One West Coast team is targeting this LSU product.
Note: *1 indicates a projected trade. The number following the asterisk notes the trade’s timing. For example, *3 would be the third projected trade.
1. Houston Texas: DE Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina
The Texans select Clowney, undeniably the most physically gifted prospect this draft, with intent to form a virtually unstoppable pass rush. The combination Clowney and DL JJ Watt would literally detract sleep hours from opposing offensive coordinators.
2. St. Louis Rams (via Washington): OT Greg Robinson, Auburn
The Rams need to protect their quarterback of the future. Robinson is an athletic blocker with tremendous upside. Trading down is an option, but Robinson is a very enticing option. This selection would pay great dividends for the Rams.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars: QB Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M
Manziel is off the board fairly early. The signal caller is undoubtedly electric and will energize a somewhat depleted fan base. The former Texas A&M Aggie has the spark to shift a franchise.
4. Detroit Lions (via Cleveland Browns *1): WR Sammy Watkins, Clemson
The Lions are seeking a trade up to draft Watkins, who they have been eyeing down for months, reportedly. Watkins would team up with WR’s Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate; parallel to Houston’s pass rush unit in that they bolseter an already dominant phase of the team.
5. Oakland Raiders: OT Jake Matthews, Texas A&M
Matthews, who can play both right and left tackle, is the perfect bookend for the Raiders’ offensive line. His genetics are as strong as his football skillset; he is the son of Hall of Fame OL Bruce Matthews and the cousin of Green Bay Packers OLB Clay Matthews.
6. Atlanta Falcons: OLB Khalil Mack, Buffalo
Mack is a small-school stud. The Falcons’ weak pass rush was a downfall of a talent-rich roster in 2013, and Mack’s athleticism and football talent will certainly collapse pockets.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: WR Mike Evans, Texas A&M
Evans, who boasts 6’5”, 225-pound frame, would line up across from 6’5”, 230-pound Bucs WR Vincent Jackson. Covering a pair of two substantial wideouts is a tall task for opposing defenses.
8. Dallas Cowboys (via Minnesota Vikings *2): DT Aaron Donald, Pittsburgh
In this situation, the Cowboys trade up to draft Donald, a 6’1”, 285-pound interior defensive linemen. Donald’s stock has skyrocketed in recent months, and Dallas pounces on the opportunity to add the athletic prospect.
9. Buffalo Bills: OT Taylor Lewan, Michigan
With one year under QB EJ Manuel’s belt and a healthy RB CJ Spiller, the Bills offense is more dynamic than one would suppose. Lewan, a very physical lineman, fits the bill for Buffalo. He will add depth stability and aggressiveness up front.
10. Cleveland Browns (via Detroit Lions *1): CB Justin Gilbert, Oklahoma State
The possible tandem of Gilbert and CB Joe Haden has the firepower to flat-out shut down opposing passing units. Gilbert, a lethal return specialist, is a perfect selection for Cleveland in a trade-down situation.
11. Tennessee Titans: OLB Anthony Barr, UCLA
Barr, a once-projected Top 5 pick, is a dominant edge rusher. Barr is a tremendous value pick at eleventh overall.
12. San Francisco 49ers (via New York Giants *4): WR Odell Beckham, Jr., LSU
Note: The *3 (third projected) trade involves the 30th and 20th overall selections; the *4 trade involves the 20th and 12th overall selections.
The 49ers, along with the New York Jets, are rumored to possibly move up for a wideout. With a stockpile of eleven picks, the Niners have the ammunition to move up from 30 to 12. Beckham Jr. would immediately add an extra edge to the Niners’ offense.
13. St. Louis Rams: TE Eric Ebron, UNC
The Rams’ offense has benefitted immensely from WR Tavon Austin and RB Zac Stacy. With another young offensive target on field, the Rams’ offense will be highly productive down the road—if they find consistency at the quarterback position.
14. Chicago Bears: FS Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Alabama
Clinton-Dix was one of the top defensive backs in all of college football in 2013. The Bears need his presence in the secondary, and his impact would be felt immediately.
15. Pittsburgh Steelers: CB Darqueze Dennard, Michigan State
Dennard’s physicality is an ideal match for the Steelers’ historically bruising defense. The former Michigan State Spartan’s tenacity will be appreciated in the Steel City.
16. Minnesota Vikings (via Dallas Cowboys *2): QB Blake Bortles, UCF
After the Christian Ponder crash and burn, Bortles would have fairly low expectations in Minnesota in the early stages of his career. With a 6’4”, 229-pound frame, Bortles mirrors Ben Roethlisberger at times.
