The Commish’s Mock Draft 2.0 (Pre-Free Agency)
Let the overreacting commence in 3…2…1…
1. Houston Texans – Blake Bortles – QB – UCF
Commish’s Comments: No surprise that this pick likely comes down to Clowney or a quarterback. I think the Texans will be torn between Clowney and the prototypical Bortles. Bill O’Brien will have to decide how much better Bortles might be than a quarterback he can take at the top of round 2. CHECK OUT WHO THE TEXANS TAKE IN ROUND 2.
2. St. Louis Rams (via WAS) – Greg Robinson – OT – Auburn
Commish’s Comments: It would not surprise me to see the Rams go with Sammy Watkins here, but Robinson is proving himself to be a dominant force in this draft. For a team in need of offensive tackles, it could be extremely difficult passing on a player as naturally gifted as Robinson. CHECK OUT WHO THE RAMS TAKE IN ROUND 2.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars – Jadeveon Clowney – DE – South Carolina
Commish’s Comments: It might be difficult for the Jaguars fans to explain how they passed on both Bridgewater and Manziel, but Clowney’s talent could answer that question itself. David Caldwell and Gus Bradley are in it for the long haul with the Jaguars and it would just be too hard to pass on Clowney if available with the 3rd pick. I believe that if the Jaguars take a quarterback here, they might play it safer than Manziel and go with Bortles or Bridgewater. CHECK OUT WHO THE JAGUARS TAKE IN ROUND 2.
4. Cleveland Browns – Teddy Bridgewater – QB – Louisville
Commish’s Comments: With a 1st time GM and 1st time head coach, I just can’t buy the Manziel hype with this pick yet. Bridgewater is the better quarterback available with the ability to step right in and play well. Bridgewater is also a good fit in Kyle Shanahan’s offense that consists of rollouts and bootlegs. Like with Jacksonville, I just feel teams in the top 5 might pass on Johnny Manziel for a “safer” pick because teams picking this high tend to play it safe rather than roll the dice. CHECK OUT WHO THE BROWNS TAKE IN ROUND 2.
5. Oakland Raiders – Sammy Watkins – WR – Clemson
Commish’s Comments: The Raiders need a true go-to premier receiver. Watkins is a special talent who might not possess elite height, but is a playmaker and touchdown scorer. The Raiders might look to a QB in round 2, but they’re also a team that might shy away from the polarizing Manziel, especially if Reggie McKenzie is calling the shots. Now, if Al Davis was alive, it might be a different story. CHECK OUT WHO THE RAIDERS TAKE IN ROUND 2.
6. Atlanta Falcons – Khalil Mack – DE/OLB – Buffalo
Commish’s Comments: Jake Matthews is an option here, but the Falcons defense is a much bigger weakness. Mack just has a natural understanding of how to get to opposing quarterbacks with multiple pass rush moves and the ability to play with excellent leverage and power. CHECK OUT WHO THE FALCONS TAKE IN ROUND 2.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Johnny Manziel – QB – Texas A&M
Commish’s Comments: If any of the top players in this draft could slip, I think the prime candidate would have to be Johnny Manziel because teams picking with the top 5 selections would much rather play it safe than roll the dice on a “boom or bust” prospect. We all know the positives and negatives Manziel brings with him. The real question here is, what will the Bucs new brass do if Manziel is sitting on the board as the clock starts for the Buccaneers? This has nothing to do with publicity or selling tickets. The drafting of Manziel would simply be because Lovie Smith believes he needs more out of his quarterback than Mike Glennon can give him, and he believes Manziel can give that to him and win a lot of games. Any team that drafts Manziel must be committed to him 100% or it will not work. Lovie Smith got fired by the Bears after taking them to a 10-6 record. I’m certain he realized that it takes more than just a great defense to win and keep your job in the NFL. I also believe it will take a coach with job security to take the ultimate chance on Manziel. I do not believe any coach in the top 10 picks has better job security than Lovie Smith after the way the last 2 coaches and 5 years has played out for the Bucs. I know this might be hard for some people to fathom, but it very well could become a reality. Manziel is a talented guy who makes plays in and out of the pocket. If he is available with the 7th pick, the Bucs very well could take him and make him the face of the franchise. Uh oh! CHECK OUT WHO THE BUCS TAKE IN ROUND 2.
