1/26 Mock Draft, post-Senior Bowl
The practices are in, the games have been played, and other sites have filed their columns on the winners and losers from the week in Mobile. You can determine who our winners and losers are by comparing this draft to our early entrant deadline mock.
Picks with explanations after the jump.
1. Houston Texans – Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville – I don’t have any reason to change this pick.
2. St. Louis Rams – Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina – Ditto. (Expect this to be a recurring theme at the top.)
3. Jacksonville Jaguars – Blake Bortles, QB, UCF – Same as on 1/15.
4. Cleveland Browns – Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M – Well, now they have a head coach who can regurgitate the front office’s love of Manziel to the media (since, if rumors are to be believed, that seemed to be an important qualification for the job).
5. Oakland Raiders – Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson – A true #1.
6. Atlanta Falcons – Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M – The last of the four premier prospects available in the draft. I want to add that some sites are listing Greg Robinson ahead of Matthews, and we think that’s a mistake.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo – Our scouts’ opinion generally tends to side on Mack being a better prospect than Anthony Barr, though the evaluation process is not yet finished.
8. Minnesota Vikings – Derek Carr, QB, Fresno St.- Improved his stock Senior Bowl week, which just makes him less of a reach than he previously would have been.
9. Buffalo Bills – Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina – Ebron is a bit of a reach here, but he has pulled away from the pack as the best tight end in this draft, and he would add so much to the Bills’ offense, which really is hurting for lack of a true #1 option.
10. Detroit Lions – Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M – Another huge receiver opposite Calvin Johnson would be a great boon for the Lions.
11. Tennessee Titans – Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA – Ray Horton will find a way to make it work, whether he transitions to a 3-4 or keep Tennessee’s traditional 4-3. (Speaking of Horton, when was the last time a coach of his quality was on his third team in three years, without a change in job title?)
12. New York Giants – Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan – We think Greg Robinson is overrated. His ability to pass protect is at best a mystery at this time. Lewan’s isn’t.
13. St. Louis Rams – Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn – Given where he’s projected, St. Louis would snap him up if he falls here. He’ll still likely be a very good football player, it just may not be at left tackle.
14. Chicago Bears – Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh – We mocked him here two weeks ago, and he had the kind of Senior Bowl week we expected when we did so.
15. Pittsburgh Steelers – Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan St. – Cornerback is a need, as Ike Taylor’s performance fell off badly last year and the team misses Keenan Lewis. Dennard is the best guy available.
16. Baltimore Ravens1 – Marqise Lee, WR, USC – His deep speed is a great fit for Joe Flacco’s arm.
17. Dallas Cowboys1 – Rashede Hageman, DT, Minnesota – It’s always tempting to do a Jerry Jones pick here and take someone like HaHa Clinton-Dix, but Hageman still makes a ton of sense since Jason Hatcher is gone this offseason.
18. New York Jets – Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Florida St. – It’s hard not to feel like Benjamin’s stock will rise during the draft process. The Jets are in dire need of offensive playmakers.
19. Miami Dolphins – Zack Martin, OT/G, Notre Dame – Rocketed up draft boards with his Senior Bowl performance, and could conceivably play left tackle for Miami.
20. Arizona Cardinals – Cyrus Kouandijo, OT, Alabama – A little disappointing this season, but Kouandijo still projects to be a good prospect and should upgrade this offensive line.
21. Green Bay Packers – C.J. Mosley, ILB, Alabama – No reason to change the pick.
22. Philadelphia Eagles – Calvin Pryor, FS, Louisville – Now the #1 free safety on our boards.
23. Cincinnati Bengals – HaSean Clinton-Dix, FS, Alabama – They were looking at Eric Reid last year before San Francisco jumped them; safety is still a need position.
24. Kansas City Chiefs – Odell Beckham, Jr., WR, LSU – The Chiefs still badly need to upgrade here.
25. San Diego Chargers – Louis Nix III, NT, Notre Dame – No change.
26. Cleveland Browns – Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma St. – They still need a reliable starter opposite Joe Haden, and Gilbert is good value.
27. New Orleans Saints – Jason Verrett, CB, TCU – No change.
28. Carolina Panthers – David Yankey, OT/G, Stanford – Wide receiver is the more pressing need, but the value on the board right now is in Yankey.
29. New England Patriots – Timmy Jernigan, DT, Florida State – Shouldn’t have fallen this far. The Pats get lucky with a huge addition.
30. San Francisco 49ers – Allen Robinson, WR, Penn St. – Robinson’s moves after the catch could provide the team with the added element in the passing game they thought they were getting in A.J. Jenkins.
31. Denver Broncos2 – Chris Borland, LB, Wisconsin – Borland had a great week at the Senior Bowl and has seriously moved himself into consideration here.
32. Seattle Seahawks2 – Stephon Tuitt, DE, Notre Dame – If Red Bryant can play one defensive end in their scheme, surely Tuitt can as well. (Even at DT, he’d be a good player for the Seahawks.)
