I thought I would post this tonight as there are a lot of football fans on the blog and to prevent other threads from being filled wit NFL draft talk. I actually compiled a mock draft earlier that was very detailed but that got erased so I decided to create another, less-detailed version for this thread. Give it a read and tell me how wrong or right I am and see how poorly I fare. I also did not include trade scenarios in the picks themselves.
And now, I present my mock draft
1. HOU — DE Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina
Adam Schefter is reporting that the Texans have already made up their minds and will not be trading their pick. Clowney is probably their guy unless they have OLB Khalil Mack rated higher. Mack could be the more productive pro and will be most likely be better off the bat but Clowney has all the tools to be a star. Despite needing a QB, their is no one in this draft worthy of the #1 overall pick.
2. STL — OT Greg Robinson, Auburn
I would like to think that the Falcons are itching to trade up in order to select either Clowney or Mack but if the Rams stay put, I believe that Robinson is their guy. Todd McShay called Robinson the “most dominate player at the point of attack” that he has ever evaluated. With Jeff Fisher’s ties to Jake Matthews, he might be under consideration for this pick too.
3. JAX — OLB Khalil Mack, Buffalo
Mack might be the rookie that makes the biggest impact this season. Jacksonville has needs at QB and WR but Mack came come in and be the star of the defense for years to come. I doubt they go with Johnny Manziel this high and I think drafting Sammy Watkins with a shaky QB situation will not pay immediate dividends. Mack is probably the best player left on the board.
4. CLE — WR Sammy Watkins, Clemson
Watkins, by most accounts, is the top WR in the draft. The only thing that Cleveland has at WR is Josh Gordon, who is fantastic, but in case he gets hurt or has anymore off-field issues, Watkins can step in as the top guy. He might even be a legitimate #1 wideout in the NFL after a few years. He will also give either Brian Hoyer or maybe a rooie QB a dependable target. Another person to watch for with this pick is OT Jake Matthews, who along with Joe Thomas can serve as a valuable pair of tackles along the O-Line. Matthews could step in at right tackle, a position he played at the first three years at Texas A & M. I don’t think they would consider QB Johnny Manziel this high, even with Kyle Shanahan running the offense.
5. OAK — OT Jake Matthews, Texas A&M
The Raiders desperately need to protect their quarterback and Matthews is one of the best players on the board. He has played both tackle spots in college and should be starting right away. If Sammy Watkins is still on the board, I see the Raiders taking him but if not, Matthews is their guy. The Raiders could also trade down as they only have 4 of the top 200 picks in this draft and a lot of holes to fill.
6. ATL — OT Taylor Lewan, Michigan
If the Falcons cannot trade up to select a pass rusher, then I think they would want to see if they can trade down. Lewan, who despite character concerns, has been buzzing atop draft boards lately and does fit a need. My gut tells me that the Falcons are trading this pick regardless.
7. TB — WR Mike Evans, Texas A&M
Evans is very difficult to match up against and would make a dangerous receiving duo alongside Vincent Jackson. Tampa could also use a quarterback and could consider either Manziel or Blake Bortles with this selection as one of their current QB’s, Mike Glennon, figures to be traded either tomorrow or Saturday.
8. MIN — DT Aaron Donald, Pitt
The Vikings defense was pitiful and plugging Donald alongside last year’s pick Sharrif Floyd can help out their situation greatly. Minnesota can also look to add a QB or even a CB like Justin Gilbert with this pick.
9. BUF — TE Eric Ebron, North Carolina
The Bills have a penchant for overdrafting players and Ebron at #9 seems a bit too high but he does give them a weapon. Buffalo has been one of the teams rumored to be trading up, my guess for either a WR or OT, and could even consider OT Zack Martin here. Ebron’s downside is that he is a terrible blocker but then again, so are most people that play for the Bills.
10. DET — CB Justin Gilbert, Oklahoma St.
The only cornerback on the Lions roster last season to record an interception was Chris Houston and he only had one. Gilbert is a playmaker in the secondary and the Lions have no one on the roster like him. They could also consider OLB Anthony Barr as a pass rusher or a target for Stafford. If Ebron is still on the board, he could be considered.
11. TEN — QB Blake Bortles, Central Florida
Jake Locker is terrible and taking Bortles here seems like a smart move. They also need a cornerback and Darqueze Dennard could be an option but with his injury history, Bortles is the better pick.
12. NYG — OT Zack Martin, Notre Dame
Eli played behind a porous line last year and the versatile Martin can step in at right tackle or guard. The Giants also need some weapons in the passing game and if Ebron is available, he might be their guy instead.
13. STL — S Calvin Pryor, Louisville
The Rams desperately need a safety and reports have stated the Rams like him better than the other top safety prospect, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, so I think he is the choice based on what is left in my mock. Pryor has been compared to Bob Sanders with the way he flies around the field. The Rams have a need at WR but the draft is deep in that position and they can find value in the later rounds.
14. CHI — CB Darqueze Dennard, Michigan St.
Chicago needs to load up on defensive players early in the draft. Dennard is a good fit for them, as he can cover and solid in run support too. They also need a safety in the worst way and if Calvin Pryor is somehow left, I can see the Bears snatching him up. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix is another choice. Trading up to land DT Aaron Donald is another possibility.
15. PIT — CB Kyle Fuller, Virginia Tech
Fuller is vesatile and can press cover and is aggressive in run support. He can really lineup anywhere. Pittsburgh also needs help at WR, with Odell Beckham and Marqise Lee as possible picks.
