I don’t want to pump out the same mock draft every week.
So here’s my first projection for the year that including trades.
There were six in-play trades during the 2013 draft. In this mock, I’ve also included six (detailed below).
I’ve also tried to mix up a few of the projections. I’ve dropped some personal favourites from the first round and moved some guys up. The draft is never predictable so even if some of these picks are a little ‘out there’, that’s kind of what I was going for.
Now the trades…
Cleveland trades the #4 & #35 picks to Houston for the #1 overall pick
Amid all the chaos in Cleveland, you just get the feeling they’re not finished making headlines. They’re in exactly the same position as 2012. Two first round picks, they own the #4 selection. That time they allowed another team (Washington) to take the initiative and get RGIII. Anyone else get the feeling they won’t let lightning strike twice?
This would be a good deal for Houston too. Despite a small move down, they still get a quarterback at #4 and can look forward to kicking off day two with the first and third picks in the second round.
Tampa Bay trades the #7 & #38 picks to St. Louis for the #2 overall pick
Back to back trades to start the draft? Yeah it might be unlikely. But Houston and St. Louis have aggressively signalled their desire to move down. The Buccs could use a brilliant pass rusher to kick start Lovie Smith’s defense and this just makes so much sense — for both teams. If the Rams are targeting a tackle in the top ten, they’ll still get a good one at #7.
Carolina trades the #28 pick and a 2015 first rounder to Minnesota for the #8 overall pick
The Panthers suddenly are contenders. They have a great defense. They have some nice pieces on offense. What they lack is a top-tier big receiver. They’re coming up against Julio Jones, Vincent Jackson and Jimmy Graham twice a year. Why not get their own version? Mike Evans is a scrambling quarterbacks best friend — and he could provide Cam Newton with a fantastic alternative to Steve Smith. It’s a big price, but it worked for Atlanta when they dealt for Jones.
In this scenario the Vikings have seen the top three quarterbacks go off the board quickly. They luck out here, grabbing another first round pick and targeting the next best quarterback later on.
Miami trades the #19 pick & a third rounder to St. Louis for the #13 overall pick
The Dolphins’ #1 need without a doubt is left tackle. They made a big move to get Dion Jordan last year, but a similar jump into the top ten will be expensive. Instead they’re likely to see how the draft develops. If a guy like Jake Matthews or Taylor Lewan drops, they’ll be ready to make their move.
The Rams continue to accumulate picks in this mock. By the end of day one they’ve drafted Taylor Lewan and Brent Urban, while adding an extra second and third rounder.
The New York Jets trade the #18 & a late rounder to Chicago for the #14 overall pick
Rex Ryan needs to build an offense. Geno Smith didn’t have a great rookie season, but look what he had to throw to. Eric Ebron and Marqise Lee are both still on the board, and this deal isn’t expensive. The Bears were looking to move down in this projection, knowing their targets would be available in four picks time.
San Francisco trades the #30 pick and a fourth rounder to Philadelphia for the #22 overall pick
The 49ers have a whole host of picks again this year. In 2013 they moved from #31 to #18 to get Eric Reid. That deal cost them a third rounder. This is less of a jump, so they only surrender a fourth. If there’s a player San Francisco can’t imagine leaving the draft without, they have the ammunition to be aggressive.
The Eagles on the other hand need to do a lot of work on that defense, so any extra picks will be gratefully received.
Here’s the complete mock, including trades…
|CLE (#4) TRADES WITH HOU (#1)
#1 Johnny Manziel (QB, Texas A&M)
The way the Browns are being run these days, would a big move like this shock you?
|TB (#7) TRADES WITH STL (#2)
#2 Jadeveon Clowney (DE, South Carolina) TRADE
The Buccs need an edge rusher and Lovie Smith doesn’t waste any time going up to get his man.
|#3 Teddy Bridgewater (QB, Louisville)
I bet they would’ve loved a shot at Clowney, but they know they can get a quarterback for the long term here.
|#4 Blake Bortles (QB, UCF)
They move down to #4 and still get the guy their coach probably wants.
|#5 Sammy Watkins (WR, Clemson)
With the quarterbacks off the board, they take the best player remaining.
