Mock draft 7.0: Rise of Sanchez gives Rams options at No. 2

My final mock draft doesn't include any trades or the probable signing of Detroit's first pick. I did talk with Aaron Curry and he is ready, willing and able to sign a contract with Detroit if a Matthew Stafford deal doesn't get done. There has been a late rise in the interest in Mark Sanchez, which has made the top of this draft intriguing.

Previous Kirwan mock drafts: Version 1.0 | 2.0 | 3.0 | 4.0 | 5.0 | 6.0



Mock draft: Round 1
Pick
Team
Player
Pos.
School
Previous pick
1.
QB
Georgia
Stafford always said he wanted to be a Lion and he now knows others do too. A deal should get done before the draft, just like deals for Mario Williams and Jake Long did in two of the past three years. The Lions have told me repeatedly that they do not want a JaMarcus Russell situation.
Second round: No. 33, Brandon Pettigrew, TE, Oklahoma State

  Matthew Stafford: Combine highlights | Vignette | Draft journey

2.
QB
USC
Sanchez made a lasting impression on the Rams organization and they can't predict if and when they will be in a position to take a quarterback again. They may trade out to a team that wants Sanchez, but if they stay, the QB is their guy. Eugene Monroe will get strong consideration. Bulger should stick around for a year, but you never know.
Second round: No. 35, William Beatty, OT, Connecticut

  Mark Sanchez: Combine highlights | First draft | Vignette | Pro day interview

3.
DE
LSU
Scott Pioli would like to trade down, but if he stays, Jackson has many of the traits of Richard Seymour. When Pioli was in New England they used a first-round pick on all three of their defensive linemen.
Second round: No pick

  Tyson Jackson: Combine highlights | First draft | Vignette | Exclusive interview

4.
OT
Baylor
All the late interest in Sanchez may push the tackles down in the draft as Seattle gets the future replacement for Walter Jones.
Second round: No. 37, Darius Butler, CB, Connecticut

  Jason Smith: Combine highlights | First draft | Vignette

5.
LB
Wake Forest
The Browns may have multiple first-round picks by Saturday afternoon if they trade Braylon Edwards and or Brady Quinn. Curry can play inside or outside and will become the cornerstone of this defense.
Second round: No. 36, Connor Barwin, OLB, Cincinnati; No. 50: Coye Francies, CB, San Jose State

  Aaron Curry: Combine highlights | First draft | Vignette | Exclusive interview

6.
OT
Virginia
The Bengals are the second team to benefit from the tackles sliding a bit in the draft. They will consider Michael Crabtree and B.J. Raji, but protecting Carson Palmer is the first job.
Second round: No. 38, Ron Brace, DT, Boston College

  Eugene Monroe: Combine highlights | Vignette

7.
OT
Alabama
Head coach Tom Cable is a former offensive line coach and the Raiders are a running team. Andre Smith is the best run-blocking tackle in the draft, though Crabtree and Raji are in the discussion.
Second round: No. 40, Louis Murphy, WR, Florida

  Andre Smith: First draft | Vignette | Exclusive interview

8.
DT
Boston College
The Jags would love to move down, but if they get stuck here, the signing of Torry Holt means the team will take a defensive tackle to replace Marcus Stroud, who was dealt to Buffalo last offseason.
Second round: No. 39: Max Unger, C/G, Oregon

  B.J. Raji: Combine highlights | Vignette | D-line demo
Pick
Team
Player
Pos.
School
Previous pick
9.
OLB
Texas
The Packers are building a 3-4 defense and they need an OLB with pass rush skills opposite Aaron Kampman. Orakpo had 38 tackles for a loss and 22 sacks At Texas.
Second round: No. 41, Phil Loadholt, OT, Oklahoma

  Brian Orakpo: Combine highlights | First draft | Vignette | Exclusive interview

10.
WR
Texas Tech
The 49ers finally get a guy who will remind the fans of the days of Jerry Rice and Terrell Owens. Crabtree slipped a little this week, not because of his injury, but because he turned off a few teams above the 49ers. He's a steal here.
Second round: No. 43, Patrick Chung, S, Oregon

  Michael Crabtree: Vignette | Draft journey

11.
OT
Mississippi
The Bills need a tackle after trading Jason Peters to the Eagles. Oher is the last elite tackle candidate.
Second round: No. 42, Cornelius Ingram, TE, Florida

  Michael Oher: Combine highlights | First draft | Vignette

12.
OLB
USC
The Broncos are trying to build a 3-4 defense and they lack size in the front seven. Cushing gives them a versatile player with lots of size.
Second round: No. 48, Louis Delmas, S, Western Michigan

  Brian Cushing: Combine highlights | Vignette | Exclusive interview

13.
LB/DE
Florida State
The Redskins need a pass rusher opposite Andre Carter and have to replace a linebacker. Brown gives them two for one. He had 13 sacks last year and is a high-character person.
Second round: No pick

  Everette Brown: Combine highlights | Vignette

14.
CB/S
Ohio State
Jenkins can fit into any of the secondary spots and is NFL-ready right now. The Saints signed Jabari Greer and Darren Sharper in the offseason, but still need Jenkins more than a running back.
Second round: No pick

  Malcolm Jenkins: Combine highlights | Vignette

15.
DE
Penn State
The Texans would have loved to get Jenkins but now take a pass rusher to play opposite Mario Williams in their 4-3 defense.
Second round: No. 46, LeSean McCoy, RB, Pittsburgh

  Aaron Maybin: Combine highlights | First draft

16.
DE
Tennessee
The Chargers lost Igor Olshansky in free agency and need another DE. Ayers can also play OLB, but in the Chargers' 3-4 they ask the DE to slant and penetrate, making Ayers the right fit for this scheme.
Second round: No pick

  Robert Ayers: Combine highlights | Vignette
Pick
Team
Player
Pos.
School
Previous pick
17.
WR
Missouri
The Jets need a wide receiver and they get the No. 1 player in total offense in college football in 2008 with more than 200 yards per game. The Jets will find ways to get the ball in Maclin's hands 10-12 times a game.
Second round: No. 52, Andre Brown, RB, North Carolina

  Jeremy Maclin: Combine highlights | Vignette | Pro day

18.
ILB
USC
Maualuga teams up with Cushing again as Denver rebuilds its defense. The Broncos haven't had a linebacker like Maualuga since Al Wilson.
Second round: See No. 12 pick.

