View Full Version : AFC North Draft Picks: Ravens, Bengals, Browns, & Steelers
04-01-2009, 09:10 PM
Baltimore Ravens Draft picks
Round 1...#23... (acquired from Patriots)... Michael Oher OT
6' 6" 325 lbs.
Meet one of the best offensive line prospects in college football and soon to be one of the best in the NFL. As a freshman Michael Jerome Oher was a fantastic guard, he earned First Team Freshman All-American honors from Rivals.com and The Sporting News and Third Team honors from CollegeFootballNews.com. He was also named First Team Freshman All-SEC by the SEC Coaches and The Sporting News. Oher started the last 10 games at right guard. It’s a pretty impressive feat to even start in the SEC as a true freshman. Oher became the first freshman starter on the offensive line at Ole Miss since 1997 when Terrance Metcalf started.
As a sophomore (2006) he was converted to left tackle and didn’t miss a beat. Last season as a junior he had another fantastic showing at left tackle and originally declared for the 2008 NFL Draft where he would have been a top 20 selection in the first round. To the delight of the Ole Miss coaching staff and fan base, he changed his mind and decided to come back for his senior season.
“While I felt good about being projected as a possible first round pick and had everybody in my corner, it just kept coming back to me that I was leaving some unfinished business at Ole Miss,” Oher said. “It’s really about winning more games and going to a bowl game. I wanted to be a part of making that happen. Most of all, I want to finish my senior year with my teammates. Also, I’m sure mom and dad are happy with my decision to come back.”
Entering his senior season he has accumulated 34 consecutive starts and has shown to be extremely durable. Oher plays with a mean streak and the 6’ 6” 325 pound former basketball star has very quick feet. His powerful blocking helped running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis become only the third 1,000-yard runner in Ole Miss History (two consecutive years).
Coming out of high school Oher was rated as one of the top offensive linemen in the country. He earned first team USA Today All-American honors and played in the prestigious U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio, Texas. He was also selected by ESPN as the nation's top offensive tackle and rated as the fifth best offensive lineman in the country by Scout.com as well as first team All-American honors. As a high school senior, he was credited with 130 pancake blocks, allowing no sacks, and grading out at 90 percent. He didn't allow a sack in his two years and had 200 total pancake blocks. I mentioned he was a star basketball player, he also lettered twice in basketball and twice in track. For a 300 pound basketball player he averaged 22 points and 10 rebound and earned All-State honors. In track, he was state runner-up in discus.
This year Michael Oher was on everyone’s First Team All-American list and is unanimously rated as the top offensive lineman prospect for the 2009 NFL Draft. He has been included as a possible first round draft pick on every legitimate 2009 NFL Mock Drafts (http://www.nfldraftdog.com/Mock_Drafts/mock_draft_headquarters.htm) that I have seen so far. Oher is so good he might even follow in the footsteps of Jake Long from Michigan, who was selected by the Miami Dolphins with the first pick in the 2008 NFL Draft (http://www.nfldraftdog.com/2008_nfl_draft/2008_nfl_post_draft_coverage.htm). He needs to stay focused, but Oher is a special talent, not because of his proto type size, or even his mean streak, it’s his technique that has all the NFL Scouts giddy. He plays with excellent knee bend, uses proper leverage and slides his feet very well. He plays with excellent balance and is solid muscle and has the maturity and talent to start as a rookie in the NFL.
Major 2008 Pre-Season Accolades:
Lindy's 1st Team All-American
Phil Steele 1st Team All-SEC and 1st Team All-American
Athlon Sport's 1st Team All-SEC and 1st Team All-American
The Sporting News 1st Team All-SEC and 1st Team All-American
Mel Kiper's Top ranked offensive tackle and 1st Team All-AmericanThe main character of the New York Times best seller, “The Blind Side: The Evolution of a Game,” Oher arrived at Ole Miss as the nation’s #1 prep offensive tackle. He came from a very difficult upbringing, which has only strengthened his character.
Round 1...#26... Traded to Patriots
Round 2...#57... Paul Kruger DE Utah
Round 3...#88... Lardarius Webb DB Nicholls State
Round 5...# 137 (From Lions through Seahawks)... Jason Phillips LB TCU
Round 5...#149 (from Broncos)... Davon Drew TE East Carolina
Round 5...#185 (from Broncos)... Cedric Peerman RB Virginia
04-01-2009, 09:11 PM
Cincinnati Bengals Draft picks
Round 1...#6... Andre Smith OT Alabama
6’4”, 330 lbs.
