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NFL draft Saturday

PATRICK BRYAN

The Detroit Lions will have the first pick of the 2009 NFL draft on Saturday. The Lions head into the draft fresh off the worst record in NFL history (0-16) and arguably with the worst team the NFL has ever seen.

This year’s class is full of talent, but experts and critics both say the 2009 class lacks franchise-type talent. Many experts believe former Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford will be the No.1 overall pick, but the only thing the experts are certain of is the unpredictability of the picks.

The Lions do need someone to throw to former first-round pick Calvin Johnson at the receiver position.

Aaron Curry, an outside linebacker from Wake Forest, is the No. 1 rated linebacker in the class and would make an automatic impact on the Detroit defense.

Mel Kiper, ESPN NFL draft expert, has projected Curry to go third overall to the Kansas City Chiefs.

Although the amount of talent at the skills positions is not what it has been of recent years, there are numerous prospects for the men in the trenches. Some draft projections have four offensive tackles being picked in the first ten.

Jason Smith from Baylor is the No.1 tackle in the class, and is followed by Virginia’s Eugene Monroe. The other two stand-out tackles are Michael Oher from Ole Miss and Alabama’s Andre Smith.

The order these two will go has been volatile.

Aside from Stafford, wide receiver Michael Crabtree from Texas Tech is the highest rated skills player.

Many experts have Crabtree going to a Cleveland Browns team that is hurting for some receiver talent.

The New Orleans Saints are slotted to have the 14th pick. Many experts have the Saints taking a running back due to the fact New Orleans cut Deuce McAllister. Chris “Beanie” Wells hard running would complement the finesse and quickness of Reggie Bush. If the Saints do not take a running back, they will most likely try to fill a void in the defensive secondary. The Tennessee Titans have the third from last pick in the first round, and are only ahead of the two teams that played in the Super Bowl.

The Titans lost Pro Bowl defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth, but will probably not be able to pick up a highly talented DT with their first pick.

Rumors of the Titans taking Florida’s WR Percy Harvin have been mentioned, but it is likely that Tennessee will pick up someone for the secondary. Kiper has Darius Butler, a corner from Connecticut, going to the Titans. Sen’Derrick Marks, DT from Auburn, and former Alabama safety Rashad Johnson are expected to be drafted in the second round. Sherrod Martin and Terrence Moore, both defensive backs from Troy, may go in the later rounds.