1. Houston Texans: Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina
The Texans take the top athlete on the board in Jadeveon Clowney, pairing him with J.J. Watt for a fearsome pass rush duo.
2. St. Louis Rams (f/WSH): Khalil Mack, LB, Buffalo
Taking a page out of the Texans’ playbook here, the Rams use one of their top two picks on who some believe to be the best defensive player in the draft. He could play a Von Miller type of role for St. Louis’ defense which already features Robert Quinn and Chris Long.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars: Blake Bortles, QB, UCF
The Jaguars miss out on Mack and Clowney, so they take the best QB on their board who just so happens to live not too far away from where he’ll play pro ball.
4. Detroit Lions (f/CLE): Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson
**TRADE — Browns trade pick #4 to the Lions for pick #10, #76, and future 3rd round pick.** The Lions trade up despite having paid a pretty significant amount for Golden Tate to get the top playmaker at the wide receiver position in this draft. The Lions have been heavily connected to Watkins in this draft, so if they want him bad enough they’ll have to pay up to get him.
5. Oakland Raiders: Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State
This would qualify as the first real shocker pick of the draft. Leave it to the Raiders. Oakland has a desperate need at the QB position despite trading (still hard to believe) for Matt Schaub. Oakland is trying to win as soon as they can but they need to think long-term at the QB position.
6. Atlanta Falcons: Anthony Barr, DE/LB, UCLA
At a loss with Clowney and Mack off the board, the Falcons snag Barr here at 6 overall and get a guy who can be a big time playmaker in the NFL if he continues to develop. Atlanta needs badly to upgrade their pass rush.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M
The Buccaneers get a big wide receiver here and a guy who can give them a pair of twin towers with Vincent Jackson and now Mike Evans. This would be a really interesting pick.
8. Minnesota Vikings: Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville
The Vikings admit defeat on Christian Ponder and begin the Teddy Bridgewater era. He might not be their top choice at QB but he’s good value at this point.
9. Buffalo Bills: Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn
The Bills get a steal with the draft’s top offensive tackle in Greg Robinson. He’s extremely athletic and has unlimited upside.
10. Cleveland Browns (f/DET): Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M
After trading down and accumulating some additional picks, the Browns end up taking one of the best tackles in the draft to pair with Joe Thomas.
11. Tennessee Titans: Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State
Gilbert is the top CB available, and after losing Alterraun Verner, the Titans could look to address that area early on. This would be a very solid pick.
12. New York Giants: Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan
The Giants upgrade their offensive line with the big, athletic left tackle out of Michigan who could start for them immediately.
13. St. Louis Rams: Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State
The Rams fortified their pass rush even further with Khalil Mack, and now they get one of the draft’s top defensive backs to reap the benefits of that pass rush.
14. Chicago Bears: Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh
One of the best interior rushers in the draft goes to Chicago, who added some other key pieces to the defensive line this year in Jared Allen and LaMarr Houston.
15. Pittsburgh Steelers: Odell Beckham Jr., WR, LSU
The Steelers replace some of what they’ve lost at WR over the last couple of years by taking Odell Beckham, one of the hottest names in the draft and most dynamic playmakers.
16. Dallas Cowboys: Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri
The Cowboys need to find a way to replace DeMarcus Ware, and Ealy is an athletic end with great size that can help do just that.
17. Baltimore Ravens: Zack Martin, OL, Notre Dame
The Ravens add a versatile piece to their offensive line and get one of the smartest players in the draft. Martin could immediately start at right tackle for them.
18. New York Jets: Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina
The Jets take a dynamic playmaker at the tight end position, a position they desperately need to upgrade.
19. Miami Dolphins: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama
The Dolphins get Clinton-Dix to pair with ReShad Jones in the back of their secondary despite having just signed Louis Delmas. Clinton-Dix is the best player available and Delmas signed for just one season. This is a long-term solution.
20. Cleveland Browns (f/ARZ): Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M
**TRADE — Cardinals trade pick #20 to Browns for pick #26, #76 (f/DET), and #145** The Browns move up a little bit here with the Cardinals to take their new QB of the future and the teammate of their first pick, Johnny Manziel. Manziel is the most talked about player in the draft and would be an exciting fit for the Browns.
21. Green Bay Packers: Calvin Pryor, S, Louisville
The Packers need some kind of remedy at the safety position. Pryor is the best one on the board and fills their biggest need.
22. Philadelphia Eagles: Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State
The Eagles replace DeSean Jackson with a speedy receiver that catches everything thrown his way. This would be a really good pick for them in the first round.
23. Kansas City Chiefs: C.J. Mosley, LB, Alabama
The Chiefs take advantage of Mosley’s fall in the first round and get a young inside linebacker with huge potential to pair with Derrick Johnson.
24. Cincinnati Bengals: Dee Ford, DE, Auburn
The Bengals upgrade their pass rush after the departure of Michael Johnson with a guy who blew up the Senior Bowl in Dee Ford.
25. San Diego Chargers: Louis Nix, DT, Notre Dame
The Chargers get Manti Te’o’s friend from Notre Dame and a big body who can plug up the middle of their improving defense.
26. Arizona Cardinals (f/CLE via IND): Demarcus Lawrence, DE/LB, Boise State
The Cardinals take a pass rusher with some potential here in Lawrence, who has really grown as a prospect and has jumped into the first round discussion of late.
27. New Orleans Saints: Marqise Lee, WR, USC
The Saints upgrade their #2 wide receiver spot with Lee, who has been one of the best playmakers in college football over the last three yeas.
28. Carolina Panthers: Allen Robinson, WR, Penn State
The Panthers, desperate for a solution at the WR position, select Robinson who has great size and good speed, and can be a red zone mismatch.
29. New England Patriots: Ra’Shede Hageman, DT, Minnesota
The Patriots take a versatile defensive lineman who would be a great fit for their defensive scheme. Hageman has a ton of potential.
30. San Francisco 49ers: Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Florida State
The 49ers have some really interesting offensive weapons and Benjamin could be the deep threat they need. He has fantastic size and could develop into an eventual #1.
31. Denver Broncos: Xavier Su’a-Filo, OG, UCLA
The Broncos take the smart route with this mock pick and shore up their left guard position. There’s nothing sexy about the pick, but after they shored up the defensive side of the ball in free agency, the Broncos missed out on settling the score with their offensive line. This pick solidifies the left guard position for a long time.
32. Seattle Seahawks: Cyrus Kouandjio, OT, Alabama
The Seahawks end Kouandjio’s fall and get a solution to their right tackle position at the bottom of round one.
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