After a little back and forth, we've gotten 2009 Niners Nation Mock Draft 2.0 underway (here are the 1.0 results). It'll take some time to get the whole thing through, but we've gotten through the 49ers pick so far, which obviously is the important one. For the picks so far, I've listed the top 9 plus the 49ers. The analysis for picks 1-9 is after the jump. Also, big thanks to NinerFaninOhio and HailState77 for stepping up and handling extra picks for absent folks.
1. Detroit Lions - Matthew Stafford
2. St. Louis Rams - Jason Smith
3. Kansas City Chiefs - Aaron Curry
4. Seattle Seahawks - B.J. Raji
5. Cleveland Browns - Michael Crabtree
6. Cincinnati Bengals - Eugene Monroe
7. Oakland Raiders - Jeremy Maclin
8. Jacksonville Jaguars - Michael Oher
9. Green Bay Packers - Everette Brown
10. San Francisco 49ers (illini49er)
With the 10th overall pick, the San Francisco 49ers select Brian Orakpo, OLB, Texas
With Everette Brown gone, the next best pass rusher is Orakpo. The weakest part of the 49er defense last year, and arguably the past few years has been the inability of the defense to get off the field after 3rd down. The lack of a pass rush has been the primary culprit. Orakpo has the ability to get after the QB, and force the opposing punter to earn his paycheck. If any of the top 3 OTs had fallen this far, it might have been tempting, but Andre Smith seems like an awfully big gamble character wise to use the 10th pick on. Jenkins as a FS is tempting too, but the need for a pass rusher is too much.
1. Detroit Lions (HailState77)
With the 1st overall pick, the Detroit Lions select Matthew Stafford, QB, Georgia
I hated to pick a player that in my opinion is NOT the best player on the board; especially for a team that has more holes to fill than the NY Transportation Department. Also when they inquired about Cutler after the whole trade scandal in Denver, I think it showed that the Lions MGMT were not and still aren't 100% sold on Stafford. But who can be... hoping and begging Stafford turns into the Ryans and the Flaccos of last year is a dream that is most likely NOT going to happen. (we shouldn't compare the Lions to ATL or Baltimore) The best thing for the Lions at this time should be to trade down... if they can... that is a BIG HUGE if. Because I just don't think anyone wants to be in that spot, especially with the price tag it comes with. Detroit needs to rebuild their defense, offense and special teams (hell, the whole city needs a makeover), this also means changing the culture and the image of the franchise. I picked Stafford not solely based on his talent, but also on the potential that he will bring a new image and a culture to a team that desperately needs a makeover.
2. St. Louis Rams (NinersFaninOhio)
With the 2nd overall pick, the St. Louis Rams select Jason Smith, OT, Baylor
3. Kansas City Chiefs (mikev)
With the 3rd overall pick, the Kansas City Chiefs select Aaron Curry, LB, Wake Forest
Curry is fast becoming the consensus best defensive player in the draft. The Chiefs addressed the offense by trading for Matt Cassell, sort of got linebacker help in the form of Vrabel, but most of Vrabel’s career he’s been an OLB.
Adding Curry gives them a defensive force in the middle of the field to help out their new 3-4 defense, and along with Vrabel should upgrade the LB Corps significantly.
4. Seattle Seahawks (HailState77)
With the 4th overall pick, the Seattle Seahawks select B.J. Raji, NT, Boston College
Seattle had the worst passing defense in the league last year giving up more than 4,000 (that's right) I repeat 4,000 yards in the air. So why did I choose B.J. Raji instead of a CB or a Safety? Let me answer a question with another question. Have you seen these DBs at the combine? The depth at the Defensive Backfield is dismal at best. After Jenkins and maybe Davis and I would think it would be a waste of a pick to use the #4 pick on them. Another interesting note is their QB situation. Hasselback is aging and their backup Wallace has not progressed enough to challenge for the starting spot. Sanchez would be available but I think Seahawks pass on him. B.J. Raji makes sense because he is the best player on the board in the fourth spot. He's athletic and large... he fills the running lanes and creates havoc in the backfield. Seahawks need depth at the defensive line and solid players on their team... they can always try to pick up DBs in the later rounds.
5. Cleveland Browns (49er4Life)
With the 5th overall pick, the Cleveland Browns select Michael Crabtree, WR, Texas Tech
Last year the Browns ranked second-last in the league, averaging a measly 14.5 ppg, scoring 31 points in their last 6 games combined. With that being said, their offence definitely needed a boost coming into 2009. Making things worse, the Browns traded Winslow, arguably Cleveland’s best and definitely most consistent pass catcher. Stallworth has proved to be an unsuccessful option. Edwards may be on his way out with a hefty contract that can’t be justified by his constant drops. Thus, Crabtree will give this offense an immediate boost and a stud receiver for years to come. He will likely jump into the line-up as an opening day starter thereby alleviating some of the double-teams and pressure Edwards faces.
