Draft Talk: Mock Draft 1.0

Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

Mock season is in full swing with some bold, some predictable, and some different, projections. Mock drafting has to be the hardest thing in the world to get right, even harder than the lottery which people win even though you are more likely to get hit by lightening three times than win that. But we love it any way!!!!

It is time to start mocking these son's 'o franchises. Mocking for one team can be crazy enough, but looking at the needs and availability for all teams is a straight up doozy! Which is why you are only going to find one round of all 32 teams here. But never fear,  because there will be 7 rounds total for the team we all care about the most.

I always like to do three mocks.

  1. What should happen (should- used to express probability or expectation)
  2. What I want to happen (to want- have a desire to possess or do (something); wish for)
  3. What "probably" will happen (will- used to express probability or inevitability)

Before we start, I should clarify there is only ONE, UNO, UN, YI, UM, 1, "want" mock draft. That will be the second one I post. This one is the "should". I put all want aside, and went strictly off of what is needed and most likely available in this one. So in this mock there will be more hole filling than BPA. I will save the best -aka the hardest- for last, which will be the will.

In this draft there are a few trades in the first round. Yes I am a mocker that predict trades, or at least tries to predict them, although I did nail 4 of them last year. For this mock remember this is the should so these are not my final predictions on picks or trades. The trades that will occur in the first round are as follows

  1. St. Louis trades pick 2 to The Bills, and receive pick 9, 41, 109, 2015 1st. (Yes, I know the Bills landed Mike Williams from Tampa Bay for a 6th round pic)
  2. Oakland trades pick 5 to Tampa for pick 7, 69
  3. Miami Trades 19 to San Diego for pick 25, 89, 201
  4. Arizona trades 20 to New England for pick 29, 93, next years 5th
  5. Green Bay trades pick 21 to Carolina for pick 28, 128, 204

Pick

Team

Player

Pos

College

1

Houston

Jadeveon Clowney

DE/OLB

South Carolina

2

Buffalo

Sammy Watkins

WR

Clemson

3

Jacksonville

Khalil Mack

OLB

Buffalo

4

Cleveland

Blake Bortles

QB

UCF

5

Tampa Bay

Greg Robinson

OT

Aubrun

6

Atlanta

Jake Matthews

OT

Texas A&M

7

Raiders

Mike Evans

WR

Texas A&M

8

Minnesota

Teddy Bridgewater

QB

Louisville

9

St. Louis

Aaron Donald

DT

Pittsburgh

10

Detroit

Justin Gilbert

CB

Oklahoma State

11

Tennessee

Kony Ealy

DE

Missouri

12

Giants

C.J. Mosley

LB

Alabama

13

St. Louis

Jason Verrett

CB

TCU

14

Chicago

Taylor Lewan

OT

Michigan

15

Pittsburgh

Darqueze Dennard

CB

Michigan State

16

Dallas

Hasean Clinton-Dix

FS

Alabama

17

Baltimore

Odell Beckham Jr.

WR

LSU

18

Jets

Kelvin Benjamin

WR

Florida St.

19

San Diego

Calvin Pryor

FS/SS

Louisville

20

New England

Eric Ebron

TE

North Carolina

21

Carolina

Zack Martin

OT

Notre Dame

22

Philadelphia

Brandin Cooks

WR

Oregon State

23

Kansas City

Marqise Lee

WR

USC

24

Cincinnati

Morgan Moses

OT

Virginia

25

Miami

Ryan Shazier

LB

Ohio State

26

Cleveland

Carlos Hyde

RB

Ohio State

27

New Orleans

Cyrus Kouandijo

OT

Alabama

28

Green Bay

Jace Amaro

TE

Texas Tech

29

Arizona

Austin Seferian-Jenkins

TE

Washington

30

San Francisco

Louis Nix III

DE

Notre Dame

31

Denver

David Yankey

OG

Stanford

32

Seattle

Jordan Matthews

WR

Vanderbilt

THE TRADE EXPLANATION

Due to the insane talent atop the draft I don't believe we will see as many top 15 trades this year as we did last year. Instead the middle-bottom of round is most likely to see the most trade action.

