2014 NFL Mock Draft
Last Updated: May 1, 2013
Note: if you missed the pictures of Jadeveon Clowney doing menacing-type things on the football field that initially served as a page holder, you can see that page here.
Lou Pickney, DraftKing.com
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Yes, it's ridiculously early to do a mock for 2014 at this point, but part of the fun is seeing who might go where and playing the "what if?" game. As usual, this initial mock will almost for sure include guys who will end up not only falling out of round one but outright not being drafted. The road to the NFL Draft is a long and grueling one, a vetting process that at times feels similar to what political candidates are subjected to in their attempts to win elections.
Note: this order came from taking the best-to-worst list of each team's Vegas odds to win the Super Bowl and then inverting it. Besides a tiny bit of tweaking to make sure picks 21-32 are balanced between the two conferences and represent all eight divisions, this is the order as per the betting lines -- and the people who set those lines have strong financial incentive to be on point. You might find slightly different odds elsewhere, and these are actually from before the 2013 NFL Draft so they might have shifted, but it's more a rough outline at this point than anything else, not unlike the pick projections. Plus, it beats me guessing on the order and invariably agitating several team fanbases, which used to happen all the time in the past before I finally wised up.
2014 NFL Mock Draft
1. Jacksonville Jaguars - Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville (6'3" 220) *
I'm not sure if I can take another year of giant question marks at the top, but a top-tier QB versus Clowney is a tough decision to make, particularly if Bridgewater lives up to the lofty expectations that most prognosticators have for him.
2. Oakland Raiders - Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina (6'6" 275) *
Clowney was NFL ready after his freshman year of college but, due to NFL rules, he won't be eligible to enter the draft until 2014. Sometimes life isn't fair.
3. Tennessee Titans - Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M (6'5" 305)
The connection with his father Bruce Matthews and this franchise is obvious, though if the Titans are picking here it's also a sign that the Jake Locker experiment didn't work.
4. Arizona Cardinals - Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan (6'8" 310)
Will there be the same demand for top-tier offensive tackle talent in 2014 as there was in this year's draft? Time will tell. But, for now, this gives the Cardinals the high-level offensive tackle they missed out on in the 2013 Draft.
5. Buffalo Bills - Arthur Lynch, DE, USF (6'5" 270) *
This would be the first draft for Buddy Nix's replacement as GM of the Bills -- if you think he's coming back for 2014 with another year of the Bills missing the playoffs, and with a bottom five finish at that, you are in need of a reality check. Bills fans deserve better than the product that their team has put on the field in recent years, and the Curse of Doug Flutie lives on for now.
6. Cleveland Browns - David Fales, QB, San Jose State (6'3" 220)
Brandon Weeden was a holdover from the previous administration (Mike Holmgren and friends), and if he can't get the job done (as picking in this spot would indicate) then look for Cleveland to potentially spend yet another first round pick on a quarterback. Some might project Johnny Football to this spot, but I give the nod to Fales... for now.
7. Kansas City Chiefs - Marqise Lee, WR, USC (6'0" 195) *
The best wide receiver prospect in this draft at this point is Lee, who likely would have been the top wide receiver taken in the 2013 Draft if he would have been eligible to enter.
8. New York Jets - Austin Seerian-Jenkins, TE, Washington (6'6" 265) *
Assuming that he can keep it together off the field going forward, ASJ is seen by many as a potential top ten pick. He has prototype size and should be highly coveted in a modern day NFL where tight ends with the right mix of size, speed and hands are more valuable than ever.
9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson (6'1" 205) *
With former WR teammate DeAndre Hopkins gone to the NFL, this fall Watkins will have a chance to make his case on the field that he is a wide receiver worthy of top ten consideration.
10. St. Louis Rams - Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M (6'1" 200) *
If the Rams miss the playoffs again, particularly with how crafty that Jeff Fisher have been in assembling a strong roster, the $50 million man (Sam Bradford) might find himself on the outs. As for Manziel, opinions on his NFL potential are mixed: some see him as a top five pick, while others don't see him as even a first-round prospect. For now I'll slot him here, but opinions on him will likely continue to vary wildly between now and whenever he is drafted. For his sake I hope he learned a lesson from what happened to Matt Barkley and doesn't go back to A&M for 2014 without his two elite offensive tackles (Joeckel already gone and Matthews primed to be a high pick in this draft).
11. Miami Dolphins - Cyrus Kouandijo, OT, Alabama (6'6" 310) *
With or without Jeff Ireland as their general manager (and he's all but gone if the Dolphins miss the playoffs in 2013), adding a top-tier offensive tackle would be a wise course of action.
12. Minnesota Vikings - Anthony Barr, DE/OLB, UCLA (6'4" 240)
Barr recorded 14 sacks in 2012 for UCLA, and with another strong season he could end up being one of the top pass rushing threats drafted.
13. Detroit Lions - David Yankey, OT, Stanford (6'5" 300) *
This might be slightly early for Yankey to come off the board, but as the 2013 Draft proved, the ceiling for top-tier offensive tackle prospects is quite high.
