I haven’t been able to update this in a while, so here are picks 12 through 18.
With the 12th pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, the Denver Broncos select…..
Malcolm Jenkins, CB, Ohio State
The Denver Broncos have a lot of needs, all on the defensive side of the ball. IN this draft, however, many of the guys the Broncos are targets have already left the board – [B.J.] Raji, Rey-Rey [Maualuga], [Brian] Orakpo, even [Clay] Matthews as a sleeper. For me it came down to [Malcolm] Jenkins or Brian Cushing and at this point I gave the slight edge to Jenkins. He has the perfect size to step right in for the Broncos and play the nickel, and should injuries crop up at either corner or safety Jenkins could step right in there too. There are questions about his speed, but having watched 95% of Ohio State’s games during Jenkins career I can honestly say he plays a lot faster than his straight-line 40-time.
The Broncos have a ton of needs, and while some might think that CB isn’t one of them, with Champ Bailey on one side and FA acquisition Andre Goodman on the other, Jenkins is just the type of physical presence that could step in and make an impact Day 1. Playing with Champ and Brian Dawkins every day will do wonders for him and the kid has all the tools to be a star.
It might not be the sexy pick, but with Josh McDaniels and Co. running the show the Broncos are likely to be safe and Jenkins would definitely be the safest pick of those who remain.
The Washington Redskins are on the clock…..
With the 13th pick in the 2009 NFL draft for blogs, the Washington Redskins select…
** ANDRE SMITH, OT ALABAMA **
The Redskins have fairly simple needs this year, and they are going to take the best player at either of their top two positions of need. On the offensive side of the ball Washington needs a tackle. Thirty-one year old left tackle Chris Samuels ended 2008 on injured reserve, 33 year old right tackle Jon Jansen lost his starting job then got it back and never pass blocked well, all while undrafted rising third year utility tackle Stephon Heyer still is not turning into a full range starter.
On the defensive side, the position of need is defensive end. With the release of Jason Taylor and the inexplicable loss of Demetric Evans who was the Redskins best player at the position in 2008, the Redskins are left with one quality defensive end, Andre Carter, with the next best option an as yet un re signed Phillip Daniels, 36 years old and coming off a torn ACL suffered in 2008 training camp.
Curly R rated the tackles and defensive ends likely to go in the first thirteen picks in this order: OT Jason Smith, OT Eugene Monroe, DE Brian Orakpo aka Brian Oh Crappo, OT Andre Smith, OT Michael Oher, DE Everette Brown, DE Aaron Maybin. With Jason, Eugene and Brian off the board the decision is easy, Andre will challenge at right tackle this summer.
Although this does not necessarily spell the end of either Jon Jansen or Stephon Heyer it does signal the beginning of a new era at offensive tackle in Washington.
The New Orleans Saints are now on the clock.
With the 14th pick in the draft, the New Orleans Saints select
Brian Cushing, LB, USC
I can’t even believe that Cushing is actually still on the board, particularly following his awesome combine performance, but alas he is. With the re-signing of Jonathan Vilma and the return of Dan Morgan, the Saints are just okay at the linebacker spot but really need some help in the secondary. Because of all the talk surrounding his possible switch to safety, Malcolm Jenkins would have to be the other consideration with this pick but because Cushing appears to be the best player available the Saints just can’t pass him up. Scott Shanle, your days are numbered!
The Houston Texans are now on the clock.
With the 15th pick in the draft, the Houston Texans select
Michael Oher, OT, Ole Miss
Well, this is unexpected. The Texans picked their LT of the future in the first round last year, but with all the players I wanted off the board – and an elite talent like Oher slipping, I have no choice but to take him. Oher will be the LT, Duane Brown can move to RT, and current RT Eric Winston can move inside, which would be a significant upgrade to an already drastically-improved offensive line.
Quick, nimble, and athletic, Oher weighs 309 and is a great fit for the zone blocking scheme that helped to make RB Steve Slaton a rookie of the year candidate last season.
Houston’s two biggest positions of need are OLB and DT. However Oher is an ELITE talent, whereas the best players left at those positions may or may not slip to Houston’s 2nd round pick.
This was a difficult choice to make because for weeks now I’ve been railing against mocks that have the Texans taking ANY offensive players, but since I’m a “build from front to back” guy, I can’t help but jump all over a player of Oher’s caliber.
If this scenario played out in the real world, the Texans would get a SWEET offer to trade down, and they’d take it… but since there are no trades in this draft, I’ll take Oher with no regrets.
