By Jeff Risdon
The two extra weeks of NFL Draft season have led to way too much smoke and speculation. It’s one of the most confusing drafts ever, with beat writers for the same teams often wildly differing in their own projections and information.
Because of that, mock draft accuracy figures to be at an all-time low.
Here’s my best guess at what is going to happen for each and every pick, all 256 of them. I did include some trades, because they do happen and figure to happen a lot this year too. Commentary is limited for time reasons and because the “you’re an idiot” crowd never reads them anyways. Don’t be that guy!
This is a projection of what the teams might do in the draft, and it does not necessarily represent the choices I would make in the same situation.
1. Houston Texans: Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina. If they don’t take him #1, someone else will. One alternate scenario: The Falcons trade up and select Greg Robinson, Houston falls back to 6. The Rams take Clowney #2, the Texans take Derek Carr at No. 6.
2. *Atlanta Falcons (trade with St. Louis): Greg Robinson, T, Auburn. Atlanta makes the move up, but they surprise by taking a tackle to protect their investment in Matt Ryan instead of upgrading the pass rush. They trade #6 plus 3rd rounders this year and next to make it happen.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars: Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo. Mack is the pick if he’s on the board, an instant upgrade at pass rushing and the defense overall. Plan B is Sammy Watkins.
4. Cleveland Browns: Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M: I was given this info in early March that the Browns had Evans as the top player on their board and that they vastly prefer to wait on the QB front. Many others have come and gone from this take. I’m sticking to it.
5. *Tampa Bay Buccaneers (trade with Oakland): Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M. The Buccaneers make the preemptive jump to squelch any chance that the Rams alleged coveting of Mr. Football is not a smokescreen. They send the 7th pick, QB Mike Glennon and a 5th round pick to the Raiders to make it happen.
6. *St. Louis Rams (trade with Atlanta): Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson. In the spirit of doing everything they can to help Sam Bradford, they get him the most dynamic wideout in the draft.
7. *Oakland Raiders (trade with Tampa Bay): Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh. For the second year in a row the Raiders trade back and then still take a player somewhat higher than he’s widely presumed to come off the board. Donald is an outstanding interior disruptor who helps fill one of their gaping roster holes.
8. Minnesota Vikings: Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State. Even though GM Rick Speilman got burned reaching for Christian Ponder, he still knows his team cannot progress further until they upgrade the QB position. I strongly believe Carr is a top 10 pick, and this is the last team in the top 10 that will take a QB.
9. Buffalo Bills: Jake Matthews, T, Texas A&M. My Buffalo Bills Draft colleague Joe Marino (@TheJoeMarino) has steadfastly maintained that this draft is all about helping E.J. Manuel achieve his full potential. Taking the best tackle remaining on their board accomplishes that. Plan B is Zack Martin.
10. *New York Jets (trade with Detroit): Odell Beckham Jr., WR, LSU. The Lions would not mind trading down at all, and the Jets gets take advantage, climbing up from #18 to get the dynamic, sticky-handed wideout. They part with #49 and their 2015 3rd round pick to make it happen. If the Lions stick here in this situation, they take Anthony Barr. I think.
11. Tennessee Titans: Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA. Too many semi-informed people I sort of trust tell me this is the pick. Who am I to argue? Can also see Taylor Lewan here.
12. New York Giants: Zack Martin, T, Notre Dame. This is another pick that I’ve held onto since very early versions of mock drafts this year. Nothing I’ve seen or heard leads me to change it. Sleeper pick: RaShede Hageman. Seriously.
13. St. Louis Rams: Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State. Never forget that Jeff Fisher is, at his core, a defensive back guru. Gilbert has such tantalizing athleticism and just enough skill that I have a hard time seeing Fisher pass him over. Lewan makes sense here too especially if they didn’t get a tackle earlier.
14. Chicago Bears: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama. This pick took the least amount of thought and deliberation in the entire mock. I know an NFL player who quit the game because he wasn’t better than the Bears' safeties of the last few years. Of course my narrow focus here is likely to bite my butt, and they wind up taking RaShede Hageman or Kyle Fuller.
