|#1 Blake Bortles (QB, UCF)
He’s elusive for a 4.93 runner. He extends plays. Bortles is a very creative quarterback. Houston’s offense is set up for a big rebound year if they find a solution here.
|TRADE #2 Jadeveon Clowney (DE, South Carolina)
Doesn’t it just seem inevitable? The Falcons move up for Clowney. The Rams are happy to deal down.
|#3 Johnny Manziel (QB, Texas A&M)
The ultra competitive Manziel fits Gus Bradley’s approach perfectly. The Jaguars need someone who can come in and elevate this team. Manziel can be that guy.
|#4 Greg Robinson (T, Auburn)
Just take the best player on the board. Robinson would dominate at right tackle or guard. Make the offensive line your identity and run the ball.
|#5 Sammy Watkins (WR, Clemson)
The best receiver prospect to enter the league since A.J. Green and Julio Jones. You can build around a talent like this.
|TRADE #6 Khalil Mack (OLB, Buffalo)
When’s the last time a Jeff Fisher team spent a high pick on the offensive line? Mack can play linebacker and create a terrifying triple-threat attack rushing the passer.
|#7 Mike Evans (WR, Texas A&M)
Josh McCown had Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffrey last year. If they’ve signed McCown to start, give him Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans this year.
|#8 Aaron Donald (DT, Pittsburgh)
He won countless awards in college, had major production and lit up the combine. Mike Zimmer might see Geno Atkins in Donald.
|#9 Jake Matthews (T, Texas A&M)
This would be good value for the Bills, who can start Matthews at right tackle.
|#10 Marqise Lee (WR, USC)
Matt Stafford throwing to Megatron, Golden Tate and Marqise Lee. That’s how you kick start this team. Get a cornerback in round two.
|#11 Taylor Lewan (T, Michigan)
Some believe he’s a bit of a phony tough guy. Others really like him. It’s worth a shot here.
|#12 Kelvin Benjamin (WR, Florida State)
Finding a big target for Eli Manning has to be a priority. Benjamin oozes potential, even with those inconsistent hands.
|#13 Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (S, Alabama)
They need to keep adding talent to their secondary. This would make a lot of sense here.
|#14 Calvin Pryor (S, Louisville)
They’ve added Lamarr Houston and Jared Allen up front, now they need to improve the secondary. A bit of a reach.
|#15 Odell Beckham Jr (WR, LSU)
Receiver is now a big need for the Steelers. They need someone who can come in and have a quick impact. Out of all the WR’s in this class, Beckham Jr is best served to hit the ground running.
|#16 Anthony Barr (DE, UCLA)
I wouldn’t draft Barr this early, but the Cowboys are stuck without moving up or down. After bringing in Henry Melton, they need an edge rusher. They have no alternative.
|#17 Joel Bitonio (T, Nevada)
While the rest of the league sleeps on this guy, a smart team like Baltimore will add a legit top-20 prospect.
|#18 Eric Ebron (TE, North Carolina)
The Jets need to add a receiver or a tight end here. If Ebron lasts this long, he’s an option. They should keep adding weapons on offense.
|#19 Zack Martin (G, Notre Dame)
An absolutely superb tackle in college, but expected to move to guard in the NFL. Could play left guard next to Brandon Albert.
|#20 Ra’Shede Hageman (DT, Minnesota)
They don’t have a lot of remaining needs — apart from finding a long term answer at quarterback. Even so, Hageman is a value pick at this point. They can add a developmental QB later.
|#21 Ryan Shazier (LB Ohio State)
Green Bay’s defense is too slow, too sluggish and doesn’t have enough playmakers. A linebacker like Shazier can help take this unit away from total mediocrity.
|#22 Darqueze Dennard (CB, Michigan State)
A physical corner who plays with an edge. Good blitzer. Philly wants tough football players on defense and this fills a big need.
|#23 Donte Moncrief (WR, Ole Miss)
He’s a big time athlete with good size. Kansas City needs a sparky receiver like this. His best football will come in the NFL.
|#24 C.J. Mosley (LB, Alabama)
Linebacker and cornerback are the big needs here. Although they need to do their homework on Teddy Bridgewater. Do you really want to pay Andy Dalton?
|#25 Louis Nix (DT, Notre Dame)
They need to bring in a nose tackle. Nix isn’t Dontari Poe or B.J. Raji in terms of athleticism, but he can hold the point and absorb blockers.
|#26 Brandin Cooks (WR, Oregon State)
I think they’ll be happy to wait until round two for a quarterback. They have the #35 pick. We always expect teams to move up for a QB and it never happens.
|#27 Morgan Moses (T, Virginia)
New Orleans can’t afford to mess around at left tackle any more. Moses deserves a chance to start on the blind side.
|#28 Brandon Thomas (T, Clemson)
I’m not sure how Carolina has allowed a situation to occur where they’re suddenly desperate at receiver and the offensive line.
|#29 Martavis Bryant (WR, Clemson)
He has a little Randy Moss to his game. Bryant would provide an explosive X-factor to the Pats offense.
|#30 Justin Gilbert (CB, Oklahoma State)
Nearly benched last season and overrated after a great combine. The Niners can afford to take a chance on this gambler with their dominant front seven.
|#31 Chris Borland (LB, Wisconsin)
Denver needs a tone setter. A leader. A guy who flies around. This would be a smart move. You want this guy on your team.
|#32 Cody Latimer (WR, Indiana)
Competes for the ball in the air, runs in the 4.4′s, possesses strong hands and run blocks superbly.
