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Grading Each Pick of the first round of the NFL Draft

1. Houston Texans – Jadeveon Clowney

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Grade: A

Due to the Texans multitude of flaws, they could have gone in many different directions. Although the Texans could have picked a quarterback, Clowney was the best player on the board and should be dominant player for the next 10 to 15 years. Although the quarterback is the most important player on the field, a pass rusher is the most important defensive player because of the pressure Clowney can apply on Luck or any other top quarterback.The combination of Clowney and JJ Watt was too impressive for the Texans to pass up.


2. St. Louis Rams – Greg Robinson

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Grade: B+

Before the draft, many experts believed that Robinson was the second best player and the best offensive player in the draft. Although Robinson should be a Pro Bowler and possibly All-Pro player in the future, the Rams spent a lot of money on Roger Stafford and Jake Long, two offensive tackles, the last two offseasons. The Rams already had a decent offensive line while their wide receivers severely lack talent or size. Although the Rams selected Tavon Austin in the first round last year, they desperately need a number one wide receiver for Sam Bradford and Sammy Watkins would have been a great selection.


3. Jacksonville Jaguars – Blake Bortles

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Grade: A-

Although many believe that Johnny Manziel was the best quarterback in the draft, Bortles was my favorite quarterback in the draft. Bortles has the size, arm, and agility to be a successful quarterback in the league. Since Bortles is raw, he should sit for the first few games behind Henne and learn the speed of the game. The Jaguars did a great job later in the draft by selecting talented wide receivers like Marqise Lee and Allan Robinson who will give Bortles weapons on the outside. Although the first season may be rough, the trio of Bortles, Lee, and Robinson should thrive and lead the Jaguars to respectability.


4. Buffalo Bills – Sammy Watkins

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Grade: A-

The Bills made a bold move by trading two first round picks and a fourth for Sammy Watkins.  The Bills desperately need more weapons on the outside for EJ Manuel, but it is unknown if Manuel can be a future franchise quarterback. However, Watkins will significantly help because he is a star receiver. Watkins is big, strong, and fast and was considered the best wide receiver in this loaded draft. Watkins will be a future number one receiver in Buffalo and should be a lock for 1,000 yards and 8 touchdowns every season.


5. Oakland Raiders – Khalil Mack

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Grade: A

The Raiders have been extremely active this offseason with the picks that they owned and the tens of millions of dollars in free cap room. Many believed that Mack was the second best player in the draft because he has the ability to rush the passer and make big plays. Although he is from a small school, Buffalo, he showed that he could compete against the power conference schools when he dominated Ohio State in Columbus. Like Clowney, Mack has great speed and size, which will make him a terror along with Justin Tuck and Lamarr Woodley.


6. Atlanta Falcons – Jake Matthews

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Grade: A

The Falcons were in the discussion to trade up for Mack or Clowney, but decided to stay at six and rebuild their offensive line. Matthews was the second best lineman in the draft that boasted many talented players. Although the Falcons need more physicality on the defensive line, they needed to bolster their offensive line so that Matt Ryan will have time to throw to his skilled wide outs and they did not want to be the worst running team in the league for the second straight season. With the combination of Matthews, White, Ryan, and Jones, the Falcons offense should once again become one of the top five offenses in the league.


7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Mike Evans

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Grade: A-

The Buccaneers are hoping that their offense can resemble the Bears’ offense that almost led them to the playoffs, even without a capable defense. The Buccaneers have one of the best receiving cores in the league with Evans, Jackson, and Jenkins, which should give McCown plenty of options when he does not hand the ball off to Doug Martin. If the Bucs finally find a franchise quarterback in the next 2-3 years, he will not have to worry about weapons because Evans has the potential to be a number one wide receiver with his size and ability to catch the ball in traffic.


8. Cleveland Browns – Justin Gilbert

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Grade: B-

The Browns have a desperate need at wide receiver, but passed on three very talented wide receivers with their first pick in the first round. The Browns originally held the fourth pick and could have drafted Mike Evans or Sammy Watkins. After they traded down to 9 and then traded up to 8, they had the opportunity to draft Odell Beckham Jr, the talented wide receiver from LSU. Although Gilbert is a good cornerback, he does not tackle well and he should have been drafted in the mid teens. The Browns already have a great corner in Joe Haden, who they recently locked up for a long term deal.


9. Minnesota Vikings – Anthony Barr

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Grade: B

The Vikings, like the Browns, reach with their first first round pick. Although Barr is a very good pass rusher and could become a quality replacement for Jared Allen, he does not have many  other talents besides pass rushing. Barr does not have the ability to take on blockers and stop the run or cover running backs on the outside in passing plays. Although Barr started as a top ten talent, many experts felt that he should have fell into the twenties. Aaron Donald would have been a better pick for the Vikings because he has the ability to apply pressure up the middle and stop the run. Donald could have become a great replacement for the Williams duo, which clogged the middle in Minnesota for nearly a decade.


10. Detroit Lions – Eric Ebron

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Grade: B

Although the Lions needed a pass catcher, they should have drafted a wide receiver instead of a tight end. Ebron will provide the Lions with another talented player, but they need a player with more heart and leadership. Although Ebron has great hands and the ability to run routes, Odell Beckham would have been a better selection. The Lions used a first round pick a few years ago on Brandon Pettigrew, but he has failed to live up to expectations since entering the league. The Lions desperately have a need in the secondary and should have used the tenth pick on a safety like Clinton Dix or a corner like Dennard.


11. Tennessee Titans – Taylor Lewan

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Grade: B

The Titans decided to draft the best player available on the board, but it was at the position where they have the most depth. The Titans already have 4 quality starters at guard and tackle that are signed to long term deals. If the Titans find a way to trade Michael Roos or Michael Oher or move one of their guards to center, the pick will receive an A because Lewan is a great player and should be a staple on the line for the next decade. The Titans should have drafted Dennard or CJ Mosley because they have needs at both linebacker and corner.


12. New York Giants – Odell Beckham Jr

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Grade: A

The Giants made a great pick with Odell Beckham Jr. After the loss of Hakeem Nicks, Eli and the Giants desperately needed a big play wide receiver that can score and move the chains. Beckham is a great route runner with very good hands. Under the tutelage of Cam Cameron, Beckham Jr significantly grew as a wide receiver and showed teams that he can separate from corners and win jump balls. Along with his skills as a wide receiver, Odell will serve as the kick return man and a punt returner because he has great speed and the ability to allude tackles.


13. St. Louis Rams – Aaron Donald

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Grade: A

With the addition of Aaron Donald, the Rams probably have the best defensive line in the league. Along with Chris Long and Robert Quinn, Donald has the ability to rush the passer. However, Donald will be different than the other two because he will apply pressure up the middle while the other two are pass rushers from the outside. In the NFC West with teams that have the ability run, Donald is important because he is a big body that can stuff the line and clog running lanes. Although the Rams needed a wide receiver, they did not have a good option at 13.


