1. Detroit. QB Matthew Stafford, Georgia. The only reason the Lions would pass on Stafford is if they had questions about his signability. If they can come to an agreement on the money, there’s no reason to think Stafford won’t go to the Lions. No matter who goes here, the thing I’ll miss most over the debate about No. 1 is the months of on-air skirmishes between Mel Kiper and Todd McShay. It’s like the Lincoln-Douglas debates, only with better hair ... and if one of them was arguing from a sports bar. My favorite is this one, but this one isn’t bad either.
2. St. Louis. OL Jason Smith, Baylor. I go back and forth with this one. New Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo made his bones as a defensive coordinator, so you’d think he’d be panting after a game-changing linebacker like Aaron Curry or Brian Orakpo. But the Rams need an offensive tackle, and Smith is the best one out there, just barely beating out Eugene Monroe.
3. Kansas City. LB Aaron Curry, Wake Forest. The Chiefs have other holes, but Curry is just too good to pass up at No. 3 -- he’s the best defender in the draft. We detailed one of the many reasons to like Curry in our last mock draft, but we found another one -- he’s texting the Lions’ GM, lobbying to be the first overall pick.
4. Seattle. WR Michael Crabtree, Texas Tech. If the Seahawks don’t go for Mark Sanchez, they’re going to go after Crabtree, which should change the look of the top half of the first round. Crabtree’s stock has risen considerably since the combine, and he has nosed his way into the Top 5.
5. Cleveland. LB Brian Orakpo, Texas. No need for Sanchez to go here if he’s available, so Cleveland goes for the best linebacker left on the board. The biggest challenge won’t be fitting him into the Browns’ 3-4 defense -- it’ll be for Chris Berman to try and devise a ridiculous nickname for Orakpo, whose greatest attribute might be that his name is Boomer-proof.
6. Cincinnati. OL Andre Smith, Alabama. The player with the biggest potential for boom-bust (and we’re leaning toward bust, especially after this picture) goes to the Bengals. Makes sense. And he’ll get great guidance in Cincinnati ... sorry about that. We don’t have a sarcasm font.
7. Oakland. WR Jeremy Maclin, Missouri. Another team I go back and forth on -- still wouldn’t be surprised if they made a ridiculous reach for a guy based on speed, but Maclin might be a guy who might satisfy Al Davis’ jones for speed and be able to make a considerable contribution to the Oakland offense at the same time. Also wouldn’t be shocked to see Boston College’s B.J. Raji go here. Got a picture of the Raiders’ pre-draft preparations -- check it out here.
8. Jacksonville. QB Mark Sanchez, USC. The Jags grabbed veteran Torry Holt, and while it doesn’t completely put their wide receiver issues to rest, it will free them up to take Sanchez -- if the Redskins don’t try and trade up to take him first. If Sanchez does go to the Jags, David Garrard moves his lease from year-to-year to month-to-month.
9. Green Bay. OL Eugene Monroe, Virginia. Monroe is one of the most wide-open guys in the draft. Some believe teams could flip a coin between him and Smith -- Monroe could go as high as No. 2. But depending on what happens to Sanchez and Crabtree, the dominos could start to tumble and Monroe could end up slipping. If he does, the Packers would love to grab him at No. 9 to help shore up an older offensive line.
10. San Francisco. DE Aaron Maybin, Penn State. Another riser who would make a lot of sense for the San Francisco defense. The Niners are in good shape to make some noise in this draft -- they have nine picks, including three in the Top 100.
11. Buffalo. OT Michael Oher, Mississippi. The Bills’ trade of Jason Peters leaves them with a void along their offensive line. With Monroe moving down, Buffalo will benefit by taking Oher.
12. Denver. DT B.J. Raji, Boston College. Probably too low, but he and Monroe have the most riding on who goes after Sanchez. A nice fit for the Denver defense, Raji is a plugger who can take up plenty of space along the line. LSU’s Tyson Jackson could go here as well.
13. Washington. DE/LB Robert Ayers, Tennessee. If Sanchez is gone, the Redskins should go for Ayers. For a scouting report on Ayers, we turn it over to his former college roommate, Jerod Mayo: "He’s very versatile. He can play linebacker, he can play defensive tackle, defensive end. Whatever you want," Mayo said. "He’s a competitor. He’s a great player."
14. New Orleans. RB Beanie Wells, Ohio State. An every down back for the Saints. They better hope they don’t swing and miss on this guy, though -- they only have four picks the whole weekend. How do you leave yourself with just four draft picks, and just one in the Top 100? Did the Saints turn their draft over to a bunch of AIG executives?
15. Houston. LB Brian Cushing, USC. One of three Trojan linebackers who could be taken in the first round. It’s been a good offseason for the Texans, who have upgraded considerably at linebacker.
16. San Diego. LB Rey Maualaga, USC. I’ve got the Chargers going after Maualaga, and I feel good about the pick because my man Buddy has him going No. 16 to San Diego as well. Mmm. San Diego. Drink it in -- it always goes down smooth. The Chargers lost Igor Olshansky, and could therefore take a shot at LSU defensive tackle Tyson Jackson.
17. New York Jets. WR Percy Harvin, Florida. If not Harvin, there’s a good chance they could take Kansas State quarterback Josh Freeman. But forget who the Jets are going to take this year. Patriots’ fans should sit back and watch this classic video from a couple of years ago, a montage of angry New York football fans reacting to various Jets picks over the years. My favorite part is seeing former commissioner Pete Rozelle with a small, knowing smile right before they take Johnny "Lam" Jones: Are you ready for this one, you savages?