15. Pittsburgh Steelers: RaShede Hageman, DL, Minnesota. There are whispers that this is one of those surprise picks, and at face value it makes a lot of sense. Hageman’s potential is viewed very highly by NFL folks I’ve talked with, and his best position is 3-4 end. I do not buy the Eric Ebron talk, but the Kelvin Benjamin talk makes me raise an eyebrow a la The Rock.
16. *San Francisco 49ers (trade with Dallas): Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Florida State. This is based on nothing more than a wild stab at the unpredictable. The Niners, for some reason, package together picks #30, 56 and #77 to move up and get the giant but inconsistent wideout. If the Cowboys stay here in this situation, say hello to Calvin Pryor.
17. Baltimore Ravens: Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina. While many people see this as Ebron’s draft floor, I think this is as high as he goes. Lots of speculation abounds that the Ravens have interest, and he’s the kind of person GM Ozzie Newsome tends to favor.
18. *Detroit Lions (trade with NY Jets): Ryan Shazier, LB, Ohio State. After moving back, the Lions wind up adding the outside linebacker they sorely need. Shazier can blitz, and playing behind Suh and Ansah will keep him free from blockers, overcoming his biggest weakness.
19. Miami Dolphins: Xavier Su’a-Filo, OL, UCLA. He’s the best guard in this draft, but many believe he can also play right tackle. Miami happens to need both, so he offers them flexibility as they rebuild the black hole of an offensive line. If Ryan Shazier is on the board, he’s the pick.
20. Arizona Cardinals: Jeremiah Attaochu, OLB, Georgia Tech. He’s nothing more than a situational pass rusher in his first couple of seasons, but that’s exactly what the Cardinals need. He’s got potential to make this seeming reach look real smart. Calvin Pryor has to be a possibility too.
21. Green Bay Packers: Calvin Pryor, S, Louisville. I’ll freely admit this here: I don’t think this will end up being the pick. Yet I keep Pryor penciled in here because none of the other options (Marqise Lee, C.J. Mosley, Kyle Fuller, Bradley Roby, Taylor Lewan) seem any more likely. Trade back here for a team chasing a QB could very well happen, perhaps Cleveland coming to get Blake Bortles.
Okay, longer note here. My gut feeling here is that the Packers do trade out and some team comes up and picks Teddy Bridgewater. Call it Jacksonville. Green Bay falls back and takes a wide receiver, say Davante Adams.
22. Philadelphia Eagles: Cody Latimer, WR, Indiana. One of the things I’ve consistently heard from people around the Eagles is that coach Chip Kelly doesn’t believe in smoke without fire. They’ve spent a lot of time working out Latimer, and even though he seems like a desperate reach here, he does fit what Kelly likes at the position.
23. Kansas City Chiefs: Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State. Andy Reid has to love what Cooks offers, a dynamic runner after the catch with elite quickness and mental toughness. If Cooks is not the pick and they take Bradley Roby or Darqueze Dennard, he should be.
24. Cincinnati Bengals: Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio State. I strongly suspect this pick would be a cornerback in this situation. In a tiebreaker between otherwise equal players, Roby’s Buckeye ties prevail with owner Mike Brown. Teddy Bridgewater wouldn’t surprise me though.
25. *Houston Texans (trade with San Diego): Blake Bortles, QB, Central Florida. Houston jumps QB-needy Cleveland and trades picks 33 and 65 to San Diego to move up and get a player long linked to them with the 1st overall pick. The Chargers would go corner here, Kyle Fuller or Darqueze Dennard I suspect.
26. Cleveland Browns: Teddy Bridgewater, QB Louisville. When all is said and done, I strongly believe Bridgewater is a first-round pick. Cleveland makes as much sense as anyplace else. If they’ve already taken a QB before here, Kyle Fuller fits the bill.
