|Why this will be the pick: The Lions need everything, and the notion of getting a predraft deal done with their top-rated offensive tackle seems a lot more reachable than trying to work out a contract likely to contain upwards of $32 million if Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford is the selection. Don't discount the impact the poor economy might have on Detroit's decision-making in shying away from the huge-money QB at No. 1.|
Why this doesn't make sense: Everybody knows Detroit needs a franchise quarterback, so why would you pass on Stafford when he represents the fresh start the franchise is all about these days?
|Why this will be the pick: The need at offensive tackle is the Rams' most glaring, and doing a better job of protecting Marc Bulger is the key to any offensive improvement St. Louis hopes to make.|
Why this doesn't make sense: Having spent heavily on center Jason Brown in free agency, the Rams might be tempted to add a skill-position piece to the puzzle, either at receiver or even quarterback.
|3||OLB||Aaron Curry||Wake Forest||Sr.||6-3||247|
|Why this will be the pick: The Chiefs need for solid building blocks on defense is obvious. Curry remains the cleanest player in this year's draft, and would give Kansas City first-year impact similar to what Scott Pioli and Co. got out of rookie linebacker Jerod Mayo last year in New England.|
Why this doesn't make sense: The Chiefs defense is desperate for some kind of upgrade in the pass rush department, and that's not the strong suit of Curry's game. That makes one of the draft's top edge rushers more attractive.
|Why this will be the pick: Matt Hasselbeck's lack of solid health in recent years forces the Seahawks to contemplate their future at quarterback, given that Seattle hopes to not be picking this high again for a very long time. Simply put, Sanchez is a better fit for Greg Knapp's West Coast-style offense than the bigger-armed Stafford.|
Why this doesn't make sense: Taking a QB of the future is a bit of a luxury for a team with a 33-year-old starting quarterback and other pressing needs. An offensive tackle like Andre Smith or one of the top-rated receivers would offer more 2009 impact.
|5||DT||B.J. Raji||Boston College||Sr.||6-1||323|
|Why this will be the pick: Playing in the same division as the Steelers and Ravens means the Browns have to be stout against the run. Raji is the best defensive tackle in this year's draft, and his run-stuffing will elevate a Cleveland defensive line that underachieved as a whole last season.|
Why this doesn't make sense: After spending big to get both Shaun Rogers and Cory Williams last offseason, the Browns aren't likely to turn their attention back to tackle again this year.
|Why this will be the pick: The Bengals aren't going to get their once-potent offense back on track unless they build a better wall in front of quarterback Carson Palmer. Health concerns for Levi Jones at left offensive tackle make Smith the logical option.|
Why this doesn't make sense: A gifted pass rusher is always one of the game's rarestcommodities, and if the Bengals believe Texans defensive end/linebacker Brian Orakpo can be special in that department, they'd be wise to wait until the second round to address their need at offensive tackle.
|Why this will be the pick: The Raiders would love to see Raji fall to them, but their almost total lack of pass -rushing impact makes Orakpo an easy selection, compared to the temptation to land quarterback JaMarcus Russell a top-10 receiver.|
Why this doesn't make sense: Al Davis still burns to make up for the Randy Moss mistake, and with receivers such as Michael Crabtree, Jeremy Maclin and the speedster Darrius Heyward-Bey reportedly very much on his radar screen, I can't see Oakland going defense in the first round.
|Why this will be the pick: I still firmly believe Jacksonville will be tempted to take a quarterback for the future, in case David Garrard doesn't rebound from a so-so 2008 season. But the Jaguars like Sanchez better than Stafford, and that tips the scale toward receiver. Why Maclin and not Crabtree? With the Jags being more sensitive to off-field issues in the wake of releasing Matt Jones, Maclin noses out Crabtree, who has some question marks in that regard.|
Why this doesn't make sense: Pop in a game tape and watch Crabtree play. If the Jaguars are going receiver, his collegiate production is impossible to overlook. His 2008 season at Texas Tech reminded many of Randy Moss at Marshall, circa 1996-97.
|9||DE||Aaron Maybin||Penn State||So.||6-3½||250|
|Why this will be the pick: The Packers have needs at offensive tackle and cornerback that could receive first-round attention, but none of them are as dire as the situation at defensive end, where Cullen Jenkins and Johnny Jolly have issues to contend with ranging from health to legal troubles. Maybin looks like the surest bet for early impact among the draft's pure defensive ends.|
Why this doesn't make sense: Given Green Bay's shaky depth chart at offensive tackle, taking Mississippi's Michael Oher is entirely defensible. The Packers have to prioritize keeping quarterback Aaron Rodgers healthy.
|Why this will be the pick: While a first-round offensive tackle or a receiver would fill a need, the 49ers won't pass on the opportunity to select a franchise quarterback who falls to the bottom of the top 10. Implausible scenario? I had Matt Leinart, another potential No. 1 pick, doing the same thing in 2006, and that's where No. 10 Arizona got him that year.|
Why this doesn't make sense: Because if Stafford is still there as the second half of the top 10 unfolds, I fully expect a quarterback needy team like Detroit (with its No. 20, 33 and 52nd picks to barter), Denver, the Jets, or Tampa Bay to try and move up in order to land him.