CSR Official NFL Mock Draft 1.0

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Let's see who our Cardiac Cats will select with the first pick in Cat Scratch Reader's first official mock draft!

This first iteration of CSR's official mock draft is 1 round only and I have not simulated any trades at this point, as I believe it is too early in the process to even attempt to do so accurately. As the draft approaches and free agency wears on I will progressively add rounds and implement hypothetical trades, culminating in a full, 7 round behemoth the week before to draft occurs. I hope you enjoy, and let me know what you think down in the comments!

1 HOU Blake Bortles QB, UCF I think the Texans should do everything they can to trade this pick down for more picks. They have gotten old at several key positions, and have some young superstars that need to be built around. With two young and relatively untested QBs on the roster (Keenum and Yates), I think a panic pick for a QB here is the kind of thing that could set the franchise back several seasons. Unfortunately, I think it is what will happen if the team can't move back.
2 STL Sammy Watkins WR, Clemson Clowney is a popular pick here, and I just don't get it. The team has two glaring needs - WR and OL - and two picks in the first round. Watkins and Greg Robinson are the only two picks that make sense here in my eyes, and I went with Sammy because I feel it gives the team the best chance to get a marquee player at both positions.
3 JAX Jadaveon Clowney DE, South Carolina Robinson is tempting, but not sexy enough of a pick for a franchise that needs to put fans in the seats. Therefore, they can't pass on Clowney in this spot. The Jaguars need talent across the board, and he is the most explosive player available.
4 CLE Teddy Bridgewater QB, Louisville I've seen reports that the Browns like Manziel better than Bridgewater. I ain't buyin' it. With all the money tied up in Joe Thomas and (soon to be) Alex Mack, this team wants a QB that will make plays from the pocket. Teddy is the better fit.
5 OAK Johnny Manziel QB, Texas A&M Could there have ever been a more appropriate draft pick? Johnny Manziel would be an instant icon on the Raiders, and his trademark swagger would be exactly what the doctor ordered for a team facing a crisis of confidence.
6 ATL Greg Robinson OT, Auburn Tom Dimitroff probably cried a little when he couldn't work out a deal to move up and grab Clowney. The best tackle in the draft falling into his lap should make up for it.
7 TB Jake Matthews OT, Texas A&M With the top 3 QBs off the board, the Bucs are spared the tough choice of whether to give Glennon another season or not. That settled, they decide to help him out with a plug-and-play blindside protector. Amongst the Glennons, there was much rejoicing...
8 MIN Khalil Mack LB, Buffalo Mack is the most disruptive defensive playmaker still on the board, and the Vikings need help all over that side of the ball. The versatile linebacker is a no-brainer here.
9 BUF Eric Ebron TE, UNC The Bills need help at linebacker, and depending on how the Jairus Byrd situation plays out HCD or Calvin Pryor could be in play, but everyone knows a great TE is the best friend of a developing young passer. Ebron would be a matchup nightmare for opposing defenses and should loosen up coverage for the Bills' young gang of wideouts. I could see him having the same kind of rookie effect on Buffalo's offense that Luke Kuechly had on our defense in his rookie season.
10 DET Mike Evans WR, Texas A&M The Lions probably need help at CB more, but they should be able to address that between what is turning out to be both a very deep free agent pool and draft class at the position. Bookending Megatron with another tower of a wide receiver and finally settling the position will be too tempting to pass up.
11 TEN Anthony Barr LB, UCLA The Titans are saying that the Ray Horton signing does not mean they will be switching to a 3-4 defense. Don't buy it. With the second best rush linebacker still on the board, the Titans won't hesitate to pull the trigger.
12 NYG Timmy Jernigan DT, Florida State With Linval Joseph and Justin Tuck possibly departing in free agency, Matthias Kiwanuka getting older and Jason Pierre-Paul continuing to underwhelm, the Giants are finally going to have to rebuild the fearsome defensive front that won them two Super Bowls. Taylor Lewan is tempting here but the Giants defense is falling apart at the seams and Timmy will fit Coughlin's aggressive front perfectly.
13 STL Taylor Lewan OT, Michigan St. Louis' gamble on Watkins pays off and Lewan slips through to their second pick. They have now addressed their top 2 needs with players who should start from day 1.
14 CHI Hasean Clinton-Dix S, Alabama Da Bears want Lewan to drop, but when he doesn't they decide to address the gaping hole on the back end of the defense. The safety play this year was terrible and Major Wright is a free agent.
15 PIT Justin Gilbert CB, Oklahoma State Ike Taylor is a million years old. The back end of Pittsburgh's defense needs a complete overhaul. Justin Gilbert would be great value at this selection, slightly ahead of Marqise Lee whi is a player the team will also look at heavily.
16 DAL Aaron Donald DT, Pittsburgh Aaron Donald is the perfect fit as an UT in Kiffin's Tampa-2 defense AND he crushed the Combine. I can not see a believable way he slips past Jerry Jones here.
