Mock Draft V: Let’s Make a Deal

April 27th, 2014

Jeff Risdon

This version goes four full rounds. In the interest of time, I kept the commentary brief.

There are a handful of trades projected here. That’s what they are–projections. This is for edutainment, offering one idea as to how a completely unpredictable draft is going to play out.

The final mock draft will be seven full rounds and I will release that in two parts. The first three rounds will publish Wed. May 7th at 11 PM Eastern. The next four rounds will follow on Thurs. May 8th at 9 AM.

I will also do a “teamless” mock draft of the first 100 picks that will come out either that Wed. morning or possibly even Tuesday night. That one tends to be the most accurate projection of player to draft slot, which is always my overriding goal in any mock draft.

The final Top 200 prospects will be completed this Wed., April 30. Final position rankings for all the ones not currently completed will be finished by the end of the week. Both Darren Page and I have already completed the ordination; I just have to type it all up in a presentable fashion. We’ll also have a few more scouting reports, centered on players that one or the other of us have heard the Lions have some interest in drafting.

First Round

1. *Atlanta Falcons (trade with Houston): Jadeveon Clowney, Edge, South Carolina. The Falcons, no strangers to dramatic draft-day moves, offer Houston the most appealing package to move up and snag the best defensive prospect of the decade. It costs them #5 overall, #68 overall, #147 overall and the Falcons’ 2nd rounder in 2015.

2. St. Louis Rams: Greg Robinson, T, Auburn. After failing to find a trade partner willing to pay their price here, the Rams opt for the offensive tackle with the highest ceiling of any in this draft. With Jake Long’s future iffy and going all-in with Sam Bradford, it makes sense to try and maximize the offense here.

3. Jacksonville Jaguars: Khalil Mack, Edge, Buffalo. Coach Gus Bradley gets the LEO for his defense in Mack, a dynamic all-around football player who happens to rush the passer extremely effectively. Quarterback waits a round.

4. Cleveland Browns: Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M. In a surprise move, the Browns make Johnny Football’s primary target the first wideout taken in the draft. They know he won’t last as long as Manziel, and they do rate him higher than Sammy Watkins.

5. Oakland Raiders: Jake Matthews, T, Texas A&M. Oakland has a bevy of options here, but in this scenario they go with the NFL-ready Matthews. He steps right in and locks down the critical left tackle spot at a very high level. I think they wait on QB with Matt Schaub in the fold.

6. *Houston Texans (trade with Atlanta): Blake Bortles, QB, Central Florida. The Texans slide back and land Bortles, who was linked to them with the #1 pick in many a mock draft this season. That’s value, folks. I just cannot see them taking Johnny Manziel.

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson. While I can see the Bucs pulling the trigger on Manziel, the offense must get another playmaker opposite Vincent Jackson. Watkins would fit perfectly in that role.

8. Minnesota Vikings: Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State. GM Rick Speilman takes yet another chance on a quarterback a little higher than most teams would be comfortable taking him. I do strongly believe Carr is either the 1st or 2nd QB taken, whether you (or I) like it or not.

9. Buffalo Bills: Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina. The flashy receiving specialist brings a little sizzle to the Buffalo passing game. He’s a nightmare for linebackers in coverage and could help E.J. Manuel live up to his first-round billing.

10. *Dallas Cowboys (trade with Detroit): Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh. Jerry Jones puts on his wheeler-dealer face and sends picks #16 and 47 overall to Detroit to move up and get the preeminent interior presence in this class.

11. *San Francisco 49ers (trade with Tennessee): Anthony Barr, Edge, UCLA. San Francisco trades its first-round pick (#30) and both its second-round picks (#56 & #61) to Tennessee to move way up and select dynamic but raw edge rusher Anthony Barr. It helps insure against further Aldon Smith antics and injects young juice and speed to their strong defense.

12. New York Giants: Ra’Shede Hageman, DT, Minnesota. The Giants pull a surprise and take the massive man with the massive potential. Hageman has the ability to do things on the interior that no one else in this class can, but he’s a big risk with his inconsistent play. A self-confident team like the Giants will roll the dice on being able to coax his potential to its maximum.

13. *Cleveland Browns (trade with St. Louis): Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M. The Browns package picks #26, 71, 145 and a 2015 2nd rounder to the Rams to move up and reunite Johnny Football with his favorite Aggie target, Mike Evans. The Browns are in a uniquely favorable position to roll the dice on Manziel.

14. Chicago Bears: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama. Because Chicago’s safeties are a cruel joke on football. Because Ha Ha’s cover skills are a necessity in the NFC North. Because Donald is off the board. Could very easily be Justin Gilbert or Kyle Fuller here too.

15. Pittsburgh Steelers: Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State. Corners with Gilbert’s length and speed are in high demand, including in the Three River city. His marked improvement in 2013 offers hope of a shutdown corner, though his aversion to tackling is among many issues that still need to be worked out.

16. *Detroit Lions (trade with Dallas): Odell Beckham Jr., WR, LSU. If the Lions trade back, their list of desired targets likely starts with Justin Gilbert and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. So in this situation, they lose out and “settle” for the third wideout. OBJ is NFL-ready as the third wideout opposite Megatron and Golden Tate.


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10 Responses to “Mock Draft V: Let’s Make a Deal”

  1. Kyle says:

    Good mock, I can tell it took a lot of time and effort to put together. Only correction I have is that Dee Ford/Auburn were not national champs; Florida State was.

  2. Joe says:

    I love it…….

  3. Tom Abraham says:

    There is no way Houston trades the first pick for what you are doing. they will have to give up a 1-2-3 and maybe a two next year. A first – third-fourth or 5th won’t be even close to value.

  4. Jake Olson says:

    No possibility the Packers would take Fuller, much less in the first round!! He is not a m-t-m cover guy and he doesn’t tackle well. A horrible fit for the Packers.

  5. Jake Olson says:

    What a horrendous Packer draft. You have them taking two lousy corners in the first three rounds when one of their STRONTGEST positions is CB. Murphy is a small DE and not fit for the 3/4 defense they play and way too slow for an OLB. With two picks already in the third round and needs galore, the Packers cannot afford to waste picks and trade down to get no value.

    • adminLions says:

      Not every team is going to like their draft, that’s a cold reality. Packers fans haven’t had much to like in recent years beyond WR hits & Lacy, this would apparently continue that trend.

  6. Jeremy says:

    Dominique Easley falling all the way to 129? If he makes into the fourth and the Lions pass on him at 111 I would would throw either the remote or beer bottle through my television! He was a beast when healthy and despite the Lions bad luck with injury prone players, you can’t pass up that talent in the fourth round. I read a “professional” mock a few days ago that had him going in the first round, which is extremely unlikely, but underscores how talented this guy is. Also, I’ve noticed you are bearish on Lewan, and I understand the doubt, but I would be shocked if he gets out of the top 17 picks. Otherwise, I like the trade back and early Lions picks.

    • adminLions says:

      Easley projects just like Lattimore a year ago. Two major knee injuries in three years, likely to miss at least half his rookie year. Teams aren’t going to risk a lot on that. Look what happened when SF did that on Tank Carradine last year, or DET with Broyles and they only had one knee each. Durability matters. I know he’s off several boards altogether.

  7. Reggie says:

    Never say never my friends.

    For Lions I would not mind draft with exception that one of the two second rounds be Deonne Buchanon. Will not be surprised when he is the best safety in this class

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