By: Matt Pugliese
The 2009 NFL Draft created quite a buzz this weekend in New York City. The Detroit Lions started off the 2009 draft, and there were no surprises. They took Georgia QB Matthew Stafford. One of the main issues regarding the pick was how much the Lions gave him for a contract. They signed Stafford to a six year, $72 million dollar deal with $41.7 million guaranteed. The contract can also reach $78 million if Stafford makes the Pro Bowl every season.
When asked how it felt that he was going to the 0-16 Detroit Lions, Stafford said, “I’m a competitive guy. I’m going to try to get ready as quick as I can. I put a lot of pressure on myself to be great anyway.”
The second pick was also no surprise. The Saint Louis Rams took Left Tackle Jason Smith from Baylor. The third pick was somewhat of a surprise. Many people thought that the Kansas City Chiefs would take Linebacker Aaron Curry from Wake Forest, but there was a sudden riser up the draft boards. The Chiefs took Defensive End Tyson Jackson out of LSU.
“That pick was kind of surprising,” said Marist junior David Gentile. ” I was pretty sure that they were going to go with Curry. They do play a 3-4 defense so maybe they felt Jackson was a better fit. I would have taken Curry.”
Curry didn’t have to wait long after that. Curry was selected fourth by the Seattle Seahawks. ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr and Todd McShay rated Curry as the best defensive player in the draft.
The Jets fan didn’t have to wait long to start hollering and making themselves known in Radio City Music Hall. They traded with the Cleveland Browns to acquire their fifth pick. They drafted high riser QB Mark Sanchez out of USC.
The Cincinnati Bengals drafted OT Andre Smith out of Alabama. Some people weren’t high on Smith because of some of his antics at the Scouting Combine, but he was just too good of a specimen to pass up. At 6’4 and 330 lbs, he will wreak havoc on incoming rushers.
Now, here comes the most interesting selection of the entire first round, and who else could it be but the Oakland Raiders. The Radiers drafted a Wide Receiver, but not the Wide Receiver that every NFL fan thought they were going to draft. Everyone thought they would select star wide out Michael Crabtree out of Texas Tech. Raiders owner Al Davis loves speed, and Crabtree did not have a 40 time. So Davis went a different way. Way different. He took WR Darrius Heyward-Bey out of Maryland. Lets just say people were shocked.
” I could not believe they actually did that,” said Marist Sophomore Mike Caiola. ” I mean, I had heard rumors of them taking him, but I never thought that they would actually do it. I don’t think Al Davis knows what he is doing anymore, and I think they made a big mistake passing on Crabtree.”
The Jacksonville Jaguars were on the clock with the eighth pick. They desperately wanted to trade out of that pick so they would not have to cough up millions. They could not find a suitor to trade with, so they drafted OT Eugene Monroe out of Virginia.
At number nine the Green Bay Packers selected DT B.J. Raji. This man is huge. He stands at 6’2 and weighs 337 lbs. With the tenth pick the San Francisco 49ers got a real steal. They selected WR Michael Crabtree. Mel Kiper of ESPN had him as the second best overall prospect in this draft. And the fans in San Francisco loved the pick.
Other surprising first round selections: Larry English to the San Diego Chargers, Michael Oher slipping to the Baltimore Ravens and Jeremy Maclin slipping to the Philadelphia Eagles at pick number 19.