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2009 Niners Nation Mock Draft version 1.0

FOOCH'S NOTE 2/5 - It took a while to get this done but here we go.  The first 2009 Niners Nation community mock draft.  A breakdown of each non-49er pick is after the jump.  We'll have another one in early March and a third in early April.

Last year we had our first annual community mock draftt in mid-March.  This year, I've decided to do multiple mock drafts to see how people's views change over the course of the draft process.  We're conducting the first mock draft as we speak.  The second mock draft will probably occur immediately after the combine.  The third mock draft will occur in mid to late March to reflect free agency.  We'll wrap it up with a fourth mock draft the week leading up to the draft more than likely.  The people who are doing the current mock draft are encouraged to help out in the future ones, but I also will open the door to participation from other community members.  Depending on the volume, we might even expand the draft to 2+ rounds in the subsequent version.

We've actually gotten through the 49ers first round pick in this draft (but not much further), so I'm going to start rolling out the picks a few at a time so we can get the 49ers pick posted before the end of the afternoon today.  Each pick is submitted by a member of the site, along with some analysis about the pick.  As new picks start coming in, I'm moving the older picks after the jump.  Picks 1-9 are there now.  As we get later on, I'm going to leave the 49ers selection on the front page.

1. Detroit Lions - Matthew Stafford
2. St. Louis Rams - Michael Oher
3. Kansas City Chiefs - Aaron Curry
4. Seattle Seahawks - Mark Sanchez
5. Cleveland Browns - Michael Crabtree
6. Cincinnati Bengals - Andre Smith
7. Oakland Raiders - Eugene Monroe
8. Jacksonville Jaguars - Jason Smith
9. Green Bay Packers - Malcolm Jenkins

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.

11. Buffalo Bills - Brandon Pettigrew
12. Denver Broncos - B.J. Raji
13. Washington Redskins - Brian Orakpo
14. New Orleans Saints - Vontae Davis
15. Houston Texans - Aaron Maybin
16. San Diego Chargers - Tyson Jackson
17. New York Jets - Rey Maualuga
18. Chicago Bears - Jeremy Maclin
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Chris "Beanie" Wells
20. Detroit Lions (from DAL) - William Moore
21. Philadelphia Eagles - Eben Britton
22. Minnesota Vikings - Percy Harvin
23. New England Patriots - Brian Cushing
24. Atlanta Falcons - DJ Moore
25. Miami Dolphins - Duke Robinson
26. Baltimore Ravens - Darius Heyward-Bey
27. Indianapolis Colts - Peria Jerry
28. Philadelphia Eagles (from CAR) - Knowshon Moreno
29. New York Giants - James Laurinaitis
30. Tennessee Titans - Kenny Britt
31. Arizona Cardinals - Jamon Meredith
32. Pittsburgh Steelers - Alex Mack

1. Detroit Lions (Mill3R)
With the 1st overall pick, the Detroit Lions select Matthew Stafford, QB, Georgia

The Lions have so many needs on both sides of the ball, which makes this a very tough pick. There aren't any defensive players that stand out as the top pick. On offense they already have Calvin Johnson and Kevin Smith, so all they need is someone to get them the ball and they will be heading in the right direction. Therefore, they should draft a franchise QB to rebuild the offense: Matt Stafford vs. Mark Sanchez. Matt Stafford is the most NFL ready QB, with more experience, and a cannon for an arm. Lions allowed 3 sacks per game, so drafting an OT is also a big possibility here.

2. St. Louis Rams (QBgetter13)
With the 2nd overall pick, the St. Louis Rams select Michael Oher, OT, Ole Miss

Alex Barron was a first round pick for them a couple years back but experts seem to think he reached a plateau.  He is a monster but is beat more easily than he should be.  Orlando Pace is obviously aging fast and could use a replacement.  I personally feel Oher is the best tackle available and am placing him ahead of Smith.
I wouldn't be surprised if the Rams went Crabtree to bring in a receiver that could be mentored by Holt and be a future one-two punch with Avery's lightning, eventually completely taking over Holt's position (mean time beating out Avery for the two spot but the offense running a lot of 3 wide).  Corner is also a very pressing need but no one with the value of #2 so look for them to go CB in the second round.

3. Kansas City Chiefs (mikev)
With the 3rd overall pick, the Kansas City Chiefs select Aaron Curry, LB, Wake Forest

The Chiefs have a lot of needs, but I think Mark Sanchez is a big reach at #3 and with Stafford gone I think they’ll look to improve the defense.  Curry is the #1 rated Senior prospect and a good bet to be a serious performer in his first year of playing.

