The First Round of the NFL draft is kind of like a soap opera for sports fans. We hang on to every pick because every pick directly affects almost every other team. The reaching, falling and subsequent reactions make for some compelling and entertaining moments. Each team has a pick that would be perfect for them but usually once you get past the first few picks most teams don’t get the pick they might want. In a perfect world this is how the first round will happen and everyone would be happy. There is almost no chance all of this would happen but its ok to dream.
#1 Houston Texans Blake Bortles-It seems to be either him or Jadaveon Clowney with most leaning towards Clowney. I think they would take Bortles in a perfect world and he ends up like Ben Roethlisberger while their defense will still be pretty good without Jadaveon.
#2 St Louis Rams Greg Robinson-In the NFC West you’ve got to be physical or you won’t make it out alive. The Rams have a defense that can compete but the offense needs to catch up and solidifying that offensive line with a physical specimen in Greg Robinson will go a long way. You start him a guard with Roger Saffold with the hope Jake Long will come back healthy and you might have a strength there. They are hoping he eventually takes over the LT spot and turns into a new Orlando Pace.
#3 Jacksonville Jaguars Jadaveon Clowney-This is a no brainer. If he falls this far I don’t see how they take anymore than 2 minutes to turn in their card. I only say 2 minutes because you never know who might offer up the entire draft for him a la the Saints and Rickey Williams. The Jags need pass rush….Clowney provides it.
#4 Cleveland Browns Sammy Watkins-Cleveland is closer to competing in the AFC North then they have been in a long time because of consistently acquiring talent and the Ravens and Steelers getting older. Most think a QB Is here and I agree but this is a best case scenario mock draft and what better case scenario can a QB have then being able to throw to Josh Gordon and Sammy Watkins?
#5 Oakland Raiders Johnny Manziel-This Seems like a great fit to me. Johnny Football and Raider Nation will be great together. He has the attitude and confidence that will sit very well with Raider fans. If the Raiders can get more weapons for him this could really work out.
#6 Atlanta Falcons Khalil Mack-This is probably the best case scenario for the Falcons because they get the impact pass rusher they needed without having to possibly to trade too much to grab Clowney. Mack is in conversation for the 1st overall pick so him falling this far is actually good value because he is a really good player. Atlanta would be more than happy.
#7 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Mike Evans-New Coach Lovie Smith has his QB and they did some upgrading on defense through free agency but they traded Mike Williams so another receiver is necessary. I actually think the Bucs might prefer Mike Evans over Sammy Watkins because of his physicality. Josh McCown did a good job In Chicago getting the ball the big receivers and can do the same in Tampa Bay.
#8 Minnesota Vikings Teddy Bridgewater-With all the pre draft prodding and second guessing hes been pushed down mock drafts significantly. I don’t think he’s been as devalued by teams that he is by the draft media. He still the most pro ready QB in the draft and that’s what the Vikings need because they have talent to compete right now and they need to take full advantage of Adrian Peterson in his prime. I think they would be more than happy to have everyone look over Teddy and take him here.
#9 Buffalo Bills Jake Matthews-This is a pretty easy pick. They need to protect their franchise QB in Ej Manuel and keep him healthy. Jake Matthews comes in a starts from day one is an automatic upgrade at left tackle. Not only will he keep Ej clean but help with their two-headed running game.
#10 Detroit Lions Brandin Cooks-I know this is shocking but I will say that I don’t think the Lions will stay at this spot. They want to get a compliment to Calvin Johnson and with as much speed and RAC ability that he has he must be accounted for. It would open up things for Johnson, Reggie Bush and Golden Tate. At the #10 spot would be a reach but trading down would make this a worthy pick and I think the Lions would be happy adding more speed to that offense.
#11 Tennessee Titans Kyle Fuller-They lost Alterraun Verner and need a replacement. They actually have a lot of talent but corner is a weakness because of that loss. Fuller is rising fast up draft boards and can realistically be the first corner off the board. He has decent size and great speed. He could start right away and help replace Verner.
#12 NY Giants Eric Ebron-With the loss of Hakeem Nicks the Giants need a bigger target for Eli Manning. Victor Cruz is great and hopefully Reuben Randle keeps developing but Ebron would help this offense like Julius Thomas helps his brother. A big smooth athlete that can create mismatches is a dream come true for Eli.
#13 St. Louis Rams Justin Gilbert-They would love to add a dynamic playmaker on the outside to team with Janoris Jenkins. He has the height, weight and speed combination. He’s also a danger to take it the other way if he gets a pick or gets the ball on returns. He could add some electricity to an already good defense.
#14 Chicago Bears Ha’Sean Clinton-Dix-“Ha-Ha” is the consensus top rated safety in this draft. He can play the run and center field and that’s what the Bears need. Most would say defensive line is the first priority but this draft is deep at that position but safety isn’t and they need another one. If he fell this far they’d have to take him.
#15 Pittsburg Steelers Darqueze Dennard-This seems like too much of a perfect fit if he gets here. Dennard would have been just as good a fit with the steel curtain Steelers as he is with these Steelers. He sticks to the receiver and doesn’t let the get space. He has good technique and an aggressive nature that Steeler Nation will love. Ike Taylor just doesn’t have a lot left so he will start on the other side of him before eventually taking over.
#16 Dallas Cowboys Aaron Donald-The Cowboys probably want Donald more then any other player that could available at this spot. They need pass rush and he can provide that from the interior defensive line spot. He basically plays the same position as newly signed Henry Melton and they need a bigger DT to start beside Melton but Donald can provide insurance for Melton’s knee and i’m sure Rod Marinelli wont mind having too many defensive linemen after last year.
