It took only a few minutes of shuffling players around to realize how significant the difference would be. Here’s how the top 10 unfolded:
1. Detroit Lions — Jason Smith, OT, Baylor
2. St. Louis Rams — Michael Crabtree, WR, Texas Tech
3. Kansas City Chiefs — Aaron Curry, OLB, Wake Forest
4. Seattle Seahawks — Matthew Stafford, QB, Georgia
5. Cleveland Browns — Brian Orakpo, DE, Texas
6. Cincinnati Bengals — Eugene Monroe, OT, Virginia
7. Oakland Raiders — B.J. Raji, DT, Boston College
8. Jacksonville Jaguars — Mark Sanchez, QB, USC
9. Green Bay Packers — Aaron Maybin, DE/OLB, Penn State
10. San Francisco 49ers — Andre Smith, OT, Alabama
But why stop at the top 10? Below is Scouts Inc.’s projection of how things will unfold over the first two rounds in such a scenario, but before we get to the rest of the picks here are a few quick notes explaining some of the key differences: • With Jason Smith going No. 1 overall in this scenario Crabtree becomes the better value pick at No. 2 for St. Louis, which needs a wide receiver as badly as it needs an offensive tackle.
• Seattle has greater needs, such as outside linebacker, safety and offensive tackle, but using the fourth overall pick on Stafford makes sense considering Matt Hasselbeck’s age (33) and durability concerns.
• Raji is falling a bit right now because of some off-the-field concerns (weight issues, discipline, 2007 academic suspension) but a few teams will still be willing to take a chance on him in the top 15, including the Raiders at No. 7.
• I’m still not convinced the Jaguars will draft Sanchez at No. 8, but it would be much easier to pull the trigger if Crabtree is off the board.
• Missouri WR Jeremy Maclin is a victim of circumstance in this scenario, falling all the way to the Chargers at pick No. 16. San Diego has several bigger needs to fill, but Maclin is too good a value to pass up, and he could add a vertical element to that offense from the slot position. The run on wide receivers clearly will occur in the middle of the first round.