October 20, 2012; Gainesville FL, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks defensive end Jadeveon Clowney (7) rushes against the Florida Gators during the second half at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Florida Gators defeated the South Carolina Gamecocks 44-11. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Since I have yet to release a full first round mock, I figured today would be an excellent time to do so! In this here 2014 NFL Mock Draft I did not complete or project any trades, but may do a NFL Mock Draft of sorts for fun somewhere down the road in the coming weeks!
If you have any thoughts or concerns on any of the picks or would like some further analysis on a pick, please do not hesitate to leave me a comment in the comment section below and I will do my absolute best to get back with you!
1: Houston – Jadeveon Clowney DE South Carolina
-This pick is a no brainer to me. The best player in the draft from a talent perspective should always go first overall in my own opinion. Clowney would fit in well for this Houston team who was, as I like to call them, the “best worst team” in the league last year. Clowney sticks under JJ Watt’s wing for a few seasons to learn the ins and outs of the league as a whole. Watch out, AFC.
2: St. Louis – Khalil Mack OLB Buffalo
-Mack is an ultra athletic linebacker who would fit in very well at outside linebacker for an already talented St. Louis defense under new defensive coordinator Gregg Williams. Mack would give St. Louis one of the better linebacking corps in all of football.
3: Jacksonville – Blake Bortles QB UCF
-Bortles should be the top quarterback taken this year and compares well to the prototypical quarterback we are now seeing in this new brand of the NFL. He has a decent arm with good intangibles and good mobility to move around in the pocket. Bortles would instantly come in and compete with incumbent starter, Chad Henne, for the starting gig, but would not be thrust into action.
4: Cleveland – Sammy Watkins WR Clemson
-This is a selection that is beginning to pick up some steam. Watkins has been linked to Cleveland for a few weeks now and if he lasts past St. Louis at 2 and Jacksonville at 3, he should be the pick at 4 for Cleveland. Watkins would form quite a duo with Josh Gordon for whomever their new QB may be. Watkins, Gordon, and Cameron sounds like a solid young group of weapons to me.
5: Oakland – Greg Robinson OT Auburn
-Oakland did a decent job this offseason of filling holes along their team and improving their roster with players who fit their vision. Robinson could be one of the best, if not the best, players in the draft. He would be a value pick here at 5 for Oakland and will step in and start for this team at either tackle or guard for the next ten to fifteen years.
6: Atlanta – Jake Matthews OT Texas A&M
-Matthews’ stock has fallen through no fault of his own. He is perhaps the most polished player in this year’s class and would be a perfect fit for the Atlanta Falcons. For QB Matt Ryan to find his targets, Atlanta must protect their franchise quarterback. Matthews can do just that.
7: Tampa Bay – Mike Evans WR Texas A&M
-Evans has been linked to Tampa now that the team has parted ways with WR Mike Williams. I’m not so sure I am a fan of Evans this high, but the thought of Evans opposite Vincent Jackson is quite exciting with RB Doug Martin returning from injury. Look for Tampa to take a page out of Chicago’s book with these big receivers.
8: Minnesota – Johnny Manziel QB Texas A&M
-The run on A&M players continues with the selection of “Johnny Football”. I am not a fan of Manziel in the top ten, but given the players left on the board and the needs that Minnesota must fill, he may be the best and most exciting option available. Manziel will compete with Matt Cassel for the top spot on the depth chart and, of course, having the best running back in the league behind you make the transition a bit easier.
9: Buffalo – Eric Ebron TE UNC
-I am a huge Ebron fan and I think he would be a perfect fit for the Buffalo Bills. Ebron steps in to not only upgrade the offense and the tight end position, but to also give QB EJ Manuel a big time red-zone target who can go up and get the football. Ebron would be a nice pick at 9 for the Buffalo Bills unless one of the top tackles or Mike Evans falls to 9.
10: Detroit – Justin Gilbert CB Oklahoma St.
-Gilbert is one of the top corners in this year’s class and would almost have to be the pick here for Detroit with Ebron and Evans both off the board. The Lions have needed a dominant #1 corner for years upon years upon years now. Gilbert has the athleticism to cover any receiver in the competitive NFC North division.