17. Baltimore Ravens: ILB CJ Mosley, Alabama
Mosley is a three down linebacker with Top 10 value. The Alabama product possesses the drive for success and a high football IQ.
18. New York Jets: WR Brandin Cooks, Oregon State
Once Beckham Jr., the Jets’ war room is itching until their selection. The Jets reportedly have talked with Cooks several times, and the wideout feels like “they’re pushing for me… It’s an amazing fit.” Cooks would join Eric Decker and Chris Johnson in the rejuvenated offense.
19. Miami Dolphins: OLB Ryan Shazier, Ohio State
Shazier stepped up big at times for Ohio State. In a division with Tom Brady, Shazier will bring his game-time edge to the Sunshine State.
20. New York Giants (via Arizona *3 through San Francisco *4): OL Zack Martin, Notre Dame
In this mock, the Niners acquired the 20th overall pick from Arizona. San Francisco later moved up to 12, which sends the G-Men back to 20. Regardless, the Giants select Martin, who has versatility, toughness and Top 15 value.
21. Green Bay Packers: S Calvin Pryor, Louisville
The Packers should be looking to solidify the secondary in a division with Aaron Rodgers, Jay Cutler, and Matthew Stafford. Pryor was noticeably productive in 2013 (75 total tackles, three interceptions, two forced fumbles) and will look to continue his success at the next level.
22. Philadelphia Eagles: WR Marqise Lee, USC
Eagles HC Chip Kelly’s offenses are comprised of speed, speed, and more speed. Despite a down year in 2013, Lee’s athleticism is prevalent on the gridiron.
23. Kansas City Chiefs: QB Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville
Chiefs QB Alex Smith’s contract talks have stalled, and if Bridgewater, a pro-style quarterback, were still on the board, KC would make a huge mistake to pass on him. Bridgewater has the potential to be a fantastic signal caller down the road.
24. Cincinnati Bengals: CB Kyle Fuller, Virginia Tech
The cornerback drought ends when Fuller is off the board. The 6’0”, 190-pound Virginia Tech product has tremendous upside. If he learns to play with more fluidity, he will wreak havoc in the NFL.
25. San Diego Chargers: CB Bradley Roby, Ohio State
At a 5’11”, 194-pound frame, Roby has competent size. Roby is not afraid to tackle, but needs to bulk up and add strengthen his upper body. He is versatile, and with proper development, Roby will emerge as a lock-down corner.
26: Cleveland Browns (via Indianapolis Colts): DE Kony Ealy, Mizzou
While defensive end is not as glaring of a burning issue as quarterback for Cleveland, Ealy has tremendous value at this selection. The Browns are sitting pretty at 35, and have the firepower to trade back into the late first round to snag a signal caller.
27. New Orleans Saints: CB Jason Verrett, TCU
Verrett has the potential to end up as the top cornerback of this draft class. While his size (5’9”, 189) is a negative, Verrett is a very talented defensive back. Verrett would also develop under recently signed CB Champ Bailey in New Orleans.
28. Carolina Panthers: WR Davante Adams, Fresno State
While Adams may not be a true #1 wide receiver, he will energize the offense and is a formidable target for QB Cam Newton. The Panthers’ receiving core was decimated this offseason, and Adams will alleviate a portion of the lost productivity.
29. New England Patriots: DT Ra’Shede Hageman, Minnesota
The Patriots’ aging defense would be bolstered with the addition of Hageman. He is a monster when consistent, and HC Bill Belichick would consistently instill motivation.
30. Arizona Cardinals (via San Francisco 49ers *3): QB Derek Carr, Fresno State
Current Cardinals QB Carson Palmer is a rocket-armed signal caller, but he is also 34 years old. Carr has a cannon, and the transition between similar style quarterbacks would be smooth.
31. Denver Broncos: OG Xavier Su’a-Filo, UCLA
The Broncos’ offensive line was manhandled by the Seattle Seahawks’ defense in the Super Bowl. Su’a-Filo would make an immediate impact in Denver up front.
32. Cleveland Browns (via Seattle Seahawks *5): QB Jimmy Garoppolo, Eastern Illinois
Houston possesses the 33rd overall pick, so it’s either now or never if Cleveland wants Garoppolo.Garoppolo’s stock soared after a strong Senior Bowl outing this spring.