2014 NFL Mock Draft V2
First Round Draft Projections
March 2, 2014
1. Houston Texans (Team needs: QB, OT, S) - QB Blake Bortles, Central Florida
I'm sticking with Bortles as my overall #1 pick. Quick thinking QB with a great arm. Houston tries to get the ship upright by drafting Bortles. 71 career touchdowns (56 passing, 15 rushing) and an .815 winning percentage as a starter (22-5 career record).
2. Atlanta Falcons (Team needs: DE, OL, TE) - DE Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina (VIA PROJECTED TRADE WITH RAMS)
Didn't set the world on fire last year like teams thought he would. Some will be worried that he is a pay-and-dash player with no motivation other than money. Others will see him as the best player in the draft who only needs a little guidance. Fits a need for the Falcons who will take a chance that Clowney can be motivated to reach his ceiling and be an all-world player.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars (Team needs: QB, DE, OT) - QB Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville
Previously, I had Manziel at this spot, but I think we may see him take a draft day tumble. Personally (as I said in the first Steelers Universe mock draft version), I have always liked Bridgewater better than Manziel. Bridgewater is more pro-ready and is much more poised in the pocket.
4. Cleveland Browns (Team needs: QB, RB, OG) - QB Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M
The Browns would be better served to wait until the second round where either Derek Carr or Jimmy Garroppolo should be available. Manziel is dangerous outside of the pocket when plays break down, but who wants to predicate their offense on that scenario?
5. Oakland Raiders (Team needs: QB, WR, OT) - WR Sammy Watkins, Clemson
A player that I believe will be overdrafted, and who better to do so than the Raiders? Watkins has above-average ball skills and is a polished route runner, but seems a bit thin for the pro game. He will need to bulk up if he expects to beat the jam from NFL cornerbacks. His character will be questioned due to some immature decisions in his past, but if he puts in the time and shows that he has learned his lesson he has incredible potential.
6. St. Louis Rams (Team needs: OL, WR, S) - OT Jake Matthews, Texas A&M (VIA PROJECTED TRADE WITH FALCONS)
The Rams trade down and still get the best OT in the draft, while also filling a serious team need. Players like Matthews do not come around very often. He has the pedigree, the size and the drive that NFL teams love. Good work ethic and he "gets it," which is invaluable. Perennial Pro Bowler.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Team needs: DE, TE, OT, LB) - OLB Khalil Mack, Buffalo
Great range and good burst to the ball. May need to be coached up on coverage and wrapping up while tackling. Excellent run stopper who knows how to get to the QB.
8. Minnesota Vikings (Team needs: QB, LB, DE, OG) - ILB C.J. Mosley, Alabama
Mosley has an incredible ability to diagnose plays. Good tackler with elite instincts. The Vikes need some speed and aggression on defense and Mosley fits the mold. Bringing Norv Turner on as their offensive coordinator means that the Vikings will be looking to stretch the field, but I now wonder if they will reach for a QB that doesn't warrant the #8 pick, namely Derek Carr (Fresno State). Carr possesses the arm strength and accuracy to do just that, while no other QB currently on Minnesota's roster can. May be a bit high for Carr, but the Vikings may have to reach if they are going to find a field leader to run that offense.
9. Buffalo Bills (Team needs: LB, TE, RT) - OT
Greg Robinson, Auburn
The head coach of the Bills is a former O-line coach who understands that the Bills have to put some emphasis on blocking this year. The only weakness that I see in Robinson's game is his kick slide. If he gets it under control he will be a force. If not, he may either draw a ton of holding calls or be relegated to the right side. Nice first step and shows power in his initial punch. If Mack or Mosley are still on the board the Bills may try and find a starting linebacker.
10. Detroit Lions (Team needs: CB, WR, S) - CB Justin Gilbert, Oklahoma State
Gilbert is an exceptional CB with elite speed and instincts. He is a fantastic athlete who also excels as a returner. With the right coaching, Gilbert will need to tighten up his technique, but with his freakish athleticism, he will make QBs fear his side of the field.
11. Tennessee Titans (Team needs: S, OT, DE, QB) - OT Taylor Lewan, Michigan
I think that Lewan is "probably" a late first rounder, but fully expect for him to be overdrafted. In his defense, he had a very nice combine which will justify this draft slot in many scouts' minds.
12. New York Giants (Team needs: LB, CB, interior OL) - OLB Anthony Barr, UCLA
Barr didn't have the combine that many thought he would have, but there is no denying the fact that he had 41.5 tackles for loss and 23.5 sacks in the last two years. Barr slides out of the top ten, but won't slide far.
13. St. Louis Rams (Team needs: OL, WR, S) - WR Mike Evans, Texas A&M
The Rams filled one of their biggest needs earlier in the draft, now they fill another in the form of 6'5" WR Mike Evans. Evans is a huge red zone target with a 37-inch vertical. With a new left tackle and a big offensive weapon, Bradford will have no excuses this coming year.
14. Chicago Bears (Team needs: DL, S, interior OL) - FS Hasean Clinton-Dix, Alabama
The Bears are in dire need of a playmaker in the defensive backfield. Wright and Conte were both players that could be upgraded. Hasean (Ha-Ha) plays the run and the pass equally well. Though not a burner, he is fundamentally sound. Might be a toss up as to whether the Bears like Clinton-Dix or Pryor more.
15. Pittsburgh Steelers (Team needs: CB, S, OT, DE) - CB Darqueze Dennard, Michigan State
The Steelers have to upgrade a very poor defensive backfield. Steelers fans would love to draft Gilbert with this pick but I think that some other team will fall in love with his speed. Personally, I think Dennard will run faster at his pro day. He has the size that Verrett lacks and the technique that Gilbert is going to have to work on. In the long run, Dennard will probably be the best CB in this draft.
