NFL Mock Draft By NFL Analyst Amy Pujara – Picks 1 Through 16
It’s that special time of year. With the Super Bowl fading away from our memories and the NFL Draft still about two months away, now is the time to read hundreds of NFL mock drafts until you find the one that matches your opinion! Though no pick is ever set in stone, here is my first-round NFL mock draft, picks 1-16:
1. Houston Texans – Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina
Yes, the Texans have a glaring need at quarterback. However, Clowney is just too good of a player to pass on. He’s been called a “once-every-ten-years” type of talent. Adding Clowney to a line that already boasts Defensive Player of the Year, JJ Watt, would create the scariest defensive front in the NFL.
2. St. Louis Rams- Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn
Don’t be surprised if the Rams trade down and collect more picks. But if they do stay at #2, they will certainly address their need at offensive tackle. Matthews had a terrific Combine performance, solidifying his identity as the #1 tackle in this year’s draft class.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars- Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville
The first quarterback of the draft goes to the team in greatest need. The Jaguars are starved for a long-term option at QB to build a franchise around. Bridgewater is the safest pick here as he is the most NFL-ready of the class.
4. Cleveland Browns- Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M
The Browns get an exciting player with Manziel, though his size worries some. He ran an impressive 4.68 40-yard dash, showing off his explosiveness. Johnny Football will have fun throwing to Josh Gordon and Jordan Cameron. As long as he stays healthy, he can take the Browns to the next level.
5. Oakland Raiders- Blake Bortles, QB, Central Florida
I’m sure the Raiders would love to grab WR Sammy Watkins here, but they just can’t. In a division with Peyton Manning and Philip Rivers, the Raiders need to have a solid QB if they want to compete.
6. Atlanta Falcons- Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo
To say Atlanta’s defense struggled last season is a huge understatement. No team allowed a higher opponent QBR than Atlanta. Khalil Mack would instantly bolster this defense and finally get some pressure on the opposing QB with his pass rush.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA
New head coach Lovie Smith would not pass up on Barr. He would add a physical presence to a team that struggled against the run last season.
8. Minnesota Vikings- Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson
It’s clear that the Vikings need a QB. However, with the top three taken already, they will look to add a reliable receiver to start on the other side of emerging star Cordarrelle Patterson.
9. Buffalo Bills- Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma St
The Bills certainly need help on offense, but Gilbert gives them the size they need to match up with big receivers. His explosive speed makes him excellent in man-cover and he can also help in the return game.
10. Detroit Lions- Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan St
It’d be scary to imagine Calvin Johnson and Sammy Watkins together, but there is no way that happens unless Detroit trades up, which is always a possibility.
11. Tennessee Titans- HaSean Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama
The Titans need a playmaker on defense, so they might as well take the top safety of the draft.
12. New York Giants- Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina
The Giants just lost TE Brandon Myers to Tampa Bay. Ebron gives them a big and also reliable target for Eli in the red-zone, where the Giants struggled last year.
13. St. Louis Rams- Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M
The Rams need more weapons for Sam Bradford. Mike Evan’s speed allows him to get more distance from defenders, which is perfect for Bradford who struggles against press coverage.
14. Chicago Bears- Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh
The Bears were worst in the league against the run last year. The defensive line suffered many injuries. Donald is an instant starter.
15. Pittsburgh Steelers – Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan
Big Ben finally gets some help with this pick. Is it just me or does he seem to be knocked over on every other play?
16. Dallas Cowboys- CJ Mosley, LB, Alabama
Sean Lee’s inability to stay healthy leaves the Cowboys vulnerable at the position. They can’t afford to pass up on him.
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