The Rams make the trade down from 2-9 because their needs do not truly match the availability. Remember: this is a should mock and the Rams are not picking at #2 because the team sucks and they have a lot of holes to fill. So they trade down to collect more picks build more depth. The Bills trade up because their offense is starving for play-makers - even with the Mike Williams trade - much like the the Jacksonville Jaguars, which is why there is no way that Sammy Watkins would make it past them at #3.

The Raiders miss out on Clowney, Mack, and Watkins and are comfortable with Matt Schaub for the time being. They filled the hole at tackle in free agency. Meanwhile, the Bucs were not so fortunate and still need a tackle. So does Atlanta, who missed out on the two most wanted pass rushers in the draft. They could always draft Kony Ealy, but it is not like Thomas Dimitroff to reach for a player. Besides, without one of the top two defensive players in the draft available the only priority on the mind of this GM is protecting Matt Ryan, as well as opening some running lanes which didn't happen last year. The tackle who is getting the most love in this draft is Greg Robinson, so surely they will draft him. But the Bucs need love too, so they trade up ahead of them to take the most sought after tackle in the draft. I think the Falcons will suffice with Jake Matthews though. And even though the Raiders miss out on Watkins, they still finally upgrade their receiving core and draft the receiver who has had the hottest name out there the last 5-6 weeks - Mike Evens.

San Diego moves up because Calvin Pryor is still on the board at #19, and they really need help at the other safety position. While Eric Weddle has been a perennial Pro Bowl player, there really has not been much to smile about at the other safety position. Pryor can play both free and strong safety. So why would the chargers move up to fill this hole? Because there is no way Pryor gets past Arizona at #20, Green Bay at #21, and Philadelphia at #22, who all have just as big of a need, if not bigger at the safety position. It's not going to happen.

Arizona trades #20 to New England because the Packers find themselves with a need at the TE position after not resigning Jermichael Finley. They have an offense that is built on playmakers and guys that run after the catch. So traditional tightend like Austin Serferian-Jenkins, would not fit their scheme. You could make a case for Jace Amaro but he may be a reach at this time. Meanwhile the Patriots really missed Aaron Hernandez last year, especially when Rob Gronkowski was out. I have heard a lot of Vernon Davis comparisons when people speak of Eric Ebron, but I don't see it. I do see more of a Hernandez type, which is no kick to the knads whatsoever. With the Packers waiting in the wings the Patriots swoop in and get their guy.

Green Bay has now been robbed in the back to back picks just before them. They have nothing else to live for and they trade back. Carolina on the other hand has an offensive line that is looking a bit rough. Now it is no secret the big need for them is wide receiver, but with such a deep class of receivers, they try to fix their line some. The biggest blow to them this off-season was the sudden retirement of their left tackle. No point in drafting a receiver when the line can't even protect to give Cam Newton time to throw to him. Zack Martin is waiting to hear his name and the the Eagles, Chiefs, and Dolphins could all use an addition like him. It's now or never for the Panthers. They can draft a receiver in both rounds two and three. As I have mentioned before this years receiver class has day one starters from round one until about half way through round four. They will be fine with guys like Devante Adams, Paul Richardson, Donte Moncreif, Jared Abbrederis, etc still available.

Pick

Player

Pos

College

RD2-41

Xzavier Su'a-Filo

OG

UCLA

RD2-44

Deone Bucannon

FS/SS

Washington State

RD3- 75

JaWaun James

OT

Tennessee

RD4-109

AJ McCarron

QB

Alabama

RD4-110

Jon Halpio

OG

Florida

RD5-153

Ross Cockrell

CB

Duke

RD6-188

La'Damian Washington

WR

Missouri

RD6-214

James Wilder Jr.

RB

Florida St.