16. Dallas Cowboys (Team needs: DE, CB, S) - DE Aaron Donald, Pittsburgh
Dee Ford may have wowed us during the Senior Bowl, but it was Donald who drew the most attention during the week of Senior Bowl practice. He showed elite speed and strength throughout the week and his first step is absolutely lethal. I had Donald at the end of the first round, but his combine cemented a top 20 consideration.
17. Baltimore Ravens (Team needs: OT, C, WR) - WR Marqise Lee, Southern California
If you want to see what Lee is capable of, look at 2012 when he won the Biletnikoff Award with 118 receptions for 1,721 yards and 14 touchdowns. His 2013 season was marred by durability issues. Good route runner who will complement Torrey Smith.
18. New York Jets (Team needs: WR, TE, OG, CB) - TE Eric Ebron, North Carolina
Very athletic TE with smooth acceleration and soft hands. Finds the soft spot in coverage and takes advantage of it. Needs to add bulk and strength as a blocker. Very good position to draft down to those teams whose needs at TE are greater than the Jets'.
19. Miami Dolphins (Team needs: OT, OG, RB) - OT Zach Martin, Notre Dame
There is probably a joke in there somewhere about drafting a lineman with the last name of Martin. Versatile lineman who can play guard or tackle. Showed he was athletic enough to play outside while at the Senior Bowl.
20. Arizona Cardinals (Team needs: OT, CB, D-line, OLB) - DT Ra'Shede Hageman, Minnesota
A mauler who knows how to get into the backfield. Versatile player who could play in a 3-4 or a 4-3. Could line up on the edge on in the middle. Strong, relentless player who may climb draft boards. The Cardinals may opt to pick up Derek Carr with this pick if they are convinced he could be their future QB.
21. Green Bay Packers (Team needs: TE, DT, S, LB) - DT Louis Nix, Notre Dame
Huge DT who will demand the double team. Sometimes doesn't use his strength with enough leverage to collapse the pocket and may want to work on more of an arsenal other than his signature swim move. Might slip in the draft due to offseason knee surgery.
22. Philadelphia Eagles (Team needs: OLB, S, CB) - FS Calvin Pryor, Louisville
Big safety who will probably run faster than projected. Good instincts and pretty good tackler. Understands assignment responsibility and is rarely out of place. If the Bears go with Pryor, then you can bet that Clinton-Dix is the pick here.
23. Kansas City Chiefs (Team needs: WR, DL, ILB) - WR Odell Beckham, Jr., LSU
Tough receiver with good vision and quick twitch athleticism. Good vision and a double threat as a returner. Beckham has very good if not elite speed and he is shifty and dangerous. Might add some bulk for the pros.
24. Cincinnati Bengals (Team needs: CB, OLB, S) - CB Jason Verrett, TCU
Underrated player with 38 passes defended over the last two years. Verrett is a ball hawk who also has no problems in supporting the run. His 5'9" height may hurt his draft status a bit, but he is a player.
25. San Diego Chargers (Team needs: CB, OG, OLB) - OLB Dee Ford, Auburn
One of my favorite players in the draft. Absolutely dominates when he is in the zone. Showed scouts at the Senior bowl that he could drop into coverage as well as rush the QB. Teams will be raising an eyebrow in regards to making sure he clears medically.
26. Cleveland Browns (Team needs: QB, RB, LB, OG) - OLB Ryan Shazier, Ohio State
With the loss of D'Qwell Jackson, the Browns are going to need to retool at linebacker. Shazier showed himself to be incredibly quick at the combine and posted an impressive 42-inch vertical.
27. New Orleans Saints (Team needs: OT, OLB, CB) - DT Timmy Jernigan, Florida State
Incredibly strong DT, with relentless motor. Needs to work on his snap anticipation and technique but once he starts going he is often too much for one blocker. May be a draft day riser.
28. Carolina Panthers (Team needs: WR, CB, OL) - OT Cyrus Kouandjio, Alabama
Athletic tackle who excels as a run blocker. Shows the ability to slide either to his right or left but sometimes has lapses in technique. Strong, willing blocker but not a road grader. The Panthers will have a huge hole to fill this next year on the O-line, and will address it in the first few rounds.
29. New England Patriots (Team needs: TE, OL, DL, CB) - TE Jace Amaro, Texas Tech
Amaro broke the NCAA all-time record for receiving yards in a season by a tight end with 1,352. The Patriots will be looking to retool at TE with the injuries and other issues their TEs have had.
30. San Francisco 49ers (Team needs: WR, DL, CB) - CB Kyle Fuller, Virginia Tech
Big corner with pretty good quickness and speed. Loves to get physical, and has above average field awareness. Studies film and is versatile in that he has played safety, cornerback, and linebacker.
31. Denver Broncos (Team needs: OT, CB, DL) - DT Stephon Tuitt, Notre Dame
Versatile Defensive lineman who can play tackle or end. Showed impressive feet for someone who is 6'5" and 305 pounds. Tuitt ran a sub-5.0 40-yard dash. Impressive physical specimen.
32. Seattle Seahawks (Team needs: WR, TE, OL) - OG David Yankey, Stanford
I wanted to go WR with this pick, but I think the Seahawks' biggest need may be OG. Yankey projects as a guard in the pros, and even though the Seahawks brought home the Lombardi in an impressive manner, they got some pretty poor play from their interior at times.
For any questions/suggestions you may have regarding this mock, please feel free to contact our resident draftnik LLT directly via Twitter at @PBiggerstaff