FINAL UPDATE – May 7
1. Houston Texans - Jadeveon Clowney – DE – South Carolina – Scouting Report
With rumors of Khalil Mack still floating out there, I can’t say I’m confident in this selection. You could argue it’s a smokescreen, but no one’s trading up to No. 1 for Mack so I don’t see the logic there. Clowney is definitely the consensus top player in the draft, so I’m sticking with him at the top.
2. St. Louis Rams – Greg Robinson – OT – Auburn – Scouting Report
The Rams are willing to move down because they know Robinson, Matthews and Lewan would all be great upgrades to the offensive line. But if they stay put this selection is easy. Robinson is special.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars - Sammy Watkins – WR – Clemson - Scouting Report
The Jaguars can’t go wrong with Watkins or Mack. Both fill needs and both have value at No. 3. But Watkins will have a greater immediate impact and helps easy the pain of the Justin Blackmon debacle.
4. Cleveland Browns - Mike Evans – WR – Texas A&M - Scouting Report
I’ve been saying all Week that this pick comes down to Mack and Evans. But I really don’t know who has the edge if both are on the board. I’ll go with Evans for the same reason Watkins makes sense for Jacksonville. He’ll have an immediate impact and be a perfect weapon for a young quarterback.
5. Oakland Raiders – Khalil Mack – LB – Buffalo - Scouting Report
This fills a need and also gives them the best available player on the board. In other words, it’s a no-brainer for Oakland. Which also means, I’m probably wrong because Oakland never makes the no-brainer picks.
6. Atlanta Falcons - Jake Matthews – OT – Texas A&M - Scouting Report
I have Lewan higher than Matthews and some teams do as well. The Falcons are one of the teams that values high character guys, and even though Lewan’s off-field issues aren’t exactly concrete, Matthews is so strong in that area that I can’t see the Falcons passing him up.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Johnny Manziel – QB – Texas A& - Scouting Report
I have no idea if the Bucs like Manziel. But I’m fairly confident he’s going to be on the board here if no one trades up. Jeff Tedford has never worked with a quarterback like Manziel, but he’s a creative football mind and I suspect he would enjoy the challenge.
8. Minnesota Vikings – Anthony Barr – LB – UCLA - Scouting Report
It sounds like the Vikings aren’t going with a quarterback, which probably means the team would like to trade back. If they stay put, the beset available defensive player probably lands in this slot. Barr, Donald and maybe even their top rated cornerback could be options.
9. Buffalo Bills – Taylor Lewan – OT – Michigan - Scouting Report
The Bills don’t necessarily need to take an offensive tackle in the first round, but the way the draft appears to be shaping up it will probably provide them the best value. If it’s not Lewan in this slot, it’s probably Eric Ebron, who would be a great weapon for E.J. Manuel.
10. Detroit Lions - Justin Gilbert – CB – Oklahoma State - Scouting Report
I didn’t realize how well respected Gilbert was until speaking with some guys in the league this week. He’s not getting out of the top half of the first round. It’s a pure guess that the Lions have him as their top corner, but the position is a definite need.
11. Tennessee Titans - Darqueze Dennard – CB – Michigan State - Scouting Report
The Titans are a wild card. Do they take a quarterback? Do they trade down? They definitely would like to add a cornerback in this draft and Dennard is among the best available. It’s a safe option.
12. New York Giants – Zach Martin – OT/OG – Notre Dame – Scouting Report
The Giants need to either protect Manning with this selection, or add someone to get to the opposing quarterback. It probably comes down to Martin and Aaron Donald. Martin is more likely to still be on the board.
13. St. Louis Rams – Ha Ha Clinton-Dix – S – Alabama – Scouting Report
This is probably too obvious to happen. The Rams need to add a free safety and Clinton-Dix is the consensus top available prospect at the position with decent overall value here.
14. Chicago Bears – Aaron Donald – DT – Pittsburgh - Scouting Report
I’m not going to predict a trade, but I do think Chicago will need to trade to land Donald. As long as Oakland doesn’t take him at No. 5, the should be able to pull it off.
15. Pittsburgh Steelers – Kyle Fuller – CB – Virginia Tech – Scouting Report
The Steelers may not stay at 15 to make this selection, but they’re definitely adding a corner in the first or second round. The dropoff after round one is steep, so it’s a pretty safe bet to assume they’ll try to add one of the top five guys on Day One.
16. Dallas Cowboys – Timmy Jernigan – DT – Florida State – Scouting Report
The Cowboys need to address the front seven. If Donald and Barr don’t fall, they may decide to move back. Or they may just stay put and settle for the top lineman remaining on their board. Not sure if Jernigan is that guy, but he’s definitely in the mix.