14. Chicago Bears – Kyle Fuller

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Grade: B

The Bears desperately needed to improve the defense because last season they could not stop one offense the whole season.  However, the best part of the defense was their cornerbacks with Tim Jennings and Charles Tillman, although they are on the wrong side of 30. If the Bears wanted a corner, they should have drafted Dennard because I felt that he was the best corner in the draft. The Bears should have taken a linebacker or a safety like Clinton Dix or Pryor. The addition of a stud safety would have drastically improve the defense, especially the pass defense. The safety would have helped with their run defense as well, which was putrid.


15. Pittsburgh Steelers – Ryan Shazier

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Grade: B

The Steelers have always liked to have great players at linebacker and they believe that Shazier has the talent to become the next great Steelers’ linebacker. However, Shazier was a reach for the Steelers at 15. Most draft experts felt that he would fall into the late 20 because he does not have ideal size and strength for a linebacker. Shazier will be a competent starter because he has a consistent motor, great speed, and agility. Shazier will provide pressure with his speed, but occasionally is overwhelmed by tackles who are able to counteract his speed. CJ Mosley would have been a better selection because he has good size for a linebacker and the instincts to thrive under Dick LeBeau.


16. Dallas Cowboys – Zach Martin

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Grade: A-

Although many wanted the Cowboys to draft Johnny Manziel and “break” the internet, they made the smart decision and drafted Zach Martin. Although Dallas can use more help on defense, Martin is a very good offensive line that can play any position on the line. Martin could play guard this season, but switch over to tackle next year if the team decides to part ways with right tackle Doug Free. Over the past few years, the Boys have been selecting linemen high in the draft and should have one of the best in the league next year. Martin may be the most NFL ready offensive lineman because he played so many games for the Irish under Brian Kelly.


17. Baltimore Ravens – CJ Mosley

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Grade: A-

The Ravens are undergoing a major transition and they need a new leader in the middle of the defense. Although nobody will be like Ray Lewis, Mosley has the leadership and talent to become a successful player for the next 10 years. Although Mosley does not have the pass rushing ability, he has great instincts and is a tackling machine in the middle of the defense. Mosley has been taught by the best defensive coach in college football and has great fundamentals and rarely misses the easy plays. Another major question mark is Mosley’s health issue. Mosley plays with great tenacity, but it leads him to constant injuries.


18. New York Jets – Calvin Pryor

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Grade: A-

The Jets desperately needed help at wide receiver and in the secondary. Although corner was a more urgent, the addition of Pryor will significantly improve the Jets secondary because Pryor has great physicality and talent to cover wide receivers and tight ends. Pryor plays with great intensity and should be a great player for Rex Ryan and his defense. The Jets would have received an A if they drafted Dennard because Dennard has the ability to be a number one corner due to his good size and physicality.


19. Miami Dolphins – Ja’Wuan James

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Grade: C+

The Dolphins’ pick was the right position, but the wrong player with their first pick. Although the Dolphins desperately needed a offensive lineman because they allowed the most sacks and pressure this season, James was at most a second round pick. The Dolphins should have selected Cyrus Kouandijo or Morgan Moses because they both have more talent and future in the NFL. Although James will help the Dolphins’ offensive line, the Dolphins could have selected better players.


20. New Orleans Saints – Brandin Cooks

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Grade: A-

The Saints lost Darren Sproles this offseason and needed a new player with great speed and versatility. Although Cooks will not run the ball like Sproles, he was one of the fastest wide receivers in the draft and exploded for the Oregon State Beavers this season. Cooks will be great for the Saints because he can separate from corners on the Superdome’s turf. Cooks will make the Saints’ offense even more explosive because he can turn a 10 yard pass into a 80 yard gain. Along with being a wide receiver, Cooks can become a game changer as a punt returner and kick returner.


21. Green Bay Packers – Ha Ha Clinton Dix

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Grade: A

The Packers received great value with the 21st overall pick when they drafted Clinton Dix. Clinton Dix should be a great player for the next decade in Green Bay because he has good feet and quickness. Although Clinton Dix occasionally misses tackles, he plays an aggressive style of defense that allows him to make plays and become a game changer. Dix has very good size, 6-1, which allows him to guard the taller and more physical wide receivers and tight ends, while his speed enables him to cover slot receivers.


22. Cleveland Browns – Johnny Manziel

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Grade: A-

Outside of Tim Tebow, Johnny Manziel is the most polarizing NFL player in the last decade. Due to Manziel’s unique style of play, many experts have conflicting beliefs about his success at the next level. Although Manziel was good value as the 22nd selection, he will not have a chance to meet expectations without adequate weapons around him. Without Josh Gordon, the Browns do not have a wide receiver that can spread the field or win the one-one matchups on the outside. Also, Manziel must learn that he cannot continue to play with the same reckless abandon as his days in college. Although the pick is risky, the Browns did not have another option as they hope to leave the NFL’s cellar.


23. Kansas City Chiefs – Dee Ford

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Grade: C+

The Chiefs possessed one of the most feared defenses in the league before the loss of Justin Houston and Tamba Hali. However, they both are expected to return, which makes the addition of Dee Ford a question mark. Although the team had major question marks at corner and wide receiver, they decided to take a player to add to their best unit. The Chiefs had numerous options at corner and wide receiver. Besides Bowe, who was a no show last season, Alex Smith does not have any weapons on the outside. Marqise Lee or Allan Robinson would have been great fits in Kansas City. Although Ford is a good player, he was a reach at 23 and it is unlikely that he will see the field very often because he has the same skill set as Hali and Houston.


24. Cincinnati Bengals – Darqueze Dennard

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Grade: A

In terms of value, the Bengals may have received the most for their selection. The Bengals were able to draft the best player on the board and fill a desperate need at the same time. Many experts felt that Dennard was the best corner in the draft and had the attributes to become a shut down corner and a leader for a defense, although he was the third corner selected. Dennard has great coverage skills, which allows him to play on an island like Revis. Dennard does not have great speed and has not played much zone defense, which could hurt his transition into the NFL.


25. San Diego Chargers – Jason Verrett

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Grade: A-

Like the Bengals, the Chargers were able to fill a need while drafting one of the best players available on the board. Since they are in a division with Peyton Manning, the Chargers need as many quality cornerbacks as possible. Jason Verrett should be a quality corner in the future because he has great speed and instincts to play the slot receiver. Unlike the other corners, Verrett may have to solely cover slot or smaller receivers because of his size, 5-9. Although he excels at staying with receivers and finding the football in the air, he will be unable to win the 50-50 balls against the likes of Bowe or Thomas.


26. Philadelphia Eagles – Marcus Smith

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Grade: C+

Although Marcus Smith was projected as a second round pick by many, he slid into the first round because of his ability to rush the passer. Although he may be too big to be an outside linebacker, but too small to be an end, he was able to produce solid numbers at USC. However, the Eagles could have made better use of their pick if they selected a corner like Bradley Roby. The Eagles had one of the worst passing defenses in the league last season because their corners did not have the talent to match up against opposing wide receivers. Although Robey has off the field issues, he is an extraordinary talent that could have helped the Eagles win the division for a second straight season.


