This time of the year, people just love mock drafts. They're obsessed with them, or at least it seems. And they always start a discussion/debate.
Since it's Friday, which is typically a slower day on the site, I figured now is a good time to update my mock.
1. Detroit Lions - Jason Smith, OT, Baylor
I keep going back and forth on this. Will it be QB Matthew Stafford? Will it be a left tackle? And if so, which LT will it be? Whatever the Lions do will likely change how the top half of the draft pans out. And I'm beginning to think more and more that the Lions will go with a left tackle. Smith is probably the safest option for Detroit.
2. St. Louis Rams - Eugene Monroe, OT, Virginia
The Rams took their first step towards improving their offensive line by signing center Jason Brown. They can take that next step by getting their stud left tackle to replace their previous stud left tackle, Orlando Pace, who they released about a week ago. Jason Smith and Eugene Monroe are the top 2 tackles in the draft. With Smith being off the board, the Lions will have an easy decision if LT is their final answer. Of course, the Rams could surprise everyone and take Michael Crabtree to replace Torry Holt - but receivers tend to fall in the draft.
3. Kansas City Chiefs - Aaron Curry, LB, Wake Forest
Now that the Chiefs traded for Matt Cassel, they could go a couple different directions here. But I think that getting the draft's top defensive player in the draft would be a great way for Scott Pioli to begin KC's rebuilding process.
4. Seattle Seahawks - Matthew Stafford, QB, Georgia
With the signing of T.J. Houshmandzadeh, I don't see Seattle taking Crabtree here as I once thought. I don't think B.J. Raji is the pick, either, following their acquisition of Cory Redding. And both of the draft's top tackles are gone. So where do they turn? Matt Hasselbeck will be 34 in September and the draft's top QB just fell to their laps. This would be a very good value pick - as well as a solid pick for the future. Stafford can sit behind Hasselbeck for a year or two before taking over.
5. Cleveland Browns - Brian Orakpo, DE/OLB, Texas
I previously thought that Malcolm Jenkins could go here because Cleveland's secondary is terrible. But his stock is falling. Meanwhile, a top pass rusher is still a need. Orakpo needs to prove at his pro day that he can play outside linebacker. And if he does, he will probably be Cleveland's selection.
6. Cincinnati Bengals - Andre Smith, OT, Alabama
Leave it to the Bengals to make the controversial pick in the top 10. Smith might have the most physical talent of all the tackles in the draft. But his off-the-field issues have raised some red flags. However, he can still recover with solid individual workouts between now and draft day. While the Bengals could look at taking Michael Crabtree or solidifying the middle of their defensive line with B.J. Raji, I think Smith has too much talent for Cincinnati to pass on.
7. Oakland Raiders - Michael Crabtree, WR, Texas Tech
This would be a shame, really, for a guy like Crabtree to land in Oakland - where great potential seems to be wasted on a regular basis. But Crabtree is the kind of talent Al Davis loves - and for good reason. I think he's going to be something special. Hopefully for him, the fact that he'll have to play in the silver and black will not kill his career.
8. Jacksonville Jaguars - Jeremy Maclin, WR, Missouri
The Jaguars need a left tackle, but the top three are already off the board. They could also use a corner, but I just don't think that the top corners deserve to be taken this high. The Jaguars have lacked a play-making receiver for a long time, too, and Maclin fills that role perfectly. He's a threat to score every time he touches the ball.
9. Green Bay Packers - B.J. Raji, DT, Boston College
The Packers are switching to a 3-4 defensive scheme this offseason and Raji would give Green Bay the dominant nose tackle they need. While they could also take a pass-rushing OLB here, Raji provides more value with the 9th overall pick - and less of a risk.
10. San Francisco 49ers - Everette Brown, DE/OLB, Florida State
While many will make a case for Mark Sanchez landing in San Francisco, I just don't think he deserves to be picked this high. And I think Mike Singletary will push for a defensive play-maker with his first ever draft choice as head coach. Brown will provide SF with that much needed pass-rush specialist.
11. Buffalo Bills - Aaron Maybin, DE, Penn State
12. Denver Broncos - Rey Maualuga, LB, USC
13. Washington Redskins - Michael Oher, OT, Mississippi
14. New Orleans Saints - Malcolm Jenkins, CB, Ohio State
15. Houston Texans - Chris Wells, RB, Ohio St.
16. San Diego Chargers - Tyson Jackson, DE, LSU
17. New York Jets - Mark Sanchez, QB, USC
18. Chicago Bears - Darius Heyward-Bey, WR, Maryland
19. Tampa Bay Bucs - Josh Freeman, QB, Kansas State
20. Detroit Lions - Vontae Davis, CB, Illinois
21. Philadelphia Eagles - Eben Britton, OT, Arizona
22. Minnesota Vikings - Percy Harvin, WR, Florida
23. New England Patriots - Brian Cushing, LB, USC
24. Atlanta Falcons - Brandon Pettigrew, TE, Oklahoma St.
25. Miami Dolphins - Clay Matthews, LB, USC
I'll admit it - this is the first year in a while where I'm completely stumped on what the Dolphins will do with their first round pick. It's that wide open - and Bill Parcells never lets any info leak out. Theoretically, they could go with a LB, WR, or CB at this spot. So why do I have them taking Matthews now?
He has the bloodlines that Bill Parcells likes. And he's very versatile. He could probably play outside in Miami's 3-4 or even battle to take Akin Ayodele's starting spot inside next to Channing Crowder. And drafting Matthews really makes Miami's linebackers more flexible in terms of who is on the field in different situations. As much as I'd like to see a corner taken here, I think the safe bet is on a linebacker - with a WR like Brian Robiskie on Miami's radar in round 2.
26. Baltimore Ravens - D.J. Moore, CB, Vanderbilt
27. Indianapolis Colts - Peria Jerry, DT, Mississippi
28. Philadelphia Eagles - Knowshon Moreno, RB, Georgia
29. New York Giants - Kenny Britt, WR, Rutgers
30. Tennessee Titans - Hakeem Nicks, WR, North Carolina
31. Arizona Cardinals - Michael Johnson, DE/OLB, Georgia Tech
32. Pittsburgh Steelers - Alex Mack, C, Cal