#1 Houston Texans – Blake Bortles, QB Central Florida
Central Florida quarterback Blake Bortles isn’t the most polished quarterback in this class but he has all the tools to be one of the top signal callers in this draft. While the Texans have many options with the top pick, I believe that moving Matt Schaub to the Oakland Raiders was the final move allowing Houston the chance to start over fresh with a new quarterback barking out signals.
#2 St. Louis Rams(Via Washington) – Jake Mathews, OT Texas A&M
Jake Matthews is a safe pick who can come in and start right away. Mathews has great feet and can play either tackle position. Mathews is not a mauler like Greg Robinson but he does has a very balanced skill set. His superb technique and above-average athleticism helps him win in pass protection as well as in the run game.
#3 Jacksonville Jaguars – Teddy Bridgewater, QB Louisville
While Jacksonville is known for making some bonehead picks, I don’t think they will this year. With the opportunity to upgrade their horrific quarterback position, I refuse to believe that they would pass up the best overall quarterback in the class. Bridgewater underwhelmed at his Louisville pro day, but that won’t scare off all NFL teams. Bridgewater showed off an accurate arm, good touch, solid athleticism and the ability to get to his second read and beyond while at Louisville.
#4 Cleveland Browns – Sammy Watkins, WR Clemson
Adding Clemson wideout Sammy Watkins to a receiver group that already features Josh Gordon is a scary thought. While I stand firm in my belief that no wideout should be taken in the top 10, I do think Cleveland would like to add another target to help shoulder the load that Josh Gordon currently has. While a quarterback would be in play here, I see them waiting until later to take Watkins here.
#5 Oakland Raiders – Jadeveon Clowney, DE/LB South Carolina
Despite a less-than-stellar season for the Gamecocks in 2013, Clowney causes opponents to change their game plans to avoid his presence. He has the speed, agility and pass-rush moves to provide consistent pressure on the quarterback. The only real question I have is does he have the heart and desire to be great.
#6 Atlanta Falcons – Khalil Mack, LB/DE Buffalo
Mack is a player who can play any linebacker position and even put a hand in the dirt and get after the quarterback. He isn’t at his best moving backwards, but his coverage skills aren’t bad at all. Mack is a player whom the opposing quarterbacks will have to account for before every snap.
#7 Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Greg Robinson, OT Auburn
Auburn tackle Greg Robinson is the man who will help keep newly signed quarterback Josh McCown upright and allow him time to find receivers Mike Williams and Vincent Jackson and whomever else Lovie Smith decides to bring in. Robinson is too hard to pass up.
#8 Minnesota Vikings – Derek Carr, QB Fresno State
Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr may not only be the best pure passer in the draft, he may be the best quarterback from the neck up. Carr is a quarterback that can lead a team and won’t make many costly turnovers. While Christian Ponder might get one last chance to show that he can be a productive NFL signal-caller, Carr very well may be the future in Minnesota.
#9 Buffalo Bills – Anthony Barr, LB/DE UCLA
Even though he’s only been playing defense for a short period of time, Barr’s freakish athleticism 6.82 in the three-cone drill and a 4.44 40-yard dash is too hard to pass up. While he is still raw, he has the potential to be the best defensive player in the entire class.
#10 Detroit Lions – Mike Evans, WR Texas A&M
Another Aggie off the board before the most celebrated Aggie Johnny Manziel, Mike Evans would be the ideal candidate to team up with Calvin Johnson. Wideouts don’t come this big very often. He doesn’t have the long speed to separate from NFL corners, but Megatron does and Evans would excel at working the intermediate routes and in the red zone.
#11 Tennessee Titans – Johnny Manziel, QB Texas A&M
While he does his best work passing from inside the pocket, Manziel’s mobility and creativity is what makes him a special talent. People can say what they want but Manziel is a football player and will be a weapon in the NFL.
#12 New York Giants – Eric Ebron, TE North Carolina
North Carolina tight end Eric Ebron may be the best player on the board at this point. The Giants are in need of a tight end. He has enough size, strength and tenacity to develop into a strong blocker, with the hands and speed to be a top-flight receiving threat. He reminds me of Jimmy Graham.
#13 St. Louis Rams – C.J. Mosley, LB Alabama
C.J. Mosley is a versatile linebacker whom Jeff Fisher may feel is the missing piece to his rebuilt defense. Mosley could fit well with fellow linebackers Alex Ogletree and James Laurinaitis.
#14 Chicago Bears – Aaron Donald, DT Pittsburgh
With Henry Melton gone, Chicago could look to fill his spot this Senior Bowl standout Aaron Donald. Nobody has had a more of an impact in the stretch heading into the draft than Donald. His strong showing at the combine did nothing but confirm what we already knew. Aaron Donald is a stud.
