And we’re back again. Some notable picks in here. Both the Detroit Lions and Minnesota Vikings will make picks in this span.
The Buccaneers blog, Buc ‘Em, has selected:
***Percy Harvin, WR, Flordia***
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers find themselves with a number of question marks entering the season. Will the new coaching staff succeed? Why couldn’t more be done with all that cap space? Are there too many holes in the roster? When it comes to the draft, the Bucs could go in a number of directions, but with this pick, they’re going with the best available athlete.
Even during the Super Bowl Championship year, the Bucs offense wasn’t explosive. Tampa Bay has had it’s moments, but never had an offense that struck fear into the hearts of opponents. By selecting Percy Harvin, they hope that can change. Harvin is a hybrid sort of player, but will most likely fit in as more of a traditional receiver. Sure he’ll get the occasional handoff or reverse, but don’t think his touches will be split as much as they were at the University of Florida.
At receiver, the Bucs already have their #1 guy – Antonio Bryant – and the player they hope can be their #2 – Michael Clayton. Harvin fits the role of game changer. He might not be an every down guy, but will create matchup problems for the defense and could be used as the motion receiver a lot.
Despite injury problems in college, Harvin was never truly seriously hurt. He didn’t miss significant amounts of time and given the fact that he will be used in more of a complimentary role in the NFL, he could be a great pickup at this point in the first round. Based on talent alone, Harvin is one of the top players in this year’s draft.
The Bucs offense needs someone that can take it the distance. And that is something Harvin can provide. With a power running game, a clear cut #1 receiver, and a young, but improving offensive line, Harvin will be a welcome change of pace that could keep opponents guessing.
Who knows if this is the route the Bucs will go on Draft Day, we had the opportunity to select QB Mark Sanchez, QB Josh Freeman, or DT Peria Jerry, but we stayed true to our word and went with the Buc ‘Em Community collective choice.
With the 20th pick of the 2009 Draft, the Detroit Lions (via the Dallas Cowboys) select:
Aaron Maybin, DE, Penn State University
Though offensive tackle could be addressed at the 20 spot, at this point of the draft, the Lions absolutely have to draft for the defensive side of the ball (Plus there has been a run on OT’s in this mock). To be blunt, they could draft a player at 20 who plays ANY defensive position, and it would fill a Detroit need. The Lions’ defense was truly that bad in 2008. Legendarily, shockingly, regime killing bad.
Middle linebacker is a HUGE need, so tOSU’s James Laurientus was heavily considered with this pick. But he could very likely be available with the first pick of the 2nd round, as Laurientus has been dropping on draft boards and mock drafts all across the NFL. I was hoping USC LB Rey Maualuga would be available at 20, but he surprisingly went in the top 5 of this mock.
The Lions also have big time needs on the defensive line, and I was even more surprised to see Aaron Maybin, the DE out of Penn State, still on the board. The Lions desperately need a pass rush, and Maybin is a pure speed rusher, though a bit raw. But he scouts out as a breakout type talent, the best player off the snap in this draft and the best pass rusher available, period.
The Lions have lacked a big time pass rushing end for over 2 decades (Finding an end “Who could block out the sun” was Wayne Fontes‘ obsession, his white whale, so to speak). The last Lions defensive end to honestly put fear in the the eyes of opposition quarterbacks was Al “Bubba” Baker back in the early-mid 80′s. Yes, it’s been that long…
Maybin is the sort of talent the Lions can build around. He could be head coach Jim Schwartz‘s Detroit version of “The Freak”, Javon Kearse, whom terrorized offenses from defensive end during Schwartz’s first 3 seasons as defensive coordinator (2001-03) in Tennessee. Maybin would also bookend nicely with one of the Lions’ few legitimate NFL defenders, end Dewayne White. Add Cliff Averil to the mix, who showed signs of being a solid contributor in his rookie season with 5 sacks, and the Lions would actually have a defensive position which could be considered a strength.
Maybin may have the biggest upside (I know, it’s a cliche, but true in his case) of any defensive player in this draft. My only concern is size, as Maybin is on the smallish side, and Schwartz is on record saying he wants a bigger and stronger defense under his watch. But Maybin’s a born pass rusher, and is the sort of player who could be a true impact defender in a few years. Impact players have been far and few between in Detroit for quite some time.
The Lions would be THRILLED if a player with Maybin’s natural talent is available with the 20th pick.
The Philadelphia Eagles are on the clock.
With the 21st pick of the 2009 NFL Draft, the Philadelphia Eagles select:
Vontae Davis, CB, Illinois
Say what now? A cornerback? And one with character issues to boot?
Yes. Yes, indeed.
Davis is the perfect Andy Reid draft choice:
He plays a high-value position in which first-round athleticism makes a huge difference.
No one sees the pick coming.