Strengths: Size, Athleticism, Agility
Weaknesses: Size, Quickness
As the possibility that Smith may come out a year early, the offensive tackle stands a great chance of getting drafted highly in the 2009 NFL Draft. Smith has had a steady and solid career at Alabama and has the potential to start right away in the NFL. Smith started 13 games as a true freshman at the left tackle position. He started every game at the left tackle in his sophomore year and has started each game so far this season. This is a clear testament to his durability and after not having missed a game due to injury or ineffective play. Durability is something that NFL scouts look for in offensive lineman and Smith is very durable.
Some of the other positive attributes that Smith has include his size (but this is also somewhat of a drawback) which is near ideal for his position. He handles smaller defenders with ease and can block the run very well. He has the moves to get set up and get in position to block the defensive end on the outside. Smith also has quick feet which allow him to keep up with defenders and stay on his blocks.
For a guy his size, Smith is very athletic and it shows almost every time he makes a block. He can move well in space and gets down the field quickly when blocking the run. Speaking of blocking for the run, Smith excels as a run blocker and is an asset there.
Mechanically Smith is pretty sound and uses his arms well and stays low enough in his stance to help keep defenders blocked out of the play. He has a powerful initial punch and can move very well. He is also versatile and can play guard, center or right tackle.
The only real downside to Smith is his weight. In the past, he has weighed close to 350 pounds making him somewhat of a risk for being too overweight for the position. He is also a little short for the position but his size hasn’t been an issue for him in the college game and shouldn’t be too much of an issue in the NFL thanks to his athleticism.
Some of the honors that Smith has received include Second Team All American Preseason selection, First Team All SEC, Second Team All SEC, Freshman All American, All SEC Coaches selection, Alabama’s Offensive Player of the Year, co-winner of the SEC’s Jacobs Blocking Trophy, 2007 Coaches First Team All SEC selection, co winner of the 2008 Paul Crane Offensive Lineman Award, and the University of Alabama Offensive Co-Player of the Week (Sophomore Season). Smith is also one of 12 finalists for the Lombardi Award, a candidate for the Outland Trophy and was a preseason Playboy Magazine All American.
Smith went to Huffman High School. While there, he was named a First Team All American by USA Today and the US Army, was a two time All State choice, a 2005 Bobby Dodd Award winner and was named Alabama’s Mr. Football.
Smith has garnered a lot of attention from college football and NFL Draft experts and there are many of these experts who think that he has the talent to go early in the first round of the 2009 NFL Draft if he decides to come out a year early. Right now there is no indication as to what he plans to do but if he does come out and has a good ramp with scouts, he could easily be a first round selection and go somewhere in the top 15 of the draft. Update: The 2008 Outland Trophy winner, Smith, a 6-5, 330-pound junior from Birmingham, Ala., has started 13 games at left tackle and has surrendered just one sack. He has helped Alabama (12-1) rank among the Top 25 rushing teams in college football. He was the SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week when Alabama rushed for 328 yards against Arkansas. Smith is also projected in some circles, if he elects to come out, to be the No. 1 player to be selected overall in the 2009 NFL Draft.
Robert Bryant says, "Not so fast, in my opinion, he doesn't have the feet to be a top left tackle in the NFL unless he loses some weight and improves on his quickness. He has the power as a run blocker, but can be beaten around the edge by speed rushers. His legs are massive and a little heavy. He reminds me of the Cowboys OG Leonard Davis, who was selected 2nd overall in the 2001 NFL Draft by the Cardinals. Davis ended up at guard and that might be Smith's ultimate position. That's not a bad thing though, he could easily be a pro bowl guard. I just think at 6' 4" 330 pounds, his body structure fits the guard position better."
Daryl Breault says, "I’ll give you that Smith may be too large and slow at times, but his athleticism, flexibility and his kick step overshadow this to a great degree. He does need to drop 10-15 pounds and improve his stamina but he is far more nimble footed than Leonard Davis. Smith recovers far better than Davis, has better technique and he was beaten much less than everyone is making it sound. Smith had only one sack allowed in 2008, yet reading what is said on many draft sites, it sounds much worse."
