1. Houston Texans: Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville
The Texans are a wreck right now. The good news is, it only gets better after this season. You’d have to imagine with Arian Foster, Brian Cushing, and others coming back from injury, the Texans will do well with a stud like Bridgewater at QB.
2. St. Louis Rams (f/WAS): Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA
If you’re the Rams, this would be a really cool pickup. I won’t say the 2nd overall pick isn’t worth a right tackle, but the Rams have an additional first round pick, and won’t get a chance (likely) to pick this high again for a while. You have a shot at two blue chip defenders, so I say go for it. Anthony Barr could play a “joker” LB role and move all over the place, causing trouble with Robert Quinn and Chris Long.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars: Blake Bortles, QB, UCF
The Jaguars dip into the pool of local players and take Blake Bortles here at #3 overall. I think this would be a great fit. Bortles is a guy who has taken a team in UCF from nothing to one of the top 20 teams in the country. He’s got great toughness, and is everyone’s flavor of the day right now. He’s one of the hottest names in the 2014 class.
4. Oakland Raiders: Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina
The Raiders bypass the local QB product here (Derek Carr) and take South Carolina DE Jadeveon Clowney, who is just a freak of nature. If he wants to be, Clowney could be the best defensive player in the NFL in a couple of years. If he doesn’t want to? Could be another big bust pick for the Raiders.
5. Cleveland Browns: Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State
The Browns jump for joy, because they just got their new QB of the future. Carr has a rocket arm and has put up huge numbers for Fresno State, and is one of my favorite prospects in the draft. He’s a good athlete who can make all the throws, and he’s gotten a lot better as a senior even than he was in 2012 when I thought he looked a lot like Jay Cutler.
6. Atlanta Falcons: Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M
The Falcons get a significant upgrade for their offensive line here in Jake Matthews, whom some consider to be the top prospect in the draft. Matthews is undoubtedly the best player available at this point, as the Falcons missed out on both Anthony Barr and Jadeveon Clowney. Get some protection for Matt Ryan.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo
The Bucs are just happy to see a pass rusher on the board in this scenario, and they grab a potentially dominant one in Khalil Mack. Mack can play end or OLB in a variety of formations, you just have to get creative about it. He’s a really hot name who has been high on NFL radars since before the season.
8. Minnesota Vikings: Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M
The Vikings pull the trigger on the most controversial player in the draft, but why not allow Manziel to ease into the NFL by handing the ball off to Adrian Peterson? Plus, the Vikings have better targets offensively than their record would indicate. Snag one or two more pieces, and you’ve got something pretty exciting about to happen in Minnesota.
9. Buffalo Bills: Cyrus Kouandjio, OT, Alabama
Buffalo invests in E.J. Manuel further by getting Kouandjio, a big time prospect at left tackle who is also a former #1 overall high school recruit. Kouandjio is a freakish athlete who has the potential to be a dominant player in the NFL.
10. New York Giants: Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State
Dennard has been rock solid in three years starting for the Spartans, but he’s been nearly dominant as a senior. The Giants need some help in the defensive backfield, and this guy could provide it.
11. Pittsburgh Steelers: Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson
The Steelers can’t pass on an opporutnity to get the most exciting playmaker in the entire draft offensively, and with Watkins on the board, they get a guy who can come in and replace Emmanuel Sanders to pair with Antonio Brown and hopefully Markus Wheaton in the near future.
12. Tennessee Titans: Jace Amaro, TE, Texas Tech
The Titans get another big time playmaker for their offense after missing out on some of the top QBs. Perhaps their draft positioning will allow Jake Locker one more shot at the starting gig, but if he can’t stay healthy, it could be a problem. Amaro out of Texas Tech is one of the most dominant players I’ve seen at the TE position and is a huge mismatch.
13. New York Jets: Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M
The Jets cash in on the fall of Mike Evans, who has been compared to Vincent Jackson. I think this pick would be awesome for New York which needs some playmakers desperately on offense.
14. St. Louis Rams: Cameron Erving, OT, Florida State
The Rams didn’t get an offensive tackle with their first pick, and I think they’d be okay with it considering Erving falls to this point. Erving is another hot prospect on the offensive line who could start at right tackle for the Rams as a rookie along with Jake Long at left tackle and give them a really nice set of bookends.
15. Dallas Cowboys: Stephon Tuitt, DL, Notre Dame
I don’t really know where to start with the Dallas defense, so we’ll work from the inside out. Tuitt is a big time defensive line prospect that can play inside or outside, and would help clog up some holes and put pressure on opposing QBs.
