1.) HOU: QB Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville
HOU is in a situation a lot like KC was last year. They just need a QB and a HC to get back to being competitive. Bridgewater is the best QB in the class so HOU won't hesitate to take him here unless they swing a deal for Krik Cousins (don't see him being traded though). They are well stocked enough across the roster where they pretty much have to go QB here IMO.
MIN gets: #2
STL gets: #8, 3rd round pick, 5th round pick, 2015 1st round pick
2.) MIN (from WAS via STL): QB Blake Bortles, Central Florida
MIN desperately needs to find a solution at QB before Adrian Peterson's prime is over. Bortles will emerge as the clear cut #2 QB in the class. STL got this pick by capitalizing on a team in need of a QB and now they move it to another team fitting that description. They will have 3 straight years of two 1st round picks.
3.) JAX: DE Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina
With the top QBs off the board JAX is pretty much forced into taking the best DE in the class... oh well. If Manziel or Derek Carr really impress they could end up being picked here but for now I'll just give them the best player available. Yes they already have Alan Branch but he's not a guy that you let prevent you from drafting a potential stud like this. And besides, there's always room for more edge rushers in any defense.
4.) CLE: WR Sammy Watkins, Clemson
CLE misses out on Bortles but they land the best WR in the class and someone who should be a great compliment to Josh Gordon. They could consider moving back, but if they do OAK snatches up Watkins most likely. CLE already has an extra 1st and 3rd rounder so I think they'll stay put and make sure they land their #1 choice at WR.
5.) OAK: WR Mike Evans, Texas A&M
Evans is a big WR with #1 potential. OAK desperately needs that. They could move back as teams will likely want to jump ATL for Jake Matthews but this OT class is deep enough that I don't think they will get a premium offer. They'll have to settle for a potential #1 WR. I don't think they'll like any of the QBs enough to take them here.
6.) ATL: OT Jake Matthews, Texas A&M
A gift from the Gods that Matthews lasts until #6 for ATL to scoop up. ATL has to protect its investment in Matt Ryan and a franchise LT is a good way to do that.
7.) TB: DE/OLB Anthony Barr, UCLA
TB can sit back and get a steal here with Barr. He falls out of circumstance, not because of him as a prospect. He makes TB's defense a lot more potent. They can use him as a strong side LB or an edge rusher depending on the situation. Versatile defenders that can rush the passer are valuable.
8.) STL (from MIN): OT Greg Robinson, Auburn
He isn't Jake Matthews but he's close enough to justify landing him instead when you consider they also got an extra 1st, 3rd and 5th round pick out of it.
9.) BUF: TE Eric Ebron, North Carolina
Definitely a reach here but BUF really needs weapons for E.J. Manuel if they want him to succeed. I'm a big Eric Ebron fan and think he will be an excellent receiving option at TE in the NFL. The TE class is pretty weak IMO so I think BUF will jump on the best 1 now and look to address other positions later on. Trading back would be ideal but I don't see a strong market for this pick.
10.) DET: WR Marquis Lee, USC
DET desperately needs a WR that can play across from Megatron and also give them a decent top receiving threat for games he misses. I think they'll address that need with this pick and Lee is the best WR left on the board.
11.) TEN: DT Ra'Shede Hageman, Minnesota
Louis Nix III may be the biggest name at DT in this class but I expect Hageman to really come on during the draft process. He's a monster and very versatile inside. In somewhat of a surprise pick I have TEN taking him here to give them a dominant presence inside.
12.) NYG: LB Khalil Mack, Buffalo
The Giants needs LBs and Mack is one of the best players on the board. Seems like a good match to me. Mack is one of those versatile LBs that can rush the passer well which is something the Giants like in their LBs so he's a good scheme fit.
13.) STL: S HaHa Clinton-Dix, Alabama
MIA gets: #14
CHI gets: #19, 3rd round pick, 5th round pick
14.) MIA (from CHI): OT Cameron Erving, Florida State
MIA really needs to address the LT spot not only for the on field issues on their OL but also so they can get rid of Martina and move on from the distraction in the locker room. I think Erving is going to be a riser in the pre-draft process. CHI's needs don't match up with the board here IMO so I think they'll be willing to slideback a few sports.
15.) PIT: OT Cyrus Kouandjio, Alabama
Even with MIA jumping up to grab an OT PIT can still address that need here. Kouandijo is very worthy of being selected here. I look for PIT to prioritize finally solidifying their perennially woeful offensive line once and for all this year. Ben is still a great QB and they took a RB high last year - OL improvement maximizes the value of those pieces.
SD gets: #16
BAL gets: #22, 3rd round pick, 5th round pick
16.) SD (from BAL): DE/OLB Vic Beasley, Clemson
SD tried to replace Shaun Phillips with an aging Dwight Freeney and it didn't work. Beasley can fill the gaping void they have for a pass rusher off the edge. BAL gave up a pick for Eugene Monroe so this deal lets them recoup their lost draft currency.
