NFL mock draft: Version V

With the NFL in the middle of free agency, team needs are changing by the hour, which makes draft projections especially difficult at this time. Here is the National Football Post's fifth mock draft of the season:

(Note: The New England Patriots have the 34th pick after trading Matt Cassel, and the Cleveland Browns will select 50th after trading Kellen Winslow.)

1. Detroit Lions: Matthew Stafford, QB, Georgia
The Lions are coming off an 0-16 season and need to find a franchise quarterback to build around. Stafford is an intelligent player with all the physical tools to develop into a NFL-quality passer.

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2. St. Louis Rams: Eugene Monroe, OT, Virginia
The Rams already have started addressing their offensive line via free agency with the signing of G/C Jason Brown. Expect them to continue upgrading their O-line in the draft with a left tackle like Monroe.

3. Kansas City Chiefs: Aaron Curry, OLB, Wake Forest
With the trade for QB Matt Cassel, the Chiefs can now sit back and select the best player available. Curry should make an instant impact on the Kansas City defense.

4. Seattle Seahawks: B.J. Raji, DT, Boston College
Texas Tech wideout Michael Crabtree is still a possibility, but with the Seahawks courting T.J. Houshmandzadeh, wide receiver may no longer be a need. Raji is the draft's top interior defensive lineman and fills the void left by DT Rocky Bernard.

5. Cleveland Browns: Everette Brown, OLB, Florida State
Brown is an explosive, quick-twitch lineman who should fair well standing up as an outside linebacker and attacking off the edge. He's the kind of pass rusher head coach Eric Mangini needs for his 3-4 defense.


6. Cincinnati Bengals: Brian Orakpo, DE, Texas
The Bengals need to address their offensive line, but OT Anthony Collins played well at the end of last season and could bid for a starting job. The Bengals need to add a playmaker to their defensive line, and Orakpo is an ideal fit as a pass rusher in their 4-3 scheme.

7. Oakland Raiders: Michael Crabtree, WR, Texas Tech
The Raiders could go with OT Jason Smith, who would be an ideal fit in Tom Cable's zone blocking scheme. But with a talent like Crabtree still on the board, he might be too tempting for the Raiders to pass up.

8. Jacksonville Jaguars: Jason Smith, OT, Baylor
The Jaguars are one of the few teams in need of adding a starting-caliber left tackle. Smith has possibly the most upside of any lineman in the draft and possesses the athleticism to consistently reach the edge.

9. Green Bay Packers: Malcolm Jenkins, CB/FS, Ohio State
Obviously, Jenkins didn't run as well as he hoped to at the combine, but he's a tough, physical defensive back who has the versatility to line up anywhere in the secondary. With Brown, Orakpo and Raji all off the board, expect GM Ted Thompson to opt for Jenkins.


10. San Francisco 49ers: Michael Oher, OT, Ole Miss
The 49ers need to add some talent to the right side of their offensive line, and Oher has the size and power to make it work. I don't think Oher has the type of instincts you want from a left tackle, but he should be a mainstay on the right side.

11. Buffalo Bills: Aaron Maybin, DE/OLB, Penn State
The Bills need to add a defensive end this who can reach the edge and attack upfield. Maybin has an impressive first step and will certainly add to the Bills' sack total next season.

12. Denver Broncos: Rey Maualuga, ILB, USC
Defensive coordinator Mike Nolan ideally would like to add a nose tackle or pass rusher at this stage in the draft. But with no one on the board, the Broncos will opt for Maualuga. He has the size and power to be a force inside and should grow into the type of leader the Broncos are searching for on defense.

13. Washington Redskins: Andre Smith, OT, Alabama
Smith's stock has taken a hit the past couple weeks; however, we simply can't see him falling past the tackle-starved Redskins at No. 13. He possesses impressive size and has the versatility to play on either side of the line.


14. New Orleans Saints: Vontae Davis, CB, Illinois
The Saints desperately need to improve at cornerback, and Davis offers as much upside as any defensive back in the class. He's a bit raw but has the size, speed and ball skills to develop into a productive corner at the next level.

15. Houston Texans: Robert Ayers, DE, Tennessee
Just because the Texans signed DE Antonio Smith doesn't mean a defensive lineman is out of the question here. Ayers is one of the top prospects in the draft and simply hasn't received the kind of attention he deserves. Teams can never have too many pass rushers, and Ayers has the upside to make an impact.

16. San Diego Chargers: Chris Wells, RB, Ohio State
The LaDainian Tomlinson situation looks unsettled in San Diego, and even with the promise of Darren Sproles, the Chargers need to find a bigger back to complement him. Enter Chris Wells, who has the size, power and quickness to become a real factor at the next level.

