This week s mock draft is as much about who isn t chosen in the first round as those who are.
As always, it starts with the quarterback position. The uncertainty around these quarterbacks hasn t dissipated as the draft nears. The opposite has actually occurred.
Fresno State s Derek Carr has a first-round grade. He tumbles out of the first round this week due to slotting, though. If teams such as the Titans and Cardinals pass on a signal caller, it s unlikely four of them will be drafted in the first round, unless a trade back into the first round were to occur.
Still, there are respected football people who believe Carr might be the best passer available.
There s rarely been so little consensus among draft gurus about the top group of quarterbacks. It should make for a fascinating draft.
Cleveland still remains a possible landing spot for Carr; it all depends on what talent is available when the Browns select with the 4th and 26th overall selections. In this particular case, Buffalo s Khalil Mack, who is considered an elite talent in this year s class, is too tempting to pass for a defensive-minded coach like Mike Pettine. And Bridgewater is an intriguing option that slides this week.
A pair of highly rated defensive tackle also fell out of the first round.
Florida State s Timmy Jernigan will be in New York City to attend the draft, but he may be in for a long wait. Very few teams in the second half of the first round utilize a 4-3 base defense and have a need at defensive tackle. The Patriots may consider him late in the round since they use multiple fronts. Otherwise, Jernigan could easily slide into the second round.
Minnesota s Ra Shede Hageman is in a similar situation. The question with Hageman is less about scheme fit and more about consistency. Hageman has Top 10 overall ability. It simply didn t show up on tape all year. Teams may draft him very high in the process banking on that upside, or he could slide out of the first round entirely.
Finally, Indiana s Cody Latimer replaced Florida State s Kelvin Benjamin as the Eagles selection in the first round, which caused Benjamin to slide out of the opening frame. The Eagles have shown strong interest in Latimer throughout the draft process and gave him extra attention after his pro day last week. Latimer s combination of size and speed may be more attractive to some teams than Benjamin s size.
Now, on to this week s mock draft...
Jadeveon Clowney, DE South Carolina
2. Rams (from WASH)
Greg Robinson, OT Auburn
Johnny Manziel, QB Texas A&M
Khalil Mack, LB Buffalo
Sammy Watkins, WR Clemson
Taylor Lewan, OT Michigan
Mike Evans, WR Texas A&M
Blake Bortles, QB Central Florida
Jake Matthews, OT Texas A&M
Eric Ebron, TE North Carolina
Anthony Barr, LB UCLA
Zack Martin, OT Notre Dame
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, S Alabama
Aaron Donald, DT Pitt
Justin Gilbert, CB Oklahoma State
CJ Mosley, LB Alabama
Odell Beckham Jr. WR LSU
Darqueze Dennard, CB Michigan State
Calvin Pryor, S Louisville
Ryan Shazier, LB Ohio State
Louis Nix III, NT Notre Dame
Cody Latimer, WR Indiana
Brandin Cooks, WR Oregon State
Bradley Roby, CB Ohio State
Kyle Fuller, CB Virginia Tech
26. Browns (from IND)
Teddy Bridgewater, QB Louisville
Demarcus Lawrence, DE Boise State
Marqise Lee, WR USC
Deone Bucannon, S Washington State
Dee Ford, DE Auburn
Jason Verrett, CB TCU
Xavier Su a-Filo, OG UCLA