27. New Orleans Saints: Stephon Tuitt, DE, Notre Dame. Playing 3-4 end in a Ryan Brother defense is probably the best case for the enigmatic Tuitt, who looked like a top 20 pick in 2012 but largely undraftable in ’13. He could go here, he could a full round later. Kony Ealy and Dee Ford also make sense. I don’t think they go after a wideout. Sleeper pick: Marcus Martin.
28. Carolina Panthers: Taylor Lewan, T, Michigan. This is Lewan’s floor, and I’m sticking to my guns here that he’s not going nearly as high as most people expect. Great fit between skills and need.
29. New England Patriots: Marqise Lee, WR, USC. The Patriots are unpredictable, so I opted with the player with the highest upside at a relative position of need here. Could be Marcus Martin, could be C.J. Mosley, could be Cyrus Kouandjio. It also could be Tom Savage, in conjunction with a Ryan Mallett trade.
30. *Dallas Cowboys (trade with SF): Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri. Ealy is in play for Dallas if they stay at 16, so getting him at 30 seems like a no-brainer. They’ve got to add at least one safety in the first two rounds, but it’s not the best value here.
31. *Jacksonville Jaguars (trade with Denver): Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, Eastern Illinois. The Jaguars move up to snag their QB of the future. The deal is made as much about securing that 5-year option by having it a first-round pick as it is targeting Garoppolo. They part with picks 39 and 114 to move up. If Denver sits here, they take Kyle Fuller.
32. Seattle Seahawks: JaWuan James, T, Tennessee. I’ll freely admit it: this is me trying to look smart by having James as a first rounder. He probably belongs here anyways.
33. *San Diego Chargers (trade with HOU): Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech
34. Washington Ethnic Slurs: Jimmie Ward, S, Northern Illinois
35. Cleveland Browns: Cyrus Kouandjio, T, Alabama
36. Oakland Raiders: Morgan Moses, T, Virginia
37. Atlanta Falcons: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Washington
38. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt
39. *Denver Broncos (trade with JAX): Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State
40. Minnesota Vikings: Kyle Van Noy, LB, BYU
41. Buffalo Bills: Jace Amaro, TE, Texas Tech
42. Tennessee Titans: Tom Savage, QB, Pittsburgh
43. New York Giants: Carlos Hyde, RB, Ohio State
44. St. Louis Rams: Deone Bucannon, S, Washington State
45. Detroit Lions: Dominique Easley, DT, Florida
46. Pittsburgh Steelers: Allen Robinson, WR, Penn State
47. Dallas Cowboys: Logan Thomas, QB, Virginia Tech
48. Baltimore Ravens: Dee Ford, OLB, Auburn
49. *Detroit Lions (trade with NYJ): Walt Aikens, CB, Liberty
50. Miami Dolphins: Trent Murphy, OLB/DE, Stanford
51. Chicago Bears: Pierre Desir, CB, Lindenwood
52. Arizona Cardinals: Dion Bailey, S, USC
53. Green Bay Packers: Marcus Martin, C, USC
54. Philadelphia Eagles: Stanley Jean-Baptiste, CB, Nebraska
55. Cincinnati Bengals: Ego Ferguson, DT, LSU
56. *Dallas Cowboys (trade with SF): Joel Bitonio, OL, Nevada