11: Tennessee – Anthony Barr OLB UCLA
-Tennessee will be transitioning to a 3-4 hybrid scheme this season and should fall in love with Anthony Barr from UCLA. Barr is one of my top prospects in this year’s class, but has seen his stock fall recently. Barr would add another dimension to this defense along with speedsters in Zach Brown and Akeem Ayers.
12: New York Giants – Aaron Donald DT Pittsburgh
-Donald is one of the most athletic defensive linemen in this year’s class and it surely shows on tape. New York is looking for a young stud pass rusher who can stay on the field for more than two downs. Donald presents that upside. Imagine Donald and JPP next to each other. Yikes.
13: St. Louis – HaSean Clinton-Dix S Alabama
-Clinton-Dix, along with Calvin Pryor, can go anywhere from the top 10 to the mid to late twenties, it just matters how you value those players. St. Louis could use a boost at corner, but has needed a dominant safety for some time now. Dix could walk in and provide a huge boost, again, to an already good defense.
14: Chicago – Kony Ealy DE Missouri
-I’m taking Ealy here for Chicago and I know I may catch slack for it, but hear me out. It’s too high for Timmy Jernigan, Pryor, and it’s a toss up on if Dennard should go this high (although he is my favorite corner in this year’s class). Ealy has the ability to play defensive end in Chicago’s 4-3 scheme, but can also kick inside to play some defensive tackle in pass rushing situations. Essentially, he is filling the void left by Julius Peppers, who also kicked inside to DT in passing situations last season.
15: Pittsburgh – Taylor Lewan OT Michigan
-Pittsburgh needs some offensive line help to open up some holes for Le’Veon Bell to run through this season. Lewan fits the bill of a nasty, nitty-gritty offensive tackle that just screams Pittsburgh to me. Lewan can play either left tackle or right tackle and should start from day one giving Pitt a decent looking offensive line.
16: Dallas – Calvin Pryor S Louisville
-Pryor will get over-drafted, trust me. Dallas could use a dominant safety, which Pryor can be, but he lacks the ball-hawking ability to be a top 20 pick. Dallas, however, struggled to defend the pass last season and Pryor would help in minimizing that problem this season.
17: Baltimore – Zack Martin OT/G Notre Dame
-Baltimore needs offensive line help almost as bad as Miami needs it. Martin has been rising up draft boards for the past few months and would be a nice fit in Baltimore. Martin would instantly start at right tackle for Baltimore or could even kick inside to guard where I think he could be an all-pro.
18: New York Jets – Odell Beckham Jr. WR LSU
Sep 1, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide linebacker C.J. Mosley (32) plays defense during the game against the Michigan Wolverines at Cowboys Stadium. Alabama won 41-14. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
-Beckham has all of the tools to be an elite receiver at the next level and would be a nice fit in NY to give QB Geno Smith a reliable target to throw the ball to outside of WR Eric Decker. Beckham does have some issues with performing against press coverage, but that is coachable.
19: Miami – CJ Mosley ILB Alabama
-This one is a no brainer for Miami with Lewan, Martin, Ebron, and just about everyone else worthy of 19 off the board. Mosley would instantly start at the Mike spot for Miami moving Dannell Ellerbe to the Will spot. Mosley is the best inside backer in the draft and has the instincts that the Miami linebacking group lacked last season.
20: Arizona – Teddy Bridgewater QB Louisville
-Arizona should run to he podium for this one as one of the best (MY BEST) quarterbacks in the class falls down the boards due to numerous “concerns” among league representatives. Bridgewater gets to ride the pine for a few seasons behind QB Caron Palmer and learn the ropes from a former top quarterback. Bruce Arians gets his future QB in round one.
21: Green Bay – Jace Amaro TE Texas Tech
-This is a pick that my co-host Joe Kleine made in round one of our seven round mock on Direct Snap and I fell in love with it. Amaro immediately steps in as the number one tight end on Green Bay’s roster and gives this offense another dynamic weapon to inch closer to another NFC North title.
22: Philadelphia – Darqueze Dennard CB Michigan St.
-Dennard is my favorite corner in this year’s class and I have loved him ever since last season. Dennard has the tools to be a #1 corner in this league and is a nasty, strong, press style corner who would compliment another one of my guys, Brandon Boykin, quite well. Dennard gives Philly two young, stud corners to build their defense around.
