First a disclaimer, I get most of my information from NFL.com and my mock is based off reading there analysts mocks and adjusting to what I think a team will (or should) do with their first round pick.
1. Texans select DE Jadaveon Clowney
I still give Manziel or Bortles a shot, but at the end of the day Clowney is just too tempting to pass up. The South Carolina product has received praise from the Texans owner, Bob McNair, Current defensive star, JJ Watt, and former teammate and current Texan, DJ Swearinger. Actually it was Swearinger who convinced me this had to be the pick as he brought up the fact that South Carolina’s former strength coach, Craig Fitzgerald, was the one keeping Clowney’s nose to the grindstone before leaving South Carolina for Penn State and now serves as the head strength coach for the Texans.
2. Rams select OT Greg Robinson
Ultimately, I think the Rams trade out of this pick, if they don’t, or if they don’t drop far Robinson should be there selection. According to CBS sports, Robinson is viewed as a work in progress as a pass blocker, but thanks to Auburn’s run heavy offense his skills as a mauling run blocker should translate immediately to the next level. This allows the Rams to start Robinson on at RT during his rookie year allowing him to adapt to the NFL pass rush and learn from veteran LT Jake Long without usurping the pricy 2012 free agent pick-up. It;s the same concept employed by the Chiefs and Jaguars at the top of last years draft.
3. Jaguars select OLB Anthony Barr
Manziel, and Bridgewater are tempting, and Blake Bortles offers that hometown flair, but drafting a QB to team with limited offensive firepower is how the Jags found themselves here in the first place. With MJD’s impending free agency and Justin Blackmon’s suspension, this is a team seriously lacking firepower. I think the Jags need to look to get their primary pass rusher here, and Barr seems to be the best fit for the system and gives the Jaguars another solid building block (along with last years top picks Luke Joeckel and John Cyprien.)
4. Browns select WR Sammy Watkins
New General Manager Ray Farmer said he wants to throw a curveball, and I think this is it. I still like Johnny Manziel as a possibility, but new offensive coordinator has already dealt with one boom or bust style Texas QB and I’m not sure he’d like to repeat the experience. Sammy Watkins is a safer pick, and I think his skill set pairs nicely with Josh Gordon’s. As for what to do a QB, I’ll bring it back to Kyle Shanahan thanks to an idea planted in my head by MMQB’s Peter King. The Browns could offer the Redskins a 2015 2nd round pick paired with maybe a 5th round pick in 2014 for Cousins. This would allow Cousins to stay in the same offensive system with a better defense, offensive line and 3 legitimate receiving threats in Josh Gordon, Jordan Cameron and Sammy Watkins. Suddenly, no one’s really looking forward to seeing the Browns on Sundays.
5. Raiders select QB Teddy Bridgewater
The QB question in Oakland finds it’s answer and Teddy Bridgewater finds a home. I actually think the Raiders have some interesting young talent on the offensive side of the ball, and I think Bridgewater’s accuracy and ability to play more of a pro style game is a better fit than Johnny Manziel’s tendency towards improvisation.
6. Falcons select DE Khalil Mack
Mack is an underrated player out of Buffalo, but he grades out in most mocks as a top 10 talent and the Falcons desperately need a productive pass rusher. If Atlanta decides to move on from the rehabbing Sam Baker, LT Greg Robinson becomes an interesting name. The Falcons could also use help on the interior line, and will be looking for a TE as well, but the 6 spot seems a bit early for those.
7. Buccaneers select TE Eric Ebron
Lovie Smith said QB was possible and Johnny Manziel might look good here, especially with Mike Glennon already in place as a back up, but I think Glennon performed well in a bad spot last year and Ebron has the skill set to be a game changer (he said so himself.) I know this may seem high for a tight end, but the top WR, LT and two pass rushers are off the board and the Bucs have spent the last few years watching their NFC South counterparts ride the likes of Jimmy Graham, Greg Olsen, and Tony Gonzalez to division titles. It’s time for the Bucs to get into the TE game and Ebron is a matchup nightmare.
Interesting side note, Bucs QB coach was the offensive coordinator at Wisconsin, so if Junior QB Brett Smith goes undrafted or is still available in the 7th round the Bucs are a prime candidate to take a flier on him and give Mike Glennon some competition.
8. Vikings select QB Johnny Manziel
The Vikings waste no time grabbing the pick who’s early comparisons were to Vikings legend Fran Tarkenton. I don’t know how well Manziel’s style fits Norv Turner’s offense, but Manziel has the arm strength to make all the throws, and he seems to be a willing student of the game that would embrace working under a such a well respected offensive mind.
9. Bills select OT Jake Matthews
Matthews may not last this long, but if he does I expect the Bills to snag him as a much needed presence opposite Cordy Glenn. Matthews is viewed as a can’t miss prospect, and the Bills suffered without EJ Manuel last season, so keeping the young QB upright will be priority 1 for Buffalo.
10. Lions select CB Darqueze Dennard
Cornerback is a big need for the Lions, and Dennard seems to be the most complete corner in this class. It helps that he’s used to playing in the cold after a college career at Michigan State.