57. San Diego Chargers: Louis Nix, DT, Notre Dame
58. New Orleans Saints: Donte Moncrief, WR, Ole Miss
59. Indianapolis Colts: Weston Richburg, C/G, Colorado State
60. Carolina Panthers: Marcus Roberson, CB, Florida
61. San Francisco 49ers: Ed Reynolds, S, Stanford
62. New England Patriots: Troy Niklas, TE, Notre Dame
63. Denver Broncos: Demarcus Lawrence, OLB/DE, Boise State
64. Seattle Seahawks: Billy Turner, OL, North Dakota State
65. *San Diego (trade w/ HOU): Trai Turner, G, LSU
66. Washington: C.J. Mosley, LB, Alabama--falling due to medical concerns
67. Oakland: Paul Richardson, WR, Colorado
68. *St. Louis (trade w/ ATL): Timmy Jernigan, DT, Florida State
69. Tampa Bay: Scott Crichton, DE, Oregon State
70. Jacksonville: Devonta Freeman, RB, Florida State
71. Cleveland: Bishop Sankey, RB, Washington
72. Minnesota: Dez Southward, S, Wisconsin
73. Buffalo: Keith McGill, CB, Utah
74. NY Giants: Carl Bradford, OLB/DE, Arizona
75. St. Louis: A.C. Leonard, TE, Tennessee State
76. Detroit: Davante Adams, WR, Fresno State
77. *Dallas (trade w/ SF): Kevin Pierre-Louis, LB, Boston College
78. Dallas: Will Sutton, DT, Arizona
79. Baltimore: Deandre Coleman, DT, California
80. NY Jets: Martavis Bryant, WR, Clemson
81. Miami: Gabe Jackson, G, Mississippi State
82. Chicago: Justin Ellis, DT, Louisiana Tech
83. Cleveland: Phillip Gaines, CB, Rice
84. Arizona: Cameron Fleming, T, Stanford
85. Green Bay: Kendall James, CB, Maine
86. Philadelphia: Dri Archer, RB/WR, Kent State
87. Kansas City: Charles Sims, RB, West Virginia
88. Cincinnati: Marqueston Huff, S, Wyoming
89. San Diego: Bashaud Breeland, CB, Clemson
90. Indianapolis: Terrence Brooks, S, Florida State
91. New Orleans: Jordan Tripp, LB, Montana
92. Carolina: James Gayle, DE, Virginia Tech
93. New England: C.J. Fiedorowicz, TE, Iowa
94. San Francisco: Marcus Smith, DE, Louisville
95. Denver: Travis Swanson, C, Arkansas
96. Minnesota: Brock Vereen, S, Minnesota
97. Pittsburgh: Preston Brown, LB, Louisville
98. Green Bay: Shayne Skov, LB, Stanford
99. Baltimore: Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, T, McGill
100. San Francisco: Ethan Westbrooks, DE, West Texas A&M
101. Houston: Crockett Gillmore, TE, Colorado State
102. Washington: Jonathan Dowling, S, Western Kentucky
103. Atlanta: Jackson Jeffcoat, DE, Texas
104. NY Jets: Lache Seastrunk, RB, Baylor
105. Jacksonville: Howard Jones, OLB, Shepherd
106. Cleveland: Bruce Ellington, WR, South Carolina
107. Oakland: A.J. McCarron, QB, Alabama
108. Minnesota: Cyril Richardson, G, Baylor
109. Buffalo: Khyri Thornton, DT, Southern Miss
110. St. Louis: Taylor Hart, DE, Oregon
111. Detroit: Will Clarke, DE, West Virginia
112. Tennessee: Jack Mewhort, T, Ohio State
113. NY Giants: Jarvis Landry, WR, LSU
114. *Denver (trade w/ JAX): Telvin Smith, LB/S, Florida State
115. NY Jets: Jordan Zumwalt, LB, UCLA
116. Miami: Robert Herron, WR, Wyoming
117. Chicago: Terrance West, RB, Towson
118. Pittsburgh: Michael Schofield, T/G, Michigan
119. Dallas: Zach Fulton, G, Tennessee
120. Arizona: Zach Mettenberger, QB, LSU
121. Green Bay: Arthur Lynch, TE, Georgia
