February 26th | @jlomas72
1. Houston Texans – Blake Bortles QB, UCF
While Bridgewater would be my first pick, the connections between Bortles and the Texans seem to be very real. Houston needs someone that doesn’t make too many mistakes, and someone who can effectively push the ball downfield to Andre Johnson and Nuk Hopkins.
2. St. Louis Rams** – Jake Matthews OT, TAMU
The Rams need an offensive tackle, and while I fully expect them to trade down here I don’t mock trades. Matthews is the best tackle in this draft, and he will be either a very good left tackle or an All-Pro right tackle in the NFL.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars – Teddy Bridgewater QB, Louisville
The Jaguars get the best quarterback in this draft thanks to the Texans miscue at the top. Now the Jaguars will have Justin Blackmon (at least for a few games) and Cecil Shorts along with a very accurate QB. This could push them to an eight win team if the defense can be coached up, which I firmly believe they can.
4. Cleveland Browns – Johnny Manziel QB, TAMU
If the Browns have patience they will have a great chance to land the quarterback they have reportedly been enamored with since before the season was over. Manziel will bring a dynamic element to the Browns offense, and will give them a much-needed spark.
5. Oakland Raiders – Jadeveon Clowney DE, SCAR
Clowney is unlikely to drop out of the top five, and Oakland is in a position to take BPA. While they might prefer adding a QB here, Reggie McKenzie is a smart man who will see the value here.
6. Atlanta Falcons – Greg Robinson OT, Auburn
The Falcons need to add some talent in the trenches and Robinson just outranks Barr right now. Robinson is a young player with more upside than almost any player in this draft, and with the right pieces already in place in Atlanta he should excel quickly.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – C.J. Mosley LB, Alabama
Here is the thing, Lovie Smith is a defensive minded head coach and he needs someone he can trust in the middle of that defense. C.J. Mosley is the only linebacker in this class that can drop and cover Jimmy Graham, stick his nose in the run game against Steven Jackson, and QB spy on Cam Newton.
8. Minnesota Vikings – Derek Carr QB, Fresno State
I am among the few that really like Derek Carr. Carr has a very very low bust rate if you put him in an offense that understands that the way to win with that roster is to pound the ball with AP and then counter with some screens to Cordarrellle Patterson and some seam throws to Kyle Rudolph. The defense took a step back with injuries last year, but they have young talent and will put it all together with Zim as the new HC.
9. Buffalo Bills – Mike Evans WR, TAMU
Evans is a big, strong, fast WR that can make tough catches in traffic and he can definitely be a #1 WR in this league. With Evans, Woods and Johnson this team is poised to make E.J. Manuel a star.
10. Detroit Lions – Sammy Watkins WR, Clemson
The Lions have the potential to combine Calvin Johnson with a receiver that some think could be the best offensive player in this draft. Watkins is an exceptional player that is better than Tavon Austin with the ball in his hands. This may finally be the way that the Lions exploit the coverage that Megatron draws.
11. Tennessee Titans – Khalil Mack DE/OLB, Buffalo
Barr is a better fit for the Titans defense, but Mack is just the better player right now. Barr has excellent bend, athleticism, strength, and knows how to attack the ball and the Titans need a pass rusher.
12. New York Giants – Anthony Barr DE/OLB, UCLA
Just like the Giants did when they drafted JPP, they grab an athletic freak who has massive upside. If the Titans pass on Barr at 11, he would make a great counter to JPP as an “overhang” OLB like Von Miller in Denver.
13. St. Louis Rams – Justin Gilbert CB, OKST
The Rams need a corner to replace Cortland Finnegan considering how much he is costing them. Gilbert has nice size, and is possibly the most NFL ready corner in this draft.
14. Chicago Bears – Taylor Lewan OT, Michigan
The Bears did a nice job upgrading the offensive line last year, now it is time to finish the job. Lewan is a bull at LT and while he possesses the athleticism to play LT or RT, a bad senior season pushed him down boards. The Bears take a little risk here, but they could also be getting a steal in terms of upgrading Jay Cutler’s protection.
15. Pittsburgh Steelers – Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix S, Alabama
The Steelers have to be concerned about an expensive and aging Troy Polamalu going forward, and while HHCD might not have that elite range and anticipation that Polamalu has, he is still a great safety.
16. Dallas Cowboys – Louis Nix III NT, ND
The Cowboys are looking at defensive line this draft and while Aaron Donald might have the better potential, Nix will be a great addition to any NFL team and he can be a building block for years to come.