Mock Draft

Pick Team Pos. Name Height Weight School
1 Houston Texans DE Jadaveon Clowney 6’6″ 274 South Carolina
The Texans are in dire need of a quarterback after trading Matt Schaub to Oakland this offseason, but this year’s draft is stockpiled with talented quarterbacks later in the draft.  Clowney is a better prospect than Bridgewater, Bortles, or Manziel.  There’s no clear consensus on the top quarterback among scouts, which is unusual this close to the draft.   It makes more sense for Houston to take a chance on a quarterback in the second or third rounds.  Bill O’Brien is viewed as a quarterback guru, capable of coaching up players who may not be as flashy as the top three quarterbacks.  After signing Ryan Fitzpatrick, the Texans have a quarterback capable of starting this season until their quarterback of the future is ready.  Athletes like Clowney don’t come around often.  Pairing Clowney with JJ Watt would be a nightmare for opposing AFC South teams.
2 St. Louis Rams WR Sammy Watkins 6’1″ 205 Clemson
Chris Givens led Rams wide receivers in receiving yards last season with 569 yards.  Typically, a leading receiver of that caliber isn’t going to get you a spot in the playoffs.  Sam Bradford played well last season until he blew out his knee in week seven.  Adding Watkins will give him a top receiving threat.  Having the speed of Watkins and Tavon Austin on the field at the same time could lead to a lot of big plays.  Watkins averaged 8.48 yards after the catch this season.  The only concern I have about Watkins is his route running.  He may have trouble adjusting to the NFL because 57% of his receptions last season came on screen plays.  Watkins didn’t have much trouble getting seperation from defensive backs when he ran longer routes you typicaly see at the next level, but there really isn’t enough on tape for me to be 100% sold he’s capable of doing it at the next level quickly.  It make take him a year to adjust.
3 Jacksonville Jaguars QB Teddy Bridgewater 6’3″ 205 Louisville
I really love this pick for Jacksonville.  Bridgewater is the most pro-ready quarterback in this year’s draft and I’m much higher on him than most are lately.  Bridgewater’s stock has fallen lately because of a below-average pro day, but one pro day can’t overshadow the fantastic season he had.  Bridgewater is very smart and knows how to read defenses much better than any other quarterback in this class.  He’s a great fit for Jacksonville’s offense and is capable of being a day one starter.
4 Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel 5’11″ 207 Texas A&M
Manziel could be the player that turns Cleveland into a winning team.  The Browns have a good offensive line and a great playmaking receiver already in Josh Gordon.  They also added running back Ben Tate in free agency.  Now that Cleveland knows they have weapons on offense, quarterback is the last piece to add in.  Hoyer showed promise last season before his injury, but he isn’t a game changer like Manziel.
5 Oakland Raiders OT Greg Robinson 6’5″ 332 Auburn
Oakland needs help at quite a few positions, but I view taking an offensive lineman here the best value.  Robinson could go as high as number two.  Oakland already has their starting quarterback in Matt Schaub and they’ll need to make sure he’s protected.  Robinson would be an instant upgrade on their line and a day one starter.
6 Atlanta OLB Khalil Mack 6’3″ 251 Buffalo
Atlanta will most likely be transitioning to more of a 3-4 defense this season under Mike Nolan, based on their additions of Paul Solia (3-4 nose tackle) and Tyson Jackson (3-4 defensive end) this offseason.  The Falcons have already commited a significant amount of money towards this transition and Mack fits perfectly as the next piece to add to their defense.  Mack can play as 4-3 DE and a 3-4 OLB, so he would fit Nolan’s hybrid scheme perfectly.  Mack’s pass rushing ability is much needed in Atlanta.  The Falcons only recorded 32 sacks last season, tied for second lowest in the league.
