First things first, we created this mock draft as if we were the GM for each individual team. We had 4-5 possible picks for each slot and had a “war room” discussion as each pick was made. We wanted to make a realistic scenario for each team’s needs and account for trades that would intrigue both sides of the deal. We also tried to use conventional knowledge of draft history for each franchise and their front office. So now, let’s get to the draft:
1. Houston Texans- DE Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina
The Skinny: This is the best player in the draft and the only one truly deserving of the number one selection.
2. St. Louis Rams- OT Greg Robinson, Auburn
The Skinny: The Rams need to build the offensive line as a strength so that Sam Bradford can finally progress into the confident franchise QB.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars- QB Blake Bortles, Central Florida
The Skinny: The Jags have needed a quarterback ever since…ever? They have the ability to finally end the viscous circle by taking the franchise QB they have been coveting, and they have the opening via the Blaine Gabbert-to-San Fran trade that had all of us scratching our heads. Never the less, they have a much more favorable position moving forward.
4. Cleveland Browns- QB Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville
The Skinny: The biggest punching bag of the draft so far is still a stud QB who is a future franchise guy. The Browns could take a receiver here, but there are several first round caliber wide outs available…yes even with passing up Sammy Watkins, Josh Gordon is the number 1 they need a number 2.
5. Oakland Raiders- WR Sammy Watkins, Clemson
The Skinny: Speaking of Watkins, He is simply too talented to be passed up by the Raiders, who are hurting for a playmaker on offense. They signed Matt Schaub, so the immediate need for a QB can be set aside for a later round, meanwhile adding the best offensive player in the draft.
6. Atlanta Falcons- OT Jake Matthews, Texas A&M
The Skinny: The bottom line is, PRIORITY NUMBER 1 is keeping Matt Ryan protected, and especially with Clowney off the board, the greatest need is an offensive tackle immediately on the right side and eventually on the left and Matthews fits the bill.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- QB Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M
The Skinny: The Bucs are looking for impact offensive playmakers and why not get your franchise QB in the process? Manziel is the best QB and offensive talent available at this point.
8. Minnesota Vikings- QB Derek Carr, Fresno State
The Skinny: The Vikings have a history of reaching for QBs in the first round (Christian Ponder) and this season would have been different had one of the top 3 dropped to this position. They like Carr and they may get impatient with how the other quarterbacks are flying off the board.
9. Buffalo Bills- DE/OLB Khalil Mack, Buffalo
The Skinny: There was talk the Bills could have traded up for Clowney or Mack, but we believe the way this crazy draft will go, that they can stay put and get their local stud who will be the best player available when they make this selection.
10. Detroit Lions- OT Taylor Lewan, Michigan
The Skinny: There is a high chance of the Lions taking a safety here, but Lewan is simply too tempting to pass up. he is the most NFL ready offensive tackle and he can “stay home” by getting drafted by the Lions. Stafford can make plays, but he needs to stay upright so that he can use all of those offensive playmakers and a good safety will be available in round 2.
11. Tennessee Titans- WR Mike Evans, Texas A&M
The Skinny: The Titans need offensive playmakers, and even though they want a new quarterback, there is not one left worthy of this pick. We say they should get a weapon either for Jake Locker or for their future QB.
12. New York Giants- TE Eric Ebron, North Carolina
The Skinny: Eli Manning simply needs better targets, especially since they just lost Hakeem Nicks.
13. St. Louis Rams- OT/G Zack Martin, Notre Dame
The Skinny: This is the second first round pick by the Rams, and their offensive line is a major priority, so we say they double down on the o-line and grab Martin to initially play guard.
14. Chicago Bears- S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Alabama
The Skinny: The bears are looking for youth in their secondary to renew the energy and they are in need of a safety, so they will take care of both right here.
15. Pittsburgh Steelers- CB Justin Gilbert, Oklahoma State
The Skinny: The Steelers need to get younger on defense and this is a classic value pick by them.
16. Dallas Cowboys- DT Aaron Donald, Pittsburgh
The Skinny: They could have taken Anthony Barr right here to replace Demarcus Ware, but as we discussed it, they really should build from the inside out.
17. Baltimore Ravens- ILB C.J. Mosely, Alabama
The Skinny: The Ravens have been looking for a stud in the middle of the defense for the past two seasons and to put it simply, Mosely is the only inside linebacker worth a first round selection.
18. New York Jets- WR Marqise Lee, Southern California
The best receiver left on the board is a must for the Jets who need to help out whoever their quarterback will be.
19. Atlanta Falcons- OLB Anthony Barr, UCLA* Trade From Miami
The Skinny: The Falcons have been in the news for being willing to trade up, but it won’t be for Clowney since he will be gone first overall. This trade stems from the Dolphins not having the coveted offensive tackle available here. The terms of the trade are as follows: Falcons receive 19th overall pick, and Miami receives 2015 1st round selection, 2014 2nd, 4th, and 6th round selections.