#33 Houston Texans — Bradley Roby (CB, Ohio State)
#34 Washington Redskins — Jimmie Ward (S, Northern Illinois)
#35 Cleveland Browns — Derek Carr (QB, Fresno State)
#36 Oakland Raiders — Stephon Tuitt (DE, Notre Dame)
#37 Atlanta Falcons — Jace Amaro (TE, Texas Tech)
#38 Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Timmy Jernigan (DT, Florida State)
#39 Jacksonville Jaguars — Jarvis Landry (WR, LSU)
#40 Minnesota Vikings — Zach Mettenberger (QB, LSU)
#41 Buffalo Bills — Brandon Coleman (WR, Rutgers)
#42 Tennessee Titans — Teddy Bridgewater (QB, Louisville)
#43 New York Giants — Kony Ealy (DE, Missouri)
#44 St. Louis Rams — Xavier Su’a-Filo (G, UCLA)
#45 Detroit Lions — Kyle Fuller (CB, Virginia Tech)
#46 Pittsburgh Steelers — Jason Verrett (CB, TCU)
#47 Dallas Cowboys — Demarcus Lawrence (DE, Boise State)
#48 Baltimore Ravens — Marcus Smith (OLB, Louisville)
#49 New York Jets — Davante Adams (WR, Fresno State)
#50 Miami Dolphins — Ja’Wuan James (T, Tennessee)
#51 Chicago Bears — Stanley Jean-Baptiste (CB, Nebraska)
#52 Arizona Cardinals — Antonio Richardson (T, Tennessee)
#53 Green Bay Packers — Allen Robinson (WR, Penn State)
#54 Philadelphia Eagles — Dee Ford (DE, Auburn)
#55 Cincinnati Bengals — Marcus Roberson (CB, Florida)
#56 San Francisco 49ers — Bruce Ellington (WR, South Carolina)
#57 San Diego Chargers — Jeremiah Attaochu (OLB, Georgia Tech)
#58 New Orleans Saints — Jordan Matthews (WR, Vanderbilt)
#59 Indianapolis Colts — Deone Bucannon (S, Washington State)
#60 Carolina Panthers — Cyrus Kouandjio (T, Alabama)
#61 San Francisco 49ers — Marcus Martin (C, USC)
#62 New England Patriots — Troy Niklas (TE, Notre Dame)
#63 Denver Broncos — Gabe Jackson (G, Mississippi State)
#64 Seattle Seahawks — Brent Urban (DT, Virginia)
– I’ve included one trade this week. I think it’s almost inevitable we’ll see a deal between St. Louis and Atlanta. Thomas Dimitroff and Les Snead are close. Not just in a football sense — they both have ridiculous hair. The Falcons go up to add Clowney, the Rams fall back and play the percentages. One thing worth noting — Jeff Fisher never invested a great deal of draft stock in his offensive line during the Tennessee days. Don’t be shocked if he goes in a different direction here. They’re already paying big money to Jake Long and Roger Saffold.
– I have nine receivers going in the first round. Not a single one is a reach in my opinion. Nine offensive linemen went in the first round last year — this really isn’t any different. It’s a fantastic group of receivers. Simple as that.
– Cody Latimer is this weeks #32. He’s a freakish athlete with basketball skills, he’s a terrific run blocker and he competes for the ball in the air. If you want to take shots downfield he’s got the 4.4 speed to run by defensive backs and the strong hands to win contested passes.
– Any team that gets Brent Urban late in the second round needs to get the champagne out. If the injury issues this off-season lead to a fall, it’ll be a crying shame. A smart team will capitalise.
– Joel Bitonio goes at #17 to Baltimore. He’s a legit top-20 player for me and the Ravens always seem to draft the players I bang on about (Courtney Upshaw, Jimmy Smith, Arthur Brown). Joking aside, check out this interview with Bitonio for an insight into the man. Athletic bloodlines, incredible combine, excellent tape, flawless character. He’s everything you want in a first round pick. It’ll be nice if he lasts until #32.
– I didn’t deliberately avoid the offensive line for Seattle. What we see here is a very real scenario — a handful of options leave the board before #32 (Bitonio, Moses, Thomas) and the same thing happens at #64 (James, Richardson). You can’t fight the board — and it could mean an OL-heavy end to the draft as Tom Cable goes through his late-round list.