#15 Pittsburgh Steelers – Taylor Lewan, OT Michigan
Michigan tackle Taylor Lewan is a top 15 talent, but an assault charge might push him down teams boards. I will stop him here with the Steelers because Mike Tomlin is not one to jump to conclusions and pass up a excellent player over a bit of he said, she said.
#16 Dallas Cowboys – Zach Martin, OL Norte Dame
Notre Dame tackle Zack Martin projects as a guard in the NFL, but he has enough ability to play tackle or center if needed. He’s probably the most versatile offensive lineman in the class.
#17 Baltimore Ravens – Marquise Lee, WR USC
Ozzie Newsome has to be jumping on the table at this point. Arguably the best wideout in this class Lee falls here because of an injury plagued season in which he had too many uncharacteristic drops. Lee is incredibly productive as a receiver and return man. Lee’s ability to get open is second to none and will earn him plenty of opportunities to regain his form.
#18 New York Jets – Odell Beckham Jr., WR LSU
LSU receiver Odell Beckham Jr. has the playmaking ability that the Jets have been lacking for a while now. He has the ability to catch slightly off-target throws and get behind cornerbacks down the field with his speed.
#19 Miami Dolphins – Hasean Clinton-Dix, FS Alabama
Clinton-Dix has nice closing speed and when he arrives he does so with bad intentions. In the NFL he will have the opportunity to showcase his coverage skills taking on tight ends, slot receivers and playing center field. He’ll have a challenge in Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski.
#20 Arizona Cardinals – Darqueze Danard, CB Michigan State
He’s well built for the position with broad shoulders and long arms. A confident and physical defender on the perimeter, he’s at his best when in man to man coverage and when attacking in run support. Paring him with Pat Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu would give them on of the better secondaries in the NFC.
#21 Green Bay Packers – Calvin Pryor, FS Louisville
Louisville safety Calvin Pryor becomes the best player on the board. He is a big hitter who is better in coverage than he sometimes gets credit for. Playing along side Morgan Burnett would benefit him.
#22 Philadelphia Eagles – Bradley Roby, CB Ohio State
While Ohio State cornerback Bradley Roby didn’t always play up to his potential he has an NFL body and the entire skill set. He is ready to contribute immediately.
#23 Kansas City Chiefs – Brandain Cooks, WR Oregon State
Oregon State receiver Brandin Cooks is great at getting open underneath and, with his game changing speed he has the ability to take a short slant and take it to the house.
#24 Cincinnati Bengals – Dee Ford, DE/LB Auburn
Adding a versatile and explosive edge rusher like Ford, the Senior Bowl MVP would be a nice addiction to a defense that already features Vontaze Burfict, Geno Atkins, Carlos Dunlap and Margus Hunt.
#25 San Diego Chargers – Justin Gilbert, CB Oklahoma State
Oklahoma States Justin Gilbert had a poor 2012 season, but turned it around last season. Gilbert showed good vision, excellent anticipation and the ability to get his hands on the football.
#26 Cleveland Browns – Kyle Fuler, CB Virginia Tech
Fuller gets his hands on a lot of footballs. He sees the field very well and he’s very quick to break on throws in his direction. He has enough speed and acceleration to recover and make a play on the ball.
#27 New Orleans Saints – Ryan Shazier, LB Ohio State
OSU Linebacker Ryan Shazier is a perfect fit with the Saints. He has unreal athleticism and flies around the field. He isn’t afraid to make a play on the ball. Injuries are a bit of a concern. New Orleans could get one of the most explosive players in the draft.
#28 Carolina Panthers – Cyrus Kouandjio, OT Alabama
Given the investment in Cam Newton, offensive line help is a must.
#29 New England Patriots – Louis Nix, NT Norte Dame
Notre Dame nose tackle Louis Nix III., Like Wilfork, Nix is more of a pocket-pusher than a sack artist, but he is a massive human being who excels at eating up double-teams and keeping his linebackers clean to make plays.
#30 San Francisco 49ers – Kelvin Benjamin, WR Florida State
Florida State receiver Kelvin Benjamin is just that sort receiver San Francisco needs. He is enormous at 6’5″ and long arms. He does drop too many passes however. He isn’t as physical as an Anquan Boldin, but he has better speed. Being on the same team with Boldin would be great for him.
#31 Denver Broncos – Stephon Tuitt, DT, Norte Dame
Tuitt has a athletic frame despite his massive size. He offered a combination of length, power and surprising quickness. Scheme versatility for the 3-4 and 4-3, possessing the size of most interior linemen while maintaining the quickness to provide a rush off the edge.
#32 Seattle Seahawks – Kony Ealy, DE/LB Missouri
Ealy starred at defensive end for the Tigers and certainly will be viewed as a quality defensive end from teams operating out of a 4-3 but he’s a fluid athlete also capable of making the transition as a standup outside linebacker in the 3-4. Since the Super Bowl champs like to show multiple looks, Ealy would fit in and help out the defensive line that has lost some key players.