1.JACKSONVILLE-TEDDY BRIDGEWATER-QB-NFL COMP-LOUISVILLE-AARON RODGERS-GB-I no longer have any faith in Blaine Gabbert to be a NFL starter. If they brought in Tebow they would have at least won games and sold tickets. This year I doubt they do much of either.They even lost to the downtrodden raiders. Bridgewater has all the elite tools you can want ,he loves to throw the ball down field , he is a natural leader , he is mobile when neccessary, he makes his reads smoothly, and he is extremely poised in the pocket. If Teddy can pull an RG3 and add 15-20 pounds of muscle between the end of the season and the draft then he should be the first QB taken . All traits Gabbert lacks and that a franchise QB needs.
*** BROWNS TRADE both their own and the COLTS #1 picks to the RAIDERS for the 2nd pick in the draft.***
2.BROWNS-(oak)-MARCUS MARIOTA-NFL COMP-COLIN KAEPERNECK-SF-Norv Turner is one of the all time great O Coordinators and QB whisperers. So Brandon Weeden ( or even the out for the year Brian Hoyer)had to make it this year, but we doubt it. If Neither does Hundley has a higher upside than Bridgewater but lacks the same polish and experience right now. If Jacksonville wasn't so bad I would think the Browns trade of Trent Richardson to get extra picks ,and go after the top QB might have worked, but I don't see the Jags trading out if the top spot. Maroita is a heck of a consolation prize for moving up to 2nd. After this weekend I am now thinking Mariota is coing out this seaspon, and Brett Hundley will be staying in school. Marcus also needs to pull an RG3 and add 15-20 pounds of muscle between the end of the season & the draft . If he does it, and a team that wants to run a scheme that fits him better ends up with the first pick ,he could go ahead of Bridgewater.
3.NYG-JADAVIAN CLOWNEY-DE/OLB-S.CAROLINA-NFL COMP-MARIO WILLIAMS-BUFF-The Ginats pass rush has been the key to their success throughout the Tom Coughlin era ,and is the main reason they won 2 superbowls in that time period. Justin Tuck hasn't gotten to the QB much so far this year . JPP doesn't seem fully back from injury and Kiwanuka hasn't done much either. Clowney paired with a fully healed JPP would be a nightmare for opposing QB's for a long time.
4.BUFFALO-ANTHONY BARR-DE/OLB-UCLA-NFL COMP-DeMARCUS WARE-DALL-After spending a lot of money on Mario Williams to rush the passer he spent a injury plauged season being double teamed. The signing of Mark Anderson to play the other side was supposed to cut down on the double teams, but he was also hurt and has been cut. The recently acquired Jerry Hughes and Manny Lawson are more the situational pass rusher/ types. Barr is a freakish athlete that has already added 20 pounds since last year ,and would be the first defender off the board in almost any other non-Jadavian Clowney-year. He also has the versatility to play OLB in a 3-4 ,weakside DE ,or sam OLB in a 4-3. The loss of EJ Manuel makes it likely they have a high pick again .
5.TAMPA BAY-JOHNNY MANZIEL-QB-TEXAS A&M-NFL COMP-FRAN TARKENTON- (ret)-Tampa Bay is internally imploding now that all the pre-season positive vibes are done . Their talented roster and once promising season is about to go down the drain . Unless they right the ship and come together soon they could be picking even higher. Josh Freeman seems to have lost it and was let go. Now rookie 3rd rounder Mike Glennon is getting a shot to start. Glennon has a strong arm , but he is also thin and immoble . Right now he may be better than Freeman but thats not saying a lot. So lets just proceed as if they need a new QB ,and assume coach Schiano is going to be replaced, because "JOHNNY FOOTBALL" is not his type of guy.However,the electric Manziel will also help the Glazer family sell tickets.
6.STEELERS-JAKE MATHEWS-OT-TEX A&M-NFL COMP-DUANE BROWN-HOU-Left Tackle Mike Adams was so bad that the steelers actually traded for Levi Brown, and he was a bad LT for the cards. Even a giant like Big Ben has trouble thowing with people draped all over him.This son of a Hall of Famer was better than any of the tackles in last years draft in our opinion, and they went 1rst, 2nd and 4th in the overall. He would be an upgrade at either tackle spot and would help stabilize the line .
