The Bills need more pass rush, and they're in luck if Maybin gets past the Packers at No. 9. Maybin's collegiate track record is a little light, but his pass-rush skills make him a decent bet for a Buffalo team that has to increase the amount of pressure it brings.
With the Bears' No. 18 pick obtained in the Cutler deal late Thursday, the Broncos are now in prime position to move up in pursuit of either Sanchez or Stafford if they so desire. If they stay put here at No. 12, we think they'll focus on the pieces they need for their transition to a 3-4 defensive front seven. Jackson is a rising prospect who has both the size and athleticism to handle one of Denver's defensive end spots.
Although Washington's need at offensive tackle makes Mississippi's Michael Oher a distinct possibility, my sense is that the run on defensive linemen in the draft's second 10 will continue. Ayers continues to climb up draft boards in recent weeks, and the Redskins are seeking a left defensive end to replace the released Jason Taylor.
If Jenkins gets past Green Bay at No. 9, the Saints secondary will benefit from having the top-rated cornerback fall its way. Ohio State running back Chris "Beanie" Wells is a strong candidate for this spot as well, but New Orleans' defensive needs should receive priority.
The Texans need help at either outside linebacker or defensive tackle, and at the moment we're giving them Cushing over fellow USC linebacker Clay Matthews Jr., whose uncle Bruce is now an assistant coach on Gary Kubiak's staff. But every other week I seem to flip a coin to determine who's rated higher: Cushing or Matthews.
The Chargers won't be able to pass on a receiver who gives them some much-needed vertical threat. If Maclin is gone, USC middle linebacker Rey Maualuga is the name you hear linked to the Chargers.
Now that the Jets won't be trading for Cutler, Kansas State quarterback Josh Freeman could start to come clearly into focus in this slot. But if the Jets really are satisfied with the three quarterbacks they have on hand, finding a receiver with speed becomes a logical first-round goal.
If they don't use the pick they got from the Bears to try and either move up and land one of the top two quarterbacks, or sit tight and take Kansas State's Josh Freeman right ahead of the Bucs, the Broncos could do worse than turn back to the defensive line and grab the draft's second best tackle. Jerry is an athletic run-stuffer who would play the nose in Denver's new 3-4 scheme.
Freeman is clearly the object of Tampa Bay's first-round desire, and he'll be there for the Bucs unless the Jets or Broncos take him right before their turn comes. With this pick, new Tampa Bay head coach Raheem Morris will have done something Jon Gruden never managed to do: commit to a franchise quarterback of the future.
Oklahoma State tight end Brandon Pettigrew is a possibility here, but I think the Lions have more a pressing need for an aggressive, play-making middle linebacker like the ex-Trojan.
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