Mock drafts
While Steve Wyche still has the Lions taking Georgia QB Matthew Stafford with the No. 1 pick, Pat Kirwan believes Detroit would be better served going in another direction at that spot.
» Kirwan: Shakeup at top of draft
» Davis: Stafford still top pick here
» Dukes: Stafford has Cutler-like skills

Video:
» Michael Lombardi's mock draft

With each development that comes our way in the NFL, draft perspective changes. While general managers and coaches like to say they won't waver much from their post-combine draft boards, the eroding situation in Denver could make quarterback Jay Cutler available in a trade, which opens a door that could shift the tide of the April 25-26 draft.

Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford had his pro-day workout Thursday in front of representatives from all 32 teams, including a top-heavy contingent from the Detroit Lions, who have the No. 1 overall pick. Stafford showcased his big arm, said the right things to the right people and did nothing to hurt himself. He will have a private workout with the Lions on March 31 in Athens, Ga. Clearly, the Lions are doing their due diligence. Whether they walk away smitten might not be known until draft day, but Stafford had an allegiance of fans among a lot of the teams who wouldn’t have a problem scooping him up if he slides during the draft.

I still have the Lions taking Stafford with the No. 1 pick. I’ve never been overly solid on this, but I still don’t think Detroit will pass on the strong-armed Stafford, then watch him develop into a potential star for another team. A quarterback -- Kansas State’s Josh Freeman -- who three weeks ago could have been available to Detroit, which also holds the No. 20 pick, has skyrocketed up draft boards to the point where he might not be there when the Lions pick for the second time in the first round.

So if Lions are going to draft a quarterback, it might have to come at No. 1.

There also is a lot of trade talk heating up. Philadelphia supposedly wants to move into the top 15 -- it might have to move higher -- to get an offensive tackle. Cleveland has two quarterbacks (Brady Quinn, Derek Anderson) with trade value, which is a nice position to be in since so many teams need one. There's also the Julius Peppers-to-New England possibility, which shouldn't be dismissed since anything is possible this time of year.

» Previous mock drafts: Version 1.0 | 2.0


Mock draft: Round 1
Pick
Team
Player
Pos.
School
Previous pick
1.
QB
Georgia
The Lions could get involved in trade talks for Cutler, but would they really want a quarterback who has been so outspoken about getting his feelings hurt? Stafford said he wants to play for the Lions and could be groomed for at least half a season while Daunte Culpepper holds things down.

  Matthew Stafford: Combine highlights

2.
OT
Baylor
Just because the Rams cut OT Orlando Pace doesn't mean that is the reason they will draft a tackle. They will select a tackle because Smith or Eugene Monroe is the best offensive player on the board at this point. They have to address the O-line now because quality offensive linemen are going to come off the board in a hurry.

  Jason Smith: Combine highlights

3.
LB
Wake Forest
Curry is viewed as the best overall player in the draft. The Chiefs have a lot of needs and could go with an offensive lineman here or be a trade partner for a team like the Eagles, who are trying to move up to get an elite offensive tackle. Curry might be too good to bypass, though.

  Aaron Curry: Combine highlights | First draft

4.
WR
Texas Tech
The Seahawks supposedly are looking for a "playmaker" who can stretch the field. They can get that with Crabtree here or trade down and take a deep-ball threat, like Hakeem Nicks, between picks 20 and 32. They possess the ideal trade position. They also could go with Virginia offensive tackle Eugene Monroe.

  Michael Crabtree: Combine chat | Surgery decision

5.
DE/LB
Texas
Ohio State DB Malcolm Jenkins could be in play, but for a team trying to be more rugged and athletic, adding a potential dominating player like Orakpo seems like a natural. AFC North foe Cincinnati is getting back Carson Palmer, then there's Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger, and Baltimore's Joe Flacco should be better. Cleveland has to generate pressure up front to slow down those QBs.

  Brian Orakpo: Combine highlights | First draft

6.
OT
Virginia
Monroe could very well be gone by this point, but if he's here, the Bengals have to take him. A versatile, high-character player could be what they need, especially with Palmer set to return. The Bengals could be in play for a trade. It might sound crazy, but how about Chad Johnson to Philly, which also moves to this spot, for the Eagles' pick at No. 28 and a later-round selection?

  Eugene Monroe: Combine highlights

7.
WR
Missouri
This could be high for the versatile Maclin, but the Raiders have never been shy about reaching for a speedy player who can make big plays. Maclin can be used in just about every role, including as a kick and punt returner. Maclin is electric and could be a nice threat for new coach Tom Cable.