122. Philadelphia: Josh Huff, WR, Oregon
123. Cincinnati: Rashaad Reynolds, CB, Oregon State
124. Kansas City: Lonnie Ballentine, S, Memphis
125. San Diego: Daniel McCullers, DT, Tennessee
126. New Orleans: Ahmad Dixon, S, Baylor
127. Cleveland: Chris Smith, DE/OLB, Arkansas
128. Carolina: Jaylen Watkins, DB, Florida
129. San Francisco: Brandon Thomas, T, Clemson
130. New England: Tre Mason, RB, Auburn
131. Denver: Kelcy Quarles, DT, South Carolina
132. Seattle: Aaron Lynch, DE, South Florida
133. Detroit: Bryan Stork, C, Florida State
134. Baltimore: Trevor Reilly, LB, Utah
135. Houston: Jerick McKinnon, RB, Georgia State
136. Detroit: T.J. Jones, WR, Notre Dame
137. NY Jets: Terrance Mitchell, CB, Oregon
138. Baltimore: Jeff Janis, WR, Saginaw Valley State
139. Atlanta: David Yankey, G, Stanford
140. New England: Wesley Johnson, C/T, Vanderbilt
141. Houston: Dontae Johnson, S, North Carolina State
142. Washington: Gabe Ikard, C, Oklahoma
143. Tampa Bay: Shaq Evans, WR, UCLA
144. Jacksonville: Chris Watt, G, Notre Dame
145. Cleveland: Aaron Colvin, CB, Oklahoma
146. Seattle: KaDeem Carey, RB, Arizona
147. Atlanta: Kenny Ladler, S, Vanderbilt
148. Minnesota: Caraun Reid, DT, Princeton
149. Buffalo: Antonio Richardson, T, Tennessee
150. Jacksonville: Lamarcus Joyner, DB, Florida State
151. Tennessee: Craig Loston, S, LSU
152. NY Giants: George Uko, DT, USC
153. St. Louis: Jared Abbrederis, WR, Wisconsin
154. NY Jets: Aaron Murray, QB, Georgia
155. Miami: Christian Kirksey, LB, Iowa
156. Chicago: Keith Wenning, QB, Ball State
157. Pittsburgh: Shaquille Richardson, CB, Arizona
158. Dallas: Antone Exum, DB, Virginia Tech
159. Jacksonville: Brandon Coleman, WR, Rutgers
160. Arizona: Kasim Edebali, DE, Boston College
161. Green Bay: Dakota Dozier, G, Furman
162. Philadelphia: Wade Keliilipi, DT, Oregon
163. Kansas City: David Fales, QB, San Jose State
164. Cincinnati: Jeremy Hill, RB, LSU
165. San Diego: Nevin Lawson, CB, Utah State
166. Indianapolis: Andre Hal, CB, Vanderbilt
167. New Orleans: Jay Prosch, FB, Auburn
168. Carolina: Quincy Enunwa, WR, Nebraska
169. New Orleans: Justin Britt, T, Missouri
170. San Francisco: Andre Williams, RB, Boston College
171. Denver: Jake Murphy, TE, Utah
172. Seattle: Mike Davis, WR, Texas
173. Pittsburgh: Brent Urban, DE, Virginia
174. NY Giants: Jon Halapio, G, Florida
175. Baltimore: Isaiah Crowell, RB, Alabama State
176. Green Bay: Dexter McDougle, CB, Maryland
177. Houston: James Morris, LB, Iowa
178. Washington: Yawin Smallwood, LB, Connecticut
179. Jacksonville: E.J. Gaines, CB, Missouri
180. Cleveland: Brett Smith, QB, Wyoming
181. Houston: Matt Patchan, T, Boston College
182. Atlanta: Ross Cockrell, CB, Duke
183. Chicago: Joe Don Duncan, TE, Dixie State
184. Minnesota: Brock Coyle, LB, Montana
185. Tampa Bay: Brandon Watts, LB, Georgia Tech
186. Tennessee: Tyler Starr, OLB, South Dakota State
187. NY Giants: Lorenzo Taliaferro, FB/RB, Coastal Carolina
188. St. Louis: Marcel Jensen, TE, Fresno State
189. Detroit: Zach Hocker, K, Arkansas
190. Miami: Zurlon Tipton, RB, Central Michigan
