Commentary

Lots of change in updated mock draft

Kiper and McShay agree on top three but have plenty of other differing opinions

Originally Published: March 12, 2009
By Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay | ESPN.com

The free-agent frenzy in the NFL has died down, and team needs are becoming clearer all the time. Many teams filled pressing needs with established, big-name pros, but many still are shopping and no doubt will turn to the draft to find the missing pieces on their rosters.

Below is a look at how ESPN draft gurus Mel Kiper and Todd McShay see the first round shaking out at this point in the predraft process. On-campus pro day workouts and individual workouts with NFL teams no doubt will change things in the coming weeks, but here is how our experts see things right now.

1. Detroit Lions (Record: 0-16)

Kiper pick: Matthew Stafford, QB, Georgia -- Stafford is worthy of being the No. 1 overall pick, thanks to his overall skill set.
McShay pick: Stafford -- It appears the No. 1 pick is Stafford's to lose. The gun-slinging quarterback can seal the deal if he overwhelms the Lions during upcoming individual workouts, film sessions and interviews.

2. St. Louis Rams (2-14)

Kiper pick: Jason Smith, OT, Baylor -- The OT spot is strong at the top with Smith, a former tight end who is supremely athletic and exactly what you want in a left tackle: someone you can count on to protect the blind side of your quarterback.
McShay pick: Smith -- Smith has emerged as the top offensive lineman in the 2009 class. He possesses the agility, power and work ethic to solidify the left tackle spot for years to come in St. Louis.

3. Kansas City Chiefs (2-14)

Kiper pick: Aaron Curry, OLB, Wake Forest -- He's a complete OLB with great character and work ethic, which is why it was no surprise when he nailed his combine workout.
McShay pick: Curry -- The Chiefs choosing to beef up the defensive or offensive line isn't out of the question here, but Curry is the best defensive player in this year's draft and displays the versatility new GM Scott Pioli looks for in a draft pick.

4. Seattle Seahawks (4-12)

Kiper pick: Eugene Monroe, OT, Virginia -- Monroe is just a shade below Jason Smith in my opinion but is a legit top-five pick.
McShay pick: B.J. Raji, DT, Boston College -- The Seahawks taking an offensive tackle is a strong possibility here, especially with their recent addition of free-agent DT Colin Cole. However, Raji is the only elite defensive tackle in this class, and the Seahawks, who finished 30th in total defense this past season, must think long and hard before passing on him.

5. Cleveland Browns (4-12)

Kiper pick: B.J. Raji -- Raji is the top defensive tackle in this draft. McShay pick: Brian Orakpo, DE, Texas -- Orakpo left the combine as the top hybrid DE/OLB in the 2009 class. His pass-rushing skills would be a welcome addition to a Cleveland defense that notched just 17 sacks in 2008.

6. Cincinnati Bengals (4-11-1)

Kiper pick: Michael Crabtree, WR, Texas Tech -- The stress fracture in his left foot shouldn't affect his draft status. He's a big-time player who should have a Larry Fitzgerald-type career in the NFL.
McShay pick: Eugene Monroe -- Crabtree certainly is a possibility here, but the Bengals need to solidify their offensive line, and Monroe clearly is the next-best option at offensive tackle. He's not a classic mauler by any means, but he is a fluid athlete for his size and would do an excellent job of protecting QB Carson Palmer.

7. Oakland Raiders (5-11)

Kiper pick: Jeremy Maclin, WR, Missouri -- Maclin will have to adjust to an NFL offense, but I really like his big-play capability and the fact that he's much more explosive with the pads on than his 4.46-second clocking in the 40-yard dash at the combine would lead you to believe.
McShay pick: Maclin -- Speed will rule in the Oakland draft room as long as owner Al Davis is calling the shots.

8. Jacksonville Jaguars (5-11)

Kiper pick: Mark Sanchez, QB, USC -- Sanchez definitely is one of the top five-to-eight players available in this draft, and getting him here would be a bit of a steal, because had he returned to USC for his senior season, he likely would have been the No. 1 overall pick.
McShay pick: Michael Crabtree -- The team has pressed all the wrong buttons at wide receiver for years now, but taking Crabtree would be a no-brainer.

