2009 NFL Draft Impressions Picks 33 – 226

Rey MaualugaTotal Pro Sports – Time to go free form and shout out some greatest hits of the second round onwards.

Second Round

33 – Detroit Lions – Louis Delmas – FS

Free safety: GREAT. Oh wait… Jeff Backus is still the left tackle for our new franchise QB and we signed Anthony Henry to play this position in free agency. Detroit will never live down passing on Oher.

36 – Cleveland Browns – Brian Robiskie – WR

I’m a Robiskie fan boy, and I honestly think this guy can and will out produce Maclin and Heyward-Bey over the next few years. He isn’t a pass rusher, but that’s Mangini’s fault not his.

37 – Denver Broncos – Alphonso Smith – CB

Dre Bly is out and Champ Bailey is getting up there, so a fringe first round talent like Alphonso Smith is a sensible pickup. What’s that you said? Denver traded a 2010 first round selection to Seattle to get him? Disregard all of the above. Appalling.

38 – Cincinnati Bengals – Rey Maualuga – MLB

The best MIKE linebacker at the top of the second is quality value.

39 – Jacksonville Jaguars – Eben Britton – OT

Eben Britton is top 16 talent so great value at 39, but what about Eugene Monroe or Tony Pashos,or the newly signed William Tra Thomas? Offensive tackle overkill.

41 – New England Patriots – Darius Butler – CB

Take note Detroit, Buffalo and Kansas: filling a big need with strong talent at phenomenal value is a good way to win multiple Super Bowls over a decade…

42 – Buffalo Bills – Jairus Byrd – CB

… but drafting late round talent way too high to add to an already strong secondary isn’t.

43 – Carolina Panthers – Everette Brown – DE/OLB

Everyone soured on Brown a week before the draft, which was tough on the high motor sack specialist. Considering people had him mocked to Green Bay at 9, this is great value for the Panthers. Unfortunately they gave San Francisco a 2010 first rounder to get him.

46 – Houston Texans – Connor Barwin – DE/OLB/TE

This pick is thanks to Houston’s ‘throw as many linebackers at the problem until three work’ policy.

47 – Oakland Raiders – Michael Mitchell – S

What is a Michael Mitchell? Even Mike Mayock hasn’t seen this guy. Al Davis is steadily killing this franchise.

Best of the rest: William Beatty is tier two left tackle talent which should warrant first round selection, but instead it was left to the Giants to make the right selection whilst bad teams (Oakland, Denver, Detroit, Buffalo) were left to flounder. When your team records 17 sacks all year, reaching for Mohamed Massaquoi is the last thing you want to be doing Cleveland. The Vikings manage to secure their painfully pursued dominant right tackle in Phil Loadholt – the top right tackle in this draft – and this spells only good news for AP. You almost got a left tackle Buffalo, very close this time, but Andy Levitre is a left guard. Sound out the difference: TAC-KLE GUA-RD. Sean Smith was too good not to take at the bottom of the second for Miami, and he’s an absolute physical beast who can add depth at safety or corner. Denver made Richard Quinn the second tight end off the board, even though he mostly blocks and didn’t make many analysts top ten TE rankings AND they gave away all their third rounders to Pittsburgh for him… and they have one of the best young TEs in the league called Tony Scheffler… and the captain of your team is TE Daniel Graham. But other than that, great pick Denver!

Third Round

70 – Cincinnati Bengals – Michael Johnson – DE

This is such an intriguing pick; the most physically gifted player who can’t get it done on the field. Pure athletes (Reggie Bush – yeah I said it) tend to be exposed at the top level, but being 6-7, 255lbs and lightning quick can’t hurt.

83 – New England Patriots – Brandon Tate – WR

The Lions, Pats, Steelers and Giants took Derrick Williams, Brandon Tate, Mike Wallace and Ramses Barden in a third round receiver run, but it’s the Pats selection of Brandon Tate that is oh so tantalising. When you’re the Patriots you can afford to take flyers (especially when you draft so well and stockpile picks). A year ago people considered Tate first round talent, but a torn ACL and failed drug test later and he slips back. If the Pats can get him where he was, then by 2010 they’ll finally have a legitimate option opposite Randy Moss.

89 – Tennessee Titans – Jared Cook – TE

One of three tight ends who are more valuable than Richard Quinn to be taken in the third, and I think Cook provides the most value to his new team. A big red-zone target at 6-5 and is the vintage athletic pass catching TE that seems to be the only thing coming out of college in recent years, but in that run orientated system as a third stringer behind Alge Crumpler and Bo Scaife they have time to develop his blocking skills. I said it with the Britt selection; great balance to their limited pass game. Washington the deep threat, Britt the possession guy and now Jared Cook making plays between the numbers.

Fourth Round

106 – Cincinnati Bengals – Jonathan Luigs – C

Cincinnati had a really nice draft, and outside of their initial selection of Andre Smith over Eugene Monroe you can’t fault them too much. Luigs is more than a fourth round player and fills a need at centre where Eric Ghaiciuc gave up 4 sacks last year. The only charge against him is his upper body strength which will be surely tested against Shaun Rogers and Casey Hampton in that division.

128 – Carolina Panthers – Tony Fiammetta – FB

Many people’s top ranked full back is added to a side boasting a good blocking TE in Jeff King and a dynamic pair of running backs with DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart.

Fifth, Sixth and Seventh Round

162 – Green Bay Packers – Jamon Meredith – OT

A hyper athletic tackle that can fill multiple positions on the line is always an asset and a phenomenal addition to that ageing battle torn Green Bay line.

163 – Carolina Panther – Duke Robinson – OG

Run blocking TE? Check. Thumping goal line back? Check. Pass catching speed back? Check. And we just added the top fullback in this draft. How about the best guard in 2008 college football, who slid further than anyone in the 2009 draft?

201 – Indianapolis Colts -Curtis Painter – QB

Hmmm. Very interesting indeed. 12 months ago he was many people’s top QB in the draft, but after a horrible year he slips into the sixth. And now he gets picked up by a team with the best teacher of the game already at QB, and is under no pressure to play for the next 2 seasons. If he flunks who cares? If this works out and the Colts revive the Painter of 2007, then Indianapolis may have the answer to the biggest question their franchise will face: what does a post Manning offense look like?

226 – Pittsburgh Steelers – AQ Shipley – C

Short arms doomed from birth what is otherwise a very solid centre prospect. Does some sort of zone blocking system help him? I don’t know, but then I’m not the mastermind behind a team with two Super Bowls in the last 5 years.

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