Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports
1. Houston Texans – Jadeveon Clowney DE South Carolina
The Texans have the opportunity to draft a freak of an athlete like Clowney with their first pick in the draft and they shouldn’t walk away from this draft without him. The need for a quarterback makes this a tough choice and while guys like Teddy Bridgewater and Johnny Manziel are available, Houston could still grab a potential franchise quarterback at the top of the second round.
2. St. Louis (via Washington) – Jake Matthews OT Texas A&M
A blue-chip player, Matthews is everything you look for in an offensive tackle and more. His leadership and experience will go a long way in his development at the next level. The former Aggie is great at just about every aspect of his position and is a lock to be drafted within the top 10. He will be an instant starter for the Rams and with a head coach like Jeff Fisher, looks to be in good hands.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars – Teddy Bridgewater QB Louisville
There is no way around the fact that the Jaguars need a franchise quarterback and there is no better man for the job than Teddy Bridgewater. Looking at this draft class of quarterbacks, Bridgewater is without a doubt head and shoulders above the rest of the group. Regardless of how his Pro Day might have gone, the game film on this guy shows that he has a great understanding of how both his offense works and the defense thinks. His poise, decision making and accuracy are the best out of any of the available quarterbacks this year and Jacksonville will thrive with him as their signal caller.
4. Cleveland Browns – Sammy Watkins WR Clemson
With the best quarterback off of the board before the Browns have a chance to grab him, there next best move is to take the best player on the board. Enter, Sammy Watkins. This wide receiver is explosive and has the deep threat capability to stretch the field. His physicality and playmaking ability after the catch are also big aspects to Watkins game. Teaming up Watkins with Pro Bowler Josh Gordon will make for one of the most effective duos at wide receiver in the NFL.
5. Oakland Raiders – Johnny Manziel QB Texas A&M
This would be a dream scenario for the Raiders who are desperately in need of a stable situation at quarterback. The electric play and leadership that Johnny Manziel brings with him are very enticing for any quarterback needy team and Oakland is no exception. There are some questions about his durability at the next level, but his potential is too much to pass on. To add to his stock, he has vastly improved his passing capabilities since winning the Heisman Trophy and looks to continue to improve as he develops in the NFL, which is good news for Oakland.
6. Atlanta Falcons – Greg Robinson OT Auburn
What better way to help keep your quarterback happy than by drafting a mammoth left tackle to protect his blindside for years to come. With Auburn’s Greg Robinson, that is exactly what the Falcons will be getting. Not only is he one of the top players in this draft, he is the top run blocking lineman in this entire draft as he is able to blow up just about any defender with his size and leverage. The Falcons are a few pieces away from having a dangerous playoff caliber team and Robinson, with his upside and potential, would be a huge get for them.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Mike Evans WR Texas A&M
Another potentially great pairing of wide receivers could be in the works with Tampa Bay selecting Mike Evans with their first pick. Lining Evans opposite of Vincent Jackson would be a nightmare for opposing defenses to try to slow down and contain. Regardless of which quarterback is throwing to him, you can expect that he will have the same impact. With his size, leaping ability and good hands, the future looks bright for Evans.
8. Minnesota Vikings – Khalil Mack OLB Buffalo
The need for a quarterback here is glaring, but with both Bridgewater and Manziel off of the board, the Vikings can’t afford to pass up on all of the top tier talent that is still on the board. Minnesota can take a quarterback with their second pick and still be in good shape. With new head coach Mike Zimmer, there is no denying that he would love a standout defensive player like Khalil Mack on his team. With Mack, Zimmer would have a serious pass rushing threat to utilize against Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers and Chicago’s Jay Cutler.
9. Buffalo Bills – Eric Ebron TE North Carolina
The Bills are another team who need to take the best player still on the board and adding an offensive weapon like Eric Ebron would really bolster their roster. The team seems content to stick with last year’s first round pick, quarterback E.J. Manuel, as their starting QB and adding Ebron to the mix will help improve the effectiveness of both Ebron and Manuel. With Stevie Johnson, T.J. Graham and Marquise Goodwin as the primary targets to start out the season, Ebron would be that much more beneficial to both E.J. and the Bills.