RD7-226

Michael Sam

DE

Missouri

RD7-241

Jerry "Boo Boo" Gates

FS/SS

Bowling Green

RD7-249

Avery Williamson

MLB

Kentucky

RD7-250

Reggie Jordan

TE/H-Back

Missouri Western

RAMS DRAFT EXPLANATION

I have already explained the trade down above. Now it is time to explain the picks. I believe the Rams "SHOULD" be looking and probably are looking at this draft as an opportunity to build the teams overall depth. It's a very deep draft for multiple positions and the Rams don't have very many holes to fill. In fact they only have three glaring needs and the draft is very deep for all three of those positions, which include a nickle corner, safety, and guard. Every other position drafted is to build depth, competition, and a BAD ASS rotation.

The first pick is an easy one. Some will say why not take Justin Gilbert, believe me I thought about it, but then I would have been drafting a "want" rather than a "should". The team is comfortable and happy with Janoris Jenkins and Trumaine Johnson as their starting outside corners. And understandably so. Justin Gilbert is not a nickle corner. He is an outside corner that would probably struggle on the inside. While I will be the first to tell you how much I love his skillset and potential, truth is he does not change direction good enough to play nickle. In fact the nickle corner (the good ones that is) have the best change of direction ability of anyone on the entire defense. This is because of the type of routes ran from the slot in small spaces. Jason Verrett has the best change of direction and the versatility to kick outside. So snatch him up at 13. Then we take an already dominant defensive line, and somehow someway we have figured out how to take it to the next level with an unstoppable interior. The rotation of Mcihael Brockers, Kendall Langford, Aaron Donald, Alex Carrington, and even William Hayes from time to time, would be the best in the NFL. Not to mention Donald is a lot better against the run than he gets credit for, and he is athletic enough to even play defensive end.

With the nickle corner spot secured the Rams have to fix this line before it is too late. So they look at what is available at the guard position. There is no way the Rams cannot take Su'a-Filo with the pick acquired from the Bills in the second. They're lucky he is even on the board (good thing this is a should draft and not a BPA draft). Su'a-Filo would bring so much to the offensive line with his high motor, tenacity, strength, and pulling ability, and the Rams do love to pull. Then we turn right around and finally fill the safety need. Deone Bucannon can play either safety position and play either well. He is a big physical guy, with extraordinary ball skills and above average speed. He hits harder than TJ McDonald, now that is a scary secondary. And he can cover a lot of ground and is adept at forcing turnovers.

Now that we have filled all the needs we are back to building depth and solid rotations across the board. In the third we put a little more focus on the line. Remember Barksdale is a free agent next year, and while I believe he will be back, there is nothing wrong with getting a security blanket. Later in the 4th we add more offensive line depth and create a little competition for second team reps by bringing in a fiery guard. We also protect ourselves by bringing in a very good QB that is smart and has enough arm strength to make all the necessary throws should be we need him. If he plays 16 games he has the ability to win 8. That is a top notch backup if you ask me.

From that point we add more depth and create another competition (remember competitiveness brings out the best in us). We bring in a very good corner -who is really underrated- that causes a lot of turnovers and is a good tackler. We also bring in another receiver that is tall and long with a lot of speed. We later beef up the backfield even more and bring, yup you guessed it, more competition to the backfield. This would be a competition that is sure to get someone cut as the team already has five running backs on the roster. Two would most likely be out the door when this battle is over. In the seventh we add even more to the pass rush. We also add more depth and a possible gem to the back end of the defense with a player that can do it all on defense and plays all special teams as well as returns kicks. Even though James Laurinaitis continues to channel his inner Brett Favre and never misses a game, we get him a backup any way. Finally we get a utility player for the offense. Reggie Jordan is a tight end (6'3" 240lbs) with receiver wheels (4.53). He is a good blocker and can line up like a traditional tight end, in the slot, out wide, or the backfield, and would bring a lot to special teams. He is also a red zone threat as 32% of his collegiate receptions were for touchdowns.

There you have it! The first of three, with a lot to think about. In a deep draft like this one there is no telling what will happen, but one thing is for sure, THIS TEAM WILL SURELY GET BETTER!!!!!

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