Round 2...#38... Rey Maualuga LB USC
Round 3...#70... Michael Johnson DE GT
Round 3...#98 (Compensatory pick)... Chase Coffman TE Missouri
Round 4...#106... Jonathan Luigs C Arkansas
Round 5...#142...Kevin Huber P Cincinnati
Round 6...#179... Trent Morgan CB Michigan
Round 6...#209 (Compensatory pick)... Bernard Scott RB Abilene Christian
Round 7...#215... Fui Vakapuna RB
Round 7...#249 (Compensatory pick)... Clinton McDonald DE Memphis
Round 7...#252 (Compensatory pick)...Freddie Brown WR Utah
04-01-2009, 09:11 PM
Cleveland Browns Draft picks
Round 1...#5... Traded pick to Jets
Round 1...#19 (from Jets)... Trade pick to Buccaneers ...Trade Pick to Eagles
Round 1...#21 (from Eagles) Alex Mack C California
Height: 6' 3"
Weight: 316 lbs.
Strengths: Intelligence, Size, Leadership, Athleticism
Weaknesses: Natural Strength, Technique
Pro Comparison: Kevin Mawae, NY Jets
I don’t see any contest between Mack and anyone else for the title of best center prospect. In my opinion, Mack is the top lineman in 2009, period. He is already one of the most decorated college centers of all time (2-time first team All-Pac-10 selection, 2007 Morris Trophy winner and 2007 Remington finalist, among other awards and nominations) and should add to his list of hardware after this season. He has the ability to play center in any offense and should be one of the few centers ever to be drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft. He considered coming out last year and would have been a day 1 pick, probably in the 2nd round. Mack paved the way for nine 100-yard rushing games last season by Cal runners and as a team Cal averaged 165.7 rushing yards per game. The Bears allowed only 11 sacks all of last year and a measly 24 over the two previous seasons combined. Mack is again the center of attention for Cal, as Jahvid Best and Shane Vereen have racked up 540 rushing yards in 3 games while QB Kevin Riley has looked like a potential pro prospect. Best exploded for 200 yards on 14 carries against Washington State in Week 2 and the pair has 3 100-yard games through 3 games, including a combined 212 yards in the first game of the season against MSU when both runners topped 100-yards.
Back to Mack though. Mack is at the heart of this production and is a leader on the Bears squad. I make the Mawae comparison based solely on Mack’s ability to use his smarts and athleticism to devastating effect. He has the intelligence to play any position along the offensive line and could start his pro career at guard without missing a beat. Few college players think the game like Mack does. His ability to get to the second level is elite and he wreaks havoc on linebackers and defensive backs. He will test as one of the most athletic and fastest offensive lineman in the draft easily. Mack possesses phenomenal upper body strength and has led the Bears in pancake blocks and knockdowns since becoming a starter. He makes shotgun snaps with ease and is always on target. He is actually the most reliable snapper in the college game today.
Despite his upper body strength, Mack is light in his base and can have trouble against larger defensive tackles. He is not great in short yardage situations and can sometimes be overpowered. Big, strong tackles will rock or push him back. He needs some work with a pro line coach to perfect his technique and help eliminate old habits. Mack certainly possesses the work ethic to work hard at improving his craft. He gets too high in his stance at times and does not always play with a wide base.
Other than a few fixable issues, Mack is the complete package that will anchor an o-line from day one. Competition includes Max Unger, Jonathon Luigs and Antoine Caldwell but none will measure up to Mack come draft day. Luigs is thought of as a potential 1st round pick but I’m not sure he’s at that level, despite his 2007 Rimington Trophy win. Blocking for Darren McFadden and Felix Jones won him that award and Mack is by far the better prospect.
NFL Draft Dog Says, "Wow Daryl, that's a strong endorsement, while I do agree that he will be the best center in the 2009 NFL Draft and the best center to come out since Nick Mangold, who, by the way, was selected by the New York Jets 29th overall in the 2006 NFL Draft (http://www.nfldraftdog.com/). I wouldn't say he is the best offensive lineman in general because there will be some super talented left tackles in this draft, Alabama's junior Andre Smith, Virginia's Eugene Monroe, Ole Miss's Michael Oher, South Carolina's Jamon Meredith and Baylor's Jason Smith. While it's hard to compare a center with a left tackle, I would estimate that all the mentioned tackles will be drafted ahead of Alex Mack."
