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Monday, March 16, 2009
Around the NFC West: Time to revise mocks

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Rob Rang of NFL Draft Scout has updated his 2009 projections. He sends Baylor tackle Jason Smith to the Rams, Wake Forest linebacker Aaron Curry to the Seahawks, Missouri receiver Jeremy Maclin to the 49ers and California center Alex Mack to the Cardinals. Rang: "Detroit's trade for veteran outside linebacker Julian Peterson essentially eliminated Wake Forest's Aaron Curry as a candidate to be the first pick of the 2009 draft. Georgia quarterback Matt Stafford may be able to seal up the top spot with an impressive performance at his March 19 pro day. His only remaining competition is with offensive tackles Jason Smith (Baylor) and Eugene Monroe (Virginia)." Rang thinks Stafford will go first because he doesn't think the Lions can bank on getting one of the other quarterbacks with the 20th overall selection.

Rob Staton of Seahawks Draft Blog analyzes Rang's latest mock projection for Seattle. Rang changed his projection to Aaron Curry. Rang: "Trading OLB Julian Peterson creates a gaping hole at the strong-side position in Seattle's defense. The Seahawks could plug Curry in immediately and, considering they'd be getting the player many believe is the draft's top talent at the fourth pick, the team would be getting optimum value." Staton: "Whether or not the Seahawks would draft Curry is more likely down to whether he'll still be on the board, with almost certain interest from both St Louis and Kansas City."

Also from Staton: Forget about Seattle drafting B.J. Raji.

Clare Farnsworth of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer says the Peterson trade wasn't made in response to any refusal to accept a pay cut. He says the deal got done because Cory Redding agreed to adjust his contract. In my view, Redding's willingness to rework his deal reflects an eagerness to leave the Lions. In the aftermath of the trade, sources have provided conflicting information as to whether Seattle asked Peterson to take a pay cut at all. Not that it matters at this point. The Seahawks won't have to carry his $8.8 million cap number for 2009.

David Fucillo of Niners Nation would be surprised if the 49ers drafted a quarterback in the first round this year. Fucillo: "So my question is this: Are the folks that are projecting Mark Sanchez or Matthew Stafford to the 49ers lazy, misinformed, some combination of that, or maybe something else? I realize it's not easy to research all 32 teams. However, when it comes to a first round pick, particularly a top 10 pick, a little knowledge is important."

3K of Turf Show Times unveils a two-round mock draft. Baylor's Smith and Connecticut cornerback Darius Butler go to the Rams. Curry and Missouri safety William Moore go to Seattle. Missouri receiver Jeremy Maclin and South Carolina tackle Jamon Meredith go to the 49ers. Connecticut running back Donald Brown and Utah defensive end Paul Kruger go to Arizona. Texas Tech receiver Michael Crabtree goes to the Bengals in this mock.

Revenge of the Birds' Hawkwind looks at the Cardinals' previous first-round draft choices, providing a terrific photo of Andre Wadsworth squeezing the air from a football. Hawkwind: "He was taken after Peyton Manning and Ryan Leaf, who both received hefty rookie contracts. As a result, he ended up holding out the entire training camp before the Cardinals signed him to a 6-year, $42 million contract, the day before the season opener. Wadsworth played all 16 games and recorded 5 sacks with 57 tackles that year. He followed up his rookie season with an injury-riddled next two years. He required 3 knee surgeries in that span and 4 in his career. He only managed 3 more sacks and played in only 22 games as well."

USA Today runs an interview transcript after speaking with Larry Fitzgerald about his offseason travel plans. He has a home in Cabo, but Fitzgerald says Buenos Aires is the best place he has visited. Fitzgerald: "I enjoyed the culture. The nightlife was a lot of fun, the food was great and the history was awesome. It really reminded me of Europe. The architecture reminded me of France but the nightlife and culture had an Italian feel. It's a great place. I would go back there in a heartbeat. I didn't learn how to tango. I was born with two left feet so dancing is not really my cup of tea."