On its face, the pick is completely inexplicable.
But what about offensive line (you ask). Or tight end? Or running back? Or all the other places the Eagles have actual needs? Not cornerback, where we have a Pro Bowler, a solid starter, a very wealthy nickel man and a “first-round talent” prospect coming off a knee injury.
Let me explain. First of all, as a cornerback, Davis is very, very good. He’s also — for a cornerback — very, very big. The brother of Vernon Davis is a physical freak. You don’t find many 6-0, 200-pound guys who can turn and run with most wide receivers. Can I get a “Plaxico Burress” anyone?
Secondly, everyone remembers the story of how the Eagles drafted Lito Sheppard and Sheldon Brown even though they already had Troy Vincent and Bobby Taylor locked in as starters. What most people don’t realize is that Sheldon Brown is now older than Taylor was when his replacement was drafted (and only one year younger that Vincent was at the same time.)
Cornerbacks don’t age well. You can never have enough guys around to keep pushing them.
Now, with that said, the other intriguing thing about Davis is that he may actually project to FS at the next level. He’s a born hitter, loves contact, and his “tremendous athleticism” at the cornerback position would translate to “Hall of Fame caliber athleticism” at the safety position.
New SS Sean Jones is a one-year stopgap, we still don’t know for sure what we have in Quintin Demps, and Quintin Mikell turns 29 later this year. Another safety prospect would not be a bad thing to have around.
The final interesting note is that Davis’ Pro Day is today at Illinois. Depending on the numbers he puts up then, the idea that he’ll be around at #20 is quite possibly a pipe dream. But I’ll take him for now.
The Minnesota Vikings are on the clock.
With the 22nd Pick of the 2009 NFL Draft, the Minnesota Vikings select:
Mark Sanchez, QB, USC
Going into this mock draft, I expected to have to justify why I chose not to draft Josh Freeman, who is generally considered the third best quarterback available. By my count, there were about 9 teams that could reasonably take Mark Sanchez due to the age of their “franchise” QB or due to their lack of a franchise QB (Detroit, St. Louis, Seattle, Jacksonville, San Francisco, Denver, New York Jets, Chicago, Tampa Bay) before the Vikings picked. Instead, it looks like I’m going to have decide whether Mark Sanchez is the answer to the Vikings’ long standing quarterback issue (or is juicy enough to tempt the Broncos to trade Jay Cutler for him) or whether the Vikings should address their needs at cornerback or offensive line. And after thinking back to the last two years, the answer is clear—if Mark Sanchez is available, the Vikings should draft him.
First off, it’s quite clear that the Vikings need a real franchise quarterback. Tarvaris Jackson is never going to be that good and Sage Rosenfels is already 31 years old. Secondly, I believe that Mark Sanchez is the best quarterback available in the draft because he’s got enough arm strength for the pros, he’s more accurate than Matt Stafford and he’s shown the ability to read coverages that Freeman never had to in Kansas State’s spread offense.
Sanchez has the arm strength and the accuracy to succeed in the NFL and he has the background in a Pro-Style offense that will allow him to quickly adapt to the pros. He completed 64.27% of his passes in his 16 games at USC, more than any other first round quarterback. He can throw the ball deep accurately (forcing defenses to only put eight in the box to stop Adrian Peterson) and he has the touch needed for the short throws as well, a necessity in Brad Childress’ West Coast Offense. Also, Sanchez has all the intangibles you’d want in your quarterback, which he showed by getting elected captain last year and when he stuck it out at USC despite getting beat out by John David Booty for the starting position in 2006.
I know there are some doubts about Sanchez due to his lack of starting experience, the talent surrounding him, his height and the fact he was somewhat turnover prone, throwing ten interceptions and fumbling seven times. The doubts are enough for me to hope that he’s taken before the Vikings’ pick, but they aren’t enough to let me pass on him for another player (especially with 5 offensive tackles already off the board). So the Vikings’ finally have their franchise quarterback. Hopefully.
The New England Patriots are on the clock.
There we go folks. Getting into the nitty-gritty with this draft now.
Topics: Aaron Maybin. James Laurinitis, Adrian Peterson, Al Baker, Antonio Bryant, Bobby Taylor, Brad Childress, Cliff Averil, Detroit Lions, Dewayne White, Jay Cutler, Jevon Kearse, Jim Schwartz, John David Booty, Josh Freeman, Lito Sheppard, Mark Sanchez, Matt Stafford, Michael Clayton, Minnesota Vikings, Percy Harvin, Peria Jerry, Philadelphia Eagles, Plaxico Burress, Quintin Demps, Quintin Mikell, Rey Maualuga, Sage Rosenfels, Sean Jones, Sheldon Brown, Tampa Buccaneers, Tarvaris Jackson, Troy Vincent, Vontae Davis. Vernon Davis, Wayne Fontes