By Clint Clearwater
February 26, 2013
Well, the regular season is now over and we can really start focusing on the NFL Draft! So stay tuned into the site all throughout this draft season for many updates
As always, thanks for reading and feel free to shoot me any emails! Follow me @clintclearwater
1. Houston: Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina
After a lot of updates I still like Clowney here. Clowney is the most talented player in the country and that’s why he’s the pick here. This definitely doesn’t fill the biggest need but he’s simply too good to pass on here and you can never have too many pass rushers. He’s an elite talent, capable of changing games on the defensive side of the ball; that’s rare. If Clowney doesn’t go here I like Blake Bortles instead for Houston.
2. St. Louis: Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson
The Rams have an opportunity to grab a dynamic playmaker here in Sammy Watkins and I think they do it. Watkins had a terrific combine performance to cement himself as the top receiver in this draft. I think he will be a difference maker immediately for the Rams. A lot of people have Jake Matthews or Greg Robinson going here and both are strong options but my thought process is that both WR and OT are deep classes this year and Watkins will make more of an impact early for the Rams. They can get a starting quality tackle later in the draft, they can’t find a receiver like Watkins later on; so Watkins is the pick.
3. Jacksonville: Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M
The more I think about it, the more I am coming around to really be a fan of Manziel. I still worry about his leadership and maturity issues but if he can stay out of trouble off the field, I think he’s the best QB in this draft. Jacksonville needs a new face of the franchise and needs a burst on the offensive side of the football. Manziel would be a huge and exciting pick for Jacksonville fans.
4. Cleveland: Blake Bortles, QB, UCF
The Browns get their QB in Bortles. Bortles had a very impressive Combine and now looks to be in discussion to maybe being the number 1 overall pick. It’s no secret the Browns need a fresh start and Bortles could be a big reason to hope for change in Cleveland. Bortles is a strong armed, mobile and accurate QB. He’s a great pick here for the Browns.
5. Oakland: Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville
Another QB here as the top QBs fly on the board. Bridgewater is a pro ready QB that will be able to start immediately for the Raiders. Like Jacksonville and Cleveland, the Raiders need a help offensively, in particular, the QB position. Bridgewater is a highly athletic QB with a strong arm that could be a difference maker in Oakland.
6. Atlanta: Khalil Mack, DE, Buffalo
Atlanta needs to address their pass rushing need and Mack is one of the most dynamic pass rushers in this draft. He’s strong, versatile and aggressive. Jake Matthews is an option here and I struggled with this pick but I ultimately ended up going with Mack. Both are important positions but I love Mack’s potential and I think DE is a bigger need for Atlanta.
7. Tampa Bay: Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M
The Buccaneers grab one of the most polished and pro ready prospects in this draft. Jake Matthews has elite talent, size and comes from a family that has strong NFL ties. He has the potential to be an all-pro for years to come.
8. Minnesota: Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma St.
I really like a corner here. I have had Derek Carr here for a while but his stock really seems to be around the end of the first round and the Vikings may not be sold on taking a chance here. Justin Gilbert though is a fantastic pick here. He fills a need and is a great value pick. He’s coming off a terrific year and a very impressive combine. He could be the first corner taken.
9. Buffalo: Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina
Eric Ebron is a big TE that is actually a decent blocker; however, the Bills will take him here because of his receiving skills. He ran a pretty good time at the Combine and I could definitely see him going this high. He’s a mismatch all over the field and provides young EJ Manuel with another weapon at his disposal.
10. Detroit: Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan St.
Dennard really proved to me that he’s a top prospect when he turned in a 4.5 at the Combine. That was really the only question people had on him and he proved that long speed isn’t an issue. I love Dennard’s skill set that he offers and Detroit needs a shut down corner. He’s a tough, bump and run type of corner that will give the Lion’s secondary a big boost.
11. Tennessee: Calvin Pryor, S, Louisville
Calvin Pryor really had a good Combine as well and I think he’s got a great shot at being a high draft pick. He’s a tough, physical guy that flies all over the field. In today’s pass happy NFL Pryor will be a hot commodity. It’s not often you can find big guys that can tackle well and cover just as good.
12. New York Giants: Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn
The Giants will be thrilled if they can land Robinson here. Robinson (like many other linemen) had a phenomenal Combine, showing off his elite athleticism. He’s got a really high ceiling and the Giants need younger linemen to help protect Eli Manning. Receiver is strong option but Greg Robinson is the best player on the board here.
13. St. Louis: Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan
After grabbing a dynamic weapon for Bradford, the Rams take a guy who will protect their franchise QB. Lewan is a big, tough and nasty tackle that can start from day 1. I have him listed as a top 10 pick so St. Louis is getting a bargain here and starting this draft off very well.
14. Chicago: Timmy Jernigan, DT, Florida St.
Timmy Jernigan is a special player. I love his potential and his aggressiveness. The more tape I watch of him, the more I really like him. I think he starts immediately and make plays immediately. The Bears need an interior lineman and with a player like Jernigan on the board, it makes a lot of sense.
