Kiper’s latest mock has Sanchez falling to Redskins

In Mel Kiper’s latest mock draft, he has USC quarterback Mark Sanchez falling to the Redskins at No. 13.

5. Cleveland Browns (4-12)
Michael Crabtree, WR, Texas Tech: The stress fracture in his left foot shouldn’t affect his draft status. He’s a big-time player who should have a Larry Fitzgerald-type career in the NFL.

13. Washington Redskins (8-8)
Mark Sanchez, QB, USC: Sanchez definitely is one of the top five to eight players available in this draft, and getting him here would be a bit of a steal, because had he returned to USC for his senior season, he likely would have been the No. 1 overall pick.

14. New Orleans Saints (8-8)
Chris Wells, RB, Ohio State: Wells is a nice fit for the Saints after they let running back Deuce McAllister go in the offseason. He could be a perfect complement to Reggie Bush.

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9-7)
Josh Freeman, QB, Kansas State: Freeman is an interesting prospect because he throws a great ball and has imposing size at nearly 6-foot-6 and 245 pounds. However, his inconsistent play puts him in the boom-or-bust category.

24. Atlanta Falcons (11-5)
Brandon Pettigrew, TE, Oklahoma State: Pettigrew remains the No. 1 tight end on the board and would be a help to young Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan.

It’s easy to disagree with someone’s mock just days before the draft, but the above are the projections I find the most fault in.

Cleveland: I had the Browns taking Crabtree in my second mock because I not only bought into the notion that they could select him after trading Braylon Edwards, but also because he would be the best player available at that spot and could fill the void when Edwards presumably leaves Cleveland as a free agent after the 2009 season. But the Browns just have too many other needs to fill and I can envision them waiting to take a receiver until the second or third round. Plus, rumor has it that Crabtree didn’t endear himself to the Cleveland staff in a recent visit and the Browns have all but crossed him off their draft board.

Washington: Unless Kiper believes that the Redskins will eventually trade up to get him, I don’t see Sanchez falling to No. 13. Seattle and Cleveland are major possibilities in the top 5 and if he falls, I could see a team (the Jets maybe?) trading up to snag him ahead of Washington.

New Orleans: The Saints aren’t going to take an offensive player with only one pick in the first three rounds. I have to believe that they’re going defense with their first pick, especially with Pierre Thomas ready for a more active role in their offense.

Tampa Bay: With Byron Leftwich, Luke McCown, Josh Johnson and Brian Griese already on the roster, I can’t see the Bucs taking a flier on Freeman, who is an incredibly raw prospect.

Atlanta: The majority of mock drafts on the web have the Falcons taking Pettigrew and I understand why – he fills a need and would give Matt Ryan a nice target in the passing game. But the tight end doesn’t play a significant role in Mike Mularkey’s offense and the Falcons have major holes on the defensive side of the ball, most notably at outside linebacker, defensive tackle, safety and defensive end. For as good of a prospect as Pettigrew could be, I just don’t see GM Thomas Dimitroff waiting a full round before addressing the defense.

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