Time for draft talk to begin
Now that we have a Super Bowl champion, the next big event for all 30 National Football League teams is the 2014 draft.
The top five teams will have hard choices to make but it looks like the No. 1 pick already has been made.
Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater will be the second No. 1 pick selected by the Houston Texans unless history repeats (cough Mario Williams) and the Texans take defensive lineman, Jadeveon Clowney, which is highly unlikely.
Let’s take a look at the first five teams and the selections they could be making.
The ex-Cardinal Bridgewater will try to turn around the 2-14 Texans following two consecutive AFC South championships. The rookie QB will have a great deal of talent to utilize in wide receiver Andre Johnson and running back Arian Foster. These two players alone will help smooth Bridgewater’s transition to the pro game.
Following the Texans are the St. Louis Rams, who finished 3-13 after losing QB Sam Bradford to injury and turning to Kellen Clemens.
The Rams are looking to shore up the offensive line or possibly get another receiver for Bradford and that isn’t Clowney. Two players who fit this bill are Clemson WR Sammy Watkins and Texas A&M OL Jake Matthews, however, the Rams need O-line help more and Matthews will become a Ram at No. 2.
Next up, the Jacksonville Jaguars, who began the 2013 season at 0-8 and played .500 football in the second half. There are a number of moves the Jaguars need to make and this is where Clowney comes off the board.
The Jags never have had a dominant defensive end…until now. Clowney is a once-in-a-generation talent that you can’t pass up (though two teams have by now). The Jags will look to Clowney to get to Indy’s Andrew Luck and Texans QB Bridgewater four times each year and allow them to compete in the AFC South.
The fourth team to pick will be the Cleveland (Who is our quarterback now?) Browns. It is likely Cleveland will select a QB this year, one who is younger and more mobile than Brandon Weeden.
Who could that be, you ask?
That’s right. Johnny Football! Johnny Manziel will be annointed the next “savior” of Cleveland when his name is called at number four.
Making the No. 5 pick will be the Oakland Raiders. Oakland no doubt will be looking to land a pass rusher and unless the Raiders trade up to take Clowney, they will have plenty of fall-back options.
UCLA’s Anthony Barr could be the best “fall-back” option available. He may be raw at the position but has shown he can be something special in the NFL with his playmaking ability. Alabama’s CJ Mosley also could be taken off the board with the fifth pick given his past performance in a 4-3 scheme.
Will these first five picks pan out? Only time will tell. Let the speculation begin. Which after all isn’t that what makes the NFL draft fun to start with?
Contact Joe Albright at email@example.com