33. Houston Texans – Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri – His size projects him more as a 3-4 DE than anything else. The team probably can’t afford to keep Antonio Smith, and Ealy would likely be an upgrade anyway.
34. Washington Potatoes – Kyle Van Noy, OLB, BYU – They need help everywhere, and they likely can’t keep Brian Orakpo.
35. Cleveland Browns – Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt – They’re going to want to add another receiver at some point. This seems as good a time as any.
36. Oakland Raiders – Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio State – They don’t have much here behind D.J. Hayden.
37. Atlanta Falcons – Jeremiah Attaochu, DE/OLB, Georgia Tech –
Has some flaws, but the team is desperate enough for pass rush that they’ll bet on Attaochu’s burst.
38. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Jace Amaro, TE, Texas Tech – His one-dimensionality as a player causes his stock to slip. Tim Wright had a fine rookie season, but Amaro is a potential big-play threat up the seam.
39. Jacksonville Jaguars – Dee Ford, OLB, Auburn – Ford’s speed off the line made him one of the stars of the Senior Bowl. He’s a bit undersized, though, but in a defense similar to the current Seahawks, he could fill the role of undersized edge rusher very well.
40. Minnesota Vikings – Ryan Shazier, OLB, Ohio St. – Some help for a very shaky defense, and Shazier can also rush the passer a bit.
41. Buffalo Bills – Antonio Richardson, OT, Tennessee – Probably projects to right tackle; will help the team upgrade an offensive line that lost Andy Levitre last offseason.
42. Tennessee Titans – Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech – They may not be able to afford Alterraun Verner this offseason. Fuller looks better to us on tape than his general projections suggest.
43. New York Giants – Ed Reynolds, FS, Stanford – Still a big need of theirs.
44. St. Louis Rams – Telvin Smith, LB, Florida State – A bit on the small side, but makes plays all over the field. Would complete their LB trio nicely.
45. Detroit Lions – Travis Swanson, C, Arkansas – Dominic Raiola is 35 years old and could hang it up at any time.
46. Pittsburgh Steelers – Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State – He’d add some depth and another dimension to their WR corps.
47. Baltimore Ravens1 – Will Sutton, DT, Arizona St. – Could prove to be an effective upfield penetrator.
48. Dallas Cowboys1 – Chris Smith, DE, Arkansas – They might have to let Anthony Spencer walk. You know Jerry’s happy to be taking one of his Razorbacks regardless.
49. New York Jets – Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Washington – And the offensive upgrades just keep coming.
50. Miami Dolphins – Jarvis Landry, WR, LSU – They just need to add some talent to this WR corps, period.
51. Chicago Bears – Marcus Roberson, CB, Florida – Charles Tillman is going to test free agency, and they’ll likely need to replace him.
52. Arizona Cardinals – Zach Mettenberger, QB, LSU – Still think Arians will fall in love with his arm.
53. Green Bay Packers – Lamarcus Joyner, CB/S, Florida State – Same reasoning as before. Perhaps he could be the “Joker” the team used to have in Charles Woodson.
54. Philadelphia Eagles – Stanley Jean-Baptiste, CB, Nebraska – They need depth here, and Jean-Baptiste helped himself quite a bit in Senior Bowl week.
55. Cincinnati Bengals – Daquan Jones, DT, Penn St. – They’ll attempt to keep their defensive depth strong. We like Jones more than most places so far.
56. San Francisco 49ers – Terrance Mitchell, CB, Oregon – A bit of a reach, but the position is thinning fast and they badly need help at it.
57. San Diego Chargers – Gabe Jackson, OG, Mississippi St. – Their offensive line could use more reliable players.
58. New Orleans Saints – Michael Sam, OLB, Missouri – Could provide them with some extra pass rush.
59. Indianapolis Colts – Xavier Su’a-Filo, OG, UCLA – Rebuilding the interior of the offensive line.
60. Carolina Panthers – Davante Adams, WR, Fresno St. – It is time for the team to stop, as Buster Bluth might say, s-ing around when it comes to finding receiving options.
61. San Francisco 49ers – Craig Loston, SS, LSU – What do you get for the team who has everything? A strong safety to back up you veteran and eventually reunite with his college teammate at free safety.
62. New England Patriots – Scott Crichton, DE, Oregon State – Good value again for the Patriots, as they continue remaking their defensive line.
63. Seattle Seahawks2 – Paul Richardson, WR, Colorado – They could take tremendous strides with a bit more receiving talent.
64. Denver Broncos2 – Trevor Reilly, DE, Utah – Maybe a little light for a 4-3 DE, but they could use some young blood at the outside pass rush.
Mock Draft season will really get going once the combine and pro days start rolling in. For now, we’ll keep watching film and reporting on particular prospects, the re-draft project, and features on certain players.
1 – subject to coin flip.
2 – subject to Super Bowl.