23: Kansas City – Brandin Cooks WR Oregon St.
-Cooks is an ultra-speedy slot receiver who has shot his stock through the roof after being seen as a marginal second round pick before the combine. Kansas City needs a stud slot receiver after losing Dexter McCluster to the Tennessee Titans. Cooks could step into that role and give Andy Reid his KC version of Desean Jackson.
24: Cincinnati – Ryan Shazier OLB Ohio State
-Shazier could even go much higher than this after posting an insane 4.4 40-yard dash at his pro day. He is potentially the most athletic player in this year’s class and would be a perfect fit at the Will spot in Cincy’s 4-3 defense. Shazier has the speed to kill in that division.
25: San Diego – Bradley Roby CB Ohio State
-Roby is one of the most under-appreciated players in this year’s class and honestly shouldn’t even be available at 25 if we were taking players based upon upside. But, Roby will likely fall to the mid 20’s which is something San Diego should love to hear. San Diego needs a stud corner who can potentially become a shut-down guy, that’s Bradley Roby.
26: Cleveland – Derek Carr QB Fresno St.
-Carr could go anywhere in this draft, but it makes sense for him to go at 26 to Cleveland barring they do not select a guy at 4 to play QB, which they may end up doing. Carr is one of the more polished QB prospects in this year’s class and could probably start from day one. Teaming him with Watkins, Gordon, Cameron, and Tate in town for a few years may pay off in the long run.
27: New Orleans – Dee Ford OLB Auburn
September 7, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Southern California Trojans wide receiver Marqise Lee (9) runs the ball against the Washington State Cougars during the second half at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
-Dee Ford is a defensive end/outside linebacker prospect and should land somewhere in the mid to late 20’s in May’s draft. He’s a prospect who can pay off if he works his butt off, which is why he is a perfect fit in NOLA with that great coaching staff. They’ll get the best out of this kid, not to mention they need a stud pass rusher as well.
28: Carolina – Marqise Lee WR USC
-Marqise Lee’s fall ends here with one of the most receiver needy teams in the league. Lee has Sammy Watkins-like ability and rates as my #3 receiver in this year’s class. But Lee’s stock has been falling awfully fast as of late. Lee would step in as a slot receiver for Cameron Newton and would become Newton’s favorite target without a doubt.
29: New England – Louis “Irish Chocolate” Nix DT Notre Dame
– New England was in quite an interesting situation with long-time lane clogger Vince Wilfork this offseason and nearly cut the long-time Patriot. Wilfork is on the tail-end of his career and the team should look to replace him with a younger talent sooner rather than later. Nix fits the bill of what Wilfork has done for years now in NE. Perfect fit, perfect pick.
30: San Francisco – Allen Robinson WR Penn St
-The consensus feeling is that Robinson will land in the NFC West, which likely means he will either be a Ram, Niner, or Seahawk when it’s all said and done. Robinson is sitting here at 30 and San Fran needs a stud red-zone target for Kaepernick to throw the ball to outside of Vernon Davis. Robinson has great potential and fits exactly what San Francisco wants to do offensively. Let’s do it.
31: Denver – Kyle Fuller CB Virginia Tech
-Denver would like Shazier or Mosley to fall here, but they will take the next best thing in Kyle Fuller. Fuller is not technically sound. He does not have great athleticism. And he has some of the tightest hips I have ever seen. But Fuller is a STUD at corner and will be a stud corner in this league. He will come in and compete for the starting gig to replace he who we shall not speak.
32: Seattle – Morgan Moses OT Virginia
– Seattle can really go anywhere here, but they need a stud right tackle and Moses can start at that position immediately for this team. Moses is a long and lanky tackle who has a massive wing span. He would be a perfect fit for the Seattle Seahawks who love to pound the ball 60% of the game.
Don’t forget to tune in to Direct Snap tomorrow night at 8:30 PM EST for ROUND 5 of our Seven Round 2014 NFL Mock Draft! 714-333-3302 to give us a call and chat! We would love to hear from you! “Like” us on facebook and follow us on twitter @Direct_Snap.