17. New York Jets: Mark Sanchez, QB, USC
The Jets aren't convinced they have the answer at quarterback, and bringing in a talent like Sanchez could go a long way in determining the franchise's future. He has the physical and mental tools you look for in a QB with the mindset to handle the tough New York media.


18. Chicago Bears: Eben Britton, OT, Arizona
The Bears need an upgrade at offensive tackle, and Britton is the type of long, physical prospect the Bears crave. He has the versatility to play on either the right or left side and could form a strong duo with 2008 first-round pick Chris Williams.

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR, Maryland
With the news that the Buccaneers have an interest in Raiders running back Michael Bush, expect Tampa Bay to bypass the RB position in the first round and opt for a playmaking wideout. The Buccaneers need to add a vertical threat to their passing game, and Heyward-Bey fits the bill with his 4.3 speed.

20. Detroit Lions: Peria Jerry, DT, Ole Miss
The Lions need to improve the interior of their defensive line, and a talent like Jerry would go a long way. He possesses an explosive first step and makes a living in opponents' backfield. He has a motor that runs non-stop and could become a real force on the Lions' defense.

21. Philadelphia Eagles: William Beatty, OT, Connecticut
Even with the signing of OT Stacy Andrews, the Eagles still need to find someone to man the left side of their offensive line if they want to keep Shawn Andrews at guard. Beatty is a gifted athlete with long arms and smooth footwork; he has the ability to become a mainstay at left tackle.


22. Minnesota Vikings: Jeremy Maclin, WR, Missouri
The Vikings traded for QB Sage Rosenfels on Friday and now have a legitimate threat for their passing game. Adding a talent like Maclin would allow the Vikings to create even more mismatches and become more explosive on offense.

23. New England Patriots: Clay Matthews, OLB, USC
Even with Matthews' more publicized teammate, Brian Cushing, still on the board, I expect the Pats to opt for Matthews. He's a hard-working, intelligent kid who displays impressive athleticism for the position.

24. Atlanta Falcons: Sean Smith, DB, Utah
The Falcons need to add a tight end, but I expect them to opt for a pass-catching threat in the second round. Smith has the ability to make an instant impact at either safety or corner in the Falcons' secondary.

25. Miami Dolphins: Brian Cushing, OLB, USC
The Dolphins have more glaring needs, but with a talent like Cushing falling into their laps at No. 25, he seems too good to pass up.


26. Baltimore Ravens: James Laurinaitis, ILB, Ohio State
With the Ravens losing ILB Bart Scott to free agency and the loss of Ray Lewis still a possibility, Baltimore may be praying that a talent like Laurinaitis falls to them on draft day. Laurinaitis is an instinctive defender who should be able to make an instant impact in the Ravens' 3-4 defense.

27. Indianapolis Colts: Percy Harvin, WR, Florida
Harvin is still developing as a wide receiver, but his combination of speed and athleticism would make him downright deadly in the Colts' passing offense. Indy will be in search of a wideout now that Marvin Harrison is gone; Harvin could thrive in the Colts' offense.

28. Philadelphia Eagles: Brandon Pettigrew, TE, Oklahoma State
Pettigrew might be falling on some draft boards because of his lack of top-end speed. However, the Eagles are in desperate need of a tight end who can handle the point of attack vs. defensive ends on the outside.

29. New York Giants: Hakeem Nicks, WR, North Carolina
Nicks is a level-headed player who doesn't draw much attention, but he gets the job done. He's a great route runner and should create good chemistry with QB Eli Manning over the middle.


30. Tennessee Titans: Evander Hood, DT, Missouri
Hood's stock is at an all-time high after a strong Senior Bowl showing and a downright impressive Combine performance. The Titans are in need of an interior defensive lineman after the loss of Albert Haynesworth, and Hood has the ability to contribute from day one.

31. Arizona Cardinals: Knowshon Moreno, RB, Georgia
Running backs tend to slip on draft day, and the 4.57 40 time produced by Moreno at the Combine will likely force him to slip a bit more. But he's one of the draft's top 20 prospects and will be an ideal fit in the Cardinals' spread attack.

32. Pittsburgh Steelers: Alex Mack, C, California
Even with the re-signing of guard Chris Kemoeatu, the Steelers still need to add more talent and depth to the interior of their offensive line. Mack is a tough lineman with the versatility to play center and guard. He's a safe value at the end of round one.

