The Conversation: Mock Draft, part two

Ken Murray and Childs Walker rolled through their projected top 10 for Saturday's NFL Draft. Now, they pick it up with the wild and woolly middle of the first round.

11) Buffalo Bills


Childs' pick: Most seem to agree that the Bills will go with a defensive lineman, but few agree on which one. Tyson Jackson could be the guy, but he's thought to be a better fit for a 3-4 defense. Robert Ayers is supposedly soaring up draft boards. But I like local boy Aaron Maybin at this spot. The Bills need a pass rusher, and Maybin can do that better than Jackson. He has a more consistent record of production than Ayers. He's simply the best overall fit.

Ken's pick: Maybin will be a tantalizing choice here, Childs. But the Bills play a 4-3 and most people project Aaron as a 3-4 outside backer. He's not going to be strong against the run the first year or two. If the Bills can wait, he's a great pick. I think they go for Robert Ayers, a more traditional 4-3 end, from Tennessee.

12) Denver Broncos


Childs' pick: We've talked about Denver as a team that might trade up to get Sanchez. If that doesn't happen, the Broncos will almost surely fortify their defensive front. They would love to see Raji fall to this spot, but I doubt that, so Tyson Jackson is a nice fallback. He's a good all-around player from a strong program and will strengthen the interior of Denver's 3-4.

Ken's pick: The Broncos have been decimated on defense in recent years. As much as they need a QB, defense almost has to be the pick. I like Tyson Jackson here as well. He's a perfect fit in Denver's defense.

13) Washington Redskins

Childs' pick: Yet another team that could enter the Sanchez sweepstakes, but I don't see the Redskins getting it done (nor should they; Jason Campbell is fine.) The Redskins could go for a pass-rusher to give them what they hoped for from Jason Taylor. Or they could snag a much-needed tackle. Michael Oher is tempting here, because he has the size and strength to help immediately on the right side. But the Redskins will take the best pass rusher on the board, Robert Ayers.

Ken's pick: The Redskins have been searching for a pass rusher, seemingly since Dexter Manley. Well, now they get a shot at Aaron Maybin (Mount Hebron), who is the best pure pass rusher in the draft. Maybin will play close to home, so his father won't have to put too many more miles on that van he used for the college search.

14) New Orleans Saints

Childs' pick: Draft "experts" have linked Chris "Beanie" Wells to the Saints for weeks. It makes some sense. He could replace Deuce McAllister and provide a powerful compliment to Reggie Bush. All of that said, Wells' college teammate, Malcolm Jenkins, was a more productive, consistent player. And he would also fill a need for the Saints. So I say Jenkins, who reminds me of the physically unremarkable but productive players that often pay off for the Ravens.

Ken's pick: With all that offense, the Saints still missed the playoffs one year after getting to the NFC championship game. That's because they can't play defense. They should fill their most pressing need in the secondary for a corner-safety with the selection of Malcolm Jenkins, even if Vontae Davis projects as the better cornerback.

15) Houston Texans

Childs' pick: The Texans would love one of the top DE/LB pass rushers to fall to them, but I have Orakpo, Maybin and Ayers off the board. So Houston will turn to Brian Cushing, a strong, productive linebacker who can come in and play right away.

Ken's pick: Another team with critical defense holes to fill. I think they go to USC for a linebacker, but I'll project Clay Matthews, who is the most athletic of the three Trojans backers. Matthews has great bloodlines and the family has a history with Houston.

16) San Diego Chargers

Childs' pick: The Chargers rode LaDainian Tomlinson for a long time, but once running backs start to break down, they rarely come back. Darren Sproles is a heck of a player, but he's A) tiny and B) had to be franchised this offseason. With both top runners, Wells and Knowshon Moreno, on the board, the Chargers have a nice chance to reload. They should go with Moreno, the tougher, more versatile player.

Ken's pick: The Chargers could find themselves with a choice between Moreno and Beanie Wells, or even tight end Brandon Pettigrew. I have no rationale for this other than to say they'll take Wells.

17) New York Jets

Childs' pick: Way to break the veneer of certainty, Ken! Anyway, the Jets are one of the more intriguing teams in the draft. We know they need a quarterback (even if they say otherwise) so they're another possible Sanchez suitor. They also need receivers, and some significant home-run threats, Percy Harvin and Darrius Heyward-Bey, remain on the board. I don't like what I'm about to do, but I think the Jets will get itchy for a quarterback and take Josh Freeman. Hey, at least he has the size and arm to be great.

Ken's pick: They want Sanchez, or a play-making receiver, but tight end Brandon Pettigrew will drop into their lap in this scenario -- which is hard even for me to believe. I don't think they can afford another project quarterback like Freeman, who is way too raw to come in and pull a Flacco.

18) Denver Broncos

Childs' pick: Denver should still be thinking defense at this point, and Everette Brown from Florida State will be a handy guy for them to stick on the edge of their 3-4. Even if they can't get a quarterback, a Jackson-Brown first round would help push the Broncos forward in 2009.

Ken's pick: Everette Brown is an undersized DE, but a good pass rusher who could project to OLB. Denver needs a pass rush and this may be the best solution.

19) Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Childs' pick: This is one where I lack a real good feel. If the Jets don't take Freeman, he could go to the Bucs. Defensive tackle Peria Jerry is another possibility. But the Bucs desperately need an outside linebacker and as you noted, Ken, Clay Matthews is a guy with plenty of athleticism and pedigree. He goes here or, if Houston has already taken him, Cushing will go to Tampa Bay.

Ken's pick: The Bucs have almost as many QBs as coaches right now, but they'll always take more, even with Jon Gruden gone, apparently. Still, I can't see taking Josh Freeman on a team that has to rebuild the defense. I go with OLB Brian Cushing.

20) Detroit Lions

Childs' pick: Fortune smiles on the Lions for once as they get a chance to draft the position they perhaps should have targeted at No. 1. Michael Oher could be a bust, but he has as much physical ability as any tackle prospect. And even if he can't hack it on the left side, he should have a decent career on the right. He offers too much talent to pass up here.

Ken's pick: The Lions will be tempted by Rey Maualuga or Peria Jerry here, but have to get the tackle they didn't get at the top. Michael Oher is a reasonable pick at this spot, even if he has potential to bust.

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