Everyone seems to have an opinion when it comes to the NFL draft and the prospects hoping to be selected, but ESPN's Todd McShay has proven throughout the years that he usually knows what he is talking about.
The college football and NFL draft analyst has used the latest information from team personnel and his own scouting reports to create what he believes will be the perfect fits for each organization selecting in the first round. Of course, there are still plenty of surprises when compared to other opinions surrounding the draft.
|Todd McShay's 5.0 NFL Mock Draft|
|1||Houston Texans||Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina|
|2||St. Louis Rams||Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn|
|3||Jacksonville Jaguars||Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson|
|4||Cleveland Browns||Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M|
|5||Oakland Raiders||Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo|
|6||Atlanta Falcons||Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M|
|7||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M|
|8||Minnesota Vikings||Blake Bortles, QB, UCF|
|9||Buffalo Bills||Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan|
|10||Detroit Lions||Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina|
|11||Tennessee Titans||Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State|
|12||New York Giants||Odell Beckham Jr., WR, LSU|
|13||St. Louis Rams||Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama|
|14||Chicago Bears||Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh|
|15||Pittsburgh Steelers||Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech|
|16||Dallas Cowboys||Calvin Pryor, FS, Louisville|
|17||Baltimore Ravens||Zack Martin, OT, Notre Dame|
|18||New York Jets||Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State|
|19||Miami Dolphins||Morgan Moses, OT, Virginia|
|20||Arizona Cardinals||C.J. Mosley, ILB, Alabama|
|21||Green Bay Packers||Ryan Shazier, OLB, Ohio State|
|22||Philadelphia Eagles||Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State|
|23||Kansas City Chiefs||Marqise Lee, WR, USC|
|24||Cincinnati Bengals||Jason Verrett, CB, TCU|
|25||San Diego Chargers||Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA|
|26||Cleveland Browns||Cody Latimer, WR, Indiana|
|27||New Orleans Saints||Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio State|
|28||Carolina Panthers||Joel Bitonio, OT, Nevada|
|29||New England Patriots||Ra'Shede Hageman, DT, Minnesota|
|30||San Francisco 49ers||Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Florida State|
|31||Denver Broncos||Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri|
|32||Seattle Seahawks||Stephon Tuitt, DE, Notre Dame|
Johnny Manziel Taken No. 4
There have been few prospects in history that create as much of a reaction as Johnny Manziel. Some think he is the best player in the draft, while others would not take him for any reason.
However, there at least seems to be some consensus when it comes to ESPN's top two analysts:
This comes after Cleveland Browns general manager Ray Farmer broke down his opinion of Manziel, via Marla Ridenour of the Akron Beacon Journal:
He’s different. He’s not the quintessential guy who everybody points to and says, ‘This is how you would draw it up, this is the packaging you want.’ That speaks to a lot of what Johnny has been his entire life, is different. It’s not how you think about playing the position and being effective from the pocket.
According to Marc Sessler of NFL.com, Farmer also called Manziel an "exciting, electric" player.
The Browns appear likely to take a quarterback at either No. 4 or No. 26, so they might as well grab the best player on the board as soon as possible and get the player of their choice at the position.
Manziel's landing spot will be a focal point on draft day, but McShay believes he won't have to wait long to hear his name called.
Odell Beckham Jr. to the New York Giants
It is not surprising to see Odell Beckham Jr. rise up draft boards. The LSU star was overlooked originally due to his lack of size at 5'11" and 198 pounds, but teams are starting to realize that he makes up for his small stature by being a complete receiver in every way.
He has great speed and agility that allows him to turn a short pass into a long touchdown. He also has the leaping ability to go up and pluck passes away from his body:
However, sending him to the Giants is relatively strange. New York has a bunch of needs after a disappointing 7-9 season, but receiver should not be high on the list. Sure, the squad lost Hakeem Nicks in free agency, but Victor Cruz is still a focal point and Rueben Randle is ready to step up and have a successful year.
Instead, the Giants are more likely to upgrade either the offensive or defensive lines with the secondary also being a position of need. They could also target tight end if they are seeking another pass-catching weapon.
Beckham is much more likely to fall to the New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles or other teams in need of offensive playmakers.
Teddy Bridgewater Out of First Round
In McShay's fourth mock draft (subscription required), he had Teddy Bridgewater going to the Tennessee Titans at No. 11. However, he appears to be lower on the Louisville quarterback and has him dropping out of the first round altogether.
He explained on SportsCenter the Houston Texans are likely to take him with the first pick in the second round.
While this would be a great move for Houston, it seems unrealistic that every team would pass on the talented passer in Round 1 or that another team wouldn't trade back into Round 1 to select him late. Bridgewater was once considered the best quarterback and one of the top overall players in the class, but his offseason workouts have seen his stock drop.
On the other hand, NFL Network's Curtis Conway thinks one team will be lucky, via Bryan Fischer of NFL.com: "If Teddy Bridgewater ends up in the second round, you're talking about a bargain. He will definitely be the best bargain in this draft."
Bleacher Report's Matt Miller is one person that has not changed his opinion on Bridgewater:
Bridgewater is going to prove a lot of people wrong and a lot of people right. Only time will tell who fits into which category.
Six Offensive Tackles in First Round
This is not a change from McShay's last mock draft, but it is still a bit surprising to see this many tackle prospects being taken in the first round.
Joel Bitonio is the last of these picks as someone who could be drafted by the Carolina Panthers to provide a much-needed upgrade to the offensive line. As Chris Burke of Sports Illustrated notes, he is one of the more explosive players in the draft at his position:
Morgan Moses is another player who has recently found himself climbing up draft boards, as noted by Peter Schrager of Fox Sports:
With Greg Robinson, Jake Matthews and Taylor Lewan all likely to be taken in the first 10 picks, this could be another very good draft for the big men who spend their time in the trenches.
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