Don't trust anyone. Don't trust reporters. Don't trust scouts. Don't trust your family. Don't trust me.
But I have trades, picks, surprises, and the ability to post things to our front page! So pay attention!
Mock drafts can be an exercise of two main elements. One is accuracy, where you try and mock players upon rumors and what you're hearing on the street. It's extremely rewarded when you manage to hit on a few pairings on draft day. The other is ability, where you draft based upon your personal perception on players and how you believe they will translate to the NFL level.
Me, I like to do a mix of both. As a result, it won't be accurate, nor will it be a perfect reflection of my beliefs (Justin Gilbert is still a top 15 pick, even if I disagree). I provide justification for the selection, as well as enough wiggle room so I can still claim intellectual superiority if my draft is deplorably incorrect.
Without further ado, here's my Mock 2.0.
|1||Houston Texans||PR Jadaveon Clowney||The general consensus is that the value of quarterbacks has been slipping without a transcendent player. Texans instead opt to take the best player in the draft and aim for a developmental quarterback later.|
|2||St. Louis Rams||To ATL||PR Khalil Mack||Rams trade their pick to the Falcons who will aggressively pursue an elite pass rusher. Mack is their guy and could become the best player in the draft.|
|3||Jacksonville Jaguars||WR Sammy Watkins||The Jaguars follow the Texans lead and bypass a quarterback in favor of the best receiver in the draft. Some might argue against luxury picks, but whichever quarterback is selected will have to throw to someone other than Cecil Shorts.|
|4||Cleveland Browns||To BUF||OT Greg Robinson||Browns trade their pick to the Bills who are actively chasing the top tackle in the draft. Robinson can lock down either tackle spot, but will eventually become a franchise tackle.|
|5||Oakland Raiders||DT Aaron Donald||The Raiders continue to improve their defense with the best tackle in the draft. Donald is a menace and while he won't play the same position as Lamarr Houston, but he'll more than make up for the lost production.|
|6||Atlanta Falcons||STL||OT Taylor Lewan||The Rams make their pick and get another franchise tackle to help defend their quarterback. Lewan can provide a transition if Jake Long doesn't recover, or allows the team to push Rodger Saffold in to guard.|
|7||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||WR Mike Evans||When the Bucs traded away Mike Williams, this became more and more likely. Evans and Vincent Jackson would combine to give Lovie Smith his Alshon Jeffrey/Brandon Marshall-like duo.|
|8||Minnesota Vikings||PR Anthony Barr||The Vikings need to find their long-term pass rusher and Barr is the perfectly raw prospect to fill the role. Head coach Mike Zimmer is a wizard with defensive players and should get the most of Barr.|
|9||Buffalo Bills||CLE||OT Jake Matthews||Cleveland gets a tackle that can both push current right tackle Mitchell Schwartz in to guard, and provide the Browns with one of the best offensive lines in the league- crucial to the successful development of a young quarterback (who they'll draft later).|
|10||Detroit Lions||CB Kyle Fuller||Surprise? Maybe, but Fuller is the best cornerback in the draft and the Lions have been looking for consistency at the position for many years. He's a plug-and-play impact starter.|
|11||Tennessee Titans||CB Darqueze Dennard||The Titans need to replace the departed Alterraun Verner and Dennard will pair with Jason McCourty to provide a fierce duo in the secondary. There were no other pass rushers worth taking.|
|12||New York Giants||OT Zack Martin||The Giants are looking for a T/G-type player and Martin fits that to a "t". He's a dominant player at tackle and could prove the same ability at guard.|
|13||St. Louis Rams||S Hasean Clinton-Dix||The Rams stay put and add some help to their secondary, especially at their anemic safety position. HHCD will be a top back-stop for the defense.|
|14||Chicago Bears||CB Justin Gilbert||Another wrench, but Gilbert's fall stops here. He has a ton of potential and the top DTs for the Bears scheme aren't rated as highly (Timmy Jernigan). Gilbert adds some athleticism to the defense. DTs can come later.|
|15||Pittsburgh Steelers||WR Odell Beckham Jr.||The Steelers have promised Ben Roethlisberger with a top receiving target and ODB will pair with Antonio Brown to give the offense dangerous weapons on all levels of the field.|
