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1. Houston Texans- Jadeveon Clowney (South Carolina DE)
The way I see it, this pick is the only one that makes sense. They do need a quarterback, but Bridgewater doesn’t fit with their system, taking Johnny Manziel #1 would be a reach, and I don’t see the Texans front office taking Derek Carr, as they drafted his big brother David #1 eleven years ago, and look how that turned out. Ideally, if Brian Cushing can stay healthy, Clowney, Watt, Cushing would form one of the most intimidating defenses in the NFL. Expect the Texans to draft Clowney, and either mature Case Keenum over the offseason, or trade for a Kirk Cousins-type (good backup).
2. St. Louis Rams- Anthony Barr (UCLA LB)
Right now, the Rams are a pretty decent team. With a good running back, good [when healthy] quarterback, and an average wide receiving corps, they had no offensive needs to be filled here. Also, the O-line looks fine, and the d-line is just spectacular with Long, Quinn, Brockers, and Langford. After reviewing the depth chart, the only position that this team desperately needs is another OLB to pair with Alec Ogletree, and they’re getting a phenomenal one in this pick.
3. Atlanta Falcons- Jake Matthews (Texas A&M OT)
Matthews is clearly the best o-line prospect in this draft, and well, that’s exactly what the Falcons need. Matt Ryan is getting sacked 2.4 times per game, which is the 13th most in the NFL. The O-Line has been an absolute mess, and the only lineman who’s playing very well is Peter Konz. Drafting Matthews is the no-brainer here.
4. Minnesota Vikings- Derek Carr (Fresno State QB)
I think that Carr is an amazing talent who has potential far beyond that of his bust-brother (Nothing against David Carr, just stating the facts). This is the kind of player that every coach, player, and executive would be happy with. In college, he had 3 highly capable RBs and was able to share the load with all of them, which should make Adrian Peterson relieved. If you watch Carr’s highlights, nearly every throw he makes is a perfect throw. Overall, this would be an amazing selection for Minnesota.
5. Jacksonville Jaguars- Teddy Bridgewater (Louisville QB)
Bridgewater, in my opinion, is a little bit overrated, but he’s still a very good player. He could lift this Jaguars team to an 8-8 record next season. Maurice Jones-Drew has shown a sudden reemergence over the past few weeks, and they have a very dependable WR corps in Justin Blackmon and Cecil Shorts III. Those guys will be EVEN better if they had Bridgewater under center.
6. Cleveland Browns- Mike Evans (Texas A&M WR)
In Josh Gordon, the Browns have arguably a top-3 wide receiver in the entire NFL. However, aside from Gordon and their TE, Jordan Cameron, the Browns don’t have any real receiving threats. Gordon is fast and quick, so Mike Evans, who is more of a big-bodied, fighter kind of WR, would be the perfect ying to Gordon’s yang. The best receiving corps consist of one speedy guy and one big guy, just look at the Giants’ Cruz and Nicks. If they drafted Evans, the Browns passing game would improve vastly, as they’d have another young, star WR.
7. Oakland Raiders- Johnny Manziel (Texas A&M QB)
I understand why people may question this pick, as the Raiders already have McGloin and Pryor on their roster, but it seems like this is what Reggie McKenzie is going to do on draft day. If you think about it, though, it makes a lot of sense. His style of play works well with Oakland. He has two deep threats in Denarius Moore and Rod Streater, and the combo of Rashad Jennings and Darren McFadden should allow him to run a very similar offense to the one he did at Texas A&M.
8. Buffalo Bills- Khalil Mack (Buffalo LB)
This shouldn’t come as a surprise, as nearly every mock draft has projected this pick. Khalil Mack went to the University of Buffalo, so he’d be right at home with the Bills. Also, he’d perfectly mesh with Mike Pettine’s hybrid defense. He and Kiko Alonso could form a deadly two-headed monster for the Bills.
9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Cameron Erving (Florida State OT)
Mike Glennon takes a lot of time in the pocket, and upgrading at the OT position could give him even more time. Erving was an excellent lineman at FSU and protected Jameis Winston to a tee. Erving deserves a lot of credit for the fact that Winston won the Heisman trophy. The key to any team is an Offensive Line, and drafting Cameron Erving would give Tampa a very good O-Line.
10. Pittsburgh Steelers- Stephon Tuitt (Notre Dame DE)
Pittsburgh has always been known for their defense, but unfortunately, the Steelers’ defense is aging, particularly the Defensive Line. Brett Keisel is a fan-favorite, but he’s 35 years old and a free agent at the end of the season. Tuitt has a lot of potential, and he’d be an excellent replacement for Keisel. Tuitt would fit perfectly with Dick LeBeau’s system.
