This draft wasn’t as deep as the 2011 or 2012 draft, especially in quarterbacks. There were some very good linemen and defensive backs – particularly cornerbacks – in 2009, but other than that, there was not much talent elsewhere. Here’s my take on what I would do in a 2009 re- draft.
(Note: the re-mocks are in bold and the original draft selections are in italics. I also left the order of the draft as it originally was picked, and did not revert to where teams picked before trades.)
1. Detroit Lions
Matthew Stafford, QB, Georgia
Actual pick: same
Stafford is the Lions’ franchise quarterback and I believe he’s a star when he’s healthy. He’s managed to stay healthy for the last couple years, and I think he has lived up to the expectations of being a first overall pick, throwing for 5,000 yards one year and resurrecting what was the worst team in the league.
2. St. Louis Rams
Eugene Monroe, OT, Virginia
Actual pick: Jason Smith, OT, Baylor
Smith is now a journeyman free agent while Monroe just got himself a nice long-term deal from the Ravens. Drafting Monroe would solve an issue that the Rams currently have (tackle), and Monroe would accomplish what Smith did not in St. Louis.
3. Kansas City Chiefs
Clay Matthews, LB, Southern California
Actual pick: Tyson Jackson, DE, Louisiana State
Jackson had eight quarterback hurries in his entire Chiefs’ tenure. In other words, he underperformed greatly. While the Chiefs do have great linebackers in Tamba Hali, Justin Houston, and Derrick Johnson, Matthews would help the pass rush as well as the pass defense. He’s the best-rated front seven player left, miles ahead of Brian Orakpo.
4. Seattle Seahawks
Brian Orakpo, DE/OLB, Texas
Actual pick: Aaron Curry, LB, Wake Forest
The fact that Orakpo is taken right after Matthews just shows how there is a huge drop-off in defensive talent. Orakpo is a good pass rusher – not a great one. I think the Redskins didn’t want to give him a long-term deal because of that. But still, he would greatly help Seattle’s pass rush and make that great defense even better. Contrary to popular belief, the Seahawks’ pass rush isn’t that good – the secondary straps up receivers, allowing the pass rush time to get to the quarterback. But with Orakpo, that would work both ways.
5. New York Jets
LeSean McCoy, RB, Pittsburgh
Actual pick: Mark Sanchez, QB, Southern California
We know the story about Sanchez. The Jets don’t have a decent running back on the roster and I believe McCoy is easily a top 3 running back in the league. He’d be a major upgrade over Shonn Greene.
6. Cincinnati Bengals
Jairus Byrd, S, Oregon
Actual pick: Andre Smith, OT, Alabama
Safety remains a need for the Bengals. Cincinnati grabs its playmaker here – Byrd is better than any safety on the Bengals’ roster. Pair him with Leon Hall and that’s one nice secondary duo.
7. Oakland Raiders
Arian Foster, RB, Tennessee
Actual pick: Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR, Maryland
DHB had major issues with drops and staying healthy during his Raiders’ tenure. Instead, Oakland gets someone who was actually an undrafted free agent, but turned out to be one of the league’s best running backs.
8. Jacksonville Jaguars
Alex Boone, OT, Ohio State
Actual pick: Eugene Monroe, OT, Virginia
With Monroe off the board, the next-best tackle in the draft, the underrated Alex Boone, goes to Jacksonville to fill that need. Boone has been very good for the ‘Niners over the years, despite being an undrafted free agent. That’s two undrafted free agents drafted in a row.