Da Don’s Verdict: NFL Mock Draft Super Bowl Week If I Were in Charge


Da Don’s NFL Mock Draft Super Bowl Week If I Were in Charge

This Mock Draft is different this is my view of the 1st round, as in if I were the GM of all 32 teams in the NFL, there will be surprises and there will be some reaches but so be it. My scale is different from Walter Football, CBS Sports, or ESPN. This is from someone who follows the game tape and that’s what I solely go upon. I will release a big board and these decisions are not final but just to stir discussion among ourselves and among NFL and NCAAF fans. All the combine stuff is ridiculous and doesn’t prove all that much. Enjoy!

1. Houston- QB Blake Bortles/Central Florida

He’s not the best player or best QB on my board but he’s the best fit in Houston. There have been concerns about his release but I’m not buying it. Watch his games and his performances and he’s definitely a top 10 pick in this draft.

Bill O’Brien will select him or Bridgewater if he can’t trust Schaub or the trade for Mallett which I wrote a few days back that is possible. But I think Bortles will emerge as the favorite for Bill O’Brien once the Pro Day comes and goes.

2. St. Louis (WAS)- OT Jake Matthews/Texas A&M

This hasn’t changed since December, unless there’s a trade, I know Shane Wellman believes Watkins maybe picked here but I have another plan at WR if I’m in charge in St. Louis.

First I want to protect Sam Bradford by any means necessary. Then utilize Zach Stacy and Tavon Austin, while establishing who the outside threat is.

But you can’t establish a passing game with an injured QB, and that’s why Matthews is the pick. Jeff Fisher’s move obviously but this is what’s best for the team at this team

3. Jacksonville- QB Teddy Bridgewater/Louisville

Jacksonville has the easiest pick in the draft this year; I got Gus Bradley as a coach and a guy I believe for the future. I also have Cecil Shorts III, Justin Blackmon (although he’s in some trouble), and a defense led by LB Paul Posluszny. We took Joekel last year and he was the better of the T’s in that deep class.

Here’s what we need? A Franchise QB, Gabbert is a lost cause and Henne is not the answer either, let’s get a guy who can get the ball down the field. He dominated his past two bowl games, most notably vs. Florida in the 2012 Sugar Bowl with many NFL draft picks some of whom have flourished already. This is an easy choice.

4. Cleveland- WR Sammy Watkins/Clemson

Our organization has been a mess since the late 1980’s as a whole. But we have some optimism with TE Jordan Cameron, WR Josh Gordon, LB D’Qwell Jackson, S TJ Ward (UFA) and CB Joe Haden. But we are bad.

Well we need explosion and a bad team needs firepower, Watkins single-handedly carried the Clemson Tigers in the Sugar Bowl, and is by far the best WR in the draft.

Cameron, Gordon, and Watkins is lethal all we need now is a QB which we will land via Free Agency or at #26 because I’m not sold on Johnny Manziel, Mr. Haslem not at #4.

5. Oakland- DE JaDeveon Clowney/South Carolina

The Raiders are a scrap team at this point, I feel Terrelle Pryor is better than the QBs remaining and either way the #1 player on the board is Clowney. MacKenzie was dumb to just dump Seymour and not get a replacement for him. But that’s why I’m in charge (figuratively speaking).

Either way the defense was pitiful as a group but with Tyvon Branch back there’s some talent, and DJ Hayden in year 2 should be positive also. We just landed a Pro-Bowl DE who’ll be motivated to prove any doubters he might have had.

6. Atlanta- TE Jace Amaro/Texas Tech

Dmitroff and Pioli come from the Belichick Mafia, with that being said they must know that this pick has to be a slam dunk.

Here’s a slam dunk, with the passing game changing to new heights and the money that Gronk and soon Jimmy Graham will see is enormous. Now that Tony Gonzalez is retired we need a TE.

Amaro is the TE that best suits the Atlanta scheme, his blocking needs work but his hands and routes are uncanny. He can be the difference and a possible red zone target for a team that already has Julio Jones coming back, Roddy White, and Harry Douglas.

7. Tampa Bay- OLB Anthony Barr/UCLA

Barr is the #1 defensive prospect on Da Don’s Draft Board so far, he’s the kind of player that can change the game with a sack, INT, or forced fumble. Tampa has Levonte David and Mason Foster but those guys are not game changers the way the Barr can be.

Now Tampa has a LB core for the next 5 years at least to go along with Lovie Smith and that secondary of Goldson and Revis.