11. Tennessee Titans- Vic Beasley (Clemson DE)
Quite honestly, it may be time for the Titans to give up on Derrick Morgan. Either that, or just let Ropati Pitoitua walk at the end of the season. Either way, Tennessee needs work on their D-Line, particularly at the ends, and Clemson’s sack-machine Beasley could be just the right man for the job.
12. New York Giants- David Yankey (Stanford OG)
The Giants just need to keep improving their O-Line. Eli gets sacked more than nearly everybody in the league. They drafted Justin Pugh last year, and he’s been very good, so they don’t need another OT, but rather an OG, as Boothe and Diehl are aging, and they’re free agents after the season. Yankey, Stanford’s OG, would improve this line even more.
13. St. Louis Rams- HaHa Clinton-Dix (Alabama FS)
St. Louis needs a starting, quality FS, and they’re getting that and more in Clinton-Dix. He’s a phenomenal talent, who along with being a safety, can return kicks very well. This pick would be a great one for the St. Louis Rams.
14. New York Jets- Marquise Lee (USC WR)
The Jets have many weaknesses, but the biggest of them all is at the wide receiver position. With Santonio Holmes aging and constantly getting injured, as well as Stephen Hill being a complete bust, they don’t have much talent at WR. Jeremy Kerley is fine, but he shouldn’t be more than a WR3 in the NFL. Marquise Lee is a great WR and he should work very well with Geno Smith, hopefully improving the Jets passing game.
15. San Diego Chargers- Darqueze Dennard (Michigan State CB)
Michigan State’s Dennard is a great cornerback who has proven his worth several times this season. That works, as San Diego’s only glaring weakness is at the cornerback position. Dennard would be a major improvement over Derek Cox, and he’d make that secondary so much better.
16. Green Bay Packers- Cyrus Kouandijo (Alabama OT)
Over the course of the season, the Packers have started 4 quarterbacks- Aaron Rodgers, Seneca Wallace, Scott Tolzien, and Matt Flynn. Between them, they’ve been sacked 44 times, which is second only to Ryan Tannehill’s 47. Clearly, the Packers need to improve their Offensive Line. It may be partially due to Brian Bulaga’s absence, but that can’t be the only reason. They have two weak, young OTs in David Bakhtiari and Don Barclay. With Bulaga’s return and the drafting of Kouandijo they can take two very bad OTs and turn that into two great OTs.
17. Detroit Lions- Ifo Ekpre-Olomu (Oregon CB)
The Lions secondary has been dreadful for the past few years, and they hoped bringing in the aging Rashean Mathis would help, but it didn’t. Ekpre-Olomu would be the perfect fit for improving this secondary. Ekpre-Olomu is a complete ball hawk and should be great for the Lions secondary.
18. Chicago Bears- Blake Bortles (Central Florida QB)
This may come as a complete shocker, but hear me out for a moment. Cutler and McCown are both free agents, and after each of them played very well this season, it’s likely that they’ll have a high asking price and neither will return to Soldier Field. Bortles was very good in college and would be an excellent selection for Chicago. Even if Cutler or McCown comes back, Bortles could either sit back for a year or two and get a feel for the system, or compete for the starting job.
19. Baltimore Ravens- Eric Ebron (North Carolina TE)
Ebron is an amazing talent and would fit very well with Joe Flacco. Not to mention, Dallas Clark, Ed Dickson, and Dennis Pitta will all be free agents at seasons end, and it’s looking more and more unlikely that Ozzie Newsome brings them back to Baltimore. Ebron has the potential to be as good as Jimmy Graham, Rob Gronkowski, Antonio Gates, and Tony Gonzalez. He’s an electrifying player that would fit very well with Baltimore’s offense.
20. Dallas Cowboys- Trent Murphy (Stanford DE)
Dallas has a very good offense, but their defensive unit is just awful. One step in improving this is drafting a DE, Trent Murphy. This pick could be put to use in 3 different ways: 1) He could take the starting job from George Selvie; 2) He can be a fringe starter at the beginning of his career, getting the sole starting job when DeMarcus Ware is injured; and 3) Learning under the great DeMarcus Ware, and take his job when Ware retires. The versatility of this pick is the main reason that Dallas should select Murphy.
21. Miami Dolphins- Taylor Lewan (Michigan OT)
The Dolphins O-Line is a complete mess. With the Incognito-Martin scandal, they lost two starting O-Lineman, and it’s likely that neither will ever wear a ‘Phins uniform again. Bryant McKinnie is old. Nate Garner is average at best. John Jerry hardly made their roster. Mike Pouncey is great, but as of late, he’s been constantly distracted by the Aaron Hernandez scandal. Tyson Clabo is good, but he’s old. Drafting Lewan would improve the mess that is the Dolphins offensive line.
