Well, it's about that time of year. I could be working on a March Madness Bracket, but I've never really gotten into basketball so it's kind of pointless. That said, I'm not necessarily making picks based solely on what I think the teams will do, but what I think they'll do combined with what I think they SHOULD do. I know, for example, a lot of people have Detroit taking Matt Stafford first. I'm not doing that, because I think they should go elsewhere, and I think there's a very realistic chance that they will.
That being said, let's begin.
1. Detroit- Jason Smith, T, Baylor
The game is won or lost in the trenches. Calvin Johnson is going to make any quarterback look better. Kevin Smith seemed to be a steal last year. But the team won't do anything if he can't run and the quarterback is getting killed.
2. St. Louis- Eugene Monroe, T, Virginia
3. Kansas City- Aaron Curry, LB Wake Forest
They had no pass rush last year. Mike Vrabel will help, but he's 34 years old and he can't do it alone. They'll take the best defensive player in the draft, who will help with pass coverage, run stuffing, and pass rush.
4. Seattle- Michael Crabtree, WR, Texas Tech
T.J. Houshmanzadeh is 31 years old, and he averages about 11 yards a catch. Who else does Seattle have? Deion Branch and Bobby Engram? They need to upgrade now, and with two of the elite tackles gone, they'll be happy to settle for Crabtree.
5. Cleveland- Brian Orakpo, DE, Texas
The Browns, picking high? What's new? They have a lot of holes, but I've said it before, and I'll say it again - the game is won in the trenches. They have that monster in Shaun Rogers. Let's get him some help, huh?
6. Cincinnati - Andre Smith, T, Alabama
Their defense was decent last year, amazingly. Their offense was DEAD last (and that includes a team that failed to win a game). A healthy Carson Palmer will help. Andre Smith is a monster, and honestly, do the Bengals care about issues?
7. Oakland- Jeremy Maclin, WR, Missouri
8. Jacksonville- B.J. Raji, DT Boston College
9. Green Bay- Everette Brown, DE, Florida State
Going to a 3 - 4 means you need quick linebackers to rush. Brown's being heralded as a perfect fit.
10. San Francisco- Rey Maualuga, ILB, Southern California
Mike Singletary probably knows a thing or two about inside linebackers. They already have a monster in Patrick Willis, but Takeo Spikes is 32 years old, and they need somebody to put next to Willis in their 3-4. Maualuga can be the huge guy in the middle, freeing Willis to go sideline to sideline.
11. Buffalo- Brian Cushing, OLB, Southern California
I'm not sure there's really too many positions of need for the Bills. I think they're solid on offense (Edwards, Lynch, Evans, Owens), and with most of the top guys for the D-Line gone, they take the best linebacker available.
12. Denver- Matthew Stafford, QB, Georgia
Josh McDaniels and Jay Cutler are having a huge fight and Cutler is demanding to be traded. They tanked it on the Matt Cassel three-way trade, but I'm thinking they get rid of him. Stafford is shocked to see himself drop this far, but he'll take it.
13. Washington- Michael Oher, T, Ole Miss
Their defense was highly ranked last year. Their offense was 28th in points scored. They have a very good running back. They have a lot of talented receivers. Jason Campbell can be a productive starter. Build the line, Zorn.
14. New Orleans- Malcom Jenkins, CB/Safety, Ohio State
Drew Brees and the offense were outstanding in 2008. They were last in their division. Why? Because scoring 30 points is no good when you allow 35. Jenkins gives them a versatile guy who can play either position in the secondary, which should help out a lot.
15. Houston- Vontae Davis, CB, Illinois
They would have liked Jenkins had he been available, but they can definitely use Davis. Their offense should remain solid with Johnson and Slaton, and they've been building a quality defense for years. With young studs Mario Williams, Amobi Okoye, DeMeco Ryans, and Xavier Adibi on the front seven, they'll take a guy for the secondary.
16. San Diego- Tyson Jackson, DE, LSU
They've got LaDainian Tomlinson back, so they'll pass on a running back. They've got playmakers for Philip Rivers. With Igor Olshansky gone, and the three top linebackers gone, they'll take a guy for the line.
17. New York Jets - Mark Sanchez, QB Southern California
So, I heard you need a quarterback to play football.
18. Chicago- Aaron Maybin, DE, Penn State
The Bears are a team built around defense, so they pass on a playmaker for Orton for now. The linebackers are okay, and there's nobody in the secondary worth taking here.
19. Tampa Bay- Chris 'Beanie' Wells, RB, Ohio State
It never hurts to have insurance, and there's nobody I think they need.
20. Denver (from Detroit for QB Jay Cutler) -Peria Jerry, DT, Ole Miss
They're going to a 3-4, so they need a monster in the middle, especially with the top pass rushers gone.
21. Philadelphia- Brandon Pettigrew, TE, Oklahoma
It's a reach, I know, but they've got to get playmakers for McNabb to take the pressure off of Brian Westbrook.
22. Minnesota- Josh Freeman, QB,Kansas State
I thought they'd end up with Matt Cassel. I was wrong. They don't have any glaring holes, except for Tavaris Jackson and Gus Frerotte. They would love Sanchez or Stafford, but they'll take the next best thing.
23. New England- James Laurinaitis, ILB, Ohio State
For the record, this is going on the belief that Carolina trades Julius Peppers to New England for the 34th, which is what the latest rumor is. If not, they give special consideration to Clay Matthews and Larry English.
24. Atlanta- Clay Matthews, OLB, USC
25. Miami- Darrius Heywood-Bey, WR, Maryland
They used a first rounder on Ted Ginn a few years ago. Wasted, if you ask me, but this pick helps teams avoid double teaming Ginn.
26. Baltimore- Percy Harvin, WR, Florida
Joe Flacco proved a lot of doubters wrong last year. Get him some help.
27. Indianapolis- Evander Hood, DT Missouri
Their rush defense was terrible, and they have enough weapons for Peyton Manning to not draft a receiver yet to replace Harrison.
28. Philadelphia- Knowshon Moreno, RB, Georgia
Brian Westbrook is getting older, and he could use some help. They'll take the big back.
29. New York Giants - Eben Britton, T, Arizona
When you don't have any glaring weaknesses, just add depth. They'll help out a solid offensive line.
30. Tennessee- Kenny Britt, WR, Rutgers
31. Arizona- Michael Johnson, DE, Georgia Tech
I'm borrowing this from another mock draft. I think Johnson has terrific upside, and they've had some losses in Free Agency. Somebody with his talent here is a steal.
32. Pittsburgh- Max Unger, C, Oregon
They'll take the best interior lineman. I believe that's Unger.