While I do know that no one can ever get a perfect mock, it is my opinion that creating a mock with no trades is going to be wrong anyway because of draft day trades, so why not mock trades! I tried to be as realistic as I could and tried picking up on a few whispers that I've heard and incorporating them in.
The trades that I mocked are not based on any point system. I'm making these trades based on how much I believe the team at the position wants to trade out or trade. We only gave up a 2nd to move up 8 spots to #6 in 2012 to snag Mo (seemingly great value), and only picked up a third to move down from 18 to 31 last year to get Fredrick. I see trading up as generally not having to give up as much as some believe the cost to be, unless its a big jump by a team who really wants a player (see Atlanta, Julio Jones).
Also, I gave a little extra explanation when there was a trade made. I know it's long, but why the hell not! Anyway, without further ado, I shall begin!
1) TRADE: Atlanta selects Jadeveon Clowney DE
Atlanta trades the 6th overall pick, their 2nd round pick and 4th round pick for Houston's 1st overall pick and their 5th
I think this trade has a very good chance of happening. Atlanta needs an elite OT or pass rusher, but if I'm the Falcons sitting at 6, I'd worry that I'd lose my top 4 choices (Robinson, Matthews, Clowney, and Mack). I, unlike many draft experts, do feel that there is a noticeable dropoff from Matthews to Taylor Lewan in terms of talent and off the field red flags. This is not a bad team and is a player or two away from being in contention again. Houston has a lot of ways they could go and I'm sure if they take one player here, they'll feel bad that they couldn't take one of the other guys. They have a great defense, a great RB, good WRs, and a solid O line. What this team needs to get back into contention is a QB. None of the QBs in this draft are worth the #1 pick. At 6, there's the chance they could still be in a spot to draft their QB. I think the trade is a relative bargain for the falcons. The Texans don't have too much leverage in this position. The Falcons could offer the same trade to the Rams, take Mack, and feel just as happy.
2) St. Louis selects Greg Robinson OT
There are rumblings that the Rams may be looking to move on from Sam Bradford. I dont believe in this, especially when the poor guy has never had a solid offensive line to save his behind. I think they could use another WR who can play on the outside, but this draft is deep there and they could find one in the second or third round.
3) Jacksonville selects Khalil Mack DE/OLB
The Jags could go a lot of ways here, but they have so many needs that it would serve them best to take the BPA. They do desperately need a good QB, but I dont think any of the current guys are worth it this high. Mack is in my books the best player here and is not too bad of a consolation to Clowney
4) TRADE: Detroit selects Sammy Watkins WR
Detroit trades their 10th overall, 2nd, and 4th round picks for Cleveland's 4th overall pick
Here is where I could start taking a lot of flack. "What?" you say. "They already have Megatron." I know, I know. I'm pretty surprised too, and I'm writing this mock. But from sources online that I've read, Detroit's GM is enamored with Watkins ability and are apparently in talks with a team to trade up and gettem. Detroit has been in the conversation for a WR this entire draft build up period, and I believe that they will make a surprising move like this come draft time tomorrow. Cleveland, on the other hand, has a lot of ways it could go. They could take Watkins for themselves and have a formidable duo. Or they could take their pick of a QB that they sorely need. I think 10 is a good spot for them to trade back to and get some premium picks. I feel like Watkins would be a luxury and at 10 they could have a chance at a QB they like, especially considering that the teams from 5-9 would be a good fit for Johnny Football.
5) TRADE: San Francisco selects Mike Evans WR
San Fran trades 30th overall, both its 2nds, and its middle 3rd for Oakland's 5th overall pick
Hey, I said there would be a lot of trades everywhere didn't I? Just after Detroit makes a crazy move to grab Watkins, San Fran makes a huge jump to get their man, Mike Evans. But I feel like this may be more predictable than it seems on the surface. The 49ers have a plethora of early picks, but their roster is already loaded. They could use a blue chip impact player over guys who may not get much playing time. The amazing part is they'd still have TWO third round picks after making the trade. While Oakland could stand pat and take Jake Matthews, they need help in a lot of places. They spent some on FA this go around on OL and they drafted Menelik Watson last year in the second, so I think it would make sense for them to jump back and collect picks. I also believe that the Vikings would be trying to make a move up here as well to get a chance at Blake Bortles and take him from Houston.
6) Houston selects Blake Bortles QB
Bortles would be a great fit for this team. The coach prefers in the pocket QBs. Bortles would be in a great place to develop and they could rely on Foster in the early goings. After collecting some picks in the trade, Houston would do well to get Bortles.
7) Tampa Bay selects Jake Matthews OT
I'm sure that the Bucs would have liked Evans to drop here, but I think they'd be more than happy to take Matthews here. They're line is no good and to get a prospect like Matthews here would be a coup.