16. San Diego Chargers: Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, CB, Oregon
The Chargers’ defensive backs have been bad this season, so it wouldn’t surprise me to see them use their first round pick on a guy like this. Ekpre-Olomu is one of the top tacklers on Oregon’s defense as well as 2nd on the team in INTs. He could develop into a shut-down player at the next level.
17. Green Bay Packers: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama
The Packers need upgrades all over the place defensively, and they need to get healthy, but adding a playmaker like Clinton-Dix on the back end could be huge for them. If they don’t go for a defensive player, I think adding a tight end would be interesting as well.
18. Baltimore Ravens: Marqise Lee, WR, USC
The Ravens add a playmaker in Marqise Lee who can do everything. He has great ability after the catch, and could help replace some of what left when the Ravens traded Anquan Boldin to the San Francisco 49ers.
19. Detroit Lions: C.J. Mosley, LB, Alabama
The Lions get a guy here in C.J. Mosley who would be able to play inside or outside, and he has great instincts and athletic ability. This is possibly a huge steal being that Mosley is the top non-pass rushing OLB in the entire draft.
20. Arizona Cardinals: Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan
The Cardinals continue to invest in upgrading their offensive line, and get a bit of a steal here in Taylor Lewan, who was once considered a top five potential prospect. I think this would be a great pick for the Cards.
21. Miami Dolphins: Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn
The Dolphins’ issues on the offensive line are WELL documented at this point. Greg Robinson is a mauler in the running game and is one of the biggest risers on draft boards right now. If he has a good game against Florida State, he could ride that momentum into the top 10.
22. San Francisco 49ers: Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State
The Niners need some help at the CB position, and Justin Gilbert is one of the top playmakers at the position in the draft. He made a wise decision returning to school for his senior season, and is having one of the best individual seasons in all of college football at the position.
23. Carolina Panthers: Allen Robinson, WR, Penn State
Robinson is a big receiver who would give Cam Newton another guy to go up and get the ball down the field. He has had a great junior season for the Nittany Lions, and if he declares, I expect him to be one of the top players selected at the position.
24. Kansas City Chiefs: Davante Adams, WR, Fresno State
I really like Davante Adams, who is sort of a mini-Brandon Marshall type player. He makes a ton of catches, and even though he’s not as big as a guy like Marshall, he has great body control and can be a huge threat in the red zone. This would be a great addition for the Chiefs’ offense.
25. Chicago Bears: Louis Nix, DT, Notre Dame
The Bears need some teeth in the middle of their defense, and Nix certainly would give them that. The big nose tackle out of Notre Dame is a disruptive force on the interior that has drawn some Vince Wilfork comparisons.
26. Philadelphia Eagles: E.J. Gaines, CB, Missouri
E.J. Gaines is a rising prospect who was selected all 1st team SEC, and a guy that could continue to make a first round push through the offseason. He is still a really new name for most people, but he proved what he is capable of in shutting down Mike Evans of Texas A&M, and could be a big addition to the Philadelphia secondary.
27. Cleveland Browns (f/IND): Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Florida State
The Browns have a big time receiver in Josh Gordon, and a rising TE in Jordan Cameron. How about adding more size to the fold with Kelvin Benjamin, a 6’5″ 235 pound receiver who is just scratching the surface of how dominant he can be? That is an intriguing option.
28. Cincinnati Bengals: Jason Verrett, CB, TCU
Verrett is one of the top shut down corners in college football, and would add some depth to the Bengals secondary which has some aging players. I really like this player and think he’s a steal at the bottom of round one.
29. New England Patriots: Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina
The Patriots have been hurting with the loss of Aaron Hernandez, and with Rob Gronkowski’s injury history, adding a TE is a smart play. Ebron has the ability to be a major mismatch with his size and athletic ability.
30. New Orleans Saints: Trent Murphy, DE, Stanford
Murphy is a hard-working, versatile defensive lineman who can stand up and play OLB in a 3-4 defensive scheme. I think if he falls this far the Saints won’t hesitate to snatch him up.
31. Denver Broncos: Vic Beasley, DE/LB, Clemson
The Broncos need to add some more options to their pass rush outside of Von Miller, and with Shaun Phillips and Robert Ayers having expiring contracts, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to add someone to the front seven that can put pressure on. The Broncos like bigger defensive linemen, so Beasley would be used in a hybrid role like Shaun Phillips, where he could rush the passer from a variety of positions.
32. Seattle Seahawks: David Yankey, OG, Stanford
The Seahawks don’t have hardly any needs, so any first round pick is a luxury for them. This team hasn’t even really seen Percy Harvin play yet. What an incredibly talented roster, but one hole might be at guard. David Yankey is arguably a top 20 player and could start immediately in the NFL.
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