9) Buffalo Bills – Sammy Watkins WR – Clemson
Other than an elite left tackle, what is the best thing you could get for a growing QB? A young playmaker to grow with! Sammy Watkins has been on draft boards all year but he certainly didn’t start this high. In my opinion, Watkins is a better prospect than Tavon Austin was last year but they do have similar skill sets. E.J. Manuel should be a happy man come draft day.
10) Detroit Lions – Mike Evans WR – Texas A&M
Could Detroit really be this lucky? Yes. With Nate Burleson is in his 11th season and Calvin Johnson is in his eighth, it would be wise for the Lions to grab their wide receiver of the future. Imagine for a moment two six foot five 230 plus pound wide receivers on the same team. It would be an extreme mismatch for virtually every team in the NFL. Not to mention the invaluable mentoring that Calvin Johnson can provide. The Lions secondary could use some depth but there aren’t prospects like Evans coming out every year.
11) Tennessee Titans – Cyrus Kouandjio OT – Alabama
Tennessee is building one of the best offensive lines in the league. With the acquisition of Chance Warmack in last year’s and a bookend tackle in Kouandjio this year, their offensive line will be set for years to come. Tennessee is one of those teams that could use a first round pick at nearly every position but every good team starts with the offensive and defensive lines. Look for Tennessee to address their secondary in the later rounds.
12) New York Giants – Taylor Lewan OT – Michigan
There’s gonna be a run on offensive tackles in the middle of the first round and Lewan is the next man up. The New York Giants allowed 40 sacks to opposing teams this year and we saw first hand the disaster they became. I don’t see the Giants giving up on Eli any time soon and if they are going to put all their eggs in his basket, they better keep him upright. Look for the Giants to address their wide receiver depth in the second round.
13) St. Louis Rams – HaHa Clinton-Dix S – Alabama
St. Louis has a solid safety in T.J. McDonald but they could use a serious upgrade on the other side. Clinton-Dix had 45 tackles, two interceptions, and four passes defended in 2013 and despite a short suspension is considered to be a leader for the Crimson Tide secondary. This is the Ram’s last year to have multiple first round picks, at least from Washington and pending other trades. It seems to me if they can’t make a big step next year after the plethora of picks they’ve stumbled upon, they need to take a long look at their general manager.
14) Chicago Bears – Louis Nix DT – Notre Dame
Chicago should have Nix’s phone number on speed dial and if he falls all the way to this spot, he shouldn’t have to wait long to walk across that stage and hold up his Bear’s jersey. Henry Melton is not only a free agent but has been recently arrested, making this choice easy for Chicago. Nix did have season ending knee surgery to fix a torn meniscus but he went to see the infamous Dr. James Andrews to have it fixed up.
15) Pittsburgh Steelers – C.J. Mosley – Alabama
The Steelers have long been known for their dominant linebackers and I think they continue to improve their linebacker corps with the best defensive player on the board. Mosley has been the heart and soul of Alabama’s defense since he was a freshman. Now a senior, Mosley has been groomed well for the NFL by Nick Saban.
16) Dallas Cowboys – Stephon Tuitt DE – Notre Dame
The two players who should have gotten all the attention that went to Manti T’eo last year both go higher than he did in the draft and within one pick of each other. Without Tuitt and Nix, Notre Dame wouldn’t have sniffed the BCS Championship game and I don’t think any Fighting Irish fan would deny that. While I’m at it, let me sum up the Dallas pass rush: DeMarcus Ware. Did I miss anyone?