The San Diego Chargers are now on the clock…
With the 16th pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, the San Diego Chargers select:
Eben Britton, Offensive Tackle, University of Arizona
As draft day draws nearer and nearer, speculation as to what position the San Diego Chargers will address in the first round continues to grow. Some feel the Chargers would be best suited to draft a running back with their top pick. Others feel an upgrade at safety is needed, or help along the defensive line. But those who’ve followed the team closely know how much the Chargers want a top offensive tackle.
Last year, the Chargers were poised to select an offensive tackle with the 27th overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft. Unfortunately for the Bolts, a record eight offensive tackles were selected in the first 26 picks. By the time the Chargers came on to the clock, all the tackles were gone. This year, the Chargers are in a much better position to acquire an elite tackle.
Chargers GM AJ Smith has made it no secret that he is not happy about the way his team has struggled to run the football, and plans to address the issue:
“I just know we’re not good enough. But I will say this, which I’ve said before: we need to have a solid, consistent running game. We have to.”
While four offensive tackles have gone off the board at this point, there are still some options for the Chargers. The Chargers could take a defensive lineman like Tyson Jackson. Or they could draft [Shawne] Merriman‘s potential replacement, Larry English. And of course many people think the Chargers take a running back like Chris Wells or Knoshown Moreno here. But for the Chargers, who need help at right tackle, Britton could be an easy selection.
The Chargers love experienced players, and while Britton is only a junior, he has started 37 consecutive games in the PAC-10. Britton, a Southern California native, has ideal size, a massive wingspan, a nasty temperment, and leadership abilites. Britton would bring excellent drive blocking skills to the right tackle position and allow the team some flexibility when calling run plays. Britton is also a pretty solid athlete and has the speed to pull.
Overall, I think the Chargers head into the first round looking for an offensive tackle if the right one is there. I think they’d also consider help along the front seven defensively. But in this scenario, I think Britton is a solid selection he could very well end up being a San Diego Charger when it is all said and done.
With the 17th pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, the New York Jets select:
Tyson Jackson, Defensive End, LSU
With spots to fill at WR, RB, QB and depth on both lines, it’s a shame there’s only one pick to be made. Jets fans have had their say on TJB , and it’s clear they’re conflicted. The folks in the TJB War Room were a little surprised how the ABMD has played out, what with some players like Mark Sanchez, Vontae Davis and Tyson Jackson still on the board.
The Jets have real need to find offensive playmakers and with the elite WRs already off the board, but Chris Wells and Sanchez still in the mix, they are tempting options. Still with a player like Tyson Jackson still on the board at 17, it is impossible to resist taking him here.
Although the Jets have invested heavily in a defense (by acquiring ILB Bart Scott, S Jim Leonhard & CB Lito Sheppard) already this offseason, taking Jackson at #17 isn’t too much of a good thing. On offense the Jets are looking at depth players like WRs Chansi Stuckey & David Clowney along with QBs Kellen Clemens or Brett Ratliff to take the reigns. With a deep draft class at WR, I would imagine that the Jets will look to target a player like Brian Robiskie in the second round, and move around if necessary to get him.
By the start of the season, both of the Jets Defensive Ends (Kenyon Coleman & Shaun Ellis) will be over 30. Todd McShay called him the Draft’s only “elite five technique in this draft.” Jackson could play end on first and second downs, and transition to a tackle in passing situations for the team for the next 5-10 years. True, with solid veterans already on the roster, Jackson might have to fight to get playing time in 2009, but he’s a pick that would benefit and energize the Jets defensive line for the long-term, something that new coach Rex Ryan would relish.
With the 18th pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, the Chicago Bears select:
Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR, Maryland
Which one of these underwhelming receivers do Bears fans want the underwhelming Kyle Orton to throw to? Third-year receiver — as in he has three years of experience playing the position — Devin Hester? Rashied Davis? Earl Bennett? Brandon Rideau?
The Bears passed on T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Laveranues Coles, aren’t calling the Cardinals about Anquan Boldin, and seem poised to give recently-released Torry Holt the same cold shoulder treatment.
Maryland’s Darrius Heyward-Bey has seen his stock go through the roof after an eye-popping performance at the NFL Combine, including running a 4.30 40-yard dash, the fastest of all receivers. But he isn’t just all speed, he has the height too — 6’2, 210 — to make him an imposing threat to secondaries everywhere.
All-in-all, Heyward-Bey probably has higher upside than any receiver in the draft, but I know he lacks experience and big-time production. If he denies the urge to go all Troy Williamson, he could finally be — take a deep breath — the No. 1 receiver the Bears have been looking for since the beginning of time.
More picks to come.