  Rey Maualuga: Combine highlights | Vignette

19.
QB
Kansas State
New coach Raheem Morris worked with Freeman in college and loves his skills and competitive style. Byron Leftwich gets the season started but Freeman will play in 2009.
Second round: No pick

  Josh Freeman: Combine highlights | Vignette

20.
DT
Mississippi
Lions coach Jim Schwartz told me they have to get bigger on defense and Jerry will be a force inside. He does not give up any quickness at close to 300 lbs.
Second round: See No. 1 pick.

  Peria Jerry: Vignette

21.
RB
Georgia
Coach Andy Reid doesn't take running backs in the first round, but his biggest Achilles heel in 2009 is a potential injury to an aging Brian Westbrook. Moreno is the best answer.
Second round: No. 53, Kenny Britt, WR, Rutgers

  Knowshon Moreno: Combine highlights | Vignette

22.
OT
Arizona
Now that the Eagles traded for Jason Peters, Britton drops to the Vikings. Minnesota may look at a receiver like Percy Harvin here but the safe pick is the tackle.
Second round: No. 54, Asher Allen, CB, Georgia

  Eben Britton: Combine highlights | Vignette

23.
OLB
USC
Matthews is a versatile linebacker with most of his football ahead of him. He has the football intelligence to pick up the Patriot defense.
Second round: No. 34, Alphonso Smith, CB, Wake Forest; No. 47, Fili Moala, DT, USC; No. 58, Rashad Johnson, S, Alabama

  Clay Matthews: Combine highlights | Vignette

24.
DT
Missouri
Now that the Falcons have traded for Tony Gonzalez, they can focus on their defense. Hood gives them a powerful, disruptive inside player for the defensive line. He is more prepared to help pass rush than stopping the run and will start out in a rotation.
Second round: No. 55, Lawrence Sidbury, Jr., DE, Richmond

  Evander "Ziggy" Hood: Combine highlights | Vignette
Pick
Team
Player
Pos.
School
Previous pick
25.
WR
Florida
Harvin dropped because of a failed drug test. Look for Miami to get some assurances about his future behavior, but they get a big-time playmaker.
Second round: No. 44, Sean Smith, CB, Utah; No. 56, Cody Brown, DE, Connecticut

  Percy Harvin: Combine highlights | First draft | Vignette | Exclusive interview

26.
WR
Maryland
Joe Flacco worked Heyward-Bey out himself and was impressed with the receiver. Heyward-Bey has deep speed and Flacco has the arm to get him the ball. A vertical threat like this will open up the run game and the underneath passing attack.
Second round: No. 57, Jared Cook, TE, South Carolina

  Darrius Heyward-Bey: Combine highlights | First draft | Vignette

27.
ILB
Ohio State
Some believe Laurinaitis is destined for the second round, but when you study his game tapes you see a smart player who can really drop in coverage, key and diagnose the offense in front of him and make all the adjustments to the defense. He's a solid starter for years to come.
Second round: No. 61, Cedric Peerman, RB, Virginia

  James Laurinaitis: Combine highlights | Vignette | First draft

28.
DE/OLB
Northern Illinois
English had 31.5 sacks in college and 57 tackles for a loss. The Bills need pass rush help and DE Aaron Schobel isn't getting any younger.
Second round: See No. 11 pick.

  Larry English: Combine highlights | Vignette

29.
WR
North Carolina
The Giants should use this pick to go get Braylon Edwards, but if they stay put, Nicks is an accomplished route runner with talent after the catch. He has had weight issues and a few questions about his conditioning but his final game at UNC shows you a player with real talent.
Second round: No. 45, Shonn Greene, RB, Iowa; No. 60: Clint Sintim, LB, Virginia

  Hakeem Nicks: Combine highlights | Vignette

30.
CB
Illinois
Davis has a solid grade but some questions off the field, which may drop him in the draft. Jeff Fisher will work well with the cornerback from Illinois who fills a need for the Titans.
Second round: No. 62, Brian Robiskie, WR, Ohio State

  Vontae Davis: Combine highlights | First draft | Vignette

31.
RB
Ohio State
Wells is a big back with cutback skills to team up with Tim Hightower. The release of Edgerrin James should follow this pick.
Second round: No. 63, Michael Johnson, DE/OLB, Georgia Tech

  Chris "Beanie" Wells: Combine highlights | Vignette

32.
C
California
The Steelers value solid offensive linemen and this guy impressed me at the Senior Bowl. Mack can play guard or center.
Second round: No. 64, Jarron Gilbert, DE, San Jose State

  Alex Mack: NFL Draft vignette

49.
WR
Penn State
--
No first-round pick.

51.
C/G
Alabama
--
No first-round pick.

59.
CB
Vanderbilt
--
No first-round pick.