Creating a mock draft before the college season starts is very difficult. My mock is a mix between what I think could happen and what I think should happen. I am 99 percent sure I will get every single pick wrong one way or another. The reason I created this is to give the viewers an idea of where I feel NFL teams will be picking next year and name some guys football fans should pay attention to during the 2009 college season. Here is picks 32-27.
32. New England Patriots - Alterraun Verner, CB, UCLA
I feel safe saying you won't see Verner on any other first round mock drafts. I like his blend of physical play and athletic ability. He is best fitted for a zone scheme. He isn't blazing fast, but has great instincts and quickness. The Pats drafted Darius Butler, an extremely athletic corner in 2009. Butler should be a very good player for the Pats, but they will need a replacement for Shawn Springs at the end of his career.
31. New York Giants - Trevard Lindley, CB, Kentucky
Lindley is very quick and athletic. He is the first corner on most evaluator's boards, but I like more complete corners. Lindley is not a very strong tackler and will be run at all game if he doesn't become more physical in run support. In a few years, the Giants could have one of the best defensive backfields in the NFL. Kenny Phillips and Aaron Ross have the potential to be stars.
30. Philadelphia Eagles - Jerry Hughes, DE, TCU
The Eagles added some weapons for Donovan McNabb in the 2009 draft, so I expect them to go defense first in the 2010 draft. Hughes is a gifted pass rusher that creates a lot of havoc in the backfield for opposing teams.
29. Pittsburgh Steelers - Trent Williams, OT, Oklahoma
Williams must be more impressive than Phil Loadholt and Duke Robinson were in their final year and combine to land in the first round. He is a very good player, but benefits greatly from playing in Oklahoma's spread, where the linemen often have wide splits. The Steelers can pretty much draft any position they want, and the player will more than likely be a back-up for the first few years.
28. Broncos- Jevan Snead QB, Ole Miss
The Denver front office is acting like they have their franchise quarter back in Kyle Orton. It won't take long for them to think otherwise once the season starts. Orton is a game manager, not a playmaker. Denver needs a strong armed signal caller that can get the ball to its explosive receiving combo. Snead showed good ability during 2008 season, and with a strong pro day and a good combine he could make a run to be the first QB off the board. If he falls, Denver will be happy to take him.
27. San Diego Chargers - Jon Dwyer, RB, Georgia Tech
I'm one that feels LT still has good mileage left in him, but if not Dwyer would be a great pick for San Diego. He has great speed for his 230-pound frame. He runs hard between the tackles and can go the distance anytime he touches the ball.
26. New Orleans Saints - Joe Haden, CB, Florida
Haden is a great athlete that just needs to be a bit more physical. The Saints have added much needed help on the defensive side. Another solid young corner is exactly what this team needs.
25. Indianapolis Colts - Brandon LaFell, WR, LSU
Many feel Anthony Gonzalez is going to be the one to fill the void left by Marvin Harrison. I feel Gonzalez is a good player that hasn't come close to reaching his full potential, but needs to remain in the slot to best utilize his skills. That means Indy must find a player that can play on the outside, opposite of Reggie Wayne and take advantage of single coverage. LaFell is a good route runner and shows ability to gain yards after the catch.
24. 49ers (from Carolina ) - Sergio Kindle OLB, Texas
Kindle could provide a strong side backer that has the ability to rush the passer. He is an interesting prospect that scouts would like to see play more consistent this season. There are some off the field issues that could easily knock him out of the first round.
23. Baltimore Ravens - Marshawn Gilyard, WR, Cincinnati
Gilyard is an athletic, sure-handed receiver. He had a very good 2008 season, and should become more nationally recognized in 2009. The Ravens need to add another weapon on the outside. Derrick Mason is still productive, but his days are numbered.
22. Arizona Cardinals - George Selvie, DE, South Florida
Selvie's stock has dropped drastically in two years, mainly due to his inability to produce because of double and triple teams. He is a very talented player and should still remain a first-round prospect despite his production decline. The Cardinals could use a player that can rush the passer and with good players around him, Selvie should take advantage of being blocked by only one player.