16. DAL — QB Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M
I really hope this pick happens so I can watch everyone meltdown on social media. Its been rumored that owner Jerry Jones loves Manziel and with Tony Romo 34 years old and coming off of back surgery, this team needs a QB for the future. Plus, I don’t think this team has the talent to contend anytime soon so its not like they are wasting a pick here by thinking about the future. Trading up for DT Aaron Donald is a possibility too, as is a Safety.
17. BAL — FS Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Alabama
The Ravens need a safety to pair up with Matt Elam and Clinton-Dix fits the bill. He has the range and ball skills that Elam lacks. If Ebron falls this far, the Ravens could take him or even ILB CJ Mosley, but that is not the most glaring position of need on this team.
18. NYJ — WR Odell Beckham Jr., LSU
Beckham is one of the best route-runners in the draft. His explosiveness also compliments the Jets newest WR, Eric Decker. This team lacks playmakers on offense and Beckham should be able to contribute from the start. If not him, they could go with other WR’s like Marqise Lee and Brandin Cooks or even look for help in the secondary.
19. MIA — OT Cyrus Kouandjio, Alabama
The Dolphins offensive line is in complete disarray and needs to be addressed in the draft. Kouandjio struggles against smaller, speed guys but is one of the most talented lineman left in the draft at this point and worthy of a selection. If the Dolphins want to address the defense first, they could select a linebacker, with CJ Mosley and Ryan Shazier as possibilities.
20. ARZ — OLB Anthony Barr, UCLA
Barr has a lot of potential but also a lot to learn as he spent two seasons at fullback before making the switch to defense. His skill set fits the 3-4 defense the Cardinals run and the team can be patient with him to start, as they do not have any glaring needs on the roster. A QB can be considered here too and if someone like Bortles drops down to them, he might be too tough to pass up on.
21. GB — ILB CJ Mosley, Alabama
Mosley has a lot of red flags but a top-ten talent based on potential alone and the Packers need a lot of help at linebacker. Ryan Shazier might be a possibility and Mel Kiper of ESPN mocked Marqise Lee to the Packers after hearing from people that there is no way he will fall past this selection so do not be surprised if that happens.
22. PHI — WR Brandin Cooks, Oregon State
With DeSean Jackson leaving, Cooks can fill the role of deep threat and more. He is known for always working hard, which is a trait that Jackson lacked, and could really be dangerous in Chip Kelly’s scheme. I think they are definitely going with a receiver here and ohter options could be Marqise Lee and Jordan Matthews.
23. KC — WR Marqise Lee, USC
Lee can help replace what Dexter McCluster brought to the Chiefs last year. He is also a better receiver. If one of the top safeties falls down, the Cheiefs could take one of them or consider one of the top guards, like Joel Bitonio or Xavier Su’a-Filo
24. CIN — CB Jason Verrett, TCU
The Bengals are old at cornerback and Verrett, while small, plays big and willing to help in run support. Bradley Roby is another corner that they could target, despite his character concerns and on-field discipline problems, as the Bengals do not shy away from that. There is also talk that the team could trade up, maybe to address the LT spot.
25. SD — OLB Ryan Shazier, Ohio State
Although small, Shazier is a playmaker on defense. The Chargers need a lot of help in the secondary too but Shazier might be the best defender left on the board. He should step in right away and contribute.
26. CLE — QB Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville
I dont see Bridgewater slipping past the first round, no matter how mediocre he looked at his pro day. He has a lot of instincts and by sitting on the bench for a year, the team can be patient while he soaks in the playbook. Cleveland also needs help along the offensive line and could address that with this pick.
27. N.O. — CB Bradley Roby, Ohio St.
The Saints need a younger cornerback to challenge Champ Bailey, who looked pathetic in the Super Bowl last year. Roby, despite his concerns, still offers good value at this point in the draft. The Saints could also consider a WR, with Jordan Matthews being an intriguing option or even a linebacker to fit the 3-4 scheme. Dee Ford could be an option there too.
28. CAR — WR Jordan Matthews, Vanderbilt
Matthews should help Newton right away as a big target. He can run and has the size (6’3 210 lbs). Carolina is desperate for help at receiver. They also could use a left tackle and help at cornerback but Matthews should step in and make a difference right away.
29. NE — DT Ra’Shede Hageman, Minnesota
To the shock of no one, ESPN is reporting that the Pats are looking to trade down and the real shock would occur if they stood pat. Hageman fills a position of need with Vince Wilfork and Tommy Kelly coming off of injury. They also need to address the interior offensive line, with a versatile OL like Joel Bitonio a possible pick. Adding another weapon on offense for Tom Brady should be considered early in the draft too.
30. S.F. — OLB Dee Ford, Auburn
The most likely scenario is that the 49ers trade up in order to draft a receiver or cornerback. In the event they stay here, a pass rusher like Ford would be a nice addition, especially with the uncertainty around Aldon Smith. They have a lot of pieces to trade up and I expect that they will.
31. DEN — OG Xavier Su’a Filo, UCLA
Protecting Manning is a priority and Filo is the top rated guard in the draft. The pick fills a hole left by the departing Zane Beadles. Denver also needs a starter at corner opposite Aqib Talib and can find a deep-threat at receiver on the second day.
32. SEA — DE Stephon Tuitt, Notre Dame
Seattle lost a lot along their defensive line and their scheme requires them to have a lot at that position so he makes a lot of sense. If Pete Carroll gets him to play, he could be a steal. Seattle also needs help at wide receiver and cornerback.