8. Minnesota- QB Derek Carr/Fresno State

Spielman is out, and Da Don is in, yes this Manziel guy is here but I think there is a guy whose better for Norv Turner and that’s Derek Carr. His brother was a bust but David has a bigger arm and has more field presence which will benefit him.

Keep in mind Brother David was on an expansion team, this team has Greg Jennings, Adrian Peterson, and an O Line that consists of LT Matt Kalil.

9. Buffalo-  OLB Khalil Mack/Buffalo

Talk about a beast, that’s Khalil Mack, he fights for the football and forces so many fumbles. As a team we had a season that’s sending some signs of a possible rise to the top real soon. First, EJ Manuel has to stay healthy, and on defense there’s a need for attitude, Mack brings that attitude.

Kiko Alonso and Mack could compile many tackles and most of all a lot of turnovers. With Miami and New England in the division they’ll get some chances to go up against some star power on offense.

10. Detroit- CB Darqueeze Dennard/Michigan State

The defense continues to disappoint many in Detroit, and although the offense isn’t perfect it’s dynamic enough to win games, what is needed is some of what Seattle has and that’s talent at CB, opposite of Chris Houston and put Darius Slay in the slot until Houston leaves.

Dennard was the Thorpe winner this past season, and that Sparty defense was phenomenal. He was a large part particularly against Ohio State where they couldn’t challenge him. Keep in mind Courtney Brown and Devin Smith are both talented receivers also.

11. Tennessee- WR Marquise Lee/USC

I know we need a CB but in today’s NFL you don’t need a dominant defense especially in the AFC with a plethora of mediocre teams; I mean Denver’s defense is scrubbish at best and they’re in the Super Bowl!

Marquise Lee can be the kind of playmaker that can complement Kendall Wright in an offensive-dominated NFL. Jake Locker now has some weapons, and Kenny Britt needs to be replaced.

12. New York Giants- LT Greg Robinson/Auburn

I can’t believe Robinson is here at #12, but that’s the way it drew out. He’s the #2 T on the Da Don’s Board after a dominant season for the Auburn Tigers.

Protecting Eli Manning should be the priority and the running game has to show up next season, you have David Wilson and Andre Brown, so it’s not for a lack of talent. Victor Cruz will no dispute over a contract either.

13. St. Louis- Ha Ha Clinton Dix/Alabama

This has been mocked by Da Don over the course of the mock draft process they had the chance at Vaccaro last season but understandably chose to get Tavon Austin. This year though they need a playmaker at S for these good corners they have.

I point out Seattle because that defense is led by the S’s and LB’s St. Louis has Ogletree and Laurinitis, their now they attack the S portion. Clinton-Dix can hit, he can create turnovers and is probably as good in coverage as Vacarro was a year ago seeing the college games of both of them.

14. Chicago- DT Timmy Jernigan/Florida State

This too hasn’t changed, Jernigan is a top 10 pick in my eyes but DT isn’t as big a need when there are three QBs that go in the Top 10. He dominated the ACC this season and if it wasn’t for Aaron Donald (Pitt) he may’ve won the Nagurski and Outland Trophy.

Chicago needs to find the Tommie Harris like presence at DT, Jernigan has a similar skill set as Harris did coming out of Oklahoma in 2003. The run defense was beyond bad, how many of us starting RBs against Chicago, even the discount double-check guys did, don’t lie!

15. Pittsburgh- DE Kony Ealy/Missouri

One would imagine that Pittsburgh needs OL but I believe they need to just stay healthy to build chemistry the problem is that LaMarr Woodley isn’t an alpha male (cornerstone player). Harrison was however and that’s why Ealy is the perfect draft pick.

Ealy is an athletic freak of nature who Dick Labeau could groom into as another DeMarcus Ware, and when he leaves the next DC can take credit for it. Along with Jarvis Jones this is the Steelers defense of the future.

16. Baltimore- DT Aaron Donald/Pittsburgh

This man is stirring up a ruckus at the Senior Bowl and you know what I’m not surprised, serves me right for me and other evaluators for not having him go in the 1st round. But this is a different mock draft.

Donald won the Nagurski and Outland awards this past season. Pittsburgh defense was a good group but he stuck out for than anybody else on the field whether against Syracuse, Notre Dame, or Maryland. It didn’t matter who it was, he just slammed through.

Ngata’s future is in jeopardy now and Chris Canty wasn’t exactly what we expected we need a WR but a veteran not another young guy same on the OL.

17. Dallas- DL Stephon Tuitt/Notre Dame

I’m not the only one with this pick but it’s a consensus, something needs to be done about that defensive line, Hatcher is the only starter there, to me it comes down to Nix and Tuitt both ironically Notre Dame D Lineman.