7 Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Mike Evans 6’5″ 231 Texas A&M
Tampa Bay’s biggest need is a guard, but there really is no guard in this draft worth that high of a pick.  Instead, I see the Bucs taking Evans.  Tampa Bay is thin at receiver after trading Mike Williams to Buffalo.  Evans would immediately become the #2 receiver.  Vincent Jackson is still a top receiver in the league, but is 31 years old.  It’s time for Tampa Bay to start looking at the future here.  Evans is a big target who can create seperation and make big plays down the field.
8 Minnesota Vikings QB Blake Bortles 6’5″ 232 UCF
The Vikings are desperate for a quarterback.  Christian Ponder and Matt Cassel are not the solution long term in Minnesota.  Bortles is viewed by some as the top quarterback in this class and is a steal here for Minnesota at 8.  I’ll admit, I’m not as high on Bortles as others.  He’ll need more time to develop than Bridgewater or Manziel will.  However, his transition may be a little easier in Minnesota with weapons like Adrian Peterson, Kyle Rudolph, and Cordarrelle Patterson.
9 Buffalo Bills OT Jake Matthews 6’5″ 305 Texas A&M
Jake Matthews is one of the most polished players in this draft and the Bills are getting a steal here at number nine.  Buffalo will be looking for someone to protect second year quarterback EJ Manuel.  Buffalo allowed 48 sacks last season, fourth most in the NFL.
10 Detroit Lions FS Ha Ha Clinton-Dix 6’1″ 208 Alabama
Detroit struggled last season on defense and cut former starter Louis Delmas this offseason.  The Lions haven’t replaced Delmas yet.  They could have faith in replacing Delmas internally with Don Carey, but Carey wouldn’t provide the same playmaking ability Ha Ha Clinton-Dix does.
11 Tennessee Titans OLB Anthony Barr 6’5″ 255 UCLA
Barr is very athletic, great at blitzing, and putting pressure on the quarterback.
12 New York Giants DT Aaron Donald 6’1″ 285 Pittsburgh
The Giants are thin on the defensive line after losing Linval Joseph to free agency.  As of now, the projected starters are Cullen Jenkins (33 years old) and Jonathan Hankins (has just 16 career tackles).  Bringing in Donald would make sense with so much uncertainty on the defensive line.
13 St. Louis Rams CB Darqueze Dennard 5’11″ 199 Michigan State
St. Louis released Cortland Finnegan during the offseason and could use an upgrade without his prescence.  Dennard provides just that.  He’s great at playing man coverage and would fit well in defensive coordinator Gregg Williams’ scheme.
14 Chicago Bears DT Timmy Jernigan 6’2″ 299 Florida State
Aaron Donald is Chicago’s dream pick, but I don’t think he’ll last this long.  Instead, I have the Bears taking Timmy Jernigan.  Jernigan is very talented, as shown in the national championship game against Auburn, but disappears from games at times.
15 Pittsburgh Steelers CB Justin Gilbert 6’0″ 202 Oklahoma State
Corner is the most pressing need for Pittsburgh at the moment and Gilbert can step in as a day one starter.  Pittsburgh desperately needs some youth at the position, since Ike Taylor’s time in Pittsburgh will be coming to an end soon.
16 Dallas Cowboys DT Louis Nix III 6’2″ 342 Notre Dame
Nix probably isn’t the Cowboys first choice here, but he fills a need with Aaron Donald, Timmy Jernigan, and Anthony Barr already off the board.  Nix was a top recruit coming out of high school.
17 Baltimore Ravens OT Taylor Lewan 6’8″ 309 Michigan
The Ravens have a whole at right tackle after Michael Oher signed with Tennessee this offseason.  Lewan is a steal at this point and only slid this far due to his issues off the field.  He’s a great prospect, otherwise.
18 New York Jets TE Eric Ebron 6’4″ 250 North Carolina
Let’s be honest, the Jets are desperate for playmakers on offense.  They finally signed their number one receiver this offseason, Eric Decker.  Now it’s time to give Geno Smith (or maybe Michael Vick?) another target.  A receiving tight end is a young quarterback’s best friend and Ebron can be Geno’s safety blanket.