10. Detroit Lions – Ha Ha Clinton-Dix S Alabama
The Lions are so close to being an effective playoff team and they can feel it. With Matthew Stafford and future Hall of Famer Calvin Johnson catching passes from him and Reggie Bush taking carries, Detroit has a very effective offensive attack. Drafting Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, the Lions will be getting an aggressive defender in coverage who has the range and awareness that will help shore up their defensive backfield and he would have an immediate impact.
11. Tennessee Titans – Jason Verrett CB TCU
There are several different directions that the Titans could go in with their first pick. There are a lot of people who have them going with a pass rusher at 11th overall and while that isn’t a bad or wrong move, it is not the one that they need to make. Instead, Tennessee drafting Jason Verrett is the best possible move here. Though lacking in size, Verrett more than makes up for that with his play on the field. His positioning, anticipation, leaping ability, aggressiveness and great zone and man coverage skills will be huge in his impact at the next level.
12. New York Giants – Taylor Lewan OT Michigan
The Giants would love it if Eric Ebron were to fall to them here at number 12, but with him already off of the board, the next move would be going after an offensive tackle. Selecting Michigan’s Taylor Lewan here would be a good decision for New York as they will more than likely be looking to help keep Eli Manning from repeating the kind of performance that he gave last season. Drafting his new blind side protector will go a long way in those efforts.
13. St. Louis Rams – Jimmie Ward S Northern Illinois
The Rams could end up potentially adding more picks to their disposal, should any team feel the need to trade up and get their guy. However, predicting who will trade with who and where is almost impossible so I am going to stick with the set draft order and build my mocks from there. With that in mind, St. Louis needs to upgrade a key position at safety and Jimmie Ward makes the most sense here for them. Though a little undersized, Ward is a hard hitting safety who defends well in space and knows how to create turnovers.
14. Chicago Bears – Aaron Donald DT Pittsburgh
The Chicago Bears had an exceptional first season under head coach Marc Trestman, but their defense needs some serious work. Already signing several free agents, like Jared Allen and Willie Young, to help reinforce their defensive efforts, the Bears are on the right track. By selecting Pitt’s Aaron Donald, Chicago would solidify their front line and add another pass rushing threat to take advantage of. With his fast first step, drive and quickness, Donald will be a very good defensive tackle in the NFL.
15. Pittsburgh Steelers – Justin Gilbert CB Oklahoma State
For Pittsburgh, their dominance on defense has always been their mark in the NFL and they will be looking to re-fortify and amp up theirs again. Because Justin Gilbert fits the mold of Pittsburgh’s Ike Taylor, it makes sense that they would want to draft him to play opposite of Taylor. Gilbert’s playmaking ability will be another added bonus as he will be able to contribute to their special teams as a return man, also. Combine these attributes with his size, speed and quickness, and you have a potential big time player.
16. Dallas Cowboys – Anthony Barr OLB UCLA
The Cowboys would be giddy with themselves if UCLA’s Anthony Barr were to fall to them at 16. After releasing their star edge rusher, Demarcus Ware, Dallas is in need for some help getting to the quarterback. With Barr, you would be getting a player who has all of the strength, size and speed, needed at the position, but also someone who has only spent a few years playing it as he was a running back when he initially came to college. It is assuring to see how much progress he has made in the short time he has spent at linebacker and he only looks to build to his game as he develops in the pros.
17. Baltimore Ravens – Odell Beckham Jr. WR LSU
Since the departure of Anquan Boldin, Baltimore’s passing game hasn’t been quite as imposing or effective as it used to be. Joe Flacco will be wanting a new weapon to throw to, luckily for him, this is just the draft to find a new receiving option. Odell Beckham Jr. would be a great second target for Flacco and would fit very nicely opposite of Torrey Smith. His speed and quickness allow him to consistently beat defensive backs and he has great hands and concentration to make tough grabs.
