I want to wish everyone a happy 4th of July and hope you enjoy my predictions for each 1st round draft pick's rookie season.
Texans: Jadeveon Clowney
He is a physical specimen, we have already figured that out, and putting him at LOLB behind J.J. Watt is a recipe for success. I believe he will struggle in pass coverage his rookie season, but ultimately will have 60 total tackles, 1 interception, 3 forced fumbles, and 10 sacks.
Rams: Greg Robinson
Same as Clowney, Robinson is a physical specimen who will dominate at Guard and will push for the starting Right Tackle position by the end of the season.
Jaguars: Blake Bortles
I do not believe he will start at the beginning of the season, but by around Week 8, when the Jaguars have about 2 wins he will be forced into the starting role and struggle. By the end of the season he will have a 52% completion, 1,500 yards, 10 touchdowns with 12 interceptions.
Bills: Sammy Watkins
Watkins is similar to A.J. Green as a rookie, but I don’t think he is as good as Green. I see 70 receptions and 800 yards with 5 touchdowns due to getting most of the defensive attention.
Raiders: Khalil Mack
Mack is a toss-up. I want to believe he will be great, but as a small school guy on a bad team I am skeptical. I see him having 4 sacks, 65 total tackles, 1 interceptions and 1 forced fumble.
Falcons: Jake Mathews
I am not a huge Mathews fan. I think he will be good but never great in his career. I definitely see him struggling at Right Tackle mainly because I think he will have trouble run blocking.
Buccaneers: Mike Evans
I think Evans will benefit from a more consistent pocket passer in Josh McCown or Mike Glennon as opposed to Johnny Manziel. I see him as a huge Red Zone threat with 10 touchdowns, 600 yards and 50 receptions.
Browns: Justin Gilbert
I think Gilbert will be very inconsistent as a corner to start his career. I think in some games he will be a shutdown corner and in others allow big catches for touchdowns. I think he will have 4 interceptions, 1 for a touchdown, 30 total tackles and as a kick returner score 2 touchdowns. As a rookie he will also allow many touchdowns.
Vikings: Anthony Barr
This may be the toughest first round pick to judge because I do not believe he will have a set position in year one. As a pass rusher he will create havoc on o-lines and as he hones his very raw skills he can only go up. I think he will have a lot of QB pressures, 40 total tackles, 8 sacks and 3 forced fumbles.
Lions: Eric Ebron
The Lions now have a pretty impressive receiving core and I am not sure Ebron will get his fair share of looks in year one. He is in an almost identical situation to Tyler Eifert who was a rookie for the Bengals last season. I see him having similar numbers to Eifert with 45 receptions 550 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Titans: Taylor Lewan
I am not sure he will play this year and, if so, it will be sparingly at right tackle. For the game time he will get I think he will play pretty average for a rookie but his bright spot will be his nasty play, perfect for a right tackle of the future.
Giants: Odell Beckham Jr.
I do not see him being very impressive as a rookie simply because he will not get the playing time as the third or fourth wide out on the Giants. He will have around 35 receptions for 400 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Rams: Aaron Donald
Aaron Donald goes to, in my opinion, the best defensive line in the NFL so I would not be surprised for him to have a big year due to the lack of attention spent on him. I think he will have 40 total tackles and 6 sacks.
Bears: Kyle Fuller
Fuller will not get much playing time as rookie and instead learn from two of the best in Charles Tillman and Tim Jennings. He will have 30 tackles and 1 interception.
Steelers: Ryan Shazier
Shazier is, in terms of drafts picks, pretty safe. I think he will have a decent rookie year. He will have 85 total tackles, 1.5 sacks, and 1 interception as a rookie.
Cowboys: Zach Martin
I think Zach Martin will have the second most impressive rookie year of offensive lineman (behind Greg Robinson). He will be another impressive offensive line rookie like Travis Frederick was last year.
Ravens: C.J. Mosley
Mosley and Shazier will be entering the league with similar situations but I think it will take Mosley much longer to figure out how to be a successful pro in the league. I think he will have 50 total tackles,1 sack and no interceptions.
