NFL Draft Insider Blog

Welcome to our annual NFL draft live blog from the floor of Radio City Music Hall. We're running insider analysis all day after each selection goes off the board. We'll also tell you who else each team was looking at for each selection and who they might be looking at as the first day of the draft progresses.

First Round

1) Detroit Lions: Matthew Stafford/QB/Georgia

Instant Analysis: As we've said for many weeks, Stafford was going to be their top selection. They simply believe he will be their franchise quarterback for years to come. But even so, he has can sit back awhile and learn from veteran QB Daunte Culpepper.


2) St. Louis Rams: Jason Smith/OT/Baylor

Instant Analysis: They were looking for their next franchise left tackle after they cut long-time starter Orlando Pace. Smith will start immediately and Alex Barron will remain on the right side.


3) Kansas City Chiefs: Tyson Jackson/DE/LSU

Instant Analysis: Kansas City will be transitioning to a 3-4 defensive scheme and will need to find a big defensive end who can handle a two-gap role. Glenn Dorsey is not a good fit for a 3-4 scheme and it will be interesting to see what this team does with him.


4) Seattle Seahawks: Aaron Curry/LB/Wake Forest

Instant Analysis: He'll start immediately in Julian Peterson's spot. Curry has the talent to play all three linebacker positions and NFL analyst Greg Cosell notes that Curry has actually seen snaps at DE in his years Wake Forest. Curry's versatility will fit right in with Seattle's defense.

5) New York Jets (from Cleveland Browns): Mark Sanchez/QB/USC

Instant Analysis: The stories of the Browns souring on Michael Crabtree might have been correct after all. While some question his arm strength, Sanchez is an accurate passer who has a good head for the game. He should be able to handle the pressure of New York. He also won't have to play right away since they have former second-round pick, Kellen Clemens, still on the roster.


6) Cincinnati Bengals: Andre Smith/OT/Alabama

Instant Analysis: Smith is capable of playing either the right or left side, but he projects to play the left side down the line in his career. The team could choose to play him at RT and in order to keep Levi Jones on the left side this season. The Bengals now can start to rebuild their shaky offensive line with a young, talented lineman.


7) Oakland Raiders: Darrius Heyward-Bey/WR/Maryland

Instant Analysis: This selection shouldn't have come to that much of a surprise considering team owner Al Davis loves speed and Heyward-Bey had the best 40-yard dash time of any receiver at the NFL combine. NFL analyst Ron Jaworski told Scout.com recently that Heyward-Bey was much more talented than his collegiate numbers suggest and he called him easily one of the top receivers available for this draft.


8) Jacksonville Jaguars: Eugene Monroe/OT/Virginia

Instant Analysis: Veteran LT Tra Thomas signed a three-year deal with the Jaguars earlier this year, but a source said they can easily get out of the contract after one season. Monroe projects to play left tackle so Thomas' days as a Jaguar could already be numbered.


9) Green Bay Packers: B.J. Raji/DT/Boston College

Instant Analysis: This is an interesting selection considering all the negative rumors surrounding the talented defensive lineman. Still, the Packers had a major need for a nose tackle since they have transitioned to a 3-4 scheme on defense. Raji had a great Senior Bowl week and those practices and his performance during the game pushed up his value in the minds of many scouts.


10) San Francisco 49ers: Michael Crabtree/WR/Texas Tech

Instant Analysis: This is a team that was in dire need of help at the wide receiver position and Crabtree can come in and play right away. He'll gave them a badly needed physical presence in the passing game and he'll really help their offense improve in the red zone area.


11) Buffalo Bills: Aaron Maybin/DE/Penn St.

Instant Analysis: Buffalo has a clear need for a pass rusher and they were looking at Maybin and Everette Brown with his selection. They chose the upside with Maybin instead of the safest move with Brown. Maybin had second-round grade from some teams because he often overruns plays and gets caught out of position from time to time. But his production last season at Penn St. can't be ignored. His upside is huge.


12) Denver Broncos (from Chicago Bears): Knowshon Moreno/RB/Georgia

Instant Analysis: While they have a lot of backs already on their roster, Moreno clearly is more talented than any of them and he's clearly the best back in this draft. Moreno is immensely talented and he could be an every down back for the Broncos. Somewhere, Philadelphia Eagles fans have to be upset right about now.


13) Washington Redskins: Brian Orakpo/DE/Texas

Instant Analysis: Washington's pass rush was quite poor last season and Orakpo should be able to compete for a starting job right away opposite veteran DE Andre Carter. Some scouts felt Orakpo was too stiff in the hips to play in a 3-4 defensive scheme and he was much better suited to play in a 4-3 such as the Redskins run.


14) New Orleans Saints: Malcolm Jenkins/CB/Ohio St.

Instant Analysis: While the Saints have a decent amount of cornerbacks already on their roster, only newcomer Jabari Greer is guaranteed to start. Jenkins offers solid size and he's a good fit for their revamped 4-3 defensive scheme. Jenkins could eventually be moved to safety where many believe he belongs long-term.


15) Houston Texans: Brian Cushing/LB/USC

Instant Analysis: He projects to play SLB in Houston's scheme and he'll give them a badly needed physical presence in their front seven. Some scouts believe that Cushing is capable of playing MLB which could eventually push DeMeco Ryans to WLB.