When this pick was originally allotted to me the first thing I thought of was the Browns Swiss cheese defense. They have a huge hole that needs to be addressed in the secondary, with the departure of Sean Jones, which made me contemplate Michael Jenkins with this pick. Ultimately, I don’t feel he is top 5 material and after doing a bit of research the Browns secondary actually wasn’t that bad last year. They finished second in the league with 23 interceptions and did that with a lack of a pass rush as the team finished the year with the second fewest sacks. Which leads me to my next consideration, Brian Orakpo. The Browns clearly need more of a pass rush and with Willie McGinest cruising into the sunset Orakpo was definitely an option here, but at the end of the day Crabtree was the BPA and addresses the team’s biggest need of an offensive playmaker.
6. Cincinnati Bengals (fortyninerfaith)
With the 6th overall pick, the Cincinnati Bengals select Eugene Monroe, OT, Virginia
Jason Smith proved himself as the #1 OT in this draft, but arguments can be made for Monroe, Andre Smith, and maybe even Michael Oher about who is the #2. For me this decision came down to the fact of Cincinnati not being able to waste anymore time on immaturity and off the field issues from their players. There is no question that the Bengals need to draft an OT here after finishing 29th in the league in rushing and 30th in sacks allowed. They also lost a stud right tackle in Stacy Andrews. Smith is undeniably very talented, but it is about time the Bengals begin prioritize character, otherwise their organization is never going to get out of the gutter.
In many analysts eyes, Monroe is a better draft prospect than his former teammate D'Brickshaw Ferguson was. There is no aspect of his game that is particularly flashy, but he is a solid all around player. He has prototypical size that he combines well with his knowledge of the game. He has quick feet for his size and matches up well in the pass rush, and is tough enough to help in the run game. Eugene Monroe would be an anchor in getting Carson Palmer and this organization back on pace.
7. Oakland Raiders (jtoj)
With the 7th overall pick, the Oakland Raiders select Jeremy Maclin, WR, Missouri
With Crabtree off the board, the Raiders and Darth Vader will look to upgrade weapons for Jamarcus Russell. Maclin, a speed guy, fits in with one of Vader's favorite Raiders of all time, Tim Brown, as far as tools and playstyle. With Crabtree off the board so quick, the Raiders could look to focus on the O Line or a pass rusher but Vader needs his bling for Russell so the next best offensive weapon it is.
8. Jacksonville Jaguars (sam23)
With the 8th overall pick, the Jacksonville Jaguars select Michael Oher, OT, Ole Miss
The Jags seem would likely take Crabtree if he were to slip all the way down here and would consider Maclin if he were available, but their biggest need is on the offensive line. The poor play on the O-line, particularly from LT Khalif Barnes (now a FA) played a major role in Garrard's regression last season and the overall disappointing season from the team. With Fred Taylor gone the team may even consider Beanie Wells here, but they've had good success finding RBs in later rounds and will likely find a guy to split carries with MJD in the middle rounds.
Finding a guy to protect Garrard and open up holes for Jones-Drew is their #1 need and they should have their choice of a few guys here. I think Jason Smith is the guy theyd love to see available here, but he seems to be moving up most boards and isnt likely to be there. Similarly Smith is obviously moving down most boards and I dont think they want to bring in a guy with that much bust potential no matter how talented he is. Oher is a solid prospect at a position of need and also may be the BPA, thus its pretty clear he's probably the guy in this scenario.
9. Green Bay Packers (wjackalope)
With the 9th overall pick, the Green Bay Packers select Everette Brown, OLB, Florida State
Last time around in the same place I had the Pack taking Malcolm Jenkins, and it could go that way. They are switching to a 3-4 and need a NT and pass rushers. They also have needs on the OL and their starting corners are aging. They've drafter corners in recent drafts and they may be banking on those guys stepping up when the time comes. In reality this pick will probably be one of 4 guys: Brown, Jenkins, Orakpo, and Raji - and they will pick whoever is highest on their board who is still left. OTOH, if one of the top 3 (used to be 4, sorry Andre Smith) OTs is there at #9, they might go that direction. But in this case they take Brown, because that's what a lot of mocks have them doing.
10. San Francisco 49ers (illini49er)
With the 10th overall pick, the San Francisco 49ers select Everette Brown, OLB/DE, Florida State
The Niners are in desperate need of a pass rush. The lack of a passrush has made it dificult for the defense to stop people on 3rd down. The pick came down to Brown or Orakpo from Texas. Both project to be 3-4 passrushing OLBs. This season Brown had 13.5 sacks and 21.5 tackles for loss, and Orakpo had 10.5 sacks and 18 tackles for loss. Brown has been compared to Demarcus Ware in abilities. Brown has not missed a game, while Orakpo missed two games this season with a knee problem. It was a tough choice, both will be good players. B.J. Ragi, the BC NT was tempting too, but I think our pass rush is the biggest hole in the defense.