18. New York Jets – Brandin Cooks WR Oregon State
The New York Jets need some serious help on offense and finding guys to surround Geno Smith with should be at the top of their to-do list. Oregon State’s Brandin Cooks is just the viable option that Smith needs to help make an effective impact for the Jets. Cooks’ shiftiness and speed give him the ability to avoid tackles and make plays in the open field. Regardless of where he lines up on the field, he has the potential to take it all the way and score.
19. Miami Dolphins – Zack Martin OG/OT Notre Dame
There is ne denying that the Miami Dolphins’ offensive line situation couldn’t have gotten any worse than it did last season. With that all in the past, the Dolphins will be looking to fix their current situation and find fresh legs to help fill their needs. Notre Dame’s Zack Martin has had the chance to play both guard and tackle positions at the collegiate level and he did very well at both, which is a definite boost to his stock as a pro prospect. This type of versatility is exactly what Miami needs on their team.
20. Arizona Cardinals – Blake Bortles QB UCF
This could be a great situation for Blake Bortles here with Arizona at 20. While current starting quarterback Carson Palmer is nearing the end of his career, he still has enough left in the tank to hold the reigns for one more year, which could give Bortles a year to sit and learn the offense and adjust to the speed of the NFL. The former UCF Knight has all of the physical tools and traits to help him succeed at the next level, but needs to refine some of his throwing habits and improve on his accuracy. However, with time, could develop into a very impressive starting signal caller.
21. Green Bay Packers – Calvin Pryor S Louisville
Green Bay has a few areas to address on their defensive side of the ball. Taking Louisville’s Calvin Pryor would give them a good upgrade over their current situation at strong safety. Though it may not be the best pick to fill a need, Pryor would bring a lot to the Packers’ defense in terms of physicality and aggressiveness. Something that the Packers have always prided themselves on, his style of play should fit nicely into their roster.
22. Philadelphia Eagles – Bradley Roby CB Ohio State
Chip Kelly took the Eagles to a whole new level last season in his first year at head coach and looks to continue that success, but has a few positions to take care of in this draft before he can do that. Outside of Brandon Boykin, there isn’t a whole lot of talent at cornerback and Roby would fit nicely into that second spot. Looking at all of the successful teams in the NFL, nearly all of them are more than set at the corner position and with the addition of Bradley Roby, the Eagles could be that much more dangerous.
23. Kansas City Chiefs – Marqise Lee WR USC
Alex Smith is the Chiefs guy heading forward (at least for next season) and he could use some help from a new receiving option. Kansas City was able to lock up Dwayne Bowe last year, but they still need to add some fire power. USC’s Marqise Lee would be a great addition to the receiving corps and could have an immediate impact. His speed and good hands would both help aid in impact at the next level.
24. Cincinnati Bengals – C.J. Mosley ILB Alabama
There is no denying that Cincinnati needs help at their cornerback position, but with Alabama’s C.J. Mosley still available on the board, it makes sense that they would go with him. Sticking Mosley next to Burfict (replacing James Harrison) would make their defense better and that much more effective. While he may have some injury issues that he has had to deal with, Mosley is a more than capable leader on the field and has the instincts and athletic ability needed for the NFL.
25. San Diego Chargers – Kyle Fuller CB Virginia Tech
There is no dancing around this pick for San Diego. They need a cornerback and they need one badly. Playing Payton Manning twice a year requires you to have reliable defensive backs. With Virginia Tech’s Kyle Fuller still on the board, this should be a no brainer. Fuller has very good instincts and is able to use his size and speed to keep up with receivers anywhere on the field. He is great in one-on-one man coverage and has the ability to make plays on the ball consistently. The Chargers will be in great shape with Fuller on their roster.
