It's #MockMonday once again, meaning it's time for our next Phinsider projection of May's NFL Draft. The schedule has completed a full rotation of mocks, meaning we are back to me with my fourth Mock Draft of the year.
The Texans have three options with this pick, taking Bortles, the big bodied quarterback, Jadeveon Clowney, the dynamic pass rusher and top rated prospect, or Teddy Bridgewater, the quarterback most ready to start from day one. In the end, the need for a quarterback rules out Clowney, and Bortles' ceiling is higher than Bridgewater, even if he is more raw today.
The Rams shake up the 2014 edition of the NFL Draft by snagging Bridgewater with the second overall selection. Just four years after selecting Sam Bradford with the number one overall pick, there's a lot of talk that the Rams could be considering a move on from the oft-injured signal caller. Taking Bridgewater puts competition on the roster for Bradford, and, at the least, gives St. Louis an option if Bradford is hurt again.
The Jaguars make it three-for-three at quarterback by taking the most electrifying - and polarizing - player in the Draft. Johnny Football may not have been their top choice of the three, but he is still on the board. He immediately comes in as the competition for Chad Henne, and should supplant him as the starter at some point during the season.
Well, that did not go as planned. With all three quarterbacks off the board, the Browns turn to the offensive line, giving them perhaps the best tackle tandem in the league and being able to dominate defensive lines as they open holes for new running back Ben Tate. The Browns defense is really strong, and picking up Jadeveon Clowney, who is still on the board, should be a consideration, but the weakness of the team is the offense, and they have to work on fixing that.
Things are mighty rough when you miss out on the three quarterbacks and have to settle for the top rated player in the Draft. That's exactly what happens for Oakland in this scenario. The Raiders signed multiple free agents at the defensive end position this year, but Clowney is too talented to not pull the trigger.
With the board falling the way it did here, the Falcons jumping up into the top four to grab Jadeveon Clowney would not be a surprise. Atlanta does need to address the offensive line, so if they do not move up to grab Clowney, adding Matthews should be the right move.
The Buccaneers land the top player at the receiver position, a position of need even before the trade sending Mike Williams to Buffalo. Knowing what a Lovie Smith team looks like, skipping wide receiver for Khalil Mack or Anthony Barr would not be out of the question.
A quarterback moving up draft boards to be selected with the eighth overall pick should sound pretty familiar. Carr pulls off the 2012 Ryan Tannehill move by landing with Minnesota in 2014. Matt Cassel and Christian Ponder are not the answer at quarterback in Minnesota, so they move on to the Carr era.
A rotation of Mario Williams, Manny Lawson, Jerry Hughes, and Khalil Mack at defensive end would give the Bills a scary pass rushing combination. Mack would take a little development to playing with his hand in the dirt, but he's been discussed as a darkhorse option for the first overall pick, and he's an incredible talent.
If the Vikings do not grab Derek Carr, Tennessee could be looking to grab him as insurance for Jake Locker. With Carr off the board, however, they look to bolster a secondary that lost Alterraun Verner this offseason.
The Rams can use the offensive line help, and selecting Martin gives them someone who has the versatility to play just about anywhere on the line. He provides the depth behind Jake Long, but also could be used at right tackle or one of the guard positions when Long is healthy. Skipping Taylor Lewan is a risk, but Martin's versatility gives him the edge.
Versatility is the name of the game again with pick 14, as the Bears pick up a dominant inside defensive lineman who can play outside as well. In a 3-4 scheme, using Donald as a defensive end is almost unfair for opposing offensive lines.
The Ravens are running to the podium to turn in their card for Lewan. A tandem of Eugene Monroe and Lewan solidifies the tackle position for Baltimore and provides the team with a natural replacement for Monroe in a couple of years.
Louis Delmas signed a one-year deal with the Dolphins, meaning the team will again be looking to fill the safety position next year. Drafting Pryor gives them a dynamic safety option who could push to start this year, or develop behind Delmas for 2015. It would also allow the team to push Jimmy Wilson back to cornerback, slotting him as the nickel back. Ideally, Miami is drafting an offensive lineman in this position, but none of the first round tackles are still on the board. Pryor and defensive tackle Timmy Jerningan are the top rated players (according to my big board) still available, and you could make an argument for a defensive tackle, but the nod goes to the safety here.
The Chiefs need to upgrade their offensive weaponry, and they have their choice of potential answers at this point. They select the best rated wideout in Beckham, and should end up with a dynamic threat with the ball in his hands.
Cleveland is working on rebuilding their offense, having already picked up an offensive tackle earlier in the round. With an already strong defense, Cleveland's needs are primarily protecting the quarterback, giving him more weapons, and finding a quarterback. Two of three complete, with an early second round pick likely providing the third.
Ealy needs time to develop, which he should get with the Patriots. He could develop into a dominant pass rusher and would be a perfect down-the-road replacement for the aging defensive line the Patriots have.