Now, due to a really busy day at work (and really, my week is swamped, so having some free content is nice), I wasn't able to post the first selection in the draft yesterday. The picks are going once every 24 hours (but sometimes sooner than that, because all of the folks participating are better at this than Mike Tice), so I'll be posting them as soon as I get them (with some analysis every couple of picks or so). And these guys are good--I mean, you know you care a lot (and therefore likely know a lot) if you're writing about the Lions, or Rams, or any of those other teams that just aren't as good as the Purple (zing!). So, without further ado, the mock draft.
With the first pick of the 2009 NFL draft, on behalf of the Detroit Lions, the Wayne Fontes Experience, a great blog to check out if you want to learn more about our NFC North "competitor", selects:
Matthew Stafford, QB, University of GeorgiaWith the second pick of the 2009 NFL No Logo Needed Draft, the St. Louis Rams select:
Why Stafford? The Lions current quarterback depth chart reads as follows:
1. Daunte Culpepper (Hasn't had a good season in 5 years, played at a weight close to 3 bills in '08)
2. Drew Stanton (Not good enough to outplay Dan "Ran out of the end zone" Orlovsky for the number 2 in '08, is on the cusp of "BUST" status)
3. Drew Henson (Seriously?)
That's why the Lions pick Stafford.
They have needs all over the field, on both sides of the ball. I was tempted to make a "safe" pick, such as an OT like Baylor's Jason Smith or Virginia's Eugene Monroe, or Wake Forest LB Aaron Curry. All project to be first line players, long-time starters. But the need for a quality QB, something the Lions haven't had since the glory days of Bobby Layne, is just too glaring. Stafford is the highest rated quarterback in the draft, and has the skill set to become an impact player.
The fact the Lions have drafted outright 1st round disasters at quarterback like Joey Harrington, Andre Ware and Chuck Long over the past 20 years, and Matt Millen went on a drunken skill player binge during his tenure (only Calvin Johnson remains in Detroit), cannot deter GM Martin Mayhew and head coach Jim Schwartz from addressing their greatest need, that being a franchise player under center.
Plus, the Lions do have the 20th pick of the 1st round, and the 1st pick of the 2nd, so other needs can be easily addressed later in the draft.
Eugene Monroe, OT, Virginia
According to DraftCountdown.com:
It's common knowledge that the Rams have been aching to address their offensive line for a while now and unlike last year, when Jake Long was selected one pick ahead of them, they should have no trouble landing a top blocker in the 2009 NFL Draft.
Orlando Pace has been one of the best in the business for more than a decade but he is now in his mid-30's and injuries have really begun to take their toll. On the other side, former first round pick Alex Barron continues to disappoint and the Rams would like nothing more than to bring in a capable replacement.
Eugene Monroe might not be as flashy as some of the other top offensive tackles in this draft but he has a very good chance to be the first blocker off the board. Not only is Monroe a terrific all-around player who can be effective as both a pass and run blocker but he is also a much safer choice than a guy like Andre Smith because there are no concerns about his size, position or character. Monroe may not have as much upside as Andre Smith or Jason Smith but his floor is a lot higher and that's a good thing when you're talking about giving a guy $30 million in guaranteed money.
Don't discount the value of program pedigree either and Monroe is following in the footsteps of former Cavaliers D'Brickashaw Ferguson and Branden Albert, who have both handled the transition to the next level well.