27. Arizona Cardinals – Deone Bucannon

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Grade: B

Although Bucannon was a reach in the first round and the Cardinals could have used an offensive lineman like Morgan Moses, Bucannon is a quality player. Like Pryor, Bucannon plays extremely physical which occasionally works against him due to the new NFL rules. Bucannon has good size, 6-1,  210 pounds, and speed, which allows him to hit opposing receivers and running backs with a lot of force. Bucannon should prove to be a good cover safety as he compiled 6 picks last season.


28. Carolina Panthers – Kelvin Benjamin

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Grade: B+

Kelvin Benjamin will likely be a boom or bust player for the Panthers. Benjamin has a great physique, 6-5, 240 which allows to him to catch jump balls. Along with his size, Benjamin has very good speed, which enables him to get behind corners. Without a number one receiver in Carolina, Benjamin should assume the position fairly quickly and become an instant favorite of Cam Newton. Although Benjamin has all the talent and physical attributes to become a star, he needs more consistency and manage his errors. If Kelvin can master the small nuances of playing wide receiver, he will be a steal at 28.


29. New England Patriots – Dominique Easley

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Grade: B-

Although Easley started the season as a top 15 talent, constant injuries and inconsistent performances made him a projected 3rd round pick. During the 2012-2013 season at Florida, Easley showed flashes of greatness because he has great upper body strength and speed up the middle. Due to the Patriots depth at defensive tackle, Easley will be able to sit most of the season and recover from his torn ACL, which he suffered this season. Easley was a questioning pick for the Patriots because they are a win now team, but he is unlikely to make an impact until 2015.


30. San Francisco 49ers – Jimmie Ward

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Grade: A-

The San Francisco 49ers are attempting to mimic their rivals from the Northwest by compiling as many talented secondary players as possible. For the second straight season, the 49ers drafted a safety in the first round. Although he does not have the same skill, he will be a valuable asset because of his ability to play all over the football field. In today’s NFL with gargantuan wide receivers and tight ends, Ward will be needed to cover these monsters over the middle of the field.


31. Denver Broncos – Bradley Roby

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Grade: A-

Before the season started, many experts believed that Roby was going to be the first corner off of the board and a top ten pick. In terms of talent and physical gifts, Roby may be the best corner in the draft. He has good height, 5-11, long arms, great timing, and extraordinary speed. However, Roby frequently allowed his opponent to catch underneath passes. Bradley should learn to play bump and run coverage so he can maximize his speed and skill. If Roby can improve his agility and become a more engaged player, the Broncos should have a shut down corner along with Talib.


32. Minnesota Vikings – Teddy Bridgewater

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Grade: A

If it had not been for his poor pro day and the delayed draft, Bridgewater would have likely fell inside the top ten. Although Bridgewater does not have the ceiling like Manziel or Bortles, he is least likely to become a bust. During his days at Louisville, he showed off his great accuracy and adequate arm strength. Like other top quarterbacks, Bridgewater has a quick release and has the ability to recognize defenses and audible at the line of scrimmage. Although Bridgewater will never become a top 7 quarterback in the league, he should be an above average starter for a playoff caliber team, if he can receive weapons to go along with Adrian Peterson.


Pics and Stats from ESPN.com

NFL Mock Draft 1.0

1. Houston Texans – Jadeveon Clowney

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The Texans were the biggest disappointment this season in the NFL because they have extraordinary amount of talent. However, after winning the first two games, the Texans went on a 14 game losing streak and claimed the first overall pick. The reason why the Texans faltered was the play from their quarterbacks Matt Schaub and Case Keenum. While Case is young, he does not look like a future franchise quarterback. Matt has been in the league for many years and this season was the worst season of his career. Schaub does not have the skill to lead such a talented team. The 14 game losing streak lost Gary Kubiak his job and he was replaced by Bill O’Brien. Bill has been known as a quarterback guru during his time with the Nittany Lions and Patriots. However, many believe there is not a franchise quarterback in the draft. Although Bortles, Bridgewater, and Manziel have talent and could be franchise quarterbacks, they all have major flaws that should keep teams concerned during the draft. Instead of drafting a possible star at quarterback, the Texans should draft a sure fire star in Jadeveon Clowney. Clowney is a freak of nature that has speed, power, and strength. Clowney should be an instant star in the league because unlike other college players he is already the same size as many of the professional pass rushers. With the turf in Falcons, Clowney should dominate the run and record at least 10 sacks per year from the start of his career. In his prime, he may become a 15+ sack man with his speed, skill, and size. The combination of JJ Watt and Jadeveon Clowney would be a nightmare for any starting quarterback and offensive coordinator. In today’s pass happy NFL, defenses need to provide pressure on the quarterback in order to disrupt offenses and create turnovers. Although it will be difficult to pass on a quarterback at number one, the Texans should not allow Clowney to fall past number one in the draft.

2. St. Louis Rams – Greg Robinson (via Washington Redskins)

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After trading their pick two year’s ago, the Rams were fortunate that the Redskins were the second worst team in the league last year. The Rams are a young team with talent and a bountiful of draft picks in the upcoming draft. The Rams are desperately in need of help on the offense line and wide receiver. If the Rams cannot trade the pick and move down a few spots in the first round, they will either draft Greg Robinson or Sammy Watkins. The Rams need to protect Sam Bradford in order to evaluate if he can be the future quarterback of the team. Although Robinson will not provide the splashy plays like Watkins, he will provide the Rams with a rock on the offensive line that should be able to protect the quarterback for the next 10-15 years in the NFL. Robinson has risen lately up the draft board because of his physical skills and talent. If he continues to impress scouts he may be able to become the number one pick, although it is unlikely. If the Rams do not like Robinson or Watkins at this selection and can move down to 6-10, they may still have the chance to grab one of these players if they fall in the draft. The combination of Robinson and Long on the both sides of the line may be too enticing for the Rams to pass on if they believe Bradford can be the quarterback of the future.

3. Jacksonville Jaguars – Blake Bortles

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The Jacksonville Jaguars have occupied the abyss of the NFL for the past few seasons and desperately need a franchise quarterback. The Jaguars are the most irrelevant team in the NFL because they are annually one of the worst teams in the NFL and draw the least amount of fans. Over the past few seasons, they have been unable to draft and groom a quarterback to excite the fan base and win games. Their last experiment, Blaine Gabbert, was an extreme bust and they recently traded him for a sixth round pick to the San Francisco 49ers. However, the Jaguars may be in luck this time because their are a few quarterbacks that can change the fortune of their franchise, Bortles, Bridgwater, and Manziel. Although one or even possibly both of them may be gone at three, they will have a chance to draft one of the top three quarterbacks. If Bortles slips to the Jaguars at three, the Jags should not hesitate before drafting the quarterback. Although Bortles may be the most raw quarterback of the bunch, he has the most potential because of his stature and ability. Bortles has prototypical size for a quarterback, has a huge arm, and has the ability to scramble for yards and escape pressure. Bortles would be a great pick for the Jaguars as long as they can give him weapons later in the draft and in free agency.