Daryl's Rebuttal: When you're looking at things like immediate impact, longevity and expected career, Mack tops my list as the top o-lineman. He is one of the safest picks in this draft. You're right though, it is hard to compare centers and left tackles, but I'm glad you mentioned Mangold. Which pick did the Jets get better value from? LT Ferguson at #4 or center Mangold at #29? Mangold immediately stepped in as one of the league's best interior lineman, while Ferguson has good but not great. The flip side of the argument in the impact of Joe Thomas, and I want to be the first to say, Alex Mack will have the same type of impact that Mangold and Thomas have had on their teams. I know most of the tackles will get drafted before Mack, that's just how it goes, but I'm of the belief that all 5 spots are equal along an o-line and when you think about it, which player has the ball in his hands every snap: the QB and the center. There are a ton of great tackle prospects, but Mack is someone who, without a doubt, will go on to have a great career. And isn't that what your looking for anyway?
Round 2...#36...Brian Robiskie WR Ohio State
Round 2...#50 (from Buccaneers)... Mohamed Massaquoi WR Georgia
Round 2...#52 (from Jets)... David Veikune DE Hawaii
Round 4...#104... Kaluka Maiava LB USC
Round 6...#177... Don Carey CB Norfolk State
Round 6...#191 (from Buccaneers)... Coye Francies CB San Jose State
Round 6...#195 (from Eagles)... James Davis RB Clemson
04-01-2009, 09:11 PM
Pittsburgh Steelers Draft picks
Round 1...#32... Ziggy Hood DT Missouri
6’ 3” 300 lbs.
Strengths: Tough, Physical, Instincts, Intelligence, Technique, strong, quickness.
Weaknesses: Size, Athleticism.
“Ziggy” will never be mistaken for a spectacular athlete but what makes him stand out is his determination, physicality, toughness and durability. After breaking his foot midway through the 2006, Hood missed three games before having a screw inserted and playing the final seven games of the season. He started off that year strong, recording 13 tackles, 4 TFL and 2 sacks in 3 games before the injury. He came back in 2007 as a junior to post 49 tackles, 8 TFL, 5 sacks and forced three fumbles and earning honourable mention All-Big 12 honours from league media and coaches. His 2008 did not go as planned, finishing with only 23 tackles, 2.5 TFL and 1.5 sacks but he was the focus of opposing offensive lines and he had a consistent weak at the Senior Bowl.
Hood is a dependable leader along the defensive line for Missouri. Opponents keyed on him, accounting for his drop in production, but he’s proved himself smart and tough. He’s not flashy, but he’s a player who gets the job done at all costs. He plays much stronger than he is thanks to excellent technique and hand engagement. He enjoys the close-quarters battle and effectively uses his hands to disengage. His head is kept on a swivel, allowing him to locate the ball quickly and he will give chase. Hood rarely gives up on plays and picks his way through trash very well.
Despite his intangibles, Hood could find himself struggling to become more than a rotation player because of his lack of elite burst, short-area quickness and lack of change of direction skills. He is far from the great athlete associated with top DT prospects struggles to make the flashy plays that the top players make. For someone who is so good at using his hands and keeping his base, Hood stands up far too often and loses leverage.
He is arguably the most consistent DT available and his toughness and physical play have gotten him a lot of attention. He performed very well at the Senior Bowl, proving that he has a place in the NFL. He may never be a star but will earn a spot in a rotation and make a position coach very proud. He should hear his name called in the mid 2nd round to the late 3rd round in the 2009 NFL Draft. He will likely compete with Auburn's Sen' Derrick Marks and USC's Fili Moala for the 3rd defensive tackle taken after BJ Raji and Peria Jerry.
At the 2009 NFL Scouting Combine, Ziggy was a standout, not only was he one of the strongest defensive tackles completing an impressive 34 reps on the bench with 225 pounds, but out of all the defensive linemen that weighed in at least 300 pounds, Ziggy was the fastest, running a 4.89 forty.
Round 2...#64... Traded to Broncos
Round 3...#79 (from Broncos)... Kraig Urbik OT/G Wisconsin
Round 3...#84 (from bears through broncos) Mike Wallace WR Mississippi
Round 3...#96... Keenan Lewis CB Oregon State
Round 5...#168... Joe Burnett CB Central Florida
Round 5...#169 (Compensatory pick)... Frank Summers RB UNLV
Round 6...#205... Sonny Harris DT Oregon
Round 7...#226 (from Buccaneers)... A.Q. Shipley C Penn State
Round 7...#241... David Johnson TE Arkansas State
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