With every approaching NFL Draft, there are always weeks of speculations on who will pick who. Mock drafts scatter the sports news world, and in keeping with tradition we would like to offer a different spin on who goes to what team. We are going to look at each of the top ten teams that are picking, and give some insight into some the possibilities they could surprise us with:
#1: Houston Texans – Their most likely pick is Jadeveon Clowney, DE – South Carolina. He is highly touted as the freakish defensive player that comes available perhaps once in a decade in a draft class. However, the Texans also have needs at quarterback and most definitely their offensive line which allowed almost zero time for any QB in the pocket last year. Look for Houston to do one of two things with this first pick if they opt to pass on Clowney. They will trade the pick as the first option, and move down (likely teams: Atlanta, Oakland or Minnesota) or they will grab Greg Robinson, OL – Auburn as a safe move.
#2: St. Louis Rams – The Rams have two first round picks with this one, and #13. If Clowney falls to them, they will likely grab him. If he does not, their next option is likely Greg Robinson or Sammy Watkins, WR – Clemson. The Rams are perhaps the most likely high picking team to trade out to another team. Atlanta might trade up with them to grab Khalil Mack, OLB – Buffalo or the other possibilities that teams like Cleveland, Buffalo or Detroit might move up to grab Watkins at this spot. Another possibility is that Tennessee might move up to grab one of the QB prospects.
#3: Jacksonville Jaguars – The Jaguars need a quarterback they can build their franchise around. It is likely they will grab one in the draft, however their move will largely depend on what the picks above them do. They will not pass on Clowney, and they have shown interest in Watkins. However, if they grab a signal caller at this pick, look for them to select either Johnny Manziel, QB – Texas A&M or Blake Bortles, QB – Cental Florida. Jacksonville is looking to add excitement with their fan base, and Manziel with the whole ‘Johnny Football’ thing could certainly do that for them, as well as Bortles who has a Florida fan base already.
#4: Cleveland Browns – The Browns have made their interest pretty clear that they like Sammy Watkins. If he falls to them here, they will likely grab him. They might also trade up for him. If they pass on Watkins, they have needs at quarterback and offensive line. They also have pick #26, which is likely where they will grab a QB like Derek Carr, Teddy Bridgewater or perhaps even AJ McCarron. So if they pass on Watkins, look for them to nab Greg Robinson or Jake Matthews, OL – Texas A&M.
#5: Oakland Raiders – The Raiders are perhaps the enigma in this draft. They have been signing veteran talent all off-season on both sides of the ball. They might grab Khalil Mack, OLB – Buffalo at this point, or go with a cornerback. They have needs at QB as well, so they might take the plunge on Manziel,Bortles or maybe Bridgewater.
#6: Atlanta Falcons – They would love to grab Khalil Mack as this point, but it is likely they would have to trade up to be assured at getting him. Other options if they stay put are Greg Robinson, Jake Matthews or Mike Evans, WR – Texas A&M.
#7: Tampa Bay Buccaneers–Tampa might surprise everyone at this pick and grab a QB to carry a clipboard behind their newly signed Josh McCown. However, it is expensive to draft one so high and have him on the bench, so likely they will grab someone they can play right away such as Jake Matthews or another OL prospect, or perhaps a defensive pick like Justin Gilbert, CB – Oklahoma State.
#8: Minnesota Vikings – The Vikings have needs at quarterback and defensive end. They might find it hard to pass on Manziel, Bortles or even Derek Carr, QB- Fresno State at this point. However, they might also look to select Aaron Donald, DT – Pittsburgh or Stephon Tuitt, DE – Notre Dame at this point.
#9: Buffalo Bills – Buffalo might be one of those teams that trades up to select someone like Watkins or trades out of their pick for a batch of later picks. However, if they stay put, look for them to take Anthony Barr, OLB – UCLA or C.J. Mosley, OLB – Alabama to fill their needs at this position.
#10: Detroit Lions – The Lions could give their fans an early splash if they move up to an earlier spot to grab Sammy Watkins or maybe Khalil Mack if they end up trading NdamukongSuh before the draft. If they stay put, a likely pick will be Mike Evans, or Eric Ebron, TE – North Carolina. If offensive linemen Robinson or Matthews by some miracles falls this far, they might take either talent as well to fill this need.
This summary attempts to take into account some of the possible moves up, and down of various teams, as well as their individual needs and the interests they have shown in certain talent. It will be exciting to see how it all comes out on draft day!
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