1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Brett Hundley, QB UCLA
The Denver Broncos have scored as many points in each of their last two games that the Jaguars have scored for the entire season. The only way to change this is to draft a do it all franchise signal caller and with each passing week, Brett Hundley is that man. All the UCLA red shirt sophomore did was hit for the football cycle on Thursday in UCLA’s 34-27 win at Utah. Hundley threw for a touchdown, rushed for a touchdown, caught a touchdown pass and even pinned Utah inside the 10 with a punt.
2. New York Giants: Jadeveon Clowney DE South Carolina
The team with the Super Bowl countdown clock in its locker room is now 0-5 for just the fourth time in franchise history and the first time since the strike-shortened season of 1987. Instead of playing for a Super Bowl berth, the Giants are now playing to avoid the franchise-worst 0-9 start of the 1976 squad. They have allowed an NFL worst 182-points, which is 13 more than the Jaguars. It appears Jadeveon Clowney decided to sit out the year after all. Because of injuries, in three games this season, Clowney has just 12 tackles and 2 sacks. NFL EXECS DON’T CARE!. According to an article dated Oct 8 in USA Today Sports, “Nah, no one will care,” an executive in personnel for an NFL team told USA Today.
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Teddy Bridgewater, QB Louisville
Josh Freeman is now in Minnesota, as NC State rookie QB Mike Glennon takes his turn behind center for the Buccaneers. It will not matter if Greg Schiano is the coach next year or not, if Tampa Bay is picking in the top six, they will take a shot on one of the franchise QB’s in this draft. At this spot, it is Bridgewater or Hundley and in my mock draft, it’s the Louisville signal caller at No.3 for the 32nd ranked passing attack in the NFL.
4. Minnesota Vikings: Taj Boyd, QB Clemson
Funny How Josh Freeman will now play a pivotal role in another team’s decision to draft a franchise QB next May. Freeman was signed for one year in Minnesota and will have to make the most of his fresh start wearing purple. If he can be at least above average and a tad more than serviceable, the Vikings may not opt to select a QB here considering Jared Allen’s pending free agency. It’s likely Allen will command top dollar on the market and because the Vikings have Everson Griffen behind him they will not likely resign Allen. But this is the NFL in 2013 and everything starts with a franchise QB, which the Vikings DO NOT HAVE.
5. Carolina Panthers: Jake Matthews, OT Texas A&M
If the Panthers only had an offense, they may actually be a team that push the Saints. But they don’t. They need some help in the secondary but that is about as pressing as it gets in Carolina on defense . The OL and WR are where Carolina will look to upgrade here. I say they snag the top OL in the draft and that is Texas A&M’s Jake Matthews. Johnny Manziel’s blindside protector has the size, skill, and the bloodlines to become one of the best offensive tackles in the NFL and with Jordan Gross getting up there in years (11 in the NFL), this is as good a time to make this pick.
6. Pittsburgh Steelers: Taylor Lewan, OT Michigan
If the Steelers are drafting in the top ten and it appears they will be, they will use the pick on an offensive tackle. The OT play has been so bad this season, the Steelers traded for Levi Brown from Arizona. According to Pro Football Focus, only three OT’s have performed worse than Brown this season, so you see the desperation. Big Ben is on pace to be sacked 60 times this season, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he announced the pick of Taylor Lewan, if he’s able to stand at the podium. At 6-7, 315-pounds Lewan has all of the necessary tools and talents to play at a high level for many years in the Steel City.
7. Philadelphia Eagles: Marcus Mariota, QB Oregon
The Eagles’ defense is just plain bad. They rank 32nd in total yards, 31st in passing yards, 26th in rushing yards, and 31st in points allowed per game. Nearly every position needs help, so it will be interesting to see if Chip Kelly uses this pick on a QB or trade it to draft a few defensive players later in the first round. The pick should be Anthony Barr from UCLA but with Marcus Mariota on the board, it is hard to imagine Kelly passing up his former QB at Oregon. It is not the smart pick but the likely pick if he is available when Philly is on the clock.
8. Buffalo Bills: Bradley Roby, CB Ohio State
Despite picking Joe Flacco off five times two weeks ago, the Bills enter Week 6. ranked 28 in pass defense. Robey is a Playmaker with elite speed, quickness, and breaking ability but he was torched by Wisconsin’s Jared Abbrederis two weeks ago, who had 10 catches, 207 yards and a touchdown. Against Northwestern, Roby earned Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week after blocking a punt and recovering it for a touchdown but the Wildcats were still able to pass for 343 yards. Roby’s stock could fall and TCU’s Jason Verrett could take his place if performances such as this are not slowed in the coming weeks.