22. Philadelphia Eagles- Justin Gilbert (Oklahoma State CB)
A few years ago, the Eagles had Nnamdi Asomugah, Asante Samuel, and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie- forming what many called the best secondary in the NFL. Isn’t it hard to believe that none of those guys are even on the team, and the Eagles are in need of a cornerback? Cary Williams has been good, but Bradley Fletcher on the other side has not. Putting Justin Gilbert opposite Cary Williams would form a pretty good and intimidating secondary.
23. Cleveland Browns- Braxton Miller (Ohio State QB)
Braxton Miller has a whole lot of talent. A lot of people are saying that either he isn’t going to leave college, or he isn’t a legitimate NFL prospect. Cleveland has been known for risky decisions, so if Braxton left OSU and was on the board, I wouldn’t be even remotely surprised if the Browns drafted him.
24. Arizona Cardinals- Jace Amaro (Texas Tech TE)
Rob Housler has not been the player that people expected at the beginning of the season, and that’s been an issue for the Cardinals. Every contending team needs a tight end threat, and Arizona doesn’t have one. We saw the way Carson Palmer worked with TE Brandon Myers in Oakland last season, and he needs another TE connection like that in Arizona. He’d be getting it in Jace Amaro.
25. Cincinnati Bengals- CJ Mosley (Alabama LB)
Cincinnati signed James Harrison to a big contract last year, but the 35 year old has not shown his worth this season. CJ Mosley was phenomenal at Alabama and seems like he may be even better in the NFL. This pick would be great, not just because of his potential and skill, but it could also help offset the impact picks of the Bengals division rivals, the Ravens. CJ Mosley would be a great option to defend Eric Ebron. Overall, Mosley should be a phenomenal pick for the Bengals.
26. San Francisco 49ers- Jordan Matthews (Vanderbilt WR)
The 49ers have had a glaring weakness at the WR position this season, even since Mario Manningham and Michael Crabtree have returned. To make matters worse, Manningham and Anquan Boldin are free agents after the season, and it’s uncertain if they’ll make a return to San Francisco. Matthews was great at Vanderbilt and could be another strong WR option for Colin Kaepernick.
27. Carolina Panthers- Bradley Roby (Ohio State CB)
The Carolina Panthers are a great team, particularly on the defensive side of the ball, but they may need to make an improvement at cornerback. Captain Munnerlyn is a free agent after the season and Josh Thomas, the other starting CB, isn’t very good. Roby would be a great pick for Carolina as he has a whole lot of potential and fits well with what Ron Rivera is doing in Carolina.
28. Kansas City Chiefs- Allen Robinson (Penn State WR)
Kansas City needs another WR, with Donnie Avery’s struggles and Dwayne Bowe’s scandals. Robinson resembles a faster Josh Gordon. Yes, a FASTER Josh Gordon… Robinson has a whole lot of potential, skill, and explosiveness and would be a great fit with Kansas City.
29. New England Patriots- Louis Nix (Notre Dame DT)
The Pats have one great DT in Chandler Jones, but next to him, they have Joe Vellano, who shouldn’t be a starter. Well, he’s not. He only is because Tommy Kelly and Vince Wilfork, both aging D-Linemen , were placed on the IR. No matter which way you put it, those two guys will either be consistently injured, or retired, over the next few years. Louis Nix will not only be an impact player, but he’ll also be a project, and he will learn under Wilfork and Kelly.
30. New Orleans Saints- Aaron Donald (Pittsburgh DT)
Aaron Donald has absolutely cleaned up over the NCAA Football award season. While a lot of people don’t expect him to go first round, I think that the Saints may pick him, as he’d fit perfectly with their system. He’s an outrageously well-rounded DT who can do many things on the field. In particular, he’s a great pass rusher, and that’s what the Saints need.
31. Seattle Seahawks- Jason Verrett (TCU CB)
The Seahawks have an amazing secondary, but Brandon Browner, their talented cornerback, has constantly been in trouble over PED usage. Not to mention, he’s a free agent after the season, so it’s likely that either Seattle doesn’t welcome him and his scandals back, or his asking price is too high for them to match. Seattle needs to keep that reputation as the best secondary in the NFL, and putting Verrett opposite Richard Sherman would do just that.
32. Denver Broncos- Ra’Shede Hageman (Minnesota DT)
Denver needs to improve their defense, particularly their Defensive Line, and drafting Hageman would be a great way to do just that. He’s an absolute giant at 6’6, 311 lbs. Overall, Hageman would fit perfectly with Jack Del Rio’s defense.
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