But in theory the end position needs more focus, yeah Ware is a pass rusher but you need to stop the run, which they couldn’t do very well this season. Tuitt is a run stopper first but his ability to penetrate makes him a 1st rounder.

18. New York Jets- WR Mike Evans

The best defensive line in the NFL and a LB core that can hold it’s own but the offense is 100% pure garbage as Jadakiss once said to rapper 50 cent on a “diss” track. Mike Evans is the kind of receiver who can play on the outside and compliment Stephon Hill and Jeremy Kerley but they do need a TE too.

I suggest trading back up and getting Ebron or Seferian-Jenkins if possible. Then Geno Smith will have zero excuses to put up solid numbers next season.

19. Miami- LT Taylor Lewan/Michigan

The best OL in the Big Ten last season, but it wasn’t as good as the previous year. But he still held his own against Noah Spence of Ohio State, and last season with William Gholston, and JaDeveon Clowney in the Capital One Bowl.

Lewan fell because teams still are comparing this class of OL to last year’s and are disappointed if you may say. But Fisher stinks compared to this guy, trust me Big Ten > MAC. Lewan is now the LT for the Miami Dolphins even tho he’s a top 12 talent.

20. Arizona- TE Austin Sefarian-Jenkins/Washington

Rumor is that the Cardinals want a TE, well guess what that’s totally true Bruce Arians has always had a pass catching TE. Think of Heath Miller, Dwayne Allen, and Coby Fleener for a few simple examples.

Jenkins is the big possession TE that Heath Miller is, Amaro would be preferred but Atlanta pulled the trigger already and I think Jenkins is a better blocker helping that running game which also needs some improvement so Palmer is giving the ball away all the time.

21. Green Bay Packers- NT Louis Nix III/Notre Dame

BJ Raji has expressed interest in playing in another scheme, and besides our DL can use some help pronto. Nix was part of the reason for that dominant Notre Dame defense that led them to an undefeated regular season in 2012.

There are no safeties worth taking here at 21, unless Clinton-Dix is magically there, but Kerry Rhodes is a UFA, among others thats the way to go for a team that has veterans all over the field. Sam Shields is a top 7 CB, let’s make him look like one.

22. Philadelphia- CB Justin Gilbert/Oklahoma State

I would’ve picked Verrett from TCU, but Gilbert is just a better CB prospect. Gilbert is quicker, and a bit better in technique. Keep in mind he’s thought of as a top 15. Da Don rates him 19th on his board. Cary Williams is the CB on the team that is good to cover the WRs they play in the NFC East.

Gilbert can probably move to the slot to cover Victor Cruz, or check down on Terrance Williams whom he played well against in their Big 12 college days. Steal here at 22 by many.

23. Kansas City- WR Jordan Matthews/Vanderbilt

As a team we were old school, which is what wins games, but we need explosion and now that’s only coming from McCluster and MVP should’ve been Jamal Charles. Matthews has lit up the SEC in the past two years at Vandy. He can get open against anybody.

Opposite of Dwayne Bowe he’s a great compliment, and with McCluster in the slot that sounds like Alex Smith can put up some numbers and spread the ball around the way he did in San Francisco. The only TE’s that fit our scheme are gone or just not in range to pick here (Fiedorwicz/Iowa).

24. Cincinnati- CB Louchiez Purifoy/Florida

Why in the world is this guy NOT considered a 1st round pick? He has a big stature, he has speed, was on a well coached defense with Will Muschamp and most of all he kept WRs in check like Dorial Green-Beckham (MIZZOU), Mike Evans, Tarvarres King (UGA 2012), Kelvin Benjamin (FSU).

CB is the hardest position to play in today’s NFL with the rules in favor like Pro Mode on Madden. That’s why you need a CB in case Leon Hall isn’t fully ready for camp and Newman is old, can’t expect him on a high level for too much longer.

25. San Diego CB Bradley Roby/Ohio State

Roby has been slotted to San Diego for over a month in Da Don’s eyes, and when you watch the film there’s a reason. San Diego needs more playmakers on defense, the way they did with Jammer/Cromartie back seven years ago.

Roby is a bit of a nuisance and is disliked by a number of Buckeye fans but is still a talented players and with Eric Weddle there I’m sure Roby will get the attitude check he needs, otherwise he’ll get in the slot or the outside and create turnovers like he did in Columbus.

