FINAL UPDATE! - April 24, 2009 - 9:59 pm ET
As of 7:50 ET on Friday night as write this, Stafford has yet to agree to deal with the Lions. Regardless, I believe he will end up in Detroit. The Lions know they are in full rebuilding mode and there is no better way to win back your fans than by giving them the hope of having a new face of the franchise. Stafford is their guy, with or without a prearranged contract.
Offensive Tackle
Despite late arriving rumors that the Rams are interested in Mark Sanchez, I'm sticking with the pick I've had for most of the offseason. The Rams most successful seasons in recent memory have centered around a dominant offensive line which all started with Orlando Pace. With Pace now in Chicago, its time to find a new franchise left tackle.
Outside Linebacker
Rumors are swirling that Scott Pioli doesn't want to select a linebacker 3rd overall and would prefer to add a defensive lineman. While a trade down is a very real possibility, the Chiefs simply can't afford to reach for Tyson Jackson here. The money awarded to the 3rd-overall selection is far above the pay grade for a 3-4 defensive lineman.
The Seahawks could very well pull the trigger on Eugene Monroe or Jason Smith if one of them is on the board. However, this is a franchise that doesn't expect to pick near the top of the draft very often. With that in mind, selecting a franchise quarterback while they have that opportunity is the smart move, allowing Sanchez to sit and learn for at least a year.
Defensive Tackle
After souring on Michael Crabtree the Browns turned their attention to defense with this selection. Brian Orakpo, Aaron Maybin, Tyson Jackson are all options but Raji should be the selection. It remains a possibility that Shaun Rogers demands a trade and the Browns need to be prepared. If he stays, Rogers is athletic enough to move to defensive end.
Offensive Tackle
The Bengals are set to draft an offensive lineman with this pick assuming one of the top three prospects is on the board. Andre Smith and Eugene Monroe both figure to be available leaving Cincinnati with a difficult decision. Monroe is the far safer choice. However, Smith may have more upside and is rumored to be the one favored by the Bengals.
Wide Receiver
Odds are Al Davis will select a receiver with speed to burn with this selection. That makes Jeremy Maclin, Darius Heyward-Bey and maybe even Percy Harvin options. In the end, Maclin should be the pick. He's the safest choice of the three and the most NFL-ready. Oakland needs to give JaMarcus Russell a playmaker and Maclin should fill that role.
Offensive Tackle
Even if Michael Crabtree is on the board, the Jaguars should focus on the offensive line with this selection. Either Monroe, Jason Smith or Andre Smith should fall and wind up in the Jacksonville. The wildcard with this selection in the Jaguars' desire to trade down. A team like Buffalo could try to trade up in an effort to land a left tackle.
Defensive End
The Packers are likely to target a defensive player that suits their new 3-4 defense with this selection. However, its difficult to determine who it will be because so many players fit that description and have value here. They should end up with Jackson, however, given the lack of quality players suited to line up at end in the 3-4 scheme.
Wide Receiver
Texas Tech
Thanks to his "diva" attitude Crabtree is falling, and it could be even further than this (although I'm not brave enough to be the one to officially predict that). The 49ers have other needs, but Crabtree's value is simply too much to pass up here. This would give the 49ers quarterback a legitimate weapon with which to work in 2009.
Defensive End
The Bills could certainly be tempted by Michael Oher, but they appear to be in content to target a defensive lineman with this selection. Their pass rush was nonexistent in 2008, and fixing that is clearly a priority for them in the draft. Orakpo is one of the few defensive ends in this draft class that have the potential to make an impact as pass rusher in a 4-3 defense.
Defensive End
The Broncos would love to get their hands on B.J. Raji or Tyson Jackson (or Mark Sanchez even) but all of those scenarios appear unlikely. If none of them are available the Broncos may need to reach for Ayers, who is the last potential 1st-round pick who is a good fit as a defensive end in the Broncos newly implemented 3-4 defense.
Defensive End/Linebacker
Penn State
The Redskins defense looked dominant at times in 2008, but the glaring piece missing was a dominant pass rusher. Jason Taylor failed to fill that role, and now they looking to find someone via the draft. Maybin is a classic defensive end/linebacker 'tweener but should be able to help the 'Skins improve upon their 24 sacks regardless of where he lines up.
Running Back
Ohio State
The Saints know that if they become a legitimate contender in the next few years it is going to be a result of their dominant offense. Reggie Bush and Pierre Thomas are an adequate pair, but the Saints really need a bruising running back like Wells to be the "thunder" to Bush's "lighting." If Wells is gone, expect his teammate Malcolm Jenkins to be the selection.
Brian Cushing
Outside Linebacker
The Texans have made it very clear that they will target a defensive player with this selection, specifically a USC linebacker. This pick should end up being either Matthews or Brian Cushing, but it would appear that Cushing has the higher grade on most teams draft boards. The Texans really can't go wrong with either player.
Inside Linebacker
With Tyson Jackson and Robert Ayers both off the board, the Chargers should focus on landing a linebacker with this selection. Inside linebacker is the greatest need in San Diego and Maualuga would be an excellent addition to their defense. He's a bit of a boom-or-bust type prospect, but his energy would work well between Shaun Phillips and Shawne Merriman.

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