  Jeremy Maclin: Combine highlights

8.
QB
USC
The Jaguars really want to add a linebacker or safety to fill an immediate void, but they could bolster those spots later in the draft. Sanchez is a smart move because he can be groomed for a year under David Garrard and force Garrard to step up his game or make room for the new guy. Sleeper pick: Kansas State QB Josh Freeman.

  Mark Sanchez: Combine highlights | First draft
Pick
Team
Player
Pos.
School
Previous pick
9.
OT
Alabama
As many concerns as there are about Smith, he doesn't fall out of the top 10. A coach who witnessed his private workout said the physical body might not look good, but the body of work is outstanding. Smith can play, and he would be a solid fit at either tackle spot. Jenkins also could be the pick here.

  Andre Smith: Pro day highlights | First draft

10.
OT
Mississippi
The 49ers are in a very interesting spot. What they do here could affect the next run of picks. If they bypass Oher and go defense, it might slow some trade action because Oher could be around for Chicago. However, 49ers coach Mike Singletary wants to be able to run the ball, so he can't pass on the talented Oher.

  Michael Oher: Combine highlights

11.
DE/LB
Florida State
The selection of an offensive tackle such as Oher, if he is available, could be a possibility, but the Bills need to solidify their defense. The teams in their division have sound offensive lines and can score. Buffalo needs to fortify its front and add a versatile edge rusher who can pressure Chad Pennington, Tom Brady and whoever the Jets put under center.

  Everette Brown: Combine highlights

12.
DT
Boston College
This pick all depends on if the Broncos trade Cutler and what they get back in return. In all likelihood, they will keep this pick, regardless of a trade, and Raji is a must. Denver's defensive interior needs an anchor who also can play on passing downs, and Raji is tough and versatile enough to do so.

  B.J. Raji: Combine highlights

13.
LB
USC
Washington could use a defensive end, but most of the hybrid types that remain aren't ideal fits. Cushing's versatility will allow the 'Skins to have him play a rover-type role, where he can be used in some designer coverages or to apply pressure. He's also skilled enough to make open-field plays against the NFC East's quality running backs.

  Brian Cushing: Combine highlights

14.
CB
Illinois
Ohio State's Jenkins could be in the mix since the Saints need help at cornerback and safety. However, Davis could be a more skilled coverage player, which is vital. New Orleans might opt for an OLB/DE type such as Aaron Maybin since they've yet to thoroughly address that position. Having to now stop Tampa Bay TE Kellen Winslow twice a season could play into that thinking.

  Vontae Davis: Combine highlights

15.
CB
Ohio State
This falls into the best player available pick. Jenkins could be used in a variety of ways since divisional opponent Indianapolis uses a lot of three-receiver sets, and Jacksonville and Tennessee go with a lot of two tight end sets in the passing game. Having a coverage player with good size and who likes to hit gives the Texans a good match-up option, from cornerback or free safety, out of its base defense.

  Malcolm Jenkins: Combine highlights

16.
LB
USC
A 3-4 type end such as LSU's Tyson Jackson or Tennessee's Robert Ayers might be a possibility with the loss of Igor Olshansky, but the Chargers seemed prepared for that. Maualuga would be a very solid fit, though. San Diego could be a trade partner for a team like St. Louis, which has the third pick of the second round (No. 35) and would love to get to Kansas State's Freeman.

  Rey Maualuga: Combine highlights
Pick
Team
Player
Pos.
School
Previous pick
17.
QB
Kansas State
This is where things get very interesting. Several teams want Freeman and could have to trade ahead of this pick or with the Jets to get him. Freeman's stock is soaring. The Jets need a quarterback, but they could trade for a veteran, deal this pick and move back in the draft for additional second- and/or mid-round selections.

  Josh Freeman: Combine highlights

18.
OT
Arizona
The Bears have no other choice but to draft the best remaining tackle with John St. Clair signing a free-agent deal with the Browns. Chicago has a gaping hole on the line, and pairing Britton with last season's first-round pick, Chris Williams, could give the team a nice tackle tandem for years.

  Eben Britton: Combine highlights

19.
DT
Mississippi
The Buccaneers tried to get involved in the Cutler trade talks before, and they could very well get involved again. If they wouldn't have to give up this pick, Jerry fills the most pressing need outside of quarterback. He can keep linemen off MLB Barrett Ruud and let SS Jermaine Phillips blow up ball carriers without having to shed blocks.

