The 2013 season is officially over and fans attention have turned to who their team will be targeting in free agency and the draft. Until the actual draft comes and everyone is able to see what their rosters look like, it is hard to predict which players will be drafted where. In the meantime, we all enjoy looking at and projecting who our team would draft if the draft happened today. Below, I have put my projections for each team if they were drafting with the current state that their roster is in. Obviously, this will change a lot between now and April with free agents being signed and the combine happening. Look for more updated mocks on our website as April approaches.
1. Houston Texans- QB Blake Bortles, Central Florida
Reports have surfaced that the Texans are looking to take a QB with the first overall pick. In particular, they have been linked to Bortles as well as Johnny Manziel. Bortles fits the mold of a leader which is exactly what new head coach Bill O’Brien will be looking for. With questions about Manziel’s character and size, I look for Bortles to be taken as of now.
2. St. Louis Rams- DE Jadaveon Clowney, South Carolina
I think the Rams will look to trade this pick much like they did a couple years back to the Redskins. If not, they have the freedom to draft the best overall player available who will be Clowney. They don’t have much of a need for a pass rusher with Chris Long and Robert Quinn currently on the roster. However, Jeff Fisher showed many times this season that he likes to rotate his line, which would create playing time for Clowney.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars- QB Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville
GM David Caldwell is going to be looking for a franchise QB. Blaine Gabbert has just not panned out for the Jags and they are almost certain to draft a replacement. Jacksonville would love to see Bridgewater still on the board when it comes to their turn. It has been reported the Caldwell has been to see Bridgewater in person many times.
4. Cleveland Browns- QB Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M
The Browns are also in need of a franchise QB this year. Brandon Weeden has been terrible and it is time for a breath of fresh air in Cleveland. His athleticism will prove to be too much for the Browns to pass up on in this slot.
5. Oakland Raiders- WR Sammy Watkins, Clemson
I think fans from any team would be able to tell you why their team should draft Watkins. While the Raiders do need a QB, they are a team in need of premier talent at any position. Watkins is definitely a premier talent at the WR position and is a big play threat at any time during a game.
6. Atlanta Falcons- OT Jake Matthews, Texas A&M
While I believe the Falcons would rather draft a pass rusher here, I’m not sure that there is one good enough to justify passing on Matthews. Atlanta has a major need for help on both O-line and D-line. If Clowney is not avaliale and they have not traded up for him, I believe they grab Matthews who can help protect Matt Ryan at either tackle position.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- OLB Khalil Mack, Buffalo
The Bucs need a pass rusher here and I believe they target Mack. He is a bit of an unknown talent but has the ability to pressure any QB. There may be other players on the board with more talent, but the major hole on this team is pass rushing.
8. Minnesota Vikings- QB Derek Carr, Fresno St.
It’s no secret that Minnesota is in desperate need for a QB. They have tried many guys at the position over the past year or two and none have been able to stick. There are questions about Carr, but he possesses leadership skills and a very strong arm. The Vikings seem to like him, so I believe they use this pick to take him.
9. Buffalo Bills- OT Greg Robinson, Auburn
While the Bills don’t have an immediate need for a tackle, they take the best player on the board. They could use Robinson on the right side until they needed him to slide over to the left. Scouts have been raving about Robinson’s natural ability and his ceiling, which forces the Bills to take him here.
10. Detroit Lions- WR Mike Evans, Texas A&M
This is a tough one because I could see the Lions going in many different directions. While the secondary is in need of help, Evans would make their offense just that much more explosive. Providing a legitimate number 2 option across from Calvin Johnson will be to enticing for Detroit to pass up.
11. Tennessee Titans- OLB Anthony Barr, UCLA
The Titans are in need of O-line and D-line help. I feel that they have more of a need for a pass rusher and I believe they get an athletic one in Barr. He is a perfect OLB for a 3-4 scheme which the team is now implementing in Tennessee.
12. New York Giants- OT Taylor Lewan, Michigan
The Giants may use this pick to get a pass rusher, but I think they try to strengthen the O-line. Their offense was disappointing this year and they are in need of protection for Eli Manning. Lewan is a great run blocker and has a lot of potential.
13. St. Louis Rams- S Haha Clinton-Dix, Alabama
The Rams are a team on the rise who is in need some safety help. Enter Clinton-Dix who is a playmaking safety and great in pass coverage. He is just the latest defensive back product from Nick Saban and Alabama.
14. Chicago Bears- CB Justin Gilbert, Oklahoma St.
The Bears play in a division where defensive backs must be a strong suit. They grab Gilbert who is probably the most talented defensive player left on the board. They also need help at DT, but Gilbert is too good to pass up on here.