14. San Diego Chargers - James Hurst, OT, North Carolina (6'6" 310)
This might be a stretch, and I know that San Diego used a first-round selection on Alabama OT D.J. Fluker in the 2013 NFL Draft, but Hurst is an experienced left tackle -- something that the Chargers desperately need.
15. Carolina Panthers - Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio State (5'11" 195) *
Would Carolina have the chance for their pick of the litter at a need spot for a second consecutive year? Probably not, but in this scenario they could land a very talented cornerback prospect by drafting Roby here.
16. Philadelphia Eagles - Stephon Tuitt, DT, Notre Dame (6'6" 300) *
I fully expect to see the J.J. Watt effect continue into next year's draft, with teams running a 3-4 scheme looking for defensive ends who can make plays and do more than just open up holes for outside linebackers to attack the quarterback.
17. Cincinnati Bengals - HaHa Clinton-Dix, FS, Alabama (6'1" 210)
This may depend on how well rookie safety Shawn Williams out of Georgia does for the Bengals this fall, but if Clinton-Dix lives up to the hype he could join a list of elite talent out of Tuscaloosa to be selected in the first round of the NFL Draft in the Nick Saban era.
18. Chicago Bears - A.J. McCarron, QB, Alabama (6'2" 215)
Jay Cutler is slated to become an unrestricted free agent after the season, he has taken a beating during his tenure in Chicago, and he's now on the wrong side of 30. If he posts another year with a sub-60% completion rate and the Bears miss the playoffs again... if you're Chicago, at what point do you cut the cord?
19. St. Louis Rams (via Washington) - Ed Reynolds, FS, Stanford (6'2" 205) *
The trade-down made with the Redskins in 2012 keeps paying off for the Rams, providing them with multiple first-round picks for a second consecutive season.
20. Dallas Cowboys - C.J. Mosley, OLB, Alabama (6'2" 235)
At this point it appears that Mosley is the top draft-eligible pure 4-3 outside linebacker prospect for 2014.
21. Indianapolis Colts - Loucheiz Purifoy, CB, Florida (6'1" 190) *
Adding another high-level talent at cornerback would be a wise move for the Colts as they continue to adjust to running a 3-4 defense.
22. Baltimore Ravens - Brandon Coleman, WR, Rutgers (6'5" 220) *
If Coleman is able to recover from the off-season surgery he had on his right knee and post another double-digit touchdown receiving season, lookout.
23. New Orleans Saints - Kyle Van Noy, DE/OLB, BYU (6'2" 235)
Aside from Clowney against Michigan, I would argue that no pass rusher had a more impressive bowl performance than Van Noy did against San Diego State in the Poinsettia Bowl. Read this write-up about it if you have any doubts.
24. New York Giants - Adrian Hubbard, DE/OLB, Alabama (6'6" 250) *
Versatile, tough, part of a winning program, a proven talent -- Hubbard would be a natural fit for the Giants.
25. Pittsburgh Steelers - Aaron Colvin, CB, Oklahoma (6'0" 180)
If it's not offensive guard or another front seven defensive player, a skilled corner like Colvin would make sense. Safety might also be an option depending on who falls to them.
26. Atlanta Falcons - Colt Lyerla, TE, Oregon (6'5" 245) *
It's one thing to look impressive in Chip Kelly's ultra high-speed offense. But in the post-Chip era? Time will tell, but if Lyerla can prove himself this fall, he could earn a spot as a first-round selection in 2014.
27. Houston Texans - Louis Nix, NT, Notre Dame (6'3" 340) *
Nix would be a good fit who would make a menacing front seven in Houston even more potent up front. While the Texans tend to go for smaller-than-usual nose tackles for their brand of the 3-4 defense, Nix is not a typical 340 pound defensive lineman.
28. Green Bay Packers - Jackson Jeffcoat, DE/OLB, Texas (6'5" 245)
Adding another pass-rushing threat would be a logical move for the Packers, and if Jeffcoat comes back from injury showing the promise for the Longhorns that he did prior to it, don't count him out as a first-round selection.
29. Seattle Seahawks - Cyril Richardson, OG, Baylor (6'5" 335)
You can make the argument that Richardson could play tackle with his size, but he has been a consistent solid part of Baylor's prolific offensive attack. Mississippi State OG Gabe Jackson might also be a consideration here.
30. Denver Broncos - Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, CB, Oregon (5'10" 190)
Champ Bailey can't play forever, and the Broncos could use help in their secondary with or without him.
31. San Francisco 49ers - Deshazor Everett, CB, Texas A&M (6'0" 180)
At least at this point it appears that this is a somewhat deep draft for cornerbacks, and Everett will have another season to prove himself against SEC-level competition on a weekly basis this fall.
32. New England Patriots - Timmy Jernigan, DT, Florida State (6'2" 300) *
C'mon, like there's ever any accurate predicting what Bill Belichick is going to do.
* indicates player with NCAA eligibility for 2014 who may opt to enter the 2014 NFL Draft
~ indicates player with NCAA eligibility for 2014 who has either declared for the 2014 NFL Draft or who has signed with an agent
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