8) Minnesota selects C.J. Mosley LB
My perfect fit here is Bortles, but no sadly they can't get him. Minnesota needs secondary help and line backer help. I there isn't a consensus among the CBs and it may be a little rich here for one. Mosley at 8 is a bit of a reach as well, but he's a great player and when healthy is a beast. People say Donald could go here, but I just dont see the value with Floyd and Joesph already there. Too much already invested.
9) Buffalo selects Eric Ebron TE
EJ Manuel is a young QB and needs some dynamic threats. Robert Woods was a good pick last year. Stevie Johnson is solid. But with a guy like Ebron on the offense, he could have a Jimmy Graham type receiver and would make for a great combo with Scott Chandler.
10) Cleveland selects Johnny Manziel QB
I think JFF is a great fit for this team. They have a lot of talent and Manziel could be electric there. Fine value too. They can grab a WR and RB in the second or third now that they have so much ammo. Could be force of a team in a few years.
11) Tennessee selects Kyle Fuller CB
Lost Verner this offseason and they already need help in the secondary. Too rich of a spot for Ha Ha or Pryor. This is a good spot for one of the CBs to go and from what I've read, they seem to be favoring Fuller over Gilbert and Dennard.
12) New York Giants select Taylor Lewan OT
Eli falls on his butt a whole lot. They need to fix that, ASAP. Pugh was okay last year, but they could kick him in and he could be fine at guard. At 12, Lewan has too much value at a position of need for the Giants to pass up.
13) St Louis selects Calvin Pryor S
I think the Rams are gonna try hard to get out of here, but from the looks of things, I dont think there is going to be anyone to trade with. Most likely situation is if a team trades up for Beckham at WR, but I think this would be too high for him. It very well could happen though (think Philly, Jets, Chiefs) The Rams need more on their defensive backfield and at WR. Again, too high for Beckham and there are WRs that they can grab in later rounds. While I don't like Pryor (or Ha Ha) very much, safety is a position that always gets pushed up the draft and the he'd be a good pick for the Rams
14) Chicago selects Aaron Donald DT
The need for a 3 tech DT may have been lessened some due to all the moves they made along the D line in FA. They also could really use a safety. But like with the Cowboys, he's just too valuable a player at this point and you can make room for a terror like him and he represents way more value than any safety at this point.
15) Pittsburgh selects Darqueze Dennard CB
The Steelers very atrocious on defense last year and could make multiple picks here to try to fix it. Ol' Ike is gettin up there in years and William Gay aint no world better, so I think they go CB here. Between Gilbert and Dennard, I see Dennard as the safer and more well rounded player. Gilbert has great has great potential, but I'm not sold on him.
16) Dallas selects Anthony Barr DE
I think they'd take Barr over Donald. Nothing much else to say. Sprint this pick up to the podium.
17) Baltimore selects Ha Ha Clinton-Dix S
The Ravens need a DB and a WR. I initially was leaning Beckham here, but Brian Billick over on NFL.com gave a pretty compelling argument for Ha Ha. GM Ozzy Newsome has strong ties to Alabama, needs a safety, and they safety left on the board is good value at the pick.
18) New York Jets select Odell Beckham Jr. WR
I do not like Eric Decker as the #1 receiving option for any team. They could use defensive help as well and you know Rex will be asking for some, but at this spot, Beckham is great value and could make for a great target for Vick to use in conjunction with Decker.
19) Miami selects Zach Martin G/OT
Everyone and their momma knows the 'fins are achin for some O line help. Martin is superb value here and could play anywhere on their line. Plus, no red character flags. If Martin lasts this long, this pick is signed, sealed, and delivered.
20) Arizona selects Teddy Bridgewater QB
Arizona is deceptively good team. Defense is amazing. They found some good RB options in the draft last year to help them along. Palmer is a so so QB at this point, but has said in the offseason that he'd be okay if the Cards pick a QB in the first. I think Bridgewater could come in and sit for a year and get some experience when Palmer invariably gets booed off the field (can't tell if I'm kdding). Plus with a superstar veteran WR there in Fitz to help guide him along, I see Arizona as a likely spot for Bridgewater to go.
21) TRADE: Carolina selects Marquise Lee WR
Carolina trades their 28th overall, 3rd, and 5th round picks for Green Bay's 21st overall
Carolina desperately needs a WR. They got a lotta good goin on there, but their WR situation made our D line situation look admirable. I see the next few remaining late first round WRs possibly going soon, so Carolina would be wise to make a move up. Lee was considered by some as the number 1 WR in the class early in the season, but has fallen some over the year. The talent is still there for him to make a good #1 in this league. Green Bay is interesting as they could go a lot of ways here. They need a safety, but too early for Ward. They could use an OLB, but I think Shazier is all hype, Ford isn't high on their list from what I've heard, and a little too early for Demarcus Lawrence. They lost James Jones at WR and people have been calling to find someone to replace him, but they are set at the position with Jordy and Cobb. If they get a good offer, they could get some good picks and have a chance for their guy to fall to them.