|#6 Greg Robinson (T, Auburn)
This would be a gift for Atlanta. A genuine steal. There’s so much to like about Robinson.
|#7 Taylor Lewan (T, Michigan)
I just get a feeling that a lot of teams picking in the top ten will prefer Lewan’s run blocking over Jake Matthews overall skill set.
|CAR (#28) TRADES WITH MIN (#8)
#8 Mike Evans (WR, Texas A&M) TRADE
Carolina, sensing a window of opportunity, make a big splash jumping up 20 spots to target a game changing wide out.
|#9 Kelvin Benjamin (WR, Florida State)
Buffalo reunites E.J. Manuel with another former Seminole. He has immense upside.
|#10 Khalil Mack (DE, Buffalo)
Could play end or even 4-3 linebacker in Detroit. Don’t they have enough weapons on offense?
|#11 Anthony Barr (OLB, UCLA)
I’m still not overly convinced by Barr. Ray Horton’s arrival as defensive coordinator means they need a 3-4 OLB.
|#12 Aaron Donald (DT, Pittsburgh)
Forget the lack of size. He’s an absolute terror and should be taken very seriously as a prospective top-20 pick.
|MIA (#19) TRADES WITH STL (#13)
#13 Jake Matthews (T, Texas A&M)
After a bit of a fall, Miami grasps the opportunity to move up and get the left tackle they need. St. Louis is happy to move down again.
|NYJ (#18) TRADES WITH CHI (#14)
#14 Eric Ebron (TE, North Carolina)
NYJ leapfrogs Pittsburgh to get a safety net and playmaker for the offense.
|#15 Cyrus Kouandjio (T, Alabama)
No Ebron? No worries. The Steelers take the next guy on their board and get a left tackle with major upside.
|#16 Morgan Moses (T, Virginia)
Whether they re-sign Eugene Monroe or not, this has to be an option.
|#17 Marqise Lee (WR, USC)
Of course the Cowboys need a defensive lineman. But Jerry Jones does what he wants. And in this mock, he wants Marqise Lee.
|#18 Calvin Pryor (S, Louisville)
After moving down a few spots, the Bears add a safety to their defense.
|#19 Brent Urban (DT, Virginia)
Adding to an already fearsome defensive line, Urban could be J.J. Watt-lite.
|#20 Antonio Richardson (T, Tennessee)
A monster of a left tackle with a nasty edge. They’ll need a guy like this in the NFC West.
|#21 C.J. Mosley (LB, Alabama)
Green Bay needs to keep adding toughness to that defense. It’s way too soft at the moment.
|SF (#30) TRADES WITH PHI (#22)
#22 Brandin Cooks (WR, Oregon State)
If he runs in the 4.3/4.4 range, teams are going to show a ton of interest. San Francisco has the ammunition to move up.
|#23 Jace Amaro (TE, Texas Tech)
Big, third down converting tight end. Would have an instant impact in this offense.
|#24 Darqueze Dennard (CB, Michigan State)
It’s not a great class for cornerbacks, but Dennard looks like the best available.
|#25 Xavier Su’a-Filo (G, UCLA)
The best guard in the class, with amazing athletic potential.
|#26 Odell Beckham Jr (WR, LSU)
Could provide a dynamic double threat with Josh Gordon.
|#27 Zack Martin (T/G, Notre Dame)
If he falls into the 20′s, he’s going to make someone very happy. Can play tackle or guard
|#28 Derek Carr (QB, Fresno State)
They made a big move down after the top three QB’s left the board. In today’s mock they target Carr with this pick.
|#29 Louis Nix (DT, Notre Dame)
Big interior presence who didn’t have a great 2013. The heir apparent to Vince Wilfork.
|#30 Ha Ha Clinton Dix (S, Alabama)
The entire secondary needs to be upgraded. After trading back, this looks like a good match.
|#31 Justin Gilbert (CB, Oklahoma State)
The Broncos really need to add some quality and youth to that secondary.
|#32 Ra-Shede Hageman (DT, Minnesota)
Has the size and raw athleticism this team goes for in a defensive tackle.
And watch this…
(especially the part at 4:52)