By Don Banks
April 09, 2009
11 WR Michael Crabtree Texas Tech So. 6-3 214
Why this will be the pick: Imagine the dramatic overnight improvement of the Bills' Trent Edwards-led passing game if Crabtree were to join Terrell Owens, Lee Evans and a second-year receiver James Hardy? With Owens signing just a one-year deal in Buffalo, taking a young receiver with Crabtree's potential is entirely defensible.
Why this doesn't make sense: This Bills coaching staff has to win now, and taking Crabtree might be more about 2010 and beyond than anything else. Buffalo is desperate for more pass rush, which points to Florida State's DE-OLB Everette Brown in this slot.
12 DE/LB Everette Brown Florida State Sr. 6-4 252
Why this will be the pick: My sense is Josh McDaniels believes he can win with Kyle Orton at quarterback, which means Denver can afford to sit tight and take the best two defensive players available at 12 and 18. Brown offers the pass-rush help the Broncos covet.
Why this doesn't make sense: My hunch McDaniels is sold on Orton could be dead wrong. A trade up for Sanchez or Stafford could be exactly what he's thinking, or perhaps taking Kansas State quarterback Josh Freeman at No. 12 or 18 is an option.
13 OT Michael Oher Ole Miss Sr. 6-4 309
Why this will be the pick: The Redskins have to come away with an offensive tackle in this draft, and Oher's stock has been steadily rising after having a less-than-stellar combine experience.
Why this doesn't make sense: Washington might convince itself Oher is a bit raw and in need of at least a year of honing his skills before he's ready to become a starter. That could persuade the Redskins to address their need at left defensive end instead, opting for LSU's Tyson Jackson or Tennessee's Robert Ayers.
14 RB Chris "Beanie" Wells Ohio State Jr. 6-1 237
Why this will be the pick: The Saints know their running backs have incurred more than their share of injuries in recent years, and Wells give them the infusion of power running that fits nicely into the vacated Deuce McAllister roster spot.
Why this doesn't make sense: It scares me when I see everyone giving a team the same player in their mocks, such as Wells to the Saints at No. 14. How many times is group think dead-on accurate? That said, I just switched to Wells after having New Orleans select Ohio State cornerback Malcolm Jenkins in my most recent mock.
15 CB Malcolm Jenkins Ohio State Sr. 6-1 201
Why this will be the pick: In recent days, the Texans have signed linebackers Cato June and Buster Davis, and that points to them addressing their need in the secondary in the first round. Jenkins is a good value in the middle of the round, and he might wind up playing either cornerback or safety for Houston.
Why this doesn't make sense: Despite their recent additions at linebacker, the Texans might have USC's Brian Cushing or Clay Matthews Jr. too highly rated to pass on. Given Houston's need at defensive tackle, Mississippi's Peria Jerry makes sense, too.
16 WR Darrius Heyward-Bey Maryland Jr. 6-3 206
Why this will be the pick: The Chargers need more receiving targets for quarterback Philip Rivers, and Heyward-Bey is a vertical threat who seems to be making a late push to crack the first round's top half.
Why this doesn't make sense: Even more than another offensive weapon, San Diego needs front seven players on defense. With talents like all three USC linebackers (Cushing, Matthews and Rey Maualuga) and defensive ends Tyson Jackson of LSU and Robert Ayers of Tennessee still sitting there, it'd be hard for the Chargers to overlook their defense.
17 WR/RB Percy Harvin Florida Jr. 5-11 195
Why this will be the pick: The Jets need a playmaker in the passing game, and Harvin offers the potential for instant impact.
Why this doesn't make sense: With Kansas State quarterback Josh Freeman still on the board, would the Jets really decide not to give themselves another option at the game's most pivotal position?
18 DT Peria Jerry Ole Miss Sr. 6-2 300
Why this will be the pick: So much of the success of a 3-4 defense depends on getting the right wide body to stuff the run at the nose. Jerry is a prospect who looks capable of handling that load from his rookie season on.
Why this doesn't make sense: Again, maybe the Broncos can't pass on Freeman, giving themselves a quarterback of the future beyond Orton. Or they have defensive players such as Cushing, Matthews, Maualuga, Ayers or Jackson rated much higher than Jerry, making nose tackle a second-round priority.
19 QB Josh Freeman Kansas State Jr. 6-6 248
Why this will be the pick: The Bucs have done everything but Twitter about wanting Freeman, so if he's still there at No. 19, it's a no-brainer for a team that's still in the market for a starting quarterback.
Why this doesn't make sense: Before Tampa Bay's turn even comes around, so many variables could spoil its plans to snatch Freeman. Maybe even the No. 20 Lions could leap frog them at the last moment.
20 DE Robert Ayers Tennessee Sr. 6-3 272
Why this will be the pick: As we have noted since Day One, new Lions head coach Jim Schwartz believes in building a roster from the lines out. In our mock, he'll land Jason Smith for the O-line at No. 1, and Ayers for the D-line at No. 20.
Why this doesn't make sense: Detroit could really use a playmaking presence like USC's Rey Maualuga at middle linebacker, right between the newly acquired Julian Peterson and Ernie Simms.

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