#17 Baltimore Ravens Taylor Lewan-The Ravens smart trade for Eugene Monroe helped solidify the offensive line but they also lost Michael Oher on the right side. Lewan can step right in and fill that void. He’s a really good pass blocker and has the attitude and tenaciousness to be a good run blocker. He’s a plug and play type of prospect.
#18 NY Jets Bradley Roby-I don’t think the Jets go receiver because they know they can get starting caliber receiver later in the draft. Corner is a much more glaring need. Kyle Wilson hasn’t lived up to his potential yet and Dee Miliner hasn’t either. Roby has some risks but I don’t think Rex Ryan would mind. If he plays up to his talent he will be an immediate upgrade in the secondary and allow Ryan to be aggressive with his defense.
#19 Miami Dolphins Zach Martin-The Dolphins have been linked with Martin for a while now and as long as he doesn’t get snatched up sooner he will not get past here. He’s versatile so he can play multiple positions which the Dolphins need.
#20 Arizona Cardinals Anthony Barr-By no means do I think he will fall this far. He’s too talented but this is a best case scenario mock draft and this is that scenario with the Cardinals. They take advantage of Barr inexplicably falling to pick up an impact player. He will play behind, and eventually replace, John Abraham. In that division defense matters and the Cards get better with this pick.
#21 Green Bay Packers Calvin Pryor-As good as Aaron Rodgers and their offense can be the defense can be just as bad. Clay Matthews should be healthy and will have help from Julius Peppers but the backend needs work. The corners are good but they need an upgrade at safety. Pryor helps in both the run and pass. He can come in and be a leader immediately.
#22 Philadelphia Eagles Kony Ealy-After Chip Kelly transformed the Eagles into a top offense he now must turn his attention to the defense if they want to get far. Ealy is versatile and can play all over the front 7. The NFC East has really good quarterbacks so teaming somebody as versatile as Ealy along with Trent Cole, Fletcher Cox and the rest of the defense will go a long way.
#23 Kansas City Chiefs Marquise Lee-The Chiefs failed when they drafted Jon Baldwin to team with Dwayne Bowe but they have a chance to rectify that with this deep WR class. Marquise Lee was talked about as one of the best until this past season when he dealt with injuries but if you look at his 2012 tape you will see why people thought so highly of him. He’s a smooth athlete with the speed, hands and agility to compliment Dwayne Bowe and help Alex Smith. He’s a steal this late in the draft, but will likely go earlier.
#24 Cincinnati Bengals Ryan Shazier-The Bengals need speed at the linebacker spot. Vontaze Burfict was a revelation when he went undrafted but James Harrison is gone and Rey Maualuga just isn’t cutting it. Shazier is a sideline to sideline player that can also cover. His speed would be a welcomed sight to this defense.
#25 San Diego Chargers Jason Verrett-The Chargers surprisingly made the playoffs last year on the back of a Phillip Rivers resurgence. The offense has some weapons but the defense has some holes that need to be addressed. Varrett is small in stature but plays a lot bigger than he is. He has good change of direction, great leaping skills and plays with an attitude. He also isn’t afraid to play the run. His size will not deter the Chargers.
#26 Cleveland Browns Derek Carr-This might be the quarterback that they want the most. He is the big QB with the strong arm they want in Cleveland and will be able to get the ball to their playmakers. He has NFL bloodlines, although they hope he’s a lot better than his brother.
#27 New Orleans Saints Dee Ford-The Saints are ready to move back to the Super Bowl and took a big step towards that this offseason. They did get rid of Will Smith so another pass rusher is needed. Dee Ford had an amazing off season starting at the Senior Bowl. He can play on the outside with speed and power and Rob Ryan would love to have a versatile player like this.
#28 Carolina Panthers Odell Beckham-No Steve Smith. No Ted Guinn. No Brandon Lafell. Cam Newton can’t be happy. Offensive line is a big need but they would be overjoyed if a playmaker the magnitude of Beckham fell this far. He could replace Smith as the #1 receiver.
#29 New England Patriots Louis Nix-Vince Wilfork will be back for at least another year but he will probably move on afterwards so the Pats will be looking for a replacement. Nix is almost a Wilfork clone. He’s a massive man that’s very light on his feet. He can collapse a pocket or beat guards and centers with quickness. He can play multiple positions on the defensive line and Belichick will love that.
#30 San Francisco 49ers Timmy Jernigan-The 49ers roster is pretty stacked. There aren’t many holes but they lost a few defensive lineman and they could use some reinforcements. Jernigan is a powerful player and can play the run but does have some pass rush ability. He can be a part of a rotation as a rookie as he gets his conditioning up to par. He will eventually replace Justin Smith.
#31 Denver Broncos CJ Mosley-This is a true ideal situation. He is the best middle linebacker in the draft. He can play the run and pass equally as well. He is a natural leader and has been productive at a high level. Him falling this far is a dream come true for the Broncos. He would form a formidable linebacking core with Von Miller and Danny Trevathan.
#32 Seattle Seahawks Cyrus Kouandjio-The Super bowl Champions are stacked on defense so this draft will probably lean heavily towards offense. They lost their starting right tackle Breno Giacomini and Kouandjio would be a great replacement. He’s got good technique and pretty good in run blocking. He will need some refinement and needs to get stronger but his potential is undeniable if he stays healthy.