Peter King's Mock Draft

Crabtree is the perfect metaphor for this draft: brilliant upside, but with a lot of scouts' questions to clear up. Want a sure thing? Not this year.
April 26, 2009

Will the Lions dare pass up a potential franchise quarterback? Who'll make the move for Mark Sanchez? Here's how SI projects the 32 picks in the first round on April 25

1 LIONS
Matthew Stafford
Quarterback | Georgia

Wake Forest LB Aaron Curry is overpriced for this slot, and tackle isn't a huge need position for Detroit. The pick falls to a smart, precocious 21-year-old with an arm to die for.

2 RAMS
Jason Smith
Tackle | Baylor

The choice between Smith and fellow tackle Eugene Monroe goes down to the wire, and Smith wins the chance to succeed Orlando Pace because of his competitive zeal.

3 CHIEFS
Tyson Jackson
Defensive end | LSU

K.C. hopes it gets an offer to trade down with a team that wants QB Mark Sanchez. Failing that, the Chiefs will take Jackson, the best 3--4 DE in the draft but a reach this high.

4 SEAHAWKS
Mark Sanchez
Quarterback | USC

Incumbent Matt Hasselbeck turns 34 this year and missed much of last season with a bad back. Sanchez can be groomed for a year or two, then be ready to play.

5 BROWNS
Aaron Curry
Linebacker | Wake Forest

DT B.J. Raji would allow Cleveland to move Shaun Rogers to DE full time. But Curry, who can play inside or outside LB, is a better sideline-to-sideline fit for Eric Mangini's 3--4.

6 BENGALS
B.J. Raji
Defensive tackle | Boston College

Cincinnati can line up Raji (6'2", 337) alongside free-agent pickup Tank Johnson on the inside of its 4--3, giving coach Marvin Lewis the run stoppers he's always wanted.

7 Raiders
Jeremy Maclin
Wide receiver | Missouri

Oakland will be tempted by the quality tackles still available here, but when in doubt, longball-loving Al Davis usually looks for speed at the wideout position.

8 JAGUARS
Eugene Monroe
Tackle | Virginia

Coach Jack Del Rio loves LB Rey Maualuga, and the USC product is a real possibility here. Monroe (6'5", 309), however, gives Jacksonville a Week 1 starter at LT.

9 Packers
Andre Smith
Tackle | Alabama

Green Bay will think hard about choosing Michael Crabtree or Aaron Maybin, but with longtime starting tackle Chad Clifton turning 33 this year, Smith is a good fit here.

10 49ERS
Michael Crabtree
Wide receiver | Texas Tech

Excellent route runner with great hands who could go as high as No. 4—Seattle has been all over him. The concern over the stress fracture in his left foot is overplayed.

11 BILLS
Aaron Maybin
Defensive end | Penn State

A junior, he has the most upside of any pass rusher in the draft, but with this proviso: He's strictly a speed rusher and will need to put on weight to be a complete NFL player.

12 BRONCOS
Brian Orakpo
Defensive end | Texas

On his visit to Denver he impressed Broncos brass with his NFL-ready body (a rock-solid 6'3", 263) and experience. Must play with more intensity on every snap.

13 REDSKINS
Robert Ayers
DE-LB | Tennessee

A classic one-year wonder with a first-step burst that can't be taught. Washington is also sorely tempted by Sanchez and could trade up for a shot at the USC passer.

14 SAINTS
Malcolm Jenkins
Cornerback | Ohio State

Despite a major need at RB, New Orleans won't be taking popular mock-draft pick Chris Wells here. Getting a physical corner for the sagging D is much more important.

15 TEXANS
Brian Cushing
Linebacker | USC

The first to go among the three Trojans 'backers considered first-round material. Cushing's versatility—he can play all three linebacking spots—is the difference.

16 CHARGERS
Knowshon Moreno
Running back | Georgia

Tough call. San Diego has other needs and rates explosive UConn RB Donald Brown nearly as high. But Moreno satisfies the long-term need for an every-down back.

17 JETS
Connor Barwin
LB-DE-TE | Cincinnati

When new coach Rex Ryan looks at Barwin, he sees the second coming of Adalius Thomas, the all-over-the-field OLB he had in his 3--4 defense in Baltimore.

18 BRONCOS (from Bears)
Peria Jerry
Defensive tackle | Mississippi

Denver continues to address its massive defensive needs with this middle-of-the-line slasher—and has three more picks between 48 and 84 to further restock.

19 BUCCANEERS
Josh Freeman
Quarterback | Kansas State

Bucs don't love a soul in this draft, not even at the top. Since they don't have a QB of the future, Freeman is a sensible pick. Some scouts see Ben Roethlisberger in him.

20 LIONS (from Cowboys)
Michael Oher
Tackle | Mississippi

Playing with the agility of a power forward, the 6'5", 309-pound Oher enables Detroit to move longtime LT Jeff Backus to guard this season or next.