9. Oakland Raiders: Sammy Watkins, WR Clemson
I am sold that the Raiders believe Terrell Pryor is the long-term solution going forward. I did not say I was sold but he is the reason they are not drafting in the top 5. The smart play would be to trade back once again, stockpiling a few more picks. Oakland’s defense has been a surprise but they still need help. However, finding a playmaker for Pryor is likely where the Raiders head at No.9 and that could be Sammy Watkins from Clemson. Watkins & USC’s Marquis Lee and Texas A&M’s Mike Evans are considered the top three WR’s in the draft. In three games against FBS competition (Georgia, NC State, Wake Forest), Watkins is averaging seven catches for 112 yards and a score.
10. St. Louis Rams: Louis Nix III, DL Notre Dame
The Rams are one of the bigger disappointments in the NFL this season and especially on defense. After tying for the league lead with 52 sacks last season, the Rams are not only NOT getting to the QB but4 weeks into the 2013 season, the team has allowed 24, 31, 31 and 35 points per game en route to a 1-3 record. Everybody runs on the Rams and their 27th ranked rush defense. It only makes sense to sure up the middle of the front seven with these two picks at this point, well at least one of them. Nix is a potential-future NFL Pro-Bowl type run-stuffer with enough burst and determination to push the pocket. With five tackles and despite losing to Oklahoma, Nix was solid against the Sooners and senior center Gabe Ikard, who is also an NFL prospect.
11. St. Louis Rams (From Washington): Cyrus Kouandjio, OT Alabama
The Rams could trade one of these two picks and get two to three potential impact starters but may opt to stay with both in hopes of grabbing players with Pro-Bowl potential. One of the players is OT Cyrus Kouandjio from Alabama. At 6’6 and 310 lbs., Kouandjio is a physically blessed athlete, who has begun to draw comparisons to former Redskins Pro Bowl left tackle Chris Samuels, the No. 3 overall pick out of Alabama in 2000. The Rams are also going to have to contend with Rodger Saffold’s free agency in 2014 so a tackle with this pick is perfect.
12. Cleveland Browns: Johnny Manziel QB, Texas A&M
No matter how I try to slice the mock draft pie, I see the Browns with Johnny Football. The Browns won for the third consecutive week since trading Trent Richardson. Lost for the season was backup QB Brian Hoyer who tore his ACL vs. Buffalo last Thursday, which means Brandon Weeden is now back under center—which means, the Browns will take a Manziel type of signal caller with their first pick in the first round. In my opinion, Johnny Football leads the Heisman race and why shouldn’t he with almost 1,500 passing yards, another 314 on the ground and 17 total touchdowns in only 5 games.
13. Arizona Cardinals: Anthony Barr OLB, UCLA
The Cardinals may be a dancing partner for one of the teams looking to trade down. Arizona needs an OT, as well as a QB for the future but they will take this gift as well. Arizona could always address their need for another WR but with Barr on the board, this is a no brainer. Barr only falls to 10 because he’s a victim of QB & Tackle circumstance and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Giants or Raiders take him earlier. He is a former running back that exploded onto the Pac-12 scene last year registering 21½ tackles for loss and 13½ sacks. He has been just as dominant in 2013.
14. NY Jets : Marquis Lee, WR USC
Lee’s 2013 season has seen about everything but the big plays we are accustomed to seeing from the reigning Biletnikoff Award winner. It is truly not his fault. The QB situation at USC is a mess, Lane Kiffin has been fired and now Lee is dealing with a knee sprain. Lee has been, as productive as can be expected with 30 receptions through five games and his draft stock will likely not be affected much if the Trojans cannot get the offense turned around and headed in the right direction.
15. San Diego Chargers: Jason Verrett, CB, TCU
The Chargers did it again. They made another average to below average NFL QB look as if he were a Pro- Bowler. This time, Terrell Pryor of the Raiders had his way with SD’s defense. The Chargers can score points and gain yards almost as much as they surrender them. This pick will be used to bolster the NFL’s 27th ranked overall defense after Week 5. As to which part of the unit the Chargers will bolster, take your pick. Although he does not possess prototypical NFL DB size Verrett is more than agile enough and skilled enough to be a good NFL corner. Verrett led the pass happy Big 12 with 22 passes defended and six interceptions in 2012. He injured his shoulder in TCU’s win over SMU, but the injury isn’t expected to keep him sidelined for very long. Verrett could be the top CB in the draft once the season ends.
16. Detroit Lions: CJ Mosley, LB Alabama
DeAndre Levy and Stephen Tulloch have turned in decent seasons thus far. Moseley would be a great addition behind a stout Lions front line. According to Mel Kiper, Mosley is gifted in coverage, and has the all-around versatility that will make him an appealing linebacker in any scheme. He flies to the ball and makes a ton of plays; now he simply needs to get a bit stronger and show the leverage against the run. However, on the weak side, he gets through blocks and chases everything down (or just beats people to the ball).