4. Cleveland Browns – Teddy Bridgewater

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The Browns, like the other teams ahead of them, are in need of a quarterback that can provide excite and stability to a team that has given their fans neither over the past few seasons.  Although some are reporting that the Browns will not take a quarterback with the first of the their two first round picks, they desperately need someone that can play well and score points. In the first day of free agency, they added Karlos Dansby and Donte Whitner to improve their defense. Unless the Browns believe that Brian Hoyer is the answer at quarterback from the three games he played before injury, they must select a quarterback in the first round with their first draft choice. By the number 4 pick, it is likely that at least one of the quarterbacks will be gone. However, it does not mean that they will be out of luck. Teddy Bridgewater would be a great selection for the Browns. Bridgewater is the most refined quarterback of the trio and should have the most success among the three during his first season. Although Bridgewater does not have the ceiling like Manziel or Bortles because he does not possess the same athleticism, he has the highest floor, which means he will not be horrible with the Browns. At worst, Bridgewater should be a middle of the road quarterback that could lead the Browns to a few playoff appearances with a good supporting cast around him. Although it is unlikely that he will become one of the five best quarterbacks in the league, he should be a top 15 quarterback with similar success like a Tony Romo, Jay Cutler, Mathew Stafford, and quarterbacks of that ilk.

5. Oakland Raiders – Johnny Manziel

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Johnny Manziel is the most polarizing prospect in the NFL since Tim Tebow a few seasons ago. Johnny ability to achieve such great success on the field while running into some trouble off the field made him a household name around America. Manziel is an interesting prospect because of his unorthodox playing style. Unlike most quarterbacks, Manziel is short, under 6 foot, and is fairly like for a quarterback, around 200 pounds. However, his playmaking speed and knack for making big plays made him a great collegiate football player. Although many believe he is not big enough to play in the NFL, many think that his intellect and instincts will allow him to become one of the most fascinating and successful quarterbacks in the league.  Manziel has the potential to be one of the better quarterbacks in the NFL, if he can transition his game from college. Over the past year, Manziel has improved his passing game from the pocket, which will be huge for him if he wants to succeed. Manziel’s offseason work with his quarterback coach should help him improve his comfort inside the pocket so he is more willing to look for his second or third option, instead of running the ball if the number one option is covered. Manziel must learn to slide or get out of bounds if he is going to stay healthy for an entire season in Oakland. If Manziel can improve his weaknesses and transition into a NFL style quarterback, he may become the best quarterback in the draft. Although the Raiders have a young quarterback in Terrelle Pryor, he is not a future star and the Raiders should look toward Manziel, if he is around a 5, to lead them in the future. The Raiders have a proud and strong fan base that desperately wants to win quickly. If the Raiders can put together a strong draft and sign players with their $60 million of cap space, they have enough talent to compete for the last wild card position in the AFC.

6. Atlanta Falcons – Khalil Mack

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The Falcons were one of the most underachieving teams in the NFL because they had numerous injuries and the defense was horrendous. The two previous seasons, the Falcons were championship contenders because they had a great offense and the defense was respectable. However, last season, the Falcons’ offense fell as Jones and White hurt themselves and Steven Jackson was unable to carry the load in the running game. On defense, the Falcons were no longer respectable because they could not rush the passer and the secondary was not good enough to top the opposing offenses. However, this offseason, the Falcons have already made a push to improve their defense by signing Tyson Jackson and Paul Soliai. These additions will improve their pass rush and stop opposing rushing games. However, the Falcons need a pass rusher from the outside. Although the are not high enough to select Clowney, they can still receive Mack. Although Mack did not compete against great competition at Buffalo, he has great skill and size, which should make him a great pass rusher in the NFL. With the turf in Atlanta, Mack’s speed should be heightened and he should disrupt offenses. Mack should eventually become a double digit sack man for the Falcons, which they have not had since John Abrahams in his prime. The Falcons will not longer have to sign stop gaps on the defensive line like Umenyiora.

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Sammy Watkins

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The Bucs have made a lot of moves this offseason, but they still have a lot of needs. Last season, the Bucs were lead at quarterback by Mike Glennon, who played okay at the position for a rookie. However, they recently signed Josh McCown, who had a great season last year with Chicago and should bring a quality arm to Tampa. If McCown is going to succeed like in Chicago, he will need weapons at wide receiver. Last year, he had Jeffrey and Marshall. Currently in Tampa they only have Vincent Jackson, but the addition of Sammy Watkins would add another great wide receiver. Watkins has the potential to be one of the best wide receivers in the league. Although the Bucs do not have a great need for wide receiver, they cannot afford to pass up Watkins at 7 because he has the potential to go as high as 2 to the Rams. Since he bursted onto the scene as a freshman at Clemson, Watkins has amazed fans and scouts because of his skill, speed, and size. Watkins is clearly the number one receiver in the draft and has been compared to receivers such as AJ Green and Julio Jones. If the Bucs can add Watkins, the Bucs will have a new weapon that will drastically improve their offense and possibly lead them to the playoffs in the difficult NFC South. If the Bucs choose to go a different route, they may select an offensive lineman.

8. Minnesota Vikings – Anthony Barr

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The Minnesota Vikings were a playoff team the season before, but last year they were one of the worst in the league. The Vikings’ defense must improve since their offense does not have a quality quarterback, many weapons at wide receiver, and Adrian Peterson cannot run forever. Since there is not a great quarterback on the board at 8, the Vikes should look at the defensive side of the ball in order to improve their team. After a few great seasons in Minnesota, Jared Allen will be leaving the Twin Cities. Allen has been one of the best pass rushers in the league over the last decade. The Vikings need to reproduce his production and Anthony Barr has the ability to help Vikings’ fans forget about Allen. Barr is an extremely fast and talent pass rusher that should succeed immediately in the NFL. Like Clowney and Mack, Barr should be at least a 10 sack man in the NFL and should be a dominant pass rusher over the next decade. If the Vikings do not select Barr, they may look at an offensive lineman, like Matthews, trade down, or reach for a quarterback like Derek Carr.

9. Buffalo Bills – Jake Matthews

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The Bills have been improving over the past few seasons and will be looking to make the next step this season or the following season. EJ Manuel looked like a quality quarterback for the Bills last season when he was healthy. However, this situation was rare because their offensive line was not very good and he was consistently hit by opposing defenders. The Bills need to improve their offensive line so that they can keep Manuel upright in the pocket and provide lanes for Spiller and Jackson on the ground. Until Manuel becomes more experienced, the running game must lead the Bills’ offense if they want to score and win games. Jake Matthews should be the guy for the Bills because he will help solidify the line. Like Greg Robinson, Matthews is a big, strong, and talented lineman that should be able to play for the Bills for the next decade. If the Bills do not go for an offensive lineman, they may look for a tight end or a linebacker like Barr or Mack if one of them fall to them at number 9.

10. Detroit Lions – Justin Gilbert

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The Detroit Lions have an extreme amount of talent and should be able to be perennial playoff contender because they have talent at almost every position. The Lions have a very good offense because they have a good quarterback, wide receiver, offensive line, and running back. The Lions need to stop recording turnovers if they are going to become a great offense. On defense, they have great players on the defensive line, which helps them apply pressure on the quarterback. However, they need a better secondary and linebackers. By drafting Justin Gilbert, the Lions will be able to solidify one of their cornerback positions. Gilbert was great last season with the Oklahoma State Cowboys and should be able to excel in the NFL. Gilbert has great size, speed, and hands, which allows him to make plays in the secondary. Gilbert should intercept numerous balls because of the pressure provided by the defensive line. Besides Gilbert, the Lions may look at the wide receiver position if they do not sign one during free agency.

