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PICKING THE FIRST ROUND

Published: Wednesday, May. 7, 2014 - 6:05 pm
Last Modified: Thursday, May. 8, 2014 - 8:33 am

1. HOUSTON

DE Jadeveon Clowney,

South Carolina

Concerns about Clowney’s work ethic are overblown; just limit his snaps and make sure he has central A/C at all times.

2. ST. LOUIS

OT Greg Robinson,

Auburn

The Rams must ask themselves: Protect quarterback Sam Bradford or replace him? They go with the easier move.

3. JACKSONVILLE

WR Sammy Watkins,

Clemson

Prolific wideout heads to Jacksonville, which with Tennessee and Tampa Bay forms the Bermuda Triangle of the NFL. So long, Sammy.

4. CLEVELAND

LB Khalil Mack,

Buffalo

Browns feel Brian Hoyer is a better option at QB than a man nicknamed “Johnny Football.” That’s why they are the Browns.

5. RAIDERS

OT Jake Matthews,

Texas A&M

Raiders coach – blanking on his name – takes Matthews to protect quarterback – blanking on his name.

6. ATLANTA

OT Taylor Lewan,

Michigan

Quarterback Matt Ryan is nicknamed “Ice” not for coolness under pressure but for his postgame routine.

7. TAMPA BAY

QB Johnny Manziel,

Texas A&M

Calm, level-headed, defensive-minded Lovie Smith gets the ultimate hot-headed quarterback. What could go wrong?

8. MINNESOTA

QB Blake Bortles,

Central Florida

Advice to Bortles, who is from Florida and played collegiately in Orlando: Invest signing bonus in Gore-tex.

9. BUFFALO

WR Mike Evans,

Texas A&M

Advice to Evans, who is from Galveston, Texas: Find Bortles, borrow Gore-tex.

10. DETROIT

DT Aaron Donald,

Pittsburgh

With Ndamukong Suh entering the last year of his contract and looking for big money, Donald could become the new Suh.

11. TENNESSEE

OLB Anthony Barr, UCLA

The Titans needs an edge rusher; Barr had double-digit sacks the last two years.

12. N.Y. GIANTS

OT Zack Martin,

Notre Dame

Senior Bowl standout will help anchor an aging and rickety offensive line.

13. ST. LOUIS

CB Justin Gilbert,

Oklahoma

Worst secondary in the NFC West? It may belong to the 49ers.

14. CHICAGO

S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix,

Alabama

His name sounds like a hidden camera show.

15. PITTSBURGH

CB Darqueze Dennard,

Michigan State

Kyle Fuller or Dennard to Steelers? Flip a coin (and make sure it plays nickel).

16. DALLAS

DT Timmy Jernigan,

Florida State

Jernigan reportedly failed a drug test at the combine; will it turn Cowboys off?

17. 49ERS

WR Odell Beckham Jr., LSU

Like last year, the 49ers move up 13 spots to take an LSU player, this time a receiver who can stretch defenses.

18. N.Y. JETS

WR Brandin Cooks,

Oregon State

Speedy Stockton native should flourish in the Big Apple, adding zest to a Jets passing offense that finished 31st in 2013.

19. MIAMI

LB C.J. Mosley, Alabama

The Dolphins certainly could use an OT or two – hard to remember why they’re so light there – but run defense finished 24th last year.

20. ARIZONA

S Calvin Pryor, Louisville

It’s not quite the Legion of Boom, but Arizona is building an impressive defense and secondary of its own.

21. GREEN BAY

TE Eric Ebron,

North Carolina

Jermichael Finley still is recovering from a scary neck injury; Ebron is the top tight end in the draft.

22. PHILADELPHIA

CB Kyle Fuller, Virginia Tech

Many see the Eagles taking a receiver after DeSean Jackson’s departure, but they finished last in pass defense last year.

23. KANSAS CITY

WR Cody Latimer, Indiana

Any team with A.J. Jenkins at receiver has question marks at the position.

24. CINCINNATI

CB Bradley Roby,

Ohio State

Roby recently was cited after being found impaired in a parked car. Bengals excitedly put his name in a sealed envelope marked, “Do not open until draft day.”

25. SAN DIEGO

CB Jason Verrett, TCU

If he was 10 pounds heavier and 2 inches taller, Verrett would be the first cornerback selected.

26. CLEVELAND

QB Derek Carr,

Fresno State

Browns reportedly are considering Teddy Bridgewater, but they need a QB who can throw passes that cut through Lake Erie’s wind.

27. NEW ORLEANS

WR Marqise Lee, USC

Lee wins the lottery for rookie receivers – getting to play in a dome, on artificial turf and with Drew Brees.

28. CAROLINA

OT Joel Bitonio, Nevada

Panthers decide to fill wide receiver need in second round; trade with Miami is possible here, too.

29. NEW ENGLAND

DT Stephon Tuitt,

Notre Dame

The Patriots need to dunk their DL – where four key players are 30 or older – into a Fountain of Youth.

30. BALTIMORE

OT Morgan Moses, Virginia

Fun fact: Edgar Allan Poe and Moses both attended Virginia. Not-so-fun facts: Poe dropped out after one semester, wrote “The Raven,” died in Baltimore.

31. DENVER

DE Kony Ealy, Missouri

Counterintuitively, John Elway tends to go with defensive players Ealy, and often.

32. SEATTLE

OT Ja’wuan James,

Tennessee

The Seahawks have done a great job finding talent late in the draft but not on the offensive line.



MATTHEW BARROWS

Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.

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