2014 NFL Mock (4/22/14)
1. Houston Texans: Blake Bortles, QB, Central Florida
Even with all the talk of the other quarterbacks and Jadeveon Clowney possibly going number 1 Bridgewater is the safest selection. The Texans need a quarterback or they will be picking in the top 10 again next year. Matt Schaub has had a decent career but the Texans sent him to the Raiders. Bortles is a big quarterback who had a lot of success this year. He has very good mobility for his size and reminds a lot of people of Ben Roethlisberger. Bortles played the majority of his college career in the shotgun so playing in a pro-style offense will be a change for him.
2. St. Louis Rams (from WAS): Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo
The Rams are reportedly in love with Khalil Mack and would love to take the Buffalo product if he doesn’t get selected first overall. While linebacker isn’t a huge need, it’s still a need that they will have to take a look at. Mack is a natural fit at linebacker and has the potential to have the same impact as Von Miller. He finished his career with 28.5 sacks, 75 tackles for a loss and 16 forced fumbles. He has been extremely impressive throughout the whole draft process and has opened a lot of eyes.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars: Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina
The Jaguars need a quarterback and need one very badly (as they have for some time). Yet, they may not be thrilled with the options that are left on the board and feel that Clowney is a better player and they can get a quarterback later. Regardless of the question marks about Clowney’s work ethic, he has outstanding ability that can make him one of the best defensive players in the NFL immediately. While his numbers were down in 2013, he saw an increased amount of attention which won’t happen initially in the NFL and if it does he will be his teammates favorite player. Clowney was often being double teams and chipped on in a single play. The Jaguars need a pass rusher and he is the best in the draft.
4. Cleveland Browns: Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson
The Browns have some very good weapons but they need another wide receiver across from Josh Gordon. Watkins is a special receiver. He has been a dominate receiver throughout his collegiate career and he capped it off with a huge performance in the Orange Bowl. Watkins finished the season with 101 receptions for 1,464 yards and 12 touchdowns. His intangibles are next to elite and he should be able to be an impact player immediately. He is in a very similar mold to Larry Fitzgerald.
5. Oakland Raiders: Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M
The Raiders could go in a variety of directions and they really need a quarterback but they could wait until the second round. Oakland has filled a lot of their holes via free agency and they could take a guy like Greg Robinson but they signed Donald Penn and Austen Howard and drafted Menelik Watson in the second round last year. Enter Mike Evans. Evans is a big target who ran very well for his size at the Combine. As Johnny Manziel’s favorite target Evans hauled in 69 receptions for 1,394 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2013. Evans needs to improve his concentration and his route running but he has the skill to be a very good wide receiver.
6. Atlanta Falcons: Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn
Sam Baker is in the second year of his contract extension so the Falcons won’t be releasing him but they could certainly move him over to the right side and take Greg Robinson to hold down the blindside. Robinson really opened some eyes as the season went on and solidified himself as a top tier prospects starting in the Alabama game and through the National Championship. Robinson is an elite left tackle with great size and athleticism that make up the games best left tackles.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh
There is not a lot to not like about Aaron Donald. While he isn’t the tallest defensive tackle, he has the production and athletic ability to be a Pro Bowler. Donald finished the season with 28.5 tackles for a loss and 11 sacks. He really showed up at the Senior Bowl and was clearly one of the best players during the entire week. Then at the Combine he ran a 4.68 second 40 yard dash which is a blistering time for a 285 pound defensive tackle.
8. Minnesota Vikings: Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M
The Vikings clearly don’t believe that the Christian Ponder is the answer because they tried to bring in Josh Freeman which was another failed experiment. The Vikings have a solid team but are desperately seeking a quarterback who can take them to another level. Johnny Manziel had another very good season in 2013 and improved his ability to throw from the pocket. Manziel needs to go through his progressions and when someone is open make the throw as opposed to always looking for the big play.
9. Buffalo Bills: Hasean Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama
The loss of Jairius Byrd cannot be understated. Byrd was one of the top 3-5 safeties in the league and probably the best traditional free safety in the NFL last year. With the recent addition of Mike Williams the Bills won’t be looking at a wide receiver and while Eric Ebron, Jake Matthews or Taylor Lewan could be possibilities they don’t truly elevate the Bills. Clinton-Dix was the leader of Alabama’s secondary and would do just about everything asked of him. He would often play centerfield when Alabama was in a cover 3 and he never had a problem coming up into the box. While many people think this may be high, Clinton-Dix is the best safety in this draft.
10. Detroit Lions: Anthony Barr, LB, UCLA
There have been a lot of rumors about the Lions potentially trading up to take Sammy Watkins which would give the Lions a lot of options on the offensive side yet the cost to move up could be too costly and the Lions have a lot of holes on defense. Barr is a dynamic player with a huge upside. Over the past two seasons he has a combined 23 sacks and 41 tackles for a loss despite only playing linebacker for two years after being moved from running back. Barr is still growing and learning the position so the sky is the limit for the young linebacker.
11. Tennessee Titans: Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma St.
Alterraun Verner left in free agency and the Titans could use some help at cornerback. . Justin Gilbert is an extremely athletic corner with very good size and a knack for making plays. Gilbert has the skill set to be a shutdown corner and he has a very high upside. He has the highest upside of any playmaking defensive back in the draft.
12. New York Giants: Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M
This is a great scenario for the Giants and one that is very realistic. Matthews is a very good prospect but has some obvious flaws that need to be corrected. Ultimately, he may end up being a right tackle but with some work on his technique can stay on the left side. Even though the Giants used a first round pick on Justin Pugh last year there is no reason they wouldn’t take Matthews if he was available. The Giants need to keep Eli Manning upright and give him more time.
13. St. Louis Rams: Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan
If the Rams pass on Greg Robinson they could look to take one here if Ha Ha Clinton-Dix is off the board. Lewan is an exceptional offensive tackle prospect who was dissected a little more this season but he is very strong and athletic with a great frame. Lewan can absolutely stay on the left side but can also be a very effective right tackle.
14. Chicago Bears: Timmy Jernigan, DT, Florida St.
The Bears need to improve the middle of their defensive line and will look to add a defensive tackle early. Jernigan had a very impressive season and was very good in the National Championship game. He finished the season with 68 tackles, 11 for a loss and 4.5 sacks. Jernigan is a very strong interior linemen and while he isn’t the tallest he uses his leverage to his advantage and wins a lot of battles inside, especially against the run.
15. Pittsburgh Steelers: Ryan Shazier, LB, Ohio St.
Shazier is an incredibly versatile player who was the key to Ohio St.’s defense in 2013. He finished the season with 144 tackles and was moved all around the defense after being asked to rush the passer and drop into coverage. He had 7 sacks and 23.5 tackles for a loss to go along with his 144 tackles. Vince Williams was solid last year for the Steelers but is a liability in pass coverage and Shazier would be a great fit inside next to Lawrence Timmons.
16. Dallas Cowboys: Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri
The Cowboys had a lot of problems in 2013 on the defensive side and made some serious changes. Demarcus Ware was sent packing, Anthony Spencer was not re-signed and Jason Hatcher went his way. Yet the Cowboys were able to add Henry Melton which will be a huge upgrade. Adding Ealy will help ease the loss of the defensive ends. Ealy is a big guy who can move around on the defensive line and create some mismatches across from interior linemen. Ealy is extremely athletic on tape, especially for a player his size. He is extremely quick and strong. He finished 2013 with 9 sacks but he really does need to improve his technique and learn how to use his strength better as tackles in the NFL will be quicker.
17. Baltimore Ravens: Odell Beckham, WR, LSU
Adding Steve Smith was good for the short term but Smith is clearly on his way to the end of his career and the Ravens need more offensive weapons. . Beckham is a dynamic receiver who can make a lot of plays with the ball in his hands. He can be a kick returner, stretch the field or take a screen pass and gain significant yardage. He finished 2013 with 1,152 yards receiving, 845 yards in kick returns, 160 yards in punt returns and 58 yards rushing.
18. New York Jets: Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina
The Jets are in a search for some playmakers on offense and they could go in a few directions with this pick. Ebron is a dynamic tight end who can be split out wide or stay in-line. Ebron has made some pretty impressive catches throughout his career but he has also had some drops. He was not very efficient at his Pro Day which hurt his stock but he has an incredibly high upside and would give the Jets a guy who can create mismatches.
19. Miami Dolphins: Cyrus Kouandijo, OT, Alabama
There are a lot of rumors around saying that the Dolphins will be taking Kouandijo and its that time of the year where you have to decipher smoke screens from reality. In this situation it seems as if the Dolphins do believe that Kouandijo is their guy. He has had a lot of success but was exposes somewhat down the stretch against Auburn and against Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl. With the signing of Branden Albert, Kouandijo would move to right tackle where he is probably best served.
