NFL Mock Draft 3.0 - Round 1

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9.) Bills – WR Mike Evans, Texas A&M (6’5, 225): The Bills have some receivers with potential (Graham, Woods, Goodwin) but none of them project to be a #1 receiver and their resident #1, Stevie Johnson, is on his last legs. QB E.J. Manual needs some reliable weapons and Evans will give him a deep threat and a big target in the red zone. I think Evans will struggle a little adjusting to more physical NFL corners but his height will make him an asset in the red zone right away and he’s a good bet for 5+ TDs in 2014.

10.) Lions – CB Justin Gilbert, Oklahoma St (6’0, 194): The Lions have spent free agent money (Houston) and high draft picks (Slay, Bentley) on the corner position but haven’t been able to find starting caliber talent. Gilbert could be the answer. He’s one of the best athletes in the draft with great speed, acceleration and ball skills. Some question his effort level and aggresiveness but if new Lions DC Teryl Austin, a former DB coach with the Ravens, can get him to play hard consistently Gilbert could be not just starting caliber, but an all-pro.

11.) Titans – DT Louis Nix, Notre Dame (6’3, 340): New DC Ray Horton is transitioning the Titans to a 3-4, but is missing a key piece. While at Arizona in 2012, Horton had massive DT Dan Williams to anchor the defensive line and last season in Cleveland he had 330 pound Phil Taylor, but there is no one like that on the Titans roster right now. The signed NT Al Woods, but he is better suited a backup. It’s possible the Titans might wait to fill a position crucial to their defensive scheme, but Nix is far and away the best 3-4 NT prospect in the draft and he won’t be there when the Titans pick in round 2. It’s a bit of a reach judging by most draft boards, but if Nix can stay healthy and motivated he is a top 15 talent.

12.) Giants – T Taylor Lewan, Notre Dame  (6’8, 302): Is just a notch below Robinson in upside and almost as NFL ready as Matthews. Lewan showed off his elite athleticism at the combine and his technique is solid enough to step in and start right away. He has some off-field red flags and is rumored to have some maturity issues, but has too much talent and potential to drop any farther. The Giants O-line was a mess last year, but the combo of Lewan and a couple of free agents on the interior (Schwartz, Walton) could make for a quick fix.

13.) Rams – S HaHa Clinton Dix, Alabama (6’1, 209): The Rams’ safeties were almost as bad as the Bears last season and Dix is the best coverage safety on the board. There is a chance they take Donald with current DT Langford a year away from free agency, but Dix fills a more immediate need. He’s a prototype centerfielder in pass coverage and is more physical in run support then most scouting reports give him credit for.

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14.) Bears – DT Aaron Donald, Pittsburgh  (6’1, 285): I think Donald is no-brainer for the Bears if he is still available. The Bears saw how important DT depth was last year and being able to rotate Donald with Nate Collins at the 3-tech will keep both players fresh and improve Collins’ chances of staying healthy. Donald will be one of the smallest DTs in the league, but could also be one of the best pass rushers. He was the most productive DT in CFB last year (28.5 TFLs, 11.5 sacks) and has the quickness, low center of gravity, and strong hand play to be a force inside. His 4.68 40-time at 285 pounds is one of the most impressive combine feats I have seen in a while. A D-line group of Houston, Young, Ratliff, Donald, and Jared Allen should be able to generate a consistent pass rush.

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  • Jarod Cook

    I don’t see the Browns drafting a QB at #4, even though it’s a need. New GM Farmer has watched the last 2 regimes failed in the draft taking Boom/Bust players early. I think he goes with a less risky pick and chooses WR Watkins or Evens, or OT Robinson or Matthews, depending on who’s available. Having a second 1st round pick and extra picks will give them the opportunity to move up if the QB’s start falling like they did last year, or they can stay put and see who falls to #26.
    I like the pick of Lee at #26 he might not be the biggest, fastest, or flashest receiver of the draft. But he’s a solid route runner with good hands, who will take pressure of Gordon and Cameron. He doesn’t have the highest ceiling among the receivers of the draft, but he’s got a good base line and you know what to expect from him. This pick can go in different directions though, if they passed on QB early this will probably be used to draft one. Or since it’s such a deep draft at WR they wait till #35 and draft one there, and instead pick CB Fuller. Who can start immediately across from Haden, and would be a vast improvement over Skrine.

