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Nagai's 1st Round Mock with Full Analyses of Every Pick

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Man, I've spent waaay too much time on this. Another year, another mock, another reason to go endlessly researching what different fans want on different team forums. It feels this creature's been growing inside me for months, and here's the baby.


1. Houston Texans – Jadeveon Clowney DE


Let's just keep it simple here – Clowney's a once in a lifetime sort of prospect.


2. Cleveland Browns from St. Louis Rams from Washington Redskins – Johnny Manziel QB


The Browns have quite a few picks, and I think they should have learned their lesson – if you want a franchise QB, don't just wait and grab one later. They've already made that mistake twice with Brady Quinn and Brandon Weeden. No, if you're in love with a guy, be aggressive and grab him. If you've got a franchise QB, you've got a chance. If you don't... forget it. That's what I think Cleveland's thinking anyway.


3. Jacksonville Jaguars – Khalil Mack OLB


OK, so here's my logic: Gus Bradley's a defensive coach from Seattle, and the Seahawks just won a superbowl with defense, a running game, and just enough passing prowess to get by. I'm still tempted to give them Sammy Watkins, especially given Blackmon's situation, but at the end of the day, I think Bradley will stick with what's worked for them in Seattle.


4. St. Louis Rams from Cleveland Browns – Sammy Watkins WR


The Rams have a pretty sweet deal going here. By trading down to 4, they can still get either Robinson or Watkins (provided that the Browns take a QB with their original pick). I know they've signed Kenny Britt, but he's never had a year with over a thousand yards. At the same time, Fisher has also never drafted an OL in the first round. They've got a few picks now to cover all their holes, but they won't get another chance this year to pick at the top of the draft. With all this in mind, I think they should grab some firepower, some pazzaz, and just draft a RT in the second round.


5. Oakland Raiders – Greg Robinson OT


I don't think we have to overthink this pick. Robinson's the BPA (best player available) and Reggie McKenzie likes picking the BPA. Next!


6. Atlanta Falcons – Anthony Barr LB


The Falcons always seem to think that they're just one or two pieces away from a championship, and they try to fill those holes aggresively. Right now, their biggest needs are OLB and LT; so think about it, would they rather grab a tackle in the first round, and a pass rusher in the second, or the other way round? There aren't many good OLB's in this draft, but there are plenty of OT's. So at the end of the day, I think they'll grab Barr in the first, and wait for the second round for their lineman. Jake Matthews is still, obviously, a really attractive option.


7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Mike Evans WR


It doesn't matter who the QB's in Tampa are if they don't have enough weapons. Don't count out Matthews here either. This seems to be the consensus pick, even amongst Bucs fans.


8. Minnesota Vikings – Blake Bortles QB


I just think Bortles fits what Norv Turner would want in a QB. He's a big, athletic guy who will learn and frow in this offense. Don't completely rule out Teddy Bridgewater either. I know he has fallen, but in a lot of ways, Bridgewater would be a nice fit.


9. Buffalo Bills – Eric Ebron TE


I love the Bills on draft day, because they never really seem to care how others rank prospects, they just YOLO it and fill their biggest need, often reaching for it. Is it the best idea? Maybe not, but boy is it fun to watch. Priority number one right now in Buffalo is to surround EJ Manuel with talent. Ebron fits the bill.


10. Detroit Lions – Jake Matthews OT


I'm sure the Lions would love a WR to go alongside Megatron, but if Matthews falls to them, they are running to the podium. The Lions are a BPA team – remember how they picked Fairley even when they had Suh? Matthews is clearly the BPA here.


11. Tennessee Titans – Aaron Donald DT


I always take a look at different team forums and try and percieve whom the hot name is among different fan bases. Let me tell you Donald's name is SIZZLING hot. This guy is not going to drop very far if everything I've read is indicative of the NFL's excitement.


12. New York Giants – Taylor Lewan OT


The Giants are a BPA team and if you've been paying attention, it should be pretty obvious. This is the team that grabbed JPP and Kiwanuka in seperate drafts when they already had the best pass rush in pro football. Let's keep it simple here.


13. St. Louis RamsHasean Clinton-Dix S


The Rams need a safety, Seattle just won a superbowl with their DB's, and Ha Ha's a legitimate talent. Now all they need is a young OT to groom while they continue to evaluate Jake Long's health.


14. Chicago Bears – Calvin Pryor S


In my view, there are three positions that could be taken here – CB, S, or DT. Jernigan is still available, but I'm not sold on his explosiveness. Chicago's CB's are old, but not bad, and they can get a guy there in later rounds. S however has been an overlooked position in the windy city for a long time. I'm going with Pryor here.


