PICK 1.3 - JOHNNY MANZIEL, QB, TEXAS A&M
Johnny really used the offseason to his advantage. I believe he solidified himself as the best QB in this draft. Up until his pro day I believed that it was Teddy Bridgewater. Teddy possesses tremendous poise in the pocket, ability to assess things pre-snap, as well as amazing accuracy, and awesome touch on all routes. Teddy may be the most pro ready, but Im not sold on his ceiling. Nobody coming out of the draft has to be a finished product, but I feel as though Teddy has little room to improve. I know it sounds funny to say "don't draft him because he's already good!", but Johnny's ceiling is honestly limitless in my book. The thing I hear now is, "Pro Days mean nothing! Don't overreact!'". But Johnny's pro day is what sold me. I had lots of questions about his accuracy and his arm, and it changed that, I don't believe his success was totally predicated on the height of Mike Evans. He may need to tweak some pocket issues, but he has the escapability of Houdini. (if you google-image Houdini, he looks like Johnny's twin.) Going into next season, Johnny Manziel would only be a Junior. I look at the Growth he made from his Freshman to Sophomore season, and it tells me he's a very coachable player, and isn't too hard-headed to learn. If we have the confidence in our coaching staff that y'all say you do, we shouldn't be scared to draft Manziel. He fixes the identity crisis we have here, as well as gives us a leader on the field. Gus Bradley shouldn't have to inspire the team every single down. I have a huge problem with drafting Sammy Watkins here. For one, I think Johnny Manziel and Cecil Shorts could win our division. Chad Henne and Sammy Watkins could not. If we drafted Sammy, what happens when Blackmon comes back? We'd have a giant log-jam at the WR position with Blackmon, Watkins and Shorts as our 1st 3, making it difficult for Ace Sanders, and Mike Brown to develop. Why draft a WR at 3, when its arguably the deepest position in the draft? We've got plenty of Camp Bodies at WR, like Stephen Williams, Stephen Burton, and Kerry Taylor. Cecil Shorts said he's finally 100% healthy, something he hasn't been in a while, let him get a chance to prove he can be a true 1A. He hasn't reached his prime. And Marcedes, will be a great Security Blanket for Manziel, as he was the hottest TE in the league for a stretch of about 4-5 weeks, after he was healthy again. We aren't a "playoffs-now" team like the Panthers, where we have to plug in a WR because it seems like we're weak there.
PICK 2.7 - KYLE VAN NOY, OLB, BYU
Debated on whether I would take, Jax Native, Louis Nix here or not. I chose Van Noy, because he would be a great option to play SAM LB here. A senior Bowl player under Gus. He has raw Pass rushing ability, but is great in run defense, and is skilled at pass coverage. Dakoda Watson and Van Noy would be nice depth at the OLB spot.
PICK 3.6 - MARCUS MARTIN, C, USC
Weston Richburg might be off the board here, so I went with Martin. Some people would be wary of the Rookie Center-QB look, but I don't think its that much of a problem. Martin is a big guy, who has good use of his hips, and is explosive off the ball, and good at getting to the 2nd level. Would improve our ZBS immensely. A great player to replace Meester.
PICK 4.5 - TRAI TURNER, G, LSU
It was between either Jon Halapio or Trai here. I chose Trai because I think he would fit our ZBS the best, and he's a bit of a homer pick. He's a brawler type of Guard, who has a knack for putting defenders in the dirt, and has quick feet. Certainly an upgrade over Uche Nwaneri.
PICK 4.14 - KEVIN NORWOOD, WR, ALABAMA
Here is where we should address the Wide Receiver position. Norwoord is probably the most underrated prospect in the draft, who played well for Gus & Co., during the Senior Bowl. He's been McCarrons go-to guy ever since Julio left Alabama. Again, a bit of a homer pick. He's skinny, but he's really good at high pointing the ball, and getting his body in position to make the play. He will go get the ball no matter what. He's a talented guy, who won't cause a log jam at WR, if/when Blackmon returns.
PICK 5.4 - DANIEL McCULLERS, DT, TENNESSEE
Explosive, and is outstanding at Run defense, an upgrade over Roy Miller's mediocre season, making Miller depth at NT.
PICK 5.10 - CASSIUS MARSH, DE, UCLA
A little slept on at UCLA, since his teammate Anthony Barr, got most of the attention. Prototypical LEO build, at 6'4, 252. Watching tape, he struggles off the ball, but has nice speed, and uses his hands well, and bends nicely. I waited to the 5th Round to take a LEO, because I think its exactly why we went after Chris Clemons, and Re-Signed Jason Babin. Having those two Vets, allows us to take a developmental guy, and have him learn from them and step in when Clemons and Babin are gone, since its a possibility neither of them finish their contract. Think of Clemons and Babin as "stop-gap" LEOs, the same principle as re-signing Henne.
PICK 5.19 - WALT AIKENS, CB, LIBERTY
Another Senior Bowl guy. Has that frame Gus likes in his CB. Long arms, and he's 6'1. Adds depth to our CB group.
PICK 6.3 - RONALD POWELL, OLB, FLORIDA
Nice prototypical build (6'3, 237) He was a big time recruit coming out of High School but had some nagging Injuries during college. VERY VERY good pass rushing ability, and is very quick off the edge. I thought he should've stayed one more year, but hey, get that money right? I think the only reason he's slept on is because of the questions with his knees, otherwise I'd say he would be a 2nd-4th round prospect.
PICK 6.? - RUSSELL BODINE, G, UNC
The guy we get for trading Blaine Gabbert. As of now, the Guards on the roster are, Zane Beadles, Trai Turner, Will Rackley, and Mike Brewster. Yikes. Certainly not ideal. I had to come back and stick this guy in, as I forgot about the 2 picks we have this round. It was either, Chris Watt, who played LG for ND, or Bodine. Bodine played Center at UNC, but was also kicked outside to Guard, which is perfect for us. Similar to Brewster except a lot stronger. Very smart, instinctive player, with good use of his hands. We really need to focus on beefing up the Oline sort of like like we did last year with DBs, since we didn't land Mack.
PICK 7.7 - KENNY LADLER, FS, VANDERBILT
Josh Evans was a late pick last year, but he was terrible. The Staff likes him, but I think he was terrible in the Run game, never wrapping up, getting trucked, and often out of position. I didn't see much improvement throughout the year. I thought Winston Guy came in and did a great job. Guy was a terror over the middle. Remember when he laid out Andre Johnson in our 1st win? And when he almost sent Josh Gordon to the locker room? He did a great job blitzing like when he got that Strip-Sack on EJ Manuel vs Buffalo. But I still think we need someone to push Prosinski out of the door. Ladler is a ball hawk, with nice speed, and good diagnostics. Nice frame, and a good contributor on punt returns.
QB: Johnny Manziel
RB: Toby Gerhart
WRs: Cecil Shorts, Kevin Norwood, Ace Sanders
TE: Marcedes Lewis
Safeties: John Cyprien, Winston Guy