20.
LB
Ohio State
The defense wasn't good in '08, and the linebackers are undersized, but the 6-foot-2, 244-pound Laurinaitis can provide some needed muscle and athleticism. He would be well protected by massive DT Grady Jackson and could be the enforcer that informs the NFC North that Jim Schwartz's defense has arrived.

  James Laurinaitis: Combine highlights | Interview

21.
RB
Georgia
The Eagles might have to reach for Connecticut OT William Beatty, but I don't expect them to sit tight. They will either move up or trade down to take an offensive tackle. This pick also could be used to acquire a veteran wide receiver (Chad Johnson, Braylon Edwards) in a deal. If the Eagles somehow keep this pick, Moreno could give them a younger version of Brian Westbrook.

  Knowsho Moreno: Combine highlights | First draft

22.
WR
North Carolina
The Vikings are pretty solid -- except at quarterback -- but they have to find an intermediate-range receiving threat with big-play ability, a la Anquan Boldin, and Nicks is the guy. He has good hands and can catch the ball in traffic -- key traits when working with unproven quarterbacks.

  Hakeem Nicks: Combine highlights

23.
CB
Wake Forest
The Patriots might go DE/OLB here, but those spots could be occupied by Julius Peppers if the Patriots pull off their second blockbuster deal before the draft (Matt Cassel to Kansas City being the first). Smith is a Bill Belichick-type player -- tough and cerebral -- and would find his way into a rotation.

  Alphonso Smith: Combine highlights | First draft

24.
DE
Penn State
Maybin's slide down the draft boards could come because of trades and the run on OTs. Even though the acquisition of Mike Peterson addressed one OLB spot, the Falcons need a youthful edge presence. Atlanta could trade back into the second round with this pick to acquire more selections to bolster their talent-parched defense.

  Aaron Maybin: Combine highlights | First draft
Pick
Team
Player
Pos.
School
Previous pick
25.
WR
Florida
The Dolphins could try to trade down to acquire picks to address some of their defensive needs later. DEs Tyson Jackson (LSU) and Robert Ayers (Tennessee) could be in play with this selection. Miami needs a playmaker who can catch some of the intermediate passes that Chad Pennington likes to throw and turn them into huge gains. Harvin fits the bill.

  Percy Harvin: Combine highlights

26.
WR
Maryland
The free-agent acquisition of C Matt Birk filled their void at center, so now the Ravens go for speed. They could very well take Connecticut CB Darius Butler after releasing veteran Samari Rolle. Hayward-Bey is still relatively raw, but he can fly, and if he shows any consistency, he could be a nice pick.

  Darrius Heyward-Bey: Combine highlights

27.
DT
Missouri
The Colts are trying to get bigger up front, and this rising gap-plugger seems like an ideal fit. The new coaching staff knows it must get bigger and tougher up front to defend against the run. Hood can clog the center-guard gaps and allow the linebackers -- and not safeties -- to make more plays.

  Evander "Ziggy" Hood: Combine highlights | First draft

28.
OT
Connecticut
The Eagles have to get a tackle, and again, it could come by trading up. If their attempts fail, they have no choice but to nab the solid Beatty, who could be called a reach, but so was USC's Sam Baker last season for the Falcons. Baker turned out to be just fine until back problems stunted his development.

  William Beatty: Combine highlights

29.
RB
Ohio State
The Giants need a wide receiver, but didn't they also function well with a trio of RBs? Wells could be insurance in case Brandon Jacobs is hurt and could allow for some intriguing two-back sets. At this point, a bigger wide receiver (Kenny Britt, Brian Robiskie) could be acquired later in the draft. Wells is too good to pass up.

  Chris "Beanie" Wells: Combine highlights

30.
DE
LSU
Jackson is another player whose status could be affected by the run on OTs and possible trades. The Titans would love this scenario. They land a 295-pound DE who can be reduced inside to DT in certain situations. That flexibility could ease the loss of Albert Haynesworth and make the best usage out of this talented player.

  Tyson Jackson: Combine highlights

31.
RB
Connecticut
Pittsburgh's LeSean McCoy could be a solid pick here, but Brown seems more the type who can carry more of the load. He is somewhat similar to current Cardinals RB Tim Hightower, but he has more big-play ability. Tennessee DE Robert Ayers or Georgia Tech's Michael Johnson also are possibilities.

  Donald Brown: Combine highlights

32.
C
Oregon
This tough, cerebral and versatile lineman could be a swing player at both positions as a rookie, then transition into the starting lineup next season. The Steelers have to begin replenishing the offensive line, and Unger provides a safe starting point.

  Max Unger: Combine highlights


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