As we now stand just a couple of hours away from the annual spectacle/debacle/ordeal that is the NFL draft, allow me to toss my hat into the ring of draftniks and talking heads by putting together a mock for what I think the first round might look like. I know full well that in a couple hours I’ll look like a complete imbecile, but that’s what makes these things fun, right??

(Before I get started, lemme say that this list is operating under the assumption that there will be no trades in the first round. It’s just too hard to forecast otherwise. We all know there’s a 98% chance New England and Oakland trades down, Minnesota does something, and the Browns shift somehow. We just don’t know where yet, and we won’t for a while
longer.)

1.) Houston Texans – Khalil Mack, LB, Buffalo
Nobody saw this coming a year ago, but Mack could be a Ray Lewis-type talent here.

2.) St. Louis Rams – Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn
Not the best tackle on the board, but the upside is too great to ignore.

3.) Jacksonville Jaguars – Jadaveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina
Serves Clowney right for the way he phoned in last year.

4.) Cleveland Browns – Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson
I would rather them take a tackle, but this would give them the best WR corps in the league

5.) Oakland Raiders – Mike Evans, WR, TAM
They should take a QB, but teams in win-now mode never do what they should.

6.) Atlanta Falcons – Jake Matthews, OT, TAM
The Falcons desperately need pass rushers too, but Matthews is too good to slip lower.

7.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Blake Bortles, QB, USF
Manziel is also a strong option, but I can’t see Lovie Smith taking on that headache so soon into his tenure.

8.) Minnesota Vikings – Johnny Manziel, QB, TAM
Vikings fans…I am truly sorry.

9.) Buffalo Bills – Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan
A touch of a reach, but the need is too great to ignore.

10.) Detroit Lions – Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA
If used correctly, Barr could be a steal at this spot.

11.) Tennessee Titans – Justin Gilbert, CB, Okie State
 W/ the top two QB’s gone, they focus on their other area of need.

12.) New York Giants – Aaron Donald, DT, Pitt
They really need OL help, but the temptation for another blue-chip DL is too much for them to pass up

13.) St. Louis Rams – HaHa Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama
Pryor from Louisville is also a strong play here. Bottom line is the Rams need help on the back end of their
secondary.

14.) Chicago Bears – Louis Nix III, DT, Notre Dame

Massive space eater that should open things up a lot for the speedy linebackers in Chicago.

15.) Pittsburg Steelers – Darqueze Dennard, CB, MSU
Perfect fit for these two. Hard-nosed pressed corner on a team known for its defense.

16.) Dallas Cowboys – Calvin Pryor, S, Louisville
This should shore up a gaping area of need for the Boys.

17.) Baltimore Ravens – Eric Ebron, TE, UNC
I hate to see this happen, but the Ravens need more weapons and Ebron is the best there is in a loaded TE
class.

18.) New York Jets – Odell Beckham, Jr., WR, LSU
Is last year proved anything, it doesn’t matter who’s throwing the ball if nobody can get open.

19.) Miami Dolphins – Zack Martin, OL, Notre Dame
After losing half their OL in the Incognito-Martin mess last year, the Fins need help up front desperately.

20.) Arizona Cardinals – Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State
Could be Bridgewater, but I think the younger Carr gets the call here.

21.) Green Bay Packers – CJ Mosley, LB, Alabama
Best pure middle-linebacker in the draft. Will fit in nicely in GB.

22.) Philadelphia Eagles – Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State
This could will be a fantasy stud in that offense w/in two years. Mark my words.

23.) Kansas City Chiefs – Stephon Tuitt, DE, Notre Dame
Total guess, and I admit it. This pick could go a number of different ways.

24.) Cincinnati Bengals – Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech
Hopefully this can make up for them blowing the Kirkpatrick pick a couple years ago.

25.) San Diego Chargers – Marqise Lee, WR, USC
Pairing Lee w/ Malcolm Floyd makes for a very dangerous tandem

26.) Cleveland Browns – Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville
This will have Browns fans dancing in the streets, benefitting massively from one poor Pro Day that sent a career 9,800 yard passed plummeting. (Sometimes people really overthink this stuff)

27.) New Orleans Saints – Ryan Shazier, LB, OSU
Much like Kenny Vaccaro last year, the Saints nab another defensive gem late in the first round

28.) Carolina Panthers – Cyrus Kouandjio, OT, Alabama
They also have the worst WR group in the league, but they can fill that spot later

29.) New England Patriots – Jace Amaro, TE, Texas Tech
YAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!!! (Though we all know they’ll trade down…just like they always do)

30.) San Francisco 49ers – Jason Verrett, CB, TCU
The only area of weakness on the Niners gets an upgrade

31.) Denver Broncos – Ra’Shede Hageman, DT, Minnesota
I’m not sold on this guy’s motor, but NFL-types seem to be high on him

32.) Seattle Seahawks – Xavier Su’a-Filo, G, U


It’s almost not fair seeing these guys get better by filling the
only spot of need on their team.

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