Second Round


33. Detroit Lions: Michael Johnson, DE, Georgia Tech
Head coach Jim Schwartz needs to add talent to the defensive line, and the paring of Jerry and Johnson is a good start.

34. New England Patriots: D.J. Moore, CB, Vanderbilt
A tough cover guy who can play both man and zone.

35. St. Louis Rams: Alphonso Smith, CB, Wake Forest
Smith is one of the draft's more fluid corners and adds an instant upgrade to the Rams' secondary.

36. Cleveland Browns: Tyson Jackson, DE, LSU
An ideal 5-technique defensive end for the Browns' 3-4 defense.

37. Seattle Seahawks: LeSean McCoy, RB, Pittsburgh
McCoy adds some big-play potential to a run game that's in desperate need of a difference-maker.

38. Cincinnati Bengals: Max Unger, C/T, Oregon
A great value as the Benglas need to upgrade the center position. Unger has the versatility to play tackle as well.

39. Jacksonville Jaguars: Ron Brace, DT, Boston College
Adds some much-needed girth next to DT John Henderson.

40. Oakland Raiders: Connor Barwin, DE/OLB, Cincinnati
Barwin has been soaring up draft boards lately and will definitely help improve the Raiders' pass rush next season.

41. Green Bay Packers: Jarron Gilbert, DE, San Jose State
An intriguing 5-technique end who's loaded with upside.

42. Buffalo Bills: Shawn Nelson, TE, Southern Miss
The type of vertical threat the Bills need at tight end.

43. San Francisco 49ers: Larry English, OLB, Northern Illinois
Has the pass-rush ability to help the 49ers on third down.

44. Miami Dolphins: Kenny Britt, WR, Rutgers
The Dolphins need to add more playmakers at wide receiver, and Britt has the potential to develop into a No. 1-type wideout.

45. New York Giants: Jared Cook, TE, South Carolina
An explosive TE prospect who can provide a vertical threat to the Giants' tight end position.

46. Houston Texans: Asher Allen, CB, Georgia
A fluid corner with the body control and foot speed to make plays on the outside.

47. New England Patriots: Patrick Chung, SS, Oregon
A smart, instinctive defensive back who relies on his read-and-react ability to make plays.

48. Denver Broncos: Darius Butler, CB, Connecticut
The Broncos need to add talent to the corner position, and Butler fills a big void.

49. Chicago Bears: Josh Freeman, QB, Kansas State
Has the arm and physical tools needed to be successful at Soldier Field.

50. Cleveland Browns: Coye Francies, CB, San Jose State
A tall, rangy corner with the ability to play press and disrupt the passing game.

51. Dallas Cowboys: William Moore, S, Missouri
Possesses a rare combination of size and speed, although injuries caused his play to drop off significantly as a senior.

52. New York Jets: Duke Robinson, G, Oklahoma
The Jets missed out on Chris Kemoeatu but can add a big guard in the second round.

53. Philadelphia Eagles: Louis Delmas, FS, Western Michigan
With safeties Sean Considine and Brian Dawkins departing via free agency, a replacement needs to be added.

54. Minnesota Vikings: Jairus Byrd, CB, Oregon
A big, physical corner who has ideal ball skills for the Cover-2 scheme.

55. Atlanta Falcons: James Casey, TE, Rice
The Falcons need to add a receiving tight end; Casey fits the bill.

56. Miami Dolphins: Eric Wood, C, Louisville
A tough, blue-collar center who instantly upgrades the interior of the Dolphins' offensive line.

57. Baltimore Ravens: Juaquin Iglesias, WR, Oklahoma
Should form a nice duo with former Sooner Mark Clayton.

58. New England Patriots: Fili Moala, DT/DE, USC
Has the length and power to develop into a 5-technique DE in the Patriots' 3-4 scheme.

59. Carolina Panthers: David Veikune, DE, Hawaii
Who knows how the Julius Peppers situation will play out? The Panthers need to find some insurance.

60. New York Giants: Chip Vaughn, SS, Wake Forest
A tall, well-built safety with good range in the deep half.

61. Indianapolis Colts: Sen'Derrick Marks, DT, Auburn
A quick-twitch lineman who's ideal for the Colts' one-gap scheme.

62. Tennessee Titans: Derrick Williams, WR, Penn State
Has the potential to develop into the type of wideout the Titans need.

63. Arizona Cardinals: Clint Sintim, OLB, Virginia
A versatile athlete who knows how to rush the passer.

64. Pittsburgh Steelers: Phil Loadholt, OT, Oklahoma
A massive right-side prospect who knows how to get push in the run game.

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