Other options here could be Sanchez, Andre Smith, Everett Brown from FSU or Brian Orakpo from Texas, but I’m going with Curry here.

4. Seattle Seahawks (methodrampage)
With the 4th overall pick, the Seattle Seahawks select Mark Sanchez, QB, USC

And you all thought the 'Hawks would be taking Crabtree here, sorry to disappoint.  Hasselbeck is 33 and isn't looking any younger.  He's also signed through 2010 which means this is the ideal year for Seattle to draft a QB to take the reins in 2011.  Although he doesn't have much experience, I had Sanchez rated as the top QB over Stafford.

5. Cleveland Browns (JerseyNinerFan)
With the 5th overall pick, the Cleveland Browns select Michael Crabtree, WR, Texas Tech

Even though I think the smart money falls with Crabtree being picked before #5 and the Brownies most likely going the defensive route, the prospect of having an Edwards/Crabtree combination would be much too alluring to resist.

The Browns were are very solid team in 2007, and while they have a good amount of holes on both offense and defense, there's no one really in the top 5-10 that could be as much as an immediate upgrade as Mr. Crabtree would be for a team that could be close to turning it around in 2009.

Other options that would make just as much sense would be a cornerback (Malcolm Jenkins) to sure up a weak secondary, DE/OLB pass rushers (Everette Brown or Aaron Maybin) to pair with Kameron Wimbley and eventually replace Willie McGinest, or even a running back (Knowshown Moreno or Beanie Wells) to spell and eventually replace Jamal Lewis.

6. Cincinnati Bengals (bayboy)
With the 6th overall pick, the Cincinnati Bengals select Andre Smith, OT Alabama

2008 is finally over and no one can be happier than the Cincinnati Bengals. A season full of Injuries to their DE,LB,CB, and S caused the Bengals to finish below their expectations but the one thing that caused more damage was Carson Palmer's injury due to a horrible O-Line. Andre Smith will be an instant starter in 2009 and an upgrade for either side at the tackle position. A true steal at 6.

7. Oakland Raiders (jtoj)
With the 7th overall pick, the Oakland Raiders select Eugene Monroe, OT, Virginia

Monroe is needed in Oakland and it's porous offensive line. Although probably not having a ceiling as high as some other OLs in the draft, his basement is much higher, meaning it's less of a risk here than some other OLs like Oher and Smith. That OLine, once patched, can be the protector of a scary combo of McFadden and Russell.

Another option here instead of the OL is a WR like Crabtree or Jeremey Maclin, if available. Or the stud CB Malcolm Jenkins out of Ohio State.

8. Jacksonville Jaguars (sam23)
With the 8th overall pick, the Jacksonville Jaguars select Jason Smith, OT, Baylor

The primary blame for the Jags extemely disappointing season falls on the O-line's inability to keep Garrard upright.  If one of the top 3 or 4 left tackle prospects is available its likely the Jags will scoop him up.  Khalif Barnes was one of the worst starting LTs in football this year and could be largely repsonsible for Garrards disappointing year.  Smith is a converted TE and exactly the kind of athletic pass blocking specialist Jacksonville needs. DB and LB, are areas of need and Malcom Jenkins or Rey Maualuga are strong possibilities.  A playmaker at WR would be nice, but Harvin or Maclin would probalby be reaches at #8 overall so unless Crabtree is somehow still available its unlikely.

9. Green Bay Packers (wjackalope)
With the 9th overall pick, the Green Bay Packers select Malcolm Jenkins, CB, Ohio State

This is a tough pick for the Packers because there are a lot of options still on the board for them.  They need help on the defensive line and there are some talented ends on the board, however, they are switching to a 3-4 and it might be in their best interest to go for a NT or a defensive tackle rather than an end.  They also have two aging cornerbacks and a lot of people see them going for a young CB with this pick.  In my opinion it's too early in the draft to get cute drafting for need and you go with the best player on the board that fits any of your most pressing needs.

They might be tempted by DE's Everette Brown and Brian Orakpo, or even NT B.J. Raji, but Jenkins is rated a bit higher than all those guys, so that's where I see them going.  They could also look on the offensive line but with 4 OT's off the board already it's pretty unlikely.

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.

11. Buffalo Bills (Fooch replacing Rishi for just this pick)
With the 11th overall pick, the Buffalo Bills select Brandon Pettigrew, TE, Oklahoma State

I didn't know a whole lot about Pettigrew heading into today but he is an absolute beast as a tight end.  The Bills have several areas of concern going forward and I think Pettigrew fills some important needs.  They have some offensive weapons, but they couldn't put it together this season and the loss to the 49ers was a perfect example.  A guy like Pettigrew would give them one heck of a redzone threat.  He gets high marks as a blocker which would be a nice plus.  Gotta keep Trent Edwards on his feet after all.  It's a bit of a reach but I think he could really help the Bills.

