Updated – March 26th | @jlomas72
1. Houston Texans – Blake Bortles QB, UCF
The Texans have a huge need at quarterback, and they can’t wait for the second round to address it. Adding Clowney may be the eye-popping play here, but it won’t be what wins them the most games over the next five years.
2. St. Louis Rams – Jake Matthews OT, TAMU
Matthews is the most technically sound tackle I have evaluated in my years doing mock drafts, and I have no reason to think that the Rams view Greg Robinson as the better prospect despite his late rise.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars – Teddy Bridgewater QB, Louisville
Jags fans will probably scream for Clowney here, but Bridgewater may be the best quarterback in the last two drafts. Bridgewater has elite short range accuracy, and while that may not be as flashy as a big arm it keeps the chains moving and allows you to take advantage of the abilities of Justin Blackmon and Cecil Shorts.
4. Cleveland Browns – Sammy Watkins WR, Clemson
Watkins is a fantastic prospect that can be an outstanding compliment to a receiver like Josh Gordon. The Browns can sit back and either take a second tier QB in the next round or grab a first tier player if he slips to their second round pick.
5. Oakland Raiders – Jadeveon Clowney DE, SCAR
While effort is a huge issue at the next level, Clowney’s 2012 tape is just impossible to ignore. Clowney has elite potential, and if he works out he can be a defensive cornerstone for the Raiders to build around.
6. Atlanta Falcons – Greg Robinson OT, Auburn
Robinson is a wrecking ball as a run-blocker, engulfing defenders at the point of attack and opening gaping holes, the question is can he hold up in pass protection. While the Falcons might be a better fit for Matthews, they can’t pass on someone with this sort of potential.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – C.J. Mosley ILB, Alabama
I said a few weeks ago that it would be hard for Lovie Smith to pass up on a player like Mosley here and a new starting quarterback and Michael Johnson signed, this pick makes even more sense.
8. Minnesota Vikings – Johnny Manziel QB, TAMU
The Vikings have decent protection up front, so they are probably a better fit for Bridgewater or Bortles than Manziel. However, when a quarterback with a first round grade falls out of the top-5 you have to take a strong look at him. Mack was another option, but he just wasn’t a great fit.
9. Buffalo Bills – Mike Evans WR, TAMU
The Bills have two great receivers, but neither are great in the redzone due to a lack of size. With Mike Evans, you not only get a great every-down receiver, but also a lethal threat in the redzone.
10. Detroit Lions – Darqueze Dennard CB, MSU
Often overshadowed by Justin Gilbert, Dennard is my favorite cornerback in this draft. His ability to attack all the way down the field combined with his impact in the running game make him my top corner.
11. Tennessee Titans – Khalil Mack DE/OLB, Buffalo
The first 3-4 team that didn’t have a huge need elsewhere, the Titans steal a great one here. Mack is a terrific pass rusher that can also drop into coverage. His versatility is only overshadowed by his ability to find the ball and close.
12. New York Giants – Taylor Lewan OT, Michigan
Lewan is an aggressive run-blocker that also has the length and athleticism to be a great pass protector.
13. St. Louis Rams – Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix S, Alabama
An absolute thumper in the running game that is no slouch in coverage, HHCD is the top safety in this class. In a division with Marshawn Lynch and Frank Gore teams can use every versatile defender they can get.
14. Chicago Bears – Calvin Pryor S, Louisville
Pryor is very similar to HHCD, except for his limitations in coverage. He can play a variety of coverages, but is really best close to the line.
15. Pittsburgh Steelers – Anthony Barr DE/OLB, UCLA
Barr and the Steelers could be this year’s version of…well…Jarvis Jones and the Steelers. The Steelers are known for their defense, and now that the defense is getting old it is time to grab value when you can.
16. Dallas Cowboys – Aaron Donald DT, Pitt
Donald is the hallmark 3-technique of this class, and his speed and strength are just too much for college level guards. With the weak crop of guards in the NFCE (except the Eagles) could be easy pickings for Donald.