Jets: Calvin Pryor
I really like Pryor. He is fast, physical and not afraid to smack the next guy he sees to the ground. He also believes he is the best safety in the league and is not afraid to prove it. I see a possible defensive rookie of the year in his future. I see him having 80 tackles, 3 forced fumbles and 3 interceptions.
Dolphins: Ja’Wuan James
James will never be great, but he will easily be an improvement to the horrendous Dolphins o-line last year. He is exactly what the Dolphins need and will exceed all of the Fins very small expectations for him.
Saints: Brandin Cooks
I really like Cooks upside in an offense lead by Drew Brees and Sean Peyton. I expect him to have similar numbers to Kenny Stills rookie year, but with more receptions. My guess is 45 receptions for 600 yards and 6 touchdowns.
Packers: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix
Like Calvin Pryor, I think Clinton-Dix will have a great career. In the end he will have an even better career then Pryor but it will take longer for him to adjust. My prediction is 65 tackles and 4 interceptions.
Browns: Johnny Manziel
While I have said I believe Manziel will be a bust, I do believe he will have a decent rookie year followed by a horrendous sophomore slump. I see him having 3,000 yards passing, 23 touchdowns passing, 55% completion and 16 interceptions. Rushing, he will have 350 yards and 5 touchdowns.
Chiefs: Dee Ford
Ford is a pick for the future. He has the least chance of anyone in the first round to start. He will sub in every once in a while and probably have around 25 tackles and one sack.
Bengals: Darqueze Dennard
Dennard is extremely talented and will be starting by the begging of his second season. While he is going into this season as a backup I think he will be impressive enough to push for the starting job later in his rookie year. I see him having 34 tackles and 2 interceptions
Chargers: Jason Verrett
Verrett is entering a situation with the Chargers where he will start in the slot right away. He is very impressive when healthy, but coming off of shoulder surgery he may struggle a bit. When playing receivers who are shorter he will play fine, but at 5’ 10” he will struggle early with bigger receivers. I think he will have 40 tackles and 3 interceptions.
Eagles: Marcus Smith
Same as Ford, Smith will probably not start for most of the year and play in rotations of pass rush packages. I think he will have 35 tackles and 3 sacks in his rookie year.
Cardinals: Deone Bucannon
I like Bucannon a lot and think he is an underrated first round pick. In a few years Bucannon and Tyrann Mathieu may be the young Earl Thomas and Cam Chancellor. I see Bucannon having similar numbers to Kenny Vaccaro last year. I see him having 65 tackles, 1 forced fumble and 2 interceptions.
Panthers: Kelvin Benjamin
Considering Benjamin is the only receiver on the Panthers who has starting ability he will be passed to a lot. Based on the sheer number of targets he will receive, I think he will have the best stats of any rookie receiver. I think he will have 1,100 yards, 13 touchdowns and 80 receptions.
Patriots: Dominique Easley
Easley, when healthy, is a beast. But, coming off a torn ACL he will struggle to get back to 100%. In addition to not being a starter coming into the season, he will probably have a quite rookie year overall. He will have around 20 tackles and a sack.
49ers: Jimmie Ward
Unless there is injury to either Antoine Bethea or Eric Reid, the two starters, I do not believe Jimmie will even play this season. Maybe a few tackles for the rookie in the Bay.
Broncos: Bradley Roby
While Roby will mainly play in the slot as a 3rd corner, I believe he will struggle as a rookie. As a guy who made big plays in college, but also missed many, I don’t expect him to turn into a quality corner until he gets his feet set in the NFL. I see him having 30 tackles and 1 pick his rookie year.
Vikings: Teddy Bridgewater
I am still on the Bridgewater bandwagon. I get his pro day wasn’t impressive, but when he plays, he plays well. With Adrian Peterson and Cordarrelle Patterson already on his offense, Teddy can step in right away and make an impact. I think he will have 3,500 yards passing, 23 touchdowns, 60% completion and 7 interceptions.