16) San Diego Chargers: Larry English/DE-OLB/Northern Illinois

Instant Analysis: Here's a case of a player who had a terrific senior season and followed that up with a great set of practices during Senior Bowl week. English should see time in back of veteran OLB Shaun Phillips this season, but could start down the line if the team doesn't wind up re-signing OLB Shawne Merriman.


17) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (from Cleveland Browns via New York Jets): Josh Freeman/QB/Kansas St.

Instant Analysis: It wasn't a secret that this football team liked Freeman and they finally have addressed the future of the quarterback position. Many in the league believe Freeman needs to sit for at least for one season to improve on his mechanics. He has a terrific arm and once he's ready to play, he should be the starter for long time to come.


18) Denver Broncos: Robert Ayers/DE-OLB/Tennessee

Instant Analysis: Ayers' value shot up after a great week at the Senior Bowl and many believe he should have even been selected in the top-10. Ayers should be able to transition to a 3-4 scheme and has shown the ability to turn his hips and get into coverage.


19) Philadelphia Eagles (from Cleveland Browns via Tampa Bay Buccaneers): Jeremy Maclin/WR/Missouri

Instant Analysis: Philadelphia probably never thought Maclin would fall this far so they changed their direction and got a great value here with Maclin. While they already have a decent slot receiver in Jason Avant, Maclin has game breaking speed and also is a great special teams returner. With Maclin in the fold, second-year WR DeSean Jackson can be removed from his return role so he won't wear down.


20) Detroit Lions (from Dallas Cowboys): Brandon Pettigrew/TE/Oklahoma St.

Instant Analysis: Pettigrew was the top rated tight end in this draft and will come in and play right away. His versatility is key for the development of Detroit's running and passing game and he's solid in both areas.


21) Cleveland Browns (via Philadelphia Eagles): Alex Mack/OL/California

Instant Analysis: Mack will likely replace starting C Hank Fraley after his contract expires in 2010 if not before. This season, Mack will be groomed as his backup and he also could see time at guard.


22) Minnesota Vikings: Percy Harvin/WR/Florida

Instant Analysis: In recent weeks, team sources said there was a big debate on what to do with this selection. While many believed they would ultimately pass on Harvin because of major off-the-field issues in his past, there was a strong sentiment by the personnel staff to take a big risk on the talented, but troubled player. The final decision rested with head coach Brad Childress who decided, after meeting with Harvin this week, that they would make the move. This pick will be heavily criticized, but give them credit for being gutsy here. Harvin, without his shady past, is easily a top-five talent. He'll play in the slot, out wide, and in the backfield. He'll give teams one more thing to think about.


23) Baltimore Ravens (from New England Patriots): Michael Oher/OT/Mississippi

Instant Analysis: Baltimore got a nice value here with Oher who might initially play on the right side to compete for the starting job against veteran Willie Anderson. It's certainly possible that the coaches move Oher to the left side to compete against incumbent starter Jared Gaither, but Anderson may not have much left in the tank to play more than one another season.


24) Atlanta Falcons: Peria Jerry/DT/Mississippi

Instant Analysis: This was need pick since the team didn't re-sign mammoth DT Grady Jackson and they lack enough quality talent inside of their front four. Jerry should compete for serious playing time right away.


25) Miami Dolphins: Vontae Davis/CB/Illinois

Instant Analysis: Here's a nice value for Miami. Davis has outstanding skills and should be able to compete for serious playing time right away. Miami has poor depth at the cornerback position and he should be no worse than their nickel back this season.


26) Green Bay Packers (from New England Patriots via Baltimore Ravens): Clay Matthews/LB/USC

Instant Analysis: With the move to a 3-4 defensive scheme, the Packers were looking for depth and linebacker and Matthews could compete for playing time as a backup this season on the inside and outside.


27) Indianapolis Colts: Donald Brown/RB/Connecticut

Instant Analysis: A surprise selection here for the Colts, but considering the struggles of RB Joseph Addai last season, this pick shouldn't be a shock. Brown offers more versatility and both should form a solid tandem at running back.


28) Buffalo Bills (from Philadelphia Eagles): Eric Wood/C/Louisville

Instant Analysis: While the Bills signed OL Geoff Hangartner earlier this year, he's seen as an average player and Wood has much better talent than the veteran offensive lineman. Wood also is capable of playing guard and could see time there this season.


29) New York Giants: Hakeem Nicks/WR/New York Giants

Instant Analysis: This pick makes sense since the Giants were looking to replace veteran WR Plaxico Burress. While Nicks isn't tall, he's a physical receiver who is good running after the catch. The move was decided after trade talks to acquire WR Braylon Edwards broke down.


30) Tennessee Titans: Kenny Britt/WR/Rutgers

Instant Analysis: This selection would take them out of the running to acquire veteran WR Anquan Boldin. Britt is a physical receiver with good hands. He'll compete for a role in back of starters Justin Gage and Nate Washington.


31) Arizona Cardinals: Chris Wells/RB/Ohio St.

Instant Analysis: With veteran RB Edgerrin James expected to be released soon, the selection of Wells became more obvious. They want to get back to power running and Wells fits that profile quite well.


32) Pittsburgh Steelers: Evander Hood/DT/Missouri

Instant Analysis: There's a chance that Hood plays DE in Pittsburgh's 3-4 defensive scheme because he's not viewed by some as being a true NT for that scheme. So it will be interesting to see where they line him up this season.


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