20. Arizona Cardinals: RaShede Hageman, DL, Minnesota
The Cardinals have a solid defensive line but adding some youth and depth will be important. Hageman would make a very good defensive end in the 3-4 and he can play both five and three technique so he could slide inside on passing downs. He is a very strong defender with good ability to move laterally along the line to take down ball carriers and eat up blockers.
21. Green Bay Packers: Calvin Pryor, S, Louisville
The Packers have let it be known that they would like to add some depth throughout their defense and want to use a large portion of their draft on the defensive side. They need to improve their secondary, particularly at free safety and Pryor is an ideal fit. He can be used in multiple ways whether its in deep coverage or moving into the box. He finished 2013 with 75 tackles, 5.5 tackles for a loss and 3 interceptions.
22. Philadelphia Eagles: Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon St.
The Eagles decided to part ways with DeSean Jackson but brought back both Riley Cooper and Jeremey Maclin. Maclin, however, if on a one year deal and coming off an injury. Cooks is a dynamic player who likes to have the ball in his hands and can do a lot of the same things Jackson did for the Eagles. Cooks lead the FBS in receiving yards with 1,730 yards and 16 touchdowns. He isn’t the biggest guy but he can make things happen with the ball in his hands. He had a very fast 4.33 second 40 yard dash at the Combine and is an electric player who could continue to rise for teams looking for a multipurpose player.
23. Kansas City Chiefs: Marqise Lee, WR, USC
The Chiefs may have had the toughest offseason of anyone in the NFL, losing multiple key players to other teams. One area the Chiefs have to address is at wide receiver. Dwayne Bowe is a solid #1 option but behind him there is not much else. Lee had a down year in 2013 but he still finished the year with 57 catches for 791 yards and 4 touchdowns after having 118 catches for 1,721 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2012 (Alshon Jeffery had a similar drop in production in his collegiate career). Lee could end up being a steal as USC was in somewhat of dysfunction during this season.
24. Cincinnati Bengals: Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan St.
The Bengals could use some more youth and depth at cornerback and Dennard is a great value at 24. He was very good all season long in coverage and was one of the biggest reasons Michigan St.’s defense was one of the best in the country in 2013. Dennard is not a superior athlete which has hurt his draft stock but he did perform well enough at the Combine and his Pro Day. He knows how to play the position well and is a smart defender.
25. San Diego Chargers: Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio St.
Coming into the 2013 season Roby was viewed as the premier cornerback prospect but he had a very up and down year which hurt his draft stock. At times Roby looked like the shutdown corner that teams were accustomed to seeing and at others he was not consistent with his technique and was getting beat for it. Roby is a talented cornerback who has a high upside if he can get things going in the right direction.
26. Cleveland Browns: Derek Carr, QB, Fresno St.
It seems widely accepted that the Browns really like Derek Carr. There is enough smoke to start believing that the Browns actually do like Carr. There are also a lot of rumors that some scouts believe he is the best quarterback in the draft. Carr has a strong arm but is not the most accurate passer and there is a lot of concern regarding his ability to throw the ball with pressure in his face. The Browns could take a quarterback at 4 but I think they like Carr enough to wait until the end of the first to take Carr.
27. New Orleans Saints: C.J. Mosley, LB, Alabama
The Saints could improve their inside linebackers and Mosley is a great fit. He was the leader of the Crimson Tide defense and is a very smart player. Mosley does have some question marks which have hurt his draft stock and could see him falling to this spot in the first round. He doesn’t have the bulk of a traditional middle linebacker which makes him a better fit in the 3-4. He has also had some injury issues throughout his career which has raised a red flag.
28. Carolina Panthers: Zach Martin, OT, Notre Dame
Jordan Gross decided to retire which left a big hole for the Panthers to fill. In addition, they didn’t really address the wide receiver position but considering this draft is so deep they could add multiple wide receivers in the middle rounds. Martin has shorter arms but looks more comfortable playing tackle than he does playing guard.
29. New England Patriots: Kareem Martin, DE, North Carolina
Kareem Martin is a big, strong defensive end who is good against the run and as a pass rusher. He finished 2013 with 82 tackles, 21.5 tackles for a loss and 11.5 sacks which are very good numbers. Martin has gone somewhat under the radar to this point but will sneak into round 1 because of his production and athletic ability.
30. San Francisco 49ers: Demarcus Lawrence, OLB, Boise St.
Aldon Smith has been a disappointment off the field. He can’t seem to stay out of trouble and it has hurt his time on the field. The 49ers could move up in the draft to get another pass rusher with the amount of picks they have but Lawrence would be a consolation prize they would be content with. Lawrence had a solid career at Boise St. but nothing about him really stands out.
31. Denver Broncos: Jason Verrett, CB, TCU
Jason Verrett may be the most talented cornerback in the 2013 draft but due to his lack of height he may fall into round 2. Verrett allowed just 28% of passes attempted his way to be completed and quaterbacks quickly decided not to throw at Verrett. He is also a very good tackler and limits the yards after catch. If Verrett was 2 inches taller he would be a top 15 pick. The Broncos could use some depth at the position and would initially use Verrett to cover slot receivers.
32. Seattle Seahawks: Morgan Moses, OT, Virginia
The Seahawks are probably the deepest team in the NFL and after winning a Super Bowl are primed to be the favorites again in 2014. They could use some additional depth and a potential starter at right tackle and Moses fits the bill. Moses is very athletic for his size and could eventually move to left tackle if needed. His versatility makes him a desirable option for the Seahawks at the end of the first round.
33. Houston Texans: Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech
Fuller has first round abilities but slips to 33 which really isn’t even a slip. The Texans could use some help at cornerback.
34. Washington Redskins: Louis Nix, DT, Notre Dame
Nix is an exceptional nose tackle but has been hampered by injuries. He would give the Redskins a stout run defender inside.
35. Cleveland Browns: Jimmie Ward, S, Northern Illinois
The Browns need to replace T.J. Ward and Jimmie Ward is a prospect who has gone somewhat under the radar to this point but is gaining momentum.
36. Oakland Raiders: Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville
This is a dream scenario for the Raiders to have their pick of a couple of quarterbacks in the second round.
37. Atlanta Falcons: Tre Mason, RB, Auburn
Mason isn’t a blazer but he has good speed and a small, compact body that makes good cuts and has very good vision.
38. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Florida St.
The Bucs gave up on Mike Williams so they will need to replace him. Benjamin is a big receiver who has strong hands but not great speed.
39. Jacksonville Jaguars: Zach Mettenberger, QB, LSU
The Jaguars need a quarterback and will definitely look to take one early in round 2. Mettenberger has been hurt by the fact that he can’t fully workout.
40. Minnesota Vikings: Scott Crichton, DE, Oregon St.
Crichton is a jack of all trades type player who can rush the passer and is good against the run. The Vikings need some depth at defensive end.
41. Buffalo Bills: Jace Amaro, TE, Texas Tech
Amaro will give E.J. Manuel another weapon besides Scott Chandler. Amaro is a good pass catcher but a below average blocker.
42. Tennessee Titans: Carlos Hyde, RB, Ohio St.
Chris Johnson hit the road so the Titans will need to replace him and Shonn Greene isn’t the answer. Hyde is a big back who does a little bit of everything very well.
43. New York Giants: Dee Ford, DE, Auburn
The Giants need to find a pass rusher and Ford is a very quick defender who needs to add some strength but playing in a rotation would be a great fit for the Giants.
44. St. Louis Rams: Donte Moncrief, WR, Mississippi
Moncrief has very good speed and would give the Rams another weapon to help stretch the field.
45. Detroit Lions: Allen Robinson, WR, Penn St.
Adding Golden Tate was a good move but the Lions could use another wide receiver to take pressure off Calvin Johnson. Robinson is a tall receiver who is good with the ball in his hands.
46. Pittsburgh Steelers: Stephon Tuitt, DE, Notre Dame
The Steelers need depth along their defensive line and Tuitt is a guy who could eventually start for the Steelers.
47. Dallas Cowboys: Xavier Su’a-Filo, G, UCLA
Su’a-Filo is an older prospect who is a solid offensive linemen that is capable of starting right away.
48. Baltimore Ravens: Phillip Gaines, CB, Rice
The Ravens could use some depth at cornerback and Gaines is an athletic corner with good size.
49. New York Jets: Paul Richardson, WR, Colorado
The Jets need more playmakers and Richardson has game breaking speed. He has solid hands and would give them another weapon to stretch the field.
50. Miami Dolphins: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Washington
Dustin Keller had a horrible knee injury early in 2013 and the Dolphins really were not the same without him.
51. Chicago Bears: Deone Bucannon, S, Washington St.
The Bears need help at safety and reportedly really like Bucannon. He would be a good fit for them in the back end of their defense.
52. Arizona Cardinals: Weston Richburg, C, Colorado St.
The Cardinals overhaul of their offensive line would be complete with the addition of Richburg who was impressive at the Senior Bowl.
