Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Mel Kiper's latest first round

Here is Mel Kiper's latest first round projections . . .

1. Detroit Lions (Record: 0-16) - Matthew Stafford, QB, Georgia: Stafford is worthy of being the No. 1 overall pick, thanks to his overall skill set.

2. St. Louis Rams (2-14) - Jason Smith (photo), OT, Baylor: The OT spot is strong at the top with Smith, a former tight end who is supremely athletic and exactly what you want in a left tackle: someone you can count on to protect the blind side of your quarterback.

3. Kansas City Chiefs (2-14) - Aaron Curry, OLB, Wake Forest: He's a complete OLB with great character and work ethic, which is why it was no surprise when he nailed his combine workout.

4. Seattle Seahawks (4-12) - Eugene Monroe, OT, Virginia: Monroe is just a shade below Jason Smith, in my opinion, but is a legit top-five pick.

5. Cleveland Browns (4-12) - Michael Crabtree, WR, Texas Tech: The stress fracture in his left foot shouldn't affect his draft status. He's a big-time player who should have a Larry Fitzgerald-type career in the NFL.

6. Cincinnati Bengals (4-11-1) - Andre Smith, OT, Alabama: Smith has to manage his weight in order to remain on the left side. If he doesn't, he's a mauler at right tackle who could really assist the running game and do the job at that spot in pass protection. Hopefully, he'll maximize his skills in the NFL by paying more attention to detail. If he doesn't, you're looking at a major bust.

7. Oakland Raiders (5-11) - Jeremy Maclin, WR, Missouri: Maclin will have to adjust to an NFL offense, but I really like his big-play capability and the fact that he's much more explosive with the pads on than his 4.46-second 40-yard dash at the combine would lead you to believe.

8. Jacksonville Jaguars (5-11) - Brian Orakpo, DE, Texas: I view Orakpo as a 4-3 end with the ability to also play on his feet in a 3-4 as an attacking outside linebacker. He is super-athletic and incredibly strong, but there is concern about his durability.

9. Green Bay Packers (6-10) - B.J. Raji, DT, Boston College: Raji is the top defensive tackle in this draft.

10. San Francisco 49ers (7-9) - Aaron Maybin, DE, Penn State: Maybin is another combo-type who is explosive out of the blocks and relentless in his pursuit of the quarterback.

11. Buffalo Bills (7-9) - Robert Ayers, DE, Tennessee: Ayers enjoyed a solid season in the SEC and then was one of the standouts during Senior Bowl week. He ran the 40 in 4.80 at the combine, though, which could give some teams pause.

12. Denver Broncos (8-8) - Tyson Jackson, DE, LSU: Jackson would be ideal in a 3-4, thanks to his ability to shift inside in passing situations.

13. Washington Redskins (8-8) - Mark Sanchez, QB, USC: Sanchez definitely is one of the top five to eight players available in this draft, and getting him here would be a bit of a steal, because had he returned to USC for his senior season, he likely would have been the No. 1 overall pick.

14. New Orleans Saints (8-8) - Chris Wells, RB, Ohio State: Wells is a nice fit for the Saints after they let running back Deuce McAllister go in the offseason. He could be a perfect complement to Reggie Bush.

15. Houston Texans (8-8) - Brian Cushing, OLB, USC: Cushing's ability to fit both inside and outside is the reason I've always viewed him as a surefire first-rounder.

16. San Diego Chargers (8-8) - Rey Maualuga, LB, USC: Maualuga is capable of becoming a quality "Mike" linebacker in the NFL but needs to use his hands better to ward off blocks and must be more consistent from week to week.

17. New York Jets (9-7) - Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR, Maryland: Heyward-Bey's awesome size-speed ratio should win out here and give the Jets the kind of receiver they need to open up the passing game.

18. Denver Broncos (from Chicago) (8-8) - Everette Brown, DE, Florida State: Brown could make an immediate impact in the Broncos' defense because of his strong skill set.

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9-7) - Josh Freeman, QB, Kansas State: Freeman is an interesting prospect because he throws a great ball and has imposing size at nearly 6-foot-6 and 245 pounds. However, his inconsistent play puts him in the boom-or-bust category.

20. Detroit Lions (from Dallas) (0-16) - Michael Oher, OT, Mississippi: Oher is one of the more intriguing prospects in the draft. He's loaded with talent and can dominate the defense he's working against, but he also seems to have lapses in concentration when he struggles to keep his opponents at bay.

21. Philadelphia Eagles (9-6-1) - Knowshon Moreno, RB, Georgia: There isn't anything remotely close to the talent and depth at running back available in the draft last year, but Moreno is a good fit for the Eagles at this spot.

22. Minnesota Vikings (10-6) - Kenny Britt, WR, Rutgers: Britt has a ton of talent and is just beginning to scratch the surface of his potential.

23. New England Patriots (11-5) - Donald Brown, RB, Connecticut: Brown could end up being one of the more productive rookie backs in 2009 because of his all-around skills and tremendous character.

24. Atlanta Falcons (11-5) - Brandon Pettigrew, TE, Oklahoma State: Pettigrew remains the No. 1 tight end on the board and would be a help to young Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan.

25. Miami Dolphins (11-5) - Malcolm Jenkins, CB, Ohio State: Jenkins has all the qualities you look for, with the exception of top-flight recovery speed, which is an obvious concern. Even so, he's too good an overall performer to pass up in the middle of the first round.

26. Baltimore Ravens (11-5) - Vontae Davis, CB, Illinois: Davis is an impressive physical specimen, but he lacked consistency with the Illini, not always performing at the elite level you would expect from a player with his natural talent and ability. He'll be a gamble.

27. Indianapolis Colts (12-4) - Peria Jerry, DT, Mississippi: Jerry is a very underrated prospect, and would be a good fit in the Indianapolis scheme.

28. Philadelphia Eagles (from 12-4 CAR) (9-6-1) - Eben Britton, OT, Arizona: Britton could be a good fit for the Eagles' offensive line, although I would have liked to see him return for his senior year.

29. New York Giants (12-4) - Hakeem Nicks, WR, North Carolina: Nicks won't wow you in a workout, but on game day he makes the tough catches and is the type of player who wants the ball thrown his way in clutch situations.

30. Tennessee Titans (13-3) - Percy Harvin, WR, Florida: Harvin reminds me of the Reggie Bush we now see with the Saints. You can utilize Harvin in a number of ways, and, like Bush, he's a scoreboard-changer. However, he also carries the same durability concerns as Bush.

31. Arizona Cardinals (9-7) - Larry English, LB, Northern Illinois: English set the all-time sack record at Northern Illinois, and could be an impact player in Arizona.

32. Pittsburgh Steelers (12-4) - Eric Wood, C, Louisville: Wood has been a player on the rise of late, and with his size and skills he could find himself a Steeler for a very long time.

No comments: