Mock Draft 2 – Post Combine (Round 1)

Central Florida quarterback Blake Bortles remains the top pick in the latest mock draft.
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(Updated March 9)

1. Houston Texans – Blake Bortles, QB, UCF
Despite Clowney’s freakish numbers at the combine, the Texans number one concern they must address is the quarterback position. New head coach Bill O’Brien reportedly likes the characteristics that Bortles possesses. The UCF quarterback is the prototypical quarterback; he’s big and strong with surprising athleticism. Bortles threw well at the combine, so he remains at number one. (Pick stays the same)

2. St. Louis Rams (from Wash) – Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina
St. Louis is in a great position for this draft after they made the deal with Washington in 2012. I expect the Rams to trade out of this pick, but for now they’ll take the option to go with the best player available. Greg Robinson is a tempting offer as he also fills a need, but pairing Jadeveon Clowney with Robert Quinn and Chris Long could give the Rams the most feared pass rush in the NFL. (Pick stays the same)

3. Jacksonville Jaguars – Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville
The Jaguars will have a big decision to make at the quarterback position. Johnny Manziel is certainly the flashier pick, but Teddy Bridgewater seems to be the safer pick. I expect Gus Bradley to play it safe and take the more reliable Bridgewater. Jacksonville is positioned well in the draft; Teddy Bridgewater is arguably the top quarterback in this years draft class. (Pick stays the same)

4. Cleveland Browns – Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson
The Cleveland Browns organization has been the biggest problem for this underachieving team. That being said, drafting Johnny Football might not be worth the circus that comes along with it. There are enough good quarterbacks in the draft that Cleveland can wait to draft one. Sammy Watkins seems to be a very safe pick and pairing him up with Josh Gordon sounds flat out scary. Watkins has the speed, skills, and play making ability to be a superstar in the league for years to come. (Pick change)

5. Oakland Raiders – Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M
The Raiders get their wish with one of the top three quarterbacks falling to them at pick number five. Cant you just see Johnny Manziel in that silver and black; it just seems to be a Raiders type pick. The Raiders certainly need help at quarterback and Manziel is the playmaker that will bring excitement back to the black hole. (Pick change)

6. Atlanta Falcons – Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn
The Falcons would be huge winners in the draft if Robinson slips to them at six. Robinson is one of the elite talents in this year’s draft. The Falcons offensive line struggled protecting Matt Ryan, so taking Greg Robinson fills a huge need as well. Robinson proved his athleticism at the combine by first putting up 32 reps on the bench press and then running a 4.92 40-yard dash, doing all this at 6-foot-5, 332 pounds. (Pick stays the same)

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Khalil Mack, DE/OLB, Buffalo
The Bucs certainly need to address their pass rush as they finished the season with only 35 sacks. Khalil Mack dropping to the Bucs would be a dream scenario for new head coach Lovie Smith. I believe that Mack is one of the top three talents in the entire draft. Mack can be used as an edge rusher, but he also possesses the talent to drop back into coverage. The Bucs have some talented players on their defense already, adding both Lovie Smith and Khalil Mack into the equation could turn this defense elite. (Pick change)

8. Minnesota Vikings – Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA
Minnesota is likely to be one of the more active teams on draft day, either trying to trade up or down depending on the quarterback situation. If they want a top three quarterback, it’s likely they’ll need to move up a few spots. They could also trade back and grab a quarterback like Derek Carr or Jimmy Garoppolo. Possibly they go with Mike Vick for a year. This could be a defining moment in new head coach Mike Zimmer’s career. If Minnesota wants to stay and wait on a quarterback, they could go with Anthony Barr, the outside linebacker from UCLA. Barr uses his elite speed and explosiveness to get around the edge. Barr is still somewhat of a raw product as he’s only been playing the position for two years now. (Pick change)

9. Buffalo Bills – Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M
Buffalo took a step forward as EJ Manuel showed that he has a promising future in the NFL. A skill player like Mike Evans could be a very tempting offer here but protecting EJ Manuel should be priority number one. Jake Matthews is one of the top players in the draft and this would be an excellent value pick for Buffalo. Matthews has some flexibility on the offensive line and he is regarded as one of the safer picks in this draft. This would be a steal for Buffalo at pick nine. (Pick stays the same)

10. Detroit Lions – Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M
The idea of taking another wide receiver in round one seems somewhat crazy for Lions fans, but it makes sense to do so here. Mike Evans is a big, physical wide receiver and would compliment Calvin Johnson quite nicely. Detroit needs help in the secondary and taking a top corner will be tempting, but there is enough depth at the position that should allow Detroit to wait. (Pick change)

11. Tennessee Titans – C.J. Mosley, LB, Alabama
The Titans can go in a bunch of different directions at pick 11; offensive line, cornerback, and linebacker are all possibilities here. Tennessee is still in the transition of their 3-4 defense, so expect a defensive minded pick here. C.J. Mosley is an impact linebacker with unquestionable toughness and instincts. Mosley can be the anchor for this defense for years to come. (Pick change)

12. New York Giants – Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan
Eli Manning had the worst season of his career throwing 27 interceptions. Manning certainly didn’t seem like himself, but his offensive line certainly didn’t help him out. Could the Giants take a corner or wide receiver with this pick? It’s a possibility but ultimately I think they draft Taylor Lewan from Michigan. He is an excellent tackle and could potentially be a day one starter for New York. Lewan is a physical player with a bit of a mean streak. Solid pick for New York at 12. (Pick stays the same)

13. St. Louis Rams – Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama
The Rams want to add another offensive playmaker to pair with Tavon Austin and Zac Stacy, but there is enough depth that they can afford to wait until round two. The Rams defense was pretty good last year, but there are still some holes. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix is a rangy player who possesses great instincts in the secondary. He should be a day one starter in St. Louis. The additions of Clowney and Clinton-Dix would be a huge impact to this already solid St. Louis defense. (Pick change)

14. Chicago Bears – Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh
The Bears need major help on their defensive line and in their secondary. Cornerback and safety are a possibility here, but they should address the interior of their defensive line first, considering they had the worst run defense in the NFL last season. Aaron Donald would be the perfect player for the Bears defensive scheme. Donald has helped his stock raise more than any other player this past year. At 285 pounds, Donald was able to run a 4.68 in his 40-yard dash as well as putting up 35 reps on the 225-pound bench press. Donald shined all season and has now shined in both the senior bowl and the combine. (Pick change)

15. Pittsburgh Steelers – Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State
The Steelers need help on their defense, specifically both the tackle and cornerback position. The Steelers would be thrilled to see Justin Gilbert, the top corner in the draft, slip to them at 15. Gilbert is a playmaker as he led all corners with seven interceptions a year ago. He also ran a blazing 4.37 40 at the combine. Pittsburgh would be taking the top talent available as well as filling a need. Great value here. (Pick change)

16. Dallas Cowboys – Timmy Jernigan, DT, Florida State
The Cowboys defense was absolutely terrible in 2013 allowing the most yards per game in the league. A dominating defensive tackle should be the start of a rebuilding process on defense. Timmy Jernigan was a key part of Florida State’s national championship run. Jernigan uses his power and burst to blow by offensive lineman. Jernigan seems to be a great fit for Dallas here at 16. (Pick change)

17. Baltimore Ravens – Marqise Lee, WR, USC
The Ravens offense took a huge step backwards after they lost Anquan Boldin to San Francisco. The Ravens could take Eric Ebron to compliment the recently resigned Dennis Pitta, but I see the Ravens addressing their wide receiver position instead. Marqise Lee is an explosive wide receiver with great speed and agility. Lee is a playmaker who is extremely dangerous with the ball in his hands. (Pick change)

18. New York Jets – Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina
Geno Smith had an up and down season, but its not fair to fully evaluate him considering he had no dynamic offensive weapons. The Jets would love to draft a wide receiver in this spot, but there is enough depth that they can afford to wait until round two. Adding Eric Ebron at tight end would be a huge addition for Geno Smith. Ebron is 6-foot-4 and 250 pounds, but still ran a 4.6 40 and put up 24 reps on the bench press. He’s the top tight end in the draft; adding a wide receiver as well as Ebron would be huge for this offense. (Pick change)

19. Miami Dolphins – Zack Martin, OT, Notre Dame
The offensive line play in Miami needs to be significantly upgraded. The loss of Jake Long, as well as the Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin situation, really destroyed Miami’s line. Zack Martin had a very solid season at Notre Dame and has proved that he possesses the versatility to play either tackle or guard in the NFL. He was solid enough at the combine to remain at this pick. (Pick stays the same)

20. Arizona Cardinals – Dee Ford, DE/OLB, Auburn
The Cardinals first concern should be the offensive tackle position but John Abraham will be turning 36 this season, so outside linebacker is another possibility. I believe that Arizona will address the offensive tackle position in free agency, which allows them to go defense with this pick. Dee Ford is a speed rushing outside linebacker who specializes in getting to the quarterback. Ford will benefit from learning under Abraham for a year. (Pick change)

21. Green Bay Packers – Louis Nix III, DT, Notre Dame
Green Bay could lose some quality players to free agency this year, including defensive tackle B.J. Raji. I expect the Packers to address the defensive tackle immediately. Louis Nix III is a massive nose tackle; he’s 6-foot-2 and 330 pounds. He possesses a great motor and has surprising quickness for a player his size. (Pick change)

22. Philadelphia Eagles – Calvin Pryor, S, Louisville
Chip Kelly made it clear that he liked what he saw from his offense last year by giving new contracts to Jason Peters, Jason Kelce, Riley Cooper, and Jeremy Maclin. The defense on the other hand is a different story. Philadelphia lacks a consistent pass rush and the safety position has been poor ever since Brian Dawkins left. Hard-hitting safety Calvin Pryor would be a great fit for Philly, as they look to bring some toughness back into this defense. Pryor seems to be rising on most team’s draft boards; this pick has great value and fills a need. (Pick stays the same)

23. Kansas City Chiefs – Odell Beckham JR, WR, LSU
Andy Reid did a fine job in his first season as head coach for the Chiefs, taking them from a 2-14 record to an 11-5 record. Alex Smith also proved that he is more than capable of being a starting quarterback. Kansas City needs to add another dynamic wide receiver to help Smith. Odell Beckham JR would be a great fit as he compliments Dwayne Bowe very well. He possesses terrific speed and is a threat to take the ball to the house whenever he touches it. (Pick stays the same)

24. Cincinnati Bengals – Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State
The Bengals cornerbacks Terrance Newman and Pacman Jones held their own last season once Leon Hall suffered another torn Achilles. However, Cincinnati must get younger at the cornerback position, and Darqueze Dennard seems to be a good fit for them. Dennard, the Jim Thorpe recipient, is a physical corner who possesses great instincts. Dennard might the best man-to-man corner in the draft. (Pick stays the same)

25. San Diego Chargers – Jason Verrett, CB, TCU
San Diego’s defense is a concern as they finished the season 23rd in the league in sacks and 29th in pass defense. Both cornerback positions need to be addressed, look for the Chargers to go in that direction early in the draft. There still should be some talented corners left at this point in the draft. Bradley Roby, Kyle Fuller, and Jason Verrett are all possibilities here but ultimately I went with Verrett. He has great quickness and agility, and is a surprisingly reliable tackler. The knock on Verrett is his size and strength to compete as the outside corner. (Pick stays the same)

26. Cleveland Browns (from Ind) – Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State
It appears that Cleveland made a smart move by dealing struggling running back Trent Richardson for a first round pick. In this scenario, Cleveland took Sammy Wakins with the 4th overall pick, so he still needs someone to throw him the ball. Derek Carr is a strong-armed quarterback with underrated athleticism. He could potentially be a day one starter in Cleveland. Carr would have some excellent options to throw too in Josh Gordon, Sammy Watkins, and Jordan Cameron. (Pick change)

