Lot’s of changes as you’d expect after the combine. I’ve also added a second round.
Scroll down for some thoughts on the key moves, including Seattle’s pick (which is a bit of a u-turn on my behalf).
|#1 Blake Bortles (QB, UCF)
If they believe they can build around Bortles, there’s every chance he’s the guy. He did every drill at the combine and reports say he impressed in interviews.
|#2 Greg Robinson (T, Auburn)
Robinson made some money at the combine. Every measurement screamed ‘physical freak’. He’s the most exciting offensive tackle prospect to enter the league in years.
|#3 Johnny Manziel (QB, Texas A&M)
When the Jaguars met with Manziel, he needed to show them he was the ultimate competitor. I have little doubt he succeeded in that. He’s just not Bill O’Brien’s guy.
|#4 Jadeveon Clowney (DE, South Carolina)
With the top two quarterbacks off the board and this insane talent still hanging around, they make the pick and wait on a signal caller.
|#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. Get a quarterback later.
|#6 Jake Matthews (T, Texas A&M)
If the Falcons don’t move up to get a shot at Clowney, this looks like a great match.
|#7 Khalil Mack (DE, Buffalo)
The Buccs need an edge rusher. Mack is versatile and can line up in multiple positions. This is another team that could move up for Clowney.
|#8 Aaron Donald (DT, Pittsburgh)
Teddy Bridgewater isn’t a Norv Turner quarterback and Aaron Donald probably reminds Mike Zimmer of a certain Geno Atkins. He deserves to go this high.
|#9 Taylor Lewan (T, Michigan)
Some believe he’s a bit of a phony tough guy. Others really like him. It’s would be worth a shot here.
|#10 Mike Evans (WR, Texas A&M)
Put him alongside Megatron and let it rip. Isn’t this why the Lions appointed Jim Coldwell? To dominate with a great passing game?
|#11 Teddy Bridgewater (QB, Louisville)
Nothing Ken Whisenhunt has said makes you think he trusts Jake Locker. They snap up this opportunity and put their faith in Teddy.
|#12 Justin Gilbert (CB, Oklahoma State)
Speed, length and playmaking ability. Exactly what New York lacks at cornerback.
|#13 Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (S, Alabama)
The Rams need to keep adding talent where they can. A rangy safety at the back-end makes a lot of sense here.
|#14 Ra’Shede Hageman (DT, Minnesota)
Chicago’s defense was a shambles at times this year. It starts up front, especially if they lose Henry Melton. Hageman has unreal upside.
|#15 Odell Beckham Jr (WR, LSU)
Potential stud. Does everything well. Flawless character. Insane competitor. HUGE hands. Absolutely deserves to go this early.
|#16 Kony Ealy (DE, Missouri)
His three cone drill at the combine was among the best in recent history. He can play inside and out. Dallas needs to rebuild its defensive front.
|#17 Marqise Lee (WR, USC)
Forget the forty time. He did all the other drills perfectly and he’s a fighter. This is what Baltimore needs more of on offense.
|#18 Kelvin Benjamin (WR, Florida State)
Adding a massive target like this with a large catching radius would make life so much easier for Geno Smith.
|#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 prospective free agent signing Brandon Albert at tackle.
|#20 Morgan Moses (T, Virginia)
If they miss out on Branden Albert in free agency, they have to consider adding a left tackle here.
|#21 Eric Ebron (TE, North Carolina)
Perhaps not quite ‘can’t miss’ enough to go in the top-15. He’d excel in Green Bay with Aaron Rodgers.
|#22 Anthony Barr (OLB, UCLA)
He’s a work in progress, but Chip Kelly appreciates length and they need another pass rusher.
|#23 Calvin Pryor (S, Louisville)
Andy Reid made sure he got a good luck at the top two safety’s, putting his big sandwich down to sit in the stands.
|#24 Ryan Shazier (LB, Ohio State)
Shazier’s vertical and broad jump were off the charts. Stunning athlete with insane potential.
|#25 Xavier S’ua-Filo (G, UCLA)
Major upside prospect who’s separated himself as the top guard. Has the potential to be one of the best at his position.
|#26 Brandin Cooks (WR, Oregon State)
What? No quarterback? The Browns can’t force this. They wait until round two for a signal caller and add a partner for Josh Gordon.
|#27 Bradley Roby (CB, Ohio State)
Rob Ryan likes competitive, sparky corners who can blitz. This is a big need for the Saints.
|#28 Darqueze Dennard (CB, Michigan State)
Just about sticks in round one. Press corner, matches Carolina’s physical defense. Gets dinged up though.
|#29 Brent Urban (DT, Virginia)
Missed the combine but we’re talking about major upside here. He could be J.J. Watt-lite. Belichick loves versatility up front.
|#30 Jimmie Ward (S, Northern Illinois)
Aggressive, wiry safety. Would fill a need for the Niners. Didn’t work out at the combine due to injury.
|#31 Chris Borland (LB, Wisconsin)
Denver needs a tone setter. A leader. A guy who flies around. This would be a smart move.
|#32 Stephon Tuitt (DE, Notre Dame)
Size, length and versatility. Disappointing 2013 season but could play the five technique and the three. Size matters in the NFC West.