12. Denver Broncos (Lynch's Golf Cart)
With the 12th overall pick, the Denver Broncos select B.J. Raji, NT, Boston College

The Broncos were near the bottom of the league in almost every defensive category, so it's hard to tell what they need more: run stoppers or defensive backs that can defend the pass and create turnovers. More to come...

13. Washington Redskins (Jeff_Fuller_49)
With the 13th overall pick, the Washington Redskins select Brian Orakpo, DE, Texas

Jason Taylor might be at the end of his great career. There were two other DE's that the Redskins would consider, Maybin and Tyson Jackson of LSU. But since Vinnie Cerrato wants Orakpo, Orakpo it is. He had 10.5 sacks, 40 tackles, and 18 TFL. A teammate called him the black Arnold Schwarzenegger for his build.  He was named to the AP first-team All-American squad, Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year, Bronco Nagurski Trophy winner.

14. New Orleans Saints (montasmob69)
With the 14th overall pick, the New Orleans Saints select Vontae Davis,CB, Illinois

Saints fans wept for days and days when they heard Taylor Mays was staying at USC. Rumor had it that the Saints were not going to able to sign Vilma, but the Saints fans over on Canal Street Chronicles claimed that Vilma has already stated that he will return, even if it means waiting a while to agree on a deal. That said, MLB and S where out of the question, and when you have the #1 offense in scoring and yards, and least amount of sacks given up, there is not a whole lot to address on offense. Charles Grant and Will Smith are far from there old form, but their new defense coordinator has a reputation for pushing underacheiving stars.

That leads us to Corner. Mike MacKenzie is aging and Gay is better in a nickel situation. Vontae Davis is clearly the best corner on the board. He is known as one of the strongest DBs in all of football and runs around a 4.3 forty. He basically got to the point where the opposing QB didn't throw to his side of the field. This is a great addition for a struggling secondary and will help the Saints become contenders again.

15. Houston Texans (Mill3R)
With the 15th overallpick, the Houston Texans select Aaron Maybin, DE, Penn State

Texans biggest needs are offensive tackle, pass rusher, and defensive back.  I read in a site that Texans are looking to go with the best DE available with their first round pick. Aaron Maybin decided to enter the NFL draft after having a great redshirt sophomore season. He is a bit undersized and could add a few more pounds, but he is a great pass rusher with great speed and athleticism.  This should free up Mario Williams and prevent him from being double teamed all the time. Texans might also think about drafting  D.J.. Moore or William Moore to update there secondary. I was also tempted to draft Rey Maualuga, whom I was surprised was still available.

16. San Diego Chargers (QBgetter 13)
With the 16th overall pick, the San Diego Chargers select Tyson Jackson, DE, LSU

Most folks are expecting DE Igor Olshansky to take his services elsewhere.  He was a bit inconsistent and I'm guessing a guy like Tyson Jackson would be able to eventually provide some more stability on one end.  Other options here include Rey Maualuga and if he fell, BJ Raji.  They need help at safety and could trade down so as not to reach for Moore.  If Darren Sproles leaves in free agency, running back is an option as well.

17. New York Jets (mikev)
With the 17th overall pick, the New York Jets select Rey Maualuga, LB, USC

With Stafford and Sanchez off the board, NY won’t be able to get an heir apparent to Favrah, and with Jenkins and Davis also gone I think the Jets turn to linebacker.  Maualuga fills the gigantic hole that was left when Vilma was traded for a ham sandwich and a subscription to the beer of the month club, and at 17 he is quite possibly the BPA defensively anyway.  I could also see drafting one of Beanie Wells, Knowshon Moreno, or Percy Harvin if the Jets braintrust wants to try and give Favrah another weapon to try and make one last run, but I’m not confident that he’ll come back for another season and adding what seems like a sure thing on defense feels like a much better move, as both WR and RB can be addressed later in the draft.

18. Chicago Bears (methodrampage)
With the 18th overall pick, the Chicago Bears select Jeremy Maclin, WR, Missouri

The Bears need a lot of help at WR and Macklin probably starts over Lloyd and/or Booker from day 1.

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (JerseyNinerFan)
With the 19th overall pick, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers select Chris "Beanie" Wells, RB, Ohio State

Despite the fact that new head coach Raheem Morris is primarily a defensive guy, The buccaneers need the most help on the offensive side of the ball. Current running backs Cadillac Williams (Knee) and Earnest Graham (age) are falling off, and while the offensive line might be their biggest issue, they could get a future stud to pair up with Williams. 