11. Tennessee Titans – Darqueze Dennard

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Until Jake Locker was lost for the season due to a shoulder injury against Mo Wilkerson and the Jets, the Titans were playing great football because they were forcing turnovers without giving the ball away too often. Although the Titans desperately need another running back since they want to release Chris Johnson, there are no first round running backs for the Titans. The Titans need some help at the skill positions, which may allow them to draft a wide receiver or an offensive lineman. However, if the Titans are going to continue recording turnovers, the Titans need to grab a corner. This offseason, the Titans already lost their star corner Verner, who was an interception machine. Dennard has great speed and should be able to cover the best wide receivers in the AFC South. With the wide receivers on the Colts and Texans, the Titans must have enough corners that can defend all the different wide receiving options. If Locker can put everything together this year in a make or break year for himself, the Titans may have a chance to beat out the Colts for a playoff position in the AFC.

12. New York Giants – Taylor Lewan

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Although the Giants entered the 2013 season with a lot of hope and hype, they never were able to play at their full potential. Thus, the team lost many games and finished the season under 500. The Giants offense was suppose to be one of the best in the league with two great wide receivers , a Hall of Fame quarterback, and a young fast running back. However, everything failed as the offensive line was unable to protect for Eli Manning or create running lanes for the running backs. Unfortunately, the team became one dimensional, but their passing game was not very effective because Manning was consistently rushed and he could not find open receivers, which resulted in one of his worst seasons as a professional. Although the Giants improved their interior line with a few cheap free agents, they need a young tackle opposite Justin Pugh, 2013 first round pick, to create stability on the line. The Giants could put Lewan, one of the best prospects in this draft on the left side and slide Beatty to one of the guard positions. Lewan is a big and fast offensive lineman that should be able to succeed at the next level. Since his early days at Michigan, he has been regarded as one of the top tackles and linemen in the whole country. At 12, the Giants would be drafting a quality player in Taylor Lewan. If they decide to go a different route, they could draft CJ Mosley, a middle linebacker, since their linebacker play has been subpar over the past few seasons.

13. St. Louis Rams – Mike Evans

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After drafting an offensive lineman with their first pick, the Rams need to address their wide receiving issue with their second first round pick. Since the departure of Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce, the Rams have not had a wide receiver that put fear into opposing secondaries around the league. Although Bradford has not experienced much success during his time in the NFL, he has not been given many weapons to use at his disposal. The addition of Mike Evans would give the Rams a future number one receiver that will excel in the red zone and be great for the quarterback. Mike has great size which allows him to jump over opposing wide receivers and gives Bradford a huge target. Evans had a great combine, which propelled him into a top 15 prospect and possibly a top 10 draft pick. Although Evans will never have the break away speed, he will be very good for the Rams, who desperately need playmakers to complement Tavon Austin, last year first round pick and a major disappointment.

14. Chicago Bears – Aaron Donald

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The Bears were only one game from making the playoffs last season, but they did not have the defense to win that game. Last year, the Bears were a juggernaut on offense because they had talent at every position. The Bears had a very good running, a solid quarterback, and one of the best wide receiver duos in the NFL. The Bears offense was rarely held to under 25 points, but their defense barely stopped their opponents from scoring 25 points. The Bears biggest problem was the inability to stop the run. The Bears linebackers were horrible because of the loss of Urlacher and Briggs. Along with the poor linebackers, the Bears interior defense was not very effective. The addition of Aaron Donald would be a great addition for the Bears. Donald is a fast rising player that should be the number one defensive tackle taken in this year draft. Donald was one of the best lineman last season and should be able to continue his success in the NFL because of his skill and play making ability.

15. Pittsburgh Steelers – Odell Beckham Jr.

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After starting the season with multiple losses, the Steelers played great football for the last half of the season and they almost made the playoffs. The Steelers offense has been changing from a ground and pound team to a team that throws the ball all over the field. The Steelers may be losing a few of their secondary wide receiver weapons. The Steelers will need more wide receiver options if they are going to continue their great offense. Currently, the Steelers have a great wide receiver in Antonio Brown, but they do not have another great option for Big Ben. The addition of Odell Beckham will give the Steelers another physically gifted and talented wide receiver. Odell had a great combine, which boosted his draft stock. Odell has size and speed to be a number one or a top number two in the league. In college, Beckham showed that he could run the deep routes and the interior routes around the middle of the field. If the Steelers do not want a wide receiver, they could reach for a corner or offensive lineman or draft a tight end.

16. Dallas Cowboys – Timmy Jernigan

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The Dallas Cowboys have been one of the most consistent teams over the past few seasons. However, they have been a consistent 8-8 team and have not made the playoffs in many seasons. The reason the Cowboys faltered was because of their horrible defense. The Cowboys’ defense was one of the worst in NFL history last season because they could not stop anyone on the ground or in the air. The Cowboys need to add at lot of talent on defense through the draft and free agency. The Boys desperately need a new defensive tackle if they cannot resign Jason Hatcher in the offseason. Jason Hatcher was great for the Cowboys last season and was their best player. The Cowboys also lost DeMarcus Ware, which means they need more talented bodies on the line to create pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Jernigan is one of the most talented defensive players in this class because he has one of the best bodies and physical skill in the draft. Although Jernigan may be a bust according to many draft experts, the Cowboys need to take a risk on this player because they need a defensive leader and star on the line, after the departure of Ware.

17. Baltimore Ravens – CJ Mosley

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The Ravens were one of the multiple of teams that could have made the playoffs during the last week of the playoffs. After the Ravens won the Super Bowl, they lost many players on defense that caused their team to not make the playoffs for the first time in the Flacco-Harbaugh era. The Ravens lost Ray Lewis and have been unable to replace his spirit and product on defense from the linebacker position. Unlike previous Raven defenses, the Ravens did not strike fear into their opponents and did not force their opponents to be one dimensional. The addition of a top linebacker will help the Ravens become a top run defense again. Mosley would instantly become the starting interior linebacker and could drastically improve the Ravens defense. Mosley was a standout defender on the Alabama defense, which was the best in the country. Mosley was taught by Saban, one of the best defensive coaches in football. Although Mosley may not have the same effect as Luke Kuechly, he should be able to improve the Ravens’ defense so they do not have to score many points next season.

18. New York Jets – Eric Ebron

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The Jets are desperate for offensive weapons. Last year, the best skill player they had on their roster was Jeremy Kerley, who is a good slot receiver. The Jets need to add at least 3 players at wide receiver or tight end this offseason. So far, the Jets have signed Eric Decker to a significant contract. However, the Jets cannot be done because Decker is only a number two receiver. Currently, the Jets starting tight end is Eric Cumberland. Although Cumberland is a nice player, he is not a starter. The addition of Eric Ebron at 18 would be great for the team. Ebron is like the new tight ends who are physical freaks and are impossible for defenders to guard. Ebron cannot be defended by a corner because he is too big or a safety because he is too fast. Ebron would be great for Geno Smith because he is a big target that should be able to get open and make big plays for the Jets next season. If the Jets do not draft Ebron, they should select a wide receiver.

