The long awaited May 8th NFL draft is less than a week away now.
The rumour mill has long gone into overdrive. Each utterance of from owners, General Managers, Head Coaches, scouts, players and random passers-by is picked over and devoured.
Everyone has an opinion on the draft order and so here is my first round mock draft with trades:
1) Houston Texans - Jadeoveon Clowney
Clowney has his technical weaknesses and currently relies too much on his physical attributes but Bill O'Brien and Romeo Crennel will back themselves to fix this through coaching.
Simply put, the idea of JJ Watt and Jadeoveon Clowney lining up together to sack the QB is too good for the Texans to turndown.
2) St Louis Rams - Jake Matthews
Many picks have fellow offensive tackle Robinson going ahead of Mathews due to his slightly higher ceiling. Mathews is the more well rounded blocker though, many of the men in his family play or played professional football and Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher coached his dad.
With all this Matthews I reckon Jeff Fisher and the Rams will see Matthews as the safest bet to be their franchise offensive tackle.
3) Jacksonville Jaguars - Sammy Watkins
In a draft class rich in wide receiver talent Sammy Watkins is by far the best. The Jaguars need a difference maker on offense and Watkins could be the guy to do this.
The other possibility is that the Jaguars draft a QB like Blake Bortles first but after the way the Jaguars traded up for Blaine Gabbert only to see him struggle I don't see them putting the cart before the horse again.
4) Cleveland Browns - Johnny Manziel
The Browns need a franchise QB and Jimmy Haslam needs to generate some feel good factor about his franchise. Johnny Manziel ticks both of these boxes.
Additionally, after Mike Pettine said that the “ideal situation” is to draft a QB later than the Browns fourth pick I am now more convinced then ever that the Browns will draft a QB at four.
5) Oakland Raiders - Khalil Mack
There has been some talk of the Raiders trading down but with most of the typical partners it is hard to see an upside for the Raiders. The Oakland outfit do need players across almost every position but more than sheer numbers they need some blue chip talent.
Khalil Mack is such a blue chip talent. He would instantly add some pass rush ability to the Raiders defense and he is too good a talent to ignore.
6) Atlanta Falcons - Greg Robinson
The Falcons need to improve their offensive line and protect QB Matt Ryan. 6'5', 332 pound offensive tackle Greg Robinson has the size, strength and body control to be the Falcons' franchise left tackle for years to come.
7) Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Mike Evans
In an ideal world you don't draft for need you draft the best player on the board and Texas A&M wide receiver Mike Evans is the best player left on the board.
Last year he averaged 20.2 yards per carry as he clocked up 1,394 yards and made Johnny Manziel look even better than he actually is.
8) Minnesota Vikings - Blake Bortles
The Vikings need a QB. There has been some talk of waiting to the second round to draft a QB but the signal caller position has been a problem for the Vikings for too long to
play that game.
Bortles has the size, athleticism and intangibles to develop into franchise QB.
9) Buffalo Bills – Eric Ebron
After spending a first round draft pick on EJ Manuel last season the Bills need to go out and get him some top notch tools to work with. Eric Ebron would do this whilst also strengthening the o-line.
10 Detroit Lions – Brandin Cooks
With Golden Tate and Calvin Johnson the Lions already have a decent enough wide receiver corp. If they add Brandon Cooks also then they will be able to create mismatches all over the field.
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