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Posted: Thursday January 22, 2009 12:03PM; Updated: Thursday January 22, 2009 2:13PM
Don Banks Don Banks >
INSIDE THE NFL
2009 NFL Mock Draft 1.0 (cont.)
 
11 TE Brandon Pettigrew Oklahoma State Sr. 6-6 260
The Bills have to get more potent on offense, as the final 10 games of their once-hopeful 2008 season painfully exhibited. For the longest time they've needed a tight end who can both make plays in the passing game and add enough of a blocking presence to justify his role in the lineup. Pettigrew has the perfect combination of those skills, and will offer a reliable underneath option for quarterback Trent Edwards.
12 ILB Rey Maualuga USC Sr. 6-2 260
The Broncos obviously need to think defense first, and the former Trojan would be a nice fit for Mike Nolan's new 3-4 formation. He's an explosive tackler who can chase down the ball, but he's big and physical enough to play inside and handle what a 3-4 inside linebacker has to fight through. The Broncos could also be tempted to get the nose tackle that makes a 3-4 system work, and Boston College's B.J. Raji should be available to them.
13 DT B.J. Raji Boston College Sr. 6-1 323
The Redskins need talent injections on both lines, and they easily could go for an offensive tackle like Jason Smith of Baylor with this pick. But Raji would also be a nice get for a defensive line that made far too little impact in 2008. Raji is more than just a space-eating run-stuffer. He has surprising agility and has shown the ability to penetrate the backfield and make plays behind the line of scrimmage.
14 OLB Brian Cushing USC Sr. 6-3 255
The Saints defense needs playmakers and Cushing is a versatile talent who can hold up in both run defense and pass defense, and he has a knack for coming up with the key play at the key moment. This could be a bit high for Cushing, but he's the kind of winning player some teams are willing to stretch a bit for.
15 DE Aaron Maybin Penn State So. 6-4 236
The best value in the middle of the round should be at defensive end, where the choice might boil down to Maybin or Florida State's Everette Brown. The Texans need someone opposite Mario Williams who is capable of drawing some attention away from their leading sacker. Maybin is a quality edge rusher, but at 245 pounds he probably needs to get bigger to stay on the field for all three downs.
16 RB Chris "Beanie" Wells Ohio State Jr. 6-1 237
A lot depends on what unfolds with running back/return man Darren Sproles, and obviously LaDainian Tomlinson. But if San Diego needs another runner, Wells might be too highly-rated to pass up. He has some durability issues to battle, but he has talent to burn and would be an excellent replacement for Sproles as a change-of-pace back.
17 CB Vontae Davis Illinois Jr. 6-0 204
My sense is new Jets head coach Rex Ryan will think defense first, especially since there's no quarterback worthy of first-round selection at this point. Davis would give New York another potential front-line cornerback to pair with Darrelle Revis, although his game might need a year of polishing at the NFL level.
18 WR Jeremy Maclin Missouri So. 6-1 200
Maclin could vault himself up the board and beyond the Bears reach if he runs great at the NFL Combine, but if he's still around at No. 18, Chicago should jump on him with the hopes he can develop into the No. 1 receiver they have long needed. Maclin can stretch the field vertically, and it's intriguing to think of teaming him with fellow speedster Devin Hester.
19 WR Darrius Heyward-Bey Maryland Jr. 6-3 206
The Bucs could use another pass rusher or help in the interior line, so home-state product Everette Brown, an explosive edge rusher from Florida State, could be the choice. But with Joey Galloway's age and Michael Clayton's potential free agency, Tampa Bay could also stand another receiver opposite Antonio Bryant.
20 DE Everette Brown Florida State Jr. 6-4 252
With so many needs, the Lions could go about five ways with their second first-rounder. Pick any spot on defense and it could use an upgrade. Brown would give a boost to the pass rush, but a cornerback like D.J. Moore of Vanderbilt or Alphonso Smith of Wake Forest makes sense too. Ohio State linebacker James Laurinaitis is also tempting because proven playmakers are in short supply in Motown.
 

 
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