NFL Draft Insiders: 2014 NFL Mock Draft
1.Houston Texans: Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville
As of recently, mock drafts have the Texans taking Blake Bortles with the first overall pick. I still think Bridgewater is still in play to be the first player taken overall. Bridgewater is a very talented player, and if the Texans do not select him, Jacksonville will jump on him.
2. St. Louis Rams (from Washington Redskins): Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M
The Rams need secondary help, but they can address that with the 13th pick. Matthews is the best offensive lineman in the draft, and Rodger Saffold is a free agent.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars: Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M
Cleveland is falling in love with Manziel and Jacksonville is aware of this. The Jaguars will not let him slide past them. Quarterback is a need and Manziel is a major upgrade over Blaine Gabbert.
4. Cleveland Browns: Blake Bortles, QB, Central Florida
Bortles is mocked to be taken number one overall, but I have him falling a tad bit. Cleveland lands its franchise quarterback with the fourth overall pick. Bortles will be very happy with Josh Gordon and Jordan Cameron as his targets.
5. Oakland Raiders: Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina
No room for error the Raiders need to select the best player in the draft. Certainly with all three of top quarterbacks being. Oakland decides to find their quarterback of the future, but not in this round. Plus make no mistake GM Reggie McKenzie wants an impact player and he won’t ignore this one, Clowney was an absolute monster at South Carolina, and Raiders need a player that can rush the opposing quarterback.
6. Atlanta Falcons: Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn
Offensive tackle make the most sense here they are in desperate need of the outside rusher to but they cannot go wrong with arguably the second best offensive lineman in the draft. On the offensive front for the Falcons, Robinson will become a beast in the NFL.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri
Tampa Bay finished with only 35 sacks. More pressure is needed from the defensive ends. With the 7th pick, Tampa Bay lands a raw talent in Kony Ealy. Ealy recently declared for the draft and was immediately considered a first round talent. He will need some help developing, but looks to be a dominant player along that defensive line.
8. Minnesota Vikings: Anthony Barr, OLB/DE, UCLA
Christian Ponder simply was never the talented quarterback the Vikings were hoping for and it looks like he not improving nor moving the team in the right direction, but missing out on all three of the top quarterbacks they are not about to make the same mistake twice. Therefore, they turn their attention towards on another need and that is strengthening their defenses. Barr is the top linebacker in this year's draft and could fit into any scheme like a hybrid and is able to excel at defensive end as well.
9. Buffalo Bills: Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson
With Stevie Johnson, Robert Woods, and Sammy Watkins on the offense, this is too much talent for E.J. Manuel not to succeed. Just like that Buffalo now has a solid trio of receivers. There is a possibility that Watkins doesn’t make it out of the top five picks, but if he does, he won’t make it out of the top ten.
10. Detroit Lions: Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State
Cornerback is a position that has escaped Detroit for some time. They have tried to land a top notch cornerback in recent drafts, but have not been able to draft one. Sitting pretty with the 10th pick, this is the year that Detroit finally lands a talented corner. Dennard is regarded as the best cornerback in the draft.
11. Tennessee Titans: Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo
Tennessee finished with only 36 sacks on the season. The Titans can use some pass rushers to get to the opposing quarterback. Mack is an animal, was a dominant player in college and looks to continue his dominance in the NFL.
12. New York Giants: Dee Ford, DE, Auburn
Justin Tuck is now 30 years old, and will be a free agent. JPP is a young and talented pass rusher and needs help on the other side. In comes Dee Ford who played out of his mind during the Senior Bowl. His draft stock has risen immensely and now looks to be a day one pick.
13. St. Louis Rams: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, FS, Alabama
Last year, St. Louis spent a 3rd round pick on safety T.J. McDonald. Opposite McDonald is Rodney McLeod who needs to be replaced with someone like Clinton-Dix. Clinton-Dix was the best defensive back for Alabama and is an immediate upgrade over McLeod. Pairing him with McDonald would be a smart move.
14. Chicago Bears: Timmy Jernigan, DT, Florida State
There is a glaring need for a defensive tackle along Chicago’s defensive line. Henry Melton was a dominant force, but suffered an ACL injury during the season. Plus, Melton is a free agent and has ran into some problems with the law as of recently. I do not see Chicago re-signing him. Timmy Jernigan was a very good defensive lineman for the Seminoles and looks to start day one.
15. Pittsburgh Steelers: Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State
The Steelers need to bolster their secondary. They were unable to generate enough pressure on the opposing quarterback, but with Nix III, they have an anchor in the middle.
16. Dallas Cowboys: Louis Nix III, DT, Notre Dame
America’s team has many issues along the defensive line. Hatcher is a free agent and Hayden is not the answer. Demarcus Ware had the worst season of his career and Anthony Spencer is a free agent. I would be surprised if Dallas doesn’t go defensive line with their first round pick. Louis Nix III is regarded as the best defensive tackle in the draft, yet I have one other defensive tackle being taken before him. Brett Keisel and Ziggy Hood are both free agents.
17. Baltimore Ravens: Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M
Since the departure of Anquan Boldin, Baltimore has not been the same. They have not been able to replace him, until now. I have my doubts of Evans falling this far down, but if he does, Baltimore will be quick to select him. Not only does Evans have hands, he’s also 6’5.
