It is about that time of year where every single sports writer releases NFL Mock Drafts at what’s seems is almost a daily basis. Who am I to challenge the norm? It goes without saying, but this mock draft will merely be my opinion. There is need to freak out because I picked someone for your favorite team who you don’t think they should pick. However, I would love to hear your opinion, as long as it is civil, so please leave it in the comments section. In addition, I will only be doing the first round. I feel it becomes exhausting to guess what teams will do in the 4th round. By that point, most draft boards are already completely out of whack. To make sure the article isn’t too large, and too give each pick its proper explanation, I will be doing four picks per article. Without further ado, here is my first NFL Mock Draft.
With the first overall pick the Houston Texans select
QB Black Bortles out of UCF
Most people believe the Texans will go with a QB here the only question is which one. There are so many possibilities, but according to a leak by an executive from the Texans, Bortles is number one on their board as of now. Now this could be a ploy by the Texans, but they have the first pick anyway, so there really is no need for treachery. Unless they think they can get their rivals, the Jaguars, excited to think someone else might fall to them only to disappoint them during the draft, I see no reason to think this is a ploy. It is more likely that it is just a bogus report, but even if it is bogus, I still think Bortles is the right pick here.
Among all the QBs in the draft, Bortles seems to be the most accurate and intelligent player. He also fits new Texans coach Bill O’Brien’s style of offense the best out of the bunch. There are some serious character concerns with Johnny Manziel. I like Teddy Bridgewater, and while I could see him being the pick here, I think Bortles has the more upside in the NFL.
*Trade* Browns trade up to the second overall pick, and with it they select
Johnny Manziel, QB out of Texas A&M
The Browns are desperate, they need to do something drastic. Trading up to draft the much criticized Manziel seems like the perfect move to at least get people talking and interested in their team. I am not sure what they will give the Rams to move up from the 4th overall pick to the 2nd, but I think Browns will find a way. I honestly wouldn’t even be surprised to see the Browns give up the first round pick they got from the Colts to move up. It seems a bit excessive, but the Rams managed to get multiple first round picks from the Redskins to make the exact same move. The Browns missed their chance to get Robert Griffin then, they may not be willing to take that chance again.
Manziel may be the best QB out of this class, he may also be a complete bust. At this point the Browns are probably willing to take that chance. It just seems to make sense. You have a desperate tem in the Browns who needs a franchise QB, and a team very willing to trade down in the Rams.
With the third overall, pick the Jaguars select…
Teddy Bridewater, QB out of Louisville
Yet another team desperate for a QB. Also surprisingly, another AAC Player selected in the top five, which was probably the worst conference in college football. As a Rutgers Student, I have witnessed Bridgewater in action a few times, and I am impressed. His tools could use some polishing, but his attitude and work ethic are exactly what you want from an NFL QB. In a game against Rutgers that was to decide who got to go to a BCS Bowl Game, Bridgewater made what was a top 10 defense that year look silly. He played that game despite a broken wrist, and a sprained ankle.
Abilities wise, he could use a little work, but the talent is there. Put him on a team who has a WR group with potential, and he could look like a good NFL QB. He may not ever be among the best, but he will be good enough to get you there provided there is a well-built team around him. A smart coach like Gus Bradley could really benefit with a consistent player like Bridgewater on his team.
*Trade* Falcons move up to the fourth overall pick to select
Jadeveon Clowney, DE out of the University of South Carolina
Rams trade down again because they see that at least one of their top two options will be available at the 6th overall pick, so why not trade down again and stock up on picks. With only one more pick before they go, either Sammy Watkins or Jake Matthews will be available, so there is little risk in moving down again.
For the Falcons, they get possibly the best player in the draft. Clowney is a QB nightmare, with a deadly combo of strength and speed. Falcons are fortunate enough to be a team with a high pick that already has a solid core, at least on offense. The defense is suspect, and the best way to fix a struggling D is to add a new pass rusher. They will still need to fix the secondary after this pick, but the addition of Clowney already makes that defense much better.