The combination of a healthy Williams and Wells could be one of the most potent in the NFL, going by the new idea of running back tandems instead of one back dominating the carries.

20. Detroit Lions (from DAL) (bayboy)
With the 20th overall pick, the Detroit Lions select William Moore, S, Missouri

With Stafford already selected to help the offense, the lions' defense need their own young signal caller in the defensive backfield. William Moore can help the struggling secondary. With so many needs along the 3 levels on defense, they cannot afford this prospect to slip by.

21. Philadelphia Eagles (jtoj)
With the 21st overall pick, the Philadelphia Eagles select Eben Britton, OT, Arizona

With Thomas and Runyan on their last legs, it's pretty important that the Eagles select a lineman within their first round picks (they have 2). While another intriguing option is Alex Mack, C, Cal, especially with his Senior Bowl play, it's necessary to youthen up an aged position. Britton is good, and will be to bolster that solid ground game the Eagles have (and don't utlizie often enough).

Another position to focus on is HB, with Westbrook being Mr. GameTimeDecision and Buckhalter not being young himself: so maybe they take McCoy out of Pitt or Moreno out of Georgia. A safety could also be drafted here with The Wolverine (Dawkins) being in his mid30s already.

22. Minnesota Vikings (sam23)
With the 22nd overall pick, the Minnesota Vikings select Percy Harvin, WR, Florida

This was a bit difficult because the Vikings top 3 needs are QB, OT and CB but with the top 2 QBs, top 5 OTs and top 3 CBs gone the 1st round type talent at these two positions is pretty much gone.  They could reach a bit for an  OT like Beatty or a CB like Vandy's DJ Moore.  I could see them even going with USC LB Cushing.  A popular mock draft pick for the Vikes here is Kansas St. QB Josh Freeman, but I cant really see the Vikings selling their fan base on another raw and inexperienced QB who the casual fans wont ever have heard of until draft day. 

I think the Vikes will target a young vet QB in free agency or trade rather than the draft.  In fact this pick could very well belong to the Pats as a part of a Cassel trade.  But since we arent simulating trades I'm taking the BPA approach and going with a guy that would probably be the top guy available on most draft boards at this point.  Harvin would give them a dynamic duo at WR with Berrian and giving whoever lines up under center for that offense plenty of big play options.

23. New England Patriots (wjackalope)
With the 23rd overall pick, the New England Patriots select Brian Cushing, LB, USC

Most people seem to think that the biggest need for the Pats is to upgrade their aging linebacking corps and get another young star to play alongside Jerod Mayo.  A lot of mocks have the Pats taking Aaron Maybin, but with him off the board they have to look elsewhere.  If the Pats aren't satisfied with what's left in the LB department they could go with a CB (DJ Moore and Sean Smith are still on the board), a safety, and possibly a RB, TE, or OL.  In this case we have two big candidates: Laurinaitis or Cushing.  Laurinaitis is higher on the general draft board, but some people think he's overrated.  So expect the Pats to go with whoever they perceive to be the best LB still available, and I'll say Cushing.

24. Atlanta Falcons (illini49er)
With the 24th overall pick, the Atlanta Falcons select DJ Moore, CB, Vanderbilt

The Falcons two biggest needs are OT and CB. With all the 1st round quality tackles gone, they turn to CB. Moore is a fast, physical corner who has the bonus of being a kick returner. DT is also a need, so Ole Miss DT Peria Jerry is also an option with the pick.

25. Miami Dolphins (Rishi)
With the 25th overall pick, the Miami Dolphins select Duke Robinson, G, Oklahoma

He's rated by most as the top guard in the draft and pairing him with second year linemen Jake Long and Samson Satele, as well as a still young Justin Smiley would set up this 0-line for the foreseeable future.

26. Baltimore Ravens (Lynch's Golf Cart)
With the 26th overall pick, the Baltimore Ravens select Darius Heyward-Bey, WR, Maryland

If Percy Harvin falls on draft day, I think Baltimore would be more than happy to pick him up.

As it is Heyward-Bey is fast, and has decent size. One potential downside is his lack of blocking ability, but the Ravens could use another receiver to stretch the field, and Heyward-Bey could even be an asset on trick plays and the "wildcat" formation as well. He might also be a threat on kick returns. Bey's perceived lack of toughness can easily be remedied. Ray Lewis will scare him into bulking up a bit and being a more aggressive blocker.