19. Miami Dolphins – Zack Martin

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The Dolphins’ offensive line has undergone a lot of changes due to the Jonathan Martin and Richie Incognito situation. The Dolphins had one of the worst offensive lines in the league as Ryan Tannehill was consistently feeling pressure and was on the ground. Toward the end of the season, the constant pressure definitely hurt Tannehill’s confidence and the Dolphins lost their last two games and lose their playoff hopes. Although the Dolphins signed Branden Albert to a big deal this offseason, the Dolphins need another good offensive lineman to protect their young quarterback. The addition of Zack Martin would be great for the Dolphins. Although Martin is not rated as highly as the other top tackles, he should be an above average tackle or guard in the league for the next decade for the team. With extra time in the pocket, Tannehill will have time to throw deep balls to Mike Wallace and give running lanes to the future running backs. Later in the draft, the Dolphins need to look for a few running backs because they currently do not have much talent at the position.

20. Ryan Shazier

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The Cardinals were one of the most underrated teams in the league this season and almost made it to the playoffs in the hardest division in football, NFC West. Although he was not great, Carson Palmer was a solid quarterback. Besides a solid running back, the Cardinals have  great weapons at wide receiver. If one of the top four offensive tackles falls in the draft to the Cardinals, the Cardinals should draft the tackle because their offensive line is very inconsistent and does not have much talent. However, the tackles will probably be gone so the Cardinals should draft an edge rusher. The Cards do not have young quality pass rushers to apply pressure on Russell Wilson or Colin Kapernick. The addition of Ryan Shazier would have been great for the Cardinals because he is a talented edge rusher and should have provided benefits to the Cards. Shazier was an extremely productive player for Ohio State and should be able to continue his production with the Arizona Cardinals.The addition of another quality defensive player could catapult the Cardinals over the top in the NFC West and possibly secure a Wild Card position in the tightly contested NFC.

21. Green Bay Packers – HaHa Clinton-Dix

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The Packers were one of the most unlucky teams in the league because of injuries. The Packers lost many players including their All-Pro quarterback Aaron Rodgers and their starting tight end Jermichael Finley. Although they lost a lot of talent, the Packers were able to make the playoffs and almost beat the 49ers in the first round of the playoffs at Lambeau Field. Although the Packers have great offensive talent, they need a tight end because of the loss of Finley and Quarless to free agency. If Ebron lasts to the Packers, they should be quick to drafting him because he has a lot of talent and would add more to the potent Packers offense. However, it is unlikely he will stay until the 21st pick in the draft. The Packers should be looking for ball hawk safety that can create turnovers. The Packers were able to win the Super Bowl a few seasons ago because they were able create many turnovers and give Aaron Rodgers more possessions. The addition of HaHa Clinton Dix would be great for the Packers. Clinton Dix was coached by the best defensive coach in college football and should be able to use his instincts, skill, and size to force turnovers, like Charles Woodson at the end of his career. The combination of Clinton Dix, an improved defense, and Aaron Rodgers could lead the Packers back to the promise land and bring the Lombardi Trophy back to the Frozen Tundra.

22. Philadelphia Eagles – Calvin Pryor

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The Eagles were one of the most surprising teams in the NFL because last year they were picking number four last season. Last season, the Eagles’ offense was one of the best in the league. After Mike Vick was lost for the season, Nick Foles became the starting quarterback and the offense exploded. Shady McCoy was great, the wide receivers were fantastic, and Nick Foles rarely turned over the football. Although the Eagles drastically improved their team, their defense needs to improve if they are going to take the next step forward. The Eagles should be looking at the draft to improve their defense. The Eagles desperately need a safety and Calvin Pryor would be a great addition to the team. During his time in Louisville, Pryor showed that he could be an effective safety in the NFL. If Pryor can become a leader at safety like Brian Dawkins in Philly, the Eagles may return to their successful defense.The improved defense and the talented offense should be able to lead the Eagles deep into the playoffs.

23. Kansas City Chiefs – Marqise Lee

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The Chiefs were the biggest surprise in the NFL last season as they were the worst team in the league, but this season they made the playoffs. The Chiefs defense was very effective for most of the season, but toward the end of the season they were injured and tired. The Chiefs pass rushers were unable to stay healthy, which exposed their porous cornerbacks. In addition, the cornerbacks played extremely physical and took many chances. Along with the poor secondary, the Chiefs desperately need to improve their weapons on the outside. Last season, they were only one dimensional because Bowe did not live up to his number one receiver contract. However, the addition of Lee will give the Chiefs another great weapon on the outside. Lee has very good speed and he is a talented route runner. Lee would be a great addition to the team and give Smith more options than just Charles.

24. Cincinnati Bengals – Jason Verrett

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The Cincinnati Bengals have one of the best defenses in the league, but their secondary occasionally does not perform well, which hurts the defense. In today’s NFL, team’s must have multiple talented and quality corners that can defend opposing wide receivers because the league is becoming more pass happy and the quarterbacks are throwing the ball more often. Last year, the Bengals had okay corners, but they are rising in age and need fresh legs in the back field. The addition of Verrett will significantly improve the Bengals’ defense. Verrett is a young and talented corner that should become a number one corner in the future. At TCU under Gary Patterson, Verrett thrived and made numerous big plays all over the football field. Although he does not have great height, he is fast and has excellent ball skills and agility.

25. San Diego Chargers – Kyle Fuller

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Although it seemed that the Chargers were completely out of the playoff picture, they snuck up on many teams and came away with the last Wild Card position. The Chargers were able to thrive this season because of the resurgence of Phillip Rivers and Ryan Mathews. Rivers was able to regain his success because of the emergence of rookie wide receiver Keenan Allen, who was amazing throughout the season. Mathews also had a solid year, which made the Chargers’ offense more than a passing offense. Although the offense was superb, the defense was inconsistent throughout much of the season. Last season, the Chargers’ corners were not very good because they did not have much talent. However, the addition of Kyle Fuller will immediately improve the unit as a whole. Fuller is one of the best cover corners in the draft. Fuller is a bigger corner with quality speed and great playmaking ability. Although he was rarely on the big stage, he produced and made big plays for the Hokies’ defense this season. If the Chargers do not go with a corner, they should select a nose tackle to bolster their defensive line. A player like Louis Nix would clog up running lanes, while providing occasional pressure up the middle.

