The NFL draft takes place later today at Radio City Music Hall. I haven’t had time to really study the the kids available for the NFL’s annual meat market that will start at 4:00 pm but I will be tuned in none the less.
Here’s the beauty of going 0-16: Pick a player, any player, and it’s an upgrade. Roger Goodell should provide bailout picks for the Lions so they will be competitive instead of ruining Thanksgiving every year for football fans. Stafford had better not be Joey Harrington.
2. RAMS: Jason Smith, T, Baylor
When the game of musical chairs stopped, all that was left for Steve Spagnuolo was the Rams. At least he got his Super Bowl ring with the Giants. Rams are five-to-10 years away from winning. Rams and Chiefs (with combined 11-53 record last two years) have made Missouri proud.
3. CHIEFS: Aaron Curry, LB, Wake Forest
Bill Belichick gave his buddy Scott Pioli a nice gift to jump-start his program: Matt Cassel. Now all he needs is 52 more players. Pioli imported Mike Vrabel and Zach Thomas, who can teach Curry about life as a linebacker in the NFL. It’s just not the same in K.C. without Herm.
4. SEAHAWKS: Michael Crabtree, WR, Texas Tech
The Redskins want Mark Sanchez and are hot for this pick. The Seahawks say they won’t take a QB and believe Matt Hasselbeck, Elisabeth’s brother-in-law, has enough left. In two seasons in college, Crabtree had 231 catches and 41 TDs. Those are Madden video game numbers.
5. BROWNS: Mark Sanchez, QB, USC
Eric Mangini gets run out of New York and winds up with more power when owner Randy Lerner confuses him with Vince Lombardi. The former Mangenius has already traded Kellen Winslow; Braylon Edwards to the Giants and Brady Quinn to the Jets could be next.
6. BENGALS: Eugene Monroe, T, Virginia
Free Ocho Cinco. Mike Brown needs to show he has a heart and let him go. Ocho Cinco has spent ocho years in Cincy, but it must feel like ocho cinco years to him. Who complains more this year: Ocho Cinco or Laveranues Coles?
7. RAIDERS: Jeremy Maclin, WR, Missouri
Al Davis has always been obsessed with speed and Maclin has it. He also had 182 catches and 22 TDs in the last two years. But can JaMarcus Russell deliver the pigskin? Don’t worry about the Raiders. Davis brought back Tom Cable as coach.
8. JAGUARS: B.J. Raji, DT, Boston College
The hot spot for a trade if Sanchez is still around. The Redskins and Jets will be bidding to get him. Jags would take RB Beanie Wells if they move down or Raji if they stay here.
9. PACKERS: Tyson Jackson, DE, LSU
Important year coming up for Aaron Rodgers. Pack was 6-10 with him after 13-3 with Brett Favre, although Green Bay played virtually no defense last season, which makes it harder to win.
10. 49ERS: Brian Orakpo, DE, Texas
When the coach is the most entertaining portion of the program, that’s trouble. But it’s hard to top Mike Singletary dropping his drawers during his first halftime speech to illustrate how poorly his guys played. Singletary, a defensive guy, goes for a defensive guy.
11. BILLS: Andre Smith, T, Alabama
They had time and money invested in OT Jason Peters, but didn’t want to invest any more of either, so they traded him to Philly for the 28th pick.
12. BRONCOS: Robert Ayers, DE-LB, Tennessee
The Broncos had the best young quarterback in the league, but boy genius Josh McDaniels wrote the manual on how to run the franchise QB out of town.
13. REDSKINS: Aaron Maybin, DE, Penn State
Dan Snyder got shut out on Jay Cutler. Now his new infatuation is Mark Sanchez, but without a second-round pick to move up, he will have to give up next year’s No. 1.
14. SAINTS: Malcolm Jenkins, CB-S, Ohio State
The Saints could go for a running back here (Beanie Wells or Knowshon Moreno) because Reggie Bush is not an every-down player. But at some point, even a pass-happy coach like Sean Payton knows you have to stop the pass.
15. TEXANS: Brian Cushing, LB, USC
Can definitely see one of the three USC linebackers going here: Cushing, Clay Matthews (uncle Bruce is on the Texans staff) or Rey Maualuga
16. CHARGERS: Knowshon Moreno, RB, Georgia
LT is in his ninth year and he’s slowing down. Darren Sproles was outstanding vs. Colts in playoffs, but he’s a situational back. Moreno may be a luxury today, but a necessity tomorrow.