26. Cleveland (IND)- QB Johnny Manziel/Texas A&M

Imagine if this deal ends up being Manziel for Richardson? Cleveland would commit high way robbery here. That’s the sound of a Browns fan, but Manziel in fairness has that “it” factor that I just can’t deny. His arm is solid and you’ll see that in pro days, he can run and the combine will prove that.

But like Drew Brees, Doug Flutie, and Russell Wilson there is one similar problem is height. Some scouts are impacted and some coaches don’t like being handed guys like this, (why Turner left). But if they get an OC that can embrace him, watch out for that offense next season with Manziel, Gordon, Watkins (4th pick) and Jordan Cameron.

27. New Orleans LB CJ Mosley/Alabama

Probably forgot he was still on the board huh guys. Well to justify that, I have him as the 21st rated prospect, in fact I have Shazier (17) ahead of him. People will shy away from Mosley due to McClain and Hightower’s struggles in the league as 1st round picks. But we will not miss out on a guy who has lit it up in the Senior Bowl practices.

Here Rob Ryan gets a ILB in waiting for Vilma who has been spectacular since he came from NYJ, but time is ticking on him and Mosley carries himself in similar attitude on the field. Vilma has always taken pride in being a mentor, look at the difference this year on defense, need anymore proof?

28. Carolina- WR Brandin Cooks/Oregon State

This season was remarkable, truly was. Ron Rivera was the right coach for this team, Cam Newton is indeed the QB for this team, and Kuechly is the leader of the defense. But Steve Smith needs someone opposite of him. We have LaFell (bigger reciever) let’s get some speed.

Cooks runs at least a 4.4 and was an excellent punt returner at Cornwallis. Cooks won the Biletnikoff Award after a whopping 1,670 receiving yards this season leading FBS receivers.  He provides the explosion this team needs in the passing game more consistently and with a name like “Sonic Boom” why not take him.

Da Don has him as an early second rounder but he fits what they need as opposed to the bigger WRs like Benjamin and Beckham Jr.

29. New England- TE Eric Ebron/North Carolina

In my eyes this is not the perfect TE we in NE want, but Ebron can compliment Gronkowski and grow with these young targets Brady already has. Ebron has solid hands but not like Amaro, he can block but not with Fiedorwicz, and can run routes but have the field presence of Jenkins.

Regardless Ebron is the most versatile TE and the film would prove that. In every UNC game he’s the one who sticks out. Blocking for Bernard can only help Ridley and Vereen here. Can also catch screens and run after the catch. A top 25 prospect by Da Don and #2 rated TE.

30. San Francisco- WR Kelvin Benjamin/Florida State

Colin Kaepernick is not an élite QB, but he can make plays others can’t. If we were to get a red zone threat WR for him maybe he would be a better passer in the red zone. Benjamin stands at 6’5” 235lbs and was the go-to-guy for Jamies Winston en route to a National title.

Benjamin is another guy between the 1st and 2nd round but at WR he has what they need there. Benjamin has a knack to make big plays but he struggles at times to get off the line, that may not be a problem Davis and Crabtree along side him.

31. Denver- LB Ryan Shazier/Ohio State

Most smart teams would want to improve their whole team but the Denver Broncos are only about offense and stats plus YOU KNOW Manning will push to replace Decker, I’d tell him to take a pay cut or that’s not happening. Since I know I have leverage here I’m taking Shazier.

The best LB in the Big Ten last season can replace Wesley Woodyard who will leave because of how offense is the priority in Denver, like when Dumervil left. WR’s are the most replaceable players in the NFL look at NE, PIT, and GB.

32. Seattle- CB Jason Verrett/TCU

Verrett isn’t a need per say but he’s the kind of player that opposite of Richard Sherman would be the perfect player to replace Brandon Browner. Thurmond III will be a UFA this spring. So CB jumps the table, maybe attack FA and get a WR for Russell Wilson.

This class is very deep at WR so this isn’t the end just yet, we can get Paul Richardson (Colorado), and/or Shaquille Evans later in the draft for explosion and resign Golden Tate.

The Final Verdict:

This format was based on the role play of me being the GM of all 32 teams in the NFL. Some of these picks make total sense and some will turn some heads but in the end, this is a big topic of conversation. A lot of questions will be answered by May 3rd (draft time). Free Agency will come and go, the trades that may shake the league, and other coaching moves and such.  This season free agency has some big names and with the franchise tag everyone should look to franchise those players and that could open a trade particularly for the playoff teams, in theory for a deep TE and WR class.

Follow me on @DaDonsVerdict and @FullScaleSport

Photo Courtesy of NFL.com

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