#33 Houston Texans — C.J. Mosley (LB, Alabama)
#34 Washington Redskins — Marcus Martin (C, USC)
#35 Cleveland Browns — Jimmy Garoppolo (QB, Eastern Illinois)
#36 Oakland Raiders — Terrence Brooks (S, Florida State)
#37 Atlanta Falcons — Jace Amaro (TE, Texas Tech)
#38 Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Troy Niklas (TE, Notre Dame)
#39 Jacksonville Jaguars — Allen Robinson (WR, Penn State)
#40 Minnesota Vikings — Logan Thomas (QB, Virginia Tech)
#41 Buffalo Bills — Demarcus Lawrence (DE, Boise State)
#42 Tennessee Titans — Louis Nix (DT, Notre Dame)
#43 New York Giants — Brandon Coleman (WR, Rutgers)
#44 St. Louis Rams — Keith McGill (CB, Utah)
#45 Detroit Lions — Kyle Fuller (CB, Virginia Tech)
#46 Pittsburgh Steelers — Antonio Robinson (T, Tennessee)
#47 Dallas Cowboys — Caraun Reid (DT, Princeton)
#48 Baltimore Ravens — Joel Bitonio (T, Nevada)
#49 New York Jets — Paul Richardson (WR, Colorado)
#50 Miami Dolphins — Timmy Jernigan (DT, Florida State)
#51 Chicago Bears — Ego Ferguson (DT, LSU)
#52 Arizona Cardinals — Martavis Bryant (WR, Clemson)
#53 Green Bay Packers — Deone Bucannon (S, Washington State)
#54 Philadelphia Eages — Jason Verrett (CB, TCU)
#55 Cincinnati Bengals — Marcus Roberson (CB, Florida)
#56 San Francisco 49ers — Ed Stinson (DE, Alabama)
#57 San Diego Chargers — Jeremiah Attaochu (OLB, Georgia Tech)
#58 New Orleans Saints — Ja’Wuan James (T, Tennessee)
#59 Indianapolis Colts — Jordan Matthews (WR, Vanderbilt)
#60 Carolina Panthers — Davante Adams (WR, Fresno State)
#61 San Francisco 49ers — David Yankey (G, Stanford)
#62 New England Patriots — Austin Seferian-Jenkins (TE, Washington)
#63 Denver Broncos — Brandon Thomas (T, Clemson)
#64 Seattle Seahawks — Donte Moncrief (WR, Ole Miss)
Seattle’s priority beyond the first two rounds: OL depth
Notable players not included:
Cyrus Kouandjio (T, Alabama) — failed medical/knee arthritis is a major red flag. Will sink like a stone, sadly.
Dominique Easley (DT, Florida) — two ACL injuries are a red flag. Brilliant player, but he’s unlikely to be drafted early.
Derek Carr (QB, Fresno State) — not as good as advertised. Considering which other QB’s dropped last year, a similar fall wouldn’t be a shock.
A.J. McCarron (QB, Alabama) — has given off a very negative, slightly entitled vibe this off-season.
Further notes on the key moves
Jadeveon Clowney to Cleveland at #4
This isn’t a reaction to the over-the-top negativity involving Clowney over the weekend.
It’s becoming apparent there’s a very real chance Houston will draft a quarterback at #1, and Blake Bortles is emerging as a realistic option.
St. Louis simply can’t afford to pass on Greg Robinson if they keep the #2 pick, so Jacksonville would then be deciding between Clowney and, in this projection, Johnny Manziel.
I went with Manziel.
Ultimately, Gus Bradley wants a fierce competitor at every position. He wants someone who’s going to fight until he bleeds.
I get the impression — and I could be very wrong — that Manziel went into his meetings over the weekend and did a heck of a lot of convincing. And then you go back and watch that Duke tape…
People talk about his off-field lifestyle. In Seattle, they don’t try to stop you being yourself — as long as it doesn’t impact the team. Did Manziel’s bizarre time at Texas A&M ever impact on-field performance? Absolutely not.
If Bradley and the Jags adopt Seattle’s way of thinking, they might be all-in on Manziel. And as talented as Clowney is, nobody could ever accuse him of being “pissed off for greatness”.
No quarterback for the Browns in round one
It’s really down to circumstance. Eventually, someone just has to take Clowney.
In this projection, that team is Cleveland.
So we move on to their second pick. The top three QB’s are gone by #26. And despite all the annual debate about teams pinching the second tier quarterbacks by trading back into round one — it rarely happens. Cincinnati got Andy Dalton in 2011 by sitting tight — despite all the bluster about him being a late first rounder.
Cleveland can get a quarterback in round two if there’s a guy they really like. In this projection there is, and that quarterback walks onto a team with Clowney and Brandin Cooks already added to it.
Seattle takes… a guy you said you weren’t crazy about???
I’m not a huge Stephon Tuitt fan based on his 2013 tape.
But then I looked at the measurements at the combine…
Nearly 35 inch arms. 6-5 and a slimmed down 304lbs. That’s hard to ignore. He’s a freak, even if he was overweight last season.
I don’t think the Seahawks will feel like they need to replace Red Bryant (if he is actually cut) because I think they’ll be prepared to adapt and modify their defense.
But imagine plugging a guy with Tuitt’s size into the five-tech.
He’s not a great pass rusher, but it’d be an upgrade over Big Red. He’s supremely strong (some say ‘country strong’) and managed 31 reps on the bench press despite his long arms.
And hey, you need big boys up front in the NFC West. He kind of fits Seattle’s penchant for unique size and athleticism.
If you’re drafting him to be a great pass rusher in an orthodox four man front, forget about it. If you’re willing to play him all over the line mainly as a run stopper and enforcer — I’m willing to reconsider the idea of taking Tuitt in the late first.