15. Pittsburgh Steelers- WR Marqise Lee, USC
Pittsburgh loves to swipe up great offensive talent if available, and it is here. They are in need of a top wideout and deep threat, which is what Lee happens to be. Lee possesses great skills and athleticism and is probable the best talent on the board at this point.
16. Baltimore Ravens- ILB C.J. Mosley, Alabama
This is another tough one where Baltimore could have their eye on a number of players. Ultimately, I believe they take Mosley especially if Daryl Smith leaves. Mosley is a very physical linebacker which makes plenty of plays.
17. Dallas Cowboys- DT Timmy Jernigan, Florida State
The Cowboys could use help at either end or tackle on the D-line. There will be a few options for them here, but I think Jernigan is the best tackle available. His performance in the National Championship game proved just how dominant he could be.
18. New York Jets- TE Eric Ebron, North Carolina
The Jets will defiantly be looking at adding help on the offensive side of the ball in this slot. They could be targeting a number of receivers or in this case, Ebron. He is a freak athlete who would add a spark to any offense in the NFL.
19. Miami Dolphins- OT/G Zach Martin, Notre Dame
Miami needs help on the o-line at both position thanks to the situation which left them without Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin. Martin can step right in and help them with either position. After a great Senior Bowl, Martin has propelled himself into consideration of being taken here.
20. Arizona Cardinals- DT/DE Ra’Shede Hageman, Minnesota
Hageman had a great year for the Gophers, displaying excellent pass rushing skills. Arizona could look for him to be in the rotation before taking over for the aging and declining Darnell Dockett.
21. Green Bay Packers- DT Louis Nix, Notre Dame
B.J. Raji has been an intricate part of the Packers defense over the years and is now set for free agency. If they can’t resign him, look for Green Bay to take Nix here. Nix is a spitting image of Raji and would be a great pick-up at this point in the draft.
22. Philadelphia Eagles- S Calvin Pryor, Louisville
Pryor has a big frame and is very physical which fits what Chip Kelley and many NFL are searching for. Philadelphia needs an upgrade at safety and Pryor would be a great choice. He has a lot of experience as he has racked up a lot of playing time at Louisville.
23. Kansas City Chiefs- WR Odell Beckham, LSU
The Chiefs will be looking for more offensive firepower to couple with Jamaal Charles and Dwayne Bowe. This should lead them to draft a WR or TE early. They will have their choice of many, and Beckham presents a quick receiver who is a deep play threat.
24. Cincinnati Bengals- DE/OLB Kony Ealy, Missouri
Michael Johnson could be gone and Geno Adkins is coming off an injury. This could lead the Bengals to strengthening their D-line by grabbing Ealy. Ealy is a great talent and whoever gets him is likely getting a steal, especially this late.
25. San Diego Chargers- CB Darquez Dennard, Michigan State
San Diego has a huge need at the cornerback position coming into 2014. Dennard is yet another physical CB who also possesses a ton of speed. He would be able to step in and have an immediate impact for the Chargers secondary.
26. Cleveland Browns- OT Cyrus Kouandijo, Alabama
The Browns could go a number of directions with this pick. I believe that they will take the best offensive lineman left on the board. Kouandijo possesses the skills and ability to become a solid NFL player and future right tackle for Cleveland.
27. New Orleans Saints- DE/OLB Dee Ford, Auburn
Ford raised his draft status with a dominant National Championship game as well as a solid Senior Bowl. New Orleans needs another pass rusher and usually likes players who can play multiple roles. Ford has played this hybrid role during his collegiate career.
28. Carolina Panthers- WR Kelvin Benjamin, Florida State
As Steve Smith gets older, Carolina would be wise to grab a young receiver to help Cam Newton. Benjamin has shown a great ability to catch anything thrown his way. Florida State’s National Championship run showed everyone exactly what he was capable of.
29. New England Patriots- TE Jace Amaro, Texas Tech
It’s no secret that the Patriots love their big, athletic tight ends. With Gronk coming off yet another injury and Aaron Hernandez gone, the Patriots will garb Amaro. Their offense was just not the same without having these physical tight ends on the field.
30. San Francisco 49ers- CB Marcus Roberson, Florida
Roberson battled injury issues throughout this season, but showed how good he could be when he did play. Florida showed trust in him, letting him play man coverage on just about anyone. The 49ers could use his help in the secondary, with the only question being injury history.
31. Denver Broncos- MLB Ryan Shazier, Ohio State
Denver could use a solid MLB to take over the defense. They struggled at that position throughout much of 2013 and will look to the draft to address it. Shazier has the ability to step in and lead from day 1.
32. Seattle Seahawks- G Xavier Su’a-Filo, UCLA
So who does the team with no gaping holes take? I believe they look to grab a good offensive lineman with this pick. They know that it could be tough after some of their young players hit free agency, so this pick is a tossup.