Here it is, the third edition of the way to early mock draft from NinerNoise.com. As with the past two versions, no trades are projected, though in later editions those will come into play. As always, let us know where we messed up.
1. Houston Texans
Manziel’s stock seems to be rising, but I’m sticking with Bortles for now.
2. St. Louis Rams (from Washington)
His stock is rising as Matthews’ is not.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars
QB, Texas A&M
The Jaguars need something to pop off the screen for their fans—both in Florida and in Europe. Bridgewater may be classier, but no one gets a hold of the media like Johnny Football.
4. Cleveland Browns
The Browns desparately need a QB, and they just might end up with the best of the bunch.
5. Oakland Raiders
OT, Texas A&M
As much as the Raiders liked size and speed under the late Al Davis, I think they’ll build where they have always needed it: in the interior.
6. Atlanta Falcons
DE, South Carolina
The Falcons jump for joy at getting who many consider to be the best prospect in the draft.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
DE, Notre Dame
At 6-6 and 312 pounds, Tuitt will be the plug that the Buc’s porous defense needs.
8. Minnesota Vikings
Two-Time Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year, the 6-8 Wolverine is just what the Vikings need to keep any quarterback upright.
9. Buffalo Bills
“Ha Ha” is a gifted player who any team could use.
10. Detroit Lions
The other receivers in this class are rising fast, but Watkins paired with Calvin Johnson would be incredible.
11. Tennessee Titans
WR, Texas A&M
Time to move on from that Kenny Britt sideshow.
12. New York Giants
CB, Michigan State
The Jim Thorpe Award winner, Dennard could help an underachieving team here.
13. St. Louis Rams
Barr played excellent ball at UCLA. Ultimately, this comes down to a preference between Barr and Kyle Van Noy.
14. Chicago Bears
Louis Nix III
DT, Notre Dame
If Nix isn’t gone by this point, the Bears cannot let him fall further. The Bears’ Defense, for the first time in history, was their weakness. This is a good start to ending that.
15. Pittsburgh Steelers
Kyle Van Noy
Time to start restocking what used to be an incredible defense.
16. Baltimore Ravens
WR, Southern California
Anquan Boldin’s replacement finally arrives.
17. Dallas Cowboys
S, Florida State
The Cowboys gave up way to many yards through the air last season.
18. New York Jets
TE, North Carolina
Ebron is a great tight-end and receiving prospect. The Jets need both.
19. Miami Dolphins
The Cameroonian fills a deep need in the line left from an infamous rift you surely have heard about.
20. Arizona Cardinals
QB, Fresno State
The future arrives in the desert, but will wait, develop, and perhaps become a decent quarterback.
21. Green Bay Packers
What a stud and perhaps steal for the Packers.
22. Philadelphia Eagles
Another linebacker in a relatively deep class of solid prospects gets picked up.
23. Kansas City Chiefs
WR, Penn State
The receiving corps is deep and the combine and pro days will tell us much more about which teams like whom.
24. Cincinnati Bengals
OLB, Ohio State
The Bengals draft well and move on from an overpriced Michael Johnson
25. San Diego Chargers
Not a sexy pick, but a good one nonetheless.
26. Cleveland Browns (from Indianapolis)
OT, Notre Dame
Bridgewater needs protection too.
27. New Orleans Saints
Will solid linebacking prospects never end?
28. Carolina Panthers
Odell Beckham Jr.
The same for receivers!
29. New England Patriots
DT, Florida State
Jernigan will rejuvenate the Pat’s D-line
30. San Francisco 49ers
CB, Oklahoma State
If the 49ers cut expensive Carlos Rogers, Gilbert becomes a great pick-up here in the first round. That is, if the Niners do not trade up like last year. I’m sticking with my pick from the first two rounds.
31. Denver Broncos
Face it, Broncos, Bailey is old.
32. Seattle Seahawks
TE, Texas Tech
The Seahawks boost their offense with an additional tight-end on the field.