With the NFL Draft coming on April 25, we're putting together a Mock Draft for the first round of the draft, featuring a combination of FanIQ Featured Writers, as well as some great NFL team bloggers from around the internet. Today, we're featuring picks from the Miami Dolphins, Baltimore Ravens, Indianapolis Colts and Buffalo Bills. Every day until tomorrow, Friday, April 24, we will post more picks, with recaps of why each player was chosen, with some other analysis. Next up is Rexx from Baltimore Beatdown
, with the #26 pick for the Baltimore Ravens.
Here are the picks so far:
1. Detroit Lions - Aaron Curry, LB, Wake Forest
2. St Louis Rams - Eugene Monroe, OT, Virginia
3. Kansas City Chiefs - Jason Smith, OT, Baylor
4. Seattle Seahawks - Matthew Stafford, QB, Georgia
5. Cleveland Browns - Michael Crabtree, WR, Texas Tech
6. Cincinnati Bengals - Michael Oher, OT, Mississippi
7. Oakland Raiders - BJ Raji, DT, Boston College
8. Jacksonville Jaguars - Everette Brown, LB, Florida State
9. Green Bay Packers - Brian Orakpo, DE, Texas
10. San Francisco 49ers - Jeremy Maclin, WR, Missouri
11. Buffalo Bills - Brandon Pettigrew, TE, Oklahoma State
12. Denver Broncos - Aaron Maybin, DE, Penn State
13. Washington Redskins - Andre Smith, OT, Alabama
14. New Orleans Saints - Malcolm Jenkins, CB, Ohio State
15. Houston Texans - Clay Matthews, LB, USC
16. San Diego Chargers - Rey Maualuga, LB, USC
17. New York Jets - Mark Sanchez, QB, USC
18. Denver Broncos - Brian Cushing, LB, USC
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Michael Johnson, DE, Georgia Tech
20. Detroit Lions - Tyson Jackson, DE, LSU
21. Philadelphia Eagles - Knowshon Moreno, RB, Georgia
22. Minnesota Vikings - Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR, Maryland
23. New England Patriots - Paul Kruger, LB/DE, Utah
24. Atlanta Falcons - Clint Sintim, OLB, Virginia
25. Miami Dolphins - Connor Barwin, DE/OLB, Cincinnati
The Baltimore Ravens are in the enviable position of being able to stick to their long successful philosophy of taking the BPA (Best Player Available). Many people outside the Ravens War Room will think that they need to fill the void left by the departure of LB Bart Scott. However, the Ravens have always been able to find that next great linebacker next to MLB Ray Lewis, as they did with Jamie Sharper, Edgerton Hartwell, Adalius Thomas and now Bart Scott. This season the Ravens will unveil their next great linebacker and it will come from within, not this season's draft. The Ravens do, however, need a wide receiver to stretch the field and depth on the defensive and offensive lines. They shored up their cornerback issues with recent free agent and internal re-signings.
At the top of the list of the players out there that the Ravens would covet, are a couple of wide receivers that should still be on the board at the Ravens 26th pick. I won't waste my time with the ones that will not be around by the time we pick, so it boils down to Darius Heyward-Bey and Hakeem Nicks. If someone drops to them that was a lot higher on their draft board, the Ravens would probably grab him, regardless of need. However, I don't see this happening, so my choice would be between those two and say, a top CB like Vontae Davis.
While Davis is the brother of former Maryland TE Vernon Davis, he has some issues off the field that might shy the Ravens away from him. At the same time, Hey-Bey (as he is known around Maryland) had the top speed at the NFL Combine, he is not anywhere near NFL-ready that UNC's Hakeem Nicks is. Nicks has the best hands of any WR in the draft and while he doesn't have blazing speed, he does have very good "football-speed" that translates just as good, if not better to the real game. That was evidenced by his huge 2008 season with over 1200 yards and 12 TD receptions, as well as his incredible performance that is legendary on YouTube in the Meinke Care Care Bowl. Therefore, with the 26th pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, the Baltimore Ravens select Hakeem Nicks, WR, North Carolina.