22) Philadelphia selects Justin Gilbert CB
I think Chip Kelly would make himself look exceptionally foolish by cutting his star WR and proceeding to use his 1st round pick on a WR (or trade up for one). It would make zero sense to me. Their CBs are decent at best (apart from Boykin in the slot; kids a beast) and this position has plagued them for a long time. Gilbert has the physical qualities to dominate, but could use some time. They wouldn't need to throw him into the fire the first year because they have Fletcher and Williams for the short term. I think its way more likely the Eagles take a WR in the third to fourth round.
23) Kansas City selects Brandin Cooks WR
Great, great defense. Great WR. Good game manager QB. They could draft a developmental QB, but I don't think they do it in round 1. Need interior O line help after losing a couple of guys in FA, but no one I like here. Apart for Bowe, who is an up and down #1 WR, they have no one of value at WR. Cooks is electric and would be terrific value at this spot.
24) Cincinnati selects Bradley Roby CB
They may look to go QB at some point in this draft, but like the Chiefs, its too early for them to do it round 1. They have a trio of older CBs on the team right now and need some young talent there. Probably down between Roby and Verrett, but I don't think Verrett's size is going to let him succeed in this league. Roby has a little more height and weight to him and can develop well behind some veterans for a year or two.
25) San Diego selects Louis Nix III DT
I see the Chargers needing a Nose Tackle and CB. The corners have all been taken for the most part (and my lack of love for Verrett is visible). Nix is a disruptive man and I think has slipped a bit in the minds of people. I think in a few years, he could make the sort of impact Poe does with the Chiefs
26) Cleveland selects Ryan Shazier LB
The Browns do not have a particularly strong LB group. Dansby is great, but getting up there in age. With his athleticism, I think Shazier could fit really well at Leo and could even see him playing at OLB. Want a WR and RB, but they have ammo in the second round for that (Carlos Hyde anyone?).
27) New Orleans selects Dee Ford OLB
I think this is the perfect fit for Ford. He is a pass rushing specialist and could be like the Demarcus Ware LOLB who rushes 90% of the plays. Rob Ryan would love this guy. I think this has the making of a great marriage.
28) Green Bay selects Demarcus Lawrence OLB
Similar to Ford, I think this would be a good fit for Lawrence and Green Bay. Would like a safety here, but the top two are gone so could be a spot for Ward. A TE could also be a possibility here. One of the picks that I am not as certain about cuz there are so many ways they could go
29) TRADE: Jacksonville selects Derek Carr G
Jacksonville trades their 2nd and 3rd round picks for New England's 29 overall
I think Carr is a good fit for the Jags, but I feel like they are worried that someone like Tampa Bay, Minnesota, or St Louis may trade up and take their guy or that the Raiders will take him at 30. The price is a little steep (could just be a 2 and a 4), but if they really want Carr they'll have to pay retail for him.
30) Oakland selects Xavier Su'a-Filo G
There's a lot Oakland needs, but with the trade back, they have ammo to try to address their many needs. They need help at LB, DT, Oline, and QB. Not any worthwhile LB or DT at this spot (unless they are inclined to roll the dice of Easley in the first round). Too early for Garoppolo here I think. They signed 2 OTs in FA so I think interior O line is a good place for them to address. Su'a-Filo is the best guard in this draft and could really help shore up the interior of the line.
31) Denver selects Morgan Moses OT
With signs that Orlando Franklin may move to LG this year, the Broncos could be looking to upgrade at RT. Moses is viewed extremely highly by some and could come in and have value for the Broncos who already seem to have everything else going right for them and a never ending source of cash from which they can sign players (Sorry, thats the bitter Cowboys in me)
32) Seattle selects Jace Amaro TE
I think WR is more pressing, but I don't see any other WR having first round value, unless Kelvin Benjamin or Jordan Matthews sneak in. Amaro has fallen in the eyes of some, but I still think that he is a dynamic threat and will go in around this area. I don't see the Seattle Front Office as the type to overdraft a WR this year, especially after giving up permium picks for Harvin last year. That defense is smothering and the offense is pretty darn good on its own right. There's a chance they go Kouandijo here, but I think Amaro helps make this offense even more explosive.
Well, there ya go. My first round mock draft and all of its many trades. Let's see if any of it holds up tomorrow!