Number 1: Houston Texans – Teddy Bridgewater QB – Louisville
Against what appears to be common belief I am keeping Teddy Bridgewater as my number one overall pick in this year’s draft. I’m not buying into all of this hype that the Texans will draft either Jadeveon Clowney or Johnny Manziel. While they’re both very talented players, Bridgewater is not only the most NFL ready, but also has the highest upside in my opinion. The Texans biggest hole is the quarterback position and Bridgewater is the best one available. Unless Houston can find a trade partner, I truly believe they will take Bridgewater.
Number 2: St. Louis Rams (from Washington) – Sammy Watkins WR – Clemson
If you saw the Orange Bowl, you would realize that Sammy Watkins is an absolute stud. He would be Sam Bradford’s best receiver that he has had in his career. Watkins, Austin, Cook and Stacy would give St. Louis one of the better group at the skilled positions in the league. At first, I believed that St. Louis will go with an offensive lineman, however, this draft class is loaded with very good prospects at that position. The Rams hold the 13th pick as well. Expect them to fill the need at offensive line then.
Number 3: Jacksonville Jaguars – Blake Bortles QB – Central Florida
The Jacksonville Jaguars have an obvious need at the quarterback position. Instead of selecting Jadeveon Clowney, they will go with Bortles off the simple fact that next year’s quarterback class isn’t as strong. Blaine Gabbert clearly hasn’t panned out as expected and Chad Henne is nothing more than a solid NFL backup. Bortles is practically a hometown kid that could not only win the Jaguars some games, but also sell tickets and ultimately get the fan base excited again.
Number 4: Cleveland Browns – Johnny Manziel QB – Texas A&M
With the top two quarterbacks off the board the Browns will select Johnny Manziel. Even though I am not high on Manziel at all, there is no question that he will be one of the top picks. He will bring a much needed swagger and energy to the city of Cleveland. Although I wouldn’t want Manziel it is still a clear upgrade to what they have.
Number 5: Oakland Raiders – Jadeveon Clowney DE – South Carolina
The Raiders are really lucking out with this. All three of the top quarterbacks will most likely be off the board at this point, however, the best prospect is still available. The Raiders can temporarily survive with Terrelle Pryor and Matt McGloin. Drafting Clowney will do wonders for this franchise. He is one of the best prospects to come out of college in recent years and for the Raiders to be able to select him 5th is just a true blessing.
Number 6: Atlanta Falcons – Khalil Mack LB – Buffalo
The Falcons will be searching for a dynamic pass rusher to add to their team. Khalil Mack is an absolute beast and would instantly be a huge upgrade for the Falcons.
Number 7: Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Eric Ebron TE – North Carolina
Eric Ebron might not even be here at seven come draft day (Atlanta needs a TE), but if he is, then Tampa will take him. They already have Vincent Jackson and a very good group of running backs. The only thing missing for Mike Glennon is a tight end that can open up the middle of the field. Ebron would be the ideal pick for a Tampa offense that could end up being very good next season.
Number 8: Minnesota Vikings – Anthony Barr LB – UCLA
With Jared Allen due a bunch of money this offseason the Vikings might be looking to deal him or let him go. They need to get younger and better in terms of rushing the passer. Unless Minnesota wants to reach for a quarterback again, Anthony Barr would be a suitable pick for them. He brings a lot to the table in terms of his ability to get to the quarterback. He could be a big time player for the Vikings for years to come.
Number 9: Buffalo Bills – Greg Robinson OT – Auburn
The Buffalo Bills have a huge spot that needs to be filled on their offensive line. Much like the Raiders, the Buffalo Bills will be getting a steal. Greg Robinson is arguably the best offensive lineman in this year’s draft. The Bills will instantly fall in love with Robinson’s ability to protect E.J. Manuel (who they just spent a first round pick on).
Number 10: Detroit Lions – Mike Evans WR – Texas A&M
The Detroit Lions have lacked a legitimate second receiver over the past few seasons. Mike Evans would come in and give Detroit another big bodied receivers. Not only would he take off tons of pressure from Megatron, but he easily be able to catch 70-80 balls in his rookie season. This should be an easy one for Detroit. With the team recently releasing Nate Burleson they will be on the lookout for a young receiver and Mike Evans fits that need perfectly.
Number 11: Tennessee Titans – Jake Matthews OT – Texas A&M
The Tennessee Titans currently have a lot of money invested in their offensive line. They still have Michael Roos at left tackle and David Stewart at right, however, Stewart’s production has dropped a bit and his sizeable contract might call for a release this offseason. Tennessee can play Matthews at right tackle and then move him over to left in his second season as Roos will be a free agent lineman in his 30s.
Number 12: New York Giants – Darqueze Dennard CB – Michigan State
Throughout last season the New York Giants really struggled at times in terms of defending the passing game. Darqueze Dennard is arguably the top cornerback prospect coming into this year’s draft. Corey Webster will most likely not be back with the team next season. The Giants need to find a replacement for Webster and Dennard is a great potential replacement.
Number 13: St. Louis Rams – Taylor Lewan OT – Michigan
This is the pick that I was referring to early. Now that the St. Louis Rams have officially rounded out their skilled positions, they can immediately upgrade their offensive line. With Sam Bradford coming off a torn ACL, it is important that the Rams do whatever they can do to keep him upright and protected.
Number 14: Chicago Bears – Timmy Jernigan DT – Florida State
Tim Jernigan was absolute dominate in his last season with the Seminoles. Many have questioned Jernigan’s work ethic after we all saw him clearly winded in the fourth quarter of the National Championship, however, it has since come out that he was battling an illness. Jernigan is a big body that the Bears would love to have up front.
Number 15: Pittsburgh Steelers – HaHa Clinton-Dix S – Alabama
Due to the fact that they have one of the oldest secondary’s in the National Football League, the Pittsburgh Steelers will be looking to get younger. Ryan Clark recently admitted to the fact that his days in Pittsburgh might be numbered. Clinton Dix would be a very good fit for the defensive style in Pittsburgh and can fill the hole that could be left by Ryan Clark.
Number 16: Dallas Cowboys – Calvin Pryor S – Louisville
Last season the Dallas Cowboys had a historically bad defense. One of their weakest spots on the defense was the secondary. It is without question that their biggest hole in the secondary is the safety position. With Clinton-Dix off the board the Cowboys will have to go with the next best thing; Calvin Pryor. That might not be such a bad thing, however.