26. Minnesota Vikings – Derek Carr (via Cleveland Browns)

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The Vikings are desperately in need of a future quarterback. Although the Vikes do not have a second first round pick this year, it is likely they will look to trade into late in the first round, if they do not grab a quarterback with their first pick. The Browns should be looking to trade the pick because they need more picks in order to get more quality players. The Browns need a running back, but there is no running back worthy of a first round pick. The Vikings could give the Browns their second and third round pick in exchange for the 26th overall pick. During the Vikings’ trip to the playoffs the previous season, Christian Ponder was playing quality football which allowed Adrian Peterson to run free without 8 men in the box. Although Derek Carr may not have an immediate impact, he should be an average starter in the NFL in the future. Carr recorded great numbers during his time in Fresno State. Carr has a great arm and should be able to make all the required throws in the NFL. However, Carr must learn how to play from under center because he will be handing the ball off and using the play action pass more often with the Vikings.

27. New Orleans Saints – Dee Ford

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The New Orleans Saints’ defense was one of the most remarkable story in the NFL last season. In 2012, the Saints had the worst defense of all time because they allowed the most yardage in NFL history. Rob Ryan was able to motivate the defense and improve the pass rush, especially Cam Jordan, which made the Saints’ defense one of the ten best in the league. Dee Ford would add another great pass rusher to the Saints’ defense. Dee showed during the Senior Bowl that he is a dynamic and fast pass rusher that will record double digit sacks. Although Dee will probably start as a situational pass rusher, he should be very effective for Saints because they need more defensive talent. The Saints need to have a good defense so they have a great regular season and have home playoff games, unlike last season. Ford should be able to maximize his speed in New Orleans on the turf field. It is unlikely that the Saints will look at the offensive side of the ball because the offensive unit has been one of the best since Sean Payton and Drew Brees came together in Who Dat nation. If the Saints want to surprise people, they may draft a wide receiver because Colston is getting older and they do not have another top wide receiver for Brees.

28. Carolina Panthers – Brandin Cooks

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The Panthers were a great story last season after playing poorly at the beginning of the season. The Panthers took a major step forward because their defense was fantastic and scared many opposing offenses. The Panthers are led by the defense, but specifically their all world linebacker Luke Kuechly and a very good linebacker in Thomas Davis. This offseason, the Panthers re-signed their defensive linemen because their defensive line provided constant pressure and was one of the best units in the league. In the draft, the Panthers should look at the secondary and the wide receiver position. The Panthers lost two of their top wide receivers, Smith and LaFell. Newton needs more help on the outside and Brandin Cooks should be a great addition for the team. Cooks has great speed and showed that he could be an extremely effective wide receiver during his time with the Beavers. The Panthers may take Bradley Roby if they decide to pass on Cooks or another wide receiver.

29. New England Patriots – Louis Nix

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The Patriots have been one of the model franchises over the last decade, but they have not been able to win the Super Bowl. The Patriots were unable to win last season because they did not have the defense to stop Peyton Manning and their offense did not have the necessary talent to win the Lombardi Trophy. The Patriots have been major spenders this offseason and signed Darrelle Revis, Brandon LaFell, Brandon Browner, and Julian Edelman. However, all of the spending has angered star defensive tackle Vince Wilfork. Wilfork was hurt last season and played less than half of the season. Wilfork has been one of the best defensive players in the league over the past decade and does not want to take a paycut or restructure his contract. If the Patriots are forced to release Wilfork, they need to draft a new defensive tackle. Louis Nix would be great for the Patriots because he is a big strong tackle and should be able to stuff the run and provide pressure up the middle. Nix has proven that he can play against the best during his time at Notre Dame and is ready to lead a defense like New England. Besides Nix, the Patriots may look at a linebacker because they lost Brandon Spikes and need fresh talent at the position.

30. San Francisco 49ers – Kelvin Benjamin

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The San Francisco 49ers were only one catch away from going to the Super Bowl and possibly winning the Super Bowl. The 49ers have made three straight conference championships, but have not won a championship. The 49ers have needs at wide receiver and cornerback and should address these issues during the draft. The 49ers looked at many wide receivers during free agency, but were unable to lure the free agents into the Bay Area. However, the addition of Kelvin Benjamin would be great for the Niners’ and Colin Kapernick. Kelvin is a big, physical, and strong wide receiver that showed he can be a big time number one receiver during his time with the Winston and FSU. Benjamin would add a deep threat for the Niners. The combination of Davis, Benjamin, Boldin, and Crabtree may be enough to beat the Seahawks because the Niners would have 4 very good and talented wide receivers.

31. Denver Broncos – Kony Ealy

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Although the Broncos were the second best team in the league, they have made many new transactions this offseason in order to win the championship. The Broncos’ offense was statistically the best in NFL history because Manning was amazing, the wide receivers were great, and the running back were effective. However, in the Super Bowl, the Broncos could not score on offense and the defense could not stop the Seahawks. During the offseason, the Broncos have made it a priority to improve their defense. Through the first couple of days, they have signed Talib, Ware, and Ward, but they have failed to address their issues at linebacker. The Broncos need to add more physicality on defense and on the offensive line. The addition of Kony Ealy will improve the Broncos’ defense. Like Ware and Miller, Ealy will add more pressure on quarterbacks, which will create interceptions and errant passes. Ealy is a very good prospect from Missouri and the Broncos should quickly select the linebacker with the 31st overall pick. If they do not select Ealy, they should select an offensive lineman that is known to be physical. If the Broncos add physical players, they have a great chance at beating the extremely physical teams like Carolina, San Francisco, and Seattle.

32. Seattle Seahawks – Jace Amaro

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The Seattle Seahawks, unlike many other championship teams, have been able to keep many of their supporting cast from their championship team. The Seahawks were able to win last season because they were extremely physical and talented on defense. The Seahawks would destroy opposing teams mentally and physically because they were not afraid to hit opposing players. On offense, the Seahawks do not have a lot of weapons on the outside, but it complements their running game. Lynch is an absolute beast and Wilson has taken the next step as a quarterback. However, the Seahawks need more weapons on the outside to help Wilson because they may lose a number of wide receivers. The addition of Amaro will be great for the Seahawks because he is a big and talented weapon. Amaro should be the second tight end off of the board because he is one of the new tight ends that are impossible to defend. The Seahawks want to repeat and the addition of Amaro will significantly help their chances because of the skill and potential he possesses at tight end.