17 BAL Marqise Lee WR, USC Baltimore could look at CJ Mosley here, but I believe they will opt for a playmaker to help out on the other side of the ball. The team has caught a lot of flak over giving Flacco his massive contract in light of his struggles in 2013, so I believe they will do whatever they can to get the offense back on track. Besides, the team just spent a high pick on Arthur Brown last year and I doubt they pull the plug so soon.
18 NYJ Calvin Pryor S, Louisville With the top 3 WRs off the board the Jets decide to shore up the back end of the defense. The Ed Reed experiment failed miserably and Antonio Allen is terrible. CJ Mosley could be in play here, but the need at safety far outweighs that of ILB and there are concerns about Mosley's longevity.
19 MIA Zach Martin OT, Notre Dame After Bully-gate, the Dolphins are going to have to completely re-tool their O-line. In my opinion Martin is a reach here. That is exactly why I think the Dolphins will pick him. See: Dion Jordan and Daniel Thomas.
20 AZ C.J. Mosley LB, Alabama Karlos Dansby had a career-year in his first season back with the Cardinals, but he is a free agent and will turn 33 during the season. Mosley is the best value on the board at a position of need for the Cards.
21 GB Louis Nix III DT, Notre Dame Ryan Pickett and Johnny Jolly are over 30, and along with B.J. Raji (who has underperformed for 2 years) all are free agents. The Pack needs an anchor up front and Nix is prototype for their scheme.
22 PHI Darqueze Dennard CB, Michigan State Philly needs help all through the secondary and Dennard is the best pure cover man in the draft. The Eagles would be ecstatic if he is available this late.
23 KC Brandin Cooks WR, Oregon State Alex Smith needs weapons, and though I rank Odell Beckham as the better prospect Andy Reid is all about the measurables. Brandin Cooks may have sealed his fate with a great Combine performance as long as nothing crazy happens between now and draft day.
24 CIN Kony Ealy DE, Missouri Cincinnati has a pretty talented roster all around, but Michael Johnson is set to leave in free agency and Margus Hunt was disappointing in his rookie season. They could go for Bradley Roby or Ra'Shede Hageman, but I think they will jump at the chance to grab the 2nd best 4-3 DE prospect in the draft.
25 SD Dee Ford LB, Auburn The Chargers need edge rushers and will run to the podium if Dee Ford is still available. If he is gone I see them grabbing Bradley Roby here.
26 CLE Odell Beckham, Jr. WR, LSU I really struggled with this pick, because I think this is what the Browns SHOULD do here, though I highly doubt they WILL do the thing that makes sense, based on past performance. Therefore, I will say that conventional wisdom tells us the Browns should draft as many weapons as they can get for their rookie signal-caller, and OBJ would instantly step into the slot and provide a dangerous deep threat to take pressure off of both Josh Gordon and Teddy Bridgewater.
27 NO Jace Amaro TE, Texas Tech With Jimmy Graham unhappy, Lance Moore being cut, and Marques Colston getting old, the Saints need to start adding some weapons for Drew Brees to make one more push for the Super Bowl. Jace Amaro accomplishes a couple of things for New Orleans. He provides a safety net in case the team's disgruntled current TE holds out, and if he plays well, it takes some of Jimmy's leverage away in negotiations with the team. Best case scenario is that he exceeds all expectations, making Jimmy expendable and tradeable during the season.
28 CAR Bradley Roby CB, Ohio State Ideally, the Panthers want to go OT or WR here. However, both positions have already been picked clean of first-round talent. Instead, the team celebrates the 2014 Draft the same way they celebrated in 2004 - they draft an athletic CB out of Ohio State with the 28th pick. I won't be mad if Roby works out as well as Chris Gamble did.
29 NE Ra'Shede Hageman DT, Minnesota Vince Wilfork's injury last season exposed a glaring weakness up the middle of the Patriots' defense. Sure, it is possible Wilfork comes back as good as ever for 2 or 3 more seasons, but why risk it? Hageman is an excellent value pick this late in the 1st round, which is exactly the kind of pick the Patriots look for (if they don't trade back, of course).
30 SF Stephon Tuitt DE, Notre Dame Justin Smith isn't getting any younger and Stephon Tuitt would be the perfect player to groom to take over for him when he leaves. It'll be tempting to take a CB here but a highly talented 3-4 DE is harder to come by in this draft than a quality CB, and the Niners have loads of picks.
31 DEN Ryan Shazier LB, Ohio State Similar to the 49ers thought process, the Broncos will see that the drop-off in talent behind Shazier falls off a cliff while the defensive backs available here aren't much better than the ones that should be available in the 2nd round. Shazier will allow the Broncos to move Nate Irving to the Mike, where he starred at N.C. State. This move will kill two birds with one stone and settle two positions on a porous defense.
32 SEA Kelvin Benjamin WR, Florida State Seattle needs a big-bodied red-zone threat at the WR position and Benjamin is just too good of a value to pass up here. Now that the team has released Sidney Rice, the need gets even more pronounced.
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