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Saturday, April 25, 2009

2009 First Round Draft Surprises

The first round of the 2009 NFL Draft lived up to the hype with surprise trades, interesting picks, and down right steals within the first 10 picks. Quarterback Matthew Stafford of Georgia went number 1 overall, as expected. The St. Louis Rams played it coy for a while; taking their pick at the very last second. In the end, they drafted Jason Smith, OT from Baylor which was also predicted by most mock drafts. Then things got interesting....

Kansas City Chiefs select: Tyson Jackson DE (LSU)
Not many people saw this pick coming. Most mock drafters had Aaron Curry linebacker from Wake Forest being taken with this pick. I never would have predicted Jackson to be the third pick overall, but he was the best 3-4 defensive end in the draft. So maybe I should have saw him coming.

Seattle Seahawks select: Aaron Curry LB (Wake Forest)
I'm not sure how Kansas City could pass up a guy like Aaron Curry. But, I can imagine that Seattle was thrilled to still see him on the board. Analyst predicted Curry to go somewhere between the 1st pick and the 3rd pick. So, Seattle takes him with the 4th pick overall. Curry was by far the best linebacker in the draft and arguably the best all around player.

New York Jets (trade with Cleveland) select: Mark Sanchez QB (USC)
You would think that Jets fans would finally be happy. New York makes a deal with their former coach, Eric Mangini (Browns) to move up to the 5th pick and take the hotly contested quarterback Mark Sanchez. It was probably the most exciting move of day one. And yet, I'm pretty sure I still saw a few Jets fans griping.

Oakland Raiders select: Darrius Heyward-Bey WR (Maryland)
Bey is headed to the Bay area in this surprise pick from Oakland. Al Davis chose to get the guy with the fastest 40 yard dash time (4.3) and the biggest size (6'2", 210 lbs.). Most analyst deemed Michael Crabtree as the best receiver in the draft, with Jeremy Maclin being a close second. But, the Raiders left them both on the board and decided to go with raw speed with the 7th overall pick.

Jacksonville Jaguars select: Eugene Monroe OT (Virginia)
Here, the Jaguars make an excellent pick with Monroe, who was arguably the most talented offensive tackle in this year's draft. Mock boards had him going anywhere from the 2nd overall pick to the Rams or with the 4th overall pick to Seattle. With a couple of surpise picks and a trade in the top five, Monroe fell to 8th overall and Jacksonville gets a big guy up front for less money than trading up. Sweet deal for the Jags.

San Francisco 49ers select: Michael Crabtree WR (Texas Tech)
The 49ers scored big with the 10th overall pick in this year's draft. They have had a glaring need at the wide receiver position since Terrell Owens left in 2003. Coach Singletary never expected the best wideout in the draft to be available when the 49ers were on the clock. And there he was, Michael Crabtree sitting pretty at the number 10 pick. Crabtree is by far, the biggest play maker in the 2009 draft and the 49ers get him at a steal. Crabtree appeared happy to be chosen by the storied franchise saying he wanted to go to a team that "wanted and needed" him. Well, he may not have been wanted by Oakland, but he is both wanted and needed by the 49ers who now have their own big receiver in the NFC West.

Day one did not disappoint this fan, who thoroughly enjoyed every second of it. Now, if you're like me and can never get enough of NFL football, you will be roaring to go on Day Two. There is still a lot of talent to be had in the draft pool. Need examples of some late round picks that later became NFL super stars? See my previous post: Top Ten Biggest Draft Steals Of All Time.

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