After the Packers pick, San Francisco and Buffalo come on the clock, looking for mostly defensive help for their teams.
With the tenth pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, the San Francisco 49ers select Everette Brown, OLB, Florida State.
The 49ers have various needs this offseason, but unlike what some people are predicting, a first round QB is not one of those needs. The 49ers have a pair of outside linebackers, one of whom turned in a very solid season in 2008. Parys Haralson seems to have a legitimate future going forward as a pass rushing outside linebacker. Manny Lawson is an athletic freak, but he seems less inclined to rush the passer or more likely to be a guy in coverage and in a read position.
Although Everette Brown didn’t have a ton of experience (only one season as a fulltime starter), he still racked up 23 sacks for his 3-year career. This pick is a really tough one for the 49ers because it seems like they’re too high for guys like [Michael] Oher, but they’re too low for a BJ Raji. Andre Smith is plummeting and seems like too much of a headcase. If the first 9 picks go in the above order, I think the 49ers will battle themselves in trying to decide between Michael Oher and Everette Brown. What wouldn’t surprise me is if the 49ers tried to move up from the second round into the late first round to grab the right tackle they need. They’ve shown no qualms about making those kinds of moves, so we’ll see if they do so again.
With the eleventh overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, the Buffalo Bills select…
Clay Matthews, OLB, USC
Buffalo is in full-fledged “win now” mode. Let’s face it – you’re not risking Terrell Owens being on your roster if you’re not desperate for a few wins. Unlike the ’08 draft, when the Bills took small-school product Leodis McKelvin and unpolished receiver James Hardy with their first two picks, the Bills are going to look past potential for guys that can contribute immediately, particularly in the first three rounds.
Unfortunately, the team is forced to choose between prospects at this stage in the game that either aren’t worthy of a selection this high (Brandon Pettigrew) or fill needs but are inexperienced (Matthews, Aaron Maybin). In the end, Matthews – yes, even ahead of USC teammate Brian Cushing – is the best fit. He gives the Bills an outstanding blitz presence right out of the gate, and he adds playmaking ability to the Bills’ league-renowned special teams unit as well.
Matthews isn’t a perfect fit in Buffalo’s zone-based scheme; his coverage skills are severely underdeveloped, and it’s unclear whether he’d be a better fit as a linebacker or an end in a 4-3 defense. In Buffalo, he’d have the opportunity to play a little of both. Buffalo desperately needs a physical, hard-hitting presence at linebacker for run downs, and the 6’3″, 240-pound Matthews can lay the lumber. But he also opened some eyes at the Combine when he easily recorded the fastest 10-yard split of any pass-rushing prospect; his 1.49-second time was beaten by only nine cornerbacks. He’s very explosive in the short area, and given that fact, he also has potential as a pass-rush specialist – either standing or down on the line – for the blitz-happy Bills. His work ethic, intangibles and unbelievable NFL bloodlines make him a safe investment, even if he’s a bit of a reach.
The Denver Broncos are on the clock.
Eleven picks down…
Topics: Aaron Maybin, Andre Smith, B.J. Raji, Brandon Pettigrew, Brian Cushing, Buffalo Bills, Clay Matthews, Denver Broncos, Everette Brown, James Hardy, Leodis McKelvin, Manny Lawson, Michael Oher, Parys Haralson, San Francsico 49ers, Terrell Owens