NFL First Round Recap

1. Detroit, Matthew Stafford, qb, Georgia.
A likely pick at No. 1 due to his experience and proven ability to make tough throws. Great arm strength and field vision. Remains unflustered under pressure.

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2. St. Louis, Jason Smith, ot, Baylor.
This converted tight end is nimble and athletic, but still adding strength - could eventually be a prototype LT. Footwork, technique still require polish.
3. Kansas City, Tyson Jackson, de, LSU.
Started 38 games in his four-year career with the Tigers and ranks eighth in school history with 18.5 sacks. His ability to stuff the run makes him a perfect fit as an end in the Chiefs' new 3-4 defense.
4. Seattle, Aaron Curry, lb, Wake Forest. Very hard to block, he's a strong bet to snuff out a running game. Although he's fundamentally solid all around, Curry isn't the smoothest in pass coverage.
5. New York Jets (from Cleveland), Mark Sanchez, qb, Southern Cal.
ion. Yeah, he's pretty much what NFL teams are looking for when they take a QB as high as Sanchez will be taken. Matt Stafford could be taken higher, because Sanchez has only one year as a starter.
6. Cincinnati, Andre Smith, ot, Alabama.
Stellar anchor of Alabama's offensive line, who seemed a sure bet to be the first tackle selected in the first round until a rocky postseason. Was suspended for Alabama's bowl game, then left the combine early. Still, a top-notch talent who mauls opponents.
7. Oakland, Darrius Heyward-Bey, wr, Maryland.
Speed makes him a deep threat on every play - and caught the eye of the Raiders, who have long valued it. Unpolished for now.
8. Jacksonville, Eugene Monroe, ot, Virginia.
Aggressive LT prospect with nice footwork in pass protection and a zest for downfield blocking.
9. Green Bay, B.J. Raji, dt, Boston College.
A boulder in the middle of a defensive front - just the thing most teams are looking for at the position. More run-stopper than anything else, he's a mountain of trouble for teams with shaky QBs - or OLs.
10. San Francisco, Michael Crabtree, wr, Texas Tech.
Has elite talent for an NFL wideout. Nimble and agile around the ball and the sidelines. Uses his body well against defenders, especially the ones he can't outrun. Makes big plays.
11. Buffalo, Aaron Maybin, de, Penn State.
Aaron Maybin, de, Penn State, 6-3, 250.
Played only two seasons in college and had a breakout year in 2008, earning All-America honors and getting 12 sacks. Excellent speed rusher, who explodes off the line. Might end up as linebacker.
12. Denver, Knowshon Moreno, rb, Georgia.
Not the fastest back of the bunch, but plays with fire and has plenty of agility. Shows promise as a receiver if a coach gets creative with him.
13. Washington, Brian Orakpo, de, Texas.
A strong all-around prospect who is still learning to apply his considerable athleticism on the football field. Great at reading plays, and equally adept versus either pass or rush.

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14. New Orleans, Malcolm Jenkins, db, Ohio State.
Fast and physical, should be the first of a flood of cornerbacks off the board. Nice, soft hands and a good leap should bring him plenty of interceptions in the NFL. Can also play free safety.
15. Houston, Brian Cushing, lb, Southern Cal.
Athletic, physical player who signed as a safety, then played MLB, DE and OLB for the Trojans. Projects to an OLB in the NFL, one who can take on blockers and get to ball carriers, or close off his zone in pass coverage.
16. San Diego, Larry English, lb, Northern Illinois.
o teams might pick as an OLB. His coverage abilities remain unproven, unlike his talent for finding QBs.
17. Tampa Bay (from N.Y. Jets through Cleveland), Josh Freeman, qb, Kansas State.
Excellent arm strength and intangibles. His mechanics are unpolished and he'll occasionally force bad throws.
18. Denver (from Chicago), Robert Ayers, de, Tennessee.
Sharp player who's more of an all-arounder than just a pass rusher. Could also see a move to OLB.
19. Philadelphia (from Tampa Bay through Cleveland), Jeremy Maclin, wr, Missouri.
Athletic playmaker who needs polish on his route-running. A definite threat in the return game. Unafraid of contact.
20. Detroit (from Dallas), Brandon Pettigrew, te, Oklahoma State.
Bulky mauler with sure hands to catch short passes. Won't cause mismatches in the passing game, but will be a definite asset to NFL offenses built for short gains - which is most of them.
21. Cleveland (from Philadelphia), Alex Mack, c, California.
Persistent, strong blocker who can pancake defenders if he gets the leverage. Athletic, but sometimes overextends and can get off-balance.
22. Minnesota, Percy Harvin, wr, Florida.
ege, though. Is excellent in space with the ball, and coaches will need to find ways to get it to him there.
23. Baltimore (from New England), Michael Oher, ot, Mississippi.
Quintessential physical specimen to play LT, but teams will have questions about his mental makeup, and his disappointing senior season.
24. Atlanta, Peria Jerry, dt, Mississippi.
A bit of an injury risk that plenty of teams are likely to find worth taking, Jerry's initial quickness and acceleration help disrupt both run and pass plays, making him an all-around threat.
25. Miami, Vontae Davis, db, Illinois.
Inconsistent performer with plenty of unrealized athleticism and talent, coaching will be key to his future success. Brother is 49ers TE Vernon Davis.
26. Green Bay (from Baltimore through New England), Clay Matthews, lb, Southern Cal.
Athletic skills to spare - his father, Clay, had long career as Browns LB; uncle Bruce was a Hall of Fame lineman for Oilers. Raw, though, and looks to be a project - though one that could pay off for a patient team.
27. Indianapolis, Donald Brown, rb, Connecticut.
Slightly undersized and slightly slower than ideal, Brown nevertheless is a nimble, slithery player who can probably overcome his deficiencies to become an every-down back.
28. Buffalo (from Philadelphia), Eric Wood, c, Louisville.
Tough center with good work ethic and strength. Taller than prototypical centers and not super athletic.
29. New York Giants, Hakeem Nicks, wr, North Carolina.
Led the team in receptions the last three seasons at UNC, breaking the school career record for catches with 181. Strong and solidly built, in the mold of Anquan Boldin.
30. Tennessee, Kenny Britt, wr, Rutgers.
Size and agility are excellent, but he probably needs to get stronger to handle No. 1 receiver duties.
31. Arizona, Chris Wells, rb, Ohio State.
Big and fast, Wells is a headache waiting to happen for linebackers. Excellent field vision and speed help him make big plays. Durability and lack of pass-catching ability are minor drawbacks.
32. Pittsburgh, Evander Hood, dt, Missouri.
Sudden, violent player who can be inconsistent and occasionally will be stood up by centers who can get leverage on him.

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Posted: 4/26/09 12:45AM ET

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