15. Pittsburgh: Louis Nix, DT, Notre Dame
The Steelers will certainly be tempted here with Marqise Lee and Mike Evans on the board, but DT is probably their top need and Nix is one of the top players available. I would be tempted too, but my gut tells me to draft Nix here. Nix is at a very important position in the 3-4 and besides, he flashes greatness at times. The Steelers go defense again in the first round and take Louis Nix.
16. Baltimore: Marqise Lee, WR, USC
The Ravens need offensive weapons and Lee is one of the best receivers in the country. He had a rough year, but I still have him rated very high. Getting him here at 16 is a steal for Baltimore.
17. Dallas: Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh
Aaron Donald had a crazy good Combine and his stock is soaring right now. Dallas needs DT help and Donald looks like a good fit here. He’s quick, powerful and strong and I believe he will certainly be a first round pick this May.
18. New York Jets: Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M
The Jets will run to the podium to select Mike Evans here. They need WR help and weapons for Geno Smith and Evans is a steal here. This pick was easy.
19. Miami: Zack Martin, OT, Notre Dame
I am sticking with Zack Martin here. I like his fit in Miami and the Dolphins have a huge need at OT and G. Martin is a pro ready guy that will be a big improvement to the Dolphins offensive line.
20. Arizona: Anthony Barr, DE/OLB, UCLA
Anthony Barr finally goes off the board here. Barr is a very talented guy that does a little bit of everything, including rushing the passer. The Cardinals need pass rushing help and Barr is fantastic value here.
21. Green Bay: C.J. Mosley, LB, Alabama
The Green Bay could use a good, young, leader for their defense. Mosely is a smart and instinctive LB that could start day 1 for the Green Bay.
22. Philadelphia: Dee Ford, DE/OLB, Auburn
The Eagles will be looking for a pass rusher early and Ford could be their guy. He’s an undersized guy but he makes up for that will strength and speed. I like him a lot as a 3-4 OLB and he could contribute early for the Eagles.
23. Kansas City: Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Florida St.
Kansas City needs offensive playmakers and Benjamin is one of the best playmakers in this draft. Benjamin has probably the most potential out of any of the WRs in this draft. He’s big, strong, and showed great speed and burst. I was talking to a couple of scouts down at the Senior Bowl and they told me that his burst out of cuts and his ability to turn and go was extremely impressive considering how big he is. There are a lot of people excited about him and I can’t see him getting out of the top 25.
24. Cincinnati: Haha Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama
Clinton-Dix had a strong Combine and really should go higher than this. He’s a strong, well-rounded prospect. I like his physicality and I think he’s got very good coverage skills. The Bengals could certainly use secondary help so picking Clinton-Dix here makes a lot of sense.
25. San Diego: Kony Ealy, DE/OLB, Missouri
It’s no secret that the Chargers need pass rushing help. I certainly think they will be looking hard at a couple guys in the first round and with Ealy still available, it makes the decision easy. Ealy is a strong top 25 pick that is versatile and has a high ceiling. The Chargers would love to land him here.
26. Cleveland: Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech
I have been a fan of Fuller all year. I thought his injury and the games he missed kind of hurt his draft stock, but he bounced back at the Combine running a very impressive 40 time. Most people were concerned with his overall speed but not anymore. I think he’s a quick and aggressive corner that has shown tremendous improvement over the last two seasons. Cleveland could look for an offensive weapon here for Bortles but I like them sticking to their board and taking the best player available. Fuller will be a fine addition to Cleveland’s secondary.
27. New Orleans: Xavier Su’a-Filo, G, UCLA
I think the Saints will be looking at offensive line help early in this draft. Su’a-Filo could be a name that we may hear in the first round come May. Su’a-Filo had a great Combine, showing terrific athleticism and his stock is rising. Su’a-Filo won’t be an exciting pick, but protecting Drew Brees will be a priority this off season.
28. Carolina: Cyrus Kouandjio, OT, Alabama
Jordan Gross is retiring so the Panthers need to now find a new LT. Kouandjio had a rough Combine, but he’s good some good tape that may keep him somewhere in the end of the first or early second round. I’ve also heard there may be some medical concerns with him too. I don’t know anything about that; if something comes up it may certainly affect his stock. As for this mock, I am going off game tape. Kouandjio isn’t an overly impressive athlete but he’s tough, strong and has potential to be a fine NFL tackle. Strictly off game film, I think he goes somewhere around the end of the first round.
29. New England: Jace Amaro, TE, Texas Tech
New England needs more offensive weapons, so they take Amaro here. I love this guy; I think he’s a future star and I think it would be scary to see him playing with Tom Brady. This is a fantastic pick for the Patriots.
30. San Francisco: Ra’Shede Hageman, DT, Minnesota
The 49ers would love to get younger along their defensive line and Hageman is great value here. He’s an inconsistent player but his potential is through the roof. The 49ers get a very talented prospect here.
31. Denver: Chris Borland, LB, Wisconsin
I would love to see Denver make this pick. Borland is quickly becoming one of my favorite prospects in this draft. He’s smart, tough, instinctive and a leader. He’s really underrated and deserves to be in the first round.
32. Seattle: David Yankey, G, Stanford
Seattle doesn’t have many needs but guard is one of them. Yankey is a talented and tough lineman that could be an immediate starter for the Super Bowl Champs. It may not be flashy, but this is a smart pick.