7.VIKINGS-AJ MCCARRON -QB-ALABAMA-NFL COMP-MATT YAN-ATL-Christian Ponders injury history and fragile psyche worries me. If he misses significant time, the Vikes have a bad record, or he doesn't play well I think Minnesota will be looking for a new QB. Matt Cassel and Josh Freeman will both get a shot at sometime this season, but I think they both fail too . The need a leader with the kind of poise that inspires a locker room. AJ fits the bill as a proven winner for the most successful college team there is.
8.RAMS-TAYLOR LEWAN-OT-MICHIGAN-NFL COMP-MICHAEL ROOS-TENN-Roger Saffold will be a free agent this off season. We are betting somebody else will pay him to play left tackle and he leaves the rams because of it. Taylor can fill that void and he definitely has the feet to move to LT if Jake Longs injury woes continue, and slide over when Jakes time on the blindside is done. With Sam Bradford out for the season ,and the rams giving up on by trying to win with the QB TRIO of Kellen Clemens,Brady Quinn, and Austin Davis, they will earn this pick or a higher one.
9.OAKLAND(clev)-SAMMY WATKINS-WR-CLEMSON-NFL COMP-TORREY SMITH-BALT-Thanks to years of Al Davis mismanaging the team the raiders have the least talented roster in the NFL . New GM Reggie McKenzie finally got a chance to start rebuilding the roster in this draft , and even after a draft where young fresh bodies were provided we expect it's at least one more year until they are on the way up . However the raiders are so far behind in overall talent that they will probably just go best player available and hope Pryor keeps improving as a passer.The raiders lack any WR who profiles as a #1 receiver . Watkins fits the bill and also helps out in the return game.
10.ARIZONA-ZACH METTENBURGER-QB-LSU-NFL COMP-JOE FLACCO-BALT-While I expected the cardinals offense to be much improved ,with Carson Palmer , a improved O-line, the loss of DC Ray Horton, and the lack of pressure I expect them to get on the QB means their defense should be a problem. However Palmer has underwhelmed so far and the defense has showed more flashes of excellence than the offense . Even then they are a solid team... but the NFC west is now the most talented division in football. The 49ers and Seahawks are legitimate super bowl contenders this season and the young and talented rams should be a playoff contender . The cards finally gave up on former LT Levi Brown this week, and turned the blindside over to preseson waiver wire pickup Bradley Sowell. Whether he works out or Palmer finds his way will probably decide this pick. QB is more important so we are going to give them a QB here. Metteneburgers improvement under new OC Cam Cameron has been impressive. He also plays in a pro system, in a tough conference, and has a cannon attached to his shoulder.
11.RAMS-(wash)-HA'HA CLINTON DIX-S-ALABAMA-NFL COMP-HARRISON SMITH-S-MINN-In the last 2 years under Jeff Fisher the rams have made a large jump in talent thanks to the RG3 trade and a few free agent deals. The area they have neglected is safety with only the injured TJ McDonald being brought in through the draft. Why they cut Quintin Mikel is beyond me and this will probably be a need . Dix has been a great player, in a great conference, against top competition. We doubt his litte suspension for taking a short term loan will hurt him with NFL teams.
12.HOUSTON-TAJ BOYD-QB-CLEM-NFL COMP-DONOVAN McNABB-retired--Matt Schaub's guaranteed portion of his contract is about done. If the Texans don't win big this season I expected them to put some pressure on him by drafting a QB. After throwing a lot of crucially bad picks and getting hurt it doesn't look any better for him. The Texans are already auditioning other QB's this season. Boyd is mobile and has a stronger arm than anyone they had on their roster. Both qualities that Schaub lacks.The injury to Brian Cushing only makes this team more likely to have a high pick.
13.EAGLES-LOUIS NIX-NT-N.DAME-NFL COMP-VINCE WILFORK-NE-The eagles have switched to a 3-4 defense under Chip Kelly , but they lack a nose tackle that can stay on the field on every play . The rarest species of player is the 3 down nose tackle , but Nix fits that bill . Louis is a special talent that could lead their line for years.
14.TITANS-CJ MOSLEY-ILB-ALABAMA-NFL COMP-DERRICK JOHNSON-KC- Mosley is an elite athletic 3 down LB with high level instincts. He is also a disruptive force all over the field that would probably be even better when protected in a 4-3 . Between often injured Colin McCarthy & subpar Moisee Fokou the titans have a gaping hole at ILB that CJ can fill.While I am not a big fan of Jake Locker as a QB, they were winning before Jake got hurt and that probably buys him another season.