26. Cleveland Browns (via Indianapolis) – Derek Carr QB Fresno State
Though they didn’t draft a quarterback at fourth overall, the Cleveland Browns still get their man at 26. Fresno State’s Derek Carr would be a great fit for the Browns and would bring them stability at quarterback, something that they have lacked for some time now. Though the system that was set in place at Fresno for Derek wasn’t the best for a pro prospect trying to make a jump to the NFL, he is still able to make all of the throws and has good accuracy and ball placement. Behind a good offensive line and with several viable options to throw to in the passing game, Carr couldn’t ask for a better situation.
27. New Orleans Saints – Darqueze Dennard CB Michigan State
The Saints would love it if they had one of the top cornerbacks in this draft fall all the way down to them and they will be in luck with Darqueze Dennard. The former Michigan State Spartan has the best bump-and-run capability and is very impressive in press man coverage. Playing for a defensive coordinator like Rob Ryan would be beneficial for any player and especially so for Dennard. Pairing up with Keenan Lewis will make for a formidable duo of defensive backs.
28. Carolina Panthers – Morgan Moses OT Virginia
The Panthers desperately need upgrades at several key positions, like wide receiver, cornerback and offensive tackle. With their current draft position, the best possible option for them is to take the best tackle still available and that just so happens to be Morgan Moses. Though he is not quite as polished as the rest of this year’s group, Moses still offers loads of potential and can use his size and strength to become a successful NFL starter. With Moses, Cam Newton will have his replacement for Jordan Gross at left tackle.
29. New England Patriots – Kony Ealy DT Missouri
The New England Patriots have a knack for finding the best possible talent wherever they happen to be picking in the draft. A big need that they have is at defensive tackle and they just so happen to find themselves with the opportunity to take one of the top players at that position in Missouri’s Kony Ealy. With Ealy, the Patriots will be getting an aggressive and relentless player who uses his strength and drive to win battles. There are some consistency issues and he needs to add some moves to get off blocks with, but Ealy could be a very productive starter in the NFL.
30. San Francisco 49ers – Cody Latimer WR Indiana
San Francisco like be looking to add some more weapons for starting quarterback Colin Kaepernick to use on Sundays. With Anquan Boldin and Michael Crabtree already on the roster, adding another talented receiver like Cody Latimer would take their offense to a new level and add a lot of different dimensions for them. It may actually seem kind of unfair to have all of these targets for the 49ers to throw to, but with the reigning Super Bowl champs having the best secondary in the entire league, they will need all of the help they can get. With Latimer, the 49ers will be getting an outside receiving threat who can stretch the field and use his size to go over defenders and make the tough catch.
31. Denver Broncos – Xavier Sua-Filo OG UCLA
The Denver Broncos are in a win now mode and with the big offseason that they had, there are only a few pieces missing for them now. Guard is a spot that needs an upgrade and the Broncos are in a perfect spot to draft the top player at the position. UCLA’s Xavier Sua-Filo is a beast of a player and looks the part to, standing at 6′ 4″ and weighing over 300 lbs. His blend of size and strength help him be the effective pass blocking specialist that he is and would find Denver to be very appropriate for his skill set.
32. Seattle Seahawks – Kelvin Benjamin WR FSU
Seattle has just recently won the Super Bowl and they are already squarely focused on next year. That all starts with the 2014 draft and the Seahawks will be looking to replace a key contributor from last years team in wide receiver Golden Tate. Florida State’s Kelvin Benjamin would be a good prospect to invest in for Seattle. He has some problems with drops and lacks breakaway speed that many of today’s receivers possess, but he is a great red zone target and has the potential to develop into a solid pro.