2nd round

33. Houston Texans – Jimmy Garoppolo

34. Washington Redskins – Stephen Tuitt

35. Cleveland Browns – Carlos Hyde

36. Oakland Raiders – LaMarcus Joyner

37. St. Louis Rams – Bradley Roby

38. Tampa Bay Buccanners – Austin Seferian Jenkins

39. Jacksonville Jaguars – RaShede Hageman

40. Cleveland Browns (via Vikings) – Xavier Su’a filo

41. Buffalo Bills – Chris Borland

42. Tennessee Titans – Morgan Moses

43. New York Giants – Carl Bradford

44. St. Louis Rams – Zach Mettenberger

45. Detriot Lions – Troy Niklas

46. Pittsburgh Steelers – Brandon Thomas

47. Dallas Cowboys – Dion Bailey

48. Baltimore Ravens – Marcus Martin

49. New York Jets – Jordan Mathews

50. Miami Dolphins – Tre Mason

51. Chicago Bears – Jimmie Ward

52. Arizona Cardinals – Bashaud Breeland

53. Green Bay Packers – Kyle Van Noy

54. Philadelphia Eagles – Trent Murphy

55. Cincinnati Bengals – Jeremiah Attaochu

56. San Francisco 49ers – Marcus Roberson

57. San Diego Chargers – Davante Adams

58. New Orleans Saints – Allen Robinson

59. Indianapolis Colts – Trevor Reilly

60. Carolina Panthers – David Yankey

61. San Francisco 49ers – Weston Richburg

62. New England Patriots – Paul Richardson

63. Denver Broncos – Keith McGill

64. Seattle Seahawks – Martavis Bryant

Week 8 College Football Preview

By: Will Johnson

Close Call in Chapel Hill

The ranked games started last night with Miami (5-0) taking on North Carolina (1-4) with the game a lot closer than expected. Miami had been starting to pick up speed in the Coaches and AP rankings and it appeared that they were going to make a statement last night in Chapel Hill. However that was not the case as, UNC used their passing game to dice up the Hurricane secondary. Bryn Renner threw for 297 and a score, while TE Eric Ebron had a career night catching 8 passes for 199 yards and a TD. The Tar Heels were aided by Miami quarterback Stephen Morris throwing four interceptions. But, down by 10 early in the fourth quarter, Dallas Crawford, a redshirt sophomore who replaced the Hurricane’s injured leading rusher Duke Johnson early in the game, lead the Hurricanes back by scoring twice in the final 12 minutes including a three yard score with 16 seconds left. The victory moved Miami to 2-0 in conference play and one step closer to appearing in the ACC Championship game. However, if the Hurricanes want to challenge the winner of the Atlantic Division (mostly likely either Florida St. or Clemson), they will really need to revamp their passing attack. Throwing four interceptions is no way to beat any top tier team.

TE Eric Ebron Courtesy of Bleacher Report
TE Eric Ebron
Courtesy of Bleacher Report

Game of the Week

This week’s Game of the Week is none other than Florida St. vs. Clemson. It pits two of the top teams in the country and the loser will likely have no hope off playing for the National Championship. It also has the top two offenses and top two defenses in the conference. Clemson has Senior Tahj Boyd at the helm who has thrown for more than 1700 yards this year and a big offensive showing would greatly improve his draft stock. Florida St. will counter with Freshman Jameis Winston who has taken the Seminole Nation by storm. Do not be surprised if this game goes into the high 40s and be decided by a late game winning drive by one of the two quarterbacks. I think that Clemson has too much offensive firepower and too much experience for Florida St. and will remain undefeated with a 52-45 victory.

Senior QB Tajh Boyd Courtesy of Sports Illustrated
Senior QB Tajh Boyd
Courtesy of Sports Illustrated

Other Must Watches

UCLA – Stanford

After a shocking loss last week versus Utah, Stanford will look to rebound against a very tough UCLA team. If they have any chance of winning they will have to out physical the Southern Californian team with their senior running back, Tyler Gaffney (570 yards and 7 TDs), and their stout defense. However, Brett Hundley has so far built off of a great freshman year by so far passing for 1469 yards and 12 TDs. In my opinion he is one of the best quarterback prospects in the nation and has the tools to take out any team in the nation. Hundley and the Bruins will be too much for the Cardinals and will win in a grinder 23-17.

USC – Notre Dame

Despite the fact that both teams are having off years, this is a very historic rivalry (ND leads 44 – 35 with 5 ties) and always makes for exciting television. Notre Dame will be looking to build off a big win last week against Arizona St., while the Trojans will look to rewrite their season after firing Head Coach Lane Kiffin two weeks ago. Both teams have had inexperienced quarterbacks this year as Cody Kessler (1128 yrds. and 8 TDs) and Tommy Rees (1494 and 13) have had a hard time replacing Matt Barkley and Evert Golson respectively. Look for Notre Dame to claim their second consecutive victory over USC with a 20 – 10 victory.


Ole Miss pushed a very good Texas A&M last week and this week will look to upset fellow SEC member LSU. However, LSU might be developing into one of the best teams in the country with the emergence of senior quarterback, Zack Mettenburger. Look for LSU to eke out a 45 – 35 victory.


South Carolina may be the 11th best team in the country, but they sure have not played like it. They had three very close victories over below average teams before blowing out Arkansas last week. Steve Spurrier has not gotten enough out of senior quarterback, Connor Shaw, and the unanimous preseason number one overall pick, Jadeveon Clowney has not lived up the expectations (2 sacks and 13 tackles). Meanwhile, Tennessee has begun rebuilding their program under the helm of Head Coach Butch Jones. Look for Butch Jones to claim his first Top 25 victory this week in Knoxville.

DE Jadeveon Clowney has underperformed significantly this season Courtesy of USA Today
DE Jadeveon Clowney has underperformed significantly this season
Courtesy of USA Today

Predictions for Rest of Top 25

Alabama (#1) over Arkansas 48 – 10

Oregon (#2) over Washington St. 66-6

Ohio St. (#4) over Iowa 31 – 13

Texas A&M (#7) over Auburn (#24) 41 – 31

Louisville (#8) over UCF 24 – 13

Baylor (#12) over Iowa St. 69 – 28

Florida (# 22) over Missouri (#14) 17 – 14

Georgia (#15) over Vanderbilt 45 – 20

Texas Tech (#16) over West Virginia 38 – 16

Fresno St. (#17) over UNLV 52 – 41

Oklahoma (#18) over Kansas 27 – 21

Washington (#20) over Arizona St. 48 – 38

Oklahoma St. (#21) over TCU 35 – 13

Northern Illinois (#23) over Central Michigan 34 – 20

Wisconsin (#25) over Illinois 38 – 6

f Courtesy of College Gameday
David Pollack
Courtesy of College Gameday

Response to David Pollack’s Sexist Remark

Last week during a live College Gameday Broadcast, David Pollack implied that women should be left off the College Football Playoff Committee in response to former Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, being named to the committee. While I disagree with the exclusion of women off the committee, Pollack does make a very good point; you should have some football experience before being named to this committee. I would be perfectly fine with the inclusion of Erin Andrews or Rachel Nichols, however someone like Condoleezza Rice would not offer anything constructive to the committee. While I am disappointed with Pollack’s choice of words, this committee will be deciding the fate of college football and has no place for people who have no football experience.

Condoleezza Rice Courtesy of CNN
Condoleezza Rice
Courtesy of CNN

Myles Garrett Commits to Texas A&M

Myles Garrett (Sr. Arlington, TX) committed to Texas A&M today over Alabama, Ohio St., TCU, and Florida St. He is the #7 recruit in the nation according to ESPN and #42 for Rivals.com. This is a big get for Texas A&M and it shows how Texas A&M is now one of the biggest football powerhouses in the country after joining this year. Look for Head Coach, Kevin Sumlin, to build of this recruiting momentum and go for other top recruits like Speedy Noils (New Orleans, LA). So far this year, Garrett has 15 sacks, 43 tackles (31 solo), 23 tackles for losses, 13 quarterback hurries and three forced fumbles.

Myles Garrett Courtesy of Yahoo Sports
Myles Garrett
Courtesy of Rivals