19 Miami Dolphins OT Zack Martin 6’4″ 308 Notre Dame
Miami’s offensive line is under renovation after this offseason’s bullying scandal.  Zack Martin can line up as an offensive tackle or guard and Miami has to value his versatility with the amount of depth they need on their offensive line.
20 Arizona Cardinals FS Calvin Pryor 5’11″ 207 Louisville
Pryor is one of my favorite prospects this year and would be a great pick this late for Arizona.  The Cardinals struggled a bit defending big tight ends last season and safety is one of their biggest needs.
21 Green Bay Packers ILB C.J. Mosley 6’2″ 234 Alabama
Mosley is the best coverage linebacker in this draft and Green Bay needs an upgrade over the middle.  Green Bay is most likely looking to improve their speed on defense after losing two playoff games to Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers.
22 Philadelphia Eagles WR Brandin Cooks 5’10″ 189 Oregon State
I’d take Pryor if he was still available, but Cooks is their next best option.  Cooks is a very similar player to Desean Jackson and could definitely fill in his role in Philadelphia.  I could see him having a huge season in this offense.
23 Kansas City Chiefs WR Marquise Lee 6’0″ 192 USC
The Chiefs are really thin at wide receiver, outside of Dwayne Bowe.  Adding Lee will give Alex Smith another solid target.
24 Cincinnati Bengals DE Kony Ealy 6’4″ 273 Missouri
Drafting Ealy makes sense, after losing Michael Johnson in free agency.  Missouri has a history of producing good defensive linemen (Justin Smith, Aldon Smith, and Sheldon Richardson).
25 San Diego Chargers CB Kyle Fuller 6’0″ 190 Virginia Tech
San Diego is really weak at corner.  Fuller is seen as a fringe first rounder by most, but in my opinion he is one of the more complete corners available in this year’s draft.
26 Cleveland Browns CB Bradley Roby 5’11″ 194 Ohio State
The Browns have a great secondary – one of the best in the league.  Buster Skrine improved a lot last year, but I still think he’s better suited playing in the slot.  Joe Haden’s contract is set to expire at the end of this season.  The Browns were interested in trading for Revis this offseason and I wouldn’t be surprised if they took a corner here.  Cleveland heavily values a strong secondary and should plan ahead in case Skrine regresses or they lose Haden to free agency.
27 New Orleans Saints DE Dee Ford 6’2″ 252 Auburn
Victor Butler is coming off a torn ACL and his contract is expiring after this season.  The Saints could draft his potential replacement here.  Ford is a great pass rusher and an underrated prospect.
28 Carolina Panthers WR Odell Beckham Jr. 5’11″ 198 LSU
It’s no secret that the Panthers are short on wide receivers right now.  Beckham Jr. is the best available here and I don’t think the decision is very hard if he’s here at this point.
29 New England Patriots DT Ra’Shede Hageman 6’6″ 311 Minnesota
The Patriots don’t have much of an interior pass rush and need to groom someone behind Vince Wilfork.  Wilford and Tommy Kelly are both coming off injuries and depth is a concern here.
30 San Francisco 49ers CB Jason Verrett 5’10″ 189 TCU
The 49ers are in need of a corner who can cover the slot receiver and Verrett is a nice fit as an undersized corner.
31 Denver Broncos OG Xavier Su’a-Filo 6’4″ 307 UCLA
Denver made big moves in the offseason, but didn’t address their offensive line.  The offensive line was good all season, until Seattle torched them in the Super Bowl.  Denver could use a big guy inside the trenches and Su’a-Filo is the best guard in the draft.
32 Seattle Seahawks WR Kelvin Benjamin 6’5″ 240 Florida State
Benjamin might not be here come draft day.  He’s a really intriguing prospect because of his size, but his drop rate has to be a major concern for any team.  Seattle lacks a big receiver and Benjamin would be a good value here.

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