I’m certain there will be many fans upset if the Bucs do draft Manziel:
8. Minnesota Vikings – CJ Mosley – LB – Alabama
Commish’s Comments: New coach Mike Zimmer needs a new leader on offense, but he also needs a new leader on defense. Mosley can grow in Zimmer’s new defense with the Vikings. CHECK OUT WHO THE VIKINGS TAKE IN ROUND 2.
9. Buffalo Bills – Jake Matthews – OT – Texas A&M
Commish’s Comments: The Bills need more playmakers on offense, but with Matthews on the board, protecting EJ Manuel becomes important as well. Matthews is probably as “NFL ready” as any prospect in this draft. He doesn’t have the potential or natural ability that Greg Robinson has, but could anchor an offensive line for more than 10 years. CHECK OUT WHO THE BILLS TAKE IN ROUND 2.
10. Detroit Lions – Mike Evans – WR – Texas A&M
Commish’s Comments: A pick of Evans here by the Lions might make their offense unstoppable. Evans displayed the speed needed for him at the combine. His ball skills are outstanding, and with Calvin Johnson on the other side, Evans should see easier coverage options on his side. CHECK OUT WHO THE LIONS TAKE IN ROUND 2.
11. Tennessee Titans – Justin Gilbert – CB – Oklahoma St.
Commish’s Comments: The Titans have some needs in their secondary, especially with Alterraun Verner testing free agency. Gilbert is a corner with an excellent blend of size and speed. His physical play should fit right in with the new look Titans. CHECK OUT WHO THE TITANS TAKE IN ROUND 2.
12. New York Giants – Eric Ebron – TE – North Carolina
Commish’s Comments: It’s a new era for the Giants on offense. Taylor Lewan is very attractive here, but with new offensive coordinator Bob McAdoo taking over, the tight end could become a much more important position. Ebron is a “Vernon Davis” type threat at tight end with the ability to stretch a defense and give Eli Manning a reliable security blanket. CHECK OUT WHO THE GIANTS TAKE IN ROUND 2.
13. St. Louis Rams – Ha Ha Clinton-Dix – S – Alabama
Commish’s Comments: For the time being, the Rams look good at corner, but they need an upgrade of talent at safety. Clinton-Dix is a big safety that can match up with tight ends, but also help out in run support. CHECK OUT WHO THE RAMS TAKE IN ROUND 2.
14. Chicago Bears – Aaron Donald – DT – Pitt
Commish’s Comments: It wouldn’t surprise me one bit if Donald started being talked about as a top 10 pick. He is slightly undersized like Geno Atkins and just as effective. If Henry Melton leaves in free agency, or even if he stays, this should be a no-brainer for the Bears. CHECK OUT WHO THE BEARS TAKE IN ROUND 2.
15. Pittsburgh Steelers – Taylor Lewan – OT – Michigan
Commish’s Comments: This would be the ideal situation for the Steelers. Lewan falling to this pick is simply the result of a very talented draft. Lewan instantly becomes the Steelers staring left tackle and is very good in pass protection and in opening up holes in the run game. CHECK OUT WHO THE STEELERS TAKE IN ROUND 2.
16. Dallas Cowboys – Timmy Jernigan – DT – FSU
Commish’s Comments: The Cowboys will be hoping for Donald to fall, but if he doesn’t Jernigan can fill the need at under tackle in Rod Marinelli’s defense. CHECK OUT WHO THE COWBOYS TAKE IN ROUND 2.
Follow Justin Pawlowski on twitter @Commishonline for updates on the NFL Draft and the Bucs.