Yes, the Ravens are aging on defense. And this pick could definitely change if Ray Lewis or one of the other linebackers decided to leave. Possibilities include James Lauranitis, but if all the LB's return to Baltimore next year, I think an offensive player would be the pick to try and get the Ravens over the hump to the Super Bowl.

One intriguing possibility would be to trade a linebacker to get better draft picks and take Rey Maualuga, or even Aaron Curry if KC decides to go offense in their picks. As it is, however, most of the good defensive prospects have already gone in the 10 to mid-20 range.

NT Terrence Cody would've been nice, but he's not in the draft this year. The Ravens are one of the teams whose plans could completely change before or even on draft day.

27. Indianapolis Colts (montasmob69)
With the 27th overall pick, the Indianapolis Colts select Peria Jerry, DT, Ole Miss

The colts run defense has always been bad. As clever as the tampa 2 defense can be, it does require a guy like Warren Sapp to help stop the run and rush the passer. While they won't expect that type of production, Jerry would be an upgrade, especially with the Ed Johnson pot issue. He is idea size for a colts DT, around 285 and might be able to help the colts rise out of the bottom of run defense. RB, OT, LB, and even C are all options, but this is a need that must be addressed.

28. Philadelphia Eagles (from CAR) (Jeff_Fuller_49)
With the 28th overall pick, the Philadelphia Eagles select Knowshon Moreno, RB, Georgia

After drafting an OT with their earlier pick, they go offense again. The team needed an OT and they also need a RB either to replace or compliment Westbrook and Buckhalter. Aside from rushing for more than 1,300 yards in 07 and 08, he is also a pass catching threat out of the backfield.
His stats:

Year Rush Att Rush Yds Rush Avg Rush TD Rec Rec Yds Rec Avg Rec TD
2007 248 1,334 5.4 14 20 253 12.7 1
2008 250 1,400 5.9 16 33 392 12.2 2
Career 475 2,734 5.6 30 47 582 12.4 3

29. New York Giants (Mill3R)
With the 29th overall pick, the New York Giants select James Laurinaitis, LB, Ohio State

Laurinaitis' combination of size, speed, strength, and instincts will make him an ideal fit for the NY giants. i think this would be considered a steal. another option is Larry English has really moved up the draft boards after he senior bowl, as he's shown that burst that 3-4 teams like out of the rush LBs..if they lose there running backs (Jacobs/Ward) in free agency, they should go with Chris "Beanie" Wells. A big wide receiver like Kenny Britt is another option with the possibility of losing Plaxico Burress.

30. Tennessee Titans (JerseyNinerFan)
With the 30th overall pick, the Tennessee Titans select Kenny Britt, WR, Rutgers

The Titans are a very strong team, yet they really do not have that one WR that stands out. I dare any of you to name more than one of their recieivers. There's obvious a pretty strong contingent of top round quality Wr's out there and no matter how many times the Titans have been linked to WR's in the past, they've always passed. I really feel that this is the year that the Titans pick that WR.

As a frequent Rutgers game attendant, Kenny Britt showed me every quality that you may need as a pro. Not too many WR's in this day and age have the height and speed that he possesses, and there's a good chance that if Britt was in a big name school, he would've been a top 10-15 pick. I would GUARANTEE he has a better pro career than Maclin or Harvin.

As a frequent Rutgers game attendant, Kenny Britt showed me every quality that you may need as a pro. Not too many WR's in this day and age have the height and speed that he possesses, and there's a good chance that if Britt was in a big name school, he would've been a top 10-15 pick. I would GUARANTEE he has a better pro career than Maclin or Harvin.

Who knows where they'll really go, but for my money, its Kenny Britt.

31. Arizona Cardinals (sam23)
With the 31st overall pick, the Arizona Cardinals select Jamon Meredith, OT, South Carolina

Mike Gandy is simply not going to be the starting LT next season. Unless the Cards want to shell out a ton of money on a big name FA like Gross, they have to go OT with this pick.  I think Meredith is the highest rated guy left form most of the draft boards I've seen (though since I've lost track of who has been taken in this mock I could very well be wrong, so I guess just think of this pick as "best LT available, unless its a huge reach or unless one of the top 2 RBs sips."

32. Pittsburgh Steelers (Jeff_Fuller_49)
With the 32nd overall pick, the Pittsburgh Steelers select Alex Mack, C, California

Big Ben was sacked too many times this year. The Steelers get a strong and very smart OL in Mack. He also has the size to switch to either guard positions (6'3" and 315 lbs.). He helped Cal RB's to rush over 1,000 yards consecutively (Arrington, Lynch, Best) and should help captain the OL for years to come.