15. Pittsburgh Steelers – Darqueze Dennard CB


Pittsburgh to me may be the most intruiging team in the first round. They have a mountain of needs and can pick from just about any position. It's a deep draft, so they may very well trade down, making a deal with Jim Harbaugh's 49ers right before his brother gets to pick. The reasons I didn't pull the trigger on this trade were threefold: 1) Kevin Colbert (the Steelers' GM) really believes that a rookie needs to be mentally mature for him to be successful, and this is (in his eyes) the most immature draft class in years. Would he really want to trade down to 30, just to roll the dice with guys like Hageman or Benjamin? Dennard has all the intagibles that you'd want in a player. 2) Dennard fits the Pittsburgh defense perfectly. 3) I think the 9ers can get a trade two picks later with the Cowboys, probably for a cheaper price. So yeah, Dennard goes to the steel city. Just as an aside, Dennard was another name I saw a lot of when I did my reasearch.


16. Baltimore Ravens – Justin Gilbert CB


I think this is a pretty perfect pick for Ozzie Newsome – Gilbert's one of the best players left on the board, it fills a big need, and he has that athelticism and production that all Ravens' first round picks seem to have.

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17. San Francisco 49ers from Dallas Cowboys – Bradley Roby CB


Bit early for Roby? Maybe, but I don't think the 9ers can wait any longer if they want to grab him. The Jets (who are only one pick below) love CB's. When Rex Ryan first got to New York, it's like they did nothing but stockpile CB's. There's no guarantee that Roby would make past pick 18. At the same time, the 9ers have a lot of picks – more picks than they need – and they have a big hole at CB. I'm pretty sure they'll trade up, for a CB or WR, it just depends on where they want to pick. More on the Cowboy's side of things later.


18. New York Jets – Odell Beckham Jr WR


I was so close to giving them Kyle Fuller, but decided against it last minute. Look, the Jets won't be afraid of drafting defense just because their offense is worse. They need to re-establish an identity, and defense is what Rex does best. Having said that, I don't think Fuller has the measurables that the Jets seem to love so much. Beckham does.


19. Miami Dolphins – Zach Martin OT


Oh Miami, you tried to fix your offensive line, but everything still blew up in your face. Yeah, I really can't see them drafting any other position. They tend to draft heavily for need, either way.


20. Arizona Cardinals – Dee Ford OLB


Bridgewater and Carr are still on the board if they want a QB to groom. However, this team's pretty damn close to making it with Carson Palmer. Remember, there aren't a lot of good pass rushers in this draft, but Dee Ford is one of them. With Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick setting a precedent, I think the Cardinals will wait for a QB.


21. Green Bay Packers – CJ Mosley ILB


The stars perfectly align for Green Bay. I think for a lot of Packer fans, Mosley would be their dream pick; some may even think it's a pipe dream. Well, maybe those hallucinations were really some sort of magic (just don't go selling your house or anything based on your 'visions').


22. Philadelphia Eagles – Kyle Fuller CB


I think the Eagles are most likely going to pick a CB, mostly because I don't like a lot of their 34 LB options. Fuller to me is a true wide card. His versatility makes him a valuable commodity.


23. Kansas City Chiefs – Xavier Su'a-Filo OG


A speedy WR would make sense, but as we all know, Andy Reid looooves drafting linemen. It's not like Alex Smith has a cannon arm to make the most out of a deep threat anyway.


24. Cincinnati Bengals – Ryan Shazier LB


In another draft, Shazier would have gone a lot earlier. The problem is that a lot of the teams from the middle of the first round are 34 teams, and I just don't think he has the bulk to play in a scheme like that. Put him in a 43 though and he can go sideline to sideline, he can cover TE's, and he can bring the heat in the odd blitzing situation.


25. San Diego Chargers – Jason Verrett CB


I'll admit, I'm not completely sold on this pick, but Charger fans seemed to love this guy. Well, CB is a big need, and the San Diego always seem to draft for need, so why not?


26. Cleveland Browns – Kelvin Benjamin WR


I think what Cleveland does with this pick will depend a lot on what they did with their earlier pick, and how much they had to give up if they traded. I think that Cleveland will grab a RB in the first 2 rounds. See, everyone says that RB's are getting devalued, but I'm not sure that special, feature backs are getting devalued. Look at what Marshawn Lynch did in Seattle, look at what Frank Gore did in San Fran, or what Peterson did in Minnesota two years ago – do you really think you can just get these guys later? Well it's possible of course, but a stud, feature back is still worth a first round pick. So, if the Browns got ripped off and gave up a 2nd rounder to move up, I think they'll grab Jeremy Hill or Carlos Hyde at 26. If they only gave up a 3rd round pick, then they can still grab that feature back in the 2nd. I'm going to be kind and assume that they'll only give a 3rd rounder, so I'm giving them Benjamin here – a size guy to go with Gordon's speed.


27. New Orleans Saints – Brandin Cooks WR


Sean Payton's an aggressive coach – he always wants to impose his will on the opponent. I really think he'll draft a WR here – more specifically, Cooks, Lee, or Beckham. I have Cooks going here because he's had less injuries than Lee, and he's produced for three years in college.


