These are the moments we live for: Commissioner Roger Goodell handing first-round draft picks a mock jersey on stage at Radio City Music Hall. Who will earn the right to pose gleefully with Goodell tonight? Our draft expert weighs in with his can't-miss predictions.
Here is a small disclaimer: You are going to disagree with me on at least one pick. It’s bound to happen and that’s fine. I welcome your feedback, and you can find me on Twitter @DanielSoden to tell me how right or wrong I am.
By now I feel like Mel Kiper, minus the bad haircut. I’ve looked over almost every possible scenario and probably failed to look over just as many. Like Kiper and the rest of the draft pundits, I have no clue what is going to happen when the clock starts, but for now, like the rest of us, I’ll act like I have a good understanding.
The elephant in the draft room is who goes number one overall this year. Guys like Blake Bortles, Khalil Mack, Jadeveon Clowney, and Johnny Manziel have all at one point been mocked to go number one overall to the Houston Texans. The Texans looked to trade down with so much can’t-miss talent. Why not make the job easier and gain something extra? Well, looks like the Texans were looking for a Redskins/Rams RG3 payday, but no one besides the Redskins are silly enough to make that kind of trade … so it looks like the Texans will either have to settle for less or take Khalil Mack.
Shocker … not really. Clowney very well might go number one. The guy is a freak athlete, but Mack seems like a more versatile player, which should fit new defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel’s scheme.
So Dan where does Clowney go? Well, guys, I’d have him fall down to the Jaguars, but if they, too, pass then we may very well see Clowney in Silver & Black, or in Atlanta if they make the move and offer the Raiders something noteworthy.
Picks 7 & 8 look like the first two landing spots for quarterbacks this year, with Johnny Manziel ending up in Tampa Bay. Would they be better off drafting someone else? Well, yeah. WR Mike Evans & TE Eric Ebron would be perfect in Tampa Bay and we all have heard the rumors that Lovie Smith wants Aaron Donald, but management doesn’t believe in Mike Glennon and clearly Josh McCown isn’t the future.
Look for Tampa Bay to try and move Glennon sometime this weekend. A likely landing spot -- New England. It should only cost them a third-rounder, but they very well might give up a second-round pick for him.
As for the 8th pick, I expect Teddy Bridgewater to be heading up north to Minnesota. The internet either loves or hates Bridgewater. As for me, I’m one of those who loves Teddy and thinks that under Zimmer and company he should be able to grow into the quarterback of the future and, well, present.
Guys like Blake Bortles and Derek Carr may very well go in the first round just like Manziel and Bridgewater. I have Bortles landing in Arizona and Carr in Cleveland. Just think how jealous David Carr would be that his brother got drafted behind that offensive line.
As for the crop of wide receivers this year, I have Sammy Watkins going second overall to the St. Louis Rams. Barring any type of trade, Mike Evans should land somewhere like Detroit or Buffalo depending on where Eric Ebron finds himself. Brandin Cooks to me is a lock to land with the New York Jets. Next up is Marquise Lee, who could see himself in New Orleans, Pittsburgh, or Kansas City. Odell Beckham Jr. seems to be a guy jumping up the draft board with teams like the Giants, 49ers, and Panthers speculated to be smitten by the receiver. My guess is the 49ers do what needs to be done to lock him up. Look for them to try and trade up to the 11th overall pick just to make sure.
What will Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots do come draft day? Ra’Shede Hageman is my guess. There are a limited amount of guys who are both worth the first round pick and traditionally fit Belichick’s system. Hageman will fill a big need in the interior of the defensive line, and, honestly, the Patriots pass rush hasn’t been much to write home about. Hageman can fix that issue. Outside of the first round, the Patriots should look to improve their offensive line, add some depth at running back and safety, and if they can find another pass-rusher at defensive end, that would help them.
The reality is I don’t know what is going on in the any of the teams' draft rooms. I do think that everything I’ve stated can and might help these teams. Chances are I get five predictions right. If I get more, I’ll be a happy guy.
You can read my entire mock of Round 1 at http://wp.me/p4olha-1BU and follow me during the draft @DanielSoden on Twitter.
Support WBOB Sports