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Posted: Thursday January 22, 2009 12:02PM; Updated: Thursday January 22, 2009 2:22PM
Don Banks Don Banks >
INSIDE THE NFL
2009 NFL Mock Draft 1.0 (cont.)
 
21 OT Jason Smith Baylor Sr. 6-5 305
The Eagles will be thrilled if Smith lingers this long, because given the age of offensive tackles Jon Runyan and Tra Thomas (who are both in line for free agency), a little youth at that position is imperative. Smith could be long gone by now, but he's definitely one of the four tackles who carries a first-round grade.
22 CB D.J. Moore Vanderbilt Jr. 5-10 182
The Vikings aren't going to get a franchise quarterback in the first round of this year's draft, not at No. 22, so cornerback seems to be the position of need that fits the value at the bottom third of our board. Moore is a great athlete with excellent closing speed and good instincts.
23 CB Alphonso Smith Wake Forest Sr. 5-9 190
The Patriots have a need at safety, but Missouri's William Moore might be the only first-round possibility, and he has had a disappointing start to his Senior Bowl week and might end up projecting to linebacker in the NFL. That could prompt the Patriots to take another cornerback, after choosing two in last year's draft -- Terrence Wheatley and Jonathan Wilhite.
24 DT Peria Jerry Ole Miss Sr. 6-2 295
Having wisely passed on LSU defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey in favor of Matt Ryan last year at No. 3, the Falcons are still in the market for a youthful option on the defensive interior line. Jerry is a high-motor, quality athlete with the ability to both hold the point of attack against the run and create some pressure in the opposing backfield.
25 LB James Laurinaitis Ohio State Sr. 6-3 240
Though some critics believe he played his best ball earlier in his collegiate career as a Buckeye, Laurinaitis is a solid and polished product who should make a quick and easy transition to the NFL. His technique is well developed and his field awareness and intangibles are two of the best parts of his game. He could be a longtime pro in the Zach Thomas mold for Miami.
26 CB Sean Smith Utah Jr. 6-3 214
The Ravens have to get younger at cornerback, where Chris McAllister has probably played his last game in Baltimore and Samari Rolle has had durability issues. Smith is a junior with good height and strong bump and run skills. Coming off a quality showing in the Sugar Bowl against Alabama, his stock has risen of late.
27 DT Sen'Derrick Marks Auburn Jr. 6-1 295
Defensive tackle has been an obvious trouble spot for the Colts the past few years, and it should get first-round attention from the Colts at this point. Marks is the kind of undersized, but quick first-step athlete Indy has long gravitated to in its Cover Two defense. He can get off the ball and makes plays in the gaps.
28 RB Knowshon Moreno Georgia So. 5-11 207
With a second first-round pick this year, isn't it time the Eagles gave themselves another legitimate option in the backfield to go with the over-used Brian Westbrook? Moreno is the second of the two first-round grade running backs in this draft, and he runs with great instincts and vision, often creating space where there isn't any.
29 WR Hakeem Nicks North Carolina Jr. 6-2 210
Finding a tall receiver who gives them a replacement for Plaxico Burress should be Job 1 for the Giants in this year's first round. Nicks runs great routes, and while he doesn't have difference-making speed, he's as fast as he has to be to get open and make plays downfield.
30 WR/RB Percy Harvin Florida Jr. 5-11 195
After watching their offense go into shutdown mode after running back Chris Johnson was injured in the divisional round loss to Baltimore, the Titans know they have to get more weapons in the receiving game. Harvin is a rare talent who could create monstrous matchup problems for defenses. He runs with explosion, and his receiving skills improved noticeably in 2008.
31 * RB LeSean McCoy Pitt So. 5-11 210
With Edgerrin James headed out of town, and Tim Hightower not an every-down back, the Cardinals should reload their running game with McCoy, who is right on that first-/second-round bubble. McCoy is elusive for a runner his size, and he's expected to run a sub-4.5 at the combine.
32 * G Duke Robinson Oklahoma Sr. 6-5 335
The Steelers offensive line didn't keep them from making the Super Bowl, but upgrades are still required. Robinson is a big body who plays equally well in pass protection and the run game. Pittsburgh needs to protect Ben Roethlisberger better, and its running game took a step back this season too.

*31st pick will go to Super Bowl loser; 32nd pick to Super Bowl winner
 

 
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