21 EAGLES
LeSean McCoy
Running back | Pitt

There are more accomplished backs in the draft, but coach Andy Reid loves how McCoy catches the ball out of the backfield. He'll provide relief for Brian Westbrook.

22 VIKINGS
Alex Mack
Center | Cal

Gritty blue-collar player is the perfect replacement for departed Pro Bowl center Matt Birk. Dark-horse possibility: monster (6'8") Oklahoma tackle Phil Loadholt.

23 PATRIOTS
Percy Harvin
Wide receiver | Florida

One smart guy swears they're taking UConn CB Darius Butler. Maybe. But with four picks among the top 58, the Pats can afford a luxury like the dangerous Harvin.

24 FALCONS
Brandon Pettigrew
Tight end | Oklahoma State

Atlanta needs front-seven help more, and could take Missouri DT Ziggy Hood here. But the best blocking-receiving TE in the past three drafts is too good to pass up.

25 DOLPHINS
Clay Matthews
Linebacker | USC

The Bill Parcells--Jeff Ireland combination confounds those who had Miami taking a wideout. The club still has selections at Nos. 44 and 56 to fill that need.

26 RAVENS
Rey Maualuga
Linebacker | USC

Baltimore could take CB Vontae Davis or a WR here—but not local favorite Darrius Heyward-Bey. The temptation of having Rey someday succeed Ray (Lewis) is too great.

27 COLTS
Hakeem Nicks
Wide receiver | North Carolina

I'd pick Vontae Davis and pair him long-term with Kelvin Hayden at CB, then get a wideout like Ohio State's Brian Hartline later in the draft to play the slot.

28 BILLS (from Eagles)
Eben Britton
Tackle | Arizona

Buffalo sent disgruntled LT Jason Peters to Philly for this pick. Britton isn't the athlete Peters is, but he's durable (37 college starts) and tough enough for the job.

29 BROWNS (from Giants)
Alphonso Smith
Cornerback | Wake Forest

Cleveland acquires this pick and a fourth-rounder from the WR-needy Giants in exchange for Braylon Edwards. Smith might be the best cover guy in the draft.

30 TITANS
Max Unger
Center | Oregon

Tennessee needs receivers but can fill that need later as good wideouts drop to the second round. Unger can be phased in to replace aging Kevin Mawae.

31 CARDINALS
Donald Brown
Running back | UConn

Picking this workhorse ballcarrier and pass protector will allow Arizona to let the aging Edgerrin James ride off into the sunset somewhere else.

32 STEELERS
Vontae Davis
Cornerback | Illinois

Good, safe long-range pick that fills the hole created by Bryant McFadden's departure. Davis is the kind of physical corner Pittsburgh has craved over the years.

PHOTOPhotograph by GREG NELSONMichael Crabtree Wide receiver Texas Tech PHOTO1 BOB ROSATO PHOTO2 TIM HEITMAN/US PRESSWIRE PHOTO3 DERICK HINGLE/ICON SMI PHOTO4 JOHN W. MCDONOUGH PHOTO5 AL TIELEMANS PHOTO6 CLIFF WELCH/ICON SMI PHOTO7 DAVID E. KLUTHO PHOTO8 SEAN MEYERS/ICON SMI PHOTO9 MARVIN GENTRY/US PRESSWIRE PHOTO10 JOHN BIEVER PHOTO11 NED DISHMAN/GETTY IMAGES PHOTO12 DUSTIN BRADFORD/ICON SMI PHOTO13 JOHN GREEN/CAL SPORT MEDIA PHOTO14 SCOTT TERNA/CAL SPORT MEDIA PHOTO15 ROBERT BECK PHOTO16 BOB ROSATO PHOTO17 JIM OWENS/ICON SMI PHOTO18 DERICK HINGLE/ICON SMI PHOTO19 DAVID E. KLUTHO PHOTO20 BRAD SCHLOSS/ICON SMI PHOTO21 AL TIELEMANS PHOTO22 CHRIS MORRISON/US PRESSWIRE PHOTO23 JOHN BIEVER PHOTO24 DARREN CARROLL PHOTO25 JOHN PYLE/CAL SPORT MEDIA PHOTO26 MATT A. BROWN/ICON SMI PHOTO27 GERRY BROOME/AP PHOTO28 JOSE LUIS/MARINMEDIA.ORG/CAL SPORT MEDIA PHOTO29 BRIAN A. WESTERHOLT/GETTY IMAGES PHOTO30 KEVIN TERRELL/ICON SMI PHOTO31 MICHAEL J. LEBRECHT II/ 1DEUCE3 PHOTOGRAPHY PHOTO32 DENNIS WIERZBICKI/CAL SPORT MEDIA THIRTY TWO PHOTOS

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)