20. Arizona Cardinals- S Calvin Pryor, Louisville
The Skinny: The Cardinals need a safety to play opposite of Tyrann Matheiu, and complete their strong defense with another playmaker. There are no quarterbacks worth taking at this position.
21. Green Bay Packers- WR Kelvin Benjamin, Florida State
The Skinny: They can take this luxury pick and also fill a need. They will replace the loss of James Jones right here.
22. Philadelphia Eagles- CB Darqueze Dennard, Michigan State
The Skinny: The Eagles need to lock down another corner to put opposite of Brandon Boykin and improve the defense by also taking the best player available.
23. Kansas City Chiefs- WR Odell Beckham Jr, LSU
The Skinny: The Chiefs need to get more explosive on offense and Beckham could be their guy.
24. Cincinnati Bengals- WR Brandin Cooks
The Skinny: The Bengals may be looking to replace Andy Dalton at quarterback, but they need to balance the offense with a receiver to stretch the field and take pressure off of A.J. Green.
25. San Diego Chargers- NT/DT Timmy Jernigan, Florida State
The Skinny: The Chargers need a disruptor in the middle so that the linebackers can free flow to make plays in the running game.
26. Cleveland Browns- CB Kyle Fuller, Virginia Tech
The Skinny: With their second pick in the first round we say that the Browns address the need at their cornerback spot opposite Joe Haden.
27. New Orleans Saints- CB Bradley Roby, Ohio State
The Skinny: The signing of Champ Bailey is just a short term help on the defense, but Roby has the talent to come in and compete and learn from Bailey.
28. Carolina Panthers- WR Donte Moncreif, Ole Miss
The Skinny: THEY NEED A RECEIVER!!!!!! BADLY!!!!!! That is all.
29. New England Patriots- DE/OLB Dee Ford, Auburn
The Skinny: The Patriots love versatile playmakers and Ford fits the bill. He can flourish in this organization.
30. San Francisco 49ers- CB Jason Verrett, TCU
The Skinny: The Niners are becoming one of the best overall teams in recent history, and their strong draft history certainly is the reason why. They take a need and one of the best players available in Verrett.
31. Denver Broncos- OG Xavier Su’a-Filo, UCLA
The Skinny: They really filled a lot of needs in free agency, so the biggest need remaining is a stud plug and play guard who will keep Peyton Manning upright and happy.
32. Seattle Seahawks- OT Cyrus Kouandjio, Alabama
The Skinny: The offensive line was not up to par last season even though the Seahawks won the superbowl. They have a chance to take an offensive tackle that has a ton of upside and potential.
33. Houston Texans- OT Morgan Moses, Virginia
34. Washington Redskins- OG Joel Bitonio, Nevada
35. Cleveland Browns- OLB Ryan Shazier, Ohio State
36. Oakland Raiders- DE Kony Ealy, Missouri
37. Miami Dolphins- OT JuWan James, Tennessee* Trade From Atlanta
38. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- TE Jace Amaro, Texas Tech
39. Jacksonville Jaguars- DE Kyle Van Noy, BYU
40. Minnesota Vikings- DE/OLB Jeremiah Attaouchu, Georgia Tech
41. Buffalo Bills- TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Washington
42. Tennessee Titans- QB Tom Savage, Pittsburgh
43. New York Giants- DT Louis Nix III, Notre Dame
44. St. Louis Rams- WR Allen Robinson, Penn State
45. Detroit Lions- CB/S Lamarcus Joyner, Florida State
46. Pittsburgh Steelers- DT RaShede Hageman, Minnesota
47. Dallas Cowboys- DE/OLB Demarcus Lawrence, Boise State
48. Baltimore Ravens- OT Cameron Flemming, Stanford
49. New York Jets- TE Troy Niklas, Notre Dame
50. Miami Dolphins- OG/T Gabe Jackson, Mississippi State
51. Chicago Bears- CB Phillip Gaines, Rice
Trade!!!!! The Buccaneers have traded QB Mike Glennon to the Arizona Cardinals for the 52nd overall pick
52. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- WR Martavis Bryant, Clemson
53. Green Bay Packers- S Jimmy Ward, Northern Illinios
54. Philadelphia Eagles- WR DaVonte Adams, Fresno State
55. Cincinnati Bengals- QB Jimmy Garoppolo, Eastern Illinios
56. San Francisco 49ers- WR Jordan Matthews, Vanderbilt
57. San Diego Chargers- WR Paul Richardson, Colorado
58. New Orleans Saints- OT Billy Turner, North Dakota State
59. Indianapolis Colts- S Deone Bucannon, Washington State
60. Carolina Panthers- WR Cody Latimer, Indiana
61. San Francisco 49ers- DE Marcus Smith, Louisville
62. New England Patriots- RB Tre Mason, Auburn
63. Denver Broncos- ILB Chris Boreland, Wisconsin
64. Seattle Seahawks- OG David Yankey, Stanford