17.) DAL: DT Louis Nix III, Notre Dame
DAL's defense was downright pathetic this year. They have to address is early and often in this year's draft. Their run D was awful and Nix does more than any player left on the board to address that weakness. They might lose Jason Hatcher to FA and even if he is brought back it's not like they can't stand to upgrade at the DT spot next to him.
18.) NYJ: TE Jace Amaro, Texas Tech
The Jets have some holes on defense but overall they're solid on that side of the ball. What they desperately need is offensive weapons. Amaro is the best one left on the board. He's a mismatch problem at TE which makes for easy reads/throws for Geno Smith. I think he's a great fit for the Jets offense.
CLE gets: #19
CHI gets: #25, PIT's 3rd round pick
19.) CLE (from MIA via CHI): QB Derek Carr, Fresno State
CLE jumps ahead of Arizona to make sure they land their QB of the future. I cant imagine CLE coming out of this draft without a QB in the 1st round (their early 2nd round pick at the latest). CHI sets themselves up to address a lot of needs in the rest of the draft by moving back a second time. They can add some rely youth and depth across the board.
20.) AZ: OT Taylor Lewan, Michigan
AZ is in dire need of a LT and I think Lewan is an OT Bruce Arians will like. AZ isn't far off from being an elite team IMO. Solidifying LT would be a huge step in that direction.
21.) GB: CB Darqueze Dennard, Michigan State
Weird that I haven't mocked any CBs until now but that's just how the draft fell. GB is more than happy to scoop up one here. Dennard will replace the aging and declining Tramon Williams to hopefulyl bring GB back to being a good defense.
22.) BAL (from SD): WR Davante Adams, Fresno State
Off the top of my head I can't think of a team with a worse #2 WR situation than BAL. That has to be addressed this offseason if they want to get back to the Super Bowl. Adams has the size Ozzie Newsome likes in WRs and could step right in across from Torrey Smith and make an immediate impact.
23.) PHI: CB Justin Gilbert, Oklahoma State
PHI needs upgrades on defense and in the secondary. Gilbert is a good value pick here as he might be the best CB in the class. Bradley Fletcher cant stay healthy and is entering his contract year anyway. You can never have too much CB depth in the NFL today.
STL gets: #24
KC gets: STL's 2nd and 4th round picks, MIN's 3rd round pick
24.) STL (from KC): LB C.J. Mosley, Alabama
STL has enough picks that they can make a bold move like this to get a 3rd pick in the 1st round to address their hole at LB. A starting OT, DT and LB in the 1st round with a 3rd round pick still in hand for this year as well as an extra 1st round acquired for next year is a hell of a day 1 haul for STL. KC has no 2nd round pick so they move back to recoup some draft currency.
25.) CHI (from IND via CLE): DT Timmy Jernigan, Florida State
I'm not the biggest fan of undersized guys like Jernigan but I think he fits CHI's defense well and they really do need interior pass rush.
26.) NO: OT Antonio Richardson, Tennessee
Sean Payton has openly discussed NO's struggles at LT and if you have a franchise QB like Brees you don't want to subject him to anymore hits than necessary. Richardson is a good value pick here and could step in day 1 for NO at the LT spot.
27.) CIN: OG/OT Cyril Richardson, Baylor
Richardson can start from day 1 at LG for CIN and maybe eventually kick out to a tackle spot. Not a flashy pick but one I think will provide good value from day 1 for the Bengals.
28.) SF: CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, Oregon
As good as SF's defense is, the CB position isn't too strong. It could get even weaker if they don't retain Carlos Rogers this offseason. Their other big need is WR but they can address that in other ways...
SF gets: #29
NE gets: KC's 2nd round pick, SF's 2nd and 4th round picks
29.) SF (from NE): WR Jordan Matthews, Vanderbilt
Rather than deciding between addressing CB or WR in the 1st round SF makes a move back into the round to get both spots filled. They can afford to do that with so many extra picks. NE needs to address more spots than we have picks for so trading back makes sense.
30.) CAR: WR Kelvin Benjamin, Florida State
CAR needs to build an offense around Cam Newton. Even if they sign a guy like Hakeem Nicks, they could still use another WR to groom behind an aging Steve Smith or even allow him to play more in the slot with less defensive attention. Benjamin is young but has all the tools to be a great weapon for Cam.
31.) DEN: OC Travis Swanson, Arkansas
Drafting Swanson to play C would allow DEN to slide Max Ramirez out to a Guard spot and give Peyton a better OL with Clady also coming back. Peyton is getting old and you want him to get hit as little as possible. Defense is still a huge issue for them but they can fix that with later picks.
32.) SEA: TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Washington
SEA keeps it local and adds a legitimate receiving threat at TE to their offense. This is an addition that should further aid Russell Wilson's development as a QB, which is already looking spectacular.