NFL 2009 Draft (pt. 2)
Aaaaaannnnddd…we’re back! Due to a massive amount of requests, here’s the rest of the top 10 in my ridiculously early 2009 NFL Mock Draft.
6)Cleveland Browns– This season started with really high hopes for a Browns squad that had 10 wins and ended up barely missing out on the playoffs last season. But after a season where they started 0-3 (in their defense they had one of the roughest schedules in the NFL) and ended with six straight losses, it’s clear that a change is desperately needed.
What They Should Do: The Browns defense gave up over 350 yards per game, so even though there are a number of offensive spots that could use an upgrade, this team isn’t going anywhere until they figure out a way to keep the other team out of the end zone. USC LB Ray Maualuga is an absolute stud, and could be an impact defense player for the Dawgs, like Patrick Willis for the 49ers was a couple of years ago.
What They’ll Actually Do: You could make the argument that the secondary was just as much an issue as the linebacking core, and it would be mighty hard to argue with that logic. So the Browns will probably end up taking local stud Ohio State CB Malcolm Jenkins. Not a terrible pick, true, but cornerback’s are always harder to hide if they’re not who you thought they were.
Lowest Point: The Cincinnati Bengals were easily one of the worst teams in the NFL this year, with the worst offense in the league. Their first touchdown of the year? In week 4, against the Cleveland Browns:
7)Oakland Raiders– This team is terrible, and I can’t figure out why. True, they’ve got a rookie QB and RB, but it’s not as if they aren’t studs. As a matter of fact, they have talented players all over the field; Darren McFadden, Michael Bush and Justin Fargas should be one of the best RB platoons in the NFL, and CB Nmandi Asomugah is arguable the best corner in the league. And yet they continue to suck every season.
What They Should Do: Raiders fans are known as The Black Hole, but the real Black Hole is the offensive line; seemingly endless amounts of time and money go into it each season, only to never be seen again. Robert Gallery has been an absolute mess, and free agent Kwame Harris hasn’t been much better. Enter OT Jason Smith of Baylor.
What They’ll Actually Do: Earlier, when I said I didn’t know why the Raiders continue to suck each year? That’s a lie; I actually do know why. I’ll give you a hint – he gained ownership of the Raiders in 1972 in a coup when the actual owner was attending the Munich Olympics, he currently resembles an ancient sea monster, and he’s sustained himself over the last few years by absorbing the life force of his discarded coaches. That’s right, it’s completely insane NFL legend Al Davis! This year, his silent pleas for someone to relieve him of his misery continues as he picks up Florida WR Percy Harvin in an attempt to recapture the glory days of Ken Stabler and Fred Biletnikoff.
Lowest Point: This ridiculous press conference by Davis, where he introduces new coach Tom Cable and acts like the world’s most frightening baby:
8 Jacksonville Jaguars– The Jags were on a lot of people’s short lists for Super Bowl contenders, but a 4-game losing streak starting in mid-November was the final nail in the coffin for a team that seemed out of sync at best, and incompetent at worst. The root of a lot of the team’s problems, though, can be found in the tragic shooting of starting tackle Richard Collier, who was shot 14 times outside of a nightclub, ending up paralyzed from the waist down and losing his left leg.
What They Should Do: Collier’s shooting completely unsettled the entire O-line, which led to less effective play from QB David Garrard, and less yards per game from RB duo Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew, which led to less points, and ended in less wins. The Jags urgently need solid play on the line, and Boise State’s Michael Oher fits the bill quite nicely.
What They’ll Actually Do: LB Mike Peterson is all but gone, and with Ray Maualuga off the board, LB Brian Cushing could look quite appealing to Jags head coach and USC alum Jack Del Rio, even though this is a little high in the draft for Cushing to go. However, Del Rio’s made questionable personnel choices in the past around draft time, and he’ll probably go with the LB instead of the needed OT pick.
Lowest Point: First play of the game against Minnesota, the Jags screw up the handoff, Vikings LB Napoleon Harris scoops up the ball and scores. Whoops:
9)Green Bay Packers– Those poor, poor cheeseheads. When the season started, they looked like a playoff team, but by the end of the year, they finished the season 1-5, with their lone win barely coming over the 0-16 Detroit Lions. No matter how you feel about the whole Brett Favre situation, GM Ted Thompson has done some of his best work on draft day, putting together a nice collection of young talent on either side of the ball.
What They Should Do: Aaron Kampman is an extremely underrated defensive end, but since they’ve released franchise leader in sacks Kabeer “KGB” Gbaja-Biamala, they haven’t had anyone else to apply pressure on the opposing QB. Orokpo would be a fantastic fit here, but I’ve already got him off the board, so FSU DE Everette Brown ends up getting taken here instead.
What They’ll Actually Do: The team’s only playmaker at WR is Greg Jennings, and he is very good, but Thompson will probably end up seduced by Missouri WR Jeremy Maclin (there’s a pleasant mental image for you). Cheeseheads, still recovering from Brett Favre almost making the playoffs with the Jets, realize their team will probably be behind Minnesota and Chicago next season, and spend the summer drowning their sorrows in copius amounts of dark beer and mountains of cheddar.
Lowest Point: A lot of people were absoluetely fed up with other people fawning over Favre, and at the very least everyone thought that with the Gunslinger’s final teary speech as a Packer, that the Pack could move on. Surprise! This press conference shocked and hurt a lot of folks, and was especially a dagger to the Green Bay faithful:
10)San Francisco 49ers– After coming on strong at the end of the season, going 5-2 in their last 7 games, the 49ers honestly could go in a dozen different directions. With offensive coordinator Mike Martz being shown the door, almost everyone’s job is up for grabs in the eyes of newly minted head coach Mike Singletary.
What They Should Do: San Fran’s defense was statistically acceptable, especially the pass defense, but it was prone to giving up big pass plays at the absolute worst times. USC S Taylor Mays would be an immense upgrade in the secondary, giving the 49ers possibly their best young safety since Ronnie Lott, and freeing up all-pro LB Patrick Willis to play closer to the trenches, where he excells.
What They’ll Actually Do: Georgia QB Matthew Stafford was a projected top-5 pick at the beginning of the season, and while I can’t blame the 49ers front office for grabbing the guy should he fall this far in the draft, I can’t support the pick either; not after they were burnt so recently by Alex Smith. Still, Shaun Hill is passable, but he’s not going to get you to the Super Bowl, and it seems that the golden rule in the NFL is “If you don’t have a franchise QB, get one you think will work ASAP.”
Lowest Point: Again, another seemingly low point that could be a high point in different eyes; new head coach Mike “Samurai” Singletary going off on his players after an embarrasing blowout loss to a severly undermanned Seahawks team. After this, though, they went 5-3, giving them hope for next season:
So, here’s my top ten picks:
1-Detroit Lions – Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford
2-St. Louis Rams – Alabama T Andre Smith
3-Kansas City Chiefs – Texas DE Brian Orokpo
4-Cincinnati Bengals – Virginia G Eugene Monroe
5-Seattle Seahawks – Texas Tech WR Michael Crabtree
6-Cleveland Browns – USC LB Ray Maualuga
7-Oakland Raiders – Baylor T Jason Smith
8-Jacksonville Jaguars – Boise State G Michael Oher
9-Green Bay Packers – FSU DE Everette Brown
10-San Francisco 49ers – USC S Taylor Mays
I’ll probably do picks 11-20 in a few days; in the meantime, let me know if you agree or disagree.