Darren Page @DarrenPage15
Here is a glance into my admittedly blurry (but clearing by day!) crystal ball. Disclaimer: the written explanations are not my sole rationale for why these picks could happen.
1. Houston Texans: Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina – The Watt/Clowney tandem is a terrifying proposition for the rest of the NFL.
2. St. Louis Rams: Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn – Assuming Jake Long gets back into the lineup, the Rams can stick Robinson on the right side and have a formidable offensive line.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars: Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville – Are the rumors of Teddy Bridgewater falling for real? I’m not so sure.
4. Cleveland Browns: Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M – Cleveland has reinforced their wide receiver corps through free agency, but lining Evans up opposite Josh Gordon will put pressure on coverage schemes.
5. Oakland Raiders: Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson – If you go to war with Matt Schaub, you better have a sharp sword for him.
6. Atlanta Falcons: Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo – Mack is a great fit for the Falcons new hybrid front and brings a much-needed pass rushing presence.
*TRADE* Tampa Bay trades #7 overall to the New York Giants for #12 overall, #74 overall, and a 2015 3rd round pick
7. New York Giants: Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M – Jerry Reese and Tom Coughlin must be feeling the heat, and protecting Eli Manning will give their offense an immediate bump in the right direction.
8. Minnesota Vikings: Blake Bortles, QB, UCF – Minnesota is a great landing spot for Bortles, where he can sit behind Matt Cassel for a whole season if need be.
9. Buffalo Bills: Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina – The Bills have few glaring needs, which puts them in a position to take a mismatch nightmare at tight end.
10. Detroit Lions: Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State – Dennard’s dominant senior season will lure a team in, maybe even this early.
11. Tennessee Titans: Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA – Get Ray Horton pass rushing talent and let him do his thing, it’s that simple.
12. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (via. NYG): C.J. Mosley, ILB, Alabama – Lovie Smith and Leslie Frazier need a rangy, smart inside linebacker to turn their beloved Tampa 2.
13. St. Louis Rams: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama – The Rams defense needs more help on the backend than up front and Clinton-Dix could pair well with T.J. McDonald.
14. Chicago Bears: Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh – Donald’s combine performance only confirmed what he showed on the field in 2014, that he’s an athletic freak who’s highly productive.
15. Pittsburgh Steelers: Louis Nix, DT, Notre Dame – There’s only one place to get a two or one-gapping nose or 1 technique type defensive tackle in this draft and it goes away if you pass on Louis Nix.
16. Dallas Cowboys: Calvin Pryor, S, Louisville – All accounts seem to indicate that NFL teams are high on Calvin Pryor and Jerry Jones is likely to make a mistake like this.
17. Baltimore Ravens: Ra’Shede Hageman, DT, Minnesota – Hageman projects as a player who could be used all over the Ravens defensive line and will make a couple big plays in every game from the get-go.
18. New York Jets: Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State – Rex Ryan seems to value having two high-end cornerbacks, even at a stiff price, and Gilbert (at his very best) fits the profile of what they were after in free agency.
19. Miami Dolphins: Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan – Insert your locker room/character jokes here, but Lewan’s athleticism is something the Dolphins staff will be big on.
20. Arizona Cardinals: Dee Ford, OLB, Auburn – Playing on his feet in a 3-4 could ignite Dee Ford’s pro career, where he begin as a sub-package rusher. That’s not as bad as it sounds.
*TRADE* Green Bay trades #21 overall to Cleveland for #26 overall, #106 overall, and #218 overall.
21. Cleveland Browns: Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M – A Josh Gordon / Mike Evans tandem is perfect for a Manziel-oriented offense that would feature downfield shots and improvisational plays.
22. Philadelphia Eagles: Marqise Lee, WR, USC – There’s so much uncertainty to a receiving corps that heavily relied upon in Philly, and Chip Kelly has shown a propensity to draft his former Pac-12 foes.
23. Kansas City Chiefs: Odell Beckham Jr., WR, LSU – Beckham is too much to pass up here for a team that is building around Alex Smith, for better or worse.
24. Cincinnati Bengals: Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio State – Despite and up and down 2013 season, Roby is a bona fide first round talent and a great athlete.
25. San Diego Chargers: Zack Martin, OG, Notre Dame – If San Diego is as committed to running the ball as it seems they may be, drafting a guy like Martin and plugging him in at guard would help a lot.
26. Green Bay Packers: Jace Amaro, TE, Texas Tech – Amaro has to be too good to pass up when you consider the type of target he would be for Aaron Rodgers.
27. New Orleans Saints: Ryan Shazier, OLB, Ohio State – Shazier brings an explosive type of athleticism that doesn’t currently exist in the Saints corps of linebackers.
28. Carolina Panthers: Morgan Moses, OT, Virginia – The draft gallery will be quick to call this one a reach, and maybe so, but the number of stalwart left tackles left at this point is few.
*TRADE* New England trades #29 overall to Oakland for #36 overall, #107 overall, and #235 overall.
29. Oakland Raiders: Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State – This is what you’d call going to get your guy, as the Raiders eye Matt Schaub’s apprentice and eventual successor, probably after a single season.
30. San Francisco 49ers: Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech – The rich get richer as the Niners add, in my mind, the draft’s best cornerback prospect.
31. Denver Broncos: Xavier Su’a-Filo, OG, UCLA – Denver adding the best offensive guard prospect, and one who can play tackle in a pinch, would surely get a thumbs up from Peyton Manning.
32. Seattle Seahawks: Joel Bitonio, OT/OG, Nevada – Bitonio would fit right in with Seattle’s offensive line and could start at either guard spot or even right tackle.
Continue for Second Round