Here at 7poundbag, we love the draft. We love arguing picks, we love the wish-lists, and we love looking back and bragging on how we did. The hardest two parts of any draft predictions, are: 1) the trades, and 2) all it takes is one idiot to blow it up. I’d put good money on if Clowney blows an ACL on the flight to Radio City, every single Mock draft on the Internet is shot.
The Rules: So for this one we split up the NFL with Earl (EJ), Zach, and David each taking 2 divisions and a few teams. We go at the draft (For example, Earl (EJ) is a Jets fan, so he got both East divisions, but David and Zach split the NFC South since they are fans of the Panthers and Bucs, respectively. We declared no trades, you have to pick where you are. We also added a bit where the two non-GMs will pull a Kiper on the pick before moving on. (For the record, Zach was drinking Grape Haterade for the first 12 picks, then switched to Fruit Punch).
David: If I’m the Texans, I’m looking to trade down. I know the numbers on Clowney, but If no one is willing to make me a serious offer, I have to take Clown and hope he gets in the locker room and J.J. Watt (and the rest) make a man out of him.
Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina
Zach: This isn’t a huge surprise. Taking Clowney makes the most sense for the situation and would only improve a very talented Texans defense. The only question is;
How good would the Texans D of been if they had paid Mario Williams?
Earl (EJ): Got to love the pick. He’s an elite pass rusher and those guys do not grow on trees. However, it would have been interesting if they kept Williams, and paired him with Watt and Clowney. That front 7 would be scary.
David: I have a problem here. I really want an OT, but I have Jake Long, and he looks like he’s ok right now. Just like the Texans, I wouldn’t mind a drop a pick or two, but If I have to pick, I have to figure out if Bradford is my guy or not. Its a bit of a reach, I understand, but there isn’t a QB worth this high, and in the NFC West, the defenses are just too good.
Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson
Zach: I don’t like this pick. Sammy is good, no doubt, but he isn’t needed in St. Louis. I am worried this is going to cause a David Carr-effect like Carr had with Andre Johnson. No line, but a receiver he could never connect with because he was on his back the entire game. I still think St. Louis should’ve taken a lineman, but now they can focus on bolstering their offense behind Sam Bradford, Tavon Austin, Watkins, and the return of Zack Stacy. If it works, it works. If it doesn’t…the offensive line will always be that of a “whoulda/coulda/shoulda” for the Rammies.
Earl (EJ): I get the pick in theory, but the Rams need an O-lineman more than another receiver. They can get by with what they have. Seems like a big mistake to pass on Robinson or Matthews here.
David: I need everything, my selection is a bit easier now with Watkins off the board, so I take Khalil Mack and hope he’s my JJ Watt or Luke. I have a bit of a bonus since he could play 3 positions in the front 7. He also is a hard worker, and that never hurts in the lockerroom.
Khalil Mack, DE/OLB, Buffalo
Zach: I honestly think Mack was taken too high here. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a phenomonal talent. I just don’t think he was a good pick for this situation. This addresses what need for the Jags? Obviously, their defense (and entire team) needed work, but I could’ve sworn Jacksonville was going to take a quarterback with pick three. It’ll definitely be interesting to see who Jacksonville takes next.
Earl (EJ): Khalil Mack might have played at the University of Buffalo, but the kid is a player. Yeah, he is coming out of the MAC and played against lower competition but he’s got a good motor and he’s versatile. He can play inside, or outside, and with a former defensive assistant as a head coach in Gus Bradley, Mack will be utilized to his strengths.
Zach: We’re going to play it safe and take a (safe) bet that Robinson boosts Cleveland’s line that ranked 16th in overall efficiency last year. Besides being the best player still on the board, Robinson is bound to help a Browns squad that has seemed to miss the mark on offensive-lineman the last few years. Joe Thomas, your help has arrived.
Greg Robinson, T, Auburn
David: I’m fine with this pick, no QB is worth this, and Joe Thomas might get a few more years on his career at RT if Greg can take over. Great pick. Finally, a Mock that doesn’t have the Browns picking Manzel.
Earl (EJ): I’m fine with this pick as well. With another pick at 26, they can go for the quarterback later.
5. Oakland Raiders
David: I’m hating this pick here. I am having a fire sale if both Robinson and Watkins is gone. I’m not as sold on Evans as some, and its too early for Barr. Worse case scenario? I take Jake. I can flip Watson to RT, since he was unimpressive at LT last year, and hope I don’t crush his confidence. Schaub has to sink or swim this year, and trading Pryor away makes me put a lot of eggs in his basket. My career is on Schaub’s shoulders. I can see Manziel going here, but I’m not going to be the GM to take him.
Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M
Zach: I guess this is a good start for the Raiders, but honestly anything could help right now. They do need protection for the “comeback-grandpa” Matt Schaub, but I’m not sure if beefing up the line will do it. All in all, I guess its a start. At least Davis Jr. didn’t go the route his dad did and pick the “most hyped athlete”. I’ll give this one a grade of a B-. Nothing more, nothing less.
Earl (EJ): Good pick. Yes, Watkins or Robinson would be better but Matthews is a good start and they need offensive linemen.
Zach: As I said in a previous draft, if there was a team to trade their pick it would be Atlanta. The Falcons could use this pick to bolster both sides of their line. While the lines weren’t terrible in 2013, there is always room for improvement. I’m looking to fill a huge hole after the retirement of Tony Gonzalez. The addition of Ebron would give Matt Ryan another weapon on offense. And if Atlanta does one thing right, it’s getting Ryan the help he needs.
Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina
Earl (EJ): This pick feels a little too high. Yes, Ebron fills a need but I just don’t feel comfortable taking him at #6. Especially since Atlanta has a bigger need on offensive line, and Taylor Lewan is still out there.
David: Not a fan of this pick, I understand wanting to replace a HoF part of the offense, but the front seven needs a lot of love, as does the O-Line. The Falcons paid a heavy price for lack of depth last year, and Ebron might be aroung 10 picks from now. As a Panthers fan, I love this pick.
Zach: I’m liking Mosely better than Mack at this stage in the game. I like Mosely better because he’s had more in-game experience and experience versus a higher quality of talent. Mack may shock us all, but Lovie likes guys like Mosely. I’ll even go so far as to say Mosely plays a similar style to Derrick Brooks. Giving Lavonte David some much-needed help in the linebacking core is our main focus here.
C.J. Mosely, LB, Alabama
Earl (EJ): I’m not crazy about Mosely. Good player, fills a need, but I’d rather see Tampa take Mike Evans or take a flier on Johnny Manziel. Just think the Bucs need a little excitement for the fan base and I’m not sure Mosely brings that.
David: I’m not sold on Mosely to be honest. I’ve seen him get shook, and I’ve seen him miss tackles, but betting against ‘Bama players is an easy way to go broke. I just feel this pick is a bit of a reach, but he’s still going to play for a decade as a high-rotation player at worst, since he is a little small. I could still see 85-90 tackles a year if he stays healthy.
Zach: And our first QB is officially off the boards. With Minnesota not picking up Ponder’s 2015 option, and it seems that the only legitimate option is Matt Cassel, this seems like a logical pick to me. Bortles has size, speed, and a good head on his shoulders. Not to mention, former Viking legend Dante Culpepper went to UCF, as Bortles reminds me of the same playing style. This seems like a winner.
Blake Bortles, QB, Central Florida
Earl (EJ): Good pick.
David: Vikings Legend? Really? Can’t argue with this pick, and I’m sure as soon as Cleveland didn’t take a QB, the Vikings war room light up like a Christmas Tree. I’m not sold on Bortles being the best QB, but I’m also the guy that thought Jake Locker was going to be a good QB, so what do I know? The Vikings have, have, HAVE to have a QB in this draft that can start after the bye week, or its blow-up time.
Earl (EJ): The Bills made the investment in EJ Manuel last year and now they have to protect him. Lewan is mean, nasty and can play left or right tackle.
Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan
Zach: I have no beef with this pick. It is a solid choice. I think Lewan fits this team perfectly and will be able to come in immediately and contribute. Outstanding choice.
David: Lewan is used to playing in the cold, and is a good fit for this team. The Bills need some help up front, and have been since the Bush Administration.
Zach: This pick addresses the most significant need Detroit has; their secondary. Although some might be inclined to pick the hometown kid, Darquez Dennard, I think the Kitties have had their mind set on Gilbert for a while now. Picking Gilbert seems to be a win.
Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State
Earl (EJ): I would have went with Dennard but Gibert is a good pick. The Lions do need secondary help.
David: Detroit needs secondary help. Houston isn’t a world beater, and he might be the best guy back there. Solid choice. I could see Evans going here, just so Megatron isn’t doing it all himself.
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