It's always difficult to try and put out a mock this early in the process, but it can be a fun challenge as well. I tried to mesh what I perceived as team need along with where I would rank players at this point in the college football season. Forgive name/spelling mistakes if they're present; life with a 9-month old doesn't yield as much research time as I'd probably like. Brief explanations provided, please let me know what you think!
1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville
-If the Jags end up with the first pick, then there likely won't be much of a mystery as to whom they're selecting. It's time for a fresh face of the franchise in Jacksonville.
2. Tampa Bay: Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina
-Tampa has all season to see if Mike Glennon is the answer, and a QB is a possibility here if he isn't. But if he's serviceable, Clowney might be too good to pass up.
3. New York Giants: Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA
-The Giants could be in prime position to trade down with a QB-hungry franchise; assuming they can't move out of this spot, Barr becomes an instant starter for them at OLB.
4. Minnesota: Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon
-The Christian Ponder era in Minnesota is all but over; really it should have never begun. Mariota is making a solid case to be the second passer selected this year.
5. Houston: Brett Hundley, QB, UCLA
-If the Texans are choosing in the Top Five in April, then they likely need to find themselves a new signal caller. I wouldn't be surprised if Hundley is neck and neck with Mariota to be the second passer selected.
6. St. Louis (f/WAS): Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M
-This is a great scenario for the Rams, who need to continue to improve their offensive line. Joe Barksdale has been good this season, but he's not so good that you pass on Matthews here.
7. Pittsburgh: Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson
-While Antonio Brown is pulling in a lot of receptions, Pittsburgh is among the worst in receiving touchdowns so far this season. Watkins would give them another legitimate weapon in the passing game.
8. Atlanta: Louis Nix, DT, Notre Dame
-Corey Peters is solid, but Jonathan Babineaux and Peria Jerry aren't anything special. Nix would become an instant force on that defense.
9. Oakland: C.J. Mosley, LB, Alabama
-The Raiders take Mosley here, hoping the result will be better than the last time they spent a Top 10 pick on an Alabama linebacker.
10. Philadelphia: Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, CB, Oregon
-chip Kelly reunites with a former Oregon player at a position of need for his pro team; Ekpre-Olomu has as much of a case to make for being the top corner selected as anyone else IMO.
11. Arizona: Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan
-The Cardinals have Eric Winston at right tackle, but need an upgrade over Bradley Sowell at left tackle, as he is PFF's worst ranked left tackle in the league right now.
12. Tennessee: Stephon Tuitt, DL, Notre Dame
-The Titans could play Tuitt on the outside at end opposite Derrick Morgan or inside as a tackle; either way, he improves their D-line.
13. Buffalo: Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina
-With their franchise quarterback acquired, the Bills will continue to try and get E.J. Manuel some weapons. This time around, they take the best tight end in the draft.
14. Cleveland: Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M
-The Browns may be hesitant to resign Josh Gordon given his off the field issues; if they opt to deal him, they'll need a new receiving weapon in Cleveland.
15. St. Louis: Loucheiz Purifoy, CB, Florida
-The Rams like what they see from former Florida corner Janoris Jenkins, so they'll go back to the Gator pond and Purifoy to round out their secondary.
16. Baltimore: Cyrus Kouandjio, OT, Alabama
-The Ravens will likely only pay either Eugene Monroe or Michael Oher; there will be a hole to fill for whichever they don't bring back.
17. Carolina: Marqise Lee, WR, USC
-The Panthers need to find weapons who aren't named Steve Smith; Lee has a case to be one of the top offensive weapons drafted in this class.
18. Miami: Cameron Erving, OT, Florida State
-The Dolphins are trying to get by with Bryant McKinnie, but ask Baltimore how that worked out. A solution at left tackle is needed.
19. Chicago: Vic Beasley, DE, Clemson
-The Bears like to address their offensive and defensive lines in the draft, and I don't think this will be an exception.
20. New York Jets: Kyle Van Noy, LB, BYU
-An offensive weapon would be nice, but Van Noy gives the Jets the kind of pass rushing presence they need at outside linebacker in their 3-4 scheme.
21. Detroit: Khalil Mack, LB, Buffalo
-Detroit could certainly stand to upgrade at outside linebacker, given that their best options at the moment appear to be DeAndre Levy and Ashlee Palmer.
22. Dallas: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama
-Every year we project a safety to Dallas at some point in the draft, and every year they go another direction. Still, their interest last year in Kenny Vaccaro suggests they know they have a need at the posiiton.
23. San Diego: Antonio Richardson, OT, Tennessee
-San Diego has arguably the worst left tackle situatino in the league, so look for them to try and improve upon their personnel at the position this offseason.
24. Green Bay: Jace Amaro, TE, Texas Tech
-Jermichael Finley sustained a serious neck injury last weekend, and is likely done for the season. He's a free agent next year, so the Packers may opt to simply find a cheaper replacement.
25. San Francisco: Donte Moncrief, WR, Mississippi
-Trading A.J. Jenkins away indicated the ***** whiffed on their last first round receiver, but they will go back to the well at some point as they need talent.
26. New England: Timmy Jernigan, DT, Florida State
-The Patriots' personnel at defensive tackle is not strong right now. Even if Vince Wilfork returns to form next season, he'll need some help.
27. Cleveland (f/IND): Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M
-The Browns may end up packaging their two first round picks to move up for a quarterback, but given the way the board has fell, I have them waiting for Manziel here.
28. Cincinnati: Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio State
-The Bengals would be very wise to grab Roby here and begin planning for what their secondary will look like once Terence Newman and Adam Jones eventually move on.
29. New Orleans: Trent Murphy, LB, Stanford
-The Saints' 3-4 defense is playing better than expected this season, but they still need to add more pieces that fit their puzzle. Murphy has been a standout defender.
30. Denver: Ryan Shazier, LB, Ohio State
-Shazier would give the Broncos a big upgrade in a linebacker corps whose only notable name is Von Miller.
31. Seattle: Cyril Richardson, OG, Baylor
-The Seahawks could stand to upgrade at either offensive guard spot, and Richardson could warrant coming off the board earlier than this.
32. Kansas City: Zach Mettenberger, QB, LSU
-Through the first four games this season, Alex Smith's averaged a QB rating of 90.1. Through the last three, he's averaged a rating of 64.2. Time to start planning for the future.