Sam Farmer’s final NFL mock draft

Sammy Watkins, Jadeveon Clowney
Receiver Sammy Watkins, left, and defensive end Jadeveon Clowney talk to kids about tackling technique during a “Play 60" event in New York on Wednesday. Each player is expected to be chosen in the first few picks of the draft on Thursday.
(Seth Wenig / Associated Press)

ROUND 1: Tonight in New York, 5 PDT. ROUND 2-3: Friday, 4 p.m. ROUNDS 4-7: Saturday, 9 a.m. TV: ESPN, NFL Network.


1. HOUSTON, Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina, Clowney is a physical freak. Texans can pair him with J.J. Watt and give some real problems to opposing quarterbacks.

2. ST. LOUIS-a, Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M, Rams sorely need a tackle, and they can rely on Matthews, whose Hall of Fame dad, Bruce Matthews, played for Jeff Fisher.


3. JACKSONVILLE, Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson, Jaguars have been at or near the bottom of the league on offense for past three years. Watkins can make defenses pay.

4. CLEVELAND, Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn, The Browns could start Robinson at right tackle or right guard, then groom him to eventually take over for left tackle Joe Thomas.

5. OAKLAND, Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo, Mack mostly played on a smaller stage, but he showed against Ohio State that he even deserves consideration for the No. 1 overall pick.

6. ATLANTA, Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan, If they don’t trade up for Clowney, the Falcons will turn their attention to their offensive line. Lewan brings a nastiness that’s now missing.


7. TAMPA BAY, Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M, To some, Evans is the best receiver in the draft. The Buccaneers need one. One issue: 6-foot-5 Evans might be too similar to Vincent Jackson.

8. MINNESOTA, Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M, The Vikings don’t want to make another Christian Ponder-type mistake, but if Manziel slips to them, he’ll be tough to resist.

9. BUFFALO, Zack Martin, OT, Notre Dame, Bills need to improve in short yardage and do a better job of protecting EJ Manuel. The versatile Martin could step in at right tackle.

10. DETROIT, Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State, The Lions are in a perpetual search for cornerbacks, and Gilbert is a good one. Can return kicks for them too.

11. TENNESSEE, Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA, Not only does Barr fit the Titans’ defense, but also he will be reunited with linebackers coach Lou Spanos, who coached him at UCLA.

12. N.Y. GIANTS, Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina, If Ebron slips past Buffalo, he’s a good mesh with the Giants, his favorite team from childhood. Eli Manning needs a safety valve.

13. ST. LOUIS, Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State, St. Louis saw what a strong secondary did for Seattle. With Cortland Finnegan gone, the Rams need a physical third corner.

14. CHICAGO, Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh, Donald isn’t the biggest defensive tackle, but he’s very active and can penetrate the backfield. Bears had last-ranked run defense in 2013.


15. PITTSBURGH, Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech, With Ike Taylor in the last year of his contract, the Steelers need to develop a young corner, and Fuller has turned a lot of heads.

16. DALLAS Odell Beckham Jr., WR, Louisiana State LSU, The Cowboys have more pressing needs than receiver, but they’re not in love with the safeties in this class, and if they can’t trade down…

17. BALTIMORE, Hasean Clinton-Dix, FS, Alabama, The Ravens have been looking for a free safety since the Ed Reed era ended. This allows Matt Elam to move back to strong safety.

18. N.Y. JETS, Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State, Biggest needs for the Jets are wide receiver and cornerback. Cooks gives them a burner who can stretch the field.

19. MIAMI, Cyrus Kouandijo, OT, Alabama, The Dolphins badly need to rebuild their offensive line. Kouandijo is a first-round talent, but an arthritic knee has given teams pause.

20. ARIZONA, Ryan Shazier, OLB, Ohio State, The Cardinals have got to develop a 3-4 outside linebacker who can eventually take over for John Abraham, and that’s Shazier.

21. GREEN BAY, Stephon Tuitt, DT, Notre Dame, Year after year, the Packers struggle to stop the run. Tuitt is block-out-the-sun big, and would fit their scheme well.

22. PHILADELPHIA, Calvin Pryor, FS, Louisville, Breakdowns by Eagles safeties were a big problem last season. Pryor would immediately upgrade their secondary.


23. KANSAS CITY, Marqise Lee, WR, USC, The Chiefs got too little production from their wideouts, and need to develop a receiver who can one day replace Dwayne Bowe.

24. CINCINNATI, Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri, The Bengals, who lost Michael Johnson in free agency, are looking for an edge rusher who can turn up the heat on opposing quarterbacks.

25. SAN DIEGO, Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio State, The Chargers were ranked 29th in pass defense last season. If they don’t upgrade their secondary, Peyton Manning will pick them apart.

26. CLEVELAND-b, Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville, Even if it’s not elite, this is a deep quarterback class. Browns General Manager Ray Farmer likes Bridgewater’s leadership and poise.

27. NEW ORLEANS, C.J. Mosley, ILB, Alabama, Mosely is the best available defensive player on this board. Not crazy to think Sean Payton might take QB Jimmy Garoppolo here.

28. CAROLINA, Davante Adams, WR, Fresno State, With Steve Smith gone, the Panthers sorely need a receiver, and they liked Adams enough to work him out on two occasions.

29. NEW ENGLAND, Ra’Shede Hageman, DT, Minnesota, Bill Belichick has a history of throwing curveballs — Oregon’s De’Anthony Thomas would be interesting — but Hageman fits.

30. SAN FRANCISCO, Jason Verrett, CB, Texas Christian TCU, If Verrett is still on the board, he would be a good fit for 49ers, who lost corner Carlos Rogers and need someone to play in the slot.

31. DENVER, Kyle Van Noy, LB, Brigham Young BYU, Broncos added DeMarcus Ware and Aqib Talib, but they need a middle linebacker. Also, this could be team for UCLA guard Xavier Su’a-Filo.

32. SEATTLE, Jace Amaro, TE, Texas Tech, Seahawks need eventual replacement for Zach Miller. They like Fuller and Shazier too, but they’re probably gone by now.

a-from Washington; b-from Indianapolis.

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