2014 NFL Mock Draft
Last Updated: March 9, 2014
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.
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2014 NFL Mock Draft
1. Houston Texans - Blake Bortles, QB, UCF (6'5" 230) ~
At this point I still don't think the Texans know what they're going to do, not in a draft with such depth, but Bortles has prototype size for the position and has moved ahead of Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater on many draft boards. Moreover, with no major pending free agent quarterbacks (like most years), the Texans will need to find Matt Schaub's replacement somewhere in this draft.
2. St. Louis Rams (via Washington) - Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina (6'5" 265) ~
The last course served by the Red Lobster as part of that horrible March 2012 trade made by the Redskins will be the tastiest of the bunch for the Rams.
There is plenty of speculation that the Falcons will move up to this spot to obtain Clowney, which would be a logical move for both teams. For the Rams there should be an opportunity to draft a top flight offensive tackle at the #6 spot, be it Auburn OT Greg Robinson or Texas A&M OT Jake Matthews.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars - Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville (6'2" 215) ~
My personal favorite of the bunch at quarterback, Bridgewater could fall to Jacksonville at this slot, which would be quite adventageous for Jacksonville. The Jaguars are already working from a disadvantage giving away one of its eight home games every season to help satiate the NFL's quixotic obsession with exporting its product to London, and until they add a true top-level QB they won't be able to escape from the lower tier of the AFC.
4. Cleveland Browns - Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M (6'0" 200) ~
Browns fans deserve better than what they've been given. But the bizarre hirings and firings of management combined with the worst-kept secret in this year's draft (Cleveland's interest in Johnny Football, and when I write Cleveland I mean owner Jimmy Haslam) makes me think it's very likely that the Browns end up with Manziel. And maybe I'm being cruel by writing this, but what if Manziel ends up leading the Browns to the promised land? He won't be able to stay healthy for long in Yakety Sax mode like he would sometimes flip into in college, but with an elite wide receiver and a well-protected blind side, this isn't as bad of a spot as it might appear to be on the surface.
I love this Haslam quote on NFL.com: "I will just tell you that the people I talked to around the country do not think this isn't an outstanding opportunity here in Cleveland, whether it's to coach, play or work, and I continue to hear that." Cleveland is a cool city, make no mistake, but that was a very stilted response by Haslem.
5. Oakland Raiders - Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson (6'1" 205) ~
There seems to be considerable chatter that Watkins won't fall out of the top five. That remains to be seen, but with Clowney and three QBs gone he makes as much sense as anyone for Oakland in this spot.
6. Atlanta Falcons - Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn (6'5" 330) ~
If the Falcons trade up with the Rams, St. Louis could end up getting to choose between Robinson and Texas A&M OT Jake Matthews. If not, Missouri DE Kony Ealy might be a consideration, but ultimately it would be tough to pass on a talent like Robinson at this spot in the draft.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M (6'5" 310)
Most like it's going to be offensive tackle or defensive end for the Bucs, and they could do a lot worse than going with Matthews at this spot.
8. Minnesota Vikings - Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State (6'2" 215)
During the 2013 season, Carr completed 68.7% of his passes for 5,000+ yards and 50 TDs against eight interceptions. You can land top-tier defensive end talent in free agency (albeit at a price) but you can't do the same for top-tier quarterbacks. Whether Carr belongs in that conversation is another matter, but Minnesota tried with Josh Freeman and Christian Ponder and Matt Cassel and it didn't work. Is Carr the answer? I don't know, but the Vikings might be willing to roll the dice here to find out.
9. Buffalo Bills - Khalil Mack, DE/OLB, Buffalo (6'3" 250)
This would be quite the scenario for the Bills, having Mack *and* UCLA DE/OLB Anthony Barr to choose from here. Throw in North Carolina TE Eric Ebron as a wild card and the Bills could have several strong options for this spot.
10. Detroit Lions - Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State (6'0" 200)
Either Gilbert or Michigan State CB Darqueze Dennard would fill a long-standing need for a top flight cornerback in Detroit. Gilbert's stock has been on the rise after running a sub 4.4 40 at the combine, though don't count out Dennard on ending up as the first DB to go in the draft. 2013 second-round pick Darius Slay had a rough rookie season, but even if he develops into the form expected of him by Detroit, the Lions could definitely use help in their secondary.
11. Tennessee Titans - Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan (6'7" 310)
Tennessee bolstered its interior offensive line considerably in the 2013 off-season. With this pick it could provide strength at the all-important offensive tackle position.
12. New York Giants - Anthony Barr, DE/OLB, UCLA (6'5" 245)
One would theorize that Barr would likely play OLB in the Giants' 4-3 set, potentially filling a strong need for the team. Whether it's Barr or Alabama LB C.J. Mosley, a high-end linebacker prospect would be a good start for the Giants.
13. St. Louis Rams - HaHa Clinton-Dix, FS, Alabama (6'1" 210) ~
It's no longer considered a lock that Clinton-Dix will be the first safety drafted, not with the rising star of Louisville FS Calvin Pryor drawin so much attention. Either would be a logical selection here for the Rams.
And, for the record, it's HaHa without any spaces between the first and second Ha. And if you wonder how to say it properly, watch this video -- the third time was the charm.
