SEVEN TACKLES went in the first round of 2008, and this year's draft shapes up as another big one for the big guys up front: Tackles could go one-two for the first time in NFL history. Here's a look at how round 1 could play out on April 25.
This is an article from the March 16, 2009 issue
Jason Smith, T, Baylor
QB Matt Stafford could be the choice if he has a great Pro Day; otherwise the selection could come down to who is the easiest to sign among tackles Smith and Eugene Monroe and linebacker Aaron Curry.
Eugene Monroe, T, Virginia
Monroe is more polished than the tenacious Smith—but he has less upside.
Aaron Curry, LB, Wake
Forest Curry wowed everyone at the combine and might be the surest thing in the draft.
Michael Crabtree, WR, Texas Tech
Although Seattle signed veteran T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Crabtree would be the long-term answer at wideout.
Brian Orakpo, DE, Texas
Desperate for an edge rusher, Cleveland has set up a private workout with Orakpo before his March 25 Pro Day.
B.J. Raji, DT, Boston College
Cincinnati was 21st against the run and has to get stouter up the middle.
Jeremy Maclin, WR, Missouri
Oakland needs weapons on the perimeter, and Maclin is an excellent run-after-the-catch threat.
Malcolm Jenkins, CB, Ohio State
His 4.52 40 at the combine didn't wow scouts, but his highlight reel does.
Everette Brown, DE-LB, Florida State
The Pack needs an edge rusher for its new 3--4; Brown had 13½ sacks in '08.
Matthew Stafford, QB, Georgia
San Francisco won't believe its good fortune if it finds its QB of the future here.
Andre Smith, T, Alabama
Despite questions about Smith's maturity, Buffalo would welcome this mauler up front.
Rey Maualuga, LB, USC
With the switch to a hybrid 3--4, Maualuga is too good to pass up—even after Denver signed free agent Andra Davis.
Brian Cushing, LB, USC
After releasing Jason Taylor, Washington needs a complement to Andre Carter, though this would be a reach.
Clay Matthews, LB, USC
New Orleans grabs a successor for one of the aging Scotts—Fujita or Shanle.
Vontae Davis, CB, Illinois
Houston's defense lacks depth. Some believe Davis is the best corner in the draft.
Knowshown Moreno, RB, Georgia
If a deal is reached with LaDainian Tomlinson, San Diego could go with an O-lineman or inside 'backer.
Mark Sanchez, QB, USC
Despite a hole at wideout, New York would love to find Sanchez in this spot.
Michael Oher, T, Mississippi
After selecting Chris Williams in '08, Chicago goes for a bookend first-rounder.
Peria Jerry, DT, Mississippi
He'll fill the hole in the middle left by Jovan Haye's free-agent departure.
20 Lions (from Cowboys)
Larry English, LB, Northern Illinois
A college end, he has the build and athleticism to be a playmaker.
Chris Wells, RB, Ohio State
Wells would be a nice replacement for Correll Buckhalter, who left as a free agent.
Hakeem Nicks, WR, North Carolina
Having missed out on Houshmandzadeh, Minnesota snags Nicks (181 catches and 21 TDs in three seasons).
Aaron Maybin, DE, Penn State
The ideal project for Bill Belichick: a college end who projects as an outside 'backer in the 3--4.
Evander Hood, DT, Missouri
Atlanta lost DT Grady Jackson in free agency, but Hood could fill the void with his size (6'3", 300 pounds), tenacity and passion.
Alex Mack, C, California
Miami must get stronger inside, and Mack is 6'4", 311 pounds and bright.
Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR, Maryland
Baltimore wants a deep threat, and Heyward-Bey had the combine's fastest 40 time (4.3).
James Laurinaitis, LB, Ohio State
His size (6'2", 244) and athleticism will fit nicely in Indy's Cover Two scheme.
28 Eagles (from Panthers)
Eben Britton, T, Arizona
The physical Britton provides depth behind free-agent signee Stacy Andrews.
Percy Harvin, WR, Florida
New York needs Plaxico insurance, and Harvin is the best available prospect.
Tyson Jackson, DE, LSU
The versatile Jackson can play end in Tennessee's base 4--3 and slide inside to tackle in passing situations.
Donald Brown, RB, Connecticut
Brown, who rushed for 2,083 yards and 18 TDs in '08, would pick up the slack if Edgerrin James goes.
Darius Butler, CB, Connecticut
Butler has the instincts and athleticism to thrive in the zone-blitz scheme.
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