53. Green Bay Packers: Davante Adams, WR, Fresno St.
The Packers always seem to take offensive players and wide receivers in the second round. Adams was a favorite target of Derek Carr.
54. Philadelphia Eagles: Kyle Van Noy, LB, BYU
The Eagles could go a few ways but Van Noy gives them some flexibility at linebacker.
55. Cincinnati Bengals: Marcus Martin, C, USC
Kyle Cook is a below average starter and Martin is a great value at the end of the second round.
56. San Francisco 49ers (from KC): Martavis Bryant, WR, Clemson
The 49ers are looking for a receiver to stretch the field and Bryant has a ton of speed, particularly for this size.
57. San Diego Chargers: Jeremiah Attaochu, LB, Georgia Tech
Attaochu is a good pass rusher and fits best in the 3-4 scheme.
58. New Orleans Saints: Keith McGill, CB, Utah
McGill is a tall corner and the Saints need to find some depth at the cornerback position.
59. Indianapolis Colts: Marcus Smith, OLB, Louisville
The Colts like Bjoern Werner but have spent a lot of time on Marcus Smith. Smith has a ton of upside.
60. Carolina Panthers: Cody Latimer, WR, Indiana
The Panthers desperately need wide receivers and Latimer gives them another guy who can catch passes.
61. San Francisco 49ers: Joel Bitonio, OL, Nevada
Bitonio has a ton of upside and the 49ers have draft picks they can use to develop players.
62. New England Patriots: Terrence Brooks, S, Florida St.
Brooks has a high upside and can play both safety spots.
63. Denver Broncos: Trent Murphy, DE, Stanford
Murphy was an extremely productive player and led the FBS in sacks with 15 in 2013.
64. Seattle Seahawks: Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt
Matthews is an underrated player who has good size, speed and production.
65. Houston Texans: Troy Niklas, TE, Notre Dame
66. Washington Redskins: Lamarcus Joyner, DB, Florida St.
67. Oakland Raiders: Christian Jones, LB, Florida St.
68. Atlanta Falcons: Jackson Jeffcoat, DE, Texas
69. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Tom Savage, QB, Pittsburgh
70. Jacksonville Jaguars: Jeremy Hill, RB, LSU
71. Cleveland Browns: Jaylen Watkins, CB, Florida
72. Minnesota Vikings: Bishop Sankey, RB, Washington
73. Buffalo Bills: Cameron Fleming, OT, Stanford
74. New York Giants: Jordan Tripp, LB, Montana
75. St. Louis Rams: Stanley Jean-Baptiste, CB, Nebraska
76. Detroit Lions: Marcus Roberson, CB, Florida
77. San Francisco 49ers (from TEN): Kelcy Quarles, DE, South Carolina
78. Dallas Cowboys: Domique Easley, DT, Florida
79. Baltimore Ravens: Kenny Ladler, S, Vanderbilt
80. New York Jets: Chris Borland, LB, Wisconsin
81. Miami Dolphins: Telvin Smith, LB, Florida St.
82. Chicago Bears: Charles Sims, RB, West Virginia
83. Cleveland Browns (from PIT): Shayne Skov, LB, Stanford
84. Arizona Cardinals: Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, Eastern Illinois
85. Green Bay Packers: Travis Swanson, C, Arkansas
86. Philadelphia Eagles: Dakota Dozier, G, Furman
87. Kansas City Chiefs: Gabe Jackson, G, Mississippi
88. Cincinnati Bengals: Will Sutton, DT, Arizona St.
89. San Diego Chargers: Caruan Reid, DL, Princeton
90. Indianapolis Colts: Jack Mewhort, OT/G, Ohio St.
91. New Orleans Saints: Devonta Freeman, RB, Florida St.
92. Carolina Panthers: Jarvis Landry, WR, LSU
93. New England Patriots: Billy Turner, OL, North Dakota St.
94. San Francisco 49ers: Larry Webster, OLB, Bloomsburg
95. Denver Broncos: Ja’Wuan James, OT, Tennessee
96. Minnesota Vikings (from SEA): Ed Reynolds, S, Stanford
97. Pittsburgh Steelers: Pierre Desir, CB, Lindenwood
98. Green Bay Packers: Carl Braford, LB, Arizona St.
99. Baltimore Ravens: Antonio Richardson, OT, Tennessee
100. San Francisco 49ers: Arthur Lynch, TE, Georgia