NFL Mock Draft – Final 1st Round

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Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

27.) Saints: LB Ryan Shazier, Ohio St (6’2, 230) – Possibly the best athlete in the draft (4.3 40-time, 42″ vert) and DC Rob Ryan will find a way to utilize him on a suddenly dangerous Saints defense.

28.) Panthers: T Joel Bitonio, Nevada (6’4, 302) – Bitonio had a great Senior Bowl and then showed surprising athleticism and speed at the combine with a sub-5 40-time and top five results in the 3-cone, broad jump, short shuttle, and vertical leap. Bitonio’s game tape is solid, specifically his performance against 1st round prospect Anthony Barr who he held without a sack in their match-up. Bitonio is shorter than ideal for a LT, but taller than retired Panthers LT Jordan Gross who had an excellent career. Bitonio could also play guard where the Panthers need help as well.

29.) Patriots: TE Jace Amaro, Texas Tech  (6’5, 265) – He’s a perfect fit for the Aaron Hernandez role in the Pats offense. Amaro had a disappointing combine so they may wait till round 2, though he did look better at his pro day. Amaro has great size, good hands, and has shown a knack for getting open against zone coverage and should create mismatches against linebackers and most safeties. Amaro should be a big upgrade over the TEs the Pats put out there last season.

30.) 49ers: DT Ra’Shede Hageman, Minnesota (6’6, 318) – He wasn’t as productive as he should have been in college considering his elite strength and athleticism, but he is a converted TE and is still learning the nuances of the DT position. D-line isn’t the 49ers most glaring need, but Justin Smith is getting older and D-lineman with Hageman’s measurables don’t come around very often.

31.) Broncos: CB Jason Verrett, TCU (5’10, 176) – If he were two inches taller, Verrett would be a lock for the top 15 pick. He might have the best man coverage skills in the draft and is good against the run despite his small frame. Denver’s slot corner, Chris Harris, is coming off a late season ACL tear so Verrett can play in the slot next year and move outside in 2015.

32.) Seahawks: WR Jordan Matthews, Vanderbilt (6’3, 205) – Matthews is a big, sure-handed receiver who runs crisp routes and displayed better than expected speed and athleticism at the combine. Matthews was very productive in college and finished his career at Vandy as the SEC’s all-time leading receiver. He will give Russell Wilson a big target with reliable hands and is the perfect complement across from Percy Harvin.

Twitter: @MikeFlannery_