This in Peter King's Tuesday column on CNNSI: Matthew Stafford, Brandon Pettigrew, more on 2009 NFL draft - Peter King - SI.com I've interspersed a few comments (King's column in italics, my comments in plain type). Eighteen short days until the draft, so it's time for yours truly to start devoting days and nights to draft education. I started with a conversation with Mike Mayock of NFL Network, a guy I like a lot because he's blunt and not afraid to be wrong. If you're afraid to be wrong in the draft business, you'll be mealy mouthed. That's not Mayock. Ten Nuggets Mined From Mayock 1. "This is by far the worst year for the top 10 that I've seen. Down around 18, 20, you'll get every bit the player you'll get in the top 10 for a third of the price.'' I agree, as I've been arguing when people have been suggesting that we move up. Then again, last year when we were picking top 10 all I heard was how terrible the values were compared to 2006 and 2007. 2. His gut feeling is Detroit's taking Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford with the first pick of the draft. 3. "I can't bang the table for Stafford the way I did for Matt Ryan last year. I don't see an elite player in him every time I watch, which you need to see if you're taking a quarterback that high.'' 4. Mayock, if he had his choice of first-round picks for talent and value, would be around 22. "The value in this draft is at 15 and beyond.'' Well, 23 is pretty close to 22. I think we're sitting in great position right where we are. As I've argued before, the list of players at 21-45 or so compared very favorably with the list from 11-20. 5. He says eight or nine tight ends will be drafted in the first three rounds. He loves the best of the bunch, Oklahoma State's Brandon Pettigrew. (I'd love to see the Bills land him, by the way. Perfect offensive weapon for a coordinator, Turk Schonert, who loves to use the tight end.) 6. He likes Eugene Monroe over Jason Smith, if you're picking a franchise tackle. "Smith's got a better upside. Very aggressive. But Monroe's got the best feet in the draft. He's a really accomplished technician.'' 7. He thinks Wake Forest linebacker Aaron Curry -- who Detroit would play at middle linebacker if the Lions made him the first pick of the draft -- would be optimally used at strongside linebacker in the 4-3 because he can cover, he can play physically over the tight end, and he's got upside pass-rushing ability. As much as I like Aaron Curry, I think he's better in the 4-3 than in the 3-4. Do I think he could play in our 3-4? Yes. But he's not an ideal 3-4 OLB, and he's an awfully expensive SILB. 8. He's scared of Brian Orakpo, the Texas defensive end who's the apple of a few teams' eyes in the top half of the first round. "Buyer beware,'' Mayock said. "He's boom or bust. I don't know if he's DeMarcus Ware or Vernon Gholston. I've seen him have some really good games, and I've seen what I considered to be Brandon Pettigrew tearing him apart. The point is, I don't see it all the time from Orakpo, which concerns me.'' Anyone want to trade up to get him? 9. Of the elite quarterbacks, he likes USC's Mark Sanchez the best. "He's the most ready made for the pro game right now.'' 10. If you need a cornerback in this draft, sit it out. There are no corners even well above average, never mind great. Darius Butler at 23 anyone? For those who think Mayock is laughing at all those on the Barwin bandwagon, he doesn't seem too high on the CB options either. A year ago, Mayock told me he liked Ryan, who played four years at Boston College, more than he'd liked any quarterback to come out in years. Not the case with the three early entry passers this year -- Stafford, Sanchez and Kansas State's Josh Freeman. "In the last 15 years, there have been 11 underclass quarterbacks taken in the first round,'' he said. "Of those 11, Ben Roethlisberger and Aaron Rodgers are the only clear successes. It's a dangerous thing, picking young quarterbacks so high.''