15.NYJ-KHALIL MACK-OLB-BUFFALO-NFL COMP-BRIAN ORAPKO-WASH-The jets need a updrade over Calvin Pace as an edge rusher. Mack has the athleticism to play a similar role to the one Von Miller does in Denver. He has the size and speed to play the strong-side in a 4-3 and move down as a DE in obvious passing downs. If they are in a odd front he can play either rush linebacker spot. When a guy from a smaller school is the best player on the field against a powerhouse like Ohio St. everyone takes notice.
16.CHARGERS-CYRUS KOUANDJIO-OT-ALABAMA-NFL COMP-JASON PETERS-PHIL- King Dunlap probably isn't the long term answer at LT for the chargers . Drafting Cyrus to pair with 2013 1rst rounder (and former Alabama teammate )DJ Fluker as bookend offensive tackles makes a ton of sense though. This move would go a long way toward keeping a rejuvenated Phillip Rivers in his franchise QB form. Cyrus actually has the highest upside of the big 3 OT's.
17.CAROLINA-PANTHERS-NYJ-MARQUISE LEE-WR-USC-NFL COMP-TORRY HOLT-(ret)-- Like the Houston Texans before them the panthers seem destined to wait far too long to draft a top receiver. Steve Smith is past his prime & undersized, but he is still the best WR on this team . You would think they would want to do everything they can to help their young franchise QB succeed, but they sure are going about it in a weird way. Marquise has dropped some due to poor QB play, but I still think he is one of the first 2 receivers drafted.
18.MIAMI-ANTONIO RICHARDSON-OT-TENNESEE-NFL COMP-ANDRE WHITWORTH-CINC-HOU-Both of the dolphins offensive tackles have been subpar this season. Enter the massive but quick Richardson . He can definitely play the right side , but in his second shot at Clowney last weekend he had a tough time. How teams view that game will say a lot about his possible NFL future as a LT. At least he played him pretty well last year. Some teams will admit that everyone struggles against the best pass rushers.
19.FALCONS-DAVID YANKEY-T/G-STANFORD-NFL COMP- MARSHALL YANDA -The Falcons are replacing the entire right side of their line . RT Tyson Clabo was their best lineman and he is one of the guys being replaced. LT Sam Baker is inconsistent and injury prone. Add the fact that 2 rookie corners are being counted on to be key players this year and I wouldn't be surprised if they actually missed the playoffs because of these 2 areas. If those players grow into their roles they may squeak in , but I don't see them as Superbowl threat at all this year. and wonder if Matt Ryan will survive the year .Yankey can play both tackle and guard to keep Matty upright.
20.CHICAGO-SCOTT CRICHTON-DE/OLB-ORE.ST-NFL COMP-RYAN KERRIGAN-WASH-Henry Melton was playing this year under the franchise tag before an ACL tear, and who knows if he will be brought back next year . Even if he is resigned they are still running the Tampa 2 ,and front four pass rush is crucial to that defense. Another pass rushing DT next to Melton is a huge need even if they do keep him, AND . If Jermon Bushrod bombs at left tackle , or Jay Cutler leaves those positions could also be in play . However, Julius Peppers will be in his mid 30's next season with a really high cap number. So a DE makes the most sense.
21.RAVENS-MIKE EVANS-WR-TEXAS A&M-NFL COMP-VINCENT JACKSON-TB-
It's obvious that the ravens offense really misses Anquan Boldin. Evans can give Flacco a new big possesion WR that can win jump balls, move the chains, and team with deep threat Torrey Smith to spread out the defense.
22.LIONS-BRADLEY ROBY-CB-OHIO ST-NFL COMP-LEON HALL-CINC-The lions have relied on Veterans Rashean Mathis and the overrated Chris Houston to play significant minutes this year.Mathis is already near the end and cheap , but Houston will be 30 next season and his salaries from his new contract are going to keep getting more expensive.The lions drafted a corner in the 3rd in 2012, and in the second round this year. Neither has played that well so far. Roby is possibly the fastest man in this draft and to win a division with Aaron Rodgers in it you can always use more talented corners.
