- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 26, 2009

1. Detroit

Matthew Stafford, QB, Georgia

The Lions start a massive building project by taking Stafford, the strong-armed passer who threw for 3,459 yards and 25 touchdowns last year. Detroit opted for offensive skill over left tackle and linebacker.

2. St. Louis

Jason Smith, OT, Baylor

The Rams released perennial Pro Bowl pick Orlando Pace earlier this offseason and drafted his replacement. Despite never playing in a three-point stance, Smith was the most athletic tackle on the board.

3. Kansas City

Tyson Jackson, DE, LSU

In the past few days, Jackson rose from a prospect likely to go in the middle of the first round to a player the Chiefs hope will improve their 2008 sack total of 10, the lowest in NFL history for a 16-game season.

4. Seattle

Aaron Curry, LB, Wake Forest

Labeled by many the surest thing on the draft, the Seahawks opt for finding Julian Peterson’s replacement instead of a) trading out of the spot, b) taking Mark Sanchez or c) taking Michael Crabtree.

5. N.Y. Jets (from Cleveland)

Mark Sanchez, QB, Southern Cal

The Jets sent their first-round pick, second-round pick and three players to the Browns to beat out other suitors (including the Redskins) for Sanchez, who threw 34 touchdowns in his only year as a starter.

6. Cincinnati

Andre Smith, OT, Alabama

The Bengals were going to take a tackle to help protect Carson Palmer and Smith - despite a disaster of a pre-draft process - got the nod over Virginia’s Eugene Monroe. He could start his career at right tackle but end up at left tackle.

7. Oakland

Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR, Maryland

This was the first stunner, and it was a doozy. Three months ago, Heyward-Bey was a borderline first-round pick. But he ran the fastest time at the combine and made himself several million bucks.

8. Jacksonville

Eugene Monroe, OT, Virginia

The Jaguars’ offensive line was a train wreck last year, and they started the rebuilding by signing left tackle Tra Thomas. Monroe is the third Cavaliers linemen to go in the top 15 in the past four years and is slated to start at right tackle.

9. Green Bay

B.J. Raji, DT, Boston College

The Packers are making the transition from a 4-3 to 3-4 defense with new coordinator Dom Capers, and the 337-pound Raji will anchor the line as nose tackle. He had 42 tackles and eight sacks last year.

10. San Francisco

Michael Crabtree, WR, Texas Tech

A stress fracture combined with some character issues and playing in a stretch offense saw him slip to the 49ers. There’s no questioning his production - 231 catches in two seasons in Lubbock.

11. Buffalo

Aaron Maybin, DE, Penn State

The Bills averaged less than two sacks a game last year and decided defensive end was a higher priority than left tackle. In his only year as a starter, the Largo native posted 12 sacks and 20 tackles for lost yardage.

12. Denver

Knowshon Moreno, RB, Georgia

Rated by most observers behind Chris Wells, Moreno posted 30 rushing touchdowns in two seasons with the Bulldogs. He joins the signed duo of J.J. Arrington and Correll Buckhalter.

13. Washington

Brian Orakpo, DE, Texas

The Redskins couldn’t have envisioned him still being on the board. If he makes a smooth transition, he’ll have an immediate impact on a struggling pass rush that produced only 24 sacks.

14. New Orleans

Malcolm Jenkins, CB, Ohio State

New coordinator Gregg Williams got the top corner on the board to fill a need produced by veteran Mike McKenzie’s injury problems. Jenkins had 11 career interceptions for the Buckeyes.

15. Houston

Brian Cushing, OLB, Southern Cal

The first of the star USC linebackers to be chosen, he joins a young defense with Mario Williams and DeMeco Ryans in the front seven. He made 73 tackles and broke up six passes last year.

16. San Diego

Larry English, DE, Northern Illinois

The Chargers needed to find a replacement for Igor Olshansky. English produced 50 tackles or lost yardage in the past three years, and San Diego overlooked his lack of size (6-2, 254) to reach.

17. Tampa Bay

Josh Freeman, QB, Kansas State

A big-time gamble by coach Raheem Morris. The Bucs traded up two spots to secure Freeman, who has the same number of supporters as detractors. Probably won’t start right away.

18. Denver

Robert Ayres, DE, Tennessee

The Broncos began reshaping their defense during free agency, and it continues with Ayres, who at 273 pounds has the size to play end in Mike Nolan’s 3-4 scheme. He had only 9.5 career sacks.

19. Philadelphia

Jeremy Maclin, Missouri

The Eagles traded from No. 21 to secure Maclin, who made 182 catches and 22 touchdowns the past two years. At nearly 6-foot-1, he gives Donovan McNabb the go-to target he desperately needed.

20. Detroit

Brandon Pettigrew, TE, Oklahoma State

The best tight end on the board fell because some teams chose to address needs instead of taking the best player available. A four-year starter, he made 112 career catches for the Cowboys and can block.

21. Cleveland

Alex Mack, C, California

The Browns’ busy day of trading down culminated with choosing a center who finished his career with 39 consecutive starts. Incumbent Hank Fraley is a veteran and has a shelf life of about one season.

22. Minnesota

Percy Harvin, WR, Florida

All the buzz became reality when the Vikings chose the dynamically athletic Harvin. He can hurt teams in the passing and running games, but there are questions about his durability and attitude.

23. Baltimore

Michael Oher, OT, Mississippi

Once Oher became available, the Ravens traded up three spots with New England to grab a player they hope can play right tackle and team with left tackle Jared Gaither to serve as long-time bookends.

24. Atlanta

Peria Jerry, DT, Mississippi

The Falcons needed a balky run stuffer to put in the middle of their 4-3 defense. Enter Jerry. The 290-pounder posted 32 tackles for lost yardage in his past two years, plus 10.5 sacks.

25. Miami

Vontae Davis, CB, Illinois

The D.C. native will be expected to play right away after the Dolphins lost Renaldo Hill and Andre Goodman in free agency. Davis was a three-year starter, posting 206 tackles and seven interceptions.

26. Green Bay

Clay Matthews, OLB, Southern Cal

The Packers added another piece to the 3-4 by trading back into the first round to get Matthews, a former walk-on who started for only one season, making 56 tackles and 4.5 sacks.

27. Indianapolis

Donald Brown, RB, Connecticut

Only Arizona ran for fewer yards last year than the Colts. Feature back Joseph Addai isn’t durable, and Brown led the nation in rushing last year.

28. Buffalo

Eric Wood, C, Louisville

The Bills acquired this pick from Philadelphia for left tackle Jason Peters, but instead of choosing a tackle, they went with Wood. He could replace Duke Preston right away on a revamped offensive line.

29. N.Y. Giants

Hakeem Nicks, WR, North Carolina

The Giants had to be stunned they couldn’t even trade up to get Heyward-Bey, but they still replaced the receiver-with-size spot vacated by Plaxico Burress. Nicks (6-1) caught 21 career touchdowns.

30. Tennessee

Kenny Britt, WR, Rutgers

Harvin and Nicks were on the Titans’ radar, but they didn’t stray from their original plan of getting Kerry Collins some help. Britt (6-3) caught 87 passes for 1,371 yards and seven touchdowns last year.

31. Arizona

Chris Wells, RB, Ohio State

The Cardinals had the league’s worst rushing game last year and are parting ways with Edgerrin James. Enter Wells, a home run hitter who will team with second-year player Tim Hightower.

32. Pittsburgh

Evander Hood, DT, Missouri

Starting nose tackle Casey Hampton is aging, so the Steelers are thinking the future with this pick. Hood, (6-3, 298) started for 2 1/2 years and improved from 36 to 49 to 62 tackles.

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