By Don Banks
April 02, 2009
21 RB Chris "Beanie" Wells Ohio State Jr. 6-1 237
Running and offensive tackle are the targets for Philly's two first-round picks, and Wells, the draft's consensus top-rated running back, won't be around when the Eagles' turn comes at No. 28. If Andy Reid would think offensive tackle in this slot, he'll have Michael Oher, Arizona's Eben Britton, and UConn's William Beatty to choose from.
22 OT/RB Michael Oher Ole Miss Sr. 6-4 309
The Vikings could go receiver here (Darrius Heyward-Bey?), but right offensive tackle is a more pressing need. Oher has his issues, but he's a talent who would seem to be a solid value at No. 22.
23 LB Clay Matthews USC Sr. 6-3 240
Matthews would fill the vacancy created by Mike Vrabel's trade to Kansas City, and allow the Patriots to start looking for Tedy Bruschi's eventual replacement on the inside in the second round.
24 TE Brandon Pettigrew Oklahoma State Sr. 6-6 263
With both Cushing and Matthews gone, the Falcons aren't going to get the outside linebacker help they covet. That makes Pettigrew again a prime target. Atlanta's ground-heavy offense could use a blocking-first tight end who's physical enough to seal off defensive ends in the running game.
25 WR Kenny Britt Rutgers Jr. 6-4 215
The Dolphins need more receiving threats, and they should have their choice among a mini-glut of receivers to last until the final stages of the first round. Britt's sub-4.50 speed would give Miami's offense more verticality, taking some of the pressure off its running game.
26 WR Darrius Heyward-Bey Maryland Jr. 6-3 206
The Ravens might be tempted to add another cornerback with Illinois' Vontae Davis still available, but Heyward-Bey is a big, fast wideout for Joe Flacco to target. Given Derrick Mason's unhappiness over his lack of receiving a contract extension, landing another primary receiver is a top priority in Baltimore.
27 LB James Laurinaitis Ohio State Sr. 6-3 240
The Colts could look at the available defensive tackles and come away with Missouri's Evander Hood. But with Mississippi DT Peria Jerry long gone, Indy would be happy with Laurinaitis, who addresses both an area of need and represents solid value at No. 27.
28 OT Eben Britton Arizona Jr. 6-6 309
Having landed their running back in Wells at No. 21, the Eagles get their much-needed offensive tackle at No. 28. Britton and UConn's William Beatty are the likely suspects.
29 WR Hakeem Nicks North Carolina Jr. 6-2 210
Nicks adding weight after the combine just might work in the Giants' favor, in that his stock has slipped just enough to ensure he'll still be around when New York's turn comes at No. 29.
30 CB Vontae Davis Illinois Jr. 6-0 204
Defensive line is the more pressing concern, but the Titans have proven they won't reach for need, and they won't shy away from taking a highly-rated player even if he plays a position where they're strong. Davis is considered a top-half of the round talent, and his ability to play some safety too makes him more attractive.
31 RB Donald Brown UConn Jr. 5-10 210
It's pick your favorite flavor when it comes to running backs at the bottom of the first round. Georgia's Knowshon Moreno, Pitt's LeSean McCoy and Iowa's Shonn Greene are all possibilities. But I think it's the versatile Brown who will wind up cracking the top round before it's all said and done.
32 C Max Unger Oregon Sr. 6-5 309
Some draft analysts have Cal center Alex Mack rated slightly higher than Unger, but the former Duck is very versatile, having started at both center and left tackle in college, and filled in at guard. The Steelers interior offensive line could use an injection of youth.

You May Like