23.CHIEFS-DEVANTE PARKER-WR-LVILLE-NFL COMP-MICHAEL CRABTREE-SF-The best thing about Dwayne Bowe is his blocking. His hands are suspect and he is getting slower by the year. As a #2 in a run first offense he is a good fit though. Donnie Avery is injury prone and his best roll would be as a #3. Enter Parker who has the ability , size and hands to be a true # 1 in this offense .Add that Andy Reid has shown a willingness to draft WR's high and this is a good fit .
24.PATRIOTS-JORDAN MATTHEWS-WR-VANDY-NFL COMP-JORDY NELSON-GB-Bill Belichicks ego has bitten him in the ass so far this season. His refusal to pay Wes Welker ( or even Brandon Llyod)and the injuries/ incarceration of his tight ends has left Tom Brady with an inexperienced receiving core. Now Aaron Dobson may fulfil his potential, and undrafted FA Kenbrell Tompkins may end up as a keeper too. ,Gronk. Amendola/Edelman may get and stay healthy. Thats a lot of mays, if's ,ands & buts there. Mattews is the big, polished, reliable outside target Brady has lacked since Randy Moss went off the reservation.
25.DALLAS-TIMMY JERNIGAN-DT-FLA.ST-NFL COMP-GENO ATKINS-CINC-With the injury prone and bitter Jay Ratliff finally cut & free agent to be Jason Hatcher over thirty ,and Dallas now running the Tampa 2 defense, DT is a huge need. Pressure from the front 4 is essential in this defense . A replacement for Anthony Spencer might also be a possibility if the recently injured Tyrone Crawford or the undersized Kyle Wilber aren't ready to take his place.
26.SAN FRANCISCO-STEPHON TUITT-DE/DT-N.DAME-NFL COMP-RICHARD SEYMOUR-(fa)-Justin Smith and Ray Mcdonald have been great bookends in the 49er 3-4 for awhile, but age catches up to us all. With injuries to both in recent years a infusion of youth is needed at the 5 technique. Tuitt is that rare player that can set the edge against the double team, but still provide a pass rush.
27.RAIDERS(clev,indy)-KADEEM CAREY-RB-AZ-NFL COMP-LeSEAN McCOY-PHILLY-The often injured and expensive Darren MCFadden is a free agent after this season. Carey is the best all around back in this draft , and if he can learn to pass block as well as he already catches the ball out of the back field, he likely to be a first round running back.
28.PACKERS-ERIC EBRON-TE-N.CAR-NFL COMP-n elite athlete to replace the elite athleticism of Jermichael Finley. Finley is as talented as they come but his mental errors. inconsistent hands, injury history, and lack of will to help out blocking make him expendable . Someone will pay him for his upside but unless he puts it all together this season we doubt it's the packers. Ebron has the same type of ability but he looks like he's trying a lot harder than Finley.
29.SAINTS-AARON LYNCH-DE/OLB-S.FLA-NFL COMP-JOHN ABRAHAM-AZ-The saints switched to a 3-4 this season and the out-for-the-year Victor Butler was their best fit as an OLB .Lynch is an elite athlete who has the strength, frame, and agilty to play in either 4-3 or 3-4. If he goes to a 4-3 team he would best be served to bulk up to about 270 to help him hold the point of attack .
30.BENGALS-RYAN SHAZIER-OLB-OHIO ST-NFL COMP-LANCE BRIGGS-CHI-Rey Maualuga needs to be replaced. Drafting an elite playmaker like Shazier would help 2 positions. Vontaze Burfict could move to the middle full time and Shazier could play outside. The affect on their pass defense alone would be tremendous.
31.DENVER-CHRIS SMITH-DE-ARK-NFL COMP-TRENT COLE-PHIL-The 2 best pass rushers in Denver last season were Elvis Dumervill and Von Miller. Between Dumervill's agent making a mistake that cost him his spot in Denver and Von Miller's drug suspension they are sorely lacking in this area right now. Will Miller be the same guy without the chemical help? Don't know but even if he is they need someone else that can rush the passer off the edge.
32.SEATTLE-GABE JACKSON-G-MISSISSIPPI ST-NFL COMP-BRIAN WATERS-DALLAS-RG-Russell Wilson's mobilty and pocket awareness save him from a lot of bad blocking. To really take their offense to the next level they are going to need to get better up front . As of now only Okung and Unger are above average blockers. That means an uprade at both guard spots would be welcome.