    • Mike Flannery

      I had the Browns waiting till #26 to take a QB in my last two mocks, but I think at the end of the day QB is their biggest need and I don’t think they will risk waiting and potentially missing out on the guy they want. Maybe they trade up from #26 and take Carr or maybe they take Bortles at #4, there is really no way to know, but I think Manziel has the most upside.

      • Jarod Cook

        I wouldn’t say QB is there biggest need on the team. It’s up there but they do have Hoyer who can be serviceable for another year if he doesn’t get hurt that is. But taking a QB early will add for some competition in camp, as well as planning for the future. The big needs on the team IMO are #2 CB, and a legit #2 WR who can take pressure of Gordon and Cameron. Also IMO the OL was the down fall of the offense last year outside Thomas and Mack. The line couldn’t open holes in the run game and would let pass rushers just walk through. But taking a QB at #4 who for all intent and purposes is most likely going to sit for his rookie year, seems a waste of a premium pick. When they instead can add a play maker who can provide an immediate impact on the field.

        If they do choose to go QB at #4 Manziel would be my least favorite pick of the bunch. Even in your annalist you point out his Boom/Bust potential, and I think that will scare the Browns away. If they gamble on a QB early I believe they go after one with a more base line potential like Bortles or Bridgewater. And if they reach for Carr at #4 I’m going to be finding a new team.

  • Wayne Davis

    Nice mock …I’m good with Bortles ….My vikes draft with trades & grades

    Round 1 Pick 19 (MIA): C.J. Mosley, ILB, Alabama (B)
    Round 2 Pick 8: Ryan Shazier, OLB, Ohio State (A)
    Round 2 Pick 18 (MIA): Deone Bucannon, SS, Washington State (B+)
    Round 3 Pick 8: Stanley Jean-Baptiste, CB, Nebraska (B+)
    Round 3 Pick 32: Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, Eastern Illinois (A)
    Round 4 Pick 8: Martavis Bryant, WR, Clemson (A)
    Round 5 Pick 8: Antone Exum, CB, Virginia Tech (A)
    Round 6 Pick 8: Aaron Murray, QB, Georgia (A)
    Round 7 Pick 8: De’Anthony Thomas, RB, Oregon (B-)

    • Phillip

      Ryan Shazier will not be available at pick 8 in the 2nd round, he’s not getting out the 1st. And there’s no possible way Garrapolo falls to the bottom of the 3rd round. Also, every 1 of those picks are at least a round too late from Garropolo on. Murray is going in the 3rd or 4th, Bryant in the 3rd, possibly the 2nd, Thomas by the 5th, Exum is probably the only 1 right.

      • Wayne Davis

        Here’s my draft from today

        Your score is: 5508 (GRADE: A)

        Your Picks:
        Round 1 Pick 27 (N.O.): C.J. Mosley, ILB, Alabama (B+)
        Round 2 Pick 8: Dee Ford, DE, Auburn (A-)
        Round 2 Pick 18 (MIA): Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State (A)
        Round 3 Pick 8: Deone Bucannon, SS, Washington State (A)
        Round 3 Pick 27 (N.O.): Keith McGill, CB, Utah (A-)
        Round 3 Pick 32: Anthony Johnson, DT, LSU (A-)
        Round 4 Pick 8: Louchiez Purifoy, CB, Florida (B+)
        Round 5 Pick 8: Trai Turner, OG, LSU (A-)
        Round 6 Pick 10 (TENN): Devon Kennard, OLB, Southern California (B+)
        Round 6 Pick 26 (N.O.): Storm Johnson, RB, UCF (A)
        Round 7 Pick 8: Dri Archer, WR, Kent State (A)
        You never now who’s going to be where that’s what I love abt the draft try yourself firstpick.com

  • Phillip

    Green Bay picks at 21, not 22.