14. Chicago Bears - Timmy Jernigan, DT, Florida State (6'2" 300) ~
With the signing of QB Jay Cutler to a long-term deal, doing something to address the team's abhorrently bad run defense would be a wise move. Jernigan should help with that along with bringing an added pass rush force from the 4-3 defensive tackle spot, something more valuable than ever in the NFL. Pitt DT Aaron Donald might also be a consideration at this spot.
15. Pittsburgh Steelers - C.J. Mosley, LB, Alabama (6'2" 235)
Mosley played in a 3-4 defense at Alabama and has shown versatility, elite skill and strong leadership skills. He would be a much welcomed addition to Pittsburgh's front seven, which is in need of an upgrade.
16. Dallas Cowboys - Aaron Donald, DT, Pitt (6'1" 285)
Donald could serve as a replacement for DT Jason Hatcher, who turns 32 before the start of the next season and is set to become an unrestricted free agent. The "Tampa Two" defense is predicated on the front four providing sufficient pressure on opposing quarterbacks, something Hageman should help with quite well.
17. Baltimore Ravens - Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina (6'4" 250) ~
From champs to out of the playoffs, the Ravens would be well-served to rebuild in 2014 by adding some new offensive weapons, particularly with someone with the ability at the tight end position like Ebron. His 4.6 time in the 40 at the combine only helped to boost his draft stock.
18. New York Jets - Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M (6'5" 230) ~
The Jets offense is in desperate need of some playmakers, and Evans has proven to fit that mold in his time in College Station. At 6'5" Evans is a matchup nightmare for opposing defenses.
19. Miami Dolphins - Zack Martin, OT, Notre Dame (6'4" 310)
After the Incognito/Martin fiasco, targeting an offensive lineman here makes a great deal of sense for Miami. I'm not as bullish on Martin as some are, but his stock is on the rise and him going in a top 20 slot is entirely possible.
20. Arizona Cardinals - Cyrus Kouandjio, OT, Alabama (6'7" 320) ~
It's rather remarkable that Arizona did so well in 2013 in spite of its substandard offensive line. Concerns about Kouandjio's knee have been refuted by none other than Dr. James Andrews, which is about as strong of an endorsement of health as anyone can get.
21. Green Bay Packers - Jace Amaro, TE, Texas Tech (6'5" 265) ~
This would fill a need for the Packers and provide Aaron Rodgers with a more-than-capable receiving threat to replace Jermichael Finley at tight end.
22. Philadelphia Eagles - Marqise Lee, WR, USC (6'0" 195) ~
After dealing with injuries to his right shoulder and left knee this past season, Lee is healthy and back to his electrifying form. Chip Kelly is certainly familiar with Lee from his time coaching at Oregon.
23. Kansas City Chiefs - Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Florida State (6'5" 235) ~
Kansas City had a remarkable turnaround in year one of the Andy Reid era, but adding another receiving threat could make things even better in year two for the team.
24. Cincinnati Bengals - Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri (6'4" 275) ~
While the Bengals signed DE Carlos Dunlap to a long-term contract extension before the season, it's all but certain that 2013 franchise-tagged DE Michael Johnson will be gone when free agency begins this upcoming week.
25. San Diego Chargers - Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State (5'11" 195)
The Chargers could use help at cornerback and Dennard would be considered a bit of a bargain in some circles at this spot. There are far worse possible scenarios for San Diego than this one.
26. Cleveland Browns (via Indianapolis) - Calvin Pryor, FS, Louisville (5'11" 210) ~
Remember when people were ridiculing the Browns for dealing Trent Richardson to Indianapolis for this pick? Now it looks like one of the most one-sided trades in recent NFL history. With safety T.J. Ward likely gone in free agency, the Browns could look to the draft to fill that void.
27. New Orleans Saints - Jason Varrett, CB, TCU (5'9" 190) ~
With the Saints making all kinds of cuts, the team has several options for this spot. But this could be where the run on second-tier cornerback prospects begins, with Varrett nudging ahead of the pack with his 4.38 40 yard dash time at the combine.
28. Carolina Panthers - Odell Beckham Jr., WR, LSU (5'11" 200)
Wide receiver is a huge need for Carolina and there should be several viable options here, including Beckham. Steve Smith won't play forever and Cam Newton could use a young, reliable target to throw to in 2014.
29. New England Patriots - Louis Nix, NT, Notre Dame (6'3" 340) ~
C'mon, like there's ever any accurate predicting of what Bill Belichick is going to do.
30. San Francisco 49ers - Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio State (5'11" 195) ~
The 49ers are a team with many options, but adding some youth to its cornerback group would be a wise move.
31. Denver Broncos - Scott Crichton, DE, Oregon State (6'3" 275) ~
This might be the spot where Denver tries to make amends for the Elvis Dumervil fiasco of 2013.
32. Seattle Seahawks - Allen Robinson, WR, Penn State (6'2" 220) ~
Robinson isn't a burner type threat, but he has great size and would add another target to Seattle's already potent offensive attack.
~ indicates player with NCAA eligibility for 2014 who declared for the 2014 NFL Draft