PRE-COMBINE MOCK DRAFT

Updated 2/20

1) Houston Texans: Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State


The Texans scare me. They have needed a young high potential QB forever, but it also took the team four years to draft a guy across from Andre Johnson. In today's mock I will start with the least likely of the QB prospects to rise to the top in Carr. 

He is the most experienced guy, and the one that could help the team win now the best. If his brother hadn't busted on the Texans (a lot of the fault goes to the team on that one), I think he would be in the final two names to go here. And it does make some sense. Manziel has a lot of concerns on and off the field. Bortles is a little raw, and Bridgewater has some injury concerns. Carr is safe in terms of top potential, but he is also safe in terms of bustability. 

I of course do think that this will change over the next two months, but it should also be known that anything can happen. I would be willing to bet that near the end of the draft process we will hear about Houston talking to Carr a lot more than a few of the other top guys because of the chance that they trade back (or back up later).

2) St. Louis Rams (from Was): Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina

The Rams should take a tackle here, but Jeff Fisher doesn't value his O-line. He is much more likely to take a monster like Clowney who can rotate in. Chris Long is also starting to cost the team a very pretty penny.

3) Jacksonville Jaguars: Blake Bortles, QB, UCF


I don't honestly know who the Jags would pick if they had one shot, but my guess would be Bortles. The team isn't going to draft Manziel just because he can sell tickets, because Tebow would be their starter if they wanted ticket sales. 

4) Cleveland Browns: Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M

I don't know which team is going to fall in love with Manziel, but the Browns could be it. The team has been craving a character since Lebron left, and they might love the potential the Manziel can bring.

5) Oakland Raiders: Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville

No shock here. The Raiders need a QB badly, and they get a good one in Bridgewater. Bridgewater has Aaron Rodgers potential and Big Reggie might see some resemblances.

6) Atlanta Falcons: Khalil Mack, DE (LB), Buffalo

The Falcons might go with a tackle here, but it isn't likely after extending Sam Baker. I feel like this is a huge spot for the Falcons to trade back here at all costs.

7) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn

I don't get the Robinson love, but I do think he will end up as the first linemen off the board.

8) Minnesota Vikings: Anthony Barr, DE (LB), UCLA


The Vikings need some huge weapons, and Barr is a great one that can get plugged in.

9) Buffalo Bills: Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson

I don't know that the Bills would go receiver this early again, but plugging Watkins into this offense could make it an insanely interesting one to play with.

10) Detroit Lions: Mike Evans, WR, TAMU

I don't love Evans, but he would be an exciting weapon to plug into that offense.

11) Tennessee Titans: Jake Matthews, OT, TAMU

Tennessee could go a bunch of different ways with this pick, but I think that a talent like Matthews might be too hard to pass on.

12) New York Giants: CJ Mosley, LB, Alabama

I don't quite believe any of the mocks that have the Giants going OT or DT here. The team took one of each in the top-50 last year, and it would have to be a special defensive line talent to snatch there. They could go corner or receiver depth, but getting a guy like Mosley who can fit in at a couple of linebacker slots would fill a need that this team has needed for awhile.

13) St. Louis Rams: Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan

The Rams and Jeff Fisher might not think that linemen are a top value in the draft, but with a second pick it is arguably the best player left here. A move like this would also be the best combo of talent compared to taking a Greg Robinson type of pick earlier.

14) Chicago Bears: Timmy Jernigan, DT, FSU

If the Bears don't draft a ton of defensive talent in this draft then they just don't get it. Timmy Jernigan is probably the best player available on defense here, and the Bears showed with the draft last year that they will ignore draft depth to get the best guys. 

15) Pittsburgh Steelers: Marquise Lee, WR, USC

The Steelers sit every year and wait for what talent falls to them, so it would only make sense that they would end up with Marquise Lee.

16) Dallas Cowboys: Ha'Sean Clinton Dix, S, Alabama

HaHa Clinton Dix (possibly the strangest name ever) is the best corner in the draft, and he would be a good asset to plug into a Cowboys team that got roasted too many times last year.

17) Baltimore Ravens: Kelvin Benjamin, WR, FSU

This could go a lot of different ways, but Benjamin would add a threat that they lost last year from Anquan Boldin. He doesn't have as good of a skillset in terms of possession skills, but he is able to attack in a lot of similar ways.

18) New York Jets: Eric Ebron, TE, UNC

The Jets could definitely go with one of the good defensive talents on the board, but they have to find as many tools to shape around Geno Smith that they can.

19) Miami Dolphins: Zack Martin, OT/G, Notre Dame

This pick makes so much sense that I fear the Dolphins will mess it up. They have lost too much talent on the line to not find one to three guys to replace.

20) Arizona Cardinals: Ra'Shede Hageman, DE/DT, Minnesota

I think Hageman could be the steal of the draft, and he very easily could be stolen by a team like Minnesota.

21) Green Bay Packers: Louis Nix, NT, Notre Dame

This is higher than most think, but Nix's health is something that I think will hurt his draft status. 

22) Philadelphia Eagles: Justin Gilbert, CB, OK State

The Eagles (like the Bears) need to get as much defensive power that they can. Gilbert is a Chip Kelly kind of dude.

23) Kansas City Chiefs: Jace Amaro, TE, Texas Tech

This guy makes too much sense. He is a tight end that just had 106 catches last year, good for 7th most in college. 

24) Cincinnati Bengals: Kony Ealy, DE, Mizzou

The Bengal's offense doesn't really have a ton of needs, so grabbing the best guy left on defense might be an option.

25) San Diego Chargers: Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan St.

The Chargers could go a million ways with this pick, but as long as Peyton is on the Broncos the more the team will need corner depth.

26) Cleveland Browns (from Ind): Cyrus Kouandjio, OT, Alabama

Too many people think that a team who inherited a pick like this one would have to take an impact player, but it just doesn't work that way. The Browns will pick the best player of need on their list. Kouandjio could step in as a possible elite bookend right tackle which should do nothing but cement the rest of the offensive line. The team is not going to reach on a receiver or running back unless they think one is worth it.

27) New Orleans Saints: Dee Ford, DE/LB, Auburn

The Saints just cut half of their defense recently, so they will be looking for a ton of defensive help.

28) Carolina Panthers: Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State

If the Panthers don't use this pick on something that can help Cam Newton then they don't deserve to take the next step. 

29) New England Patriots: Stephon Tuitt, DE/DT, Notre Dame

Tuitt is a force that can play DE or DT for a team like the Pats.

30) San Francisco 49ers: Loucheiz Purifoy, CB, Florida

This is a slight reach right now, but I think Purifoy could blow it up at the combine, and the 49ers are a team that might take a chance on a raw-but powerful corner.

31) Denver Broncos: Odell Beckham Jr, WR, LSU

At the end of the day I think the Broncos know that the only thing keeping them back from a championship is Manning. I don't know if Beckham Jr. hurts that.

32) Seattle Seahawks: Austin Sefarian-Jenkins, TE, Washington

The Seahawks could add an extra level of fear into their offense, and Sefarian-Jenkins has Gronk potential.