191. Chicago: Zach Moore, DE, Concordia
192. Pittsburgh: Shaq Barrett, OLB, Colorado State
193. Kansas City: Jamie Meder, DT, Ashland
194. Baltimore: Daniel Sorensen, S, BYU
195. NY Jets: Derrell Johnson, OLB, East Carolina
196. Arizona: Kadeem Edwards, G, Tennessee State
197. Green Bay: Deron Furr, S/LB, Fort Valley State
198. New England: L.J. McCray, S, Catawba
199. Cincinnati: Marquis Flowers, LB, Arizona
200. Kansas City: Colt Lyerla, TE, Oregon
201. San Diego: Michael Campanaro, WR, Wake Forest
202. New Orleans: Kerry Hyder, DE, Texas Tech
203. Indianapolis: Jay Bromley, DT, Syracuse
204. Carolina: Chandler Jones, WR, San Jose State
205. Jacksonville: Charles Leno, G, Boise State
206. New England: B.J. Lowery, CB, Iowa
207. Denver: Jemea Thomas, DB, Georgia Tech
208. Seattle: Jayson Hendricks, S, Pittsburgh
209. NY Jets: Louchiez Purifoy, CB, Florida
210. NY Jets: Russell Bodine, G/C, North Carolina
211. Houston: Sammy Seamster, CB, Middle Tennessee
212. Cincinnati: Jeff Mathews, QB, Cornell
213. NY Jets: Tre Boston, S, North Carolina
214. St. Louis: Lavelle Westbrooks, CB, Georgia Southern
215. Pittsburgh: Devin Street, WR, Pittsburgh
216. Houston: Ryan Carrethers, DT, Arkansas State
217. Washington: Xavier Grimble, TE, USC
218. Cleveland: Kapri Bibbs, RB, Colorado State
219. Oakland: Bene Benwikere, DB, San Jose State
220. Atlanta: Larry Webster, DE, Bloomsburg
221. Tampa Bay: Dashaun Phillips, CB, Tarleton State
222. Jacksonville: Cornelius Lucas, T, Kansas State
223. Minnesota: Jalen Saunders, WR, Oklahoma
224. Buffalo: Tavarius Wilson, LB, North Alabama
225. Carolina: Donald Hawkins, T, Texas
226. St. Louis: Jonotthan Harrison, C, Florida
227. Detroit: Tajh Boyd, QB, Clemson
228. Tennessee: Xavius Boyd, LB, Western Kentucky
229. Dallas: Storm Johnson, RB, UCF
230. Pittsburgh: Chris Davis, CB, Auburn
231. Dallas: Ricky Havili-Heimuli, DT, Oregon
232. Indianapolis: Marion Grice, RB, Arizona State
233. NY Jets: Trey Burton, WR/TE, Florida
234. Miami: Seantrel Henderson, T, Miami FL
235. Oakland: Willie Snead, WR, Ball State
236. Green Bay: Trey Millard, FB, Oklahoma
237. Philadelphia: Gator Hoskins, TE/HB, Marshall
238. Dallas: Lawrence Virgil, DT, Valdosta State
239. Cincinnati: Matt Hazel, WR, Coastal Carolina
240. San Diego: Jonathan Brown, LB, Illinois
241. St. Louis: Zack Kerr, DT, Delaware
242. San Francisco: Ed Stinson, DE, Alabama
243. San Francisco: Christian Bryant, S, Ohio State
244. New England: John Urschel, G, Penn State
245. San Francisco: Greg Blair, LB, Cincinnati
246. Denver: Eathyn Manumaleuna, DT, BYU
247. Oakland: Terrence Fede, DE, Marist
248. Dallas: Kevin Graf, T, USC
249. St. Louis: Dustin Vaughn, QB, West Texas A&M
250. St. Louis: Khairi Fortt, LB, California
251. Dallas: Sean Parker, S, Washington
252. Cincinnati: Corey Linsley, C, Ohio State
253. Atlanta: John Brown, WR, Pittsburg State
254. Dallas: Keith Reaser, CB, Florida Atlantic
255. Atlanta: Tim Flanders, RB, Sam Houston State
256. Houston: Bennie Fowler, WR, Michigan State
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