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Gonzo's Final 2009 NFL Mock Draft

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Again with the late start, I am, fair readers.  And, again, I apologize for that.  It was a long day to conclude a long week here at the Gonzo house, aided primarily by the fact that truck drivers seem to have had a lot of difficulty staying on Interstate 10 over the course of the past week.  Unfortunately for me, I-10 is my main road from Keesler to home, so my commute hasn't been quite what it usually is.  Throw in a few dozen other things happening all at once, and it's been quite an adventure.

Speaking of adventure, tomorrow marks the date we've been waiting for ever since the final gun sounded at Super Bowl XLIII, and that's the NFL's Annual Selection Meeting. . .otherwise known as the draft.  I know I haven't done a mock draft since my pre-Combine version back in February, but now I'm finally getting my final version up there after having taken everything in over the past couple of months.  There have been many significant changes since the Combine, obviously, and those will be greatly reflected in this mock draft.  Here, then, is the finished product.  Enjoy, everybody, and we'll see you here bright and early tomorrow to prep for the draft!

Player Power Rankings


Selection Commentary
1 Detroit Lions Matthew Stafford, QB, Georgia I'm not sold on the guy as a franchise QB.  But, the Lions apparently are. . .and that's all that matters.
2 St. Louis Rams Jason Smith, OT, Baylor They lost Orlando Pace, the only guy on their offensive line last year that played at a level above "awful."  They're rebuilding, and Smith is their cornerstone.
3 Kansas City Chiefs Eugene Monroe, OT, Virginia Without Tony Gonzalez, I think Crabtree is a real possibility here, but in the end the Chiefs need more of a sure thing.
4 Seattle Seahawks Mark Sanchez, QB, Southern Cal Matt Hasselbeck is getting up in age, and the Seahawks are getting perilously close to having to blow things up and start over.  If they have to do that, Sanchez gives them a nice start.
5 Cleveland Browns Aaron Curry, LB, Wake Forest Cleveland's defense was terrible, and they haven't done much to change that.  Enter Curry. . .who, in time, could be the best defender in this draft.
6 Cincinnati Bengals Andre Smith, OT, Alabama A guy with huge potential, but with discipline and work ethic issues as well?  If that doesn't have Cincinnati written all over it, I don't know what does.
7 Oakland Raiders Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR, Maryland Surprised by Heyward-Bey over Crabtree AND Maclin?  Let me introduce you to Raiders' owner Al Davis.
8 Jacksonville Jaguars Michael Crabtree, WR, Texas Tech The Jags have drafted some real flops at WR in the first round in their brief history.  I don't foresee Crabtree joining the likes of Matt Jones and Reggie Williams.
9 Green Bay Packers B.J. Raji, DT, Boston College The Packers are shifting to the 3-4, and don't have the personnel right now to do it.  Raji would be a nice start for them as the nose in the middle of the defensive line.
10 San Francisco 49ers Brian Orakpo, DE, Texas San Francisco could go a couple different directions here, but they need to generate more pressure on the QB, and Orakpo can give them that.
11 Buffalo Bills Robert Ayers, DE, Tennessee One of the biggest risers in the draft in recent weeks, he fills a spot at DE for the Bills, which is one of their big needs.  What about tackle?  Wait until #28.
12 Denver Broncos Tyson Jackson, DE, Louisiana State The Denver defense needs some serious re-tooling, and Jackson was born to play end in a 3-4 scheme.  He'll be a great fit in Denver.
13 Washington Redskins Michael Oher, OT, Mississippi Don't be surprised to see the 'Skins try to trade up for one of the big two quarterbacks.  If they stay at this spot, they could use some help on the O-line, and Oher is a grea talent.
14 New Orleans Saints Malcolm Jenkins, CB, Ohio State The Saints' secondary has been awful since. . .well, for a long time.  Some folks aren't sure whether Jenkins is a corner or a safety, but whichever he is, he'll be an instant upgrade in the Big Easy.
15 Houston Texans Aaron Maybin, DE/OLB, Penn State One of the draft's more interesting players, he could be a big asset to a Houston team that needs to build a defense that's on par with their explosive offense.
16 San Diego Chargers Rey Maualuga, LB, Southern Cal The draft's best pure MLB won't have to move far to reach his NFL home, and he'll give Charger fans visions of Junior Seau sooner rather than later.
17 New York Jets Brandon Pettigrew, TE, Oklahoma State Josh Freeman would be a bit too big a reach here, in my opinion, so the J-E-T-S grab the best TE in the draft.  He'll provide a nice target for whatever warm body the Jets start at QB.
18 Denver Broncos (from Chicago)
Everette Brown, DE/OLB, Florida State Did I mention earlier that Denver needs defense?  Because they do.  Brown could be a terror off of the edge if he can stay healthy
19 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Jeremy Maclin, WR, Missouri The Bucs are allegedly in love with Josh Freeman, but Maclin falling to this spot would just be too big a gift for Tampa to pass up.
20 Detroit Lions (from Dallas) Clay Matthews, LB, Southern Cal Having passed on Aaron Curry at #1, the Lions fill one of their linebacker spots with the son of the former Cleveland Browns great.  His teammate, Brian Cushing, could get a look here, too.
21 Philadelphia Eagles Knowshon Moreno, RB, Georgia The Eagles filled their OT hole by acquiring Jason Peters (for too high a price, IMO).  Now, they get themselves some Brian Westbrook insurance.
22 Minnesota Vikings Vontae Davis, CB, Illinois We detailed this pick yesterday, and I still maintain that Davis is the best CB in the 2009 NFL Draft.  Great value for Minnesota here.
23 New England Patriots Darius Butler, CB, Connecticut The Patriots' secondary was exposed as pretty awful when their offense wasn't scoring 50 every time out and they actually had to cover somebody.  Butler is a great athlete who should start right away for the Pats.
24 Atlanta Falcons Peria Jerry, DT, Mississippi Having acquired the TE they were looking for, the Falcons can look for some space eaters in the middle, and Jerry is a damn good one.  Should start immediately.
25 Miami Dolphins Alphonso Smith, CB, Wake Forest The multi-faceted Smith will upgrade a suspect Miami secondary, and can also assist Ted Ginn's family in the return game, should the need arise.
26 Baltimore Ravens Hakeem Nicks, WR, North Carolina So much for receivers getting pushed to Round 2, huh?  Nicks will give Joe Flacco a nice target as he continues his development from 2008.
27 Indianapolis Colts Chris Wells, RB, Ohio State The Colts need a better RB than Joseph Addai, and though a WR might be tempting for them here, Wells is a better fit, in my opinion.
28 Buffalo Bills (from Carolina via Philadelphia) Eben Britton, OT, Arizona Now the Bills can get a good value in Britton, who can slide in at RT and immediately contribute to what could be an explosive Buffalo offense.
29 New York Giants Percy Harvin, WR, Florida Guy that likes to smoke pot before job interviews and seems to enjoy the spotlight?  Welcome to New York, Percy!
30 Tennessee Titans Evander Hood, DT, Missouri The Titals don't like to draft receivers in Round 1, and so they set about trying to find someone to replace Albert Haynesworth.  Good luck with that.
31 Arizona Cardinals Donald Brown, RB, Connecticut Edgerrin James is angry, and none of Arizona's other running backs are really anything special, so the defending NFC Champs grab the best running back left in Brown.
32 Pittsburgh Steelers Alex Mack, C, California Mack just has "Steeler" written all over him.  Tough, smart, hard-working. . .it's not every day a guy could walk in and just immediately start for the World Champs, but Mack has a distinct chance at doing so if he's the pick.