18. Denver. LB/DE Everette Brown, Florida State. This is a good year for hybrids, and Brown is one of the best out there. Like Raji, he’s probably too low here -- he’s better than the 18th overall selection -- but the impact of Oher being bumped down the board shoves him down a peg. (Also, Everette isn’t the most intimidating of names. He’d be a lot closer to the top of the draft if he was named Earl or Butch or Hammer. Everette is a guy who eats finger sandwiches. He’d be the first guy in the history of the NFL named Everette.)
19. Tampa Bay. QB Josh Freeman, Kansas State. The Bucs are a hard team to get a read on -- they could go in several directions at No. 19. They could use help on defense, and also need a backup quarterback. If they go defense, it’ll be Ohio State linebacker James Laurinaitis or USC linebacker Brian Cushing. We think it’ll be Freeman -- more people we’ve talked to believe there’s no middle ground with Freeman. He’ll either be a great player or a complete stiff. (Speaking of stiff, here’s a word from Jim McMahon...)
20. Detroit. CB Malcom Jenkins, Ohio State. He’ll probably move to safety in the pros, but is still the best defensive back available.
21. Philadelphia. RB Knowshon Moreno, Georgia. The Eagles need to take some of the workload off Brian Westbrook’s shoulders, and Moreno could provide a big boost to the Philadelphia offense. Could also go after Pitt’s LeSean McCoy or UConn’s Donald Brown, two very good pass-catching backs. If the Eagles pick Moreno, I’m totally going to friend him on Facebook, thanks to this page. He’ll be the only one of my friends named Knowshon.
22. Minnesota. WR Darrius Heyward-Bey, Maryland. The Vikings need a receiver that’ll help stretch the field and free things up for Adrian Peterson. They also need a center to replace Matt Birk. If all the top tier wide receivers are off the board, they’ll go for center Alex Mack out of Cal. Whoever they pick, Minnesota still invites ridicule on a weekly basis. They have a coach -- Brad Childress -- who looks like Major Dad and believes Tarvaris Jackson is worthy of starting at quarterback in the NFL. Good luck with that, Minnesota. At least you’ve still got Prince.
23. New England. TE/OLB Connor Barwin, Cincinnati. Nothing has shaken me from my belief that they’re going after Barwin here, a versatile presence who could potentially fill a couple of needs, at least on a part-time basis. Other options include linebackers Robert Ayers, Clay Matthews or Larry English. But there’s more and more talk about the Patriots doing one of two things -- using some or all of their second-round picks as part of a bigger deal, or finding a way to get a premier pass catcher at some point in the first two rounds.
24. Atlanta. TE Brandon Pettigrew. It’s either a defensive tackle or a pass-catcher at this point -- remember, they passed on Glenn Dorsey last year for Matt Ryan. But Pettigrew is a better option at this point, clearly better than any other tight end in the draft and capable of giving the Falcons more help than anyone they could take at this point at defensive tackle. Pettigrew gives Ryan another quality target to throw to.
25. Miami. LB Larry English, Northern Illinois. I initially had cornerback Vontae Davis going here, but the physical nature of English would almost certainly be more appealing to Bill Parcells and the Dolphins. I could also see how Miami would take Maualaga or Clay Matthews if either somehow lasts to No. 25.
26. Baltimore. DT Evander “Ziggy” Hood, Missouri. The Ravens are apparently close to wrapping up a deal for Anquan Boldin, which would almost certainly change their draft focus. Instead of going after a wide receiver, they look to get a little support for an aging defense. If no deal gets done, look for them to take the best available receiver.
27. Indianapolis. DT Peria Jerry, Mississippi. The Colts really need some interior line help. If Hood is still there, they’ll take him, but they’ll settle for Jerry. (No one is worried how Jerry is going to do against NFL competition -- there is, however a question as to how he’d do against Barkevious Mingo, Iris Macadangdang and Vanilla Dong.)
28. Buffalo. Eben Britton, OT, Arizona. The Bills saw Jason Peters leave town, creating a need at the tackle spot. Britton has some positional versatility, but would step in nicely for Buffalo at the left tackle spot.
29. New York Giants. WR Kenny Britt, Rutgers. There’s talk of the Giants and Browns swinging a deal that would send Braylon Edwards to New York -- if they do make that deal, the Giants will look elsewhere. But right now, Britt, Heyward-Bey (if he’s available) or North Carolina’s Hakeem Nicks would make the most sense at No. 29.
30. Tennessee. DT Jarron Gilbert, San Jose State. The Titans need some interior line help after losing Albert Haynesworth, and Gilbert is the best defensive tackle left. Plus, I needed an excuse to get this highlight in here somewhere. Tyson Jackson can’t do that.
31. Arizona. RB Donald Brown, UConn. In the same fashion the Ravens, Colts and Titans will all be eyeballing each other when it comes to taking a defensive tackle, the Cardinals will be watching the Eagles and their choice of running back. If Philly takes Moreno, then the Cards should take Brown, a back who would serve as a worthy partner to Tim Hightower. If the Cardinals pull a surprise, it would be a wide receiver -- that is, if the Boldin to Baltimore deal goes through.
32. Pittsburgh. CB Vontae Davis, Illinois. The Steelers need a cornerback after the loss of Bryant McFadden, and there are a few good ones at the end of the first round, with Davis looking like the best of the bunch.
Christopher Price covers the Patriots for WEEI.com.