27. New Orleans Saints – Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State
The Saints should be looking to add safety help in this years draft with free agent Malcolm Jenkins most likely departing. With the top two safeties already off the board, they can afford to wait until round two to fill that need. The Saints recently released playmakers Darren Sproles and Lance Moore, so I expect them to add another weapon. Brandin Cooks ran a 4.33 in the 40-yard dash, fastest out of all wide receivers. As a junior, Cooks won the Biletnikoff Award, which is handed out to the top college wide receiver in the NCAA. (Pick change)

28. Carolina Panthers – Morgan Moses, OT, Virginia
The Carolina Panthers have a lot of important pieces that are hitting free agency, so their first concern is to resign some of those players. The retirement of offensive tackle Jordan Gross suddenly gives Carolina a need at the tackle position. Morgan Moses is a big powerful tackle that stands at 6-foot-6 and 315 pounds. Moses looked much more impressive than Cyrus Kouandjio at the combine, thus making him the pick here. (Pick change)

29. New England Patriots – Ra’Shede Hageman, DT, Minnesota
Rob Gronkowski suffered a serious knee injury that ended his season, and his status for the start of next year is in question. There is a possibility the Patriots add another tight end, but I believe they’ll address their defensive line first. Vince Wilfork will be coming off a serious injury, so it would be smart to add some youth to the line. Hageman has a rare combination of size and speed. He ran a 5.02 40 while measuring in at 6-foot-6 and 310 pounds. That’s absurd for a player his size. (Pick change)

30. San Francisco 49ers – Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech
San Francisco’s most pressing need at this point is their secondary. They used a first round pick last year to address the safety position, but they may need to draft another if Donte Whitner leaves. The 49ers also need to add depth to their cornerback position. Kyle Fuller has been moving up draft boards after his strong performance at the combine. Fuller is a physical cornerback who plays much bigger than he actually is. (Pick change)

31. Denver Broncos – Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri
The Broncos offense was strength all year, but they might be losing Eric Decker to free agency. Denver also has some concerns in the secondary. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie will be a free agent, Champ Bailey was recently cut, and Chris Harris tore his ACL against San Diego. Denver also has some questions on their defensive line due to free agency. I expect Denver to go with the best player available here, which is Kony Ealy, the defensive end from Missouri. Ealy is a versatile lineman who excels in getting after the quarterback. He is expected to be able to play in both the 4-3 and 3-4 defense. (Pick change)

32. Seattle Seahawks – Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Florida State
The Super Bowl champions have a very young core and don’t have too many pressing needs. However, the Seahawks do have some questions at the wide receiver position due to free agency. Kelvin Benjamin would be a good pick here for Seattle. Benjamin is 6-foot-5 and has great speed for an athlete his height. He’s a mismatch nightmare and is the perfect red zone target. Benjamin needs to be more consistent catching the ball, but he certainly has the potential to be special. (Pick change)

9 thoughts on “Mock Draft 2 – Post Combine (Round 1)

  1. Nice job, this was one of the best mock drafts I’ve seen in a while because you employed a lot of logic in your picks. Again, unlike a lot of the other mock drafts. I think your pick at #8 for the Vikings is spot on. At least in terms of the Vikings focusing on the best available player rather than being forced to go QB.

    • Thank for the comment Mike. The Vikings certainly should grab a quarterback as long as they get the guy they want, if not, best player available makes much more sense.

  2. Cody Bales says:

    Nice draft, I think you are a little to high on these QB’s though, saw the comment on the NFL Network Page.

    • Thanks for the comment, I agree that the quarterbacks are going rather high, but it is a quarterback league so I expect some of these quarterback needy teams to reach for their guy.

  3. Mike G says:

    Good job man, looks promising for you in the future….you had more insight than some of the so called experts getting paid to do this guess work lol

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