33. Houston Texans – Zach Mettenberger QB LSU
34: Washington Redskins – Cyrus Kouandjio OT Alabama
35: Cleveland Browns – Jace Amaro TE Texas Tech
36: Oakland Raiders – Ryan Shazier OLB Ohio State
37: Atlanta Falcons – Demarcus Lawrence DE Boise State
38: Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Pierre Desir CB Lindenwood
39: Jacksonville Jaguars – Jordan Matthews WR Vanderbilt
40: Minnesota Vikings – Jimmy Garoppolo QB Eastern Illinois
41: Buffalo Bills – Ja’Wuan James OT Tennessee
42: Tennessee Titans – Jeremiah Attaochu OLB Virginia Tech
43: New York Giants – Allen Robinson WR Penn State
44: St. Louis Rams – Paul Richardson WR Colorado
45: Detroit Lions – Phillip Gaines CB Rice
46: Pittsburgh Steelers – Chris Borland ILB Wisconsin
47: Dallas Cowboys – Louis Nix DT Notre Dame
48: Baltimore Ravens – Jordan Tripp ILB/OLB Montana
49: New York Jets – Ed Reynolds S Stanford
50: Miami Dolphins – Jarvis Landry WR LSU
51: Chicago Bears – Stanley Jean-Baptiste CB Nebraska
52: Arizona Cardinals – Shayne Skov ILB Stanford
53: Green Bay Packers – Ra’Shede Hagemann DT Minnesota
54: Philadelphia Eagles – Kyle Van Noy OLB BYU
55: Cincinnati Bengals – Bashaud Breeland CB Clemson
56: San Francisco 49ers (from Kansas City) – Daquan Jones DT Penn State
57: San Diego Chargers – Stephon Tuitt DT Notre Dame
58: New Orleans Saints – Timmy Jernigan DT Florida State
59: Indianapolis Colts – Weston Richburg C Colorado State
60: Carolina Panthers – Josh Huff WR Oregon
61: San Francisco 49ers – Andre Hal CB Vanderbilt
62: New England Patriots – Austin Seferian-Jenkins TE Washington
63: Denver Broncos – Keith McGill CB Utah State
64: Seattle Seahawks – Trai Turner OG LSU
65: Houston Texans – Will Sutton DT Arizona State
66: Washington Redskins – Taylor Hart DE Oregon
67: Oakland Raiders – Dom Easily DT Florida
68: Atlanta Falcons – Antone Exum S Virginia Tech
69: Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Telvin Smith OLB Florida State
70: Jacksonville Jaguars – Dee Ford DE Auburn
71: Cleveland Browns – Carlos Hyde RB Ohio State
72: Minnesota Vikings – Troy Niklas TE Notre Dame
73: Buffalo Bills – Lamarcus Joyner S Florida State
74: New York Giants – Christian Kirksey OLB Iowa
75: St. Louis Rams – Colt Lyerla TE Oregon
76: Detroit Lions – James Hurst OT North Carolina
77: San Francisco 49ers (from Tennessee) – Marcus Martin C USC
78: Dallas Cowboys – Ahmad Dixon S Baylor
79: Baltimore Ravens – Antonio Richardson OT Tennessee
80: New York Jets – C.J. Fiedorowicz TE Iowa
81: Miami Dolphins – Cyril Richardson OG Baylor
82: Chicago Bears – Terrence Brooks S Florida State
83: Cleveland Browns (from Pittsburgh) – Kevin Norwood WR Alabama
84: Arizona Cardinals – Arthur Lynch TE Georgia
85: Green Bay Packers – Marcus Roberson CB Florida
86: Philadelphia Eagles – Deone Bucannon S Washington State
87: Kansas City Chiefs – Jaylen Watkins S Florida
88: Cincinnati Bengals – Kareem Martin DE North Carolina
89: San Diego Chargers – Robert Herron WR Wyoming
90: Indianapolis Colts – Dion Bailey S USC
91: New Orleans Saints – Sean Parker S Washington
92: Carolina Panthers – Dexter McDougle CB Maryland
93: New England Patiors – E.J. Gaines CB Missouri
94: San Francisco 49ers – Marcus Smith OLB Louisville
95: Denver Broncos – Craig Loston S LSU
96: Minnesota Vikings (from Seattle) – Gabe Jackson OG Mississippi State
97: Pittsburgh Steelers (from compensatory) – Yawin Smallwood ILB UCONN
98: Green Bay Packers (from compensatory) – Crockett Gilmore TE Colorado State
99: Baltimore Ravens (from compensatory) – Dri Archer WR Kent State
100: San Francisco 49ers (from compensatory) – Cody Hoffman WR BYU