18. New York Jets: Marqise Lee, WR, USC
Santonio Holmes will turn 30 this year, and Stephen Hill is not performing like the Jets expected. The Jets can use almost anything on offense right now, whether it be a tight end, or a talented receiver. In comes Marqise Lee out of USC. Lee is a very talented receiver who had a great career at USC. He is only 6’0 tall, but that does not take away from his play making ability.
19. Miami Dolphins: Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan
Tyson Clabo and Bryant McKinnie are free agents, and Jonathan Martin has no plans of returning to Miami. This leaves a huge hole on the offensive line. Of course offensive tackles are not easy to come by, and usually are chosen rather quickly during the draft. Taylor Lewan being available here is hard to imagine, yet it is not out of the question.
20. Arizona Cardinals: Zack Martin OT/G, Notre Dame The Cardinals started Bradley Sowell at left tackle once they traded away Levi Brown. Sowell was a disapointment this past season starting on the blide and the Cards can use upgraded. Martin was superior in pass protection with an impressive ability to adjust against blitzers off the edge. He also performed well in the ground game.
21. Green Bay Packers: Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh
With B.J. Raji and Ryan Pickett hitting free agency, there are currently no defensive tackles on Green Bay’s roster. Hageman has been dropping a bit in the draft, but without a doubt be chosen day one. Hageman is a big body standing at 6’6 weighing 311 pounds. He has stated that he can play almost any technique on the defensive line which will be attractive to Green Bay.
22. Philadelphia Eagles: Calvin Pryor, FS, Louisville
The Eagles haven’t had a dominant safety since Brian Dawkins. In this draft, they land Calvin Pryor who is seen, by some, as the best safety in the draft. Pryor is a nasty hitter and makes plays on the ball. Safety is a position the Eagles need to address this draft. Pryor is a good start.
23. Kansas City Chiefs: Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Florida State
Dwayne Bowe is Kansas City’s most dominant receiver on offense, outside of him, there is no one. Donnie Avery played decently, but another toy for Alex Smith wouldn’t hurt. Benjamin is considered to be one of the best wide receivers in the draft.
24. Cincinnati Bengals: Cyrus Kouandjio, OT, Alabama
Anthony Collins is a free agent, and Andrew Whitworth was moved in to play guard. Andre Smith is a very good offensive tackle and was rewarded with a contract extension. However with Collins is hitting free agency, a new offensive tackle is required. Kouandjio had a great college career at Alabama. Alabama has a knack for producing NFL ready offensive linemen, and it seems like almost every year, an Alabama offensive lineman is selected in the first round. Once again, Alabama has delivered.
25. San Diego Chargers: Jason Varrett, CB, TCU
There has been a need for cornerback in San Diego for a few years now. Richard Marshall and Shareece Wright are not the answer. If Varrett is still available with the 25th overall pick, I don’t see why San Diego wouldn’t draft him.
26. Cleveland Browns (from Indianapolis Colts): David Yankey G, Stanford
Cleveland has tons of holes it has to fill, such as a running back, and another wide receiver to pair along with Gordon, but they still need to enhance their interior part of their OL. Basically the need for protection to whoever is their signal caller next season this will allow the ball carriers more time.
27. New Orleans Saints: C.J. Mosley, ILB/OLB, Alabama
Outside linebacker is not a huge need for the Saints, but Victor Butler is coming off of an ACL injury. He may or may not return to his old form. Either way, you can never have enough players that can get to the quarterback. If Mosley makes it this far in the first round, this is a huge steal for Saints.
28. Carolina Panthers: Odell Beckham Jr., WR, LSU
Steve Smith is 35 years old, and Carolina needs to look for his replacement soon. Beckham Jr. is another player I don’t think will make it this far down, but if he does, Carolina has landed a top receiver. Ted Ginn Jr. is a free agent and Beckham Jr. makes too much sense here.
29. New England Patriots: Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina
Ebron is considered to be the best tight end in the 2014 NFL Draft. Gronkowski has been having a difficult time staying healthy, and Aaron Hernandez may never play football again. In order for the Patriots to return to their two tight end sets, they need to draft a top tight end to pair with Gronkowski
30. San Francisco 49ers: Allen Robinson, WR, Penn State
There aren’t many holes to fill on San Francisco’s current roster to be honest. Their defense is dominant and their offense gets it done. They aren’t perfect though. The 49ers can use some receiver help. Anquan Boldin is a free agent, and needs to be replaced. Allen Robinson was a force at Penn State. Pairing him with Michael Crabtree gives the 49ers a nice pair of receivers going forward.
31. Denver Broncos: Ryan Shazier,OLB Ohio State
Shaun Phillips racked up 10 sacks this season, but is an unrestricted free agent. Wesley Woodyard is a free agent as well, which means that Denver suddenly needs linebacker help. Shazier had a stellar junior year at Ohio State, and has the potential to be a great linebacker, and he is a steal at this point for Denver.
32. Seattle Seahawks: Jace Amero, TE Texas Tech
The Super Bowl Champions were spectacular on defense and might lose of a couple of those guys when free agency hits. But in the first round they need to address the offense by providing Russel Wilson another key weapon that gives him a huge target for the smaller sized quarterback. Amero is 6’5”, 260 Lbs. This season he broke the all time yards receiving record for a tight-end with 1,352 yards. He is a big, fluid athlete that uses his thick body to gain proper position in coverage.
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