17. JETS: Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR, Maryland
If Mark Sanchez falls to No. 8, Jags want to deal and Jets will make a run at moving up. If Browns take Sanchez, then the Jets could trade for Brady Quinn. If the Redskins get Sanchez, then the Jets could trade for Jason Campbell. Otherwise, it’s Heyward-Bey, the player the Giants love.
18. BRONCOS: Clay Matthews, LB, USC
Instead of Mike Shanahan and Jay Cutler, they have Josh McDaniels and Kyle Orton. Bad trade. The Broncos could take Kansas State QB Josh Freeman here in what was the Bears’ spot.
19. BUCS: Josh Freeman, QB, Kansas State
They missed on Brett Favre in ’08 and Jay Cutler in ’09. They signed Byron Leftwich to compete with future Hall of Famers Luke McCown, Brian Griese and Josh Johnson. That’s quite a foursome.
20. LIONS: Michael Oher, T, Mississippi
In an attempt to reverse the heist from the Vikings in ’89 in exchange for Herschel Walker, Dallas owner Jerry Jones sent this pick and his third- and sixth-round selections to the Lions for WR Roy Williams and a seventh-rounder last year.
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21. EAGLES: Beanie Wells, RB, Ohio State
We know Tiki Barber, and Brian Westbrook is no Tiki Barber. That’s false advertising by the Birds. Westbrook is dynamic, he just gets hurt too much. With Correll Buckhalter now in Denver, Beanie shares the load. We sure hope that makes Donovan McNabb happy.
22. VIKINGS: Percy Harvin, WR, Florida
Back in ’98, there were character questions about Randy Moss and he fell all the way to the Vikes at No. 21. Harvin may be the most talented player in the draft and teams don’t worry that he reportedly tested positive for marijuana at the combine.
23. PATRIOTS: Darius Butler, CB, Connecticut
Bill Parcells has never won a playoff game without Bill Belichick. Can Belichick pick players without Scott Pioli? Just who was responsible for finding Tom Brady in the sixth round?
24. FALCONS: Clint Sintim, LB, Virginia
Right up until they were on the clock a year ago, it looked like the Falcons were going to compound the Michael Vick disaster by passing on QB Matt Ryan and taking DT Glenn Dorsey.
25. DOLPHINS: Rey Maualuga, LB, USC
The Tuna has not won a playoff game since the Jets beat the Jags in the ’98 divisional round. But he’s got the quick turnaround down pretty good, helped in Miami by the Chad Pennington gift from the Jets. As much as Pennington needs more weapons, Parcells loves linebackers.
26. RAVENS: Brian Robiskie, WR, Ohio State
The son of Terry Robiskie, the Falcons’ WR coach and former Redskins head coach, is ready to contribute right now. That’s what the Ravens need for Joe Flacco.
27. COLTS: Donald Brown, RB, Connecticut
Now that Marvin Harrison is gone, I can see Bill Polian finding one more weapon for Peyton Manning on the outside.
28. BILLS: Brandon Pettigrew, TE, Oklahoma State
Imagine this: It’s Dec. 20 and the the Bills are 2-11 and trailing 27-0 in the second quarter. T.O. is standing by himself in a blizzard on the sidelines, an inch of ice on his helmet and the popcorn machine frozen. He will get misty-eyed recalling Tony and Jessica.
29. GIANTS: Hakeem Nicks, WR, North Carolina
Jerry Reese wants to move up for WR Darrius Heyward-Bey, a big guy with lots of speed to replace Plax. If they can’t get him, then it’s Nicks. Giants wouldn’t give up Osi Umenyiora in Eli Manning deal five years ago. No shot they’ll give up Mathias Kiwanuka for Braylon Edwards.
30. TITANS: Peria Jerry, DT, Mississippi
Since the Titans chose not to include the Grand Ole Opry in their offer, they had no shot to keep Albert Haynesworth, especially when Dan Snyder decided to be a one-man federal stimulus package. Whatever happened to Vince Young?
31. CARDINALS: Kenny Britt, WR, Rutgers
Anquan Boldin has two years left on his contract and figures there might be some loose change hanging around after the Cards gave Larry Fitzgerald $10 million a year last year with $30 million guaranteed. No way they should trade him, but if they do Kurt Warner will make Britt a star.
32. STEELERS: Alex Mack, C, Cal
Not exactly the pick that makes the Steelers favorites to repeat, but the O-line allowed Big Ben to get hit just a little bit too much last season – he was sacked 46 times
And here is the latest Video from CBS Sports that talks about the Running backs availabe today, of note Georgia Bull Dog and Middletown South graduate Knowshon Moreno, is expected to be selected in the 1st round. Two other New Jersey natives Donald Brown of Red Bank Catholic and Shawn Greene