Come on, you knew I had to do one. Right now, every sports site, blog and reporter is awash in NBA Playoffs fever. Or Stanley Cup Playoffs fever. Or is counting down to the end of the soccer leagues. Or…nah, you know it’s all about the 2014 NFL Draft for many right now. Delaying it a couple of weeks has made the process worse. As we speak, the entire Saints braintrust is flying to Las Vegas to unwind for the weekend. They’ve had enough of it and need a break. It’s also good for players like poor Teddy Bridgewater, who might fall right out of the Draft if this were any longer (kidding).
So this is Version 1 of the Mock Draft. This version won’t guess at any trades or any other stuff. 32 picks, 32 players. I’ll comment every 5 picks or so. This is just a guess, for entertainment purposes only, should be used with the prior consent of your physician and if it lasts longer than four hours call more ladies.
Just so were clear, I have not wasted a moment on the Combine or Pro Days. Mock Drafts are goofy enough as is, so why waste time trying to get them right? I mean, besides Kiper and McShay who’ve somehow managed to fleece ESPN for millions getting things wrong every year. I ain’t getting rich off of this. Nor is anyone else. Instead, I’ve instead wasted a few afternoons reading other mock drafts and laughing at them as I drank beer. Because mock drafts are mental masturbation. And I think it’s time to use my fist.
1. HOU: Jadaveon Clowney, DE South Carolina
2. STL: Sammy Watkins, WR Clemson (From WAS)
3. JAC: Khalil Mack, OLB Buffalo
4. CLE: Mike Evans, WR Texas A&M
5. OAK: Greg Robinson, OT Auburn
Clowney is the consensus #1 overall prospect and either Houston or someone else will take him there. And by someone else, I mean Atlanta. Watkins and Mack will go fast. Mike Evans may seem a reach, but he’s got as many fans as Watkins and Oakland wanted to sign a LT in Free Agency and screwed it up. So Robinson makes sense…which is what Oakland never does.
6. ATL: Jake Matthews, OT Texas A&M
7. TB: Blake Bortles, QB Central Florida
8. MIN: David Carr, QB Fresno State
9. BUF: Taylor Lewan, OT Michigan
10.DET: Aaron Donald, DT Pittsburgh
With the top 2 defensive prospects gone, Atlanta opts to protect Matt Ryan better. Tampa and Minnesota get their QBs and, surprise, neither is Johnny Football. Why would Detroit take Donald? If the rumors of looking to move Ndamukong Suh are true, they may think they need a replacement. Buffalo takes the safe pick.
11.TEN: Johnny Manziel, QB Texas A&M
12.NYG: Eric Ebron, TE North Carolina
13.STL: Zack Martin, OT/OG Notre Dame
14.CHI: Louis Nix III, DT Notre Dame
15.PIT: Hasean Clinton-Dix, S Alabama
Wait…what? Manziel to Tennessee? Why not? Is new coach Ken Whisenhunt beholden to Jake Locker? Besides that, not much surprise. The Giants could use a TE to help Eli avoid throwing INTs. The Rams add more o-line help to keep Bradford alive. Pittsburgh takes the heir apparent to Head & Shoulders pitchman Troy Polamalu.
16.DAL: Anthony Barr, OLB UCLA
17.BAL: CJ Mosley, ILB Alabama
18.NYJ: Odell Beckham Jr, WR Louisiana State
19.MIA: Justin Gilbert, CB Oklahoma State
20.ARI: Teddy Bridgewater, QB Louisville
Miami may have no choice if Martin is gone but to reach for another lineman or take the next best player on their board. I’m really high on Beckham. I think some team may trade up to nab him ahead of the Jets. Bridgewater is falling, but unless Carr or Manziel are still around, his slide ends here.
21.GB: Calvin Pryor, S Louisville
22.PHI: Brandin Cooks, WR Oregon state
23.KC: Ra’Shede Hageman, DT Minnesota
24.CIN: Kyle Fuller, CB Virginia Tech
25.SD: Kony Ealy, DE Missouri
26.CLE: Jimmy Garoppolo, QB Eastern Illinois (From IND)
Andy Reid loves to take linemen – offense or defense – in the first round. Philly takes someone fast to replace the gone Desean Jackson. And Cleveland takes the next best QB available – though I’m sure they’re hoping Bridgewater tumbles more.
27.NO: Ryan Shazier, OLB Ohio State
28.CAR: Kelvin Benjamin, WR Florida State
29.NE: Jace Amaro, TE Texas A&M
30.SF: Marqise Lee, WR Southern Cal
31.DEN: Jason Verrett, CB Texas Christian
32.SEA: Stephon Tuitt, DE Notre Dame
Saints take a pass rushing LB for Rob Ryan because there are no more Safeties to take for the moment. Carolina takes a WR because, well, they need to. Remember when New England had all these great TEs? San Fran is one of those teams to look out for making a leap upwards given all the picks they got. And Denver and Seattle retool for positions where they needed to add talent and get younger.
OK, so that was Version 1. Version 2 to have trades, the Legion of Doom and Jon Bon Jovi playing “Blaze of Glory”