share my thinking on the #31 and #32 picks. 'Zona needs RB depth, and they are big on Brown.
32. Pittsburgh- Max Unger, C, Oregon: Isn't that a good Steelers name? Max Unger? I definitely think so...although Alex Mack is another good one. I'm pretty sure one of the two will cap the first round.
Okay, now, the five teams who will be looking to move up:
- New York Jets
- Did I mention Jacksonville?
- Washington (yeah, they're on both lists...weird)
- Mark Sanchez
- Andre Smith
- Michael Oher
- Brandon Pettigrew
- Percy Harvin