Mock Drafts are born to be over analyzed, made fun of and teased -- it's part of the business. For this attempt I went in as a completely blank slate and tried to match need with BPA. It was a fun exercise that will be repeated close to the draft.
1. Houston Texans: Blake Bortles, QB, UCF
It's not the right pick, but the likely one. I don't think Bortles is the most talented QB in this class, but the need is so great with a new head coach that they'll take a guy who I basically see as a plus-level Andy Dalton.
2. St. Louis Rams: Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson
Jeff Fisher got burned a with rookie quarterback in Vince Young and will likely rather see what Sam Bradford can do with more help. It's tempting to have them take an offensive lineman, but Watkins is a rare receiver with huge playmaking ability.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars: Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina
Quarterback is a huge need, mammoth -- but Clowney is an incredibly rare player. He's so good that it's worth waiting on a quarterback knowing you'll probably wind up with the league's best pass rusher for the entirety of his rookie contract (at least).
4. Cleveland Browns: Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville
This could be me giving Cleveland too much credit but this is the sensible, logical, smart pick. Bridgewater is my favorite quarterback in the draft and I think he will thrive in a halfway competent offense. If Josh Gordon can keep his head on straight they could form a fascinating duo.
5. Oakland Raiders: Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn
Again, I could be ascribing too much logic to a team that keeps trading for old, broken down quarterbacks -- but at some point they have to snap out of it. Yes, the Raiders aren't in dire need of an offensive tackle but getting one as good as Robinson means they're not leaning on aging guys to be long term contributors.
6. Atlanta Falcons: Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M
They'd love Robinson to fall, but Matthews isn't chopped liver. Getting a long-term left tackle is far too important to gamble on a tight end or defensive player right now. A lot of talent at the top allow the Falcons to get a guy who can protect Matt Ryan for a decade.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA
The temptation is to put a quarterback here, but no way is Lovie Smith hitching his wagon to a new guy this early. We're seeing the line blur between 4-3 and 3-4 OLBs, provided they can rush the passer -- and the benefit is huge to Tampa Bay to build on it's strengths and form one of the best young linebacking corps in the NFL.
8. Minnesota Vikings: Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M
Peg, meet hole. There are a thousand reasons this works. Firstly, the Vikings need a decent quarterback -- which Manziel can be. People love to hate on him, but the kid is good. There will be some great Fran Tarkenton synergy for when the team opens their new stadium and he's probably the best player available here. It just makes sense.
9. Buffalo Bills: Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan
Is E.J. Manuel the guy? It's too early to say, but he HAS to get better protection in order to succeed. Lewan could tumble on draft day, but he's a legitimate talent that teams gamble on when it comes to offensive tackles.
10. Detroit Lions: Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State
This would have been prime position to see the second wide receiver, but signing Golden Tate ended that. Now it's about FINALLY doing something about the team's terrible defense.
11. Tennessee Titans: Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo
Mack might not fit their scheme like a glove, but he's a top-level defensive talent who can slot in and play from day one.
12. New York Giants: Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh
This team was built on the defensive line and Dave Gettleman's former team stays on the defensive line. The DT spot was a real problem for the Giants in 2013 and adding Donald would right the ship quickly. Eli will want some help with Hakeem Nicks gone, but it's not happening.
13. St. Louis Rams: Hasean Clinton-Dix, FS, Alabama
The Rams really need a safety, even if it means over-drafting a little. It's almost a BPA pick here and fills a need. A combo that has worked for St. Louis in the past.
14. Chicago Bears: Timmy Jernigan, DT, Florida State
Much like New York, the Bears need a DT badly. Their offense is strong, the defense has some nice pieces, now it's about finding a way to stop some talented running backs in the division and beyond.
15. Pittsburgh Steelers: Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State
It's all about adding help to the Steelers' hallmark. This team is getting old fast, Dennard helps them get younger and with a little help could be the best CB in the draft.
16. Dallas Cowboys: Louis Nix, DT, Notre Dame
A big space eater for the defensive front? Yes please. Nix is the best nose tackle in the draft and will do exactly what the Cowboys need without too much fuss.
17. Baltimore Ravens: Zack Martin, OL, Notre Dame
Another Irish off the board and at a much-needed position for the Ravens. There's a lot to like here and he'll slot in well to help protect Joe Flacco.
18. New York Jets: Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M
This is a really good pick for a team needing more weapons. Evans is a big target who'll make any quarterback better, especially in the red zone.
19. Miami Dolphins: Calvin Pryor, FS, Louisville
They'll hope for an offensive tackle, but no dice. Instead the 'Phins look to improve their secondary over reaching. It's going to be a slightly disappointing first round pick in the hopes gains can be made later in the draft.
20. Arizona Cardinals: Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri
Arizona needs more pass rush, this is where Ealy slots in. The offense is being held together with tape, so why not make the other side of the ball elite? It's a solid and much needed pick for a team looking to return to the playoffs.
21. Green Bay Packers: Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina
Smart teams make smart moves. Ebron is available in the early 20's thanks to teams having bigger fish to fry, so the Packers pounce and land a fantastic player.
22. Philadelphia Eagles: Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State
The team will try to ship off DeSean Jackson, making this a need pick. Cooks is perfect in Chip Kelly's system and will rack up the yards if they can put the ball in his hands.
23. Kansas City Chiefs: Odell Beckham Jr., WR, LSU
The run on WRs begins! Kansas City need another wide receiver to take pressure off Dwayne Bowe and Beckham Jr. fills the hole well.
24. Cincinnati Bengals: Jason Verrett, CB, TCU
Mike Zimmer may be gone, but the defensive sensibilities aren't. This is a vitally important move for the Bengals to stay in step with a division that has a lot of talented wide receivers.
25. San Diego Chargers: Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio State
Help will either come for the defensive line or secondary, it's a matter of slotting it in. Roby is a solid fir for a team in need of defensive help.
26. Cleveland Browns: Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Florida State
Last time they took a risk on a receiver it worked out pretty well. Now with Bridgewater on the roster they can give him another serious weapon. There's a chance the Browns could have the best receiving tandem in the league if Benjamin develops, which is what the team needs.
27. New Orleans Saints: Dee Ford, DE, Auburn
This is normally the time the Saints would find an offensive gem, but no such luck. They add some talent for Rob Ryan and a much needed pass rusher.
28. Carolina Panthers: Morgan Moses, OT, Virginia
BOO HISS! I totally get it, but at this point it's really either Moses, Marquise Lee or taking a TE like Jace Amaro. The receiver board is picked clean by needy teams and the best remaining talent is at linebacker or defensive end -- where Carolina doesn't need help. When you're picking this late in the draft something's got to give and even if you don't think Moses is the perfect prospect, he's vastly better than someone you could find with the 28th pick in the second round.
The Patriots need linebacking help and he fits the mold. Reliable, strong -- he wont bowl you over, but it's a solid and smart pick.
30. San Francisco 49ers: Marqise Lee, WR, USC
Jim Harbaugh REALLY wants a wide receiver here and takes the California native to take some of the pressure off Colin Kaepernick.
31. Denver Broncos: Demarcus Lawrence, DE, Boise State
John Fox needs more pass rushers and while the top guys are gone there's still room for Lawrence to either play a stand up role with Von Miller, or be a traditional DE.
32. Seattle Seahawks: Jace Amaro, TE, Texas Tech
The Seahawks don't care what you think about their picks. It's another solid weapon for Russell Wilson and a guy who can be the perfect outlet on broken plays. Zach Miller is still solid, but getting young blood at the position will keep the Seahawks solvent for a long time.