9. Green Bay Packers (6-10)

Kiper pick: Brian Orakpo -- I view Orakpo as a 4-3 end with the ability to also play on his feet in a 3-4 as an attacking outside linebacker. He is super athletic and incredibly strong, but there is concern about his durability.
McShay pick: Aaron Maybin, DE, Penn State -- The Packers could use a young pass-rusher like Maybin to complement Aaron Kampman at outside linebacker in Dom Capers' newly implemented 3-4 scheme.

10. San Francisco 49ers (7-9)

Kiper pick: Aaron Maybin -- Maybin is another combo type who is explosive out of the blocks and relentless in his pursuit of the quarterback.
McShay pick: Andre Smith, OT, Alabama -- Smith's underwhelming pro day performance hardly shifted his negative momentum, but you can't overlook his combination of size and feet. The 49ers could use his services opposite LOT Joe Staley, especially as the offense transitions to a more physical, run-oriented scheme, and if anyone can keep Smith's fire lit, it is 49ers coach Mike Singletary.

11. Buffalo Bills (7-9)

Kiper pick: Brandon Pettigrew, TE, Oklahoma State -- Pettigrew remains the No. 1 tight end on the board and would be a boost to the Buffalo passing attack.
McShay pick: Everette Brown, DE, Florida State -- Brown is undersized and might fit best as a strongside linebacker, which could work for the Bills. Whether he lands at defensive end or outside linebacker, the bottom line is that Brown knows how to get heat on opposing quarterbacks, and the Bills definitely are in the market for that kind of player.

12. Denver Broncos (8-8)

Kiper pick: Tyson Jackson, DE, LSU -- Jackson would be ideal in a 3-4, thanks to his ability to shift inside in passing situations.
McShay pick: Jackson -- The Broncos need to bulk up along the defensive front in order to make a smooth transition to the 3-4 scheme. They could use this pick on a linebacker, but Jackson is the only elite five-technique in this draft class and would fit well in Denver.

13. Washington Redskins (8-8)

Kiper pick: Andre Smith -- Smith has to manage his weight in order to remain on the left side. If he doesn't, he's a mauler at right tackle who could really assist the running game and do the job at that spot in pass protection. Hopefully, he'll maximize his skills in the NFL by paying more attention to detail. If he doesn't, you are looking at a major bust.
McShay pick: Michael Oher, OT, Mississippi -- The Redskins' offensive line is aging in a hurry, and offensive tackles who move like Oher do not last long on draft day, which is why it won't shock us if he's gone in the first half of the first round. Oher is inconsistent but extremely talented.

14. New Orleans Saints (8-8)

Kiper pick: Knowshon Moreno, RB, Georgia -- There isn't anything remotely close to the talent and depth at running back available in the draft last year, but Moreno is a good fit for the Saints at this spot.
McShay pick: Malcolm Jenkins, CB, Ohio State -- Jenkins could fall out of the top 10 following his subpar showing at the combine. He's an outstanding all-around defensive back, but his below-average speed and questionable burst out of his pedal might make him a better fit at free safety. However, the Saints will welcome his playmaking skills at either position if he falls in their laps.

15. Houston Texans (8-8)

Kiper pick: Brian Cushing, OLB, USC -- Cushing's ability to fit both inside and outside is the reason I've always viewed him as a surefire first-rounder.
McShay pick: Robert Ayers, DE, Tennessee -- Many think Knowshon Moreno or Chris "Beanie" Wells could be the choice here, but will coach Gary Kubiak really spend the 15th overall pick on a running back? It just doesn't fit his profile. Ayers is a one-hit wonder, but his upside is outstanding, and he could play a situational role early in his career on a young-but-talented Texans defensive line.

16. San Diego Chargers (8-8)

Kiper pick: Malcolm Jenkins -- Jenkins has all the qualities you look for, with the exception of top-flight recovery speed, which is an obvious concern. Even so, he's too good an overall performer to pass up in the middle of the first round.
McShay pick: Rey Maualuga, ILB, USC -- Maualuga's draft stock could hinge on the severity of the hamstring injury he suffered at the combine and how it affects his individual workouts. Regardless, he's a ferocious hitter with enormous potential. Maualuga's size and explosiveness would make him a great fit at inside linebacker in the Chargers' 3-4 defense.

Mel Kiper Jr.

Football analyst

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