|16||Dallas Cowboys||S Calvin Pryor||Perfect match? Pryor has the highest upside of all the safeties, but he's the biggest work in project. He can be a day one starter, but he'll need some coaching, but he's a big time prospect.|
|17||Baltimore Ravens||To MIA||TE Eric Ebron||The Dolphins make a quick move to get ahead of the Jets and to draft the best player on the board, especially without any of the top offensive linemen left. The next tier will be available in the next round.|
|18||New York Jets||TE Jace Amaro||The Jets seem to really like Amaro, who will provide Geno Smith with a receiver and developmental tight end who is capable of shouldering a large volume.|
|19||Miami Dolphins||BLT||WR Marqise Lee||Lee has fallen due to question marks about his hands and how much more polish he needs. The Ravens have had success with developing Torrey Smith and their skill sets complement one another.|
|20||Arizona Cardinals||QB Blake Bortles||Arizona breaks the quarterback bubble and takes Bruce Arians' quarterback of the future in Blake Bortles. Bortles fits the Arians mold and will have the opportunity to grow behind Carson Palmer for a season or two.|
|21||Green Bay Packers||To KC||S Jimmie Ward||The Chiefs need to leapfrog Philly to get the safety they want, and Ward has the potential to pair with Eric Berry and be a start tandem early on.|
|22||Philadelphia Eagles||CB Jason Verrett||Philly misses out on the top safeties, but a top corner is still on the board. Verrett is falling under the radar, but he could be the star of the class.|
|23||Kansas City Chiefs||GB||LB C.J. Mosley||Mosley is a perfect fit for a team's top need. He's a leader and he's a productive player. The Packers middle will finally be solidified.|
|24||Cincinnati Bengals||CB Bradley Roby||While there are some top pass rushers that fit the Bengals' needs, there is a drop between the top tier of corners and the next tier, and Roby is the last member of the top grouping. CB is a large need due to age and health.|
|25||San Diego Chargers||to HOU||QB Johnny Manziel||The Texans can't afford to wait any longer to get their quarterback as they jump back in front of the Browns to get their man. Manziel seems to be their top target and they are potentially willing to roll the dice for him first overall. To get him this late is a boon.|
|26||Cleveland Browns||QB Teddy Bridgewater||The Browns were also interested in Manziel, but they have to "settle" for the most ready of the quarterback prospects. Some might view his ceiling as less than the others, but he has the makings of a legitimate starter.|
|27||New Orleans Saints||WR Brandin Cooks||Cooks is an ideal weapon for Drew Brees and can play inside and outside. He can attack all levels of the field and is a menace with the ball in his hands.|
|28||Carolina Panthers||OT Morgan Moses||The Panthers have a ton of holes and they left some open for free agency. Moses needs some grooming, but he's a very good prospect who could be another decade-long starter at tackle. In a deep WR draft, the Panthers can wait.|
|29||New England Patriots||DT Dominique Easley||The Patriots only real pressing needs for starter quality is at pass rusher and tight end, both of which can be addressed on day two. Debating between Easley and Hageman is tough, but Easley apprently passed his physicals with flying colors and provides the Patriots with a penetrating 3-Tech that they don't currently have.|
|30||San Francisco 49ers||WR Allen Robinson||The 49ers are thin at wide receiver and Robinson can step in and run professional routes. His physicals are off the charts and he could become a dominant #1.|
|31||Denver Broncos||LB Ryan Shazier||The Broncos wait and they get the perfect fit. Shazier is an elite linebacker prospect and he can do everything the Broncos want out of a linebacker and takes over Wesley Woodyard's vacancy.|
|32||Seattle Seahawks||OT JaWuan James||The Seahawks need to replenish their offensive line, especially as they might not have the cap space to bring back Russell Okung after extending the trio of Earl Thomas, Russell Wilson, and Richard Sherman.|
|33||Houston Texans||to SD||DT Louis Nix III||His knees worry many, but a healthy Nix would be a steal to be the stalwart of the Chargers defensive interior.|
There you have it (plus the bonus pick so Chargers fans aren't left out. I got your back, especially with all the mocks that have the Patriots trading down without any picks to be made.
So let me hear it. What do you think?