Free agency has settled down and the draft is a little over two weeks away. The quarterback stock appears to have taken a hit with no consensus top prospect while the debate on Jadaveon Clowney continues to rage. Here’s the third version of our mock draft:
1. Houston Texans: South Carolina DE Jadaveon Clowney
Clowney solidified his status as both the top pick and an athletic freak with his performance at the Combine and at his pro day. He’s elected to stop doing personal workouts for teams, either an indication of attempting to avoid injury or that the Texans have settled on him as the first overall pick. I’m going with a combination of both factors and the Texans’ defense would be dominant with him and JJ Watt wreaking havoc on opposing quarterbacks.
2. St. Louis Rams: Clemson WR Sammy Watkins
With Clowney off the board, the Rams will have a tough time dealing this pick like they did in the previous mock to the Falcons. After the bizarre failed physical saga with the Raiders, guard/tackle Rodger Saffold re-signed in St. Louis and took the pressure off the Rams to select a top tackle like Greg Robinson or Jake Matthews. Watkins is a special prospect, drawing comparisons to former top receiving picks like AJ Green and Calvin Johnson (albeit lacking similar size as those two), and would be a lethal weapon for Sam Bradford alongside Tavon Austin, Stedman Bailey and Jared Cook.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars: Buffalo OLB Khalil Mack
The Jaguars could go a few directions with this pick, including quarterback, but Mack makes a lot of sense. Gus Bradley is a defensive minded coach and the cupboard is bare defensively in Jacksonville as the Jaguars finished 27th overall last season in total defense and tied for dead last in sacks. Enter Mack, who is being compared to Broncos star Von Miller for his potential impact off the edge. The Buffalo product had 10.5 sacks and three interceptions last season.
4. Cleveland Browns: Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel
A holdover from the previous mock, Manziel makes too much sense at this spot to pass up. The Browns are starting over at quarterback again after drudging through 2013 with Brandon Weeden, Brian Hoyer and Jason Campbell and Manziel would be an immediate upgrade. After tossing 37 touchdowns and adding another eight in the run game, Manziel would electrify the despondent Browns and would pair well with receiving revelation Josh Gordon.
5. Oakland Raiders: Auburn OT Greg Robinson
The Raiders, the team on the other side of the bizarre Rodger Saffold free agent saga, signed a few offensive linemen during free agency, but could solidify their line with a mauler like Robinson. Donald Penn and Austin Howard were solid additions to a core that included Menelik Watson, but Robinson is on a different level. He’s a dominant run blocker and if the Raiders move forward with Matt Schaub or draft a new QB later on in the draft, Oakland would have a great group of linemen to protect either one.
6. Atlanta Falcons: Texas A&M OT Jake Matthews
The Falcons front office would cringe missing out on improving their pass rush with either Mack or Clowney, but Matthews fills another need along the offensive line. Though not as strong as Robinson, Matthews is a natural pass protector and has the technical ability to step in on day one to protect Matt Ryan. After surrendering 44 sacks last season, Matthews would go a long way to getting the Falcons offense back on track.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Texas A&M WR Mike EvansNext Page >
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