28. Carolina Panthers – Marqise Lee WR


Honestly, I was this close with giving them Timmy Jernigan. Dave Gettleman's from the Giants and he believes in drafting BPA. He's even said that if a 'blue goose' DT dropped to them, he wouldn't be afraid to pick him. I guess I just don't like Jernigan as much as others (not very explosive off the snap). Lee obviously fills a big need. Note that if Aaron Donald dropped to 28, that would be a different story. I would be willing to give them that guy (albeit begrudgingly). Other possibilities include Morgan Moses and Xavier Xu'a-Filo (how's that for another dark horse pick?).


29. Jacksonville Jaguars from New England Patriots – Teddy Bridgewater QB


Surprise (though I don't think it's a huge one)! This is a good year to trade down – there's just so much depth in this draft. If the Pats want a new TE to pair with Gronk, they can trade down a few spots and still have a lot of quality players to choose from. Amaro may be there, Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Troy Niklas... it's a pretty good group. The Jags on the other hand still need a QB, and Teddy Bridgewater on film reminded a lot of people of Russel Wilson – an athletic QB who makes good decisions. I just really like the fit there. This could end up being an absolute steal for Jacksonville.


30. Dallas Cowboys from San Francisco 49ers – Timmy Jernigan DT


OK, so here's how I see the Cowboys' situation. Jerry Jones is pot-committed to Romo. All personnel decisions are basically different investments, and right now, Tony's the biggest investment of them all in Dallas. Of course, the guy's in his 30's and will be coming off two back surgeries. So if you keep this in mind, what's the best move? To me, it makes the most sense to simultaneously 1) patch up the positional needs on your football team and hope that Romo's 100% when the season starts, and 2) to groom a young successor, in case Romo's not the answer for whatever reason. This seems like the route with the best ratio between risk and reward. Now, the Cowboys have a lot of needs, and that QB would still probably be a pretty high pick. Someone like Zach Mettenberger or Jimmy Garoppolo may fit the bill. So I think it makes sense for the Cowboys to trade down and acquire more day 2 picks. With that extra arsenal they can then manouvre around the later parts of the draft (or just stay put) and try to execute their gameplan. Got all that? Alright, back to the pick at hand. I think if the Cowboys trade down, they would be targetting guys like Hageman, Ealy, Shazier, or even Deone Bucannon. I told you that I'm not a huge fan of Jernigan, but he's as good as any of the other guys left, and he's a good value pick if you buy what the media is selling.


31. Denver Broncos – Morgan Moses OT


This pick is much simpler than the last. Peyton Manning got killed in the superbowl. The Broncos are all in right now, so I think they'll protect their multi-million dollar investment.


32. Seattle Seahawks – Allen Robinson WR


If they decide to go with a WR instead, I think they'll choose someone like Allen Robinson over Davante Adams, because the former has unique skills, whereas Adams is a jack of all trades, master of nothing.


That's all folks! Hope you liked it (or not, whatever).

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I could see it, they have a lot of money tied up at LT in Baker whom they're said to still be high on. What they don't have is a pass rush and Barr solves that riddle and allows them to take a RT later.

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I have disagreements, sure, but pie for the effort and for thinking through some of the picks.


I personally think Barr could be one of the "fallers" in round one and not go until Dallas or somewhere in that range.


As I have said many times.  I think there could be only 2 QB's taken in the first round.


I also think the top 3 OT's will be gone by pick 9

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I can't see Barr going top-6. I like his talent, but nobody can tell if he's more Von Miller or more Vernon Gholston. Solid effort though putting it together. If the cards fall this way, I think ATL trades back, and takes Ebron or Barr.

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Pie for the hard work. Just one question.

Why did the browns have to move up to 2 for manziel?(Who are they trying to get ahead of)?

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I highly doubt Cleveland needs to jump Jacksonville for Manziel.


I don't think so either, but rumors today are that St. Louis is interested in Manziel. Went to Texas last week and worked out Manziel, Matthews and Evans, apparently loved meeting Maziel. Even another rumor out they talked to Minnesota about Bradford. Could all be smoke; but as of Today, Rams are interested in Johnny Football

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Pie for the hard work. Just one question.

Why did the browns have to move up to 2 for manziel?(Who are they trying to get ahead of)?


Jacksonville, just to be safe. Kinda like how they moved up for T-Rich 2 years ago. Did they have to do it? Maybe, maybe not. But if you love a guy, it's better to be safe. It'll suck to miss out on your franchise QB just because you got a little greedy. They have the picks to do it, and that team actually has a lot of talent already.


Also, remember that the Rams may very well trade down. I don't believe they'll take a QB either, but the trade option is real, and there may always be a QB needy team trading up to get one.



Thanks for the feedback so fa. I was going to give the Panthers an eyebrow-raising pick, but I think I may have caved into the peer pressure :P. Part 2 is now up.

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