1) Houston Texans: Blake Bortles, QB, Central Florida
Anyone who says the Texans know what they're doing for sure is lying. This front office doesn't even know whether it wants to take Jadeveon Clowney or one of the one quarterbacks yet. If the 2014 NFL Draft were held today, Clowney would probably be the pick; Bob McNair stated that he was smitten with him, though that was likely an attempt to create a trade possibility. But this reminds me of the 2011 NFL Draft. Both Kiper and Todd McShay thought a defensive lineman would be the top choice (Kiper said Nick Fairley, while McShay suggested Da'Quan Bowers), yet the Panthers ultimately fell in love with Cam Newton.
With all major quarterbacks re-signed, the same thing will almost certainly happen to the Texans, who still have plenty of time to fall in love with one of the signal-callers. Blake Bortles, who has the characteristics of what Bill O'Brien looks for in a quarterback, has become the favorite out of the three quarterbacks. Multiple sources are now leaning toward Bortles, as you can see in our 2014 NFL Draft Team Rumors page. Charlie also reported that two teams in the top five prefer Bortles over Bridgewater and Manziel. Meanwhile, Tony Pauline said that Bortles is the consensus No. 1 quarterback, and that he has been impressive in the interviews.
2) Atlanta Falcons: Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina
I had the Raiders moving up into the No. 2 slot for a quarterback a couple of weeks ago. I'll predict a more conventional trade this time.
General manager Thomas Dimitroff, who has been aggressive this offseason, has a habit of moving up in the draft. Perhaps he'll do so again for whom many believe to be the greatest pass-rushing prospect to come along in quite a long time. The Falcons could obviously use Jadeveon Clowney; their pass rush struggled this past season, which is a major reason they couldn't beat Drew Brees or Cam Newton.
Atlanta has expressed interest in Khalil Mack, but there are two things to consider. First, Mack may not even make it to No. 6 with the Jaguars and Raiders possibly interested. Second, it could be smoke to make it seem like they're not desperate to move up to No. 2.
For those worried that the Falcons will have to give up too many resources, the team won't have to surrender as much as Washington did to trade up to the second selection for Robert Griffin. The Dolphins, after all, didn't deal much when they went to No. 3 last year. This year's second-rounder and a 2015 selection in Round 2 (plus some third-day choices) could suffice.
3) Jacksonville Jaguars: Khalil Mack, DE/OLB, Buffalo
First of all, the Chris Clemons signing will not preclude the Jaguars from selecting Khalil Mack. Clemons is old (32) and has endured a torn ACL recently. The Jaguars could use Clemons as a situational pass-rusher (like Bruce Irvin in Seattle) with Mack starting at the LEO position.
Second, the Jaguars obviously need a franchise quarterback, so that probably means that general manager David Caldwell won't select one. In the wake of the Chad Henne re-signing, it's been speculated on our 2014 NFL Draft Team Rumors page that the Jaguars will pass on a signal-caller at No. 3 and choose one later in the draft. This clearly isn't a good strategy, but Caldwell is a guy who spent a pick on a right tackle last year because an Internet article told him that Blaine Gabbert would be better with upgraded protection on the right side.
Mack had a great Combine and an even better Pro Day. Chris Mortensen reported afterward that many believe Mack is on Jadeveon Clowney's level. That's obviously debatable, but something that's not is Mack's great scheme fit in Gus Bradley's defense.
4) Cleveland Browns: Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson
It's looking like the Browns want to either wait on Marcus Mariota next year - go here for the 2015 NFL Mock Draft - or use their second first-rounder on Derek Carr. I still wouldn't count out a quarterback at No. 4, but it seems as though Cleveland will go in a different direction.
If that's the case, the only player who really makes sense is Sammy Watkins. The Browns had tremendous problems at receiver this past season outside of Josh Gordon. Greg "Mr. Dependable" Little continued to struggle, while Davone Bess was even worse. Watkins, the clear-cut No. 1 skill player in this class, would give Clevland a tremendous duo at receiver.
5) Oakland Raiders: Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn
I gave the Raiders a Millen grade in my NFL Free Agents Grade page for Rodger Saffold, but that was nothing compared to the embarrassment Reggie McKenzie endured when his owner nullified the signing. Oakland has since met with Donald Penn, but the former Buccaneer is asking for too much money. I guess the good news is that McKenzie learned his lesson and is showing some financial restraint.
Besides, why would McKenzie overpay for Penn when he can grab Greg Robinson or Jake Matthews at No. 5 overall?
6) St. Louis Rams: Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan
The Rams will be more than happy to trade down to the fifth, sixth or even eighth pick. Not only will they acquire more selections; they'll be able to nab Greg Robinson, Jake Matthews or Sammy Watkins with those choices. Or perhaps Taylor Lewan. Matthews and Lewan are closer than most people think, and I'm getting the sense that St. Louis prefers the latter. Lewan is a better fit for what Jeff Fisher wants to do.
Fisher usually isn't one to take an offensive lineman early, but Jake Long's return for the 2014 is questionable. That's troubling, given that the Rams need to keep the fragile Sam Bradford healthy if they want to compete in the best division in football.